How to be like the Organized Cave Person and why it is important

I have never met a cave person but sometimes feel like I know what it might have been like to be a cave woman. I’m pretty sure they were quite smart, and balanced…and organized.

They would have to be!  How else could they manage what to eat, how to stay safe, and keep relationships strong all while, presumably, getting something out of life?  Their plight sounds…eerily familiar.

Sure the cave people had their issues – don’t we all.  As I read more about the Paleo era it is clear that modern day women and men can learn quite a bit from our much older ancestors about living life full, organized and well. So many lifestyle habits that we struggle to find a real balance with today were life and death necessities for our ancestors. And while I don’t think they knew about or considered themselves balanced, the simple way they lived inevitably created it.

I am a huge advocate of the Paleo lifestyle.

It is not just because I believe strongly in eating a real-food diet.  I believe there is true merit to how they conducted their lives, even when they were being chased by a woolly mammoth. Their stress responses were almost nil compared to ours. In fact, we are wired for their kind of stress response. Not the kind or frequency of stress we have today.

The goal in embracing the Paleo lifestyle is not to try to duplicate all they did. I am not interested in going out and killing my own food. I am happy to go to the market thank-you-very-much. The goal is to try to pull the core lessons from not only how they ate, but how they lived, and adapt them to our modern times.

In some cases that can be really difficult and challenging.  In all, I think focusing on it brings a simplicity to how we approach life. And that might be the greatest benefit of all.

Here are some tips on how to live a balanced, organized life – Paleo style.

1. Organize your meals. Using a meal planner to plan out what you are going to eat and when takes the guesswork out of eating to nourish. I don’t think the cave people decided on what to eat on the fly. Something tells me to eat well, they did some serious forward-thinking.

2. Eat your plants! Popeye had it right! If you want to be big and strong, you have to eat the foods that are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, and C, folate and potassium. Vegetables are naturally low in fat, have no cholesterol and are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The cave person had none of these risks and used their ability to attain produce from the land to their advantage. If you want to survive and thrive, eat real food (with no labels) – the full rainbow color of vegetables, sustainable, healthy and necessary sources of animal protein, and healthy fats.

3. Exercise. To be healthy you really do have to be diligent about being active daily. It isn’t about killing yourself at the gym for hours on end, rather bringing your heart rate up and working your muscles effectively. The cave person was constantly squatting and lifting their food and shelter. As well, they constantly moved and walked and as a result, studies show they were quite strong. Strength and cardiovascular exercise burns fat, keeps blood pressure low, and reduces stress. Do your own interval “burst training” at home by downloading the 7 Minute App.  And don’t forget the benefits of working in the garden, taking a long walk or hike, doing the stairs. If you want to be held more accountable for your exercise, partner with a friend or join a fitness facility that has group training or classes that use a holistic approach to health and work the entire body.

4. Keep stress at bay. We hear this all the time and while it isn’t easy for everyone to do it is integral to living healthy. Exercise helps, so does meditation. Taking 5 minutes each day to just sit and breath is a great start to beating stress and feeding our mind healthiness. We allow so much to stress us out. It’s not that things aren’t important or deadlines shouldn’t be kept. But we have over 200 stress responses a day compared to our ancestors 2-3 a day.  We need to work to combat it and reduce it.  And of course, keeping things in perspective helps. Think of the cave person. If what is putting you in stress isn’t the equivalent of a woolly mammoth chasing you down, it might not be worth risking your health for.

5. Find a spiritual practice. You don’t have to go out and find “God” – although it’s not a bad idea. You just need to find something that reminds you of your smallness in the world while also helping you see the contentedness of all beings. This helps you appreciate the things and people around you more. It makes you more willing to be philanthropic which is a stress reducer in its own right. Believing in something other than what you can touch, taste, feel or see if powerful. And there are a lot of health benefits that come along with that power.

6. Send your friend a note. Forging and sustaining relationships is very healthy. There is no better way to do this than by keeping in touch. The cave person certainly didn’t have the luxury of mailing a letter or using social media to be in touch and yet, they sustained relationships. They knew the importance of it and walked sometimes miles on end to connect with relatives. Today we have Facebook and Instagram and many other social media outlets to help us out. And while those aren’t bad, they don’t take the place of a more deliberate, real interaction. When you take the time to make a call, visit a friend, or even sit, write out a note, address and mail it you ground yourself. You become more present, and your action really is more deliberate. Plus, the person on the other end of your deed feels good, and because of it, so do you.  Win-win.

Don’t be a afraid to live a little like the old folks! Those cave people left us some great lessons on how to live organized, healthy and verri well.

  • Rosemary Verri

    That was great. Those are the cogent pieces. Six – and really that’s it.
    love the blog!

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