28 Apr 2011

Inspired by the Book: Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

I am going to cite a couple of things, which I found so fascinating in Robbins’ book (btw his dad is that icecream Baskin-Robbins and he is writing about him in this book, too), so don’t read further, if you are planning to read this book later…

“In the modern world, when people are feeling down they are often told to “take it easy” to simply lie in bed and relax. --- So great is the recognition of the healing power of walking to visit a friend that there is a saying in Vilcabamba that each of us has two “doctors” – the left leg and the right leg.”

“In Okinawa, elders tend to stay remarkably fit and healthy until the last year or two of life, but in the modern Western world, the prevailing lifestyle takes a toll far earlier in life. In the United States and similar countries today, most of us hit our peak between twenty and thirty and gradually decline after that. By the age of seventy, most of us have lost 60 percent of our maximal breathing capacity, 40 percent of our kidney and liver functions, 15 to 30 percent of our bone mass, and 30 percent of our strength.”

“If you eat until you experience yourself to be 100 percent full, you actually go about 20 percent over capacity with every meal. And if you do that regularly, your stomach will stretch a little bit each time to accommodate the extra food. Then you have to eat more next time to get the same feeling of fullness.” What is written on that page before: “..it takes the stretch receptors in your stomach about twenty minutes to tell your brain (via the hormone cholecystokinin) how full you really are.”

“We must treasure tradition, but we must also embrace change.”

“Many studies have found farmed fish to be far higher than wild fish in toxic chemicals and other pollutants that affect the central nervous system and the immune system and can cause cancers and birth defects. --- The study found that the levels of PCBs, dioxins, and banned insecticides such as toxaphene in farmed fish were so high that, based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines, no one should be eating farmed salmon more than once a month.”

“…muscle burns more calories than fat, even at rest. A pound of muscle burns roughly 15 more calories a day than a pound of fat. If you lose ten pounds of fat and gain ten pounds of muscle, you would thereafter burn 150 more calories a day without increasing your exercise level…”

“When the study was published in The Journal of Pediatrics in 2004, Professor Lloyd said that “although calcium is often cited as the most important factor for healthy bones, our study suggests that exercise is really the predominant lifestyle determinant of bone strength in young women.”

“One study found that subjects who ate meat as their main source of protein were nearly three times as likely to develop dementia as their vegetarian counterparts.”

“And now modern science is recognizing that loving and intimate relationships also keep us healthy. It is a striking fact that mortality rates for all causes of death in the United States are consistently higher for divorced, single, and widowed individuals of both sexes and all ages.”

This book includes in so many modern studies related to health that at least I got so many things to think about and pay attention to. The cover of the book is pretty self-help oriented and sometimes the text is pretty creamy, but if you can get over those things, you can learn a lot from this book. Nutrition and exercise matter a great deal – wanted or not!

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