Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Epstein-Barr Cured: Raw Food

NO MORE "EPSTEIN-BARR! by Angela Fischetti
Living Nutrition Magazine vol. 7

Three years ago, at age 38, I was diagnosed with "Epstein-Barr Virus." I had been complaining for many months to my primary care physician of profoundly debilitating fatigue.

On one occasion I sank to the floor because I couldn't hold my body up; I crawled to a chair to stand.I was put through a battery of tests and saw a number of specialists, particularly in the "infectious disease" field, but was dismissed by them as they were overwhelmed with that other so-called virus, HIV.

It was my gynecologist who suggested I had "Epstein-Barr Virus" and her blood work proved "positive," so I did indeed believe that a "virus" was the cause of my illness.

I resolved that I wouldn't let this get me down.

My workouts went on as usual, but with adjustments for my fatigue level. When I slogged around Prospect Park in Brooklyn I visualized the "virus" leaving me through my sweat; when I lifted weights I visualized my muscles getting stronger. I hired a massage therapist and took many supplements to "boost my immune system." I explained to friends and family that naps were now a necessity, and when that overwhelming fatigue hit, I went to bed.

This was a period of transition for me from vegetarian to vegan. Prior to that I ate the "SAD" way, with an incredible emphasis on sugar. My health history includes bulimia and anorexia and compulsive overeating. I could down an entire Entenmann's cake-- the low-fat version, of course--with the best of them.

July of 1998 brought me to my raw food path. One day I was channel surfing and "by accident" I landed on a show called "Accent On Wellness." The show's host, Matthew Grace, is a personal fitness trainer, too and I was stopped "live in my tracks" as this was the first time I ever heard someone in my profession speak about exercise and vegetarianism. No protein shakes, powders, bars, supplements--just raw food. Although I'd never heard of raw-foodism, I was eating one to one and a half raw meals a day. I watched the show regularly, called the producer Ed Lieb with many questions, gave up my vitamin and herbal supplements, and by mid-February 1999 I was 100% raw and have been ever since.

I also learned that so-called "viruses" do not cause fatigue or illness--they are simply a sign of cellular damage stemming from unhealthful dietary and living habits, and the damage is repaired as the body detoxifies and rejuvenates.Since I've been a raw-foodist, I have not experienced one outbreak of the so-called "Epstein-Barr Virus" symptoms.

My energy is much heightened, and it's been a quietly fascinating journey to listen to my body.

It's not easy, especially with my emotional issues around food, but for support, I attend weekly CoHR (Coalition for Health Re-education) meetings in Manhattan, e-mail other raw-foodists, read a lot, make phone calls, eat at Caravan of Dreams, attend lectures and seminars, and have even started giving my own workshops on exercise and overcoming osteoporosis/arthritis emphasizing raw-foodism as the nutritional component.

Through raw-foodism I am learning to listen to my intuitive voice. I am humbled by and grateful for this and enjoy sharing my story with others.*

Angela Fischetti resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her 5 raw cats (No more allergies, either!). Angela is a personal fitness trainer and can be contacted at (718) 783-4356, and is also available as an on-line consultant at AFfitness@aol.com.

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