Patricia Bragg interview excerpt from November 2003
Trademark & copyright - MB Media
BRAGGING RIGHTS: An Interview with Patricia Bragg
by Susan Dobra
Patricia Bragg, N.D., Ph.D. is a dynamo. Speaking with her can almost get you out of breath, except that she gets you up and exercising along with her, and breathing deeply to invigorate yourself. She's the real thing; a health crusader who lives a totally natural, totally healthy lifestyle-largely because she had a good teacher. Her father, Paul C. Bragg, was America's first true healthy food and lifestyle guru. He is credited with inspiring Jack La Lanne, Gloria Swanson, and a host of Olympic champions, as well as being among the first to advocate natural foods staples like herbal teas, wheat germ, whole grains, and honey. His daughter is living proof of his wisdom. A paragon of glowing good health, she has co-written, along with her father, a series of 12 books on subjects from fasting and breathing to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. There is no such thing as "catching up" with Patricia Bragg, but when we spoke with her, she slowed down enough to give us these glimpses into her holistic wisdom.
Can you tell me a little bit about how you would characterize the Bragg Healthy Lifestyle?
The Bragg Healthy Lifestyle philosophy is "You are what you eat, drink, breathe, think, say, and do." What you eat and drink today walks and talks tomorrow; simple as that. Most Americans don't really monitor or watch what they eat; most Americans over the age of 35, unfortunately, over-fuel their body. They are paying the penalty. The bigger the waistline, the shorter the lifespan. It's a proven fact in all the studies that have been done. A person can take charge of their life. We are breathing machines; oxygen is the invisible staff of life. I want people to breathe in the purest air possible, to eat as healthily as possible. And I want people to go organic and don't panic. Demand that the supermarkets carry organic veggies and fruits.
So where does thinking, saying, and doing come into play in a healthy lifestyle?
You are what you eat, what you drink, what you breathe, and what you think. Before you speak, ask yourself, "is it good? Is it kind? And is it necessary?" because words can be stabbing and hurting. Words can make you mean; they can change your whole life. I like people to clean up what they say and what they think. I teach people to make life changes for the better. I want each one of them to be the captain of their life. And I am a living example. If I am doing something that isn't right, I turn around and go the right way. I earn my food by exercise, deep breathing, posture, and activity, and I love brain exchange. I love stimulating people who can stimulate my brain and can learn. I love people that are smart, but still kind and loving.
How important is water in a healthy diet?
Water is key to health in all body functions: circulation, muscles, bones and joints, metabolism and energy. I hardly have any wrinkles. Why? I have eight glasses of purified water a day. I eat organic veggies, and I have my beautiful fresh salads, which also contain a lot of water. How many people eat raw greens? Do you realize that is one of the richest sources for your blood and iron? Most women dry up during sex because they aren't getting enough water, you see? Do you know the two biggest sellers in drugstores today are laxatives and painkillers? Do you know why? People are not getting enough water. The body is 70% water. Chemical-free water is important for total health. The water industry is one of the fastest growing, and guess who started it all. My father started it all. He was the inspiration for practically all the founders of the water companies.
How should someone get started if all they like to eat is junk food?
It is so simple, dear. What you need to do is, before you put it in your mouth, start analyzing: Is it healthy or unhealthy? Is it going to bring you health or sickness? It is as simple as that. Read the labels. Are there a lot of ingredients that you don't understand? Then you know it probably enhances, stabilizes, preserves, or is in some other way a chemical that you don't want in your body. It is as simple as that. Go organic. We believe in beautiful salads with everything in them-in other words, everything fresh, like broccoli, cauliflower, peas, string beans. They are wonderful. Keep healthy and youthful biologically with exercise and good nutrition.
You don't eat any fried foods?
I very seldom eat fried foods. I sauté. I don't like the word "fry." I sauté in water, and never overcook.
Didn't you ever feel like rebelling against this lifestyle, Patricia?
No, I didn't. My father told me at a young age all of this. Even through school, kids used to try to get me to have a Coca-Cola. I've never had a soft drink; I've never had a cup of coffee; I've never smoked; I've never worn nail polish; and I've never worn a bra. I've saved thousands of dollars. I've talked millions of women, literally, out of bras. They wear chemises. Read the book Dressed to Kill.
I have been seeing your picture for years, Patricia, and it's just a thrill to talk to you - your face is so familiar to everyone who shops in health food stores.
The funny part about it is that when I meet people, I look just like my picture. I live the way I preach. I love it, live it, and preach it. And that is it.