April 15, 2014 - My name is Howard Veit. I am retired at age 72. My wife and I divide our time between our homes in Atlanta, GA and Longboat Key, Florida.
My wife, Kelli, and I have been happily married for over 27 years. We have one son, Henry (26), and two sons from my previous marriage, Michael (46) and John (43). John lives in the Los Angeles area and is a freelance writer, film maker and media technician, and works for various media organizations. Michael lives in the Boston area and is a marketing executive for a large computer software company. Henry is working towards his Masters in English Education at Boston University.
I am a semi-retired management consultant in the health care industry. Click here to see my bio.
Why do I have a blog?
The more people talk about health with each other, the better. Taking charge of your health is up to you. I believe in taking personal responsibility for everything that has ever happened or will ever happen to you - and this applies to health. This is the best, most proactive, effective way to live life. Now, more than ever, you cannot simply hand over your health to others. The health system cannot keep us healthy. We have to take matters into our own hands. Hopefully, my blog will provide useful information to others.
How do I stay fit?
I follow a routine that includes a workout 5 to 6 days a week for anywhere from 45 minutes to 2-4 hours. I alternate between bike rides, walks, and resistance training with free weights and body weight (pushups). I try to balance cardiovascular exercise with strength training, although I lean towards cardiovascular exercise on my recumbent bikes.
What do I do on a daily basis?
I am semi-retired and do a little management consulting in the health insurance industry with a client that I have had for five years. Every day is a mix of family, reading, work, and activity. I try to get enough sleep and maintain a healthy, stress-free balance (nobody is perfect). I don't like to travel, but travel some on business and with my wife for pleasure. My wife wants to do more leisure traveling, which we will be doing more of in the coming years.
What is my health philosophy?
My health philosophy is simple. I generally follow a high nutrition whole foods plant-based diet based on the advice of physicians and other professionals who have done research, writing and teaching about nutrition. These practitioners are a rare breed who believe that a healthy lifestyle based on sound nutrition is the key to good health. Those that I have studied most include Joel Fuhrman, M.D., John McDougall, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D., Matthew Lederman, M.D., and Jeff Novick, MS. RD. LD. LN. I believe that eating style is the most important ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. But, healthy sleep, stress management, healthy relationships and moderate exercise are also very important. I don't believe in dieting. We all should commit to a healthy eating style and stick to it for a lifetime.
In a nutshell:
- fresh, organic (when possible), unprocessed food
- no junk! I eat no foods from animals.
- I add no salt to food and keep my salt intake from natural foods below 1,000 mg/day. Too much salt is underestimated as a health hazard.
- I eat moderate amounts healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and avocados and lots of vegetables, and fruit. I eat bread, pasta and whole grains a few times per week. I try to make fresh vegetables (especially green vegetables) and fruits the center of my diet.
- daily activity - whether it’s a bike ride, a walk, the gym or a short run, it all counts
- plenty of quality sleep (8-9 hours per night)
- taking responsibility for yourself and your life
- openness to new things and ideas
I am 72 years old, currently take no prescription medications and visit the doctor rarely. I hope to keep this situation constant for many years to come.
What do I think of modern medicine?
I am outraged by the mass-marketing of drugs, surgery, and lifestyles that do nothing more than harm people’s lives. We can do much better than depend on drugs and medical procedures to keep us healthy. Modern medicine can be miraculous, but we overuse the health system, take too many drugs and depend on physicians to keep us healthy. They cannot. Only we can assure our health by leading a healthy lifestyle.
What is my favorite food?
My favorite food is a large bowl of vegetable soup (without salt). I also love large salads with lots of ingredients, fruit and vegetables. Most every morning I have a blended salad made up of various fruit, usually organic baby spinach, VegaOne vegan nutritional supplement, a DHA supplement, and dates.
What are my top 5 values?
1) Respect 2) Balance 3) Excellence 4) Integrity 5) Curiosity: having a critical openness to new ideas