About Sheree's Fork In the Road
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My own journey to better health began while eating a steak on New Year's Eve in the early 1990s. I was in my mid-30s and my doctor had suggested taking a statin drug to manage my high cholesterol, but I had not yet filled the prescription. Although I was at an acceptable weight and considered myself to be fairly healthy, my father had died of a heart attack at age 43, so I was thought to be at risk for heart disease. As I took a bite of Steak de Burgo, I had an epiphany: I didn't need drugs to manage my cholesterol, I needed to manage what I put into my mouth! The biggest change I made was to adopt a semi-vegetarian diet. I also added fiber, reduced all kinds of fat and began to exercise more. My intuition about the health benefits of an altered diet was dead on: within six months I had lowered my total cholesterol by nearly 70 points.
Fast-forward to 2004, when I developed—for the first time in my life—a sinus infection that eventually became chronic. Three cycles of increasingly stronger drugs did nothing to help and I refused to try a fourth. I found some symptom relief from natural approaches, such as the use of a nasal wash system (Neti Pot), and I had decided I would try acupuncture.
The acupuncturist gave me a list of things to do, including making some adjustments to my diet. She also suggested I read the book "Healing With Whole Foods," by Paul Pitchford. It was through reading Pitchford's book that I ultimately pinpointed the cause of my sinus trouble: an abscessed tooth. Eventually the dental problem was resolved, the infection went away and I was finally able to breathe normally again, but in the meantime I had endured compromised health for more than a year. During that time I had become passionate about learning more about alternative medicine, the impact of lifestyle on longevity and related topics. I started reading more books and doing research to learn about the role of nutrition in health. It was during this period of exploration that I learned of something called the raw and living foods movement.
Just as that New Year's Eve discovery felt right, I knew when I initially read about people who exclusively ate uncooked foods that I would become one of them. Unlike the quick changeover to vegetarianism, however, the evolution to a raw lifestyle for me was a more gradual path. Before long, not only was my infection cleared, my health was virtually transformed. I now have more energy than when I was a teenager and need less sleep. My "brain fog" disappeared and I feel more engaged with other people. My high cholesterol is gone. My menopause symptoms were eliminated. I rarely get a cold or the flu, but when I do, the bout is very short and mild. I've never felt better and I feel as though I live every moment to the fullest. When people ask, I say I eat a "100% raw diet, 95% of the time." You may want to "go raw" and adopt a vegan raw foods lifestyle. Then again, you may not. Either way, we can collaborate to achieve your goals on your schedule. You don't have to eat as I do for us to work together.
My journey has brought me to a place where I want to share my knowledge, experience and enthusiasm with others. Over the past several years I have spent nearly all my free time seeking answers, achieving credentialization, practicing techniques, facilitating discussions and eating a lot of really good food. I have spent my vacation time at health retreats and in nutrition and food preparation classes here and abroad. I have bought nearly every good-quality raw resource I could find and spoken to countless other devotees of different programs.
In 2009 I made another lifestyle change. I was 25 years into a successful career in communications and design, but I was feeling unfulfilled. Finding myself at another fork in the road, I decided to begin my own health counseling practice. The reason? I want to help as many people as I can to achieve maximum health, to lead joyful and productive lives and to find their passions. I do this through a variety of programs and services that can be custom–made based on individual needs and goals.
Sheree Clark attended the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is a certified raw culinary arts chef and instructor. Sheree is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She holds an undergraduate degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Masters degree from the University of Vermont. She has authored three books and hundreds of articles. Sheree combines her multiple talents to teach entertaining and informative nutrition and healthy lifestyle classes. Through Fork in the Road, she offers lectures, classes, hands-on workshops, coaching and consultations in the Des Moines area and nationwide. Sheree is a frequent contributor to leading healthy living publications like Purely Delicious magazine and Get Fresh magazine.