Archive for Single Adult – Page 2

“Hodgkin’s Lymphoma made me the perfect student”

Katherine ScottBy: Katherine Scott

One of the most liberating pieces of knowledge I have learned is that the human body has the ability to heal itself. It has the power to heal any ailment or disease. Changing the diet is the ticket. If we continue to feed our bodies the same foods that made us sick in the first place (the typical dead American diet), then the body will not have the vitality it needs to heal. Changing to a vegan, living food diet provides the vitality for each cell in the body to detox and heal. This information is the hidden treasure that has been buried and most of us never find it, but “when the student is ready the teacher appears.” I WAS READY!

Nine months of chemical onslaught from conventional treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma made me the perfect student. I was ready to soak up everything I needed to know to get out from under the grip of fear. The fear of the cancer reoccurring was with me every moment of every day. I held a negative vision of a dire prognosis during my first check-up scan after I had finished treatment. I thought to myself, “I can’t live like this, fearing the worst.”

I wanted a day without fear. Ann Wigmore did more than that. She opened the door for me to the knowledge of green juices, living foods, and a way of eating that restores the body’s ability to heal itself. The information that is contained in her book, The Wheatgrass Book, inspired me so much that I immediately followed the instructions on how to grow wheatgrass. I don’t recall it being difficult. I obtained trays, organic soil, organic seeds, and a set of shelves, and set them up in my kitchen. I was living in London at the time and had no problem growing it. I took delight in seeing how quickly the grass grew.

The juice didn’t taste all that great, but I knew it was powerful stuff. There were times when just the smell of the grass juice would make me feel nauseated. I remedied that by holding my nose as I drank it! Because I knew it was good for me I religiously consumed 2 ounces of juice every morning. That wasn’t too hard to do for my health and peace of mind. That was way back in 1996, and I am thankful to say I have not needed the service of a physician since that time.

Read More→

“My journey of discovery began when I was diagnosed with MS”

Vicki YoungBy: Vicki Young

In April 2004, my doctor ordered a brain MRI, because I was having a lot of migraines. The MRI showed lesions in the white matter of the brain, indicative of a demyelinating disease such as multiple sclerosis (MS). She referred me to a neurologist who said that I didn’t have MS. Four days later, I was rear ended in a car accident. I had whiplash and pain in my left shoulder. After a few months of physical therapy, there was no improvement. I then had a MRI of the cervical spine, which showed lesions. And so my journey of discovery began when I was diagnosed with MS in January 2005.

When I was diagnosed with MS I felt relief to know that was the problem. When the first neurologist told me that I didn’t have MS, I didn’t feel that was right. Then a few days later I was in the car accident. I think that Heavenly Father wanted me to be diagnosed with MS. When I was diagnosed, I was thinking, what is going to happen next? Of course, I would have liked to have kept on going with a lot of energy for the next 20 years, like some people do, but that was not to be. I am OK with where I am now because of what I have learned in overcoming my challenges. I remember one person saying, “After 10 years, you will be in a wheelchair.” I am so glad that is not true!

Beginning in 2000, even before I was diagnosed with MS, I started to have gastrointestinal pain nearly daily. In 2003, my doctor ordered a scan that showed that my gallbladder was only functioning at 30% capacity. The surgeon said that my gallbladder needed to be removed, which he did, but I still had pain for years after that.

I also had tingling and numbness in my left foot off and on for years, and I had a tremor. After I was diagnosed, I noticed problems with my balance, making me trip a lot. By August 2006 I had fatigue so bad that I was not able to work anymore.

In August 2006, I got my first book on eating a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet called Original Fast Foods by James and Colleen Simmons. The authors explain all of the benefits of eating a whole food, plant-based diet, like Daniel’s diet in the Old Testament. The information in this book resonated with me. They talked about the Word of Wisdom and quoted many prophets and other Church leaders on the benefits of living the dietary guidelines in the Word of Wisdom.

After reading the book, I made some changes in my diet. I already did not eat much candy, pop, or meat, but now I started eating more fruits and vegetables and less dairy. I used to eat a lot of dairy. I had three or four canker sores nearly all of the time and yogurt and ice cream tasted good. They seemed like the only things I could eat when I had canker sores. I was surprised to see that with this small change of eating less dairy, I was getting fewer canker sores. What I thought was soothing to my sore mouth was actually the cause of the problem!

Read More→

I heard the Savior say, “You are going to be okay”

Patty ButtsBy: Patty Butts

My journey with chronic fatigue began over twenty years ago when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS). I was so ill my doctor wanted to give me medical disability. After four years of agony, I finally said to my doctor, “I either want to get better or I want to die.”

Since then, I have drastically changed my diet, recovered, finished a doctoral degree in Holistic Nutrition, and have more energy than I did 30 years ago. My passion now is to educate others and give them hope for recovery.

It began with a sudden onset. I had gone on the Fit for Life diet, eating fruit in the morning and vegetables in the afternoon. I didn’t realize I had candida and eating fruit was like pouring gasoline on a fire….fueling systemic candida. I felt like a walking corpse. While trying to walk or get out of bed in the morning, it seemed as if I was beating a dead horse.

With each step I took my feet felt like I was walking on pins and needles. The pain was excruciating, not only in my feet, but in every joint and muscle. My lymph nodes ached and were swollen. My kidneys, my liver, and my spleen hurt. My doctor did a round of blood tests and found the blood tests were normal. Nothing was wrong with me. I felt like I was dying, and he found nothing wrong with me.

My doctor prescribed an anti-depressant that caused tardis dyskinesia (swelling of the tongue because of an allergic reaction to medication). My tongue became thick, and I couldn’t enunciate my words properly. My mouth was constantly dry. While attempting to sleep, I felt like I was doing round after round of backward somersaults. My life was so out of control I thought I might die and knew I could if I stopped fighting to get well and just stayed in bed. When I stopped taking the antidepressant, the side effects of dyskinesia went away.

The doctor then referred me to a counselor who recommended Prozac as the panacea for everything. By the first week I was more depressed than ever and by the second week I felt suicidal. Since then I have learned about the gene mutation MTHFR that doesn’t allow the liver to detoxify. Therefore, taking a medication that the liver cannot detoxify can cause suicidal feelings. All mental health begins in the gut. The counselor recommended doubling the dosage. No way was I going to double the dose. I had done some research and found I was not the only one who responded to Prozac that way.

Some of my friends and family thought I was faking my illness because I looked okay. Others knew me to be hard working and dedicated and knew I was really ill. I looked okay, but I couldn’t stand up without leaning on a wall because I was so weak and dizzy. My short-term memory was fouled up. Concentrating and thinking was a chore and trying to read was difficult. I wondered if I had an early onset of Alzheimer’s. I was depressed, and it seemed I was being sucked into a black hole.

Read More→

“The Word of Wisdom is bringing me back to health”

Phyllis BessenaireBy: Phyllis Bessenaire

My health adventures began in February 1986 just before I turned 32. A couple of weeks before my birthday, my aunt was visiting and talking about wanting to “lose weight.” I told her that I was losing a lot of weight. She asked me what diet I was following. I told her, “None! I eat what I want, and I still lose weight. It’s wonderful!” She looked at me and said, “You need to be checked for diabetes right away.” All I knew about diabetes was that my grandma was diabetic at the end of her life. When she came to visit, Mom always bought “dietetic ice cream” packaged in individual cubes about 2 inches square. Although I disliked ice cream, I loved sharing this with her, so I looked forward to it. For me, it meant fun times—how ignorant I was.

Going to the endocrinologist right away confirmed that I was, indeed, diabetic. He told me we would have to wait and see if I was Type I or Type II. I was a little old for Type I and very young for Type II. I remember going to church that Sunday. My son was transitioning from nursery and my daughter was new there. The nursery leader and I were very close friends so I told her the news. That was when the bottom dropped out of my world. She told me about someone in our ward whose son had just died as a result of diabetic complications. I was a mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. To think I might DIE of diabetes sent me into total depression.

I called my home teacher (my husband was not a member of the Church), and he came with another brother and gave me a blessing. I will always remember his words to me that day. He said that if I lived the Word of Wisdom, it would be as if I never had diabetes. I had tremendous faith that this would be my lot. I lived the Word of Wisdom very religiously, or so I thought I did.

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes mellitus, which used to be called “adult onset diabetes.” It usually begins when a person is in their 50s to 70s, not when they are 32 years of age (although because of our diet, it is becoming more prevalent among younger people now, including teens).

I started insulin, and after a while, I began a diabetic “honeymoon.” It is called this by endocrinologists because of the way the pancreas responds to added insulin at first. It gives the pancreas a boost, and your blood sugars drop to normal range without insulin. Well, somehow I thought that meant I wasn’t diabetic at all. Like so many others, I made a big error in judgment and after a few years of decent control, I thought I was cured and began eating more sugar, etc. Boy was that stupid!!!

Read More→

“I have now lost 163 pounds”

Carol WolfBy: Carol Wolf

Four years ago it was getting progressively hard for me to get around. Something as simple as getting in and out of the tub became a safety issue.
 I had my bathroom remodeled and the tub removed. Safety bars were installed in the shower.

When shopping, I had to decide which side of the grocery store to shop as I couldn’t cover the entire store in one visit. I gave up my Sam’s Club membership and stopped shopping at Wal-Mart. I obtained a handicapped parking permit and started using a cane.

I had very low energy and stamina. Just the act of showering and getting dressed wore me out for the day. I never got a second wind. I learned to shower the night before for an activity the following day.

I told myself that I was feeling the effect of polio from when I was a child. There is such a thing as post-polio syndrome. Both my sister and my cousin have it, so it wasn’t a long stretch for me to think I had it too.

The one thing that set me apart from them was my weight. I decided it was time to eliminate weight from the equation. Then if I still had the symptoms I would go from there. My problem was the “how to.” I had already tried weight loss programs, yo-yo’ing through different diets, as well as starving. I fit the definition of insanity: repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. I knew it had to be a lifestyle change.

I picked up my scriptures. I turned to Section 89 of the Doctrine of Covenants and whispered softly, “Help me to understand what this is really telling me.” With those words things were about to change.

Read More→

Borderline omnivore activist goes plant-based

Devin BarnesBy: Devin Barnes

“Oh! . . . ok . . . cool . . . why?”

Typically that’s the response I get when people find out I’m a vegan. But I can’t blame them; vegans are so strange.

At least that’s what I thought three years ago. In fact, I was so opposed to any form of vegetarianism I was borderline omnivore activist. “For so many reasons you should eat meat,” I would argue, “plants alone don’t provide adequate protein or iron. And why else would God create all these animals? It’s not like He gave us canines by accident. And I don’t recall the scriptures ever referring to the land of soymilk and honey . . . ”

I could have written a 20-page persuasive essay. Needless to say, I was passionate about meat. But honestly, deep down I pitied vegetarians. Meat is delectable! In-N-Out, Outback Steakhouse, Chic-fil-A . . . All could be classified as “Heavenly.” Vegans were beyond my understanding. Give up eggs and dairy too? Butter, milk, cheese, ice cream?? You take all the fun out of eating!

You can imagine my surprise when I gave up all animal products early in 2012.

Read More→

“I’ve come to embrace my body as a temple”

Sarah Townsend

By: Lady Luna

“In Our Lovely Deseret” has always been one of my favorite church hymns, but the second verse often puzzled me. Being in a meat-eating family and culture, usually having it with every single meal, I wondered why the song included the line “they eat but a very little meat,” as part of the saints’ quest toward righteousness. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I began considering what this actually meant and looking over the Word of Wisdom with literal application.

My family has quite the history of weight problems, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Luckily my immediate family and I were (and still are) blessed enough to be free of any major illnesses. Still, my poor diet definitely showed up in my weight since I was in elementary school. When I got to college I became more physically active, so when a bit of the weight came off, my diet plummeted even more: bacon, eggs, and sausage for breakfast, and meat/dairy as a main course in every single meal. Soon I found that my blood pressure had risen, and I decided it was time to start taking better care of my body temple.

After a few years of yo-yoing between “fad diets,” I came across two documentaries about plant-based eating that changed my life. One was Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and the other was Forks Over Knives. I was fascinated and finally felt the glimmer of hope I’d been looking for. After searching for more about a plant-based diet, my focus changed from losing weight to restoring total health in my body. Also, I felt horribly guilty after realizing the cruel truth behind using animals for food and knew that upon my own conscience, I had to change to a more compassionate lifestyle.

Read More→

“I have found many hidden treasures”

Ilene ChristensenBy: Ilene Christensen

It was November 1973. I was sitting in a bus with the rest of the BYU volleyball team in Durango, Colorado for the Regional Tournament. My coach had already told me I would be starting for the first time that season. I was ready and very excited. We were waiting for our coaches to board the bus so we could go to breakfast prior to the start of the tournament. It was strange that they were taking so long. I remember sitting there as Earlene Durrant (the athletic trainer) boarded the bus and started walking down the aisle. My first thought was, “My father, it’s my father.” But then it appeared she was going to walk by, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then she stopped and said, “Ilene, Sister Michaelis would like to see you in her hotel room.” I got off the bus, and the team drove away without me.

I went into Sister Michaelis’s hotel room, and she said the words no one wants to say, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but your father passed away last night.” He was 46 years old. He died of a heart attack. My mother was left to finish raising six children on her own.

Read More→

An Answer to a Question I Did Not Ask

Jane-wing-smBy: Jane Birch

It was Saturday, August 20, 2011. I woke up much earlier than usual to find the TV on and tuned to CNN where Dr. Sanjay Gupta was previewing a program called “The Last Heart Attack.” Dr. Gupta’s investigation of a “heart-attack proof” diet initially sounded very strange. I thought he’d be debunking some quack idea because it seemed impossible that a person could become literally “heart-attack proof,” but I soon realized Dr. Gupta was serious. Based on his research, he believes a “whole food, plant-based” diet can prevent heart disease. This was interesting to me, not because I had any risk factors for heart disease, but because I knew it is the #1 killer in America.

That very morning I started researching the diet on the Internet. I quickly learned what a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet means. “Whole food” means very limited or no processed foods (including refined oils) and “plant-based” means meals based on plant rather than animal foods (meat, dairy, and eggs). It includes four food groups: vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans and lentils), and whole grains. In other words, whole plants, packaged as God (or nature) designed them.

I found plenty of solid evidence in favor of the diet and was surprised that it looked much more compelling than I had expected. I learned that the evidence demonstrates that a WFPB diet doesn’t just reduce our chance of getting heart disease, but actually eliminates it. This impressed me. It isn’t easy to make big lifestyle changes, and I don’t feel motivated when it only reduces my chances of having problems; it feels like a gamble. Eliminating my chances of getting a disease, especially the #1 killer, felt very motivating to me.

Read More→