Ancestral Wisdom in 2020 AD
As the year 2019 comes to a close, I have been dumbstruck that the year 2020 is nearly here. 2020 sounds so incredibly futuristic to me, like we should be living in the Jetsons, with our flying cars, robotic helpers, and all living to be 150 years old, thanks to modern medicine. This has made me realize how woefully far we are from our potential achievements. Instead of robust health and incredible technological achievements, we now have smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, these are incredible feats, but they are nowhere near what we are capable of. I expected (and still hope) that we could instead achieve health through more simple lifestyle practices, and focus on technological achievement that is more in harmony with the environment than where we currently are. I believe that by actually looking to the past (and even the extremely distant past) we can become a species that is happy, healthy, and more technologically accomplished than ever before.
Life expectancy in the United States of America, a country that as the wealthiest nation in the history of humanity should arguably be leading the world in health, has actually seen a decline in life expectancy. We hit a high of 78.84 years in 2014, and have since then come down, very modestly, to 78.69 for 2016. While this is an extremely small decrease, the trend is very troubling. Nations like Canada have continued to see life expectancy increase, from 81.95 in 2014 to 82.3 in 2016. As of 2017, Japan is at 84 years of age as the life expectancy.
I think it is our modern lifestyles and environment that have actually caused a decline in our health and happiness.
Homo sapiens are currently thought to have evolved from Africa about 315,000 years ago. However, we were preceded by other hominins (the human tribe) for millions of years before that! Some of these other hominins include Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) and Australopithecus. The very original human ancestor is believed to be an apelike species that lived during the Middle Miocene Epoch, approximately 16-11.6 million years ago. The more similarly related hominins first appeared during the Pliocene Epoch, from about 5.3-2.6 million years ago. There is no consensus on what specific species we evolved from, but the general timeline is overall agreed upon. So, humans, in one form or another, began our existence around 4 million years ago. Since we ditched the trees and started walking upright, we slowly evolved into, as Brian Johnson of Ancestral Supplements likes to say, “the baddest mammalian predators that ever lived.” We became incredibly well adapted and functional in an environment that is at complete odds with our modern world. For millions of years, we continued to grow and thrive, but somewhere along the way, things went south. I’m not sure if it was the advent of agriculture, considered to be about 12,000 years ago, the creation of an electric light bulb in 1879, the creation of the automobile in 1885, or even the introduction of industrial seed oils in the early 1900’s.
I believe that many of our health problems, including obesity, heart disease, neurodegenerative disease, mental illness, etc. all stem from this mismatch between what our bodies evolved to handle over the last 300,000 years, and what our lives are actually like today.
Some of the differences of life today versus all of human history are:
- Over-reliance on pharmaceuticals
- Poor food quality
- Lack of daily sunshine
- Lack of daily movement
- Lack of daily purpose
- Lack of familial interaction
Each one of these topics could merit a long discussion on their own, but today we want to focus primarily on the food mismatch. Our ancestors were no strangers to drought, famine, going for days without food, and yet still being able to survive. They did not have constant access to sugary foods, filled with vegetable oils. A high carbohydrate diet was difficult to come by, unless you lived in a region of the world that constantly supplied such food. Our ancestors ate nose-to-tail, hunting big game to extinction in nearly every area of the world in which they settled. They consumed every single part of the animals they hunted, and used non edible parts for tools and clothing. So even 100,000 years ago, humans were destructive to their natural habitat, hunting animals to nothingness, and burning down large swathes of forest to serve their purposes. Yet, the lives they lived are what we modern humans are still adapted to. We can take the best of the past, and learn from the mistakes of the past, to make the brightest future possible.
I believe that the first step in reclaiming our health is our diet.
This has played a huge role in our lives. By eliminating highly refined foods, grains, vegetable oils, sugars, and instead eating a whole foods diet, filled with nutrient dense animal foods and seasonal plants, we can feel alive again. Another plus for the environment is that 100% grassfed and pasture raised beef is actually good for the environment. Based on a recent third party study, for every 1 pound of beef produced at White Oak Pastures, 3.5 pounds of carbon are sequestered out of the air and into the soil.
By eating healthy animals, we can begin to reverse climate change, as well as our own health. Now, it can be hard to eat as our ancestors did, by eating the liver, heart, brain, kidneys, spleen, thymus, etc. However, the organs are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Liver in particular is a natural multi-vitamin, with tons of B vitamins, vitamin A, copper, choline and much more, all in the most bioavailable form known to man. If these are too hard for you to eat, there is a way to blend ancestral wisdom with the modern palate, and that would be Ancestral Supplements.
They take whole organ extracts and put them into a pill, so that you can get all the benefits of the organs, without the culinary adventure (or nightmare). By eating a high fat diet, with adequate protein, and lower carbohydrates, specifically refined carbohydrates, you will be a much healthier person. In addition, the ketogenic diet is likely the most mimetic diet of our ancestors, because they ate a high fat diet from the animals they hunted, and they were likely in and out of ketosis because of a lack of a constantly available source of food.
By living a life more in line with all of human history, we can begin to regain our health, and in the process achieve our greatest feats. If our minds and bodies are working soundly, then we can work with technology to achieve technological feats only ever dreamed of. We can attain renewable energy independence, we can achieve robust health, we can have a more sane society, we can travel to the stars, we can feed everyone and provide reasonable healthcare to all. This can all be accomplished without ruining the planet, but actually improving it.
The thing is, in this day and age, we have the ability to blend ancestral wisdom with modern day technology and conservationism. Homo sapiens have the ability to blend the best of the past with the best of the future, we just need to take the difficult, bold steps on the path to harmony.
If you would like to begin your transformation to reclaim your health, and once again become the “Baddest mammalian predator that ever lived,” you can work with us as your health coaches.
In celebration of 2020, and reclaiming our ancestral health, we are offering a discounted price of $99 for our 60 Day Keto Challenge, with 10% off for each additional person you do the challenge with. For the Personal Health Coaching, we are offering 20% off. Offers expire on January 31, 2020.
Use code SAVE20 to receive your discounts.
We hope that this email helps you begin thinking about your human ancestry, your health, the planet, and the potential legacy you could contribute to the story of humanity.
Nic and Lindsay
The Millennial Keto Couple