If You Did Everything Right…..

After an unexpected health scare (that included my blood pressure shooting to 134/80 in the doctor’s office) and a stressful spring, I recently decided to admit I’m 55 and should try to live as perfectly as possible so I don’t end up like Ben Affleck. This required engaging in one of my favorite activities (aside from compiling binders) – making lists. A list of what to eat and how to live based on the advice of various experts including my doctor and Dr. Google shouldn’t be too difficult, right? At the very least, they shouldn’t be conflicting

Well, I’ll let you decide. Please feel free to add your own advice in the comments belowImage result for ben affleck smoking


  • No alcohol. Period. (That glass-of-wine-a-day stuff turns out to be hooey.)
  • No cigarettes. (No brainer, right? RIGHT???)
  • 8+ hours of quality sleep a night (Even in this administration.)
  • 2.5 hours (at least!) of vigorous exercise per week
  • A diet made up of 90% organic vegetables, legumes (what are those things, anyway?) and some fruit. (But not too much because, eep, sugar!)
  • No added sugar, except for dark chocolate in moderation
  • No white flour, including pasta and bread. (This, obviously, does not apply to Italy and France which both enjoy healthy populations, but, hey, I’m not the expert.)
  • Some lean meat, some good fats. (Personally, I never met a fat I considered bad)
  • Eat only wildly caught fish (no “Atlantic Salmon” and don’t even talk to me about tilapia!)
  • Nothing fried. (Not even Oreos, oddly enough)
  • 8-10 ounces of fresh, clean water a day. (Sorry, Detroit)
  • Write a thank-you note within 24-hours of receiving a gift/service. 
  • Mail it.
  • Buy forever stamps
  • Meditate a half hour per day
  • Spend an hour per week in a spiritual community and/or volunteering
  • Hold a job you enjoy, that’s fulfilling and provides health insurance
  • Hold a job where you don’t sit for more than 15 minutes at a time.
  • Hold a job without stress
  • Vote in every election
  • Dance like no one’s watching
  • Watch for pickpockets. Lock your doors
  • Allocate 50% of your pay to necessities, 20% to savings and 30% to discretionary expenses.
  • Tithe 10% of your salary
  • Never leave the house without at least 30 SPF coating your bare skin
  • Test your water.
  • Test your air
  • Rotate your tires
  • Fast 16 hours per day, 6 days a week
  • Visit your dentist twice a year
  • Floss daily.
  • Have an annual physical. 
  • If you’re married, try not to get divorced.
  • If you’re single, try to get married.
  • If you have children, open a 529 plan when they’re born and save at least $100,000 per kid. (Have no idea how that jibes with the 50/30/20 rule above or the maxim below)
  • Save $1,000,000 by age 40
  • Buy a house with a 15-year mortgage and pay down the principal ASAP
  • Pay off all your credit cards monthly. Don’t even think about simply paying interest
  • Read 50 pages of a book daily, BUT NOT WHILE SITTING. (Stephen King read while walking and was hit by a car. Just saying.)
  • Use cloth bags at the grocery store
  • Never swim alone
  • Get an annual mammogram
  • Get an annual flu shot
  • Get a colonoscopy when you turn 50
  • Easy on the salt
  • Keep your trash down to no more than 1 bag of garbage a week by recycling and composting
  • Learn a new language
  • Have sex four nights a week
  • Take Vitamin D3. A B-complex tablet and maybe some Omega 3 wouldn’t hurt, either
  • Do yoga
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Wear a helmet
  • Don’t shovel heavy snow
  • Buy in bulk
  • Keep all your receipts for taxes
  • Except for special occasions, cook all your own food
  • Don’t use Round-Up
  • No processed anything. What are you crazy?
  • Winterize your house and conduct annual energy audits
  • Forget soda. I mean, just don’t even think about that cold Diet Coke
  • And, finally, look both ways when you cross the street!

9 thoughts on “If You Did Everything Right…..

  1. I’d go along with most of that, but not “try to get married, if you’re single”. Marriage isn’t for everyone.

  2. Terrific list we could all profit from following. I have had an eye opening year. I have finally learned to “eat to live and not live to eat”. Just after Christmas I decided to try the Ketogenic lifestyle. I found out through trial and error that I am Gluten Sensitive, highly reactive to sugar and sugar substitutes, and that my body doesn’t process carbs well at all. Result: as of today I have lost 60 pounds and the scale keeps going down. Once I got through a few days of detox, cravings for things I shouldn’t eat disappeared. Very few processed foods since most have high fructose corn syrup added for no other reason than to fill our brains with craving more, more, more. No alcohol (never big for me), no soft drinks or juices, instead I drink the equivalent of 12 glasses of SmartWater daily. I exercise 2-3 times a week; right now it’s too stinking hot to walk but have a 12 day Paris vacay coming up so instead I put only “oldies” music and dance for 45 minutes. It makes me happy and does qualify as exercise!

    Sarah, I miss you. I would like to think that in this great country we can disagree on political issues with civility and respect.
    I wish only the best for you and yours.❤️

  3. When are we supposed to start following these instructions? ‘Cuz I’m doing very, very well at contradicting most items on the list…and I’m 60:/ WAIT–I found one: I do like veggies.

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