Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Suicide

Robin Williams

I’m devastated at the tragic death of Robin Williams.   However,  I am grateful in so many ways.  I’ve seen testimonials of depression, addiction, and imperfection posted on social media sites all day.    Robin’s comedy entertained us with wicked humor,  but his death provoked a new set of emotions.  He now demonstrates the issue that mental health is a disease.   In my world, he is still teaching and entertaining on a whole new uncomfortable level.

Unfortunately, my profession holds me hostage to stories of despair, victimization, and contempt of disease states.   Stories of suicide and the aftermath are hard to hear .  Unfortunately, I’ve found myself attracting them into my life via my confused emotions on the subject.

Depression is a disease.  Is it hereditary? maybe—-Are you predisposed and destined to get it?  NO, I think not.

I believe that illness evolves into disease  based on everyday choices.  Nobody chooses to be depressed or sick.  I get that.   Robin Williams’s death is a call to action.   He had the coveted wealth, fame and stardom-but, it wasn’t enough.  Please reach out to those struggling quietly around you.  I hope this post helps!  A few of my closest friends and I will be doing the suicide prevention walk –I hope you can join us!

 

For Lucy and Maggie …

to-write-love

Countless hours spent on the deck discussing the uncertainties of life. Innumerable days of listening to our children giggle, play, fight and cry together. Tears shed watching one another battle the ups and downs of family life in the 21st century. These experiences have made our former neighbors become our dearest friends and confidants. They are our “wolf pack”.

This week, the Henriksens, and their dear friends watched their families bond together once again as they faced yet another frightening event. An event that would forever change the way all ten of us view life and the ambiguity of the world. We will become different people having experienced this sad tragedy.

Our dearest friends’ daughter has known one of the most vivacious, loving, talented and endearing girls for many years. The two girls were kindred spirits at the mere ages of 15 and 16. To the shock of everyone, she took her own life this week. She battled depression for years. Unfortunately, the disease won the strenuous fight. Sadly and despite her suspected perception, young Maggie was never alone.

Most all of us probably know someone whose life has been affected by depression, either directly or indirectly. We may not know that someone is suffering from depression, they may not even know themselves. Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help resulting in untreated depression as the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death among those 18-24 years old.

Perhaps you have seen the countless photos on social media of outstretched arms with the word “love” scribed on skin and merely thought it some new type of arm art fad. There is a much deeper meaning to these sharpie tattoos.

Renee was a troubled Florida teen. Described as one who “has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide” she at one point used her cocaine-cutting razor to carve “F—k Up” on her arm adding to the other fifty self inflicted scars there. A group of concerned friends finally convinced her to go to a drug treatment center but she was deemed too “high risk” due to her distinctive markings and denied treatment. Fearing for her life, they designed a T-shirt selling drive in hopes of raising enough money to pay for her care. Their experiences led them to realize the greater need beyond just Renee.

Together they organized and formed TWLOHA, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people lost in depression, addiction, self-destruction and suicide. You can read their complete story and Mission Statement here: http://www.twloha.com. Their efforts caught on and went viral. Photos of teens with “Love” on their arms began popping up in dramatic fashion. Famous bands and the Hollywood elite began wearing their trendy T-shirts. “Why do you have that written on your arms?” “What does that T-shirt mean and where can I get one?” All were keen efforts to raise awareness for this cause and show those in need that they are not alone. By metaphorically applying “Love” as a pressure bandage to the self inflicted ugly wounds of the story’s character, this band of persistent friends helped not only Renee, but began to define and fulfill TWLOHA’s vision including:

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

 

Lucy, I won’t let this be the end of Maggie’s story either . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on by Angela in disease, Exercise, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

Take these broken wings—

For all of  you who enjoyed the previous post about suicide prevention –see the post HERE.  Here is a quick update on Lucy and Maggie’s story: Lucy (Maggie’s childhood friend) and my dear friend got her 1st tattoo this weekend.  Her parents weren’t keen on the idea but told her that she could get one when she turned 18.  Lucy (now 18) got her first tattoo in honor of Maggie’s favorite Shakespeare quote!

 

“The course of true love never did run smooth”  

Maggie’s spirit continues to live on in so many of us that hardly even knew her.  Some spirits just leave their mark in this way.

Wayne Dyer says that we are spiritual souls inhabiting a human existence and I can’t help to believe that when I experience such profound emotion over a child I barely knew.  We were obviously soulful connections.

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It’s strange but this last week has been filled with interesting circumstances and spirit filled interactions that I am compelled to share.  Some of these were some pretty incredible near death experience stories.

 NDE”S

One of my favorites is the minister that had a fatal car accident.  His car was a literal accordion and he was pronounced dead on the scene after being hit by a semi.  The paramedic’s tried to get him out of the car for approximately 2 hours.

A man (also a minister) pulled up to the scene and asked the medics if he could climb in the car and pray for the man.  He had driven by and felt a sudden inclination to pray for the accident victim.

Annoyed, the medics told him that the victim had been dead for over 2 hours but they eventually allowed him to enter the scene.  The minister climbed in while the medic continued to  work at getting the dead man out.  The minister  prayed over the shoulder of the man he could not see for about 10 minutes.  After around 10 minutes, the man began to sing “What a friend we have in Jesus”.  He had no idea why, but he felt compelled to sing.  Then —– he heard another voice chime in and thought how wonderful it was that a medic was singing with him.   He stopped and the voice continued.   Suddenly, the shoulder he was holding began to move.—

Yes- the victim was singing!  The medics continued to work feverishly at this point and as they pulled the victim out of the car, the minister realized that it was his best friend.

I have a patient in the last 12 years whose spirit honestly connected with mine.  We were kindred spirits right at the beginning of our journey together.  The story about Ric is so amazing that I struggle to put words to its content.  Ric was diagnosed with cancer just about a year after my conscience decision to transform my  practice into a nutritional/functional health approach.  He was 100% on board to heal himself of his disease and was confident and supportive of the unconventional decision that I had made.  There was no judgement-he supported me unconditionally.   He lost weight, ate right, and Damn-he even watched the CRAZY SEXY CANCER video in the office with me!  I was thrilled to have a patient listen and I was sure he was cured after his chemo and radiation.  He claimed that the Cancer would never win the War.

Unfortunately, Ric died this last year.  I had the opportunity of seeing his brother whom was his caregiver throughout his final days.  On Friday, we spoke of a dream that his kindred spirited brother had before his final days.  The dream was as follows and is paraphrased of course.  He saw his brother in his most healthy, strong, and happy states the first two nights.  He was mid 20’s, smiling, robust, and full of energy and vitality.  On the third night, his brother looking wonderful, sat with friends and family and announced that cancer won the battle but he won the war.

His brother was confused by this notion, however, the day after Ric’s life here had ceased—-His brother looked back on the tired, cancer ridden body lying in a hospital bed spiritless and realize that it was all true.  Cancer did win the battle –but the spirit of Ric had certainly won the war and left some pitiful remains—–

Posted on by Angela in cancer, disease, Mind, Spirit, Suicide, Uncategorized Leave a comment

For Joe and my superhero Amy

Lucy and Ethel or The Lone Ranger and Tonto, never mind the gender…the common denominator is simple: 100% True Friendship. Funny how in life we all can relate to side kicks. My ‘side kick’ happened to be my best friend Joe Griffith : aka “Superman Joey”. Joe was my very best friend in the whole world. I don’t even think our family and friends really understood just how much time we spent together. We could hang out all day and night … return home and still talk for endless hours on the phone till the wee hours of the morning. Joe was my confident,my partner in crime, my side kick Superhero. I knew no matter what circumstance he would be there for me. He was funny,caring, and so full of life. Joe was a devoted son,brother, and friend who volunteered in the community. We shared the love of film,art, and cooking together. He had this gap between his teeth that always bothered him greatly, but to me- it was the one thing that set him apart. It brought out his radiant smile and warm deep brown eyes. He had good morals, strong character, and loved God. When he smiled you could feel his heart full of joy and love. We laughed ,cried , and did just about everything together until I got the call one night that would change my life forever. The phone call that ended up making me a stronger woman in the fight for suicide prevention and awareness. I was supposed to go walking with Joe hours before he took his life. He left me a voice mail asking to do dinner later instead of a walk. I often wonder what if I would of been there to intercept that call – would our conversation at that dinner or on that initial walk made a difference? Why or how did I (his best friend) not see any signs of depression or anxiety? What did I do wrong? Was it my fault? It has been 3 years since Joe’s death – I still find myself asking these questions at times but know I will never have an anwser. I also know I had no control of Joe’s actions. I know survivors of suicide must face and ask these same questions. I can understand that deep pit in their stomach the moment when they hear their loved one is no longer with them. It is in that moment of silence and emptiness we die a little inside ourselves too. We feel empty … our loved one and “sidekick” is gone, forever gone and it is a very lonely feeling that attacks our entire body. After Joe’s death I found a letter I had never read before that he wrote to me. I found it one day in a stack of my favorite dvd’s we had been going through before his death and knew it was his way of telling me he loved me, he was with God…and he was okay. People often told us we were like Superman and Wonder Woman – attatched hip to hip trying to make a difference somehow with or without capes in the community. Whenever I was working on a charity event, I could always count on Joe being my number one supporter. He would participate in walks or help me get wonderful donations. I knew after reading the letter, there were many Superman Joey’s out there in the world who brought joy and love to their friends and family. After Joe’s death I realized my own friends became distant and the stigma of Joe’s suicide was a major part of the battle. I registered for my first Out Of The Darkness Walk and realized there were other survivors who understood exactly what I had been going through. A core group of Joe’s friends walked the first year. It was just what we all needed to get through his tragic death. It opened my eyes to be stronger and understand more the importance of suicide awareness and prevention. Unfortunately, the following year I could not find anyone to walk with me. Friends and family members simply just could not make it. I was stunned and a bit numb. Why wouldn’t anyone take time out to walk for someone who showed so much love to them..or just walk in support for such a huge loss? I heard friends were still angry at Joe and some were ashamed to be associated with suicide. Could it really be because of the stigma associated with suicide? I decided to volunteer and run the merchandise booth that year even if it meant going by myself. I felt so alone that day. I pretty much knew no one, had a huge pit in my stomach, and was missing my best friend terribly. I remember I walked up to the registration tent and was greeted with much love and support from other volunteers and staff. I knew then I was right where God wanted me to be. They say God works in mysterious ways – well he does. I was working the merchandising booth when a survivor came up to me to ask if I had seen the Superman and Wonder Woman? I had no idea what they were talking about and all of a sudden in the middle of a crowd of hundreds I see a red cape flying in the wind. I think to myself – “Out of ALL of the Superheroes …My Superman Joey is here at this walk – Unbelieveable!” I made my way to the people who were dressed in the superhero costumes and explained my situation. Within minutes the man dressed as Superman immediately grabbed and hugged me as he shouted he was walking in honor of Supermen Joey today! Was this real? Was this a sign? It was then at that very moment when I felt that Joe was there in spirit. I was not alone anymore.That feeling of spirit was spread all around the walk that day and it was as if I could feel other survivors celebrating their own loved ones too. Their loved ones may not have been there physically but they were living within us each in our own special ways. In every word, in every song, in everything God creates… their spirits live on. I ended up not being alone that year after all, it was then that I wanted to make sure no one should have to ever walk alone. This year I am very proud to be a committee member of the walk .Our local AFSP Indiana Chapter is also going to have volunteers as ambassadors at The Out Of The Darkness Walk for those who may not have anyone to walk with. I never imagined I would be so passionate and such an advocate for a cause that still has such a strong fight and stigma. I am not a Wonder Woman or a superhero by any means nor was Joe. We were just two best friends, two side kicks who will always have a forever bond and now a message. The message is simple – we all need to keep educating. AFSP has paved the way for us all to speak openly and honestly about suicide prevention and awareness. I lost my best friend, my side kick , my own Superhero to this horrible illness. I never saw the signs. I never dreamed this would happen to me. Most importantly, I never thought this would of happened to Joe. I miss his touch, I miss his voice, I miss that silly gap between his teeth that made his smile so bright. The message is simple: The more we educate others – the more we will continue to make a difference. We must remember that every walk does matter …every voice does speak volumes …and every minute counts.

Posted on by Angela in Benevolence, Family, Spirit, Suicide, Uncategorized Leave a comment

Olivia’s Story

Sidney came home from school upset because the kids call her “Reverse Oreo”.  Apparently she is deemed white on the outside but black inside.  Is that a compliment or an insult?  It amazes me that with the nation’s heightened awareness of bullying, things haven’t changed since I was in middle school in the dark ages.  I remember walking into school, being devastated to find a picture of a “Puffer Fish”  plastered to my locker , and the subtle curse, “Fatty Cheeks!” written in bold letters.  I can still feel that wave of heat come over me when a picture of a puffer fish pops up while I’m reading to my 4 yr old.  Those words stick with people at such a naive age.  We want to believe that things are good in the world.  Teasing words hauntingly introduce reality to us all to prematurely.  Sidney’s lucky.  Her barbie doll, blond haired, blue eyed, socially acceptable appearance will allow her to fly under the radar of scrutiny.   Imagine how we socially challenged victims can handle this blind criticism?  It takes me back again to Ciara’s 18yo revelation.  “You can’t judge someone if you haven’t heard their story—-

Here is Olivia’s

Olivia Rusk is a vivacious fifteen year old honor student in Fisher, IN.   She happens to be completely bald ?  She was diagnosed with a medical condition called alopecia as a toddler.  On an epic morning at age 8, she shed her custom wig, bravely marched into third grade and announced she was going to be herself, BALD.  From that day forward, Olivia has refused to hide her beauty by trying to look like everyone else. Owning her disease has given Olivia a powerful platform; she won’t let it define her. Her bravery, integrity, and charisma help her share her story, Olivia launched lecture programs inspiring thousands of teens in schools, churches and other organizations through out Central Indiana. An anti-bullying stance and education on suicide prevention allows Olivia to exemplify to teen audiences that “You Can Be Great”, whatever your challenges might be.

I have fortunately had the opportunity to get to know Olivia.  I can’t begin to describe my first impression of this exceptional girl.  Being with her was like being in the presence of Mother Teresa, Ghandi or a future MLK.   This young woman will make a difference.  She   takes ownership in cultivating her own vital spirit.  We need more Olivia’s in the world.  If only we could think like eight year olds who have been told “You is smart, you is kind, you is important”

The best way to change the world is to change yourself…..

Read more about Olivia Rusk and Olivia’s cause at www.oliviascause.org .   Her book , “Just Your Average Teenager Who Happens to be Bald,”  is now available online at her website.

 
Posted on by Angela in Uncategorized 1 Comment

“We were made to be lovers bold in broken places”

For Lucy and Maggie …

 

Countless hours spent on the deck discussing the uncertainties of life.  Innumerable days of listening to our children giggle, play, fight and cry together.  Tears shed watching one another battle the ups and downs of family life in the 21st century. These experiences have made our former neighbors become our dearest friends and confidants. They are our “wolf pack”.

This week, the Henriksens, and their dear friends watched their families bond together once again as they faced yet another frightening event.  An event that would forever change the way all ten of us view life and the ambiguity of the world.  We will become different people having experienced this sad tragedy.

Our dearest friends’ daughter has known one of the most vivacious, loving, talented and endearing girls for many years.  The two girls were kindred spirits at the mere ages of 15 and 16.  To the shock of everyone, she took her own life this week.  She battled depression for years. Unfortunately, the disease won the strenuous fight.  Sadly and despite her suspected perception, young Maggie was never alone.

Most all of us probably know someone whose life has been affected by depression, either directly or indirectly.  We may not know that someone is suffering from depression, they may not even know themselves. Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help resulting in untreated depression as the leading cause of suicide.  In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death among those 18-24 years old.

Perhaps you have seen the countless photos on social media of outstretched arms with the word “love” scribed on skin and merely thought it some new type of arm art fad.  There is a much deeper meaning to these sharpie tattoos.

Renee was a troubled Florida teen.  Described as one who “has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide” she at one point used her cocaine-cutting razor to carve  “F—k Up” on her arm adding to the other fifty self inflicted scars there.  A group of concerned friends finally convinced her to go to a drug treatment center but she was deemed too “high risk” due to her distinctive markings and denied treatment.  Fearing for her life, they designed a T-shirt selling drive in hopes of raising enough money to pay for her care.  Their experiences led them to realize the greater need beyond  just Renee.

Together they organized and formed TWLOHA, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people lost in depression, addiction, self-destruction and suicide.  You can read their complete story and Mission Statement here: http://www.twloha.com.  Their efforts caught on and went viral.  Photos of teens with “Love” on their arms began popping up in dramatic fashion.  Famous bands and the Hollywood elite began wearing their trendy T-shirts.  “Why do you have that written on your arms?”  “What does that T-shirt mean and where can I get one?”  All were keen efforts to raise awareness for this cause and show those in need that they are not alone.  By metaphorically applying “Love” as a pressure bandage to the self inflicted ugly wounds of the story’s character, this band of persistent friends helped not only Renee, but began to define and fulfill TWLOHA’s  vision including:

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

 

Lucy, I won’t let this be the end of Maggie’s story either . . .

 

Posted on by Angela in Spirit, Suicide 1 Comment