This month’s blog post is a special edition dedicated to…my mother, Cindy Kokay! It is the one-year anniversary for the meeting of raw foods and my mother, who has lost 80 pounds in one year, which has taken her from 240 pounds to her current weight of 160 pounds (still counting!). She is posting about her journey as a way to inspire others and to demonstrate the true power and strength of raw foods.
My Raw Journey By Cindy Kokay
The Beginning: Bad (but good) news from the Doctor
Last year, I had one very scary visit to the doctor’s office where it was suspected I might have some serious conditions. I trembled through the next two weeks of tests but, at a follow-up visit, my doctor finally gave me the news that I was clear of breast cancer (phew) but did have damage to my arteries that signalled the early stages of heart disease. Already being on medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol, I quickly realized I was on a fast road to extreme ill health.
A 55-year-old mother to four children, I have spent the majority of my life, caring for and focusing on my kids! (Can anyone relate?). While I am no stranger to weight loss, the true goal of my ventures through Weight-Watchers, the Diet Centre, low-fat diets, the no-carb, high protein diet, Jenny Craig, and even the cabbage soup diet, was always weight loss and never true and radiant health. While some of the diets helped me to stay at a healthier, lower weight temporarily, none ever lasted or gave me sustained energy and a feeling of true health. After many failed attempts, I gave up several years ago and started eating with reckless abandon. After trying for so many years, it was so easy to get into a slump and give up. Compounded with menopause and all the symptoms that come along with that, as well as deep depression, it was a terrible time in my life.
Several weeks after my scary (yet also a relief) appointment, I finally went to my daughter and said I was ready. My daughter had been into raw foods for several years and was just beginning to teach it, so naturally she was elated that I had volunteered to be her guinea pig. And I didn’t want to do it halfway, I wanted to go big or go home, so I started by telling myself I would do a month of 100% raw food. I also knew myself enough to know that it had to be 100% or nothing as I would tend to start with 80% raw and 20% vegan and that would quickly change to 50/50 then to 30 raw/70 cooked and so on and so forth, so that is why I knew it had to be 100% or nothing at that time for me.
I lost 10 pounds in the first three weeks of being raw. I continued to lose close to 1-2 pounds a week for the next six months. To date, I have lost 80 pounds, have gone off all of my medications (with the doctor’s okay) and have been avidly jogging along the canal for 6 months (after the initial detox passed I craved exercise). Now one year of being 100% raw has helped me to feel the happiest, most energetic and clear-headed I have ever felt. In the first two weeks, all of my menopausal symptoms disappeared completely, never to have a hot flash, or cramps again. Eating live living food each and every day has been life altering for me. I feel 10 years younger. I have shrunk before my own eyes – my double chin gone forever. Just doing the day-to-day things is not a problem for me like it used to be. I never get tired in the afternoon anymore either. I mind my grandson 3 days a week, as well as take care of my 80 year old mother and my two teenage sons – things I could barley keep up with last year. Now I can handle all with ease.
Most of my days now consist of a green juice or green smoothie for breakfast (maybe both!), a light salad or soup for lunch and fruit throughout the afternoon for a snack with my favourite meal at night: pate and a green salad with vinaigrette (and of course the occasional raw dessert at night). The meal combinations are endless and I continue to learn everyday. Probably the best part was that about 3 months into being raw I naturally wanted to give up coffee, something I never thought I would do (being an avid coffee drinker almost my entire adult life) but it happened so quickly and now I never crave it at all. It is like it has been erased from my mind. My favourite warm drink is now peppermint tea, which I have at least twice a day.
Since I went so drastically from one way of eating to another, I experienced a few solid weeks of headaches, general fatigue, and aches and pains associated with dumping out the toxins from my old way of living and eating. I also experienced some withdrawal purely associated with the emotional attachment we have to cooked and processed foods, which I counteracted by starting off with eating denser raw foods like pates and treats but, over time, transitioned to a lighter and more wholesome raw lifestyle. This is why most people start a bit slower, but if you find yourself amid desperation, as I was, with the right will and determination, anything is possible.
The Long Term
I am still happily 100% raw and I will continue to be so until my goal weight of 145, after which point, I will may loosen the reigns and enjoy a cooked vegan meal at night with some raw food but I’ll wait and see how I feel. Learning to listen to my body is of utmost importance!
Thanks, Mom, for your incredible story! I hope this story has been an inspiration to many. Do any of you have any experiences to share about the power of raw foods? Do you have any tips for getting into the right mindset? Leave your comments below!
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