“Arthritis, Substance Cravings & ADHD”


Growing up in my family, I was not allowed to show any feelings, except happiness. Eating and drinking were my ways to escape loneliness, emptiness and grief. My entire life I’ve struggled with compulsive overeating (at my highest weight I was 235 lbs.) Also, I began abusing alcohol at age 12 and later began abusing medications. I was diagnosed as having ADHD and dyslexia. I managed to make it through college with the help of many tutors, in spite of being expelled my freshman year for poor performance. I married my eating and drinking partner, and we continued the downward spiral of addiction through 23 years of marriage. Once I became conscious of my self-destructive path, I entered Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and the marriage ended. The only good to come from that union are my two wonderful children! I put down my last drink in 1980 and today I take no medications of any kind. I attribute my success of overcoming my addictions to AA, the 12-step program where my personal relationship with a Higher Power began. In later years I was stricken with crippling arthritis and ideosomatic hypersomnia (an inability to stay awake even while driving a car or teaching school). In 2006, my son, Tom Lindsley, offered to send me to the three-week Life Transformation Program at Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, and I jumped at the chance!
Each morning at Hippocrates Health Institute, I rose early to walk along winding paths and burbling brooks, soaking in the tropical splendor. I practiced Qigong and enjoyed invigorating shots of wheatgrass juice. I was able to eradicate my lifelong sugar, carbohydrate, alcohol and medication cravings by drinking only wheatgrass juice, green juices and water. Eating sprouts, leafy greens and other living, vegan foods was also a great help. Regularly exercising was a big part of my recovery, as well, and it filled me with vitality. Individual and group therapy released a lifetime of unexpressed tears and anger. At last I could sleep through the night without severe arthritic pains that were the result of an acidic diet. Amazingly, I discovered that I was able to concentrate and focus for hours at a time. I now believe that the neuro-psychologist’s diagnosis of ADHD was incorrect and that my behavior was due to my acidic, sugar-filled diet.
These miraculous life changes inspired me to take up the torch and implement Brian Clement’s words: “Heal Yourself and Heal the Planet.” I started what became the Dinner Speaker Series; having gourmet, raw vegan potlucks that also featured national and international speakers to help others learn about the living foods lifestyle.
Education requires more than a monthly meeting. The word “education” is derived from the Latin word “educare” meaning “to draw out.” “E” means “from” and “duco” means “to lead, conduct or guide.” Knowing that everyone possesses the healing power of life force within them and, with a background of 55 years of teaching and counseling, my goal is to help people release that healing force within them and to rebuild their immune system. To accomplish this, I took the nine week Health Educator’s Program at Hippocrates Health Institute in 2008 and, combined with my intimate knowledge of the 12 steps, I wrote the syllabus and curriculum for the 10-week (30-hour) course, “Life Force Energy – the Hippocrates Approach to Optimum Health.” I’ve been teaching the course four times a year ever since. Participants change their lives through yoga/meditation, hands-on food preparation, discussion of homework assignments in the manual and DVDs, weekly guest speakers and individual coaching between classes. For program details see: www.optimumhealthsolution.org/projects_hippocrateshealthinstitute.htm 
Upon graduation from the Hippocrates Health Institute Health Educators Program, I became Executive Director of the nonprofit, Optimum Health Solution. Our mission is to eliminate obesity, chronic disease and malnutrition, especially in children, through education and advocacy of healthful living. To fulfill this mission, Optimum Health for Kids (a 30-credit teacher course based on the Hippocrates Health Institute philosophy) was launched at the Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. With Excalibur’s donation of 5 dehydrators, 2nd graders created booklets on “How to make Awesome Apple Crisps” and 8th graders took part in a blind test proving that dehydrated potato chips were “more yummy” than the cafeteria or store-bought ones. Students felt energized from chewing on the wheatgrass and eating the sprouts they grew in the classroom. For more details about the program see www.optimumhealthsolution.org/kids.htm. This program has been financed by the proceeds of the Life Force Energy classes, our Dinner Speaker Series, the sale of health products, auctions and donations.
To more effectively change the lifestyle of children, I came to realize that the entire family needs to be educated. According to a recent study by the University of North Dakota, School of Nursing, “Obese parents have obese children. This warrants intervention.” Therefore, OHS is planning a research study of parents who are struggling with obesity who have a child in kindergarten or first grade who is also obese. OHS is offering a 10-week (30-hour) educational program for parents and will then work to further support families by conducting a monthly “Healthy Eating Family Club” for the kids. Parents need to be educated about healthy nutrition and healthy living in order to properly guide their children. Part of the education they receive addresses real life challenges such as how to keep the living food lifestyle going on a limited income. OHS plans to enlist:
1. A graduate student to do the statistical analysis and write up the study.
2. A medical facility to do pre and post blood tests along with a six-month follow-up.
3. Funding for the study and for Community Supported Agriculture shares of food for the families that can’t afford them.
If you wish to help, please email Betsy@OptimumHealthSolution.org
Thanks to the challenges I’ve had, and my recovery through the 12-Step AA and Hippocrates Health Institute programs, and with the help of a ‘Higher Power’, my life’s work is to help others to heal, and to heal the planet. I have been rewarded by seeing former students carry what they have learned forward and start to teach this course in their areas and help more healthy spirits, who I hope in turn will do the same. I am only one person in a long line of educators, from Ann Wigmore’s grandmother and the line of teachers from here, to the growing multi-use of health educators now in America, and we are helping each person get the knowledge to nourish their highest potential.
My spiritual beliefs permeate every aspect of my life today. This is reinforced by the Hippocrates Health Institute philosophy promoting a holistic approach to health and well-being, which encompasses the spiritual, emotional, mental health, nutrition, elimination and exercise. In summary, let me quote the Director of Hippocrates Health Institute, Brian Clement, “Never forget that one step and one person at a time brings us closer to the world that we are meant to live in.”
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