Life can fool you sometimes. Just when you think that you have it all figured out, you learn that you really don’t know much at all. That’s my story. I devised a way to beat the system…I played with my health and came out a winner! I ate everything I wanted to eat (fast food, junk food, fried food, sweets, dairy products) and managed to lose weight by purging and using laxatives. I didn’t take vitamins or supplements because they just didn’t seem necessary. I felt fine, so why bother? As a wife and mom with a bustling business, a hectic life and a crazy schedule, I thought that I had created a way to cut corners to save time and money, as well as calories. Instead of cooking well-balanced meals for my family, I ordered in, took out or drove through. The food was fast and cheap and yummy. Honestly, I thought that everything was OK as long as we ate something and the numbers on my scale were nice and low. Boy, was I wrong!
My husband Joe and I both grew up in Italian-American families. Food was a vital element of our culture and we learned to appreciate rich meat-based meals laced with lots of cheesy goodness. I was always “the fat kid” in my neighborhood, and quickly learned to play dangerous dieting games that I thought would enable me to lose weight while continuing to eat the foods I loved. Wrong…again! The vegetables I ate rarely came unscathed by some sort of sauce and the only fruit I nibbled was inside a pie and topped with whipped cream. Herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and alternative medical treatments were as foreign to me as proper nutrition. I walked on the wild side health-wise, and eventually paid a price higher than I ever dreamed I’d have to pay.
I developed serious physical symptoms that baffled my doctors and sent me into a whirlwind of hormone treatments, antibiotics, anti-asthma drugs, histamine-2 blockers, steroids, oral and nasal inhalers and rounds of tests that seemed never-ending. I stopped ovulating; I had no periods for 8 years. The skin on my hands became so brittle that my fingers bled and, occasionally, my nails fell off. My dark, thick hair thinned so noticeably that my hair became “see through.” I developed asthma and learned that I had allergies to numerous trees, molds, environmental agents…even my precious cats! Chronic throat infections were a serious liability for me; as a professional vocalist, I lived in constant fear that I would be unable to honor contractual appearances. Persistent “productive” (that’s medical code for disgusting) coughing caused to me to tear both of my vocal chords within two weeks of each other, forcing me into yet another regimen of antibiotics and steroids. The torn vocal chords were my wake up call; after all, Italians are skillful at talking with our hands, but I really needed my voice! Exhausted in body and fatigued in mind and spirit, I reached out to my medical “experts” for answers and received only different drugs. Although I didn’t understand at that point what was causing my many illnesses, I had a sense that the treatments I had been utilizing were touching the symptoms, but not the cause. Desperate for help, I decided to explore options that seemed strange to me at the time…but proved to be the answers to my fervent prayers.
Joe and I heard of a physician, a gastroenterologist, who treated illnesses with herbs, vitamin and mineral supplements, and a diet of “natural” foods, such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and fresh fruits. He explained to us the body’s need for nutrients that restore balance and vitality while supporting the immune system. These were completely unknown concepts to us, but Joe and I decided to heed the doctor’s advice. As we implemented the doctor’s recommendations, I began to see slow but certain changes in how I felt. I no longer was exhausted and soon found myself energetic for the first time in a long time. Each day held promise for me. I was able to lessen my dependence upon prescription drugs and, within a relatively short time, I completely stopped the use of all of my former prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Finally…I was well!
Our daughter AJ was 2 years old when we changed our approach to our family’s health. She agreed, with her sweet little girl’s heart, to put down the foods to which she had become accustomed and, instead, to pick up the “new” foods that Mommy was learning to prepare. I won’t kid you; adjusting to eating brown rice and tofu and remembering to take the daily supplements required a bit of patience and more than a little change of attitude, but all three of us gradually adjusted to our lifestyle and found the adventure thrilling! We read books about cooking, we visited a homeopath instead of our “regular” doctor, we consulted specialists in herbal and Chinese medicine, and we educated ourselves in methods to strengthen our immune systems in order to avoid the many preventable illnesses we had endured. During the years of working through my recovery, Joe and AJ also encountered certain significant health challenges and, each time, we were delighted to find effective treatment without the use of drugs and chemicals.
Now, 23 years later, Joe and I are 60 years old. AJ is 25. Our faith in the Lord’s provision for our bodies as well as for our souls keeps us committed to the use of medicines that spring from the earth He created for us. As a token of our gratitude for the splendid restoration of our health, Joe and I have chosen to become distributors of Nature’s Sunshine Products. We believe that these high-quality items, coupled with Nature’s Sunshine’s commitment to service and integrity, promote better health for families who strive to make the most of every precious day. The connection between the body and the soul is profound…nourish one, and the other will flourish, also!
Linda Luca, CNHP
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”
3 John 2