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The Health Science Podcast | Episode 083. | June 06, 2024
083: The Power of Whole Foods: Wellness Wisdom from Susan Smith Jones
083: The Power of Whole Foods: Wellness Wisdom from Susan Smith Jones

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At the age of 16, Susan Smith Jones faced a profound and life-altering challenge. The unexpected death of her father left her grappling with immense grief, which she struggled to manage. 

In her sorrow, Susan turned to food for comfort, resulting in significant weight gain—about 50 pounds in one year. Her diet was unhealthy, consisting mainly of beige and white foods, and her physical health deteriorated rapidly. She developed several ailments, all starting with the letter “A”: acne, allergies, asthma, and arthritis. 

These conditions, coupled with her weight gain and the emotional toll of losing her father, led to severe bullying at school. Susan felt hopeless and questioned whether life was worth living.

A Grandmother’s Wisdom

Amidst her despair, Susan found an unexpected source of hope and healing: her grandmother. Originally from Denmark and well-versed in natural health practices, Susan’s grandmother was not a medical doctor but had studied under renowned health experts like Herbert Shelton and Dr. Esser. 

Known in the family as the “kooky health nut,” her grandmother had a profound understanding of holistic health and wellness.

Recognizing Susan’s distress, her grandmother intervened with a promise: if Susan would live with her for three months and follow her guidance, she would lose the weight and see her ailments disappear. Skeptical but desperate, Susan agreed.

Embracing a New Lifestyle

During those transformative three months, Susan was introduced to a completely new lifestyle. She learned about the benefits of a plant-based, SOS-free diet (free from salt, oil, and sugar), the importance of physical activity, and the power of natural healing methods. 

Her grandmother taught her how to grow and consume sprouts, embrace raw foods, and the therapeutic benefits of spending time in nature. Susan also learned the value of prayer, faith, and maintaining a positive attitude.

Initially resistant, Susan soon experienced dramatic improvements in her health. Her acne cleared, her asthma and allergies subsided, and she shed the extra pounds. Most importantly, she found a renewed zest for life.

Hug in a Mug: A Tribute to Holistic Health

Drawing from her personal journey and the wisdom imparted by her grandmother, Susan Smith Jones authored “Hug in a Mug: Revitalize with Fruits, Veggies, Juices, Soups, Spices, Teas, and Healthy Living Extras.” This book serves as both a cookbook and a comprehensive guide to holistic health and wellness. It encapsulates decades of Susan’s experiences and the invaluable lessons she learned from her grandmother.

A Holistic Approach to Wellness

Hug in a Mug” is not just a collection of recipes but a blueprint for a healthier, more vibrant life. It offers practical advice on detoxification, rejuvenation, and natural remedies. The book emphasizes the importance of a plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and mental well-being. It also includes tips on boosting self-esteem and living a balanced life filled with gratitude and positivity.

The Importance of Daily Commitment

Susan often addresses the common excuses people use to avoid adopting healthier lifestyles. She emphasizes the importance of self-discipline and daily commitment to health and wellness. Many people, she observes, acknowledge the need for a better diet or more exercise but delay making changes due to various reasons like birthdays, anniversaries, or stress. Susan stresses that excuses must not stand in the way of achieving full body health and vitality. Self-discipline is crucial, and it requires taking charge of one’s life.

Starting the Day Right

Susan advocates for starting the day on a positive note. She begins her day with prayer and meditation, setting an intention for the day ahead. According to Susan, the first 40 minutes of the day are critical in setting the tone for the rest of the day. She suggests preparing the night before to make the morning routine smoother and more positive. This might include setting the breakfast table, laying out gym clothes, or making the kids’ lunches.

Susan herself wakes up early, usually around 3:00 AM, to engage in prayer, meditation, and a healthy routine that includes making turmeric ginger tea and exercising. By tackling the most challenging tasks first thing in the morning, she eliminates excuses for not completing them later in the day. Living positively, healthfully, and gratefully, she believes, leads to a victorious life.

Spreading the Wisdom

Today, Susan continues to share her grandmother’s wisdom through her books, consultations, and speaking engagements. Her personal journey from despair to vibrant health serves as an inspiration to many. “Hug in a Mug” is a testament to the power of natural healing and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit.

Practical Advice for Everyday Wellness

Susan’s holistic health program, detailed in “Hug in a Mug” and its companion book “Uplifted,” includes comprehensive advice on managing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and fostering a positive mindset. She emphasizes the importance of reducing stress, which is a significant factor in many health issues. According to recent studies, 80 to 90% of doctor visits are directly related to stress.

Susan’s program includes cleaning up the diet, emphasizing raw foods, staying hydrated, spending time in nature, deep breathing, strengthening faith, regular exercise, and ensuring good sleep. By following these principles, Susan believes one can achieve high-level wellness and inspire those around them.

Building a Supportive Community

Susan also highlights the importance of community and connection in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She encourages individuals to involve their families and friends in their health journeys. By radiating vitality and living a healthy lifestyle, individuals can inspire and uplift their communities.

The Role of Technology

While acknowledging the benefits of technology, Susan advises taking regular breaks to refresh and reset. Overuse of technology can lead to stress and overwhelm, so it’s essential to unplug occasionally and engage in activities like deep breathing, enjoying a cup of tea, or spending time with pets.

Grandmother’s Wisdom Lives On

Susan’s holistic approach to health and wellness, rooted in her grandmother’s wisdom, emphasizes the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. By adopting a positive attitude, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, individuals can achieve a state of high-level wellness and inspire those around them. 

Episode Highlights

[00:00] Introduction 

[02:00] The beige and white diet packed on 50 pounds in a year. 

[04:00] Four ailments lead to being bullied in school to grandmother’s wisdom.. 

[07:00] An accomplished academia with five degrees from UCLA benefits Susan’s

[10:15] God’s whispers come in silence. 

[14:00] Gratitude amplifies our vibration to happiness. 

[18:00] A Hug in a Mug book release. 

[23:15] Secrets to living victoriously. 

[28:30] Living a faith-filled life enhances joy. 

[31:00] Why being part of a community is essential to health.

[36:00] Susan believes in, and recommends, membership in the NHA.

[4100] Living by the phrase, “Peace be still.” 

[45:00] Susan advises to clean up your diet, eat lots of SOS free foods, hydrate & more.

About Susan Smith Jones 

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For a woman with three of America’s most ordinary names, holistic health and lifestyle educator and founder/president of her own Los Angeles-based Health Unlimited consulting firm, Susan Smith Jones, PhD, has certainly made extraordinary contributions to the fields of high-level wellness. 

With 30 years at UCLA teaching students, staff and faculty how to be healthy and fit, Susan has established herself as one of the world’s foremost experts on nutrition and vitality, human potential, healthy living practices, natural remedies and balanced living. She is the author of many bestselling books and over 2,500 magazine articles. 

Her two latest books are easily available on Amazon and in bookstores. If you would like a very special, personally autographed copy of either of Susan’s two latest books, UPLIFTED and A HUG IN A MUG, which include a handwritten notecard from her along with a bookmark that can be sent to you or to anyone you wish, refer to the book page on Susan’s website.

Her latest book titles include UPLIFTED: 12 Minutes to More Joy, Faith, Peace, Kindness & Vitality and, just released, which we are debuting here today is… A HUG IN A MUG: Revitalize with Fruits, Veggies, Juices, Soups, Spices, Teas & Healthy Living Extras

Susan created these two books to be a complete set of health- and life-enriching information for whole-body, head to toe rejuvenation. Selected as one of 10 Healthy American Fitness Leaders by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, Susan teaches that the body is designed to be self-repairing, self-renewing and self-sustaining and that the power to live a radiantly healthy life is within everyone’s grasp.

Susan is in a unique position to testify on the efficacy of her basic message that health is the result of choice and commitment. When her back was fractured in an automobile accident, her physician told her that she would never be able to carry “anything heavier than a small purse.” Susan chose not to accept this verdict; within six months, there was no longer any pain or evidence of the fracture. Soon, she fully regained her health and active lifestyle. Susan attributes her healing to her whole-foods, plant-based diet (with an emphasis on raw foods), faith, determination and a deep commitment to expressing her highest, God-given potential. Since that time, she has been constantly active in spreading the message that anyone can choose radiant health and physical, mental and spiritual revitalization.

For more info on Susan and her work, or to order autographed books or to sign up for her free, monthly Healthy Living Newsletters , please visit:  and join her on X @SusanSmithJones.

About Dr. Frank Sabatino

As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.

Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation and stress management.

About NHA

The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.

The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health: personal, environmental, and social.

The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.

More information: 


A unique benefit of the NHA Conference is the selection of two medical students who receive a full scholarship to the conference.

Contact Wanda Huberman for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.  [email protected]

NHA membership

For a very nominal investment, you can enjoy incredible benefits of the NHA membership.

Members of the NHA enjoy a subscription to the award-winning quarterly health journal, Health Science, access to the “Members Only” section of the NHA Website (which contains all 43 years of back issues of the magazine),  the ability to download for free many classic out of print eBooks on the history of the Natural Hygiene Movement, including Fasting Can Save Your Life and The Greatest Health Discovery, discounts on books, and early notice of the NHA events.

Only $35 a year for basic membership within the United States.

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