Last night, we all went to my inlaws to visit. We got onto the topic of meat and we were telling them how we were going to order meat chickens soon and butcher them ourselves for the freezer. They asked why we were going to all that trouble when we could just buy it at the store so we told them that there were two basic reasons why: We know what our chickens will be eating and how they are cared for while they are alive and butchered. We don't know what has been fed to those chickens in the store (okay, we have a pretty good idea it wasn't healthy!), they are shot full of harmful antibiotics and the treatment of them is inhumane and we will NOT spend our money to support commercial chicken operations. We told them that we care what we put into our bodies because we want to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Want to know the response? "I am 66. Eating that stuff now isn't going to help me." (gasp!) I know. I still have a bruise on my chin when it fell to the floor.
Unfortunately, that is the mindset of many in that generation.
I was at my UMW meeting and, except for my daughter and me, all the women are late 50's and older. One of them was praising the Splenda Brown Sugar product. She was happy because diabetics can use it and it doesn't hurt them....Yet again, chin on floor, much bruising. Telling them that artificial sweetners are satan's invention doesn't really help, either. They just give me a blank stare and continue talking about how great it is.
It surprises me because this generation was raised by people that did NOT eat this way. They milked their own cows or bought milk from a farmer. They raised chickens for eggs and meat, grew gardens and ate grass fed, pastured meat. They ate real butter and cooked in lard or tallow. Heart disease and diabetes were not common among their parents. Now, they eat processed food, use artificial sweetners, eat mystery meat from the grocery store and eat veggies and fruit grown in other countries and shipped in containers to the US. They are more sick than any generation so far and it is only getting worse. Yet, they don't make the connection that what they eat is killing them.
For this, I am infinitely sad. If they don't change, I will lose the people I love dearly very soon. My parents have diabetes and heart disease yet they refuse to make the necessary changes to keep them not only alive but to allow them to thrive. They are both very overweight and get very little exercise because "it hurts". My inlaws have various health problems but continue to do as they have always done. They are in a little better shape because they get some exercise every day but it isn't enough.
My grandfather is in his mid 80's. He has been active all of his life and continues to be. Sure, he has to take medicines. He had heart bypass surgery years ago but has been pretty healthy ever since. He is very fit for a man his age. He doesn't sit around all day long. He gardens, he builds things (like houses!) and he takes care of his house and yard by himself. And he is healthier than my folks and my husband's who are a generation younger!
I wish I knew what the answer was. Really I do. The thought of my parents or my inlaws dying so young brings tears to my eyes. I am not through with them! My kids have too much to learn from them. My kids' kid's need to know them. I do not understand why they think their health is so trivial.
I can remember when I was around 7, we had a picture taken when I was visiting my great grandma. In it was me, my mom, my mom's mom, my mom's mom's mom, and my mom's mom's mom's mom. 5 generations, all healthy. My great grandmother didn't pass away until I was in my teens and she was in her 90's. Healthy and active till the end. My grandma died at 79 from cancer. Up until 7 months before she died, she was quite healthy and active. I don't know if my mom will even make it to 79. She just turned 64 and is falling apart. She is limited in what she can do because of her weight, back problems, diabetes and fluid around her heart. This isn't what I pictured her senior years to look like.
Hubs and I made a vow to our kids. We promise to do everything in our power to stay healthy, active and productive for our entire lives. I don't want the fun to end at 66. I want to be like my grandpa, still going strong at 84 and beyond!
Just a little funny that I heard on the radio yesterday:
In Japan, they eat very little red meat and drink very little red wine. They have very little heart disease compared to Americans and British.
In Italy, they eat a lot of red meat and drink a lot of red wine. They have very little heart disease compared to Americans and British.
They take away from this? Eat and drink whatever you like. It's speaking English that will kill you!