“Wherefore, it shall come to pass, if ye harken to these judgments and keep and do them…the Lord will take away from thee all sickness and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt which thou knows upon thee” (Duet.7:12-15).

It was not until I was introduced to the eight principles of the Adventist health message (trust in God, sunshine, fresh air, nutrition, exercise, temperance, and rest) that the above text became alive to me.

 How it all began

 When I was 16 years old my mother bought me a fitness membership along with hers. I went to the fitness center in the evenings with her and started watching the ladies do their workout routines. 

At age 20 I had a mentor who was a certified aerobics instructor and personal trainer. She helped me gain instructor certifications to teach water aerobics, step, high/low impact, interval training and cycle classes. 

Later I decided to enter a bodybuilding contest. I hired a personal trainer, worked very hard and placed in two competitions. This encouraged me to want to become a personal trainer and help individuals to meet their fitness goals. 

I studied for personal training certification and turned my garage and basement into a small but successful training facility. I was not a Christian at this time, but the Holy Spirit started drawing me to have a relationship with God.

When I accepted His call and surrendered my life to God, I cut back on training to spend time in prayer and really getting to know God. 

Knowledge is power

I continued consulting with a few clients, established my relationship with God, and eventually became a Seventh-day Adventist. However, all I knew about the health message was that most Adventists were vegetarians. 

I had become a vegetarian after reading a book I inherited from my mom by Jethro Kloss called Back To Eden. I stayed up half the night reading this inspiring book and gained so much new knowledge about disease and natural remedies, along with proper nutrition.

The next day I went to the health food store and purchased foods I had never heard of before that were healing to the body. It was a joy trying new recipes and discovering how tasteful fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables really are. My entire refrigerator had a make-over. 

The vegetarian lifestyle was very different from what I had been taught during my years in the fitness industry. At that time I was not aware of the damage and disease that eating so much protein from animal sources can bring to the body, or how it causes the body to maintain fat and clogs the arteries. 

Then I went on an intense detox program to cleanse my system of the toxic buildup from substances I had consumed that were contrary to God’s way of eating, including sugary, salty processed foods.

It was a challenge making the necessary changes. But after I reset my system, I knew I would not go back to my former dietary habits. God in His greatness gave me strength to make changes and the desire to want to follow His ways and not mine.

My new life: a plant based diet

At one point I was going through a very troublesome and stressful marriage. My husband had been sick and was on lots of medications. Somewhere in his life he had opened the door to satanic influences and the daily spiritual warfare in my home life was emotionally exhausting and hurtful. I was still physically healthy, by God’s grace, but spiritually and emotionally I was in distress due to the things that were going on.

An elder at our church recommended that I take my husband to A Pattern Health Retreat, a clinic in Missouri. I contacted the clinic and scheduled an appointment. At the time I was just trying to survive; I was not seeking help for myself. Yet God in His infinite power is so awesome. He always knows when and where to lead us just at the right time. As I look back, I can see that if I had not gone to the lifestyle clinic, I probably would have had a nervous breakdown. 

At the clinic I met with the doctor and finally confessed that I was having spiritual and emotional problems and had also gained weight. I told the doctor that I wanted to be in the best physical condition possible to serve God to the fullest. The doctor showed me through Scripture and some of Ellen White’s writings the eight principles of health and taught me more about the plant-based lifestyle.

I really appreciated the help and was determined to follow the laws of health. I started walking outside every morning, getting fresh air. I cut out dairy and started eating only fruit, nuts, grains, seeds and vegetables. As I began implementing these lifestyle changes, my spirit started to be revived again. 

I found myself less worried and stressed due to the problems in the home. I was focused on trusting in God, which to me is the number one law of health. My mind was clearer and I could awaken with thoughts of joy again. 

I would immediately pray in the morning, then go on my one hour walk in the quietness. This was a very spiritual time for me; it was just me and God. I could give all my perplexities to Him and rest in His presence throughout the day. 

Finally, I was getting back on track in my life and becoming spiritually rejuvenated. I believe in my heart that God strategically led me to go to the lifestyle clinic in an effort to save me from falling apart emotionally, spiritually and eventually physically.*  The health message truly is a spiritual rejuvenation!

From surviving to thriving

Since that time I have been able to speak at several churches and educate others regarding the principles of health. I hold a natural remedies certification as well, and have been in self-study for over three years regarding healing through natural remedies. 

I am an African American, 50 years of age. I continue to implement the eight laws of health in my life and am blessed to not be on any drug medications and in my ideal weight range. I still offer personal training consultation, lead walking classes and assist individuals with disease prevention through natural remedies. 


Jeanine Qualls: Thrive In Health

Jeanine would love to assist you in thriving in health, not just surviving. She focuses on helping to make necessary lifestyle changes through education, time management techniques, reorganizing kitchen space, creating shopping lists and much more. Jeanine is also connected with a network of additional experts for referrals, if needed.

Visit Jeanine on her YouTube health page (Jenny Qualls Thrive) or email her if you are interested in fitness training, weight loss, natural remedies or skincare consulting.  


*Read the powerful story of Jeanine’s escape, transition and healing process at outlookmag.org/transformation2