Doctors think all we want to do is live a “longer” and “healthier” life, and we are willing to do whatever it takes.
Wrong on the last point – we are not willing to obsess, to suffer or to eat boring food to enjoy a longer and healthier life. We are too smart not to see the contradictions in that.
Doctors are wrong – As Aristotle noted, the best life is a short, intense, pleasurable, honorable life dedicated to a cause worth fighting for. The second best is a short, intensely pleasurable life without a cause. A long life is enjoyable, if and only if, later in life, it is healthy, and health is enjoyable only if it can be had without obsession, boredom and suffering. We do not want health if it means always being hungry, or being bored by eating salt-less food, giving up tasty foods, fatty foods, alcohol, and desserts. So let the Okinawans keep their diet. It is not for us. It is BORING SQUARED!
The Square Meal Diet is for the rest of us (at least those who enjoy food preparation) – one tasty meal supplies complete nutrition toward the maintenance of good health as we age. Without complete nutrition, we can forget about enjoying life: we will suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous degenerative disease.
The rest of the diet is for pure enjoyment. Calories are not restricted, nor salt, nor fat, nor meat, nor sugars, nor chocolate, nor alcohol, etc. We eat for enjoyment; stop as we approach fullness. The only things prohibited are worry and guilt.
The second pillar of good physical health is psychological health. This few of us have by nature, and what we learn from our parents and our friends is mostly useless or harmful. We have to unlearn some very unfortunate behaviors, both instinctive and learned, like obsessing over nonsense and stewing over wrongs done to us, real and imagined. But it can be done, and there are good teachers – first among them was the ever-tactful, smart, unassuming Mr. Dale Carnegie.
The third and fourth pillars of good health are exercise and sleep/rest. We do not need much exercise to have level one physical health. I believe we need moderate exercise for level two physical health, and the elusive, short-lived level three physical health cannot be had without vigorous exercise. For a basic level one health, which enables us to enjoy life, we need just a little exercise; mainly, we need to stop AVOIDING exercise, and as for sleep, some sun exposure and light exercise help a great deal.
The rest is enjoyment. We cannot enjoy life if we are obsessing about weight, calories, sugar, fat and cholesterol levels, etc. They are neither here nor there. We can be healthy and enjoy life even though doctors say we are overweight and our “numbers” are too high. Who cares?