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Live to Be Old & Healthy: 11 Things

My great-grandfather, so the story goes, blew up three or four homesteads making moonshine. (You won’t be surprised, then, that the B.Sc. I went for is in Chemistry.) He lived to be 104 years old.

His son married my grandmother. Her family, also Ukrainian homesteaders, were well-known for their home-grown kitchen-prepared pharmaceuticals. Yep, in pioneer days, those included marijuana and opium. But they also included a lot of simple, still-easy-to-access and totally legal things, easy things you can buy right now and that will heal you, too.

  1. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom………. 1
  2. Garlic Kills Sniffles……………………………………………………….. 2
  3. Eat Local…………………………………………………………………….. 3
  4. Love Well……………………………………………………………………. 3
  5. Move your body in natural ways of healthy work………………. 4
  6. Right the wrongs you have done…………………………………….. 4
  7. Excuse those who have wronged you……………………………… 4
  8. Ever heard of gingerbread? How about chai tea?……………… 4
  9. Go Outside and Look Around…………………………………………. 4
  10. Learn to Breathe Deep…………………………………………………… 5
  11. Create Beauty………………………………………………………………… 5

1. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom.

Get ’em in you. As you’ll see in the picture below, this morning I had ginger, garlic and turmeric in my juice, with lemon, cucumber, and celery. It’s a little like moonshine, if you put enough spices in. It’s got that same burn going down into your belly, then it fills you up with a happy warm glow. Very much like scotch whiskey, really.

2. Garlic Kills Sniffles

I am serious. I have an advantage over my more WASPy friends, because I remember my grandfather in the kitchen, slicing raw garlic, putting it on bread, and eating it. You think he was one of those old fellas with sniffles? No way. No sniffles there. He lived to a very healthy 94 and would have lived longer if he’d had a reason to, but with my grandmother dead, and no farm to tend… what was the point? He didn’t see it.

GARLIC: Modern form for wimpy folks (this WORKS): If you get a stuffy nose, or if you visit with someone who is sniffly, go home, slice up at least one clove of garlic, put it with some cheese, and microwave it for 20-30 seconds.

Don’t try to go all crazy on the garlic if you’re not used to garlic. Be sensible. I had one WASPy friend who is constantly sick, and I shared this remedy with her, but she took too much garlic pure and claims she hurt her stomach — it’s not a cure if you hurt yourself. Garlic is serious stuff.

So have it as I describe above, or if that’s too hard-core for you, here’s an even wimpier but also effective form: make yourself some delicious buttered toast and put garlic powder on it. Again, adding some cheese (grated or powdered parmesan?) will let you eat more garlic without hurting yourself.

Vegan form for tough yogi-like modern folks: If you want a truly whiskey-like green juice, then you see my recipe in the picture. Buy real turmeric and ginger and garlic and put them in your juicer with a lemon (skin on, but washed) and a cucumber and celery. Num num num. It’s so awesome that it made me sit down and write this post.

P.S. Juicers only cost $80 these days. Cheaper than some bottles of scotch. Veggies are cheaper than a lot of the things you’re putting in your cart, too. Guaranteed.

3. Eat Local.

Homesteaders who lived long grew all their own food. Instead of spraying it with chemicals, they spent hours (and hours and hours) tending the plants. Even in Canada my grandparents and great-grandparents produced gardens that provided good food for the whole year. Modern city lifestyles do not allow most of us the time to grow flourishing gardens if we live in hard climates, but we can still choose to be careful about what we buy.

If you can, go to the store or farmers’ market where you can get locally grown veggies. When you have an option, choose to buy things that travelled less distance on a truck or boat. I’m not saying don’t eat pineapple (I love pineapple). I am saying, buy the carrots from the next town over instead of 2000 km away. Once you do a little homework, hunting out your sources, it’s not that difficult.

This bears saying: do not unconsciously eat stuff from China. We know that there have been many cases of toxic things in the food supply from there.

For things like your ginger and your turmeric and your garlic and your veggies, take the time and money to buy them at a store where they will actually tell you where it’s from. In my city right now I need to go out of my way find garlic and ginger that are not from China, but it’s possible. (Ginger from Peru, and local garlic.) Sadly, most people in my city are not thinking and are unconsciously buying Chinese products, so the megastores will keep importing the cheapest stuff, even if there are poison scandals.

4. Love Well.

Giving love is something we can all do. We can not control how it comes back, or even if it ever does, but we can choose to behave in loving, giving ways.

Your health doesn’t depend on how others see you – it depends on how you see them. Choose to see the loveable things about the people around you. Here’s a little article on how to do that. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html?_r=0

And if you find that one special person who you adore romantically, choose to be a wonderful lover. Make time for them. Give little gifts. Give your attention. Listen. Travel to be with them. Love.

Even if you aren’t blessed in this life with a wonderful partner, you can love well. You can love your friends, and the people in your life, and you can adopt children or mentor teenagers. We are all able to love

5. Move your body in natural ways of healthy work.

This is the big one missing from the citified lifestyle. Going to the gym is better than not going to the gym, but it’s not the same as tending animals and gardens and crops, for longevity. Cities where people can walk to work are also healthier. Marriage makes daily lovemaking available — that’s also healthy and good. Consciously choose to do natural exercise when you can. Housecleaning, walking, dancing, lovemaking, gardening, repairing, tending — these are the exercises that give you long life.

6. Right the wrongs you have done.

We all do wrong to other human beings (and our pets) sometimes. Be courageous and apologize sincerely to whoever you wrong — your children, coworkers, and self. Don’t go on a long guilt trip about things you have done and not apologized for. Instead, right the wrong you have done as much as possible, and then move on.

7. Excuse those who have wronged you.

I haven’t used that popular “forgive” word here. You know, forgiving is sometimes a hell of a lot of work. I used the word “hell” on purpose there. Thinking about the wrong others have done to us, things we sometimes can’t prevent and can’t do anything about and can’t make them sorry for, IS hell. It’s probably the most common hell of modern society, and it makes us physically ill. Cancer, colds, flues, stomach ulcers, heart problems… they all go right here. People who can’t detach from the wrongs done them.

Instead of doing all that work, sometimes you can do this yoga thing called “detachment.” Detachment means that you choose not to care. You don’t deny a pain exists. You don’t say it’s all okay. But you carry on with your yoga pose (or your life) anyway. Detachment is worth its whole own article, so I paused in writing this one to go sketch that one up: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-care-christa-bedwin.

8. Ever heard of gingerbread? How about chai tea?

They contain cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, orange rind, and ginger — all well-known germ-killers. There is a reason that gingerbread is a Christmas treat — those spices have long been served in cold weather to fend off illness, especially during bad weather.

9. Go Outside and Look Around

See all the beauty that surrounds you, not just in nature, but in the people you meet. Get out of your house and out of your own head and be awake and aware and conscious of the people and situations around.

Go seek out people who live right and behave beautifully and kindly to each other. Put yourself in wonderful situations.

10. Learn to Breathe Deep

Homesteaders were often surrounded by stark raving nature. Breathing deep, full, grateful breaths comes natural when you’re out in your garden or a meadow or a forest or near a river or on a mountain.

If we live in the city, we need to train ourselves to breathe deep. Here is a starting point:

Healthier than You’ve Ever Been Before: Magic Tricks You Can Do With Your Breath

11. Create Beauty

Be beautiful to the people around you.

  • Smile
  • Hold the door
  • Make a joke, even a silly one
  • Let someone go in front of you in line
  • Listen to someone
  • Make time for people
  • Clean up a mess
  • Fix something broken

The more beauty you create around you, in little and big ways, the longer and happier you’ll live.

Thanks to http://www.easttennesseewildflowers.com for the shot of the moonshine still.

About Christa Bedwin (2 Articles)
<p>Christa is a certified yoga teacher with a chemistry teaching background. She is also a writer and editor with 18 years’ varied experience, who has stepped into a more advisory role, teaching engineers and scientists to communicate better. Christa has a B.Sc. in Chemistry and a B.Ed. from the University of Calgary and has also been a teacher and instructor of a variety of topics, including math, science, and belly dancing. She has professional teaching and speaking experience at many levels. Her positive attitude and enthusiasm is contagious. Christa was raised on a ranch in the foothills of the Rockies and has travelled widely and lived in a variety of exotic Canadian and foreign locales. She now calls a little farmhouse, by a lake in Springbank, home.</p>

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