...Awesome, Healthy Tabouli
HARDCORE HEALTH with Jimmy and Roxanne Clanton is one of MyBestYears.com's most favorite
eColumns, and for good reason, since it features two of the healthiest and friendliest people on
Everybody knows Jimmy from his solid gold records from the Fifties and Sixties, including "Just a
Dream," "Go Jimmy Go" and "Venus in Blue Jeans," and from the rock `n roll movies, Go Johnny
Go and Teenage Millionaire.
So when Jimmy married Roxanne during 1962, it broke lots of young girls' hearts all over the
globe. The couple met a year earlier in Houston, Texas, when they literally collided in a television
"Jimmy and I met at television station KTRK, Channel
13," Roxanne says with a smile. "I was going one
direction, and he was heading for an interview, going in
the opposite direction. Neither could see as we came
around the bend in the building, so we ran into each
other. He found out who I was and contacted me. We
started dating, and got married a year later."
Born in Brenham, Texas, and raised in Houston, by 1961
Roxanne was working as a model, as well as working for
the Colt .45s Major League Baseball organization (later
named the Astros) and majoring in business
administration at the University of Houston.
The storybook marriage has since lasted 46 years, with
several significant and precious additions. Dustra
Michelle was adopted in 1962. Shelley Maria was
adopted in 1971. They didn't know it at the time, but as
Shelley was being adopted, Roxanne was pregnant with
The Clanton family has continued to expand with grandchildren Dusty's Andrew, Heidi and Aaron,
Shelley's Killian, and Melodie's Alexis (and her second girl to be born later this year).
They lived in Pennsylvania for a number of years before moving to the Houston area where the
Clantons continue to reside, somehow surviving a whirlwind rock `n roll and movie career that has
toppled numerous marriages.
"One of the reasons why we've survived these years is God's
goodness," Roxanne says candidly. "Another is the fact that we
made a lot of choices that have helped us eat healthier. The actor
Bob Cummings was very influential to us eating and living
healthier. Spiritually, we became part of Pastor John Osteen's
Lakewood Church in Houston (now pastored by his son Joel). He
and Dodie really took us under their wing and mentored us from
knowing very little about the Bible, to walking in more and more
faith. Jimmy talks about going from a very destructive lifestyle that
included alcohol abuse, very wide mood swings, tobacco abuse,
and just about everything bad that a person could do to himself.
We know today that without God's grace and a very healthy
lifestyle, we simply wouldn't have made it."
Today, they are the picture-perfect model of the healthy, vibrant
couple, obviously excited about the future.
"We have a lot to look forward to," she relates. "We are excited about celebrating Jimmy's 50th
anniversary of his first gold record, `Just a Dream.' There are a lot of things planned throughout
the year. We are also excited about what is happening with HARDCORE HEALTH, the name for
both our forthcoming book and our eColumn here on MyBestYears.com."
For the record, HARDCORE HEALTH means focusing on a healthy lifestyle that is better than
wherever you are right now. For Roxanne and Jimmy, that means that they are both vegan, eating
plant-based protein, rather than animal-based protein. Roxanne is a raw vegan. They are living
proof that vegan lifestyle works amazingly well! Both look and act decades younger than they are.
"We know that everyone isn't ready for a vegan lifestyle," she explains. "That's why we don't beat
people over the head with it. Mainly, people need to start from wherever they are to make better
decisions about developing a better lifestyle. That's why we say over and over that HARDCORE
HEALTH is a lifelong journey, not a destination. It isn't some milepost that you reach, but it's
learning to set goals, to reach those goals, and then to keep setting higher and higher goals."
Some might see the HARDCORE HEALTH life
as very restrictive and dreary. The Clantons
see it in an entirely different way.
"Self-discipline and setting goals can be the
most liberating way to live," Roxanne urges,
"We haven't been sick for decades. We both
feel like we're in our twenties, only we are quick
to say that our twenties were never this good,
health-wise. We can both run, jump and keep
going, even though we are in our sixties. How
many other people our age can say that? For
us, whatever the cost is to eat and live this way,
it is worth it every single day because of the
way we feel!"
Which brings us to the awesome Tabouli recipe that Roxanne is sharing in Karen's Kitchen.
Sometimes it is spelled Tabouli, Tabouleh, or Tabule. Regardless, all you need to know is that it is
a delicious, healthy dish that originated in the Mediterranean region.
First a little history: Tabouli, traditionally made with Bulghar (sometimes spelled Bulgur) wheat,
fresh parsley, tomatoes and onions with a squeeze of lemon juice, is a middle eastern dish
thought to have originated in Lebanon. Bulghar wheat, the basis of Tabouli, has been around for
centuries. It is made from soaking or cooking wheat berries, then drying them and grinding the
wheat kernel into even smaller pieces—but you can buy the wheat, already ground, at any health
Originally it was prepared with cracked Bulghar wheat (made from soaking or cooking wheat
berries, then drying them and breaking the wheat kernel into even smaller pieces, olive oil, mint,
garlic, tomatoes and green onions. As the recipe has spread all around the globe, a variety of
ingredients have been added, according to taste.
"Some people use couscous instead of the Bulghar wheat," Roxanne says. "Some people like
lemon or lime juice. We often add parsley and use red onions instead of green. Not long after we
moved to Houston, we met this couple at Lakewood Church, Andy and Maxine Sorelle. Andy was a
Texas oilman and co-owner of Energy Exploration, Inc., and they were well known in helping in the
founding stages of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship. They were just wonderful to us,
and one of the things they blessed us with was a love for Tabouli. We got addicted to it through
them, and we still love it."
The dish is great for everything from formal dinners to picnics. You can enjoy it as an appetizer,
side dish or main dish. After Roxanne shared the recipe with me, I made it for my grandchildren
and they loved it, especially served on a Romaine leaf as a lettuce wrap. It tastes great chilled or
at room temperature. Best of all, it makes a wonderful, healthy alternative to an "ordinary" salad.
Roxanne Clanton's Awesome, Healthy Tabouli
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cracked wheat or fine Bulghar (some people also like cooked pearl barley)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup minced mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion (can use both the bulb and green stalk, if desired)
1 tomato (large or 6-8 cherry tomatoes), diced
1 cucumber, diced
(can also add 1/4 cup red, green, orange or yellow pepper, seeded)
3 tablespoons olive oil (or substitute fatfree Italian dressing or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice, to taste (some people use as much as 4
1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
Dash of fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Pinch of allspice
Pour boiling water over the cracked wheat, cover and let stand about 20 minutes until wheat is
tender and water is absorbed. Add the prepared vegetables and toss to mix. Combine the olilve
oil (or substitute), lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, allspice (and other ingredients, if preferred).
Add to wheat mixture and mix well. Chill for at least an hour or up to two days. Stir before serving.
Enjoy—to your health!
|Wedding Day—December 8, 1962
|HARDCORE HEALTH pays off handsomely—
Jimmy and Roxanne today
|Best of all, you can serve Tabouli in a variety of colorful, creative ways!