“Sorry I haven’t the time right now.”
That was Marguerite Patten’s response to her doctor after he told her that surgery on her painful and severely arthritic hip was the only solution.
Even at age 78 and badly disabled, she was determined not to go down the orthodox route. Instead she turned to her passion and focus of her professional life: food. She was a chef and, by George, she would find a culinary answer.
Before-and-After X-Rays Prove Joints Can Regenerate
Marguerite Patten is no longer with us, having died in 2015 a few months short of her 100th birthday.
Born in the UK, she was the first regular TV cook on the BBC. She wrote 170 books over her long life, selling more than 17 million copies worldwide.
Still leading a full professional life, she knew she could not continue her work until she found an answer to her arthritis.
To do so, she read everything she could lay her hands on. Eventually she came across the book that was to change her life. It was called A Doctor’s Proven New Home Cure for Arthritis, by Giraud W. Campbell, D.O.
She found the book convincing for several reasons. First, because of the extraordinary success achieved by people who followed his advice. Second, by proof in the form of X-rays showing how degenerative changes in arthritic joints were reversed on the diet.
Another important factor was that the solution fitted with her own food preferences. She enjoyed meat and dairy for instance. Dr. Campbell’s diet did not restrict these foods.
So, in 1993 she put his plan into action. Before long, the crippling pain subsided and she recovered full mobility. Her aches and pains never returned.
The Joint-Regeneration Diet
Dr. Campbell wrote his book in 1972. While it did the trick, it was unnecessarily restrictive in some ways, and she felt the recipes in the book were unappetizing.
The science of nutrition had also moved on, and more was understood about controlling illness through diet. Marguerite believed a more modern approach was required. This led to the publication of her book Eat to Beat Arthritis in 2001.
Marguerite Lays Out a Seven-Week Plan to Defeat Arthritis. . .
Week 0 – Listen to Your Body. The plan begins by keeping a food diary on your normal diet, together with a pain and discomfort rating to see if you can identify problem foods. Coffee, tea and anything containing caffeine are not allowed.
Week 1 – Cleanse & Detox. This starts with a one-day water fast, followed by a restricted diet of raw fruits and vegetables, eggs, organ meats and seafoods to cleanse and detoxify the body. No alcohol is allowed. All foods containing wheat, rye, and oats are eliminated, as are any other gluten-containing foods. The plan calls for drinking whole milk with brewer’s yeast and molasses stirred in every day.
Week 2 – Stabilize. The routine that started after the fast is continued.
Weeks 3 to 6 – Elimination Diet. Different foods are gradually introduced to test their effect. The number of foods eaten expands greatly.
Week 7+ – Enjoy Life. By now pain and inflammation will have either disappeared or diminished greatly. You will likely enjoy improved general health, fewer colds and infections, stronger hair and nails and more youthful looking skin. You might also lose some excess weight.
In essence, the diet focuses on organic fruits, vegetables, liver, meat, fowl, game, fish, dairy foods, nuts and seeds. It eliminates grains, although Marguerite’s recipes do include several that use corn meal, millet and buckwheat flour for those who miss this food group.
While her plan takes some determination and discipline to see it through, and she does put a lot of emphasis on the value of liver and organ meats, which are not to everyone’s taste, some people find that just eliminating two dietary items will make all the difference.
As co-author Dr. Jeannette Ewin puts it, “Simply by avoiding all foods containing wheat and all drinks containing caffeine, many arthritis sufferers find their lives changed forever.”
Will This Work For Everyone?
My guess is that Marguerite Patten’s approach will work for a great many people, but not all. A huge number of people have undiagnosed food allergies and sensitivities (and gluten is way high on the list of likely culprits.) These account for not only their arthritis but a host of other medical problems. I think her approach is definitely worth a try.
If you read as much about food cures as I do, you start to see a family resemblance among the ones that work. Grains are often the culprit, especially wheat. Cut other carbs to the minimum while you’re at it. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and make sure they’re organic.
At the very least, be suspicious of alcohol and caffeine – eliminate them for a few weeks and see what happens. Meat is most likely not the villain many “experts” make it out to be – as long as it’s free of antibiotics and hormones.
One of the oddities of Ms. Patten’s diet is that she gives the green light to milk. Few other nutritionists would agree. But since her diet works for many people, it sounds okay provided you’re not lactose intolerant.
- A Doctor’s Proven New Home Cure for Arthritis by G.W. Campbell
- Eat to Beat Arthritis by Marguerite Patten and Dr. Jeannette Ewin