This Woman’s Transformation Will Shock & Inspire You!

December 3, 2009

Who am I talking about?…The lovely Angela Stokes-Monarch!  Angela suffered years of morbid obesity, low energy, skin problems,  depression, and lack of ability to truly connect with others.  Her life has been radically transformed… or as she says “unrecognizable” from the life she used to live.  How did she do it?  Hint: It wasn’t a diet pill or hundreds of hours at the gym…

Angela Before & After Going Raw

A friend of hers (or maybe an angel in disguise? ;) ) lent her a book on the raw food lifestyle.  By this point, Angela was READY for change.  Most of us wait until we hit rock bottom to make changes, and by that point we may not feel we have the energy, ability to focus on adjusting our habits and lifestyle, or in some cases even the will to survive.  Change is ALWAYS possible! Transformation is always there if you say YES to it.

In an earlier post I wrote how I’m a big supporter of “baby steps” (unless you’re one of those super-determined people who doesn’t let a little thing like detox bog you down).  Here is just one reason why I have IMMENSE respect for Angela; She went completely raw OVERNIGHT and stuck with it!!!  I’ve never personally suffered from morbid obesity so I never had that level of pain to drive me…which is why I took baby steps.  I love the way she humbly inspires with her words…”If I can do it, I know you can, too!”  And she is RIGHT.  But you have to be willing. Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom.  Or if you’re already there…be willing to trust, believe, hope, and take those steps.

<b> Raw Emotions</b>, by Angela Stokes

Angela has done an amazing job of compiling all the right information to make your transition easier.  I bought her book Raw Emotions, by Angela Stokes which details the strong link between food and emotions, and shares tons of great advice, tools, tips, and inspiration to keep you motivated!

Here is a quote from Angela’s site…have you ever felt this way? “Back in 2002, I was 23 years old, about 19 stone (266lbs/120kg), UK dress size 26-28 and lost in miserable cycles of a non-existent love-life, uncontrollable overeating and complete denial. My pride stopped me discussing my weight with even my closest friends and if anyone tried to broach the subject with me, I strongly resented them for ‘interfering’.” Angela is living proof that you can change…if you are willing. Please don’t let pride hold you back…

Let me be clear; this is not about a beauty contest or a battle of will.  This is about YOU feeling your absolute BEST.  This is about healing; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  The reason I chose the title for my blog (aside from the fact that all the other good ones were taken ;)) is that it has 2 equally important meanings; Healthy Passion (my passion for health), and Heal Thy Passion…because that is exactly what happened to me.  My passion and zest for life have literally been healed and renewed!

As I said before, I’ve never been morbidly obese.  But like Angela, I have felt depressed, lethargic, low self-esteem, inability to connect with others, anxiety, unmotivated, etc.  That is no way to live!  The temporary comfort I would get from eating an ice cream sundae full of refined sugars is simply not worth trading for the longer lasting energy, passion, and joy I now have.  I’ve found that temporary comforts often include negative side effects that lead to downward spirals.  The greatest part is that now I CRAVE fruits and veggies!  Seriously, it takes time but it will happen if you choose to take the steps.

I highly recommend Angela’s e-book (or hard copy) ‘Raw Emotions’.  This book is AMAZING on so many levels.  It really gave me much needed clarity and inspiration on my own personal journey.  She has many other wonderful offerings on her site as well.

Angela goes on to say “My weight had steadily increased since my thyroid gland went under-active aged 11. By 16, I was 16 stone (224lbs/101kg) and my weight increased with my age, a stone a year, until by age 21, at my university graduation in 2000, I was 21 stone (294lbs/133kg). That was the heaviest I reached and when my health began to suffer so much that I thought I had diabetes, I knew this couldn’t continue.

Best Selling Books and DVDs from the Raw FamilyTwo summers later I was introduced to the idea that revolutionized my life. A friend lent me ‘The Raw Family’ by the Boutenkos – a testimonial book about eating mainly or only raw foods for optimum health. I was utterly absorbed- I’d never been interested in diets, health fads or slimming aids and suddenly it seemed the right answer was in my hands. I began the very next day and the improvements in my health over the next weeks were astonishing. You could almost see the weight burn off me – I’ll never forget seeing my collar bone again for the first time in years; my skin and hair quality improved dramatically, my energy soared and I was filled  with vitality and a new hunger – for real life.

Within just a month of going raw, I had my first boyfriend in over 5 years – I was thrilled and increasingly inspired and dedicated to my new lifestyle. I found that as I became less of myself physically, I became more of myself as a whole person. I began to open up in ways that I hadn’t found possible before, allowing truth, honesty and trust to develop. I had been locked up in that body for so long and now the real me was appearing & generating much interest, especially from men. ;)

<b>e-book</b> - <b>RawReform:</b> Revealing the Physical ChangesIt’s been over five years since I started eating raw and I’m happier than I’ve ever been – I’m now UK dress size 10, can wear whatever clothes I like, eat delicious raw food daily and take great pleasure in treating myself well.

I will always bear the scars of my experiences – physically, my skin is marked and emotionally and spiritually I experienced great depths of loneliness, depression and insecurity that take time to heal.

However, the process has been an extraordinary learning experience and I would not wish to change what I’ve been through to become the woman I am today.”

If you find this as inspiring as I do, I invite you to visit Angela’s website!  I’ve placed a link below for you to explore her work.  With love ~Holly

RawReform Weightloss

From Apathy to Energy! My Journey to Transformation…

December 1, 2009

So how did I go from being a girl who lived on Funyuns, Dr. Pepper, microwave dinners, and candy...to eating 95% raw, organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds?

Well, I was walking through Giant Eagle one day when I stumbled upon the “natural/ organic” food aisle. (Yes, it was just one single aisle at that time…my how times have changed!).  “Hmmm…what the heck is ‘organic’?”  I pondered.  I’m naturally curious (or maybe just nosy ;-))  so I began inspecting the packages for clues.  ‘No chemical pesticides’, ‘Non-GMO’ (“huh?”), ‘No artificial flavors or colors’.  Lucky for me (at least in this case); I’m also experimental.  This all sounded pretty intriguing.  So on this cold, winter day in northeast Ohio my entire shopping extravaganza went “organic” and my path took a sharp turn in the right direction.

Now switching to organics definitely gave me more energy but I was still tired a lot.  The guy I was dating was really into working out and said “I think you need more protein”.  I was still eating meat and other high protein foods at the time but at this point I knew very little about true nutrition so I thought “maybe he’s right!”.

And so began my quest for an organic protein source.  Google brought back millions of results.  There was one that really stuck out, though;  “No denatured, highly heated egg whites or genetically modified soy.  Raw, organic whey protein from grass-fed cows who have never been administered synthetic steroids or antibiotics.”  That certainly all made sense!

By this point, I was already well aware of how laced our food supply is with chemicals, but I had no idea that simply heating food changes the chemical structure and devitalizes it.  I read how heating actually cross-links the proteins making them really hard to break down and absorb.  It explained how raw foods contain living enzymes (energized protein molecules) that literally are the life-force of our foods and our bodies!  Heating over 115 degrees (some say even lower temps) breaks down/ kills these living catalysts that are necessary for literally every function in the body.  The site educated me on how lack of enzymes is a major contributor (or main cause) for fatigue, age spots, digestion issues, etc, and that our bodies can only produce so many enzymes to break down cooked foods.  Once we run out; we literally die!

Want to go raw? Start here!Eating raw food as a solution still didn’t enter my mind as a possibility or even as a semi-reasonable option.  Remember, I’d only been off of Funyuns and Dr. P for a little while.  I’m definitely a supporter of “baby steps” unless you’re one of those super-intense, determined people who doesn’t let a little thing like detox bog you down.  I am definitely not one of those people.  You can call me a wimp…I won’t deny that physical comfort is on my list of “top things to constantly maintain”, although detox is detox no matter how you slice it.  There WILL be some discomfort – but it is well worth the new energy level and enhanced vitality!  If you can handle it, take the full on dive and you’ll get through to the other side much quicker.  Like I said…it took me a little longer.  The important thing is that you’re moving forward and not backwards.  (But do NOT beat your self up when you “slip up”.  Negative emotions = more cravings and urges!)

I bought the whey protein but I also decided to try the “5 kit”, which promised to contain every nutrient essential for life.  It came with a 1 month supply of enzymes (to take with cooked meals),  EFA oils (essential fatty acids; omega 3, 6, and 9 in the proper ratios), coral calcium (for minerals and ph balance in the body), greens mix (cereal grasses and other ingredients chock full of nutrients), and colostrum (a powerful, natural immune booster).  I was ready to give it a go!

Within days of using the 5 kit, I started experiencing something I had seriously never felt (even as a kid); TRUE ENERGY!  My mood was better, my mind was clearer, my body felt lighter and more energetic.  “Maybe there’s just a strange planetary alignment…or could it be…the 5 kit?;) Clarity, energy, and passion are 3 ingredients missing from most of our lives.  We are abundant in so many ways…but true energy (as in “non-caffeinated”) is not one of them.  I can remember always thinking “I’m just not athletic” or “I’m just not that motivated to obtain a bunch of worldly possessions” (a.k.a. “an excuse to be lazy”). Now that I was experiencing this new energy, I was realizing that I wasn’t just lazy or depressed or apathetic…I WAS MALNOURISHED! What an explosive revelation!!!  I could let go of the lack of self-esteem that low energy had fostered since I always thought it was just something “wrong with me”.  I realized that nothing else mattered if I lacked the energy to enjoy life or achieve my goals…(“wait, did I just say ‘goals’?  I have goals now?!  Yes!!!” ;-)).  This was when my new aspiration in life became “energy addict”.  I love my occupation and life purpose! :)

Now here is the part to beware of; the supplements industry is largely unregulated.  Unless there is 3rd party testing or guarantees, you really have no idea if what you’re getting is going to have positive or even negative effects on your health.  Here is what to look for;

  • Are your vitamins synthetic isolates or from natural sources?  I  highly recommend throwing your synthetic vitamins in the trash…since that’s what they really are anyways.  Yes, that includes Centrum.  Sorry!
  • Were the ingredients grown in pure soil?
  • Are the ingredients organic and non-irradiated?
  • Do they contain toxic flow agents like magnesium stearate?
  • Are they in non-GMO vegetable capsules (as opposed to gelatin made from animal hooves potentially containing toxic prions)?
  • Are they clinically tested and proven effective?

I can honestly say that this company and Dr. Marshall (who formulates these products) completely changed my life and altered my path. I used to believe it was pure luck that I stumbled upon that site, but now I know better; God definitely had this all written in the stars for me :-)

I’ve experienced a lot of suffering caused by lack of true physical health, although it wasn’t obvious to those around me since nearly EVERYONE is suffering the same debilitating effects from our devastated food supply.  Depression, low energy, anxiety, headaches, irritability, inability to  truly connect with others, etc are all feelings I experienced at one point in my life. (Many of which lead to guilt…further fueling bad food choices, overeating, etc.) Our physical and emotional health are absolutely linked and cannot truly be separated.  Your body really IS your temple…so if you find yourself having the spirit of anger, irritation, depression, or anxiety invading your life…it’s time to invite love, joy, and peace over by changing what’s on the dinner menu.  You’ll find you attract happier guests ;-)

Note: Even though I eat about 95% raw, organic foods, I do still take supplements.  Our soil is severely depleted (even soil used for growing organic foods) meaning there is 5-6 times less nutrients than was in the foods our ancestors ate 100 yrs ago.  QNCenter is 100% “beyond organic” (exceeds all current set organic standards), 100% free of any toxic ingredients (like sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, magnesium stearate, etc), and uses only the correct, medicinal species (unlike many “health” products sold).  I could go on and on…if you’re interested in learning more, their website has lots of resources to educate you!  Use coupon code 356400 to receive 10% off of any size order.  (I’ve placed a link to their site below.)

Yours in Health!

Holly

Quantum Nutrition Center - Living food nutrition that really works!

Is Diabetes Curable?

November 27, 2009

I’m getting ready to host a 2nd screening of “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes” in my area, and wanted to share why I’m so passionate about this documentary.  When I first heard about it, I figured it might be pretty dry viewing (which is still right up my alley since I’m one of these odd people who likes this kind of thing.) ;-)   I was definitely not expecting a “feel-good entertainment” flick.

The documentary starts off by introducing 6 random participants who have 1 thing in common; they are all diabetic.  They come from different backgrounds, ethnicity, age groups, and states.  Four have type 2 diabetes and two have type 1 diabetes.  All 6 are flown to the Tree of Life Institute in Patagonia, AZ for 30 days of eating only raw food (fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds).  You can click here to view the trailer.

Within days, amazing things are already happening.  Blood sugar is dropping by leaps and bounds, and a few participants are already completely off their insulin and other medications.  This is the point when my emotions really started to get involved.  Watching their renewed hope, excitement and wonder kept me genuinely captivated.  I developed a strong affinity for these people and a growing compassion for their journey.  They were willing to go through this because life had to change.  After being given no hope by their doctors for ever curing their dis-ease, they were willing to abandon the “norm” and commit to some pretty serious lifestyle changes.


Austin
is a construction worker from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has Type I (genetically inherited) diabetes.
Bill is a retired chiropractor from Long Beach, California. He has Type II (adult-onset) diabetes.
Henry is a casino worker from Reno, Nevada, and a direct descendant of the hereditary chiefs of the Pima tribe. He has Type II (adult-onset) diabetes.
Kirt is a graduate student from Baltimore, Maryland, and co-owner of a janitorial company. He was diagnosed with Type II (adult-onset) diabetes, but has recently been re-diagnosed with Type I (genetically inherited) diabetes.
Michelle is a receptionist and full-time mom from New York City, New York. She has Type II (adult-onset) diabetes.
Pam is a postal worker from Sarasota, Florida. She has Type II (adult-onset) diabetes.

As it unfolds, the participants forge strong bonds as they see each other through the ups and downs.  This film captures the essence of why my heart is enamored by the strength and plight of the human spirit.

The scientific, results-oriented side of me was also appeased.  The entire journey is led by a doctor.  I, personally, do not believe in the western medical model since it is based on drugs that suppress symptoms (rather than addressing the root cause by identifying and clearing nutritional deficiencies and detoxifying the body).  Still, I was glad to see a “doctor on hand”.  The blood sugar, blood pressure, and other vitals are continually monitored.  A large number of Americans will not believe any health-related information unless it comes straight from a doctor, so it’s encouraging to know that more people will be open to the information presented.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when Pam goes to see her regular doctor after the 30 days.  He is shocked to see how great she looks and to hear that she’s off her medications.  His response; “Can I ship my patients to Arizona?”  It was so interesting to see this new dymanic since many patients believe their doctor has ultimate power and authority, and sometimes even feel they are being “talked down to”.  This doctor was humble enough, and obviously cared enough to be open to this information on how to truly help his patients.  Inspiring!

I highly recommend everyone watch this video.  Diabetes is a serious epidemic.  An outrageous and growing number of Americans are now suffering from disease.  This documentary proves beyond a doubt that we are ultimately in charge of and responsible for our own individual health.

When I purchased my dvd from the official Simply Raw website, I noticed that they even offer a 30 day money back guarantee. They also provide a plethora of educational resources to learn how to incorporate raw food meals into your lifestyle.  I am truly grateful that this information is available.  My hope is that you will be as inspired as I am, and take the steps towards living a healthy and vibrant life!

Appreciating the beauty of simplicity…

November 27, 2009
God makes beautiful food…

I’m amazed at how much my life has changed since I began my journey into discovering raw foods.  10 years ago I was completely addicted to refined sugar; mainly in the form of candy…my family can attest to this. ;-) A raspberry would never have appealed to me unless it was covered in chocolate.  Since I’ve allowed my body to cleanse from the chemicals, processed foods, and refined sugars…my whole palate sings to a different tune!  Now when I eat a simple raspberry, it’s like an explosion of flavor filled with complexity!  I never would have imagined myself craving simple, raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and/or seeds.  I even crave…(gulp!)… kale!  I remember reading a Victoria Bouteynko book where she talked about salivating over greens…and thinking “this woman is absolutely out of her mind”.  Alas, I, too must be out of my mind…and it sure does feel good! :)

One of keys to making my transition to raw foods a success has been the use of my Vitamix!  Anyone reading this who owns one knows exactly what I’m talking about…it simply makes food preparation…well, simple.  I highly recommend watching one of the informative videos on their website; http://www.vitamix.com.  The warranty, customer support, and machine itself are all phenomenal!  You can use my affiliate code: 06-003851 to receive free shipping ($25 value) at the check out.  Blessings on your path to radiant health! :-)


Raw Family Signature Dishes



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