Healing the Health Coach

“The price of this higher level of recovery is change—a change to a healthier lifestyle. For some it’s a fairly easy transition or extension of their current path, and for others it’s a strange and more difficult road. But if you take the changes one day at a time and allow yourself to be open to the newness of life, you’ll be greatly rewarded with a healthier, happier, and more energetic life.” – Mary P. Cheney and Dr. Joseph D. Beasley, M.D., “Food For Recovery” 25th Anniversary Edition

When I first told Dr. Beasley that the neurologist had confirmed my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “Darling sometimes I hate it when I am right. You know there is no cure, no medications, but that’s ok as I have a plan.” And boy did he.

He took on my diagnosis as his own personal challenge to get me well again. He called his doctor friends from around the world and he hit the medical journal stacks at the local medical university as back in the day there was no internet nor were there disease modifying medications for multiple sclerosis. But he had theories on multiple sclerosis and what to do to get me well again so we could do all the things together that we planned on.

He put me on his caveman diet, then the elimination diet and finally a rotation diet. He treated my “leaky gut” and put me on probiotics. He had me tested at Spectracell to check on my micronutrients and treated any deficiencies. He performed allergy testing (both blood testing and skin testing). He added omega 3’s and put me on his Physician’s Recovery Formula (which we called the Beasley’s bullets at his clinic). He sent me to physical therapy, yoga, and tai chi; and advised me to continue with my meditation and visualization practice. He had me clean up my environment with water filters and air purifiers in every room. I was eventually put on his whole foods “Food For Recovery” program which was tailored to my biological individuality. And in my spare time he and I set out to save the world by helping those in recovery from addictions.

Now I laugh as nearly every month a new study comes out showing that his theories were right and while we may not be able to cure multiple sclerosis yet, his theories on what I needed to do to live my life to the fullness were correct. Thats when I look up to the heavens with a smile and say, “Thank you Doc.” You see, Dr. Beasley was “a man before his time”.

Recently while attending the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA), I was introduced to Dr. Terry Wahls’ work and the Wahls Protocol. As a professional I was so excited to hear about her work and as person who also has multiple sclerosis, I was even more excited. I ordered her book, her cookbook, read her studies, then signed up on her website and joined the facebook group. I was making the commitment to give it a try.

I listened to every word of her webinar and I took notes. I felt like I was home again. Then at the end of the lecture Dr. Wahls said “no gluten, dairy, and eggs”. My first thoughts were “Crap what was I thinking?” My second thought was maybe there is a Wahls’ Protocol Lite?!

Don’t get me wrong I love trying new dietary theories and protocols. When I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), I would try whatever diet was the subject of that week’s module and my very patient husband never knew if dinner would be based on the following diets: Vegan, Paleo, Flexitarian, Pescatarian, Vegetarian, Dash, Mind, Nordic, Mediterranean, Ayurvedic, or Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc. and since at IIN we were taught over a 100 dietary theories, even lunch and breakfast was a surprise at times.

But you see while I did the caveman, elimination, and rotation diet with Dr. Beasley who believed that addressing food allergies with a person with multiple sclerosis was vital, I eventually was able to add everything back so the eliminations were only temporary. Now I eat a healthy whole foods diet (based on the “Food For Recovery” Program) which includes organic fruits, veggies, dairy, eggs, whole grains, meats, fish, and poultry; I exclude nothing except garlic and onions which I am allergic to.

Then I heard my favorite mantra in my head, “When you know better you do better”. Now that I know better would I do better for myself? Change is hard as the status quo is so comfortable even when you are trained to help others to make these same changes. This is why I like to say that even a Health Coach needs a Health Coach sometimes.

To Be Continued……

Health and Happiness,

Mary P. Cheney, C.H.C.

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Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Activist, Nana, Mom, Wife, Daughter & Foodie.

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