The Last Post

I guess I’ve made my main point in (nearly) three years of Word of Wisdom Living posts.  Exactly what point you wonder? 

For those committed to living healthier longer, here’s the simplest summary I can make:  Eat food as close as practical to the form in which it was created.  In God we trust.  Warning:  Healthy eating requires home cooking.  Or like it says on the toy packages:  Some assembly required.

In the beginning, our humble goal was to save the world by reforming Food Inc—those heartless purveyors of the Modern American Diet (MAD).  We sought to restore the olden ways of traditional cooking—the food your great-grandmother prepared but with the modern improvements—for longer lives and better deaths.

These modern improvements were pretty big: refrigeration, freedom from famine, laborsaving kitchen tools, and so on.  Our time proffers the potential for the best health in human history.  Yet we’re haunted by overweight, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and the worst indignity, dementia.  We're digging our own graves with our forks.  The modern American diet had gone terribly wrong and WOWL sought the cure through better eating.  Prevention always trumps cure.

52 Healthy Changes

It was an audacious goal:  To reform the American food culture.  But we weren’t alone.  The new vision of how to stay alive through better eating is gaining traction in many quarters.  Such a major change is best done in manageable steps, so we created the 52 Healthy Changes.

Readers have asked frequently that I print the list of 52 Healthy Changes but I have politely ignored those requests.  Partly because the list keeps changing as we move along in the food reformation.  But there’s another reason.

Back in 1970—has it really been 44 years?—I attended a small meeting where Stephen R, Covey spoke.  I forget the subject of his talk but at the end he casually mentioned that he was making a list of the habits of successful people.  As everyone knows, this list resulted in his perennial best seller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and a business empire.

Intrigued, we pleaded with him to share the list.  He declined, saying that just hearing the list wouldn’t change anything.  But we persisted and he shared his list—an early version of the seven habits. 

Well, he was right.  Just having the list didn’t change us very much.  Change isn’t that easy—reforming the way one works is hard.  So I persisted in presenting the 52 Healthy Changes one by one, with a brief background to explain the importance.  I hope it has helped you in your quest for healthful living.

Leaving for Midway

It’s early in the morning; the night is still dark.  The Beautiful Wife is bustling about packing the many things required for a trip.  In a few minutes we’ll leave for lovely Midway, Utah and the annual Swiss Days celebration.  She’s half-Swiss you know.

It’s a long drive to Midway.  I sink into deep thought on these trips, pondering the miles away.  I love that part of the trip.  Today I’ll think about all the things we’ve discussed in Word of Wisdom Living these three years.  And we’ll think about what to do next.

To repeat, my 100,000 word guide—my estimate of the word sum of all the weekly posts—to good health through good eating simply adds up to something your great-grandmother might have told you in just twelve words:  Eat food as close as practical to how it was first created. 

I have to do some painting in Midway, but I'll also think about that book.  (If you’re in Midway, stop and say hello.  We’ll be at the family home, the one with the statue of a man offering you an apple.)

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Reader Comments (50)

So sad to hear this is your last post! I've thoroughly enjoyed your sensible, evidence-based approach to eating. Thank you for the wisdom you've brought to your readers!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMariel

Thank you so much for all of your hard work with this blog, I have really enjoyed the last few years. Best of luck in the future.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Thank you for all of your wisdom. I have enjoyed reading it all and making small changes for our family.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Thank you. We are a healthier eating family because of your blog.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessica brown

Thank you for your service, research and time. I love your blog.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Thank you for such a thoughtful and helpful blog. I'm so glad you're thinking of writing a book!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Thank you for everything. A book would be wonderful.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Well thank you so much for your effort in educating us all. It has made a difference for me and my family. Have fun at Swiss Days, and I look forward to your book! When that publishes, perhaps you can make a small post here reflecting that? I know that may be a few years from now, but it'll reflect in my blog reader; I'll keep your blog on it in hopes for a future book announcement!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTee

Oh how sad. We have all thoroughly enjoyed your wisdom and passion for good foods. You are a good man and it's been such a pleasure to read your stuff. Please update us when your book is ready!

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnge

This blog has been tremendous for me and my family! Thanks for all the wisdom.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Thank you for all the thoughtful writing you've done here! Even with so much trend toward healthy eating I still feel like there is a lot of noise and posturing to cut through, which made your reasoned words even more valuable. We are a work in progress but definitely healthier since making some of your changes.

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Thank you, thank you!! I so love this blog, and the way it has encouraged and inspired me! As college students and newlyweds, my husband and I lived in Heber. I student taught in midway, and my husband worked at the sign shop in midway :) such good memories. I remember noticing the statue you describe, and then a few years after we moved back home to Missouri, seeing the feature in MSL. What a small and lovely world.

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertara

Thank you for all you've shared!

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Thank you for all your wisdom. For sharing the things you have learned about living healthy. Our bodies are a temple, health and family are the most important thing on this earth. I have loved every post, gosh you can't quit... I always waited for your next post.
Some mutual friends, Lonnie and Debbie McCleve told me of Sunday School lesson you gave on the Word of Wisdom, oh how I wish I could have been there those weeks. They love you and speak so highly of you. Please let us know when you have done your book. Please do not take this site down as I have told so many to start reading it. I want to reread every entry. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJana

I'm sad to see you go! Thank you for all of your great posts. I have loved this blog not only for the wisdom and interesting topics, but I've sent many people here to show them an example of a great blog. I love the set up of it—having "the quick answer" to start off every post, and then the "healthy change" at the bottom is such a smart way to do it.

I miss Brooke's blog too! I check back now and then in the hopes that she has posted again, but alas. :) I understand that blogs are an immense amount of work, but you and your family know how to do them right. Let us know of other Hellewell family endeavors!

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Thank you for sharing your research and time with us.

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternaomi

I have also loved your blog and all the wealth of knowledge and information you have given me to help me and my family on our own word of wisdom living journey. Thank you so much! And good luck with your book!

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I often find myself searching your archives, and will continue to. Best of luck to you both, and please do write that book! xx

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Thank you for such wise advice. I've been with you since the beginning and have felt your encouragement. You deserve a pat on the back (or better, a big hug) because it was you, in large part, who helped me to make small changes in our family over the years. Today my family eats what you preach: whole foods, good fats and oils, raw milk, grass fed meat sparingly, and locally grown produce. It has taken some time, but everyone is on board now. We eat mostly organic and I have adjusted our budget to eat quality food. I still use Brooke's shopping list, too. I went to a conference a few years back and the speaker left us with some encouraging words-- "people can change." Sometimes they don't, but often they DO. It takes time. Tiny steps of progress and a few setbacks. But we can change. Gratitude for you and your time. I suppose I will have to find a new homepage:)
My best to you!

August 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterej

I have loved reading your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with all of us. I, too, am sad that this is your last post.

August 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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