Skipping A Meal Brings You Closer To Your Ancestors
I had a discussion with some friends about having regular meals. I used to be extremely rigid with eating three meals a day, plus an occasional snack. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” some people believe. Lunch is a vital divider of the day – for certain nations it’s the reason to have a siesta, usually after a carb-heavy intake. Dinner is a sacred ritual, some like to have it around 5pm, others wait until it’s dark outside. Regardless of what eating schedule you follow I’ve got a surprising fact for you: an obligation to gobble up a hefty portion of proteins and carbs is often an illusion.
In recent years, with the wave of biohacking entering the worldwide pop-culture arena, all kinds of diets started being invented and promoted by those questioning the S.A.D. and other well-established western regimens. You have your Atkins, your paleo, your carnivore, your vegan and a myriad more, all challenging the pyramid and captivating minds and stomachs.
I remember I used to go into a frenzy if my regular lunch hour was slipping away. I had to have my meal! When my mom visited me she would laugh about my dependency on food that I had to fetch “right there, right now.” I would frantically yelp the closest to my current location Vietnamese or Thai restaurant that had to have at least a 4.2-star customer rating. Nothing wrong with that. But I don’t have to have a meal every time and it’s totally OK to skip it once in a while. For breakfast I typically have nothing but a cup of black coffee (alright, sometimes it’s Bulletproof™ or black tea.) If lunch is delayed, I might just combine it with dinner, make it an early one. As primates, for thousands of years, we didn’t have the luxury of having access to virtually unlimited food banks 24/7. So what’s more natural – having regular three-times-a-day meals or eating a sun-dried leg of a deer once every 3 days?
When a couple of people I know and whose opinion I respect taught me about intermittent fasting I learned first-hand that it’s not a matter of life and death to not eat whenever you have the urge. Another friend told me about her experience with a 24-hour dry fast and how it can be beneficial beyond belief. Did I pick up those rituals to make them a regular part of my life? Hell no, I’m not becoming religious about anything. But this information taught me that it’s easier than I thought to exercise restraint.
I’m not calling for extreme mimicking of our ancient ancestors, no – try walking on all fours and hunting moose with rocks and sticks. All I’m saying is that when you are out and about, on a road trip in the mountains or visiting a national park and you don’t have lunch packed, just know that your body has more than enough resources to keep you going and enjoy your day. Don’t freak out. If nothing else, think about how much more enjoyable your next meal will be when you get to it.