LDS radio broadcaster Glenn Beck has shared the difficulties of his neuropathy with his listeners for some time. The sensations of painful burning or coldness, stabbing pins and needles, numbness and itching of the hands and feet has led him to seek extensive testing from some of the best doctors in the world. It seems that his particular symptoms are very similar to someone with poisoning, and, as he reported to his listeners on Thursday, March 20, that is still their best answer.
“So they (The Carrick Brain Center in Texas) did all these tests and they met with me yesterday, and they said, Well, basically, you are being poisoned. Food is poisoning you.'”
He was told that his immune system has turned against itself and it interprets certain foods and other environmental things as a poison, which causes a series of problems that are manifesting themselves in inflammation and pain.
“To make a very long story short,” his website reports, “the best course of action to treat his symptoms is to put him on an extremely strict diet that essentially cuts out all sugar and grains, greatly restricts the types of fruits and vegetables he can eat, and allows for meat only from grass-fed, hormone-free animals.
On the show, he read the mile-long list of what he will no longer be allowed to eat and the very short list of what is acceptable:
“It’s a long complex thing,” Beck said. “I have to change my diet entirely. It is this bizarre string of events that have brought me to this place to where my body is actually, like, eating itself.”
His immune system is treating certain foods – foods that many others can eat with no problems – as toxins, triggering extreme inflammation and pain. A fan of ice cream and processed food, he grimaced and asked the doctors if he would have to go gluten free as part of the change.
“And they went, Yeah, gluten-free would be a good place to start…'” Beck said grimly.
Here is the list he read of what he can no longer eat:
“Any kind of sugar, including agave, candy, chocolate, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses or sucrose … Dried fruits … Grains, including amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, couscous, comet, millet, oats, rye, rice, spelt, wheat … All nuts and seeds … Cold cuts, condiments, emulsifiers, fillers, chewing gum … All dairy products and eggs, including butter, cheeses, cow’s milk, creams, any frozen dessert, goat milk, margarine, mayonnaise … All beans and legumes … Tomatoes, tomato sauce, all canned foods, coffee, and processed foods.” (See the end of this article for a direct link to his website and the full report.)
It’s hard not ask, “What’s left?” And he did jokingly put out a request for a chef to travel with him.
While I can’t apply for that job, I can reach out with my own thoughts:
Dear Glenn Beck:
I’m truly sorry for how awful this has been for you, and for the challenges you face with the results.
As one who has spent a lifetime battling my weight and food (especially candy, ice cream, chocolate frosting and cookie dough – don’t so many of us?) a mandatory change like this is a huge deal. I know I cried for two weeks when I weaned my nursing babies — not because I was sad they were growing up so fast, but because I could no longer eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight. We all like to eat what we want, when we want, and as much as we want! They’re in their 20’s now and I’m still sad! It seems so unfair that some can eat mindlessly and remain seemingly healthy and fit.
Your new diet and finding a new path is not a casual thing. Daily “main stream” American eating (and ward socials) will never be the same. Your wife (and your cook if you find and hire one) will need to completely overhaul what you’re eating. What’s in your cupboards and freezers at home? How will it affect everyone there? I’m also quite positive that pretty much everything now on your forbidden list is standard fare at most of the business/professional events you attend as well. You’ll have to do a lot more planning – as if you have time and energy for that.
My hunch is that there’s only one thing on that list that you won’t miss: coffee. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? Seriously, through no fault of your own, you are now a “special” food eater and will need to make sure that you sit in the designated gluten-free benches for sacrament, or institute for your Ward. The days of eating and sampling everything at ward potlucks, along with that delicious Costco cake and the brownies and cookies served at most Church events will probably come to an abrupt halt.
The ripple effect is not the end of the world, I know, but it is not fun, and it is NOT funny.
I am perfectly serious when I say that it’s very possible that there may be a period of genuine grieving as you say good-bye to foods, treats and traditions that have been a part of every-day life for a very long time. For most of us there is a tangled network of familial, emotional, social, psychological strings related to food and eating that won’t go away in a hurry. (May I suggest the LDS Addiction Recovery Program? I know you’re not addicted to food, but it is extremely powerful in helping those of us needing to make big life-style changes that the only source for true change is through the Savior and his Atonement. That link is below too, and dear it is to me as I faced my sugar addiction last October.)
I also offer some neat friends that are available to each of us when life throws such distressing curve balls: Pollyanna (as in the Disney movie with Haley Mills) and the Four Sons of Mosiah.
Pollyanna’s determination to find something positive in every disappointment turned the whole town around, and won her a grandstand of friends. In the Pollyanna “Glad Game” department, you can be glad you’re not alone! What a positive, vocal fan club you’ve got. I spent an hour or so, reading the comments from your fans at your website about your situation (The link is below.) Their comments, for the most part, are intelligent and well-informed. Many of their comments are based on personal experiences and include terrific ideas and counsel. They, like you, had had no choice but to restructure their health through their diet. How many of us have something like that support base? And to be able to find and afford the doctors and resources you need? You are blessed, indeed.
Now here’s what the Lord said to the four sons of Mosiah when they had their trials with the Lamanites:
“Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.
” (Alma 17:11)
Now, I know you’re already an extremely busy, successful guy with a life-style change banging on your door, but with that scripture in mind, could you just starting thinking about Christopher Reeve and Michael J.
Fox? Sure, they were famous before their health crises as successful actors and wealthy celebrities, but I think their greatest contribution has been the unflagging personal examples of optimism and hope, teamed with the ability (through their celebrity status) to achieve funding, recognition and research for spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s Disease that would not have been possible otherwise.
I ask you this:
Could it be that your health crisis might be a unique mission for you from Heavenly Father to help countless thousands have their eyes opened to the sad realities of the Standard American Diet, which by the way, goes by the acronym “SAD.” This is so very true when you look at our health compared to other nations with better diets. While the restrictions on what you can eat is extreme, many of the foods on your list are “empty calories” that none of us should be eating in anything other than very moderate amounts. Yes, we turn our heads or joke about it, but the soda industry, the dairy industry, the snack food industry, even the sweetened cereal manufacturers are of no help to us or our children. They are controversial business giants and American icons, but speaking up is your specialty!
D&C Section 89 (The Word of Wisdom) refers to “evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of bconspiring men in the last days.” Do you think the industries that promote meals, foods and snacks that destroy the health and future of a nation might be included in that category? If so, can you see that your current health could be a blessing for many Americans to understand how this is so, and follow your example in living a happy, healthy life without these foods?
I have another questions for you:
While I realize that your primary focusing is on the food element, the doctors’ stament also mentioned “other environmental things” that your body turns into toxins.
The truth is we are ALL exposed to these environmental (bacteria, toxins, poisons, pollution, germs) things each and every day.
I called Dr. Miller the formulator of the detox tea that is such a hit here at Meridian, who, by the way, is a big fan of yours.
He said: “Well, Glenn already knows he needs to be eating differently and better. But the truth is, there are so many toxins in many common things within your own home and neighborhood.
But with all the traveling he does, and all the people he is constantly spending time with, he’s exposed big time to more of the pollutants, poisons, dirt, and bacteria, than average people are. Generally speaking airports are unbelievably toxic. So are hotels, motels, taxis, restaurants, etc. where you are constantly handling money, counters, railings, chairs, bathrooms, etc., etc. Money and gas are, in my mind, the biggest ones. It only makes sense that politicians, business people and celebrities who spend a lot of time in many different cities have more to deal with. Perhaps those who have private jets can minimize it, but there’s still a lot of exposure to toxins for any traveler.
His system is just saturated with not only the effects of his diet, but the environmental toxins that are just as important to deal with.”
What’s the best way to deal with these common toxins?
HOW TO AVOID THEM
It’s impossible in this day and age to avoid all environmental toxins. What you can do, however, is limit your exposure as much as possible with the following tips:
Buy and eat, as much as possible, organic produce and free-range, organic foods. If you can only purchase one organic product it probably should be free-range organic eggs.
Avoid processed foods — remember that they’re processed with chemicals.
Use natural cleaning products in your home. Glass is better than plastic for eating from and storage.
Switch over to natural brands of toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants and cosmetics. Remove any metal fillings as they’re a major source of mercury.
Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners or other synthetic fragrances as they can pollute the air you are breathing.
Avoid artificial food additives of all kind, including artificial sweeteners and MSG.
Get plenty of safe sun exposure to boost your vitamin D levels and your immune system (you’ll be better able to fight disease). Have your tap water tested and, if contaminants are found, install an appropriate water filter on all your faucets (even those in your shower or bath).
Of course it goes without saying that we wash our hands as often as we can, stay home when we or our kids are sick, and drink lots of water to keep those toxins moving.
Other things that help release toxins are, believe it or not, deep breathing and bouncing! You can read more about that in a previous articles I shared on Meridian in the links below.
Glenn, you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers! I have a sneaking hunch that in the months to come you’ll be delighted with the improvements in how you look and feel, and inspiring us all with that good news! Thanks for reminding us that our bodies are priceless, that health is a duty that cannot be taken lightly, and that sometimes there is no other way than to forge a different path than nearly everyone around you.
And if you’d like to give Dr. Miller for a quick chat on detoxing, just let me know and I’ll get you his phone number. He’s turned things around for a lot of people with the same difficulties. You can find me at my website below.
You can do it! You’re not alone!
Glenn’s fans share their responses, advice and similar experiences: CLICK HERE
LDS Addiction Recovery Program: CLICK HERE
Breathing to Release Toxins Meridian Article CLICK HERE
Bouncing to Release Toxins Meridian Article CLICK HERE
And if you’d like to have a quick chat with Dr. Miller on detoxing, just let me know and I’ll get you his phone number. He’s turned things around for a lot of people with the same difficulties.
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success – One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life, available at her website.
She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups.
She and her husband Bob are the parents of five children and grandparents of eight. They live in the Washington D.C. area where they are delighted to teach Missionary Preparation for the Annandale Stake CES Institute program.
Learn more about them and the popular herbal detox product they share at Meridian! CLICK HERE