Raw Elements IHN Bursary Recipient Shannon Dinner on her Path to Healing through Nutrition
Health & Fitness, Lifestyle, Self Help

Raw Elements IHN Bursary Recipient Shannon Dinner on her Path to Healing through Nutrition

I’ll never forget the day I received the news of my mom’s breast cancer diagnosis.

Immediately my mind started racing a mile a minute while my heart sank to the pit of my stomach. I recall thinking of my great aunt who had gone through a 10-year cancer battle (on and off) and passed away. Watching my vibrant, full-of-life, great aunt deteriorate very slowly was extremely painful. We knew all to well what it looked like to be treated conventionally – cut (surgery), burn (radiation) and poison (chemotherapy). I had to find another way.

I took a leave of absence from my work. Let’s face it, I was a mess. I had to lead a team in credit analysis and I simply couldn’t stop the stream of tears. My leave of absence allowed me the time to thoroughly research possibly ways forward. I researched day in and out – from the moment I opened my eyes until the time I lay my head on my pillow. I lived and breathed alternative cancer therapies. I came across many testimonials of people who healed themselves “radically” from their cancer. My fear of cancer started to dissipate. After reading various protocols to heal naturally, I quickly started noticing a pattern: detoxify and replenish the body with nutrients. This way, the immune system can do what it is meant to do – keep the body alive and thriving! I had a plan.

In order to detoxify the body gently, we needed to juice (this also replenished the body with nutrients). Juice what? Every nutrient dense vegetable I could get my hands on! I had to be careful; I didn’t want to add to the toxins already in my mom’s body. After all, I was trying to DETOXIFY her body. The produce therefore had to be free from pesticide, fungicide and herbicide and grown in nutrient rich soil; it had to be organic. I diligently juiced a concoction of carrots, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens, cabbage, radishes, ginger and sometimes even garlic (although my mom didn’t like that one too much!).

Another commonality I found in my research was that many people who healed naturally were not consuming any animal products. They were eating whole food, plant-based diets (mostly raw). I started creating healthy plant-based recipes from scratch for my mom. These included a lot of raw salads and some smoothies. Luckily, I was raised by my British Pakistani grandparents so eating plant-based curries was not something foreign to me. I started making daal (lentil curry) and channa masala (chickpea curry). Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and onions quickly became my best friends as they’re all anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer!

After three weeks of juicing and following an organic, whole food, plant-based diet, we had an appointment with the oncologist. Upon comparing my mom’s original scans (from three weeks prior) with the scans we did that day, the oncologist couldn’t believe that her tumour shrunk without any treatment. This made me cry tears of joy. It was working!

I realized the power of nutrition in healing the body. It was a lot of work and it still is, but it is so worth it.

Taking control of your body and subsequently your health is very empowering and I needed to share this truth with others. I meditated on it and asked God to provide me with guidance. I was scrolling on Facebook one day and I saw that Raw Elements was offering a bursary to pursue a Holistic Nutrition certificate. It was a sign. I sent in the required paperwork and had my first interview. After leaving the interview, I said to myself, “If this is meant for me, God, let it be for me” and I let it go. Within a couple weeks I got notified that I was chosen as top three candidates and the rest is history!

Being part of the Raw Elements team has been amazing. It’s rare to find an organization that really resonates with you. They offer a wide array of products that we use as part of our healing regime. For example, I really love adding in superfood powders like Chaga and reishi mushroom, and amla (Indian gooseberry), to our smoothies. Mushrooms are known for their immunity benefits so they’re beneficial for literally everyone. Four Sigmatic has some wonderful Mushroom Elixirs that are very potent.  Amla has one of the highest amounts of vitamin C in the world which is also beneficial for immunity and to counteract free-radicals. SunWarrior’s Liquid Light is another supplement that we like to use, as it provides minerals and vitamins that are key for healthy gut bacteria.

No matter what your current health situation is, do not lead with fear, instead, lead with faith. Take control of your life today so that you can have a thriving mind, body and soul.


Thank you to Shannon Dinner for authoring this guest blog post for us. Stay current with Shannon by following her on Instagram!

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