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February 05, 2011


Ken Leebow


I haven't even read this post yet, but I look forward to it. Because, in this fast-paced Facebooked and Twittered world, we are bombarded with meaningless tidbits of information - all day long.

Your long, detailed, and informative blog posts are a refreshing change from all the gibberish that is posted online.

So, when I get back from my daughters shower, I look forward to reading this information. Because, while a tad-bit younger than you, I too have seen the wreckage of lives of people in their 70s and 80s who have not paid attention to their health.

Wishing you good health,

Ken Leebow

PS. I hope you survived snow-maggeden 2011 in tact.

Healthy Librarian

Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback--it's so hard to find the right balance between short enough so people will read it--and long enough to tell the complete story! I know I'm usually waaayyyy too long!

I figure this post is one folks will have to read in pieces & parts--it's practically as long as a New York Times Magazine article--not even counting all the links.

Mazel tov on your daughter, Ken. Wedding or baby shower? I'm guessing wedding. That's so nice that you get to attend, too!

The snow-maggedon strangely passed over us last week! I was kind of disappointed. My kids in STL got trounced--and loved it!

Dawn Balusik

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and posts. I am a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, vegan, huge fan of Fuhrman, Esselstyn, McDougall, etc. I recently started my own blog for my patients, about Oriental Medicine plus lots of info to help them transition to a more plant-based diet. I love all the resources and scientific backing that you provide in your helps me to better present my info and reasons to patients. Thanks for your time and work! It really does make a difference.


The photo is testament enough. 61 looks great on you two.

Gael in Vermont

Isn't life funny? With one click of my mouse, and my curiosity about who this "Healthy Librarian" was commenting on a piece in the NYT, my life has changed for the better...much better. I was already on the bandwagon and you were preaching to a very highly focused choir member here in Vermont...but what you've done for me has been priceless. You have kept me on track. You have inspired me to be better. You have upped the ante. And you have become a friend. As we share information and support one another on this blog, our lives improve, our health improves, and our brains grasp what our doctors are NOT telling us. I am forever indebted to you Deb for opening up this new saga in my life. Enough mush! But I sincerely mean it!
As for my personal promises to myself this year:
1. Share my plant based diet with more family and creatively allows them to embrace this food instead of me trying to apologize for my diet being so radically different.
2. Improve posture!!!!! Very aware of my posture these slumping!
3. Yoga for osteoporosis doing it. I even have a little soothing sound track as background. Add more movement-aerobic exercise!!!!
4. Think VERY seriously about taking Dr. Campbell's online nutrition course. I have been in touch with a women who is nearing the conclusion of the class and she loved it.
5. Drive to Cleveland for a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame visit with a stop-over to meet a new friend!
6. Continue screams and belly laughs...very healthy.

Much grace and endless thanks...

Ellen MacDonald

My sister and I love your writing! In our family your posts are creating a change of eating habits for our 85 year old parents. My sister is creating 'comfort foods' based on plants/no oils and acting as mom and dad's personal chef. She's filled their freezer making it much easier to encourage new habits and hopefully help control mom's diabetes. Your work really is changing lives, so congratulations on a year of exciting change and thank you for sharing your experience with all of your readers.
Ellie MacDonald



Thank you for sharing so generously and enthusiastically your research and your personal experiences for a healthier, happier life. I love your blog, helps me to fine tune what works for me.

Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

You are amazing!!!!!!

Pamela Wildermuth

I also wish to say 'Thank you for sharing your research and personal experiences for a healthier and happier life.' I look forward to reading each post when it arrives in my 'in box'. I feel that you are a friend to help myself [and others] along the new road I am following to my healthier life. Could you let me know how often and where Dr Esselstyn has lectures for people like myself to attend? I am hoping that some time this year to visit our Daughter and her Family who live in Atlanta GA, and if I knew this information, maybe able to organise part of my holidays to attend. Please keep up your wonderful information as I am sure it must take up a lot of your time. Thanks, [from Australia] Pamela Wildermuth.


After this wonderful post I feel I have to break my habit of reading silently without commenting. I simply have to thank you sooo much for your wonderful blog and the work you invest in it! I really appreciate that you share your knowledge and your experiences so generously!
I discovered your blog a few months ago and kept on reading an rereading, waiting hopefully and impatiently for new entries...
Your blog changed my life...
I read the China Study about 2 years ago and it changed me. I started a vegan diet shortly after reading it but I never felt I had to read Esselstyn or that this no added oil message was meant for me (I tend to be underweight). But reading your story (and some of the books you recommend on the blog), all this knowledge suddenly came alive and it seemed applicable suddenly. It is like pieces of a puzzle somehow that slowly come together...
All the studies you found and posted! Without them I never would have believed all that 'slander' against my beloved olive oil!
I am German and therefore I cannot profit from your product information, I am sorry to say. I tell you where I come from because I want you to know that you even influence lifes for good on an international basis (hope I expressed this correctly).
Thank you so much!
I hope you keep on investing in this blog despite the immense work it represents.
Your work is highly appreciated!

Chris G.

Its been quite a year for you. Most people don't make the diet and exercise changes you made in 2010 over an entire lifetime! I feel very fortunate to have found this blog. I wish we could get the message out to the vast number of people trying, but not succeeding, to save their coronary systems and/or lose dangerous weight.

Gael in Vermont

Deb...You mentioned above, "Give a gift a day. Sorry, to say, this hasn't become a regular habit."
I hope you can see from these comments that you have provided us with many gifts...that last many days. I think you have MORE than fulfilled your promise on that front.

Ken Leebow


It's great to read that you have such a loyal fan base! Truly, the only way we are going to get America back on track and healthy is at the grass roots level. It certainly is not going to happen at the government level. And let's pray they don't declare a "war" on obesity. Because we know how we fare on the "war" front of disease (and illegal drugs).

Other places it will not happen: On Main Street. I use "my main street" as the example. We are opening food joints at a record pace ... the latest: a cup cake store (which is next to a yogurt shop, which is next to a fast-food joint). On this main street we also have 3 CVS pharmacies (any wonder why?). The last time I visited one of these CVS stores, I was not sure if I entered a candy store or a drug store. So, let's not expect any positive change in our toxic food environment.

One of the nice things about your posts is that you demonstrate and prove that healthy foods are tasty and delicious! Until people experience it first-hand, it is hard to believe.

One thing that I would like to offer you and your readers are food/health quotes that I have been compiling. Among other things, for me, they have been inspirational in continuing a healthy lifestyle. So, here they are:

One of my favorites, is Every Day is Training Day. I saw it on a t-shirt at Target and now own four of them. I like that quote so much that I had wrist bands made that say Every Day is Training Day (I also registered the URL).

By the way, is that a Vitamix that you own? If so, do you recommend it? The demos I have seen look amazing.

In good health,

Ken Leebow

PS. It was a wedding shower...very nice! We just had a bris 2 months ago (our first grandchild). So, we've had a lot of mitzvahs recently. That's one reason to stay healthy ... to enjoy them all!

PPS. I know you're a big fan of Dr. Esselstyn (as am I) and Dr. Colin Campbell. So, here are videos of their presentations: (at this site are some other great presentations) -- all of them have been very helpful in understanding the diet, health, and lifestyle issues.

Again, thanks for all your great information. This post is one that I will bookmark to go back to on a regular basis.


Today my daughter introduced me to your blog and I must say that it's very close to where I'm at in my life right now.
It seems (at least to me) that there aren't enough "mature" healthy blog writers out there. I read several twenty-something age blogs about healthy eating, etc. but yours resonates well with me. So far I've only read this post (without pursuing the linkage), but I plan to go back and soak it up and read more of your writings as time allows.
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and your desire for a healthy lifestyle in that you influence others in a great way!


I stumbled across your blog for the first time today, and I find it very informative. It has given me a lot to think about. Thanks!



What wonderful - and well deserved - praise for your blog and this entry in particular. You are an inspiration to so many, including me.
Keep it up!

Your DIL

linda mandel

My dear, you have really outdone yourself this time with an all encompassing post that touches on everything that matters most. And that is my insight, having turned 60 at the beginning of 2010 also: figure out for yourself what matters, then what really matters, and finally, what matters most.
Then act on it!
When it comes to my health, following your lead brings me to what is most important.
Thanks for everything,

wendy (healthy girls kitchen)

Debby-I left something at my blog for you!


I am a regular reader of your blog and find it fascinating. I came across this blog you might find interesting--a chronicle of a year on the Esselstyn program.

Best wishes,


Your blog is my FIRST port of call for knowledge and understanding of nutrition and health- as many have said the key to the success of the blog is your highly intelligent and also fun style of expression!

I just had to let you know that I FINALLY got off the cow's milk for good at the end of December - it took so many starts and stops through 2010 - crazy. Since I became 100% vegan the pounds have dropped off and I feel lighter and cleaner. I have now lost 20lbs in total and my blood pressure was measured last night - ten points lower than usual! My BMI has gone from 23.5 to 21.5.

Of course, I had the Esselstyne book and other similar ones but you really bring the whole topic alive in the blog and this makes it a very supportive and compelling place to spend, oh, hours!


Oh, and I meant to tell you - guess what the doctor said to me when I told her I was following a vegan diet - that's no dairy (I explained). "Where do you get your calcium?"


(Just discovered that is your name from reading these comments:)
THANKS SO MUCH for continuing to write these wonderfully informing posts. I know they must take a lot of time to put together. I read them religiously and pass them on to my friends. I have slowly started to put some of your info into practice. I still have a long way to go. I've upped my vit D, I lowered my calcium,I switched to canola vs olive, (I know, I should stop the oil but it's coming ), B12, Last month I started with green smoothies, I bought Isa's latest cookbook and have made a few recipes.

I'm tiny like you but weigh a LOT more and hope that this year will be the year I find the discipline to change my life in a positive healthy way. You have really been an inspiration and I hope that this coming year will be a wonderful one for you!
Shelagh from Nova Scotia


Dear Debby,

I just wanted to let you know, along with the rest of your other fans, how much I appreciate your generosity. I was a slim, otherwise apparently healthy woman in her early forties (good blood pressure, cholesterol etc.) who got a shock when she was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. After I completed treatment (surgery, chemo and radiation) my doctors told me to go back to my "normal" life. I did not feel comfortable with that. I resolved to change my habits but how???--finding reliable information is very difficult. I started reading everything I could get my hands on and a few months after I commenced my search I stumbled on your blog when I read a comment that you made on the New York Times website. As soon as I started reading your site, I felt as if I had stumbled into a wonderland of useful life changing information. Since I found your blog in Autumn 2009, I have radically changed my diet, exercise etc. and I have also encouraged my father to change as well. People are always asking us now what we are up to. We look so different. I look and feel totally different. I feel much better than I did before the cancer. I have introduced your blog to many people. I want you to know how grateful I feel for your efforts. Truly, you are a force for good in the world. I think of you affectionately every morning when I am making green smoothies with my VitaMix. I hope you can feel the love!

Best wishes for your health and happiness,


Healthy Librarian

Dear Ken, Dawn, Babs, Gael, Ellen, Jeann, Wendy, Pamela, Silvia, Chris G., Denise, Anardana, Leslie, Linda, KK, Anna, Shelagh, OL & everyone else who wrote to me through email:

I'm truly speechless! Thank you all for your warm generous beautiful (albeit undeserving) compliments & comments.

It's all of You who motivate Me. There is absolutely nothing better in the world than to find out that these little nuggets of information that I share are somehow picked up by someone else (sometimes half-way around the world)--and can be of some benefit.

The stories of health changes that I've been sent prove one thing: when it comes to our health (and happiness is a part of it), all of us want to be in control--and know that there's something (in addition to-or besides taking a pill) we can do ourselves to get there. Enough of my soap box! Thank you all, again!

Cynthia Bailey, MD, Dermatologist

Dear Debby,
This post is fabulously complete and comprehensive, and boy your commitment to your health is inspiring. I'm 52 and would be thrilled to stay my own personal course like you have as I approach my 60's. What makes you such a great resource for me is your evidence based approach to healthy living choices. I live in Northern California where there are many others like us all trying to make healthy choices. Filtering through the fads to find diet changes with solid science behind them is a lot of work, and you do a fantastic job. Thank you. You look healthy, vital and fabulous by the way-and your skin glows- great anecdotal evidence to the healthy diet and beautiful skin connection.


I found your blog a few months ago when I was researching plant based diets and appreciate the wealth and depth of knowledge you share here. Like you, this is my 61st year and my goal is to live long and healthy to enjoy my grandchildren. Since Oct 1st, 2010, I've lost 14 lbs and ALL my cholesterol/triglyceride numbers are in the normal range! For me, 2011 is going to be about exercising more. Thanks for all you write here.


" I won't have to bore you with the details..."

Your details are never a bore and are always a wonderful use of my free time and energy! I love that you reach so many people with such varied backgrounds and that we all learn from you!

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