Nov. 29, 2017
Healthy Aging -You Can Do It
By Gini Bramlett
For the Calapooia Food Alliance
The single most change you can make to improve your health and well being is to EAT! That’s right. Every bite of food that you put into your body has an impact on your health and how efficiently your body functions.
Our bodies are designed to utilize the food we eat as energy. When we make poor food choices, that efficiency begins a downhill slide and slows down absorption of vitamins and minerals, turning those processed carbs into sugar that jolts our bodies into overdrive and puts stress on our organs. What our bodies can’t use, turns to FAT!
One of the biggest problems is that we are inundated with lists of what’s good and what’s bad, what the best way to lose weight might be, and foods that are bad now but were considered good for you just a few short decades ago.
The big food conglomerates have blindsided us over the last 70 plus years to their way of thinking, which is to sell us their food so they can get rich. What is truly healthful doesn’t even enter the p icture. It’s what’s cheap and easiest to produce and sell to the masses. They care nothing that the US is becoming one of the unhealthiest developed nations in the world. We have to realize these claims are NOT in our best interests. Take your health into your own hands.
Bottom line for me is real food: unprocessed, mostly organic, nothing or very little nonfoods added. If a food item never spoils sitting in the cupboard, it’s processed. Processed food is not real food; it’s a foodlike substance that is mostly devoid of the nutrients and fiber your body needs. Sometimes, it might have began it’s life as real food, but manufacturers and food processors broke it down, removed a good portion of the nutritional value, reworked it to look like food, then added artificially produced colors, preservatives, vitamins and minerals to back their claims that their product is nutritious.
The reality is that if you eat a lot of processed foods, your body is taking a hit. Over the years, after battling cancer numerous times and learning that my white cells that fight off cancer function poorly, I have made it a priority to do what I can to prevent those sneaky cancer cells from taking control again.
Cancer cells creep into all our bodies constantly; it’s in the air we breath, much of the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Most of our bodies are able, at least some of the time depending on conditions, to slough off these would-be invasions. My body doesn’t do that, so my goal is to avoid exposing myself to foods that are known or suspected to increase the chances of cancer rearing it’s ugly head.
The fear of getting cancer isn’t the only reason I am working to take better care of myself. Carrying around additional weight can put a serious crimp in one’s activities. After losing about 30 pounds this summer, I found the motivation to become more active. I feel better than I have in years.
Eating heathier has opened my eyes to what a huge difference a little exercise and a healthy diet can make as we age. I know elderly people on both sides of that coin; some are walking, making healthier food choices, biking, taking hikes and volunteering in their communities, while others have allowed the passage of time to take hold; being overweight, inactive, eating poorly and taking a handful of medications daily.
Seems like a no brainer, but many simply let it happen, rather than making a choice. It’s not always easy to get out there and take that walk in the drizzly weather or head to the pool at 7:30 each morning, but I’m not crazy about the the alternative.
My husband and I feel that we are living in the best times of our lives and we want to continue doing the activities we’ve always done now that webare retired; kayaking, walking, hiking, camping, traveling. We both have limitations from medical issues in our pasts, but we have chosen to be the best we can n spite of it, to do what we enjoy and not waste what years we have left.
Growing some of your own food organically is one way to feel in control of what you eat . Choosing smaller servings, cutting between meal snacks and losing the nonfoods can move you in the right direction to a healthier life, one small step at a time..