What My Out-Of-Town Friends Accidentally Taught Me About Health




“You Americans are OBSESSED with losing weight! It’s so funny.”


This is but one of the “funny” observations that some of my new European friends have made to me over the past few years. 


Somehow, I’ve gotten to know a number of people who either live, or have spent extended periods, in Europe and South America. I’ve shared a few of their observations in blogs over the years, but after spending the weekend with a new friend from Austria, I’m inspired all over again to share some of the insights I’ve gained from these people over the years.


It was… real food.  

First, I’ll share the observations of a guest who appeared on my radio show last year. She’s an educator with a major US supplement company, and she spent a summer in South America for business.


What she told me was that the foods she ate each day had virtually no chemicals added to them. 


They were fresh, locally grown, or caught that day

She ate fish and vegetables and fruits and coffee, and she even had a few sweet treats along the way each week. 


She was always full, and her intense cravings just evaporated after a few weeks of eating this quality of food. She said it was the most health-reviving experience of her life, and yet, she did nothing that was challenging.  She just ate what was there. 

Net result is that she was more satisfied and weighed less than she had in years, but with almost no effort.


The Good Life  

What I thought was also very interesting about her South American adventure was how she described her lifestyle there. She said that the culture was such that “hustle and bustle” was at a minimum. 


Multi-tasking wasn’t part of the experience; savoring life was. This made such an impression on her that she said she finally understood why so many people list “stress reduction” as their primary strategy for great health. She thought she knew how to do this until she lived in a culture where stress was more easily avoidable. 


People were active, but it wasn’t considered “exercise”. They were just having fun at the beach. Or climbing a hill. Or playing. All the while, she was able to get things done on the business side more easily than ever before because she had more energy, more focus, and more zest for why she was doing it.


So, first observ