It’s the perfect time of year to put some very important disease prevention practices into place. With fresh produce, great weather and many of us taking a little vacation, we all have a little more time on our hands to pay attention to our most important asset – ourselves. A typical North American lifestyle is chock-full of high stress, sedentary jobs and fast food. Most of us are just trying to make it through the day, let alone pay attention to preventive health measures like meal preparation and fitting in exercise. While creating these habits isn’t always easy, they’re necessary. We as humans were not designed to sit at a desk all day or eat food that doesn’t ever go bad.
I was first introduced to a Paleo lifestyle about two years ago and since then have becoming increasingly interested in it. Paleo lifestyles entail implementing healthful aspects of life that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have practiced thousands of years ago. Paleo is essentially synonymous with eating well, exercising and having a sense of community. Below are my top tips for you to start implementing a Paleo lifestyle yourself.
Move as much as you can
Did you know that our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to walk on average between 10 000 – 15 000 steps daily? How many of us can say that we do the same? Some easy tips to get those steps in include walking to destinations as opposed to driving, parking at the back of the parking lot and investing in a pedometer. Getting your daily steps in can be made into a fun game – challenge yourself to walk 10 000 steps daily. If I have extra steps I need to get in, I’ll go for a quick walk or run in the city or on the amazing trails Nova Scotia has to offer. There’s no excuse to not get daily exercise in. And it’s not that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we don't make the time for it. There’s a big difference and we owe it to ourselves to make that time.
Implement a whole-foods plan
The idea here is to limit any processed or packaged foods in your diet. I always love that saying “you are what you eat, so don’t be fast, easy, cheap or fake.” Makes sense, right? Delicious, whole, nourishing foods don’t have to be painstakingly prepared either. It doesn’t take long to sear a beautiful grass-fed steak and sauté a generous serving of kale in a bit of coconut oil to make yourself a meal. Food doesn’t have to be complicated and in my opinion, anything with more than five ingredients is. There are tons of online resources to start you on a whole foods eating plan. It’s all about finding one that works best for you.
Paleo is essentially synonymous with eating well, exercising and having a sense of community.
Engage in your community
We as humans require connection and nowadays it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find that sense of community. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were a network that provided support for each other. They worked together as a team and because of that, thrived. While it’s important to be an independent individual, capable of making your own decisions in life and having a sense of autonomy, it’s also important to have interdependency. Above and beyond friends and family, I encourage you to volunteer, join an organization you care about, a yoga studio, something to encourage a stronger sense of community and connection. The world needs a bit more of that.