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When I was a child, around 9 years old, I had a vision: I was standing on the bridge facing the gray cement, L.A. County Hospital, silently witnessing the cries of suffering patients. In the vision, I saw myself dressed in white with gold colors over my head and my mission was to ease suffering. Years later I realized the true meaning of the vision; I was to help people stay healthy, so they did not have to go to hospitals.

Even in early childhood, there were indicators of my role to come. I used to play in the back alley with containers and substances as if I were a chef. I spent hours happily mixing concoctions and creating recipes in my imagination.

Health was the biggest topic in our house because of my mother’s constant fascination with it. Many of the doctors my mother took me to, such as Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. Bragg, Jr., Dr. Henry Beiler, were doctors in preventive medicine and nutrition.

The King of Green

When I was in my teens, I remember a time when “Gypsy Boots,” the “Tarzan” of the health field, and his friends were upstairs in our apartment playing tambourines, dancing barefoot and grating cabbage for salad. One might have pictured him in a jungle swinging from a tree with a coconut in each hand and the rope between his teeth.

Lunch at MGM

At age 20, I worked at MGM as a messenger along with the future, famous actor, Jack Nicholson. The messengers loved the healthy lunches my mother packed for me and begged me to trade for their bologna sandwiches, “forbidden food” at my house. At MGM, healthy eating had caught on, so I was full of baloney while they grazed on the good stuff.

Crash and Burn

Divorced and a single mom (of two) at thirty-one, trying to sort out my confusion, I rebelled and took a dive into the world of experimental drugs. As my mental and physical balance deteriorated, I became hopeless, mute and dazed. I was diagnosed with a severe case of hypoglycemia. From this bottom, my desperate cry for help was heard and I was shown the way to spiritual as well as physical/emotional recovery.

The Garden Path

After the hypoglycemic collapse I began to remember the wholistic healing methods I’d learned at home. I knew that health was in Nature’s garden and if I followed the laws of Nature, I would harvest the benefits. Both Drs. Henry Beiler MD, author of Food is Your Best Medicine and Edward Jarvis DC, recommended a vegetarian diet. I was now on my way to healing.

New Diet

At first, I found the vegetarian diet and food preparation so difficult to understand. It took me five years to master the transition to a vegetarian diet, bite-by-bite. As I shopped, not knowing what to eat or how to prepare these new foods, I realized that there would be others, like myself, who would turn to a vegetarian diet and would need help understanding the transition. I decided at that time that my life’s work would be the Transition Diet.

Career Enfoldments and Unfoldings

Once on the path to personal health, using my background and spontaneous experimental methods, I spring-boarded from experience to experience, cooking, catering, consulting and teaching, privately and with groups.


Marilyn Peterson, Author, Consultant,Teacher and Chef works with every aspect of the transition to becoming vegan. The motivation for this work stems out of compassion for the suffering of animals and the needless suffering of humans that choose to eat the Standard American Diet.. She has authored the book Vegan Bite By Bite. www.veganbitebybite.com
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