The Primal Connection (& why it’s not liver that gets me out of bed in the morning)

This may affect how you think of me…
…but it’s not the prospect of a pastured-beef-liver-filled-grass-fed-meatball that gets me out of bed in the morning.
In fact, I find it kind of hard to get out of bed in the morning, no matter how much weird food awaits.
Strange confession, I know. But the truth is, despite all the liver in my freezer and pastured eggs in my fridge; despite my more-than-adequate vitamin D levels and my love of lard, I’ve been in a Primal Hole lately. I’ve been stuck in my own little world of ERMAGERD LETS TALK ABOUT FOOD ALL THE TIME FOREVER, which usually makes me happy, but lately I’ve been…meh.
I’ve been pretty lost as to why. My food is perf. The nutrients are flowing. My sat-fat is sat-fatting all over this mug. (Literally. This mug is full of saturated fat.)

(PS: I do like big mutts. One slobbery, sweet one in particular.)
I believed I had all the ingredients to bake up some Paleo-fied happiness, but I just haven’t been feeling like a happy-peppy-person.
The curtains opened when Mark Sisson’s new book, The Primal Connection, arrived at my door.
This book couldn’t have hit me harder if the UPS guy’d thrown it at my head. From the moment I opened it, in fact, I was smacking myself in the head. There are so many gems in this book – I can hardly stand it. It’s everything I needed to understand what may be amiss for me – namely, me.
It’d be harsh to say “I’m doing it wrong,” but the truth is – the disconnect is ME.
What Mark did with this book was remind me, powerfully and primally yet with the backing of solid science, that it’s not just about food. It’s about connecting with what makes us beings on the Earth. 

  • That’s shutting off “technology” and realizing that more screen time doesn’t mean more productivity.
  • That’s stopping the ridiculous quest for somebody else’s brand of perfection.
  • That’s realizing that work MUST wait.
  • That’s cultivating a TRIBE; being part of a community, and allowing interaction for the sake of interaction (not work!) to invigorate me.
  • That’s touching, feeling, moving, being in nature. (Preferably with bare feet, and with the Gokhale method in mind)
  • That’s realizing that it doesn’t matter if potatoes are Paleo if my feet haven’t touched the bare-ass ground all day.

There’s science behind all of this. Real science. And common sense. Mark covers all of it. Real health starts with how we live, not just what we eat.
Of course, food is wrapped up in the “how we live” equation, but health requires more than just clean food – and that can’t be ignored. I see it more clearly now than ever in my nutritional therapy practice, where people eating so-called perfect diets are seeing issues that Mark’s philosophy would, I suspect, address completely.
Here’s something that’s really, really sad: I used to go outside every day. The Paleo Pooch and I covered at least 4 miles rain, wind, sleet, hell or high water. We once walked our route in 18″ of snow. Not kidding.
But now there are days when I don’t go outside at all. Weekdays are workdays, and I’ll go outside on the journey from car to office and back. Weekends are catch-up days, and there are times when I realize, 36 hours later, that I have neither been outside nor noticed the weather or the sun. Sure, I go to yoga and CrossFit, but those are inside activities too. I know I’m not the only one who’s had these pitfalls of modern life slip by unnoticed.
I’ve been blessed with amazing work and an amazing community, but I’ve been talking to them through a computer instead of in-person. I’ve been Skyping-in my friendships.
The first thing I touch when I wake up in the morning isn’t the handsome Cave-husband to whom I’m beyond blessed to be married. It’s my iPhone (I know, I know) as I check, with one bleary eye open, the e-mails that came in during the night.
The dog has a doggie-door so he can hang in the backyard while I type-type-type and text-text-text.
I’ve buried myself the last 2 years trying to do everythingeverythingallthetime, never shutting off the computer or my phone. And, unfortunately, during that time, nobody has gotten my best. And I’ve definitely lost myself a little.
I’m going to change a few things, and if The Primal Connection is right, it’s going to change my health and my mind-set. Unfortunately, I can’t always bring my camera-phone along for the ride, but I’ll sure write about it…when I plug back in.


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20 Responses

  1. Liz! Oh if only the U.S. were smaller, states were closer, think of the possibilities for IRL paleo/what/primal/happy person get togethers! Sitting around on the grass, talking about nothing or everything, hanging out with like-minded people. I ordered Sisson’s book right away, as I gravitate towards doing everything by myself… then all of a sudden… oh… I’m by myself doing everything!
    I’ve been in a similar rut–know you’re not alone.

  2. thank you! I have needed this – as soon as it warms back up, I will be back outside for some sanity! (below freezing in Phoenix these days… dont know what to do with myself!!)
    I enjoy your blog and posts immensely, thank you.

  3. While I imagine people all over the world are suffering with the same issue I feel like you were speaking what I have been thinking as well. Great write-up. I think I am going to have to get his new book even if I haven’t completed Primal Blueprint yet.
    I live in a city that has 4 feet of snow for a good share of the year and have a ton of trouble getting out the door. I have a treadmill that gets some use and weights that I try to throw around when I can but as a full time office worker with a one year old it seems like every minute is taken, even though I notice I still have time to keep up with Twitter and Facebook.
    Oh how we delude ourselves.

  4. LOVE this post Liz! Totally get where you are coming from. I am half way through Mark’s book and so much of it is making sense, its so obvious yet why didnt I see it before. Can’t wait to hear him on the podcast.

  5. Liz, you’re awesome.
    I’m on a break from running, which I used to do rain, snow or shine in every temperature, and that’s meant a real reduction in my outside-time. I need to make an effort to get out for walks even when it’s mucky and windy – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I really appreciate this message and I could not agree more. It’s so easy to get “addicted” to the feeling of being productive, of getting things done… it’s easy to say that the matter at hand is *especially* urgent, but doesn’t it always feel that way?! Thanks for the reminder!

  7. Great reminder, and I definitely want to check out this book! Everyone is so plugged in all the time, and I’ll admit that it’s easy to reach for my iphone while waiting or when I have a few minutes rather than talking to someone or just enjoying a free moment. I’ve been trying to start/end my day off with some sun salutations or just deep breathing to give myself a few disconnected minutes and focusing on being present. I also love for a minimalism type blog!

  8. Awesome post! Ordered Mark’s book tonight, I usually wait a few weeks, but not this time – even ordered hard copy vs. electronic to get even further away from the digital glow 🙂 I’ve been on this journey for almost 2 years and getting back to basics is so important for all of us.
    Always love your PoV, in both podcasts and the blog – thanks for doing what you do!

  9. Liz, a few years ago I read Hamlet’s Blackberry by William Powers which seems somewhat similar to Mark’s book (which I plan to order and read soon). It’s a quick read and recommend that you check it out.
    After 2 years of paleo, after following your recommendations for no poo and the oil cleansing method, I’ve tried both recently with much success so far. I’m really looking forward to your book. Thanks for all that you do!

  10. I absolutely loved this post for so many reasons!! First of all, I love your coffee mug…I have a Great Dane whom I love dearly, but don’t spend enough time walking!
    Second, there are so many days I wish I could just move my office outside…around 2pm some days (especially this time of year) I realize that I haven’t stepped foot outside at all and it makes me long for a job where I’m not tethered to my office all the time.
    Third, and on the same note, I am actually about to start the NTP program in February! You were a huge inspiration in that decision, actually, and I’m really excited about where it will take me! I’m just worried about fitting it in with a full time job and an hour-long commute, plus trying to play with my pup (not to mention my hubby too!).
    This post was a nice reminder that even when I get swamped with everything, I need to unplug and just go read/study in the grass 🙂

  11. Thank you for not only the review (among so many positive ones – I NEED to get this book!), but also for your honest personal reflection. The candor that you’re feeling in a hole and the connections and disconnects highlighted in this book could help you out. I hope it works and I look forward to reading your experiences!

  12. Such a great post! I too have been reflecting on this a lot lately in light of some recent MDA blog posts and am trying hard to reconnect with the world around me. I am thinking of following in the Paleo Parents footsteps and starting a Paleo Meet Up group in the Twin Cities, I need to make some foodie friends! 🙂

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