Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am grateful for so many things in my life today.  My health, my family and friends and all the wonderful things I am learning about health and nutrition today.
I have been eating very healthy – doing all of my nutrition smoothies and juicing and wheatgrass and Udo’s oil and supplements and eating veggies and green drink and drinking lots of purified water and the list goes on.  I feel wonderful when I eat this healthy!   Then Thanksgiving comes – Turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing (with sausage) Gravy  and OMG!  I splurged a bit – I made some roasted sweet poatatoes myself -they are loaded with nutrition and ant-oxidants.  I felt horrible after.  My stomach hurt and I was bloated.  I woke up the next day (today) not feeling too well. Kind of like a bad food hangover!  Amazing how sensitive my body is to “bad for me” foods when  havent been eating them very often.  The GOOD NEWS is I am back on track today and feeling better already!   I have discovered roasted veggies and they can be really delicious.   The more veggies -organic of course and the the bigger variety the better.  Here’s a picture of a recent roasted veggie meal I made – was so yummy!

Roasted Veggies

I added a liitle olive oil and seasoning – then broiled both sides.  Yams, red peppers, asparagas, zuchini, portabello mushrooms, tomatoes,  and i added some roasted acorn squash, lightly steamed spinach with lemon and freshh avocado to the meal.  Delicious and nutritious!  Also good on the grill.

AAAARRRRRGHHHH!    Just coming off THE WORST Lupus Flare Up I have had in over 10 years.   I was given a Medication by my regular Doc for Gout in my foot and my Rheumatologist said it caused some sort of reaction with my immune system or the MCTD  so – WOW!   I am glad I am on the mend.  The last 10 days were miserable!    Back on Prednisone for only a few weeks, off the gout Meds and doing so much better.  Really scared me though.  Makes you wonder -is it coming back? What is causing this? etc….    Back to strict healthy diet, juicing, fresh organic veggies and supplements for me.   do not want to go through that again!    It’s amazing when you’ve lived with some sort of Chronic Diseaes like Lupus, MCTD, Rheumatoid Arthritis etc….   How   feeling 60%   can FEEL GREAT!   and so many people in the world walk around with no physical ailments at 95%+ physically  and they are miserable.  Matter of Perspective I guess.  I am grateful that I can FEEL GREAT and be Happy even though my body is at 60%.   and when I hit 80%… LOOK OUT WORLD!   Here comes the Riderman!  LOl!

I am learning so much about nutrition.   Science is helping us understand more and more about what our bodies need to be healthy.   I have discovered a new acai juice product that is absolutely amazing.    There are over 1000  nutritional properties in Acai.   The juice I take is a patented flash frozen acai combined with many other healthful fruits.  Loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.   I’ve been drinking this juice for about a month now and it has made a major impact on me.  I have more sustained energy than ever.   It is amazing to me how how well our bodies do when given the proper nutrition on a consistent basis.     Email me if you want info on the juice product I am taking.  It tastes great too!

THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  For supporting my 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer and the Susan G Komen Philanthropic Trust.   Thanks to you I raised $2700, and Alex raised almost $6,000.   There were more than 2200 Walkers, and  400 volunteers,  this years walk raised  5.5 Million Dollars!   Since it’s inception, the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk has raised over  400 Million Dollars.

When asked if I met my goal, I passed on something I heard from another walker, “What, did they cure breast cancer?”    because that is the ultimate goal. I walked (hobbled much of the time) in honor of my sister Jill.  She is my hero.

I wanted to share a bit of the experience with you, my supporters.  Without you I would not have been allowed to walk, each walker is required to raise at least $2300 to participate.

Training for the walk had challenges itself.  It was difficult to make time to walk 3, 4 , 5 or 6 hours even once or twice a week, so we did much less walking than they recommend.   Back in early August I suffered what I thought was a stress fracture but turned out to be Gout  in my right foot on our longest training walk of 17.5 miles.   That pain nagged at me throughout the rest of the training and the 3 Day Event.  Then less than 2 weeks before the walk I severely sprained my ankle and was forced to stay off it as much as possible and ice as much as I could.   I was seriously questioning my ability to participate in the walk.

Anytime I experienced pain, I just kept thinking about Jill, and how my pain is nothing compared to the suffering she endured.  Thinking of Jill carried me through this experience, which, as it turns out, was meant to be.

A week before the walk, Alex and I received an email from one of the 3 Day Event Organizer’s, saying she saw our 1KpaperCranes.com website  and read about our reasons for walking.  She had been searching for 2 more people to fill the last 2 spots carrying Honor Flags at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. One was the “Sister” flag, and the other the “Father” flag.  Alex’s father had esophageal cancer and also has passed on.   She said it was a perfect fit.  We agreed and accepted the honor.

We awoke at 4:30 Friday a bit tired but ready to go.  My ankle felt pretty good and so did my foot.  I was excited for the experience ahead.   We proudly carried our flags at the opening ceremony then off we went.  So many people, so much PINK!   Mostly women, occasionally I’d see another guy sporting a “Real Men Wear PINK” shirt or a Pink ball cap. Me, I wore a T-Shirt that said “I LOVE (heart symbol) BOOBS!  With Support Breast Cancer Awareness underneath.  Any other context and I would have been crucified!

I met a gentleman at the opening ceremony, who was in his full fireman uniform, coat pants, helmet and all, over 40 pounds of gear.  His name was Tony Scoccolo, so I asked him if he knew Pat Scoccolo, who was a close friend of mine in Junior High and High School.  It was his cousin.  Tony’s Mom passed away from breast cancer last Sept. and he decided to do the walk in honor of her, and his Aunt, who is my friend Pat’s mom, and a breast cancer survivor.   Tony is a firefighter for the port of Seattle and when his firefighter buddies got word of the walk, they egged him on and challenged him and 4 others to do the entire walk in their full firefighter gear. They made bets and received larger donations to do the walk in full gear. And they did it!   At the end Tony said it was the hardest physical challenge of his life. I have to agree with that, and I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt!

Off we went, I felt pretty good when we arrived at the first pit stop at 3.1 miles into the first day. Then I stepped on the edge of the pavement where it turned to grass and I sprained my ankle AGAIN! I was so upset, it hurt so bad I actually cried. Alex said it was ok to stop, but I kept thinking about Jill and once again, no amount of pain can begin to compare to what she went through.  I hobbled to the medical tent and they taped my ankle up real good so it wouldn’t collapse again.  We started walking again, I was limping because of sharp pain shooting up my leg,  and developed a painful charlie horse in right butt cheek!   It was sooo freakin painful.   Day one was pretty miserable for me, I was in extreme pain the whole day. One step at a time, 8 hours later, we made it – 21.6 miles.

Wasn’t sure I’d make it back on Sat.   My friend Lonnie re-taped my ankle, and we showed up not sure what to expect.  Lots of stretching and I managed to do ok on Sat, but it was also very hot.  Alex and I were both exhausted. My muscles ached, I got sick,  shivers and sweats all night, it was crazy.  We did almost 44 miles the first two days so only 15+ miles was left on Sunday.  I felt better, my body had recovered somewhat, I had very little pain and honestly Sunday was a piece of cake.

When we signed up for the walk they don’t tell you where in the Puget Sound area you’ll be walking. The last 2 years they started in Tukwila, walked through  the eastside, camped at Marymoor park in Redmond and ended up at Seattle Center.  We found out a week or so before the walk we’d be starting at Shoreline Community College and walking to Everett Friday and Saturday, then Sunday would start around Green Lake, walk up Capitol Hill then end up at the Seattle Center.

The route Saturday  took us directly down Jill’s street and past her, Tim and Anna’s house in Everett. Later that day we passed the church where her memorial service was, and then we started up a walking trail and Alex said to me “is that a golf course over there to the left” I stopped in my tracks and responded something like “OH MY GOD! That is the  cemetery where Jill is buried.   It was a challenging experience both physically and emotionally.   When we passed the cemetery I was overheated, dehydrated and exhausted. I just broke down crying right there while walking along the trail.  Grief is a very powerful emotion, even years later. Ya think maybe I was meant to do this walk?

Alex is a trooper, she battled tendonitis in her Achilles for the past 2 months but she still kicked my sorry butt.  We finished the 60 mile trek together, hand in hand.   With all the challenges I experienced, I doubt I would have made it without her patience, love and encouragement.

I did a ½ Iron Triathlon Swim  (1.2 Miles) and Bike (56 miles) 2 years ago, and 2  – 100 mile+ century bike rides a year ago, they were nothing compared to walking 60 miles, over 3 days.  25 Hours of walking in all (including breaks)

During the walk we were in the presence of 2200 amazing people, all with a story. Some breast cancer survivors, just as Jill was when she did the 3 Day Walk during a remission 8 years ago.

My Parents Jack and Terri, Brother Mark, Sister Linda, Jill’s husband Tim and her Daughter Annelise all joined us at the closing ceremony.

I am grateful for the experience and look forward to doing it again next year, and every year after that as long as I am physically able, until a cure for breast cancer is discovered.  Thank you again for your support. Your money went to a great cause.  You’ll hear from me again next Summer,  I appreciate any and all contributions.  If anyone is interested in joining our 1000 Paper Cranes Team, shoot me an email, we’d love to have you with us.

With Love and Gratitude,

Dave

I have been working very hard the past couple months to take really good care of my health and try to get my body more alkaline.  From doing a 10 day juice cleanse, to colonics and eating mostly vegetarian.  I have eaten almost completely vegetarian the past 2 weeks, no meat or dairy.   I did have eggs one day and fish (salmon) another. I have excercised for at least an hour a day, mostly biking and walking.  One day I walked 10 miles and another I biked 50 miles.   I drink 100+ ounces of water a day and I’ve taken my shot of Udo’s Oil evry day along with my liquid Vitamins, green drink, glucosamine -chondroitin-MSM, and also wheatgrass juice every day.

Since I started testing my alkalinity I’ve never been under 7.0  which is barely alkaline. Today when I tested my alkalinity / acidity I was 6.0  which I didn’t even think was possible!   I am so excited that all my hard work is paying off.  I want to get my cholesterol checked again to see how low it is now.  My goal is to keep it under 150.

The key to alkalinity is eating a whole foods vegetarian diet with lots of whole grain fibre, fruits and vegetables.  Taking my greens, udo’s Oil and wheatgrass drinking lots of water and exercising helps as well.  I am in the best physical shape since I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Scleraderma) 10 years ago!  Get healthy – get alkaline!

Wow! I can’t believe a month has gone by since I’ve written a post on here!  Shame on me.  I’ll do better!  I am reading a great book, “The China Study”  by T. Colin Campbell PHD.   It is all about one of the  most comprehensive studies of Nutrition ever conducted.   The China Study confirms my beliefs about animal protein.

When I was first diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Scleraderma)   I was very active, jogging, hiking and working out at the gym every day. On the advice of a friend I was taking a high protein supplement shake and eating high amounts of protein every day.   I always felt that the high protein diet I was on had something to do with the onset of my disease.

The China Study just confirms my assumptions.  I remember when my parents tried “The Adkins Diet”  and I told them I thought it was an unhealthy diet.  Too much protein and fat.    It’s not healthy.   The China Study addresses animal protein and possible connections with Cancer, Heart Disease, cholesterol, fat intake and more.  It is a fascinating read if you are into healthy living.  It talks about a plant based whole foods diet being the answer. No Dairy, no meat or eggs, no fish, low fat.  Lots of fresh organic fruit and veggies is the way to go.

I still eat meat myself, but in moderation.  I do eat fish and eggs also, but again in moderation.   I’ve been eating either oatmeal or my fruit smoothie with soy milk in the mornings.  Lunch is usually a 6″ inch subway veggie sandwich on whole wheat with no cheese or I’ll make a green salad.   I had a veggie burger tonight and some asparagus for dinner, I also make a great veggie stir fry, veggie tacos and veggie wraps.  Last night I ate out with a friend and had the best Veggie Lasagna I’ve ever tasted. YUM!   Cheese, but again -moderation.  When you learn to cook good healthy food it makes all the difference.   I get plenty of protein from veggies, soy products  and the fish I eat.   We really don’t need that much protein, it’s more about getting the right combinations of amino acids form the protein we eat.   But the animal protein, there are detrimental effects on our health long term.   So eat more greens and cut down on animal protein.

I am 4 days into my juice cleanse.  So far so good, but I have to admit, it’s been really hard.  I do crave solid food, but I know it’s temporary and I just have to get through a few more days.   I make fresh juice myself with my juicer 3 times a day, organic apple, Carrot, beet and ginger.  Just a liitle beet and ginger.  Then I add my UltraInfamx by Metagenics,  which is a medical food designed to help give nutritional support to inflammatory conditions like Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I also drink different fresh juices throughout the day, like Bolthouse Veggie juice.   I also take a shot of udos oil and have been adding liquid vitamins to the Udos Oil.  I have been going to Jamba Juice and getting a double shot of Wheatgrass every day as well.   On Friday the 2nd day of my cleanse I went and did a colonic treatment.  I have 2 more treatments scheduled next week.  I have also been going to the gym and sitting in the steam room and sauna to help sweat out the toxins.   Four more days and I can eat solid foods again.

I am sharing my experience and thoughts but by no means am offering any expert advice –  just my experience.  You should consult your doctor before starting any type of juice cleanse or nutritional regimen.