1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Ann Musico, holistic health coach, 59
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
By far the person who has inspired me to be health conscious was my Uncle Gus, my mom’s brother. He and my Aunt Ruthie used to come stay with us for the summer when I was growing up. He was ahead of his time – considered a health nut by most people, but very knowledgeable about nutrition, supplements and exercise. He taught me and my brother how to stand on our heads and do yoga and also I remember him mixing up V-8 juice, brewer’s yeast and raw eggs for us to eat! We were not to excited about it then but I have never forgotten his influence. There were not that many health food stores around then, but he would always find one and we would spend hours looking at all the supplements and natural products. He was my first natural health teacher!
3. What did they do to inspire you?
He inspired me by practicing what he preached! He drank the V-8 juice concoction (which I’ve come to love by the way!); exercised daily, took supplements and was in amazing shape all his life. He wasn’t a fanatic about it and that was a very important part of what I learned from him. Healthy habits were part of his life, but he didn’t avoid having special desserts and that was something I needed to see because I tend to be a little legalistic in nature. If he had been more inflexible, it may have turned me in the opposite direction instead.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Growing up when I did (in the 60’s and 70’s) having his example and encouragement led me to always be aware of what I was eating and created a hunger in me to learn as much as I could about health and nutrition. I have always exercised regularly so I have never been overweight. While packaged, processed foods became a staple during those decades, I still focused (for the most part) on real, fresh foods. We are of Greek descent and so that became a very big part of how I have always eaten. Time has proven that eating a Mediterranean diet seems to be one of the healthiest ways to eat, and his influence helped me to focus my meals around those healthy foods we grew up eating. I have always also taken nutritional supplements and he was instrumental in teaching me the basics about those.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I am the mother of 3 wonderful children and I have tried to teach them by example how to eat and be healthy. My sons live on their own and have incorporated what I have taught them. They are very healthy and have continued the habits I have taught and modeled for them. They both shop and cook their own meals, they both work out daily and have become health advocates to their own friends and colleagues. My daughter still lives at home and she actually will call when a friend has a health question and ask me what foods they should eat or if there is something natural they can do. She has actually learned more than I think even she realizes because when she asks me if what she wanted to suggest is right – 9 times out of 10 it is! That makes me happy.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
My #1 takeaway for children today is to focus on what is real: real, natural, fresh, whole foods – organic as much as possible – because we cannot trust anyone else to ensure the safety of our food. Bottom line is that we are each responsible for our own choices and for our own good health. We cannot put that responsibility off on our doctor, parents, spouses or anyone else. We must be proactive, educate ourselves, and make the best choices available to us. Getting back to the basics; eating and living as God intended us to, will pay rich dividends in a long, vibrant, healthy life.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?