My 2009:

Strong, Intuitive, Engaged, Gutsy, Loving...

Thursday, May 29

Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain... and excema?!

Another Raw Food Awakening!

I believe I've finally gotten to the bottom of my life long struggle with excema. Wheat. I came to this conclusion quite accidentally after being high raw and specifically avoiding wheat this wheat in hopes of allaying some elimination issues.

Yesterday a lovely vendor brought in a box of cookies for the office. I have a very hard time resisting free, soft, oatmeal raisin cookies. I think I had 4? Maybe 5. This morning, sure enough, the excema is baaaaaacccccccckkkkkkkkkk. (I only have it on my hands... go figure?)

This is now the second time that I've had it flare up since beginning my raw food diet. (I used to live with it constantly, but since Dec 6th, 2006, I've been primarily only eating raw fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and had noticed that it had gone away completely at one point.) The first flare up occured after Joey and I went to our Pre-deployment Couple's Retreat in March. I decided not to worry too much about what I ate while on 'vacation' and paid for it with hands that were blistery, scaly, yuck. So back on raw I went.

I did a bit of research for this blog-post, and this is what I found...

  • Atopic eczema is thought to be a hereditary condition. It is proposed that people with atopic eczema are sensitive to allergens in the environment which are harmless to others. Unfortunately when it is hereditary there is little you can do to avoid it. It is especially common in infants and children. In atopic dermatitis there is an excessive reaction by the immune system producing inflamed, irritated and sore skin. Associated atopic conditions include asthma and hayfever. The key to lessoning this type of eczema is to build up your immune system. (I.E. GO RAW!)

  • Contact dermatitis occurs when substances that irritate the skin chemically come in contact with the skin. By learning which substances cause the irritation, this form of eczema can be controlled.

Internal factors

Heredity - A family history of eczema, asthma or hay fever (the strongest predictor) - if both parents have eczema, there is an 80 per cent chance that their children will too.

  • Food - Dairy/milk and wheat products,acidic fruits, eggs, nuts, seafood, chemical food additives, preservatives and colorings.

  • Stress - Emotional stress is a well-known trigger of eczema flare-ups. Learning to reduce stress can significantly help the problem.

External factors

  • Irritants - tobacco smoke, chemicals, paints, bleach, weather (hot and humid or cold and dry conditions) and air conditioning or overheating. Scratchy clothes (like wool) can also irritate the skin. Its best to wear clothes made of soft fabrics like cotton. It is also recommended to wash all new clothing before wearing them.

  • Allergens - dust mites, feathers, molds, grasses, plant pollens, foods, pet hair, soaps, shampoos and washing powders, and certain cosmetics. Ingredients such as alcohol, astringents, and fragrances may trigger or worsen eczema.

Whoa! That explains a bunch! I guess my excema is hereditary, knowing that Dad has really challenging hayfever.

Then we have the list of food triggers. On raw, the only things that I don't naturally avoid are the nuts and acidic fruits. I'll have to look more into that. I have been noticing increased itching after eating peanuts lately! But the other nuts seem ok, so far. I wonder which fruits are considered acidic? Let's go find out...


  • Blueberries
  • Canned or Glazed Fruits

  • Cranberries

  • Currants
  • Plums

  • **Prunes** leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.

Hmmm. These fruits are not part of my daily staples, so I am good to go here.

I'm sure the emotional stress didn't help bring on the first outbreak, that pre-mob retreat was VERY emotional. I'm so thankful for it though! This time, I believe it's just that I haven't been as careful with my diet.

I have been using natural cleaning products for many years now to help lessen the external irritant aspect of excema. I have been using products from Melaleuca and Young Living. I feel good about not spraying chemicals all over my house for my kids to breath. I think they smell much better as well! :D

I believe that my excema will go away completely. I have a very hard time just accepting that it's hereditary- deal with it. Until it does, I will keep experimenting. Let me know what you find, as well!

~Joanna RawTn ~xoxo

Information about excema quoted from

Information about acidic fruits quoted from

Monday, May 26

A good man...

On this Memorial Day 2008 I would like to introduce you to a soldier about to head out to Texas for EMT recertification, June 20th, then on to Iraq for a year tour.

Believe it or not... he really wants to go.

He's early forties and been out of the miltary for 16 years. Here's his testimony about why he got out of the military in 1992, written early this year, to some friends we were doing a raw food fitness challenge with:

"Now before I get started, don't think that I am just trying to get sympathy. I just wanted y'all to know a bit about where I'm coming from and where I hope to get back.

On July 8th, 1984 , at the age of 20, I hopped on my motorcycle and headed back to my duty station at Ft. Polk, LA. About 2 miles from my house an elderly man turned in front of me and I hit him broad side at about 60 mph.

The impact tore my body up. The metal of the car ripped my neck open and severed my jugular vein. By the time the ambulance got there and got me to the hospital I had lost so much blood that my veins were collapsing.

I was unconscious and actually went into a coma. They did cat scans and found that I had 2 blood clots to my brain. They couldn't give me more than one unit of blood for fear of the blood going to the clots and killing me instantly. The trauma to my head also caused paralysis down the right side of my body.

The initial report to my family was, "he's in a coma. He has 2 blood clots on his brain. He's paralyzed on his right side. He has a few broken bones that we are not even worried about right now. He is in very critical condition." When my mom asked about a prognosis the doctor said, "I can only give him about a 10% survival rate. However, even if he lives, he'll be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life."

WOW!!! What news, my family was devastated. However, my family is a very Christian family and they called everyone they knew for prayer.

Whether you choose to believe in God or not doesn't matter to me however, three days later I woke from the coma. Six months later there was NO sign of a blood clot. The paralysis began to leave my body and I was able to walk and hold a cup with my right hand. Before I left the hospital they put a cast on my broken ankle and told me to take it easy. I lost from 140 lbs down to 117.... Talk about a CRASH diet.

Because I am a VERY determined person I refused to just lie there. I worked hard to get ALL of my strength back. When I got the cast off I started to work out again and found that my right knee was messed up. Further examination found that both ligaments in my knee were destroyed and the cartilage was torn. I went through two knee surgeries within that 1st year.

Before my wreck I ran 2 miles a day, I played racket ball, I worked out with weights. I was proud of my body and the shape I was in. After the wreck I worked to get back to that place. It took nearly 2 years for my to get all of my range of motion in my arms and legs but it did happen.

Because of the excessive trauma to my body, over the years arthritis set in and I started to really slow down. I gained weight and actually got to over 180 pounds. For a guy that always stayed around 140, this was huge. I also went from a 28 inch waist to a 39 inch waist.

The reason I joined a raw food fitness challenge is because I was TIRED of feeling old. I am only 44 however, I FELT OLD. I have NEVER had a good diet and I have NEVER cared about it. Now, I CARE. When I looked in the mirror and saw a vague resemblance of the man I once was, I wanted to be better than ever. Most of all, I wanted to get healthy." ~Joey 3/31/08

Now he's off again to help out this younger group of guys. Off to lend his expertise and maturity, to help in any way he can. This is my man. My husband. We will miss him so much while he's away, and wait for his return.

~Joanna RawTn

Saturday, May 24

I'm sure many of you have seen this video, but if it doesn't look familiar, check it out!

Disclaimer: This video may just change your life.

Friday, May 23

Ode to twitter- Tiniest Bok Choy Celebration & a bit about me...

You know who you are! Bok choy fan club... NO more grandaddy bok choy's for me! I now have the tiniest baby boks. Actually, could they even possibly be 'newborn boks?' In a week or so I will thin them out as the package says and eat them in my salad! :D OH puhleazeeeeeee don't chirp! Ok, ok, 'nuf with the inside joke stuff! I'm just having a bit of fun here and you don't even know how to take me yet! (Come on over and join the fun at if you aren't part of our group yet! Twitter is a fun way to keep in touch with likeminded peeps. I think it's a requirement that you have to be brilliant to be on there, but they are so kind that they haven't kicked me out yet! *big grin!* My twitter 'name' is RawTn) About that- RawTn- Bet you're wondering what the name's about... Well, I am a native California girl (SoCal baby! Like fer sher.) who has been very interested in all things health related for many years now. It all started with the mohawk, then the herbs, then vitamins, then essential oils, then whole foods, and now [drum roll please..............] I have just 'discovered' RAW! ****Wait!**** No, not raw meat, lol. Fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, etc. and so forth. Food as God put here for us naturally. Right out of the garden. (Not quite yet though, the veggies are still un-cooking, lol.) Anyway, this city girl has been transplanted (happily) to Tennesee as of Oct 6, 2006. I love everything about Tennessee except the abundance of bugs and the fact that my family is all thousands of miles from here! Hubby and I have four 'kids' (22, 20, 18 & 13) and live in a log cabin on 4+ acres with big big trees, a three week old garden, 12 Tennessee walking horses, 3 english setters, a cat/kitten combo and a Macaw to top it all off. We have homeschooled the middle girls through high school, and Will (fruitfreek on twitter) is the last of the Mohicans to get thru high school- which starts Tuesday! (I heard that groan!) We have quite a few irons on the fire here of late, I couldn't possibly blog about it all tonight! OH Mr. Sandman................ bring me a dream..................... (oh yeah, he'll be back from the horse show soon! Yay!)