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Wellness Warrior Project inspires healthy, healing lifestyles

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Lifestyle changes to prevent, heal disease

On the drive up past Ramah, one notices that autumn has begun to color its way into this quaint area. Nestled among piñon, juniper, and spruce trees, the first stunning sight of fall leaves a lasting impression. Notes of tranquility, serenity, and a sigh of simply forgetting the cares of this world seem to take over instantly. It’s no wonder Dr. Bera Dordoni chose this area for the setting of the Wellness Warriors Project.

Situated in the backwoods of Ramah, WWP helps people with diseases like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes make the transition from unhealthy lifestyles to healthy, healing ones through gaining control over their bodies and their health. Most of these diseases occur in folks over the age of 50 (though they are not limited by age) — and they occur at alarming rates.

“We’re all susceptible to these illnesses unless we make some changes now, rather than later,” Dordoni said.

What is the Wellness Warriors Project?

Close to 200,000 Americans die from Type 2 diabetes yearly, and the death toll continues to grow without stabilization or reversal. Conventional medicine offers management with drugs, but not much more. The epidemic is completely preventable, as it’s caused by lifestyle choices and can likewise be cured by lifestyle changes.

Educator Bera Dordoni, Gallup’s “Wellness Whisperer,” is the director of the Wellness Project for the Build and Strengthen the Immune System Foundation, and her “proof is in the pudding” has been verified by graduates of the WWP, who are now drug-free because of their mainly plant-based diet along with Dordoni’s guidance and access to the BASTIS Foundation’s organic garden.

“If you’re willing to work with your body, your body will work with you,” Dordoni said.

Dordoni, N.D. (naturopathic doctor, is the founding member of the BASTIS Foundation and the director of its Vitality Program. Dordoni has nearly three decades of experience in the complementary/alternative medicine field as a naturopath, nutritional counselor, lecturer, organic gardener, and health-oriented vegetarian cook.

“In America, what we do is suppress; we suppress the signals our bodies sends us with medication, we go to the doctor and get medicine...’Give me something to get rid of this,’” Dordoni said. “We can’t kill signals our bodies are sending us, we have to get to the underlying cause of it.”

For over 30 years, Dordoni has been training “wellness warriors” in her Three-Steps-to-Vibrant-Health program to build and strengthen the immune system.

Classes for parents and children are held on the dangers of processed foods and how the use of live foods can change the course of health demise.

When wellness warriors make a commitment to themselves and their health, the transition from harmful to healthy eating can be a joyful process.

“Thanks to the WWP, I’ll live to see my kids grow up and have kids,” Martha M. of Gallup said.

Along with her husband, WWP Director Ron Dordoni, Bera has been helping people around the area, as well as outside the state of New Mexico, to live better lives.

“I just don’t understand why people can’t get on board and listen to what their bodies are telling them,” Ron said. “If your car needs an oil change, you do an oil change because you know it’s going to help your car run smoothly ... just like our bodies.”

The program

WWP grows its own organic foods in its greenhouse and uses the produce daily to teach clients how to cook and properly choose each meal.

As the BASTIS website puts it, “The natural world offers us not only inspiration and great beauty, but all that we need to attain and maintain our health.”

The WWP program begins with a lengthy questionnaire for the client on health and background, and from there, the process begins. The program usually takes 90 days, and follow-ups are required.

Clients are encouraged to consult with their doctor about their new lifestyle regimen.

“People need to know that there is a choice, and they don’t have to be victims to our medical society, everything is about choice,” Bera said.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Clement Yazzie a WWP client from Yatahey, said it’s been over a year since he has been with WWP and the results have been simply amazing.

“I was diagnosed with diabetes and told there was nothing I could do but start to eat right and start sticking myself with insulin,” Yazzie said. “I thought there has got to be another way for me to beat this rather than putting drugs into me. I found out WWP and came and now I no longer take insulin, I feel so much better, more energy, and I actually feel it in my body ... it’s all because of how I choose what to eat and stick to it.”

Yazzie’s wife, Yolanda, said the changes are real, and now her family is also applying these changes.

“My husband was always tired and you could see it in his face, he didn’t want to take the insulin and he didn’t want to give in to just ‘managing his diabetes’ he want to just beat it,” Yolanda said. “So now a year later, we are eating the right type of foods and best of all — no medication, simply eating the right foods that contain what are bodies need and not that process food.”

Recently, clients from as far away as North Carolina came to Ramah for their yearly visit.

“I like to call them ‘tune-ups,’ because their bodies may be out of sync, and [we] find out what it is and get rid of it,” Bera said.

Retreats, which Bera said are quite fun, are available, too, where folks get to stay at the facility and enjoy themselves, free of negativity.

“We all are energy, whether it’s positive or negative, that’s all there is, and we try to get rid of the negativity,” Bera said. “We are bombarded with so much negativity that it affects the immune system, so you have to get away from all that stuff.”

Clients are encouraged to bring a support member.

For more information, contact Ron Dordoni, BASTIS  Foundation, (505) 783-9001.

Visit: bastis.org

Story and photos by Dee Velasco 
For the Sun