Timing is everything – in food & life!

It’s about time researchers start drawing us back into the natural rhythms of life, but electric lights & temperature control are seriously messing with our bodies & minds.

Snippets:   Scientists have long known that the human body has a master clock in the brain, located in the hypothalamus, that governs our sleep-wake cycles in response to bright light exposure. A couple of decades ago, researchers discovered that there is not just one clock in the body but a collection of them. Every organ has an internal clock that governs its daily cycle of activity.

“We’re designed to have 24-hour rhythms in our physiology and metabolism. These rhythms exist because, just like our brains need to go to sleep each night to repair, reset and rejuvenate, every organ needs to have down time to repair and reset as well.”

Dozens of studies demonstrate that blood sugar control is best in the morning and at its worst in the evening. We burn more calories and digest food more efficiently in the morning as well.

While studies suggest that eating earlier in the day is optimal for metabolic health, it does not necessarily mean that you should skip dinner. It might, however, make sense to make your dinners relatively light. One group of researchers in Israel found in studies that overweight adults lost more weight and had greater improvements in blood sugar, insulin and cardiovascular risk factors when they ate a large breakfast, modest lunch and small dinner compared to the opposite: A small breakfast and a large dinner. Dr. Peterson said it confirms an age-old adage: Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

Medicare Advantage – NY Times article

For olders subscribing to Medicare Advantage, the 2019 plan will allow insurers to add new health-related benefits, including:

  • Adult day care programs
  • Home aides to help with activities of daily life (like bathing & dressing)
  • Palliative at-home care (for some patients)
  • Home safety devices & modifications (think grab bars, wheelchair ramps)
  • Transportation to medical appointments

 

As the article notes, “Yet celebration may prove premature. Many questions remain about how insurers will respond to the legislative opening. ”  To find out the WHY behind the concern, read-print out-file the article, then keep your ear to the ground about future information!

Braiding Sweetgrass (On Being)

A wonderful listen & read from national treasure Krista Tippett & Robin Wall Kimmerer, who wrote Braiding Sweetgrass.

Favorite snippets (just a few of so many!)

RWK:  I can’t think of a single scientific study in the last few decades that has demonstrated that plants or animals are dumber than we think. It’s always the opposite, right? What we’re revealing is the fact that they have extraordinary capacities, which are so unlike our own, but we dismiss them because, well, if they don’t do it like animals do it, then they must not be doing anything, when, in fact, they’re sensing their environment, responding to their environment in incredibly sophisticated ways. The science which is showing that plants have capacity to learn, to have memory, it’s really — we’re at the edge of a wonderful revolution in really understanding the sentience of other beings.

RWK:   What I mean when I say that “science polishes the gift of seeing” brings us to an intense kind of attention that science allows us to bring to the natural world, and that kind of attention also includes ways of seeing, quite literally, through other lenses — that we might have the hand lens, the magnifying glass in our hands that allows us to look at that moss with an acuity that the human eye doesn’t have so we see more. The microscope that lets us see the gorgeous architecture by which it’s put together, the scientific instrumentation in the laboratory that would allow us to look at the miraculous way that water interacts with cellulose, let’s say. That’s what I mean by “science polishes our ability to see” — it extends our eyes into other realms. But we’re, in many cases, looking at the surface. And by the surface, I mean the material being alone. ~ ~ But in indigenous ways of knowing, we say that we know a thing when we know it not only with our physical senses, with our intellect, but also when we engage our intuitive ways of knowing, of emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. And that’s really what I mean by listening. By seeing that traditional knowledge engages us in listening. And what is the story that that being might share with us if we know how to listen as well as we know how to see?

RWK:   In talking with my environment students, they wholeheartedly agree that they love the earth. But when I ask them the question of does the earth love you back, there’s a great deal of hesitation and reluctance and eyes cast down, like, oh, gosh, I don’t know. Are we even allowed to talk about that? That would mean that the earth had agency and that I was not an anonymous little blip on the landscape, that I was known by my home place. ~ ~ So it’s a very challenging notion, but I bring it to the garden and think about the way that when we, as human people, demonstrate our love for one another, it is in ways that I find very much analogous to the way that the earth takes care of us, is when we love somebody, we put their wellbeing at the top of a list and we want to feed them well. We want to nurture them. We want to teach them. We want to bring beauty into their lives. We want to make them comfortable and safe and healthy. That’s how I demonstrate love, in part, to my family, and that’s just what I feel in the garden, as the earth loves us back in beans and corn and strawberries. Food could taste bad. It could be bland and boring, but it isn’t. There are these wonderful gifts that the plant beings, to my mind, have shared with us. And it’s a really liberating idea to think that the earth could love us back, but it’s also the notion that — it opens the notion of reciprocity that with that love and regard from the earth comes a real deep responsibility.

Olders & risk – go for it!

What delight to find an article I missed over on NextAvenue.com featured on MarketWatch.com.  Amen & hallelujah!

Over the moon to devour the well-crafted article talking about women putting themselves out there after 50, taking MORE risks as they age upward, rather than drawing back.  Am dancing in the streets that the financial site is introducing more people across the age spectrum to the wonderfulness of both NextAvenue & to Next Tribe.

As the article describes, Jeannine Ralston, who founded Next Tribe with a longtime friend, set out from home with her husband & children to travel the world.  Let’s acknowledge up front that as a previously published author whose written travel pieces for a host of publications including the NY Times & National Geographic, it was a no-brainer that Jeannine had the experience, material & contacts to end up with a slew of related articles & at least one book.

Few of us are so graced with talent & opportunity.  Which is not to discount all that Jeannine has risked & done.  But let me introduce you to a woman who epitomizes a 50+ woman who embraced risk – at every level of experience – without any semblance of a safety net.  My mother, Katharine Reynolds Lockhart.

When Mom was suddenly widowed at 64, she had experience as a dutiful daughter to a demanding mother, a devoted wife & life partner to my adoring Dad, a committed parent.  The farthest she’d been was a trip with Dad to London, a year before his unexpected death.  Up to 1974, her life revolved around home, church, community.

Mom’s unforeseen loss lefter her emotionally crumpled, but circumstances set in that got her OUT of her grief & opened up a previously unimagined life.  At 65, she was off to Australia to help a son & his wife welcome their first child, breaking her trip with a couple days visiting Pasadena, two in Hawaii & one in Tahiti.   At 67, we discovered that the person she’d put in charge of her finances had done her dirt, losing every penny of the money Dad had left.

Suddenly, in an age when anything in the 60s was considered O-L-D, Mom had to create money streams tailored to her non-driving reality.  She hit that out of the park AND had a powerful influence on the families & individuals she touched through family care, meal making, laundry folding & travel companionship.  At 85, Mom had clocked in numerous trips to Florida, several to Bermuda, a couple to Texas & seven (7) multi-month stays with Mike & Kerry in Australia.

I imagine Mom reading the article & whooping with agreement that in her mid-60s, she was just hitting stride.

Not that she knew that, sitting almost catatonic in Dad’s big chair in our living room.  In July 1974, she felt life, as she knew it, was over.   She was spot on – life as she knew it was over.

A life that she had never envisioned, rooted in all that came before but now sprouting exotic blossoms, was about to begin.

Right up to her last breath, Mom never held back.  While she didn’t write articles for Time or Smithsonian, she never held back. Not when it came to flying to the other side of the world.  Not when it came, in her 70s, to walking six nights a week the half mile from our Woodland Road house up & over to Alwick to make “Aunt” Benita’s dinner – come rain sleet or ice.  Not when it came to tackling, in her late 80s, the most daunting challenge of her life – being upfront & honest with her adult children about who she was & what SHE needed.

Near the end, the article notes, “It’s OK to take a few risks.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting out of your comfort zone.”  Readers at NextAvenue or MarketWatch might look at Jeannine Ralston’s honor roll of accomplishments, her deep well of recognized talent & the bedrock of opportunities that she’ll use as a freelancer to the end of her days & brush off her message, thinking, “Easy for her to write – my talents are less defined, let alone developed, & my opportunities feel like their zilch.

To them, I give my mother, with no money, limited resources, great loss & more family who needed her than ones able to offer financial or even emotional support.  My mother, who never saw risk as risky – it’s just what comes with full caps LIVING.

I can imagine Mom reinforcing Jeannine’s message about squeezing every moment, holding onto every day, not dwelling on separation from loved ones, just accepting when it finally arrives.  Jeannine wrote that about appreciating time with her growing sons.  Mom lived that every day of her life, right up to the last, particularly with what always mattered most to her – home, church, community.

Mom took to heart, especially over the last few years of her life, the crucial importance of taking risks, of venturing into scary dark corners that called to be left alone, of traveling to new places & chalking up new experiences.  Of striving every day to be awake & aware of all that was around & within her.

One thing I am sure of – Mom & Jeannine would have recognized in each other a kindred spirit, would have banded together to get out the message clearly at the core of their being:  Life is meant to be embraced, engaged in, experienced.  That whatever our age – especially as we age ever upward – we need to keep grooving, traveling, developing & deepening interests, always looking for ways to celebrate our knowledge, insights & full-throttle LIVING.

Arrrggghhh! Ageist assumptions strike again!

A young friend – in her mid thirties? – wrote a blog post today about her wonderful Dad, who died suddenly some years back.  She observes – “Today would be my dad’s 75th birthday. He would not have liked that milestone, but I sure would have.”

I doubt it.  I bet that he would take one look at how well his children have done, how his grandkids are flourishing & he’d be smug as a bug in a rug to be a glorious 75 years.  He might have dreaded it in his 60s & I’m sure he would have camped up his horror for one & all, but in his heart…  Nah – he’d take one look at all those beloved faces, remember all the memories, and been the soul of happiness to be a “geezer.”