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  • Writer's pictureA.J. Johnson

Why my family & I eat RAW and love it

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

Yep, even my kiddos love their yummy RAW food meals prepared by Mom once per week. They actually look forward to being a part of the team to come up with yummy recipes.

My childhood memories spent with my Foster Mom created a love for holistic health, plant-based eating & independence for as long as I can remember. I'm definitely not a vegetarian, I like my fish, chicken and other occasional treats but I also know the importance of giving your digestive system a break.

Designing Your Life

Growing up, I can vividly remember canning veggies from our Garden and feeling a true sense of peace & happiness. I love sampling the fresh juicy strawberries and running in with the largest tomato I could find so I could slice into its flavorful goodness. .

My Foster Mom’s name was, Bonnie Dill. She had her own garden with kale, spinach, green beans, cabbage, strawberries, an orange tree, apple tree, lemon tree, it was incredibly beautiful & serene. Bonnie, sewed our clothes, could fix the television set and change out a car battery with ease. She was like wonder woman to me because she did it all with such grace & dignity. I owe my awareness of food and my journey back to RAW all to her.

Staying on your path

Like many, I strayed from the healthy path I was shown growing up. .

After moving to Arizona my husband and I decided to go into business for ourselves. Anyone who’s done this knows it requires lots and lots of time, stress, and effort. Long 60-hour + work weeks were the norm for us, leaving little time for one’s self. Dinner consisted of drive through food many nights and donuts or bagels for breakfast because we were always in such a rush. After a few years, this hectic lifestyle began to take its toll. My husband and I were both tired all the time, mentally drained, overweight, ashamed of what we allowed to happen and feeling horrible. My husband developed back problems from the extra weight, which led to foot problems and constant aches & pain. He also developed an allergic reaction to gluten which could be found in over 80% of the foods we were consuming at that time.

Get Inspired

During my pregnancy with our 3rd of 4 children I found out I had gestational diabetes, putting me at a much higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. I was devastated! Truly! How could I let this happen? As the Dr. explained how to test my blood sugar by drawing a drop of blood from my finger using a small needle (lancet), then placing the blood on a test strip inserted into a blood glucose meter, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. When he said I would have to poke myself four to five times a day — first thing in the morning and after meals — to make sure my sugar level stays within a healthy range, I began to sob and could barely catch my breath, I hated needles! How was I going to do this? How could I have let this happen? I was so very disappointed in myself and angry that I had allowed myself to go down this path. My Dr. tried to console me, he said, “this may sound difficult and inconvenient, but it'll get easier with practice pokes. It didn’t help, I sobbed even more. After sulking for a few days, I knew something had to change.

A few days after my Gestational Diabetes news, I went to my pantry and proceeded to gather up every sugary product I had into large black garbage bags. Yes, that’s plural as in 3 very full garbage bags worth of crap! I placed the bags into our outside garbage bin because although I knew these foods were bad for me, I still craved them. And, I wasn’t about to donate this awful junk! This was 100% garbage to me and it was that day that I began my journey back to a holistically healthy, plant-based diet, aka RAW eating & juicing.

In case you don’t know, here are the dangers of Gestational Diabetes, the below text was taken directly from Mayo

Complications that may affect your baby

If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at increased risk of:

· Excessive birth weight. Extra glucose in your bloodstream crosses the placenta, which triggers your baby's pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies — those that weigh 9 pounds or more — are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries or require a C-section birth.

· Early (preterm) birth and respiratory distress syndrome. A mother's high blood sugar may increase her risk of early labor and delivering her baby before the baby's due date. Or her doctor may recommend early delivery because the baby is large.

Babies born early may experience respiratory distress syndrome — a condition that makes breathing difficult. Babies with this syndrome may need help breathing until their lungs mature and become stronger. Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes may experience respiratory distress syndrome even if they're not born early.

· Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may provoke seizures in the baby. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby's blood sugar level to normal.

· Type 2 diabetes later in life. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby's death either before or shortly after birth.

Complications that may affect you

Gestational diabetes may also increase the mother's risk of:

· High blood pressure and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes raises your risk of high blood pressure, as well as preeclampsia — a serious complication of pregnancy that causes high blood pressure and other symptoms that can threaten the lives of both mother and baby.

· Future diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you're more likely to get it again during a future pregnancy. You're also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as you get older. However, making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating healthy foods and exercising can help reduce the risk of future type 2 diabetes.

Of those women with a history of gestational diabetes who reach their ideal body weight after delivery, fewer than 1 in 4 eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

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