It may have started when my good friend began sharing her personal experiences of applying certain dietary restrictions to her lifestyle with me, but it BEGAN about midway through the documentary The Beautiful Truth. For those who do not know what I am talking about, I dare say it is worth looking into. It may not resonate with you in the same fashion it did with moi, but it is full of very interesting information. For one, it may lead you down a rabbit hole of researching the work of Dr. Max Gerson. See, this man was a German doctor who started off treating himself for migraines with (you guessed it!) DIET. What's more, in experimenting with this he ended up curing his own skin tuberculosis! Nobel prize winner, Albert Schweitzer, M.D., was attracted to his form of treatment after his wife was cured of her lung tuberculosis with this same method. And this was just the starting point. The Gerson form of therapy went on to cure heart disease, kidney failure, and finally the biggest and scariest of them all-CANCER. His daughter now runs a clinic in Mexico*.
It's funny, we hear "You are what you eat" through our entire lives; but like most things, hearing it becomes so common place it begins to seem.....redundant. It is anything but in this case. I think when we consider this phrase, we think that maybe it means we shouldn't eat a bunch of junk food. Well, ok, that is a simple enough concept. Do we ever, think, however, that maybe the current accepted ideas of a good diet might need to be reconsidered? Well, Dr. Gerson obviously did, and furthermore, he had great success.
What is so crazy (to me anyway), is that though this has been proven time and again in other countries, *doctors here in the United States aren't ALLOWED to treat in this way. It is considered neglect for a doctor not to use some form of synthesized medicine or radiation. Surely I am not the only one who thinks this is insane! [Let me just make a side note here and say: I am not saying that there is never a need for medication or medical procedures. I am only saying, "How about before we start dosing people with poison or with things that can possibly cause worse side effects than their current symptoms (leading to a hamster wheel of more medication use), we try looking at the underlying cause and go from there first."]
What is further disappointing to me is that doctors are not taught in their oh-so-prestigious medical schools to look at a person's nutritional habits. Well, I take that back. They will consider that, but only if you have diabetes or weight issues. In fact, let me jump into the future of this story and share a personal experience with you guys. A few years back (at the tail end of 2011), when my husband and I decided we were going to try to have a baby, we were going to start as soon as I got off of the medicine I was currently on for my anxiety: Zoloft. It was all over the television about how it had been shown to cause birth defects. As someone who has had a very paranoid form of anxiety, I never want to go back to that way of living again. It's like you're trapped in your own head, and no matter how much you try to tell yourself "It is just an attack, you will be fine just like last time"; no matter how much you "know" that your paranoid thoughts have no ground to stand on, you just can't fight that little voice in the back of your mind telling you, "Well this time it could be different. This time something really COULD be wrong." It is awful to have a gigantic fear that you are somehow dying and you just can't shake it.
So, knowing what I know based on what little I have learned, I realize that if I'm coming off of this medicine I've got to do something different. So I look at what nutritionists are available to me through my current insurance, and I call UAB (because they are the only ones on my list.) I tell them that I am wanting to get pregnant, that I have an anxiety disorder, and since the medicine I am on is bad for baby I'd like to take care of this issue with nutrition. I wanted to see what kind of help or counseling they could offer me. Nada. I can not be covered for that kind of help unless I have diabetes, I am overweight, or I am underweight. SERIOUSLY!? So, I refuse to be defeated. I decide, "Screw it. I don't need their help anyway." Thus began my delving after the answers I sought in the first place. Oh man, did I learn A LOT!
I could go on here about all the things I learned, but I think you guys came here to read a blog, not a book-haha! The point, however, is that though I had been learning, and had even started applying, some of this new found information to my life, it still took certain events in my life to spur me toward really making a change. That being said, my life in terms of applying these changes is a continuation of ups and downs. I am no expert, and I am no purist. I simply do what I can when I can, and there are times in my life I've had more discipline toward it than others. And besides, nutrition is just one of the many facets that have become of interest to me in this walk :)
For those who are interested and would like to learn more about Dr. Gerson:
More info on Dr. Gerson
The Beautiful Truth Movie Trailer