Life Lessons From Indian Wells Councilwoman and Former Mayor, Mary T. Roche
Significant life changes are often driven by singular events and the knowledge gained while coping with them. This was certainly true for Mary Roche, whose life experiences resulted in her making long-term health and wellness a personal priority.
Mary considers herself a perennial student. She holds a master’s degree in education and taught at the collegiate level for many years before returning to law school at the age of 56. But it was her young asthmatic son and an unhealthy 15 year marriage that started Mary on her quest to find answers about health and well being for herself and her children.
When Mary’s son was in sixth grade, he had a severe asthma attack, including head banging, one week after Halloween. Mary told the doctors she felt certain it was from excessive candy. They recommended glucose testing, which she took along with her son. The tests were grueling and produced no strong conclusions. Mary began reading a book entitled “Body Mind Sugar” which compared the inability to properly process sugar in both asthmatics and diabetics. In lieu of additional medical testing, Mary decided to try the low carb diet recommended in the book. She saw dramatic change in her son after just one week. Within six months, his asthma was stabilized. Mary maintained the diet for her son who continued the practice into his adult life.
It was understanding that everyday factors like stress, environment, air and food could affect her son that drove Mary to make positive changes, including ending her marriage. She sought self improvement and alternative options with a focus on health and wellness, and building a positive life for herself.
Mary is 74 years young. Her library is full of books on everything from science to chakras. Those books are treasured resources. Mary credits her current well being to her decision to take control of her own health, learning all she could, and her willingness to try different therapies. She continues her quest to strengthen mind, body and spirit to this day.
“We are each responsible for our actions and what we do in life. Most people don’t feel that way about their health.
We are trained to give ourselves over to doctors to fix us when we are sick. In this sense, conventional medicine saves many lives. Yet the spectrum of health also includes emotional, mental, spiritual and nutritional components. I believe that one’s longterm wellness plan should encompass all of these areas, and that we must take an active role in our individual health to ensure we live the most rewarding life we can.”
Nutrition continues at the top of Mary’s list. Her primary rule-of-thumb is no packaged nor processed foods. She shops at her neighborhood grocery store and avoids the middle aisles where processed foods tend to be. “I feel fully energized. It’s amazing how one’s body responds when you’re not asking it to digest processed foods.”
Mary uses her life lessons and experiences to help others. She is on the board of Shelter From the Storm (aiding women in abusive relationships), and has been active in community politics and civic organizations for the past 15 years.
“I think it is my conscious efforts to take care of myself over the past 30-40 years that keeps me healthy at 74. Doctors are there when you need them, however, there are so many natural and alternative therapies available to help maintain and improve one’s quality of life. You simply must make your health and wellness a top priority and it is never too late to start.”