Health, Fitness and Personal Energy for Seniors

Energy Bite 52 – Origins of Healthful Thinking

Most of us like to eat meat. After all we are omnivores by nature; we have the teeth for it. But a lot of people don’t eat meat for any variety of reasons. Many are vegetarians, many are vegans, many are lacto-vegetarians/vegans. Some won’t eat meat but will eat cheese and drink milk. Some will eat yogurt but won’t drink milk. Some will drink milk, just not cow’s milk. Some eat their veggies raw with no cooking at all.  I thought it might be interesting to explore the origins of some of the various health and eating disciplines and how they evolved.

Paul Bragg was one of the first health food advocates in this country.  He created our first health food store. He traveled the country evangelizing the benefits of exercise and nutrition. He demonstrated and wrote about the necessity for quality exercise and the value of eating a plant based diet, as well as fasting. He talked about the importance of breathing clean air, drinking clean water, getting outside in the sunshine, eating healthy foods, moving the body, having good posture and getting plenty of rest and sleep. His “daughter” Patricia is still the spokesperson for the company he founded and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is a staple of the health food advocate. A couple of tablespoons of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, mixed with water, honey, ginger, and cayenne pepper, has been my “health drink” of choice for many years. Paul Bragg’s influence has been a major legacy in the health food industry. As a side note, Jack LaLanne started his own personal health regimen after hearing Paul Bragg speak at a lecture his mother dragged him to as a sickly youth. Jack LaLanne stuck with the regimen and was selling “juicers” and exercising right up until he died at age 96.

Ever hear of Don Tolman? Don Tolman is a modern evangalist for healthy living who lectures throughout the world. He is somewhat of an “alternative” thinker about nutrition but his thinking makes sense. He too speaks about air, water, sunshine, plant based food, exercise, and lots of sleep. He claims his inspiration came from ancient texts discovered in caves and old archives, including the Vatican itself. He tells the story of Daniel, from the first chapter of The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament, where Daniel and his buddies refused to eat the King’s food and instead chose to eat what they called “Pulse” for a while to prove that it was better for you. At the end of the “while”, Daniel and his three friends turned out to be healthier and stronger than the others in his group who went along with the king and ate his food. “Pulse” has been defined as anything from legumes to “vegetables” depending on the translator or interpreter. I had never heard the story so while Edie and I were on our recent trip to New York’s Hudson Valley, I checked a motel Bible, and “lo and behold”, there it was, just as Tolman described, right in the very first chapter of Daniel.

Don Tolman also makes reference to the Essene Gospels and the book, The Essene Gospel of Peace, by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely, published in 1927 or 1931, depending on where you get your information. Szekely claims to have discovered the original manuscript in the Vatican Library, then translated and published it.  It is purported to be about the healing miracles of Jesus of Nazareth, who supposedly got his start with the Essenes, a Jewish sect, and learned to heal people using, guess what: Air, Water, Sunshine, natural foods (basically plant based, but including milk from mammals, but not their flesh – no lacto-vegetarian Him). Some claim the text to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is disagreement among theologians about whether the book is really about only Jesus or whether the techniques were used by others, too. I found the book online and  copied and pasted it’s 33 pages in MS-Word. It was an easy read. But the point is that even the old-timers in the desert believed in the power of the basic natural elements of air, water, food, sunshine, and sleep, as the way to healing and health. Of course other places in the biblical texts say it’s OK to eat meat as long as it’s the right kind.

The point of all this is that most health and fitness information today stresses the importance of the same natural elements of air, water, food, sunshine and sleep as the key to health and healing. The Essenes didn’t leave out exercise and movement, they disguised it as physical labor. They did a lot of walking in those days too.

When I first researched all this, I thought it might make an interesting, and perhaps, useful article. I hope you found it interesting too.  Just remember the importance of deep breathing, drinking plenty of water, eating healthful food, getting a little sunshine, getting plenty of exercise and then topping it all off with plenty of rest and sleep. That should keep you Healthy, Fit and Filled with Personal Energy for the rest of your life.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
 -  Hippocrates, 460-370  BC (Before the Essenes)

Thank you for reading.







Energy Bite 51 – Senior Road Warriors, Part 2

As I am writing this article, my wife Edie and I are half way through our road trip to the Hudson Valley of New York and to Long Island visiting with some old friends. Traveling by car can be fun, but tiring. We see a lot of seniors on the trips. Besides the driving, beingContinue Reading

Energy Bite 50 – Seniors on the Road

  I am writing this as my wife and I are traveling up the I-95 corridor to the Hudson Valley of New York State, where we have never been. She is driving. I am amazed by how many people that look a lot older than me, are traveling the I-95 corridor. Of course I-95 isContinue Reading

Energy Bite 49 – You Can Do More Than You Think You Can

Can you do a “Turkish Get-Up”? Do you even know what it is? It’s an exercise.  You can check with the search engines online to see various varieties of Turkish Get-Ups. I always thought they were a body builder’s exercise or a heavy duty kettlebell exercise. Kettlebells are like cannon balls with a handle andContinue Reading

Energy Bite 48 – Your Core and Abdominals, Part 2

Last week I promised I would provide some simple core and abdominal movements with pictures.  So I decided to produce a short Ebook on the subject.  Click right here to view and download the Ebook, 10 Beginning Core and Abdominal Exercises for Seniors. This little Ebook give you a short series of 10 simple movements for the beginning exerciserContinue Reading

Energy Bite 47 – Your Core, Your Source of Power, Part 1

You hear a lot about your “core” and how important it is for strength and mobility. Most seniors have lost much of the strength in their core many years past. In fact it’s right up there with your legs as one of the first areas of your body to go as you age. In PartContinue Reading

Energy Bite 46 – Stretching Your Limits

“Know your limits.” “You have no limits.” You hear these statements all the time. Do you have limits? Are they real limitations? These are important questions and can be answered in different ways. While there may not be any limits in the world of motivational speaking or the field of human development, there are realContinue Reading

Energy Bite 45 – A New Paradigm in Fitness for Seniors

Seniors want more than just exercise. They want the mobility, the strength, and the energy that exercise gives them.  They want the freedom to move their bodies the way nature intended, so they can do what their bodies were made to do. They don’t want to be bored with the typical one muscle at aContinue Reading

Energy Bite 44 – Do I Need Exercise Equipment?

The question is, do you need special equipment for a decent exercise program. The answer is simple: Yes and No. Yes, you can go running or walking and all you need is a pair of decent shoes. But is running or walking enough exercise? If you read last week’s article, you already know it’s not.Continue Reading

Energy Bite 43 – The Power of Walking

For seniors, walking is one of the best exercises we can do, as long as we do strength and mobility exercises as well. There are lots of favorable aspects of walking. My wife, Edie, and I have walked for years on the beautiful trails here in Reston, Virginia. We see dear, owls, foxes and otherContinue Reading