A couple of weeks ago, Meghan Telpner asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her new ebook, The Healthy Cookie: Unbaked. The book chronicles Meghan’s two year journey to health, beginning with a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and ending with a symptom free life.
Meghan studied nutrition at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition and now works as a certified nutritionist and holistic lifestyle consultant and runs her own wonderful blog, Making Love In The Kitchen. After 4 years of serious digestive issues, Meghan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and rather than follow the advice of her western doctors in Canada, Meghan chose a more holistic approach to healing. The Healthy Cookie: Unbaked is a blog Meghan posted to from the time of her diagnosis up until her graduation from nutrition school, and I was honored when she asked me to read her story, and an amazing story it is.
The book begins with Meghan’s illness and diagnosis, and even though she may have been born with the disease, Meghan comes to the conclusion that her lifestyle was not helping matters any:
I believe the appearance of the disease was the last attempt of my conscience to tell me I was on the wrong path. I knew it in my heart but when my body became so sick that I physically could not go to work, it became clear. It was only a matter of time, given the high stress course my life was on, that some sort of disease was going to make an appearance…
Meghan’s western doctors offer no advice other than drugs and perhaps surgery to remove the diseased area of Meghan’s colon. Other than that, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, and the symptoms can always come back. Ignoring their advice, Meghan instead chooses to fly to California for intensive acupuncture therapy. Eating a whole foods diet, practicing regular yoga and mediation (in a yurt!), and taking Chinese herbal remedies also contribute to her healing. 3 months later, Meghan returns to Canada symptom free to begin her studies towards her nutrition certification.
It is the changes Meghan makes in her life that bring an end to her Crohn’s disease symptoms rather than any drugs or surgeries. In reclaiming her own health, Meghan learns to take care of her body, filling it with nutritious food, plenty of movement as well as plenty of rest. There are long walks every morning, bicycle rides, and a discovered love of yoga. With all of these changes come quiet and calm. Disease thrives on stress and all the craziness that we create for ourselves, but if we take care of ourselves completely, taking into account that mind-body connection, almost anything is possible. Meghan is a prime example of this, and I think she sums it up best in her New Year’s un-resolution following her return to Canada from her treatments in California:
This year, for the first time, I am making absolutely no New Year’s resolutions. I plan only to continue living as I learned to do in California, and that is happily. I will continue being good to myself. I will eat when I am hungry. I will rest when I am tired and I will move when my body wants it…I will not feel guilty in the least for doing what my heart desires. And most of all, I will no fear or worry about the countless unknowns that lie ahead.
I began reading The Healthy Cookie: Unbaked expecting a step-by-step guide to healing Crohn’s disease symptoms, but it is so much more. Yes, eating a whole foods diet is important, but so is rest and living as stress-free as possible. Slow down my friends. Take an early morning walk or a long leisurely bike ride. Seek out the sunshine and rainbows of life. They may not always be visible, but we simply have to trust that they are waiting for us behind those grey clouds. Your mind and body will thank you. Right Meghan?
I highly recommend The Healthy Cookie: Unbaked to anyone that has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and for anyone else hoping to live a life free from disease and illness. I took so much away from Meghan’s story, but most importantly, I learned that I need to slow down and breathe…2 vital things in life that I often forget to do.
Meghan, thank you for sharing your story with us.