Yesterday was one of those days you want to bottle: perfect, crisp-as-an-apple autumn temperature, long walks through New York City between meetings, meaningful discussions, on-time trains.

I spent most of the day talking and thinking about home and hearth and health. I savored lunch at the delectable and health-ful Josie’s East restaurant in Murray Hill, NYC, with a client/colleague who values home, hearth and health as much as I do.

On the train ride home, I delved into the latest (November/December 2007) issue of Blueprint, part of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The magazine’s tagline is Design Your Life. While I had mentally placed this magazine in the category of home decor and cocooning, I realized between the fine print that the “Design Your Life” mission includes furniture, cooking, and…health.

I was surprised, then delighted, to encounter an article authored by a Murray Hill-based (!) physician, Dr. Amy Bleyer, suggesting t
en little things we can do to improve our health. These range from drinking a cup of tea in the morning (her choice, Tetley; mine, Mighty Leaf Green Tea Passion) to taking your vitamins. All, small movements, micro choices.

And, of course, smart food choices. To bolster the theme of Home/Hearth/Health, go read the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition and Education Behavior. The focus of the issue is “eating competence.” The article by Shira Feldman, et. al., on watching TV during family meals is illuminating: “Adolescents watching television were found to have lower intakes of vegetables, dark green/yellow vegetables, calcium-rich food, and grains and higher intakes of soft drinks compared to adolescents not watching television during meals. However, watching television during family meals was associated with a more healthful diet than not eating regular family meals.”

We come full circle, then: health is, ultimately, a function of home and hearth.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Our health doesn’t just come from the calories stocked in your larder. It comes from the many small choices we make each day. Look at your night table, your medicine cabinet, your commute, your morning beverage. Is your dinner table one focus of your family life? Connect the dots between these small moments-of-truth. Small changes can translate into big improvements.

To learn more about the health benefits of tea, see this article in USA Today.