Archive for the 'Liver' Category

Chronic Urticaria


April 10th, 2013

love fest
We interrupt this love fest to bring you another dose of reality. If you’ve been reading my ramblings lately, you will know that i just ADOPTED SOME AMAZING AND LOVEABLE PETS! Part of this was an attempt on my part to bring my life back into balance after noticing some ALARMING SYMPTOMS THAT I’VE BEEN ATTEMPTING TO IGNORE OUT OF FRUSTRATION WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM. Well I finally got over myself and my ‘I’m never going to the doctor again’ drama long enough to go get it checked out.

urticaria
Turns out I have chronic urticaria. Basically this means I have chronic hives. A pretty frustrating place to be. The doctor said that basically it’s a complication that is often associated with LUPUS (a drumbeat that’s been beating in my world for a while). But just because I have it doesn’t mean that I have lupus. She also said that the hives are triggered by stress. Which is also not surprising considering that I became the CEO OF A MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATION this year and my business partner is on maternity leave. The hives won’t be under control until the stress is. So basically, I’m on the right track. I think I instinctively knew what I needed to do. But I need to step it up a bit.

Needless to say, I am doing a lot of processing right now. I have a lot to say about all this. But as with most emotional processing, it will probably be happening in fits and spurts coming up. I’ll keep you posted…

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies


March 17th, 2013

lemon thumbprint cookiesHello out there! Haven’t been posting much lately, but things have been evolving rapidly over here. It’s been quite the spiritual journey. I expect a flurry of posts this week as I sit back and reflect for a minute. It’s been one of those years that moves so fast that everything is a blur. Exciting times. Maybe even too exciting for my delicate constitution. But I suppose sometimes, you have to push it to the edge. Just so you can assess where that is.

Anyway, I just posted a new video. It’s a recipe for the LEMON THUMBPRINT COOKIES you see pictured above. I’ve been pretty addicted to them lately. This is a great recipe for people with autoimmune disease. No wheat. No sugar. No dairy. Check it out and let me know what you think. 🙂

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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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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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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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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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Day 75. The Zen Thing


February 26th, 2011

chard rolls
Well, today was day 75 of my BIKRAM YOGA CHALLENGE. It has been a wild ride. But an enlightening one. I’ve been playing this down (mostly out of laziness about posting), but I’ve been doing a raw food challenge too. Not for as long. Just since the first of the year. But the combo has clearly been having an impact on the congestion in my body. This was a swiss chard roll with a little cucumber garnish I made last week. Another recipe from CHARLIE TROTTER’S BOOK.

camel
This is the camel pose. It was my nemesis when I FIRST STARTED taking Bikram Yoga. I talked about it during my 15 seconds of fame (check out my interview). Did I mention that I’m the YOGI OF THE MONTH? Yep. AND I was on the NEWS DOING YOGA too. (I’m the one with the tattoo.)  I’m going global!   🙂

cukes
I was telling my friend, WILL (who just finished 60 DAYS YESTERDAY) about this zen thing that kicked in right about the sixty day mark. It’s not that yoga got easier really. But maybe I was more indifferent to it. Or adapted to it. Or something. But it just started whizzing by. Instead of being kind of torturous. Maybe I’ve gotten in the moment? I think it coincides with me being more ‘tuned in’.

savasanaI’ve been starting to have interesting revelations about myself. This is my big one for this week. Bikram class has 26 postures and two breathing exercises. But those postures are broken down into series. There’s a standing series and a floor series. The last posture in the standing series is called Tree Pose. Every time I attempt that pose, I fall. The same way. It’s like I can get down into it, but once I’m there I realize that I’m extremely off kilter. And the inevitable happens. After this pose, we have a reprieve where we go into this pose, savasana (or dead body pose). Seems simple, right? WRONG! After I crashed and burned in tree pose the other day, I was lying there (just like this) thinking to myself, ‘Why does this happen every time? I don’t get it. I wonder if my alignment is messed up. Maybe I’m maligned and I’m not aware of it.’ Just as this thought was running through my mind, my yoga teacher (Martha) walked up to me and started adjusting my alignment!! How freaky is that? She said it’s actually gotten a lot better, and it was 50% worse when I started. I was shocked. My body is still in the shape of the IMPACT, and I was completely unaware. Amazing.

goji maca bars
These GOJI MACA energy bars are great for yogis on the go. Aren’t they pretty? It’s a MATTHEW KENNEY recipe. They went over surprisingly well at the guitar store too. (I get around).

barfer
Last but not least, this is another deceptive pose. You basically lie on your stomach and raise one leg at a time to a 45 degree angle. Seems really straightforward, right? You would think so. But truth be told, I’ve swallowed my own barf TWICE now in this pose. I don’t know why this is, but my theory is that is kinda squishes your LIVER. And I have a BAD LIVER (This band was huge when I lived in Austin. Who knew I would one day be one of them).

That’s my update for now. I’ll check in with you later…

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Day 60. Bikram Yoga Challenge


February 11th, 2011

yoga bag
Well, I reached a big landmark today. It was my 60th day in a row of Bikram Yoga. All I can say is WOW. It’s been an interesting ride. I initally EMBARKED ON THIS ADVENTURE as a means of addressing a number of health issues. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the beginning. I wasn’t even sure if I could do it. I was reluctant to commit to it. The outcome was not at all what I was expecting, but I can say for sure that it has had a positive impact on my issues.

triangle poseThis is triangle pose, and it is my big triumph so far. When I started, I couldn’t do this pose at all. This pose is all about hip muscles for stability. My hip muscles were really weak starting back (as I BROKE MY PELVIS). My physical therapist really worked with me on my hip muscles, and now look! This pose gives me hope that I can resolve all my issues eventually. I have to admit though that the left side is not so pretty. But it’s getting there. My left side sustained most of the impact in the CRASH. So there’s a lot to work out there. But the muscles on both sides get weak when you’re not walking.  So, I couldn’t do it either way at first.  Maybe next time I check in, I’ll have the left side nailed down.

standing head to kneeThis is a pose that I’m still working with. It’s my nemesis right now. It’s standing head to knee pose. I can actually kick my leg out alright, but I don’t have much stamina or stability on one leg. I think a lot of this harkens back to my hip issues. But there’s some wankiness in my lower back too that I haven’t figured out yet. This pose starts out with the extended leg bent. Then, you kick it out (like in this picture). Once you get good there, you touch your forehead to your knee. Obviously, I’m not there yet. The first part of this posture (bent leg) feels really good for my lower back. It’s stretching out something in a good way. This yoga has been stretching out a lot of bad juju in good ways.

magnet Here is sweaty, stinky me with my completely filled in magnet! I’m actually shocked that I made it to this point. It was definitely challenging on a number of levels. The detox is brutal. I’m not going to lie. It’s as hard as it is rewarding. I actually found out I have an ulcer in the middle of this challenge, and I was really tempted to stop. But I didn’t. I thought about it a lot. The main issue motivating me to do this is that I have chronic pain from the impact of the crash. It’s mostly caused by super tweaked muscles. My doctor recommended trigger point injections for the pain. I’m really reluctant to try that though as I have a lot of issues with my LIVER. I mean, I can’t even eat food with additives. So as you might imagine, medicines of any kind are not without unpleasant consequences. I was kind of hoping that I would have worked through the pain and back to normal at the end of sixty days. That may have been an overly optimistic expectation. BUT things are definitely starting to loosen up. The other day, I had my massage therapy, and I cried the whole time. This sounds bad, but it’s actually GREAT. Things are finally starting to break up a bit. In the beginning, my massage therapist said she’d be bearing all her weight into me, and I wouldn’t feel a thing.

At my last appointment, I asked my doctor if the pain was an issue that would go away eventually or if it was permanent. He didn’t really answer. He kind of changed the subject.  I’m interpreting that as meaning that I’m really going to have to work on this. It’s not going to come easy.  But basically, yoga is what is keeping me off pain meds right now.  If I stop, I’ll have to find some other way of managing the pain.  My thought was that whatever that was would be just as stressful to my body (if not more) as yoga.  So, I decided to just stick with it.  Sometimes you have to go through the fire.  There is no other way.  It might hurt.  You might get burned.  But the fire will transform you.  And maybe that’s a beautiful thing.  Not something to be afraid of.  The fire is where all the important lessons are.

That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

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