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Omaha Magazine

Otis Twelve: Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise

Dec 27, 2022 08:20AM ● By Otis Twelve
Otis Twelve

Photo by Bill Sitzmann.

Listen to this article here. Audio Provided by Radio Talking Book Service.

I am all about Health and Wellness.

Isn’t it obvious? I try to eat healthy at all times—even if some people I know have advised me that it’s better to eat healthy just a few times a day rather than constantly.   

My healthy diet routine mostly centers on never eating anything if the “Best if Used By” date is more than two years in the past. True, I did once use some Crisco that was so old that there was no such date on the package. The so-called “shortening” had been produced, I suspect, previous to the issuance of the “Use By” regulation, sometime during the Johnson Administration—Lyndon, not Andrew—but as it offered no exact date data, I felt okay using it to grease a cake pan for a birthday confection. I was wrong…very wrong.

I also try to eat wholesome vegan foods on a regular basis. In fact, I have eaten so many vegan meals that I have even learned how to pronounce quinoa correctly. Vegan food, such as lentils, chickpeas, tofu, seaweed, and fermented soy beans, is all very delicious and appetizing when prepared by a skilled cook such as myself, and when served with a bone-in Wagyu ribeye.

It is also of course important to eat in moderation. Or, as we used to say in the monastery, “Ut in omnes moderato est.” Of course, Father Roger also was known to say, “Pass the potatoes.” I find both maxims to be words to live by, especially when accompanied by gravy.

What’s my best nutritional advice for unhealthy eaters? Drink lots of tap water and avoid restaurants with drive-thru lanes, unless you have a car.

I also try to be well, because that’s what Wellness is all about.

I recently bought a Fitbit wrist-thingie that keeps track of my wellness, because as a busy human, I can’t be expected to keep track of anything on my own. It counts the number of steps I take every day, and as a bonus tells me what time it is, which is useful so that I don’t miss any meals.

In the brochure that came with the wrist-thingie, it said I should take 10,000 steps. So, I got started right away. I used the Fitbit every day for a month and got up to 1,235 steps. Much to my chagrin, later, upon re-reading the manual, I discovered they meant 10,000 steps every single day. I was so discouraged... 

Thank goodness I eventually discovered that if I rocked back and forth in my rocking Barcalounger, my “steps” added up rather quickly. In fact, one weekend as I watched my favorite college football squad play a hated rival, I discovered that when I’m agitated, I rock quicker and quicker and quicker… until I had darn near knocked off an entire week in one Saturday afternoon. Then, the next day when I learned what our fired coach’s severance package added up to, I rocked away another fortnight’s worth.

I intend to keep my Health and Wellness habits going strong. I will always eat healthy, unless there’s a big slice of onion on it…and I will keep on stepping.

Just as soon as I get a new battery for the wrist-thingie. 

Otis Twelve hosts the radio program Morning Classics with Otis Twelve on 90.7 KVNO, weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m. Visit for more information.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.  
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