Sunday, October 3, 2010

Coming Out - My World Upside Down, To Right Side Up

It's time for a personal post - one I never expected to share let alone go through. My intention is to be honest and real with my experience and healing journey, even if it goes against many of my friends/readers beliefs - heck, my new ways went against my own belief system recently too!

Break Down

For the past 5 months or so I've been having a really rough time - mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I've felt depleted. In the moment I couldn't see it, but standing back, I realize that I should have sought help much earlier on. Symptoms started appearing, and even though I knew something was wrong, I overlooked the imbalances, figuring I was going through a "low period" that would pass on it's own. At first I was sure it was emotional crap that I was clearing out and thought "better out than in"!

By August I went downhill even more, to the point where I would wake up in the morning and feel fine for up to an hour before hitting a low point which sent me into a crying, depressed spell, and back to bed. It was pretty awful.

On the upside, I've had amazing support from friends and family along the way. All too often I would phone my best friends, feeling upset and in tears. Thank you guys (you know who you are;). Your love has helped me more than you could imagine.

I'm so grateful for the unconditional love and support from my mom


Here are the symptoms I was (and to a lesser extent, still am) experiencing:


Fatigue - I was tired all the time, like I couldn't get going properly.

Headaches
- they started slowly, around April and appeared more and more frequently (to a few times a week).

Constipation
- I've tried all the natural herbal laxatives/teas on the market, and while I've found some good ones, they never got to the root of the problem. I got into enemas and for a while was doing them multiple times a week because it was the only thing to give me relief.

Acne
- My skin broke out in little bumps all over my forehead at one point in August (right before having to be part of my friend's wedding party!), but for a while I've had acne my shoulders.

Extreme irritability
- Mood swings, and outbursts of anger that I never knew I was capable of.

Depression
- I was crying every day, not seeing any point to my life, and had no motivation.

Anxiety
- I felt overwhelmed and jittery.

Abdominal pains
- My stomach often felt bloated with a lot of intestinal cramping - both before and after eating. I found that the enemas actually made this worse.

Weak muscles
- I'm normally quite strong but I became so weak that even a short walk was a challenge. I did an exercise class with a friend - a weight class I used to do regularly but I couldn't even make it through the class.

Major brain fog
- I felt spacey and really ungrounded.





Silver Lining



VERY fortunately my dear friend, homeopathic doctor, and medical intuitive, Denyse Appelmans, was visiting for a few days in the midst of it all. She witnessed what I was going through and said I was showing signs of low thyroid and adrenal fatigue. She put me on homeopathic remedies immediately, and strongly suggested I make some dietary changes.

Soon after that I got some blood tests done. Denyse wanted a number of tests done on me, but they would only perform the base line tests. The tests came back indicating that my thyroid is on the low end of normal, I have low levels of iron, B6, and B12, in addition to some adrenal fatigue.

Denyse put me on a very specific healing protocol immediately afterwards. While some aspects might appear shocking to you, I am confident that what I am doing will heal me. Not just because I've been told to, but I feel in my heart that some major changes are essential for this period - plus, I trust Denyse with my whole heart and soul. In addition, I believe that the divine powers of the universe have supplied me with many confirmations along this particular path.

I'll also take a second to mention that if this doesn't resonate with you, that's cool, I understand, but please refrain from leaving messages or links containing information that is contrary to this approach. This is the path I'm choosing to take right now. Thanks.


Coming Out


After 13 years of vegetarianism I'm eating meat. The people who know me well almost fell over when I told them about my new "carnivorous" ways. I became vegetarian right upon turning 14, and, just 2 weeks before turning 27, I bit into a piece of meat. You might wonder how my body responded after such a long time of going without it. I wondered what would happen too! My body digested it so easily. Let me tell you though - it was a challenge at first to shift toward this new way of eating! For days I cried and cried at the thought of eating meat - I think that was more challenging than not being allowed to eat chocolate and dessert!

I'm eating delicious things like THIS. Wild salmon with wild blueberry salsa and roasted veggies, prepared by Chef Franky.


Dr. Appelman's Healing Protocol for Heathy!

This is temporary, but Denyse said it will take a good few months for the turn around, and to change my blood. She has assured me that l will indeed be back on my feet, enjoying the foods I love again.


She explained that my condition is affecting me on a biochemical level, and there is no amount of fasting and/or bowel cleansing will help at this point (in fact she said it would worsen the condition).


We are working to heal me on a cellular level.

-homeopathic remedies (which are extremely potent herbal formulas)
-high quality vitamin supplementation: B complex vitamin, multivitamin, omegas
-cooked red meat - 4 oz, twice daily. At home I eat the wild moose/deer that my dad hunts. When I was traveling recently, I ate free range/organic meat. The wild or free range factor is crucial because any grain fed animal is toxic.
-fish - cooked and raw. Fortunately my dad catches fresh fish! I prefer eating it as ceviche - raw fish marinated for hours in fresh citrus juice and salt, which basically cooks the fish lightly.
-raw dairy - yogurt, cheese, butter
-lots of veggies: raw and cooked with an emphasis on greens, yams, and squash.
-lots of spring water daily
-some fruit, but minimal
-daily walks/light yoga
-I'm also taking a lot of therapeutic herbal teas (chaga, reishi, sarsaparilla, golden thread, pau d'arco, cats claw.... many more)

These foods are NOT allowed on my plan:
- alcohol
-cacao, any any other stimulating super foods
-sugar, except for some fruit
-grains (this was easy because to this point, the only grain I eat is raw oats occasionally)
-soy (which I don't consume except for some lecithin, and miso)


Say what?! The raw dessert queen can't eat her beloved chocolate and desserts?! You've gotta be kidding! I was soooo upset with the news. I felt like my whole identity had been taken away from me. How could I prepare desserts for other people if I couldn't taste it???

Byebye beloved choccie... just for a while... :(

Angels Along The Way...


Thanks to the following people, I've had motivation to stick with my new plan!
I was extremely fortunate to visit friends near where my aunt and uncle live. Ali Schuler, Franky Giglio, and Camille Giglio were raw vegans for a long time, and started experiencing health problems too (some of the same ones I had). They follow the teachings of Daniel Vitalis (Ali's partner), who now advocates eating animal products. They healed themselves by eating this way, and hanging out with them was such a confirmation that my new plan can heal me too!

Angel Debbie, and I, in California

In California I was fortunate to see Debbie Young, and do some sharing with her. She's another friend who went from raw vegan to eating animal products to save her health. Check out her new blog Grass Fed Momma and read her story about why she's moved away from an all vegan diet! She's been a huge support to me during my transition, and I'm super grateful!

Anthony Anderson is another convert - check out his site Raw Model for lots of info and videos!

My friend Angie tried really hard to eat all raw vegan, but her health declined, and she ended up with a lot of the same symptoms as me. Adding meat back into her diet brought her health back quickly.

Heidi and Justin Ohlander of Raw Food Right Now, are two other raw vegans who are now eating animals products for optimal health too!

I've had a lot of other confirmations along the way from other people too.

In fact, daily now, I hear about raw vegans turning back to animal products. It's actually quite astounding. There are MANY more "raw vegans" than you may realize who are eating animal products, but who feel the need to remain anonymous about their new ways to avoid a tarnished reputation.

The Shift

This journey has changed me on all levels. For years I have lived the vegan and then raw vegan lifestyle, been extremely passionate about it, and promoted it. Never in a million years did I think that I would be eating meat, dairy, or eggs again - and for years I didn't think it was necessary for anyone else to be eating these foods either.

I've come to realize more than ever that we are all different. What works for one person may not work for another, and vice versa.

As a result, I've released many labels and beliefs attached to my narrow views around what the "ideal diet" actually is. Of course there are universal foods that I will always think are healthy and important for everyone to eat, but who am I to know what another person truly needs for their nourishment?

It also changes my views on the kind of partner I to settle with, and raising kids when that day rolls around.

I've shifted from a place of thinking that it's evil to kill animals, to a place of thanking the animal's spirit for feeding me and healing me. The big beautiful moose ate the wild greens, utilized them, and provided me with a highly nutritious food!

I don't know what the future holds for me... will I ever go back to raw vegan? Maybe - who knows. That's not even for me to decide right now. But I do know that a good part of my heart will always be with the raw vegan lifestyle. Raw desserts are still my favorite thing to prepare and to dream about - in fact, I was in the middle of 2 new raw dessert books when I had to make changes.

Riding The Waves

When I first started on this plan, Denyse told me to eat meat with veggies for breakfast every morning to get a protein boost, raise my metabolism, and get a tryptophan hit which would help calm my mood. I started eating plain cooked moose or deer meat in my salad, and sure enough it helped so much. It calmed my mood and kicked things into gear. The most interesting thing is that meals with animal protein really satisfy me.

Discovery: I digest a meat and veggie meal way better than a nut/seed based raw vegan meal!!!

I feel like things have happened in waves. For the first 10 days, I was adjusting to the major changes. I started eating a moose/deer meat or fish meal every day - no dairy or eggs yet. I was doing lots of salad, veggies, squash, and was still eating more fruit than I should have been eating, but was trying to figure it all out.
When I traveled to Maine, near the end of August, I stuck to the protocol 100% . There, I ate my very first steak. My uncle cooked me free range beef every day - I was so grateful not to have to cook it. I also got my hands on a bunch of raw dairy: yogurt, butter, and cheese. My body responded happily to this way of eating!

I rested a lot - in bed, and on the beach, with daily walks by the ocean. By the end of the week I had regained a good amount of energy and strength.



My next journey took me to LA for 2 weeks of fun, and let's just say my new plan went right out the window. I started off by deciding to indulge in cacao and desserts for my birthDAY... which turned into my "birthday weekend", which turned into my entire trip (if you've seen my recent posts, you know exactly what I'm talking about). How could I not?! There I was, in the raw restaurant capital of the world - temptation around every corner. I enjoyed every bite, but my body sure wasn't happy. The fatigue and bowel pains came flooding back in a hurry.

A funny memory: one night after visiting a raw restaurant for dinner, my gut was in such pain that I was doubled over in the parking lot trying to fart for some relief, while moaning to Alex, and strategizing on how we were going to "do better tomorrow".

I did, however enjoy even more raw dairy in California. Fresh raw colostrum, cream, and goat's milk. Mmm! I whipped up some cool REAL milkshakes too for Philip and I using raw cream, milk, cacao powder, lucuma, banana, maca, stevia, and ice.

Upon returning home, I felt like I was starting all over again. I was so drained from the trip that I started sleeping 11-12 hours a night, with more rest during the day. I cut out the "avoid" foods again, started up with my meat eating (I'd eaten a few meals of in LA). My poor system was so screwed up from the trip that I was having major digestive problems once again - just as they had started clearing! Damn! My belly looked like a beach ball, and I was back to feeling extremely irritable/tired/headachy. My gut was still in such pain that I didn't know what the heck to eat. Fresh celery/apple juice just made it worse one morning. I frantically contacted Debbie to see what helped when she dealt with the same issue, and she said eggs were an easy thing for her to digest. I was sold. That day (about a week ago) I started eating eggies with a bit of veggies for breaky, and am still doing that. My dad brought a bunch of fresh eggs from his friend's farm, and they're amazing. That egg meal ended my gut pains!

While I looked "fine" and healthy in my recent travels, I was tired and in gut pain most of the time. I mention this because I often hear "Heather, you are such a picture of health and a testimony that the raw vegan diet is the way to go!". I cringe when I hear it because I've felt so crappy for a while. Maybe these people see the essence of my being... but don't be fooled be appearance.


My TEMPORARY Diet
(healing diet)

Here are typical daily meals and foods I eat regularly on this plan:

- Scrambled eggs cooked in a little raw butter, with kale, tomato, and/or zucchini

- *Salad #1 with 4 oz ground moose meat

- *Salad # 2 with 4 oz ground moose meat

- *Salad with ceviche or cooked fish (sometimes)

- Fruit: Apples, dried figs, goji berries

- Squash or yams - baked

- Sauerkraut

- Coconut (lots!)- fresh thai coconut, dried shredded coconut, coconut butter (my fave and I eat it by the spoonful), coconut oil, coconut nectar/crystals (small amounts now that I'm allowed to eat a bit of sweetener)

- Macadamia nuts

-Raw butter, raw cheese, raw yogurt

* A combo of: romaine, tomato, celery, cucumber, red pepper, wakame, arame, nori, dulse, kale, zucchini, chard, avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, himalayan salt, black pepper

As you can see, I'm still eating a high raw diet - greens and veggies 3-4 times a day. I've started cooking my kale/chard, and find I digest them far easier this way. I'm eating about 5 small/medium sized meals a day, with the goal of eating 6x daily (at least to see how it works for raising my metabolism), but sheesh, it takes a lot of work to eat so much!

I admit, I'm still eating more dried figs than I should be (sometimes 5 in day)... darn sweet tooth.
In sticking with this plan, I continue to feel better each day. My bowls are finally regulating on their own and I've eliminated the pain/bloating from my gut. My mood is stabilizing, and I feel much more grounded. Yippeee!!!

10 days ago I ate cacao and felt HORRIBLE for the rest of the day and the entire following day. Good lesson for me to stick with this plan until my body heals.

I want to feel like THIS again!


On that note, I'll wrap up this very lengthy post. I'll continue to share my journey as things develop, and I'll be sure to post all my interesting meat creations too! Just kidding! I have no desire to do that - besides, I'm a boring eater these days. I disguise the meat in my salads. But seriously, my love for the sweet stuff will always be present, and I've started experimenting with desserts using "acceptable" ingredients, which I plan on sharing with you. Some are all raw vegan, some raw but not vegan, some vegan but cooked ... a mix of everything, and something for everyone.

In Love and Peace...

133 comments:

Healthy. Happy. Well. said...

I appreciate the honesty of your post, you're very brave to write it down, and it's very therapeutic to get it all out on 'paper'. I'm happy to hear that you're gradually feeling better every day. EVERY body is different and everyone metabolizes foods differently. The goal of healthy eating should be about eating what makes you feel good, and you're doing it! Congrats! Love and light, sending you loads of healthy wishes.

Angelique said...

That took some guts to write and I too appreciate your honesty. Thank you for sharing this journey with us and I hope for your health to continue to improve as you travel this road and learn new things (about yourself and perhaps, others).

Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

Heather, I'm glad you're feeling better.

I had every single problem you described over this past summer ... including mood swings and the anger/crying ... which were totally out of character for me and it was quite scary. Gut pain - check, fatigue - check, headaches - omg, acne - it was awful. Also had some insomnia and nightmares, dry eyes, brain fog, weakness ... I was a mess.

It was the chocolate.

When I stopped the chocolate, entirely, everything else started improving dramatically. I'm about two months into no chocolate and things have leveled out and I'm probably 95% back to normal, although I can see there is still some recovery to go.

In researching what was wrong with me, I found lots of info on chocolate, including how it's metabolized ... I won't bore you here (it comes down to the fact that chocolate is a toxin .. for everyone, although some will be able to metabolize it better than others).

Anyway, in the last several years, I've quit smoking, become vegan, gave up salt ... all kinds of things. Giving up the chocolate was the most difficult. I still think about it every so often!

Hope you continue to feel better!

Anonymous said...

I sent my FB comment before I read this.
All I can say is, "I FEEL YOUR PAIN HONEY" like you don't even understand. I can't believe this happened at the exact same time for both of us......incredible. Good On Ya for sharring all the details, you have served us well.... This post seems autobiographical, like *I* wrote it. Thanks again for the validation, Heath, and for your courageous spirit. WHO knew we had to bend when we got a little too big for our britches, huh? Very grateful for the universe to smack us upside the head when we're too dependant, greedy and rigid on 'perceived' truths. What a gracious world.

Vivvie


PS: I've been waiting for this post, you're my spokesperson ;)

debbiedoesraw aka grass fed momma said...

Oh Sweet girl, I love that you are sharing with the world. It is not easy, take it from me! Just today I got attacked on FB for talking about raw butter by someone who accused me of hurting cows and calves.. it is a never ending debate.

but like me, your proof is in your results.
And I am honored that you have gleaned some insights from my journey, what a joy it is to know you!

I am so blessed to be in your life, I love that you are reaching out, telling your story.. and OMG that fart story is the BEST! Many many times I experienced the same feeling.. it is so painful and just drags you down every which way!

I love you TONS and I know you are on the right path,
deb xoxoxoxo
PS I made the best thing for a snack the other day: greek yogurt full fat of course :), a spoonfull of coconut cream/manna and a handful of raspberries, OMG so good! xoxoxoxo :)

vegan girl said...

Thank you for this post. I agree that everyone digests food differently and what works for one, may not work for the next person. Don't be ashamed to be "you" and do what works best for you!!!

Lauren said...

I agree, Heathy, do what works for you. Every time I get an email from someone with crohn's wanting to know EXACTLY how I eat, I always tell them my diet might not be the one that is best for them. Everyone is different. Even if they have the same disease. For me veganism saved my life. I was at the point that I couldn't eat anymore and I was living off of white bread, plain chicken and hard boiled eggs. It wasn't until I went vegan that I could live again.. not being next to a potty all the time! :) I hope this helps you get better, I look forward to hearing you are feeling well again soon! XO

Laurel said...

Wow, you are such a brave person, Heather. Thank you for sharing this and for being so honest. I am glad that you are feeling better now and finding your "balance". It's really interesting how different we all are. I became a vegetarian when I was 13 and it helped me in a LOT of ways. I think because I'm an aries - a fire type - raw vegan foods balance me out.

I know eating that way is not for everyone though. However, I've struggled with depression a lot too. When I was in high school I would cry for hours for no reason. (I wouldn't say it was because I was a vegetarian though - I was extremely anxious as a child.) I started eating salmon once a week a few years after I became a vegetarian and I noticed I felt a lot happier afterward. I always thought it was the omega-3s. Also, I think a lot of times people think that they are experiencing "emotional-release" and "cleansing" on the raw diet, when there may be something else going on. It doesn't seem like a diet extremely high in nuts can be too cleansing to me.

I ate raw vegan for two years and notice that I had some of my IBS problems get worse - diarrhea and gas. I started taking foods out of my diet until it came to the point where the only raw meal I could eat was a salad w/ oil lemon and salt - not good considering I have a VERY fast metabolism. Recently, I started adding cooked grains into my diet and some fish again. And I stopped eating eating nuts, and I've noticed my stomach feels a million times better :D.


Thank you for this post, Heather! You are awesome! Take care!!!!

<3 Laurel

MyLittlePhotographs said...

I just want to show my support and let you know that I can definitely understand what you're going through. I have started eating eggs and fish and cheese as well so I really enjoyed reading your post. I was also wondering if you were taking b12 vitamins or a multivitamin when you were 100% raw? As for trying new recipes, you should definitely check out the babycakes cookbook. Sooo delicious, you'll love it! They have a bakery here in LA and theres also one in NY!!

Fran said...

Thanks Heather for writing this very important article, that was also incredibly brave of you too.

Your experience and journey is so important as a role model for showing that nothing is constant - that anything can change. And that it's okay to not be perfect, it's okay to change our minds, and it's okay change our value structure if it means taking care of our health.

I experienced a similar thing in the beginning of 2009 after returning home from traveling for a year, I came home broken both physically and emotionally. I ended up moving back in with my parents and eating meat again for a few months until I felt stronger. When I moved back out I gave up meat again which felt good at the time. But I've also stuck with eggs and goats dairy which I feel are important to my health, and I'll occasionally have cows dairy when I'm out.

I actually feel healthier on meat (I'm a fast oxidizer) so I struggle with the ethical thing which is the main reason why I don't eat it. Like you I'm completely open to having more periods in the future where I eat meat again for some time. Possibly around the time I want to have children or when I'm raising them :)

Thanks again for your beautiful honesty, I'm certain it's made more of a positive impact than you think.

Loads of love to you lovely,

Fran x

ps- funny, I had a belly ache that night I saw you at Au Lac for your birthday ..I wish I'd know, we could have swapped belly ache stories, ha! x

Laurel Alanna McBrine said...

Is it just me, or has your blog gone into shock - it seems to be a bit messed up - the writing at the end on is on the brown background, very difficult to decipher and there are long blank spaces ...??

I am so sorry to hear you have not been well. I wonder, do you think agave might be one factor? Or maybe cacao as someone else mentioned. I really don't want to think about giving up chocolate, so have been using dates instead, but maybe I am just fooling myself.

There is so much debate about food - it is so confusing and I feel your pain in having to make this very difficult change, especially when your vocation is so tied into your diet. I hope you feel much better very soon and I wish you the perfect health and happiness you seek.

VeggieGirl said...

I have the pleasure of being friends with you, so we've talked all about this - you're super strong and are doing the best for you and your well-being. So proud of you and am here for you 100%!!! <3

Genevieve said...

I've been a vegetarian for 17 years... until my body stopped functioning. I'm slowing incorporating more animal products into my diet. In fact, I ate my first meat in 17 years just last Friday. It is HARD but I also know it is what is best for me. GOOD FOR YOU for listening to your body and doing what you need to do.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone, after being a vegetarian since my 20's,menopause hit - I went back to eating a lot of salmon to help with mood swings and hair thinning. I love eating high raw but I do continue to have salmon, tofu, yogurt, occasional eggs and some cooked veggies.

I enjoy your blog and find your enthusiasm delightful. I know that through it all you will thrive and find the right solutions. Change is life. Wishing you a quick recovery.

Sarah @ Gluten-free tries Vegan said...

Heathy, I want to give you a massive hug right now!!!

I think it's awesome that you were so honest in this post and it does seem that so many people are letting go of the raw/vegan label right now. I've been having almost exactly the same experiences as you- fatigue, bowel problems etc so I've switched from my vegan, medium/high-raw ways and am starting to feel better. And, like you, I give thanks for the animal that is blessing me with wellness when I'm eating it. My last blog post is about my journey away from veganism. I'd love for you to drop by and read it.

Lots of hugs and love. Feel better soon xxx

Donna said...

Thank you so much for your amazingly beautiful honesty Heather, I look forward to reading about your journey and the changes you have along the way.
It gives everyone a breath of fresh air who has ever beat themselves up about any 'slip' ups they may have had while trying to maintain and stay 100% raw vegan.
Peace and blessings to you....
and they most important blessing of divine health however it is for you.
:)

Anonymous said...

I respect and admire your courage and honesty! Your healing and health are the most important things. May your journey be richly blessed as you stay true to yourself. So glad to hear that you are feeling better! Here's to a new start and to the rest of your journey...

Anonymous said...

Hey baby girl! It's Sunshine! :D

Giiiirrrrrrlllll!!!!!!!!!! You do what you gotta do for YOU, no one else. I'm so tired of people judging or giving glances, or the people who are feeling like they have to eat what they want to eat behind closed doors because what will other people think. You know I did raw vegan to help my little guy on the spectrum. When he was no longer getting enough fats (he wouldn't eat the raw fats except for trace amounts of evoo), I started making him eggs. I didn't stop to think about what anyone else thought. I didn't care. I was doing what was best for MY son. Just as YOU are doing what's best for YOU. :) So go on w/your bad self girl & get all healed up. I love ya no matter what, period! :D

Tamikko said...

Thank you so much for your honesty. I have been really sick for a couple of years and I'm juicing right now. While doing so, I've heard of so many people going back to meat and I'm so happy that it makes my decision, not easier, but validated.
I hope you get back to feeling better then ever real quick. I can't wait to see your new recipes and would appreciate more updates on what your eating along the way.

Erin said...

Hi Heather!

Really appreciate that you're so honest with YOURSELF. So important. I appreciate the predicament you first faced with regards to your objection to eating meat and your body really calling for it. I too look at eating animals as a blessing they provide for me to be nourished from, and not as a crime, barring the obvious mistreatment in parts of that industry.

Many of your symptoms speak of COPPER OVERLOAD or copper toxicity. You may be interested to check out the book title, Why Am I Always So Tired, by Ann Louise Gittleman. I had to deal with a lot of what you spoke of as well, and the copper issue was a big part of it. Chocolate happens to be one of the highest foods in copper, as is shellfish and nuts. All of which can cause aggravation when this is an issue. You can check for it with a hair analysis but you REALLY need someone who knows how to read it, as it may show up low, but there are other markers to look for in the other mineral levels.

Anyway, God Bless YOU! You're doing a fantastic job with yourself. And your courage and frankness in "coming out" is extremely refreshing. Look forward to updates as your journey unfolds. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Heather I applaud you for your honesty. Your story encouraged me very much as I have experienced similar things and I am now no longer 100% raw vegan. Everyone needs to listen to their bodies. I hope you regain your health quickly. Keep telling us about your journey as it appears from the comments that there are many of us that would benefit!! God bless and be encouraged!

Antony said...

I hope this works for you x

Gaile said...

Hi Heather, I've been reading your blog for a long time but never posted. I just wanted to say that while i was never raw, I was vegetarian for 12 years, and had to change my diet in order to regain my health as well, and while at first it conflicted with what I felt, it did heal me. I hope that you continue to heal and feel more alive and vibrant! Best wishes!!

Rosie said...

Thank you SO much for this post. I don't think you realise just how much positive effects it will have now and down the track....
Comes at a perfect time for me.

Mila Ilina said...

So genuine! Sending you lots of healing love ;-)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Hi Heathy, beautiful post; the honesty, the insights into yourself, life,the world, just everything, so beautiful!

I can count about 5 ladies, some of them have commented on this post, some I know you "know", but lots of ladies I know in the last TWO WEEKS who are de-nouncing their veganism or vegetarianism and moving in other directions.

I say good for them, good for you, good for anyone finding what works and works long term. Our bodies vary over time, over our life cycle, and what once worked may not always work and it's wonderful you are being honest with the world, but most importantly w/ yourself, and moving toward that which DOES work and abandon what's not.

Bravo!

Hugs & love!

xoxo

AlaskaSmiles said...

Heather - I don't have a whole lot of time - but, I congratulate you on sharing a very hard decision.

I have been vegetarian for over 30 years and almost 2 years vegan. I've been followed mainly macrobiotic and ayurvedic diets. I went "raw" last summer ('09) for 6 mos. and loved it BUT my stomach didn't as I was constantly bloated and gassy. I finally this spring had a blood allergy test, and found I was allergic to many foods, fruits and veggies I ate on a regular basis (good plug for a rotation diet!), gliaden in grains AND systemic candida. I've suffered from all the symptoms you had, but candida was the culprit for me (fortunately I guess!).

I can not ever touch flesh again, no matter what my health - for me it's karmic and spiritual (vedic astrologer). Fortunately with a great ND (like you) I'm on the mend treating the candida which has caused all my symptoms for over 20 years! And mainstream medicine doesn't believe in it!

I married a hunter 23 years ago and went from being vegetarian to eating game meat. I just couldn't digest the meat very well and 5 years ago went back to being vegetarian.

I support you, and anyone who feels they need to change their diet, as well as encourage you to after you feel well, try a vegetarian cooked diet. According to Ayurveda, as we get older (you're so young still!) many of us need to eat lightly cooked foods. Food combining is very important in macrobiotics as well as other regimes.

It's a mixed bag isn't it? Blessings Heather on this path we choose to take!

Anna Rodgers said...

I am so proud of you too Heather and I know it was probably a very difficult post to write. Speaking your truth is the most important thing. Your story makes anyone see that you did try every option first before realising your body needed animal products and it's great to see you only will have organic and raw if possible.

Yes some people won't understand or will be shocked as they believe no one should eat any animal products - but you know what? They are not well either, several I personally know are depressed and have major imbalances and will probably never be as 'well' as they could be which is a shame as I personally believe, for the world to get better, we all need to have our brains functioning better to do that!

There is a lot of obsessiveness with diets these days and I am now believing that that is not a good step to being healthy as we have to have a healthy mind as well and controlling ourselves too much creates this push and pull feeling between what is right and what is 'wrong'

Even though I promote vegetarianism/veganism on my own blog I am going to suggest that people support proper organic farming because that is ALOT better than buying cheap toxic meats.

God gave us free will as well, I do believe that and he doesnt want us to judge others as he doesnt judge us - it's up to us to not abuse it (the free will) so caring about animal welfare is definitely very important hence why buying organic meats etc is a big step in right direction. We cannot say that the whole entire world should not eat meat, that simply wont happen. But promoting organic farming, yes we can do that!

One diet is definitely not right for all. And I totally agree that choc is not a suoerfood like Its been promoted.

For me, with suffering too from major adrenal problems, when I have regular choc in my diet I get the worst brain fog!!! I did an experiment to see it really was the choc and it was!! So now I avoid it.

Nuts make me super Ill too eveytime I go to raw restaurant here in London, I feel very very crampy and in pain either after dinner or the next day. And I always wake up with candida type symptoms, strange fury mouth and sick in the stomach. And this is from a raw organic restaurant, so what does that say? That something in that food is NOT right for me as well as many others.

Judging from alot of the other posts, you are definitely NOT alone here so many people are coming out and saying they are not thriving on raw diet alone. And, they are not people that have 'lost their way' they have tried very hard to stay on this raw vegan path but it simply was NOT working. So what are their options, get sicker and sicker and perhaps die an early death or become suicidally depressed? or, find out what the other options are and try them and see what it does for their health and body? I know which option I would choose thats for sure!

Well done for being so open and brave about it.xx

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you too Heather and I know it was probably a very difficult post to write. Speaking your truth is the most important thing. Your story makes anyone see that you did try every option first before realising your body needed animal products and it's great to see you only will have organic and raw if possible.

Yes some people won't understand or will be shocked as they believe no one should eat any animal products - but you know what? They are not well either, several I personally know are depressed and have major imbalances and will probably never be as 'well' as they could be which is a shame as I personally believe, for the world to get better, we all need to have our brains functioning better to do that!

There is a lot of obsessiveness with diets these days and I am now believing that that is not a good step to being healthy as we have to have a healthy mind as well and controlling ourselves too much creates this push and pull feeling between what is right and what is 'wrong'

Even though I promote vegetarianism/veganism on my own blog I am going to suggest that people support proper organic farming because that is ALOT better than buying cheap toxic meats.

God gave us free will as well, I do believe that and he doesnt want us to judge others as he doesnt judge us - it's up to us to not abuse it (the free will) so caring about animal welfare is definitely very important hence why buying organic meats etc is a big step in right direction. We cannot say that the whole entire world should not eat meat, that simply wont happen. But promoting organic farming, yes we can do that!

One diet is definitely not right for all. And I totally agree that choc is not a suoerfood like Its been promoted.

For me, with suffering too from major adrenal problems, when I have regular choc in my diet I get the worst brain fog!!! I did an experiment to see it really was the choc and it was!! So now I avoid it.

Nuts make me super Ill too eveytime I go to raw restaurant here in London, I feel very very crampy and in pain either after dinner or the next day. And I always wake up with candida type symptoms, strange fury mouth and sick in the stomach. And this is from a raw organic restaurant, so what does that say? That something in that food is NOT right for me as well as many others.

Judging from alot of the other posts, you are definitely NOT alone here so many people are coming out and saying they are not thriving on raw diet alone. And, they are not people that have 'lost their way' they have tried very hard to stay on this raw vegan path but it simply was NOT working. So what are their options, get sicker and sicker and perhaps die an early death or become suicidally depressed? or, find out what the other options are and try them and see what it does for their health and body? I know which option I would choose thats for sure!

Well done for being so open and brave about it.xx
Anna

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you too Heather and I know it was probably a very difficult post to write. Speaking your truth is the most important thing. Your story makes anyone see that you did try every option first before realising your body needed animal products and it's great to see you only will have organic and raw if possible.

Yes some people won't understand or will be shocked as they believe no one should eat any animal products - but you know what? They are not well either, several I personally know are depressed and have major imbalances and will probably never be as 'well' as they could be which is a shame as I personally believe, for the world to get better, we all need to have our brains functioning better to do that!

There is a lot of obsessiveness with diets these days and I am now believing that that is not a good step to being healthy as we have to have a healthy mind as well and controlling ourselves too much creates this push and pull feeling between what is right and what is 'wrong'

Even though I promote vegetarianism/veganism on my own blog I am going to suggest that people support proper organic farming because that is ALOT better than buying cheap toxic meats.

God gave us free will as well, I do believe that and he doesnt want us to judge others as he doesnt judge us - it's up to us to not abuse it (the free will) so caring about animal welfare is definitely very important hence why buying organic meats etc is a big step in right direction. We cannot say that the whole entire world should not eat meat, that simply wont happen. But promoting organic farming, yes we can do that!

Anna

Anonymous said...

part 2 Anna
One diet is definitely not right for all. And I totally agree that choc is not a suoerfood like Its been promoted.

For me, with suffering too from major adrenal problems, when I have regular choc in my diet I get the worst brain fog!!! I did an experiment to see it really was the choc and it was!! So now I avoid it.

Nuts make me super Ill too eveytime I go to raw restaurant here in London, I feel very very crampy and in pain either after dinner or the next day. And I always wake up with candida type symptoms, strange fury mouth and sick in the stomach. And this is from a raw organic restaurant, so what does that say? That something in that food is NOT right for me as well as many others.

Judging from alot of the other posts, you are definitely NOT alone here so many people are coming out and saying they are not thriving on raw diet alone. And, they are not people that have 'lost their way' they have tried very hard to stay on this raw vegan path but it simply was NOT working. So what are their options, get sicker and sicker and perhaps die an early death or become suicidally depressed? or, find out what the other options are and try them and see what it does for their health and body? I know which option I would choose thats for sure!

Well done for being so open and brave about it.xx
Anna

Rachel said...

Hey Heather, You brave lovely thing. I had a similar experience a few years ago. I was a vegetarian for 7 years and in my view at that time would never ever touch or eat meat again. I actually felt repulsed by it. But I too started to experience illness, tiredness, anxiety and depression. It culminated with me being in hospital having my appendix removed and 3 months of illness and depression trying to recover from the operation. I was very very sick. I decided enough was enough and started to introduce meat into my diet again. It has given me new energy and a new lease of life. I now have a 20% meat/fish and 80% veggie diet. I only buy organic meat and fish and I won't eat anything endangered like cod, tuna or rare meat. I see it as mindful eating and although I'm eco and sometimes feel fraudulant for eating meat I know that my own personal body functions best this way. I make sure that I detox regularly and use alternative therapies for most of my ailments. I'm hearing a lot of veggie/eco people are doing this now and finding themselves healthier and balanced. I really do believe it's better to be veggie and I wish that I could be 100% vegetarian but it's all about listening to your own body. For 7 years my body must have been healed through vegetarian food and now it requires a new approach, which may change at a future date. For now this is what I do. I also tested myself for the blood group diet and it confirmed that I need a mixed diet of vegetables, fish and meat. I guess we are all different.

Your a beautiful, wonderful person, thankyou for sharing! x

Susie said...

Heather - PLEASE look into ADRENAL FATIGUE! I had this and it was difficult to diagnose. It also effects your thyroid so it may seem like your thyroid, but it is not. If you need to know more let me know. I have been healing from this for a year now.

Susie

papajoe said...

Praying for your quick recovery! Met you at Victoras Kulvinkus talk at Palm Coast last October. I am a friend of Adams. I know, Joe Mercola, Paul Niesson and Jeff Primack would support you. Too bad we all didn't have access to fresh moose, deer and Fish.

Ulyana said...

"You are what you eat" I've always sort of agreed with it but not entirely, the truth is "You are MORE than what you eat". Your experience is an amazing eye opener. I think you'll have more fun in your kitchen, you'll enjoy more variety and less restriction. Even sounds like a possible nut allergy amongst your symptoms. I enjoy eggs and raw dairy and some cooked grains and veg. I have only ever been raw for short spurts (Aussie summer) because I found it works best for me. I've noticed your hair is happier since adopting more foods and that's a good sign : )

Marisa said...

Thank you for sharing! I often think that the raw food world puts way too much pressure on people to be 100% vegan and it just may not be right for everyone. It is important to find balance and happiness in what you eat since it should always be a joyous experience.

Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt said...

Heather -

My family has just gone through the same thing - vegetarian to vegan to raw vegan to... including animal products. My 13yo raised vegetarian kid just ate meat for the first time in February and is THRIVING! My family does a weekly show called Sweet Peas Podcast (which your Philip has been on!) that has been chronicling our journey with food.

As you heal and move through, we'd love to have you on.

I wish you great amounts of love and a blessed new relationship with your body!

With respect,
Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt
1/3 of the Sweet Peas Team (http://www.ritefoodandcompany.com/Podcast/index.html) and owner of Rite Chocolate (http://www.ritechocolate.com/)

kayebillie_stain929 said...

What a tough decision!! Thank you for sharing your experience, please keep us posted! Lots of support ~ and remember, you can't do it wrong.

Mel said...

I suspect one the hardests thing you are feeling is the guilt of eating meat again. I know I could never eat meat again but I've always said if I feel I have to I will eat fish again.

I always resonated to more ancient foods and they ate fish too, the way I see it is I could probably catch a fish with more natural hunting techniques.

I know for a fact I struggle to process oils, nuts and seeds..I think too many raw fooders base their diet upon it..it is possible to get too much.

Im lactose intolerant so I could never drink nor imagine taking dairy again but I dont blame those who do, maybe if we could restore the minerals to earth we could stop the need to drink it.

I think we all appreciate and value your honesty, especially since diet it a touchy subject and people so easily critise and condemn us.. now if you'd have said 'sorry guys, Im off for a big Mac' we might have a debate on our hands, but as long as your decision still remain concious and resonate with your heart I think thats the best you can do.

Anonymous said...

Heather,
Thank you for sharing. I am just starting on my raw journey and am confused as to if It is right for me. Now I know that I should just listen to my boday and all will be well.
I wish you all the best in your journey.

Jeanne said...

Thank you for being honest Heather. My husband and I were raw vegans for a while too and when we added meat and healthy fats back into our diet we felt much better. Your symptoms are similar to that of my daughter's so I'm going to send her this link in hopes that if she sees her symptoms "in print" she'll start making changes in her diet.

Beth said...

Your honesty is much appreciated, and valued.
As a fellow Canadian, I wonder if it is part of our "make up" that our bodies need/crave meat and dairy.
In the warmer months my body wants fruit & veg, not meats. But as the weather gets cooler, and then gets much colder, my body is happiest with cooked veg, cooked gains, meat, and a smaller salad.
The only consistent part of my diet, year round, is a green smoothie for breakfast. Yum!

Life is a journey that has many surprises in store for us. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to enjoy the ride.

Continued good health and happiness to you.

Nelly said...

hi babycakes...

beautiful post...i applaud your bravery...and appluad all of the beautiful responses...

its tough to give up a certain lifestyle, especially one that you have become so accustomed to, and one that you adore...but for our health's sake it's necessary.

sending you lots of strength and an infinity of love...

Gabriela said...

Do you eat you meat RAW?

I have experience the same things you have and i had to do the same.... it is a mistery how it works for some and not for others isn't it? But this is the msitery of life, the mistery of God for us to be honest and knwo that we are unique.

Love to you fomr Brasil

Beijos Gabriela

The Broken Dish said...

Wow...good for you Heather to be so honest! For so long I've wanted to be able to label myself in a particular way when it came to my eating, but cannot ignore that certain foods just make me feel plain better even though those foods may be in contradiction to some ideal that my mind wants to achieve. Thank you so much for pulling the lid off and letting it rip!! Our bodies are so smart if we pay attention.

eatlivebewell said...

Thanks for your honest post Heathy. The way I choose to eat does not define me, and I hope it never does. I want to change with my body, and I hope I am able to do that as necessary.

Best of luck on your journey! No matter what you do, keep an open mind, and stay positive.

BE WELL,
Carolyn
http://eatlivebewell.wordpress.com

Kitchen Mambo said...

Moderation and balance are beautiful gifts to pass on when you have your own family. They are harder to come by than trendy ideals, because they mean finding our OWN center, not one chosen by someone else. I wish you health and joy, and I have no doubt that you will continue to inspire people.

Melissa said...

Heathy I want to applaud you for pouring your heart and soul into this post! I can imagine it must have been very difficult!
I think everyone is different and we have to be open to other things in life..and sometimes those things go against some huge beliefs we have.So, BIG hugs!!! I wish you a speedy recovery and am so glad to hear your new protocol is working:)
All the best and hope you continue to feel stronger every day:)

Missy May said...

Good for you! I am glad you are feeling better. Do what's best for you and, I believe, you can't go wrong. Love and Peace right back atcha!

Alex said...

Heathy! I am so glad you exposed the raw truth. You did it in such a brave and fun way! You're informative and so inspiring in many ways and I know your journey to health will only get better each and every day. Lots of l<3ve and huggies!

rachel said...

Wow...I really appreciate your honesty!!! I've been reading you blog for some time and never make comments, however I wanted to say that I'm so very grateful for this post!! In many ways it has helped me sort through the things I've been thinking about and struggling with! Thanks so much! Keep up your blog I look forward to all the new recipes, books and to see your progress! Good Luck and I hope you feel better soon!!

Megan said...

Heather, I've been following your blog for a while. I've dipped into vegetarianism, vegan, etc. and came full circle back to traditional foods - raw dairy, grass fed meat, and vegetables. I still love raw food, and appreciate the importance of it in my diet. But, traditional foods make me feel strong and even tempered. Have you checked out www.westonaprice.org? Also, the book The Mood Cure is really really great.

Anyways, I appreciate your honesty and I'm so glad that you're feeling better. I would love updates on what you're eating and how you're feeling. Good luck!

Megan said...

Oh, also check out Gut and Psychology Syndrome and the Body Ecology Diet. My son recovered from autism on the Body Ecology Diet. It's amazing stuff....raw butter, lots of kefir, fermented foods, eggs, veggies, etc. Lots of luck on your journey!

lovelyplanet said...

You are right, we are all different, and we are also changing all the time. Changing is a good thing, giving us new experience, new points of view.
I wish you good health, lots of energy, and happiness whatever you eat!

HippieMom said...

Hi Gorgeous ♥ Wish you happpiness and wellness always.
*Smooch*

Jessa said...

That is wonderful that you discovered how to heal yourself! I am not even close to vegan but I do enjoy raw desserts because I think that they are MUCH healthier than non-vegan ones. Despite being a non-vegan, I am very empathetic towards animals and it really makes me sad sometimes when I think about eating them. However, if I don't eat meat I will get sick (my body really needs it).

I knew there had to be a solution to my dilemma, so I searched and discovered an amazing organization called Certified Humane. Here is the website: http://www.certifiedhumane.org/.

Certified humane products are wonderful because all the animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, etc) are given certification that the animals were well-cared for, given their natural diet, given pasture to roam in (not caged up) and slaughtered (I shutter at the thought) humanely. It really feels good to me when I buy these products because I know that the animal lived a good life beforehand. I hope this helps you on your journey!

~ Jessa

Anne said...

Hi Heather,

You may remember my old blog, rawyogigirl ? I actually went through very similar symptoms, have since changed my dietary habits, and i wanted to offer my support!

I think my need to define things, and set certain limits for myself was confusing me and preventing me from seeing the big picture that mother nature provides, to keep things pure, simple and balanced.

I still think Michael Pollan said it best ,
"eat food, mostly plants, not too much."

I now eat organic living whole foods, in as close to their natural state as possible. When in doubt, look to nature for nourishment, not a powder or product found on a shelf. How the food is eaten has equal importance: I always try to set a beautiful table, chew thoroughly for good digestion, and eat just enough, not too much. Enjoy plenty of love, sun, fresh air, movement, yoga, meditation, and healing sleep.

My diet is evolving but always based primarily on greens and a rainbow of veggies. I also enjoy fresh fruits, squashes, root veggies, organic eggs, small wild fish and raw goat milk products, along with some unrefined whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet) and legumes (lentils, black, garbanzo and mung beans). I enjoy moderate quantities of nuts. I drink lots of herbal teas, fresh veg juices and coconut water.

Listen to your body and find what works for you- when confused, just look to mother nature :). Wishing you glowing health & happiness!!

Anonymous said...

Good for you, you listened to what resonated with your body. I wish you the best on your journey to health and appreciate your transparency. Life is a long journey with many twists and turns and flexibility is the only requirement.

Krissy said...

Sweet Heather,
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for writing this post and being so honest. Everything you have said has resonated so deeply with me - as I have been struggling with very similar symptoms as you. For so long I have been feeling so alone, so I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for opening up about your struggles.
xoxo

Lovingraw said...

Your an angel sweetheart, we all love and support you fully.

My God your light shines so bright. So grateful to have you in my life.

HiHoRosie said...

Good for you Heather! I know it took a lot of courage to make this decision and then to share your experience with others but it's appreciated! I, too, wish you nothing but the best for you on your healing journey. Yeah, there will always be someone who doesn't agree with something but being true to yourself and your health is the best gift you can give yourself...and others. xoxo

kris | iheartwellness.com said...

Hey Love!

I tried to find your email address to send this to you, but for some reason I couldn't access it...

I love your honesty and the strange thing is, for the last week I have felt that something was "wrong" inside my bod. Same "issues" that you were having and after chatting with some friends in the food industry I realized that maybe I should incorporate some fish and eggs into my diet. I instantly felt guilty only being a high raw vegan for over a year!

My great friend sent me this post and it fits so nicely for me. I though my skin issues, fatigue, moods, etc was supposed to go away once i went vegan. It is amazing how you can listen to your body and it tells you what you need :) Love this post doll!

xxoo
Kris

Veronika said...

Great blog post! Thank you for your honesty.

I get similar symptoms when I eat raw cacao (or any chocolate) regularly, agave (feel awful right after) and when I eat too much sugar combined with fat (i.e. almost all raw desserts).

Eating at raw restaurants is the worst because most dressings are made with cashews and bell peppers, which both give me major gas and indigestion. Now when I go I order light meals and check on the ingredients.

If you every decide to go back to raw vegan, I recommend limiting the nut + fat combos and limiting the sugar to fresh fruit.

Dried fruits are very high in sugar and get metabolized differently by the body than fresh fruit. Maybe your raw desserts could focus on recipes made from fresh fruit and young coconut instead of nuts & agave?

KaliLilla.com said...

So glad you are feeling better and appreciate your honesty. I can totally relate! I "came out" earlier this year: http://thelabrawtory.com/2010/03/09/i-am-no-longer-raw-vegan/

Good luck on your journey. Ever day is a learning experience. :)

Heather said...

you rock! thanks for posting such a personal story, i'm sure it took much courage. and so many props to you for doing what you knew you needed to in order to heal your body, i have been there too and it's hard! so glad it is working for you and you're feeling better!!! best of luck to you on this new leg of your journey. hugs.

Sundance said...

Hi Heather,
I, like you, have been back and forth with the whole 100% raw vegan thing and relying on nuts for protein, and eating too much fruit. Ultimately I realized (with the help of books like The Makers Diet, and Clean, and Paleo diet information that it wasn't entirely natural for us to rely on nuts for protein, and fat is no substitute! Having been where you are (in some sense) I will just say from lots of personal experience that nuts are definitely an issue for people with a tendency toward constipation! Fat (from overconsumption of nuts leads to liver stagnation which affects our hormones, which affects our mood, as well as adrenal/thyroid functioning. I've also found that eating chocolate causes headaches for whatever reason (yet to be discovered;-) I think a lot of raw foodies are experiencing many of these symptoms so it's great that you're getting the word out. Personally I think that the reason that the meat seems to be helping is that it's taking the role of nuts. That and it's probably the type of protein we were meant to eat all along. Happy getting primitive!

Mandy said...

Awesome post! I was in Florida last week and craving fresh fish, which I haven't had in a year or so and just gave in to it. Man, did I feel better! I have been having some of the same symptoms, fatigue etc. and my tests all came back okay. So, what to do??? I feel that instead of labeling and judging..promoting a healthy nutritional outlook is key:) And, of course, listening to the body...

Anonymous said...

Wow. I really relate to a lot of this (a lot). WOuld you be able to post a couple of sample typical days in order and entirety?
I eat greek yogurt (no raw) and lots of oils (coconut, flaxseed, olive oil). My bowels are horrendous. I have no idea what to do! My energy is low. Everything. Something is not working.
How much exercise do you do? And how many cals are you aiming for? Thanks. Hope i"m not being a pest!

Pure2raw Twins said...

Well said girl! We are so proud that you are listening to your body and doing what is right to heal you!! That is what is important :) We did a post on not calling ourselves vegans anymore because sometimes we consume animal products like goat and bee pollen, etc. We wish you all the best and we still love you!!! And always will, you are such an inspiration to us. We will eat your dessert for you ;) HUGS from the Twins

lilyann.nguyen@gmail.com said...

Hi Heather,
I enjoy reading your blog and I always wish I had the time and means to make and eat the amazing raw goodies that you create! Unfortunately, I am hesitant to purchase raw desserts or make a lot of your recipes because of the large amounts of agave nectar used.
Agave nectar can contain up to 90% fructose, while high fructose corn syrup can contain up to 55%. We all are aware of the dangers of HFCS> This massive amount of fructose in one dosage can be detrimental to liver function, and spikes in insulin levels. There is no way that this "nectar" is raw, it is a highly processed sugar derived from a cactus plant, in the same way that corn syrup, maple syrup, and molasses are made.
I never choose to use this sweetener, but I always use raw honey. I can go out to a honeycomb and get honey, but I can't go out to a cactus and get some "agave nectar".

Here are some articles about this sugar and why I always avoid it.

http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2008/11/17/agave_nectar_the_high_fructose_health_food_fraud.htm

http://www.living-foods.com/articles/agave.html

I'm not saying that this may be a cause for any of your health problems, but I sure do not think that consuming this daily was helping, but look into it yourself and make your own choice.

Best of luck to you.

kelli said...

your courage and clarity at this crossroad is inspiring!

i'm so happy to hear you are conscious of where your animal-products come from (of course you are!) it seems like the universe is providing you with what you need right now. (of course it is!=)

oh my, girlie, i know how much you love choccie... hang in there!

((big hugs))

yardsnacker said...

I love that you put it all on the table...really great post. I'm so glad that there are so many people doing raw who are figuring out what works for them! What works for some may not work for others, even inspite of our desires for animal based altruism.

Tybee said...

I am SO happy to read this, Heather. I had the same problems when I went raw vegan for even a little while....I learned that I must keep a bit of high-quality animal product in my diet, or I suffer from digestive issues and weight gain (I, too, have a sweet tooth). It is wonderful to hear that someone who is so respected in the raw community has gone through the same problems, and come out the other side. Mazel tov, and keep on keepin' on!

damnthefreshman15 said...

Hello! I'm a lurker who LOVES to make your desserts because my dad is a Type 1 diabetic and can't handle refined sugar. Your desserts have given us SO much happiness.

I'm so happy you've found a way to heal yourself. If anyone attacks you for it, they are wrong on every level.

I had a lot of the same symptoms you did when I tried to go raw vegan over the summer. My body was already kind of fragile from some health issues I'd had the year before, so the negative symptoms hit me more abruptly. I did not get as extreme as you, but I felt sapped of energy. I added meat (all awesome grass-fed and free-range stuff from rancher friends) and I felt energized once again.

Some people thrive on a vegan diet...but others don't. I do not. I think your view of how an animal nourishes you is at the core of why I still eat meat. I do not see myself as taking an innocent life--I see myself as benefiting from a strong, powerful lifeforce. As long as you always stay grateful for the food you have, there's nothing wrong with what you eat.

I still love lots of raw salads (and raw dairy!) and desserts and cuisine, but I enjoy them as just a part of my diet, not the core. Well, I still eat tons of veggies, but a lot of them go down better steamed anyway.

Anyway, I loved this post. Thank you, both for your honesty and for all the happiness you've brought to my father.

damnthefreshman15 said...

Hello! I'm a lurker who LOVES to make your desserts because my dad is a Type 1 diabetic and can't handle refined sugar. Your desserts have given us SO much happiness.

I'm so happy you've found a way to heal yourself. If anyone attacks you for it, they are wrong on every level.

I had a lot of the same symptoms you did when I tried to go rawish vegan over the summer. My body was already kind of fragile from some health issues I'd had the year before, so the negative symptoms hit me more abruptly. I did not get as extreme as you, but I felt sapped of energy. I added meat (all awesome grass-fed and free-range stuff from rancher friends) and I felt energized once again.

Some people thrive on a vegan diet...but others don't. I do not. I think your view of how an animal nourishes you is at the core of why I still eat meat. I do not see myself as taking an innocent life--I see myself as benefiting from a strong, powerful lifeforce. As long as you always stay grateful for the food you have, there's nothing wrong with what you eat.

I still love lots of raw salads (and raw dairy!) and desserts and cuisine, but I enjoy them as just a part of my diet, not the core. Well, I still eat tons of veggies, but a lot of them go down better steamed anyway.

Anyway, I loved this post. Thank you, both for your honesty and for all the happiness you've brought to my father.

Heather Pace said...

My deepest thanks to everyone for your support, and for sharing your stories with me! I appreciate it so much, and am excited that we can all assist each other in coming to a place of radiant health.

<3

Bridget said...

I love everything about this entry because it's what I have gone through multiple times, although I have never been a raw vegan. I would love to hear more details on your homeopathic treatments, how they are working out for you, where I can find out more, etc.

Thank you for this inspiring entry.
Long time lurked, first time commenting,
Bridget

vanessa said...

hi heather ~

your post resonates deeply with me and i am so glad to read your raw truths in print!

after years of trying to convince myself that i am "detoxing" and that is why i am so tired, or that i need a colonic in order to have bowel movement(!), or that is ok to be eating imported tropical foods in the dead of montreal winters, i realized i had to listen to a much deeper source to find my way forward. in fact, the disconnect between what my mind (what i 'should' be doing) and what my body actually wanted me to eat was seriously damaging me. i wanted my life force back, my period back, my digestion, my flow, and i really wanted to love my body and stop judging it... but i was very scared of what that would mean...

the hardest thing about moving away from being raw was that suddenly my identity was in question. in fact, realizing that it was time to listen deeply to my body was part of a rite of passage into a new stage of my life. and rites of passage are really hard - you have to let go of the skin you have, and who you think you are to let the new level of you come through. so it was lonely and scary, at times, but my body and my soul really led the way. (it helped also to have good friends like your cousin Alicia...)

i see now that i was not alone! and i am so glad that you are leading in your very beautiful way ~ how to listen to your own unique path, and how your body is speaking to and through you. for some, raw really works, but each of us have our own stories and they certainly shift and change over time. thank you for sharing yours.

wishing you health and vitality and courage on your beautiful journey,

vanessa xo

pipparoni said...

Hi Heather,
Good on you for exposing what's really happening out there in raw vegan land.
I have a similar story but it went on much longer. I was one of the fist people In uk to jump on the raw food bandwagon 12 years ago. Along with a few other people like Shazzie and Karen Knowler who I used to hang out with and make food with.
After 9 years my health was so bad I could hardly drag myself out of bed an I went and had some tests done and was told I was protein deficient.
How could that be ? I was told by all those raw food guru's that I didn't need protein..
I was told by raw food guru's that I was just going thru detox when I told them I felt tired and emotional.
Anyway long story short. I recently was diagnosed with stage 5 adrenal fatigue and thyroid issue and copper toxicity. I believe many of my problems started before the raw food thing but that going down the raw food path seriously depleted me and made everything 100 % worse.
I have been back eating meat for 3 years now and some of my issues have improved, like my hair stopped falling out and i now have some muscle tone, but as I still didn't have the adrenal piece of the puzzle, then I was put on herbs for that a which only stimulated my adrenals and made me worse. I have finally found some one who knows what they are doing and the supplements are kicking in after only a few weeks.
My emotions are still all over the place and I burst into tears over really little things.
But I now have hope. I'm also doing the Gaps diet as my digestion is so off I can't digest much at all. In fact I can digest meat, bone broths, avocados, ghee, sauerkraut and that's about it at the moment. I'm also going to start using something called effective microorganisms soon too which I'm told will really help with the gut healing and allergies..
So good luck on your journey.. So glad you caught this earlier rather than later..
oh and you may want to check out my friend Matt Stones blog over at 180 degree health as he has been debating this for a while. He also posted my story on his blog too.
Peace
pipx

Pete said...

Fab post Heathy! Giving yourself what your body needs in a form it can actually digest and utilise is where its at what ever that food might be. So many people are suffering from problems because they are following diets that someone else said was healthy for them. Well doe you. You are always welcome in therawfoodmovement.ning.com ;-)

Penni said...

Sending you much love and healing energy! I came into the raw & living world after reading Carol Alt's Eating In The Raw just over 5 years ago. I know lots of people are offended by Carol's diet, but many more are thriving on it.

Although I still consider myself a raw food enthusiast, I prefer not to wear any labels. I eat what I feel my body is asking for, which evolves and changes from time to time. I praise you for being open-minded & for exploring ways to achieve optimum health & vitality...That's what this journey is all about.

What matters most is that you are doing what is best for YOU! I applaud & support you 100%!

Much Love...
Penni

Gena said...

Heathy,

While I'm so sorry that veganism didn't work for you, and while I will confess to you honestly that it's hard for me to find resonance in this post, I truly admire the honesty you've shown us all. Good for you, and I send you lots of heartfelt wishes for healing!

Gena

Rachel said...

Heather, could I find out what homeopathic remedies your taking? I'm looking to still fix my thyroid and fatigue symptoms.

Anonymous said...

I believe that being a raw vegan means too often eating in a way which is far, far, very far from a healthy way...
- Too much fat (nuts and seeds through a lot of cakes of all kinds, or pates)
- too much sugars (dates, agave, dried fruits...)
- not enough greens (leaves, juices, smoothies)
- not enough "living foods" like sprouts (At Hippocrates people can have about 8 cups a day !)
and sometimes.... too much food !

So, in this way the only result can only be health issues.
Look at the Hippocrates diet,as well as at the teachings of Dr Cousens (40 years of raw veganism) or Ann Wigmore (decades of raw veganism) or Dr Fred Bisci (80 years old and 50 years of raw veganism)and many others, this is very different of the way most raw vegans are now eating...and I am quite sure that here are the roots of the problems, apart from any other personal health problem.

What should be reminded of : EATING RAW DOES NOT MEAN EATING HEALTHY... There is some knowledge to be deepened about this.

yoginiMD said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Heather! Having lurked on your site for a couple of years now not saying anything but enjoying your recipes, I feel compelled to offer another supportive voice.

Reading about your journey was so touching: your pain and conflict were palpable. It's beautiful to live your truth, and wonderful to be able to share that with others. To echo another post, I think your story will resonate with a lot of people and help them in unknowable ways.

I wish you the very best on your journey back to health. I'm also so excited to see the next incarnation of your recipes!

Pamatha said...

Wow, you have been thru so much, still you are willing to share it all with us so we can send you the best vibrations possible, like the ones you have sent out to us on this channel. I am sure you are on the right path, know that some will reject it, but what you are going thru is echoing what other really long-term raw vegans, some very prominent in the movement for a long time, have been experiencing, I won't name them, but you probably know who they are.
I am strengthened and heartened by your honesty as I struggle with my raw journey. I do not believe I will ever be 100% raw, but I believe there is a way to maximize and leverage what we have learned from you as you continue on your path the health. All the best, always.

Dave said...

Hi Heather,

I felt an immediate sense of sadness when I started reading through this post. It’s a classic case of smiling through the pain of it all. I’m sure that for every comment posted here wishing you the best, there are a hundred more people wishing that they could lend a hand or provide a gentle hug.

We are what we are and as any old-timer can attest, life is full of lessons!

The spark of life is a precious thing. For some, that spark is so bright it twinkles through their eyes for the entire world to see. Love who you are – accept what you are. If you continually live your truths, you will continue to shine REGARDLESS of your diet.

Thank you for sharing so much through your blog. I now look forward to following even more!

Dave
blog.GenuineObservations.com

Kimmie Sue said...

I saw your post on my daughter's facebook it caught my attention. Due to the face I am having some of the same problems you were having. The difference is I am not vegan or eat only raw diet. I think my problems are do to my diet. Do you have any idea's where I could start my search of what is the food that is causing my problems? When I read how you were feeling that is me right now! Thanks for any comments!

Susan said...

All I can say is..to thine own self be true. Only you know what's best for you. Wishing you a peaceful recovery.

Sending lots of love...

Susan

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,
I have been reading your blog for awhile but never have commented. I really admire your courage to write this post.
One thing that another commenter mentioned was the fact that you are Canadian (me too!) and need that "warmth" due to our climate. To take it a step further, I really feel as though your origins are influential in determining ones appropriate diet. East Asians thrive on soy and soy products and consume very little dairy, yet are healthy because they eat the foods of their origin. When dairy and other "western" foods were introduced there, they could not handle it as well and the majority are lactose intolerant. However, in Europe we lived on the foods local to us: meats, dairy, greens, etc. that helped us thrive. No soy found! (not saying that you are a soy junkie though, but many veggies are!) I think a problem with modern healthy diets is that we are borrowing too much food from other parts of the planet that our bodies and ancestors haven't adapted to. I'm speaking from a european descendant point of view. I think perhaps other ethnicities may be more suited to raw food diets. That being said, we are always in a state of change, and I think 200 years from now these foods we are eating may become the norm and what is best for us.
Good luck on your new food journey! Just another adventure, like the one into raw food amd veganism.

Tebasile said...

All the best for you on your healing journey and thank you for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I was wonderinf what the ground moose meat is? Also, what is the raw yougurt, cheese, etc.? Is that the raw milk product you see in the store or is it made from nuts etc..?

I ask because I am interested in telling someone about your diet because I think it might help them.

Thank you so much.

Much love.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

also, I forgot to add to my above anonymous comment that I applaud you for knowing what is best for your body and taking the necessary steps.

Also, do you have any recipes on this new diet that you can share?

Thank you.

barefoot_and_frolicking said...

Heather, this is such an inspiring post. I really admire your courage and honesty to speak about what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all.

Sending you many positive vibes - best wishes to you and your health, and I look forward to reading more of your fantastic bloggie posts! :)

Marlie

Nirinjan said...

Heather, I have much to say, but I've got a big deadline to meet tonight so I'll just get to the important stuff. I'm so sorry to hear about your current issues (I've had the same ones you are experiencing and they are no fun.) Those animals that are nourishing you back to health are aware on some level you are appreciative of the role they are playing in your healing. Careful of those figs. Bananas and figs are not good fruits for healing adrenals. I think it has something to do with potassium? Please look that up and make sure you are not inadvertently aggravating the adrenals. Also the adrenal glands use 80% of the body's vitamin C intake so be sure you are getting plenty of vitamin C. I fully understand what it's like to reinvent yourself and for reasons connected with your health.(Long story- but it all turned out fine.) But what I see is a fabulous website about raw desserts now becoming a fabulous website where people hear about your healing, among other things Adrenal and thyroid issues (and B vitamin deficiencies)are so widespread and often debilitating. Your experience could give people awareness of what is happening to their bodies, ideas for dietary needs, hope... And once you are healed and healthy and eating chocolate again who knows what will come next? Best wishes to you Heather! And please- load up on that vitamin C! I've done a lot of research on adrenal health and it's not something everyone knows about.

Rawbel said...

I can only salute your ability to go with the flow your life and health are demanding. I hope you heal quickly and find an even more joyous and stable normal!

Colin said...

To each their own.

I must admit that I find it a little perplexing that rather than try a diet that was lighter in cacao, agave and other sweets, involved a higher intake of cooked foods, more balanced overall, you dove head first into animal products and meat.

Such a radical change seems to be indicative of your overall approach to nutritional health - very unbalanced.

Reading this post made me lose respect for you, and I now see a 'wishy-washy' side of you that I didn't pick up on before.

While you may be making the correct decision - time will tell - the way you've described this switch gives the impression that you aren’t really sure what you’re doing.

I do not know you and do not judge your actions or decisions, but I certainly question them and how deeply you really consider things.

Raw veganism and veganism may not be perfect, but they are definitely principled diets that force you to really think about your actions and the food you consume.

Eating that way builds willpower in ways that eating an omnivorous diet never will.

I've been vegan (not raw) for 6 years now, mainly for reasons of principle that arose after my girlfriend Tara and I adopted a sweet American Snowshoe cat named Honey from the OSPCA (we're from Ontario too) and realized what it meant to truly love another species.

We decided then that we could never inflict pain on another animal. No matter what 'free rangers' and others say, eating meat of any sort results in the premature death and captive life of an animal.

This is simply not something we agree with, and the mental joy that a vegan diet brings to us outweighs any physical nutritional benefits that an omni diet could possibly present (if that was even the case - IMO, it's not).

When you *truly* understand the nature of consciousness and realize that physicality is the byproduct, not the origin, you realize that what makes you mentally strong and healthy is more important than what an outside person says is good for your physical form.

If you’re at a crossroads in your life where you’re not sure what you believe or what you want, that's certainly understandable - we all go through periods in life where we question things, swing to different sides of the spectrum and where we lose faith.

That’s totally cool to try different things, to see what the ‘other side’ lives like and to consider all perspectives. Having an open mind is absolutely essential to finding the truth that is right for you and developing a worldview that is whole and non-contradictory.

Without experiments, it’s difficult to be certain that your judgment is accurate and that your knowledge is harmonious with your experience.

<< Continued Below >>

Aurelie said...

i you haven't already, You must read The "full moon feast" by Jessica Prentice !! i have been through the same story too and this beautiful book helped me understand why "traditional foods" are the best! A must read to everyone in my opinion! Lots of love to you! Aurelie

Ash Terrell said...

Hey Heather! I have similar symptoms as well. I was just recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Adrenal Exhaustion, Hypothyroidism, Low Progesterone, and an extremely low Vitamin D deficiency. I started blogging a little bit about it last month. There are some more tests being done so I'm waiting on the results before I add another post about it.
I'm so grateful that you had the courage to write about your health issues and the ways in which you are working to resolve them.
I'm still maintaining a vegetarian diet, but it is so great to learn of the different methods and diets that people are using to heal these similar problems.
Adrenal issues aren't something that you hear about very often. I was actually shocked when I read your post because I couldn't believe you were experiencing the same thing. So far, keeping my blood sugar balanced has been the key element for me. I tried to add some raw organic dairy cheese back in for the protein, but it causes me even more inflammatory issues.
Everyone is so different though. I'm going to continue to aim for high raw vegan but maybe keep better track of the nutritional value of my meals.
I truly hope you get to feeling better! xoxo

blessedmama said...

Heather, I hope you continue to heal.

Paula said...

I´m following your blog for more than a year now. I work as a natural healer (sorry im spanish and i don´t know if that´s the way you call it) and until this post i could not understand how a raw vegan could look so healthy and be so active. Now i know that´s not the way you really felt. I recomend you reading books from Anne Marie Colbin (she also teaches at her own school in N.Y.)This woman has no dogmas about food and i think you will get a usefull information from her. Let me tell you that in all these months i´ve been reading you i have allready noticed some synthoms that can put you in advice later. One of them its been repited many times: desire of heat, summer, south, beach, etc. This is the first advice of your body in case you stick to raw vegan again before the "huge down". Well, i dont meen to be rude, just helfull. If you need any more info about natural healing just ask. Paula.

Bekka said...

I'm not sure if someone already left this note, but if you are interested in why you were having all of the negative side effects while eating raw vegan you have to read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. It's awesome and will totally re-affirm your choice!

Miss Hannah K. said...

Hi Heather,

I can understand where you are coming from. I have had a lot of the same problems. Hang in there it does get better.
I went from eating little meat and fat to lots of it. And I feel better too. I haven't had stomach pain in 4 months now.
If you're interested in what has been helping me check out the GAPS diet: http://www.gapsdiet.com/Home_Page.html It really works.

Keep your hope up, you can get through this.

~Hannah

Nicky said...

It sounds similar to what I went through/have been going through for the last 3 years. I became really sick at the end of my senior year and wasnt diagnosed for a long time but finally found a fantastic doctor and naturopath who said the thought I had had glandular fever and because I was in the middle of exams at the time, the stress turned it into chronic fatigue syndrome. Long story short I was put on a long term heavy plan of naturopathic medicines to fix me from the inside out but along the way had lots and LOTS of blood tests done and found out that I had 27 food allergies including all the biggies like wheat, cows milk, soy, rice, cocoa, a whole bunch of nuts and many more.

Almost 3 years on im 20 years old and still struggling most days with issues that are associated with chronic fatigue but I am miles ahead from what I was when diagnosed and am managing full time uni!! Also I have re-introduced some of the foods back into my diet after not having them at all for over 2 years!!

So bottom line, keep going and listen to your body! Ive found no-one knows mine better than I do.

Nicky

Nicky said...

It sounds similar to what I went through/have been going through for the last 3 years. I became really sick at the end of my senior year and wasnt diagnosed for a long time but finally found a fantastic doctor and naturopath who said the thought I had had glandular fever and because I was in the middle of exams at the time, the stress turned it into chronic fatigue syndrome. Long story short I was put on a long term heavy plan of naturopathic medicines to fix me from the inside out but along the way had lots and LOTS of blood tests done and found out that I had 27 food allergies including all the biggies like wheat, cows milk, soy, rice, cocoa, a whole bunch of nuts and many more.

Almost 3 years on im 20 years old and still struggling most days with issues that are associated with chronic fatigue but I am miles ahead from what I was when diagnosed and am managing full time uni!! Also I have re-introduced some of the foods back into my diet after not having them at all for over 2 years!!

So bottom line, keep going and listen to your body! Ive found no-one knows mine better than I do.

Nicky

beeskneeskitchen said...

This is very stong what you have done. It is very honest I wish you all the best health with your new diet. I look forward to your new recipes and posts.

Alexandra Schueler said...

YOU ARE SOOOOO SUPPORTED! I F*CKING LOVE YOU, DEEPLY, PROFOUNDLY, and INFINITELY!

You are a Goddess and an inspiration!

xo
~ A

Our Sweet Earth said...

Every body is different and yours is no exception. You are choosing the path that is going to work for your body and that is AMAZING! Sounds like all your readers are behind you 100%
Being healthy and happy in your own skin and space is key to any long life.
I can't wait to see where this journey of yours takes your blog!
CHEERS!
-Candee

Marla Teyolia said...

congratulations Heathy for finding your healing path. it is very hard to let go of a lifestyle/label that has been your identity for so long. i was vegan for years and sometimes raw and let me tell you, eating animal was the best thing i did. especially if you ever decide to bear your own children, you want your body to be in a strong (as opposed to depleted) place! MANY MANY MANY raw vegans i know struggle with releasing this lifestyle when it no longer serves them. so congratulations on your healing path and i look forward to reading your posts
be well
marla

Christine said...

i'm glad you are getting stronger, all of us are different, and glad to read that you are happier and heading to a new space. will be trying out your new rece's as i have your old rece's.
christine

bitt said...

I was away when this post was written and I feel compelled to write a response. I am very saddened by the overall trend towards eating animal products, or as I see it, a turn to the "paleolithic" diet. I can understand making adjustments in one's diet, but it does seem that including meat was pretty drastic considering what you could have eliminated first (sugar, chocolate). I am sad for you that you had to compromise your ethics and I hope in time you can find a way back to a vegetarian or vegan diet that works for you.

Gratitude&Humanity said...

Wow! 13 years of being a vegetarian - a huge change. I think you are courageous in following your true path for health and life; you were dedicated to raw food for this goal but not with the results. Stay true to yourself.

I was raw vegan for 2 years and felt wonderful at 1st but my health started to slowly crumble after about a 6 months but didn't culminate until about 7 months ago - fuzzy brain, tired, low energy, sore area around thyroid, could never get enough to eat, could not keep weight on, diahrrea, constant candida,and broke out in a severe case of hives/allergic reaction to some raw vegetable or nut (1st time in my life) that lasted for 4 days.

Once I started to incorporate cooked foods as well as animal products back in my diet, I started to feel wonderful. At this time I read about a disorder Orthorexia (obsessed with eating too healthy) and it rang a bell with me. I was "eating healthy" at the expense of my health. The funny thing is people thought I looked pale and really thin while I was eating raw but didn't say anything. They now make comments on how healthy and how much life I have in my face now. My skin is awesome now as well as being a healthy weight with an ability to build muscle - I was wasting away but didn't know it.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

malpaz said...

YEAH YOU GO GIRL!!! i think you may find some of theinfo at my blog helpful as well... i used the same nourishing foods to beat anorxia and highly advocate it now :) humans didnt get big smart brains from vegggies...it was the meat!

Kath said...

This is very interesting! I found myself improving when I started to eat meat regularly twice a day (although I hadn't been a vegan before, but a 95 % vegetarian who just ate a little meat or fish every now and then). My energy levels improved, my stomach pains got better, and I can bear so much more now. I'm happy you've found a way to get better - and had the courage to abandon the beaten tracks.

Anonymous said...

Soooo thankful for your honesty and sharing! I am so excited with this maturing of the raw food movement. I wish you so much health and happiness and look forward to all your updates on your health :) Anyone who is giving you negativity shouldnt bother you because you have so much support and joy coming your way!

Maria Petrova said...

Beautiful darling, your courage and your inner light are leading you on a luminous journey that will not only heal but remake you. I was a vegan for 15 years and happily eat meat now...

"The Vegetarian Myth" explains a beautiful Native American philosophy (the word start with K) that in essence in this life we have to end the life of something in order to survive, whether it's a carrot, an apple, a deer. We consume living things in order to live. It's cruelty but it is life. Very hard for me to get over, but they key for me is to BLESS BLESS BLESS and THANK THANK THANK as you are doing. Bless you baby. LOVE your honesty, many many people need to read this.

ladybugsandbees said...

I happened on your blog while looking for guidance in increasing raw food in my diet. I began to read your post of the struggles you were experiencing. I thought to myself as I read, - She has thyroid and adrenal issues. You see I am an 11 year thyroid cancer survivor and will graduate in 2 mos with my Doctorate in Naturopathy. In looking at your picture it appears that you also have a goiter. This signifies a deficiency in iodine. If you live in California then you are highly suceptible to bromide poisoning which is used on the strawberry crops. Bromide blocks iodine in the body. I know you asked for your readers to respect your protocol but I would not feel OK if I walked away not sharing something that could help you to heal. My website is www.naturalthyroidchoices.com and I have the key thyroid nutrients needed by the body listed there. I also run a support group of over 4,000 members that use the iodine therapy for healing. I wish you well on your journey. I have walked in your shoes and I know how hard it is. Stephanie

zoe (and the beatles) said...

good for you for acknowledging your body's needs and adhering to them! a lot of people cannot break outside of the food "rules" they find themselves in, myself included. lately i've been questioning my veganism, too. over the summer i experienced a lot of the same symptoms you did and it was truly alarming. i hated feeling drained and moody and hated not sleeping, feeling weak mentally and physically. i found myself loathing the days instead of loving them like i always have. the second i detoxed from chocolate i felt AMAZING. seriously, my skin cleared up, my mood stabilized, and i no longer felt like i was drifting through a mental fog. i totally feel you on how difficult it was to give it up though. so hard!

your courage and strength have definitely lent me the determination to truly and honestly examine my diet and my body. i still feel slightly sub-par (bloating, constipation, restless sleep) but giving up my veganism scares me some -- especially since i love it so much! thanks for this post. i really, really loved it (and how beautifully written it was!)

Stephanie K. said...

I really want to congratulate your regain of health & vitality!
I am "mostly" vegetarian for only half a year, but I'm also interested in other theories such as Paleo Diet and etc.
One other theory is the Blood Type diet. If you don't mind, what's your blood type? I'm just trying to make sure, just like you, that what I'm doing is right.
I'm an A type, and I simply don't crave meat! But perhaps that could just be what I'm convincing myself.
Thank You!!
btw, you are an awesome, beautiful person :)

Carina said...

Thank you so much for this post. I became a vegetarian when I was 13, never had the discipline to become vegan but always admired anyone who had it. Now I'm 27 and I started eating meat 2 weeks ago. I don't want to be pale and tired and constipated because of my iron supplements (that don't even really work) anymore.

I'm still keeping it a secret and don't know how I should proceed. I don't even know what to think about it myself and I don't want to know how others would react. Currently, I just feel ashamed f having "failed". I hope that fades after a while.

Reading about others who went through the same thing is very helpful for me. Sometimes it is good that we are not all beautiful, unique snowflakes but that there are lots of others out there that face the same problems.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to commend you on sharing that with everyone. I also, along with many others can relate. I got diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and eating raw really healed me, but after a while I decided to change to a high raw diet and eat some foods cooked because not only was I having a hard time digesting foods such as raw squashes, kale, beets, etc, but I noticed that finding a good balance really made an overall difference in how I feel.

I do however eat raw cacao, because I own a raw, vegan chocolate business and it doesn't seem to bother me. I feel no negative effects from it. But We are all different and need to do what's best for us and not pay attention to what others think!!!!! So I hope you feel better and good luck and be well!!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that you have been sick but appreciate your story and honesty. It is beautiful! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog, i was searching for some good recipes :) I truly applaude you on sharing your story, i have struggled on and off with eating all raw vegan, and could not understan why i was not having a lot of energy when i was all vegan, and always ended up adding in animal products, though on a limited amount for me. I felt a lot of pressure from the raw world to do it completely and like you and most others i know the potential effects that animal products can have on the body, however, I personally am a Christian and i know that my Lord has given these things to us as food as well as a lot of raw fruits and veggies, and yes grain free meat and raw dairy is essential. So thank you for helping take the pressure off of me so i don't feel like a failure. looking forward to some recipes from your new way of eating:)

Rawfully Tempting (Barbara) said...

Heather - I commend you for your honesty and showing up in such an authentic way. I felt like the renegade when I tried to tell people that I actually got sicker when I tried to juice!!! Five days of juicing and I ended up with fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue...and it's been months and i'm still not well. My wonderful holistic doc warned me against juicing..and I didn't listen. I heard all of these fab stories and thought i could do it too..

If someone has health issues, it's possible they have a blocked bile duct (i do) and toxic liver problems...if so, juicing, fasting, feasting, all of these detox methods can cause more harm than good, trying to push out too much too soon, when the body is not detoxing normally to begin with.

i love raw food but i'm learning to listen to my body, and there are times, where my body wants WARM, COOKED, NOURISHING COMFORT food and animal protein. I know I will regain my health too!

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

Right now, i avoid breads, pastas and most grains (i do sprout them on occasion but have to be careful), and the only dairy I do is goat, avoiding cow's milk products. I'm also taking amazing raw/fermented supplements that are also homeopathic and hoping that I can nourish my way back to good health as well.

Sending love and light your way...What a wonderful way to embrace the new year!

xoxox
Barbara (aka- rawfully tempting).

Cameo said...

I am so glad I found your blogs. I am in the same boat, though not nearly as disciplined as you are. I am hypothyroid and prone to adrenal fatigue as well. My weakness are sugar & overtraining...also no good for adrenal issues. Anyway, maybe you can inspire me and vice versa!

Heather too said...

Heather, I just found your blog and read your "coming out" post and wanted to say thank you for your candor and sharing such a personal journey. Life is all about balance and that includes our diet! Our body tends to tell us what it needs and it's wonderful that by listening to yours, you're on the road to health. I look forward to trying to catch your presentation in Melbourne this coming week! All the best!

Anonymous said...

I think eventually, all vegans, raw or otherwise, will come to a crossroads in their life, at which point they will be required to make a decision on which road to take. Will they take the road of continuing their veganism, showing everyone that belief in something is more important than their own survival (giving up your life for a religion?), or will they choose the road to health and accepting what our true nature is, that it was eating animal flesh that that allowed early humans to thrive and get to the top of the food chain. If you believe in God, as I do, the choice is simple, when we were kicked out of the GARDEN, and left to fend for ourselves, we were forced to adapt to a new way of living, including having to kill and eat animals, be thankful that the animal gave up it's life so that you may eat, accept it, get over it, and go on with your life.

Em said...

Heather! I am SOO happy I read this post from you. I've been high raw for a 6 months and experiencing the WORST pain in my life :/ same pains as you mentioned!! I'm trying to add cooked back gradually to help my digestive tract... it is SO hard once you get used to eating so much raw amazing recipes to switch it up. Also I think that I have leaky gut syndrome which is something raw foods might have been making worse considering that I had issues before raw, and all raw could've been making it worse!
Thanks so much for your story it helps me ALOT

<3 Em

Anonymous said...

Although I am not a regular on this blog, I just wanted to say I very much appreciate your honesty and intelligence in this post. I too am a raw food pastry chef and unfortunatley have had similar symptoms to what you yourself have gone through here. I very much appreciate that you have been honest with how your diet has changed for healing purposes. Thank you for your post: it was both educational and refreshing to see such genuinity :). Thank you :)

Judy Australia said...

What a brave person you are. I have been moving to a raw diet and have found raw cacao to make chocolate but have been finding I am on a bit of a high after eating it, so I will slow down in eating it in view of your experience. I think moderation in all directions is a good way to go. Sally Fallon's Nourishing traditions seems to be full of good advice.

I also wanted to ask you if you have tried using seeds instead of nuts in some of your recipes because I have a grandson with a nut allergy so it is difficult to make things for him. I have experimented with seeds and most of the time it seems to be okay. Judy

Melissa Sider said...

Hey Heather! It's me; Melissa Sider! I see that you are doing well these days; other then the low 5 months, but it's great to see you doing so well! I am proud of you...Keep up the great work :)

Anonymous said...

I love that you found your way!!! I am currently blogging about a VERY similar experience. I was vegan for 6 years, raw for two and fruitarian for the past 45 days. I went from vegan to raw because I thought it would make me even healthier but soon after I started having joint pain/arthritis and later problems with my thyroid, adrenals, and hormones. So what did I do? The same thing any dedicated raw foodist would do - I ate more raw food! I put on weight, my metabolism slowed and I grew weaker. I just recently decided to go on a Paleo type diet by adding meat and fish into my daily diet in addition to my grain free, high fruit and vegetable intake. Fingers crossed that things start to get better!! You can read about my experiences here www.figgypiggy.com

Gail said...

Hi,
I just recently started eating more raw foods and came across your blog because of all of your very yummy looking desserts, and found this entry. You poor thing, that had to be miserable. I've struggled with being a vegetarian and vegan, and never could fully get into it. I think part of it with the vegan thing is that so much vegan food is so processed, and I wanted to eat a clean whole diet. And part of my issue with vegetarian and vegan is that the human body NEEDS the vitamin B12, and you can only get it from animal products (sure mushrooms have it, but in very little amounts). I just can't get beyond the fact that our bodies need that and so therefore we are made to eat some animal products, just not in the amount most americans eat it in. Anyway, I also believe that everyone is different, what works for one person doesn't for another. I fully believe that where one's ancestry is from is an good indication of how much meat your body can handle. There are cultures in the far north that eat mostly meat and live long lives with no heart disease. Their bodies adapted to the cold climates and the limited amount of vegetation available. The same with cultures nearer the equator who thrive on a mostly vegetarian diet. My heritage is mostly from the Mediterranean and therefore I feel I would benefit best with mostly veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, and yes, animal products - mainly fish. I've beaten myself up in the past that I should get past eating meat, but recently, I've eaten more raw but have had animal products and cooked veggies mixed in and I feel great. I hope this feeling continues, and I'm glad to be aware of what you went through to make sure that I don't go overboard with one type of eating or another. I think we all need a balance that works for us. I hope you're feeling much better now and good luck!!!!!! And I look forward to reading your blog in the future and getting some great recipe tips!!!!! Thanks :0)