Eat healthy – what what does it really mean?  Part of aging well is eating well.  Have the  dietary sins of our past  destined us for  health problems even if we find  nutritional salvation now?   What about all the candies with red dye # 10 and all the chemical additives we consumed before they were discredited or  removed?  I am certainly not a nutritionist and here  I  point  a finger towards my disclaimer  section. 

This is simply  a discussion of  should/ would   you change your  diet  to help  ward off destructive ailments  like diabetes , heart disease.  Maybe a change in  what you eat  will change how you feel.  I think  just like  rehabilitation, it is never too late to try to effect good change.

The National Geographic Studies  on the Blue Zones, ( communities  with the greatest number of centenarians) by  Dan Buettner well documents  their  life long  eating patterns. They eat very little meat and  a  plant based diet that is actually limited often to  what they  take from the ground themselves.  It is a very idealistic nutritional  bubble where you don’t eat fast food because there isn’t  any ( except for those steadfast people in Loma Linda CA).  Their own garden and root  crops sustain them and isolate them from what food manufacturing can do to food.  The newest book out, The Blue Zones Solution  is full of hearty healthy  recipes. It also documents the inspiring story of actually changing whole community’s  patterns of  eating behavior.   Know which city  had ( as in past tense) the  highest of obesity?

Having become an almost complete vegetarian ( now the term is flexitarian?)  5 years ago,  the recipes appeal to me.   I know that even just black beans, onions  and spices are a  simple splendid way to have good food.   I do not want to preach anti meat  and methane on the planet statistics.   It is a hard transition for many people and you have to balance out your protein or those B12 shots are painful!  But isn’t eating better simply eating less of bad things and more of the good stuff?

And there are aging in place advantages in that you can make many vegetarian dishes in quantity and freeze for later. Almond milk lasts a lot longer.  That translates to fewer trips to the grocery store.  And although there are many new  deliver to home services, drive thru pickup your order stores – you still have to get plan ahead if you are going to eat  a well balanced diet.

Instead of worrying about  the old  fear that as old people  we  will end of eating cat food,  please realize  a can of black beans costs the same as the  equal weight of cat food.  A can of black beans for example  will have 7-8 grams of protein!  Now buying organic produce puts you in the other category of more expensive but  once you try it it is hard to go back.

After tasting chemicals for most of our lives you have to give yourself a break from it to know the difference.  I worry about that losing our sense of taste  as we age thing.  Not looking forward to that, so I am  savoring the present.   In a future blog post I will share my own personal ten rules of eating well.

What does this have to with aging in place?.  It has to do with trying to avoid  the most common chronic illness of  diabetes and heart disease.   I think our generation will live longer because the handwriting was on the wall  sooner and  hopefully we have been living  nutritionally better longer.  As they say it is never too late to make a change.