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Hello there!

Suffering with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) and looking for answers? In my blog, I explore more ways than the "established routes to treatment" and try to open up hearts and minds to other, non-invasive and safer alternatives. We explore the realms of dis-ease, nutrition, health, and wellness and make changes in order to HEAL, not just treat.
$85 initial consultation for 1.5 hours. Please use the donate button to the left of THIS screen. (If you don't see it, you are most likely using a phone and in "phone mode." You must change to "desktop mode" to see the 'paypal' button.

Contact me at tosunnymorrow@hotmail.com or call 864-905-1864. I look forward to hearing from you!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Resilience

Resilience is rooted in a tenacity of spirit—a determination to embrace all that makes life worth living even in the face of overwhelming odds. When we have a clear sense of identity and purpose, we are more resilient, because we can hold fast to our vision of a better future.
from Wisdomcommons.com


What is your vision for your future?  Are you spending your time in thoughts of enduring the pain you are in?  How to get through the next hour, the next day?  Do you feel you have a sense of purpose in life?  What is that purpose?  


When I started my journey back to health, in a way I never conceived could happen, I had a few "tools in my belt" to begin with.  
1) I believed I could and would heal
2) I had absolute faith that I was listening to my inner intuition/inner self/God
3) I absolutely knew that the medical establishment had nothing of significance to offer me
4) I had absolute faith in my ability to research and learn and did so with a frenzy
5) I had done enough inner-searching to realize my distinct gifts in this life and my purpose
6) I had already worked in the medical establishment and was experiencing the natural worlds first hand so      
    already knew of the disconnect between the thinking. 
7) I had studied consciousness and philosophy and already knew of the type of thinking the medical 
    establishment purported and how natural healing methods differed.


It's almost as if I came fully poised and ready to meet this health crisis full-on.  Let me be very clear that I was entering a masters program at the time, I had just recently moved from one state where I had a small group of older friends to another state where I was only acquainted with a smattering of people through the school, and I had NO health insurance.
Does this sound like I was poised to meet the health crisis to you?
It's a matter of focus.  We focus on the things listed numerically above or we focus on the don't haves.


My saving grace was the internet.  
MANY people are so skeptical of finding good information on the internet that before one even starts, they are deflated and make no head-way.  This is a great example of my ex-boyfriend.  If I had gone through this while still being with him my spirit would have already been deflated before even venturing into it!!
Without the judgement, I had a clear path to finding sources of good information on the internet FULLY capable of sensing the crap amongst the solid information.
And really, the more you read and are exposed to, the more you have the ability to sense the crap amongst the solid information!!  Anyone involved in politics can attest to this - they read between the lines....as I came to be able to do only with health and nutrition as my topics of interest. 
You become the detective.


During my journey back to health, my ex-boyfriend, who was there at the start of my more painful symptoms such as having doubled-over pain on several occasions, did not contact me at all to see how I was faring in all this - not even to ask about my studies.
My family contact was virtually non-existent.
My fellow classmates were mostly much younger than me and had that deer-in-the-headlight look as I would talk about my experiences with this journey back to health.  It didn't take long for me to stop trying to reach out to them.
Since I had no health insurance, I also had no way to pay for counseling services.  I found that I could, for a cheaper price, talk with a student of counseling - one who was still in school to be a counselor/psychiatrist/ psychologist.   That did NOT go well as I began to understand that I was being treated as someone to help refine their skills as a practitioner...not someone who was in pain and trying to heal and had no where to turn.


Everywhere I tried to get help or even a goddamn shoulder to cry on....nothing.


My sadness at the numbed state of other's people emotional strength and wisdom deepened within me.  I saw this as an epidemic in our nation.  Having been witness to it through both deaths of my parents, even though people stepped in to "help" us it was financial and moving kids around to get them into school and with a roof over their head.  Did I receive emotional support or a shoulder to cry on then?  I think you know the answer.


Crying, being in pain, needing to scream....it's dirty work to be able to be around that or to be the one who needs to do it!!  We all cannot be a Mother Theresa.  But when no one in our circle is reaching out to support, that is a true and unequivocal sign that the state of our resilience, based on compassion and love to work through, has declined and is in trouble!


What was I to do?  Fold up and take it?


If you know anything about my life, you know the answer to that as well.  I felt, I cried, I fought, I struggled.  I forgave myself, I cried out to God, my belief in spirit deepened, my belief in humanity crashed, I researched, I learned.


I still felt that there was hope for others.  


I found cyber support in The Liferegenerator.  The story about his life shows you why he reaches out so much to others and can, from gritty experience, know what it is to need the support, to need the love you were never shown, to be the compassionate one ....


when you were not shown compassion throughout your life!!!  So how do we know how to do it?  It must be something within each of us - programmed into our DNA strands.  The only thing that gets in our way of actually showing it must be our life experiences that embitter us.


I sent him a few emails early on in this journey - one of which he or his girlfriend at the time, Krista, answered.  Much later on, when Matthew Armstrong interviewed me about my healing journey and while I had such a great person on the phone (a skype call) I asked him about IC and healing and he confirmed my thoughts exactly.  And once when I was at the Fruitarian festival I was sitting with Tim vanOrden who I asked about IC healing and he told me what he thought the issue was with digesting cruciferous vegetables.


Those were my only experiences with others in the field who had been living a raw lifestyle and could offer me advice which I respected.  I tried to reach out in many other ways but could not afford the prices some people wanted for just a consultation.


I did this virtually alone.  


My grandfather would balk at that!  "What about the people who picked that damn banana and who grew that damn spinach you're eating!?" he would say.  "You are never alone! What about the people who made that chair your sitting on?"  Yep, granpa's right.  But those people who did that so that I could eat and sit cannot lend emotional support to me in this time of crisis.  I wasn't savvy enough in debate at the time to say that to him.  I was trying to reach out and he didn't get it.  We were all doing the best we could at the time.


So back to resilience, my comrades.  We learn MUCH about ourselves in the face of adversity.  We see that we react in fear, hatred, jealousy...and all the life-sucking emotions when things get tough.


We may even bite the hand that feeds us....we are in so much pain and want so much to heal that we lunge in anger at the people who are trying to help while living their busy lives and trying to push forward themselves.


When the messenger is shot in the heart one too many times, do you think the messenger (helper) wants to keep returning to give the needed information?  This is up to each individual person, as only they can decide how much abuse to take from others.  Is this information important enough?  How deep are the messenger's convictions to this cause?




Contemplate on these things, my compassionate and loving friends.  Do you possess the inner resilience to face this situation with grace or will you become embittered to it?  Each word holds force - an energetic force that cuts to our core, our bone.  Choose them carefully.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Enervation

Since Susan Schenck's book was written WITH a lady named Victoria Bidwell, PhD, EdD who is a Natural Hygienist, the book The Live Food Factor has a lot of underpinnings of Natural Hygiene thought.  Victoria explains that the "enervation" means "exhaustion so deep the body is in trouble" (p105) and "it is the first stage of disease: the result of the body being so low on energy that poisons created within the body and poisons taken into the body from outside sources accumulate in the fluids and cells, and finally, in the tissues and organs and systems" (p105).

This is a word used by the Natural Hygiene movement and from this belief comes the way in which they approach looking at dis-ease and healing.  Natural Hygienists DO NOT use the terms "treatment" or "therapy" or "cure" or "medicine."  They do not like using the term "detoxification" either and only will in the sense that when the Natural Hygiene system is used to restore health, the body will naturally go through a shedding of unwanted toxins out of the body but is in no way made to by more aggressive means such as taking chemicals or doing liver cleanses and the like.  Very natural indeed.

They believe there is only One Disease - TOXEMIA (an overload of toxic build-up) and only One Healing Process - INCREASE ENERGY, DETOX, REPAIR.

This is VERY similar to the Raw Food paradigm thinking.  One disease and one healing process except they use health terms more loosely!

Further along in my reading and research and with my ever-present radar on looking for reasons why those suffering with IC are not healing..... I came across some intriguing information.
Natural Hygienists categorize disease into two categories: Acute Disease and Chronic Disease.
I feel that Interstitial Cystitis falls into both categories depending on how quickly one changes their lifestyle to promote health instead of disease.

Recently I have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns.  In one episode, Warf, the Tactical Officer is giving a martial arts lesson to an lower-ranked Ensign.  He says that she is ready for a test but has to be blindfolded and that it will take place right away.  He blindfolds her and tells her to defend herself.  She tries but fails again and again and again.  After the third time, she roughly takes off her blindfold and says "This test is not fair!"  Warf leans into her and says, "Very good.  Maybe next time you encounter a situation like this, you will not have to fail so many times before you speak up for yourself."

How many times will you keep going back to the medical establishment and being beaten up before you stand up for yourself?
Weeks?  Months?  Years?


I suffered about 8 months.  I wasn't going to sit there and let the medical establishment poke and prod me like some cow in a slaughter house.  I was fierce about this belief in wanting NO part of being dependent on the medical community!!                             Fierce like a warrior in battle!!
from SessionMagazine.com

Where is your inner Warrior?  
How many times are you willing to get burned by the light before
you wake up to our own healing potential?
How long are you willing to be suffering in pain and agony
before you take a stand and say no more?

How long you wait has a direct effect on the amount of enervation of your body.  Some women with IC have been suffering for YEARS!!!  DECADES!!!  This has led to complete enervation of the body and leading particular organs into chronic illnesses.

The body becomes unable to cope with any type of detox because the level of
energy needed to perform this internal cleansing is not present in the body.

As I have written before, you have to back up!  Assess whether you have enough health to take on the Raw Food lifestyle, to allow the detoxing that needs to occur.  In my case the feeling was immediate that the raw paradigm was for me and I didn't even flinch.  I changed overnight.  Others are not so lucky...they do not have access to their inner knowing and are unsure of what steps to take.  This, I'm sure, is a very scary place to be!
Also, what I have been noticing is that MANY people overestimate the level of their health thinking that they are in better health overall than they actually are! 
IC is not only a problem with the bladder.  You have allowed this problem to go on so long, as I did, that it is now a disabling disease.  If the problem continues it becomes worse and worse finally resulting in a cancer, perhaps, or a removal of said organ, or many years of "treatment" by the medical establishment.  
And it doesn't stop there.  This problem arose because the body is in a state of enervation to begin with - a toxic state of too much acidity (and possibly exposure to chemical toxins, environmental toxins, etc).  The underlying cause is ENERVATION.  You were enervated to begin with....you were exposed or the levels of toxins rose to such a level that organs began to fail.  
If you were not enervated to begin with, you would not be having this issue at all.  You would have had the energy available to handle this toxic juice or exposure.
As Bidwell states in The Live Food Factor, "First, disease evolves from enervation to toxemia to acute symptoms.  When these symptoms are not reversed through healthful living habits, the symptoms worsen and evolve further into chronic disease" (p111).

For those that have chosen to allow the symptoms to go on and on and on
without changing their living habits and only relying on pills and medical
treatments, I believe they have allowed the condition of IC to degenerate into
a chronic illness.  Therefore, I believe that it will take a lot more than
the Raw Food Lifestyle to address their healing.  The body of a person 
like that cannot even begin to have the energy for a healing crisis/detox event.

Bidwell claims, "Examples of short-lived acute illnesses are diarrhea, headache, indigestion, fatigue, all -itises in their early stages [IC if you catch it early as I did] and the so-called common cold and flu" (p111).
And further, " Acute disease reflects a strong enough energy supply and reserve vitality that powerful elimination of toxic waste and repair processes are still possible.  Chronic disease reflects a long-term state of toleration of toxins.  It is a state of continued elimination of enough toxins to sustain life but in compromised and lowered health.  In the latter stages of chronic disease, the natural healing rate is much slower for health seekers who have weakened their defense mechanisms" (p112).

So we CANNOT go around thinking that all people suffering with IC are in the same stage of the disease and all will be equally affected by changing to a raw food diet.
I was vibrant, vital, and energetic to begin with!  I was only 38!  Those who have eaten the wrong foods for a long time, had other health issues of the chronic sort, age, have gone through surgeries and other medical interventions....ALL these things need to be taken into consideration before embarking on this most awesome journey into the raw paradigm.
For some it may go much slower and the road will be much harder.





Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Beliefs

I speak of a paradigm in previous blogs which I explained as a way that someone and groups of someones think, act, behave, are, dress, enact laws...etc...  Obviously there are levels of thinking and these change based on how much you educate yourself and your life experiences.
I arrived at work a bit early today because I like to be able to sit in my truck and read a few pages in some raw book before I go in.  Today it was Susan Schenck's book The Live Food Factor.  I have read the 600+ page book once already and now am going back through with a fine tooth comb highlighting the pieces that speak to me.  I landed on a new chapter today - chapter 4 - and I was blown away again!  Except I don't remember being blown away this much the first time around!

It is entitled "A Paradigm Shift in How We View Disease and Health" (p97)

Sooooo.....here we are back at our beliefs.  It's always about beliefs and never has been about food.
She states my thoughts so exactly that I want to quote the first two pages but that is a copyright infringement.
She states, "If a scientist works from the wrong theories or from misconceptions based on wrong assumptions, [s]he will ask the wrong questions and design and conduct irrelevant experiments resulting in erroneous conclusions that may even result in dangerous consequences" (p97).
So if I am a scientist, which I am (I have an undergrad in Biology), and I believed that chemo and drugs were the only viable way to treat cancer, I would prescribe that for my patients especially if I had no other training other than the allopathic model of medicine.
Because when a person chooses a career path, they are very well indoctrinated into that path, that paradigm.  For some career paths, if you think outside that paradigm, if you question the status quo, if you go OUTSIDE that particular field to investigate causes, ideas, other philosophies....you may as well be committing career-death.  Bruce Lipton found this out all too well - he calls himself the "Rouge Scientist."  He was OUTSTED from his field because he asked questions and went beyond.  He revealed through his research things the scientific community didn't want to hear.  Then he wrote a book about it called The Biology of Belief and made a lot of money (and changed a lot of minds!).
Another quote from Schenck, "Virtually all raw fooders and other holistic health proponents no longer accept the conventional medical model of disease origin and its so-called cures via drugs, various treatments and surgery.  Yet most members of conventional society still do see disease as due to a mystery, the passage of time, genetic flaws or unfortunate encounters with malevolent microbes" (p100).

So imagine someone who is a holistic-minded person speaking with someone who say, has been diagnosed with IC and for the first time in their lives chose to visit a health food store.  Could you imagine the conversation?  One believes that there is no mystery to disease and the other one feels blindsided by this disease that seems to have come out of nowhere and the doctors have been unable to find any cure for it so it's definitely a mystery!

Can we see just how much education has to take place to even start speaking on the same page?  That's why for a large portion of the people I have contact with, I keep it superficial and light.  Paradigm shifts are best when prompted by something in each person's reality, not prompted by me!  In my case the paradigm shift was prompted by my failing health.  There is no greater kick in the pants than that!

Mark Twain once said, "Be careful of reading health books.  You may die of a misprint."

Education.  Education.  Education.  Cross-reference the information.  Read many books on the same subject.  In this country we can educate ourselves to a great extent.  Take advantage of that freedom and see why these blasphemous holistic-minded people think that disease is not a mystery instead of judging them for being in another paradigm.

"Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance."  Albert Einstein


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SAD or S.A.D.?

Recently I came across this acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  The National Institute of Health (NIH) has this to say about SAD; "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter."
At first glance, I recognized SAD right away.  I was flabbergasted that I was seeing an article outside of the raw community that was addressing SAD.  But alas, they were writing about a different SAD.  I let go of a sigh.
The SAD I know of stands for the Standard American Diet.  
It refers to the "quantities of refined grains and sugars and engineered, processed foods, [which] has also created a roller-coaster ride of cravings and energy swings..." p51 from Clean by Alejandro Junger, M.D.
I wonder how people who are eating primarily alkalizing foods including vegetable broths, sprouts, homemade vegetable soups, soaked nuts and seeds, salads, and green smoothies (I include some warm foods - the soups and broths because it is winter here now.  Normally, a 'purist' would not include any heated or cooked foods in their raw food diet.  I am not a purist.) do as far as the more well-known term for SAD.  Do they suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder?  I know very well how eating a more pure type of food balances hormones and menstrual cycles, reduces aggravation and mood swings drastically, increases tolerance levels dramatically, and induces an overall state of happiness and vitality.  I personally experienced this change when I gave up meat, dairy, breads/pasta, processed foods, and caffeine.  
Some people look at me flabbergasted and ask, "Then what do you eat if you don't eat that?!" as if the vegetable and fruit groups don't exist.  It gives me an indication of where their mind is at and where I should possibly start from when speaking about raw foodism. 
"As you increase the fresh, raw food in your diet, you will notice an increase in positive thinking" from Susan Schenck's book The Live Food Factor p8.
Quoted in Schenck's book p8, "If your blood stock is formed from eating the foods I teach, your brain will function in a manner that will surprise you. Your former life will take on the appearance of a dream, and for the first time in your existence, your consciousness awakens to a real self-consciousness ... Your mind, your thinking, your ideals, your aspirations and your philosophy change fundamentally" originally from the book Mucusless Diet Healing System by Prof. Arnold Ehret.  
"Mental health is tremendously enhanced.  Many raw fooders find that they become freed from former addictions" Schenck's book, p9.


Schenck speaks of Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute who 
"has seen mental problems like paranoia, depression, 
manic depression and schizophrenia disappear on raw foods..." 
and that "mental illness is exacerbated by hormonal
imbalances from eating meat pumped with hormones,
pesticides poisoning from commercial produce and
a high level of body acidity from eating animal and
processed foods.  Eating a raw, organic diet is directly linked
to the amelioration or elimination of these problems" p9.

"By detoxifying your physical body, you begin a process that will help you cleanse and transform your thoughts and emotions" p 240 of Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life by Cherie Calbom.


As stated in my recent article in Natural Awakenings, November 2011 issue, every single parent I know of, have heard of, been exposed to...every single one knows how food effects their children.  Children have not had the luxury of time, aging, a sense of disciplining their own thoughts and emotions.  They say and do what they are called and led to do without hesitation, reservation, or inhibition.  In general, children are drawn to fruit when younger and then as the teen years present themselves, the diet moves towards more and more processed foods.  Of all the times in a person's life to be eating processed foods, which act on their growth and literally everything in their lives, childhood and especially the teen years is NOT a good time!  Erratic emotions, mood swings, indecision, bucking authority - all worsen and can become explosive if eating processed foods.  
Just because we are adults and have 'socialized' and have jobs and ..... does not mean that we are invincible to the effects of processed foods.  Wouldn't that be a bit egotistical of us to think that way?  We grow up and all of a sudden we are impervious to the effects of food!  Perhaps we just haven't given this enough thought while we are racing from one soccer game to another basketball game and then home to make dinner and then up to do it all again tomorrow.  I know the rat race well and I know how there is little time for anything other than just the basics.  Please give my suggestion a chance.


Incorporate more living, raw foods into your daily diet. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you could alleviate some or all of your symptoms by giving up the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).





Saturday, October 29, 2011

Frequency of Food

Call it what you will...."Life Force Energy," "Frequency," Biophotons," "Hertz," "Chi".....

Our living food, and everything alive, vibrates.  It is made up of atoms and molecules.  Didn't we learn in science class, if we learned nothing else, that these microscopic things wiggle around and vibrate?

Science is only beginning to catch up to what we already know intuitively.  We ARE a coherent form, vibrating in our own personal way that is unique to each person.  For a visual on what I am talking about, please check out the famous Alex Grey paintings:
Alex Grey's Exceptional Artwork

A quick google search on "Life force energy in food" resulted in these websites about it:
Article on Lifeforce Energy in Food
Healing Thru Food
Lexi Yoga's thoughts
Susan's blog article on the subject

“People usually think of free will only in terms of what they choose to do rather than what they choose to think. Try applying free will first to the state of your mind, energizing only the highest-integrity thoughts. The nobility of your mind will power your greatest actions.”  Natalia Rose from her site:
Detox The World

So we really need to become more scientific-thinking if we really are to believe that everything is vibrating on this lovely planet.  There is gobs of science to back this up.  You read it; you do the research.  Does it resonate with you?  Take some time and sleep on it for a few days and weeks.  When you are in the car, contemplate these things.

I try to see through that new lens of thought when I come across new ideas to me.  It's like playing a game.  It's a way to "try-on" this new thought without having to "really" change anything.  In the end, I can always chose to continue to believe this new thought is bogus!

I ask myself, What would the world look like, perhaps, if I was to look at everything from this new perspective?  How would I perceive them, this situation, my relationships, if I were to believe that we are all vibratory beings each one having a unique signature?  How does this effect my other beliefs and thoughts about life?  Will I have to let go of some of those old beliefs and thoughts in order to incorporate this new one?  Am I willing to do this?  Are these new beliefs and thoughts empowering?  Good?  Right?  Coming to me from a place of quietude, wisdom, love?  If I embraced them, how would my life change?

Then, I go about feeling and acting from this new perspective for awhile, as best I can, in my daily life.  I see if it fits me.  I see what I like and don't like about it.  It's like being in the POWER OF NOW where I am living this fun game, yet the soul-me is there beside me observing the physical me all along.  If I am detached enough, I can gain much insight into the true nature of this new perspective and how it effects living.  I can gain real scientific observations....when I think this way, this happens, when I do this, this is effected.......
As you can see, it takes time to gather valuable information doing things this way.  You must live life this way. For some this is very hard to do.  Maybe I should back up and suggest reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.
Eckhart Tolle's website
Personally, I was doing this (ascertaining new thoughts and ideas by approaching them as if the wiser-me was playing this game of just the observer) to a certain degree throughout my life.  Finding it explained in Eckhart's book was wonderful, especially since the book came to me at a time when I was experiencing the worst heartbreak of my life, so far.  It helped me to laugh at myself and my feelings of deep loss a few times when the crying was uncontrollable.

So, if we are to believe that food has a frequency and we have a frequency....what then?  Then, perhaps, we start to question whether certain foods have a higher or lower frequency than others?  We ask, what is my frequency?  What is the Dalai Lama's frequency?  Can different frequencies interact with each other?  Does my frequency effect another's frequency?  THE QUESTIONS ARE ENDLESS!!!
the book Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration  by Penney Pierce is a great eye-opener for ya!

I understood LONG AGO that we will act, say things, do things, make laws, pursue certain things, wear certain clothes, behave in certain ways, etc.....
                     ........based on what we believe.

I realized this very acutely when I was getting my undergrad in Wildlife Biology.  The way science was being taught and performed is based on many beliefs that are just plain barbaric!!  I didn't want to be a part of a field that harmed animals and the earth and thought of them as separate...thought of them as "resources"....thought of them as things we could control and meddle with.... it was as if I was being exposed to a 5-year old doing something for the sake of doing something without knowing or caring about the consequences.  For example, to ascertain the most likely amount of white-footed mouse in a section of a local forest, we set up live traps.  In order to "tag" the little mice, we used dog nail-clippers to cut off hand and foot digits in a certain order that would coincide with a number that that mouse now had - as it screamed out in pain and bled.  That is the state of our science these days (in my opinion!).

If we do not continually learn what there is to know out there in the big, wide world and chose to stick to our completely outdated, limiting beliefs without self-education, then how...what.....who......when??????
You fill in the blanks.

Our current medical establishment is based on what most people believe about illness.  Our current structures of hierarchy are based on time spent in one position, not skill level to match the job, our current public school system is based on who knows what!  Every one of those institutions is out-dated and completely limiting.  All current decisions and actions are based on these old beliefs.

What do you think would happen if the current medical establishment embraced the idea that everything has a frequency?  Do you think some science might come about that would test whether, for example, we could aim some device that is set for a certain frequency at someone's cancer and see if it goes away?

It's been done.  It healed the cancer.  Search around for that on the internet and in health books.  Contemplate this in your spare time.

Soooo...this bring us back to food.  Eating higher vibratory foods will, in turn, raise your frequency and keep you vigorous.  "Exposing" ourselves to this food is like exposing ourselves to any beautiful imagery, sitting next to a waterfall, being in love....it is good for us in more ways than we could know.





Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is It Important To Be 100% Raw?

   
In my travels throughout the last two years interacting with so many, I've been sincerely humbled.  From the deepest part of myself, I truly wanted to help others feel the elation, the joy, the exuberant health I had when I was eating 99-100% raw.  I came armed with my own personal experience, my personal research into health and nutrition, and lots of scientific data to back it up.  I went out and spread the word about eating raw.  I passed around my green smoothies so those brave enough could get a taste of the delicious concoction. 
Then I started to get some feedback, some from the back door, about how the RAW DIET was not working for some people.  Well, I must say that at first this BAFFLED me since I had read and been exposed to so many people in the Raw Foodist movement who are convinced that everyone can eat raw and should.  According to some books, authors, and people in the movement, RAW should be the only diet on the planet. I was one of them for a time.  In some ways I still am, however, my perceptions and understanding about the raw lifestyle have changed a bit during the last couple years after having been exposed to people who tried the raw diet and it sent them into more health issues.  I have a few theories on this and I will expound on those soon.
Getting back to exploring if eating 100% raw is important or not.....
...this is a fuzzy subject....
I will say from my own personal experience that when I was eating 99-100% raw, I elevated my health to such a level I had NEVER experienced before, not even in my youth.  
After my last semester where I had to attend classes in NH (May 2010), I moved and have been unsettled since then.  Just recently I found my own apartment and moved in (October 2011). This has allowed me to unpack kitchen items, set up my own kitchen space, and prepare the foods I was eating initially when I started all this.  During the summer of 2010, I kept making the smoothies every single day and experienced great health, but nothing like it was when I was almost 100% raw.  During the fall, winter, and spring 2011 it was more difficult to maintain a high raw diet for me for various reasons.  It took me a very long time to completely give up on even 50% raw.  Of course, all the back pain, joint pain, fogginess, skin problems, thinning hair, breaking nails, monthly cramping and a slew of other maladies is ALL back in force.
I recently harvested the last of the produce out of the garden I built for my friends and we split the load.  So with all that produce I made some soup to freeze for blistering cold, winter days ahead.  I have decided that I am going to blend up and freeze some of the greens too - for use in the green smoothies later.  The garden produce is way above the quality of even organic produce.  It would be good to use later in my smoothies during a harsh winter.  

Here are some quotes from The Live Food Factor by Susan Schenck, 2008
"...unless one is eating 100% raw, as opposed to even 99%, one will be tempted to eat more and more cooked food." (p212 The Live Food Factor - TLFF)
Author Susan Schenck remarks about herself, "When I was eating only about 90-95% raw, I personally noticed just how addictive wheat and dairy are.  If I ate just a bit of either, I would crave it strongly the next day." (p185 TLFF)
One of Victoria Boutenko's friends who decided to eat 95% raw was still suffering with cravings eight years later whereas Victoria's family had cravings for cooked foods for only two months.
"A huge advantage of jumping into a 100% raw diet is that you will not battle temptations as much as a part-timer does." (p230 TLFF)

With all that said, Schenck offers suggestions for those who cannot bring themselves to dive in, even when well educated in the raw lifestyle.  There are many ways to transition into raw; replace one meal with a green smoothie, then replace two meals, one with a green smoothie and one with a large salad...
Or eat 1/2 of every meal raw to start out, then do one meal totally raw, then two, then three......
Or cut out sugars first, then breads and grains, then dairy, then meat....then all processed foods.......

Do not be fooled to think that your willpower will hold you to your convictions to eating a raw diet.  Eventually, willpower will wear thin.  Our society is not set up to support you in this endeavor.  A lot of people will think you are fanatical.  You may not have any support at all, like a lot of us.  What kept me motivated was thoughts of my own mortality - I was sick and I needed to heal or I was going to be in a lot of pain and eventually....??....have to have surgery to get my bladder removed??  For a free-spirited nomad like myself, thoughts of having to submit myself to the medical establishment rocketed me into the raw lifestyle.  

What is driving you to do this?  What is going to keep you motivated to remain raw?  What plans do you have in place for social situations?  Do you have any support?  What about at work? Your coworkers will make remarks!  

At my work, they actually make "yukky" faces and make noises "yek!"  They ask me "How can you drink that!?"  It's a form of harassment and I'm sure if I pursued it, I could get them to stop through the laws in place.  It's not so bad yet that I am willing to expend that much energy over it.  This has happened every place I take my green smoothies.  There have been a few places where people were familiar with the green smoothies and have told me they drink them too.  These times are when I know I am in the company of people who care about their health, have looked into it, and have decided to make some changes for the better.  About the others......they don't know what I know yet......if the information is forced upon them it is not worth it.  They have got to want the knowledge for it to be of any use.

I went raw overnight and had no second thoughts whatsoever.  I got rid of all processed foods in my cupboards and threw out all non-raw food in the fridge.  Then I was healed after three months.  What was keeping me on the diet after that?  I had done tons of research, I knew the facts, and I believed in this way of life wholeheartedly.  Then I started to yo-yo and eat more cooked foods the longer I was in an unsettled state of limbo in my life constantly moving from place to place.  

Now it seems another true test has come to pass - 
How to STAY high raw 
(which inevitably makes one PLAN PLAN PLAN!)

So I will say one thing more about being 100% raw; you will only see the kind of health benefits you've only dreamed of if you go 100% raw and the less raw you eat the less health benefits you will experience.

Now on to why some do not do well eating a more raw or a high raw diet.

One thing we all have to realize is that GREENS should not be in the same category as VEGETABLES!!!
Some of the vegetables are in the Brassicaceae Family of vegetables also called the Crucifereae or Cruciferous family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, collard greens, turnip roots and greens, arugula, radishes, daikon).  It means they are more tough, fibrous, and harder to break down.  For those who have little digestive issues in the stomach - normal levels of stomach acid and so forth - these veggies are easy to eat raw.  For those whose stomach acids are low, these veggies are very hard to digest causing stomach pains and/or gas production.
One thing we should watch out for when switching to a more raw diet is not doing enough research.  If you are "fearful" that you will not be getting enough protein and then start eating handfuls of nuts, you will probably get constipated and/or alter your normal digestive process resulting in indigestion.

And if you have not discerned greens from vegetables yet, it's time to do so.  Do not eat buckets of vegetables.  Eat buckets of greens instead.  Much easier to digest.  I get several servings of greens in my morning green smoothie.  Efficient.  Delicious.  Effective.
From Schenck's book, "Eating too many raw nuts or vegetables can result in indigestion." (p235 TLFF)

Also, from the "insights" tab on my youtube channel, I have noted that most of my audience ranges in age from  45-65 years old and most are women.  From this, I can gauge how long most of the audience has been eating the Standard American Diet or S.A.D. - 45 to 65 years.  I cannot gauge how many have been raised on and are eating a mostly raw diet.  I would assume not many since this movement is fairly new to me and has influenced only those in the health movement of the 60's and 70's time frame.
Upon reflection into the S.A.D. way of life, we only have a certain amount of time we can last on a diet like that before we "catch" a disease and pass on.  If one is in their 20's and eating S.A.D., their overall body is more apt to be able to handle a switch to an all raw diet quickly.  They will have high digestive enzymes and the degradation through eating S.A.D. for many years will not have taken it's toll yet.
If one is in their 30's, there may be some organ, system, or gland issues in the body.  IBS, gluten and lactose intolerances, Crohn's disease, adrenal weakness, liver weakness, menstrual issues, fatigue, hormone imbalances....the list goes on and on and on!  The raw diet may not be so easily tolerated and so a period of building up the organs, systems and glands would be wise.  Then embarking on a more raw diet could be more easily tolerated.  It just depends on the person and their personal level of health.  Each person and each situation is different.
As we move forward in age, 40's, 50's and 60's....digestive enzymes are half or less of what they were in the 20's and more time has elapsed in order for the S.A.D. to take it's toll on the body.  To jump into a raw lifestyle at this stage would probably not be wise, unless you are the hardy sort and have little symptoms of ill-health.  If you have diabetes or some other chronic and degenerative health issue, you must take care of that first by building up the thing that is breaking down.  You also must, and so must everyone, go through a period of "detox" from the S.A.D. where you unintentionally consumed pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, man-made chemicals, food colorants, and many forms of toxins.  The detox period allows these to reemerge from where they were stuffed in your cells, reenter your blood stream, and be released via defecation, urine, sweat, or breath.  

As you can see, the earlier one can decide to live a raw lifestyle, the better their chances are that they will not have to experience several weeks or years of building their ravaged bodies back up before embarking on this most exceptional path.  The older one gets the more the digestive process works less and less effectively, often holding years of backed up and undigested particles causing too many symptoms to list here.  The longer one waits, the more work is to be done - more research into symptoms and what particular organ, system, or gland is weakened or ill, then figuring out which alternative health approach would be best, spending the money to try that approach....use your imagination as to how long this will take.

All the while, any one of us could take up the practice of drinking/chewing/gulping the powerhouse of nutrition in the green smoothie.  We can transition smoothly if needed by taking this small step towards improving our health.  For those more hardy people and/or the younger ones, green smoothies are a good way to jump right in to the raw lifestyle.

My thoughts are this....a raw diet is for everyone.  Do you want to see GRAND results?  Or are you OK with feeling a bit better, having a little more energy?  How old are you and what have been your eating habits up until now?

We've got to start where we are!!!  If you do not know where you are, then how would a raw diet and lifestyle help you?   Are you trying to start juggling without ever having caught a ball? 

If your organs, systems, and glands are weak, then why are you going for the gusto of the raw diet and all the great things it promises?  

First you have got to heal the pancreas or the liver or the thyroid or the kidneys or the lymph or the....
Do you get my drift!  You have to spend the time to rebuild what is broken first.  Then build on that until systems are working properly again.  In order to do that, you must be able to listen INTENTLY to your body and what it's telling you.   That's a whole other topic!!!

Then I am sure that eating more raw will help those who say the raw diet is not for them.  They've tried it and it didn't work.  It made them more sick. 

My thoughts and intuition on this is "GOOD!  You tried the raw diet - the living food, with it's high vibration, it's cleansing power, it's easier digestibility, it's unprocessed nature, it's ability to make you look and feel 20 or more years younger....and it didn't work!  That tells you that you have a LOT of work to do to rebuild, heal, revitalize, and regain the health in your body....because something is wrong if you cannot digest a raw vegetable.  The raw food is real, living food.   We need to be able to digest this food in order to thrive in our lives.  Otherwise we are just getting by and "aging" according to how we are told it's all supposed to go."

I'm sorry if that makes some people upset.  I am just saying that if the raw diet isn't working for some, try to rebuild what's broken first.  Self-education is key!



Alkalizing Green Soup

Alkalizing Green Soup!
Ingredients:
Organic Potatoes (starchy veg retain the pesticides - BEST to buy these organic!!)
Few Tomatoes (from the garden!)
Celery (from garden)
Cilantro and Parsley, fresh
Onions (container on right - didn't grow very much!)
Leeks (from the garden)
Kale (from the garden)
5-7 Garlic Cloves, minced
Seasonings to taste - I used
       Old Bay
       Celtic Sea Salt
       Kelp Seasonings - dark like pepper but tastes like salt
       Crushed homemade green seasonings?? I forgot what was in there...dried green herbs....
 Put a lid on your pot and cook on medium for about 20-30 minutes.  I took out about 2 cups and placed that in the blender and blended.  It made the base a little thicker.
In the future I would use more root vegetables to make this again...carrots, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes.  For those that are into eating grains, adding quinoa, rice, or amaranth would bulk it up a bit and add more carbohydrates.  I find grains and beans hard to digest so seldom partake of them.
You can use all sorts of crackers, breads, or croutons to eat with this soup.
I "buttered" my bread with coconut oil instead of butter.  It was very good!  I haven't had bread in a while so I became very sleepy after eating it.  This is a common phenomenon for raw foodies who normally do not eat the heavier foods.  It puts us to sleep when we do eat it.
It's OK - I wasn't operating any heavy machinery - just my computer. Ha!



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rawligious Zeal

We've all been privy to the summer days when we're doing our own little thing, going about our own little business at home and we hear the door bell ring.  We answer the door with a smile but much to our chagrin, it's the young lads who want you to convert to their way of thinking about life and life ever-after.  They are willing to go to any length to debate and argue with you about their interpretation of their sacred text.  The ZEAL with which these young people move forward is astounding!!

Well, I've read in more than one place now and heard that this zeal of the newly converted is not relegated to only religion in this world!  Oh no!

I myself have been through the zeal and now after two years being in the raw world, I've seen others get the zeal after experiencing the transformations that can take place when eating a high raw diet.  And so it went for about a year after I "converted" to a raw diet in order to heal myself.  I went about telling everyone who would listen to me that raw is the way to go - RAW IS FOR EVERYONE!  RAW CAN HEAL THE PLANET!  Raw is this and raw is that and please try it...here, I'll make a smoothie and then you can try it!  I'll make some raw food I know you'll love!  Very few and I mean very few people even raised an eyebrow, let alone tried the food.  One of my dear friends who is very active in recreational sports took up the green smoothie but loaded it with a lot more fruit than I normally put in it.  I stayed with her for about a month and she drank the green-fruit smoothie daily.  I'm not sure if she continued it - I never asked.  My zeal has calmed a bit these days and I must say, it's a load off.  When the door is slammed in your face, so to speak, on more occasions than not, you learn to chose carefully what topics to bring up and what to leave alone.

I realized very fast that no amount of cajoling, talking, or smiling was going to impress people to look into this further.  Eating our Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is SO entirely ingrained in what we think and do, so outside the thoughts about true nourishment, that I finally realized that I was not going to get anywhere with someone who was not ALREADY looking into this way of eating/being.

I also realized that I was not dealing with FOOD when talking with people.  I was asking people to move beyond their very deeply ingrained beliefs about life and food and love and health!  I was asking for a miracle, really.

Because when we get to the topic of food, it's all about your beliefs and not at all about food.

"It's easier to change a man's [person's] religion than to change his [their] diet." Margaret Mead

I agree with Margaret Mead.  I've been studying the ideas that underpin the raw way of life for about two years now, and might I add with the same ZEAL as the newly converted!  Ha Ha!  I don't expect that zeal will ever change when it comes to learning and researching health and nutrition.  I just have to understand and realize that this is a huge bite to chew on.  Someone who is unaccustomed to thinking in different ways will have a very hard time listening to anything about the raw lifestyle.

These days I offer my services and try to educate the best I can.  The topic of eating raw DOES come up quite often, but only because eating food is a part of most everyone's life.  My grandfather advised me to just live how I want to live, eating what I want to eat and leave it at that.  The proof is in the "raw" pudding.  I've realized that no amount of my talking to anyone will allow them to FEEL the changes happening when they eat a high raw diet.  So I must be the example - yet that is a side priority.  The true priority is to be the best I can be, the healthiest me I can be.  To do that I have to wrestle with my own beliefs, heal my body, heal karma and the weak organs/systems I was born with genetically, find places to buy organic food, find places to get young coconuts that won't cost me my first born, and on and on....

As Dan the Man, Liferegenerator says, "If you're not getting your butt kicked on a daily basis, something is wrong!"  Unless we wrestle with our underlying beliefs about food, NOTHING will change on a more permanent basis.  Our willpower will only get us so far.  We must take the time to educate ourselves about WHY people eat raw, what the benefits are, and all the information to back up this way of being/thinking/doing.  And even then many people will stick to what they already know, what they grew up with.

It is very unfortunate that a lot of people come to the raw lifestyle because of a disease that they need to heal when conventional medicine has failed.  I already knew that the medical field had nothing to offer me in the way of healing.  After reading others' testimony about the lab tests, treatments, excruciating pain, mental and emotional trauma, surgeries, and many years of torment with enduring Interstitial Cystitis, I am deeply glad that I knew not to even try the medical route.  I did not suffer long....maybe 6-8 months before I found raw and became a newly converted.  THE RAW LIFESTYLE DID NOT JUST LAND IN MY LAP!  I was very committed to finding another way for healing so I was adamantly searching - I had the light-tower light on and it was pulsing with desire to find a way!!  And so I found it in the raw lifestyle.

The moral to this story is that each one of us must find it within ourselves to self-educate.  There is no other way to becoming a self-actualized person.  It's a difference of putting your health in the hands of another or empowering yourself to become responsible for your health.  If you are not responsible for your own health, what other things in your life are you not responsible for?  Isn't taking responsibility what it means to be an adult, to become freer, to live more alive, to heal, to thrive???

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New York FRUITARIAN FESTIVAL August 2011

So so much has transpired during the past two years of my life since I decided to heal myself naturally and nutritionally.  I fell behind with my youtube videos and stopped making them for almost a year.  I still feel called to keep reaching out to those who are seeking to forge a new path for themselves in their healing journey.

As some of you know from my facebook page, I turned 40 at the beginning of September.  This was a monumental occasion for me.  I watched my father die at 39 when I was 11.  A year later we were told that my mother had an inoperable cancer.  That took her life the next year, when she was 39.  I never saw them age so will always remember them young.  At 39, I must say that I felt so vibrant and able.  Now at 40, I feel like I need to reassess my life and take stock of what is.
A huge weight has been released off my shoulders and I feel like sighing all the time!

So for my birthday month, I did some special things for myself.  I had a local place make me an ice cream cake with a nature theme.  Don't worry, I just helped myself to one slice and shared the rest with a group of people I worked with.  The cake-maker surprised me - isn't this gorgeous!
Some friends took me out to eat as well.  I spent a bit more time in nature.  I booked a spa massage.

AND I decided to drive up to the FRUITARIAN FESTIVAL in upstate New York where the Liferegenerator was making an appearance as well.  I had heard about the festival but couldn't afford the whole week's stay.  But then the Liferegenerator said there was a day rate!  So I drove up and stayed one night. I attended all the talks I could, I went for a hike, and I sat next to a pond.  I ate the fruits and vegetables they served buffet style.  
If you are wondering what a Fruitarian is, it is someone who eats mainly fruits for nourishment.  Some items we think are vegetables are actually fruits, like the tomato. 
AND I met Dan the Man - Liferegenerator.  He was my initial inspiration to start the raw journey into healing and health.  Here's the video - I show up at 7:55
The people were and are absolutely amazing!  After Dan's talk on green juices and smoothies, I approached him and introduced myself as Sunny.  He drew a blank and asked what my youtube name was.  As soon as I said "Go4Discipline" he jumped up and hugged me!!  What wonderful, loving energy that dude has!
The day was filled with a kind of joy and love that I only experience in the smattering of classes/seminars/gatherings that I've attended over the years with others on the spiritual path.  People smiled and said hello, spontaneous hugs and laughter, campfires, dance parties (with no alcohol - only dancing for the sake of dancing - very innocent like), sharing....  it was truly fabulous.  I even saw and met a couple of the Raw Brahs.  I am SO glad I decided to go. 
I love the driving time alone with no music.  That part of New York State - near the Catskills is simply breathtaking.  I stopped at a farmer's stand on the way home and bought some fruit to eat.  Yummy! 
I also looked online for some places I could go in this area of the Poconos to meet other Raw Foodists and Fruitarians.  I came across a place called Arnold's Way.  I googled the name and found that he also has a youtube channel.  So I checked it out and low and behold - I recognized him .. Arnold.  He was at the festival!  So I planned a trip down to his store and to try to bump into him.  We had a very nice conversation and made a video too!  Oh, and I tried some of the "gourmet raw" delicacies there since I do not partake of much of that at home.
Arnold's Way - Health Food Store in PA

Well, I bought myself a t-shirt at the festival and met the person who most inspired me to eat raw and forge my own path to healing - Dan the Man Liferegenerator.
I'd say my 40th Birthday was the best I could have hoped for and more.  I have so much gratitude in my heart for all that came to pass.

The pH Scale - Alkaline and Acid

Here I was, going on and on about alkalinity and how it's so important to be alkaline in your diet.  I was rattling off the foods that are alkaline and how certain foods may taste acidic but are actually alkaline when processed in your body.  I was mentioning that most standard American diet foods are acid and that it's so hard to find foods when you are out and about that are alkaline, especially at restaurants.  On and on I went.
Then my friend asked me, "What does alkaline mean?"
Screeeecccchhhhhh!  Back up!



Let's start from the top!  The pH scale tests whether a chemical, a food, water, etc... is acid or alkaline.  There are many images online to show some products that are alkaline (basic) and those that are acid.  The scale is 0 to 14.  7 is in the middle or Neutral.  0-6 is Acid.  8-14 is Alkaline (Basic).
It can get very complex...all we really need to know are a few things in regards to health and the pH scale...

Disease will thrive in an acid body.  It won't in an alkaline (basic) body.
Our modern standard American diet is mostly acid.
Our modern American lives are fraught with disease and suffering.
There is a =connection= there!!!

Fortunately, all the information that we would ever need to make necessary changes in our diet and lifestyles to become more alkaline is at our fingertips.
There is a reason that the FDA recommends 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables every day!
I don't know of 1 person that actually tries to eat all of that!  Except myself that is - I drink those crazy-looking GREEN SMOOTHIES in which I get many servings of greens and at least 2 of fruit.  Then I eat other vegetables and fruit during the day.

What foods are alkaline? See picture below.....simple, huh?

image from Buzzle.com

OK so....knowing that our whole society is geared towards the standard American diet, that all restaurants (especially in this area of the Poconos) serve the standard fare - be it Irish, Italian, Polish, etc... or even worse the fast-food establishments' food.....that ALL socializing out and about inevitably leads at some point to going out to eat, meeting for a drink, a business meal....

HOW DO WE, WHO ARE TRYING TO BRING HEALTHIER AND MORE NUTRITIOUS FOOD INTO OUR LIVES, FIND WHAT WE NEED??

What if we are gluten-intolerant?  Lactose-intolerant? MSG-intolerant? GMO-intolerant? Non-local-intolerant?   We cannot keep going out and eating a salad made from cheap, pesticide-laden and nutritionally depleted ICEBURG LETTUCE costing us almost $10 dollars!!  This is just absurd!

Personally, I end up eating at home most of the time.  When I go out with others, no one I know is concerned with eating something that would be alkalizing to the body.  I almost always end up eating something that is acid-forming and sometimes it is the main portion of the meal.  I usually consider these times to be the "cheat" times.   I try to make going-out hinge around something other than food, but that is almost impossible to do sometimes!

It's good to allow the cheat days so you can still socialize with those who do not share your thoughts about these matters.  Several times I have offered to make a picnic and to meet at a local park instead of eating at a local restaurant which serves nothing I prefer to eat.  This has brought many good times and good memories into my life!
We really have to get creative when transitioning into a more alkaline lifestyle.  Our whole of society is not set up to support it.  We MUST forge ahead if we are to be free of the various kinds of dis-eases that affect us and the people around us.  Forge your own path to healing and health through dedication and discipline in eating an alkaline diet.

Here's an example of an alkaline meal:
A large salad made with romaine and spinach lettuces as the MAIN portion
a small piece of chicken

This meal is mostly alkaline and the greens will help in the heavier protein digestion.
As long as the meal is mostly alkaline, you can eat the things you are accustomed to eating.
When you strive to do this at EVERY meal - having the alkaline portion as the biggest portion, your body will be in a state of alkalinity and you will be able to ward off many bacteria, viruses, and other dis-eases.