Google+ Rawfully Tempting™: Writing Challenge

Best of Raw

***UPDATE - 2014 RAW LIVING EXPO - 6th Annual Best of Raw Awards - We Won!!

Best Raw Vegan Gourmet Chef (0-5 yrs) AND Best Raw Vegan Blog. Thank you for your votes!!!

6th Annual Best of Raw Award

6th Annual Best of Raw Award
2014 -Voted Best Raw Gourmet Chef & Blog. Your Votes Made the Difference. Thank You!!!

Writing Challenge

Please feel free to follow me on The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge, hosted by WEGO. For this 30 Day Challenge, WEGO will post a daily prompt, and I will respond. Feel free to add your comments and feedback below. Blessings! (Newest post, first)



HAWMC - Day 30 - Word Cloud


Word Cloud. As we mentioned back on HAWMC Day 16 (link to pinboard post), a picture is worth a thousand words.  For today’s post we’re going one further and putting your words into an image, a word cloud or tree representing YOUR health focus, interest, or passions.  Write down some of your favorite topics off the top of your head or review the tags in your blog post for some surprises.  For some examples on layout check out www.wordle.net.
Use this word cloud in your email signature or as a badge on your blog or facebook page as a unique way to identify your interests and focus.  For extra credit, weight the importance or frequency of some of the words by changing formats or colors.  Share your word cloud in your post and tell us a bit about it.

Above is my word tile. These are the things that come to mind when I think about my health journey. The biggest part of my journey was making the shift from hearing "incurable" to believing that I actually had the power to make positive change...and have! Not only have I made major strides in improving my health, but discovered a new passion for creating healthy food that can help others nurture and nourish their bodies. Blessings! 




HAWMC - Day 29 - 6 Sentence Story

In this day of micro-blogging – brevity is a skill worth honing. Can you tell a story and make it short and sweet? What can you say in six sentences? Will you give your post a title, beginning, middle, and end – or do something different entirely? You’ve got 6 sentences: be creative, inventive, and direct; this may include being generous with punctuation. Good luck!
 Check out some 6-sentence-posts here: http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/

Over a decade ago, I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, an "incurable" and debilitating disease. Rather than allow this news to be the end of life as I knew it, I used the experience and completely turned my life around. I became an explorer, seeking alternative ways to stop the misery and begin to heal my body. In the process, I discovered raw, plant based foods and the talent that I have for creating recipes in my head. Sharing these Rawfully Tempting recipes and treats with friends and family, and now the public, has turned out to be one of my greatest joys ever. Knowing that I have the opportunity to help someone who is suffering, find a way out, is the greatest gift of all.



HAWMC - Day 28 - The First Time I...

Write a post about the first time you did something. What is it? What was it like? What did you learn from it? The first time is always scary. The first day of school, the first time you go to the doctor, the first day of a new job, the first time you tell someone about your condition, the first day of treatment….the list goes on.  But because it’s scary, we always remember, and it’s from these memories that we learn and grow.  We learn that maybe that scary thing wasn’t so bad, or if it was, we find new ways to overcome that fear.

The first time I had to do any public speaking, I was terrified to the core, and then I discovered that when I truly had something to say, public speaking was almost enjoyable for me. Then I was asked to co-host a one hour live special on QVC for a company I worked for. I suffered anxiety about it for months. I imagined the worst case scenarios. I can recall the green room and the excitement as they made me up...but hearing the host of the program announcing my name, and thinking, "Oh my God, I'm not going to be ready to get on the stage." Well, these folks had it down to a science, and of course it all worked out just fine. The thing I recall the most, is the exhilaration. It was like there was two of me. One, completely terrified, and the other, taking charge and conversing, laughing, talking to the "millions" of people I knew were watching. As I'd answer live call questions, and appeared to have the utmost confidence, the voice inside questioned, "Oh no, am I giving the right answer" but I was on auto pilot. Watching the video back, I was shocked to see just how confident I appeared. Once I overcame the hurdle of fear, I accomplished something  had never imagined myself doing - talking to millions of people LIVE. I only got to experience that once...but it has served me well when anything challenging has come up and I start to doubt myself. If I could do that...I could do anything!  



HAWMC - Day 27 - 5 Challenges - 5 Small Victories

Make a list of the 5 most difficult parts of your health focus. Make another top 5 list for the little, good things (small victories) that keep you going.  

http://blog.wegohealth.com/2012/04/27/hawmc-day-27-2/

Challenges
1 - Convincing people that they can actually have an impact on their health
2 - Communicating that a life style change is an adjustment and takes time as with any new thing, but that once you take ACTION and DO something, results will follow. TAKE ONE NEW STEP - DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, ON YOUR OWN BEHALF.
3 - Taking fear out of using new ingredients. Once again..new lifestyle, new ingredients, new recipes. Some things may seem foreign at first. I had no idea what Irish Moss Paste was, but saw enough recipes using it that I let go of the fear, purchased some, and it ended up being an ingredient that gave me wings to create new and exciting recipes. It's also great for your skin and hair. What I don't eat...I wear!  Had I remained intimidated and constricted about trying this new thing, I'd n ever have discovered all the fabulous things it can do. We are talking the best Chocolate or White Chocolate and Pisitachio Mousse/Cheesecake you could ever imagine. And it's HEALTHY! 
4 - Educating people to LISTEN to their inner widsom. Once we start to detox (by eating cleanerain and eliminating certain foods) and then eat something that is not conducive to good health...our bodies talk to us very quickly. We've silenced the "intuitive body," numbing it with sugar and processed foods. Once that junk is gone, the body has a voice.Our inner wisdom will tell us. Have you ever paused before eating something and asked " Do I really need this?" ...and listen for the answer. 
5 - Communicating the whole idea that when you start incorporating high-energy foods that are still alive (plant based - uncooked), it affects you on a deeper level. So many people that have made this shift will attest to the connection they begin to feel with the rest of the world, God, The Universe, whatever you wish to call it. But many of us experience an "awakening" of sorts and can see how the choices we make affect our body, mind and spirit. 

Positive Results (Victories)
1 - My greatest joy is when I prepare some of my best Living Food and serve it to someone who is completely unfamiliar with the concept, and watching their faces light up...and the shock.."wow, this really tastes good," and "there's no sugar in this? No flour or junk?"  I get to plant seeds in people. They may not go home and jump to start preparing raw vegan dishes, but they had an experience, and hopefully the seed I planted will continue to germinate over time. And one day, when they least expect it, the flower will bloom, and they will become aware and willing to make important changes towards good health. 
2 - Teaching classes to people that CHOOSE and WANT to learn, are eager to make changes in their lives and giving them tools to be able to do so. Woo hoo! 
3 - Watching my 4 yr old granddaughter drink a green smoothie she helped me prepare - and then ask for more!
4 - Receiving feedback from people that have tasted either treats from my online cafe, an event I hosted, or here at home, and hearing, "I can actually taste and feel the LOVE you put into these creations." LOVE is the biggest ingredient, and I believe it creates food that is even more healing. 
5 - Last, but not least...watching someone who has made a shift towards healthier eating, and hearing all of the benefits they are experiencing. Sometimes, you don't know until you give it a try. Sometimes, our fear is our own worst hurdle, coming up with every reason/obstruction as to why we cannot make a change. For those that take the leap of faith, they surely will see some benefit. It's a beautiful thing to observe. I love teaching people how to use a tool that is so empowering!  I CHOOSE what I put in my body...and it does make a difference. 



HAWMC - Day 26 - Health Tagline

Health Tagline. It’s day 26, are your hands sore from all the typing yet? Don’t worry, today’s post is meant to be short. However, it’s not promising to be an easy one, as great taglines are an art form themselves. A tagline is a clear and concise statement promoting what one has to offer. Great taglines are inspirational and thought provoking and create a first impression, which your audience will use to remember you.


In a desperate search to get well, I decided to radically change my lifestyle and the way I nourish my body. As a result, I also discovered a gift I had to create recipes using only plant based products that very much mimics foods we are used to, but are not so healthy. Decadent  Delicious  Nutritious says it all, along with RAWFULLY TEMPTING. This is what I offer, teach, prepare, live.... 




HAWMC - Day 25 - The Third Person

Third person post. Today is an exercise in stepping out of our typical blog-voice of first person or second person. As bloggers in the health community – one of our strengths is speaking from our experiences and drawing from our own perspectives. It’s what makes our blogs so treasured by our readers – and so cathartic for us. But for the sake of experimentation and trying something new – let’s step away from that today.
Think of a memory you have – and write to recreate it. But, inside of going into it as yourself, go into the story as a narrator. Describe your memory using the third person as if you were a character in the story instead of the one telling it. As you write, use as many sensory images (sights, sounds, textures, etc) as you can. Don’t use “I” or “me” unless you include dialogue in your memory.

The septic recovery room filled with the blaring shrill of her cries. As the anesthesia began to wear off, the excruciating  pain from the Hydrodestention was more than she could bear. The procedure was done in out-patient as a diagnostic tool. In short, they filled her bladder with water and looked at the lining of the bladder with the aid of a powerful light. Sadly, she was to receive some devastating news. This searing pain was not normal for most going through this procedure. In fact, most doctors do this procedure with the patient awake. Fortunately her urologist recognized her level of pain, and opted to use anesthesia. 
She tried to focus on the wall clock, but the numbers were still blurred and her body tightened, trying to deal with the physical pain. And the doctor spoke, "I'm sorry to tell you, but you do have Interstitial Cystitis, and this disease is incurable. We can help you with medication for the pain, and try to make you more comfortable.There are a couple of experimental drugs we can try as well.  I'm so sorry."  The physical pain from the procedure screamed in the background, but the doctors' words buzzed in her head, and as she tried to digest the information, her thoughts raced wildly, rendering her speechless. A tear trickled down her cheek and thoughts continued to race ahead. "How will I get on with my life," she thought. "How will I be a mom to my teenage girls?" Her career had just started After staying home to raise her daughters, she was just beginning to get back into the work world, and feeling good about herself. She had no idea where her life would go and how she would survive. Her marriage of 20 years, was going down the tubes and she felt completely alone.Sure, her mom and friends were sad for her, but the disease in her body was something no one had ever heard of, and most people did not understand exactly what it was and how life altering it would be...and the pain, the constant pain that she would have to endure for years. 



HAWMC - Day 24 - Select a Health Mascot (or logo)


As a Health Activist, your voice is prominent within your specific health community. A mascot is associated with a distinct group or team. Branding your voice with a mascot can be an imaginative and gratifying activity. Here, you can pay tribute to your favorite mascot or you can create an original character. Ensure, whichever you decide to go with is related to your Health Activism. So for today’s prompt – give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual!


I don't have a mascot, however, what comes to mind is a warrior. Living with a chronic illness often leaves us feeling like a warrior, and the battle is with our own bodies. The battle is also with society and preconceived notions about what we can or should be able to do. So my mascot would be a warrior. However, my logo does not represent my illness, because I don't plan on living with this forever. I got myself into remission once, and I will do it again. The KEY to my getting well, is how well I nourish my body, mind and spirit. I've got the body nourishing down. This is what I do. It's my passion. However, I'm working on the mind and spirit part. Healing old wounds, forgiveness to self and others, and learning to deal more effectively with stress. But for the purposes of my blog, and to represent nourishment, this is the logo that I use and my readers know me by: 







HAWMC - Day 23 - Write About Whatever You Like

Sure, leave me hanging on my own today! No prompt? Hmmmmpf! So now I have to come up with my own topic and I feel a bit lost. My head is swirling with all of the things I need to do today. My tummy is crying out for food, since it's 1:30 pm and I've not eaten anything other than a banana yet. I'm also thinking of recipes that I want to try to create. THIS IS MY LOVE - CREATING healthy, tasty, decadent, LIVING treats that titillate the palate, nourish the body, and please the senses. I love creating foods that are so healthy and people expect them to taste that way (in a negative way). I'll never forget making my daughter a Pistachio White Chocolate Cheesecake and her reaction . Remember, my recipes contain no dairy, animal products, refined sugars and/or flours. Everything is plant based. She took a forkful of this magnificent dessert and declared, "Oh my God, Mom, you have to sell these - no one has to know they are healthy!" She went on with great enthusiasm about how outstanding it tasted as a "normal" dessert, and could be mainstreamed without people even knowing they are raw vegan. Well, it was quite a compliment, however, she missed the point. The point is, we can all have a wonderfully satisfying affair with food that nourishes our bodies and helps us heal, without compromising our immune systems and taxing our bodies into illness and disease. This is my passion. In the process of taking my health into my own hands, I discovered an ability to create fabulous foods that are vibrant, delicious and conducive to healing. Interested? Well, have a peek at the rest of this site. You don't have to become a raw vegan, but there is no reason you can't LOOK at some of the recipes and maybe give some a try. If you do, please note how you feel AFTER you have eaten one of these recipes. Then note how you eat after you consume a sugary, processed snack. YOU WILL notice a difference in your energy and your gut. No bloating, not lethargy. In fact, you may even feel energized. I hope that the fun I'm having in the kitchen, and the time I take each day t o communicate with readers online via my blog, facebook, and other forums, will influence someone who may not have even considered this way of living...and that they experience some positive change in their lives as a result. This is why I do what I do. Now, off to the kitchen to create this recipe idea that has been popping into my head all morning.  Many Blessings! 




HAWMC - Day 22 - The Things We Forget

The Things We Forget. We can all use a reminder from time to time. We’re busy – Health Activists especially – balancing life, health, and online community is a challenge. When juggling so many things at once – it can be easy to forget the basic, yet fundamental, things that we know to be true (or important). Today’s prompt is inspired by the blog “The Things We Forget.” http://thingsweforget.blogspot.com/ The site has a simple but lovely premise and has been sharing mini motivational sayings written in permanent marker on a Post-It (then stuck somewhere in public for others to see) for a while now. 
For today’s prompt – write yourself a reminder. It can be in the form of an online post – or a picture of an actual Post-It like the ones from the website. 


Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of life, we literally forget to breathe. I catch myself immersed in an activity, practically holding my breath. I have to remind myself to breathe and to breathe deeply. Breath cleanses the body and helps our cells regenerate.  So, BREATHE away! 




HAWMC - Day 21 - Health Madlib Poem

Health Madlib Poem. Fun with parts of speech! Today’s prompt is inspired by the classic game – and poetry – put together. A website I love to visit for writing prompts (when I want to push myself to be creative) is Language is a Virus. They have a few fun tools – one of which is a poem generator: http://languageisavirus.com/cgi-bin/madlibs.pl. You enter any words you want and they automatically fill the words into a classic poem.  Have fun! So often we find ourselves falling into the same writing patterns, using the same words over and over. Any opportunity to grab a thesaurus, broaden our vocab, and enhance our “voices” is not only going to make you a stronger writer – but enjoy it more when you read it back to yourself.


blissful wish's blissful wish

I pray my food and all the pictures count for joy; 
I love my friends and all is bright again. 
(I breathe I take you up inside my mountain.) 

The streams go mixing out in blue and green, 
And sacred valley crys in: 
I radiate my heart and all the blessings sing like children. 

I dreamed that you whispered me into the ocean 
And write me light, picture me quite pretty. 
( I breathe I take you up inside my mountain.

Tree skips from the salad, berries granddaughter's delight: 
digest sun and feast on love: 
I radiate my heart and all the blessings sing like children. 


I spin you open the way you live, 
But I prepare for you loving, and I create from Mother Earth. 
(I breathe I take you up inside my mountain.)  

I should have danced a poem instead; 
At least when life plays they read back again. 
I radiate my heart and all the blessings sing like children.   

(I breathe I take you up inside my mountain.) 

- Barbara & Sylvia Plath




HAWMC - Day 20 - Miracle Cure for IC, Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia...

Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer ;)  http://blog.wegohealth.com/2012/04/20/hawmc-day-20-2/

I don't like this assignment and have been putting off writing this. Why? Because even thinking of a complete and total cure, means thinking about all of the "normal" things that I would be and could be doing ...that I try not to think about not being able to do now. Here goes: 

Miracle Cure for IC Found in Juice of the Napanchawannis Fruit
Napanchawannis is a nectarine type fruit, grown off the coast of Tabandah. It was recently discovered by scientists that the juice of a ripe Napanchawannis contains certain alkaloids that seem to reduce inflammation and promote cell regeneration. 100 patients with IC,  who had permanent damage to the GAG layer of their bladders were tested and miraculously cured from 99.9% of all IC symptoms within 2 weeks of ingesting this juice.  In addition to this, patients who had suffered from fybromyalgia and chronic fatigue for decades, were suddenly found dancing, jogging, running,  and cycling in droves. For those that have suffered from these  "incurable" and invisible diseases, this opens up doors for complete healing. 

You can find Napanchawannis juice at www.rawfullytempting.com. Please note, we cannot guarantee that this juice will work for everyone, and there may be side effects, such as, unbounded energy, euphoria, elation, and in increase in sexual desires. Please discuss this with your holistic physician prior to ingesting any Napanchawannis juice. 



 

 HAWMC - Day 19 - Invite 5 People To Dinner

Who are 5 people you'd love to have dinner with (living or deceased) and why? Hosting  a dinner party is an intimate affair. Besides the careful selection of ingredients and courses, there is who to invite. So if you could invite ANYONE, living or deceased, an expert in your condition, or not know the first thing about health or wellness. 

This is easy! The five people I'd invite to my dinner party are: 
1- Mom (passed away 1.5 yrs ago)
2 - Dad (passed away 33 years ago)
3- Sylvia (2nd cousin who passed about 30 yrs ago)
4- Grandparents (on dad's side - both passed before I was born)
5- Grandparents (on mom's side - both passed before I was 10yrs old)

Okay, sue me, that is 7 people. I could not invite one set of grandparents and not the other, right? Besides, I never met my dad's parents and thought this would be a great opportunity! (Sorry Jessica and Lindsey - we'll invite you next time - but I promise to take pics!).

So, I'm really looking forward to this dinner party, having mom and dad together for the first time in over 30 years! Wow! I'm also going to do what I do best, prepare a raw living food feast! I promise, even mom will like what I create. I know you guys have been watching me for many years and I'd love to hear what you have to say about what is going on in my life. 

I miss having your feedback. Dad, you were always so wise, and I could always turn to you for advice. Preparing some of my culinary creations for YOU, especially makes me smile. I KNOW you would love this stuff, and I know you would be open to exploring. You left us when you were 48 years old. Far to young! I miss each of you all so much. Sylvia, you were such a whipper-snapper and always chock full of interesting information. Since my grandparents died when I was so you, you were always more like a grandmother to me. I'd love to see your face when you taste some of the healthy treats that I would create just for you. 

I wish this feast/celebration was real, because the thought of sitting down to a sacred living feast with you all makes my heart smile! You are all missed!




 

 HAWMC - Day 18 - Open a Book...
Open a book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping. http://blog.wegohealth.com/2012/04/18/hawmc-day-18-2/

Book: Journey to the Heart by Melodie Beattie
"Don't be dismayed when you come to a pothole, a detour, a stretch of rough and rocky road. Don't be surprised. Slow down a bit. Be patient. It's not the whole journey, it's not the way it'll always be. But it is part of your journey too, part of your journey to your heart and soul. Happiness doesn't mean feeling gleeful all the time. Happiness doesn't mean the road we're traveling is always smooth. Happiness means feeling all we need to feel and accepting each part of the journey, even the changes of course and direction."

I've hit a lot of potholes lately and they seem to keep on coming. I know I'm geographically challenged, so maybe I'm challenged in navigating my own life. When I hit a pothole, it pushes me to change directions. When I hit a barrier, once again, I have to take a different route. The result is, the mapping of this journey is not even close to the map of the journey I thought I was on. OY! I hate maps! I generally hate potholes and barriers too, but I'm learning. I'm learning to trust that if God put up a barrier, it's because He wanted me to move in a different direction. Rather than constantly swimming upstream, which is quite exhausting, I am learning to surrender and flow. No, it is not easy, but floating on top of the water is a lot easier than trying to fight the tide and swim against it. So, I got sick! And in doing so, was forced to explore a whole new terrain. I discovered my love for raw living food. I discovered how much better I feel when eating food that is charged with life, rather than processed food, laden with sugar and flour and names of ingredients I cannot even pronounce. I'm moving along a road that is completely unfamiliar, but I found an "old friend" along the way... me.

 



HAWMC - Day 17 - Lesson Learned the Hard Way
 Let’s take a look back as we seek to go forward. Some of the beliefs we hold play a significant role in our lives today because we learned them the hard way. According to human nature, we will make mistakes throughout our lifetime. However, more important than the mistake itself is what we do when we realize we have stumbled. Sometimes, it is tough to address our slip-ups and move ahead. But it’s necessary in life. So for today’s prompt – what’s a lesson you learned the hard way? Write about it for 15 today.

I believe that LIFE IS a lesson, but the past two years seem to be all about learning some really hard lessons, the hard way. Some of the lessons are still too raw to even write about and not lessons I ever thought I'd need to learn...about letting go of any thing and every thing that ever meant some thing to me. But looking back, I can see the journey more clearly, and with all of it's pain and challenges, my life direction was radically changed, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

When you are diagnosed with an "incurable disease" your life takes a drastic turn. Suddenly, all of the hopes, dreams, and aspirations that you had for your life are smashed to smithereens. Your life is brought down to the most common denominator...making it through ONE day...and then the next. All of the things you once found joy in doing, you are unable to do. Doors are slammed shut, fast and hard. When the disease is an invisible one, that most people have never heard of, or there is some unspoken stigma attached to it, (like Interstitial Cystitis), you cannot depend on a lot of compassionate support from the people you thought were closest to you. If people don't understand an illness, they often fear it. And "oh my god," IC (Interstitial Cystitis) affects THE... B L A D D E R...(gasps)...and we are not comfortable talking about such things, are we? 

When I was first diagnosed with IC, over a decade ago, like most of you, I knew nothing about the disease either, but I sure learned fast. I learned fast that even the medical personnel, that I was relying on for help knew very little about IC. WHY? Well, there was little if any federal funding for IC, even though it impacted millions of people, (and many more who were misdiagnosed). IC research became my full time job. It was the ONLY thing I could do to feel like I had some sense of control over my life. My career was slapped on hold and trying to get into a car to drive was excruciatingly painful, so I spent a LOT of time at home. Prescriptions were being thrown in my face, even though I was told none of them would "cure" me, but MIGHT help make my life more "bearable." The majority of meds that came my way, made me feel more lethargic and spacey and did little, if anything for pain. I'd rather be in physical pain, then be walking around in a stupor.  I played that game for several years, and tried several different modalities, none of which gave me much relief. I tried joining several IC support groups, but  listening to the hopelessness of what others were enduring only made me more depressed and the crazy cocktails of medication some of these people were on astounded me. Doctors did not know what else to do and deep down, they wanted to help. Their only resource was to treat symptoms. For me, I did not believe any of these medications in the long run could be good for my overall health. I can recall reading in a few books and forums how many IC "patients" actually wished they had been diagnosed with Cancer instead of  IC. As crazy as that sounds, I cried when I read it, because I totally understood this seemingly irrational statement. Most of these people were experiencing a similar reaction to their illness from their peers, family, friends, loved ones. Cancer is a horrific disease and I don't think ANY of us actually wished we had it, but what we wished for, was the same respect and compassion. People talk about cancer. They talk about treatments and they find support on how to cope with it. Of course, this is the reason I write. I figure that for every person that actually reads one of my posts where I mention IC and learns something about it, that is one more person educated. There have been so many lessons learned as I've evolved through this IC journey. 

What I've learned: The most important thing I've learned was to rely on myself, when I thought I had nothing left to give. Learning to make choices FOR ME and not be a victim to the ignorance of myself or others. Learning to say 'no" to a medical doctor who insists I take a particular "experimental" drug or treatment that I know in my heart is not going to cure me, and may well do more harm than good. Learning that by paying attention to what I eat and how I live my life affects my health greatly. Learning that allowing the thoughtlessness of others to upset me as deeply as it used to, impacts my health, and that I have to LET IT GO and recognize unconscious place they are coming from. Learning to LOVE NEW THINGS and appreciating tiny milestones!

Dis-ease can set you back, but it can also propel you forward...IF you let yourself SEE where you have been, and where you have arrived. If I only looked at what I've lost...I'd still be in a deep dark hole. But when I look at the direction my life has taken, in an effort to heal myself, there are so many things to be grateful for! Bladder Pain is a real challenge, not an imagined one and I would not wish it on anyone.  The things I've had to give up in my life were cause for heart break, and I'm still fighting to get disability, for a disease that is still not widely recognized, by the people who inevitably make decisions about my life. 


On another note, whether people you know choose to understand what you are going through, and be compassionate about it, or not, is NOT up to you. And while it can be hurtful, all you can do, is LOVE yourself, nurture yourself and continue to be the best that you can be. People have lost limbs, and get back up and run marathons with prosthetic limbs. Talk about finding  JOY in new ways!!! So, I lost my ability to work in the corporate world, but discovered that I'm a hell of a raw vegan chef!!! I've discovered the JOY that I get when I'm CREATING in the kitchen! I discovered the JOY I experience when turning people onto healthy foods they've never eaten, and giving them a tool for achieving more energy and restored health. It's hard to lose the things we thought we valued, but if we trust in LIFE and GOD, things will start to make more sense, and you can learn to find JOY in ways you never thought possible. 






HAWMC - Day 16 - Create a Pinterest Board
Create a pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. What did you pin? Share the images in a post and explain why you chose them.


The photos I've selected may not seem health focused at first glance, but for me, they each have played a strong role in my healing, whether it be physically, spiritually, or emotionally. 

The first picture I selected from my Pinterest Board is one of my djembe drums.  I surprised myself picking this photo, since I haven't been to a drum circle in quite some time. When Fibromyalgia entered my life, I thought I'd have to give up this love. Not so.  I love my drums. Drumming allows me to be totally present. Endorphins kick in and I forget about any pain or sadness that I might have been feeling, and experience PURE JOY. 


The second picture I selected from my Pinterest Board is of my Granddaughter Charlotte preparing eggs for Easter. While I was not there with her, the smile on her face in this picture totally penetrates my heart and all I can feel is PURE JOY. How could this not be healing?


And my third picture selection is the very first recipe book cover I designed for one of my upcoming books. This is probably not the actual cover I will use, but I had placed this in my Vision Board and it reminds me of my need and desire to CREATE from a place of passion and PURE JOY. It also reminds me of how far I've come and how being sick was a blessing, taking my life in a new direction I would never have discovered otherwise.






HAWMC - Day 15 - My Writing Style. 

Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?

More often than not, I write very much like I talk. My writing is very informal and has a conversational tone to it. Hopefully, the reader feels like this is a personal conversation just for him/her. I NEVER write by hand because I can't understand my own writing, so I always write on my laptop. I graduated college with a BA in Journalism, but rarely use that rigid style in my writing. Instead, I prefer creative writing, and in most cases, I type as the words come to me. Editing comes later.  My blog has two sections, one is a personal journal, and the other is healthy recipes that I've either created on my own, or prepared. I don't think people realize that writing recipes can be very challenging. I worked for a short time writing software requirements. Writing recipes uses a very similar format. Imagine writing a tutorial on "how to tie your shoes." When you write recipes, assume the reader may never have been in a kitchen before, and is not familiar with your ingredients. Walk the reader through each step and not take anything for granted. I love online writing because I can attach hyperlinks to pages that tell the reader more information about a specific ingredient or product, and possibly where to purchase it.  My journal, on the other hand, is pretty much from the heart, very informal, and embarrassing-ly honest. I don't think it's read by many in comparison to my recipes, however, like most journals, it is  more cathartic for me than anyone else. 




HAWMC - Day 14 - My Dream Day. 

Dream Day. Describe your ideal day. How would you spend your time? Who would you spend it with? Have you had this day? If not – how could you make it happen?

My dream day...waking up pain free, spending the morning intimately with my beloved..(wink)...pain free ...and  maybe again (double wink) . Getting up and preparing an amazing green smoothie (do that now), and sitting on a sunny patio, leisurely enjoying the living goodness with my sweetie.

A walk to the beach, feeling the sun in my face, wind in my hair, and smelling the oceanic mist. Lunch with my kids (all at the same time), including of course, my granddaughter. Playing with her, pain free. Feeling at peace...my heart healed from the overwhelming sadness I've felt since my mom past, and all the family drama that rocked me to my very core, and has left me feeling broken. My biggest challenge comes from my need to forgive something that feels so utterly unforgivable because it was done with such hate and malice, at a time when we should have been pulling together and honoring the passing of someone we all loved. It haunts me day and night, and I know this is taxing my body, exhausting me, and delaying my healing. I know my mom must be broken hearted too. I struggle each day to put this behind me and move on. I've participated in grief counseling, but it all just sits inside of me like a ball of rotting debris. Such a burden to carry each day. So my ideal day, would be to wake up feeling FREE...free from the sadness, free from the emotional toxicity, free from the heaviness this has placed on my heart. Free to love. Free to live. Free to be healthy again..........free to forget the ugliness. Pain free and peaceful! 




HAWMC - Day 13 - 10 Things You Couldn't Live Without

10 Things You Couldn’t Live Without. At some point you have at least heard this situation posed to someone (if not to you): if you were stranded on an island, what are the 10 items you would need/want to have with you? Have you given that circumstance serious thought? You can approach this from various viewpoints – that of a Health Activist, patient, caregiver, parent, sports enthusiast, healthcare provider, etc. So for today’s prompt, write a list of the 10 things you need (or love) most.

1 - W! No matter how difficult and challenging things have become, W is always on my side. W both believe in the philosophy of commitment and sticking through things, not quitting. Nothing is more indicative of this than our relationship, which has been through so many twists and turns. We both lost our moms in the same year. We were both out of work at the same time...and we both live with my physical limitations. We love each other dearly and at the end of the day, it is always W's arms that I curl up in.

2- My kids/grandkids. While they have their own lives, they live in my heart and the sound of their voices on the phone, especially when they take a moment of their time to call, just to check in and see how I am, always warms my heart. The memories that live with me FOREVER from the moment they were conceived until now, are the breath in my life. And my granddaughter, Charli, to me is PURE JOY! I've never laughed so hard as I do when I spend time with her, or talk to her on the phone.

3- GREEN food - fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes. Give 'em to me! I don't know what I'd do if those were not available to me! With these foods, I can make brownies, chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake, hummus...all created without cooking, without dairy or sugar or processed grains, and they taste fabulous and make me feel a lot better!!!

4- Music. I love music. It can make me laugh, cry, sing and/or dance. It lifts my spirit and wraps it's melodic notes around my heart. 

5- Computer. Yes, I know it seems silly, but since I'm housebound a lot more than I like to admit, my computer has become my portal to the outside world. If I cannot get there physically, I can do so virtually. 

6- VitaMix! For those of you who are not familiar with this, it's a top of the line blender. Hey, I'm a raw vegan chef...and I need my BEST tools, and this is one of them. I waited a long time to get her, and I'm not leaving her behind. VM comes with me, wherever I go. This was one of the greatest gifts ever given to me!!!

7- Literature. I have not done it a lot lately, but I really do love to read. I love poetry and self-help books. Before the internet, it was the only way to go. I used to love writing, and reading always inspired me to write more. I would not want my life without being surround by books...and poetry. 

8- Friends.While many of my friendships have dwindled over the years, there are a few fabulous people that I could not do without. You know who you are! With being sick, I often did not have the energy to socialize. I found out quickly that once W and I stopped driving and going and attending social functions, so-called friends stopped contacting us. It was a painful lesson to realize that people who you thought were friends, were only there because it was convenient and we were available to them. My REAL friends are there for ME when I need them. They are there, whether I can come to the, or not. They hold my hand when I'm sad, and they dance with me when I am happy. 

9- Dr. E! My holistic physician who has been an amazing healer/practitioner in my life! He continues to give me hope that I will get better and better. He reminds me that I need patience when it feel like I'm all out of it. He guides me in ways I would not have known to go, and while his approach is somewhat off the beaten path, I trust him with my life. 

10- Sun! While I'm not a sun goddess by any stretch of the imagination, I do know that without it, I would not have experienced a lot of my healing. Dr. E. emphasized how important it was to try to get 20 min a day. While that is not always possible, the more I adhered to this, the better I felt. It lifts me physically, emotionally and spiritually. Nothing like walking outside and feeling the warmth of sun caressing my skin.



HAWMC - Day 12 - Stream of Consciousness

Today’s post is about what’s going on in your head in this exact moment. What are you thinking/feeling/seeing/hearing? How do you feel? What’s popping into your head as you take in your surroundings? What conversations or interactions keep running through your mind?  Stream of consciousness is about not suppressing these thoughts but letting them flow onto the page, with or without punctuation, without stopping to think about whether you’d chosen the right word or phrased something the right way. So we challenge you, start with this phrase: “Today I looked in the mirror and…” (Or another sentence you come across.) But sure to – Keep writing. Don’t stop for 15 minutes. Don’t edit. Post. Go!

ARGGH...no editing?  Today, I looked in the mirror and....
cried...yup, I did. But when I sat down to write my challenge for today, my computer FROZE on the screen and the only way out was to shut down the browser, and I lost everything I had written. I don't think there are coincidences, so it feels like a big kick in the ass to move in another direction. I think I was avoiding diving into the challenge, so let's try this again...I feel very naked and vulnerable, but that is the point of the exercise, so please read this with an open, non-judgmental heart. Thanks!

I signed up for a community garden and now wondering HOW exactly I'm going to do this. I've got to do some fast manifesting...tools...labor..etc. Garden tools anyone? I know I can do this...I want to do this. Come on God, please help me out here!

A little down right now, physically hurting, emotionally hurting, and pissed that no matter how healthy I eat or try to walk/exercise,  I'm still fat and my daughter's wedding is less than 3 months away. Nope, still can't find shoes to fit the fat, uber wide feet, and refuse to wear matronly shoes.  Sad that something so simple should be such a challenge. It's just shoes!!! But I know it's deeper than this. I am not happy with where I am right now. On the surface,  I have to walk and dance at my daughter's wedding, and I want to be comfortable. I can't go out shopping, and my feet are so wide that Zappos is the only route. So after 9 pairs of shoes, we are down to 2 that I can get on my feet...but they hurt after 5 minutes. Trivial stuff, perhaps, but it's my daughter's wedding, and I'm reminded that I'm not able to contribute the way I would have been years ago.

I feel frustrated, sad, uneasy. Yes, I feel grateful for the improvements I've experienced. I know for sure that eating healthy has really made a difference in my health. I also recognize that had I not gotten sick, and had not been on a desperate path to heal, I'd never have discovered my LOVE for creating raw vegan recipes, teaching and sharing. This is true. I LOVE creating these foods...but I also need to find a way to survive financially. I keep praying. "God, you gave me this gift. You gave me the opportunity to discover it...NOW, I need your help to be able to USE it to help others, but also help myself survive."

The fatigue is still ever present in my life. I've also suffered serious hearing loss after my heart attack, which is not something I divulge to anyone. I forget about it most of the time until I go out in public and there is any background noise. The background noise completely overrides everything else. I took a gardening class this past weekend, and I could not hear a lot of what was being said because of movement in the classroom, outside noise, etc.  I really struggled to get the information I needed. 

The class was great, but it was 5 hours long.  I went home and did not get dressed for 4 days, completely exhausted. I keep trying to push myself, thinking I can build my stamina, just keep going. But other days, I just stay home, because it's easier. 

I really hate this invisible disease! It feels like most people don't  understand what it is and how much it really impacts a life. What no one seems to realize is that I lost a part of myself...a big part, and sometimes, I still find myself grieving for her. 

I've tried to LET GO and LET GOD. I really have! I try to find the sunshine in each day...but sometimes the fatigue and inability to get where I think I need to go, get me down. Going out, anywhere, for me, is no longer spontaneous. I know that friends and family find it frustrating when they call last minute, and want to get together with me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that most days, I don't even get dressed, so going out requires a little prep for me...and a lot of energy expended. That does not mean I don't want to do it. I just need you to understand that I'm not like you, and sometimes need a little heads up. I'm not like you remember me. I used to be very social and now I avoid parties, because if there are more than a few people in the room, I cannot hear most of the conversation being shared, but I also find it extremely exhausting. I have no steady source of income, so no extra funds for extra curricular activities...so...if you want to see me...come get me. I don't drive more than a few miles. I know this inconveniences YOU...but do you ever stop to think how I FEEL? I don't complain about it. I don't even talk about it...but when I tell you I cannot drive, it's because I CAN'T. I don't particularly like being a prisoner in my own home, trust me. 

On the other side of the coin...I do see that all of these challenges have made me stronger in many ways. I discovered these gifts about myself that I never knew existed, but I still miss the old me on many levels. I also welcome the new me that is blossoming as we speak. I'll get through these challenges, and it will make me a better person in the long run. If you know someone suffering from a chronic illness, try to be patient and loving. Yes, it impacts your life and your friendship with that person, but please stop and think how it impacted that person, how their lives and expectations of what life was supposed to be, was ripped out from under them. They are doing the best they can. Just show them some love and patience...and do what you can to support their NEW path...blessings! 





HAWMC - Day 11 - Theme Song - I Gotta Feeling

So what’s your health focus/blog’s theme song? Extra points if you upload a video of you performing your song! Extra extra points if it’s original!   Imagine your health focus or blog is getting its own theme song. What would the lyrics be? What type of music would it be played to? 

Okay, no matter who you are, and where you are from...THIS SONG has got to make you smile. I can be in the worst of moods and feel like hell, but whenever I hear this song, I get up and dance like no one is watching. It's just upbeat and gets to the core of your JOY! 



I Gotta Feeling

I gotta feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night
that tonight's gonna be a good night
that tonight's gonna be a good good night...







HAWMC - Day 10 - Dear 16 Year Old Me

Dear 16-year-old-me. For some, that age was only a few years ago, for others it is in the distant past and yet some of us have yet to even reach it. But no matter when you were 16, the age stands the test of time. It is an age of freedom, uncertainty, curiosity, late nights with friends, adventures, tears, laughter, health and lessons learned (the good and the bad).
Knowing what you know now, what would the older, wiser, Health Activist in you say to 16-year-old you? Would it be words of advice? Comfort? Truth? Would you warn of disease prevention and the importance of health? Or maybe there is someone else if your life you would like to send a message to.


Dear 16-year-old me,
With all of your doubts and insecurities, you must know that you are beautiful, talented, worthy, healthy and intelligent. Don't ever doubt this or let anyone tell you otherwise. I know you think life is confusing and chaotic right now, but at some point you will turn around and realize how easy this time really was. Life is going to take you through some really big twists and turns, but if you can hold on and ride out the storm...the sun will truly shine. If I could influence you to do things differently, I'd tell you to not take the things your parents do and say so personally. Have faith in yourself and trust your intuition. Don't rely on them to validate you. You already are all that you need to be. You are perfect! They have their own issues and are doing the very best they can, and they don't yet understand you. 


I know you are rebellious and fighting for your own identity. Try not to fight so hard. It will all be revealed in time. You don't have to do wild and crazy things to prove anything to anyone and in the long run, some of these things may harm you. Be kind to yourself, to your body, heart and soul. A time will come, where you will grieve deeply, and lose those you love early. Love your Daddy now, with everything you've got, because he will sadly not be with you much longer. But you are strong and you will get through this. Find your passion, dear one...your truest passion and don't let life distract you from what it is you truly want to do. If you do, you will end up lost in the forest of life, running from tree to tree, seeking something that can only be found within. How amazing that within a year, you will discover some of your spirituality and learn to meditate. Stick with it and focus on a life of peace...inner peace. Eat well, give up the cigarettes NOW and nourish your body with foods that help you thrive. 


Dear Barbara, I love you with all of my heart and soul and know you better than anyone on the face of the earth. Believe it or not, part of you lives inside of me...we are forever connected. I am blessed for you will forever be my inner child. Shine your light, dear one. 




HAWMC - Day 9 - "Keep Calm - Carry On." 

Keep calm and carry on. Quick history lesson. The Keep Calm And Carry On posters were originally commissioned by the British government during the Second World War as morale boosting posters. The originals were destroyed in 1945 and rediscovered in the early 21st century. Here is your chance to be a British designer, write your own Keep Calm poster. It can be inspirational, funny or pure randomness. Can you make it about your health condition? Decide on an icon and colors for the poster as well. Now go to http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/ and create your own. Share a bit about your experience with today’s prompt and post your poster to your blog.


This is my path, the way I have chosen to walk through life. Health challenges are a part of the hand I've been dealt. It's taken me years to recognize these challenges as the blessings they truly are. In desperation, we are often driven to take action that we would not ordinarily have taken. As a result, there are some nooks and crannies of LIFE that I have been forced to explore, in an attempt to alleviate my own suffering and pain. Some of these "detours" have provided me with life's greatest gifts. Had I not taken sick, I would never have had the time or burning desire to search for ways to get well. In searching for opportunities to heal, I discovered a multitude of blessings. One of these, is the ability to create healthy/healing recipes using ingredients I would have never imagined. These recipes contain ingredients that are still ALIVE, and charged with the Life Force that nature intended them to have. The goal of eliminating heat (cooking- that often destroys living enzymes and nutrients), and omitting processed ingredients,  challenges me to create foods, that while inspired by many of the dishes we grew up with, nourish and nurture us in simplicity, without the detriment of so many chemicals and by-products.

Using simple ingredients like fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, nuts and seeds, I've learned to create some of the most 'decadent, delicious and nutritious" foods I've ever tasted. I can nurture, nourish and work towards healing my body, and at the same time, obtain great satisfaction from the textures and flavors I've learned to produce.  When I began introducing these amazing foods into my daily routine, I immediately noticed improvement in my health and vitality. And now, my entire life has changed.

KEEP CALM: for me,  leaving the corporate world behind has given me an added a sense of calm that I've not felt in decades. My goal now , while continuing to heal my own body, is to focus on creating a new product line to share with the world, recipe books and classes that teach people how to do what I've learned. Using nature to nurture and heal...
For many of  us it's very easy to sacrifice in order to help a friend or loved one, but we are resistant to give up anything when it comes to nurturing and healing ourselves. Make YOUR healing NUMBER 1! Try it - KEEP CALM AND NOURISH WITH NATURE for 30 days, and see if you don't notice a difference in how you feel. Check out my site for hundreds of FREE recipes that can help you along this journey. God Bless!




HAWMC - DAY 8- Best Convo I Had This Week

Best conversation I had this week. We’re constantly communicating – and it’s easy to have a quick exchange without even realizing all of the intricacies of interacting with someone verbally. A conversation is complex! (And, sometimes it’s short, sweet, and effective.) Have you captured the essence of a conversational exchange in writing? It’s challenging! So for today’s prompt – try writing script-style (or with dialogue) to recap an awesome conversation you had this week.

Okay, sorry, but this one is short and sweet. The BEST conversation I had this week was with my granddaughter, Charlotte. Charlotte is almost 4 years old, and lives in another state, so I do not see her often and cherish what little conversation SHE will allow us to have on the phone. 
This morning, she got on the phone to tell me about the Easter Bunny and what he had left her. As she walked around her home, phone in hand she’d tell me, “and he left one here…and here…and here…..and he left one here too.” I never laughed so hard, or felt so much joy in a conversation that I understood so little of. What I did hear, was her absolute perfect joy. Words were of little importance. I felt her exuberance stretch through the phone lines and wrap around my heart, giving me one of the best hugs ever.
When she got into a little more detail, it was equally fun. “The Easter Bunny put eggs next to mommy’s bed, and under the kitchen sink, and on the bookshelf, and in the pantry, etc.” While I HATE promoting kids celebrating holidays with sugary crap…I could not and would not ignore the opportunity to share my granddaughter’s joy. As she wandered about the house, her interest in talking to her mum-mum wavered, and the next thing I knew, my daughter was on the phone apologizing. No need to apologize, my sweet daughter, because THAT conversation was definitely the highlight of my week! Happy Passover and Easter everyone! 

HAWMC- Day 7 - Write About Your Health

Interstitial Cystitis, along with Fibromylagia and Chronic Fatigue are just a few of those invisible and misunderstood illnesses that turn your life upside down and often leave people judging you, and not fully comprehending just how debilitating these illnesses can be. 
Over a decade ago, when i was diagnosed with IC, I can recall the intense struggle I went through. Hearing the words, “incurable” and feeling the sheer sense of defeat that my own body would betray me, and then watching my own children look at me in disbelief and resentment, not understanding what was happening in my body. Hell, I didn’t understand what was happening, or why. It was a devastating blow. I went from a vivacious and active young mom in my late 30’s, just getting my feet back into the corporate world, to flat on my back in complete agony. As a woman, this kind of pain was difficult to talk about. It affected my bladder, pelvis, and lower back, which impacted everything you associate with being a WOMAN. I stepped from a happy and fulfilling life, into sheer hell.
I was determined to find a way out, and refused to buy into the lifelong sentence of masking symptoms with pain meds that only served to make me more depressed. This is the life my urologist was condemning me to.  It was a long haul, and there were many peaks and valleys. When I discovered the vegan lifestyle, along with the help of a nutritional biochemist, I actually managed to turn it all around and go into remission. I lived pain free for almost 3 years. 
I can recall not being able to wear a pair of jeans for many years as they were too binding. Going to the mall and walking around was, and still is a challenge. Being in a strange place, and not knowing where rest rooms are located, and how far I may have to walk to get to one…and always feeling like I was 9 mos pregnant and on the verge of delivery, with constant bladder and abdominal pressure,(not to mention the fatigue and brain fog). I was a successful business woman, and felt like everything was suddenly ripped away from me. Intimacy? What is that? Feeling free to go for a walk in the park…really? A drive? Try hitting bumper to bumper rush hour traffic, with nowhere to turn off, and having the worst bladder pressure and pain, and all I could do was sit in the car and cry.  I used to commute 90 miles a day to work, and now driving more than a few miles is just too painful. And if that is not bad enough, you then have to deal with the disappointment and frustration from loved ones and friends, because they totally don't understand, and think you should be able to just “suck it up” and do these things. I would not wish this pain on anyone, but sometimes I wished some people could be in my body for just a day so they could understand what my life was like.
The truth is, most of us push ourselves so far beyond what is comfortable as is. LIVING day to day is uncomfortable and yet, we have to show up. Things that most people take for granted can sometimes be insurmountable for us. 
But I was and am determined to take back my life and my health. After 3 yrs of pain free living, I was not paying attention. Stress and poor eating/lifestyle brought everything back with a loud CRASH! And 6 yrs ago, I suffered a serious heart attack which set me back even more, trying to recuperate. I could not stand the medications they put me on any longer. I felt like I was 90 yrs  old and I finally put my foot down and declared, “NO MORE.” 
I started working with a holistic physician and also discovered the raw living food lifestyle. I had positive results almost immediately. Raw living foods raise my energy level and improve my overall health. My cholesterol, triglycerides and sugar were extremely high and within months, were back in normal range..without medication!!!!!Acid reflux was gone in a few weeks. Chronic sinusitis about 95 percent GONE! Insomnia about 80 percent better. I lost 25 pounds, but still have a long way to go. I consider these significant changes. I know that when I take responsibility for my health, I begin to feel better. The process is slow, but after a year of really clean eating, my fibromylagia is about 85 percent better. I made it through the Winter and could lift my arms freely. The fatigue is a little more stubborn, along with the IC this time. But so many things have begun to heal, and I have faith that if I keep on this path, I will eliminate the remaining symptoms. Hell..this is a lot better than where I was 12 yrs ago when my urologist told me “no cure” and had me on all sorts of medications that did NOT heal the IC, nor did they make me feel any better. They had to constantly check my liver enzymes, which were high as a result…..For some people these may be viable solutions. For me, they are simply masking a bigger problem. Working with my holistic physician, we are trying to get to the source, the thing that caused my immune system to break down in the first place, IC, fibro, and chronic fatigue are SYMPTOMS, revealing there is a problem….when you get to the source and get the body back in balance, these symptoms go away…..to good health and vitality. 
For those of you seeking to nourish and nurture your body with the help of LIVING FOODs, please check out my recipes and blog at :www.rawfullytempting.com.
ENJOY



HAWMC- Day 6 - Haiku About Your Health

ASSIGNMENT: “Health Haiku. Let’s switch up the writing style a bit for today’s posts! As you probably know, a haiku is a “miniature Japanese poem consisting of 17 syllables – five syllables in first line, seven in second, and five in the last. No rhyme or meter scheme is employed when writing haiku. The aim of the haiku is to create something greater than the sum of the parts.” Traditionally, haiku poems were written about nature and aim to capture the essence of the aspect of nature that is being described.
So let’s go with this but, of course, make it about our health focus (or condition). Our bodies are natural, complex, and difficult to explain. But they are also fascinating, intricate, and beautiful. Our health (or the health of the loved one we write about) is just as delicate. We are fragile but we are also strong. Think of today’s prompt as a quick meditation.”


Get back to nature
Nourish your body and soul
Living foods can heal


I live with IC
But you do not see my pain
Invisible thief

You robbed me of joy
You can no longer hold me
I reclaim it all


HAWMC- Day 5 - Ekphrasis Post

 by Lazy_Artist
ASSIGNMENT From HMWAC - “Ekphrasis Post. On Day 1 we discussed that images can help tell stories, but on the flip side images can also inspire stories. Today’s challenge is one for the eyes. Go toflickr.com/explore. The webpage automatically generates a random photo (or you can refresh your page to see a new photo.)
Look at the image… the color, composition, style, details, location. What feelings does this evoke in you? Are you reminded of anything significant in your life? Can you imagine yourself in the photo? Can you relate the image back to your health topic?
We all have different visual queues that inspire us. Write about this image or let this image inspire your own writing for today. And don’t forget to share the image.”
MY POST: Step back. Look at the windows to each of the rooms in this building. Each window represents a different life experience. Mrs. Johnson in room #302 is a quiet, elderly lady. She was a single mom that has raised 5 kids on her own. She struggled to make ends meet, but tried to give her children a secure home, and taught them to be the very best they could be.
Robert Morris, however, right across the hall, is a 35 year old bachelor who up until now was a successful business man, on his way up the corporate ladder. Sadly, he developed serious health challenges which are quite debilitating, and this has turned his life around. He is angry and bitter at the way his illness has impacted his life, and as a result, has alienated himself from his friends and loved ones. They do not understand what is wrong and why he went from being a happy-go-lucky guy, to a sullen, introverted stranger.
Each of the individuals in this building has a story, a story, of who they were, and how they got to be where they are now. And as unique as each of us are, there is common thread that we all share.  Separate from our obstacles, hurdles, successes and failures, we are all brothers and sisters on planet Earth, participating in this thing we call “LIFE.” Each of us, is a being with a deep desire to be loved and nurtured, and an ache to be at peace with ourselves, and those around us. How we get there, if we ever get there, and the steps we may take to try to get there, will vary from individual to individual. Interestingly, the means of how we are born into this world, and then exit it,  are not so unique at all. We come in and we leave. We enter with NOTHING, and we leave, with NOTHING. 
While we may show up as different colors on this life canvas, we generally rely on other colors to assist us in bringing out the very best in ourselves..and such is the way of life. We are all unique and with a purpose, but our journey is much more satisfying when we are able to share it with supportive loved ones. 
When we suffer with chronic health challenges, and deal with chronic pain, we may end up doing the opposite of what is best for us, or what our spirit ultimately desires. We can end up alienating ourselves from the very people we wish to connect with. This results in us feeling alone, unloved, and even more separated.
If we can put down the walls between our “rooms” and connect with love and support, I believe so much more healing could occur. So..when you gaze at the window of someone’s home, while their lifestyle and taste may initially appear so very different from your own, remember that we are all looking for love. And if someone appears to be crusty or sour on the outside, they may be in pain. They may be suffering and they don’t know how to reach out. Sometimes, all it takes is a  simple show of compassion to soften their defenses and connect.  When you feel someone’s wall go up, rather than feeling hurt and building your own wall, perhaps you can do the opposite, and extend a little compassion. You may be surprised by the big smile looking back at you. 

HAWMC - Day 4 - I Write About (My) Health Because…

I write about (my) health because…
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I majored in Journalism. I also loved writing poetry in my earlier years. I never imagined that I’d be writing about my health or health in general. I actually write more about food, food that can positively impact health. After struggling with ill health for so long, when I decided to change my lifestyle, I wanted to journal the experience. I started out with 8 Followers, who were either friends or family. It was not until I discovered my love for creating my own raw/vegan recipes that I decided to really make my blog public. Now I believe I have something to contribute, something that can truly help people feel better and enjoy life more. I am a FOODIE, so being able to connect my love of food with enhancing health has been a joy.  I’ve posted hundreds of recipes and mouth watering photos, and am looking forward to publishing my upcoming recipe books. 
In addition to sharing my recipes, I also have a very personal section in my blog where I discuss my own physical and emotional challenges. I try to be honest and up front, and openly invite people to read my story. Whenever we come “out” with something we think is so personal, there are always others that are experiencing something similar. When people are able to read about others going thru the same challenges they have been experiencing, they feel connected, and not so alone. In my writing, I connect with my readers, offering them compassion for their pain, and hope for their future. 


HAWMC- DAY 3 - If I Were a Super Hero…


What powers would I choose to have?
Hmm…today’s challenge is exactly that, a challenge. As a health activist, educator, wannabe healer, and lover of life, what super hero powers would I choose? What super hero powers would give me the edge I need to make the biggest impact? 
I know for myself, having suffered from chronic illness, what living with constant physical pain does to the soul and the affect it can have on multiple areas of our lives, including our relationships with loved ones who may not understand the day to day discomfort some of us live with. After spending some time thinking about this, I’ve chosen two super powers… 
oh, sure, I’d love to fly and have x-ray vision, but honestly, my first super hero power would be the ability to teach large masses of people how to help themselves get well..how to prepare luscious living foods, nurturing and nourishing their bodies with ease, and eliminating toxins that might be the root cause of some of their suffering. I love being able to teach people how to take responsibility for their own health and improve their sense of well-being. That is the purpose of my blog : Rawfully Tempting, so help me put one of my super hero gifts to work and share this link with your friends and loved ones. It’s FREE and there are hundreds of healthy, life supporting recipes to choose from! I would love to have the ability to demonstrate to people how much fun preparing healthy foods can be and how decadent and scrumptious they can taste. I’d also love to encourage people to start including the most important ingredient of all in ANY food preparation: LOVE! The energy you put into your food really does make a difference! 
The second part of my super healing powers would be the ability to remove fear, hate, jealousy and judgement that builds walls around our hearts and separates us from each other. To be able to OPEN the hearts of many just by thinking about it,  would allow me the ability to help people to connect and support each other on a deeper level, and we could walk through this journey in good health…and in peace.  Opening the heart allows for forgiveness and eliminates toxic emotions like animosity and hate. Eating healthy living foods eliminates toxins in our bodies that may cause disease and hinder the quality of our lives. These super hero powers would enable me to facilitate healing and detoxification on both the emotional and physical levels.  
My cryptonite… is SUGAR, PRESERVATIVES and PROCESSED FOODS that send messages to our brains causing us to crave more and more of what is unhealthy and lose clarity. These foods mess with our brain chemistry and body chemistry and  end up blocking our innate ability to intuit what is good for us from what is not. 
My super hero powers would help me help others to eliminate TOXICITY on both the emotional and physical levels. Can you imagine the changes we would see? 
What would YOU wish for if you could choose your own super hero powers? 

Ooops! I missed the first day. Please feel free to follow me on The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge, hosted by WEGO. For this 30 Day Challenge, WEGO will post a daily prompt, and I will respond. Feel free to add your comments and feedback below. Blessings!
HAWMC - Day 2, Quotes to Live by 
Ana├»s Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Often times when I allow myself to get past the resistance, even though it may appear painful, I seem to experience the most profound moments of growth. Whether it be emotional, mental or physical, feel into any resistance and let yourself open to it. It may feel uncomfortable, even painful. It may bring up STUFF and make you squirm. But every time I have actually allowed myself to do this, it’s as if I walked into a dark room that scared me and suddenly the room was not so dark anymore. And what I thought were monsters under the bed, turned out to be blessings. When we intentionally avoid something, we build up restriction in our bodies. That restriction takes energy from us. Gotta hold the fort! Well, try letting the fort down. Give up the resistance. Usually the effort we take to protect ourselves from the things we fear, actually hurts us far more. So….when we let go of that tightness required to remain tight in the bud….we literally open up, and blossom! 
When health issues initially made me feel hopeless, rather than caving and giving up, I opted to take responsibility for myself and do whatever needed to be done. This is when I discovered a whole new lifestyle. I had no idea where this particular path was going to take me. Initially, I thought, “I can’t do this. I don’t know anything about this way of living or eating.” But I delved into it and within months, created my own blog and am now teaching classes and writing books on how to prepare raw vegan dishes that are amazingly healthy and delicious. If I had not let go, and remained tight in the bud of fear regarding my health, I would never have blossomed into the radiant being I am now! 

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