Why it's bad to forget our mammal nature
Our producer Diana Might visited Dan Miller, nutrition and fitness expert, at his house in Colorado, to talk about how he helps people overcome life challenges and find happiness. You can watch the full video of the interview on our Youtube channel:
We are bombarded by information about what we should do to lose weight and be healthier. Everybody seems to have the perfect solution that fits all: go to the gym, build muscles, follow this specific diet—but didn’t we forget something essential?
Dan believes that we forgot our mammal nature. Like all mammals, we can adapt, but not as quickly as we think. In the last 50-60 years, we have been introducing foods in our diets that our bodies are not ready to process. This is why we are more exposed to diseases.
Think about it. What happens when you feed a mammal with food that is not native to its species and you lock it in a cage? The animal will become depressed and die of some disease. Then, why do we think that we are different? We lock ourselves in cages and feed ourselves with stuff that is not meant for us.
“Follow nature’s rules and you’re going to get better.” This is where the healing process starts, according to Dan.
Dan designed a program to help people incorporate nature’s rules into modern lives. To remember these rules, Dan recommends that you go outside and spend time in nature for a while. You will realize that there is no stress in nature—unless you are chased by something.
The hormones associated with stress response lead to high blood pressure, eating disorders, and other diseases. It is crucial to learn how to change your relationship with stressors such as money and work. You can start by remembering that you have all you need to survive—and you are not in danger.
Some of nature’s rules include:
Following nature’s rhythms
Going to bed when it’s dark outside, and waking up with the light. Getting 8 hours of sleep is recommended, and it should be respected as a healing process.
Hydrating with water
You can drink other liquids, but not every day. Coffee, for example, is not a way to keep yourself hydrated. Many people consume it simply because they are addicted to caffeine.
Eating single ingredient foods
Before choosing what to eat, ask yourself: “Is this found in nature?” If you can’t find that food in nature, you don’t have to completely eliminate it from your life—just don’t it on a daily basis.
“The solutions are in front of us—we just forgot. Stop believing that if the box says it’s healthy, it means that it’s really healthy. That’s a lie. It’s not how we have been eating for millions of years,” Dan said.
Another important rule is that, in nature, if you want to eat, you have to move. Nowadays, we just have to pick up our phones to order food, and we don’t even have to get up from the couch. This behavior is against nature.
If you want a better body, you have to move. This doesn’t mean that you have to run all day—even 10,000 steps a day will help you get healthier. Sweating, getting cold, getting in uncomfortable environments can make you stronger.
“Act like if you were in the forest even if you live in the modern world,” Dan continued.
Stress is killing us because is leading to lack of sleep and lack of exercise. We are eating things like donuts for breakfast, which is like eating deep fried birthday cake—but we think it’s ok because we are just trying to get fuel.
According to Dan, recognizing that we are lucky is key. It may help to remember that 25,000 people die of starvation every day. If our lives are not in danger on a daily basis, what are we stressing about? We have to learn to change the relationship with things that we consider problems.
A long line at Starbucks is not a real issue.
We overcomplicate things because, at some level, humans crave conflict. If we don’t have conflict in our lives, we are going to create it—somehow. And this behavior will kill us in the long-term.
“You have all the tools that you need to live a long healthy life and be happy all the time. You have just forgotten,” Dan concludes.
You can find Dan on our wellness platform. He is specialized in stress management, sleep hygiene, hydration, nutrition, daily movement, and exercise. His goal is to help people get healthier and happier. You can request your 1:1 with Dan here: