The Whole 30

I found the Whole30 and it’s been a game-changer for me.

A little history: I have had fibromyalgia that was diagnosed after a battle with Lymes Disease and have fought an uphill battle against severe chronic pain on a daily basis (since 1993) so crippling fatigue added to FMS, Osteoarthritis, TMJ, tendonitis, bursitis and every other “itis” out there…and I came to a place where eating fistfuls of prescription drugs & “dealing with it”/”sucking it up”/”putting it on ignore” inevitably became out of the question.  I was just saying “NO MORE.” No more to all of the meds…NO MORE to all of the little black pieces of tape stuck over the oil light on my body’s dashboard! I have embarked on the pharmaceutical journey through hell of long-term chronic pain management twice and had to go off said long-term pain management twice and it has totally sucked both times. I have also gone off Depo Provera twice and gained 30lbs in less than 6 weeks both times (which also sucked…but in a radically different way) and after a life time of doctors and prescriptions that led to more doctors and prescriptions – I’ve taken a different route.  The other one was way to cyclical for me.  I’m not into the “side effects include death” option unless it’s my last option anymore.

Over the past couple of years I have gone on Master Cleanse repeatedly and every time I did, I felt better when I didn’t eat
any food (but I was starving and nutritionally depriving my body repeatedly – which I knew I couldn’t sustain.) But knowing I felt better without food led me to the conclusion that at least a significant portion of my problems were directly related to food.

Let’s call them allergies for now. I’m not totally sure what these reactions were to (yet), but what I can say is, I was medication-free and pain-free in Asia for over a year. I lived primarily on the Candida diet over there…and consumed no dairy to speak of (because they don’t really have dairy in Asia, nor do they offer dairy substitutes.)  I still experienced serious GI reactions to foods on a semi-regular basis but had no method of figuring out which ones because when a plate of food was served to me in different countries, I simply ate it. Alex and I would watch my gut expand like I had a bicycle pump blowing air up my ass (I wish I was kidding), many times after I would eat a meal I would waddle out of there looking 7 months pregnant and have to wait for the mega-bloat to dissipate over the next several hours, but we didn’t get what was causing it.  Because my pain was totally in-check, we simply chalked it up to a laughable phenomena and w
nt about our daily routine…and avoided anything that required deep breaths for the rest of that day.

I went off of Depo Provera permanently (finally) last August (2014) and for the second time in my life (unrelated to Nothing_tastes_as_Good_as_Skinny_Feelspregnancy) I blew up 30 lbs in under 6 weeks time doing so.  Everything is simply more challenging at 47 than it ever was ta 27…so, by the time I was tilting the scale at 185.7 I was freaking out.  I gave birth to my daughters at that weight…and I wasn’t toting any other human beings around in my belly this time. I am not a major primper (duh), but I do care enough about my health, physical appearance and the stress on my joints and the systems of my body (which have enough  to deal with) that I do not wish to add obesity to my laundry list of health-related issues.  So, when my dear friend (and massage therapist) Sarah asked me if I’d seen or read anything about “The Whole 30” and my answer was “No. What is it?” She explained it was an elimination diet and that she knew a lot of people were loving it and that she thought it could really help me out.  I hopped off her table and went right to my iPhone and googled, Pinterested and then subsequently “Amazoned” 🙂 and I found more and more information on this program and I was all in!  I broke down, grabbed my kindle and bought the ebook and I spent the day reading up on what the Whole 30 actually was.

No_This_Yes_That_Whole30It’s Paleo minus: corn, grains, sugar, any form of sweetner, legumes, peanuts, soy, MSG, carrageenan and lectin(and a few
other things I might be missing so I will defer to their site for details) and what I found was nothing short of a miracle.  I got it! I’ve been doing it with my new grandson Liam whose system is pure – introducing new foods to him one at a time and watching for reactions. This is exactly the same concept for adults.  First, purify the system (get rid of all of it) – clean slate.  Then…add things back (one at a time in isolated fashion) to figure out
what DOESN’T work for YOU!
I know…it sounds tough – but I was committed.  If you think it’s too hard for you…let me help with this fantastic quote I read in their book’s intro:

“This is not hard.  Beating cancer is hard.  Losing a child is hard.  This…is NOT hard.”  

They were right.  I can do anything for 30 days.  The most amazing thing was, I dropped 10lbs in the first week. (Not allowed to look at the scale…I cheated and started back on Day 1) I could taste food again.  I tasted the natural sugar in Raw Organic Cashew nuts.  It was crazy.

I’ve lost 30+lbs since I started eating this way and Alex has lost 35+ and we’re going strong. I couldn’t have done it without Pintrest.

Check out my Whole30 board for recipes (I literally add more daily): Follow Dawn’s board Whole 30 Recipes on Pinterest.
And get the book – I downloaded their recommended ebook for kindle It Starts with Food  and I was off and running shopping the lists at the grocery store.

The plateaus and cravings can be tough to get through some days – I won’t lie to you…some days are a real bitch!
ex-whole-30-day-5But we’ve been on the Whole30 (for like a whole 90+) and just keep starting over again on Day 1.  A few times were because of little things like; finding out we were taking a supplement whose capsule was made from rice flour instead of gelatin – or not checking one mustard label (which contained added sugar) which has been very frustrating at times…but…results are often harsh…and ALWAYS fair and this food is nourishing and healthy AND our bodies are dumping toxins and melting excess FAT – SO…if it’s the Whole 120, the Whole 365 or the Whole REST OF MY LIFE, as long as it works…I’m in!  (Before and Afters to follow – soon) 🙂



"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

The HippieDiva Returns

Last week, I recommitting to writing.  I have been stuck on it in my head for months – but just didn’t know what to write about – until Alex told me about the practice of “free-writing” which is simply – just write.  Write about anything you want.  Just let it flow.  So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m praying I don’t bore the living shit out of my readers – but at the same time…this is way more for me than anyone else.

I have found over the past few years that I’m more stifled then ever.  Lot’s of “can’ts” have entered my realm (and I don’t believe in “can’t” so it’s been a helluva process.)  They aren’t really “can’ts” as much as they are topics and opinions riddled with consequences that aren’t worth the “sense” of freedom the discussions would offer (although there have been many days I would have argued that point.) 🙂 I’ve learned to bite my tongue in my fifth decade on earth. Miracles will never cease.

2012-10-08 09.56.45

As a woman of 47 (gulp) I have the honor of looking back AND forward on my life now. I do so with a great deal of intrigue and with what i like to think of as some semblance of wisdom.  The problems with gaining wisdom (for me at least) is the shit I had to go through to gain it.  It’s not like it’s available in a book.  That’s purely knowledge.  Wisdom is different.  Wisdom (for me) has alway come through grief, loss, strife, pain, death & what the Tibetan’s call bardo (1).  I’m learning a lot about bardo by living in this often torturous space of “in between” I’m currently residing in.  It can be a real bitch.  Whether one believes in reincarnation or not – I see life, death and rebirth cycles inside this journey playing themselves out over and over.  I don’t necessarily LIKE that very much – but that’s irrelevant.  It simply “IS” so attaching an opinion other than acceptance to it is a waste of energy right?  So why do I do it?  lol who knows?  I find myself wasting a great deal of my energy and qi (life force) on incessant questioning and total resistance over what “is” these past few years.


d_noclueI find the resistance mantras and confounding, unanswerable questions like to rear their ugly heads and hijack my day. Every time I see tragedy or come up against an injustice I’m going: “It’s not RIGHT!”, “HOW can this be?”, “WHY??!!!”, “How did I create this?” running laps in my monkey-mind like a junkie trying to solve a damn rubix cube!  What if…I didn’t “create” this thing this time? What IF there actually is a bigger game board and sometimes I’m not the one in control?  What if there are major reasons (like really big GOOD ones) that I’m (we’re) walking through darkness and I just can’t see the end game? What if I have lived my life with integrity and purpose and listened well to my inner self and to the divine guidance I’ve received and have been operating in dharma and light and love and I can put the hammer down? What if this shit heap I’m sitting in (and working to actively dig out of) is simply a critical place with mission critical lessons I MUST walk through for my highest and
best wisdom?  (Ugh…there it is again – the big “W” – wisdom is only gained through trials and tribulations…blah blah blah.  Can you tell that really pisses me off?)

The thing is…I DO know in the place of my knowing (based on my journey) is that there isn’t one singular belief system that sums it all up for me.  That’s the illusion I 2012-10-11 01.41.49keep building my foundation on time and time again…and I’m 90% sure that’s why the earth shatters every decade or so. I keep trying to pigeon-hole my core belief systems into being “right” and comprehensible with my current mind/knowledge/understanding and then I look around and the “I’m right and You’re wrong” of organized religion doesn’t flesh out. I bump into the same truth/message/mindfuck again and again. Expand your consciousness further. If God knows “everything” and I’m created in His image (for the sake of comfortable terminology – feel free to fill in the blanks that suit you there). Every time I open up…I smack my face into the same wall of “ah HA!” (There is NO SPOON Neo!:)) – and then I am not sure but I think I must chicken out (or my old taught comfort zone programs kick in) or something…because I go looking for THE (singular) answer (that someone else already figured out and lots of people believe in) again.

What if it’s not JUST “To think is to create” and it’s not JUST pre-destination and it’s not JUST the holy trinity or Godhead or Goddess and what if it’s not JUST karma and dharma?  What if it’s all of it and more?

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A gold spray painted cow patty that hangs on my wall. It reminds me of when I am in my shit. That no matter how I may try to cover up my shit…it’s still shit at the end of the day. And last, that EVERYONE gets into and has their own shit to deal with. 🙂

Being a mother and grandmother and walking through some of the stuff I’ve been walking through the past few years – I am questioning literally EVERYTHING. Here’s my spin on the “Believe THIS WAY or you will GO TO HELL power and damnation thing; knowing and coming from the pure and unconditional love (and total instant forgiveness) I have for my family (my 3 children, and my grand child especially) I just can’t fathom that the Creator, (composed of pure spirit, love and light) Source of all of humanity has set us all (or at least a large chunk of us) up to fail and fall in our most intimate relationship and space.  If we are created beings that were created with minds that are built to differ, question and manifest (with countless other functions we have yet to scratch the surface of), and then we were parked (scattered) in totally different places, with different faces,

cultures and spiritual leaders…all over the world, how could a loving entity with exponentially more love, unconditionality, diversity and power than I possess ever love or accept their “children”/creations less than I do? It simply makes no sense to me. That would be like my putting my 3 children into 3 different schools, 3 totally different churches in 3 different countries/climates/cultures and speaking 3 different languages to them individually – and then telling each of them they were the only one who was correct. Who would do that? So, I don’t choose to believe that story.   Liam_d_hand


What I believe in (so far) is:  Beginninglessness.  Endlessness. Agape Love. Compassion. Forgiveness. Kindness. Giving. Receiving. I believe
in gentle acceptance of our own and other’s humanity (which is often a supreme effort for me).  The journey to enlightenment and the realization of our unlimited potential (whatever that may be for each and every one of us). Seeking the face of God in ordinary, every day things as well as during meditation and prayer (and that the smell of a puppies breath, a river, an ocean and the wind carry as much spiritual healing power as any doctor or church.) I believe in practicing dharma every single day.  I believe in karma (both good and bad.)  I believe we need both sun…and rain, to grow.


2012-11-09 19.42.16I have lived what seems like many lives already inside this earthly body’s journey, and I believe they will continue long after it’s gone to dust. Most of the lives I’ve lived, I’ve cherished. All of them taught me a great deal and are why I am who I am today.  I have been divorced and both times those ten year marriages were utterly destroyed by the time they finally ended. I take my share of the responsibility for that.  Those failures taught me a great deal. They taught me compromise and unconditionality. They taught me to cherish every moment and to be very careful to honor my tribe, my partner and my life as I know it.


I’m the best of friends with Jeff (the father of my 3 kids) today, he and my husband/life/business partner Alex (left) are also the best of friends. We have a truly beautiful and amazing combined family. It took a long time, a lot of work and the elimination of all other toxic relationships to our combined top priority (maintaining the closeness of our family) for us to transition into what we  are now…but damn…it was worth it on every level.


I can’t write about my beliefs without diving into “To think is to create” and a bit of my current conundrum.  My “I am” has quite honestly sucked for a couple of years. I have allowed external influences, situations and other people’s beliefs ABOUT me, in and as one of the closest people to me so eloquently pointed out to me recently, I’ve been consciously and unconsciously projecting myself into happenings and situations that haven’t even happened. (Yep…I heard you Mike 🙂 thanks for always having my back and knowing just what to say for me to hear the audible “clunk” so quickly.)


Aka., My mind is giving me a world of shit and I see it. I’m gonna chop that toxic thinking down like a tree.


29912_1489653321771_2808912_nOne of my lifelong, best friends told me that I had turned into a negative person a couple of months ago. That’s what best friends are for right? 🙂 It pissed me off beyond belief, and…well..I was totally in my shit about it. I let it eat and me and justified all of my totally good reasons I had for talking from such a negative place. I was back home to help a friend bury her daughter at the time, so it was a very hard couple of weeks…I was physically and mentally exhausted and I’m facing some heavy duty stuff with terrifying possible worst-case scenarios.  I’m the matriarch in my family – aka “the glue” – aka “Didi” – aka “mentor” and business mind and and and… so my mommy, wife, money, emotional, spiritual, physical concerns and burdens are running high…and my fears admittedly consume me at times.  She was correct in her assessment because I absolutely was letting my thoughts dive into to the darkness and worst case scenarios. In truth, I have been sitting on a fence.  The two sides of this particular fence are:
 Side 1 = Faith/To THINK is to CREATE vs. Side 2 = Prepare for the worst/Hope for the best.
I always say: “When you sit on the fence…all you get is splinters up your ass.” Thanks Bean…Love you. 🙂

I have been totally and completely double-minded over my own outcome
for way too long now and I’m done with it.  470-LI see my miracle every single day. I live it. I’ve lived freer than most human beings on this planet and I cherish that freedom every single day of my life.  I don’t take it for granted. I see myself walking holding hands with Liam (my first grand baby) as a toddler in the sunshine with his brown full head of hair…picking flowers for his mom next year (and for many years to come) and fishing with him in my favorite river on earth the second he can hold a pole.  I see myself at my daughter Suzi’s and Emily’s weddings and at the birth of their babies.  I see myself backpacking and camping with Alex again. I see myself with Emily at her grand opening of her first business and at Suzi’s grand opening of her first professional theater production.  I see tons of kids and love and my family surrounding me long into the future…every vision I have.

I have chosen to “see” both sides of this fence for what they are (glimpses) because when I was only seeing one outcome as “good” and everything else as “bad”, I was absolutely terrified every single day and fear focused all of my power to manifest on the very thing I don’t want. So now, I have chosen to focus my energy and intention on everything good, that is and that the rest of my life is going to being amazing. I am choosing to eat healthy (stay tuned for my upcoming post on The Whole 30) and to get strong again physically, so I can live out the rest of my life with a strong healthy body, liberty, power and goodness, surrounded by my beautiful family, with my husband by my side til death do us part.  And so it is.

I’m walking the path focused on light, love and family, and working diligently to take control of my my mind every minute.

“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Join me. 🙂 xo

"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"


(1) (bardo |ˈbärˌdō| noun

(in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.• an indeterminate, transitional state:wandering adrift in a bardo of intense negativity, blame, disappointment, criticism, and denial.ORIGIN Tibetan bár-do, from bar ‘interval’ + do ‘two.’)