Hello dear friends!
I’m so excited to share this next healing story with you, from an incredible woman I connected with on Instagram. Her journey shares many similarities to mine, and has inspired me to get back into my detox game even stronger! I hope that you will take in her words, and realize that you too, can heal, using natural methods. Fruit fear be gone!
Kelsey has been generous to share many details of her experience with us all, so let’s dive right in…
What symptoms, dis-eases, or diagnoses have you healed, or are currently healing?
It’s tricky to describe the so-called starting point of when my symptoms hit. And at different stages of healing and learning I continue to hold different perspectives and epiphanies on this. That being said, I believe I walked through the perfect storm of environmental, physical and emotional triggers that obviously, inevitably led to my living with chronic illness symptoms for about 4 -5 years of my life.
In 2014, after a nasty bout with Camplyobacter and toxic mold exposure, I started to notice a creeping fatigue sneaking into my body. I was also just “sick” a lot. I normalized this in my daily life to great degrees (like we all do right?) and continued living my life while pushing through high intensity workouts, burning the candle at both ends in terms of working and socializing and eating a “clean” low carb, low sugar paleo-style diet. I was constantly perplexed at why I didn’t feel great. I was bitten by a tick in the Fall of 2015 and in the following six months to a year I experienced major shifts and the onslaught of chronic illness symptoms (I put this together years later, after looking at photos of myself from this point on). I started getting intense facial rashes, swelling/puffiness and had multiple sudden food allergies. At this same time I developed chronic sinus infections and was put on multiple rounds of antibiotics, steroids and Sudafed. The most serious tipping point for me was having an intense spell of vertigo/dizziness in my office one day. I thought I was going to pass out and it was a terrifying experience that took me a few hours to recover from. A few months later I had another one of these episodes while working out on the elliptical at my gym. From that moment on the way I experienced daily life just flipped upside down. In short –– I didn’t see the same, feel the same or act/look the same. Over the next several years I struggled daily with all the main symptoms and diagnoses listed below, on a spectrum and interwoven on any given day. I was in bed a lot, pleading with myself to stay in bed a lot more (than I actually did), and feeling as if I was on the brink of passing out every day:
Mast cell activation syndrome / histamine intolerance
Swelling, rashes and flushing –– reactions to food/environment
Gut dysbiosis (no good gut bacteria)
Toxic mold exposure
Chronic reactivated Epstein Barr Virus
Episodes of both extremely high spikes and low lows of blood pressure
Dizziness and equilibrium problems - having to stay in bed or lay down with my feet above my head throughout the day
Brain fog, memory lapses
Hypermobility and connective tissue issues (possible EDS)
Chronic sinus infections
Generalized anxiety disorder
Tell us a little bit about your health journey.
I made it my mission to heal my body from the beginning. But to get there I sat through countless draining, disempowering doctor’s appointments with different specialists and four different practitioners (both western and natural) over the years. I cycled through a lot of supplements and protocols that seemed helpful, but at the end up the day I was pumping myself with a lot of isolated chemistry. I learned that true healing is nowhere to be found in the dominant paradigm of “healthcare” or even in most naturopathic care.
Over the years of learning through trial and error with foods it became clear that a primarily plant-based diet was what “flared” me the least. My main diagnosis and symptom presentation, mast cell activation syndrome, initially led me to a low histamine diet for relief. As I explored this more though, I found Yasmina Ykelenstam of Healing Histamine. Her philosophy of addressing histamine intolerance head on with nutrient dense foods, rather than avoiding histamines outright, fostered a fighting spirit in my initial approach. Later I discovered Anthony William, The Medical Medium, and that is when everything changed. His books uncovered all the mysteries of my interconnected issues and it was the first time I felt thoroughly understood. His chapter titled “Fruit Fear” kicked off my big pivot. This was me. I was afraid of fruit! I mostly avoided it for years, because sugar. I didn’t necessarily agree with this knowledge at first but something about it felt and sounded right. I didn’t want to admit it. I did several medical medium cleanses and started to trust this information and bash the fruit fear little by little. My symptoms improved bit by bit and fruit felt so good.
About a year ago I discovered Dr. Robert Morse and the Mangotarian on youtube and binge-learned about the lymphatic system and the healing benefits of getting out of the body’s way via a high-fruit raw vegan diet. I immediately went to about 90% fruit for two months last summer and experienced rapid physical, emotional and spiritual healing. My vision and balance issues cleared dramatically which were always the most damning. It was so surreal to experience this feeling and I remember it being one of the most emotional moments of my life. From there I haven’t looked back.
What books, shows, podcasts, etc...were/are helpful for you?
Who has been instrumental in your journey to health?
Hands down, my partner has been my steady right hand in all of this. The term invisible illness is one I strongly identified with in my worst years of walking through life with chronic illness symptoms. This term perfectly encapsulates how I felt at that time and the only person who could really see right through this invisibility each day was my partner, naturally. He witnessed and often cared for the parts of me that every other person in my life just did not get to see. Not only did he hold me upright during these difficult times but he fully joined me and helped push me along in the epic challenge to self heal. He has done medical medium cleanses with me and we both committed to fruit-fueled ethical veganism about a year ago. Together, we’ve experienced a magical level of learning, expansion and transformation I can hardly put into words.
I would also highly credit the influences I listed above and the beautiful community of like-minded people I have connected with and healed alongside with on Instagram for providing me with such wild wisdom and support.
What are your top 5 favorite herbs or supplements?
Ashwagandha - this has been my lifeboat for feeling calm and balanced.
Lemon Balm - in combination with Ashwagandha especially, this is also my potent anti-fear tool.
Passion flower - another great calming agent but more fast acting I’ve found.
CBD - I was dependent on CBD during my worst times and it helped me to be high functioning, especially when I had to be a public person. It took away a lot of aches and also helped me sleep. I still use it sometimes but not daily.
Ginseng - Low doses of Ginseng give me brilliant natural energy along with the high fruit, this helped me navigate coming off caffeine as well.
Spirulina - I used this religiously on medical medium protocols which assisted with the heavy metal detoxification.
What are some of your favorite healing foods or recipes?
I adore daily smoothies, creamy little nice cream combos and big bountiful savory salads. Some of my favorite staple foods on this lifestyle, depending on the season, are watermelon, mango, wild blueberries, dark cherries, strawberries, banana, dates and raw juices. I’ve had fun creating savory raw vegan taco and salad recipes that involve creamy dressings, avocado/guac, juicy tomatoes, rich walnut or sunflower seed meat, and more. You can find the recipes on rosieheals.com
Tell us about some of your setbacks, and how you overcame them.
One very sensitive and intimate piece to all of this is that I lost myself for years. It’s like time freezes. I can look back now and say that it was like living in a nightmare where every single day you expect to wake up “better” or “back to normal” in the morning. But each day, disappointingly, devastatingly, you’re not. This takes a toll on so many levels over time but one of the most painful things was realizing that I lost my self confidence, self worth and my spark for life. Being angry at your body for being “autoimmune” (a now defunct term for me) is extremely disempowering and cracks away at the fabric of your being. I think coming back to life in these ways, as a completely new human, has been the most challenging. But it is slowly happening and it is my own little miracle.
I am overcoming these deep-seated self love woes for myself by instilling hardcore boundaries and smashing the people pleasing, unlearning it all, being my strongest advocate, hugging and loving this new physical body I’ve worked hard to create, redefining and revolutionizing rest and productivity, writing, sharing and spilling my heart out, looking at myself in the mirror for 90 minutes (yoga) as a radical act of self acceptance and trying to sandwich myself in between those who are working in different ways to do the same.
What is one technique, therapy, or product that made a big difference for you?
A high fruit diet and bouts of fasting for hardcore regeneration of tissue and purging stagnant lymph. These methods, far beyond any others, have been essential to erasing my chronic illness symptoms over time. I am writing this while on Day 7 of a collective mono melon adventure (only juicing/eating melons) and I am experiencing the most accelerated healing benefits I’ve had so far on this lifestyle.
(Fasting, intermittent fasting and fruiting are all serious practices that require heaps of background knowledge and forethought in getting to know how the body works. I wouldn’t recommend anyone fast or even attempt high fruit until they have undergone this period of learning –– reading the books above –– while also on a serious transition diet.)
Of course, healing is multi-faceted and these other elements have been a necessity too:
Dropping my disease labels and letting go of obsessively learning about all the different ways my body was “failing” me has been an impactful tool for rewiring my brain.
Cranio-sacral therapy from my lovely ND last year did wonders for my autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
I am currently loving autogenic guided meditations for sedating my body and mind into moments of silence and floating.
Walking, exploring nature and getting my body in the ground (wrapped in grass, toes digging into the dirt, feet in the river, etc.) brings me instant elation and balance.
Visualizing what I want and using mantras to manifest my power keeps my happiness and gratitude baselines high.
Singing my soul out for pleasure I believe has also helped re-regulate my obvious vagus nerve dysfunction.
Using my non-dominant hand as often as possible for neural retraining.
REST. Revolutionizing what rest actually means in my life and honoring that has helped me re-establish my actual needs.
Bikram yoga and working to open the higher chakras is helping me to lead with my heart, lessening my fears and anxieties as I continue to heal.
How important is mindfulness and/or spirituality for healing? What does that look like for you?
It is perhaps the pinnacle. Many people in this community talk about this phenomenon, but the raw living foods will push you into a state of vibration that puts you face to face with your spiritual path. Here is where I learned the painstaking reality of how secretly broken I was and how to love myself again. This can feel uncomfortable but also piercingly beautiful. The moment I started to connect to myself and the earth in a deep spiritual manner is when the emotional healing got underway. The painful excavation and purging of old emotional wounds. I like to think of it like this –– turning to the living plant foods, especially fruit, is an imperative tool for reaching our most authentic levels of experiencing the now. And dealing with the barriers that come with that. Once I turned to a high-fruit diet these principles of presence and connectedness just started to run my life.
What does your life look like right now in terms of your health?
Life feels vibrant, energetic and full. I am more present than I’ve ever been and I’ve undergone a liberating transformation. It’s been therapeutic and critical to reflect on my growth in the last year. Things fluctuate day to day but I feel strongly that I’m currently sitting at about 90% symptom free. So I am in a state of celebrating that every single day.
What is one piece of advice you'd like to share with those beginning their healing journeys?
I was stunned when I finally experienced the power of high fruit for healing. Stunned because I had worked so hard, clawing at answers for so many years, to find something that worked to regenerate the body and reverse my disease symptoms. There was a thick layer of noise and poor influence I had to first succumb to and later push through to get to this truth. It’s ALL part of the journey. But this realization made me angry. Angry for myself and for so many others who are suffering right now. While I admire and deeply respect that we are all on a unique path to finding our inner truths for how we heal, I do wish I would have known this information sooner. This is what drives me to share the most intimate bits of myself and my story on a platform where others are desperately searching for answers like I once was. That feels like a divine little duty I must adhere to. I’m grateful to be swimming in the space of wide-open vulnerability and sharing right now.
Further, I believe (and the research unquestionably supports) that there is no place for congestive, mucus-forming animal products in healing the body, let alone our collective consciousness. The day I went vegan and stopped putting dead remnants of exploitation and torture into my physical body was one of the best things I have ever done for myself, for the animals and for the planet I always claimed to care about. My authenticity and identity has really fallen into place with this commitment and it’s one other mechanism for coming home to heal into my true self.
Any other words of wisdom?
The ways we are dependent on drugs, dying in hospital beds, the indignity of how disease becomes us and defines us –– it doesn’t have to be this way. Self healing is at our fingertips. There is no quick fix. Healing is a lifestyle of slowness, navigating our trauma with lots of love and embracing a series of small wins. It’s vital for us to question the myriad of ways that we are blindly conditioned into contributing to our own demise in terms of our health.
There is nothing more inspiring than seeing how many of us are out here unabashedly healing ourselves. I would encourage anyone and everyone to join the movement to take your power back too. Slowly disinvest in the systems that have been brainwashing us into thinking, acting and feeling as if we have no will over our bodies. Start investing in the revolution of owning your health.
Where can people connect with you?
Instagram is a living, breathing full-fledged documentation and time capsule of my life in healing, fruiting and learning how to live in the now. I love connecting to others within the self-healing community on IG. It’s a huge part of what saved me.
I also have a website with raw-vegan recipes, with healing lifestyle and blog content to come.
What a powerful success story of healing chronic illness! Thank you so much for sharing with us, Kelsey.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a fruit craving coming on…
Much love to you all, and as always,
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~