Electro Interstitial Scan

So I went to my amazing, genius Naturopath in Marin today to work-trade to eliminate the remainder of my debt to him that has been lingering since I lost my job in October. I was really amazed and touched that he was open to the idea of a computer work exchange, and then to top it off, he goes and throws in an EIS body scan. When I first went to see him in January of 2008, I was impressed and grateful because he was the first health practitioner who actually treated me as a human being instead of a diagnosis, and listened to what I had to say and trusted my observations of my own body. He was a far cry from my old NYC practitioners who each in their own way told me it was all in my head, that I was bipolar and needed to be medicated, and that my issues were psychological even though I told them I could feel chemicals coursing through my entire body that would cause me to feel certain ways and just knew something was wrong internally. They shrugged off my sudden weight gain as being caused by "depression" and never listened to me when I said such a significant increase did not seem right based on what I ate. They told me my incredible fatigue was also a depression issue. Little did I know that all my symptoms combined were extremely common in people with hypothyroidism, which was what I discovered to be a large part of the puzzle. But I am grateful, because their inability to listen to me and treat me as a human is a large part of what prompted me to move to San Francisco so I could be immersed in a very in-your-face alternative health community and learn as much as possible in my search for truth and healing. And what a beautiful journey it has been. Everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn't change a thing about my life, as it has shaped me to be who I am today.

I haven't done tons of research on EIS scans, but what I have uncovered, like most medical research has been half positive and half skeptical, so I strongly recommend anyone looking in that direction do their own research and make an informed decision on their own. What I liked about my Naturopath was that he is aware of the flaws in things and not only did he do a second scan to see what was different between the 2, but he also takes everything with a grain of salt and uses it in conjunction with that he has already determined from a thorough intake, instead of as a replacement. So thorough! But on to my results..

They were overall much healthier than most people my age - yippee! There were a few things that showed up as not optimum, but they were all very minor and there was no major cause for concern.

My liver - half of it was over-active, and half was under-active. This could be attributed to detoxing, as well as my previous issues. When I first started going to my ND, his Chinese medicine diagnosis (which was echoed by the lovely folks at ACTCM, a great clinic in SF for affordable acupuncture and Chinese herbs) was that I had too much phlegm and stagnation in the liver, and the buildup was causing acne, which I had not experienced since I was about 12. I am sure all those years of drinking and experimenting, as well as some of the things in my diet were responsible for overtaxing my liver and the rest of my body.h

One scan highlighted the pancreas, but the other did not, and highlighted one section of my intestines instead. Not sure what that was about, but since it was different on both, I'm not going to invest any energy into it at this time.

Neurological status - all my brain chemistry was totally normal and in perfect balance. I'd love to show that to my old doctors in NY (and one in SF) who had diagnosed me as Bipolar. My amygdala showed up in the minor to mild range, which makes complete sense to me. For years, a big problem spot for me has been how I process and store trauma. My emotional memories have always appeared to be stronger than almost everyone else I have ever known and were a huge challenge for me. I did a bit of deep emotional release bodywork a few years ago, and my first session was intense and amazing, but the second one did nothing for me. I wonder what would happen if I were to explore that again with a focus on that area of my body. I am also curious to research what other things I can do to heal this part of my brain. Time do some more research on Bioenergetic Analysis.

My lungs - they were slightly under-active, which is very common in most people these days. We simply do not breathe deeply enough. I suspect part of that is related to how we live and the stress and disconnection that have resulted from our modern times. I thought my breathing had deepened through doing yoga more often, but I guess there is always room for improvement, and I definitely notice the stretching of my lungs when I am hiking steep inclines in the mountains.

My breasts - also slightly under-active, which is common in women these days also. It was great seeing this, as the day before I had just been reading a great post about breasts, bras and cancer on Courtney Pool's blog and talking to her about how I loathe wearing bras because they feel so restrictive and how I noticed the elasticity of my skin in that area improve since I went raw, and am hoping a day will come when I don't need to wear one at all. It's something I've pondered a lot when studying indigenous tribes, and thinking about our evolution and how things came to be how they are. My Naturopath told me about his wife's experiences with her breast problems and how they healed, which was pretty fascinating.

I wish I would have gotten one of these scans before I went raw, because initially I started seeing my ND in January of 2008 because I was a mess with hypothyroidism and a severely congested liver, and since then, I've done a lot of cleanses and went raw, so I can feel a huge difference from how I once was. My thyroid appeared fine in both scans, and my liver only mild. When I return to Northern California after my adventures, I will definitely be going back for another to see if my liver has completely healed.


Raw in Arcata

I corralled 2 of my closest friends (Tanya and Caitanya - I love you guys!) into the car and headed up to Arcata for the holiday weekend to visit the glorious Artemisia Butterfly and her dazzling son, Bodhi Shine. I could not have asked the universe for kinder, more generous hosts. They opened up their home full of swinging chairs, hammocks and plants to us and treated us like family. Artemisia is partly-raw, so she let me use her Vitamix to whip up treats all weekend (I brought a bag stocked with nuts, maca and tons of produce so I could survive on deliciousness), and she even let me use some of her cacao nibs, vanilla and berries to add to everything. What a heavenly time we had in the kitchen all weekend!

Artemisia is a truly giving person who a mutual friend insisted I meet, and I am ever so glad I listened. We had so many great conversations about life, love, friends, health, music, art, nature and well, everything. She is a single mom raising her son to be completely open to life and all that it brings. It was amazing seeing how she teaches him to communicate, and act with love, and to be conscious of his actions at such a young age. I know who to turn to when I eventually am ready for kids, though that will be quite some time from now. :) She's a true inspiration, as is Bodhi, a beautiful result of love, patience, knowledge and fun.

While we were in town, we got to check out the local food co-op and soaked in the hot tubs one night at Cafe Mokka, which was beautiful to behold at night with everything enshrouded in the Pacific Mist. I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in Arcata.

Besides visiting the people up here, the other main reason for my visit was the ginourmous redwood trees that always make me so happy and full of love. We spent hours hiking amongst them, climbing inside them, crawling up the sides of them, walking through them, and delighting at the large varieties of fungi everywhere. Me in the redwoods is like a little kid in the candy store. I want to hug them all, touch every piece of moss, lick dewdrops, and never leave. I am going to miss this Northern California coast that has been my home for these last 3 years. I know I am not leaving for that long, and am going to enjoy my journey for the rest of 2009, but I am already starting to feel a bit homesick for this place that has been part of such amazing life transformations and growth, and provided me with so much love, happiness and connection to the source. My life here has been so beautiful, and there is nothing I would change about it, yet I know I need to explore another continent for a little while. Travel is in my blood, and the call never goes silent, so it's best to carry my life on my back like a turtle and follow it for awhile until it leads me back "home" again.


Lessons in Abundance and Community

Wow, what an amazing weekend of radiant, blissful energetic connections and being!

This weekend, Matthew and Terces Engleheart (of Cafe Gratitude) gave a very large gift to the community-at-large. They gave away one of their $200 workshops on abundance away to over 150 people in the community to combat the scarcity mentality many are embracing in this time of economic collapse and dismantling of the corporate world. The economic issues have not bothered me one bit. My opinion, however unpopular it may be, if that all of this happening right now is a great thing and is what needs to happen to make way for a more sustainable future. Of course I feel bad that people are losing their jobs. And it really bothers me that the banks are taking away peoples' homes and getting more money from our government, when that money should have been given to the people to bail themselves out of those irresponsible loans. But as tough as it is for people, I believe this is what needs to happen for us to shed the things that no longer fit us so we can make way for a new mode of living. We can take the benefits of all we have done this past century and combine it with all we have learned from our mistakes and create something beneficial for all of humanity. From pain comes tremendous growth, and I love America dearly, but it could really stand to do some growing up. The way we have been living is not sustainable, it does not provide freedom for everyone, it does not pave the way for greatness. With the dismantling of the corporate multinationals, we will see true greatness - the people of this nation coming together to create real, lasting change. People deciding to live differently, to set positive examples for others to bring us out of this huge mess we have created. It is fixable, and we are the solution. As a shirt I once saw said, "We are the people we have been waiting for."

Throughout the entire weekend, I connected with so many amazing, beautiful souls, experienced an even greater increase in synchronicity (can you say collective consciousness?), and listened to people bare their souls and speak openly and honestly about anything and everything. There was no judgment, everything was done out of love, people acknowledged each other for their positive contributions and strength, strangers fell in love if only for a few hours. It was really intense, and one of the most beautiful experiences I have had so far in this lovely city of mine. I got a glimpse of what life would be like if we all dropped our judgment of ourselves and each other, acknowledged are egos and kept them in check at the same time, and communicated with each other openly, honestly and with love and acceptance. It was looking at the truth, which is that we have an abundance for everything we need, and if we continue to be love and give, we will always be receiving all we need. I was running on such a communal high all weekend as a result of all the energy we were all projecting outwards to each other. I am so thankful for the new friends I made, and the lessons I was taught. Matthew and Terces, thank you so much for your love and wisdom, your generosity, and your willingness to share it all with us. It was truly a blessing.


Vegan Portobello Ceviche

I used to love Peruvian ceviche, so when I went raw I came up with this vegan substitute. It quickly became one of my favorite quick and easy to make recipes.

Vegan Portobello Ceviche

2 medium-large portobello mushrooms, cubed
1 small to medium red onion, diced
2 stem tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, cubed
1 clove garlic, finely minced
juice of 3 limes
1 c. chopped cilantro
salt to taste

I generally like to make this one in a mason jar, let it sit, and then rotate it so it's had a few hours to marinate and acquire a ceviche-like texture, but you can make it in a bowl and eat it right away if you want.

Cilantro absorbs mercury, so if you're non-vegan and eat a lot of fish, this is a great dish for you! Lime juice not only tastes delicious - it also acts as a preservative and will prevent your avocado from turning brown, so this dish can last for a few days in the fridge. If you have problems with your teeth, be sure to brush after because the citric acid can make them feel very tender.


Red Beet Ravioli

This recipe is based on the Red Beet Ravioli recipe in Raw Food Real World, though I have altered it a bit, as I usually do, to match my own taste buds. It may sound a bit complicated, but aside from the soaking, it only took me about 30-40 minutes to make and assemble a lovely, delicious, and beautifully presented gourmet dinner for my friends.

For the filling:

3 cups cashew nuts, soaked 1.5-2 hours
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons salt
3 green onions, white part and 1 inch of green part, minced
4 Tbsp minced tarragon
3 Tbsp minced parsley

In a food processor, blend the nuts, lemon juice and zest, yeast, and salt until smooth. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and fold in the onions, tarragon, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice, if needed. The filling should have the consistency of ricotta cheese. Store it covered in the refrigerator if not using right away; it tastes best if you bring it back to room temperature before assembling and serving.

For the pepper puree:

2 yellow bell peppers, cored and cleaned
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 green onions, white part only
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked 30 minutes to 1 hour
1 pinch ground or fresh turmeric

In a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth. If the sauce is too liquid, add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of soaked pine nuts. Place in a squeeze bottle or other cover container and refrigerate if not using right away.

For the assembly:

1 large bunch red beets (2 inches diameter or more)
2 to 3 Tbsp macadamia oil, other nut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice
Coarse sea salt
1 handful chopped pistachios
1 tsp pistachio, other nut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
1 small handful fresh tarragon leaves, torn or left whole
Freshly ground black pepper
Pea shoots for garnish

Step 1
Using a mandolin, slice the beets very thin (about 1/16 inch or less). Make stacks and cut into 2-inch squares. The size doesn’t matter much, as long as they are all roughly the same. You should have at least fifty slices. In a medium bowl, add the beet slices, macadamia oil, lemon juice, and a generous pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat: there should be enough oil and lemon juice to coat all of the slices, but not so much that they are dripping liquid.

Step 2
Arrange half the beet slices flat on serving plates. Place a generous dollop of the filling on each slice. Sauce the plates with the pepper puree, using either a squeeze bottle or just spooning it over the beets and filling (this way some of the sauce will be inside each ravioli). Top each ravioli with a beet slice, pressing down gently.

Step 3
In a small bowl, toss the chopped pistachios with the oil and a pinch of sea salt. Sprinkle each ravioli with the pistachios and top with the tarragon. Grind a bit of black pepper over the plates and garnish with pea shoots.


Manifestation and a Sense of Renewal

Looking back on all that changed in 2008, I am truly amazed and grateful for what has become of my life and for all that I have created in it. It was truly the best year ever, and I know my life is only going to get better and better.

It was the year I finally stopped going to doctors (after years of conflicting assessments, incorrect diagnoses, people who wouldn't listen when I told them something physical was wrong with me) and took my health into my own hands and healed myself. Raw foods was the gift I was finally ready to receive and accept after it cropping up in my life numerous times throughout the years. It was the enabler that allowed my body to heal itself and regain balance. It was the year I let go of a false sense of dis-empowering self, and really learned that we each truly have an abundance of power to create our lives exactly how we want them.

It was the year that I stopped accepting jobs that were less than what I really, truly deserve. I let go of my fear of being broke and this false idea that I should "just accept any job that comes because you're lucky to be working at all" and turned down jobs that were not aligned with my soul's purpose. Some people thought I was crazy and judged my actions, but they were generally the ones who accepted any old job and were never happy with their work because they were limiting themselves. My first steps were to stop accepting jobs that paid less than what I was worth and fight for the salaries I deserved, but eventually this was not acceptable to my soul and I knew I needed to not worry about money, that it would come so long as I was following my soul's purpose. I felt the calling to work with raw food and nourish community and heal others, and slowly began to manifest this reality and make it mine. What an amazing journey it has been!

It was also the year that I began to make an effort to really change my long held views on money. I began to acknowledge that my thoughts are really powerful, and that my views that money was scarce, that I had to work super hard for it to have it, or that it was the cause of so many problems in the world were all false and were the reason why I experienced a scarcity of money in my life, the condition of working too hard, and problems relating to money. When I began to let go of those beliefs, I got fired from my job and was able to not stress as much about money as I would have a year ago. And the more I challenged it, the more I was able to create an inflow of money and opportunity into my life. It is slow right now, but it is growing larger and larger each day, and I no longer have a doubt in my mind that it will come to me because I am doing good things to build community and provide things of value. Value creation is the most important part of creating a sustainable income. Your soul does not know junk, so that path will eventually lead to...junk.

It was the year where I stopped putting energy into friendships that I felt held me back from achieving my true potential, and made room for the new loving, positive ones I have now that pushed me to be the best me. I didn't know what would come of it, I just knew that I would rather have fewer friends I loved and that loved me than a bunch of the unsatisfying relationships that left me frustrated and unsatisfied.

As I deepened on my healing path, it became harder and harder for me to have people in my life who who refused to deal with their own issues. I am not sure if it was the lack of support I felt in those friendships, or their inability to relate to me and me to them, or just me feeling like I did not have enough energy to be around people who were still stuck in that place because I knew no amount of me wishing they weren't stuck there was going to help. I think mostly it was this feeling deep in my gut that at this point in my life, those types of relationships were only holding me back, and I knew I could no longer surround myself with people who did not challenge me and push me to grow, and that I was no longer serving them because I did not know what else to give on my end. You can't make someone deal with something they are not ready to face themselves, so I am sure to them, my pointing out the obvious was just scary and echoed their fears and made them feel awful, and I didn't want anyone to feel that way. Everyone grows at a different pace, and sometimes that requires us to let go of some relationships and weed our gardens a bit. So I cut the ties and let go of fear, not knowing that doing so would create room for more beautiful, loving relationships that confronted me with challenges daily and pushed me to be the most positive, loving, compassionate person I could be. By trimming the fat, and cutting things out of my life, I was actually manifesting everything I needed and desired. I am deeply grateful for the changes that came into my life as soon as I was finally ready to let go to some things I had been holding onto too long, and all the new people this attracted into my life. You have all been a huge blessing, and if I had not let go of my fear to hold onto friendships just for the sake of history or loyalty, I would have not met the people I have met. It's only when we are ready to risk it all that we truly discover all that we are.

It was the year when I chose to look deep within myself and actively discover who I could really be if I tried. Over the past several years when my health was getting worse, I was gaining weight and my acne was beginning to resemble a chain of volcanic islands, I was growing more and more fatigued, experiencing brain fogs, and severe mood swings, I began to stop seeing myself because when I tried to look at myself, I did not like what I saw. I was an emotional roller coaster of a mess, my face was puffy, I was overweight and felt like there was a second person covering the real me, and the happy shining person I once was seemed gone. I tried to look deep into my own eyes in the mirror and frantically search for that spark inside that would allow me to recognize myself, but I rarely saw it anymore. The spark was gone, and had been replaced with a dull luster. I knew if I were ever to get it back, I would have to use my imagination to create an image of my mind of the me I wanted to be. Sort of like the me I was before my health went down the drain, except better - this was who I would be when I was able to heal myself of ill health, and work on repairing all the psychological damage my ill health had caused, and let go of all the negative habits, behaviours, and defenses I learned when I was hurting and felt like I was being sucked down a black hole. It was the me I would be when I was actually stepping up and creating my own life, instead of sitting back and victimizing myself and making excuses for why my life was how it was. Yes, my health played a huge role, but I was seeking out information from others, when my body knew the truth all along, better than anyone else. So I was still putting my health and well-being into someone else's hands instead of taking responsibility for it and making it my job to fix it. No wonder I was so disappointed with the results!

We are all blessed beings, full of love and light. We often forget that, and when we do, we end up causing a lot of hurt, putting up blocks, and start believing that we are less - that we are not good enough, that we are incapable, that there is someone to blame, that we don't deserve love or happiness or everything. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all powerful, our thoughts are strong, our words, our actions, and our attitudes...they are all important and through them we create our realities. So here's to manifesting the lives we want and deserve. Here are the things that I am focusing on next in my life. I wouldn't call it a wish list, because they are not wishes - they are things I am focusing my energy on and creating:

I am starting a raw chocolate company.
I am expanding my raw chef base to do retreats and events.
I am buying land and creating an intentional permaculture community that nourishes connection, community and education.
I am having the best life ever, every day.
I am loving my family, friends, community, and every challenge that comes into my life and offers me an opportunity for growth.
I am giving more than I have ever given before, and then some.