Monday, October 26, 2015

Juicing for Autism study

Registration for Juicing for Autism study is now open at: It is a free study. I signed up Jona and Raymond. Please visit the website for more information. Steve Prussack and Karen Ranzi are running the program. I interviewed Karen when I was Blog Editor at Raw Mom. She is a lovely woman. That is one of the reasons I decided to join.

Please share with others.

Althea ◦

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Six Best Pieces of Advice I've Ever Received

Life is always teaching you something. I am finally listening....

1. Communication. Communication. Communication. - from my Grandma Pearl. Before I got married the first time (I've been married twice in case I never mentioned that), I asked my grandma the secret to a long marriage. She said, "Baby..." then she slapped her knee three times for each word for effect.. "it's communication, communication, communication."

This was my response: "WTF?"

I was 24 at the time. Not the brightest bulb in the box.

At 43, I get it.

Life will continue to kick you in the ass until you finally figure it out. It's like Oprah says, the lesson will come as a whisper, then a brick, until you get it. My mom says an entire brick wall fell on top of me around this one. This lesson applies to any intimate relationship and estranged family members and friends.

2. A marriage is a living breathing thing. When it dies, you must grieve the loss. - from Vivian Nichols. I met Vivian at the Yoga for Women of Color Retreat at Kripalu in May 2013. That November, she came to one of my yoga classes. I had been physically separated from Rom for four months at the time, so that advice came early on. It was the single best piece of advice I received around my divorce. It helped me move through all five stages of grief (denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance) without getting stuck in one stage for too long. Which leads to:

3. Forgiveness. - every major spiritual text ever written. Prolonged anger and resentment toward people, places, and things only poisons your body, mind, and spirit. The greater the offense, the greater the pain, therefore the greater the need to forgive.

Self-forgiveness is a big one too. We all do stupid s&^$. We carry around shame and self-loathing way too long. I may have to write a long post on this one alone. I've seen it in myself and almost everyone I know. When you forgive yourself, you feel better about you. Which leads to:

4. When you love yourself, everything in your life works. - from Louise Hay. Don't sleep on this one. I have read You Can Heal Your Life like a bagazillion times. If I were stuck on an island, I'd take it and The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity by Catherine Ponder. Louise's premise is simple: most people don't love themselves. They don't think they are worthy of life's goodness. Back to what I said in #3 about forgiveness, we carry guilt, shame, anger, revenge around in our hearts and self-sabotage ourselves.

It's easy to roll your eyes around self-love. I have been working on this one, and I see the benefits. Louise advocates mirror work. Start here:

5. When you don't know what to do, love yourself. - from Gina Laverde. Piggybacking on #4...Gina just said this to me on Saturday. Today I lifted weights (back & biceps, and legs), practiced yoga nidra, and took a yoga class, all in one day. I haven't done anything like that for myself since I have had children. And Raymond is thirteen! I'm like, okay, this is cool. Lately, I haven't known what to do, so that is where the cleanse (Day 21!) came from. Do whatever you like. It can be simple. Watch a funny TV show. Massage your feet. Dance in your living room. You'll be able to think better afterward, and it will be easier to know what move to make when you feel lost.

6. Trust in Love for all your days. - my Mocha Angels. I channeled my Mocha Angels book in 2005. Every message started with "Trust in the Lord for all your days." Trust in God? Understood. But something wasn't right. It didn't click. I recently heard, "It's Trust in LOVE for all your days." THAT felt right to me. I interpret it to mean to always trust in something greater, bigger, and grander than yourself. Make Love the highest guide in your decision-making process. Love is unchanging, and it's the highest emotion we can feel for each other.

After my topsy-turvy 2015, I'm ready to listen to all of this awesome advice. Feel free to share the best advice you ever received.



Sunday, October 18, 2015

Body Ecology: Raymond and Jona, Week 1 and 2

Raymond and Jona are two weeks into the Body Ecology Diet. They are doing the BEDROK version of the diet. BEDROK stands for Body Ecology Recovering Our Kids. The website is here:
Body Ecology website is here: The philosophy in a nutshell is heal the gut, heal a multitude of other issues, both physical and psychological.

Let me tell you all at the top: I saw improvement in Raymond within 48 hours. No lie. No exaggeration. Jona is still drinking apple juice and eating gluten free bread because he is more rigid than his brother. Raymond is no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, and is eating fermented vegetables as well.

The steps in BEDROK are:
1. Remove the offending foods: sugars, gluten, casein, grains and starches, processed foods, soy, refined vegetable oils.
2. Drink Young Coconut Kefir.
3. Eat cultured vegetables.
4. Eat raw cultured butter and other good fats.
5. Add homemade broth.
6. Follow the principles of food combining. A chart is below.

A better chart is here:
Article here:

My children, at the moment, are not vegetarian. I hope that doesn't offend any of my readers. Their plate looks very simple: fish or turkey or eggs, salad with homemade dressing, a steamed vegetable, and cultured vegetables (for Raymond). Raymond is also only drinking water. Jona has apple juice with his lunch. For the rest of the day he only drinks water.

What changed in both boys is that they lost weight. I don't know how much, but it's obvious that they have. Raymond said to me today, "I'm losing weight." I asked how could he tell. He said, "My belly is shrinking."

The other three things are Raymond's OCD symptoms alleviated. His major symptom is touching objects. If he was at 100 before the diet, on a scale from 0 to 100, then he is at a 40 now. The difference was obvious to his father and his teachers as well. The other thing was farting. He farted all of the time. I mean ALL THE TIME. I have heard my child fart all of twice in two weeks. He went from 100 to 2 on a 0 to 100 scale. And his constipation is easing. He told me on Friday, "I pooped twice today." For him, that is an achievement. The only change I see in Jona is that he is pooping more often as well.

Yesterday, I had a medical intuitive reading about my children and me with Gina Laverde.
( I am a professional intuitive myself, and I would absolutely recommend her to anyone. It's hard to do a reading on my children because they are my strongest emotional connection. The hallmark of a good reading is objectivity, neutrality, and detachment. It's hard to be any of those things with my boys. So I went to someone else. She is worth every penny. It's too much information to go into here. In short, her food recommendations were simple for the boys:

"Homemade broth, slow cooking, high mineral, high nutrition food that has a grounding nature (lots of root vegetables), plus the Body Ecology steps already being taken. Liver support for Jona with beets (which I am going to put in his smoothies)."

Jona is easing his way into the diet. Once I get them both solidly there, they will be on it strictly through the winter, at least. The goal is to heal their digestive system so they can slowly add other foods successfully.

And I am on Day 18 on my own gluten/dairy/sugar free lifestyle. Even though I still have the sniffles, I am back at the gym tomorrow.

Healing is holistic. It's not just food. As we heal with other modalities, I will share them here.

Althea ◦

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 11 No gluten, no sugar, no dairy

What fast? What happened to Days 1-10? I wanted to see if I could do this first! And doing it I am! Even though I am on the tail end (I hope) of what I think are detox symptoms, I really want to get this written.

Me and my personal trainer, Eric, swinging those kettlebells. Never thought I'd do such a thing!

When chaos reigns, you need to look at yourself. Not your partner, kids, parents, boss, family, only you. Too many things happened in a short period of time that forced me to question myself.

July 18: I lost someone near and dear to me.
August 17: Interviewed for full time job.
August 19: I didn't get the job as paraeducator, but was offered a position as Inclusion Helper.
August 21: Was let go from a yoga teacher job before I even started, two days after I signed a contract.
August 25: Started full-time job.
August 31/Sept 1: Was sent to the ER from full-time job, with high blood pressure, dizziness, and left side heaviness. What does that sound like? I didn't have a stroke. But I was in the hospital overnight in the stroke ward. Diagnosis: complex migraine.  Nothing like being unexpectedly in the hospital to make you think about your life. And think I did...
September 3: I resigned from full-time job. They were nice enough to ask if I still wanted to be a substitute teacher. I was very grateful. And I still had kept my other job, so I was never unemployed.
September 5: Watched the movie version of the book Wild.
September 18: My last day at the full-time job.

Two things struck me. One, the movie is based on the real story of Cheryl Strayed, who hiked 2600 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone. She was going through major chaos like divorce and drug addiction and the loss of a parent. I could relate, even though my chaos was different than hers. Pain is pain. The second thing that stuck me was a line Cheryl's mom Bobbie said. It was, "When you find your best self, do everything possible to hold on to it."

I was my best self when I was raw vegan. The problem has been sticking to it, even with my culinary training. After watching the movie, I decided to drop the gluten, dairy, and sugar. Sugar is my real problem. When I am stressed, all I want is chocolate. And pre-menstrual, forgettaboutit. Chocolate is all I want. With all that was swirling around me, I was in the midst of the dark night of the soul. I had to do something.

My fridge on Day 1

October 1 was my first day. I am going at least 45 days, and truthfully, I see no reason to turn back. From Day 1 to Day 9, mentally I felt great. And no cravings. I was, and still am, on an emotional even keel. But Friday night, standing in my kitchen, my head was congested in an instant, and I couldn't stop the illness. It descended on me quickly. Friday night and Saturday morning, all I wanted was my mother. My ears, teeth, gums, nose, sinuses, and head were on fire. I felt better when I had the flu. This was horrible. Now it's Sunday night, and I am better, but very weak.

Seconds. Go to your farmer's market and ask for them. Seconds is the name for overripe fruit. That whole bag was $4.00.

My first day.

At first I was going all liquid. My main job is too physical for that. I did juice and smoothies for lunch and dinner. Soup and salad for lunch. I did that for seven days. On Day 8, I started eating again, still keeping the no gluten, dairy, or sugar. And you know what happened on Day 9. Hopefully, it's just detox symptoms and nothing more serious.

I also started my sons on their own cleanse. Jona has been dairy free for a week. I am transitioning him slowly because his eating habits are quite rigid. Raymond has been on no sugar, dairy, and gluten since October 6. The results for him are nothing short of remarkable. What is happening with him is my next post.

Althea ◦


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