I Felt Trapped Till A Vegetarian Diet Restored My Health

How A Strict Vegetarian Diet Restored My Health!

  • SCD Warrior Lea Kilenga

I was dependent on morphine, tramadol, pethidine and other opiates. The doctors recommended the removal of my ovaries, uterus and womb – all that made me a woman.

Then I turned to a complete vegetarian lifestyle and my health underwent a revolution! I have remained in good health ever since.

I haven’t gone back to the hospital or taken any medication. I have not received any blood transfusion or gone to the emergency room …. This is for me the true meaning of peace.’ Lea says.

My all natural lifestyle for Sickle Cell happened out of necessity.
Have you ever gone to the hospital with intense pain, got treated and said to yourself this is the last time you’ll be in this situation again?
But you end up the same place a few weeks down the road? Well that was me my whole life. I was in the hospital more times than I could count and every single time I wondered, how in the world can I be able to prevent this from ever happening again? I didn’t get any answers. Especially from the doctors who told me this would be my life. I live with a chronic illness so this will essentially happen every so often.
For some reason this didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t choose this. But there was nothing I could do. So I continued to live passively, crossing my fingers waiting to see what will happen tomorrow. Hoping and holding my breathe that everything goes well for as long as it can. Nonetheless, I always found myself in hospital, praying for relief from the pain and calling out to the doctors to give me the strongest pain killer they had to just take it all away.

That ounce of relief was my addiction, and I was dependent on morphine, pethidine, tramadol and any other opiate just to get  that. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t hooked to the drugs, I just couldn’t stand the pain.

Living like this was all I knew, and it worked for most of my life. Until it didn’t. Early 2013 I started bleeding and it didn’t stop. The doctors referred me to an OBGYN to see what was happening. They performed a uterine ultrasound and found haemorraghic cysts on my right ovary. These later came to rapture and heal on their own. Still ,there was uncontrollable vaginal bleeding and chronic uterine pain.
I was put on a heavy dose of antibiotics, pain killers and special sickle cell contraceptives that made it even worse. The drugs made me weak and drowsy that I could not move. The contraceptives only made the flow heavier and clumpy. I was a mess.
It didn’t cross my mind though I would be in that situation at that stage of my life. I lost my job, I took a break from school and I couldn’t leave my bed. My mother had to come down and take care of me. Which meant wash me, cook for me (what I could eat) and take me back and forth to the hospital. A point reached where my blood Hb level dropped to a 4.

The doctors seeing this and feared for my life recommended the harshest treatment imaginable because my health was seriously on the line.

They recommended a hysterectomy. The removal of your ovaries, uterus and womb.  All that, I feel, made me woman.
It didn’t dawn on me what that actually meant, I only wanted to be normal and at peace. However, through serendipity and divine orchestration, my body wasn’t strong enough to go through the procedure. Which meant I had to wait until my blood was back up again and any signs of infection was ruled out. This gave me time to look around and research what hysterectomies entailed.
Aside from bleeding, infection, damage to your urinary tract, bladder, rectum or other pelvic structures ,early onset of menopause, hormonal imbalance; there was no guarantee that my problems would be solved.

The overall cost vs benefits didn’t make sense to me. And that is when I really felt trapped, like I was running out of air and sooner or later the chicken would come to roost. 

I had to find something or someone, some form of hope that I could latch on. There has to be another way, a less destructive way to deal with this thing. And I scoured the internet, I called my sister and asked her to look for someone in the US that could help me figure this out. I read stories about miracles and prayer. But that wasn’t enough. I needed something practical, a tactic I could deploy to get me closer to my optimal level of health and wellness.
I then came across stories of people who used all natural plant based lifestyle to manage their chronic illness. Two of them stuck with me: those of Kristina Bucaram and Kriss Carr. Kristina basically reversed her diabetes with her fully raw lifestyle and Kriss went into remission after adopting a plant based diet, though not fully raw.

You know at first I was quite sceptical like anyone else would be. I didn’t understand how food had anything to do with it.

And again through another serendipitous happenstance, my brother had mentioned that he was going on an all natural plant based lifestyle.
So in my mind I’m like he won’t last. With that fitness and strength building thing he has going on, and he’s modelling gigs,  hmm mhm nope! Well a week later when I was a bit stronger, at  my nieces party where there was all kinds of food and beverage mostly consisting of alcohol , fried foods, soft drinks and meat of all kind, I realised he was really in this, fully and committed. And I, sitting back feeling sick by the amount of unhealthy unethical food, thinking why don’t I just try and see.
I eliminated meat immediately and all animal products from my diet. This is all meats (red and white) , milk, eggs , and all other animal produce. Over and above that I cut out everything GMO, processed, refined and with ingredients I can’t pronounce. This all natural path overflowed to even then product I used on my hair and body including using all natural fluoride free toothpaste.

The first couple of days kicked my a$&. They were difficult and I was generally eating the same thing, rice and beans.

Adding a fruit salad and a vegetable table here and there, learning , changing and upgrading to more wholesome foods and lots of research. Then doing the process all over again.
I had cravings left right and centre., and for someone who loved baked goodies, staying away took all the will I could muster up. This wasn’t just my food, it was my heart and mind and my entire being. It was learning to love myself a new way, being patient with myself and taking time to heal my mind from a lifetime of negative thought patterns.
However difficult this was, I can never go back. Within 6-7 days the bleeding stopped, and a couple of days later, there was no more pain. Everything just stopped. I couldn’t explain it, somehow the stars aligned, the dark heavy clouds had cleared out and the sun was out.

This is Sickle Cell the all Natural way.

Four years later, I still haven’t gone back to the hospital, taken any medication, received any blood transfusion or gone to the emergency room because of a crisis I couldn’t avoid or manage at home.
This for me is the true meaning of peace.
I have to admit, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. My health has been so good for too long It seems too good to be true. I am taking stock of everything that has happened since I started eating healthy. I haven’t fallen ill or unwell, not received any blood transfusions and certainly not been back to refill my prescription bottle.
Lea Kilenga Bey is a sickle cell warrior, global SCD advocate and writer. For more on Bey’s work, please visit