4

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Is suburbia un-paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 14, 2013 at 5:38 AM

I recently moved from a city environment to suburbia; from a mid rise in a big city to a big house in a medium city. Is it just me or is this new environment highly unpaleo? I mean, did our ancestors really retreat to their respective tents to spend time only with their families 40 hours a week? This recent article on Well, Shaking Off Loniless, makes me wonder whether a notable component of modern illnesses is simply that our lives have become much more isolated. What do you all think?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 05:46 AM

(I work solo as a computer programmer in suburbia. So it would just be headphones and dim light most of the time with fast-food feed. A year or so of this and I ran into immunocompromised / fatigue issues.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I think you may be on to something. Once I went Paleo, I realized how little natural vitamin D I was getting. Working night shifts, I could go a week without feeling the sun on my skin. People aren't supposed to live like this!

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4 Answers

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 14, 2013
at 12:41 PM

You can make it what you want it to be. Just start going outside and being outside. Make friends with neighbors. If you have kids, this is even easier. Take a chair out front and a drink a [paleo friendly] beer in the evening - and invite any neighbors you see over to join you. Have a 4th of july party in your street. Drag a radio out front and play spooky music on halloween, and invite every that comes by to join your dance party. Start a facebook group for your street. Host a girls night for ladies, or a poker night for guys. Set up sprinklers in the front yard and invite all the kids over.

Eventually, you can turn a whole street into a big tribe, if you hack at it long enough!

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 14, 2013
at 05:59 AM

I took the UCLA Loneliness Quiz that was mentioned in the article and my result was interpreted as "normal lonely", whatever that means. I guess it is better than "abnormal lonely" but worse then "not lonely at all".

One of the questions was, "How often do you feel people are unable to understand you or you are unable to connect with people?" My real answer would be, "Every time I try to tell people about gut bacteria, Paleo, evolutionary development and Weston Price." And 50% of the time I make connections talking about Weston Price and gut bacteria - interesting, isn't it?

Suburbia is very Paleo. Just don't buy a plastic gnome or a pink flamingo - otherwise you can connect with nature in so many ways! Plant something that can grow in your area, like an apple tree or a cherry tree, and start a vegetable garden... if you want to, of course.

I don't think hunters and gatherers worked every single day. That would be exhausting. They spent most of their free time hanging out, socializing, preparing for the hunt. But think of yourself as an early agriculturalist - and if you get a goat or some chickens your neighbors will surely report you. That will make you famous instantly.

Enjoy - you have the best of both worlds.

0
A003a0e704118f11b86a6e1fbbb13cd7

on May 14, 2013
at 12:26 PM

Yes and no. I live in suburbia but Valley Forge National Park is literally my backyard. I can't really walk to the grocery store or anything, but when I take my dog for a walk and she gets to chase a dozen deer through the large field behind our house, I know that I will always live where the green grass grows :)

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on May 14, 2013
at 12:12 PM

We aren't living in paleo times. Cities are Neolithic and suburbs are appendages to cities. I have had better luck living more actively at a distance from subways and sidewalks, and have done much better finding my own food the further away I get from cities. These days I go into the city about once a month for groceries, including a farmer's market. There are farms around here but they are highly seasonal and specialized.

Regarding isolation, I think small groups and low population density would be normal for our ancestors. The land can only support a small fraction of the current population without agriculture. And the concept of media limited to how loud you could yell. Entertainment limited to your storytelling ability.

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