Research shows our ancestors had good health – Why? Because they ate natural food sources available to them straight from the earth. But if that changed, suddenly and they were transported in to this day and age, would they still be in vibrant health?
It’s a great question that I myself thought about self several times. I can not say I have an exact answer. Personally, I look to paleo for an explaination why certain strategies work for food rather than prescription, per se. For example, the fact that many people are intolerant to gluten can be explained using the paleo model . If gluten has caused no problems, we would not tell people not to eat cereal just because our ancestors did not. I guess what I’m saying is that the model can guide our paleo ideas, but ultimately sound science must be there to confirm.
In terms of different regimes on the basis of geographical location, there is evidence that isolated groups develop modifications to certain foods. For example, people on the island of Okinawa have developed a salivary enzyme that is used specifically to break the starch contained in rice, while people of European descent do not have this specific enzyme. This is obviously due to the fact that the Okinawans have been eating lots of rice for a long time and somehow been able to develop modifications to it.
I think it is also important to consider that probably not all of our Paleolithic ancestors were necessarily healthy. Some probably have survived long periods on little food sources and deficiencies in fact developed. Others have probably survived in a green environment with a variety of nutrient dense foods and flowers with excellent health. I think at the end of the day the goal is the following:
1. Get all the essential nutrients needed
2. Avoid things that cause problems (possibly cereals, dairy, legumes)
Whether all our ancestors were able to do so or not is irrelevant to our modern needs. The fact that the Australian Aborigines, Inuit and Bushmen of the Kalahari have survived so long suggests that their dietary plans met the two previous conditions. If they did not, they would have died off fairly quickly.
I think the main reason why paleo works so well is because it simply removes the things we know cause problems. You eat lots of fish, broccoli, spinach and collard greens or lots of beef, cauliflower, carrots and sweet potatoes (not saying you can eat all the food and satisfy all needs nutrition) and eventually meet all your needs in macro and micronutrients and calories, you’ll be in good health since you met your needs and avoid the things that happen to cause damage in the first place.
Our current environment and lifestyle is quite different from what our ancestors had. What other aspects of the lifestyle of our hunter-gatherer should we consider in addition to following the paleo diet alimentary principles, which could ultimately improve our health even further?
I think this is an area majorly lacking in many discussions on the evolution of fitness (but certainly not all) is the psychological aspect of evolutionary fitness. We often hear about what we should eat, how we should be, how many hours of sleep each night to get, what supplements to take, and other tangibles. But what we often do not address is the primal mind and how our changing environment has shaped our minds and to optimize the function of mind to adapt to industrial life, while staying healthy and happy.
Something I noticed and I say this with compassion, not criticism, is that we sometimes adopt a style of primitive life in the bodily senses, but do nothing to change our mindset. We still fix our identity to material things and seek happiness and satisfaction of external things such as shopping, watching TV, drinking, and possessions. We even identify us by how much money we make, or what we wear rags and try to use this as an attempt to reach completion. This contrasts with our hunter-gatherer ancestors who have few possessions and lived a nomadic existence. The only things they needed for happiness were the food and housing, social interaction with their tribe and intimate relationships. Now do not get me wrong, I fall into these holes materialistic and consumerist, sometimes, and I’m certainly not perfect, but I think it is essential to take measures to step back and take note of what is really important in our lives and put our main effort on things. Indeed, research has shown that money not only improves happiness insofar as it helps meet their basic needs of life and comfort, whereas health is a much more accurate indicator of happiness.
So in essence, the message here is that our mental point of view should ideally focus on the things that really matter in life such as health, family, friends, and what we are passionate. This does not mean that we should all just go live in the cabin somewhere and do not make money, but we should not lose sight of what is most important not to sacrifice quality life just to make more money that is not really necessary for happiness.
A good way to improve our primal mind that our ancestors did not have to use is meditation. Our ancestors were certainly not sitting around the meditation practice strategies to become more present in spirit, they had enough time off from their daily activities not need stress relief techniques to keep their responseStress in the recording, but meditation has been supported by scientific bodies results in the decrease in response to stress, promoting a stronger immune system, lowering blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve cognitive functions, and improve sleep quality. The good news is that you do not sit around with his legs crossed like a Buddhist monk to get the benefits of meditation (unless you want, of course).
Here are some good ways to “think”:
1. Concentrate on your breathing. When you feel stressed and they think of a million things that slow down and focus on your breathing. Do this for at least a minute and concentrate on breathing deeply and then imagine that each breath is a statement of all the tension accumulated in your body. Being fully aware of your body ….. feel your body, so to speak, and believe he is relaxed and loose.
This can be very useful.
2. Become more aware of your body and its surroundings. A good quote by the wife of famous psychologist Erik Erikson, Joan Erikson was “Get out of your mind and your body.” What this means is that you focus on your senses. Most people in Western societies have responsibilities as our mind is always active at the place where the body goes into autopilot and we’ve completely lost touch with the present moment. We become completely focused on and worried that we have to do for the future or dwelling on what happened in the past rather than focusing only on the present moment. The key to making a break from all this thinking is consistent
to focus on our senses. What do we see, hear, feel, smell or taste right now? Focus on him and you will be present.
3. practical flow. Flow is a mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an activity they are doing and any notion of time was torn. It is a state of being extremely nice and everyone has felt this at one time or another. The activation key is to do an activity you love, but also offers a challenge, but not so much a challenge that stresses you out ..
4. Fully accept whatever circumstances arise in your life at any time. This does not mean that you do not attempt to modify undesirable conditions if you are able to do so, it simply means that you do not complain or worry about what happens in reality.For example, say you set up a picnic and tell all your friends to come because it is supposed to be good weather. You get everything in place, put the grill, a frisbee for fun later, etc. Before you know it started pouring rain, when everyone is present. The natural instinct is to flip out or complain, agitate, to feel like a victim, etc. But that does nothing but aggravate the situation.Instead, if we simply accept the situation for what it is and take steps to remedy it as soon as possible, we will avoid much suffering.
If something is not we just take remedial action if possible, or if we can not fix it, just accept it for what it is. If we resist emotionally to a situation that can not be changed, it only causes unnecessary stress that accomplishes nothing but diminish our quality of life and health. If we complain or feel bad for us, it only intensifies our negative perception of the situation. This sounds like common sense, but we humans can be highly irrational beings, and this resistance to all that the circumstances are now in life is widespread in Western culture.
Another great way to improve your health that are not always mentioned by the promoters of Primal Life is to foster good relations and compassion for other human beings. In our societies advance technologically, it becomes increasingly easy and tempting to just throw on the TV, computer, iPod, or any other distractions are available and ignore others. In fact, many people are doing on a daily basis and have little interaction with other human beings, at least on any kind of level of compassion.Instead, turn to these things and talking to a friend, family member, or just random spark conversation with interesting people you meet. Doing things with people, staying socially active, laughing, smiling,
compliment people and go with the flow. People feel and good relationships are born.
Also, I know that this answer is somewhat philosophical in nature overall, but another is good that our ancestors probably did not think, or did not at least, was what their purpose was in life. Have a purpose in life is something that can propel us forward and keeps us happy and motivated to live day by day. Many people in our society tells us what is important to them, how they should think and act, and what expectations they should have in life.Most people go to work everyday that they hate just to pay the bills. They use their work as a way of earning money only, and does not enjoy the process. Monday, they can not wait until the weekend because of their undesirable situation. This is another cause of the absence of the current spirit mentioned above.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors probably found a purpose in their daily hunting and other activities and enjoyed the process. In our culture, we need to think about and develop an honest idea of what is important to us in life, then fully embrace and put our hearts into it. I really think this is a major key to health and happiness throughout life.
On a more tangible, something I think is good for people living in northern climates is a light box. Some people in northern climates do not literally see a significant amount of sunlight for weeks or months depending on location and season. A box of 10,000 lux of light can be used to simulate the effects of the sun and has been well documented and shown proven benefits in improving mood and prevention / treatment of depression. The great part is that some insurance plans cover these things if your doctor prescribes. It can be activated in the morning while eating breakfast and stimulates the sensors in the eye that helps regulate circadian rhythms, causing more alertness and energy during the day and an easier time of s’ sleep at night.
I promise this is the last, but I think that dancing is a great recreational addition to a primitive lifestyle. Our ancestors had a ritual dance around campfires at night for entertainment and to honor their gods. Personally, I’m a terrible dancer and it’s not something I take seriously, even (He did not really need for our purposes anyway), but if I go into a bar with a friends and music is playing, I often dance around and have a good time just to sort of jokes and a good laugh. It’s great exercise, it makes me laugh, and my friends are kicked out of my terrible dancing skills, which is part of the whole social aspect of primitive life. I do not think it is necessary, but for people who are more extroverted is definitely something fun and it is actually very good, pumpy exercise that gets the blood circulation.
With all factors outside the environment we are facing on a daily basis that has a negative impact on our health, including stress, pollution and radiation, we are in a positive situation where we have the ability to take nutrition supplements booster may be a way to help balance the negative impact of our environment has on our bodies. What should be considered supplements to add to our diet to help increase our food? Fish oil appears to be a big one.
When it comes to health, I believe that supplements should be minimized. The main goal of any supplement as part of the primal / paleo eating is to put something back into your diet as you would if you were an optimal diet based on paleo all high quality food products such as animal grazing and organic plant food.
Unfortunately, we can all succeed in doing this and, inevitably, some supplements are needed to optimize health. As you mentioned, fish oil is excellent as each paleo dieter should take if they do not eat any animal products at pasture. 3g per day is what most studies have found that the health benefits of taking fish oils.
Another who has worked for many people is a quality probiotics.Our paleo ancestors ate the offal of wild animals they hunted and beneficial bacteria that came with the bodies of some as the small intestine. They also consumed enough dietary fiber from plant foods not cereal and never had the chance to eat refined sugar, which can disrupt the balance of intestinal bacteria.
Another supplement that is an absolute must in my book (with fish oil) is vitamin D. Domestic life has dramatically reduced our exposure to sunlight and therefore results in very small amounts of vitamin D serum. 2000 IU a day is a maximum limit of vitamin D if you have not had a blood test to measure your level of vitamin D. However, to about 2000 IU people will not be enough to bring the level of serum in the optimal range. That said, I strongly suggest you that all those taking vitamin D get their blood tested periodically to determine the proper dosage for them.
Apart from that, there are some extras that are optional, but could be very beneficial for some people. One of them ZMA, Which should be taken 30 minutes before bedtime. It helps to improve sleep quality and recovery from exercise, which is very useful for very active people and athletes.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that can be taken during the transition phase between a typical Western diet to a diet low in carbohydrates paleo. The body can not use L-glutamine to feed the brain during the adjustment period for the metabolism of fats, while the blood glucose level is low and cognition will suffer. It essentially allows ease the symptoms experienced during the transition from being a fat burner instead of a sugar burner.
Creatine monohydrate can be used to improve the ability of anaerobic work in a field and research well to save. It may also have other benefits such as cardiac function improved and cognition.
While our ancestors would not have foods combined, we are now able to eat more nutritious food source at some point. In addition, the combination of certain foods can help the synergy of nutrients and aid digestion. In this spirit, should we worry about eating high calorie meals or eating high-carbohydrate liquid, even if 100% of the ingredients are paleo friendly? And that ultimately start out the basic principles of the paleo diet?
When it comes to food combinations, I keep a very simple rule: Never eat a meal
which is both rich in carbohydrates and lipids. All meals must be either rich in fat and protein and rich in protein and carbohydrates, but never very high in both fats and carbohydrates. The reason is that the insulin spike after carbohydrate consumption signals for molecules of fat to be stored at the sites nearest fat. If insulin levels in the blood and fat levels in the blood composition of the body simultaneously suffer the highest long performance, the body will be running on glucose rather than fat burns more consistent.
Do not get me wrong, calories still count when it comes to fat loss and body composition, but do macronutrient ratios and combinations. However, it is also important to understand when to eat a protein meal carb /. The best time is after the workout if you have a performance goal. If I do not drive on any given day, I keep all my meals rich in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates, because my muscles do not need to replace glycogen, hence the absence of a meal containing carbohydrates after training.
Here’s what I recommend:
For health / longevity: 90% of the time eating high protein / high fat meal, even after training. Eat more carbohydrate paleo occasional sensitivity to insulin re-calibrate.
For performance goals: Eat a high carbohydrate (starchy carbohydrates such as paleo sweet potatoes, squash, yams, etc.) / workout post high protein meal after training conditioning metabolic but not after the work force. The rest of your meal should be rich in protein / high carbohydrate and low fat.
For fat loss: Keep it low carb and zig-zag your calories. For example, if you need to consume 1500 calories per day to lose weight you eat 1000 kcal and 2000 kcal a day for the “trick” your metabolism and hang onto muscle while losing fat . This has actually worked very well for me in the past and I highly recommend it. When I keep my daily calories even while reducing I began to notice problems with water retention, and an indication of excessive cortisol production. I also tend to lose muscle mass with this method. On the zig-zag approach I lose fat and keep muscle easier.
When it comes to liquid meals and more meals carb paleo suggestion above should be considered. It depends on your goals. From the perspective of health food liquids must be avoided because of insulin spikes, and as I said paleo-carbohydrate meals of solid foods should be occasional. Some people may benefit from liquid meal after training, but others show signs of hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. That being said, the food is always the best, unless you run a marathon or grind the death of other long-distance calls carbohydrate intake high calorie / on the road that does not require tons of digestion.
I think it is important to understand that everything is dependent on the objective. If you want to live longer and be really super healthy, you’ll have a different plan if you want to run a marathon and a different plan if you want to become super strong.However, given the paleo lifestyle is based on health, longevity and quality of life, I think it’s essential to stay with him most.
Eat Paleo together, keep in carbohydrates and lipids separate dining, moderate consumption of calories and no groove, the load on the vegetables and meat grazing incorporate some intermittent fasting intelligent, develop techniques for stress reduction, exercise just enough to get benefits, but not enough to injure or cause long term wear and tear. When you have goals that go beyond, such as performance or body composition goals, we must broaden the concept and paleo compromise your lifestyle and sometimes with your health and longevity.