Raw Changed My Life!
by Dawnmarie Childs
Just five years ago, I was in misery. In 2006, I suffered from many losses. My grandmother died. I lost my job. My best friend and I no longer talk. My husband left. Even the dog got sick. My life was sounding like a country music hit. But, the most devastating loss of all, was my fertility. Your FSH is too high. There is nothing I can do for you. You need an egg donor. said the pessimistic physician. I was devastated. I've wanted children for as long as I can remember, but postponed fulfilling life with a family for my career in medicine. At 36, I felt too young to be infertile and searched for alternatives considering that modern medicine refused to help me.
About that time, my friend Leslie "went raw" to "cleanse". I scoffed at the idea, thinking that milk and meat were good for you and that one had to cook your food. But over a six month period, I noticed significant changes in Leslie, and chose to support her. For Christmas, I gave her Gabriel Cousens' Rainbow Live Food Cuisine, but was sure to read it for myself before I wrapped it. Gabriel discussed how a raw vegan diet can stabilize metabolism and hormones. While there isn't much discussion of diet and fertility in the medical literature, I was convinced that this life style would restore my fertility.
Upon my arrival to California for work, I "went raw" overnight. With the help of the fabulous recipe book by Sarma MeIngalis, Raw Food Real World, I made delicious gourmet meals everyday. I felt lighter and more energized. I lost weight. My acne improved. I slept better. After six months, I no longer needed the bus load of medications I was taking: medications for depression, anxiety, sleep, joint pain, constipation, menstrual cramps, headaches, hyperlipidemia, acne, borderline hypertension and ADHD. You name it, I had a problem. Even in the face of a diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, I was able to manage with a few herbs temporarily, and a stability of my thyroid results, where medication was not needed to support my thyroid.
Periodically, I would have my FSH and other hormone levels checked. They remained unchanged. At least it wasn't worsening, I'd console myself. After three years of a strictly raw diet, I received more devastating news. My FSH had tripled! I did what any reasonable person who's hopes and dreams went down the tube: I went to McDonald's, ordered a double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries and a Coca-Cola, and ate it. Then, stopped at the liquor store, got a bottle of plum wine, and threw myself a pity party at home. I poured my sympathies out on Facebook and wailed so loudly that night that my two dogs howled along with me.
But in crisis, there is opportunity. One never to accept defeat, I looked at this as a reason to further optimize my health. The following day, I dusted off the bread crumbs, and went back to work on how to improve my situation. Exercise was added to my regimen. I sought out physical therapy to break up adhesions. But I also continued my raw foods diet.
Soon, I found love. Jerry and I met and married a few months later. Wanting a family together, we sought out consultation from another well know fertility clinic in NYC. My ultrasound revealed my right ovary defunct and my left ovary only producing one follicle. My AMH was zero. The doctor gave me no chance what-so-ever of conceiving a child.
While Jerry was devastated, my journey had left me stoic. We finished our evening with a wonderful meal at Pure Food and Wine, and later made reservations for a little more physical therapy, and a trip to see Randine Lewis, author of The Fertility Cure. I received acupuncture and a fresh perspective regarding my capacity as a fertile woman. With a new found faith that it would happen, a lot of positive visualization, and a continuance of a whole food, plant based diet, we conceived two weeks after my return from the retreat.
Our son Perry was born just days before our anniversary and the day after my 42nd birthday at 7 pound 7 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long. He has gained almost 10 pounds and 7 inches in fewer than 5 months. He is healthy, active and beautiful. He was the best birthday gift ever!
While raw foods may have not been the sole factor for our Perry, raw foods helped put my life in balance. Were it not for the raw food diet, I'm sure I would still be overweight, depressed and in another unhealthy relationship. Raw foods helped me establish the harmony that had been missing in my life.
I am forever grateful for Leslie for re-introducing me to this lifestyle.