A New Year and time for a change? Several years ago I wrote an article with lifestyle ideas and changes which we made in our family to help us deal with ongoing health issues. These were partly recommended by our family doctor. We are all unique but I firmly believe that caring for ourselves and our immune systems, especially as we age, is just simple good sense. Also being proactive in your own health and well-being is a good idea at any age. Here is part 2 on this topic – 5 years later – with what we still continue to do and a little of what we have learned. This is not a list of do’s and don’ts but what has worked for us over the past eight years. A major change in our new Lifestyle is the realization that diet is only one part of the equation but a BIG one.
Changes made in Diet & Food Choices:
- Prepare as much food as possible from scratch and limit eating over-processed food
- Reduce visits to fast food venues and restaurants. Tip: hold the dressings and sauces when dining out
- Read ingredient labels on processed / packaged food you buy
- No white rice, pasta, flour, high sugar foods
- Reduce the total amount of fat (no trans fats) in your diet. Use olive and avocado oils
- Eat shell-fish or sustainable fish twice a week
- Major protein sources are eggs, dairy, seeds & nuts (daily almonds, flax-seed, hemp, etc), lean meat and poultry
- Eat until you have had enough
- It’s okay to have a food “fling” once in a while
90,000 Synthetic Chemicals …
- Where it all began for Caramel and Parsley. The thought-provoking 2008 CBC documentary “The Disappearing Male” is well worth watching for an understanding of the overwhelming effect chemicals have had, and are having in our lives today
- DDT and other persistent chemicals in our environment
- Pesticides in our food – Go organic with fruits and vegetables. Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen list of pesticides in fruit and vegetables
- It’s not only about ourselves but our children and grandchildren
“I wish for everyone to help create a strong, sustainable movement
to educate every child about food,
inspire families to cook again and
empower people everywhere to fight obesity”
~ Jamie Oliver 2010
Choose Healthy Food Options
Update (November, 2017):
There is much new information and research becoming available, such as “It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet” by Dr. Aseem Malhotra, T. Noakes & S. Phinney. This article outlines that exercise is beneficial for many health reasons but “physical activity does not promote weight loss.” It outlines the importance of “Changing the food environment – so that individuals’ choices about what to eat default to healthy options – will have a far greater impact on population health … “
Another subject of great interest is Sugar which is explained in more depth in a video from Dr. Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It will answer a lot of your questions regarding childhood obesity, metabolic syndrome and other diseases.
- It is good to be mobile as long as possible and part of this includes – exercise
- Taking into consideration your personal health issues, choose a form of exercise you are comfortably able to enjoy, and for me this is swimming followed closely by walking, gardening and fishing
- The added benefit of the last 3 forms of exercise is the bonus of Vitamin D naturally from the sunshine
- Here is a 5 minute video from Dr. Mike Evans on this subject – 23 1/2 hours
Change What We Drink:
- Research is indicating a definite link between alcohol consumption and diseases such as cancer
“Alcohol causes 7 types of cancer.
The less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk of cancer”
How alcohol causes cancer from UK Cancer Research
- Chemicals and sugar in soft drinks and juices
- What is the single best drink for your health? A miracle, sugar-free drink from Dr. Evans
- A long time ago the”jury” returned a verdict on cigarette smoking and smoking is guilty. It is not only the #1 cause of lung cancer but also causes cancers such as bladder, liver, kidney, pancreas, colon, cervix, stomach, throat, larynx and leukemia.
- It also causes other diseases such as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and can worsen the effects of asthma
- It is also related to increased risk of heart disease and stroke
- More information from the American Lung Association
- Cigarette smoking greatly increases your chances of lung cancer especially as we age
- If you are trying to quit, hang in there and contact FREE Quit Smoking program
- Stop smoking cigarettes is the best overall single thing you can do to improve your health
As We Age …
- Keep a positive outlook on life, regardless of your circumstances – be …
- aware of changes in your body and health
- as busy as you can be – volunteer, join a book club, go back to school
- cautious of making radical changes to your lifestyle
You are never too old to set another goal or
to dream a new dream ~ C.S. Lewis
Make changes to suit your food likes and daily schedule. Start off moderately, stay balanced and always seek qualified medical advice before making major changes and remember it takes time to amend a lifetime of habits. Once you make a positive decision, the choice and decision to change has been made. Congratulations!
Be safe and look after yourself and all the best in 2017
“Okinawa, one of the longest-lived and healthiest populations in the world, practice a principle
they call hara hachi bu: Eat until you are 80 percent full.”
~ Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
Links & References
- The Mediterranean Diet for your health
CAP articles on Chemicals from Health Category. How to Reduce:
- Toxic Chemicals in your Life
- Air & Ground Water Pollution around your Home
- Toxic Chemicals in your Home
CAP Articles from Gardening Category
- 12 Reasons to Grow your own Food
- And more reasons to grow your own food
- Start a garden where you can with what you have
CAP articles from Recipe Category
- How to Make Cashew Milk or Almond Cream
- Baby Food from Scratch
- Asparagus Quiche – and variations still a Favourite
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Be aware of wonder.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some & think some
& draw & paint & sing
& dance & play & work every day some.
~ Robert Fulghum
Update Fall 2020:
It’s almost five years since this article was written and in this time we have followed a Low Carbohydrate lifestyle. This article, and others, remain on my website as there are many positive aspects as well as links of interest. Enjoy and take care during this time of Covid-19 ~ Liz
The information contained in this blog is based on personal experiences and opinion. It is not to be misconstrued in any way as health care advice but is provided for interest and hopefully learning purposes.
Always seek qualified medical care and guidance if you think you have a health concern.