The Natural Health Movement…That’s what they called it back in the 1970’s when a renewed interest in the holistic health movement began in the U.S. and Canada. The term grew out of the Natural Cure Movement that was going on in Europe and the phrase was coined in 1895 by John Scheel, and popularized by Benedict Lust, the “Father of US naturopathy.”
Before this time there was little attention paid to the nutritional value of food and exercise was something you did if you played a sport. In my home, the goal was to get food on the table. In fact, I recall taking pop bottles back and buying hamburger with the money I got. We never really talked about nutrition when I was growing up. I once said on TV that we were poor until the next guest asked if I’d ever missed a meal and I had to apologize because we never did. We ate, but we didn’t eat well.
But my awareness of nutrition and healthy living would come from interviewing people in my early years in TV. In the early 1970’s I interviewed Paul Bragg, known as the Father of Fasting. His book “The Miracle of Fasting “ one of nine is still sold on line:
Your weekly 24-hour fast removes toxins on a regular basis, so they don’t accumulate. Your energy levels will rise and shine – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Your creativity expands.
You will feel like a "new you" – which you are – you are being cleansed, purified and reborn. Fasting is a miracle!
I began fasting every Monday for 24 hours on water as Paul Bragg recommended. I did this for several years and somehow got out of the weekly habit. Over the years, though, I have done 3-5 day fasts under the supervision of a naturopath. Fasting is serious business, getting into a fast and breaking one, plus what you ingest during the process are not to be fooled with as you can make yourself very ill if you don’t do it properly. I haven’t fasted for 15 years or so and can’t give you the reason why I don’t, it just doesn’t seem to be something I want to do anymore and listening to your body was one of Paul Bragg’s main tenants.
His influence is still felt today and there is no doubt that his greatest student was Jack LaLanne the man who took health and juicing to a whole new level in North America and credits Paul Bragg as the man who saved his life. I’ll be writing more on this topic in my next blog post, so stay tuned!