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My journey to raw and ripped - while living on a stomach tube!

About Me: I live off a stomach tube since I can't take anything by mouth due to nerve damage in my face. The damaged nerves are so sensitive to temperature, moving air, and sunlight (no, I don't have fangs!) that I'm completely housebound. But that's not going to prevent me from getting in the best shape of my life and becoming superbly healthy!

I'm transitioning off canned hospital formula to raw vegan with the use of a Vitamix 5200, and I'll be starting round one of P90X in the near future. I will keep you all posted on my journey to raw and ripped!

My channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/echoshadowlight

My vlogs:

"How I Eat A Raw Vegan Diet While Living on a Stomach Tube"

Living raw, being vegan, and getting healthy and fit (and super shredded!) all while living with a stomach tube.

Carpe diem!

"Bald Girl Gets Fit - my journey to raw and ripped!"

Progress photos of my body transformation, thanks to Bodyrock.tv, modeathletics, MercolaPeakFitness, SixPackAbs, and going raw vegan!

Comments

  • Wow.

    Isn't having to eat like that pretty time-consuming?

    By the way, you are SO FREAKING BEAUTIFUL.

  • You are absolutely adorable, and your story is so inspiring. Looking forward to seeing your future vlogs!

  • Schrip - thanks for your comment. :)

    BTW, it's not time consuming at all. I just throw stuff into the blender, and then pump it straight into my stomach. No fork/knife/spoon, no chewing... No food prep involved at all except maybe peeling oranges and cutting some stuff in half or quarters. The only thing that consumes a slight bit of time is when I blend something like strawberries, which has seeds that get stuck in my tube, and so then I have to strain it through a nutmilk bag. But that only takes a couple minutes.

  • Hey, thanks for your comment, so sweet of you. :)

  • AVLAVL

    Wow, you are such an inspiration jakkrabbit :) I really admire your motivation to eat raw and to pursue your fitness goals.

    I was wondering, in your video you said you were housebound, does that mean that you never leave the house? Or do you go out, but only for short periods of time? What do you do at home all day long? (other than research youtube fitness videos - don't worry I do that too!)

    Also, when you "eat" through the feeding tube, can you taste anything? I'm assuming not, but what if you burp? Do you taste the food that you put inside your stomach?

    Sorry I have so many questions, but I'm just curious :)

    BTW, you are VERY pretty :)

  • I don't mean to add to any pain, but I'm really curious- will you always have to live like that?

  • Yes, I *never* leave the house. I can't even open a window for fresh air or to hear the birds... but as you can see on my Youtube channel, I have a whole playlist of nature sounds to try to make up for that a little bit.

    What do I do at home?

    I work out every morning. Pretty soon I'm going to be helping my bro and sis work out every day too. I live with my 19 year old brother and together we raise my 16 year old sister. So there's lots to do with cooking for them every day, keeping the house clean, keeping track of our budgets, helping with homework, etc. There's a lot of phone calls and research that goes into dealing with my medical condition as well. I'm also an artist, and write poetry and am working on several novels. I play my classical guitar. I read books - LOTS of books, mostly literature, autobiographies, cookbooks (for my bro and sis) and uncooking books (for me), and books on animal rights, animal behavior, health, environmentalism, interior decoration, architecture, design, indoor gardening, - I plan to start actually putting that knowledge to use soon!- , financial management, and do-it-yourself books. I watch documentaries, write letters, vlog, follow several forums and raw Youtube channels, and research philosophy, taoism, jainism, Zen buddhism, and progressive Christianity. And am currently in the process of moving to a house better suited to my needs. Once we're moved over, I'll be starting up indoor gardening as well as a homebased web design business, and finally getting involved in animal activism. And I want to start doing some still life photography and eventually progress to food photography. I'm never bored!

    As for eating through the tube, no, I don't taste anything, usually not even when I burp. I used to have unbelievable food cravings that drove me almost insane, and I missed food even more than I missed being outside. I missed it more than I've ever missed anything in my life. Before I became housebound I worked in the kitchen of Planet Organic, and was pursuing a career in the culinary arts. Losing food was like going blind, or deaf, or becoming paralyzed.

    But I'm mostly used to it now. Going raw gives me some vicarious pleasure, by seeing how gorgeous and colorful the food looks before I throw it in the blender. :)

  • The nerve disfunction goes all the way back to the brain stem, so at this point it's considered incurable. The only thing left is experimental treatments. BUT, I am working with some engineers on a climate-controlled helmet design that could completely protect my face and allow me to go outside. It's still in the beginning stages of research and design sketches, but I'm very excited as this has a real possibility to revolutionize my life. I'll keep everyone updated on that, but I don't want to say too much yet as, like I said, it's still in the embryo stage.

    Right now though, I'm on this huge vampire-movie kick, since I really identify with having to avoid sunlight, haha. I loved Daybreakers.

  • hardcore

  • Jakkrabbit- you rock! Thanks so much for sharing your story. You are so beautiful, strong and inspirational! Your spirit radiates so much good energy... I know you'll attain all of your goals.

  • Wow! Just, wow!

  • jakkrabbit, you look like an angel sent by Budda to inspire thousands of people. Thanks for sharing the videos. You have such a beatiful soul. Good luck in your fitness journey!

  • Wow, thanks everyone, such kind comments! I feel such a warm glow, so much positive energy flowing from you guys! I hope I can continue to give tons of positive energy back... :)

  • I have to say they took the words out of my mouth. you are BEAUTIFUL!!! first thing i thought is that girl is the prettiest girl, and she does bald REALLY GOOD!!! you pull it off better than demi moore, sinead o connor, any of 'em! wow! inspiring, positive attitude under trying circumstances... wow. you are one cool young lady!

  • wow. your video really moved me, girl!! i'm like tearing up here! your attitude is just so positive and i love that about you. i haven't tried p90x, but you are definitely ripped!

  • rinrin

    Amazing and inspiring! You go girl :) I look forward to your future vlogs! Good luck on your journey, you are doing awesome!

    Totally want to know what your fitness routine is & what videos you've been working out to!

  • What an inspiration you are to me! I love your story, your beauty and spirit. You are an earth angel and a very cool lady.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • If you go to my channel, I have playlists of my entire workouts for February, divided into the workouts for each day.

    I broke it into four week themes:

    week one - fullbody/upper body,

    week two - core,

    week three - lower body

    week four - fullbody/upper body.

    The theme focus is just general and each week still includes exercises for all three body areas. Each week includes cardio every day, with resistance training every second day, and one day off per week with just a basic warmup and some light stretching.

    You can actually just follow my playlist and do each day's workout exactly like I did. The playlists start with WORKOUT FOR FEBRUARY - WEEK 1 DAY 1 and just go from there. Have fun!

  • I have to say you look awesome, is it possible that raw-vegan-diet will improve your nerves? It clears up a lot of "incurable" illnesses. Does your normal formula contain grains?

  • It might be possible, but I'm noy going to hope about it. People come to me all the time, all hyped up about 'their' alternative therapy that will cure me. Vitamin B12, magnets, acupuncture, laser therapy, Ambrotose, etc, etc.I always give it a shot, why not. But it never does anything for the nerve. Someone's wants to try Reiki on me now. I always oblige, I figure there's no harm, and maybe it'll do the rest of my body good.

    My initial formula was made of corn syrup, canola oil, milk, and coconut. I did horribly on it. The recent one was supposed to take a more 'real foods' approach and is made from chicken, cranberry juice, corn syrup, maltodextrin, milk, canola oil, pea powder, carrot powder, tomato paste, and partialy hydrolyzed guar gum. All cooked/pasteurized, I presume. I did *better* on that formula, but still had low energy, shakiness, huge blood sugar crashes, and constant hunger. And when I recently tried to go back on it for one week while we're in the middle of moving, to save money for the damage deposit and first months rent, I had what I can only describe as an allergic reaction. I was drowning in mucus. I couldn't breathe through my nose or mouth because there was so much of it, and it was so thick I couldn't spit it out and could barely swallow. I was gasping for air and it was really frightening. I switched back to raw right away and have been fine.

  • jakkrabbit, you are absolutely amazing. a total inspiration. i'm so blown away by your beautiful energy and positivity. looking forward to reading much more from you, friend.

  • :)

    If you guys are ready for something heavy and deep, here's you go, cuz like theliferegenerator says, I know you can dig it:

    (Intro: I only make videos when I can talk. Sometimes I can't, or the pain is so bad that my words come out thick, garbled, and stuttery, and I have to stop talking. I've developed quite a formidable repertoire of pain coping mechanisms over the years, and most of the time no one would ever know I'm in pain at all, even though it's there 24/7, 365. On top of the deeper neuropathic pain, I experience flareups of neuralgia and causalgia, which is described by the medical community as the worst pain known to mankind - it rates a 42 out of 50 on the McGill pain scale, higher than birth pain, phantom limb pain, cancer pain, or accidental digit amputation. Causalgia is the same kind of pain experience by crucifixion victims. After three years, I've just learned to live with it and move on.)

    Pain, after all, is simply the brain's interpretation of a process whereby an electrical conduction is produced through the osmosis of sodium and potassium in and out of the nerve's cell walls. That's ALL it is. It's not something to be frightened of, or emotional about, since it's just the body's indicator light, like a car's oil light on the dashboard. My indicator light is all messed up of course.

    But all my body is, is a protoplasmic collection of hydrogen and oxygen, with some amino acids, sugars, lipids, and minerals thrown in there; and it runs by electrical impulse just like any robot or household appliance. Pain is merely a certain frequency of electricity which is intepreted by my nucleus - the brain - in a certain manner. And that electric frequency is only a small blip in a planet full of electricity and electrically motored protoplasms; an imperceptible glitch of the energy field in comparison to the cosmos.

    My body is simply the biomechanical housing for my mind, my personality, my soul, my psyche, my consciousness. The body is the vehicle which allows my consciousness expression and experience, allowing me to communicate and to see, hear, touch, and feel. Feeling pain is just a byproduct of having a protoplasmic housing/vehicle which allows my consciousness the benefit of experience through interpretable electric impulse. I am not my body, I am only my mind and consiousness, and I cannot let the functionings or misfuntioning of my particular psyche's 'skin' of hydrogen, oxygen, amino acids, lipds, and minerals, to affect my mind or soul.

    Still with me? Philosophy is my defence against pain. Once you can conquer your own mind, you've conquered everything. The typical person's experience of pain is largely a psychological and emotional response rather than a physical one. It's tied mostly to fear and anger, and psychological constructs of what pain represents to us in an emotional, philosophical, and social context. We view it as an entity - evil, frightening, dark, bad. Our framing of it in this way produces large amounts of anxiety and emotional distress, because we think of pain as some kind of Lucifer which we are frightened to death of and cannot abide having around and must exorcise; and if we cannot exorcise the pain then we fall into profound pychic distress over our perceived helplessness and imprisonment with this 'monster'. Yet pain is not evil, it is neutral, it is not a fearful entity but simply a biochemical process. It is maliceless. It is not something that 'shouldn't' exist and which we must spend emotional effort despairing over the lack of properness of it's presence. It's not the elephant in the room, it's simply one portion of the electrical energy field that envelops the entire planet. Conservation of energy states that energy is not created or destroyed, it only changes form. Pain is just a particular expression of energy in a particular place at a particular time. It is, only, at it's base, like I said before, a process of sodium and potassium ions working in magnetic opposition "to allow the organism to build up an electrostatic charge on cell membranes, and thus allow transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is allowed to dissipate by a moving wave of voltage change."

    Sodium is atomic number 11, a reactive alkali metal with one stable isotope. Sodium is fascinating. It burns bright yellow. In metal form it's soft enough to be cut with a knife. Potassium, just as fascinating, makes up over one percent of the earth's crust. These two elements perform a constant balletic dance inside my nerves. When reduced to its most base form and elements, pain is a beautiful thing.

  • hmm of course I don't have any knowledge on the subject just my experience and a lot of reading in the past 20 years but all the ingredients have problems:

    chicken: probably cooked it won't digest totally useless

    cranberry juice: if made fresh it 's very good but processed??

    corn syrup: no nutrients only very high sugar.

    maltodextrin, milk: milk cooked and processed give lot's of mucus problems (raw it's less they say I don't know)

    canola oil: most stupid oil in the world.

    pea powder: beans => toxic

    carrot powder: well fresh perfect but powder?

    tomato paste: night shade toxic.

    partialy hydrolyzed guar gum: don't know what it is but doesn't sound good.

    I think you will do very well on raw-vegan 8). I'm very curious about your progress.

  • Yeah, I think I reacted probably to the meat, milk, and corn syrup/maltodextrin.

    I'd be interested to learn more about what you were saying regarding canola oil, beans, and tomatoes!

    I was borrowing a friend's camera for my first two vlogs but they're on holidays now and so as soon as I find someone else to bum a camera off, or as soon as we get our own camera off kijiji I'll start posting vlogs again. Sorry for the wait!

  • jakkrabbit, what you are dealing with is something that will absolutely make or break a person. It's obvious you are sooooooo on top of it. You are a warrior!

  • Canola oil is from rapeseed, when they first made it they tested it in rodents, the rodents died or get cancer. so they redesigned the oil so the rodents lived. Only rodents aren't humans and rodents don't eat oil's. they took all the good stuff out by heavily processing it and canola was born:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola

    read udo erasmus (lots and lots of info about eatable oils and fats):

    http://www.udoerasmus.com/

    I have doubts that plant or seed oil's are save, mostly seeds are protected against preditors by a little bit of toxin. if you take a lot of seed and press the oils out you also press the little bit of toxins out and you concentrate it. Eating it raw you also get the concentrated toxins. of course it's just a little theory I'm thinking about no scientific proof, it could be true 8).

    Mja beans search soy and you got the worst bean on the planet totally uneatable piece of junk, full of toxins, complete waste of land and energy.

    A lot of beans aren't eatable raw (toxins) you have to cook them or do something with them to make them eatable, I think even after cooking or processing a little bit of toxins stay in the beans on the short term they cause no harm but who knows on the long term???

    tomatoes and also bell peppers are a night shade family they use to be toxic:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanaceae

    some people are sensitive to them, I think you are save when you eat a few of them.

    Of course these are my findings I could be totally wrong but you read a lot you can search and check it your self 8).

  • I definitely knew about soy - the fact it's being pushed as a health food is really, really sad. Of course so far as i understand fermented, non-gmo soy is just fine. My question would be if I buy non-GMO organic soybeans, make them into soymilk with a SoyQuick or similar device, and then make my own tofu, is that okay? I especially wanted to make fresh tofu for my sister since she's vegetarian-transitioning-to-vegan and I know fresh tofu tastes SO much better than packaged storebought. I used to get it from the Chinese supermarket fresh when I lived in a major city. But now i wonder if tofu isn't good for you either? Does it count as a fermented product? I'm confused.

    Anyway, I think i figured out exactly what ingredient caused my allergic reaction to the formula!:

    Because we're in the middle of moving to another place better suited to my medical needs and are packing up and whatnot, we're really low on groceries, I decided to compromise and add some of my brother's peanut butter to my fruit smoothie just for some added calories till we go grocery shopping. It's nasty Kraft peanut butter, with all kinds of added sugars, but I thought that if I just used it as kind of an emergency fill in for the next few days it wouldn't due any irreparable harm. Well, not only do I feel just plain icky and sluggish on all that fat and chemicals, but my throat has gotten sore and I've gotten a little bit of a mucus reaction again. In a backwards way, I'm glad I took it because i think it helped me discover something - I think I have a corn allergy! The only ingredient which match up between my canned formula and the peanut butter is maltodextrin/corn dextrin. I've been having another corn allergy symptom which is a painful, bumpy, cracking, non-healing blister on one of my fingers which I couldn't for the life of me figure out the cause of. I wonder if I actually developed a corn allergy purely due to being on formula for so long with corn syrup and maltodextrin. I've heard before of people developing food allergies due to the extremely limited nature of the food ingredients in the formulas alone - you are eating the exact same ingredients every single day seven times a day without variation.

    I've been having a lot of mucus/sore throat issues before going raw, and I assumed this was just sinus irritation due to my facial nerve damage, or dehydration, so I would take lots of water and it would help somewhat - perhaps because the water was helping my body flush out the corn faster!

    Of course I haven't taken any allergy tests, but I've been reading that when it comes to corn, allergy tests are inconclusive at best. To me the fact that the only similar ingredient between the two foods which produced a reaction is maltodextrin is conclusive enough for me, and it explains a lot of the previously unexplainable problems I've been having. I guess this means any supplement, liquid vitamin, medication, etc that I might ever decide to take, I would have to check the ingredients carefully. And also I guess I should probably avoid getting any frozen veggie mixes for my blender which have corn kernels in them.

    It's astounding when you start learning how many foods, packaging materials, clothing materials, and consumer goods have corn derivatives in them. Between that and soy, seems like it's invaded everything! I remember seeing something from the documentary Food Inc which said that almost everything you buy in the grocery store (aside from fresh produce, i would presume) contains corn derivitives. Which I guess make s a raw diet even better for me now...

  • I don't touch anything with soy, there's always something with it. The health problems are huge.:

    http://www.utne.com/2007-07-01/Science-Technology/The-Dark-Side-of-Soy.aspx

    http://www.mercola.com/article/soy/index.htm

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