For many years, I’ve been quiet about my personal health journey because next to Jo’s life-altering accident and recovery I didn’t think it was worth talking about…until today.
You see there was a part of me (what I call the small ‘s’ self) that didn’t think my story was significant enough to really have an impact. In my head I thought, “I wasn’t in debilitating pain. I didn’t have a huge physical transformation. What do I have to share that can really help people?”
Over the years though, I’ve realized the fault in my thinking based on my belief that in the Universe there is no hierarchy of suffering. Suffering is suffering. And when we are in a state of suffering, like so many are, we’re consumed by pain (be it physical, mental, emotional) and therefore not able to bring forth our biggest, baddest, best Self (with a capital ‘S’)!
And let me tell you, I’m waaaaaaaay more interested in all of us realizing the Truth of who we are then I am in suffering, so I hope that my story serves you in some way to become your most Vibrant Self.
Looking back 14 years ago (when the picture on the left was taken) I thought this is as good as it gets in regards to my health. I was a vegetarian. I drank a ton of water. I practiced yoga every day. I had what most would consider, a very healthy (others might say ‘extreme’) diet.
Back then I wouldn’t have even categorized my health concerns as “problems.” They were just nagging annoying “complaints.” Issues that I just had to deal with! I also remember thinking “this is just part of getting older.”
In reality though I was consumed most days by bloating and drop-you-to-the-floor stomach pains. I worked hard to maintain a healthy weight (I was 20 pounds heavier back then). I had regular skin breakouts. I also had really horrid gas. Seriously – we’re talking about clear-a-room-of-innocent-people bad gas!
I remember feeling really frustrated because I thought I was doing everything “right” to be healthy, and yet I still was struggling.
You know the saying you don’t know what you don’t know? Well, that sums up my biggest epiphany!
When Jo and I first were experimenting with what would become the Conscious Cleanse, I was 100% certain that I did NOT have food allergies (red flag!). Food sensitivities were on my radar but that didn’t apply to me.
The reality was that even though I was eating a boatload of “health foods,” these foods did not work in my body. This discovery has made the biggest impact on me improving my health long term!
Side note: I wasn’t always a health nut. I mean I was inside my brain, but I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, drank Mountain Dew like it was water, and lived on bagels and carrot cake. Once I got older and wiser, I finally started to align my actions with my brain. So I quit smoking, began practicing yoga, and started to hone in on how the food I was putting in my body made me feel.
My big aha’s came in yoga when I realized that I was either more hot, bothered, fidgety, nauseous, etc in class…or I was calm, focused, more flexible and open. My wandering mind started connecting the dots between how I felt in class to what I was eating–the former a result of the egg and cheese bagel for breakfast or late night ice cream treat.
Not long thereafter, I woke up to the realization that soy, dairy, and gluten were not my friends.
Foods like tofu, whey protein, yogurt, and cheese, which once had a regular appearance in my diet got swapped out with raw and living foods–things like green smoothies, kale salads, zucchini hummus (recipe in our book) and raw blueberry pie for dessert.
I went down a road of eating 100% raw and living foods for about six months straight and the result was that I felt amazing! My physical form began to change. I started to stand up taller. I felt strong in my core. My eyes were wider. And the best part? The gas, bloating, and acne all went away!
The empowerment that I felt having reached a level of my own well-being that I’d never thought possible was pure joy!
Jo and I have very different stories, but where they are the same is that we both believed wholeheartedly that we could heal and become our most Vibrant Self.
My inspiration came from reading nutrition books on raw and living foods (if you’re interested, one of my favorites is called Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen) where hundreds of brave people were trading in their McDonald’s meals for veggies veggies and more veggies! These real life stories are what always kept me believing that vibrant health was possible for me too.
Today I continue to experiment with my body, to try different foods to see how they make me feel. I’m not 100% without health complaints but I believe more than ever that it is our birthright to feel good in our body!
Okay friends, now I want to hear from you! Pllleeeeaaase leave me a comment below and let me know if this was helpful to you. Any epiphanies or aha’s? Please share them with me below!
And remember, there is no end to how good you can feel. We can all keep going together and continue to get better and better (even as we age!). Who’s up for that?