A Rawthentic Look At The Past Three Months

I am not exactly sure when I started being totally raw, but I know around the first of June the process started. I think it took about two weeks to wean off of the dairy and another three weeks after that to completely quit coffee…. I would have to go back and look at my posts, and I really don’t care. The point is, I haven’t had meat, dairy or coffee for a while now and I feel fantastic!

Every day I am more inspired and amazed by the people I come in contact with who are on the same journey or are adding more fresh foods to their diets or they are diving right in. I have to admit, this change wasn’t that hard for me, because I was pretty much a vegetarian to begin with. The first two weeks of weaning off of things were the biggest challenge I suppose, but as I got to each “next day” a natural flow of eating mostly raw things happened.  I did have a McDonald’s hamburger the third week coming home from the shop. I was hungry and hadn’t brought enough food. It made me sick for three hours after I got home. I even had a fever.  I don’t really have any cravings for “that food” any more. It is inconsequential.

The biggest surprise for me is my body’s transformation. I seriously had not gone to the beach in a few years, because I didn’t even want to put on a one piece swimsuit. I wouldn’t wear shorts, skirts, or dresses it is pretty pathetic actually. Those who know me, know I wasn’t “fat”, but they also know that over the past eight years I had put on a few pounds. Yes, I still wore a size 6 and carried the weight, but it was there. Before raw I was 163 lbs. I weighed less than that nine months pregnant with both of my boys! Today the scale hit 142. Pretty amazing because I wasn’t looking to lose any weight when I started this. I was all in it for health, to get nourishment to my body, all of my cells and to keep dis-ease away!!!! The weight loss has been the bonus! It has also made me feel younger and healthier and I have an abundance of energy! I love it!

Eating raw has also given me a new-found freedom. I don’t really stress over too much anymore. There is so little we are in control of and the things we think we want to have control of we probably should just be letting go of. Other than going through  a small of emotional detox, my mind is clearer  and sharper and my emotions have been pretty even keeled. Yes, every once in a while I will be walking the beach and I will have tears streaming down my face. I always stop and breathe and just let whatever is happening happen. I don’t try to analyze it, I just go with it.

The beach, as my friend Laura put it, has been my Mecca. Every day that I can get out there and get that dose of sun (vitamin D), sand, salt water, and ocean air, I do! I relax out there, I meditate there, I exercise, I converse with strangers, and when I am out there I write. Some days I have a lot to write, others I just write about what I see and what the day is like. I feel so much love at the beach. Nature is an awesome thing most of us take for granted in our busy lives. I am so glad I have rediscovered nature and all of its wonders.

I have to say the past three months have been some of the most life transforming I have had in a long time. They have been invigorating, enlightening and humbling. There are many things I think contributed to this, but after going through a cancer diagnosis, it was time to take charge of my health and get things right in my body, mind and soul. Some people may think this is radical and that I have gone bonkers. The proof is in the results, I will take my way of eating over the fast food, hormone injected, GMO world I once lived in, any day…. that way of eating may not seem radical, but to someone who has already had cancer, I see it as dangerous to my health.

On that note, we all have to decide what works for us, whether it be diet, belief system, career choice or anything else important or not. Having said that, we should also be accepting, loving and kind towards each other. At some point there has to be a sense of tolerance from people on all sides of issues. People have become so rigid in their views, opinions and beliefs, and this closes the door to love, peace and harmony. I would rather live peacefully, than bicker and argue all of the time.  Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I can’t love you, because I will. Will you do the same for me?

Peace and Love

Natalie

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Raw Authenticity

Have you ever observed yourself so caught up in what other people think and how you perceive they will judge you that you tend to embellish your credentials, or your current status in this moment? Do you ever wonder why you feel the need to hide who you really are? When aggrandizing things, do you ever feel a twinge of guilt about not being truthful to the person you are communicating with? I think we all can relate to this notion of wanting to be a person the person we are relating to will like.

Living authentically requires us to take a deep look at our own motivations and behaviors. I think it is natural to want to impress your present company, your colleagues, your family, and any new prospective interests, but the most impressive thing to me is when someone can bare their soul and live in the truth of their life.

Are you not living authentically out of fear or could it be insecurity. I am sure all of our motivations are different, but similar in the outcome of what we are projecting to the universe. When we begin to live in the truth and light of our authentic being great things come about for us and all of those around us. Things become effortless and light. When we no longer hide from ourselves, let alone, everyone else, we make big strides in who we are supposed to be. Authentic, living, loving, whole….

Junk Drawer

The past few days I have been purging the kitchen cabinets and drawers, keeping only the things that are being used or that I love. I am taking my time doing this, and carefully placing everything back into a “place” of its own.

The exercise has been one of healing and letting go. There is only one thing that is in the same place as it was, and that is for now. The silverware stayed in the same drawer, other than that, everything else has a new home. My kitchen is a happy place again. I don’t have things falling out of the cabinets, I can find everything I need. Life is good!

During this process I freed up two drawers that were used as “junk” drawers, you know, the catch-all place for things you aren’t quite sure what to do with at the time, or you just don’t want to deal with it “right now.” Well for me it is all about being in the present moment. I don’t have time for a “junk” drawer anymore, let alone two. I did find however, that while going through the “stuff” in the junk drawers, there really wasn’t a whole lot to keep. What was salvageable were things that really had another home. The other stuff was just that stuff!

Here are a few items that were in my junk drawer: rubber bands, drill bits, screws, batteries, stickers, menus, post-it notes, the thingy-ma-bob that frees up the garbage disposal when it gets jammed, and a deck of cards with cards missing.

My point is, clearing out the junk and making room for things that we love, living with intention and not being passive in our actions, will help us all lead a simpler happy life.

Clear out the junk, free your time, free your mind! You, will thank YOU!

Namaste

Abundance

Today my thoughts focused on all of the things I was thankful for. It was a great exercise in remembering to live in the moment and make do with what is right in front of me. I have enough of everything I need, in fact, I have an abundance of some things I don’t.

I didn’t just focus on the things today, but the people in my life. I am so thankful for their friendships, companionships, and love. This raw food journey, for lack of better words right now, has been an amazing transformation of my mind, body and soul. Each day brings something new to the table, whether it is overcoming an obstacle that would have once been very difficult for me to overcome, to feeling the healthiest I have ever felt and my body getting stronger. My mind is clearer, my heart more open, and I am refreshed.

I jumped into this with both feet, but I started out slow. I started with green smoothies and took care to add new ingredients one at a time. I am now in the creative stage of my raw food preparation.. There is so much to learn, and I am amazed at what I have already retained in this short 2 months.

What came to mind most today was the abundance of love, support, self forgiveness and acceptance, friendship, companionship, knowledge, and health this lifestyle change has given me! I am so blessed!

Starting tomorrow I am going to do a watermelon fast/cleanse. I am planning on 2-3 days as long as my body allows it. I always listen to my body. I have great faith it will all be fine. So far I have had no adverse effects from my diet change! It has all been good. While I am doing my watermelon fast, I am going to work on going through the abundance within this house and figuring out what can be donated, kept or tossed.

Today I am thankful!

Namaste!

The Raw Of It

I have had people ask about what I am eating, why I am eating this way and what brought me to this decision. I am a newbie Raw Vegan. The decision to go down this path of nutrition stemmed from several things. The first thing I will attribute this to is my breast cancer diagnosis Dec. 2010. I was never scared about it, but I did a ton of research on what I could do to better my health and stay strong. My breast cancer was caught very early and I am so blessed for that. While seeking out the medical attention for the next steps, my intuition was telling me to research, research, research. When you get a cancer diagnosis things move very quickly, you are on the hamster wheel and sometimes wonder if you are ever getting off.

I have many blessings to count when it comes to medical care. I knew someone at the breast surgeon’s office and got right in. My surgeon is amazing. He listened to all of my concerns, and although he is mostly on the traditional medicine side, he didn’t count out my passion for being as healthy as I could. He held my hands and told me everything would be ok. He has healing hands. I trusted him pretty implicitly. I always trust myself first. After all of the tests, blood work, bone scan, genetic testing, etc. I decided I would have surgery to remove the teeny tiny piece of cancer that was inhabiting my breast. Again I trusted that he would be as noninvasive as possible. Everything I thought about him rang true. My scars are barely visible. I know the love and care he took removing the cancer helped heal me. My body is a good healer too.

After all of the tests came back from surgery, wide margins, clear lymph nodes, blood work perfect, it was time to decide what to do next. I had consultations with the radiation oncologist and the oncologist. I made friends go with me each time, sometimes when you are in the middle of it you hear what you want to hear. You need fresh ears to listen for you! Time was on my side. The cancer was out of my body and I was beginning to heal.

The radiation oncologist is another amazing human. After meeting with the oncologist the day before to discuss chemo and basically being dismissed for my beliefs and concerns and being told I would I was on the borderline for chemo,  he met with me for almost two hours, through lunch hour, addressing all of my questions and putting my mind at ease about my decision to forgo the chemo. Chemo they said would provide a very small percentage increase (this is supposed to be decrease, I think subconsciously I knew it would be an increase) in recurrence. Chemo in my opinion and my core would have destroyed a very healthy immune system, that I  know I could have never recovered from. Yes my immune system let the cancer in. There are several reasons I think this happened, I will try to discuss those in a later post.

Surgery was in January and by March I had decided to do the radiation treatments, I know my body and I was sure it could withstand it. At this point I had not changed much in my diet, but my blood work was perfect. I wasn’t eating what most people would consider unhealthy. I ate a pretty good diet, with very little meat to begin with. I go to yoga twice a week, I have an elliptical I try to get on daily.

I received 33 radiation treatments to my breast and under my arm where they removed the lymph nodes (mine was a Sentinel Node procedure). While doing radiation I met with a nutritionist and discussed my ideas, they again were kind of dismissed. I was told to avoid soy because of the estrogen enhancing effects. My breast cancer was 95% estrogen positive. My next course of treatment was deciding to take Tamoxifen or not. Tamoxifen can be a nasty drug. I made the choice to take it, with the understanding that if I did not tolerate it, I wouldn’t take it. I am not going to live a sick life just to have more time on this earth. It is quality for me..not the quantity. I am sure my family and friends were probably more upset about the cancer than I was. They then had to deal with my daily rants about not wanting to do any treatment. They were, however, loving and supporting and I know if I needed anything there would have been people lined up at the door. I live in a fantastic community, with loving, giving people, for this I am also blessed. In the end, my decisions were mine. I felt no pressure from anyone to undergo the treatments I did.

After all of the decisions were made, I decide I needed to go “home” to where I grew up. Get back to my roots. I had friends I wanted to see, my parents, my sisters, and just reconnect with my youth. The first several days my husband was there, my sisters etc. I stayed an extra week, by myself to have “me” time. It was invigorating, freeing, and a loving thing to do for myself. Before I left to go “home” I met with the surgeon, started the Tamoxifen and before he let me leave his office, he again held both of my hands and said “Natalie, this pill will not make you fat, what you put in your mouth will. You are going to have to watch what you put in your mouth in order to keep your weight on track and you may have to exercise more.” Blunt and to the point, just how I like it!!! I can’t stand the sugar-coated stuff. Again the intuition was kicking in about the way i was eating and the changes I knew I needed to make!.

The second phase started when I got home. I ran into a wonderful person from my childhood who was on the raw food journey already. I don’t know if I knew that at the time, but when I got home to FL  and we connected through Facebook, the ball started rolling for me. With his knowledge, compassion and patience I made some basic changes in my diet. The changes grew each day as I was feeling better and better!  I never did this to lose any weight, I wanted to maintain where I was and give my body optimal nutrients and health. What has happened since has been truly amazing! Some days I can’t even describe it! All for another post.

Today, I wonder sometimes why I waited so long to go down the road I have always known was right for me. I can say, where I live there aren’t many resources available, modern medicine doesn’t support the mind, body, soul connection as much as they need to. Hopefully this will shift in the future. Our society is obese, what we put in our bodies was not meant to sustain life. I believe that is why there is so much disease.

At this moment in time (for it is all we have) I have lost 15lbs, and feel amazing. The detoxing this is doing to my body also reaches my core, my soul. Some of those days can be hard, but the journey has just begun and I look forward to where it takes me next!