5 Reasons Living a Simple Life Like Your Ancestors is a Really Good Idea

farm life photo

Oh, living a simple life. Do you look back to a time when distractions were few and family time was plentiful? Do you miss home-cooked fare and eating foods straight from the source? Dream of living like your ancestors? Here’s why you may want to consider living a simple life:

Modern medicine has done a lot with the extension of life. It used to be common to die while giving birth, or from what today would be considered an easily treatable infection. But even as modern medicine extends our lives, our own bad habits may once again shorten them. Diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and depression are a byproduct of a sedentary, overworked, and overfed society. This is where living like our ancestors comes into play.

1. The joy of the simple life on the farm.

Working out for an hour a day just isn’t enough to balance an entire day spent at a desk. My grandparents and their grandparents were farmers–they worked in the fields all day. The idea of paying for a gym membership to workout would have been humorous. That’s not to say that a daily work out isn’t a good thing. But the key is to attempt to be active throughout the day. Bike to work, take the stairs, walk after dinner, take the dogs for a stroll. You get the point.

2. Processed what?

Processed foods didn’t become a mainstay of the American diet until the 1950s. Today’s processed food market would still seem like a dream to our ancestors. Processed foods are calorie dense and often loaded with artificial flavors, colors, trans fats, and sugars. The more you can do without them, the better.

3. A world of distractions.

How often do you do just one thing at a time? It’s hard with so many distractions. Do you watch television and look on Instagram at the same time? With so many choices, it can be hard to pick one. But multi-tasking is the biggest myth ever invented. If you’re doing one thing, it’s impossible to do something else at the same time effectively. Try and minimize your distractions throughout the day. Remember a time when smartphones, televisions, and tablets were replaced by books and quiet time.

4. Organic didn’t have to be labeled.

Pesticides were largely non-existent until after World War II. Imagine if everything was organic. While today that may seem like a dream, buying organic or pesticide-free foods is no small deal. The market has grown to $35 billion per year. Skip the pesticides like your ancestors did.

5. GMOs in the food supply.

The first GMO to hit grocery stores didn’t come until 1994 when FDA approved the delayed-ripening tomato to have a longer shelf life than conventional tomatoes. My, how far we’ve come. Today, 95 percent of sugar beets, 94 percent of soybeans, 90 percent of cotton are GMO. Eat like your ancestors by choosing organic foods (which cannot be GMO) and avoid conventional foods that are commonly made with GMO ingredients, like the big three listed above.

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Photo: USDA