Welcome to A Path to Health

Posted on February 25, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

There is nothing like being diagnosed with a fatal disease to make you do some research. Ten months ago I was diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative disease with no known cure. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about health ever since, and so much of what I have learned ought to be readily available to everyone: not just the 30,000 Americans with ALS or the 30 million Americans with a rare disease, but also the 133 million Americans diagnosed with at least one chronic illness. Nearly half of us is sick in one way or another and most of it is avoidable. But how? 

Shortly after being diagnosed I rewatched a TED Talk by Dr. Terry Wahls.  She is a phycisian diagnosed with MS (another disease with no known cure) in 2000 who, despite availing herself to the very best modern medicine has to offer, progressed to being significantly disabled by 2003. She decided to do her own research and learned that specific nutrients were needed to help her brain reverse her disease process. Within a year of implementing a nutritional regimen she writes about in her book Minding My Mitochondria, she was walking unassisted and even completed an 18 mile bike race.

There are other doctors like her (Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Andrew Weil come to mind) who have tremendously important information to share-especially about food and nutrition for health-that you are not likely to get at your doctor’s office. I hope to introduce you to some of those folks here.

This food-for-health concept brings one quickly to the endless array of “diets” to choose from: anti-inflammatory; Atkins; DASH; Paleo; raw food; slow carb, and so many others. Some are better for weight loss, while others are more appropriate for diabetes, heart disease or the numerous intestinal issues. How to decide which, if any, are right for you? Personally, I have cycled through several “diets” (all for health, none for losing weight) including the Gerson Method, the Wahl’s diet, gluten free and slow carb, but ultimately landed on a food plan that leans Paleo, but also combines components of several plans that make sense to me, which I tweak from time time as I learn more and new things. I plan to discuss a variety of ways to eat for health so you can make sensible choices for you and your family.

Overall, I lean towards food over pharmaceuticals, produce over food-like products and partnerships with health care providers as opposed to authoritative relationships. My hope is that this blog, over time, might become a comprehensive information source for folks who aim to be forward thinking about their health; that my path, crooked though it may be, may help others move further down their own paths to health.

Wishing you well,



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10 Responses to “Welcome to A Path to Health”

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Thank you for putting this invaluable information out there for everyone. Yes!!

Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Happy that you’e doing this, Janice!

Looking forward to more posts.

Thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m excited and scared and everything in between so hearing that it isn’t all in my head that people will want this information is very encouraging.

Your desire to help others as you face your own challenges is inspiring. This is information many of us will use. Thank you!

Janice, you are inspiring. If there was one book you would recommend reading first, one that is not overwhelming for a nutritionist newbie, what one would it be?

Jen, this is a fantastic question. I cannot even count how many books I’ve read in recent years that have built my knowledge base. Some of my favorite books are listed on the right hand corner of the blog, though that list barely touches the surface of my reading list. I suspect a great answer to your question will need a full blog post and I will put that topic on my list of future topics. In the meantime, I will share this:

1. the Northwest Earth Institute (http://www.nwei.org/discussion_courses) has an outstanding series of discussion courses that involve a group of people coming together 1 x p/wk for approx 6-8 weeks to discuss some reading assignments. My first group worked on Menu for the Future (http://www.nwei.org/discussion_courses/course-offerings/menu-for-the-future) and I loved it. This is how I started and it was so helpful to be with others who were also learning. Change can be so daunting alone. I’ve been thinking about gathering some folks to do this at the Bethany School Garden this summer. Maybe you’ll join us?

2. Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraMind Solution (http://www.ultramind.com/) is a lot to take in because it is comprehensive and involves making so much change that a “newbie” might by overwhelmed, but he covers big topics in understandable terms and sometimes just having this level of info can be an important motivator. Do not feel like you need to do all of it. Baby steps are often the best path to success.

3. Speaking of baby steps, almost any book I could recommend would suggest eating more fruits and veggies. We Americans are notorious for not eating enough veggies. BTW, I used to eat just about none so I know what it is like to need to start from scratch (it would be fair to describe my past eating habits as appalling). A great place to start is to just make sure there is a vegetable on your plate at each meal.

Every other book I could recommend would be targeted to specific personal goals (to overcome a certain health issue or to overcome a specific nutrient deficiency). I’d be happy to target something if you have a goal in mind.

[…] my first blog post I shared a video about a physician who has made great strides in healing herself of MS primarily […]

[…] are many ways to react to a diagnosis as big as ALS. Having a decent sense of self-efficacy, I chose to find ways to intervene in the […]

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