Archive for the 'IBS' Category

Travelling In The Raw


November 30th, 2011

robin
Today I am writing to tell you about one of my fellow alumni from MATTHEW KENNEY ACADEMY, Robyn Law aka GIRL ON RAW. Robin is a former flight attendant and expert on TRAVELLING IN THE RAW.

travelling in the rawShe has just published a new eBook on the subject aptly titled ‘Travelling in the Raw’. I am really excited about this development for a number of reasons. My boyfriend is actually in Europe right now on tour. So I emailed him a copy. He travels a lot. He actually just came home from an East Coast tour. He was back for 24 hours. Then, he left for Europe. He comes home next week for 12 hours, and then he leaves again for the West Coast. It’s exciting and a little glamorous. He keeps inviting me to go to Europe with him. He travels so much that he has a bazillion frequent flyer miles. So my plane ticket would be free. But I haven’t gone yet. Why?! Is this question that everyone asks.

girl on rawWell a lot of it was because I needed someone to write this book for me. If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you will know of my struggles with AUTOIMMUNE ISSUES. I used to love travelling. My father, in fact, also worked for the airline industry. So we travelled a lot growing up. But now the issue is food. Since my immune system is so reactive, it’s really important what I eat. Falling off the wagon on vacation has some pretty dramatic consequences for me. This can easily snowball into me not being able to get out of bed for days. Which is not really appropriate for travelling. Esp with a group of people on a tight schedule. As a result, I’ve been becoming increasingly introverted and anti-social as this thing has played out. And I need to break out of this rut. Thank you, Robyn! For doing all the leg work!!

travel snacks
It’s pretty cute. My boyfriend has been trying to stake out the safe places for me all over the globe. He always brings me the latest in raw food snacks! And emails me pictures of all the good food he is eating. This is what he brought me last week from LIVE LIVE in NYC. I’m starting to feel brave. Maybe this will be the year!

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Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes


October 29th, 2011


I remember when that record came out (GRACELAND – the one with DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES). I loved it so much. I played it over and over. And there’s even a song dedicated to me on it…YOU CAN CALL ME AL. He has a new song that just came out this year that I LOVE LOVE LOVE too. Kind of relevant to my health care conundrum. :)

angle shelfYou can barely make out my wheatgrass operation in the left side of my living room photo. It’s all records and wheatgrass. (That’s where it’s at. The secrets to healing). :)  Anyway, as you can see I have a nice little supply of wheatgrass going.  My boyfriend bought 35 lbs. of seeds.  So, I’m going to town.  I’ve actually been putting off writing this post because I have so much to say about this.  If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you will know of my WHEATGRASS ADDICTION.

tray
I even made a VIDEO ABOUT HOW TO GROW IT YOURSELF. I have to say that in the course of trying to heal myself, I have tried many, many things. And to be honest, a lot of them didn’t work. But wheatgrass is the cheapest, most powerful thing I’ve tried. And yet, most people are reluctant to try it. I think that most people find it difficult to fit into their lifestyles. But I actually think that’s part of the point that the grass is trying to make to us. If you are willing to listen to it.

diamond
I go in and out of sync with it. Truth be told. But right now, I’m in big time. How do I know this? Because the grass lets me know when it’s happy. When it’s perfectly happy, it makes these perfect little dew drops at the tip of each blade. They look like diamonds!

dew drops
How amazing is that? I am on a wheatgrass roll! My little trays have been coming out so perfectly. So green! With diamonds! And no mold. :)

tray base
And can I just tell you how amazing this stuff is for your LIVER? It’s truly profound. So much so that it probably deserves it’s own post. But I will say this…Right now, I am breaking through some huge barriers that have been holding me back for a long, long time. And I truly believe a lot of it has to do with this grass. More on this later. Wish me luck! Next week, is my follow up with the NEUROSURGEON. I’ve been kind of in denial about this since everyone has been gently bringing up the idea of back surgery with me (an idea which I am not really in sync with). Don’t worry though. I’m not nervous. I’ve already decided that I am an empowered being and the ultimate decision rests with me. :)

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The Monster In My Closet


April 20th, 2011

contemplating
Well, the time has come. I have got to get something off my chest. Something that I have been wrestling with for almost five years. In the beginning, it seemed like a straightforward enough problem. One that I could deal with and move on from efficiently. Once it was defined, anyway. So I stuffed it away in my closet figuring that once things were neatly sorted out, I would deal with it appropriately. No need to raise alarms now, I thought. I’m not even sure what it is.

Well, in that time, IT turned out to be much more than I bargained for. In just about every respect. The more I looked for answers, the more elusive they became. The monster in my closet grew and grew. The uncertainty just made it grow more. Meanwhile, I waited. Once I find the answers, I’ll be able to slay the dragon, I thought. But the answers never came. At least, not from where they were supposed to. And the monster only grew.

baby me and mom

Me and my mom (a few years back)

Well, now the monster has outgrown me. It’s clearly beyond my control at this point. It can no longer be contained in my closet. It’s time to let him out, warts and all. And let the pieces fall where they may. So, here it is…

Five years ago, I suffered a severe toxic exposure. I haven’t spoken very explicitly about it here because it was a very messy situation. But I am coming to realize now that not putting my truth out into the world is only hurting me. I need to connect with that truth now so that I can truly move through this situation (instead of carrying the baggage around). Essentially, I discovered that I had been living over an open sewer main for four years. I discovered this because I was getting sick and not knowing why. And my instinct (and a few calls to people more knowledgeable than I) led me to discover that the plumbing in my apartment was not as it should have been.

I went through a lot after this. Initially, I developed severe respiratory and digestive issues. For six weeks, I had the most horrible, fully body, dry, possessed by aliens and sounding like a dying animal cough. Then, I was finally sent to the right doctor who determined that I had in fact been exposed to toxic sewer gas and that the hydrogen sulfide in the gas had eaten through the lining of my lungs causing my respiratory issues (which incidentally never went away).

not sugar plums
Once I got the respiratory (most immediate threat) issues under control, we started to work on my digestive system. This was much more complicated. Initially, I went through several rounds of testing for every possible infection, parasite, allergy, etc. This took a while. Essentially, they do one round of tests and don’t figure anything out. Then, they send you home until it gets bad enough for you to come back. Since previous rounds of testing were generally unproductive, I think most people put off going back until they reach new levels of discomfort. Needless to say, it’s a less than pleasant process. After they exhaust all the tests, they send you in for a COLONOSCOPY. Where you actually get to see your insides on TV! The colonoscopy was actually not so bad. It was the endoscopy that was traumatic. I think they are generally supposed to put you under for this. But for whatever reason, they decided to feed the camera tube down my throat while I was awake. I was literally crying and fighting my gag reflex back while they were yelling at me to ‘BREATHE!’. This was to stop the dry heaving. Remind me to never do that again.

Anyway, they determined after this that I was most likely having an allergic reaction to something I was eating and that I should do an elimination diet to figure out what it was. All in all, it took me fifteen months to figure out that I had developed a sensitivity to chemicals in my food. This is what attracted me in the beginning to raw food. This is also what led me to realize just how ubiquitous chemicals in our food are and how vigilant one must be in this day and age to avoid them. Well, raw food was the most natural and unprocessed diet I could find. AND it was ideal for people that were trying to detoxify their systems which seemed right up my alley. My main obstacle at this point was that I didn’t know how to cook. At all. This was about the time when I started this blog.

hospital
Once I got the digestive issues somewhat stabilized, a new issue STARTED TO EMERGE. I had a foreshadowing event, I suppose. Some UNEXPLAINED TEST RESULTS. I had gotten strange calls from my doctors telling me not to be worried but that I had some test results that were raising concerns. Well, as anyone with any unexplained medical symptoms will tell you, this is precisely the kind of call you need to be worried about.

hospital
It wasn’t long after that I ended up in the HOSPITAL with severe hepatitis. This is a long story in and of itself. So, I will spare you the details. But essentially my liver sort of imploded. I had a number of infections and test results at the time. I had Hepatitis A and Mono. Plus, some strange ANTIBODY RESULTS. The mono infection lasted for a year and a half. Though I didn’t know this at the time. I was told during the infection that it might be a FALSE POSITIVE. That it was more likely an immune system disorder, and I didn’t have Mono. For a year and a half I suffered through my life trying to pretend everything was okay and not knowing why things definitely weren’t. As it turns out, I actually DID have mono for all that time. But I still probably have some sort of immune system disorder. They’re still figuring things out.

weird eye
Since that time, I’ve had a number of unexplained symptoms and test results. Like these involuntary movements, for example. My body just jerks for no reason. Sometimes violently. Whatever it is that I have is very unusual. Right now, I have a really bad ulcer in my throat from a recurring thrush infection (that friend that you don’t really have anything in common with but you can’t really get rid of). Thrush infections are really common in people with compromised immune systems. They are not sure if my compromised immune system is caused by an immune system disorder or my damaged liver or both. Whatever it is, it’s clear that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

yoga girl
This brings me to my current conundrum. For five years, I’ve been waiting for an answer. The explanation that makes all of this make sense. A diagnosis. If I had this, I thought, I could connect with others who have the same thing. I could get answers! I could get help! But they haven’t come. Meanwhile, I’ve just been stuffing things in the closet to deal with later (when I finally get the answer!). But what I’m realizing now is that waiting for my answer is doing more harm than good. Maybe there ARE no answers. Maybe I will NEVER find them. Maybe that IS the answer. Whatever I have is some sort of environmental illness that is common among people with toxic exposures. In fact, this weekend out of desperation I started to look for studies of people exposed to sewer gas. Interestingly, I found a number of separate epidemiological studies conducted all over the world on sanitation workers and discovered that my symptoms are almost IDENTICAL to theirs!! It absolutely infuriates me that so many people all over the world suffer through illness for no good reason. And that other people make money from this. And this makes it impossible for them to see the suffering they are inflicting.

radiation
This was brought more into focus for me recently by current events in JAPAN. And the impact that is having on my family there. Seriously, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE TO GET SICK AND SUFFER LIKE THIS BEFORE SOMETHING CHANGES?!!

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New Year’s Rampage


January 4th, 2011

kombucha
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by. At this time last year, I was just STARTING ADVANCED INSTRUCTION at 105 DEGREES. It’s so interesting to look back and reflect on YEARS PAST and see how PERCEPTIONS have changed and how things have unfolded. Well, last year I had a very reasonable goal which I’ve made significant progress on. This year, I’m on a rampage! It started a few weeks ago with a YOGA CHALLENGE. I gave myself a few weeks to acclimate to that before I really started focusing in on my diet.

fridge
This week is all about stockpiling goodies for my fridge and kitchen. Here you can see the pomegranate kombucha I made for my boyfriend (a hopeless addict who drinks at least two of these a day). I also made a big stash of SPROUTS. My diet is actually pretty good most of the time. Since I suffer from some DIGESTIVE ISSUES, I can’t really stray very far from a certain level of enlightenment, so to speak. But I do notice that I tend to stray towards going out to eat and getting comfortable with a little too much slop in the system. It’s amazing when you really clean things up. You realize what a difference it makes.

marinating
Here I am marinating a variation of the coconut bacon in ANI PHYO’S NEW BOOK. She uses this in tons of recipes. So it’s great to have around. Plus, I had a huge amount of coconut meat leftover from making a big batch of KEFIR.


My version is quite a bit spicier than hers. So I think of it more like a jerky.

kimchee
I also made a big batch of kimchee (which I am only allowed to eat when my boyfriend is NOT home). This is what it looks like when it’s just made.

kimchee
After it ferments, it turns pink. This year, I am much more savvy with the fermented foods which interestingly was the answer to my quest from LAST YEAR (to get my Candida under control).

peppers
Yesterday, I started pickling these peppers (another recipe from ANI PHYO’S book). She has a really nice section on kimchee in her book with authentic asian recipes. I like that!

onion bread
My boyfriend has been getting really involved too (which makes it so fun and creative). Yesterday, he made this AMAZING onion bread with pineapple pieces in it. He was inspired by VICKI (a fellow student at 105 Degrees). She made a recipe similar to this for her final project. It is SO DELICIOUS!! I was very impressed.

rampageIn other news, my YOGA CHALLENGE is going well so far. I’m just starting week four right now. It’s so interesting how things evolve from week to week. I’m still having a lot of pain and tension in my muscles but it has loosened up A LOT since I started. This week, I made the most progress on the standing bow pose. Actually, both of the bow poses are starting to open up for me. Right now, I’m having the most trouble with Standing Head to Knee pose (this will take a WHILE) and Half Moon Pose. I have a lot of issues with my lower back. I think there are a lot of muscles in that area that have gotten weak and out of whack. It really becomes obvious in these poses. My teacher, Martha, said that there are many small stabilizing muscles in the pelvis (which I BROKE) which will impact this pose as well. So I think I have my work cut out for me on that one. The other thing I’m noticing this week is massive detox. Yesterday was rather intense. But letting go of what’s not working for me is what this challenge is all about. So bring it on!

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The Good News and The Bad News


September 13th, 2009

anomolies
Today I’m starting a new series…MEDICAL ANOMALIES. To anyone whose ever fallen through the cracks of the modern marvel we reluctantly refer to as a medical system, I feel ya!

obama
With debate over the future of healthcare spinning into overdrive, I can’t help but reflect on my own situation. It has without a doubt been among the most frustrating debacles I’ve had to deal with. Everyone agrees that there is a problem.  And on the surface, it seems like nobody agrees on the solution.  But honestly, I don’t know if that’s actually true.  I think that when you talk to most people, there IS some consensus.  It’s just when you turn on the TV…well that’s another story entirely.  Honestly, I try not to turn on the TV much at all these days.  I try as much as possible to form my own opinions based on my own experiences. This is a pic I took of President Obama yesterday at the Minneapolis Health Care Rally.  I was pretty proud of it.  Politics aside, I think it’s a really good picture.

Probably the most important lesson I am taking away from this experience with my health is that it’s not up to anyone else to fix what’s wrong with me.  Other people can offer guidance and support.  But that’s about all I can hope for.  In the end, it’s a personal journey. For those who are just catching up, here is a little insight into mine…

It all started about three years ago. I started developing a number of ‘seemingly unrelated’ symptoms after incurring a prolonged toxic exposure. It was the age old story of someone cutting corners to save a few bucks and creating a situation where someone else (that person being me) had to pay a dear price for it. But it’s complicated. So, I won’t get into that. The short story is that I breathed in a bunch of toxic gas. The gas contained chemicals which ate through the lining of my lungs and caused severe respiratory problems. I also developed GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS.

growing wheatgrass
The respiratory issues started to break up after a few months (though they still recur even now). The GI issues were much more elusive. But, I was able to get them under control after about fifteen months through a combination of an elimination diet and GROWING WHEATGRASS in my window. This is when I discovered raw food. It became my baseline diet.

hospital
Shortly after the GI issue began to stabilize, I was hospitalized. Essentially, I started vomiting blood one day and was having a lot of difficulty breathing. Among other things. I was in the HOSPITAL for about five days. During that time, doctors performed every test known to man while I watched documentaries about MEERKATS. In the end, nobody was able to come up with a satisfactory explanation of what happened. I had had a very severe bout of hepatitis, but it wasn’t clear what caused it. There were some different theories thrown around. The long and short of it was that there were a lot of test results that were abnormal (several of which I didn’t find out about until five months later), and none of the theories offered an explanation that encompassed them all. Whatever it was, it’s clear that it wasn’t caused by any of the ‘normal’ reasons that people get hepatitis.

weird eye
Since that time, I’ve had a range of unexplained symptoms and test results. Things like my eye swelling up for no reason, fatigue, chest pains, twitching, etc. Things that I’ve gone into more detail about in EARLIER POSTS.

wbcs
About five months ago, I was sent to yet another specialist to see if he might be able to cast some light on the situation. The waiting list was very long, but that appointment finally came due this week. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about what the doctor was going to say. He put me at ease, right away.

‘I know what you’re worried about. And you don’t have lupus…’ I breathed a sign of relief. ‘…At least not YET.’ Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I appreciated his honesty. There was one really good sign. There is a screening test for lupus, the ANA, which I’ve tested positive for twice. Well, this time, I was NEGATIVE!

lupus recovery dietSeveral months ago, I read a book called the LUPUS RECOVERY DIET by Jill Harrington. She was diagnosed with lupus and recovered fully by switching to a raw vegan diet. She mentioned in the book that she was able to not only reverse her symptoms but also her ANA test. Interestingly, shortly after I got my first positive ANA, I encountered another person who was in remission from lupus. She told me the exact same story. I’m not sure if that’s what happened here, but it’s a very interesting coincidence at the very least.

mad scientistThere was some bad news. There are some abnormal tests that he said ‘they weren’t smart enough to figure out’. Some strange antibody problems. According to my blood tests, I should have arthritis and mono. I’ve been testing positive for mono for a long time. With most people you can see a spike in certain antibodies followed by a recovery. But mine are just stuck on. This doesn’t necessarily mean I have mono. And in fact, it means that I probably never had mono. Sometimes people with immune system issues make errors in their immune response and this causes them to react positively to lots of things they don’t have. At least, this is how it was explained to me. I was also missing some antibodies that everyone has. This may or may not become an issue. He wasn’t sure what to make of the arthritis test. Apparently, I had high levels of rheumatoid factor. Usually, this means arthritis. But it can also mean lupus, hepatitis, liver damage, or mono. Things which are all kind of suspect.

So, all in all, I think it was a good visit. The way I’m interpreting it is that things are getting better. I’m doing all the right things. They said that my immune system suffered a very big insult and it might just take a while for it to recover.  He also said he thought it was time to start thinking about changes that I could make with my work environment.  This I’ve heard before and have been stewing on for a while.

It’s starting to feel like the beginning of a new era.  For the last three years,  I’ve been very open to everyone’s advice. I’ve tried a little of everything without making any judgements. Just observations. But now, I have a pretty firm idea of what’s working for me. And what’s not. Now it’s time to cut out the flack and really get focused on what IS working.  I suspect there will be some big changes coming soon.  I’ll keep you posted…

ADDENDUM: About five minutes after I posted this, I found an ARTICLE ABOUT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE that pretty much sums it up. It’s the first article like this I’ve seen in a mainstream media outlet.

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Quinoa Tabouli


June 6th, 2009

Quinoa tabouli
This is the quinoa tabouli from EVERYDAY RAW. It was incredibly yummy, but I don’t know that I would ever eat it again.

tabouli
It uses sprouted quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. All I can say is that a person would need to have a stronger digestive system than I to process raw sprouted quinoa. Granted, I have IBS. So I’m probably not the best candidate for this recipe anyway. Definitely not. Unless you appreciate everything grinding to a screeching halt. And then having an awkward conversation with your boyfriend about…well never mind. You get the idea.

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My Misadventures with Autoimmune Disease


April 30th, 2009

weird eye
Well, it started innocently enough. My week. I’ve been having some issues with my eyes recently. One of the other of them likes to swell up/get red for no obvious reason.

weird eye 2
I wouldn’t have thought much of it particularly except that the last time I went to see the dentist, she made a point of mentioning to me that if I had any issues with my eyes I should bring it up with my doctor right away. That given my health history of late, this would be an important development.

What health history you ask? Well, that is a rather involved story. I haven’t been talking about it much. Partly out of hope that it would go away. Partly because I was waiting for an official confirmation of my suspicions. And partly because I was worried it might jeapordize silly things, like my job. But as I mentioned, this is a long story. You might want to sit down. Make yourself a cup of…well, MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE.

mex hot cho
OK. Comfortable now? Alright then…Where to start? Well, it all started about three years ago when I discovered that I had incurred a prolonged TOXIC EXPOSURE. I had been feeling not quite right up until then, but I didn’t know why. Well, not quite right evolved into a whole host of problems which I’ve posted about more EXPLICITLY in earlier posts. But essentially, my body went into a kind of severe detox mode. Violently purging things every which way…until I landed in the hospital with a liver gone haywire.

hospital
At the time, they told me that I just had a bunch of viruses…hepatitis A and mono. And this is what had caused my liver to malfunction. (What they forgot to mention to me at the time was that I had also tested positive for an autoimmune antibody, ANA.) Things seemed to be getting better for a while. I took a bunch of time off and really rested. This did a lot for me. But as soon as I went back to work, new issues started to emerge.

proactive
I was being really proactive about my health and doing everything I could, but I was still having problems. Chest pains. And these strange body twitches. Plus, I was still tired all the time. So I went back in to get checked out. To my surprise, I found out about the (whoops we forgot to tell you about this) positive ANA result. I also found that I was still testing positive for mono. Six months later. They repeated the ANA test to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Lo and behold, it was positive AGAIN. At this point, I got passed around to a few doctors who came to the conclusion that they weren’t sure what any of this meant. So the best thing to do would be…nothing. So, I waited. All the while stewing about little things that doctors/nurses had mentioned to me in passing. Things like …’You probably don’t have this but the ANA is positive in people with autoimmune disease’ … ‘permanent liver damage’ … ‘hepatitis A doesn’t make people vomit blood’ … ‘Is there anyone in your family who has lupus?’ … ‘i really don’t think there’s anything wrong with you’… ‘YOU have an AUTOIMMUNE disease and THEY need to diagnose you!’..’You didn’t want to have kids, did you?’. Needless to say, my experience wasn’t doing much to dissuade all the horrible things that people say about our health care system.

flower
Anyway, to get on with the story, I went in Monday about my eye. This doctor I went to see is actually my favorite of the twenty or so that have examined me over the last few years. He seems the most well intended and willing to stretch. Meaning that he recognizes that there are weak points in the architecture. Cracks that people fall through. And he seems the most willing to try to reach for us. Anyway, he told me what I had long suspected. He thinks I should see a specialist. An autoimmune specialist.

I haven’t fully processed what this all means yet. And I can’t even get in to see him until August. Honestly, I’m not even sure if I want to see him. But at the very least, it means that I’m not crazy. And that things are starting to change. I’m starting to find some answers finally. Which also means that there is a whole host of issues that I need to consider. Things that I think might be best left to their own post. Lots of complicated issues. But, at least I’m out of the closet now.

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Breakthrough


August 1st, 2008


So, for those who haven’t been following my medical drama, I am smack dab in the middle of a major breakthrough. It’s funny. Because often these things don’t necessarily look like that at the time. To recap, I’ve been sick FOREVER! Well, not literally forever, but for 2 years, I’ve been feeling like CRAP and nobody has really had much of an idea why. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. EVERYBODY has a pretty good idea why. But nobody had a good theory as to why my overexposure to toxic gas and sewage was causing the problems I was having. What kinds of problems you ask?

Well, initially I was having a lot of trouble breathing. And when I say a lot of trouble breathing, I mean asthma attacks that would last for days, strangers on the street asking if I was okay, having so much trouble breathing that I couldn’t even cry, and a cough that was so disturbing that it would melt the heart of even the meanest person. I was also having diarrhea. And when I say diarrhea, I mean 15 MONTHS of diarrhea. The kind that makes you wonder if it will ever end. The kind that makes you so exhausted that you literally are unable to get out of bed for a couple days. The kind that you would rather I did not go into further. I was definitely stuck in a rut.


The doctors were out of ideas. I got diagnosed with IBS because they couldn’t find a bacterial cause for it. Out of desperation, I started reading about ANN WIGMORE and I decided to try her plan of GROWING WHEATGRASS.

harvesting

Well, guess what? It worked! The diarrhea finally started getting better! But then, in it’s place I started having having some visits from a strange type of FLU – a really intense, debilitating flu that would come and go. This went on for several months (4 or 5). Nobody had any idea what was happening. I was exhausted. I had to take 3 hours naps every day, and I had no idea why. I was going out of my way to be healthy. I didn’t understand how this could be? It didn’t make sense. I was ready to give up. Then, something wonderful happened…

hospital

My liver died, and I had to go to stay in the hospital for several days.

I know what you’re thinking. What’s wonderful about that? Well, I admit. It didn’t seem wonderful at the time. Not at all. In fact, it was a wee bit unpleasant. I was having trouble breathing because my liver was so swollen, I was barfing up blood, and the pain in my chest was so intense I couldn’t sit up or stand or lie on my back. All I could do was lie in fetal position. But guess what! It was progress! I think my body was purging some really evil things while I was in there.

It turned out that I had a bunch of viral infections. I had hepatitis A and mono. The doctor told me to take it easy for a while to get my strength back. So I went to Seattle to visit some friends. Somewhere in the middle of that trip, something magical started happening…I started to feel good. Really GOOD! I didn’t need to take naps everyday. I started to feel like a normal person again. I started to have ENERGY!

All this time, I had been taking such good care of myself and wondering why nothing seemed to be happening. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I think I just needed to reach a critical mass where my body had enough support to do what it needed to do.

All I can say is I’m on my way now, baby! I can’t BELIEVE it! I thought it would never happen. I had given up hope. But, the light is starting to shine through me now. That’s for sure. Now, it’s just a matter of re-equilibrating and catching up. I might have to start a new blog soon. One about a really healthy girl! Because the sick one went away.

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some bike riding to catch up on!

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Pesky Little Buggers


February 8th, 2008

buggers

Earlier this week, I had a pretty promising visit to the doctor. My asthma has been improving a ton. My IBS was neatly diagnosed last month. I was pretty optimistic that I was on the road to getting on with my life. My doctor as much as told me so. But then, he called me back later. ‘No big deal,’ he said. ‘I’m just a little concerned about these blood tests. Just stop in anytime, and we’ll just check on them.’

UGH! These little buggers are my nemesis. Sure enough, I get the call today. My white blood cell and lymphocyte counts are low. Something strange going on with my immune system. They’re not sure what this means.

Well, it means that I’m going to have to go and see more doctors for now.

It’s kind of ironic. Pretty much every member of my family, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances have made this observation. It sounds like you’re immune system is off. It makes common sense. After all, I was exposed to an ongoing onslaught of toxic gas for four years. You would expect my immune system to have taken a beating.

But I have to admit, it’s really hard not to get impatient with our medical process at times. Things tend to take a million years longer than you’d like them to.

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Urban Gardening


January 12th, 2008

the garden

So, as I MENTIONED in earlier posts, my big initiative for this year is to eat more greens. And since I live in Minnesota and it’s the middle of the winter, the best way to achieve the freshest greens is of course indoor gardening. Well, I also live in a 325 square foot TINY apartment with my boyfriend. So I needed to get creative.

expedit

So I measured out my window and went to ikea and picked out this shelf to fit in front of it. It also that had shelves which were the perfect size to fit my cafeteria trays. I suppose you could order some sprouting trays. But ANN WIGMORE recommends cafeteria trays in her book. So, I figured if it was good enough for Ann Wigmore, it was good enough for me (Ann Wigmore cured herself of chronic diarrhea by developing her own wheatgrass/sprout garden. Did I mention that I’m obsessed with Ann Wigmore?)

sprouting wheat

To start, I soaked the seeds in a jar for 12 hours. These are wheatgrass seeds. I forgot to take a picture of the sprout seeds, but you get the idea. Soak the seeds for 12 hours. Then, rinse and let them sprout for 12 hours. I rinsed mine about 3 times during that 12 hours.

tray of dirt

Then, I spread some nice organic soil on a cafeteria tray.

wheat sprouts dirt

mixed sprouts dirt

Next, I spread my baby sprouts over the tray. The top tray is my tray of wheatgrass. The bottom tray is a mixed tray of sprouts. The black seeds on the left are sunflower, the middle is buckwheat, and the right is a fancy sprout mix (containing daikon radish, arugula, and cress).

sproutlab

I covered the sprouts with another cafeteria tray (I’m using 12 X 16″), and put them somewhere dark for 2-3 days. Since I’m not really using my oven for anything these days, I’ve turned it into my little sprout lab.

wheat one

sprouts one

During this time, I periodically check on them to make sure they are happy and have enough water but not too much (don’t want to see mold).

wheat two

The wheatgrass starts growing these white spiky shafts first. Once they get tall enough that they start raising the tray, I put them out in the light.

sprouts three

This little guy seems like he’s looking for the light. So…into the window they go…

wheat three

The shafts start turning green right away.

sprouts four

These guys start looking like little martians too.

wheat four

Next, little blades of grass start shooting out of the shafts.

sprouts five

The buckwheat (on the right) is going crazy!

wheat five

The blades keep getting taller…

sprouts six

The buckwheat is taking over the tray! The sunflower seeds are the ones on the left. The fancy mix is on the right.

wheatgrass today

Here is my wheatgrass this morning. It looks super healthy – way better than what they had at the coop. I never had reason to notice before. But yesterday I checked them out and the blades were thinner and a darker green. They’re probably several days older.

sprouts today

I think these guys are gonna be ready to harvest soon. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have to start coming up with some recipes. I’ll keep you posted…

(Here is my FIRST POST on this topic if you want to read more on the setup.)

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