Hi, my name is Leanne. I’m 42 years old and I’ve been raw vegan just about 3 months at the time of writing.
My “story” is quite a long one so I will need to try to condense it for this blog post which is hard, but I will do my best!
I was sick most of my life and was diagnosed with a rare genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS).
It affects basically every part of a body in one degree or another and is very complex.
One of the results of EDS for me was that my spine became unstable to the point that I was bed bound and dying.
In order to save my life I had to have a very large hard spinal fusion from my skull to T10.
This means that there are now titanium rods, screws and a donor femur bone in my spine and I lost 100% mobility in my back and neck down to the bottom of my rib cage.
I also had to have a brain surgery to put my brain back where it is supposed to be as it had started falling into my spinal column. (another common complication of EDS)
After the surgeries and a long recovery I learned to walk again, eat solid food again, and regained some independence.
At my sickest before my largest surgery, I could do absolutely nothing for myself and was fully dependant on my husband for care 24/7, so afterwards I was, and remain just so beyond grateful to be alive!
I would be lying if I said life was exactly how I wanted it to be though in the sense of my physical capability’s!
I was still in chronic pain at a usual base line of about a 7, but I was able to be up, showered and dressed independently every day.
Aside from that though, the majority of my life was spent sitting on the sofa or bed and though I managed 2 or 3 hours out of the house perhaps 1 or 2 times a week, those times were very hard and I would pay highly for them.
I would fight as hard as I could every day to continue going forward physically, yet my body simply got stuck at a point where though I could do the things I mentioned above, I could not so much as cut a cucumber.
My husband continued to do absolutely everything in our household.
He never complained, and had been my 24/7 carer for a long time, however I hated that he had to more than I could ever explain!
Knowing that medically nothing more could be done to improve my abilities or quality of life, it felt heartbreaking and horrendously frustrating to me to watch my husband continue to juggle everything including his demanding full time job, while I sat feeling helpless to change anything.
There was then yet another set back…
I had always struggled with major digestive issues due to EDS and though I had regained some weight after being able to eat solid foods again, I was still under weight, and had begun to loose weight weight as I was suffering many digestive issues including blood in my stool.
After a number of tests, examinations and procedures in hospital, they diagnosed malabsorption, Ulcerative Colitis, and also a condition called Gastroparesis which is common with EDS.
I was put on medications for these conditions which did very little to improve the symptoms regardless of the fact that the doctors upped the dosage a couple of times.
When those last few diagnoses came, I just felt done, and at the time, felt that I no hope of a normal life.
Something good also happened in side of me at that point though, some kind of “righteous indignation” rose up inside me against illness.
I had felt it before, but had lost it in the extreme suffering, pain and weakness my body had experienced for so many years.
I have come through so much, my life had been saved by the spine and brain surgery, and now I wanted to live my life!!
I’m a Christ follower (a Christian) so as Is normal for me, I prayed.
I’ll pause my story here to give little bit of dietary history.
We had been vegetarian, then vegan for quite a few years.
A few months before I went raw my husband had heard about the raw vegan diet and he decided to go raw soon after.
He has no health issues at all physically though he is Autistic, likes to do everything he sets his hands to perfectly, and has a strong desire to be as healthy as possible.
He has a strong conviction of the fact that humans are designed to eat a high fruit raw vegan diet.
I fully agree with that conviction, but at that time I would not consider going raw mistakenly thinking that as I was underweight and having serious digestive issues, it would not be good for me.
So I decided to try raw till 4.
For me this approach at that time did not work at all..
I was still eating some processed foods like chocolate and chips in the evening and I was also still drinking alcohol.
Having dealt with chronic pain for most of my life I had self-medicated with drugs and alcohol as a teen and then later in life at times I had been prescribed strong pain killers such as methadone and also been given diazepam at times.
Methadone was the only prescription medication that would touch the pain I experienced.
Later in my life when I had begun an ongoing relationship with God, I had given up all illegal drugs and I had given up getting drunk.
I did drink alcohol socially though, and in recent years, I developed a habit of drinking a glass of wine or two almost every evening in an attempt to disassociate from the pain and to help me relax.
I think that because of these things, when I was doing raw till 4, the symptoms of the digestive conditions I was suffering were made even worse.
I was in a mess..
Going back to my story.
Having prayed I waited for the Lord’s guidance.
Soon after, I was on YouTube, a video came up on my feed and I felt strongly that I should watch it.
I had never heard of either of them but I clicked on it.
I was captivated by Skye’s story and even more captivated by the results she has through eating a raw vegan diet!
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this was the Lord speaking to me.
It was the very first time I had ever seen or heard of anyone who had healed from multiple chronic illness through raw foods!
Skye defies the medical world and the things it said about her and her future.
I want to do the same!
She is doing and living what they would have said was impossible, and that was exactly what I needed to hear!
For the first time ever I had real hope that my body would not always be sick!
Without even making the decision to do so I found myself typing a message to Skye on her IG account, to thank her for sharing her story, and for giving me hope, I also shared my story very briefly.
I did not think for even one second I would get a response, but within minutes I received voice messages from Skye!
I was blown away!
Within minutes she had offered to call me to talk properly that weekend!
Straight after our first call, I decided to go raw and Skye committed to coach me!
From what I know of others challenges with detox symptoms when first going raw, in comparison, I had an easy time transitioning.
I did crave a few cooked foods and for the first couple of weeks or so, and I ate a few pieces of cooked squash or tofu, here and there.
There was one thing that was very hard for me to give up though, that was the wine.
I knew I was using it to try to cope with pain but I did not realise before that time that I was also using it to cope with trauma and PTSD.
To stop drinking alcohol was a lot harder emotionally than I had thought it would be.
I did it though. I knew I couldn’t get the results I needed while consuming it, either physically or emotionally!
I also gave up eating the few pieces of cooked food soon after and have now been raw and sober ever since.
Quite quickly I began to see results in my body particularly with the digestive conditions.
The symptoms eased, then vanished. Over the following few weeks I weaned off the medications completely, recent tests show I am now absorbing, and I remain absolutely symptom free of the digestive issues I was diagnosed with!
I was also using a hormone replacement for a number of years and have stopped taking that also.
This was a little more challenging physically, as it can take time for things to balance naturally. My body is learning to to all its jobs well though and I’m now feeling much better in that area.
Through Skye’s coaching I learned not to look at diagnoses or illnesses as separate things with separate names.
I realised anew that illness is illness, what ever name they give it, and we should not have to be sick!
I learned that to love others well, I must first love myself, and I also learned afresh the importance of what I choose to focus on, put my mind and heart on, and also the importance of the words I choose to speak regarding myself, my life and my body!
I love these truths as they are 100% biblical and truths that I know God was wanting to remind me of.
Skye taught me many things, some outright and some things she taught me indirectly.
She taught me to have confidence to trust my body in this journey, she taught me to nourish my body using raw living foods and to have so much fun creating meals using my intuition!
She also taught me to look within, not without.
For me personally that has been very important as it has led me into a stronger, more surrendered relationship with God and faith in Him.
He has reminded me that He wants us all healthy and strong.
Another thing I have learned from Skye is never to copy any one else’s raw journey.
She taught me that I can walk my own journey, and to be confident doing so!!
Right now my diet consists of fruit only until dinner.
I eat lots of bananas, and also lots of mangos, these fruits are my staples and my go-to foods in the day.
I also eat berries, papaya, apples, watermelon, oranges and kiwis.
For dinner my staples are zoodles with raw sauces, and big salads with nut based dressings.
I eat a lot of nuts, raw nut butters seeds and at times a lot of avocados also.
One of the things about my raw diet is that I eat raw oats.
I make “overnight” style oats, and add toppings like date caramel with bananas or raw dehydrated “granola”. This is made with apples, dates, bananas, nuts and spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
About twice a week we make dehydrated breads or burgers which we love adding to our salads and zoodles.
We have also recently bought a Vitamix, and I’m very excited to continue creating many raw meals with it!
When I first began coaching sessions with Skye I had no idea what an incredible journey this would be.
My body has healed and is continuing to heal from a great deal more than just the digestive conditions!
I can now do things I could not before, am experiencing considerable improvements physically over all and I believe this will continue.
I’m so very grateful for the new and increasingly wonderful life I now live!
If you are sick I very much encourage you to give raw living foods a go.
If you are able to I also encourage you to receive coaching from Skye.
You will definitely be very blessed by both decisions! #rawvegantransformation