Food and Fitness:

You turn 50 and you don’t want life to pass you by. You think about what matters most now.

I met a guy who is a political activist. I’m so jaded that I don’t think our government can fix what ails society. I favor Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Michael Jackson sang in “Man in the Mirror” that if you want to change the world you first have to change yourself. That’s an apt message for those of us who are 50. There’s still time. Better to take action now than to not do it and turn 60 or 70 and regret that yes life has passed you by.

If not now, when? If not us, who?

I’m a food activist and environmental activist first of all. The substances we put in our bodies and in our earth can harm us more than anything.

This is something everyone has control over. In New York, you can use food stamps at Greenmarkets. Do this and use a food pantry–you won’t have to resort to buying cheap processed food.

Meat belongs in no one’s diet–so right there you lower your food costs.

In New York a pack of cigarettes is $12. A week of organic oranges is $11. This is simple home economics.

We can thus all have a better life regardless of what our government does. There’s the real chance a Republican will be our next president–so it’s important we take matters into our own hands in caring and providing for ourselves.

I didn’t want to have to rely on the government–I didn’t want to collect a disability check the rest of my life. My political activist guy thinks the arc of history will progress. I’m skeptical it will.

Now that anyone on SSI or SSDI can set up a tax-free ABLE account we can have the money to buy organic food. A container of Earthbound Farms organic kale is $5. Buy tomatoes, chickpeas, and olives to add to the health. Voila–you have at least four salads for lunch for each week.

For $6, you can buy Amy’s Organic frozen meals instead of Lean Cuisine. No one is getting lean on tiny portions of standard frozen meals.

Now: I don’t want Mr. Toupee to become our next president. Yet he might well become our president. Anyone who doesn’t get out and vote–when Americans do have this bare minimum way to participate in our democracy–has to accept the outcome.

That’s why I’m firm in saying that each of us is truly the best change agent in society when it comes to changing the world.

If we can barely take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to take care of the planet.

Which is why in my view success starts and ends with food and fitness.

Not with the political process.



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