“You don’t have to age the way society says you have to age.”
— Annie Scheppach
Annie Scheppach does not look her age. She looks almost two decades younger. But she would be the first person to tell you: that part isn’t important. It’s how you feel, every day, that matters. And Scheppach says when she started this journey, she felt like a 2 out of 10 most days: aches, pains, apprehension, sugar highs, caffeine lows. Sometimes she felt worse. Now she says she scores herself at a 10, not just every other day, but every day. She feels “fabulous,”
Scheppach explains how this all came about in her new book, her first, written in Alexandria for a national audience. “Looking for Health in All the Right Places” is available on Amazon.com. She will donate the proceeds to Leukemia research, in honor of her grandson, Ryan, who went through a long treatment and recovery from the disease.
At her book launch on June 1 her son told a story of how addicted to sugar his mother once was: she had started a campaign of “no sugar” in the house and told the children the penalty for breaking the “no sugar” vow was $20. A few days later, when her son came down for breakfast, there was a $20 bill — her $20 — on the table.
Scheppach in those days had digestive issues, didn’t sleep well, had aches and pains, and ran off to her hour-long commute every morning after eating a bowl of frosted flakes. Then, 23 years ago, she went on a vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Her health was depleted and she needed a rest. She had never meditated before, but one day, went out to the beach and sat cross-legged on the sand, and meditated. And this is the part Scheppach tells with some concern that people might think she has a screw loose: she heard a voice telling her to “Clean the sediment from your pipes.” She was surprised: she had a big job with a lot of pressure and responsibility and the last thing she expected was to hear that phrase. She went home and started working on her diet, and one thing led to another. She realized she was like everyone else in the U.S. — she was not taking responsibility for her health.
Her guidelines are easy and she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. Her idea of Yoga is “do nothing Yoga” not hot or athletic Yoga. She runs, but not too far. Her biggest point is: you can ignore the wake up call, but you’ve gotten it already and either done something about it or not. It might have been an allergic reaction or high blood pressure, but it was a signal to change your life. It’s important not to expect doctors and pills to fix your problems, but to work with the other options that are out there like acupuncture, integrative medicine, and physical therapy.
She believes people are hurting ourselves with their lifestyle, especially flouride treatments, chlorine in the water, electricity pinging on us all the time, and over-processed foods. She unplugs her wifi every night, and doesn’t wear her fitbit when she sleeps. Scheppach, in her 70s, takes no medication.
Scheppach is frequently asked to speak to groups, particularly about diseases like Dementia. She talks to women’s groups, synagogues, community centers, and schools. See www.anniescheppach.com.
Get moving (exercise).
Eat right — eat organic, at the right times and in the right way.
Sleep more and better.
Think about your beliefs, role in life. Turn off the radio, turn down negativity.
Deal with your emotions and the “old stories” you’ve held in.
Do some quieting activity — meditate, do Tai Chi, Yoga, be idle.