Our first core concept: balance. Have you ever had a meal that tasted a little too salty? Too sugary? Ever had a few too many drinks? The question is: why did these triggers feel “too” anything? The body has been finely tuned, through years of evolution, to develop a balanced state, called homeostasis, that creates an ideal environment for the body run like clockwork. The body has also been finely tuned to correct for temporary dietary imbalances that can veer it off course. But the question, then, becomes: at what cost? What does it take to offset these imbalances? And, if our bodies are able to do it once, shouldn’t they be able to do it again?
This leads us to a second core concept: no bodily resource is infinite. That is, having cake for dinner may be fine once in a while, but becomes a problem with consistency. When the body’s homeostatic machinery breaks down; that is, when we are no longer able to correct for these imbalances, disease begins.
So, then, what does it take to maintain health? Although volumes of books & academic articles have tackled these big, thematic questions, answers are still only a work in progress. At the core of understanding what can cause issues, we have to have a sense of “normal” baseline; that is, the state from which if we were to deviate, brings us closer to disease. Here, science sheds some light: this is likely best approximated by referencing the evolutionary process; the genetic code in our bodies’ cells is one that’s helped our ancestors survive (biologically speaking, reproduce during) the ecosystems of their time. We carry the DNA birthed from millions of years of evolution. But we don’t live in our ancestor’s ecosystem -- we live in a rapidly changing world, one our ancestors never experienced. The effect? Our biology is, at times, ill equipped to deal with modern ways of living.
So, then, how do we best approximate our optimal “wellness?” For any and every activity you choose to participate in, whether it be eating that piece of cake for dinner or going out for a run, ask yourselves if we’ve evolved for it.
- Did we evolve for long periods of inactivity? For always being on the run?
- Did we evolve to consume large amounts of processed foods?
- Did we evolve to eat large portions -- often? How did our hunter-gatherer ancestors eat? Get their exercise?
We encourage all of you to think about your baseline and how, if it all, you’ve strayed from it.