Returning to our roots to learn how to live a healthy life
Read our history and learn how to live a healthy life by returning to our roots.
San man drinking from ostrich egg
The modern way vs history : learn how to live a healthy life.
There is always some new diet out there or new “health” product which is better than our hard to avoid processed options we most commonly eat.
This is all good and well, however sometimes these diets and health product just miss the mark.
Looking to our roots for guidance.
I have studied the original South Africans, the San/Khoi people (aka “bushmen”) over the years and have come to realise their way of life is what kept them in good shape both physically and mentally.
Now obviously we should not go to the extreme as we always discover it is hard to stick to it these days with our rushed lives. Things like “new year’s resolutions” for most part don’t last and we just start again in January the following year. However, we can take a lot of tips away from studying people of the past to better stick to our goals for the year or our life.
Learn how to live a healthy life … Whats all the fuss about Milk???
If we think about it logically, as babies we need milk from our mother as do all mammals. After we are weened off milk for some reason we continue to drink “cows” milk. Animals do not do this and nor was this an every day “product” that our ancestors consumed. So why do we consume milk in today’s times especially considering the number of people who are Lactose intolerant? Most of us can’t tolerate “dairy” in some way shape or form. Certainly, the San people did not catch African Buffalo and harvest milk and make cheese etc. So, the question remains why on earth do we now consume “Dairy”?
San man preparing food
Maybe the best place to start is to look at what our ancestor ate, how frequently they ate and how they sourced their food.
Learn how to live a healthy life : Look at the main food of our ancestors
What are some of the main foods our ancestors ate?
1. Red meat (Antelope mostly)
3. Eggs (from birds/Reptiles)
4. Insects (i.e.: Locusts/Beetles)
5. Fish (both fresh water and saltwater)
6. Shellfish/Crabs (depending on where they based themselves)
3. Wild Fruits
4. Seeds (Grass, fruits, Nuts etc)
5. Leaves (Wild spinach etc)
6. Nectar from flowers
8. Honey (from Bees)
9. Tree Sap (sweet gum)
How was the food sourced?
San people hunting
We need to keep in mind that our ancestors were hunter gatherers. They were structured, where the men were the hunters and women were the gatherers as well as the caregivers to their children.
Women at the base
Women would need to stay close to their “base” as they had children who depended on them, they couldn’t just go on a hunting expedition for a few days to a week. So, the women were the gatherers.
Men “bringing home the bacon”
Men had the privilege of being the main providers for their families by “bringing home the Bacon” as we say or said up until recently. Obviously in recent years our social structure has got totally messed up and from a man’s perspective, some can no longer fulfil their instinctive role in society as providers. This of course is a story for another day.
As you can imagine hunting could take as long a week if not more.
Neurotoxins in hunting.
The men would need to track down a suitable animal before using Bows with poison tipped arrow heads. The toxins they would be using would be things like Cobra venom, toxins from certain beetles and milky latex from toxic Euphorbia trees like the Common tree Euphorbia. Basically, these toxins needed to be “Neurotoxic” so attacking the nervous system of the hunted animal. The reason for this being it would affect the mobility of the animal and it would eventually slow down and collapse at which point the hunters could approach peacefully, say a prayer for the animal before pawning the heart or slitting the throat.
Men would then need to quickly cut out the organs and stomach contents as to not taint the meat and would first consume the organs. The organs contain the highest amount of protein and other important elements like Iron found in the liver as an example.
They would then need to cut up the meat quickly, cooking some of it, gorging themselves as well as drying the meat in the trees or near a fire, even smoking it to preserve it.
They would make some sort of transport platform and carry as much meat back to the family, so they too could enjoy the protein.
Red Meat not a daily meal
Red meat was not an everyday meal and it was the other sources of protein that generally kept them going. The women gathering the bulbs, fruit and berries as well as fetching the water from the streams would provide the base of the everyday consumption. Women would either use Ostrich shells or hollowed dried calabash to transport the water. Remember some of these plants are seasonal, meaning food options change seasonally. There would be times where there was little to no food available and this would be a time if you were to compare it to today that you could say “fasting” took place.
How often did they eat and what did they eat often?
Remembering that not all foods were available often, the San/Khoi people would need to either ration food that could keep or they would have to basically go on a fast until food became available.
If men were away hunting and other sources of food had dried up, they would have no choice but to “fast”. Food they would have eaten often would have been foods women would have harvested. Foods they did not eat as often were things like red meat. Remember these people respected nature and the animals they killed for food. They would only kill for food and no other reason, unless a predator cornered them.
The importance of Fasting
Having read up and integrated with many different cultures, I have learned how important Fasting can be for the human body. We speak of the word “detox” and this is a very important thing for our body. We must keep in mind all foods can be toxins and our body sometimes just need to recover before continuing. Many cultures and people use fasting out of respect for their Gods and this ties in with body cleansing.
It is also been said that “fasting” before you exercise (Gym) in the morning is a good thing for your body as it will then use up your fat reserves rather than the meal you just ate. Fasting also helps shock the body and then if you mix healthy eating with exercise you have a better chance of losing weight if that is your concern.
If we can return to more primitive ways of eating and thinking this will help us cope with Stress, aid weight loss and general health. There are no secrets and no magical pills which will turn us into healthy humans, it is all about hard work and using our brains before eating. Simple tricks, like making sure you eat your own food before going to a BBQ(Braai) or avoiding places or situations where you know you will be influenced to drink or eat unhealthily, will help. Bottom line is we need to have self-discipline, without it in today world we will not succeed.
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