“Eat at Your Ancestor’s Table”

All these years of doing genealogy, I’ve noticed a few things about my ancestors. Most notable is the fact that all but one of my great-grandparents lived well into their late 90’s and beyond. And many of their ancestors lived just as long if not longer. 

Of course, our history is filled with deaths from famine and drought, infections and war but for the most part many just died from “old age”. 

I’ve noticed a BIG difference in longevity of those who lived all their days in Cabo Verde vs those who migrated to the US and other parts of the world. Of my great-grandparents, my great grandfather, Domingos da Cruz, died of a heart attack in his 70’s and he spent almost 1/2 of his life in America… eating an American diet. My family medical history in America since then is full of cancer, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Recently, I decided to make major changes in my lifestyle and diet after some of my labs showed I was pre-diabetic, my glucose levels were 6.2% – only .2% from full diabetes!

I have omitted sugar, processed foods and vegetable oils. I do not drink soda or juices full of high fructose syrups, etc. No margarine, breads and pasta. My great-great-great grandparents didn’t eat pop tarts, Big Macs or Coca Cola and neither will I. 

I found a book, Longevity Diet by Dr Valter Longo, that said we should “eat at our ancestor’s table” because if it worked for them, it will work for you! I am cooking more than I have in a long time, making cachupa (using bone broth), xerem, rice and beans and I have been eating toresma, pastels and bacalhao during my trips home! 

The best news is that my last labs show my glucose level is now 5.6% – I’m no longer pre-diabetic, my cholesterol is more than 50 points lower AND I’ve lost more than 40 pounds!!! 

If it worked for them it will work for us… 

Just some food for thought (pun intended 😊) 

 

Author: The Creola Genealogist

My name is Anna Lima. I am the daughter of immigrants, born and raised in Massachusetts. I am the mother of two and a Speech Pathologist. My love of family history began as a child listening to my elders speak of “the old country”. Through their stories grew a love for the culture and traditions of my ancestors and I wanted to know more about who they were. My great-grandmother, our family Griot, was my greatest inspiration as she passed down stories and traditions that have helped me become the person I am today. I believe that remembering our ancestors strengthens who we are. I hope to continue my great-grandmother’s legacy, to continue to pass down the stories of not only my own family history but also the stories of the ancestors of anyone who wishes to remember. My blog is dedicated to the ancestors, those remembered and those yet to be found.

3 thoughts on ““Eat at Your Ancestor’s Table””

  1. I completly agree because I had to do the same 4 years ago , in other country, France where the way of cooking and eating seem To be different… I’m descindent of Caboverdeans too and I love you site To recodnise ancêtres…roots & story!
    Lovely,

  2. I totally agree, I have also seen the difference in health of my relatives who born in America or migrated to America at an early age compared to relatives who came to America later in life. I myself was born in the U.S. and was diagnosed with Type II diabetes 15 years ago. I changed my diet and started to cook more meals at home. I did not stop making my favorite Cape Verdean dishes but used less fat and salt than my mother did. I too lost weight and have my diabetes until control with the use of medications.

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