Becoming Younger Every Day
My husband and I
farmed in Iowa from the 1940's until retiring in 1980. We raised
three sons, worked hard, and ate what was in those times
considered to be a healthful diet:
fresh and canned vegetables
from our abundant garden with plenty of home-grown beef, pork,
chicken, eggs, and, of course, milk and cream from our
hand-milked cows. It was a small farm style of living that is
now rare in this era of corporate and factory farms.
husband passed away five and a half years ago at the age of 88
from heart failure. I am now approaching 92 years of age and
would like to share my story of how it is never too late to
change and how anyone, at any age, can benefit from the
McDougall Plan. How I wish my husband had known about it.
In the mid
1960's, I began having angina pain during the nights. The pains
became increasingly severe through the years. After the attacks,
I would be in a cold sweat, very weak, and not be able to do
much for at least a day. Doctors put me on numerous medications
but never discussed diet. When I was nearly 90, the pain had
become increasingly frequent and was excruciating at times.
age 86 I had a pacemaker implanted and I was treated with four
heart and blood pressure medications. I tired easily, but tried
nevertheless to maintain an active life style. I was a bit
angry. I wondered why this had to be happening to me. I believed
that the doctors knew what was best for me. My husband felt the
same way. We trusted our doctors.
One of my sons
began sharing information from McDougall books and newsletters.
He then went on the McDougall Plan at the age of 68, and I soon
made the same choice, now nearly two years ago. It all made so
much sense that I saw little reason not to try it.
Within a month,
the angina attacks were gone. I cannot express the tremendous
relief this has given me. I no longer dread falling asleep at
night. I have eliminated two of my heart medications and halved
the dosage on a third one. My energy level has soared. My blood
pressure was quite high, but has now fallen into a very
acceptable range. I also lost twenty pounds during the first
year. Recently, my son gave me a copy of Dr. McDougall's book,
Digestive Tune-Up. After reading it, I decided to try giving up
Prilosec, which I had been taking for many, many years. I found
immediately that I no longer needed it. I am stronger and
feeling better than I have in years. I always liked to cook, and
now I very much enjoy preparing delicious, colorful, and
attractive meals of whole plant foods. And yes, Dr. McDougall
was correct in predicting that my food bills would fall
You may also be
interested in hearing about my experience with my cardiologist.
When I told him early on that I had adopted this way of eating,
he expressed no interest and shrugged it off with barely a
comment. During a recent visit to have my pacemaker checked,
however, he reviewed my data and said, "Whatever you're doing,
keep doing it." I think he should be telling his patients about
the McDougall Plan, don't you? Now I think all doctors should
encourage their patients to try a lifestyle of eating
vegetables, fruits, and grains and no animal products. In fact,
I think it is an outrage that they don't.
daughter-in-law, and grandson do most of my shopping and errand
running and they help me with some chores.
My son stops by every
morning, and this is where we do cheat just a little, to have a
cup of coffee. That's all either of us drink, honest. I take
care of my home with the help of a cleaning service that comes
for a couple of hours once each month. I do my own cooking,
baking, laundry, etc. and even do windows occasionally. I am
very thankful for my family and that my general health is very
good. Other than seeing my cardiologist quarterly to have my
pacemaker checked, I see no other doctors.
I find life to
be very interesting and with some challenges. I am an avid
reader and crossword fan. I am interested in national and
international news and watch several news related broadcasts
regularly on TV in addition to my reading. I enjoy documentaries
and many shows on the History Channel. And I watch CSPAN and
follow politics closely by spending considerable time each day
reading numerous political bloggers on the internet. Many years
ago, I was among those accused of "wallowing in Watergate."
My friends and
family are amazed that I could make such a change in lifestyle
at my age. They tell me that I look great, and they are
delighted that I am doing so well. I only wish more of them
would make the same changes, and I am working on that.
Finally, I want
to say to Dr. McDougall, "Thank you so very much," and I
encourage those of you who have not done so to please give the
McDougall Plan a try. The benefits are immeasurable.
I wish you all
Dr. McDougall's Comments
Elderly people are plagued by a plethora of
illnesses from worrisome constipation to debilitating arthritis.
They find themselves with their medicine cabinet filled with
pills, yet, in spite of all of their doctors' best efforts, they
remain sick, and their health steadily deteriorates. To make
matters worse, prescriptions are so costly that many on fixed
incomes have to cut into their food budget every month in order
to pay for their medications. The average cost per prescription
for an elderly person in 1999 was $42.30, and the average number
of prescriptions, including refills, rose to 28.5 per senior
that year.1 None of these medications cure chronic diseases, but
they do assure financial security for doctors, and for the
employees of pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. The
present-day healthcare system is a form of elder abuse—causing
sickness and financial ruin for seniors more than at any other
time in their lives.
Mrs. Roseberry decided to use a different
approach; taking control of her life through diet and exercise.
In a few short weeks she got her health back—even though she did
not start down this enlightened path until she was 90. And here
you are today, much younger than Mrs. Roseberry, feeling
hopeless. Thinking, "Poor me, I can't lose weight, I can't get
well. I have to take all these pills." Nonsense! I have had the
opportunity to work with many septuagenarians and
octogenarians—their recuperative capacities are astounding.
The human body, until it takes its last breath,
fights to survive; it possesses innate abilities to recover,
even into old age, once the burdens that are causing it to be
sick are removed. Within hours of the introduction of
fiber-filled foods stubborn bowels come to life. The joints
loosen up, mobility is regained, and body aches are relieved
after giving up the dairy proteins. The chest pains cease as the
circulation to the heart improves on a diet free of added fats
We realize our years are finite. But, most of us
enjoy life so much that we would do almost anything in order to
have more time to spend with our friends and family—even one
more pleasure-filled hour would be welcome. Additional,
productive, fun-filled, active time is gained by making simple
cost-free choices at the dinner table. Plus, following a simple
diet based on starches (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn,
etc.) with fruits and vegetables (in season) lowers the food
bills by 40% and more. The same diet and a little exercise—with
the cooperation of their doctors—will allow elderly people to
stop those medications that are unnecessary (which in my
experience is most of them, especially after people change their
diet). All of this progressive care will allow seniors who live
on a fixed income to rise above a poverty level of existence—and
enjoy life to the fullest. Share this hopeful message and you
will give someone an honest opportunity to add good years to his
or her life.