I’m looking forward to seeing the Julia Child movie starring Meryl Streep, which opens August 7. Julia and I shared the same birthday — August 15 — along with Napoleon and Princess Anne, and I always enjoyed keeping track of her adventures. When she died five years ago, two days short of her 92nd birthday, I sent emails to all my friends telling them that all that butter had finally caught up with her!
Today I’ll write about another butter-eating hero, Dr. Hazel Parcells. The Doctor – – as she was often called — was terminally ill at 39, healed herself and went on to 65 vigorous years as a healer before her death in 1996 at 106 years young. She was a total original with a talent for chopping and slicing through nutritional dogma and had little patience with most health “experts,” saying that they were unteachable because their cups were already full. She broke the rules of establishment nutrition by recommending red meat, raw milk, butter, no soy and no margarine. And she understood body/mind/spirit medicine long before it became popular. Dr. Parcells liked to say that “If you want to be healthy, you need to trade your wishbone for a backbone and get to work.” That’s excellent advice on many levels, including broth making!
I am deeply grateful to The Doctor because I took her advice and became healthy. I noted that she earned several advanced degrees after the age of 50 and gathered the strength to go for my own PhD. I was so intrigued by her findings about the health problems caused by soy protein and soy margarine that I researched and wrote The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. I recommend my friend Joseph Dispenza’s book Live Better Longer to anyone one wants to learn more about the doctor and everyone who wants to know the secrets of how to remain joyous, vital and productive into great old age.
Now there’s a 97 year old man I’d like to meet. He’s Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, a physician who’s been practicing medicine at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing since 1941. He gives well over a 100 lectures a year and has written 150 books — yes, 150. That’s not a typo and he didn’t write them over his lifetime but since the age of 75!. The best known is Living Long, Living Good, which has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Dr. Hinohara encourages elders to reach for long and happy lives. How to do that? Not by eating perfectly, and certainly not by sleeping a lot. Indeed, he works 18 hour days, seven days a week, takes care to keep his energy high and makes sure has a lot of fun. After all, children who are having fun forget to eat and sleep. For those who need healing, he suggests music and art therapy, bonding with animals and forgetting about pain by focusing on fun. Clearly being childlike is his #1 secret. He’s also willing to let the world think he’s crazy. For example, Dr. Hinohara helped design St. Luke’s so that doctors could operate anywhere, including the basement, corridors and even the chapel. Most people thought he’d gone bonkers, but he was later proven right. In March 20, 1995, when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway, 740 victims were transported to St. Luke’s, 739 of whom survived. What’s on his menu? For breakfast, it’s coffee, a glass of milk — not soy milk — and orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil. Lunch is milk and cookies. Dinner is veggies and fish or meat. To work out, he bounds up stairs two at a clip. Dr. Hinohara also believes in planning ahead. His day planner is full through 2014. and in 2016 he plans to attend the Tokyo Olympics! I plan to meet him there.