This is a guest post by Dawnmarie, read on to hear her story of transformation with raw foods.
The year 2006 was the worst year of my life. My best friend of 15 years and I had a falling out. My Grandmother died. I lost my job. I opened my own practice only to close 9 months later in near bankruptcy because of low reimbursement from insurance companies. My husband left. I found a new partner. He left. My dog was diagnosed with ehrlichia.
My life was starting to sound like a country music song. But perhaps the most devastating news came from my ob/gyn.
“You aren’t fertile. Your FSH is too high. You need an egg donor.”
Having wanted children all my life, now 37 and without a partner, my chances were quite grim.
Not only would I need a sperm donor, but also an egg donor. There must be a way to restore my fertility.
In addition, at the time, I was taking a pharmacy load of medications:
- Wellbutrin for ADHD and depression.
- Lamictal for refractory depression (standard antidepressants no longer worked).
- Strattera for ADHD.
- Klonopin for anxiety.
- Citrucel for my irritable bowel with constipation.
- Bottles and bottles of Advil for various aches and pains, headaches and menstrual cramps.
- Glucosamine for joint pain.
- Coffee to wake me up in the morning.
- Sleeping aids to get me to sleep at night.
I was 155 pounds, heavy for my 5″7 frame. My cholesterol was elevated. And, I had acne. All of the time. I didn’t recognize who I had become. And I didn’t like her.
Discovering Raw Food
My friend Leslie, at the same time my husband left, decided to “go raw” for a few weeks to do a “cleanse.” I thought this was ridiculous and unnecessary.
Meat and dairy are essential to a balanced diet. Its good for you. Or so I thought and so I had learned.
While my world continued to spiral down, I noticed Leslie’s was improving. She became my emotional rock and she was no longer so fragile.
She continued to tell me about “raw” and I continued to dismiss her. But for Christmas, to support her, I bought her Gabriel Cousens’ book Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. And I did myself the favor and read the introduction.
There was one thing that he said that I wanted to hear, you can “change hormone production with a living food diet.”
A month later, when I arrived in California for a job so that I could prevent bankruptcy, I “went raw.”
After three months, I was no longer anxious. I didn’t need Klonopin.
After six months, I didn’t feel depressed. I stopped the Lamictal. Several months later, I didn’t need the Wellbutrin, either. Strattera was causing my blood sugars to rise. I stopped it, and they normalized. The Citrucel sat on my shelf.
Eating fibrous foods was not constipating. I wasn’t buying Advil, either, as I no longer ached. I didn’t get headaches anymore. I replaced coffee with green smoothies. I slept well every night.
Testing The Raw Boundaries
One day, early in my raw journey, I was overtired and decided to get a latte prior to work. Within hours, I was doubled over in pain.
All along, I had been lactose intolerant, and didn’t realize it. So that’s why I wasn’t farting anymore.
I lost weight. All of it. And I was back down to my prior college weight of 125 pounds. I looked and felt fantastic.
Although, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (likely induced prior to going raw, by the large quantities of dairy I used to consume, as dairy promotes autoimmune disorders), my thyroid hormones stabilized quickly, and I haven’t yet needed a prescription for thyroid replacement.
Once I stopped gluten, I no longer had acne.
The Ever After Part…
It’s four years later, and I’m still mostly “raw” and definitely only consume a whole food plant based diet. I feel better now at 41 than I did at 31.
Another fertility specialist just informed me that my AMH is zero and that I have only one follicle producing in my left ovary per month.
He says I need an egg donor and he says I have a non-significant very small external fibroid on my uterus.
My mother lost her uterus to fibroids at 37. I believe had I not turned my diet around, I, too would be getting a hysterectomy.
While all of my other health problems have cleared, the fertility issue is still a challenge. I’m not giving up.
I’ve been to Clear Passages for 30 hours of physical therapy to prepare my ovaries and uterus for pregnancy. (A pleasant side-effect of this treatment, now that my uterus isn’t nailed to my abdominal wall from adhesions, is that I can now orgasm on intercourse).
I’m taking DHEA, which has been shown to improve egg quality and follicular production. And next week, I fly to Seattle to attend Randine Lewiss course for women with reproductive challenges like my own.
Whether or not I become pregnant on my own or by a donor egg, my raw food journey has lead me to a better place, to better health. This physician, healed herself, with a whole food, plant based diet.
Thank you Dawnmarie!
I just want to take a moment to thank Dawnmarie for sharing her story with all of us. It’s amazing what a whole food diet can do, and I am so blessed to be able to share this message with the world!
Have you noticed that there are more and more people and kids with food allergies? Watch as I explain why there are more people developing allergies to common foods like peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, gluten, wheat, dairy, and eggs.
I remember having a conversation with my boyfriend Robin and him mentioning that he didn’t know anyone who was allergic to food growing up. Now I have tons of clients and friends who are either allergic themselves, or who have kids who are allergic.
What’s going on here? Watch this video to find out.
Food Allergies Explained in Video
(Click here to view the video if you’re reading this in your email or feed reader.)
P.S. Notice I’ve got a new smaller / portable witch’s hat! ;)
Please Share This Information
I really want to get this information about food allergies out to as many people as possible. If you can, please email this to your friends and family, and post it on Twitter or Facebook…
Let’s get the word out, and really prevent or reduce the amount of allergens that are found in common foods, so we can all be immune (pun intended!) to allergies.
Here’s a quick raw chocolate recipe that you can’t do wrong!
You take some raw cacao butter, mix it with raw cacao powder, add some stevia (or raw honey) and bam! You’ve got healthy chocolate.
Let me take you by the hand and show you exactly how this would work.
Raw Chocolate Cups Ingredients
- 1 cup melted Raw Cacao Butter
- 0.33 cups Raw Cacao (Chocolate) Powder
- 1 tbsp. Stevia Powder or more Raw Honey
How to Make Raw Chocolate
- First, shred the cacao butter. I used a cheese grater to break up the solid cacao butter. Cacao butter melts at 34.1 °C (93.4 °F), which is still raw woohoo!
- Now melt the cacao butter by putting the shredded cacao in a bowl, and putting this bowl in a bigger bowl that is filled with warm water. Be patient.
- After the cacao is melted, add the dry cacao powder. Add the dry or wet sweetener (I prefer stevia or raw honey here) and mix well.
- Pour the melted chocolate mix into small silicone cups. Here’s where you can get creative! Add nuts, dry fruit, coconut flakes, or any other goodies.
- Put the cups in the refrigerator or freezer to harden. Then take your yummy chocolates out, pop them out of the cups and store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator.
Bonus! If you use stevia you’re making a super healthy chocolate, that does not spike your blood sugar at all. Truly guilt-free and yummy chocolate is possible.
Want More Yummy Raw Dessert Recipes?
Then check out my free ebook called “28 Desserts You Can Eat Every Day“.
Comment below and let me know what your favorite raw chocolate “additions” are! Whether it’s dry fruit, fresh fruit, coconut, nuts… I want to know!
This is a guest post by Henri Junttila.
If you’re familiar with drinking freshly-squeezed juices, I think you already know the powerful effects it can have on your body. What most people don’t notice are the effects it can have on the non-physical you.
Photo by Alfonso
Four years ago I had my first real date with juicing. You see, I bought an Omega 8005 Juicer and started throwing everything in it. The results were interesting, but not particularly tasty. You live and learn.
After awhile I decided to go on a juice fast, which is where I noticed the 5 subtle, yet profound ways juicing can transform your health and consciousness.
Intuitive knowing sounds mystical, but for me it’s just a feeling or thought that suddenly bubbles up. When I’m doing something I might get a thought or feeling helping me decide which apple to buy or even which country to live in.
When I was on my juice fast my intuition became stronger. It was interesting, almost like having someone there to help guide you through life.
Fear penetrates even the most hidden parts of our lives. We tend to look at fear with fear, but how much would your perspective change if you looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes? Because what is fear? For me fear just shows me where my belief systems are not aligned with who I want to be.
Two of my biggest fears are public speaking and not having enough financially. When you go deeper and observe them, they are really not as big, bad and mean as you think they are. This awareness is amplified many times when you’re juicing and it allows you to break through these barriers and exercise courage.
As you put less and less strain on your body, it starts to cleanse, detoxify and heal, which leads to enhanced clarity, focus and other mental functions. During my juice fast and when I juice daily I notice more clarity and an increased ability to make decisions.
Clarity is not only important in making decisions in your day to day, but in your life as well. What is your life purpose? What is your passion? What would you do if money didn’t exist? As I juiced, things suddenly started to become a lot clearer. Now, I am not saying I know everything about my life, just that it got a whole lot easier ;).
Meditation is an awesome awareness expander, but cleaning up your body does that too. I remember walking down a quiet road in Spain (I lived in Spain then and will again soon, but that’s another story) and noticing new trees.
Had these trees appeared out of nowhere? How did they grow up so fast? I finally concluded that it was my awareness that had expanded. It’s almost as if I had been awarded the keys to a new world, the world of hidden trees.
(Editor’s Note: Maybe some of those trees were planted through my Tree Planting Initiative. If you could go back and in time, and all that. Ahem.)
I was never the grateful type when I was younger, but as I’ve gained a few pearls of wisdom throughout the years I’ve noticed that being grateful feels awesome and is extremely uplifting.
If someone as anti-gratitude as me can become 87% more grateful on a juice fast, I’m sure you would notice it even more. How did I come up with 87%? I made it up, don’t you just love statistics?
To Juice or Not to Juice, That is Not the Question
We already know juicing rocks, so the question is: what benefits have you noticed from juicing? Any health benefits, healings or even subtle, transformational shifts?Read More
A lot of raw food web sites and recipes include goji berries. You might be wondering exactly what goji berries are, and why you should consider plunking down some cash to get some.
I admit that I managed to eat goji berries before I went raw, and before I even knew they were a superfood.
You see my boyfriend’s family still makes many of their traditional Chinese meals. Which happen to include lots of goji berries in soups, stews, and teas.
When I first told my boyfriend about this “amazing new superfruit” called Goji Berry he thought it sounded kind of familiar.
It turns out in Chinese they write it Gou qi zi, or 枸杞子. He quickly pulled some out of the pantry. Gasp!
Where Do Goji Berries Come From?
Goji berries grow in Asia and Europe. Marketers often refer to goji berries as Tibetan Goji Berries or Himalayan Goji berries, though the majority of goji berries are actually grown in the Ningxia region of northern China.
Interestingly enough, goji berry plants were imported into the UK and are still grown there. Similarly, my boyfriend’s family has a goji plant growing in their backyard.
Though we haven’t seen the plant bear any fruit yet, we have eaten some of the goji leaves.
What Are the Benefits of Goji Berries?
I know a lot of marketers are getting into trouble for marketing goji berries aggressively. Claims that goji berries can prevent or cure cancers, are not uncommon. That being said, I think we need to take all claims with a grain of salt.
The truth is that eating more fruits and vegetables in itself is a great way to prevent or reverse cancers. (I’m not a doctor, and this has just been through my readings of books like The China Study.)
That being said, according to some of the Chinese books I’ve gotten my hands on, goji berries are great for eyesight. They are good for the liver, which is also connected to eyesight.
Goji berries are also good for the immune system because they contain vitamin C.
What do Goji Berries Taste Like?
I have yet to eat a fresh goji berry, though that is on my life’s to-do list. Dried goji berries taste a bit strong, slightly bitter, but with some of that sweet berry aftertaste.
I highly recommend you “wash” your goji berries by rising them under water before you eat them. This serves two different purposes: it removes any stems or other particles, and it softens the berries.
That’s another reason why I think Chinese people use goji berries in their soups and teas. It’s much easier to eat a soaked goji berry than it is a dry, almost crunchy one.
How Do you Eat Goji Berries?
I like to eat them in a nut and goji berry trail mix. Simply soak some nuts and goji berries, or put your dry mix in a zippy bag with some water.
Sometimes I like to soak a handful of goji berries overnight and add them to my green smoothies.
You can also make some Orange Chocolate Goji Berry Fudge.
Or try a goji berry tea by soaking goji berries in warm water and drinking like a tea.
Where Do you Buy Goji Berries?
You can buy organic goji berries online at a variety of different stores.
But here’s my secret… I like to buy my goji berries where the Chinese people get them. I go to Chinatown or Chinese supermarkets and get my goji berries for a much cheaper price.
I used to buy organic goji berries from raw food suppliers, but since going to China I’ve changed my mind. My opinion is that goji berries that are labeled organic really aren’t much better than the regular kind sold in Chinatown.
Goji Berry: Superfood or Not?
I think superfoods are great, and they also make a great marketing angle. That being said, I do like eating goji berries and I think you should give them a try if you’re curious.
What do you think… are goji berries really superfoods? How do you eat them?