Hi YPB fam!
If you’re new to the Yes, Plant Based community – welcome! My name is Tia, and here’s how I healed my health symptoms naturally with a plant based diet combined with other holistic approaches!
Table of Contents
Before we get into how I healed my symptoms naturally – let me quickly explain to you what my symptoms were and give you a brief history of how they came to be!
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is how I healed my personal symptoms and that each and every person is unique and different in their own special way. There is no one size fits all with healing! These are not recommendations, – I am simply sharing what worked for me!
I grew up in a Middle Eastern house hold (my ethnicity is Iraqi) eating lots of animal products. Milk, eggs, cheese, beef, chicken… You name it. I drank chocolate milk for breakfast every day for years! I also ate foods like burgers, shawarma, lots of rice and pita bread, and so much more on a daily basis!
Once I was old enough to start buying my own food – add fast food, processed snacks, and everything else you can think of the list. I worked beside a McDonalds when I was 16-19 – and guess what I ate during most of my lunch breaks? Junior chickens, snack wraps with chipotle sauce, and Oreo McFlurry’s were some of my favourites…
When I was 17, I had blood work done during a yearly check up and the test showed that my hormone levels were imbalanced. I was prescribed very strong medications (the contraceptive pill) in order to help rebalance my levels…
In hind sight, I believe that my hormone levels could have been easily regulated with dietary changes. But at the time, I was young, uninformed, and to be quite honest with you – pretty ignorant. So I took the pills and life went on.
When the Symptoms Appeared
Fast forward a few years… I’m 20 years old (2016) and consuming a SAD diet (standard american diet) alongside heavy medications. This combination was finally catching up to me and my body… I started getting very mild acne, waves of depression and anxiety, digestive issues, fatigue, and more. I didn’t want to be on medications anymore, but I knew if I stopped taking them, my currently “suppressed” symptoms would be much worse!
I didn’t know what to do. Although the medications seemed to be helping in one way, they were only masking the symptoms, and deep down I knew this.
I went back to my doctor and was advised that the only way was with pills. Hearing that “medications were the only solution” made me feel broken inside. I didn’t want to believe it. It really hurt me to think that I had to rely on something other than myself for the rest of my life just to feel healthy and “normal”. A part of me believed there had to be another way.
I realized I had two options…
- Rely on medications for the rest of my life and potentially have my health conditions worsen as I just mask the symptoms…
- Start doing the research, learning, and experimenting to find out what works and what doesn’t for my body.
As you probably guessed, I decided to go with option number 2!
For months and months I researched how to naturally heal myself from the symptoms I was facing. I read books, spent hours on google, and watched countless YouTube videos. I also spent a lot of time putting what I learned into practice, experimenting and reflecting.
How I Healed My Health Symptoms
Plant Based Foods
A common thread I was noticing throughout my research was the use of plant based foods to help the healing process of many ailments. I learned the way different plants help different parts of the body – especially fruits & leafy greens!
I was also very surprised to learn that plant based foods were more effective and healing when consumed in their raw form! (Although not everyone is able to easily digest raw foods right off the bat depending on their current lifestyle and eating habits.)
Another ‘aha’ moment was understanding that cooking food was chemistry and that cooking foods at high temperatures creates a chemical reaction which causes new compounds to be created through the cooking process. Many of these chemicals produced, such as acrylamide, are toxic to the body and cause our immune system to work harder to fight them off and make sure they don’t harm us. Cooking also, in most cases, heavily diminishes the nutritional value from the plant based foods we consume.
After cleansing and experimenting with raw plant based foods, I decided to take my detox to the next level and incorporate some juicing. What’s great about juicing is it gives your body a break from digesting fibres and allows the body to really cleanse and eliminate old waste and toxins from the gut, tissues, organs, and other bodily systems!
I successfully completed a 14 day juice fast (Sept 2020) and felt better than I had in years! My energy levels were through the roof, my body felt light, my skin was beginning to quickly clear up, and my brain fog had diminished. I quickly realized the power of juicing after this experience, and knew I wanted to share this knowledge with others!
**Disclaimer** If you want to commit to an extended juice fast – PLEASE do your research and make sure you are drinking enough! 3-4 liters minimum a day if it is your first time! (I will be making an article that goes over the basics soon! Click here to join the waitlist)
Fasting is something I’ve been practicing for years – specifically dry fasting (I practiced during the month of Ramadan growing up).
Dry fasting is the practice of abstaining from foods and liquids for extended periods of time. This could be anywhere from 16 hours to 48 hours, or even more! I started with shorter 18 hour fasts 1-2 times a week, and worked my way towards longer fasts up to 44 hours.
Practicing dry fasting really helped me detox and find balance in my life and my overall health. It helped alleviate my cravings, reduce inflammation, trigger autophagy, clear my mind, and so much more.
**Disclaimer** Dry fasting can be dangerous and should be done with caution, care, knowledge, and a proper guide. Please do not jump into any type of fasting blindly! (I will also be making a post about this in the near future – click here to sign up for the waitlist!)
Herbs & "Superfoods"
I also incorporated herbs and super foods to my healing regime. This included herbs and foods such as ginger, garlic, olive leaf, burdock root, and cat’s claw, to name a few!
Herbs and superfoods are a great way to help cleanse different organs, such as your liver, as well as reduce bad bacteria and even eliminate parasites! They can be consumed in the form of teas, tinctures, and capsules. There are many herbal formulas available – but the one that worked the best for me was the ParaPro Formula by Organic Olivia! (Check out her blog for great articles about detoxing!)
Of course, what we consume (and don’t consume) plays a huge role on our overall health – but food and physical consumption is not the only factor to good health. Along with raw foods, juicing, and fasting, I also included many holistic practices into my lifestyle in order to heal. This consisted of practices such as yoga, breath work, mindfulness, daily movement, affirmations, moderation, and more.
People tend to focus so much on the diet aspect of health and forget to show up for the other also very important keys of healing. You can put in as much effort as you want into eating clean and detoxing physically, but if you neglect the holistic practices included in health you will not get very far.
Acne was my most visible symptom, and the easiest way for me to visually show how this lifestyle has helped me heal. Below you will see a before and after picture of my skin. The after picture was taken only 2 months after being persistent with a raw foods diet, juicing, fasting and of course, holistic practices! I not only healed my acne, but also boosted my energy levels, balanced my hormones, and improved my digestion.
Before and After Pictures
Continuing this lifestyle even after getting the results you desire is important. I’m now much more in tune with my body than before, and notice the triggers that causes any symptoms such as fatigue, break outs, congestion, and more.
My Advice on How to Get Started
It’s definitely not always easy to start – there will always be a learning curve when starting anything new in life. My suggestion is to start slow and take it one day at a time. Start by doing some research, getting informed, learning, and building the foundation and mindset for success. Being equipped with knowledge will help you tremendously!
Remember that there will always be ups and downs – that is the way life goes. You will probably fail, multiple times, that’s completely normal! The important thing is to get back up on your feet and keep trying. Failure is such an important part of the process. This is how we learn and build experience.
If need be – reach out for help, advice, and guidance. You reading this blog post at this very moment is an example of that! When I was at a roadblock in my journey, I reached out to a raw vegan influencer that goes by “Raw Healing Mastery” on YouTube. I booked a coaching session with him and got exactly what I needed out of that experience!
My last piece of advice I will give you is to remember that you have all the answers within. Sometimes we tend to look for the answers outside of ourselves and forget to sit and listen to ourselves. What do I mean by this? Find a quiet area, sit comfortably, quiet your mind, and listen. Listen to what your body, mind, and soul are telling you. This will not come in the form of words but rather in the form of feelings.