Share Your Inspiration: Meet Jerry Wiggins

I want to tell you about my success story.

I have a rough medical history. Brain surgery from Chiari Malformation, a kidney removed from renal cancer, and some autonomic issues such as Central sleep apnea, gastroparesis, and POTS. My ears ring so loud 24/7. Of all this, the headaches, the nerve damage, and the pain from Chiari are my biggest issues. I have had doctors give up on me, tell me it was all in my head…well Chiari is in my head…and in general with some bad experiences.

I had to medically retire from a job I enjoyed which changed my way of life. I had become very non-mobile, with high blood pressure, and was suffering from declining health. I had become so pale and had lost so much weight that I went through early cancer screening but nothing was found. I found a new neurologist that was a nerve specialist with several Chiari patients. I think I flunked every phase of my initial examination. My doctor told me pain management was now the treatment, but that I might see benefits from yoga, that I needed to keep moving. Thus I sent my first email to Indra’s Grace. I then made contact over the phone and I knew Sandra was special. Sandra had even taken the time to find information on Chiari.  I was very impressed and very excited.

I started my first session in a chair and got so dizzy I thought I was going to fall out of it during my first breathing exercise. I was staggering all over the place doing basic exercises. Although it was  slow progress, I was amazed that it was progress. I had so many failed medications, long waits for doctor appointments and just time, if that makes any sense. After several years of declining health any progress was fast. A few sessions and my color started coming back. Then my blood pressure went down and I quit blood pressure medications.

So many emotions hit. It was very hard not being able to do simple things, stumbling, falling, and easy fatigue. I was shocked seeing a shadow of my old self. Sandra started turning my sad to hope and determination. My body started getting stronger. Something happened. It was like something turned on. My autonomic nervous system I think? It was to me the impossible.

My pain has lessened. I am now getting worried I will have to diet after gaining so much weight!  Yes, I still have many Chiari symptoms but now I know there is hope. My graduation to group class was fun and interesting. I didn’t get embarrassed; no one cared if I staggered around. Somehow, I hung in there and continued to grow. I have gone from barely hanging in to holding my own.

My cardiologist is very impressed with my progress. I am off my BP medications. He expected to see something on my echocardiogram that most people with central sleep apnea show. He was surprised because nothing showed. My rheumatologist was happy that I was moving better. She is a yoga fan also. And, of course, my neurologist is thrilled. She noticed I wasn’t constantly squirming from pain. Sandra had made that comment a few days before she did. All made the comment that my progress was from nothing they had done.  I had done it on my own. I know better, my progress is due to yoga and Sandra’s help.

I truly look forward to yoga and appreciate how it has helped me and how it will continue to help. No, there is no cure to Chiari but yoga has helped fight the symptoms. Yoga and Sandra have helped my body, mind, and spirit. She is a very special lady.


Book Club: Crazy, Sexy, Diet Chapter 9 & 10

September 1, 2012
Book Club Chapter 9, Supplements
Thanks to all who came to group on Saturday, it was fun to see everyone and to get caught up on the happenings over the last 2 weeks.  We chatted so much we didn’t discuss the chapter, so I will just briefly go over it for our blog.
Kris’s message throughout the book is the importance of getting nutrients from the fresh foods we eat and she starts the chapter by reiterating the point.  She then goes on to say there are a few supplements she suggests and they are:
Probiotics,  the ones high in lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.  Probiotics are meant to restore the balance of bacteria in your intestines.  Pg 166
Superfoods; these are rich in phytochemicals which can reduce the risk of certain forms of can, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the immune system.  Pg 167
Examples of superfoods are blue/green algae, spirulina,and chlorella.
Vitamin B12 is a vitamin needed if you are following a vegetarian diet, because B12 isn’t found in plant food.
Many people are low in Vitamin D, and she recommends Vitamin D3 2000- 4000 iu daily, pg 169 (Frank Lipman, MD)  It is very interesting the many signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency (fatigue, general muscle pain and weakness, tender sternum, muscle cramps, joint pain, weight gain, restless sleep, etc.) pg 169
A good multi-vitamin is ok to be on the safe side.  
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, particularly the ones that get the omega 3 from algae.
Digestive enzymes,  2 per meal just to help your digestive system and to let your body divert this energy to other places where it is needed.
Aloe Vera can be taken as a boost for your overall immune system.  A capful of aloe vera in 1 liter of water and drink it all morning.
As you can see this chapter was brief yet once again full of good information.

Chapter 10 The Adventure Cleanse Begins!
The 21 day cleanse that is outlined in the book is meant to “tune your body, mind, and spirit”.  “This is not about obsessing about every mouthful of food you eat but to have a peaceful feeling in your heart and in your body”. Pg 177   Each day starts with meditation, affirmations  and then a healthy green drink.
Kris has included many recipes in her book and I will print the recipes of the dishes we had in class to add to your repertoire of healthy food options to incorporate into your life.  The whole idea is to “honor the angel inside” pg 178 and to have fun as you explore this new way of living life.  The chapter has 21 days containing “a focus, affirmation, prayer, diet or lifestyle tip and God pod motivation to get your ass in gear”. Pg 178
We decided to have a potluck in class today as a way to help people get started.  We have now tasted several of the recipes in the book and today many people brought recipes that they found elsewhere.  We know how they taste and which  ones we enjoy, so that when we get started we can be kind to ourselves and serve some of our favorites.  The food today was delicious, pretty and so healthy.
Good Luck to all who attended group and to those of you who followed along online.  This book is a challenge, yet a gift to us all if we change even one part of our diet and lifestyle, releasing what no longer serves us well and incorporating new and refreshing ways into our daily lives.
Recipes Follow:

1)Marinated Kale Salad  (Karen Henckell)
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 lemon, juice from
1T agave nectar or your favorite sweetener
pinch Himalayan salt
pinch pepper
¼ cup flax seed oil
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 avocados, chopped
¼ head purple cabbage, chopped
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup purple onion

Combine Kale with marinade.  Massage for a few minutes to coat well, set aside.
Prepare tomato, avocado, cabbage and onion.
Stir into kale mixture and mix well
Sprinkle hemp seeds on top and mix in.

2)Broccoli Avocado Salad
2 ripe avocados
2 ripe mangos
2-3 cups broccoli chopped into small pieces
½ cup red onion
¾ cup raisins
pinch of sea salt

Combine all and serve
Ramen-Broccoli Slaw

½ cup sugar (stevia or whichever sweetener you like)
1/3  cup white vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 12 oz bag broccoli slaw mix
2 (3 oz) packages ramen noodles
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 cup shelled roasted sunflower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Whisk sugar and vinegar in medium bowl until sugar dissolves.  Gradually whisk in oil.  Set aside
Combine broccoli slaw, ramen and flavor packets, scallions, sunflower seeds and almonds in a large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until well coated.  Refrigerate salad, covered at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.  Toss again before serving.

4)Green Juice
Turnip greens (6 leaves)
1 cucumber
1 lime
1 bunch cilantro
grapes 1 bunch
2 red apples
2 green apples
3-4 shakes of cinnamon
Put through juicer and enjoy.
5) Quinoa Summer Salad
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup quinoa
4 cups combined vegetables of fruit such as:
(raw diced cucumber, tomatoes, stone fruit, peppers, mushrooms or grapes, or lightly steamed veggies such as corn, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, green beans, peas, etc.)
½ large red onion minced
1 T wine or vinegar
2 T freshly squeezed lemons
3 ½ T extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
3 T sliced or slivered almonds toasted
½ cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
Cook quinoa according to directions, allow to cool.  Combine veggies, lemon jce, vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings.  Toss in the cooked quinoa, almonds and parsley/cilantro.  Serve chilled.

6) Nutty Pulp Power Bars
2 cups rolled oats
2 carrots
3 medium apples
1 cup chopped almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup flax seeds
¼ cup cacao nibs
Yields;  2 dozen bars

Preheat oven to 320
Cut carrots and apples and run through juicer, saving both pulp and juice
In a large mixing bowl toss rolled oats in ¼ cup of the juice.  Add in all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Spread onto a greased cookie sheet and bake in 320 oven for 45 mins or until dry and set.
Let cool and cut into bars