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The Cornerstones of Health with Dr. John Tew and Liz Keating

Today, Jessica Baron speaks with Dr. John Tew, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon with controversial ideas about how to live a healthy life, and Liz Keating, whose daily work inspires connections between people all over the world. What do these people have in common? Aside from a long history of working together, Liz and Dr. Tew have discovered that their areas of interest intersect in fascinating ways.

Mentors to Each Other

Dr. Tew and Liz met at a mentoring event and hit it off immediately. At Dr. Tew’s invitation, Liz started volunteering at the Neuroscience Institute, and when a job opportunity arose, Liz jumped at the chance to work at such a place of purpose.

Dr. Tew always asks: What’s your life’s purpose – what’s your mission? If you can define your purpose in one sentence, then you can use it every single day – everything helps you work towards your purpose.

What Can You Give?

Your life experiences help shape your beliefs – Liz’s father, Bill Keating, gave her the excellent advice of meeting people from different backgrounds and with different experiences, so you have a better understanding of the world. He helped his children learn the same lessons.

Dr. Tew talks about how Bill Keating was ahead of his time – he knew that one person, no matter their position, can influence 1000 people. He started the thought of the day, that now reaches more than 10 thousand people every single morning. Liz carries on this tradition, and it’s a way for her to reflect on her life and use those reflections to help others. She also shares the secret of Friar Telly.

Wellness is the Foundation of Health

Before modern medicine, basic wellness was the foundation of healthcare – diet, exercise, and happiness. This is one of the reasons religious communities were turned to so frequently in matters of health. Despite having unbelievably sophisticated medicine at our disposal– we’re sicker than ever. For a long time, we’ve thought that your health is written in your genes, and it is! But more and more we’re understanding that your genes are deeply influenced by your behavior.

4 Cornerstones of Good Behavior for Health

Dr. Tew shares the four cornerstones of disease-preventing health. Nutrition – eating real food. Exercise – making sure your body is moving regularly. He particularly recommends HIIT workouts. Social Connectivity is critical to your health, and a project like Liz’s – sending out the thought of the day, is the kind of thing that creates the glue that holds us together. Connecting with others matters more than most of us think. The last cornerstone is having a purpose. Knowing your purpose and being able to work towards your purpose can extend your life by a large margin.

Liz mentions that, in her generation, it can be challenging to make new friends and build connections – but volunteering is a great way to do it, developing those connections that are so critical to health.

Making Changes in Medicine

There are now over 70 medical schools and institutions with integrated health programs, teaching and working with these 4 cornerstones. It’s not about prescribing a pill – it’s about giving a prescription for nutrition and exercise, and connectivity and purpose.

And Mentoring?

Mentoring is one of the best ways to improve and increase human connections and social interactions in your life. Liz and Dr. Tew would both agree that people of any age can influence those around them and that sharing of experience has huge impacts on health.


Dr. John Tew (LinkedIn)

Liz Keating (LinkedIn)

Forks Over Knives | UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness | WJKTHD.com