It was almost twenty years ago when I discovered that I had something called ‘endometriosis’, I hadn’t heard of it until then. The discovery of a large cyst prompted a fairly swift admission to hospital where the endometriosis, rather than something more sinister, was confirmed when I underwent major surgery. The chronic nature of this condition led to recurrences which were initially managed by synthetic hormone treatments which in turn were unpleasant and only minimally effective such that further surgery was being talked about. This time I would be sent to Manchester where, unlike Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness, I would have access to much less invasive keyhole surgery. To this day I still don’t know what persuaded me to ignore all the well-intentioned specialists who told me that there was ‘no cure’ for endometriosis as I set about finding one, not a medical cure, but a natural one.
The natural cure worked, and quite swiftly. It was nothing more groundbreaking than natural food … the very substances that have sustained humanity throughout its entire history, but that had never dawned on me prior to this experience, after all, apples, berries, cabbages and dates never appeared on TV commercials and I’d clearly grown up thinking of them as somewhat second rate.
I think I was aghast for a couple of years (a long time to be aghast) that the medical world seemed so oblivious to this miracle cure. Sadly, the ‘no cure’ label still applies in conventional medical circles which leaves many sufferers shortchanged in respect of the options available to them.
From a practical point of view, I made a pretty good job of the foray into healing foods, especially considering it was such a new world to me. This treatment also had side-effects, but I welcomed them! I started to notice the quality of my hair improving, the cellulite that I assumed to be permanent once I’d got it, disappeared, and my skin improved; I was starting to look healthy. Aesthetically and creatively though, the food I was making was lacking. The excellent book I’d read which set me off in this direction advised eating something raw with every meal, which I typically satisfied by munching on a raw carrot or throwing a handful of alfalfa sprouts on top of whatever cooked meal I was eating. These were not dinner party meals by any stretch of the imagination.
Fast forward to 2009 and a surprise message from an old friend opened up a whole new world. The friend was Graham Henry. We’d first met at a German university in the early 1980s and we’d stayed loosely in touch, neither of us ever marrying in the meantime almost as if we’d been waiting for each other. We got married two years later and I moved across the Pennines to York. I decided not to continue with my teaching career; I had loved teaching languages, German and Spanish, but it was time for a change and change is precisely what we’ve experienced. Graham embraced many of my eating habits and he too was stunned by the results. There were now two people completely passionate about natural food and very eager to share the news with anyone keen to hear it. This has formed the basis of our joint business.
We’ve immersed ourselves in natural health information and even undertaken qualifications, not just involving food, but in my case also meditation which became very relevant to me personally, and significant enough for me to train to teach it to others.
Something raw with every meal has surpassed ‘easy’ as many of our meals are raw, or high raw and this somewhat untalented cook has found something she can do and do well; I love it! I never imagined I’d even be involved in preparing food for guests, much less that I’d create many of the dishes myself!
At the time of writing, I have a new health challenge in the form of Chronic Fatigue. Luckily, the way we work means that neither our work nor the condition is impaired by the other, and I am in the extremely fortunate position of having a wealth of highly relevant information and knowledge to draw on to help me through the experience and gain some understanding of the underlying causes that have made it possible. I don’t much like this, but I know I’m lucky.
We interact with whoever wants to join us on our Henry & Henry Facebook page. For posts specifically about food there’s the Power of Natural Food Facebook page. And the Power of Awareness Facebook page includes posts about meditation and living more consciously. I’m also on Twitter and on Instagram as wellgood.annette. The photos are mostly food creations.