HEALTHY LIVING
11/01/2015 2:11 AM AEDT | Updated 28/03/2015 2:59 AM AEDT

What Is ReWilding, And Should You Try It?

Giving the Paleo diet a shot? That's so 2014. This year, it's all about ReWilding yourself.

Daniel Vitalis, 36, came up with the "ReWild Yourself" concept and aims to help people celebrate their "natural selves" through presentations and workshops.

"ReWilding is -- in its essence -- a celebration of our natural selves," Vitalis told The Huffington Post. "It is about living a life aligned with our biology and experiencing the sheer pleasure of fulfilling our biological drives."

Put more simply, ReWilding is about getting in touch with our "caveman" sides: hunting and gathering, spending time in the sun, drinking water from from natural streams and bathing in hot springs, to name a few ReWilding options.

So, who's trying ReWilding? Vitalis tells HuffPost that the ReWilding movement has about 100,000 followers. Although the majority of Vitalis' followers are between 18 and 34 years old, some are over 70.

Actress Shailene Woodley has spoken about the ReWilding lifestyle, and writer Eliza Krigman wrote a story about her month of ReWilding for the January issue of Marie Claire.

"Hunching over a laptop all day and eating supermarket food flown in from God-knows-where never struck me as an ideal recipe for well-being," Krigman, who lives in Washington, D.C., wrote. So after taking a workshop in upstate New York with Vitalis, Krigman took a stab at ReWilding herself at home.

I became that person at restaurants asking if the meat and fish on the menu were organic and local. But I mostly cooked -- which my husband enjoyed -- since that's the only surefire way to know what's going in your body ... I kept my windows open to allow fresh air to circulate ... spent a half hour on my deck every day to catch some rays, sans sunscreen. (Skin cancer, Vitalis says, is often the result of going from pale to burnt and using toxic sunscreen.) And, yep, I used a Squatty Potty—a stool for a modern toilet that enables you to relieve yourself in a squatting position.

Although Krigman didn't find that her new lifestyle translated into a "completely radiant rejuvenated self," she did feel better.

"After a week, I felt significantly less bloated than I usually do," she said. "My sinuses felt clearer. My husband caught a cold and couldn't kick it; I never got it!"

Some have taken a more extreme approach to ReWilding. George Monbiot, author of Feral, opened up about the joys of living in rural Wales.

“That feeling of the warm deer slung over my shoulders woke something up in me which I had no idea was there before," Monbiot said in an interview on HuffPost Live on Friday. "The moment you’ve sampled that extraordinary drug, you want it again and again … and that something is so much more thrilling and exciting than what usually goes on in our lives.”

If you're feeling a little intimidated by Mobiot's description, worry not: Vitalis insists that ReWilding yourself doesn't necessarily mean ditching your city life to spend a year living in the wilderness. Just take baby steps.

“You can start by maybe just taking a walk," he told HuffPost Live. "You can start by getting barefoot, you can start by making an herbal tea … these ways then allow you move along that rewiring spectrum."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated Daniel Vitalis founded the ReWilding movement. He came up with the “ReWild Yourself” concept.

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