LaConner and the surrounding area is experiencing its third day of unusually cold weather. I woke up to snow yesterday morning with temperature in the teens. By yesterday afternoon, the snow had stopped and the sun had begun to melt away the snow. I tried walking on the roads in Shelter Bay where Kornelia and I live now, but there were still patches of packed snow and sheer ice on the road surfaces which was enough to dissuade me after a couple of blocks. The cold continues this morning – 16 degrees at 7:00 AM – with a shimmer of ice on the surface of the harbor water. The forecast calls for sunny skies and 34 degrees by 3:00 PM so tomorrow should allow me sure-footing for my morning walk.
I’m trying to walk at least an hour every day, the earlier the better. Walking is one of the clear, consistent messages from health advocates: exercise regularly. I do it by walking and by doing a series of yoga moves that both strengthen and stretch my body, exercises that take maybe fifteen minutes at most. I like walking – as opposed to the machine equivalent – because it gets me out in nature (except for days like today) with a chance to breathe in clean air and pick up clear sounds both of which stimulate meditative periods as I move along. Sometimes I actually create opening lines to a poem or some other piece I’m working on.
It’s become clear to me, though, that to live well requires more than exercise. It requires attention to what I put in my mouth. I was watching an interview of a man who has reached 110 years of age and remarkably, still has a nimble body and mind. He thinks the secret to his long and active life has a lot to do with what his physician-father taught him which was basically to always remember that “We are what we eat”. Over the last few years, I’ve begun to pay more attention to what I eat. One recent effort was to practice the Keto protocol. It worked – I lost weight and felt better – but it proved too restrictive. I couldn’t sustain it over the long haul. I’m now in the beginning phases of a diet plan which I know is going to work for me. While incorporating most of the Keto and Paleo principles, Dr. Steve Gundry focuses on controlling the intake of the plant protein “lectin” which disrupts cell functioning in humans and leads to all kinds of illnesses including gut problems. You can read more about the concept in a little paperback entitled “Summary of the Plant Paradox”, a series of one hour reads. I’ll keep you posted as I get deeper into the program.
I’m deeply aware that I’m an extraordinarily lucky man. At 91 years of age, I’ve so far escaped many of the health issues with which my friends have to contend. Furthermore, I’m on two simultaneous adventures which are open-ended and promising, the adventure of physical well-being and the adventure of the spirit. Sitting here, snowed in for the moment, I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects. In my recent book, “Indigo Moon”, you’ll sense some of that excitement. My first reader, herself a writer and poet, describes my book as “warm, reflective and celebratory…..with several layers of meaning.” If that intrigues any of you and you would like to order a copy ($12.50 plus postage), just email me at [email protected].