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Book Review on Living Well (& Interview with Greg Horn)

Greg Horn on how we can all achieve "Living Well" - from a real family just trying to do their best to be healthy

I’ve been “green” since I was a kid, trying to reduce my human impact on the earth, and I’m still making improvement in how I live my stewardship, like working to reduce single-use plastic food packaging.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, navigating a safe and healthy life for my babies, though, that I really started to understand the impact of our environment on us

When I started writing at Kitchen Stewardship, in fact, striving to help people balance their family’s nutrition, budget, time and care for the environment, I began reading a few life-changing books. As you can see in this somewhat hilarious post about aluminum in antiperspirants and my quintessential baby steps as I learned more, Living Green by Greg Horn was one of them. I don’t often remember my sources for knowledge other than, “I read somewhere that…” but for some reason, a few nuggets from Living Green have stuck with me for a decade!

I’ve often shared the garlic-on-the-foot test that I detail in the antiperspirant post, and the top 10 personal product ingredients to avoid that I reference in this post about non-toxic options for baby diaper cream and bath soap are still in my head as I scan products like “natural” sunscreens, shampoos and conditioners for potential perpetrators.

Those older posts, by the way, are such a fascinating view into my own personal baby steps as I started out, and why Kitchen Stewardship is known for giving grace on the journey! It really is all about baby steps, because we can’t change faster than our brains will let go of old habits! I also love that I talked about a myth “going around in an email,” which now would be “viral on social media,” right? But Facebook wasn’t a thing back then!

And now we understand even more about the way personal product ingredients are making us sick, like the newest research about oxybenzone in sunscreens (and more) possibly causing Hirschsprung’s Disease, a very serious and common birth defect with 80% mortality without surgery! As a reader said on Facebook, “This is horrifying. All the things we used growing up without thought, I can’t help but wonder if that’s why myself and many others have had trouble conceiving or the many other health problems that are caused by things we were told to use EVERY DAY!”

I’ve learned SO much and changed hundreds of habits since I read Living Green so many years ago, but when I caught sight of an email asking if I wanted to interview Greg Horn about his latest book, Living Well, I was so surprised! I had to take him up on the opportunity to connect with one of my first green mentors and see what he’s up to now.

I’m so excited to share his interview with you below, and if you don’t have time to watch the whole video, we took notes for you to help you “skim” along.

6 Pillars of “Living Well” – How to Maximize Your Health with Optimal Diet, Exercise, & Habits

Greg’s book is all about the research behind living one’s best life – blending his wide experience in the corporate health world and as a sufferer of multiple chemical sensitivities with real science, he details both philosophically and practically what truly living well looks like. We discuss positive parental habits, tech and teens, best and worst foods and more:

If you can’t view the video embedded above, click Living Well Book Review to see it directly on YouTube.

About the Author:

Greg Horn is the author of Living Well, and his best-seller Living Green is one of the first “green” books I ever read over a decade ago! He is a leading innovator in healthy and sustainable business, including being the former CEO of both GNC and Garden of Life, and he’s currently focused on commercializing nutrition innovation through his company Specialty Nutrition Consulting, and most importantly for us, he’s a dad of two successful and healthy young adults.

Living Well Video Skim Notes

  • 0:50: Greg’s new book, Living Well, is a comprehensive roadmap to healthy living in all areas on life. We are going to talk today about the book and what we can learn by reading it.
  • 1:24: I introduce my guest, Greg Horn, author, business innovator and dad.
  • 2:14: Greg shares how he became passionate about green living. His first introduction to the idea came as a teenager when he read the book Sugar Blues. He later developed chemical sensitivities which took him even deeper into the natural lifestyle. His first book, Living Green, came out of that experience.
  • 5:17: Ten years after his first book, Greg published Living Well. It is organized into six pillars to help you live your best life.
  • 6:14: The six pillars are: thinking well, eating well, moving well, sleeping well, hosting well, and staying well. Want to know what they mean? Watch one minute of video. ?
  • 7:35: Greg shares how these pillars look in his own family. Since he has had an interest in health nearly his whole life, his kids learned healthy habits at a young age. They are now 20 and 22 and are taking ownership of their health and making their own healthy choices. Success!!!
  • 10:13: Want one basic step to take? Greg says that kids these days are being trained to always have sweet things in their mouths. Switching out the sugary drinks to water can make a huge shift in the health of your family. Practical tip: Over time, make it a goal to retrain your taste buds to not always look for sweet.
  • 12:39: Technology falls into the “Thinking Well” pillar. Greg shares how he navigated technology with his kids. They started with set limits about when they could get certain technologies and how much time they could spend on it. Apple Screentime is now a built-in feature on iPhones to limit usage. You can implement something like night shift or f.lux on phones and computers to reduce blue light exposure and prepare your body for sleep.
  • 15:08: Greg shares his broader views on technology as a positive or negative force in our world.

I don’t sleep with my cell phone next to our bed and let it run my life. I try to remind it who’s boss. -Greg Horn

  • 16:36: There’s so much noise out there about food. Greg owns the company Specialty Nutrition Consulting where they commercialize nutrition innovation. That means he helps inventors of nutrition technology find commercial markets and he helps big brands who are looking for nutrition technology find and incorporate it.
  • 17:18: Greg shares an example of a company he’s worked with and how they’ve worked together to help pediatricians implement the latest research about introducing foods to babies. This nutritional product helps parents properly introduce foods to kids without having to think and work too much. Super practical! RELATED: How to Introduce Foods to Babies (& Why Moms Need to Relax)
  • 19:24: After analyzing several types of diets, Greg recommends fresh food in a Mediterranean style diet (with a little less pasta). ?

The main rule of thumb would be: minimize packaged food. -Greg Horn

  • 20:10: I ask Greg what one food he would remove from our diets if he could. He chooses a category instead! (One that provides around 35% of total calories in the Standard American Diet, yikes!)
  • 21:04: We talk a little bit about fried foods and what exactly the research says is bad about them.
  • 22:41: Since we don’t have time to go through all 6 pillars of Living Well, I highly recommend that you check it out!
  • 23:05: We end with two practical baby steps you can take today! One is drinking more water, something many say is important, and the other is equally simple. ?

Resources We Mention

How to Achieve "Living Well"

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