Tales From A Raw Mom’s Life

By Guest Blogger   |  54Comments|

After being diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in April of 2007, I did tons of research on healing my body. I was told there was no cure and that my prognosis was “good” at ten years max. Not sure what’s so good about that at 48 years old. Then I found Ms. Kris Carr, and watched her life saving ass-kicking documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. I devoured her Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips book in a few hours, crying and laughing all the way. My life changed forever, for the better.

I traded in my frying pan for a juicer, and used a dehydrator instead of an oven. Enjoying greens, seeds, all sorts of veggies, sprouts, nuts, nut milks and nut butters, fruit, smoothies and the occasional superfood treat, my body sang with health. Within five months, my blood work was the best it’s ever been and has remained steady since. You may be thinking, “She must be making her family eat all raw food, surrounded by raw loving people, eating at tons of living cuisine gourmet restaurants, and hey, it’s EASY to do raw in Sunny Southern California!” And you would be incorrect on most counts.

My stepdaughter Jazmine is 18 and will eat anything, she is what I would call an adventurous food lover. Sam, my 8-year-old daughter, adores the following items: Steak, coffee (!) and ice cream. Warner, my dear husband, used to crave Korean BBQ and has been known to knock back a few Negro Modelos at dinner. My in-laws live in Hawaii, where plate lunches (Spam!) and buffets are common fare. My brother-in-law is a sushi chef. Most of my close friends are omnivores, with a few vegheads thrown in the mix. My sister loves the spice of life and is a wonderful cook. With a few exceptions, like Bueller of Bueller’s Kitchen and Revell of Let’s Talk Raw, most of my raw/wellness crew are spread all over the USA.


When I made the choice to use the Crazy Sexy Lifestyle for healing, I knew that it would be ten times as hard to try to change my family’s diet too. Did some things disappear from our kitchen? You betcha! Did they like the raw food I made? Some things became staples, other dishes, not so much. I do cook everyday for my family, mostly vegan fare and as much whole food as I can get in their bellies! Trust me when I tell you that going to a raw food restaurant is a rare and expensive treat, not a common occurrence!

The funny thing is, my friends have started following my lead and taking up raw foods too. My best friend, who used to eat pretty standard American diet, juices daily and has dropped about ten pounds, due to maintaining a 75% raw diet. My husband read Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman and he has been a vegan ever since. He feels and looks great, drinks smoothies daily and strives to eat raw whenever he can. Sam, my omnivore girl, eats a variety of things, but fruit and smoothies are a hit with her too. She loves to tell her friends about my salad eating ways and for her 8th birthday requested a raw strawberry cheesecake! Jazmine is juicing and working out regularly now. My brother-in-law has experimented with making veggie only sushi and it’s pretty tasty! My in-laws are juicing, eating chia seeds instead of oatmeal and cutting down on their meat consumption. Hawaii is full of great fresh fruit too.

The things that help me most are having a dynamic group of farmers at my weekly market, a rocking Whole Foods nearby and a small whole foods co-op. Fresh, whole foods are a must for my raw lifestyle. I learn so much at the Crazy Sexy Life blog and forum. Raw food blogs give me so much inspiration and information. I own a few living foods ‘uncookbooks’ too.

If you have been diagnosed with an illness or just want to feel better, Kris’s Crazy Sexy lifestyle is the way to go. Adding raw foods, juicing, green smoothies, meditation, exercise and stress reduction works! Don’t try to drag your family kicking and screaming, just do what you need to do for you. Keep it simple and don’t make a big drama out of your food or theirs.

The most important thing I have learned from all this is what I call the Oxygen Mask Principle. If you have a child with you on an airplane, and the mask drops down, you put it on yourself first, then help the child. In other words, heal yourself, and then you will be able to share the love of life with everyone else.

I am forever grateful to Kris for my crazy sexy life!

Debbie Young is a 50 year old work at home mom to 3 kids: a 2 year old whippet fur person, a 8 year old and an 18 year old stepkid. Debbie was diagnosed with CLL aka Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in April 07 and is following a raw food diet and the Crazy Sexy Lifestyle since Oct 07 to “make it all better, or at least not let it kill me!”

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54 responses to Tales From A Raw Mom’s Life
  1. Deb,
    Awesome blog and just what I needed to read going into the new year. I am planning to become vegan and then go on to raw foods. I live with the two biggest meat eaters, so your blog and of course,you, give me lots of hope!
    Love ya – Jeanné

  2. What an inspiring as well as AWEspiring post, Deb! You look FANtabulous!!! Thanks for sharing your story. :-)

  3. what a fantastic blog! Your ‘oxygen mask principle’ is spot on.

  4. Rawsome!!!

    I used a raw pun just for you Deb. :)

  5. Beautiful! Thanks for a great article

  6. This is an amazing article and very inspiring! Love it, especially the Oxygen Mask Principle. Thank you!

  7. Absolutely Amazing and super Encouraging!!!!

  8. Great story!
    I wish I had succeeded in inspiring my loved one the way you did, sadly I have failed so far.

  9. Nice post, Debbie, thank you! I’d love to hear more about the logistics of day-to-day life with a non-raw family. How you go about preparing food for both them and you, the planning of it, whatever you do to make it successful.

  10. Very nice!!!

  11. Way to go Deb! Awesome as ever! Yeeha! xoxo

  12. GREAT Deb! Love all your info, photos and most of all hearing that your blood levels are wonderful! Keep it raw kiddo.
    Peace and love,

  13. This is a great, blog Deb. It shows how well balanced you are too, and how gracefully you manage. So honest and as Lauren said – it’s rawsome.

  14. *Holding up a fresh green juice*

    Here’s to the next 50 years, Deb!

    Love you,

  15. Thanks for sharing your story here Deb! You have been an inspiration to me for a long time now! I admire your strength in sticking with the raw food lifestyle!!!
    You look wonderful & I am glad to hear you feel wonderful too!
    You are blessed with a great family & a great purpose!

  16. Great story Deb, thank you again for sharing your journey! Big hugs!! XOXO!

  17. Deb –
    You are the best! Great article. You are an inspiration. Love you tons!

  18. Wow! That blog post was SO inspiring! You are so amazing, and since I am turning 50 this year you are a personal inspiration to me. You look 30. Thank you for this post!

  19. I adore the oxygen mask principal…I am going to post that right now!

  20. Love the Oxygen Mask analogy. That’s really wise. Love you!

  21. Debbie – you are an in inspiration to all! Keep on motivating others – you are helping so many others!

  22. OMG! I am speechless guys!!!! The love is just flowing and I am so blessed to have found Kris, her amazing truth and light and then found all of YOU!!!
    Jeanne’: YOU inspire me my dear fit friend!
    JodyLynn: blush…
    Elle: true that, got to save yourself first!
    Lauren: you are RAWsome too!:)
    Grace: you are so welcome!
    RFN: thanks love!
    Jeff: thanks for that!
    Alejandra: do not give up, it took my hubby two years to change!
    Angelique: great idea! check my blog, I will do a detail post on my day!
    Isabelle: thanks!
    Michalene: you know I love you girl!
    Rhonda: I miss you! come to Cali!
    Organic ZuZu: it has not been a smooth road but the bumps were worth it!
    EM: YEAH! 50 years more rawlove!
    Sweetlife: I am blessed, love you!
    Lauren: big HUGs to you!
    Lanae: you are a sweetie, love you!
    Elisa:Oh man, 30? Thanks!
    Lisa: I saw it, thanks so much!
    Bueller: you know I love you B! you are a great friend, see you soon!
    Lisha, my BFF, you inspire ME love you

  23. You have always been an inspiration here on CSL! Thank you for your perspective. I have made it way too difficult! Happy New Year!! xo

  24. Kim: focus on you, the rest will follow.. or not.. most important is healing yourself!

  25. OMG Debbie, you are so awesome and beautiful inside and out!
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring us every single day!
    It’s people like you and Kris who spread hope and light in the world!
    love to you, xoxo

  26. Deb, What an amazing story!! You’re so inspirational to all of us. and I also love your Oxygen Mask analogy. You go Girl!! Love you. Thanks for sharing your inspirational story with us.

  27. great post, Debbie! love that your husband is vegan, didn’t know that. howard lyman is a great influence.

    wishing you lots of health and happiness in 2010!

  28. Rainbow!!!!! Thanks so much, Kris is my mentor, I learned from her!
    Iffat! Love you girl, use that mask theory, it works!
    Bitt! you are so sweet.. he tells me he is vegetarian, but mostly vegan :)

  29. Deb…..I love ya!!! YOU have done so much to change my life, my health and my outlook on every day =)
    I can’t wait to visit you….someday, and have the most awesome green smoothie ever!!!!!

  30. Becky B! you better get your butt out here! I will make you a glorious green smoothie and a quart of green juice to go with it! Good thing we have three bathrooms here!!!!
    love you

  31. Yay Debbie! Love you girl :)

  32. Oh Debbie! You’re right when you say you are an inspiration! We are so much healthier because of your example. Love you girlfriend! Kat

  33. Deb, this was a really great post for anyone wanting to make changes. Even staying steady in the life you have can be difficult; the “Oxygen Mask” analogy should be in bold type in every parenting book.

    Thank you for the reminder!

  34. You’re so awesome Deb. I love your spirit.

  35. I love this blog. I especially love “the oxygen mask” idea. My therapist gave me that one 3 years ago & I try to remember it and practice it. My husband & I are trying to get to 100% raw but we still eat cooked vegan about twice a week. The holidays did not help my efforts. Thank you for sharing it inspires me to just do it already.

  36. My husband was dignosed with CLL in July 2005 (on our anniversary) when I was 6 months pregnant. His prognosis was 5 years max. After a couple of days of feeling sorry for ourselves we started researching and changed our diet completely. His prognosis has now been changed to 12 years or more and both of us are feeling healthier than ever. I find it sad that more people don’t understand (or care) that what you feed your body does have a huge impact on your health.
    So glad I found your blog.

  37. Inspirational and instructional – I foresee a book here, showing everyday folks real, everyday tools for raw living. I think most people shy away from making the transition because it seems so “all or nothing” – but there are small things one can do everyday to bring raw food into your life (you taught me that!) I got another analogy for you: an ocean liner doesn’t stop on a dime to change direction; it takes time to change course. Blessings for a wonderful 2010!

  38. Debbie,

    I am 58 yr family doc w an aggressive CLL and ITP.
    I had CLL > 4 years, had a transplant over a year ago, which I rejected was I too healthy. Raw organic low glycemic vegan, but I eat cooked food when I travel and one or two times a week

    Check out my blog:

    And let me know if I can help.

    We are all in this together

    Stay strong


  39. Ok, Here goes the love!
    Liz M! Love you, you are my hero!
    Kat! got your email, two days raw, YOU GO! love you lady.
    Kimberly: maybe it should be in the “take the baby home” literature! xo
    Kristen! you sweet raw momma! I know your kids will eat way better than my Sam! xoxoxoo
    Keri: Stay green, keep on the steady path, you will get there!!!
    Lisa: he may be like me, in a stage/type of CLL that responds well to diet changes, so AMAZING for you both!! keep on it, it works!
    Maddie: oh girl, I love you! you always have my back, even at the gym! love your idea!
    Brian: I have visited your blog.. in fact others in the CLL community have told me about you too..hope that you are doing well!
    Deb xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox

  40. Hey love.. I am so proud of you. You rock the blog. I think I lost a bet on the health front and nothing could make me happier. I love hearing your story. We are all so blessed. Love you. Callie

  41. Debbie…I am brushing the tears away from my eyes as I finishing reading your triumphant story of a real girl, in the real world, kicking cancer’s ass and taking serious names. You are my heroine….but you already know that.

    Love you. Love your spirit and can’t wait til the weather is better when I can kick start this tattered broom and get to your neck o’ the woods, for reals!

  42. Callie! I love you lady.come see me and Bring the Dunc!
    Penni: oh, thanks doll!!!! I am aiming my broom at 105 degrees.. may have to go to Tulsa too! love you lots!

  43. DEBS! Great to see you blogging here! Bravo, girl! Love you!

  44. Great job, Deb!

  45. Sandra!!!!!!! I miss you, please update me on how your book is coming and how you and Ron are!
    Thanks Heather!
    love to everyone

  46. Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration! Love you Deb.

  47. It’s amazing what a little detox, nutrition and positive energy will accomplish!

  48. What a fantastic testimony on the benefits of eating raw. I also like the challenge to change/heal yourself first, then work on your children and others. It will come.

    I was the 2nd of 4 close families (and counting) to splurge and purchase the Blendtec high powered blender…to my health. We have no health issues so far, and with daily smoothies and eating raw and vegan I don’t plan on any.

  49. To Nell, Marcus and April: Thanks so much. every day is a blessing and I hope that I help folks along the way!
    deb xo

  50. Thanks to Evelyn I know about you… I’m so glad we’ve connected. Where is LB BIL a sushi chef? What kind of dehydrator? Juicer? I’ll email you. So inspired on this Solar Eclipse to release dis-ease and embrace being more well than ever before… You make it sound easy!

  51. I am glad I found out this web page, I couldnt find any data on this cancer diet topic prior to. I also manage a website and if you’re ever interested in a tiny bit of visitor writing for me you need to really feel free to let me know, im usually glance for people to verify out my web page. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!

  52. I have been turned to vegan from last five years and living a healthy lifestyle. I have been diagnosed with high diabetes and have to take care of my diet very seriously. Your diet looks very promising for a healthy lifestyle. I have not tried raw food but eating salads regularly. I will be glad to start this new diet to add to my healthy lifestyle and diet.

  53. It takes a lot of will power to make such a major life change but I guess something like cancer is enough to motivate a lot of people to make necessary changes. I’m glad you’re having success with the raw food diet and I hope you stay healthy.

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