These are extracts from emails, letters and cards sent to Healthy Eating and have been reproduced here with consent:
Autism spectrum, sensory intolerances, difficulties in concentration, hayfever, recurring illnesses
Our son got over flu well with no hint of his typical secondary chest infection. While recovering he has been reading Harry Potter, which is very unusual for him. He has been continuously asking what words mean – a full time interaction with us which again is unusual. He is not putting his hand or arm up to avoid eye contact with me and he is also able to converse with more ease. He has been well tempered. One year later he is doing well at school with teacher aide saying he is working extremely hard and is incredibly focused.
So we are definitely very happy to continue on making these moves to fight his sugar addiction and getting him to tolerate greater range of nourishing yummy food.
Thanks so much for this big change in direction in his nutrition, your work and help is just fantastic. This is definitely the path I have been looking for and cannot express my gratitude enough!
When my younger son was 6 months old, he had very bad eczema and constipation. I was so upset and did not know what should I do because what ever I tried did not work well for my son. We found that he has multiple food intolerance and milk is the biggest trouble for him. I was kind of shattered because milk and wheat are the significant part of our diet and I did not know how to with deal this. Fortunately, Phillipa helped me to get over this problem with alternative foods and a good plan to grow his immunity. His eczema is almost gone. I am relieved that his bad constipation is also under control and he is heaps better now. Phillipa is wonderful person and great helper.
Eating Well but not Feeling Well
I have appreciated your empathy, compassion and listening skills. It was useful when you were able to refer back to your earlier notes I could see I was making progress, or where I really need to put effort in and make changes. You accepted that my physician had a role to play – not forcing me into an either-or position when selecting healthcare approaches. You thought outside the square and looked for a range of approaches to health issues, rather than one-size-fits-all. It worked for me to “start small”– when we started making changes. At all times I have felt respected – not slotted into a category [age OR illness category].
Phillipa, thanks for “being there” over the last year. Having a regular “sounding board” has helped me, lots. And you were the one who put me onto hair testing for toxicity… thank goodness.
Healthy Eating was established by Alison Cowell. Over 12 years she worked with many people. Below are Alison’s success stories, retained here to show the range of symptoms that can be relieved with attention to nutrition and digestion.
“I learned more in that one hour than I’ve learned in the rest of my life”
11 year old Louis Davis, Eskdale
“Alison ‘saved my life” comment from both my children who Alison has helped with great success!
Like many other people I came to Alison about 5 years ago feeling like rubbish. Multiple visits to the Doctor which you get a 15 minute visit, possibly a blood test and a container of pills. So over time with symptoms (vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, and no energy) and out of options, I booked into Alison. Had my blood tests sent through which according to the Doctor ‘somethings are on the low side’ but nothing to worry about – hmmm…. not according to Alison.
So a change of diet eliminating lots of food, natural supplements, it took 2 – 3 months and I started to feel normal again. I don’t have a regular GP, if ever I’m feeling unwell Alison is my go to person. I am also taking the journey through menopause with Alison which helped me through. So 5 years on I still take supplements and my diet hasn’t changed but I feel fantastic. My visits to Alison are not that often now, just a maintenance check, but I know that if I am not feeling 100% I just send an email which gets responded to very quickly.
So to anyone reading these “Success Stories” don’t hesitate make an appointment, I guarantee you will feel better!
Vicki Musson – Havelock North
It’s an absolute pleasure to be writing feedback for Alison.
For two years we have been searching for answers for my 3 year old boy. He has battled with ear infection after ear infection, a constant runny nose and a regular upset tummy – winter and nights have been hell. He has been on about 6 courses of antibiotics each winter for double ear infections. Our gut feeling was a allergy or intolerance to something. The doctors wanted to prescribe this or that and told us hes too young for any allergy testing. We were referred for removal of his tonsils and adenoids but at such a young age it didn’t sit well with us.
After a conversation with our midwife we found out about Alison.
Our first appointment was information gathering and a hair analysis to be sent away. It felt like forever to getting those results back (it wasnt, it was just finally get answers we desperately needed). Results back we sat down with Alison and worked through them.
He’s dairy and gluten intolerant and a number of other things. Taking Alison’s expert advice we have removed the culprits from his diet and two months down the track we are amazed! His nose now only runs if a environmental intolerance is around. He looks healthier, his eyes are no longer sunk in, he’s putting weight on, he’s always hungry (replacing the good things hes been unable to store in his body) he’s got regular bowel movements, he’s trying new foods, his quality of sleep has improved and no night terrors since. We have a happy and healthy boy – the way he should be!
Thank you for your help Alison I cant Express what it means to us and it’s just the beginning.
Sarah Martin, Waipukurau
For 40 years I suffered, daily, from chronic pain and have sought help from many different mainstream and alternative medical practitioners. I had always associated food intolerance with stomach/gut problems. I did not know that chronic inflammation in the muscles and joints can be caused by food intolerance. I first met Alison 9 months ago. She explained how food intolerance affects the body and carried out a number of tests. I was surprised at the long list of foods that are a problem for me – even “healthy” foods – and since removing them (mostly) from my diet, I have been generally pain-free. I do have occasional bad days but they are not often, and are usually because I have over-indulged in my “intolerant” foods. And a “bad” day now, is nothing compared to bad days in the past. Alison has provided good support and follow up and the last nine months have certainly been the best I’ve had in the last 40 years. She said something that has stuck with me – “knowledge, choice, consequence”. I am so thankful that I now have the knowledge and because of that, can make the right choices to live a pain-free life.
Julie Fergus, Havelock North
My dearest Alison, sorry again for my emotional ouburst yesterday, they were tears of pure joy. I have seen so many specialists over the years and I was told that polymyalgia and chronic fatigue could only be managed by medication. From the minute I spoke to you I knew you could help and boy have you done that. It’s not just your undeniable wealth of knowledge, it’s the way you truly listen and care. You explain things so well and I understand the causes now, which you have helped me fix. My husband thinks you are wonderfull too as he has ‘his Mary’ back.
Mary Gibson, Napier
Hi Alison – I know it’s only early days but I wanted to thank you! I’m now back at work and I am feel so energised already. I just did 4x 12 hour day shifts in a row and did not have, nor have the craving or the need for, any coffee. I also woke up this morning with enough energy to mow the lawns and weed whack the sides and now I’m off to walk the dog for an hour. Feeling so good, thank you very much.
Monique Gore, Auckland
Why did I wait? I spoke to Alison 5 years ago at an expo and knew she could help just in the brief conversation we had. I took the card and intended to book an appointment but never did. As my health got worse and worse, several friends recommended seeing Alison but I still put it off. My doctor hadn’t been able to find anything wrong with me, so I wasn’t sure that anyone else could. How wrong I was. Seriously, after the first day of seeing Alison I already felt different, emotionally and physically. She diagnosed a rare auto-immune condition and gave me dietary advice to manage it. I wish I had done this sooner. My advice to anyone who is suffering is don’t wait. See Alison and see how she can help you.
Karen Worthington, Central Hawke’s Bay
I am not a cancer survivor; I am a thriver. Thanks to Alison. When Big C knocked on my door in the form of advanced and aggressive prostate cancer I became a mess. The stress of waiting for treatment had got to me and caused a lifetime health issue to turn nasty. And, although I knew that my urologist and oncologist were going to do the best they could for me I also knew that I was going to have to make a big effort myself. Then I met Alison at a Cancer Society meeting, heard her speak, and decided to get on board with her. My diet had never been too bad, but she took me to a different level, and it worked. My immediate problem went to being better than it had ever been. Also Alison helped me work on preparation and recovery from the radiation and hormone treatment and very importantly, to stop the cancer returning. That was four and a half years ago. Considering the extent of my cancer when it was diagnosed, by now I should be getting into trouble again, but ongoing tests show that I am still well and truly in remission. In prostate cancer circles I am considered to be a success story. That I got through all this and my excellent recovery is in a very big part due to the diet that Alison worked out for me. She got into the corner with me put my boxing gloves on. And she cared. I still see her every 6 months and will continue to do so, I guess for ever.
Trevor Doig, Havelock North
We have a life again….. I retired at the end of last year after doing 14 years of a very stressful job. Basically at the beginning of this year (2016) my health collapsed. After numerous visits to hospital for a kidney stone & being diagnosed with diverticulitis I felt that my health was going nowhere and most of my time was spent on or in the bed. I had no energy and felt unwell most of the time. The health services were good but did not offer any alternative solutions to improving my health “just to get on with it”. I saw an article about Alison in the paper and immediately made an appointment to see her. My doctor did a blood test and I gave the results to Alison. Alison tested me for allergies and changed my food regime and I started taking supplements. The results were life changing and now three months later I am once again leading a full and active life. My wife was so impressed that she is now seeing Alison as well and already she is seeing an improvement in her health. We cannot thank you enough for helping us to return to a normal and active life.
Barry & Rowena Lucas, Napier
Before I went to see Alison I had suffered from intensive nausea, stomach bloating and diarrhea for five years. Most of the responses I received from doctors and gastroenterologists were comments like “keep taking these tablets, go away and put a smile on your face” or “I think you need tranquilisers, this is all to do with stress” and “sorry there is nothing we can do for you”. I have been consulting with Alison for only 3 months and am now very much symptom free!! I can’t believe how well I feel, so quickly, without medication just simply the right food. I can’t thank Alison enough and would recommend anyone to consult with her. Don’t suffer, just see her!
I recently had a consultation with Alison Cowell of Healthy Eating. It was an enlightening meeting where she was able to confirm a number of severe food intolerances that I was kind of aware of but had not taken seriously and others that were likely to be interfering with a medication I take for hypothyroidism. And to think I had thought my diet was reasonably healthy. As a result, I’ve removed quite a few foods from my diet to help improve energy levels, reduce my sinus issues and get rid of some digestive concerns. One thing I like about Alison’s approach is she doesn’t sell you things you don’t need, she isn’t pushy and her prescriptions are personalised ‘one size does not fit all’. After 4 weeks I have more energy, my skin is more nourished and I’m able to create meals that are tasty and nutritious. Thank you Alison for your nutritional wisdom, and your bright, passionate and knowledgeable approach.
Fiona Ritchie, Taradale
After my gallbladder was removed in 2009 I was told that there was nothing I could do about the very debilitating digestive issues I subsequently experienced. If I had only found you sooner. To finally go on holiday and not have to worry about where the nearest toilet is, has been so liberating not only for me but my long-suffering husband. I have told my specialist about you because I don’t want others to have to suffer as I have done. For anyone reading this – you need to see this lady, she is awesome.
Gillian Layton – Masterton
………I haven’t taken a nausea tablet for two weeks now (have had minor nausea feelings but nothing like I had before and not strong enough to want to take a tablet). The best thing that has happened this year so far is finding you. I never thought that food played such a big part of wellbeing.
Joan Duley – Wairoa
Wow! just wow! Alison, you have worked miracles with Jacob, my 7 year old son. He was always complaining of tummy aches and had never slept well since he was born. So many trips to the doctor, so many days off school and never getting any answers. He was one sad little boy. After eliminating dairy (there was me thinking the raw milk I was giving him was so good for him) and eggs, we have never looked back. Our whole family have benefitted from the advice you have given us. You’re amazing and have a lovely way with children. Thank you isn’t enough….but thank you anyway!
Tanja Copeland – Hastings
In July 2014, my daughter and I attended an Endometriosis Society evening in Havelock North. There were a couple of speakers, one of whom was Alison Cowell. Following her talk, and having had the opportunity to ask her specific questions, we booked an appointment for my daughter to be assessed. Our meeting with Alison was very informative. She went through my daughter’s medical history and then did a food intolerance test with a variet(y of foods, and explained how and why she was intolerant to certain foods. As a result of the testing my daughter made some dietary changes. Almost immediately we noticed an improvement in her symptoms, particularly the pain symptoms, and the sleep difficulties. After 4 weeks she then started re-introcuding foods, and we now (about a further 4 weeks on again) know what to avoid. As the saying goes ‘Knowledge is Power’ and in this case, it truly is.
Jennifer Howe – Hastings
I woke this morning and was pain free for the first time in many years. I cried with joy. I cannot begin to tell you what this means to me. Avoiding eggs is tricky but well worth the results. Thank you so much.
David Rumbold- Essex, UK
Thank you so much for your help, I am so glad that I came to see you. I was beginning to feel that I was never going to find out what was causing my problems so it is such a relief not only to have found the cause but also to realise how easy it has been to cure it.
Trish Champion- Essex, UK
‘I honestly believe you have saved my life. I was so sick for so long, I had given up hope and dreaded the years ahead. Not now. The migraines are a thing of the past and my cholesterol has never been this low EVER. Best of all is that I am finally off my anti-depressants after 18 years and my family are pleased to have ‘me’ back, especially my husband. I have also lost weight without trying because, like you said, it’s about health not weight. Thank you so very much Alison. I am now looking forward to living.’
Sheena Absolom, Auckland
…. the psoriasis is all but gone…and my doctor can’t believe the latest blood test results are mine, thank you!
I have been a yo yo dieter most of my life so can truly say I have tried every diet ever invented. So its no wonder I got to a stage where I was completely confused about was I was meant to be eating, with the focus always being weight loss, weight loss, weight loss.
I also got to the stage where I just felt unwell and clearly my body wasn’t working as it should be. I had no choice but to trust Alison’s advice as I had quite literally ‘hit a wall’ and for the first time ever it wasn’t about weight loss, but concern for my health.I quite literally needed someone to say, this is what you should be eating.From the very start I loved the food choices I was making, I was eating like a queen and for the first time in my life was not on a diet or feeling deprived of the forbidden foods I would normally be craving for.
After 6 months my energy was at an all time high and my health the best its been in years. (I have the blood results to prove it)
Who would have thought that NOT dieting would also pay off, as since meeting Alison less than a year ago I have lost 20 kilos. And while its not ever been about the weight loss I can totally understand why I am at a healthy weight now. Its simply because I am not starving my body of the foods it needs to function properly so I am never hungry and never feeling like I am on a short term program. This is for life and I have never felt better!
While working as a Staff Nurse at Hastings Memorial Hospital, I fell ill with ME (Myalgic Encephomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in September 1991. I returned to Northern Ireland where I was bed-ridden and housebound for three years and had to be looked after by my parents.
In October 1995 I returned to Hawkes Bay and continued some sort of recovery until about the Millennium when my illness began to worsen again with migraines, lack of energy and bad digestion being the major symptoms. Over the next eight years, three medical consultants, several GP’s and many alternative practitioners failed to diagnose what was causing my migraines and other symptoms. Because I had ME the doctors simply put me in the ‘too hard’ basket and didn’t even investigate the possibility that something else might be the cause of my problems. The medical profession failed me totally. For the past two years the frequency of the migraines were as often as three days a week and diarrhoea an almost daily occurence. I had no energy and lived a very restricted and miserable existance feeling absolutely terrible. Thankfully in January 2009 it was suggested that I see nutritionalist Alison Cowell and at the first consultation,where I was tested for food intolerances, Alison found that I was intolerant to yeast, wheat, dairy produce, eggs, tomatoes, sugar and even my favourite fruit bananas. I was stunned. These were the ingredients which made up my very healthy (that is for other people) bland diet and foods which I liked and chose. Alison told me that in six years of testing people for food intolerances mine were the worst results. No wonder I felt nearly dead. As of that date I went gluten free and cut out all the foods Alison diagnosed I was intolerant to. Within a week I noticed an improvement and within ten days I had phoned my family in Northern Ireland to tell them that I had been given the key to unlock the illness and had grasped it with both hands. Two months later I am ‘living’ again and walking up to 2 miles a day. Before I could barely make it to my mailbox. The headaches have gone, the ‘foul head’ has gone, the muscle weakness has gone, the joint pain has gone and I am also sleeping better. My digestion still needs to improve but I am assured that that will happen over the next few months. It has been a revelation and I am so thankful I took up the suggestion to see Alison. I am convinced that a huge number of people could improve their health by identifying how food may be affecting them as many doctors are uninformed at just how ill people can become if they have developed food intolerances.
Prior to seeing Alison I had been suffering from a painful and distressing medical condition for 5 years. I’d been covered in itchy spots on my legs, backs and arms. Large nasty holes that I would rip open especially while I slept, they itched so badly. Specialists diagnosed a dozen different ‘ailments’ over the years. I took assorted antibiotics – sometimes for as long as 6 months. I drank potions to treat it internally. I tried creams and lotions – you name it. The medical profession had NO idea what to do about it. Meanwhile I was becoming more and more distressed AND scarred as the holes got larger and nastier.
Under Alison’s guidance, I altered my diet and the spots started to heal up WITHIN DAYS. By day 7 of my new healthy eating plan I was itch free and did not have a single ‘open’ spot…..I could sleep without scratching, wear close-fitting clothes without them rubbing and irritating my skin and I could hug my boyfriend without needing to pull away and scratch! The scars are healing well some 6 weeks later. I struggle to find adjectives to explain the relief and delight this brings me after so many years of what I can only describe as hell.
“Alison has changed the way I think about food completely. Over years and years I have been on and off fad diets with no luck, I now understand doing a lot more harm than good!! I have always suffered with constipation and lack of energy. I was thinking I was being healthy by making “healthy salad sandwiches” but Alison identified that I was intolerant to yeast and cheese so for me it wasn’t healthy at all. She cut them out of my plan, which has worked wonders for my health and my life too. I now have much more energy and very rarely suffer with constipation (only if I get a bit slack on the plan).
Alison is an inspirational woman, and no-one could do the job she does with such care and devotion. I have recommended her to many friends (and strangers too!) and will carry on doing so as she has changed my life for the better.”
“I had a rash appear around my lips and went to my doctor. She gave me some ointment but it didn’t work. When I went back she gave me another prescription for more ointment which also didn’t work, so I went back again and the process was repeated. When that didn’t work, she recommended a skin specialist and I had to wait 4 months to see him. He advised he had no idea what it was but gave me a prescription for yet another ointment, plus a course of antibiotics for a month. I did start this regime then thought how silly it all was. Luckily I heard Alison speak and booked an appointment right away. She did her analysis, identifying some food intolerances I had and made several suggestions on what to eat plus some supplements to take. My lip cleared up in about 3 wks. I can highly recommend Alison she is very good at what she does.”
“Growing up with a mother who is a chef and having a keen interest in food myself, I’d never really thought too more about what happened after I ate it!! Alison really opened my eyes to my own digestive “personality”. I soon discovered that there was a reason why I was tired and bloated after certain food and having eliminated them from my diet, (by choice) I bounce out of bed in the morning and I haven’t been sick in more than a year!!”
“Having suffered with psoriasis for many years, I had resigned myself to the fact that it was something I just had to put up with – until I met Alison. She explained that my digestive system was not working efficiently and identified that I was very intolerant to tomatoes. I followed the eating plan she prepared for me and watched my skin get better each day. I cannot thank her enough for the change this has made to me.”
“I have been overweight since having my children and tried lots of diets over the years. When I heard one of Alison’s talks, it struck me that she focused on being healthy rather than losing weight so I made an appointment. She told me in simple language how my body works and what might be making me put on weight. The eating plan I had from her was simple and full of food that I can easily eat. I lost 10kg over a year and it is still coming off. I would like to say thank you to Alison and I have recommended her to my family and friends.”
“Have noticed a huge improvement in my digestion, have lots more energy, haven’t had any headaches, lost bloated feeling as well as some weight. When I don’t stick to the plan I really notice it afterwards.”
“Alison is an inspiration! Her bright humour and bubbly personality make it easy to talk to her and she understands what your problems are. I have never enjoyed such good health since meeting her. My cholesterol is lower than it has been for many years, even my doctor was surprised.”
“I had really bad stomach pains before I saw Alison but I do not get them now. Thanks to Alison I have tried eating many different new foods which has not only helped me but also my family. We are all feeling healthier and have more energy. I especially liked the recipes at the back because I had got into a rut and kept making the same meals over and over again.”
“What I like best about Alison’s approach is that she simply tells you what’s good for you and what’s bad (I was intolerant to eggs, yeast and nuts). Her plan is great, full of personal and informative information, allowing you to choose what and how you eat, knowing it will help you. She even said I can still drink red wine! I have noticed a difference in my skin – the reason I went to see her – and I don’t feel anywhere near as sluggish as I did, plus I have lost weight which is a nice bonus.”
The eating plan has been a life-changing experience, that’s for sure. I’ve lost 5kg in a month, my sugar cravings have pretty much gone, and I’m feeling so much better it’s just amazing . My blood sugar levels have normalised – I no longer get hungry or shaky. I’m feeling a lot better about life, and just incredulous that the sugar cravings have gone – how lucky that I found your ad!!!
Alison was great, and I think this wonderful service is such value for money! I now have an extensive eating plan and food list to help my system out, and am so much more in touch with how I can help my body work properly. Alison was extremely thorough and her sessions really helped put a name to all the niggling problems I had. Thank you so much, Alison!