Patti the Pickle had the opportunity to interview Bacteria Buddy Passport Program activity leader Janice Condon, author Stella's Adventures in the Incredible Bio-Terrain, a children's book about a young girl who swallows herself and learns all about the incredible bacteria world inside each of us. Janice discusses the importance of the microbiome in her own life and why she decided a children's book was the best way to share her story. We are so excited to have Janice and her book at SBFF as part of the Bacteria Buddy Passport Program. For more info on the Bacteria Buddy Passport Program, visit our website.
Patti: Janice, this book is amazing - it makes me feel like jumping into my own bio-terrain to do some exploring! What peaked your interest in learning about the Microbiome?
Janice Condon [JC]: What peaked my interest in the Microbiome was the total lack of interest in the Microbiome by the medical community, especially after I experienced an incredible positive change in my health when I became aware of my gut microbes and started taking care of this "Garden Within."
After visiting 6 or 7 different medical specialists for my severe Eczema, lack of energy, weight loss, and fuzzy thinking, I was still not getting answers, and I became quite discouraged. But I could not give up. Then, one day a woman looked at me and said, "Lady, you've got the worst case of Candida I've ever seen!" I said, "What's Candida?" She replied, "When my farm animals get too many antibiotics, they develop "leaky gut" - and that's what you've got!"
So I found out my ailment from a dear farm lady, who cared enough to get involved. She was totally correct. I was born in the age of antibiotics. My dad was a doctor, so I was given penicillin for almost every "ailment" growing up. By the time I reached 45, I had many problems stemming from antibiotics, and no answers. Once I found out about the Microbiome, and the important role beneficial bacteria play in healing and maintaining our immune system, I couldn't get enough info. I learned all I could and am still learning more every day.
Discovering the Weston A. Price Foundation chapter in Chico was of monumental help to me. I had been vegetarian, and my gut healing progress had come to a standstill. This wonderful group helped me with a modified GAPS Diet, a bone broth regimen supplemented with probiotics and fermented foods, and in 3 months I had regained the health and energy of a youngster.
Patti: Wow - its amazing to think that bacteria play such a large role in our health. Besides bacteria, what else should people take into consideration when rebooting their immune system?
JC: Knowing where my food comes from has been a key player in improving my health. You really are what you eat! Sharing my knowledge, and helping others understand this has been one of the greatest pleasures I've found, and can be so much fun!
Patti: Why did you decide to write a children's book?
JC: Sharing my knowledge with everyone, especially children, and those reading to them seemed like a great way to spread the Microbial Info.
When I was practicing as a home care Occupational Therapist, I was limited in what I could share with my patients about probiotics. The few times I did share my views on taking a probiotic, or eating fermented foods, the patient or family would usually mention it to the visiting nurse, who would then report my "indiscretion" to the supervisors. The supervisors would warn me that if I did not stay within my "scope of practice," I may lose my job.
I was bursting to tell others about my incredible self discoveries, but was unable to share them with the very people who needed it most. I was shocked at the total lack of information provided by my peers.
I had thought about writing a children's book as a way to share this gut info for a long time. I actually wrote my first book, Charlie the Acidophilus, about 5 years ago, but I wanted to incorporate more than just acidophilus. I was so fortunate to meet Chris Ficken who turned out to be more than a great illustrator for the book, as he was also a "Microbe Junkie" and we had great fun producing Stella's Adventures in the Incredible Bio-Terrain.
Patti: Well we can't wait to have it available at SBFF in a few short weeks! How has writing this book changed your life?
JC: This book has set me on a wonderful journey of exploration and adventure and fun and people connections. I hope to find a publisher to help give it a wider audience - children and parents alike seem to love it and I just want to be able to share it with as many people as possible!