ABCs of the Ancestral Lifestyle

Introduction

The primal/paleo/ancestral lifestyle is a template applied in a modern context, subject to individualization and customization, according to many factors, including one’s health profile, age, ancestry, climate, community, gender, stage in life, stress levels, geographic location. Incidentally, this is not unlike the French concept of terroir, whereby similar factors contribute to the flavors, textures, and aromas of an artisan wine or cheese. Regardless of these differing factors, we all share the same physiology and anatomy, including our digestive, endocrine and organ systems as well as the fact that our mitochondria, ancient bacteria now a part of our cells, produce our energy. (See the paragraph below entitled “ We Are More Alike Than We are Different.”) The primal/paleo/ancestral lifestyle is an acceptance of these systems as they are and an attempt to nurture them optimally, in ourselves and our children, by returning to the rhythms and habits with which our bodies evolved over the millennia.

These interconnected guiding principles of an holistic, ancestral lifestyle informed my selection of recipes and major themes in The Bordeaux Kitchen book and this blog, and, more broadly, the decisions my family and I make and how we live our lives. Below are detailed explanations, ordered alphabetically to give some structure for easy reference, weaving together the tenets and strategies of this lifestyle and philosophy, as I have learned and interpreted them. I hope they will be useful to you.

If it is too much to take in all at once, just read one paragraph a day and observe how it compares or contrasts with your life and what steps you could take in a new direction. Like everything in life, it really is one step at a time.

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More to come…