Archive for August, 2007

The Economics of Health Care

August 29th, 2007

The number one question on people’s minds when they get sick, I think, is what’s wrong with me and how can I fix it?  Definitely, the best thing a person can do for themselves is to live a moderate lifestyle and stay away from ‘trouble’.  I think for the first 35 years of my life I espoused this philosophy and got along pretty well.  Unfortunately, sometimes things which are beyond a person’s control, and they get sick.  Sometimes it’s genetic.  Sometimes it’s an accident.  Some old habits die hard.  In my case, I was living in a place with a really negligent landlord and an open sewer main.  Now I have a slew of elusive/allergic/immune system types of problems that everybody seems to know something about but very few people have actually experienced.  I have found some things that have been helping, but I am still finding my way.

The biggest obstacle I think to finding your way is that there are so many people out there who are trying to make a living off of making other people better.  Sometimes it’s very straightforward.  I’ve been told that my problem was so severe that I would need to take drugs to live a normal life.  It’s interesting because that doctor, in particular, had such a starkly black and white perception of reality that my gut feeling warning bells were blazing.  He seemed to also have a very vested interest in me taking the drugs and was not very subtle about it.  I’ve been given oodles of bad advice.  Not just from doctors.  But from friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers on the street, and even raw food experts.  It’s often frustrating.  Because other people can only understand your issue within the frame of their own reality.  And when something really weird happens to a person, that experience is often outside of the reality of most of the people who are offering their advice.  Usually, the advice given is more a reflection of the person giving it, than the person receiving.  People make assumptions about you which are wholly inaccurate based on their own experiences.  They have strong feelings about their own experiences.  And when you don’t conveniently fit into their model of reality, they take it personally.  Ultimately, all of this takes away from actually getting better.

Getting better requires focus.  It requires tuning into your own personal journey.  It’s ultimately not a social activity.  Maybe that’s what the universe is trying to tell me now.  I think that eating a lot of the recipes I’ve been reading in raw books is helping a lot.  But being on a ‘program’ is less then helpful.

I am making progress, and I am getting better.  I’m not an expert, and if I were, I would maybe stop listening to myself.


Goddess Chips

August 23rd, 2007

goddess chips

I got this recipe from CARMELLA‘S blog. Carmella is a really groovy girl from Canada. I think she’s about the same age as me. She been doing the raw thing since 2000, I think. So she’s pretty knowledgeable, and her blog is really informative. She also started a FORUM which I’ve been frequenting.

Above is a pic of my bag of goddess chips. I was gonna take a pic of the whole batch, but they went pretty fast. I made mine with half regular kale and half dinosaur kale. They tasted pretty similar, but I think next time I’ll definitely go with the dinosaur kale. Texture-wise, the dino kale comes out looking more like chips and less like dehydrated lettuce which I think is hard for some people to get past. I love these chips though. They totally satisfy your snack urge. But best of all, they don’t make you sleepy later.


Spicy Avocado Soup

August 20th, 2007

avo soup

This is another one fueling my ANI PHYO FETISH. Even my boyfriend likes it. And he hates cold soup. At least, he did. I’ve always had a weak spot in my heart for gazpacho. Anyway, this soup is wonderful.

RATING (on a scale of 1 to 5): 4


Getting in Touch with Nature

August 20th, 2007


So one of the side effects of going raw that you hear people talking about it that it makes you tune into nature and exist at a higher ‘vibrational frequency’. Now I admit that hearing things like that initially seemed, well, kinda weird. I’ve always had this irrational fear when I was in my twenties of older new age freaky people. I just knew that I was never going to get into Yanni among other things that I just didn’t relate to at the time. But I have to admit. Something IS happening. That I can’t put my finger on precisely, but I’m convinced that I can groove to it with something other than Yanni.

One thing I’ve noticed…I’ve all the sudden gotten good with plants. At least, I’ve been paying more attention to them lately. I actually am still in denial that this is MY plant.


Isn’t it pretty?

Another thing that I’m all the sudden becoming very aware of is garbage. As in how much garbage I generate. And I all of a sudden feel really compelled to start composting. I am in the midst of moving right now. So I haven’t started yet. But one of my criteria for my new place is that I want to have a small garden. And I want to compost all my produce. Eating all these vegetables, I first started noticing that my trash stinks a lot. But I also realize that it’s mostly just produce. And that throwing it in plastic bags and burying them in landfills is just…well, it’s just not how things were intended. And I realize how much difference it makes after a year if just little old me made a little adjustment.

The other thing I’ve noticed lately is a little more weird. But somehow, I’ve noticed myself being more tuned into the earth. I know that sounds weird. But it’s happening. Like the other day. I was riding my bike. And it was one of those off and on rainy days. Well, I’d be riding down the street, and for some unknown reason feel compelled to stop and get a salad at the coop. And I’d go in and sit down in the deli and all of the sudden it would start pouring down rain out of nowhere. And I’d eat my salad and read the paper and when I was done it would be bright and sunny. So I’d be on my merry way and the same thing happened again that day twice. Enough to make me stop and think. Hmmm?

Don’t worry though.  I haven’t started wearing socks with birkenstocks…yet.


Melon Smoothies

August 20th, 2007

watermelon smoothie

My boyfriend and I made this lovely concoction this morning. We hadn’t thought to put watermelon in a smoothie before. I’m not sure why. But we were out of all our normal ingredients. And the watermelon was waiting patiently to be used for something. And it seemed like today was the day of reckoning for that watermelon. So we figured…sure, why not.

We should have thought of this before. It was lovely and summery. We also included baby coconut (meat and water) and banana. It didn’t need much else. Though in retrospect and mint sprig would have been nice…

One interesting side effect:  I gave my leftover smoothie to my 17 year old arthritic dog this morning.  Not only did he gobble it down, but he’s been unusually spunky all day…bounding down the hallway and barking that he wants to go out and run.  Very strange.


Wakame Hemp Power Slaw

August 18th, 2007

wakame hemp

This is another recipe from ANI PHYO’S BOOK. I cannot say enough how much I love, love, love this book. I love her asian influence on things and somehow her brain works in a similar way to mine. Because I breezed through her book and have been glued to it for weeks now. This is far and away my favorite book so far. She was interviewed this week on RAW VEGAN RADIO and I am looking forward to checking that out. I am a fan, fan, fan!!

Anyway, this recipe is amazing. It’s definitely an asian influenced salad with seaweed and cabbage. The dressing is pretty eclectic and a beautiful green color. I added a little miso to mine and it turned out fantastic. I also added and little sesame and dulse to the top of the salad. I felt fantastic afterwards. She wasn’t kidding about the power part. I also noticed this amazing mental clarity. My boyfriend didn’t get it though. I might be getting more sensitive now because my diet is more refined now. He told me this morning that I was pretty far along with my revisions. It didn’t seem like it to me. As I’ve just been gradually shifting. So it kinda made me reflect for a moment when he said that. Like hey…I have come a ways.
just the slaw

This is just the slaw. It’s not my recipe or I would tell you what’s in it.


I tell you what.  I’m going to be making this one a LOT.

RATING (on a scale of 1 to 5):  4 

(by Tom, Dennis, and Alissa) 


Corn Chowder

August 15th, 2007

corn chowder

This is the best recipe I’ve tried so far out of my new ANI PHYO book. Have I mentioned how much I love this book?! Anyway, the corn chowder is fantastic. I have a weak spot in my heart for corn chowder, and I admit that I used to make a mean bacon/corn chowder. But alas, I can’t do dairy. I would venture to say that this is better than my dairy/pig version. Even Dennis gives it 4 stars.


RATING (on a scale of 1 to 5): 4


Fruit Parfaits

August 15th, 2007

parfait 1

I’ve been making a lot of these this week. Also from ANI PHYO’S BOOK, it’s fruit with buckwheat crispies and coconut cashew pudding…


…and maybe some coconut sprinkles.


Shitake Mushroom-Miso Soup

August 13th, 2007


This recipe is especially for my mom. I got it out of my ANI PHYO BOOK. I LOVE this book. It’s definitely my favorite so far. This recipe seems really well suited for someone with issues like mine. It’s sweet because a few weeks ago my mom (who incidentally is Japanese) sent me an article about how shitake mushrooms had anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. They are basically great for cleaning your system of bad stuff. This recipe is basically a miso based soup with marinated mushrooms. Miso is also really therapeutic for digestive problems and is said to have alkalinizing properties. I don’t fully understand what that means yet. But from what I am gathering, the more alkaline your pH is the more your body is able to neutralize free radicals. Anyway, besides all that, this is a great tasting, simple, soup. So there.


RATING (on a scale of 1 to 5): 3.5


Bike Culture

August 13th, 2007

It’s funny how things have a tendency to come full circle. I am fortunate to live in a city that is really progressive about bike transit. I admit that initially I bought my bike for economic reasons and because I’m a REALLY bad driver.


But the longer I have it, the more I come to appreciate how wonderful bikes are. Not just for health reasons…or for environmental reasons…or for economic reasons…but just for quality of life reasons.


This is Harley. He is my beloved 17 year old dog. He has a little arthritis. But he also has his very own bike buggy!