Archive for the 'Autoimmune' 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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Gearing Up For The Holidays


November 20th, 2011

mint nib macaroonsThis week, I kicked off my mini-series of HOLIDAY RECIPE VIDEOS with this lovely ditty, a MINT NIB MACAROON recipe.

ecoThe holidays can be a tricky time for people with IMMUNE SYSTEM ISSUES. Admittedly, working through this problem has definitely contributed to tensions in my family. Things have evolved over time. The perception has changed from the weird food that she eats to deal with her hypochondria to an annoying inconvenience that everyone else has to deal with to trying to find things that THEY eat that don’t make me sick to not being invited for the holidays to that’s some weird liberal political thing that’s not real to now. I think the fact that people are starting to take an interest in my work has started to legitimize it somewhat to some members of my family. So I guess I am going home this holiday. I’m not sure if I should make the attempt to bring some of my creations with me. In the past, I have sent samples of my work home only to find them uneaten in the pantry six to nine months later. It’s hard. On the one hand, you don’t want to inconvenience people. But on the other hand, the last time I went home I literally developed a bad ULCER IN THE BACK OF MY THROAT that made it painful to eat. So while I respect and understand the reasons why people don’t necessarily get it, it doesn’t make it less hurtful for me to deal with. This has got to be (for me) the most difficult aspect of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. Nobody understands. Not even the doctors. And unfortunately, this more often than not leads to situations where the patient is made fun of, de-legitimized, disrespected, not included, and generally made to feel like it’s their fault (all in their head or not really happening). Over time, I’ve learned to just not engage such negativity. I’d like to present a three minute video explaining how to easily resolve the issue and create a NORMAN ROCKWELL OUTCOME. But I would be lying if I actually believed it were that easy.

truffles
That said, I think the best strategy for approaching this conundrum is probably to try to make things that are good by anyone’s standards. I’ve slowly been collecting some recipes. These HOLIDAY TRUFFLES have been a big hit for me.

date cheese apps
These DATE CHEESE BITES have also been surprisingly well received for me at holiday parties.

flatbread
The next installment in this series if going to be this rustic holiday flatbread. The is a really flavorful cracker with a nice texture that’s surprisingly light on the digestive system for a flatbread. Then, we’ll follow up with our coup de grace for this season, a holiday cheese platter featuring the flatbread and some raw vegan cheeses. Stay tuned to our HOLIDAY CHANNEL for updates!

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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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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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The Gift Of The Absurd


June 27th, 2011

circus
Is it just me? Or does it seem like life has been getting more and more absurd lately? People have lost their grasp on reality. Or maybe reality is just too undesirable for people to see right now. So we create these barriers. The foundation for the most insanely absurd world ever to be. That’s what it feels like to me right now.

tsaExhibit A. This poor woman is dying. She’s 95 years old, and she was trying to get on a plane to visit family and share her final moments. She unwittingly became embroiled in a TSA scandal after they felt something funny in her depends. They literally forced her to remove her depends so they could be inspected. I actually got into an interesting discussion about this last night. I understand the reason for the increased security. Of course. We all want to be safe. But when our barriers get so high that we can’t see the pain we are inflicting on a dying 95 year old woman, it’s time to reflect. Isn’t it?

hospital
I am going through something related to this. Five years ago, I was in perfect health. Then, I was exposed to toxic sewer gas in the home I was renting. I’ve gone into this IN MORE DETAIL in earlier posts. The medical aspect of it is absurd. It’s frustrating. And I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I have struggled and fought hard for my health with mysterious issues that are debilitating and expensive. I swam upstream through a medical system that offered very little help or answers. But the most painful part of it to me is the injustice. This issue will more than likely cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of my life and all so that my former landlord could save a few thousand dollars on maintenance. And while he admits to knowingly exposing me to this gas, I’m out of luck. They can’t prove what caused my illness because they don’t know what it is. A perfectly healthy person develops a bizarre immune system and/or liver disorder after being exposed to toxic gas, and he contends that it’s a coincidence. Are you kidding? Really? And the most insane part of it is that he gets away with it. And why? Because this world is absurd! Or perhaps, more realistically, because there is no money to be made from this particular incarnation of misfortune.

autoimmune epidemicI am not the first person this has happened to. Author, DONNA JACKSON NAKAZAWA, has written a book about this. That the incidence of autoimmune related illnesses is skyrocketing. She believes it is from the increasing onslaught of toxic substances that we are exposed to in the modern world. Our immune systems are breaking down, and the medical establishment is creating barriers because nobody is ready to deal with the issue. I am here to tell you though, these barriers are hurting innocent people! This is a problem that is not going to go away. You can only brush it under the rug for so long.

foreclosure crisis
Unfortunately, my problem is only one problem in a sea of problems that people are now attempting to brush under the rug. The foreclosure crisis is affecting many, many more.

financial crisis
Not to mention the impending financial doom that everyone can’t stop talking about. Is it just me? Or are people getting sick of seeing the bad guys winning? Over and over. Enough already! It’s insane.

crash aftermath
Today is officially the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my BIG CRASH. A time to reflect. A time to look back at how far I’ve come. The last few weeks, I’ll admit I’ve been down and out. I get depressed and hopeless sometimes. It seems like the obstacles never end. Some days, I just want my old life back. Before all of this craziness. It seems so unfair. But what I’m realizing is that dwelling on that just sets me back further. Physically, it triggers my autoimmune issues. And emotionally, I just get depressed. I need to change my outlook. This is absurd. It’s insane. It’s hilarious! Really. It’s like Bill Clinton saying he didn’t inhale. Or Anthony Weiner sending weiner pictures to people on the internet. It makes no sense! So why am I taking it so seriously? No more! I am going to find away out of this mess. And the answers are going to be hilarious…and creative…and a gift! Mark my words.

Exhibit B
Exhibit B. This is my friend, Kristen. She is amazing! She is a musician and a single mom and a survivor. She is recovering from a brain tumor. But you would never know it. She has the most amazing gift for finding joy in every situation. This week, she has gifted me with one of her amazing, creative solutions. One of my big obstacles right now is getting around the limitations. I am selling my products in two wonderful venues, LIVE LIVE AND ORGANIC and the NE FARMER’S MARKET. I would do more, but I can’t. I physically can’t make that much product because of my issues. My leg goes numb if I stand too long, and I have to wear a pain machine the entire time I am working. I would hire someone to help me. But unfortunately, my landlord left me with a mortgage worth of bills to pay so I could save him a little money. I have to find a creative solution. Enter Kristen!

kristen
Kristen started ‘Kristen’s Front Porch Grocery and Lounge’. She has brought some amazing people together. On her porch. There are a number of products available. KALE CHIPS. Tempeh. Fresh vegetables. A CSA drop. And salsa is coming soon, I hear. It’s about as local as you get! She is amazingly selling a LOT of chips! I am actually having trouble keeping up with the demand. But best of all, it is a low pressure gig. Perfect for healing!


Yesterday, she had a front porch social hour where I met Ryan (who makes the tempeh) and Sarah (who grows the veggies). It’s so inspiring to see people coming together and getting around the obstacles. We can do this! THANK YOU, KRISTEN for reminding me that we are empowered and enlightened beings. We have the answers! And we don’t need to give them away. Maybe the bad guys do always win. But their game is crashing and burning all around. And the good guys are rising from the ashes! VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

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Deja Vu


June 20th, 2011

cloudy
Well, the view is a little cloudy these days, but the light is still getting through. Though admittedly, there were a couple days last week when I wasn’t so sure. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am slowly recovering from a couple different accidents (a TOXIC EXPOSURE and a CAR CRASH). These have been inspiring a number of complications which I am discerning how to navigate. I haven’t figured out all the answers yet, but I can tell you that the outcome is destined to be something unusual. A lot of issues related to this struggle are climaxing right now. In a big way. It’s complicated. As such, I’m going to break them down over a few posts. As I try to digest them.

eyefb
One of my big dramas this week has been with my eye. I was sitting in my apartment, typing on my computer last week. Seemingly out of nowhere, I started to get this really dry feeling in my eye at the same time that it felt like there was a foreign object in it. At first, I thought I got an eyelash in my eye. But when I looked in the mirror, I found this…

eye
A big, ugly, growth on my eyeball. Attractive, right? Now before you get too freaked out, I should tell you that it’s not contagious. And on top of that, this EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED TWO YEARS AGO. It’s some IMMUNE SYSTEM MALFUNCTION, episcleritis. The last time this happened, I was freaked out. They referred me to an immunologist who I waited five months (on pins and needles) to see.

eye up
I went through all manner of testing (which I should add I am still paying off). And where did that get me? Pretty much nowhere. The doctor at the time told me that I didn’t have lupus…YET. Well, last week after this happened, my doctor told me I should go back to rheumatology and get checked (essentially exactly where I went two years ago…for the second time). This would have been my third trip to rheumatology. At this point, I had a meltdown. Seriously. What is the point? Every time I go, it’s this horribly expensive ordeal that’s really stressful, they never figure out anything, and at least half of the time someone (who shouldn’t even be licensed to practice medicine) tells me I’m a hypochondriac. NO WAY, JOSE. I’m not doing that AGAIN.

anomalies
At first, I demanded to get sent to the Mayo. I was really upset. The good news is that this spurred a heart to heart with my doctor that was long overdue. The bad news is that they don’t know what is wrong. It is likely some variation of autoimmune disease. This is completely NOT SHOCKING to me. Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases are hard to diagnose anyway. Especially weird ones. It could be that it’s lupus. Or it could be something else. Whatever it is, it’s not lighting up the classic profile of test results. So they basically just keep an eye on me. And watch out for more complications until they can figure it out. This conundrum has caused a number of complications in my life that also climaxed this week. Epic sagas which deserve their own post. But in essence, I’m not even sure if I want them to figure it out honestly. Because if they do, all they can do is put me on steroids for the rest of my life. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will also know that my LIVER IS NOT RIGHT. So while I would appreciate the validation, I don’t think that is ultimately a viable path for me. Not if I want to live anyway. Have I mentioned that this has been going on for five years? This is difficult enough for me to digest, and I’m a fairly open-minded, free spirit. My poor mother is about to tear her hair out. Yesterday, she hung up the phone on me because I decided to wait on the Mayo. Interestingly, this was my mild drama from last week. There’s a lot more of that coming down the pipe. Let me tell you…

kale bed
In other more inspiring news, my garden is looking great! Here is my KALE FOREST. On the end, we have a couple rows of dino kale. The rest is green curly kale. The two plants that are flowering are actually the two that survived the winter. Amazing! I have been munching off of this bed a lot this week. We had a few nice rainstorms that really perked up all my lettuces.

lettuce bed
Speaking of, check out my other lettuces. Looking good!! The swiss chard and the romaine are looking mighty fine! I filmed a video for PRL TV of me setting up my garden beds this year. I hope to have that ready soon.


I have some arugula and WILD SPINACH that is going to peak soon too. I love summertime! My grocery bill is going down, down, down.

berries
I also picked some perfect alpine strawberries the other day. These are the best berries I will eat all year. So good! They are red all the way through. Not like the big white in the middle ones you get at the store.

So all in all, I’m hangin’ pretty tough out here. I don’t think I have ever experienced such dramatic and rapid change in my life as I am currently experiencing. And I should add that I am a change embracing bohemian type of girl. But this. This is truly epic. More on that later…

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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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Toxic Buddha Belly


March 9th, 2011

buddha belly
Some very interesting things have been coming to light since doing this YOGA CHALLENGE. Not all of them are good. But that happens sometimes when you start confronting the truth about things. One very interesting side effect that I’ve noticed is that I haven’t lost any weight. It wasn’t really a motivating factor. But others who are doing the same regimen have had some DRAMATIC WEIGHT LOSS. This brings to the surface a nagging question I’ve had for a while. One that few people have dared to ask me (but if we’re keeping score that would be my mom and my old roomate, DENNIS). Why is it that someone who eats as healthy as you has a little buddha belly?

Now that’s a really good question. And one that I should start investigating. It first appeared after my TOXIC EXPOSURE. I thought it was strange at the time because it literally appeared overnight. Because usually when you gain weight, it comes on gradually. But this did not. It just appeared. It’s not a huge amount of weight. But I probably weigh about 25 lbs. more than I did before my exposure. And most of it seems to be in my belly.

liver
The exposure I had was very unusual. So it was difficult to predict in the beginning how things would unfold. But the more time passes, the more this little guy comes up…my LIVER. It’s interesting. I came across this ARTICLE recently that talks about the phenomenon of weight gain after breathing in toxins (which is essentially what I did). Essentially, when the liver gets overburdened, it starts storing the excess toxic material in fat. This is a protective mechanism. Whether this is what happened in my case, I do not know. Not yet anyway. But I’m starting a quest to find the answers right now. I can say though that this theory would certainly be consistent with my experience. Because Buddha Belly first appeared right after my toxic exposure. And then he grew again after I was HOSPITALIZED with liver problems. He’s actually been improving since I started the yoga challenge. But he’s a very stubborn little dude. I think it’s going to take a lot of persistence to get rid of him. But people have said that I look less ‘puffy’ since I’ve been doing the YOGA CHALLENGE. So I think I’m headed in the right direction.

hairIn other news, another unanticipated side effect from all this yoga…it’s made my hair curly! How weird is that? People don’t seem very surprised by this until I explain that I’m Asian! I’m turning 40 this year, and I have never had curly hair. I’m not sure why this happened. Maybe because all the sweat in my hair is filling it with nutrients? Maybe I should start selling shampoo with human sweat in it? No. I’m kidding…Maybe. I mean, people have certainly come up with stranger things to sell. But honestly, I’m not sure that I want to get into the business of trafficking human sweat. Maybe you’re looking for an idea for your next business venture?

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Nut Milk Cheeses


February 18th, 2011


Well, here it is. My new product. A line of handmade, raw, vegan, NUT MILK CHEESES. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize this product from my days at 105 DEGREES. This was one of the products I developed for my SHOP PROJECT. It’s funny. At the time, I hadn’t even thought of making cheeses for my project. But I was encouraged by my fellow students as I seemed inclined that way (without me noticing). I guess sometimes we’re the last to know. :)

I love these cheeses. I know there’s a big thing in the raw community right now with dairy. I’ll be the first to admit that I am a dairy girl. I love dairy! My mom would be shocked and amazed with me growing up. How can a little girl drink so much milk? I loved it!! But after my exposure, I started developing a number of AUTOIMMUNE issues. Suddenly, I couldn’t tolerate dairy anymore. I would have life threatening ASTHMA attacks. The kind where your whole body just convulses uncontrollably for hours until you collapse from fatigue. It’s the kind of experience that causes a person to rethink their love of dairy, if you know what I mean. So anyway, here’s what I came up with. I hope you like it.

date cheese bites
Also, I should mention that I just posted a new video on PUNK RAWK LABS TV. This video steps you through a very easy recipe for making these beautiful date cheese bites (featuring some of my herb cheese). They were a big hit for me at all my dinner parties this year. Enjoy!

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