Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dental Issues

This is a topic most raw foodists want to steer clear of. Many people talk about the fact that a lot of raw foodists tend to have teeth problems. It seems that most problems in this area tend to be in the fruititarian category of raw food eating but in all raw food areas there seems to be some mention of trouble with teeth.

I've had a tooth that's had multiple fillings, fill ins, because it was mishapen, and basically had lots of work done on it in the past. For some reason the fillings never took in this particular tooth (I subscribe to the white fillings, not mercury ones (amalgam)). I noticed shortly after having my son almost four years ago that this tooth seemed a little grey in colour but my dentist never mentioned anything when I went in for my regular checkups, so I thought that it was fine.

Well, in the last month I've had some very minor pain associated with it. I wonder just what may be causing that but figured I'd get a dentist appointment when I could...which never materialized until I had to call them yesterday. I was eating some absolutely delicious gRAWnola from Real Raw Food (where I order most of my raw nuts, seeds and such), when I bit down on an almond and it felt like I split my tooth in half! It was all still there, and I made it through my work day, barely, and then fasted from 3pm on. I actually fasted on water and tea for just over 26 hours, and it made a world of difference in how I felt.

So I called the dentist - I still see a traditional one but am looking into finding a holistic doctor. I find everyone is trying to sell you something these days and just want to be able to figure it out somehow myself! Anyways, I went in today and this is basically what happened:

OK. I am nervous going in, not knowing what to expect. Knowing they have to take x-rays...I have three done. Side note: I haven't had any x-rays for six years - although I go for a check up every six month- since I was preganant with my first child...didn't want any x-rays while preggers or nursing. They talk the whole time about how safe X rays are now and that there are no issues with them, etc. The whole time they kept telling me this, over and over again! Whatever. I am not really buying that.

This dentist today, is not my usual one but the partner of my usual dentist. So then he talks to me, does a cold test, tap test, bite test, etc. Seems one side is more sensitive to the tooth than the other so figures it's a crack in the tooth that's happened. Says that he has to freeze me and asks when I was last frozen. I said I had three small holes filled in my teeth in the summer of 2007...with no freezing. He was amazed that I did it without freezing. Actually it wasn't so bad.

Anyhow, I'm in a hurry because I have to pick up the kids in an hour but he said he'd have me out in no time...this is all before he got the films back from the freezes me up with two vials of the stuff - have I mentioned how much I hate chemicals in my body?! No adverse reaction from what I can tell so far. Freezing is all out of the mouth area now, of course...but how long does it remain in the body?!

WELL, the x-ray comes back and his original assumption is terribly wrong. Sits me up and has to tell me that I'm going to lose the tooth. (So now I've had freezing I didn't have to have, for a procedure that now did not have to happen!! I am NOT happy about this, that's for sure!) I'm also a freak of nature! It seems that my body is reabsorbing my nerve and tooth...he described little pac man men going around chomping it up. Says that if I'd had x-rays sooner that they could have stopped it in time...of course, x-rays. The tooth has been discoloured for years but my dentist had never suggested that we check it out so I thought nothing of it as there was no pain. It's not decay, it's something different. It is just something that he has rarely, if ever seen at his practice before. The dental assistant had also never seen it, ever. He said it was a "presentation worthy" dental situation. Very rare.

SO, what I'm wondering is maybe the tooth is completely dead, and could a new one be growing in, could the disconnected roots be the start of something new coming up? Just wishful thinking perhaps, as he is talking major dental surgery, a tooth implant. He said that the crown, if they were to do one would be a lifetime commitment for the other two perfect teeth and would not last a lifetime, whereas the implant would.

Do you have any information regarding implants? Issues surrounding implants? know of patients who've had them and their experience? Medical grade titanium, is it safe? Of course he's all for it, and tells me it's what they use in hip replacements and such, so it's been around a while I suppose. Still need to do my own research on that.

So he is going to refer me to an implant specialist to get the ball rolling. In the meantime I have to chew on the right side, and not clinch my teeth (which I do often!).

And, there's my story. I really think this problem started many, many years ago and is not related to how I eat now. I probably would have lost the tooth a lot sooner had I been eating the traditional, standard diet. Actually, I am sure of that. Perhaps they could have saved it if I'd done x-rays sooner? We'll never know but hopefully everything is as it should be and this is where I'm supposed to be at this moment!

NEVER a BORING moment,


ps. I'm going to eat low sugar, that seems to help. I'll also do the salt water and probiotic rinses as well that my naturopath has suggested to do. I'll keep you up to date on the happenings surrounding this. It also reminds me of a blog by Heidi Ohlander, she's got major dental issues and has been very outspoken and honest about them. You can see her story here, and you have to scroll down about three quarters of the page and you'll see her video screen...she has pink hair, it's hard to miss! My dental story is minor compared to this one!

Eat Raw, Live Well (and remember to brush and floss and get regular dental check ups...find a holistic dentist if you can!)


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Biggest Loser

I must admit that I do watch the Biggest Loser pretty regularly. I'm not a big T.V. watcher and usually I'm multitasking while it's on. Who has two whole hours to spare on any given night?!

Well, what a rollercoaster of emotions I've gone through tonight! First thing that really hit me hard was the immunity challenge. The contestants had to pedal a kayak to land then hike up a very steep hill to reach the finish line. For people who are over 200 and 300 and 400 pounds, this would be terribly hard. Heck, for those people without extra weight this would be a challenge of sorts.

The winner was a woman who really talked herself into staying with the leader, a guy who seemed a little too confident. She made her move and he thought she'd lose steam but she didn't. She really dug deep to finish it the way she did. I was so proud of her and she was proud of herself. I love that this show really pushes the contestants past their comfort level and allows them that amazing feeling of success, self belief and confidence. So many people are overweight and eat emotionally for these reasons.

What really got me though was the last guy, a very overweight teen who was coming in last and knew that he would have a one pound penalty but said all he wanted to do was finish. He only gave himself positive self talk the whole way up. I started to cry though when all his team mates went back down the hill to encourage him. They cheered him on and even gave his back some support but one said that he'd reach the finish line on his own and that he could do it. He did. I LOVE that they were so supportive! What an amazing group of people.

I am not sure what made me cry so hard. Perhaps it was the fact that it reminded me of the first time I climbed the Coquitlam Crunch. It's a very steep hill in our area and we did it with our bootcamp instructor. Some people ran it and I was in the middle but pushing hard, not wanting to be left behind. For someone that was about 200 pounds at the time, not having exercised except for about three weeks (of bootcamp) before that, it was extremely challenging. All I really remember, wasn't the pain and sweat, but the great feeling I had while standing at the top, admiring the view. I'd done it. That was my way back, for exercise at least.

The food thing was something else entirely. Even now I find it a daily challenge to put the best food ever into my body. Our society is so entirely NOT built around a solid whole foods, let alone raw and living foods. I just have to keep telling myself to believe in the process and believe in myself and that I can look temptation in the eye and know that it is just that, tempting. I choose to put the right foods into my body these days. I am also working very hard on not over eating. Even many people on raw food diets will over eat raw foods. It's pretty hard to over eat on fruits and vegetables and greens and sprouts...but add in sweeteners and nuts and seeds and suddingly it becomes very easy. At first it was fine when I ate that way. My body was so thankful that I was not putting in the garbage that I had chosen to eat before.

Then, I noticed that I was getting tempted to eat cooked foods, and not the good kind like steamed vegetables! When I did try some, each time I would wake up the next morning and I'd feel like I had a hangover. Then the cravings got so much more frequent and I would not make the best choices. So I decided to do a water fast which then turned into a juice fast. I didn't have anyone overseeing the fast and didn't want to damage my body. The juice fast allowed me to lead a regular life while giving me the nutrition I needed. I dropped 20 pounds in my first month at 100% raw, and then another 25 when I did the 31 day juice fast.

With all this success you'd think I'd be able to continue this inevitably. But I was addicted to things like sugar, fat and I could get too much of that in the cooked or raw way of eating. I began overeating and problems began to occur. More cravings, weight gain, other health issues, an inability to deal with stress, depression.

Only when I hit rock bottom did I realize that I needed to so something. I knew that raw foods wasn't a complete answer. It is a huge piece of the puzzle, but it's the lifestyle that you need to adopt as well. Over the next year I began putting together a health plan that works for me. Once again I am feeling better than I've felt in ages. I'm not as addicted to food as I used to be. I'm using it responsibly and for nutrition, not for other reasons. I'm eating much less in the day but it's nutritionally exceptional. Exercise, getting involved, volunteering, giving back, detoxing, and all the rest that comes in a raw food lifestyle...I've made health a habit, one small step at a time. SO, what I'm currently doing is writing it all down, and most of it I will be posting on my new yahoo group, called Thrive On Live. I will be sending out daily, weekly and monthly messages, that you can follow as you wish. Do what feels right, delete the rest, but if you want to make your health a habit then start with one small step. Are you ready?

Wow, did I ever get off focus...

The show was so emotional. Some got to call home, that's always a tear jerker. Bob went off on Joelle for her inability to give it her all. There are millions who would LOVE to be in her place, and she's not willing...he let her know how much he didn't like it. I'm sure it's up on YouTube already! If you don't want to know the ending then don't continue reading past here...

In the end, the oldest contestant and the youngest contestant end up below the yellow line. How do you make that choice, the oldest, Jerry really needs the medical attention and the push from Jillian. The young teenager has his whole life ahead of him and has never been a thin child, doesn't know what it feels like really...such a hard decision. Jerry ends up going amidst huge amounts of tears, but we're all relieved when we see his current condition. He's lost 80 pounds and is continuing to lose. He's got such a great attitude.

In the end, it's a choice. Will you choose to make your health a habit?

I have...finally.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fruit and Veggie Program

I announced to our school's staff that we were accepted into the BC Agriculture in the Classroom program. It is a great initiative that they've got going currently, where fresh (albeit, not organic) locally grown produce is delivered to schools and students are encouraged to eat the fruit or veg in a classroom environment. Background information on the food is given and can be discussed while the food is being eaten. Best thing is, there is no cost to the school for this program. The great thing about that in our area is that we are located in a fairly low income area and many of our students do not get a lot of fresh produce at home.

It is estimated that about 2/3 of children in British Columbia are NOT getting the required fruit and vegetables each day. Those that are, probably count french fries as a serving of vegetable as well!! It astonishes me how parents neglect their childrens' needs in this area...mostly due to convenience or such. How easy is it to have fresh fruit and veggies available to kids at home for them to snack on? How about adding some fresh produce to dinner?!

Well, we're going to help in this area and each child, every two weeks will receive two servings of a fruit or vegetable, during class time. I am the coordinator for this program at our school and had to take the Food Safe Course in order to hold this position at the school. I am proud to say I received 100% on my course final assessment! Eating fresh, raw food and a run at lunch before the test helped me accomplish that, I am sure!

So we'll be receiving our first shipment in late January. I am curious as to how the students will react to the food when in the company of their peers. I know in my class on Fruitful Friday, they all try each of the items I bring in and are at least open to trying it. Most end up liking it although there are a handful that may not like this or that.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Is your local school doing something like this? If not, mention it and ask if perhaps your school could get involved. If you don't live in B.C. check out the website and perhaps you could suggest that your government or school district look into doing something similar.

On a side note, I've got the ball rolling for the yahoo group. Check it out.

Eat Raw, Live Well.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Future of Food

WOW! Saw a very important documentary last night and went through some of the extras on the second disk this morning. I have always heard that our food is being controlled by only a few mega giants, but I really didn't realize the depth and breadth of this control.

The movie is called "The Future of Food". It is in local video stores here in the Lower Mainland, and if you can get your hands on a copy I highly suggest it.

Already I have taken two actions due to the information I received in this documentary.

1.) I have the phone number of the local community garden coordinator and I am going to get on the waiting list to get a plot or two of land there so that I can start growing my own food. The land where I live is not great, and there I can learn from others who have been doing this for a long time.

2.) I have begun plans to start up a garden club at school. I of course will have to talk to the principal about this but what better way to teach the kids about sustainable living and where our food comes from but to grow it ourselves! Wish me luck!

Is there something you can do to increase your knowledge base about where your food comes from? Do you have enough land to create your own garden? 15 min. at a time, create your own food...start the planning now and you'll have an amazing garden by summer!

My Yahoo! Group should be up and running by later tonight. I'll keep you posted!

Eat Raw, Live Well,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Decluttering My Space

There are many areas of our life where decluttering is needed. If my home is not tidy and clutter free, I am not a happy person. I am downright cranky! We all get hurt on toys not picked up, trip over bags that weren't put away, and a number of our dishes were broken this last few weeks due to the untidy space in the kitchen.

My son told my mom today that his room was full of space. He'd been socked in with all of our Christmas boxes and it is heartwarming that he appreciates his space, but at the same time, heart wrenching to know that it must have been bothering him subconsciously before then.

Since Christmas, all the decorations have been taken down, routine is back in our lives, every room has gone through a major decluttering and tidying and we are all breathing easier because of it. In fact, my son is even sleeping better and behaving better as well. Nothing else has changed but the routine and tidy spaces. This speaks volumes to me.

My daughter and son love to play in the new space created in our family room. Everyone is making an effort to keep our space clean. The only thing is, to keep it clean and declutter like I want to is cutting into my beauty sleep. Usually late to bed and early to rise, recently it's been very late to bed and somewhat later to rise. This is problematic when you want to accomplish something in the morning before the kids wake up. 15 minutes at a time I keep telling myself, but once I start a project I want to finish it. There are two items still on the to do list for decluttering...the house's storage areas (and we have many!) and my scrapbooking desk. I have not kept it tidy in over 3 years...since my son was born, I do not believe I have scrapped a single day!

So, with small steps I'll be digging through what's in the storage and on that desk. Is there a space in your home that you'd like to reclaim and feel it's a lost cause? Just take 15 minutes right now and tidy and declutter. You'll be amazed that if you do this consistently for a month you will have a new, clutter free space for yourself. Your energy will rise, you'll be happier and no longer cranky and unhappy.

I feel so much lighter now and hope that you will too.

Remember to Eat Raw, Live Well.

email: if you ever have questions...or comment here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Story of My Stuff

Wow, marathon day of tidying and cleaning up from the holidays and I am far from finished. About six months ago I watched a movie called "The Story of Stuff" and you really have to check it out. Many of us have WAY too much STUFF and it really disrupts the our flow! Usually I declutter at least a grocery bag full of stuff each week, and more if I can. It seems that there is a constant flow of goods in and out of this house.

I love Christmas and winter time (while it's here) and have collected a good number of very expensive Christmas decorations. I like to take it out on Dec. 1st - give or take a few days, it has to be a weekend as it's quite the ordeal. Then we (I) take it down the last weekend before we go back to work after winter vacation. Well...this year I got lazy. I only took out about half of the items, and my poor son had his room packed with boxes that never got put back in the attic in the meantime. He had about a month where he could not do anything in his room due to the number of boxes in there. So instead of enjoying my evening cuddles with him, I kept feeling guilty each night I put him to bed.

He kept talking about having and wanting space this last month, but never referred to his room, he always wanted it in the livingroom - which he probably sees as my space and wanted to disrupt it a little?! Unsure of the motives, it is not until I write this that I realize that he was probably telling me in the only way a 3 year old knows how to, that he needed me to tidy my stuff up in his room.

Yesterday, I decluttered my daughter's bedroom as I could get around in there and it's so peaceful for her now. Today I managed to get all the Christmas stuff down and boxed and into the attic and tonight I vacuumed his new, spacious bedroom. You should have seen the smile on his face when he saw how much "SPACE" he had. He loved it. My daughter also said how much she liked things tidy. We all made an intention to keep our bedrooms tidy this year. We will help each other with this intention with a quick tidy up before going to bed at night. We are also going to put out our clothing the night before and that will take the guess work out of things in the morning.

I find that we live in such a disposable society. I admit that I too am trying to curb my spending and making more purchases second hand where I can, and donating many things that still have lots of life left in them. We still have too much stuff! Every weekday I am going to do a quick look through my home and try to fill a shopping bag full to donate. I was doing this once a week last year, now it's time to take it up a notch and let's see if I can get rid of at least five times that.

Instead of doing things I'd like to be doing - or going to bed at a reasonable hour...I am tidying and cleaning up stuff...organizing stuff. This must come to an end, one small step at a time! is a great resource for this, you should check it out also.

Do you have too much stuff cluttering up your life? Is it stopping you from doing things that you'd like to be doing? Take 15 min. today to gather a shopping bag - or more - full of items to donate. Today I took out 3 garden bags full that I was able to declutter in the massive marathon clean up I did this weekend. Good luck! Remember to fuel yourself with as many greens as possible to have the energy to get this stuff done! How are your goals coming along? I'm about to do my 15 min. of book writing...the outline is almost totally complete!

Eat Raw, Live Well,


Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's been a year - changing of the seasons

Today was the most amazing day ever!

Today was thick with snow, from the moment we woke up until the time we put the kids down to bed. It snowed so much, all day long. I really do like the snow and had no other plans today except to host a brunch and take down the Christmas decorations.

Brunch was great. Tempting food all around...but I resisted temptation, and had apples with cinnamon and some agave. There's a lot of talk around agave at the moment, but I use it so little hopefully there is no ill effect.

After brunch we got the kids outside and played in the back yard, unearthing some of their toys that had been buried in the snow, then did some shoveling out front and then we went for a walk to find a good hill nearby to do some sledding on our crazy carpets. We had an absolute ball. I haven't seen smiles on my kids faces so big in a long time, not even on Christmas day. It's true that the best thing you can give your kids is your time. I'll be doing a lot more of that in the new year as my daughter is always talking about wanting to be a baby again because I spent more time with her then. Nothing like a mirror being put up in front of you for you to take notice of your actions. That's why a lot of my posts will be in the evening, once the kids go to bed. I would like to spend less time at the computer when they are awake.

We also took a long walk along the river nearby and also walked to the lake and saw it frozen over mostly with some ducks looking for handouts! The snow was coming down in torrents the whole time and it was such a winter wonderland. I am so happy that my toe had healed enough for me to go out and play in the snow today.

I love the changing of the seasons. I told my hubby today that I would miss the seasons if we went to live somewhere tropical. Perhaps not at first, but eventually. I love the west coast of Canada, it has all four seasons and we are experiencing them in such a great way this last while. This past fall was the most mild, sunny fall we've had in ages. This winter has proven to be quite snowy so far! I am sure spring and summer are also going to be great!

Better get myself to bed, time to get back on "work" hour sleep times now.

Snowy dreams to you all...
Where would you like to live? Are you living there now? If not, what can you do to get yourself there soon? Think about that for 15 min. today and take action!

Eat Raw, Live Well,


Friday, January 2, 2009

One Year Anniversary...

It will have been one full year tomorrow, that I've been blogging. My goal was to blog at least once a week, and although I have not done one each week, I believe that I've written about 52 entries, so that would average to one a week. This year I'd like to do at least two a week...and learn more about how to manage my blog and make it look great.

The reason I began my blog entry so late tonight was due to the fact that I began my 15 minutes of writing for the book and then it was an hour later all of a sudden. Do you ever get that vacuum of time when you're doing something you love? I experience the vacuum when I'm surfing the net, talking raw and living foods, at certain movies, playing with my kids, etc. I feel like only 15 min. has past and when I check the time over an hour or more has passed.

Blogging has been a great way to make sense of my experiences, and hopefully has helped a few people along the way. I used to be a HUGE journal writer in my pre-teens, and teenage years. Then I moved on to poetry when I attended university. When I began working as a teacher, my writing almost completely stopped, how ironic is that? I wrote the odd poem - The Mystery Gift was an annual poem that I wrote to honour my Grandpa. Each Christmas my Grandpa would purchase an inexpensive item, write a poem that hinted to the wrapped item and we would have to guess what was inside of it. When my Grandpa died, I wanted to continue the tradition but felt that it wouldn't be the same with the family so began this in my classroom. The students love it!

I really lost touch with writing and how it really helped me through some difficult times as a young person and while going through university. Turning to pen and paper (or computer and keyboard) didn't appeal to me much until I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. I wrote the baby a journal during the pregnancy, but stopped once I had her. I also wrote a very cryptic journal - on the computer this time - to my second baby but again, stopped once I had him. It wasn't until I began blogging on January 3rd of last year that writing really became a part of my life again. And now, a book in the works. Usually you don't realize what you've lost until it's gone, but this is different. I didn't realize how much I'd lost until I started it again!

So, what could YOU start doing again that will make your life more fulfilling? Is there something that you have not done in a while that you'd love to start up again? Why not take 15 minutes tomorrow and begin that journey. Remember to use 15 minutes also to work on your goal or resolution as well. Small steps to success, we're on our way!

Until next time,

Eat Raw, Live Well!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Small Steps To Success

A shiny, fresh, brand new year. It's awesome that we can start fresh each new year. Being a teacher I get two fresh starts to the year, and am thankful for that. But this calendar year, I have such a feeling of positivity and wonderment about what lies in the year ahead. To some it may seem a little daunting thinking about all that may go on in this next twelve months, to others, they may be overwhelmed, thinking yet again that they will fail with their new year's resolutions. But, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, something I've been working on getting started...Thrive on Live's Small Steps to Success.

Think about it. There's no need to look at the end result just yet. It is great to have a goal in mind but if you are too anxious to take the first step, you will never make it to that goal. Instead, do something each and every day that will lead you in the right direction towards that seemingly elusive goal. If you do something, even if it's just for 15'll get there eventually! You can do anything for 15 minutes, just like my good friend "Flylady" states! So here's to working towards our goals and aspirations, 15 minutes at a time.

I'm working on a book and will be following this 15 minutes at a time rule in order to complete it. For one year I have put off starting it, because the task seemed too big, but if I tell myself that I will write a minimum of 15 minutes per day, then it doesn't seem so scary to start. If I write 15 minutes per day, then I'll have written one hour and forty five minutes each week!

I'm also starting up a group (more details to follow...hopefully I'll have it up and running by January 11th-15 min. at a time) that will help people move in the right direction in their health and vitality and joy in their life experience. It will be a free, internet based group. It's time to give back and in the process help others begin to experience their Most Amazing Days Ever!

M.A.D.E. for YOU!

We'll follow small steps to success, fifteen minutes at a time!

In the meantime, choose one of your goals/resolutions and decide how you'll take that first small step today and then do the same tomorrow and again the next day. Do this 15 minutes each day and see how much you can do in such a short time!

Until next time,

Eat raw, live well.