Adventures in Chiropractics….Really, I just need to get the kink out… Part 1

Ok, so after having this pain in my neck <no pun intended> for 2 weeks following a gnarly little 2 on 1 sparring exercise with a couple of my Karate compadres in which I pinched a nerve somewhere in the vicinity of my right shoulder blade, I have relegated myself to finding a chiropractor. not something I’m terribly excited about, having visions of being twisted, snapped and cracked like a walnut. I’m one of those non-believers who obviously would rather walk around like Quasi Moto with one shoulder lifted, agonizingly twisting to look at you because I can’t swivel my head to the left.  Sanctuary sanctuary!!

but…I’m starting to think this is the right choice. Athletes go to Chiro’s. Many friends do. they love it. I’m going for it. I’ve done my homework, asked for friendly references and been given a few card by random chiropractors at networking mixers. Armed and dangerous, and shoulders cock-eyed, I chose a few to check out this week and find the best fit for me. No walnut crackers. Gentle but firm, please.

Today I had my first visit. A Chiro in San Marcos, Dr Omead,  recommended by an aquaintance at a mixer. sure, lets do it.

 The Visit: The office is located at the rear of a semi-industrial building under a MMA studio. Huge tacky vinyl sign over the door that reads something like Dr Omead will change your life or your money back. Weird. You know, if there’s loud opera music playing in the waiting room, that might be a good signal to run. I’ll remember that next time. The vinyl sign too. I should take more inital cues and get the hell out quick.

so…what the heck, I’m here. This could be helpful or entertaining. I go in, I fill out a new patient form, minus the SSN and other personal info that I thought was completely innapropriate.  Wait an agonizingly long time…. more opera. And, interesting… waiting room has Dr Omead propeganda DVD’s, tiny paper coffee cups for coffee and a plate of dry cookies. Brittle old guy on my left, shabby looking family on right, dirty kids. somehow I feel I’ve just entered the waiting room on Beetlejuice.

Assistant comes out. Takes me to an exam room or whatever it was. She tells me to watch a video, mind you , the room is full of more Dr Omead propeganda. Video is more propeganda, personal accounts, something about the Dr healing people, changing lives, solving world hunger, making miracles. blah blah blah. I text and take pics with my phone (below).  Am I supposed to drink the Kool Aid? Do I have time to bolt out of the room? Already wasted 30 minutes here, I just have a damn kink in my back. I don’t need to watch a video about how Dr Omead parts seas and walks on water. Ok, I should just go, this is weird. Is he a chiropractor or David Koresh?

Dr Omead comes in, big face, big pasted-on smile. eyes wide. Crap, stuck now. But, I’m starting to think he would make a great B movie character…. He sits down and starts asking questions:

Dr: so what are you here for?    Me: I have something going on in my shoulder/neck   Dr: when did this happen?  Me: two weeks ago in karate. Dr: and this is reaccuring?  Me: no, just two weeks ago. Dr: I see you have sinus issues. Me:uh, yes but I’m here because I can’t move my neck, because of an injury. Dr: There are probably deeper issues. <smiling> You can’t be sure of what happened. I like to treat the underlying issues, the whole person. (obviously I didn’t buy from the 10 minute video that he was Captain America. no Kool Aid for me, thanks) you really don’t know why you are in pain. Me: yes I do, I felt it. two weeks ago. sparring. Crack, owe. just like that. I just need you to look at it. I don’t have deeper issues, serious. Dr: what about your sinus issues… Me: I’ve had them off and on since I was a kid. animals, dander, hay. you name it. I use Sudafed and my Neti Pot. Dr: so you do have underlying issues we need to deal with. Me: no, that has nothing to do with why I’m here. not sinuses, just back, neck. Dr: who have you seen regarding this? Me: I’m checking out a few different chiropractors this week. <and I’m obviously not drinking his Kool Aid, he’s starting to look smiley nervous> Dr: You are going to other doctors about this? hmm,  well.  It’s then that he stands up and announces that he is not going to be able to help me. I need to find another chiropractor. Thank you have a good day, he says with a strange blank smile.

What? thats it? I was creeped out, now freaked out. He still has that crazy smile but is telling me to get out. Is this like when Dorothy reveals Oz behind the curtain? Me: really, you can’t help me? Dr: no. thank you for coming, goodbye. Ok perfect, I don’t have to run, you’re kicking me out.

Thats that. I walk out,  politely asking receptionist for my paperwork on the way out. I don’t need/want Dr Strangelove having any personal info on me.  She asks why and I tell her because Dr Omead has decided not to treat me. She looks embarrased. Funny thing…. it took several tries to get my paperwork back… after polite requests <and then a gently firm threat, something about him not being able to legally keep my info if he’s not my doc> and her going to the back to speak to the Dr several times , she finally gave it all back. She said Dr Omead wanted to keep it. Ah, no thank you Dr Nutjob. my info stays with my Dr. You’re not touching me or my wallet. So, I leave, twisting painfully back one last time to see the odd assortment of minions in the waiting room. Save yourselves! Don’t drink the Kool Aid!  Sigh… onto the next Chiro clinic. stay tuned for Tales from a real Chiropractic office… 

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My Raw Food Diet experiment

Ok, so I began this raw food diet last week with the intention of going Raw for two weeks in preperation for a colon cleansing, using a less than tasty Bentonite cocktail.

 I eat whole foods in general, and I guess you could consider me a Pescetarian (looked it up on Bing…) Vegetarian with the addition of seafood. Gotta have my Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi. I also eat free range eggs and greek yogurt. lately though, I’ve been feeling achy, tired, slow, sluggish, bloated, you name it. Top it off, my sinuses have been freaking out. Thank you, Neti pot for helping that out somwhat.

Anyway, I did my homework on Raw Diets, and, with inspiration from Mimi Kirk , whom I follow on Facebook, I decided to go raw for a while and see how it effects my body/mind and throw  in a Bentonite cleanse for good measure. Mimi is incredible and shares some delish looking recipes on FB.

So…I roped a friend of mine who eats similarly, to join me on a Raw Diet. We decided, since we are Wine Diva’s and love our glass of red vino, that we were going to include Wine in the diet. Is red raw? depends on the red but we’re not going to split hair over it. Also, we love our coffee in the morning, can’t live without that one grande cup of Italian Roast to get me going in the morning.

We got a copy of a “Raw Diet” from another friend, but in truth, it was a bit wordy and complicated. how tough is Raw? It’s not rocket science. I know organic whole foods, done it my whole life. So I came up with my own diet plan and named it “Raw Food with Vices” to accommodate my a.m. coffee and p.m. wine splurge. What the heck, life is short and wine is good. Besides, I’m in the wine business, it’s highly neccessary that I embibe.

I am loving this diet! I’ve made best friends with Kale and Swiss Chard, two leafy greens I was always skeptical of, not sure about what to use them for. I’ve been juicing them with fruit and other veggies in the morning as well as using them for wraps (Thanks Mimi!) and salads. I’m eating alot of Salads, I have to say. but as I get more into it, I am finding all kinds of recipes, like Jimbos wonderful “Raw curry in a hurry” made from butternut squash, veggies, spices and raisins.

Not going to lie, I miss my eggs in the morning (free range) and I know I need to be eating more nuts for protein, I’m stuck in a raw pepita rut. Instead of my a.m. eggs, I am enjoying an a.m. green drink, usually Kale, apples, ginger, lemon, and celery. I put it in a swanky latte cup and call it my Green Latte.  Presentation, baby and lots of energy.

I’m starting the Bentonite cleanse tomorrow, should be interesting. I guess it’s equivalent (when done correctly along with a raw diet) to getting a colonic cleanse. We’ll see what happens… not to get graphic, but so far, this raw diet has been awesome for my digestive system keeping it reallly active!  The only downside, my stomachs been having some pains getting used to all the action. I feel great, and happened to lose 4 pounds this week. I’m not in this for weight loss, I’m happy with my weight and fitness level in my Karate classes but it doesn’t hurt to shed a few pounds. What I’m really impresssed with, is the clarity of my skin. Stay tuned… I’ll let you know how this cleanse is going in a few days!

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THIS is San Diego Wine Country…

It’s been a long time coming but here we are. The elephant is out of the closet.

Everyone knows there is a huge collection of wineries spread across the landscape of Temecula. It is a wine mecca in So-Cal, with many reputable and award winning wineries among them.   San Diegans and tourists alike have long driven to Temecula for a taste of CA wines. San Diego Travel books, media outlets, websites, magazines all point to Temecula for Wine. Many of these publications even go so far as to call it “San Diego Wine Country”. The Temecula Winegrowers have, as a group, had a rich, successful marketing campaign in our town. Bravo to group ad funds! It works! There is one problem… Temecula is not in San Diego County. It’s in Riverside. About 1 hour North of San Diego.

 The few, the proud, the old school, family winemakers in San Diego have been so passionately growing, pruning, harvesting and making wine that they didn’t come up for air and realize the name’s been branded by a region that lies outside the county. Whoops….

The San Diego Vintners Association is well over 60 members strong now and growing rapidly. They want to be recognized and they’re ready to enter the ring, en masse. Winemaking has come back strong to the place it originated when the friars first came to CA and grew the first grapes for wine. . The winemaking passion is growing in San Diego, the wine region is emerging  and finally, the collective voice is also.  And… we kinda want our name back. 

 It may be more of a mystery to seek out the over 60 wineries dotted across the San Diego Landscape, but the treasures that await, many of them in the valleys and hills of North County, are worth it. The Syrahs, Voigners, Cabs, Zins etc are handcrafted by vintners that love their craft and the families that make them are welcoming and knowledgable. 

Welcome to San Diego Wine Country, right in your own backyard, San Diego.

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Ok, lets just bathe in the wine…

Let me just say, sometimes my creativity just get the best of me and a wild idea flies into my head about an image I want to capture with the camera. I get tunnel vision and then, come hell or high water, I have to stand on my head to do it.

It’s crush time and we’re picking and crushing Syrah right now like nobody’s business. They’re bursting off the vine so much so that I had a vision for some of those luscious squished grapes that involved the vineyard, a model and a bath tub.  So… with a little help from one of our incredibly patient workers, as well as a couple of models with a great sense of humor… it happened. and I’m happy with the results. In fact, I can’t wait to do it again. Either can my models. Interestingly…they found bathing in the crushed grapes relaxing and calming. I hope the photos speak that.

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Organic V Natural

The Press

On a wine label, the whole Wine May Contain Sulfites blurb sort of freaks out the amatuer wine drinker. As you probably know, wine sulfites, sulfite, also known as sulfur dioxide to get technical, is a preservative that both occurs naturally and is added to wine. Sulfites are produced by the yeast added to wine for fermentation, but sulfites are often added to boost the preservation of wines. Ok, that’s as deep as I get, scientifically, in a wine sense.

In people who lack the enzyme to break down sulfites, they can at high levels produce some pretty unpleasant side effects. The most common of these are a rash or tingling and swelling. According to the FDA, symptoms in asthmatic patients tend to be more severe.

There’s a common misconception, we’ve all heard it. I have a ‘Sulfite’ headache, A long-standing idea that sulfites cause headaches for some wine drinkers. Find me a study that proves this…  Sulfites are present in a number of other foods such as dried fruit. Er… would that be a ‘prune headache’?  Wine associated headaches are usually related to tannins and grape skins <and dancing and that awesome DJ and…> Leave the sulfites alone.

Wineries have been using sulfites to preserve wine for 200 years, even the ancient Romans and Greeks used sulfites to sterilize. Only since the late 20th century, however, have we begun to connect sulfites to their health side effects. Another thing to worry about?  Great to know if you’re asthmatic or have a tendancy for allergies, but the rest of us can stop freaking out about our wine headaches and such and chalk it up to over-embibing, or something like that. 

I often hear in local tasting rooms from the newby wine drinker (who is opting for the syrupy sweet blush over the bold reds) that they are sensitive to sulfites. Wake up and smell the sulfites, baby. If sulfites are a problem for you, it should be noted that white wines generally have more sulfites than reds. Helloooo. I’d be more afraid/paranoid/cautious of the big corporate stuff being produced out there that’s sprayed with every pesticide known to man and then mechanically produced, not your local boutique wineries that make the wine the old fashioned way, by hand and in small batches.

Local boutique wineries in San Diego usually keep it to sulfering the grapes and leave it at that. Old school winemakers stay away from pesticides,  net the grapes if they need to ( to keep the birds from helping with the harvest). Pretty darn close to organic, I’d say. Natural? definately.

I listened to a great webcast recently, discussing the difference between organic and non-organic winemaking in So-Cal. It’s a pretty close race, with the sulfites being the only big difference, in general, at least in San Diego. Wine’s without any sulfites, null/zip/zero are a freak of nature. (Wines made from organic grapes in the US generally have fewer sulfites and, by law, cannot contain added sulfites but there are still naturally occuring ones.)

The idea with natural wines is that the vintner is assisting the grape in it’s journey to becoming wine. The grape is harvested by hand, rushed to the winery and fermented on wild yeasts. This is how it works with the boutique wineries of San Diego and the end result is a wine that’s seen its way from grape to bottle with little trauma, au natural. Before you go rushing to the Organic wine section, consider staying local and trying the wines right in your own backyard. Chances are, they’re pretty darn close.

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Seriously Mr. Filner? Guess You don’t buy local.

 Just as San Diego winemakers are clinking glasses at the recent decision by San Diego County Board of Supervisors to allow many emerging boutique wineries to hang their shingle and open up for on-site tasting, they hit a bump in the road. A nasty old federal bump named H.R 5034, heading through the house right now, would allow states more power to regulate alcohol and would supersede recent court rulings that struck down limits on alcohol sales across state lines. so…this puts a damper on wine clubs and shipping out of state. Ironically, this nasty little bill is called the “CARE” act. Really?

We’re not allowed to fly  with alcohol anymore, darn it. So, the next best thing is shipping it to ourselves. We like wine from a boutique winery, we buy a case, or send one to our dear friends back East, lusting for a little California gold. Or red.  We’ll that’s now in jeopardy too. Not so disheartening for the average retail wine-buyer but devastating for the small winery who makes amazing small batch varietals,  those you savour while pondering the hands that crafted it.

Do you want to know who’s behind all this? Good ol’ H.R. 5034, is heavily backed by huge alcohol distributors, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Wow, are you surprised? Local wineries aren’t, they’re not even amused,  as huge wine/beer distributors would love to sink their big pointy teeth into the local industry and monopolize trade with the little guys. Sort of the big bully mentality. Bet you they don’t know how to spell Bordeaux. Suddenly notions of Walmart slip into my head.
Magically, the National Beer Wholesalers, those commercial beer swilling good ol’ boys, gave $5,000 in June to San Diego Rep. Bob Filner (D). Coincidentally,  Mr. Filner is the only local lawguy listed as a co-sponsor of the nasty bill. Thanks Bob, for that. You won’t be getting the warm fuzzy treatment when you walk into your local winery and ask for a sample. They’re a friendly bunch, don’t get me wrong, and they love to share.  They’re making great wines, growing more grapes than ever before and excited about where San Diego is headed, wine-wise. But, Bob… Seriously, if you wanted free alcohol for the rest of your career, you should have looked in your own backyard first.

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A new day for San Diego Wine Country

I’m excited to begin this blog at a time when  San Diego is at a pivotal moment in CA Wine History. Not that we haven’t been here before, its a sort of De ja vu for San Diego, a coming home of sorts…

 Padres first brought vines and their winemaking craft up from Mexico when the Spanish missions took hold in California and planted the seed, so to speak, of Christianity.

 These first vines were planted in San Diego, and they loved the land. San Diego was perfect for their red grape varietals and eventually, wineries popped up all over the county. Sadly, Good ol prohibition and bouts of draught dried up winemaking, Dustbowl style, leaving only a couple of wineries in San Diego. Bernardo Winery, one of those survivors, is still producing, and in its third generation of family ownership.  Eventually,  wine country shifted to the North, and San Diego became known for its Citrus, Avacado and other crops. A handful of San Diego wineries established themselves in the San Diego area, over the years, mostly family owned and operated, creating handcrafted wines, just as the Padres did but now crafting some serious Cabs, Sangioveses and the like.

Meanwhile,  Temecula, to the North, was being marketed as a masterplanned community in the 60’s , with the first vineyards and wineries established to draw potential home-buyers to the area. Land was cheap,  water was imported and the mecca of Temecula winemaking began. Wineries sprung up everywhere, tourism boomed and Temecula became the popular wine destination in So-Cal.

With the passing of a county ordinance this week,  small boutique wineries in areas where neighbors were opposed to having a winery next door (ok, who would oppose this?)are able to finally open tasting rooms, hang their shingle and welcome visitors, after years of back and forth with the county. yay! 

 San Diego wine country has re- joined the big leagues! Or at least stepped boldly back on the field.  Wineries in San Diego with tasting rooms will blossom from around 15 to 50 wineries in the coming months, creating a viable wine destination south of the 79 freeway as well as stimulating San Diego’s economy and making San Diego land attractive to prospective grapegrowers/winemakers.

Will San Diego be the next Sonoma or Pasa Robles? With some amazing varietals and blends already being produced in this area at the moment, one can only hope, wait and see.   What I do know, is the San Diego winemaking family has just become stronger, one steeped in history and love for winemaking,  in soil that’s aching for the vine.  And lets just say, it time for a celebration, folks. Lift your glasses, you’re all invited.

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Hello world! I’ve joined the conversation

Here I go. I’m sliding on my blogger water wings and cautiously dipping a toe into the social medium pool of blogging. One who loves to write, I’m quick and anxious to dive into the deep end, no better yet belly- flop, with my arms outstretched and torso arched. But caution reigns and tells me to start slow, test the water and get acclimated before I start doing crazy moves and embarrassing myself in front of my peers. (That would be you.)

When I get the hang of it, these wings are coming off. Maybe even be one of the écrivain éblouissante of the wine blogger world as I glide gracefully into the pool in front of spectators. Ok. Ok. Baby steps off the first step (and yes, I’m holding onto the railing).

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