Mommy Ruth Schulman is on a raw diet (it's been a week and a few days) to overcome her severe health issues (a polyp on her stomach and possibly cancerous tumors on her thyroid) and avoid surgery, or at least delay it. I have moved in to facilitate that, and everyday is chock full of stuff!!! I'm chief chef, psychotherapist, chauffer, etc... It's stressful, but gratifying, because i love my mommy dearly and want to see her well.
WEDNESDAY'S TOP 10
10 - DEPRESSION - Mom was feeling depressed for the last 3 days and she finally talked about it to me. I explained that when you eat clean food you may find yourself feeling things you haven't felt before, that it was normal. I also said that she may have always been depressed but distracted herself from it. She's a compulsive shopper and for months she's been caught in a vicious circle of eating poorly and feeling horrendous. When that's gone, it's time to kind of face yourself. I also mentioned that just knowing she is sick with a polyp and with tumors on her thyroid would naturally make anyone depressed. It's a scary thing to go through. Plus, this new diet can be frightening. She kept saying, "I have to believe. I have to believe." As in, she really doesn't yet, but to do this, she knows she will need to. Talking about feeling depressed helped.
9 - ANGER - Mom's been angry at some friends and she's been venting. She tends to go on and on about things. My father recognizes this, too. Her head works overtime and things irritate her and grate on her. And she's a little stingy to forgive things that people do that hurt her. I'm encouraging her to talk about how she feels. And to also see that people are not perfect, to accept them for who they are, and that people have their own problems and are often caught up in them and neglect, like she does, to keep in touch, or to invite someone, or to include someone.
8 - BACK PAINS - Mom's back pain is worse for the last 4 days. Is it the diet? She doesn't think so. I'm glad for that because it is not making her want to abandon ship with the diet, but i think it probably IS related to the diet and is a symptom of detox or of stress. [Thank god her stomach is pain free, which had been in excrutiating pain for 4 months prior to the raw diet.] But, now her back is seizing up. She needed "muscle relaxers" yesterday again. I'm going to encourage her to ask for massages when she's in pain, instead. We were so busy i never did get to massage her yesterday. That's the best 'muscle relaxer' there is. Mom is not an affectionate, huggy person, and she has a hard time feeling vulnerable or asking for something. She likes to be in control, and her back hurting so badly is adding to the depression. We're monitoring the back. It's scary, and discouraging when everything isn't going "great" from day to day, but we just need to go through this. One day at a time. Yesterday, she said, "I could NEVER have surgery now with how bad my back is." Well, that's kind of a blessing, actually.
7 - THE FIVE FLAVORS - Okay, it was a perfect time to give a quick lesson in making raw salad dressings. I had shaved her some cabbage and carrot for a slaw and was attempting to make a cole slaw dressing using tahini (because i had it right there) and water as the creamy part, with raw vinegar, garlic, celtic salt, and agave as the other dressing components. Man, it tasted horrible. But, using the 5 flavors rule, i just kept adjusting and adjusting until it tasted delicious. She LOVED it! The 5 flavors are: salty, sweet, bitter, spicy and tart. The salad tasted too bitter from tahini (i consider it a bitter) and too bitter or spicy from cabbage, not sure which classification cabbage is, but generally all greens are bitter. So i went heavier on salt, on agave, on garlic, and i added lemon juice to counteract the bitterness. HELLO, From GROSS to DELISH in 2 minutes. If you want to stay raw, you MUST learn the 5 flavors. Every savory dish i make, i add the 5 flavors to and adjust them until they are in a pleasant balance to the palate. Mom seems interested in this and intrigued!
6 - WALK 'n TALK - My mother has so much nervous energy, she actually NEEDS to walk. I saw this yesterday. Her mouth didn't stop for a minute. She was like this the other day, too. She NEEDED to talk. And she needed to WALK. She even noted, "I don't feel depressed now. When you're talking and walking, you forget about feeling bad." Amen, mommy. Words of WISDOM.
5 - THE THYROID STORY - Mom is continually going over and over all of her old medical reports. She discovered that she had a tumor on her thyroid back in 2006. She's since discovered that according to the records, she has several tumors on the thyroid now. And she explained to me only yesterday that the dr biopsied all of them by sticking a needle into her neck in 5 different places. The tumors are what the drs are referring to as, "QUESTIONABLE." They want to do a thyroidectomy. Mommy is adamant, "I want to keep my thyroid."
4 - WHAT THE THYROID DR SAID - Dr. Joe called last night and mom informed him of what she's doing. He didn't seem too impressed. She outright asked if she wanted to wait a while before having surgery and get a third opinion on her case, could she. He said it wouldn't be likely. She asked if she wanted to wait awhile before getting a thyroidectomy and just work on this diet, how long could she wait. He answered, "6 months." And if she wanted to get examined again, say, in 6 months, how would he do that. He answered, "Ultrasound." That's painfree! And if everything checked out okay and the thyroid was better, she asked, what would they do then, "Monitor you yearly." The dr was passionless, but mom felt encouraged about all of this. I guess 6 months without treatment wouldn't kill her, and facing another ultrasound is a peice of cake.
3 - LETTING GO and SPEAKING UP - I encouraged mom to speak to her friend, Mary, who upset her and let her know how she feels. Good news. Mary called, and she did just that, and felt better for it. My mom tends to hold things in. Or let them out aggressively. I'm teaching her something i learned once about how to talk about your feelings to someone. You tell them 3 things. You tell them 1) WHAT THEY DID 2) HOW YOU FELT 3) WHAT YOU WISH THEY WOULD DO NEXT TIME. It seems simple, right? But, mom never said, "Mary, next time there is a function with the Sewing Group, could you please pick up the phone and call me and let me know? I'd really appreciate it." She just fumed about it for weeks instead. Granted, she did FINALLY tell her friend how hurt she felt over the phone, but she never asked her how to fix it or avoid hurt feelings for next time. Using these 3 steps, you avoid relationships from deteriorating.
2 - BLOOD WORK - Mom received some blood work back that was taken 2 weeks ago. She tested low on iron and her sugar high and her potassium low. She started freaking out. As did my father. "There's something else wrong with me!" I calmed her down. "Listen, mom, you've been eating nothing but cake and cookies basically for weeks before i came. Of course your sugar tested high. And since you stopped eating meat, you weren't getting iron from anything. Now you're eating spinach and bananas daily!" I can't WAIT until she gets retested next week on drs. orders. Are they going to be in for a surprise when her readings come back normalized....just from diet!!!!
1 - OPRAH'S SHOW ON HEALTHY EATING, "Food 101 with Micheal Pollan." Highights of the show included: Michael Pollan's new book called, "Food Rules," which promotes an organic whole foods diet and teaches us to shun all processed foods, all fast foods, all factory farmed foods, and go back to eating like Grandma used to. Alicia Silverstone, Actress, Vegan, author of the new book, "The Kind Diet," asks us to be kinder to our bodies and our planets by eating a more plant based diet. The Movie, "Food, Inc.," asks us to look at where our food comes from and to turn from big business's way of raising food. The Chipotle Grill restaurant teaches us that fast food can be healthy food. Most of the meat is organic grass raised. Everything at Chipotle is freshly cooked behind the line in a kitchen in each restaurant. MOM was VERY inspired and uplifted by this show. She NEEDED this! For the first time, she saw other people doing something akin to what SHE is doing. Alicia Silverstone spoke of pooping frequently and easily. Mom smiled and said, "Like me!" My mom's middle name was constipation prior to the raw diet!
xoxo michelle joy