Although I was there to support my dad, along the way, something shifted in me. I was on anti-depressants at the time and using coffee and other stimulants to keep me awake and functioning. I even struggled with acne. As someone who never had acne as a teenager, this was frustrating! Although my weight was a healthy 130 lbs, I didn’t feel good and I was tired of relying on stimulants just to feel normal.
My dad stayed at True North for forty some odd days, lost over 50 lbs and more importantly, all of his blood work and vital signs were like that of a twenty-year-old. He had reversed years of damage. I met one women there who had cured her stage four breast cancer. Another gentleman cured his leukemia and arthritis. There were people there who had cured their diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The life-changing stories were endless and if I hadn’t heard them myself, I would be skeptical.
Although I was only there for seven days, it was life changing. I ended up doing a four day raw juice cleanse and eating a raw and vegan diet the other three days. In that short time, I was able to get off my anti-depressants and ditch the coffee. I went back to my husband and daughters with a renewed sense of peace and purpose. My mind was as clear as my skin. My energy was through the roof without coffee! I felt grateful, grounded and inspired. My eating disorder was not triggered AT ALL during this time either. It was like cleansing my body and offering it the best food energetically available shifted my obsession from weight to health. All this from changing what I put in my body? Could what we put into our bodies really affect us so deeply? The answer is YES!!
Fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds in their raw form (not pasteurized or heat treated) contain micronutrients or essential vitamins and minerals. As a whole, these are the nutrients that Americans are most deficient in. When you do a juice cleanse, you are not only flooding your body with these nutrients, you’re also detoxing all the junk stored throughout your body. Years of damage begins to repair itself. That’s the beauty of our bodies. They truly do know how to heal themselves when given the proper nutrients.
Juicing and sticking to whole raw foods has stuck with me over the years. So much so that I credit a huge part of my recovery to nourishing my body instead of pumping it full of processed food like I was fed in treatment. Maybe recovery is more about food than the “experts” care to acknowledge. I was told the damage I had done to my body was irreversible. The medical world underestimated me, and my body’s amazing ability to heal itself. My journey towards health has been nothing short of a miracle.
Re-inspired by the documentary, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, I started a five day cleanse yesterday. The first day went pretty well. The second day is always the hardest for me since I detox the most. I have a little bit of a headache right now actually. I will keep you updated on my experience so you can decide if this is something that might be a good fit for you! My favorite part is coming off the cleanse and realizing my taste buds have completely transformed. A slice of pizza sounds yucky and a big spinach salad sounds like heaven on earth! Eating becomes a mindful practice because you realize you don’t need to live to eat, but rather eat to live.
Because my life is so busy, I won’t have time to blog every day, but if you would like to follow my fellow cleansing rockstar Jenny, head on over to her site Healthy Crush. She’s currently on a ten day cleanse.
Starting in February, I will be offering organic, raw juice cleanses and detox packages for the Boise area. I will have different packages and options available to tailor to both expert and novice cleansers. I want everyone to be able to experience the mind-altering joy of health! My juices will be made using the Norwalk juicer; a hydraulic press that has up to 5 times more minerals and vitamins than conventionally squeezed juices. Your body will be thanking you!
Contact me and let me know if you’re interested! The first cleanse will be in February and I will be taking about eight cleansers a week. I already have four spots filled. Two of those spots are a husband a wife! I LOVE it!
Let’s Get Juiced!
I love to eat. All day long. I'm a grazer! That’s why I love spring rolls! They’re light, healthy and surprisingly satisfying. . I’ve been making them for myself for years. The first time I made them my husband called them “condom sandwiches” because ummmm…..well….you get it. The name has stuck with me too now! They’re the first thing I look for on a menu when I go to a Thai restaurant. (Let’s just hope I don’t order them by the wrong name when I’m there right?) The great thing about these is that you can basically put anything in them you like. I stick with basics, but sometimes will add tofu or red peppers, basil or cilantro; depending on what I feel like.
This recipe is fantastic and so easy to make.
4 Tbsp mango fruit spread
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger1/4 tsp hot sauce
Finely grated peel from 1 small lime
8 large rice paper wrappers
1 avocado diced
1/2 c shredded carrots
1 large zucchini cut into matchsticks
1 cup rice noodles
1 cup arugula
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts .
First thing you'll need to do is grab your rice papers. They are found at your local Asian market. I get mine at Fred Meyer. And yes –they’re bazaar looking, almost like a paper plate. They are very fragile and sticky-when-wet so be prepared to screw a few up at first J Swish it around (one sheet at a time) for ~15-20 sec in warm water. Next, lay it out on a cutting board. It then becomes a canvas for you to fill! Center all of your ingredients on the rice paper, (I just toss mine in there. Hey it all tastes the same right?) fold over each side and then roll the top over and then roll it around. Just like a burrito!
Slice it in 1/2 at an angle, drizzle sauce, sprinkle with some crushed organic peanuts and enjoy!
The only thing worse than a closet full of nothing to wear is a kitchen full of nothing to cook! That was my predicament today.
I must say this wrap turned out amazing! I’m not sure if this is a recipe as much as it was just being resourceful and working with what was available to me.
Such a metaphor for life. No?
These wraps are quick, easy and can be adapted to suit any taste buds! You can always do the veggies raw but I love to saute them with a little olive oil and garlic.
Here’s the “recipe” for mine:) It was super yummy and very filling!
Besides the obvious healthy fats, part of the reason this yummy meal is so filling is because the wrap is spouted. Yes, sprouted. It does make a difference. (Even gluten-sensitive people are usually able to tolerate the sprouted wheat!) I was surprised at how important it is for good nutrition, and I'm sure you will be too! If you want to down-low-nitty-gritty on the benefits of sprouting, go HERE.
1 sprouted whole grain tortilla.
2 tablespoons hummus (I love smoked tomato and basil)
1 tablespoon salsa
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
I clove garlic
1/2 cup peppers
2-3 asparagus spears
1 cup spinach
1/4 onion diced
1/4 cup mushrooms
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan
Saute the garlic, onions, mushrooms, peppers and asparagus for 2-3 minutes.
Fold in the spinach and remove from heat
Layer hummus and salsa on sprouted grain tortilla
Add the sauteed veggies
Fold and enjoy!
Want to boost your immune system, increase your energy, reduce/allergies and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time? I thought so. Did you know I invented this recipe just for you? :)
The whole food shakes are in my opinion the very best because they have not been cooked or processed like 99% of the shakes on the market. They contain no soy, whey, fillers or isolated vitamins. This way you’re getting ALL the nutrients and enzymes. The superfoods you’ll be adding are what will give it a great taste and natural energy. I seriously feel like I could run a marathon after drinking one of these babies- and I’m not even a runner!
1 scoop Amazing Meal Chocolate Shake Mix. (Best. Stuff. Ever.)
2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder
1/2 tablespoon Navitas Naturals Maca Powder
2 tablespoons Navitas Naturals Hemp Protein Powder
1 small handful Goji Berries.
1 tablespoon raw (local if possible) honey
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 or 2 cups of almond, rice or soy milk.
frozen berries (I prefer raspberries)
spoonful of raw almond or peanut butter
Put all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!!
You can always do what we do and make them the night before and put them in some shaker cups. This way you’ve got your breakfast ready to go first thing in the morning.
Doesn’t that look fantastic? Be. Still. My. Heart.
Somewhere, deeply ingrained in my psyche, is the feeling of not being enough. For me, a mixture of childhood beliefs, society’s standards and a dash of perfectionism is to blame. Although I’ve gotten a ton better, I’m still guilty of comparing myself to others in order to measure my own success and ignoring the fact that my journey is uniquely mine. That’s probably why in the past, my New Year’s resolutions read like a laundry list of traits I didn’t like about myself and needed to change the second the clock struck midnight.
This year, I did something different and I encourage you all to do the same. Yesterday, on my 31st birthday, I made a list of all I’d accomplished and all I am grateful for in 2011; personally, professionally, spiritually and internally. The list brought me to tears. It’s funny how you don’t realize how far you’ve come until you remember where you’ve been. All too often we get caught up in searching for our next journey, success or chore to cross off our to-do list. We search outside ourselves to define our existence when in reality each and every one of us is enough right now in this moment. By focusing on the things we need to do or change about our lives, we discredit the amazing things we’ve created, accomplished or overcome.
Here is my list. ;)1) Launched Whole Figured; a website created to empower women to love their bodies despite perceived flaws and work to embrace all aspects of themselves.
2) Won the Costa Rica Challenge at IIN. Spent a week in Costa Rica training with some of the top professionals in the holistic health field. I met lifelong friends, took my first crack at surfing and left feeling empowered, accomplished and beyond grateful.
3) I was the recipient of a seed grant for my vision Homeless To Wholeness. In 2012, we will be building a greenhouse that will provide local, sustainable food to the homeless and poverty stricken families in Boise.
4) I spoke in front of 4,000 people at one of the largest health conferences in the world. And I survived.
5) Coached some amazing clients to lose weight, ditch the scale and accept who their bodies for the miraculous creations they are. I even helped one client get off his asthma medication and inhaler after being dependent on it for 22 years. I love my job!
6) Graduated from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and received my board certification that same month.
7) Wrote a 90 day course on eating disorder recovery for the new MYOMBODY app that is launching early 2012. Talk about healing!
8) I dropped the F-bomb a few times. Forgiveness! I let go of some past resentments and made a choice to abandon any anger I held in my heart. Talk about freedom!!!!!!!!!!
9) Served my homeless friends food made with love. Although I cannot list the numerous conversations and hugs I have shared with them, I can say that my eyes are filled with tears just thinking about the wonderful life lessons and gifts they have given me.
10) Spent priceless quality time with family and friends. I have some of the best people in the world around me.
11) I feel 100% recovered from eating disorder and I am actually grateful for the pain. I used to look at my eating disorder as a huge waste of 10+ years of my life. I see now that it was simply a springboard to do something bigger than me. Nothing is wasted if you learn from it.
12) I survived another year of motherhood. My daughters are no doubt my spiritual guides. They are my daily reminder that only love is real.
13) Spent quality time with my husband. We recently had an hour-long conversation and I was reminded all over again of why I love him so much. His wisdom is invaluable to me. He has made it safe for me to put up the white flag and accept that life cannot always be controlled. He reminded me again yesterday to only put my strength into situations I can change.
Although this is only a peak at my list, I must say that it felt great to focus on what I have done instead of what I need to change. We need to remind ourselves that our successes and failures cannot be determined by a number on a scale or anything else external.
This year is almost over!! Get out your pen and paper and create your New Year’s Gratitude List. Instead of creating a lengthy list of do's and don’ts, let us all resolve to be a little more grateful for all that we have and all that we are in 2012.
Even if it has been a tough year for you, I encourage you to give thanks. Our trials and hardships are what build our character, instill compassion and help us grow. Your blessings are hidden in your burdens. Trust me.
Happy New Year Everyone!
I wish you enough……….and then some :)
Maca (ma-kuh): This herbaceous plant native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru. It is grown for its fleshy hypocotyl, which is used as a root vegetable and a medicinal herb.
Why It’s Healthy: Maca has long been used to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue for good reasons. The root is a superb adaptogen, as it enables the body to more easily adapt to and regulate stress factors imposed upon it. Studies have also identified four alkaloids present in maca, which are known to nourish the endocrine system (the system in the body which is responsible for the production and maintenance of hormones). (Hello? Guess which superfood helped me nearly 86 my thyroid medication??) Maca root is a highly nutrient-dense whole food, as it is packed with vitamins, plant sterols, many essential minerals, amino acids and healthy fats. This is a particularly powerful and balanced food for athletes and those who are looking to combat stress or increase stamina.
Whip It Up:Smoothies. Duh? Maca is a very potent food, and just a little maca sprinkled into recipes turns any meal into a supermeal. With an earthy taste that is mildly nutty with a hint of butterscotch, maca is easily blended into superfood smoothies, various milks, chocolates, or mixed into flour for dessert recipes. Alternately, use maca straight by taking in a capsule form, and enjoy its benefits anytime and anywhere.
Food Energetics is the foundation of modern day healing and something I will strongly incorporate into my sessions with you. The term is based on the concept that we truly are what we eat. Each morsel of food we put into our bodies has an emotional, spiritual and nutritional property. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to begin to trust your body, and your innermost wisdom, in order to heal your body and your relationship with food.
Our bodies are complex and beautiful transportation systems and whole foods are critical to heal and maintain them. Choosing foods is not about dictating meal plans or carefully calculating calories but rather it’s about bio-individuality.
I believe in guiding you to understand the energies of food. Each food has a specific purpose and personality. You will begin to examine how your body is constantly an experiment. Instead of being TOLD what you need to eat, you have to test yourself as an individual to know which foods work best for you and make you feel great.
From my own studies, and personal experiences, I believe women with disordered eating patterns are usually extra sensitive to the environment around them and the foods that enter their bodies. Many times they have no sense of fullness or hunger. Because of this, Will Power alone is not enough. Together we will create visions that are bigger than you, thus allowing you to make better choices in all areas of your life.
For more on food energetics, please visit Steve Gagne’s website.
Society has been influenced to believe that women with disordered eating are self-absorbed, defiant, and cold. They are out of touch with reality and cannot be trusted. Through my own personal journey, and the amazing women I have connected with, I started to recognize that just the opposite is true. Women with disordered eating patterns are some of the most sensitive, caring, creative, and powerful women I have ever met. They are connected to the energy around them and in the world on a deeper level than most people. Because this deeper understanding is usually not honored by society, family, and friends; they are often left starving on a spiritual and emotional level.
My goal through WHOLE FIGURED is to challenge the way women with disordered eating patterns are governed through their recovery process. As a holistic health practitioner, I see the need for a holistic centered program that focuses on bio-individuality. Recovery is not one size fits all. Carefully calculated menu plans and abstinence from certain foods are not the answer. Taking away every ounce of control and force feeding hamburgers is pointless. The food these women need is not material, but primary food; food that nourishes the soul.
What if you could learn to trust yourself and love your body by making food choices that honored your core values and resonated with your truth?
What if you could heal yourself by acknowledging all the disowned parts of yourself that make you whole?
What if you really believed you were powerful beyond measure?
Getting a hold on destructive eating habits and letting go of old patterns associated with food and weight is not easy, but once you begin the inner journey of embracing your authentic self, you will never look back.
Are you ready to reclaim your power and take the first step into renewal, transformation, and change? I work with powerful, intelligent women who struggle with body image, disordered eating and maintaining a high level of self care. Many of these women may feel as if they’ve lost themselves in the role of wife and/or mother. I help them to prioritize their needs, create a healthy life balance and reclaim their power through a personalized holistic program. To learn more about my training and how I can guide you towards living the life you’ve always dreamed of contact me today!
Who has healed into the present.Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
I remember sitting anxious with discomfort on the cold leather couch in my therapist’s office. As tears made way for more tears, I remember craving the need to explain the energy that had built up inside me. I was exhausted, depleted, and yet as my journal from that time depicts, “There is a force burning inside me that grows stronger every day. I don't know what it is.” I was feeling more powerful than I had ever felt, yet I couldn’t harness it.
It was June 2007. I was in treatment for an eating disorder for a second time.
My counselor looked at me and asked the question, “Rachel, what are you so afraid of?
As I fought off more tears, in attempts not to hyperventilate, my answer was simple,
“I’m afraid of how powerful I am.”
My therapist’s eyebrows reached towards the ceiling. She chuckled and told me that I was ridiculous. She said it was not a valid response and to search deeper.
My body went numb.
Today, in this moment, I can honestly say that realization was probably the most profound revelation I had in treatment. In hindsight, that was the beginning of my awakening. Those words had been submerged for twenty-six years and the release of saying out loud- what every inch of my body already knew- was bittersweet.
I was not frightened of being destroyed by some evil aspect of myself. I was afraid that if I came in to the personal power I knew I had within me, I would have to own the truth about the power the resided at my core. What is clear to me now is that we are all powerful and come fully equipped with this same inner wisdom buried within each of us. We’ve just forgotten it’s there.After years of chronic dieting, excessive exercise, diet pills, laxative abuse, binging, purging, counseling, three different treatment centers, and being near death, I surrendered. I’m not sure it was surrendering as much as it was that I was sick of being sick. Thyroid issues, PMDD, acne, caffeine dependence, digestive issues, insecurities and body obsession became a part of normal life for me. It wasn’t until I was finally in recovery myself and began to listen to my body and heal myself, that I started to notice how wrongly myself and other women with disordered eating were being handled in terms of recovery.