Archive for the 'View From My Chef Table' Category

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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Purple Haze


July 11th, 2011

purple haze
The sky outside my CHEF’S WINDOW has been pretty ominous and volatile lately. This was a beautifully intense storm that happened around sunset the other day. I think this is a good sign. There’s plenty of musical evidence out there that says so.


Jimi saw it. And he was flowing with the pulse. That’s for sure.


And let’s not forget about the most amazing super bowl half-time performance ever. Prince was looking at the same purple sky. (He’s from here, you know.)

fireworks
Lots of WILD THINGS going on in my world these days. Check out the fireworks from my friend Mark’s boat. We enjoyed the 4th on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. It’s amazing how not crowded it was.

freedom chia
Here’s my 4th of July inspired breakfast pudding: chia seeds, almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, banana. It’s healthy and it matches my calendar. My boyfriend just bought a ton of chia seeds for me to experiment with.

me on the fourth
In other news, I’ve run into another setback of sorts. As they say, bad news comes in threes. So I should be good after this. The last few weeks have been brutal. First, I found out of have some RARE DISEASE inspired by my toxic exposure (not surprising if you’ve been following this blog for a while). Then, I found out that the person who KNOWINGLY EXPOSED ME is getting away with it because of some legal technicalities. This basically means that I must shoulder the cost on my own (this has been an extremely expensive setback). Frustrating (more for the injustice than anything), but injustice happens every day. Now, I am running into a road block related to my CRASH. Is it just me? Or is this starting to sound like boot camp for superheroes? It’s kind of a long story. Where to start?

trigger pointsA couple months ago, I found out I have a DISC INJURY in my lower back. This is causing complications like not being able to stand at times and my leg going numb. I have been having trouble with my arm too, but that was seemingly a muscle problem. So, I went in for some trigger point injections (in pretty much the spots shown here). I was reluctant to try this for a long time. I wanted to try the natural methods first. But after a year of trying REALLY HARD, I was not seeing much progress. And I got to thinking…in an ideal world, I could heal this naturally.

side view
But then again…in an ideal world, I would not be absorbing this kind of impact. I think the body has the capacity to heal from a lot. But I also think that this type of injury was not built into the original plan. Perhaps, an unnatural injury deserves an unnatural response. So I decided to try the trigger point injections. Basically, they inject a needle into the spasming muscle and this causes it to relax. Typically, they also inject a steroid. But I opted to do my treatment sans steroid. And I think this was a good choice for me (given my LIVER issues). I actually feel like the injections released a lot of energy. There were big muscle spasms that happened. And the area feels less dense. But unfortunately, the pain in my shoulder is still flaring up. Apparently, this means that I might have a damaged nerve root. And that I likely have a disc injury in my upper back as well.

croutons.
Oy vey! If it’s not one thing, it’s another. The universe is really sending me a message loud and clear. Though I’m not sure if I’ve fully absorbed it yet. I trust that this is going to inspire some really unique and creative solution. That it will send me on a path that I never would have come up with on my own. But I’m not sure if I’ve figured out what that is yet. I can say with certainty that I probably won’t be entering any gymnastics competitions, running any marathons, or breeding anytime soon. But I am eating really well. And coming up with some wild ideas. So, I will keep you posted on my progress…

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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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Head In The Clouds


June 2nd, 2011

clouds
Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had my head in the clouds lately while I contemplate my next move. If you’re just tuning in, I found out last week that I have a ‘FISSURE’ IN A DISC in my lower back. I just had a follow up with my doctor and learned some interesting things. It could be that there is just a rip in the disc OR it could be that it’s actually ruptured and the goo is leaking out. They can’t tell for sure until they do a discogram. Needless to say, my head is spinning with possibilities. Like, what does this mean for my nascent CHEF BUSINESS? Do I have time for this? Can’t they see that my business is taking off? I mean, don’t they know that I’m HUGE IN NEW YORK? :) (Kind of like the Tom Waits song. BIG IN JAPAN). Admittedly, this is not exactly how I planned things would go. But really, none of this has gone ACCORDING TO PLAN, and it hasn’t stopped me yet. It’s just a matter of unlocking the key to the silver lining. Right now, I’m still a bit puzzled…trying to make some sense of it. I just have to remember to stay open to the answers.

kale bed
In the meantime, gardening is a great way to keep your feet on the ground while you contemplate possibilities. This is my up and coming kale forest. I had one LAST YEAR too. Though last year, I didn’t get to tend to my garden as well as I would have liked because of the ACCIDENT. Actually, last year my garden was kind of a chaotic mess. This year is going to be better. I can tell. The weather is already being much more cooperative.

tomatos herbs lettuce
This bed is a little more heterogeneous than the kale forest. It’s got tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and several varieties of lettuce/greens. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE GARDENING? I filmed a video of me setting up my garden this year for PUNK RAWK LABS TV. It’s going to be a good one…

arugula sprouts
These cute little arugula sprouts that are just starting to see the light of day. This year, I think I timed things better. So that everything won’t come due at the same time. Hopefully this will help me eat things more efficiently.

wild spinach
This little guy is a wild spinach seedling sprouted from the BLACKBIRD NATURALS seeds I GOT IN THE MAIL recently. They are purple! The swiss chard behind it is also looking lovely. It’s just starting to perk up.

strawberries
The strawberry plant is starting to flower too. Soon, I will be enjoying the best strawberries I will have all year. I can’t wait.

straw lemonadeThis is a glass of raspberry lemonade I made for myself right before I took my bike ride to the garden. I just threw a couple raspberries in at the end and did a pulse. Mmm…so good! I highly recommend this. A very refreshing pre-bike ride delight for a hot summer day. Summer comes in short spurts up here in the NORTH COUNTRY. So you’ve got to appreciate it while you can.
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mississippi
Here is me riding my bike over the mighty Mississippi on my way home from the garden. I try to ride my bike there a few times a week as part of my physical therapy. I love having a reason to check in with her (the river). She has inspired so many great works of art.


One of my favorite songs about her is BIG RIVER by JOHNNY CASH. I love how he talks about meeting her accidentally in St. Paul, MN. Just like me. I live in St. Paul, but my garden is in Minneapolis (just across the river).

mpls skyline
Here’s a pic of the Minneapolis skyline from the Mississippi River bridge the other day. Part stormy. Part inspired. That’s pretty much me right now in a nutshell. :)

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The Mind-Body Connection


May 26th, 2011

window
It’s amazing at times how things come together. Things which are seemingly unrelated coincide uncannily with other things that your conscious mind sees as separate. It makes you realize who’s really running the show sometimes. This is a pic from my continuing window series, THE VIEW FROM MY CHEF’S TABLE.

wakingThis week, the recurring theme in my subconscious is the mind-body connection. It all started innocently enough. I got a message from my boyfriend’s sister, Julie. She started yoga this week. She needed a ride, and I offered to take her. Normally, it would be a bit of a trek, but this week in particular it was meant to be. I was scheduled to get my MRI close by at around the time she needed to go. PLUS, this was a very special yoga class. An adaptive yoga class taught by MATTHEW SANFORD. After my CAR CRASH, I came across his truly inspiring story. He was paralyzed in a horrible crash at the age of 13. This story chronicles his healing journey. He is now an expert on the mind-body connection, and he teaches adaptive yoga for people with disabilities. Julie has spina bifida. I had mentioned the book to her at the time, and she had heard of Matthew Sanford.  That little seed sprouted into her signing up for his class.  Monday just so happened to be the day of her first class and my MRI. An interesting coincidence (as you’ll come to see).

matthew sanford
Matthew Sanford was fascinating. I was too shy to go talk to him, but I was very impressed with him. He had very radiant energy. Limitless. That’s the first thing you notice about him when he comes into the room. This is a topic which he touched on in his book and the class. That yoga helped him to become conscious of this energy and how it moved through his body. He also talks a lot about the mind-body connection (which I find fascinating).

crash
After the CRASH, an interesting thing happened to me (which Matthew Sanford describes in his book). Many survivors of these types of accidents speak of this phenomenon. I became very euphoric. I giggled a lot. People would ask me why I was so giddy after being in a crash. Things that were supposed to hurt..didn’t. I just didn’t feel anything. Because of my LIVER ISSUES, I wasn’t really able to take any of the pain medications that were prescribed. And I think this only heightened a sort of natural endorphin response. I felt very connected to something otherworldly. I had the sense that there were guardian angels watching over me.

chair
The mechanics of the crash were truly awe inspiring to me. The door that received the impact of the crash came to the middle of the steering wheel. I was sitting in the driver’s seat. In this seat. It was hard for me to fathom how I survived this crash short of a miracle.

aura
Not long after this happened, I had a picture of my aura taken on a whim. I’m generally kind of skeptical about this kind of thing. But the outcome was interesting. The girl asked me if I was healing from some major illness, and I said ‘Yes. Why do you ask?’ She said my aura was all white which usually means the body is in a major healing crisis. They also had designation for how much of you manifested as body, mind, and spirit. I was 0% body, 1% mind, and 99% spirit. Matthew Sanford speaks a lot in his book of disconnecting from his body when things became too painful. That much of his healing journey involved him figuring out how to reconnect with his broken body on a conscious level. That you separate from your body as a protective mechanism. And that in going back to it, you reconnect with the pain and memories of what happened to it. I feel like I have been going through a process of this ever since the crash. And it has been hitting me over the head this week.

fissure
Yesterday, I went in to get the results of my MRI. This isn’t actually mine, but this is what it looked like. What I found out was that I have a ‘fissure’. I’ve never heard of this. Apparently, this means that one of the discs between my L4/L5 vertebrae (the one picture here) is ripped. The gelatin-like stuff inside is leaking out and bulging into my spinal cord. This is causing some nerve problems where my leg goes numb, etc. What’s interesting is that I believe that this natural endorphin response/disconnect from my body has allowed me to tolerate the pain of this injury really well. I’m not even consciously aware that I am doing it. But I think the stress of doing this all the time is causing me to have headaches. I should qualify this statement with the fact that I have no scientific basis for saying this. It’s just my instinct. I am reconnecting with my body little by little! And it is teaching me some very important lessons. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

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Kefir and Crutches


July 16th, 2010

bubbly
Good news! I’m back in the kitchen a little this week. Here I have my latest addiction…watermelon kefir! I can stand for short spurts now…perfect for kefir making.

mathces
My thing right now is drinking it over ice in a wine glass. Look how it matches my wall.

helen and i
Incidentally, I have some exciting news. It’s about the next episode of PRL TV with special guest, Helen Castillo of THE RAW PALATE. Helen and I discuss fermentation in the raw food kitchen. Specifically, we will talk about making cheese, yogurt, and kefir! But WAIT! There’s more!! Erin of WATER KEFIR GRAINS (where I purchase my kefir grains) has generously offered to donate a kefir making kit to one lucky viewer! Stay tuned for details…

crutchin
In other news, things are going well. I got upgraded to crutches! So, I’m getting around a little better. I still use the walker at home, but the crutches are great for getting about town. Here’s me with my guitar teacher. Guitar is an amazing and appropriately sedentary pasttime.

window
Check this out…It’s the VIEW FROM MY CHEF’S TABLE. I love it. The best part is sunset. You get a perfect view of the sun setting in the west. I’ll save that for next time…

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