Monday, 13 July 2015

being youthful: the food aspect #1

The body of youth can walk all day & play all night without looking tired or ragged. It recovers quickly from illness, & wants to go!go!go! When it is tired, it rests. It has muscle tone, can move it's joints easily, can move it's body through a full range of motion, is supple, full of energy.

How can we maintain, or perhaps, obtain, a body like that? It's a tall order, but some people do actually manage it. Exercise/movement which suits you & your way of life is one way, nutrition is another. The best way to be youthful through nutrition is to eat healthy, & not diet.

One way that we can do this, is by observing people who are healthy, youthful & toned. Some of these people will, of course, be in their 20s, but I also have observed & also read 1st hand accounts of women of all ages who also are healthy, youthful & toned. I also brazenly ask people about their diet, exercise, skin care, hair dye...hey...I'm interested! And if what they do intrigues me, I'll try it to see if it suits me.

A naturally slim, toned, & healthy person has a different mindset & habits than someone, for example, who is slender & maybe also fit (the 2 don't always go together, meaning you can be slim & not fit, or fit & not slim), but who also has a food disorder whereby they are obsessive about their weight. Obsession of any sort is ageing. Some of the similarities I've noticed with the naturally healthy people are:
  • They don't live on rubbish foods
  • They do eat some foods which aren't so nutritious, in small amounts, & not all the time.
  • They also don't slavishly look for the latest food or drink fads. 
  • They eat the food that they like, that their body likes.
  • They don't overeat, nor do they starve. 
  • Some just have a suitable food regime, some don't have a regime as such, but rather, habits.
  • They don't necessarily eat expensive foods

I lived with a naturally slim, toned, healthy, person, for 4 years, & her habits & also her food habits were different from most people:

  • she didn't diet, & seldom overate. She said that "you can eat anything, just not in large amounts", so she would have some cake & pizza when she wanted, at times that she wanted, except after a certain early hour in the evening. She would only have some of the cake or pizza....not heaps, & not everyday.
  • Most of her diet was nutritious. 
  • If she hadn't done much moving around that day, she felt that she didn't need to eat a lot (which does make sense), but if she was really hungry, she ate quite a bit. 
  • She drank water all day, during the evening & sipped it at meals. 
  • She kept chocolate in the freezer, & ate a tiny bit at a time. (p.s. it honestly was totally annoying, I was trying to lose weight & she didn't have to even think about it). 
  • She also would go for long walks with her friends, or to the gym if she had time.

Just by living with her, I could see that, for her, feeling a particular way, in this case it was feeling & being healthy, was a mindset, which for her, had accompanying habits. We need to have our own health habits which make us look good, feel good, be healthy. And it can be a process for some of us to figure this all out.  If, as the years go by, we have aches & pains, bone deterioration, thinning hair, no muscle tone, if we are tired when we wake up, are listless throughout the day, we need to look at what we eat, & our eating, or food, habits.

Food fads come & go, but the truly youthful person finds a dietary regime which suits her, her way of life, her wallet, & keeps her looking & feeling good, as well as healthy. Not a spartan regime nor "only" foods...you know, "I only eat this & that" ....rigidity is not youthful...flexibility of body & mind is youthful. It's a fine line between self-discipline & knowing yourself, knowing your lifestyle, your time available, it's more than just food.

We need to see also what effect different food & drink has on us. These  are mine, some of which were in my previous post:

  •  I have a serious food allergy: tomatoes... aka deadly nightshade...as you can imagine, I truly do not understand why/how people can eat them, with a name like that. So, tomatoes I do not eat, ever! 
  • Red food makes me nervous (tomato association)...so I don't eat strawberries & other red food.
  • An intolerance (all other nightshades).  If I eat potatoes, spinach, peppers, &/or other nightshades, I know for sure that the next day I will have stiff, swollen, sore joints, & be very tired. So, I never eat them at home & just do my best to avoid them when out. 
  • I also know that dark chocolate & other high antioxidant food like blueberries, red wine, give me a sore stomach & a headache the next day.
  • I don't digest sushi nor cucumbers very well, so I avoid them. 
  • I know that a big breakfast, for me, equals eating more than feels comfortable during the day.
  •  I can only eat starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, at certain times during the day. If I eat them, or eat too much, at the wrong time....I get sleepy, in fact my whole body also gets sleepy. 
  • I do ok on coffee, but not so well with tea. Cafe milky coffee (lattes) can make me feel queasy. 

You will have your own list. I truly feel that we need this knowledge of ourselves.

If you have children you look after their own health aspects, so why not look after your own? You matter too. Observe how you feel...it only takes less than a minute...if you don't feel too good, remember what you have eaten or drank recently. If you keep doing this, you will start to notice patterns between certain foods & drinks, times of eating e.g. lunch at noon versas lunch at 11.30 am or 1 pm, & your body.

Look at any health issues. I have had an anemia problem my whole life, & it can & does get very serious. My problem is absorbing the iron. I have tried iron pills, double dose of the pills (too unpleasant), taking vitamin c with the pills, floradix, spatone (liquid iron), eating meat, lots of eggs....but  the best, the most absolute quick delivery of iron, absorbing it, plus feeling good with it...is blackstrap molasses. I tried it in desperation. It is miraculous for me. I put it in warm water to dissolve it, & chug it down on an empty stomach.

We absolutely can not feel youthful when we don't feel well. So why not spend a small amount of your time observing how you feel after eating? Sometimes it can take a couple of hours for the effects of food & drink to kick in. It's not rocket science to figure out that if you feel sleepy after lunch, or after dinner, that you overate, or ate something that disagreed with you.

The next step is to see what does work for you.







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