Saturday, December 31, 2011

Personal Testimonial

As 2011 comes to an end I can only reflect on the miracle the raw foods lifestyle has brought to my life....

My name is Retha Cheek but I am also known by my pen name Roxy Harte. Over the past three years I have experienced a myriad of health problems that left me unable to work or enjoy life to its fullest. At the suggestion of my friend Tricia, I tried a raw food diet. I am down 55 pounds, off all medications and pain relievers, my high blood pressure and high cholesterol are back to healthy ranges, my migraines from food allergies and joint pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis are gone, and my psoriasis is clearing up. I'd say the raw food diet is definitely working for me!!

Please LIKE my page on Facebook and help me spread the word that raw food changes lives!!

Here's to 2012 and a Healthy, Happy, Mostly-Raw New Year!!

Sweet Tooth Answer

What better way to end the year than with a recipe for a super easy, no bake, sweet treat?
Make in small batches, but be warned... this one won't last long!

No Bake Coconut Balls

2 cups organic coconut flakes (unsweetened)
2 TBS agave nectar
4 TBS nut butter (I used Justin's Chocolate Almond)
1 TBS vanilla
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls and place into lidded container.  Place  into refrigerator until balls are firm (1-2 hours).  Makes 1 dozen balls.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Butterball Abuse Exposed

Please watch this video and share it as well. Such senseless cruelty to animals must end!

I have pledged to be Vegan in 2012 but that doesn't seem to quit be enough, which is why I have also decided to donate to The Farm Sanctuary.

This story about twelve rescued baby turkeys is just one of the many animal rescues The Farm Sanctuary took part in. At least there is one heartwarming story to end the holiday season...

I hope you will consider donating to such a worthy cause as well...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are You Feeling Awesome Yet?

I'm feeling AMAZING!

A year ago, same day, wasn't so good... I'd started a major pain flair on Dec 25th, both joints and guts, which lasted through Spring, which spawned the crazy idea that biologics might be required, and which I started in April. That turned out to be a disaster... but I'm going to reflect on the hindsight for a moment...

In hindsight I was doing a lot better October and November, while I was mostly raw, and then Thanksgiving hit, and I fell off the horse and stayed off...

That's what I focused on after I started the biologics... first, I didn't really want to take drugs that I knew would lower my immune system... so raw couldn't hurt... I could at least be the healthiest person I knew with a lowered immune system, right? and second, I wasn't comfortable taking a drug that could potentially give me cancer... so I thought proactively making food choices that would lower my increased chance was a good idea...

In hindsight my thinking was crazy flawed...
Why not just be mostly-raw to get rid of my gut and joint issues??

Thankfully, I'm mostly raw still... through the holidays! I survived family dinner spreads, restaurants, and a dozen other high temptation activities (like making homemade (baked) cookies (yes, with flour and sugar... gasp) and managed to stay mostly-raw, vegetarian, low fat, very limited nuts or grains, no processed anything! And I am medication free... not even an aspirin!

I feel great! My joints are happy! My guts are happy! Though to be honest my muscles are little sore because I've been doing so much!! hahaha!! I'm ACTIVE AGAIN! I've added yoga to my daily walks... I'm thinking about adding a belly dance class!

During some recent festivities, as I crammed salad into my mouth at a restaurant, I had someone ask me if I was worried about the health effects of eating only raw and only fruits and vegetables!

Lets see...
My latest Dr. check-up revealed that my cholesterol is back in healthy ranges, ditto for my blood pressure, and my Vitamin D levels are perfect... I was down 54 pounds!

I'm down from a 15/16 to a 7/8...

And I'll reiterate... I'm pain free.

So, nope, I'm not worried at all about me... but that chick that did the question asking who is currently living on McDonalds, Wendy's, Red Robin, and TGIF... and who recently had part of her colon removed, but still didn't change her diet... I'm super worried about her!

So my question for her would be: ARE YOU FEELING AWESOME YET???
Because I have answers.. just ask!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Festive Apple Salad

I pretty much lived on the all weekend while everyone else was feasting on holiday fare...guess who didn't gain five pounds;)

Roxy Harte's Festive Apple Salad

3 large Fuji Apples
2 medium Granny Smith Apples
1 large cluster Red Seedless Grapes (halved)...about a cup to a cup and a half
1/2 bag fresh Cranberries (halved)
2 stalks Celery
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
1T Lavender (ground in pestle)
1 T fresh Basil (chopped)
Juice of 1 lg Lime
1 T Agave Nectar

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Am Figuring "IT" Out!

I am figuring it out seemed like a perfect title for today's post as it is Yule and the tide is turning toward Spring, although I know our weather will get worse before it gets better, and although I officially celebrated the "new year" in October on Samhain...we are still approaching what most of the modern world considers "The New Year"...and resolutions will soon run rampant...

As such, I've been reflecting a bit and I realized I have and am-more so every day-figuring out the raw food lifestyle.

Here's an example, yesterday, faced with an empty belly and my quickest fast food choices coming from the health food store... I chose Coconut Juice, an Apple, and some Falafel (not raw but vegan)...

A few bites in I told my hubby: "I could make these better raw." I then started listing the ingredients I would use and sure enough when I looked up an online raw recipe for falafel the majority of the ingredients I'd named were listed! I'm intuitively on the right track! Yay me

I then decided, if I can make falafel... I can make anything!
And I came up with a list of things to try:
Corn Tortillas
Nut free taco filling
*photo from Barefoot and Frolicking

**Blogger edited 12/23/2011:  "This recipe is a FAIL! Tastes nothing like falafel:( Maybe I did something wrong. Or maybe I love real falafel so much there is no way to make raw without chickpeas taste like cooked with chickpeas... anyway, as a concession to my cravings and desire to maintain low fat I am going to make a traditional falafel with chickpeas but baked, not fried...and hoping that it will taste closer to what I want.

A year ago I couldn't justify the price of a Vitamix and an Excaliber dehydrater...but now I see those purchases not as luxury items but necessities. And come tax return I will be getting them.

Being "Mostly Raw" isn't a fad...this diet is my new normal...and I'm excited about that!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It Doesn't Have to Be This Way

I am appalled at the horrors happening at factory farms... I pledge to be vegan, will you?

If you made it to the end of this video, you witnessed the miracle happening at Farm Sanctuary. I pledge to be a contributor in 2012, it's my holiday gift to myself. I hope you will join me.

Do you know what an Ag Gag is? Basically it is laws making it illegal in some states to expose what is happening in factory farms. I hope we can stop such legislature in the future. Our health and our childrens' health depends on it. This article explains more.

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's Behind The Labels: Carbon Monoxide Gas

If you are a carnivore, and insist on buying meat, eggs, dairy, my advice to you would be to find a local butcher and ask him questions. If he's a quality butcher he won't be offended. Don't buy name brand labels.

And know the truth about what you are consuming, even if you don't want to. Ever heard of Carbon Monoxide Gas treated Meat? I didn't think so.

Sometimes a little ole thing like a news report speaks volumes...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gluten Sensitivity and celiac disease. .

Excellent information about grains, glutens, intestinal illnesses, including Celiac Disease and Leaky Gut Syndrome...with Craig Sommers

He says, "It's time to treat the origins of the illness." love this, which exactly why I went off the meds and started juicing. I am convinced I can heal from the inside out...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Diet Tweaking

So, I started on my raw adventure to get rid of my joint pain... and I've succeeded.

I never dreamed I could put an end to three decades (maybe more) of digestive issues...But there are days my guts are so happy I could dance around singing...
And days there are still issues...

So my number one priority is tweaking my diet to fill the nutritional gaps and get myself one-hundred percent right all the time.

I'M 85% Raw right now and that is because I have added spaghetti squash (you can only get the strands if you bake the squash first), baked sweet potatoes, baked plantains, some hummus (with cooked chickpeas), and some steamed veggies... I am basically raw through dinner so breakfast, am snack, lunch, midday snack, and evening snack are all raw and a few dinners per week are warm meals.

What I don't eat:

Meat or Fish (anything with a face)

I have removed all grains from my diet, yes, all grains, including wheat, oats, barley, amaranth, quinoa, rice, wild rice, and sprouted grains.

I have removed all meat and bovine dairy from my diet.

I have removed all processed sugars.

I have removed all seeds from my diet, including sprouted seeds.

What I eat:

I allow all raw fruits and vegetables, mindful of keeping a rainbow of color in every day's meals.

I have added some shellfish back into my diet, keeping in mind if it has a face I don't eat, crab, lobster not in, oysters, scallops, clams, mussels in...and no more often than one serving every other week.

I am allowing myself some goat or sheep cheese as long as I know the source, that it is a raw product and the animals are cared for humanely. This is one brand I use and trust. I never exceed more than 2 ounces per week of any total cheese.

Occasionally I will use honey or maple syrup as a sweetener, but prefer to use dates if possible.

I have added chelated magnesium, vitamin c, b complex and a calcium + D supplements

I am maintaining less than 10 grams of fat per day and attribute that success for a lot of my joint pain relief.

It's hard meeting my caloric needs per day, thus more meals... a minimum of six... spaced about two hours apart...which means I am still losing weight, not a problem since I'm still considered "overweight" on any doctor's chart (I'm now a solid size 8) but I am still in possession of a two inch fat layer over my abdominal until that's gone, I don't mind dropping sizes, although I am very aware that I do not want to get below the "magic number" my husband and I have agreed would be a maximum low chosen from a series of lifetime photos he pointed to and said "how much did you weigh here?" and after being told said, "I don't want you to get that small." I agreed though I thought I looked good at that weight, I can also agree I was pretty bone-y. That will be awhile though since I still have a stack of jeans in the closet I can't yet fit into.

New necessary habits:

When I hike I always take pieces of fruit with me. Bananas and apples transport easiest.

I take water and/or juice with me everywhere, even for quick trips across town because I never know when my blood sugar might crash or a craving will hit.

I drink 3L of water a day and 4L on days I hike.

Making the changes I've made have required huge commitment (from the entire family), determination, and perseverance but the benefits have been worth the pain of giving up old habits and favorite foods. I won't say I have it figured out 100% but I know I'm on the right path. And no doubt, more tweaking may be required as time goes on...

Biggest Benefits of my RAW Diet:
I am hiking!
I am able to do many of the yoga poses I haven't been able to do in years! And am planning on getting my daily routine habit back on track as soon as the holiday business subsides.
I am able to believe I will be strong enough to rock climb again in the very near future!

Friday, December 16, 2011

RAW FOOD TIPS: How to avoid 'melon belly'

By now, most of you have figured out I am a YouTube-a-holic, but honestly there is so much valuable information out there in the raw food community, people all over the world who after five, ten, fifteen years of doing raw successfully are sharing their knowledge because once you've been raw for awhile, once you regain your health, and feel soooo f'ing just want to tell everyone...

So, I weed through a lot of videos, gleaning the best of the best... and this video has been instrumental in my success (or at least the knowledge within it...unfortunately I had to figure out some of this by myself through trial and error)

So, if "my stomach hurts" or "my guts hurt" after eating fresh fruit or veggies... then this video is for you:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's Behind The Labels: Aspartame Renamed

The makers of Aspartame has changed its name to AminoSweet. 

It has the same toxic ingredients but a nice new sounding name. So if you are used to reading labels due to food allergies searching for the word aspartame now you will have to look for both names.

Why? Because aspartame has gotten such bad rap due to cancer-study related scares and food allergies, its very name has become bad for it's time for a redo, like a do-over, but instead of fixing the problems its easier to rebrand and weather out the storm and gain higher sales in the interim...

There's a huge article here...including the history behind aspartame which is seriously quite interesting and more details about the health risks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Choose Raw First

I talk to a lot of people about changing their diet to improve their health... it's hard not to. Everywhere I look there are sick people, hurting people, dying people...

And they always ask, "How do you did you do that? How did you change to such a drastic diet?"

I say, "Because I used to be you. Sick. Sad. Hopeless. And the glimmer of hope that I could get my life back, get my health back...that was enough to give it a try."

But in the beginning I felt like this:

It isn't easy. It's hard. Giving up my cooked food addiction. My MSG addiction. My fast food addiction. My PEPSI addiction. My dairy addiction. Has been the hardest battle of my life and I see it as a battle. Me against disease. Me against the industry. I was fighting for my life. I still am. And that's the way I look at it every day because I know how close relapse is...been there did that earlier this week if you've been following these posts.

Thankfully it also gets a little easier every day, but I am ever vigilant, and I CHOOSE RAW FIRST. No matter what I want, what I'm craving, or what I think my body wants or needs.

I am always ready with a piece of fruit because if I'm ready to eat anything in sight...I will fail. I've journeyed two years down this path and I know my strengths and weaknesses. I see golden arches and start drooling (not because I miss the food but because msg addiction does that to a person) and I dig in my purse for the banana I stashed there...and KEEP DRIVING.

I start thinking how much I miss something...usually enchiladas with mole sauce...and I start trying to figure out a way to replicate what I want...and start building a salad, adding layers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalepenos, cocoa nibs...don't knock it til you try good! I may end up adding pineapple and hot sauce...last is guacamole because I'm always rationing fat grams. I'm usually satisfied with the results by this point...but if I'm just not, I will add some rice (I use an ancient grain you wouldn't recognize as rice that is grown in the Bhutan region of the Himalayas. It is organic. It is a great source of protein. And even though I cook it, I feel like I am eating a healthy food (I am 95% raw so in emergencies I don't feel too guilty)

Anyway...that's a trick for staying raw...choose raw first.
My husband has seen me go through a ton of food! I want Wendy's!! (There's usually a few expletives involved) And he calmly tells me "No." (he is my designated raw food/msg police and he stops me from committing bodily harm to myself by reminding me why I am on this path in the first place) He then hands me a banana...and then an apple...and then juice... asking me after each item, "Still want Wendy's?" And eventually I answer, "No. Thank you for protecting me from myself." He really is my hero...

That is my second trick, which I rarely talk about. My raw food police/support person who I am accountable to... Hubby didn't want the job but after two years of seeing me in agony and misery, he finally committed 100% and I thank him daily for assuming this responsibility.

I also have a raw food buddy...someone I can call, text...cry to, laugh with...share memorable recipes with... and in the event my raw food police isn't available, emergency dial. Yes, it's like an alcoholic phoning their sponsor before they enter a bar, giving that person a chance to talk them down...

You may think this is all silly, overkill, maybe even ridiculous... but I'm fighting for the most important thing I've ever fought for in my life. Me. And I will be free of disease.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Juicing: Choosing Veggies

For me, juicing is for one purpose: HEALING

I want to to use the best veggie/fruit combination to get the job done fastest. And I have a long list of what I think needs fixed.

I think first and foremost, because I was on some horrific immune system destroying medications, I need to cleanse and get rid of the toxins. Second, I need to address my gut issues. And third, my joint issues...of course, I'd also like clearer skin, clearer eyes, and all the rest. I want my health back. I want my vitality back.

But who has the answers?

Geesh, there are so many sales pitches out there, it's hard to weed through all the branding and hype just t get to the root of the information...and that information is anemic. I want hard core. I want facts. And I found that in this book:

originally released in 1936

What I like about this book is there is no sales pitch, no shine, no glamour...just facts!
Every single vegetable is represented and some fruits as to what afflictions they address.

What I discovered is that life hasn't changed much in almost eighty years...the pharmaceutical companies are more sophisticated but people are still getting sick (sicker) and dying from all the diseases that perplexed man then. And the answer is still the same. Our cooked food is making us sick and raw food will make us well and juice gets to the root of the cause faster.

If I recommend one book this year. This is the book! However, everything written by NW Walker is amazing and if you have ever wondered "Why RAW?" or "Why is cooked food damaging me?" then he absolutely has the answers. I particularly liked:

The Natural Way to Vibrant Health by NW Walker, which explains the answers to all the why's.

The Vegetarian Guide to Diet and Salad by NW Walker, because the salad combinations are amazing... what is not amazing is that he does use some dairy products, and that drove me a bit insane but for vegetarians and not vegans the book is amazing and so I will recomend because it addresses even more of the reasons why in context of what food does/doesn't do for the body and overall health.

One of his books that is on my wish list that I have not gotten yet is:
Colon Health to Key Vibrant Health by N.W. Walker

These books really resonate for me and I know that one reason is because the are so reminiscent of the books I used to sit and read as a young child at my grandfather's house. I was probably a pretty bizarre-o kid but I could read for hours the dusty hardcovers he had on colonics, and herbals/tonics/tinctures, natural healing and metaphysics. All of the books were written prior to the 1950's and I would so love to have them now...

Anyway... enough chatter.

Let's start healing!

One Amazing Kid

Monday, December 12, 2011


I can tell you right away, your friends and family are going to be highly skeptical when you tell them you are going raw...they are going to demand real answers for the reasons why you would do such an off-the-wall thing. They will tell you that you are crazy. They will worry that you are going to die of undernourishment...they are going to do everything in their power to dissuade you and tempt you and make you fall off the raw-food-wagon!

So be ready.
I wasn't.
I just had a core belief. I had faith.
So when my microbiologist hubby said, "Why?" I didn't have an answer other than, "I want to feel BETTER."

Here's a few reasons why raw food works...

A raw foodist eats between 75-100% live, living, uncooked, unprocessed, organic foods.

Uncooked food is alkaline and nourishes and energizes your body.

Cooked food is acidic, takes longer to digest and eliminate, and allows toxins to build up in you blood stream and tissue. Why? Heating food above 120*F (Some say 145*F) kills the enzymes in food which are there to help you digest them. It also causes chemical changes within the food converting it from alkaline to acidic, which when build up in the body leads to weight gain and disease.

Heating food immediately reduces the number of available nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
This site compares it this way:
"Your body is actually sort of an alkaline battery, running on electrons. All life-giving chemical reactions only happen when electrons or energy flows between atoms. Cooking or processing causes food to lose electrons - the source of the energy your body needs. Things that are healthy 'contribute" electrons/energy, and are called alkalizing or "reducing." Things that are unhealthy steal electrons/energy, and are called acidic or “oxidizing” (which means to burn up, rust, break down or decay).

Your body is designed to be alkaline, like the battery! Because the pH scale is logarithmic even a fraction of a point can create huge changes to health! One hydroxyl molecule (-OH) in 550 million is enough to make water conductive. In fact, most important processes in your body only work within a very narrow pH range. For example, if the pH of your blood falls to the low end of its normal range (~7.35-7.45), a .10 difference, it could reduce the oxygen levels in your blood by as much as 300%!"

There are also a lot of amazing books on the subject and I would advise you to read them all. Specifically: Gabriel Cousens, Ann Wigmore, and Victoria Boutenko.

If you have a total genius living under your roof, like I do, they may say things like, "There is absolutely no scientific founding in those statements." which used to hurt my feelings, but then I learned what he was really saying was..."This information isn't in any of the scientific studies I've read by people I respect... "Oh, ok." ... "So, you respect yourself, right? Your own mind and abilities at deductive reasoning?"...obviously... "So, make me your lab rat. You monitor what I eat and how I feel in conjunction with what goes in my mouth and you tell me what works and what doesn't based on the end result of no gut pain and no joint pain, no migraines...

And honestly, THAT HAS WORKED! I am obviously feeling better:) And hubby's helping me prove it to both of us!

Feeling Amazing!

I was beginning to wonder if I would ever feel better...but I hang in there with the juicing and started adding fruit Saturday, and fruit and a lunch salad on Sunday...and this morning...WOW!

I have energy.
I feel great inside and out!

Going to keep doing what I am doing and know that I am on the right track:) And to think I almost succumbed to expensive testing and physician negativity... Whew!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Comfort Foods

Now that my healing crisis appears to be over, I'm beginning to contemplate where I stand on terms of my raw foodie journey. I am more convinced now that I am healing...and even more committed. But there's still those downfall emotional days that ned addressed before I fall on temptation again, which leads to comfort foods.

Wow, raw and comfort food do not seem to go in the same sentence and that in and of itself has been my biggest challenge this year... high stress days and emotional days beg for all those super bad for me foods and I have had to learn to break the cycle of emotional food addiction...


There is still a place for comfort food, I've just needed to reach deep and find them. So here are a few of my fall backs... and how they became emotionally charged enough to become "comfort food":

Romaine Fold Ups

Take a romaine leaf, spread with hummus or a nut butter (I always use hummus) top with carrots and sweet/hot pickle slices... I know, sounds horrible but for me the taste is COMFORT. And here's why: After my divorce, times were lean and there were more than a few days that romaine, nut butter, baby carrots, and pickles were all that were in the fridge. I always made happy little fold-ups and said a prayer of gratitude that I was able to be "on my own" and paying my bills (because the mortgage and electricity somehow always got paid)... Fear had kept me from leaving a bad marriage... but I'd left and being able to subsist on "whatever was in the fridge" was a hundred times more gratifying than any bounty I'd left behind...

Squash Toss - zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and corn cut off the cob tossed in a light sesame oil/lime juice dressing - dehydrated to warm (usually an hour and a half will do it, then sprinkled with some fresh cilantro and a little garlic powder, salt, and pepper. YUM!

Bananas - any way I can get them but preferably super duper ripe - my husband calls them rotten at that point...

The key to comfort food, isn't that it's hot, but that it speaks to some part of your soul...and those feelings can be built from here and now if there isn't a single food in your raw repertoire ... start now developing feelings of love, hope, gratitude, solitude when you eat key items and over time these foods will replace your old comfort foods... you just have to be willing to have an open heart and open mind...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Veganism Makes Big News For Health Care

CNN ran this in August... I wasn't really back on the Vegan-Bus then... I am wholeheartedly now. If it has a face or a mother I don't eat it... No Meat, No Dairy, No Oil...

This is a full episode of an episode with Sanjay Gupta and focuses on heart health. But the thing is VEGAN CURES and physicians are recognizing it.

I choose for now to be a fully raw vegan, because I am seeing results. If my joints no longer hurt and my guts no longer hurt, I don't need a physician to tell me I'm better. I obviously am. Like my D.O. said, "Time will tell."

My belief is that food made me sick, food can make me well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Healing Crisis Day 5: Supplements

Today I am much improved!! Yay!
Still going to remain 80% juice but am going to add some leafy greens for lunch and dinner. I honestly think my body was starved for magnesium. I started feeling a difference after the very first dose and I am going to stick with 250mg twice daily for duration of my raw/vegan journey.

My bowels are moving after every meal (just like they were designed to do) and this has never happened in my life except when I had the Irritable Bowel flares which led to weeks of diarrhea (but we aren't going to discuss that)

Whether or not raw foodies (or vegans for that matter) need supplements is a huge debate that has raged forever. For me, it isn't a matter of philosophy... it's a matter of health and well being...

Lesson learned: I need supplements...

I knew I did, which is why I take a subliminal vitamin B complex daily. And also why I am so careful to track my daily food intake on an online program... I've been bit in the butt by a major deficiency before.

It's amazing to me just how badly one can feel when the body is deficient in any major vitamin or mineral... and how quickly relief from the symptoms comes with supplementation.

About eighteen years ago when I was vegan, I became magnesium deficient and experienced severe chest pain and heart arrhythmia... a homeopathic nutritionist clued me in then...

This time I had severe intestinal pain...
And you'd think I'd have earned from past experience, but no, I trotted right off to a doctor (D.O.)
which seemed about worthless because aside from an antibiotic and a laxative, he had no answer for me without performing a CAT Scan, which I declined. I even mentioned to him I wanted a prescription grade magnesium supplement because something in the back of my brain kept nagging me... I only remembered once I was home about my previous experience.

There, I consulted my online nutritional data program and realized yep, I did it again...severely low magnesium
 intake. I started googling symtoms. Directly following pain was constipation, which can be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Bingo. I'd done it again...

So now, magnesium sits right next to my vitamin b complex and I am taking both twice a day...

So exactly which vitamins and minerals do a vegan need to be concerned with? Every vegan/raw foodie needs to be concerned with:

Calcium with Vitamin D
Vitamin B 12, 6, 5

These supplements are not highly available in a vegan diet and a deficiency can have serious results...

I am also watching my iron and zinc closely because they are 50% less than were they should be.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Palatable Green Juice!!!!!

In an almost desperate attempt to heal my colon I have turned to juicing. And all the literature I read points to green juices... and my luck with green juices has been dismal. Yesterday I posted on Facebook:
"Collard Green Juice is AWFUL!"
Which was right in line with previous statement concerning every green juice I've ever tried including Kale Juice is AWFUL and Spinach Juice is AWFUL...

Today, at wits end because I know green juice is what my intestines need right now, I decided to create a yummy green juice or else! I started with everything I had in my fridge that was green: Collard Greens, Romaine, Parsley, Celery, Cucumber, Limes, Serrano Peppers, and a good size chunk of Ginger.

I used all the ingredients shown (except only 8 of the limes)... I blended...loving especially how the parsley, celery and cucumber smelled as they went through. Stirred, Poured, Tasted... added about 8 ounces water to the 20 ounces of juice I'd collected... Stirred, poured, and tasted again... and Voila! Not only a palatable green juice but one I can drink every day and enjoy!

It's citrus-y, and spicy, and not a hint of that putrid kale taste...
It's YUMMY even!

Healing Crisis Day 4: Colon Health

I know, I know, nobody wants to talk about their bowel habits, but did you know that is where all illness begins? Seriously. Pay attention to what is happening there.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Crohn's symptoms now because of bad diet habits five years ago that have caught up with me. Living on fast food for two and a half years caught up with me hard, and I'm paying for it. But what did I expect when breakfast was Tim Horton's, Lunch was McD's, and dinner was Wendy's?

Now I avoid those places like the plague. If a television commercial comes on for one of my old favs, I change the channel...

So...back to my guts... between the laxative and the magnesium I am seeing progress.
My pain is manageable... I honestly believe I'm on the mend.

I'm gonna keep juicing...
Tomorrow I am going to discontinue the Rx Laxative and just use the magnesium supplement.

I also ordered an enema kit because Ann Wigmore's books recommend daily enema's anytime one embarks on a long term juice feast...and I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep juicing. So, just in case...I'll be ready, even if just for future juice feasts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Healing Crisis Day 3

Some improvement today... I think it is the juicing... I'm going to keep going.
I also bought a supplement after determining I am deficient in Magnesium... and I can feel my bowel going crazy... long soaks in jacuzzi with Dead Sea Salts helping with the pain...

I'm hanging in there...the gut pain isn't nearly as bad as it was and seems to be "traveling" which confirms my suspicion that part of my problem lies in my small intestine, not my large intestine, and the Dr. phoo-phooed... hell what does he know? I've lost faith in doctors. I know my body best.

Juicing: Fasting Stages of Healing

If you, like me, are doing a juice fast to heal and wondered "why am I doing this?" or "what am I doing to my body?" here is the best answer I've found...

Quoted in its entirety from this site.

This article was written by, Mr. Tom McGregor, author of Eating in Freedom.

The Different Juice Fasting Stages of Detoxification

The Different Juice Fasting Stages of Detoxification
A single cell within the human body is more complex than the most modern supercomputer. The process of removing a hundred thousand antigens, each with unique molecular properties, from trillions of functioning cells is indeed a complex process. Imagine three trillion cells being repaired during the function of countless biochemical processes needed for life. Even the best mechanics have to turn off the engine. Yet, the body has millions of micro mechanics that do this with ease.
One of the body’s automatic maintenance processes is the destruction of foreign microorganisms. When looking through a dark-field microscope, countless parasites are clearly visible. I observed parasites living inside blood cells. Several could be seen eating cholesterol, and I was amazed to see one swim. Watching lymphocytes moving in the blood was like a science-fiction movie. These complex, lymphocyte organisms attached themselves and engulfed toxins. As they did, their colorations flowed into fascinating patterns leaving me with a sense of wonder and respect for the miraculous ability and infinite complexity of the human body.
Fasting Detoxification Stages
Here is an overview of the detoxification stages during a juice fast. The time periods are a general estimation.
Stage 1 (Day 1 To Day 2)
On the first day of fasting, the blood sugar level drops below 70 mg/dl. To restore the blood to the normal glucose level, liver glycogen is converted to glucose and released into the blood. This reserve is enough for half a day. The body then reduces the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The rate of internal chemical activity in resting tissue is lowered to conserve energy. The heart slows and blood pressure is reduced. Glycogen is pulled from the muscle causing some weakness. The first wave of cleansing is usually the worst.
Headaches, dizziness, nausea, bad breath, glazed eyes and a heavily coated tongue are signs of the first stage of cleansing. Hunger can be the most intense in this period unless the enema is used which quickly assists the body into the fasting state by ending digestion in the colon.
Stage 2 (Day 3 To Day 7)
Fats, composed of transformed fatty acids, are broken down to release glycerol from the gliceride molecules and are converted to glucose. The skin may become oily as rancid oils are purged from the body. People with problem-free skin may have a few days of pimples or even a boil. A pallid complexion is also a sign of waste in the blood. Ketones are formed by the incomplete oxidation of fats. It is suspected that the ketones in the blood suppress the appetite by affecting the food-satiety center in the hypothalamus. You may feel hungry for the first few days of the fast. This effect is temporary. The desire to eat will disappear. Lack of hunger may last 40 to 60 days, depending on whether you are on water or juice.
The body embraces the fast and the digestive system is able to take a much-needed rest, focusing all of its energies on cleansing and healing. White blood cell and immune system activity increases. You may feel pain in your lungs. The cleansing organs and the lungs are in the process of being repaired. Periodically, the lymphatic system expels mucoid matter through the nose or throat. The volume excreted of this yellow-colored mucus can be shocking. The sinuses go through periods of being clogged, then will totally clear. The breath is still foul and the tongue coated. Within the intestine, the colon is being repaired and impacted feces on the intestinal wall start to loosen.
Stage 3 (Day 8 to Day 15)
On the latter part of an extended fast, you can experience enhanced energy, clear-mindedness and feel better than you have felt since childhood. On the downside, old injuries may become irritated and painful. This is a result of the body’s increased ability to heal during fasting. If you had broken your arm 10 years before, there is scar tissue around the break. At the time of the break, the body’s ability to heal was directly related to lifestyle. If you lived on a junk-food diet, the body’s natural healing ability was compromised.
During fasting, the body’s healing process is at optimum efficiency. As the body scours for dead or damaged tissue, the lymphocytes enter the older, damaged tissue secreting substances to dissolve the damaged cells. These substances irritate the nerves in the surrounding region and cause a reoccurrence of aches from previously injured areas that may have disappeared years earlier. The pain is good as the body is completing the healing process. The muscles may become tight and sore due to toxin irritation. The legs can be the worst affected, as toxins accumulate in the legs. Cankers are common in this stage due to the excessive bacteria in the mouth. Daily gargling with salt and water will prevent or heal cankers.
Stage 4 (Day 16 to Day 30)
The body is completely adapted to the fasting process. There is more energy and clarity of mind. Cleansing periods can be short with many days of feeling good in between. There are days when the tongue is pink and the breath is fresh. The healing work of the organs is being completed. After the detoxification mechanisms have removed the causative agent or render it harmless, the body works at maximum capacity in tissue proliferation to replace damaged tissue. While a short fast will reduce the symptoms, a longer fast can completely heal. Homeostatic balance is at optimum levels. The lymphatic system is clean except for a rare discharge of mucus through the nose or throat. After day 20, the mind is affected. Heightened clarity and emotional balance are felt at this time. Memory and concentration improve.
Stage 5 (Breaking the Fast)
The sticky, toxic, mucoid coating on the intestinal wall is loose, and the first meal frees it from the intestinal wall. Toxins enter the blood through the colon. The gallbladder dumps its waste in a heavy discharge of bile. This can cause an instant bowel movement upon eating followed by intense diarrhea. If the symptoms are too uncomfortable, an enema will help."
This article was written by, Mr. Tom McGregor, author of Eating in Freedom.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's Behind The Labels: Cellulose

Now that I have to read every single label thoroughly, now that I have to know exactly what is going into my body, I am amazed at what I'm learning about what used to go into my body when I assumed all food was good food. Which begins a rant and a bit of a soap box, because the average American has no idea what he is eating or how bad that food is for him.

So today begins a series of "What *SAD Eaters Need To Know" now titled "What's Behind the Labels Post One" and I will have a new post every Saturday until I run out of topics I feel passionately mad about.

*SAD=Standard American Diet

Do you know what you are eating?
If you are consuming a SADiet I am betting you don't--or if you do and are continuing to eat in educated but denying bliss--I am going to give you something to think about.

Do you believe humans were meant to eat wood? You know, the stuff growing in your backyard with bark and leaves? Yeah, that stuff...beavers gnaw their way through do some rodents...but I'm really not aware of anyone who just grabbed a branch and ate it. Oh wait. I do know someone. Me...and you...and anyone who has recently consumed any prepackaged product.

You see, if you read labels, and I do now, you may have ran across the word cellulose...and you like me probably decided it was a plant derivative of some kind. It is. Wood to be exact. Powdered wood flour. I'm not sure we were ever intended to eat that stuff...

But in a marketing stroke of genius (or evil plotting depending on how paranoid you are about the FDA/Pharmaceutical relationship) it was discovered that using cellulose (wood) in products the fat could be reduced thus allowing companies to label things low-fat. It also enabled them to make their product stretch farther meaning more profit.

Don't believe me? Read this article.
Don't have the time to read the whole article? I did. Making it so much easier for me to stay raw today. Here's the cliff notes: (And if you care about your intestines and health start reading labels...maybe start scratching those items off the grocery list)
quoted from article: "Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.) is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products. The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption. The USDA, which regulates meats, has set a limit of 3.5% on the use of cellulose, since fiber in meat products cannot be recognized nutritionally." does this mean if it can't be counted nutritionally in meat that it probably shouldn't be counted as nutritional in other foods either?

The lawsuit filed against Taco Bell exposing just what is/isn't in their beef, exposed much much more.

Exactly which of your fav foods contain cellulose? Here are the fifteen worst offenders by brand:
1. Aunt Jemima (owned by Pepsi):
3. Weight Watchers International:
4. General Mills:
5. McDonalds
6. Sara Lee's
7. Taco Bell
8. Jack in the Box
9. Kraft
10. Pizza Hut
11. Wendy's
12. Arby's
13. Sonic
14. Dole
15. KFC
16. Nestle
** Individual product items are listed at the above link

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Healing Crisis Day 2

So, the doctor's want to do a Cat Scan of my intestines with contrast but I'm totally against having that done. Here's why:

1. Dye going through my veins and organs is so counter-active to what I'm doing with the juice and raw fruit and veggies... will the dye upset the balance?? I have no joint migraines...and I'm up to walking 2-3 miles a day. Why chance it?

My intuition tells me that this is a healing crisis and my intestines are trying to heal themselves... I'm a real believer in self-healing and I feel like the the raw is responsible for making me feel better.  

So, is this gut setback  a setback? Or do I welcome it as a gift... 

Other than the guts I feel real great.

Here's where I'm at: 
I'm still debating what I should do but I am leaning toward not having it.
I'm totally convinced juicing is making a huge difference.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Healing Crisis

Today I ended up at the doctor...Day Three of my juice fast...

It was unscheduled, unplanned...and my head said, "You don't need to go to the doctor, this is a healing crisis...stay on path." my guts said, "Screw that, call the doctor, I'could be dying here."
Yes, the pain is that bad... to the doctor I went and he has ZERO CLUE what is wrong with me.
Through a few questions and a urine sample he determined it wasn't a urinary tract, bladder, or kidney infection. He doesn't think it's Crohn's or an etopic pregnancy...
He does want to rule out an ovarian cyst, colon cancer, diverticulitis, and or an injury to my spleen so on Monday... I'm scheduled for a CAT Scan... which utterly and totally sucks but will relieve my family and to some extent myself of worry that something is seriously wrong. But...if all else is ruled out then I have to go with what my intuition is telling me and that this is a healing crisis.

What exactly is a healing crisis?
Basically, it can present in any form...sinus infection, flu symptoms...basically the body is trying to rid itself of toxins during a detoxification process (like a juice fast) and the more ill (toxic) the body before the more dramatic the crisis can be...

And the suggested treatment for a Healing Crisis quoted directly from this page:
Recommended Treatment
During a healing crisis, it is important that the cleansing program be continued. Continued cleansing will help the body rid itself of released toxins and diseases forever. Following these simple steps may help to relieve some of the symptoms of the healing crisis.

  • Drinking plenty of fresh water helps the body eliminate released toxins.
  • Increasing fiber intake and taking supplements to cleanse the colon and kidneys will also help to accelerate the elimination of toxins.
  • If fatigued, give the body rest
  • Meditation can help to manage symptoms such as strong emotions and mood swings

I did pick up a fiber blend at the pharmacy to help eliminate the toxins quicker and I will be increasing my water intake for the duration of my juice feast, which...ahemmm, I will begin anew tomorrow...

Yes, going to the doctor caused me to totally freak out and fall off the wagon in a big way and I am embarrassed and disappointed in myself even though I know I am in a very fragile state of recovery and need now more than ever to try to hold it together...

Forgive and Move on...

I'm not going to restart the clock because despite everything I did manage to stay at 75% raw and 75%juice today...but still, totally and utterly remorseful.

Friday, December 2, 2011

You are what you ATE

I am on day two of my juice feast and already feeling better than yesterday or the day before that for that matter... a little hungry, which means I'm not drinking enough, but hanging in there...

Been here, done this before, I know juicing is harder on day two and three then gets easier after that, so I'm just keeping going...focusing on affirmations and watching a lot of

This explains everything...

presenter: Tim Van Orden speaking at the Capital Region Vegetarian Festival in Albany, NY

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oops...I Did It Again...

So, I thought I had the raw vegan, super low fat diet under control, because I was feeling so much better...I then somewhere deep in my brain I decided red rice and half a tortilla should be okay...ya know, just to add variety.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.
My body is trying its best to heal...and I keep sabotaging it by eating what I want and trying to justify it. In this case, because Macrobiotics was such a big influencer in my childhood, I justified that whole grain, bran intact rice would be okay, ditto on a whole grain tortilla. Obviously my body was not ready for either...

And I need to get over the "What I Want To Eat" and embrace "Food Is My Healing Tool"... medicine isn't always pleasant... and it isn't that my raw diet isn't good, super yummy's just that I am so trapped in food emotion I want things I know might be bad for me or hurt me because they seem like "comfort foods" even though they rip my guts to shreds...or leave me feeling like my guts are being ripped to shreds.

I hurt. A lot. You would think this would be lesson enough.

So, I am now facing an unplanned Juice Feast...I'm not even going to commit to a number of days... two? five? ten? at least until I feel a tremendous amount better and then a few days after that.