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Real Life Wellness: Lessons from my Grandpa

By Bill Hemmer

We all have fond memories from our youth. Some of my fondest memories are sitting on the front porch in West Frankfort, Ill., listening to my grandpa telling stories about his life and smelling the fried chicken my grandma was making for our family. His stories about life on the farm and the coal mine still make me smile today.

So, what does any of that have to do with living a healthy life? Everything!

You see, he had just killed those chickens’ hours before. The rest of the chickens were still scratching around the yard eating bugs. The vegetables we were going to eat with that chicken had just come out of the garden. The chicken was being fried in lard, and she had just baked loaves of fresh bread for us.

He got up and ate his bacon and eggs for breakfast before anybody got up to get his chores done so he could have time to spend with us telling stories. He went to church every Sunday and had neighbors he knew he could count on no matter what. His life was simple. He knew what he had to do, and he did it.

That was almost 50 years ago. Both of my grandparents are long gone, but their lifestyle is something we should all strive for. I have talked many times about the four ways to get and stay healthy. Diet, Attitude, Lifestyle, and Movement continue to be the only ways I know to get healthy and stay healthy for life. My grandparents were doing all four of these things by default. They just lived it.

They didn’t go through a drive through. They didn’t have the money or the inclination to run to a doctor. They had to take care of things themselves. They were their best doctor. They went to bed early and woke up early because they had to. Their chores weren’t going to get done on their own. They got all the exercise they needed every day from their daily activities. Every Sunday they would go to church and then have the entire family over for Sunday dinner.

All of these simple things have been proven to be the most important things we all can do to live healthy. Getting back to the days of eating clean from the Earth and connecting with loved ones is paramount to your future health. Since most of us don’t live on a farm and have chores to do, we need to find ways to move every day to keep our bodies strong and vibrant. Keeping the attitude of our ancestors today is even more important than it was years ago. Taking responsibility for those four areas of your life will allow you to stay out of chronic disease or work your way out of chronic disease over time.

Imagine yourself 50 years ago, living off what the Earth provided for you and connecting with all of your favorite people in the world at least once a week. Do you think you would be in better health than you are right now?

I know I would.

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