Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Did you ever have someone in your life that inspires you to do better? Someone that has paved the
way and shown you that yes, it can be done? That person in my life is my Uncle John.

In my quest for better health I sometimes get discouraged and I begin to feel like Why Bother? Is it
really worth all this extra trouble to cook from scratch and eliminate preservatives from my diet? Is
it even going to make a difference to try and eat right?

One thing that always keeps me on track is knowing that I have a great example right in my own
family, literally--living proof, of what right living and excellent health can do for the human body.

I remember as a child growing up that Uncle John always ate different than everyone else. I don't
think I ever asked why, we just always thought of him as a "health nut." I remember him always
helping my grandma and grandpa with their home maintenance and mowing the lawn.

It wasn't until I was an adult that I started becoming interested in health and how food relates to it.
Looking back, Uncle John was way ahead of his time. He was into organic food back when it was
unheard of!

Uncle John is turning 83 years old this coming April. He lives alone and has for many years, doing
all of his home maintenance. He drives his Volvo everywhere and once a week he drives 49 miles
one way to see his brother and sister. As for doctors, he is not into many checkups unless he feels
he needs it. He has a 6-month cleaning and exam of his teeth and he has all of his own teeth.

John was in the Army during WWII.

He was a Howitzer 75mm cannon mechanic and was on the island of Iwo Jima after
the Marines had taken control. (he is on the far right) He was on the ship outside of
Iwo Jima when the armistice was signed.

When asked what he ate in the military he said "What ever they put in front of me as that was all
there was". He said that seeing the food in the K-Rations had him thinking about food and how
your body benefits from good stuff. It was after the war that he started researching diets/foods etc.

He started with healthful eating in the early 1960's; attending meetings and studying Macro-Biotic foods.
John said that he attended lectures in homes and did attend one that had one of the authors of a book.
He said it is best to study the concept of Macro-Biotics and build your program around it. As for not
eating some things, he said that you can eat what you want but in moderation. That is, if you feel hungry
for potato chips - eat a few and curb that want. He really prefers to eat vegetables grown in the ground
as they are fresh and young. That is the Yang concept. The Yin is things grown above ground.

Macro-Biotics recipe is: Pressure, Salt and Heat. He uses his pressure cooker all the time. John always
has an ample supply of rutabagas, turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc. that I'm sure is the bulk of his diet. He
buys Bob's Red Mill organic Old Fashioned Steel Cut Oats, whole grain. This is also known as Irish Oats or
Pinhead Oats. Good hot cereal. John said that he found that soaking the amount of oats over night was the
best way to prepare the cereal for cooking the next morning.

John believes an excellent way to exercise is to jump and run on a small trampoline. This is something he
does everyday. It is easy on the knees and anybody can do it. He doesn't take any prescription medications,
smoke or drink alcohol or soda. I know he eats fish because my mom (his sister) gives him fresh smelt when
they have them. He drinks pure water at room temperature--your stomach reacts poorly to very cold liquid.

He also keeps his brain healthy by exercising it working on his many computers. He likes the challenge
of transferring data and also helps his brother and sister with their computers. I haven't seen a computer
problem yet that he isn't able to tackle!

So here's to Uncle John--my inspiration on the journey to excellent health and well being!


Pam said...

A VERY nice tribute! Sounds like someone interesting to talk to, history and computers, my kind of uncle!

I have been trying very hard to eliminate box and canned foods from our diet. We really don't like it, we usually fall back on it for time purposes, but a little planning can solve that fairly easy.

Elea said...

Great post Mom!!! It really describes Uncle John and what a great man he is. You did a wonderful job.

Niki RuralWritings said...

Wow, he's quite a guy! I feel so overwhelmed by all the books on this subject our there. We eat mostly our own meat and veg that we've grown ourselves and very little processed foods, but other than I really know very little.

LadiesoftheHouse said...

Pam-eliminating boxed and canned foods is a great start since they contain so many preservatives. I tall takes time though, so you are right, planning is the key.

Elea--thanks for stopping in--have you updated your blog yet so I can link to it? :-)

Niki-sounds like you are on the right track with eating your own veggies and meat. It's downright scary what the FDA will allow into our food supply!