Do This One Thing to Lower Healthcare Costs

IMG_4214Are You concerned about the rising cost of healthcare in America?

In a moment, I will make one simple suggestion that, if applied, will help to make healthcare more affordable for you and those you love.

But first …

I sat quietly in the corner of the radio booth and listened to the interview with Chef Suvir Saran and others about an upcoming program on how to live and eat better

          Suvir spoke about what he told folks who visited his upscale New York City restaurant. “Eat at my table once a year and eat at your table every day.”

          His on-going message on the radio, in his books, and in the public square is slow down and enjoy eating together.

          I’ve heard for years the family who eats together stays together. Studies demonstrate children who eat at the family table at least once a day do better in school than those who don’t (I’ve heard this several times, the most recent being during the radio interview).

          A Loma Linda University study of 7th Day Adventists in California reported that this group tends to live 4 to 10 years longer than the average Californian.

Suvir noted two things in particular about the Adventists—their vegetarian diet and their habit of eating together, i.e. a community who gathered around the dinner table.

IMG_4873So here’s a simple formula for better health.

Good food + Community = a longer, better life.

I’d go heavy on the community, but good food sure doesn’t hurt. Why?

          Because food connects people with people.

          When I remember my family’s time in Russia, I think of how often we connected with our Russian friends through food. Ellen and I hosted our good friends Leonid and Natasha on several occasions to introduce them to Tex-Mex cooking.

          When we visited their dacha in the country, we’d sit around a table with spoons in hand. In the middle of the table sat two large bowls of fresh salads—one with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, the other with cold meat and potatoes cut into small cubes. No other plates, saucers, or bowls. We each dipped a spoon into the communal bowl, ate the salad, and talked.

          In March, the three churches I serve met for a single worship service followed by a dinner. It’s one of the few times I’ve had on a Sunday to connect with people. Typically I leave the first service before it ends then hustle on to church number two followed within the hour by church number three.

          That Sunday morning in March, I listened and learned a lot about the churches and their members. The dinner gave us all an excuse to linger and enjoy one another’s company, to connect.

          And connected people form communities.

          When you take the time to eat with others, you also have the time to toss out lines of communication, lines that strengthen loose connections and form the foundation for stronger friendships.

          You know as well as I do that a lot more than eating takes place around a dinner table. People talk about the latest movies, recent rains, new job starts, happy moments, and tough times.

          You may start at the shallow end of the conversational pool, but, if you remain at the table long enough, you dive in deeper.

          And remember the formula: Good food + Community = a longer, better life?

          So it stands to reason that …

          … stronger communities lead to healthier lives.

          And healthier lives lower the cost of healthcare.

          So, if you want to lower your healthcare costs, invite someone to dinner.

          I’m curious. How has food helped you to connect with others?

IMG_3119Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes

Two men. Two eternal destinies.

One common hope.

A poignant and compelling portrayal of heaven and hell, with a powerful look at redemption from the perspective of both the lost…and the saved. Well done!–Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author of You Don’t Know Me.

“Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” was a compelling read for me. The vivid descriptions challenged and ignited my imagination. Tom skillfully laid out a clever story that caused me to think and made me want to read to the end.–Ron Fruit GM, WRCO Radio

Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes can be found at:

WestBow Press

Barnes & Noble

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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6 Responses to Do This One Thing to Lower Healthcare Costs

  1. Kari Scare says:

    Your post reminded me about how meals are associated with covenants in scripture. I like to think of them as a family covenant now. We eat as many means together as we can, usually breakfast and dinner most days, and it’s almost like we renew our family covenant every time. Another way food has helped me connect with others is related to my many food allergies and sensitivities, which I discovered about 3 years ago. At first, I constantly felt like an outsider because of all I could not eat. Then, I realized it was mostly unhealthy food anyway. Now that I’m a lot healthier, I am able to share my new knowledge and perspective about food with others. They get to learn that healthy can taste good and that what you eat can make you feel better physically. So, I connect with others not only in the fellowship of eating but also in the sharing of what healthy eating means.

  2. marymccauley says:

    Hi. love your post! food, friends, and new friends, like the idea. Take care. M Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2013 20:37:15 +0000 To:

    • tnealtarver says:

      The day I posted this, two of my three brothers and I headed into Austin and ate a phenomenal meal at El Naranjo. Suvir said, based on his travels, El Naranjo prepared the best Mexican food in the world. I know it has been the best in my world. Food gave us a reason to travel together and certainly blessed us as we shared a journey into an amazing world of new tastes. Still in Texas and enjoying many meals with family and friends.

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