I have always considered myself a healthy eater with an active lifestyle. Moderation has always been my motto. But in 2009, after much frustration over my many health conditions, (insomnia, migraines, hemorrhoids, inflamed colon, eczema, bloating and weight gain), I knew I was out of balance. I did some research and decided to go on a three week vegan-raw cleanse in Hilo Hawaii. This involved a strict diet, amino acid and vitamin supplements, daily yoga, and lots of nature, rest, and the daily coffee colonic. To further detox, no make-up, body lotions, drinking coffee or alcohol, or sugar were allowed. A chef prepared all the food, three squares a day plus 2 juice sessions.
I had never eaten so much wholesome food, had so much energy and felt so satiated. By dinnertime I was not even hungry. Yet, the end result was a 15-pound weight loss, improved skin, and all the other medical conditions had vanished!
After returning to California I continued a vegan-raw diet. It takes a lot of time to live this way, as there are very few places to eat out. I kept this up for about 5 months, then slowly began integrating some cooked and animal ingredients back into my meals, starting with raw fish & oysters, eggs, then some cooked rice & quinoa. Still avoiding dairy, meat, sugar and gluten. I was feeling great, vibrant and my skin looked amazing. After 9 months of eating pretty clean, I decided I deserved to be a little indulgent. I went out with friends to a food and wine festival and ate everything in sight! Lamb sliders, French fries, wine, bread, mac and cheese, gelato. Wow, what an amazing feast! The next morning when I looked in the mirror what I saw frightened me. I was a puffy eyed, red faced, bloat lipped, itchy skinned creature. A cross between a puffer fish and a beet. Truly a nightmare!!! How did this happen?
What did I eat that caused this reaction? For three months following this inflammatory nightmare to my face, I went back to my "clean diet" but continued to have auto-immune reactions. Typically I would end up at the doctors who would prescribe a powerful steroid (prednisone). No doctor ever asked me what I was eating. Just take these steroids. Finally after taking things into my own hands, (getting bloodwork done, elimination diet, research), I pinpointed the cause: I AM ALLERGIC TO GLUTEN. My body has an autoimmune response to this protein molecule, found in so many foods. This would explain the skin issues, the hemorrhoids, inflamed colon, bloating and weight gain. INFLAMMATION. Perhaps the migrants too. Are they not my brain being inflamed?
My diet is now Gluten Free and rich in whole plant based foods, lean meats & fish, nuts, oils, and daily raw fruit and vegetable drinks. To maintain optimum energy and flexibility I practice Bikram & Vinyasa yoga at least 4 times a week along with regular outdoor activities.
After discovering which foods where making me tired, were not digesting properly and those that my body treated as enemies, I was able to slowly bring myself back to optimal health. By changing dramatically what I was "using as fuel", I no longer have any of the previous conditions that drove me to seek help. This transformative and healing experience has led me to want to help others to improve their health and energy. I understand firsthand how much time it takes to eat for the purpose of healing. And I know that those changes start in your mind, then the pantry and fridge, then continue right to the grocery store. Change is good. Change your current habits and replace them with a new lifestyle that works for your body.