Summary of Paleo Axioms

Our description of what it means to live by paleo axioms is here.

What are those axioms? Paleo axioms is a set of habits and life choices which reconcile us as a ‘modern human’ with our physiological and psychological setup as ‘an ancient human’ who deep-down knows how to be healthy and happy.

The axioms work best as a set. Following them allows you to function at your true potential, maximises productivity, promotes vibrant health and enjoyment of life. 

Realistically, it may not be possible to follow all of them all the time. It’s not necessary – even following half of them half the time will raise you above the average. Most people do not follow none of those and they make up the dire statistics of collective health.

It is necessary to reach some critical mass of observance. Say, cold exposure (Axiom #4) alone will not compensate if one is eating only junk food (ignoring Axiom #1). The more you move dial toward observance of axioms, the more healthy, happier and productive you’ll be. Once the proverbial dial moves above 50% (in terms of axioms observed and time observed), the benefits will be immense. At 80% or above you’re probably the best version of yourself.

Paleo Axiom 1: Eat Clean

Eat biodynamic food only to limit exposure to omnipresent residues of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and other harmful substances in commercially farmed food. Aim to reduce carbs (particularly, flour and sugar) to become metabolically healthy, fat-adapted individual. A healthy individual feels slightly sick when eating ultra processed, high carb food – like donuts, hot dogs etc. – because that food is unnatural and incompatible with what millions of years of evolution made the human to be.

The food supply today is defined by ease of production, storage, cost (including subsidies) and are profit-driven. The concern about consumers’ health is not on top priority list. As long as it’s legal, any food can be promoted as ‘healthy’. And there’s a lot of stuff there which is proved to be harmful at commonly consumed rations yet perfectly legal to sell and promote without any restrictions.

Don’t engage in discussion if anything in ultra processed food is a health hazard. It may or may not. Collective health stats imply it is harmful. What’s clear it does not add to health, so avoid. It is easier to avoid discussion if that e-250 in processed meat, cheeses etc causes cancer or not – the only safe bet is to stay clear of any food where it’s added. Coincidently, the same e-250 is used as poison to control wild boar populations in Australia – why would you eat that poison?

Paleo Axiom 2: Exercise Optimally

Sedentary lifestyle is very harmful but so is overtraining. It is important to train regularly and, equally important, let the body fully recover in between the sessions. Cardio, like running, is useful only in limited doses. Contrary to common beliefs like ‘no pain, no gain’ weight lifting or running every single day is not healthy – the opposite may be true. The only exercise which can be practiced without any limit is walking. A healthy human can walk from sunrise to sunset without causing any inflammation in the body (like running or weight lifting does every single time).

Paleo Axiom 3: Get Sound Sleep

No individual who does not sleep well for prolonged period of time can be healthy. Particularly, deep sleep phase is the most valuable (that’s when recovery and detoxification happens) and the most evasive. The good news is that, if you follow other axioms (particularly, the first two above) quality sleep comes naturally to reinforce the beneficial cycle of wellness (just make a commitment get to bed on time – preferably 2-3 hours before midnight). 

Paleo Axiom 4: Observe Fasts

There’s reason fasting is part of practicing every major religion – christianity, islam, judaism … On more joyous note, even he classics have noted it: `A little starvation can really do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors’ (Marc Twain). There is a reason for that. Fasting is a very powerful tool for vibrant health, including prevention of deadly diseases and ensuring metabolic health. Yet, a large part of members of society have never missed a meal, i.e. they have never practiced fasting.

Paleo Axiom 5: Embrace Cold Exposure

Just like fasting, cold exposure has been an integral part of what was evolution of human body. Humans are designed by nature to be react to hormesis (a short period of discomfort) to come out with stronger immune system and calmer mind. Modern life allows most humans to live without experiencing any such hormetic event, like cold exposure, and this makes the body weaker in long term. Stepping out of comfort zone to alignment with our roots to build up our health from basics up. 

Paleo Axiom 6: Clean Environment & Careful with EMF Exposure

The modern industry produced tens of thousands of chemicals which would have been absolutely foreign to a healthy paleo age man. House cleaning products, personal hygiene products, air pollution from exhausts … the sources of exposure to non-natural chemicals and pollution seem endless. Many of those products are harmless even if not natural but even more of those are proved to be harmful (yet perfectly legal to produce and sell …). EMF – short of electromagnetic field – exposure has increased a trillion times (yes, a trillion, with 12 zeros) since Paleo era and EMF structure has become unrecognisably complex. Don’t listen to government assurances that EMF exposure at this level is safe. It is not, there is scientific proof of it, manage your exposure accordingly.

Paleo Axiom 7: Achieve Psychological Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a symbiosis of physical and mental health. One can nurture or destroy each other. The first 6 axioms deal mostly with physical health which irrefutably reflect back to mental health. If you practice other axioms, the chances are that you already experience psychological well-being. However, there may be more to it – from solving relationship problems, to finding your ikigai  or practicing meditation. Psychological well-being, alongside with physical health, is an integral part of holistic health in line with Paleo Karma principles. Our brain has an immense power both to heal and destroy – treat the power of your brain with utmost respect.

Paleo Axiom 8: Practice Earthing (Grounding)

That’s as simple as being barefoot on the ground for some time of the day. It’s proven that earthing has multiple health benefits, including improved functioning of immune system. Yet, for many people – say, someone living in sky-rise building and in colder climate – how ofter there is direct contact with earth? Even in summer, in nature, the chances are that there’s a rubber sole between ones foot and ground. Swimming in lake/river/ocean has the same effect as grounding.

Living by Paleo Axioms

Each paleo axiom is a habit what is undeniably good for your physical and mental wellbeing. It is a habit which over millions of years kept humans healthy and strong to survive the harsh environment be happy every time when they succeeded.

The environment we live today is not ‘harsh’ anymore, not by Paleo era standards. In a way, there is no need to be strong or even healthy to survive. In our modern world being fit and healthy is not a precondition for survival – any sick and unfit person will be fed, taking care of and kept alive. There is no need to scavenge for food, and spend energy doing so – the food is readily available. Happiness, if defined by dopamine surge, is nothing to fight for – it comes through display of a mobile phone, in form of food engined to exact ‘pleasure point’ of certain mix of fats, carbs and protein. Omnipresent synthetic chemicals and electromagnetic field is something our God-given immunity is not designed to handle.

We live in the best time of human history. There is more freedom and opportunities available to any person than any time before. There are solutions for problems which have never before had before – like, just think about surgery tools, information technology etc.

Yet, in the process, we’ve taken it too far. We’ve adopted too many things which are harmful due to way we employ them in our lives. Too much comfort, too much food, too unnatural chemicals in food, products engineered to give quick and sure dopamine boost through various senses without any effort, too much unnatural electromagnetic field exposure … The immune system of a human being is very resilient system but there is only so much it can handle – and currently we are at a point where we constantly overload and chronically weaken those protection mechanisms to the point that first time in 200 years the life expectancy at birth is going to decline. In a way, physically pampered life kills us, ignorance about omnipresent risk factors kills … and kills in bad ways – just google for collective health stats to find out in how bad ways.

The good thing is that to a large extend we can have all the comforts of modern life and health and happiness protocol of an ancient man. In simpler words, no need to be obese, sick and depressed – to be fit, healthy and happy feels so much better.

Living by paleo axioms is taking back the vibrant health, energy and happiness in the best version of ancient man while keeping all the amenities of modern life.

This is about being mindless of ‘manufactured happiness’ of the modern world, being educated and aware about why the prevailing food supply is what it is (hint: your health is not on the top priority list ), what are real effects and side-effects of widely used pills, learning about safe of use of modern technology like mobile phones (no, they are not unconditionally safe).

Based on knowledge of objective facts, which are often well hidden in the incessant information avalanche, one stacks good habits and eliminates bad habits. To achieve this is more delicate balancing act as it seems. A lot stands in our way – conditioning, peer pressure, corporate lobbies leading to withholding information … Yet, at the end of the day it’s you and only you who can adapt a good habit – sometimes effortlessly, sometimes through a short-lived discomfort what leads to 10x comfort later.

Our summary of paleo axioms is here.

How to Hike for Health (Why 99% of People Do it Wrong)

The title is probably misleading. There is no right or wrong way to hike. Whatever way one hikes, the chances are that it is better for health than the usual everyday life. If somebody smokes and eats junk food customarily – and continues doing it while out hiking, he or she is still better off out hiking than doing the same by staying on a couch and binge watching Netflix. The effects of bad habits are somewhat mitigated by the very fact of being out hiking, i.e doing physical exercise in fresh air.

I do not know motivation of other persons. I can try to define my motivation for going out on hike. I basically seek soothing physical exercise by walking all day in nature, meditative experience, complete digital detox. I expect to come back from a longer hike calmer and fitter.

There are several aspects for my hiking, which I consider of critical importance, without which my hiking experience would be deficient. Those aspects are mentioned below.

  1. Walk in minimalist shoes, no matter how difficult is the trail. Minimalist shoes will not make you the fastest hiker, the opposite is more likely. But going while feeling every stone you step on, being very mindful all the time where to put your feet, enjoy the benefits of walking in minimalist shoes – for me it is very important. For me hiking in ‘regular hiking boots’ – you know, those one can comfortably kick stones around and hardly feel anything – are not enjoyable, or desirable.

    Why 99% do it wrong: This year (2023) I hiked for 4 weeks doing Tour du Mont Blanc and GR 20 trail in Corsica. I only met one person who hiked in minimalist shoes (Xero hiking boots). That makes us 2 out of thousands of persons I met in the mountains (those are very crowded trails, you generally meet a lot of people every day).

  2. Make no compromise on food quality when out on trail. Good food is generally not available in the mountains. The only reliable food sources are dinners and breakfasts in shelters. Those meals, as prepared by shelter operators, are so heavily based on pasta and white bread that should be considered as junk food.

    For this reason I almost never eat shelter food. This year I ate twice during 4-week hike. One time it was good (no bread or pasta) and the other time I got sick for a half day (lasagne and too much bread plus apparently some sanitary condition during the food preparation).

    Why 99% do it wrong: This year I did not meet a single person who considered shelter meal as junk food. There were some complaints in places where it was the worst but shelter food is generally approved as good. I noticed that Coca-Cola and potato chips were the favourite drink and snack in shelters –  and that stuff is usually brought up there on donkey back or with helicopter. Snacking on mountain tops is very usual – typically a sandwich or some candy bars.

  3. I prefer nice trails in woods rather than challenging stony mountain tops with great views. Trail in woods generally allow for low-intensity cardio allowing to walk from sunrise and to sunset without getting excessively tired. Trail in woods allow for meditative experience and nasal breathing. Woods offer more enjoyable sensory experience of sounds and scents than any mountain top. I find no pleasure of conquering tree-less mountain tops through strenuous physical exercise, often under blazing sun – and I derive hardly any pleasure from views from mountain tops (I may pass those without stopping, they are not the reason I hike).

    The trails I chose this year were a bad fit for my hiking needs. Those are epic trails and had to be done once. But those were difficult trails, too risky for minimalist shoes (although I managed to complete without any foot injuries), did not allow for sufficient meditative experience — too many steep ascends where nasal breathing is a struggle if possible at all.

    Why 99% do it wrong: I did not meet any person who would say a half bad word about the trail. Even if all of them had too much cardio than can be considered as a healthy dose. Those trails are done mostly for ego – ‘the Europe’s hardest’, ‘one of the most beautiful’ rather than for pure enjoyment and health enhancement.

Those aspects are very subjective. Every person has their own. These are mine subjective considerations. That is my ‘right way of hiking’. According to those [my] criteria, 99.9% of people do it wrong. And probably I do it wrong if their criteria are applied. 

For me hiking in non-minimalist shoes, eating junk food while out in mountains and having too much cardio (impeding meditation and nasal breathing) is not proper hiking, I don’t want that kind of hiking. I’m at peace that for 99.9% of others this is of no importance and they hike as they deem to be the correct way. 

Paleo Karma way is about opting out – of ultra-processed foods, of over-pampered shoes – and embracing the aspects of life what made our Paleo era ancestors strong, healthy and resilient individuals. 

One should be at peace that 99% of products in any regular grocery store are not good for health. That 99% of shoes sold are sub-optimal for health, particularly posture. That social networks are designed to be addictive. Etc.  In general, to be at peace that 99% of mainstream products and habits should be viewed as harmful – they lead to collective health stats. And those health stats are appalling. Cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the main causes of death in the developed world. Those terminal illnesses were virtually unknown to Paleo era person.

Consumption of mainstream products and adopting of mainstream lifestyle leads to becoming part of mainstream health stats, i.e being a sick person. Paleo Karma lifestyle is about remaining healthy and happy person. That’s a lifestyle so different from lifestyle of the majority of people. Hiking habits/gear/motivation is just another illustration of it.