More Okinawans live to be 100 years old than the people of any other country. They credit sea vegetables for their many healthy years. My father lived a few months past his 105th birthday. He didn’t eat kelp or any other seaweed, but he grew all his own land vegetables until well into his 90s. He also cared for a younger friend’s orchard, creating the biggest, juiciest prune plums I ever tasted. He owned a small dryer and dried his surplus vegetables, apples, and prunes for winter eating. He kept several hives of bees and harvested raw honey with a taste of beeswax in it.
He liked to go into his garden and pluck a ripe tomato from it’s vine and eat it right there. He pulled carrots, brushed the dirt off, and ate them truly fresh. He grafted seven varieties of apple on his one apple tree and enjoyed them as a snack any time from late August through November. He peeled, sliced, and dried the extras. My tiny lot has little space for growing anything edible except herbs in pots, but I buy the freshest vegetables and fruit I can.
Dad fished for trout, cleaned them, and froze them in milk cartons filling the space around each fish with water. He did not eat low fat. He put a cube of butter on each roast as he cooked it, "to season it," he said. Copious quantities of butter in his cooking and slathered on his bread supplied Omega-3 fats though I doubt he ever heard of them.
My favorite foods are: Almonds and walnuts, apples, blueberries and oranges, beans and peas, kale and spinach and green leaf lettuce, carrots and parsnips, cabbages and broccoli, yams, dried kelp granules, steel cut oats and brown rice, chicken, fish and lean red meats. Today, I’m cooking split pea soup. You need to start it 3 ½ hours before you intend to eat it. Soaking the peas overnight cuts cooking time by an hour. A crockpot works well. I just simmer it in a covered saucepan on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, while making dinner and on into the evening to eat next day.
SPLIT PEA SOUP
½ cup green split peas
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons kelp granules
¼ onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red potato, thinly peeled and diced
1 rib celery including leaves, sliced
Dash dried thyme
5 to 6 ounces diced ham or 1 cup diced large sausage, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley.
Bring the split peas, broth, and bacon bits to boiling in a 6-cup saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer 3 hours, or until peas are tender. Add potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, herbs and meat if using. Simmer 30 minutes more. Add meat, real or soy. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.