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Monday, May 29, 2017

Physical Culture is Paleo podcast on PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe!

“I live a Paleo Lifestyle.”  “I am paleo.”  “I lift weights, I am a bodybuilder, or powerlifter, or Crossfitter, or- God help you- a marathoner- whatever!”

If you endeavor to live a healthy overall lifestyle, with a healthy diet, adequate sleep and optimized nutrition, right along with healthy family and “tribal” interactions- why, I think I have the label for you:

You are a Physical Culturist!

All this really means is that you put health above other criteria.  Your goal is not to be the biggest, or the strongest, or the most flexible, the most enduring or the fastest…

You only want to be the best you, overall, that you can be!  At least, this is the goal that I have been talking about for years here at PaleoJay’s Smoothie Cafe, even if it is not always immediately apparent.

Diet is incredibly important!  It is usually the bedrock of a healthy lifestyle, but then all the other components, such as good sleep, ‘tribal’ relationships, strength and overall fitness including body composition are also crucial… as is living in harmony with nature, spending ample time outdoors, and having a fulfilling intellectual and spiritual life as well-  So, what is the bottom line in all of this?

Health and Happiness is my answer.  Also, to aspire to an autonomous lifestyle, where you determine yourself what is the best way to live, and go ahead and live that life, no matter the opinions of others!  Actually, this last is the hardest to achieve of all, since opinions overall are incredibly judgmental- and almost always with no considered reason, arrived at independently, at all.

Let me elaborate on that last: the vast majority of folks live lives that they have been conditioned to aspire to.  “Cookie-cutter” sorts of lives, mainly determined by parental and peer social cues, even things we have patterned into our lives from television shows and such…

Material success is all that matters, ultimately!  Money and reputation…

To be the most envied couple/family/individual is all that matters….

Fame and fortune…

Biggest house, most manicured lawn, and most successful children…

The most popular couple of all…Most powerful… Most admired…

The list goes on and on.  None of it amounts to very much, if you think about it for any length of time.

My father is now 96, and will turn 97 in July.  I spent a few days last week with him, as did my siblings, off and on, for quite some time.  His health is failing now, but he is still at home, along with his wife of 66 years, who is now 91.  (He robbed the cradle)…

He made a lot of money, as well as raising eight healthy children.   His investments are substantial; just his home is worth a fortune.  But now, what does he talk about the most?  What does he truly value after a lifetime of achievement?

He never mentions money, but he talks a lot about how wonderful his wife is and was.  His parents come up often, along with his siblings, his uncles, his aunts, and childhood small town friends.  Old friends are very important, and they still arrive to visit, at least those few that are left!  Even the friends of his children are very important to him now, especially when they come to pay their respects, which they often do.

When talking of happy, important times in his life, he ranks things roughly in this order:

1. Music (He is a lifetime musician, and continually says that when he couldn’t play anymore it was “the saddest time of his life.”)

2. Being outdoors working in his “back acher.”  This was his double suburban lot, which he spent every evening and day off in, amidst the birds and squirrels, gardening, grilling, and chopping wood, along with watching us kids play various ball games and climb rope ladders until it was too dark to see.  He had no interest in TV.

He never mentions that famous people he knew, or how powerful or rich anybody was.  My mother and him mainly get excited when a new bird lands in the yard, or the squirrels do something surprising.  Their recliners are turned away from the tv now, and face the back yard all day long.

I remember how I would walk into his bedroom, and he would be doing his daily pushups, when he was in his 80’s and early 90’s.  How people would say that “you should both live on the first floor, after all you have a bedroom down there,” and him responding with ‘Stairs are healthy!’

He was always very cognizant about diet, although he got sidetracked, as did everyone else in the 1970’s, when the wrong-headed medical establishment told us all to eat low fat!  If not for that, I believe his health would be fine right now, even at almost 97!  At least I have convinced my mom to put coconut oil in her coffee now…

My dad is a physical culturist, although I doubt he ever heard the term.  And so was his brother, Ken, who passed away yesterday at the age of 98.  They both lived a natural, ancestral sort of life, and valued personal and familial interactions above all, while putting a strong emphasis on diet and exercise, family and music.

My ultimate life goal is to do the same, which I also suggest to you.  When we are 97 or so, we won’t care about our bank accounts, or how big our arms are, or how fast we ran the marathon…

It will all be how we lived- did we set a good example?  Was our music good?  Did we treat those around us well??

THAT is a truly Paleo Life- a life of physical culture!