Recently our fearless FIT coaches Angelo dela Cruz and Jeff Samson visited Mark Sisson in Oxnard, CA for the third annual PrimalCon, a three day weekend total immersion experience of the primal lifestyle that includes expert-guided workouts, play, leisure, classroom education, camaraderie, and massive Primal feasts.
Now, you might be saying, “Primal-what!?” Well, if you haven’t read Mark’s blog or read his book “The Primal Blueprint” then primal-living can most easily be summarized as a paradigm of health and wellness that looks to the past of how our ancestors ate and moved. Sisson’s comprehensive health paradigm covers everything from diet to exercise to stress management to sleep to posture and so on. The basic idea is that our human genes are best expressed when we balance eating, exercise, play, and leisure in many of the same ways our ancestors did.
In the realm of fitness, the workshops were able to expand on Mark’s basic philosophy which was covered in last year’s recap and is worth the quick read.
Angelo presented for the third consecutive year. Angelo worked with people the entire weekend in small and large groups teaching them dynamic, full body mobility work as a fun, active way to lubricate joints, increase flow of oxygen and nutrients to the cells. As central to his VitaMoves program, Angelo conveyed the importance of effective movement preparation for high physical and mental performance.
Jeff admits he was mostly there for the massive feasts on pulled turkey legs and fresh macadamia nut butter. This being Jeff’s first year, he was amused by the sheer number of people wearing Vibram toe shoes. When I asked what Jeff took away from the from the weekend, he recalled Sisson’s keynote theme: choices. Jeff explained to me, “There are a lot of ‘experts’ out there that claim they know the secret to living and eating well. And a lot of theme seem to garner near cultish followings. But Sisson wasn’t interested in making converts. He wanted to emphasize the importance of our choices. In his keynote speech, Sisson explained, ‘When it comes to our health, it’s not about right or wrong answers. It’s about choices.’”
Sisson underscored the importance of taking personal accountability and responsibility for the choices we make. He joked about putting sugar in his coffee. He knows what makes his body tick. He’s paid close attention to how his body responds to the sugar and knows how much he can and should tolerate.
So, Jeff’s takeaway from the weekend? Figure out what works for best for your body. This is one of the keys to finding an optimal balance in your life. Consider keeping a journal. Except don’t treat your journal like an accountant, rather be more like an investigative reporter. Track what you eat (the content, not the calories), and then monitor how your energy levels respond combined with your stress, exercise, and sleep quality. It can be a long process, but this kind of investigative research can reap long-term benefits in living, moving, and eating optimally.