We’ve harped on about the spiritual ways in which juicing can change your life. We’ve also taught you how to make vegetable juice at home, and how to keep the beet juice rocking. Photo by Rob Baird Now it’s time to look at the practical reasons why juicing will impact your life in an amazing…Read More
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!
Here they are. 7 of them.
Love: Going raw helped me discover so many new varieties of fruits and vegetables. I tried new tropical fruits from around the world (like durian), and delightfully local vegetables growing in my backyard.
Hate: I cut out tons of things that some might not even consider to be fit for human consumption. Most days I’m fine with that, but sometimes it sucks.
Love: I met tons of amazing new people through my foray into healthy eating-land. I still meet new amazing people, most notably: you.
Hate: Like I’ve written about in the past, going raw can rock the boat on any relationship. It’s not something to be overlooked.
Love: When you find something that works for you, you want to shout it off the rooftops and make sure everyone knows about it. That’s how it is for me and eating more fruits and veggies.
Hate: Sometimes people make their own judgement about your experiences and your ideas. They think you’re promoting an eating disorder, or that you’re trying to push a scam diet onto them.
- What Defines You
Love: On the one hand it can be great to be “the healthy one” in the room, always able to lend a hand or recommend a solution to someone.
Hate: Eventually you realize that you’re a lot more multifaceted than you thought, and you would like to discuss topics other than raw food, weight loss, and the like.
- Ancestral Habits
Love: I love the idea of eating closer to nature, eating the way that my long-ago ancestors may have eaten. Grazing, picking berries.
Hate: Humans have been evolving for thousands of years, and there’s a reason that we’ve got cooked food and blenders. We don’t have all day to sit around and chew.
- The Word Diet
Love: Having boundaries and lines helps. We’re all a little too easily swayed by commercials and photos of happy mouths eating unhealthy food.
Hate: I’ve never dieted. I don’t like the word, and it’s not something I think really works for anyone really. So why use the word, with all the baggage that comes with it?
- My Calling
Love: I love that I am here to help people eat more raw food. Whether I can spare you the hate part of the love/hate relationship, I don’t know. But I’ll certainly try to make eating more fresh fruits and veggies a fun experience. Not an all or nothing, but a balanced, welcoming life style.
Hate: I can’t stand watching people I love hurt. It hurts me to see them, especially if I think I have the answer. (Do I have the answer? We can only know once we give things a try.) But I think that’s part of the job too, allowing people to come to their own realizations.
What do you love or hate about raw food?
These are mine. Share yours in the comments. :)
Investments. We all make them. We invest time, money, and attention every day.
That TV show you spent 20 hours of your life watching? That was an investment of your time and attention.
That new coat, those new boots, and your car. Those are monetary investments.
Every day we are called to make investments. But how many of these investments are for your health?
Photo by Michael
In an attempt to save money and stay on budget you might be scrimping on the one investment that could affect them all. Your health.
Investing in Yourself
I’ve noticed that every time my life started to “take off” and feel really magickal was when I invested in myself.
One of my earliest investments was in taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. My parents footed this investment, yet it is still repaying us today. In fact, it could save my life were I ever in a tough spot and needed to defend myself.
Another really life changing investment was attending University. I paid for all of my college education myself, save for the first year that my parents covered. College taught me so much about software, the working life, and what I wanted to do with my own life.
Other investments that have had a huge impact on me are getting a coach, attending raw food lectures, attending seminars, and buying books about raw food. I’ve also invested in kitchen tools like the vitamix, and a dehydrator.
None of these investments were necessary. I could have easily gone on living my life without any of these additions. But I am who I am today because of them.
Other important investments I make every day: eating high raw, exercising, sleeping enough, thinking good thoughts, and spending quality time with the people I love. These are all investments of time and attention too. (And sometimes willpower!)
Investing in Your Health Without Giving Up
One trap that I used to fall into when it came to “investing in myself” was giving up my power.
This happened mRead More
To most people the term “raw food diet” might seem a little extreme, if not far-fetched. That’s why I want to spend a little bit of time today explaining exactly what Raw Food is all about, and a few reasons why some people include more Raw Food in their diet.
(Oh, and just a little reminder that I’m not advocating a strict 100% raw food diet. I think we can all benefit from more raw food, but it might not be right for everyone right off the bat. Right batman? Right.)
(If you’re reading this via email click here to watch the quick introductory video.)
What Does The Raw Food Diet Consist Of?
The raw food diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These four main food groups are great because they are essentially the revitalizers and immune system builders of the body. Not to mention that anyone can benefit from more fruits vegetables in their diet.
Reasons Why Raw Food is “Raw”
The raw food diet further qualifies food that is raw by stating that it not be heated above 112 Fahrenheit. The reason being that food heated above 112 Fahrenheit loses some of its digestive enzymes. All foods have enzymes that help us digest and absorb nutrients properly. Without these enzymes, we use our own limited supply of enzymes to digest food.
Raw Food as a Creative Outlet
Okay, you might be thinking that eating a bunch of carrots and raisins is not going to keep your taste buds happy. Fortunately, raw food is full of opportunities for creative food prep.
- Raw food allows you to make wacky green smoothies that are full of essential nutrients that help you maintain your weight while building strong bones and muscles.
- Raw food is a great way to try new fruits and vegetables that you’ve never even heard of before. Fancy trying durian fruit, or venturing out into new green territory with kale, collards, swiss chard, or even dandelion greens?
- With raw food you have a chance to experiment with new food combinations and spices. You can load up your blender with produce, hit the blend button, and cross your fingers. Chances are it will turn out tasting great.
I hope this quick article gave you a little more insight into exactly what the raw food diet consists of.
I just wanted to add that there are also variations of the diet that include raw dairy products, eggs, and even raw meat. I don’t think any one diet has all the answers, and I encourage you to find what works for you.