Do you remember the last time you got sick? It’s boring, right? Lying in bed wishing to spend several very uncomfortable and completely useless days. What would you give to never have to go through that again?
The good news is that a nutrient-dense diet may be all that’s needed. After a cancer scare in 2008, I have swept away on a wave of motivation for healthy living, with a healthy diet front and center. My intention was only to prevent more serious diseases in the long term, but after a few years, I noticed a rather peculiar side effect: I was no longer sick.
In addition to healthy food, my new healthy lifestyle included lots of exercises, and Norway’s clean air and water also played a part. But the other two pillars of health; sleep and low stress have remained far from ideal for most of my ongoing streak of perfect health.
When this journey began, all I knew about nutrition was that we should eat more fruits and vegetables. To say the least, I was not a fan of vegetables, so I decided to start with the fruits that I like the most.
And mashed avocado on crispy bread/toast, seasoned with a bit of Aromat (later replaced with salt and pepper), topped the list.
My second great love in the world of fruits is the kiwi. These strange creations have always been an expensive luxury, but my career was just beginning and I had some money for the first time. So I decided to spend a big bag of kiwis every week.
Another important factor in starting my streak of perfect health was the free fruit baskets we received at work. My newfound obsession with health coupled with my great love of free stuff (a holdover from my student days) helped me explore this privilege with unabashed vigor.
My deep fear of vegetables lasted for years in my 12-year series, but cucumber was a rather unusual exception. I particularly liked the crunch it gave to a ham and cheese sandwich, which I have enjoyed too liberally in the past.
Self-help guru Tony Robbins’ witty endorsement of the humble cucumber for its alkaline benefits also played a role.
Fish was another food group that I cleverly avoided in the years leading up to my great health journey. I grew up a keen meat lover in South Africa, heavily influenced by our beautiful braai culture.
But life decided to take me to Norway, a country that doesn’t exactly have the best grilling climate and produces a huge amount of the world’s salmon.
For many years, most of my days started with sweetened fruit yogurt (passion fruit and melon of all things) and fruit muesli. Yes, the added sugar wasn’t that great, but yogurt still has a number of health benefits. And above all, I really liked it.
This experience taught me that the human immune system can take care of almost any common insect if kept in good shape through a super healthy diet (supported by regular exercise). To make the deal even more enjoyable, I’ve found that this super diet can still be profoundly enjoyable and very practical.
Our world would be a much happier and more productive place without common short-term illnesses and serious degenerative diseases as we age. So how about? Let’s build this world together: one healthy meal at a time.