Friday, November 26, 2010

Fats, Good and Bad

Fat is a topic that most Americans misunderstand completely, and for good reason. The misinformation about fat is abundant. The bulk of the information readily available to the masses is misleading and incorrect. It is hardly any wonder why we have so much obesity and other fat related diseases, let alone a national health crisis. Americans think that they are following current medical standards for healthy eating to avoid diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, by eating margarine instead of butter. That’s “common knowledge” in our society, marketed to you as truth all day long, and it’s also completely wrong.

Advertising says if you want to lose weight, eat low fat food, or avoid fat altogether. Fat is touted as one of the biggest evils in food, especially saturated fat from animals. The hook is that most of those “low-fat” foods have been stripped of healthy fats, processed into less nutritious but prettily packaged fake food with a fancy label, and they actually make you want to eat more because you have just malnourished yourself with hollow (nutritionless) calories. It doesn’t matter how much they fortify the food because that “nutrition” isn’t readily absorbable. Do you know what happens when the body is deprived of fat? Dysfunction, disease, and ultimately death will be your rewards for avoiding fat. Fat-free diets are an absolute, sure route to failure of health.

Let’s say you followed the “advice” out there about only consuming lean meats and avoiding fats in general. Want to know what the outcome is? As demonstrated by early Arctic explorers, you die. It’s known as the “rabbit starvation” diet. Because fats are a critical part of digestion and peristalsis (along with every other function in your body,) your system shuts down because it doesn’t have the proper fuel to run on. Without fat you will still starve to death from malnutrition. But don’t worry- you will go crazy with mental illness before you die because your brain is comprised of about 60% fat. Everything else in your diet could be great, but without the proper fats, it’s meaningless to your body and your brain. Every cell in your body is literally dependent on and composed of fat. You must eat good fat for life.

Unfortunately, we Americans have devised ways to destroy perfectly good fats and still market them as healthy. We like to uphold fake foods as our brilliant human achievement over nature, but we are also very proud of extending shelf life by destroying the nutrition in food. As if it’s better to have disease causing foods that you can consume with just as many non-health benefits tomorrow as today than to have healthy food that perishes!

Trans fats are bad for you in any quantity, whereas you must over-consume saturated fats before they are a problem. Trans fats are man made through heavy processing and do not exist without our manufacture. They interfere with our bodies’ ability to use the good fats, getting in the way without providing the services our bodies need from the good fats. They are useless calories that actually detract from nutrition, health and well-being. Trans fats weaken our cell walls, which are made of fat, and allow all kinds of things in that don’t belong in healthy cells. We are then left with guaranteed disease. Trans fats are a form of health indebtedness, and a good way to wound your self if not outright commit suicide. There is no medical doubt that what they do is inflict harm upon the body. Every time you choose to eat trans fats, you are choosing ill health. Trans fats block normal biochemistry, disrupt electrical circuitry, and inhibit enzyme function for the body’s normal synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. (Cholesterol is another substance largely misunderstood by Americans at large, and another nutritional component that you will die without.) Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, shortenings and margarines are all trans fats.

You have to be a conscientious consumer through and through. It’s not just the real, raw food that contains naturally good fats, but also how that food is “minimally” processed that affects the quality of the fats. Extracting oils from plants using heat creates lower quality fats with negative health reactions. For instance, refined corn, sunflower and safflower oils all contribute to cancer because they lower HDL. Generally, you want to find organic, unrefined, cold pressed oils for the best health results. Oils go rancid quickly because they are a perishable food. Once oil is rancid it is also poisonous. Rancid oils add to free radical cell damage, interrupt normal metabolism, and contribute to mental cloudiness. Store all your oils in the fridge to help prevent rancidity and replace them after a couple of months. Look for expiration dates and shorten them on your own, or better yet, purchase oils directly from the farms where the food was grown for the most nutritious freshness.

After purchase, then comes home operator handling. Cooking is also heating. Heating your oils not only destroys all the nutritional benefits (the wonderful Vitamin E in Grape seed oil, for example, gets lost through cooking) but also creates the exact kinds of fats that will harm you. Heat causes oxidization of oil fats, quickly turning them into bad for you fats. If your oil wasn’t rancid out of age or refinement, you will make it rancid by incorrectly cooking it. Olive oil is great for you, but ONLY if you treat it correctly. Not only is it the most well advertised fat as good for you, it is the easiest to destroy with heat. Always cook over the lowest heat possible. Never cook anything higher than medium heat, and make your preference low or medium low heat. The lower the heat, the longer the cook time. If your fats are smoking, you are creating toxins through oxidization, and your heat is too high. Don’t deep fry- ever. Don’t brown, especially not to a crisp! Frying foods in vegetable oils such as corn or soy or safflower creates HNE, a toxic compound linked to atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and liver disease. Oxidized fats cause stunted growth, hair loss, skin lesions, emaciation, anorexia, diarrhea, and intestinal hemorrhaging. It is best to add oils to your foods after cooking, removing foods from the heat source first, or just consume them “cold.” Use only a tablespoon or less of oil to cook with. Preferably, cook with coconut, then sesame, and then olive oil. Mix oils for cooking with half butter.

Butter not only has good for you fats, it also has nutritional values like Vitamins A and D along with cancer fighting butyric acid. (If casein is a problem, use ghee, which is clarified butter.) Butter is always safer to cook with than any oil. When in doubt, just cook with lard. Lard is the most stable fat for cooking with the most health benefits for your body. Saturated fats are good for you in the right amounts. It is better to cook with animal fats than oils because animal fats do not transform into bad fats from oxidation as easily or quickly as those from vegetables.

A word of caution about choosing your animal fats for consumption- IF the animal has had a toxic life, then that toxicity will be passed onto you. Toxins are stored in fat, including hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals forced onto the animals by industrial farming techniques. You must look for organic sources. And please, if you’re going to eat butter with salt added, make sure there is no flow agent used because that is also a toxin. In other words, it’s only the things that man does to the animal that make the animal fats bad for you, whereas healthy animals have fats that are good for you.

This kind of accurate health information shouldn’t be so hard to find. Every American should have access to health knowledge readily, without having to become a specialist in the field. I really wish that our national health would be more important than the profits of large companies that are “too big to fail.” Profits made by selling you products with false claims and deleterious health effects. You pay once for the product with money, then again for the choice with your illnesses from consumption- illnesses that in turn create lots of financial problems for the individual, his/her family, and our entire nation. Personally, I can’t believe it’s still legal to sell margarine, let alone advertise it as healthy. But hey, let’s keep making fake food, tainting our real food with poisons and nurturing our national health crisis through massive mis-education while blaming animal fat as the problem. I’m so glad we have our national priorities in order.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Apple Pineapple Pumpkin Bake


1 medium sugar pie pumpkin

2 Granny Smith apples

1 cup of pineapple

½ cup raisins

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup honey

½ stick butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice


Large glass baking dish or bowl

Cutting board, large knife and paring knife

Scrub brush

Apple peeler

Dry measuring cups and spoons

Butter knife

Dinner fork



Citrus reamer and 2 small glass bowls


* Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

*Wash pumpkin with brush, cut off top and set aside, deseed. Place pumpkin in a large glass baking bowl or dish for cooking, just in case in ruptures.

*Peel and cut apples and pineapple into cubes. Cut butter into slices. Mince ginger and mix with spices and salt.

*Fill pumpkin three quarters of the way to the top with fruit, nuts, raisins, sliced butter, spices, lemon juice and honey.

*Replace top on pumpkin and bake for an hour to three, or until you can pierce the top with a fork and spoon out the flesh, or it caves in! It will be a toasty brown on the outside. Cooking time varies depending on the cavity size and wall thickness of your pumpkin.

*Serve in the pumpkin (do not try to transfer from your baking dish) as a table centerpiece. Scoop out pumpkin flesh and fruit filling into bowls.

Tips: Choosing a redder colored pumpkin is best, and sugar pie pumpkins are smaller than the ones you get for carving. Wash and dry your pumpkin seeds overnight to bake tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Liminal Land Love, Endurance, and Transience

While I am not quite “well” yet, I am most certainly no longer deathly ill. This is quite the transition. It’s a miraculous milestone to realize- to occupy this new space with awareness of my experience. I’m kind of amazed at what ground I have traversed, and the things that I have accomplished through sheer discipline and devotion. My hyper-vigilance has waned significantly as it is no longer necessary. What was once unknown and difficult is now habit and as familiar as the back of my hand. I am actually looking forward, with excitement instead of anxiety!

In fact, I have moved from the space of “I could die at any moment. Please don’t let this heart palpitation episode turn into the heart attack that kills me. Please don’t let me get so delirious and dehydrated that I can’t get out of bed to the bathroom. Please let the food stay down, without my body shutting down. Please let this food be the stuff that actually feeds me. Please don’t let me lose yet another pound. Please give me the courage to keep at the regime, no matter how I feel. Please let me be pleasant enough to the outside world that I can handle some topic of conversation that doesn’t involve me staying alive, my disease and disability. Please…” to a space of “Oh yeah, I used to double over in agonizing pain after eating, while my body temperature plummeted, my headache doubled, my heart raced, I felt like vomiting or passing out and hoping not to do both at the same time. Oh yeah, I used to feel fatigued all the time. Oh yeah, I used to feel run over by a Mack truck everyday, all the time. Oh yeah, my naked body was so disgustingly gaunt that it made others gasp and draw back in horror. Oh yeah, I used to think only about my grief and loss from not experiencing what other people take for granted. Oh yeah, I spent years focused on sleeping, eating, and eliminating without much hope for any other kind of existence. Oh yeah, headaches are now infrequent and foreign experiences instead of constant and layered. Oh yeah…” and it is AWESOME!!! Alleluia!!!

I have not arrived. But, I am not so sick anymore! While I am no longer certain that I cannot do anything I wish at all, I am still not so certain about what I can do. This is a wonderfully odd place to be. There is possibility, potential, where once there was little to none. I am beginning to really believe that I might have the chance to realize health and well being in my very near future. I am beginning to taste what is on my horizon: social interaction, community contributions, and most of all, moments without any fear about food.

The quantity of my present life is less in question now, and I can think about the quality of my future. This is huge! If you’ve never spent a significant amount of time on the verge of death, with extended experiences of extreme conditions and modified behavior mandates, then you are clueless to this trauma. The relief from the fear of immanent death fortunately receded a couple of years ago, but it has taken me another two years to gain the perspective of “I am living, not just surviving.”

Four years of fanaticism to my personal, limited version of SCDiet has been very rewarding! The pay off for my adherence to the ultimate scientific experiment of my life is having a life, one that I might soon again use to do something that I want. I might soon be able to choose some things that are significant directors of life experience. Let me rephrase that; I might soon be able to choose from something more than evil and lesser evil. I might soon be able to actualize my desired career instead of thinking it is a dream that I have no right to think about, let alone do. I might soon…

In Vivo Gastronome will always be my identity, no matter what other experiences I ever get to undertake, because it is the only way for me to have a good life. That identity is no longer liminal, and I no longer desire it to be temporary. It serves me too well to abandon. It is the only responsible choice, and it is a choice. I used to think that I would leave it by the wayside as soon as I had the option. Now, I don’t think I could ever be that irreverent, disrespectful, apathetic, indifferent, or neglectful of my self and well-being ever again. It is sometimes surprising what ends up being the thing you take with you and what you choose to lose for the better along the way. I love this identity now, because it’s the one that nourished me back to life, the one that saved me. How could I hate it now???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Choosing the best starter for your yogurt/crème bulgare

Not all yogurts are created with equal microbial benefits. This is why it is so important to make your own at home, where you can be in total control of the desired culture. Only you can make superior yogurt!

I am totally against using any kind of commercial yogurt as starter for SCDiet yogurt or crème bulgare. Why?

Foremost, because it is impossible to know what strains of microbes they have growing in there. Not only are the desired strains more than likely lacking altogether, it is too probable that it contains undesirable microbes for this food regimen. Introducing undesirable strains will only complicate and delay healing, if not result in serious setbacks. Lots of strains will cause fermentation, but it takes living L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus to provide proven benefits for human health. Without those two microbes, it may be fermented milk, but it isn’t technically yogurt at all. Talk about misleading labeling!!!

As there is no regulation on yogurt production, they can do just about anything to the “food,” along with labeling it yogurt when in fact that is biologically inaccurate. Many producers repasteurize the yogurt after fermentation, which destroys the culture, “good” and “bad.” Some makers use manipulated microbes to reduce production time, which gives the impression of good yogurt in flavor and consistency but has none of the beneficial microbial properties. Many use the wrong temperatures for cultivating the desired microbes, so even if they started with the right culture they killed it by overheating. They are mostly selling fake yogurt because it is cheaper to produce and more profitable for their company. Buyers beware!

I choose to inoculate my half and half (I prefer crème bulgare or French cream over yogurt, which uses milk) with Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus because I have observed they have the most notable positive effects on my health. I am not alone!

I have found a product that I find reliable, readily available, and microbial specific made by Lyo-San Inc. It is their “Yogourmet freeze-dried yogurt starter & crème bulgare starter.” It contains only and all three desired microbes. You can buy it from, Lucy’s Kitchen Shop, and Whole Foods. Make sure not to confuse it with their other starter products, which contain strains not desired for SCDiet.

Please store the starter in your refrigerator.

I have a post on how to make your own yogurt/crème bulgare including a recipe and video. Search my blog under resources for quick links to the yogurt maker and dimmer switch for temperature modification from

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What, exactly, do I eat?

It would be so much easier if I could just list foods for what I can eat. But, my reality is that WHAT I can eat must also be qualified by HOW that food is raised and prepared. When I first started SCDiet, everything needed to be well cooked, skinned, and deseeded. Slowly, I was able to leave the skins on, tolerate smaller seeds, and move from well cooked to steamed to raw for fruits and vegetables. My list was limited to beef, chicken, and a few veggies and fruits to begin with and it slowly grew. You will see that many foods legal on SCDiet and GAPS are not on my list of yes foods. That is because I do not tolerate all foods allowed on these diets. I have needed to modify the legal lists to meet my personal needs. Sometimes as needed, my list gets shorter as I eliminate peanut butter, cheeses, fruit, and honey. As time goes by, my list has grown longer overall and will continue to do so as I heal.

Meats are critical to my diet. I try to always buy organic meats from sustainable farms because it is the best for my health. I generally still cook most of my meats to well done as a precaution against unwanted microbes. While I couldn’t tolerate much animal fat to begin with, I am now digesting it well so I eat more of it. I prefer to broil or bake my meats, but I will sometimes use a cast iron pan. I only consume fresh or frozen meats, with the exception being fish. I will sometimes use fish that has been canned in oil or water.



chicken & eggs





I mostly just use butter to cook with because it is my favorite flavor. It is best to cook all foods with medium heat or less. Your oils and fats should never smoke. If they do, you are burning them and destroying the good fatty acid chain and its beneficial properties. Don’t deep fry foods, ever. Don’t brown, especially not to a crisp! Use only a tablespoon or less of oil to cook with. Mix oils for cooking with half butter. I prefer to add oils to foods after they have been cooked and removed from the heat source to maximize their benefits and taste. Oils go rancid quickly. They are a perishable food. Once oil is rancid it is also poisonous. Rancid oils add to free radical cell damage, interrupt normal metabolism, and contribute to mental cloudiness. I keep my oils in the fridge to prevent early rancidity. I buy virgin, organic and cold pressed oils. They are listed here in order of heat sensitivity, olive oil as most sensitive.


coconut oil

butter (if salted then without flow agent)

sesame oil

olive oil

The dairy that I do best with is the dairy that I culture myself. I make my own French cream, which I can then use to make cream cheese, ice cream, and smoothies. I eat my French cream routinely, and do best when I have it daily. I have a blog post and video about how to make my French cream.

cream cheese

French cream

ice cream


Theses are the cheeses that I tolerate best, but I only eat them infrequently and in small amounts. Every cheese has a microbial culture. I couldn’t tolerate cheddar to begin with, but now it suits me quite well. I eat cheese as a treat, not a staple of my diet.




dry curd cottage






port du salut


Really, I should only drink water or stock soup. In reality, I drink coffee, despite how bad caffeine is as a drug for everyone. I have found that espresso drinks and French press coffee are the things I tolerate best. Evidently, processing coffee through a paper filter takes out the natural digestive enzymes, which causes everyone to get “gut rot” from drinking too much. Americano is my favorite espresso drink because it has robust flavor and is diluted with water. It is the one food item I consume out at the preparation of another person’s hand.

water, distilled

chicken or bone marrow stock

French cream smoothies (I tend to think of them more as food than beverage)

coffee, French press or espresso

These just don’t fit nicely into other categories, but are also things I use routinely.

baking soda

honey (raw, local, wildflower)

unflavored gelatin

Celtic sea salt

Fresh is always best, then frozen organic vegetables. I like to buy heirloom varieties whenever I can. I needed to cook veggies to the point of being soft at first, skinned and deseeded. Then I was able to leave the skins on and tolerate veggies still cooked but somewhat hard, such as steaming. I eventually progressed to tolerating them raw, and I try to choose younger vegetables that have smaller seeds so that I can eat them.




brussel sprouts








green beans (really a legume, but treat as veggie)





peppers (red, green, yellow)


squash (summer and winter)

I buy dried legumes which I then rinse in water before I soak them in new water for 12 hours. I then drain and rinse them again before cooking in fresh water. This is to remove the bulk of the starches.


lima beans (also frozen)

split peas

white(navy) beans

Peanuts are not really a nut, despite their misleading name. They are a legume. I do not tolerate nuts, but I do tolerate peanut butter and use it frequently.

peanuts- roasted in shell

peanut butter-only salt added

I buy organic fruit fresh, frozen, or dried without additives or preservatives. Sometimes I need to avoid just fruits high in citric acid, which I always must eat in small amounts. Other times, I avoid fruits altogether. I eat my fruits with some kind of fats if at all possible. I do not eat fruit by itself, and I never drink juice. I eat the whole fruit for maximum nutrition. As soon as I started tolerating skins, I left them on because the most dense concentration of nutrients are just beneath the skin.




bananas (wait until well ripened with spots and no green left)



dates (loose California)













pineapple (not raw)



raisins (dark)




I buy only single ingredient herbs and spices to season my food, either fresh or dried. I make my own mixed seasonings which I store in small glass jars, clearly labled and dated. If they clump, I just give them a tap while the lid is still on.


bay leaves


chili pepper




cinnamon (only small amounts and infrequently)






lemon thyme










Friday, July 23, 2010

Tips for Traveling on Special Food Diets

1) Use the list serves to connect with people on SCDiet who live in the area you will be visiting.

2) Google for familiar food resources close to where you will be staying.

3) Stay in a place with at least a fridge and microwave so that you can keep and heat your own meals.

4) If you stay at a bed and breakfast, call in advance to ask if you can keep some food items in their fridge and if the chef will observe cross contamination rules in the kitchen.

5) Plan out all of your meals in advance, precook and freeze them. Take all of your food with you, or ship it to your destination.

6) If you are flying, investigate whether shipping will be cheaper than checking frozen food sealed in Styrofoam.

7) If you are flying, call the airline and ask about all protocol for bringing food with you, especially if you will need to eat in flight. In most cases, you will need a doctor’s letter and you will need to allow for extra time through security.

8) If you have medication or supplements that need to be kept cool, make sure that you have the right items to ensure their stability in transit. Dry ice, special freezer packs, and insulated containers may all be used.

9) If you need to eat out, do so at more expensive restaurants where you can speak with the chef, produce is fresh and not out of cans, and many menu items will be from local farmers.

10) If you stay in a hotel or bed and breakfast, and need to ship food, make sure to inform them that you will be expecting a package.

11) If you stay at a bed and breakfast, call in advance to ask if you might have access to the kitchen to do some minor cooking yourself.

12) Make sure that you plan for snacks as well as meals.

13) Always make sure to bring an extra full day’s worth of food, just in case, especially if where you will be staying is remote to resources.

14) Many hotels have suites with kitchens if you need to cook.

15) If you will have access to a kitchen and can cook at your destination, but you will not have access to food resources, you can bring or ship raw frozen foods to be prepared instead of precooking everything.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce Recipe and How-To Video

Meatballs with Tomato Sauce


2 pounds ground beef

2 eggs

3 large white onions

head of garlic

fresh parsley

2 tablespoons oregano

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons each thyme, basil, marjoram

1 tablespoon course Celtic sea salt

1 tablespoon fine ground Celtic sea salt

ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

tomato soup (homemade by AD recipe)

4 tablespoons butter

red and green bell peppers, and hot peppers deseeded: cayenne, jalapeño, hot banana suggested for color

Muenster and or Parmesan cheese


Large cast iron pans

2 spatulas

set of 3 mixing bowls

2 small bowls for spices

large and small knife



large and small cutting boards

large covered baking dish


* Mix spices for meatballs: 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon each ground cumin, fresh parsley, hot peppers, diced garlic and fine ground Celtic sea salt, 1 teaspoon each thyme, basil, marjoram, ground black pepper, oregano. Stir with fork.

* Mix spices for tomato sauce: 1+ tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, hot peppers, and course Celtic sea salt, 1 teaspoon each thyme, basil, marjoram, ground black pepper. Stir with fork.

* Chop hot peppers after deseeding.
* Dice head of garlic.
* Preheat cast iron pan for sauce with 3 tablespoons of butter over medium low heat.
* Chop onion.
* Sautee onion and garlic until translucent. Remember to stir occasionally.
* Chop red and green bell pepper. Add a handful to beef in large mixing bowl and place the rest in medium mixing bowl for sauce.
* Preheat cast iron pan with one tablespoon of butter for meatballs.
* Add 3 large eggs to meatball mixture after whisking with spices in small mixing bowl.
* Mix meatballs with both hands until well blended and roll into palm sized balls.
* Place meatballs into hot pan covering only half so that you have room to roll them around as they cook.
* Brown the meatballs on all sides before transferring them into the baking pot.
* Add premade tomato soup to onions and garlic. Stir and add in spices, stirring again.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Once all the meatballs are browned, add bell peppers into sauce and stir.
* After the sauce mixture comes to a boil again with peppers, ladle sauce into baking pot.
* Bake for 30-45 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes before serving.

* Serve over spaghetti squash with shredded cheese on top.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Make Your Own Resources and Keep Them Handy:

1) Premix your own herbs and spices. Keep your favorite concoctions in small glass jars, either recycled from single spices or purchased just for this use.

2) Always keep chicken stock in your freezer in single serving amounts, as well as small amounts for recipes by using ice cube trays. You can store the cubes in a bag after they are frozen. The times when you really need chicken stock are usually the times when you will least feel like cooking.

3) Keep organic, frozen, bagged vegetables in your freezer at all times. This can be a real time saver when you have none to spare, and frozen veggies have more nutrition than other forms, such as canned. They are the best option next to fresh.

4) Every time you cook a meal, make at least one extra serving to freeze so that when you don’t feel like cooking, you don’t have to!

5) Grate your cheeses and keep them in bags in the fridge. Mix and match different blends for more robust tastes.

6) Wash your herbs and store in the fridge wrapped in a moist paper towel at the base. Ready to use on a moments notice for your favorite flavors.

7) Blanch and freeze vegetables when they are in season. They will have the most nutrients and will feel luxurious out of season. They can also be staples of your diet that you cannot find already frozen.

8) Make lists of your favorite dishes along with recipes you’ve always wanted to try. When you are too tired to think, go with a favorite from the list that you can make with your eyes closed. When you get bored and have the energy to explore, pick a new recipe!

Friday, January 29, 2010

From Tennessee to Texas in Search of Support

Well, Nashville turned out to be a truncated experience living in Tennessee. While the weather was indeed warmer than Minnesota, with a beautiful environment and nice people, it was just not the right place for me culturally. So, on to Texas! I have moved to Austin. Climate AND culture allured me to this place.

Actually, this is the place where I have wanted to live since 2006 and I am very pleased to have finally arrived- for real this time. I was here for all of three weeks in ‘06 before having to return to Minnesota to work on my health with the only doctor I trusted. The road has been long, and at times very depressing and unpleasant. I can’t count how many times I have looked around and thought, “What am I doing here?” Sometimes that question can only be answered in hindsight after moving on ahead a ways.

This city has the kind of support and resources that I need: arts, music, film, health, and international culture. I am finding many people here who are cooperative in personality with a firm belief in paying it forward. Austinites are well educated, liberal, and progressive. I have already found several groups to be a part of, including SCDiet support.

I cannot overstate the importance of support, especially when a person is struggling for any reason. We all need support, and it is positively correlated with success. What does that mean? The more support a person has, the more likely they are to succeed. The support of one person can make a difference, especially if it comes with real understanding, the kind that comes with personal experience. It is good to share similarities and to respectfully tease out differences.

I don’t know about you, but support is not usually forthcoming from most people when it comes to my diet. More often than not, the response I get is, “that’s too hard! I could never do that!” When so many people put my eating lifestyle “down,” it is easy to start thinking like they do under the peer pressure. “Maybe it won’t be so bad if I just have a taste, and it would make my life so much easier…” WRONG!!! It hurts me like no one else gets unless they have experienced my level of disease. Now I know, without any doubt through repetitive testing, just say NO! Disease is challenging, special diets are challenging, and it doesn’t help to have individuals constantly challenging what helps me to heal on top of it all. I let those comments roll off now because I know it’s not too hard. I’m doing it, and it gets more rewarding every day. It’s more important to find other people who are doing it, too, and to find out how they are making it happen for themselves.

What works for me may not work for you. In fact, it probably won’t. It is estimated that each person has around 500 or so microbes as part of their very own cultural make-up, and we’re all slightly different due to our different contacts and occupation of space. We share some strains that are the most common in humans, but like snowflakes no two of us is exactly alike. Unfortunately, we all suffer from being alone in a sea of people because each of us is unique, just like everybody else. Yes, as individuals we feel the pang of separation from the group, which gives us a collective experience. Esoteric? Yeah. I wish it could be easier to find one’s way in life, but golly-gosh almighty! My way sure has proven to be a doozy several times over. I keep having to readjust my culture, inside and out, constantly re-culturing myself in search of the perfect balance for me. And yeah, not everybody can move to Austin, or would want to, and I am seeking employment so that I can stay here…

Remember, it is only a small space to make nowhere now here. Sometimes, life happens in a rather round-a-bout way. However, I am nothing if not perseverant, persistent, determined, tenacious, or otherwise stubborn. If at first you do not succeed, tend to the wounds with loving care and then try again, a little different!

Trying new things, and old things in different ways, can bring what is desired into reality. One of the things that my doctor told me when I was having so many challenges was, “The better we get your health, the better decisions you will make.” I just kind of looked at him, with my head cocked to one side and eyebrow raised like a curious dog, attempting to comprehend this notion. He was ever so right on, and I’m beyond glad that I trusted him and believed what he was saying. Just trying SCDiet not only improved the quality of my life, it saved my life. I have no doubt that I would be dead if not for the diet, and for my doctor. But, I had to be the one willing to try and forge ahead into the unknown, even if that meant backtracking to MN for a few years of drudgery. Fall down 7 and get up 8, according to Confucius. All that matters is that I keep getting up, I keep trying, and one day I will get it “right.” Almost four years later, here I am, now here in Austin!