Tuesday

Amazing Vegan Gluten free Cookies and the Benefits of Lime!

Made these Snow Turtles yesterday for our wellness fair. Huge success!
Simple, easy and delicious!
I used fresh lime juice and zest. Small bites packing lots of flavor!
Super easy!
Ingredients:
2 cups Pam's gluten free flour mix
1 cup solid coconut oil
1/2 cup powdered sugar and some for dusting cookies at end.
Juice of 1-2 limes
Zest of lime
1/2 tsp sea salt
MIX this all up with your very clean hands! Your natural body temp will warm up the coconut oil and you will get the hand spa treatment of a lifetime!
As you mix the cookies, add a little oil, drop by drop until you reach desired flavor. Anywhere from 4-12 has worked.
Roll dough into little balls and place on parchment paper on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 mins, remove, dust with sugar whole warm. Remove from sheet to cool. Serve and enjoy!
Everyone asks for the recipe so bring it along!


Interested in learning more? Ask me about lime and other oils.
Join the conversation!
And #takethatMS

Wednesday

Mind Body Cleanse - my Journal

Hello all!
Welcome to my journal about my gentle cleanse as I reboot my mind body connection. I'm working with award-winning author and certified fitness trainer, Loa Blasucci, and her online mini system is just 5 days. I can do this!
Day 1:
9:13am
What a glorious morning. Had a restful night sleep and ready to start the cleanse and reboot my mind body.

Started off by not drinking the usual cup or two of coffee in the morning. This morning started with two glass of lemon water. I'm used to going back and forth from water, tea and coffee, so this first step is pretty easy for me. What's interesting is how my body was craving the ginger-lemon hot hottie and not the usual black sludge. Now don't get me wrong, I love a nice cup of coffee now and then, but going back to hot lemon water is fine by me.
Having several things on my to-do list today encouraged me to get started early. But, no slumping at the computer for the next four hours. Twenty minutes - get it done and get outside for a walk before it gets too warm. And crank it out I did.
Looking at the clock and realizing it's later than I would like I check the temperature outside. Beautiful and not too warm yet. A shade trek should be nice and doable. Not too hotside...yet.
Slow and lethargic I moved along the street, my 82 year old father by my side. He wasn't slow, I was. He was on his cool down after walking 1.5 miles at the gym. Good genes.
As we walk, my mind starts releasing toxic thoughts. I can feel them coming and then, just as quickly, they leave. No stressors. No anxiety. Just thoughts that come and then leave. I practice breathing deep and with intention. What do I want to release today? what negativities are holding me back in life? Ahhhh. My breathing gets deeper. I can do this!

In a gentle room I stretch. Nothing harsh or drastic, just a peaceful environment, and positive thought in my mind and heart. Breathing deep, I stretch a few minutes and then head back to the laptop.
After about a half hour on the laptop working away its time for my morning juice. I am so blessed to live in southern California and have this abundant produce everywhere around.
I'm off to cook, juice, chop, and prep for the coming week of cleansing.
---
Made plenty of reboot soup, salad, quinoa and fresh juices to nosh on during the day. Delish! Throughout the day my mind was continually trying to hang up on something. To get anxious and upset. To find that one thing to justify anger. But it wasn't there. I let it go. I kept letting it go. Every time something got me anxious and short of breathe I took a big deep inhale and let it go. And it worked. I felt free of angst and it felt amazing. I'm looking forward to continuing this freeing feeling with breathing and relaxing techniques as I cleanse months of crud out of my system.
Time for bed. Took a relaxing bath with bath salts.  Boy did I sleep well! At least the first part of evening til about three am, then I woke for a bit. But that's OK. I fell back to sleep a bit and woke for good about an hour ago.
Day 2:

Continuing my cleansing and growth through the second day. Starting the day off with a ginger lemon hot tottie and prepping for me gentle Loa Flow class that starts in an hour.
My body is warm tho. Very warm. I can feel the inflammation in my legs as the crud from my body is expelled. I can see negative thoughts leaving my body and mind. A reboot is happening and it feels so good!
I am aware that our bodies are amazing and they cleanse on their own. But sometimes modern day life makes a cleanse feel necessary.
Well, actually I never made the tottie and ended up just drinking filtered water. But that's what my body was asking for and I listened. That's one of my best learned lessons in life. Listening to the body. Really listening.
The amount of anger in me taking to the surface is surprising. I didn't realize how many negative things had accumulated. In my body. In my mind. But today, yesterday and this week, they are exiting this building!
Cleansing in some ways has become easy. Almost. But there are deeper parts about a cleanse that can get the mind going.
The light meals and juices are keeping me going all day. I made some lovely lemon ginger iced tea to sip on which became real refreshing on these warm summer days.
Day 3:
This was a good week to choose to cleanse. My schedule is light and easy with some work but not a lot of obligations.
Interesting as thoughts of work and projects would enter my mind, trying to raise my anxiety level, but my body just breathed deep and relaxed. No anxiety. Wow. The mind body cleanse is working!
Throughout the day I practice deep breathing and some gentle meditation. My intention is continually bringing my mind to the present as my anxiety levels release and disintegrate. Man this feels great.
Again this morning I go for the filtered water. Several glasses before I get out of bed. How refreshing!
My morning walk started with a spring in my step. Where did this spring come from? I'll take it that's for sure. Must be the lightness I'm feeling as the crud is leaving my body. I pick up the pace. It's supposed to be a gentle walk but my legs are wheeling spry. I take advantage of the feeling and let my legs go with it.
By the time I got home my whole body was aglow with sweat. My body felt strong light and hydrated. This is a feeling I like and will bring to intention throughout the rest of this cleanse.
Patience. I'm not known for it and struggle daily with finding it. Today was a good example of how I'm growing as a person through this reboot. I was at the market picking up six apples for my juices. I got in the wrong line. Almost a half hour later I am being waited on so I can pay my $1.68. The lady in front commented on how calm and happy I looked. Well, there was nothing I could do about it so I mentally succumbed and enjoyed a couple of magazines while waiting. Love this feeling! This is also an intention I'm carrying throughout the week and beyond. Succumb. Relax. Know the things we can change and the things we can't. Courage. It all helps.
Day 4:
Morning world!
What a great night sleep. While the last several nights brought sweats, pain, and inflammation, last night had just one wake up for a restroom break and some water then back to sleep. Yay team!
I'm off to make a hot lemon toddy! I'll be back. But for now I'm enjoying my cleanse. I have a gentle schedule today and will focus on my intentions.
Juicing through this day feels refreshing. Almost easy as if by following these simple instructions gives less to think about. The cravings are not really there. And an earlier time of healthier eating raises its beautiful head and reminds what eating could be like. Oh I love this reminder!
The negative thoughts still escape me. I love the feeling of them leaving my body as my lungs fill deep with air and comfort my tired, MS body and mind.
Bits of anger and impatience flit about reminding me of my weaknesses. I struggle for a moment but then the fleeting annoyances fly away. Fly away. Float away. Fall away. They do it all and my strength grows.
My intentions during this cleanse are to let go of what o can not control and to choose those elements I want in life. My life goals for this chapter are writing, artistry, and living each day best I can.
Day 5:
It's 2am and I can't sleep. Keep thinking of my beautiful aunt who is dying of brain cancer right now. Hospice is with her and she is joining her God as she leaves this world. Man, I love this lady and now she's gone. The tears flow freely. For my aunt. For her family. For my uncle. Life is amazing. So powerful yet so vulnerable. Life is the snowflake we are given. Unique. Delicate. Destructible.
How do we protect our snowflake yet let it shine like no other?
This day became a bit more challenging in ways and easier in others. After a morning stroll to get the blood flowing, and so,e time in the garden, I continued my juicing. Keeping my schedule light I used this time to relax, reflect and rejuvenate. Ahhhh. I needed this!
We had a big dinner to go to tonight so I glad I stared my cleanse a bit early. A local favorite prime rib spot is closing. I'm not a big prime rib fan and coming off the cleanse wanted to keep it light so went woth French oinion soup and spinach salad. I keep the bread and cheese to a minimum and are the broth and onions. Delish! And plenty for dinner.
I always have this great Sense of renewal after a cleanse. A true reboot. And this was no different. As the toxic crud left my body I was left with clear vision of what I choose in life and what I am letting go from my mind.
I could still feel a few rid bits of toxicity left in me. Negative thoughts, anger and impatience. As I breathe through each possible moment of anxiety I know that I have the tools to move forewar, successfully. And that's just what I'm going to do, use my tools: journaling, meditation, exploration, nature.
Join us as we move forward with what we choose and let go of what we want no more.
#takethatms #mspals














Sunday

What does Orange mean to you?

***Here's a repost fom last fall. ***And then, a random orange balloon floats into my yard. I search about but from where it came I can not tell. Halloween is coming upon us. A party could be near but nothing in sight. I accept it as a message and am inspired to explore.Orange was a color I never wore nor associated with much until the past few years. Orange has become to mean new things other than Halloween and pumpkins. It is the color for multiple sclerosis. The MS Orange.

http://www.goodiesbygail.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=489

Embroidered patches available here

http://www.msstoreipp.org/imprinted-orange-balloons-pack-p-90.html


http://www.etsy.com/listing/125780055/multiple-sclerosis-nail-decals-ms-nail?ref=market

So what does the color orange stand for? A friend found this online and shared it with me:Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.
From: Color-Wheel-Pro.com I don't know about you all but I'll take the color Orange all day long just for it's meaning. The one issue I have with orange is that it is heat provoking as a visual element. And we are already overheated! The nice thing is that blue is the opposite of orange on the color wheel and blue is very cooling. The two work well together.

 
I remember the use of orange in marketing/advertising. Its stimulates the appetite. Ever wonder why many foods out there are either orange or labeled in orange?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doritos
http://www.collectingcandy.com/wordpress/?p=7187
http://mojosavings.com/free-kraft-mac-cheese/

I do know that it's the color of Hermes. Oh yeah, that orange I know!

How cool would it be for Hermes to create a custom scarf as a fundraiser? You know, something orange...

http://usa.hermes.com/woman/scarves/scarves-90/silk-twill/orange.html

I bet someone like Nancy Davis at EraseMs.org could pull this one off! She always has lots of cool ideas and fundraisers: Click on images to shop!

http://erasems.org
http://erasems.org

And then I just found this cooling scarf, also a Nancy Davis project. Many of us find cooling scarves quite helpful. This is a nice, fun orange one.

So what does orange mean to me? It means a lot more than it did even a few weeks ago. Most importantly it unites everyone with MS across the globe. No language barrier. Nothing. Orange is orange. Here's to orange! I'm off to carve a Jack O Lantern, eat some reeses, put on my orange tee shirt. I'm off to be Orange and "represent enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation."Here's to saying #thatthatMS!

 

Saturday

Kidney Yin?

I am asked almost daily, how are you surviving your MS?  Has it just gone into remission?  No.  It doesn't just go into remission.  At least not for me.   I have to take steps to put my MS into remission.  Lifestyle changes, diet changes, activity changes.

My survival with MS is significantly contributed to my nutritional intake.  As you know I studied holistic nutrition at Bauman College and became a certified nutrition educator.  This education was inspired by my three experiences with kidney yin deficiency.  I recommend looking it up and reading about it as I will be brief.  But the bottom-line, the symptoms of kidney yin deficiency are near identical to those of multiple sclerosis as well as other auto-immune diseases.

More of that to come.  What's important to me right now is to combine my holistic education with the Chinese based recommendations to create a macro-diet to rebuild my organs and blood.

So, Shen-Cleanse this Daddy-O:

1.  Shen Cleanse - teas or tonics.   I'm using teas this time.
2.  ShenTrition - alway
3.  Water or Plenty.  Have you investigated the living water yet?
4.  Yoga or the like - a nice yin yoga caught me in a loop for over two hours the other day.
5.  Outdoor health - gardening, hiking, walking.  Enjoy and bless our surroundings.
6.  Building diet - I need my calories right now. Healthy, digestible nutrients.  Here's what I'm talking about:
  • Fuji apples
  • Swiss chard
  • Gala apples
  • Turnip greens
  • Roasted turnips
  • Steamed green beans
  • Quinoa, onions and home made chicken stock
  • Black bean, corn, jicama jalepeno salsa
  • Silver salmon fresh caught by very cool father on recent fishing trip to Canada and perfectly marinated by awesome mother and myself with an herbal explosion from the yard overgrown with tarragon, marjoram and thyme.  Broiling worked just fine this cold fall day.
  • Radish, lime, cilantro salad
  • Strawberries
That is a pretty kidney yin friendly diet.  It can be better, more focused.  We'll add some pine nuts to the quinoa.  Keep with the greens.  Oh yeah and have some kidney eggs.  Egg whites, turnip greens, turmeric, bacon and salmon.   No the bacon has nothing kidney yin friendly about it but it makes me happy.

Turmeric on everything, baby, go for the turmeric!

More on this later.  Check out Paul Pritchford:  Healing with Whole Foods and Henry C. Lu's Chinese Natural Cures.  Many other great folks out there.  Also Dr. Stephen Gascoigne's The Chinese way to Health.

Off to ingest some medicine - food that is.

Memories as if yesterday, my travels with Kat:

666 miles
6,000 photographs
66 trips to dunkin' donuts....



The year, 2008.  Week long road trip from Lake Winnepesaukie, New Hamphsire to Kennebunkport, Maine.  Photographs, family, food, lobster, driving, donuts, coffee, entertainment, bourbon, lobster, family, photographs.  A lifetime of memories and a time to forget the MS.  Love when that happens - when life surrounds you to the point of forgetting you have MS, that intrigue and curiosity cover up the symptoms.  Photography does that for me.
 



 For a look at our road trip click here.

Tuesday

Accepting pain- our new normal

* SEPT 11 * Date Set for 8th Annual Women in Pain Conference!

What is pain and how do we continually accept our new normal?
What an amazing day with over 100 sisters in pain put on by the talented and beautiful Cynthia and John from Http://forgrace.org.
Held at the LEED certified building of the California Endowment Center in downtown Los Angeles, the conference was full of information and resources, tears and laughter.
If you've never been to a LEED certified building you are in for a treat!
The topic this year was "Accepting pain, our new normal". There were folks with every type of chronic pain producing ailment. Mine is MS but I also suffer from fibromyalgia and arthritis. The daily pain becomes bearable only because there is no other option. Or at least the other option, being dead, is not preferred.
Here I am on a panel of women in chronic pain. My main goal was to not fall off the chair with my wobbly MS. To watch the conference and panel click here.
Pain and suffering in women of all ages led way to Tears and laughter filling the room. Hearts were ripped open to their barest and shared with the world. In order the lighten up the. Mod and ourselves during the day, we played games!
The conference leaders created games for us to play and discussed the importance of playing in life. Here were just a few distractions to keep us engaged. We played with chopsticks and made googly eyes for starters...
But the real message was about pain and how we all take a Heroes Journey to learn to accept our new normals. The heroes journey, as presented by Jennifer Hughes, shared with us all the importance of the heroes cycle, of the need to overcome a weakness I order to survive as a hero.
Based on and Taken from Joseph Campbell's 'the hero with a thousand faces" sourced by Wikipedia.org.
"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[3]"
So what does this look like? There are several images of the heroes journey. Here is one from Wikipedia that sums it up nicely.
It is this heroes journey that we all must take in order to accept our new normals every day. As Jennifer Hughes said in her talk, Do you Dare? Do you dare to take this journey and accept your new normal?
I have dared and I have succeeded! Here we go....time for some acceptance. Let's do this!