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From 5-year Death Sentence to Vibrant Health Through Raw Foods

As an American, we tend to think that being overweight but not under a doctor’s care at 50 years old is being healthy. Being a vegan/vegetarian for over 20 years, I believed that I was immune to every disorder that plagued the American public. My diet, however, consisted of mostly simple carbs and very little fresh fruit and vegetables. I ate a lot of boxed soy proteins, bread, pasta, rice and cereal, soy cheese and stirfry. Chinese food was a big favorite for me and I had total disregard for the fat used to fry my favorite dishes.

Strangely, on my 50th birthday, while pounding away the keys while writing an email, a wave of nausea came over me and then I was dizzy and as I tried to steady myself, I collapsed. I woke up literally on my face. I had hit the ground with such force that my face was bleeding and I suspected that I had broken my nose. I was alone, which was the scariest part. I called my husband and he rushed home to help me. We rushed to the hospital and I was admitted for three days. Mysteriously my blood pressure kept plummeting. They concluded that I was very dehydrated, which I understood to be very common in the US.

This was the catalyst to get me to see what was wrong with me. I went to a nutritionist who did a live blood cell analysis and, after a week, my tests revealed that there was a serious problem. She was unable to tell me exactly what was wrong but she insisted that I go to the doctor for a full blood workup immediately. I was scared. I asked her if it could be Cancer and she said yes. I had just turned 50 and I thought “my life is over!”

The results of the testing revealed that I had an advanced case of Systemic Lupus. The doctor said that to treat this condition it was not uncommon for people to go through a round of chemotherapy. He also told me that I may be able to control it with diet. His prognosis was that without any treatment, I could die in 5 years. I have never been fond of traditional medicine and decided to try adjusting my diet first. I had been a vegetarian for many years and knew that using macrobiotics was a good alternative to chemo and it had previously made my cholesterol drop and I had lost weight, so it must have been healthy. However, when I went to the store the next day to buy the food for my new life, I found that raw food cookbooks were on sale. I vaguely remembered that raw food was supposed to be very healthy and decided to buy a book. It was a little book that had a shopping list at the very front. With my husband’s agreement to try raw food for a week, I bought all the items on the list.

After the first few days, we decided the food was TERRIBLE!!! The little book I had purchased had nothing but food blended in the blender. It was like eating cold, bland soup and we both thought: “if this is it, this is not for us”. Luckily, because I had purchased a week’s worth of food, we decided to try a different cookbook. The following experience changed our lives! The zucchini spaghetti dish we made was amazing! We were hooked! The food was exciting and it felt clean and healthy.

We went 100% raw from that week and we never looked back! The following month I went to the nutritionist for another blood test and she exclaimed “What are you doing!!!????” I said “I started to eat raw vegan food”. She said “Keep doing it! Your blood has vastly improved from last month!”

The following month, my blood was full of cholesterol, fats and even crystallized feces! She said “I have never seen someone detox so deeply before!” I continued eating raw and by the end of the fourth month she said “Your blood now looks like you are 16 years old – there is no reason to continue coming in.” She instructed me to continue eating raw and said to keep in touch. The Lupus had totally disappeared!

That was 18 months ago! I have never felt so good in my life! I have lost 40 pounds, my husband has lost 50 pounds, and we actually look forward to exercise now too! I have seen an amazing transformation in my health and, as a result, we have decided to open a Raw Vegan and Vegetarian restaurant in our area! I want others who have serious health issues to see the miraculous benefits they can obtain from eating a diet of raw, organic fruits and vegetables! The food we eat now is fantastic – better than any dinner I have ever made before. We have always loved to cook, but now we get to transform people and deliver a message to society about the awesome benefits they can obtain from eating this way!

Thank you, Tonya, for being one of the pioneers and helping others find this! You have helped save my life!

Denise Becknell Leafy Greens Café Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian Delights From Around The World! 17001 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach, Florida 33708 tel. 813-267-5818 (June, 2008)