Life at One Hundred and Twenty
Homeostasis and Hormesis. The two sides of a longevity coin. Leave your body alone…For the most part.
Homeostasis: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.
This is our body’s happy place. Homeostasis. When it is not in a stable state of equilibrium it is working towards finding that state at an overall cost to us, the whole organism.
And then there is hormesis. Hormesis refers to adaptive responses of biological systems to moderate environmental or self-imposed challenges through which the system improves its functionality and/or tolerance to more severe challenges. This idea suggests that we need to occasionally throw our bodies a curveball. Change things up for the overall benefit of the creature.
Over the last fifteen months or so I have found myself most closely identifying with a concept called Natural Hygiene. A lifestyle with a diet that consists of an uncooked whole-food/plant-based diet that is mostly fruit and some leafy greens(salads). Some might also call it being a raw vegan and some call themselves frugivore. But like any system of belief and practice, there are disagreements of precise practice.
After this last year, I’ve come to a place where I find myself only most of the way there because of my belief that we can make it to the age of one hundred and twenty with a body that looks no more than twenty-four.
You see, the oldest living and physically active people on Earth are found in what we refer to as The Blue Zones.
- Okinawa, Japan
- Sardinia, Italy
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
- Ikaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
One of the things that these Blue Zones have in common is a diet that leans heavily on a whole-food/plant-based diet, but not completely. And none of them are completely vegan. And there are two things in particular that they have in common that aren’t raw by any means and considered off the table in the Natural Hygiene belief system. The consumption of sweet potatoes and legumes.
Natural Hygienists would insist that consuming sweet potatoes and legumes is detrimental to the overall health and wellbeing of humans and that these two items don’t belong on the Natural Hygiene table. Yet, the seemingly healthiest people on Earth eat these things not just occasionally, but as a staple in their dietary regimes. And so for this reason, at this time, I find myself at odds with Natural Hygiene. And I am totally okay with that. My goal is to make it to one hundred and twenty years of age with a body that looks no more than twenty-four, not just be a strict belief system adherent.
The two things that sweet potatoes(root tubers) and beans(legumes) add to the diet are higher levels of minerals and dietary fiber that are not found in a strict frugivore version of a Natural Hygiene diet. Yet the people on Earth that live the longest enjoy these whole-food/plant-based selections with a regular frequency. That being the case, I too will be utilizing these nutrient sources in my dietary practice even though they require cooking to eat and enjoy them.