Colleen is awesome and amazing! How did you like how quickly she responded to the Green Smoothie discussion that was posted yesterday with a video today? Don't you love modern technology? Enough with the small talk!

 

Today Colleen and I are celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. We have ten amazing children, four amazing son-in-laws, and a bevy of adorable grandchildren. Colleen is not only a wonderful matriarch of many children and grandchildren, she has developed her talents in many ways and has provided support to me, that I'm told, few men ever receive. Although, working with as many women as we have, I have to say, you are all amazing, truly. 

 

I want to share the untold story of how this website began. In 2000 Colleen and I sat next to each other on our bed just before our morning prayers. We lived in San Diego, California and we were speaking together of my recent healing experience and how to go about maintaining my improvements in health, while at the same time bringing our family along with us.

 

We felt impressed that a gulf separated Latter-day Saints from their present blessings of health and the blessings promised in the Word of Wisdom. Very few LDS understood how to cross that gulf or even knew of its existence. I had inadvertently landed on the other side of that gulf but knew little regarding how it might be possible to build a bridge that could support the crossing of many others, nor did I even understand how to stay on the other side. How to navigate in between was beyond me.

 

While on the other side of this gulf, my mind had cleared in a way that is indescribable. I met often with the board of directors of a fast growing company. Other board members had witnessed an increase of clarity and action in me over a six month period. A motion was moved, seconded, and passed to have me prepare the aggendas and direct all future board-meetings. This was strange.

 

My mind was clear, my physical strength achieved a level that surpassed anything I had ever experienced, and I had the capacity to work exceedingly long hours. In addition to work and family duties, I visited over 30 LDS families a month and went on missionary splits at least once a week. My family witnessed many miracles because I was so close to conversions that were happening in both missionary work and in the lives of people who had distanced themselves from the church. The pace was swift yet exhilirating and never difficult. I was experiencing the promised blessings of the Word of Wisdom and I knew it.

 

Having tasted the blessings, I felt that all Latter-day Saints should enjoy what I was experiencing. I was inspired by thoughts about what President Kimball spoke of years ago when he said that the faith and works of the early missionaries were so great that they opened doors to other nations, that we have since allowed to swing shut through insufficient faith and works. I had a vision of how we might serve the Master more fully, if only we could all experience the blessings I was enjoying.

 

Colleen and I felt that perhaps there was a greater purpose in the eleven years of chronic sickness I had experienced than mere drugery of stumbling to work and back each day, with no strength to do more. During that eleven year stretch I couldn't magnify service at all. 

 

Prior to our conversation, Colleen and I had just encountered some dietary setbacks and I felt dissappointment. I reigned in my dissappointment and expressed a belief to her that we would help to build a bridge between the chasm that separates the two worlds, the world I was enjoying and the world that everyone believes to be normal. We felt it was going to take some time and we would probably encounter many setbacks along the way, but if we were patient with each other and the process, a time would come when the effort would benefit us personally, our family, and others. 

 

We felt that our experiences needed to be as similar as possible to the experiences of others who would cross this bridge. We felt a need to stay completely grounded to the Word of Wisdom, because it was written for the weakest of saints and everybody needed to cross the bridge. I told her that I would strive to not criticize when we experienced setbacks, but would look at it in perspective, meaning, her mistakes and my mistakes would reflect the very reality that others would face. After all, what is there to criticize when you are pioneering the unknown. And, how could our efforts serve anyone if we dozered a path that no one else could follow. We knew that because of her commitment to the process she would shoulder much of the bridge-building load. Amazingly, even though dietary lifestyle is not "her thing," she agreed whole heartedly. You've watched our videos; you can decide for yourself how this wonderful mother of ten is doing. 

 

I expressed my belief to her that if Latter-day Saints are ever to become successful in enabling the promise blessings of the Word of Wisdom, it will be primarily mothers who bring this success about. It will be the mothers who ultimately raise a new generation of youth who are raised up as Daniel of the Old Testament. Mother's possess the greatest power on earth to influence successful and permenant dietary changes in their homes. A mother's role is unique and distinct. We needed to go forward with faith in the amazing vision, sacrificing nature, and hearts of Latter-day Saint women. They are extraordinary and how they embrace this task will affect generations to come.

 

We agreed that because this was a worthwhile and difficult task, that we would pray for the patience with each other, to view setbacks as merely a training ground to experience similar mistakes and challenges others might face. We agreed to laugh a them as much as possible and to continue the journey. By not trying to do the impossible or to pretend that things were better than they were, we set about building a bridge, one plank at a time, within our own family. Honestly, we didn't have a clue what we were doing. You are aware of the confusion and division of thoughts on this topic. I believe it exists because the adversary knows that when we obtain the upper hand in this battle, all hope will be lost for him.

 

Our motivation and ambition to "Build a Bridge," that could be easily crossed was entirely supported from a desire to see the blessings I had experienced-- become far more universally experienced among Latter-day Saints. Well, we are further across the bridge than we were in 2000 and believe that with your help, and your great contributions of experience and knowledge, the bridge will be solidly built. It's so nice to have such awesome company now. Please accept my apologies for weaknesses I have in writing and communicating. You've seen the worse and the best is yet to come. 

 

Colleen has helped me develop a variety of recipes; she has traveled with me to teach and to speak, and she has been the glue that has kept us moving in the right direction. She has brought me back to center everytime I become distracted from our true motivations.Without her, there would not be an LDS Health Today, or Original Fast Foods, or Daniel's Challenge. 

 

LDS Health Today came about after Colleen and I taught over 5000 people in kitchen settings various recipes, weight-loss classes, and so forth. We decided that as fun as it was to teach in person, we needed to enable easier access to support solutions. She agreed to allow me to shoot and edit videos of her each week as we add new content to the website. We were stopped for a bit when our video-editing computer crashed and lost its hard drive.

 

Anyway, that's a bit of our story and how this site came to be. We have a testimony that the Word of Wisdom was given to enable Latter-day Saints with the endurance, strength, wisdom, and treasures of knowledge necessary to trod the path of holiness to become one with Christ, to build the city Zion and to receive the fullness of the gospel into our midst--even Christ. I also have a testimony that no one who struggles with illness as I did for eleven years can enjoy or run along this most important of all paths successfully. Brigham Young taught that the Word of Wisdom was given so that we do not have to experience diseases that prevent us from doing the work we were sent here to do. He even taught that we are deluded if we believe diseases are a refining process and that God doesn't want us to live that way because the work we have to do is so important. Again, I hope this post can help you understand our intent and to the extent you are able, to contribute good content and participate in discussions in a manner that will invite others to enjoy the process of learning, growing, and enjoying better health.

 

All Our Best

 

Jim and Colleen Simmons

 

 

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Happy 28th Anniversary! I am grateful for a friend who shared your book with me and I went home and immediately ordered my own copy that very day in Dec. 2008. I love the videos and am eager to share them with my college age daughter who will be doing her own cooking this fall and wants to make pulse etc. Now I can refer her to the videos. May God continue to bless you in this inspired work. I too am on a journey of sharing with others my knowledge of nutrition and changing the way we eat as I recover from my second bout with stage 4 anal cancer. This time I know it will never come back because after I detoxify and restore my body I won't ever want to abuse it the way our American culture eats. I eat only organic and lots of raw food to get the live enzymes. I am currently following Dr. Max Gerson therapy that also requires a fresh juice every hour. I feel such vitality coming back to my body. Yippee! Best regards, Cathy Shauklas
Dear Colleen- Happy 28th. You are truly an amazing, talented, and inspired woman. I am so very grateful for the blessings of Daniels Challenge and the Original Fast Foods Book in my life and those of my friends. I have experienced miracles in health and energy as well as increased clarity of mind and spirit and it's a beautiful thing. I love you and your sweetheart for all the love, time, and energy you've put forth. You are truly making a HUGE difference for many, many people. I really love the videos and the assistance they provide in getting over the hump of "how do I make this?" I am excited about the new thoughts of how to share this dietary lifestyle with family and friends. I can see it slowly making a difference for those I love as well. May God continue to bless and strengthen you both in the future, as we join your efforts to share all of God's principles for a joyful life. I love sharing the videos and discussions with friends and family. Thank you for being so inspiring. Love, Tammy Kelly
Big Howdy and many wishes for a Happy Anniversary to you from Idaho Colleen! Just think, if I hadn't met Jim in Italy then I would not have the wonderful pleasure of knowing you. Kudos to the both of you for inviting those ten spirits into this world experience. I am convinced that you will not know the full impact of bearing and rearing children until the next life. I believe that your valiant spirit shines through by the way you have conducted this stewardship. Thanks for sharing your inspiration through the dialogue and Video library that you jointly have created. I look forward to more interaction with You, Jim, and your family in the coming years. So long for now, Have fun you two kids! Ken Price
Happy 28th Anniversary! I too am so thankful for all that you both have done. The videos are such a tremendous help! I love this website, Original Fast Foods, and Daniel's Challenge. A little at a time, they are changing my life dramatically for the better! Blessings on you both!
Eve Orr
Happy Anniversary Colleen & Jim, Thank you for all you do. I seem to be slow at reacting to this knowledge that I feel is true. Thanks so much for the wonderful videos. I attended a couple of classes a few years ago, the best part was to be able to smell and taste the prepared food, but the video allows us to view it up closer. Often times I will "rewind" and go over sections to make sure I understood what was said correctly, I love this. I can't wait for "smell & taste" OVision, if it ever happens : ), that way we can have it all! Yet in the mean time, being able to view so many videos, I am still able to get excited and start another recipe adventure. It's also fun to share ideas with some of my other neighbors who are of the same vision.

6 days ago I started a 40 day fast. If Christ can do it then I can do a modified fast. I'm trying to drink lots of green smoothies, fruit & veggies, with a little meat. I'm not doing any white: sugar, flour or potatoes. Yes, I still do corn, beans & a little dairy. If I can be successful with this, then maybe the next round I'll be up to the DC higher challenge. Since the challenge is 42 days, I thought I'd intertwine other areas in my life that I'd like to make progress in: Exercising (walking 5-6 days/wk & either yoga, rebounding, or some other inside routine; I have a personal library I've collected over the years) & spiritual challenge (better prayers & more consistent study of the scriptures). I'm hoping for a synergetic effect in some areas that I want to improve in.

I felt like I needed to take smaller steps, and this is what I was able to break it down too that made logical sense to me. Yes, I'll improve, but over time.

It is so exciting to have 3/4 of my children drinking green smoothies willingly. I told my husband about 6 months ago that I wouldn't offer him green smoothies anymore. That the next time he drinks one, he'll ask me! It worked; he'll drink them a few times a week. It's so exciting; fruit blended with Rainbow Swiss Chard & Collard Greens is one we can drink easily. Yes, variety is what we are aiming for. I even started some of my own greens in my garden 8 days ago and some are starting to sprout. Now that's what I call exciting : )!!!

I didn't mean this to be so long, but thank you! I keep coming back to you! Thanks for always being here!

Love, Camille
Dear Colleen,
Thanks for all the work you do--especially for inviting us into your kitchen and lifestyle with each new recipe and video. My young daughters (both toddlers) love watching your videos and then making the recipes with me. If ever I start playing a video when they aren't in the room, they recognize your voice and come running from adjoining rooms shouting "Colleen Simmons!" You're a true hero to them!!! Thank you for introducing me and my family to a new--and better--way of eating and living.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! ...and thank you for what you do.
I especially like the videos, they are inspiring and motivating - THANK YOU!
Congratulations on your anniversary!! I so enjoy the weekly videos--for me a video is worth 1000 words and is a great motivator to try and gain experience with the recipes. Bless you for all your efforts.

Cheryl Hatch

PS the natural leaven bread and the why for it was so informative--thanks again.
Happy Anniversary - we just celebrated our 55th - it goes by so fast you will get there and wonder where the years went.
Enjoy each and every year. Thank you so much for now doing the videos for all of us that live away and can't be there for your training. This makes a huge difference - I enjoy them all. Colleen does a great job and I thank you Jim for answering the concerns that I have had. Thank you Thank You

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