It’s been two weeks since my last post, but that doesn’t mean nothing has been going on. We’ve been busy.
We were pretty busy each day getting the house ready to sell, when last Thursday Dom got hit with the worst case of detox we’ve seen since we were raw foodists.
I’ve gone through little mini detoxes, but nothing as epic as Dom’s recent healing crisis.
We had no idea how much dairy, gluten, and all grains affected us until we removed them from our lives. Okay, so we did have a clue 10 years ago when we ate an exclusively vegan raw food diet, but in retrospect, we’re now convinced that it wasn’t necessarily the raw food that made us well; it was the absence of grains, gluten, starches, and dairy that caused us both to have the most amazing healing and vitality.
Looking back at our raw food diet, it worked for a certain amount of time, but when I added wheat grass, rejuvelac (a fermented wheat berry drink), my health started to deteriorate again. Back then, I didn’t know it was the rejuvelac or other sprouted grains I was eating, that would cause my body to begin twitching, walking like I was drunk, head making uncontrollable movements, unable to hold bowel or urine leading to complete incontinence, the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy returned, and finally, I was unable to walk properly again. I dreaded mornings back then because either Dom or my kids had to move each leg and arm to get it moving for me, or I’d be trapped in my body on the bed, unable to move.
As I would lay there, I’d cry wondering why raw foods weren’t working anymore, since the year before, I was able to successfully send my autoimmune problems into remission. Of course there were other circumstances at work, like the fact that my kids were constantly ill as well from mold contamination, which we were unaware of at the time. I was taking Noah and Shoshie to the doctor ever other week, Hannah was on two inhalers because she couldn’t breathe, and my autoimmune problems were flaring up AND I was losing all my hair. Looking back, I could see how both diet and environment played a big roll in my decent back into the pit of hell called illness.
At that time, Dom’s body was slowly dwindling down to holocaust survivor status (just under 130 pounds on his over six foot large frame), until he was skin and bones. I could see every single bone in his body. He was weak, always cold, and very tired. We made the decision to stop being raw vegans because frankly, it didn’t seem to be working anymore for us, so why would we continue to eat this way and possibly risk internal damage since there most likely wasn’t any more fat protecting his organs.
It took him one month to return to a healthy weight after being raw. He ate lots and lots of cream, fat, and bread. We were still not really eating much meat at that time.
We’ve made several attempts since that time to be raw again, but it never brought the kind of results we had 10 years ago. The only results would be Dom losing too much weight, and I’d get scared and stop. I would do well raw, he would waste away. So the compromise in the end was to never be completely raw again. By that time, I was convinced that it wouldn’t help with my autoimmune flareups anyway. (I was still hopeful though, even up until a few years ago).
Since we removed all the grains and starches from our diet, my health has improved in amazing ways. No more joint pain, I wake up without pain or stiffness, I no longer wheeze, AND after being exposed to mold on more than a few occasions, I didn’t end up in the hospital with pneumonia. My hair is growing in strong and softer than ever.
When I gave up all dairy, coffee and chocolate, I went through several mini detoxes where I felt tired, weak, irritable, and minor a upset stomach. My edema subsided, my appetite returned, and for the first time in years, I was actually hungry in the morning. It used to be that I would forget to eat, and could literally go all day without eating until 2:30 or 3:00 when it would dawn on me that I hadn’t eaten at all. Seems weird right? I can’t do that anymore. I eat breakfast and lunch now.
The first few weeks of being dairy free, I lost some water weight, which accounted for being able to see my ankles again. Since then, I’ve lost 8 pounds effortlessly.
We’re taking some amazing supplements as well. Even if a person is gluten, grain and dairy free, they need to seal the gut up, or they will continue to have problems despite being on a strict gluten free diet. Damage is done to the gut that must be repaired. It also means that there will be vitamin and mineral loss or even malabsorption. The gut needs to be healed and sealed.
Last Wednesday Dom was doubled over with pain in his stomach, which kept him up all night long. The next day, he wasn’t feeling any better, and when he came home from work, went straight to bed. He couldn’t eat or drink anything at all. Friday wasn’t much better, and feeling too weak to work, he called it a day. From Friday through Sunday, he laid in bed unable to move for fear it would hurt his stomach too much. We’ve both experienced these kinds of healing crisis, and the most important thing to do during a health crisis is to listen to your body. Each person will be different when going through a detox. For Dom, it was to eat and drink nothing at all, and to sleep it off.
I must admit, I was really worried about him. He was dehydrated and weak. I made him bone broth, and took a ride up to an Asian market to get him young coconut water. After drinking bone broth and coconut water, he started to feel a little better. Sipping bone broth through Saturday and Sunday, he felt up to having a smoothie. He felt stronger, and by Monday he was eating again, happy, stronger and able function without sitting down every few minutes.
He’s back at work, although his energy is still lagging a bit.
Now I’m going through another mini detox again. My eye started twitching and I have hives again. It’s not bad enough to take Benadryl, but I think as my body gets rid of toxins, the hives will subside. It happened about a week ago, and it seems to come in small waves, and then go away.
Simone continues to do well. After being completely grain and starch free for a few weeks, I made her some flax banana muffins which she really loved. She does well with flax, but my recipe was a bit on the dense side. I decided to add some shredded coconut and arrowroot powder. She does well with coconut, but arrowroot powder we discovered causes excitability in her. After eating the muffins with arrowroot powder in them, she was up that night laughing and having a grand old time. She was defiant, willful, constantly asking for the same thing over and over again, and had meltdowns. As soon as the arrowroot powder was out of her system, she went back to her beautiful sensitive, empathetic self. We now know that even arrowroot powder will cause her emotional turmoil. She also developed cramps, diarrhea, gas and excessive burping.
I’m making more muffins today, minus the arrowroot powder. I’ll substitute it with coconut flour, which should do the trick.
The thing I love most about all we’ve done in 2013, is that we chose not to wait for a better time to start. Choosing to wait is an excuse, and nothing more. We chose to become primal before the holiday season in 2012, we chose to go dairy and coffee/caffeine and chocolate free as we’re trying to get the house ready to sell. None of these events are good times to start changing diet, but, we did it despite all the questions we had for ourselves, and all the sadness that comes with letting go of the foods we’ve grown to love…and thought we couldn’t live without.
We’re nearly half way through 2013 and doing better than at any other time in our lives.
We feel blessed, content, and just amazing.