Compared to the vast majority of our ancestors we live in an era of unimaginable comfort, yet nations around the world – including the very wealthiest – are suffering mental health crises. Between the fact of our material progress and the fact of our mental problems is an uncomfortable truth: We are not living the way that human beings were designed to live.
For 95 per cent of history, humans were hunter gatherers. In our cranium is kit that was formed hundreds of thousands of years ago. Back then we would have met a few hundred people in a life-time; today it’s countless thousands. Back then we were only required to care about what directly affected us; now the news plugs our emotions into the agonies of the world. Back then we had a daily practical purpose – to find and feed – now we’re endlessly searching for distraction and dopamine hits. Little wonder that so many of us are tired, wired, stressed and depressed.
PALEO LIFE shows a different way, guided by the lifestyles of hunter gatherers past and present. The hugely popular Paleo Diet recognises that our guts weren’t made to digest Big Macs and microwave meals. To make our bodies healthier, it rewinds the clock to more digestible foods: plants and simple proteins. PALEO LIFE applies the same principle to our minds, adapting our lifestyle so that it is kinder to our ancient brains.
Without instructing readers to go all Flintstones – no-one wants to say goodbye to deodorant or central heating – each chapter takes a major life theme, from friends to food, the seasons to sleep, exploring the hunter gatherer approach, and how that shaped us. Then comes a Paleo Principle to live by, and practical suggestions about how to apply these insights here and now. How can our stone age brains thrive in a super-speed world? PALEO LIFE shows how.