Above, Mt. Mclaughlin as seen from Rama's living room deck. For a long time I've wanted to go away somewhere and detox my arteries, and my whole body, so I could start over again. A year ago I'd talked to my friend Contance a registered nurse who specializes in helping people to eliminate toxins out of their bodies. She told me the story about a 78 year old man, Paul Hanna, who had rheumatoid arthritis and was dying, but against doctors orders he had checked himself out of the hospital in great pain. Connie owed him some money so she offered to pay him back by detoxing him and helping him eliminate his pain. At the end of three weeks her debt was paid off and she left but the next day Paul felt so much better that he went for a drive and had a terrible accident in which he died. When Connie went to the funeral, she ended up having a talk with the funeral director who told her that when he was embalming Paul he was shocked to see that he had the arteries of a man in his 30's. You can read the story yourself by clicking on Connie's name above. I'm not in pain but ever since Connie told me her story I've been wanting to do her detox. I finally sent Connie an email to see if she would be willing to do a barter with me. I offered some money and to make videos for her in exchange for a month long detox session. A day later her daughter, Rama (pronounced Raymah), answered my e-mail saying that Connie had been visiting her house and using her computer to check her e-mail and had left it on when she'd gone. Rama read my e-mail and decided that she would love to detox too, but with five kids she had to wait until after the holidays to do it. Since I wasn't planning to leave Eugene until after the new year it was perfect for me. Rama is the distributor of Himalayan salt and the owner of Full Spectrum Life, which sells the salt and various other products made from it. She offered to let me sleep on a bed in her office for a month while we did the detox and ate all meals and did the program together. In return I would make a series of videos for her to put up on her web site. I jumped at the opportunity. We made arrangements for me to drive up on January 2nd, the day before her kids had to go back to school.
On January 2nd I left Eugene and noticed that my truck was making a strange noise. I literally prayed that if my truck died, please not to let it die much farther than 100 miles from Rama's house because my friend Fran had bought me an AAA gold card which allowed me to be towed free for 100 miles, as well as sent me $60 for gas. (Living on $596 a month Social Security is hard.) Exactly 108 miles from Rama's house my truck died a sudden death. I called AAA emergency and a tow truck appeared shortly after and took me straight to Rama's house, exactly 108 miles. I had a nice talk with the tow truck company owner to drove me and it ended up costing me $30. Not to bad. Rama and Brian, her husband, graciously invited me in and told me not to worry about my truck as they could easily push it onto their trailer and take it to this wonderful mechanic who could fix anything and was honest and reasonable. the next day when we dropped it off at the mechanic's i learned that I needed a new transmission, gulp. But, the gods were looking down on me. I had exactly $379.61 in my checking account. Rama called a wrecking company in Salem, Oregon and they had a transmission with a two month warranty for my truck for $175, including the price of delivery. Birney, the mechanic, said he would install it for $200. I had my truck fixed and running in a few days and still had $4.61 in my checking account. This is just one of many generous deeds Rama and Brian and her kids, Kala, Zack, Chinara, Jelly (short for Angelica), and Jarret extended to me. I ended up staying three weeks, had a wonderful time, lost 12 lbs. and really cleaned myself out. I feel great and am wearing pants I haven't squeezed into for a long long time.
The first thing every morning I drank a glass of water with lemon and Sole, a solution of water and Himalayan salt that when dissolved to a 29% saturation provides 84 essential minerals that our bodies need, including salt. I would also drink a cocktail of 1 tsp. sacred clay (from the Crater Lake area) mixed with apple, grape or cranberry juice. Clay is a powerful detox agent. I drank this four times a day. Breakfast was a green drink made of 1 or 2 green vegetables and one or two fruits with a little Stevia to sweeten it if needed. The green vegetables were chard, kale, spinach, fennel, Romain, parsley, collard, cucumber, and the fruits were green apples, blueberries, raspberries, pears, bananas, or pineapple. Sometimes Rama would pull out the juicer and we'd have a carrot, apple, beet and ginger root drink instead. I was supposed to drink 8 large glasses of water a day but could substitute it with special detoxing teas she had, Suma Raj and Jason Winter's Tea. We ate twice a day. Fro breakfast we had the green drink and a barley/oatmeal and fruit mixture and for dinner some amazing and very delicious raw masterpieces. Above was dinner on sushi night with seaweed used as the rap. It was glued shut with a pecan and basil concoction made in her Vitamix. We also had raw spaghetti sauce with noodles made from extruded zucchinis, Mexican food with her sprouted and cooked beans, raw pizza with the crust made in her dehydrator. It was amazingly good. I was surprised to see how the kids loved the salads and ate such healthy food. Rama's dehydrated crackers were very delicious and were my favorite for dipping with humus.
I also had soak in a salt bath for at least half an hour as often as possible which turned out to be every other day for me. These salt and clay soaks were very powerful detoxers and always left me very tired. Other people evidently are left energized, but not me. For exercise I had to jump for at least 15 minutes on the small trampoline to get my circulation moving, spend at least 15 minutes a day on the Chi machines and because of the cold I often bicycled on her indoor bike for 5 to 7 miles. One weekend the whole family went on a hike to Table Rock, a strange looking volcanic mountain near their house. Below is a shot of Jarret and Chinara on top of Table Rock.
The only cooked food we ate during the three weeks were made from sprouted beans, peas and lentils. Only organic dried legumes can be sprouted and it doubles their protein value. Rama made incredible soups from the lentils, beans and peas and the best tasting humus from the garbanzos. We ate the sprouted buckwheat (below) for breakfast, cooked with gluten free oatmeal, or ground with other substances to make yummy batter for waffles. When I left, Rama gave me two tubs of humus to take with me, which allowed me to stay on the diet for several days longer after I was on my own again.
Below I met Janet the last time I traveled up to Oregon, in 2007. She was the friend of a woman I met in Spokane who I house-sat for. She lives outside of Cave Junction but I knew she went to Ashland once a week to get her groceries from the Co-op so I invited her to meet Rama, who had the same interests. It turned out that Janet had been buying a special kind of milk from the ranch next door to Rama's. Rama had been driving far away to buy the same kind of milk and after she met Janet she finally called and made friends with the woman who owned the ranch. Best of all, Chinara and Jelly ended up working on the ranch after school and really love it. They have learned to milk the cows, feed the dogs, goats and other animals, make yogurt and have learned many other things. One night in a rainstorm the owner gave them both cowboy hats which the kids looked up on their laptops and turned out to be worth a lot of money ($179 and $350!) While they're in training they are being paid with all the organic milk and homemade yogurt then want, something all the kids love. I came from a large family, the oldest daughter of 7 children, and it wasn't until Rama and her family invited me in and let me be a part of them that I realized how much I missed it all.
The day after I left Rama and her family, I spent a night at Janet's place and we went for a hike with her two dogs (below) before I headed on down to Redwood Valley to stay with friends there.
Every evening Rama photographed the sunset from her ranch and this night I had my camera handy and joined in. Always spectacular.
One day we all visited the neighboring ranch so the kids could ride their horses in the training ring and we were accosted by two turkeys who serenaded us while their "beards" turned from red to white to blue. These two, who the owner told me had no names, saved themselves from their fate of becoming someone's holiday dinner by being best friends who always hang out together and gobble at the same time. I nicknamed them Tweedledee and Tweedledum then later learned that they were the names her dad called them. I couldn't resist making a little video of their song and dance routine.