This post is going to be a little more personal… I hope you enjoy my sharing some of my personal struggles and successes with you! Let’s start with some backstory…
In January 2012 I was put on a new medicine to regulate a major problem. As most things medical do, this medicine caused me to gain weight. I’m sure the cruise I went on the next week and late dinners with warm chocolate melting cake with two scoops of chocolate ice cream for eight nights straight didn’t help either! (Hey, the chef made it gluten-free – special for me!)
Needless to say I gained about 20 pounds… fast. Reality set in when I couldn’t fit in my old jeans anymore and had to buy a new pair… and then when one of my favorite shirts branded with my logo didn’t fit either, I was a bit upset. I’d started working out and lost a whole pound, then gained it back again… As anyone who follows me on Facebook knows, my diet consists largely of peanut M&Ms. I’d switched from milk chocolate to dark chocolate M&Ms, but that made very little difference.
Cravings were intense, and I could never bring myself to eat raw leafy greens… eeewwwww!!!!
Then I got a Vitamix and started making triple berry smoothies – YUM! I was so excited about this new toy, it was hard to leave it at home when left to attend Michele Scism‘s Take Action Get Profits event in New Orleans later that week. Little did I know I’d be meeting an amazing lady at that event that would literally change my life!
While introducing ourselves at this incredible event, a tiny girl stood up and said, “I’m Natalie and I love food!” You could hear the collective giggles in the audience. Here’s a girl about a size four saying how much she loves food? Really? I’ll admit, even I thought to myself that she’d probably never even been a size ten once in her life.
Well, somehow Natalie and I ended up together and started talking. She pulled a photo up on her phone and said, “This was me.” Wow. She used to be about my size – and I’ve started pushing 16! (Yeah, I hide it well.) Then she asked me if I’d like a green smoothie for breakfast the next day. I learned she had her Vitamix in her room (OMG – a toy like mine was within reach to play with!) and would make me some goodness in the morning. I politely said, “Sure” and we went on our merry ways to dinner.
The next morning I’m talking with some amazing connections before the session was to start and a cup with disgusting green stuff plops down in front of me. My first thought? “Eeewwww!!!” Then I tasted it, and I was floored. No way could raw green stuff taste this good! Needless to say, that night Natalie, my roommate Rebecca, and I were hanging out in Natalie’s room blending up green smoothies. I’d already started getting a sore throat and cough, and two smoothies later my cough was gone and my throat was much better. My hunger cravings ceased and I even stopped craving chocolate! Then we all went home and I was determined to start eating smoothies for breakfast. That was Sunday.
Monday is when I almost died.
As soon as I got home, I headed over to Whole Foods to get some super powders and organic veggies for my new green smoothie kick. I saw some samples the size of my pinky fingernail of what I thought were chips, and I took one and ate it. I headed to the bathroom and when I got there, I noticed my mouth was starting to tingle. Almost instantly my throat started to swell. I rinsed out my mouth and ran back across the store to the sample I had eaten. The attendant told me yes, there were nuts in it. I asked what kind, thinking, “Please be walnuts, please be walnuts, please be walnuts” as I know walnuts will make me miserable, but not kill me. One word confirmed my greatest fear: cashews.
Last time I got into cashews I was three years old and almost died.
I immediately panicked. I hadn’t checked out yet, so I ran to the customer service desk and by then I guess I was looking pretty horrible. I asked them if they had any Coca Cola, which is a natural antidote since I don’t carry an epi-pen (hey, it’s been 30 years since I got into cashews, and it was my own stupid fault for not reading all the labels). They brought me their “natural” version, which of course wouldn’t work. A good samaritan volunteered to go around the corner to Chick-fil-A and get me a Coke. Less than ten minutes later, he was back and my throat swelling was getting worse.
Keep in mind I’d ingested about a small crumb of cashew – nothing more.
What did I do next? I called my mom. Of course! The one woman who took care of me through many-a-nut-allergy could see me through this one, too! At her suggestion, another good samaritan – a Whole Foods employee – ran to Harris Teeter next door to get me some Benadryl. Two of those pills should have knocked me out in about 10 minutes, but I managed to sit there for another 15 minutes while the swelling went down, check out with my whole food goodies and make the 30-minute drive home.
The one reason I think the reaction wasn’t worse and the Benadryl didn’t instantly put me to sleep is my body was pumped full of green smoothie goodness. That afternoon I felt well enough to make a large batch of green smoothie to drink over the next couple days. Then began the triple-whammy of cold-cashew-detox. When I wrote this, I was on day three of my complete detox (which was by accident – the smoothies are so good I can’t help but have one for both breakfast and lunch!) and feeling worse as the hours passed. I spent a lot of time resting, in front of Netflix, and barely made my appointments, including one interview and a webinar that I taught.
After five days of drinking smoothies for breakfast and lunch, I’m finding my sugar cravings are down to next to nothing… I haven’t eaten a peanut M&M since Saturday, October 6 and when given the choice between a chocolate chip cookie and fruit, I’m taking the fruit – because I want it. WOW!!! Best part is, my new nutrition coach Natalie, taught me how to make the smoothies taste sweet and yummy – not veggie and yucky. I’m sipping them starting when I wake up in the morning through early afternoon. When I get hungry, I go for the smoothie instead of the M&Ms. Then I’m eating normal dinners, but haven’t wanted “dessert” in days.
Results? Just six days ago I could pinch a solid four inches around my sides and belly. Today I can’t pinch even an inch on my sides and my belly is down as well. I’m naturally detoxing, so I’m also “deflating.” I already had to tighten the drawstring on my pants, and I’m overwhelmed at the results… smaller size, better sleep, more energy… I honestly thought there was no hope for me to eat healthier since I couldn’t curb my cravings, but I’m not craving anymore!! (Check out my nutrition coach, Natalie Wheeler of The New Raw You.) No, I’m not going fully raw, but I am finding I’m craving raw more now that I’m drinking so many smoothies. If you’re interested, Natalie is starting a 21 Day Green Smoothies Challenge. Come join us and see some amazing results!
Almost dying also puts things into perspective…
My private Facebook group, Candid Conversations on Everything Books, said if they were given three months to live, finishing and publishing their books – and leaving their legacy – would be “totally and absolutely critical.” One even said she would, “…give up everything else just to make finish what I have started.”
What projects have you been putting on hold – projects you know would make a difference in the lives of others? It can be a goal for weight loss, getting healthy (which can cure many diseases, btw), or getting your book done and published.
I almost died on Monday, and I can tell you I would have gone with very few regrets. As a natural go-getter, I feel I’ve already accomplished so much in this life. But I would have had the regret of leaving client projects unfinished. Because my goal is to be a catalyst to get your message out to change the world. Together we can do it. Together we can make a difference!
Photo courtesy Shutterstock, Jan H Andersen