Sad to say, by age 50 the bloom of youth is gone. In Chinese Medicine, the belief is we are born with a certain amount of energy, or chi, and it's fairly evident that there's an abundance of it in most little ones. Watch a toddler or a young child play for hours, hurling themselves willy-nilly, and emerging with not an ache or a pain. They drop into sleep and wake with eyes wide open, ready for a new day.
Would that this kind of energy stay with us throughout our lives, but, sadly, the chi account dwindles over the years, and by the age of 50, signs of aging begin to show. Here is the good news: there are two magic pills that prevent serious decline: food and exercise. Since food is my specialty, I will focus on that and leave the exercise advice to the exercise gurus.
By age 50, most of us have thankfully begun to realize that dieting is not the answer to health, high self-esteem or happiness. It is a distraction from the real answer to being well and vibrant. And what is the real answer? Simple, real food that you acquire by growing or purchasing in its purest form. That means a whole apple, or whole oats, or brown rice, or wild salmon, or anything that you prepare from scratch in your kitchen.
Before you say I'm too busy or I hate to cook or I don't know how to cook, think about the word "simple". Preparing real food is really simple. It's just a habit that you have or don't have. If you don't have it, I'd like to explain why it can change your life for the better.
Food becomes you. Its content is absorbed into every cell in your body. It matters a lot what that content is. If you are eating simple whole foods, your body's digestive system can easily absorb the nutrients and send them into your blood stream for circulation into your cells. In contrast, highly processed foods, or foods that have been pre-packaged and sent from a factory, have little vibrancy in them and cannot compare to the quality of real food. If you want to stay well, you need to eat well.
Medicine can keep you alive for many years, but it's not just the years I'm thinking about so much as the quality of the years. I want to spend my money and time on adventures and experiences, not on medicine. I don't want to be saddled with body aches and low energy, and since my chi account is mostly used up, I know I need to eat consistently well and keep my body moving.
By consistently I don't mean abandoning pleasure when it comes to food. Eating real food is a pleasurable experience that doesn't get enough credit. It really is good. I eat it 90% of the time, and to avoid being rigid about it, I use that other 10% to let loose and indulge once in awhile.
How much do you think food matters in keeping you well?