Keep trying and failing, trying and failing, maybe look at it differently? How do I stop cheating myself? Get on BOARD....spring is here and you still can't wear your Summer clothing!
1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
This is the basic description of everything our ancestors ate to get
the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,
phenols, fiber, water and other nutrients necessary to sustain life. But
it was a huge list of individual foods – some anthropologists say it
may have been 200 or 300 food choices at a time depending upon the
geographic area. The net result was a dietary “breakdown” of fat,
protein and carbohydrate that was far different from what Conventional
Wisdom considers optimum today. This diet provided all the necessary
fuel and building blocks that, along with specific exercise, prompted
their genes to create strong muscles, enabled them to expend lots of
energy each day moving about, to maintain healthy immune systems, to
evolve larger brains and to raise healthy children. They ate
sporadically, too. When food was plentiful, they ate more than they
needed (and stored the excess as fat). When times were scarce, they
survived on fat stores. This random or “non-linear” eating pattern kept
their bodies in a constant state of preparedness.
2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.
know that our ancestors spent an average of several hours each day
moving about at what today’s exercise physiologists might describe as a
“low level aerobic pace.” They hunted, gathered, foraged, wandered,
scouted, migrated, climbed and crawled. This low level of activity
prompted their genes to build a stronger capillary (blood vessel)
network to fuel each muscle cell, to be able to store some excess food
as fat, but also to be readily able to convert the stored fat back into
energy. Of course, they did all this without the benefit of paved
sidewalks or comfortable shoes. Because every footfall landed at a
different angle, every muscle, tendon and ligament worked and became
stronger together in balance. Note that they did NOT go out and “jog” at
80% of their MAX Heart Rate for long periods of time as Conventional
Wisdom suggests today!
3. Lift heavy things.
women carried their babies much of the time (hey, no babysitters in
those days), as well as bundles of firewood, or whatever they had
gathered, foraged or scavenged. The men carried heavy spears or other
tools, they dragged heavy carcasses of animals they had hunted, and they
moved large boulders or logs to build shelters. They also lifted
themselves into trees or up onto higher ground when escaping from danger
or to scout a new route. The biochemical signals created by these very
brief but intense muscle contractions generated a slight surge in growth
hormone and a reduction in myostatin gene expression, prompting an
increase in muscle size and power; particularly fast twitch fibers.
4. Run really fast every once in a while.
a world where danger lurked around every corner, your ability to run
was a strong indicator of whether you would live long enough to pass
your genes down to the next generation. (Note to Nietzsche: That which
didn’t kill Grok
made him stronger). Avoiding a charging beast to save your life, or
surging forward to catch a different beast for dinner, the net effect
was still survival. A combination of the hormonal events that occurred
simultaneously and the resultant gene expression within fast twitch
muscle made sure that the next time this happened Grok could sprint a
5. Get lots of sleep.
ancestors got plenty of sleep. Even after the discovery of fire, it
wasn’t as if they stayed up all night partying. From sunset to sunrise
it was safer to huddle together and rest. Long days of hunting and
gathering and otherwise working hard for every bite of food also
required sufficient time to repair and recover. Studies of modern
hunter-gatherers suggest it wasn’t necessarily always an uninterrupted
nine or ten hours, either. It’s likely that they slept together as
families or as small tribes, keeping a watch out for predators,
breast-feeding the baby or just dozing in and out throughout the night.
Growth hormone and melatonin were the major hormonal players. Of course,
the occasional afternoon nap was also available when the urge hit, with
no guilt about what else they really should have been doing.
like in modern times, all work and no play made Grok a dull boy.
Hunter-gatherers have always generally worked fewer hours and have had
more leisure time than the average 40-hour-plus American worker. Once
the day’s catch was complete or the roots, shoots, nuts and berries had
been gathered, our ancestors spent hours involved in various forms of
social interaction that we might categorize today as “play.” Young males
would chase each other around and wrestle, vying for a place higher up
in the tribe social strata. The males might also practice spear- or
rock-throwing for accuracy or chase small animals just for sport. Young
females might spend time grooming each other. To the extent that play
was considered enjoyable, the net effect was to solidify social bonds
and to prompt the release of endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) and
to mitigate any lingering stress effects of life-threatening situations.
7. Get some sunlight every day.
weren’t really men (or women) who lived their lives in caves all the
time. Most of the day, they were in the great outdoors pursuing their
various survival tasks. Regular exposure to sun provided lots of vitamin
D, an all-important vitamin which they could not easily obtain from
food and which their bodies could not manufacture without direct
8. Avoid trauma.
ancestors required an acute sense of self-preservation matched with a
keen sense of observation. Always scanning, smelling, listening to the
surroundings, on the watch for danger, aware of what immediate action
needed to be taken, whether it was running from a saber-tooth tiger,
dodging a falling rock, eluding a poisonous snake, or just avoiding a
careless footfall. Remember that a twisted knee or a broken ankle could
spell death to anyone who couldn’t run away from danger. In fact, it was
probably trauma (or a brief careless lapse in judgment) that was most
responsible for the low average life expectancy of our ancestors,
despite their otherwise robust good health. Avoid trauma and there was a
very good chance you could live to be 60 or 70 – and be extremely
healthy and fit. Modern day hunter gatherers maintain strength and
health often well into their 80s.
9. Avoid poisonous things.
ability to exploit almost every corner of this earth was partly
predicated on his ability to consume vastly different types of plant and
animal life. But moving into a new environment and trying new foods
posed a danger that the new food might contain potent toxins. Luckily,
our liver and kidneys evolved to handle most brushes with
novel-but-slightly-poisonous plant matter – at least to keep us alive
anyway if the stomach didn’t regurgitate it first. Our keen senses of
smell and taste also helped us sort out the good from the bad. The
reason we have a sweet tooth today (dammit) is probably an evolved
response to an almost universal truth in the plant world that just about
anything that tastes sweet is safe to eat.
10. Use your mind.
one of the most important things that separate man from all other
animals is his intellectual ability. The rapid increase in the size of
our brains over just a few thousand generations is the combined result
of a high-fat, high protein diet (see rule #1) and a continued reliance
on complex thought – working the brain out just like a muscle. Hunter
gatherers all around the world have developed language, tools and
superior hunting methods independently. The fact that some haven’t
entered the industrial age doesn’t mean they don’t possess the same
ability to process information rapidly and effectively (try living in a
jungle where you need to catalog thousands of different plant and animal
species, knowing which can kill you and which can sustain you).