Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Raw Food Revenge

The more I doubt, the more I find reason to hope.

My interpretation of Ani Phyo's raw apple pie.
I cannot honestly recall a holiday season during which I felt so unbelievably blessed. Even amidst the stress and emotion of several recent drastic changes and potentially daunting challenges in my personal life, my healing progress continues. Despite a most current A1C of 5.4 (and falling) and an average daily insulin dosage now below 5 units per day (4.29 of that being basal), I've been so busy these days that I sometimes forget to applaud myself for how far I've come since beginning my Raw foods adventure earlier this year. What I cannot now ignore, however, is how much I am no longer alone in the journey.

I've alluded before to my own personal [we'll call it a... ] diabetic's dilemma - this fear I've had of somehow being ostracized or marginalized by my group of diabetic friends because I refused to place all my trust in someone else's search for a long-awaited, much delayed "cure" and instead dared to take my healing into my own hands, as much as possible. I had thought that perhaps the institution of illness might overcome the

Friday, October 28, 2011

Treat or Trick?

I deserve it. This cookie, that cake, a taste of pastry, a bit of candy... It's a just dessert.

When it comes to my own immediate gratification, I am capable of rationalizing almost anything. To my good fortune, however, my idea of what it means to treat myself appears to be changing radically these days. If ever there be conventional sweets on my fork, or some other highly refined or overly processed culinary assault of all things nourishing and sacred, the Frankenfood that  still seems capable of satisfying my palate clearly does not love me for long. 

On the rare occasions I indulge, the passion of that first kiss fades all too quickly. What seemed attractive when I was drunk with desire becomes suddenly less appealing in this more sober light of morning. In truth, these indulgences have never loved me back. And now that I am less intoxicated - quite literally less poisoned by pesticides, preservatives, fertilizers, synthetic hormones and numerous other chemicals

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In Defense of Food Rights

Los Angeles Superior Court
210 W Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Honorable Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court:

I'm guessing you don't want the responsibility of holding my health in your hands any more than I want you to have it. Nonetheless to some degree, that is the situation in which we now find ourselves regarding the August 3rd government raid of the Rawesome Foods private co-op of Venice, California. As the case unfolds, I ask that you consider these very important points:

First, the folks who will stand trial before you - James Stewart, Sharon Palmer and Victoria Bloch - are nothing short of heroes to their community, their friends and family, and especially, to people like me who suffer from chronic or degenerative illness. Each one of the defendants has been directly and profoundly instrumental in my own journey of recovery from Type 1 diabetes. Without their passion, strength and commitment to the

Friday, September 30, 2011

Doctor Love

I like to look good for my doctor.

I dress up for doctor visits these days almost as if I were going on a date rather than to a medical appointment. Of course, I'm pretty sure it's ultimately not my fancy shoes, form-fitting skirt and bare shoulder V-neck top he's thinking of when he says, "Well, look at you! Don't you look fantastic?!" The cute clothes probably don't hurt in helping to produce that desired reaction, but I trust he's commenting more on my increased vitality and apparent happiness - my "glow" if you will.

He's not the only person verbally acknowledging the change, but I will credit my doctor with a unique perspective. He's seen me at my very worst, after all. He's told me himself he is still haunted by the image of me in the ER, my fragile underweight frame - just a pale ghost of a barely responsive and nearly comatose 27-year-old new diabetic, fighting like hell from some unseen place against an unheard-of 1600 blood sugar. He still recalls how I emerged from that Great Fight, terrified, trembling and confused, looking perhaps more like the loser than the winner.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Politics at the Dinner Table

Like it or not, food is political.

Even if we deliberately refrain from talking politics for civility's sake, what we choose to eat can perhaps be more telling of our participation in government than what boxes we check on election day:  Fast food or home-cooked? Steak or salad? Regular or diet? Raw or pasteurized? Conventional or organic? Gluten-free or not? Genetically modified or pure nature? Food from a box or from a local family farm?

Some of us ask ourselves these types of questions every day, some of us are already sturdy in the answers we've found, and yet others of us are only maybe peripherally aware that anyone is asking questions of this nature at all. Educating ourselves on issues like these can be a slow and sometimes painful process, but as with political candidates, the more we learn, the better our decisions become. The subtle similarities and differences among our options begin to reveal themselves as we move from general questions to more specific inquiries. Suddenly, what had been a choice between regular soda or diet soda becomes a decision to abstain from consuming Coke or Pepsi-type products altogether. Raw milk drinkers don't seem as insane as the TV news people would like us to think. The word Monsanto begins to conjure a negative emotional reaction. Still, some issues remain as much a mystery to us as the origin of our favorite grocery store item... What are the ingredients on the label, for example, and how do I even begin to pronounce them, let alone call any of it food? Where does my food come from? Who decides what is safe to eat? Who pays those people's salaries? Who are my food choices benefitting? Who makes money if not my local farmer? Why am I always tired? Why don't I feel healthier more often? What does 'genetically modified organism' (GMO) mean, and what are its consequences?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sucker Punch

Sometimes I get so angry, I think I might go blind with rage. Some days, I can't help but break down in tears. Other times, I'm sure I'm going to breathe fire at any moment... Today, I've already experienced all that, and I've had enough. I am putting on my protest.

Early this morning, members of the government raided the primary source of my healthy foods and health community here in Los Angeles, the Rawesome food club in Venice. From what I've gathered from various news sources and folks who were there at the time, today's raid was similar to last year's in its SWAT-team type approach. Perhaps remembering all the publicity generated by surveillance video of that event one year ago, this morning's multi-agency raid team apparently wasted no time in turning off the club's security cameras. They then arrested my friend, Rawesome founder James Stewart and set his bail at an astronomical $123,000 with reportedly no possibility for use of bail bonds. (This amount is greater, by the way, than the 2011 LA County presumptive bail for human trafficking, rape, DUI, manslaughter, assault with a firearm upon a peace officer or firefighter, or threatening the life of a judge.) ONLINE DONATIONS to help support Raw food rights and cover Rawesome's legal defense costs ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED by the way!

where produce once was
Meanwhile, in Ventura Country, a separate group of agents raided Healthy Family Farms, a Rawesome supplier, and arrested owner Sharon Palmer at a recommended bail of $120,000. Her associate and L.A. County liaison for the Weston A. Price Foundation, Victoria Bloch, was reportedly also arrested at a recommended bail of $60,000.

Though it is legal to sell raw milk in Calfornia, the charges against the three appear to include a conspiracy, related to what authorities insist is a lack of proper licensing and labeling - charges which seem clearly irrelevant in the case of a private buying club such as Rawesome, whose members all sign liability waivers acknowledging they understand the so-called risks involved in consuming products not 'approved' by the FDA. (For my part, I'm more suspicious of products the FDA approves. Just look at our rates of obesity, disease, and how little real nutrition is contained in most processed foods and fast-food meals... Please, can we stop pretending that "government knows best" and get back to making our own informed decisions?)

In any case, it seems the raid team involved here didn't even follow their own rules. Reports indicate the search warrant issued against Rawesome ultimately led to the confiscation of the club's on-hand cash, as well as the destruction or confiscation of [close to] its entire inventory. And now Rawesome regulars, like me, are asking why the entire inventory was destroyed if officials were in fact authorized to take only samples of product. The search warrant reportedly states that "various samples of any food products present may be taken for laboratory analysis." Did they mistake the drain for a Petri dish? And why, especially, were tens of thousands of dollars in organic fruits and vegetables hauled away in the back of a huge truck if their supposed concern was with the dairy? The answer, for me anyway, seems clear: The raid has the look and feel of outright persecution against those who choose a wholesome, nutrient dense Raw foods lifestyle.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bad Diabetic

Guilty as charged. I am a bad diabetic... Rotten. The worst.

Seasonal Fruit Crepes by Planet Raw
These past few months you'd wonder where my head's been. I forget to wear my medical ID bracelet, and I don't always remember to check my blood sugar. I miss occasional support group meetings with fellow diabetics just trying to manage their condition. I defy doctors' orders, refuse to take their drugs, and am the regular recipient of scolding letters from my insurance company reminding me how important it is that I take the recommended daily dosage of a whole smattering of prescriptions I don't even need. Furthermore, I routinely and shamelessly devour honey, ice cream and other desserts (all raw), and I resist taking insulin and even disconnect from my insulin pump altogether at times.

That's right. I did it. I do it... It's all true.

So then why do my doctors continually insist they're so impressed and amazed by my performance as a diabetic? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my highest A1C ever (so far) was just 5.9, that my sensitivity to insulin is increasing, that I'm producing slightly more of my own natural insulin, and that my energy levels and overall zeal for life are so dramatically on the rise. Curious, isn't it?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Weird Science

Raw Honeycomb
For a diabetic, it takes a certain amount of faith to deliberately start spooning "tremendous amounts of unheated [raw] honey" into regular meals. Medically speaking, it makes no sense at all. But for months now, that's exactly what I've been doing... And the more, the better.

In his book, "We Want to Live: The Primal Diet", Aajonus Vonderplanitz recommends about 3/4 cups of unheated raw honey throughout each day to help heal the pancreas. When I first began this Raw foods adventure back in January, I needed more insulin, of course, to compensate for this new habit. It was an adjustment, as expected. After all I'd read about the dangers of synthetic insulin, the last thing I wanted to do was increase my dosage, but it was an adjustment I was willing to make temporarily if it would ultimately lead to healing.

Blueberries & Bee Pollen
And I'd say it is. These days, I regularly prepare raw honey-heavy fruit smoothies, as well as sandwiches using about 1/3 cup raw honey, about 1/4 cup raw peanut butter and 2 slices of low sodium organic, sprouted Ezekiel bread. And I eat them with little to no need for short-acting insulin... It's crazy. 

I say 'crazy' because, as a diabetic, I have been trained routinely to avoid sweeter foods like honey (in any form), but in reality, raw unheated honey seems to be a key ingredient to my recovery from the diabetic condition. Ironic, no? It was certainly a leap of faith on my part that helped me cross that bridge.

Unfortunately, for most of us, the idea of real, observable healing seems as elusive and far-fetched as the idea of magic and miracles. And for some dumb reason, prescription pills still seem easier to swallow than the truth - that we need not be sick in the first place.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


McDonald's and a hospital on every street corner? If the image doesn't horrify you, then you're not watching enough of the documentaries I've listed in the right margin of my blog.

Last night, I had the honor of attending the Los Angeles premiere screening for a new documentary film called "Farmageddon" by Kristin Canty. It was a packed house here in Santa Monica, but the movie has a message the whole country needs to hear - how the small, local farmers on whom an increasing number of us depend for grass fed meats, Raw dairy and other organic produce are being targeted and run out of business by folks in our government who claim (and in some cases actually believe) they are trying to protect us. The problem is we don't all agree on what the revolving door of the USDA, FDA, large corporate food production and pharmaceutical company drones would have us believe about what is "healthy" - especially when what many of us get from their 'protection' is sick, sicker, dying and dead.

What was it Henry Kissinger reportedly said? "Control the food and you control the people." I think corrupt and/or largely misinformed men and women - certainly with deeper pockets than my own - have taken this idea to heart, and unless we make our voices heard, vote with our dollars and support these small local farmers, we may yet find ourselves on the losing side of the 'Farmageddon' already upon us. In short, if we don't take action to protect our rights to health and to choosing what foods we eat, then we will certainly lose both. I know the madness has already threatened a central part of my world, by coming after the Rawesome market in Venice (see the clip from the film here) and repeatedly harassing one of Rawesome's suppliers. If such intimidation efforts continue and are successful, for me, it would mean I am unable to continue to fight my diabetes as aggressively as I have so far... What would it mean for you?

If the idea of having no choice but to eat what the likes of Monsanto and McDonald's decide to feed us (and then probably spending your life in and out of hospitals as a result) doesn't exactly cause you to salivate, then please, do what you can to support this film and what it represents. If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can catch it at the Laemmle 4 in Santa Monica until June 30th. Folks in other cities can check the film's website for other current and future screenings. Keep in mind that more screenings will be added, depending on the film's success!

It all starts with you, my friends... And you can start here: or here...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting Some D

I've been missing the D.

Even as I actively work to reconstruct my world into one more life-giving and less toxic - a world where healing is not only possible but the natural, sustainable way of things, a world where my full recovery from Type 1 diabetes is not just a hope but a plan, a world where the doctors and drugs don't rule my body - somehow I manage still to be deficient in vitamin D... Really?

Monday, May 9, 2011

On a Limb

"You're going to die."

In that doctorly tone of authority, my endocrinologist gave me the news, the truth of which was soon betrayed by a curl in his lips and a fatherly twinkle in his eyes. He was only jokingly answering a question I had asked a moment before - one I assume must have seemed too absurd to take seriously: "So let's just say - hypothetically speaking - what happens if I don't take these antibiotics?"

I had paid a visit to Urgent Care the previous afternoon for a pain and sudden swelling in my right elbow, which I had noticed that very morning. Within just a couple hours the swelling had gone from the size of an average mosquito bite, to halfway down my forearm and a third the way up my tricep.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Skinny

Avocado undressing.
Few things help me feel as skinny as I do while stuffing my face with essential fatty acids.

It is, in part, thanks to those mighty avocados that I've reached a milestone this month that I wasn't even aiming for... I now weigh the least I've weighed since either a) lying about my weight on my Oklahoma drivers license, or b) my memorable trip to the ER in Jan 2008, from which I emerged with Type 1 diabetes. The current number for this 5-foot-6-inches tall 31-year-old white girl is 116 pounds, at 17.5% body fat, 60% body water and 6.2

Saturday, April 16, 2011

And Raw to Grow On!

It's been a while since I had a traditional birthday spanking, but these past few years have certainly whipped me into shape in a beautiful way, both spiritually and physically, that I didn't even know to look for. This last year, especially, has been like icing on the birthday cake. It's been the most awesome, progressive twelve months of my life so far, and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate that than by ditching the cake altogether... for some Raw chocolate birthday mousse with friends!

On Tuesday of this week, I met several of my dearest friends at our neighborhood Raw restaurant for a birthday dinner to remember. The nine of us in attendance were coming from very different backgrounds; still, we all share a fundamental interest in health and healing. I was particularly giddy and aglow that evening, for several reasons: First, half the people in attendance were actually new friends to me, our meeting having been the direct result of my deliberate shift in life direction over the course of

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Farewell to Frydays

Sometimes I'm a very bad girl... but only sometimes.

When I tell people I'm 90-95% Raw, they inevitably want to know what the 5-10% is. I'm sorry to admit that the answer isn't terribly glamorous.

Most people have a vice or two, something in their diets-of-the-moment that can be exceptionally difficult to give up for good. One of the things I've loved most about having gone Raw is the 180-degree perspective shift. Suddenly, the majority of the things I might otherwise find tempting seem more like poison to me than a reward to which I'm somehow

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Where to Begin

Raw chocolate w/goji, maca & raw milk.

Eat dessert first.

That was the recommendation inside the menu of the raw restaurant I visited in Santa Monica. It was a suggestion based on the idea that the acidity of sweeter foods and fruits often used in desserts would aid in proper digestion if consumed a few minutes before the meal itself.

Of course, I'm only two months or so into my own Raw foods journey, so I cannot attest much to how any of this stuff works or why - only that I believe Raw foods are working for me. Despite that short time and my still very limited knowledge on the subject, I've been inundated it seems with requests from friends and strangers who also see this new diet working for me, people who want to know more about what specific changes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just Say No

You're looking at all the kidney meds I did not take for the last few months. My doctor doesn't know it yet, but I stopped taking these pills at about the same time I started eating Raw foods seriously, in early January.

Until then, I'd been taking one every day for the last year. The doc put me on them after finding elevated levels of protein (microalbumin and creatinine) in my urine. Apparently, it's not supposed to be there in the larger quantity that it was (exact numbers to follow) and he wanted me to take the Lisinopril (more commonly prescribed to help control blood pressure) as a precaution against premature diabetic kidney disease

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Raw vs. Regular

I won't soon forget an image I saw in the winter of 2010, while watching a documentary on the benefits of eating Raw foods. Using some rather sophisticated technology and equipment in what's known as Kirlian photography, researchers captured images of the life energy (or "aura") around different fruits and vegetables. They displayed the photos side-by-side - the Raw fruit or vegetable, and then the same fruit or vegetable later, after it had been lightly steamed. What I saw then told me what I needed to know: The life energy around the Raw, uncooked vegetable was full and bright blue, and covered the entire surface area. But the life energy around the lightly steamed vegetable was weak, scattered and splotchy, and appeared to cover less than half of its surface area.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In the Middle, God Created...

The Internet is a big, expansive place, and at long last, I've thrown myself right into the middle of it. Today marks my first official current blog entry on my weeks-old-but-years-in-the-making, very personal journey of healing myself of Type 1 diabetes with Raw foods.

For now, I'll spare you most of the specifics on exactly how much insulin I'm taking and at what time and with how much of what kind of food and how it's all changed anyway from what it once was. I suspect the more interesting parts of my story will come in the form of my own observations, ruminations, challenges, triumphs, doubts and hopes. Please just trust I'm sharing all that other boring

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Raw for One

My self-taught culinary skills, however novice and incomplete, have come in handy for my first ever 100% Raw and all-organic meal at home! (Up to this point, I've only had what amounts to partially Raw meals and totally Raw snacks.) From top left to bottom: Mango-strawberry-kale smoothie, vegetable juice, garlic dill cashew-cheese dip (purchased from a very talented woman who's name I don't yet know; I didn't eat the whole tub in this one sitting, of course),  whole avocado, small piece of raw sun butter bread (a dense, cracker-like snack composed largely of seeds, herbs and fruit - by Two Moms in the Raw - who make an array of yummy snacks), celery, raw grass-fed hormone-free ground beef, drizzled in cold-pressed olive oil, seasoned with herbs, raw red onion and covered in raw Amish asiago cheese.... YUM!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Body Language

I am in awe of my body.

I don't mean that in an unreasonably narcissistic way. I mean simply that I have never been as appropriately thankful as I am now for all the impressive, microcosmic miracles my body performs on a daily basis, no thinking required. Having to monitor just one of those functions 'manually', as I do now with my diabetes, is quite enough to bring home a very deep appreciation.

My wonder and gratitude stem from a very personal and profound spiritual awakening I experienced in the year or so leading up to my introduction to Raw foods. Without getting too specific, let it suffice to say that, until recently, I had been so engrossed in my spiritual insights and adventures as to be less than attentive to the physical world, except where tethered to it by my insulin pump.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Diagnosis 1600.1: Fish Out of Water

Exactly three years ago today, I had an experience I can only call life-changing. Though, at times, it's led me down a dark and difficult path, it has finally brought me to where I am now - a place of overwhelming gratitude, healing, community and love.

Following is my description of the events, from an online letter I originally composed on Monday, January 28, 2008.
Suddenly Diabetic.


I'm still picking away the medical tape. 

I keep finding remnants of it in deliberately spaced vital intervals all over my body, and at times, in intimate places, which makes me tearfully shudder, "Where was I?"

But it's my arms that really tell the story of my visit to the ER a week ago Friday. The bruises on my wrists and inner elbows where ER and ICU nurses pumped countless fluids and IVs and drew blood - sometimes with so little success they had to stick me several times or go almost an inch deep - have now turned shades of rancid brown and green. Apparently, I am a Type 1 Diabetic... and I nearly died finding out about it.