Welcome to our Jennifer-Samantha/ Mother-Daughter blog. Until a couple of years ago, we thought like most of you do. We knew that there were dangerous chemicals in our cleaning products and small traces of bad stuff in our makeup and toothpaste, and questionable ingredients in our food, but figured it was worth the risk to use stuff we liked and was convenient. We rationalized that everyone else uses them and what the heck, who cares if we die at 94 instead of 97!
Then we had a little reality check. At age 56, Paul (husband-father), was diagnosed with Parkinson ’s disease. We read that meant progressive deterioration with symptoms including uncontrollable muscle tremors,, balance issues, permanent muscle stiffness, hyper-sensitive anxiety and other horrible things. We also learned that this disease and many others, like MS, diabetes, ADD, asthma, autism and cancer are all significantly more prevalent in the past 40 years or so and directly linked to chemical exposure (cleaning products/environmental exposure) and certain foods (artificial ingredients & sugar). Although no one chooses to have them, they are referred to as “lifestyle diseases” or “diseases of choice” and are believed to be largely preventable.
Since we are both very proactive, we were not going to sit by and watch this previously healthy, active person that we love, experience all those horrible symptoms without a fight. We started researching everything we could. We learned that the human body is supposed to be disease-free and if it is in balance, getting what it needs and not being poisoned, it will stay healthy and not age prematurely or get diseased. We started reading and talking with naturpathic doctors, food scientists, holistic chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists and others “alternative” medicine researchers to learn as much as we could. Although their diagnostic and treatment techniques varied, they all share the same core believe – that the focus needs to be creating overall health so the body can take care of itself and not just chasing symptoms with medication.
We learned that it is rarely one thing that makes someone sick or symptomatic. It’s a combination of factors. While you may be able to tolerate some chemicals, artificial ingredients, sugar and a few prescription drug ingredients, but in the right quantities and combination you may not be able to tolerate them and become very sick. So it is definitely worth it to decrease and avoid bad stuff incrementally wherever you can. And, add in more good stuff (fresh veggies are the best!) Every little bit helps!
While we were very anxious to try everything, Paul proved to be a little cautious about trying new things (old dog, new tricks – lol), and initially doubted the importance of the food and lifestyle connection to good health. But we’re proud to say, he’s reluctantly come around and lost weight, gotten stronger and reduced some of his medication. And through some trial & error with medication management, he’s is able for the most part, to do many of the things that make him happy. And even though PD is a degenerative disease, his symptoms have worsened very little.
I do community relations for a healthy supermarket and I ALWAYS hear similar stories from people who have stopped eating food with artificial ingredients (and or gluten or dairy) and lost weight, reversed symptoms and feel SO much better! The stories are so inspiring, and I love sharing them and helping others so much, that I (Jennifer/Mom) am now studying to be a Health Coach!
Please share your “healthful” stories and tips with us!
DISCLAIMER: The information we provide is offered with only the best of intentions and information that we believe to be true and from trusted sources. We are not medical professionals, scientists or chefs – we are simply doing our best to learn as much as we can and stay as healthy as possible!