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A Healthy Switch

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I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba and faced many traditional meals

I grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba and faced many traditional meals. Meat, potatoes and plenty of fresh milk, butter and homemade cheese. Often I tried to pass on the meat. (Since then I have learned that humans instinctively know what is not good for their bodies. We just need to listen.) I never once questioned eating animal products, even though I was continually ill with colds, sore throats and stomach aches and had chronic ear infections resulting in blood draining from my ears.

At the age of 14,1 was forced to swallow eight large pills every day for two weeks because of the pain in my ears. Gagging, spitting and painfully choking them down, I decided I never wanted to experience such discomfort again.

My parents encouraged me to eat animal flesh, because it was "good for you." But I started hiding the meat, pushing it under my plate or covering it with salad or potatoes. (The lecture was not as harsh if I left salad on my plate!) Quickly clearing off the table kept my parents from discovering the lumps of dead animal flesh beneath the greens. I spent the next ten years eating a minimal amount of meat, still welcoming tall cold glasses of milk that came straight from the cow. My illnesses lessened, but I continued to have problems with my throat and ears.

In my early twenties, during a two- week visit to Ontario, I noticed that I was no longer constantly clearing my throat, as I had done for as long as I could remember. To my pleasure my throat was mucous free! But the mucous and throat clearing began the day I returned home.

"Must be the difference in the environment," I thought. (A few years later I made the connection between processed dairy products and my throat concerns since I didn't care for the taste of the milk while on holidays and did not drink any until I returned home.)

The Veggie Path

At the age of 25, married and pregnant with my first child, I made a complete switch to a health-conscious vegetarian diet. I was going to be responsible for the life and well-being of a little baby so I was adamant in learning all I could about raising a healthy child. I had no idea what a wonderful path I was embracing. I avoided white flour, sugar, dairy, meat and all foods with chemicals and preservatives. I started a successful organic food co-op in a small town of 100 people.

Only organic and chemical-free foods with no preservatives were allowed in my kitchen as I cleaned up my diet. Confirming my suspicions, I found that my health improved considerably and left me very energetic and very knowledgeable! No more animal products meant no more throat and ear infections which had tormented me for most of my life.

Fighting Cancer

I learned that I had cervical cancer around the same time that I was making the switch to a wholesome, natural diet. I was treated rudely by three different gynecologists because I refused radiation and chemotherapy, but my search for alternative health care continued. The cancer cells were beaten by following the guidance of a naturopathic doctor who suggested a wholesome organic diet that avoided all animal products. Radiation or chemotherapy was not necessary! I followed his advice for one month before going back for a check-up to one of the same gynecologists I encountered earlier. Much to her surprise, the television screen showed that the cancer cells had disappeared! I went back for a check-up every six months for the next eight years because she was sure the cancer cells would come back. Finally she told me that I didn't have to return. The cancer cells were gone.

My friends began relying on me to help them with their health. Strangers phoned for advice because they had heard of my story. I felt great physically, mentally and emotionally! My thinking was clearer and sharper and my energy was overflowing.

My interest in health became so intense that I studied every course, workshop, lecture and natural health book that I came across until eventually my own natural health business evolved. In all my studies the same principles emerged food played a key role in a person's overall well-being and animal products posed a threat to health.

Now at the age of 42, I have two healthy children Audrey age 15 and Andrew age 13. They've never taken antibiotics or prescribed medications. I have breast fed both my children. They have not had any immunizations and are strong and healthy. We don't get colds, flus or other illnesses as our neighbors do. I've been wearing eye glasses since age seven but my eyesight has improved over the past 15 years. I now need new glasses with a weaker prescription.

My husband Jeff, who has had juvenile diabetes for the last 18 years, continues to amaze medical doctors who wonder at how well he's doing. His eye sight is 20/20 and his medical doctor gives him an "excellent bill of health" at his yearly check-ups. He's been using insulin combined with a natural and wholesome diet and has avoided a lot of the normal concerns people with juvenile diabetes encounter.

My family continually promotes wholesome, natural foods. We believe in the saying, "You are what you eat." Thomas Edison said it well, "If doctors of today don't become nutritionists of tomorrow, nutritionists of today will become doctors of tomorrow."

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