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February 22, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix}

My lilacs have tiny, tiny leaves on them. I am going to work on getting the pump and well up and running again, so I can give the lilacs water. In March, the acequias (irrigation ditches) start running with water diverted from the Rio Grande so we are in the getting ready time now - cleaning and clearing. Seems fitting to be doing the clutter class right now.

I love that the light comes earlier now, and stays later in the afternoon. The dog census is at 4 these days. One old lady who is 15 and on meds to control her seizures, an 8 year old guy who has been losing weight pretty dramatically. We figured out he has pancreatic insufficiency so is not absorbing his food. It is quite interesting to me that after all these years of research and reflection about weight loss, I now have 2 dogs who are wasting away. It is pushing me to learn things about gut health and what affects it. Some of you know that many of my people *insights* have come up through observing the dogs. I will write more of that for you over the next few months.

As I have reported on some of the lists and in chats, it has been a time of *food* struggle for me. I think the grief takes a toll and I end up really having to pay attention to getting enough to eat. This has meant being diligent about my journal. And the gut explorations have led me to writings on grief, trauma and serotonin. So I have gone back to good ole Russet potatoes in the evening. It helps my sleep, no surprise. I also gave my brother dates for my annual trip to Maine. I am envisioning finding a watercolorist to work with while I am there. I want to do a portrait of Ronan.

I am ready for Euroranch now. Plans are all in place, materials ready and the people who are coming are having a blast making all sorts of plans. I got a special global pass that will allow me not to have to stand in line for customs. Yea!

This class will begin Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Step 3

You may have thought this was the easiest one and then stumbled some. This class will give you small steps to success. Learn what the most successful members have done to work their way to solid meals, on time, with good foods. This class will provide detailed suggestions to guide you.

These classes will begin Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Please Signup and it will take you to the registration page:

Using Radiant Resources

A free orientation for those of you who are brand new and would like to find your way around all the things we offer in the community. One of our mentors will show you the ropes. Watch for the welcoming email with a link to join the Yahoo list we use as our classroom.

Radiant Play

Learning how to play is a key part of recovery. Many of us lost this skill when we stepped into addictive behavior. Come remember the joy of it.

Check the class list page for more information on how the classes work. See the the Class Schedule here.

Be sure to visit our Radiant Recovery website and Community Forum regularly.



**Quote From Kathleen**

Remember that you are literally learning a new language. You are going to have to practice to become fluent in body talk.


**Testimonial of the Week**

The food spikes - I have just very recently started to notice how food is related to the spikes throughout the day. Just yesterday I made a conscious decision to lessen the impact of a spike by deciding to wait and have my "sweet fix" until after I had dinner. In the last weeks or so I have slowly been moving sweets into my meals and it has slowly lessened the impact of spikes. I don't feel terrible or super great....I just feel even Steven if that makes sense. I can start to appreciate what food does for my mood and I am excited! I am getting steady slowly.

Raising the natural state of BE - I am noticing that little sweet joys make me glow. I am starting to appreciate this little glow and how it's slowly raising my BE bar. I'm starting to appreciate "quiet time" and its powers and also the power of walking and how that raises my BE. It's like feeling a soft warm light instead of feeling a jolt of electricity when I get a spike from sugar.

Kathleen: Time, energy, commitment, diligence build. Sort of like adding one brick of BE at a time.

Yes it does take so much effort to get three meals done for myself and my family. I am starting to see my brick wall of recovery. Every day I carry that heavy brick of commitment and work and lay it down.

Kathleen: First blood sugar, then serotonin, then BE. BE is like dessert. And long term, when the other two are healed, BE is where the action is.

I think I am in the blood sugar stage. I am starting to have three regular meals with sugar at the meal and not in between. This step is still very shaky though so id say I'm just dipping my toe in the step 3 water right now.



**Interesting Bits of Science**

Look for my in-depth thoughts on the *Control of Brain Development, Function and Behavior by the MIcrobiome* next week. This is a fascinating discussion about the idea of the health of our guts may have a profound impact on our mental health as well as our intestinal health. Remember the term *gut microbes*...you will be healing more.


**Radiant Recovery Store**

We are excited to announce two new products. Our Nordic Naturals Sales Rep sent over some samples for Kathleen to try.

The first was something call Nordic Probiotic. She tried it and reported back that it is fabulous. Here is her quote:

This is an incredible find for anyone with a unpredictable gut. I have not thought of myself as having GI problems, but I was floored with the positive impact of taking this product. I can well imagine for those of you who struggle with digestive stability these would be fabulous.

Please send questions and suggestions. I love hearing from you and truly want to help you do your program better.


**Radiant Kitchen**

I just love green beans, they have to be my favorite vegetable. Hope you enjoy them, too!

Sesame Green Beans
  • 2 pounds green beans, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well blended. Add the green beans and toss to combine well. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.
For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.


**Radiant Your Last Diet**

As I have said, we are playing with refinements in YLD. This week I wanted to share a post that Ann Margaret posted on radiantdog (yes, there is a connection, LOL). We were talking about her pup getting a little *prosperous* and what she might do. Here is her reply:
Okay Heather and Kathleen, you guys have me laughing now. You know, Mr. Scooter can be quite the little couch potato! Hard to believe, huh? When I left him this morning, he was happily ensconced on my bed, all burrowed into my comforter. I could barely see his little head peeping out, he was so covered in down LOL.

Okay, his dinner last night and breakfast today:
  • 3/4 cup meat
  • 1/4 cup sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup steamed kale
  • 2 baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup green beans
  • various supplements and oils
I cut down his evening treat to 1/2 lamb treat and his morning treat to small pieces of peanut butter biscuit. I was very careful about how much food I gave him before we went to agility. Tonight and for the next few days his protein will be salmon. BTW, everything is organic and the beef is grass-fed.
OK, so I was laughing and laughing....first of all I love the idea of thinking of YLD as the place for the prosperous. It is a wonderful way to look at what we are doing. Then AMs note made me laugh because we are so able to care for our dogs and cats, and we struggle so much with ourselves. I think the trick in YLD is helping us regain a sense of humor. You know, diets are so, um, grim. And nasty, LOL. So I want YLD to be a place of laughter and fun. I think this is why I love chats so much. Here we are, a group of wacko people, both fat and thin and in between, getting together once a week to play and learn. Sometimes I can go and work really hard with a new topic and we are very focused and intent on learning something new. Other times, we just get goofy. And heaven help us if that coincides with full moon.

What I am excited about for fall is creating a structure that really suits the way we best do business. The classes I have been doing for Radiant Recovery taught me that small chunks of info give people a way to really assimilate it. Learning weight-loss skills is hard. There is a lot to it. Way more than just doing a diet thing. I think I underestimated how much there is to learning it. So the new structure will give us a way to get you the material more clearly. This is an exciting challenge.

If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here


**Radiant Living**

Sometimes we are laughing so hard we cannot even type. What is this that happens at conversations chats...our connection and our curiosity come together to do problem solving, joy dot sharing and just plan connecting. Do come join us.

If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here



Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

I have planned to post this article every year on the 3rd Sunday in February. I am sorry to bring you another story of grief. But it is funny that I went to the Story of Barney to find the store text for probiotics. Then I read the story of Barney. So we do grief together. Barney was easier for me. As hard as it was, it was practice in doing what you gotta do. Ronan was 100 times worse, but now is just the time of waiting till the quiet fills the emptiness. It is simply how grief works. We all lose people and things we love. And being willing to feel is part of being in recovery.

Barney showed up in my life about 10 days ago. A shelter in Northern NM had called to ask me to take a young male who was found running on the mesa. I declined because I had 4 dogs already and my rescue pens were full. Three days later, I got a call from a young woman who does rescue up there. She had pulled Barney from the shelter and had him at her house. She loved him. He was loving, sweet affectionate, great with her kids and dogs, and even her chickens. But he did not want to be locked up and kept breaking out. He had ripped all her fencing, and broken down the gates. She had to put him on a chain and she knew that it was not a good solution. She was willing to drive 3 hours to bring him to me. So, of course I said yes.

Barney was wonderful and yep, he was a breakout artist. He ripped out the wire in pen #1, so went to high security which has pig fencing and a dog cannot break it with his teeth. It is also designed so no one can dig out. I noticed when I let Barney be with me and with the other dogs, he calmed down and played and laughed. I figured out that he just did not want to be alone, he wanted to be with his gang. So I rearranged dogs, invited the best, most settled dog in my network to come for a visit, and Barney was in heaven. He had a *pack* and the world was right.

I have another grumpy, old fat guy who snarls at everyone. He got the lock down spot and would do the curl the lip thing and snarl at Barney. Barney just looked at him and said, *Get a grip , dude.* I was looking forward to finding him a loving home.

Thursday evening, I glanced out the window and saw that Barney was having a pretty major seizure. I went out to get him and it quieted. He was totally disoriented and I had no idea how I could get him to the vet because he was a big guy. He finally stood up and started going in circles. I guided him to the car and drove to the vet. She took him in, and did the standard protocol. Nothing in the blood work to suggest his eating something toxic. After 30 minutes she came back and said, *We need to put him in the hospital so they can stabilize him. I will load him with phenobarbitol and valium. He may have another seizure in the car.*

It is a long drive to the emergency hospital. And yes, he had another seizure in the car. They took him in. The resident came out and went through the long list of possibilities and asked me what I wanted to do. *No MRI, no spinal tap, let's get him stabilized and see where we are in the morning,* I said. The late night doc called me later and said he was still having episodes and she was concerned. In the morning she called and said he was walking, eating, wagging his tail and she was optimistic. Fifteen minutes later, she called back and said he had another major episode.

I knew at this point we were in trouble. I knew that I could not place him with uncontrolled epilepsy. I knew that the bills were mounting and every dollar we spend means it has to be raised. So I made the decision that we would euthanize him. I told her that. She agreed that it seemed to be the right decision. I hung up and felt incredibly sad. She called back in 10 minutes and said they needed a witness to the decision. I decided that I would drive up and sign the papers in person. I did.

While I was sitting in the waiting room, I decided that I would sit with Barney for this passing. He had no one, and it just seemed like the right thing to do. It was part of taking care of my *pack*. I told the receptionist. And I waited and waited. Then they put me in the kill room...I guess they feel that a carpet and upholstered chairs are better than stainless steel and linoleum. The doctor had told me that Barney was under deep anesthesia. They brought him in and set him on the blanket...a white polyester fleece with multicolored flowers. He opened his eyes, wagged his tail and tried to stand up. The doctor seemed like she was 18. I asked her to just let us sit alone.

So I held him and I stroked his head and as I wept over him, I told him that he would be safe. I asked my old girl who had died if she would come for him, show him where the balls were, where the fields were to run in and explain that all wounding would be healed. I told him he was a good boy and that I cherished him. He went to sleep.

The young doctor came back. She explained all the stuff. I wanted her to just shut up. I wanted to tell her that I knew all the process. I just held Barney and he passed. I asked her to leave me alone with him for a while. I turned off the overhead light and simply sat with Barney for a long time. I have been with people who have died. I know that the big soul goes first and the cells are confused. So I told them what had happened. I felt that Josie came for him. I thought about the fact that had he not been with me, he would have died in a ditch on the mesa. Probably his owner knew of the seizures and had simply thrown him out to die.

I have often said that when we experience a grief, we add a bead to a cord of the like griefs. I put the Barney bead on the cord and then touched all the beads before it. My Josie dog, George who committed suicide by alcohol, my mother, my therapist who committed suicide, my father who also drank himself to death. One death gives us all the deaths. And perhaps this heart, opened by a goofy blond boy dog, now could experience those other beads because somehow the recovery had allowed me to FEEL.

I got in the car in so much pain, I thought I could not drive. I wanted to drink, to have a hot fudge sundae, to go shopping, to go to a casino, to have sex, to do almost anything not to have this pain. And somehow in that moment, I realized that this is what it means to be sugar sensitive, to feel so deeply that we do not know what to do with it.

I knew I had to get some lunch. Flying Star has a take out on the way home. I got a grilled cheese sandwich on whole grain bread, and an iced decaf coffee. I ate it. I didn't drink, I didn't have sugar, I didn't do anything but go home and weep. I just waited. I told my dogs that Barney was with Josie. I made a phone call. The next morning I shared in a 12 step meeting. I did what we do in recovery.

And I didn't die. I found that pain would not kill me, it would heal me. This is recovery, this is why we do the food. Why it sustains us, holds us and heals us. It is why we show up for one another, and why we sit with our sisters, our brothers, our friends as we learn this new way. Thank you for being part of my life.


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2016 Kathleen DesMaisons. All rights reserved. You are free to use or transmit this article to your ezine or website as long as you leave the content unaltered, use this attribution: "By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Radiant Recovery", and notify kathleen@radiantrecovery.com of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery website at http://www.radiantrecovery.com for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction.

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