When she was in her twenties my older sister developed an aggressive case of rheumatoid arthritis. By the time she was 50 she was on her back unable to even turn over in 24 hour care but not until she had endured multiple joint replacements and numerous side effects from the typical drug therapies for RA. Then, 7 years ago, I found myself with increasingly painful joints along with painful nodules under my skin and pain in my lungs and kidneys. That, along with a bright red rash on my cheeks confirmed my condition to be some sort of autoimmune disease not unlike my sister's. But because of my sister's example I knew I could not follow the medical treatment route.
I was unable to sleep at night because of the pain. I would lie awake at night crying and get up by 2 AM to walk the pain off and try to get my mind off it. At times I had to use a walker to get around the house. I had GERD, esophogitis, hiatal hernia, mild angina, and a number of other nagging conditions.
I figured it had to be related to the food I ate and for a while I dabbled around with my diet unsuccessfully. Then about 4 years ago I happened on a video by Dr.Caldwell Esselstyn and my husband and I knew we could not go back to the way we had been eating. We learned that eating animal based foods has us all walking along the edge of a cliff and at any given moment a microscopic plaque in our arteries can rupture and push us off the cliff resulting in a heart attack or a stroke – both among the leading causes of early death in the modern world. We damage ourselves with every fork full. We knew we had to change for ourselves and for each other.
The next day we cleaned out the refrigerator and the pantry and went shopping. We were now whole food plant eaters, no added oils, no nuts. I bought every DVD available on the subject and visited many websites and learned to cook all over again. Out with the meats and cheeses – the vegetables became the centerpieces of our meals. Not only was the food I made delicious but I was having more fun cooking than I ever had; I was not only cooking I was creating and to my amazement my body was healing.
I studied plant based nutrition and everything I learned confirmed what my husband and I were experiencing in our bodies. I could walk without pain and sleep through the night; lung and kidney pain were easing. Other conditions were clearing up too – no more GERD, my excess weight was falling off, my husband was feeling better too. No way would we ever go back to the kind of eating that made us sick.
I am so thankful that this information is available and I am thankful for everyone like all of you who encourage and support lifestyle (especially diet) change. For once we have control of our health and it's simply the food.
Your story is very encouraging. If you can improve from all that simply by moving to a low-fat plant-based (what we would call Starch-Smart) diet then there is certainly hope for many others who are suffering and looking for a way out.
Thanks so much for sharing your story!
Our Mission Statement: To Provide Starch-Smart® Dietary Care Extraordinaire - From Sun to Plant to Plate by empowering education, support and encouragement through family-friendly social networking, knowledge sharing, blogs, recipes, news feeds, health science and more.