A Few Ways to Instantly Raise Your Vibe

Feeling down?  Here are some ways to instantly raise your vibe.  If it’s more than just a blah moment, you may just have to feel it to heal it.  Give yourself time, and then when you’re ready, try one of these instant mood boosters.  Or do something that lights YOU up, whatever that may be.

A short true story

When my grandparents were younger, they didn’t have a lot of money and so my gram worked a lot of different jobs while my grandfather was working his main job. They were busy so didn’t see that much of each other. But every night after dinner, they’d stand side-by-side at the sink and wash the dishes together. She’d wash and he’d dry, and sometimes they’d alternate. Later when these crazy, newfangled machines called ‘dishwashers’ were becoming more common, she proudly announced that she was going to buy the family a new one. This would be a big expense, but she somehow always managed to get by, invoking the phrase, ‘the lord shall provide.’ She was the matriarch of the house. there was no need for a patriarch. My grandfather didn’t have much say in that household. My grandmother used to tell me she always got her way (and I witnessed it often myself) but only because my grandfather was so kind and gentle.

But this time he shocked her—he overrode the idea, saying that their after-dinner cleaning time was special to him, and they would NOT be getting a dishwasher thank you very much. She had no idea until that moment how much it had meant to him.

Their household remained dishwasher-free for the next 20 years, when they moved into a house that, for good or bad, already had one. ❤️

10 great and 10 sh*tty things about middle age

Just when you start getting in the flow and think you’ve got this ‘life’ stuff figured out, things start becoming a shit show.  

You fall apart physically

  1. Your eyelashes disappear / get thinner, aging you by at least ten years
  2. Grey hairs come in in droves
  3. Menopause looms
  4. You creak and crack whenever you move (or pull a muscle putting on a sock)
  5. Two words: muffin top
  6. Wrinkles…deep lines…puffy eyes. All the stuff that makes you scared to look in the mirror every morning.

Then there’s life circumstances:

  1. Aging parents. Family members start dying /getting dementia/ cancer etc.
  2. Empty nest syndrome
  3. Having babies is a young woman’s game. For older women it’s exhausting— plus you have to deal with all the rest of the bullet points.
  4. Harder to change careers or get a new job

No wonder the midlife crisis is a thing. BUT! There’s hope.  Some of the good points are truly priceless, so they balance out the bad.

  1. Hard-earned knowledge. For what you lose in beauty/youth, you make up for in wisdom. (Seriously! Would you *really* want to be 22 again?)
  2. Mo’ money
  3. You’re more confident / secure in who you truly are
  4. It’s much easier to not care about what others think of you (true freedom!)
  5. Day drinking is cool
  6. You’re usually higher up in your career / have lots of expertise
  7. The chance to be a hot cougar!
  8. Empty nesters can travel more and not have to sleep in a hostel or one-star hotel
  9. Wisdom. Ok it’s the same as knowledge but it’s essential. Imagine making the same mistakes you did in your teens or 20s!
  10. You get really clear on your life’s priorities and what’s most important to you. Times a’ wasting, people. You ain’t getting any younger; the time to do reach your goals is now!

What would you add to these lists?

Do you agree that the good outweighs or at least balances out the bad?

Halloween and Jelly Beans

Every year shortly before Halloween—like in August—my best friend would always say to me and our friend Mary, ‘Hey guys, I have a great Halloween costume idea.’ I’m convinced she mentioned this so early so that we were never prepared with our own ideas. And hers WERE brilliant ideas—for her. She’d get to be the star: a beautiful Alice in Wonderland with us as her loyal-servant playing cards (we were jokers of course) or the Beasts to her Beauty (although she was much more subtle than that.) Even though we were always the underlings, Mary and I were ok with it.

One year she wanted us to be bags stuffed full of jelly beans to go along with her furry Easter bunny. Of course we swallowed our pride and agreed, as we did every year, suckers that we were. (I mean…jelly beans. How much lower on the Halloween candy ranking scale could you go, not to mention it was a pretty lame costume?)  

For our supporting role outfits, Michelle and I cut leg holes into clear garbage bags, stepped into them and then stuffed a bunch of colored balloons around our torsos.  Then we tied the garbage bag around our necks with something resembling a ribbon that if tied too tight would be a potential near death experience-type situation. But we actually looked kinda sweet, as candy probably should. And the costume was clever too, or so we thought—but try peeing in it. After much preparation—blowing up the balloons, having a few drinks, putting on our white tights (cringe)—we were ready. 

Going to frat parties often felt like heading straight into the lion’s den, but that night my costume was my armor. Getting a buzz on was another form of protection so I was often drunk in those days. But hey, it was college. Wasn’t everyone perpetually drunk? I was so ‘protected’ that Halloween that I stumbled and fell down the entire staircase that led to the party below, where all the cool people were standing, beer in hand. With each step, I lost a piece of my armor. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. And let me tell you: it was the world’s longest staircase. It was a mile if it was a foot. After what felt like a year but was more like 5 seconds I reached the bottom. Record scratch. Music stopped. Everyone laughing at me. Ok there was no record—I’m old but not THAT old. But people did stare. No one could pretend they hadn’t witnessed that spectacle even if they wanted to.  

For the record (ha ha), I probably would have fallen into the party even if I were sober, for I have a long history of making grand entrances. Once at the same friend’s older sister’s wedding, all the guests were waiting for the drinks I was about to serve on the lawn below. I tripped on the outdoor stairwell and my silver platter full of cocktails went flying, almost knocking out a guest.  It missed him but his suit wasn’t so lucky, for the Cosmopolitan splattered all down the front of it. Really graceful, Read. I even fell down the same set of stairs another time a few years later. No other victims but me in that instance, thankfully. I was on crutches for the following two weeks. 

But I digress. Back down the rabbit hole/ frat basement. Every time I needed the loo (because of all the cheap beer) I would have to undo the ribbon around my neck, pull down the garbage bag and try to keep all my balloons intact. Inevitably they’d all float slowly down to the filthy ground as I frantically tried to hold them in. I’d wash one balloon, slip it back in and another would slide out. Eventually I got in all the ones that didn’t pop during my free-fall and could re-tie my neck ribbon/ torture device. The whole bathroom process took me an eternity. And don’t drunk people at frat parties just LOVE those who take too long in the bathroom? My attempt to quietly sneak out of the bathroom after so much time was foiled when the 12 people in line noticed who was slinking out. ‘Oh, it’s balloon girl.’  

Somehow I survived that party but the end of the night wasn’t the end of the story. A day or two later, a woman wrote an article in the school paper about her experience of being sober on that drunkest of college high holidays, All Hallows’ Eve. She wrote, and I quote, ‘It was disgusting to what extent people degraded themselves—a woman even fell down the stairs. Vulgar.’ Perhaps she meant a *different* basement frat party with a *different* bag of jelly beans spilling down onto partygoers? There’s really no way to know. 

After that incident I told my friend ‘That’s it…you’re as high as Alice if you think I’ll ever do a group costume again.’ The next July she excitedly announced she would go as Snow White. Guess what Mary and I were? 

At least peeing as Dopey was easy. And as for the staircase at THAT party? Well, I’ll tell you about that one later.  

Just do it

Our little rocky bay

A couple years ago the hub and I were in the Canary Islands. One late morning he was excited to announce that he’d scouted out a remote bay for us to sit in, because god forbid we lie on the nice sandy beach like normal humans. He’d rather hang out in this rocky cove where it was virtually guaranteed there’d be no one else. Ok fine—I know him and his little quirks. So we get ready to go and he says, ‘Oh but we kinda have to climb down a bit, so bring your sneakers.’ Of course, there’s always a catch with these ventures.

So we hike up and over this volcanic hill, down and around to the bay. Sure enough, we have to climb down to get to it—like ten feet! (3.5 meters) And there wasn’t a soft sandy landing in case one were to fall—it was tons of hard rocks. He assured me it would be easy. He knows this, he says, because he already tried it. Uh huh. So he goes down first and shows me where to place my feet. Within 2 minutes I was sweaty, shaky, anxious—and loudly cursing him out. ‘This is so typical of you! Why can we never just go where normal people go?’

You know that saying, ‘watch out, that first step is a doozy?’ I don’t know where it comes from but yeah, that first step was…challenging. It jutted out like a 9-month-pregnant woman. So you had to find a place to hold onto at the top while carefully positioning each foot father down, all the while twisting your body like a wild animal. It didn’t feel safe at all. But even with all my complaining and yelling I was determined to get down. It took me like half an hour, but I did it. I was definitely not graceful going down, and I even cut my leg, but I was successful.

Once I got to the bottom, I realized it wasn’t so bad. I could probably even do it again. I was a little nervous to climb down again the next day, but I did it in about two minutes. It was really just overcoming the fear the first time. The next few times were a cake walk. And if I hadn’t have overcome my fear by just doing it, I would’ve missed out on sitting in a beautiful, protected cove where I could swim safely and Alex could be his recluse self with no people around.

You probably know where I’m going with this: first steps always seem daunting.  It looks too challenging, too risky, you don’t feel ready; lots of different fears and/ or excuses come up.  So you put it off, you scream, you blame, anything but take that initial action. I know I’ve done that with a million different things, and once I finally take it, I wonder what all the fuss was about. And I wish I had taken it way earlier. Every. Damn. Time.     

You want to reach your goals, right? You want to fulfill your dreams. So…what first step can you take right now? What fears aren’t actually as bad as you’re making them out to be? I think as humans we always think we have to do some major action, but ANY action can be a first step.  And then tomorrow you make one more small step. And another and another, and soon you’re walking out that door.  Don’t worry about the whole map being laid out for you just yet; the steps will appear along the way, as long as you trust the process. Let go, trust, and just do it! 

Loving yourself enough to change: Part two

Yesterday’s blog post was in response to my friend asking how I was disciplined enough to eat healthily.  I want to stress again, that I am no expert on this. But I *can* tell you about my experience, and maybe it will be helpful. 

I don’t want to sound like a cult member or anything, but I truly believe that the Medical Medium lifestyle is good for everyone. Sure we’re all different, but there’s nothing that can hurt anyone within it, and it truly is a lifesaver for many.  People are so worried about protein, but a. you really don’t need as much as people think you do and b. you can easily get enough with plant-based foods–like beans, spirulina (a supplement), greens, and even fruits.

If you don’t have any symptoms like constant headaches, fatigue, aches and pains, and so on, or you only have minor ones, and you don’t feel like you have it in you to overhaul your diet, just add in more fruit.  Like more than you ever think you could or want to eat.  People are afraid to eat fruit, which Anthony William calls fruit fear (duh,) because someone put it out there that fruit sugar is bad for you. They say it spikes your blood sugar and makes you fat. Not at all true.  It’s not the blueberries in the blueberry muffin that are adding weight, it’s the sugar and oil.  

Fruit sugar is very different than table sugar or refined sugar.  Our brains are fueled by fruit, our bodies need the glucose.  (This is all according to MM, but I felt enormously better once I added in more fruit. I was barely eating any at all, thinking vegetables were the most important.  Don’t stop eating veggies, though! They are still important, but fruit is vital.)  And you will probably find that you don’t crave sugar as much as you once did.  I didn’t love fruit that much but making different types of smoothies helped that a lot.  There’s creative ways to add fruit in.

Another thing is MM says if you can only do one thing, just start juicing celery juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Then wait 20-30 minutes to eat.  It has to be fresh, it has to be drunk within half an hour, and it has to be plain celery juice, nothing else.  Just drinking this for two weeks increased my health by a whole notch when I first started.  Over time, it helps with all kinds of things. MM has an entire book just about the benefits of juicing celery juice.  All the stars are drinking it now too, and there’s a lot of misinformation about it out there now, unfortunately. The bottled celery juice you’re now seeing in supermarkets is basically useless because it isn’t fresh.  You really have to juice it yourself or drink it in a juice bar that has made it fresh for you.

Some other practical tips—and again, I am not an expert on this but..

  • Letting people know beforehand that you have food allergies, or that you are eating differently than normal. Offering to bring something to a dinner party is usually well received, especially if the person knows you can’t eat certain things. 
  • Calling ahead to a restaurant to ask questions about the menu or get assurance that you cannot eat canola oil (for example).  I admit, I have never once done this, but I know people do it a lot.  I did call a farm once to see if their corn was genetically modified. 
  • When you’re traveling, bring whatever you can with you. Find out where the farmer’s markets are beforehand. Google juice bars before you go.  Just doing a little bit of pre-planning can do wonders.

The hardest part is socializing. You have to think ahead about restaurants, where you can go and what you can eat.  You have to let people know your food issues, and you have to be honest but diplomatic and kind.  And if you are sick and trying to heal, you may just have to hunker down, realize that it is going to take some time to heal, and make yourself a priority. Your true friends will understand and stick by you.  One bonus is that you can actually get rid of any toxic friends in your life during this time too. I say that jokingly but also dead seriously.  People sometimes are threatened when their friends change.  It makes them look at themselves, and as I mentioned earlier, people don’t change all that easily.  Don’t let this hold you back.  As I will keep saying over and over, this is your one life, and YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Eating well is a radical act of self-love

My friend asked me to expand upon my last post in which I wrote about eating mostly plant-based—specifically the Medical Medium way.  She feels like if she lived in a bubble, she could alter her diet and be disciplined. And she worries about not eating what people cook for her (tough one!) and not wanting to disappoint others (also not easy.) I’m going to answer over two posts, and this is the first.

The short answer to these questions is that this is your ONE life, and you have to live it how it works best for you.  If eating/living this way makes you feel better—and it will, eventually—then you should eat this way.  Period, the end! 

The longer, more honest answer is that it’s hard.  I still struggle with it after four years.

You’ll have to set boundaries. You’ll have to field a lot of questions. You’ll probably get teased, and may even feel some anger coming your way. Sounds like fun, right? It makes sense that people respond this way though.  Food is such a fraught topic.  It is baked into the fabric of our lives, no pun intended.  It is our entertainment, a huge part of our social lives, our way to cope in a difficult world.  Eating and drinking brings people together. It is a way to show love, to bond, sometimes even to communicate when there are no words.

In my family and in many families, food means love.  So if you choose to eat differently than them, they may take it that you’re rejecting their love. (BUT I MADE THIS FOR YOU! IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE!) So you have to assure them that because you are choosing to eat differently now, it’s not a reflection on them, their choices or their enticing meals.   You have to be loving but clear. As Brene Brown says, clarity is kindness.  Sending mixed signals is not.

As someone said to me about starting my blog, ‘You just have to drink a big cup of ‘who gives a sh*t?’ about what others think of you.  Or maybe you prefer this saying: ‘what others think of you is none of your business.’ 

People are always skeptical of change, and that’s why I would guess that most people find Medical Medium when they are desperate. I certainly did. People don’t want to change unless they absolutely have to.  I was in pain and wanted to be out of pain, so I was willing to try anything. The near-drowning wasn’t my first go-round with MM (see my last post), but the second time was much easier because by then there were books and Facebook groups, etc.  In 20 years, this way of eating will probably be much more accepted. Right now, it’s outside the traditional way of eating, like the SAD (Standard American Diet) or meat-heavy diets the world over.  It’s even different than just veganism.  It’s still in its infancy, so those who partake of it are really pioneers!

Having said all of this:

  • I often fail at all of the above. There are other people I know who are on this program who are way WAY better at following it strictly than I am.  I do need to ask them their secret(s). 
  • I cheat. A lot. Especially in social situations. I’m healed enough to do that now, but it totally catches up with me. And then I have to do a cleanse or just start being stricter again.  (Like I have to do now because I have been slacking the last few weeks.) Being stricter means more celery juice, more juicing in general, more fruit, etc.

When I was feeling really bad a few years ago, it was easier to be strict because I was in pain. Discomfort or dis-ease has a way of keeping you on track, because all you want to do is feel better. And if eating better will help you feel better, you tend to stick to it.  One problem with trying to heal when you’re really not feeling well is that it’s hard to do all the prep work: chopping, blending, juicing, etc.  The juicing and everything else does take effort, and it’s really hard to motivate when you don’t feel well.  The motivation has to win out over the effort.  I’m not gonna lie, that was a difficult time.  It was already stressful because we were renovating our apartment and so we were living in a dingy, dark Airbnb for three of the many months it took to really start feeling better.  I didn’t have (couldn’t have) much of a social life during that time, and I had to find other ways to entertain myself.  The plus side was that I met lots of people online who were going through the same protocol, and who were also pretty desperate to heal.  Most of those people are still mostly on the program and have healed tremendously.

I’ll make another post tomorrow about more practical tips but for now (if you’re still reading) just remember this: you are worth it. You are worth looking after your health. Healing is possible. Glowing health is possible. It may be easier for some than others, but it’s possible. You’re genes aren’t faulty; you’ve just been getting the wrong information.  Bottom line: eating this way, living this way, is a radical act of self-love. Are you ready for that?