I don’t remember when my issues with hormones started, because I can’t remember my life without them. I started my first period when I was fifteen, and my periods got more painful as the years went on. By the time I was 21 and a newlywed, my symptoms during my periods were so painful I was on the verge of a trip to the emergency room.
Then I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was put on a terrible medication called Lupron for six months and continued to have painful symptoms. I had a laparoscopy surgery where my doctor found the endometriosis tissue and burned it. I was lucky and was able to get pregnant.
The pain got a little better during each of my three pregnancies, but after about 9 months, it slowly returned again. One of the most significant symptoms during my ovulations and periods was my mood, or PMS. When I was 31, my youngest turned 3, and I was just worn out. I was sick and tired of feeling like a horrible mother two weeks out of every month. I met with my OBGYN, and we decided a hysterectomy would be best.
After my hysterectomy I had two fantastic years. Then I began to feel like I was postpartum again. I began to have thoughts of suicide. I was overwhelmed and incredibly frustrated that even after such a final surgery, I still had problems. I began to talk to my doctor about hormones. And while we monitored my hormones, she put me on an anti-depressant.
A few weeks later I attended a Cancer Project class (sponsored by PCRM). During the class, the instructors Charity Lighten and Dr. Barnard were teaching about whole foods and a plant based diet. Dr. Barnard mentioned that an excess of animal products turns into carcinogens in the body and eventually our body converts this to hormones. This is something that I received as truth in my spirit and was an answer to my prayers. I figured I would take the Cancer Project’s advice and just try it out for a month to see how I felt.
After one month of eating a whole food, plant-based diet, I lost 8 lbs and stopped taking several medications. I felt amazing. The best way for me to describe that transformation is that for the first time in my life, I felt complete mental clarity. This is when I started to really ponder if this was the right thing for me to continue. I saw how this lifestyle was working for me, but was feeling a bit apprehensive for my children. So, I turned to my Heavenly Father and the scriptures to find answers.
I began to study the Word of Wisdom and really pray about the words in the scriptures. I started to gain a new perspective on the saying “all things in moderation,” and felt that the unhealthy way we had been eating was not following what the scriptures were saying. As I prayed to know what to do for me and my family specifically, the feeling in my heart was that this new eating lifestyle would be good and healthy for us. I have been eating this way ever since. I like to think of my diet as an 80/20 ratio. 80% whole food, plant-based, 20% non. Although I’ve made some extreme changes in our eating habits, I try to maintain balance and moderation in all things healthy.
Allison Bailey is 36 years old and lives in South Jordan, Utah. She has three children and a very supportive husband. Their family loves to stay active together hiking, boating, and playing sports. Each meal brings new surprises around the Bailey family dinner table. The kids often complain about their meals, but Allison is dedicated to keeping their family healthy, and slowly but surely they are coming around. She has hope that someday they will appreciate why they eat the way they do.