“Saving” for your Golden Years

Saving for your Golden Years has very little to do with money and everything to do with Saving — that is taking care of — the beautiful living vessel gifted you at your birth in which your soul lives out this current incarnation — otherwise known as your body.

I have just come out of major surgery — five hours on the table — following a modified Whipple procedure in which about a quarter of my pancreas was removed along with a tumor that sat on its head, my gall bladder, and my duodenum — the first twelve inches of my small intestine. All the loose ends — pancreas, bile duct from the liver and the remainder of the small intestine are joined just below the sphincter of the stomach to restore the integrity of my digestive system. I am 76 years old, yet I was released in record time — only five days — because of my rapid recovery. What’s going on here?

What’s going on — and is still going on — is 30 years of yoga and 40 years of aerobic activity 2-3 times a week plus 35 years of eating a strictly organic (or local when I know the farmer or rancher) diet and almost no processed foods. As Michael Pollan says, “If it’s a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” It has also been 40 years of NEVER saying to myself “I’m too old to do that.” So I continue to do my yoga — which has kept my spine and all of its intricate muscles balanced and active and allowed my breathing to be deep and even. During my short hospital recovery the medical staff were amazed at my ability to draw such a large quantity of air in a single breath — 3500 on a scale of 4000 only a few hours after my surgery. This is also a tribute to 40 years of aerobic activity — running in the 70s, biking replaced running beginning in the 80s, cross-country skiing beginning in 90s and African Dance and Nia beginning in 2010. All  of these continue today, and they are something that money cannot buy. You will only have this kind of Balance in your Body’s Saving Account if you dedicate your life to staying healthy.

You may well ask that if I was so healthy, how did I end up with a tumor on my pancreas? I cannot say exactly why I got the tumor. I can understand how and why it might have arisen, but the more important question is that If I were not so healthy, I would have had a much more difficult time dealing with and surviving it. And surviving is still and always a question. And the best way to prepare yourself is to STAY HEALTHY.

And to Stay Healthy you have to be your own advocate, and stay away from the Cornucopia of prescription meds offered by Big Pharma. I am such a rarity — imagine that I don’t take ANY prescription drugs! The Corporate Media have become so overreaching and so brimming with false information and outright lies, that you have to do your own research, ask your own questions, and experiment. Simply buying some food like substance that is advertised as “good for you” or “low fat” is not going to get you where you want to be. Neither is using Statin because your doctor says that it will reduce your high cholesterol. You must be skeptical of all claims. You might want to read “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Bowden and Sinatra.

I began cooking my own meals when I was just 20 – from scratch. In the 80s I discovered Rudolf Ballentine’s book “Diet and Nutrition” which exposed the false claims about saturated fats and many other food issues. Then in 2003 I found Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.” I made my own bread for thirty some years, and today I make cheese from raw milk and kefir using grains. I’ve made tofu and Seitan and sauerkraut. You will need to cook most of your own food — and that means from scratch — not just warming up some food like stuff that you bought at the supermarket.

How do you know who to believe? You may not always know. You have to continually question and look for other authors or research that may support or refute someone else’s claims. YOU have to decide, and you have to always be proactive and exploring. Start with the some of the books I described above. Read Michael Pollan’s books “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” and check out his recent book “Cooked” which explores the four different modes of preparing food.