Thirty Six years ago when I got well through radically changing my diet, I eliminated all dairy and gluten containing grains. My journey toward health began with the study of nutrition at the age of 15. I had, all my life, experienced severe health problems; my earliest memories are being held by my mother, beside a vaporizer so that I could sleep. I missed an average of about a month every year from illness; strep throat, bronchitis, sinus infections. While a teenager I developed systemic yeast, this was 1967 and no one knew what it was or what to do about it.
I was raised on a SAD (Standard American Diet), experiencing healthy vegetable heavy meals only at my grandmothers. At home it was cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, with chips or cookies. Dinner was on of 5 dinners us kids generally cooked; spaghetti. Shake and bake chicken, usually Minute Rice, boiled to death frozen cauliflower or chopped broccoli (yuck), pork chops or hamburgers or hot dogs. Mostly canned or frozen veggies. My parents ate butter, we were allowed only margarine. We drank mostly Kool-Aid.
At 21 I became a Vegetarian. At 24 I developed spastic colitis. I initially was unable to leave the house, medication helped…but I was mostly in a lot of pain. My doctors’ advice? Eat lots of cheese and Jell-O! Yeast continued to be a major issue for me, along with severe strep throat, sinus infections and colds.
By the time I was 34 I had developed arthritis in my knees as well as in my hands and hips. At 34 I got an ear infection that would not respond to antibiotics. I experienced a severe hearing loss in my left ear. My children were experiencing many of the same issues; pneumonia, ear infections, learning disorders, hyperactivity, night terrors. After taking drugs for a year to try to clear it up, I finally asked the doctor what could be causing the infection. He told me it was from getting my ear wet when I swam or bathed! He suggested that I put Silly Putty in my ear when I showered!!
My best friend, Rick O’Shea, had been trying to get me to eliminate wheat and dairy from my diet for about 9 years at this time. I had continually debated with him that this was absurd! I felt I knew all there was to know about vegetarian nutrition (always a scary position!) and was unwilling to consider any other possibility. However I kept getting sicker, so decided to try Rick’s advice. I felt considerably better within a week, but then woke up one night, threw up violently for a few hours and do not remember much about the next few days. But when I woke up I cannot describe the difference! I felt “awake” for the first time in my life, clearheaded, energetic, raring to go. I also felt profoundly different emotionally. I felt very happy, hopeful of dealing with and solving so many of the things that had crippled me emotionally; (codependency, depression, low energy).
Twelve yeas ago I widened my diet out to include seafood. I ended up adding chicken back but slowly returned to a Pescatarian Diet.
So now, at 68 years old, I am in the best health I have ever been in. I practice yoga daily, lift weight 3-4 times weekly, bike ride, make jewelry, sew, weave and make handmade paper, enjoy my children, grandchildren, and keep up a very busy practice in Nutrition Coaching.
What I am offering you, through my book, website or through working with me privately, is a guide to make changes in your diet and lifestyle that you will want to live with for the rest of your life. This is not a “Diet” as people regularly use that word nowadays. It is simply the way we humans have eaten for thousands of years, the way we should eat daily.
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