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Friday, June 26, 2009

Garden Goals & Roles (models that is)

I have so many ideas and visions of things I'd like to make happen. One of the things that helps me tremendously is having a role model to follow as a guide to get me started.

One of my goals is to create an edible landscape. I want to grow foods that can't be found in the mainstream markets. I want to grow gourmet foods that are fresh picked and organic. Not only is the food highly nutritious and beaming with enzymes, but it's pretty fun to watch your little "babies" grow.

I always knew I wanted to grow a few fruit trees and have a little veggie garden, but in 2007 I decided I wanted to grow an edible landscape. I was turned on to two people who have given me lots of inspiration.

The first is the Dervae Family who are here in So Cal. I have actually had the pleasure of seeing their home, meeting them and learning from them. Their home is similar to mine. I have a small lot that I am working with so I find them a great role model for me to use as a source of inspiration in creating my edible landscape. They have a great website called "
Path to Freedom" with daily journal entries of life in their world. I love it! I also love their social networking site of Freedom Gardeners!

Check out this quick clip on what they have going on!

Another huge source of inspiration was the book
Edible Landscaping by Rosalind Creasy. She took the basic landscaping tools and created homes that had just as much beauty in the design, but with edibles. The book is pretty old, but she is actually coming out with a newer version in Spring of 2010! I can't wait to check it out. I am a sucker for books! Here is her latest project:

This is a typical So Cal home that shows me how I can get high density fruit trees planted in my small yard! I have no experience in espaliering, but it looks pretty simple.

So, I have been weeding, composting, building raised beds, vertical frames, digging up part of my front yard and mulching seedlings. Trust me, you don't want to see my manicure or my farmers tan! I realize it is a lot of work and it takes lots of time. Soil is the biggie and I have bulldozed clay soil. It's like concrete. I am working with raised beds until I can improve the soil. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and like it's going to take a lifetime to get things into place, but I keep hearing that song in my head...you know..... this one..."inch by inch, row by row...." Bring on The Muppet Days! :)

Ok, it's kinda cheesy, but I swear, that song sticks in my head when I am overwhelmed and I know...little by little...I'll get there! ;) Soon I'll be posting photos and videos of what I have been working on. :)

If you have a garden I wanna know about it. Post your links below or in the comments!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet Drema

Drema is one of those clients that threw me for a loop when I first met her. I was referred to give her massages due to her pain. That's all I was told. I had no idea what I was walking into. She was in her 40's. Her pain was due to an automobile accident, and not just a simple fender bender.

When she was 14 she was walking and was hit by a car on her left side. She was in a coma for over 9 months. She underwent several surgeries to repair the crushing of her bones, skull, and damage to her internal organs. I was freaked! I was walking in on a woman who had been bed ridden most of MY life. She couldn't hold up her head, sit on her own, or do much of anything really but lay in a bed propped with pillows. She did have some use of her right arm, but it was very unstable and wild.

At first she scared me. She was angry, she yelled, cried, and she didn't remember me every time I came. Sometimes her mind would go into a bad memory she experienced years ago and she'd shout and grab me with her right arm which was very strong and unstable as though she was back in that moment. I'd have to snap her out of it. I'd repeat who I was several times during a treatment and why I was there. At times I would feel so emotionally overwhelmed that I after her massage I would go and sit in my car and cry. I would ask myself "Can I do this?", "Why am I here?", "Can I even help her?"

She was filled with so much frustration. I didn't know what to do. She kept moaning that she wanted to WALK. Clearly that didn't seem that it was going to happen. After all, she had no use of her entire left side. She had been in a bed over 20 years. Her muscles were atrophied, or scarred. She couldn't sit on her own, she had to be propped with pillows in a bed. She couldn't even brush her own hair. Her right arm was all she had and it was very shaky, besides that think of a 3 month old baby and their physical abilities. That's just about where she was, but she could communicate. She would yell out demands of what she wanted others to do for her and her mother and sister would run and do whatever they could for her.

One day after a tough session I just decided if she wanted to walk then I was going to do whatever I could do to make that happen. She had already gone through years of unsuccessful therapy by trained doctors and therapists with minimal results. I had no idea how I would do it, but I didn't care. I'd find a way.

Months passed by of me stretching her, making her body go through the motions of getting up, rolling over, trying to make her to as many exercises as she could, even if it was just lifting her head and trying to do a crunch in bed. She'd be dripping with sweat and exhausted after an hour "workout".

Little by little she responded. Muscles that had not moved in 20 years started to wiggle. Her left leg started to move. Her left arm would start to move back and forth. She even began gripping with her left hand which was crushed, filled with scars, and had undergone several surgeries. She began holding up her head and turning it in all directions.

I soon realized her memory was improving. She knew who I was, remembered our visits and what were doing. I began enjoying seeing Drema. I loved her determination and drive. I enjoyed the challenge. I enjoyed experimenting with her and challenging her to see what she was capable of.

Little by little I noticed her fine motor skills were improving, but I knew the mind MUSCLES needed a workout too! So, I wrote out affirmations for her to type on her computer keyboard with the right hand. Affirmations like, "I can brush my own hair", "I can sit up on my own", I can brush my own teeth" and of course, "I am walking".

She has able to wiggle herself into her wheelchair.
And buckle her own seat belt using both hands! She was gaining use of her body parts again.

I helped her get out of bed......

to go and sit down in a chair other than her wheelchair....

She is exhausted from so much exertion!

What a satisfying feeling to see her in a chair for the first time in over 20 years!

Next, came sitting on things other than chairs. I wanted her to be able to use a bathroom again. When was the last time you felt thankful that you could use the bathroom?

So, I continued to help her walk. Her steps were improving. Just like a baby in a walker, I considered myself her life-sized walker! Tough stuff! I was sweating too!

I wanted her to put herself in bed from a standing. We would go back and forth from being in bed to getting up and standing for an hour sometimes.

Now I wanted her to stand on her own for the first time!

She's "cheating" a bit here by leaning on my chest, but pretty darn close!

A little wobbly!

I wanted her to be able to support her own body weight.....and she did it! Drema is standing on her own!

This was probably more exciting and rewarding than watching my own children learning to stand and walk on their own. Never underestimate what a determined mind can do. She was told she'd never do these things and here she is. Believe, because nothing is impossible.

As Wayne Dyer likes to say, "Nobody knows enough to be a pessimist." Anything the mind can perceive we can achieve. She had the determination, the drive! We went through sweat and tears....and after a year she did walk!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What's in my Refrigerator #2

Yes, you will find cool whip, vanilla ice cream (that I tossed out after making this video)and take out of Vietnamese. We are not perfect and I don't want to mislead anyone. My son was turning 13 and really wanted a pizza party. I went through some turmoil and then just said, "Fine, this is his party and it's once a year. If he thinks this is what he wants, then I'll let him make that choice." As a parent I know I have to let my kids make their own choices. They need to know what's out there and why we are choosing to eat this way.

I doubt you'll find those things in our fridge again considering how junky we felt after eating that. My son was bent over the toilet and everyone saw what happens when we eat junk. Some people that aren't raw think that when we feel sick from junk that "it's all in our head". I highly doubt this is how Alex wanted to feel on his birthday. That is part of going raw, your body really screams at you when you make a poor dietary choice. I think of it as a good thing, because most people are not sensitive enough to know the differences in food and how it makes them feel.

I want to make it clear that we are not 100% raw 100% of the time. We are high raw. Sometimes we will go several days even weeks 100% raw, then we will eat some cooked meals. Since we are on the go sometimes I don't take the time to prepare or pack food before we leave home. So we will eat vegan dishes at ethnic restaurants since lots of places don't use dairy and have lots of vegetarian options. My goal is to limit eating out since I really don't know what's in the food. In the winter we eat lots of soups, baked yams, and steamed veggies. It's hard to take down a smoothie when you are bundled up in the winter. I noticed that grains and beans do make me puffy and bloated. So, this winter I will be making more veggie dishes, even if they are cooked. I feel eating at home is far superior to food in a restaurant. So, that is the direction we are headed. And to think we used to eat over half of our meals out in restaurants about 5 years ago.

Our life was very different. Rather than focusing on the fact that we aren't 100% where we want to be, I like to focus on how far we have come. It encourages me to keep going. If I think about how we still eat out or cooked or whatever, then I feel guilt or shame and that is VERY UNempowering. It makes me feel like a failure, So,I change the focus to PROGRESS. I look at our fridge now and smile. I don't know anyone in my town who has a healthier fridge than mine right now.

We like to focus on hydration, greens, lots of exercise and sunshine. Overall, we are eating better than we did years ago and I am happy with that. Oh, and Alex wants only healthy food on his next birthday...See, I don't have to be the controlling mom. He figured it out himself. That's empowerment!

OK, so I am curious...what's in your fridge? Make a video, take some pics, post your link in my comment box. I wanna see what you've got going on in your fridge! :)

P.S. Yes, I am going to superglue my broken fridge drawer!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Quick Tour of Our Saturday Co-Op

I am a participant and co-organizer of this meetup. http://www.meetup.com/organicproduce/.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Calling All Moms!

Any woman who has ever yearned to give her child the very best start in life possible...
Any mother who has felt the need to go against the grain of society's standard parenting protocol because she knew there was a better way to live and to love...
Any mother who has ever questioned the status quo and believed that life and parenthood and the health of children could be better than it is, then what I am about to show you is something you've been waiting for.

"The Raw Mom Summit" is an online event starting on June 22nd and ending on June 30th. For 9 days and 9 nights the wisdom, experience and understanding of over 30 passionate health pioneers and some of the world's leading experts in alternative health, are bringing their voices together in the name of building healthy families and empowered leaders of the next generation.
You can learn more about this FREE online event by clicking HERE.

Chances like this don't happen every day.When you sign up for THIS, you're a part of history in the making. Anyone who registers for this event will look back on it as an experience that transformed they way they think about life, love and parenting.
If you leave it until the last minute and miss your chance to be a part of this, you'll regret it. It's a FREE program and I highly recommend you SIGN UP and invite your friends and loved ones to do the same by forwarding them this announcement.
Here's to the the next generation's right to lead empowered, healthy lives beyond what we can imagine today.

In love and health,

P.S. Keep in touch, because I'd love to hear what you think of the calls as they happen!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The "RAW MOM SUMMIT" is Here!

As many of you know I am a mother of 2 children. My son, Alex just had his 13th birthday and my daughter, Mehgan is almost 11. "School" has just ended for the summer. We have now offically completed our 3rd year of homeschool and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am focused on preparing my kids for the real world and am interested in teaching them the things that I find are missing in traditional school systems such as health, enjoying life, and sharing your passion. Entrepreneurship is something we are learning together. I only wish I had this as a kid growing up, but it's never too late. As a homeschooling mother, I find that learning is everywhere!

Over the years we have made many changes towards living a healthier lifestyle. Being a single working mom presented some challenges also. However, we have been able to accomplish so many of our goals. As we go along, it seems more opportunities for growth and improvement are constantly being presented. Who knows where it will lead us next.

About a month ago, I was humbled to be invited by Shannon Leone and Tera Warner of RawMom.com for the up-coming Raw Mom Summit. We spent an hour talking about transitioning my children who were used to eating the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) into a high raw diet. As many of you know, I have also been working on my bikini body challenge. I make it a priority to workout very regularly and stay very active. In my interview, I share my tips for staying fit as a busy mom. As a mom it is important for me to give my kids the best support and upbringing for a successful future and I share resources that helped us along the way.

I am amazed by all the wonderful information available on The Raw Mom Summit webpage . Shannon has compiled in over 30 interviews with such an incredible and diverse group of people. Please check out http://www.rawmomsummit.com/ and see how valuble these interviews are to mothers.

Starting MONDAY JUNE 22nd, 2009

What if you could gather together some of the most inspirational health leaders in the world and get them together in the same place for 9 days to discuss the subjects of nutrition, pregnancy, childbirth, parenting and other family health care issues?

What if you could get YOUR concerns addressed about how to succeed on a healthy diet or how to feed your children the best food? What if you could finally get answers to your questions about:

* What to do about Fertility, Ovulation and Conscious Conception?
* How to prepare for a Healthy Pregnancy, Labor and Childbirth?
* What is Attachment Parenting?
* Which natural remedies to use when your children are sick?
* How to feed a meat-eating partner if you are vegetarian or vegan?
* What should you feed yourself when you're overwhelmed with cravings?
* How to get kids excited and involved in their own food-prep?
* What to do when our kids rebel against our healthy diet?
* What is going on with the Bees and why is it so important?
* How to shrink our Carbon Footprint?
* What is Sustainability and Permaculture?
* What Super Foods are BEST for kids?
* Exactly what IS the healthiest diet?
* What are the best ways to Raise Children Naturally?
* What are the lesser-known common pit-falls of a Raw Food Diet?
* Which foods help or hinder our Hormones?
* What are the issues around Veganism, B-12 and Protein?
* What do Raw children eat?
* How to get picky eaters to crave their veggies?
* Which foods help kids transition and stick to a healthier diet?
* What are the other Top Lifestyle Factors besides diet for longevity?

What if you could get the answers to all these questions and a WHOLE LOT MORE while washing dishes in your pajamas and bouncing a babe on your hip at the same time?

Sound too good to be true?

Well, not if we're talking about an exciting new event that has been put together by two self-employed mothers with the spunk and determination to get these questions answered by some of the most outstanding experts in the world!

"It's time to bring together the Leaders in our community and inspire women as the heartbeat of their homes, to be the change we NEED to see in the world. It's time that we tell the world that the Evolution of Motherhood has arrived!"

Tera Warner, founder of

Friday, June 5, 2009

Movies That Have Affected My Food Choices

I haven't seen this, but I have heard so much about it. I honestly think I couldn't handle watching it. This trailer is bad enough:

The following are also films I have not seen, but I would be interested in seeing them.

The next one I am interested in seeing is Food, Inc. It's coming out June 12! Keep your eyes open!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why I Don't Eat Soy

Another informative article that I read back in 2002 after learning that soy was not good for my thyroid. The Ploy of Soy. I really wish more people knew about this with soy being marketed like crazy and lots of new vegans are coming on board. If I could help anyone going vegetarian or vegan or even raw I would inform them to stay off the soy!

I am not 100% raw 100% of the time. In the summer, I am pretty much 100 % raw, but as the cooler weather approaches I find myself eating homemade veggie soups, steamed or baked veggies. When I became vegan I found myself eating tons of grains and beans. I really felt puffy and bloated from them. So to this day I rarely eat them. If I do I know I'll be puffy for about 3 days after. Who wants that? So, for me, fruit and veggies are where it's at. If I go out to a restaurant and have vegan cuisine they always ask if I want tofu. I say "No thanks, just extra veggies please".