Living to 90 and beyond

The inspiring story of a Foodsmiths customer

Walking in the woods

A.J. is a woman for all seasons. In the summer she loves to walk, swim and mow her lawn. In the winter, she cuts up wood for her wood stove and brings it in to feed the fire. She loves nature and goes for a forest walk everyday.

All this at age 90.

She stands up straight, a tall lady with energy and stamina, and lovely skin and hair.
"I look after my body." says A.J. "I'm active. I'm conscious of my posture. I make plans for my day, put together my own meals and read about current events in the Economist and Globe and Mail."

"I also eat a plant-based diet."

This was not always the case. Growing up in Ontario, A.J. ate organic food with her family, but she also enjoyed meat.
In her mid-40s she developed gastrointestinal problems and sought alternative health care.
"I discovered I had sensitivities to wheat, corn, soy, buckwheat, and lentils. It took 6 to 9 months to recover. I started a progressive, total outlook at what I ate, educated myself with many books, and eventually, I adopted a diet that did not include any meat, fish, cheese, eggs or dairy."

This was not her only health challenge. After a debilitating car crash in her early life which broke bones throughout her body, she eventually developed painful hips. Seeking help from the medical establishment, she felt she was not given solutions she could live with.
"They offered tylenol and/or opioids. I said no, and never looked back."

An innovative nurse who worked in many disciplines including Public Health and clinical work in tuberculosis, A.J., now retired, uses her knowledge to help herself and others.

She counts her diet as one of the main reasons for her longevity, and feels she gets everything she needs from the foods she eats.

"I enjoy a hearty breakfast. Before retiring for the night, I soak 4 almonds, and 6 hazelnuts in a small bowl. In a separate bowl I put in 1 tbsp of oatmeal and hemp seed each, 1 tsp each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, ground flax and 2 rounded tsp of sesame seeds. Add enough water to moisten and leave overnight."
"In the morning I warm the mixture in the microwave with the nuts, using the nut soaking water to add more moisture, then add 1 tbsp chia seed, 2 tbsp wheat germ and 3 tbsp ground flax seed, 2 tbsp Flora Udo's Oil 3.6.9 blend, 3 tbsp of plain, plant based yogurt and drizzle honey over top. I also like to add a 1/2 cup of thawed, frozen blueberries. Separately I have 3 wedges of grapefruit and half an apple."

"I seldom eat again until 6:30 or 7pm and often enjoy a vegetable casserole."

Her go-to casserole includes: sweet and white potatoes, onion, garlic, squash, broccoli, kale, really anything that appeals to her.
"I add a 1/2 can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 a can of coconut milk, a bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups of water, and spices, 2 heaping tbsp of nutritional yeast and a 1/2 bag of dried mushrooms. To all this I add at least 2 types of grain, such as millet and rice, and 1/2 to 2/3 cup of one or 2 bean varieties. I start it on my stove top, then bake in the oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours."

"On the side I eat a salad. Carrots, beets, turnip, radishes and a wedge of red cabbage in a food processor. Then add a stalk of celery, coarsely chopped, 3 tbsp pumpkin seed and my homemade dressing: olive oil, white wine vinegar, lime juice, 1 tsp honey and garlic and ginger paste."

Dessert consists of a mandarin, or any other fruit in season. A.J. also occasionally makes cookies, experimenting with different ingredients, including nutritional yeast, dried fruit and honey to sweeten.

"I've been eating this menu or similarily for the better part of my life." says A.J. "A plant-based diet can really turn your health around."

Woman in Woods photo from Pexels, Elina Volkova

1 comment

  • Alison

    lovely message!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published