EVERETT - More than 10 years ago, Crystal Parrott changed her diet and improved her health. Now she's looking to use the proceeds of a cookbook she wrote to improve the lives of children in Belize.
For the next couple of months, Parrott is donating all the proceeds from her cookbook Little By Little to the King's Children Home in Belize. It's a privately run, not-for-profit organization providing residential care for children on the outskirts of Belmopan, the capital of Belize.
The Everett resident's goal is to raise $5,000 for the Belize home, which she said doesn't get a lot of funding from its government. Once the money is raised locally Parrot wants to deliver the supplies in person and also help build an orphanage.
For over 20 years Parrott made yearly hospital visits.
When she cut dairy from her diet she skipped her annual stay at the hospital, lost weight and the ailments that had plagued Parrott her entire life started to disappear.
"It turned my head to look at things like food," she said.
Looking back at all her stays in the hospital, Parrot said, "Not once had anyone ever asked what I ate. Never."
After dairy, Parrot took wheat out of her diet. That's when she really noticed her health improve and a severe peanut allergy went away.
"I can eat peanuts again," she said.
It's been 11 years since Parrott started removing items from her diet and she's been medication-free since 2001.
These days she can eat anything, though she chooses not to because she knows it's not good for her body.
She's created and cooked all the recipes in Little by Little, which she said is for everybody even though it's wheat, dairy and refined sugar-free.
"It could be for someone who never thought about it and for someone who's done a lot of research," she said.
Little by Little is $20 and available online at healthlittlebylittle.com.