Monday, January 3, 2011

Progression - My Health Update

January 2011 - my month to break down old habits and patterns. I've come so far over the past 4 months that the only place to look is UP, and I've decided that it's time for me to thrive. I'm jumping in with my whole heart and soul. Here's a recap on what I've been through in the past 2 months, and why I've started my January "detox" plan.

Back to October
Since my last updated health post, I've forged ahead - but not as diligently as I should have. At the end of October I went to California again for 3 weeks. During that time I was extremely fortunate to have access to the healing foods I needed. My good friend Deb cooked free range bison, bone broth (you can find her recipe here), and eggs for me, plus I had access to fresh raw milk, colostrum, butter, and yogurt, which I consumed daily. It was soooo nice to be able to purchase these nourishing raw dairy products because in Canada they are not sold in stores (except raw cheese). In addition to all that I required for my therapeutic diet, I indulged in plenty of sugary goodies - raw and cooked vegan treats. I stayed away from cacao (victory!), but yeah, I was eating too much sugar.

Sugar Coated Confusion
Upon returning home I tried to get back to a lower sugar diet, and experimented with using stevia in dessert recipes in conjunction with coconut (crystals, nectar, and dried). I got into using a LOT of stevia and was proud of myself for using this "zero calorie, zero glycemic index, and zero carb" sweetener. In fact, for a month or so I was going crazy dumping droppers of stevia into my medicinal and herbal teas all day long, thinking it was acceptable. I didn't realize it at the time, but having this sweet taste in my mouth around the clock was triggering my sugar sensitivity and addiction big time.

Here's what my homeopath, Denyse, explained "our focus for you was to bust up the addiction to sugar, and forms of the taste of extreme sweet like stevia, xylitol, honey, grains, all have trigger sites on the cell that are similar in the pattern of addiction as to other addictive substances...its not that stevia and xylitol is bad, one day you will be able to play with these again, its that the trigger for sweet pulls you into a cycle of wanting more, because they are natural it gives the illusion of being "natural and okay", and keeps you in the cycle of craving, desiring, and manifesting the symptoms of sugar (or sweet) addiction."

Healthy Again
Despite the fact that I was eating sugar, my overall health remained greatly improved. By November my strength and energy had returned, my digestion and elimination were great, zero headaches, zero menstrual cramps, my mood was much more balanced, a healthy outlook on life returned, and my skin cleared up except for a persistent rash around my mouth that had been developing for a while. Denyse explained that it was a sign of my digestive system rebalancing and that a rash would naturally manifest itself at one or both (getting a rash on my tushy was a possibility too, but fortunately that didn't happen to me) ends of the "digestive tube". In addition, for the first time since being a vegan, my body started warming up! Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have been extremely cold for as long as I can remember.

I continued eating animal products, taking specific homeopathic remedies which have changed regularly and are very specific to each individual (so I will not be giving names of what I am taking - one person's remedy is another's poison), supplementation, and energetic healing work by my friend Pam. In these regards I was doing well.

Pushing Past Fears
I admit, there have been times in the past few months where I've questioned everything. "Is this the right direction? Can I follow through? Do I really have to chew my way through all this meat? Is this weight gain normal?!" It brought me to tears at times, and support became crucial. My mom has been instrumental in helping me see that I am a new person as a result of all the changes I've made, and has encouraged me to persevere. Talks with Denyse always helped to set me straight too. On a particularly rough day she listened to my frustrations and once again explained how "the body is till going through its rebalancing stages. Some water retention is natural, flush it with lots of water and take X remedy." Then she said something that really struck me "Sometimes you have to go back to the low place you were at, to see how far you've progressed". That was my "ah ha" moment where I knew I couldn't turn back. It was NOT an option to go back to the physical pain, depression, high anxiety, crazy mood swings, and thoughts of suicide that I had endured only months ago.

The Weight Debate
An approximate 10 pound weight gain has frustrated me to no end, but then again it's not surprising with all the dietary changes. In the summer I effortlessly lost some weight, and was starting to be pleased with where my body was at, even though I felt far from "perfect" (time to drop the idea of perfection!? Uh yeah).

I went from Diet #1lots of cacao, spirulina salads, fruit, and nuts (although I had whittled down my nut intake greatly in the summer), to Diet # 2: meat, fish, vegetables (cooked/raw), yams/squash, dairy, and eggs in addition to the salads, nuts, and fruit.

So now my body feels too big and I feel self conscious, but I'm working on getting over my issues around my weight and understand that things will balance out. After all, my metabolism was sluggish and I'm still working to rebalance. What's interesting is that even though I've gotten bigger overall, I think it's a combination of muscle and fat, not just the latter as I thought at first. I can feel the muscles (particularly in my legs) being tighter - and it's certainly true that I'm stronger. I'm back to the full power yoga routines I was doing before getting sick, and then some. I'm also teaching yoga again.

Building My Blood
In the middle of December I got some updated blood work done. Denyse wanted to see where my numbers were at, and how she needed to adjust my homeopathic remedies. She was thrilled at the progress I had made! My iron is still a little low, but everything is back to where it should be. Now we are working to cleanse my liver, bring my iron to normal, continue to rebalance my digestive system, and clean the candida from my body.

One Last Culprit

In the past month a bit of fatigue has came back. Growing anxiety also started creeping in, and my body went through uncomfortable puffy/water retention spells which were annoying and made me feel even bigger. I finally realized the culprit... Slowly my sugar intake grew, and I was consuming too much once again. Much less than I did in the past, but more than I should have been eating nonetheless, and I had the feeling it was stressing my body. Denyse said it was time to let go of the sugar completely for a while because it was having the same effect that the cacao had on me.

Cacao Free/Sugar Free Diet

No one had to tell me to stop eating sugar and cacao for a while. I know that it's the last critical component to becoming truly health again. The day after Christmas I decided to jump in all the way. On December 26, I stopped eating ALL sugar - even stevia/fruit, and all cacao. Tomorrow I'll get into more of that. But I can tell you this. I'm going extremely strong - and with sugar being my #1 favorite food, I never thought it was possible.

Healthy, strong, and happy in 2011! 


  1. My doc had me give up ALL sugars and sweet things for three months. I went CRAZY! I begged for an apple!!!! When he allowed me back on, i've little by little been sneaking it in more.....i need to get back on track with the sweets too! Keep up the good work!



  2. Oh gosh this is so funny heathy when I just wrote to you saying yay for stevia on my no sugar diet!!!! Good teaching though, I must make sure that I absolutely don't overdo it. Your body is going to LOVE you for this cleanse x

  3. Love the new look blog and the title rocks by the way too!!

    I cut out sugar for about 3 weeks and the difference it made to my weight, skin, mind etc was absolutely amazing, I looked skinnier, had better skin and was just felt so good!

    I thought that my sugar problem was over, but since Xmas, I have been eating sugary things again, alcohol, food etc and its very true, anything that even tastes like sugar, the body will think its sugar and will want more! the only way to get over a sugar problem is to stop eating those foods that the body thinks are sugars.

    And now that I have gone back to eating sugary things again, I am a bit tired and not feeling anywhere near as great!

    Its very hard to give up, Sugar really is like a drug!

    I have to keep fighting as well - its really hard as sometimes our train of thought just goes 'oh screw it cravings, I am going to give in!'

    Your an inspiration to so many of us!


  4. love you will make it through...and i am here for you always and forever!


  5. I have cut out chocolate and caffeine but am slowly weaning myself off sugar. I have it down to very small amounts, but I am now thinking I ought to go cold turkey on that too - thanks for the information and sharing your experience! It is so true that sweet things are addictive!

  6. hey Heather!

    Thanks for your honest, well-written blog. Was wondering, is spirulina allowed on your new diet? Is there anything to be concerned about with the stuff? Thanks! Love love, Sarah E.

  7. Heathy. You are a courageous and beautiful person and you look amazing - so, so pretty. Be proud of yourself and know you'll be ok :-) x x x

  8. I'm 100% behind you, you know that! I'm here for you for the entire journey :)

  9. Thank you all so much for your feedback.

    Sarah - I stopped eating spirulina. I was eating boatloads of it, and felt intuitively that my body didn't want it anymore. After talking to Lou Corona about it, he said that there is no truly pure source, because all water is a bit tainted, and the body can't handle the fungus.

  10. Preposterous! And I say that with the utmost love, my dear Heathy.
    Thank you, once again for sharing, in detail what you have done, what you've tried, and what you are doing. I cannot possibly convey how much of a support any info regarding your journey has consoled, validated, and soothed me in times of tremendous struggle when perhaps NO ONE could have gotten through to me. We did speak briefly about my journey on New Years but i know for certain that there is much no one has heard about, as I'm almost positive you should feel the same.

    PS: If I may say so...
    Don't let pictures fool you...the power of the mind is strong, dearie (I wouldn't want to imagine you being any smaller than you are right now, my dear...I say that with the utmost love, as people have said to me during my times of physical delusion...<3 It may feel like they want us to fail, or that it is jealousy, or that they don't understand, but to LIVE & to BE ALIVE is to NOT be so extreme that you cannot bear to be here, <3 no one sees it but US, remember that, and anyone who needs or wants you to be something other than you are has perfection issues in THEMSELVES that they need to work out ;)

    CONGRADULATIONS, You Deserve This - This is the perfect time of year to go off wouldn't exist if you lived in an igloo! :)
    I'm sure you'll conjur up some incredible winter recipes in your journey ... are you allowed cinnamon/nutmeg? how bout coconut oils/butters? meat & yams are pretty darn sweet if you ask a sugar-phobic!

    PPPS- Faith is the ability to not panic.

    It was absolutely Wonderful to See You Again, Heathy....

    Much Love to You Always&Always,

  11. Awww Vivvie, you're making me cry!!!! I love you! Thank you for being such a support, and for truly understanding. We are gettin through this my dear! xoxoxo

  12. Love the new blog! Heathy you are such and inspiration. Let those body image issues go, because you have one of the most amazing bodies I have ever witnessed. You are such a beautiful woman and you have my love and support.


  13. I echo Disa and Vivvie's love of your shape Healthy Heathy!!!!!

    I too went through what you did, with weight gain, now when I see my old raw vegan pics I look really awful. I am at peace with my fuller cheeks (both sets :) ) and a bit of a tummy. I am feeling stronger than ever. Hate to say it, but long term veganism seems to eat away at our muscles, bones and who know what else. Most of that weight is probably going back to those spots and filling in the gaps with fierce healthy new tissues!

    Love you always!
    Aunty Deb xoxoxo

  14. 'Universal' is a great name because I think what you are going through is what many of us our. We are all addressing our dark inner shadow side, facing it and bringing them to the surface.

    I used to so want to be a raw foodist but now I know that's not healthy for me, I am/was concidered underweight even on a meat diet, restricting my diet in such a way would be no good.

    There seems to be such a strive to be fit a certain image, sometimes I hate myself but I think its case of shrugging and remembering its only a physical body. It's an illusion because the physical on exists as we percieve it too. It's a hard thing to remember but it helps along the way.

  15. So happy that you are almost fully recovered. Congratulations on your many achievements. You are an incentive! The great information you share with us is valuable and appreciated. Keep up the good work, more importantly keep healthy.
    Julie Pierce

  16. Thanks for sharing.

    Your health issues sound like mine. I have never eaten much meat. I was always tired, depressed, constipated, and cold.
    My Doctor put me on a Thyroid med. This helped to some degree. I then decided to go on a strict vegan diet. Strict to me, because sugar and breads were out. Only veggies, fruits, nuts, and, seeds. I followed this plan to the letter for four months. I lost weight. My moods were fine. However, the constipation was worse by far. I was also hungry all the time. I ate every two hours easily. The tummy troubles became so intense, lots of pain. I went off the diet, and began eating organic free range eggs, and organic grass fed beef.
    I can't express how much better I am feeling!!!
    I still need to get the sugar out, as I added it back too.
    I do believe some can thrive well without meat. I am not one of them. I am stronger, warmer, my moods are stable, and my colon works great! This is a first in my life, I am 49. I wasted so many precious years trying to avoid the very thing that could make me well.
    I am happy you have figured this out early on.

    I too have put on four pounds since adding in the meat. It does trouble me. I keep telling myself, "I am stronger, I feel great, I must need the weight!"

  17. I should add, I quit the Thyroid medication.
    I never needed it, I needed meat.

  18. Hi Heathy,

    Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us! You're doing so well and your strength and beauty comes through when you write.

    Over the last few months (since Sept last year) I started to expand my vegan, highish raw diet due to health problems. I've made the mistake of eating too much sugar and rubbish, but this year I'm going to follow a similar plan to you to try to even out my body. I'm experiencing similar weight gain to you and I really hate it. But I keep telling myself it's a journey and it'll take a while for my body to balance out again. It's depressing but I'm holding on to hope and perseverance. I still miss my skinnier self though, ugh. x

  19. Any tips on how to buy all the wild meat on the cheap?

  20. Heather,
    Thanks for your blog, but mostly your candidness. I ate primarily a vegan diet for 12 yrs. I have been battling auto-immune, low thyroid, low cortisol for close to 10 yrs. I recently and reluctantly started eating grass fed meats and eggs. I have to say that yes, weight gain happened, but I feel more energy and muscle gain. I hope to be able to get off the thyroid med soon too. Being a lifelong yogini, this was a difficult but life-saving decision for me. I stand behind you and hope that you are able to take this experience and your talents and share it to help many more confused and sick people that really just want to do what is right for themselves and the planet.
    Florida yogini

  21. Hi Heather,

    I'm glad to have found your blog. I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I started eating meat again. My health issues were not as challenging as yours but it was definitely a change I had to get used to. Now I eat mostly whole foods, organic produce, grass-fed meats and pastured as much as I can. Keep doing what you're doing. The body is amazing at healing itself.