My mom is soon to have specialized surgery up at UCSF and she will be juicing thru the entire process. I'd like to share the journey with you to inspire and enlighten. Stay tuned!
For those of you following the progress of my Restoring Wellness participants, I have an update from Franklin of Redwood City, CA that brought tears of joy to my eyes.
"The picture on the left is the last day Franklin ate gluten and sweet iced teas: at a burger joint in January the day before we started our first 10 day cleanse. The picture on the right was taken today (Aug 10,2014) after his workout. I am so proud of him! Not only continuing to recover from his illness, but his drive and dedication to use food as his medicine and heal his body for himself and our family Thank you Stephanie for creating this amazing program!" _ from his wife, Kristy
She adds: "In the first picture, he was unable to hold his arms up and he needed to swing them to get them to stay up for a few seconds. Now, he can hold them up and flex his arms. "
Furthermore, in the photo on the left, he was wearing sized 2X shirts and on the right, his son's size L.
"Working with Coach Stephanie has taught us how to eat better and use nutrition for healing. You've seen how it's helped transform [Franklin], I've lost 31 lbs, our son Alex has changed his nutrition even while in college and even Cassie [8 years old] eats better than before. You don't realize how good your body is designed to feel! Coach Stephanie is coming to Redwood City to teach a class on Monday, August 18. Details to follow!" writes Kristy, Franklin's wife, on Facebook.
Their journey is incredible - I highly recommend you read about them on the Testimonials page: http://restoringwellness.wellnessbymothernature.com/testimonials.html
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. #affirmation
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. #affirmation
In honor of #tbt, (throwback Thursday) I thought I'd share a story...
I grew up in your typical Standard American Diet (SAD) home eating some of the best American comfort food and spending my allowance on junk food, donuts and soda. Now, don't get my wrong, Mom made everything from scratch, including bread, biscuits, gravy, home-raised pork, chickens, eggs and the works. I didn't even know what Dinty Moore meant when somebody from school asked about my soup. That said, despite Mom's best efforts, it was tough to get me to eat veggies and I rarely enjoyed fruit. I predominately ate BBQ'd meat and carbs. Even though my mother tried to limit my intake, soda was a daily beverage. I was never very active but wasn’t exactly lazy either.
In June 2003 at 23 years old, I was diagnosed with Dermatomyositis, a rare Autoimmune disease. I struggled with reaching my feet and lifting my hands above my head due to severe connective tissue inflammation. My menstrual cycle was so irregular I at one point went 70 days between cycles. At 5’7″, I was 175 pounds, a SAD eater and struggling to find the strength to be an active person. I enjoyed dance, hiking and the occasional yoga class but I was far from routine and needed a lifestyle change. So I quit my corporate job, moved back home with mom and took my savings to see a Naturopathic Doctor. He put me on several herbal concoctions and a high protein, low carb diet. I avoided all things packaged and processed and completely stopped ALL sugar intake, including fruit. I was overridden with Candida from the inside out. I began losing weight quickly. I maintained this system steady for 3 months until I couldn’t afford it anymore. I had rid my body of all yeast overgrowth, walked around 20 pounds lighter, and started hiking and doing yoga regularly.
That Christmas I was in a horseback riding accident and broke my back in 4 places. I was bed ridden for quite some time, wearing a lovely designer body brace (insert laugh here) and unable to continue my new found physical independence. During my recovery, I began reaching for comfort foods again. Due to the lack of physical movement and the foods I began eating, I gained 25 pounds and battled with the disease and Candida once more.
I realized that I couldn't afford to continue like this so I pursued an education in Holistic Medicine. I started regular juice fasting, and went vegetarian within the first 6 months. Now, I coach people through their own journey to Restoring Wellness through www.WellnessByMotherNature.com.
I now walk around 60-70 pounds lighter than my max (199lbs), still routinely juice fast and eat vegetarian. I've journeyed from a predominately meat eating person to raw vegan and now, intuitive vegetarian, as I call it.
People routinely tell me that they CAN'T do it. They have to cook for a husband or children... or they have to do it alone. They see my figure now and assume I've always been this size or that I grew up eating this way. They say, "I can't do that because I love food too much."
"If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them." In each and every day - every moment - you have the opportunity to RECREATE yourSELF in the ways that you dream. See yourself as an athlete? - become one! See yourself thin? - do it. See yourself healthy? - FEEL IT and BECOME IT.
To those who say they CAN'T, I write this bio and other articles published in magazines on how to deal with a unique dietary lifestyle when others do not understand it. I cooked for my partner at the time - breakfast, lunch and dinners - while fasting. If I can do it - somebody who also LOVES food - you can do it too.
One thing you will face; however, are people who do not understand, who judge, who pity, who don't want to be around you, and those who are jealous of your strength. The key in this is 1) Do not preach to them about their choices; 2) Do not pity yourself for your choices; 3) Realize it is your STRENGTH - not any weakness - that helps you live this way and that this is YOUR life you're living afterall.
One mother wrote me with a description of how she tried her best to raise her daughter, who also has an autoimmune disease. It is a bit long but I highly recommend you read through to the end. She writes:
I know your story is important for people to open up and see you are just like everyone else. We all have a story. We all have a beginning, which affected where we find ourselves today. I've sat in your classes in the past and wondered if people are looking at my weight and asking themselves about "the unhealthy lady" in the front row. Granted, I'm taking the steps to get healthier and perhaps being the underdog inspires others. But I digress... I wanted to share with you how my story would read from the other side - as the mother of a child with an autoimmune disease. It is a little bit different than yours.
Read the rest here (toward the 2nd half of the page):
Each and every participant in my Restoring Wellness program has filled me up with such bliss by sharing their incredible testimonials. The number of extraordinary testimonials has gotten so large that I am unable to post them ALL on the Testimonials page anymore. Thank you to ALL who have shared your journey of Restoring Wellness with me and for others to read. You inspire.
I'd like to share with you one of the most incredible stories of healing and of a marriage... a team... a love... that inspires me on so many levels. Meet Franklin and Kristy:
First I would like to thank God for bringing us to Stephanie and leading me and my family to this journey, one that has changed all of our lives. This is the second time around doing this program. The biggest realization this time is that we are no longer trying anymore, the lifestyle promoted in the program has become second nature, a way of living.
I have a rare autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis and although I've been battling this for over a year (I spent 6 months hospitalized last year and couldn't move or swallow, I lost all muscle function and had to learn how to speak, eat and walk all over again). Once I started eating again, the hospital would give me food that I know now was promoting inflammation. Doctors helped save my life; medicine had it's place in my healing, but the nutrition never really played a part. Since getting out of the hospital, I slowly improved but went back to eating somewhat like I did before and started to feel poorly again. Since starting the program in January, I'm so surprised at how much nutrition has played a major part in my healing, and how quickly it's happening just from changing what goes into my mouth.
I have seen so many improvements in my health: stains on my teeth have gone away, hemmoroids are gone, my skin tags have disappeared, my sleep apnea and snoring are reduced, my blood pressure is lower, my hair is getting thicker, little aches and pains I've had for years have gone away, my prednisone went from 100 mg to 5 mg and my big goal is to be off all medications. My food allergies have almost all gone away, and I know this comes from repairing my leaky gut. I've exceeded my doctor's expectations and my own. I am improving my lifestyle but what I need to keep working on is my self discipline with circadian rhythms.
Do I really want to go back to looking and feeling like that? No, I don't EVER want to feel like that again. I would rather have the porridge for breakfast which is so delicious than what I used to eat - 4 pieces of toast with coffee, wondering why I felt bloated after! It's all an education, I can't say enough about Stephanie and what she has taught me. If people could just look at it as information, education, and not that you are giving something up but adding to the quality of the rest of our lives! I don't miss the foods I used to eat because I have either found a good alternative or I KNOW WHY it isn't good and why it made me feel bad after I ate it. I wish everyone I know would go through the program. It has opened my eyes and it is part of my journey for the rest of my life!
I was the fat kid in school. I was chubby as a toddler and young student, but by the time I hit 3rd grade, the double chin was there to stay. I was dubbed "porky" by the mean kids at school. Despite this, I was a good student and friend.
Even family members weren't tactful: "Oh you'd be so pretty if only you weren't fat" or "You have such a pretty face....too bad you're so chunky". No wonder, after my parents' ugly divorce when I was 20, that I buried myself in food and the typical standard American crap diet.
In high school I slimmed down a bit but always saw myself as fat. I met my husband as a 15 year old sophomore and we started dating. He always loved me for ME, and accepted me at any size. I was at my heaviest after our son was born in 1994, about 245, and after our daughter was born in 2005, I was about 230.
In 2007 my father passed away from complications of diabetes, congestive heart failure, and a heart attack, after a lifetime of being sedentary and lacking nutrition. His favorite and only vegetables were corn and mashed potatoes. I was almost 40, and decided after his death that I didn't want to go down the same path. I wanted to be there for my kids.
I went to the gym and began exercising, falling in love with two Les Mills programs: BodyPump and BodyCombat. Over the next two years, a major car accident that sidetracked me for 6 months, it clicked - eating better and exercising, I lost 70 lbs.
I became a group fitness instructor, teaching the class that got me started, and today, 3 years later, I teach 3 formats. But life would throw me another wrench.
"I started years ago, but I lacked the proper nutrition to do it the way it should be done. I lost most of the weight but never had the kind of energy or sense of "rightness" that I have now, thanks to you!"
Last year, my husband was diagnosed with dermatomyositis and spent almost 6 months in the hospital. Sitting, stressing, and eating hospital food all contributed to me gaining about 20 lbs. Carbs were my comfort food. I kept teaching my 6 gym classes a week but the stress made me hold on to the weight. It's only since starting the Restoring Wellness program that I am beginning to release some weight.
I am an intelligent person; but the information I've learned in these last 6 weeks have truly opened my eyes to how I've been abusing my body for so long. Two trips a day on average to Starbucks for my soy latte fix was shattered cold turkey during the program. I've eaten Paleo, with great success. I've tried every diet under the sun from Weight Watchers to Atkins, but nothing has made me feel so good or successful as working with Stephanie. The dedication she has to helping me see how good my body is meant to feel is invaluable.
My husband and I knew just halfway into the cleanse that we wanted to continue it to at least 14 days. Today marks day 32. It has gone from being a cleanse to a daily lifestyle. We are still eating vegan, trying new things and juicing each day. I feel healthier, have lost 11 pounds and have a greater appreciation for food. I've experienced hunger, but now? I don't eat nearly as much as before but my foods are so nutrient dense that I am getting what I need. I don't crave sugar or carbs and can be in a roomful of really poor food choices and not be tempted AT ALL. It's baffling to me how now that I see things clearly, I want to shout it from the rooftops to everyone I know.
This whole experience has piqued my interest into holistic nutrition. I'm so curious about how everything works and am excited to see how I can continue and share this knowledge with others and tie it in with my fitness career.
I'm very sad to see the program end but know that I will continue on my path to wellness, and that Coach Stephanie is just a Facebook post away.
Then they re-enrolled in the program...
Eating For Healing
Food As Medicine
Power Of Manifestation
Raw Food Nutrition
The Wellness Kitchen