So… the strangest thing happened this week… I actually got a chance to SIT DOWN and READ. Oh my.
And it’s got the ol' noggin' working overtime. So this week we’ve got something a little different for you to muse over.
There was one book I’ve wanted to read for ages now, about living a long, healthy life. And I finally got to it.
The key word is living. If you’re lucky enough to get to a ripe old age you still want to be doing exciting things that you love. Having those “Woohoo” moments.
I didn’t just stop at 1 book. I devoured 3. I think I got high on the idea of learning something from a book rather than google :) Or maybe it was having some of my beliefs challenged.
Either way, here’s what I learned … (now, some of these may spark debate which is awesome, all we ask is that it’s respectful please).
1. Eat a plant based diet.
It may upset Pete Evans and Dr Atkins or anyone else who is shouting “paleo” from the rafters, but a diet high in animal protein (anything over 5%) increases the risk of diabetes and cancer. In some of the studies a high protein diet is anything over 5%. Vegan and vegetarian diets get the double thumbs up.
Of all the countries on this ginormous planet of ours, the people who have the longest and healthiest life expectancy shared something in common – a vegetarian, vegan, or very high plant-based diet.
“More people die because of the way eat than by tobacco use, accidents or any other lifestyle or environmental factor”*
2. Drink plenty of water and a little bit of red wine
Put down the bright blue powerade, coca cola or iced coffee. To live longer drink mostly water all the time.
If you do like a tipple (I’m not afraid to admit it, I do!), a little red wine is best. Red wine is full of flavonoids which reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. If you have a nice glass of red while eating a delicious vegan meal can double your flavonoid absorption – which means red wine just got healthier!
3. Family first and have a reason to live.
Another strong common trait amongst Earthlings who live long, healthy lives was having a close family unit. They also have a purpose for living. They continue to have a reason to get up in the morning and have a passion for life well into old age.
4. Get moving and stress less
Sitting around watching Family Feud is not going to get you to 99. You don’t need to be an ultra-marathon runner either. All you need to do is walk more, laugh more and have more sex. Good luck doing all 3 at once :)
Yoga is also a 2 for 1 deal. You move more and the end-of-class meditation gets rid of the stress gremlins.
It sounds like a piece of cake doesn’t it? (it would have to be a delicious vegan carrot cake of course)
Nothing guarantees a long life, but if you eat more plants, get moving, be old school social and embrace your spirituality, you’re stacking the odds in your favour.
If you want to know more we recommend reading
- The China Study – T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell
- *Blue Zones – Dan Buettner
- Eat to Live – Joel Fuhrman