Live Longer by Eating, Drinking and Relaxing: 2 Books 2 Save Your Life

No time to be a crab.

John Belushi, Jim Morrison, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vincent Van Gogh… unfortunately the list goes on and on – what else could they have created if they had lived longer? If you cut out some of your vices, does life become longer or does life just seem longer?

Today, the number of centurions is growing by 7 percent a year. Will you be one of them someday? For a living history, talk with one and learn how they adapted to a world that changed from long trips on horse and buggies to long waits at the airport, from silent movies to cell phones with streaming ads, and from deciphering Morse code to miscommunicating by SMS texting.

The greatest innovations weren’t air conditioning, TV remote controls, or microwave popcorn as many suspect, but instead came from improved health and nutrition that actually kept us alive and increased our life expectancy.

Thankfully, we no longer have to worry about being eaten by dinosaurs, falling out of chariots or freezing in an ice age, and OSHA standards have reduced workplace accidents to mostly paper cuts and burning our lips on coffee, but will our life expectancy continue to increase with our seemingly poor diets and increased stresses? While technology focused on making things convenient, and marketing focused on making things affordable, has anyone been concerned with our well being?

Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands. Although they are no spring chickens themselves, here are two books that can help you to live happily ever after. the Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson M.D., shows how an easy to learn and simple to practice form of meditation can reduce your stress and reduce a host of nasty physical ailments.

The second book was given to me as a present and became a true gift. In general, the medical community has a predisposition to prescribe drugs and the Department of Agriculture has a mission to promote farmers. Who has the incentive to promote your longevity? Not the governments who pay out entitlements, the answer is YOU. In Eat Drink and Be Healthy
by Walter C. Willett, MD, the author provides practical advice about remaining healthy that is designed to enrich your body instead of enriching special interests. Both books have a long shelf life and I won’t spoil the endings.

When I was packing to move to Hong Kong, I sent thousands of my books into storage, but these are two books I brought along. What books would you bring to a tropical island?
What books will you share that you think could help others stay healthy?



  1. If you are looking for the “Relaxation Response” on CD so you can listen to it while doing 50 other things at the same time do you think that is missing the purpose of the book and you are a hopeless case? I’m putting that on my summer reading list and maybe a miracle will happen.

    “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller was a life changing book to me – not in the health improvement sense per say..but in his “living a better story” lesson. One of my all time favorite books that makes you step back and look at your life in a powerful way.

    I would take fun, mystery-type books to the island and hope that new books from Margaret Reyes Dempsey and Dan Brown were available by then. I have a stack of business books…ummmm….I’ll leave those at home. Oh…and one Survival in the Wild guidebook just in case the ship is the S.S. Minnow.
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  2. The relaxation response takes effect in a few moments – it’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight response and and then you can back to the 50 other things.

    I look forward to reading “Million Miles,” thanks for your suggestions Melinda! – oh and if I were on the S.S. Minnow, I would travel light and then borrow from the professor and all the rest.

  3. I’m scared of what kind of books the Professor might have. I’m not seeing him having anything but physics books. 🙂
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  4. UPDATE:: much of Eat Drink and Be Healthy was inspired by the faults in the USDA food pyramid – Recently they introduced a new “plate” to replace the pyramid and can be seen at:
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  5. I always wonder why our ancestors live much longer compared to us right now. And it made me think of maybe it’s because of the lifestyle before and now. One’s lifestyle really will make what you are and what you will become including how healthy you are.
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  6. True, give up the vices and live longer. Unfortunately, some people prefer to live shorter and NOT give up the vices. I was like that with smoking. I said to myself “i don’t need to live to a hundred, i just need to enjoy my life even if it’s shorter.”
    I’ve given up smoking since then, but i can understand their way of thinking.
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  7. Currently, we are living in a world full of temptations. Most of the things we have right now can influence us to go beyond our capacity. For example, hi-tech appliances save our time but lessen our effort that can be a form of our exercise. Because of the existence of gadgets, we choose to relax with our internet, wii, etc. than to spend our time outside enjoying how lovely our nature is. And a lot more! We need to balance our life to live longer.
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  8. I totally agree on this! Having enough time for yourself, eating on a healthy way would really help you to live in a healthy way and having a longer life. Getting careful in so many ways will surely help you in response.