Meet Kymm: Makeup Artist & Raw Food Diet Diva

Have you ever heard of a raw food diet? Have you ever met a raw foodist?

Ever wondered if raw food was the answer to your digestive and/or weight loss problems? This post is for you!

Meet Kymm, a makeup artist based in North Carolina whose story will blow you away! She's overcome an eating disorder and some very scary digestive problems, all by "going raw." Read my interview with Kymm closely and you'll see this was about so much more than than weight loss; it's about better health; healing; a lifestyle change-- NOT a diet.

Weight Loss Success Kymm

Here is her incredible story:

Tell me how you got started on the path to a completely raw diet.

In January 2012, I experienced a bout of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Acid Reflux that was so severe, I literally didn't know what to do. My stomach swelled to almost 48" at my naval, I looked 9 months pregnant, it felt as if my skin would tear from being stretched so tight. This condition is called "abdominal distention" and it's when gas is released in the gut, but isn't released from the body. My abs literally swelled up to my chest, I couldn't wear clothes and could barely move. The pain was constant. Along with this was acid reflux to the point of liquid bile coming up into my mouth. It didn't matter if I ate or not, or what I ate, the bloating was constant. Over the counter medications were ineffective. This wasn't the first time I had experienced this, just the longest it had ever lasted, which was 10 days. I knew that something had to change, I needed a permanent treatment. And I knew I wouldn't find that treatment from the medical community.

I had suffered with these symptoms for years, along with chronic constipation, often not evacuating for over a month.

I had seen a variety of doctors, from general practitioners to gastrologists, but all tests, including an endoscopy and colonoscopy revealed no particular diagnosis. I even tried alternative therapies like acupuncture, meditation, hypnosis and of course a wide variety of diets - all to no avail. I was desperate and willing to anything, absolutely anything, to stop the pain and bloating. {I was overweight due to an eating disorder, but we will get to that later.)

Raw Foods

What made you think raw food was the answer?

When exploring my options, I remembered a medical doctor telling me that abdominal distention was caused by "bad bacteria" in the intestines. After doing some research, I learned many people took acidophilus or probiotics {healthy bacteria in capsule form} to counteract the condition. I immediately ordered some, tried taking them for a few days, experienced no results and gave up. Frustrated, I thought again what to do???? And then I realized that there must be food that has it's own enzymes to help digest it, in other words, food that would contribute to a "good bacteria" environment in the gut - and there was only one type of food that maintained the enzymes - uncooked.

And that's how the journey began....

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Did you know anyone else who was living this sort of lifestyle? What were your initial thoughts on the idea to go raw?

I didn't know anyone who ate raw, I still don't. But I was a chronic dieter so I had dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism before. So the idea of no meat wasn't that difficult to adjust to. However, I had terrible bouts with both lifestyles because let's face it, french fries and Mountain Dew are vegan. I was a 200 lb. vegan. Many vegans substitute meat with cupcakes, pasta, cookies, etc. - there are many high processed vegan options - all which contribute to weight gain and made me very sick. Funny that people worry about vegans/vegetarians not getting enough protein...it's not what vegans AREN'T eating that concerns me, it's what they ARE eating...highly processed fake chicken, beef, chili, hot dogs, cheese - all made from by-products of soy - all which are difficult on the digestive system.

Kymm

It must have been pretty scary for you to embark on this alone! What were the first few days like?  How did you get started?

Once I made the decision to go "raw" - I was completely at a loss as how to get started. And totally overwhelmed. My saving grace was a local "living kitchen" called Luna's. A cafe that offered raw cuisine. I called and asked to come in and meet with the owner. I was terrified but determined. I decided no matter what the results, I would commit to 30 days of raw food - from Luna's - sort of like a healthy Nutri-System. So I went and met with the owner, a very sweet and kind woman who was so encouraging...she smiled and hugged me and suggested that I come in every other day and pick up 2 days worth of food since raw food maintains it's nutrients for a short period of time. I started on February 14th, Valentine's Day - it was the greatest gift of Love I ever gave myself.

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Did you feel better instantly? When did you start to see the weight come off?

I did feel better almost immediately. Because I was eating a very complete, balanced diet - smoothies, juices, veggies, fruits, grains, etc. - I didn't experience any withdrawals {like many people do on juice fasts}. After 72 hours, I was hooked. The bloating dissipated, my bowels regulated for the first time in my life and my energy level soared - in fact I could barely sleep for days. The weight was a wonderful side effect, I would have stuck with it just to live pain free but I was amazed when the weight started to fall off.

Over time, have you become more confident in living this sort of lifestyle?

I'm totally confident now, in fact, I was from the first few days. During my 30 day trial, I was booked for a job in Los Angeles during my 3rd week...I was scared to take the job, what about my 30 day commitment?? But after realizing I was staying in a hotel on the beach in Santa Monica, I did some research to find the "guru of raw" Juliano, had a restaurant just 3 blocks from the hotel. Juliano has been raw for many years and is considered the "founding father" of the movement. His restaurant "Planet Raw" is world famous - as are his recipe books and workshops. I was shaking with excitement to eat there and see what my options were for a lifetime of this type of eating. I ate there every day, 3x a day for a week and knew I could do this from now on. I ate "pasta with cheese sauce" "pudding" "nachos" "pizza," etc. Although I was very intimidated by the idea of preparing these types of complicated dishes, at least I knew what my options were. And the best moment of the trip, was when Juliano himself walked in. It was like seeing a rock star, lol.

When I returned home, I order a food processor, juicer, dehydrator and a dozen books. I was ready to attempt this on my own!

Do you ever see meat, or cooked foods for that matter, and want some? Do you ever cheat? What, if anything, do you miss the most? What DON'T you miss?

No, I don't want to ever experience that type of pain again and now I am mentoring other people interested in learning this lifestyle, I don't want to disappoint them either. And no, I don't miss anything. I eat veggie burgers, smoothies, puddings, cookies, brownies, crackers, etc. I get satisfaction from my options ; ) I definitely don't miss vomiting in my mouth, being constipated for weeks or looking pregnant.

Wow- such a powerful story, and this is just the first part! Come back later today for the second half. Kymm-- thank you so much for sharing so openly about your lifestyle. You are the rock star in our eyes!

Has anyone experienced the type of pain Kymm described? Can you relate?

Would you consider a raw food lifestyle?

To learn more about Kymm as a makeup artist, visit her website, Who's the Fairest? You can also check out Kymm's raw food diet website, Living Ripe, which is full of awesome resources to get started, grocery shop, and more.