Nancy Mesko

IN HER OWN WORDS

I was raised on a dairy farm like Dr. Campbell and many others, so I grew up on a very rich diet of all the milk I wanted. We had 10,000 laying hens so I had access to as many eggs as I wanted too. And obviously lots of meat. We ate lots of fruits and vegetables but had a very meat-heavy diet. As an adult, I really cut back on red meat, but ate lots of chicken, turkey, fish, low-fat dairy products, and low-fat processed foods. I thought I was eating really well since everything was lower in fat. Everyone thought I was the picture of health. I was very active, I exercised.

I took birth control pills for 3 or 4 years, and my medical problems started when I decided to stop taking them. Immediately I stopped having menstrual cycles. My OB/GYN assured me that this was quite normal, and eventually would fix itself.   After over a year, nothing changed and I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary disease. I was advised to take fertility drugs if I wanted my cycles to start again, but that didn’t seem like a good idea to me.

I continued to go to doctors and over the years I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, osteopenia, and eventually at the age of 35 was told that I was becoming menopausal. I was really concerned about that, but the doctors told me this was really normal and becoming more common all the time.

By this time, I was really concerned about my health, so I did a little research on my own and started eating more of a whole foods diet. Shortly after, I met Dr. Pam Popper. Although I was already eating better, I cleaned my diet up even more based on her recommendations. Within only a few months, I started having menstrual cycles again after 3 ½ years of not having them. About 18 months later, I had another bone density test done, and the osteopenia had completely reversed itself.

I was married for 10 years and tried without success to get pregnant, and was menopausal at 35, so I really never expected to have children. But six years from the time I started changing my diet, I became pregnant at the age of 41. My baby was born on the due date at 8 pounds 6 ounces only 20 minutes after I got to the hospital. I feel so blessed not only to have this child, but to be able to help him start out in life with the right diet.

Other members of my family have benefited from plant-based nutrition too. My dad had a heart attack, and after that I was able to get him to change his eating habits. He’s not an “A” student, but he does understand the value of eating plant-based. I know that’s the only reason he is still with us today.

I look back and I am so grateful for people like Dr. Popper, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Barnard that have really stepped outside of the traditional medical model and have been there for people like me!