A tribute to the late, great Paul Leatham

If you’ve heard me speak, you’ve likely heard me refer to Paul Leatham, one of the greatest influences of my life. Shortly before I spoke in San Diego last month, I got an email that he had passed away. He was 63 and died of lingering complications from a motorcycle accident.

When my first child was extremely ill and my own life was destroyed by caring for him, being up all night, and worrying, three people told me to go see Paul.   I have a strange pattern in my life of important things happening in three’s. So the third time, I moved heaven and earth to get to Paul Leatham’s lecture immediately and implement his counsel.

I listened with great skepticism. At that moment in my life, I was fully in the throes of administering drugs to my son for his problems, trusting the doctors, and embracing Pop Culture and its dietary excesses. I had a brand new master’s degree and thought I was kind of smart. I liked science and proof, and I disliked charlatans selling stuff and making big claims.

I was also desperate. Therefore my mind opened a crack. His lecture covered many unconventional topics, but I thought about the content for weeks and it made more and more sense.

Paul Leatham wasn’t even selling anything.

He’s the one who insisted we eat a 60-80% raw, 95%+ plant-based diet. That’s what I have done since I heard him speak 16 years ago until now. It has changed my life profoundly for the good. And his work has cascaded into influence on far more than just me and my kids.

He was a self-educated iridologist and told me things about my own health that rang true, just from examining a complex system of lesions and other evidence in the irises of my eyes that correspond to body systems and organs. Every single thing he said to me was true.

For instance, he said, looking at my irises through a microscope: “Your right ovary is very weak.” (He didn’t know it, but I had recently had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, wherein my right ovary basically exploded, and I nearly bled to death before a doctor cut me open and stopped the bleeding to save my life.  I would have been dead at 27 if it weren’t for a medical doctor.)

So yes, it’s fair to say my right ovary was very weak. There was only a piece of it left.

He taught me to nurture my adrenal glands, that were burned out from stress and sugar.

He reinforced my early-in-life lessons (from my grandmother’s and uncle’s cancer) that food can heal us. It can destroy us, too. But it can be profoundly powerful in putting us back together.

I will forever be indebted to Paul Leatham. I didn’t know him well, personally, just listened to his lectures several times and followed his program. I will spend the rest of my life trying to be one-tenth the teacher he was.

I have been praying for his family (wife Wendy and 9 children). May they be blessed because of the great work that Paul did.