I am going to begin this Health Tip by taking us on a journey I personally have traveled. I went from believing that there was no need for supplements if one was on God’s Genesis 1:29 diet to believing that in the day in which we live, supplements are an important addition to that diet if one wishes to obtain and/or maintain a healthy and strong body. My journey began in 1976 when I was diagnosed with colon cancer. My knowledge of nutrition at that time was zero – if it tasted good, I ate it. I had absolutely no understanding that what I was eating could be the cause of my cancer and almost every other physical problem I had previously experienced in my 42 years of life. My cancer initiated a learning experience that has continued to this very day – more than 36 years later. But the knowledge I possess today concerning nutrition did not come by way of university training in order to become a so-called expert in the field. The knowledge I possess today came by way of what is often called “the school of personal experiences,”. Bible teachings, the experiences of thousands of others, revelations of true scientific research, and the advice of those who had university training. I believe that what I have learned from such varied sources has produced more dependable and accurate knowledge than anyone could obtain from solely a classroom experience. My learning experience regarding nutrition began in 1976. At that time, I refused medical treatment for colon cancer because of the horrible experience my own mother went through. She had opted for the medical route before me for her colon cancer...and died. I went looking for an alternative to the medical route treatments I felt had caused my mother’s death.
Enter Evangelist Lester RoloffThat search for an alternative treatment led me to an evangelist in Texas by the name of Lester Roloff. Brother Roloff was not an expert in nutrition, nor was he a medical doctor. Rather, he was a preacher who for years had been encouraging Christians, especially preachers, to change their diets in order to obtain wellness. Sadly his efforts in this area were not appreciated by most. Before my own diagnosis, I shared the view of most preachers that Brother Roloff was extreme in what he was advocating. But my cancer diagnosis scared me enough to listen to Brother Roloff when he discouraged me from going the medical route with my disease and encouraged me to change what I ate if I wanted to get well. Brother Roloff’s counsel encouraged me to adopt the diet God had told Adam to eat in Genesis 1:29; a diet comprised of 100% raw, plant-sourced foods, the foods God had created and placed in the Garden of Eden to sustain Adam. Brother Roloff also encouraged me to drink lots of freshly extracted vegetable juices. I heeded Brother Roloff’s advice and overnight made a total change in what I ate. Gone were all animal-source foods, all refined sugar, and all refined grains, including white flour. At his recommendation, I didn’t even cook the foods he told me I should eat. Gone was almost every food I had been eating for the previous 42 years of my life; the foods he said had caused not only my cancer, but almost all previous physical problems, as well. The physical changes I experienced following that diet change were almost immediate and unbelievable. Within weeks my rectal bleeding had stopped, and within a year my baseball-sized tumor had disappeared without any help from a doctor. But those weren’t the only changes I experienced. My allergies disappeared, my high blood pressure normalized, my pimples disappeared, and my energy soared. Prior to this experience I had become a Christian at a Billy Graham Crusade Rally in Madison Square Garden on May 29, 1957. I had gone to school for four years to prepare for the ministry and then pastored various churches for nearly 20 years. I was a trained preacher, not a trained nutritionist. It was a Bible verse and my changed diet experience at the advice of Brother Roloff that became my introduction into the field of healthy eating. In Genesis 1:29, the Bible verse that Brother Roloff had introduced me, God had told Adam what to eat. I believed that through His instructions to Adam, God was telling me how the body should be nourished. I surmised that if God had said that is what Adam should eat to properly nourish his body, it must be what God intended me to eat also...as well as all the rest of God’s human creation.
Hallelujah Acres is BornBecause of my personal healing experiences, what I had learned from the Bible and what I had learned listening to the testimonies of others who had experienced physical healing following a change to a plant-based diet, I was convinced that others could also obtain healing of their physical problems by making the simple diet change I had made. Nothing more was needed. When Hallelujah Acres had its beginning in 1992, I believed if someone wanted to obtain wellness from a physical problem, all one had to do was do was what I had done – adopt God’s original Genesis 1:29 diet and drink lots of vegetable juices. Do that and healing would take place. Healing had been the true experience for most who adopted what we began calling The Hallelujah Diet. Most were healed, but not all. While enjoying some improvement in their health, some Hallelujah Diet followers did not experience complete healing. This made me realize that I needed more information beyond my personal experiences and limited knowledge regarding nutrition. That realization is the reason I asked Michael Donaldson, a Cornell University trained PhD, to join me in 1998 in order to scientifically evaluate and validate The Hallelujah Diet. He role would be to ensure that what I was teaching was accurate and that there were no nutritional weaknesses in The Hallelujah Diet. It was vital that we got it right because lives depended on it. As well as myself, Olin Idol, who had joined our team at Hallelujah Acres and became my personal assistant in 1995, also had a desire for more knowledge in the field of nutrition. His reason for more knowledge came as a result of handling the majority of my personal correspondence and telephone calls. In an effort to answer all the nutritional questions people were asking, Olin needed more knowledge, and so he earned two degrees in the field of nutrition. Responding to all the questions also put him in contact with thousands of people around the world who were dealing with physical problems, and these contacts helped him learn what worked and what did not work in the restoring of the physical body to wellness. So now I had a team trained in nutrition to advise me in this area. That team continued their search for the truth, and it didn’t matter where that search for truth led. And as it turned out, our search for the truth did not follow the traditional route most nutritionists travel.
Most University-Trained Nutritionists Are in the DarkMost nutritionists base their beliefs and teachings on pre-established dogma taught by the degreed experts in the universities. Our search was quite different. We were not interested in what experts said were the nutritional needs of the body. Rather we based our teachings on the Word of God, diet changes we saw that brought healing to the body, and what diets we saw that caused the physical problems people were experiencing. What we saw was that individuals who ate the diet recommended by the American Dietetic Association, the so-called experts of our day, experienced heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, acid stomach, and heartburn... and the list went on and on. Surely the “experts” were in total darkness regarding the nutritional needs of the body. Our basic criteria was to find the cause of the physical problems people were experiencing, and once we determined the cause, we searched for the nutritional changes that needed to be made in order to bring healing results. The Bible says, “That the curse causeless shall not come.” (Proverbs 16:2) Clearly the Bible was telling us us that without a cause, sickness will not come! We also came to understand that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. (Galatians 6:7) We learned that every physical problem has a cause, We knew that the body was self-healing, but we learned that in order for the body to heal, the cause must first be determined and then eliminated, followed by providing the body with the nutrients it needed to restore health. We learned that few will ever get well and remain well, no matter how many drugs they take or how many doctor visits they make if they continue to consume a toxic diet and fail to exercise. No one will ever get well if their diet and lifestyle are not changed to a healthy nutritionally dense diet and an active lifestyle. Our research revealed that almost every physical problem a person experiences was caused by “wrong diet and lifestyle”. The Standard American Diet is deadly and failure to exercise compounds the problem. And sadly, in the society in which we live today, our medical and nutritional experts do not deal with causes, but rather only with symptoms. So our research here at Hallelujah Acres led us in a totally different direction than the traditional approach and previously held beliefs and dogma. And while our unconventional approach did generate some criticism, we did not let that deter us. We wanted to know the truth no matter what. We were more concerned about people having the best information possible so that they could obtain the very best healing results possible no matter what criticism that might bring our way or what previously held beliefs we had to challenge. Any dead fish can float down stream, but it takes guts to go against the current.
Supplements Became Increasingly ImportantIn recent Health Tips, I have shared the reasons we were led to encourage nutritional supplementation for those following The Hallelujah Diet: Vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, and Vitamin D3. We had learned that all three of these nutrients were missing or dangerously lacking in the average diet, whether a person was on The Hallelujah Diet or the SAD diet. We also learned that these nutrients contributed to significant improvements in the body when people added them to their daily nutritional intake in supplement form. In this Health Tip, we are introducing another supplement – a nutrient most people are seriously deficient in – and a lack of which can have serious, if not dire consequences. That supplement is iodine.
IodineOlin had so many people reporting thyroid problems in his thousands of contacts that we asked Michael Donaldson, Hallelujah Acres Research Director, to see what he could learn about the cause of these problems and how they might possibly be remedied. Following is some of what his research revealed about our need for this vital nutrient:
- Iodine is essential for normal growth and development. Seventy to eighty percent of iodine is stored in the thyroid gland in the neck, while the rest is distributed throughout the body, particularly in the ovaries, muscles, and blood.
- Women need iodine for healthy breast tissue. Lack of iodine in the breasts manifests as fibrocystic breast disease and ultimately breast cancer. Some 93% of American women have fibrocystic breast disease and the longer the deficiency persists the higher the risk of breast cancer.
- Women need iodine for healthy ovaries. Russian studies (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12107894 ) show a relationship between iodine deficiency and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. The greater the iodine deficiency, the more ovarian cysts a woman produces.
- Women need iodine for healthy pregnancies. Iodine deficiency can also manifest in miscarriages, low birth weight, or immature babies.
- Men need iodine to prevent prostate problems. Iodine helps protect against prostate enlargement, cancer, or both.
- Iodine deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the United States. Very low iodine levels in the thyroid end up as a thyroid goiter (enlarged thyroid).
- Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) and an enlarged thyroid gland. Some people with hypothyroidism develop an extremely large thyroid, known as a goiter.
- Iodine deficiency can impair physical and mental development.
- Iodine is a trace mineral that must be ingested. Iodine cannot be produced by the body. If the body is to have adequate iodine, it must be introduced into the body from an outside source.
- We cannot obtain adequate iodine from the foods we consume. In days past, people obtained most of their iodine from iodized salt (salt that has had iodine added to it). However, in light of the knowledge that salt raises blood pressure, salt consumption was reduced significantly
- Iodine cannot be stored in the body. No organ, other than the thyroid, can store a significant quantity of iodine.