Ever since I was a child I have always been very active and felt a strong importance to taking care of the physical body. As I look back, I see that was instilled in me by my grandfather who would wake early in the morning and do his daily exercises and started walking after he had a heart attack. I would do exercises with him and go walking with him when I got older. My dear Mother was an aerobics instructor and I would always practice her routines with her when she was preparing for a new class. I loved the exhilaration of dancing around the house and in dance classes when I got older. I was in track and field as a high jumper and I loved to run! I thought walking was boring and too slow, but at the same time I loved going on hikes and being outside. I learned about weight lifting in junior high and loved that too. The feeling of being strong, toned, fit, flexible and able to move fast, climb high, control my movements throughout the Adagio portions of ballet was just so energizing.

When I got older I served as mission for my Church and I started to get really sick. With the food I was eating and not eating, the sleep I wasn't getting enough of, and the fact that I was just working too hard versus smart, my energy levels started to plummet until I crashed. I couldn't keep up with my Companion on our bikes, and I was just so unwell. I was sent to an area where there was a woman who was a homeopathic specialist and she tested my body. From that test she told me there was way too much wheat/gluten, dairy, and sugar in my body. So she took me off of the wheat and breads, dairy, sugar, and chocolate.

Wow, okay, so what was there to eat? Plenty. I had to make some adjustments, but they were the best adjustments I have ever made! Kale, eggs, cooked vegetables, leafy greens, raw vegetables, fruit...it was an amazing change! I started making smoothies for lunches and stayed away from the other things. There were even some families that adjusted how they fed me in their home by making gluten-free corn muffins and such, which was so sweet.

When I returned home, I had lost weight and I felt so much better! But it didn't stop there. My body just was still up and down and all over the place. I also struggled with eating disorders because of it and so I was just so combustible! My energy was low, my emotions were so unpredictable, to the point where I would apply for certain jobs like working with kids because I couldn't guarantee that I would be able to have the stamina and energy to play with them. My menstruation was always irregular and just painful and awful! I got married to the most wonderful man and even he tried to help. We helped each other because he had also battled with migraines his whole life.

Doctors that I went to couldn't help me and some were so frustrated with me and annoyed with my stomach issues. Others suggested that I was 'definitely pregnant' because I was tired and my stomach always hurt. So I went on my own quest. I pleaded with God to help me and help me He has. I ended up coming across a Woman's World magazine in a grocery store one day. It was only $1.75 so as a poor married college student, I decided to splurge! The reason I bought it was because the line that caught my eye was the one that said something to the effect of:  'Do you struggle with digestion and stomach issues? ..." The article was referencing the book by Natalia Rose, now one of my mentors, teachers, and dear dear friends.

I read the article and saw the title of the book 'The Raw Food Detox Diet' and tried out the recipes that were in the little magazine. I had found it! I even asked for a juicer for my birthday or Christmas, one of the two and I started juicing hte green lemonade which is Amaaaaazing! I started food combining and majorly upping my intake of vegetables all around. I splurged again and bought her book which led me to discover the wonderful world of raw food and creating lovely and delicious dishes from the fresh foods of the earth.

I started to improve drastically, and then as I continued, I noticed some things though that were not changing. My skin was still very bad, I had chronic dandruff, and gassiness and bloating when I ate certain foods. I was able to talk to Natalia over the phone after initially contacting her and she pointed out that from the things I had described, my body was very very clogged and over come with candida (a yeast/bacteria and fungal overgrowth) The sugars in the fruit I was consuming as well as the raw honey, agave nectar, starchy vegetables, were still feeding the yeast and sugars in my body and were contributing to the candida. Even though these things were a part of the recipes and diet in her first book, she suggested that my body was needing a deeper cleansing and that I needed to starve off the yeast to help my body heal.

So I set out on the path to battling the Candida and it made all the difference. I was juicing, and I started implementing the colon hygiene into my lifestyle and my body responded enthusiastically! Replacing the heavy nuts, oils, and sugars with the stevia, lemon, more vegetable based fats like avocados and young coconuts, creative properly-combined vegetable meals both cooked and raw was a challenge but I did it. I never wanted to feel that way again. My skin started to clear, my energy levels increased, my emotions were more stable and I continued to heal and grow.

That was about 5 years ago and I am in the most wonderful place. My skin is clear, my hair is soft and dandruff-free, my energy levels are wonderful, my sleeping patterns better, my emotions...recognizable. Where I used to think I needed a shrink and people used to ask if I was bi-polar, I now know how to regain balance when I have an off day. I am still human and choose sometimes to let my feelings get hurt, to take offense, or beat myself up, it doesn't last for months at a time! I know what to do and how to adjust, adapt, and change things.

Feeling and being well is not hopeless!
To be beautiful without the tons of make up I used to wear is so possible!

I just turned 31 this year and celebrated my 8 year wedding anniversary and the other day one of my student's mom's thought I was 18! This is definitely not a bragging thing, it's evidence to me that through respecting the body, and honoring it as a Temple, keeping it clean and beautiful, and filling it with sunshine, pure water, fresh foods from the earth, peaceful and loving emotions it is possible to survive in this world and thrive.

I will be posting answers to the questions in the previous blog soon. Enjoy the day!