Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Heidi, Where have you been?

Hi Y'all! Sorry for the long absence from my blog. My only excuse is that I'm just so T-I-R-E-D. Common side effect of chronic fatigue. My energy was amazing right before Christmas, and then a series of events that included traveling, allergies, and  going on and off the raw food diet put my body into havoc. You could say I fell off the wagon, but I also lapsed into a series of colds and great periods of fatigue; the worst being in mid-February when a cold turned into Pneumonia. I have recovered from the worst of it, but am still left greatly fatigued. The worst part is just feeling utterly incapable of doing normal day to day stuff like keeping the laundry caught up or putting dinner on the table; the two things I thought at the very least I could do. Losing your capabilities like this is just so frustrating; I am grateful for a patient husband and for God's grace. I've even been learning in redemption group that I can still be grateful for what God has blessed me with through my pain. That doesn't mean that I still don't cry out to God, but I have stopped blaming him and see that he has me in his hands and is providing for me. Just last week I had a friend bless me greatly when she learned I was having several family members staying over, and she came and cleaned my house for me after she heard how tired I was. It's hard to accept help because it makes me admit how weak I am to others, but I have to realize that God is blessing me and I am in the process of learning to accept his blessings just as I learn to see the provision of this season. 
I am making small steps back to the raw food diet; I found a Champion Juicer on Craigslist and hope to get it tomorrow. This type of juicer will allow me to make a larger batch of juice in advance so I can drink it over one to two days instead of what I've been doing with the Jack LaLane juicer where I have to drink the juice within 20-30 minutes of making it.  I'm hoping to increase my juice consumption and increase my energy as a result. Part of the catch-22 of my chronic fatigue is that sometimes I'm too tired to make myself juice or a salad that would be beneficial for my healing.
What's so funny about how God provides is that I got the call this morning from the person selling me their juicer, and this afternoon as I'm volunteering at the Cancer clinic, a family friend from my childhood comes in with her son who is about to get a transplant. I ask her if she'd like to use my Jack LaLane juicer while they are here, and she says,  "Sure!" and she starts telling me all the amazing stories of how people are providing for them while they're in Seattle. Her son will be on a liquid/soft food diet after his transplant and the juicer will come in handy. Isn't God good?
I hope to give you more stories of God's goodness and grace as I continue this crazy journey.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Increasing your nutrients with a little help from your friends at Freggies

What do you think? Have you bought some fresh produce yet? How does it taste? Did you realize you could fall in love with veggies again? Fresh fruit? How about those globe grapes? Aren't those amazing?
After you've been increasing your vegetable intake for a while, you may start to look for fresher produce or you might even go ORGANIC. I suggest starting out with organics- you won't be disappointed and the investment you make is well worth the effort. The biggest difference I notice is with celery, but I can also tell a marked difference with tomatoes, green peppers, grapes and anything leafy; i.e. spinach, lettuce, etc.. Basically, anything that carries a high percentage of water in it also has the potential to carry more pesticides, so be careful. Pesticides do actually end up inside your food, even if washed, so it is important to try and find produce that wasn't subjected to pesticides in the first place. Fruits and vegetables thought to have the highest pesticide residue are: apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, green beans, pears and winter squash. I will update this list as I come across more information. As a general rule, it's safest to go organic so you're not putting harmful chemicals into your body.
I know what you might say... "But organics are expensive!?!!" If you think about it, the most expensive item in your grocery cart is usually meat. If you decrease your meat consumption and increase your organic fruit and vegetable intake, then buy some raw walnuts and almonds, it pretty much evens out. In addition, organics are more nutritious, so you get more "bang for your buck" per se.
So where do you buy organic? (Especially for my family in Idaho?)
Costco, believe it or not, is a great place to buy organic produce. Fred Meyer also has a great selection as well as a naturals section for fun grains and bulk items. Look for farmer's markets or natural food stores; they tend to carry organics and pay attention to farming practices. Feel free to post suggestions under this posting for places in your area that you like to go.
For us lucky Seattleites, there is a service called Freggies (www.freggies.com) that was started by Jerrod and Nikki Sessler. I have been using Freggies for a few months now and am incredibly impressed with the produce. I have some photos I will be posting so you can see the difference for yourself. Even produce bought from PCC (the top natural grocery store in our area) can't compare. The pears from Freggies were twice as big and juicier than the PCC pears, and I even made sure to buy the same varietal. The produce from Freggies always has amazing quality; and if that weren't enough; you can get some exotic varieties like the New Zealand gold kiwis I got with my first order. I had never seen them before and they were incredibly delicious (Nikki tells me they are out of season, so you might have to wait until next year to try one.)
Did I mention that Freggies delivers? That's right! Every week a big box of amazing produce shows up at my front door. The produce is delivered at the peak of freshness, and if a certain item isn't the best quality possible, they won't include it in my box. It's nice to know they're looking out for me.
Regardless of where you find your organic produce, you are sure to enjoy it so much more; almost like having your own vegetable garden. Anyone who has eaten a home-grown tomato knows what I'm talking about. Viva la fresh, organic produce!

Your diet intimidates me... how do I get started even if I wanted to?

I have heard a few reactions to my blog recently; anything from "I stopped reading when it said, 'NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS' in caps" to, "That's nice that it works for you, but there is no way I could ever do that."
I have to admit that it's not easy to try something new. Making it harder would be the extremist "all-or-nothing mentality" or having fear that whatever you put in your body that might be wrong could harm you.
So, let's not think that way. Let's not focus on what can't be done, but what CAN. If I beat myself up frequently with doubt that I can't do this and fear that I won't do it right, I will never love the raw diet enough to be consistent with it. Let me share with you how easy it is for you to get started eating better with me:
1.) Dust off the juicer that your aunt/sister/daughter/son/relative gave you that sits in your garage/attic/storage area.
2.) If you don't have one, spend $89 at Costco to invest in a Jack LaLane juicer.
3.) While at Costco, buy a 15 pound bag of carrots
4.) While you're there you might as well buy some bananas; after all, they're only $1.27 for like, 3 pounds of them. Enjoy yourself in the produce department. You might say, "Hey, look at the size of these grapes! Maybe I'll get some of those too! What about this bag of avocados?" And it goes on until you have a few items in your cart like spinach, apples, tomatoes, dates and raw almonds. Don't overdo it on your first trip; you want to pace yourself so the next time you are in a produce section you can try a few new things.
5.) Try to juice every day; having at least 50% of your juice be from carrots. Juice only vegetables, and then very last, put in 1/2 an apple. This is what my daily juicing repertoire looks like:
(photo coming soon)
6.) Try to eat a salad every day; be creative and invest $4 in a really good salad dressing that you like. (My favorite is Drew's Smoked Tomato that is gluten and dairy free.)
 And that's it! I'll stop with the numbered list while I'm ahead so you can start small and simple.