My story begins and ends with food. Not really…but close. My name is Diane Lalomia and I’ve learned a lot about health and wellness that your doctor doesn’t have the time to tell you. It’s a story about my journey and what I learned while recovering first from the breast cancer in 2011 and sudden cardiac arrest in 2014.
My studies in anatomy, microbiology, zoology, botany, chemistry and physics in college have helped me better understand the scientific papers I’ve encountered as I research. My work at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in pathology and microbiology as the educational coordinator for the second year medical students, has been tremendously valuable as I listen to the interviews of doctors from a variety of disciplines. I am able to understand the very complex physiology we call our body, at least enough to ask questions, try new things and research further.
One Thing I’m Not
I’m not a chef, I’m a programmer, but I’ve learned to cook and love to eat food that loves me back. When I met my Italian husband I invited him to dinner. I was working full time and taking evening college courses and I didn’t even have a car at the time. To my horror I realized, only to late, that I didn’t have the ingredients I needed to make spaghetti. My cupboards were bare so I got “creative” and used ketchup to make the spaghetti sauce. He had heartburn for days, but he felt so sorry for me, he decided he had to marry me and teach me how to make the real deal. Did I mention he is half Italian? Now 35 years later he’s finally sharing his secrets.
My cooking…or lack thereof, is not my fault…my mother really didn’t like to cook. After all, the food industry had convinced her and other housewifes of their time that cooking was drugery. They offered processed foods that only required opening a box, can or popping it out of a freezer bag. My father hated vegetables unless they were peas, beans or corn.
My Love of Food
My love of food came from my great grandmother, Mama Jessie (center front in the picture). I grew up learning to love fresh vegetables from the garden by picking them fresh from the garden and shucking them on the porch swing with a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea. She lived in south Georgia, in Eastman, not far from where the Valdalia onion comes from. She loved to cook and I loved to eat it! Every time we came to visit she made us our favorite pie. It was from her that I learned that love is the secret ingredient. Dishes cooked with love taste so much better…don’t they?
I Keep Learning
Over the years, while raising two children, I thought my cooking was more nutritious than the diet I grew up on. My my first born, a daughter, was bottle fed. I learned more in the 5 years between kids when my second child, a boy, was born. I breastfed and made my son’s baby food.
I had finally discovered exotic vegetables like artichokes and cauliflower. Even fresh, not frozen, broccoli was new to me. My mother-in-law taught me to can tomatoes. However it wasn’t until many years later that I really begin to understand the real value of nutrition. As I dig deeper and learn more about genetics, epigenetics and nutrigenomics, the puzzle pieces begin to fit.
Disclaimer: My story is not intended for medical advice and should not be confused as such. If you have an illness, please consult your medical professional for the proper treatment. I have added integrative therapies along with the prescriptions and follow treatment plans prescribed by my doctor(s). I keep my doctors informed of all the medications and supplements I am taking. I see both a conventional cardiologist that is local to me but also see Dr. Joel Kahn, a metabolic cardiologist, in Detroit every six months for nutritional and medical advice.