Next, back in town, I went to the University library at my alma mater, Southeastern Louisiana University, from which I had graduated with a degree in Fine Art a year earlier. I perused the shelves, not really knowing what I was looking for. I remember so much of this experience, except, alas, the name of the ancient volume I found. I saw beautiful, old, black and white pictures of cows grazing in fields of grass. I read what I assumed was true, that it took hundreds of acres more land to raise a pound of meat than to grow a pound of vegetables. I must have read more about vegetarianism because I left there declaring that I would never eat meat again!
Over the next 20 years, I did not eat meat. I had years of veganism, back and forth with stints of ovo-lacto vegetarianism. I raised my kids on the vegetarian, health food store, lifestyle. I created fun, family recipes, just no meat. Lots of tofu, soy, etc.
Aimee was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and moved around a great deal with her family during her early years. Her family settled in Metairie, Louisiana, when Aimee was 7 and remained their throughout her high school and college years. As a child, Aimee had numerous medical issues, culminating in a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16. This condition has driven Aimee to pursue the natural healing arts throughout her life as she seeks a way to heal her condition and help others do the same. While rearing and home-schooling three wonderful children, and posing as the model in the many figure paintings of Dennis, Aimee has stayed true to her commitment to healing Type 1. In 2007, as a raw foodie, Aimee founded Aimee’s Livin’ Magic, a raw, organic, gluten-free snack and chocolate company. Following a remarkable period of success, Aimee closed the business in late 2012 in order to dedicate her energies to pursuing her healing path.
The following is background about Aimee and her healing journey:
First of all, I’ll remind you, I spent many years as an ethical and health promoting vegetarian. In 1976, when I was 22, two things happened that changed my life. During my first marriage, my ex was a hunter, as in deer. We had a freezer full of paper wrapped deer meat and the electricity went off for several days after a hurricane in deep south Louisiana. By the time we got there, a family “farm” where my ex and his friends hunted, the white packages of deer meat were swimming in an ocean of blood! Gross, right? Yuk! I questioned: Blood? Really? Suddenly the idea of eating meat seemed quite cannibalistic!
By 1996, I was sick, but that’s another story. But the shortened form is: I had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, in 1971. And in the same year that I stopped eating meat, through my reading and research, I began to believe that the body is able to heal from any condition, including type 1 diabetes. By 1996, I was suffering with several health issues, most of which were caused from uncontrolled high blood sugars. I ultimately found Dr. Richard Bernstein and his book Diabetes Solution. Dr. Bernstein introduced me to multiple injections of insulin a day and very low carbohydrate. This meant my diet needed to change. Vegetarian diets are very high in carbohydrates and these carbs were making me sick.
I started Bernstein’s plan: no more than 30 grams of carbs a day, adding chicken, turkey, fish, tuna fish, eggs, more tofu, more soy hotdogs, cottage cheese, etc. My health issues magically disappeared. I was a healthy type 1 diabetic! I stayed on this plan for the next 7 years, but I never forgot or lost hope of healing the type 1 diabetes. Then, in 2003, I heard about a kid who, after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, his mother put him on a Raw Food Diet and he healed and never had to take insulin injections. So, overnight I went on the raw food diet. And this I did with a fervor for the next 7 years. I fasted, did colonics, cleansed, ate as low carb as I could, hoping I would heal and be able to discontinue giving myself insulin injections.
During Raw Food, friends around me began changing their diets dramatically. Then, Denny, my husband, who was also a Raw Foodist, started having tooth aches, basically his teeth were starting to rot. He didn’t want to go to a dentist because he felt it was the fault of the dentist, and dental procedures that his teeth were rotting. And since I believed your body could heal any condition, couldn’t it heal teeth. Aren’t they part of your body? So, of course I googled, “cure tooth decay.” A book, Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel came up, so I ordered it right away. The author encouraged a diet including liver, raw eggs, raw dairy, raw cream…. A lot of the same foods that my former Raw Food friends were now including in their diet. Denny started right away and he saved his teeth. My daughter, who had started adding local farm animal foods in her former raw food diet, encouraged me to try these changes for just a month, 30 days, and if I didn’t like it, go back to being a Raw Foodist.
I saw people among these former raw foodists, including my 20-something daughter become stronger, more energetic and happier. I know I’ve written about this before, but my experience was that I also felt so nourished, more than ever before. And even though I didn’t feel bad on the raw food diet, I couldn’t deny that I felt amazingly nourished with these new additions to my diet.
I dove right in, researching eating local foods. I read numerous books, namely: The Vegetarian Myth, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Animal, Vegetable Miracle, Omnivore’s Dilemma, Primal Body-Primal Mind, Deep Nutrition, and Nourishing Traditions. I still recommend these titles and you can click on these links to purchase them on our Amazon button. I started buying meat directly from local farmers and learned that animal fat was so important to indigenous peoples. I remain on this path today, constantly researching and experimenting. I’ve become especially interested ancestral cultures, their diets, lifestyles, and the overall robust health these cultures enjoyed as well as the impact on the generations over time.