There is one other aspect of my diet that I've not discussed before - a little vegan chocolate every day.
Most chocolate contains milk products but a few producers make pure, dark chocolate that is 85% pure cocoa and does not contain any animal products such as milk or cream. My favorite vegan chocolates are
Lindt 85% Dark
Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate
Valrhona Dark Bitter Chocolate
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate
I have also found pure, unsweetened vegan drinking chocolate from single regions such as Peru, Kenya etc. packaged by Allegro
What are the benefits of Dark chocolate? It's rich in antioxidants, it lowers blood pressure, and it enhanced mood per WebMD and Dr. Weil's resources.
What is the downside to chocolate? It contains a bit of theobromine, a methylxanthine like caffeine. I try to avoid all stimulants. Chocolate is not for the locavore. I really try to limit all my foods to 100 miles of where I live.
Admittedly, eating .5 ounce of chocolate a day is vegan but not local, is healthy, but is still a stimulant. My only excuse is that I live in the cold, dark, and snowy Northeast. That little bit of chocolate every day is my cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder. It can also be socially responsible.
A few days ago while traveling, I ordered a microbrewed beer and was asked for my ID. Since I'm nearly 50 and was asked for my ID, I can only assume that those antioxidants in the chocolate must be really keeping me young.