I am as a wonder unto many; but Thou art my strong refuge. Psalm 71:1
2006 : 185 lbs. 13 medications a day
2016: 120 lbs 0 medications a day
Haley Cloud of Living Raw By Grace
From childhood, I have been plagued by a host of small illnesses that seemed minor yet grew in intensity as I aged. Chronic bronchitis as a child, treated by antibiotic after antibiotic until I became allergic to many, evolved into asthma as a teen and adult, which led to the need for a nebulizer and a host of medications to “maintain.” I was diagnosed as a child with a degenerative eye disorder that weakened my eyes year by year, so that it was predicted that I would be legally blind by age twenty-five and fully blind by 45. Sensitive skin as a child, rashes and swellings which led to many over-the-counter medications, evolved into eczema that became so sensitive as a young adult that steroids were needed to “control” it so I didn’t shred my skin with scratching while asleep. Hay fever allergies as a child, in which I was experimented on with medication after medication, evolved into massive allergy attacks as an adult that would render me unable to wear contacts, as my eyes would be too swollen for them to fit, also leading to more frequent asthma attacks. Allergy season aggravated my asthma and eczema as well, leading to more medication (whether it was successful or not). My menstrual cycle had always been unpredictable and excruciatingly painful, rendering me unable to work, walk, or speak without morphine. All these were considered incurable, genetic and hereditary ailments by my medical practitioner. I was to take the medication and find new medication until I found relief. I never found relief.
My doctors informed me there were no cures for what I had. I would maintain my asthma, eczema, allergies, eye disorder, and menstrual symptoms my entire life and to simply become hardened to it. God has been whispering to me there was another way, that it wasn’t normal to be sick. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a). I was getting sicker and sicker with every passing year.
After I had given birth to my daughter I found myself over 225 pounds, taking 13 medications a day. I went back to the gym to lose weight, since I had been led to believe that losing weight was the same as getting healthier. Within a year of hard work at the gym I was at 150 pounds, but continued to have all of my health related issues that I had picked up. I had developed sciatica, joint pain and stiffness, back problems, swelling of my feet and hands when I grew larger and even when I lost the weight, the issues never lessened. I was sick of being sick. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. Doctors told me exercise and medication was the only way to help. I looked at my diet, but had no idea which route to take. They all seemed so complicated or expensive. I was a convenient eater, and my usual diet consisted mainly of foods out of a box, can, freezer or drive-thru and was fairly typical of the average American.
One day I was led to the book, 12 steps to Raw Food: How to End Your Dependence on Cooked Food written by Victoria Boutenko. I was skeptical and yet fascinated by the concept of eliminating almost everything from one’s diet. I had tried elimination diets unsuccessfully, removing dairy, meat, sugar or carbs, yet my health never improved enough to continue with it. After reading her chapter (if this intrigues you, please read her book…she has all the research) on what we do to our food when we cook it, and the fact that addictive substances (like opiates) are created…it made sense to me why I was unable to resist most of the “comfort” foods I felt guilty for eating. Boutenko revealed her own journey to health and I found myself wanting what she had: complete freedom from illness, improved clarity and brain function, more energy and a more regular system, among many more things. I was sick of being sick. I knew that something needed to change. I prayed for three days and the Lord revealed that HE would heal me. So I ordered my Vitamix, knowing that it was essential. As soon as it arrived, I donated all of my food in my fridge, freezer and pantry and started from scratch.
After the longest and hardest detox that I have ever heard of, my body started to rejuvenate. Within two and a half weeks of going Raw Vegan overnight I started seeing massive health improvements. My symptoms began to subside, and I began to skip meds here and there. (I do NOT encourage you to stop taking your medications – please seek medical advice!) By day 28 I was medication free! No more asthma, eczema, allergies, menstrual, or degenerative eye symptoms. That was in October 2008 – and I have not taken a medication, nor needed to, since. I went raw for my health. If I eliminated my illnesses by changing my diet, then either my diet was causing my illnesses or greatly contributing to my genetic predisposition to those illnesses. In order to stay healthy, I need to stay raw vegan. That is my motivation. My trick to staying raw is God’s grace on a daily basis. See me if you want to learn more. And there is so much more to my recovery - too much to type. ;)
I soon learned that I could only eat a salad now and then, not for every meal. I loved green smoothies, which are VERY important for any diet, especially a raw foodist, but a liter was far more than enough. I was a convenient eater who had never cooked from scratch before in her life, but the cravings were starting to overwhelm me and I knew that I needed to find a way to conquer them. So I began to look at raw cookbooks, looking for easy recipes when I craved that slice of pizza, or burrito, or crackers. I bought myself a dehydrator that Victoria Boutenko recommended (and now I do too), and started making tortillas and breads. After I purchased my third raw recipe book, I learned that I didn’t have the patience, time, or budget for most of the recipes. So I began experimenting (which I ENCOURAGE you to do as well!). I started to learn what foods worked well together to create the flavor I was looking for. Many years of experimenting and teaching has led to MANY recipes that mimic the foods that I crave and enjoy, but that meet MY NEEDS : 10 minutes or less, 10 ingredients or less, $10 or less each recipe. I now share what the Lord has given me....with all of you. :)