To Paleo Or Not To Paleo, That Should Be Your Question

caveman longevityI havent spent much time researching the Paleo diet, not that I intend to follow it anyway. After all, how good can it be? Cavemen only lived to around thirty-five, tops, am I right?

My loving husband, however, who is a thoughtful and brilliant gift-giver, put a Paleo magazine in my Christmas stocking. Ever vigilant about having reading material with me, I tossed it in my suitcase as we motored off to our family holiday in Boston.

Ive had only limited amounts of time to peruse the issue thus far, in between movie-watching, walking the Freedom Trail, and (strangely) interesting expeditions to the trash/recycling center with my sister-in-law. But let me just say this, Im impressedwith the magazine that is. Am I buying into eating like our ancestral, hunter-gatherer relatives? Not a chance, and Ill explain why in just a bit.

The magazine itself is nicely done, albeit heavy on the ads. I plan on ordering from one or two of the many natural product companies represented, as I increase my usage of chemical-free everything in the new year. Theres also plenty of recipes in the magazine, as you would expect. I may even try a couple of those.

What Ive enjoyed the most are the thought-provoking articles on environmental health, meditation, and exercise. All of which are areas of personal interest and ones I intend to pursue with renewed vigor in the coming year.

To date, my meditation attempts have been fraught with failure. My over-active brain has trouble letting go of the ever-present task list that I cling heavily to. Im going to work on that this year, in my attempt to mitigate my stress level. Controlling stress is vital to over-all health and longevity.

As far as exercise is concerned, its always been a huge part of my life. Often to my detriment. Maybe its just getting older or maybe it stems from repeated overuse injuries, but Ive become more moderate in my attitude toward exercise. The Paleo philosophy of exercise seems to subscribe to the same concept utilized in the Blue Zones. Which is to say, an organic approach to physical fitness using light to moderate daily activity, interspersed with intensity. In other words, lots of walking, bursts of short-term running, lifting, carrying, squatting. You get the idea, the hunter-gatherer kinds of movement that seem to promote health while reducing the likelihood of injury and long-term damage.

I have to be skeptical, however, at what I perceive as the huge, glaring error in the Paleo diet planthe fact that the focus of the diet centers around meat. Who dreams this stuff up? You cannot dismiss the fact that when it comes to those people living the longest, and who are avoiding age-related diseases at the highest rates, the centenarians of the world eat little, if any, meat.

Food for thought.



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