Healthy living is a path so many of us are on. We spend time at the gym, eat clean, and avoid toxic products.
But digging into our ancestry for a healthier life is often forgotten as we barrel future forward. In our attempt to modernize, we've lost so much touch with our family's past. Instead of ameliorating our lives, in some ways we’ve made it worse by moving so far away from our grandparent's and great-grandparent's healthy wisdom. Of course it’s nice to have indoor toilets and refrigerators, but there’s also a beauty in simplicity and living with the seasons.
Here are some ways reconnecting with your family’s centuries-old wisdom can actually set you up for a healthy future.
Research your Ancestry for Healthy Living
A few years ago I took a DNA test to discover more about my roots. I already knew my Great-Grandparents were from India, but what about even further back? When you're able to dig into your DNA, you're offered an opportunity to learn more about your ancestors' diet and lifestyle which you can add to your current life.
Healthy Living Hack: Early to Rise
My Grandparents, even my own parents didn’t have a television so there was no falling asleep with blue light. Dad tells me at night he had to light a paraffin lamp. This may sound so archaic, but what if we all simply awakened with the sun and slept when it gets dark. What is this obsession with burning the midnight oil, staying up till 3 am partying, drinking or even worse, tossing in turning in the bed, mind rattled with anxious thoughts.
Live off the Land
The great majority of us can probably trace our roots to small villages and towns where either our ancestors were farmers or if they weren't, they still only ate local foods. The next meal didn’t travel from miles away or even from another country. Nourishment came with the seasons. And of course there were no pesticides sprayed on the fields and no hormones in the milk and meat.
Even a few years ago when I visited my Grandfather’s quiet village in Gujarat, India, I drank a creamy cup of Buffalo milk boiled with cardamom. The milk didn’t travel far-the Buffalo lived on our ancestral land.
So how can we make our meals are little more local? Lawns seem like a waste of space. Why do we have two patches of at the front and back of our homes that serve no purpose other than aesthetics?
Consider planting fruit trees and vegetable patches in your backyard, providing not only fresh produce, but also a bounty you can freeze for the winter. And all this greenery will attract beautiful birds to your yard.
Keep it Simple
Scroll through Instagram and you’ll see so many faces layered with makeup. But not that many generations ago, makeup was far more minimal and definitely more natural. Our Grandmothers were natural beauties practicing clean beauty.
My Mom tells me her Grandmother used coconut in her long braided hair. . When an Indian bride married, she was (and still is today) covered with a paste of turmeric, chickpea flour and water or yogurt to cleanse, exfoliate and add a glow to her soon-to-be married skin-the inspiration for the Sundara Face Mask.
Whenever possible, replace synthetic beauty trends for timeless, chemical-free beauty basics.
The idea of sitting all day in a lifeless office with artificial light and polluted indoor air is a totally foreign concept for humanity. For centuries our ancestors spent a huge amount of time outside including walking to find food and working the land. There were no cars.
Start each day with a few minutes outside, then on your lunch break, try to go for a short walk or just get some air. If the weather is too cold, do some stretches every hour at your desk. Staying stationary for 8 hours a day plus the daily commute is not normal and not healthy.
What are some ways you have reconnected with the healthy living traditions of your ancestors?