Age can be a fickle creature. Being over forty has radically affected the way I eat and what I choose to ingest. I began a new, healthy lifestyle two years ago – no more processed food, nothing that I thought could harm my body. If I can’t pronounce the ingredients, they are not a part of my food selection. Those simple four and five syllable additives that I thought were harmless were doing my body a supreme injustice.
Once I made the decision that I, and I alone, would be the only one to create the ingredients I absorbed and not rely on pre-packaged meals, I immediately noticed a spike in my energy. My body was not wasting precious moments of efficiency trying to break down those foreign particles I had been ingesting for so long and figuring out where to store them if they were unbreakable. Because my body was only required to process real foods that it recognized and could break down easily, it affected not only my weight but my skin and my general sense of well-being.
We have to know our bodies, know what is a normal feeling and what should send up red flags in our comfort level. If you are in your fourth or fifth decade, your body will start to turn on you. That truth is inevitable. The foods that you loved for oh so long, will become the enemy. Those pre-packaged meals that are so convenient to buy are conveniently stored in your fat cells because your body will not recognize the preserving ingredients as food. There will be more of a discomfort after eating and there will be a general feeling of lethargy.
As we age, our food choices become far more important. I am now very cognizant of not only the ingredients, but the foods themselves. Natural foods serve a greater purpose than just nourishing our bodies. The correct foods can help stabilize our blood sugars and ensure that our organs are working to their optimal level.
With my 45th birthday creeping around the corner, I must strive to maintain these ideals. Sure, there is the occasional misstep in the new food regime (especially during the summer), but I am made painfully aware by my body that I made a bad choice. There will be things I refuse to give up – like my morning coffee – but I have replaced a few of those cups of Joe with water and lemon. I have fallen off the food wagon a few times over the last few months and my body has sent nasty reminders making me all too aware of my bad choices.
Aging is unavoidable but now that I have learned to listen to what my body wants and needs, I am going to give everything I have to make that process last as long as possible. The lemon is in the water and the whole foods await. Bon appetit!!