By Meghan Telpner
Five years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a condition that is commonly believed to have no cure. I was given the options of surgery and medication for the rest of my life, still without the potential of a cure. My doctor told me that diet would have no effect and that I would have to learn to live with it.
Not one to play by the rules, I decided to create my own. I chose a natural route that included meditation, yoga, acupuncture, rest, and a diet comprised of whole, unprocessed foods. Within one month I was symptom free and remain so five years on. I have since become certified as a nutritionist and run a cooking school in downtown Toronto. I am firm on the fact that getting sick was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and getting well was the greatest adventure ever. This is what I learned healing from an incurable disease.
1. Take other opinions with a grain of salt. It is just an opinion and only our own opinions of ourselves and our current situation really matter. I received the opinion that I had an incurable disease and nothing I ate or did regarding my lifestyle would have an effect. I chose to trust my own opinion that this was not true. That has made all the difference.
2. Learn how to cook… really well. Prior to this experience I owned one cookbook called Help! My Apartment Has A Kitchen. Four years later, I own and operate a cooking school. I believed strongly, despite my doctor’s contradictory opinion, that a disease of the digestive tract would obviously be affected by what passed through it. It therefore became my mission to know exactly what I was eating and so I learned to cook from 100 percent whole ingredients. With all the processing happening in my own kitchen.
3. Yoga is more than twisting yourself into a pretzel. I used to be one of those before-work workout nut heads who rolled into the gym at 6:00 a.m., kicked my own bottom for an hour, and then raced off to work. When high-impact workouts were no longer an option, I turned to yoga. Yoga is a gazillion times harder than climbing a stair master or doing crunches until you want to puke—because it makes you actually look at yourself from the inside and realize some change has to happen.
4. Life may not always bring you sunshine and rainbows, but if you wait out the storm long enough, they always appear if you look for them. That’s all I have to say about that.
5. A cute outfit doesn’t mean much when you feel like total crappola. Great health makes you look (and feel) great—way more than high heels or manicured nails can.