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Happy New Year Pilgrim's Family!

Updated: May 22

I hope that 2024 brings us all many blessings in the form of peace, health and joy - even in the presence of challenges… Many years ago (like nearly 30) I recall struggling with some personal health issues and something that Dr. Andrew Weil said changed my life. At that time, I saw my health struggles as an adversary that I needed to conquer, but he said that real healing begins when a person can accept their situation and even learn to appreciate it, as it can serve as a guide leading to even greater health and peace. I wrestled with that concept for quite some time. I hated my condition and couldn’t imagine ever appreciating it, but over time I grew to understand what he meant and today I can indeed look back and say that I am a better, healthier, and happier person because of those obstacles. “How so?!?” you might ask. Well, over the years I have learned the power of perspective. How I view challenges plays a critical role in not only how I deal with them but how I allow them to affect my peace. The mind is a powerful thing and when the mind is battling something, the body is plagued with anxiety and stress and stress kills! Over the last few years, I have witnessed my parents age. One has aged exceedingly well, and one can’t remember my name. Watching my 88-year-old mother’s mental decline has been very sad, but I am also trying to learn from it. I have found myself researching causes of mental decline and if there is a silver lining, it’s that I will likely become more empowered with knowledge on strategies to avoid the same for myself and others. I won’t claim to know the causes of dementia, but my research and observations definitely lead me to believe that how one deals with mental stress, and how one approaches disciplines like exercise, sauna, work, community, faith and of course nutrition, plays a huge role in shaping how we experience our final years of life. As you look forward to the new year, I want to offer some “New Years Resolution Ideas” that have made a big impact in my life. Check them out!


The first program to prevent and reverse cognitive decline. This New York Times Bestseller written by Dale Bredesen, MD is incredible. I have been so moved by this doctor’s research and the testimonials found inside the book that I must encourage everyone I know to read it.

My Octopus Teacher – Documentary

I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary a couple years ago, but Ryan, our service-deli manager, recently reminded me of it and I have to give it two thumbs up. Talk about taking a fresh perspective on life’s challenges and the value of experiences and community that cause us to connect our existential nature… This documentary, that airs on Netflix, is so touching that I can’t imagine anyone not being deeply moved after watching it.

Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones

I recently watched this Netflix docuseries and was very inspired! Dan Buettner, the host of this docu-series and the author of many books with similar titles takes you on a tour around the world into the homes and communities of people who not only enjoy but experience thriving lives for 9 and 10 decades or more. Boy… there is so much to digest here. I think that I will be chewing on ideas and concepts presented by Dan’s work for the rest of my life. One observation that struck me was the lack of modern technologies in these people’s lives. Instead of television or social media, these people spend quality time on hobbies, physical activities and genuine human interaction with their community of loved ones. Something else I will never forget is their diet. They all spent lots of time in the kitchen preparing good whole foods that were minimally processed. Additionally, several communities separated by thousands of miles from one another shared the habit of eating vitamin and mineral-rich Yams and Sweet Potatoes. I have taken to eating them lately myself and am amazed with how well they power my body and leave me feeling full and satisfied. I was ecstatic to discover that our deli has recently added two new dishes featuring this potentially life-extending food! Look for the Chipotle Yams in our grab-n-go case and a new Japanese Sweet Potato Soup. Well, my journey exploring life’s purpose and secrets marches on and I hope that your mind might be similarly stimulated via these delightful books and shows. Happy New Year a

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