Let’s Do It the Food Babe Way


She limped up the pathway to my office, clutching a Big Gulp with one hand and her stomach with the other.

“I’m Lila,” she said, as I ushered her inside. “Eddie said you can gimme something for my pain.”

After removing the Big Gulp and settling her down with a cup of ginger tea, I asked, “What do you think is causing your discomfort?”

She shrugged. “I dunno.”

“Well, what do you usually eat every day?”

“We don’t have a lot of money,” she warned. “We eat whatever we can get cheap or in bulk at WalMart or Sam’s Club.”

“So that would be…?”

“You know, the usual. Hot dogs. Cold cuts. That kind of stuff. We do what we can.”

“What about fruits and vegetables?”

“Yeah, I had fruit this morning.”

“Good! What kind?”

“Froot Loops®.”

My heart sank.

“We have ‘em every day with milk,” she said with a proud look.

Froot Loops! How do I explain the complexities of how dietary habits impact health to someone who thinks Froot Loops are fruit?

I decided to stick with the facts.

Have you read The Food Babe Way?” I began. “It’s a wonderful new book that explains what’s really in the foods we eat, and how many of the hidden ingredients, which are really just chemicals, not foods, affect our bodies. It talks about Froot Loops, in fact, as well as other popular cereals like Frosted Flakes, Wheaties, Cocoa Krispies, Rice Krispies, Cookie Crisp, and Corn Pops. In order to have a longer shelf life—in other words, in order to stay “fresh” on grocers’ shelves until they’re bought and eaten—they contain the preservatives.”

“Well, sure, I know that,” Lila said.

“Good. But did you know that one preservative used in those cereals is Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), which causes cancer in lab animals? Studies also link it to endocrine disruption.”


“Endocrine disruption,” I repeated, “which means it messes up your hormones.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Then you probably also didn’t know that Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) is considered so harmful to growing children that it’s been outlawed in Europe.”

Wait—you mean the kids in Europe don’t get to eat cereal?”

“No, I mean the cereal in Europe is manufactured without that preservative.”

“Then…why do we still have it in ours?”

What a great question. Why indeed?

But Lila shook her head. “Look, I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about this stuff, and really, I don’t care. Eddie said you could give me something for my stomachache. That’s what I came for. Can you help me or not?”

Well, I already gave you ginger tea, which helps soothe a miserable stomach. You should be feeling a bit better already. But let’s talk a little about what might have caused your pain, so we can get rid of it.”

“I don’t know what causes it. These things just happen to me. There’s nothing I can do about it. I came here because Eddie said you’d help.”

I probably can, but it means looking at what you’re eating, because there are a lot of dangerous chemicals hidden in our foods without disclosure. Let’s start with bread. Do you eat organic, sprouted-grain breads, or do you eat GMOs?”

Lila looked at me as if I had antennae growing out of my forehead. “I eat…white bread. Just plain, 99¢ white bread.”

“Well, then, you’re eating azodicarbonamide, a yoga-mat toxin.”


“Exactly. Commercial spongy breads, like plain, 99¢ white bread, use Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, instead of the old-fashioned wheat everyone baked with a century ago. Did you know that GMOs are in almost all processed foods?”

“Processed foods?”

“The pre-cooked, packaged stuff you get cheap at Walmart and Sam’s Club,” I explained.


“Those GMOs in over 90% of today’s prepackaged foods prevent your body from using insulin properly. That can lead to diabetes and obesity.”

“Oh!” She heaved a large sigh. “Most everybody in my family’s fat, and most all of us have diabetes,” she admitted.

European countries don’t allow GMOs in their foods because they’ve been linked to cancer, diabetes, and nearly every other modern disease.”

“So…if I stop eating the bread, my belly will stop hurting?”

I scrunched up my nose. “It’s not quite that simple. See, our farmers feed their chickens and cows and pigs genetically modified corn, so we’re actually ingesting GMOs all the time. In fact, unless we get our meat from organically raised free-range, grass-fed animals, we’re consuming GMOs, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics at every meal.”

I had more to say, but Lila looked lost. All this was too much to absorb in one sitting, and I didn’t want her to start blaming herself, which is so anti-constructive to good health. Besides, I knew none of this was her fault. She was a victim of the “Standard American Diet (SAD)”—fast foods, processed foods, hi-sugar foods, chemicals disguised as food-like substances, and other just plain junk—that has made all manner of chronic and fatal illness skyrocket.

You know,” I said gently, “you are part of a large community with very similar conditions. Diabetes is an epidemic in McKinley County – someone told me 87.5% have it.”

Me, too,” she said. “I already lost a toe. The doc says I could lose my foot soon, or maybe my leg off below the knee. And there’s nothing I can do about it,” she ended sadly, shaking her head.

“But there is, you know,” I said. “And it’s not as hard as you might think. It’s all about eating some different things—stuff that isn’t any more expensive than what you’re eating now,” I added quickly as she started to protest. “Like this drink. It’s a green smoothie made with fresh organically grown pineapple, kale, spinach, garlic, celery, a cucumber, and a carrot. None of these ingredients is expensive, and instead of leaching calcium and magnesium from your bones, and depleting vitamin C from your body, like your Big Gulp does, it actually helps my body stay strong and healthy.”

“It looks like glop,” she insisted.

“It tastes delicious,” I countered. “And it’s a step toward getting rid of your diabetes and getting your body healthy and strong again.”

“I don’t know…” she hedged.

You know that book I mentioned, The Food Babe Way? Well, before that author started investigating what was in our foods and changed the way she ate, she was overweight and felt lousy all the time. She had bad skin, lifeless hair, headaches, and no energy. She was a mess. Today, she looks and feels amazing, with more energy than she’s had since she was a kid. We’re going to incorporate some of her 21-step ideas into a class on diabetes management in order to empower the Gallup community. We want people to learn how to cope with or get rid of their diabetes!”

Lila’s eyes opened wide. “I wanna take that class!”

I tilted my head. “You’ll have to qualify to be a candidate. We’re taking on a very limited number of applicants. They have to commit to a plan— and to themselves— for at least 90 days.

“I can do that!”

“Once you’re admitted to the program, you can’t cheat,” I warned.

“I can do that!”

“No junk foods, no packaged foods, only organically grown fruits, vegetables, grains and meats.”

Her face fell. “That’s gonna be too expensive.”

Not as expensive as losing a leg,” I said quietly. “Or living in pain every day, like you are now. Or dying young, before you have the chance to see your kids grow up.”

She turned her head, but not before I saw the tears welling in her eyes. Finally, she turned back to me with a smile. “You know what?” she said. “I think this ginger tea is working. I do feel better, I really do. I think I could drink that garlicky glop of yours. It’s probably not so bad.”

“It’s actually delicious.”

“Yeah, whatever. Where do I fill out the application for your class?”

Call BASTIS Foundation at (505) 783-9001. Request the Let’s Do it the Food Babe Way application, and it will be provided to you. We’ll contact you if you qualify to be a candidate.”

Lila stood up. “I’m going to do it. Right now. I really want to get well. I don’t want my kids suffering like this, and I don’t want them having to grow up without me. I want us all to be healthy,” she said. “All of us.”

“I think this is the right class for you!” I said, giving her a hug. “I’m really looking forward to us working together to build and strengthen your immune system!”

“I don’t really know what that means, but hey…me, too!”


Dr. Bera “The Wellness Whisperer” Dordoni, N.D.
Specializing in immune system rehabilitation, restoration, and maintenance through nutritional counseling, life-style coaching, and the laws of attraction. To purchase I Have a Choice?!, schedule a private consultation, or learn more about her next workshop, wellness retreat, or natural-health class, visit www.bastis.org or call 505-783-9001.