Category Archives: Aging
Make no mistake: I’m a born carnivore. My diet has always been reasonably balanced, meaning meat, starch and vegetables with a big glass of milk. That’s the Mid-western way I was raised.
Then I had lunch with my son and his wife, and they had just taken a 7-day juice fast, and told me about a great movie, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I got the movie from Netflix. Loved it. Very inspirational. Got my juicer out of cold storage, cleaned it up and started juicing. I mentioned it to a friend, and she said, “If you enjoyed that, you’d enjoy “Forks Over Knives.” Got that from Netflix, too. watched it, loved it. I was convinced at that point that meat was not all that healthy for me, but what really knocked me out was that my husband, at the end of the film, said, “Let’s talk about our diets.” I’m a lightweight carnivore compared to Al, who hunts and fishes and brings home the well, not bacon, but goose, duck, salmon, and the occasional elk, venison and bison steak, roast and/or sausage. If he wanted to make a change to his meat-eating ways, then maybe I ought to listen.
Then a trip to the doctor dealt the final blow. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, big number on the scale. What? I’d always been so healthy. Whoa. Not any more. I’m a little older now, though it’s hard to imagine, and apparently, things change.
So we went meatless. I went completely meatless, having seen the light in the doctor’s office, Al, almost so. Cooking became an adventure. I bought vegetarian cookbooks, consulted vegetarian friends, started frequenting vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Discovered the joys of miso. Discovered tempeh. Discovered seitan. Did not miss meat at all. Bought a treadmill.
Then, in my musings, I came across The China Study, purported to be the most comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted. I read it on the treadmill. Every day after I’d read a chapter, I’d run to Al, working on his fishing baits, and read the chapter to him. The one on heart disease. The one on diabetes. The one on nervous system breakdowns. The one on cancer. The proof is indisputable.
And suddenly, I was no longer just a vegetarian, I was a vegan. No more milk, cheese, or yogurt for me. Yikes. I’d always wondered why we drank so much milk, when no other mammals did after weaning. My cat used to like it, but then she’d puke it up fifteen minutes later. Cow’s milk causes those horrible ear infections in children…and more. Lots more. Milk no more. I bought a soymilk maker. Now instead of paying $4 for a quart of soymilk, I pay about $.29 for a quart of fresh soymilk.
Five months later, we’ve both lost over 20 pounds, fairly effortlessly. My cholesterol is down 30 points, so is Al’s. I’m a believer, and I feel great. I buy local, or eat fresh from the garden. The food we eat is beautiful on the plate and delicious on the tongue.
The other night on the news we watched a story about how some pork right now is infected with something or other. We just looked at each other and smiled.
My son and his wife told me about the movie “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”. They had seen it and gone on a 7 day juice fast and were so enthusiastic about it, I got the movie immediately and watched it.
It’s a life changer.
The next time I went to the grocery store, I found myself a little nauseated at all the junk in there…at all the junk I used to buy regularly. I decided to do a juice fast, too.
It took me a little while to get my mind right about it. I’m a lifelong dieter, blessed with a body that tends toward heavy (can I blame my parents?) and a love for all things bread. I don’t get enough exercise because I… well, no excuses, can’t blame that on the parents… but in the summer I am on my bicycle a lot. A lot. And then winter comes, and with it the cold rain and the bicycle sits parked and I rev up the crockpot with hearty bean soups.
I’ve had a juicer for years. When I was single, I juiced daily. Being married to an avowed carnivore makes things a little difficult, but I’m determined this time to “reboot” the bod with some really, really fresh food. I have a Jack LaLanne juicer, which is a great machine in my opinion. I’ve been to the Join the Reboot website which is maintained by the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” movie guys. It’s all so very inspirational.
For lunch today I had carrot, apple, lemon, cucumber, rhubarb, celery and tomato juice. Later I’ll include some pineapple or mango, ginger, and some fresh-from-the-garden spinach, lettuce, beets and radishes.
I feel great.
I don’t know how long I can keep this up; already my jaws want to be crunching things, but for now, it’s a good awakening about all the empty calories we tend to put in our bodies. At some point, I confused food with fuel. The body needs fuel, and I’ve been giving it not only more than it needs, but many of the wrong things.
So if you’re not happy with how you look or how you feel, watch the movie (I got it on Netflix). Get a juicer and get healthy.
Let me know how it’s going.
I understand that you’re nearing the end of your journey here. We’ll miss you when you cross the threshold, but it won’t be that many years before I’ll see you on the other side. I know you don’t think that’s in the cards for us, but to my mind, this whole earthly experience would be meaningless if relationships weren’t carried on—for eternity, if we choose.
I hope you can look back on your life with great pride in your accomplishments and very few regrets. We’re all human, subject to the vicissitudes and frailties of human existence, but your unshakeable, unwavering faith in God has always been an inspiration to me, even as we all fall prey to our baser natures now and again. Take with you all your exquisite memories of joy and peace and family and love, and just leave the other memories behind. They’re the product of a material existence, and will have no reality in the next world.
I’ve come to understand that the veil between this life and the next is very thick and impenetrable when we’re young and it thins out as we grow older. Now, I expect, you’ve got a foot in both worlds now and then, perhaps even crossing over when you’re sleeping, and stepping back into this world when you awaken. Don’t be afraid to just look over your left shoulder at the light and walk toward it. There’s no reason for you to linger in a world of pain and disease. Your angels will help you make the transition if you ask them and then listen carefully for their instructions.
I believe that what you find there will surprise you; the next step on a marvelous eternal journey of love and universe adventure in our Father’s service. Grandpa is already there, and I hope you’ll look him up, or maybe he’ll be there to greet you. I’ll certainly look for you when I arrive, and we’ll have a nice time talking over old memories of our strange earthly association from the new perspective of spirit.
I’ll love you forever.
I’ve been naming my years now for a while. It’s more than a resolution, it’s a reminder to bring more lovingkindness, more awareness, more sweetness to life. In naming my years, and in holding those thoughts in my head and in my heart, my outlook changes.
In 2011, I vow to live more simply.
What does that mean? To travel less for business. Maybe just travel less. To only go where my dog can come along. She’s not getting any younger, either, and every day in a boarding facility is just that. To make fewer commitments. To acquire less stuff and to give more stuff away. To appreciate what I have rather than spend time and energy thinking about what I want. To not busy my schedule out a year in advance. To do more of the things I really enjoy and fewer things I dread. To not please people, but to please God instead. Pleasing people is exhausting. Pleasing God is simple.
To do more art. Both in writing and knitting and living. I heard not too long ago that if we, by our countless tiny decisions, make each day a work of art, by the time we’re finished, we’ll have created a masterpiece.
That’s for me. That’s what I want for 2011 and beyond. To build a simple masterpiece, day by day.