We just finished binge watching an older Canadian documentary called “Pioneer Quest.” If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It is about 9 episodes and follows 2 couples that sign up for a year of pioneering like they were back in the 1870’s. There is another PBS show from a few years ago called “Frontier House” that is also very good. This one showcases several families and they are only there for a few months but, it is still interesting.
So, what does this have to do with nutrition? Not much, however, it does have a lot to do with lifestyle choices and since I am a holistic nutritionist, I am going to cover lifestyle occasionally since it has just as much importance as what we put in our mouths.
These shows fascinate me because of the change in all these people doing the experiment. They start out as normal, 21st century, everyday work-a-day people and transform and adapt to this new and extreme life. They have no power, running water, guaranteed food sources, modern houses, phones or anything even remotely convenient and they thrive without it all. What interests me the most is their attitude over the long haul. Most start off excited, some a bit disgruntled, others are only there because they are supporting their spouse. They go through a lot of horrible experiences that you would have thought they would’ve thrown in the towel and walked away but, instead they figured out how to survive through them and are happier. Their relationships with their spouses, children and even the other families blossom and grow. They learn to live without the conveniences and are much happier and less stressed.
Many of us crave these kinds of relationships and a simpler existence, but we are so distracted, entertained, overworked and stressed out to nurture this kind of lifestyle. The stress that we are constantly exposed to is exceptionally hard on our adrenals and leaves us feeling tired, stressed and irritable. We need to slow down and take time to live this life without trying to race our way to the end of it.
Perhaps we can start by putting our phones down, turning the TV off and paying attention to our families and nurturing more loving, closer relationships with them. Maybe learn some skills that take us back to the old ways of living like making soap or milking a cow so we feel the fulfillment of doing things ourselves. Go outside more often and just listen to the sounds of the wind and birds if you can, or drive somewhere where you can hear more nature and less traffic.
There is a fascination with the old pioneer ways that I believe is inside all or most of us seeking a simpler existence. Away from the hustle and bustle of our constant distractions, demands and stresses that command our attention and fuel our poor health. I encourage you to do one thing this week to ease the stress load from your life, maybe take a walk with a loved one and look at the leaves just starting to change or simply stay away from all screens for a period of time and have a conversation with someone you’ve been meaning to talk to and have been putting off.
I hope you have a great and less stressed week! Happy Autumn!