Saving Time with Char
It’s My Birthday
I was a freshman in high school when the Beatles inked their song about being 64. I remember thinking how old that seemed. And, it seemed so far away. I no longer need to search, because 64 years have found me. Not sure how it happened, but, it did.
I never knew that I was “older” until this happened.
It was the summer of 2010 and Rip was visiting Philadelphia for a Forks Over Knives tour. He had invited me and my friend J.R. up on stage. And as he was profiling who I was, he said, “I got an email from an older woman…” Frankly, I said to myself, “Wonder who he is talking about?” When it turned out to be me, I was in a state of shock, mainly, because in my head, I am about 34. But, Rip was right. People now call me “mam,” get up on the bus for me and provide me with a seat, and always hold doors open. I also noticed at the bank that a teller thought I was really old because she was talking to me with a loud voice in articulated syllables. And, I could hear her perfectly. It must be that flaming silver hair of mine!
The reality is that I am 64. A few weeks ago at work, colleagues, in the their 20’s were talking about someone who was old. I asked them how old that someone was, and they said, “Fifty.” So yes, the vote is in. By many, I am considered old. I am waiting for that next bracket on a race form to come, where I get to check “over 65.”
Many people write to me, asking for tips about their parents. Their parents are “old, in their 50’s,” and their lives are are suspended with many prescription meds. People ask me how to convert their parents. If I had a magic wand, I’d know the answer. I can offer some practical tips that have helped me navigate my plant strong life. Small change is better than no change at all. Start with small steps, the rest will follow.
So, here are some tips that you might want to think about if you are looking to add change to someone’s life. But, let me state that it comes from within, and the change needs to genuinely start. You know, Ghandi said it, “Be the change.”
-Start with Meatless Monday. This is a great forum. Everyone loves to be part of something, why not start here? Go to www.PCRM.org for more info.
-After Meatless Monday, challenge someone to a 28 Day E2 Challenge. That’s how I started. I thought, “Very doable.” The first nine days, I kept a list of things I would eat on day 29. But, at about day 10, I felt so great, that I never looked back. I never did have that piece of gooey pizza. The reality is that feeling great trumps any food there is. Really. And, I thought I could never say that.
-Encourage others to limit dairy. If they love ice cream, whip up some mango “ice cream” in the blender, and they will never look back, either. So delicious and creamy. Yum is all I can say.
-Offer loving and sincere praise to any small changes your loved one might make. What is second nature to you is often strange and foreign to others. Be patient.
-Make your favorite E2 meal and deliver it to someone who needs the change. Usually, a dessert works the best. But, “Raise the Roof Lasagna” is another great way to start.
I have found over the years, that offering love and support, and leaving judgment at the door works best in getting others to embrace what you know is best for them. Starting small works best. Make the change gradual. I am a “jump off the deep end of the pool” kind of person, so learning this was a great life lesson.
I think, though, that the best thing is a 28 Day Challenge. That is the true litmus test of feeling great. It provides the proof that food is medicine. If you are wanting for a loved one to change behavior, the validation of feeling wonderful is the best reward. Offer love. Offer support. Do not judge.
So, November 20, I will be 64. I carry no regrets. Only one. And that is that I wish when I first read Dean Ornish twenty years ago, that I would have jumped on his band wagon. But, you cannot look back, and I am happy where I am today.
If your parents, spouse, whomever, is around my age, let them know that it is never too late to change. The plant-strong lifestyle is the best thing I have ever done for myself. And I want you to do the same.
My birthday cake with be a Mighty Muffins Cake with avocado/chocolate icing. And everyone will eat it, too! You might want to tell your folks that you know a 64 year old woman who takes no meds…not even a Tylenol!
Yes, I am 64. And, thank you, Sir Paul.