Before organic eating became trendy and gluten became the enemy, Janet Jacks was busy creating her organic, free–range, healthy living business. She wasn’t doing it to hop on someone else’s bandwagon but because it was the right choice for herself and her family. She is the founder and owner of the organic grocery chain with the catchy name, Goodness Me. Janet and her husband Scott opened Goodness Me back in 1981. The way it came about was, no pun intended, organically. Goodness Me was born through family tragedy and the Jack’s hope that there must be a better way to live. They believed that sickness should not be inevitable and they discovered that nature provides many of the answers that we need. More than 30 years after the opening of her first grocery, Janet Jacks’ has released her debut book, Discover The Power of Food.
Janet takes much of her knowledge and research from the past decades and has created a life manual. It takes the reader over a 10 week journey in which they are encouraged to change their diet and change the way they think about food. She emphasizes the power of eating whole foods and kicking processed food to the curb. Discover The Power of Food is based on Janet’s 10 week healthy living course that she has taught over the years at Goodness Me called Lifewatchers. “It was actually one of the people who took one of our classes who challenged me and said, ‘You have to put this in a book… People need this information.’” Janet says that people who follow the principles outlined will see and feel the positive changes from eating the right foods. She takes what can be the complicated science of dietary health and makes it understandable for the average reader.
Her book is not filled with lectures simply saying eat more vegetables although that is something that she really, really wants you to do. She uncovers many accepted beliefs. “I do tackle what I call conventional wisdom. The things that we as a society believe but that aren’t necessarily true.” One point that will surprise readers is her stance on salt. Janet says that though you are told to eat less salt, in fact, in some cases, we should be eating more. But not the table salt we use at home; whole, unrefined, organic salt which is filled with nutrients. She is also a big proponent of eating lots of good fat from whole, organic foods. She backs up all of her claims using extensive research from medical doctors, naturopath doctors and scientific studies as well as testimonies from others.
Janet Jacks first began questioning conventional thinking 40 years ago during a family crisis. She and her husband watched as her father–in–law suffered severe complications from diabetes before his death. “Over a two year time, his kidneys were failing so he had to have his stomach tapped regularly. He had heart–attacks; several of them... lost all his teeth because his gums had failed. He had cataracts which in those days was a serious operation. And when they were removed, he had diabetic retinopathy that he didn’t know he had so he was almost blind. He had gangrene. He had his leg amputated. He went through two years of terrible suffering.” While dealing with this, Janet’s husband was diagnosed with the same disease that would eventually claim his father’s life. This was an extremely scary time in their lives. She had grown up in a medical family. Her grand–father, uncle and cousin were all physicians. “I always believed when you got into trouble, the doctor would fix it. But when my father–in–law’s health began to decline, the doctor came to his family and said, ‘His body is going to fall apart and I can’t help him.’” Her father–in–law had done everything that the doctors had told him to do and he still lost his life. This harsh reality caused a change in her thinking. She began to look for alternative ways to help her husband but found that there wasn’t much information available. She had to do her own research. Once she began to change his daily diet, she realized that eating well would be beneficial for the whole family. “So many things respond to a change in diet that it is absolutely incredible…”
This is not a book that promises to cure all sickness and disease but instead offers you a new lifestyle that can drastically improve your situation. “First of all we don’t ask people to stop their medication. You stay on your medication… [If you] put healthy food in place, many things fall away and as those fall away, you see your true self. Now that may mean you still need medication. For example, my husband still takes insulin and he always will. So our goal was not to get rid of insulin but our goal was to be able to avoid the complications of Type 1 diabetes.” Janet teaches you how to get every last nutrient possible out of your diet especially if you are buying organic. “[Meat] is a good place to spend your organic dollars because you don’t want the hormones, antibiotics and wrong feed that’s given to the animals [which] affects the fatty acid profile and the purity of those animal products. A good thing to do is to eat less of it [and] to save all the bits and bones and make broth out of that and extend the nutrient content of your meals by using the broth because this is a very nourishing component…”
Discover The Power of Food is filled with personal stories from past students. Each chapter includes testimonials from people that have followed Janet’s teachings over the years and are reaping the rewards. By simply eating better, Janet says that many people experience healing in their bodies. “…seeing similar changes happening in a wide range of people, is quite compelling…” Some benefits include weight loss and muscle gain; heartburn, irritable bowel and digestion issues resolved; more refreshing sleep and more energy; pain and inflammation diminishes; joint pain reduction, cholesterol level improvement etc.
The book includes over 100 different recipes so that you don’t have to rack your brain to figure out what meals to prepare. The recipes include main courses, soups, salads, snacks and even desserts!
Janet slowly eases the reader into their new lifestyle. Unlike other healthy eating plans, she simply starts with breakfast so that it’s not overwhelming. You start drinking your delicious breakfast smoothie in the morning without changing anything else. This way, you can conquer the small hill instead of attempting the mountain on your first try. This helps you avoid the feeling of failure if you aren’t the epitome of health within in a week.
“I would like to say this, it’s just food. Try it for 10 weeks. Give it a real try for 10 weeks. See if you don’t feel better. And I would be very surprised if you didn’t feel better… because I have thousands of testimonies from people who have done this and can’t believe how they feel and who tell me, ‘I would never go back.’”
When Janet chose her launch date for her book this past January, she did so without even realizing the significance. It was exactly 42 years to date of her father–in–law’s passing. If she had not witnessed his suffering, there would be no Goodness Me nor the opportunity to teach and help thousands of customers over the years. “He died 42 years ago and it feels like... beauty from ashes.” V
Books are available at all Goodness Me locations and www.discoverthepoweroffood.ca, www.goodnessme.ca/