82 Days Barefoot

Well, today I had to wear shoes most of the day, for the first time. I had worn the skin down too far on the balls and toes of my feet on my 6-mile hike earlier in the week, that further barefoot walking would have damaged my feet.

It was actually quite nice to have the opportunity to work on my arches with the shoes on, as I could put more pressure on the balls of the feet. However, of course my last two toes were quite unhappy, as were the backs of my heels from the shoes rubbing on them.

I found out yesterday I had inspired a new acquaintance (a fellow yogi) to walk barefoot across San Francisco (Dolores to Potrero). He loved it, and noticed he felt more connected (yes, you are!) and noticed he spent more time watching the ground for glass, etc. He also noticed he got lots of disapproving looks from strangers, which I predicted and sympathized with.

There is something meditative about feeling the ground with each step you walk. It is a conscious “being-present” with each step. For me, it has transformed the very way I walk (slower, more use of hamstrings and balls of the feet).

I chose to wear shoes today because I had to walk a few miles. It turned out to be a very good decision as I took the wrong BART stop, which doubled my journey! The arches are tired now, which is great. I need much more arch work, so perhaps I can alternate shoe-wearing days the next couple days to keep the arches going. And it’s probably time for another beach run soon too.

Life is good.

11 Weeks No Shoes

The end of my 11th week no shoes had me walking 6 miles through Golden Gate Park and out Lands End toward China Beach in San Francisco.

I had brought shoes along “just in case”, as it was advertised an 8-mile hike and I didn’t want to burden the group should I find some unforgiving trails. I pulled them out at one point, but didn’t need them after all!

However, my lower calves were achey and locking up after about 4 miles, as I believe my arches are just not strong enough yet to take their fair share of the load.

I am thinking I may have to do calf raises to condition my arches to take more work. Simply walking around the cities isn’t doing it for me anymore.

My feet are becoming more flexible on tops due to my stretching them more often, but after Sunday’s hike the feet are quite sore and stiff again. The soles of the feet have become super-sensitive again too after that hike. I was kind of getting used to my reduced pain levels but now they’re back again after that long walk. Perhaps the cold weather had been blissfully numbing my feet all along and now that spring is here (in California!) it is back to usual? I suppose I’ll know better in a week or so as my feet recover from those rocky trails.

Healthy Meals on a Budget

About a month ago, I had about $30 to spend on groceries for a week and that was it. So I tried to come up with the healthiest meals I could make on my budget.

I used a cast-iron skillet to cook all the pan-food for extra iron. I used olive oil in cooking as well.

I use lots of sea salt or Himalayan Pink Salt when making my sweet potatoes and eggs. It’s important to get enough salt.

I felt so good after 5 days on this diet! So there must be something balanced about it… :-) Let me know if you try it out too.

There were some days when I only had maybe three of the five items because I was full enough. Go with the flow! For my juice, I used the Trader Joes Organic Blueberry/Grape/Apple juice and mixed in about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds for blood sugar control and protein/omegas. Bomb.com.

I would actually recommend NOT having the chocolate coconut milk every day. I found it was a bit too high caffeinated to have that much chocolate daily, other than that it is a pretty good diet for a week at a time! That would help the budget too because I actually already had the chocolate at my house so I didn’t factor it into the $30!


Body Modifications – Weekly Update

Barefoot Journal

It’s now been 10 weeks and 3 days barefoot. My feet are much tougher and only the roughest patches of road or asphalt will bother the feet now. I’ve noticed the tops of my feet need to be stretched out more. As I gain more use of my arches, the top of the foot has to be stretchy enough to accommodate. The right foot especially has trouble flexing all the way forward. There is a small, calcified lump 2/3 up the top of the foot toward the ankle, which seems to be a clue as to why that foot is less stretchy. When I massage it really hard, I get nerve sensations in my first 2 toes. Those first two toes are the ones that went numb in 2008 after standing in a new pair of shoes all day. But I know I have had that calcified lump since high school, I believe. Perhaps it was a holdover from an old ankle injury (I used to get them often), or maybe I dropped something heavy on that foot as a young lass. I don’t remember.

So stretching the tops of my feet more is my goal for this week, in order to  continue improving the the health of my feet.

Also, there is more skin breaking between my pinky toe and fourth toe on the right foot, and the fourth toe is very tender on the pinky toe side, just inside the ball of the foot. I have been massaging it and trying to help spread the pinky toe away from that toe. Both are untwisting very nicely. I think what is happening now is that the pinky toe is beginning to get its knuckle functionality back too. The left pinky toe appears to have some functionality already, but not the right one. When I pull on the right pinky toe, it pops every time, so I keep stretching it out to open up space for knuckle development. I will probably have knuckle development in that toe within a week, esp. if I keep stretching the foot back and massaging between the last 2 toes.

There is some wear patterns starting right in the center of the ball of each foot, and on the second and fourth toe of the left foot. On the right foot, it is just the center of the ball of the foot, as if I had stepped on a rock/sharp object there and it wants to recover.

Whenever I get wear patterns now, I suspect that the feet are compensating for a weakness. Given the pain I am having in my right fourth toe, I think it may be an overall compensation for that foot.

Eyesight – 20/20 project

I got excited about my eyesight experiment again yesterday. This is really progressing in phases.

I noticed (again) just how important it is to relax the vision for up-close work, and to focus the vision on blurry distant objects. My eyes are so conditioned to relax when looking at distant objects due to wearing glasses or contacts for 20 years. But I noticed when I tried to focus on distant objects (while keeping the eyes relaxed), they would actually come into sharp focus for a little bit, accompanied by a lot of eye tearing. The extra eye water seems to help a lot with distance focusing.

Also, I would get good results by stretching my eyes really wide to “feel” oxygen hitting the eyes. This feels really good to the eyes, and it brings on more eye tearing. I suspect my eyes have been oxygen-deprived after many years of contact-lens wearing also. My eyes are sensitive to silicon, so the high-oxygen silicon contact lenses weren’t an option for me. I also suspect that the mercury (thiomersal) in my contact lens solution has denatured some of the proteins in my eyes, but I’m not sure of what long-term effects this might have.

I have always had a lot of eye “floaters,” which I’ve been studying about recently.

This week, I am back to doing about 15 minutes of eye exercises each morning. I have done this for 3 days now.

It’s probably worth noting that I ate 2 carrots yesterday, and a couple hours later had my breakthrough/renewal of commitment!


As my third priority, I am also working on reversing the curve of my thoracic spine. Likely due to the way I walk, and I suspect also my low thyroid, I have developed excessive lordosis of the thoracic spine (I’m not sure what that term is – kyphosis maybe?) Instead of a hump, I have a slight dip.

The way I walk now more on the balls of the feet rather than the heels is helping with this. It lets my chest round forward a bit more. But it is quite awkward to try to let the chest be more concave while keeping the shoulders down and back. It is more challenging.


Maybe I will try to make this a weekly update. Probably should be taking pictures along the way too…

Why Cats Eat Grass and then Puke it Up?

Taurine & Vitamin A: Experiment

A Strong n=1 Hypothesis Tested

I thought I might dedicate a whole page to this new finding. I was pretty blown away by my little experiment today: That my cat was eating grass and vomiting/puking it up, in order to get more Taurine in her diet. She thought she might get it from the grass, but grass contains too much Vitamin A and is toxic to cats, so their bodies reject it if their Taurine levels are not less toxic than the Vitamin A. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, unless you have a better one! Explanation below…

Here is the article on feline dietary needs from the Canadian Veterinary Journal that set off my experimentation. I came across it while doing research for my upcoming book (The Most Interesting Story: A Health Autobiography).

Me & Baby Fea – 2004

I started wondering about my cat, Fea, a couple years after I got her. She acted more like a dog. She would follow me into every room of the house, meow sometimes for attention, and didn’t like being left home much. She would run to greet me at the door after work, without fail, and roll over onto her back, showing me how cute she was. I did some internet research at the time, and I basically settled on the conclusion that I had made my cat love me too much. One website described it as an attachment disorder. As if I had developed some kind of co-dependent relationship with my cat that I always wanted her to be by my side or something. That *I* was making her act that way.

Not knowing how to change that, besides not calling at her when she wasn’t by my side, I just resigned to the fact that my cat was just too co-dependent.

Fea in 2010

She had other strange habits. She would jump up onto the ledge of my bath while I showered, and then jump in the bathtub when I finished to lap up the minerals in the water. After noticing how much she liked water from the bathtub, I made it a habit to turn the faucet on for her in the mornings as I used the toilet. She loved it. She looked so happy and cute just lapping up bathtub faucet water that I couldn’t say no. I was trained. I even bought her a state-of-the-art fountain water bowl so that she could have fresh moving water all the time. She still liked having the faucet turned on the best, and I found the fountain bowl was subject to getting slimy too often, so I gave up on it after a few weeks.

As a kitten, she would sit at the end of my bed at night. Over the years, she would get closer and closer to my head. Now, she stays on non-blanketed parts of the bed, or sometimes crawls up and sits on my heart. I love it when I’m feeling sad and she does this. She’s been a good pal.

Cuddling up on my Heart

My house had a s  a visit there, and I think she was very traumatized by her surgery.

We moved out of that house 3 years later to San Francisco. She lived with a male cat for 8 months at our new home, and seemed to calm down a bit, though she was always a bit bitchy to him. We moved into a new home after those 8 months. That place was a zoo. They already had 2 other female cats and 2 dogs. Another dog and 2 older male cats would join us down the road for 8 animals and 8 humans total under one roof!

She seemed to be pretty stressed out at that new house, and understandably. She established that she was the dominant cat, and spent a lot of time chasing the other cats around and establishing her territory by sitting wherever the hell she wanted to and making others keep their distance. She gained a bit of weight there, and the other roommates noticed she was really attached to me, always greeting me at the door and following me room to room and always coming when I called her. I noticed that her stools were really dry, and that she would often have a little poo hanging from her butt after going.


Fea in 2009

I thought she was too thirsty so in addition to the bowl of water always in her room, so I placed another small bowl of water on the living room coffee table for the cats to share. They drank this water frequently and it had to be replaced often.

Fast forward five years and I move to Berkeley, CA to a new house. I started feeding her the holistic Natural Feline Formula from Trader Joe’s, which contains some Taurine, because Trader Joe’s is 3 blocks from my house. Our front porch is on the street level here, so she feels comfortable going outside again, where she hadn’t gone outside really at all for 5 years at the previous house. Way back in Bakersfield as a kitten she would routinely “ask” to go outside and she would spend her time chasing other cats out of “her” yard and doing who-knows-what.

I notice she starts eating grass right away and then puking it up. In my head, I’m thinking she’s got a hairball or something, but no hair comes out with it, so I don’t think it’s a fiber issue. Her stools are way more healthy at our new house, so I know she is well-hydrated. I had a ponytail palm plant that she would routinely eat the leaves of when I would have it in reach of her. At first, I scolded her, but I figured she must be doing it for a reason. I would buy her grass from the pet stores, even a little chia pet, but she would never eat real grass at that house. Just my coarse-leaved ponytail palm.

Google searches were no help. I got articles like this. And I would see stuff like “Even veterinarians don’t know why cats puke grass after they eat it.”

Then I came across the Taurine-Vitamin A article, and it clicked: What if she is trying to get her Taurine by eating plants? I researched Taurine content of wheatgrass (It looked like the kind of grass sold at pet stores), and sure enough it had a tiny bit. But what it had a lot of was Vitamin A. And Vitamin A was the number one cat toxin, according to the Canadian Veterinary Journal article.

I had a hypothesis. It was time to test it.

I ran to the veterinarian’s office less than a block from my house. They didn’t sell it, only “prescription diets,” and referred me to a local pet store. I told them my theory, they thought it was very helpful, and I bought my $10 bottle of (human-approved) Taurine.

I brought it home and decided to sprinkle it on her cat food. I used about a quarter teaspoon and just sprinkled it all over her dry cat food. She was suspicious and wouldn’t touch it.

I put a little on my finger and put it next to her mouth. She smelled it, then licked it off. Enthusiastically. Then she did something unpredictable – went straight for her water bowl and started lapping up water.

This gave me the idea to add it to her drinking water instead.

I had always read that cats are prone to getting dry stools when fed dry food, and that they should be fed wet food. Well, I tried feeding her wet food as a kitten, even buying a whole pallet of Fancy Feast from Costco and she refused to take even one bite. Several attempts were made, then I gave up.

So I added about an 1/8th of a teaspoon of powdered Taurine to roughly  1 cup of her water, and stirred it to dissolve. She came over to the dish, and instead of doing what she normally does to test water, stick her paw in it first, she dove right in and started slurping away. She drank about 1/16th of the cup of water after nibbling on a tiny bit of food, then left satisfied. The experiment had begun!!

She proceeded to jump up onto my bed and look around her very strangely, like she was on drugs. She was looking at objects and at me like it was her first time seeing them. Then she sat down calmly and just chilled out. I should mention she is now going on 9 years old.

That in itself was cool, her just chilling out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at home the past 2 weeks, and spending a lot of time on my computer. Every hour, she is prone to meowing at me and making me get up, for seemingly no good reason. She’ll start to lead me toward the bathroom, or toward the living room, where she will then just sit in the middle of the room and make you look at her.

But she was just quiet today. All afternoon.

I went downstairs to make some dinner, and she followed me, but not as closely as usual, and stopped off to go into the living room. She visited me once in the kitchen, accepted a shorter pet than usual, then left.

Twenty minutes later she hadn’t meowed at me at all. That was very unusual. She has interrupted my every meal preparation in the last 2 weeks. I went back upstairs, and didn’t see her on the way. She wasn’t in my room. She wasn’t in my roommate’s room, which she will sometimes go when she is mad at me.

Then, I remembered I had left the attic open with the ladder down, after fetching something down earlier in the day. My heart skipped a beat at her up in the attic hunting a mouse. Gosh I would be so proud. She has been too scared to even climb a ladder the past couple of years. I put her up on a ladder one day at our old house and she nearly fell off it in terror.

I called her. No answer. I climbed up into the attic and continued to call her. I felt her presence, but she didn’t appear for about a minute. And she was in hunting mode. I beamed in pride, and went back down the ladder.

My cat had her personality back.

Calm when resting. And a focused and high-alert hunter. Momma is so proud. That was fast-acting. My vision isn’t so good, so I took some myself. That was quite an experience, and will probably go in my book :-)



  • After re-reading about Taurine for this article, I also read that a lack of Taurine can lead to hair loss. I had noticed she was starting to lose hair between her eyes and her ears, and I thought at the time it might be mite or fungal-related, and tried to find a link between lack of UV exposure and her hair loss. Turns out it might be Taurine-related. Stay tuned!
  • She has also had some gold spots forming in her right eye. I am guessing this is related to the eye-dengeneration-Taurine issue so I will be keeping my eye on her eye for changes. Hopefully it is reversable!
  • She has taken a few more sips of the Taurine water between going upstairs to the attic to hunt a few more times. She’ll go up and hunt, then come down, nibble a few kibbles, sip some Taurine, and go back up. I also filled a plain-water bowl and placed it next to the Taurine bowl so she would have options.
  • I brought my ponytail palm down from a high shelf just to test her. She nibbled at it to get the taste, but didn’t rip any leaves off. And didn’t swallow any or puke any. Progress? We shall see…


1/8/13 Update: I took away her regular water bowl for a day and just had the Taurine water bowl. She likely consumed too much of the Taurine because she ended up puking up all her food later. :-(

So it is important to keep a separate water bowl from the Taurine water bowl. I tried adding more Taurine than 1/8 teaspoon for 1 cup and she wouldn’t drink it. Seems a max of 1/8 tsp/cup is a good amount.

She seems to be pickier than ever about her food, breaking it up and not eating it all, letting it sit on the ground outside her bowl, then eating it later. I don’t get it yet.

But she has been much more calm still.

Day 57: Barefoot Journal

Today I did my first beach run specifically for more targeted arch development. And boy, was it effective.

I’m sure I did less than 1 mile of jogging with a handful of short sprints and lots of walking worked in. My calves locked up immediately when I tried to go up onto my tiptoes after a resting break standing in the ocean.

I could feel the arches very engaged on the beach sand (especially the weaker outer toes), it was perfect! I pushed it a bit too hard, though, considering I had spent much of the past 5 days in my room on the computer!

Something very frightening and interesting happened once I left the beach. The toes were a bit crampy, and my right big toe and 2nd toe were going numb in the very cool air (as were my fingers!). I went to a local cafe, warmed up a bit, was doing some passive foot stretching under the table, but found when I left the restaurant and hopped on a train, that my 2nd toe was still numb and very white.

I tried flexing it many times (it barely still flexed), rubbing my hands over it, breathing my hot air on it (a feat of flexibility!), and tucking the sole against my warm UV-radiated belly and leaning forward to compress the heat onto it. A few cycles of this and I wasn’t getting far. I was getting a bit panicked.

For some reason I felt compelled to sit on the foot with the toes flat. This was super-painful for the top of the foot. But after a good stretching, I put my foot down and color started coming back in. I noticed that my foot was sorest on top where the bones come together more, and that there has always been a kind of calcium or hard small lump fatty-deposit there. It was aching all around that area.

That told me that it wasn’t a temperature issue so much as it was a nerve impingement issue down the top of my foot. As I am developing my arch muscles. The bottoms of the feet shrink up, which means the top of my foot needs to open up and point more down, ballerina-like. It doesn’t yet have that flexibility, so I will need to train that more.

More sitting on my ankles and heels!

Heel Bruising – No Shoes Day 44

They say lessons in life are repeated until learned.

Since I’ve been walking everywhere without shoes, I’ve finally realized I am still walking too heavy on my right heel. I have almost a permanent tiny bruise right in the center of that heel from catching a sharp pebble too hard there, over and over. It hurts like a mofo when it happens. And today when it happened again during my 3+ mile walk in the city, I realized it’s just on that foot!

Come to think of it, back when I used to jog with shoes on, I would have this problem where my right heel would clip my left ankle on the inside, painfully right on the bone. So my right foot probably tends to evert (I believe this because I have to invert it and move it further distal for it to land “normal”) naturally and land harder on the heel.

So now, I have to work extra hard on getting the ball of the foot down sooner on the right side. Instead of my whole heel aching at the end of a day when wearing shoes, I get instant feedback when my heel finds a rock too hard.

Still totally worth the tradeoff.

As an update, my feet are still getting stronger/muscle-sore each day. They feel and look muscle-y now, instead of like a withered sick and pale child that spent the entire winter in bed. My hamstrings are also getting stronger (as evidenced by their tightness).

I had some interesting borderline numbness today, and noticed my big toe and next toe were a little too buddy-buddy during much of my hike on the cold ground. Probably the longest my toes have spent in the coldest weather (not including surfing in the winter here when entire foot would go numb) Seemed like the more ball pressure I used the more they spread out, though.

Enough for today…

Day 37, No More Shoes, Healthier Feet

I haven’t cried due to foot pain until today. The 4th toe on my right foot is reshaping and it is excruciatingly painful. I don’t recall dealing with this much pain since my shoulder surgery rehab in 2004, when the sadist therapists would manually stretch my arm all the way back over my head after having kept it in a sling for a few weeks, tearing tissues and making space. PTs are like carnies, I’ve decided. They start to get a little twisted hearing people scream all day.

Anyway, I have been applying more ball of the foot pressure when I walk to stimulate more arch development, and my 4th toe is beginning to have to activate. It appears that the 4th toe is like the ring finger: the weakest of the series. It is the most bent/deformed of all my toes, hence its needing the biggest structural change post-shoe.

That toe was the reason I stopped wearing shoes. It cried out to me that it was being squished sideways when I started walking more ball-heavy in my ballerina flats. I knew it needed more room, and I had ignored it for 32 years and let it grow cramped.

This is a really emotional process. I have to suffer the painful reshaping of my bones/joints, but I feel so compassionate in the process. I feel like I am finally caring for my feet, and not taking their work nor pain signals for granted. I feel like I am developing a relationship with my feet. We are getting to know one another and appreciate each other. I feel sorry for them. I tell them I’m sorry when they scream at me while restructuring. I think of all the other toes in the world who are not getting this loving attention and it makes me sad. We’ll get through this together, and in the end we’ll have 10 beautiful, functional toes, and sexy, gracefully curved arches.

Day 36: No more shoes

I went hiking today with a date up a fairly steep incline. The trail was rocky but had enough mercifully rock-sparse dirt areas to be doable.

The last month has been so incredibly eye-opening, that I have already transitioned my 30-day-no-shoes foot experiment into a lifetime challenge. After just two weeks, I gave away all my shoes. I was that blown away by the results.

I will attempt to capture my myriad observations here now:
-I walk much more slowly now, and I barely land on the heel and use more of the ball of the foot to walk
-Due to walking more slowly/carefully and more on the balls of the feet, my legs spend more time under and behind me than in front of me
-I am developing hamstring strength just by walking differently. I have always had very poor hams vs. Quads strength. This is changing due to not heel-walking anymore.
-My stomach sticks out less and my butt sticks out less.
-My shin/calf muscles have totally changed. I wish I would have anticipated this and taken more before/after pictures. Perhaps I’ll take one soon and find some old full body pics of me to compare for you. My shin muscles are broader now. I used to feel just a single narrow muscle running up the front of the shin, it now feels like a full, thick sheath that could easily pick up all my toes :-)
-The bottom of my calves have filled in. I used to have very high looking calf muscles and little muscle development around the achilles. I have much more muscle lower to the heel now.
-I haven’t rolled an ankle at all since I started this. I must have rolled an ankle about twice a month prior to this experiment. Once, a couple weeks ago, I was walking on a parking lot curb and caught the edge with my foot. Instead of my ankle giving out painfully as it normally would, my entire left side fell toward the pavement as one unit, and I caught myself before falling. My head actually tilted at the same angle as my ankle. This is a really cool injury prevention feature. Nothing was hurt at all.
-The skin on my feet is getting tougher, but not calloused. It is still super-sensitive (a necessary foot function) but slightly more plasticized almost.
-the balls of my feet are still taking way too much pressure as my arches are still not strong enough to support my weight. They have fluid pockets that are manageable, like pre-blisters. I am pushing my arches slowly, but I have to back off a lot because my last two toes will start hurting. The last two toes are my weak link. I can’t put more pressure into the ball of my foot until they can support more weight.
-the skin on my second and third toes is wearing too thin in spots due to compensating for the last 2 deformed toes’ inability to distribute my weight. I sometimes bandage them and sometimes not.
-the skin under my pinky toes is breaking open as the toes become less curled/deformed and start to stretch out again to proper angle and length. New skin is growing in the gaps. The right pinky toe started activating first, about a week into the experiment. It felt like it was breaking, but after intense massage for 30 minutes it turned out all the connective tissue, knuckle joint, and muscles were just really groaning under the pressures of the change. The pain went away after one very intense massage session. I had to do the same with my left pinky toe about two weeks later when it started its untwisting process. About 30 minutes of intensely painful massage and it felt much better.
-My feet get cold quickly but adapt very quickly and do not “feel cold” often. Splashing in rain puddles feels AMAZING. I love rainy days now :-) On very cold mornings the feet will almost become numb and then after about 5-10 minutes they regain all their sensitivity and feel warm again. I am careful about not letting them feel numb.
-My feet are not catching fungus or other infections. In fact, my feet have never felt healthier fungus-wise. I’ve had a lot of issues with this as a life-long athlete, and this is the longest I have gone without worrying about my toes peeling etc. due to shoe issues (it got especially bad with my Vibrams, and no I will not buy socks so that I can wear shoes that make me feel barefoot. I’ve cut out the expensive and frankly ugly middlemen!)
-I’ve gotten about three standard reactions from strangers: (1) dispproving looks (as in: how irresponsible of her to have left her shoes at home/work, not planned well, etc.); (2) friendlier looks, like I’m not above you – I’m not trying to one-up you with my footwear. I become more approachable to a lot of people (3) mostly black people have been extremely vocal about it. Only black bus drivers have expelled me from muni (about 15-20% of the buses I’ve ridden, approximately) or commented about my lack of shoes. No other race has mentioned it outright. I believe this is because blacks are held to higher standards of dress to achieve the same success as whites. They have been oppressed more, and are more sensitive to rules and oppression. Those not in positions of power have either scolded me without listening or curiously questioned me about it and listened to my answer thoughtfully. I could write a book about the different reactions I have gotten and their deeper meanings.

That’s all I have energy for tonight, more to come…

Project Hippie Conversion declared completed

For some of you, your worst fears are realized: After 6 years living in San Francisco and now the East Bay, your friend/relative Christina is now admitting she is a full-fledged hippie.

Trust me, I’ve been fighting the conversion pretty hard, even throwing off my new hippie belt with big pockets at a party after feeling utterly ridiculous wearing it. But it really was inevitable.

For the past 2.5 years, I’ve been growing out my hair. I love my new longer locks.

I stop to dance in random public places, just because I feel like it.

I stopped wearing metal-based deodorants in favor of salt-based deodorants. I still think I mostly smell ok, hence I do not identify as a “dirty hippie.”

I don’t wear sunscreen, lotions, makeup, shampoo or condition my hair.

I sold all my metal jewelry this week and I gave away all my titanium cookware and bought/swapped for cast iron. I won’t be wearing earrings anymore except the wood variety.

I walk around barefoot. I’ve been barefoot now for 25 days straight and it feels amazing, especially in the rain.

I even hugged a tree this year.

I smile at random strangers, talk to them, get rides from them in their cars to get into the city. I practice yoga every morning at 5:30am.

I buy 90% organic foods and don’t overeat anymore.

And, with the most hesitation, I started growing out all my body hair last week. I have never actually seen my own armpit hair in my whole entire life, nor my leg hairs fully grown out. This was the final and biggest personal change I’ve decided to make. It still disgusts me, but I want to experience that disgust fully and get over it. Sorry guys.

I gave away all my shoes and all my bikini bottoms. I’ll be sporting the 50’s style swimsuits from now on.

And I’ve never been more joyful, peaceful, and content. Life as a hippie is good. :-D