The Root: How to live to 100
My grandmother was alive and healthy for nearly her entire life. She was not on an endless cycle of taking prescription medications to treat a symptom just to live. She was vibrant and active.
The only time I can remember her being physically hurt happened when she was cutting wood and cut her arm with a chain saw. I think she was in her late 80s when that happened. She was more upset about ruining her jacket than having to get stitched up.
There were times when she would get up at the crack of dawn, set out a chair in her lawn where gophers where digging and sit patiently with a .410 shotgun ready to shoot as they poked their head out.
All in all, she lived a long, rich, healthy life without suffering from the typical Western diseases such as obesity, type II diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. She didn't need a talk show doctor to tell her how to eat or an infomercial to sell her on the latest diet craze.
Why? In part because she knew how to eat! She was able to avoid the pitfalls of these diet-related illnesses because she ate real food. Food made from scratch. She cooked with real butter (not margarine), milk, eggs and flour. She grew vegetables from her own garden and ate them in season. She ate red meat on occasion and even enjoyed a beer now and again. What was missing from her diet was fast food, soda, processed food (food from boxes) and foods with ingredient names only scientists can pronounce.
My grandmother lost her husband at the age of 65. Following that, she lived for 38 years, alone caring for a 20-acre farm in Camas Wash. She worked in her yard and walked down a long gravel driveway every day to get her mail (she didn't drive to the communal mail box like I see so many folks do today). She talked with her neighbors. She had clean air to breathe and the sweetest water to drink.
This begs the question: As a society, when did we make the decision that allowing artificial flavors, artificial colors and artificial food-like substances into our food supply was OK and the best choice for lasting health? We eat food full of this stuff all of the time without giving it any thought.
We drink water with chlorine and fluoride in it. We breathe air with pesticide and herbicide residue, smoke and exhaust. Why do we accept this threat to our well being?
Living a long life is one thing. But living a long healthy life is another.