Cindy Dryer Sweeley was diagnosed with Relapsing/Remitting MS in 2008 at the age of 42. Cindy says that for some unknown reason she remained positive after my diagnosis, adding, “maybe it was denial of the disease even though I had the reminder of it every-other day doing my injections.”
In the summer of 2012 Cindy watched the documentary “Forks over Knives” and decided to become vegan. Cindy says “I read, researched and saw many testimonials of people who have been symptom free because of following a plant-based whole food diet. I was starting to think that maybe food IS the medicine of all the disease and cancer out there. I then saw Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead soon after and thought doing a juice fast to detox my body would add a bonus effect. Beginning January 2013 I decided to voluntarily halt my MS injections. I, at the age now of 47 and just shy of 5 years of the diagnosis, had had no exacerbations and I started to wonder that if I stopped injecting myself with this interferon, not knowing what that’s doing to my body really in the long term, could I continue to be symptom free now that I’ve adapted a new way of eating and incorporating juicing into my life.
“I’m healthier than ever and most of the time forget that I even have MS”
Cindy continues, “I probably shouldn’t have but I did this without consulting with my neurologist first. I had an annual appointment coming up that April and I thought that I’d just tell him then. This was the year to get an updated MRI as well. At my appointment I let him talk first. He did his normal in office tests and then read the results of my MRI. There were no new areas…no change. After he was finished I told him that I had something to share. He was quite shocked and asked why I didn’t check with him first. Obviously, I knew he would have tried to keep me on the medication. There’s that big “WHAT IF” in my mind that says “What if changing the whole way that I eat could really keep me symptom free?” I’d never know it, unless I stop the injections. My doctor said he’d work with me and also said that because of my choice to do this, I could just be the healthiest person with MS. After all, since eating and exercise is going to now be my medicine, I must keep “taking” it!! To date I’ve not had any issues with MS. I’m healthier than ever and most of the time forget that I even have MS.”
Neil Martin: When did you first start juicing?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I started juicing in January, 2013
Neil Martin: What made you decide to start juicing?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I watched, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Neil Martin: Did you follow a specific program, if so which one?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Nothing specific just followed suggestions from Joe Cross and searched the internet for more information about juicing. I knew that just getting fresh enzymes from any fruit and vegetable would do me good.
Neil Martin: What have you found to be the biggest changes / benefits you’ve experienced since you started juicing?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I would say that I’ve really noticed much more energy and focus with juicing.
Neil Martin: Since you started juicing what have you found most challenging and how did you deal with this challenge?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: The most difficult thing I’ve found is during the dinner hour and after at night. It’s really difficult not to snack.
Neil Martin: What was your weight before you started juicing and what do you weight now?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I did need to lose weight but not a significant amount. I did a 10 day juice fast and lost 14 lbs. To me, that was pretty impressive.
Neil Martin: What do you believe was the biggest contributor to your weight gain?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Life! Whenever I’m stressed or overwhelmed I tend to reach for food. You can still gain weight and eat the wrong things even if you’re vegan, unfortunately.
Neil Martin: If you could go back in time and give just one piece of advice to your formal self, what would it be?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Do the best for your body. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much. I try to tell my 2 teenage children that now and maybe it’ll sink in someday.
Neil Martin: How has juicing changed your life?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Since I received great results from juicing and thought it was a great experience, I’ve shared my experience with others and people are listening. I’ve gotten 3 people to do juice fasts and that excites me. I love to get others excited and support them in their journey. It’s a great feeling.
Neil Martin: Which do you think is more essential to health and wellbeing, exercise or diet and nutrition?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Both, but more important, diet and nutrition.
“I love my life and do nothing different because of having MS”
Neil Martin: How much and what kinds of exercise do you regularly do?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I walk most consistently; Running and cardio inconsistently but am going to conquer this in 2014.
I do the MS Walks for fundraising and awareness. The very first one I went to was quite upsetting. I saw many people at different stages of this disease and it was sad to me. Knowing what I know now, though, I try to share what I know and believe so as to give people a chance to try something different.
I love my life and do nothing different because of having MS.
Neil Martin: What do you eat / drink on a typical day? Is your diet completely vegetarian / vegan?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I became vegan July, 2012, and feel that this, too, is VERY important. I generally have fruit in the morning, a chopped salad with a variety of veggies for lunch and typically another chopped salad alongside a baked sweet potato or with quinoa or beans on top.
Neil Martin: What are your thoughts on caffeine and alcohol?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: In moderation
Neil Martin: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about adding juicing to their life?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: I give people advice all the time. I share how healing it [juicing] is and how juicing is so good for the body, mind and soul. I love the thought of it getting directly into my bloodstream and I picture it healing all the little areas that need it.
Neil Martin: If you were stuck on a desert island with a working juicer and blender and an unlimited supply of just 6 ingredients, what would those ingredients be?
Cindy Dryer Sweeley: Kale, apples, pears, cucumber, carrots and ginger. I’ve really acquired a taste for ginger and put it in almost every juice.
My favorite concoctions are: Apple/Carrot/Ginger and Apple/Pear/Ginger
Subscribe To Natural Juice Junkie
Want the latest information and exclusive offers and recipes?