About five years ago, I decided to live to the age of 120, which would mark this year the equivalent of the first 30% of my life. Living well is a choice we make each day. According to actuarial science, the life expectancy for women is 85 and 78 for men. So, where are you on the percentile scale of your life? For example, if you’re 60 years old, then you’ve got 70% of your life under your belt. However, change your mind about how long you want to live and suddenly only 50% of your life is complete.
Most of us who want to get from Point A to Point B think about A – where we’re at now. Here’s how the pros do it (and by pros, I mean professional athletes, CEOs, musicians, actors, and the healthiest people in the world): they start with Point B and work their way back. I guarantee you that three and a half years ago, Michael Phelps didn’t just get in the water and start swimming laps. I’ll bet you that he thought about being in London in August 2012 – each event, how fast, and who’d be in the next lane. And then, I bet he thought about how to taper for this Olympics, what kind of nutrition to be getting the months prior, and the times he wanted to have at the qualifiers in Omaha. The pros start with their goal and illuminate the path all the way back to right now.
So, what will you be doing at age 120? What kind of exercise will you be getting at 90? What will your cholesterol level and blood pressure be at age 80? What kind of nutrition will you have at age 70? What will you be eating next week?
Our customers are of all ages and order from us for a variety of reasons. They want more energy, digestive improvement, weight loss, convenience, and more. But overall, they want to live a long, healthy, quality life. Here are our top three musts when it comes to nutrition that will nourish you for life:
Organic. Conventionally grown foods are laden with toxins like pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In a 2004 CDC data analysis, 100% of subjects’ blood and urine tests showed pesticide residue – some over four times what is deemed “acceptable.” Pesticides and GMOs have been shown to cause nervous system damage, cancer, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen, and gastrointestinal system. Either look for the USDA Certified Organic seal or look into the practices of your local farmers, many of whom practice organic farming but are not certified yet.
Plant-Based. Vegetables deliver antioxidants and key phytonutrients, which help prevent disease as well as reduce systemic inflammation that can contribute to an increased risk in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Avoiding or limiting animal products helps to keep the lining of your blood vessels free of the dangerous blisters or bubbles or cholesterol-laden plaque that causes heart attacks.
Whole Foods. Unprocessed. More than half the population is deficient in vitamins and minerals and particularly those nutrients that help us lower the risk of major health problems: cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The easiest way to correct this shortage is through a whole foods diet. Eating as Mother Nature intended.
A quick, easy and nutrition-packed dish that we love is Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Quinoa – a fantastic grain substitute – boasts over 8 grams of protein in one cooked cup as well as 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron and 21% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. Try this dish with an organic free-range chicken breast or stand alone.
Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe
1 cup organic quinoa
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered
2-4 shallots, diced
¼ cup slivered blanched almonds
¼ cup organic raisins
4 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Real salt to taste
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried dill
2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the quinoa by adding it to 2 cups boiling water, seasoning with real salt, to taste. Cover and cook until all the water is absorbed. (Optional: cook in rice cooker.)
Toss the Brussels sprouts, shallots, almonds, and raisins in the olive oil. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, then season with real salt, minced garlic, and dill.
Roast in oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, stirring at least once, until the Brussels sprouts are tender.
Toss the vegetables with the fluffy cooked quinoa and chopped parsley. Feel free to drizzle more olive oil and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Living well means living a positive, creative life. A life ready for adventure and challenges. Live well, eat well, and take care of yourself.
Our thanks to Kim Gordon, owner of Conveniently Natural in Kansas City, MO for her contribution to Living Well Magazine. Our mission is to help thriving adults navigate life. See more at http://www.livingwellmag.com/category/health-fitness-living-well-magazine/