Proving you are never too old to change a habit, my mum at the age of 72, has taken on some remarkable life changes of late.
I have prompted her for years to cut down on caffeine, drink more water and give up sugar - seeing her heap 4 teaspoons into her many coffees during the course of a day used to fill me with horror. However I think it took more than her daughter going on about it, and if I'm honest, probably occasionally a little intolerantly - as we can be with our parents sometimes.
Sending her the documentary Food Matters seemed to turn her around. (I recommend this film highly to everyone - see below link). Food can be our medicine, or what we eat can be the underlying cause of disease. Refined sugars in particular drain our body of essential vitamins and minerals, harms malfunction of the brain, makes us sleepy and can be a major contributing factor to illness.
So at the start of this year Mum took it upon herself to cut out the sugar. Notably, this has naturally reduced her caffeine intake - because funnily enough it just doesn't taste that great anymore (it's not a dessert now!) As well as increased her water consumption - of which there had been virtually none. We have also discussed the many things she can add into her diet to help stop the cravings and improve her overall health.
She sees it as a change in lifestyle, not just a change in her diet. And wonderfully it has made a huge impact on her daily life.
I am so very proud of her!
On a daily basis Mum used to come home and immediately fall asleep in front of the TV. The reasoning... this is just the way I am, I have done it my whole life, my father was the same. I never really thought much about this, until she commented that at the end of the day she was going out and sitting in the garden, or doing alternative things.
She had more energy!!
What excites me most about this is not only does she have a few more hours in her day that she never had before, but what about in 10 years time when she is in her 80's. The longer reaching benefits are significant - and it means I get a Mum who I hope is still filled with as much energy and good health as possible in her later years.
Change can be hard for anyone, but I think never more so than when you are older, and routines have been set for decades. She has stuck at it for 2 months now, it certainly hasn't been easy for her, but she is determined to continue on.
I encourage you to share this story with anyone who may doubt their ability to make a shift in their wellbeing.
My darling Mum proves it can be done.
Food Matters Documentary
Article on why sugar is detrimental to our health.