Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Doctor of Oz

Pay no attention to that money behind the man! The Great and Powerful Oz has spoken...

In what I consider to be a monstrous betrayal of consumers, his fans, his own profession and the general truth of matters, Dr. Mehmet Oz recently authored his career's own obituary in the form of an article published in the December 3rd issue of Time magazine. The endearing title of the piece? "What to Eat Now: The Anti-Food-Snob Diet".

Charming, isn't it? And buried somewhere among full page ads for pharmaceutical drugs, mercury-laden contact lens solution and big gas-guzzling vehicles, as well as impressively dull photos of frozen vegetables and canned beans alongside detailed info-graphics glorifying all manner of cheap, low-quality, brand-name ultra-refined and sugar-laden processed foods, is just enough copy written by the good doctor to thoroughly destroy both the health of numberless millions who follow his advice, as well as any credibility he might have hoped to retain among a health-aware food movement whose members know better than to swallow baloney in any form... Yeck!

In the article, Oz calls health conscious eaters elitist and anti-American. "Organic food is great, it's just not very democratic...", he wrote, and "You don't need to eat like the 1% to eat healthily... Save the cash; the 99% diet can be good for you."

Really? Because farming and choosing fresh foods is so much less American than negligently consenting to be the unwitting, under-nourished, over-medicated biological experiment of big food and big pharma corporations who repeatedly demonstrate about as much interest in our health as they do in educating us about the lack of nutritional content in processed and genetically modified foods? Please...

Since when is making intelligent, informed choices against the spirit of the Republic? I'll tell you... Since it ceased to be a Republic and became instead a dangerously unchecked corporate lobby whose political leaders are more for decoration than they are delegates. Since those power-drunk, money-grubbing bedfellows began wielding gargantuan profits to peddle their own baloney as though it were a prime cut of filet mignon. And guess who's biting -- those who perhaps need the most help, the people who spend more money on medications, operations and health insurance than they do on food. And, no doubt, many of them trust Dr. Oz implicitly, possibly even to the point of feeling relieved for their pocketbooks now that he's given the go-ahead to consume any amount of cheaper conventional foods (containing harmful pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms) -- foods he now claims are substantially equivalent to those that are organic.

"Nutritionally, there is not much difference between, say, grass-fed beef and the feedlot variety," the mighty Oz spaketh.

Wow. What did he get his doctorate in again?
And, more curiously, did he not actually watch the documentary film (Genetic Roulette), that his own wife narrated, on the dangers of genetically modified foods -- the very same kind that are fed far and wide to feedlot animals, leading to all manner of diseases, infertility and death? Maybe I could mail him a copy.

Or could it be that this documentary and Dr. Oz's own earlier contributions to raising awareness on just how harmful the typical American diet is (with its genetically modified, pesticide-laden foods, etc.), is actually the reason the good doctor has now changed his tune? Was his message becoming too popular for his own good? One might argue that this article is just his attempt to offer folks more affordable ideas for healthy meals, but in reality, it's encouraging them to ingest more poisons, eventually making them sicker and causing them to die sooner, all while paying big corporations tons of money along the way. And so, if not from their pocketbook, the cost of consuming such a poor diet eventually comes at the expense of their health.

"There's even goodness to be found in some of the supermarket's seemingly most down-market fish and meats: those sold in cans..." he said. "Canned salmon in particular is as nourishing as if you caught a fresh salmon that afternoon... Let's also take a moment to celebrate the tuna-salad sandwich, which is to lunch what the '57 Chevy is to cars -- basic and brilliant."

Ehem... Here, Oz makes no mention whatsoever of the dangers of chemical preservatives, the likelihood of lead poisoning from the canned storage or even toxic mercury now so prevalent in most fish today. Plus, you needn't powers of observation more astute than a layperson's intuition to tell you that the nutritional content of fresh-caught salmon is far superior to that of canned salmon. (Duh.) And what of genetically modified salmon that's to be sold any day now to consumers who are none-the-wiser? What of the ecological and environmental dangers inherent when those Frankenfish escape into the wild, winning all the mating opportunities because they're larger, but thereby eventually killing off the species because they're supposedly sterile? (See Scientists Under Attack documentary.) Surely Dr. Oz is aware of all this... I just can't imagine he doesn't have access to this information just as I do. Or was this article some kind of ploy by Dr. Oz's puppet-masters, to establish an early demand for salmon just in time for the GM salmon to come to market? It all seems pretty fishy to me.

"Throughout the developed world," Oz persisted, "we are at a point in our evolution at which famine, which essentially governed the rise and fall of civilizations throughout history, is no longer an acute threat."

Oh? Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of farmers (in less developed countries) who've committed suicide in the last decade because their genetically modified crops (presumably intended largely to feed Americans) failed to perform year after year after year, but who, thanks to Monsanto's seed patents, were forced to purchase new seed each year anyway. GM monocrops and the pesticides/herbicides sprayed heavily onto them ravage the ecosystem, endanger diversity, spawn superbugs and superweeds and threaten the delicate balance necessary for the survival of all living things. The moment we take that balance for granted is the moment we have effectively written off our own species and the world at large. Yes, I'm making it sound dramatic... because it IS dramatic.

Adding insult to injury, Oz continued, "And we know more about the connection between food and health than ever before -- down to the molecular level, actually. This has provided us the curious luxury of being fussy, even snooty, about what we eat, considering some food, well, below our station. That's silly. Food isn't about cachet. It's about nourishment, pleasure and the profound well-being that comes from the way meals draw us together."

Is that what Type 1 diabetes is to Dr. Oz -- a "curious luxury"? I must say that, for my part, I've never considered myself fortunate to have developed this health condition that's now responsible for my being on the healing path that I am. I'm glad to be healing and I'm grateful for all I've learned, but does my journey make me some kind of an elitist for seeking out information on how to better maintain my health? If so, that's a pretty twisted definition of elitism, especially considering that diabetes is an affliction more common among the poor than it is the wealthy, who generally have better access to healthy foods than do lower income families.

And it's no exaggeration that the diet Dr. Oz recommends is similar to the diet which, I believe, directly contributed to my own diabetic condition. Clearly, while on it, I wasn't nourished well enough for my body to perform any meaningful healing so as to prevent the manifestation of my diabetes. So, if I and others like me claim proper nourishment as our goal but Dr. Oz's diet fails to accomplish it, what then would he have we chronically ill elitists do exactly -- not ask additional questions of our doctors and dietitians? Not do our own research and then happily share that knowledge with others? Just bend over and grab our ankles while big food and pharma companies have their way? If so, then the good doctor and the shadow powers-that-be lurking behind him have revealed themselves for what they really are: liars and truth-haters.

I want to know how this man sleeps at night. How does he justify selling such outright lies to so many who are likely to take him seriously and end up seriously sick? Does he not feel the weight of at least some responsibility to the truth, particularly when he's got the power to influence the habits of so many? And so what was it that caused him to pull this sudden 180-degree turn? Was his life threatened? Was his family threatened? His show? Or perhaps I'm naive for thinking him so noble. Was he bribed? Could it be that simple? It just seems like too dramatic a departure from his previous position to have come from him alone. I mean, we're not talking about just one or two carelessly worded comments amidst an otherwise informative article; no, this is a targeted, strategic and thorough attack on health-minded communities and individuals who might consider becoming more health-conscious. It appears to be a PR/marketing stunt on behalf of corporate gangsters (the like of those capable of building an Oz empire, perhaps), as though whoever held a gun to the good doctor's head added in a low voice: "And you better make me believe you mean it."

And sadly, we do... We really do.

Like Dorothy to the Wizard, "I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Propaganda 37: A Lying Shame

It seems the Dinner Party will have to reschedule its reservation at the political round table... for now. Unfortunately, the reservation fee is now forfeit (meaning I've got a little "bad-cop" drilling steam to let off...) Bon appetit elsewhere.

Dear California,

Money doesn't just talk; it votes... And congratulations! You have elected to continue learning the hard way. Rather than opting for harmless little labels to inform you ahead of time whether food might contain dangerous genetically modified organisms, it seems by voting against Proposition 37, that you prefer to wait until you've developed cancer, diabetes, food allergies, autoimmune disorders, infertility issues and gastrointestinal conditions (or worse, until your children do). And that's okay. It's certainly your right. Lord knows it took my being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes to get me to wake up and give a shit.

And though I doubt your children will, the multi-billion dollar biotech industry thanks you. And so do pharmaceutical companies, health insurers and the conventional medical industry. Because your vote has helped to sustain our flourishing disease economy. You see, they did their homework on you. The professional advertising and marketing firms they hired got to know you better than you know yourself.   What they discovered is that money - at least the way you understand it - is more important to you than either truth or health. And so they ran with the bullshit "costly and deceptive scheme" theme, and in my sincere and heartfelt disappointment, I can only laugh at how easily you swallowed it.

Your gullibility is probably pretty funny to biotech leaders too. It only took them $45 million dollars in campaign spending - 93% of which came from *outside* California, by the way - to convince you that Prop 37 was too expensive. But did you once stop to ask how the biotech giants explain spending FORTY-FIVE TIMES the Prop's $1 million worst-case-scenario cost estimate, in order to defeat a ballot measure they say would be too "costly"? Did you never wonder why they might be so keen to dump that kind of money into a measure designed simply to supply you with information that would help you make better, healthier choices for your family? Hmmm.

Or perhaps making better, more informed choices for your family really is not something you value? For the life of me, I'm struggling here to understand exactly how labeling something could be perceived as a sincerely bad idea - and by 53.1% of the voting population. Aren't you otherwise all too willing to slap labels on things - good, bad, democrat, republican, racist, sexist, elitist, criminal? I know these deeply programmed dualistic ideas occur quite easily for me, and we're all part of the same flawed human condition.

The difference of course, in this case, is that the label wouldn't have been destructive or superficial; it would simply be calling something what it is - calling a cow a cow, for example. "This product may contain Genetically Modified ingredients." That's all. No name-calling. No mud-slinging. No "Monsanto and friends are a group of lying buffoons!" (which you'd probably discover for yourself at a later time). Nope, nothing of the kind. Instead, it would have communicated a very simple, very informative, and very transparent truth. But perhaps the truth still is just too much for you... Is that it...? And is my faith in you, therefore, tragically misplaced? Were you duped, or do you just honestly believe that ignorance is good for you? Maybe you're worried that if you have a better idea of what's really in that yummy chocolate cake at Whole Foods, you might have a real reason finally to stop eating it? Addicts are highly suggestible, after all, and it certainly wouldn't be the first case of outright denial in recorded history. It's not called "devil's food" for no reason...

But that the biotech industry could so successfully and effortlessly persuade you that your own ignorance is far more desirable for you than useful, factual information should serve as an eye-opening demonstration of just how well these companies spread lies and misinformation. Or did you not already hear that their campaign ads were full of lies and misrepresentations to the point that the Federal Bureau of Investigation may soon launch an official criminal investigation into the "No on 37" campaign? That's right. They lied to you, and you bought it. And even if the FBI does investigate, who's to say they'll get anything more than a little slap on the wrist? What do they care, after all? What's done is done. They've already successfully defeated Prop 37, and you helped them. They lied to you, and you bought it... So then, what's your blood sugar reading? How sleepy do you feel today? Who do you know that's been diagnosed this week? How blissful does that ignorance feel now? Are you ready to wash it off yet?

I hope so... Because it's OKAY to bite the hand that feeds you poison.

Suppose you begin to realize that how you spend your money can actually have more power than your vote at a polling place. Suppose you begin to view it as a daily expression of what your values are and where you choose to spend your energy. And where is that now? Do you spend more on healthcare than you do on food? Are you still so disconnected from the truth that your body requires certain minerals and nutrients in order just to survive - much less begin to heal from whatever ails you? Reconnect to that truth, learn about the "food" that's poisoning you, take back responsibility for your health and that of your family, stop being a slave to big food and big pharma industries, and maybe you'll finally begin to see that simply labeling a package doesn't eliminate choice or even cost that much at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. It can help you make better choices, feel better and happier and even save you money on long-term healthcare costs. And when you're ready to wake up to THAT reality, we health-conscious activists will be only too happy to welcome you to the land of the living.

In the meantime, those of us who care for change must continue to defy social conventions and keep on asking the difficult questions, even at the risk of social ridicule. Though we've lost the battle for Prop 37, what the fight has taught us is that the conversation over GM technology and labeling has only just begun. We must redouble our efforts to educate and communicate. No amount of biotech "hush money" can hold back the truth for long. These Franken-foods are only NOT labeled... until they are! And, even if I must author the next version of a GM-labeling proposition myself, that progress seems inevitable now. As Mike Adams of Natural News has said, "This effort to label GMOs is going to be repeated state after state, year after year, until victory is achieved."

So let the boycotts begin! Here's an infographic to help you get to know which companies paid money to help keep you in the dark:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

GMO & the Rules of Business

I'm going to just go ahead and dare you now - to name a company, any company, that ever innovated a product that everyone wanted, hurried to get it on the market and then didn't advertise it. If you thought of any at all, I'd wager your list is quite small (and likely consists of non-profit companies or open source programmers). Now, name just one such product-driven corporation with a product that everyone wants but which the manufacturer actually pays money to keep its distribution quiet... Coming up dry? Me too.

But that is what biotech companies like Monsanto would have us believe about them - that their genetically modified products (already being sold on the market and already a staple in the diets of most Americans - albeit largely unbeknownst to the general population -  since they were first introduced in 1996) are simply too wonderful to advertise! Too fabulous for a multi-billion dollar industry to want to take credit for them! And so amazing that, beyond not taking credit for them,  industry giants would actually pay BIG money to keep the curious and inquiring public blissfully unaware of which foods contained this impressive new food-stuff!

Ehem... Really? Does this behavior make ANY sense to anyone?? Aren't advertising and product promotion something like the very first rules of business?

I've been so busy with life, work, loved ones and activism these days that I wasn't sure whether I'd have time to write my own personal blog about the GMO labeling initiative here in California. But after receiving a flier in my mailbox this week, from well-funded opponents to Proposition 37 (to which a "Yes" vote would mean mandatory labeling of GM products), I figured I had better make the time.  

It was a slick presentation - one large piece of stock paper with a nice matte finish, one fold, full color, attractive graphics, big smiles, impressive credentials and - oh yes, a money salad... Mmmmm. Only it was full of lies - about how expensive the initiative would be, among other things. And give me a break. When every food item is already required to have a nutritional label, how much more expensive could it be simply to add a line stating that GMOs are or may be present? Seriously?? Perhaps food producers will see a decline in revenue on items that are labeled as containing GMOs and therefore necessarily have to adjust to actually providing consumers with the healthier, higher quality foods they really want (god forbid)... I can see that happening, but not the general increase in costs proposed by these lying buffoons. While conducting research recently for a popular online health journal to which I'm now a contributor, I also discovered that more than $40 million dollars had actually been poured into the "No on 37" campaign, by all kinds of heavy weights in big agriculture industry - companies like Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta, who were themselves creating the genetically modified organisms they now (and apparently never have) wanted labeled.

My first thought was how insane that seemed. Even as biotech companies and the FDA ignore data from their own scientists, the message we hear over and over again is that these products (still largely untested) are completely safe for human consumption, though a recent test performed in Canada raised immediate and startling concerns to the contrary - indicating that the Bt pesticide bacteria used in the rather imprecise process of modifying GM foods actually continues to self-replicate in our bodies for years after we've stopped consuming it. And so, like the GM crop we consumed as food, now we ourselves are living pesticide-producing factories! Like something out of a science fiction novel or horror film, what it means is that we're essentially experimental hosts for alien (foreign, cross-species) lifeforms. And what of the pregnant women in the Canadian study? What of their unborn babies? If these women are growing children whose very cells are only just beginning to form while under the influence of this alien genetic material (before even the establishment of a blood-brain barrier, according to Jeffery Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology), what might the consequences be? Might this technology not already be compromising the very foundations of the human life process? 

I think it is. And this IMPORTANT documentary film ( which is free to watch through election day, November 6th) helps to explain why. Though more tests are required to confirm it, scientists acknowledge that the pesticide used in GM foods is designed to break open the stomachs of insects and kill them, and they speculate that, over time, the effects of its consumption by humans would result in much the same epidemics we are seeing now - dramatic rises in food allergies, autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and other digestive illnesses - even some conditions which remain as yet unnamed and/or difficult to diagnose by conventional medical means... Plus, diagnoses of such conditions are happening at younger and younger ages. (Read about the Pottenger Cat Study at to learn more about why this path, if continued, will eventually lead to the extinction of the species.)  

But let's suppose for a moment that GM foods are NOT harmful to our health. If that were true, then why in the world wouldn't these biotech companies be bragging about their products, which they continue to tout have the ability to "feed the world"? Ignoring that this technology can't possibly feed the world because it's based on a mono-crop design that encourages the increased used of pesticides, effectively creating new super-bugs and super-weeds, while also draining the natural ecosystem and eliminating the biodiversity on which all of life depends... Again, ignoring all that for a moment, why else might they NOT want consumers to know which products contained GMOs... unless there were some underlying concern that people would ultimately reject them and their GM foods? 

So what, then, is behind this apparent fear of full transparency? Could it be they fear what a knowledgeable and informed public might eventually demand? Might it be they fear at last being held accountable for the many crimes perpetuated against the world's consumers which have resulted in innumerable hospitalizations, illnesses and deaths? Yes, yes, in fact, it could very well be that. And we may soon have a chance to see what happens when the tables are turned. 

My sincere hope is that Proposition 37 here in California will pass, helping not only to inform people as to what they're really eating (and as to what they're unwittingly feeding their own children), but also to provide greater incentive for merchants to make a better quality product available to consumers. I may not have earned the highest grade possible in economics courses back in college, but I did take away at least one important understanding: that consumers lead and businesses follow. When we make our demands loudly and strongly enough, supply must inevitably comply. 

In this sense - even in our currently twisted, unsavory, unsteady political state - the perceived rule of business is just an illusion. Ultimately, it is We the People who show the way forward... and, I hope, to progress.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Udder Misconduct: A Petition for the Preservation of Food Rights

With Palmer & Stewart
at Healthy Family Farms, June 2012.
Our inalienable rights are routinely sacrificed on the altar of a criminal justice system, which in the name of some imaginary almighty government, forgets too often that We the People - including the accused - are, in fact, its employer.
Recently, here in Southern California, the Ventura County District Attorney’s office has succumbed to this particular version of selective amnesia, in a relentless assault on food rights (among others) and its apparently unlawful prosecution of Santa Paula farmer Sharon Palmer of Healthy Family Farms and raw ‘milkman’ James Stewart of Rawesome, a private food club in Los Angeles.
And so, at this critical hour, it becomes our civic and patriotic duty to remind our government of its responsibility to the People.
With that in mind - together with small group of very serious supporters - I've authored and compiled a petition for the immediate release of Stewart from custody and the  necessary dismissal of all charges against him and Palmer.
PLEASE REVIEW, SIGN & SHARE IT with everyone you know! Together, we really can make a difference, and stop this tyrannical persecution of farmers and food club managers dead in its tracks.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Food Rights & Responsibilities

Former site of Rawesome, August 2012.
You needn't study the face of the currently incarcerated 65-year-old James Stewart in the Ventura County jail, as I did recently, to get an accurate picture of the state of the food rights movement here in southern California. It's written all over the facade of what was once the location of the Rawesome private food club at 665 Rose Avenue in Venice:  "No Trespassing" reads a sign presumably posted by one of the more disgruntled property owners.

For me, both images are equally disheartening, darkened by government agenda, ongoing private disputes, questionable choices, apparent betrayal and a formerly outspoken and bright-eyed community now largely absent.

It's a marked difference, at least by my observation, from the events of this time last year. Immediately following Rawesome's most recent raid on August 3rd, 2011, several community members and I were echoing rally cries and waving American flags in protest outside the downtown LA courthouse, where raw milk man James Stewart, farmer Sharon Palmer and Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader Victoria Bloch Coulter were due to appear in court on charges related to selling raw milk. Our numbers were small, but our message (which was picked up by local newscasts) was mighty: "Government officials who think they can come between us and our food rights better think again!"

But now I wonder whether those rally cries were loud enough even to reach our own ears, let alone the government regulators who launched this provocative attack on food rights. How could they have been loud enough, when these images are all that remains of Rawesome, formerly one of southern California's meccas of specialty health foods? And how could they possibly be loud enough now to compete with all the cinematic-dramatic revelations surrounding Aajonus Vonderplanitz and his role in this bizarre tale, the many inflammatory online remarks crucifying Sharon Palmer for alleged misdeeds now proven to have been completely fabricated, and the holier-than-thou judgments against James Stewart for actions that appear to suggest he may be merely mortal, after all?

Like d'Artagnon of The Three Musketeers film (alas, I never read the novel), who journeyed to France for the sole purpose of whole-heartedly joining the Musketeers only to discover they'd just been disbanded, it seems I arrived on the Raw foods scene ready to thrive within a new community, only to watch it crumble to pieces. One might argue that I was mistaken ever to assume it was well organized. And even if that be the case, how long are we willing to accept it as an excuse for inaction?

When I first met each of the Rawesome Three (at different times over the last year or so), I was quick to offer my thanks and support, eager to assure them that I was a big fan of their work - meaning that I appreciated the risks they took to provide me with healthier, fresher alternatives to conventional foods. While I certainly meant every word of those offerings, I realize now in hind-sight that perhaps I took it for granted that they already had more meaningful help and support than they knew what to do with. Any service or kindness I could offer, I thought, surely had already been covered ten-fold by friends, neighbors, community members, volunteers and the like... But I couldn't have been farther from the truth.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cake & Consequences

Easily one of the greatest offenses perpetrated by the modern medical community (and there are many), particularly where the so-called treatment of diabetes is concerned, is that it plays to the sick person's often desperate desire just "to feel normal again". 

I remember vividly how vulnerable I was, trembling behind tears as I sat in my endocrinologist's office for the first time after diagnosis. Still quite frail after 5 days in the hospital, I endured a seemingly endless onslaught of new information about what was required of me in managing my condition so that I might live well with diabetes. But can one really live well, in a state of chronic illness? Isn't illness fundamentally the opposite of wellness? "Just make the best of things, and try not to think about the future for now," seemed to be the message I was getting from my doctor. I would always be diabetic from now on, he had said. And if he could be considered mercilessly direct about anything, it was that. 

Compassionate, attentive and supportive as they were generally, however, it was never with the help of my endocrinologist or dietitian that I would learn what it really means to live with a chronic health condition. In the end, medicine has only served to prop up my ego, crutch after crutch after crutch, since the moment of diagnosis. It began with synthetic insulin and the suggestion that I substitute diet soda for regular. I was told I could still enjoy burgers and fries, so long as I didn't eat a whole order of fries all by myself. Things didn't really have to be so different, it seemed, and that was exactly what I wanted to hear. Please, oh please, tell me more about this diabetes of convenience. At one point, I had become curious about nutrition's role in health and was told by my dietitian that there was essentially no difference between organic and conventional foods. And later, when I received test results indicating elevated protein levels in my urine, I was told there was nothing I could do that would change things and that I should just take the pill that had been prescribed. 

And slowly, the truth began to sink in... Even though much of what I was being told did seem easier than changing my whole lifestyle, none of it made any sense.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Picture of Health

The truths we seek are not always the ones that find us.

Neither does help or healing always come from sources we expect. My guess is that most of us hold some picture in our minds of what we imagine health or healing to be. Probably we conjure some list of things to deny ourselves (like sugars or carbs), or things we feel should be added to our routines (like more exercise or more water). Some of us may even give our image a name - like "veganism" or "colonics" or "raw foodism". In some cases, our image is actually a living, breathing person whom we consider to be "the picture of health".

But on a subject as immediately personal and inevitably emotional as that of health, it's no wonder we come to identify ourselves so strongly with some particular method or ideal. It can become our mission, our purpose, our fight, and even our activism. Such goals may in fact be quite noble and well worth the education they can bring to ourselves and to others, but what I seem to be learning these days - both from what folks share with me, and from my own experience - is that real health and healing don't always conform to the ideas we impress upon them. And if there's one thing that health is NOT, it's cookie-cutter. (Mmmm, cookies... See what I mean?)

I bring this up now, before posting any additional blogs on the changes I've made that helped me go off synthetic insulin, because I wanted to take a moment to address something about which I had been feeling a bit awkward for a few weeks - the fact that I went from whole-heartedly consuming pretty much ALL raw foods (including veggies, fruits, meats, dairy and other unheated, unprocessed foods) to consuming only some raw foods. I must have felt convinced at some point that raw foods - and raw foods alone - would be my road to recovery; otherwise, I would not have entitled my blog what I did.

My perspective has shifted a bit now, however, and while there is much I've learned since embarking on my healing journey, I'm beginning to understand now that raw foods are to be only a part of that journey - a markedly significant part, mind you, but smaller than I had originally thought. While my healing process had mostly plateaued on an all-Raw foods diet (I wasn't ever able to come off that final 5 units of basal insulin per day), what I learned from the experience brought me hope, among other things. All the reading and experimenting I've done in the last year and a half have opened my eyes to possibilities I hadn't considered, and to truths I didn't want to see but cannot now forget. With absolute sincerity, I can state that I've no intention ever of returning to any kind of routine or regular consumption of conventionally farmed, mass-manufactured, processed foods. In fact, where they may be avoided, I fully intend to avoid them.

And even with those seeds of knowledge firmly sown for me, my having veered somewhat from my former course of an all-Raw foods diet felt, at first, like something of a betrayal. But whom or what was I betraying? The only goal I had ever really declared was healing. And having come off the synthetic insulin certainly was a big step in that direction... So what loyalty had I, then, to my former course?

The answer, I soon realized, was none. No loyalty at all... Not if I what I really wanted was to get better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Insulin-Free Me: A Video Blog Introduction

While I'm hard at work simultaneously on about five different, new blog posts (I've got some serious catching up to do for all of you), I thought you might enjoy this little live action greeting I made especially with you in mind: 

To read more detailed information about my journey, please click the "INSULIN-FREE" tab above. For more information regarding the Hair Mineral test I mention in the video, please click here to visit the web page for Inspiring Health. Please check back under my Videos tab to view this and any other future videos I may post.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Basal, No Bolus, No Bull

Mark this month!!! Because my insulin pump's been missing me...

I could tell by the sad little serenades emerging from the cupboard where I left it and didn't look back. For days, I slept peacefully untethered, showered freely, played in the sun and wrote away, happy as all heck to go on ignoring those tones of fear and abandonment... until at last I grew weary of its cries and finally just removed the battery.

On May 20th, the day of the new moon solar eclipse, I detached from my pump to sauna and shower, as had been my routine for weeks by then. But by the time I was ready to reattach it, the idea just didn't make sense anymore. My blood sugar was normal at 87. When it did go a little high, I had been erring on the side of under-correction. And even the insulin I took from time to time hadn't seemed to be doing much good lately.

In the preceding weeks, I had made a number of changes, to both my diet (to include more cooked vegetables) and my daily routine (i.e. food-based mineral supplementation, near-infrared sauna therapy, lots more water, coffee enemas and increased rest/relaxation as needed). At one point, seemingly out of nowhere, my numbers began to fluctuate like they hadn't done since my diagnosis four years ago. Suddenly I was experiencing serious blood sugar spikes from foods that normally didn't affect me at all. I'd have a fresh, light raw dessert I loved (sweetened with fruit or raw honey) and then get a blood glucose number an hour later as though I'd been drinking soda or eating pizza. I'd have a couple bites of raw almond butter with some raw milk and be punished as though I'd just made a meal of conventional ice cream.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Animal Farm

It's not even a riddle in my mind. First came the eggs, and then the chickens who lied about them. And in the Ventura County case against raw dairy advocates Sharon Palmer and James Stewart, first came the verdict, and now finally... a public trial.

Innocent until proven guilty is just a myth in this land. And in its courts, “burden of proof” has become a crisis of faith. But don't look to the Ventura County District Attorney's office to explain why. After 18 months of fruitless investigation, god-knows how much in wasted taxpayer dollars, and three full days of useless time and testimony in court by six separate witnesses, the prosecution has proven very little in the March preliminary hearing on conspiracy charges against raw milk-man James Stewart and farmer Sharon Palmer. With 38 felony counts from which to choose, each related to allegations of defrauding farm investors, all that’s proven so far is this: A) Ventura County officials have no case; B) They apparently don’t care that they have no case; and C) They must therefore be pursuing some agenda outside that of the reasonable, albeit abstract, People.

If you’ve not yet read the full complaint, but would like to do so, you may by clicking here.

And now that you are somewhat familiar with the game and all its players, here is a fourth-grade level summary of the undisputed facts: Sharon Palmer is a farmer. In 2008, she needed help building up a farm. She and James Stewart and Larry Otting were all members of the same small health food community. By way of that community, various would-be investors learned of the opportunity to help Palmer build up the farm. With the aid of financial support from those investors, the farm (known as Healthy Family Farms LLC) was built and is currently operational, worked by Palmer and other dedicated volunteers. Still waiting for the nefarious, sordid plot to thicken? Me too...

What follows is a more comprehensive, albeit still very common sense, series of observations by this former Rawesome member on how the aforementioned chicken-and-egg game has played out so far in Ventura County court. On offense, we have Chris Harman of the Ventura County District Attorney's office and related investigators, and on defense, Sharon Palmer of Healthy Family Farms and James Stewart of Rawesome Foods.

(All photos were taken in March 2012 at Healthy Family Farms and are posted by permission.)
Behold, in my hand, an actual chicken egg, from an actual chicken,
actually present at Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula, CA.

Perhaps you are rightly wondering already, as I am after weeks of scratching my head... If the farm exists (which it does) and still generates revenue (which it does), how could the investors possibly have been defrauded? One answer might be that they haven't. See, Palmer still is (and never hasn’t been) working to repay them. In fact, she might have had them repaid already, if it weren't for all the unwarranted attacks on her business over the years, including ruthless and unyielding slander campaigns by other community members, as well as repeated government raids on the farm which have resulted in extensive property destruction and/or seizures - all of which she has steadfastly endured.

At the hands of both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties together, Palmer has endured either a raid on the farm or a personal arrest, every year for the last five years, beginning on December 18, 2008 - just a few short weeks after the farm was finally up and running. Ventura County, she’s said, effectively put her out of the cheese business (which had been a significant chunk of her revenue) by calling every farmer’s market telling them she was not licensed. It wasn’t until two years later, she said, that they finally acknowledged that she actually had been licensed and dropped the felony charges against her to a third level misdemeanor. “They have spent millions raiding and arresting me for the last five years,” even after the (essentially coerced) ultimate dismantling of the farm’s dairy, Palmer said.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Milk-Slinging & Cookies

I shared a long emotional embrace with my dear friend, James Stewart, Friday evening immediately following his release from an unlawful and torturous week-long detention at a Ventura County jail. It was the first chance I'd had to see his face not through the dehumanizing grates of a cage, since his ambush into handcuffs during open court in Los Angeles, on the morning of Friday, March 2nd at a routine appearance for "conspiracy" charges related to raw milk. (I feel ridiculous even just typing that last phrase.)
[Left] Scanned copy of pharmacy ID-photo, taken 2 days before arrest;
[Right] Photo by me, using my iPhone w/flash, taken day of release.

Neither image has been edited in any way other than cropping and scaling.

He was visibly thinner, radically dehydrated and obviously malnourished. In fact, the last real food he had eaten was a couple of the raw, superfood cookies I'd been so proud to share with him on our way into court that morning. Knowing now in retrospect that he was about to go so long without proper sleep and nourishment, I wish I had brought more food along. Of course, had the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, who'd reportedly issued the arrest warrant a full four days prior on 2/27, bothered to alert James that they had done so (or issued a simple summons to appear) - and therefore given him the opportunity to be prepared in confronting the charges - all of this drama and nonsense could have been avoided.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Courts of Raw

Something here smells sour, and it's NOT my raw milk.

James Stewart & Sharon Palmer, 2011.
Photo courtesy David Gumpert.
A new offense is afoot in the old games of legalized persecution against folks still brave enough to exercise their rights to privately contract with one another to obtain healthy foods. In what Natural News rightly called an "ambush", James-Cecil: Stewart of Rawesome Foods, and Sharon Palmer of Healthy Family Farms were again suddenly arrested at the close of routine court proceedings last Friday, March 2nd. The two had appeared in court, along with co-defendant Victoria Bloch, to settle on a preliminary hearing date for charges related to government raids on Rawesome back in June of 2010 and August of 2011.

Palmer's bail was set for $2 Million and Stewart's at $1 Million. Apparently, the two - along with Larry Otting - are being asked to answer assorted charges relating to an alleged conspiracy to defraud farm investors. While Otting had reportedly already made bail by yesterday, Palmer and Stewart will stay a sixth night in jail tonight. They are scheduled to appear in court again Thursday (3/8) in hopes of getting their bail reduced, and then being released soon after.  (Please read David Gumpert's article for more case details.)

Victoria Bloch with Weston A Price Foundation Chapter leaders in pre-arraignment demonstration.
Photo courtesy Friends of Rawesome.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oafs of Office?

If someone arrested your friends and stole food from you and your community - all in your name - you'd probably want to know about it. In fact, you'd probably take action to correct things and see that it doesn't happen again... I know I would.

And yet this is precisely what seems to have unfolded during the August 3rd, 2011 raid on the Rawesome Foods private club in Venice and what appears to be continually happening around the country while We the People remain asleep and ignorant to (or unwilling to face) the corruption run amock in government agencies still claiming to be working for our best interests.

But what if you could give substance to that sick feeling you've only ever carried quietly inside - the one that tells you something really is wrong with this picture, that something foul or dirty or sinister is at work? What if the people you thought were just 'crazy conspiracy theorists' were actually the truth-tellers? What if you could definitively prove certain members of the government weren't really serving the People? What if you could demonstrate with concrete evidence that certain government agents closest to the investigation and subsequent arrests of your friends were never authorized - not by you, nor anyone - to investigate in the first place? What if those folks claiming to conduct their duties on behalf of the People had goofed and missed an important step somewhere, and you - a concerned citizen - could see their too hastily assumed authority now unraveling?

And what if you were beginning at last to understand that even you had - in your silent, unquestioning consent - somehow helped those perceived authorities to falsely accuse your friends, harrass and intimidate your entire community and ultimately force your neighbors into giving up their businesses or declaring bankruptcy? What if you decided no longer to wear the cloak of a victim?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Raw En Route

Never, never travel.

That was some of the first, not medical, but friendly, advice I received after becoming diabetic, and it haunted me for some time. The diabetic acquaintance advising me at the time was merely communicating the strife he'd encountered after running out of supplies while overseas, but his story certainly made an impression. It may have had the opposite effect on me than he had intended, however (many things do), in that I became determined to travel the very next year, largely just to prove to myself that it wasn't such a big deal. As expected, once in Europe, I indeed had a wonderful time visiting my friend, and I've thought very little of that friendly "don't travel" warning since.

With Squeak & Velveteen at Providence Farms in Edmond, OK.
Photo used with permission of Providence Farms.
That is, until I started eating Raw foods and heard it again.

The suggestion was presented in a slightly different context this time and made, particularly, in reference to the convenience and accessibility of the high quality, nourishing foods made available through my membership with the Rawesome private food club in Venice, California. "You'll never want to live anywhere else," my friend told me.

At the time, he was right. Living (and even visiting for long) anywhere else just didn't seem practical if I wanted to be sure I got the nutrient-dense foods I desired. So for a few months, all was well in my contained little world. No drama and no pending travel would upset my cozy, comfy Raw food routine... And then came the government raid in August last year that forced the Rawesome club to close indefinitely. Suddenly, I wasn't sure where to go or what to do.

Grateful as I had been (and will be again when Rawesome re-opens) to have so many wonderful, nurturing products available all under one roof, the event ultimately forced Raw devotees like me to be more flexible, creative and pro-active in how we obtain the enzyme-rich foods we need. And I was happy to rediscover my curious, scouting initiative, but there was still a monster crouching in my closet: My trip home for the holidays this year would be my first visit home since making the decided switch to a mostly Raw diet, and I was terrified to go.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Diagnosis 1600.2: Spoonfuls of Splenda

Four years have now passed since my diagnosis as a Type 1 diabetic (with a 1600 blood sugar) back in January of 2008. And what a journey it's been. I've spent two of those four years on an insulin pump which is under warranty for just three years. It is my goal to be off the insulin pump before that warranty expires... Here goes nothing!! 

In the meantime, I thought I might entertain you with another trip down memory lane. Here is the long-awaited second half of my diagnosis story. [Click here to read Part One.] Please remember that my below description of events is from an online letter originally composed on Monday, February 18, 2008 and no longer reflects my current thinking where dietary knowledge and practice are concerned.


It's a lot to choke down, really.

I remember feeling it when I was leaving the hospital, just after my conversation with the burly, soft-spoken, young Latino guy steering my wheelchair. I asked him about his job in transportation and learned he spends his entire day moving things. If something needed to get from one part of the hospital to another, he transported it - heavy boxes, medication, food, sick people... even bodies. And it hit me: I could have been one of those bodies.

Suddenly, I was very grateful to be in that wheelchair. But now, here I was, being separated from the institution that had kept me alive with insulin and food (which wasn't bad, actually, once the taste of the ice chips subsided), and I had little clue anymore how to keep myself alive. Until now, I'd never had to *think* about it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kickin' the Habit

For once, choosing and committing to a New Year's resolution took no time at all. Usually, I don't play that popular game, for a variety of reasons. But this year, I just couldn't resist... This year, I've decided to give up my diabetes.

What's that you say? It's not my fault that I got diabetes? That's what my doctors tell me, and they may be correct. It's a question with which I've struggled for quite a while myself. At the time of my diagnosis I was (what I considered then to be) a relatively healthy and active person. But the truth is I may never know for sure to what degree I played a part in my own condition. The truth is, for my purposes, that it doesn't really matter. My journey is not about laying blame. What matters - and what I can take responsibility for - are the choices I'm making right now, either to the tune of impeded progress or to the continued nurturing of this new healing lifestyle unto its highest manifestation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Get the BS Out of Your BG

I wanted to make you all aware of this free discussion by James Hopson, a man whose insight and guidance have been most influential in my progress. If you're going to be in the Los Angeles area and available on the evening of Monday, January 16th, please come to this lecture for some free information or to ask questions. If you're not available that night, or if you're decidedly out of the area, then please feel free to contact Mr. Hopson directly at 310-773-2323. Either way, you won't regret it!