The recent #primalchat on Twitter posed the question about perception of the primal way, spunoff from a post over at the Primal Chat site. Again the 140 character limit led me to long post. I will leave others to talk on the science as that stuff goes over my head pretty quick and instead shall turn my focus to lay folk and their perceptions of the method and some of mine.
At first, people often associate the primal eating method with the Atkins Diet or the South Beach, and in fact there are similarities. No carb or low carb are all heavily laden with media poison, even our own government promotes an anti primal way with subsidies etc. That unto itself is a whole different kettle…bell of fish (see what I did there) 🙂 I hope the following is helpful in getting passed a few perception challenges I’ve come across that may be common with others.
I find it hard to get people over the “what do you mean manmade foods?” Some get it, some don’t. People today are detached from nature and many think steaks are manmade, I suppose they are in certain ways but the primal philosophy, in my opinion, asks that those products kind of need to be around way back in the Old Old OLD Testament. If they ask I explain as best as I’m able and avoid getting preachy. Please keep in mind I will not be diving across your cubicle in bullet time to knock a donut out of your hand or any of the other duties of the food police, but take a moment to think about food from the perspective of Grok. If Grok was pulled into a wormhole and spat out in your grocery store and maintained enough sense to start shopping, what would he pick and know what was food? I suspect anything in plastic or cardboard would be cast aside in favor of the things most in their natural state. The easiest being produce and meats. Let’s take the same time traveling Grok and have Tank load a program that gets him up to about a 4th grade reading level, we’ll save combat for a later date. SO now Grok reads like a kid, most kids I know can say apple, meat, egg, and bacon. Those same kids and our Grok probably have great difficulty with monosodium glutimate or maltodextrin, I myself even chose the “easy” hard to pronounce ones here. To relate this to perception and methods to change it or explain to others, if you can’t pronounce it don’t eat it. Same for plant based items, if you can’t go grab it off a bush, don’t eat it. This will without a doubt thrust you into the “what about corn or rice?” construct of the Matrix. Typically as the conversation turns into a history lesson on agriculture and early man you’ve already formed the remainder of the perception, yes you are a indeed nerd and I still like Cheetos, shut up with this already. I typically say early man didn’t farm and that is the cutoff date, anything after farming is a no no. If they take this explanation to heart they will soon discover you weren’t 100% truthful but they will understand why. That bit about being 100% honest lends itself nicely to a basic guide on 80/20 and the primal way.
I struggle with the ruling fraction of the primal life. This 80/20 thing. This really does break down perceptions and can be applied to many areas of life. Eating primally is but one. It renders down nicely to an almost Aesop type moral: Something you do 80% of the time shouldn’t be undone by something you do 20% of the time. Under the primal way this can be seen as a cheat clause or loophole. Probably for many it is. I chose to see it as law. The law. My present location keeps me from getting 100% primal in my eating. 100% is the goal I want to attain and I look to the primal community to keep me grounded. A solid 80/20 is really a 100 for most. This is my perception. At any rate it is an excellent guide and makes even the most glass half empty types (raises hand) look more like a glass half full type. That perception right up in front of your brain is powerful. This practice lends itself to some Sun Tzu “Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.” You will not get your men to follow you if you go the fight defeated in your own mind.
If you’d like a little more focused science and primal laws go to Mark’s Daily Apple. For a very good example of doing primal and other views on perceptions see Free the Animal. The most excellent blog that led to chat led to this post is here. Thanks for reading.