As seen in the Surprise Independent, May 13, 2015

Tracy Garrett - Sun Health Center For Health & WellnessThis is a tough question so I am going to defer to “the” expert in all matters pertaining to general health and well-being. I’m talking about the proverbial mom. 

Mothers know that following these simple guidelines can lead to health and happiness.

1. Make new friends, but keep the old: Study after study points to the benefits of social interaction. It keeps our brains connected and makes us merrier.

2. Eat your veggies: Once again, mom was right to make us eat our vegetables and fruit, and to keep the sugar and sweets out of the house, or at least out of easy reach.

3. Move more: Go outside and play. Physical activity benefits us in many physical and psychological ways. It adds life to years and years to life. (Mom has cabinets full of Bactine and Mercurochrome to heal any wounds.)

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4. No tobacco: Mom said kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray. Don’t do it. People who are smokeless live longer with fewer diseases.

5. Go easy on the sauce: Mamma always said, “Lips that touch liquor, should not touch yours.” I’m going to break ranks with mom on this one because moderate alcohol consumption does have health benefits. I said “moderate.”

There you have it: mom’s bromides guaranteed to help you live a longer, healthier life.

Tracy Garrett is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Sun Health Center for Health and Wellbeing in Surprise.

Information provided in the section is from a multidisciplinary team of Sun Health professionals at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, based in Surprise, Arizona. However, it should not be a substitute for medical advice from your physician. To submit a question for consideration, email


(Originally published May 18, 2015; last updated Jan. 12, 2019.)

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