From Tired, Overweight, and Depressed to Radiant Beauty with Whole / Raw Foods

Dawnmarie Raw Foods Before & After

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.

Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine

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!

Love, Nathalie

Healthy Foods vs. Unhealthy Foods

healthy-foods
Photo by Gordana A. M.

One of the reasons people turn to raw food is because they are looking to eat more healthy food. That’s definitely one of my main reasons for giving raw food a try. (Remember that when I say raw food, I don’t necessarily mean 100% raw.)

Lately, I found myself giving out this little piece of advice: eating raw food doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier than other ways of eating.

Hear me out…

There are a lot of other things that go into your health, other than just the “label” you apply to your food. Maintaining healthy diets, for most of us can be tricky. So for instance, you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of it. Or you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of one category and not enough of another.

Neither of these scenarios is very healthy.

Or, you might be eating raw food but not drinking enough water, sleeping enough, or exercising enough. And then there’s your emotional and mental well being, all of which play into your overall health.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what healthy foods are.

The Healthy Foods List

Here is a basic list of healthy foods that most people can agree on:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh leafy greens
  • Cold pressed extra virgin oils
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Seaweeds and sea vegetables

Now we can split hairs and argue that we should include other foods, depending on what lifestyle you follow. For instance some may want to add superfoods, others may want to add in raw dairy or meat, you get the idea.

But I think we can all agree that these are basically healthy foods. Especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Unhealthy Foods List

  • Processed “white” foods like white breads, white pastas, etc.
  • Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame
  • Addictive substances like MSG, and other “taste enhancing” chemicals
  • Processed, denatured fats and oils that the body cannot deal with

Alright, so the unhealthy foods list is incomplete. That’s partly because it would take too long to include everything that might potentially be unhealthy. But it’s also because we don’t all agree on what’s unhealthy.

Some people go around telling themselves that they’ll be healthy if they eat “Everything in Moderation“. And while the adage that eating everything in moderation probably held true 100 years ago, it certainly doesn’t hold today.

There are more chemicals and ingredients that I can’t pronounce on a label for dried raisins than ever before. Dried raisins!

Imagine what’s in super processed junk foods for a minute. It’s not pretty.

How to Include More Healthy Foods and Less Unhealthy Foods

I honestly believe that in order to eat more healthy foods we need to leave some of the unhealthy foods behind. If you’re too full from eating an entire bag of chips and a 1L bottle of Coke, then you’re not going to be inspired to eat an apple. Let alone a salad.

Letting go of foods that aren’t good for you is a lot more complex than it might seem at first. Why? Cravings. That’s why.

I’ve been eating healthy foods for over 3 years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about cravings. Get on The Cue list, and you’ll be the first know about my cravings busting techniques.

Love, Nathalie

13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies Help You Feel Great All In Less Than 13 Minutes

green-smoothie-recipes

What if you could drink a magick potion that would revitalize you, clear your system of unwanted toxins, and take less than 13 minutes to make? Green Smoothies can do just that, and much more.

1. All you need is a blender and an open mind.

The great thing about green smoothies is that it doesn’t require much to get started. (You could invest in a Vitamix for silky-smooth shakes, but that’s totally optional.) My biggest suggestion is to give green smoothies a try before you get a better blender. That way you’ll be convinced of their effectiveness.

2. Green Smoothies are quick to make.

If you’re in a rush you can get a green smoothie ready and blended in less than 13 minutes. You can just blend and go while you drink the green smoothie on the run. You could even make a green smoothie ahead of time. Then store half of it in the refrigerator using a glass mason jar and it will still taste great one day later.

3. You get a steady stream of energy. (No crashing!)

You won’t experience the up-and-down spikes that you might from an all fruit smoothie when you make it a green one. That’s because the fiber rich greens slow down the absorption of fruit sugars, providing you with just the right amount of energy and nutrition at a pace that your body really loves.

4. Green smoothies can be enjoyed year round.

When your garden is overflowing with greens, just whip up a couple of batches of green smoothies and enjoy these inexpensive nutritional drinks. You can also benefit from green smoothies in the winter, by using frozen fruits and greens that you might have preserved from the summer. Green smoothies provide you with a lot of options all year round.

5. Green smoothies are ideal for weight loss.

Whenever you feel a craving coming on, make yourself a green smoothie instead of indulging your craving. (If you’re having a lot of trouble with cravings, consider hiring me to do a Magick Power Session and we’ll eliminate them together.) Green smoothies help cut cravings because they are satisfying and provide your body with tons of nutrition.

6. Greens are the most Under-appreciated Superfoods.

We all know green tea is great as an antioxidant. What is green tea made of, if it’s not greens? Skip the middleman and just increase your intake of greens. Green leafy veggies are great because they have tons of cancer fighting properties, immune system boosting vitamins and minerals. Upping green leaf intake has been shown to reduce heart disease and prevent other degenerative diseases. That’s what I call super. To find out more about greens, get my free special report.

7. Satisfy every taste bud.

If you have a sweet tooth you’ll enjoy making green smoothies with lots of fruit. If you want something a little edgier, you can add some Raw Chocolate powder and make it a nutritiously devious dessert. If you want to replace a meal, you can make savory green smoothies using ingredients like tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and even spices to make it a satisfying hearty meal.

Green Witch's Goop
Fancy a bowl of a witch’s green magick goop?

8. You Get to be a Modern Witch

Modern witches use blenders to make their magick potions, because cauldrons are so 13th century. Making green smoothies is a lot like casting a spell or making a magick potion. It brings out the childlike qualities in all of us, and it even sets the magick of healing in motion. I like to eat my green smoothies in a bowl with a spoon, because it’s even more like a witch’s mysterious bubbly concoction.

9. Get your daily portion of fruit and vegetables.

One green smoothie probably contains more fruits and vegetables than most average Americans eat in a day. It’s one of the easiest ways of increasing your fruit and veggie intake. Plus you don’t need to carry an easily bruised banana around.

10. Chock full of amino acids.

If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough protein, increase your green smoothie intake. The more greens you eat, the more amino acids that you provide your body with. Your body uses these amino acids to produce protein.

11. Indulge your creativity and experiment.

You can throw almost any fruits or veggies into your blender and it will turn out tasting pretty good. (It helps if you follow some basic guidelines, of course.) Green smoothies give you the flexibility to create your own recipes, but they’re also a great way to use up leftovers.

Green Smoothies Yum!

12. Green smoothies are chimney sweepers for your body.

Over time, food that doesn’t get digested properly can get stuck in your system and become a burden on your elimination organs. Green smoothies act as a chimney sweeping brush to flush out all that toxic waste. The more green smoothies you drink, the cleaner your bowels will become, and the better your elimination. If you want to feel great, make it easy for your body to take the trash out. Oh, and that helps with releasing weight too!

13. Green smoothies are a great addition to any eating plan.

What I like about green smoothies is that they can act as a “gateway drug” to raw foods. It’s so easy to just add a green smoothie to your current diet. There’s no reason not to give it a try. If after a couple of months you’re feeling great, you might choose to increase your raw food intake a little. That, my friend, is the power of green smoothies.

The Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

Feel free to use this basic green smoothie base and experiment. (Remember #11!)

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Peach
  • 5 Strawberries
  • Handful Spinach (increase greens gradually over time, and you’ll find you crave more of them!)
  • 1 cup water

After you make your first green smoothie, you’ll want to learn about trying new recipes and rotating your greens here.

What Are YOUR Favorite Green Smoothies Recipes?

I’d love to hear what your favorite green smoothie recipes are! I know there are tons of variations out there, but which one is YOUR favorite?

Raw Food Benefits For Weight Loss: Edition #2

Raw Food Benefits Explained
Photo by Darwin Bell

In keeping with my mission to help people understand raw and living foods better, I’ve decided to start a weekly series here on Raw Food Switch.

This week I will be focusing on the benefits of raw food for weight loss. I know a lot of people come to raw foods to lose weight, and although that’s not why I started eating raw, there are definite benefits.

I will be covering this topic again later I’m sure, but here are a few to get you started!

1. What Goes In Must Come Out

When you’re eating whole raw foods, your body knows exactly what to do with them. This makes it easier for your body to digest the food, and allow it to pass through you.

It’s a simple equation: if what you eat doesn’t come out the other end, then it’s staying in your body, and making you gain weight.

With raw foods, which are all brimming with fiber and other natural cleaners, you can be sure that what goes in will come out. After all, you really don’t want to be carrying around food from 20 years ago, do you?

2. Nourishment For Your Body

When you eat raw foods you are feeding your body with the utmost source of nutrition.

Have you ever seen someone or done this yourself: you have a huge pizza or a burger and fries, and then you’re still hungry only half an hour later?

It’s most likely because the food that you just ate is really not feeding your body what it needs.

When you truly feed your body, you aren’t always starving, looking for your next meal. Your body stops sending you signals to eat, because it has what it needs to rebuild itself, heal, and make you a more vibrant and beautiful person.

3. Raw Foods Give You Energy To Exercise

If you’re overweight, you might feel tired and sluggish, which stops you from exercising. Everyone knows you should exercise daily, for at least 30 minutes. But what happens when you’re just too unfit and tired to actually exercise for that long?

That’s where eating raw food comes in. When you eat raw, you find yourself with much more energy, and maybe even more motivation to get fit.

Suddenly those two flights of stairs that used to haunt you become doable again. And it’s a beautiful upward spiral: if you eat raw you lose weight, you then feel like exercising, and in turn you lose more weight, which all leads you to a healthier body.

More Raw Food Benefits…

This post is part of the Raw Food Benefits Series.