Finding the raw food community has been a spiritual experience. It has brought new life to my body, mind, and spirit. When you are sick you pray for a miracle or just give up and die. I was not about to give up.
After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1985; and also pregnant the same year. I decided to control my diet with lots of green salads. I had read somewhere that green salads were brain food. At the time I knew nothing about enzymes and raw food. A healthy baby was my goal.
When my son was born healthy I went right back to my fried and greasy foods (SAD- Standard American Diet). I was a good cook and I loved to display my culinary skills; I was my own best customer. After all, there is always a reason to fry chicken. Coupled with an array of starches (sweet potatoes, macaroni & cheese, peas & rice) and very few vegetables, my blood sugar levels and weight soared out of control. Poor food combinations were the problem. Proteins and starches clog your system; they do not digest well together. The digestive system has to work longer and harder to break food down and pass it through the system.
Don’t ask me how but one day I awoke unable to breathe. There I was in the intensive care unit of the hospital; asthma was the culprit. The situation was serious; the medicines did not work well together. The prednisone worked against the insulin. This went on for 3 weeks. I was released from the hospital with bags of medicine. My body was so depleted that I could hardly get out of bed. I knew I needed a way back.
Throughout the years I had read a lot and had taken herb classes. While buying some fried fish in a Brooklyn market I saw ginseng. After all ginseng is supposed to give energy, and can be beneficial for diabetes and asthma. It worked for me; in a few weeks I was back to work feeling stronger but not my best. However, my weight was climbing. I made the usual attempts to lose weight. I tried it all, Bahamian diet, hypnotism, you name it. Still no real nutrition.
My family and friends were concerned about my weight. A good friend recommended a fasting group. Dr. Valentine explained how a 30-day juice fast with fresh carrot juice and fruit juices would drastically improve my health. He was right. I lost 30 lbs. and my need for medication. Detoxification was the process; the elimination of toxins through diet and colon cleansing. The repair of the body with live juices (freshly squeezed) and herbs was the healing remedy. Shortly after the fast I learned about food combining. I had never felt better.
One problem – I did not make this my way of life. Back to the old foods and to disease. This time I tipped the scales at 310. I needed help. I began water aerobics religiously. This was good, but I needed more. I secretly knew the hazards of diabetes; my grandmother had both of her legs amputated. Now after several years of being a diabetic my body was deteriorating, I was feeling the side effects of numbness in my fingers and toes, plus blurred vision. It was really getting scary. I knew I was in trouble.
I had heard of several naturopathic doctors in New York, but I was not sure if they could help me. So I prayed for a miracle. A few months later a friend told me about an herb doctor who was coming to Petersburg. I went to see him and started my journey back to health. The idea of eating an all raw foods diet was new to me. I made the transition, however, with the help of a lifelong friend who had studied with Viktoras Kulvinskas (the grandfather of the raw food movement). The doctor put me on raw foods for 30 days. Avocados were my passion, coconuts were my bread. I became energized and I felt 10 years younger. How could this happen? Food in its natural state; raw fruits, nuts, and vegetables have live enzymes. Enzymes replenish the cells. The live foods bring about an accelerated reaction in the digestion of foods. Since the body is no longer struggling to digest dead foods; the enzymes are able to work to regenerate the body.
As with any new program, there were ups and downs. I read more and learned more. I then became familiar with the raw food community. Todd Ewen and David Shore taught me to prepare the foods. Todd gave me my first raw food preparation class where I learned to prepare foods that are delicious and all raw. I can still taste my first raw tomato soup and raw bread. I then started on a quest for more information. I have driven and flown almost everywhere to gain more raw knowledge. I received a Raw Food Chef Certification from The Raw Family of Oregon. This family gave me so much and took me to a whole new level. I am a state certified nurse, but I did not want to push medicine, so I took classes to become a certified Nutritional Counselor, as I wanted to spread the word about raw food and natural methods of healing. Currently I am studying to become a Naturopathic Doctor.
After taking insulin twice a day for several years, I no longer suffer from diabetes and do not take any insulin or pills. Now I'm free from medication and vibrantly alive on raw.
Lynda is a Certified Nutritional Consultant in Petersburg, VA
and offers 2-Day Workshops and Raw Food Preparation Classes