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We love the SOUTH! Part 3 of 3

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Jul 13, 2012

Sometimes we meet readers who are just pure inspiration to us all. We got a letter from Annette before we left for Atlanta, telling us about her parents in advance of them coming to our class in South Carolina.

Mel and Julie Lacock are 78 and 73, spry and healthy, and they’ve been eating a mostly plant-based, whole-foods diet, for almost as long as I’ve been alive. Mel reminds me of my own daddy, who is 69 and still runs 4 miles a day.

Here’s what Annette said about Mel and Julie (edited version):

“My parents are two of my heroes, for the health choices they made 42 years ago, the reason I’m so passionate about eating a plant-based diet for life. You share in your lectures that if the young mothers today will embrace a whole-foods, 60-80% raw diet, and teach their children the same, then there is hope for America’s health.

“My parents returned from a mission in Taiwan and learned from a naturopath about the raw food diet. They maintained that for a while, on a missionary’s budget, feeding three small children. Eventually they embraced more cooked food, but retained a high-raw lifestyle. They ‘made’ us eat healthy.

“They didn’t have the aid of the internet, libraries, or a popularized vegetarian movement. I realize now how tenacious my parents were to self-educate and thereby protect their own health and pass a wonderful example on to their children.

“They are living WITHOUT MEDICATION, eating a plant-based diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes and seeds from all over the world where they have lived.

“Two of their children have turned to the Standard American Diet, with exactly the effects you would predict. And my parents’ peers are dropping like flies and eating lots of medication—the contrast is stark.

“I have great health because my parents safeguarded it when I was young. I veered into the S.A.D. for a few years, but I returned and have never looked back.”

What a love letter! I got emotional when Annette sent it to me before we flew to Georgia. Then I met her lovely parents, and I found tears in my eyes again as I edited this condensed version of her tribute to them.

I hope my kids “get it” enough to write something like that, someday. Don’t you? Who needs it on a headstone! I want to read it on the GSG blog while I’m still living, hehe.

And Mel and Julie get to do that—read it on the GSG blog—because they’ve taken the path less traveled and changed the course of their daughter’s life.

If my grandmother were still with us, she and the Lacocks would be fast friends. I remember that when my grandmother learned that oxygen spells death for cancer, and that a raw plant-based diet has the power to starve it out, she became a little “out of balance” in life.

Very normal, of course, given her diagnosis and a doc telling her she was going to die. Most conversations with her were about food, and most people found her to be a little militant and dogmatic. She eventually balanced out, and returned to thinking about other things besides just food—but many of you know what I’m talking about here:

When your eyes are first opened, you’re astonished. You’re angry, even. You want to tell everyone. Then, you’re frustrated when almost no one listens. It may take years to find ways to talk about your lifestyle that more people are interested in, and will take at least baby steps towards it. They do it because of your example and patience. They never do it because you’re preachy, condescending, or strident.

Here’s a photo of me with Mel and Julie Lacock that they just emailed. I’m inspired by their long-time stamina and consistency in living the truth. That’s why they look so good. Kristin kept saying, “I can’t believe he’s 78!

Love to you all for being a part of this movement. I cannot do it without you. We continue to spend $0.00 on advertising, thanks to your spreading the love to people you care about. God willing, I’ll keep teaching the classes if you keep showing up with your friends and family who are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Posted in: Nutrition, Parenting, Reader Letters, Standard American Diet

6 thoughts on “We love the SOUTH! Part 3 of 3”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mel and Julie, what a great inspiration you both are. I only wish I started on this healthier path years ago like you but I’m glad I just plain started and it’s working!! I love hearing these stories and so glad to hear you have stuck with it and NO MEDICATIONS Yay to that one!! 🙂

  2. I would like to specifically give some help to those people who have been asking a lot about THYROID problems and specifically “DO I HAVE HYPOTHYROIDISM?” I am a chef and a Personal Chef by trade (see Hireachef.com ; The United States Personal Chef Association) and do all cooking from scratch, organic, from the garden etc. etc. When my middle daughter gained 30 pounds or more each year (she had a physical for varsity swimming participation,annually) and the Dr. said she must be eating too much unhealthy food, I started doing research (with my teeth clenched).

    Our family didn’t eat “that” way so I knew there was another problem. Her super thick hair started to fall out steadily and she had an irregular/non-existent period. She was tested for thyroid but because the test is so inaccurate, she tested “normal”. We have run the gauntlet of endocrinologists, doctors etc. and finally after listening to “Kevin Gianni” (The Renegade Health Show; who interviewed Robyn so I learned about her story), and heard about the Gerson Therapy… which I heard the “lost tapes” where Dr. Broda O. Barnes, MD spoke (Pioneer on Thyroid research since the early – mid 1900’s.

    The answers most of you seek are in book “Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness (ISBN 978-0-690-01029-9) and taking that even further, you could go right to http://www.type2hypothyroidism.com — and order “Hypothyroidism Type 2; The Epidemic by Mark Starr, MD. Dr. Starr has taken the work of Dr. Barnes and others even furthur in the fight for proper diagnosis.

    I have 3 daughters and they are all hypothyroid and taking Armour Thyroid (dessicated porcine thyroid). All you need is a good naturopath and if you are hypothyroid (under active thyroid gland) do not let your Dr. give you a synthetic thyroid. It may work in the beginning but will stop working or give you side effects. Get Dr Starr’s book. You can even get it from Amazon downloaded onto your Kindle etc. Hope this helps someone. It’s been years of research for me. Girls are getting healthy after 3 months now and their symptoms are disappearing one by one.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, thanks for blogging so beautifully about my super-hero parents! I wrote a small chapter about them, and you condensed it so poignantly. Thank you so very much for taking the time to do that. My heart swelled with pride to read about them! I have two daughters whose young lives have strong, healthy starts and permanent “inking” on them because of their Grandpa and Nana Lacock. Talk about changing the tide of the American Diet – one generation at time! They’ve started the ripple that is widening. I will be forever grateful!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, thanks for posting such a beautifully, well-written condensed version of the small “chapter” I sent you. 🙂 My two young daughters have permanent stamping on their health, because of the Grandpa and Nana started so many years ago. Talk about changing the American diet one ripple at time! The effect is widening. 🙂 I will be forever grateful for their tenacious and consistent example!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oops. Meant to say, “because of the ripple Grandpa and Nana started….”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Robyn, that was a wonderful post! What a great legacy Annette inherited! My girls are here visiting from out of state with my grandkids and all are products of the SAD…I’ve only been on the Green bandwagon for a little over a year. I’ve incorporated nearly all of the 12 Steps and have never felt better. I’m hoping that I can help them understand more about the power of food.

    Thanks for all that you do!

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