It’s time to bury conventional wisdom when it comes to diet and exercise, avoid the food pyramid like the plague, and take a fresh look at how you should exercise. The human genome, the result of two million years of evolutionary process, has given you everything you need to be a healthy, vibrant Homo Sapien.
To start, you will need a reboot of your perspectives when it comes to weight management and health. Your body is doing the best that it can and is currently as good as it can be based on your lifestyle choices and the genes you’ve inherited. Disease and obesity are not natural. Our bodies are programmed to strive for health and balance, but we just keep getting in the way by the choices we make. Begin to focus on how you live rather than how you look.
We get too wrapped up with studying ourselves in the mirror or stepping on the scales. Our medical professionals are too quick to prescribe pills for every health issue instead of prescribing what we really need – a lifestyle adjustment. Give the body what it needs and your health will take care of itself because it is programmed for optimal performance. Believe in your body and have faith in the process. There are genes ready to be reignited that will normalize your weight, blood pressure, lipid profile, energy, and even you sex life, no matter what your age.
A good example is to look at wild animals living in their natural environments. They very rarely get sick; they may get injured or suffer an infection, but you will never see obese, wild animals suffering from hypertension or diabetes.
Why? It’s because their bodies, just like ours, have been designed to survive, and good health is essential for survival. They have evolved to eat and move in a way that gives them the best chance for success.
Compared to our Paleolithic ancestors we are incredibly fortunate to have access to modern medicine. Should we get injured, catch a communicable disease, require critical care or develop an infection we have access to wonderful medical options, and the skills of gifted physicians. Our modern technologies allow us to provide consistently clean water and sanitary sewage systems, eliminating the chance of the devastating plagues that significantly reduced the average lifespan of our ancestors. We no longer have to face wild animals, intent on eating us, or endure the incredible physical struggles for survival that often led to life-threatening injuries and infections.
Combining modern medicine and technology with the knowledge of how our great genetic pool evolved to eat and move in order to survive, enables us to design the optimum lifestyle for a balanced and healthy life.
Your Individual Lifestyle Design
Take charge and develop you own personal healthy lifestyle design.
Although there is not a one-size fits all solution that leads to optimum health, there are some basic foundational principles you can apply using an ancestral approach that will make a huge difference in your health.
The unique adaptability of Homo sapiens is what allowed us to win the hominid war and to survive when so many other species died out. An important component of that adaptability was the fact that Homo sapiens were omnivores capable of surviving on a wide variety of foods in a diverse range of environments; seasonality, locality and variability have ALWAYS been part of the discussion when it came to diet.
The modern human is now faced with many new variables in the foods we consume. Pesticides, herbicides, processed foods, BPA, hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified foods, hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, carrageenan, MSG, sulfites and easy access to sugar and simple carbohydrates are but a few of the new variables that modern Homo Sapiens have not yet evolved to eat.
Many of our modern lifestyle diseases are based on forms of systemic inflammation caused by our diets, lifestyle choices and environment. Auto-immune diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression, ADHD and most cancers are now being linked to controllable lifestyle choices.
Where to Begin
Consider beginning with the Whole30 approach:
“Eliminate alcohol, dairy, grains and legumes for 30 days. These food groups could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that cannot be explained by over-use or injury? Do you have some sort of condition like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues that medication has not helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the food you eat. The only way to know for sure is to strip them completely from your diet. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone unbalancing, gut disrupting, inflammatory foods from your diet for a month.
Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects these foods have been causing. Push the reset button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.
This will change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, and it will change your habits and cravings. It could possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food and with your body.” (Source: www.Whole30.com)
I completed this 30-day program at the beginning of my commitment to better health two years ago. After 30 days, I began a trial and error process and learned that I could tolerate some dairy and alcohol but not grains, and so I have kept them out of my diet.
Diet Hack - Eat humanely raised, local and organic when possible, pastured meats, free range poultry, eggs, wild caught fish and seasonal vegetables, fruits and nuts. If you can handle dairy eat, butter, full fat Greek style yogurt and hard cheddar cheese produced from pastured hormone-free cows. Add fermented goodies like sauerkraut, kim chi, kombucha, and pickled veggies to encourage the growth of good gut bacteria. Try this yummy homemade salad dressing consisting of equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar combined with a spoonful of whisked Veganiase (Soy and Dairy free brand) and mustard. Use coconut oil for sautéing vegetables and meats. For a treat, have a glass of red wine and a piece of dark chocolate (70% or higher)
Examining how early man lived and survived can help us in our approach to physical conditioning. Long walks, periodic short intense sprints and lifting heavy things were the most common activites. In addition mobility was paramount, as early humans often had to climb over and crawl through a diverse physical environment which required great mobility, agility and balance.
To reconnect with this type of fitness I highly recommend a program like MovNat, a physical education and fitness system based on the full range of natural human movement abilities. These include the locomotive skills of walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing and swimming. In addition they have you practice the manipulative skills of lifting, carrying, throwing and catching.
Another good guideline is this Primal Fitness Triangle:
Modern man spends much more time indoors than our ancestors did, and it’s not surprising when you consider that our homes and workplaces are much more comfortable and ubiquitous than early abodes. It’s still important to get outside, get some fresh air, get some sunshine, and touch base with Mother Nature. It will make you feel good; especially when you consider that you need exposure to sunlight in order to produce your own supply of Vitamin D, often referred to as the happy vitamin. If you can combine being outdoors with getting more activity in your day, so much the better, but something as simple as taking a daily walk can be all that you need.