A friend of mine sent me this the other day. Click on the image to get a better view.



So tonight I was at a group dinner meeting with about 12 colleagues. I was concerned about a random dinner meeting, but the host said not to worry...the menu was organic.

Well I wish I had a better photo to show you my tongue! Even 4 hrs after dinner my tongue feels like I've been licking a brick for hours. I have circled the raised taste buds that are really painful. They look like mini cysts.
The sad thing is I just started back on organic last sunday after a month long stint on industrial so I had to go through a major detox once again. I'm worn out from it.

It usually takes minutes up to a few hours to see what histamine response I will have to the food. Too bad I didn't try to come with a histamine blocker, but I REALLY wanted everything to be organic.

Perhaps the chef was confusing organic with locally sourced?
I'll worry about it in the morning. Right now I need to go nurse this migraine!



I'm tired, cranky, bitchy, and I want to throw everyone out the window. Not too long after the first blizzard here in jan in NYC I decided to see what would happen if I fully went back to conventional food. I decided to give myself 30 days to the experiment. 40lbs later!!!!!!!!!!
I have to take an antihistamine if I eat fruits or veggies. My stomach is swollen and hardened.

What's the difference in my diet?
Let's start with breakfast. Organic breakfast is 1lb of eggs with cheese. Industrial breakfast is three eggs with cheese.
Lunch is a fresh rosemary wrap with either chicken, carrots, 2 triangles of cheese, onions, olives, cabbage, and some pesto. Organic lunch is Chipotle's enormous burrito with chicken, extra cheese, guacamole, lettuce, peppers......a 350 calorie difference.
Dinner is still usually fish or chicken, but now I've added various vegetables to it.

Basically I'm eating smaller quantities and 100's of calories less and gaining massive amounts of weight. My hands are so swollen right now I'm surprised I can even type.
I got so depressed the other day I finally went for the sweet potato fries with the wrap. How is a person who was so together so out of control?

So now in the last week I'm craving junk, I haven't worked out, and I want to curl up into a ball and disappear. Who is this person???
I feel like Susan Powter screaming STOP THE INSANITY! As I saw the weight packing on I decided to order SENSA advertised all over the internet. It's a shaker you shake all over your food. I couldn't last even 4 days with it. I felt like the girl who turned into a blueberry from chewing gum that Willy Wonka told her not to chew. I even emailed them to tell them I had a reaction, but no one got back to me. What is in that stuff?!!!

The reason I took industrial food detour boys and girls is because I hated how obsessed I had to be about the source of my food. I hated that I was excluded on so many social occasions or felt that I had to exclude myself so that I could avoid talking about it. Who knew food was such a central part of our lives? I hated that I felt like an outcast and the work that I had to put into it. But you know what? I'm trading it all back in for organic because nothing felt as good as organic did. I think my body's not going to give me a choice anyway. ooooh forgot to mention the ghastly breakouts I had. Really not good for business!

So the final chapter of this story is if I go back to that big burrito pictured there on the left will I lose the weight? Will it fall off as fast if at all? I'm just working organic back into the diet again. I've been so depressed that it is taking every ounce of effort to get back there again.

Thanks to all of you who have been following me on this journey by the way. Your messages are encouraging and I know we can change our food around to make everything better!




I am just hours away from my one year anniversary of committing to organic. It has been quite the experience! Without trying I kept off a total of more than 50 lbs last year. Initially I had lost 70 and decided that I could play around and experiment with foods. I have no doubt I will lose 50 more!

I now officially know that organic is not hype. (There is marketing hype that makes people think they're eating healthy or organic.) My body will not tolerate conventional foods. It reacts in so many ways that are really unpleasant. For instance I just found out that conventional chocolate now gives me migraines. I have to figure out what is in it that causes that, but that has been my immediate response on two occasions (within about an hour). The pus-filled boils I get from ingesting pesticides are the worst because I never know how long it will take for them to heal and they leave a nasty scar on my very white skin. :(

One bit of wisdom I would like to pass on is beware of marketing. Really read your labels and know what it is that you are putting into your body. The perfect example of misleading labels was from a chocolate bar I picked out from Ghirardelli a few days ago. The labeling says 100% natural. The back of the label says in the ingredients HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. According to the FDA "products containing high fructose corn syrup cannot be considered 'natural' and should not be labeled as such'.

HELLO this is my point. A company puts on their packaging 100% natural and yet it still gets to market and past the FDA. NO ONE is going to monitor what goes into your mouth or on your skin except for you. Don't rely on others for trust. You run a risk putting your life in other people's hands. This is the most valuable lesson I have learned!

For me organic itself is not hype. My weight loss has shown me that my body can't process these chemicals even if they are coming from whole foods. The hormones really slow down my system. The pesticides are a whole other issue.

The journey does not stop here. I plan on checking in about once a month because now I am motivated to go to the next step: creating a network of friends, restaurants, and farmers. We need to get back to food basics. We need to learn to ask questions. The most difficult thing that everyone from the outside looking in has told me is: organic is too expensive and it's hard for me to find it. It's not true if you know what to look for. You need to eat in season as we discussed in Alicia Silverstone's book "The Kind Diet". Trader Joe's is fairly priced as well. A friend of mine has friends that are going to start setting up gardens for people as a service in New Jersey. There is so much out there we can do to make things better if we just put one ounce of effort in.

I'm also going to start a database of farmers and restaurants. The temporary site is at http://organic-farmers.blogspot.com/

I'm going to ask each of my friends and their friends to find one good place that serves actual organic or biodynamic products.

Welcome to 2011!



Disappointed does not begin to express how I feel about the last few weeks.

For starters I allowed myself to eat conventional food where organic was unavailable. Many "organic" restaurants who have the same problem sourcing will do the same thing as well without telling the consumer. The thing is I was fully aware I was not eating organic. I have no one to blame but myself.

Without surprise I'm paying for it now. My stomach feels beat up! I have open sores all over my body. My mouth has been so raw that I feel like it's been burned with hot pizza and it's never recovered. My hands, ankles, and face are really swollen.

Since I also went home to Kentucky (exhausted after working 22+ hour days for the last month) I decided to not burden myself with finding or eating organic. I ate mostly home cooked meals. I feel like I've gained 20 lbs.

New Year's eve I shared an order of non-organic chicken nachos with black beans, mango, and lots of other toppings. It had no taste. It was like I was eating cardboard with hot sauce.

So I decided I would go back to home base: Gusto Organics. I had a burger with sweet potato fries and a salad and all I can say is ahhhhhh. I already feel the difference. Don't get me wrong. I still feel beat up, but at least now I feel a bit more nourished and not as lethargic. In fact my goal for this final week is to try to eat at Gusto as much as possible and see what that will do for me.

As a side note I thought I would share this photo with you. My stepmother is holding a very large apple to the right. On the left she has a washington apple. What in the world are they doing with the apples in Washington??????? That apple was the size of a melon or half the size of her head!!!



It's been a rough several weeks. I had the opportunity (thanks to my friend Ameena) to rent a space in Tribeca to open up M.S. APOTHECARY (which has been a virtual store up until now). It has been kicking my ass trying to carry the two businesses right now (Beauty By Mary Schook).

That would explain why once again I have neglected this blog, BUT I have been staying true to the organic as usual. The only time I caved was when we hosted Gordon Ramsay's baker for our Holiday Grand Opening. I had to taste test the product for our upcoming events. I'm such a snob when it comes to cupcakes and up until now I never liked a cupcake in the entire city of New York!

So anyway back to my strategy that I was going to tell you about. I had joined Organic Liason, Kirstie Alley's new weight loss/lifestyle company. I was looking forward to my product kit which includes 100% USDA certified organic supplements. One product is a beverage you drink which contains chromium. It just made me pee like crazy all day. Then it has a beverage that you drink in the evening that reminds me of a product called CALM. To top it off they have a product called Nightingale which I'm not a huge fan of. I researched the L-Tryptophan in there which seemed to give me some problems and decided I couldn't do it anymore.

All-in-all the supplement portion of the program is not something that suits my lifestyle right now. I'm dealing with 2-4 hour interrupted sleep nights because there is too much work that has to get done and when I rely on other people to help me they have been dropping the ball which only doubles my workload!!!

Despite the fact that I can't really use the program with my current lifestyle I felt it was important to still be a part of the Organic Liason system. They have a geolocator where you type in the zipcode on their site and they will tell you where you can find restaurants and stores that are organic. Brilliant right? I'm currently at 10013. I punched it in and found out the bar, Walker's within 100 yards of the store was listed. I just came from Walker's and NOTHING was organic. I think the wait staff had to try their best to contain themselves when I asked! They double checked with the chef and the chef said they will carry organic chicken at night. Sorry, but this is unacceptable. I had a limited amount of time to try to grab something to eat and this just made me very unhappy! I don't have time to now go and research other restaurants that they have listed. When I get a moment after the holiday season I will definitely be looking into this. Again what a bummer.

Part two of this entry is about the fact that now that the weather has changed I have noticed many menus have not. While many restaurants say that their food is organic I have a hard time believing it. I keep getting reactions after I eat certain foods.
Many would argue that the lack of sleep that I am getting is the source of the problem, but my response is I never got much sleep before. The stress has definitely increased, but it's good stress and lots of exciting changes that I live for!!!

I go back to the interview that I did earlier in the year with the Alberto, the owner of Gusto Organics. He told me that many restaurants will buy a certain number of organic chickens and then they will buy the rest of the chickens from the industrial companies while still claiming that they are organic. I trust his opinion only because I have seen Gusto Organics run out of their skirt steak for weeks which is probably their top selling dinner!!! Now that is loyalty to the customer and hopefully it pays off for him eventually!

So for now I will have to pray that I don't gain too much weight from trusting people when they say something is organic. It makes me sad and reminds me that there is such a long way to go.

Back to work! Got a store to run!!!