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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. January's Theme: "Health"
Volume 5 Issue 2 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Walk Your Talk
with Aleesha Stephenson

I started sharing a little bit about my journey into health in my Illuminations within this issue and I'd love to continue.

In August 2007 I found myself sick of being sick. Over the last years, but especially in the last year I've been sick more than I was well. If I did too much in one day, I had to take a day off to rest or I'd end up sick for about 10 days. Too dizzy to stand up, too exhausted to do much of anything… I found myself sitting on my couch, gaining weight and feeling helpless to change the course my body seemed to have chosen for me.

I had other symptoms as well. My liver was in horrid condition. I couldn't digest my food - it would sit like a brick in my belly for 12-24 hours making me feel very uncomfortable. I had very low energy and had a hard time making it through the day. My muscles ached daily in my back. My eyes were sore and had a hard time focusing. My skin ached, my ears were sensitive to sounds, my mouth was so dry. My memory was … um… my memory…

I did a review of an online movie "Light, Lean, Healthy Being" and then I made a collage of what I wanted within my life. The collage had all kinds of things on it. A Buddha head, people dancing and enjoying life, lots of hearts (hearts on doors, hearts cut into the grass, heart rings…), lots of healthy vegetables and fruits, a new computer, a trip to Australia, a slim body on a woman with a huge smile on her face, and so much more. Unbeknownst to me, this was setting in motion the changes I would begin to embrace within my life.

In August a friend suggested I try a fast. I did one years ago and found it very difficult. I made it 5 days, but I decided to give it another go. After all, your body is supposed to put the energy of digesting to better use while fasting - it works on healing your body instead AND the added bonus of a fast is releasing weight. I was definitely up for that since my body seemed to refuse to release the baby fat from my last child and she's almost 9 years old now.

So, into fasting mode I went. I borrowed a juicer from a friend and started drinking lots of juices (carrot, celery, spinach, garlic and an apple was definitely my favourite combo) and huge glasses of water. My goal was to drink a gallon of liquid a day and it wasn't hard to achieve! I kept a glass of filtered water beside me at all times and used the juicer a lot. The first day was hard. The desire to put something in my mouth was like quitting smoking. I had no idea how addicted I was to that action. *Removing my addiction to putting food into my mouth has assisted me greatly over the last 4 months.* Over the next few days my desire to eat diminished as my toxins began to flow. Headaches, dizziness, low energy are normal when you are detoxing and drinking more water really helps with this. Keep the liquids flowing and a toilet handy!

Day Five was the worst day of the fast. I was so grumpy and irritable. Fortunately my friend warned me about it so I was able to let my hubby and kids know ahead of time. They were all so supportive. They knew I was detoxing and did what they could to assist me - either by bringing me water or by ignoring my grumpiness. Even suggesting I have a bath or go meditate for a bit - I really do have a wonderful family. I am so blessed.

Day Nine came and I was ready to leave the fast behind. I found myself eating cooked foods again and once again became sick after eating. I did another fast, this time for 8 days and once again I returned to cooked food and once again I was feeling sick after eating. The light started to dawn on me, I needed to change my diet permanently, not just for a few days. So with the assistance of my friend, I started researching a Raw Vegan Diet.

Over the last few months my life has changed dramatically. I no longer look like the same person. My face has definition. My favourite pair of linen pants literally falls off me. (see picture below) My all-time favourite sweater which I wear as a jacket in the winter is so big on me, I feel silly wearing it. The sleeves which were always a nice length are now too long! My bra size has changed… now I wear one 4 inches smaller. The cellulite which dimpled my legs is gone and my skin is gorgeous. My hair is even healthier. Who knew this lifestyle change would not only change my body size but also bring about so many other changes as well! Did I mention I've released 60 pounds?

I'm happy to be releasing this weight and eagerly anticipate more leaving my body over the next few months. I know it's normal to release more weight the heavier you are, so in time the weight release may slow - but I'm not really in this for that - rather I'm doing this for the health benefits! *I am using the word release instead of lose, because honestly, I don't want to find it again!* I know my green smoothie every day will ensure my continued health… as, in my experience and from everything I've researched, it's such an important part of this lifestyle. You take in a healthy, filling smoothie and have loads of energy to meet your day!

My belly never feels like it's holding a brick unless I eat something cooked. Even a few roasted nuts can cause discomfort for hours so eating raw is a lifestyle change my body is truly craving in every way. The best part is, there are so many Raw Food Chefs out there… happily creating all our cooked favourites in raw versions! There's falafels, lasagne, tacos, chili, crackers, chips, so many desserts I'll happily live long enough to try them all - and the best part is, you eat all of these foods and still continue to release your excess weight! The sugars and flours which are unhealthy for us are not in a Raw Vegan diet - only natural sugars and sprouted wheat. I've heard many people talk about how they couldn't eat some foods before but now that they are eating raw, they can eat them again (ie: tomatoes, peppers etc.)

The BEST part about this entire story… my experience is not a unique one. There are many other people out there who have released weight by eating raw. Do a search on any raw forum, here's one to get your started, and you'll see just how many there are! Here's a few blogs for you to read as well: Mattye Lee's Raw Progress Blog and Rawkin's Blog. I've also started a blog - Aleesha' Raw Life so feel free to check it out as well.

If you are looking for more information on eating raw - whether for weight release, health issues or to simply improve your life, please check out these sites: Love Raw Life - David Wolfe. This is a very eye opening video - Raw for Thirty Days Video. Perhaps you want to share this lifestyle with your children… well you can! Raising Alex.

Remember… you deserve to live your life in a healthy body. Age does NOT have to dictate how you feel. If you want to change your life, improving it 100% then take some time to do a little research and consider changing your diet to a Raw Vegan Diet for one month - you'll love how you look and feel!

For an update on Aleesha's health click here!

*Timeless Spirit now has a regular column Life in the Raw and a new forum called: The Whole Being with a Raw section.*

This is my "before" photo and I look forward to seeing my after photo… when this weight release, healthy living on a Raw Vegan Diet has done it's magick! Below is a "during" picture taken May 8th 2008, shortly after my hubby and I completed a 20 day Green Smoothie Feast (with a 5 day water fast thrown in for good measure).

UPDATE: It's June 2008 and I'm happy to share my amazing results. Not only have I released over 130 pounds so far… but my life has completely changed. I go to yoga 2-3 times a week go for lots of walks and spend time on my rebounder everyday. My life is all about movement!

I went to see my doctor in May and my blood sugars are perfect! My liver is working at optimal levels. My B12 is excellent as is my daily iron. All in all, he's thrilled with my new life style and told me to keep doing everything I'm doing!!! I just completed a 45 day Juice Feast. namaste' Aleesha

UPDATE: It's Feb. 2009 and I'm doing great. I've released 160 pounds and have begun coaching others with - "Getting Started with Raw Foods" and also "Fastng" - so if you want to hire me to be your coach… go to my webpage and give it a read first!

Aleesha Stephenson is the Publisher, Editor, Graphic and Web Designer as well as a Regular Columnist for Timeless Spirit Magazine.

A Raw-Vegan, Reiki Master Teacher, who lives her Buddhist, Shamanic, with many eclectic Pagan beliefs, she home-schools two of her three spiritually enlightened children as her eldest has graduated and moved on to the school of life. Friend (and mother) to them all, she is also a life-partner to her husband David. Her life truly is filled with light.

Author of the "Pathways Series," a series of workbooks created for 28 consecutive nights of spellwork for Magi's Magick Spells. Aleesha teaches classes in Tarot, Meditation and Reiki. For more information, please contact Aleesha via email, visit her personal web page or her blog - Aleesha's Raw Life - the journey of her new Raw Vegan experience and continued weight release and health increase!

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