Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happiness and Health and ... Woody Allen?

Woody Allen once said: “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”   And as with most things Woody Allen, I absolutely agree.  Though Allen is arguably the master of turning pain and suffering into humor, I always find some thought-provoking reality in words.

I often think it is Allen's ability to capitalize on the absurdities of life that provoke laughter, even in his most cynical moments. And although so much of his work is dark and depressing, almost always self-defeating, and usually centered around death or the human instinct we all have to somehow escape from it, his quotes are so memorable and so timeless that the above graphic immediately brought the opening Allen quote to mind because, as usual, it so perfectly illustrates our never-ending belief that we can be happy or we can be healthy, but we can't be both at the same time. What's more, it is the effort we put into achieving a simultaneous kind of health&happiness that lends humor to the graphic and (at least in my opinion) makes pretty much every single Woody Allen line so laugh-out-loud funny.

Clearly the message above is - just eat the apple.  It's nature's medicine, it's not likely to create more problems than it solves (individual digestive system situations notwithstanding), and rather than treating a condition, it works to prevent many illnesses from occurring in the first place, if eaten on a regular basis.  In fact, a good friend of mine told me just last week that she read of a study where "healthy, middle-aged adults [consumed] one apple a day for four weeks [and] lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL - low density protein, the 'bad' cholesterol."  Sure, these same people could have lived apple-free lives, then turned to the latest cholesterol-lowering medications when their levels finally turned their bodies into living, breathing stroke risks. But what if, just this once, Woody Allen's statement wasn't entirely accurate?  What if we could actually live to be a hundred, not only despite indulging in all the things that made us want to live that long, but because of them?  Just some food for thought.

How do you combine pleasure and health to create your own individual "lifestyle"?  Do you consider things like massage, physical fitness, spending time in nature or engaging in artistic pursuits unnecessary indulgences? Are organic foods and regular vacations pure luxury items, or do you consider them part of your overall healthcare/self-care regime?  Feel free to share here!

And while we're at it, when was the last time you ate an apple?

Until next time,
~ Hasky

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