A New Chapter?

by Pamela Cook on March 21, 2011

I’ve had some interesting developments lately in my pursuit of health and feeling good, so I knew I needed to kick my perfectionism to the curb, and just jump on here and talk about it.

It has been a long 7 months since last posting ~ I sort of just fell off into oblivion due to life’s struggles. Since my last post, I’m still in sort of a holding pattern with my personal life, although moving slowly forward. I’m hoping things will be resolved by the end of 2011.

So far on this blog I’ve talked about my venturing into raw veganism, and my pursuit of disease prevention. Then I began to slightly mellow out on the raw aspects and incorporate some cooked veggies.

Biggest Health Complaint

My biggest health struggle/complaint has been chronic sinusitis. Over the past 6 months, I began developing a theory that maybe my problems are related to fungal issues (candida). After all, I had undergone massive antibiotic therapy in high school and college for acne. I have been out of balance ever since. After much research, everything pointed to that. So I began once again to pursue a zero sugar diet (very similar to the Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine), plus anti-fungal supplements. I had great results, but the problem is, the results didn’t last! My sinus problems returned when I began eating anything containing sugar again.

Then I decided to implement a series of juice fasts, and a colonic. Unfortunately, I swung back to the opposite extreme, with intense sugar/chocolate/carb cravings, even though I replenished with high levels of probiotics. Obviously I didn’t know what I was doing!!

A Different Kind of Practitioner

Fast forward a few months to my very first visit to an herbalist/nutritionist, here in San Diego (Encinitas to be exact). I found someone that came highly recommended, with years of experience: Steve Marmor of Herbs and More. I felt that this type of practitioner might finally be what I’ve been looking for!

The visit was over an hour, and included going over my health history (including diet, sleep, exercise habits, bowel habits), live blood analysis, hands on Applied Kinesiology, Iridology, and blood type testing.

The whole experience blew me away! He is not even a trained naturopath, but this level of intense physical evaluation is unlike anything I’ve experienced from any medical doctor. Despite the fact that I have been eating a very high raw, mostly vegan diet, including lots of greens and green juices, my blood analysis showed oxidative damage to my cells, as well as dehydration.

Applied Kinesiology

The Applied Kinesiology diagnostic techniques were used in addition to the live blood analysis, as well as taking into account a subjective description of my symptoms. Applied Kisnesiology is questionable to many, and often seen as “quackery”. I feel it’s up to the individual to determine whether the practitioner is accurately assessing, using this method.

I felt that using it as a supportive diagnostic tool, rather than the only tool, was helpful. The results that he found were right in line with what I’ve been feeling. Ultimately, you know your own body, and how you feel. If you feel the results of such tests are way off, you could question the particular practitioner’s abilities. I could tell that Steve was very confident in his findings, and could see distinct differences from one area to the next.

Through AK, it was found that my stomach was out of alignment, which he re-positioned manually, while lying on a table. He found my energy was completely out of balance, and gave me the following diagnosis:

“You body battery is tired or exhausted, and your nervous system is depleted.”

That is exactly in line with how I’ve been feeling!

He recommended resting every day, get plenty of sleep, reduce or eliminate my exercise for the time being, and increase my water intake.

Also interesting to note, is that through the Applied Kinesiology, I was tested for internal fungal issues, and did not test positively for it. He said that it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have a problem with it, but it is not very prominent. So he is looking to heal, and bring into alignment, other issues that he feels are more prominent at this time.

Blood Type – A New Way of Thinking (For Me!)

The thing that had the greatest impact on my way of thinking was the testing of my blood type, and the discovery that the type O positive blood is the blood type that absolutely thrives on meat! Here I’ve been living as a vegan/raw vegan for so long, and while I have felt good, it hasn’t been the extent I would’ve hoped.

Another aspect of learning about blood type, is how to eat according to your blood type. I’ve heard about this, but never really believed it. But now I’m convinced to at least try it.

There has been lots of research in this area. Here is a quote from the mini guidebook to Blood Type O:

“Your blood type is the key to your body’s entire immune system, and as such is the essential defining factor in your health profile. Your blood type antigen serves as the guardian at the gate, creating antibodies to ward off dangerous interlopers.

When an antibody encounters the antigen of a microbial invader, a reaction called “agglutination” (literally, gluing) occurs. The antibody attached to the viral antigen and makes it very sticky. When cells, viruses, parasites, and bacteria are agglutinated, they stick together and clump up, which makes the job of their disposal all the easier.

But there is much more to the agglutination story. Scientists have learned that many foods agglutinate the cells of certain blood types, but not others, meaning that a food that may be harmful to the cells of one blood type may be beneficial to the cells of another.

A chemical reaction occurs between your blood and the foods you eat.”

So for me:

“The Type O diet is a way to restore the natural protective functions of your immune system, reset your metabolic clock, and clear your blood of dangerous agglutinating lectins” (proteins found in food that have agglutinating properties that affect your blood).

My Prescription for Health (For Now)

Overall, these are the recommendations I’ll be following over the next 5 weeks, until my followup appointment:

  1. Eat according to my blood type, following the Blood Type O Booklet, which includes the addition of meat to my currently vegan diet (avoiding dairy).
  2. Rest as much as possible, and avoid stressful situations.
  3. Drink lots of water (I have always fallen short in this area)
  4. See a chiropractor for a whole body adjustment, in particular, upper cervicals.
  5. Take the following supplements: two types of herbal blends for sinuses and histamine blocking, bee pollen, and a daily fiber supplement.

The plan is to get me to a point where I am noticing marked improvement in the basic symptoms I came in complaining about. Then, the goal will be to attack underlying issues on a deeper level, such as liver/gallbladder strengthening, improved digestion, increasing my overall balance, and energy.

For the first time, in a very long time, I feel hope that I can attain the health and vitality I’ve been longing for!

I hope the very best for you too.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Sprouted Essene Bread & Highlights of the Week

by Pamela Cook on August 7, 2010

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Hello everyone!

I hope your weekend is off to a great start.

Today is sort of a catch up post. My theme lately has been staying on track with health and fitness during times of stress. Things have calmed down a bit in my personal life, but we’re still working out the kinks in marriage counseling and don’t know where that will lead.

It’s so important not to let stress and worry drown us during these storms that inevitably come in life.

It’s been difficult to post as much as I’d like, but I’ve been sticking to my self-care commitments, and snapping pictures of the highlights throughout the week.

I recently talked about incorporating comfort foods into my existing raw vegan diet. Often this takes the form of cooked food, but it is super-healthy, and vegan.

I believe life is all about balance, not absolutes. I consider certain cooked veggie dishes healthier than a rich, high sugar 100% raw dessert. Just focusing on 100% raw is not always the best in terms of overall health.

One of my favorite comfort foods I discovered since switching to a raw vegan diet is Essene Bread. This is made by processing sprouted wheatberries into a dough, shaping into small loaves, and dehydrating.

I slice the small, flat-cake-type loaf in half, and toast it, “buttering” with coconut oil, and topping with maple syrup.

This was today’s breakfast (after my wheatgrass juice, of course)!

I’ve loved bread my whole life. It was amazing to be able to experience “toast” again!

Another creation this past week was a new experiment with the Essene dough:

Sprouted pizza!

Putting some pesto sauce on the raw dough:

Baked for about 20 min at 350 with onions and tomatoes on top

YUM!

Some other highlight photos of the week:

A vegan stuffed pepper I threw together for myself, alongside the meat & rice version for the family (it’s on a bed of sauteed peppers and onions)

One of my favorite dishes, spiralized zucchini “pasta,” with chopped heirloom tomatoes and avocado on top as a variation.

Spring rolls (recipe here)

One thing I hope to incorporate more into the blog in coming months is the process of transitioning my family to healthier eating.

To get them used to eating more veggies, I started making this veggie pizza with my homemade pesto. I use raw pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, the pesto, spinach, mozzarella, tomatoes, and sometimes add onions and olives. The possibilities are endless for the veggies that can be used. I will probably add more each time I make it.

Before going in the oven

After baking at 450 degrees for 15 minutes

I hope to come up with more and more healthy vegetarian and vegan recipes in the months to come!

Fitness update

I’m excited to report that P90X is amazing! It is difficult, but just what I’ve been looking for. After only a week on the program, I already notice a difference in my running (less aches and pains)! I’m so encouraged.

I’ve noticed a huge boost in my motivation to work out, too. It helps to be able to just pop in a DVD and follow along. I push way harder than I would strength training on my own. It is relentless, but I know I’ll see results I would’ve never thought possible.

Aaaaand, the wheatgrass has been fantastic as well! I recently tweeted “I think wheatgrass may have been the missing link in my diet.”

The biggest noticeable effect is curbing my hunger. After just one oz first thing in the morning, I could go an extra hour or more, even with working out, before eating. For anyone looking to lose weight, this could be a great appetite suppressant to use throughout the day.

I also notice greater mental clarity, and energy after drinking it first thing in the morning, with no coffee. Amazing!

I’ll be writing more about the benefits of wheatgrass juice soon. Also coming up next week – preparing to travel on a raw vegan diet.

I hope the rest of your Saturday is fabulous!

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Vegan Pesto & Roasted Veggie Heaven

August 2, 2010

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start. We’ve been making a pretty good dent in our wheatgrass for juicing. I also bought another basil plant to supplement the two in my garden. Last night I wasted no time in getting busy with the comfort food. Now, my idea of comfort food and [...]

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Self-Care in Times of Stress

August 1, 2010
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Happy Sunday! This has been a fragile week for me (see last post), and things have been all about taking a day at a time, and keeping self-care high on the list. This has meant spending some extra time with the kids (learning to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and sucking at it), purchasing a [...]

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Minor Dessert Flop & Major Life Flop

July 26, 2010
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Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a tolerable Monday so far. This blog post is going to be one part healthy dessert recipe success, one part dessert flop, and one part life confessional. It’s tough to know just where to draw the line in regards to openness on a blog. I know that my favorite [...]

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Raw Away From Home

July 23, 2010
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Happy Friday! Yesterday I returned from a much-too-short overnight trip to Big Bear, California. It got me thinking about how far I’ve come with my raw food diet, and how much easier it is to pick up and leave with fairly short notice, compared to a year ago. It also has me thinking about how [...]

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The World’s Healthiest Coffee – (or is it)?

July 21, 2010
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Good morning! I was up early this morning, cracking open young coconuts. For what you might ask? For my raw, vegan creamer! I could’ve waited a few more days (I’m trying to not become the total coffee addict again), but there was nary a green tea bag to be found to replace it. After giving [...]

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Fitness Goals, and Prepping for an Overnight in Big Bear

July 20, 2010
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I woke up feeling much better today. Yesterday I had a very unusual bit of the crummies. As if the stomach ache weren’t enough, I was struck with a classic migraine (with aura). Sheesh, body, gimme a break! The last time I encountered a migraine was in January. I found an interesting connection between migraines [...]

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Weekend Highlights & Nagging Health Issues

July 19, 2010

I hope everyone had a great weekend! If Mondays aren’t bad enough, my morning started off with a terrible stomach ache. This is so uncommon for me. I thought this would be a good time to introduce some nagging health issues I’ve been having (the stomach ache not one of them), and some reasons behind [...]

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Volunteering with my kids, and a little local night life in San Diego

July 17, 2010
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Happy Friday! Summer is finally in full force, here in San Diego. Yesterday was a perfect example of why I appreciate living here so much: some volunteer work at a great nonprofit organization, and a night out for some live music. Although we don’t live right in San Diego (we are in North County), I [...]

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