about being a green goddess

I thought I’d take a break from my messy, crafty work table and chat about my cleanse from “Crazy Sexy Diet”.  I received the book as a gift for my birthday and started the 21 day cleanse in February and never really shared my journey.  I’ve also received a few emails asking me how it went. So here I go….Here is my story, it’s a long one:

What you should know about me first.  I am a vegetarian (mostly vegan) for almost 17 years now.  I absolutely will not eat meat, but I do occasionally have a few bites of cheese when a meal has been made or bought for me. I try not to be too fussy or too off-putting.  And, I have been guilty of eating a cookie or brownie at work even though I KNOW it has eggs or butter in it.  But all in all, I am a vegan.  And if you knew me, you’d know that I only talk about my diet when asked. I’m not a shove-it-down-your-throat kind of gal, nor am I on a quest to make anyone a vegan or vegetarian, but am more than happy to share what I know and have learned along the way.  I believe that food choices are deeply personal and that choices must be made from within. No one can tell you how or what to eat, you have to figure out the why, how and what on your own.

Another thing that you should know–I started out as a vegetarian for environmental and ethical reasons. Then, several significant health situations came along. The first being that my second little guy was allergic to dairy. When I ate it and then breast fed him, he ended up with diarrhea, horrible diaper rashes and constant spitting up. My midwife suggested I cut out dairy and the problems disappeared and came back immediately if I introduced dairy again.  So since I breastfed him for 32 months, well it just seemed silly to start eating it again, especially because many tummy and skin problems I had been having were now gone.

The second health reason came about the same time.  I was diagnosed with a bone disease after having a small lump on my leg removed. After several tests, x-rays and bone scans, 17 tumors were found in the bones of my left leg bones and foot.   The bone disease , my doctor had told me, would be cancer by the time I turned 40 and I would probably lose my left leg.  Since there are only 200 known cases world wide, and he had never known anyone with this disease before me, I’m not sure how he can make that claim knowing so little about this disease. The disease is typically accompanied by severe deformities, which I don’t have. Regardless, it’s not something you want to hear 6 months after having a baby.  Since then it has been my mission to eat as healthy as I can and read everything I could about remaining cancer free. So far, I’ve had no significant changes in my leg and it has been 6 years since my diagnosis.

That is why I was so excited to learn about Kris Carr and her encounter and journey to defeat cancer.  That is why I picked up this book within days of hearing about it.  I gobbled it up with gusto and I loved every minute of it.

I did the 21 day cleanse. I already had meat and dairy out of my diet, but I also gave up caffeine, sugar, wheat and alcohol.  The first week was really hard. I had been drinking 1-2 cups of sugar filled coffee for several weeks prior, plus 1-2 glasses of red wine 2-3 times per week, not to mentions the loads of wheat bread & tortillas I had been eating. The headaches and mood swings were awful, but after the first week passed, I felt awesome and the rest was easy peasy.

I learned:
* how sugar affects your body and immune system.
* the difference between an acidic diet (high sugar, bread, processed food diet) and an alkaline diet (high veggies, grains, beans) and how cancer grows in an acidic environment.
* how to make the most awesome raw food dressings. Sweet vinaigrette is my favorite. Fresh and delicious.
* loads of other ways to care for yourself from massage, yoga and meditation, sleep to dry brushing, netti pot use and so much more.

What worked and what I’ve kept in my diet after the cleanse:
* My daily green smoothie. I’ve had one almost every single day (except for when at artfest) since I started the cleanse.
* Green Juice 1-2 times per week.
* Big huge salad for lunch and a big huge salad for dinner.  Almost every day. I love them, crave them and look forward to every single bite.I throw in beans, grains, seeds, nuts, olives and some good tasting raw dressing. So good!
* I am practically gluten free. I occasionally will eat sprouted wheat tortillas.
* I eat WAY less sugar now.
* A big glass of lemon water with a pinch of cayenne pepper gets me hopping first thing in the am.

How it has helped me and what I’m still working on:
* I feel great, am very energetic (always have been though) and I just feel really healthy, clear, bright and light.
*I made it through February and March with merely a sniffle when my entire family was getting sick over and over again.  My husband still cannot believe I made it through without my yearly 3 week cough.
* My allergies are almost non-existent this season.
* I did lose 6 lbs initially, but have gained back a couple since.
* I did notice some of that stubborn belly fat start to go.
* What I need now is exercise, exercise, exercise!  I do yoga 2-3 days a weeks but no cardio. NONE. So I signed up at a women’s only gym and will be taking my first Zumba class tomorrow.
* I am still working on fitting in more time to meditate. When I do I love it, so why don’t I do it more often?!
* I can’t keep away from the coffee (especially when I’m at work) but at least now I’m trying cold brewing and I use stevia or agave nectar to sweeten it up just a tad.

It’s a journey for sure, and I fall off the wagon all the time. Sit me in front of a beautiful loaf of fresh french bread and there is no holding me back.  But I know how to get back on the green wave, drink some green juice and keep going. And who knows if this will keep me cancer free, but I think it is worth it to try  and give it all I’ve got. I owe it to myself and to my gorgeous, amazing, wonderful family.

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7 Responses to about being a green goddess

  1. Jennifer says:

    Wow! I commend you and hope you stay cancer free!

  2. Aunt Jenny says:

    Thanks for posting such an honest account of your journey! You are an inspiration to me & those around you!

  3. Tammy McGee says:

    you just blow me away regina! xoxo I am so inspiried by your love for yourself,and your family by eating so well and working hard at staying on your path. Keep up the amazing job!!Thank you for the inspiration, and your beautiful spirit!! shine on my kindred!!

  4. what a great story. i am waiting on that book to come into the library. can’t wait. the coffee would be so hard… i am totally addicted.

  5. Erika says:

    When I was pregnant with my second baby I had several kidney procedures done–I kept making kidney stones and the doctors thought it was hormone/pregnancy related. After two years of bone pain, moodiness, and more procedures a doctor realized I had a tumor on a gland in my neck that was actually drawing out the calcium in my bones and causing the problems with my kidneys.

    I immediately felt better after my surgery and have discovered that if I refrain from dairy and grains I feel so much BETTER. It is amazing what food can do to your body, how little we actually know about its power (good and bad), and how what works for one person may not work for another.

    Thank you for sharing your story–I am inspired!

  6. Alexis says:

    Ugh, sugar, dairy and wheat – I know in my heart we need to rid ourselves of these but it is so hard. I know Maia would do better without these things but they are exactly what she craves and likes. I am slowly trying to replace certain things and really restrict sugar. It is not easy though – thanks for sharing, you are an inspiration!

  7. Ashley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I will pray for your continued health and cancer prevention!

    More and more often I have been having GI crises, I am just about at my wits end with it. I do have known food allergies but it seems as though I am being affected by more and more over the past few years. I’m tired of giving my life away to the pain and discomfort! Several years ago I had gone through a particularly difficult episode so nearly over night I started eating vegan, and I’ll tell you what… I felt amazing. I have wanted to phase back into it, in a healthy way, and perhaps this book will help guide me. With both parents recently being diagnosed with cancer, I’m motivated more than ever to take back my health! It’s already downloaded to my Kindle!

    Thank you again <3

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