Say HELLO to my mom and dad, Bernie and Ruth Schulman.
My mom has been diagonosed with possible thyroid cancer and has agreed to undergo a diet transformation to heal herself naturally.
Yesterday was mom's first entire living foods day.
It's quite amazing that she first of all, agreed to do this, and second of all, actually completed an entire day.
When i awoke yesterday morning at her house (next to Cliff - we're going to be sleeping over here for a while to support/guide/get her on her feet with raw), she was automatically making herself a cup of tea and toast. When I heard the crinkling of the raisin bread bag, i jumped up, "Mom, i'm going to make you a green smoothie." "Okay," she replied.
Later, she informed me she hadn't known we were 'starting' today. Well, we were starting today.
Not long after on the phone, I overhead my father, "Yes, Marge, i bought her ENSURE drinks. I'll make sure she drinks them. She needs the nutrition!" Uy, uy, uy. This was going to be a battle.
"Dad," i stood firm, "I made mommy a green smoothie for breakfast and there is another in the fridge and she has the recipe. She's not eating anything else today. And no Ensure. Ensure feeds cancer with all of that milk and corn syrup in there. What happened? Last night you were so gung ho to start this today with Susan on the phone."
Sheepishly, he just answered, "Okay" and kind of lowered his eyes. Everybody wants to help, but if i'm not here, she won't last on this thing. I was honestly scared to go to work. I made her promise to me before I left she would drink the other green smoothie in the fridge and then make her own later. I asked, "Do you think you can do that, for just ONE day." She answered in the affirmative.
Arnold, my wonderful dear phenomenol boss, has agreed to give me time off so i can stay here until my mother is doing better on her own. Where can you find a boss like that?
Oh, here's a picture of me when i was heavier, with my mom. I had gotten much heavier after that. I think I went away to O.H.I. in November of 2006. These pics were at their 50th anniversary party. Their anniversary is coming up again, in 12 days. Let's hope it's going to be a GOOD and healing one and my mother is NOT in the hospital instead. Please pray that she decides against ALL surgery. What will they feed her there in the hospital, but lots of crap, lots of drugs and she'll be so discouraged and depressed. THIS is a MUCH better way. THIS IS ALL ABOUT LIFE restoring LIFE, naturally!
My mom drank the smoothie i made her for breakfast. It was pleasant to her. I made a very simple one of 1 frozen banana, 1 chopped up date softtened in 1/4 cup of water, 3 handfuls organic spinach and 1/2 big pear and 2 or 3 cups of water. Her blender is 40 years old, but heck, it works okay.
I went off to work at Arnold's Way.
When i got in, it was VERY busy, and that continued through the late afternoon. I didn't have much time to worry or even think about my mom. But, my eating was very bad there. Can anyone say 'raw bread and nama shoyu' three times fast?
I tried to go easy on myself. I was obviously choosing foods that were comforting (nut pate and raw bread and raw sushi with nama shoyu). I was choosing foods from the outer ring of the bulls-eye, but recognizing that, I didn't feel so guilt-ridden knowing what i was doing. I'm obviously very scared about my mom and eating emotionally in such times is not uncommon. I'll lighten up today.
As i was cleaning the kitchen at work, i thought to call my mom to see how she was doing, but was honestly afraid of what i would hear over the phone. Here i am agreeing to stay over and nurse her back to health and i feared hearing, "Hi honey, I ate a peice of chicken, is that okay? Is that raw?"
Driving out of the parking lot to mom's, i dialed the phone apprehensively. "Hi, Mom, Hi Dad." They had both answered. "Michelle," my dad asked, "I have to ask you something." This scared me.
"Mommy's been hungry all day. Can she have a banana?" Whew, deep sigh of relief... "Of course, she can, i told her that."
Mom then said, "i'm making a smoothie for myself now. What do you want for dinner?" Uy, dinner? I'd had enough for 3 days already.
i was fine, but my mommy was making her first smoothie. Herself. Yay!
Earlier in the morning after she sipped her breakfast, ("Don't gulp, sip." ) I asked her if it was okay, if she felt like she could do this and get used to it. "It's okay." she nodded. My mom is such a trooper.
When i arrived home from work late in the evening, mom looked GREAT. She'd been out and had done herself up so nicely. More fears were allayed just by seeing how well she looked. Sick people should DEFINITELY get dressed and done up, even if they don't go out. It is SO uplifting to just look in the mirror and see yourself looking WELL.
Mom had the nibblies a little later and had a few prunes (maybe not ideal, but okay) and later, she got herself a pear. You have no idea how encouraged i was to watch her eat that pear as we watched TV. It was kind of like i was watching myself. She kept saying, "Mmm, so juicy, so sweet." She was truly enjoying...a pear! It was very heartening.
My mom is blood type A, just like me. Although she is not my mother by birth, we share the same blood type. A's are supposed to be vegetarians according to the blood type diet. Since i've given up meat 3 years ago, i have NEVER missed it. Mom commented, too, "I could live without meat."
I think she could, too, but the cultural ties to jewish pastrami and corned beef and beef brisket are strong. She'd likely give in as she's done a few times these last months, only to suffer the dreadful consequences, pain.
Well, one day at a time. As of yesterday, she is now a raw vegan, one day strong!
With her bowel issues, she's not been able to digest meat, being that it would give her severe cramps and pains with her reduced bowel "channels" that are blocked by scar tissue and fibers. It's almost a blessing in disguise, this problem.
And she did not experience any negative digestive issues from the green smoothie, as i had feared she might. She didn't burp it up, it didn't come up on her, she didn't retaste the banana all day. I am so encouraged.
We did have a little bit of a fright, though. After the pear, i thought everything was wonderful. She said, "I have to go to the bathroom, number two." Wow, for a chronically constipated person to suddenly have to go to the bathroom at 9:30p.m. at night? I couldn't have been happier.
However, that joy was shortlived when she came out of the bathroom, moaning, complaining of tremendous stomach pains, with her arm bracing her stomach, reporting she did NOT make at all. She said she hadn't had pains like this since she tried to eat chicken or a corned beef sandwhich weeks and weeks ago. "It's as bad as ever! That pear killed me!"
Oh, god. Well, i'm glad i was there, if it was going to happen. She laid down next to me and i comforted her. We watched a funny new Jerry Seinfelt show, "The Marriage Ref." That took her mind off of it. She thinks it may have been the SKIN of the pear. When she eats apples lately, she always takes the skin off. Duly noted.
That whole pear episode is something we'll be facing together as the days go by. God help me just to keep strong and keep her on track, keep redirecting her back when she gets discouraged.
I feel fearful alot. I prayed to God in the car on the way home. I was also crying pretty severely. Eating like shit at work and feeling so physically awful and feeling so emotionally scared, it just all came pouring out. And i'm also scared she'll get too skinny doing the smoothies.
You know what? Let go, let God. One day at a time.
I fell asleep soon after the pear incident - when i dozed off, she had said she was feeling marginally better. She left for her room. Cliffy came in from chatting with my dad. My darling, Cliffy.
Well, I hope she slept. I hope she's ready to continue on this journey today.
I am encouraged when I overheard several phone calls she made last night, telling people she was trying a natural approach and "doing the green smoothies," and i didn't hear any flack from friends. People want to help, but there needs to be a rudder on this ship.
Me, of all people. Someone who suffers so much from lack of discipline.
God, give me STRENGTH!
I think i know what it's like to be a mother, now :-)) It's a lot of responsibility.
But i only want the best for her. I want her to be well. I don't personally think she is strong enough to handle two surgeries, one for her stomach and the other for her thyroid. She still comments that she thinks she wants the stomach surgery.
I explained, "Mom, what does it matter? If you're NOT going to get the thyroid surgery, which you said you didn't WANT to, and are going to try a healing diet for that, what do you NEED clear bowel channels FOR if you're just going to be drinking green smoothies ANYWAY?"
You see, God gives us body issues to HELP us. NOT to hurt us. Her blocked bowels are a blessing. She doesn't need chicken and corned beef. And her body won't allow it. Her body is allowing green smoothies as the liquid nutrition can pass through the severely blocked bowel. And the pear skin must have been too much for her. Blended in the smoothie, it's okay. Hm, but now that i think about it, i wonder if it was the prunes, afterall, that gave her pain. The pear didn't go immediately to her bowel, but she's stated she's eaten prunes many times lately with no ill effect.
Well, it's something to monitor.
Day two is due to begin soon. I get up pretty early now that I'M back on raw food. Thank God i am, for my sake, and for mother's. Where would i get the strength from to follow through on this, if i wasn't doing it myself?
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Quick story about a topic i've been discussing on the blog, um, you know, WEIGHT LOSS, hardy har har.
A customer I'll name Barbara came into the store yesterday. I've actually thought about her quite frequently. Barbara went on a regular raw gourmet diet some months ago...and after 2 weeks said to me, discouragingly, "I'm waiting to lose weight." She didn't lose a lb. Well, it's been MONTHS since i've seen her. "Barbara! You are looking well!" I exclaimed. She certainly was. Yet, she answered, "I'm doing great on raw, but the scale says i'm exactly the same weight! My body just holds on to it."
I couldn't help but think of Carlene of http://www.rawfoodbootcamp/ and her strictness about bananas, about salt, about fat. Barbara reported eating at least 10-15 bananas a day. "Bananas hold up weight loss in the obese," says Carlene. Then there's Tim who eats 10-banana banana whips a day and loses 100 lbs. Dustin doesn't eat many bananas at all.
So, what is it? Why all this CONFLICT about how to lose weight on raw? Is it too many bananas? Is it too much fat in Barbara's case. Or is it the wrong mind-set??? And what is it with me? Too much fat? Too many bananas? Or the wrong mind-set? Bad eating habits?
Yesterday, i must have eaten 10 peices of raw bread. Yes, it was delicious. And nama shoyu on my raw sushi. Yes, i am blown up like a balloon today. Yes, I gained weight. (But i'm not weighing myself). No, I did NOT eat everytime i was hungry. In fact, i ate everytime i THOUGHT about eating. Not really a productive approach!! Tim says a person "cannot" gain weight on raw. And a person "must" lose weight on raw.
Though my bulls-eye idea is a really GREAT one, all in all, it's something i concocted for WEIGHT LOSS, after being inspired by Susan. I still think it's a great idea. But, everytime i think about weight loss, i binge. Psychologically, i truly AM better off not doing ANYTHING to attempt to lose weight...., i guess, if i want to overcome binge eating. It's like i can't tackle two things at once. If i want to tackle overcoming binge eating, i have to allow myself ALL raw foods, fattening and non-fattening, and pay CLOSE attention to hunger/fullness.
I did NOT do that yesterday. I ate one slice of raw bread and said to myself, "You're bad. This is fattening." And then i couldn't stop. It would have been MUCH more beneficial to me to continue on as i had been, seeing raw bread as calorie free and paying CLOSE attention to when i'd had enough, instead.
I think i'm just going to have to return to that mindset, as much as i'd like to LOSE WEIGHT FAST sticking to the bulls-eye healing target theory. It's good in theory, but i'd probably need my OWN live-in raw coach.
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Many blessings to you on your journey. As always, stay in touch and let me know how you're doing on your raw journey. I welcome the good, the bad and the ugly. I like to hear it all!
xoxo michelle joy