142: Let Food Be Thy Medicine | Troye Newcomb (F)

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“Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine.”

Troye changed her own life—and created a new one—through a raw food and juicing intervention.

Weight Gain Background and Contributing Factors

Troye is 5’5” tall, and says she struggled with weight her whole life.

Troye estimates that she has fluctuated between a size 14 and 16 except for after a stint with the nutrisystem diet in high school when she maintained a size 10-12 for a while.

How Being Overweight Impacted Troye’s Life

Troye was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic when she was in her early twenties. The diabetes progressed until in 2011 she became insulin dependent. Her worsening blood glucose control was concurrent with trying to get pregnant.

Troye says she had tried paleo-style eating before, and while it was healthy, she didn’t feel like it helped her diabetes. Troye discusses how doctors never spoke with her about the fact that her weight might be affecting her fertility.

Troye always knew she wanted to be a mom, and so her infertility was very troubling for her. At one point Troye had an “intense” job that was very stressful and had one physician tell her that if she maintained her stress level she would not be able to get pregnant. She parted from that job (sacrificing 2/3 of their family income) just so that she would have a better chance to get pregnant.

Troye and her husband tried 5 cycles of fertility treatments (lasting 5 years) without success, leaving Troye emotionally exhausted and depressed. At the same time Troye discovered that her 5th fertility treatment hadn’t worked, he father also passed away. Her depression coincided with the heaviest Troye has ever been, at 226 pounds (102.7 kg, at a height of 5’5″). Troye says at that weight she was “busting out” of her size 18’s.

Troye says that she took all the insane medicines and shots that you have to do for infertility and was in the end simply diagnosed with “unexplained infertility,” an unsatisfactory explanation which led her to look to the impact of what food did to her body.

She says that food has worked better for her than medicine ever did, which is why she loves the Hippocrates quote: “Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine.”

The Turning Point

Troye says she was mentally in a very dark place, her faith was being tested, and she knew she had to do something “drastic” to change her health.

Her friend was doing a 30-day green smoothie challenge, sponsored by www.youngandraw.com. Troye says that in this program you simply add one green smoothie to what you regularly eat for 30 days, without changing anything else about your diet. Since she knew a friend whose health had been changed for the better through a plant-based diet—lowered cholesterol, felt better, etc.—Troye thought why not give it a shot?

Starting The Weight Loss Journey

She enjoyed the 30 day smoothie challenge, and then decided to try a 21-day raw food reset also sponsored by YoungAndRaw.com. Troye signed up for the 21-day raw food plan in which she prepared her digestive system for the process of juicing, and used the facebook interface with the program’s nutritionist to troubleshoot questions that arose.

Troye enjoyed learning to make the new foods directed by the program, and had fun working on the new healthy project by spending time in the kitchen, which she enjoys. Troye says that prior to this program she was “definitely a meat person,” and so she was a little bit nervous at the start about the dietary change to eating all raw vegetables.

Her eating style changed drastically during the 21 day reset. Troye says she was “miserable” at first, and felt like she had low energy while her body was ‘seriously detoxing.’ Troye says she was focused on detoxing out several years worth of fertility drugs from her body.

She says the facebook group for the raw food reset was invaluable, as she knew she wasn’t going through it alone. She appreciated the presence of the professional nutritionist for consultations so that even though it was a “drastic” diet change, Troye felt safe. Looking back on the first weeks, Troye calls the program the “Best $40 I’ve ever spent.”

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She enjoyed the raw food 21-day process so decided to continue with juicing for a while, as long as it was feeling right for her body. Troye bought a juicer on Craigslist to accompany her vitamix blender. While the juice-only portion of the program was a challenge, Troye says that by day 2 of only juicing she felt things begin to turn around. At that point she could feel much more energetic, and kept deciding to add a few days at a time to her program. In the end, she juiced for 60 days.

In 60 days of the juice fast plus 2 weeks on the raw food program Troye lost 45 pounds and reduced her insulin by 85%.

More importantly, Troye’s family received life-changing news: she had become pregnant immediately after these raw/whole foods interventions.

Staying Motivated and Facing Challenges

Troye watched the movies “fat sick nearly dead,” and “hungry for change” during her juice fast, which helped her in her journey to stay motivated and to gain further information.

Troye discusses that one of the challenges when you embark on a new route to health is a desire to share all the information you have learned with others without being preachy. She describes getting on a soapbox a few times regarding things artificial colors and flavors in processed foods, and she says she still struggles with keeping her opinions non-confrontational, as she doesn’t want to discourage anyone from clean eating simply as a reaction against her own enthusiasm.

Troye shares that social events were both harder and easier during juicing. While it was difficult to participate in food-related events, she always came prepared with her day’s worth of juices so that she was ready for whatever the day might bring.

It was critical to be prepared when she would leave the house in the morning. She would make all of her juice in the morning and put it in mason jars for the rest of the day—at something like 2 quarts each day. When she left the house she would take all the juice that she needed for the rest of the day just in case she got stuck while she was out doing errands.

What happens when you don’t plan ahead.

Being prepared for all sorts of occasions and having juices at hand made it easier for Troye to stay on track with her plan.

What Troye Learned About Food, Exercise, and Herself

Troye learned that when you are juicing, choosing organic produce is important, as you are exposing yourself to a concentrated level of whatever toxins are in the food. Troye and Sam discuss how to balance the (sometimes competing) priorities of budgets and food quality. Troye utilizes local farmers’ markets when she can and says that they are a good way to buy local and make choices that support organic farms as well as farms that are transitioning to organic.

During her juice fast, Troye’s hair stopped falling out and her seasonal allergies went away. Going into a juice fast essentially lets the body’s digestive system rest, and Troye emphasizes that it’s critical to go gently into and exit from the juice fast to avoid over-stressing or shocking your body in the transition.

Troye and Sam discuss how interesting can be to eliminate foods from your diet and as you slowly introduce them back, how you can notice your body reacting to certain foods. For example, Troye ate chocolate when her baby was young, and she noticed that she did not feel good, and she also noticed that processed foods resulted in feeling she had less energy.

Troye Today

“For me it’s not just about weight, it’s also about health.”

Currently Troye is doing the Whole 30 paleo-based food program. She feels this program gives her energy for nursing and keeping up with her 10 month old.

Going back in time Troye feels like there were people who would try to send her positive messages about her fertility. However, the pain of going through fertility treatments made it difficult for her to see the path she eventually got on.

Troye gained 40 pounds (18.2 kg) in her pregnancy and had a very healthy pregnancy due, she feels, to the juicing. Troye says she is sure that if she hadn’t gotten joyfully pregnant that she would have been removed from all insulin through her juicing program.

Troye’s Advice For Your Journey

“I don’t think one thing works for everybody.”

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always had. There’s so much room to grow if you move outside your comfort zone.

Resources Discussed In This Podcast

On Troye’s Workout Playlist

Contacting Troye


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