Well, okay, predictably there have been 2 days with no juicing at all. Today I made a scrumptious smoothie. I’ve learned to use smaller amounts of produce with stronger tastes and/or acidic quality, and larger amounts of the milder ones like baby spinach or tender celery. I don’t like that I am using any sweetener at all and don’t expect that will continue. I’m all about progress not perfection so if it takes a packet of sweetener to help me drink a fresh juice or smoothie I will.
My first day was Wed. July 29. I already posted days 1, 2, 3, Wed, Thurs and Friday – July 29, 30 and 31.
Saturday, August 1 – rabbit, rabbit – Day 4
– yes beginning to feel a bit like a rabbit. I think I have a bit more energy today. But I overdid it and juiced twice for one smoothie and one large juice. I always add a bit of water to the smoothie to help with getting the blades started and several ice cubes.
Morning – Smoothie, 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt, Cantaloupe, raspberries, small bit of fresh pineapple, banana. The ripe banana makes it sweet enough and the ice cubes crushed into the smoothie make it cold enough. Since I have a sleeve (VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – “the sleeve”) it takes me a long time to drink such a large amount. I’m sure I’ll get better at amounts as I go.
Afternoon – Veggie juice – celery, romaine, 2 red pears – I’m hunting for my Juicing For Health book – it has a lot of recipes and they are aligned with the health condition whose healing they support such as a recipe for diabetes, ones for depression, asthma, one to support cancer treatment, and lots of others. Can’t wait to find it again. I might have a smoothie book, too. Perhaps this new trend will really take with me.
Sunday, Day 5 – no juicing – feeling tired and depressed
Monday, Day 6, same as Day 5 only worse
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 – Day 7 – Smoothie – this was fun
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup water, 1 packet of Stevia in the Raw, 4 celery stalks, baby spinach and arugula (aha! so arugula is the green that I really like the taste of that is included in the baby spring greens mix), few raspberries, small amount fresh pineapple, 3 purple plums, cantaloupe, ice cubes. I’m out of bananas.
I’m still looking for my Juicing For Health book and my Smoothie book.
Monday was a miserably uncomfortable day due to heat and humidity. Here in Coastal Maine we get a nice Atlantic breeze and most people do not have A/C, air conditioning. Stores, restaurants, offices and other public places have A/C and many private homes have window air conditioners.
Also, Rusty, my almost 8 year old mini poodle started limping the day before so I took him to the vet and learned he has Lyme Disease. He’d been a bit low energy and sleeping more for the past week, and not so interested in playing “toys” but I thought it was the heat, and he would sometimes pant even when resting. Then the limping started and I worried – injury? – he has 4 pogo stick legs and jumps high and a lot. arthritis? bone cancer? (I am nurse and a cancer survivor so that is a natural leap for me). Never in a million years would I have guessed Lyme Disease as he has had his vaccinations, he gets treated prophylactically regularly, and I am extremely vigilant for those nasty deer ticks. I learned that thankfully Lyme in Dogs is less intense with a much better prognosis than is Lyme in humans. He is on an antibiotic for 30 days, doxycycline, and he will be fine. He takes his pill fine – in fact this little dog does anything I ask him willingly and just fine. No need to use any kind of force – just gentle voice and gentle touch. Rusty is a good life learning lesson for me. I’ve a personality that is sometimes impatient and irritable and I tend to expect immediate obedience and compliance no matter what I ask so the fact that he is naturally an obedient and wanting to please little dog works very well for us. I’m sure my son could testify as to my demanding nature, but you know what that means – that means I am ever so much harder on myself than I am on everybody else, demanding perfection and nothing less, and becoming very impatient when my expectations do not get met. So, “they” say, you can’t teach an old dogs new tricks but I am here to testify that is not so. My being the old dog in this case, I wasn’t very patient when I was young and I still tend to be impatient but I am learning how to be kinder and more gentle and accepting with myself. And little Rusty is so dear that he pulls the love right out of me.
I’m richly blessed. Rusty fell into my lap almost literally at a time in my life that I was very low. In fact I was planning that proverbial long walk on a short pier. I got a message about a poodle whose owner died who needed a home. My Thomas passed 3 years ago and I’d been wishing for a new little companion but I could never afford a poodle and do you know how many of that breed are found in shelters? Few and far between! Even the poodle rescues seem to cater to the rich folk, which is of course in the best interest of the dog as veterinary expenses are high and my personal pet ethic is one must care for pets as well as they would for a child or themselves. Pets aren’t eligible for medicare and medicaid lol, and though there are pet insurances they are prohibitively costly for a “pet mom” on social security, fixed income. And my mother, with car, came to take us to Rusty’s Vet appointment in the next town. Thank you, Mom! No buses or public transportation in rural Maine.
Well, back to Day 7 smoothie! Yum!
When Our Wounds Cease to Be a Source of Shame, and Become a Source of Healing, We Have Become Wounded Healers – Henri Nouwen
When Our Wounds Cease to Become a Source of Shame…
…wow! think of this! I am a Wounded Healer. Yes. Because I’ve overcome much that has caused me pain and shame in my life I share that pain and shame with others. The first time I ever shared my story of being a battered woman who survived, abused wife, I was scared to reveal the truth, but I did it with the hope that doing so might give one other woman hope and belief that she did not deserve abuse; that my sharing my pain might save one life. While I meant “save one life” literally as in support the woman to get out before she gets killed there is more than one way to save a life. The “walking dead” is to me who a person might become if she chooses to stay in an abusive situation and not leave it. All that talent and potential buried under pain and shame. (I know there are also abused men and have sympathy for them as well, but I write from a woman’s perspective because that is what I know.)
Below read the excellent blog post that inspired today’s writing.
In fact after I began publicly speaking about having survived domestic abuse many women came to me thanking me for sharing and they told me that hearing me speak at another time gave them courage to leave their situation, and thanked me for being brave. That was so deeply moving to me that as time when on I began to think of writing a book about the issues I’ve survived; there are many, and only one still has tinges of shame for me. The rest I believe I’ve healed, with lots of help and support along the way.
It took me so long to begin to write that I no longer think a book from me is necessary. Just go to any book store to see shelves and shelves filled with self-help books, psychology, healing, spirituality, addiction, domestic violence, childhood abuse, incest, alcohol addiction, food addiction, co-dependency, cancer, accepting being gay, baby adoption. Choose your issue. Check out the library. Google it, even. It is all there. Anything I’d write has already been said – it would be redundant.
I often wonder how many people read my blog posts and judge me as in “how could she publically write about such private, personal things”? or “I don’t think such things should be talked about openly, don’t air your dirty laundry, keep it behind closed doors” etc. Or those who’ve been there might say “so much negativity” or some other judgement. I’d say to all of them “it is a process. I am healing, I am not healed. We can only share what we know.” So I’m not qualified to write about what others may know that I haven’t yet learned.
Also make no mistake. The reason things are kept hidden is: Shame!
Who I am? I am a woman, mother, granddaughter, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, nurse, retired, writer, depressive, incest survivor, domestic violence survivor, suicidality survivor, abuse survivor, abuser, lesbian, poodle owner, alcoholic, food addict, co-dependent, empath with narcissistic tendencies and perhaps more that I’ve momentarily forgotten. My one goal I claim in life is to move beyond surviving to thriving and radiant life. The quality of my life is much improved from when I was in my 20s and often went to work with black eyes and bruises showing on my body. I am a Reiki Practitioner. I am Courageous. I am Grateful. Many of my days I now experience Actual Radiance; What a Journey!
I am missing “her” again today.
I think “her” wasn’t accustomed to interacting with genuinely nice people. Kind. Trustworthy. Sincere. Open. Honest. I think she had a lot of untrustworthy people in her life. I’m far from perfect and not always easy to get along with but I AM open, honest, kind, caring, trustworthy, giving and sincere.
For those unfamiliar – there are different branches of Yoga (which is a spiritual path), a branch of Hinduism. The one most people are familiar with and think of when they hear the word yoga is Asanas, the stretches practiced in yoga class. Another is Karma Yoga – selfless service or volunteer work. I’m not sure what “Yoga Off the Mat” is called but it refers to how we live our daily lives, mindfully and in the present moment. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotional music; chanting in the ancient language of Sanskrit. From the time I first participated in Bhakti Yoga I felt I’d come home deep inside. It is consistently difficult for me to practice any type of discipline when living alone and left to my own devices. Sadly, that goes for Yoga, too. And I miss the practice of Asanas, and miss the practice of Bhakti. I do have 2 Kripalu Certified Yoga Teachers here in this area, each has a class that I’ve attended in the past. I found a community in York, ME that I visited that met for sacred Bhakti services weekly, and attended once and loved it but it was a 200 mile round trip and not feasible with my aging car, and though I considered relocating that didn’t feel right, either.
Weekends are always difficult for me, especially when I am single. Especially now, when I’ve just recently been in a relationship during which we spent our weekends together. My loneliness and suffering threaten to overwhelm me. I began writing this in early June, and now, 2 months later I am doing much better with accepting the loss and moving on in my life, though I have sad moments. One such moment passed earlier today – August 1 – and I decided to go into my archives and finish some half written blog posts, this being one.
Listening to Sanskrit Chanting, listening to spiritual talks and teachers, but especially chanting along with the call and response leader always soothes my suffering and opens my heart. Then my longing is to be part of such a community so that I can practice with others on a daily basis. I experienced community like this once for four months when I lived in a Yoga Ashram in the Berkshires in Western MA. – Kripalu Center for Yoga. At that time it was transitioning from being an ashram to a yoga center – the transition started in 1994, the first time I visited Kripalu; the guru was no longer in residence.
In September 98 I traveled out to western MA to participate in the Spiritual Lifestyle Program for 4 months. It was wonderful to be part of a like-minded community. I loved my own small family group of 6, and our leader, yoga teacher and spiritual counselor, Yoganand. It was an eventful time in my life. My maternal grandmother died in early December and I journeyed back home to Maine and spent a week with my family of origin. My beloved ’88 VW Golf broke down and was in the VW garage in Pittsfield, MA, when I needed to return to Maine so I called Enterprise and rented for a week. My married son and his wife were expecting their first baby who would be born the coming March; a girl and my first and only grandchild; I was very happy and excited about becoming a grandmother. I attended 1:1 weekly counseling sessions and worked on my love and relationship addiction to heal my co-dependency to become strong enough to make a decision whether or not to end a long term relationship that I was in though it would be 3 more years before I could end it. I became good friends with L, another SLP-er in a different family group; we discovered we shared a painful history of family dysfunction and co-dependency and we formed a healthy friendship that continues to this day. We thoroughly enjoyed our times together off-campus where we imbibed in substances we could not get in community – not alcohol or drugs, but steak – the community was vegetarian and we happily weren’t – sugar and caffeine in a wonderful Scandinavian bakery we found in town.
Wherever I go I take myself with me. By the end of my stay my overwhelming loneliness came back. I isolated from others except when I was in class, group, or at meals. My food addiction reared its ugly head and I began to gain weight and eat “healthy sweets” in an unhealthy way. I knew people liked me yet I felt distant from most others and that I was “different” and that I didn’t fit in, a malady I seem to suffer no matter where I am or who I am with.
So today once again I find myself in a space of wondering what to do with the rest of my life. My longing to live communally is strong. I now have a little dog, though and can’t take a dog to Kripalu. There other types of communities, though. I still love and long for Yoga in my life so I am reconsidering applying to do another Spiritual Lifestyle term, although I understand the program is changed considerably since I was there before.
One thing I know I must do, and want to do, is seek out JOY – seek out what makes me happy and brings me peace of mind and heart, and practice that a LOT.
I’ve wanted to learn to play the harmonium – the boxy accordion-like though on the floor – instrument that usually accompanies Bhakti devotional yoga services, called Kirtan. I want to chant. I want to do asanas. I already pray and meditate but I want more. I wish to make peace with My Suffering and turn it into Joy. It feels like it is time.
Please do comment at the end of this piece if you have thoughts to add; I’d love to hear what you have to say.
This time I decided to try a different approach towards getting back on track with health improvement and weight loss. Juicing.
Joe Cross. The Juice Guy. He’s helped thousands of people to improve their diet by showing them how to make fresh juices from vegetables and fruits, and to increase the amount of plant based foods one eats daily. Plant based foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. I am very impressed with his life changes. I juiced my way through cancer treatment years ago and loved fresh vegetable juices.
I decided to not wait any longer – not until I can afford it – not until I can get a ride – I started using what I have in the house, and today, day 3 I was given slews of fresh produce.
This is not organically grown produce for the most part.
So I don’t know how I will do as I have a long history of getting excited about things with poor follow through but I also have lots of experience of success in making life changes. I am curious to see where daily juices will take me.
Juice daily using mainly vegetables.
Eliminate sugars and wheat
Continue to eat several small meals a day without other restrictions.
Day 1 – what do I have in the house???? hmmmm…
4 Stalks Celery, 1 large McIntosh apple – yummy juice
Day 2 – don’t really wanna but I will –
4 stalks celery, 1 large Mac apple, wedge watermelon – yummy, glad I did.
Day 3 – exploring recipes and decide to add smoothies as an option
– Baby spinach, fresh pineapple, raspberries, banana
– 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt, a bit of water to start ‘er off and ice cubes. – first 2 swallows yummy – then ewwww sour, a bit bitter and very acidic
– 1 individual serving size stevia, big improvement.
*** Learned – not to use 2 highly acidic fruits in same juice – puckery
****Also learned – these fresh juices set well and do not make me feel shaky, weak, nauseous, or any other blood sugar-thingy-going-on way – a wonderment!
My Response to “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross and with Phil.
This film prompted me to get in touch with the facts of my relapse and my willingness to intervene now before any more time goes by.
I was quite impressed with Joe Cross’s story but to be completely honest I can’t remember much about it after watching Phil, the second man in the story whose story is told. Phil is a 42 year old Iowan long haul truck driver, father of 4 children. He weighs 429 lbs when he starts his 10 day juice fast. Joe comes to be with him the first of the 10 days and teaches him how to juice and walks with him that first day. Phil went through an expected rough detox but felt so well at the end of 10 days that he decided to do 10 more. I don’t want to give too many details but his entire outlook on life improved and at the end of the film he’d lost over 200 lbs, had a dramatic impact on helping an obese sick family member to start changing HIS life, and went on to become a motivational helper of others who wanted to lose weight and/or improve their health with juicing.
Seeing Phil at his top weight reminded me so much of myself at my top weight – I was sick, depressed, despairing, hopeless. I couldn’t stop eating and my quality of life was greatly impacted by my 384 lbs. I could almost feel his pain. Watching him walk on that first day inspired me to start walking again! (This is today, to start walking again tomorrow morning to help get back on track.)
I so want to help others who have lived lives as super morbidly obese adults who want to change their lives and improve their health, as I did. But first I have to continue to deal with my own continuing food addiction.
I had a VSG, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, or “the sleeve” in June 2013 and the total weight loss I achieved both preparing for surgery and post-op was 137 lbs.
During winter holiday season 2014 I lost control of my eating of sugar foods. My first lapse was in July 2014 when I was given a gift of a homemade blueberry bran muffin from a local bakery, and was so pleased that I almost forgot I was a sugar addict in recovery. But I remembered – and I dismissed it telling myself once again that it’s been so long and I’ve lost so much weight of course I can eat this “healthy” muffin and I’ll be FINE – healthy because of the blueberries, bran and dark molasses. I was FINE for a few months, continuing to eat sugar and flour items and controlling the amount. But addiction is addiction and deadly, and waits patiently, and I fell hard. I still could eat very little and a family member had kindly prepared a sugar-free, flour-free pumpkin pie for me so I could have a dessert. That was thoughtful and kind of her AND I did NOT eat it. Prior to the meal I’d made the decision to have a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie – and I couldn’t stop with one. I KNEW I was in trouble. The craziness of the addiction is I brought with me food I could have in case the meal should be late. I CHOSE to ignore that, too. The meal was very late. I ate small amounts when it was ready.
When it came time to come home I packed lots of leftovers – almost all sweets or other refined carbohydrates and I packed my sugar-free pumpkin pie. I was bingeing with my eyes and hands, planning for later when I had room in my stomach to eat. I was soooo out of control I was trembling, both with fear and with anticipation.
Thus I was “off to the races” and over the next several months vacillated between going through sugar detox to get back on track AND bingeing – my post-op weight loss surgery WLS version of bingeing. Small amounts due to the VSG but eating all day long every time I became hungry – high calorie foods – at first one item per day and gradually it increased until that is all I ate all day long. I was heartsick. BUT very grateful for the sleeve that helped me control the volume. Thus I slowly gained 30 lbs back over six months. To a normal person that is a huge gain in a short time. To this food addict, and lots of other food addicts I am certain, it is a small amount over a huge length of time. One binge in the past could net me a 10 lb. weight gain overnight.
I’ve written two other blog posts today having to do with seeing this film and my current health issues so I won’t repeat myself here. It feels good to finally be able to admit what is going on in my life and to come to a resolution to stop it and get back on track to good health and progress again. I am still me, a food addict in recovery from sugar addiction and profound morbid obesity, making progress not perfection.
Okay, here we go again! Grinning! 🙂
Once again, out of my misery, begins another chapter of healing and increasing wellness.
To summarize: I’ve been unwell, even sick a LOT in my life since age 5 when I first contracted pneumonia and was allergic to the penicillin the doctor put me on. Also I trace my sugar addiction back to age 5 which makes sense – 2 rounds of antibiotics – one penicillin with allergy – one a sulfa drug safely – of course caused screwed up healthy pathogens balance in my body – might say the beginning of sick, antibiotics, yeast infections and hives, etc,etc.
Some of the illnesses I’ve had besides the ones that were expected when I was a kid in the 50s (chicken pox, measles, rubella, mumps – any others?) several annual bouts with infected ears often with abscesses, bronchitis, strep throat, pneumonia; later on appendicitis, multiple skin “conditions” and prone to fungal rashes, asthma, atopical dermatitis, influenza, hypothyroid with adenoma, fibroids breast and uterus several times, breast cancer, acoustic neuroma, bacterial meningitis, multiple cases of cellulitis, gall bladder illness, appendicitis, still have tonsils and adenoids miraculous – major recurring depression, anxiety disorder, sugar addiction, multiple food & environmental allergies, IBS, GERD, hiatal hernia, sleep apnea, hypertension, and borderline diabetes – have been alcohol-free for 29 years after recognition I was in early stages of alcoholism….there must be more – but really! ! ! – OH lifelong obesity, And I come out as healthy after all the typical medical tests and screens – in 1990 I was first time treated for acute and recurring candidiasis – now 25 years later I think I’m really getting to things here – “things” meaning an understanding with a treatment – natural foods and juices!
(link for movies Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, also Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2, both with Joe Cross, both excellent and worth watching.)
Thank you, Joe Cross! I’m watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – the first one – and I think Joe told me what my most recent medical issue is – chronic urticaria! I’ve a long history of allergies to begin with – I know I get hives from pressure and heat, too. Since Feb, 2015 I’ve had an odd “rash” – more of a skin condition really – I get bumps and they itch terribly and swell more and itch more – they are not insect bites – one poor friend had the humiliating experience of telling me she’d had an outbreak of bedbugs in her house 6 months before, and as I stayed at her house the first night of waking up in the morning with these itchy bumpy rashes she was fearful she might have them back – NOT! Since I have chronic lymphedema in both arms and trunk, and have had recurring cellulitis as a result these itchy places put me at high risk of another life threatening cellulitis 😦 So finally I saw my doctor who couldn’t tell what was going on with me because I’d scratched everything so badly – it started left arm went to left leg, then right leg and trunk – the second time all of me got involved including right arm, neck and face. Because of the high risk of another cellulitis he gave me an antibiotic and prednisone again – guess what? they all went away and came back 2 weeks later for round 2 of meds and they also went away again. They’ve been back for a while now and this time I’m choosing NO MEDS for them but what the heck are they? Well, I’ve had hives a lot, and this very day when watching Joe Cross 1 again the light bulb went on so I searched with Google – lo and behold I’m certain enough to tell my PCP I’ve figured out, with my history, what is going on with me. I’m going to finally start juicing again asap and exclude all known food allergens as well. ! ! !
Please feel free to comment with any of your personal health experiences, especially the ones that lead to permanent healing with improved nutrition and lifestyle.
All of my therapists, spiritual teachers and healers, and wise friends have told me I must make friends with my dark side in order to fully heal and move on to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Phew, that is so scary and I respond to that differently at different times. My stronger self eagerly agrees and gets started, then scares herself so badly she backs away and hibernates, sometimes for a long time. My insecure self backs away because of “what will people think of me?”. I hate having that thought, but have it I do. My warrior self says “do it for the highest good of all”. My fearful self says “I can’t”. A Course In Miracles tells us everything is manifested from either Love or Fear. Fear keeps me imprisoned; I know it. Love gives me courage to move forward. So why do I keep pulling back? It must be Fear.
The root of my dual thoughts, my seeming wishy-washy decision-making, my presently being caught up in inertia and apathy in my life come straight from my childhood and my growing up in a dysfunctional home with dysfunctional adults in a largely dysfunctional community. My greatest quest in life has been for LOVE. Love. I have longed to be unconditionally loved and accepted. My biological father abandoned me in babyhood and when I was intermediate age of about 8 I created a fantasy which became a belief, a hope, and a lifelong quest; one that has not yet been found. When at age 17 I gave my father the opportunity to become my shining knight on a white horse he took advantage of my vulnerability, my desperate need for love and approval, for HIS love and approval, and sexually abused me for the next several years. I was so desperate to believe in his love for me that I allowed myself to be abused by him because I knew that if I didn’t give him what he wanted he would stop loving me which is ultimately what happened.
I believe my quest for a lifelong romantic partner and my successive failed relationships – one marriage, 2 committed relationships, 1 best friendship that later became romantic, and 2 attempts at dating to perhaps become life partners – , all monogamous on my part, can be traced back to this failed early relationship with my biological male parent. I was set on a path of unfulfilled love and longing at a wee age. I’ve been in recovery to heal this wound since 1980 – psychotherapy and addictions counseling.
To this day I long to be in a healthy and fulfilling love relationship. Recently I found a book that goes straight to the core of my relationship issues. “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us” by Ross Rosenberg. Second byline – “Emotional Manipulators, Codependents & Dysfunctional Relationships”. The first line of the Introduction “This book is about love and the pursuit of one’s lifelong romantic partner” grabbed my attention as if I were a thirsty sojourner who happened upon a clear, cool spring in the middle of a desert. You will hear from me as I progress along this new pathway. As always, please, please do comment if you have something to add to this conversation.
Elephant Journal has done it again! I love EJ for articles on health, relationships, spiritual growth and more! http://www.elephantjournal.com/
In this article Dr. Hyman from Cleveland lists many of the autoimmune illnesses people in the western world struggle with today, as well as 9 Steps to deal with which to deal with these illnesses. I discovered I am hugely more well than I was by age 40. I could still improve, but I have much gratitude.
Below is my response to Dr. Hyman. If you read it I think you will be impressed that I’ve made so many positive changes in my life and health. The ONE big factor I consider is abstinence from sugar, white flour and refined foods most of which I’m either allergic to or have a high sensitivity.
“Dr. Hyman, Thank you for this wonderful article. In ’92 when I was 40 I was diagnosed with Candidiasis. I had a lifelong history of URI and antibiotic use, a lifelong since-by-age 5 sugar addiction and a long history of chronic illnesses and multiple complaints including asthma, IBS, joint pains, GERD, major recurring depression. I’ve had many tumors in and removed from my body including fibroids of breasts and uterus, adenoma of thyroid, lipomas, ganglion cyst, breast cancer both ductal and lobular, acoustic neuroma treated twice, a lifelong struggle with obesity, Focusing on recovery from sugar addiction I am now much healthier after receiving the tool of VSG in 2013. I no longer have borderline diabetes, sleep apnea or hypertension. All of my labs are within normal limits. I still struggle with sugar addiction and emotional eating. I lost 130 lbs and have kept well over 100 off – could easily lose 50 more and still be quite round. My mobility has greatly improved and I can now walk 2 miles at a time easily, no more joint pain except when I overstress my joints, then taking 2 Aleve at night takes it away. I think I could probably be even more well but I’ve come far and am grateful.” Sincerely, Anne Wing