Melanie Lotos lounging on a palm tree
Digest In First Person Issue 16 Transformations

Melanie Lotos Taps into ‘Incredible Inner Life Force’ to Overcome Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is the story about a girl who was depressed, unaware of her inner and outer beauty, doing everything she could to experience as much as possible and always curious, brave and driven by an inner knowing that there is more to life on earth than what we are made out to believe. What we are taught and what we carry with us is not who we are! It’s said that we come into the world with the information of seven generations. Imagine … .

Thirty years ago, I was born on a farm in the Black Forest. My parents were hippies. I attended many different schools in my childhood and chose to live in boarding school for music and sports when I was 13. In this time, I was very lucky to be able to travel to Egypt and India with classmates and their families native to these countries. Boarding school included a lot of rules and breaking them. Drugs and parties became a big part of my life. After finishing my A Level, in 2003 I traveled intensively in Thailand, Cambodia and Australia and Arnhem Land for over a year.

I’ve always been interested in different cultures and their foods. I became a student at the State School of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe, where I completed my pre-diploma in photography, video arts, scenography and performance. I made art about food and presented an exhibition of about 800 different heirloom apples grown in the north of Germany. My master exhibition, titled “The Institute for Health and Happiness” and completed in May 2012 in Berlin, was the result of my healing journey, which started in 2010. I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after traveling and living in Argentina. I was told I would never be able to walk again. I was 27.

Melanie Lotos raw food comparison photos
At 27, Melanie (right) is photographed on a trip to Iran. “Some people I met guessed that I was 42,” she said. “It sucked!” At left is a photograph of Melanie after adopting a raw food lifestyle.

With the diagnosis, my life changed! It began. I started to look inside. I turned to nature. I moved to the jungle. I fasted on water. I feasted on fruits and vegetables only. I visualized. I prayed. I meditated. I started a heart dialogue therapy. I joined shamanic ceremonies. I got in contact with my essence. I continued to travel and have pursued activities related to food, art and health ever since, seeing most of Europe, Iran, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica, the United States and Mexico.

I’ve been working with raw food, nutrition and spirituality for the past three years and am an Institute for integrative Nutrition-certified health coach. I am in the process of creating a life that enables me to push the human race forward and to acknowledge and respect the body, mind and spirit connection. My health is my wealth, and I am finding out more and more what I want to use this wealth for, making the world a better place by being me and serving the ones who know about their incredible inner life force but have forgotten how to connect to it.

One way to do so is through raw foods! With a plant-based, chemical-free vegan diet, I was able to shed so many layers that were weighing heavily on me and my physical and emotional body. Being in nature, taking time to be with myself, fasting and cleansing were the first steps I took after endless research on how to deal with inflammation naturally. I believe, and it is scientifically proven, that most dis-ease is caused by inflammation. I was very, very acidic and had a toxic mind. Eating more and more fruits and vegetables helped my body to get alkaline. My awareness changed, and I became lighter and more connected to all living things on our planet. I was literally floating on a cloud of bliss at times.

My mood stabilized. I was truly and deeply happy. My thoughts were clear, and I was focused and could concentrate better then ever before. I realized how my brain was in a fog and that I constantly was doubting myself. With the decision to change my diet, I did not really know that I changed my way of living, my lifestyle. Also, the way I was thinking and what I was believing in.

Melanie Lotos pauses to smile

Meditation and visualization became important factors and tools to help me to look within and connect with the source. In only two days of practicing visualization, I had no pain, and all the water that had accumulated in my knee was gone. I was running and jumping around like the happiest person in the world.

Believe me, after spending a short but painful time in a wheelchair in La Paz, Peru, it was hard to just accept and believe that I am OK, that my body is healthy. I simply forgot that it is our birthright to be healthy and that, at any time, I can create health. Changing my diet was just the beginning. It helped me connect and look deeper.

“You become what you eat,” “You are what you eat” and “May food be thy medicine.” We all know these statements and quotes. It’s quite an experience to live them.

After experiencing this amazing high, I knew that I need to keep going like this and do all I can to stay raw when back in Buenos Aires and, later, Germany. But I was also aware that I would eventually fall off the wagon because I had no idea, no concept and no experience what it meant to live as a raw foodist, vegetarian or even vegan outside the jungle.

I jumped right in and basically went on a raw, high-fruit, low-fat diet overnight—the most incredible experience ever! Despite that, I made the decision to experiment with being vegan and also implement cooked food in my diet when I came back to life in the city. I believe that many factors need to be taken into account and that there is no right way to eat for all of us. We all may be the same species and function in the same way, but we are all different. We are emotional beings. We are different in where we come from, in how our mothers felt when they were pregnant, in all our experiences in life. All that is important. I came to believe in the importance of bio-individuality, which is the theory that one person’s food is another person’s poison. It’s based on age, gender, race, blood type and level of activity. I respect the individual before I respect the theory. As a coach, it’s important to me to focus on relationships, spirituality, career and physical activity as they are the solid building blocks for achieving superior health. Food is secondary, but it’s the fastest and most direct way to shed the layers to be able to look deeper.

Melanie Lotos basks in the sunlight in a stream

Where I stand now is that I am not 100 percent raw, nor am I a fruitarian and nor do I call myself a vegan. I am actually not even sure if I am 100 percent human.

I give my body a chance to rest. I drink more water than ever before. I breate deeply and I eat ripe fruits and vegetables in their natural state. It’s a fact that the body is programmed to be healthy when provided with the right building blocks such as organic whole foods. If you do that, your body will heal itself by itself. The same diet and lifestyle changes will help almost everyone recover from almost anything. We’re all hungry to understand the best ways to eat, but sometimes the mixed confusion from thousands of diet books and products can steer us away from the concept that basic diet and lifestyle changes can help people recover from almost anything.

The 7 Most Profound Lifestyle Changes Melanie Implemented

1. I drank more clean, filtered water!

2. I stopped drinking sodas and alcohol!

3. I added more greens, fruits and vegetables!

4. I stopped eating meat, dairy and grains!

5. I gave a f—k about what other people thought I should be doing and started to look inside!

6. I fell in love with myself!

7. I took action!

Do you suffer from the “I-Am-Fat-and-in-Pain-and-Need-to-Do-Something-But-Have-No-Idea-What-to-Do” Syndrome? I did. I felt lost for such a long time, not knowing when and why it all went wrong. Until I decided to do something about it! The changes you can achieve for yourself and your life are amazing if you just do something, and I know that you know at least three things you can do right now to feel better.

Have fun exploring and see you soon on the greener side! Much love and light, wholeheartedly!


Watch a Video Interview with Melanie by Rain Pachanko at the 2013 Woodstock Fruit Festival

About the author

Melanie Lotos

Melanie Lotos

Melanie Lotos triumphed over rheumatoid arthritis on a low-fat raw food diet. She is a health coach, certified by the Institute for integrative Nutrition, and the creator of MelanieLotos.com and Melotos.Blogspot.com.

4 Comments

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  • I too have been diagnosed with RA and have just begun my journey. I have been meat, dairy, sugar free for a little more than a month. I belueve wheat is a trigger. Not sure about oats and brown rice and have been eating both. Raw and cooked veggies. I am discouraged as my symptoms escalated the past couple of dsys, possibly from rice.

  • What a beautiful story of transformation and learning to listen to your body Melanie! I love that you “respect the individual before the theory”. I think that is very difficult for some coaches to do! We all have our own beliefs about what type of eating is healthiest and it’s refreshing to hear that you are willing to meet clients where they are and work on their agenda, not yours. Bravo and best of luck!

  • What an amazing transformation and story! I’m so happy for you 🙂 Healthy food and focusing on nourishing the building blocks of life can do wonders for us. Keep sharing your story and inspiring others 🙂

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