Website owner:  James Miller

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On Health

   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 

   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  

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