Thursday, September 4, 2014
Just vegetables and fruits and wow...
I have recently joined a new team, for an old, trusted company, and I am excited to share our story - I was asked to do so for our team. Here's the long version (lol).
Our Story – The Kennedys and Juice Plus
In 2008, my husband Craig broke his femur waterskiing.
Craig a T-12 paraplegic, meaning his spinal cord was severed at the Thoracic #12 vertebrae, just above his hips. Craig was injured skiing in March 1996 in Steamboat Springs, 2 years after moving to Colorado, just before his 25th birthday, and has used a wheelchair ever since. It doesn’t slow him down. It didn’t affect his love for skiing. And it didn’t affect his soulshine.
Craig and I met in 1998, at a bar in Steamboat, and we started dating in August 2000. I fell in love with Craig because of his Can-Do contagious attitude, and immediately we started traveling together.
On an Alaska trip in 2002 we realized there was a strong need for young adventurous travelers to promote and educate about the importance of accessibility, and by 2003 we had started our company, Access Anything. We published our first travel guidebook in 2005, our second in 2007, and spent 7 great years touring the country, consulting with businesses of all sizes, creating adventure camps, and promoting adaptive travel for people with disabilities.
So in 2008, Craig was waterskiing with our “Behind the Boat” waterski camp – two days of waterskiing and wakeboarding for all abilities – when he took a bad fall and spiral-fractured his femur. At the hospital, the orthopedic surgeon said his bones were so brittle from lack of use that he could probably break Craig’s other leg with his bare hands. (Eh!) The doc prescribed calcium to Craig to help with his bone density and strength, but he wasn’t optimistic it would help. (Double eh!) Being a naturalist, we immediately went to our health network. Craig got some Chinese herbs from our acupuncturist, and we talked to everyone we knew about the calcium issue.
During that time, a friend asked us if we’d like to come to a health-talk. This was our first contact with Juice Plus. I don’t remember the speaker, but she was well connected and knowledgeable, and when Craig asked her about studies on paraplegia, calcium, and bone density, she said she’d dig up the study for him. A few weeks later, Craig provided the documentation she gave him to his workman’s comp representative and they approved Craig to go on Juice Plus’s garden and orchard blends. All paid for!
At the time we weren’t making much money, and having this paid for by his comp was a blessing! But other than that, we weren’t interested in, or didn’t have the time, to study the business fully – nor actually do I really remember us being particularly urged to, and so we both just split Craig’s orders – each taking one pill of each blend per day and that was it.
Two years later, in 2010 I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis – I’ve had Psoriasis since I was 14, so I knew it was likely going to hit me in my 30s, as it does with nearly half of the cases. The pain in my fingers quickly got to be unbearable, and I started to look deeply at my diet. Immediately I went off Gluten and immediately I felt better. I lost weight, I had energy, and I was hopeful. But within a few months, the pain started creeping back. I began to look deeper at my diet and had a friend test me with reflexology on all the food in our house to see if I was missing something with gluten in it. I went off many more foods, including the Juice Plus, and Craig started taking his full dosage of the reds and greens.
That year we joined a CSA and began eating a lot more vegetables, as well as cutting out most grains. Over the next 18 months I tried two anti-inflammatory “diets” (GAPS and SCD Diet) and would feel good for a while, and then would cheat, would feel deprived, would crave sugar, or caffeine, or even (gasp) donuts. I never got formally tested because the test was too expensive despite our insurance.
The next summer we traded in our CSA due to increased costs and joined a garden share; we grew our own vegetables there, as well as building a raised bed for the quick-fix needs (tomatoes!) on our deck. But the more I read about anti-inflammatory diets, the more things I had to cut out. And the depriving myself was greatly affecting my emotions.
Eventually I settled. I found a happy medium between eating what I wanted (mostly) and living with a dull pain in my hands and feet. When it would get really bad, I’d eat minimally for a week, until it was better. When I look back, I see, this is no way to live.
Meanwhile, Craig was thriving. Over the last six years, Craig rarely got sick, he quickly began to eat more fruit and vegetables, he craved less sugar, he reached for bananas instead of cereal in the morning, and got regular about hitting the gym. He challenged himself with long handcycle rides, and he found a healthy weight and held it. It didn’t dawn on us that that was because of Juice Plus.
In 2013 I began to see a Biontologist and felt somewhat better from her treatments – pain wasn’t my only symptom- I was tired, I had missed many periods, I was bloated and had gained weight, and I was seemingly allergic to a lot of food - but her treatments really didn’t touch the pain in my hands and feet except during flare-ups – which then it would only abate slightly.
That said, after nearly a year of talking about symptoms, she finally realized that all my symptoms led to one thing – my thyroid. Even though my typical blood work was always normal, this year she had my doctors test my Free T3 and T4. Sure enough they were bottom of the barrel.
I was diagnosed HypoThyroid – and the symptoms can be all of the above. I was thrilled with a diagnosis and felt I was finally on my way to recovery. As I’ve said, being a “naturalist” for over 20 years I decided to go on the herbs first. Instantly I began to feel better. Shortly after my body told me to muscle test the Juice Plus again and my body seemed to resonate with it again. So I signed up as a distributor and started taking it. One month into it, and my joints already feel better.
And that’s just the health piece for us.
After we closed the doors of Access Anything in 2012 because Craig had gone full time as Program Director for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports, I struggled with what I was supposed to do next.
For 20 years I have been a photographer and designer, and I have my own businesses, AJDesign and Photography, and I love it, but it’s very part time. I do love photography but I don’t think I’d want to do it full time, and where I thrive in my business is teaching women to own their presence on the internet through marketing, social media, and web design and email tools.
In addition, for over a decade I have been very focused on natural healing and living, and I have another personal business, Innerself Lightworks, that focuses on many aspects of moving to alignment, through clearings, healings, and workshops. And in one of my classes, Moving into Synchronicity, two of the 10 modules are about the importance of fruits and vegetables and tuning into nature. But that is also part time.
Full time (well, relatively), I am the Program and Marketing Director for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, a non profit organization that focuses on a dozen sustainable efforts from energy and waste reduction to planting trees and local foods. I love my job.
All three of these, plus my husbands income, should more than make ends meet for a couple without kids. But surprisingly, it doesn’t.
So when Lauri sat me down and told me about the business side of Juice Plus I was instantly intrigued. I felt a surge of connection to spirit, a big hit on the unlimited potential, and immediately saw the vision of a large team of sisters supporting each other. I felt supported. The more I researched and listened to, the more I felt like this was my next step. I’m excited when I talk about it, and I’m sure that enthusiasm is something you’ve all experienced if you’re already a distributor, and I’m also sure that some of my friends and family think I’m nuts. As you probably also are familiar with. But I’m ok with that. I really do feel like everything I’ve done in the past ten years or more has brought me here – as I’ve heard a lot in the last month, it’s all about timing – divine timing. And I am excited to walk this path with with my new team!
To my team: Thank you for supporting me – even if I don’t know you, I feel this network is amazing and I feel it’s powerful upliftment already. The world is our oyster, and I can’t wait to open it.