Reversing Chronic Disease: Magic!
By Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, with Agathe Mathieu
People can be burdened with a chronic illness that they think will be their lifelong companion. Yet science is giving us strong indicators that simple lifestyle changes can rid us of rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and can decrease risk or recurrence of certain cancers. (Of course, it is important to follow medical advice as well.)
Simply changing what’s on our plate, and perhaps adopting a suitable fitness regime, can lead to the most remarkable changes! I recently did an interview with Agathe Mathieu, of North Vancouver’s delightful Café by Tao. Here is what she told me.
“Back in fall 2003, I had Rheumatoid arthritis, floaters in my vision, skin rashes, plus excess weight. I never thought that changing my diet, which I then believed to be healthy, would change my life. My mother had arthritis, and I believed that I was doomed to follow in her pain-filled footsteps. I learned of Scandinavian research in which the majority of those with arthritis were able to reverse their symptoms on plant-based diets. Well, within 3 months of switching my family to organic plant food, all of my ailments vanished. Imagine that! I was able to sew again; to lift heavy boxes; to simply close my hands. The swelling was gone; the pain was gone. I was able to read a book without fighting to see the words. My children’s rashes, hyperactivity, and even temper tantrums vanished too. That was a life changing experience. Physical and emotional challenges were resolved. What more could I wish for?
Around us was another amazing, heart-warming change. Our garbage, from a family of five, went down from two big garbage bags to one small kitchen bag. Our grocery shopping took half the time; with a variety of produce and seasonings, we were out of the market. It was beyond beautiful to see our footprint shrink by the minute, giving our mother earth a chance to also get healthy again, and a future for my children.
One might say “but I could never do that”. What if you could? What if you would give it a try for just one to three months, and experience the vital change flowing in you? What if you had energy like there is no tomorrow? What if your children would shine, beam with health. I mean it, as if you were never sick. What is a month, really, if it gives you back the life you want?”Agathe now runs a restaurant and store at 210-150 W Esplanade (on the upper level) that offers the sort of delicious fare that helped her to regain her health. (www.taoorganics.com)
In the 1990’s I (Vesanto Melina) had the privilege of being a staff dietitian for retreats in Berkeley California with Dr. Dean Ornish, as did my co-author, Registered Dietitian Brenda Davis. His research definitively proved that we could reverse heart disease simply with dietary and with lifestyle changes. He has continued this effective research with those who have prostate cancer.
For anyone with Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, or who simply wants to lose a few pounds, an excellent resource is “The Kick Diabetes Cookbook”. This book that features delicious plant-based recipes (without added sugar or oils) that can help with all of these conditions.