“Let me share my vision with you: I see the world without sickness, sorrow or mental disturbances in which we are living in perfect balance and abundant health and harmony.”
– Dr. Ann Wigmore
One of my dearest friends recently got diagnosed with breast cancer and she wanted to try out a health institute that would help her on the mission to healing her own body. She had heard of the Ann Wigmore Institute from her colon therapist at the Piper Center in NYC. My friend looked into it immediately and it seemed great, affordable, easy to get to and in a wonderful location, so we decided to give it a try.
The Ann Wigmore Institute is located in Aguada, Puerto Rico in a humble property that changed both my life and my friend’s life. People from all over the world and walks of life come to this place. We were welcomed by one of the students that was currently living there due to his personal experience with health. As soon as he welcomed us, I stared to ask him a marathon of questions.
“Well, Giada, I am here because I died for 12 minutes. I had a massive heart attack while in line for a pizza. The pizza restaurant owner, whom I knew for a long time, ran over to me and started to perform CPR. He was able to resuscitate me in time for the paramedics. I was told I wouldn’t live unless I changed my diet, so I have been here at the Institute for 6 months now.”
Once people gained my trust, I started to hear similar stories about very private life changing health experiences.
I never really knew you could heal your own body from chronic illnesses. I mean, I knew you could heal from certain things, but never did I think one could heal from different types of cancers, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, lyme disease and other illnesses; pretty much anything. Although I didn’t have an illness, the minute I started taking the classes, I kept thinking to myself that everyone should take this course at least once in their lifetime.
One of the most inspiring people I met, was this beautiful 34 year old woman named Heather, who had 4th stage lime disease. When she had first arrived at AWI, she could barely walk and limped. Seven weeks later, which is when I met her, she was swimming, running and knew she was finally on a path to healing. She had spent the last 3 years of her life going to the best doctors in DC (and other parts of the country), but no one could figure out what was causing her entire body to deteriorate. She had spent over $30,000 on doctors, MRIs, surgeries, and medications trying to combat this severe immune deficiency and find the right treatments. Nothing was working.
Finally, on that 3rd year, she decided to go to a lyme specialist, as a suggestion from her physical therapist. Bingo.
She had heard of the institute and had decided to give it a try, given nothing had worked. The last thing she wanted to do after those years of hell, was take heavy medication while her body was decaying. “It was the best decision I have ever made”, she said.
I met many other people that were in the process of healing or had already healed themselves and were back at the institute for a “refresher”. One person that impressed me was Valery, who in just 8 months to a year, cured herself from thyroid cancer. She did the diet religiously at her home in California and noticed her big tumor was slowly shrinking.
The inspiration has always been Dr. Ann Wigmore herself, because she is responsible for developing the living foods lifestyle, which many try to take credit for. She knew the living foods diet worked because she was using it to help herself heal from colon cancer. In the end, she was able to cure herself and combat the disease. This was a big surprise to many doctors, health professionals and others, because it is one of the hardest cancers to survive.
The notion that our society is so disconnected from nature, mind, body and spirit, became stronger than ever in my mind. This thought had sunk in deeply and my perception of a healthy lifestyle would forever have a different outlook. I had also come to terms with the fact that I kept hearing of all these cases of cancer within my own community of friends, family and acquaintances in NYC and elsewhere.
While I was there, I learned so many simple tools that changed me forever. Before taking the course, I had already considered myself healthy and conscious, but little did I know. After a few classes, I realized that in fact, I didn’t know anything about health. Our body is our temple and most times, we don’t know anything about it until something wrong occurs. Why wait until something goes wrong to learn about what your body needs? That was the question that kept popping up in my mind. I felt so blessed to be there, although the reason was due to my friend’s illness.
I learned about culturing/fermenting, sprouting and more. I learned about all the main toxins and how they function in our body. The institute offers descriptive classes about our digestive system and other important information that we should all want to know about. I learned how to make our foods alive and took raw “cooking classes”, walking away with all their delicious and unique recipes. The reality that strikes everyone at the end of the course, is that you have to face your old life with all this new knowledge. At first, it felt very overwhelming because it is a complete lifestyle change, but I had already decided I was going to give it a go, without negative pressures on myself. I was going to implement it very slowly into my family’s lifestyle. I was lucky because my husband had seen a positive change in me and wanted to jump into this lifestyle right away. Today he’s more disciplined than me! It is harder with children, but they too have benefited immensely from this lifestyle.
The living foods lifestyle is the highest quality nourishment you can give to yourself. Everything served at the Institute is 100% organic and made fresh daily from their gardens and land. The majority of the diet at the institute is based around the power of the wheat berry. You start off the day with a double shot of fresh wheatgrass after yoga in front of the ocean. Then there is the famous energy soup which is served at every meal time. This essential soup is packed with super greens that contain every nutrient for a balanced diet. Then there is the rejuvelac, which I call the enzyme regenerator and is an essential live probiotic for your gut.
Below is a descriptive summary of each of the key elements of the Ann Wigmore philosophy (from their site: http://www.annwigmore.org/living_foods.html#rejuvelac).
To find out more, I urge everyone to go on their site: http://www.annwigmore.org/
The cornerstone of the Living Foods Lifestyle® is Energy Soup, a blended mixture of greens, sprouts, vegetables, Rejuvelac™, and dulse. Energy soup is a complete meal, containing every nutrient in a balanced form that the body needs. When she developed the Hippocrates diet, Ann Wigmore advocated juicing fruits and vegetables as a way to obtain optimal nourishment. However, in her later years, she became a proponent of blending foods rather than juicing them. The only juices she used were watermelon and wheatgrass. She believed that juices can be too cleansing for most people’s bodies. “Blending helps the body to clean itself and thus it restores health much quicker than just eating the foods as salads, yet it does not overtax the system with the rapid cleansing action of juices,” she wrote. “Also, juices do not contain fiber. Separating the fiber and other elements from the juice results in a food that is not as balanced as Nature would have it.”
Another key component of the Living Foods Lifestyle® is freshly juiced wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice is an effective healer because it contains chlorophyll, all minerals known to man, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K. Wheatgrass is extremely rich in protein, and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.
As a child, Dr. Ann learned about natural healing from her grandmother, who used plants, grasses, and herbs to heal soldiers injured in World War I. When, at age 50, she learned she had colon cancer, she turned to raw greens, blended seeds, and grains. Within a year, she was cancer-free. She began researching the healing properties of grasses, and soon settled on wheatgrass as her main focus. The Living Foods Lifestyle® uses wheatgrass as a nutritious elixir, as well as for colon cleansing.
Rejuvelac™, a drink made from cultured wheatberries or other grains, is one of the most important elements in the Living Foods Lifestyle®. Because it contains a high level of enzymes, it aids in digestion. Rejuvelac replaces the missing enzymes that cooked foods have taken out. It contains friendly bacteria that is necessary for a healthy colon, which helps to remove toxins. It also is filled with vitamins B, C, and E, as well as enzymes.