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Pain prompts West Babylon hairdresser to evaluate, change diet

Katherine Mescia, 55, of West Babylon, at left

Katherine Mescia, 55, of West Babylon, at left in June 2016 when she weighed 255 pounds, and after her more than 50-pound weight loss. Credit: Mescia family; Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Kathy Mescia

55, West Babylon

Occupation Hair stylist

Height 5-foot-4

Before 224 pounds, June 2016

After 172 pounds, May 2018

Kathy Mescia says she was “full-figured” until about 10 years ago, when she started putting on weight. It didn’t bother her, she says, and she just accepted it along with lifelong digestive issues.

“What got me going about a year ago was this bone pain I was having,”she says. Always looking for a natural remedy, she did her own internet research and in November started taking cinnamon, turmeric and garlic daily.

When she noticed her digestion improving, Mescia, through trial and error, started eliminating some foods and adding others back. She stopped eating white bread, white rice, pasta and peanut butter and can now tolerate dairy products and other foods which were previously problematic. No longer in pain, Mescia told her doctor what she was doing and was given the green light to continue.

After two months, her blood sugar and cholesterol levels dropped, and she continued to lose weight.

“Without trying, the weight was coming off, I think because my digestive system was improving from the turmeric,” says Mescia. Studies by the National Institutes of Health on the health benefits of turmeric and cinnamon have been inconclusive, while similar studies on garlic are more promising.

Mescia stresses that this approach has worked for her but that a doctor should always be consulted. “I just feel good. It’s amazing.”

Mescia has a small banana in the morning 30 minutes before eating either oatmeal with cinnamon or an omelet with spinach, onion and mushrooms and a cup of coffee. Lunch is usually a whole wheat wrap with either tuna salad, chicken salad or two slices of roast beef accompanied by a handful of mixed greens, black pepper and turmeric. Dinner is either beef, chicken or fish with a green vegetable cooked with garlic and brown rice or quinoa. Snacks include a Nutrigrain bar, Oikos yogurt in a single-serve pie crust, salsa or hummus with 10 multigrain chips and, sometimes, a small piece of chocolate.

Mescia says she’s not a big exerciser but has started walking more and doing arm and leg lifts.

“Pay attention to your body. Research everything you eat. If you have pain, look into a natural remedy for it. And always talk to your doctor. If you doctor doesn’t have enough time to listen to you, find another doctor.”