As we start out a new decade, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I started in 2010 with my diet and lifestyle choices. Many, many things have changed, and I have changed as a result.
It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that fewer and fewer humans are able to live lives the way we were designed to live. It’s literally making us sick. I live in New York City, the original concrete jungle. My kids’ “recess” is on the city playground, or a black top. Some days they don’t even go outside! And I notice that this happens for me, too. Most of us are chained to desks, cars, and phones or computers for most of our day. Our ancestors knew instinctively what humans need. We still have this wisdom living within us, if we learn to listen.
Here are some easy tips for living a more ancestral life in 2020:
Get outside. You know how you always breathe a sigh of relief being in nature? There’s a reason people show nature scenes when they want to keep people calm. It’s literally working on our bodies on a cellular level. So walk to work, get outside, sit in the grass, climb a tree, hike anywhere (even Central Park has awesome climbing rocks!) and if you can, get some outdoor exercise. Notice the world, and the other people around you. Grass in your toes feels amazing because we are meant to be outside!
Eat animal foods. Animal foods provide the most easily digestible complete proteins, and contain the most bioavailable nutrients. Eggs, salmon, steak, duck, you name it. Eat close to the earth, the highest quality animal foods you can afford and don’t overcomplicate it. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Find a local butcher, or better yet, a farmer and get to know them. If you need coaching, reach out to me.
Ditch processed foods. This is very hard, as we are all so used to processed foods. But what would happen if you– for one month– didn’t eat anything from a package? If you ate meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, and fruits and nothing from a package? What might change? What might you discover?
Sit in the sun. I’ve spent most of my life being afraid of the sun. This past year I wore sunscreen quite sparingly, and even though I am fair, I didn’t burn. (There is a theory that an animal-based diet helps prevent and lessen sunburns. I don’t know if this is true, but I can tell you it was definitely my experience.) I was careful and thoughtful about my sun exposure, but I made sure to incorporate at least ten minutes of direct sun a day. It’s a fantastic source of vitamin D, which most people are deficient in, so I also supplement with a good vitamin D/vitamin k2 supplement.
Wear blue-light blockers. Many of you have probably heard of this, and with all our screen time these days it’s really crucial. You can get glasses that block the blue lights from lightbulbs and and filters for your screens so you can sleep better and rest your brain. Exposure to blue light can mess with your hormones and sleep, which can cascade into a big issue.
Connect with others. Human beings are social creatures. We aren’t meant to be alone, we are meant for connection with others. So start that book club, or knitting circle, or join that ultimate frisbee club. Go to church or volunteer. Make dates and try new things. Continue to evolve in your relationships and work on true connection. Your health will improve.
Slow down. Our world is faced-paced and most of us feel pressure to do it all! Say no to the things you don’t want to do. Slow down. Take time to do nothing. Read that novel sitting on your bedside table for the whole day. See how slowly you can eat a meal or take a walk. It will change you.