Just a few years ago, a loved one of mine was admitted to a nursing home at the age of 65.

That’s way too young to be in a nursing home.

In his youth, he had been a specimen of health.

He had was an avid swimmer and golfer, and had unbelievable physical endurance.

There was every reason to believe he would live to be 100, or older, based on his health as a young man.

During his middle-aged years, his health began to decline due to self-abuse and neglect.

His excuse was having to work crazy hours to support a family.

This is not easy, so I’m not coming down on him for that- it is difficult to make it in the work world, and take care of yourself- there’s no denying that.

What I wish he’d have done was take nutrition more seriously - and that was well within his control.

He refused to eat raw fruits and vegetables because he had false teeth.

He could have juiced raw fruits and vegetables, but still, he refused, stating “that’s silly.”

The one time he did try freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, he complained about the taste - still, not accepting that food is “fuel first” and “flavor last.”

He refused to control his sodium and cholesterol.

He disregarded every warning about his health and developed diabetes in his late 50s-early 60s.

By the age of 71, he’d had heart surgery, 3 amputations, and died of multi-system organ failure.

I wish he was still here today.

I am convinced that if he’d practiced good nutrition, he would, indeed, be here today, and refuse to “back down” from that position.

As I watched his health decline very rapidly during the last 5 years of his life, which absolutely ripped my heart out, it began to occur to me that we all will pay for our health - now or later, one way, or another.

We will pay for it by time spent in the kitchen washing fruits and vegetables, juicing them, and cleaning the juicer afterwards.

We will pay for it by spending a little extra time every Thursday planning meals.

We will pay for it by spending a little extra time packing our lunches so that we don’t go to work and eat fattening garbage for lunch.

We will pay for it by spending a little extra for more nutritious foods.

We will pay for it by spending a little extra time jotting down the foods we ate and their caloric content each day.

We will pay for it by making it a point to exercise, even when we don’t feel like it.

If we don’t pay for it, right now, on our own terms, while it is in our control - you better bet your “bippie” that we will pay for it later - if we live long enough.

We will pay for it in the time we have to spend pricking our fingers and giving ourselves insulin injections.

We will pay for it with the money we may be forced to spend on diabetic supplies if our insurance does not pay for some or all of our diabetic supplies.

One day, our loved ones will conspire on how they can get us put in a nursing home because we are getting too ill to take care of ourselves adequately.

Then, when we are admitted to a nursing home, kicking, cussing, and screaming, a doctor will calculate the number of calories we need based on our weight, and he will then give dietary ORDERS which will contain our daily caloric limit- to the appropriate department, and our calories will then be controlled and monitored.

Oh, and the food?

Well, it will probably taste worse than it looks.

Chances are, it will remind us of baby food.

Ah, at first, we will refuse to eat it, we may even sling the tray across the room and splatter it right against the wall because we’re angry about being stuck in a nursing home, but eventually, we’ll get hungry, and we’ll eat that mashed up mush, wishing it was a Lean Cuisine spaghetti, or an Amy’s Organic Tamale Verde….something with FLAVOR….anything with FLAVOR!!!

When our food choices are made for us in a nursing home, we will suddenly crave the foods we once snubbed- and wish we had more control over our food choices.

So who is going to count your calories and make sure you eat a balanced diet?


Or some man in a white coat who couldn‘t care less what kind of foods you like- and who will have a feeding tube surgically inserted in to you should you stop eating for one reason or another?

Should we accept “nursing home scenario” as a fact of life?

Should we accept that some day the nursing home, hospitals and doctors are going to get rich off of our misery- and that our life will eventually become a seemingly futile existence where all we’re doing is living day to day while we wait for the next heart surgery or amputation?

Are sloppy eating habits -or the second portion of mashed potatoes -or an un-measured, un-counted piece of chocolate cake worth all that?

And what about the pain and suffering and separation from your loved ones?

Is it really worth not keeping track of your food intake and eating what you want, when you want?


I think if you could ask someone who is in the nursing home because they didn’t take good care of themselves, they would tell you to pull yourself back and get a grip on your eating habits.

They would tell you about the things in life that they regret doing to themselves, and how they wish they could live on their own again.


You are smarter than that.

You are better than that.

You are worth the time and effort it takes to take care of YOU!

Good nutrition is NOT about LOOKS.

Good nutrition is not about bikinis and 6-pack abs.


I know a 94 year old lady who lives alone and is doing great.

She counts calories and is still very conscious of good nutrition.

She says she’s never been sick a day in her life and sees a doctor once a year for a physical.

When it comes to diet and nutrition, I have decided to listen to HER, because she was the first to tell me, when I weighed over 200 pounds “we will all pay for our health, one way or another, you can pay now, or you can pay later, the choice is yours.”

She is my inspiration. -

And the man I told you about?

He was a very special person.

I miss him terribly!

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