Mary Budinger, NTC, is a holistic nutritional therapy consultant certified by the Nutritional Therapy Association of Olympia, Washington. She is also an Emmy award-winning journalist.
After overcoming a severe autoimmune disease, she made her professional life about integrative medicine and nutrition. From 2006-2008, she operated a food buying club for 60 people who wanted to obtain high quality, nutrient dense foods.
She is a General Advisory Board member of the Best Answer for Cancer Foundation. She received the 2009 Volunteer Service Award from the Lyme-Induced Autism Foundation. She most recently assisted writing the book, Cancer Free? Are You Sure? available April, 2015. Her first co-authored book venture, An Alphabet of Good Health, was awarded the 2011 Readers Views 1st place award for the categories of Health & Fitness, and Self-Help. Mary continues to write for Townsend Letter magazine and other health publications.
“Nutritional therapists don’t treat disease. We approach food as medicine that gives the body its natural tools for healing and regeneration.”
Let me tell you a little about me: Growing up, I was an Oreo cookie-holic. After college, I pretty much existed on Oreos, potato chips, canned tuna, fish sticks, and orange juice. I tried the vegetarian thing for a while. When I was in TV news, I ate out at lot – pasta was in vogue at the time. Those routines did not work. Stunningly did not work. I woke up sick as a dog one day and found my life turned inside out.
I went to Mayo Clinic and after all the tests, was told I might have a pre-cancerous lymph condition, but they were not sure because the tests were not definitive. I did what they told me to do and took lots of prednisone to knock down the raging inflammation that crippled my joints. A year later, I woke up one morning to find all the symptoms back – night sweats, lymph nodes like marbles, and crippling pain in the joints. The doctors wanted me to do gold shots. By now, however, I had learned enough to know that the shots likely would turn what was left of me into a demolition derby. Dialysis anyone? I said no thanks, and had a chance encounter with a nutritionist who tested me for food allergies; I was highly reactive to everything I ate. For the next year, I ate from a short list of what, for me, were unusual foods like olive oil and raw watercress. It was tough because I was working in a 13-story office building at the time and people were constantly eating pizza, ice cream, vending food snacks – none of which I could touch. But a funny thing happened; the pain went away. This “avoidance diet” did a better job of knocking out the pain than 70 mg of prednisone had done; not to mention I didn’t have to put up with side nasty side effects from the prescription medicine.
I began to read. I started to juice. I experienced acupuncture and chiropractic and homeopathy. I had my first colonic. I embarked on a fascinating journey that wound through broccoli fields, fish markets, mud baths, Weston A. Price buying clubs, clinics of different descriptions, medical conferences and formal nutrition schooling.
Here’s perhaps the most important thing I learned along the way: Nutrition generally is not taught in medical schools and that is a critical disconnect in health care today. We stuff ourselves with readily available food, yet we are starving on a cellular level. Food has changed dramatically in the last 60 years, and we are not healthier for it.
The funny thing about health is that we usually don’t appreciate it until we lose it. Good food is a powerful force for good health. Want to cut through all the conflicting and confusing information and fads out there? Work with me to sort through it and get down to simple basics – what is good for you.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give of that gift.”
– Pablo Picasso