Watermelon, cantaloupe, avocados and bananas.
When Chad Johnston was around 12 years old, he began having a problem. Anytime he ate those four fruits, or anything with those fruits in them, he would suffer a moderate to severe allergic reaction and his throat would begin closing up and "catching on fire" for about an hour after consumption. Nothing life threatening, but enough of a problem that it kept Chad away from those foods for the majority of the time.
Oh now, every once in a while he would pop a Benadryl and hope for the best. You see, Chad loved those foods and it was a big problem that he couldn't enjoy them whenever he wanted. Guacamole at parties, watermelon and cantaloupe in the summer...not for Chad. He would have to watch longingly as others gorged themselves on the succulent fruits while he fiddled with his paddle-ball.
Then a few months ago Chad started juicing after he watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He began consuming 20-30 ounces of juice just about every day and started incorporating more plant-based foods into his diet via the local fruit and veggie crop share he and his wife joined.
Little by little, plants and veggies became the focus of his wife's and his daily meals. They still eat lean meats, but now the meat is the after thought, not the focus.
A few weeks ago the Johnstons received a large watermelon in their farm share allotment. Chad's wife loves watermelon and began cutting it open. Chad, not being able to resist his love for watermelon, took a bite and waited for the reaction to hit....he waited.....and waited..........and waited.
The reaction, which Chad was so used to dealing with for the last 20 years, never came. Quickly, Chad ate a few more bites. Then some more. And before he knew it, he had eaten most of the watermelon...had it been a watermelon eating contest, he would have blown the competition away.
His kids love bananas so that night he tried some bananas which had, for so long, been mocking him from the kitchen counter. No more mocking, you evil bananas - no reaction.
Jump ahead one more day - Chad is watching the all-star game at a friend's house. Guacamole is on the menu. Chad is feeling saucy. He has some.....and gets no reaction. No throat itching or burning. Giddiness is what he felt.
The next test is the best. It's Saturday. Chad picks up a cantaloupe at the Frisco Farmer's Market. He takes it to his nephew's birthday party ready to dive in...then realizes that after a lifetime of not being able to eat cantaloupe, he really doesn't know how to cut one! His mom graciously does the honors. He takes a big bite, and as you probably can guess by now, no reaction.
"I loved eating that cantaloupe, and I ate it freely," Chad says. "Several sweet refreshing pieces with no revolting reaction. My allergy test was complete. Now I can be recklessly ecstatic and LOVE enjoying these new foods!"
Just last night, Chad's wife made some guacamole and he ate with such fervor and determination that he nearly made himself sick. He has to remind himself to not try and make up for 20 years of lost time...that would be counterproductive.
So what was the cause? The juice? Less meat? Adding in more powerful micronutrients to his diet? Cutting down on fat, saturated fat and cholesterol that comes with animal products?
I believe it was a combination of all these things. Chad's inherently powerful immune system is finally getting the fuel it needs to function properly and effectively.
Chad didn't do anything spectacular. He didn't completely change his whole lifestyle or way of living. He simply began adding in more plant-based foods in the form of juice, salads, fruits and veggies to his daily regimen....and his body responded.
It rewarded him with four things: watermelon, cantaloupe, avocados and bananas.
Moral of the story? Eat real, human food.