Sunday, November 25, 2012

Start Some Good

Many of you know that I was asked to be on a founding committee for my midwifery school. We are really excited about our new venture and receiving much support from other midwifery schools and midwives worldwide. Also, there are people locally who are coming out of nowhere to help us with legal, non-profit, and fundraising aid.

Recently, we launched our Start Some Good campaign. We have tirelessly been working on the launching of this campaign. In fact, I spend last weekend in St. George working on this project.

Please take a moment to look at my hard. If your heart feels generous then you can also donate money to the cause. Also, to complete the giving and receiving cycle, you will receive a gift for your donation.

Contact me if you have questions about our school or mayhaps want to become a midwife.

Monday, November 5, 2012

October Raw Food Experiment

At Banana Island I made a promise to myself and to the group that I would eat 80/10/10 for all of October. 80% of my calories coming from simple carbohydrates, 10% of my calories coming from protein and 10% of my calories coming from fats. This is more simple than it sounds. Basically I ate a huge smoothie for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and greens for dinner and more fruit if I was still hungry.

All of October (with the exception of one day and 3 carrots dipped in hummus) I ate a low fat raw vegan diet. Every meal was intentional. If I was eating with people who were eating differently than I was eating, it was a real struggle. There were several benefits to this way of eating: my digestion was awesome. My stomach and bowels were mostly empty therefore I could feel what good digestion feels like. I never had gas. Food digested fairly quickly. I felt lighter. Also, you have to eat a lot of food to get 1500-2000 calories of raw low-fat food. Low-fat meaning that I wasn't pouring oils, avocados  and nuts on everything. Shopping is a breeze! You simply walk into the produce section and you're done!

Starting November 1st I introduced cooked foods back into my diet. My digestion has been very sluggish and I broke out with a big zit on my cheek. Also, I haven't slept well and I have been very thirsty. Needless to say, I think I am going to stay on 80/10/10 the majority of the time. I will eat a few cooked meals a month.

This is a very controversial way to eat. People get harassed about it because you aren't eating any grains, beans, or animal products. On top of that, there is only a limited allowance of raw nuts, seeds, and oils. It is truly a unique way to eat, but it feels phenomenal. Oh, I forgot to mention this, but there were 2 or more Olympians that were at Banana Island the week before I was there (one was a gold medalist for sprinting). Most people who eat this way are VERY athletic. I am not, but I am interested in being more healthy. Watch this awesome video. Note that the man who runs these retreats and is doing all the pull-ups is 60 years old and around 38 seconds is my crush lifting an enormous rock :)

Seattle Part 2

After Banana Island, I went to a fruit luck at a beautiful park in Seattle (which is a pot luck, but just fruit). There, I tried kiwi berries, durian, and jackfruit.  I went with some people from Banana Island and some people from Seattle. It was weird to hang out with my new friends outside of Banana Island. We met up Zhanna at the park. The last time I saw Zhanna was 3 years ago when she came to Utah to visit me. We worked and lived together in Colorado and have stayed good friends.

Zhanna had to work on Monday. During the day Karen and explored Seattle. We rode the Ferris wheel, went back to Pike's Market, went shopping, and attempted a trip to the museum, but it was closed. In the evening Zhanna, her roommate Adriana, Karen and I all went out to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. I ordered a salad and fresh squeezed orange juice. Then we went to Barnes and Nobles, while there, I bought the book 80/10/10 by Douglas Grahm- which is the very book I should have read in preparation for banana island! Zhanna had to drop her cousin off at the airport and so Karen, Adriana and I went back home and had a karaoke party. Little did Karen and I know, Adriana happens to have a number one hit in 3 DIFFERENT countries. Eeks. We were pretty shy after she was belting out some Whitney Houston classics..

On our last day in Seattle, we met up with Amy again whose house we stayed at before Banana Island. She was hosting Janna, a girl who went to Banana Island. Janna is from Australia and is touring the US. The four of us went to a raw food restaurant and then to the airport. The last day there was the only day it rained. Apparently September and August is the dry season in Seattle. We were so lucky to see the rain, but only for a few hours :)

What I loved most about Seattle is probably the beauty. There were mtns, lakes, the ocean, forests, and flowers. It wasn't as artsy as I was expecting it to be. I would go back in heart beat, but only during dry season :)

So Seattle...

I was going to wait to post until I got my before and after pictures from the retreat people, but they haven't emailed them yet. There it is, I went to Seattle for a health retreat and I stayed a couple of extra days to visit my dear friend, Zhanna.

The health retreat: What? Who? When? Where? How? etc!?!

Karen, my massage therapist friend that I work with, invited me to go to a health retreat. I said no. Then I couldn't get it out of my head. So I changed my mind and said yes. It was an overnight decision- I just knew I wanted to go. We got a 2 for 1 retreat special and found plane tickets for super cheap. It seems like things work out PERFECTLY when they are meant to be. So many things worked out perfectly.

We got off the plane around midnight and hired to a cab to take us to Amy's house. Amy went to the retreat too. We didn't know her, she simply offered us her home and a ride to the retreat without knowing us. We slept in her children's beds. It was so generous of her. Also, the cab driver was from Georgia (not the state, the republic which is where Lika (high school exchange student/sister-friend) is from.

Then Amy's family and Karen and I went Pike's Place Market Sunday morning. Karen and I were in heaven.   We were eating fresh fruit in large quantities, looking at beautiful flowers, trip to the gum wall, and people watching. It was a beautiful day. After the market, Amy dropped her family off and we left for Sedro Woolley, WA for Banana Island.

Before I begin, let me just state that I did no prior research about the retreat before going. Also, I ate meat, wheat, and probably soda pop the week prior. I did in no way cleanse or prepare for Banana Island. I just went. When we arrived I immediately felt out of place. Little did I know, I was hanging out with hard core health-granola-hippie-athletic folks. Also, if you have ever seen Wanderlust with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd imagine that :) We were greeted at the door by some guy with a pony tail who was hugging me close by my love handles. Seriously, he was talking to me like an inch from my face. Later, I learned that this guy was the one running the retreat. He was everyone's role model and I didn't even know who he was... Everyone was wearing hippy clothes and had six packs so basically I wanted to leave shortly after arriving because I felt out of place. By the time we left I hated saying good-bye. It was hugs and laughter.

We stayed in a cabin that was off the grid. The property was huge and had horses, plums, blackberry bushes, trails, a stream, and a beautiful husky dog. Days were pretty much the same. We ate breakfast at 8 a.m., went for a hike from 9-11, ate lunch from 12-1, had a discussion training out in the sunshine from 2-4, ate dinner 5-6, and then philosophy discussion from 7-9. And of course free time in all of the gaps. They encouraged plenty of sleep. Everything was voluntary and at your own level. Thank goodness because let's face it, I can't do pull ups from gymnast rings like some of the others let alone pull myself up...A lot of honesty there, you can't fake that :)

I had many laughs and made many friends. We were all age levels youngest was 20, oldest was in his 70s. People came from all over the world Hungry, Australia, France, India (although the French and Indian men live in the states now).  Everyone was really free with their bodies and thinking. (like on on our first hike to the water hole some people decided to go skinny dipping. And it was common to talk about and show emotions. Many tears, much laughter). It seemed like everything was possible. Nothing was too outrageous. It was an incredible environment. We all supported each other and love each other. The healing that happened that week is astronomical. Thank you Banana Island!