On the Record With ... Norma Thompson

HUNTLEY – Norma Thompson was a registered hospital dietitian in the 1960s before she decided medications were not making sick people better.

She then gave up her registration and devoted her life to teaching healthy lifestyle choices and diet education.

In 1964, Thompson realized she needed to leave the medical side of being a dietitian and began studying and writing down all that she had learned. She felt doctors were just covering up what was wrong with patients and feeding them bland foods rather than actually making them better. Later, she began teaching classes to share her knowledge.

Reporter Olivia Gilbertsen recently caught up with Thompson to talk more about her teaching and dietary tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Gilbertsen: What is your overall goal of the classes you teach?

Thompson: To get people healthy and well. I also want to alert people that there is a better way, and it’s all through living. I talk about exercise and breathing techniques in my class, too, but I mainly focus on food and how it can help people.

Gilbertsen: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand you want to teach people how to eat properly in order to get them off medications? Can you explain this?

Thompson: I do not take them off medication, I just tell them medications don’t cure anything.

Because of my frustrating experience while working in the hospital years ago, and seeing that people weren’t getting better, I decided to make a change. I practiced for eight years.

My expertise comes from the medical side of things, and I can tell you, they don’t have it.

Gilbertsen: Why do you think medications are bad for people?

Thompson: Because they simply do so much harm. There are so many side effects from drugs, and it is obvious they are not good for the body; they don’t actually get to the cause of the problem.

Gilbertsen: Have your students ever gotten off medication successfully because of what you taught them?

Thompson: I don’t always see students after they take my class, so I can’t really speak on that. However, I do know some have reduced medications. For example, I have a diabetic student right now who said she has been able to lower insulin levels because of her diet changes. I have a lot of people who follow my plan and feel better. They tell me they’ve lost weight, they sleep better, you know, just general things. They have to see that they can feel better after they change their lifestyle.

Gilbertsen: If you could sum up the top three things people should stay away from in order to remain healthy, what would they be?

Thompson: Sugar and processed foods for sure, and also polyunsaturated fats. Those are really the worst things for you.

Gilbertsen: What is the best food someone can eat?

Thompson: Eat more whole foods, like the foods God gave us. Fruits, vegetables, real food. Things that man has not processed. I always say, whole means nothing added and nothing taken away. I also try and push antioxidants. I get people in class that are on as many as 10 to 15 drugs, and they’re frankly walking zombies. People need to know that you can get well from your lifestyle.

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