Author of Three Amazon #1 Best Selling Books

Posts by » Ariane

Killer Shrooms, Man

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Jul 5, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Since I mostly post sweet recipes, I wanted to share a very simple and versatile side dish I made this week: raw marinated mushrooms.  I’m a big fan of dishes that improve, rather than get yucky, as the week goes on, and these ‘shrooms do exactly that.  They continue to intensify in flavor, and get a bit softer but never get past a standard “cooked” texture. They’re quick and easy to make; the bulk of the work lies in chopping them, which if you wanted you could actually avoid.  Keeping them whole would yield less flavor throughout, but a firmer texture.  I happen to like the texture of cooked mushrooms, and really enjoyed how indistinguishable these were from their cooked counterparts.  This was definitely a just-throw-stuff-in-a-bowl-to-taste recipe more so than a specific-amounts one, and I honestly doubt you could make them in a way that tastes bad! They are so yummy, there isn’t even any need to add salt.

Easy Raw Marinated Mushrooms:
2 lbs button and/or cremini mushrooms, chopped into 1/4s or 1/8s depending on size
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked
2 tbls dried dill
3 parts balsamic vinegar to each 1 part cold-pressed olive oil (use cider vinegar for a 100% raw dish)
lots of fresh cracked black pepper

Chop mushrooms and place in a big bowl. Add garlic and herbs, then pour vinegar about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach a point of saturation. Once the mushrooms won’t absorb any more vinegar, pour on a fraction as much olive oil. Doing it this way helps ensure the mushrooms absorbed vinegar, not oil, so all you need of oil is what you’ll be tasting, rather than them absorbing a bunch of extra oil.

These can be eaten as is, as a topping for a protein or grain, or added to a salad to act as both dressing and condiment. I made a snack of them on bell peppers with an oatmeal-based cheddar spread, which was a delicious mostly-raw lunch.





Health Note: I’m on week four of Dr. Terry Wahls’ “Minding Your Mitochondria” diet, and though it is far different than my standard way of eating, I’m noticing numerous physical benefits of it.  Part of the diet is to eat three cups daily of sulphur rich veggies.  Most vegetables that fall into that category are cruciferous, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  While those are very good for you, they’re hard on your thyroid (and mine is already ruined), and you should eat them cooked.  This dish is a perfect way to get in your daily allotment of sulphur rich veggies while upping your raw foods intake.  Mushrooms are also full of C and B Vitamins, making them an excellent immune booster.


Celebrating 17 Years of Pies

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Jul 3, 2012 Chessie/kitties , , , 0 Comments

Our oldest cat is named Pies, and she recently turned 17.  She is still holding strong and is, I believe, no more crotchety than she was as a kitten, because she has always been a crotchety cat.  Pies is a classic grouch, happier to scratch you than let you pet her, but she has her moments.  She sleeps on me every night, and is the most loving animal one could ask for… in the wee hours of the morning, and only then.

Pies was a rescue kitty– she was found in a trash can with her mom.  At the time I got her, when I was scarcely 18, I already had a kitten, named Maddles, who has since died of lymphoma.  Maddles was queen of the house, and always kept Pies in check.  When Maddles died at age 11, I thought Pies would suddenly spring out of her shell and develop a stronger/more loving personality, but that never happened.  Pies remained as introverted and unfriendly as ever, and she remains as such to this day.  She has no health ailments to the best of our knowledge, and though a little slower than in times past, is still fully mobile and spritely.  I love her dearly because we have spent so long together, and because I’d like to think that those middle-of-the-night loves are indicative of her true, deeper self.

Initially named Ivy, which then evolved into Ivy-Pie, then I-Pie, then Pies, she has been Pies for close to ten years now, and it’s a name that always confounds strangers.  There is no hidden meaning behind it; of all desserts, pies are far from my favorite.  It’s a quirky name for a quirky cat, and it fits her well.  So here’s to you, Pies, in all your wonderful, crotchety, beautiful glory.  You are as well-traveled as a gal could be, having lived in nearly twenty homes on two coasts.  You’ve seen me through relationships, roommates, and careers, and you’ve meowed begrudgingly by my side through all of it.  Ace and I love you to pieces, Bill always wanted you to be his girlfriend, and Chessie and Mama LeeLee are doing a damn fine job of putting up with your persnickety ways.  We hope you decide to stick around for another 17 years, because life just wouldn’t be the same without you.

P.S. We REALLY appreciate that you stopped peeing on everything a couple years ago.  Keep up the good work, please!


































Drink Your Purples

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Jun 25, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Everyone always talks about kale being one of the healthiest foods on the planet, but for some reason, you don’t tend to hear nearly as much about colored kales, like purple and red.  Something many people don’t know is that while greens are EXCELLENT for you, and very vital to health, red and purple foods actually contain MORE antioxidants.  In fact, what gives purple foods their color is actually the antioxidant anthocyanin, which fights heart disease/cancer/stoke/diabetes and boosts memory.  Dark red fruits also contain anthocyanin, and have lycopene too, which helps eyes and immune systems.  SO when you take a vitamin-powerhouse veggie like kale and add the properties of a red or purple food to it, you get some serious healthy power.

I tend to make smoothies with red and purple kale because after years of murky green and brown shakes, I want ones that look appealing these days.  The smoothie I made this morning is a perfect example of a breakfast that is both beautiful AND beautifying.

Purple Protein Shake:
2/3 cup blackberries (I used fresh bc they’re in season right now, frozen is fine)
1 peach
1 1/2 cups purple kale
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1-2 scoops protein powder
Optional: 1/3 dropper grape stevia. If you add this, the smoothie will have an overall grape-ish flavor that marries perfectly with its purple color.

Chessie decided to take a break from my neuro-rehabilitation notebook she was napping on and give a good sniff to this deliciousness.


Pretty Pretty… Smoothie?

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Jun 14, 2012 , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Recently I heard about adding beets to smoothies, so since I had some cooked ones in the fridge this morning I decided to try it.  And WOW, do beets gorgeous up a drink! I also added chia kombucha to this for extra fruitiness and tang.

This is the smoothie I made:





And this is how I made it:

1 1/2 cups purple kale leaves
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1 small cooked beet
1 white nectarine
a 1 inch piece of frozen banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup black chia kombucha
1 scoop protein powder
1 tsp camu camu powder
stevia to taste

Camu camu intensifies the sweet tart fruitiness, coconut milk mellows it out a little, and I swear, you can’t even taste all that kale! I prefer purple kale for red smoothies because besides the additional antioxidant benefits of purple foods, it’s nice to sometimes to have normal looking/not swampy smoothies.


The Healthy Traveler: Ten Easy Tips

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Jun 5, 2012 health , , , , , , 0 Comments

My mother often jokes that she and my father don’t travel simply because they would need too many suitcases for all of my father’s supplements.  Traveling while maintaining one’s health, and trying to be eco-friendly on top of that, is no small task.  My recent trip to S.F. inspired me to compile a list of what I do to be as health and planet conscious as possible while away.

1. Avoid the x-ray machines at the airport.  Natural news sites report that there is thousands of times more radiation in these machines than the TSA discloses, and conventional news acknowledges that the amount is at least a good bit higher than claimed.  Why radiate yourself more than you already are by flying?  Opt for a pat down instead… they usually aren’t too bad.  Once, the guard spent WAY the hell too long prodding around my vagina, but beyond that, it’s been pretty painless.





And a clip from an article about this on Huffington Post:

“Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) sent a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology echoing the concern that radiation from the scanners could damage skin and underlying tissue, potentially leading to skin cancer.  The White House Office responded that the technology had been tested extensively for safety, but the scientists noted numerous flaws in the response and are currently preparing a rebuttal.  Because the radiation beam from the scanners concentrates on your skin, researchers believe the dose may be up to 20 times higher than is being estimated.”

2. Reduce your radiation exposure by flying as soon away from noon as possible, when radiation is at its highest.  Never heard that you’re exposed to about 65 times the normal amount of radiation when flying?  You can read the Science Daily News article about it, or google “radiation flying” for more info.

3. Protect yourself from both radiation and getting sick by taking anti-oxidants, specifically astaxanthin.  Mercola discusses that here.  Lots of foods have great anti-oxidative powers too!





4. Pack produce.  Of all the food items you’re likely to have a difficult time finding on your trip, simple raw vegetables rank amongst the highest.  Before leaving, pack your purse or extra bag with green veggies that keep well for days in a mini-fridge, such as baby (Persian) cucumbers and sugar snap peas.  This way even if you end up eating worse/more processed food than planned, you can still supplement throughout the days by snacking on fresh, preferably organic, healthy snacks.

5. Be an eco-conscious hotel guest.  Opt out of housekeeping at least every other day by keeping the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for the day, because unless you’re a big family, three small, medium, and large towels each is probably enough for two days.  You don’t change the hand towels in your bathroom at home every time you wash your hands, so there’s no reason to do so at a hotel; it’s not as if any less heat and water are consumed just because you’re not getting the bill.  In most hotels nowadays, there is a card you can use to let housekeeping know whether or not you want fresh linens.  Again, you’d never change your bedsheets daily, so unless you’re staying somewhere for weeks on end, opt to have the bed remade with the same linens each day you utilize housekeeping.

6. Buy water in one or 2.5 gallon containers, rather than tiny bottles, and keep them in your room.  If you are walking around a lot and need small bottles, get a couple- or better yet, bring your own re-useable empties from home- and fill them up at your hotel daily.  While plastic is still involved from the gallon jugs, it’s a LOT less,  and every little bit helps.  Alternately, if you are somewhere rural that actually has quality tap water, fill empty bottles straight from the sink.





7. Find the farmers.  Farmers markets are everywhere now, and usually just by googling the term along with the city you’re staying in, you can get a guide for when local markets occur.  You get a great outside morning or afternoon activity out of it, will find out what’s in season where you’re staying vs. your home, get to try new foods, and can restock your supply of healthy snacks to keep at the hotel.

8. Keep a morning routine.  When you plan too many activities for every day, you’ll lose track entirely of your normal healthy habits.  Start your day in a homey fashion in your room with a morning beverage (like organic tea you’ve brought from home) with enough time to remember to take your vitamins (you brought them with you, right?), drink plenty of water, work out if that’s part of your normal morning at home, and gather your thoughts.   This is a photo from my hotel room in SF this past weekend- it was very easy to bring travel-sized stevia and a package of cococeps to drink each morning for a healthy start.





9. Allow occasional indulgences.  Unless you’re off visiting a farm, temptations will abound.  Do your best to eat as many quality, organic, whole foods based meals as possible, but allow yourself a meal here and there comprised of comfort foods.  If you eat like crap the whole time, you’ll go home feeling sluggish, heavy, and off in the head, but if you eat mostly healthy and indulge for a meal or snack every couple days, you’ll return both satiated and proud.  Help negate the fact that you’re likely to eat heavier food than at home no matter how cautious you are by walking wherever possible in the place you’re visiting.

10. Don’t waste any days hungover.  If you know you’re going to be drinking, as is very normal when on vacation, pack a few supplements that will help your body combat the effects of alcohol.  Specifically, bring milk thistle, charcoal, vitamin B, liquid oxygen with trace minerals (like Cell Power or Cell Food), and get some coconut water for your room.  These supplements will drastically reduce your risk of feeling lousy the next day after an afternoon or evening of too much fun.

Enjoy!






Get Well Soon: My CLD Protocols

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Jun 5, 2012 health , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 32 Comments

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the volume of inquiries I receive requesting help for Lyme Disease, I am unable to reply to all blog comments and emails.  If you are interested in scheduling a phone or Skype consultation with me on treating Lyme Disease naturally, please contact me directly by email or phone.

 

 

So far, I’ve had Lyme Disease and Bartonella in complete remission for 4 years, and that includes having spent 6-8 months minimum getting seriously exposed to carbon monoxide.  If one can get hardcore chronic CO poisoning and still not relapse, I think it’s safe to say their treatment system was damn successful.  In total, I dealt with Lyme for about 2 1/2 years before getting it into remission, which is shorter than many people out there, but still long enough for it to have taken over my body on a cellular level.  At my worst, I had fibromyalgia so bad that my legs would not bend enough for me to walk.

I have a document that I’ve sent to many people with everything I did to get well, and decided it was time to post it here for the interwebs at large to have access to.  Some things are more personal than I’d really care to share publicly, but I am doing so for the sake of hoping to help others.  Note that this is just what worked for ME, and is not medical advice from a professional.  I’m just a health foodie chef girl who manages to survive an array of wacky illnesses and wants to share whatever possible to help others recover too.

Lyme Success- What I Did:

-The #1 thing that killed the Lyme was a GB 4000 rife machine.  It costs about $2500, my parents bought it for me.  Basically, it is a
radio frequency machine that bursts both the lyme and the cysts the disease creates inside your cells to protect itself from being killed.
(Antibiotics make the lyme build stronger and stronger cyst protections, which is why people plateau so quickly on them.)  I also
found useful the rife’s programs/settings for pain, detox, etc.  A cheaper option is a doug coil, which can be homemade, or a Hulda Clark Zapper.  Though the cost of the GB 4000 is high, it is cheaper than antibiotics and all their supplies, and much more effective.

-Therapy helped a lot with the entire process.  Lyme eats up your brain and creates whacked out, f-ed up emotional problems; I would sit in the closet in the dark and cry for hours, with no cause or understanding of why.  I’d always been pretty stable before, that
wasn’t normal for me at all and was very scary.  I also had a LOT of awful suicidal thoughts that came as soon as any conflict arose in
life.  I just couldn’t deal with anything without feeling overwhelmed and like I wanted to die.  Therapy not only got rid of all that, it
gave me hope that I would get better, which in turn, I did.  I did DNMS, developmental needs meeting strategy, along with EMDR, eye movement desensitization reprocessing.  My therapist taught me how to be sick, and then, how to be a better version of myself when I got well.

-Supplements are VITAL.  I took daily all of the following: sarsaparilla root, pau d’arco, chlorella, milk thistle, probiotics, proteolytic enzymes, zeolite, krill oil, olive leaf, magnesium, immunity mushroom blend, ubiquinol, and a multiple with high amounts of b/c/d etc. plus an antioxidant blend.

-Acupuncture was the thing that actually catapulted me into wellness.  I had already killed the lyme, but was so overrun with toxins I couldn’t get out that I hadn’t yet felt any recovery.  Acupuncture, specifically the mobile cupping, mobilized the toxins out, and I began recovering the day in late December 2010 that I first had it done.

-Coffee enemas.  I know, major wtf.  But seriously, they helped a lot.  There is pretty much NO way you can get out all the toxins building up from killing lyme without drastic actions.  Google has all the info on how the caffeine stimulates your liver to dump the toxins out.  I did these twice a week, minimum.

-Epsom salt baths with hydrogen peroxide, after every rife treatment.  They help pull the toxins out through your skin.

-Diet. I’ve always been an extreme health foodie, but I had to go as far as cutting out all grains, fruit, etc. for awhile.  Lyme makes bad
stuff grow in your intestines, and both ibs and candida are very common in Lyme patients, so you can’t feed the yeast or it makes the
Lyme stronger by creating a more acidic internal environment.  Incidentally, I had horrific ibs before being diagnosed and fixed both
that and the major candida symptoms with a product called Intestinew by Renew Life.  Organic, unprocessed food is key.

-Kombucha. I drank 16-32 oz a day, which is pricey, but it’s the only thing that ever helped me palpably feel better, plus it’s full of
bio-available probiotics.

-E3 Live: again, pricey.  It’s a good way to get high potency greens,  but I didn’t feel it really helped until I was already on the way to
getting better.

-For insomnia, they gave me ketamine, to which I said no way.  I managed to sleep with large doses of amantilla, which is valerian root
extract, and a chinese herbal complex called an shui wan.

-For pain, a topical cream called Thermoderm provided substantial relief.  It’s cheap.  Also, pot helped with pain, specifically pot with
a low thc to high cannabanoid ratio.

As for what to avoid:
-Lyme disease forums on which everyone is still ill.  Majorly depressing.

-Antibiotics if possible, which only have a 65% recovery rate and a 35% relapse rate anyway and will likely ruin one’s digestive system indefinitely.  They are the standard course of treatment.

-Cowden Protocol, or herbs from it.  The herx (die off reaction) is the worst ever… like bugs crawling all over you, bad drug trip, tear
your eyes out, bad.  This includes samento, cumanda, and the other herbal antimicrobials.  The herbs with it like burbur, pinella,
magnesium malate, and serrapeptase are fine.

The Number One Lesson That Helped Me:

In my interview with the fabulous Blythe of Blythe Raw Live, I detailed my process with Lyme, as well as the statement from my therapist that was utterly transformational to my healing process.  The Lyme clip is only about five minutes total and has some good info, but if you don’t want to watch it all, fast forward to about four minutes in for that part.  I think it’s the most powerful when spoken.  You can watch it here.

Again, I’m no professional!  I grew up in a very holistic household that taught me to always choose natural remedies before Western Medicine when possible.  In my opinion and experience, that is the smartest, most productive, and best way to go for overall health.


Round Two: A Variation of Last Week’s Raw Vegan Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

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May 30, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

This week I want to recreate the cherry-berry pie I made last week, but thought it would benefit from a fruity pudding layer in addition to the chocolate one.  I dried and reconstituted the fruit in a similar fashion (and used an extra cup of cherries so the pie was more full), but instead of just the chocolate avocado mousse, I made a raspberry mousse, then added cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder to about 1/3 of it.  This made a berry-chocolate pudding- if you wanted distinctly different flavors in the layers, you could make both this berry recipe and last week’s chocolate one. The raspberry mousse itself tastes “like a Sweet Tart” according to Ace- the camu camu powder lends a tangy, flavorful note.

This time, I skipped the coconut nectar in the fruit layer; the idea of it had been for glossiness, and you just don’t see enough of the fruit for that to matter. I also changed the crust slightly- the other one was very thin, and I wasn’t terribly keen on the figs.  For flavor and color I added cocoa powder to the crust, as well as a small amount of reserved dried cherries and strawberries.  I like the look and taste of this one better than the last.

For decor, I used fresh blueberries and cacao nibs, and also swirled some of the chocolate mousse into the raspberry layer on top.

Raw Vegan Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie, the Sequel:

Crust:
1 cup raw pecans
2/3 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup almond meal
4 dates
6 each partially dried (not reconstituted) cherries and strawberry chunks
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tbls coconut sugar
pinch Himalayan salt

Soak dates in warm water for ten minutes. Pulse pecans and walnuts in food processor, then add remaining ingredients and process until a sticky crumb is formed. Press into a pie tin and set aside.
Any other raw pie crust recipe could be subbed for this one, or any other nuts/fruit you prefer.

Cherry Berry Filling:
2 cups strawberries, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
5 cups cherries, pitted

Place cherries and strawberries onto a dehydrator tray (fruit should fill one tray) and dry at 108 degrees for about eight hours. Refrigerate until ready to use. To prep for pie, reconstitute by covering them in warm water for about ten minutes. Drain and squeeze gently, then mix in coconut nectar.

Raspberry Mousse:

2 large or 3 small avocados
1 small banana
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup buckwheat honey, coconut nectar or agave OR 2/3 cup water and 2 droppers liquid stevia
3 tbls beet juice for color
3 tbls lucuma powder
1 tsp camu camu powder

Blend until creamy. Remove 2/3 of mix and set aside.

Cacao Mousse:
1/3 raspberry mousse recipe
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 scoops chocolate protein powder

Blend until creamy, and thin with water if needed.

Assembly:

Place a thin layer of raspberry mousse on top of the crust, followed by a thin layer of chocolate mousse. Throughly strain the cherries and strawberries, and add them. Top with all but about 3 tbls of chocolate mousse (or all of it if you don’t want to use it for decorating), then with remaining raspberry mousse. Decorate as desired.










Pie Time! Raw Vegan Fresh Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

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May 22, 2012 raw vegan recipes , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

My cherry obsession continues, only now they are FINALLY briefly in season, so currently I’m getting my fill of actual live cherries, not frozen or dried ones.  Though not a “pie person” per say, I greatly enjoy raw apple pie, where you partially dehydrate sliced apples then reconstitute them so they acquire a slightly smooshy baked quality.  I decided to carry that technique over to fresh cherries and strawberries, and layer it with a raw food staple: cacao avocado mousse.  If you have some time of your hands, this is the perfect summer recipe to try!  I made the chocolate mousse/pudding a couple days ago (and we’ve been enjoying plenty of it on its own), dried the fruit yesterday, and made the crust/assembled the whole thing today.  Having done it in parts, the actual crust-making and full pie assembly took less than a half hour.

Note that the cacao mousse recipe is for a full multi-serving yield… because really, if you are gonna dirty your blender, you might as well have a couple days worth of pudding to show for it! Also, you can make it without adding any fruit- I thought it’d be great for the chocolate layer to have notes of cherry.


Raw Vegan Fresh Cherry Berry Chocolate Cream Pie

Crust:
1 cup raw pecans
1/2 cup almond meal
5 dates
5 dried figs
pinch Himalayan salt

Soak dates and figs in warm water for ten minutes. Pulse pecans in food processor, then add remaining ingredients and process until a sticky crumb is formed. Press into a pie tin and set aside.
Any other raw pie crust recipe could be subbed for this one, or any other nuts/fruit you prefer.

Cherry Berry Filling:
2 cups strawberries, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
4 cups cherries, pitted
1/4 cup coconut nectar

Place cherries and strawberries onto a dehydrator tray (fruit should nearly fill one tray) and dry at 108 degrees for about eight hours. Refrigerate until ready to use. To prep for pie, reconstitute by covering them in warm water for about ten minutes. Drain and squeeze gently, then mix in coconut nectar.

Cacao Avocado Mousse:
3 extra large avocados or 4-5 medium ones
1 heaping cup cherries, pitted
3/4 cup coconut nectar, buckwheat honey, or agave OR 2/3 cup water and 2 droppers liquid stevia
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

Blend in VitaMix or other high-powered blender until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Assemble:
Place a thin layer of cacao mousse along the bottom of the crust. Drain any excess liquid from fruit, and pour in. Add about two cups of cacao mousse on top, until fruit barely peeps through- more can be added if desired.

Decor:
I used a pint of raspberries, and about 1/4 cup of cacao nibs for a topping. You can decorate any way you choose; I placed the raspberries around the edge, and made a sort of flower out of them by taking several berries and flattening them, then laying each around one main berry. I then put a small mint leaf in the center of the whole raspberry.





 






You Could Write a Book on That

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May 21, 2012 health , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

I’m a firm believer that everything that happens in life has a purpose.  One of my favorite lines is, “If it was meant to happen any other way, it would have.” Inasmuch as I believe this, finding the reason for life’s occurrences can be quite the serious challenge.  When we first found out last month about the situation in our home and began to put all our sickness pieces together into a puzzle of assorted chemical exposures, I could not for the life of me understand why, after less than a year of wellness, I was stuck being sick again- and sick in as serious a way as Lyme disease, if not more so.  It was impossible for me to jump out of victim mentality as the shock began to settle, and, “Why me, why us?”  was the main thought in my mind.  I mean, really- I spend my life eating clean, organic foods, using natural cleaners, not drinking out of plastic bottles, etc.,  just so I can get slowly gassed and poisoned in my own home for months on end?

Once we began to try and sort all this out by going to various doctors, setting up treatments, and consulting with a lawyer, I steadfastly grew more depressed.  The unfairness of it all was so overwhelming.  Our cat- Ace’s baby and love- was gone, my brain is shot, I’ve been in pain all year, Ace has “seasonal allergies” no matter what the season… our list of symptoms is literally pages long, and it’s a lot to digest.  The notion that some of my brain damage may be permanent was horrifying news, and the ten hours of neuro-psych testing I did was far from the easy experience it would have been before all this.  I continued asking, “Why?” as I worried about ever getting better, instead of listening to everyone who told us how lucky we were to be alive.

It finally dawned on me that the only thing I hadn’t done after recovering from Lyme was document my story, which numerous people had both suggested and requested.  When I realized I could do that now, and write a broader story about surviving not just Lyme disease but also carbon monoxide and assorted chemical poisonings, it struck a strong chord in me.  This is my path.  I am passionate about healthy food and wellness and constructed a business based on the model of feeding people healthy snacks they would be able to eat without even realizing the nutrition benefits of.

I am going to write a book about how to be well, even when you’re not.  As soon as I decided this, I began to feel hopeful.  While my physical symptoms have yet to lessen at all even though I’m about a dozen sessions into hyperbaric oxygen treatment, this decision lifted a good bit of my depression cloud.  I was reminded of “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod, someone I greatly admire.  He is an RnR customer who overcame a vehicular accident that technically killed him for a few minutes.  Due to his “attitude of gratitude” and strong will, he recovered at an alarming speed.  His bones and brain literally healed faster than doctors said was possible because he decided that he was going to get well.  Now he is a motivational speaker (and excellent writer) who empowers others to live their lives to the fullest.

Writing a book makes perfect sense given that I have a degree in writing, but is daunting to me because so many parts of my brain feel broken nowadays.  I’ve decided to take this on as my summer project, as a reason to get out of the house daily even if I don’t have the memory and learning skills to go back to work anytime soon.  Once my neuro-psych report is completed, I’ll find out what treatments are going to be involved to help my mind recover.  I do have a feeling that some aspects of the brain damage are going to be deemed untreatable, but I will still be taught how to work with them.  As someone who has always been very proud of her intellect, this entire experience has been devastating, and the idea that I may never be as smart as I was before is very hard to stomach.  But one important part of life that I learned from Lyme is this: we are never, ever going to be who we used to be again.  Thinking, “I want my old life back,” is insane, because no matter whether you’re sick or not, life is change.  You’ll never be who you were before, no matter what.  I just want to be the best new version of myself I can be.  All I can ask of the world is help in becoming that.

To say, “Thank you,” to those who have stood by me- or, more like, propped me up completely- lately feels very trite, but it’s the best I’ve got right now.  So thank you, to my family, to my friends, to the hyperbaric technicians who don’t pressurize the chamber too fast because my ears are sensitive, to customers in stores who don’t get freaked out when I stare at blankly at them for long periods of time while trying to remember what I needed from that aisle, and of course to Ace (who also counts in the family section), for continuously insisting that no matter what, we are going to get well.  And thank you to the forces that be that I am still alive and here to embark on yet another healing journey.










Fog, Wall, Monday

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May 14, 2012 poetry , , , , , 0 Comments

Mondays descend on me leaden heavy. The time returns to keep track of myself, or at least
try to.

The weekends are the reprieve, there is company constantly.
I know I am difficult, regardless of how I try to not be: difficult to communicate with:
Not understanding, not understood.
In the moments when I manage to be fully present, I wonder what it is like
to have chosen someone so different
From the one you chose.

I am trying so hard to heal.
I am trying to not fight my body, I am trying to not wage war with
this unending pain, this deafening confusion.
I am trying to believe, and to feel, that I will be fine.
I am trying to be grateful that I am alive, that at least most of our family survived this.
I keep thanking my elbows, the only joints that do not feel like they are being pulled away from me
by some unknown evil force.
I keep begging every other joint to take heed.
I keep begging my head to just stop aching.
I am trying to find the lesson, the message.
I am trying so hard to heal.

There is no question that I believe in positivity.
There is no question that I have healed before, and damn well at that.
I don’t know why this is so much harder;
I just know that most of the time now,
I do not know much of what I knew before.
I exist in a hazy tunnel with walls made of fog,
and every time I awake from a daydream
I cannot recall a single thought of it.

Mondays descend on me leaden heavy.
I am off to be encapsulated in oxygen.
I am off to try again.