In our search for wellness and health, we increasingly look for science and technology to bring us the balance we crave. We are all susceptible to wanting the latest miracle pill, the new sleek workout machine, the latest "Improved Eating Plan." But in truth, health and wellness are about sinplicity and the basics. So my advice is, if you're looking for diet or exercise tips, go back, (way back!), and live like a caveman.
Okay, now she's gone off the deep-end, you're thinking. Live like a caveman? What?!
Wait. Before you zap me off into Internet oblivion, hear me out. Here is what I mean.
First of all, studies of the last known hunter/gatherer societies show that in pre-agricultural societies, people worked an average of 20 hours per week. This time was taken up by such activities as gathering food and hunting small game. Not a bad schedule and one that most modern-day people would envy.
Second, getting food for cave people was a little more involved than going to the corner store. Usually they had to run after it. At the very least they had to walk long distances to pick it and to haul water as well. Poof! Instant aerobics. Human bodies are designed for daily motion and lots of it. So next time you get on your treadmill, ask yourself, how long would it take me and 5 of my closest friends to catch a buffalo? I guarantee it’s a lot longer and at a much faster pace than their 20 minutes of walking you’re planning on doing on that treadmill. Raise your expectations. Instead of asking, “How little exercise can I do?” ask “How much?”
The caveman’s diet was also quite different from ours and it’s safe to assume, free from Big Macs. Think about it. Food that’s standing still (as in plants, nuts, fruits, etc.) is much easier to get than food that’s running away. Studies show that cave people’s diets actually consisted of under 20% meat and even less at certain times of the year. They got additional protein from plant sources, such as nuts.
A wise nutritionist one told me, “Eat food that remembers were it came from,” as in fresh, unprocessed, unchanged by machines and hormones and gene therapy, unmixed with preservatives and colors. Eat the food your great great (etc) grandfather the caveman might have found growing near his cave.
Cave people were also free from the chronic worry and stress endemic to modern life. Our fight or flight adrenaline response was designed for “one-shot” stress (oops, that saber-toothed tiger wants to eat me- run for it!), instead of the ongoing, corrosive stress we place on ourselves over deadlines and family obligations and thousands other things.
The list is long. Our caveman forefathers basked in the sunlight for long hours, lived in cooperative family and clan groups and only took what they needed from the earth. While I don’t advocate giving up the many wonders of modern life (how else would my words be getting to you today?) I do think we stand to learn a lot from our cave people ancestors.
So go out there and be a cave man (or woman!).
Maria E. Andreu is a Life and Success Coach, author of various articles and is currently completing her book, The Heroic You. She writes, speaks and offers personal coaching. Subscribe to her free online newsletter at http://www.MariaEAndreu.com or e-mail her at maria@MariaEAndreu.com "Empowering you to Experience the Extraordinary every day."