Saturday, May 23, 2015

Leave me alone. I don't want to live till 100, and beyond!

I spotted a student rushing past my office.  "Hey" I said more as a hello than to call him over.  There was no response. I figured that he was way past my office to even hear me.

He then peeped in through the door.

When chatting, he said,"you are a vegetarian, right?"

"For the most part.  Unless I fall off the wagon."  A few days ago, I intentionally got off the wagon, had that all-American food, and then climbed back on.

"We have gone meatless Mondays at home" he said.  "The oldest is having some trouble with it.  But, last Monday after eating burritos with beans and veggies, he didn't seem to miss meat."

"Of course, man, once the system gets the proteins it craves for, it is happy.  And beans are awesome proteins" I said.

We talked some more and he left.

"The secrets of the world’s longest-lived people include community, family, exercise and plenty of beans" screams this report in the Wall Street Journal.  And yet again reminding me that if I want to keep on schedule for the countdown, then I should stop eating beans and healthy foods and walking!
More than 65% of what people in the blue zones ate came from complex carbohydrates: sweet potatoes in Okinawa, Japan; wild greens in Ikaria, Greece; squash and corn in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Their diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other carbohydrates. They eat meat but only small amounts, about five times a month, usually on celebratory occasions.
As I joke sometimes, eating meat is not the Bill of Rights!
The cornerstone of every longevity diet in the world was the humble bean. One five-country study showed that beans were the only food that predicted a longer life—for each 20-gram serving (about two tablespoons) eaten a day, the chance of dying dropped by 8%. Fava beans in Sardinia, black beans in Costa Rica, lentils in Ikaria, soybeans in Okinawa. Seventh-Day Adventists, America’s longest-lived subculture, eat all kinds of beans, taking their cue from God’s injunction, in the book of Genesis, to eat the fruits of “seed-bearing plants.”
I didn't know that what this atheist and the Adventists have in common does amount to a hill of beans ;)
Dollar for dollar, most beans deliver more protein than beef. More important, beans’ high fiber content serves as a gut compost of sorts, enabling healthy bacteria to thrive.
I simply do not understand why most people don't get this.  Even back in the "veg" India, especially in my part of the old country, people don't include the vast varieties of beans in their daily foods.  Instead, they load up on carbs--hills of rice.
They lived in places where fresh vegetables were cheap and accessible. Their kitchens were set up so that making healthy food was quick and easy. Almost every trip to the store, a friend’s house, work or school occasioned a walk. Their houses didn’t have mechanized conveniences to do house work, kitchen work or yard work; they did it by hand.
But then, stupid is as stupid does; I made this for dinner last night, and I am blogging this after a five mile walk!

A basmati rice dish with onions, tomatoes, and edamame;
with a side of boiled peanuts with coconut and onions
Damn beans!  I don't want to live to be a centenarian; I wonder if there is anything I can learn from these long-lived people?
When it comes to longevity, the long-standing support of a community is significant. In the U.S., you’re likely to die eight years earlier if you’re lonely, compared with people who have strong social networks.
Aha, that's the way I can make sure my odometer stops at 75 ;)


Ramesh said...

Much ado about nothing. If only all this intellectual power can be focused something other than merely food .......

Edamame ? Eda what ??

Anne in Salem said...

I think the love affair with meat in the US is based somewhat on the American obsession with protein. We think we need a lot of protein so we eat a lot of meat, drink nasty protein shake concoctions or consume protein bars by the boxful. Generally we don't need as much as we consume so we have the world's most expensive urine.

There are some people for whom it would be difficult to consume sufficient protein with a vegetarian diet. (Of course the amount of protein needed is debatable and varies from one expert to the next.) For example, during football season, my boys should consume approximately 150 g of protein daily. Allowing for a quart of milk, the balance of the protein need equals 8 cups of beans or 20 eggs, both of which are unappealing and unappetizing. Meat is a logical choice.

Ramesh - edamame is one of the current superfoods Americans adopt in order to gain maximum health with minimal effort. My crew doesn't care for the texture, preferring lentils or black beans. You really need to learn to appreciate the joys of food. So much variety, so much fun preparing and sharing.

Sriram - boiled peanuts? That is a new concept to me. If you have a recipe, please email. Yet another appealing meal.

Sriram Khé said...

Why should understanding food and health not be a part of one's intellectual existence, Ramesh? Maybe I will email you an essay that I wrote a long time back on how in my interpretation education makes us think about all aspects of life, across various disciplines. I am not merely preaching that but also practicing it ;)

One of these summer days we will have come on over for dinner, Anne, and I will make sure that boiled peanuts is on the menu. It will be an all-vegetarian affair, and Ramesh can miss out on all that ;)

In addition to Anne's note on edamame, I will add that Ramesh knows it as the young soybean, which he would have had in plenty in China? ...

BTW, maybe you should market a bumper sticker: "USA: we produce the world's most expensive urine" ;)

Sriram Khé said...

Why email that essay, when I can provide the link ;)

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