8 Lifestyle Lessons From Our Elders
It's hard to deny that we have things pretty sweet these days. We don't have to rely on snail mail to connect with our friends and family, we don't have to wee in a tin shed out in the backyard, and we don't have to spend months at sea if we want to visit our international neighbors. Heck, we don't even have to wait in line at the post office without tapping into some form of entertainment via iPhone. However, there are some elements of days gone past that perhaps we shouldn’t have given up. Our mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers (depending on the age of my audience here) are always starting sentences with, “Back in my day”, to which we generally take as our cue to tune out and start running scenes of Modern Family in our minds. But perhaps we ought to listen to some of the stuff they’re saying. If you can bear with the references to how much they paid for their first homes and how spoilt kids these days are, you may just learn priceless information that will add some old-school charm to your health and happiness. Such gems of wisdom may include...
1. Saturated fats are not the devil. It turns out that the only thing that whole ‘low-fat, no-fat’ movement did for us was make us fat. Go figure. At the start of the 80s, when the low-fat craze began, saturated fats in particular were brutally demonized. Butter was out, margarine and all of the trans fats it brought with it were in. Suddenly, we didn’t want anything to do with food that still contained its full fat content and we were scoffing packets of anything that claimed to be void of the stuff. Never mind all of the sugar, salt and artificial flavors that had to be added to the mix to compensate for the lack of taste that was left after the fat was removed. Now, in a cruel twist of fate, it turns out that saturated fats aren’t that bad for us anyway and trans fats are killing us. We actually need some saturated fats in our diet to really thrive. Coconut oil, anyone?
2. Castor oil will clear that right up. Clogged up? No motion in your internal ocean? Not pooping with regularity? Are you full of shit? Forget laxatives, all you need is a nice dose of castor oil. Two tablespoons first thing in the morning and things will be moving along nicely within a couple of hours. It may taste gross and make you feel a bit crook, but this is one old-school remedy that hasn’t lost its affect.
3. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away. Take a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in warm water to aid with digestion, detoxification, weight loss, your immune system, skin conditions, warts and to help ward off sickness. You can also add it to your bath water or dab it on problem areas of your skin. Awesome stuff.
4. Hydrogen peroxide works on everything. Three per cent hydrogen peroxide is the cheapest, most versatile and most effective lifestyle remedy you can buy. I use it to lighten my hair, whiten my teeth, to clear up pimples and blackheads, to whiten the washing and in my bath water and on my skin to help detoxify my body. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, fill the cap of a bottle of hydrogen peroxide with the liquid, lie down on your side, and pour it into one ear. After a few seconds, the liquid will bubble. Lay with the peroxide fizzing for five or 10 minutes, and then shake the peroxide out. Repeat on the other ear. You should experience results within 12-14 hours.
5. Put down the Easy Off Bam and use old-school cleaning solutions. You shouldn’t need to wear a gas mask to clean your house. There are so many safe and natural solutions you can employ to get rid of dirt, grime and mold from your home. Like white vinegar and bi-carb soda, for instance – so cheap and simple, but so effective. Combine the two and use them to clean your bathroom, kitchen and toilet. If you have a mold problem, try diluting 2ml of clove oil in 1 liter of water and spray onto mold-infested areas. Castile soap is also great. You can use it on your dishes, as hand wash and in the shower.
6. Go and play outside. Our elders are right; we do spend far too much time indoors. It’s no wonder we feel so lost and disconnected from the earth – we are never actually connected with it. Stepping outside, getting in touch with nature, walking bare foot on the grass or the beach and clearing your head with fresh air will do wonders for your health and wellbeing.
7. Spend time without technology. If our grandparents could go to the loo without being accompanied by an iPhone than so can we. As much as the internet is a brilliant advancement that I for one and completely grateful for, it wouldn’t hurt to spend a week, day or even hour away from our computers. Try it.
8. Eat real food. This one is more difficult that most people might think – especially if you’re reluctant to get out of the supermarket. Too many of us satisfy self-imposed time restrictions by settling for food that comes pre-prepared out of a bottle, jar, packet or box. However, the down side of convenience is that these “foods” often come with a hearty side dish of chemicals, salt, sugar and toxic fats. Real whole food is what really feeds us. Food that is as close to its natural state as possible. By eating foods that haven’t been tampered with and had their nutritional quality compromised, we are giving our bodies all of the vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.