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Ayla's Story: One Woman's Journey to Skip Brain Surgery And Reverse A Condition With No Documented Cure

Ayla's Story

Ayla Posted This In The Summer of 2013

It has taken me many months to have the courage to make this public, but I feel like a tremendous part of my healing already has come from the love and support from the people around me.

In August, I was diagnosed with an Angioma in my left temporal lobe in my brain which my mainstream doctors are telling me needs to be removed with surgery in the next few months. I discovered this because I have been having pretty foggy thinking for about a year and half and my intuition kept telling me something was bigger was going on and so I asked to get an MRI.

As of now, I am scheduled for brain surgery in late March of 2014 because if the angioma is left much longer, I could start having some much more serious symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Deodorant…Why?

Best Natural Deodorant

If a friend had information that could benefit you, and they didn’t tell you, wouldn’t you be a bit miffed? Well, here’s my information, tested daily by Mac and myself, for over a year, in all conditions, before telling you. As I became conscious of the many chemicals bombarding us in our skin care products, I started paying attention to deodorants and antiperspirants. Boy, did I learn a lot. For those who don’t want to read more, the information is that Bragg Brand Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) makes the best deodorant. In the photo, you will see I keep mine in a Fido jar.

10 Tips for Successfully Switching to a Plant Based-Whole Foods Diet

10 Tips for Successfully Switching to a Plant Based-Whole Foods Diet

Creating permanent dietary changes can be challenging. Transition fluently with my Top 10 Tips!

1.   Set a goal:

What is your purpose for changing your diet? Are you seeking a more balanced lifestyle in order to achieve optimum health? Do you want to lose weight or have more energy? Maybe you want to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure. Create a wellness goal. Choose your level of intensity. Would you like to start by reducing the amount of meals from a box or package and start cooking home-made meals? Or would you rather kick-start with a detox cleanse by going all raw & vegan for a couple weeks? Or maybe you’re interested in transitioning gradually, starting with a green smoothie or oatmeal with fruit for breakfast. However you choose to do it, create your goal on paper and commit. Look over your goals daily to remind yourself!

2.   Start Fresh:

Go through the food pantry and refrigerator. Clear out anything that you wish to eliminate from your diet. It will help to get rid of this type of food so you won’t have temptations as you transition. If you live with others who are not changing their diet, create and dedicate a shelf just for you to fill with delicious plant based foods. One example of foods you want to toss is foods that have long shelf lives. Anything that withstands nature’s natural oxidation process has chemical preservatives and is a processed food.

The Yoga Of Self-Acceptance

The Yoga Of Self Acceptance

Photo by Omar Bariffi

Having taught and practiced yoga for years I’ve come to realize that there is a little show-off kid that lives inside of me. She usually appears when I decide to get into a pose that my body can’t support. There’s no good reason for doing it but it’s possible that I could impress a few undiscerning people. That kind of thrill usually fades more quickly than my pulled muscles.

We often project images of how we would like to be seen even though we don’t believe it ourselves.  As we grow up, our little show-off kid becomes more discreet. Rarely do we see business men in meetings jumping up on tables shouting “Look at me! Look at me! I’m smart and important!” but we’ve all been in situations that felt like the emotional equivalent.  Sometimes we can pull off the charade but that’s not the same as getting what we want.

Berry-Swirl Cheesecake

Raw Vegan Cheesecake - Berry Swirl

When I was young, there was nothing better than going over to my Grandmother's house. There, she would spoil me with love, play endless 'color' games, and fill me with the best tasting food ever. Often times, well actually, every time, there was a special treat awaiting for me after a bountiful lunch. Sometimes, it was her special brownies with a chocolate frosting -- and others, a berry-swirl cheesecake that would melt in my mouth.

As I grew (a little) older, we would make these pies together; we would mix the crust and press it into the pie pan. We would blend up the 'cheesecake' and 'swirl' fillings and magically whirl them into a swirl of contrasting colors. Once it was topped with berries, in the refrigerator it would go, and we would wait as patiently as two dessert lovers could. Finally, when our pure desire to deliciously consume our creation would meet ripe timing, we would sit together by the window and share -- not just a piece, but the entire pie.

This Berry-Swirl Cheesecake -- is my Memaw's recipe perfected into the guilt-free and sense-satisfying delight of a raw, vegan pie. The ingredients are a bit different from her's -- with the exception of one, key ingredient: LOVE. When you're ready to create this recipe, pick the berry that calls you most -- and magically swirl it with delight. Then, when your pure desire to consume meets the ripe (it's ready!) timing, share the entire pie too -- with those that you cherish most.

Simple Asian Cucumber Salad

Simple Cucumber Salad

It seems like everyone is hustling and bustling during this time of the year. So delicious simplicity was the inspiration for this recipe.

Both the salad and dressing are based off the same ingredient: cucumbers.

This is a great trick if you are low in vegetables in the fridge. Cut up the vegetables for the salad and then blend it with other ingredients for the dressing.

The Power of Design

The Power Of Design

I find it truly enlightening when I engage people in dialog about what they “do for a living,” and what brought them to their choices.

In most cases, their lives might be more accurately described in answer to the question, “what are you doing while you are dying?”  

So often, the way we spend the precious moments of our lives is defined not by conscious choice, but rather chance circumstance.  Although some chance is certain in all our lives, part of “living” is more fully engaging in the process of life.  This sometimes involves taking risks, abandoning our comfort zones, and making sacrifices.  It is when we push through these barriers that, like a butterfly breaking out of it’s cocoon, we take flight.

As an architect, I am a designer. My craft involves taking abstract ideas and moving them into the realm of reality.  As a yogi, I see how design can play a part in the bigger picture of who we are and where we are going, and I tend to look at these questions in terms of two concepts  commonly found in spiritual circles, Karma and Dharma.

Are Your Health Foods Actually Healthy?

Are your health foods actually healthy?

An excerpt from the Whole Health Warrior

I believe Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of many books on nutrition including: Eat Right America and Eat to Live, has captured the essence of how to describe which foods are healthy and which are not.

He has done so by ranking many foods on an index which calculates nutrients per calorie. The scores indicate how nutrient dense these foods are. High nutrient dense foods have been shown to be better and more healthful for us than low dense foods. Once again thinking in terms of health building this becomes important. ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) is calculated by dividing the aggregate micronutrients by the macronutrients.

Micronutrients = vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, other select items
Macronutrients = calories from protein, carbs, and fats.

5 Ways to Create a Social Network that Supports Your Lifestyle

Friends Doing Yoga

Photo by Zach Dischner

You've spent an engaging week or two at an oasis that offers fresh, live food, like-minded companionship, and trustworthy teachers. No doubt you feel more connected, refreshed, and enlightened than before you stepped off your plane, wondering what was in store for you, and now the time has come to integrate what you've learned back at home.

Five Ways to Feel More Connected to God In Your Everyday Life

Five Ways to Feel More Connected to God In Your Everyday Life

One of the most common things I hear from people is they want to feel more connected to something “bigger than themselves.”

Some call it life. Others call it God or a higher power.

Whatever it is for you (I’ll call it “God” for simplicity’s sake), connecting on a daily basis can be simple if you allow it to be.

Here are 5 ways you can get started right now.

1. See things as they are—not as you are.

Humans do this crazy thing, maybe you’ve noticed it. We project our internal experiences onto things and people outside of ourselves.