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January 08, 2020 | Abigail Mckay

What is Primal Living?

Primal living is not a new concept, but it is beginning to pick up coverage in mainstream media. Bits and pieces of this lifestyle have emerged over the past few years, including examples like yoga, meditation, and diets that exclude grain, dairy, sugar, and soy. The basis of this lifestyle is to focus on natural substances that come from the earth. Principally, it focuses on how the cavemen were thought to have lived. This lifestyle is a relatively foreign concept in the modern world we currently live in. 

However, I believe that it is gaining traction because there is a massive push from the general population to have a complete focus on wellness.  People no longer want attention strictly on physical health.  Most people believe that without emotional and mental health, there is a formation of an incomplete picture. Holistic medicine is the term for the type of medicine that focuses on the body as a whole, mind, body, and soul. So, for further information on primal living, a holistic doctor would be a sound place to start. 

Centering our lives back to the earth is the best way to live a primal lifestyle. Diet and exercise are both integral aspects of this style of living, and many people can get behind primal living in regard to these two points. However, people pull back from this lifestyle when learning that it stresses limiting screen time, getting outdoors, and trying to reduce other stressors that are common today. So, how can you adopt this lifestyle without giving up everything you are accustomed to? 

Dietary Changes

First, let’s begin by discussing the dietary aspect, which mainly draws food from the earth. To make things simple, if it doesn’t naturally come from the earth, you probably do not need to be consuming it. Practicing moderation with a healthy combination of animal protein, plants, fruits, and vegetables is an excellent way to get the nutrients you need and not put in the harmful things you do not need. This basic principle is a decent way to avoid toxic chemicals and human-made substances that seem to consume the majority of our food today. 


People from ancient times were active, but they also stressed the importance of stress-reducing exercises. Much of the day, in ancient times, was filled with traveling to find food and water. Also, they worked throughout the day to get their various tasks complete. However, at night, they did not have the TV or cell phones to distract from self-reflection and self-care activities. To incorporate this aspect of primal living, try to walk or bike to work, engage in moderate exercise 4-5 times a week, and participate in stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, meditation, or pilates. Bottom line: get moving every day. 

Lifestyle Changes 

Spending time in the outdoors every day was and continues to be vitally important to mental and emotional health. The outdoors promotes play and activity, in addition to reducing screen time behaviors. Sleep, another foundational component to a well-rounded life, should be supported through limiting screen time at least an hour before bedtime. This naturally gives your brain time to wind your body down for a restful night's sleep. Aim to get eight hours of sleep each night.

While primal living may be challenging to fully commit to, some pieces are relatively easy to fit into your current lifestyle. You might surprise yourself and want to become more involved in the primal lifestyle after trying out this earth-friendly way of life.

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Abigail Mckay

Abigail has been a nurse for five years, and throughout her time as a nurse, she has worked in multiple medical-surgical units as well as spent time in the infusion therapy clinic and endoscopy lab. She is passionate about preventative medicine through patient education regarding nutrition and exercise. Due to her passion, Abigail has gone on to earn two certifications including a certification in medical-surgical nursing (CMSRN) and a certification in holistic nursing (HNB-BC), in hopes of being able to better serve her patients. Abigail earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and now bettering patient education in the healthcare system through partnering with American TelePhysicians.