90dayimmuneThis is the book that started it all for me. When I was first diagnosed with late stage Lyme Disease (way, waaaaay after I should’ve been), I was given a long list of vitamins and supplements to take and all sorts of rules and restrictions on what I could and couldn’t eat – no wheat, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffiene, nothing with yeast (I was a pastry addict), no sweet fruits, etc, etc, etc. But I wasn’t given a ton of explanation as to why I was taking these things and why I couldn’t eat these foods. So I approached it the way most people I’ve met have approached what at first glance seems like a restrictive diet – with a lot of complaining, a lot of cheating, and the hope that I could just get it all over with soon and go back to eating “normal” food.

But that didn’t happen. Since I have late stage Lyme, my treatment lasted way longer than the three months I initially hoped it was going to last for. This was a huge blessing in disguise, but it wasn’t easy for me to see it that way at first. And this “diet” of salmon, unflavored brown rice, and green beans seemed more and more like the rest of my life (a pretty good rest of my life, but tell that to someone who just wants a bowl of ice cream and a slice of pizza on Friday night).

The hardest part was figuring out what I could eat. Especially on the carbs front. If I couldn’t eat wheat and I couldn’t eat anything with yeast and I was allergic to corn, exactly what kind of bread/pastries/cookies/cereal was I eating?

I felt like I was constantly looking over the “good” things on menus and compromising for something flavorless that I didn’t want.

And being a Virgo, I don’t like to be told what not to do without being given a VERY good reason why.

Enter 90 Day Immune System Makeover.

I was visiting my mom in Cincinnati for last Christmas, and she left this book in the guest room. The last two months of 2008 had been BRUTAL for me. I felt like I was losing all the ground I’d gained in the past year, and I felt like I was never going to get better. I had a constant pounding headache, was battling candida in my stomach like woah from all the antibiotics and poor eating I’d done on Thanksgiving, and was feeling every Lyme symptom I’d originally had from my head to my feet. I honestly didn’t even know if I’d be well enough to travel to Ohio for the holidays. So when she gave me this book I was desperate enough to try anything – even a 90 day “makeover” – and I was more than happy to park myself on the air mattress that would be my home for the next week and read, read, read.

I would not be exaggerating to say this book changed my life. Dr. Janet Maccaro’s 90 Day Immune System Makeover pretty much mirrored what my doctor and all the Lyme literature I’d read said about diet. But instead of just giving a long list of why I couldn’t eat this or that, she gave a detailed, easy to understand explanation of how all of the vitamins, supplements, and foods she suggested we eat or cut out impact our immune systems. She also lists substitutes for wheat and sugar (like millet, buckwheat, and stevia) and sample diet plans and recipes for when you’re making the switch. I literally felt like I was opening my eyes to what food could really do in my body for the first time. And on top of that, Dr. Janet is a Christian, so she continually speaks about the ways God can heal our bodies inside and out through proper lifestyle changes and looking to the basic foods and holistic remedies he provides.

I didn’t rush it with the makeover. I wish I would’ve done the entire thing in three months, but it actually took me twice as long to incorporate all the steps into my daily life. But once I completed it, I did see all the results right away! Which made me kind of obsessed with continuing to learn as much as possible and also made me suddenly realize what I really want to do with my life: nutrition. It hit me like a ton of bricks. After years of feeling like I was being called in a different direction than the music industry, I finally realized what direction that was. Wham.

I suggest this book to nearly everyone I know as the best nutritional primer I’ve ever gotten my little hands on. I’ve already read it three times through, but I still have it bookmarked and next to my bed so that I can continue to refer back to it as I learn more and more about nutrition and holisitic medicine and the amazing things they can do.

90 Day Immune System Makeover on Amazon

Dr. Janet’s website