More than a detox

Here I am. 42 days later. I did it. I fasted for 6 whole weeks. I achieved something I doubted I would ever accomplished. I never thought it would be impossible but I had doubts. I mostly thought it was going to be a long painful process. On the contrary, it was rather easy. A little too easy. I fasted on fresh juices and water. Some days I would really only drink water or coconut water- my idea of speeding things up. My reason for this fast was to detoxify my body, ridding it of toxins I felt were clogging my body and mind. I had last done a 21 day fast about 2 years ago. A most recent one was a week fast. I wanted to push it as long as I could so I figured I’d aim for double the longest one I had done. Breuss juice fast is 42 days so I decide to do my own version of that, just not as strict. I didn’t do as many enema, and I didn’t have just one type of juice. I do not like fruit juices too much however so I pretty much stuck to my veggie juices. Now that I am done, I am already thinking about my next fast. See, I do not feel this one was enough. I could continue longer but I think I would rather take a break and go on a new fast in a few months.

So, besides the definite cleansing, what did I get from this amazing fast? Well, I got clarity. On a lot of things. I feel that I am more accepting of myself. I judged myself, got over many things and accepted myself. I also now care less about what people think. My whole life, I felt the need to be accepted by everyone. If not, I somehow failed or there was something wrong with me. This, obviously, is deeply rooted in the way my family made me feel. I always felt I had to prove something. I oddly feel a sense of relief. Nothing specific occurred. I simply feel more at ease.

My fast also triggered some fear in me, but it is good fear. I came to a great realization that I could very well fall back to old habits. This fear as well as the incredible achievement I just accomplished definitely will keep me in check. I think that my fear of failing me will probably keep me on track, at least for a while. Disappointing myself would be very depressing. This fast required a huge amount of self-control which I had. I cooked, but did not eat. Temptation was not really an issue. When you commit to a fast, cheating is out of the question. So now, I ask myself, if I had this kind of commitment for 42 days, if I was able to resist eating some of my favorite, not so healthy food, why would I not be able to do the same now? I refused to poison myself for 6 weeks and I need to take this discipline and keep it for my entire life. See, my problem with food was always an emotional one. It is not that I do not make good choices, it’s more an issue of self-control. If I like something, I’ll eat more than I should. If I don’t feel good, I’ll eat because I will fool myself into thinking it will make me feel better (when in reality I know it won’t). It had come to a point where I was fully aware that something was bad for me, that I would only enjoy it for a few seconds and then immediately feel bad about it. That is an addiction and I knew that. I needed to break up with food. I had no fear about fasting during Thanksgiving. I almost did it on purpose. I knew I had to look at food in the face and be ok with not eating it. It’s like any other disease. You only know you are cured if you can look at it and not touch it. An alcoholic knows he is stronger if he can have a bottle in front of him or even friends drinking and not be bothered by it.

I wanted to write this post for myself primarily. I think that if I ever feel bad habits creeping up on me, I will come back and read this and hopefully it will give me the strength to not succumb to temptations. Last time I did a longer fast, I was doing good for quite a long period of time until some life events happen and sadly fell off the wagon. I sincerely hope that this will not happen. I know that my love for food will never go away and I know that my roots will always tempt me to eat certain food that are not necessarily good for me ( cheese, butter and chocolate are my main problem) but what I need to remember is to have balance. If I can master balance, then everything will be ok. Achieving balance is a very hard thing for me. I am a black or white kind of person, right or wrong. Ask my husband! I think I ought to watch The Little Buddha again. Knowing is nothing if you cannot turn it into action. I need to turn this whole idea of moderation and the Middle Way into life, and especially in my eating habits!

Do you have issues? With food? Anything? Did you ever fast? Please share with us anything you think would be valuable to us.

Blessings

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A guide to better eating consciousness

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, let me explain. This post is my input, my two cents about meat-eating, vegetarianism, and veganism. I grew up eating meat, probably like most of you. Not only did I eat meat, but I hate some rather strange meat. My mom cooked meat 3 to 4 times a week. We would mostly have beef. Cow’s tongue was my brother’s favorite so unfortunately I had to eat that. We would have steak, roast beef, hachis-parmentier, which was similar to Shepherd’s pie, spaghetti a la Bolognese, etc. I never liked the taste of beef so my mom would have to get me chicken breast instead. We’d also have rabbit, duck, lamb, chicken, and fish on a regular basis. At Christmas time, we would have foie gras, all sorts of fish and fish spread, turkey, quails, etc. Wow. Now that I think about it, it sounds horrible. But wait, there is worst. Once my dad took us to a restaurant and one of my family members ordered kangaroo. So I tried kangaroo. I think that was peer pressure. Eating escargots and frog legs was peer pressure too because I neither do find them appealing nor tasty. My mother would eat liver and my uncle once invited us over for Christmas Eve and we had to eat blood sausage. I nearly vomited.

meatSo that’s my background. Raised a meat eater! In college, once I was free from my mom’s cooking, I stopped eating beef. The only time I would have beef again would be when I was pregnant and had horrible meat craving. I knew I was pregnant before the test confirmed it because I kept wanting to go to go out to eat a hamburger! But mainly I switched to chicken and fish. We cooked meat maybe once a week. I had significantly reduced my dairy intake as well since I realized that all the discomfort I had during childhood was coming from me being lactose intolerant. I would still eat some cheese and butter though. I didn’t consider being a vegetarian until 2002 when I unfortunately went through a health crisis. Once I returned from surgery, we started eating macrobiotics. My husband and I read the Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi and had our eyes open for the first time. The book was fascinating to me. I had just gone through a horrible ordeal with a tumor and I was convinced that food and stress had caused it.

I felt blessed in a way to have gone through that because it gave me a new perspective on life and food. I stopped eating meat when I went macrobiotics. For those who do not know, macrobiotics is a lifestyle that is pretty much 60% grain, beans, vegetables, no meat, no sweets, no alcohol except for beer that is sometimes allowed. It cuts all the refined food, sugar, artificial anything from your diet. It is NOT a raw diet though. Our family pretty much ate macrobiotic from that point on. Our 2 year old at the time learned to eat healthy and ate everything put in front of her. Then, I got tired of it so we ate, mostly macrobiotics but cheating once in a while but grains, beans and veggies were still our main source of food. I tried to be entirely vegetarian but I could not tolerate the soy burgers, tacos, etc. Those were evil to my body. It would make me angry and make my breast triple in size. Because my tumor was an ovarian one and I had major hormone problems, I decided to never touch soy again. Soy is very bad for you unless it is fermented but there is only so much natto and tempeh you can eat. I do make delicious lettuce wraps with tempeh and you can pretty much use tempeh in any dish you would use ground beef or ground turkey!

macrobiotic diet

macrobiotic diet

Fast forward to us moving to California where the real change happened. California is an amazing place to live if you want to eat less meat. We are so lucky to have so many farms and so many fresh fruits and vegetables. We have farmer’s markets everywhere, on any day of the week. Vegetarian and Vegan restaurants are on every corner and you can pretty much substitute regular milk with soy, rice or almond milk in most places (I said MOST!). Things really changed for me when I watched Earthlings. The documentary shows how animal are treated before  and while they are being slaughtered. There are many other documentaries out there, such as Vegucated that will show you the same ideology but Earthlings is the most shocking. We cried when we watched it. When I was done watching it, it was so easy to give up meat. I was personally shocked about the kosher meat industry. Watching the secret footage inside the kosher plants just made me sick. I realized back then that it was hard to even trust kosher or organic food. The only way to really avoid being part of these horrible practices was to become a Vegetarian or at best, a Vegan!

TRY VEGETARIANISM, Give peas a chance. Coffee Mug by MMKfan

TRY VEGETARIANISM, Give peas a chance. Coffee Mug by MMKfan

Now, becoming a vegetarian was easy for me. I do not like meat that much. I really only liked white meat but after having to prepare a turkey for the first time, I had no problem giving that up. There is nothing more horrific to me than cleaning a turkey and preparing it. I was so grossed out by the raw meat smell, I never touched it again. Everytime I would get a rotisserie chicken, I would be annoyed by the fact I had to dismember the poor little dead animal for my own eating pleasure. So, see, I always felt kind of bad. I grew up with my grandma killing rabbits in front of me, peeling their skin and then handing the tail to me for good luck and was always a little petrified but it was part of life. Being a grown up now, and having more awareness, I realize that we do not need meat to survive. A nice part of Vegucated is talking about our historic need for meat, etc. People will argue that we are carnivore but I disagree. We can very well survive and thrive on other food. We will not only reduce our carbon footprint but we will also be more humane to animals. My grandma had a farm, she had two dairy cows. She loved her cows and treated them well. As a child, I thought it was cool to be on the farm and watch my grandma milk the cows. I saw a baby cow being born. I also would walk the fields with my grandma, boots on, walking in the muddy trails until we reached the field where cows were awaiting their lunch. We would feed them, pumping water, etc. My brother, cousins and I would play games in the hay or around the farm. It was the best. I would pick up fresh eggs from the hens. I would watch my grandma make her own cheese. Farms are no longer like this. Our demand for meat had made us partner in crime with the farming factories. The more we eat, the more crowded animals will be. It is not human for pigs, cows, chicken to be thrown on top of one another while they are waiting to be slaughtered. Many get diseased or die before they are even massacred. There is some raw footage in Earthlings and Vegucated that will most likely shock you. I know it shocked me. The viciousness of some of the workers is disgusting.I sometimes ask people to picture this: imagine it is far in the future. We have been colonized by a foreign alien people who sees us as “their animals” (for the record, I want to believe that if ET life does make it here, they will hopefully have more wisdom that us), gathers us, puts us in farms, artificially impregnates us women so that we can keep lactating for them (because we all know that colostrum is the best for your baby…right…hopefully I do not need to spend a whole hour on this simple fact). Imagine the sadness and suffering we would go through when they take our child away from us. Imagine hearing how they killed our baby boy for meat. Imagine getting sick and not having care or being killed because of it. Picture yourself next to a fellow human, asking each other, why are they doing this to us, there is so much other kind of food they could eat. Why do they think we are less than them? Maybe the ET people thinks we do not feel pain, maybe they think we are less than them because we do not communicate in the same way. But how do they truly know? Think about it. That is what we do to animals when we send them to slaughter, eat them, or drink their milk.

Listen, I am not a mean person. I even think Peta’s approach is a little too strong (I still support them but sometimes distance myself from them). I am aware of how hard it is to be a vegetarian or for me a vegan. My goal is to be a Vegan but I love cheese and butter too much. I never liked cow’s milk and eggs so that’s easy for me. I have been baking without eggs and milk forever. What we do is what we can. We try to do our homework before we buy a product. I still think I am irresponsible for eating cheese, knowing how a poor goat has to have babies just so I can eat yummy cheese, but I am a work in progress. We limit the amount of goat cheese we eat. Only once in a blue moon will we have regular cow’s cheese and we always try to get local cheese. It costs us an arm and aleg but it is only a small price to pay for the cruelty animals had to go through to bring us that cheese. We also mix it up and do eat other type of cheese such as nut cheese. Butter. Well I can go without it but again, I go through phases where I have to have it. Otherwise, we use olive oil and grapeseed oil for high temperature. We stay away from corn or canola oil. Earth balance is ok so we would sometimes have that. So as a general rule, we eat cheese and butter for cravings and treats. Being a Vegan is not easy. I mean, if you love chocolate, it is difficult. I am a chocoaholic and Lindt is one of my favorite. The creamy milk chocolate bar is out of this world and I feel bad about it because it has milk in it. Don’t get me wrong, I buy vegan chocolate….and it’s good. I can bake with vegan chocolate but around Christmas time, I gotta have my Lindt. It is easier to avoid gelatin and buy vegan clothes or shoes for me than avoiding chocolate!My point is that nobody is perfect but what we can all do is do our best. Some of us can be vegan in a split second. Some people can only be vegetarian. That’s ok. I would recommend however to just at least try to get the most human eggs and milk. It is possible. Do your homework, call the companies you shop from and ask questions, visit a farm. If you eat meat, do the same. Eat organic and from a local farm. If you do not adopt a vegetarian diet, at least try to make up for it by reducing your carbon footprint and encouraging others to do the same. The time you will give will somehow compensate. nmm-button-500-300x300

I am not one to judge those who eat meat if they do not know what truly happens. Buying meat is so easy. It’s prepackaged and no one thinks how an animal’s life was taken becaused of it. A lot of us would rather not know because the truth hurts too much and once we know and continue eating meat, we become active participants in the mistreatment of animals. Awareness is important. Educating ourselves and our children is important so that we can hopefully change our attitude. Children who are raised vegetarian find it easy. The more we can raise vegetarian or vegan children, the more we are helping our planet and saving future generations. I think that taking children to see animals (not in a zoo!) in sanctuaries is a great idea. They usually befriend the animals and see that they have feelings. My kid is the one who made me stop eating lamb because she burst into tears when I explained that lamb was a baby sheep. Ironically enough, I had gone through the same ordeal as a young child but was desensitized because of my meat eating culture. Us, those who grew up eating meat might always have challenges but we can do our best as long as we have patience. Do not punish yourself if you cheat. I once had to have meat. I felt my body needed it. I did. I was so mad at myself but then I though, oh well, I will not do it next time. Temptation will always be there if you once loved meat. One step at a time. Start by reducing your meat and dairy intake and then slowly move to a more vegetarian diet. You will not become vegetarian overnight. Also you need to allow yourself to explore all the yummy dishes you can make while being a vegetarian or vegan. It does not have to be boring or bland. Trust me. I make the most out of this world desserts and dishes! Sometimes people don’t realize they are eating vegan desserts!

In my next posts in this categories, I will go into more details about how you can live a happy Vegetarian or Vegan life. I will share recipes, ideas and more links.

Leaving you with a few other documentaries to watch:

Forks over Knives

Food, Inc.

Food matters

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead  

Lunch Hour

Farm Sanctuary in NY

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Inc.

American Sanctuary Association

Juicing to regain health

Let’s be honest, most Americans eat really bad food. All we have to do is look at ourselves in the mirror. We’re fat, we take pills for God knows how many problems we have. We never really feel good even when we take the pill the doctor prescribed. Of course, if you live in Los Angeles, you will see beautiful people, running on the beach, exercising like lunatics. That is an exception I think. Most of us don’t have time to exercise that way and let’s get real, we love our food.

When I lived in Europe, I was never fat. I ate a lot but alway remained the same weight. Now, I live here (and love it) but let’s just say that I have been a yoyo when it comes to my weight. I get fat, then I diet, they I get fat again. Pretty much since college, this has been my pattern. I am an emotional eater. I admit it. If something goes wrong, I eat. Chocolate is my sin. I love it. No matter what shape it comes in, I will eat it. I love cake. I also love fatty food, anything with butter. But wait a minute….I used to eat that way back in Europe too so what’s the problem? One word: PORTION. I got used to eating a lot more than before. I, of course, have a chocolate addiction but that has been passed from my mother, and probably was passed on from way back! Also I admit, when something bothers me, there is nothing more comforting than food. That also sort of came from my upbringing. We used to sit around in the afternoon and eat cookies, just discussing interesting topics. I still cherish that but I know that my mom is a little to blame for not being able to say ” Hey kids, two cookies is enough!” No, my mom was super cool to me, she would let us eat the whole package! I now realize that wasn’t the best idea.

Thank goodness, I had an aunt (my dear mom’s little sister) who taught me how to be healthier. She taught me about the lemon water cure in the morning. This became a habit of mine when I was a teenager. I love lemons so that’s lucky. Some people can’t drink a whole juiced lemon in 10 ounces right when they wake up. For me, it’s bliss. I feel cleaner afterwards. My aunt also gave me tips on how to keep leaner, eating healthy proteins, etc. My mom was good too, she taught me how to fast for a day. She taught me to fast on a full moon. It is supposed to be the best time to do it. So once in a while, we would do a water fast. It was just one day but you gotta start somewhere!

So, for me, fasting was never a weird thing. I was totally opened to it. Over the years, I have done many many fasts. I enjoyed them very much except for one: the Master Cleanse. I never liked that one. I once fell into hypoglycemic attack because of that fast. Juice or water fasts are the way to go for me. I have gone on a 20 juice fast once and felt better than ever afterwards. I would alternate juice and water on my last week.

I am currently on a longer fast. Today is day 20. I started this fast because I wanted to get rid of bad eating habits. I tried to do so by just eating healthy but for me juice fasting is much easier. When you are addicted, the best thing to do is just fast. My cravings are gone now. My health is better. My skin is better. I am off most of my medications (I have an auto immune disease).

Fasting has been done for centuries and always practiced by animals in the wild. When they are sick, they retreat and stop eating until they are well again. Jesus fasted. Gandhi fasted. You will not die from fasting if you do it the right way. I recommend asking a holistic practitioner for advice or read up on fasting a lot before you start anything. I am a bit unusual. Fasting is a piece of cake for me. Other people might not react identically and if you have a serious condition, you might need to adjust your fast. There are many types of fast. Breuss Juice Fast can cure cancer in 40-50 days. Most chronic illnesses can be cured between 20-40 days depending on how severe it is. My favorite website for information is www.fasting.ws . I highly recommend spending a good week browsing through their posts to really understand how fasting work.

People are very skeptical. I am sure people think I’m crazy to fast. People think, not eating is unhealthy, you need nutrients and vitamins. Wrong and wrong. Fasting is not unhealthy. You are not starving yourself to death, instead you are giving your body the time it needs to heal itself. You give your car a check up every so many miles.  Well, your body needs a good cleansing too. Think of all the bad stuff you ingest, fatty food, saturated fat, sugar, GMO foods, artificial coloring, animal products that are hard to digest and rot in our guts. Your body will be so thankful that you give it a break. It will get rid of toxins for you. It will use its awesome mechanism and do the work for you! All you have to do is give it time! Yes you will have some symptoms such as a coated tongue and maybe headaches the first few days if you are really toxic, aches and pains, but that goes away or even can be avoided if you know what you are doing. As fas as vitamins, calcium, etc. Don’t worry. If you juice fast, you will get all the vitamins and nutrients you need in your juices. You will probably get even more than your regular diet AND it will get to your bloodstream a lot quicker giving you amazing energy. You will sleep much much better. Green leafy vegetables have calcium. Papaya tea will also be a good addition if you are worried about calcium.

When you fast, it is a good idea to help the detox process by dry brushing your skin, drinking lots of water, using a tongue scraper and doing regular enema (I know many of you are scared but honestly if you do just water enema, it is no big deal, no pain, you just lie down and wait) I do not recommend enema from the store. The prepackaged one have too much salt in it and it is unnecessary and uncomfortable. Doing enema will relieve any pains you might have as it will relieve toxins out quickly. Deep breathing and meditating is a good idea. Walking outside is good. Some people can keep doing their regular exercise routine while juice fasting. Some prefer easier exercise such as yoga and stretching.

If you wonder, aren’t you light headed when you fast? The answer is no. I am never light headed. When I did Master Cleanse, I was though. I think the maple syrup just gave me too many highs and lows. I like to stick to Fresh juices because it is the most natural. Now, if you decide to juice, you need to buy a good juicer. You probably need to spend over $100. I personally have a Breville Fountain which I love. I make about 30 ounces of juice in about 5 minutes, cleaning including.

Juice fasting is really not that scary. It is the easiest type of fasting. When you juice fast, you get to keep working, exercising, etc. You can drink more juice if you feel you get hungry. The only rule is to try to get at least 80% of your juice, fresh. That means no bottle juiced. Sometimes I do cheat but I always follow that 80% rule and always get unpasteurized juices. My favorite is from Evolution. They are expensive but if you are on the go, it’s convenient. I also like drinking lots of coconut juice when fasting because it is so good for you and has good electrolytes.

If you are adventurous enough to juice fast to get rid of your symptoms or food or any sort of addiction, I would recommend starting slow. First do a 1 day fast. A week later, do a 3 day juice fast, then 5 day, then 7, 10, 14, 21, 42. I’m the crazy type, I went from 5 to 20 but that’s because I felt I could. Listen to you body! It knows! People ask me, why are you still fasting? My answer is that I do not feel I have achieved optimal health so I continue for as long as I can. I know I am still detoxifying because my tongue is still coated in the morning when I wake up. When my tongue is no longer coated, then I will stop.

Now, a very important thing is how you come out of a fast. People have actually died because they ate a big meal after fasting. What you want to do is eat raw vegetables and fruits for 1/2 the amount of time you fasted (the best on the first day of breaking a fast is watermelon only, then you slowly add more fruits and veggies every day). So if you fast for 20 days, you need to eat raw veggies for 10 days. Then you can reintroduce (if you wish, or you can just stick to a raw diet too) other food, starting with broth, soups, oatmeal. My first food on my last fasting adventure was plain oatmeal. It was the best oatmeal I ever tasted! You should ideally eliminate all sugar and white starch, all caffeine and alcohol. You just cleaned yourself so why trash it again? I know this can be difficult so maybe come up with a plan. My plan (because let’s get real, I love butter and chocolate) is to allow myself once a week to have semi bad food. For me, it doesn’t matter what I put butter on, so I will allow myself to have veggies sautéed in butter once a week. I will allow myself to have something with cheese and I will of course allow myself to eat chocolate once in a while. The other important part of my plan is to intermittent fast when I stray. That means that if I eat bad food on Monday, I will juice fast on Tuesday and Wednesday. The key is to not accumulate toxins. Therefore if you go crazy on food or alcohol, just give your body time to heal itself for a couple of days to put you back on the right track. There is some great information about intermittent fasting out there. Choose what works best for your body.

Eating healthy is a lifestyle. We all stray once in a while and it is alright I guess. We are only human.

I will keep posting my experiences. Please ask any questions regarding this topic in the comment section. If you have something you would like to ask but do not want to advertise it to the world, I will provide my email.

I will also try to post as many links and recipes as possible to help you through your journey!

Remember, you are your own boss. Don’t be scared by what conventional doctors tell you. They will try to scare you by saying that fasting is dangerous. It is false. Trust me. Some people owe their life to fasting. Check out Gerson Therapy. They have a documentary of the same name on Netflix. It is great and it shows how our conventional medicine tries to prevent holistic cure to do its amazing work in the United States.

Happy Juicing!

Doctors and their puppeteers

This post is more than an opinion. It is personal.

Yesterday, I asked my husband to give me some ideas about what I should write next in my blog. I told him, “Think of things that I always talk about”. He started by saying things like, “The way people drive”, etc and I thought, nah, only people in L.A. will care about reading that. (I am now however thinking about writing something about it later, just for my LA peeps). I needed something bigger. Then he said the magic word: doctors.  Just this week, I had just had a long conversation with a lady who explained to me her and her family’s experience with doctors. It was such a sad story and I felt so much sympathy for her. We both agreed that doctors just don’t listen. Below, you will see what else I think doctors do and do not do.

Let me start by saying that I believe that anyone who has the privilege to be a doctor, should do whatever in his power to use his position and skills to better people, not make them worse. As a general rule, if you decide to get a degree or train for a particular job, it should be because you want to contribute to our society in a positive way, not because you want to make a lot of money. I get very frustrated when I hear young people say they want to be lawyers or doctors because it makes a lot of money. I believe that their good income is deserved, yes, as a reward for their long course of study and their special skills, but it should also be because they are bringing the PEOPLE relief or help. Do not get me wrong, I know that many people want to become doctors because they want to help people. I do not doubt that their initial intentions are good. The problem we have here is the way our medical and pharmaceutical industries function.

In the old days, things were much simpler and revolved more about being healthy than money. I still remember how our family doctor took care of everything. We rarely went to see specialist. General practitioners were so much better than they are now. They also made house calls which of course now does not exist anymore for obvious reasons (more money is made from calling 911 or going to the ER: hospitals, doctors, EMT, so many fees). Let’s be honest here and come out and say it, the problem is money. Think about it. In the old days, yes we waited a long time at the doctor’s office, but that was because doctors took their time. It wasn’t really abnormal to spend more than 30mn, going through a thorough check and then discussing options with our trusted doctor. He always remembered who we were, didn’t need to look at his chart and never rushed us out because he was running behind.  People waiting were understanding because they knew they were going to get their problem resolved and get the best care they could get.

Pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are probably the main reason why things are so much more complicated, less efficient, less personal, more costly, and honestly not as good as what they once were. It’s not just about convenience, it’s about quality. While, there are some doctors who only care about money, most doctors want to try to do what is best for their patients but often cannot because of the 2 evil giants that control them (make that 3 if you include restriction and guidelines from medical boards). I have a doctor like that. She apologizes every time I see her because she cannot spend a lot of time talking to me. She times her visits and I therefore often leave with questions unanswered, making my visit unsatisfying. She, however, pockets my money everytime, regardless of how satisfied I am. Very often, there will be a pharmaceutical representative sitting in the waiting room, patiently sitting there, their suitcase at his feet, ready to give his sales pitch about some new drugs they want my doctor to prescribe me. This is all a very elaborate plan. They give samples to the doctors. Doctors give samples to the patients. Patients agree because, well, samples are free (and we all know how expensive prescription drugs are). If they like the sample, then they will most likely ask their doctor for more. Who will profit from this? Everyone? No, wait, if you think that patients are actually benefiting too because they end up having a good drug that will take care of their problem, think again. First of all, medicine exist to treat symptoms. It is not a cure. Let me repeat that. IT IS NOT A CURE. It covers symptoms, make them disappear for a while maybe but the minute you stop taking it, whatever your problem was often comes back, sometimes right away, sometimes months or years later. Yes, that includes antibiotics too. Doctors prescribe antibiotics as if it was Halloween candy. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and yet most doctors will prescribe them anyways. Sometimes it is just to please the patient. People need to realize how useless it is to go to the doctor when they have a cold or the flu (flu shots are another way for pharmaceutical companies to make money). We need to realize and re-learn that our body are well capable of healing itself for most problems. One of the many benefits of letting the body do its magic is that symptoms will not return.

Watch this movie, it’s funny and is a pretty accurate portrayal of pharmaceutical rep:

I was lucky. I had an amazing doctor when I was a kid. He saved my life once, came to my bedside when I could not breathe, giving me a lifesaving shot and rushing me to the hospital. He was caring, loving and to this day, I am so thankful for everything he did for me and my family. My husband also had an amazing doctor. I know some of you probably remember your childhood doctor too. I have yet to meet anyone with the same compassion and listening skills. See, doctors do not listen anymore. They might hear us, but they do not listen. I have way too many stories about doctors missing or ignoring important symptoms, thinking they already have the answer. “Here, take this pill and be on your way”, they say, only for you to return a few weeks later with the same problem or a new problem which might have been caused by the first pill you were prescribed. Again, the fact that doctors are on a deadline because of the pressure they feel from the Two Giants is a reason but what they learned in medical school is actually probably more to blame. As I started to discuss before, medical students learn to treat symptoms, not the root of the problem. Western medicine is not our friend. I sincerely believe it is one of our worst enemies. Rarely a doctor will tell you to eat healthier, etc (they might even recommend bad food, ie scolding kids who do not drink milk or vegetarian because of protein). It is much easier for them to prescribe a pill for your cholesterol than to sit and explain and try to convince you that if you would just stop eating junk, your body might have a chance to regulate itself. Doctors of course have huge liability. I can understand why doctors take the easy route. Doctors are not all to blame. Our media, our modern society driven by capitalism, having more and more things, eating more (do we really need the portions that provide us our daily recommended amount of calories in one meal??), sleeping less (overworked society), stressing more ( failing economy, etc) are only a few examples of things that just drive us to take the easy way out, take the pill the doctor prescribed or worst yet, self-medicate, drink a glass of wine, smoke a cigarette, etc.  Medical school today I am sure is not what it is used to be 50 or 100 years ago. Progress and technology bring us better ways to diagnose and treat but it does not bring us any more wisdom. 

Chinese medicine and other alternative medicine, such as homeopathy, Ayurvedic, naturopathy focuses more on healing the body naturally, meaning that it supports our system in a healthy way while it is doing its work to bring us back to health. For thousands of years, people have used many methods to rid themselves of colds, aches and pains, viruses, and even worst illnesses. Animals heal themselves naturally by retrieving into a remote location, protecting themselves from predators, and stop eating. They follow their instinct and fast until they feel better. Our mothers and grandmothers usually have the best remedies and often cure problems a lot faster and for a lot less money than conventional medicine. Alternative medicine practitioners have a tremendous amount of patience and a great love and respect for the human body. While a conventional doctor rushes you to get to his next patient for example, a certified homeopath will sit down with you between 1 to 3 hours and ask you all sorts of questions, let you speak, and listen carefully to any clue that will help him or her find the best way to bring you back to health.

About ten years ago, I went through a very frustrated time where I was in excruciating pain for 8 months before someone realized I had a tumor growing inside of me. My doctor ignored me for months, giving me some absurd reasons for my pain and suffering. She also refused to administer tests on me, because she was convinced she knew there was nothing wrong with me. It pretty much took a scream of extreme pain for her to give in. A tumor the size of a grapefruit was discovered. I was rushed to the hospital, my doctors fearing it would cut my blood flow. That was only the beginning of years of struggles with doctors until I took things in my own health. I unfortunately hear too many stories like mine, or even worse, people dying because doctors just won’t listen. If you are a woman, you probably have a story of a doctor telling you it is all “in your head”, only to realize later than you were right all along. Women, men have to be advocate for their own health. Parents need not to listen to doctors about what is best for their child, they need to do their homework and do what is best. Children need to be advocates for their elderly parents. While at the hospital, I witnessed first hand what happened when no one is there to check on nurses and doctors. They tried to remove additional organs from me. Thankfully, I was awake enough to speak up and say no. I was however discharged from the hospital with an infection. I had been complaining of pain but they discharged me anyways, only to call me 2 days later to say they had made a mistake and to put me on antibiotics right away (I had already gone to the doctor by then). Sadly, it takes unfortunate events like this to wake people up and make them realize that the best doctor sometimes is yourself. It is YOUR VOICE. Elderly people, left all alone in a hospital in a geriatric wing will often die prematurely because of the lack of care, or resistant bacteria lurking in most hospitals.

Doctors are not your best friends. Doctors is just a profession. Some take their job seriously, some stress at work and make mistakes, some just don’t care, some do not know how to handle the pressure of the medical, insurance and pharmaceutical industries. You have to learn not to trust anyone but your own instinct. I am in no way saying that you should never go to the doctor. What I am saying is that your body and your mind have the ability to do a lot more than you can imagine. Use your intelligence. Take a stand for your health or your loved ones. Do your research. Then listen to your gut. If you have a life threatening condition, you will know to go to the E.R or to seek treatment so you do not die of course. Some conditions require drastic measures. Even if you must have surgery, there are many things you can do to prepare yourself, and recover quicker. You are the boss. Your body is yours and yours only. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, do not let anyone step on you and intimidate you because of the degrees hanging on their wall. Do not take a pill just because that same guy with the degree on the wall say you should take it. I have had doctors give me pills they should not have given me (because they were not even aware of all the side effects). Overdose of prescription drugs is on the rise and the number one cause for accidental death in young people in the United States. Pharmaceutical companies are evil. They do not want us to get healthier. They make their money from us being sick. This is not  a conspiracy, this is how it works. It is simply about money and profit. They do not want you to hear about some natural remedy (that could very well be the cure for your problem) Companies are not people. If they go our of business, no one will die. You, however, could die if you do not take the appropriate steps to be your own advocate. Learn to say NO. Learn to say, let me read about it and I will get back to you. Learn to say, I will get a second opinion, or three or four!! You know very well that when a commercial for a new drugs ends with the warning, this maybe cause…..fill in the blank (death sometimes), it means you should stay away, so just don’t do it. There is always an alternative out there. There is always a solution. I am lucky. 2 or 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with yet another tumor, with 30% chance it was cancerous and 70% non cancerous. I was obviously recommended to have my thyroid removed right away. I said no. I did my homework. I also (that’s the lucky part) have a great surgeon who was on my side and agreed to just “watch it”.  Sleep on it is a great advice.

I leave you with that. I will be back to discuss fantastic ways to heal our body, good doctors or alternative healing advocates.

Peace, Health and Love, always.

My reasons for juicing ( AGAIN!!)

On November 6th, I said that if Barack Obama won the election I would fast.
As we all know, Barack Obama won. Some of you might also know how much I love Barack Obama. He is my biggest role model. I have so much respect, love and trust for the man. Meeting him was on of the highlights of my life because I had never shook someone’s hand and ever instantly felt a sense of peace. I had never met anyone so humble. That was back in 2007. Before he got the nomination, before he was president. I have been following him and his presidency closely, supporting his choices almost 99% of the time and even when I didn’t, I sat and tried to understand his struggle, his rationale, his decisions. I never thought in my life I would trust a politician. I don’t like politicians. Normally. But Barack Obama is different. I admire his life, his past, his origins, his work at the grassroot levels before anyone knew who he was, his family, his cool, his love for Lincoln. He is pretty much the person I wish I was.
Anyways, so when I woke up on November 7th, even though I knew it would be hard, mostly because I had been living a very unhealthy life and had drunk so much alcohol the previous night ( I had to celebrate), I gladly ate nothing when I woke up, went to work and started what my husband called just a few minutes ago (and what prompted me to write this–bc as a coincidence it was the  1st name I came up with for my blog) my journey.
Miraculously enough, so far it has been the easiest fast I have ever done. I was SO surprised. When I got hungry the first day, I said to myself, “you have to go on, you cannot let Barack Obama down”. I know it sounds silly. What I really meant was, I cannot let myself down. If I can’t even do this, follow my own word, in honor of the person I admire the most, then I am really lost. Many times in the past 6 years, Barack Obama has been an inspiration for me and gave me the strength to keeping pushing when all I wanted to do was give up. I guess, I never let go of that Fired Up, Ready to Go attitude.
Barack Obama gave me back the faith I had lost in 2004 when John Kerry lost the election and fell into depression for 6 months.
So here I am. Day 7. Sipping on my delicious celery kiwi apple juice, thinking how lucky I am to have met that wonderful man who has been my inspiration for years now. I have many times felt ashamed of my habits when I am too depressed to eat healthy. This win was a good time to push through, to give myself an ultimatum to get back to who I used to be, or rather a new better me. I am not saying I will succeed but at least, I had the strength to try again.
This week has been challenging, all starting with my neighbor who got upset for me cheering for Barack Obama’s win at 8:30pm, my kid got sicker than she had ever been, I had to find 900 dollars to fix my car, work with a very annoying husband, who is still however my best friend, deal with a broken phone,  but that deal I made with myself is what got me through. I cannot and will not disappoint myself. Because I know Barack Obama will never know and wouldn’t be really upset if I hadn’t kept my word, but I will.
Now, I would like to encourage everyone who has never done a juice or juice/water fast before and who has any kind of ailments or addictions, chronic illness or cancer, to give it a shot. Do not believe what the mainstream media tells you, that it is unsafe, blah blah blah. I once went on a 20 day juice fast, I was able to get rid of all my Lupus symptoms and meds. Unfortunately after 6 months, job loss, etc, I fell off the wagon and started eating crap again because I am an emotional eater.
After 7 days, I have already been able to cut my meds in half, I slept last night for the first time in months without having to take a pill before bed. Some of my pains have gone away. My skin is better. My hair looks like crap but I know it is because I don’t drink juice enough and am lacking some vitamins but I am broke right now so… but that’s an easy fix, some flaxseed and my hair will be ok again.
Anyways, here I am, I wanted to share my story with you once again, hoping it inspires some of you to take care of yourself. We poison ourselves everyday with what we put in our mouth. At least, try it for a couple of days maybe, give your body a vacation. It will give you so much in return. At the very least, buy organic, stay away from GMOs, don’t eat too much sugar, and when you do, the next day, fast because otherwise it will become a craving.
Love, peace and JUICE!
xo