August 14, 2009

Manifesto: Healthfully

I thought I'd do a series of posts on each of the adverbs in my tag line to give you a better idea of what I want this blog to be about. Let's start with healthfully.

First and foremost, why strive for a healthy lifestyle? It seems to be all the buzz, but I came up with some interesting answers when I paused to consider why being healthy is personally important to me. I want to live for a long time and in the best health possible. I want to have enough energy to make it up a flight of stairs when I'm 65, I want to celebrate my 60th wedding anniversary, and I want to spend as little time as possible in hospitals and popping pills in my later years and as much time out there enjoying life.

I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but the foods I really love are the ones I understand to be the most healthful: vegetables, dairy, whole grains, naturally-raised meats. "Unprocessed," to throw in one of them buzz words.

So “healthfully,” in my book, does not mean low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-anything really, except for maybe keeping my calorie intake to the general amount my body needs to sustain itself. Personally, I'm intrigued to the more recent findings that discredit the notion that a low-fat, high-carb diet is the way to stay healthy (although I do recognize the irony in trusting in research that discredits other research, since who knows when your personal brand of information will be the next to go.) Now that doesn't mean I'm about to go all deep-fried crazy - I do, however, own a deep fryer and gosh darn it if I'm not going to use it - but in general, I think that it’s hard to argue that diets of whole foods that have kept people around the globe alive and free of Western diseases for generations could be harmful, whole dairy and pig fat and all.

I saw a really interesting segment on Oprah (yes Oprah, don't knock the Queen) about communities across the globe whose members regularly live past 100. It featured a researcher who identified nine behaviors found in all of the communities, among them eating whole foods and lightly exercising, that seemed to promote long, healthy lives. I plan to read his book, but to me it already makes sense: this is what we were designed for. However you think human beings got on the planet, whether by a divine hand or sheer evolutionary coincidence, you can't deny that nobody planned on us being parked in front of the boob tube every night eating Cool Ranch Doritos, driving to the store for more next time we run out.

I don't want to live forever, or even necessarily to 100; personally I think there are some nice things in store after all this living on Earth business. But I only get to do it once, and I definitely want it to rock.

1 comment:

  1. Preach it, sister. My big thing is ditching diets. For people to lose weight, they can't think about eating healthy as being on a diet.