Archive for The China Study – Page 2

“I’ve decided to stick with revelation on the subject of nutrition”

Barbara CramerBy: Barbara Cramer

I am 61 years old, and from the time I married at age 20, I have always been interested in health and nutrition. My parents were ahead of their time in that they believed in cracked wheat cereal, whole wheat bread, and eating lots of fruits, vegetables and salads every day; however, there was always plenty of meat on the menu, and drinking milk at every meal was gospel.

I have enjoyed good health most of my life, and through vigilance, never had a weight problem. However, about six years ago I started having severe knee pain and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I visited an orthopedic doctor and was seriously considering surgery on my right knee. I had also had a couple of colonoscopies with several pre-cancerous polyps. My cholesterol levels were on the high side, although not dangerous. I was always constipated and also had rosacea, a skin condition.

My mother (now aged 92) has severe osteoporosis and arthritis, and my father (an amazing and active 94) has used statins and blood-thinners for years; both have had bouts with cancer (now seemingly in remission after surgeries and radiation). My husband’s father died at age 62 from heart disease, and his mother from stroke. With all this in the family, I became interested in finding ways to maximize our health possibilities.

About five years ago, I started making and drinking lots of green smoothies, per “Green Smoothie Girl.” This helped my digestion, but I continued to use lots of dairy every day, plus some meats and eggs. Then, three years ago, a friend recommended the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. The next week, we had lunch with friends who told us they were on a vegan diet and that it had cured their migraine headaches and prostate cancer. Then yet another friend recommended the book The China Study by Colin Campbell. I wondered why I was suddenly having all these encounters with whole food, plant-based (WFPB) information, but I did the reading and became convinced that the science was reliable.

I decided I would try the diet for three months and see how I felt. I had read and studied a number of diets before, so it was like a light went on when I realized that the WFPB diet was really just the Word of Wisdom stated anew! Now when people present me with information that contradicts it, I just say that I’ve decided to stick with revelation on the subject. Otherwise, one month it’s this, and the next month, it’s that. Tossed to and fro . . . whom to believe? But with divine counsel, it’s easy. Why did it take me so long to come to this understanding? It seems so obvious now. But cultural influences are powerful and had prevented me from embracing it sooner.

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“I thank the Lord for teaching me the laws of health”

Roy BarnesBy: Roy Barnes

Our journey began in 2004 when I read a book by Roger K. Young. In chapter six, which is about the Lord’s antidote for the scourges and plagues of the last days, it had a lot of quotes from Elder John A. Widtsoe’s book The Word of Wisdom. After reading that chapter I told my wife that I thought we should change our diet. As we looked into it we found Dr. Kenneth E. Johnson’s book, The Word of Wisdom Food Plan, and read it. We also found the book The Mormon Diet: 14 Days to New Vigor and Health by Earl F. Updike.

During this time we were occasionally going to a vegetarian restaurant in St. George, Utah. One night there was a book at the table we sat at called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. I read a little while we were there, then I bought a copy for myself.

When I found information in the book about Dr. John McDougall, we bought a copy of his book and tried the recipes in it. After going fully plant-based, in just two weeks I received an increase in energy, just like it said in 14 Days to New Vigor and Health. We followed that diet pretty strictly for quite a while but gradually we got a little lax about dairy and things with oil in them.

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“The windows of heaven opened up for me”

Steve and Heidi RockBy: Heidi Rock

Everyone has to follow their own path. What works for one may not work for another. This is my story of how I came to shed the erroneous beliefs I had been taught my whole life about food and nutrition. There are two quotes from President Thomas S. Monson that I really like that relate to what I am about to share.

“There are no coincidences.” [1]

“The Lord is in the details of our lives.” [2]

In 1998 when I was 44 years old I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune thyroid disease). My paternal grandmother, my father, and two of my sisters had also been diagnosed with this disease, making it a genetic predisposition in our family. I was told there was no cure and that I would have to take thyroxin for the rest of my life. A symptom of this disease can be high cholesterol, which I also had. After starting the thyroxin and eating the cholesterol-lowering diet that the doctor put me on, my tests still showed an elevated cholesterol level. At the time I had studied low-carb diets and tried one. I lost some weight and my cholesterol came down. However, I had an interest in the Word of Wisdom and was confused as to why my blood work and weight improved by eating lots of animal products. I put my confusion to the back of my mind, but I continued to wonder why animal products were discouraged in the Word of Wisdom if eating them would bring my blood work into normal range. Because it seemed to help, I did the low-carb diet for about a year and then continued with a modified version of it.

Years passed, and I steadily put on weight. I seemed to be tired all the time and was afraid to drive because I would catch myself falling asleep at the wheel even after 5 minutes of driving. After reaching 50 years of age, I assumed I was doomed to being overweight and feeling tired for the rest of my life. I blamed it on the aging process.

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“I believe every verse in the Word of Wisdom”

Rogan TaylorBy: Rogan Taylor

I grew up in the 1960’s, and I can still remember the television commercials for cigarettes. I remember seeing the man on the horse in the great outdoors, smoking and promoting his brand. It wasn’t long after viewing those ads that the science proving smoking is bad for us resulted in cigarette commercials being banned. As a child, I would read the Word of Wisdom, and I remember thinking, “Wow, the Word of Wisdom taught these principles almost 150 years ago, and now science is just figuring it out.” Over the last 20 years, as I’ve studied diet and diet-related research, I’ve come to believe that the Word Wisdom goes beyond warning us against addictive substances—giving us knowledge, for example, that it is pleasing to God that we do not eat animals unless it is necessary. This too is now being confirmed by science.

My mother was the first person who introduced me to the idea that eating a meal without a meat entrée was okay. She made a wonderful garden skillet full of vegetables, and then served us a small handful of almonds as a side dish. We loved it! I also have a memory of my bishop and his family being vegetarians, though, I thought maybe this was a little extreme. But not long after, when I was married and started studying medical research, I came across a study that linked red meat to breast cancer. I remember talking with my wife and suggesting to her that we probably should stop eating beef to avoid any chance of her developing breast cancer. Even though both our grandfathers were cattle ranchers, that did not deter us from making changes to our diet.

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“I just wanted to feel normal” (Long Version)

Kevin TunstallNote from Jane: I also published a much shorter version of the following story. I’ve always wanted to share the original, long version, so I’m happy to do so here. The entire story is well worth reading, but if your time is limited, you may want to read the abbreviated version instead. Either way, this is a remarkable story!

By: Kevin Tunstall

My journey to a plant-based diet began soon after my diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, to begin fully, I should probably start earlier than the diagnosis as a series of events that some could call miracles led me to review my understanding of the Word of Wisdom and renew my understanding of the gospel, a journey that is still evolving.

My grandmother passed away from cancer after being terrified of dying of the big ‘C’ from a young age—she was in her eighties when it caught up with her. My mother passed away from lung cancer on my birthday in 2002, then a few years later my wife’s only sister developed breast cancer, which was aggressive and had started to move through the lymph nodes. She ended up having a mastectomy and her ovaries removed due to her age. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

I had been called as bishop of a very busy ward here in New Zealand just four months earlier and ironically one of my first challenges was dealing with a single sister in the ward with two teenage children who had breast cancer but refused to get treatment or let me tell anyone.

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“Learning to master our appetites brings us closer to God”

George FamilyBy: Rebekah George

My plant-based journey started the summer I turned 25 (2002), when my mom called and said Dad had been diagnosed with diabetes and was going to try a vegan diet for three months. She thought he would have an easier time if his kids were doing it with him. My five sisters and I joined him in his three-month trial. I gladly jumped on board to support my dad, but I remember thinking, “How am I going to give up my cheese?!” I rarely cooked meat, but I had cheese all the time. As I cut all dairy from my diet, I was surprised at how quickly my cravings and taste for cheese disappeared.

During the trial period, I had many conversations with my mom, who had been vegan for several years, and I also started doing my own research. I read some of T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study and all of Food for Life by Neal Barnard. I also studied the Word of Wisdom with a new perspective, focusing on the verse that says the Lord is pleased when we do not eat meat.

By the end of the three months, not only were my dad’s blood levels normal and the pre-diabetic condition gone, but I was also convinced a plant-based diet was the way to go.

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“I felt whole in that moment, as if I had come home”

Sandra CherryBy: Sandee Cherry

The “moment” came as I was reading the third chapter of The China Study by Colin Campbell. I had been in physical therapy for a couple of months when my PT, Rogan Taylor, asked me about my diet. I proudly told him how healthy I ate: not much red meat with a helping of carbohydrates and veggies. He asked if I would be willing to read a book about nutrition and health. I said, “Yes,” and he proceeded to leave the room and return with The China Study. I asked him if this book was about not eating meat and if he was a vegetarian. He answered affirmatively and testified that the book was based on many years of scientific research that supported diet as the source of health. Since he had been both a bishop and a member of a stake high council, I jokingly told him I did not know they called vegetarians, let alone vegans, to those positions! He laughed and said his wife, a Relief Society president, and all five of their children were vegans. Needless to say, I was impressed.

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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — February 2014

elephant_swimDear Reader,

Today is my 67th day eating of 100% Whole-Food Plant Based, Word of Wisdom diet. My official weigh-in day is Sunday, tomorrow, but unofficially, I sneak a peak at the scale once or twice more during the week. So unofficially, I can tell you that I’m down 44 lbs. (This includes the weight I loss doing less than 100% WFPB October-December.)

These two facts are significant because I have never before stayed on a diet longer than 3 weeks, and I have never before lost more than 28 lbs on a diet.

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“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.

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“I am a food addict”

Scott Zimmerman After WFPB (Sevilla Spain) May 2013By: S. Scott Zimmerman  

I have four confessions:

1. I am a food addict. I often seem unable to stop eating, and forage for food all day long, food that is often high in fat and sugar.
2. I have coronary artery disease (CAD) caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
3. I have lost over 50 pounds three times in my life, only to regain the weight two of the three times.
4. During my 30 years as a professor of biochemistry at Brigham Young University, I always included principles of nutrition as part of my biochemistry courses for pre-medical and pre-nursing students, but I have recently realized that much of what I taught about nutrition was wrong.

So here is My Story of ups and downs in body weight and in nutrition management. It’s a story of a long, slow process of making mistakes, trying to learn from those mistakes, and finally finding the value of a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle. I’ll start with my first confession.

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