HEALTH NEWSLETTER #18
EVOLUTIONARY THINKING, EATING AND EXERCISING
31st October 2016
So this month was a distracted month, sadly with very little time and energy left over for EVO•TEE. After a stressful couple of weeks of teaching PE, I decided it was best to hang up my boots and put my energy elsewhere.
My new job working with Chesterfield Football Club Academy, has become much more involved. Teaching the scholars about sports psychological has reminded me of how much I love being around sport again.
I have also begun my new physical challenge, one year of Brazilian Jui-Jitsu which might become my new obsession! If you don't know what BJJ is, it's a martial art based on rolling around on a mat with other men, trying to make them submit via the means of strangulation and joint locks!
So my work took a bit of a back seat, but to reward you for hanging in there, here's a little sneak preview! It's a blog I plan to have featured on the website Huffington Post UK, so fingers crossed it will be a success. Please let me know what you think and without further ado, here it is...
A human operating system - unlocking optimal health and happiness
Wouldn't it be great if we came with a fully optimised human operating system? Just think how easy it would be, our operating system would tell us what to eat and when to exercise. It would help us make important decisions. And it would give us regular feedback, letting us know if we’re on track to achieving our goals.
Well, as it turns out, we already have an operating system. In fact we have three, and they don't always get along. Over millions of years of evolution we developed three incredibly complex brains:
1. A reptilian brain
2. A mammalian brain
3. A human brain
To negotiate life successfully we need to manage their often conflicting interests. Our reptilian brain governs our physiology and coordinates our ‘freeze, fight or flight’ response. Our mammalian brain is needy and emotional and follows the laws of the jungle (I’ll refer to it as the chimp brain). And our human brain is capable of forward planning and rational thought. To be successful we need to use our human brain, the youngest and weakest of our three brains.
Picture yourself getting cut up by a white van whilst exiting a motorway. Your reptilian brain triggers an adrenal response that heightens your senses. Your chimp brain goes wild and wants to rip the guy’s head off. And if you’re lucky your rational human brain kicks in, telling you to calm down and carry on with our journey.
Another great example is our daily battle with sugary temptations. We find it hard to resist such delightful mouth-pleasure. Our inner chimp and reptile grew up a long time before supermarkets came along. So as far as they see it, when food is about, you eat it. But our human should know better. We know we don't need that third biscuit but we just can’t help ourselves! Unless we have a strong reason to say no thanks, our unconscious drives (our chimp) wins every time.
Our inner conflict
All throughout life there are battles between our three brains. These conflicts are often won by our reptilian and chimp brains because they are older and more powerful. But wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to struggle like this? Perhaps there’s an app for it? Something we could install to make our human brain more powerful?
Is there's an app for that?
We’re all familiar with apps that we install onto our smartphones and I think one day we’ll be installing apps straight to our brain! The first app I’d install would be a Thinking app, making me a master decision maker. It would teach me how to manage my thoughts. It would teach me to develop the power of introspection with meditation and mindfulness training. And it would highlight my out of date cognitive biases and fallacies (lazy or unconscious thinking habits). Like the Ostrich Effect, the decision to ignore dangerous or negative information by burying one’s head in the sand!
The next app I’d install is the Eating app. This app would teach me how to eat the right food for my metabolic type and send me alerts when I get it wrong. It would teach me how to eat slowly, mindfully and minimally. And it would encourage me to cook wholesome food for my friends, family and of course for myself.
The final app I’d need is the Exercise app. An app that encourages me to stay active throughout the day. It would provide me with the necessary dose of carrot and stick. It would tell me off if I sit down for too long. And it would provide me with purposeful strength and endurance challenges.
Sadly technology hasn’t created a fully integrated and optimised human operating system yet. So we have to work with the one we have, which is pretty incredible by the way! We have to learn how our brains and bodies work so we can optimise them ourselves. It’s a tough challenge that I’ve spent years trying to work out, and by no means have it mastered.
A few years ago I decided to try and help others in their own journey in self mastery. And since then I’ve been creating content to teach people what I have discovered about our brains. And as a reward for reading this blog I’ve put together a enlightening free resource that you can download by using the link below.
I’m James Ford, holistic lifestyle coach and teacher from Sheffield, UK. I can help you unlock the health challenges of today by learning from evolutionary science. I combine the latest empirical science with the wisdom of the past. Only by studying the environment we evolved in is it possible to understand what is good for us.
There are many aspects of modern life that work against our evolved biology and psychology. In evolutionary science these are called evolutionary mismatches. A great example is our love of sweet sugary treats. In the past we relied on nature’s sweet food to help us survive harsh winters, today it puts us on the fast track to misery land!
So I’ve put together a PDF for you, highlighting six important evolutionary mismatches. Once you are aware of these mismatches you can make some adjustments to your lifestyle, helping you become the best version of yourself.
Knowledge is such a beautiful gift: it doesn’t go off and it doesn’t weigh anything so you can carry it with you wherever you go! Click here to access your free gift of knowledge right now - www.evotee.co.uk/evolutionary-mismatches
As ever, thanks for taking the time to read my work and I sincerely hope it provides you with the insight you need to become healthier and happier.
Your feedback is always welcome, so don't be shy and don't forget to forward this email onto friends and loved ones. The healthier we all are, the better the world will be, for everyone.
All the best