The (De) Evolution of Fitness Part 2: Nutrition
It’s easy to see that training regimens and practices have changed drastically over the course of human history. But what about nutrition? In regards to how, and with what we nourish our bodies on a daily basis, we have seen changes CATEGORICALLY. For example, there are new “foods” (GMO veggies, protein powders, and a wide range of dietary supplements) that we make in labs, and they are sold in the health aisle! Not making that up.
Throughout time we have been blessed with natural resources beyond belief. Food is everywhere. Wild animals to hunt, plants to harvest, and the human brain to combine them. Our ancestors used everything at their disposal for survival and nutrition was the foundation of daily life. It’s what 80% of our time consisted of. There were no refrigerators for leftovers, microwaves for a quick meal, or even a Ziploc bag to keep things air tight. The planning it must have taken to keep you and your family nourished and thriving is unthinkable. If you run out of Buffalo, you have to go find, hunt, and kill another buffalo. And you better believe everything down to the bones where used and sister didn’t turn her nose up if it wasn’t “lean”. Bring on the fat!
As time moved forward so did our approach to food. The spear gave way to the gun, societies began trading foods and spices, and cultural cuisines where born. There were even wars fought over salt! Traditions and celebrations began to incorporate foods and their preparation as the cornerstone of these events. What may sound even crazier is some of these traditions incorporated the intentional lack of food also (Fasting). We understood and respected what went into our bodies and it served a purpose. If it slowed us down, made us sick, or KILLED us (someone unfortunately had to eat that first poison berry) we simply did not eat it, and moved on. We were truly aware…because well, to put it simply…we had to be.
Fast forward to today. Imagine yourself in a local grocery store. At your fingertips are fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads etc. You can get Japanese Shitake mushrooms, Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Mexican Avocados, Greek Yogurt, and you don’t even need to leave the refrigerated section (free tip, this is the only section you should shop in). We have reached the pinnacle of culinary civilization…we literally have the worlds cuisine at our fingertips and we barely have to leave the house.
Not in the mood to cook? No problem, we have restaurants, drive through windows, and delivery. You can even eat “healthy” by grabbing a smoothie for breakfast, chicken wrap for lunch and a Paleo burger for dinner at most places with very little effort. There’s even companies that will cook, prep, and portion your meals and drop them off right at your front door! It’s very convenient, trendy and makes a hell of an Instagram photo. Trust me…I’ve posted them!
And once you have all that dialed in then the supplement industry is ready to complete the triangle! Protein powders, “nutrition” bars, and Vitamins galore to provide all of the nutrients you need for optimal performance. And we even have it designed to be delicious! If you put a certain Tahitian Vanilla Bean Protein Powder in some almond milk it tastes like freaking ice cream! What could be better??? Chocolate chip cookie dough????… Yep we have that too!
Believe it or not this article is not about demonizing or celebrating any of the above mentioned items, or ways we nourish ourselves today. This isn’t about a particular diet, organic vs non organic, what to eat or not to eat, or food industries that may be corrupt. There are plenty of articles and blogs about those. This is about our relationship with food and in some cases lack thereof. Do we really have one anymore? We have labels to read, diets to follow, and people to tell us what WE need nutritionally. Even the government has an opinion. But do any of these sources truly know YOU?
If improving your current nutritional situation is a goal of yours, I challenge you to take a step back and maybe take a play out of our ancestors’ playbook. For thousands of years ancient man evolved making sure what was put into their bodies served them for their survival (minus the poison berry guy…RIP!). Our successful predecessors learned how to listen to their bodies and acknowledge their environment. They prepared themselves accordingly on a daily basis. The choices they made from what they put on their bodies (clothing) to what they put in them (nutrition), came with thought and concern because their life depended on it. For the most part in todays society, we have been taught to ignore that instinct. But the truth is, the consequences have not changed (Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc), just our environment.
This is not a call to arms to ditch the takeout and go eat berries in the woods (although I secretly wouldn’t mind that kind of reset personally!). Just a reminder to start an internal dialogue with yourself in regards to your relationship to your food. How does each and every meal serve you? How do you feel before, during, and after you eat? What emotional, physical, and psychological issues are you currently experiencing and can they be related to your diet? (Hint: The answer is probably yes) If you take your health seriously start asking yourself these questions and start to educate yourself on answers from the PLETHORA of sources available to us, and STOP looking for a diet or product to simply instruct you.
And if you’ve made it this far and still want a cheat sheet, try this... Eat as many whole, natural preferably locally grown foods as you can, eat until you are satisfied not full, and be aware of the amount of sugar that’s basically in everything. Not saying you can’t have the cookie…just make sure it serves you and not the other way around!
Feel free to comment below on any of our ideas or post questions that you may have. The professionals at Warrior Fitness Jax are always available for quotes or questions regarding functional fitness, steel mace training and body flow movements. Contact Us for more info on joining the warrior tribe!