Written by: Dan Miller
Here’s an experiment you can either think about or try on your own in the real world:
Take an animal, any animal, and move it from outside (where all animals live) to inside. Take away its pride, herd, troop, bloat, pack, family, and its social support. And then feed it. Feed it all the time, all day long. Sugars, fats, all the delicious carbs, all of it, keep feeding it. What happens?
You don’t have to be an animal behaviorist to know what happens next. You can see this in millions (I’d argue even billions) of animals right now. Just look around. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety, mood disorders, constant stress, violence, depression, self-harm, even suicide are all so commonplace in our modern society that we don’t even think twice about them most of the time. We see them as inevitable, like they’ve always been there. And the stark reality is, they haven’t. Not even close!
Whether you like it or not, you are an animal. You’re one of Her’s (Earth’s) just like the lions, bears, cheetahs and gazelles. You evolved outside (where all the damn food is) for around 280,000 years in your current form, and about two million years prior to that as one type of hominid or another. Two and a half million years of human evolution and it all occurred outside, in nature, right beside the other animals.
And look at us now. Locked in ever smaller cages, largely removed from real social support, constantly under stress over money, that job we hate and the relationships we choose. Eating in a free-food society where one can eat whatever, whenever, however, and just exchange a little digital currency for it all. Movement? Who needs it! The TV, the couch, the car, the job, the free food . . . just stay seated, no need to move for any of that.
Our ancestors clawed their way to the top of the food chain for this? I don’t think so!
My big question is, why do we expect a different result when we do this to ourselves vs. when we do it to animals. Who taught us that we can sit all day, eat all day, rarely socialize other than online, and we’d end up ok in the end? Truth is, we bought a lie and now we’re paying the ultimate price; early death and rampant disease. So how do we solve this problem?
Have you tried going back outside? See if you can reset the entire system?
Here’s another experiment you can either think about (not recommended) or try on your own in the real world (highly recommend this). GO BACK OUTSIDE! No seriously, not just to walk to your car. Go way outside, into nature. Go hunt!
Here’s another reality many in modern society just don’t want to admit. We, the human animal, only had two things to eat for millions of years. We had plants, and we had animals. That’s it. No drive-thru, no boxed food, no Postmates, no Uber eats. Just plants and animals and sometimes nothing at all. And because throughout our evolution our environment shaped us and our systems, that’s all you’re designed to eat.
Let’s face it, plants are even slower than you, easy to sneak up on, don’t scream when you bite them (at least not in a way you can hear), and never migrate. These would have been a natural choice for our ancestors. Until winter. Then what? Starve to death, migrate south or stab something fuzzy! Our ancestors had to hunt or they’d have starved to death and none of us would be here right now. They ate red meat most of the year, but NOT from fast food places. Our ancestors had all grass-fed, grass-finished, zero carbon footprint meals. All vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds were organic for millions of years. Obesity, mood disorders, self harm, diabetes, heart disease and depression were rare.
Our ancestors lived outside in tight-knit social groups, sometimes hunting and sometimes foraging. What if that’s what we need? A reset. Just to head back outside with a bunch of friends, hunt for our meat, maybe find some edible plants and share stories around the nightly fire. What if we all did that more often and keep modern medicine and modern society around for the sometimes instead of the all-the-times. Can you imagine how much healthier we’d all be in just a year’s time? I’m giving it a shot. Join me?
Some of you will still say, “But Dan, I don’t want to go outside. It’s hot out there. It’s cold out there. It’s dirty out there. I don’t get any cell service out there. There’s pokey things and sharp things and growly things and furry things out there.”
And I’ll forever reply, “That’s fine. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. But nature has a four billion-year track record of being right. So do your own thing and BEWARE the consequences. They just might kill you!”
Dan Miller is an internationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert, developming health and wellness programs for all walks of life. Learn more at danmillerwellness.com