The Wisdom of Your Great Grandmother: A Lesson in Healthy Eating

In today's fast-paced world, where convenience often trumps nutrition, it's easy to lose sight of the fundamental principles of healthy eating. We're bombarded with a dizzying array of processed foods and fad diets, but sometimes the simplest advice can be the most profound. Enter Gary Brecker, an intriguing American figure who may not have medical credentials but has a wealth of wisdom when it comes to health and nutrition. I recently stumbled upon Gary's insights on the "Diary of a CEO" podcast, and his message resonated deeply with me.


Gary Brecker: The Unconventional Health Guru

Gary Brecker is not your typical health guru. He lacks formal medical training, yet he has managed to carve a niche for himself in the world of health and wellness. How did he do it? Well, his journey began in an unexpected place—life insurance. Gary's background was in predicting how long people would live, a role that required him to scrutinize medical records and assess individuals' lifestyles. Surprisingly, Gary's predictions were remarkably accurate, leading to his tremendous success.

However, what troubled Gary was the inability to help those he foresaw becoming unwell. This frustration drove him to advocate passionately for healthy living and nutrition. His core belief, shared by many experts in the field, is that nutrition is the cornerstone of good health, and he's not alone in this conviction.


The Power of Nutrition

Nutrition, as Gary and I both believe, is not just about shedding those extra pounds; it's about nurturing your body and maintaining overall well-being. In the days before modern medicine, ingredients and what we put in our bodies were of paramount importance. Gary's message is simple but profound: "If your great grandmother wouldn't recognize the food, don't eat it."


The Great Grandmother Test

What does the "great grandmother test" mean? It's a litmus test for the foods we consume. If your great grandmother, your grandmother's mother, were alive today, would she recognize and approve of the foods you're eating? It's a thought-provoking question that encourages us to reevaluate our dietary choices.

Let's break down what this test entails:


1. Reject Processed Foods

Your great grandmother wouldn't have recognized heavily processed foods, filled with artificial additives and preservatives. So, it's time to bid farewell to those bags of chips, sugary cereals, and microwave dinners. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead.


2. Embrace Natural Ingredients

Foods in their natural state—fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish—are what your great grandmother would have been familiar with. These are the building blocks of a healthy diet.


3. Say No to Excessive Takeaways

Fast food and takeaways laden with unhealthy fats and excess salt are a far cry from the meals your great grandmother prepared with love. Limit indulging in these to occasional treats, not daily staples.


4. Beware of Snack Traps

Your great grandmother wouldn't have recognised most of the snack aisles in today's supermarkets. Opt for healthier snack options like nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits when the craving strikes.



In a world where dietary trends and conflicting advice abound, Gary Brecker's "great grandmother test" offers a refreshingly simple guideline for healthy eating. It's a timeless reminder that our ancestors often had it right when it came to nourishing their bodies. By embracing the wisdom of your great grandmother, you can make healthier choices and pave the way for a lifetime of well-being.


So, the next time you reach for a snack or plan your meals, ask yourself: "Would my great grandmother approve?" It might just be the key to unlocking a healthier, happier you.


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Author: Gregg Wallace