Be an expert…..on what fuels YOU!
Treat what you eat like your life depends on it because it does! I’m not here to promote one eating lifestyle over another – vegan or vegetarian, pescetarian or carnivore, Keto or strict macro counting, fasting or time-restricted eating, and so on. All disciplines when properly balanced have their own positives in promoting good health and longevity. Find what works for you and develop a strict adherence to that lifestyle. That’s not to say you should be hamstrung to a particular habit; especially if you find it unpleasurable or daunting. But don’t be like a flea and hop from one thing to the next without giving something a chance to have a positive effect on you, or without giving yourself a chance to be successful at the routine. After some time, make the necessary modifications that fit your life and needs. Every eating lifestyle should be unique to the individual. Your eating habits shouldn’t be dictated by what someone else does and what they say is the “right way” to do it. Be honest with yourself. Is this sustainable, is it based on science, does it make sense? Most importantly, is it right for you?
Life Experience – I’m almost 100% vegan. My only deviation is 2% whipped Friendship cottage cheese. I have cottage cheese every single morning as part of my first meal. My eating habits have evolved through research and personal trial and a bit of error. My current lifestyle is time-restricted eating. I eat between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. I usually have two calorie-dense meals, sometimes three, depending on my activity that day. I’m finding this eating habit both very beneficial and enjoyable. Will I maintain this pattern for the duration of my life? Hard to say as I’ve made modifications throughout my life. But one thing is certain: I’ll give something a full effort before I make my decision to change, and cottage cheese will always be part of it!
Embarrassment – is PAINFUL, not fatal.
I live by this strange motivating factor – never be embarrassed. I think it came from my strict upbringing. My father who was born in what was then Czechoslovakia – present-day Slovakia – was incredibly strict when it came to personal interactions in social settings. You had to watch everything you said and did. Something as innocent as a comment about someone’s haircut or clothing would lead to a tongue-lashing (I’m being kind) later in private. He would shoot you a look and you knew you were going to get it later. This type of upbringing, as harsh as it might have been, plays into today’s environment of watching everything you say and do. My sister Lorraine would say, “It’s like he thinks we are the Kennedys and we are going to embarrass the family name.” Understanding the difference between mission critical and minutia has helped calmed the savage beast. This mindset albeit a bit warped has enabled me to establish some very positive life patterns. I’m always early, I always over-prepare, and I always plan for the unexpected.
Life Experience – No one particular experience per se, but I make sure every experience I provide is up to my standard. I would be mortified if someone exited my session and didn’t think their time was well spent, or if the event I organized wasn’t done with military precision. It’s probably why I own six stopwatches.
The key to longevity
During my aging process (I just turned 58), I’m on this quest to find out as much information as possible about living longer and healthier. A lot of factors go into it – genetics, environment, spirituality, and dietary choices – but inevitably, staying active might have the biggest effect on your life expectancy. Countless studies have been published that show even something as simple as increasing how many steps per day you take can garner a large percentage of additional years of life. For a person who has a rocking chair in every room in his house, including the ones on the back deck and front porch, moving has never been an issue for me. Even when I’m sitting, I’m still moving. During this phase of my life, I’ve taken my movement from the iron of the gym to the trails of the mountains. My new love of outdoor training which includes mountain bike riding and trail running has transformed my measure of progress from number of reps to miles covered. There are a lot of ways to move, whether it be extreme or as fundamental as getting your 10,000 steps in. Either way, it’s how I plan to be healthy at 100!
Like Experience – A few years ago, my 90-year-old mother’s car was in the shop (yes, she still drives). So, she needed me to pick her up after her workout at the Senior Center in Garfield. She goes there three times a week to exercise and is quick to point out to me that she’ll grab the 5’s and never the 3’s. As I waited in the parking lot for her to exit the building, I marveled as all the people who were of similar age to my mom (80 plus) were fit and trim. It then dawned on me that the people who weren’t as strict about their health weren’t making it much past 80.
If you missed the first installment of this three-part blog series, you can find that here.
Stay tuned for Part Three!