I have to believe that we all wish to be healthy, if we could only define what we are talking about. When I began my own work on myself early in 1970, I knew then that this was the first time I had an even chance that I could become healthy by my own efforts. I probably did a most radical thing: I made a decision to become healthy, to take myself from a over-weight, flabby and slouchy young reasonably attractive young woman into a statuesque, energetic, radiant and thoroughly healthy person. We were talking woman’s liberation at that time. It was the carrot before the donkey kind of thing, yup I wanted it all! Hee haw!
I began to ask questions. I went to my local health food store. They sold vitamins and supplements, not really what can be called food. They told me about vitamin this and that. My budget did not approve. I took myself over the hill to Hollywood and went to the health food stores there. What should I be eating? They showed me more supplements and powders and all sorts of stuff. This was turning out badly. All I wanted to know was: what’s to eat?
I decided to not eat meat and began to eat whole grains and pasta and vegetables. I lost a fair amount of the flab. So far so good. I heard of a teacher telling about Macrobiotics, a system from Japan: I ate a cup of rice chewing carefully each bite over a one hour duration. This was a little excess. My social life died a natural death. No other person was into rice and seaweed.
As I progressed through years of this, I simply ate a lot less meat , favoring eggs and cheeses, yogurt, raw milk, and a lot more green vegetables, many of them uncooked. I matured over time in the cauldron of Los Angeles in the 70’s influenced by what I read the stars were eating. And I moved northward in the 80’s to my west coast rain forest climate in Seattle and Vancouver. Then later, now in my 50’s to a nomadic life in my van moving through the western states. Because the idea of restaurants was both not appealing in a general nutritional sense and bigger than my budget, I fixed food daily in the van. I got quite good at it, at not having a fridge, at doing really simple stuff and at having the kind of energy I liked. I lived in the national parks, swam in cold lakes and rivers and stayed out of Mcdonalds. I was doing ok.
Then I took myself further south through Mexico and Central America until, in 2015, I got stranded broke in Panama with a 180 day visa running out its clock. Friends paid the toll bringing me back to Canada. I was only 76, mostly destitute in emergency shelter. In the beginning, I let myself eat what there was and gained 10 pounds in a month. Not only was my vanity wounded, so was my energy. I was down for the count with pneumonia for the first time in my life. The workers packed me off to Vancouver General Hospital. This is the where and the how of my whole conversation about my health took a steep upgrade.
A cute older guy, doctor someone-or-other, came to talk to me about “streaming antibiotics” which was their approach to pneumonia. Now over this about 45 years, I had been relying on my own efforts for health with an acupressure system from Japan and the philosophies of Chinese masters of herbal medicine and the practices of yoga and martial arts. No western doctors. My response to this well meaning but rather arrogant character, I have not had any kind of antibiotic in my body for about 25 years (I had broken my wrist falling off my bike in the early 90’s) so I think the standard stuff will work fine. He was visibly upset. I was not buying co-dependence on any medical man. As body completed the infection in my lungs, I was sent to the hospital at UBC. It was there that I knew something was off.
I was eating hospital food. It was all ‘low fat’. My energy was in the basement. I had some control over what I was eating and asked for two packets of natural butter to eat at each meal. Within a day, everything changed.
The prompted a whole new inventory called, what do I eat? Not only had I changed over those 45 years, the science of nutrition had changed as well. There was a lot of real research available about blood type, age, climate, culture and a lot of how to do it information. I took a dive down the rabbit hole.
It became a critical thing for me because the lung/colon issue I as born with was stressing my heart. I was given a wheel chair to maintain mobility. I went directly to my computer to learn again, what’s to eat? I needed to understand how to rebuild my vitality, stamina and energy levels and roll in a power chair that was given to me.
So that’s the story, dear friends of how I do something with our topic. I wish to be healthy over a much longer life span and I’m already into my 9th decade having made a reasonable approach over all these years to creating and managing my well being even with a damaged body I am Older Than Dirt.
In brief, it matters to eat for your blood type because each of the four types, O, A, B and AB have different spectrum of enzymes which digest your food. Its also useful to understand how the body operates because then you may work out an eating plan to feed high nutrition and allow body to maintain and clear itself of spent materials which can get stashed in tissues and around organs as fat, and stuck as fecal matter in the colon inhibiting further cleansing. And it matters to exercise properly and regularly (my personal issue) to maintain strength and flexibility. The wheelchair is not helpful. I can get around and sitting is not good. I learned to eat in a shorter time window each day with a max of two meals, maybe a high nutrition smoothie. It’s working. I have dropped about 10 pounds and I am buoyant, funny, friendly, easily intellectual to write, read and study and I am getting better at exercise. It’s a gotta! So stick with me, we will explore more of this. Our world needs more older and wiser folk. I will teach what I know. I ask you to tell me what you know. And we will compare notes: we learn as we go!