A Primal Pattern® may be thought of in much the same way as an archetype in that it is a pattern elemental to all expressions of that pattern that can’t effectively be reduced any further. For example, a circle can’t be reduced any further and maintain its circular characteristics.
The primal pattern of a wheel can be thought of as a circle; if the circle becomes less than a circle in the context of a wheel, first efficiency is lost, then it will not roll, and will lose functionality as a wheel.
I originally coined the term Primal Pattern® in reference to human bodily movements. Primal Patterns® in this regard represent the essential movements from which a myriad of other movements depend upon for their existence, and from which they emerge.
For example, in my system of Primal Pattern® movement, a squat movement is primal in that it can’t be effectively broken down any further and be functional in meeting the demands of our natural environment. For example, you can’t only bend, push, pull, lunge, walk, run, or twist to get on and off a toilet.
It simply won’t work effectively; here effectively implies the most efficient way, which is relevant to survival in nature where food-energy resource limitation often demanded efficiency.
By analyzing a myriad of possible movements and movement combinations, I found that seven absolutely essential movement patterns are required for survival in one’s natural habitat. I called them Primal Patterns® because mastering these movement patterns is primary to survival, while all other movements or movement combinations are secondary (see my book, Movement that Matters). Therefore, a Primal Pattern® is any pattern essential to the functionality of an ascendant; a circle is elemental to the wheel and a wheel may come in a variety of sizes and shapes, all of which depend on the circle as a primal pattern or archetype.
What Is The Primal Pattern® Diet?
It is fairly well established in the nutritional sciences that human beings can’t function optimally without three macronutrient essentials. These are fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
These macronutrients may be considered as dietary archetypes or as elemental building blocks of a diet because neither alone can be considered a diet.
To clarify this example, let’s look again at the basics of movement and consider that just as every exercise has a beginning (start) phase, an execution phase, and an end phase or completion (without which, an exercise can’t exist as an exercise), a diet can’t exist without fats, proteins and carbohydrates and be considered “a diet.”
In this regard, we have macronutrients that are essential components of a natural diet, yet when we change the ratio of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, we at once change their pattern, and therefore, we have changed the diet.
Biologically speaking, human beings have spent potentially millions of years evolving on the planet, during which time survival generally depended upon the availability of macronutrients found in their food. Yet, importantly, the pattern of their availability varied both geographically and seasonally.
Current research confirms that our DNA adapt to any given environment over time (see the work of Bruce Lipton). There are two aspects we look at when speaking about DNA: genotype and phenotype.
The term genotype refers to the aspects of the gene that may be considered relatively hardwired, while the term phenotype refers to the degree of adaptability or range of expression within the DNA’s hardwiring.
For example, twins have the same genes (genotype), yet one of them may be more comfortable on hot days than the other, while the other may be more capable of swimming in cold water (phenotype). If we have genetic weaknesses, we have a range of environmental stress we can handle before expressing the weakness.
When we live comfortably within a safe range (called homeostasis) and meet our biological needs, stress is minimized and genetic weaknesses that may result as disease are suppressed.
Each individual’s genes carry the entire chain of their ancestral influences or programming, which emerged from environmental influences (the selective pressures of nature).
Though we are all human beings with the same human genes (genotype), those of us with ancestors emergent in regions of the world where the ground freezes will naturally need to consume more animal flesh to maintain our energy source and stay alive than those emergent from regions progressively closer to the equator, who will have a larger variety of options due to the fact that plant and animal foods are more readily available year round (phenotype).
Phenotypic expression can vary even among twins, not just from region to region. Those emergent from harsh desert regions often have less variety and must depend primarily on plant based foods because of a scarcity of big game animals and animals with enough fat for optimal human metabolism; the only exception being nomads.
Early in the 20th century, Byron Robinson M.D. tested this theory by dissecting cadavers from regions of the world with significantly different environmental conditions, and therefore foodstuffs.
He discovered that the range of length among human entrons (digestive tubes measured mouth to anus) ranged from about 21 to 42 feet – a remarkable difference. Those with the longest entrons came from regions with high plant food intake and those with the shortest entrons came from regions where animal flesh was more prevalent in the diet.
His research showed that though they all had digestive systems, the selective pressures of nature changed the organism to favor adaptation as expressed through the phenotype.
Keeping this in mind then, a Primal Pattern® diet is a diet that expresses the pattern of fats, proteins and carbohydrates unique to the dominant region of your racial and ethnic ancestry.
Though all humans have a genetic need for fats, proteins and carbohydrates in some combination, phenotype expression will vary due to selective pressures over time in any given environment.
For example, Weston A. Price showed very clearly in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, that macronutrient ratios could range from the Eskimo eating about 90% animal foods: 10% plant foods to the inland Aboriginal eating the opposite ratio of about 90% plant foods: 10% animal foods, yet people living in different regions with radically different food ratios were found to be very healthy world-wide!
These people were eating according to their “Primal Pattern® Diet!” They were effectively meeting the needs of their genotype, and developed a phenotype that allowed them to adapt to the unique circumstances of their specific racial and geographical environment.
What Is Primal Pattern® Diet Typing?
Primal Pattern® Diet Typing is a system for identifying your optimal starting point for fine-tuning your macronutrient (animal to plant food) ratios. Today, this is not so easily done because in the past 1,000 years there has been an increase in racial mixing as we’ve become progressively more mobile.
Only a few hundred years ago, it was normal for an Aboriginal to live his entire life without meeting an Eskimo or any other significantly different race (and therefore, genes). Today, the Eskimo thriving on about 90% animal foods: 10% plant foods could mate with the inland Aboriginal eating the opposite ratio of about 90% plant foods: 10% animal foods.
Their offspring could have a phenotype akin to the mother’s, the father’s, or require a range of nutrients far broader than either parent alone! This can create some interesting dietary challenges because of the variances in phenotypes among races with such radically different environmental demands on their genes.
Unfortunately, though we now live in racial melting pots where there are few pure races left, nutritionists and dietitians worldwide prescribe meal plans based on percentages of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Though there are thousands of diet books and millions of people following such advice, we are the most obese, unhealthy people ever, and childhood obesity in the United States is an epidemic! Did you know obesity is America’s costliest disease? Right now (in 2010), “1 in 3 adults and 1 in 5 children struggle with obesity.
Taxpayers, governments and businesses spend billions on obesity-related conditions each year, including an estimated $147 billion in medical costs” (Campaign to End Obesity, 2010).
What Is Wrong?
In a nutshell, what is wrong is that we lack clear understanding of how to eat whole food and this includes an understanding of what protein, fat and carbohydrate ratios are! In most of our education we are taught very confusing information.
Just look at what happened just a couple of decades ago during the 1980’s when the “experts” (funded by corporations) told us to “eat lots of carbs.” Now that advice of the eighties is largely responsible for the sugar/fructose/starch carb addicted populous of today! Now they are promoting calorie counting.
You see it promoted in fast food restaurants and its even part of the Health Care Reform Bill that will affect thousands of restaurants and will be hard for uneducated, ill-informed consumers to ignore.
If you’ve understood what I’ve shared so far, you should be able to immediately grasp one key aspect of what has gone wrong with mainstream nutritional and medical thinking. Understanding protein/fat/carbohydrate ratios are important from a biological perspective when we are discussing Primal Pattern® diets.
Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy in living organisms. Proteins and fat are necessary building components for body tissue and cells, and are also sources of energy for most organisms. Let’s look at another commonly overlooked aspect that is relevant to Primal Pattern® dieting and how the source of our food grown in healthy soil contributes to human vitality or human disease.
Protein & Fat Ratios
Most people mistakenly think that a gram of meat is a gram of protein, including many so-called nutrition experts. This is far from the truth. Animal flesh at large is about 70% water, so how could a gram of animal flesh equal a gram of protein?
Numerous studies in agriculture have shown that both environment and farming methods can radically influence protein content in plant or animal foods. Just look at organic pioneer Ehrenfried Pfeiffer’s research into microbiology and soil health.
He showed that conventionally grown wheat is typically about 12% protein, while biodynamically grown wheat was often 18% protein! That’s a huge difference when you consider that a gram of chicken is only about 22% protein!
Research by Lady Eve Balfour, Sir Robert McCarrison, Sir Albert Howard, and others showed that fertilization of soil could have a significant influence on protein content in plants, which influence the animals and humans eating them in kind.
Today, we have a much higher ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids in our diet due to a high consumption of hydrogenated fats. As a matter of fact, most diets that westerners consume have twice the amount of fat, a much higher ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids.
The sources of fat and the kinds of fat we typically consume today are very different from those of our ancestors. Virtually all fats found in natural foods are basically mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ‘fatty acids’ in different proportions.
Animal fat in itself is a normal food for humans and has been for countless millennia. Fat ratios are essential when digesting proteins and aid in energy metabolism as well as the production and regulation of essential hormones.
Studies of North American Indians, Eskimos and other tribes living in cold regions of the world suggest that as much as 80% of their daily caloric intake was from fat, most of which was saturated animal fat! When consuming animal proteins it is important to eat the fat that naturally exists with the meat.
Additionally, we must remember that the fat can only be as healthy as the animal, which is directly limited by farming environment and foods fed to the animals.
As I show in my You Are What You Eat audio program, commercial farmers regularly feed animals such items as saw dust, engine oil, plastic chips, sewage, dead animal parts, and to survive, they must use lots of antibiotics and drugs. All this ends up in the flesh and the fat of such animals!
Carbohydrates perform numerous roles in living things primarily as a source of energy. Carbohydrate content and quality are also influenced by environment and farming techniques.
Researchers such as Carey Reams, Arden Andersen, D.O., Philip Callahan, Ph.D., and others have demonstrated this by using a Brix meter (a hand-held device with a prism at one end, and an eyepiece at the other acting as a refractometer), which measures the fraction of sugar per hundred parts of aqueous solution by mass.
Using the Brix meter they could determine the overall nutrient composition of plants. The brix measurement can be read off the scale, showing levels of sugar, minerals, proteins and vitamins in the plant’s juices, commonly referred to as dissolved solids.
The higher the Brix reading, the higher the nutrient levels. Again these researches established through their investigations that soil rich in nutrients changed the overall Brix reading and thus, not all sources of carbohydrates are created equal.
Identifying your optimal food ratio and making sound food choices is imperative if you want to minimize addiction, obesity and disease in favor of a quality life of vital health and happiness! Eating a variety of natural foods for your type will insure healthy digestion and elimination.
So Where Does That Leave The Diet Experts & Their Followers?
Confused, unhealthy and overweight! The fact is, without comprehensive laboratory analysis, you can’t possibly know the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in any foodstuff.
It’s impossible! In my opinion, this is why virtually every diet method that bases its guidelines on percentage prescriptions is ultimately doomed to fail. That’s why I developed the Primal Pattern® Diet Typing solution.
In my now 25-year career, I have studied the works of hundreds of nutrition, health and medical experts. Many of them identified elements of what is simple, yet complex – the human diet!
Like me, they each began with educational influences and a practice that soon hit limitations, and had to begin looking outside their own paradigm in order to progress their own offering. Many worked in the area of micronutrients, looking at isolates such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes and cofactors.
Though some of them made useful discoveries and advancements, their approach was typically microscopic!
I found the works of Rudolph Steiner, Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Lady Eve Balfour, Sir Albert Howard, Friend Sykes, Sir Robert McCarrison, William A. Albrecht, Weston A. Price, Francis Marion Pottenger, M.D., Byron Robinson, M.D., and William Wolcott (and many others) to offer a much more realistic, practical approach to healthy eating.
These pioneering researchers all showed that soil quality, farming methodology, environment, racial and ethnic needs, stress, and stress interpretation could radically influence the health of the plants, animals and those that eat them.
They also produced evidence that each given race or culture’s dietary needs vary radically depending on environment, which dictates availability.
How Does Primal Pattern® Diet Typing System Work?
Using a questionnaire system inspired by William Wolcott, Bill Timmins, N.D., Jeffery Bland, Ph.D., and others with similar systems, I created my own questionnaire system. My goal is to help you find the starting point for identifying your Primal Pattern® Diet, which is the way you should naturally eat.
In my book How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, I share several key ways to fine-tune your macronutrient ratio from meal to meal. Because there is no objective way to identify fat, protein and carbohydrate ratios on your own, the key to my Primal Pattern® Diet system is to learn to pay very close attention to the fine tuning methods shared in my book and to listen very carefully to my audio series You Are What You Eat!
Both of these resources teach you what you need to know about food so you can effectively find and eat quality foods and not suffer from the legal trickery used by food manufacturers!
When you use my Primal Pattern® Diet questionnaire system (click link at bottom of article) to find your starting ratio, you’ve just begun. I identify your approximate macronutrient ratio, which categorizes you as one of the following Primal Pattern® types:
The polar types come from regions closer to the North or South poles of the earth. These people had higher requirements for animal flesh (as fat and protein sources) because the ground freezes and plants don’t grow in ice!
These people may be exemplified by your Eskimos, Icelandic, Nordic, Scandinavian, English, Scottish, or Irish peoples, to name a few. Polar types are the equivalent to a protein type in most of the traditionally known systems of metabolic typing used today (Kelly , Kristal , Wolcott, Ingram, etc).
The Polar Types generally begin their self-assessment by creating a meal plan that provides two servings of flesh foods for every serving of plant foods or produce.
The people who live in the warmer regions of the world where the ground is unlikely to freeze in the winter are called Equator types. Because of the hotter weather, they have access to fruits and vegetables year round, making them less dependent upon animal flesh than the Polar Types.
The Equator types include desert peoples such as the inland Aboriginals, Quechua Indians and others that have very little access to animal flesh and have to live primarily off of plant foods, rodents and insects. The Equator Type is akin to the carbohydrate types common to other metabolic typing systems.
Equator Types should begin the process of individualizing their meal plans by eating equal servings of plant and animal foods.
These people exemplify those that are likely to come from mixed race families and often have a wide range of nutrient needs. I feel I may be one of these. My father’s bloodlines are Cherokee Indian, while my mother’s bloodlines come from the region called Alsace Lorraine, a little region of France near Germany.
The result is that I can be a Polar Type at breakfast and range all the way to an Equator Type with any other meal depending on external environmental factors such as weather and internal environmental factors such as stress.
My friends, this is your Primal Pattern® Diet in a nutshell. Having coached thousands of people to optimal health and well-being, I can assure you that my Primal Pattern ® Diet system is simple, but is more effective than most systems out there.
One of the reasons it works so well is because once you learn how to eat using these guidelines, your dietary needs are fully customized from meal to meal.
How To Fine Tune Your Diet For Optimal Physical Emotional, Mental & Spiritual Well-Being
If you would like to learn more about how to apply my simple and highly effective systems of diet, lifestyle and exercise, see my book How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
I have included a section on fine-tuning your eating plan that you should study because my material is loaded with other essential information you all need to be aware of.
For those of you that would like to learn my most up-to-date fine tuning technology, which serves as an addition to the essential information in my book and my audio/workbook, You Are What You Eat!, please see my multi-media e-Book: The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need, How To Get Healthy Now! as well as listen to my MP3 audio companions of the same title.
To learn how you can master the principles in my book, How To Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, visit to register for our next three day workshop.
Chek, P. (2001). Movement that Matters. C.H.E.K Institute, San Diego, CA.
Lipton, B. (2008). The Biology of Belief: Unleashing The Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles. Hay House.
Robinson, B. (1907). The Abdominal and Pelvic Brain. Available from http://meridianinstitute.com/eamt/files/robinson/Rob1cont.htm
Price, W. A. (2008). Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 8th Ed. Price Pottenger Nutrition.
Source: Calorie Counting Part of Health Care Reform Bill | NBC San Diego Diver, S. Nutritional Quality of Organically Grown Food. Available from http://www.soilandhealth.org/06clipfile/ Nutritional%20Quality%20of%20Organi cally-Grown%20Food.html
Balfour, E. (2006). The Living Soil. Soil Association Ltd.
McCarrison, R. (1921). Studies in Deficiency Disease. Cornell University Library.
Harrison, A. (2007). The Soil and Health: A story of Organic Agriculture. The University Press of Kentucky.
Getoff, D. (2001). Attaining Optimal Health in The 21st Century, Audio Series.
Chek, P. (2003). You Are What You Eat! Audio-workbook. C.H.E.K Institute, San Diego, CA.
Reams, C. A. (1997). Choose Life or Death: The Reams Biological Theory of Ionization. Holistic Laboratories, Inc.
Andersen, A. B. (1989). The Anatomy of Life and Energy in Agriculture. Acres USA.
Calahan, P. (2001). Tuning Into Nature. Acres USA.
Steiner, R. (2007). Agriculture Course: The Birth of the Biodynamic Method. Rudolph Steiner Press.
Sykes, F. (1959). Modern Humus Farming. Rodale Press.
Albrecht, W. A. (2005). Soil Fertility and Animal Health, 2nd Ed. Acres USA.
17 Pottenger, F. M. (1995). Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition, 2nd Ed. Price Pottenger Nutrition.
Wolcott, W. L. (2002). The Metabolic Typing Diet: Customize Your Diet to Your Unique Body Chemistry. Broadway.
19 Source: 19 Source
Chek, P. (2004/2009). How To Eat Move and Be Healthy! C.H.E.K Institute, San Diego, CA.
Kelley, W. (1999). Dr. Kelley’s Self Test for the Different Metabolic Types. College of Metabolic Medicine.
Kristal, H. J. (2002). The Nutrition Solution: A Guide to Your Metabolic Type. North Atlantic Books.
Ingram, C. (2008). Eat Right 4 your Metabolic Type. Knowledge House.
Chek, P. (2005). The Last 4 Doctors You’ll Ever Need: How To Get Healthy Now! Multi-media e-Book. Available from http://www.ppssuccess.com/ProductsPrograms/TheLast4DoctorsYoullEverNeedOnlineeBook/tabid/320/Default.aspx
Chek, P. (2008). The Last 4 Doctors Audio Companions. MP3 download. Available from http://www.ppssuccess.com/ProductsPrograms/TheLast4DoctorsCompanionAudioSeries/tabid/347/Default.aspx
Copyright – 2009 Paul Chek