Monday, December 14, 2009

Is the time right?

I am on my quest of raw foods wholeheartedly again. It's not that I never stopped but rather was not over 50% raw foods. So my intention is to write down all I eat in hopes that it serves as another support structure for me. Perhaps small posts will encourage me to continue this blog.

Today's Intake:

Green smoothie

2 tangerine

Raw chocolate granola and coconut milk

Kale hemp seaweed salad

Raw lasagna


1 cup of decaf coffee

1 granny smith apple

I am sure I will eat again today but I am off to volleyball. I do not think I will post so late so here it is. A small step for Alma! At least I am moving forward.

Celebrate Life,

Friday, October 2, 2009

In Memory of Teddy and Patricia Mercado

Never in a million years would I think that the post right after "In Your Honor" would be the post "In Your Memory." What can I say?

It's 2 months to the day that we lost both of your physical bodies but your spirits live on. Your love lives on as well. It is comforting to know that the love and the memories live on much longer than our physical bodies.

Teddy, you are my cousin, you are my brother. You always expressed your love to me like no one else could. Your words were so profound, kind and comforting. It is no wonder why you have so, so many friends and loved ones. You will live inside of me forever.

I am so glad that we had the opportunity to have a very long conversation just days before you left. You reminded me that you once told me that if we looked at the moon at the very same time it would close the distance between us. You told me so many beautiful things on how you love to make people happy, how you lived for your family and as always how much you loved me.

I was listening to some old voice mails and much to my surprise I had saved one of yours from Valentine's Day. It was awesome to hear your voice again. Thank you for that!

I keep seeing butterflies since your passing. Two beautiful butterflies came to visit me at mom's backyard. At different occasions one or two butterflies have flown around. One in my backyard fluttered all around my face and stayed with me for a while. There are many signs out there. You just have to be aware and see them.

Mr Big Stuff, my GI Joe there will never be a full moon when I do not look at it and think of you.
You are FOREVER in my heart!

Celebrating Your Life,
Your Sister - Almita

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This is in your HONOR

This is your light - I'm waking again in your HONOR

This is what was written in an email sent to me by my cousin Teddy. Teddy has been walking/running in my honor in The American Cancer Society's 'Relay for Life' ever since my lung cancer diagnosis. He participates in Puerto Rico where they call it 'Relevo Por La Vida.'

He had always communicated when he would be walking but this year he did something different. He sent me a picture of my light!

This left quite an impression on me. I got goosebumps when I opened the email.

Words cannot express the tremendous honor I felt and still feel to this day by this picture. This is only a 'candle in a bag' to some. This candle just shined for a short while on this earth - just as I will in this lifetime. This candle symbolizes
the light that I still get to shine on this earth because I AM A SURVIVOR.

These are the rewards in life that are immeasureable!

Teddy this post
Thank you for celebrating my life,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4.5 years - Pain = weakness coming out of your body

I am sitting here reviewing my blog and I noticed my 4 year cancer free anniversary post. Last Monday it was 4.5 years and I am happy to say that on Tuesday I started jumping rope. I was doing 30 second intervals every few minutes. What a joy! To think of surviving lung cancer is one thing but to be skipping rope, using oxygen with pulmonary fibrosis is just priceless.

So Wednesday I played volleyball and I must say that the new Helios Marathon has really turned my life around. I could play and not cough nearly as much as I have in the past. When my oxygen levels get low, I cough. With this new system I get a constant stream of oxygen which enables me to perform better and feel better. I have not had such a sense of "normalcy" going up a flight of stairs in years.

Anyway, on Thursday morning about 12:30AM I got a charlie horse to beat all charlie horses ever. It was over 6 - 7 before my muscle calmed down and softened some. I was screaming in pain. I finally got a grip on the pain and tried to massage the muscle. Well I finally got it to a state of tolerable pain when I realized I had to go to the bathroom. Of course, I had drank a lot of water since I was playing outside in the heat but not nearly enough water to prevent a major muscle cramp. I could not put much weight on my leg. I went to the bathroom and went back to sleep.

About 4AM I got to a coherent level of consciousness and decided to rub some mineral ice on my calf. I thought it was in my bathroom but luck have it, it was not. So I hobbled all the way to the other bathroom and back. I massaged my calf and continued to nurse it all day. The next day I was about 80 to 85% normal and today I am about 95 to 97% back. Tomorrow I start working out again but I may wait a few days before I start jumping rope again.

Quote of the day:

Discover your way forward.

Whatever it is you choose to do, or to be, or to create, go ahead and begin.

Take some initial action, and that action will quickly feed other actions.
Though you may not yet know everything that must be done, you do know of something you can do right now.

So do it, and get yourself started.
The first step will enable you to see what the second step is to be.

The second step will begin to establish powerful momentum.
Discover your way forward, and uncover joys that you would have never guessed were there. Learn and grow and build and create your way to whatever destination you have chosen.
No situation is ever hopeless.

Because whatever the situation may be, the moment you start to take action, you change it.
Begin to act, and your world begins to change.

Keep going, and your life takes on more and more of the flavor of your dreams.
-- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,

Monday, June 15, 2009

A quick note...

I got a new Helios oxygen tank. This one has the option of continuous flow and oxygen on demand when I breathe in. I have been using the on demand one for over 4.5 years. Last week I decided to test the continuous flow one and today was the first day I exercised with it. Well I was on the treadmill for 45 min at the fastest rate I have done and I actually ran. Yes you read that right, I ran. Ok so at first it was for 10 seconds. I had to catch my breath and after I realized that I had actually ran, I did it again for 20 seconds. Mind you I decided to run after working out on the treadmill for over 35 minutes.

I am exhausted and I am going to bed. Yes this is another thing my body will have to adjust to. I had a good night sleep and my exhaustion was due to the workout. I ate very good today. All fresh fruits and veges. I had some raw nuts and two soy yogurts.

I dont know if I will do the treadmill again tomorrow but I may. Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Celebrate Life,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Body Responded

It finally happened!!!

I have always believed in my mind that I could get off oxygen. There has never been a doubt and for the first time ever my body is starting to believe it as well. This is what happened. Last Thursday I ran out of oxygen while playing volleyball and I continued to play. Of course, I took it easy and did not serve for two games because the exertion is just too much for me even with oxygen. Well we were playing the last game and I wanted to serve. I got up about 4 times and I served one and two points, no big deal. On my last attempt I served about 9 points.

After serving three points, I remember thinking that I would be out of air soon and start coughing because my heart was pounding hard and I was breathing heavy. When I served the fourth point I was at about the same level as I was on the third point. I then remember thinking, I could do this. So I proceeded to serve. At about my sixth serve I told my teammates that I was going to sit out the rest of the game after my service. I was thinking that I would start coughing hard and not be able to recuperate enough to run around playing volleyball. Well when I finished serving I did sit down and guess what?

I never coughed!

Now that has never happened. That was a sure sign for me. All the exercising I am doing is finally paying off. My heart is in better shape and so are my lungs.

This has served as a new motivation and I cannot wait to see where this road takes me.

Quote of the day:

Today is a great day to be alive. The world is filled with positive possibilities, and those possibilities grow more numerous with each passing moment.
Sure, there are challenges and disappointments and frustrations. And within those challenges, within those disappointments, are some of the greatest possibilities.
Today is a great day to be alive because today you can make things happen. You can set a goal, chart a course, take stock of your situation and use it to create new value.
Pay no attention to those who claim to know how things will be. Your future is yours to determine, and this is the day to make it great.
You don't need any one's permission to live with joy and fulfillment. You don't need to wait for certain circumstances to line up in a specific way.
For today is a great day to be alive, to be productive, to be effective and to fulfill your best possibilities. And now is the moment to enthusiastically get busy making it all happen.
-- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reclaiming My LIFE and Running for Joy

It has been 3 months now that I have been training for a 5K race in October. I work out at least 5 times a week and play volleyball at least twice. The great thing is that one of my workouts is a yoga class. I have missed yoga very much and I am fortunate enough to be able to take a class during working hours at our gym.

I must say that this goal is one of my most challenging of all. How I ever thought this one up is beyond me! However, the goal is set and I will run/jog this race. I will not not walk this 5K. I have a friend who is sharing her knowledge of exercises. Let's just put it this way. She often says fill up 2 oxygen tanks because you are going to need them. I am very lucky to have such a great friend that want to help me succeed in my goal and is willing to help me out.

What a blessing to be able to do these athletic tasks twice a day. I must say that by the time I workout, work and either play volleyball or go work out again my entire day is practically gone. But I cannot think of a better investment than in myself. So I will continue to keep you up to date with my progress.

I finally bought myself a dehydrater. Better yet, I finally used it and a co-worker saw me drinking my green drinks and offered me a juicer. Well it happens to be that I purchased a Champion juicer from her and now I an outstanding juicer, dehydrator and blender. This will help me eat more and more raw foods!


Quote of the day:
Discover your way forward.
Whatever it is you choose to do, or to be, or to create, go ahead and begin.
Take some initial action, and that action will quickly feed other actions.
Though you may not yet know everything that must be done,
you do know of something you can do right now.
So do it, and get yourself started.
The first step will enable you to see what the second step is to be.
The second step will begin to establish powerful momentum.
Discover your way forward, and uncover joys that you would have never guessed were there. Learn and grow and build and create your way to whatever destination you have chosen.
No situation is ever hopeless.
Because whatever the situation may be, the moment you start to take action, you change it. Begin to act, and your world begins to change.
Keep going, and your life takes on more and more of the flavor of your dreams. -- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Buckwheat Grouts

Buckwheat groats are available from health food stores and have a distinct flavour. For a milder taste, substitute oat groats or steel-cut oats. Whole grains provide essential amino acids and B vitamins to help with stress. Add dates to the groats as they provide plenty of sweetness along with fibre and minerals.

Raw Buckwheat Breakfast
8 dates 1 cup (250 mL) buckwheat
1 cup (250 mL) apple or pear juice
1 apple, coarsely diced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) shredded coconut
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

In a large bowl, cover buckwheat groats and dates with water and soak overnight at room temperature.
Drain buckwheat and dates, reserving 1 cup (250 mL) of liquid.
Blend reserved liquid, buckwheat, and dates together with apple juice and apple.
Top with coconut, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Add other dried fruits, nuts and seeds to taste.
Serves 2

Quote of the day: The power of feelings
You can feel good for no reason at all. In fact, you can choose to feel any way you wish at any time and in any situation. Whatever you desire, you desire because of the way you think it will make you feel. Whatever you avoid, you avoid because you don't wish to experience the feelings that you assume it will bring. Yet the fact is that your feelings are not controlled by your circumstances. Those feelings are determined by how you choose to respond to various situations and events. Your feelings in any moment are yours to choose. You can choose to feel the wonderful reality of your most treasured dreams long before those dreams have been fully achieved. And when you do, you put yourself in a positive, powerful place from which you can surely make those dreams real. When you feel good for no reason, you immediately begin to create the reasons. Choose each day to feel the way you wish to feel, no matter what is going on around you. And let your feelings pull you toward the fulfillment of your destiny.
-- Ralph Marston
Celebrate Life,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Papaya, Parsley and Applesauce

Papaya is best known for its digestive properties. It is high in fiber and aids in restoring the natural flora in your intestines. The active digestive enzyme is papain and it is rich in vitamin C and carotene. The skin and pulp are also known as healing agents.

Emerald Apple Sauce
By Aletha Nowitzky
Blend well the following ingredients in the blender.
Two large apples ½ bunch (or one cup) parsley
Yields 2 cups Source: newsletter

Parsley contains three times as much vitamin C as oranges, twice as much iron as spinach, is rich in vitamin A and contains folate, potassium and calcium.
Celebrate Life,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day My Love

I wish we were skidding rocks into an ocean somewhere.

Well here I am in week three of training for my 5K race in October. Although most of you probably can walk quicker than I am jogging, it is a start. Progress has already been seen on the volleyball court which has encouraged me to continue on this journey. I played exceptionally well last Thursdays and my teammates and the other team we played against all took the time to tell me so. I am so proud of my accomplishment. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for me. I am up to 30 min of jogging. Some days I have walked quickly but mostly a jog. Some days I have wanted to quit earlier but I have stuck with it. I would say that I have been doing the 30 min for about 2 weeks now. I took a week to go get to that point and if you know me, you will know that I did that way too fast. I was hurting the first few days. I should have stayed at 20 min for a week and then increased my time but nooooo, not me.

I have been drinking my green smoothies faithfully for the last two months and I have too much energy at times. I love it! I think that is what has given me the strength to play and jog. Well that is my update for now.

Celebrate Life,

Friday, January 23, 2009



Good Luck Margarita!
We had a blast at the Margaritaville party. We wish you health and send our love. You will be in our prayers and we cannot wait to celebrate our next Margaritaville party.
Salt, salt, salt!

I would like thank all of you for coming to my home and making wonderful memories. Your generosity, companionship and overall enthusiasm to party was greatly appreciated. I know that Margarita was heartfelt just as each and every one of us was to share such wonderful evening. I am honored to have such great friends!

Con mucho amore y carino!

Celebrate Life,

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

4 Year Anniversary - much Gratefulness

My first conscious thoughts of the day were of gratefulness. Thank you Lord for the last 4 years. Now I am going for 50 more. How happy am I to be alive! I went into tears of happiness today talking about my survival. Well this day is really bringing out a lot of emotion. More than I anticipated. I want to say that I have to get a grip but I have learned that I should be with the emotions I am feeling instead of keeping them bottled up inside. So I will cry.

I am also grateful for google for giving people like me the opportunity to express our feelings out into the world. I would never share these thoughts with anyone but this has become my avenue of expression. It has given me a release and a voice. It is here for myself as well as for milliions to read. I genually love the person I have become.

Quote of the day:

Create the best

Calm your thoughts and be peaceful.
Know that all is well, all the time.
This moment is already the best it can be, and is everything it can be.
Accept it and move forward.
Do not fear the worst, for your thoughts of fear give great power to whatever it is you fear. Instead, sincerely expect the best and you create the best.
Know that the positive possibilities are always present, and your eyes will be opened to them. Everything that is, can be put to good use in moving toward your highest vision for life.
As life unfolds in each moment, new opportunities are being born.
No matter what has already happened, choose to create the very best you can imagine.
This is the day that you have to work with.
Live with peaceful purpose, and use it to create a magnificent world. -- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,

Saturday, January 10, 2009


You'll benefit from plenty of protein when you include millet in your diet. Depending on the variety, millet's protein content is very close to that of wheat, with a half-cup serving, cooked, providing 4.2 grams. One-half cup raw millet contains 11 grams of protein.
Millet is rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6, and folacin and offers calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Since millet contains no gluten, it cannot rise to form a light bread. For a raised bread, it's best to combine it with wheat. Used alone, it's ideal for making flatbread.
The only grain that retains its alkaline nature when cooked, millet is ideal for those who are allergic to wheat and gluten
Millet can be used in many dishes in place of buckwheat, rice, or quinoa. It makes a tasty, light breakfast cereal, works well in vegetable loaves, gives extra body to soups or stews, and used raw, adds delightful, crunchy texture to muffins and quickbreads.

STORING: Store millet at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a month. For longer storage, it should be refrigerated.

PREPARATION: All grains should be washed before cooking. Because millet absorbs water rapidly, wash the grains briefly. Measure the quantity you are planning to cook before washing.
1 cup raw millet yields 3 cups cooked. When measuring, use 3 1/2 parts liquid to 1 part millet. For 1 cup raw millet, add 1 t. salt.

COOKING: Because all pearl millet is not the same, cooking times may vary. Millet cooks up to make a fluffy, delicate-tasting grain that is best enjoyed warm. When cold it tends to become hard, dry, and lumpy.

To Bake, set oven at 350, put millet, salt, and liquid in a covered casserole, and bake for 45 minutes.

To Boil: Bring millet, salt, and liquid to a rolling boil and boil 10 minutes. Some varieties may take longer.

To Steam: Combine millet, salt, and liquid in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately turn heat down to low, and steam for 15 minutes without lifting lid. Turn off heat and set aside without peeking for 10 to 15 minutes. Some varieties require longer cooking, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

Enjoy millet often with this easy-to-prepare recipe. Serve with a crisp tossed salad, steamed vegetables, and whole grain bread.

This healthy granola makes a great topping for fruit or yogurt. You can even eat it alone for a crunchy snack.

2 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup uncooked millet
1/3 cup brown rice syrup, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 250ºF. Place rolled oats and millet on baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour.

I will put my dehydrator on 105ºF and roast for 3 to 4 hours and melt my tahini and water at the same time.

In small pan, melt sweetener, tahini, and water together over low heat. In large bowl, toss oats, millet, and seeds with tahini mixture until completely coated. Spread on unoiled baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp. Dehydrate for another hour or two. Stir once or twice during baking. Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Makes 8 servings

Variation: Add 1/2 to 1 cup dried fruit to cooked granola and store as directed.

Do not bake fruit.

Motivation of the Day: Over and Over

The actions, thoughts and words that become a permanent part of you are the ones you choose to repeat over and over again. Doing something once will certainly bring some kind of result, and doing it repeatedly will multiply its power many times over. You cannot lift a thousand pounds all at once. Yet you can lift one pound a thousand times. In the repetition of your thoughts and actions, there is great power. Choose to make complete and purposeful use of that power. Add immense leverage to what you do by doing it again and again. Give great strength to your actions by persistently repeating them. Nothing of value is ever accomplished in an instant. No skill is ever fully developed in a single day. Take the time to make the effort over and over again. That time and those efforts will bring great rewards. -- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,


Raw Grains - Yummy

It's not uncommon to eat soaked or sprouted grains within the raw food community. So I have decided to give them a try since it is difficult for me to stay raw during the winter months. All I have to do with the grains is soak them, like I do with nuts and seeds to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors which interfere with digestion.

Try soaking steel cut oats (they are raw). They are so nice as a cereal in the morning (drain excess water and mix in a small bit of celtic sea or himalayan salt) with a bit of honey.

Healthy Multi-Grain Breakfast Cereal Recipe

Buy approximately 1/3 lb of each of the following grains: Brown rice Steel cut oats Wheat berry

Sunflower seeds
Flax seed

Put all the grains together in a large container and mix so that the grains are uniformly distributed throughout the cereal.

To serve, begin by grinding approximately 1/8 to 1/3 cup of grain per serving.

Prepare the cereal the night before by placing the serving in a bowl, adding approximately an equal amount of water, covering it and allowing it to sit over night. Soaking the mixture is necessary to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors which interfere with digestion.

In the morning, add whatever fruit you have available or some chopped soaked almonds, raisins, and/or a dash of cinnamon. You can add honey and cinnamon or just eat it plain.

Something wonderful will come from this. Something of great value is already taking shape. In every disappointment, there are fertile seeds of accomplishment. In times of pain, there are opportunities arising for magnificent joy. When you are making your way through the dark and lonely valley, keep going. Keep going and you'll soon reach the place where you begin to climb out and up toward the mountaintop. Allow your difficulties the opportunity to give you strength. Let the tough times make the good times much more rewarding than they otherwise would have been. Be truly thankful for each opportunity to more fully appreciate life's goodness. And be confident that the goodness is always there. Know that something wonderful will come from this. And it will. -- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Alkalizing foods - Reply to Sue

Sue wrote a comment on this blog on my post Happy Holidays from Saturday, December 27th. Here is my reply:

I still believe that alkalizing the body improves overall health and prevents disease. I have been reading about foods and their affects on our bodies faithfully for over 3 years now and my undergraduate degree is in foods and nutrition. This is my opinion but I feel that I am living proof as well. I judge how foods affects my body by my volleyball play and I can say there was a difference when I went vegetarian and a difference when I added green smoothies and an even bigger difference when I went raw.

Please send me the source where you read about just drinking the green drink and adding alkaline drops to water alone will make a big difference as it balances the acidic foods eaten making the body more alkaline. I would love to review the information.

My other blog entry on this topic can be found here.

Quote of the day:

"A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results. " Wade Boggs

Celebrate Life,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

I went shopping for my greens this morning and I just finished making my green smoothies for the week. I freeze them and have them ready in the morning. I use the frozen smoothie as ice for my lunch bag. When I am ready to drink my smoothie it is nice and cold. Today I made my green smoothies with red leaf lettuce, dandelion, apples and bananas.

I will also have some live shakes in the morning with spirulina. I bought some spirulina powder and I cannot believe the color. It is so incredibly dark green. I am used to green foods but this is incredible. The problem is that it is so darn expensive. I am going to shop on the internet and see what I can find. You know that I will post my findings.

Now is your moment:
It is now, and now is different. Even though you may have experienced an overwhelming amount of disappointment in the past, the past is over. Perhaps you've failed again and again. Now is different. That was then and this is now. Now you have the opportunity to move forward. Now you can do what you've never been able to do before. Now you can follow through on the things you've been unable or unwilling to do in the past. Now is your moment to live. Now is the time to act. Now is when you can truly make a difference. Stand up, step forward and live. -- Ralph Marston

Celebrate Life,
Alma from Raw Foods Wealth 2 Health

Alissa Cohen Raw Food Store