My Disease Was Ruining My Life but Juicing is Saving It

Name: Tiffany L. Stokes
Age: 33
Location: Rahway, NJ
Reboot: 1 week of juice only followed by eating and juicing fruits and vegetables

What Health Issues apply to you?
Autoimmune Issues, Arthritis

Did you Reboot to lose weight? No

How did you learn about Reboot with Joe?
I learned about Reboot after a friend told me to watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. After watching the film, I went on the website and started to explore the possibility of juicing.

What inspired you to do a Reboot?
Towards the end of June of this this year, I started to notice that it was becoming difficult to do certain things. The biggest thing I noticed is that I was having a harder time getting up from the floor or standing up after kneeling down. Not only that, eating was becoming difficult because my throat became swollen and it was difficult to swallow. Over the next month or so, it became harder to lift my arms as well as my legs. It got so bad that it was hard to get in and out of the car. I had to sit down first and literally lift both of my legs into the car. Although I could drive, it even became difficult turning the car wheel.

I had some blood work done and was sent to see a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist had other blood work done and while waiting on the results, she sent me to an ear, nose, and throat doctor about the trouble I had swallowing. Once the blood results came back, I was sent to see a neurologist. These 3 appointments all occurred in the same week in the middle of August.

Besides blood work, I also had an EMG done (which tests for muscle and nerve damage) and a muscle biopsy.

In the end, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune inflammatory disease called polymyositis that causes muscle weakness. It also causes trouble swallowing, which is what I was also experiencing. My muscle weakness is from my neck all the way down to my legs.

This disease was ruining my life. I’m a 33 year old single mother of a 7 year old and life was becoming difficult. It was hard to do simple everyday tasks. I would barely lift my arms above my head. I couldn’t sit on the floor because I could not get up by myself. It was hard to even stand up from the couch. I fell a total of 5 or 6 different times in different locations and each time I had to get assistance standing up. I even had to call the police once because I fell in the middle of the night. This is how bad it got. My feet and legs seemed to stay swollen, no matter how much I elevated them. They were so swollen that it hurt to walk.

And on top of that, because it was difficult to swallow, I was steadily losing weight from not getting the proper nutrition I needed. I weighed 118 lbs/54 kg, I’m 5’3”, and although it’s not a bad weight, I’ve lost a lot of muscle, so I actually look sick. Not a look that I like.

There is no cure for polymyositis, although it can be treated….with Prednisone. I knew that that was the medication that I was going to be put on and also knew from my research that it was not one I wanted to be on long term. I was put on 40 mg of Prednisone a day.

After watching, FS&ND, I just became completely inspired from Joe’s story. No, I wasn’t going for weight loss, but what inspired me was that he was completely able to reverse his disease and to get off of Prednisone completely, just from juicing and eating right.

I knew that something I was eating was causing my inflammation. Although I had adopted a plant-based lifestyle almost 2 years ago, I had still been consuming dairy on occasion, either through cheese pizzas, junk food, or not paying attention when eating out. I had even eaten things like pepperoni, bacon, and sausage. Cheese was my vice because I was so addicted to it.

I was desperate. I was just put on Prednisone but also knew that I needed to get the right nutrition on. Why not Reboot since it was hard to swallow solid food anyway? I don’t like taking medication and although I have to take this, I was going to do everything I could to make sure I get off it as soon as possible.

I went through the Reboot with Joe site, looked at and priced different juicers, and decided to take the plunge. I ordered my juicer, ordered the books so that I could be successful, and a week after being put on Prednisone, I started juicing.

How did the experience go for you?
The experience has been great! I absolutely love drinking fresh juices every day. I stopped buying store bought juice over a year ago and fresh made juices are nothing compared to what is sold in the store. I even make a juice on occasion for my daughter when she asks for it.

I was surprised at the fact that I was not hungry, even during the first couple of days. I didn’t even have any major detox symptoms, which was amazing. I figured with all of the dairy and meat I had right before I started that I would have a lot of detox symptoms. I had very little!

Due to my weight loss from the illness, the first week was the only week where I only drank fresh juices. After that, I started eating fresh cooked greens to help with gaining some weight and not losing more than I already have.

I noticed that the more juices I drank, especially green juices, the more I craved green leafy vegetables. I either want to drink or eat some type of greens every day. Even though I have always liked green veggies, I have never liked them as much as I do now!

How much weight did you lose (even if that wasn’t your goal!)?
I am not sure if I lost any weight. If I did, I may have lost a few pounds during my first week when I only juiced.

Did you have any notable health or physical improvements?
I noticed a great deal of healthy and physical improvements during my Reboot.

The first thing I noticed was the swelling. My feet had been swollen for over a month with very little to no relief, no matter what I did. Within the first 3 to 4 days of juicing, the swelling in my feet went away…and never came back! I was so happy that I could walk without pain.

I have 2 floor lamps and for about a month I was so weak that I could not even turn the light on or off. I had to either get my daughter to turn it off or unplug the lamp to turn it off. By the end of my first week of juicing, I was able to turn the light off!

Over the next few weeks, I noticed that I had more energy than I did before. Slowly I was able to lift my arms more and more. Prior to me juicing, I couldn’t lift my arms past the first shelf in my cabinet. Within 2 weeks of juicing, I was able to reach the second shelf a little easier, although I had to use some force to get anything on there. Now, I can put things on the second shelf a lot easier than before.

Prior to the Reboot, I had a hard time turning the wheel in the car, getting in and out of car, and closing the car door. Now, I can get in the car a lot easier. I still have to lift my left leg into the car, but I can reach the open car door with little difficulty and I can turn the wheel without a struggle now.

My strength is still pretty weak, but I am able to lift some things like grocery bags that I could not even lift before. If the bags are too heavy, I can’t lift them, but I can carry them with my arms by my side. My daughter has to still help me when we go grocery shopping.

I just started physical therapy, so I know between that and the juicing, I will slowly build my strength up.

Although I am taking Prednisone, I know that all of the improvements that I have and continue to experience is from me juicing. It takes a month for the medication to start working and I was only on it for a week when I started juicing. This shows me how powerful drinking fruits and veggies are!

What was the toughest part about the Reboot experience?
There were really no tough parts that I experienced during the Reboot. I had a great experience and did not suffer from any real detox.

What habits have you maintained and kept a part of your everyday life?
I continue to drink freshly made juice every day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. One of those is always a green juice. I make my juices for 2 days at a time, and drink them through the two days.

I also eat more green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet greens, or any other type of greens that I can get. I eat other veggies as well, and fruit, but leafy greens are not more of staple than before.

I was already eating a plant-based diet and now I have no desire to ever eat dairy or meat again. I believe that those foods were making me sick and I refuse to eat them again.

I always have some type of fresh greens to either cook or juice each week. I make tasty fresh juices for my daughter so that she can get her nutrients in but have something that she likes.

What is your lasting impression of the Reboot experience?
Juicing is saving my life! That’s my lasting impression. If it weren’t for me embarking on this wonderful journey, I honestly don’t know where I would be right now. I will always keep juicing as s part of my daily ritual.

Not only that, this experience has taught me about caring for my body. I was already interested in eating better to live better, but going through this ordeal has awakened a new love in me to help others. I am now going to be studying to become a Certified Health Coach. I won’t push any one idea on someone, but I will tell people how juicing saved my life! This is something that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.