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Saturday, February 23, 2013


"Transforming" was my word for 2013.  One word that I could only "hope" would happen.  My health was in the tank and I felt horrible every day.  The stresses over the summer, the way I ate, being on medication for Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure, feeling tired 99.9% of the time, and having zero energy were really taking a toll on me. Daily, I was dragging myself around and very angry that I had no energy.  I was sick with the flu over the Christmas holidays and barely celebrated New Year's.  And then the third week of January hit and hit with a bang!  I felt like I had been run over by a MAC truck!

That week I was feeling weaker and weaker.  Thinking that my adrenal glands had taken a permanent vacation, I begin to research how to bounce back from adrenal fatigue.  Sadly, I didn't find much information and felt worse and worse as the week went by.  By Thursday of that week I hit rock bottom, thinking that I was passing a huge kidney stone - I hurt so much.  I managed to teach that day, but was sliding down into a painful pit as the school day ended.  Some of my co-workers said I looked gray!  I called my regular physician and they could not see me that afternoon and recommend that I go straight to the emergency room, especially if I thought I had a kidney stone.  I called my sweetie and and told him I would pick him up and we would head to the ER.  

Of course, any ER visit is not quick, however, they zoomed me back and begin assessing my issues.  My pain level was somewhere between an 8-9 on a scale of 10 - 10 being the highest.  After a CAT scan, morphine, and some anti-nausea medication, the physician came in to tell me the "not so good" news.  He said I did have kidney stones in both kidneys but they were not the source of my pain.  He preceded to tell me I had diverticulitis.  My reaction was, "WHAT"????  That is an old person's disease!  Never in my life would I have EVER thought I would have that diagnosis! How do you get that???  He said there were two ways they could treat me and that I had better take care of myself and follow his orders specifically or I would be back in the hospital in three days.  Still in shock, I had to admit I was a mess and this certainly was a wake up call.  After taking 1250 mg. of penicillin a day for a week, pain meds, anti-nausea meds, mandatory bed rest, and only eating things I didn't have to chew, made me rethink how I was taking care not taking care of myself.  This indeed was life changing!

Now to the better part of the story...

A friend of mine, Carla, along with two of her sons and her son-in-law, began juicing the first part of 2012.  They had amazing results and have continued to live a plant strong way of eating, as well as, continuing to juice still to this day.  Through Carla's journey, I would look at her posts, talk to her, see how she was shrinking in size, and think, "I could NEVER do that."  I was so happy for her and saw the transformation she went through.  I had even changed my way of eating to plants only, however, the juicing part was not for me...or so I thought.  I had watched the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," and thought it was wonderful, but I didn't have the guts or strength to incorporate that into my life. 

About the time I had my little ER visit, Carla was starting up a group for encouragement about juicing - a "re-boot" to begin the new year.  While I was driving to school a week after my diagnosis, I called my sweetie on the phone and asked him if he would think about juicing and we could discuss it later that night.  When I asked Rennie about juicing, there was a  L O N G  pause on the phone.  He said, "like now"??  I laughed and said we'd talk about it later that night and discuss our options - for him to think about it throughout the day.  I knew I could not do this without his encouragement or without him doing this with me.  We knew we both needed to loose weight and I wanted to feel better - anything was better than the way I felt!  We already owned a juicer, we needed to find it, wash the dust off it it, purchase some produce and begin.  After our discussion that evening, we decided to begin that weekend on Sunday.  

With excitement and a bit of fear, we shopped our local Farmers' Market on Saturday, cleaned off our juicer, cleaned out the fridge, and watched the "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" documentary again.  Sunday was our day - the first day that our health "transformation" would begin.  That was January 27, 2013.  

The sip of our first juice was...let's say...interesting.  I had commented that it tasted somewhat like cut grass and begin questioning our decisions.  My friend encouraged us that it would get better and it sure did.  We begin to experiment on our juices and they taste different each time.  We always make sure that we have more vegetables in our juice than fruit, and EACH juice has the mega veggie - Kale!  LOVE  KALE!!! 

We juiced for 14 days straight (having 4-6 juices a day for the first three days) and then we have stayed plant strong since then.  By "plant strong", I mean, we eat nothing but great produce, beans, and non gluten grains.  Days when we eat a meal we juice twice that day. I remember the euphoric feeling when we tasted our first salad after 14 days of juicing - you can taste each and every thing that is in your mouth - everything tasted SO wonderful!!

Today, 28 days later, I can say that I look forward to each and every juice we make.  I no longer have joint or intestinal pain (all healed!), I can't believe how I feel (how we feel) - we both have way more energy, we're no longer foggy headed, and to date I have lost 24.5 lbs and Rennie has lost 20 lbs..  Our "transformation" has begun and I am on a road to health, thankful for Rennie and his walk with me through this, thankful for friends like Carla, grateful that God is giving me the desires of my heart...transforming me/us into HIS image and we are truly blessed!

So...if you are reading this and want to know more about the juicing process, my first recommendation is that you watch the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead."  You can view it on Netflix or Hulu.  I also recommend that you visit Joe's web site, HERE.  I believe this will encourage and enlighten you as you gather information about what YOU may do to benefit your health.  

Next, friend me on my Parkland Cottage page on Facebook or become a follower for this blog.  I will only post "how-to's" and updates here and connect them to the Parkland Cottage Facebook page.  I, like Carla, want to share this amazing, life changing, information with you.  I will post our favorite juices along with our favorite meals.  We are committed to remain plant strong for life and that will no longer include meat, dairy, or gluten.  My personal goal is to lose 85 pounds.  I want to be off all my medication.  I am feeling so good now, I can't imagine how I will feel when all this weight is off me and I am free of all meds. 

TRANSFORMING my/our juice and bite at a time!!!  God is GOOD!

Until next time...Pamela


  1. Fantastic! I am glad you and Rennie have found a new way of living and eating (not going to call it a "diet") that is making you feel so good and healthy! Keep it up, mama. :)

  2. I am bursting with joy for YOU and Rennie! What a fantastic story of your "transformation"!!! And I know it is just the beginning...

    I am BELIEVING with you - and just so so proud of the progress you both have made on your jucing journey and the whole-food, plant-based eating lifestyle. Your goals are so attainable - and your renewed energy and attitude towards food - "eating to live not living to eat" - will take you far on this journey.

    You are EXTRAORDINARY!!!