Trying to get to the bottom of food and fitness advice is starting to wear me out. Diet crazes come and go; superfoods fads drift in and out. One moment a certain food or food type is going to kill you and the next it is a life-enhancing must have. Yet we’ve never had more food options, or more food related problems.
Something is not quite right here, so I’m, going back to the one person I knew who, it seemed to me at the time, pretty much knew everything. My Grandmother, who lived well into her nineties.
What could she possibly have to tell us about a good diet and a healthy lifestyle? Plenty it would seem.
Do more, eat less.
Fifty years ago, people worked harder. They did more physically. That is they did more cardio exercise and sat around less. They might not have had the leisure time we do, but when they did they didn’t sit around playing computer games.
This ties in quite nicely with today’s advice. Get off the couch and do something. People walked places; they didn’t get the bus or the elevator. They climbed steps; they went for long rambles. They rode their bicycles to work. They went dancing.
There was no such thing as fast food.
I might be getting on a bit, and I can just about remember when there was no McDonald’s, no fried chicken and take away pizza. I know it’s not just about eating fast food, but it’s the amount of it we are consuming. We need to stop. My Grandmother never had a cheeseburger and fries in her life. Her very long life.
They cooked real food.
She might have spent more time in the kitchen, but people knew how to cook. Granted my Grandfather never lifted a finger to help, it just wasn’t his place. But my Grandmother cooked real food. She bought fresh vegetables, made her stock. She cooked roasts and healthy stews and soups. There was never the convenience of a ready meal because there weren’t any. Occasionally she baked cakes. If you went over to her house and were hungry, the best you could hope for was an apple. Even that was eating in between meals. She was cooking and eating health food before it was invented. Click here to see some of today’s healthy options.
You ate with the seasons because there were no cucumbers in December or tomatoes in February. My grandfather may not have cooked, but he grew vegetables. Our winters were filled with root veggies, dark greens and onions. Lots of them. Eating with the season is better for your body’s needs. A satsuma or a glowing orange was a real treat.
Water was a drink
It came from the tap. It was free, and you could have as much as you wanted. It was very good for you when you were thirsty.
Now I’d be pretty happy with an active life that stretched to ninety something years. So boiling down the advice it comes down to this. Get more exercise, eat less fast food, eat more fresh seasonal produce and drink more water. Sound like you’ve heard that before?