Category Archives: what’s happening

2018 Health Update

Wow, it’s been a long time — years! — since I’ve written a blog update for Dr. Strange Itch, and so much has happened!

In January 2016 I developed pain like I’d never known before.  Full body pain where it hurt if I moved.  As long as I was sitting still, I was fine; if I moved a muscle, ligament, tendon, bone, it hurt.  Bending over to pick up after my dog — excruciating pain.  Just walking my dog — excruciating pain.  Getting out of the car after driving any period of time, my feet didn’t want to work for the first ten minutes and I just hobbled.  I was getting up at night several times; I had skin tags; I noticed dark marks under my arms that weren’t there before and actually, I remember this, started searching the internet for natural recipes to get rid of the dark marks.  What could it be?  I wondered if it had something to do with the natural deodorant recipe I made and used.  For years I was developing eye styes that would come and go, come and go, and in late 2015 I developed a whopper over my right eye that still, here in 2018, I can still feel the residue of it.  It disappeared eventually so that no one can tell it was there, but I can still feel a thickness where it was.

I did not want to go to the doctor and get a diagnosis and start a long journey of taking pills for one condition, and having to fix the side effect by taking three more kinds of pills.  That’s not how I see the world.  I wanted to research this for myself and figure out what was going on.  When I found descriptions of rheumatoid arthritis, yeah, that rang a bell; all of those symptoms sounded just like what was going on for me.

In May 2016 I ran across a young lady’s YouTube channel where she talked about the pain she had, and the pain her mom and all of her aunts had.  Her female family members more or less just resigned themselves to the fact that they were going to develop this pain, and die from it in their early 50s.  She was a young mom with an 18-month-old baby who was beginning not to be able to hold her baby because of the pain, and she was afraid she was going to drop the baby.  She had to do something NOW.

She quit eating grains.  Within five days, she said, enough pain in her wrists went away so that she wasn’t afraid anymore to hold her baby.  It only got better from there.  She started losing weight.  She revamped her whole lifestyle.  She only had a little white rice now and then.  Pretty soon the pain was gone.

I watched a few of her videos and walked out to my kitchen, opened up my cupboards — I’ve been through this before, when I had hives — and started cleaning things out.  Anything with grains had to go.  I had big plastic storage tubs in the basement, brought them upstairs, filled them up with the (expensive!) grains and things that I was going to stop using for a while, just to see if this made any difference, and stored those tubs in the basement.  Out of sight, out of mind.

It wasn’t an instant fix, not like the young lady on YouTube.  And it was actually very revealing.  It took a few months for me to actually feel any positive change.

What I noticed right away, though, was that I was a carboholic.  I was addicted.  I needed grains.

The first two weeks off grains, I was just like what I’d imagine an alcoholic to be:  craving my carbs.  When am I going to eat my next bowl of organic cereal with lots of organic milk, organic bananas, and organic sugar?  After breakfast, a few hours later, I’d be ready for lunch:  pasta, or a toasted cheese sandwich, or a tuna salad sandwich with tomato soup, a bag of chips, an apple.  And dinner:  lasagne, pizza, a burger and fries — all organic, of course.

Let’s not forget bread.  I had a bread machine and constantly supplied myself with organic home-baked bread and butter.  That was my mainstay.

Going grain-free the first couple of weeks, the cravings were constant.  All I could have to eat was “what’s inside the burger” — the burger without the bun.  No bun, no rice, no quinoa, no home-baked bread.  How am I going to eat now?, I wondered.  How do I feed myself now?  Grains are cheap.  Grains are filling.  I wondered how my grocery budget was going to survive this.

The constant carb cravings went away a few weeks later, and I started making a grain-free “bread” with nuts and eggs and almond flour that worked very well for me.  That helped me transition into the bread-free lifestyle and I don’t even think of bread anymore.  Well, maybe twice during the winter.  Not often.

It took a few months of no grains to see the weight begin to drop off and begin to feel the pain going away.  Sometime in September I’d say I was 70% pain-free.  My right shoulder was killing me, though; and there was still a good bit of pain going on, but it was so much better than before.

That’s about the time I discovered Sharry Edwards and her BioAcoustics work, which is amazing.  I’ve become a BioAcoustics Research Associate and have another website about that, and a business:  I got into it because it makes total sense to me that you can heal anything through tones and sounds.  I’ve done it myself, on myself, when I fell in 2007 and dislocated my shoulder.  It was freakishly painful; I had no drugs to ease the pain; ibuprofen didn’t budge it; and on a whim I just started making tones and sounds, and felt the connection between my voice and the pain, and voila!  The pain went away for a few moments and I could sleep and rest for a while.  This is how I got through the worst of the pain and my dislocated shoulder healed itself.  Two weeks later it popped itself back into place.  It took a year, and some massage therapy sessions, and I was good as new.  I wanted to see what the BioAcoustics could do for my 30% residual body pain.

This is a technology that analyzes everything in the body through the voice.  Sharry has done 30+ years of work on this technology and now has it on a portal on the internet; it’s being constantly updated and upgraded and improved.  I took some voiceprints and started the analysis and geez, there is SO much to learn.  I didn’t know what I was seeing; I didn’t know how to interpret what my results were; and it was all right there in front of me, but I didn’t know what it was.  I gave myself the sounds and tones for the “worst” that was in my body, and it was good, but it really didn’t give me the pain relief I needed.

It was the summer of 2017 that I was doing research for another client that I was looking through YouTube to find an answer for what the heck is some biochemical in the body that was showing up, and I ran across Dr. Eric Berg’s videos.  I did my research for that mystery substance, and noticed Dr. Berg is a wealth of medical knowledge.  He’s a medical encyclopedia, right there online, all for free.

I looked up “inflammation.”  I knew I had inflammation.  And there it was:  insulin resistance.  I watched a few of his videos about insulin resistance, and ding-ding-ding, the bell went off in my head.  That’s what I had.  How to get rid of insulin resistance?  The first thing: stop consuming sugar.

Well, I thought, yeah.  I HAVE stopped consuming sugar.  I don’t use white table sugar anymore.  Is that what you mean?

NO, that’s not what that means.  NO SUGAR means no honey, no maple syrup, no agave nectar, NO FRUIT, no dried fruit, no dried beans, no grains that can ferment in your gut into sugar, no milk, none of that.  I’d already quit the biscuits-pasta-cereal-crackers-cookies-pancakes-waffles a year before.  So now I have to quit sugar?  Okay, sure; let’s give this a shot.

For two days I went without sugar.  TWO DAYS.  After TWO DAYS there was no pain.

AS IN NO PAIN.  None.  Anywhere.

I could bend over without wincing.  I could get out of a car without giving my feet fifteen minutes to “warm up” and not hobble anymore.

I went through my pantry and cupboards and fridge and freezer again, and got rid of all forms of sugar, all fruit (except berries), dried fruit, dried beans.  I haven’t had any sugar since June 2017, and I don’t do cheat days.  I do have berries, since I grow them and they are low on the glycemic index.

My weight has gone down some more, and even though I still have that muffin top, it’s a size 6 muffin top, not a size 18 muffin top.  I understand that those of us who have a fatty liver (me) and insulin resistance (me), it’s going to take up to three years to get back to where I should be.  I know that I’ve been hypoglycemic since age 6.  I still remember that scary shaky cold clammy going-to-faint feeling I had going through the cafeteria line at school when it had been too long since I’d eaten, and eating lunch made that feeling go away.  That’s 55 years of hypoglycemia to repair.  I’m glad I’ve got this figured out now and if it takes a couple more years for me to find the waist I know is in there, I’m patient.

During this past year my right shoulder pain has gone away.  That’s because I’m drinking apple cider vinegar and lemon every day a couple of times a day, and my gallbladder isn’t backed up anymore and impinging on my phrenic nerve.  My skin tags have fallen off.  Skin tags are a sign of insulin resistance.  The dark armpits have gone away; that was another sign of insulin resistance.  The eye stye has gone away; that was another sign of insulin resistance.  I’m not getting up to pee numerous times at night; that was another sign of insulin resistance.  My muscles are much more flexible; I’m beginning (after a year now) to feel more energy; I’m walking my dog at least an hour a day, and I feel good; I can cross my legs and bend like a pretzel — something I couldn’t have dreamed of doing in 2016; I think my vision is improving; I eat one meal a day, usually; I have no cravings.

And, I’ve become a Certified Dr. Berg Health Coach.  I’m learning about eating 7-10 cups of vegetables a day and what amazing things kale does for the body.  I’m eating moderate amounts of protein, some good healthy fat, and the excess weight is staying off.  I feel amazing.

All those things I wondered about and learned through the making of this blog — leaky gut, L-glutamine, the allergy elimination diet, toxins, and much more — Dr. Berg has a video on all of it; probably a dozen.  Recently he did one on leaky gut.  I was so proud of myself for figuring out my own solution to leaky gut, and I was close, but Dr. Berg has a different answer.

So now I’m monitoring my health myself.  If I have a health question, I just go to Dr. Berg’s YouTube channel and look it up.  He’s amazing.  YouTube is amazing.  If he doesn’t have the answer to my question (which he probably does) there are a few other keto or health channels that will have the answer.  If I wonder how my Vitamin D levels are doing at the moment, or if I have enough choline going on in my body (choline heals a fatty liver), or if the insulin levels are still too high (insulin resistance was my main issue over this past year), all I have to do is take my own voiceprint and do my own analysis and see what’s going on, and make needed changes from there.  Am I low on Vitamin D?  Now that we’re moving into the dark phase of the year here in the Pacific Northwest?  Just do the voiceprint and check, and if that’s the case, give myself the frequency / tone for Vitamin D3 — and also K2.  And, take a Vitamin D3/K2 supplement, as Dr. Berg suggests.

In April I fell while I was out walking Kona, that first lovely beautiful sunny first day in the spring that it felt so good being outside and I didn’t want to waste it.  Kona saw another dog, had to go play with that one, and yanked hard — and I fell and popped my L-3 vertebra.  I know it was the L-3 because as soon as I could, I got home (ow) and rested (ow) and dragged myself to the computer (ow) and did my voiceprint analysis (ow ow ow, just get it done) and found out it was the L-3 and some muscles that were out of whack, and set up my tone list (ow) and dragged my subwoofer from my office to my bedroom so I could listen to tones overnight (OW OW OW OW OW!!!!!).  It was a 10-week recovery time; I’m fine now; but my oh my, the pain.  I got through that with the tones, with the help of my brilliant cranio-sacral therapist who did Reiki and massage and a ton of other amazing things, with the help of a Dr. Berg video showing how to correct an old tailbone injury, with the help of a couple of energy healers, and with support from my amazing neighbors who stepped in and did things like insist that they mow my yard for me all summer long.  My L-3 popped back into place about a week after the fall (ow) a couple of hours after my second massage therapy session, and has been healing ever since then.

This week I raked, mowed my own lawn, I’ve been gardening and pulling weeds and walking my dog again, all without pain.  I need to rest a little now and then where before the fall I wouldn’t have, but this is fine.  I haven’t had the subwoofer in my bedroom for a couple of months now.  I’m so grateful for the BioAcoustics technology, and for Dr. Berg’s advice and wisdom.  And I’m most grateful for Goodwill, where I can take my old clothes and buy new, smaller clothes and not spend a fortune.  A year ago I was so excited to be buying and fitting into size 12’s.  Now I’m in 6’s.  Now that I’ve been walking an hour a day for the past two weeks, I’m hoping for more body sculpting to take place.  I’m ready to see that waist I never had!

That’s about it.  Lots of health changes for me.  I’ve learned so much.  I feel so much better.  The only drug I’ve taken over these past two years is ibuprofen, which got me over the extreme pain after the fall, which I took for about a week.  I didn’t even take any pain meds when I got a tooth pulled a year ago in July; I just used BioAcoustic tones.

And that’s my October 2018 health update.


I Am Gaining Thinness!


October 2015, just a few months before the pain became unbearable. “No more sugar or grains!!” it was telling me.

I have to thank Jonette Crowley for that title.  She made that comment years ago and it’s always stuck with me.

I noticed in January 2016 that suddenly my body felt very achey.  The muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons were all very sore and tired all the time.  I thought it was a passing thing, that it would be here for a few days and then gone.  It felt like I’d been out playing really rough football for weeks on end and the body had just had enough and needed a rest.

But no, the body kept aching.  I tried various approaches, various supplements, various meditations, and nothing worked.

Inflammation:  could that be it again?  I looked up my symptoms, and by golly, if you look at the symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis, I was identifying with just about all of them.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

I found someone’s videos on YouTube about cutting all — I mean ALL — grains out of her diet, not just “gluten.”  ALL grains.  This includes corn, wheat, rice, and all of those health-food-store grains that should be good for you like quinoa, amaranth, and millet.  She told the story about how the women in her family all suffered from this illness, the extreme joint pain, and they more or less just accepted it as “that is who we are.”  She was a young 20-something or 30-something mom with an 18-month-old and couldn’t hold him anymore because of her joint pain and weakness; that’s when she decided to take action and no longer accept that “this is the way the women in our family just are.”  She quit eating grains, dairy, and sugar, and ate only meat, vegetables, and fruit.  She cut out all of the filler.

Months later she was lighter, leaner, the pain had gone, she was able to be the mom she wanted to be, and was comfortable!

I had to remember back to when I was “eating for hives” in 2012.  I never felt better in my life.  I had all kinds of energy, I lost some weight, and my inflammation was gone.  Once I found the L-Glutamine and cured my leaky gut, I could eat anything once again without having my lower lip swell up like a balloon or having itchy red patches all over my body, and I regained all the weight I lost — and probably then some.  I could eat coconut cream pie!  With coffee and organic cream!  And I did!  And it was heaven!  I could eat a Five Guys burger with the bun and the fries and the ketchup and the Cherry Coke, and I did, and it was heaven!

I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that my legs and feet hurt now and then; oh, that was just from sitting on a hard kitchen stool too long.  I didn’t really notice when it hurt, getting up out of bed, or hurt getting up out of my Tiny Trailer and hobbling to the bathroom at the RV park.  That’s just “getting older.”  Right?

And suddenly in January in Oregon in the depths of the deep dark cold gray rainy days when I hadn’t seen the sun for months — in December it rained 29 days out of 31, thank goodness, and we needed the rain so badly — suddenly that pain hit hard and would not let go.  When you feel pain that intense, you do just about anything for relief.

I looked up, once again, the Blood Type O Diet and made my charts so I could see what was “beneficial,” “neutral” and “not ever again in THIS lifetime”, and then on a Sunday morning I got to work completely redoing my kitchen.  All of the “NEVER!” items got packed in tight above the refrigerator, where you have to really be dedicated to want to reach something.  I tossed some things.  I am so blessed to have a really wonderful pantry in this house, and on the top shelf of the pantry I put all of the “helpful” items in sort of alphabetical order.  On the shelf below it I put all of the “okay occasionally” items, and on the shelf below that I put the “neutral” foods.

I did the same in the refrigerator.  All of the “nope, not if you want to feel good ever again!” items I put on the top shelf and slammed them all together.

And that’s when I noticed:  I’d been eating cheese and bread and ice cream and pasta and rice almost to the exclusion of meat, vegetables and fruit.  I had to put away all of the cheese and the condiments and even the expensive health-food-store fermented food and multi-grain artisan local-bakery no-gmo-ingredients bread.  It broke my heart.

But…I could still eat.  This was May, and my “winter garden” was beginning to finally do something.  The kale and lettuce made it through the winter and started providing me with all the kale and all the lettuce I could handle.  I planted tomatoes and summer squash; the blueberries started coming on then too and every morning when I walked my dog past the garden we helped ourselves to fresh blueberries, one for me, one for him, one for me, one for him.

It didn’t happen within three or four days for me like it did for the young lady in the video; it took longer.  I’m glad to say now that a lot of the pain is gone.  It’s still there to some degree, but it’s lessening all the time.

Since sometime in May I have eaten NO grains at all except for a little rice at the sushi buffet; NO dairy except for a little butter or ghee; and NO refined sugar.  I use stevia leaf I bought in bulk years ago, or real maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar.  I have that here for my AirBNB guests, mostly.

What I noticed over these last few months is that I’ve lost my “hunger.”  I am convinced now that eating wheat and grains, not to mention sugar and dairy, “makes” a person hungry, or hungrier.  Now that I’m eating meat, vegetables and fruit, I’m much more satisfied with much less food, and I’m way less hungry.

One other interesting thing I’ve noticed:  the idea of going to McDonald’s or any other fast food place doesn’t even appeal to me anymore.  It’s like I’ve installed an inner button somewhere within myself that can “tell” when a food item has food value, and when it doesn’t.  I just don’t want to bother with food that has no food value since it’s a total waste of time and money.  I’d rather go out to my garden and grab a couple of spicy nasturtium blossoms and a few kale leaves for a quick snack.  Seriously.

Ah, the AirBNB guests.  I do provide a breakfast for them, and one day a few weeks ago I was eyeing the last little helping of organic cereal, and that last little bit of organic whole milk that needed to be used up, and the coconut palm sugar….and I decided to go for it.  I made myself a big bowl of cereal with milk and sugar and just enjoyed it.

I instantly regretted it.  For the next three or four hours I felt tired, weak, sluggish, couldn’t keep my eyes open but plodded through my day anyway, and decided never to do this to myself again.  I made a pledge to myself that I want to feel GOOD.  I want to feel good ALWAYS.  I choose for my body to feel healthy, energetic, flexible, comfortable, strong, and youthful, for the rest of my life!

The Blood Type O diet is very similar to the Paleo diet, which is basically “if the caveman didn’t eat it, I don’t eat it either.”  I’m drinking even more structured water than before from a pitcher of structured water with shungite soaking in it, and drinking lots of tea and smoothies.  I do drink organic coffee made with structured water in my French press.  This time I’m cutting out all coconut, so no coconut oil or coconut water or coconut milk.  The only oil I’m using is olive oil.  If I want “milk” I put half a cup of hemp hearts and 2 cups of water in the VitaMix with a pinch of salt and a bit of maple syrup, and voila, milk.  If I want bread I bake it with 5 eggs, flax meal, baking powder and a few other ingredients.

The body has been feeling better.   The weight didn’t instantly fall away, though, and I couldn’t quite understand that.  I ran across someone’s article about fasting and thought I’d give it a try.  That has seemed to be the key to the weight loss.  The writer advocates liquids only from 7 pm through 11 am the next day; solid food is okay to eat between 11 am and 7 pm.  During the “fasting” time a person can have juice, tea, coffee, smoothies, anything liquid.  That seemed pretty simple so I decided to add that to my way of life.  I remember decades ago the exercise trainer Denise Austin told viewers to eat dinner by 6 pm and not to eat anything after that.  I, of course, ignored that advice and ate pretty much anything pretty much any time of any day.  Typically in my life I would eat dinner at 10 pm, or have a big bowl of ice cream and go to bed.  I didn’t have a schedule when it came to eating.  I ate when I was hungry and I ate what I was hungry for.

Since I’ve added the “fasting” to my diet, the Thinness has appeared.  And again it’s not all falling off at once; it’s a gradual process.  I know I’m down at least a size from where I was in January.

Last summer I bought three Speedo bathing suits at the Goodwill because they were pretty:  one size 14 and two size 16s.  Mostly I wore one of the 16s when I’d put on a bathing suit.  This summer I’ve been sunning myself for 20 minutes a day during “peak sun hours” between 10 and 2, for the Vitamin D benefits, wearing my size 14 Speedo.  I noticed my body was changing for the better in how it looked in the 14.

A couple of days ago I bought a new Speedo in size 10 kind of as “inspiration” for Gaining Still More Thinness.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to get into it for weeks or months.  I tried it on yesterday morning and it FITS!  I look better in that one than I do in the 14.  My new “inspirational” size 12 shorts are a little more snug than I want to be wearing all day long, but my other clothes are getting bigger and baggier by the week.  Before long I will be down to the size 10 where I’m most comfortable, but I’m in no big hurry to get there.  I am enjoying these changes.

A week or two ago I ran across a few YouTube videos with a woman talking about having two years of intense pain that basically came from nowhere — hey, that sounds familiar — and she said she is now pain free.  I’ve been checking out her videos and I like them.  Recently she posted a body healing meditation that I’ve listened two a couple of times now, and I like it.  She recommends doing it once a week.  I’ll post it here and also in the Links over at the sidebar.

Here’s to Gaining still more Thinness, Flexibility, Ease, Grace, Youthfulness, Strength, and Joy!


And now an update.  It is July 2017.  I am a couple of weeks away from my 60th birthday.  A week to 10 days ago I discovered the YouTube channel of Dr. Eric Berg, who makes fantastic detailed videos about all kinds of health issues.  I’ve been doing BioAcoustics work since last October, and his videos are SO helpful to teach me what’s going on with the reports I can generate — what is cortisol?  Vitamin B12, what does that have to do with anything?  What’s an adrenal body type?  Why do I still have inflammation?

After watching a few dozen of his videos and looking at my own voiceprint charts and seeing sugar, sucrose, fructose, sugar sugar sugar…I decided I had to quit sugar.  Sugar, I learn, is an inflammatory.  I have an insulin problem.  I can see that in my voiceprint charts.  If I’m waking up to pee through the night, and I was, I need to quit the sugar and start consuming 7-10 cups of vegetables a day and some healthy fats.  This will help me get my adrenals back into balance and will help me drop that belly that magically appeared out of nowhere when I hit menopause.

Of course he also recommends getting pasta-cereal-bread-crackers — he’s got his cute little phrase — out of your diet completely.  I did that already.  Now I’ve hidden my collection of sugar in the pantry in a faraway place where I don’t see it every day.  And I have some fabulous sugars — coconut palm sugar (natural, wonderful); maple syrup and powdered maple syrup (organic); raw local honey (which I keep because I use it in recipes) (and binge on over winter, using it in tea).  I have to quit them all.  I thought that because I quit using white table sugar, I was doing the right thing.  Nope.  All sugars means all sugars.

What to use for sweetening?  I have stevia leaf.  Real leaf, something I bought from Frontier Natural Co-op, years ago.  It’s not manmade stevia, manufactured in some way; it’s the real leaf.  You can blend it in with your smoothie in your Vitamix when you’re blending the 7-10 cups of raw vegetables you harvested from your garden this morning with the wheatgrass juice powder you bought online at his recommendation.  Real stevia leaf is not glycemic, it’s very sweet, a little goes a very long way, and you use it *when* you need it and not before; it will taste great when you first use it, but after it sits around a bit it gets strange tasting.

So we’ll see how this goes.  I’ll update the photos.  Here’s me in December 2016, after going down two dress sizes since May 2016:







And these two are from a couple of days ago, June 2017, after stopping sugar for about two days.  I can tell I have lost some belly fat and I’m pretty sure I’m into ketosis — fat-burning, not sugar-burning.  I have all the happy signs of ketosis.  I’m not crashing in the afternoon, I’m able to go a loooooooong time between meals, I don’t have to eat until noon or after and I’m not hungry when I get up, I’m not getting up to pee at night anymore (after only a few days of this!) (yay!), I’m remembering my dreams after not remembering them for a long time.  My focus is good.  Inflammation is down.  Right shoulder pain is gone.  Any other complaints I would have had at this time last year…not there anymore.


And another Update!  It’s been just about six months since I posted my previous update. I’m doing Bulletproof Coffee in the mornings now, and eat one meal a day (usually).  I have no cravings.  No sugar, no carbs over Christmas; I wasn’t even tempted.  I have discovered that adding a few drops of stevia liquid and a few drops of peppermint flavoring to my morning coffee is Totally Awesome; my coffee blended in the Vitamix is a thousand million percent better than anything Starbucks or any other coffee shop ever had to offer.

And my photos now?  After six months of eating no carbs and no sugar — and frankly doing no exercise at all, here we go:

When I took the above photos (black top, black & white skirt) I was about a size 12-14.  Now I’m wearing a size 6-8 Lands’ End vest, size 10 (or 8) jeans (depending on the manufacturer), and I’m somewhere between a small and a medium.

I have not been a size small since junior high.  And that was for a very fleeting time.  Misses size 12-14 was always my average size, since about 10th grade.

I’m not done yet.  Once I totally get rid of that little poochy thing just below my belly button, and discover the waist I never had, I will be ready to eat some fruit again.  Not until then.

Less fat in my coffee would help speed things up; some actual exercise twice a week would speed things up too.  I’m in no hurry and I’m absolutely thrilled with how I feel and look.  I am so excited!!  I am pain free and drug free, and 60 and a half years old.

Almond Milk & Hemp Seed Hot Breakfast

IMG_0983I’m back to working with a Blood Type O diet due to inflammation in my joints and muscles.  I reorganized my kitchen cupboards and my pantry and my refrigerator to “hide” all grains (including rice), multigrains, breads, anything with gluten in it, and make the pantry more accessible to the stuff I need to be using.  I actually alphabetized my pantry shelves.  Seriously.  The dried blueberries sit on the shelf next to the almonds and are at the opposite end from the walnuts.  This is the only way I could think of to organize my shelves and know where stuff is, now.

So the top shelf in the pantry is for the “this is awesome for you” Type O Blood Diet foods.  The shelf below that is for the “neutral” foods.  The shelf below that is for the “only once in a great while” foods.  And the cupboard above the fridge, the one that’s almost impossible to reach unless I get on a 2-step stepstool, that’s where I keep the stuff that, so the theory goes, is going to make me hurt.

There’s a lot of fish and meat on this diet.  Meat for breakfast?!  Things like whole wheat toast for breakfast are forbidden.

For the first few days, a plate of tuna with olive oil and lemon juice and a sprinkling of my pink salt with dulse added in…that was just fine.  That and a banana, groovy.

This morning, I wanted oatmeal.  Or rice.  Or something like that.  Warm.  In a bowl.  A little bit sweet.

And this is what I came up with.

Start with:
3 cups water in the VitaMix
1/4 cup almonds
~~blend to make Almond Milk~~
Then add — and I didn’t measure anything, just threw it in, so my measurements are approximations:
1 Tablespoon blueberries-ish
6 apple slice rings-ish
1 teaspoon dried ginger-ish 
3 dates (make sure the pits are removed)
~~blend on the Soup setting to make it hot~~
Pour into your bowl or mug and add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds and eat like a very thin oatmeal, or drink like a very thick chai.

What else sounds good to throw into the mix?

What’s really in your shampoo


Today I sat in the sun on my front porch with my dog, and my new neighbor and her dog came along.  We had a nice little chat and ended up talking about what’s in shampoo, among other things.  I talked about my own journey into finding the homemade shampoo that works best for me.  Here’s an article from 2009, long before I ever got wise to making my own shampoo, and — spoiler alert — the author uses Sunlight Dish Detergent as his shampoo.

What’s really in your shampoo 

Sure, a couple ingredients clean your hair. But the rest are a veritable toxic dump on your head 

There are two types of ingredients in shampoo. One type cleans your hair. The other type strokes your emotions. I’m holding a bottle of Pantene Pro V, one of the world’s most popular shampoos. Of the 22 ingredients in this bottle of shampoo, three clean hair. The rest are in the bottle not for the hair, but for the psychology of the person using the shampoo. At least two-thirds of this bottle, by volume, was put there just to make me feel good.

 The world spends around $230 billion on beauty products every year. Of this figure, $40 billion go to shampoo purchases. North Americans blow almost $11 billion on shampoo and conditioner each year. So most soap manufacturers aren’t willing to rely on a product that merely works. The bigger job is convincing the consumer that their soap is adding value to the consumer’s life. So shampoo bottles include extra concoctions aimed at convincing the man or woman in the shower that the soap is more “luxurious” or “effective.” Because beautiful hair doesn’t just happen.

Have you got the greasies? One shampoo ingredient is all you need: detergent. Detergents are chemicals designed to bond to both water and grease. When the shampooer massages shampoo into the scalp, the detergent adheres to the grease. The detergent attaches to the rinse water and leaves, taking the grease (sebum) with it.

The most common shampoo detergents are ammonium lauryl sulphate and one of its molecular sidekicks, ammonium laureth sulphate. These viscous, yellow liquids, with the water of a shower, are enough to make your hair clean. They help stop the greasies.

Shampoo tends to use five factors to help the user feel good about it: shine, thickeners, lather, color, smell, coatings and exotic ingredients. Those ingredients, though they have nothing to do with cleansing, are part of the sell to convince you that something beautiful happens to your hair.

Consumers value shininess in nearly everything, including hair. For hair to shine, the cuticles of the hair must lie flat. Imagine a strand of hair as a stack of flimsy paper cups. When all the lips of the cup, called imbrications, lie flat, hair shines. Dull hair has the cups’ lips sticking up. To get imbrications to lie flat, hair needs to be exposed to mildly acidic substances, so substances like citric acid are added to make the imbrications lie down and give hair that shiny look and to let yourself glow.

Consumers believe that thick is better. Which may explain why George Bush was a two-termer. Shampooers trust the velvet heft of the shampoo in the palms of their hands. So five of the 20 ingredients on the list are there because they help thicken the soap. Thickness also guarantees that people use more shampoo than necessary. There’s salt, glycol distearate, cetyl alcohol, ammonium xylene sulfonate and others: body on tap.

And where would we be without suds? Cleaning agents do tend to foam a little when they’re used, but the bubbles don’t affect the cleansing much. However, the extra lather helps convince the shampooer that the soap is working. Lathering agents are added to boost the suds, chemicals like cocamide MEA. This little devil, besides being toxic in a few ways, also helps the lather to stay once it’s been raised, a sudsy Viagra, with the help of known associates like the plastic PEG-7M. Great lather for great-looking hair.

Consumers tend to believe that good things must also be pretty. So shampoo manufacturers add colors, like purple and green, with reflective particulates to form blossoming clouds. Colors are often a problem either for humans or for the environment, like good old red dye no. 3, banned in 1990, eight years after a number of reliable studies revealed its cancer-causing tendency. Don’t hate it for being beautiful.

Smell is important, because after the bathers have washed their hair, smell reminds them that the soap has done its job. Gee, some hair smells terrific. Smell is often associated with a brand, and smell helps to form the most intimate psychological connection a soap can make with its user. But the more “natural” the smell, the less natural the machinations behind it. That lovely apple smell has about as much to do with apples as Dick Cheney with world peace. And fragrance can be particularly dangerous because it’s not specifically labeled. It’s a combination of ingredients that could be harmless, on one hand or, on the other, noxious.

Once the natural oils have been removed from scalp and hair, shampoo often replaces them with conditioners derived from animals or plants. These conditioners coat the air and smooth its surface. The bottle of shampoo I’m holding uses dimethicone to coat the hair (it also helps to thicken the shampoo). It’s a silicone-based chemical that coats hair and skin. You’ll also find it in caulking, Silly Putty, and herbicides. No more tears. No more tangles.

Some shampoo sounds more like chicken marinade than shampoo, boasting of vitamins, minerals, protein and herbs. But, the vitamins and minerals and exotic extras play a useless role. So whether the shampoo brags that it is “infused” with real beer, exotic proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, or extracts from some fabulously endangered species, the additive saturates the users’ minds, not their hair.

All these ingredients would go bad were it not for preservatives, a chemical equivalent of the right to bear arms. Sodium benzoate, for example, is handy because it kills nearly every living thing that might start to grow in a shampoo bottle. Ironically, in most cases the detergents won’t go bad. It’s the psychological ingredients that need preservation.

And these chemicals are tough to track down because tracking chemical names, it turns out, is a little like tracking criminals. Most have several aliases and fake IDs, play a role in many different products, and are shifty when caught and questioned. Some have long toxicity records; others are suspects in a range of problems. Of the 22 shampoo ingredients in my hand, all except three have proved to contribute, or are suspected of contributing, to health or environmental problems. Most of these ingredients, though known toxins, are permitted for use, because the small quantities limit human and environmental exposure.

Most of the ingredients in shampoo “may” cause health concerns. The word “may” is used because most chemicals have never been tested. Of the more than 80,000 chemicals registered and used in the U.S. since World War II, fewer than 500 have ever been properly studied for their effects on humans and the environment. So it’s hard to say exactly how dangerous it is to use shampoo every day.

In May, 2008, Jane Houlihan, director of research for the Environmental Working Group, reported on the dangers of cosmetics and personal care products to a House subcommittee. She believes that these products, including shampoo, are the biggest source of human exposure to dangerous chemicals. According to Houlihan, “companies are free to use almost any ingredient they choose in personal care products, with no proof of safety required.” Consumers are not properly warned of possible dangers because of a “lack of standards and labeling loopholes.” Let’s just say that the less you hang out with any of these chemicals, the better off you are, we all are.

Mount Sinai Hospital reports that 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released in the U.S. each year, the equivalent of 37,100 tanker trucks of noxious chemicals. A lot of these chemicals are released from homes every day. Daily, 45 billion gallons of wastewater go down the drain to be treated at one of the 16,000 water treatment plants in the U.S. But wastewater plants are designed to handle only the major pollutants. They can’t remove the diversity of chemicals that humans flush every day.

This is the big problem with the shampoo ingredients: When a man rinses his hair, all the ingredients wash down the drain, carrying the grease to boot. And as one man’s shampoo travels down the pipe, it meets up with a woman’s, and so on, and so on, and so on. At least 350 million gallons of shampoo and its unregulated ingredients flow down U.S. drains every year. And many of these chemicals flow straight into our freshwater systems.

Shampoo, for example, contributes to high levels of estrogen and estrogen-like substances (endocrine disrupters) in freshwater downstream of sewage treatment plants that damage fish populations and cause male fish to grow ovaries, a sort of liquid feminism. My hometown of Calgary, Canada, studied the fish downstream of where we add our treated sewage to the river and discovered that female fish outnumber male fish 9 to 1. Estrogen runs through it. One study identifies more than 200 chemicals that are still present in wastewater after treatment. But the problem is likely much larger: environmental damage is difficult to estimate because we’re dumping chemicals into the environment that have never been studied.

As we get to know some of these chemicals better, we discover that they should not be trusted. Health Canada is proposing concentration limits for two common shampoo ingredients, siloxanes D4 and D5, aka, Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane and Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane, respectively. D4 and D5 did make hair easier to dry, silky soft, and easier to work with. Also handy when making plastics and paint. Sometimes you need a little D4 or D5. Sometimes you need a lot. But Health Canada suspects that D4 and D5 are affecting fish and aquatic organisms. But, oh, how hair shines.

So I can live without the bottled psychology. My new shampoo, Sunlight Dish Detergent, has just four ingredients. It’s runny and slightly acidic, smells vaguely lemony, doesn’t foam excessively and looks anemic. It’s not perfect, just better. I need to apply it only once when I shampoo. With each shampoo, I use a 10th of the volume that regular shampoo requires. The bottle will last at least a year, as my last one did. And though its ingredients aren’t worth celebrity endorsement, my hair gets clean and I expose my body and the environment to less risk.

Vibrations and Healing

saw 005Lately I’ve been learning a lot, mostly through my dreams, about sound and frequency and vibration and healing, how they’re all connected.  Well, come to think of it, the YouTube videos I’m watching have a lot to do with this too.

This morning I was reminded, in my dream time, that whatever frequency I’m putting out is what I’ll get back, faster than ever before.  For example:  last night I was talking with some friends about periodontal disease.  We all have periodontal disease.  How do you fix that?  We were sharing our stories, talking about it, wondering what the right approach would be for each of us.

In my dream world I was reminded that if I’m at the frequency of “periodontal disease” and stressing about, talking about or worrying about “periodontal disease,” that’s what I’ll get more of:  more periodontal disease.

Instead:  sing a Happy Teeth song.  Whenever I’m tempted to give in to worry about periodontal disease, sing a Happy Teeth song.

There’s a lot we don’t remember yet about sound, vibration, and creation.  Thought, put into words, creates a sound, and sound creates reality.  If I put out the sound, the vibration, the worry, the fretting, the analysis about, “periodontal disease,” that’s what I’ll get back.  If I release the worry about periodontal disease and just focus on “happy teeth,” it will release the resistance I may have and the right information will come to me, I will attract the right dentist if I need one, and so on and so on.

This isn’t a perfect illustration of what I’m thinking about, but it shows that current research is going in this direction too:  sound, vibration, energy, creation…

GMO food for thought

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 11.18.41 PM

Blood Type O+ Diet

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.42.48 PM

Type O+ Diet recommendations. Available at

So lately I’ve decided to investigate and try out the Blood Type O+ Diet.

It’s been three years now since I “ate for hives” and lost weight while doing that.  I felt better while “eating for hives” — but it was SO great when I could eat anything I wanted, I really went overboard, once I could.  I ate absolutely anything and everything…gluten, sugar, dairy, all three at once in any quantity I wanted at the moment…  Menopause came along during this time too, and my body today looks and feels nothing like it did three years ago.  I barely recognize it.

I decided to check out what a Type O+ diet would be, and amazingly, it’s very similar to the food I could eat that didn’t make me break out in 2012.  There are certain “recommended” meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, drinks, spices, and other things; some foods are “neutrals” and other foods are “don’t go there.”  Dairy, for example, for the Type O+ person is one of those “don’t go there” food groups; same for bread, and sugar.  Honey is okay; any convenience food type food is “don’t go there.”

I’ve decided, too, to break the rules.  I love avocados and coconut oil, and for the past week or so have avoided them.  Cashews are “good” on some of the Type O+ lists, and “don’t go there” on other lists.  I have decided that since I’m not drinking milk or consuming other dairy except a few types of cheese and butter, I’m going to make my cashew milk and use that.  I like that.  Cashew milk, avocado and coconut oil, I have decided, I’m keeping.

This is not an overnight huge weight loss deal; it’s a lifestyle change.  The pounds will begin coming off, but it will take time.

Right away as soon as I decided I was going to do this, I rearranged my kitchen.  I have cupboards above the refrigerator, and these cupboards are really hard to get to.  What I kept there was my recycled glass jars.  Now after the rearranging, I’m storing my bread baking ingredients, black tea and coffee, and other miscellaneous “don’t go there” items on my list up there where it’s so hard to get to them.  I have a pantry, and one whole shelf in the pantry has my “recommended” foods on it; the one below it has my “neutral” foods on it.  I love this!

And I’ve discovered a few foods I didn’t know about — sprouted grain bread, for one.  Actually I could  make Essene bread of my own.  Simply grow some sprouts on the counter, then rinse, process, knead and then bake them — no other ingredients, just sprouted grains.  That’s one thing I haven’t tried yet, but I have bought the Ezekiel bread that is made with sprouted grain.  Hot tea, a couple of pieces of Ezekiel bread toast with butter in the morning, and a piece of fruit — lasts me a good long time.  Cream of buckwheat hot cereal is another thing I hadn’t tried until now.  I threw in a couple of tablespoons of ground flax / sunflower / pumpkin / sesame seed / goji berry powder in the mix, and WOW.  I’m impressed with buckwheat cereal.

Something else I noticed:  I had a lot of the “right” food already; I just wasn’t using it.  Things in this category:  adzuki beans, blackeyed peas, mint tea, and any seaweed.  I have more packages of seaweed than I know what they are.  I do not know why I bought so much seaweed of various kinds.  It doesn’t take up a whole lot of room in my pantry, and it’s dry, lasts forever, and I suppose I have 20 different packages of it.  This would be enough seaweed to feed me seaweed on a pretty consistent basis for ten years or so.  But, it’s on the “good for me” lists, so I will now be learning how to use seaweed.  Maybe I’ll actually start using it.

I also noticed right away that I know what foods I need to be eating, because I have them around; but what was I eating?  All the stuff I shouldn’t be eating:  dairy, sugar, wheat, bread, gluten…everything my body couldn’t tolerate.  Why do I feed my body what my body doesn’t tolerate?  Why the cravings for the bad stuff?

An ironic thing I noticed:  in 2012 when I started “eating for hives,” I felt so victimized by my body.  “I can’t drink coffee!  Can’t eat a hamburger with a bun, can’t eat the ketchup or the pickles or the onion or the mustard or the french fries or the Coke.  Can’t have a slice of my favorite coconut cream pie, can’t have cream in my coffee, can’t have…can’t have…can’t have…or my body will erupt and I will be sorry I ever ate that.”  And my body liked the food I was eating, even though I couldn’t eat a very big variety of foods.  My body lost weight.

Now, I’m deciding to eat just about the same foods, almost identically the same, but this time it’s my CHOICE.  I’m CHOOSING to quit dairy and coffee and sugar and bread.  I’m CHOOSING to eat the fruits and vegetables my body is requesting.  I’m CHOOSING to try working WITH my body this time.

Scientists say this blood type diet idea is bunk.  It’s scientifically unproven.  Well, okay.  I’ve tried a few things in my lifetime that other people don’t approve of.  Who cares if other people approve of it?!  I’m trying it.  I’ll be the judge of whether it works for me or not.




Colgate Toothpaste includes a cancer-causing ingredient.

file0001302397826Interesting article here.

And an interesting comment from the article:

It’s remarkable how easy it is to head over to the drug-store to pick up cosmetics, household cleaning products, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other necessities without ever thinking about how it’s made, what goes into it, the science behind it and the health hazards that are associated with doing so.

More information is coming to light, especially within the past few years. The rate at which people are waking up and starting to critically question what we choose to surround ourselves with on  a daily basis is increasing exponentially. Most importantly, people are starting to make better choices.

Find the recipe I use to make my own toothpaste, here.  Take back your power!  Make your own stuff!  KNOW what’s in the products you use, because YOU PUT IT THERE.

Homemade Natural Hummingbird Nectar


So yesterday we did some gardening, my gardener friend and I. She’s the expert and I pay her, and I tag along ask questions and learn, and weed, or dig holes, or find that bag of potting soil I knew I had around here somewhere, or run to the store for this kind of mulch or that kind of equipment I don’t have yet. The last time she was here she potted my tiny little blueberry plants into bigger pots and directed me to make sure they got plenty of sunshine AND plenty of mist.  When she got here yesterday she was shocked and a little perturbed.  My blueberries are too dry.

Oh yeah…I’ve got the mister, but didn’t have it hooked up yet.

The blueberries don’t need drenching, but they do need constant mist. We are in southern Oregon, where it’s only going to get hotter and drier the rest of the year, and they need to stay in good shape between now and September when they get stuck in the ground in the front yard.

I headed off to the store and bought a new skinny little hose half-inch hose for my mister, and another Y piece for hooking up multiple hoses and gadgets to the faucet nearest my garden. I already have two hoses hooked up there to the timer.

Now I have three hoses and a timer hooked up to the same faucet.

Once I connected the new mister to the new hose and positioned the blueberry pots just right so they could take the best advantage of the sun and the mist, and tried out the timer in conjunction with all of the other parts of the system — the drip line for the birdbath, and the hose to water the garden — I stood back and just watched.

And there it came: a hummingbird.  It darted in and out of flowers that are just now blooming in the heavy vine over the trellis.

She and I stood there and chatted and watched the hummingbird darting here and there, back and forth, into the mist and out again.  “Oh, they like mist,” she said.

I figure they like the mist and the structured water and the birdbath.

Then I noticed the hummingbird feeder was just about empty.  It had been half full the day before.

This morning the hummingbird feeder was totally empty.  I already knew I was in trouble; a few days ago, out walking Kona, my 80-pound GoldenDoodle, not one but TWO hummingbirds zoomed low over my head, then hovered nearby, just to make sure I saw them.  I’m sure they were telling me to GET THE HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER FILLED AND HANGING IN THE YARD.  Okay then!  That particular hummingbird food had been in the fridge for a month or two already, and now I’m out.

So tonight I looked up a recipe for hummingbird nectar.  It’s very basic, easy to do, and doesn’t cost much.

1 part sugar/4 parts water
(I used structured water from my tap, and organic IMG_4873pure cane sugar, with none of the color removed — and none added.)

Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.

Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.

Do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener, which has no nutritional value.

I found the recipe, and other directions for do’s and don’ts with hummingbirds and feeding them, here.

I’ve got to get back out to my garden and spend some time there tomorrow and take a video of my Hummingbirds in the Mist!  It’s so much fun watching them.




Water, Part 3

In July I drove to the Pacific Northwest, decided it was time to move to the Pacific Northwest, and between July and early November made 5 road IMG_3684trips from the midwest to the Pacific Northwest.  The last road trip was me, driving myself, my dog, and the stuff I’d need in my new house for two weeks one way here while the rest of my stuff was in transit on the back of a big truck.

Now I’m all unpacked, mostly, and can find almost everything, mostly, and have a few things to comment about, about water.

Wow, the water in the house where I used to live in the midwest was hard.  I mean hard.  All the problems I was having with gunkiness in my hair have now gone away.

I will say this:  with the water in the town and the house I live in now, my hair actually gets softer and silkier every day, and I have to wash it because I can’t figure out how to make it stay in a ponytail!  Or in one of my other hair-doodad-things.  It falls right out because it’s getting too silky.

Which is not to say “too oily.”  It’s not getting oily.  It’s getting silky.

Wow, was my water ever hard, where I used to live, and even 3 structured water units attached to my house didn’t budge it.  I have those three structured water units attached to my house now, and the water is great here.

But again:  note that it’s been almost a year now since I used store-bought shampoo, and the hair I have now does not get oily on Day 2, requiring me to shampoo again and use conditioner again or else my head becomes an oil slick.  I really don’t use much shampoo at all, and what shampoo I do use is the Zum Shampoo bar (bought online at their website,, in the Zum Lab area) that I grate, mix with 4 times again as much water as bar soap, heat very gently so it all blends together, stir it a few times with chopsticks while it’s blending, let it cool, bottle it up and use it.  I think the last time I made shampoo was shortly before I moved, maybe the middle of October-ish.  Maybe earlier.  September-ish or October-ish.  I have lots left and won’t be making any anytime soon.  A bar of Zum Shampoo is $6, plus tax and shipping, is made of awesome ingredients, and smells fabulous.

What did not work for me when I lived in the midwest was washing my hair with vinegar & water, or using vinegar & water as a rinse.  That was pretty worthless.  Someone I met in the Pacific Northwest in July told me that she washes her hair in spring water and vinegar, and if she needs a conditioner, rubs on a tiny little bit of coconut oil into the palm of her hand and uses that.  That’s all she does.  I have not tried this yet, now that I also live in the Pacific Northwest and my water is awesomely awesome, but for sure it did not work for me when I lived in the midwest.

Another thing I noticed:  a couple of days ago I boiled water for ginger tea, pretty much emptied out the kettle into my cup, and way down at the end of the tea there was a disgusting pile of tiny little white calcium balls!  I thought it was unmelted ginger tea crystals, but no; it was calcium.  Blech!  (Did not taste at all like ginger tea, a big shock to my tongue.)  I’m still getting midwestern calcium deposits washing out of my kettle.  That’s how hard and ornery the water is there, and it’s something structured water didn’t budge.

So yeah; comparing the water here in the Pacific Northwest to the water in the midwest, what a difference.  There is a huge difference in how my homemade shampoo works here as opposed to how it worked, or didn’t work, for me when I lived in the midwest.

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