I Am….Grateful

This morning’s Gratitude Journal-   I am a lightning rod for healing energy… I am…on an enlightening journey. I am..so very grateful. SO GRATEFUL!

As seen in Ajo Arizona

My healing journey is far from over.  When I started over a year ago, many of the blogs/videos I found claimed if one simply followed their advice one would achieve great improvements over time.   I really couldn’t see how that was possible for me.  I’m sure it works for others but I am different.  My inner conversation was- “well I carry a lot of stress. I can’t help it if the outside influences increase my stress level.  Those people are probably smarter, richer,  have more willpower, funnier, more athletic, and obviously better than me so it’s probably easier for them.”

My Attitude

Psshht. Today I am grateful I didn’t listen to myself.  The proverbial “THEY’ were right and I managed to change my life in these ways;  I am stronger, I am kinder, I am joyful, I am healthy, I am thinner, my skin is better, my relationships are better, my life is happier, I have everything I need.  I am now as annoying to myself  as those who I  identified as “THEY”.  A year and a half ago I would have said (well actually did say) about the person I am today  “well she OBVIOUSLY doesn’t have  to (fill in the blank)…” What  excuses I gave myself.2018-11-25_12-21-03_366

Starting point.  My higher learning/self help journey started by accident. I wanted to be a bone marrow donor for a cherished person in my life who had Leukemia. I wanted to be ready when/if needed & was told that even if I wasn’t a match, it would better their chance to “move up the list”.  Believing I was healthy as can be I started with a routine physical and my  doctor shockingly telling me how unhealthy  I was.

While the doctor was tapping away on the exam room computer prescribing various cholesterol lowering, blood pressure & insulin regulating drugs du jour, I said “Stop. I don’t want to take a statin, I’m healthy! I drink smoothies! I walk a mile a day! I gave up Diet Coke!” Image result for stop sign clip art free I need to insert here that giving up Diet Coke  <(click here to see official ingredient list) January 1, 2018 was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It contains a highly addictive amino acid to me- Phenylalanine   and was poison to my body.  Without it my body made great improvements.   Phenylalanine attaches to the pain  receptors of the brain creating a sense of euphoria and making it highly addictive. Diet Coke also destroys  bones which was the part of the body I was after. Anyhoo,  I was soooo stinkin’ proud of myself so you can imagine…Image result for pin bursting balloon

 The too f’n young doctor  and I  argued discussed my “healthy lifestyle” for a while; me defending my health choices, him telling me the horrors of what the numbers of the blood test predicts. How grateful I am that he took the time that morning.  I was the first patient of the day and our talk definitely put him off schedule.

Thanks Doc for the helping hand!

We settled on giving me 3 month chunks of time to obtain healthier numbers. So the self propelled healing journey began. Finding foods on the list that I liked, making up recipes. The “don’t call it a diet because diets come to an end” philosophy.  I knew this was a pivotal moment and my life would never be the same. I was either going to take medication and become another (ahem) middle aged woman controlled by the Pharmaco-mafia or I was going to do this. I  felt like I was hopping off the merry-go-round while it is still moving. This was it.  Three month check and my doctor’s face and excitement over the blood test was actually comical.  I was embarrassed by his reaction and attention.  I thought it wasn’t the big deal he was making it out to be.   Later I realized how frustrating it would be for him to give advise only to have the patient ignore him. Three months later, a complete physical 3 months after that and results continued to improve. Which brings us back to today. 2019-06-23_23-03-34_783

I put off the annual physical last month telling my doctor, “let’s postpone it for 3 weeks so I can detox from my vacation”.Image result for culinary dropout pretzel fondue We then had a discussion on how much I miss cheese. I tell him the only thing I wanted for my birthday last March was the Soft Pretzel & Provolone Fondue at Culinary Dropout  to which he says: “Union  Public House Pretzels with Ale House Fondue is even better”  then seeing the look on my face says “oops I guess I shouldn’t tell you that!”

I had given myself the green light to go ahead and eat delicious cultural food full of fat and drink plenty of  local wine in Italy & Greece. Which I did. … and I felt it… and I ignored it. I quickly realized how easy it is to simply take a pill for pain, digestion, allergy,  just so that I could continue to eat this way.

The saving grace was all the walking we did and a 25 lb backpack all of  which seemed offset doing permanent damage to the progress of the past year and a half.  2019-02-08_15-58-24_015

My quest hasn’t all been about nutrition and I am amazed the differences a simple gratitude journal, a brain exercise, encouraging video or a few minutes of meditation can do.  Release anger, forgive myself. What works for me might not work for others.  G has been working on natural pain management and has cut his use of medication to less than half. Our daughter and her husband have discovered natural remedies for some chronic physical issues.  So as a lightning bolt of healing energy I am joining the collective “THEY” to annoyingly spread natural healing and positive energy.  I found it so helpful.  To encourage all to  replace mindless TV, Netflix, Candy Crush with education. One show, one article, one YouTube video at a time.  Below are some of the resources my friends, family and I  have found helpful.  Add to my list- share what you find!

Inspiration & life after death: Dr Mary Neal  

Two more Neurosurgeons on natural healing, meditation and lifestyle: Dr Norman Shealy, MD, PHD.   Dr Joe Dispenza

Positive Growth:   Lisa Garr   and Shondra Rhymes “Year of Yes”

Brain Boost: Jim Kwik    Mind Valley

Yoga, Meditation, Enlightenment: Gaia.com

Productivity, Gratitude Journal: Alex Ikonn








Yucca Root Solar Chips Aren’t Yucky

I really miss chips and salsa.  Well it’s really the chips that are the issue. So we went on  a quest to create the perfect non fat veggie chip to go with the salsa I crave daily.

The four veggies we tried were sweet potato, yams, beets and yucca root.   The yucca root raw is, well, yucky so I had my doubts.  Sliced and on trays we left them for about 6 hours to bake in the sun.

Here is what we learned; 1. Slice them as thin as you can.  The thicker ones were chewy.  2.  Lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  3.  Place on a rack instead of cookie sheets.  4. Different vegetables dry at different rates.  5. The Yucca Root is Delicious!   Who knew?

Now for the test with Salsa. Each flavor added something unusual & I  can’t decide which one I like best.     I DO know I am making more of these tomorrow.

Note: The goal making this solar oven was to make it with found materials.  Craigslist free BBQ for the stand, A metal box surrounded by styrofoam & wood, glass from a picture frame.   It boils liquid even in the winter but cooking outside in the summer sure helps keep the house cooler.  The solar oven adds another way to do just that.  sola ov (2)Let the sun shine!

Dear Liver

Dear Liver, I feel so betrayed.   I have been focused on eating properly and proud of exercising routinely.    I was prepared for the doctor to say something like “woo-hoo great job”.  Instead we had the talk.  Since my doctor is much younger than I am  he says things like “it comes with age”.  Really little boy?  Does it? Child, I am fully age aware every morning as I get out of bed as  it sounds like popping bubble wrap and  feels like various bones are breaking.  Just when one gets used to a new wrinkle, silver starts showing up in the hair. Get used to that and an old knee injury turns chronic on what is now the last ski run one will ever take. So now organs are rebelling?  Great. It’s not Dr. Babyface’s fault. He’s only trying to help.  As a matter of fact he spent a lot of time investigating happened.  Here’s what we found and the reason I feel betrayed.

The past 6 months I  eliminated  many unhealthy foods. I completely cut out  Diet Coke, drink less alcohol, less red meat, cut out processed foods etc. Imagine my shock when I am suddenly in a dangerous range. The young doctor saw the look of horror on my face and started the investigation. “What’s changed in the last 6 months?”  It turns out in my quest to be healthy that smoothies made with a low calorie almond milk contain over 2 grams of the worst kind of fat!  In another twist, the organic/non GMO/Omega 3 bread also low calorie contained another gram. So  my healthy smoothie-a-day was trying to kill me.  I don’t like taking prescription drugs so he gave me 3 months to bring it back down on my own.  He graciously said “you did it before so maybe you can do it again but the obstacles are genetics and age”. Challenge accepted.

I often wonder if I had a time machine, I would  go back and tell my young self to take better care of this body.  The answer is no. I wouldn’t miss a minute; not one mogul flying down a mountain, not one wipe-out, not one vodka, not one all night party, not one tamale, not one prime rib… I would tell my young self just do it.   It was all worth it.  As the jaded young doctor says, “it comes with age” anyway right? Perhaps my attitude is how I ended up here. Truthfully this time products labeled healthy were poisonous.   At least now I have more ammunition to fight the inevitable  with everything I have.   So dear liver, you are on notice for the next 3 months. The great experiment begins.

Note from Dr. Babyface:  Look for monounsaturated fats  in all nut milks such as Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk- (click on Nutrition facts ) It shows 30 calories, no saturated fats.  Great right?  Wrong.

Note from Me: Damn it now I have to give up chips and salsa.  (Stay tuned for solar cooked sweet potato and beet chips)



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