Lifestyle

CQU academic harnesses healing power of clean eating

CLEAN BILLING: Angela Zagoren says she discovered the power of clean eating when she was searching for a cure following a diagnosis for MS.
CLEAN BILLING: Angela Zagoren says she discovered the power of clean eating when she was searching for a cure following a diagnosis for MS. Peter Lawrence

WHEN traditional medicine fails to provide real solutions to some of our most debilitating diseases, it is not unusual for patients to look outside the box for help.

Even health professionals who have been entrenched in the rigid philosophies of medical science have been known to look to alternative therapies when medicine has failed to provide answers for their own ailments.

That's certainly the case for former psychologist turned health consultant, Angela Zagoren, who advocates a "clean eating" approach to overcoming disease. In her final stages of her PhD at CQUniversity in 2010, Angela suffered an acute attack on her lower limbs which put her in a wheelchair for months.

After a second attack, and numerous doctor's visits and tests, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Separate MRIs found two lesions, signalling the autoimmune condition and confirming Angela's worst fears.

"I felt angry, frustrated and powerless at the prospect of having a chronic disease … The penny dropped that all the energy I had spent on fighting the diagnosis would be needed in cultivating acceptance and hope for the future."

Despite being ready to throw the towel in on her studies, Angela was encouraged to complete her thesis by her supervisor Associate Professor Matthew Rockloff.

"I was grappling with fear about my career prospects, questioning whether anyone would want to employ a psychologist with MS. Thankfully, my supervisor was incredibly supportive."

With her thesis submitted and her second baby on the way, Angela turned her attention and energy to fighting her disease.

Disillusioned with the limited solutions provided to her by doctors, Angela focused on psychological strategies such as 'mindfulness' to cope with her pain, reconnect with her body, and tend to its needs.

With her wealth of research skills, Angela began reviewing medical journals, online research databases and library books, and was surprised to discover the sheer volume of alternative treatments for MS. She began experimenting on herself by increasing her vitamin D levels, exercising and strengthening her muscles, and changing the fats in her diet.

Angela credits her discovery of the powerful role of food in preventing and combating disease to an inspiring book by Perth-based emergency doctor Professor George Jenlinek, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.

"Here was a man who prevailed over his disease despite tragically losing his mother to MS before his own diagnosis at the peak of his career. I immediately connected with his dedication to research and his search for alternative treatments. I was overjoyed to learn his diet and lifestyle changes had kept him relapse-free for over a decade. I'd never heard of such a thing!"

It was Jelinek's story that gave Angela the confidence to trust her instincts that "clean food" was the answer to healing her body.

She has since proven that "sunshine, an exclusively wholefood plant-based diet, mindfulness and exercise" can make huge changes in health and well-being.

And in her case, help to prevent a recurrence of her MS symptoms.

Ten months into her new food and lifestyle program, a routine MRI of her brain and spinal cord showed no sign of any new or old lesions - a completely normal scan.

Angela is now symptom free and out of the wheelchair. She's a busy mum of two young boys dedicated to sharing her story in the hope it will help others in their quest for health solutions.

Angela has developed her own website www.cooking formyspirit.com.au to share her knowledge about plant-based nutrition and how to claim your life back from disease.

Although Angela knows that diet overhauls are rarely a one-size-fits-all remedy, she says it's important to listen to your own body when it comes to deciphering foods that cause harm or health.

Angela is currently in negotiations with publishers for commercial books that will merge established academic, evidence-based research with her own practical applications and has plans in place for a plant-based cookbook, due to be completed by the end of 2014.

She also conducts consultations for people seeking personalised health interventions.

Topics:  clean eating, diet, health, lifestyle




Woman charged for car-jacking assault released on bail hours earlier, court heard

Juanita Caston

27-year-old charged for assaulting 48-year-old woman on Monday night

Three cars worth $140,000 land man in court, jail

Neville Aaron Voss

Man used aunt's signature to purchase $140,000 woth of cars

Queensland hospitals respond to $10M payout

Jamie Manuele (centre) flanked by his mother Daphne Manuele (left) and partner Cara and son Jesse-James (4) at Rockhampton Hospital.    Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Rockhampton Hospital responds to $10 million settlement to patient

Latest deals and offers

Cyndi Lauper opens up about mother's dementia

Cyndi Lauper says her mother Catrine has "a little dementia".

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Tackling depression through song and story

BUSKER: Brian Musch. Photo: Bec Cawthorne

Giving back through song and speech

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Iconic Denison St building sold for close to $1M

The Swan Hotel building in Denison St.

ONE of Rockhampton’s most iconic buildings has been sold

Unique Rockhampton bar hits the market

HOT PROPERTY: Cuban themed bar Chango Chango is up for sale.

Popular Rocky bar hits the market.

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd