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Jason’s Sad Sick Story

In my youth, I was very sick. I was told countless times how my illness was ‘incurable’ and how I had ‘bad genes.’ Now, I am very well. Don’t buy into the cynical diagnosis that your only option is disease and drugs. Most modern diseases have nothing to do with genetics. You can change how your genes express themselves. You can change your health; you can feel better, lighter, healthier and more alive. You could add 40 happy years to your lifespan. You can live longer. You can transform your life and feel reborn. You can keep up with your children and grandchildren and play, play, play … The only questions are: do you want it bad enough, and are you willing to do what it takes?

photo of three orange fruits

Sick, sick, sick
I know what it is like to be sick, really sick. The kind of sick where you think you are going to die and just getting through the hour, or the day, is all you can focus on. When you get that sick it takes over your life. It means that everything you do goes through the ‘Can I do it?’ or ‘Will I be okay?’ filter, until you get to the point where you question your ability in almost all areas of your life. Your experience of being alive is dominated and limited by your sickness.

When you are sick to the point of it being a disability, you are busy trying to stop dying, rather than busy being alive. Your ability and potential is dulled, and the cost of the illness dominates your creativity, energy, expectations, experiences and choices. Everyone has some health issues, be they minor or all-encompassing, but when you are as healthy as you can be, then you have the ability to do anything.

Someone once said that people want more money, time or prestige. What I offer is more health. Being genuinely healthy is the single most important thing there is, as it gives you the freedom to be anything you want to be, to do anything to which you set your mind and to travel anywhere you want. To come from my level of sickness and medication to the health I have now shows what can be achieved through commitment and consistency to simple dietary changes. It also shows the incredible healing power of the human body. My experience with extreme poor health and my return to extreme good health has given me my focus in life, my passion (apart from my love of family, friends, fun, music, movies and mayhem!), and my calling.

“We blindly accepted that the Western way of life was better”
Dr Xu Guangwei, head of the Beijing-based China Anti-Cancer Association

My way is just one way
The process I propose is one way to get your health back. I do not profess for a moment that my way is the right way, or the only way. It is simply a choice. It has completely transformed my health, cured me and made a dramatic, positive difference for thousands of people I have worked with over the last nearly 30 years. The smallest changes to your daily routine can result in the most profound and powerful improvements to your health. This is where I can help. My aim is to educate, elucidate and inspire you to see foods for what they are: the immediate and most powerful solution to all your health issues. Foods are the single most influential factor in your energy levels, your skin, your vitality, your aging and your longevity. Charles Remington said, ‘Food is not the problem, food is the solution.’

So, how did I get started down this road? Well, let’s go way back to the year that The Beatles (The World’s Best Ever BandTM) launched an insignificant album called Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band …

My story
Everyone is weird once you get to know them, and I am certainly no exception. I was born by caesarean section, two months premature, as my mother had developed toxemia. I was a very weak and sick little boy. The policy in those days was to leave all smaller babies at hospital until they weighed at least six pounds (which in my case, took six weeks), so my mum would express milk every day and Dad would drive it to the hospital for me. When they took me home I was still so small Mum and Dad wrapped me in a shopping basket designed to carry two pounds of butter. I developed asthma and many other health problems and this continued until I changed my diet and lifestyle and cured myself in my mid-20s.

As a child and teenager I can clearly remember doctors telling me many times, ‘You are an asthmatic and you will be for life. The best thing we can offer is medication. You just have bad genes. Keep taking the drugs.’ I was given steroid injections, and a Ventolin inhaler and an Intal puffer, and told that I should take two puffs when I got an attack, every four hours as needed. One clever doctor told me not to drink cow’s milk when I was having an attack. This was the only good advice I ever received. Years later, when learning about asthma, I discovered that the chest is one of the last parts of the human body that develops fully in the womb, during the eighth and ninth months, both of which I missed when I arrived into this world early.

Funny that.

Still sick

At age 18, I woke up one morning, after one too many all-night drinking sessions with my two oldest friends Dave and Kerry, crawled out of bed and stumbled on to the bus to work. As the bus moved and swayed, I couldn’t hold back. I vomited all over the bus floor, Kerry watching in hysterics. This was a low point for me. That day, I realised that I actually never enjoyed the drinking. It made me bloated, and I always suffered badly the next day.

I was drinking and doing drugs (dope) because everyone else was. I was an insecure ‘sheeple.’ I gave up drink and drugs on the spot. It’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. Three years later I was still getting colds, flu and coughs every year. I would be in bed for up to a week at a time, coughing, nose dribbling and feeling foul all over. I also had long term lower back pain, which used to throb and would leave me in tears because of the long, deep aching that went on and on. It was always in the background, even when the acute pain died down.

Asthma is as scary as hell

I was still a bad asthmatic. Asthma is the most frightening and debilitating thing that I have ever experienced. Generally, whenever you hurt yourself or you are in pain, you know that you will be okay. However, asthma attacks you at the core as it is your breath that is taken away. I couldn’t count the times that, in the middle of the night, I would cry in despair, praying for sleep, but I was unable to lie down for fear of not breathing and dying. Panic would set in and the overwhelming fear was that I might die if I didn’t get any more air into my lungs.

When you lose your breath, the best thing to do is to calm down and relax, but of course when you can’t seem to get enough air, the opposite happens. You become stressed and upset and sometimes, particularly in children, you start to cry, which limits your air intake even further. It is a devastating, terrifying and humbling experience. I genuinely thought I might die many, many times during those long dark nights of breathlessness. All my concentration was focused on getting air into my lungs; just breathing, just breathing, just breathing …

Hitting a crossroads

The asthma was stifling my life and stopping me from living fully in so many ways. I was taking 16 shots of Ventolin most days for many years. I had also developed bad skin and had pimples and bumps all over my face and body, with seemingly no rhyme nor reason. No amount of medical potions or creams ever worked to get rid of them. To add to all this I suffered from bad hay fever, oily skin, poor digestion, bloating, long term constipation, fatigue, tiredness, and I was fat. At one stage my weight ballooned to a chubby 80 kg for a man of my stature (I now weigh a lean and healthy 70 kg, as I did when I was a teenager).

To be blunt, I was a mess. My girlfriend at the time was studying to become a naturopath (a natural medical practitioner). She looked me in the face one day in a moment of brutal honesty, and said, ‘You are pathetic. You take drugs all the time for your sickness and yet you do nothing about it. Why don’t you try something different? Take some responsibility; change your life and stop eating all that crap food. You are not going to be an effective father if you are sick all the time. Stop the complaining and the drug taking and get to the real cause of the problems instead: your diet.’

What? I thought my sickness was just ‘genetics’ or ‘bad luck’?

As you can imagine, I was highly insulted and took them rather badly and personally. There was no connection between my diet and my sickness! Or any illness for that matter! At least, no one had ever told me that before. I thought that food was just fuel for the body (the TV adverts had always told me to ‘eat meat for iron and protein’ and to ‘drink cow’s milk every day to get strong bones’). And yet, after sitting on my bed sulking in the darkness for a few hours, I got over myself and realised something. I did want to cure my asthma and my health problems. I did want more energy, vitality and strength. I wanted to feel young, alive and 100% free of illness. I wanted to be fit, healthy, and energetic. I wanted to be free from pain, to feel happy and to be able to breathe and run around with my kids until they were old enough to have their own kids. And then some.

I wanted a better life and I wanted to be in Full. Control. Of. It.

I wanted to rid myself of the sickness that was dominating my life.

The ‘aha’ moment…

It dawned on me that as much as I hadn’t enjoyed it, what my girlfriend had pointed out was quite simply the truth. I knew nothing about the link between food and illness. This was a powerful turning point for me. I had to admit that I had no idea of what to do and that the medical establishment I had been relying on for years could not help me. I had to open my mind to different ways of thinking. Up until then I had been doing nothing. I had ceded my power and personal responsibility to doctors who told me I was ‘incurable’ and it was just ‘bad luck in the gene pool.’ I realised that I had to ask for help in different places and I had to start ‘unlearning all that I had learnt,’ as the great Yoda said.

The best fruit is always the hardest to pick, so I took responsibility for my health and opened my mind to new ideas. I became focused on curing my body of all illness. I was willing to do whatever it took. Initially, the questions I started asking and the answers I got went against my thinking in so many ways. I had been told that my genes were prone to asthma and disease and that all I could do was take the medicine prescribed. This, I learned, is called ‘The Local Theory of Disease’. This theory suggests that illness is caused by a single agent acting at a single site in the body (then you treat the single agent with drugs). The very first new thing I discovered was a completely different and more holistic view called ‘The Constitutional Nature of Disease’. This theory maintains that illness and disease are the result of multiple systems throughout the body breaking down. I was inspired by the notion that if I followed this line of thinking it meant I could potentially rebuild my body from scratch and cure my illnesses; something I have subsequently achieved.

Asking for help

I went to a naturopath who suggested swimming, as it was good for training the breathing process. Swimming was very helpful. I also read Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life. Louise wrote that the asthma colour was yellow, so I dyed all my clothes and shoes yellow and only wore yellow for six months. Did wearing yellow help? I have no idea, but it certainly made lots of people laugh (particularly my bestest ever friend Robert) at my bad taste yellow outfits, which is a good thing I guess … The point I make here is that I was willing to change, willing to do the work to get well, and willing to admit I knew NOTHING about what was required to make and maintain these changes. I had zero knowledge about nutrition or how the body worked. However, I didn’t care about what I had to do, just as long as I got to reclaim my health and my life.

Study, learn, research, CHANGE

I studied. I studied hard. Food, diet, fasting, exercise, flexibility, calories, acid versus alkaline, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, how the body works, traditional diets, the bowels, vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, meat and dairy products, the internal organs, intolerances, food ingredients, additives … the list went on and on. What became very clear to me was that if I really wanted to get well, to get to a level of super-health, then I was going to have to change my behaviour.

One of the hardest things for a human being to do is to change and then remain consistent with that change. Change does not always happen as we envision it, and it can be very hard to adjust to it. This is why I have written so many articles (and will continue to), on change. The big shift in thinking for me came when I realised that the pain of remaining the same was greater than the pain of changing. The pain of having no energy, no breath, regular back pain, cold sores, constipation and bad skin was bad enough for me to change my life. Change, I discovered, was internal.

I was learning at an astronomical rate and I slowly started making progress with my health. Step by step, I learned little gems that gave me instant benefits. I went to seminars. I asked healthy people for advice about what they did. I tried different eating regimes such as macrobiotic, vegan, fasting, raw foods and elimination diets, and I found golden rules in each. I devoured books. Over six years, a miracle happened. I cured my body and totally transformed my health and my life.

Was it easy?

No, it wasn’t, but it was worth it.

This website and my health education is dedicated to passing on all that I have learned, to make a difference to whomever I can.

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