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Dr. Bernice Craze discusses healthy foods
Dr. Bernice Craze explained why exercise and healthy eating are such important factors in everyone's health, especially as we age.

Tue, Jul 23, 2019 at 02:05 PM

Doctor provides insights and great tips to improve anyone's health

Good nutrition and daily exercise are critical to a good quality of life, according to Dr. Bernice Craze in an informative talk to a GoldCare 55+ lunch group.

Typical medical care involves sick patients going to visit their doctor and receiving treatment for their ailments. But one local physician believes that treating patients should begin with prevention. 

Dr. Bernice Craze, a family care physician in Marshall County for more than 30 years, advises people to live better in order to feel better.

“Your behaviors help control your risks,” she told a group of nearly 100 GoldCare 55+ members. “It doesn’t guarantee a good outcome but you should control what you can.”

Speaking at the group’s monthly Lunch 'N Learn, Dr. Craze preached prevention. 

“It’s better for you and your children to try to prevent disease rather than try to treat it,” she advised.

Doing that begins with two simple lifestyle changes, she said. Exercise every day and eat real food instead of processed products.

“If it doesn’t go bad, it’s not real food,” she explained. “Eat colorful fruits and vegetables.”

A healthy diet generates many rewards, including cell repair.

“Yes, it does matter what you put in your body,” she warned. “And, no, supplements do not help.”

Exercise makes a big difference

Many people greatly underestimate the value of exercise on the body’s health. 

“That’s the thing that will greatly decrease death outcomes,” Dr. Craze said. “It will give you a better quality of life.”

Bill Newland of Arab told the group he credits his good health at 90 years old to having given up smoking decades ago and to taking a walk five days a week. “I still like to watch TV,” he said. “But we walk every morning.”

Dr. Craze fears the high rates of Alzheimer’s disease could be linked to poor diet and toxic chemicals in the air. 

“Alzheimer's is probably influenced by many different things, but I believe our poor diet with so much processed food and other pollution definitely contributes to the increased rate of disease,” she said. 

Everyone should slow down and take time to garden for exercise and to improve their diets.  

An easy way to make sure you’re eating healthy portions is to start with a 10-inch plate and divide it three ways: one quarter should be filled with starch, one quarter lean protein and one half should be vegetables. Cold water fish – halibut, tuna, salmon, trout and cod – are especially good choices for protein. 

“If you’re using anything bigger than a 10-inch plate, you’re eating too much,” she said.

Good fats are beneficial for brain health, and eggs can be eaten three times a week. Dr. Craze said ‘yard’ eggs are the best. 

“Eat the best food you can,” she said. “Feed your body nutrition.”

A simple formula for healthy living

Dr. Craze spelled out the basic principles for good health and recommended everyone follow them.

• Eat unprocessed food

• Eat 5-6 servings of vegetables per day

• Eat 3-4 servings of fruit per day

• Limit servings of protein and fat

• A serving is a half cup, or the amount that fits in the palm of your hand

• Exercise 20-30 minutes every day

• Sleep a minimum of six hours per night and try to get the recommended eight

• Avoid stress

Tips for preventing disease also are simple to follow:

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Eat a balanced diet

• Exercise regularly

• Quit smoking

• Drink in moderation

• Avoid extended, direct exposure to the sun

• Don’t use tanning beds

• Have regular cancer screenings including skin screenings for everyone, mammograms for women and prostate exams for men

“Give your body the ability to repair, regenerate and improve,” she suggested.

For a good life, Dr. Craze offered the following advice: Eat good food, travel, stress less, exercise and enjoy your life.

After 18 years at Grant Primary Care, Dr. Craze retired last year. Now she is seeing patients two days a week at Premier Family Care in Arab. 


The GoldCare 55+ program for seniors is sponsored by Marshall Medical. If you would like to enjoy the benefits of membership, visit the GoldCare 55+ page and download an application. Or for more information call (256) 571-8025 (753-8025 for Arab area residents) or email Lunch 'N Learns are held monthly at the Guntersville Senior Center. Attendees must sign up a week in advance. Cost is $5.