what octogenarians & nonagenarians know about anti-aging…

Sometimes, it isn’t the food at all…
As a certified health coach for the past 7 years, I’ve been sharing my information about how the food we eat literally becomes the body. I believe this to be true and I feel that we, by our choices, create pretty much all the good, and all the bad that the body experiences. It was the sadness of watching family members struggle with obesity, diabetes, depression and high blood pressure that led me on this path.
One day, a few years back, I was watching an interview with anti-inflammatory specialist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, in which he explained that aging and disease are 40% genetic and 60% lifestyle. This informed everything I did, knowing that I was more in control than I had originally thought.
 Every bite was bringing me closer to optimum health or nearer to the grave.
This Monday, however, I was reminded of something that supports the opposite view and it made me chuckle.
Lets preface this by saying that I have a deep affinity for the elderly.  Growing up, I spent a great deal of time with my Nana and her brother and sister.  My Nana lived to 85, her brother to 87 and my Aunt Bea to a ripe 95.  They were all healthy and vibrant with boundless energy, especially Aunt Bea. I recall their diet was pretty simple.  Aunt Bea and Uncle Charlie would file into the kitchen for a breakfast of fried Hebrew national bologna and eggs. Toward the end of their lives there wasn’t much disease.  Uncle Charlie actually died in his sleep, peacefully. Yes, they all grew up on a farm and spent the majority of their lives eating real food/ whole food. They were lucky, since chemicals didn’t make it into the food supply until the late 1960’s. They were all breast-fed because that is just what they did back then. So you could say that they were “set up” for a healthy life. Still, I remember us all gathering in the kitchen for ice cream sundaes on a regular basis.  The health coach in me balks at this steady use of nitrates and hard sugar, but it worked for them.
Their lives were rich with friends, culture and laughter.
This Monday I was in Fairway shopping for a client when a woman in her 90’s shuffled by muttering to herself, loud enough for me to hear… “I could walk around here all day and not find a damn thing!” She was adorable with her kerchief on her head, slightly hunched over her wagon.
“What do you need?” I asked. She replied very loudly articulating every moment of each word
“McCormick Baco-Bits!” we found them in aisle 2 all the way on the top shelf. As I reached for them she barked,
“Grab me two of them!”
“What do you do with them?” I questioned.  She shook her head with a sigh as she tilted her chin up to me
“I nibble on them all day long… I know its no good for me but I can’t help it” We both laughed.
While you won’t find me exploring the pleasures of McCormick Baco-Bit nibbling, I have been known to indulge in a pig-in-a-blanket every now and again at a party and that’s OK. 

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