|Green winter in Provence. I could retire here.|
My immune system is very strong. I only get sick with flu-like symptoms every 7 years or so. During our stay in Provence this December, both hubby and I got sick. First we had upset stomach lasting 24 hrs. It might have been some bug as my mother had the same back in Norway. A few days later we both came down with aching bodies and coughing, luckily no fever. On the return flight passengers coughed all around me. Traveling while sick is no fun and lacking energy makes life miserable. Wanting to live to 100 years depends on having the energy to live a good life.
|Lots of leaves in the pool due to cold and windy weather before a hard freeze.|
Meanwhile I've been doing a lot of research on brain health. I find these things very interesting. Last year hubby had no work and we had to live on saved money. At the same time he was diagnosed with osteo arthritis and the doctor told him he had only 5 more years before he would be invalid. He already had kidney stone and hypertension for years but now he was also borderline diabetic so our future didn't look too good. The new public health insurance doubled in premium costing as much as our monthly house mortgage with only catastrophic coverage. That is when you start thinking about how you want to spend the future in retirement.
We're dreaming of retirement in the countryside, preferably in Provence and spending December, the coldest month of the year there was a test of how it would be like. So this time we didn't spend time sightseeing but tried to live as the locals. One month; Christmas, my birthday and New Years in Provence was very nice. The weather was much better than expected. Several restaurants and hotels were closed due to lack of tourists but also because of the holidays. They live a much slower pace of life where food and lifestyle is important, a compelling argument to get even deeper engage in living healthy.
Unfortunately it seems like Alzheimer and brain problems is just as common as all the other diseases I've been writing about the last year. But the more I investigate the more I find a common link. All these diseases are linked to inflammation and diet. So my resolution for this new year and probably the rest of my life is to continue eating healthy, organic real unprocessed food low in sugar and carbohydrates. My health experience in Provence might have been a coincidence, but I am still convinced that eating healthy can reverse most of our common diseases. For me there is a lot of power in knowing this in contrary to giving up and accepting that it's genetic or nothing you can do about it. With this empowerment I went to the local farmers marked to buy organic vegetables and grass-fed beef with marrow bones to make a stew. Full of collagen to improve gut lining and boost my immune system.
Yoga is a tool that works on the body and mind together. Functional medicine also works on the whole body and it will be my mission to learn more about it. I don't see a difference in the two, and they both support our choice of nourishment. Most people don't see the same connection and think we're crazy. We all believe in different things. Although I want to help others, they have to live their lives the way they believe is right, just like I do. It's hard when you see small children being effected by their parents choices, but I can't do anything about it. Even my friends fighting cancer are eating carcinogenic food and have no interest in changing. This is a big part of my mental work, to let go. I don't loose sleep over it anymore and I can let those thoughts go.
|I bought some grass-fed beef with marrow bone at the farmers marked to make a stew. Perfect in this cold weather.|
|Organic vegetable from the local farmers market. Red cabbage has lots of phytochemical and antioxidants.|
|Honey comb is great on cheese as dessert. It boost your immune system and helps with allergies.|
|Perfect dessert: cheese with organic berries, nuts, honey and biological French wine.|
Being married to a guy working in the oil and gaz industry, and with two kids in the same industry, we're quite vulnerable. We've been almost one year without work and living off savings with skyrocketing healthcare costs and uncertain health issues. Safety is of a big concern for us. Retirement is at least 2 years ahead and we're spending time planing and reflecting on the future. Being self employed hubby might be able to work longer than people that are employed but at the same time one have to enjoy life while one have the health and the means.
Our goal is still to retire debt free and away from the stress of big city life. So far we've checked out 2 retirement options, Hot Springs Arkansas and Provence, France. Arkansas will give us financial freedom of low cost living but not the lifestyle we want. Provence is still a dream but we're not sure it's worth the cost in money and personal investment. Returning to our home, daughter, friends, lifestyle and hobbies puts things in perspective. My biggest question is not related to the material lifestyle, but the health and energy level as one gets older. With aging parents and friends loosing theirs I reflect over the future life quality more than the material aspect.
|My daughter got a puppy the day after I returned from France, what a joy in life.|
Every day can be joyful no matter what we choose, there is no right answer on how to live. Luckily hubby is working now and therefore we have to remain in Houston for a few more years. We both agree that our past year brought us closer together and gave us a different focus on life, health, future and values. We're enjoying each others company, family, friends, my daughters new puppy and hoping for spring to arrive.
|This little thing reminds me that life is all about love|