As a sports enthusiast who has always been conscious of what I eat, it seemed ironic that I found myself at 40 years old stricken with a disease that was caused by my diet.

I was a busy guy – raising a family, running a business, managing our farm, coaching, counseling the youth at our church – the list goes on.  Those were crazy days!

In the middle of that, I found time to exercise every day and participated in body building and endurance events. Based on the latest information of the day, my diet consisted of the same seven or eight foods every day of my life, and I was taking in gobs of supplements at the same time. I think I was trying to outsmart Mother Nature, buying into all the marketing hype that was accepted at the time. Although my body may have looked great on the outside, I was ravaged on the inside!

Dan running a 5k

Over time, symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, rashes, thrush, constipation, and cramping all became an everyday occurrence. What was happening to me? This went on for almost two years, and everyday seemed to get progressively worse. There seemed to be no end in sight.

I’d go to sleep at night hoping that by morning, I’d finally wake up feeling refreshed and normal. It never happened. I couldn’t function like this any longer; the brain fog and chronic fatigue were impossible to hide. Slowly, I was losing the will to live.


After two years of just surviving and hoping time would heal me, I sought help. I went to my family doctor who sent me off to a specialist, and he to another, and yet another. After being passed around with no clear diagnosis, let alone an answer, I decided to get back to my core beliefs. I visited a holistic doctor who performed tests on me and discovered a combination of several maladies riddling my body. Mercury and heavy metals seemed to be the root of my problems, but now Systemic Candida, EBV stage 4, IBS and early stages of Crohn’s Disease were all becoming acute. Terrible right? But, I looked at this as validation! For the first time in years, I knew what was wrong, and I was determined to fix it!

I picked up a book called Healing with Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford. The book is based on Eastern traditions of diet and nutrition. I read it cover to cover and within the pages, for the first time in two years, I found hope. I wrote a new diet protocol for myself; I started by eliminating foods that were causing my problems, and then including foods that would detoxify and repair my body.

Dan playing football

It didn’t stop there. I began researching the digestive system and consuming every book I could find related to whole-foods nutrition and sports nutrition. A new world was opening up to me. The power to cure my diseases was within me and all around me – I just needed to unlock the code. I had total control, and only I could heal myself. But it was going to take time to do it right. Cells replicate at the rate of 300 billion each and every day; so, to completely replace my body’s approximately 75 trillion cells, it could take up to 9–12 months. I had to make that commitment to myself and to my kids. I found the power to heal and it was found in Nature’s Pharmacy – clean, unadulterated, whole-foods!

What I learned reinforced my core belief that whole-foods are Nature’s Pharmacy, and within the fruits, veggies, grains, beans, legumes, lean proteins and healthy fats are countless phytonutrients, micronutrients and macronutrients that science estimates may exceed 100,000 different kinds. I was denying myself of these healing nutrients for years; it’s no wonder my immune system was compromised!

I became vigilant about what foods were causing my diseases, and what foods I needed to enable healing. I committed to myself and my family that I would beat this at any cost. This meant having to deny all of the “temptations” that everyone around me enjoyed, and to restrict my diet to just “healing” foods. This process was a commitment and it took time. After several weeks, I noticed positive change which inspired me to keep going. As weeks turned into months and I continued to improve, my brain fog lifted, digestive distress eased, and energy returned – it was a miracle!

It took more than a year to heal myself, and it certainly could have happened sooner; truth be told, I am only human, and several times during this journey when I started to feel better, I’d cheat on my diet and BAM! I’d feel like I was starting over. But, after correcting my mistakes and getting back on the protocol, my body responded more rapidly.

The eating plan I followed to heal myself can be found on our website. Along with the recommended foods to help your body fight the ailments I once fought, we’ve also included foods that we believe can help you heal and relieve symptoms from other ailments, along with general health and wellness tips.

Today, 20 years later, I am 100% healed. None of my supposedly incurable diseases have ever recurred, and I love my life. I enjoy the abundant cornucopia of whole-foods that Mother Nature has given us. All of the foods that I eliminated are now back in my diet. I have seen whole-foods help many people recover from illness and alleviate symptoms that once held them back from living their best lives. I have also seen whole-foods help people achieve new levels of athletic performance and break plateaus that seemed unbreakable.

Our founder, Dan, running a 5k

When I left the roofing business to start Performance Food Centers (PFC), it was with one goal in mind: To bring whole-foods to people who care about their bodies while simplifying the complex world of nutrition. This became my credo. I wanted to share my success with the world, and truly help people find the answers they were searching for – answers that the conventional medical community did not embrace or believe in. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of people achieve their goals, whether it be in a health club trying to lose 100 pounds or trying to reverse Type 2 Diabetes through the power of whole-foods. We believe in the power of whole-foods and we believe in the power of you.

After 20 years and over 3,000 juice bars across health clubs, schools and wellness centers, PFC is providing the best natural, whole-food products available. Our juice bars are serving thousands of shakes a day nationwide, in Canada and on many islands. We have the strength in numbers to help create change. Throughout the growth of PFC, we created the products that are now all together under our brand, swiig. We have over 100 swiig products available to people everywhere and get to help them live happier, healthier lives.

Over the past decade, I have worked directly with many product manufacturers to help them change their recipes and ingredients. I’ve always believed that people who care about their bodies will invest in themselves and only fuel themselves with real foods. Many manufacturers were hesitant to change and remove the hydrogenated oils, synthetic sweeteners, artificial ingredients or GMOs, but I convinced them that there was a market for these products. My customers – people who worked out – would invest more for higher quality products. Years later, my theories have been proven right. People do care and society is getting the message.  Today, the FDA announces the hazards of trans fats and aspartame, but I was doing it 20 years ago. We are helping to change the food and supplement paradigm!

We promise that we will continue to create and find new products that are minimally processed and free from all the not-so-healthy things that my generation grew up on. To truly simplify your lives, we will strive to educate you on the principals of whole-food nutrition and show you how to best include the foods and supplements we offer to help you achieve your goals.

Enjoy the good things in life, enjoy the bounty of whole-foods and remember – “You are what your food eats!” Eat Well!

– Dan

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