Sunday, September 26, 2010

First Use of New Dehydrator!

It came it came it came!...a few weeks ago. Dehydrating is a great way to get more variety in a raw vegan diet and I just knew I couldn't live without one!  The reason dehydrating is "allowed" is because if you use a temperature of not more than 105 degrees, it maintains the live enzymes in the food and so you don't lose any of the nutrients.  Isn't it beautiful??  It's a 9-tray Excalibur and is supposedly the best.  I have loved it thus far!

I recently winged my first attempt at using this.  I had previously looked at some recipes so I took some ideas from them and just went for it.  Here are my results:



BANANAS - my favorite!

Sorry, but I totally forgot to take a picture of the bananas after!

The food definitely doesn't taste like what you would buy at the store (b/c it's not dehydrated at as high of a temperature) and that's fine with me, but I definitely need to work on how to make the potato chips much tastier - they were much too starchy.  As I expirement I hope to do further posts!

Anybody have any great dehydrator tips and tricks? What has/hasn't worked well for you?

Week 13 Rawview

These are just some of the raw foods I ate this week:
Flackers (raw crackers made with flax seed)
Nuts galore! (almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts)
Water, water, water

Emotional changes:
This week I've been "steady Eddie".  Ever since learning that I need to avoid gluten it has been much less appealing to even consider deviating.  It has given me that much more ferver.  However, I am definitely willing to make some, what others (and I) may consider, compromises.  When I say that I mean things like cooking some vegetables that I just can't stand to eat raw (like fresh green beans and potatoes) or every now and then steaming vegetables just because I want to.  I don't do that every day, but now, steamed veggies are like a treat to me!  Which is just odd in itself. :)  I am in the middle of working through how I truly feel about 'allowing' myself to do this, but at the moment I am okay with it and will continue processing what my path along this journey looks like.

Physical changes:
In this post I mentioned the details of a detox I started three days ago.  I think this is going to be fun!  I have never done this before and I am excited to see what will come of this.  So far so good!  Nothing radical to report at this time, since it's still so new.  I am ready to be cleansed!

I just realized I've never mentioned Dr. Ciropractor!  I started seeing Dr. Chiro last month and am SO glad.  I don't have back or neck pain or anything, but the spine is so intertwined and connected to the nervous system, which is the system affected by the MS.  Again, like I've said over and over, I am trying to get all my systems in perfect working order.

Nothing major to report this week regarding physical stuff - just plugging away with everything!  Oh, this week I hit the 30 pound weight loss; I guess that's kind of a big deal.

Pounds lost this week: 1.8
Pounds lost so far: 30.8
Average pounds lost each week: 2.4

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Official Detox

Yesterday I started an official detox plan under the care of Dr. Nutrition. I have known people that have done a detox and it usually involves eating only a couple of foods or eating no normal foods and just drinking various juices...and then visiting the bathroom frequently.  Sounds a bit like torture to me!  So when I asked Dr. Nutrition what I could expect and if I would feel sick, he said that I shouldn't feel sick and that if I'm visiting the bathroom too frequently, that I should cut back on the quantity of the powder of the detox drink mix he's given me.  Phew!

I'll start this post with the nitty gritty of the details of the detox, then get into more of the medical side of it.

The goal of this detox is to provide the nutritional compounds and botanical extracts that are pivotal in the body's natural abilites to neutralize and expel toxins.  This particular detox plan uses an enzyme-based, multi-vitamin, mineral and herbal dietary supplement powder called ClearVite-SF (I am using the chocolate flavor).  I am also taking Metacrin DX and BileMin which are supplements for liver support and gallbladder support, respectively.

The 21-Day Detox Plan consists of a Preparation Phase, Detoxification and Completion Phase.  Through these phases you work your way up to taking more of the supplement powder and then back down again. 

Foods to avoid during detox:
  • Any food that you are allergic to
  • Dairy (milk, cheeses, yogurt, butter), eggs, margarine, & shortening
  • Foods prepared with Gluten-containing cereals like wheat, oats, rye, barley, those ingredients normally found in breads, pasta, etc.
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauces, corn.
  • Alcohol, Caffeine (coffee, black tea, sodas)
  • Soy or products made from soy, such as soymilk or tofu
  • Peanuts or peanut butter (*personally bummed about this since I have raw peanut butter every day!)
  • Beef, pork, cold cuts, bacon, hotdogs, canned meat, sausage, shellfish, meat substitutes made from soy

 Foods to eat during detox:
  • Drink plenty of fresh water (8-10 glasses), herbal teas, green tea, fruit juices (no sugar added), vegetable juices
  • Grain foods made from rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat,or tapioca
  • Fresh fruits, vegetables, beans (navy, white, red kidney, etc.), peas (fresh, split, snap)
  • Mainly fish (not shellfish), and moderate amounts of chicken, turkey, and lamb
  • Use mainly olive oil and flaxseed oil in moderation
*Bold items are ones that I will be eating.

As you can see, eating a raw vegan diet is great for this, plus it gives me a leg up on the detox process.  Ever since I started eating this way I have felt like I have been doing a detox of sorts. You can see the details of the official detox here at the bottom of the page.

Here is an excerpt from the brochure about detoxification:
Numerous foreign and toxic chemicals (called xenobiotics) have been produced and released into our environment.  Cleansing the body from the accumulated xenobiotics and the excess biological compounds and metabolites (hormones, etc.) is known as detoxification.  The major detoxification reactions take place in the liver. The goal of detoxification reactions is to transform chemicals that are fat-soluble into water-soluble compounds.  Water-soluble compounds can then be eliminated through kidneys, skin, or gallbladder, in urine, sweat, or bile.  Secretion of bile is one of the major pathways of the body's detoxification.  Once the liver has detoxified xenobiotics and other toxins, the resulting coupounds are delivered to the gallbladder to be excreted with bile into the digestive system in order to be eliminated in feces.  Detoxification has shown to be extremely beneficial as a preventative measure for different health problems, or as a means to enhance therapeutic procedures for a variety of medical conditions.  The removal of these toxins from the system enhances the organs' ability to better absorb nutrients, improves biological functions, which, in turn, accelerates the healing process.

Per the brochure I have, an effective detoxification program results in:
  • More energy
  • Minimized minor aches and pains
  • Decrease in the level of major physical discomforts
  • Cheerful, positive mood

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Have you ever heard of Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”)?  I hadn't ever heard of it previous to all this.  It is a little miracle of a seed that I have found to be the perfect replacement for rice and couscous!  It is something that needs to be cooked, but I'm totally cool with that because it is the perfect thing for when I want that really full feeling.  Plus, it's REALLY good for you!

Its nutritional value is awesome - its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine (an amino acid)), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.  It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.

I made some for dinner tonight and mixed in some broccoli - a perfect, light dinner!  Way better tasting and much better for you then what it reminds me of and what I used to eat: rice-a-roni type dish.

Here is the quinoa before it's cooked - very tiny little seeds:

Then when it's cooked, it expands and becomes translucent - it's pretty cool looking (the pix is a bit yellow):

Has anyone else tried quinoa before?  If so, what did you have with it?


I recently added some links on the right hand side of my blog that may be of interest to you.  One section is for books/cookbooks, the other section I added is for blogs/websites I've found to be extremely helpful.  I will keep adding to them as I go along and find additional useful information that's worth sharing.  There are many, many more resources out there that I haven't mentioned, but not all of them are to my personal liking.

Here are some resources that have been extremely helpful to me.
  • Valley Natural Foods Co-op
    This grocery store has been a lifesaver for me!  Not only do they have all the food I need, but the staff is very helpful when I'm trying to find something that I've never even heard of organic Nama Shoyu (which I found out is a raw soy sauce).  They work with local farmers to get fresh, organic produce and I can taste the difference!
  • Any Phyo's cookbooks and website
    Her website and cookbooks have given me recipes to try.  Her raw food kitchen cookbook isn't just a cookbook - it's very educational and has taught me a lot about the raw lifestyle.  They have given me a place to start and also given me inspiration to start creating my own recipes.  It has been very helpful!
  • Twin Cities Raw Food Meetup Group
    I remember using google to try to find some type of group where I could meet other people like me.  Since I am new to all this, I didn't even know where to start.  Boy am I glad I found this group of people!  People that come to the monthly meetings are all at different stages of raw vegan living.  Some strive for 100% like me, others do a smaller percentage of their diet raw, others want to start or get back into eating raw and others are just looking into it because they're curious.  How it works is that everyone brings a raw dish (or even just some plain fruit or veggies) to share for dinner and then we get to eat lots of goodies, learn new recipes, and talk raw for a couple hours.  I have been to three of these meetings and it has already helped me a ton.  It helped confirm the changes I'm making and also gave me a wonderful group of people that I get the pleasure of getting to know.
  • Green Smoothie Queen
    If you've been keeping up on my blog, you'll know exactly who this is!  This is the website where I learned to fall in love with green smoothies (green leafy vegetables blended with fruits).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Green Smoothie Queen - Day 3

This is the final post of the Green Smoothie series!  I would be very interested in hearing if anyone tried one (or a few!) and what you thought.  Feel free to leave a comment and share!

If you missed the Introduction post, you can read it HERE.
If you missed the Day 1 post, you can read that HERE.
If you missed the Day 2 post, you can read it HERE.
Content taken from my emails from the Green Smoothie Queen:


We often get notes left on the teacher's desk, and I thought I'd start off our final day together by sharing one with you. This is a letter received from one of my Challenge participants:

Dear Green Smoothie Queen,
My first day was an adventure. I love greens, but haven't been able to tolerate them in smoothies in the past. For breakfast, I had a repeat of my first ever green smoothie: a bunch of Swiss chard, a banana, some water and a teeny bit of Stevia. Very green. Perhaps more fruit would help, but it was good.

For lunch I had the same (Swiss chard, banana, water, Stevia) but I added half an apple. This was waaaay too sweet and still too "green". Soldier on!

Tonight's smoothie (still finishing it up now) is made up of Swiss Chard, 2 kiwis and half an apple. A little thick, but very tasty. And filling! Best one yet for sure.

Tomorrow I'm going to try a berry one. So far, so good! Oh, and I haven't had to eat anything BUT the smoothies because they are so filling. I'm not even hungry!!! I've washed my blender and my smoothie is almost gone, but I promise I'll take a picture of my berry green smoothie tomorrow morning!

I would NEVER have even TRIED this without you! How cool.

a 'virgin' green smoothie gal

THAT's why I do this! It makes me all slooshy and goopy inside when I realize that one more person has done something new, something healthy, something exciting for herself (or himself!) and is opening new doors on their own that will improve the quality of their life.

So THANK YOU for being here. Thank you for letting me encourage and inspire you (and I sure hope that I am!) Someday (like maybe about 11 days after you sign up for my 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge?), maybe you'll be sending me a letter like Ellen's!

But before I spray more happy heart-pus all over you, I should mention that I have a BIG SURPRISE waiting for you in the classroom today!

Oh you're just gonna luv me for this one!

The Green Smoothie Queen

Gather with the Graduates in The Emerald Lounge!

Week 12 Rawview

These are just some of the raw foods I ate this week:
Flackers (raw crackers made with flax seed)
Nuts galore! (almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts)
Peanut Butter (made with just peanuts (and no added sugar, etc.) - go figure!)
Water, water, water

Emotional changes:

Something just "clicked" for me this week.  I tend to be a very concrete person, so it is annoying to me that I cannot pinpoint exactly what makes me have a 'good' week vs. a 'bad' week.  I know the last three weeks have been difficult for me and I think that my efforts in meeting with professionals to help me along my journey is really starting to pay off. 

I had been feeling like a failure lately because I wasn't able to stick as closely to the raw vegan lifestyle as I had been previously.  Then, I also let myself become too enamored with the weight loss aspect, so since I haven't lost weight the last three weeks, I again felt like a failure. 

However, this week the emotional aspect shifted!  I feel like I did before I had this set back.  This week I have been focused solely on nutrition.  I haven't been wishy washy like I have been lately.  A friend told me that true change doesn't happen without some form of 'relapse'.  There's supposed to be a struggle.  I think that's what's been happening and I am ready to persevere.

Physical changes:

I was advised by my nutritionist to avoid any gluten, which you'd think would be easy with the raw vegan lifestyle!  However, when I would deviate, bread/crackers were usually where I would go FIRST.  So, now, with this new piece of information, it is definitely not even as enjoyable at all to deviate if I can't even have gluten (which is like, in everything!).  So this has made it much easier for me to just stick to it.

I have also been working really hard at eating every two hours to help my blood sugar levels stay...level. :)  I leave the house in the morning with a cooler full of food and now I REALLY feel like I'm eating all the time!!  This has definitely helped me stay focused better throughout the day.  I am not used to eating when I'm not hungry so this has been a bit of a stretch for me.

I had some follow up bloodwork done on my liver since my previous levels from August were so abnormal.  The results have much less to do with my eating than with the fact that I haven't been on the medication that was causing the problems in the first place for three weeks.  Within just three short weeks of being off the med, I am very happy to report that my liver enzymes are back down in the normal range!!!!  This is a huge relief to me.

The weight loss this week has been minimal, in fact the lowest it's been this entire time.  My competitive side is frustrated that now my average pounds lost each week is much lower than previously.  I think that now I just have to wait for my body to catch up to my mind!

Pounds lost this week: 0.8
Pounds lost so far: 29.0
Average pounds lost each week: 2.4

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bloodwork Results

So this whole raw vegan thing is leaking into other areas of my life.  I thought it would only effect my food intake.  Boy was I wrong.  It has made me rethink a lot of what I do - like what I put on my skin as far as lotion goes, my overall internal health (hence meeting with a nutritionist) and so much more. 

Another large area that it has impacted is how I approach dealing with the MS.  Aside from the obvious (to me) physical symptoms I have had over the years, I have had NO IDEA what it was doing to the inside of my body (aside from doing damage to my brain and spinal cord).  I never fully realized what having a chronic illness can really do to your body.  My body is constantly trying to fight off this 'disease' and it always loses.  Maybe I can help it out by making the changes I'm in the process of making.  I want to help my immune system fight this battle!

Today I met with Dr. Hartman (nutritionist) again.  We discussed a few things, so here's the recap.  We more closely examined my bloodwork and these are the trouble areas:
  • Cholesterol, Triglycerides and LDL were high (ironic, huh, given my diet? and the fact that I have had good levels for years - although he did tell me that other factors of my health are more likely the cause of this)
  • Glucose is too low - i.e. hypoglycemia (this is why I need to eat every two hours)
  • WBC (white blood cells) are too low (very typical of someone who has a chronic illness)
  • Neutrophils are low (this is connected to the low WBC)
  • SGOT (AST) is high (this is a liver enzyme and is most likely because of a previous medication I was on for MS)
  • SGPT (ALT) is quite high (this is also a liver enzyme and is most likely because of a previous medication I was on for MS)
  • GGTP is very high (this is an enzyme or protein made by cells lining the bile duct, which is sensative to any inflammation in the liver - again this is most likely because of a previous medication I was on for MS)
  • Total Bilirubin is high (again, this is related to the liver issues)
  • Sodium is one point higher than normal (supposedly connected to some of the other stuff going on)
  • CO2 is too low (this is connected to energy, i.e. glucose, so it makes sense that this is low as well since my glucose is low)
  • BUN is too low (again, connected to the low liver levels)
  • Phosphorus is low
A lot of these items are connected to one another and are further complicated because of the MS running through my system.  I just don't want to get into the detail of it all here.  One thing I will say is that it more fully hit me today how upset I am that a medication I was taking to help the MS, didn't actually help me and in fact, it has hurt my liver function, in addition to related functions.  So in my qwest for better health, I can't help but deal with all areas of my health, not just the food.

So this week I am beginning to take fish oil and also Glutathion (which is in a lotion/cream form).  I need to have some additional bloodwork done to fine tune the regimen for the immune support I mentioned in my previous post so I anticipate getting started on that in the near future.  These last few months have been a very, very good opportunity for me to practice my patience!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Green Smoothie Queen - Day 2

So I have gotten off my original plan and want to keep going on the Green Smoothie series I started posting...

If you missed the Introduction post, you can read it HERE.
If you missed the Day 1 post, you can read that HERE.

Content taken from my emails from the Green Smoothie Queen:


So how did it go? Did you stick one hand in your fruit bowl and one hand in your crisper and make your first Greeeeen Smoothie?

Was it yummy? Was it yucky? Or was it somewhere in the middle ... kinda "yum-cky"? You know ... not every green smoothie turns out. Oh boy, I remember some of the doozies I made in the beginning, especially with greens I'd never tried before. Here's a little hint: tear off a bit of the green stuff and chew it to see how it tastes on its own before you add it in. Then you'll have a better idea of how much to use. And when you're first starting, simpler is always better ... just try recipes with two or three ingredients.

You'd be amazed at how different one batch of kale can taste from the next depending on where it's grown, whether it's in-season or not, or how long it's been in your fridge (or the store where you bought it). One thing's for sure, each green smoothie you make - even if you use the same ingredients - will taste different!

Today I'm going to tell you about my favorite common ingredients to start out your green smoothie escapades. All you need to do is click below:


Soon you'll be like our green smoothie veterans, and you'll be ready for your first 10-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!

Have a great day at school my bright little Brussle Sprout!

The Green Smoothie Queen

Click "show and tell" and catch up with your blender buddies in The Emerald Lounge!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

No-Nonsense Nutritionist

Yesterday I had an appointment with Dr. Hartman who is a nutritionist.  It was my initial visit with him so it was overall more talk than action or decision making, but we had a great conversation - I learned a lot.  I briefly shared why I was there to see him - I want to do whatever I can to get my body in optimal working order to help with the MS and I also want to make sure I am doing this whole raw vegan thing in a correct, healthy manner.

We discussed the foods I eat and the changes that I have experienced. I'll be honest, I have had some concerns along the way for sure.  I have asked myself the same questions that many people have asked me.  Where do I get my protein?  (How important is protein anyway?)  What other nutrients am I missing out on?  Am I eating enough?  Should I be eating other types of foods that I am not? 

I was so worried that I would get reprimanded by a nutritionist for going raw vegan (since I'm missing like over half of the food pyramid!), but I got the complete opposite reaction!  YAY!  There was a small piece of me that hoped he would hear my story and say that I should add bread, pasta, whole grains, etc., back into my diet.  Then, with a clear conscience, I could eat more of the things that I had been craving recently.  That obviously backfired on me! :) ha!  He was impressed and proud of me for making these changes and told me to KEEP IT UP!!  So I'm keeping it up!  Especially now that I have someone to help guide me along my way so I don't get lost.  I have to say, though, that I am quite pleased that I just dove into this in the first place.  I think it was good that I took that chance and just went for it even though I was uncertain.

After I had given him a summary of why I was there, he told me that I am a "breath of fresh air".  I suppose most of his patients come to him because they HAVE to, not because they WANT to.  I am definitely in the want category.  He had SO much to say to me, that his mouth opened, but no words came out - he was that excited about it! :)  I told him to spit it out and that I was ready to hear what he had to say.  He laughed and said that he just had SO much that he wanted to share, he didn't even know where to start! 

He went on to talk about how he could help me with the MS and the various supplements available and the goals he would have in helping get my auto-immune system back in tip top shape.  All natural and seemingly pretty uncomplicated!  (Although I'll learn even more next week.)  So far, these are the specific pieces to help with the MS:
  • Vitamin D (which I'm actually already on, but we'll work on making sure it's the correct amount)
  • Fish Oil
  • Glutathione (still working on learning about this one!)
  • Immune Support (also still learning about this one!)
  • Eat a Gluten Free diet (yay!  I already do this one! :) )
Now, regarding the raw vegan diet - this will be discussed in more depth next week as this appt. focused more on the MS side of things.  First of all, Dr. Hartmann said that 30% of my calories for the day should come from protein!  MUCH more than I ever thought and knew (see my previous post about FAQ's).  I'm TRYING, by drinking my dark, leafy green vegetables in green smoothies and by eating nuts.  But he said for the time being I should definitely eat even more nuts than I already am.

I'm sure you've noticed via my blog that I've had a rough past couple of weeks.  I have been struggling with truly sticking to the raw vegan plan, have felt boughts of tiredness throughout the day and have lost absolutely no weight.  Now this is a doozy...

I need to eat more frequently.

What has happened over time is that as my body adjusted to having a drastically lower calorie intake, my stomach didn't seem to need as much food.  So I would eat less and less because I wasn't hungry.  It didn't seem quite right to me, but I figured since I wasn't hungry, why should I eat?!  Well, these last two weeks are a prime example of why I need to eat even when I don't feel hungry.  So the plan now is that I eat every two hours no matter what - even if it's just a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit, but something to get my blood sugar and glucose levels back up.

No wonder I have been constantly fighting the urge to go get non-raw foods!  My body just wanted the calories and the energy!  Like I mentioned, this didn't happen in the beginning b/c my body was still in transition, but now that it has been 11 weeks, I think my body has really adapted to the raw vegan diet and now my brain just has to follow. :)  Again, I have to readjust my thinking and approach and how I look at this new lifestyle.  Sometimes it hits me just how much I didn't know what I was getting myself into!

I'm pretty sure there will be additional bloodwork and other tests to figure out the details so we can fine tune my nutrition plan.  Dr. Hartman is a wonderful man and I am so blessed to have found him!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 10 Rawview

This week's rawview will be a little different than the previous ones.

I was out of town this weekend and so there's no official weigh in and that's why I'm a bit late in posting.  What I do know is that I haven't gained or lost any weight.

And I have had quite a difficult week, so I don't really know what to say.  I had a couple of very emotionally difficult things happen this week - one unexpected and one that I knew was coming.

Something I learned this week is that I had to fight, fight, fight my old habits of using food as an escape when I am scared, nervous, anxious, sad and upset.  I guess I knew I used to do that all the time, but for the first time since switching to the raw vegan lifestyle, I was confronted with the reality of that.  I could no longer run to my cupboards or fridge and eat a bunch of junk food to help me feel better, or at least make me feel like I was making myself feel better. 

Instead, I made some, what I think are even worse, decisions.  I ended up leaving the house and buying some food that definitely is not part of 'the plan.'  Realistically, for the most part I did still stick to eating raw foods, but instead of being at the 99% level of raw that I have been at, I would say that last week it dropped down probably closer to about 60% or maybe even a bit less. 

I have been struggling with how I feel about that.  Honestly, at times I feel like a complete failure.  At other times, I give myself a break and remember that I am human and entirely still learning how to not use food as emotional therapy.  I am also trying to appreciate the journey of all this.  It is good for me to work on dealing with the underlying issues that cause me to run to food to deal with emotions in the first place. 

I remember going through some interesting emotions earlier on in this process when all of the sudden the time I used to spend cooking and baking was freed up to do other things.  I had to think about what food meant to me - and why it bothered me that I didn't know what do with myself.  Why did I place such importance on food?  And not even good food, but very unhealthy food. 

So this week I am trying (again) to refocus and remember why I am doing what I'm doing.  I got ill a couple of times last week due to eating some greasy, very fatty foods that my body wasn't used to having.  This week I am going back to some basics and want to accomplish my goal of sticking to raw and avoid getting sick.  Seems pretty simple, but I guess that means I might actually have to address the emotions that are still simmering inside of me. 

My mom was being very wise when she told me that it's good to just 'sit' in our emotions sometimes.  Let them sink in and fully feel the pain.  I like to avoid pain at all costs.  But maybe now is the time for me to face the pain and move through it instead of avoiding it.  This entire raw vegan journey has to do with MUCH more than just food.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lindsey, My Inspiration

Today has been a very hard and sad day. 

The day started by me checking my email and seeing an update for Lindsey's CaringBridge site.  I went to the site and read the update.

Her mother wrote the passage letting everyone know that Lindsey passed away yesterday.

I started crying as my brain immediately started filtering through all the reasons why I loved her and why I would miss her.

The thing is, I barely knew her.

Before I ever met her I felt like I knew her.  She is a friend of a group of my friends.  They would bring her up when we would pray and eventually I became aware of her CaringBridge site that told her whole story.

Lindsey's writing was quite entertaining and engaging and honest.  How could a young woman, just two years younger than me, have such a talent to convey the realities of cancer while still excuding hope and sheer determination? 

The thing is, Lindsey is a HUGE piece of the puzzle of my personal journey, particularly regarding the Raw Vegan lifestyle.  You see, Lindsey followed this lifestyle because she believed it could make a difference for her LIFE.  I, too, believe that this lifestyle can make a postive difference in my life.  I have read every word of her CaringBridge journal and I urge everyone to just go take a glimpse to get a taste of what she has to offer.

There are other ways in which her life has impacted me, but this is one of the bigger ones.  I met her in person twice; once at a wedding and once at her house.  Both times she radiated kindness, sincerity and sweetness - inspite of her daily reality of fighting for her life. 

As I continue to mourn her loss, I feel like it is my privilege to continue a portion of her legacy.  I want to honor her and continue on this path both in her memory and also for my own health.

Lindsey, I will miss you and your inspirational writings.  Thank you for challenging me, even though you didn't realize you were, to be better and do better than what I was.  Thanks be to God that you are now in His glory.  I can't wait to tell you how much of a difference YOUR LIFE made in MY LIFE.