2013 Lifestyle Matters

 This time of year I get alot of email and articles that look both backwards, the nutrition trends of 2012 and forwards, the anticipated nutrition trends of 2013. Most recently I came across a blog where the author mused about what we have learned”nutritionally speaking” in 2012.

The writer’s comments  oiled the wheels in this jet-lagged  brain and got me thinking about what I have learned this past year, “nutritionally speaking”.

So in that spirit I thought I would give the EWS readers some food for thought to ponder before the next  New Year’s eve on February 9th.

As you can tell from the title I have become more convinced then ever that lifestyle matters. At my age ( which I will let you all guess) you start to see the results of a lifetime of habits, some good , some not so good. There are plenty of studies that will tell you what you want to to hear.  Enjoy coffee? There is a study that promotes the health benefits of coffee polyphenols ( a rich source of anti-oxidants). What about beer ? Yes there is a study that says beer in moderation can have positive  health effects.

But what I prefer to do is to look at people.  Why does that 85 year old woman look 65 and act younger? Observing her habits you find that she rarely drinks coffee, prefering tea. Drinks two “snorts” of whiskey a week and eats blueberries and oatmeal every morning. Does not smoke.  Hmm let’s see, everyday this 85 year old does what experts recommend. She eats the miracle blueberry with the heart healthy oatmeal and washes it all down with tea, which historically has out done coffee in the proven health benefits.  It is true that she might also have great genes but I think she is reaping the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.

Lets compare her to the 55 year old male who drinks beer every night,  has always preferred chicken wings to vegetables and gets out of breath taking the stairs. He visits the doctor almost as much as the 85 year old and probably takes more meds. Expecially those statins that give him the security of lowering his cholesterol while still being able to eat wings.

These are two extreme examples but they are good illustrations of my point that lifestyle matters.  What we do on a daily basis has far more impact on your health then the dietary indulgences of the holiday season.

Have you been advised to eat more fruits and vegetables? That advice is for everyday not just a day or two a week. How about drinking water?  One liter to two liters is for everyday. Have you wondered if flaxseed really works?  Give it a 90 day trial and see what the doc says.  Make it a point this year, as often as you can, to take the time to create good meals and enjoy these with friends and family. Eat slowly and deliciously.

Besides understanding that changing your lifestyle will change your life, keep in mind these changes are for the long run.  You may not see the effects in a week and unfortunately it may take up to 3 months for you to notice a great difference but be assured, change is happening.

Don’t just take my word for it. Gather your own evidence.  Take a look a “long livers” you know. Observe and learn.Then when you are 85 and able to live on your own and travel whenever you want, go ahead and have your chicken wings and beer, you have made it.

Eat Well, Live Well and Have Fun !