Quality of Life

Some people like to say, "Eat well, do good, get exercise, and die anyway," as some sort of excuse for partying, being unhealthy and/or being inconsiderate. This logic has no place in a happy, fulfilling and successful life. Regardless of when you die, you want the life you live today, and tomorrow to be the best life you can possibly have. There is no excuse for not doing the best for yourself and the best you can for those you love. Even if I were going to die in six months, I still would continue my diet exactly as I do (if not do even better) because I want the highest quality for my life. The quantity is quite irrelevant.

~Raederle Phoenix Jacot

"Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?" ~ M. C. Escher

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Eye Strain

You hear about “eye-strain” and situations where people get headaches so bad that they need absolutely all light cut off from their eyes... But hearing about it just is not the same as experiencing it. Even now, my head is beginning to hurt and I may have to cut this shorter than intended.

I've been away from my computer since Thursday, when my eyes simply quit.

Factors that contributed to my extreme inability to use my eyes;

    • Areo Garden light in very close proximity to my computer screen.

    • Not venturing outside very often; no exposure to full sunlight.

    • An old florescent light-bulb in the kitchen.

    • Reading more often and for longer periods of time than I have in years.

    • Not eating nearly as many carrots as I was for the previous two years.

    • Glasses prescription getting further and further from 'correct' as my eyes worsen.

    • Using my glasses to watch anime on my laptop (with the screen only a few feet away) with my husband while he was sick for many hours a day.

I can't say that any one of those is the cause, because I've been having more and more symptoms for a while. For example;

    • Not being able to play video games for very long without developing a headache.

    • Having to take a break to rest my head after reading a chapter or two of a book.

    • Increased sensitivity to sunlight.

    • An attack of pain which turned into hysterics involving crying and laughing at the same time after using my computer for the majority of the day a couple weeks ago.

    • Increased sensitivity to sounds, especially video-game sound effects and alarms.

    • Increased sensitivity to being in close proximity to a microwave.

Each of these has been growing over time, and I can mark it's progression and worsening right in line with the first list of causes.

The glasses have been far-off the mark for a while now – maybe for an entire year. I've experienced more headaches in the past year than I have previously in my life.

I've been having my trouble with my eyes since I moved here to be with my husband, and that's also when the prolonged exposure to the florescent lights began.

I started experiencing all sorts of sensitivities while my husband was sick, which was while we were watching three or four hours of Full Metal Alchemist of my laptop each night. I didn't think the headaches were really separate from the other issues; such as fatigue and runny nose.

And I'd go on, but my head is beginning to pound, so I will now proceed to input what I wrote while blindfolded. I was desperate to write just for the release I get while writing, so the day before yesterday my husband set up a plain text document for me to try to type in. Unedited, it would be fairly ugly.

Unedited clip, “took me to lots of different pla es today... whiel I was wearing a blindfold..,.”

The blindfolded entry I typed;

This will need a god awful amount of editing later. My [eye] nerves have gone haywire... or I've pulled a muscle in my eye, or something. Jeez, it's so weird not to see anything appearing on the screen in front of me...

It's so tempting to just peek and see [what I'm typing]... but I know that would give my head a lot, a lot, a lot of pain.

My husband took me around everywhere today. He took me to the store. He took me a lot of different places while I was wearing a blindfold. He took me first to CVS and we got me an actual eye-cover. I'm wearing that eye-cover now, technically.

This is
totally not the same without bring able to see what you're writing.


My husband informs me I'm typing in all capitals again... great.

I am sad.

I want to be able to see.

Perhaps I should practice typing more often while wearing a blindfold.


This makes me continually think, “What if I were blind?” Like, it's a non-stop wonderment.

Anyway, the moral of this story is;

Keep raw carrots in your diet.

Don't use glasses for close-up things whenever you can avoid it.

Don't over-use your computer.

Get outside every now and then.

Take care of your body!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eating At Restaurants

I was just reading this entry by a person who tried a month without eating or using anything created by Monsanto.

To quote;

Me: “I’m on a special diet. I can’t have any soy products, corn products, anything made with corn or soy oil, or sugar, or any dairy or meat.”

Kind waitress: “What can you eat?”

Me: “Salad.”

I can relate.

A lot.

I go through that all the time. In fact, it's gotten so that I don't even run down the list of things I don't eat...

(I don't eat meat, dairy, soy, canola oil, anything hydrogenated, bread, wheat, gluten, sugar, alternative sugars, 'natural' sweeteners, pasta... And I also try to eat as little as possible cooked.)

I just instead ask detailed questions about the salads. No croutons on my salad, no cheese or meat, or sugar in my dressing (which usually means just getting olive oil and vinegar, which I'm happy with) and so on.

Generally going out to eat doesn't thrill me, for obvious reasons.

January 3rd 2011

Since I wrote the above tidbit in July (six months ago), much has changed for the better.

My restrictions have actually increased. I no longer eat cooked food which, you would imagine, would make going to restaurants more difficult.

This is a salad I ordered from a lovely little place in Danville around August 2010.

On the contrary, I've gotten back to liking going out. It's all about looking for the right places. Choose a restaurant that focuses on having a wide variety of fresh foods, color and flavor. Then, look throughout the menu for every mention of produce. Perhaps avocados are offered with the meat, and perhaps a side of melon is offered with certain dishes, etc. When the server comes, choose the best salad and say, "Can I also add avocados, melon, seasonal berries..." And whatever else you and the server can come up with. My experiences with doing this thus far have been very positive. I've managed to wind up with some very diverse and delicious salads without running into anything that would upset my body.

And, to take things a step further, I've discovered Cafe Gratitude, which is a lovely restaurant that actually offers a wide variety of specialty raw food. While it isn't a place one can afford to eat weekly, it is worth it to us on a monthly basis to be treated to a gourmet meal that neither my husband or I had to prepare. Even better yet, they make some things that would take us days to create, like "sour cream" made from cashews, and "meat balls" made from seeds and vegetables, and so forth.

Becoming a live-foodist does not mean giving up eating out. In fact, I like to use it as an opportunity to show others that my diet is neither boring, nor unsatisfactory. I was so delighted when my sister-in-law proclaimed that she was "entirely stuffed!" when we went to Cafe Gratitude for a New Years lunch. My husband finished off the last third of her meal, which delighted him as well.

This is the salad I ate at the company Christmas dinner I spent with my husband mid December of 2010

When going to a restaurant that does not serve specialty raw-food cuisine, I often bring a few things with me to compliment my order. Perhaps a few raw olives, a home-made vegetable cracker (dehydrated at 105 degrees), a few dried apple slices (covered in cinnamon), perhaps a handful of almonds, etc. Just enough to round-out whatever is served so that I'm still eating and enjoying just as long as everyone else, if not longer.

Another rule of thumb is to always have one washed fresh fruit and one snack-bar-type-thing in your purse or backpack with you. An apple, or an orange, or a kiwi with the fur scrubbed so well that the fur has rubbed off, etc. If you don't dehydrate your own raw bars, you can pick one up at Whole Foods, or possibly at another specialty store. I like Lydia's spirulina bars in particular.

If you're up for a little more work, another trick I've been using is to pack a glass "Tupperware" container with washed celery spines filled with almond butter. I cover the exposed almond butter with leaves of washed organic spinach so that the nutbutter doesn't get all over everything. The nutbutter will oxidize a little which will somewhat change the color, but the texture and flavor remains for quite some time.

In a nutshell, it's not as hard as I used to think it was. Eating out can still be quite enjoyable given a little forethought.