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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reality and Recipes

So it's possible that things might finally be getting easier.  Not sure yet.  The first week home was a whirlwind, making up for being gone for 10 days.  Getting the house in order, getting supplies that I need to sustain my lifestyle, working through how I'm going to make this affordable...  What I have learned:
  • Costco has a great supply of organic produce IF you have room in your fridge...
  • Whole Foods has a weak supply of sprouts (at least here) so I will have to grow my own
  • Whole Foods also has wheatgrass that can last 2 people 5 days for $10.  Growing my own...
  • Whole Foods is too far from my house and Costco is further
  • As always, a great dressing makes or breaks a salad and there are tons of raw, yummy options
  • Almond milk may be cheaper from the store rather than making your own if you are willing to give up control.  Here's the how to make your own.  I add dates to the blender when blending the almonds instead of sweeten after.  You can buy a large bag of almonds at Costco and it might help make it cheaper to make your own.
The prep work is definitely time consuming and as with every new challenge I'm working on how to get everything done the most efficient way possible.  My tips so far:

Checklist at night:
  1. What seeds need to be soaked for the next day?  Get that going. 
  2. The energy soup (for me and Cliff) requires two runs of the blender so it's easiest to do that the night before.  
  3. Put the Omega juicer together the night before so it's ready for wheatgrass the next morning.  It's the only juicer that can do wheat grass along with everything else.  Anyone want a used Jack LaLanne juicer?
  4. Have the blender ready for the kids' smoothies.  It's the only chance I get to hide kale in their diet.  Lucky for me it works!
  5. Fill up my water bottle with filtered water and lemon slices to drink first thing.  Here's 10 Reasons you can benefit too.
Checklist in the morning:
  1. Drink my lemon water for all the reasons in #5 above.
  2. Workout (currently Piyo videos - great combo of Pilates and Yoga only fast and intense)
  3. Juice wheat grass into shots for me and Cliff.  Here's 50 reasons you can benefit too.
  4. Down my E3 live (uck) quickly then onto the energy soup which after the E3 tastes amazing!
The first part of the week is the hardest, getting all the meals ready so my advice is to keep it simple.  Here's a few easy combos:
  • Salad bowls.  Have these things on hand to be able to throw a salad together:  
    • mixed greens, spinach, baby kale
    • chopped veggies that keep in the fridge well (like carrots, celery, bell pepper in strips)
    • avocado
    • sprouted beans (see below for mung beans but the rest you can get at Whole Foods) check out the link for the benefits of sprouted beans - rich in iron, protein and other goodies
    • A good, raw dressing or if ultra short on time just thin out your favorite hummus with water and use that as a creamy dressing.
    • Veggie Kraut - here's more info on how to make this fermented food that is great for gut health.  I bought a kit similar to this one so I can make my own.  It lasts 6 months in the fridge.
  • Zucchini noodle dishes.  I posted this recipe for an alfredo sauce that we used the last time we went raw.  We also made this amazing spicy spaghetti sauce which is very similar to this recipe only we added a cup of soaked cashews to make it creamier.  If you have the sauce done ahead of time then when you get home just spiralize a zucchini and add the sauce and dinner is done!
  • Romaine leaves sandwiches - fill it with chopped veggies and hummus or nut cheeses.  My favorite nut cheese recipe comes from the cookbook This Cheese is Nuts by Julie Piatt.  Someone posted the recipe here and it works GREAT in a lettuce wrap with veggies and sprouts.  
  • Recipes from the online ebook on this website are also very good.  You can purchase and download.  This was the raw restaurant we went to in Atlanta that was so amazing!
  • Some of the days include 20% cooked vegan and we throw in some quinoa onto our salad or have a half of a japanese sweet potato for dessert.  After avoiding sugar for so long, I promise the sweet potato tastes like pound cake!
Sprouting and Growing
So far I have sprouted mung beans, wild rice and organic red hard wheat berries for wheat grass.  I'll have to take pictures and post in a separate blog for the how to.  I find that it's very hard to explain without pics.  The wild rice just needed to soak and split then it could be used on salads.  The mung beans just needed to sprout small tails and they were ready to eat.  The wheat berries have to be put on soil to grow the grass but I'm still researching the best method and will post when I know more.

For now, continue to follow the Journey to Incredible Health page for more pics and details and I'll be back with more info soon!  Thanks for checking in!
Wheat grass on top, left mung beans ready to eat, wild rice ready for salads

Wheat grass is growing!

Squeezing out the almond milk 

Zucchini noodles with spaghetti sauce topped with nutritional yeast - YUM

One of many colorful salads I get to eat these days.  That stuff on the carrots is the Almond cheddar cheese that is AMAZING!  Recipe above!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Final Analysis of Living Foods Institute and plans going forward

I didn’t post about the last two days of the trip to LivingFoods Institute mainly because I haven’t had time and I’m trying to listen to my body.  I find that I can tend to use this blog as validation that people like me (which when I say it out loud sounds crazy) but it can fill my need for acceptance.  We all have that need so I’m not apologizing for it, I’m just recognizing that my strategy for filling that need can get overwhelming if I don’t have time to post.  It’s not more important than my need for family time, rest or being present in the moment.  Yes, this is stuff I learned this week that I will share in another post.

How it feels
So how do I feel?  Off the charts amazing.  My energy level is at an all-time high.  My joint pain and aches are gone.  My back can still hurt if I’m on my feet all day but my shoulders and neck don’t tense up like they used to (took care of that with my holistic chiropractor).  I didn’t think I had a brain fog until it lifted.  One of the girls in class has leukemia.  This was her last ditch effort to heal herself before succumbing to chemo.  She mentioned on day 8 that the lymph nodes in her groin area were substantially smaller.  When she said that I remembered the lymph node that was bugging me for years on the side of my neck.  It wasn’t huge but it bugged me – it was gone!  I also lost 7 pounds and I’m never hangry.  When I get hungry I don’t feel faint or dizzy, just empty.  I eat slower and in turn I fill up on less.  We had to do that every day at LFI.  Sit in silence for the first 20 minutes of lunch.  Harder than it sounds!  At least at first.  Then lunch started to be a time to stop and relax.  I know, I sound so hippie J

Others in class had phenomenal stories.  They recorded the testimonies and as soon as I get the YouTube link I will share it.  Across the board, everyone was in less pain, sleeping better, better focused and more energy.  One 82 year old grandma was hobbling in on a cane and by the end of the second day she left it at the clinic by accident.  By the end of the week she was walking stairs without assistance.  Everyone’s tastes had changed and carrots were sweeter, their bodies craved energy soup and they were excited about their new lease on life.
What are we eating daily?  I know I have posted pics but I’m not sure I’ve been clear on what a day looks like. 
  1.  First thing, Wheat grass shot – an effective healer because it contains all minerals known to man, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, I and K.  It is extremely rich in protein and contains 17 amino acids, the building blocks of protein.  It also contains up to 70% chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder.
  2. I added in a shot of E3 Live Blue Green Algae (just a TB) which contains high concentrations of protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, boosts and balances immune system and fights inflammation.
  3. Energy soup for breakfast and throughout the day whenever I’m hungry.  It’s a blend of 5 c water, ½ green apple, handful of sprouts, ½ avocado, 1 TB dulse flakes and as many greens as can fit in the blender (4 cups at least).  If you are trying to make your own ask me about the sprouts first.  It all depends on what is in your stores.  The first 2 days are the hardest. 
  4.  Lunch and dinner is something raw with living foods (sprouts) added.  Yesterday I made the spicy kale salad I posted a few days ago and dinner was salad with zucchini noodles and spicy spaghetti sauce.  Cliff was pleasantly surprised at how good everything was.
  5.  I’m avoiding all sugar including honey, agave, etc.  I’m trying to lower the candida so no sweet fruits which limit me to green apples and berries.  After the first two days my body calmed down on the sweet fruits.  Now the ones I can eat are plenty sweet. 
  6. What about grains?  There are some grains you can eat raw like oats (soaked in nut milk – which I learned how to make!) and wild rice which you can soak overnight and eat.  I’m sure there are others I’ll discover.
How long do I have to do this?  Rule of thumb:
  • If you are healing from a major disease – minimum of 6 months (I’m not in this category)
  •  If you are doing it for better health – 90 days
  • After 90 days you go 80/20 – 80% raw/living and 20% cooked vegan which essentially is the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle.  What’s the deal with cooked?  Depending on how you cook the food you can cook out all the good nutrients. 
  •  Bear in mind there is more to healing than the food – there is the importance of a clean, healthy colon which needs to be addressed especially if you are fighting any disease.  Grab Brenda Cobb’s book The Living FoodsLifestyle for more details on her protocol.  There’s also the emotional work that may need to be done if you have layers of baggage.  There’s spiritual work that may need to be done if you do not have an experience with God.  Connecting with your community is a huge benefit.  All of this works together to bring about healing and what I call incredible health. 
So what happens when you get home?  What does the day to day look like?  I wanted to wait to write this until a few days after returning home so I could be realistic.  As most of you know, we went raw in April of 2016 for 21 days because I blogged about it.  The juicing and smoothies were incredibly time consuming.  This go around we are not juicing.  The “energy soup” is essentially a smoothie and what we make lasts all day.  The only prep work is the two other raw meals.  Because I came home on a Sunday night, breezed through Whole Foods, came home unpacked and cleaned up – this is not your typical week.  We are also heading to Huntsville as I write for an all-day field trip.  Luckily I made salads yesterday that we could take and I’ve packed fruits and cut veggies.  I’m sure we will grab a salad on the way home.  Doable.  A little time consuming yesterday but typically I would have more time to prepare for the week.  I’ll be posting how to manage it all as I go forward.  I may do some challenges on my facebook page so keep watch for that if you want to try this for yourself. 
I’ll continue to post about our progress.  Cliff is going to be joining me at his convenience.  One of the things I learned was “I release everyone else to their own journey” which surprisingly gives me much relief.  I can't change anybody.  Who knew?  So my brothers can find comfort in knowing I’m not coming after you!  Not yet anyway!

 This pic was significant because the first day I could barely choke down a mug of energy soup by lunch.  Here I'm downing a quart before 9 while juicing wheat grass for the class.  I got this!
 Pretty medicine from planet Earth!
 Vege Kraut.  Yea it takes a special love but it's doable.
 Sweet Julie who helped me in so many ways!
 The many beautiful people I met in this leg of my journey . Holds a special place in my ❤

And I can't forget Lacey!  She was my walking companion each night .I rented a room from her owner and she expected me to grab the leash as soon as I got home!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reflexology and Cleaning products

So far this week I have had really good energy but this afternoon I hit a wall (no, Noah not literally).  So much information, detoxing the body, emotional baggage being unpacked..often.  It's an amazing experience and I appreciate everyone who is keeping my life at home together while I'm here.  Especially my husband.  My best friend, love of my life, leader of our family and wonderful father of my children.  I couldn't do this without his love and support. 

SO what all have I learned the last two days?  The more I learn about the human body the more amazed I am at God's creation.  I knew the bottom of feet had points that meant stuff but I had never had a reflexology treatment before so I had not seen it firsthand.  If you are not familiar with it, click on this link for more info.  Basically points on your feet are connected to every organ in your body.  A reflexology therapist can push on these points and determine if any of your organs could use some attention.  Certain areas of the foot can be pressed on to relieve sinuses, headaches, back and neck pain.  Super cool stuff.  If you have never had it done, highly recommend it!

Low down on cleaning products and recipes.  I hope I wrote them all down correctly:

Cleaning products - start making your own.  You are making your house sick with chemicals.  Ban all of these things: 

  • Bleach
  • All cleaning products that are not 7th Generation or Ecos
  • Candles that are not beeswax  (no perfume candles)
  • Spray air fresheners except Air Sense like this one
  • NO hand sanitizer ever again
  • Soaps or shampoos containing sodium chloride or sodium sulfate.
  • Deodorant with aluminum
  • Microwave - it's polluting your house with radiation...

7th Generation or Ecos is the best for cleaning products if you still want to buy them or you can make your own to save money.  I know there are many recipes out there that may be just as good.  This is just what we learned today 😃

Make your own lemon oil water (this is used in various recipes) - take a large mason jar and fill with filtered water and organic lemon rinds (after making your own lemon juice for recipes).  Let it sit (no lid) for 15 days.  Then take out the rinds and you have lemon vinegar.

All purpose cleaner = 1 part water + 1 part lemon vinegar + 2 TB 7th Gen dish soap in a spray bottle.  Use on anything but windows.
Window cleaner = 1/2 water + 1/2 distilled vinegar
Hand sanitizer = in small spray bottle use filtered water and 5 drops of Bug Free or Purify  essential oil blends (see links to order ingredients)  Just spray your hands and let dry.  Your bug free spray can act as a bug repellent for outside or inside your home.  You can use the oil to repel mosquito for you and your family.  Oil can be applied to the back of your dog's neck to repel bugs.  Not good for cats.
Toilet cleaning = splash of vinegar to the toilet + 1 TB baking soda and scrub
Carpet and upholstery cleaning = sprinkle borax and baking soda and leave for at least 20 minutes then vacuum.  Apply directly to stains and leave overnight then vacuum.  Safe if pets walk around on it. 
Refresh for mattress (also kills bed bugs) = sprinkle borax and baking soda and leave for at least 20 minutes then vacuum.
Laundry detergent = 1 c baking soda dissolved  in a little warm water and add to 1 gallon water + 1 c vinegar + 1 c. liquid soap (7th gen/Ecos).  Use the same cup from your old detergent and measure same amounts for loads

Shampoo and hand soap = 1/2 liquid Dr Bronners castile soap + 1/2 water
Deodorant = in small container mix 1/2 baking soda + 1/2 coconut oil (solid) and mix.  Apply to armpits and wipe off with wash cloth or paper towel.  Soft and Dry makes an aluminum free deodorant as well.

Veggie and Fruit wash - before you store in the fridge wash your fruit and veggies.  Fill a large pot of water and add 1c vinegar.  Dip the produce and dry.  There may be a different process for herbs.  You might have to dry completely then put in a cup of water like you would fresh cut flowers and set in fridge.

Random tip - open windows for 30 minutes a day to air it out.

I'm also learning about resolving conflict which is new for me.  I enjoy avoiding conflict at all costs.  Very cool insight...  I'll be sharing that another day.  Thank you all for checking in.  I hope I was able to help you keep your home and family safer.  I am sooo looking forward to making my own stuff when I get home..😑

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Day 5 - A day of Great Change

This has been the day of great change.  Remember the Dr Kathryn Lawson that I mentioned yesterday with the cell phone test?  The holistic chiropractor?  Well she also uses this Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique known as B.E.S.T.  See the link for a complete description.  She took some emotions and had me think of what they brought to my mind then helped me release it.  She then replaced it with a positive emotion.  It was incredible!  I felt weights lifted and my mood was so much lighter for the rest of the day.  If you are local to Atlanta, I HIGHLY recommend her!

What about my back pain?
So typically I wake up with a pain level of 7, everything is stiff in my back, neck and shoulders.  It has been this way for so long that I thought it was normal.  Cliff says it is not.  😮😲  So I do some stretches before my feet hit the floor then after a shower everything loosens up to a 4 and I'm around a 3-4 throughout the day and if I don't wear my tennis shoes with the wiivv insoles my back hurts much by nighttime.  Well she used something called the Morten Method (sorry I can't find any information to link to) where she pressed on tender spots in my shoulders and lower back or hips and had me do this breathing technique that essentially "unwound" my muscles and released all the tightness.  It was amazing.  I went to a pain level 0 by the time I left there.  I haven't been there in so long.  She cleared the energy field where I was holding the belief that I had to be tight and tensed up to be productive.  Yes that's really how I felt.  If I'm in relaxed mode I get nothing done.  I'm either lazy or a speedy Gonzales on a mission.  So now that this has been released I have to find a different strategy 😃  If it means less pain, I can do that.  If you are of the opinion this all sounds a little crazy, believe me I get it.  I have found that opening my mind to the possibility that I'm not smarter than God and if there are things in life that sound weird it doesn't mean they are wrong.  Opening my mind...

Then she gave me the not so happy news.  She did the food sensitivity test and found that at this time my body is not supporting the following:  soy, gluten, sugar (including honey and fruit sugar) but it is supporting oats, white rice, millet, eggplant, tomatoes and peppers.  It means there could either be an allergy or just a sensitivity to it at this time.  It can change in a few months.  Right now the candida is flaring up and needs to be detoxed so my body is not supporting any sugars.  That means no sugar or super sweet fruits for a little bit.  😥

My Healthscope scan came back as well and the top of the list that my body needs support in is stress.  Well, who didn't know that.  This course has lowered my stress significantly.  I'm not just talking about being away from my at home responsibilities.  I'm also talking about the foods I'm eating that are not stressing out my body.  I'm eating slower and chewing more.  That alone puts me more into a low stress mode when I'm eating which helps with digestion.  I'm also surrounded by positive messages and people who are all learning how to be positive.  There's a kinship I feel with my group and a oneness.  Everyone feels it.  Community is something we crave as humans.  Do not neglect "your people" whoever they are, wherever they are.  Your health depends on your connection with them.  Don't let the Devil make you feel alone in such a way that you can't be with the people you love.  My dear friend Risha posted this on facebook and it seemed fitting for this topic:
Alone. That’s how Satan wants us. 
Alone with our own tangled thoughts. Alone with his whispered lies that start to sound more and more like truths. Separated from the very people who could speak courage into our deep places flirting with discouragement and defeat. Separated from friends who could let us stand on their faith when our own gets a little shaky.
The enemy knows if he can isolate us, he can intimidate us. Confuse us. Deceive us. And ultimately, make us believe that the safer paths in life are ones apart from God and our friends who serve God. 
Sweet friend, if you have felt isolated recently, I want to encourage you to reach out to that friend who leads you back to God time and time again. If you are longing for a friend like that today, turn toward Jesus. Ask Him to send a godly friend your way.
Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.  Connect with those around you and be a positive light that shines.  The world is full of negative but with God's light shining in our heart we can be a light to others.  I'll leave you with those happy thoughts tonight because tomorrow we talk about toxins in our homes... 😁🙈🙉🙊

A few pics from today:
This lunch was over the top!  Spring mix, vegetable salad mix on top, vege kraut, spices, homemade raw crackers from chia seeds and peppers and this unreal homemade guac!  We were all in bliss!!

Here we made our own nut butter!  Almond and cashews soaked overnight then put through the Omega juicer.  Added coconut oil and voila!  It was delish with green apple 😍

Monday, April 9, 2018

Day 4 - Toxins, exhausting toxins

Day 4 is coming to a close.  It was an overload of information and exposure to stuff that just blew my little mind!  I almost waited too late to write this.  Let's see if any of this makes sense.

So toxins... here goes:
1.  BPA - Do not buy bottles of water from the store - you don't know how long they have been in hot spaces leaching out the BPA into the water.  What is BPA?  Click on this link.
2.  BPS - You can't always trust BPA free stuff because it likely has BPS which is just as harmful.  Click on this link for more info.

What to do?  To be safe use glass containers to store and reheat food (of course I'm going to find out the microwave is bad too but that's another post).  Use glass water bottles for your water and filter your water to drink.  To make it alkaline, add a lemon wedge.  Otherwise it's acidic.  I'm sure I'll learn more on that this week.

More about toxins from the dentist:
1.  Mercury.  If your filling in your tooth is a silver color, it's made of mercury.  Therefore every time you eat food or grind your teeth you are leaching mercury into your body.  Uncool!  You can go to the website for IOAMT (The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) to learn more and find a Dentist in your area who is mercury-free.  There are 3 in Alabama and they are 2.5 hours from me.  Excellent.  If you have fillings with mercury and wish to change that you can have them removed and a different filling put in it's place that does not harm your body.  There are questions on the site that you can ask your dentist to make sure they can remove them safely.  Then after the last one is replaced there's a detox protocol that you follow for 6 months to a year afterwards.  It's aggravating that we are removing mercury from products and advising against some fish that are high in mercury yet we are still given fillings with mercury.  The dentists have to be convinced it's a problem and they don't.  You have to make the decision for yourself.  The idea of leaching mercury into my mouth does not appeal to me.  Guess I'll be taking some road trips...
2.  Fluoride - this one is of great confusion to me.  I've been told my teeth look great because I grew up in a city with fluoride in the water.  Then we are told to not give kids toothpaste with fluoride in case they swallow it but OH please give your kids fluoride water or tablets.  Exhausting.  Since I'm no dentist, I'm going to point you to the ones that know stuff...  Here's the link.  Again you can make the decision for yourself.  There are options for fluoride free products.  I have started using Tom's toothpaste which is fluoride free.  Found at most grocery stores.  Or I can make my own.  That's for another blog, and probably another level of hippiness.

And if that wasn't exhausting enough then we learn about EMF - your Electro Magnetic Field that is affected by only ALL OF OUR ELECTRONICS!!  We have all heard rumors that cell phones and such were harming us but who has time to do the research?  Now you don't have to.  I saw it for myself.  A holistic chiropractor named Kathryn Lawson proved with several students the affect the cell phone had on our bodies if it did not have an EMF shield protecting you.  She measured the strength and weakness of their arm raised in front of them.  If she could press down and move their arm it was a sign of weakness.  If she couldn't move it, it was a sign of strength.  If the arm was strong she would hand them the cell phone.  What happened?  The arm went weak.  She would apply the shield to the phone and the arm was strong again.  Some people complain of numbness in the arm they are holding their phone.  What to do?  Get a shield.  Not that expensive and then we don't have to worry about it anymore!

That would be nice because all this worrying is exhausting!  That's only about half of what I learned today.  I had a Mindful session with one of the instructors and it was eye opening.  I'm excited for the ways I will be able to lessen my load and make my life and my family life better.

We did have delicious food today and the energy soup has now grown on me.  I went in early so I could make the wheat grass shots and drink the soup.  I was on a mission to get something in my body.

This is the only pic I have for today.  It was our DELICIOUS lunch!  It was mixed greens, marinated veggie salad, another salad blend of tomato, cucumber, green onion and kale, THEN on top of that was carrots, sprouts and this amazing avocado dressing.  I have learned that putting spices on top of my salad is wonderful - try cumin, nutritional yeast, curry?  Whatever you like.  Then for dinner I found a raw restaurant that made this amazing kale salad where they only mixed in a bunch of spices and sun dried tomatoes then topped with avocado and tomatoes.  They stuff this in a wrap but I just ate it as a salad.  I was too excited to eat it and forgot to take a pic!  If you are ever in Atlanta you can check it out:  Tessilini's   Turns out there's a recipe online too!  My gift to you!  See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Day 3 - better attitude, better results

I decided to take the positive road today.  I changed my mind.  Instead of "ugh" I said "thank you God for healing foods, thank you for the opportunity I have to learn more about the medicine you created naturally for us".  I started the minute I woke up.  Before downing the first wheat grass shot I thanked God for it's healing effects.  I looked at the Energy soup in my mug and thanked God for the rich nutrition we can get from the ground and heal our bodies.  My taste changed because my mindset was different.  Have you ever offered someone something you like but they weren't sure they would like it?  They have a scowl on their face and turn up their nose WHILE they are putting it in their mouth?  99% sure they didn't like it.  They made sure of that in their mind before it ever hit their tongue.  I know because I've done it myself!  If I approach it with a different mindset I might not completely like it but I can appreciate it.  Mind over body.

Part of what we learned today was Mindful Communications.  Changing the language we use.  Getting comfortable with our feelings/emotions.  I have a private session with Julie tomorrow so I'll likely have more tomorrow night but here's the gist:

1.  Make peace with the feeling.  Understand that emotions or feelings are messages from the body telling you what it needs.  If it's sadness be ok with the fact that you are sad.  That's a BIG one for me.  I don't like to be sad.  I will push stuff away that make me sad and move on.  I see that if I were to be comfortable with it, view it like the video I shared yesterday of the emotions driving around in the car and just be present with them, I won't be afraid to tend to it.  I always feel like I need to fix people.  My goal is to bring everyone to a level of happiness no matter what they are going through.  That's wrong of me.  Sometimes the person needs to feel sad, angry, depressed.  Their body is conveying a need.  Instead (after I figure it out) I can help them see the need so they can address it.

2.  Find the need behind the feeling.  For example, why are you feeling sad?  You need connection with others, you miss something that has been precious to you or maybe you don't know yet and you need to be present with the feeling for a while until you figure it out.

3.  Find a strategy or a request to someone to help you fill the need.  Same example, you need connection with others - call someone on the phone, ask a friend over for ..coff..(energy soup?), skype some family.  You miss something that has been precious to you - pray for God to help you let them go so you can find a new normal or find peace around the loss.  In asking for help though, you can not make demands.  No more making demands.  You do not want the other person to say yes if they don't really want to.  They have needs too and they are not responsible for filling your needs as you are not responsible for filling theirs.  Not in a selfish way, just in a protective way.  If someone needs something from you and you do not have a way to fill their need at the time, tell them you recognize and value their needs and either direct them to someone else who can fill it or make a time for them that allows you to protect your needs.

So much good stuff on this today.  There will be another day later in the week where we cover this so I will have more to share.

I kept a positive attitude and was positively happy to get home to my granny smith apples and berries.  Blueberries and carrots never tasted so sweet!  There's an older lady who came in on a cane the first day.  By the end of day 2 it was in the corner and she no longer needed it.  The cough I have had for months due to sinus drainage is almost completely gone.  That means I have the cure to Dad's cough which EVERYONE knows has plagued him for the good part of his life.  He will be so excited!!!  😀

Here are some photos from today:

Yes that's a hairnet.  I feel like the lunch lady.  Juicing wheat grass so I can have breakfast!

Wheat grass shots ready for the class!

Learned how to grow our own wheat grass!

The excitement is written all over our faces!  The foam from juicing wheat grass makes a wonderful healing mask.  These are sisters who traveled in from Canada.  Norma on my left said "wheat grass grows on you" 😃

The ingredients to the DELISH salad we had for lunch.  Finally some garlic!!!  I'm an Arceneaux ya know...

Maria teaching us how to sprout our own beans and peas.  Much easier than expected!

Yesterday's lesson on making our own vege kraut.  (Fermented cabbage)  MUCH better than expected!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Day 2 Detox - the struggle is REAL

The struggle is real today, folks.  The day started out good - down 3 pounds - I'm good with that, a bit unexpected.  I slept a solid 8 and although I was hungry a couple hours after waking (normal) I wasn't hangry, important distinction.  Got to the clinic and was too hungry to wait on the wheatgrass shot to be prepared so I poured some delish energy soup.  Only I really didn't want it.  Felt a little nauseous thinking about it.  But I powered through.  I didn't say positive things to myself about it so the struggle continued through lunch.  Same salad for lunch, more energy soup, lots of water.  A few students said it gets better and you are "hooked" by day 4.  Ok.  One more day.  When the class was over I could not get home fast enough to eat my strawberries and green apple.  Ahhh finally food I really like!  Which is funny because I have never bought a granny smith apple on purpose unless it was for a recipe (likely apple pie - vegan, of course!)   Honestly I think it's the sprouts I'm having the hardest time with.  There's a taste to them I don't like.  Luckily I have done a cleanse before and I know your tastes change.  I braved Cracker Barrel and met my good friends Bob and Leigh Blakely.  We used to work together in Raleigh.  Jane said I could get the salad and drizzle a little olive oil and lemon juice for dressing.  I did just that and it was the best salad I've ever had.  See?  Tastes are changing already!

Now enough of my whining.  What am I actually learning?

There are 5 reasons we get sick therefore 5 areas of focus for healing (in order of importance):

1.  How you think.  The NUMBER ONE thing is NOT food?!  The way you think means more than the food?!  That means you can eat all the superfoods and drink all the potions and STILL not get better if you do not change how you think.  If you continue with negative self talk and continue saying words that don't serve your healing it will have a powerful affect.  The way we think can be changed.  I talked about it a little yesterday.  God wants us to think on the good things and when we get His spirit in our heart guiding us we can see that more clearly and it's what feels right to us. One book that was recommended which I have started but not finished is "Every Word has Power".  Worth checking out.  The part I have read so far is helpful.

2.  Emotional health and belief
What do you believe is going to happen when you do all these things that are supposed to heal you?  Do you believe it will heal you?  If you are doubting and fearful (fear and faith can't reside together) then it will hinder your healing.  Henry Ford said it best:  "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right".  I have seen that happen in my own life.  What you believe is powerful.  What about our emotions?  We get them every day, all day.  Sometimes they are overwhelming and wreck our day.  I like a video from the Headspace app that describes how to change perspective on our emotions.  Learn how to watch them without letting them take over.  View them rather than be them.  Here's the link to the video.  Our emotions are also tied to the story we tell ourselves.  A great podcast on this is by Rich Roll with Dr Susan David on Emotional Agility.  The story we tell ourselves can be based on beliefs we adopt as early as childhood.  For example, you can feel like you are unlovable because you father left your family when you were a child and you never saw him again.  That story bleeds into your adult life and you will sabotage all relationships because your subconscious is constantly seeking to confirm your belief.  Until you change the story - first realize what the story is, challenge it head on and deal with it - your life will have a predicted path.  I believe the love of God can come in and heal the wounded soul and can perform miracles in your heart and mind but the Devil will want to pull up old stories.  Those have to be challenged and dealt with.

3.  Stress and stress management
Did you know YOU stress your own self out?  Others can't do that.  They can apply stress to a situation but you choose how you respond.  You determine the outcome.  Take, for instance, road rage.  First of all, the other person can't hear you when you are yelling at them.  That's just toxic words for your vehicle, not theirs.  Showing mercy and forgiveness to the other driver will make you feel better and diffuse stress in you immediately.  What about when I get overwhelmed?  That seems to happen quite a bit.  I believe the root cause is my need to control everything.  I moved out on my own at 17.  I was always independent and wanted to take care of my own stuff.  Three younger brothers will make you feel that way.  It's just that now my "stuff" has expanded and it's too much.  I choose what else I take on.  I'll be working on that.  Enlightening though.

4.  Deficiencies and Toxicities
The list is long:  mold, metals, additives, chemicals, preservatives, fungus, yeast, inflammation, vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  All of these affect the health and well being of your body.  I will be learning more about this tomorrow, I think.  Detoxing the body is important from time to time.

5.  Nutrition
Finally!  Something I know something about!  Last on the list???  REALLY?  Really.  But it's still on the list.  It's still important.  Not just what we eat when we are healing but what we do NOT eat anymore.  The World Health Organization classifies processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen.  That's up there with asbestos and tobacco.  Here's their Q&A for more details.  Here's a couple of videos on animal protein with cancer and cow's milk with osteoporosis.  We are just getting started...

We will be digging into each of these throughout the week so check back.  I will be "hooked" on energy soup by then and you will all be ready to join me!  😋😁

Friday, April 6, 2018

Detoxing the mind and body

Do you think there is more to health than the foods you put in your body?  What about the thoughts you put in your mind?  What about the books you read, the shows you watch?  Do you think they affect your thoughts?  What about the people you talk to, do they affect your thinking?  Yes, Yes and YES!

Phil 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I also understand that there are times when I have feelings or emotions that I don't like and I try to bury them so I don't have to feel them.  I will get upset at someone and take it on as my problem that I have to suppress and will work to push it aside only to find it doesn't go anywhere it just festers.  I will get sad about something but I don't like being sad.  I need to be happy so I push it aside and "get over it" or "let it go".  These are bad emotions - I shouldn't be feeling them.  But that is not true.  This is life and these emotions tell me something about me.  The fact that I get upset if someone wrongs me means I value fairness.  If I get sad about the loss of someone it means I place value on my friendships.  If I get frustrated and angry about losing a friend to cancer it means I place value, and harbor great passion, for helping people fight back.  Before I even went to class this morning I held the belief that if you give the body what it needs it will heal itself.  I've seen too much to believe otherwise.

One story that I love to hear is from Brenda Cobb who founded the Living Foods Institute.  She is almost always on the road, traveling around, speaking at various venues but today she showed up to tell her story.  It is so powerful  She goes in much detail in her book The Living Foods Lifestyle but a quick synopsis is this:  In 1999 she found out she had both breast and cervical cancer.  Her doctor immediately wanted to do a mastectomy and  hysterectomy along with chemo and radiation.  She had seen her mom and several aunts go through this same diagnosis with the same treatment and none of them made it.  Not to mention it was a slow, painful process.  She refused to go down that road.  The doctor then went on to tell her she had no choice and where did she think she was going to get a better answer?  She said God would show her what to do.  His response?  "If you think God can do something for you other than what I suggest, you are sadly mistaken.  You will be dead in 6 months."  She left the office promising to come back at that time.  She prayed and God lead her to the healing books by Ann Wigmore.  She read every book she could get her hands on and followed all instructions.  Six months later not only were the tumors gone she had lost 75 pounds and a list of about 15 other positive outcomes.  Her belief was so strong that this would heal her and she attributes that belief to be key in her healing.  Can faith or fear really be that powerful?  Can it determine when a person leaves this earth?  If she had not believed would she still be here to tell her story?  There were many miracles Jesus didn't perform because of unbelief.

If faith and fear can not reside together then what about when I believe God will help me get through something but I still have fear and doubt?  Can you ride the fence or is it black and white?  I'll leave you with that for now.

Detoxing the body is also taking place.  There will be 3 days of cleansing detox before we move onto more gourmet foods.  Just typing that makes me hungry!  So the first thing we got to drink was Energy Soup.  It's a mixture of alkaline water, spinach, apple, a variety of sprouts, avocado and dulse flakes.  I made this at home last week and almost threw up.  Granted the sprouts I bought were from Whole Foods and it was a mix blend.  Come to find out the ones I chose were very potent.  I couldn't get past the aftertaste of the sprouts.  After calling Jane and pathetically whimpering that I could not go on she suggested I try pineapple instead.  I did that only I put in too much water so instead of 28 ounces I now had to drink 48... but the taste was more bearable.  Fast forward to today - I started out downing water with every sip of soup even though their version was better than mine.  By the end of the day it really wasn't that bad.  I expect by the end of the week I will be craving it.

We also had salad for lunch with mixed greens, more sprouts (see the trend?) and vegekraut.  I should have more on that by tomorrow as we will be making our own.  I also get a daily shot of wheatgrass.  I have had my fair share of wheatgrass shots and I have to admit that their version is MUCH more bearable.  We were able to bring home energy soup if we wanted but I was REALLY craving some fruit.  Since it's detox stage and we have to keep the sugar level low I get to eat granny smith apples, strawberries and blueberries.  So as soon as I left I headed to Whole Foods and stocked up.  I've had a headache since this afternoon that I know is from the detox.  I'm supposed to do an enema to help with that but I'm just not there yet.  Oh yea, you will talk about all manner of feces while here.  A healthy colon is critical to good health.  Maybe by the end of the week I can talk about it on this blog without blushing...  More to come tomorrow!!  Thanks for tuning in!

Me, Brenda Cobb and Jane Holmes

Lunch is served!  

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Road to Vulnerability

So I have promised to be more honest and open.. now time to fess up.

For the next 10 days I will be taking the course at the Living Foods Institute called the 10 day Healthy Lifestyle.  My good friend, Jane Holmes is the director and has been gently nudging me, since we did the 21 day Raw challenge a few years back, to come take classes with her.  The idea that I could leave my life and my kids for 10 days was insane to me.  Seriously?  Their world would fall apart!  My house would come down around them!  How can I possibly train others to be ME while I'm out for 10 sleeps??  Now that Janet has her own job I can't fall back on my "twin mom" to do all my stuff.  But finally I opened my mind to the possibility that I could make it work.  I asked around and by the grace of God and the amazing generosity of my husband, my parents, Janet and even my in-laws - I planned out the next 10 days.  Now granted EVERYONE has a checklist!  This little control freak of a planner made sure everyone knew exactly what to do every day!  Even Noah has a checklist for his school work while I'm out with an encouraging note at the top:  "worth $5 when completed".  Poor kid still thinks $5 is a ton of money 😄 

Now why am I going?  Well the curiosity is getting the best of me.  Anyone who is sick and asks for my advice - I send them to Living Foods.  I have read the stories of people curing disease after disease including stage 4 cancer and I just have to see for myself what it's all about.  No, I do not have cancer but I have lost way too many loved ones to this disease.  I have other ways I want to heal:  the aches and pains I feel when I wake up, the allergies that keep me indoors in the beautiful spring weather, the constant sinus drainage, the cravings for foods that are not serving me, to name a few.  I know they pale in comparison to major disease but part of the mission on the farm is to provide some version of this training and healing for those who do not want to go the pharmaceutical route for their disease.  Eventually I want to complete the 30 day educator course and see where it takes me. 

This leads me to more emotional baggage that I'm willing to unpack in front of whomever is reading this blog:

I'm realizing my struggle with weight is linked heavily to my fear of failure or maybe it's the fear of success.  I'm sure I will get more insight into this this week in my various therapy sessions.  I'll report as much as I can this week.  It seems that the closer I get to realizing my true potential the more weight I put on.  I'm a stress snacker and anxiety over the enormity of what I believe is ahead of me gets the best of me.  I get snippets of this vision of where I should go with the farm that is fueled by my passion for health and the dream of helping others in a very profound way.  I start to doubt myself.  I start listening to the voices of others that tell me I'm crazy and I should settle for a "safe job" working for someone else.  And part of me wants to hide behind someone else and just do what I'm told.  No liability, no risk, just build someone else's dream.  I have always been more comfortable behind others.  I never truly want to be in the spotlight.  I don't want to be noticed for losing weight and people won't say anything if I gain it.  At least not to my face.  But sadly I only feel successful if I'm in control and losing weight.  Then someone notices and I immediately freak out on the inside that I won't be able to keep it off.  And up and down we go, year after year after year.  I know it's more to do with what is on the inside.  The way I'm talking to myself.  The deflection of success so no one will expect more out of me than I can do.  I'm weak.  I struggle.  I have emotional layers that need to be shed then the weight will no longer be an issue.  I truly believe that.  People don't become obese because they love junk food.  They get there because of the inner struggles that have nothing to do with food.  Food is the solution to the pain, not the problem.  In my case it has to do with fear of success.  If I succeed I will be in the spotlight then the pressure is on to maintain perfection.  Everyone will notice if I fail.  I'm not perfect - what if someone figures that out???  Yea I know, no one thinks that - 'cept maybe my Dad.  Bless his heart and his rose colored glasses.

What about my faith in God?  Where does that play in?  That's an excellent question.  I feel like my faith in God is strong.  We have been though a lot - me and God.  He has proven time and time again that He is enough and He has my best interest at heart.  I'm not really worried about whether God will be there for me.  I worry that I won't measure up.  That my negative self talk and my need to please others will keep me from fully trusting and going down the path that has so many question marks in the way.  It stresses people out that I can't answer all the questions and their stress adds to my stress.  I know He will provide, He always does.  I just have to trust and release everyone else to their own journey of faith in me and my ability to follow God's will.  As for me, I'm prepared to challenge the story I tell myself about myself.  I'm prepared to see me the way God sees me.  God, help me do that.

Why am I unpacking all this to you?  In the event that you can relate, I want to take you on the journey with me.  I want you to benefit from this amazing gift I have been offered this week.  I know not many people can do what I'm doing due to family obligations, jobs, children.  I want to give back by documenting what I learn.  It gives me a place to come back to and read, years down the road, to see how far I've come because the truth is - I'm not going to be stuck here any longer.  I'm peeling back the layers and revealing what is underneath.  I'm going to be positive and open to whatever comes my way.  So even though this is so far out of my comfort zone, I hope I can be of help to others through my vulnerability.  If nothing else, it helps me shed a layer.