Thinking About Going Primal/Paleo for the New Year: What Does That Entail?

I explained in my two previous posts that going primal/paleo entails adopting an ancestral health approach to better food choices and to a movement regimen based on our daily energy levels (the opposite of chronic cardio). 

Today, I am going to go over what adopting an overall primal/paleo lifestyle is about. So along with better-quality food and exercise, this includes (as explained in The New Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson) the importance of adequate sleep and sunlight, play, avoiding “stupid mistakes,” and stimulating your brain according to your likings to keep it sharp.

Get Adequate Sleep

  • Minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark.
  • Create a simple, quiet, dark sleeping environment.
  • Consistent bed and wake times.
  • Calm transitions into and out of sleep.
  • Awaken naturally without an alarm, if possible. 
  • Expose to sunlight upon awakening.
  • Nap when necessary and possible.

Get Adequate Sunlight

Stay in the sun for short increments of time in order to not burn and make sure you expose large skin surface areas enough when you can.


It is also good to include play, which refers to any spontaneous outdoor physical activity such as running around with your kids or dog outside. It can be short work breaks or even nice long hikes! Carving out some downtime every day is an important stress management tool and it enhances productivity.

Avoid Stupid Mistakes

  • Avoid “modern dangers” like texting and driving, for example.
  • Drift away as much as possible from stressful routines/habits. Steer clear of multitasking.

Use Your Brain

Choose fun, creative intellectual activities/hobbies to keep your mind sharp such as: reading, writing, problem solving, and/or musical training. I also like to play brain training games on BrainHQ and Lumosity. And the Duolingo app is a lot of fun to practice a language with!

In Summary

So there you have it! This is what adopting a primal/paleo lifestyle entails – and it doesn’t have to be perfect. We’ve all been doing our best in these challenging times. The main priority is to keep at it. See when it is okay to push yourself a little bit to attain the given goal you set for yourself – but also acknowledge the fact that a day may not be the day. And that’s okay. 

Until next time!


Primal Blueprint at-a-Glance Reference Guide.

Sisson, Mark. The New Primal Blueprint : Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2017, p. 483.

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Be Patient with Yourself

Have you ever decided to start a new exercise regimen just to see the whole thing fall apart just a few days after? Oftentimes we want to take on way too much, way too soon. It is normal that when we want to start something new we are excited about it, and therefore we want to make a big change right away. But building new habits and getting rid of old ones is a process that takes time. As mentioned in a previous post, author Dr. Kyra Bobinet explains in her book, Well Designed Life, “As the new behavior is practiced more and more, the neural connections underlying that behavior get stronger and stronger. It is like wearing a rough footpath through repeated use, and then once established, paving that road (i.e., adding myelin to neural networks) to make it faster. Eventually there are two neural pathways that are of equal strength—the old habit and the new one—and you can imagine two highways that you could choose from. When we hit this point, the new behavior is as good an option (and equally likely to occur) as the old default behavior.” Building a new habit requires patience, dedication, and consistency.

The “Two-Minute Rule”

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear mentions the Two-Minute Rule, which means: “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do.” By starting something new that takes only a couple of minutes, there is very little chance of failing. James Clear gives five examples:

  • “Read before bed each night” becomes “Read one page.”
  • “Do thirty minutes of yoga” becomes “Take out my yoga mat.”
  • “Study for class” becomes “Open my notes.”
  • “Fold the laundry” becomes “Fold one pair of socks.”
  • “Run three miles” becomes “Tie my running shoes.”

James Clear adds that “The point is to master the habit of showing up.” Of course you want to end up building on those two minutes. But if it is really just two minutes at first, that’s fine too. For example, if you want to start meditating, meditating for two minutes is an okay start. The new habit that you want to implement should not feel like a challenge.

In Summary

To build a new habit for good, you want to take steps that are easy to implement on a regular basis. As explained in Atomic Habits, opening your notes can lead to studying for ten minutes, to maybe studying for three hours, to getting better grades, to getting your degree. Doing a few stretches throughout the day, as I do, even if you don’t have the time for a complete workout, is just enough to keep strengthening the right mindset. You are building a new habit, but also a new identity, the one of someone who keeps showing up. It’s all about taking small steps easy for you to repeat every day. Once the habit is established, you can build on this new foundation and reinforce it even more for the better!

Until next time!


Bobinet, Kyra. Well Designed Life : 10 Lessons in Brain Science & Design Thinking for a Mindful, Healthy, & Purposeful Life. Walnut Creek, California, Engagedin Press, 2015, pp. 295–96.

Clear, James. Atomic Habits : Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results : An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. New York, Avery, An Imprint Of Penguin Random House, 2018, pp. 162–67.

You can also find me on Instagram.

“Premium Fuel” For Your Brain

One of my favorite childhood memories is when my brother and I would go on a ski trip on Easter with my grandmother. There is nothing like skiing all day to increase your appetite. And in the mountains, we would buy some delicious little blueberry pies at a local pastry shop. Of course, now I would only eat a pie if it was made with paleo-friendly ingredients, but did you know that blueberries are one of those foods highly beneficial to the brain? There is a group of foods that are proven to nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress. These foods are like “premium fuel” for your brain. Here’s a list of 10 of these awesome brain-boosting foods:


Avocados‘ monounsaturated fat helps to support healthy blood flow. Avocados also enhance spatial working memory and attention span.


Blueberries, with their high amount of flavonoids and flavonols, can help protect the brain from oxidative stress. They help lessen the effects of brain aging and can aid with memory.

Bone broth

Bone broth is rich in glycine, an amino acid that can help with improving memory.


Broccoli is high in vitamin K, which is good for cognitive function and memory. 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is good for focus and concentration. It can boost endorphin levels. The flavonoids in chocolate can help enhance cognitive function.


The choline in the eggs helps with boosting the brain and improving memory, especially when it comes to both verbal and visual memory.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin E, which helps lessen the effects of brain aging. They are also a good source of folate, which helps to enhance memory. As a side note, kale, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce all have nutrients that can help with preventing cognitive impairment and dementia.

Salmon, Sardines, Caviar

Salmon, sardines, and caviar are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lessen the effects of brain aging too. Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the brain cells’ membranes and the synaptic connections between neurons.


Turmeric (with its active ingredient: curcumin) helps with lowering inflammation, increasing antioxidant levels, enhancing the brain’s oxygen intake, and improving cognitive function.


Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, good against brain aging, beneficial to the neurons. Walnuts are also rich in zinc and magnesium, helping with your mood.

In Summary

Consuming nutrient-dense foods like the ones mentioned above, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is a sure way to better your brain, your mood, your energy levels, and your overall health. I eat each of these on a regular basis, some of them every day. Most of these are simple whole foods, easy to prepare and can make great snacks too. To your brain health!

Until next time!


Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, pp. 82-4.

Kwik, Jim. Limitless. Hay House Inc, 2020, pp. 130–32.

You can also find me on Instagram.

Use it or Lose it

Have you ever heard the expression “use it or lose it?” When it comes to our brain, cognitive testing shows that this “use it or lose it” saying can clearly unfold after being done with school and when in retirement. Newton Baker said, “The man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after.” But if we keep on being committed to learning new things throughout life and continue to positively stimulate our minds on a daily basis, cognitive decline doesn’t have to happen. All it takes to keep a sharp mind are simple practices – habits to incorporate into our daily life, year after year. Here are some of the suggestions offered in The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle, by Brant Cortright, Ph. D.:


Whatever your favorites are, implement a daily habit of reading several pages or for a specific period of time. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, newspaper articles, blogs, magazines, and social media posts are all good options.


Write to your heart’s content: journaling or letters, emails, texts, stories, memos, poems, articles, blog posts, ads, and marketing materials.

Problem Solving

Problem solving includes doing puzzles, playing board or card games, house repair, work problems or other life challenges to tackle.

Attention and Concentration Exercises

Meditation is a good practice in order to solidify attention and concentration skills. The same goes for any task you choose to focus on for several hours in a row as opposed to multi-tasking or jumping from one thing to another.

Executive Function Tasks

Executive function tasks include organizing, planning, executing, following through, and completing tasks, whether it is at work or at home. These skills still have to be utilized even after retirement, so finding projects to implement no matter what your age is very important.

Discussion Groups

Discussion groups allow you to expand your mental flexibility. This is about learning how to express yourself, how to articulate your thoughts in a concise way while acknowledging and being respectful of others’ viewpoints even if they differ from yours. Being open to new ideas also helps in building constructive dialogue, which can be a useful, lifelong skill.

Musical Training

Learning how to play an instrument is a great hobby to take on, no matter what your age! And even if it seems like an impossible task at first, just remember that when we are young, failure does not stop us. We keep trying and practicing until we get it right. Stay patient and persistent!


New learning is key at any age. Taking on a new language is a great example. I enjoy using the Duolingo app to practice Spanish and Italian, two languages I had studied in high school. There are also tons of online courses on any range of topics. Coursera offers many courses, for instance. For learning, the setting can be formal or informal, it doesn’t matter.

In Summary

Keeping a sharp mind as the years go by doesn’t have to be a difficult task. We just need to apply ourselves to implement the above practices, a little bit every day. As Brant Cortright states, “Each brain requires special nourishment, and we must experiment with different activities to find out what works for us, what we enjoy doing, and what our optimal engagement is.”

Until next time!


Cortright, Ph.D., Brant. The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life. Mill Valley, CA, Psyche Media, 2015, pp. 160, 178–182.

You can also find me on Instagram.

Why green tea?

I have recently gotten into the habit of drinking green tea in the afternoon and thoroughly enjoy it! As we all know, green tea is a very healthy beverage to drink. Green tea has been consumed for approximately 5,000 years, first in China. Last year, I purchased the book, The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop it, which has a section on EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), the main component in green tea. What differentiates green tea from black tea and oolong tea is that green tea is not fermented. The plant’s (Camellia sinensis) leaves and buds are simply brewed. Dr. Sandra Kaufmann states: “Let’s answer the big question first. Can EGCG actually help you live longer? The answer is a resounding yes….”

Green tea’s health benefits

The above book mentions green tea’s known health benefits. Among others, it has: 

  • Antioxidant qualities
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-tumorigenic effects
  • Weight loss effects (over time)

Also, green tea may help strengthen bones: “EGCG has an osteo-inductive effect on stem cells, meaning the cells are steered into making bone cells versus any other cell.”

And when it comes to the brain, consuming green tea helps with “learning and other brain activities…EGCG exerts protective effects against seemingly eventual age-related cognitive declines and neurodegenerative diseases.”

In summary

This is a precious beverage indeed! With all these health benefits no wonder people have been drinking green tea for centuries! A cup of tea has between 70 and 90 mg of EGCG. Right now, I consume an organic sencha green tea, but there are numerous other organic options. Matcha, a green tea in powder form, is one of them. And to get more of the benefits green tea has to offer, I also take one capsule of Thorne Green Tea Phytosome each day. (Of course, you want to check with your physician first if you decide to do the same). Maybe it’s a cup of green tea a day that keeps the doctor away. Who knows?


Kaufmann, Sandra, et al. The Kaufmann Protocol : Why We Age and How to Stop It. Kaufmann Anti-Aging Institute, 2018, p. 249-57.

You can also find me on Instagram.