By Molly Patrick
May 25, 2016,
Fact: You don’t have to fall apart with age.
Here’s how and why.
The week before my mom turned 70, I asked her what she wanted for her birthday.
She quickly and without hesitation told me she wanted my girlfriend Luanne and I to hike to the top of Wasson Peak with her. Wasson Peak is a steep ass 8 mile hike in the Tucson Mountains. It’s the highest in that mountain range.
I’m a lazy fucker, but I would literally do anything for my mom, so I told her absolutely I would do this hike with her! My girlfriend Luanne is also a lazy fucker, but for all intents and purposes, my mom is her mother in law, so of course she said yes. It was the woman’s birthday wish!
So on her birthday, we got up at the ass crack of dawn, we drove to the trail head and we hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked until we got to the top of the mountain. And then we turned around and hiked and hiked and hiked some more until we got back to our glorious car.
My mom’s 70th birthday hike lasted 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS.
By the time we got back to the car, Luanne was in mid meltdown and I wasn’t far behind. My 70 year old mom on the other hand was doing fucking dandy. She just chuckled at Luanne’s and my fuckery, telling us to buck up and keep trucking.
It’s been 2 1/2 years since that birthday hike and there have been many hikes since – always at mom’s request. Earlier this month on Mother’s Day, we started with a coffee date and then we booked it to a trail and hiked for a reasonable 3 hours. We finished our day with lunch at our fave Ethiopian restaurant and shopping.
My mom is an anomaly.
She’ll be 73 in September and she is on zero medications. She hasn’t had a single health problem since 1997 and her recent blood work a couple of months ago is as good as mine. She has more energy than most people half her age, she still works as a substitute teacher, traveling is her favorite thing, and she’s always on the go. The only time that she needs a rest is when she hits the bed for the night.
Here’s the thing.
People are conditioned to think that as we age, the body starts falling apart and it’s just part of the aging process. They think that heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s are inevitable conditions that’ll eventually tip their hats and greet them with awful open arms.
Of course the body changes as we get older and death is inevitable. No one can escape slowing down and eventually going off into wherever the fuck we go off to. And no amount of kale, quinoa, green smoothies, downward facing doggies, or hand crafted organic gluten free artisanal raw superfood nuggets can stop that train.
But there’s a difference between the body slowing down based on the number of years on the planet, and being chronically sick, medicated and feeling like shit for the last 20 or 30 years of our life. Or worse, having potentially avoidable health conditions that cut our life short.
Here’s the reality.
The most common health problems are diet and lifestyle related and can be avoided by eating the right foods (veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds) and avoiding the rest (meat, dairy, eggs and processed food). There have been plenty of studies done on this, but why not hear it from someone who’s living it?
My mom has been eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet since 1997 and she recently agreed to sit down with me and let me pick her brain for you. She’s a living example that we don’t have to get sick and become medication dependent and fall apart as we get older.
You’ll learn a lot from her – I know I have. I’m truly blessed to have this radiant, kind and compassionate soul as my mom.
Did I tell you? So my friend, keep eating those plants as frequently as you possibly can. Every time you get hungry is an opportunity to put life energizing fuel into that beautiful body of yours. Take that opportunity more often than not and it’ll repay you for decades to come.
Our weekly whole food plant based meal plans guide you step by step on exactly what and how to eat for radiant, long lasting health. These plans are filled with the exact food that my mom eats and it’s the cheapest insurance you will ever buy.
Here’s a spoiler alert about eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Today’s recipe is proof of that.
- Sprouted bread
- Cucumber rounds
- Red onion slices
- Red pepper strips
- Carrot thinly sliced
- Black pepper
- Toast a couple pieces of bread and spread hummus on one piece and avocado on the other piece.
- Pile on the rest of the ingredients in any order you like.
- You can put some ingredients on one piece and others on the other piece. You can mix and match and make each piece different.
- Fancy toast isn’t a science, it’s a delicious art. Have fun with it and then NOSH!
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with eating foods that will support you well into the future.
You my dear, do not have to break.