Guest post from Kristie Inman –
Bill and I have discussed this subject for quite a while because it’s very important to him, but he has been trepidatious about making it a blog because he doesn’t want the community to think he’s trying to convince them that his lifestyle is the only healthy one, or that he has it all figured out. Good health is way too complicated an endeavor to get completely figured out, but maybe some of his habits and ideas will help you in your quest for good health. After all, good health probably means more years to enjoy painting!
He is 51 years old, but he works and plays right next to twenty somethings and has more stamina than 90% of them. He’s adopted a lifestyle that has demonstrated longevity and health, and I think many people would love an inside look at his habits. He wants to live, paint, and play with his great-great-grandchildren into his 100s.
Eat Right (Right for YOU)
Our faith is the starting point because we are taught to live by a certain health code called the Word of Wisdom – we don’t drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or use tobacco. When we meet friends for ‘coffee’ we can usually be found sipping some delicious herbal tea or water. We have several health-conscious friends who drink coffee and tea regularly, or have an occasional alcoholic drink with dinner, and of course we don’t have a problem with the eating or drinking habits of others. We work hard to bring good things into our body and avoid addictive substances, but we know not all bodies, or belief systems, are the same so please take anything I share with a grain of salt (which is now considered healthy according to ‘science’ by the way), and as advice from one friend to another.
After David, our first child, was born Bill bought me a book from the campus store. It was a recipe book, but it also mentioned using ingredients that weren’t processed or bleached. We had never thought much about our food quality and were shocked once we started looking around our kitchen. All our white sugar and white flour had to go, and we stopped drinking pop (or soda depending on what area you’re from) and cut way down on fast food.
I eventually started grinding my own flour and making bread from scratch. With 7 children, it seemed both fiscally and physically wise for us. The ingredient list on things like bread, buns and tortillas were entirely too long with things we couldn’t pronounce, so ‘homemade’ became more and more typical in our home.
Meat has always been used sparingly in our family. We love animals and hate to think of one dying to add to our dinner menu, but that isn’t the whole reason we stopped. Several years ago we were enjoying a trip to Switzerland for my brother’s wedding, and the food tasted different there, more rich and flavorful. The guide who took us around Zurich and the Alps spoke 7 languages and was well educated in the cultural and dietary differences between America and Europe, and he told us Switzerland wouldn’t allow any American food, especially meat and dairy, into their country because of all the chemicals and hormones we use.
We’ve never fact checked what he told us on our Zurich tour, but we later learned that that he was right about most American meat and dairy being unhealthy. Because of poor living conditions the animals are constantly fighting infection and disease, which leads to a steady stream of antibiotics. To make matters worse it’s not uncommon for them to be fed hormones and steroids to fatten them up. Yum…
We would focus on finding sources that were grass fed and raised and in ‘happy’ living conditions. Then one day we just stopped altogether and decided we didn’t really need meat proteins since there are plenty of other ways to get the proper nutrients in our diet. We still enjoy eating eggs, and occasionally splurge on some cheese, but over the past 4 or 5 years of not eating meat we’ve felt incredible and don’t miss steak or hamburger as much as we anticipated.
Our children (and their spouses) have all decided to continue this semi-vegetarian lifestyle and have met with some interesting reactions from friends, colleagues, members of our church, and complete strangers that happen to overhear tidbits of our conversation. Their health, vigor, strength, and joy have helped quite a few change their views of vegetarians being frail and sickly.
About 8 years ago, Bill was reading a book about Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, who went back into competition at the age most swimmers had long since retired. Her coach insisted she eat her Living Fuel every morning for breakfast – it was mentioned so offhandedly in the story that Bill thought it was a recipe of theirs. It turns out Living Fuel was a whole food product available online. Dara Torres said it was instrumental in maintaining her energy and helping her survive the grueling preparation for the Olympics. Now Bill has Living Fuel on a daily basis, usually in the form of a smoothie with a plethora of other ingredients like organic peanut butter, avocados, and raw local honey. It’s important to note that we’re not affiliated with Living Fuel in any way, but we love their products!
Diet and food choice is such a touchy subject today, and research is constantly changing and adapting as seen by the Food Pyramid morphed over the years. The world isn’t likely to come out with the perfect diet for everyone, so just find the perfect way of eating for YOU.
Bill loves to play When we lived in Colorado we would go on ski trips with friends. We never ended up seeing our friends much while there though because they would ski down a run or two then head inside to warm up and get some hot cocoa and rest. We would ski straight back to the chairlift and go again and again until we had to leave. It didn’t make sense to stop and take a break when there was skiing to be done, especially since there was plenty of time on the chair lift to rest and eat. Water parks and theme parks are the same way.
He still meets with friends every Saturday morning for an hour of tennis during the non-icy and freezing months, and each Tuesday night he attends a yoga class that I instruct. Even our weekly dates usually take place at the park for a round of non-competitive frisbee golf or a bike ride. We both love the outdoors and much of the conversation invariably tends towards “the way the light is shining through the leaves” or on the “different hues of green in the distant bank of trees.”
If you’re having trouble finding time to incorporate physical activity into your schedule you might experiment with becoming a morning person. Bill wakes up hours before I do and is already having his first over-the-phone meeting with David (the ‘tech guy’) at 5:00 am before his workout begins. Bill has lifted weights for over 20 years and he usually has one or two of our kids with him.
Your physical activity doesn’t need to be skiing, tennis, weight lifting, yoga or Frisbee golf like Bill, but find something you enjoy to keep the blood pumping.
Find a Balance
This is an area Bill would tell you he hasn’t figured out all the way yet. How many people would consider 12 hour days Monday through Saturday in his studio a balance? But he knows it’s vitally important and is always working to improve the balance in his own life.
Since our kids were young Bill has made time in the morning for family scripture study at the breakfast table. Every other day he even makes the breakfast smoothie with Living fuel. After family study and prayer, he heads to his studio to do his personal scripture study. He never starts a day without it, and his days are filled from morning to night at the easel, editing videos, answering emails, or helping students.
Despite his crammed schedule he still comes home around 6:00 pm for dinner and family time before going back out to his studio. After everything from the day is wrapped up we like to try to fit in a show together (right now we’re watching Murdoch Mysteries) and drink some herbal tea. He ends his day with a prayer and tries his best to fit in 6-7 hours of sleep.
I have yet to talk with someone near the end of their life who said they wished they had spent less time with their family. While prayer, scripture study, and sipping herbal tea may not fit your prescription to a balanced life we encourage you to find what does and hold on tight. The world keeps spinning regardless of how much we load into our days, so make sure you enjoy it.
Bill still gets sick, but only once every other year or so, and he usually bounces back quickly. He isn’t Superman, but he could be a distant cousin. I don’t know anyone who loves life like he does, who cherishes every moment with his family like he does, or cares for others as he does. That kind of joy and love goes a long way in staying healthy and strong – I believe anyway.
What about you – What have you done to ensure your body and mind remain strong and able to paint for years to come?
Wow! I’m impressed with your lifestyle. I am a Christian, and do dedicate daily to reading scriptures and devotional. I
Last year, I decided to stop eating meat, and do feel better. I run about 5 to 10 miles weekly, and start my day with green juice and my daily polyphenols too. My art work is not from a university standpoint, but it came to me as the greatest gift from God. I had never
Taken a class in my life, so I do thank Him for blessing me with my art. Some of my works are in Spain, Italy and France. I’m glad I got to read your blog, and thank you for posting it.
Good for you on the running! I can’t get myself on that wagon, but am impressed with those who are. Keep up the great paintings! God Bless!
I am very impressed with how you guys take care of your health. I am not as careful with what I eat unfortunately. I am proud to say I have never had any alcohol and I have never done any drugs of any sort. I don’t smoke either. But I do have a sweet tooth and love salty stuff.. so while my liver is happy with my no alcohol and no drugs diet, it hates me when I eat sugary stuff. I go to the crossfit gym 4 times a week to make up for the 8 hours I spend each day sitting at a desk in my office staring at the monitor, which is destroying my eyes and back. Even though crossfit is a high intensity interval training, I don’t think it can help with what happens to my body during those 8 hours. Changing my life style at this age would be difficult if not impossible.. but I hope I can find the will power to do more to take care of my health. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Bill is my benchmark. I wish I didn’t like cheesecake and other goodies so much! So much out there to taste, so little time….
Last year I went completely whole food plant based no meat no oil or dairy. I have never felt better in my life. I watched a documentary called Forks over Knives and it opened my eyes to see that we really are what we eat and the fats we eat are the fats we wear. And I have started walking everyday I am 67 years old and wish I had started this way of eating years ago. I was told I was pre diabetic before but not now so there is truth in why this is called the healthiest diet in the planet. I also know how important it is for me to spend time in God’s word everyday and in prayer. Being spiritually fit is as important as being physically fit. One thing I have noticed that as I have started this way of eating lost over 50 pounds and feel better than ever people still think and ask “how can you not eat meat?” So I am thankful to read this about your family and know that there are like minded people who agree that it is a good way to live. Like minded people who share the joy of painting taking care of our mind body and soul. That’s what life is all about. Enjoyed your blog thanks for putting it out there maybe it will convince others to take their health to a higher level. I love painting and want to enjoy it for many years to come.
Awesome! We have tinkered with whole food plant based. I’d say we’re 80% there:-) You’re a great example.
Ah ha! The truth is revealed. Since retiring five years ago I have spent a lot of time scouring the web for good art and art instruction. This in an effort to improve my own work. Many times I find work and artists whose work has a particular appeal to me. It is surprising how many on these folks turn out to be “members”. Josh Clare, Bryan Mark Taylor and Carl Purcell to name a few.
As I have followed Bill’s instructional videos and reviewed his work I have been suspicious of your “life style”. I picked up clues like the scriptures on the worktop, references to two years of service and the encouraging language Bill uses in his presentations. The clincher was the photo you used on this post.
Congratulations to you and Bill for being examples of the “plan of happiness”. I look forward to more instruction and more great paintings.
Your secret is safe with me.
You’re a hoot. We actually struggled a lot about how much depth to go into with our faith. We never want to seem like we’re pushing our religion on anybody, but also are more than happy to answer questions others may have. It’s a fine line in business. We are blessed with a community of artists that are so kind and supportive, I really love them so much, and it would kill me (and Bill) if we offended anyone. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormon) is the greatest blessing in our lives. We have had some comment that while they love Bill’s art they can’t be a part of our community because of him mentioning Heavenly Father and His creations too much. So sad.
HI Bill. Loved this Blog. I have been a vegetarian for, well, since 1991. I love animals and so from an ethical standpoint I could not eat them. Thank you for sharing. You and your family are more special than I realized
Thank you so much!
Well spoken! Faith, Family and Vocation, the three legs of the happiness in this world. By adding nutrition, healthy activity and awareness of the importance of friends you have a terrific plan for living. God bless you both. The blog is a great idea!
I love your “three legs of happiness” comment! Thank you!
I am in awe of the balance you and Bill have achieved in your lives and how conscious you are of living a life of depth and fulfillment. While I have made inroads into plant based eating, I have a long way to go in other areas of my life and uncertainty as to whether I will make much more progress there. I’ve discovered that postponing fulfillment can be a gamble you just can’t count on winning.
Love the picture of the bread loaves. I’ve been thinking about making our own since the store bought stuff doesn’t really taste as good anymore to either my husband or me.
Thank you Linda! And I would be glad to share my bread recipe when you start baking:-)
That was from me – Kristie:-)
Thank you for this blog, Kristie. I think that it is you who are Bill’s “Living Fuel”. Never mind all the other “good advice” ingredients.
They help but it is the lucky man and woman who can say, we love our life, we love each other, we love what we do. You are
truely blessed! Enjoy and Thank You for sharing and caring!
Oh I agree Renate! We are blessed, and our community of amazing artists is part of that blessing. (from Kristie:-)
Oh thank you so very much for this blog. I too knew that there was something different about you and Bill, and in a good way! I enjoyed reading your article and now ask, “where are recipes”?
Joy in Arizona
I’m glad you enjoyed it. And here is my bread recipe (I don’t know if the smoothie recipe exists, Bill’s like a mad scientist putting it together:-)
Kristie’s famous Whole Wheat Bread
(Makes 4 regular loaves)
Easy to make in about an hour!
5 C warm water
½ C + Olive oil
¾ C Honey
3 tsp salt
4 heaping Tbls wheat gluten (In Indiana I’ve only needed 3 Tbs)
4 C WW flour
————————-mix above ingredients together, let it sponge,then add…
4 Tbls yeast
Around 10 C WW flour (or enough to make the dough pull from side of bowl)
On an oiled surface divide dough into loaves, put into pre-oiled loaf pans, and rub a little oil on loaves, let rise 30 minutes. Than bake 30 minutes @ 350◦.
I started following the youtube painting videos Bill does, and am on the email list. How fun to find out that you are the same faith as me! We’ve also been trying to cut back on meat intake, and I also grind my wheat, as well as bake my own breads. We have a huge garden, fruit trees and berries, five hens, and are getting rabbits soon for our meat source. They are much healthier than chicken and also provide great fertilizer. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and growing as an artist. Thank you!
(this is Kristie) Welcome Sheryl! Sounds like you’re living the dream. Someday we hope to find a place out in the country. My daughter wants chickens so bad, as pets and for eggs.
Thanks for the inspiration! I would aspire to eat clean like this all the time, but I have a problem getting my family on board. I personally gave up pork, shellfish and the other unclean foods listed in Leviticus. ( not easy! We raise pork for a living. So I still cook it for others) people shake their heads at my decision. I juice vegetables, and have fruit smoothies almost every day. We live on a farm and I have chickens and a big garden. (Get your girls some chicks, It is great project!) Blessings, Jaci