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6th Annual Best of Raw Award

6th Annual Best of Raw Award

January 3, 2018

2018 - A Personal Journey

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I pray you are blessed with good health, prosperity, love and peace. I know we’ve all got lots of resolutions for 2018. I’ve been taking time and focusing on even better ways to detox...

For the most part, this blog has always been about healthy food, and over the years, I’ve shared hundreds of living plant-based recipes with you.  I’ve recently had a few shifts in my life that have required more attention, and as a result, I’ve not posted many recipes. I awoke this morning, inspired to write this. As always, I’m coming straight from the heart and hope it doesn’t come off as salesy. I’ve lovingly given away most of my recipes for years, but right now, I’m working on another kind of detox I’d like to share with you. This is in addition to, and compliments healthy eating, but I believe is an area that is too easily overlooked. Let me pause here for a moment, and share what I wrote this morning, and things will make more sense.

My Story - 2017 - Overcoming Challenges

Just over one year ago, I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. My world changed overnight. My self esteem rapidly crumbled, and the pain experienced was excruciating. While absolutely terrifying, it also impacted me on a very deep emotional level, in ways I’m just beginning to understand.

Imagine waking up one morning, looking in the mirror, and discovering half of your face is paralyzed. You can’t chew, your one eye won’t blink or close, and must be taped shut each night to avoid damage and patched during the day, speech slurred, and severe, severe, severe, pain in your ear, face, and head. You think you must be having a stroke. A trip to ER assures you it’s not a stroke, but instead, is Bells Palsy. You’re given a bunch of meds and sent home, totally unsure how long this will last, and if you’ll ever recuperate. Hot compresses permanently held to face, or sheer agony and months of intense pain follow. Going out of the house is totally embarrassing. Forget dining out, since you must use a straw, and manually pinch your lips shut on the straw in order to drink. Oh, and you drool when you eat. And, you are tired...very, very, very tired. So, I became reclusive very quickly. I cried a lot. And I worried that I may never see ME in the mirror again.

Perhaps the memory of my Nanny, when I was 4-7 years old haunted me. Her face, half paralyzed and contorted due to a brain tumor, usually sporting a patch over one eye. I was too young to understand, but I have grown up watching home movies seeing her try to duck out of site from the camera, covering her face, ashamed of her appearance. While her issues were far more severe than my own, I now recognize what sort of emotional pain she must have endured, and it touches my heart deeply. What she must have gone through, and no one really understood. I wish my Nanny was here, we could have shared our crooked smiles together. I could have told her how beautiful  she was to me. I could have shown her empathy.                  

Bells Palsy...”It passes,” many said....maybe, if you are a lucky one. But my      presence in multiple  support groups, has told me otherwise.  Quick recovery, or full recovery, is not always the case. And many have repeated incidences, as if once was not enough! I developed chronic dry eye and had to stop wearing all cosmetics and eventually, I just lost interest in how I looked at all. An emotional downward spiral.



“It passes,” so many said...but the emotional trauma on top of the physical trauma is so rarely recognized or understood by well-meaning friends and family. I stopped smiling because smiling accentuated the CROOKED, and it hurt. My eyes would not blink at the same time which made me look really wonky...more shame. Like Nanny, I wanted to hide. But as an educator, and blogger, I forced myself to post videos on my You Tube channel, to monitor improvements, and provide info to newly diagnosed BPers. It also forced ME to look at ME.

So why do I write about this now?  I’m a Spiritual Warrior, and a frustrated wannabe writer. I’m also all about education, and believe using my personal challenges might help or enlighten others with similar hurdles.  (Gotta make lemonade from lemons).

Here I am over a year later, and my face, while so much better...still not the same. To all who see me, they say I  look fine and they don’t notice it, (or at least it’s what they  say). But it’s there. My smile may never return to what it once was. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see my face,    the one I’ve known forever. When I speak, I now have a lisp that was not present before. As a public speaker, this is tough, and I must be ever cognizant to enunciate.

My right eye still tears for no apparent reason. Even more  disturbing, is my reaction to the current cold weather.  Apparently, cold air can stimulate the damaged nerve, resulting in deep, dull facial pain.  It is frightening to me, and way too reminiscent of the very onset of my BP experience.  


BUT...I go about my life. I move forward. I try to eat healthy and live healthy. I want to go Live, and create videos for my business. I want to continue to educate, which requires public speaking. I must push through my insecurities about my lisp, and a face that is no longer quite familiar to me.

When I post selfies....what you may not realize...it’s therapeutic to me, and a huge challenge. I’m pushing through my comfort zone and learning to be happy with ME...the new imperfectly, perfect me! So, this is my 2018 Challenge. To continue to heal the residual damage, but also my tarnished self-esteem.

If you know someone stricken with BP...it may seem temporary to you, and not a big deal, but try to be sensitive to the radical changes and pain this person may be experiencing. Depression can be a huge part of BP. And it does not discriminate, impacting all ages, adults and children.

Now, the somewhat salesy part.  Beautycounter changed my life! But it’s also changed the lives of my daughters, and others I know. A wonderful success story, with a company rallying to change US standards, making a difference, and I’m compelled to share it.  It really changed my life! Being so self conscious about my face, walking around with sandpaper, watery eyes, a crooked, drool face, and no makeup....I was sad. I was deeply sad! Hell, I was damned depressed! There was no end date in sight or promise that it would heal. I did see steady improvement...until that stopped, and I’m kinda stuck in that place, but grateful for as much healing as I’ve had. It could be much worse!


BUT, with the discovery of Beautycounter, I can practice self care (skin care) again!  I’m excited to play with CLEAN cleansers, moisturizers, and masks...oh my! I can wear cosmetics again, and they actually feel so good and hydrating to my skin.  While I may not be the same....I’m enjoying this newer version of me. Most of you know I lead a pretty clean lifestyle....so when I discovered that this company went above and beyond US standards, and eliminated over 1500 toxic ingredients that the US still allows....it was a no-brainer. I found not just a product line, but a    movement for positive change that I personally support!

My battle with BP may not be over, even though YOU may not see it...I feel it.  But, I’m getting back my self esteem, my skin feels better than ever, and I’m smiling again. I look in the mirror, and I see life! I see hope...I see a New kind of radiance and beauty.

My New Year Resolution....to continue educating, empowering, and sharing my passion  about Healthy Living. Life served me up a certain series of experiences, that have brought
me to this place. I ❤️ creating healthy recipes and sharing them with you...and now, I’ve found a remarkable recipe for yet another facet of self care...interested?  Feel free to message me any time. 

I’ve also created a new group, Healthy Living - Beautycounter by Barbara.  I welcome you to join. (Inspirational, informative, empowering...Join Us!


I apologize for this long, but therapeutic and purposeful post....and for those that actually read it...a super big thank you. I hope it helps you in some way too. Be your own super hero...nourish YOU inside and out.

Blessings to you all for a happy and HEALTHY New Year!  Sending much love, Barbara

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