Archive for the 'Nerve Damage' Category

End of An Era


May 5th, 2015

chef bio
Hello out there! It’s been way too long. I’m wondering if anyone even still reads this thing. Well, I’m still here. Though not online as much as I’ve been at other points of my life. A lot has CHANGED. It’s kind of cool for me to come back to this now. Who knew this blog was going to lead me on such an incredible journey. I mean, I was just trying to get healthier. And boy did I.

fuzzy guitar
When I started this blog, I was just your average girl. I had developed a lot of HEALTH PROBLEMS from a toxic exposure. It’s kind of a LONG STORY. I had worked in restaurants forever. I was in a band. I wasn’t feeling well. I just wanted to feel better. So I started a blog of figuring out how to eat so I could feel better. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a crazy adventure.


I started feeling better. And changing my diet was a really key component of that. I was inspired to learn more. I wanted to get better at it. I wanted to be proficient. I was spending all my free time making food. And I wanted time for other things in my life again. So I went to CULINARY SCHOOL (YOU CAN FOLLOW MY JOURNEY). It wasn’t so much a career move. I was just thinking I could maybe do some freelance catering gigs afterwards. And keep my day job. But the universe had another plan for me.


Shortly after I returned, I was in a serious CAR CRASH. I was in physical therapy for about eighteen months. A while anyway. I was pretty knocked out. It took a while for me to get it together. I wasn’t moving very fast. During that time, I started making products. It was mostly a physical therapy project at first. Something to work on while I was getting it together. I started making kale chips first. And those went well. But it was painful for me to make them. Because I had nerve damage in my shoulder. So I started making these cheeses. Dairy free cashew and macadamia cheeses. Cheeses that I could eat. For me. At the time, there weren’t really a lot of options out there. There was one company making them. DR. COW. And that was it.

cheeses
These little guys CHANGED MY LIFE. I am not kidding. It was like a movie. The cheeses took off. They started selling all over the country. I did a launch on KICKSTARTER when I finished physical therapy. And donations poured in from all over the world. I was in over my head pretty quickly.

julie and me
That’s when my partner JULIE came on the scene. She had been right under my nose the whole time. She had just sold her record store and had some free time. She can’t eat dairy either. So she was passionate about the cheeses and had been helping me make them. It was clear that things had evolved beyond me. I needed help. And the universe had put the perfect person in front of me. We found some investors, and BUILT OUT OUR OWN SHOP just for the cheeses in 2012. It’s been a whirlwind ever since. We’ve just been trying to keep up.

Julie and Sonny
Then, Julie became a mom. To the fabulous Sonny! We definitely had our hands full. But the cheeses never slowed down. They just kept growing. And we had to keep up.

heidi and me
That’s when HEIDI came into the picture. Heidi is a nutritionist/registered dietitian based in Seattle. We used to be roomates. Back in the day. She also happens to be the one who helped me get my diet on track. When I first got sick. She led the way for me. So the two ladies who helped me get back on my feet when I was down and out became my business partners. I can’t really think of a better foundation for greatness. Things have evolved a lot. In a very grass roots way. It’s funny. People often have the impression that we are a big business. And are surprised when I tell them how big our space is. And how much cheese we pump out. It’s been a labor of love. To be sure. My health has evolved a lot too. I’ve definitely had some ROUGH PATCHES.


Adjusting to the stress of running a business was a difficult puzzle to figure out. Luckily, I had some little CRITTERS TO SHOW ME THE WAY. It seemed like the more I adapted my lifestyle to work for me, the better I got. Despite all the stress and trauma. The way revealed itself to me.

cheese
Meanwhile, the cheeses just kept growing and growing. They did so well that since we started, a bunch of other companies with a lot more money have jumped in the scene. Now there are tons of products out there like us. We have been like the little engine that could. Just chugging along. While bigger companies have flooded the marketplace. A whole new CATEGORY OF PRODUCTS has emerged. There have even been articles in the press claiming that we have been following their footsteps. You can rewrite history in the press. And people will believe it. But I’m here to tell you that we are the REAL DEAL over here. We are the ones that sprang from a truly divine inspiration. We did the work ourselves. From the ground up. We’ve been here from the beginning. We may not be the biggest. But we have heart and soul. It’s frustrating sometimes. That not everyone sees that. But honestly, I’m just happy to have graduated to normal people problems. I am happy to be functioning in society again. Actually, I’ve gone way beyond that. I’m thriving now!

karyn's
Here I am now. I was getting ready to do a cooking demo at one of my very favorite restaurants. KARYN’S in Chicago. KARYN CALABRESE is an inspiration and an icon. And I was honored to do a demo at her holiday event last year.

So anyway, I’ve been thinking…That since this blog was about my journey back to wellness…And since I feel like I can say now that I’ve arrived…It might be time for a new era. So I’ve started a new blog. With my business partners, HEIDI and JULIE. A PUNK RAWK LABS blog. I’ve been posting over there lately. I might show up here again. Sometime down the road. But I think this is gonna turn into my personal blog now. And since I’ve become part of something larger than me, I’m embracing a NEW ERA to reflect that. Come by sometime and check it out!

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Eleven-Eleven-Eleven


November 11th, 2011

full moon
11/11/11. An auspicious day. With a full moon. This is supposed to be the day when everything reboots. It definitely feels that way for me. Lots of big changes going down this week. According to my horoscope, I’m supposed to start coming up with some big revelations. I’m not sure if that’s really happening yet. I’m not sure if reality has fully sunk in. I haven’t really processed it all.

necklace
Check out this necklace I made for my physical therapist. I had my last session this week. It seemed so surreal. I’ve been going for almost a year and a half. Ever since my BIG CRASH. I’ve come a long way.

walker
From using a walker…to being able to flip myself over…to standing…and walking…and rebuilding muscles…fixing my alignment…and headaches…and nerve damage…and MRIs…and neurosurgeons. It’s been an interesting journey. My physical therapist has seen me through a lot. So, it was kind of sad in a way. It’s sad to say goodbye. It’s also a little scary. Physical therapy is like the warm, fuzzy, security blanket where you can work out issues.

My neurosurgery appointment was good. Good and bad. It was good because I was not really FEELING THE SURGERY idea. (I was having a pretty strong intuition against it, in fact). And luckily, neither was the neurosurgeon. He said I probably do have nerve damage in my neck and shoulder. But they can’t fix it with surgery because I have arthritis! Who knew? I guess I have spondylosis in my spine. Apparently, people who have that respond really badly to surgery. Well, I tell you what…I have never been so happy to be told I have arthritis. :)

century
In another bizarre twist of fate/harbinger of change, I was invited to speak to a class of college students about raw food/healthcare. I took one picture. And I think I had the camera on a really low light setting in a really high tungsten kind of lighting. It looks kind of cool. The students were great. I was really surprised at their questions. They were really on the ball. And curious about what I ate the day before. And what I ate when I was in the HOSPITAL. And they asked really smart questions. Good vibes.

charlie brownAnd in case that isn’t enough evidence that things are starting to shift, the weather changed this week. We’ve been flirting with the colder weather. But this week was the first real freeze. Time to bring in the plants. Look at this little habanero plant. It’s so cute. It looks just like CHARLIE BROWN’S CHRISTMAS. Winter is definitely on the way. So here we go. Head first into an uncertain future. But one with limitless possibilities. And good karma. Wish me luck! I’m not necessarily seeing the answer right at this moment. But I trust that it’s there.

nettle latte
Oh and PS! I posted a new video this week featuring my dear friend, HEIDI (who I never would have made it through this health debacle without). We made a NETTLE LATTE. Check it out…

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Rock Bottom


August 4th, 2011

inspired window
I feel like I’m bottoming out. Things aren’t looking too good. At least on paper. But somehow, I have this sort of delusional perception of reality that says otherwise. I absolutely do not see it right now. The solution. But miracles happen every day. Right? Is that crazy? I got some more bad news this week. My MRI RESULTS. Maybe they didn’t TELL ME ALL AT ONCE so I wouldn’t get depressed. Basically, they were as bad as they thought. Worse even. My back is a mess. I have a bunch of damaged discs. I don’t even remember how many. Five or six. Two are torn, and the rest are just bulging into my spine. Thus, the nerve problems. I’ve had three different doctors tell me I might have to get back surgery. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

mosquito bite
The stress is making my body do lots of weird things. Like really bad MYOCLONIC JERKING. And this. It’s a mosquito bite. And some days, it feels like I’m losing the function of my right hand. I actually feel like I’m doing lots of positive things for my health. (In case you haven’t noticed). It’s just mainly the stress that I haven’t gotten a handle on. But sometimes, stressful things just happen. Or a strings of them. And you do the best you can.

kitty
Kitty has been really protective of me lately. It’s pretty cute. She follows me around wherever I go. And when I leave, she waits by the door for me. Other people’s pets have been acting weird too. The other day, I went to a friend’s house (when I had the above blister). And as soon as I walked in the door, their dog freaked out. She honed in on the blister right away and started licking it like crazy. And after that, she just calmed down and went and sat in the corner. It was very strange. So, even though things look bad on paper, I get the feeling that there are larger forces at work looking after me. I’d like to think so anyway…

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Reading Between The Lines


July 31st, 2011

nighttime
Well, things haven’t been looking so good on paper lately. But given how inaccurately my paper trail has reflected my reality in the past, I’m not taking it too seriously. (If you are just tuning in, some examples of this might be an unusual and difficult to diagnose AILMENT which afflicts only the most eccentric of people and ensuing LEGAL DEBACLE. I haven’t even mentioned yet the time I got investigated by the health department. But that’s a long story, and it’s getting late).

avo nori
The bad news is that they think I have nerve damage in my upper back too. This prompted an MRI recently which revealed some (not so) surprising insights. Apparently, I have some pleural effusions? Basically, this means that there is fluid building up around the lining of my lungs. This can be caused by AUTOIMMUNE or LIVER disease (the two elephants that always seems to be hanging out at my doctor’s office whenever I show up).


I’ve actually been feeling like I have a build up of some sort in my abdomen for a LONG TIME. I wasn’t really sure if it was fluid or fat. Looking back though, the fluid theory actually makes a lot of sense. It explains why I responded so well to lymphatic drainage, and it was brought up at least once by my colon hydrotherapist/friend, HEIDI. So the findings aren’t terribly surprising although I was expecting to hear more about the nerve problem than my ‘beer gut’.

sour cherries
In other news, sour cherries already came and went for this year. I can’t wait for them to come back around.


I made the most amazing pie!! The sour cherry tart is a definite winner. It was a recipe from RAW FOOD. REAL WORLD.

rasp
I made a raspberry version for my boyfriend because he doesn’t like cherries. Who doesn’t like cherries?!! The other day, I was in the produce aisle picking cherries, and a girl came up behind and said, ‘They’re like summertime crack.’ That pretty much sums it up. My boyfriend is missing out!

tomatoes
I’m also just starting to see my first tomatoes from the GARDEN. The basil is looking really good right now too.

cheeses
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding my health, things are actually going pretty well. My CHEESES are selling quite well in the BIG APPLE thanks to the folks at LIVE LIVE AND ORGANIC.

kombuchaI’m also starting to sprinkle some MUSICAL GUESTS into my UNCOOKING SHOW. This week, I had my first one. They are pretty much my favorite band right now. And the song goes perfectly with the KOMBUCHA episode. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t yet.  Kombucha is pretty easy to make, and it’s much cheaper when you do(esp. if you have an addict boyfriend like I do).  Incidentally, my boyfriend is on tour again.  And this week, he worked at a really cool festival called FLOYD FEST?  He said the back stage catering included raw food, two self serve juicers with tons of fruits and veggies, and some local kombucha called BUCHI.  How cool is that?

cute apronThe FARMER’S MARKET is going really well too. I love the farmer’s market. I’ve been connecting with some great folks. This week, we had a guest vendor in the booth next to me called SEEDLING DESIGN. She was making these cute little aprons. I snatched one up right away with a matching money pouch to keep my cash in. Two weeks ago, my entire pile of money got caught up in a strong wind and blew all my earnings all over the market. Everyone was scurrying to grab dollars. It was insane! Needless to say, I’ve been looking for a better system to deal with that. And I didn’t have to look very far. The answer found me!  I love it!!  So in essence, I’m not getting too discouraged by the medical dramas.  I actually ‘feel’ like I am making a lot of progress.  Healing is messy.  It’s kind of like cleaning your room.  Sometimes things have to get a little chaotic on the way to a new order.  This is all a work in progress.  And progress is something I am definitely making at the moment!!  I’ll keep you posted..

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