In a previous blog, My Sedona Vortex Moment, I wrote about my decision to make a lifestyle change by converting to a plant based diet in an effort to reverse, slow down or stop the progression of some neurological issues I am having. In November, 2015, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I say ‘diagnosed with’ vs. ‘I have PD’, as I don’t like to give energy to the thought that I may have an incurable, progressive disease. My belief is that my symptoms were brought on by my poor diet (I was a junk food vegetarian) and the highly chaotic and stressful life I was living in the years leading up to Steve’s death and the aftermath of his death. It would be no wonder that my body was out of balance from all the pressures and stress associated with what Steve was battling and what I had to deal with after he died.
My biggest concern in being true to this diet was whether or not I could give up cheese and sugar. Steve always thought I ate too much sugar and also felt that I ate too many dairy products. He knew I was addicted and I would always tell him that I didn’t think I could ever give up these foods even if my life depended on it. That was then, this is now.
The Sedona trip kick-started a major change in my eating habits; the true test would be whether I could maintain it when I got home. While in Sedona, for me, the first week was about breaking my physical addictions, coming home, my challenge would be breaking my emotional addiction to sugar and cheese. For the past few years, these were my comfort foods and my go-to’s when the going got tough. I am happy to say, it seems as though my taste buds have changed and it is like a switch was turned off with respect to my desire to eat sweets and cheese.
Now I realize, I am fighting for the quality of my life since my neurological symptoms are worsening. This has given me a steely resolve to make a conscious effort to continue this change in my eating habits. I am happy to say, I have been true to this diet for four weeks now (and I still have Taza dark chocolate in the house, but I am not tempted). Since it has taken me several years of a poor diet in getting to my current health crisis, I plan to give my new plant based diet several more months to evaluate its full effect. I am starting to actually like nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese and for the first time in my life, I am enjoying the sweetness of fruit and can now pass my favorite bakery without stopping in and buying some tasty treat.
As an added bonus from this trip, one of the doctors I consulted with while at the Sedona Immersion introduced me to the concept of amino acid therapy that he felt may help treat my neurological symptoms especially since traditional medications gave me horrific side effects.
I will continue my walking, yoga, meditation, occupational and physical therapy along with amino acid therapy and a plant based diet to attempt to put my body back in balance. Steve believed in holistic therapies and he tried so hard in the end to follow that path, but, I think for him, it may have been too late. In my case, I will stay the course to try to get my body back in balance. In the back of my mind, I can hear Steve repeating his favorite mantra; “The Beauty is in the Balance”
It is my hope, that someday, I will be able to attend a Sedona Plant Based Immersion as an example of what is possible by converting to a plant based diet and using alternative methods to combat my body ‘out of balance’ issues.