My Refrigerator is Full of…

What?

I’m so glad you asked, but you may want to brace yourself, because I’m trespassing into McGregor’s garden so to speak, and escape might not be possible.

I mentioned, covertly, in my last blog (which you may have missed, no judgment) that I’m currently using cannabis products. I’m sure my Mom and Dad are rolling over in their graves but this won’t be the first time or the last. If they thought they’d get some relief from their challenging daughter post mortem, they’re dead wrong.

And now they have to worry about Nancy. After receiving this highly suspect miracle CBD oil in a welcome bag at a recent wedding, my enabling sister suggested I use it on my rashes, and when your older sister suggests you become a user, you do it. With gusto. 

She’s my gateway. Get it?

And I’ll be damned, it calmed the itching, and pain almost immediately. I used the entire bottle in about a week (self-control is not my thing) so Larry and I went to the local Whole Food (Whole Paycheck) store and bought a similar but less effective product. 

I was bummed. 

Coincidentally, or maybe a serendipity sort of thing, I had a trip planned for Palm Desert. 

Larry and a cohort of Santa Clara Broncos had a reunion planned in Carmel last weekend. You know the drill, golf, bougie dinners, irresponsible drinking, cavorting, and basically reliving their youth for an entire three days. You’ll be relieved to know no one was arrested, kicked off the golf course, or cited for disturbing the peace. 

Well, that’s the report we were given, I know, very suspect, especially when you throw Esci, Wes, and Salvy in the mix. 

The wives decided to put as much distance as possible between the reunioners and ourselves. As luck would have it, Jan recently bought a seasonal home in Palm Desert and graciously invited Claudia and me to join her in a last-minute muster.

It ended up being miraculous, at least for me, and my gut. 

I have to say God bless Claudia who allowed me to arrange the most economical travel plan possible without a single complaint regardless of the various snafu’s. When browsing the cost of last-minute flights directly into Palm Desert my hands grew sweaty. So Larry checked some of the neighboring airports and discovered you could fly into Ontario for a smidgeon of the cost and just rent a car for the hour drive into Palm Desert. Best laid plans…

Our initial arrangements went off without a hitch and we arrived at Jan’s at the pinnacle of the day, warm, balmy, with the sun slowly sinking into the western horizon. Her home is nestled along the 17th hole (could be 18th, I’m not a golfer), with a view of the greens, pond, and spectacular mountain range. 

It’s absolutely stunning and Jan is the consummate hostess who somehow makes everyone feel welcome and at home. I felt as if I’d arrived in Shangri La, and as tempting as it was you’ll be proud to know, I did not cancel my return ticket. 

She opened some champagne as we settled into our rooms and then lounged by the infinity pool, sipping our bubbly, catching up, ridiculously happy to have an entire weekend together. 

Jan transported us to dinner at the Club House in an adorable golf cart. I ordered a juicy steak while my companions ordered cauliflower and greens? I realize some people are more health-conscious than others but I’m weak in the face of a sumptuous menu. The evening unrolled and we ended it where it began, on the patio, serenaded by the stars, sipping good wine, shooting the shit.

Early morning while Jan and I are enjoying coffee and a Hallmark Christmas movie I’m scratching my rashes as if I’ve been exposed to poison oak. Jan is alarmed when I show her my legs. When Claudia joins us and I explain my predicament we devise a plan to replenish my cannabis oil at the local dispensary. 

Okay, for the record I have never been to a dispensary and quite frankly I was a little alarmed by all the security. You enter a lobby where there are actual guards and a line of ATM machines because they only take cash. Yeah, just like the drug deals that go down in the movies, but none of these people are missing their teeth. 

I’m feeling more and more like a character from Breaking Bad, when they check my ID, electronic double doors open as if the gates to hell, and you’re escorted into the temptation room by a stoic employee. The security cameras are everywhere, the staff is dressed as if guards from Squid Games, and there is this distinctive aroma floating in the air. I’m feeling a little woozy as we move across the room shoulder to shoulder as if a tactic team making our way to some target which happens to be the oil counter. 

The masked woman behind the counter may look like an FBI informant, but she is extremely helpful, showing me an array of products that should alleviate my discomfort from psoriasis and other maladies. I exhibited extraordinary restraint and only bought two bottles (that took all the cash I had withdrawn) and these products are not cheap mind you. They placed them in this swanky zippered bag which I stashed in my purse and for the rest of the day I was sure I would be arrested at any moment by the BIN (Bureau of International Narcotics) but apparently, they don’t frequent Palm Desert. 

We spent the next few days hiking, shopping, eating, lounging, and generally solving the problems of the world when one morning, without warning, Jan hands me her phone. 

The next thing I know I’m talking with Monica Beiry, a famous nutritionist, homeopathic healer, granola-eating enthusiast, and her voice alone has me mesmerized. She’s a friend of Jan’s and an encyclopedia of information on gut health, healing, and auto-immune diseases. 

She spent the next hour explaining how I got into this predicament (psoriasis) in the first place and how I can rectify the situation I created all by myself. Not that I’m proud, but it’s a pretty complex situation, not everyone accomplishes such a fiasco in one lifetime. 

When Monica says, “Psoriasis is curable,” I admit I got a little teary-eyed. My skin doctor has been faithfully treating the symptoms (the rashes) with steroid creams but we never discuss the root cause. I was under the impression that once you got an auto-immune disease it was incurable? I mean it’s genetic for goodness sake and she calmly informed me that just because you are predisposed to a disease does not mean you will get it. 

What? 

She says it’s a combination of predisposition and environment (which she translates to diet and stress). Here I thought they were talking about smog, exposure to roundup, cell phone usage, and how close I lived to electrical wires. Monica spent the better part of an hour explaining what a plant-based diet looks like and the associated health benefits.

Now, this is where it gets a little disturbing, I’m warning you, get out the tissues, it’s about to get wretched.

In a soft voice, I ask, “what exactly do I have to give up to be considered a rabbit, I mean vegetarian?” 

She ignores my quip and says, “don’t think of it as giving something up forever, just temporarily, until the rashes heal. Then you can introduce these culprits (nice word) back into your diet and if the rash resurfaces you can decide if it’s worth it or not. 

Oh, honey, it’s so worth it.

I beg, “I’m a visual person. I need a list.”

And rather than hanging up on me, Monica says, “Okay, are you ready?”

“No, but go ahead.”

She pauses between deprivations without laughing and says with careful enunciation, “No meat…no dairy…no gluten…no sugar…no alcohol.”

I’ll wait while you blow your nose and the blood returns to your head.

I say, “what the hell am I supposed to eat?”

She says, and I kid you not, as if talking to a 7-year-old, “vegetables, nuts, beans, fermented foods (I was like wine is fermented but she meant pickles ~ shit), oatmeal, fruits and berries, hummus, and (hippy) oils like flaxseed, avocado, and coconut.”

With trepidation, I ask, “Is coffee allowed?”

She says, “Of course, no more than two cups a day. It can cause inflammation.”

“Can I put milk in my coffee?”

“Nothing from a tit.”

Are you kidding me?

She offers, “Oat milk is good.”

“…recent research suggests that presenting people with proof that their beliefs are incorrect doesn’t change their minds. Instead, it actually reinforces their erroneous beliefs, as they work hard to defend them against fact and logic.” Garth Davis, M.D.

I guess I was looking a little faint because Claudia and Jan came to my rescue, thanking Monica profusely for the information, and promising to assist me with my conversion. 

I’m like, “I like my delusions, please don’t confuse me with reality, and rabbit food.”

No cheese?

No steak?

No lattes?

No sourdough bread dripping with butter?

No wine?

No dark chocolate with sea salt?

No bacon?

I’m wearing black for the foreseeable future so I better not get arrested. 

The girls fly into supportive mode because they can see I’m close to hysterics. 

Me, “Is it hot in here?”

Jan, “I’ll open the window.”

Me, “It feels as if my throat is closing up.”

Claudia, “I’m heading to the store. I’ll make you an incredible meal using only the foods Monica suggested. It’s going to be okay. I’ve been eating this way for years.” She’s a competitive dancer and her muscle base is important! 

Whatever. I’m a writer. I need a cushy base to sit on for hours doing nothing.

Me, “I could use a shot of vodka. Do you have any?”

Jan, “here I’ll make you some herbal tea.”

Yeah, I’m doomed. 

Well, that night Claudia put out an incredible spread, complete with her own Chamberino Chili, vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms, baked cauliflower, spaghetti squash with meatless bolognese sauce, hummus and veggies, nut crusted organic bread (which I splurged and had one slice, the hell with the rashes).

One evening we decided to watch a documentary Monica recommended called The Game Changer (I know, we’re a wild bunch), it’s like watching propaganda from some radical subdivision of society. You know it’s slanted but you’re not sure how. It supports all of the claims about plant-based diets, talks about gut health, and the advantages of yoga, yogurt, and yams. Monica also suggested we watch Forks and Knives along with the documentary called Heal before we’re sufficiently indoctrinated. 

I’ll save those for later when I need something like a booster shot of incentive. 

Jan managed to make us feel as if we were cherished guests despite my ailments and issues, but all good things come to an end, and in the midst of hugs and goodbye kisses we postulated on plans to return in the near future. It’s as if the gates to the Garden of Eden were opened, there are snakes, but that tempting apple is no longer forbidden. 

Thank God Claudia was traveling with me and kindly answered all my questions in a calm and supportive manner along with sending me dozens of vegan recipes and meal plans via text. Our flight was delayed, restored, and delayed again. Southwest is cheap, but they’re slipping, and we’re at their mercy.

Home sweet home. 

I dropped the vegetarian news on Larry as if a bomb, he took shelter in his office, and at five o’clock he emerged and offered me a glass of wine.

“No thank you, I’m so enjoying this herbal tea. All I can say is yum.” 

Reaching in the refrigerator for a cold beer it’s apparent Larry’s so glad he’s not me.

I’m calling it the 30-day challenge. Join me if you dare. When your flesh-eating habits erase the antioxidant-boosting effects of eight hundred cups of kale, you know it’s time to quit says, Michael Gregor.

It took almost two hours at Whole Foods to replenish our pantry with organic peanut butter, vegetables, hummus, berries, beans, grains, vegan soups, oats, seasonings, and various oils. 

The largest thing in the frig is coffee, my last vice!

Our refrigerator is full of plants, I’m sticking to the plan like glue, and OMG this morning I woke up, threw off the covers, and was amazed to find the rashes are significantly better. I’m in total disbelief.

DAY THREE. DAY THREE PEOPLE. 

It’s a miracle, they’re coming in waves, what’s next I can not imagine. But for now, I’m Peter Rabit, stealing from McGregor’s garden, and yes, I left my old coat of skin hanging on the fence. But the important thing is Mr. McGregor propped the gate open, no need to escape, I can come and go as I please. 

Curling up in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and my cannabis oil I call my sister to share the news.

She agrees, Mom and Dad are definitely rolling over in the grave.

[Warning! There is shaming, cussing, and extreme vulgarity in this clip ~ watch at your own discretion]

I’m Living in the Gap, existing on rabbit food, care to join me in a plant-positive diet? 

Veggie Humor:

  • “Mcdonalds announced it’s considering a more humane way of slaughtering its animals. You know they fatten them up and then kill them. You know the same thing they do to their customers, isn’t it?” – comedian Jay Leno
  • I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight. Rita Rudner
  • What do you call a vegetarian who goes back to eating meat? – Someone who lost her veg-inity! Unknown
  • Is a vegetarian permitted to eat animal crackers? George Carlin
  • I’m a vegetarian, well I’m not hardcore because I eat meat, but only because I like the taste, and I hate vegetables on a personal level so I’m not too good! Dylan Moran
  • Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning ‘lousy hunter’ Andy Rooney

49 Comments

Leave a Comment

  1. I am not about to embark on your body-cleansing regime to cure my Pityriasis Rosea. (Which is supposedly incurable, anyway) Besides which, I have just drunk a large glass of Spanish Red Wine, (Garnacha) as it is dark here, and well past 6pm. (Well, 6:18).
    Mind you, I am having a vegetarian pizza for dinner, (mozarella, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, piquante peppers) so I am sort-of on board. (Until tomorrow, when I have curried Indian chicken)
    I am often amazed by the differences in our lifestyles. (Not complaining, just amazed)
    The life you live is a dream for most people here, especially those of us who live in quiet villages on a pension, and never go anywhere. That said, we have an undoubted connection through blogging, and that is a constant joy to me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It always amazes me Pete that our time zones are so different. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee with the dreaded “oat milk” and you’re splurging on a large glass of Spanish Red Wine (my favorite). I’m so jealous. In all honesty I’m not making this diet my religion, it’s a suggested way to eat, and if it results in reducing the rashes I’ll be ever so grateful to wear dresses again! But believe me, I’ll be ready to return to my normal vices at the first opportunity. Unbeknownst to me Larry signed us up for a Tempranillo tasting at one of my favority wineries, Six Sigma, in Lake County in a few days. So I’ll be making my first exception this weekend. I appreciated how Monica Biery didn’t make me think I had to give up meat, dairy, gluten, sugar, and wine forever but just when I want to reduce the inflammation which causes all the problems in the first place. I’m sort of encouraged that it seems to be working so quickly? As for our lifestyles, you might not believe it, but people over here think you are living the quintessential life in a quiet village, outside of London! There are movies made about people like you. Have you seen The Holiday? That being said, I am ever so grateful for our connection through the blogging community, it a source of great pleasure and joy for me too! Hugs, C

      Liked by 3 people

  2. My son introduced us to the vegetarian lifestyle several years ago. He hoped that it would help his dad. A man whose life was meat and potatoes. After his dad passed he went back to eating meat but we do so in limited quantities.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Rebecca, I’m new to the whole vegetarian lifestyle but I’m hopeful as my rashes are calming down after only a few days. The plan is to stick with the diet for about a month and then evaluate if I should incorporate a few of my favorites back into my diet but like you say in “limited quantities.” I’ve always believed in moderation in all things but I haven’t always been successful in accomplishing that feat! Thank you so much for the comment, all my best, hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I agree, I love nothing better than a juicy, bacon, cheese burger but in honor of my new diet, I baked a sweet potato last night, sprinkled with avacado oil and sea salt! It was surprisingly delicious!

          Liked by 2 people

  3. My husband ran across The Game Changer and had me watch it. We tried going 100% plant-based, but I was craving meat, so I don’t stick to it every single day. I’m sure I blogged about it in October. My husband’s timing to tell me he was going plant-based was while I was standing over a massive trip tip on the barbecue.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Game Changer was very convincing but most of the subjects (I use that term lovingly) were hard core athletes, and not your average Cheryl’s. I’m already craving meat, along with wine, cream, cheeses, and sourdough bread! I’m planning on sticking with it as closely as possible for a month and then I’ll decide if I should incorporate my vices! You crack me up, he tells you this while your barbecuing a juicy tri-tip! Torture! I’ll have to check out your October post! Hugs, c

      Liked by 2 people

        1. One of my dear friends when on the same diet, solved a significant health issue, but her health practitioner allowed her one drink a week. I think that is more than fair and I might incorporate that into my plan, you know, so I don’t get “shaky”

          Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Dorothy, I was just browsing around your blog and found so many delicious recipes that incorporate many of the foods I’m currently trying to enjoy! Thanks for the encouragement, I’m hopeful that I can find a nice balance with the “culprits” and the plants! So glad you enjoyed the clip, I thought it was hysterical too, all my best, C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl, it is good to have close friends. By the way, my brother-in-law switched to a cannabis option to deal with his chronic pain. The opioid pills were causing him to be less coherent. As a retired teacher, he hated that. The cannabis paste he made worked well for him The only drawback was he could not hold his infant nephews and nieces. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Keith, friends are so very good, especially in times of crisis! The CBD oil I use only has a trace amount of THC so there’s no wozzy feelings associated with rubbing the oil on the skin. I think for me the plant based diet will be the most miraculous treatment. Although thinking of things I can eat three times a day is daunting! All my best, C

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Cheryl, thanks. My brother-in-law had been in three automobile accidents in his life, so he was in a lot of pain the last few years. So, his dosage probably was much greater. He was in a pilot program with his doctor. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Cheryl, this drug has been used for thousands of years in some form. It was not until the movie called “Reefer Madness” in the 1930s, I think, that caused such alarm. It is known to help with seizures, migraines, as well as chronic pain. The negative has been that it is a gateway drug, but Rx Opioid medicines have been the worst gateway drugs. Keith

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Good for you! (And only you, haha.) But really–three days and already seeing the benefits of the diet, that’s wonderful. I’ve had a crap day here so I enjoyed your post and cracked up at the comedian’s take on us dairy drinkers–“the cigarette smokers of 2020!” Super funny!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you had a crap day Rebecca but overjoyed to have given you a little comedic relief. I debated about including the clip but decided if I gave fair warning about the language and controversial topic “dairy drinkers” than my readers could decide for themselves! I’d say eat some vegetables but I believe that will only make things worse! A nice merlot might be a better choice! Here’s to all things improving, cheers, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this Sarah, “I am almost vegetarian,” that is what I hope to be after I finish this month of deprivation! I think I’ll add a some poultry, fish, wine, and a little cheese back in my diet and just keep the CBD well stocked. It’s good to hear that you’re able to control the rashes with diet! That’s key! Thanks so much for sharing, warmly, C

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CBD has been a life saver to me. With my chronic pain I use it as needed. Doc trying to have me do less beef. I am ok with chicken. With IC and fibro in particular, there is supposed to be no artificial colors, ingredients, or additives. Lots of just shopping the perimeter.
    I hope the vegetarian route helps you. The latest request from my doc, is to stop cheese. That is very hard for me. I don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or tea. I gave up soda years ago. Now I am allowed only alkaline water and 1% milk. We do what we have to do to decrease our pain and increase our health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laruen for sharing the things that have helped you. I’m new to the CBD but it’s been a lifesaver. I think I’ll keep to this diet for a month and then reevaluate. I’ll like to add an occasional steak, glass of wine, a little cheese back into my diet if it doesn’t cause the rashes to get stored up. And you’re right we have to do what we can to improve our health and inflammation seems to be the culprit. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not vegetarian but the drop in white flour, sugar and alcohol alone got me started to the path of health.

    I increased my water intake and vegetables, especially raw or lightly steamed, and as a result it cured my excema, the fog in my head, got rid of the fatigue and the bloating.

    My doc and dermatologist gave me topical products and never asked about diet. It did nothing long term.

    I still indulge at times, it’s just not part of my regular life anymore.

    So happy you have found relief already!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so appreciate you sharing the things that cured your excema, I think those three alone would be very helpful in my case too. I do think, like you, I’ll indulge at times, but it won’t be part of my daily regime. I have to say my energy is at an all time high with this new diet! Even if the rashes don’t disappear it’s nice to feel strong and energetic. Hugs, C

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      1. My experience has been, stop all “bad” food until you’re cleared up then reintroduce, like you do with a baby, slowly. You know you’re going to indulge over Xmas so make yourself “ready” before then. It takes a little getting used to.

        Also, Chery, water water water! It is magic how much toxic crap is flushed out of you when you drink excessive amounts of water. Note: this works best when you don’t have to leave the house. 😂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you for the tips. The water thing is so damn hard for me so this is an excellent reminder when I’m close to home! The rashes are getting fainter every day! Im skeptical by nature but this is giving me hope and encouragement to stay the course! Until Christmas!!! 💕

          Like

  8. I could not possibly love this blog more and feel so honored to be a part of it. I love hearing how your beautiful, miraculous body is healing, We tend to forget (or perhaps we were never taught) that we are very powerful and our complex, sophisticated systems are designed for health. When properly fueled we are unstoppable. It is not always easy, but it is very simple.I cannot wait to hear how you feel moving forward. Love, Monica

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, it’s the one and only Monica Beiry! I can’t thank you enough for pointing me in the right direction, okay, shoving me in the right direction! I’m feeling so much better and quite frankly I’m shocked! It’s motivating me to stay the course and see where it takes me! You are such a kind and generous person to have taken the time to not only explain how eating clean works but also how to do it! I’m forever grateful Monica, warmly, C

      Like

  9. I consumed a plant-based diet for about a year and a half. I lost twenty pounds without trying, didn’t miss bacon or cheese as much as I thought I would, and felt really great. I gave up the lifestyle when my husband (who also went vegan) decided he was finished with it. He’s the chef at our house; therefore, I was finished, too. (By the way, those twenty pounds found me again.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Crystal, I’m encouraged to stick with the vegan thing for a while and see if my rashes continue to improve? I’m hopeful and if I lose weight then I’ll consider that a total bonus! I’ll definitely add things back into my diet dune the road and see how I respond, it’s so worth it if it solves the itching problem! I’m curious to know why your husband gave it up? 💕C

      Like

  10. My youngest daughter went vegetarian while still living at home. It was hard to change, but we all began to enjoy meatless meals. Now we include meat in our diet but our love for veggies remains. Glad you are finding success for your skin and wish you all the best with your 30-day challenge! Best Wishes! Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Leigh, it has been challenging, to say the least, changing decades of eating patterns overnight, but I’m not beating myself up when I slip up, or indulge in something not allowed. I’m human. I am feeling better and the rashes are calming down so that’s encouraging. I suppose we can all benefit from adding more plants to our diet even with the delicious accompaniment of meat! All my best to you and yours, C

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You are an energetic, terrific, and magnetic writer, and I am amazed how you spin your writing talent in many ways making your words comprising your writings to go around and come around uniting readers and writers to love you and that-which you author!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ok Cheryl, no sense blaming Nancy for your current substance abuse problem. And don’t blame your supplier either. Just “roll” with it, so to speak. I do think that the rash treatment is a legit usage.
    I have to confess I was taken aback by your choice of the word Bougie, as this is a term describing a semi- barbaric Urologic instrument that most people would find pain inducing/ cringe worthy. However, I am glad you can involve it in a dinner with friends (I always tell people not to try this at home.) Google Bougie Urology images if you dare.
    Ok, so first you road trip to the dispensary. It turns out you have never been there before (sure.) Then comes the catastrophe. You’ve gone Vegan… Oh no….. Wine abstinence WTF?!
    Hope this all passes (the vegan wine abstinence thing along with the rash.) And by the way, never write “I need a cushy base to sit on for hours doing nothing.” The doing nothing part sounds like you are using your Larry voice.
    Question… How many of your friends have joined you on the 30 day challenge?
    I did enjoy the video. Funny.
    “Trigger” warning. The following video makes me laugh over and over again, so no one else will like it.

    No need to steal from McGregor’s Garden, Mrs. Cottontail. We have plenty to spare. Visit anytime. We are on the way to Top of the Rock, Branson, Memphis and Nashville (well, sort of.)
    Hope you feel well.
    So sorry to hear about Shaggy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike, I am so blaming Nancy for my current substance abuse issues! That’s what older sisters are for, well that, and weekly cry fests! She’s the best. OMG, I used the best wrong word ever and only you would know the difference! Bahaha Boujee or Bougie! I’ve been under a little duress and therefore not responsible for spelling, behavior, or the many indulgences I’ve given myself this past week. And I not finished failing at my diet either. That clip is just what I needed, a little laughter. Enjoyed the pic Ellie sent of you all enjoying Six-Sigma Wine! I might have to open some tonight. Hugs to all, miss you guys, love, Cheryl

      Like

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