Welcome to the Sixties!"
That was the message from my doctor today. Sixty years old, fifty pounds
overweight, elevated blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol and a thyroid nodule
that requires surgery. What kind of outcome is that from following a brilliant
diet and lifestyle for the past thirty years?
Of course, one can only imagine how dismal the outcome could have been, if I hadn't followed an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle for all these years. Heredity, which stalks me even now, would surely have played out to the full extent. Instead of a slow progression of insulin resistance and borderline hypertension, I'd probably be diabetic with heart disease and malignant hypertension. And one can't even guess how heavy I might have become on a standard American diet.
So now for some small but significant steps to fine-tune things. Dark chocolate lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and supports mood. Not something I would really want to quit, because of the health benefits, not to mention yumminess. And for a younger person, without insulin resistance, Green and Black's chocolate, sweetened with raw cane sugar, is a good way to go. But now it seems that even raw sugar is not working. So today I received in the mail a case of Chocoperfection, sweetened with inulin, zero effect on blood sugar, a prebiotic and source of fibre. That's step one.
The next point was to
appreciate the distinctions between different kinds of exercise. While yoga and
chi gong are exercise, they are not aerobic exercise. And although my levels of
aerobic exercise certainly exceed the recommended three hours a week for a
healthy person, they need to be increased to an hour a day because of insulin
Step three is to alter
the carbohydrate protein ratio--hard to do as a vegetarian. But basically it
means a kapha-soothing diet emphasizing lighter grains or grain substitutes
like quinoa and buckwheat.
My doctor, Dr Phil Weber, reminded me that the Sixties are not all bad news. The mind, he says, becomes sharper. Diagnostic skills for us doctors are at their peak. But a health challenges tend to play out, and it's time to pay more attention to self care.