What Is the Primal Blueprint?

March 22, 2024

More than two decades ago, Primal Kitchen Founder Mark Sisson put forth the Primal Blueprint, a roadmap (the “blueprint”) for getting back to basics and helping people live their best lives.

The Primal Blueprint blends ancestral wisdom and modern science into one straightforward, common-sense approach to thriving in the modern world. It lays out 10 simple tenets that Mark called the Primal Laws, which describe how to eat, move, and live Primally. These laws encapsulate everything you need to know to understand the basics of the Primal lifestyle.

The 10 Primal Blueprint Laws

Reminder: Before embarking on any new diet or exercise program, check with your doctor to ensure it’s right for you. Always modify any exercises to fit your current fitness levels and abilities.

Primal Blueprint Law 1: Eat Plants and Animals

Fill your plate with high-quality meat (fish, fowl, and all types of meat), colorful vegetables and fruit, and fats we love like avocado oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and dairy (if tolerated).

Primal Blueprint Law 2: Avoid Substances that Could Undermine Health

Our ancestors had to be careful not to nosh on strange mushrooms and unfamiliar berries when foraging in the forest. Today, this law has more to do with being choosy about the quality of the ingredients in your food. The Primal diet calls for very little sugar, grains, and trans and hydrogenated fats. Avoid artificial ingredients, pesticides, and unnecessary chemicals in your Primal diet.

Primal Blueprint Law 3: Move Frequently

Thanks to laptops, commutes, and streaming television, it’s pretty easy to be sedentary nowadays. But frequent movement—especially walking—is an important contributor to both physical and mental health.

Primal Blueprint Law 4: Lift Heavy Things

Resistance exercise is key for building strong muscles and bones, but it also promotes a healthy metabolism, cardiovascular system, and brain. Exercises using dumbbells, gym machines, resistance bands, kettlebells, and body weight are all great!

Primal Blueprint Law 5: Sprint Once in a While

Short bursts of high-intensity exercise such as running, cycling, versaclimbing, rowing, or biking prompt the body to generate hormones that help you be stronger, fitter, and more resilient to stressors.

Primal Blueprint Law 6: Play

Relieve stress and tension and flex your cognitive “muscles” with active, playful activities that engage you and your loved ones in a meaningful way.

Primal Blueprint Law 7: Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is a regenerative, restorative element to overall wellness, and should be a priority. Aim for 7-8 hours a night minimally, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

Primal Blueprint Law 8: Get Plenty of Sunlight

Sunshine allows your body to generate oh-so-important vitamin D. Plus, being outside in nature is great for mental well-being. Take care not to burn, but don’t be afraid to let the sun shine on you. If direct sunlight isn’t your thing, consider supplementing your intake with Vitamin D.

Primal Blueprint Law 9: Avoid Unfortunate Mistakes

For our ancestors, avoidable mistakes could mean an untimely demise. That’s still true today, but more often, they are a source of unnecessary stress, which nobody needs!

Primal Blueprint Law 10: Use Your Brain

Mental stimulation outside of work and responsibilities is vital to health and happiness. Look for ways to be creative, solve problems, or expand your thinking.

10 Primal Laws


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