I had a question rolling around in my head this morning. It was bugging me. Is health a gift or is health earned by doing the right things?

In my health talks, I usually refer to health as a gift. Certainly, if your mom took care of herself during your pregnancy, you are better set to deal with the stresses of birth and life in general compared to the birth of an underprivileged, unwanted baby born into some kind of accidental mess. Your mom earned a measure of your good health by doing right. If not, then you have more work to do to overcome. The care and nurturing you received as a child, the stuff your mom ate, and the temperment of your parents, in some part determines the nature of your health. Then we grow up, we eat ourselves silly, learn to walk, dress ourselves and do our best to be functional human beings.

My mom was a displaced child during the great war. She survived starvation, death and eventually escaped the Maly-Trostenets concentration camp. She survived in Russia with a peasant family through her teenage years before being reunited with her father who also survived the war. By age 18 she arrived in the States and I was born a year later. I asked mom about her diet during the war and the year in the States before I was born.

In the camp, there was very little nutrition for a couple of years. I am sure the adults who surrounded and protected her shared what little they had knowing that they had to preserve their young. This is a common theme we here from those personal accounts. After a miraculous escape, engineered by her father, she survived with the Russian family. They had a cow, so a little milk and butter were available with a yearly pig slaughter so fatback was the delicacy. Potatoes of course and the occasional smattering of vegetables. As a teenager, I went hitchhiking around Europe and in Austria, I saw fatback under glass being sold in bakery shops. I thought it was some type of confectionary at first, but then came to realize that cubes of fat were still a delicacy to survivors of WWII. Amazing to know where we come from.

Upon arriving in the States, mom confessed there was nothing finer than sugar on pasta, easily forgiven after years of starvation. I grew up on a typical American diet of boxed cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, occasional tuna fish sandwiches, canned vegetables, which I seldom ate, meat loaf, burgers and lots and lots of junk food, for convenience. On Sundays as a teenager, I remember eggs and a pound of bacon, during my short lived wrestling career. Not exactly the picture of health. I only learned to eat and appreciate fresh vegetables while serving as a missionary in India, later in life.

So what ever lack or failings I have, I can conveniently blame on poor nutrition circumstances of my mother and my own lack of proper nutrition until late in life. However, the human body is very forgiving and lost years of lack can be made up quickly by adopting better health habits. That is at least one moral to my story.

In life, some people are quarterbacks. They can take charge and command of any situation. They can take big hits too and don’t get discouraged easily. Later in life those will be top selling sales people. Look how many millions of Papa John’s Pizzas Peyton Manning is selling! Some people are linebackers who just really enjoy hitting other people. Those might be turn out to be your used car salesmen. (…just joking…) Some people are on the sidelines carrying water bottles for the players. Those are your gophers who are here to serve the greater good, an instrumental part of the team. Some people are in the stands cheering, providing encouragement. Some people are working at concessions selling hot dogs.

In high school, I sold hot dogs. I chopped confetti for home coming. I appreciated that crisp five dollar bill at the end of the game having worked for five hours on a Saturday.  I guess we got free hot dogs and cokes as a perk of the job. I also wrestled, sang in glee club, worked on the stage crew and played the part of Charlie Cowell in The Music Man. I also slew Thomas Beckett several times on stage. King Henry II was conflicted about it every time. He ordered the assassination but then seemed to regret it. I regret selling hot dogs but teenagers, you know, can eat anything! 

At some point, you get the picture that your DNA is a gift. The predispositions you have towards health are part of who you are and they are there to help you manage life. Bad genes, I think, are a misnomer. It’s like on your birthday, or at Christmas you get your presents gift wrapped. You don’t know what’s in the box. As we age some of the wrapping comes off and we find out that we are prone to easily gain weight. We have a lot of cavities. We find out that dad has diabetes and I have high blood sugar numbers. So the gift is the 10,000 functions of our human bodies that work really well every day. The earned part of health is in taking care of what you have been given.  The earned part of healt is taking action as we learn what our weaknesses are and begin to address them. That is the difference between genetics and a new science called Epigenetics. Just Google it and you will find loads to read on the subject, how you have the ability to actually change the expression of your DNA. You do this through nutrition, mental focus and exercise, primarily.

My daughter recently purchased her first car, a 1999 Honda Civic. She makes $50 payments a week at the local car dealer. Some of her friends drive new cars because their parents gave them new cars upon graduation. Car dealers love those parents. Many of those new cars are generally totaled in 6 – 12 months. We just hope the air bags deploy and seat belts are being worn. There is a difference between getting a car as a gift and earning your own car. (Kat is a busser, food runner and sometimes a waitress, as well as being a part time community college student. All around trouble maker, tenacious and lovable. Her work ethic amazes me.)

So health is first of all, a gift. You don’t have to think about your heart in order for it to pump blood. It just does. You don’t have much to worry about much except trimming your nails and getting a haircut every so often. In adulthood, things change a bit. You have to start earning your health.  All those burgers and fries you ate as a teen and burned up with a fast metabolism are coming home to roost.  Suddenly one morning, the belly is bulging and those thunder thighs appear out of nowhere.  You have got to modify your eating habits. You have to learn where and when you can get exercise. Where do you go to de-stress your mind?

Basic health is a gift. Continued good health has to be earned.

Basic Health Gift Packs

There are several holidays coming up. “‘Tis the season…” These are all big holidays in my book. These are chances or opportunities to do some good for your loved ones.

  • Veterans Day – November 11
  • Thanksgiving – November 22 
  • Chanukah  December 8-16      
  • Christmas – December 25

I’ve put together a Basic Health Gift Pack for you to give to your friends and loved ones.

It’s not only inexpensive but it’s convenient too.

The Basic Health Gift Pack contains:

  • 1 All American Omega-3 (60) – Everyone needs Omega-3s everyday. So says the American Heart Association.
  • 1 True Vitality Plant Based Multi Vitamins (90) – Plant based vitamins are more readily absorbed and these micronutrients go a long way in mitigating any definiciencies in the diet.
  • 1 Epicor Immune Support (30) – This amazing immune support capsule improved the ability of your immune system to withstand colds, flus and even remedies many allergies.
  • 1 Hour of professional health coaching added free!
  • 1 Seven Day EZ Push Button Pill Case – You need something to organize your new lifestyle!

At the basic level, these three supplements can make a big impact in a person’s life. Maybe it’s someone who hasn’t started to think about improving their health. At least it would be a conversation starter. 

At retail this would be about $72 of supplemental health value but I want you to give these out wholesale this holiday season, so I am going to give you the absolute rock bottom wholesale price of $36 a pack.

FREE COACHING: Along with the Basic Health Pack, I will include details of how your Basic Health Pack gift recipient can get a free one hour health coaching appointment to get any questions answered regarding their diet, lifestyle issues, fitness level etc. If you add the one hour of professional coaching at the meager rate of $50, this becomes a $122 value for a mere $36. If you buy 3 packs, the price further reduces to $99 for 3 of the Basic Health Packs. 

Gift Packaging: I am on the hunt for an inexpensive way to package these Basic Gift Packs for you but no promises yet. I’ve ordered some samples. If I can, I will do something to make it easy for you to give these out. (Like a decorative box or something. Maybe a ribbon? I don’t know. Open for suggestions!)

Here’s the one hoop you have to jump through: The retail price for the Basic Health Gift Pack is $72. Use the coupon BASIC HEALTH, those two words go in the coupon box at check out and the price will reduce to $36 for one pack and $99 for three packs.Coupon Code: BASIC HEALTH

 You’ve been my client for awhile if you are getting this missive. I hope I have helped you to stay healthy and feel better. If I have, I am happy. Now, all I ask if that you give the Gift of BASIC HEALTH to someone you love and care about.



I will make at least 100 Gift Packs, but I hope the idea catches on and I get 500 orders this gift giving season! Let’s help our friends and loved ones get healthy.

Be well,

Garey Simmons, CHC

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