By: Sara Foster
I grew up in the backwoods of Tennessee in a family of eight kids with a stay-at-home dad and a mother who is a physician. Dad was raised in the country on a farm, so our plates were filled with meat, dairy and lots of fried and processed foods. That was the norm, and I knew nothing different at the time. If we ate vegetables, they were mostly fried.
Beginning when I was 12 years old, I had very painful menstrual cramps. They were so severe that I had to take pain shots and narcotics on the days of my menstrual cycle, and I would often have to be checked out of school. One day when I was a little older, I landed in the ER and had to have morphine given to me through IV. That day the Elders of the LDS Church gave me a blessing. They blessed me that I would find a way that I would never have to take medication again for this. I took that blessing to heart and did not let up in a search for the reason why I was having such intense menstrual cramps. I knew there must be a remedy other than medications.
Some years later I found out I had endometriosis. This is a condition where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus. It is often extremely painful and can result in infertility. This helped explain the problems I had.
My father also had significant health issues. I watched him struggle with weight and high blood pressure almost my entire life. His blood pressure eventually got so high it took his life. It was shortly thereafter that I discovered plant-based eating. By the grace of Our Father in Heaven, I stumbled upon a book about plant-based nutrition. As I was reading it, my mind kept drifting back to the Word of Wisdom. It sounded so similar. That led me to open the Word of Wisdom again and re-examine what I thought I knew. I started seeking out other authors of books that had similar views and decided to give plant-based eating a try.
I started by eating every other day as a vegetarian. I cut my meat and dairy intake down to 2-3 days a week. Just from those changes alone, my pain dropped by half, and I was off all narcotics. I was able to get by on just Ibuprofen and Tylenol for the first few days of my menstrual cycle. I followed that way of eating for 3 1/2 years until I got to a point where I was only eating meat about once a week and decided to try 98% plant-based. When I made that change, again my pain dropped to barely even there, and I was able to come off the Ibuprofen and Tylenol. For the first time in nearly 20 years I was medication free!
I have now been medication free for 6 months. Some additional changes that I have noticed:
- I feel really happy most days no matter what is happening in the world.
- My acne cleared up.
- My eyes are brighter.
- I almost never wear deodorant (that seems strange, but I just have no body odor coming out of me anymore. Not like when I was eating a lot of meat and dairy).
- I run faster.
- I have more energy.
- My cholesterol dropped by 30 points.
- My weight is easily maintained in a good range.
- I feel closer to nature.
I now feel a great love for life. I feel a close, sacred connection to God and feel extreme gratitude to Him for reaching out and giving me the answer to my situation. I’m also very grateful for having the sense to give plant-based eating a try.
Sara Foster (32 years old) lives in Redlands California and is a practicing nurse. To help more patients, she shifted her focus from working inpatient in the hospital to an outpatient setting working with lifestyle and preventive medicine. She now educates patients and employee staff on the benefits of plant-based eating and seeks to help patients get off medications. Sara is also an Army Reserve nurse and has served five years on active duty in hospitals around the country, caring for the brave service men and women. When she’s not working, she loves reading, learning, writing, singing, wholesome entertainment, socializing, and being in nature.