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!
Photo by M. I. Zuhair
Today’s post is a treat for those of you who are struggling with cravings or emotional eating.
Peggy Carey, the author of this article, is also offering a special promotion to Raw Foods Witch readers so be sure to read till the end!
This is a guest post by Peggy Carey also known as The Zest Lady.
I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life… losing 50 pounds and then gaining it all back in a couple of years.
As a result of my desperate quest to reach my ideal weight I ruined my health.
I finally found the secret to losing excess weight and keeping it off in a way that also promotes vibrant health and fitness. I lost 45 pounds using a combination of raw food and essential oils.
Achieving your ideal weight can be challenging, but there are many tools that can help you reach your goal. Let’s look at aromatherapy and how essential oils can be used as a weight loss and maintenance aid.
Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance
As a result of his research Dr. Alan Hirsch says that we feel full because of a special mechanism in our brain.
One reason we stop eating comes from signals designating being full or a sense of being satisfied.
An emotional state can also trigger a desire for food and we can control these feelings by inhaling certain scents.
The sense of smell can help us suppress appetite and all those irrational emotional responses we have to food.
Using our sense of smell consciously can give us control where our will power fails. For most people, using scents can curb cravings.
The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Institute of Chicago found that by inhaling an aroma throughout the day, you can inhibit the desire to eat.
Dr. Hirsch, in his study, found that the more people used scent to control their appetite, the more weight they lost.
The key was to vary the oils used to prevent becoming desensitized which would reduce the effectiveness of the inhaled oils.
How to Use Essential Oils to Keep Your Irrational Hunger at Bay
Experiment by choosing three essential oils to use throughout the day.
Put a couple drops of each one of the selected oils on the cotton wick of your Be Lean Whiffer™ aromatherapy pendant.
Hold the Whiffer™ close to your nose when you feel you need a stronger scent.
The more you use these scents, the more effective they will be. Each day change the oils you used previously with three different ones.
This can be done easily by unscrewing the cap and inserting a new wick. Save the used wick for another day in a glass vial. (Oils can dissolve most plastics.)
Recommended Essential Oils for Weight Loss
- Peppermint: Is a digestive aid that soothes an upset stomach and helps with digestive problems.
- Grapefruit: A natural weight loss appetite suppressant through a process called lipolysis dissolves fat. (Combines very well with lavender in a Whiffer aromatherapy pendant).
- Bergamot: Stimulates your endocrine system and produces a sense of calm and well being and alleviates stress. Lavender can be combined with bergamot to enhance this calming effect.
- Tangerine: A diuretic and is also used to calm the nervous system.
- Orange: Helps overcome depression and gives emotional support.
- Ylang ylang: Used to clarify thoughts and assist in a feeling of wellness and calm.
- Patchouli: Used as a sedative and relaxation aid.
It is suggested you start with peppermint oil, because it provides unique weight loss benefits.
Dr. Alan Hirsch’s study found that inhaling peppermint can directly affect your brain’s satiety center, the ventro-medial nucleus of the hypothalamus.
This powerful essential oil makes you feel full after a meal. The result is that you can eat less and still feel satisfied.
You can choose to either inhale peppermint oil before a meal or drink a few drops in a glass of water or tea right before each meal.
Make sure the oil is pure enough to ingest. Do not ingest oils that are not marked GRAS (generally regarded as safe) or are not labeled for supplement use.
Essential oils are a terrific and natural way to suppress appetite and calm emotions as they relate to food and stress.
For safety and effectiveness, read the directions that come on the bottles of each essential oil before inhaling or ingesting.
Reaching and maintaining your ideal weight is a very important step towards achieving vibrant health.
Get more health related tips at Peggy Carey’s site The Zest Lady.
The Special Offer I Mentioned
To help you get started with essential oils, Peggy has generously offered to give anyone who buys a Whiffer pendant putting the code “RFW” in the comment-box a free pack of cotton wick storage vials.
Simply enter the code “RFW” in the comment box at check-out to receive you free gift! Click here to pick up a Whiffer and get your essence on!
P.S. I am experimenting with one of Peggy’s handmade Whiffers and will be sharing my experiences in future posts! Join me and get your own Whiffer and oils here.Read More
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. 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
- 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.
Alright, so you’ve read my 13 Witchy Ways Green Smoothies will rock your socks post. You’ve learned about the difference between smoothies and juicing. You’ve probably heard me talk about green smoothies on Twitter (follow me, I’m @hyperlinked) and Facebook.
But are you ready for International Green Smoothie Day – August 15th?
It’s time for the second annual green smoothie celebration. I’m one of the sponsors of International Green Smoothie day, so if you’ve been itching to work with me one on one, you could win a session as part of the celebration! Sign up and you’ll also get a chance to win a brand new blender. To make more delicious green magickal “goop” of course. :)
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.
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.
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
What Are YOUR Favorite Green Smoothie 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?Read More