Saturday, September 24, 2011

A raw challenge

The First Step 

So I decided to make an extreme diet change when I was diagnosed in late July 2011 with Stage 1 endometriosis ("endo"). What is endo?  Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. The result is painful monthly cycles, infertility and other issues.  The Western medical treatment is to shoot me up with hormones to suppress the pain but the same medication would also put me in menopause.  Since my husband and I are still trying for a second child, this was not a choice for me.

I had been researching a raw food diet for some time prior to my “official” endo diagnosis. According to a second doctor’s opinion endo can only be confirmed by surgery but I suspected that I had it based on my symptoms.  There is no cure to endo just very potent and liver-damaging medications to suppress the symptoms.  I discussed the diet change with my endo doctor and he said he’s seen great results with such a diet change.  He warned me it wouldn’t be easy be easy but would help me lose weight and improve my health overall.  
I've read that some raw food diets/treatments can help the body heal itself from cancer. (See  The raw food diet has even been shown to reverse endo and even restore fertility. Not only is my quest for health but to see if I can restore fertility naturally. I know it’s a gamble so close to 40.
My mom had me at 41.  Although she died some years ago, I remember her having some similar female issues- fertility being one of them.
I've had two back-to back miscarriages and have been trying to conceive since 2007. I'm a working mom approaching age 40, like in four-weeks, and the doctors are pushing IVF.  We can't afford $15,000 for the procedures, nor do I want to be shot up with hormones.  If it's meant to be then it will.  If the raw path doesn't lead to pregnancy, I will still be happy to be a healthier mom for the one beautiful and precious child that I do have. 

The Road to Raw
So the raw path I'm doing is about 75-80 percent consumption of raw and organic foods.   I don't eat anything processed except this Raw Evolution Bar.  It's raw so not cooked over 118 degrees. It is a great fix for a chocolate craving. I gave up soda almost two years ago. I'm lactose intolerant so that was easy. I'm also gluten-free since my child is too. I still have cravings -I'm human.  I'm eating one organic cooked meal with some organic meat every other day to keep up my vitamin B-12 stores in my liver rather than from a supplement. I'm not here to pontificate about the ethical treatment of animals and not eating them.  I leave this choice to you and for you to respect mine.  This is the beauty about Raw Food and how it can fit you and not you it.

The Raw Food school of thought sees cooked foods as causing acidosis in the body leading to many ailments including mucus build up, inflammation, asthma, digestive disorders, diabetes, cancer, and yes, infertility.  What is acidosis? According to the U.S National Library on Medicine, acidosis is a condition in which there is excessive acid in the body fluids thus causing your internal pH to be over then normal. Raw food can help balance or alkalize the body so your blood pH comes closer to the optimal 7.3.
 (See for more information,

How the path has been progressing
I've slowly lost 10lbs since late July. I'm not counting calories and my exercise is walking. My goal is to get to the gym 3 times a week.  I feel great so far. And the best news is that my endo is getting better. I have significantly less pain around cycle time. My asthma is under control. And the list goes on and on.
I do have one word of warning.  If you’re interested in starting on the raw food path I would suggest starting slowly. I was so anxious to get rid of my endo that as soon as the doctor said yes I went 100% the first two weeks.  I experienced what some call “a healing crisis” but I’m just going to call it detoxing.  I woke up one day with a massive migraine.  I never get them so I knew something wasn’t right.  I was nauseous, light headed, shaky and sick.  I’ll spare you the bathroom details.  I thought it was something to do with my cycle so I went to my Western doctor who gave me injectable Advil and oxygen, which is apparently the common treatment for migraines. I was angry with my ignorance about raw food when I  later realized that I was detoxing and after eating pure for two weeks.   The symptoms continued to a lesser degree for the next 5 days. What happens is that as you begin to release the toxins stored in you fat cells they pour into your blood stream causing what happened to me.

·         Cravings
·         Fatigue
·         Irritability/Emotional Pain
·         Physical pains

I know now that I should have slowly gone to raw but I’m glad that large detox load is gone.  Apparently, I will be having more as I lose more weight but the big difference is now I know what it is and how to manage it. 

·         Rest/Sleep (help your cells heal from the release)
·         Water- 16 glasses per day (helps move the toxins out of the body)
·         Exercise/Saunas (purge toxins out of your skin and get your lymphatic system going)
·         Eating a cooked meal of steam vegetables ( cooked food creates acidosis thus slowing the detox)

Because I want to be as healthy as I can I’m challenging myself starting on October 3, 2011 with a juice fast by one of my favorite raw foodist-Natasha St. Michael.  She’s down to earth and easy to follow. You can catch her vlogs here ( I invite you to follow my blog over the next ten-days and see how I do.  I’ll post my juice recipes as I go.  Comments and questions welcomed.

 Best health wishes to you!

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1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Jane! Best wishes on this new food and health path!