An author shares the intimate origins of her new book.
My latest book, Raw Energy in a Glass, is a very personal one. In 2012, the year of my fiftieth birthday, life dealt me a poor hand of cards. In January, my huge, loving, Maine Coon cat died unexpectedly. My heart broke. Then, over the next few months, I suffered a series of accidents, the worst of which was tumbling down my home stairs twice in two months, both times injuring my left hip and knee. By April, I was limping, and by June, I was nearly wheelchair-bound due to the pain in my left leg. Several X-rays and an MRI later, I was diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis and informed by two orthopedic surgeons that I would need a total hip replacement soon or my quality of life would continue to deteriorate. Then, just when I thought I couldn’t hurt anymore, my marriage of 22 years fell apart.
I am normally a vibrant, energetic, resilient, relatively peaceful person. Never in my life had I experienced such uncomfortable chaos.
Needless to say, I didn’t feel emotionally, physically, or spiritually healthy or whole. Instead, I felt beaten up, sad, angry, depleted, and deeply fatigued. I suffered from ever-worsening physical pain. I didn’t have much of an appetite and quickly dropped 15 pounds. I wanted a better, more joyful life, and I wanted my flexible, strong body back.
I did my best to avoid surgery, seeking out the best practitioners of complementary medicine to heal my hip. But, after investing over a year in various modalities that provided only temporary pain relief, I underwent a complete hip replacement on October 18, 2013.
My road to wellness began when I arrived home from the hospital. A lifestyle adjustment was in order. I began an ever-so-gentle, daily yoga and meditation practice that stretched and strengthened my atrophied muscles, soothed my soul, and calmed my mind. Slow walks in nature and tending my organic gardens followed. Plenty of restorative sleep became a top priority. Working hours were reorganized, and I decided to become a full-time writer — joy of joys! Plus, I made an effort to seek the company of like-minded, uplifting friends who made me laugh.
While on this healing path, I knew I needed nourishing, restorative foods that were easy to assimilate and would help me regain my strength and rebuild my sad, damaged body. My meals consisted of homemade organic veggie-seaweed soups, mineral-rich herbal teas, local eggs, and seafood. Additionally, I formulated recipes for nutrient-packed raw food smoothies and shakes, which played a large part in my recovery and were a quick and easy way for me to eat my daily quota of fruits, veggies, greens, nuts, and seeds.
Today, my life is good, whole, and happy again, and I’m truly grateful for every day I’m allowed to walk this beautiful earth. But you don’t have to be at your lowest point to be hungry for change. The recipes in Raw Energy in a Glass come from those healing days, and I share them and my story to show that it is possible to rise from the ashes, becoming a stronger, healthier, happier version of your former self. Feeding yourself well is a wonderful place to start.
Take care of yourselves, my friends. You’re all you’ve got. Here’s to your best health ever!
This banana, mango, and baby kale smoothie is a quick, easy, and nutritious drink, and one that really helped in post-hip replacement healing.
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 cup purified water
- 2 cups baby kale leaves, packed
- 1 medium or 2 small bananas, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2 cups super-ripe mango, fresh or frozen, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil, unfiltered preferred
- Pinch of sea salt
- Put the water, kale, banana, mango, flaxseed oil, and salt in a blender and blend on high until the greens and fruit are completely liquefied, about 30 seconds.
- Pour into glasses and serve immediately. This blend is high in natural sugars and fiber, so sip slowly — no gulping. Please “chew” each sip, mixing well with your saliva so that it digests with ease.
A good source of: blood-building iron and chlorophyll, amazing antioxidants, plus vitamins B, C, and K, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, tryptophan, trace minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, natural sugars, and fiber