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).

Update

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

Diet

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).

Supplementation

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay tuned for some adventures.

About the Author

31 Comments
  1. October 26, 2010 at 20:37
    Reply

    Way too low in carbohdyrates. While a diet built around protein and fat can feel like a great curative in response to long-term imbalances incurred in a sugar-based vegan diet, a diet with very little or no regard for carbohdyrates can also be quite crippling if given sufficient time.<br /><br />But it sounds like you'll be incorporating some cooked grains and things soon, which will help. Don't forget about my buddy though. The king of the subterranean world...<br /><br />http://180degreehealth.blogspot.com/2010/08/rice-vs-potatoes-rvp.html

  2. October 26, 2010 at 20:46
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing what you're doing in such depth and detail: and thanks for keeping such a great sense of proportion! Weight gain can be a dealbreaker for many of us, even in the pursuit of health: it was startling and inspiring to read you saying c'mon, worse things can happen!<br /><br />It sounds like you are surrounded by wonderful assistants in your healing: and being able to see your homoeopathic doctor so frequently is wonderful in such a time of transition.<br /><br />You are quite the jetsetter! Good luck taking best care of yourself in CA - a great place to remind oneself that we are all different!<br /><br />Jetsetting - I'm going to visit my mom and family in England next week - my mom's a homeo also.<br /><br />love<br />Ela

  3. October 26, 2010 at 21:07
    Reply

    A recent favorite meal of mine has been wild rice with a touch of coconut oil, a wild salmon burger, avocado and some spices. So good. Keep going Heathy you are doing great!!

  4. October 26, 2010 at 21:12
    Reply

    Glad to hear there's improvement and things are going so well. Hope your journey continues to be positive. And yay for those angels around you! And comfy clothes. :)

  5. Anonymous
    October 26, 2010 at 21:13
    Reply

    Hey beautiful, it's Sunshine here! :)<br /><br />I'm SO happy you're doing what you need to take care of YOU & to be healthy & happy! :) Keep doing what you need to do for YOU, and all of the rest will fall into place. <br /><br />See you in Cali soon! :)<br /><br />Hugs & love! <3

  6. Anonymous
    October 26, 2010 at 22:22
    Reply

    Hey Heathy,<br /><br />I think you'd love it if you made those daily coconut puddings coconut yoghurt (fermented). I started to incorporate that and couldnt get enough!!<br /><br />x

  7. October 26, 2010 at 23:45
    Reply

    Good for you! Your honesty is healing for many! Sending love and healing on all levels...

  8. October 26, 2010 at 23:49
    Reply

    I am so happy to be following your journey! I'm on the same road that you are - cutting out most forms of sugar, more protein than I'm use to, raw butter, energy healing, the whole shebang. I've been crumbling for the last couple years and it feels so good to start gaining control back of my body/emotions/etc. I am loving all of your new posts. Keep it coming!

  9. October 26, 2010 at 23:53
    Reply

    Love you, Sugarpuff!!!

  10. October 27, 2010 at 00:52
    Reply

    Heather,<br /><br />I it makes me very glad to hear that you are doing so well! Thank you for sharing your protocol. I also have done energy healing (Calyco Healing) back in January and it helped me through a lot of problems I was having ^.^. <br /><br />Take Care!<br /><br />Laurel

  11. Anonymous
    October 27, 2010 at 01:45
    Reply

    I feel so close to you in terms of wanting my health back. I really really feel that your plan would be perfect for me. I know that sounds presumptious, but it makes sense with all the readings I've done lately.<br />The problem is that I love 90% dark chocolate...and nut butter. I overdo the dairy (up to 2 cups a day) and nut butter (2-4 tbsps a day), I even eat a lot (a lot) of oils!! <br />I eat snacks very late at night. Breakfast is usually at 7 am, and I'm not hungry, but I eat then anyway.<br />What time do you have breakfast?<br />Weight gain is good. Feeding your body and shine and health. <br />Did that naturopath give you specific diet plans (outlines to follow for meal to meal?) I think I would need a set structure given to me or I would be lost.<br />Would she really be effective by phone...or would it just be another sad loss of my money (I've been through the ringer a few times....I alternate diarrhea with constipation though). I'm just confused!! Does she have any experience with people who are UNDerweight??? Is she is a physically fit athlete?<br />I feel like I could talk to you all day.<br />I kind of worry I overdo the poultry and fish (I eat 4-6 oz servings twice a day...and I eat a ton of eggs and some goat or sheep cheese, etc). <br />Sigh. I know chocolate and desserts are 'good"...but I'm so so weak (I bought some "flourless" cookies that look yum). And dark chocolate....will I ever learn? SO many questions - sorry!

  12. Anonymous
    October 27, 2010 at 02:16
    Reply

    Really good to hear you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing what you are doing.<br />keep going!<br />Louise<br />PS How do you make your raw soup?

  13. October 27, 2010 at 02:21
    Reply

    I have recently started following your blog (since Raw Mom Cooked Dad) and I absolutely love it. I'm so glad you are open and honest about your journey and where it's taking you. I'm also so glad that you posted the recipe for coconut milk! I cannot wait to try it out!! Good luck with everything. :)

  14. October 27, 2010 at 02:41
    Reply

    I am curious if you've had your thryoid levels checked? I take a synthetic hormone and it makes a big difference in how I feel. I know some people are against fake stuff but if it works you gotta do it.

  15. October 27, 2010 at 02:49
    Reply

    So glad to hear your health is improving!!!!!! You will be back enjoying raw cacao in no time, ; ) But I totally understand that it takes time...I still struggling with my health, but I am better! <br /><br />I wish you all the best!!!! <br /><br />xoxo

  16. Anonymous
    October 27, 2010 at 04:35
    Reply

    People should not need a synthetic thyroid supplement if their health is in balance which is where I guess a lot of the animal foods come into play as they give people the hormones they were missing on a raw food/vegan diet which is low in cholesterol.

  17. October 27, 2010 at 04:40
    Reply

    I'm so happy for you that your journey is bringing you back to health, that's so great. Try not to worry about weight gain, maybe your body needed it and is returning to a more natural weight for you. You are beautiful nonetheless, and always will be because your loving soul shines through :)<br /><br />I'm seeing small improvements with my dietary changes but I'm eating way too much sugar and there's too much stress in my life right now which is probably hampering me healing. But nevermind. I'm happy to be on this journey.<br /><br />Lots of love xxx

  18. October 27, 2010 at 05:25
    Reply

    it seems alot of people are having, or have had similar experiences to you my dear... im wondering if it's for humanity as a howle to stop and look at what we are putting into our bodies - nutritionally, emotionally, spiritually - to make cahnges for the better.<br />wishing u all the very best from sydney australia :)

  19. October 27, 2010 at 06:30
    Reply

    So glad your symptoms and health are improving - yay!! Keep going and I'm sure it will all balance soon enough.<br /><br />Thank you for sharing.<br /><br />Casey

  20. October 27, 2010 at 14:30
    Reply

    Oh I wish I could afford to have healing treatments weekly especially Reiki and Massages - oh that would be wonderful.<br /><br />My diet is radically changing at the moment but I think Im finding the balance which I believe is important more than anything.

  21. Anonymous
    October 27, 2010 at 23:17
    Reply

    I can't imagine making coconut milk (no big jugs or nut milk bags). They sell full-fat coconut milk (canned) in stores though. A 1/4 cup is about 100 cals and 11 g fat. WOuld that work? Do you ever use almond milk (store bought)?<br />That pudding just looks so yum.<br />I always feel like my meals need to be equal cals and include a protein. Thats why I find it hard just to have a potato and oil alone or just veggies alone. Like I "think" I need to "complete" it. Thoughts?<br />My bowels have been very bad lately. Either constipation or diarrhea. Very troublesome. First thing in the morning though I don't care for much than maybe a neat smoothie (with vega powder and fruit, milk, oil...but that's not working either). God help me! I've no NO idea what to eat for breakfast even!!<br /><br />I'm so tempted to contact this naturopath..but so worried because money is so so tight right now, and I worry about the pay-off since I've been to dozens of these kinds of practitioners before. I'm losing hope!

  22. October 28, 2010 at 01:13
    Reply

    Hi Heathy, I'm so happy to hear you are well on your way to healing! You seem like such a beautiful person with so much to give to the world and I love reading your blog and trying out your recipes! Thank you for sharing your journey and for being open about all the ups and downs. Your honesty is so refreshing and inspiring :)<br />love,<br />Nina

  23. Anonymous
    October 28, 2010 at 03:55
    Reply

    Your post really has made me think, and that tends to happen when I come across actual honesty. I've gone from vegetarian, to raw vegan, to vegan, and although I've seen a lot of benefits, I recently have had exceedingly low energy (just ditched a caffeine addiction) and terrible skin. Finally I'm realizing that I've been overdoing nuts and avocado and I'm finally seeing a change in my skin, but the energy's just not there yet. <br /><br />You're doing an amazing thing, allowing yourself to be open about changing your whole belief system. I'm not sure I could go back to animal products, but I'm going to use you as an example and expand my horizons as far as being open to changing my habits. It's just food after all.

  24. October 28, 2010 at 12:31
    Reply

    I can't say it sounds too appetizing... but I suppose it's irrelevant... because it's your body and I LOVE to read reports that you are HEALING and feeling GOOD or at the very least BETTER.<br /><br />Wishing you safe travels. :)

  25. October 30, 2010 at 12:20
    Reply

    Dear Heather,<br /><br />I've followed your blog for the last few years and have enjoyed your creative recipes and descriptive restaurant reviews :) However, I rarely have tried out any of your recipes for one reason.<br /><br />Nuts. I always seem to have digestion problems when I add nuts to my diet. I have often wondered how you have managed to go along in life so smoothly (pardon the pun) eating so many high fat, nutty dishes! When you admitted to having digestion issues, I felt for you. I have experienced similar gut pains and constipation after a high fat gourmet meal. <br /><br />In this blog post, you wrote <b> "My metabolic rate was working at "slow speed" for years due to my high fruit/sugar/salad/cacao diet </b>. I am curious about this statement, as from your blog posts I have gotten the impression that you eat quite a lot of nuts (cakes and cookies!), flax crackers, raw chocolate, and things of this nature that are not at all high fruit or sugar, but actually high fat.<br /><br />In addition, if you were consuming a high sugar diet, your metabolism would actually be quite fast, as a diet high in fat slows metabolism by forcing the body to manufacture its own glucose and essentially creating a fasting state.<br /><br />If you are still saddened by your choice to return to eating our animal friends, I suggest you look into the other side of raw: the high fruit, low fat side. You still have to give up chocolate, but at least you will be doing your health, our fellow creatures, and our planet a favor. <br /><br />May your day be sweet and sunny<br />~Lindsay

  26. Anonymous
    October 31, 2010 at 14:38
    Reply

    Thank you for your honestly Heather! <br /><br />I have been "almost" raw vegan for the past year, which has not been hard after I forced myself to watch those horrible videos of animals & becoming an activist- However, I just got my blood tests back and my protein and nutritional status is very poor! Which is NOT good and very dangerous as I have 3 autoimmune diseases. So your journey comes at a wonderful time for me. I will enjoy your new recipes using eggs!!! Thank you and I wish you a lifetime of recovery! Bethy

  27. October 31, 2010 at 18:18
    Reply

    Heather - glad to hear you are doing well and on the road to recovery. I appreciate your honest and cadid posts. Also, I tried the chia pudding recipe - yum! :)

  28. November 1, 2010 at 15:40
    Reply

    Looks like you are following a pretty good path. Would you consider adding more Alkalizing affects to boost your immune system and flush toxins an any imflamation? If so you can drink alkaline water (using alkaline drops or a filter) and also add super greens to your daily water intake (these I can't live without) and finally take pHor salts with the much needed daily minerals you may be craving. All this changed my unhealthy life radically and I plan to maintain this regime for ever. Glad to hear you are coming around. Keep on truckin'!

  29. November 7, 2010 at 04:16
    Reply

    I commend you on taking your health into your hands and doing what your body needs! Listening to your body is the most important thing you can do! Although you are limiting your sugar...I hope to see some more of your delicious creations too!!<br />Lots of Love<br />xx<br />Sarahnotsoplainandtall.wordpress.com/<br />@healthymodel

  30. November 10, 2010 at 17:33
    Reply

    I just read your previous post about starting the healing journey. I completely understand where you are coming from! I'm also healing burnt out adrenals and thyroid and the many symptoms you listed that come from them. I also found Matt Stone to be very helpful. In my blog I posted about how this month my challenge is eating breakfast! I think this is where the raw vegan community gets us all burnt out. The way they advocate raw juices or fruit only (or no eating until noon!). This one simple change (actually EATING as soon as I wake up! Thanks Matt!) has made such a profound difference. Many good wishes to you in your healing journey!

  31. November 12, 2010 at 04:47
    Reply

    Oh my gosh you have so many people loving, following and supporting you! I found your blog through Debbie (Grass Fed Momma). She and I are winners in the healing realms over two different types of leukemia. I am appreciative to find another wise soul (you) who made the sometimes edgy transition from raw vegan (mine only lasted 4-1/2 months!) to receiving greater health through incorporating organic and/or grass fed meat (plus ditto similar for fowl and fishies). Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I'll be watching and sending a prayer for support to you.

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