I turned 67 today and it's kind of a weird feeling. No, not that I'm getting older. Actually just the opposite. Since we moved to Ecuador over 5 1/2 years ago I believe I look and know I feel younger than when we arrived (the same is true for Cynthia, but it's not her birthday).
Since this development was totally unexpected I've been thinking about how it's been possible to defy the aging process, and three things come to mind. First is our food supply and diet. Due to the temperate equatorial climate Ecuador is blessed with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables year round. Not only that, our constitution forbids GMO's, so we don't have apples the size of softballs like in the States.
Processed foods are almost nonexistent here. We prepare all of our meals at home from scratch, and restaurants make everything fresh each day as well. Combine these factors with cows, chickens, and pigs not jacked up with hormones and God knows what else and it's clear our overall diet is vastly superior to what we used to consume.
Second, our fitness has improved drastically. Not owning a car and walking almost everywhere makes exercise a necessary part of daily life. We also make weight training, yoga, and cardio an important part of our schedule. In fact, these activities are the only things that we set aside time for every week in our otherwise spontaneous expat world.
Last but absolutely not least, stress has vanished from our consciousness. Our previous lives had more stress than we realized until we removed ourselves from it, and the period leading up to our arrival here was extremely trying. Our life here is relaxed and carefree, and we've developed extraordinary levels of patience from immersing ourselves in a culture that's just not in much of a hurry to do anything.
So it's amazing to find myself growing older and younger at the same time. Happy Birthday to me!!