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Leann Forst | LeannForst.comWhen my son was 2, he was diagnosed with chronic asthma. He was sick every 3 weeks with an asthmatic condition that would continue for no less than 10 days. It was cyclical in the fact that if he hadn’t been sick for 3 weeks, I knew an attack was coming.

Doctor after doctor, and medication after medication, put me in a state of constant stress and anxiety to help my poor little boy who should be playing outside rather than suffering from this disease. The drive to help him and the determination to find a better alternative than constant medication led me to read health book after health book.

After I had read over 100 books – yes, I said 100 – it all started coming together. He had a low immune system and the food we were eating was making him sicker.

Before this experience, I can say that I was completely ignorant of how food affected health. I thought it was all about calories in and calories out…and that’s it. We were eating low fat and sugar-free everything. I was clueless of the fact that my immune system was damaged – evident by 4th stage endometriosis and multiple miscarriages – which is why my son was likely born with a lower immune system himself.

I didn’t realize how my food choices impacted my unborn child. I didn’t understand how antioxidants, nutrients and phytochemicals played a role to boost immunity and health. I wasn’t a good cook and my family lived on packaged, easy to fix meals and snacks. Enter SAD: the Standard American Diet.

After changing our food choices, increasing our nutrient intake, and decreasing the amount of SAD food that we were consuming, my son’s health recovered and so did mine. He is now asthma free and after 3 miscarriages, I carried a healthy pregnancy and had my beautiful little girl. Was it a God thing or a food thing? I think a little of both. But one thing is for sure, it was clear to me that food could either be our medicine or our poison

That was 8 years ago.

During this time, I made a huge career shift. I had paid a lot of money for my MBA and was trying to put it to good use in a high stress, sales management position. But during that time, I became so fascinated with food cures, using food as medicine and nutrition that I ended up leaving my high paying job in telecommunications and eventually decided to become a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.

While studying over 100 different dietary theories at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I learned about food allergies, gut health, brain health, using food as function, healing foods, bio-individuality and more. The message was clear. The Standard American Diet was a root cause of many diseases that Americans are facing today and the only way to turn around our dismal disease rates is to start with eating real food.

My first client: my husband with brain cancer.

3 weeks after graduating with my board certification in integrative nutrition, my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.  PPTID W.H.O. grade III, a very rare brain cancer, approximately .4 percent of all cancers in adults.  We found 2 surgeons in Texas that had experience with this tumor…each surgeon had operated on it one time in the last 20 years.  Because of this, successful treatment options and prognosis were unclear.  In short, we opted for surgery followed by radiation.   

After 4 brain surgeries, a myriad of complications, a month of cyber knife radiation, and a blast of gamma knife radiation, there was still a golf ball sized tumor remaining.  This was a long way from where we started, as the original tumor was the size of a large apricot.  The doctors said, “We have done all we can do for you” since the remaining tumor was sitting on a blood vessel and was inoperable.

The oncology radiologist said “The goal of the radiation was NOT to shrink the tumor, just to keep it from growing”, he went on to say “Clean living and good nutrition will go a long way” to boost the immune system to shrink the tumor. His wife was holistic.

We knew that as long as any of the tumor remained, there was a chance of it spreading, so my beer drinking, meat eating husband took this advice to heart and got busy.   And I’m happy to say that in September 2015, his MRI showed that the tumor had collapsed and the doctor said, “We can’t even call it a tumor anymore, it’s just debris from the tumor.  You can consider yourself cured and go on and live your life.”

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