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What is Primal Living?

January 08, 2020 | Abigail Mckay

Primal living is not a new concept but is gaining 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 cave dwellers 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 the general population has a massive push 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, an incomplete picture is formed. Holistic medicine is the term for the type of medicine that focuses on the body as a whole, mind, body, and soul. So, a holistic doctor would be a sound place to start for further information on primal living. 

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 simple living regarding 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 simplify things, you probably do not need to consume it if it doesn't naturally come from the planet. 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 most of our food today. 


People from ancient times were active but 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, they did not have the TV or cell phones to distract them from self-reflection and self-care activities at night. To incorporate this aspect of simple living, try to walk or bike to work, 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 outdoors daily 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 of a well-rounded life, should be supported by limiting screen time to 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 simple living may be challenging to commit fully, 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.


Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr. Saad Zia on April 3rd, 2023.