Healthy Aging of Poets and Writers: Stephen Gill Feature 88


Dr. Lad Santiago asks Stephen Gill the type of lifestyle he has and recommends for poets and writers for their healthy aging? Dr. Lad Santiago (MFA, DC, PMD, ND, DM, NMD, DCCN, DCBCN, DABFM, FAAFM, FACFM, FAAIM, MDiv(c), and MPhil, PhD) specializes in preventive medicine and clinical nutrition. His question will be included in Stephen Gill’s forthcoming book My Conversations.


Sedentary lifestyle of writers causes high blood pressure, and high blood pressure causes several complications relating to kidney, liver, and heart to name a few. Because of my elevated blood pressure decades ago, my personal physician advised me to use salt sparingly.   I expected my spouse to cooperate, but shockingly she did not. Whenever I confronted her, she said that she prepared food also for children. Not only salt, she used to add a bit of sugar in wheat floor for chapaties, though salt can be added when the food is ready to eat, and there was no need to add sugar.

I started to learn preparing healthy food. I bought utensils to fry without oil, and to steam vegetable.  It takes times to cook, but it is worth because I get fresh food and also what my body needs. This way, I am able to control my high blood pressure without medicines. I get medical check-up normally every four months. My blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney, liver, and thyroid are normal. In addition to cooking, I do my own dishes, shopping and laundry.  I believe in leading a simple life. I also believe that the lifestyle I try to practice and share unlocks the secrets of health and longevity, and it must be shared particularly with writers and poets, as well as my other friends.

I have come to know that most healthy communities known for longevity around the world lead a simple life and remain independent and active at home till almost the last days of their life. This is one of the secrets of their healthy aging. Being   physically active for a serious goal is absolutely fundamental. Extra years that we writers and poets gain can be used to offer the best to our readers.

I burn the candle of my passion for writing with care and also learn the secrets of maintaining health and prolonging life to achieve the holy grail of my passion. I was not a healthy child because of the unhealthy environment in which I was born and raised in India. Luckily, I did not have any life-threatening complaints. I began to realize that longevity without health is of no much use.

Good news is that writers, poets and the followers of the related arts do not retire and they do not have to, if their art is their passion. It is not the attainment of the holy grail of the passion, rather it is the persuasion for the attainment of the holy grail that makes writing meaningful.   Inactivity is the physical death and also the death of hopes.  Hard work does not kill a person; these are the worries which kill a person. In other words, it is the stress caused by worries that poisons life. It is a question of falling in love with your passion to avoid stress, because love is the way to sow the seeds of hopes and aspirations, which bloom the flower of happiness and health.

I have noted elsewhere that writing, particularly poetry, has been my passion from my childhood. The other areas in which I have been interested throughout my life is health, philosophy, spirituality, history, political science, peace and human rights. I began to realize gradually that an individual enters the arena of maturity and wisdom when the individual is close to leaving the world.  In other words, there is not much time left to make use of that maturity and wisdom. If writers somehow find ways to increase years to their life expectancy they can work more to leave much better art for the coming generation and make their own life more fulfilling. It is possible if writers follow a lifestyle that is healthier to get the crown of their goal. This type of goal is demanding, and therefore needs persuasion with the passion that is fearless from the weeds of rejection. This passion provides fuel to the engine of the action.


About Stephen Gill:

Stephen Gill, a multiple award-winning Indo/Canadian self-exiled poet, fiction-writer and essayist, has authored more than thirty books. He is the subject of doctoral dissertations, and research papers. Thirteen books of critical studies have been released by book publishers on his works and more are on the way. His poetry and prose have appeared in nearly nine hundred publications. The focus of his writing is love and peace.

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