THE VIOLET HALL
I started on the least-traveled and bumpy road to wellness when I took a course in college called Hygiene. There was an article in one of the textbooks that we used entitled: "Science Has Spoiled My Supper." In that article the refinery processes that are done to the different foods we eat were explained. Take, for instance, bread. The white bread we eat is stripped of the germ, which contains the vitamins and minerals, and the bran, which contains the fiber, thus rendering it almost useless as a food item. Of course, refiners add synthetic vitamins and minerals to make up for the deficiency. If you take a whole loaf of white bread and squeeze it in your hand, in a short time, you would come up with only a small ball of white rubbery substance with hardly any nutrition or fiber in it. Someone came up with a slogan describing appropriately the refining process of bread: "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead."
I attended a health lecture one day, and one of the things the speaker, a nutritionist, said was that the corn flakes cereal you buy at a supermarket has the same nutrition as the box it came with. The reason for refining foods is to make them last longer on the shelves of supermarkets.
This was an eye opener to me, and I vowed right then and there that I would never eat white bread, white rice, white sugar or anything refined for that matter. But the problem was there were no whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour, brown rice, or any whole grain products (except for corn) sold in the supermarkets in Guam. There were no rice paddies and people with large triangular-shaped hats bending over planting and/or harvesting rice. Except for some fresh produce, most food items were imported. In Guam, it seemed everyone ate white rice and white bread. To make matters worse, there were no health stores to go to. So how did people get healthy when they didn't have healthy foods around?
Fortunately for me, I found out later that a local bakery did make whole wheat bread, but you had to make a special trip to the bakery on a certain day of the week to get them. They did not do deliveries of whole grain products to the supermarkets. Then I started to make my wishes for whole grain products known to supermarket managers.
Around this time, I subscribed to a health magazine called Prevention. I read this magazine from cover to cover every time I received it. Needless to say, I learned a lot of things about food and its role in the health of the human body. I learned about the value of yogurt with the acidophilous and other bacterial cultures in it. I found out that the cultures are highly beneficial in the intestinal track by providing a balance in the intestinal flora. They keep in check harmful pathogens like candida albicans. And, more importantly, they synthesize Vitamin B right there in the gut.
So, the next time I went to the supermarket, I loaded up the cart with yogurt, all kinds of flavor. I could hardly wait to get home and try one of the miracle and wonder foods I'd been reading about. I wanted my gut to be the healthiest gut in the world. I loved strawberry flavor so I would try it first. When I got home, I got me a spoon and tried my very first taste of yogurt. Yuck! I spat it out almost instantly. How could people eat such a horrible smelling food? It smelled like rotten milk!
But the words 'good for the gut...good for the gut' kept ringing in my ears. So I held my nostrils tight with one hand and with the other hand held a spoon of yogurt and ate it as memories flooded my mind of how, as a child, I was forced to take awful tasting caster oil and codliver oil in this fashion. Then, with the whole teaspoon of yogurt down the hatch, I willed myself, with all my might, not to throw up. I attempted to muster enough courage to eat another teaspoon of yogurt later.
I started eating yogurt a teaspoon at a time until I developed a taste for it. Once a taste for it was developed, I was hooked on yogurt. Years later, when my son was a baby, I supplemented nursing him with plain yogurt blended with all kinds of nutritious stuff from the health stores in San Diego. I even liquefied egg shells, yes, egg shells, in his formula for added calcium. I put lecithin in it as well. The baby's formula was so thick, you could slice it. The idea of adding egg shells and other nutritious stuff into the baby's formula was obtained from a book I had read that was written by a nutritionist named Adelle Davis. The only problem I encountered was when I had questions or concerns about the baby's formula, there was no phone number anywhere in the book to call her for advice. To make matters worse, when the baby got sick, and I had to take him to the doctor, the first thing he asked me was: "What have you been feeding him?"
One day I read about x-rays. The radiation from x-rays is not all that good for you, the article said. Now I knew why they post notices in x-ray offices for pregnant women not to have x-rays. It would negatively affect the fetus. Now, to my way of thinking, if x-rays could negatively affect a fetus, it could negatively affect certain parts of any body--pregnant or not. So I vowed to avoid x-rays like the plague.
One day in high school, the mobile x-ray unit came to our school, and all the students were required to get an x-ray. I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to get out of this one. I explained to my teacher the harmful effects of x-rays and that I chose to not get one. My teacher, however, didn't buy it, and she had one of the x-ray technicians talk to me. I was told that I would get only a small amount of radiation, not a whole lot to harm me. Still, I didn't want to get even a small amount of bad stuff in me. But the rules were rules, and if I wanted to continue in school, I needed to comply with the x-ray requirement. So reluctantly, I consented. The next thing I knew, I, the only one in the whole entire class, had to take another x-ray because the first one didn't turn out good. You couldn't win for losing, could you?
I came to work one day and noticed that one section of the old building where I worked was in the process of being renovated. They did not send out a notice or flyer that the place was to be renovated so I was totally surprised. They put up a clear plastic material from top to bottom to keep out the cement dust, wood dust, and hopefully keep out some of the noise as well. While the other employees didn't seem to mind, I was very leery about being there while the renovation was taking place. Red flags were waving wildly in my brain. I read somewhere that old buildings contain asbestos because they were built before the regulations against asbestos came out. I knew that asbestos were carcinogenic. I wasn't sure where the asbestos would be in an old building, but I knew they were there somewhere.
Also, I have always believed that asbestos are like sleeping pit bulls. They are better off left alone. You disturb them in their sleep and they wake up and bite you and tear you apart.
The next day I stayed home from work. I didn't want to face the awakened asbestos monster. I didn't want to breathe in asbestos. I called the Environmental Protection Agency and told them about the renovation of the old building at work. I told them that I would not go to work until I get the assurance from them that the place did not have asbestos. They assured me that they would investigate and would let me know.
Later, same day, I got a call that it was okay for me to go to work. They were no asbestos in the building.
Carrots are good for the eyes. I ate carrots and drank carrot juice like they were going out of style. I wanted healthy eyes. With a lot of carotene in me, I would never need to wear glasses ever again. Oh, that would be so wonderful. One day I took my father for his doctor's appointment. At the medical clinic, the doctor looked at me and instead of examining my father because he was the one with the appointment, he wanted to examine me first. He checked the insides of my eyes. They were okay. He thought that I had jaundice or something for I had actually turned orange from the carrot juice.
It seemed that I drank carrot juice till I turned orange, but my eyes were not any better. I still needed to wear my glasses. I couldn't figure it out. I would do anything in the world to keep from wearing my abominable glasses. Later as I gained more knowledge in the natural health arena, I found out WHY the carrot juice was not helping. My blood circulation was sluggish, and the nutrition from the carrot juice was not reaching its intended destination. My blood circulation needed to be improved. How? The natural health video said by taking cayenne peppers in powder form.
The instruction said to start out with a quarter of a teaspoon and work up to a whole teaspoon in time. Put the powder in hot water and drink it like tea. Take one cup in the morning and one at night. This supposedly would improve circulation and expedite blood flow and bring the much needed nutrition to the tired old eyes. Another thing that I needed to do was put a drop of cayenne pepper solution in each eye. This would not only improve the blood circulation in the eyes themselves but would clear up all the tear ducts. The blessed result of all this, the video promised, was that I would throw away my glasses because I would not need them any more.
That was exactly what I have always wanted to do all along--throw away my glasses. You know, I had this thing about glasses. I didn't like them. I didn't have a high bridge on my nose to hold it in place, so they kept falling off my face. When I was in the kitchen baking or making casseroles, I needed my glasses to see where I would place stuff in the oven especially when there were already other things in the oven. When I opened the door of the hot oven, the heat fogged up my glasses and I couldn't see anything. When I was sweaty I couldn't look down for they would fall right off my face. When they adjusted and tightened my glasses, it corrected the problem, but a new one developed. Now the frame was hurting me behind my ears. Also, my glasses were heavy on my nose, and they left marks when I took them off. My son told me to get a lighter quality of frames. The trouble was my current frame was way lighter than the frame I had previously. When I got accustomed to the lighter frame, in time, it started to feel heavy. Contact lenses? Forget it; I would not mess with contact lenses. Period.
I guess my abhorrence for wearing glasses outweighed my fear for taking the cayenne pepper treatment that I decided to take the treatment. I went to the health store and got me a bag of cayenne pepper powder and a small bottle of cayenne pepper tincture. I took the cayenne pepper tea in plain hot water. It was horrible; it was doubly hot--from the peppers and from the hot water. I cheated and modified the tea by using cold orange juice instead of hot water. The cold orange juice-cayenne pepper tea was now just 'singly' hot, but it was still horrible. I decided to doctor it a little bit by adding a teaspoon of honey. Still, the tea was horrible. More teaspoons of honey did not improve the flavor of the tea any or lessen the hotness of the cayenne peppers.
Would I dare put the cayenne pepper solution in my eyes? I already took the tea, so why not go a step further? I would do anything to get rid of my glasses. But, I needed to be very cautious about this and go very slowly. Hey, it's not every day that people put hot peppers in their eyes. The video said to put a drop of the solution in each eye. No way, would I put a whole drop all at once. I would go very, very easy. So, once again I cheated. I put one finger in the pepper solution and gently dabbed one eye with the finger and blinked several times as fast as I could to work the solution all over the eye. This stung so bad, I thought whoever came up with the idea of putting cayenne peppers in the eyes must be crazy and should be put away in an insane asylum. If one little dab stung so badly, how much more grief would one whole drop bring? I didn't think this cayenne pepper stuff was going to work at all. I looked at my glasses laying there on the counter. With the lavender floral design on the edges of the frame, I thought they looked just fine; in fact, I thought they looked beautiful.
I became a vegetarian back in Guam when nobody else in my family or in the community was. My family thought I was crazy, and they feared I would end up being sick instead of being healthy. I ate only fruits and vegetables. I pretended mushrooms were chunks of meat. I didn't know about tofu then, and they didn't have Morningstar products or other meat analogs in the grocery stores back then either. It was not easy being a vegetarian in a meat-eating world. I remember thinking that they should have a support group out there called vegetarian anonymous, like they do with alcoholic anonymous. The members would get together and encourage one another in the vegetarian life style. They would exchange recipes. (I didn't have any recipes for sumptuous vegetarian entrees back then.) They would have speakers come in to talk about items of interest in the health field. They would talk about the importance of having balanced meals with all the essential amino acids. Some amino acids are not produced by the body, and you would need to get these from the foods you eat, most of which come from animal sources. They would need to emphasize the importance of eating a combination of foods for certain foods complement each other to provide all the essential amino acids the body needs. There was no need to rely solely on animal sources to get all the essential amino acids for they could be obtained the vegetarian way. A lot of these facts about vegetarianism, I didn't know back then.
Greens are absolutely important. They provide calcium and other needed nutrients. So we ate everything green. Red spaghetti sauce was no longer red; it had some shades of green to it for spinach (my son hated spinach) had been blended well into it and camouflaged. Other vegetables (crooked-neck squashes, zucchini, eggplants, turnips, etc.) were equally detested, and they ended up in the blender, mixed with spaghetti sauce and poured over whole grain noodles. Sometimes we would have just plain old green spaghetti made with a bunch of parsley, vegetable oil, a clove of garlic, salt, and enough milk to give it the consistency of sauce.
Then I read a book about the importance of seaweeds. There are many radioactive isotopes that we somehow ingest into our system either from the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the foods we eat. One of these isotopes resembles the molecular structure of calcium, and when ingested into the system, the body treats it like calcium and directs it to the bones and teeth to wreak havoc there. According to the book, seaweeds have substances in them that would actually extract the harmful radioactive substances from the bones and teeth, chelate them, and direct them to the intestinal track where they are rendered harmless. Thus, the system eliminates them out of the body.
So, we started eating seaweeds and similar products. Being a vegetarian and losing all tastes for fish and fish-smelling food items, it was not easy. Instead of regular burritos, I had green burritos consisting of green sprouts and other green leafy vegetables, chopped fine and mixed with avocado, lemon juice, salt, and seasonings. This mixture was spread on a sheet of Nori seaweed and rolled up like a burrito. My son would not eat seaweeds this way, but I had him on kelp. While other children were relishing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, he was eating whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter sprinkled with granulated kelp. When Mike was little, he loved it. Now, he tells me: Mom, you fed me that?
Mike was raised a vegetarian, but, unfortunately, he didn't stay a vegetarian. When he reached the enchanting know-it-all years called teenage years, he wandered off the beaten path. He started eating hamburgers at McDonalds with some of his peers. However, he would not eat certain meats. One day, he and his date and her family went out to eat. I wasn't sure what Mike ordered, but the sister of his date ordered a lobster. Mike, in his whole entire life, had never seen a lobster on a platter on a table to be eaten. He watched the girl anxiously to see what she would do with it. At first he thought she was going to throw the horrid-looking creature away, for it really looked disgusting. It looked like something you would throw away or bury, not eat, but she didn't throw it away. Instead, she started tearing the poor thing apart, cracking its legs and just digging into it and eating it. He told me, "Mom, I was freaking out. I thought I was going to get sick."
We attended a very interesting and enlightening seminar on the importance of water, both to drink and to take baths with. Water does a lot for cleansing and healing of the body. The lecturer, at one point, mentioned that a cold bath does wonders for the body. The shock of the cold water on every single living cell in the body causes the cell to 'vibrate', and this action causes toxins to be released and excreted. These toxins would be eliminated by the body through the eliminative organs, the skin being the largest one.
Who would want toxins in their bodies? I wouldn't. So, we started a regimen of talking only cold baths. I would fill the bath tub with cold, cold water and dung in. If you tried to do it by splashing a little bit of water at a time until you got used to it or until you mustered enough courage to plunge in, it would be harder. The easiest way to do this, I found out, was just plunge in. After you got out of a cold, cold bath, (that is, if you survived it and not died) you felt like a new person. You felt invigorated and rejuvenated. You couldn't begin to describe the feeling of warmth and glow throughout your whole entire body. It was wonderful. It was worth all the trouble.
Did the cold bath regimen last long at our household? Unfortunately, No. There were a lot of protests and boycotts of baths by my then five-year old son. Personally, I still take hot/warm baths finishing off with short cold ones to close the pores of the skin. If my husband and I feel like we're coming down with something, we would alternate hot and cold baths/showers for a good 20 to 30 minutes. Usually, colds and flu are stopped in their tracks.
Then I learned about saunas--that they are really good for you. The heat from the sauna artificially induces a fever on the body thereby producing white corpuscles to help rid the body of germs and other invaders. My husband John and I were going regularly to the Jacksonville School of Massage to get in the sauna. After a while, we decided to purchase our very own. One of the guys who delivered and assembled the six-person sauna remarked: Who needs a sauna in Florida?
I have now grown more mature and wiser in my dealings with health issues. The road to wellness has smoothed out somewhat for me. I have tried to abide with the health principles laid down in the Word of God and be temperate in all things knowing that true temperance teaches me to dispense entirely with everything hurtful and to use judiciously that which is healthful.
Have you seen the light yet? If not, never mind... Here's to your good health and mine!