What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’ll share mine.
My resolution is to become part of and help inspire an entirely new breed of “occupy movement”. It’s an occupy movement that in my view matters more than any other in that it is foundational to everything else we might hope to accomplish in our lives or in reforming our society.
My proposal is that we all make the decision, here and now, to “occupy” our Primal Bodies and Minds by first and foremost “occupying” our Food.
“Say WHAT?” you say?
By this, I do not speak of pitching tents and carrying signs with fist-waiving slogans or pitchforks, complaining about what others are doing to us or taking from us (and then waiting for something magical to happen). –In saying this I do not mean to denigrate what is born of an important awakening across the globe through the greater “occupy movement” taking place. It is heartening to see the shift in consciousness happening across the globe. I would submit that this movement is yet in its infancy and has yet to find its power through actionable and systematically focused purpose. I believe the essential foundational starting place must be–first and foremost—to take up our own quiet and immeasurable power through taking responsibility for our own health.
This means nothing less than a commitment to fully conscious eating, awareness of where our food comes from and the impact this has on our single most important commodity: our mental and physical health. This means a new level of personal responsibility. This means no longer “feeding” the “1% agenda” by blindly accepting what we are told by mainstream sources about profitable and damaging dietary myths. This means saying NO to laws that restrict our access to healthy unadulterated food, saying NO to efforts being put forth to restrict our access to quality nutritional supplements or alternative care options of our choice (yes—these things ARE being restricted increasingly world-wide as we speak). This means saying NO to forced acceptance of GMO’s, food additives and preservatives, pesticides, gluten-containing foods (and crappy, pseudo-healthy, processed “gluten-free” foods), monoculture agriculture, factory farming, and inhumane commercial livestock/feedlot practices. This means speaking up in restaurants and grocery markets and making known your preferences and demands (diplomatically, of course) for the kind of quality food you expect and what you will no longer buy from them. This means making every effort to avoid the processed garbage being sold as food and also looking in the mirror and becoming candid with ourselves about our addictions, vulnerabilities/weaknesses and unconscious avoidances of these issues.
Such a movement will never work if it is “led” by any one person. Charisma or no charisma–enough already with those who pretend to lead us. Leaders can easily become corrupted by power, or derail whole movements through disillusionment generated by their own human failings, or be conveniently “eliminated” any number of ways by those that would rather have them out of the way, thereby rending those they lead undirected and impotent. We ALL must become our own sovereign leaders that set an example for everyone else we hope to influence. We must all become our own best ambassadors. We also need to speak up! We must act peacefully but uncompromisingly in our quest for creating our own best possible health and food supply.
It’s not too late (hey–there’s still a little time left on that Mayan calendar). We CAN do it. Not only that—but we MUST do it. Nothing else matters if you lose your mental, neurological or physical health. In the event of any devastating medical diagnosis in your family will fighting for the state of the economy, the environment, human rights, truth in labeling, political or banking reform, the overthrow of multinational corporate dominion of the system, or anything else really matter? Heck, it wouldn’t even take more than a little brain fog to shut down most people’s capacity to give a rat’s behind.
If we as a society are to succeed in creating a better world for ourselves and our children, then each of us must all first begin with the state of our own health and well-being. Think foundationally. Without that, the rest is nothing. –Believe me, the arrogant, over-stuffed, power-addicted and relentlessly strategic 1% totally get this. They make it as difficult as possible for us to get a grip and hang on to it through any number of distractions, misinformation/disinformation, efforts to divide and conquer through petty polarization on every front, seducing us with mindless entertainment and indulgences that numb our minds and neutralize our defenses. They also work insidiously to undermine our food, air and water quality, and by keeping us in reaction mode. With every person empowered by mental and physical health and just a “titch” of conscious awareness, everything becomes possible and the so-called “global elite” are basically screwed. On the other hand, enfeebled and destabilized by sub-optimal health we become vulnerable to fear, reactiveness, cynical or negative thinking, apathy, distraction and ultimately failure. Then we all lose.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “We need to become the change we wish to see in the world.” The kind of change we all want to see with the healthcare (read: disease management) system, the degraded, depleted and contaminated food supply, the corporate control of the media, politics, education, food production, water and even the air we breathe all become possible the moment we decide to become conscious and simply say NO to the “1%”agenda by deciding what we are willing and not willing to accept any longer. We also need to go out of our way to make sure we are operating within our own integrity and not compromising those standards for the sake of convenience or temptations. It’s up to each and every one of us.
We don’t need a rally for this part of it. We don’t need cardboard signs. We don’t need to rush into our nearest outdoor supply store to buy a tent. We just need to wake up, clarify our priorities (making your health first and foremost among them) and then set out to act consistently with them. Hey—it’s simple! And it’s immeasurably powerful.
In my book, Primal Body, Primal Mind I systematically address numerous myths, expose serious issues and challenges with our food supply and propose a way of eating that is as close to optimal for mental and physical health and our longevity as is currently possible. It’s based in part on the original diet of our Primal ancestors and also new developments in modern science. For some this represents a radical departure from the manner of eating and thinking about food to which they have become accustomed or simply unquestioningly accepted. For a few of these, the approach to health I propose may seem somewhat extreme in light of what is accepted in the mainstream and what some are most comfortable with. I would propose, however that the “extremes” are in the marketplace, the environment, the politics, in the manner in which Big Agribusiness has hijacked the agricultural system globally and in the way large multinational corporations are seeking to control and contaminate every aspect of our food supply to its complete detriment. This has also resulted in our increasingly limited access to simple, genuinely natural unadulterated food. THAT is what is extreme. None of us should have to go so far out of our way to find real food that is safe and nourishing.
Those of us going out of our way to find clean, quality unadulterated food aren’t crazy or extreme…just informed.
In response to the sometimes naïve and self-rationalizing mantra “Everything in moderation” I would ask: How much compromise to your health (or your children’s health), well-being, cognitive function, emotional well-being, immune system, or anything else are you feeling the need to enjoy “in moderation”? In the end it becomes a matter of what we ultimately prioritize in a world where there is precious little room for error for the “99%” of us. For Homer Simpson and others like him, it’s Duff beer and donuts. Or the convenience of fast food, pizza delivery, processed, packaged food, momentary short-sighted indulgences and/or blissful ignorance.
Yep–Score one for the 1%.
Like “boiling frogs” we’ve become gradually desensitized to the deterioration and contamination of our food supply, the environment, the laws (favoring profit-driven interests) that govern these and state of our own health standards. As long as we’re above ground and can get up and go to work every day we think we’re healthy. We are easily distracted by trivial or day to day things while everything worsens. We somehow rationalize unconsciously that it’s up to others to make things better. As I said in Primal Body, Primal Mind, we are truly now living in a world and in a time where there is no longer any room for error with respect to what we must do to maintain our mental/physical health and survival. Where there is so much of our environment outside our control, we must take control of what we can.
The truth is we do need to go out of our way in this day and age—and we also need to demand what we want. This does not mean acting like a 13 year-old drama queen having a hissy fit over every little thing she doesn’t like and whining about the inconvenience. Decorum, folks! Simply refusing to spend money on processed, genetically modified, adulterated, inhumane or inferior products (and making sure those that are selling them know why) can be the ultimate protest and the only method of voting that corporate interests ultimately pay attention to. For that matter, simply go directly to those producing the kind of food that meets your standards and buy from them. Rather than focusing on what we don’t want instead focus on what we DO want and make the 1% irrelevant. Be positive and proactive. Poof! That’ll show ‘em. It really takes extreme vigilance and informed know-how to recognize real food anywhere anymore for many of us unless we know the source firsthand. It is everyone’s responsibility to change this by changing our own individual choices and actions.
As with anything, transforming the way you eat along with the way you feel and think about that, as well as transforming your habits and your body, mind and health is a process. It doesn’t happen in its entirety overnight, yet radical change can begin in an instant—the instant you make the decision to no longer accept the status quo and decide to truly commit to a new and far better way of life.
Keep in mind this is not just a diet we’re talking about, but is a way of life that will transform your entire being—and quite possibly many others around you by your very own example.
A few basic steps:
- Read (or re-read) my book. Understand not only what you need to do but really absorb the “why”.
- Develop an intimate first hand knowing of where your food actually comes from to the extent possible by patronizing local farmer’s markets and getting to know the farmers
- Inform your grocers about what you do and don’t like about what they carry. The good ones WILL listen!
- Speak up in restaurants about your preference and/or requirements for 100% grass-fed meat, locally grown organic produce, non-GMO foods, and gluten-free options. If enough people ask for these things they WILL eventually listen.
- Buy at local food co-operatives. Buy from the sources working hard to do the right thing. Learn to grow, hunt, fish or raise your own food. Maybe even start your OWN co-op or buyer’s club!
- Stick to what our ancestors would have recognized as actual food—minimally processed, humanely and responsibly grown or raised (totally grass-fed).
- Learn to read labels—every time (I have to remind myself of this one, too).
- Pay attention to what is happening!
OK…I’m climbing down off my soapbox now.
In closing, I’d like to share a video about a rancher in Australia named Rob Blomfield who, after suffering a multitude of setbacks to the quality of his health over many years made a conscious choice to take charge of his own health and make some real changes after reading my book. The result on his health and sense of well-being has been nothing short of miraculous—but more than this he has inspired an entire community of farmers and ranchers around him to do the same. Through all this he also cultivated a greater awareness of his own importance in overseeing the quality of the food supply for others and the health of the soils fostered by his ranching practices. Rob’s humble charm, quiet integrity and genuineness alone speak volumes in this two-part video (filmed at the University of New England in Armidale). Enjoy!
Rob compares his old diet (standard Australian diet) with his new diet (Primal Body, Primal Mind diet) and how he transitioned to a healthier way of eating and feeling. Basically from eating lots of starchy carbohydrates to eating protein, fat and vegetables and no processed foods.
Rob tells the audience what happens to his body after going on the Primal Body, Primal Mind Diet. Before changing his diet, he felt like a 60 year old going on 70 years old. Now after being on the diet for a few months, he feels like a 40 year old! His analogy of people on the typical standard Australian (or American) diet is spot on.
Rob was also interviewed for a news story in a widely read publication called “The Land”.
What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?