Sheila’s 10 Steps to Healthy Living

Darlene and SheilaЯ позволю себе краткое предисловие к статье Шейлы. Поскольку это была, надо сказать, долгожданная статья:) Я просила Шейлу написать ее уже много раз, и вот наконец получила эту статью. Потому как многие спрашивали как ей удается так молодо и хорошо выглядеть. И вот Шейла делится своими секретами:) Здесь вы сможете задать ей множество своих вопросов, чтобы  она рассказала о своих секретах еще более подробно, с деталями:) В частности тут были вопросы о том, какие конкретно витамины и БАДы пьют канадцы, каких фирм и т.д. Какие продукты она употребляет, каких фирм и названия, что считает здоровым питанием, рецепты этого  и т.д. Так что не стесняйтесь и спрашивайте все, надеюсь Шейла вам все расскажет! Итак рассказ Шейлы!


When I was 8 or so, I came to the realization that my mother was overweight.  I also realized that a lot of the women in my family (aunts and family friends) were overweight.  My Grandma Isabel was what is now termed, morbidly obese.  After making this observation I then looked at my school friend’s mothers.  While some of them were also a heavy weight, an equal number were slim.

As young as I was I made the determination that as an adult I would do whatever it took to never be an unhealthy weight.  And I have honoured that promise to my 8 year old self.

My main key to maintaining a healthy weight has been exercise.  I have exercised my whole adult life.  Beside walking and occasionally running I have tried all the exercise fads that have come along — aerobic classes,  Step-aerobics, exercise bands, deep water aerobics, to name a few.   Whatever I am doing, I always balance out my aerobic routine with weights.  This has become more important as I have gotten older as building muscle takes the back seat to increasing bone density.

I know that if I ever reach a nursing home I will be the old lady doing laps with a walker.

Use it or lose it.


It is amazing how many people don’t drink water.  They say they don’t like the taste of it.  Not drinking water is like not putting gas in your car and expecting it to run.  I drink 6 glasses of water a day.  I know that it is commonly stated that everyone should drink 8 glasses of water per day but I have found that 8, for my body, is extreme.  (More about extremes later).

I Googled Wikipedia to get the actual amount of water in the human body:

Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology states that «the total amount of water in a man of average weight (70 kilograms) is approximately 40 litres, averaging 57 percent of his total body weight. In a newborn infant, this may be as high as 75 percent of the body weight.

You might need to experiment to see what your optimal number of glasses of water per day is.  Once you make the determination, I think you should make a concerted effort to drink the water.  It doesn’t have to be plain water.  A simple way to make water more palatable, if you don’t like the taste, is to add slices of lemon to a jug of water.  Or sip herbal teas throughout the day.

Your body does a lot for you, do something for your body.  Drink your water.

3. Vitamins and Minerals

When I was 30ish I was a wife, a mother of 2 small children, a full-time elementary school teacher and the main caretaker of a house.  Also, I had a 1-hour commute to get to my job which was located 50 kilometres west of Edmonton, where I was living at the time.

I thought I was managing all these jobs fairly well, except that during the winter I found myself with one cold after another.  Also, I was always tired.  I went to my family doctor for some advice and was surprised at the little she had to offer.  She told me that I should get my husband to vacuum.  And that I should give up my job and stay home.  The first bit of advice was too little and the second was out of the question.

I have always been one to find my own answers.  So I thought there has got to be a way to solve this problem.  I went to the library and got out a stack of books on how to build and maintain good health.

One book was written by a female scientist who damaged her health by her research in radioactivity.  Although she developed cancer she managed to prolong her life by developing a vitamin and mineral regimen for herself.  I have forgotten her name but her book was the start of my lifelong commitment to supplementing a fairly healthy diet with vitamins and minerals.

Once I started taking vitamins and minerals I have rarely been sick.  And though I am past the half century mark I take no prescription drugs.

Your family doctor will probably not endorse you taking vitamins and minerals.  Most say that if you eat a balanced diet that provides all your nutrients.  At most they will advise a multi-vitamin.

If you choose to listen to your doctor and take a multi-vitamin, fine, but please step outside the box and also take vitamin D.  Your body will thank you.

4. Say no to Cigarettes

I tried smoking when I was 12.  I joined an after school curling club and all the cool kids were smoking.  What do you do?  Join the crowd of course.  However, it didn’t take me long to decide that smoking didn’t make sense to me.  Not only did it waste money that I didn’t have to waste, it just did nothing for me.  Unlike candy it didn’t even taste good.  I quit almost before I got started and have never looked back.

I visited Google for this quote on smoking.  Wong Liza writes:

Here is the hard truth, which is nothing to make light of.  Half the people in the world who smoke regularly today – about 650 million – will eventually be killed by tobacco.  Even more startling is that hundreds of thousands of people who have never smoked die each year from diseases caused by second-hand smoke.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world.

It seems like a no-brainer to me.  Do your body and the world a favour and don’t smoke.

5. Balanced diet

I try to eat a varied diet that incorporates all the food groups.  I have committed to memory the food pyramid and try to eat foods from each level.

I am not fanatical about my diet but one hard and fast rule is that the good has to outweigh the bad.

Sometimes it is hard to eat healthy.  Especially when traveling.  I do the best I can, given the situation, but as soon as I get home I clean up my diet and walk a straight line until I feel good about myself again.

Chocolate any one!

6. Flexibility and balance

I do yoga to keep from stiffening up like a machine that needs oiling. If yoga is not your cup of tea try Tai Chi or develop your own stretching routine.

Yoga is good for balance.  I read recently that if you don’t want to run the risk of constantly falling when you reach your golden-years then work on your balance now.

To check your balance, stand on one foot with your hands on your hips.  Can you hold this pose for one minute?

Being able to mimic a pretzel and a stork is good for your body.

7. Exercise your brain

Challenge your brain outside its comfort zone.  The key is variety and curiosity.  If you’re favourite pastime is reading and writing then periodically, do something mathematical, such as Sudoku.  If math and science is your bag then add Scrabble to your repertoire or do a cross word.  Or learn a new skill.   Do you have a piano sitting in the living room taking up space?  Left over from your child rearing days?  Learn to play it.  Is travel high on your list of things to do?  Then learn a new language.

Some scientist say that challenging your brain will help to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s;  others refute this claim.  But to me it’s an easy form of insurance and also interesting.  It beats sitting in front of the television all day doing nothing more challenging than trying to figure out how to use the remote.

Anyone for a game of cards?

8. Don’t skip meals

Skip breakfast!  Are you kidding?

My usual breakfast is a bowl of healthy cereal, fruit, and tea.

If you don’t eat breakfast you miss the most important meal of the day.  By the time you get around to that doughnut and coffee at 10 a.m. your body has fasted for over 12 hours.

My older brother is a journeyman.  His routine was to go all day without eating then have a big meal before bed.  Get up in the morning and do it all over again.  Finally he found he wasn’t feeling so well.  He went to see his doctor and he was rushed to the hospital where he remained for over a week.  He had become diabetic.  The doctors were amazed that he wasn’t in a coma.

My brother will be the first one to tell you that he attributes his poor diet for the fact that he now takes insulin shots.

Eat your 3 squares a day for your bodies’ sake!

9. Lemon water

I start my day with warm water and lemon.

My husband’s grandmother started every day of her life with this drink and lived to a healthy, ripe old age.  She did develop Alzheimer’s (I guess she hadn’t heard about keeping her brain exercised) but her body was in great shape.  When she died at the age of 90 she still had killer legs.

Lemon juice aids your liver in flushing out toxins from your body.

Lemon and water please. Hold the gin!

10. Moderation

I hate extremes.  Any form of extreme.  And don’t get me started on fanaticism.  My byword is moderation.  Everything in moderation.  Even drinking too much water in a short period of time can kill you.

My father-in-law, a very accomplished man who liked things to be as near perfect as possible, would say after he completed a job,

“That’s good enough for government work.”


Take what you will from this article.  The intent is not to tell you how to live your life.

My overall life statement is, ‘Each to their own’, (as long as it doesn’t harm others).

Запись опубликована в рубрике Hi, from Sheila, Медицина в Канаде. От Влада, Повседневная жизнь. Добавьте в закладки постоянную ссылку.

18 комментариев на «Sheila’s 10 Steps to Healthy Living»

  1. AlexBY говорит:

    Sheila, what a great post! thank you very much for sharing. BTW, water is my favorite drink! 🙂 My wife always tells me to put a few drops of the lemon juice in it.
    Again, thank you very much for the information.
    Have to tweet the post. 🙂 hope you wouldn’t mind.

  2. Regina говорит:

    Your family doctor will probably not endorse you taking vitamins and minerals. Most say that if you eat a balanced diet that provides all your nutrients. At most they will advise a multi-vitamin.
    May be doctors were like that 20 years ago. Now my doctor told me to take Calcium for my bones, flax seeds oil capsules to lower cholesterol and to take vitamin D (TWO tablets in winter and one in summer)

    And though I am past the half century mark I take no prescription drugs.
    It depends on gens running in your family.

    With everything else I totally agree! And I love you 10th…. about moderation 🙂

  3. Slava говорит:

    Sheila, thank you very much for this post. It is brilliant! Here is my five pounds about vitamin D. It is extremally vital vitamin for our body. Our skin produces it under ultra-violet rays from sun. The best time for taking sun-bath is morning till 10 a.m, or evening time after 5 p.m. It is enough 15 minutes to bathe in sun to get essential dose of vitamin D for your body. Unfortunatelly, if you are tanned your skin will not produce this vitamin. Also, you can receive this vitamin consuming parsley,nettle, cod’s liver,caviar.

    Do you know smth about cranberry? Do you use it in differrent dishes?

  4. Regina говорит:

    cod’s liver
    Unfortunately, in current world environment cod’s liver is the most poisonous part to eat. That’s why people in developed countries neither sell it and nor consume it.

    Also, how much cranberries a person should eat to get prescribed 2000 IU a day?

    It is enough 15 minutes to bathe in sun to get essential dose of vitamin D for your body.
    Why do I doubt this? 🙂

  5. Olena говорит:

    Sheila, thanks a lot for sharing this. I learned a couple of new things and will try to include them in my daily life.
    I wonder, what vitamins and minerals you take. Have you heard about Dr. Wallach and his system of essential 90 minerals?
    I’ve just recently read about it but I’m not sure how exactly to consume those 90 minerals.

  6. Olena говорит:

    To be correct, the system includes 90 nutrients: the 60 essential minerals, the 12 essential vitamins, the 16 different essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) and the 3 essential fatty acids.

  7. Eduard говорит:

    Thank you Sheila. I’ve heard about lemon water in morning and now I convinced to do this again!

  8. Yury M. говорит:

    Thank you Sheila. Very useful topic 😉

  9. Геннадий говорит:

    Hi Sheila! What about wine? Do you like it? One glass per day 🙂

  10. Виктория говорит:

    По просьбе Шейлы публикую ее ответы на ваши комментарии. Далее на английском языке идут ее ответы ( не обращайте внимания на мое имя над ними)!
    Sheila writes:
    Responses to Comments about ‘Sheila’s 10 Steps to Healthy Living’
    I am not surprised that this article has sparked some interesting debate. I chose to write it because diet and health is a subject dear to my heart and I love to share my findings with others. As I stated previously this has been a lifelong interest for me. So much so, that if I had another life to live I would become a practitioner of Holistic and Integrative medicine.

  11. Виктория говорит:

    Sheila writes:
    Hi Olena,
    I purposely did not give the list of vitamins and minerals I take. I think that a person has to assess their own needs and make their own determination as to what supplements to take.
    I hadn’t heard about Dr. Wallach. I have since looked him up on the internet. His message is far from unique.
    There are many pitches hyping this program or that. You cannot possibly follow them all. At the very least you will bankrupt yourself (unless you are incredibly wealthy) or you run the risk of doing your body harm by blindly following all these different programs.
    I read widely and question all that I read. I shift through all that I read, discarding this and adding that until I come up with a program that makes sense and works for me. As I stated in my blog, I avoid extremes.
    I would be very careful about trying to isolate and consume all the 90 minerals on Dr. Wallach’s list. Especially in pill form. You have to be careful about combining some vitamins and minerals.
    Also, care has to be taken not to overdose. Not all vitamins and minerals are water soluble. If you want to tweak your diet so that you choose foods that will provide the 90 minerals listed that is another matter. Again be careful and question what you are being asked to do. Let’s say for example, the recommendation is to consume a certain amount of potassium. You know that bananas are a good source of potassium. However, to get the recommended dosage you would have to eat 10 bananas per day. Would you eat the 10 bananas?

  12. Виктория говорит:

    Sheila writes:
    Hi Regina,
    I am going to have to disagree with you about your comments on cod liver oil. I’m not sure what developed countries you’re referring to but I consider Canada to be a “developed country” and you can buy cod liver oil in Canada. I order some of my products from a company out of Winnipeg ( Go to their site and type in ‘cod liver oil’ and read what comes up.
    For decades, the public has been warned against the harmful effects of sunshine. Therefore, most people either intentionally or unintentionally avoid the sun — or smear on sunscreen that blocks the beneficial wavelengths that produce vitamin D in your skin.
    Having too little vitamin D may not have any outwardly obvious signs. Yet vitamin D (specifically the vitamin D3 form) impacts an incredible array of support for systems and functions in your body. If you are leery of cod liver oil then get your vitamin D in another form.
    I don’t recall mentioning cranberries. Did I?

  13. Виктория говорит:

    Sheila writes:
    Dear Slavia,
    Thank you for your support for the importance of Vitamin D. I would like to add that if you are counting on getting enough Vitamin D from the sun you have to sun bath for those 15 minutes without slathering on sun screen.
    Check with your doctor. If you are under the care of a dermatologist monitoring your moles for the early detection of skin cancer I don’t think he/she would support your daily 15 minutes of sun, sans sunscreen.
    I re-read my article and I did not mention cranberries? However I use cranberries in many things such as muffins, salads, cookies, trail mix, and granola.

  14. Виктория говорит:

    Sheila writes:
    Hi again Regina,
    I am glad you have found a progressive doctor. Not all are willing to recommend supplements.
    Again, I do not agree with you as to my genes being responsible for the fact that I have managed to live this long without having to take a handful of prescription drugs to keep me alive. All I have to do is look at my many siblings to see that genes are not the only answer. Most suffer from ill health of one form or another.
    I have worked too hard to maintain my health not to want to take credit for it. At work my lunch breaks were spent in the gym or on long walks instead of sitting down to a leisurely soup and sandwich. When my cholesterol was slightly high my doctor suggested drugs to lower it. I exercised my right to say no thanks and corrected the problem with diet. When my thyroid malfunctioned I again corrected it through my own research and alternate, natural products. Eventually the thyroid healed itself. Had I gone on a thyroid drug I would still be on one today. Probably others as well.
    I find one prescription pill leads to another as you need the second pill to counteract the side effects caused by the first. I may be cynical but that it my belief.

  15. Regina говорит:

    but I consider Canada to be a “developed country” and you can buy cod liver oil in Canada.
    Yes, Sheila, OIL. Oil from cod’s lover that has been refined.
    Not the actual LIVER. Slava, however, spoke about real cod’s liver which was very popular meal (in salads) in USSR and I suppose it is being still sold in Russia.

    Siblings could get gens from another relatives, not from those which gens you got. Do you know people who can eat everything any-when and never gain any wight? I met some. Of course, if you know obesity runs in your family you could chose to be careful with what you eat , just to be save :).

    I noticed when I eat healthy I feel better right after the meal, fed but light in spirit 🙂 , ready for adventure. When I ate a lot and a heavy food — I feel sleepy and ready to go to bed. 🙂

  16. Regina говорит:

    Oil from cod’s lover that has been refined
    :)))))))))))))))) lIver, of course, not lOver.

  17. Herkunft говорит:

    Sheila wrote: «When I was 8 or so, I came to the realization…
    As young as I was I made the determination that — »
    That’s it! I have always believed in those unique individuals who, regardless of their family habits and community traditions, even at their young age will do something different, something new that will eventually take them beyond horizons and further… Is it driven by genes, angels, fate?

    Thanks for the great post, Sheila!

  18. Sheila говорит:

    Hi Herkunft,
    There is definitely a lot that is unexplainable in this world. Look at the many celebrities and other notables who over came great odds to achieve astonishing levels of wealth and distinction. One that readily comes to mind is Abraham Lincoln. And without even trying hard I could list probably 20 more starting in the 1700’s and moving forward. You will undoubtedly have different names on your list but would be able to generate a list of your own. Overall it makes life interesting. Never say, «never».

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