I am often asked how I keep myself healthy.

I first became interested in health and nutrition when my husband and I moved to Arkansas to “live off the land.”

We became full-fledged organic farmers—although the word organic meant nothing to us then.  Our farmstead was soon stocked with cattle, horses, pigs and chickens.  Since neither of us had farmed before, we had a lot to learn.

One of the first things we learned was the importance of feeding our livestock properly.  It was OK for beef cattle to range on grasses and clover but, for milk production, our dairy cow needed more—silage, grain, roughage, foods containing protein, calcium, phosphorous, etc.  Our laying hens needed a diet containing adequate amounts of protein and fat, chlorine, vitamin D, salt and calcium—which we gave in the form of oyster shell so they would lay hard-shelled eggs.  The hogs needed minerals for bones, blood and heart, carbohydrates and fats to furnish heat and energy necessary for fattening, and proteins to help form muscles, organs, skin, hair and strong hoofs.

“How’s come people don’t learn what’s best to eat to keep strong and healthy?” I asked my husband one morning at breakfast. 

            “Darned if I know,” he replied.

            Curiosity got the best of me.  I began checking books on the subject from the library.  The first book I read was Gaylord Hauser’s “Look Younger, Live Longer.”  After that, I read everything I could find.  From the hundreds of books on health and nutrition I’ve read, I’ve learned that yes, there are, indeed, ingredients in foods that make a difference in our health, as well as our enjoyment of life and our life expectancy.  Not only animals, but also humans, are stronger, healthier, more vigorous and live longer when they routinely consume food that contains the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. necessary to nourish the body and provide energy.  They are also happier and more productive

            I learned that the maxim “You are what you eat” is true; that any malady we suffer from is, more often than not, caused by a lack of one nutrient or another, or by something we have ingested or been exposed to that is poisonous or toxic to our system.  (More about this later).

            One of the biggest problems is that most children are raised on processed foods and acquire a taste for it. In other words, they are "programmed" to like the stuff.  This has been going on for many years.  The only thing they can do is to re-program their taste buds -- in other words, learn to like nutritious foods and unlike junk. It isn't a big deal and can be done quite easily. Fortunately, I "caught on" early on.

               Another problem is that our lives have become so busy that we feel there’s no time to concern ourselves with what we eat as long as it fills our stomach.  Fast food, junk food, processed food has become the norm.  That needs to change.

            The easiest and simplest way is……………….

I’ve often quipped that I wanted to live to be 100 and enjoy every minute of it.  Although said jokingly, I was determined, at least, to try.  I came from a family, all of whom died relatively young from various maladies and I determined, early on, to do all I could to keep myself healthy.

On a recent visit to a health clinic, the young woman asked me what drugs I take.  When I said none, she looked startled.

“Why, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t take drugs,” she said.

I’ve taken a lot of flack through the years about my lifestyle.  However, rather than make me angry when family and friends laughed at me and called me a “health nut,” it saddened me; not because they were ridiculing me, but because they were so unconcerned about their own eating habits and lifestyle.  It saddened me even more as I watched those same loved ones suffer from obesity, cancer, heart, diabetes and other diseases and, eventually, lose the fight.

I no longer have family but I’ve never regretted the path I’ve taken and I thank God for giving me a healthy, happy, fun-filled life.  I’m thankful that I can still pursue my chosen career of writing—books, stories, articles, essays, poems—go dancing, travel and enjoy an occasional lunch or dinner and time out with friends.

Trying to lose weight?

Forget the Paleo Diet.  Forget the Keto diet.  Forget all touted diets.  Avoid all processed foods of any kind.  Eat a balanced diet.  The body needs protein, carbohydrates and yes, fats.  It may take a little time to get  into the swing of it, and you may have to “re-train” your taste buds, but eating wholesome foods; eating naturally, is really quite simple and it, along with exercise and a positive attitude, ensures continued good health for yourself and your family.  You will lose weight without realize you are doing so and, before you know it, you will be wondering why you ever thought sugar candy tasted good.

Why is it so hard to lose weight?  Because the food that is making you fat is addictive.

Just made a stop at the grocery store.  Family—appeared to be dad, mom and 2 teenagers.  Medium height (5.5 to 5.8), weight guess per body varying from 185 to 200.  Purchases: 2 loaves of white bread, 2 boxes of mac and cheese, a bag of cookies, a carton of Coca Cola and cigarettes.

(My purchase: Spinach, bananas, grapes, yams, cheese and tea.  I’m about 5.2; 112 pounds).  You be the judge.

It saddens me to see so many of my friends and relatives succumbing to obesity, cancer, diabetes and other maladies.  It seems that very few people are really healthy anymore.  The medical profession is even coming up with diseases we never before heard of.

The doctor can’t keep you well and, too often, can’t make you well.  You have to do your part.  You’ve read it before:  God gave us a body temple” and he expects us to care for it.

P.S. What baffles me is that taking charge of your health really isn’t all that difficult—and the results can be profound.

Just remember: If you

Give 5% of your time to keeping well.  You won’t have t0 give 100% getting over being sick.  Dr. George W. Calver  


"How old are  you?  What condition are you in?  Consider the number of years you have lived.  Today you are the sum total product of the food you have eaten all your life; and the care and attention—or the lack of it—which you have given to your body every day of your existence".  N.W. WALKER

In the News:

"Think of your cells as anti-aging mechanics.  If you treat them right, by eating well and exercising, they will tune you up on a daily basis.  If you don’t take care of them, they will go on strike and you will age faster."  Dr. Oz (AARP Magazine)

You’ve read scientific reports indicating that aging, disease and death are the result of damage caused by the build up of ‘garbage’ in our body.

And I’m sure you’ve also read an equal number of reports on the advantages of eating a nutritional diet, taking food supplements, exercising, etc.

Anyone who gives the matter serious thought will have figured out by now that we cannot forego an adequate diet and put gunk into our body day after day, year after year, and not expect something bad to happen on down the road. 

I’ve often quipped that I wanted to live to be 100 and enjoy every minute of it.  Although said jokingly, I have worked, consistently, at trying to keep myself healthy.

I’ve taken a lot of flack through the years about my lifestyle. However, rather than make me angry when family and friends laughed at me and called me a “health nut,” it saddened me; not because they were ridiculing me, but because they were so unconcerned about their own eating habits and lifestyle.  It saddened me even more as I watched those same loved ones suffer from obesity, cancer, heart and other diseases and, eventually lose the fight. 

Although it will be a while before I hit the 100 mark, I thank God for giving me a healthy, happy, fun-filled life.  I’m thankful that I can pursue my chosen career of writing—books, stories, articles, essays, poems—go dancing, travel and enjoy an occasional lunch or dinner and time out with my friends.



 These days I’m seeing too many of my friends pleading with God to cure cancer; begging doctors and pharmaceuticals to find a cure for cancer.  Don't get me wrong; that is a good thing.  We must find a way to combat the monster causing so much misery and taking the lives of so many of those we love.

However.  I imagine God, is having a problem when we fail—or refuse—to accept our responsibility—to do what we’re supposed to do to keep our bodies free of cancer to begin with.

God gave us this “body temple”—the only one we’ll ever own in this lifetime—and He gave it to us in good faith, expecting us to take care of it, treasure it and be responsible for it and for the health of our children, and others placed in our care.

And what do we do?  We don’t exercise it enough.  We don’t get enough sleep.  We ignore its basic needs and cram it full of chemicals—processed foods, junk food, food lacking nutrition of any kind, drugs and alcohol.  Rather than seek out healthy alternatives, we depend on KFC, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc., etc., as a fast, easy solution to meal preparation.  Then when something goes wrong—as it surely will—we run to the doctor and expect him to “fix it.”

Well, folks, it just doesn’t work that way.

In addition to a good body, God gave us fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts, and a host of other healthy foods to keep our body functioning in tip-top shape.  Our body is not designed to subsist, much less thrive, on man-made processed foods which consist primarily of chemicals and non-foods; foods containing no nutrition.  They poison our bodies, cause inflammation and fill us with toxins which accumulate causing, not only cancer, but heart problems, diabetes, obesity and numerous other diseases as well.

Many prospective mothers don’t realize that their baby can be poisoned, even while in the womb, by what she ingests.  Chemical laden foods harm, not only themselves but the baby they carry. Neither do they realize that, in feeding their children processed foods, they are teaching them bad habits and opening the door for serious health problems later, if not sooner.

Health is wealth.

That said, here are a couple of suggestions:

Over weight?  Now is not the time to start a diet.  Now is the time to turn your eating habits around—for good.  Slowly add beneficial foods to your diet while slowly removing those which are making it difficult/impossible to lose weight.

Diabetic?  Yes.  You should avoid sweets.  But you should also start adding vegetables and fruits—fresh greens, yellows, reds and purples to your diet.

A word of warning:  Whatever you do, don’t go cold turkey.  Begin by adding something new—something healthy—to your diet on a daily basis.  At the same time, remove something that is not so good.  In other words, replace the bad with good—a little at a time.

You’ll be amazed at how soon, now that your body is getting the nutrition it needs, you no longer crave those unhealthy foods.



Millet with raisins, honey, and cream (unless you’re trying to lose weight in which case, your favorite milk is good). Hot, mint tea

Egg sandwich on rice cake spread with a little mayonnaise and mustard, with avocado, sweet onion and spinach leaves.  Your favorite tea with honey.

Hotcakes made from corn meal, served with molasses and honey.  Green tea.

A millet omelet and a hot cup of tea.

Your favorite white cheddar (mine is Australian, Tillamook or Cabot) with your favorite gluten-free chips or crackers (or toast).  Hot mint tea with honey.

Oats with pecans, raisins, milk and honey.  Your favorite tea.

Peanut butter and apricot preserves on toasted gluten free bread.  Green tea with honey.

In the news:

Most everyone is missing the real point about the absurd costs of health care and how to reduce them.  First of all, prevention can have the most effect on cost reduction.  USA Today            . 


              For many of us, nutrition has been a “hit and miss” proposition.  “Health” is a game we play.  We eat too much of the wrong kinds of food, do not get enough exercise, smoke and/or drink too much and do not get enough rest.  Then, when something goes wrong, we run to our doctor, hoping he can work his professional magic and make us “all well again”.

              Considering the neglect and abuse the body has had, it is surprising, sometimes, that he can.

              However, health insurance, medical costs, and a growing concern about health issues are causing us to take a closer look at our own responsibility—the part we play—in our personal health care. 

              Let’s face it, as the environment, work pressures, hectic lifestyles and poor dietary habits take their toll, most of us don’t feel quite up to par anymore.  However, obviously growing tired of a dependency on pain remedies, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and other drugs, and of the nagging fear of catastrophic ill health, we are finally searching for answers to what is causing the problem.

              Realizing that it’s time for a change; that we need to be more knowledgeable concerning nutritional matters, we are taking decisive steps to learn more about the foods we eat and about the role both nutrition and exercise play in our health.

              In order to obtain better meat, egg and milk production, farmers, ranchers and meat and dairy producers have studied and practiced animal nutrition for years.  They have mastered the science of utilizing the exact kinds and amounts of nutrients to promote maximum performance.

              It is strange that we humans have waited so long before giving serious consideration to nutritional requirements for ourselves.

              We read that additives, preservatives, hormones and pesticides in our food are linked to cancer and other diseases; that certain foods contribute to high cholesterol, that excess weight could lead to diabetes or a heart attack.  Sadly, in our search for answers, we are assailed from all sides by widely contradictory information:  We should take this vitamin for this, that vitamin for that, that vitamins are unnecessary, that white flour and sugar are not healthy; that they are OK to eat.  We are coaxed to try this diet—try that one.  Television and radio commercials, urging us to buy soft drinks, Big Macs, ice cream and Ding Dongs, don’t help.

              It is no wonder that many of us throw up our hands in despair!             

              Instead, we are reading more about nutrition and health, studying labels on the foods we buy, taking more nutritional supplements and exercising more.             

              We are asking questions of our doctor and seeking out those knowledgeable in the field of nutrition.  As patient demand for more information increases, medical practitioners are taking heed.

              “In the past, we have played the role of ‘fixer’,” said one doctor.  “However, with our patients taking more interest in prevention and asking questions about nutrition, nutritional supplementation, etc., we are studying to keep up with what is going on in this field.”  

              Doctors suggest we not try to change our eating habits too rapidly.  Our minds and bodies tend to rebel, they say, and we give up too soon.

              They advise us to begin making changes in our eating habits slowly; to conscientiously apply the “basic five” food rule to our menu planning, gradually eliminating processed and “non-foods” (those which are chemically laden and with relatively little food value) from our diet, and substituting those containing maximum nutrition.

              Most of us could benefit simply by eating more fruit and vegetables—as well as whole grains and legumes which are rich in protein, B-vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and fiber—vital factors for long, active, disease-free lives.

              We Americans are known for our perseverance.  Once we decide on a course of action, we are half-way there.  Our reward, once we begin practicing better eating habits and a more active lifestyle, will be more energy and enthusiasm, a sense of well being and longer, healthier lives.