Barbara Shields

Barbara Shields

In 1986, Barbara Shields relocated to the Phoenixville area after being originally from Long Island, N.Y. The reason for the move was her husband, David Shields, came to complete his studies at Valley Forge Christian College.

While David studied, Barbara went to work at Phoenixville Hospital. She is a trained x-ray technician, specializing in mammography. Her mother died at the age of 48 from breast cancer, leading her to chose mammography. She also does other types of x-rays as well.

In 1990, the Shields returned to New York, as Dave was ordained and became a pastor of an Assembly of God church. Four years later, they returned to the area. Barbara returned to working at Phoenixville Hospital. David works for Berks County as an ombudsman. An ombudsman is an advocate for residents in skilled nursing facilities, personal care and adult day care.

Barbara has been an x-ray tech for 34 years — 25 of the years at the Phoenixville Hospital. Today, she works out of Phoenixville Medicine at Limerick.

The hospital was established in 1893. The first hospital was located on Mill Street near to the town’s factories and the railroads. The hospital has grown to a mega facility serving the area — Phoenixville Hospital Tower Health.

The road to a healthy lifestyle for the Shieldses started right after Dave, at age 50, was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Not wanting to take medication, he found an alternative to eating the standard American diet (SAD). It was eating plant-based foods to get and stay healthy.

SAD best describes the way we eat. We need to support one another and live well. If you would like to find out about their healthy eating, you can contact them at

Barbara taught me so much in about one hour. With health issues of my own, I am considering taking a stab at looking into a better way of eating. Baby steps — baby steps!

With success, Barbara and Dave enjoy learning about and cooking plant-based as a way of life. They enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.

A complaint about eating healthy is that it can be pricey. It is important to invest time and money to be a better you. While Barbara was explaining the program to me, I started to think of it as an investment in your body. The cost difference can be made up by not buying that new outfit this month or going to the library for your books.

Barbara and David live in Oley. Their son David and his wife, Brittany, and 10-year-old granddaughter, Makayla, who is the apple of their eye, live only a few minutes from their house. Their son Bartholomew is attending a postgraduate ministry school in California.

This recipe of Barbara’s own development is always a big hit. She likes to create and share healthy recipes of all kinds.

Healthier Meatballs

(dairy and gluten free)

3 lbs. grass-fed organic ground beef

3 flax eggs (For each egg, add 1 tablespoon of flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons of water. Mix and place in refrigerator for 5 minutes or so.)

½ cup gluten-free bread crumbs

½ cup plant-based milk

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. fresh chopped basil

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Roll into meatballs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Drain fat at this point. Put meatballs into a crock pot with a 24 oz. jar of marinara sauce. Let cook on low for approximately 4 hours.


Let Bette hear from you: Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.

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