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The Authentic Human Experience (3 of 4)
For context, please read PART ONE and PART TWO before this one.
The million dollar question now is what should we do with our food addiction? How should we make the best of our situation and what is the appropriate course of action that a food addict should take?
The more I think about this and the more I experience life in the context of food addiction, the more simple I think the answer is. We simply need to take steps and direct effort towards moving closer to the authentic human experience. Starting with the way we eat.
Throughout history, the vast majority of humans have thrived eating a diet made up mostly of whole, unprocessed plant foods. The more calorically dense foods such as meat and other animal products have until recently been reserved for an occasional feast day a few times per year at most. On a daily basis we have survived on foods that were most readily and easily available to us - tubers and root vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Through most of our evolution we didn’t have access to processed oils and sugars and the resulting calorie bomb junk foods that are made with these.
We ate simply. Mono meals consisting of the day’s bounty would’ve been common. Sauces, herbs, spices and other flavourings are a recent development. The myriad of cooking methods seen on cooking shows weren’t available to our ancestors with their campfires. Simplicity was the only option available to us.
It’s not just about food though. Early humans had to work hard to survive, walking and running a long way each day just to get enough food to eat. Building shelters, chopping and carrying firewood etc. Early humans had to communicate effectively, face to face, all day every day, and work efficiently as a team in order to survive. They had to help and rely on each other. They had to have a strong, supportive community. Smoke signals were the closest thing to Twitter.
For the food addicts among us, the biggest step we can take toward the authentic human experience is to get comfortable with eating more simply. When the burden of food is removed we suddenly have so much time, energy and headspace available to be able to focus on the rest of our human experience. We can work on becoming better communicators, more engaged in the lives of our loved ones. As our bodies heal and weight drops we can start exploring movement and physical exertion again. All these efforts will combine to have an immeasurable impact on our mental health and physical health, our relationships and quality of life. By default you even start contributing to those around you having a more human experience too. The biggest lifestyle changes invariably begin on the plate.
What action can you take right now to become more human?
Tomorrow I’ll focus on how to eat more simply.