ANA Positive Oligoarthritis has a big scary name but it had no chance against a determined Iida who used the Paddison Program and Yoga to reverse all of her joint pain naturally. In this interview you will learn
- ANA Positive Oligoarthritis has identical symptoms to Rheumatoid Arthritis
- How nobody could work out what was wrong, but the solution was clear
- Sulfasalazine caused her a trip to the emergency room
- How research led to her to the need for dietary changes
- Doctor said it won’t be possible
- Iida followed the Paddison Program and Yoga and reversed her knee pain steadily
- Pain moved around but this is to be expected in a healing body
- Iida has inspired many in the Paddison Program Online Forum
- Iida is now writing a cookbook of super healthy meals called ‘A Kitchen Fairytale’ which will be published soon
- Follow Iida on social media
Disclaimer – the information on this site is not medical advice. All changes to lifestyle, diet, exercise, supplements need to be first discussed with a licensed professional.
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Clint: Welcome back to the Paddison Podcast. We’ve got a fabulous guest tonight. Her name is Iida, and she’s sitting in her lovely home in Surrey, just outside of London. So, thanks for joining us on this episode.
Iida: Thanks so much for having me. It’s wonderful to be here.
Clint: So, we’re going to have some fun today. You’ve got a great story to share about your massive improvements with your health, and we’re also going to talk about all the wonderful stuff that you do on social media because you’ve got a very keen eye from a photography point of view, and you’ve got a wonderful gift in being able to prepare lovely plant-based recipes. So, I want to talk about those things and any other useful information that you could share with listeners to help them achieve the kind of result that you’ve been able to achieve with your inflammatory arthritis. It’s been quite amazing. So, why don’t you tell us how that begin, how did you become diagnosed, how long ago, and take us from there.
Iida: Yeah. So it was about 2 years ago in August, 2014, and my left knee started giving me trouble and it started getting more and more swollen, more and more painful. Went to see the doctor who told me to rest for a month which is great advice, you live in London, you have all the stairs going up and down, going to work. So I tried to do that, it didn’t help, got worse and worse. I saw osteopaths…what’s it called? Acupuncturists, homeopaths, physiotherapists, and it took about nine months before they were able to…well, they got me in touch with the rheumatology department. And yeah, that’s where they told me that I have inflammatory arthritis. Whether they told me that it was rheumatoid arthritis or just inflammatory arthritis, I can’t quite remember, but as far as I was concerned they did call it rheumatoid arthritis at the time.
And I was getting married around that time, and they wanted to give me steroid shots, and I had read somewhere that you can get a bit of a puffy face from that. So, I felt I do not want to risk this cure vanity. And yeah, so I didn’t take anything for it. My knee was so swollen, I couldn’t walk down the stairs properly, I had to go down with one foot first which is great in London, rush-hour, you’re very popular. And yeah, it was very bad, and I didn’t take any medication also because I wanted to rule out Lyme disease which we did. And in the end, I started on sulfasalazine in August last year, so in 2015, one year after the whole thing started.
Clint: Was it just your knee still at this point that was giving you a lot of grieve?
Iida: Yeah, as far as I can remember, it was just my knee. And I had been on some antibiotics, actually, six months earlier. So still right before they put me in touch with the rheumatology department, and I was on antibiotics for something and I remember that night, I couldn’t lift my arm. After about 8:00 p.m. in the evening, I could barely lift my arms. So it was if something really setting in the evenings. It was quite horrible, and I did have that at the wedding as well, which is obviously not ideal.
So, yes. So, I got on the sulfasalazine. I was on it for two weeks. It was horrible. It was…and I’ve said this before, it’s like having a metallic poison goes through your veins, for me. It gave me a metallic headache, really unnatural, just awful. I could suddenly see my life ahead of me just getting on more and more medication. And I knew that that’s not me, that’s not right, that’s not how you treat this thing, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve never had any problems before, and then suddenly this thing just comes up like this. So anyway, it’s after two weeks, I had a massive allergic reaction. I got hives all over. I went to the emergency room, and they just said, “You have to stop the medication.”
Clint: So emergency room for the hives because of the side effects of the sulfasalazine.
Clint: Something someone said to me recently which I really liked actually. They said, “Look, these drugs don’t have side effects, they have effects. These are the effects of the drug.”
Iida: They have massive effects.
Clint: Right. So the word “side,” that softens the implications.
Clint: But these are the effects, just like pain relief, which we hope is in effect, and it’s not always effective with these drugs, but we hope. They also have other effects and some of them can be disastrous like you’ve just talked about. So, two weeks, you’re in the emergency room, you’re covered in hives, the doctor say, “You’ve got to get off the sulfasalazine,” your knees still in pain, your shoulders still hurting when you lift it at night. So what happens next?
Iida: Yeah, so then I just thought, “You know what? I’m not doing this anymore. I’m figuring this out on my own,” and I started researching it. I looked at a lot of YouTube videos. I was just on Google for days, and every time that someone had gotten well from rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory arthritis, they had mentioned the diet change. And I never would have thought. I’m not going to go vegan obviously, it’s just that’s not me kind of thing.
So, what I did was I cut out dairy, gluten, and refined sugars, and within weeks I went back to see the rheumatologist, all my results were back to normal. And she was just astounded, she basically never seen anything like this. So she said, “Can I pass this on to my other clients? Actually, you’re asking for a natural way to heal.” I said, “Sure. Please, do. Whatever I can do.”
Clint: Were you surprised? You must have been blown away by the results of the dietary change, and then also surprised that the rheumatologist had never seen anything like it.
Iida: Absolutely. It’s just shocking, and I remember that when I first saw her in March, I did mentioned a diet change and she just said, “I do not believe that. That hasn’t anything to do with this.” Those were her exact words. I love cooking and I love healthy cooking, and I just thought that was very strange, but then I didn’t think more about that.
Clint: Yeah, it’s just another day goes passed when I don’t get someone emailing me saying that their doctor said that the diet has nothing to do with the disease. It’s one of the most common things that we hear from the rheumatologist, and I had someone email me…was it this morning or last night, I forget. And he said that his doctor was so adamant about it that it became awkward because you don’t want to get into argument about it with the person that you…but I don’t know. Anyway, everyone knows my opinion on that. I really think that in some cases, and this sounds really extreme, but in some cases that it brings on the question the continuity of the license of that professional if they are so ignorant that they don’t know what can occur.
Clint: I would go so far to say that if you took 50 people with rheumatoid arthritis and you only made the changes you suggested, which aren’t radical, you just stop eating dairy products, some gluten, and a few refined foods. That of those 50 I reckon that 15 to 20 of them could half their medication straight away.
Iida: Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. I think dairy for me was the biggest thing because I was allergic to dairy when I was very, very little, and then it just creeps back into your diet over the years. And I think one of the funniest things that happened was when I told the nurse who was administering the drugs, she was asking me a few questions of, “How this happen,” and I just said, “It’s due to diet changed,” and she said, “No, no, no. This often happens, people improve when they get a serious allergic reaction. So that’s why, and you’ll be fine for a few months, and then it’s going to come back.” That was her idea, so I thought, “Okay, we’ll see.”
Clint: Yeah. Now, people should know that you and I’ve communicate a lot before right in our community forum, which you’re a very loved member amongst folks. And not just for your contributions, but for also your inspiration that you’ve provided by just really having wonderful results and sharing them, it’s so inspiring for the other members. And I recall you posting that conversation about that reaction that that nurse had, and I think I responded with like, “Here we go again, another way of creating fee in the patient, so that they then anticipate the worst case scenario so that the system then is creating this self-fulfilling prophecy by saying, “You’ll need us again, you will have to come back to us.””
Clint: And it was quite disturbing, the confidence she had that you will have to come back and that everything is going to be bad, you’ve only got a few months of relief. I remember that when you told us that.
Iida: Isn’t it shocking? Yeah, it’s very sad, and then I guess they don’t ever really see people improving like this. So they do also go by what they have seen and what they do know, and there is no education within apparent, as far as I understand, within the medical education, there isn’t any focus on diet more than, I think, a few hours, which is horrible, this is what it comes down to. It’s so simple, and you just look at websites or listen to people like Dr. McDougall or Dr. Klaper, these guys. The Forks Over Knives movie is amazing. Can I just say, please, people, watch it? It’s mind blowing and it’s so simple. So yeah, it’s criminal, basically, that there isn’t more education when it comes to diet, so much would be saved.
Clint: I know. See, I’m on the other side of the fence. I’ve done all diet research, and not professionally, just recreationally, but having my life depend upon it. So the passion was there, and it’s still there because it’s fun helping people. I find that very satisfying.
Clint: And then very little on drugs. It’s not my place to comment on the drugs nor am I really interested in drugs because that’s like being interested in Band-Aids. Band-Aids are just a patch, why don’t we find out what’s causing it and then we deal with that? That’s far more interesting and far more complicated, by the way, than just trying to stop the pain in the joints, but you want to stop it from an underlying cause. It’s fascinating and challenging, and that’s what interests me the most. That’s what I think that if I was in the medical profession, and someone came and had results like yourself, explained what they’ve done, and then when you go back and see them again you can continue your story in a minute about your ongoing visits with them if there were any.
And then there’s an opportunity to learn. And I think that jobs of any kind become boring, and life in general ceases to be exciting when learning stops. And my…it wasn’t my grandmother, my dad told me that some elderly folks at the nursing home where she was at in her last year or so, they said that you never get old as long as you keep learning all the time. And so, why not…I don’t know, doctor should see this as a great learning opportunity, new educational angle that is far more interesting than just treating the symptoms.
Iida: Absolutely. I’m so grateful for the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis and for you, all the work that you and Melissa as well have done. Obviously, it’s changed my life completely because I…yeah, just to continue my story then.
Clint: Yeah, please.
Iida: After cutting out all of that, and after hearing from my rheumatologist, “What did you do?” And I went home, and I was…I can’t remember if I was discharged from the department at the time, but she sure sent me home and said, “There is nothing I can do for you at the moment, you’re doing all right.” And I did feel still that there was something going on in my body that I hadn’t figured out. I never wanted to risk getting this again, and that’s when I continued researching online, and then I came across the Paddison Program.
I know that you were supposed to do all kinds of tests and things before you start, get your blood test done and get all of that done, and I pretty much had a few weeks before. But on the evening of having read the whole book, I just remember that it was somewhere here that somebody just got so, so swollen, and I just thought, “You know what? I’m quitting. I’m quitting everything right now. I’m just going, I’m heading straight into this, and just going from there.” The first month is, obviously first two weeks, they’re challenging because you’re completely changing everything. People around you are still eating the same way as you’ve always done. And you sit there with your food and just go, “Grains again, joy.”
But at the same time I think…and I was reflecting on this yesterday, I think nature somehow is rewarding us. We’re starting to eat the way we were supposed to eat because your taste buds changed so much that everything just is so wonderfully delicious. That orange I had after about two weeks or something was just more heavenly than any cake or anything that I have ever had before, and you know it’s just pure goodness. So yeah, obviously, it took a little while to get used to that and, obviously, traveling with it. I’m writing about that as well in my cookbook. We’re traveling with…on the Paddison Program. It just takes a little bit of planning, but I don’t know. Just because you go away isn’t any reason for you to start having rubbish food again and putting your body into pain within hours. It’s just ridiculous, don’t do it.
Clint: Yeah. Well, it is hard to travel when you’ve got a restricted diet.
Iida: It is, yeah.
Clint: And I think we do our best to try and help people with that through guides that we have in the forum and in the advanced package, where we…yeah, but that is challenging. I remember always being terrified going on cruise ships because one of my big forms of income for a long period of time was having to…well, it wasn’t a huge part of my income, but traveling with the cruise ships for my entertainment, for stand-up comedy, and I’d go on these cruise ships, and I’d be really worried because the food is so ridiculous on these cruise ships. It’s just like fat people getting fatter on the cruise ships.
Iida: Oh my god. Not only cruise ships, all places, Disneyland.
Clint: It’s horrific. Even the rice has oil in it on the cruise ships, right?
Clint: And so I used to worry for weeks going into, but we needed to have the income and stuff. So anyway, so I used to worry about that, and then…yeah, I think…anyway, I totally appreciate that problem which is why we’re trying address it and address it pretty well in the materials that we have.
Clint: So you’ve gone away from the nurse and then you’ve gone back, you’ve started to get a little bit of a nodule or a little bit of pain in the side of your hand. And so you found our program, and then you’ve started that. Two weeks in, you’ve enjoyed your first orange which is being reintroduced. Just tell us how your body is responding and what happened from that point.
Iida: Yeah, so it was very helpful in your e-book. It says that even though…first of all, the pain of this, it started moving around which was news to me. I hadn’t had that before. So it kind of started moving to new places, and it went into my hands where it hadn’t really been before it went into my shoulders very much, but the knee kept getting better, and better, and better. And I’ll add also that I started doing yoga in August at same time as I made my first changes. I did maybe 10 minutes of very simple yoga stretches, I found them on YouTube. And I walked up the stairs and the pain was gone. You know how painful it is to have that thing in your knee. So yeah, so being able to walk up the stairs and you didn’t feel any pain, that was just mind blowing.
So I started just doing very simple yoga exercises at home, every morning and every evening, and I have ever since. So yeah, so I just kept improving. The knee got better and better, and the pain was moving around, but still subsiding. So just getting less and less of it, and every time I got a bit worried about something, I would just post something on the forum. The forum is so amazing. I’m so grateful that we have that because everybody has been through something that I’ve been through before, and they just say, “It’ll go away. This is what’s happening.” And if you just sit there with your own thoughts, I think that’s also one of the worse things. It makes it worse, but if you share it with people then it’s not that big of a deal.
Clint: It’s interesting like that, isn’t it? They’ve done studies on this too, which is one of the driving things for me to put that forum together. The studies have shown that people who have a support…well, there’s so much about this, that’s very interesting. But first of all, one time, taking a step back, I saw a sport psychologist once give a presentation. He used to coach the Formula One drivers about 15 years ago, and he was the number one coach for the top world champion Formula One drivers. And he did all this research, and he published a book and everything. And he said that the number one success factor for successful people in whatever they endeavor, whether it be race car driving or whether it just be trying to achieve something with the university results, whatever. It wasn’t the education, and it wasn’t their upbringing, the amount of money they had or way they were born in the world. It was the amount of social support and the social network’s expectations of them to succeed.
Iida: How interesting.
Clint: So it’s the community that you spend time with that most heavily influences the outcome of it. So that was one thing that drove me to put together the community and surround myself with people who only thought I was going to get well, but then also specifically with RA. They’ve done studies where they’ve had people with RA go to support groups and they attend the support groups once every other week or so forth. And over a period of six months, those that just simply go and talk about their condition have a clinically improved outcome than those who do not speak about it in that format. And so it’s like not just feels right, but it’s helpful from a science point of view to heal the body. So it’s very powerful.
Iida: Absolutely. Well, I mean the thing is that my RA, whatever it was, obviously started after a very stressful time emotionally, and so I’m not surprised that that’s also going to help. There is just so much. Our mind and body, they are connected. It’s not just New Age talk.
Clint: Absolutely. Yeah, and what’s cool about more…just to crap on about more science and stuff because I’ve just being reading a lot more about it because I’m updating the program, I’m putting more content, a guide for rheumatologist inside the forum, and all that sort of stuff. And so I’ve just spent a lot of time looking at more of the research, and on that as well…
Iida: With mind and body, and how it’s all connected.
Clint: That’s right. It was the stress. Yeah, sorry. It’s two kids, I got two kids now, I don’t know where my brain’s at. They’re about to come home too and I’m like, “What’s going to happen?” When they walk in I’ll have two kids in my life. So no, it’s…yeah, so the studies are there as well with regards to the stress as well. It’s clear because it directly lowers the amount of healthy bacteria in the intestine which translates to less of a functioning immune system. So yeah, it’s all there. Stress will bring it on.
Iida: Absolutely. Yeah, definitely.
Clint: Yeah, we keep interrupting your story. Let’s continue on. You’re now going up and down stairs pretty well because of your yoga, you’re sticking with the program, introducing more foods, you’ll find that that’s working, and so what happened next?
Iida: Yeah, then Christmas comes around and I go to Sweden which I have been dreading a little bit because they’re going to have all the lovely foods that I’m used to. We do big Christmas ham and things. My mother has…in the summer she’s going to pick some mushrooms and chanterelles, and she stood them in little bags in the freezer just to use them up. And so I basically had those, I just made such lovely like little chanterelles sauces. When I had the same things as the rest of the guys did, I had my potatoes and my peas, and just the salads and everything. I didn’t actually miss having any of the things that I thought I would, which was very surprising to me.
So I had a lovely time in Sweden and came back. Saw the rheumatologist again in January. Completely, at that point she just said, “There is nothing that I can do for you. So I’m discharging you. I want to see you again in a year’s time.”
Clint: How about that?
Iida: Yeah, and the very interesting thing is that she says that she’s now working on a research project with some other doctors on looking at the connection between gut flora and rheumatoid arthritis. And this is obviously a person who was talking to me just what, 10 months before. They’re saying that it had nothing to do with…well, I guess with my diet and things. Yeah, that was very positive, and she was taking the things in that I told her. Obviously, with a bit of a, “Okay. Well, what about your calcium, what about your iron levels?” And I’m just, “Yeah, there is nothing she can say about that today.” I go and take that regularly, and my doctor says they’re better than average. The calcium levels are higher for example, so it’s nothing that you’re lacking.
Clint: Absolutely. That’s brilliant. So you’re sort of…what? Several months ago since that consultation, so you’ve got something scheduled now for next year?
Iida: January, next year. Yeah. There is nothing they can do for me.
Clint: So they don’t discharge many people, I know that. So tell me when you were told that you didn’t need to come back for 12 months. Your body must look and feel pretty good for them to say that or for her to say that.
Iida: Yeah, absolutely.
Clint: So did she go over your body and you show her your areas that are affected, and was there anything that was left?
Iida: No, she didn’t even look. So she did at the follow-up appointments in August and every time she’s had some new…I don’t know what it’s called, kind of doctor interns or people who were just there for the day to see what’s happening, every time. And so what I’ve done is I bombarded them with the information about the Paddison Program. And you know they’ve been, “Wow, yoga did this,” and I was like, “Diet change it as well.” They were like, “Wow. That’s amazing.” And I’m like, “You just remember this because you’re going to be the next generation of doctors. You have to be very open to these things, and you’ll be able to help so many people.” So yeah, that was a sneaky little thing for me.
Clint: I love it. Yeah, that’s really cool.
Iida: But yeah, she was saying to them. At one point we were looking at my knee, and the guys were feeling my knee and saying, “Yeah, it’s a little bit swollen here.” And she said, “You should have seen this six months ago. It was massive, it was just horrible.” So it’s all gone down, and not thanks to any medication.
Clint: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And so it was good that she was able to jump on the bandwagon of the story and of the degree of improvements in front of the people who were sort of up-and-comers.
Iida: That’s what I thought. No, I thought that was very big of her.
Clint: That is good, yeah. It also enabled her to show some authority. Again, she’s seeing you through the process, that’s nice. So we talked about some strengthening stuff on your knee also in the forum. So I found that when the swelling went down on my knee, I had a long time required to build up the strength in my quadricep before it felt really clicky and bone-on-bone sort of thing because the inflammation was in my knee for many years at a very high level. So my question is, what did you do to restore the strength in your knee because when we have inflammation for a long time, it weakens the little tendons and ligaments around at the connective level, so what did you do?
Iida: Absolutely. What I’ve found most helpful, and I started doing this only a few months ago. So I got on the cross-trainer, and I’ve been working up the resistance on that until I met the max now, which is 20.
Clint: Well, that is strong too. I know those cross-trainers. That 20 maximum is a lot of resistance.
Iida: Yeah, I guess it must be because I keep pressing the thing and it doesn’t go any further. So guess it process a good thing. And then I do the inclination, I’d put that up two steps as well. And I do about half an hour of this, and I do it three to four times a week. In the morning, I have to go to the gym in the morning, otherwise it just won’t happen. And I obviously also do a lot of my yoga moves now. I still haven’t done any Bikram Yoga. I’m sorry. Yeah, I do have a hot yoga class coming up here nearby. There isn’t any Bikram here. I can obviously travel into London, but yeah. I’m a country gal now.
Clint: Yeah, what you’re talking about, we refer to Bikram as rehab or medicine, which it is, it’s both of those. It just doesn’t sound like you are at a situation where you need to do that. It just sounds like it’s actually…it’s not overkill, that’s the wrong word because I think people even who don’t have any particular pains of any kind would get great lifestyle improvements from doing it, but it just sounds like you’re doing just fine without the need for that.
Iida: Yeah, in this instance. I do see obviously tons of people on the forum who swear by Bikram and who it’s just working so much for. So definitely, give it a go and see how it goes, but for me, it just hasn’t been something that I have been doing.
Clint: So I think what’s important, and you tell me if this is true, but what was true for me is if I did any strengthening exercises on my knee or using my legs a lot, I always found that I had to do stretching. So I needed to strengthen, but also stretch. And so that seems to be exactly what you found with cross-trainer, but also the yoga because otherwise the muscles get tight, don’t they?
Iida: Yeah, they do. I’ve just always been very much into stretching. We learned that early on at school, and I was surprised when I then went out into the world that people don’t focus very much on stretching. So I would definitely encourage everybody to do it as much as they can. You just can’t seem to overdo it too much, and it just really helped me.
Clint: I completely agree, and I find that people with knee problems, from my personal experience, that if your knee hurts and it’s inflamed, and then you’re able to go through just 10 minutes of stretching of the major muscles around the joint, you get tremendous relief just from doing the stretching.
Clint: Yeah. One that really helps that’s often overlooked is the glute muscle. If you can stretch the glute muscle, it also offers a lot of relief to the knee, I used to find as well. So listeners might be surprised by that and think, “Why can’t I stretch my quadricep? Because it hurts to try and pull my…the lower part of my leg, like the calf muscle and up towards my bum, that hurts me?” Well, just lie on your back, grab the main part of your femur and pull up your legs so you’re stretching the hamstrings, and just doing that will give some relief.
Iida: Definitely. One of the first things that I actually tried was lying on my back, laid completely straight, and then I just bent my legs up towards me like this, and you hold your breath, and you hold under the foot, and then you just hold that for five seconds, you breathe out and you let go, and then you do it again. I couldn’t get anywhere close to here in the beginning, but it just came step-by-step-by-step. I felt like I was 85 when I started, but then it just gets better and better. No, that was really great. That’s the one thing that kept me going with the yoga every day.
Clint: Well, I think that’s fabulous and some great insights there. And now, let’s talk about how you’re inspiring other people more on the general public. You’ve got an Instagram account and you’ve also written a book that you’re looking to get published. So let me sort of give a little bit of a plug again to the amount of the quality of the food and the images that you create of that food. You’ve obviously come from a cooking background to be able to create these kind of dishes because my wife is naturally good in the kitchen, and you’ve taken this to a whole new level. I’ve just glanced through the latest draft that you’ve sent through to me just before we got online. There must be 100 recipes. There is a lot.
Iida: I think there are about 60 at the moment. I have always loved cooking, and my mom loves to tell the story of me. I was seven at the time, I started cooking for my family, and three weeks into that she said, “Maybe you’d like to cook something else than spaghetti for once.” And I just looked at her and I said, “Mom, you don’t like my food.” That was heartbreaking. So that’s literally all the cooking background I have. I haven’t done any education, anything like that in cooking. I just absolutely love it, and making things that does nourishing for the body, that you don’t’ have to think about, “Oh, I really shouldn’t have another portion,” or, “I really shouldn’t be eating this.”
You can have it all, and you can have as much until you’re full, then you don’t want to eat anymore, and you will never overeat, not on the kind of recipes that we are able to have. And there are wonderful cookbooks out there, and there is a whole movement, especially in London, it’s very interesting to see this plant-based movement at the moment. People are getting more and more into it. We have our big chains that do launch, sandwiches, and salads, and those guys, they even opened up like a pop-up shop for just vegetarian over in Soho in London. They’re called Pret a Manger, so â€œready to eat inâ€ French.
Clint: All right.
Iida: And they are super common here. I mean they are everywhere, and I was surprised, positively surprised. I went in the other day to get my unpasteurized coconut water, and I noticed that they actually have a porridge which I would pretty much be able to have, which doesn’t really happened too much, and it has amaranth, those little guys that go all over the show when you drop a bag on the floor. And I think if it was oats or quinoa or something like that. They did put a few flaxseeds in there as well, and I think they’ve made it with coconut water, something like that.
Clint: Yeah, right. Interesting, all right. Well, we’ll have to…anyone who’s in the London area might want to go and support their store because it’d be good for them to do good business and keep doing their operation.
Iida: Absolutely, yes.
Clint: So, you’ve grown to be a good chef on your own, what about the photography? Did you take any classes or are you just naturally good with the camera?
Iida: Yeah, I love taking photos, and I used to run an antique jewelry blog so I would take a lot of photos for that. I’m quite of a visual person, as you know from the forum. I like to post some photos every now and then to give an image of what things are like at the time. So yeah, I’m taking one class in photography, but I do really love it.
Clint: You’d get along great with my wife. She loves creating plant-based foods and she loves photography, and so you guys would get along really well.
Iida: Yeah. I think so too.
Clint: So when’s your book going to be published? People would be very keen. I’m certainly fully behind it. I’m going to give it a good leg up online.
Iida: Great, thank you.
Clint: Because it’s really not just visually amazing, but it also has fantastic foods or compliant with the sort of foods that I encourage people to eat, and want to help you spread the word to help others to eat well and to get well.
Iida: That’s great.
Clint: Tell us more about the publication of it.
Iida: First of all, the reason that I started writing, it is obviously I know how hard it is to start cooking in this way and you don’t really know…it’s a whole new kitchen. You don’t know what to use, what ingredients, how to use them, how to combine them. And so I started just documenting them as I went along after joining the Paddison Program. And then it just grew from there, and there was a lot of…I wrote that Facebook post where I told everybody about my journey, and so many of the comments just said, “A cookbook. I don’t have any issues like this or any…I don’t have a condition. I would love to go and get that cookbook anyways.”
And so there was a lot of positive response from just general public and lots of friends and people who just want to improve their way of eating, but they don’t quite know how to do it. And I meant to say earlier that there are lovely, wonderful cookbooks out there, but there just isn’t that one book that we are able to use because there is oils in everything, there are a lot of sugars, a lot of…tons of maple syrup and a agave syrup and things just going in, and it’s not what I call really a whole foods plant-based diet, even though in a way it is, there are so many little.
Clint: There are. But you’ve also…not that you need a point of difference, the world needs a ton more quality plant-based cookbook, there’s no doubt about that. But the fact that you’ve come at this from having a very serious diagnosis, the fact that you’ve eaten and stretched and condition your body back to health, to the point where the doctor said, “See you in 12 months, and we’ll check in on you occasionally.” You’ve got that story that people can connect with, that you’ve lived this and this isn’t something that you’re doing off the back of requests after being a chef for 10 years and famous. This is heart and soul Iida. You know what I mean?
Iida: Yeah, it really is. It’s literally just…it’s genuinely recipes that have helped me get well again. So they would obviously be…it would be good to spread the word. And so yes, there is a publisher that is interested in it at the moment, and I know that there will be a lot of tweaking. My biggest problem is that when I cook I don’t measure, so now I’m having to go back again and I’m having to measure to all the teaspoons and all. So that’s just the only thing that’s…yeah, just having to cook a lot. So friends and family come over. And that’s what’s happening at the moment, and those guys are looking at it and trying to see what needs to be tweaked and things, but I might send it to a few more. I’m not sure quite yet, but we’ll see what’s the best.
Clint: Yeah, great. That’s really exciting. I’m very pleased to hear that and happy for you. That’s very cool. So what’s coming up now for, besides publishing the book, what are your aspirations for the need, immediate future, have you got grand plans to open up a cafe or did you want to broaden your popular Instagram to become sort of a celebrity plant-based chef? Tell us what would be great for you, what would be the next level?
Iida: Yeah, I think my dream would really be that for us to be able to go into any restaurant and eat something. It’s not you, you’re just going to have…it’s not a massive ambition, but yeah, it’s not happening at the moment, and the fact that you can’t go into any place and eat the most nourishing and healthy food, it’s just not on the menu because it’s all covered in oils and animal products. And I somehow wish that I could build some kind of a food network and a food empire of some kind where restaurants can even just contact me and get ideas and, “Okay, fine. So what would be a good plant-based dish for us to have?” That would be one part of it.
I would love to run a cafe where there would be takeaway food, and there would be a really nice relaxing place to just sit and enjoy your food. Sit there with your friends to have your green smoothies or your red juices or your green juices or your yellow juices, whatever juices. They would be, I think, just things that people can do. Take things away, take food away, and they don’t have to worry about what to have for lunch. All of that would be a great dream of mine, and I am in touch with a few people who have wonderful aspirations as well. So we’re brainstorming and seeing what could happen here, but I just think there is so much scope for it because people are moving over to a plant-based diet or they are incorporating it more and more, and I think that’s just the most wonderful thing because we know what it does to our bodies.
Clint: It’s well said, and we know what it can…I think eventually everyone’s going to go that way if we want to save the planet. We’ll get to a point where…I don’t know if it’ll be 10, 5,000 years, but when the planet runs out of water and there’s too many people to feed them all, at some point, collectively, everyone’s going to say, “Okay, we got to do what’s inevitable. We’re going to eat the plants.” Because in terms of a calorie contribution for the amount of land that it takes to grow the food and to water the food. It’s an absolute no-brainer.
Clint: So, anyway.
Iida: And it’s so delicious. Hello?
Clint: Yes, that’s it. That reminds me. What’s the name of the book?
Iida: So far I’ve gone for a “Kitchen Fairytale,” I should live happily ever after kind of thing. But it might have to be “Iida’s Kitchen,” I’m not entirely sure yet, but at the moment it’s a “Kitchen Fairytale.” That’s what people can find me under on Instagram as well.
Clint: A Kitchen Fairytale on Instagram? Okay. Fabulous. What else? Send everyone in that direction, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes of this transcription of this recording. And for now, I think we’ve had a great chat, and I might let you go and enjoy what looks like a sunny day over there in Surrey.
Iida: Yeah, this might very well be my day of summer.
Clint: We’ll stay on the line. We’ll just go over a few things, and we’ll wrap it up for listeners, and I’m sure they’re very grateful to have listened and watched you talk about your story and all that you’ve done and all that you’re in the process of doing.
Iida: Great. Thank you so much for having me, and thank you for everything that you guys have done for us, it’s truly wonder and it’s amazing. Thank you.