In part 4 and 5 of this series of posts on the possibility of living to 100, we will look at what longevity could mean for our lives. What does a life of significance, rather than mere success, look like? How do we break free from the conventional view of the three-stage life: education, vocation, and then retirement?
Before we get to that, let's dive a little deeper into the area of physical health and well-being. After all, just because people are living longer statistically, doesn't mean that you or I will do so also. It also doesn't guarantee that, if we do, we will be healthy right through into old age.
The bottom line is that we all will die at some point. No one lives forever. The death rate is traveling at about 100%. The question is when will we die and what will we die of?
How Not To Die
In an early post, I made reference to a current New York Times best-selling book called How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. His major point is that we will all die one day but why die of something totally preventable by the daily choices we make?
Doctor Greger is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He runs the popular website www.NutritionFacts.org, a nonprofit, science-based public service providing free daily videos and articles on the latest in nutrition research. Dr. Greger also proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. Needless to say, this guy knows what he is talking about.
A few of the book recommendations are worth reading:
- "Michael Greger, MD, scours the world's scholarly literature on nutrition for the most interesting, groundbreaking and practical new research. His work at NutritionFacts.org and in How Not To Die features the latest science on nutrition and health to show how to treat and prevent disease." Joel Furhman, author of Eat to Live.
- "Finally, a physician has pulled together the latest scientific studies on how to fight disease and prolong life. How Not To Die shows how the right nutrition prevents disease and transforms our genes so we can live healthier, longer. Empowering, groundbreaking, transformative work." Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness and The Lean.
- "A new way of looking at nutrition and health. Michael Greger shows people how to save their own lives." Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet.
- "The news that a plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat is spreading. Dr. Michael Greger presents the groundbreaking science on how simple plant-based food choices help us live healthier and happier lives. Dr. Greger describes which foods to eat to prevent the leading causes of disease-related death and shows how a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes might even save your life." Brian Wendel, Founder and President of Forks Over Knives.
I just put the finishing touches on my latest book, How to Avoid Burnout: Five Habits of Healthy Living (now available in Australia from WORD for the discounted price of $9.99 or from Amazon for those living elsewhere - in paperback or Kindle formats). One of those habits is attending to our physical health and well-being. In the book, I use the following example:
"The food that we eat each day has a huge impact on our overall health. If I opened the fuel cap on my car and instead of putting petrol in, I poured in rocks, sand, gravel, and cordial concentrate, what will happen to my car? Eventually, it will break down. At that time, I can yell at it or I could even ask God to heal it. Can he? Sure, he is God so he can do anything. Will he? Probably not! I have been putting things into my car that it was never intended to run on. It’s the same way with our physical bodies. If we put things into them that they were never intended to run on, they too will eventually get sick, break down, and die prematurely. It’s simple science and common sense."
In his book, Dr. Greger looks at the biggest killers today, one by one - heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes - and shows how each of these diseases and many others are caused by diet, can be prevented by diet, and even reversed by a healthier diet. I'll say it again: we will all die one day but why die from something that is totally preventable?
About a year ago, Nicole and I moved to a more whole plant food based diet. We have a history of heart disease and high cholesterol in our family and this motivated us to make the change. After all, the best gift we can give our family is to live a long and a healthy life.
We have noticed a dramatic change in our overall well-being. We are healthier, we have more energy, our cholesterol levels are down, and I have lost a significant amount of weight. In fact, I am 10 kilograms lighter than I was at this time last year. A bag of oranges weighs approximately 3 kilograms, so I am now free of the equivalent of over 3 bags of oranges that I was carrying around all the time. No wonder my energy is up.
Maybe it’s time to do a kitchen cupboard or pantry makeover. Clear out all the junk food, as well as all the sugary and highly processed foods. Keep fruit and healthy snacks in front of you all the time. Stop drinking soft drinks which are full of sugar. Drink at least four glasses of water every day. Buy a good healthy food cookbook and learn a dozen or so new delicious and nutritious recipes. Think ahead when you are going to be eating out. Start substituting some vegetarian or vegan options instead of eating so much meat and dairy. Talk to your family about eating more healthily and embark on the journey together. You won’t go hungry and I guarantee you will start to feel and look a lot better.
Are you serious about making some changes and of lifting the likelihood of living a long life? Visit these websites and dive in deeper for a ton of good advice and practical tips for making positive changes to your lifestyle today.
Read Part 4.
[Photo Source: KDA Consulting]