Welcome to Root Mountain. I am Rumana, the mother of two beautiful children – a teenage daughter and an 8-year-old son. I moved from India to the United States with my husband in 1998 soon after our marriage. I still remember the day I walked into a Seven-11 convenience store and gaping at the foods they sold. Ice creams and cakes were not much eaten in India, and I was amazed and excited. I grew up on almost no processed food with lots of rice, fish, coconut and vegetables. Being curvy is still a beauty thing in India, so my mom made unsuccessful attempts to make me plump before marriage by feeding me lots of plantains, ghee, and bournvita (maybe the only processed food we had at that time). I thought I was a naturally lean person and started eating all the high sugar, trans fat, chemical-laden, processed US foods.
I was enrolled in a 5 1/2 year homeopathic medical college before marriage but due to marriage and coming to the United States I had to drop out of it. Soon after my engineer husband leaves for work, I would sit down on the computer trying to find a college to continue my bachelor’s degree. I gorged on chocolate cakes, and hormone filled strawberry milkshakes during the time I pursued my degree in Computer Science. Fruits and vegetables were never bought. Eight months later, when I went to the doctor for a well-care visit, I was shocked to learn that I was anemic and gained 30-40 pounds. My periods became irregular, and I was diagnosed with PCOS at that time. I asked the doctor what PCOS would do to me, and she answered that I would not have many problems except for getting pregnant. Since I was not planning to get pregnant at that time, I made the mistake of sweeping the problem under the rug.
At the same time, my husband also started getting problems with his digestive system. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and he attributes that to all the ibuprofen (a NSAID that can contribute to ulcer in the digestive system) he took for many years for his growing pains. Little did we know about natural treatments at that time. His doctors were not supportive of any alternative treatment due to their lack of knowledge in that area. We tried some homeopathic medicine that had arsenic in it, and when we mentioned this to his gastroenterologist, he became upset and asked “Are you trying to kill yourself with arsenic!” although arsenic is used in small amounts safely for the treatment of digestive disorders in homeopathy. I searched online for the diet recommendations for Ulcerative Colitis, and the only thing I found out was making almond flour zucchini muffins for ulcerative colitis. I had to mail order the flour at very high prices, and it helped to some extent. But we were still eating from fast food chains and buying processed foods. A year later with many remissions and relapses, he became weak, under 100 pounds and finally did the surgery of removing his colon (colectomy with ileostomy). My heart sinks every time I eat anti-inflammatory gut healing foods like bone broth thinking only if we had known them at that time. But I look at my past just to learn and let others know of their options. Don’t get me wrong on Western Medicine. Western medicine has increased average lifespan to 40 years and is great at handling emergency situations like accidents or stroke. And if we can combine the conventional medicine and alternative medical modalities, I believe there will be huge improvements in the areas of health.
I conceived my daughter in 2003 after more than a year of trying. Around the same time, we moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and started our own online business of selling motorcycle apparel. Things were going good although I was gaining weight, had acne and our daughter always sick with chest infections. In 2006 I noticed a lump in my throat and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer! I underwent total thyroidectomy surgery (removal of the entire thyroid gland) the same year. I then became pregnant with my second child. My son suffered from many different food allergies and eczema during his first year. Around that time I decided to change our lifestyle and the book “Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About” by Kevin Trudeau was the turning point. (I don’t follow or endorse him anymore) . Just because the grocery stores are so clean and the fruits are spotless, and everything was packaged nicely we assumed all products were completely safe for us to consume in this country. This book helped me to change that notion.
I started making changes not just to lose weight but to regain health for my whole family. I changed everything from the food we ate to the products we used on our skin and witnessed a powerful transformation in my family and me. I got off prescription drugs for my severe acid reflex and relied on natural supplements and medicines. My acne prone skin started clearing up; my acid reflux went away, and most of the PCOS symptoms disappeared. Periods became regular for the first time in my life. And I lost 30 pounds, and the good thing is I have been able to keep it off for last eight years. My daughter’s asthma is gone now; my son outgrew his food allergies, and it looks like the pediatrician is not happy that we are not visiting her anymore except for well-visit checkups. My husband had suffered from Osteopenia, cataracts, and many other issues due to taking corticosteroids for a year to treat his ulcerative colitis. All those issues are gone now.
We were categorized as high risk by our insurance due to our past medical conditions and were paying high monthly premiums. Finally, my husband appealed to them claiming we had not used that much of the medical service in the last few years. They approved and reduced the fee. So all the wheat grass shots, juicing and fermenting paid off.
I lost my thyroid gland and my husband lost his colon, but we hope we can help others by sharing what we learned over the years. I am getting trained to become a certified health coach to serve others. Integrative nutrition food coaches are huge believers of bio-individuality and we work with you based on what works for you, your family and your lifestyle. We don’t enforce one kind of dietary theory although we learn more than 100 dietary theories. I am these days, experimenting myself with many different diets for the sake of curiosity and learning. I hope to share my stories, wholesome nutrient dense recipes, learning and research here.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I am thrilled you are here and I’m excited for the journey ahead. Please leave comments so we can get connected.
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