Woman finds tangible health benefits from uncooked foods
By Jeanne Millsap For The Herald-News November 1, 2011 6:16PM
Joliet resident Linda Hodges has switched to a diet of raw foods and has seen numerous health benefits, including an end to sciatica pain. She also lost 30 pounds | Sun-Times media file photo
2 very ripe avocados
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 tbsp yellow onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
kernels from one ear raw organic corn
2 tsp fresh lime juice
6-8 large romaine lettuce leaves
In a medium sized bowl, mash the avocado. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of this mixture onto lettuce leaves and wrap.
beet with greens
5-6 leaves of Romaine or other leaf lettuce
3-4 leaves of spinach
Scrub and peel the carrots. Clean and cut beet into slender wedges, and wash & dry lettuce and spinach leaves. Juice half of the carrots and the beet, then you may use the remaining carrots to help push the lettuce and spinach through the juicer. Drink.
Updated: December 3, 2011 8:12AM
JOLIET — Linda Hodges of Joliet said she got to where she could hardly make her bed in the morning for the burning sciatica pain in her hip and shooting down her leg. The pain had gradually worsened to a point where she knew she had to do something or lose her mobility completely.
Her husband passed along a suggestion from a friend to try an out-of-state, live-in health institute that had done the friend a lot of good. The center’s treatment was “raw living foods.” It was better than surgery, Hodges thought, and she gave it a try.
Surprisingly, Hodges found a diet of natural vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and sprouts was not as bad as she thought. After only one night there, she asked her husband if it would be alright to extend her two-week stay to a four-week one.
“Our dinner that first night was salmon pate stuffed with red peppers,” she said. “The food was delicious. After four days of eating living raw foods and exercising on a mini-trampoline, my sciatica was gone, and I went out and went walking four miles. Before that, I couldn’t even walk across my house.”
It was getting her diet back to nature, she said, and providing her body with what it needed instead of what was easiest that did the trick.
She was apprehensive about the change before she booked the trip, but she said God told her through prayers that it was necessary.
“I knew if I went,” she said, “I was going to be healed and I was going to lose weight.”
And she did. Hodges felt better within three days and in the end, dropped 30 pounds.
Raw foods, she explained, are non-meat food items from nature that are not cooked to a high temperature. “Living” raw foods are eaten as soon as they are taken from the ground or off the tree, before nutrients are lost.
She learned to especially appreciate the nutrition of sprouts and grows them today at her home.
Her husband was supportive of her new diet plans for the family when she came home, but she said her three youngest children — she has 10, but only the youngest three still live at home — were not quite as happy.
“They said, ‘Mommy, please don’t make us eat it,’” she said with a laugh. “’Mommy, what’s in it? Mommy, what’s in the energy soup?’ I asked them, ‘Did you ever ask me what was in your chips and gum and McDonald’s? Don’t ask me what’s in it. It’s just good for you.’”
By the third day of including her energy soup in their diets, the whole family felt good, she said.
“It’s amazing,” she said of the transformation in her own health. “I don’t even crave all that other stuff anymore. We crave stuff because we are malnourished. When our cells get what they really need, you’re not hungry.”
‘A little nutrition’
Typical meals Hodges has are her energy soup for breakfast or some raw oatmeal soaked overnight and blended with some raw applesauce and apricots. Her husband, who likes his a little sweeter, might add some dates, raisins, maple syrup, or honey.
She will include three items in each of her three daily meals — energy soup, homemade sauerkraut and flax cream. She might add a big salad at lunch. For dinner, she might prepare “raw” spaghetti, which is really spiraled zucchini, with a raw marinara and a salad.
She makes tacos out of seeds and nuts that taste just like real tacos, she said, and stuffed mushrooms to die for. She makes salsa and peach cobbler and lemon pie, all from nature’s bounty and all raw.
Eating sprouts is huge in the movement, she said, and includes broccoli sprouts, mung bean sprouts, red clover and alfalfa sprouts.
For those who don’t want a drastic change, Hodges recommends just adding one or two nutritious “raw” foods to their diets each day, such as a green juice, which she says is no more than blending together some water, a handful of sprouts you can buy at local grocery stores, some fresh spinach and a banana.
“A little nutrition is better than none,” she said. “If you just try it, you’ll see what it’s doing for you. It doesn’t have to be a radical change.”
Hodges teaches classes in living raw diet, and the next one is this weekend. “Essentials for Optimal Health — Sprouting” is 10–11 a.m. Saturday at The Church of God, 1801 Maple Road. Call 815-280-5694 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to register.
Cost is $25 per person and $10 for wheat grass.