Have you ever been told something like “Nobody lives forever” or “Everyone dies from something” when you try to suggest real food alternatives to processed foods? The implication being that you believe you will become an immortal like the Elves in Lord of the Rings, or invincible like Superman, or at least you’ll never suffer any illness at all, and you’ll look and feel young until the day you suddenly drop dead without any prior warning ;-). Sounds kinda silly when you put it that way doesn’t it? Yet, if you read health magazines or listen to many people interested in healthy food and fitness you almost get the impression this is what folks think will happen if they are very good and eat only the perfect diet and work out like maniacs.
Well, to state the obvious we are all mortal. We are all subject to illness and injury. That is just the human condition. Eating well and exercising are not magic talismans to protect us from these facts of life. But you already knew that! But that’s no reason to give up on eating well or using our bodies. We may or may not live to see a vigorous 100 years old but we still want to enjoy as good a health as our personal situation and epigenetics will allow. Enjoying good health tomorrow is why I work hard to take care of myself and my family.
Even When Real Food Was All Food Living to 100 Was Uncommon
In the not-too-distant past, like 100 to 200 years ago living to 100 was somewhat uncommon though not completely unheard of. Many, many people came close. And not only did they live a long time they were often quite active and engaged in life up until the last few years of their life. And when their time came the elderly often died swiftly of infections like pneumonia and so did not suffer long lingering declines like we do now. An active and basically healthy old age was very common.
When I say the elderly lived well in times past just what do I mean?
Were they athletic and able to perform great feats of strength like Jack LaLanne? Mostly no, Jack was one in a million though Dr. Price found many elderly men in cultures that had eaten their traditional diets for generations that looked perfectly capable of doing the things Jack did. How about looking young? We’ve all seen lots of pictures of celebs that look considerably younger than their years. Of course though they have advantage of not only eating well if they choose, but of beauty as a genetic/epigenetic endowment and also the availability of plastic surgery. Dr. Price saw many handsome elderly men and women in his travels, but they would still hardly pass as youngsters :-).
What they were able to enjoy was an active body and mind that while not up to the performance highs of youth were still more than able to work, play, dance, create and in general just have a good time. While they wouldn’t fool anyone that they were young there was a light in their eyes and a spring in their step that only feeling well physically and mentally can bring.
Eating Real Food Like Granny Improves Your Chances
While your genetics/epigenetic plays a very large role in your health and length of life the single biggest contribution to either health or illness is what you choose to do each day when you get up! Perhaps you were born strong and beautiful and have enjoyed very good health for most of your life. Eating well will help you maintain that vigor well into old age! Take care to preserve that endowment you enjoy. It’s very painful to see so many young people with good health squander that blessing … they are young and strong and feel they always will be, and nothing can take that away! Just let me say in my best Granny voice ,”Ah, the folly of youth!” ;-).
Or maybe you were born frail and have suffered many ailments in your lifetime. So many in this situation just give up, thinking health just isn’t possible for them. Not so at all! Eating real food will give you the best possible chance of a healthy tomorrow and a healthy old age! Many more with troublesome health problems struggle valiantly on trying one thing and then another. The best possible thing you can do for yourself in this situation is eat well! While you may not be fully cured you will most likely see at least some improvement. And you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re giving your body the best possible tools it can get to deal with your illness.
A Lot Depends on Your Epigenetics
I keep using the word epigenetics and I have explained it at all, have I? We’re all very familiar with the idea of genetics, that we inherit permanent characteristics from our ancestors. These traits are fixed and immovable in the vocabulary of genetics. But in the new science of epigenetics genes are not fixed traits! They are influenced not only by your environment, or diet but also your parents diet and your grandparents diet! If you begin to eat well now you will have a positive effect on the expression of your own genetic inheritance, and a positive impact on the genetics of your children and grandchildren. This fact is very inspiring! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t influence your illness because it is a genetic disease. Everytime you eat you are teaching your genes what to expect from your environment. Good food teaches them to express themselves in the most positive way possible.
The Goal is a Healthy Tomorrow
When deciding what to do now about your health it really doesn’t matter whether you were born blessed with good health and raised on good food or if you were born with health problems and ate a poor diet as a kid. You still need to eat as much real food as you can and take care of your body as best you can. Regardless of your current health we all must do the same things to improve our chances of a healthy and active tomorrow, and next week and next month!
It’s far easier and far more motivating to think in terms of feeling better tomorrow than fearfully thinking of any of the dread diseases of our time. Think about how you’ll feel tomorrow if you eat those Chips-Ahoy or save money today with Kraft Mac-n-Cheese. You’re creating a deficit in your health account with those choices that will make you a little heavier, a little sicker, have a little more pain, or insomnia, or anxiety tomorrow than you do today. Potentially your child will have more runny noses, more crying, more trouble learning than he did today. So let’s all keep tomorrow in mind and make the best choices we can from what’s available to us.