How I became interested in diets and then founded Envision Health and Wellness
I went to see my physician for an annual checkup, which was routine and no big deal. Then my bloodwork came back, and my cholesterol was 350. Obviously, that was too high. I started medication at the age of 40. Lipitor was the first and then a few years later Lipitor and Crestor. The problem seemed to be solved, because my cholesterol went down to about 200. I thought it was terrific that I could still eat whatever I wanted even though I was told by my doctor that I should consider changing my diet. The doctor mentioned no specific foods to me, so I didn’t make many changes. I cut back on pizza a little bit.
Fifteen years later l was still on the same medicines, two statins and high blood pressure medication. I was still eating the same foods including chicken wings, deli meats, ham, turkey, cured meats like pastrami, fried chicken, bacon, burgers, steaks, pasta with cream sauces, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, all the tasty stuff. There really wasn’t anything I didn’t eat except maybe lima beans and I didn’t eat many fruits or vegetables. I could eat a block of cheese with no second thought. I grew up chowing on Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, Saltines and Kraft yellow mustard, as a favorite snack. I felt like the magic of the statin medicine that kept my cholesterol numbers in check allowed me a free pass to eat whatever I wanted.
For birthdays or special occasions my wife and I celebrated at the local high-end steak houses. I ordered a steak as big as I could eat with all the sides, asparagus drizzled with butter and lemon, mashed potatoes, as well as appetizers and dessert. The bigger and more expensive the animal protein the better. A big juicy steak was our reward, for the passage of time and the gathering of friends. One birthday, my wife and I went to the best burger place in town to feast on the perfect blend of ground beef, cooked medium rare with a side of fresh cut fries and bourbon to wash it down. We considered this the celebration of life.
I was still going to the gym, but had another malady, acid reflux almost every day. I was reading and hearing adverse articles about steroids and hormones in chicken and red meat, dangers of sliced deli meats, sugar, fat and salt, but the information didn’t register in my mind. I thought that poultry was a lean meat and wondered how can some sliced deli meats be harmful? Fast food was necessary because of the hectic, stressful, multi-tasking world we lived in and it made life fun and easy. I didn’t drink lots of soft drinks but did enjoy a diet cola as a daily treat. Food had found its way into every space that humans occupied. The danger in that completely eluded me.
I watched The Beautiful Truth one morning, which was about a boy who traveled the United States to find facts and information about healthy diets for a friend. Within the first few minutes of the documentary a statement was made that Dr. Max Gerson closed the pantry doors on cancer a long time ago, in 1928. The documentary explained in plain terms, how Dr. Max Gerson found a cure for many terminally ill cancer patients with a therapy he used to eliminate migraine headaches. The therapy also cured Skin Tuberculosis and other forms of Tuberculosis. Two main principles in his therapy were toxicity and deficiency. It was an inspirational documentary
My interest was piqued, and I proceeded to watch another documentary called Hungry for Change. The documentary disclosed how obese people lost hundreds of pounds turning to a plant-based diet and juicing. The two documentaries gave me an aha moment. The material seemed truthful and was very inspirational. I began to realize how our citizens have been desensitized with billions of dollars of marketing to eat calorie dense, nutritiously poor diets. This has created a lot of confusion about what’s healthy food and what’s not. We have also been exposed to environmental poisons, including pesticides, metals, food additives, and factory emissions that adversely affect our health. We have grown into a very sick population with very busy hospitals.
Soon after watching the two documentaries, I went out and bought a juicer. I started a juicing regimen with fresh organic vegetables including green apples, carrots, kale, oranges, celery, strawberries, and a wide variety of other greens and colorful vegetables. I had remarkable results in weight loss, eliminating acid reflux, getting off medications, as well as a boost in energy that lead me to run two marathons, the second of which I qualified for the Boston Marathon.
During the process of writing We Don’t Just Eat Lettuce, a cookbook-self-help book, in the summer of 2018 I began taking a course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). This is a year-long course and had a broader depth regarding health than just changing your food diet. The school and its founder, Dr. Joshua Rosenthal, have a unique approach to understanding real health. I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. My job is mentoring and supporting others to transition to a healthier life, both mentally and physically. In March of 2019 I started Envision Health and Wellness. I have walked the talk and now it’s time to help others.