I wanted to share Jesse Bogdanovich’s story with you because he is incredibly inspirational, not only because he healed from serious health issues, but he’s since discovered a passion for helping others and spends every waking minute of his life trying to teach others what he has learnt from experience. Jesse really walks his talk, and has learnt from some of the best natural health and raw food pioneers in the world. He doesn’t just have a very strong hold on his physical health, he is also one of the most cheerful and kind hearted souls I’ve ever met. If you suffer from illness and at times want to give up, Jesse’s story will give you the motivation to keep going.
The Beginning – A Violent Vaccine Reaction
An allergic reaction to a vaccine turned me from a healthy baby into a very sick one. This led to 20 years of disability and ill health, until I discovered the raw vegan diet as a young adult. I was born perfectly healthy but an allergic reaction to a live polio vaccine at the age of 10 months almost killed me and left me with convulsions, seizures and paralysis. At that time doctors did not have to report such reactions, so they treated my condition as symptoms of flu and fever and dosed me up with antibiotics.
They also advised my mother not to nurse me any longer (thankfully she refused to listen to them) and recommended all sorts of wrong foods. My parents tell me that before I got the polio shot I was walking almost perfectly. But after it, it was a long time before I could walk again.
I remember as a small child having no strength in my legs or arms, and feeling very tired and needing lots of sleep. Doctors put me in braces and did all sorts of other things that didn’t do me any good. They also recommended ligament surgery to loosen up the tightness in my limbs but fortunately my parents refused to do that.
I was so uninterested in food that I was very underweight; the doctors’ solution was to force me to eat dairy, fats and junky, processed foods. Needless to say, this only made things worse and led, among other things, to juvenile diabetes and digestive problems.
It boggles my mind to think how hard my parents tried to feed me naturally and how opposed the doctors were to anything that deviated from the Standard American Diet. Not surprisingly, as time went by my health deteriorated further. My parents took me to doctors of all kinds – from one opinion to the next, and from America to Europe. We went half way around the world looking for a cure, not realizing the cure was in the proper nutrition found in our own garden and in the wild.
Thank God My Mom Chose To Ignore The Doctors
One day, when I was 12, my mom took me to a specialist who was supposed to be a world expert. He made me take off my clothes and had me try to stand up and walk across the floor, which was very cold. He then picked up a tape recorder and proceeded to talk into it about me. He painted such a grim picture, saying that I would never be able to walk, that my condition would only get worse and that I would die from the hormonal changes of puberty. I was crying and my mom almost passed out. Then she whispered to me, “Do not believe a word he is saying. Let’s go to the pet shop.”
I had refused wheelchairs from the beginning. My dad carried me all over the place. When I was sitting down, I would sit so no one could see that I couldn’t walk properly. I avoided walking as much as possible, since it was always difficult with swaying back and forth and sideways. But I couldn’t avoid it at school, and it was very difficult to be around other kids because they made fun of me and wanted to fight and push me around. Those were dark days and I remember the pain of it being so great I wanted to die.
One day I broke down and told my parents I would rather do anything than go to school again. My parents heard my heart and from then on they homeschooled me. It was much easier on me and I got to see the world as I studied and traveled all over with my parents.
This approach caused me to want to learn, and I was allowed all the time I needed to explore the subjects that interested me. I did not have to study the unnecessary things that most kids have to learn in order to graduate, and one big advantage to homeschooling was that my studies would be done in a few hours rather than a whole day at school.
This education made me think and look at things in a more real and logical way and gave me an advantage over other kids my age. One day I told my parents that if someone dropped me off at the other side of the world I would know how to function and would make good of it. Even though I had health issues that other kids did not have, I felt very fortunate.
My Vaccine Injury Made Me Consider Suicide
I suffered so much as a result from that polio vaccine that I almost ended my life during different occasions by trying to jump off buildings in different cities as my parents traveled the world looking for answers from one doctor to the next. Because the pain was too much for me on all levels. I remember one of the times getting on the ledge of a tall skyscraper and looking down at all the cars and people walking on the sidewalk below and thinking to myself how would it feel to just let go and allow my body to fly into the air like a bird and crash down into the pavement below… boom, splat, no more suffering.
This time I was done suffering and ready to jump, but a voice came into my head saying ‘don’t jump, wait a little longer, you will be shown a way to fix this mess.’
So, I got down off that ledge and just sat there pondering life, watching the pigeons flying by and hoping for the answer to come into my life real fast. But, I started coming back to reality and feeling my intense physical pain in my body again, the shame of being different, too skinny, weak, not able to play like other kids or do fun things, live a normal life. I got back into position to jump again, but instead of letting go, I got that same voice in my head saying don’t do it, because life is worth living and as long as you don’t give up, you will find a way!
Mother Became A Naturopathic Doctor To Help Heal Me
There came a time when we did not go to mainstream doctors anymore. My Mom became a naturopathic doctor so she could learn what she needed to know to help me. By then we had discovered that doctors do not learn anything about nutrition during their studies, which is why they insist that nutrition has nothing to do with healing.
The first breakthrough in my health happened after my dad became interested in Paul and Patricia Bragg’s fasting techniques. My parents took me to see Patricia and I fasted many times for one to three days, then seven to 10 days, and then I worked my way up to a few epic 14-day water fasts and then finished with a couple 21-day water fasts that were life changing on all levels! Each time I water fasted I experienced great improvements in my health and my symptoms where disappearing, but as soon as I started eating cooked food again, the problems would return.
We tried so many different diets, and most of them had certain things in common: they focused on whole foods and excluded sweets, white flour, fried foods and other junk. This is why they worked partially, yet none of these diets worked completely like the raw-food diet did.
For more links, information/science publications on fasting you can check out these articles.
Light Bulb Moment: Discovering The Raw Food Diet
When I first read a book about the raw diet, the information resonated so deeply within me I couldn’t put it down. I completely woke up to this truth; it was like someone had turned on the lights. I was ready to go in this new direction wholeheartedly and I embraced it knowing that this would stop my suffering once and for all.
I changed to a 100 percent raw vegan lifestyle overnight. I was 21 at the time. What convinced me the most about raw food was that humans and their pets are the only creatures that get sick with degenerative diseases. They are also the only ones who eat cooked food.
I went to see and studied with many raw-food experts – something I am still doing to this day. I learned about the importance of rest, little or no stress, sunshine and exercise, and that a program that combines these essential elements with raw foods and periodic fasting enables the body to perform miracles.
From Being In Constant Pain To Running
When we start doing what’s right to our bodies, they start healing immediately. It’s amazing, really, how simple it all is. After six months on a 100 percent raw-food diet my condition started to change for the better and kept improving all the time. First I could walk without pain. Then for the first time, I could run. I gained 40 pounds over the next few years. This is what happens when the body is freed of mucus and able to absorb the essential nutrients on an enzyme-rich raw vegan diet. With patience and perseverance, coupled with forgiveness for the doctors and my parents, I was able to overcome what had seemed to be insurmountable problems.
Raw, organic food is a very important part of healing yet without emotional healing, finding peace in your heart and forgiving everyone, you will not heal completely. But the 100% raw vegan diet not only got me better physically, mentally and emotionally; I also woke up spiritually. I have a deep spiritual connection now with nature and with every person I meet on my path. I have to tell everyone starting on this path to get ready for a healing crisis and not to give up.
Today I am totally healthy, extremely happy and I can walk, run and climb just like anyone else. The only thing that is noticeable is that my right leg at the knee turns inward when I walk slowly. People do ask me at times if I’ve broken my leg or hurt my foot. I am working on that and soon it will be perfect, I know it will. The raw vegan lifestyle delivers on all levels and every year it just keeps getting better and better. I have been on this path for over 17 years now.
Life and Health Now Beyond Fabulous
What this lifestyle has done for me is… actually, there are no words in the dictionary that can describe it. But if I had to pick some words I would choose “beyond fabulous!” To stay on this path and feel like I do, one must eat very simply and get away from raw gourmet foods that cause health problems, cravings and all sorts of disorders.
It is very important to stay away from all the packaged and heated raw foods which cause you to crave wrong things. Eat plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables – lots of leafy greens – and don’t forget to throw in some wild foods such as berries and edible weeds. Add soaked raw seeds and nuts in tiny quantities and make sure they are organic and truly raw. Find local growers and make sure they are really raw for yourself. Unfortunately, most nuts and seeds you find in a local store are not raw and have been cooked. It’s best to eat ripe avocados until you find truly raw nuts and seeds.
This way of eating can bring peace to your mind just as it brings peace to your tummy. It also brings clear thinking and love in your heart and soul.
Fasting And Raw Food Healed My Life
It has definitely been a process of learning the hard way, but I wouldn’t change anything. Now that I am well and strong, my calling is to help spread this health message, which needs to be heard all over the world, starting in kindergarten.
People sometimes ask me if I would ever go back to eating cooked food and I tell them that I would never do that. Why would I? Many people do not stick with raw foods and fasting long enough to reap the rewards, but my story is an example of what is possible. Through proper nutrition and fasting my body healed itself, and I believe these practices will do that for anyone willing to do the same.
Jesse is the founder of The Whole Lifestyle where he supports individuals on their raw vegan diet, health, exercise, passion, happiness, peace, emotional aspects and home environment.
Jesse is also a co-founder of The Cure Is In The Cause Foundation. He has over 16 years experience as a healthy, happy 100percent raw vegan since 1998, and many years in supporting people in health, wellness and overall lifestyle design in a positive manner. He offers support by phone and over the Internet. He and his family also run a retreat and a luxury raw food cruise in Croatia every summer.
His biggest goal is in creating a positive worldwide impact, passionately inspiring and supporting as many people as possible, so they can live more fulfilling lives, following their true dreams that will come true by staying on Natures path. Jesse is living proof that an active, natural lifestyle, following your heart and a living food diet is the most powerful way to heal your body – soul, and be truly happy in life so you can help heal others in need. For the ultimate support on your raw vegan path, Jesse offers an online program, recipe book, personal consultations, retreats and more.
Visit Jesse’s website at TheWholeLifestyle.com
Jesse has also authored an award winning raw food recipe book Simply Vibrant Recipes