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March 13, 2012



It's official from my hygenist: The Phillips sonicare toothbrush reaches parts that other toothbrushes don't reach. I have used it for three months now and it has solved the problem corner of plaque that I was always missing before. So this will improve my future dental health. Thankyou for the recomendation.

Chia for salad dressing is a GENIUS idea. I had not been using flaxseed daily, but now I shall never miss my chia several times a day. I keep a large box of ready steamed greens in my fridge and graze at any time, now there will be a little chia with that - PERFECT!

Cannellini beans are ideal for humus. I love that idea. I always cook mine in a pressure cooker.

Here is a cooking tip of mine: Microwave chopped onions with a layer of mushrooms on top, then a cover on the dish. The onions steam in the moisture released by the mushrooms.


I've been a fan of your blog (and now your FB page) for at least a couple of years. I'm 60, have been 99% vegetarian for over 30 years. Congrats on your upcoming talk! It won't be your last, I'm sure.
I'd love to hear more on the process of change. For example, which is more effective, abstaining or moderating, or does it depend? I've successfully let go of cigarettes and meat, but not dairy or oils (although I eat them sparingly).
In your audience (more than half women, I'll bet) you'll have a lot of people with a history of body image and eating anxieties-- because that is the experience of growing up female in this country. So suggesting an eating change may not land simply. In my case, for example, having grown up with a mother who encouraged me to go on fasts when I was 12 years old (and not at all overweight), I can't entertain the thought of an occasional fast lightly-- even though I understand intellectually there are health benefits. It's too freighted. (I know fasting is not your subject-matter; that's just an example to show there are many levels to any change you recommend).
I'd also love to hear of a nutritional or fitness area where you still struggle. Being an inspiring model is great-- but offering up your own examples of human imperfection also creates empathy and a sense of, "Oh good, I'm not the only one."
I believe fitness and movement might be even more important to health than diet, so I wouldn't skimp on that area. This isn't based on science, it's just my intuition.
Have fun!



I went vegan a year ago and have lost the final 10 lbs to complete my 41 pound weight loss and am maintaining it while eating copious amounts of veggies.

Your blog is something I look forward to finding in my inbox as I know I will get scientific information in easy to understand terms. Although I am a nurse, a school nurse, I dont have time to plough thru all the medical journals that I find interesting.

I love that you state the latest research with links attached and how you have incorporated the medical findings into your own life.

You are just a few years older than I am and you are a great role model! Just wish I had your energy levels.. those chia seeds just arent working that well for me.

BTW, my mother who is 97 years old lives with me. She is from Roumania and smoked for 40 years so she currently has severe emphysema, COPD and asthma. I am amazed she has lived so long considering how much she smoked.

My husband and I are much healthier than our parents were at our age. We hope to be active and healthy well into our 80s.

Julianna B

Great read! You always post interesting things!

Wendy Hoffman

What is so marvelous about your blog are your stories of personal experiences: with your husband, your children, and your colleagues and seeing how you have enrolled other people in your quest for optimal health. Leave the medical lessons to the physicians and researchers. Your audience doesn't expect you to be the medical expert. What you own are the great stories about your experiments in healthful living. Also, if you think that connecting and communicating lessons learned with a wider audience through social media have redefined the role of a medical librarian, that would be an interesting talk too.

The Healthy Librarian

@Wendy, you couldn't have offered better advice. That's exactly the conclusion I came to. I'm sticking to my story. But--I do feel an obligation to also share what I learned--and how I learned it. Because I read widely, & get a chance to discover research across the different medical/health disciplines, I've been able to connect some dots in the health & wellness area. Working at a large medical center, and having the opportunity to talk to researchers & physicians--I've discovered that even they are sometimes unaware of some of this research (there's just an overwhelming amount out there), that was important to both their work, & their personal health. They're appreciative, too. Medical librarians are in a unique position to connect dots. As for the social media--it makes a big impact in getting the message out--and helping to create an ongoing support group.


You have had a profound influence on my life as well as the lives of my family and friends. I started following your blog about 6 months or so. I have become a vegetarian with mostly no oil. I'm 65 and in the best shape of my life! Lost the remaining 10 pounds I couldn't lose. After 37 years of marriage lost my husband to cancer. Since then I have lost over 40 pounds! I didn't have anything wrong with me other than the extra baggage but one of my tests did show the beggings of diabites! Not anymore. I started exercising in earnest after my husband passed away. I also mentioned this fact to my daughters, ages 26 & 22, who should also follow a healthier lifestle. They in turn have influenced their friends. I have influenced my family and friends also. I especially appreciate all your recipes and 'how to' do this lifestyle the most! It's made it doable. Thanks a million!

Hank Roberts

One suggestion -- don't believe the Washington Post's 'nutritionist' -- who recommends peanut butter highly because nuts are good for you.

In response to multiple commenters pointing out issues: omega-6/legume/not-a-nut
she copypasted basically the same thing repeatedly:

3/8/2012 10:32 PM PST
Many of you are right! Thank you for reading my article... It is true that peanuts are not technically a nut, they are legumes. Just like tomatoes are not technically a vegetable, but a fruit. Along the same vein, quinoa is not a grain, but we consider it a grain nutritionally. In the nutrition field, as opposed to the botany field, we often categorize foods because they have comparable nutritional characteristics. A peanut is very much like a tree nut in its nutritional profile, and health benefits, which is why I, and many in the nutrition field, refer to it as a nut, even though we know it is technically a legume. As a health care professional, my primary concern is to teach the nutritional value of foods, not quibble over botanical classifications. All of my statements are backed up with scientific, peer-reviewed journals. I hope that helps clear up some confusion.
Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., L.D.


The Healthy Librarian

@Hank--you're right--she's wrong. Peanuts, & most nuts, except for walnuts, are loaded with inflammatory omega-6s. Bill Lands, PhD is right about this. But, there's no use arguing with someone who is positive that high fat, highly caloric nuts are necessary for good health. She doesn't have a clue about the omega-3:omega-6 ratio & how they compete for the same enzymes.


I love your site, I am forgetting how I stumbled in, but it was around 2010. I sent your dried plums article out to my women friends who are 40+. I love dried plums and it was strictly for the fiber benefits....your article talked about bone health! What a nice benefit to know. It is so good to hear about your food journey, exercise plans and the additional info about clinical studies. I am similar to you where I made life changing choices about my food/health. I learned as much as could via websites like yours that promote health from head/toe, inside and outside your body. I do cardio, yoga, strength a mostly whole food eating style, even for snacks (no more processed food and sugar a no-no),take quality supplements and attempt 8 hours of sleep. My blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol are excellent. I have learned so much about food and its healthy properties...I value food as my medicine and source of energy & vitality. I no longer struggle with my weight...which as I aged, I got fatter! I love to eat and I love food. I was in a size 14/16 & xl about 5 years a comfortable size 6 & medium. I definitely have more energy....I was able to pull my twin grandchildren (50lbs apprx total) up a hill (3/4 mi) in a wagon. I took my time. No huffing/puffing at the top to the hill...I even let them play on the slide at the playground. BTW...we had just walked around a walk trail...about a 1 3/4 mile. yes, I have energy and stamina...who would have thought this for an 53 YO African American woman. I have a head full of thick hair and most people think I am in 40's. I never imaged this as I aged..six years ago, I thought it was normal to be overweight, tired, and fat when you reached your 50's.

The Healthy Librarian

@old_lady: Your comment absolutely, "knock my socks off"!! Your story is such an inspiration to me--and to all of us. We really don't have to get fat, unfit, & fatigued as we get older. You said it so well--and I can't thank you enough!!!


How about compiling your best material into a book?
Hope you keep your work accessible on the internet.

The Healthy Librarian

@Gerhardt: What a compliment!! And I know you're tough critic. Don't have the time to add in another project. Maybe when I retire.


I am so thankful I've discovered your website. My stepmom, who is now Vegan, a marathon runner and living a plant-based diet introduced me to your wonderful world of knowledge and insight.

I am now a newbie vegetarian (day 102) and am striving to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. I am 40, have 2 small children, work full time in the corporate world and juggle so many things. I thought I was relatively healthy. Always healthy check ups, great numbers. Then, after having my son 2 1/2 years ago, I started to feel terrible. Low energy, sluggish, stomach aches, just blah. Then I watched "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and "Forks Over Knives" last Christmas, and I've never been the same. I feel AMAZING. I have energy, clarity, a zest for life. I don't have stomach aches. The fog has lifted from my brain. My family is eating healthier (which I thought we were doing really good to begin with) and I've inspired some friends. This is now a passion of mine to share with others. Your website/blog is so incredibly helpful!
If I was at the convention, I would want to hear you speak about how, as a nutritional community, we can change the mainstream American diet? How can we make a quantum leap as a nation, and open people's eyes to the dangers and lies that big food manufacturers and selling us every day? How can we get school systems to overall their menus so that children are eating nutritionally sound foods? How do we start a REVOLUTION?
Many, many thanks!


I came upon your site by accident and I've fallen in love with your written account of your transformation! I've been a lab rat for almost 10 years, of my own doing of course. I decided at that time I had to do something about my lifestyle, (dad died at 56) since I was fat, out of shape, needed two knee replacements, and was addicted to my doctor's prescription drugs and a whole host of garbagy junk, but still had the meat and potatoes mentality with pies and cakes for desert. Oh, so much to say, and so little time (there are 50 chapters from then to now) forward, here I am at 65, and I exercise (knees replaced) my brains out, obsess with colored vegies, beans, teas, nuts, seeds and learned how exciting it is to create my vegan/vegetarian dishes. I've experimented with so many supplements, found out some weren't necessary, and do a switcher-oo now and then. I'm in to immunity boosters once again. I'm back on Reishi mushrooms again.....Paul Stamets, Fungi Perfecti, in case you haven't heard of him.....mushroom expert. Just google his name. I'm consuming more fermented food now than ever. My favorite being Kimchi.....your mouth gets a little buzz when eating it. I'm a really huge fan of The China Study as well, and I wrestle everyday with "to eat eggs, have cheese, or a piece of salmon." It is really hard to do! I'm still not totally vegan, I want to be, I really do!

With that said, does my family follow my "obsessive" food lifestyle.....mmmm no, and there is no chance in my lifetime it will happen.....but I've made a "dent" on teaching two grandaughters how to eat healthy...and hoping that they keep learning to eat new foods with gramma! Happily I began when I did, it was/is a learning process as you go. I am not educated in nutrition, nor am I a college graduate, (however, I did go a few years to college) so, with the help of this wonderful internet, I taught myself a lot.

I can't wait to read more of your story, and would welcome your comments as well.

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