It is quite something to think about how far we have come as a human race over the years. Do you ever find yourself waiting for something – a coffee, a cab or a ready meal – and resenting the time it is taking? Most of us do. And then you bear in mind that, just twenty years ago, that thing you are waiting for would have taken longer and been worse when you got it. The result of progress, it seems, is more impatience first and foremost.
We have progressed as a species, but one thing that seems to have regressed is our attitudes to our bodies. Because medical science has come on in leaps and bounds, we live longer than we used to. We have medications to cure and ease various conditions and symptoms. We look younger for longer and we feel like we know so much more than the generation before. Spoiler: So did the generation before.
What we seem to have done is swapped experience for convenience. It’s good that we don’t have to wait for a coffee now. It’s great that we can find a product online one evening, order it, and have it delivered the following day. But there is an argument that this has affected our ability to manage and solve problems. And there is an even bigger argument that it has made us feel bullet-proof, and caused us to make worse decisions.
Let’s take as an example convenience food. It’s not a new development any more. Now, we have more options for a meal that takes just ten minutes in a microwave than any restaurant could have offered twenty years ago. But are they what our body needs? No. What about the ones that are stickered heavily with “Healthy Option”? Well, they have fewer calories, but still aren’t that good for us.
The human race has thrived, developed and created for thousands of years because we found what we needed, and used it. Evolution occurred because the smarter, more resourceful humans found the things they needed. This is particularly the case when it comes to food. Our bodies need certain nutrients to perform to the optimum level. Before we had cars, houses and mass communication, humans had to dodge predators. They didn’t do that on ready meals.
To do everything we can, we need our bodies to get food that they process easily and turn into energy. Following a simpler diet, with ideas from PaleoHacks and the right ingredients, is having clear results for many people today. Although the evidence of progress is all around us, we shouldn’t let it drag us away from things that didn’t need fixing.
Because the foods we need are simple and basic, we don’t need to miss out on convenience. Eating smarter means taking a tip from the humans who got us to this point. Why grab a burger when you could grab a banana and do yourself a lot of good? It may seem contradictory, but to push yourself forward sometimes it’s best to look back.