I want to start out by saying that we need to be mindful that we cannot know everything about anything, but we can surround ourselves with people that are better than ourselves to collectively figure this stuff out.
I came to this ancestral health movement via The Paleo Diet channels. I grew up with chronic G.I. distress and was constantly battling acne. I started my fitness and health exploration at age 16. My parents purchased a weight bench, we set it up in the basement and I began to train. The training gave birth to questions and the questions ignited a lifelong obsession. Throughout the years I have practiced bodybuilding, competed in a few triathlons, became competitive in road cycling, explored the metcon destruction protocol, and even was a vegetarian for a few weeks. I was very lucky to have a knowledgeable and old school weightlifting coach in high-school who pushed me to lift heavy weights young. I broke all the records in my weight class as a 17 and 18 year old. Also thanks to the two friends I trained with who were much bigger than me. With the big output also came copious amounts of calories. I grew up eating the occasional fast food. I ate plates of chicken and rice, then an hour later a whole frozen pizza, and even occasionally diet soda. Mind you all this time I was still battling (fiber supplements, creams, doctors, etc.) with the G.I. issues, and the acne never fully cleared up.
Three years on a paleo diet with damn near continuous 100% compliance. Cravings/Addiction: gone, Acne: gone, Constipation/Diarrhea: gone, things I didn’t realize (aces, pains, mental fog): gone.
Why did this happen?
It is more than the food, my life is forever changed. Once you have turned into a pickle you can never be a cucumber again. When I found the paleo diet I also discovered the ancestral framework and then it all clicked. I have always been aware of the climate crisis and the need for sustainability and permaculture. I had seen the documentaries on the topic long before finding the paleo diet. I had always practiced weightlifting in its purest form, and practiced gymnastics since my childhood classes. Later in life I had some on the cliché experiential milestones people deal with. But the realization of how to put all this gathered information together only came out of imagining an ancestral environment (And too many smart, honest, people to list.) This movement has brought clarity to my core beliefs. Today I know this is the framework the human race must adopt.
In my experience, eventually you stick with this long enough and you answer enough of the questions and through the process you are healthier, stronger, and happier. We all experience eureka moments. The ah ha, light bulb, rock in the windshield, paradigm shift, moments. Oh, Hey I get it!
Acidity levels in your gut transitively affect digestive enzyme secretion. Prolamins play a role in stimulating zonulin, widening the intestinal epithelial barrier (stomach permeability). Phytates are one reason for vitamin deficiencies. The mTor factor regulates cell growth rates increasing cancer development. Telomeres hold the last bit of genetic code at the end of our chromosomes. How Co2 emitted into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is heating earth. How people foolishly mistake; bosu balls, elliptical trainers, and vibrating platforms as functional training. Or that the phenotype of each of us, along with our epigenetics, androgen levels, neurological plasticity and so on, each regulates our homeostatic rhythm. Einstein said, “It is not that I am so smart, it is that I stick with the problem longer.”
For longer than I can remember I have made it a priority to understand and experiment with my body and to expand my way of thinking. You look up one word. Then you look up two more, then four, eight and so on. Eventually you realize. You can’t know it all, but damn we know a lot, enough to really help people and earth. I believe we all need to have a holistic and ancestral approach for health and wellness. One based in science and mastery. We must enable ourselves to develop a practice and begin to research deeper within our own body and mind. In order to do so we need to bring awareness to the masses about permaculture, functional training, and stress management, to start off small. If our priorities are to help everyone, and to create a continuum that places health, happiness, and vitality as the aim, then everyone is able to join our movement.
Look at the current norm. People do not expect you to give the mechanistic reasoning why wheat is “healthy”, but they eat it, and they are unhealthy. So you tell them try something new, but they won’t try it until you explain the most minuet functions of it. In the mean time they are still on medications and spending money to be healthy, instead of removing the problem(s) at their root. If enough of us create an environment similar to our ancestors and it works, and then we share it with the people we care for, eventually WE become the catalyst for a better way of living.
I want to thank Robb, and the rest of the team that makes this movement a reality. I found some of my greatest personal growth from the people and ideals of this community. Thank you kindly Dan Baruch
Dan Baruch has an ancestral, evolutionary approach to health, nutrition, and training, but a stronger emphasis in scientific theory, and practical, actionable application for all ages and fitness levels. He teaches out of his gym in Minnesota and writes motivational unsystematic essays for his blog.
You can find more of Dan here http://minnesotasc.com/