There are so many different websites and opinions about diet out there these days. Really… How hard can it be? I’m starting to think of diet as a little like people think of religion. There are so many different opinions and followers and believers and converts to this diet and to that diet that really, how can they all be right? I suppose a little like religion, what suits you and your belief system that what you are doing is right for you and your body, perhaps is, when its a well thought out and purposeful choice.
I work in the healthcare industry. This does not make me an expert by any means, but it gives me the exposure to see what perhaps does and doesn’t work when living in a way that you wish to prevent chronic disease from affecting you in the future. You can often tell by simply caring for someone and getting to know them a little that the long term abuse of their body either by poor nutrition, poor lifestyle or limited ability to make better choices is usually why they have ended up there. Not usually at all by their own fault or omission to, more often than not by poor access to good wholesome food or education around these key areas, but in some cases too, blatant disregard. Then there are others who are just plain unlucky. I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know. Denial is another huge factor in what I come across. And addiction, usually to smoking.
This working observation in conjunction with what I read on the internet begs me to ask the question, Is it really that a particular diet is all that is needed to simply ‘fix’ us, or is it just better lifestyle choices in general? I look around me at the older population and by older, I do mean my grandparents age, not my parents. I’m in my early 30’s so my grandparents are in their 80’s and 90’s. I wonder to myself when I look at them and how relatively healthy they are for their age, will I last as long as they have given I have their genes? I hope so… I think that generation had the answer that ours is constantly searching for, experimenting with this diet and that diet. I have one set of grandparents who have been vegetarian most of their lives and the other set are just your straight up eat anything carnivores. Both have lived just as long. So vegetarianism can’t neccesarily be the answer. Both sides though, have always eaten good, wholesome, basic home cooked food. Not the food that adorns the shelves of the supermarkets in packets, but really honest whole food. Mostly from their own vege gardens and their own produce, in their younger days anyway. Aside from my grandfather who died 20 years ago from a heart attack related to type 2 diabetes, who mind you was 80 when he died (I am too young to remember what could have caused this and hopefully I don’t carry his bad genes!), I don’t have an overweight grandparent left among them at all, none of them ever have been.
None of them have been slave to supplements or exercise, they’ve exercised making their livings and tending their gardens. None of them have spent money on expensive probiotics or superfoods. None of them have engaged in detoxing or colon cleansing or massages or facials or naturopaths or chiropractors. They have all just eaten natural run of the mill whole foods from start to finish and I have every reason to believe this is why they have lasted so well for so long.
So, my mission is not to have a blog that tries to convert anyone to any particular type of diet or way of living, but to simply encourage that you sit back, look at your family and the genes that have been handed down to you and simply have a think about how you feel in your own skin. They way you eat and what your constitution tolerates or thrives upon will be different for each culture and for the climate you live in. Are you doing what is best for you and your body to live as long and as healthy and happy as you would like?