The Healthy Hedonist

A fun lover's guide to great health

hedonism, n. the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence

- The New Oxford American Dictionary

Press Room

Spinach, Avocado and Strawberry Salad is a Summer Smash

Colorful Salad Wins for its Combination of Beauty, Flavor and Nutritional Benefit

The combination of fresh spinach, avocado and strawberries in a salad topped with red onion,  sliced almonds and poppy seed dressing, is not only lovely, delicious and refreshing in summer, it also scores top marks for supplying glutathione, an essential component in the body’s detoxification line-up.

Each one of the salad’s three main ingredients is high in glutathione. "Together they're a standout," said Janet Bridgers, the (original)* Healthy Hedonist. She cautioned, though, that to achieve great benefit, one should make the salad from organic ingredients.

Glutathione plays a major role in every cell of the body as an antioxidant, and in that role helps fight the process of aging by neutralizing free radicals, the molecules that steal electrons from other molecules.  Glutathione is also essential to the liver’s two-phase detoxification process, where it not only removes xenotoxins (toxins originating from outside the body, such as alcohol, tobacco and other chemicals associated with modern living), but also works in removal of endotoxins originating within the body. “To fully understand glutathione's many roles, one might need the equivalent of a degree in human biochemistry,” said Bridgers. “The list includes DNA repair, prostaglandin synthesis, enzyme activation, modulating immune response, increasing lymphocytes and regulating apoptosis, which is the elimination of cellular debris that results from metabolism. However, for the lay person, it's enough to know that glutathione is very important.”

"And also for the lay person, a salad such as this is the essence of healthy hedonism," Bridgers said. "This dish is delicious, beautiful and outstandingly healthy."

According to Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., author of The 20-Day Rejuvenation Diet Program,  “the importance of optimal nutrition in the liver’s detoxification processes cannot be overemphasized,” Bland has been an internationally recognized leader in the nutritional medicine field for over 35 years. He and other experts agree that good nutrition includes high quality protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as specific nutritional supplementation. For more information, visit the Detoxification section of “Take care of your liver and your liver will take care of you,” Bridgers added.

Bridgers published The Healthy Hedonist (the groundbreaking health book for people who aren’t perfect and don’t want to be) in 2002 and is now making copies available for $.01, plus a modest shipping and handling fee of $3.98. For more information see

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Contact: Janet Bridgers, (505) 254-7995

Promoting Good Health While Saving Money, Water and Rainforests

The relentless toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing severe illness, death, and economic hardship throughout the world, has changed our lives. Is it conceivable that it could improve some lives?

One way is if individuals use the opportunity to try eating far less meat, especially given shortages of meat and its resulting rise in price.

In addition to economic advantages—because a meatless diet is less expensive—there are many health advantages. These benefits derive from lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. The caveat here is that to be beneficial, a less-meat diet must be based on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and quality proteins, not just nonmeat fast foods. The McDonalds’ vegetarian lunch of French fries and a Coke can work in a pinch, or as a treat, but not as a general rule!

If a quality vegetarian diet is followed for several months, it can reduce high blood pressure, and the potential for heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. For example, studies* of Seventh-Day Adventists, who follow meat-free diets as part of their religious beliefs, have shown they had lower risk in many chronic disease categories.­­­­­ This addresses the frequently cited “preexisting conditions” that have led to death in many COVID-19 cases.

Another advantage of vegetarianism is its impact on the environment. It takes a much smaller amount of water to grow protein-rich vegetables than it takes to produce meat. According to FoodTank, the think tank for food, the total amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef is 1,799 gallons of water; one pound of pork takes 576 gallons of water. As a comparison, the water footprint of soybeans is 216 gallons; for corn it’s 108 gallons. The exact numbers and methodology of deriving such figures can be debated ad nauseum, but the point is simple and so is the logic. Cattle don’t just forage on available grass. They’re fed large quantities of grain raised for that purpose. The grain doesn’t grow wild. It is irrigated.

Another environmental factor related to beef production is the huge amounts of Amazon rainforest that have been burned to create grazing land. This deforestation reduces the planet’s natural ability to convert some of the excessive atmospheric carbon levels causing climate change.

Finally, there are moral issues that have become more obvious recently. Meat production is not without animal cruelty. Meat packing plants are frequently unsafe to the work force, especially now. That workforce is made up largely of immigrants who are the ones willing to take the jobs to slaughter those bleating, bleeding animals and convert them into the nice, neat, sealed packages in stores.

I’m not saying that vegetarianism works for everyone. I’ve known individuals who tried it and preferred it for moral and environmental reasons, but because of their health issues with absorption of nutrients, they did not derive enough protein without meat. I reverted to being an ovo-lacto vegetarian after a decade of veganism, which I found to be problematic, not only in terms of protein, but also socially and when traveling. (Please keep me away from purist vegans, and their servings of sanctimoniousness for dessert.) I am not a purist and live without rancor on this issue with carnivores, but after almost 40 years, I can assure you that I don’t miss meat and never have.

Certainly, it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. A new term is “flexitarian,” someone who eats a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats meat or fish. So it’s just a suggestion. Try it! You might like it!

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Contact: Janet Bridgers, (505) 254-7995

Health Communicator Proclaims End of "No Pain, No Gain" Mentality Toward Health

"It's time to end the 'boot-camp' mentality toward preventive health that has dominated the health and fitness movements since their inception."

So said Janet Bridgers, an environmental activist and communications specialist in the health care industry, who now describes herself as "the health consumer advocate for people who want to protect their health and still have a good time."

"Whoever came up with the phrase, 'no pain-no gain,' must have been a masochist!" she said. The announcement coincides with the publication of Bridgers' book, The Healthy Hedonist, The Fun Lover's Guide to Great Health. Bridgers wrote the book after years of extensive research to inspire others to take better care of themselves and enjoy the process. She describes it as "a health book for people who aren't perfect, and don't want to be."

"Most health plans create a sense of deprivation," Bridgers said, "The Healthy Hedonist finds ways around that feeling and still offers profound ways to protect and enhance health.

"We live in a complex, heavy-duty world," she said "People have a tremendous psychological need to be able to relax and spend time with family and friends so any health regime that inhibits sociability with severe dietary limitations is emotionally unhealthy, because it makes it impossible to go out and have a good time. And during the week, we all need wholesome, yet highly pleasurable ways to relax. A strait jacket of do's and don'ts related to diet and exercise is not what people want to come home to after a long day."

Bridgers said there's plenty of evidence that current health information has failed:

"Despite decades of widely available health information, huge numbers of people are still not healthy. This is shown by the alarming statistics for diabetes, obesity and cancer. I believe a large part of this has to do with most health recommendations' lack of positive, satisfying substitute behaviors. Healthy hedonism is a way to be healthy without hardship."

"The problem," Bridgers states, "is that healthy behaviors need to provide immediate gratification."

"Otherwise, it's difficult for most people to maintain them long enough to begin receiving the benefit." The book is based on what Bridgers describes as the five "Pillars of Healthy Hedonism": Positive Stimulation, Stress Reduction, a "Right Fat" Diet, Circulation and Detoxification. All elements have been well-documented by medical research.

"Our brains are wired to seek pleasure," Bridgers said, "to deny that is to deny our basic nature. My book describes ways to engage the drive for gratification in behaviors that are intrinsically very healthy. Healthy hedonism gives the individual the energy to deal with reality. This is critical to our society today. More than ever, people need to be able to stay loose, to accept change and meet the challenges of our times."

More information may be found at The Healthy Hedonist will be published by Terracotta Books & Media, Oxnard, CA.

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Contact: Janet Bridgers, (505) 254-7995

The Healthy Hedonist Now Out In Down-Loadable Audio Version

The Healthy Hedonist, the health book based on the pursuit of pleasure for people who aren't perfect—and don't want to be—is now out in a downloadable audio version. The unabridged audio book is read by its author, Janet Bridgers, and is conveniently available through the Healthy Hedonist website—

"The audio version brings the book to a whole new audience of young people and urban professionals who generally don't have much time to read," said Bridgers. "Bingo! The audio version makes it possible for anyone with a computer or IPod to listen and learn while driving, exercising or doing mind-numbing busywork," said Bridgers, who continues her own career as an environmentalist/health communicator.

"Now is an important time for people to learn new ways to care for themselves," Bridgers said, explaining that "with the stress of the economic downturn, some of the high-price self-care techniques such as professional massage, expensive gym memberships and really high price natural food stores are going to difficult to include in a tight budget. The Healthy Hedonist is loaded with tips on how to achieve the same benefits at a tiny fraction of the cost. For anyone who values his or her health, this can be a really smart adjustment since the economic stress makes it all the more important to find healthy forms of stress relief."

The book's concept is about finding healthy behaviors that are intrinsically pleasurable, which reinforce an individual's ability to be consistent about them. "Healthy hedonism is the affordable version of spa culture, which provides relaxation while stimulating circulation and natural detoxification, three 'pillars of good health.'" The book also presents two other pillars—finding joy and affordable healthy food. "Good health is a blessing. Those who get on track to protect their good health while they're young are twice blessed. Unfortunately, many people take better care of their cars than their health," Bridgers opined. "You can get a new car, but anyone who has watched a friend or family member trying to recover from chronic illness knows how tough the process can be."

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Contact: Janet Bridgers, (505) 254-7995