Robin William’s death from suicide was announced the morning following my big brain meltdown. One of the dearest hearts and most amazing brains had come undone and the loss left me shaking my fist at the talking heads and the grieving friends and colleagues. It is not, I raged, that suicide needs to be viewed with compassion because it is an expression of mental illness. It is because, I screamed to my tiny little forum of two sisters, it is the final and fatal expression of a sick brain improperly treated by a medical community that just doesn’t get it. It is a brain disease – not a mental illness – and it will continue until we move beyond the psychotropic inadequacies of the pharmaceutical industry and re-connect our brains to our bodies and feed them. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Raw & Living Foods’ Category
I was 48 hours from the Grand Finale of our Summer Boot Camp – the rigorous Candida Cleanse Diet that had been the centerpiece of our summer experience. Yet I was anything but looking forward to the easing up of the very real discipline we’d adhered to for the last 90 days.
I was not eagerly anticipating what treat would cycle back into our restricted food lives; maybe Clare would approve apricots or peaches being added to our small daily portion of blueberries. Maybe we could really splurge with a gluten-free hard cider. Maybe we could go completely nuts and enjoy some bean soup! I wasn’t the least bit excited about swallowing fewer yeast-and-parasite-killing pills, drinking fewer than the requisite 7 cups of Red Clover and Pau d’Arco tea daily, or finally being able to whiten my tea-stained teeth. I wasn’t proud that each sister was down a clothing size, that we had adhered closely and successfully to a rigorous discipline, or collectively dropped some sixty pounds. Instead I was so deep into one of the scariest brain meltdowns I have ever experienced that all I could do was hold on to the walls of the pit I had fallen into and watch as my sisters reached deep down to pull me out.
I was in too much pain to pray for a remedy. So Clare reached out in my stead and requested prayers from facebook family and friends for “a very special intention” – ME. I finally had the good sense as Day 3 of the meltdown loomed ahead of me to crawl into a bed, do my umpteenth round of self-healing Reiki and surrender – while Clare’s prayer warriors prayed for her “special intention” who BTW was feeling anything but special. Unlike my slimmer, healthier, happier sisters, all I could think was that the cleanse had wrecked me. Despite my absolute best efforts, I had failed boot camp. (more…)
By Mary Duggan
BOOT ‘EM TO THE CURB CAMP is our top priority this summer. How about you? Would you like to join in? Have you considered the possibility that parasites might be the cause of your appetite and bloating? Are you consistently feeding more than just you? Do you have an actual diagnosis of an auto-immune disorder that is leaving you feeling exhausted, in pain, infertile and afraid of a dismal future? Is Candida Albicans rearing its ugly head – AGAIN!? Didn’t we all clear that years ago? Is inflammatory “itis” of any and every variety (colitis, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, etc.) leaving you feeling old and more and more limited in what you have the energy to do? Welcome to the club and join in on the fun. (more…)
By Mary Duggan
Here is what thousands and thousands of dollars gets you.
An empty 10′ x 10′ space that’s your biggest and best chance to get your story told. To make your mark and hold your own. To capture the imagination and dollars of shopkeepers and distributors and media from all over the world. You and the other 3,000 exhibitors at the Natural Products EXPO, that is. The Duggan Sisters got notified AT THE VERY LAST MOMENT that this very special corner space in the Health and Beauty section was available; but there were only 5 days to prepare and meet the absolute final shipping date. (more…)
By Mary Duggan
It’s days before my big birthday and I would rather be otherwise occupied than explaining a recent blog. But okay, let’s try this again. And I will leave out the elegant metaphor or was it an analogy? Whatever it was, I still think it was spot on (as everyone seems to be saying lately) if we are ever going to figure out what keeps people from reclaiming their precious health.
The point I was trying to make is this: did anyone involved in your medical care make clear to you that you have choices? Did anyone say there are two ways to look at your __________? Here you have to insert the type of auto-immune disease you have been diagnosed with because there are so many. A big part of the conversation is why so many and a big part of the answer is the inflammation that links these conditions. But first, about choices.
I know in my case the docs made clear there were no real options or choices. I have found in years of discussions with other folks suffering from these myriad disorders that they were not presented choices either. And there’s the rub. Okay? Sorry but I will not allow you to take away my English Literature degree altogether. And I will argue with you that having a choice in the manner of your medical care is such a gift. Many medical maladies are permanent and irreversible and tragic – autoimmune disease isn’t. (more…)
By Mary Duggan
Why do folks fall in love with their diseases? I just don’t get it. The minute someone tells me that they have MS or RA or Lupus or Fibromyalgia, and the list goes on from there, I can hear it in their voice. That immediate embracing of victim energy. This fell from the sky and it landed on me. I am not lucky. My mother had it. I have learned to live with it. My doctor says, my doctor says, my doctor says seems to be the primary mantra that keeps them down for the count and deeply invested in their disease.
When folks with any sort of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Krohn’s Disease say my doctor told me that what I eat will make no difference at all I actually want to scream. On and on it goes and I need an alternative to screaming. What is it with us human beings that we surrender so quickly and fully to our diagnosis of disease? Why do we fall in love (more…)
It is raining torrents. The back yard is flooded and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the rhododendron and astillbe the girls transplanted on Sunday does not float away. It’s praying time again: Lord, please keep the roof intact for one last Spring and I promise you we will find a way to replace it. Yep, it’s April in Chicago, the sky is dark green and threatening, temps are dropping fast, and I want cooked food. Here ‘s what Annie served instead.
Walnut Pate from a Jenny Cornbleet recipe that tasted, I swear, like meat. I kept taking small bites and saying, wait, WHAT is the taste here? (more…)
EXPOsé: part 4 of 4
By Mary Duggan
There is an energy particular to the final day of any large fair or expo. In some ways it is a little slower, as some attendees have already left town. But the wrapping up loose ends, making trades, swapping wares energy required to bring it on home is actually it’s own kind of stress. At EXPO it involved talking with people who had spent big bucks and traveled far to be there and needed to maximize their investment. Kind of like us. So the last day continued with the intensity of the first two right down to the very last minute, when the lights are promptly and decisively shut off to encourage registrants to vacate the premises.
The last day is also about (more…)
By Mary Duggan
Leaving Chicago I was aware of the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In; but I never imagined the kerfluffle that would ensue. I missed most of it as EXPO held my full attention the week of the book’s launch. Steadily working my way through the week-tall stack of newspapers that awaited my return I got a sense of the debate. That and seeing the author when I turned on the TV to see what Katie and Piers were up to. My favorite moment in the debate was reading a guest writer for the Chicago Tribune who identified herself as someone who had not read the book but wanted to criticize it anyways. Okay. She seemed to find more value in watching the HBO series GIRLS. Really? If you can’t Lean In enough to actually read the book in question, then maybe get out, right?
I am taken with the synchronicity popping up here between the COO of Facebook and the Duggan Sisters – please don’t laugh. As I struggled (more…)
By Mary Duggan
This blog is dedicated to everyone who has ever said, “All the crazy people and ideas come from California.”
I am writing this from my home in Chicago, on March 20th, and it is 27 degrees outside with a wind chill of 9 degrees and it is almost Easter.
I am frugal and minimalist by nature, but I own: tall Dutch recycled boots, medium boots with a fur lining for trudging in snow, UGGs for light weight wear, low boots for warmth but no snow, 2 pairs of spring rain boots, one fancy, one more garden style, a stylish designer light-weight down jacket, an ugly red LL Bean super heavy weight down jacket for big storms, a middle weight down jacket with a fur trimmed collar for dashing from the mall to the car when I am out shopping for sweaters and long underwear and a simple black wool coat. My long underwear collection fills half a drawer. My collection of hats, scarves, and gloves fills an entire dresser drawer and then some.
Last night the dog was edgy and upset at 5:30 AM, so I volunteered to take him out for a walk to give Clare a rare break from dog responsibilities. When I got home she was on the front porch in her robe throwing salt down the stairwell so the Pomeranian and I could get back in the house as an ice storm had blown up in the half hour we were out dealing with Chester’s loose bowels and the front porch and steps had become a sheet of ice.
I repeat, “All the crazy people live in California???”
Leaving home to attend our first Natural Products EXPO West involved pulling an all-nighter and then arriving at the airport at 5 am where the TSA agent promptly seized (more…)