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A Walking Picture of Unhealthiness
Indeed, Calbom's passion for juicing comes straight from personal experience. While in her 20s, she caught a bout of flu that never seemed to go away. Soon she was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia so severe that she could barely walk around the house. Eventually her health deteriorated to the point that she couldn't work.
"I would sleep the whole weekend and go back to work and struggle through the whole week," she says. "The doctors didn't know what it was and had no hope or help for me. That's when I started praying. I knew something got me here; something's got to get me out."
At age 30, after moving home to live with her father in Colorado, Calbom began visiting health food stores and talked with employees and read several books. The information about juicing and eating whole foods made sense to her, but there weren't many books available on juicing in those days.
"I had to define my own program and trust that the Holy Spirit would guide me and show me the way and what to choose," she says.
She began with a five-day juice fast. "And on the fifth day, my body expelled a tumor the size of a golf ball with blood vessels attached to it," she says. "I had no idea how that happened, but I thought after that I would get better. Instead, I got worse some days."
She didn't know it at the time, but her body was detoxing. "Nobody was talking about the detox reaction," she says. "When the body is cleansing, it's trying to get rid of the toxins. You may get headachy or feel kind of fluish for a couple of days, or be nauseated or get a skin rash. It goes away. It doesn't last very long. It's not damaging. That is what contributes to a person getting better."
For the next three months, she drank one to two quarts of fresh vegetable juice daily and ate only live and whole foods—brown rice and vegetables primarily. She continued to have ups and downs, some days feeling worse than ever. "Then one day at the end of the summer, I woke up and felt like God gave me a new body overnight," she says. "I felt fabulous. It was like a miracle. All along my body had been working toward that moment. I just hadn't felt that until then."
The experience launched her into a new lifestyle, because when she picked up some of her old habits, the symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue returned. "I said, 'OK. This has got to be a way of life. It can't just be a cure. It's got to be the way I live my life.'"
Tragedy Strikes Again
Several years later, after sitting in a class her husband was teaching, she sensed God calling her to return to school to earn a master's degree in whole foods and nutrition. But she almost didn't get there. About a year after recovering from CFS and fibromyalgia, her body suffered another devastating blow.
While house-sitting for friends in Southern California, she woke up one night to find a shirtless man crouched in the corner of the bedroom where she was sleeping. Instead of running out of the house when she awoke, the man rushed toward her and started beating her in the head with a pipe, yelling all the while, "Now you are dead!"
She attempted to fend him off, and the pipe flew out of his hands, but then the man began to choke her until she passed out. She believed she was dying and even felt her spirit leave her body with a popping sensation. But then she felt herself back in her body and woke up to find herself clinging to a fence outside the house. With no idea how she got there, she began to scream with what little strength she had. A neighbor overheard and called 911.
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