Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why I Started The Raw Food Diet

For most of my life, I have struggled with weight, and I have tried every program imaginable to man to conquer this monster. I have tried fasting, weight watchers, quick weight loss, and the lemonade diet just to name a few.... to no avail. I would lose the weight and quickly regain it back. This recurring nightmare stuck as close to me as the fat on my ass and thighs. I began to accept the realization that life is not always fair and this was the hand that I was dealt.

At age 40, I began experiencing health problems. My first major scare was an abnormal mammogram. The follow up exam required an additional mammogram along with a needle biopsy. I eagerly vowed to start a radical cleansing program to beat the odds of cancer, so I began a 20 day juice fast.

During the 20 day fast, I became very interested in different modalities of holistic healing. I was inspired by the book “How to keep slim, healthy and young with juice fasting” by Paavo Airola.” This inspiration solidified my decision to continue the fast. The book not only teaches how to fast and what juices to fast with based on your condition, but also teaches how to properly eliminate toxins by using enemas and colonics. Colonics were not a new concept to me because I have been getting them since I was 34 years old, so I was very receptive to the process.

I was also inspired by the book “You are your own healer” by Ann Wigmore. The book introduced raw and living foods to me. At the time I considered the book to be a bit radical, but interesting. The book talked about sprouting, wheatgrass, wheatgrass implants, energy soup and rejuvelac---all of which I had never heard. Ironically, that same week, I saw an advertisement in a local Atlanta paper that read, “Living Foods Institute teaches how to prepare 100 percent organic raw and living foods by, Brenda Cobb.” I felt a strong connection to the photo in the advertisement, and I was extremely impressed by Brenda’s before and after photo. Brenda overcame the early stages of breast and cervical cancer by eating raw foods. She healed herself and looked 20 years younger after only six months on the diet. She lost 72 pounds, her eye sight improved and her hair turn from gray back to its natural color.

I decided to attend the free introduction seminar because I was inspired and intrigued. And even though I was still fasting at the time, my curiosity got the best of me, so I tasted some of the food. Surprisingly, the food was very good. The food had a lot of texture and flavor. The food was so good and the stories so inspiring, I had no other choice but to enroll into the next class.

I had about two weeks to prepare for the class. My juice fast had successfully ended and my biopsy for the breast exam came back thankfully benign, so I was feeling good and mentally ready to start the raw food class. The 10 day course taught detoxification, healing, and rebuilding health from the inside out. I learned 50 healing, gourmet and easy recipes and I learned about wheatgrass juice and its purification properties. I was introduced to various types of kitchen items such as the dehydrator, the spiralizer and the
excaliber, high powered blender. Finally, I was awarded a certificate of completion.

After completing the class, I was feeling a lot better because I had lost 15 pounds on the juice fast and an additional 14 pounds from the raw food class. I had more clarity and energy and I felt more healthy from the inside out. I was creating and inventing all types of recipes based on my new knowledge, and I even got my mother involved. She lost 10 pounds the first week. I was on a roll. I was dedicated for three consecutive months and abruptly hit a brick wall when I succumbed to HOULIHAN’S RESTAURANT in Augusta Mall. I ate fried shrimp and french fries and was dog sick when I got home. I weakly regained my composure and continued my new diet, but it was getting harder and harder to stay faithful. I slowly started incorporating more cooked foods into my diet until seven months later, I was fully engulfed in the bosom of the SAD (standard American diet). I had been conquered and I waffled for the next several years on raw, vegan and meat. I had no allegiance to a focused healthy diet and once again my health took a turn for the worst.

While working, I started experiencing shortness of breath and dizziness. It really escalated one day while on an international flight. I threw up and fainted 4 times. Luckily, the flight was light with passengers and I had an entire row to myself. I remember feeling extremely weak right before passing out. When I woke up, I was covered in vomit. I was extremely alarmed, but I got the strength to cleanse myself and the surrounding area only to repeat this pattern three more times. As soon as I got home, I went to the doctor and was told I had fibroid tumors (about the size of a six month pregnant woman) and I was severely anemic. I was prescribed medication immediately.

My anemia and fibroids began to take a toll on me and it was becoming more and more difficult to work and exercise as I was so weak and tired I could hardly function. My fibroids were still escalating in size until finally, with great hesitation, I had a hysterectomy. I thought about this for a year before going forward, but I must say, it was the best decision for me because I began to feel better immediately. I know deep down inside I could have avoided this drama had my diet consisted of more healthy foods.

Even though I felt better, I started experiencing weight gain and hot flashes. The weight was extremely hard to rid, so I decided to incorporate more vegan and raw foods into my diet. I slowly started to lose the extra weight. I began a 30 day raw food challenge and did extremely well. I lost 25 pounds and felt better than I have ever felt. I incorporated daily exercise and meditation to keep me focused and energized. I prepared a lot of raw foods on the weekend for the upcoming week. This method kept me from cheating and snacking throughout the day. I made sure to prepare desserts as well as entrees so that I would not feel like I was missing anything. To me, raw food desserts are much better than cooked desserts because you really TASTE the food. I drank green smoothies every morning and always had a large salad for lunch. I made sure to drink 80 ounces of spring water with lemon juice daily because it helped to flush poisons and toxins. Surprisingly around this time, I noticed that the hot flashes had subsided dramatically. I began to feel like I could conquer the world and I wanted to shout it out to everyone. This new found inspiration led me to helping other people by having them test the many recipes that I created.  Their positive feedback was very inspirational and I have enjoyed this new journey immensely. 

Finally, I must admit that from time to time, I dabble in a little cooked vegan food because I enjoy a lot of the recipes. At this time in my life, I am about 40 percent vegan and 60 percent raw because that works for me. The key to life is finding what works for you and living it to the fullest. 

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