Raw Food Living Proof – 80 Pounds and Counting

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Raw Food Living Proof – 80 Pounds and Counting

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

Before raw – Nov 2010

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.  

 

Fall 2010

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.

Midway through my journey – Summer 2011

Daily Greens

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.

After – February 2012

Detox Symptoms

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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© 2012 – 2013, ohmyraw!. All rights reserved.

 

20 Comments

  1. Great story. I too have made some changes in my life, for the better, with great results. Since my first seminar with Sarah back in January 2012, I have been having a smoothie almost every day, with a portion of green juice in each drink. I have lost 8 pounds since then, which is a huge achievement for me. I have been eating healthier, by cutting out cow’s milk, pop and most meats, and eating more raw foods, including salads and the many recipes from Sarah. I have seen results and will continue this regime. Thank you Sarah and to your Mom for your inspiration.

    • Wow Denise, I’m so happy to hear! Great story. People always ask how they can get the motivation but it is actually in the doing that you get more motivation, just like you. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Wow Cindy, I had.no idea, this is a real inspiring story! I’d like to hear you on how it went with your teenagers. Did they turn raw fooders as well?
    Looking forward to more blog stories…
    We need these on our own rawsome journey!

  3. Congratulations Cindy and I’m sure you thank your lucky stars for having Sarah in your life for such inspiration.

    I eat a high raw diet which I love. It has certainly changed my health and that of my husband’s for the better – even though we thought we felt well and were very “healthy” before. We now cringe at the through of what we used to it in our 30′s – if only we had known what we know now then! However, as proof of the change you’ve undergone in the last year it’s never too late to start something good!

    Well done and thank you for sharing your continued success – it’s brilliant!

    Caroline

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Colleen!

  4. I saw Cindy at one of Sarah’s cooking classes in February 2012 and thought how good looking Cindy was.
    In the meantime I put myself on a weight loss diet using raw food and within two weeks lost 8 pounds. Amazing. And it was very easy with green smoothies and Kale salads and wheatgrass. It is virtually impossible to overeat.
    Cindy, you are my inspiration for I still want to lose another 60 pounds.

  5. Thank you to everyone for your kind comments! It is an inspiration for me to hear of everyone else’s dedication also.

  6. Isabelle, The journey for my teenage sons has been a lot slower. They are eating more veggies than ever before but I am taking it a bit slower, so they are still eating some animal food as well. But they’ve been incredibly open and I hope they are learning by example. I notice the better I’m feeling the less skeptical they’re becoming, so we’ll see what the future holds.

  7. Congratulations Cindy! Amazing, never would have guessed as you look great! Very new at Raw eating but already enjoying more and more fruits and veggies and wanting only the live foods and seeing a gain in energy. You are a great role model for your teenage sons into what we can accomplish when we set our mind to it and into loving ourselves.

  8. Thanks so much, Joanne. So true.

    Sometimes it is hard too for me to believe it has really happened. Time flies when you’re having fun I guess :-)

    Cindy

  9. Wow! What an incredible story! Cindy – you LOOK FABULOUS!

    We really are what we eat. I remember how my life changed when I cut out dairy and gluten. WOW!

  10. Thank you, Ameena! It is so true. Dairy is such a big one but once you are free from it, it is amazing.

  11. Cindy, This is wonderful inspiration and you look just great! I have 10 years on you and also need to lose 80 to be at my goal weight. I have just started with raw (all alone as my whole household is male and really resistant). I found it very difficult at first as it was a whole new way of making food for me. Now I am beginning to really enjoy it and finding I feel so much better when I eat this way. Good luck on reaching your goal and thanks for sharing with others.

  12. Great story! Wish my mother could have tried this. How did you do with the temptations? I am a sucker for chicken strips and hot sauce and sometimes I will happily offer to kill someone just for a cookie or taco. *I don’t do it for obvious reasons but I get pretty desperate* Do you ever miss foods?

    • Hi Dana, Thanks for posting again and for your feedback!

      Cravings can happen for many different reasons, sometimes it is nutritional, since we often eat many foods that fill us with calories but not with authentic nutrition. That is the first place to look.

      If you’ve got that covered, cravings can be deeper than that and are more about other areas in our lives that are unfulfilled. This can be a lack in personal relationships, career, spirituality. All kinds of reasons.

      Each time you have a craving, as yourself what is happening at a deeper level. As well, ask yourself if you really need what you are craving and also note what is happening at an energetic level at that time (is it a highly stressful situation, or purely from boredom?). Keeping a craving journal for a week or more can really shed some insight into this process. So as you can see there are no easy answers but a process through which we can take ourselves. As well, sometimes for women it is purely cyclical and in relation to our menstrual cycles. So pay attention. Sometimes a small piece of dark chocolate helps to quash cravings during that time.

      I hope this helps in some way. Please join my newsletter list, as I’m going to start working on a blog post on cravings soon. :)
      Sarah

  13. I’m so wanting to jump in on thsi raw food
    Thing, green smoothies, total alter my diet
    For good health. I have fibromyalgia, kidney
    Stones, and gestational diabetes w 3 of my 10
    Children. I have a very busy life and it’s hard
    To keep up. I’m tired all the time. Additionally,
    My husband is fitting a rare cancer. We both need
    To lose weight. I’m researching now how to go about
    Changing my diet for good. I’ve never been a yo-yo
    dieter. I figure a diet is a life not a moment in time.
    I just haven’t found a diet to stick with. Frankly,
    I haven’t really had the time either. Well, I’m
    Approaching 50 this yea, my youngest is almost 6 and
    It’s as good a time as any. So, I’m wondering if
    Going w all these greens is gonna be a problem
    With kidney stones. Spinach ought to avoided I’m told.
    But, alkalining the body ought to help with the situation,
    Right? I’m soooo confused. Over time, I’ve taken baby steps to improve my nutrition esp since, 6 yrs ago, I found out I’m celiac. Can’t eat McDonald’s anymore anyway. Good thing.any help and suggestions would be welcomed. Esp how to do green smoothies that will be ok for people with kidney stones and not shoot up the blood sugar from
    Too much liquidified fruit. Help, I don’t know what
    To do. Weight loss is hard with the fibromyalgia
    Pain and I heard detoxing will help. I’m convinced candida
    Is @ the root of all my evils.I’m feeling like I’m
    In a catch 22 and want to break the cycle- how?
    Thank you for your help. Barbara

  14. I’m so wanting to jump in on this raw food
    Thing, green smoothies, total alter my diet
    For good health. I have fibromyalgia, kidney
    Stones, and gestational diabetes w 3 of my 10
    Children. I have a very busy life and it’s hard
    To keep up. I’m tired all the time. Additionally,
    My husband is figting a rare cancer. We both need
    To lose weight. I’m researching now how to go about
    Changing my diet for good. I’ve never been a yo-yo
    dieter. I figure a diet is a life not a moment in time.
    I just haven’t found a diet to stick with. Frankly,
    I haven’t really had the time either. Well, I’m
    Approaching 50 this year, my youngest is almost 6 and
    It’s as good a time as any. So, I’m wondering if
    Going w all these greens is gonna be a problem
    With kidney stones. Spinach ought to avoided I’m told.
    But, alkalining the body ought to help with the situation,
    Right? I’m soooo confused. Over time, I’ve taken baby steps to improve my nutrition esp since, 6 yrs ago, I found out I’m celiac. Can’t eat McDonald’s anymore anyway. Good thing.any help and suggestions would be welcomed. Esp how to do green smoothies that will be ok for people with kidney stones and not shoot up the blood sugar from
    Too much liquidified fruit. Help, I don’t know what
    To do. Weight loss is hard with the fibromyalgia
    Pain and I heard detoxing will help. I’m convinced candida
    Is @ the root of all my evils.I’m feeling like I’m
    In a catch 22 and want to break the cycle- how?
    Thank you for your help. Barbara

  15. I also forgot to ask… if I cut back to one smoothie a day to ease into this new way of life and have a salad instead of a smoothie for lunch, will I still feel the same amount of detox symptoms since I’m eating a meal of vegetables?? Thanks!

    • Yes, you may. It all depends on the place your body is at now and can vary quite a bit from person to person. Generally raw foods in general detox quite a bit though, so steady wins the race :-)

  16. Wow Cindy your story is so similar to mine! My name is even “Cindy” as well:)) I am a47 yr. old mother of a beautiful 6 yr. old little boy, I also was very overweight after giving birth to him & was not eating healthy at all. I came across a wonderful celebrity C.N. & Best Selling Author of an 2 amazing books that helped learn the fundamentals of “Clean Eating”. I started with her first book & was so amazed at all of the things I had been doing wrong. I made the decision immediately to change my lifestyle & adapted to this new Raw Eating Lifestyle. I began my day without coffee & instead had a hot mug of lemon water followed by a green smoothie. I started to eat lots of grains, seeds, nuts & tons of fruit & veggies. Within about 9 months I was down 40 pounds. By the end of the first year I had lost a total of 60 pounds & at my ideal weight of 135 pounds:)) Now 2 years later I have been able to keep it off & still continue to eat raw foods & love it!!! The second book I got from this Author was a complete full color book of over 80 recipes & that has really helped me to stay on track. I have now subcribed to your daughter’s 10 day green smoothie cleanse & her daily emails as I am always looking for more tools to help me along my journey to keep myself healthy for myself but also for my son!! Thank you for sharing your very inspiring story as it makes me realize that we all struggle with these issue.
    Keep up the great work in reaching your goals
    Sincerely, Cindy

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