It started out as any post-ice storm day in North Carolina. The subdivision’s roads were a sheet of ice and hubby and I were a little stir crazy. We decided to grab our cameras and walk 2 miles to a nearby grocery store for coffee beans. We could have lived fine without them, but we thought it was an opportunity to make some fun and boy, did we!
We collected lovely shots of ice holding on to trees and other vegetation and ran into a number of very nice people along the way. There was the guy chopping ice off his driveway. There were the nice people at the grocery store. One gentleman was stocking the shelves in the coffee aisle and we very much enjoyed chatting with him. We thanked him for coming to work on such an icy day, so we could do something as simple and enjoyable as coming in for coffee beans. He smiled and said he was grateful to have his new job. It was only his second day.
On our walk back, we saw a restaurant that has been in the shopping center for years, but we never tried it. To our surprise, it was open! When we got inside, there were only two other customers. They were finishing up their meal, as the waiter excitedly told us about the tea, soup, and delicious food offerings. The folks at the other table looked over at us smiling. We smiled back at them. They agreed with the waiter and told us, they knew we’d be back again because the food is so good.
The food really was delightful, but the real reason we’ll go back is because of our waiter, Ben. What an amazing, friendly, happy, uncomplicated, caring person. Going by his looks and vigor, I guessed his age was about 19.
Ben loved to talk about the quality of the items offered at the restaurant. He told us about the blooming flower tea and how it supported the lungs and is good for cleansing toxins from the liver and kidneys. He said they had a good tea for digestion issues too; but most people want the iced tea or sweet lemonade. He talked about the importance of keeping our insides, our organs, balanced and how the outside would reflect that. He bragged about his baby soft skin and when he told us about his teenage daughter, I knew he really was not 19. At the age of 40 he still holds an amazingly youthful complexion, which he thanks his grandmother for.
Ben told us his grandmother is 109 years old and very healthy. She taught him four important lessons about living a long healthy life. He was gracious enough to share them with us.
1. Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
Eating salad all the time to lose weight or eating meat all the time is not the thing to do. Have a variety of fruits and vegetables, not the same ones all the time, mix it up and have a small portion of meat. Mix up the variety on that too.
Avoid too much added sugar. It is no good for you and hard on the organs.
He also stressed the importance of listening to your body. It might not want certain foods sometimes. Respect that. Also, don’t try to fight strong cravings, it will not get you anywhere. If it happens to be a craving for something sugary, have a little bit, like half of a slice of cake and share the other half with a friend. If you must have a soda, use a small glass and only fill it half way.
In addition to food, he shared with us how his medicine cabinet only hold things from nature, not pills from the pharmacy that are bad for your liver. He spoke a lot about being in balance with nature.
Other tips included:
- Eating celery helps to absorb sugar (Due to the fiber content, celery can help to keep blood sugar under control)
- Cabbage helps to bind oils. (I was only able to find this very scientifically worded study that may or may not be related. Binding of Water, Oil, and Bile Acids to Dietary Fibers of the Cellan Type)
2. Exercise is also important.
Regular movement is important. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just be sure you do it. Again, listen to your body when it comes to exercise. There will be days when you feel under-the-weather, take it easy and rest, just don’t make staying still all day an every day habit.
3. Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep gives your body time to heal and restore.
Nathan and I both had a hard time understanding the word Ben kept using when he spoke about smiling. He was kind enough to go ask his brother to spell the word for us. The word was “hormone.” Could smiling help to balance hormones by reducing the stress hormone, cortisol? Try a smile and a bit of laughter for yourself …
A huge thank you to Ben for sharing and to his grandmother for teaching her keys to a long healthy life to him. We are grateful to have met you.