I admit that when I when first arrived in the US for a six week vacation/tour I was met with a surprisingly accommodating and friendly welcome. For a nation of more than 300 million people, I wasn’t really expecting a warm reception, but my first impression from the moment I stepped off the plane was that everything seemed easy and anything seemed possible.
It didn’t take long for me to understand why. Throughout the US there was a sense of togetherness, of community. Even though the states are massively diverse and independent of each other, there is still a very defined sense of belonging and of a unified nation. It’s this sense of community that works well for the ‘evolutionary lifestyle movement’, and perhaps this is why the US has been leading the charge in challenging the norm and setting a paradigm shift – a move from our now heavily manufactured and somewhat artificial world and a return to a simple and natural lifestyle approach. The US has undoubtedly been the catalyst for this change. They have created ripples that have started to make there way to other continents including Australia, and it won’t be long before they are making waves.
Obviously the massive population of the US means that even a small share of the market or niche need can potentially be successful but the evolutionary lifestyle (including paleo diet, barefoot running and natural movement) was much more than niche. The idea of basing our lives on the evolution of our species is not just growing but thriving in the US, which wasn’t unexpected at what is ground zero for the movement. After all, this is where all the ‘rock stars’ are based – Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution and owner of NorCal strength and conditioning gym, Erwan Le Corre, founder of MovNat, Barefoot Ted, Author of Barefoot Ted’s Adventures and founder of Luna Sandals, and in neighbouring Canada, Greg Carver, Owner of Strengthbox gym – plus many, many more who are championing the evolutionary cause.
And then of course, there is the food.
Now it is true that there is ALOT of ‘bad’ food in the US. We couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a Dunkin Donuts. However there were still quite a few healthier options out there. I would say that per capita Australia would have a much higher good food to bad food ratio, but in shear volume the US has a higher amount of healthier options (you may have to walk four blocks instead of one to find it). Though this may have been due to the fact that in Australia I know exactly where to look (and where not to!)
One important point of difference to note was gluten-free options. Compared to the US, Australia seems to be extremely sensitive to gluten intolerances in it eateries. Most cafes in major cities will have gluten-free options on the menu. This was a glaring omission in the US. I can’t recall one cafe or restaurant that openly advertised anything about the gluten content of their food. Odd considering the difference in populations should make it a bigger cause for concern in the US.
At the end of the day the trip to the US has left me extremely inspired about the opportunities for us in Australia. Those of us in the evolutionary lifestyle game here in Aus should take a look at the US and start working together to build a community, which in turn will help raise the profile of the evolutionary lifestyle out of the fringe and into the norm. The main drivers need to stand up, seek out other enthusiasts in the field and start sharing ideas in order to move forward. The potential for change is massive, and I believe that Australian’s who are disillusioned with the current state of the fitness, diet and health related industries are ready and willing to make that change.
Here are a few happy snaps and vids from our trip.