A few summers ago, Alyson and I did something nuts.
We suddenly sold our house, cars, and all of our belongings to travel the world.
We climbed ancient ruins in the mountains of Peru, dodged 7-foot rattlesnakes in Bryce Canyon, and visited a forest literally ruled by monkeys in Bali (scroll to the bottom for a fun monkey video).
Sometimes we unplugged from technology for weeks at a time.
Frankly, I’m surprised we survived.
And after 2 years of constant adventure, there’s the strange sensation that we’ve racked up 10 years of life-experience. As The Urban Monk might say, it’s like time travel.
Optimal health is much more than diet. Yes indeed – The Wild Diet is a lifestyle.
7 Steps To Rewild Your Habits
I shared 7 critical lessons I learned living off-the-grid in my keynote talk, “How to Rewild Your Habits” at Paleo f(x).
Click below to watch my talk…
So here they are – 7 steps to rewild your habits and take control of your life.
Step 1 – Dump Your Stuff: If you haven’t used something in the past 12 months, unload it. Sell it. Donate it.
You’ll be surprised by how good it feels to downsize. When you declutter your physical space, you declutter your mental space, as well. Everything you need to be happy fits in your backpack.
Step 2 – Live Below Your Means: The money struggle is real. I spent most of my life with less than $100 in my bank account. After abandoning the rat race, we were happy to downsize from a house (with a mortgage) to a 380 square foot RV and travel.
Oddly enough, our traveling lifestyle cost significantly less than we expected. We saved thousands of dollars every month. No more car payments, maintenance, HOA, anything. Our “rent” was whatever it cost to park the RV (often nothing). Pretty rad.
Don’t dedicate your life to a job you hate just to keep up with the Joneses. Downsize, rent out your house, share a car, dump your stuff, and you might suddenly find that you’ve got a few extra bucks for your next adventure.
Step 3 – Make Yourself Uncomfortable: If you want to learn, grow, and achieve, you need to step outside your comfort zone.
Comfort and complacency are the enemies of success, and our society encourages mindless consumption and apathy. Take risks, make mistakes, and keep evolving.
When you make your own challenges, you won’t have to settle for the ones the world gives you.Successful people take big risks. Click To Tweet
Step 4 – Practice Delayed Gratification: We live in a culture of instant gratification. Hungry? Grab a Snickers. Need money? Hit up a Pawn Shop.
Want abs and muscles? Take this miracle potion! Ick. Avoid mindless consumption and lemming-like behavior.
When in doubt, act in the best interest of your future self (not your present self).
When your present self wants a Snickers, check in with your future self.
Eating a salad makes a lot more sense when you consider how you’ll feel 2-3 hours later.
Step 5 – Be a Rebel: It’s easy to color within the lines. But life begins when you stop caring what other people think.
You might be attacked, ostracized, or ridiculed for being different. That’s good. As Mark Twain mused, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
Step 6 – Make a Bucket List and Cross It Off: What do you want to do before you croak? Don’t underestimate the power of the bucket list, dear reader.
It sounds morbid, but writing down the things you want to do before you die is actually great fun.
Think big. Be crazy. Don’t be shy. Now, take a good look at your list and put one or two of those adventures in your calendar.
Start now – the world is waiting!
Step 7 – Be a Creator, Not a Consumer: We’re trained by society to be mindless consumers of brainless content of all kinds.
Don’t let the Kardashians waste your time anymore.
Spend time each day creating something.
Think of home as a place of production, not consumption.
I do my best to write at least 15 minutes a day. Whenever I’m bummed out, jamming on guitar always makes it right.
Maybe you garden, paint, or dance. Cooking totally counts, too.
LEARN HOW TO DROP 20 POUNDS IN 40 DAYS WITH REAL FOOD
And that’ll do it… Thanks to Paleo f(x) and those who came to the keynote – epic times.
I’ll leave you with a video that proves I’m the king of the monkeys…
So, what’s your next adventure? What’s on your bucket list? Leave a comment and let us know!
Tracy Sheehy says
Are you a Christian? Many of these same things you speak of are found in the bible! God Bless You!
Abel James says
Thank you Tracy 😉
No maintenance ??? You’re driving around the world in an RV …. You HAVE maintenance sorry enjoy
Abel James says
Haha, I’ll clarify – I don’t have the type of maintenance where I need to drag 3 dead rotting raccoons out of the crawlspace underneath my house.
GREAT post! Thanks for the reminder that less really is more. Several years ago my family and I donated well over half of our stuff, stopped our shopping therapy and have loved every bit of it. Our home buzzes with peace and calm and our kids are more creative for it. Our kids’ friends love coming over to catch frogs, get dirty, whatever. Totally unplugged and old school. Kids love space more than they love things really. I do too! Thanks Abel!
Abel James says
So cool – you’re living the dream, Christy!
Renee D Calvin says
I have been wondering the same thing as Tracy! I sure hope so! Would LOVE for the Creator of our bodies to get all the credit for how they work so perfectly when we treat them right! Being thankful too?!! Right on! How a positive mindset helps you lose weight is so cool! I have to be careful and not worship the Created(you!!) but rather the Creator! Needless to say,,, I’m a big fan! Ever think of coming to the Midwest? Or if you’re in Arizona sometime soon,,.how about hitting up an age restricted community where my parents are, and show them the Wild Diet can work for those over 70!!! Love ya Abel & Allyson!
Abel James says
Thanks Renee! We’ll be back in Arizona again soon, for sure – Alyson’s folks live there. Give me an excuse to come to the midwest and maybe we can make that happen, too. 🙂
What a nasty snake. Like many other snakes, they give you the tongue during a photo shoot.
Non minimalist are starting rumors. They say welfare roles will explode and thousands will become homeless if this lifestyle catches on.
It is dangerous to promote wealth distribution in Texas. They say Vermont has nice RV parks.
There is a reason they call it work. Be different. Say you love it.
James Fellrath says
It’s amazing to me just how frequently people who have reached the level of happiness that you have all say the same stuff. It’s not about stuff, it’s about experiences. Less is more. Don’t follow the crowd. It’s almost universal, but so few people do it!
That first “get out of your comfort zone” probably needs to be “start any one of these tips” – and you’ll be on your way.
Abel James says
You got it, James!
This is kind of what we did. Only we went radical another way. We sold our fixer upper first home and moved to acreage in one of the poorest towns in Appalachia. No HOA here, my 65 year old neighbor gardens with fertilizer from his mules, my husband is free to build whatever fun idea pops into his head without needing approval. We have free range hens that I’m starting to grow feed for to supplement what they can’t get. But our radical is that we have 5 kids, soon to be 6. 2 have Down syndrome and were adopted from a Ukrainian institution at ages 5 and 6… And our newest daughter is in Ethiopia and will need brain surgery, but will hopefully do well. We gave up the idea of consumption and went for compassion. We get to volunteer with a local ministry and really make a difference in people’s lives. Also we give kids an opportunity to know and not be afraid of individuals with special needs. Our kids see fruit as a treat, they aren’t afraid to eat a snapping turtle their dad catches, and my kids who were malnourished for half of their life AND have Down syndrome are healthy. They do not suffer many of the ailments that their peers do, unless we slack up on their diet. People comment about our lifestyle all of the time, but I say being like everyone else is boring.
Renee Calvin says
You mentioned getting podcast notes! I would love those! I am sharing your podcasts with my mom and sister, but would love the takeaway notes to tell more friends about this way of eating! I have been eating Wild for 7 weeks and feel great! Intermittent fasting is great for me! I LOVE fat! Love your recipes and podcast style! You and Allyson are great! Keep bringing it!!
Hi Renee, you can check out the podcast notes below any of the recent podcasts on the website. Just head over to the podcast section, browse to the podcast you’d like to watch/read about, and click the thumbnail. Then just scroll down to read the notes. Here’s the podcast section: http://fatburningman.com/category/podcasts/
Also, be sure you’re signed up on the email list so you get a short summary of the shows sent right to your inbox: http://fatburningman.com/mobile/free-ebook/
Your mom and sister may enjoy signing up, as well. My mom gets Abel’s emails, and texts and emails me little comments about them. I just love it. 🙂
Abel, I love the difference you’re making in this world. I would like to know if there are other options for meat than the mail ordered options I see you recommend? I’m a nurse currently out of work with a back injury due to my job. An for awhile im on a tighter budget. Can you assist me? Thank you
Hi Karen – you’ll get the best deals on pasture-raised meats by heading to your local farm or farmer’s market.
Here’s a handy website for finding a farm or farmer’s market near you: http://www.localharvest.org/ – just type your location in at the top-middle of the site.
Also, here’s a post you might find helpful: http://fatburningman.com/7-easy-tricks-to-eat-wild-on-a-budget/
Varun Sharma says
I’ll follow your path to re-wild the habits an take control of my life.Thank you for sharing.