883. From 25 Years of Junk Food to Healing Through Nutrition
Cindy Klement, MS, CNS, MCHES
“I had always wanted to become a doctor, even as a child. So in high school, when the teachers were talking about our careers or going to college, I told my mom I wanted to go to college and become a doctor. And what she said to me was, ‘Honey, you haven’t got the brains to be a doctor. You need to stay home, get married and have children.’ So it wasn’t until I was 53 years old that I finally attended college and ultimately got my masters in nutrition. I graduated summa cum laude. I was in the honors college, and then I became an adjunct lecturer at the university.” Since the late 1970s, Cindy has shared her nutrition and herbal medicine expertise with thousands of people both at home in Ann Arbor and in 95 cities across North America. Cindy is a board-certified nutritionist and a certified Master Health Educator by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Eastern Michigan University teaching the graduate-level course, “Functional and Integrative Medicine.” A long-time health program writer and presenter, Cindy is a sought-after speaker and author of “Your Body’s Environmental Chemical Burden.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I was very sickly as a child. I had tremendous health concerns. I had asthma, tremendous allergies, eczema problems, recurrent kidney infections, hospitalization for an impacted colon until I was 25 years old. And back then, in the 1950s, they really didn’t have the knowledge that they have today about how to treat people. At 25 I was depressed. I was married and had children, but I was depressed because I couldn’t do anything. I wheezed…I would sleep…I would get sick. I would have chronic respiratory infections. I met a woman who told me to go and see this naturopathic doctor who had studied in Germany. He took me by the hand, literally and figuratively, and led me down the path of who the healers were at the time, who I should be reading, what I should be doing with my body. In nine months after meeting this gentleman and taking to heart everything he told me to do, I was able to completely heal my body. I have never been on medication since. I have more health and vitality at 67 than I did at 25. So it really works.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1) I fed my children organic foods. Sometimes I had to drive an hour to find a co-op for something that would have organic foods, but they had a lot of fruits and vegetables. And they enjoyed them because, as I always say, we educate our taste buds as to what tastes good and what doesn’t. Even with my four-year-old granddaughter right now, one of her favorite foods is cucumbers. She will ask for a cucumber. If you are with a small child and you’re giving them real food, they’re not asking for peanut butter cups. Do you know what I mean? She loves melon. She loves fruits. In fact, she always says, ‘Grandma, I need fruits and vegetables to be healthy.’ So I’m having an effect on her somehow.”
2) I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, because it was full of hippies that loved plant medicine. I thought, “Boy, I could really succeed there.” After several months of hearing about me, a holistic medical doctor asked me to move my practice to his building. And that’s really when things got exciting because he’s a magnificent human being. He sent his patients to me for education on how to heal their bodies. He is just an amazing physician and he really did not want his patients on medication. He wanted them to be healthy and to really be responsible for their own health. So, even though I did not become a doctor, I found one that I was blessed to work with side-by-side.
3) Keep Learning. When I’m talking to my clients, I always urge them to keep learning about what interests them, whatever it is that they love most, whether it’s knitting or gardening or fascination with children or reading a topic. Because honestly, I never would have believed that I would someday be doing what I loved to earn a living. It really starts out with being passionate about something. And in my case, in every spare minute I had, I was reading and learning and practicing what I had learned. And if anybody had told me when I was 25 years old and so ill, that I would have been an adjunct professor at a university, I never would have believed it. I had been programmed to believe I wasn’t smart enough.
4) A career does not happen overnight. And if you want to follow your passion, you have to want to walk that path. For some people that may happen overnight, but it sure didn’t for me. But you can’t be afraid to take that leap.
Connecting With Cindy Klement, MS, CNS, MCHES
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