Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle

"We were never designed for the sedentary, indoor, socially isolated, fast-food-laden, sleep-deprived, frenzied pace of modern life" 
                        - Stephen Ilardi 
                          "Depression is a Disease of Civilization"  

If you have read Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, by Robert M. Sapolsky, you may already know that constantly activating our fight-or-flight response is toxic to our bodies in the long term.  Stephen Ilardi, a depression researcher, points out that this toxic response can go on for years at a time in our Western world.  It is disruptive to neural circuits and can actually damage the brain over time.

The fight or flight response triggers an inflammatory response throughout the body.  

"An inflamed brain is a depressed brain."

We are animals, in the sense that we do not completely control our instinctive responses.  We are machines in the sense that input determines output – (food, activity, stories).

This is why Ilardi argues that "depression is a disease of lifestyle."  Our bodies are really well-adapted to the Pleistocene era lifestyle and diet, but we are living in a radically mutated world because of the Industrial Revolution.

Ilardi, Sapolsky, neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter (an author of Grain Brain) and many other researchers have begun to draw connections between common diseases that plague modern humans and inflammation caused by our diet and lifestyle.

In so many ways, homeschooling has allowed my family to lead a more primal lifestyle. 

We have more face time, more sunlight, better food choices, more physical activity, and better sleep.

It's certainly not a cure for depression, but it helps us focus on what's most important.

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