I was pregnant with my third and moving along with the rest of society with fast food, packaged convenient foods, and quick meals. We were living in Orlando at the time surrounded by people who rarely cared about health, but struggled daily with health issues. I remember watching an Oprah show with Dr. Oz on it. I was mesmerized by what he was saying about our digestive system, how foods effect our moods, and how the power of healing can come from what we eat.
As a high school girl, I suffered from a negative self image and a bad relationship with food. Unfortunately, the struggle led me to weigh about 105lbs at 5’4″. My regular diet consisted of a banana for breakfast, a half of a fried chicken sandwich on white bread for lunch, an afternoon snack of processed foods, and a small portion of what my mother cooked in the evening. I was malnourished. One point I’d like to make clear, this is not my parent’s fault. They encouraged me to eat, and filled our home with many options. I just never wanted to eat. Food hurt me. Anything I would eat would cause bloating, cramping, gas, fatigue. I understood that dairy hurt me, so I would stay away from that, but I never realized I had a choice of feeling that way.
College opened my eyes to spiritual growth, confidence, community and maturity. I began to eat more and more. I gained 30lbs. my freshman year. I enjoyed going out to eat all the time. This may be where my fast food addiction began. There was a time when I couldn’t drive by McDonalds without stopping for a small fry. Just a little something, all the time. My self image was improving with God’s help and the help of friends who loved me for who I was, but my food relationship continued to decline. Over the following years, things did not improve much. The selection of foods available to a poor college student are minimal. The chance of a home cooked meal rarely presented itself.
Looking back at my first year of marriage, I feel so sorry for my husband! My husband was 28 and had been working and eating in restaurants for 10 years. All I knew how to cook was spaghetti, tacos, stir fry, and burgers. I just didn’t know how to cook, much less cook real food. Even with a degree that focused on nutrition, food science, and family development, I couldn’t concept real food dishes. I was uninformed. It sounds so silly, but FoodNetwork saved our lives. I spent hours and hours watching food shows. They taught me how to expand my pantry and how to be creative in the kitchen. The problem was the fear of pain. When I would look at a dish, subconsciously I would fear how it would make me feel. This deterred the joy of cooking.
The struggle with pain in my joints, the fainting spells, fatigue, nauseousness, and basic fragility I experienced daily felt normal to me. My dad would even joke about it being our destiny as “McCords” (my maiden name). We would have talks about pacing ourselves, about sugar being a culprit, and about managing our pain. But these talks never led me to truly feeling better. Down deep I knew this couldn’t be it.
Until that day. Watching Dr. Oz on TV really stopped me on my journey. The road I was heading down would continue to tear up my intestines and my relationships. Some of his steps were so simple. So, as a family of 4, about to be 5, we decided to take some babysteps. We eliminated the sugary tea in our fridge. Then, we changed all our bread to 100% whole grain. These were tiny changes. Next we cut out artificial sweeteners and sodas. It was still a huge temptation from time to time, but the journey had begun. We had exited off the highway of destruction.
Reading is not my thing. But the first book I read about health was called The Cure, by Timothy Brantley. My eyes saw new things with each chapter. Our water, our salt, our meats, our grains…these all had to change. I put the book down and went to the grocery store.
Literally, I stood at the entrance of the store and cried. What do I do now? All that I knew about food had to change. I was not prepared for that first shopping trip post-health-book! Looking back, I should have made a list of foods he suggested and created a meal plan for our family. But no. I left with a couple veggies in my cart. The next couple years we gathered knowledge, surrounded ourselves with health seekers, and continued on our path. There were set backs. The fast food addiction and processed foods would creep back in, but they wouldn’t stay for long.
We moved to Iowa. This was not in my plans. It was a move that seemed necessary, but not understandable. Although this was a dark and cold time in my life, there were some good things that came from an extremely difficult year. I began to exercise as a 30 year old. I had never felt strong enough to work out. In the past, I would play tennis or go to the gym and faint within the first 30 minutes. I thought I was weak. Now I understand that I was just malnourished. I began to feel stronger physically and learn how to cook real food creatively.
Even with all the changes and getting stronger, I would take about 12-14 Advils a day. The female issues and joint inflammation were too much to manage on a daily basis. Of course, my intestinal issues worsened with that ridiculous intake of drugs. In my mind I didn’t realize that there was a connection. I felt that I was eating better, working out, and still in pain and discomfort.
We moved to Virginia. The clouds of depression were clearing up. I was ready to face some of the spiritual struggles head on. But then we received some news. My husband’s father was dying. His body was riddled with cancer. Our family gathered to pray over him and ask for God to intervene in his life. The doctors gave him 6 months to live, and refused to help him with their methods. This may have been the best un-wanted news we could receive. My passion to help him find a way to cure his cancer naturally began. He received a protocol of supplements and juicing from a friend, and began his own journey of detoxification and healing. We know God is the ultimate healer, but we also know He allows people to be instrumental in our healing. His life was extended by 2 years and 6 months. Through this time, he was on a strict vegan, plant-based diet of mostly raw foods. The cancer was dying.
He went to the Gerson Institute in Mexico/California and received an amazing program of high doses of vitamin C and B and other healing supplements. Their protocol was based on juicing, detoxing through coffee enemas and supplements. If I ever had cancer, I’d go there right away!!
In our family life, we committed to change. We sought out ways to cut out toxins from our home, cut out harmful cosmetics, cut out over the counter drugs, and continued our search for real food options. His sickness was a catalyst to our changes.
It broke our heart the day he passed away. Yet, in our pain we have joy for many reasons. He is in heaven with his new and perfect body, he never had to go to a hospital, he was off all prescription drugs, and he didn’t even need his glasses from all the great nutrition he received. His body had been healing from the nutrition he received. We have peace that God wanted him “home” with Him.
His journey taught me about supplements, juicing, raw foods, toxic environment, vaccinations, and healing. His faith in God never wavered either. I feel that our life is a balance of Mind/Body/Spirit. We must understand that focusing on any of these separately will put us out of balance. God orchestrates all of our life. We depend on Him for wisdom, protection from our environment, and provision for our daily food.
Where we are we today? We have our three children who are learning along with us. Our goal is to fill our bodies with as many real foods, which I like to call “God-foods”, as possible. Anything man has touched has been processed in some way. Obviously, we can’t avoid these foods. But we can replace what we normally turn to with good, real, God-foods. By filling our home with these real foods, we crowd-out the bad foods.
My relationship with food is healthy now. I understand that some foods may hurt me, so I stay away from them. Each person’s body is different. It takes some experimenting to know what foods cause havoc inside you. I have a friend who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. She is learning that Gluten, Animal Proteins and Nightshade vegetables cause her body to inflame. Once we are empowered with this knowledge, it’s simple. It’s not always easy, but it’s simple. I personally need to experiment a bit more.
Recently, we’ve been mostly vegetarian, close to vegan, but sometimes pescatarian! We started out with Meatless Mondays about a year ago, and gathered enough recipes to really enjoy weeks full of meatless meals.
Seems like each documentary we watch opens our eyes to new ways of eating. What we do as a family today is a mixture of all that we’ve learned. FoodMatters taught us about supplementation. The soil in this day in age is so depleted, we need to supplement our family with vitamins and minerals. For this we choose Shaklee products. Food, Inc. taught us about our food supply. It’s vital that we ask questions, meet farmers, know where our food comes from. It’s our right. Forks over Knives taught us about meat and animal products and their link to cancer. I personally don’t feel it’s wrong to eat meat or animal products, but the way America eats them is unnecessary. As a nation we consume more than our bodies can handle. So we are dying.
1. Our body is not our own. It’s God’s temple. I know I don’t always treat it well, but I feel that if I am thriving, I will serve God more freely.
2. To feel better today.
3. To teach our kids to make wise choices and build their immunity.
4. To feel empowered with the truth when no one really is looking out for us.
5. To be prepared for illness. Having a complete lifestyle change when given a diagnosis sounds harder to me than living out this way in the first place.
I don’t feel great everyday. My hormones are still off, I struggle with mild depression, and I feel inflamed. But I am so happy to know how to handle these discomforts. It’s a journey of learning. I hope to find what trigers my aches and pains and hormone imbalances. Our chiropractor is our primary doctor now! We have had some great experiences with natural healing methods for colds, flu, fevers, spider bites, infections, and so many other things naturally!! It takes longer, but it’s so worth it.
One step at a time. No shame in learning. Depending on God for His provision. I believe with all my heart that He is pleased when his children go back to nature. If we are are pure as we can be in a world filled with toxins and temptations, we will be able to serve Him more purely.
This is not the end of our story. There will be set backs and adjustments. But He that began a good work in me will complete it.
What’s your story?Read More »
My dear friend Karen is not only someone I love and cherish, but she is our pastor’s wife! She has had an incredible journey this past summer. We encouraged her to write an essay to turn into a VitaMix Contest & SHE WON!!!Read More »
I love hearing people’s stories! You have one, we all do.. so please email me.
This one came today, from a dear friend. He shares hisRead More »
photo by: jillallynRead More »
Today I was informed that a PureGoodness Act was spotted! Hurray!!
What’s a PureGoodness act? Something done selflessly to help another! Showing love to others not expecting anything in return. Of course, it makes us feel good and we know we’ll get a pat on the back, but really, just planning something out without wanting affirmation or approval for the benefit of others is truly a PureGoodness moment!! Time to celebrate and join in!
Check out what a 3rd grader in San Francisco is doing to help others! The following is a clip taken from a local paper. This happens to be my sweet niece! So proud of her for thinking of others!! May it inspire you to do the same.
Nail Clipper Drive for Haiti
The leading cause of children’s death in Haiti is diarrhea caused more often by hygiene issues than bad water. Dirt under fingernails can carry many dangerous bacteria. Without running water, proper sanitation, or eating utensils, dirty nails can lead to death. Better hygiene slows the spread of diseases like cholera. One set of nail clippers can save five lives.
Hannah McCord, a Miraloma 3rd grader, has enlisted her friends Thea, Lexie and Jessica, to start a Nail Clipper Drive to help the children of Haiti. Please join them in this by donating NEW nail clippers. Look for the box in the office, and drop them in. The clippers will be taken to Sirona Cares and from there, be distributed to families in Haiti.
If you’d like to join in this selfless act of kindness, here’s what you can do:
Mail many NEW nail clippers to:
262 Richland Avenue
San Francisco CA 94110
If you spot a PureGoodness Act, email me!! We’d love to celebrate and join in!Read More »
LAUGHTER THERAPY: HAVING FUN WHILE YOU GET BETTER
University of California researchers Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. David Felten say a study of 48 heart patients who’s therapy included thirty minutes of humor a day had fewer abnormal heart rates, lower blood pressure, and required less heart medication.
Even more amazing, a year later only 8 percent of those who watched the funny videos suffered a heart attack, compared to 42 percent of those in standard therapy.
Berk and Felten found that laughter is a terrifically valuable therapeutic aid. Lots of laughter is beneficial not just for heart patients but for everyone, whether sick or healthy. It improves one’s quality of life, can help illnesses get better, and seems to keep healthy people healthy longer.
Even Catholic nuns at the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of Suwon, Korea, are using laughter therapy programs to “help experience God, who laughs brightly in our daily lives.” One Sister said her laugh therapy makes her feel “five years younger.”
- Boosts immune function
- Lowers blood pressure by reducing stress hormones that constrict blood vessels and suppress immune activity and decreases dopamine levels – high levels are associated with elevated blood pressure
- Increases muscle flexion, and relaxes muscles throughout the body
- Triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers
- Stimulates the function of heart and lungs
- Improves alertness, memory and creativity
- Raising the levels of infection-fighting T-cells
- The need for a reduction in the number of hours that medical residents are permitted to work in a single shift
- Raising the levels of disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon
- Raising the levels of B-cells which produce disease-destroying antibodies
Laughter is being used therapeutically at numerous hospitals around the country, even some cancer hospitals. No news yet on whether the Korean nuns laughter will be heard by other churches around the world. But thanks to the latest medical research, now we know exactly why laughter is such good medicine.
SOURCES: HolisticOnLine.com http://www.holisticonline.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy_benefits.htm and CathNews Asia, Nov. 11, 2010http://www.cathnewsasia.com/2010/11/11/nuns-sign-up-for-laughter-training
We don’t need to wait to be sick to use this inexpensive treatment. I personally have a hard time being “happy”. It takes a little more effort to laugh. I enjoy my life, but I am a melancholy type person who sees reality and all it’s dark shades. I wish I could be more carefree and hilarious. Thankfully, I am blessed to have married someone who loves to laugh and enjoys the comedy of life daily.
It’s sometimes a challenge to be positive. This website is actually an attempt of mine to keep looking for GOODNESS. As we see all the GOOD in the world, endorphins and positive feelings overwhelm our bodies, maybe even healing. I have come to find that surrounding myself with positive people also helps. My dear friend Mihaela has the most infectious laugh. I know for a fact that when people hear her laugh, they feel better. On the other hand, when I read people’s negative comments through various social media, I feel heavy and frustrated. It’s not anyone’s “fault” but we do have a responsibility in community with one another to encourage health and wellness. We have the ability to spur one another on by laughter and positivity.
Think about this today and make an effort to heal those around you with your laughter and good thoughts. Try a good belly laugh out soon!Read More »