Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

First let me say ... have no intention of living to 100 years of age.  If it happens, ok.  But it is not a goal!

Far from it!
Photo curtesy of
But what is a goal is being active and engaged in all the years of my life that are left to me.  And over the last 5 years I have sadly discovered that I cannot just slip freely through life at the same level of function as I did when I was 20 or 30 or even 40.  Really, staying normal now appears to take way more work on my part ... if I want "active and engaged."

And after taking care of my mom ... and still involved in elder care first hand ... I most definitely was to be active and engaged!!

In this regard I can highly recommend John Robbins' book - Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples.

To be totally honest, I didn't expect all that much from a book with the title - Healthy at 100.  It sounds too much like so many of those self-help books that really helps no one but the author who benefits from the proceeds of the sale.  Why I bought it I will never know!  But I am so grateful that I did.

To begin with the author is the son of one of the founders of the Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream empire.  No, he doesn't support the eating of ice cream, and he did include a rather unbiased story about how the author's life style choices went over with his father ... not well!  But John Robbins' background is certainly interesting in light of the fact he comes from such a well known ice cream company.

To summarize the book as briefly as possible - the book begins with a look at several of the world's most long lived peoples.  That section is interesting all by itself.  Then he isolates the characteristics that enabled these peoples to live long and joyous lives, and applies these characteristics to our culture and the choices we make.  As the back cover quotes, "With an emphasis on simple, wholesome, yet satisfying fare, a manageable daily exercise routine and the cultivation of strong, loving personal relationships, Robbins gives us the tools for making our later years a period of wisdom, vitality, and happiness."

Yep!  That says it all.  After listening to the audio version, I promptly visited two books stores seeking a hard copy because over and over again there were sections I wanted to underline, refer to again and practice.  I needed this book in my hands and not just in my ears.  I can assure you that has never happened before in all my audio book listening.  Never.  One store was sold out and the other copy had one copy (Now they are sold out too.)  :-)

Yes, I do plan to re-read this book and mark it up so that I have reminders when I forget or lose my way in trying to stay active and engaged. That also doesn't ever happen.  I never re-read books.

Now I will say - there is no magic pill offered in the text.  It all comes down to eat good, keep moving, stay connected.  Really, it is not a new premise.  But John Robbins does such an excellent job of convincing you that it is worth the time to make the effort ... including the studies and human history to support the premise ...  that you can make a difference to your own older years and that it is never too late.

I will close with a statement from the book that is so true.

"Many people in modern societies today succumb to the belief that aging means
 becoming the helpless victim of a slow, tortuous, and inevitable deterioration. 
 They live in fear, believing that with each passing year
 they will only feel worse and suffer more.  
They do not exercise.
  They eat unhealthful foods.
  They shut down emotionally.
  Eventually, their fear becomes self-fulfilling, 
and they create the very tragedy they believed would occur."

This book is worth your time!


  1. Just that last paragraph alone makes you sit up and take notice.

  2. I agree that the quote from the book is excellent. Sounds like a great listen and a great read.

  3. Sounds like the health message our church (the Adventists) has been trying to share for 140 years!

  4. Sounds like a great book!!
    One thing though - I do recommend a bowl of ice cream a day. : )


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