How a plant-based diet changed my life

It was a sunny day in August 1993, and there was not a cloud in the clear blue sky. If ever there was a day to dust-away the cobwebs and to begin again, it was this. However, change doesn’t always come in ways you expect, and to say what happened that day, took me by surprise is somewhat of an understatement.

I had just returned from working on the front line in the former Yugoslavia tackling human security and safety. So the last thing I thought would happen when I awoke the morning was a speeding Police motorcycle attending a false alarm would send me flying into the air amputating my leg, crushing my pelvis and puncturing my lung.

It’s been a long time since my accident, and I’m now able to look back on it as a twist of fate – a harrowing beginning to a fascinating journey of self-discovery and a rollercoaster ride of an experience.

I don’t mean to trivialise my accident, the shock, the trauma and pain, or indeed the selfless love and support I received from so many people to help get me back on my feet again. I will never forget any of it!

But the details of my accident are not the purpose of this introduction. I only ever revisit that day to introduce the story of how I learned about the healing power of a plant-based diet. One that became the foundation of my recovery and went onto transform my life. Significantly increasing my energy levels and helping me become healthier and more consciously aware of the world around me.

“When you’ve rubbed shoulders with death and survived, everything changes from that moment onwards.”

Heather Mills

I began to appreciate life more earnestly. I focussed on the most important things, such as my friends and loved ones and wanted to make a real difference with the time I had left. Living in the moment and making the most of every day became my mantra.

First of all, I had to deal with my recovery. The police motorcycle’s impact had thrown my body in one direction, and my left leg in another! I had suffered severe injuries.

I was lucky to be alive.

Fortunately, a doctor near the scene’s, swift first-aid stopped me from bleeding to death. I have him to thank for saving my life. Unfortunately, they could not save my leg as it was severed below the knee. I was going to have to learn to live without it.

My mum lost hers in a traffic accident when I was a young girl. However, they reattached it, which is not always a good thing because she died at 47 because of complications.

During my recovery, there was a severe problem in the hospital. A nasty and very persistent infection in my residual limb stubbornly refused to heal despite the most potent antibiotics over a 5-month hospital stay.

Doctors tried many pills of varied colours, shapes and sizes with the most unpronounceable names but to no avail. In the end, no biological weapon in the pharmacist’s armoury could touch my infection. Eventually, the bone became infected, resulting in the amputation of a further two inches from my left leg.

At this point, a good friend of mine recommended the Hippocrates Institute in Florida, which she claimed had helped to cure her breast cancer. She spoke of her time there with such passion and genuine belief I decided to take-a-leap of faith and, to the surprise of friends and family, I checked out of my London hospital and flew to the USA to begin alternative therapy.

You may think that putting myself in the hands of alternative therapists in Florida in such grave circumstances was a brave or perhaps even foolhardy decision to make. As I saw it, I didn’t have much choice; this infection seemed untreatable, and the amputations were getting closer to my knee, and I really didn’t want to lose it

It became apparent that the further amputation had not cured the problem. I had to believe that I had made the right decision. I had started on a journey of belief in our natural world’s healing power — a view by the way that gets stronger and stronger with every passing day.

At the Institute meat and dairy were immediately taken off the menu and replaced by a whole food vegan raw food diet and homoeopathic treatments.

Therapists replaced my London hospital’s pills with enzyme-rich wheatgrass shots and garlic poultices applied to my wound. In just a matter of a few weeks, my radical change in diet and associated plant-based remedies had cleared up my infection entirely.

The healing process advanced so quickly that I could have a prosthetic leg fitted whilst at the Institute. Something unthinkable whilst the infection was still present in my hospital bed in London just a few short weeks previously. I was finally able to get on with the rest of my life.

To personally witness the miraculous recovery of my physical body by embracing a plant-based diet was an incredibly life-affirming experience and one that has gone on to shape the rest of my life.

When I left the Hippocrates Institute all those years ago, I remember nature seemed incredibly vibrant and vivid, the colours more intense than I had ever remembered. It was like I saw the natural world again with brand new eyes. I wanted to shout from the rooftops about my miraculous recovery and tell the world about the wonders of a plant-based diet.

I started growing wheatgrass in window boxes at my London flat, and I became filled with wonder by the natural world’s healing properties. It struck me then that we human beings think of ourselves as intelligent when everything has been provided for us already by nature. Luckily people are starting to wake up to the idea that if we live in harmony with the world’s natural laws, we’ll lead a balanced, happy, healthy and fulfilled life.

My time spent at the Hippocrates Institute has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of good nutrition and personal wellbeing; this has had a lasting effect on how I live my life.

I came to understand that individually we are responsible for the way we live our lives. We must take care of our body through good nutrition, the right exercise and a healthy balanced lifestyle. Only through a healthy body and a healthy mind, can we make the most of our time on this planet.

A change in our diet and lifestyle can be started at any time and is of interest to anybody wishing to maximise their health and vitality to lead a more fulfilling life.

I discovered the benefits of cutting meat and dairy from my diet and then taking the correct care of my body’s nutritional requirements to help heal my mind, body and soul. We all have the opportunity to make positive changes in our lives at any moment we choose. All you need is the awareness of the need to change and the free will to decide.

With VBites we try to make it as simple as possible to replace the products you love, like-for-like and trigger the tastebuds to add more Whole Foods to accompany those products rather than eat meat, fish and dairy.

Though I no longer live on a raw plant-based diet as I cannot digest raw food due to low Hydrochloric acid, if you can, it’s a great thing to be able to do especially when you’re sick. I like to have cooked grains and vegetables with a vegan protein alternative, that is why I love VBites products, we’ve got something for everyone.

Heather Mills

Founder, VBites

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