The heart of our story has to do with the truth. What is the truth about our personal health? What is the truth about the basic American diet? What role does food play in life? We were experiencing a handful of mostly minor, but chronic and recurring ailments; fatigue, high cholesterol and blood pressure, acid reflux, rashes, headaches, multiple yearly colds and flu symptoms, etc.
At some point, one can’t help but question the reason for the chronic problems and the failure of typical medical care to cure them. Medicating everything brings along its own set of new problems. Eventually, if you are fortunate enough to do this, you decide that the medicinal side effects are making you feel as miserable as the original condition, so you may as well skip the medicine and be ‘originally miserable.’ This was the beginning of looking for alternative solutions to our health problems.
Today the internet is a marvelous tool for gathering information and it didn’t take long to find our way to many articles, documentaries, and YouTube videos on health, as it relates to diet. The short version of the search would be that we eventually watched several resources like “Forks Over Knives” and read many an article or book like “The China Study.” These key items and many like it convinced us that we were headed for more of the same health issues, and worse, on our normal diet. It was time to change. At first we began to purchase organic products to avoid chemical additives in our food. We then began to move toward eating far less processed foods and doing the work ourselves. It wasn’t a stretch at that point to simply make the jump to a plant based whole food diet. We did that ‘cold turkey’ as they say in the carnivore world. One day we cleaned out our pantry and refrigerator and completely restocked it with only organic whole foods. We began to shop at places like Trader Joe’s, Roots Market, Whole Foods, Dawson’s Market, and the Common Market Coop. We purchased in bulk, ate out far less, and completely changed any eating out locations.
Here is the practical advice to take this step. It helps to have at least two people in the family who are committed to getting and staying healthy. This helps when the going gets tough. Not having a recipe is no excuse. The internet solves that problem in a heart beat. You can also find places to eat out and still get a good ‘whole food’ meal, Finally, stick with it because while you may never replace the wondrous ‘taste’ of a number three or five at your local fast food place, you will eventually find replacement ‘favorites’ that the whole family will love.
Here is the bottom line for us. It has been difficult eating and living counter culture in America, but very much worth it! Some our our chronic ailments have been cured; some quickly at first (acid reflux, cholesterol, and fatigue), some more slowly (skin problems, bad breath), and some, we hope, still to come. We not only feel better but our doctors tell us we are better. They marvel at our high marks on blood tests at annual physical exams. Our two teenagers have reluctantly been along for the ride but have grown accustomed to eating plant based whole foods. Their tastes are beginning to change even if their minds and hearts lag behind.
Well that’s our story. We’re three years in and not turning back. No one could deter us from living the truth that you really are what you eat. We are thankful to the many businesses dedicated to not only healthy, nourished people, but healthy and well treated animals and an even healthier planet.
Dr. Patrick and Ressie Malone