I'm doing very well! My feet/ankles look almost normal again and not blown up like balloons. My knee, which felt like a tight rubber band was around it, stopped hurting after the first day! My athlete's foot went away after the first day, too! After 4 days of lots of pooping, I'm feeling trimmer and slimmer already!
The food here is simply amazing! The Doctor is an Amazing Raw Chef, wow! I am so excited to bring back so many new ideas for meals to Arnold's Way! What I am being served is so SIMPLE in ingredients, but prepared so artistically that looking at it, my mouth waters! Today I had pear "stacks"...that looked like bisquits filled with jelly...but it was slices of pear filled with kiwi and strawberry....so simple...but like the most gorgeous thing you ever saw! Like something you'd get in Hawaii at an expensive resort spa!
And it's not strict-strict raw.... At first it frightened me, but I relaxed and trusted. (Michelle, you are in the right place...God sent you here!) (What have I been seeking all along anyway? SOME form of moderation. Finding it here feels like an answered prayer.) For instance the Dr. used Veganaise as a dressing for one of my salads. I LOVE Veganaise...why NOT? And I was gifted an amazing piece of cooked chocolate cake after one of my dinners earlier in the program when company was over. It was so delish and made from some health ingredients! Zucchini! Apples! Bananas! No eggs! No butter! In fact, no fat at all, except for the fat in the walnuts and the cocoa!
We don't receive Salvation from raw food, but from GOD!!! Raw food is a tool. After understanding that, I "let go, let God!" Yes, I actually LIKE that it's not so militant raw! I have simple guidelines to follow and over the coming weeks, I will be cultivating more and more TRUST and KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING to know what my limits are. I felt an answer to prayer when the Dr. suggested, "Cooked foods are more stimulating. And you need to lose the inflammation and the weight. You will be on raw for at least a year." I like having this guideline with a good reason behind it, all the while knowing that I may be able to add Vegan cooked foods in, and still maintain self control. Since I'm learning self control comes from God, I am really starting to believe this will be possible! And i'm blessed that Dr. Arcilla www.drarcilla.com will be here to guide me, so close to Philadelphia, where I live.
And there is no food combining here! That is actually a relief. The only thing i have to really watch is when I drink my water - not with my meals, wait at least an hour after meals and wait at least 15 minutes after drinking to eat. As far as eating rules, that's about it! I'm getting fruit and nuts/seeds and smoothies for breakfast, and salads with veggies, fruits and nuts/seeds and smoothies for dinner. It really feels SO simple! And I get smoothies that contain both banana and strawberry even though that's supposed to be poor food combining, but the Dr. doesn't follow those rules. It's actually FINE with me. I feel great! For breakfast the Dr. makes me these gorgeous amazing platters of fruit with some nuts. And I get 1-2 juices for lunch and before sometimes. And then for dinner I get huge salads with lettuces and veggies and apples and raisins and nuts and only a little olive oil. So, it's SIMPLE, kind of normal! I could definitely do this at home and that's exactly what i like best. And sometimes I get juices and smoothies instead of meals. He changes it up. Oh, and for breakfast every morning I also get a smoothie WITH my fruit/nut plate! So, I am NOT hungry in between! He uses a little salt from time to time. We're monitoring it. My mouth is sure happy, but i awoke with my face a little bloated from a sprinkling of black salt on my dinner salad, so no salt in my salads today.
This is a BIGGIE: I have to drink 1.5 gallons of water a day. That's alot!
And ZERO eating between meals. That is one of the most important insights i have received, how eating in between meals creates so much digestive disturbance and actually creates cravings and toxins and just wreaks havoc on absorption of nutrition. I've suffered from thinning hair and brittle nails my whole life and to a greater degree at some times in my life. I am anxious to see my hair restored with no eating in between meals...i'll be finally receiving nutrition from what i eat!
And i have to chew chew chew my food! That will also be the ticket for me. Sadly, 30 chews a bite, which is about all I can seem to manage before the food slips down my throat, is not enough. The Dr. says I have to aim for 50-80! Uy!
And i have to walk walk walk! I started with 1 mile, then 2, now I am doing 3 and then some. Whew. I'm tired! This will be a huge key to weight loss and to digestion. And to mood elevation, as it already is!
And a big part of the program is educational videos, so during the day and in the evening, I watch one of the multitude of health / inspirational videos available, like "Meet Your Meat," "Kentucky Fried Cruelty," "Diet For A New America," and so many more. Such amazing info out there the Dr. has collected!
The accommodations are fine and very comfortable, but not fancy. "It's not the Hilton," as the Dr. said. It is an extremely homey and very warm environment with beautiful decorations and fresh flowers and inspirational sayings everywhere you turn. And the Dr. and his wife Carmen are so loving and friendly, I honestly feel like I'm with family.
Now, we are in the woods, so there are crickets that unavoidably invade the house to contend with, but I just send love to the little creatures and they seem to quiet down. The Dr. and his wife comically run around catching them.
One of the most important quotes I refer to daily is a scriptural passage from The Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me." Whew, that's a good one. Food has been my God. Today food is placed back into it's proper perspective - into something that nourishes and fills me and is making me healthy so that I can be the best me possible and serve a loving God!
When I didn't think that was possible, I abused myself mercilessly and destroyed this "Temple of the Holy Spirit." I can't help that I am becoming so tuned into God. It is such a huge part of the program and I am benefitting so hugely from it! There is a biblical scripture that says something to the effect of "Don't you know this body of yours is on loan, that it does not belong to you?" My body is not mine own to do with what I please anymore. I'm supposed to reflect God and beauty in my body. All new extremely intensely amazing awarenesses which seem to be propelling me forward...so I ain't gonna argue with success!
Whew, that really hit home base with me. I mean, just for one thing, no wonder I've never done many opera auditions. I'm scared to death of being rejected. And talk about insecurity and low self esteem...
The Drs. first lecture to me was on finding my life's purpose. "You cannot stop eating unless you have a Higher reason, a Higher purpose. You need to figure out your purpose." After not too long, I spontaneously blurted out, "I think my purpose is to inspire, and it has something to do with singing...and most definitely with weight loss."
It seems I lost my way somewhere after the Raw Wedding of the Monarchs in Oregon. I felt like a true inspiration then, singing at their wedding, showing off my new thinner body!
While I was doing the raw catering, my catering partner prepared me some cooked beans with my raw salad. I figured, 'what the heck, why not?' I soon became propelled by a FEAR that knew no bounds. What I ate (some beans) (my first departure from raw) was nowhere enough to send a person into an addictive tailspin. It was the FEAR of what i had done and not knowing that my Salvation came from God, and not from raw food. After the beans, I felt like I was doomed, and then for 2 years following, I tried to figure this thing out.
FInally, things are becoming clearer and clearer.
Now I must keep on track, because inspiring is God's Plan for my life.
With such a plan...to inspire...life is going to be challenging without my "crutch." So, it's CRUCIAL that i find a NEW way to "pacify" myself. So, here, when i am feeling alone and fearful and not good enough and scared and overwhelmed and discouraged, I need to God. I read verses. I pray. I meditate. This many-times-daily connection to Spirit I've begun here is a crucial blueprint for my weightloss success and a cessation to binge eating.
And walking and the water drinking and the clean simple easy diet all seem to play into everything to lift my spirits and keep me positive and motivated and on track and focused.
Well, I think He did!
I have a lot of time on my own in which i have to fit in my several times daily walks, my many showers, my water drinking, my videos, my spiritual study and my personal for my upcoming opera, and so much more.
I have been taught to shower after each walk to wash off toxins so they don't get reabsorbed into the skin.
Many short walks helps with fat burning, rather than one long walk, but it means LOTS of showers a day.
Today in our meeting time, the doctor told me I am doing GREAT and that he could tell I really want to get well. I DO! I DO! He said he was impressed with my diligence and discipline. I had to roll my eyes because I am such a tremendously undisciplined person.
But I find that I absolutely THRIVE in a structured environment.
Of structure, I have PLENTY here - walks, water, meals, all very regimented, but my time is self-directed and self-motivated. The Dr. encourages me often, but I'm forming the blueprint for how I will live once I return home.
Today, I was feeling somewhat discouraged, and tired. So much to accomplish in the day. Will I actually be able to do this on my own?
I often feel fear I won't follow through, knowing "me," but he gave me a wonderful quote to help me when i feel this way, and made me say to him, "I CAN DO IT!" So I'm saying it again to you! I CAN DO IT!
My billions of cells actually hear me speaking, so speaking positively to and about myself....is crucial!
Looking forward to keeping you updated!
xoxo michelle joy