Monday, 29 August 2011

Oh those holidays!

On one hand one needs them desperately, on the other, they throw everything off whack.

This however is how human beings are. Through evolution we are built for change, that is why we are so successful as a species. Darwin often gets misinterpreted as ‘the strongest survives’, the reality is: The most adaptable survives!

We are an incredibly adaptable species, we can gain strength, we can become more enduring, we can store nutrition in form of fat for future use, and we can endure severe famine. The problem is that our lifestyles don’t allow us anymore to develop the intuitive feeling that our forefathers had: How much nutrition to eat and when.

The joy of eating and the cravings when we see or smell certain foods is built into our systems. In the olden days we needed to be prepared to eat vast amounts of stuff when it was there; either because it was the season, or a hunt was successful. Nothing could go to waste as the next dry spell was likely to be around the next corner. Occasional overeating made sense back then.

... just that now there are no dry spells anymore and processed foods have destroyed our natural sensors.

We always admire people who have found their balance, always look the same, do their exercises like machinery, and are enjoying this lifestyle. I however believe we don’t admire them for their looks, or their determination. We admire them because they have it ease; they actually have no determination as they don’t need any. It is how they are. Their sports lifestyle is as easy for them to achieve, as it is for us to have a sloppy one.

We should admire the people who find ‘the middle way’; the ones who have learned again the skill to take it when it is there, and to stop when it is not needed. We have to create our own ‘dry spells’. In religious circles they invented fasting, a rather dramatic form which I find overrated.

Alternative medicine took on this concept and when I was at homeopathic school I fasted twice, properly, as described in the books. The first time round was ok, I lost a lot of weight, could even train a bit, but the second time round my body started to rebel, and since then I am getting stomach cramps when I am badly hungry. And it doesn’t have anything to do with keeping a balance.

Famine is the worst of nutritional environment a person can be in, and even in the olden days, tribes had ways to preserve food during good times and had some resources during the bad ones. Famine should actually not happen when we manage ourselves and our environment well.

What I mean is keeping the balance between nutrition overflow during seasonal events, and basic nutrition to just keep your body going during the daily activities you have chosen to tackle.

We need to find that switch that puts us quickly from one mode into the other. We need to accept our heritage and acknowledge that the aim doesn’t have to be ‘building the perfect person’, but creating a lifestyle that enables us to enjoy the moment we live in’. Be it the a rest during Christmas meal or the holiday indulgence, as well as the morning run or the gym session including the food that is best for us then.

The aim is a life free of guilt! Humans are incredible creatures, and many of our creations were inspired by people who live the moment.

Don’t just feed your body; feed your soul as well!

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