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Slow down, go barefoot, and get some SUN!
(How to add even MORE Primal to your life)
Thereâ€™s no doubt about it: we live in a world where the cards are stacked against natural food, natural movement, and the natural rhythms of sleep.
Many of us have spent years hunched over a computer, in some kind of pricey ergonomic chair, with our legs crossed (not natural), our eyes trained on a computer screen just inches from our face (also not natural) with windows (if weâ€™re lucky) separating us from the sunâ€™s vitamin-D-generating rays.
Itâ€™s a pickle, because we canâ€™t exactly just check out of life as we know it. Weâ€™ve got to make a living, after all. Weâ€™ve got to manage our facebook pages, for goodness' sake.
We can get a standing desk, sure, and download f.lux and hope for the best - but there are a few extras that can go far in connecting us to our Primal roots.
With the realities of modern life, I'd say we need to do these things!
First off: meditate.
Maybe it sounds hokey. Maybe it doesnâ€™t sound â€œPrimal.â€ Did cavemen worry about stuff like that? Maybe not.
But our ancestors definitely had times of quiet, times of reflection, and times of rest that far outreach what we make time for today.
Thatâ€™s what happens when facebook, Real Housewives, and nerdy cave girl blogs literally do not exist. But since they DO exist in our world, and since theyâ€™re topped off by all the stress of work, dirty air, dirty water, and - ya know - all those things that make us what The Paleo Drummer calls â€œwalking, living, breathing stressballs of doomâ€ (I love that guy) weâ€™ve got to be proactive about the actions that bring us closer to the life rhythm of our ancestors.
How? Meditation is one tool. Check out the joint 30-day meditation challenge set up by Steve (The Paleo Drummer) and Kendall (Primal Balance). You wonâ€™t regret it.
Next up: go barefoot. Or at least go minimalist.
This isnâ€™t meant to hurt anyoneâ€™s feelings or questions anyoneâ€™s parenting. Please know that. It's easy for me to nit-pick - I don't even have kids!
But when I see little eensy-beensy toddler feet all bound up in rigid toddler shoes, all I can think is: thatâ€™s proprioception poison.
This video (click) helps illustrate how conventional shoes do nothing for the toddler gait. Meaning: if they don't NEED shoes, and said shoes are less useful and more fashion statement, let 'em go minimal - or let 'em go without.
Being barefoot allows us to literally learn to move. It allows us to perceive of and connect with our environments in a way thatâ€™s missing from our lives - probably from the time weâ€™re toddlers.
Of course, we canâ€™t always be barefoot - there are modern hazards everywhere, from goat poop (thatâ€™s my problem lately) to sharp things to things that bite and sting. Thatâ€™s why I like minimalist shoes, and why I try to stay barefoot when Iâ€™m inside my house. When Iâ€™m at the office, I take off my kicks and stand at the stand-up desk, move my body around, and wiggle my toes (something I could never do when I jammed my feet into heels or restrictive flats all day).
Itâ€™s also important, I think, to make bare-foot contact with the Earth on a regular basis. Some people wear by earthing mats (click here) - I donâ€™t have experience with those, but if you do, please pop by the facebook page and let me know your thoughts.
Finally, drive with the windows down.
(Donâ€™t worry - I took the photo below as a passenger!)
Iâ€™ll be writing more about the sun in an upcoming blog post, but hereâ€™s the gist: a window absorbs most vitamin-D-producing UVB radiation while allowing UVA radiation - the â€œbadâ€ rays - to penetrate.
This book (click here) offers a spectacular rundown of the importance of UVB rays by one of the worldâ€™s leading experts.
We spend our lives behind UVB-blocking windows - at the office, at home, and in the car. This means we spend our lives behind vitamin D blockers.
Add all the toxic, unnecessary chemicals in conventional sunscreens, and itâ€™s no wonder that we suffer a modern epidemic of immune health problems and even skin cancer. Itâ€™s not the sun - itâ€™s how we mess with it!
We shouldnâ€™t be so afraid of moderate sun exposure; but we should be aware of how our own lives manipulate the sun exposure weâ€™re supposed to get, just like our ancestors did, to stay well. Open a window and let those UVB rays in!
How do YOU add that extra dose of Primal to your life? Do you meditate? Go minimal? Something else? Let the community know on the facebook page.