So why did I set out to improve the everyday tortilla by creating a Healthy Green Cactus Tortilla made of Prickly Pear Cactus?
I did it because I believe that with proper nutrition I can better take care of my health and proactively do something about maintaining the good health that I now have before it is suddenly taken from me. Now, I know that good health does not leaves us suddenly, it is more of a gradual declination that we choose to ignore until we start to be hurt by the lack of it. But most of the time, we do not see it that way. We see ourselves healthy until a few seconds before we receive that bit of news by our physician that we have a problem.
My interest in maintaining my good health did not start when I decided to create Nopaltilla but many years before. It began at the bedside of my dying father. At the moment of his death, I suddenly became aware of my own mortality. My father was 6'5'' and my figure of physical strength and vitality. He died at the young age of 67 afflicted by both cancer and diabetes. If he was taken from me by ill-health, then this younger version of him, a slightly overweight, junk food eating, couch potato was soon to follow him. Unless, I take the maintenance of my health in my own hands. I knew what to do then but not how to go about it so I did not implement any change until much later.
My first glance at how to better take care of my health came after an encounter with a 96 year old medicine man, a shaman, deep in the Mayan Jungle several hours from Cancun, Mexico in 2006. He was a small, thin and strong man that had outlived my father by several decades. Since I make my living as a scientist in medicine, I had much to discuss with him. I realized that his diet was his medicine. I would mentioned a symptom and he would point to a plant. He would process it by cooking it or by smashing it and he would rub it on the body, eat it or smell it to get the desired effect. I was incredibly amazed by him. At the end of the tour, which I forget what it was since I spend most of my time with the Shaman instead of the activity of the day, I departed with a knowledge of what I had to do to maintain my good health for a lot longer than just 67 years.
Your health depends greatly on what you put in your body either by eating it, smelling it, or through your skin or on your skin. Sure, our genes may predisponse us for some illnesses and our family history may make us more probable for others. However, we do not control the probabilities of our afflictions. On the other hand, we do have control of what we put in our bodies. THE KEY TO GOOD HEALTH IS PREVENTION AND PREVENTION STARTS IN OUR OWN KITCHENS.
So I am asked, why did you set out to improve the everyday tortilla? Well, I hope I have answered your question. I want to outlive my father.