Exactly one month ago my life was in perfect order. I was living in the relatively quiet part of a certain mildly disreputable Sydney suburb. I got up with an alarm clock every morning, put on a pair on sensible flat shoes (for running around the wards), a decent skirt and a top which wouldn’t raise eyebrows in the hospital. I would spend 1 hour on the train catching up on Twitter, Facebook and medical news on my iPad, the next several hours – diligently performing my duties as a medical student and pre-intern. One hour on the train writing a new blog post or commenting on some new nutrition rubbish in the mainstream media while foaming at the mouth. Gym, dinner, bed, rinse, repeat. And I thought I was so alternative. Ha!
This December saw this orderly (albeit quite boring) life turned upside down. I now wake up to the sound of kookaburras outside my window. I draw back the huge french windows to open up the lounge room to a little courtyard. If it’s not raining I grab a towel and walk down to the beach. The local beach is open for dogs and they run a riot looking quite delirious with happiness. Doggy cocaine. I walk on the sand and then over a little wooden staircase to get to the next bay where dogs are not allowed but children look just as delirious. I’m a sucker for punishment and spend about 20 minutes getting pummeled by the surf. I walk back to the house wrapped in a towel.
Spending 3 weeks with no workable internet saw me go through several stages of withdrawal: 1.frustration, 2.despair, 3.indifference, 4. what internet? it’s beautiful outside! My daughter loves every minute of being here. We went to the markets, picked strawberries, walked through the rainforest, explored local shops, learned a piano duet and went at least 7 days without eating out (that must be a record).
Funny thing: this month I spent less time thinking/talking/writing about Primal and Paleo lifestyle but I feel like I have really lived it. And it feels amazing. My Mum used to say that being close to nature made her soul rest. I was a nerdy stay-at-home teenager who bitterly resented my parents’ attempts to drag me out of the house on a weekend for skiing, camping or other nature-related activity of dubious value. I made a mental note yesterday to call my Mum and tell her that I now know what she was talking about all these years ago.
I am looking forward to starting work on January 15 and yes, I’m very aware that my life will be turned around again. But nothing can take away from the fact that I can now go for a bike ride before work, my daughter can go bodyboarding after school and my partner and I can have a stroll on the beach after dinner.
Lifestyle is so much more than just what you put in your mouth. If you eat Primal you might still be caught in the suburban trap just like I was. Getting rid of processed food-like substances is just the beginning.