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What are your Paleo Meta-Rules?

by (10502)
Updated November 22, 2014 at 3:02 AM
Created April 29, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Brent Pottenger has a looooonnnnggg (but worthwhile) post up about Paleo meta-rules (rules about rules) and he asked me to engage the Paleo community in helping to further develop his existing set of Paleo Meta-Rules:

An excerpt:

...

~Don't let a week pass without breaking a sweat at least once. - Brent Pottenger

~Don't think naively that plants are your friendly food friends; they've evolved as immobile creatures with toxin-laden tissues for protection against herbivory. - Brent Pottenger

~Don't disrespect the spirit of The Ten Commandments. - Brent Pottenger

~You can change the location of your body (genes) all over the planet (i.e. by traveling), but you cannot change the diet that your genes evolved on ancestrally. - Marc Simonson

~Don't forget that some stressors happen once per hour, others once per day, some once per month, with a few occurring just once per year (or less). - Brent Pottenger (adapted from @NNTaleb)

~Don't neglect to help your friendly intestinal bacteria / micro-organisms thrive ... they are your closest allies in health. - Marc Simonson

~Don't disrespect your ancestry. - Brent Pottenger

...

-- so have at it! What I'd like from you is:

A) Your favorite meta-rule from the existing list at Brent's blog

B) Your new contribution

PS If Brent likes what you got for him, he'll list you and credit you for it. I suggest reading his post before blindly firing out stuff. :)

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22913 · May 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I am literally obsessed with learning now...

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78422 · May 07, 2010 at 2:26 AM

excellent point

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10502 · May 01, 2010 at 8:24 PM

@Belinda - I think you are missing the point about meta-rules and dogmatism. "Don't eat XYZ" is not a meta-rule. "Don't eat foods that make you feel sick", however, is.

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11 Answers

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10294 · April 30, 2010 at 10:33 AM

my take:

"Once you get the idea of ancestral living, don't spend too much time on the internet reading about it."

Personally, I think this is one of the toughest!

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22913 · May 27, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I am literally obsessed with learning now...

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4163 · April 30, 2010 at 12:24 AM

Don't consume anything that causes a negative physiological reaction.- Brett Potenger

It's a simple rule, but a very powerful one, and one that I think everyone needs to be reminded of from time to time :)

Mine is: "Never become dogmatic, we are all still learning."

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529 · May 01, 2010 at 8:35 PM

I like this one:

"Don't think naively that plants are your friendly food friends; they've evolved as immobile creatures with toxin-laden tissues for protection against herbivory."

I believe that Kurt Harris says it this way: "Nature is beautiful, and it's trying to kill you."

I also like these: "Don't disrespect the spirit of The Ten Commandments" and "Don't disrespect your ancestry."

Mine would be "Let health, not appearance, be your motive; let wisdom, not knowledge, be your guide."

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587 · April 30, 2010 at 10:11 PM

'Don't sleep with the light on." - Chris (mainly because I dig Lights Out by Wiley)

My own main rule would be,

"Let food be thy medicine."

But in all fairness, credit should go to Hippocrates on that one.

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56616 · April 29, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I like this

Don't expend energy in ways that make your lower back ache (injury avoidance). - Brent Pottenger

I know way too many people that do harmful sports and are proud of how bad they feel...

Here is mine: "You can't eat a bunch of peanut butter and then take a bunch of fish oil to cancel it out."

and another "A "paleo" cupcake is still a cupcake."

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5516 · May 06, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I think another good meta rule for me is "Don't experiement with more than one variable."

I have problems some times with changing a ton of things at once, feeling a little worse, and not knowing what to revert back to.

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78422 · May 07, 2010 at 2:26 AM

excellent point

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19220 · May 02, 2010 at 12:27 AM

Here is mine: "Remember that biological systems almost always involve conflicts, trade-offs and compromises between conflicting factors, there is no perfection to reach."

This applies as much to the "perfect" diet or exercise as anything.

In evolutionary biology a trade-off between two traits is said to occur when an increase in fitness due to a change in one trait is opposed by a decrease in fitness due to a concomitant change in the second trait. The belief that evolutionary change is modulated and constrained by such trade-offs is a central pillar of evolutionary thought.

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78422 · May 01, 2010 at 11:35 PM

experiment on yourself conservatively.

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80 · May 03, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Thanks, everyone!

I've added these to my running list.

Keep sharing them; much appreciated!

Best,

Brent

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484 · April 30, 2010 at 3:52 AM

I found the post (and website) a little overblown. Prententious even. But hey, if that's your style, so be it. I was also shocked by one of the commenters - "I seemed to have a developed a taste for this raw rotting meat." I thought I was fairly primal, but that's extreme! Anyway, I don't have rules, but I do like sarah-ann's point about dogma - it's easy to become dogmatic when you are at the edge of the mainstream.

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10502 · May 01, 2010 at 8:24 PM

@Belinda - I think you are missing the point about meta-rules and dogmatism. "Don't eat XYZ" is not a meta-rule. "Don't eat foods that make you feel sick", however, is.

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316 · May 26, 2010 at 12:57 AM

Feet on the seat, Don't sit to sh#t!!

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