{get to know me!}





This has been the hardest section of my blog to write- writing about myself just seems so awkward, it is the same feeling that I use to get in 8th grade when I would have to get up in front of the class for my current events presentation; sweaty palms and all.

Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes was created back in 2011- the start of my blog was the start of my healing journey. In 2008 I became very ill - Doctors were not 100% certain what was wrong. I was "diagnosed" with acid reflux, heart burn and a myriad of minor illnesses. I was given several different medications which I reluctantly took, but even with all the medications and Doctors visits I wasn't getting any better - my weight had dropped and my symptoms of nausea, stomach pain and burning were not subsiding. After 6 months of "trying to figure it out" my PCP ordered an emergency cat scan - the Doctors had diagnosed me with Crohns. Say what Crohns? The problem was I didn't suffer from the "normal" Crohns symptoms - I wasn't convinced and to say the least I wasn't confident in my Doctors diagnosis or abilities to properly treat this so called "Chronic Illness" , a disease I still wasn't convinced I even had. Never been one to take multiple medications - an aspirin here and there but nothing more I found myself bombarded with a scary list of medications with even scarier sounding side effects. All of a sudden my world came crashing down and with it came a Chronic Illness with no foreseeable cure and an endless list of medications, along with not so fun poking and prodding. Needless to say I went for a second opinion. After meeting with a new team of Doctors I had more hope than with the first team- new Hospital, specialized Doctors & hope. I started to feel a bit better, however my symptoms never fully subsided - I began to feel as if my new Team wasn't hearing me. I would go back time and time again with the same symptoms and they would simply push more medication my way. I thought to myself- this can't be right- there has to be something more, a better way to beat this thing. 

It was at this point I stopped my medications as I felt they were no longer a benefit to me. With Justin's help we began researching more holistic means of treatment - herbal supplements and probiotics. I would have good days and bad days, I was happy that I was no longer putting unnecessary chemicals into my body. Honestly, I think I tried to convince myself I was getting better, the reality of the situation was I was a lot sicker than I wanted to believe. When I looked in the mirror I still saw myself- the problem was that wasn't what others were seeing; I was wasting away. I couldn't keep anything down, severely dehydrated, malnourished- so much so on two different occasions I passed out - once in the shower and the other on my way into the kitchen. My parents, sister, Justin and loved ones became really concerned - they finally pushed me to make an appointment with a Doctor that an older, really good friend of mine recommended. I headed down to Boston to meet with a new Team of specialists- the initial meeting was so positive and hopeful. For the first time I really felt as if I was being heard. This was back in November of 2009. From that meeting a variety of tests were scheduled for December, the second round of tests landed me in the hospital- I was so sick the Doctors couldn't believe I had made it this far without hospitalization. Truly this was one of the best days of my life- this was the start of my true recovery. It was determined that I did have upper Crohns which only 3% of people with Crohns are diagnosed with, I was treated at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston for 7 days. It was there that I met my hero, Dr Makrauer - he is amazing. Dr. Makrauer placed me on predinsone and 6MP which I stayed on for 1 1/2 years, finally I began to feel my true self again. My stomach was no longer angry and I felt like I had my life back. 

105 pounds, Christmas 2009 just before being admitted to Brigham Women's
September of 2010 I became Vegan. I would like to tell you that I first became vegan because of my health or passion for animals, but in all honesty it was more of a personal challenge. I was one of "those people" that said I could never give up cheese or eggs - I wanted to prove to myself that I could. After becoming vegan my health improved 10 fold, I went off of all my medications and have been in complete remission for over a year - I truly believe I have my plant based way of life to thank. When people ask why I made the decision to go vegan I would answer because of my health - slowly that answer started to change.Once you are emerged in this way of life it is hard to ignore the cruelty and suffering the animals - I became even more compassionate and soon my answer to this question became for my health and for the animals.


Up until a little more than a year ago my better half Justin was still a Vegetarian - after watching Vegucated I declared that he was on his own when it came to cheese & eggs, I would no longer purchase or prepare these items for him. Being the supportive partner he is Justin made the change to a "vegan" status in support of me and the animals. Justin was actually a vegetarian prior to us meeting, he that was biggest influence in my change to vegetarianism over 9 years ago. Before meeting Justin my diet was horrendous, I have always loved fresh fruits and veggies but I also consumed my fair share of processed and fast food-
I was the poster child for the SAD.

The start of this blog allowed me to love food again, that love of food slowly turned into a love of food photography and food styling. I am so thankful to have my health and happiness back - the powers of plant based compassionate living are truly amazing.

I am passionate about life, all living things and believe that each individual can make a difference in this world no matter how big or small the movement is, it all adds up in the end. Nearly every Sunday Justin and I make Banana Pancakes or some sort of Pancake to start our lazy Sunday's together, it's those Sunday's that inspired the name of this blog.
Yum

14 comments:

  1. You have such an inspirational story. I would love to share your story with my readers, would you consider doing a guest post? My blog is bodybyzen.blogspot.com
    Kind Regards,
    Elle

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your illness, but I'm glad you overcame it! I could go on and on about the benefits of a plant based diet (:
    -Quincy
    http://shugurcan.blogspot.com

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  3. So sorry to hear about your health struggles- what a journey! But so glad you found the solution. Beautiful bloggin' lady!

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  4. i am so sorry for the health struggles Heather and so happy that you have found something that works! you look absolutely beautiful ad sweet:)

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  5. So proud of all of your accomplishments sis. Love ya!

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  6. What an amazing story. Well done and love your blog.

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  7. Great story! I can relate. It's interesting that "health vegans" soon become "animal cruelty" vegans too. You articulated that change beautifully. Thank you and nice to come across your blog.

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  8. You simply amaze me. You have come so far and have done great with your cooking and blog. so proud of you. Love you, Gram

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    1. Aww thanks Gram- I couldn't have gotten to where I am without the support of you and our amazing family- love you too!

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  9. I can totally relate to your story- I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2 years ago and have been struggling with it ever since. Getting the right diagnosis can be so hard, let alone dealing with the chronic illness itself. You're still so positive and I think that's wonderful!

    Unfortunately Crohn's primarily affects my lower intestines so I have a lot of dietary restrictions, including no raw veggies or most fruits. I still love to read your vegan recipes though, and hope someday maybe I can try them out :)

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  10. Wow -- just wow. I cannot believe I missed this section of your blog up until now. Your story is really incredible, and something I feel like I can relate to. I was actually sick for well over a year, in and out of the hospital and doctors visits, all the while no one could tell me what was wrong. In the end they settled on the diagnoses of mono (yup, good ol' mono), only my symptoms were so far off from the normal ones that most of my doctors didn't listen to or believe me when I told them my condition. I remember laying in the hospital bed one day and a doctor I hadn't seen before came in and asked me what was going on. I explained my story to him (about the hundredth time I had recited it), thinking that there had been a shift change and he was my new doc. Turns out, he was from another part of the hospital and had heard about me and was just so intrigued he had to stop by and see me for himself!

    Needless to say, I did finally start to get better. The best part of recovering from something so long-lasting, at least for me, was learning to appreciate the little things again. When you mentioned being able to love food again, and starting this blog, that's what it made me think of.

    I'm so glad you finally found something that worked for you, and are healthy and happy again. You are an amazing blogger, and an amazing person, and I am so glad to know you!

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  11. Hi there,

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  12. One of the blog Blog, Heather!

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  13. Sorry, I mean best Blog

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Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!