Food is an interesting topic. While it is vital for our survival, it can kill us if we do not eat the way we were intended to eat. Most older people will complain of stiffness, feeling sluggish, or just plain being tired all the time. Many older people suffer from diseases like heart disease, strokes, diabetes, hypertension, and spend all of their money and time running from doctor to doctor. For many, getting older means living a physically restrictive life. The foods we eat can affect our mental well being as well. Bad diets have been linked to dementia of all types. Is this aging process a result of bad choices made from ignorance, or the refusal to learn how we were designed to eat throughout our lifetimes?
I recently ran across a couple of TED Talk videos about the effects of our food on our bodies and these gentlemen, 2 doctors and a biologist, share some pretty startling information backed by science-based evidence. The first video is by a biologist from the UK just 7 months ago. These videos are all under 18 minutes each. Here is the link to the first one:
In case you think this is new information, here is a link from 2 years ago from Dr. McGregor with his science-based evidence:
Finally, here is Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn from 7 years ago in which he claimed that we could make heart disease history. This shows that we have known about this information for years and we seem to have done very little about it. Here is his video:
Many of you know I have lost a lot of weight twice in my life. In 1997, I lost 105lbs. At that time, I weighed 315lbs, believe it or not. I was fortunate to have a doctor teach me about eating to improve my health. Not only did I lose the weight but kept it off until 2020. In 2020, I weighed 210lbs, but had several primary care physicians tell me I needed to be between 185-190lbs. Based on the BMI scale (body mass index), at 6’4” tall, the scale shows I should be at that weight. Finally, I decided to lose the weight. The pandemic was happening, I wasn’t working, and I needed something to do, so I lost 30lbs and hit below the goal to 180lbs. I went back to what I learned from the doctor in 1997, and it worked again. The beauty here is my weight is not going up and down because my eating habits are not emotional and I am eating more plant-based foods, no processed foods, and reduced my meat consumption by 60%. For me, I look at food as fuel and am not so focused on taste or memories of good times.
The key to what I learned was how to reduce the sugar highs and teach my body to live off my body fat and not go from one sugar high to another. Of course, we know that cakes, cookies, and sodas are filled with sugar, but what about foods that convert to glucose, or sugar, after we eat them? Foods like breads, pasta, sauces, and many bottled salad dressings all convert to glucose when we digest them. Processed foods are, typically, in a box, bag, or have a bar code on them. Our bodies were never designed to consume large amounts of these foods. If you need to have bread, whole grain breads are the best. Basically, I stay away from the processed white flour. Luckily, I am not a big bread and pasta fan.
What I found most interesting was the increase in my energy level. As I lost weight in 2020, many of my friends were afraid I was sick, when in fact I had more energy than I ever have. I cannot remember the last time I felt tired or exhausted even in this heat. Here is a good trick I learned that anyone can do. When eating my food, first I eat my vegetables like salads with balsamic vinegar, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, or any other natural plant food on my plate. This allows my body to make good use of the fiber in these plant foods. I have read that this could reduce glucose absorption by up to 75%. Next, I eat any meat on my plate, which is usually a small serving, unless I am eating at a friend’s house, and they think I need a lot more. Last, I will eat any starches on my plate, which will convert to glucose.
The idea here is moderation and realizing that our bodies need plant-based foods to stay healthy. For some of you, you may not like vegetables due to a childhood memory, but if you learn how to cook them correctly, you may just find that they are not that bad and may taste better than you thought. As always, check with your doctor if you are on any medications before you change your diet as certain foods may not interact well with your medications.
In using my Stretch n’ Release Technique, you are allowing the brain to release the muscles versus brute force that you see in many gyms and physical therapy. It takes practice, but once you get it, and you will, your body will feel more energized and vibrant.