alive case study: part 3
Sandra Tonn, RHN
In the previous two issues of <em>alive</em>, I presented the symptoms and nutritional assessment relevant to Jacqueline, <em>alive</em>s case-study client. After five meetings over the course of two months, Jacqueline was able to eliminate most of the symptoms that had plagued her for years.
In the previous two issues of alive, I presented the symptoms and nutritional assessment relevant to Jacqueline, alive’s case-study client. After five meetings over the course of two months, Jacqueline was able to eliminate most of the symptoms that had plagued her for years.
I’m confident her healing will continue. Jacqueline also lost a total of 14 pounds–without dieting. A steady average of about two pounds a week was shed as a result of Jacqueline’s increased knowledge and initiatives in relation to food quality, preparation, and digestion.
The Foundation of Health
At the end of our first visit, I presented Jacqueline with a healing plan to help manage stress and improve digestion. The plan included practising deep breathing, chewing food more, eating five times a day, eating a raw food with each meal, and increasing water intake. She seemed disappointed with the simple instructions and said it didn’t look like much to do.
Laying a foundation for health, however, takes time, since we are changing habits and incorporating new information. What I hoped to help Jacqueline do was make lasting changes. When she came back to see me a week later, she realized the impact such simple changes can have and even expressed difficulty with following through on some. She was excited to report that she had lost weight, had regular bowel movements, and experienced much less digestive distress.
After two weeks of changing dietary and digestion habits and following a supplement program of digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, essential fatty acids, and a multivitamin, Jacqueline continued to gain health and lose weight. She had agreed to give up cheese, alcohol, coffee, and sugar completely to prepare for a liver cleanse that I promised was coming soon. She again expressed some anxiety about not having a time-line for her healing plan. I encouraged her not to restrict herself unnecessarily, since I was helping her to change her habits, not complete a diet.
It didn’t take long before she said she didn’t miss the cheese and coffee, but was looking forward to a glass of wine. I encouraged her to have one on the weekend and again reminded her that she was learning how to be healthy, and an occasional glass of wine would not ruin her health.
Figuring Out Food
The next two visits involved a shopping trip and a lesson about food preparation. I travelled to Jacqueline’s neighbourhood to accompany her to her usual grocery and health food stores. As she shopped we discussed the quality of fats and oils, how to read food labels, and how to replace some of her less-than-healthy grocery items.
Jacqueline now buys high quality olive and coconut oils and knows how to determine their quality. She chooses packaged foods based on the lists of ingredients and nutritional information panels. Information about how to properly prepare grains and beans supported her goals to improve digestion and nutrition.
Cleansing the Liver
After a month of eating more whole foods and improving digestion, Jacqueline was ready to do a liver cleanse. Since she had previous bad experiences with restrictive diets, I only asked that she continue with what she had learned so far, cut down on meat, and eliminate alcohol and sugar for a 10-day cleanse. She took a liver cleansing formula of herbs.
I did not want Jacqueline to feel restricted or to become depleted of nutrients, since that could have caused her to experience the cravings and fatigue that often lead people back to their old habits. By this point, she was being greatly rewarded for her new, healthier choices, and I wanted that to continue.
Jacqueline was beaming as we sat down to our final meeting. Even though she had not had the time to be more physically active, she had lost weight, and she had no ailments or symptoms to report. She said she had “never felt better” and that even her boyfriend had gained health and lost weight because of her new-found knowledge and ways of eating.
“The toughest part for me is that I eat differently than most people. They are the ones eating poorly, but it’s so common, I end up being different,” Jacqueline shared. “The easiest thing was to give up the cheese. I used to eat it every day!” Now Jacqueline knows her body does not require cheese daily, and she no longer craves it.
“Overall, eating healthier is not difficult when there are so many payoffs,” she admitted. “I’m sleeping better, my digestive symptoms are gone, and people around me notice how much better I’m looking and feeling.” Jacqueline acknowledged that the changes were not drastic and says she will tell people that eating healthier is a habit and a choice.
“No one had ever told me before how my body worked–not my doctor, naturopath, no one,” said Jacqueline. With her new knowledge she truly understands how her diet and lifestyle decisions affect her. Jacqueline left with a plan to focus on all of the habits and healing actions that help to improve digestion, strengthen the adrenal glands, and balance blood sugar levels.
Thank you, Jacqueline, for allowing your healing to be shared with alive readers. You deserve congratulations and good health.
If any of you would like to learn more about nutrition and your health, I recommend the following alive Academy of Natural Health self-study courses: