Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Healing Journey - An Update

It's been a little while since I shared my health challenges with you, and I feel that it's a good time to give an update and answer some questions I've received.

As you already know, I'm on a fairly strict protocol to turn my health around. I've continued with my new plan, making adjustments here and there as per Denyse's recommendations. The good news is that so far it's proven successful.

Thank you all for the supportive comments. I really enjoy hearing from all of you who have healed yourselves from similar issues, and from those of you who are experiencing many of the same things as myself and are inspired to make some changes in your own lives.

I admit though, I'm starting to feel like a broken record in many of my replies. As much as I wish I had the answers for everyone who is confused and struggling, please remember that I'm not a doctor and just because you're going through some of what I went through, it doesn't necessarily mean we're dealing with the same root issue (or maybe we are, but to varying degrees). Also, a deep healing involves more than just eating certain foods.

I believe it's important to seek a natural health practitioner, and gave a huge link to my homeopathic doctor's website last time, but people are still asking how they can get in touch with my doc, so here it is again. Contact Denyse if you're interested in setting up an appointment. In my opinion she is the best, and while I've gone along "kicking and screaming" at times during my process, I trust her with my whole heart and soul. By the way, for anyone looking for an amazing medical intuitive as well, her readings are amazingly accurate, highly spiritual, and provide heaps of guidance. I've had at least 15 over the years (you can do them over the phone too - I have done both).


As much as things are coming along and I'm progressing in many ways, I'm still challenged with ups and downs at times - particularly emotionally (especially when I start a new round of homeopathic remedies, as they're designed specifically to bring grief, sadness, etc to the surface in order to be released). I have good days where I'm calm, happy, peaceful, and optimistic about the future... and I still have down days where I'm irritable, sad, and pessimistic. It's during the down moments that I want to quit this path and go back to my old ways, but I have incredible angels in my life who are quick to remind me how far I've come. Fortunately, the GOOD days are outweighing the bad ones now, which means progress!

I've come to realize the importance of TIME. Riding the road back to health is a process and I constantly have to remind myself of this fact. It takes time for the body to heal, energy to come back, and the blood to change. In fact, in my experience, healing is similar to what many people go through when they start a raw food diet: feeling worse before feeling better. It only makes sense, as the body is readjusting to new foods, new remedies, changing and rebuilding itself. In the past number of weeks, there have been many days where I've felt tired and my body has felt weak to the point where a simple walk required a lot of effort. However, in the past week or so, I've noticed a definite shift toward more energy, and have started getting back into yoga (which used to be a daily practice) and light rebounding.

Speaking of adjusting, my body has decided to gain weight during all of this. Ugh. Every woman's nightmare right? (Ok, I'm being a winey baby - in reality there are far worse things that could happen). I shouldn't be surprised, as I'm eating much heavier/more calorically dense food than I'm used to, and my metabolism is trying to catch up. My metabolic rate was working at "slow speed" for years due to my high fruit/sugar/salad/cacao diet. Now I eat 5-6 small meals which include a high quality protein, enough fat, and lots of veggies. A lot of people (especially those coming from a Standard American Diet) would lose weight on this plan, in fact, I do have friends who have lost weight and gotten super toned when they went off their raw vegan diet and started eating animal products. Once again it goes to show that we're all different.

For a fabulous resource on metabolism and how to raise it while eating whole, real foods, check out Matt Stone's site, 180 Degree Health. He's dedicated his life to researching all this stuff and I've appreciated reading it (there's heaps of content).

For the last two weeks my whole body started retaining water - think, puffy marshmallow man. Hehe just kidding, it wasn't that bad, but that's how I felt, and was pretty upset, and didn't know what to do about it. Denyse explained that my tissues are so busy in healing mode that they held in extra water for protection/healing, and that a bit of extra body fat will assist in healing. Lucky for me, once she prescribed an extra remedy, the puffiness went away in 2 days.
Despite going through my periods of feeling discouraged about things like the weight gain, I know that it's a mere bump in the road when it comes to the bigger picture, and I know it's only a matter of time before I'm completely rebalanced. In the meantime, my sweat pants and stretchy yoga clothes sure come in handy.

But wait! There are many positives here too that I'm excited to share. Every symptom I was experiencing has diminished or disappeared completely.  

NO more headaches
NO more gut pain and bloated belly
NO more constipation
NO more menstrual cramps - This is something that never concerned me, but for years I've had one day of bad cramps. In the past 2 months I'm cramp-free. Yay for healthy hormones!
Improved mood
Improved digestion
Improved skin - I'm still working on this, and right now I have a rash around my mouth. Denyse jumped for joy when I saw her last weekend because she's been waiting for it (it has to do with rebalancing my digestive system). Apparently I'm progressing fasting than she expected. Yay!
Improved energy


My diet has changed a wee bit from my last post. Here's what I'm doing now:

I'm still OFF cacao - over 6 weeks baby! I'm still on a low sugar diet and am very minimal on nuts (most days I do not eat any).

Denyse says I can now add in some cooked whole grains, like buckwheat, quinoa, millet, etc, for sustained energy, but I have not done so yet.

Here are the foods I eat these days:

- Eggs, daily
- Wild moose meat, elk, or bison 1-2 X / day
- Veggies: romaine lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, red pepper, avocado, tomato, kale, chard
- 1 small slice of raw cheese daily
- 3-4 tbs goat yogurt (in the morning before breakfast)
- raw or cooked fish (occasionally, when my dad catches it)
- Cooked kale
- Seaweed
- Olive oil, butter
- Squash/yams
- Coconut: fresh, dried, oil, butter, milk
- Fresh herbs, spices, himalayan salt, carob, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice
- Wild blueberries, goji berries (minimum)
- Chia seed/hemp seed
- Medicinal teas (chaga, reishi, astragalus, many more)
- Miso (I'm so happy to be able to eat this again!) 1 tbs daily
- Sweeteners: stevia, coconut sugar
- Sauerkraut
- Fresh spring water (fortunately there is a spring 10 minutes from my house)

Typical Meals

- salad with meat
- scrambled eggs (3) - with cooked kale, fresh parsley and raw tomato (I eat this everyday for breakfast)
- raw vegetable soup (veggies, fresh herbs, water, seaweed, miso)
- chia pudding (chia, coconut milk, stevia, vanilla - sometimes with blueberries)
- squash with melted coconut oil (or blended into a pudding with stevia, coconut, cinnamon)
- cooked veggie medley  (kale, chard, garlic, spices, squash, zucchini, red pepper)
- coconut pudding (young coconut, stevia, carob, coconut sugar, vanilla)

Simple chia pudding 

This is two a 2 ingredient pudding and its slightly sweet, creamy and soothing.
Since I prefer to use young coconuts for puddings and ice cream (I have to get them when I'm in the city), I make my own luscious coconut milk using dried coconut and it works just as great. Make a big batch and keep it on hand in the fridge for 7 days. If you want a more diluted milk, add extra water.

-Blend 1 part dried, shredded coconut (organic, sun dried - this one is my favorite and makes the most delicious milk) with 2 parts water until smooth, and strain it in a nut milk bag.
- Shake 1 cup coconut milk with 1-2 tablespoons chia seed in a jar with a tight lid.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 10-20 minutes for the chia to swell.
- If you find the pudding too thick, simply add more milk. If it's too liquidy, add more chia and shake it all together again.
- Optional: Add 1 drop stevia, cinnamon, and vanilla (I like it both plain and with these additions).


Here are the supplements I'm taking:

- B12 - Garden of Life
- Calcium magnesium
O3mega + joy - Genuine Health
Probiotics - Garden of Life (I've been taking these for about 5 months)
- Digestive enzymes
Atomidine - A very high quality detoxified iodine, for the thyroid. It's suggested to take 2 drops in a glass of water once a day, but its strong tasting, so I take 1 drop in 2 different glasses of water in the day.
- Mulit vitamins - Usana
- Vitamin D

Other Healing Modalities

In addition to the diet and remedies, I've started doing a few other things to assist in my healing process. I feel a huge positive shift after each of these things.

- Weekly massage

- Acupuncture

- Energy healings from my friend Pam* who is an extremely gifted and powerful healer/intuitive 
(I've also had incredible intuitive readings with her over the years. In fact, 4 years ago she told me I would meet an amazing, loving guy in 2-3 weeks and then described him physically, his personality, his astrological sign, where he was from, what kind of work he does, etc - she even drew a picture of what he looks like! Sure enough, 2 weeks later I met him and the whole thing was magical.)

- Reiki - from my mom who is a reiki master, and our friend Catherine* who is also a reiki master/hawaiian healer.

*If anyone wants either of their information, contact me and I can email it to you since they don't have websites yet. They do distant healing/readings as well.

So that's my health update. My other update is that I'm heading back to California in a few days. I'm going to see these beautiful friends, among others. I'm so excited! I'm going to be very cautious and will be sure to get plenty of rest to assure that my healing continues. I feel that being around loving friends, warm weather, and sunshine will leave me feeling refreshed :) Stay tuned for some adventures.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Snap, Crackle, Crunch!

I recently tried three kinds of Blue Mountain Organics' Earth Chips - and I'm in love. These are some of the very best kale chips I've ever tried (and I've sampled a lot of different ones).

If you have a salty, crunchy, chip fetish, and want a healthy raw vegan option, these are for you. While sugar has always been my thing more than salt, I've always enjoyed a good kale chip now and then so I thoroughly enjoyed savoring these goodies!
While there were large pieces/chunks of the chips in each bag, there were a lot of broken pieces, I enjoyed being able to use the "crumbs" as flavorful salad toppings - which works especially well with these chips because there are seeds on the chips.

The Earth Chips come in five flavors: Coconut Curry Kale, Cheezy Spicy Kale, Chocolate Kale, Nutty Cheezy Kale, and Cheezy Kale.

I tried three kinds:

Cheezy Kale - These are perfectly crunchy, cheezy (without the cheese!), and flavorful. The kale is bathed in a red pepper cashew, sauce. I like the addition of extra seeds on the outside which add to the crunch factor.

Spicy Cheezy Kale - While I can't handle much spice, these chips delivered just the right about of oomph, and left me wanting more. The kale is coated in a red pepper, seed, cashew, and chipotle sauce.

Chocolate Kale - Since I'm off cacao for now, I gave this bag to my mom to try. She's a chocolate lover and thoroughly enjoyed these. I teased myself by smelling them - it was like chocolate heaven. The kale is coated in a cacao, coconut, cashew mixture. Here's what she had to say about them: "A delicious snack with an unusual combo and texture. Each bite brings a burst of chocolate along with the crunch of dried kale."

If you're looking for a great snack, unique chocolate dessert, or a new kale chip, give these a try!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

For Canadian thanksgiving (which was a few weeks ago), I made mini vegan pumpkin pies. For years I've made raw pumpkin pies, trying sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, carrot juice/nut combo - but I have to say, I prefer this cooked style. Enjoy it with a big dollop of the coconut whipped cream that I featured in my previous recipe post.

What's so great about this pie?

First, there are no nuts in the filling, making it far easier for me to digest (and good digestion is the name of the game for me these days more than ever). Instead I've used the natural creaminess of the cooked pumpkin along with healthy raw ingredients to create a delicious pie.

Secondly, this is a low glycemic dessert, using a small amount of coconut sugar in conjunction with stevia to sweeten it.

What makes it a "mousse" pie? I've suped it up with irish moss and coconut oil to give it a light, fluffy moussey texture. In fact, I've made this a few times already, that's how much I like it, and it holds well as a cheesecake and as a simple mousse/pudding too! Whatever you choose, I'm fairly certain you'll enjoy :)

Short on time? Here are some shortcuts!

-Make a simple, two ingredient nut/date crust (2 cups nuts/ 3/4 cup medjool dates), or try my coconut macadamia crust.

-If you don't feel like pulling out all the various spices, use pumpkin pie spice, to taste.

-If you don't have time to bake the fresh pumpkin, try it with canned pumpkin.

Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Cooked Vegan


1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts
1 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 tablespoons lucuma
1/4 cup softened raw butter, diced (or try it with coconut butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt

In a food processor, grind the macadamia nuts into crumbs.
Add all the other ingredients except the butter and grind briefly to combine.
Add the butter and pulse to combine.
Press the mixture into a pie plate, or small tart plates.
Freeze the crust while making the filling.


2 1/2 cups cooked, packed pumpkin**
3/4 cup irish moss gel*
7 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
4 drops stevia
1 1/2-2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil, until completely smooth and creamy in a blender or food processor.
Add the oil and blend to incorporate.
Spread the filling into the pie crust and chill.

**To bake the pumpkin: quarter a small baking pumpkin. Place it on a baking sheet and cook for about 40 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to 375F (or until it is soft when pierced with a fork).

*Irish Moss Gel

2 oz soaked irish moss
1 cup water

Rinse a handful of irish moss in cold water until any bits of debris have been removed. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear.
Allow the moss to soak in cold water for 6-12 hours.
Chop the moss and blend it with water until it warms up and turns into a gel.
Chill the gel in the fridge for 5-7 days, or use immediately.

Coconut Whipped Cream

I've gone really light on the nuts here, and kept it high in coconut. A few drops of stevia allow for less sweetener. Add a few pinches of ground ginger or fresh ginger juice, and cinnamon for a nice kick!
To speed up the firming of the cream, chill it in a large metal bowl. 

2/3 cup packed young coconut pulp
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
2 drops stevia
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and blend to combine.
Chill the mixture for at least 6 hours or until it firms.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more low nut/sugar treats, and a health update. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Sweet Tooth

This weekend it's Canadian thanksgiving - the perfect time to share a few Autumn dessert recipes with you.

First though, I want to thank each and every one of you who commented on my last post. I appreciate all the kindness and support more than you can imagine, and I feel as though this love is reverberating out to everyone else who is in a similar situation right now. I'll be giving an update soon and answering the questions I've received.

These recipes reflect my new ways of eating. I've started playing with both raw and cooked desserts that use raw butter, eggs, minimal nuts, and are moderate-low in sweeteners. Some of the recipes have two parts, one of which might be cooked and the other raw, one part vegan and the other not. Being a trained chef I'm familiar with the world of white flour, sugar, eggs, etc - but working with what seems like limited ingredients these days, I'm still in the beginning stages of finding my way.

Unfortunately as of tomorrow (after having my vegan pumpkin pie for thanksgiving dinner this evening which I'll post the recipe for in the coming days), I'll be cutting sugar from my diet for the next while, except for an apple here and there. Not easy, but something I must do.

Apple Zucchini Crumble
Raw or Cooked

This crumble works well either cooked or raw. I've made it a few times and baked the filling, but kept the topping raw. If you want the keep the filling raw, I suggest allowing it to marinate for a few hours, or as long as overnight which will slightly soften the apples and zucchini. If you want to keep it strictly vegan, try substituting the raw butter for coconut butter (not oil, butter).

Why BUTTER? Raw butter is a highly nutritious food. Read all about it's benefits HERE, and HERE.

Crumble Topping:

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups macadamia nuts
1/2 cup chopped, dried figs
1/4 cup raw butter, cubed
2 tablespoons coconut crystal sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

Grind all the topping ingredients, except for the butter, in a food processor. 
Add the cubed butter and pulse into a crumbly mixture. 
Set aside.


5 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
4 dried figs, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of himalayan salt

Optional: Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Toss all filling ingredients together.
Spread into the bottom of a 9 x 9" or 9x13" (for a thin layer) baking pan.
Bake the filling (not the topping) for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly soft.
Sprinkle the topping over the filling and serve... with a side of raw vanilla ice cream if possible :)

Crustless Sweet Potato Custard Pie

Baked pie filling - without the crust! Try this with yams, sweet potato, or any winter squash. I've used coconut sugar and stevia which are 2 great low glycemic sweeteners. Top it with a dollop of raw goat yogurt (as I did), or coconut whipped cream.

2 cups packed, cooked sweet potatoes (or try butternut squash)
(Baked in a 400F oven until soft)
4 eggs
6 tablespoons coconut crystals
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
4 drops stevia

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
Lightly oil 6 ramekins with melted coconut oil.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Apple Squash/Pumpkin Butter
Cooked Vegan

A thick, creamy, sweet spread that I enjoy on apple slices, or by the spoonful like pudding! I also like to keep the nutritious skin on, as it blends easily once baked.

3 medium apples
2 cups packed, cooked kabocha squash - or try with pumpkin!
(Any other squash will do)
1/4 cup maple syrup
10 drops stevia
1 tablespoon mesquite (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat an oven to 375F.
Core and half the apples. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool.
Quarter and bake the squash until soft, 30-40 minutes. Cool.
Blend all ingredients (including the apple skins) in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Carrot Apple Cake

Here I've played with using ground coconut as the flour. This cake is super moist from the apple, carrot, and coconut oil. Layer sliced mini cakes with coconut whipped cream.

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1 1/3 cup ground, dried coconut, lightly packed*
1 cup grated carrot
2/3 cup packed grated apple

Preheat the oven to 350F
In a blender, combine the first seven ingredients until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the coconut, apple, and carrot.
Pour the mixture into muffin cups (regular sized, mini, or large), or mini spring form pans.
Bake the cakes for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of mold.

*Grind shredded coconut in a high speed blender.

Coconut Whipped Cream

I've gone really light on the nuts here, and kept it high in coconut. A few drops of stevia allow for less sweetener. Add a few pinches of ground ginger or fresh ginger juice, and cinnamon for a nice kick!

2/3 cup packed young coconut pulp
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
2 drops stevia
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Blend all but the coconut oil, until smooth and creamy.
Add the oil and blend to combine.
Chill the mixture for at least 6 hours or until it firms.

I hope you've all had a wonderful thanksgiving weekend too! 

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.

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

- 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.

- 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.

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

- 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.

(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...