Everything in moderation. That's what my mom says, and per usual, she is right.
An article in the Sunday Times by Jennifer Berman, Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead, only causes my mother's words to ring true. Berman laments that her super healthy habits have not positioned her to be free of health issues. I am glad she is sharing this as I think it is another reminder that we all need to aim for balance in everything. And that nothing will guarantee you anything. All you can do is keep going (that's my new year's resolution) with your healthy habits and when you get derailed by issues, like Berman, try to re-calibrate.
If we had a lens on my Grandmother, who was born in 1915, you might say she was "forward thinking". She is my spiritual health guru, but not because she knew that what she was doing was good or bad, but because she didn't know and did it anyways.
She was doing many "right" healthy things in the 1950s in Italy, that appear over and over again now as being the most awesome, best thing you can do to not die trend of the moment.
Did that make her ahead of her time? Not really. It just made her a human being who was trying to live life well.
She was eating all local, fresh food, fruits and vegetables, whole garlic cloves, drinking loads of water, eating honey, blueberries and was a master of the small portions. She did it because it felt good for her, because she listened to her body. She didn't juice or cleanse or diet.
She walked. She swam. She rested at night. She didn't do marathons, tough mudders and high intensity exercises.
She smoked a little. Drank a bit. Ate some desserts. Everything in the Italian portion size of "un piccolo pezzo".
She wasn't doing what she was doing to live forever. She was doing it to live. Be comfortable in her own skin. Survive the day - to - day. Pure and simple. Nourishment with Food. Family. Friends. And nothing about it was simple.
She lived through WWII. She lived through child birth - twice. She lived through a benign brain tumor when she was 70. She lived with Colan Cancer. And eventually, that is what took her in her late 80's. Why did she get it? Who knows. She was healthy. It was probably age.
So what's the point of it all if it won't guarantee a long, healthy life?
I eat real food and I move everyday because it makes me feel better. I do it because it feels good. I don't do it because I have an age I need to reach. I do it because my body, my vessel should get good treatment. It is doing the best it can with everything I put it through.
I do it because I have good genes, and if I didn't do it, then it would be a disservice to my health guru and my whole family that put me on this earth. I don't do it because my genes can taste the kale that I eat everyday. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they could given research that shows how exercise can alter DNA within muscle cells!
Let 2014 be the year where more of us realize the beauty of moderation. And where the Juicing craze simmers down a bit... because I love juice, but I'm drowning in it and the $12 glass bottles.
Resolve to pay attention to your feelings and core desires around food and try to make decisions based around what feels best for you. Doing so will hopefully guide you toward feeling empowered through moderation. And to not having a Twinkie. Ever.