Website owner: James Miller
Americans go merrily along thinking like Americans, acting like Americans, doing all the things Americans do. They are American. They follow the American lifestyle. They think nothing about it. They live on processed, packaged or canned foods that they purchase in the supermarket and eat out at restaurants or fast food places half of the time. Everywhere they go, they go by automobile. It is a convenient and easy life. Oh, how great it is! Yet two thirds of Americans are overweight and one third are obese. About ninety percent either have high blood pressure or will get it sooner or later. Americans don't really think of their lifestyle as a source of problems but they need to. There is some folly in the American lifestyle. Can you guess what it is? If you will observe the creatures, big and small, that live on this planet you will observe something: Whether they be mammals, birds, reptiles, fish or insects they are all actively walking, running, flying or swimming in their continual quest for food. Nature intended that they be active. Their bodies were designed for activity and movement. And nature intended man to be active. And, especially, it intended that he walk. And that he walk a lot. It is important to his good health to walk. It is just that simple. Exercise is important. There is a modern invention that has been harmful to America. It has done great harm to America's health. Can you guess what it is? Few people would ever guess. They would say, "How could such a great invention be bad for you?" What is it? The automobile. It is central to the American way of life. You use it to go to work, to go to the supermarket, to go wherever you need to go. Everything revolves around it. It is an absolute essential. You can't do anything without it. Right? Well, humanity got along without it for thousands and thousands of years -- up until about a hundred years ago. And the vast majority of the people of the earth still manage to get along without it. The fact is it is just contrary to man's health and well-being to sit all day in air-conditioned offices, hardly moving, and to be carried everywhere he goes by some mechanical contrivance. Nature didn't intend this. His body was not designed for it. It is an important contributor to America's sad state of health. There is another big problem with the American lifestyle. It is all the convenience foods -- processed, packaged, canned, etc. -- which contain just much too much sodium, sugar, fat, calories and other things that are just not healthy. And another problem: American's ever increasing habit of eating out all the time. It is just not good. America's eating habits are just not healthy ones. And it all reveals itself in their ever increasing waistline and high blood pressure. And in a whole lot of diseases that stem from these things. There are a number of health related practices that I have followed for years (since the mid 1970's): 1. I walk a lot. I always have walked a lot -- since I was a boy. I am a walker. Everyone in my neighborhood knows me because they have seen me walking. People that I don't know often wave to me from their cars because they think they know me. Strangers on the street stop me and ask, "How far do you walk a day?" I tell them, "Five miles." Actually, lately I have been walking about eight miles a day. I have been walking five miles in the morning and then another three miles with my wife in the evening. When I walk I often carry a backpack. If there is something I wish to buy somewhere I get it on my walk and bring it home in my backpack. That way I don't make unnecessary trips with the car. 2. I keep my weight down at a healthy level. Since my mid 20's I have had to battle to keep my weight down. It just naturally tends to increase. It is an ongoing and continuing struggle. But I do keep it down. I am six feet tall and weigh 140 pounds and that is light. I want it that way. I prefer to fight the battle at a low weight level than at a high one. I weigh myself every day. If my weight goes up I take immediate measures to bring it back down. I make my evening meal "salad only" and make sure to cut out any snacking that I may have been doing between meals. It is all trial and error and if that doesn't bring it down I cut out more things until it does come down. It always comes down. And I have been doing that for years. There are many things I just love but never eat. I haven't had a piece of chocolate cake for years. And it is not because I don't love cake. I just know I can't eat it and keep my weight down. It is just easier to avoid the cake than to lose two or three pounds. 3. I watch my diet. My wife and I are very diet conscious. We never fry and avoid all fatty or greasy foods. We have oatmeal with banana, raisins and skim milk for breakfast; yogurt, air popped popcorn and a sandwich for lunch; a main dish and salad for the evening meal. We eat a lot of rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. We stay away from red meats, consume a lot of yogurt (make our own) and eat a lot of salads. We don't eat junk food and don't drink sodas. For beverage we drink water only. In addition, we follow a strict low sodium diet. That means we minimize our consumption of preprocessed, canned and packaged foods (almost all contain much too much sodium). We make our own no-sodium, whole-wheat bread using a bread machine. We almost never eat out at restaurants or fast food places. 4. I sleep on a hard surface (actually, the floor). Sleeping on a hard surface is much healthier for your back, I think, than sleeping on a mattress. I got the idea on reading that the ancient Spartans slept on planks as part of their discipline. I thought it was a good idea. 5. I do fifteen minutes of back exercises every day (exercises for strengthening back and abdomen -- and, also, stretching exercises) as well as thirty pushups. Many ancient Greeks and Romans kept their body in condition with daily exercises. I think it is a good idea. 6. I take vitamins (a multiple vitamin, vitamin E and vitamin C) and a quarter of an aspirin every day. Every day in my daily prayer I request God to please watch over the health of my wife and myself. However, I have always felt that before I can make that request, it is incumbent upon me to be doing everything I can myself to take care of my health. I cannot ask God to help me on something if I am not doing all I can to help myself. Aug 2004 The great Greek physician, Hippocrates (around 460-380 B.C.), took a holistic view towards health. Many of his writings focused on the general health of the individual as opposed to individual illnesses. He viewed the doctor's role as one of assisting the body in healing itself. He believed prevention was better than cure. He believed the best way to good health was moderate diet and regular exercise. And he believed that the best exercise was walking. Very simply, walking will do something for you that nothing else will do. It is the best medicine. It invigorates both body and mind. There is no substitute for it. There are other life practices that I have followed for many years. I stopped going to movies in the late 1960's. They were abandoning the old standards of decency and becomming more and more immoral. I stopped watching television in the mid 70's for the same reason. The content was changing rapidly, becoming more and more unwholesome, decadent; more and more inconsistent with my Christian outlook and values. I watched the news and some selected programs until the mid 1980's and then stopped watching it completely. I haven't watched it at all for many years and am not even tempted to watch it. I do just fine without it. It is morally corrupting. I take spiritual health as seriously as I do physical health. For the last couple of years my wife and I have been having vegetable-fruit smoothies for breakfast. My wife makes them by blending 10 or 12 fruits and vegetables with a couple of cups of yogurt in a blender. She uses apples, oranges, bananas, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, radishes and other things. I think they are a good idea. They taste good and give you all the important nutrients in a natural way. added May 2014 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
Topically Arranged Proverbs, Precepts, Quotations. Common Sayings. Poor Richard's Almanac.
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?