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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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A Doctor Told My Husband: “You Don’t Need to Save for Retirement”

When a doctor tells you to stop saving for retirement, it gets your attention! At 40 years old, my husband had a routine physical and blood work. The results were less than stellar — very high cholesterol and markers for diabetes. His doctor said he had the classic signs for someone who dies young. Yikes! How could this be? He wasn’t that overweight and we had a semi-active lifestyle. The answer, we learned, it’s the food. It’s always the food.

By coincidence, I had just finished reading The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and suggested that we try changing to a whole foods plant-based diet before committing to a lifetime of pills. My husband told me “I’ll give it six months.”

Within a span of a week, he went from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) to meals filled with whole foods and no animal products. We enjoyed the transition and actively sought new recipes, flavors, and ingredients. Not everything was a hit, but we learned a lot. Restaurants were surprisingly accommodating and with a website and app called Happycow.net, we found a lot of new places even while travelling.

So, what happened after six months? My husband did blood work again and his cholesterol and glucose were both well within the normal range! We’ve never been in better shape, and the more we’ve learned, the more convinced we were that we were making long-term positive impacts to our health and active longevity. It’s been almost 10 years now and we can’t imagine ever changing, and we see no prescriptions in our future.

The only regret we have is that we didn’t start much much earlier. We now encourage our family and friends to make positive changes and recommend several movies to watch: Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy are our favorites. There are also many books and websites specifically designed to answer questions for people curious about making a change. PCRM.org even offers a 21-day kickstart.

Fast forward to 2016, and this health scare ended up making another big change to our lives — we opened a stand at the Peoria Farmer’s Market selling all types of mixes in jars — soups, chilis, veggie burgers, pancakes, brownies, overnight oats, non-dairy cheezy sauce, etc. We named our business Jar d’Ann because we sell everything in jars, and to build on our French heritage — Jar d’Ann is “frenglish” for jars from Ann, and it is pronounced like “jardin” in French, meaning garden.

Since it’s summer, I thought I’d share one of our picnic favorites.

Summer Pasta and Bean Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
YIELD: 6 1 1/2-cup servings

Picking up the basil and tomatoes from your local farmers market will make this recipe taste that much fresher! It’s the perfect dish for sharing at picnics or potlucks.

8 ounces dry whole-wheat rotini or other shaped pasta
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 can (15-ounce) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon Dried oregano
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Combine pasta with remaining ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature prior to serving.

We make everything with organic whole foods. Our tagline is “Real food. Real easy.” We want to make eating healthy both simple and delicious — and inexpensive! Most items are less than $1 a serving! To learn more, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/jardann1 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Recipe courtesy of pcrm.org



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