Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Food Revolution: Ann Cooper's Classroom

Since childhood, I was plagued with an incessant cough. I coughed perhaps every minute or so of every waking moment of my life. Multiply that by about forty years and you have a lot of coughing going on. By the time I was in my thirties, I was finally diagnosed with
asthma. The technician who tested me proclaimed that I had the worst case of asthma he had ever seen—hence, the reason for the aforementioned cough. A decade later, I became sick for nearly a year, where I practically lived in and out of various doctors' offices. The cough had turned into chronic bronchitis, which served to exacerbate my asthma, making it increasingly difficult to catch my breath. Imagine a ninety-year-old with emphysema and you will come to close to what it was like for me.

I couldn't breathe easily. I couldn't sleep easily, and I disturbed most of the neighbors with my continual hacking. This culminated with me finally ending up in the emergency room where I was strapped to an I.V. and a ventilator. At least I could finally breathe like a normal person. When the shift rolled over and a new physician was in charge of my well-being, he walked into the room and announced rather matter-of-factly, that I had a food allergy. He further told me that I needed to figure out what it was that I was allergic to so that I could stop being so sick. This was the single moment that would change my life forever. For this was where I embarked down the road of not only learning about our food, but becoming a food advocate in the process.

Systematically, I began eliminating foods from my diet until I figured out what was affecting me, and low and behold when I figured it out, I got better.  I had cured myself with food. Even the interminable cough was released into the wild blue yonder. When people ask, "How did you do it?" I reply with the simple truth, "With my food."

I furthered my studies by reading books, blogs and anything I could get my hands on to learn more. Additionally, I discovered a plethora of teachers on TEDtv. Ann Cooper is one of those fine teachers. She is the Director of Nutritional Services at the Berkeley Unified School District. Her obvious passion for teaching children how to change their relationship with food strikes such a strong chord with me. 

We are all affected by our food. If you don't believe me, check to see how many medications you have in your medicine cabinet or in your kitchen cupboard. Organic food and herbs should be our medicine, not more chemicals. Unfortunately, so many people do not see the value of organic food. They say it is too expensive. The truth is, that it is a whole lot less expensive than the prescription medications the vast majority of us use to combat the effects of the detrimental food we are consuming. Considering the fact that diabetes and complications from obesity are on the rise at alarming rates, not to mention a whole host of other ailments, which are quickly becoming prolific as our cultural way of life, it is imperative that we take notice of the source. The foods that we ingest and the food that we give to our children are sadly usually that source. Our kids are our future and it is time to teach them the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, so that they can become healthy, productive adults. 

I highly encourage you to step into Ms. Cooper's 19 minute classroom (video below), to learn more about food in our schools. For more information on Ann Cooper, or if you wish to donate to her cause, please visit her website at

Thank you for reading about my Organic Bliss!