Best of 2017 Part IV

Clothing and accessories express who we are without saying a word. When we wear what we know looks best on us, it can lift our spirits and put a little strut in our walk.

The previous posts for this week included my best tips for what to put on your body. A much more important thing to consider is what to put in your body. I started blogging almost seven years ago after I lost about forty-five pounds. I have kept it off for the first time in my life. Until then, I had been in a battle with my weight and poor health since high school.

By the time I was fifty-four, I was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a fatty liver, and it was painful to walk even in tennis shoes because all of my joints ached. I took several costly medications daily and had an appointment with a specialist of some type almost weekly.

I was so profoundly depressed that just getting dressed for the day could bring me to tears. I remember thinking many times; this is how growing old feels. In the spring of 2011, I discovered that it was not my age, but what I was eating made me sick and fat.

When I removed meat, cheese, oil, eggs, all dairy, and all processed foods from my diet and replaced them with whole grains, greens, beans, vegetables, and fruits, my body started to heal itself within days. It took about twenty-one days to break my addictions to sugar, fat, and salt. The excess weight came off over the next few months without being hungry or going to the gym every day. Most importantly, my body began to replace the damaged cells and a weakened immune system with healthy ones.

I am now sixty-one and take no medications. My weight has stayed at about 145 for more than six years. I have not even had a cold during that time. A once a year check-up is now the only doctor visit for me.

I wish the same good health and an active body for you and those you love. Changing your diet can indeed change your life.

Happy New Year!

  1. Hi Susan,

    Very beautiful woman, when you were 47, 48 years old.
    And still a very beautiful and classy woman at 61 !!!

    Be happy that you have your good health.
    I have the sickness of Crohn (in the beginning of decembre, I was in hospital).
    Still recovering of it now. Not always easy to live with it, but I have to.

    I wish you the best for 2018.

    Many hugs, xxx
    Werner from Belgium

    1. I have IBS and similar problems as you. A vegetarian diet is not possible for those of us with these dreadful digestion problems!

      1. I am vegan (no animal products) and I have Crohn’s. I changed my diet when I was diagnosed. There are a lot of foods I do not eat, but I am very happy to have left animal products behind. I have not had to start any medications for Crohn’s and I believe my diet is one of the main reasons for doing well in spite of this diagnosis (and others). It does require a careful transition and some caution, but it is definitely a possibility and the wide variety of phytonutrients in plants are more healing to the body than any medication!
        (My experience only, of course.)

  2. Susan: An old Rod Stewart song comes to mind “You wear it well”. Clearly you are at your peak and radiating beauty, inside and out. Thank you for your inspiration. Happy New Year (and many more) to you and Mr. M.

  3. I agree about the beautiful outside, but I’m most grateful about your beautiful inside: you are such a giving and encouraging person. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey all the best for 2018.

  4. Happy and healthy is what I see in your picture today. Wishing you and Mr. Mickey another good year in 2018. You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you!

  5. You are a wonderful example of living your best life. I have been inspired, and have followed your example of eating well. I no longer eat meat, cheese, dairy, and am working on elimating oil and sugar. I feel fantastic. Thank you for the life-changing inspiration!

  6. Thank you for this. By meat do you also mean poultry? What about fish? Alcohol? I’m 64 and need to lose 40 pounds. I’m sure that would cure my pre diabetic state. You are such an inspiration!

    1. I do not eat beef or pork, at all. I rarely have chicken or turkey (maybe three times a year when I am a guest in someone’s home). I will occasionally have a piece of wild caught fish when we are eating out at a “fancy smancy” restaurant. I always feel best when I only eat what I know works for my body. I have a glass of wine or champagne occasionally but no other alcohol.

  7. I do not comment often but I want you to know that I enjoy your blog and all the advice and info you share. I hope to be able to change my way of eating as I am addicted to sweets and foods that are not good for the body. Continue with what you do you’re an inspiration to many! Have a blessed and prosperous New Year!

  8. You look amazing. Yes I agree with you regarding how eating whole foods and plant based is the best eating lifestyle and your photos prove it. I am 63 and 16 months ago started eating the same foods as you stated. I lost 55 pounds, have a normal BMI now, and got off all my medications,no more achy joints,and have lots of energy. So glad you shared this info.

  9. Cutting out meat would not work well when cooking for my husband, but I’m trying to add more vegetables into my diet, and we both like fruit. Lunch time is especially good for raw veges. Happy new year to you and Mr. Mickey, and I’m looking forward to what you show us in 2018.

  10. Happy New Year, Susan and Mr Micky! Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I’ve been following you for a few months and your posts have been helpful and inspiring.

  11. How did you let your hair go grey? Did you do it all at once or gradually started to lighten it every month? I’m a medium brown color but have grey roots and have been thinking of going natural grey.

    1. At age 50, I just stopped coloring it. I used a temporary color for a little while, and I wore it much shorter at that time. Check with your stylist. They can do great things with high lights and low lights on the surface if you want to transition gradually.

  12. Susan, I so look forward to reading your thoughts for the day. I have been a follower for four plus years and can say you helped me through a bad time of retiring, moving out of state and noticing the body had changed as I was aging. You were exactly what I needed at that time and continue to be. I wish I could support you and encourage you as you so much for your followers. Hopefully knowing it is appreciated by us helps encourage you as well. Happy New Year.

  13. I have tried the natural color several times of which I’m not opposed to, BUT, when my hair is unprocessed, it just very unmanageable. Slippery, slidey, and more flat than usual. It’s fine thin and kinky! With processing, I fine it a little more manageable! I have wondered if the glazing process would add the same body. You look great at any weight and age Suzan!

  14. Susan, you are truly amazing. Thank you for an interesting year of tips. I have read them all and wondered how you could be so busy with your business, travel, keep up with blogs/emails/etc. But you did with a great deal of style and grace. The stories you told on yourself were very impactful and I applaud you. I myself am 67 and never really had an issue with weight (due to good genes, fairly good eating habits!) but suffered with a bit of self esteem issues, I am thankful that with age comes wisdom and realizing that each one of us is unique and has been given a specific assignment, how important! Believe me when I say you have had great influence and I’m sure all your followers would agree. Happy New Year and may God continue to bless you throughout the remainder of your life….

  15. I look forward to your posts everyday and want to thank you for generously sharing your knowledge. I also eat plant based (McDougall) and am on no meds at age 75. Trying to update my wardrobe via all your helpful hints. A very happy and healthy New Year to you and Mr Mickey.

  16. Thanks so much for all the great content on your website. Will you please share your hair styling tips. I know you have shared some information in the past, but I would really appreciate a video or a blog post. Thanks

    1. My stylist gives me a carefree wash and go style that I don’t need to do much to. It is naturally curly/wavy depending on the humidity in the air. I asked him to give me a cut that frames my face without making it look more round. It is a slightly layered bob which is a bit longer in the front than the back.

  17. Happy New Year Susan! Wow! The transformation is unbelievable! Good for you! I stopped eating meat, fish, dairy and any cholesterol containing foods about 9 months ago rather than go on medication. At last check, my bad cholesterol was reduced by 40 points. Still not enough,but I am determined to keep going with my new way of eating to prove it can be done. I was not a big meat eater, but nevertheless I see this way of living has certainly helped. I feel wonderful and exercise 5 days a week on a treadmill at work on my lunch hour, and have exercised my whole life. All the best to you and your family. My story is to be continued!!!! Elaine

  18. You are such an inspiration to me both inside and out Susan. I am a heart transplant recipient of 9 years and enjoy every moment of every day!! Very grateful for life and my precious gift, and need to drop 40 pounds. I have just started cutting out all meat and already feel better! Did you research through a particular source to find out nutrients of plants? I’m wondering about calcium in particular since you don’t eat dairy. Thank you and Happy New Year! Beth

    1. Calcium is found in Black Strap Molasses, cooked collard greens, kale, turnip greens, Bok Choy, broccoli, beans, tofu, almonds, and Tempeh. There is as much or more calcium in 4 ounces of firm tofu or 3/4 cup of collard greens as there is in one cup of cow’s milk. I hope you have many more healthy, happy years!

  19. I just read your above reply about the Book “Eat to Live”. That’s exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks again for all your inspiration. I’m ordering a copy today.

  20. This is truly inspiring. I had no idea you had previously had a little extra weight. Though I’m 68, I know it’s still possible to lose the extra 50 I’m carrying around and feel better, not to mention look better. Thank you.

  21. Hן Susan!

    I enjoy your blog very much and lookforward your next post every day. I like to read your remarks and appreciate your sincerity.
    I’d like to read more about your diet. Wasn’t it very hard to give up cheese or eggs? Don’t you miss them?
    I WISH YOU HAPPY NEW YEAR and mamy more interesting blogs to come!

    1. Please visit this link to recipes on my old blog here. I focus on how great I feel now compared to how terrible I felt when I ate the toxic foods that made me so sick. It’s a little like hitting your hand with a hammer every day. When you know what causes the pain, it’s easier to stop doing it. The mind is powerful but you can control it and the choices you make.

  22. I also cannot eat wheat, dairy, or eggs therefore when I travel breakfast is always a challenge for me. Could you give me some ideas on what to order besides fruit? Betty

  23. Susan, thank you for writing a blog which portrays a real woman dealing with every day life in a healthy, positive way. I look forward to your daily blog posts. Your thoughts about love, life, healthy living are a refreshing change & escape from the world we are living. Keep up the good work!
    I wish both you and Mr. Mickey a joyous, healthy and fun filled 2018!

  24. Thank you so much for your inspiring blog. I have learned so much about how to dress for my shape from your posts.

    More importantly, my husband and I have been following the diet in “Eat to Live” since I read your story here and on your old blog. In three months, we have each lost about twenty pounds and my husband has been able to stop taking medication for high blood pressure. I plan to continue eating this way for life and hopefully will continue losing weight in 2018.

    Best wishes to you and Mr. Mickey for a healthy, happy and prosperous year.

  25. Hi
    Just a question..why did you cut out eggs from your diet..?
    I am life time on Weight Watchers and eggs are now a BIG part of what we are given as a breakfast choice….
    Love you posts!
    Mary Jo

    1. I avoid all animal products because I do not feel well when I consume them. The Journal of the American Medical Association has found risks associated with the consumption of more than one egg per day. There’s a higher risk for coronary heart disease in diabetics when they eat more than one egg per day.

  26. Excellent advice! I am 60 in 3 months and find I too need to overhaul my diet. Can you share you most helpful/fave cookbooks/diets/nutritional guides? Thanks and Happy New Year to you & Mr Mickey!

  27. I live in the UK and I’m new to your blog, Susan, and find it just the boost I need to persevere with weight loss. I’ve lost 20 lb and have another 20 to lose to reach my goal. Your taste in clothes chimes with mine and I am inspired to look as good as you when (not if!) I finally shed the extra weight.

    I am 75 and am a full time carer for my husband who is wheelchair-bound with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia, so I don’t get out much but I try to look good each day and count my many blessings – good health, a comfortable home, loving family and friends and so many joyous memories of a long and happy marriage. Your blog is my latest blessing!

  28. Susan,
    I just turned 63 and am inspired by your journey!
    I am on a healthier journey recently because bloodwork revealed my immune system is out of whack.
    My diet is EXACTLY like yours/ which seems like a bummer for life…. but you have made it “normal and do-able” for me.

    I love fashion- taking early retirement in May and I’ve also enjoyed rethinking my “new look” with casual wear. I am most comfortable in heels and dress clothes. My plan to wear yoga pants every day has been altered by your posts

    Dressing makes me feel good-

    Thanks for your posts! I’m reading even old ones!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.