Archive for the 'Candida' 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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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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Fermentation 101


December 10th, 2010

bubbly
I haven’t posted much lately, and I apologize. I’ve been busy!! I’m am very excited today to post my latest video for PUNK RAWK LABS TV!

helenand me
The video features NYC based raw food chef, Helen Castillo, of THE RAW PALATE and a kefir starter kit from WATER KEFIR GRAINS (where I buy my kefir grains).

prl tv
This is also the first video that I edited myself. Now that my boyfriend has gotten his grammy nod, he doesn’t have time to help me. I suspect though that now that I know how to do it, I will be posting more videos and blogging less. Not a bad tradeoff. :)

I hope you enjoy the VIDEO. I’m kinda proud of it…

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Stairway to Heaven


May 23rd, 2010

at eco
I started taking GUITAR LESSONS recently, and my boyfriend was giving me a hard time about it. Did you ask him to teach you ‘Stairway to Heaven’? Not exactly. But it occurred to me that a healing path kind of feels like one to an extent. In the beginning, I would get frustrated. I would go through some MONUMENTAL ORDEAL and think hooray! Now, that I’ve been through all that I’m going to be back to normal again. Inevitably, I would be disappointed. It would seem like things were getting better. Then I’d have what would seem to be a big SETBACK. How can this be happening, I’d think? I’ve been doing everything right. Why does this keep happening?

Now that more time has passed, I have the benefit of hindsight. One thing that I’m realizing is a person recovering from chronic illness should have more realistic expectations. For one, everything is a process. Kind of like this VIDEO that RAWDAWG RORY posted recently (I love Rawdawg Rory). When you’re going through the process, it seems never-ending at times. But when you look backwards, it’s really amazing how the body sort of prioritizes things. It’s so elegant. It innately knows what to tackle first. Admittedly, when it was all happening, I had no idea what was going on. Looking back though, it makes a lot of sense.

Needless to say, I climbed another stair last week. The during part was pretty intense. I knew something was up when I lost my (usually voracious) appetite. At first, I thought this was a cue to juice fast. But I think my body had other things in mind. One thing I’ve learned over time is to submit to the elegant wisdom and to just try to support as much as possible. So, I rode the wave. This one had some pretty rough waters (nausea, chills, vomiting, supernaps, fatigue, bizarre skin eruptions, and you know the drill). But I’m feeling better now. My immune system has been kind of BEATEN DOWN until recently. I finally started getting normal numbers in the last month or so. Now it’s maybe strong enough to start cleaning house again. And I feel like I’ve finally knocked my CANDIDA infection into submission somewhat. I suspect that was what a lot of that episode was about. So I’m really focused on keeping it under control until I get my digestion in order. I’ve been on a ZERO SUGAR kick (no sweeteners, fruits, dates etc.). Strangely, it’s all happening very naturally and without much fussing. I haven’t had any difficult cravings. It just seems like what I’m supposed to do. To me, that is a sign that this is either an episode of the twilight zone or some kind of bizarre healing crisis!

kimchee
I’ve also been ADDICTED to this lately. Strangely, I HATED it until about a week ago. It’s the fermented kimchee at ECOPOLITAN (Minneapolis’ raw food restaurant).

tostada
I’ve been kind of splurging a little lately. My current kitchen is kind of small and being shared with a carnivore (NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT). I recently cleaned a huge puddle of rotten deli meat juice out of the vegetable drawer. So anyway, this is probably the most I’ve eaten at Ecopolitan in my entire life. Here is their tostada plate.

taco salad
The taco salad is great too.

pizza
I meant to take a picture of the sausage pizza, but umm…I was busy. I can honestly say that that was the only pizza I’ve ever liked (except maybe THIS one). It really tastes like sausage.

So, I guess you could say I had a bit of a breakthrough recently. On a lot of levels. I’ve been getting a steady stream of good news this week. More on that later…

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State of Emergency


January 30th, 2010

open for business
This weekend I am getting some much needed rest thanks to Mother Nature. She just KNEW how badly I needed it. Things are starting to improve today. The restaurant was open for business again.

window
But yesterday, this was about as close as I got to the outside. Oklahoma declared a state of emergency, and school was closed. This is actually the SECOND state of emergency declared since I’ve been here. They seem to declare states of emergency at the drop of a hat around here. In Minnesota, this would be more like a state of normalcy. But I’m not going to complain because I definitely needed some time to relax. I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping the last few days. I definitely feel like I’m working through some things. I think I’m finally starting to get ahead of my CANDIDA infection. My symptoms are starting to change again. At first, I was having extreme headaches and mood swings and well…purulent drainage among other things. But those things have started to improve. Now I’m in a stage of extreme sleepiness. I’ve definitely gone through periods like this before esp when I was recovering from LIVER troubles. When one’s liver is under a lot of stress, a unique kind of sleepiness develops. It’s not the kind of thing you can fight through. It’s the kind of thing where you need to drop whatever you’re doing and go to bed. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. Just got to bed. That’s where I’m at currently. So, I know I’m working out something big.

pecan bun
I went into school today because I was supposed to assist with a detox class, but nobody came because of the weather. So I ordered myself a kale caesar and a pecan bun. And then I went back to sleep. It doesn’t seem like much is happening on the surface. But just below that, something BIG is happening. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

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New Year, New Decade, New Life: Part One


January 1st, 2010

plants

Happy New Year, everyone! I love New Year’s. New possibilities are so uplifting. I found this post I wrote for NEW YEAR’S 2008. It’s kind of interesting to look back at things you saw as possibilities (back then) with the benefit of hindsight. A lot has changed in that short time and little did I know how much IMPACT my wheatgrass plan of 2008 would have. Well, this time it’s not just a new year. It’s a new decade. Time for a more ambitious plan.

kombuchaMy goal for 2010 (the year) is simple. I just want to kick this CANDIDA INFECTION to the curb. There seem to be a million different ideas out there for how to go about doing that. But I think I’ve settled on a strategy that seems to be working for me. Here is a batch of kombucha I have brewing to help combat the infection. You can see that the SCOBY has started to separate into a mother and a daughter colony. That means it’s almost ready! I have a couple of these going right now. So that I can have a constant supply of affordable kombucha.

yogurt

This morning for breakfast, I had some homemade dairy-free YOGURT made from coconut meat. This batch was a lavendar-vanilla. Basically, the mantra is to kill the bad stuff and re-populate with the good stuff.

probioticThis is the acidophilus I’ve been putting in my yogurt. I’ve been doing probiotic capsules too, but they’re really expensive. So, I’m hoping that I can get more bang for my buck by incorporating it into my food. This entire bottle ran me about $12. A bottle of capsules would be at least 2-5X that (depending on what you get). We’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted on the effectiveness. I can say that although I am still having die off symptoms, they seem to be getting less severe. It’s only been a few weeks though.

Beyond that, I don’t have big ambitions for this year. Basically, I want to focus on my health issues one at a time until I stop having them. I’m hoping that this is the last of my health dramas. As far as the decade goes, well that’s a little more complicated. So, I’ll save that for part two.

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Healing Crisis


December 13th, 2009

double shot
For the last six weeks or so, I’ve made a point of drinking wheatgrass regularly. Not every day. I aim for five days a week. ANN WIGMORE, my wheatgrass hero, recommends in her book to take days off. This gives the body a chance to rebuild and regenerate (kind of like working out) as wheatgrass is very powerfully detoxifying. For me, it’s almost too powerful as I’m recovering from a severe toxic exposure. The LAST TIME I did a focused wheatgrass regimen like this, some very interesting things happened. My health saga has been long and sordid. I have seen more doctors in the last few years than probably most people see in their lifetime. So far, I’ve managed to STUMP them all with my unusual issues. I’ve tested positive for a number of serious medical issues, but I don’t really fit neatly into any diagnostic categories. In the beginning, this was extremely frustrating for me. But I’ve come to realize that it’s really a blessing. Since there really are no answers for me, I am forced to find my own answers. Don’t get me wrong. I still go to the doctor. Frequently. I see allopathic and naturopathic practictioners. I listen to what everyone says.  Everyone holds a different piece of the puzzle. I soak it all in, and then I wait to feel what resonates for me. I’ve learned to trust my intuition.

heidi
One of my most helpful resources has been my friend, HEIDI. She is a nutritionist from the Seattle area and has made a NUMBER of APPEARANCES on my blog. There is only so much a doctor can tell you in a fifteen minute appointment. Heidi is a master of filling in the gaps and pointing me to the answers I’m looking for. If you are ever in need of a nutritional consultant, I would highly recommend her.

ear
This leads me to my latest medical development…CANDIDA. I was completely surprised to discover this. I went to see my doctor while I was in Minnesota last week about a respiratory infection. I mentioned in passing that I had a cut on my mouth and behind my ears that wouldn’t heal, and she knew what it was right away. Who knew?

detox and healingIronically, I had just been reading this book on the plane the day before which talked about different issues related to detox. I read all about candida being an issue and it never occurred to me that I was on to something. Talk about the wisdom of the subconscious!  This book is an interesting blend of allopathic and naturopathic perspectives written by a medical doctor who evolved beyond the boundaries of traditional medicine.  An interesting read.  It’s the first thing I’ve read by a traditional doctor that bridges the gap between toxic exposure and the types of issues I am dealing with.

pancakes
In the meantime, Heidi made some dietary recommendations for me to discourage the yeasties. Looks like I won’t be eating any of these for a while.

choc tort
Or these. Time to cut out the sugars and starches. I hope to make some good progress on this issue before school starts up again. Right now, I’m definitely experiencing a healing crisis. One of the rights of passage of candida recovery is the infamous ‘DIE-OFF‘ or Herxheimer reaction. Essentially, as the yeast dies off, it pollutes your body with toxic metabolic by-products which must be processed. It’s kind of like an extreme detox. I can definitely vouch for that. But this is good news. It means I am making progress. I’m climbing up a rung on the ladder to ultimate healing. At least, that’s how I like to look at it.

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