This is my story of reversing my Osteoporosis by diet and exercise, even though I am now 85 years old and not on estrogen therapy. My diet recommendations, good for Osteoporosis, can also be good for the heart, as well as for stroke, cancer, and dementia. A further part of the story is that diet does indeed appear to be able to affect the progression of dementia in diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease, Multi Infarct and Stroke. That's what I have experienced. Presently the medical profession is rethinking its prognosis for the over 25 million Americans who suffer from these diseases.
I hope that the material in my books and on my web page will be of help to you and yours.
(Excerpted from the May 12,1997 Salute to Seniors, carried in 8 Wolfe Publications newspapers in New York)
Miracle is a strong word. But when cookbook author, Rosemary Fisher, 79, describes the dramatic reversal of her advanced osteoporosis, and her husband's heart disease, the word seems to fit.
Though the means to wellness in both the Fishers' documented cases were as earthly as changing their diets while increasing exercise, the inspirations for what to eat and how to prepare it came from a much higher source, according to Fisher.
As a testimony to this, profits from the four cookbooks Fisher wrote as a result (all priced under $10.00 to make them affordable to as many people as possible) go entirely to charity. Her only hope is that they help others rebuild or preserve their good health by strategic dietary modifications.
What make these cookbooks unique is the basis for the recipes: Each has been carefully selected to included ingredients with properties that have been proven to impact bone density, cardiac strength, and even neurological functioning.
"If a person starts at an early age, especially when there is a family history, they could possibly prevent the onset of disease," Fisher asserted.
A student of nutrition who has been creating nutritious recipes for the last 40 years, Rosemary was first challenged to seriously revamp the couple's eating habits when her husband, Al, was rocked by a major heart attack in 1976 at the age of 58.
In lieu of a bypass, the Fishers opted to find an alternative way to repair the damage caused by Al's elevated cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein counts.
As the suggestion of her husband's cardiologist, Dr, Robert Heinle, from the department of cardiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rosemary took refresher courses in nutrition. In her research studies on diet and heart disease, it became apparent that many of the findings could be translated into healthy recipes.
By 1978, the Fishers began a low cholesterol diet of Rosemary's devising. Five years later, Al's angiogram showed "no progress of arteriosclerosis". His cholesterol was under 180, and his HDL was in the safe range of 52.
However, just as the Fishers were getting the diet under way, injuries in a car accident in 1982 revealed the presence of a potentially crippling osteoporosis in the 63 year old Rosemary. Her condition was pronounced as "hopeless" by her doctors, who indicated that she was doomed to continued bone loss and eventually to a wheel chair.
Instead of accepting the diagnosis as a death sentence, Fisher overcame an immobilizing depression and focused her considerable research skills on increasing her absorption of calcium thorough her diet, when medications and supplements left her feeling ill.
This time she really confounded the statistics.
In only two years on the diet, Fisher not only halted the progression of the disease, she reversed the progression - adding an unheard of 5% to her overall bone mass. The increase has been verified by Sally Marlowe, a nurse practitioner at the Arthritis/Pain Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida (near where the couple shared a winter home), on her Mobile DXA Bone Densitometer.
It was the "first documented case of a woman over 65 increasing bone density," without supplements or estrogen therapy.
Marlowe and Dr. Dale Braman, a radiologist and director of the Osteoporosis/Imaging Center of Palm Harbor, Florida, presented Rosemary's case study to the Arthritis Health Professional Association of the Arthritis Foundation in 1989.
In an interview at the time, Marlowe endorsed the diet as "a real boon to those who are afraid to try high-calcium diets because they're afraid of the cholesterol."
Motivated to share her recipes and research by her daughter-in-law and son, both communication professionals, Fisher published "Osteoporosis: My Story and Diet", followed by "My High Calcium-Low Cholesterol Diet", and "Recipes and Research on Osteoporosis, Heart Disease and Cancer".
Her most recent publication "Recipes and Research on Dementia, Heart Disease, Osteoporosis, and Cancer" was inspired when Al was diagnosed with possible Alzheimer's and multi infarct disease, six months before his death in December of 1994. An autopsy revealed the severity of these diseases, indicating that he was in the severe stage of each disease.
Mystified that her husband could have had "such advanced dementias and not be showing the more servere symptoms," Fisher feels that the diet allowed him to "live a normal life longer than would have been experienced without being on the diet". By her own account, the "attending neurologists agreed." Since Al had prepared the couples' income taxes as usual in April 1994, it's hard to argue with that assessment.
Her newest book summarized the latest research findings on diet and dementia and recipes that apply those findings. She also summarizes further findings on Osteoporosis, Heart Disease, Cancer and provides recipes applying to those diseases.
Fisher has received many testimonials from grateful readers. Numerous doctors and nurse practitioners recommend her books to their patients, naturally including Sally Marlowe who originally measured Rosemary's bone density increase, and who continues to monitor her progress.
She has been featured as a speaker at numerous related institutions, and Sandra B. Mortham, Florida's secretary of state, has officially acknowledged Fisher's accomplishments.
In the forward of Fisher's latest book, Dr Robert Heinle (U of R Professor of Cardiology and Al's doctor for 18 years) remarks that Fisher's "greatest contribution has been to incorporate naturally occurring dietary foods, in amounts shown by research for metabolic benefit, into tasteful dietary recipes." He further states that "Rosemary Fisher is a remarkable woman who has done remarkable research, has published a remarkable book, for a remarkable cause. I feel fortunate to have been able to feel her enthusiasm and share her successes with her."
Her message is as easy to swallow as one of her enjoyable dishes: "Make changes slowly" to avoid feeling overwhelmed by trying to do too much at once.
As you read her books and begin to understand the role that food rich in vitamins and minerals play in health - and the best way to ensure their absorption - that knowledge becomes power to establish new eating habits.
First you'll become familiar with the "bone robbers," those foods and factors, such as sugar and smoking that cause calcium to leach out or block its use. Then you'll discover the foods and combinations of foods that pack in the calcium.
"A cornerstone of this diet is the eating of a cup of homemade (with extra magnesium and calcium) yogurt one hour before bedtime every night," Fisher asserted in the first book. With the added boost of dry milk to help in absorption, her homemade yogurt offers a significant amount of vitamin D not found in commercial yogurts.
Another pivotal discovery that made its way into Fisher's daily diet - using defatted soy flour in recipes - can increase estrogen production to even the pre-menopausal range, the author asserted. "It's been done and been proven in people ages 59-70."
With regular activities, like walking two or three miles a day, doing her own housework, and even mowing her 2-acre lawn with both a riding and push mower, Fisher, who'll be 79 in August , is living proof that serious diet and exercise can make a difference.
Not surprisingly, Fisher is in demand as a speaker for various organizations. Her books are now available at Barnes & Noble, and Borders bookstores, or directly from the publisher, Warren H. Green Inc. (1-800-537-0655 or Fax 314-997-1788.)
Don't look for a flashy cover or lots of hype, though. Hers are modest little volumes, but they just might change the quality of your life, no matter what your age.
If you would like to contact Rosmary, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTHY EATING SITE INDEX
This index provides a list of further research summaries and recipes on some of the many ways foods can help prevent or reverse specific conditions. Just click on the ones that are of interest to you.
Rosemary C. Fisher.
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