Healing Hero – Steven and Chris Brook. Brotherly Advice and a Dietary Change Heals Chronic Psoriasis.
By Kevin Damaskie
In an entire family afflicted with psoriasis, Chris Brook says he didn’t “have it too bad.”
But his sister, brother and father were all painfully affected by the skin condition. For Chris’ brother Steven it was so bad he was having trouble working or going out in public. Psoriasis had essentially turned Steven into a recluse.
Late one night, Steven, who turns 26 in August, Skyped his brother, who had moved to Whistler. He was at the end of his rope and the call couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Thirty-year-old Chris was well into a transition to a plant-based diet, something he tuned into three years before following a three-day workshop about the vegan lifestyle.
The Skype call turned into some brotherly advice, a switch to nutrient-dense, plant based diet for Steven and an astonishing recovery from the lifelong burden of psoriasis.
Steven was calling from their hometown of Leeds, Yorkshire in Northern England. Despite the Atlantic Ocean dividing them, Chris’ commitment to help his brother definitely proves blood is thicker than water.
“I had been preaching to my family about how much better I felt since I became vegan, but they would just tell me to shut up,” says Chris. “But on that call Steven said “Can you help me? I’ll do anything as I am at the end of my tether.'”
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition thought to be caused by an overactive immune system. Symptoms include flaking, inflammation, and thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. Psoriasis treatments include steroid creams, occlusion, light therapy and oral medications. Often, folks afflicted with Psoriasis are told there is no cure.
Fired up by the invitation, Chris jumped right in, strongly suggesting Steven stop eating meat, dairy and processed sugar, moving directly toward a completely plant-based diet. Plenty of online research followed and Chris issued a warning to his brother that the process could take months.
“I got him to eat organic, natural produce, he bought a juicer that day and started juicing right away,” says Chris, who is no stranger to juicing or hard work, running three Whistler businesses – the Whistler Creek Athletic Club, 50 North Property Detailing and rideonwhistler.com. Chris is a veteran of the British Royal Air Force and is known for his bootcamp-style workouts and commitment to nutrition as medicine.
Although he has done military duty in Afghanistan, Chris says the battle his brother Steven waged with psoriasis was challenging, rewarding and highly inspiring.
“Steven had some severe challenges because he changed his diet so rapidly. He had headaches and his skin actually got worse as his body started to work to rid itself of toxins. ” Chris recalls. “At the start he hated juicing and then a week later he was craving it.”
Then, through perseverance, the pain started to morph into gain, says Chris, who got an update call from his sister four weeks after Steven changed his diet.
“He was starting to see an improvement after four weeks… in six weeks the sores on his arms had healed and three to four months later he was pretty much healed across his body,” Chris says.
Change diet, heal skin, improve life. That is exactly what happened for Chris’ brother, and he couldn’t be happier. Steven landed a new job, and despite some stress-related flare ups has managed to keep the psoriasis in check.
Better yet, Steven’s positive progress opened the eyes of the rest of his family to the healing power of a nutrient-dense, plant based diet.
“My whole family was now listening to what I had been saying so I got them to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Even though they thought the total diet switch was a bit drastic, it did get the attention of my father who was really against this stuff,” says Chris.
With his family now committed to juicing, Chris is very happy with how the healing effect of nutrition has become a family affair.
“I’m so glad my family is coming around,” Chris says, adding he is not going to stop his plant-based push, often sharing this story with other folks he meets. “The power of nutrition to change our lives is incredible, and it is something I am massively passionate about.”