Too many of God’s people fail to properly take care of their bodily temple and thus never fulfill the earthly ministry to which God has called them. However, three men have greatly inspired and encouraged me in my quest to learn how to live a long and healthy life on planet earth so that I could better maintain a body fit for the Master’s use. The names of these three men are Jack LaLanne, Paul C. Bragg, and Norman W. Walker. I call each of these men my “Health Heroes” because each of them, though earlier in life were seriously ill, changed their diet and lifestyle, restored their health, and then maintained a strong and healthy body until nearly the century mark.
In last week’s Health Tip we shared with you the life of Jack LaLanne who lived to be 96. In this Health Tip we are going to examine the life of Paul Bragg, the very person who inspired Jack LaLanne to change his diet and lifestyle.
Paul Bragg: Tuberculosis as a Teenager
Paul Bragg also began his journey into physical fitness as a very sickly teenager and lived to the ripe old age of 95, dying just one year younger than Jack LaLanne. Paul Bragg’s death was a tragic one and there is no telling how long he would have lived if it hadn’t been for a drowning event in Hawaii while surfing at the age of 95 in 1976.* As a 16-year old teenager, Paul developed tuberculosis. Rather than following the traditional medical treatments and allowing that illness to destroy his life as it had for so many others before him, he developed an eating, breathing and exercising program. In so doing, he rebuilt his body into an ageless, tireless, pain-free citadel of glowing, super health. Bragg teamed with the great fitness expert Bernard McFadden to introduce America and the world to the benefits of Physical Culture at the turn of the century. He worked with Luther Burbank in California to produce healthful, organically grown fruits and vegetables. He excelled in running, swimming, biking, progressive weight training and mountain climbing. He made an early pledge to God, in return for his renewed health, to spend the rest of his life showing others the road to super health. He honored his pledge! Paul Bragg’s health pioneering made a difference worldwide. Bragg advocated using deep breathing, water fasts, organic foods, drinking distilled water, juicing, exercise, and listening to one’s body as methods of prolonging one’s lifespan. Bragg’s dynamic worldwide Health Crusades and burden to help others obtain health and fitness led him to set more firsts in the history of the Health Movement than any other individual in history.
Bragg’s Amazing Pioneering Achievements
- Bragg originated and opened the first health food store in America.
- He also inspired followers to open health food stores across America as well as in other countries around the world.
- Bragg’s health crusades pioneered the first health lectures across America.
- He was the first to introduce pineapple juice and tomato juice to America and promote fresh vegetable juice therapy.
- Bragg was the first to introduce honey and date sugar nationwide.
- He pioneered the first radio health program from Hollywood three times daily in the 1920s to help spread his health and fitness message.
- Paul Bragg and his daughter Patricia pioneered the first health television show from Hollywood to help spread the Bragg health crusade message. On their show they included exercises, healthy recipes, visual demonstrations and guest appearances of health-minded people.
- Bragg opened the first health restaurants and the first health spas in America.
- He created the first health foods and then went on to make them available to people across America.
- Bragg introduced herbal teas, health beverages, vitamin drinks, seven-grain cereals and crackers, healthy cosmetics, calcium, vitamins and mineral supplements, wheat germ, digestive enzymes from papaya, herbal and kelp seasonings, and amino acids.
- He inspired others to follow (Schiff, Shaklee, Twin Labs, Herbalife, etc.) and now thousands of health items are available in health food stores worldwide.
Living Proof His Health and Fitness Way of Life Worked
For nearly a century, Paul Bragg became living proof that his “Health and Fitness Way of Life” worked wonders with those who followed his teachings: A legend and beloved health crusader to millions, Bragg was the inspiration and personal health and fitness advisor to top Olympic stars from 4-time swimming gold medalist Murray Rose – to 3-time track gold medalist Betty Cuthbert of Australia – to pole-vaulting gold medalist Don Bragg and many others. In 1929 Paul Bragg began his health lecture tours where he went to various American cities, rented a facility, advertised heavily, and then gave a series of lectures – usually over a period of five or six consecutive evenings. His lectures were free. It was while Paul was lecturing on physical fitness to a crowd of 3,000, he became the influence that turned Jack LaLanne’s sickly life to one of health and fitness.
“Bragg saved my life at age 15 when I attended the Bragg Crusade in Oakland, California” - Jack LaLanne.
From the earliest days, Bragg advised the greatest Hollywood stars and giants of American business – J. C. Penney, Dr. Scholl and Conrad Hilton to name just a few who he inspired to long, successful, healthy, active lives. Bragg was the personal consultant on diet and physical fitness to Hollywood’s greatest stars – Douglass Fairbanks, Sr., Tom Mix, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentio, Ethel Barrymore, Ruth Roland, Lon Chaney, and many other public performers. Bragg also counseled kings, queens, politicians, sportsmen and statesmen. He also wrote many successful books, such as “Bragg’s Healthy Lifestyle; Healthy Eating Without Confusion; Toxicless Diet; Super Brain Power; along with numerous others. Many of his books are still available today. It is reported that Paul C. Bragg’s excellent health was seriously damaged in a surfing accident in Hawaii several months prior to his death. He apparently drowned but with CPR was brought back to life. Several months later he fulfilled a speaking engagement in the States, and while on the platform lecturing, fainted. The rescue squad was called and, over the objections of his team, drugs were administered, which became the cause of his death.
Some Words from Paul Bragg
As shared earlier, Paul Bragg wrote many books. We will close this article with some of his own words, taken from his book “Healthful Eating”:
Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, Hippocrates, the father of the natural healing sciences said: “Food will be your medicine, and medicine will be your food.” Hippocrates further stated: “Strength, growth, nourishment result from the right food.” These statements are equally true today. We know that the only real cures come from food. As an example, let’s take scurvy, the disease that kills thousands around the world every year. It can definitely be cured by massive doses of Vitamin C. Beriberi is another deficiency disease for which massive doses of Vitamin B-Complex can effect a cure. I could go on and on telling of the importance of nutrition in ridding the body of diseases. Drugs cannot make such claims. Food is the magic healer. Keep constantly in mind the words, “Food will be your medicine, and medicine will be your food.” Travel the world over, and in no country will you find the abundance of food that the United States produces. Go into the supermarkets of any city or town in the U.S.A. and you will find the shelves loaded with every imaginable kind of food. . . . Yet with all this great array of food, we are poorly nourished. And the hidden hungers of the overfed are as much cause for concern as the food deficiencies of the underfed. Being overfed can be even more dangerous than being underfed, unless one is really starved. Just as there is malnourishment among the poor, there is also malnourishment among the well-to-do. In both cases, important nutrients are missing in the daily diet. Too much rich food – such as fatty meats, dairy products, eggs, sugary and salty foods – are just as dangerous to good health as too little food.
MY EARLY EXPERIENCE
My life was saved by the science of nutrition. At the age of 16, I had a terminal case of T.B. By the grace of God, I was led to Dr. August Rollier in Leysin, Switzerland, a man who was a hundred years ahead of his time in the science of nutrition. From a boy dying with a vicious disease – for whom not one doctor or sanatorium in America could hold out any hope of recovery – I became a healthy young man. Dr. Rollier put me on a diet of whole foods – raw fruit and vegetables . . . . in less than two years I was not merely an arrested case of T.B. – I was completely cured.
SEVENTY YEARS LATER
Ever since my recovery I have had a painless, tireless, ageless body. I have been an outstanding athlete in many sports. And today, as a great-grandfather, I am still an athlete – at the age when most men of my calendar years are half dead, senile, feeble old people with one foot in the grave
). I still jog, swim miles at a time, climb some of the world’s highest mountains, play fast tennis, practice progressive weight training with barbells and dumbbells, I write several books a year, and have a lecture schedule that takes me around the world. Plus, I continue my intensive research on nutrition and life extension. I am a product of well balanced nutrition. As far as I know, I am the oldest full time practicing nutritionist alive. I still have all my own teeth, and a scalp full of healthy hair. My blood pressure is 124/73, and I have a strong, steady pulse of 64. My 20/20 vision is as keen as an eagle’s, and my hearing as sharp as an alert animal’s. Let me state again that, from a terminal case of T.B. in my teens, I have attained this vigorous great-grandfatherhood through proper nutrition . “To my mind the greatest mistake a person can make is to remain ignorant when he is surrounded, every day of his life, by the knowledge he needs to grow and be healthy and successful. It’s all there. We need only to observe, read, learn, and apply.”
EDITOR’S NOTES: Paul Bragg and Jack LaLanne are two of my Health Heroes, men I have tried to emulate in my life these past 35 years. It is my hope that after reading their testimonies, you will make them your Health Heroes as well, and that you will desire to emulate their diets and lifestyle as I have.
What both Paul Bragg and Jack LaLanne preached and practiced for some 80 years is what this editor has been preaching and practicing for the past 35 years. If you my friend are not on The Hallelujah Diet, if you will but stop putting the world’s SAD diet into your body and start eating those foods God told us to eat in Genesis 1:29, and start exercising, then you too can most likely experience the miracle in your body that both Paul Bragg, Jack LaLanne, and this editor have experienced. Thirty-five years ago, at age 42, this editor had a weak and sickly body in serious decline. After doctors told me “its colon cancer,” it was Evangelist Lester Roloff who told me it was my rotten diet that had caused the problem and that only good nutrition and exercise could restore my health. Following Brother Roloff’s advice, it was not long before my health had been restored. I, like Paul Bragg and Jack LaLanne listened to words of wisdom, changed my diet and started exercising. Within weeks my body started to respond as the rectal bleeding stopped and within a year my cancer was gone. That was 35 years ago.
May Paul Bragg and Jack LaLanne, and yes this editor, be an inspiration to you my friend to change your diet and start exercising! And please don’t say that you are too old or sickly to begin. No matter how old or sickly you may be, in most instances a change in diet and lifestyle can start you on a road to recovery – A road that can restore your health, and possibly save your life. (*Please note: We understand there is some controversy about Paul Bragg's birth date. Bragg claimed he was born in 1881 in Fairfax County, Virginia , but genealogical research indicates he was born on February 6, 1895 in Batesville, Indiana.)