The Tao of Paleo: Finding Your Path to Health and Harmony


“A Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.” ~ Obi Wan Kenobi

JG: Ok Joe, so first and now What’s with all this touchy-feely stuff? Do I need to hold you and stroke your back tenderly?

JS: I’ve been thinking about the importance of our readers understanding that paleo is not just a way or eating or moving, sleeping or playing. It’s like we said in the first chapter, it is a Tao - a way of bringing you into harmony with yourself, and everything around you.

JG: Yes, you’re right - the food you eat, the way you sleep, the way you play, the way you move, the way you feel, they are all just steps along the path to your Tao…but you didn’t answer my questions.

JS: I think it’s important to add in a short chapter about the concept of Feel and about what The Tao of Paleo really means. This subject might be a bit too serious for our usual modus operandi with fictitious characters, so we should probably tackle it alone. To answer your last question, touch me and I’ll scream.

JG: Like a little girl, no doubt. OK, go ahead and elaborate on Feel.

JS: So part of the idea here is to develop a healthy relationship with your with food, but also with your body and your mind, and to understand that finding your Tao will require you to do more than “go on a diet.” Many people are driven to try to find their paleo Tao strictly because they have an unhealthy connection with food and a poor body image. Maybe they can’t eat at all without guilt, frustration, and some degree of self-loathing. Those people typically approach paleo thinking what most people think: That it is a diet to help them lose weight and that the quantity of food consumed is the sole factor in determining their body composition and their success.

JG: Quantity of food is one factor, undoubtedly, but it’s not that simple. Finding your path to health and harmony is much more involved. Quality of food, gender, age, hormones, sleep, play, stress, exercise, and macronutrient proportions are all important players. There is no single formula for everyone.

JS: Yes. Finding your Tao isn’t simply a matter of “eat this, do that” and you will magically morph into a supermodel.

JG: I hear that.

JS: Finding your Tao is going to require a paradigm shift from the failed concept of “going on a diet” to the authentic process of “changing your life.” It takes longer than just a month or two to stop thinking about popcorn and baguettes, to replace the scale with an honest assessment of how you feel, and to abandon the programming that tells us that putting calories in our mouths makes us fat.

It takes a while to learn to trust our body’s signals and instincts. It will require some time to learn feel confident about consuming significant amounts of food and eating when you are hungry. One has to learn to abandon micromanaging the relationship with the scale on a daily basis.

JG: It takes some time - and as much headwork and heartwork as bodywork- to get into the groove with all this stuff. People have to “unlearn what they have learned,” as Master Yoda would say, after years of thinking about food, exercise, sleep, stress, and play in deeply flawed ways.

JS: It’s important to trust what you’re doing as well. Physical changes don’t always happen quickly, and we are all conditioned to expect the quick fix. We may have a day of less-than-perfect eating and look in the mirror the next day and think, in a state of panic, that what we are doing isn’t working. The reality is that it is way too soon to conclude anything.

JG: We have found that there are a lot of people who can’t give themselves permission to feel better, to look better, and be healthier. We understand that there are deep-seated emotional issues behind this, but the bottom line is that you should learn to accept certain facts.

JS: That’s right. You have to believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with you or your body or your genes. You need to internalize that you have every right to be a fit, healthy, happy, and awesome specimen of humanity.

There’s another side of the emotional coin, too - many people who have lived their whole lives embarrassed by the person in the mirror often suddenly find that they are more attractive and are getting a lot more attention from others, from potential suitors, friends, family, co-workers, and even from strangers. It can be confusing, difficult, overwhelming. We are talking about overhauling your self-image, not just your body. You could possibly cure a lifelong disease that you have struggled really hard to learn to live with.

JG: It’s not always an easy transition for people to make. I have experienced and understand that myself. Psychologically, it tends to be worse for women than for us guys because of the societal pressures placed on women to look a certain way. When change happens, it can be a significant shock.

JS: Good call. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little professional assistance if you need it. Joe and I know several excellent people who specialize in helping their clients overcome emotional hurdles on the way to finding their Tao. We’ll talk about them more specifically in the Resources chapter.

JG: Ok Joe, you’ve convinced me. I see why we need a chapter on Let’s get going!

JS: Jason, we just finished.

JG: We did?

JS: Yep, we let everyone know that the first step on the path to finding your Tao is getting your mind right.

JG: By adjusting how you perceive yourself, right? By internalizing your own value and your absolute right to take control of your health and happiness.

JS: Yep. You got it. And by gradually learning to trust your instincts and appetite.

JG: Once you get rolling, you will build a new person the paleo way - from the inside out.

JS: You won’t just “lose weight on a diet.” You will start to put yourself in harmony with yourself and the Universe.

JG: This is deep bro. We need a clever way to end the chapter though.

JS: I have to get on a Skype call, really, so that will have to do.

JG: Really? After all that deep, significant sharing, you’re just going to go off and Skype someone, just like that? No cuddling?

JS: Nope.

JG: You really hurt my feelings, you know that? Can I touch your cheek gently, with just a finger?

JS: You’re about to get slapped.

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