Monthly Archives: February 2013

Junk Oils and Oil Swishing

What oils are you cooking with?  Could you be damaging your health further?

What oils are you cooking with? Could you be damaging your health further?

What do you suppose is the number one oil consumed in America?  My best guess would be canola oil.  Made from corn, it seems as though it would be a good oil, right?

Think again.

Like much of our over processed food products and ingredients these days – canola oil is a chemical creation, vs. a natural occurring one.

The products named “Canola Oil” were derived from the words “Canada and low acid”.  Neither of which has a negative impact, considering that the oil is actually from the rapeseed, and those seeds were toxic and had industrial purposes.  Rapeseed oil was banned for consumption in 1956 by the FDA.  In the 70s they bred new rapeseed to lower the erucic acid and renamed it… CANOLA OIL.

Sounds pretty natural and safe, don’t you think?  Start turning around those boxes – and just SEE what’s in there.  Canola oil is an effective pesticide, and it’s IN our food.

We threw all of our Canola oil OUT last year.  I started cooking with cold-pressed organic olive oil, organic unrefined coconut oil, organic flaxseed and applesauce as well.

The less processed your oil is, the better it is for you.  Coconut oil itself has MANY healing properties.  Good for skin, hair, and detoxing… It can kill of yeast, bacteria and viruses.

Many people who suffer from neurological disorders, including depression and anxiety, also suffer from a LACK of good fats in their diet or the ability to absorb them.  Those essential HEALTHY fats are what is needed for muscle control and brain function.  Coconut oil has been used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

The list is endless really (read more ideas here).

Our latest 5 gallon bucket of Tropical Traditions.  A Christian company that delivers and excellent product.

Our latest 5 gallon bucket of Tropical Traditions. A Christian company that delivers an excellent product.

What I love about it, is that I can use it for cooking at high temps without it hurting the structure of the oil (grease pans, or in recipes) – or harming myself, and I can use it in baking instead of a chemically created toxic – “oil”.

Most recently I learned that it can be used for “oil pulling” or “oil swishing” to detox your body of unwanted bacteria, fungus, viruses or other toxins – AND possibly decrease tooth decay!  Pretty neat and easy to do (read here)!  I’m going to try it out!!

For those of your who are leary of the word FAT period… remember that the reason why FATS sometimes don’t process well, is because they’re often eaten with CARBS.  You can imagine how this might be a digestive, and insulin resistance nightmare.  Keep your healthy fats with your raw vegetables and don’t over eat carbs – even healthy, fiber-filled carbs!  The calories in / calories out – still applies.

“So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.”

Hebrews 12:1

Under The Influence…

Stocked up with all of our new favorites from Trader Joes.  Love the tea tree tingle shower wash and my new favorite is the stir-fry frozen veggie mix!

Stocked up with all of our new favorites from Trader Joes. Love the tea tree tingle shower wash and my new favorite is the stir-fry frozen veggie mix!

My husband made it home last week, with a slight deviation from where he should have landed.  Regardless, he was happy to be home!  We picked up his vehicle (2 hours away) a few days later.

An excuse to go to “the city” and refill our food stock was in the plan… as was a trip to Chick-fil-a for the kids.

I know, fast food isn’t good for us.  It doesn’t matter if it’s salad, and fruit… and the waffle fries… wow.  They’re really good.  Chick-fil-a is usually really great about not cross contaminating our food.

I usually order a salad, but because I can’t have dairy – they custom make it, from scratch.

Well, my salad was brought to me and it was the wrong salad.  No big deal, they would get the right one.

Then they brought me the right salad type, but with cheese… again I reminded the server (who appeared to be management on duty, though I had never seen him at this one before), and he said, “No problem”.

What my sons heard him say, and what I missed him saying was…”We’ll just take that cheese off of there.”

BIG mistake.

I’m not sure who made this salad, or who took the cheese off – but I got glutenated in a big way.

Unfortunately I also had to drive home as the increasingly debilitating effects kicked in.

First we had to drive to the airport – and I fell asleep on the way there.  It’s never a good sign you fall asleep immediately after a meal…

I took some tumeric when we got to the airport – this usually helps me, but the “slight dusting” seemed to have the head shaking qualities of a major effect… I was ready to drive.

Things went from bad to worse pretty rapidly, and I focused on staying awake, and being able to see.

Haloing of the headlights coming towards me, headache and eye swelling were among the first effects.  I was just. so sleepy.

I turned my AC down… and then again… and then again.  I was holding steady at 63 degrees in the car, and lots of talking to my kids to keep me on task.

I shook my head a lot in desperate attempt to refocus and stay awake.

After 2 hours we arrived at home and I just hurt everywhere.

The joint pain, brain fog and eye swelling pain continues 4 days later, although I know it’s getting better.  My digestive system completely stopped working as if someone poured cement into my stomach.

I countered this with fresh juices, warm Braggs and lemon water, spinach smoothies and Kombucha.  I needed this out of my system – as I could tell it wasn’t moving on its own!

How soon do you think I’ll be eating at Chick-fil-a again?  This is why eating out can be so dangerous.

This server’s “quick fix” made my body drop down a few notches.

I know.  I shouldn’t have been driving in that condition.

I knew we needed our vehicle home – and I had 2 children with me.  My husband, in our big van, had the other 6.  Options were nonexistent and I knew freaking anyone out wasn’t going to get us home faster.

I was more than upset when we returned home, and emotionally exhausted.  Everything hurt.

Frustrated with the server, with people who “forget” that this is a major issue… not a fad.  For my body – which is at this point, can have reactions like that, which last like they do.

In my quiet time with God that night … He spoke to me with a reminder that MY inadequacy presents me with a continual choice – to depend on Him, or live in despair.

I choose to depend on Him.

A grateful heart is what protects us from negative thinking.  I need to be thankful for this opportunity for constant dependence on God, and His plans in all things.

I have to keep doing all I can to share with others, who are willing to listen, why gluten is so dangerous and why protecting the health for your gut is essential!

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Colossians 4:2

Fit for the Trip?

My husband loved this, as did the boys.  This favorite was the BBQ.  See the back with nutrition/ingredients below.

My husband loved this, as did the boys. This favorite was the BBQ. See the back with ingredients below.

What wife loves it when their spouse has to travel?  Probably none.

Knowing my husband doesn’t like being gone any more than I do, encourages me to be positive about the situation and encourage him in any way I can!  Usually I pack a note to surprise him, or a special treat for him to discover while I’m gone.  He likes me to help him pack – and I enjoy feeling important to him in this area…

Obviously, ever since we change our eating habits last year – the whole traveling and eating while not at home has become another focus of his.  Since I usually plan all of the meals and prepare, buy and pack all of our food when we travel – he feels a little out of sorts, to say the least.

When I wasn’t feeling well, I could tell he was holding back putting pressure on me to help him to plan on snacks, etc…  but a few months before – he did mention it a FEW times with a concerned look on his face.

“I wonder what I should pack…” he’d say, hoping for suggestions, or perhaps an acknowledgement that I had a plan for him.

Honestly I couldn’t think beyond my selfishness most days… and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to care for him – I just had nothing left to give.  I’m sure he was extra thankful when I seemingly started to “come back to life a few weeks ago.”

That alone should have helped ease his travel woes!

So I started thinking about purchasing some options for him, other than fruits, and staples he could eat when he GOT to his destination, and could get to the grocery store!

I thought it might be helpful to list a few things out in case you travel or need some quick snack ideas to have on hand!

One of the most difficult things people with food intolerances deal with – is not having something available to them in any given situation – so be like a boy scout, and always be prepared so that’s not an issue!  Here are some of his top favorites from the trip:

1) Organic Beef Jerky (no nitrates, MSG, or gluten!)

2) Raw Seeds or Nuts

3) Kind Bars and Flax Bars

4) GF Granola

5) Natural Mints and GF Zinc drops

6) Larabars / Raw Revolution bars / Nu Go Bars

7) Chia Seeds (good to mix in yogurts and keep your digestive system going!)

8) Dried Fruit

9) Small Fruit – Bananas/ Cutie Oranges/Organic apples

10) Apple Sauce Cups

Don’t forget to have more on hand than you might need (and pack some plastic-wear if you might need something.)  This is essential! Due to weather, he got stuck for an extra night and wasn’t sure where he could get food when he arrived to his second destination.  I always make sure I pack him a few extra clothes and extra food.  He was extra thankful this time around!

“The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.”

Psalm 121:7

I've seen the GLUTEN filled kind at HyVee, but not gluten free.  We got ours at Vitacost.com

I’ve seen the GLUTEN filled kind at HyVee, but not gluten free. We got ours at Vitacost.com

Just Say No!

Here is my mid-morning and mid-afternoon line up of supplements.  These don't include my daily or before bed vitamins.  Are they hard to take?  No.  I feel like I'm giving my body a treat.  "Rebuild body!  Go!"

Here is my mid-morning and mid-afternoon line up of supplements. These don’t include my daily or before bed vitamins. Are they hard to take? No. I feel like I’m giving my body a treat. “Rebuild body! Go!” About 15 minutes after I take them, I feel this calm come over my body.

You remember that unforgettable slogan from the 80s that Mrs. Reagan birthed?

It was simple, to the point…

Unfortunately, statistically experts showed that it didn’t work.  Drugs and alcohol consumption continued to increase – and prescription drug abuse became mainstream in many schools.

Apparently just saying NO wasn’t as easy  of a reply when drugs were being offered.

Currently, we live in a society that there seems to be a magic pills for every ailment, and every disease has its drug of choice to make your body “work” again.

The cure?

Often times these medications can help people, in some areas, for some time.  The downside to these pills is they often also have lasting effects that are equally as harmful.  While, often patients are simply following what their doctors orders are,  assuming that their doctor is looking out for their best interest – in a sense – they’re letting go of responsibility when being under-educated in the matter.

Honestly it seems that unless you have a debilitating illness with no cure, or something like cancer – most people don’t take their diagnosis serious enough to make the necessary dietary changes to be well.  We often blame our genes for our biological predisposition to things, instead of owning how WE contribute to the demise of our health.

{Gluten-light, or cutting out “most” gluten – doesn’t cut it.  It just doesn’t.  The issues it causes are systemic.  You may never feel them in your gut.}

Take for instance, if your doctor tells you that you have high blood pressure – and that  by changing your diet 100% of the time, you could avoid medication… and reverse the effects…  You might laugh, and call him a quack.  Insurance doesn’t cover you to eat mainly live foods, and it’s not easy to watch your sodium intake.  Maybe you don’t want to change the type of stress you hold in – because you have the attitude that something is going to kill us all, being so aware of our foods and toxins is a waste of time?

Essentially – you’d rather hand over your responsibility of your health care – to someone else and call it good.

That’s totally your call.

But for me, my wake up call this year was this:

The most important decision maker … was ME. 

I had the right to refuse whatever it was they were selling.  I had the right to refuse to see a specialist, or test.

I needed to JUST. SAY. NO.

I didn’t need to allow them to make me feel like I was wrong – when no one knew my body and what was going on – more than me.

So as my appointments drug on, and I began to think about what my END to my means really was, I realized that most of the books and studies I read said they would start me on a steroid or another prescription called Plaquenil.

As I prayed one night just crying out to God… WHAT should I do?  Did I really want to be on a drug to function for the rest of my life?  Was THAT going to get to the root of my problems?  Would it be ignorant to NOT take the prescriptions offered?

The answer for me… was NO!

I had looked through the drug options.  I knew my symptoms  None of them seemed like a great road.   Several auto immune disease drugs induce lupus because they were enzyme inhibitors.  (Ironically, I’m already having those issues – thanks to my leaky gut issues – lacking enzymes and essential amino acids leads to lack of proper function and auto immune diseases)  They told me I didn’t have lupus (at this point), why on earth would I want to risk that?

I didn’t.

I wouldn’t.

I was done!

Suddenly, I didn’t really care WHAT I had was called.  I didn’t need a name for my “connective tissue disorder” – as I felt I already knew where my body was heading, blood test proof or not.  My ANA titre knew, I could feel it – and I decided to make the LEAP to take my life back before they slapped me on the back with telling me what my life was going to be like for the next 40-50 years, if that.

Since then, I have read countless of encouraging stories of others with multiple auto immune diseases also… stepping out in faith, and trying a GAPS diet, or a Paleo diet, or an Auto-Immune Protocol diet… and feeling their way though what foods made them sick – and saying NO to drugs.  Many have been on multiple scripts for years and now feel better than ever!

Personally, for me, the naturopath was the easiest and quickest way to get me turned around – but depending on where you are in your body’s destruction from food and toxins – maybe the elimination process works for you.  You know pretty quickly when foods don’t like you.  The problems can occur when it takes several days for the effects to build up or take hold – and by then you may have added in another new food.  It’s much trickier than I imagined.

Just this past week I learned another valuable lesson.  I started a new organic vitamin from Rainbow Light.  It’s a vegan vitamin, in all other ways it was safe for me to take.  In all other ways, means – within a few days of starting it – all of my chronic fatigue symptoms started back in.  I felt like I was going crazy with brain fog and confusion.

It was my mid-cycle and I was tired, and grouchy and unmotivated.  By day 4 my eye was swelling again and it hurt.  I didn’t know if it was a combination of my hormonal shift and the vitamins, or what was going on… things were back sliding quickly and I began feeling frustrated after feeling unstoppable for several weeks.

I immediately removed the new vitamin from my daily intake, and went back to my safe, tried-and-true Juice Plus.  Chronic fatigue again disappeared.  I called Dr. K and had a great chat about what was going on.  We added in a herb (Vitex) to help me mid-cycle and she talked to me about taking turmeric incase I get in an uncomfortable inflammatory state again.

It felt good – figuring out what was going on… recognizing it and making the changes to change my body’s response.

I suppose that’s why I speak out so strongly about gluten.  It’s the reason that toxins take hold of me so quickly – and I’m thankful I can FEEL it.  But for everyone like ME out there?  There are countless people who AREN’T feeling a thing, but the damage is just the same  – and they’ve treated their “symptoms” for years because no one told them their gut health was a mess.

It’s why my body has psycho auto immune responses to foods and drinks.  I don’t want other people to live this tight rope.  If I could have done it all over again – of course I would have made the necessary changes years ago before my body got to this point!

There is truth in the statement that you can have everything in the world, but without your health?  You have nothing.  Invest wisely.

“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear,

because fear has to do with punishment. 

The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

Just One Little…K.I.S.S.

Dig out the root of the problem!

Dig out the root of the problem!

Oh the things we retain from college!  My public relations professor was unforgettable in so many ways.  His personality, his quirks… this sayings!

He was always encouraging us to write with the K.I.S.S. method – keep it simple stupid!  Which essentially made it easy to really keep the MOST important news at the forefront of any standout press release.  (although, we don’t say the “s” word at this house!)

I’ve used this method when home schooling my children.  Some times, as adults – we just make things VERY complicated.

I’m totally guilty.

Obviously when you’ve learned something well, and it makes complete sense to you – you expect it to be easy for others also.  But most often, it’s not.

We all learn so differently – and our 8 children, from the two same parents, are a great testimony of God’s diverse plan in originality.

Because of all of the change our diets, we do spend a quite a bit of time reviewing just what is going on in our bodies – and why what is happening to mommy, we DON’T want to happen to them.  We want our children to have a solid understanding of just what food is and what it’s for, and what CAN happen!

Early on my children were teaching ME just how easy it was to go without food and goodies that we once thought were necessary, earned or expected!

After recently watching this fabulous video on how gluten effects EVERYONE, and how it triggers auto immune disease in HLA-genotypes specifically – my girls were discussing a few points and then drew the above picture.

“Why do people keep cutting off the top of the plant and covering up their symptoms with drugs?” they asked.  “Don’t they realize you have to dig out the WHOLE root to remove the problem at the source?”

Great question.

I told them I think most people don’t realize that all disease begins in the gut – because most doctors don’t understand nutrition themselves.   Many don’t focus on natural ways to keep toxins out of your body.  They treat symptoms – with drugs – that have other side effects, many unknown.

However my kids cut to the chase and said they think it’s more about money and treating symptoms vs. truly making someone well.  They said it seems like the drug companies want people to keep treating symptoms, and worsening their health for job security – vs. the easier change of diet.   I would hate to assume that.  My assumption is easier for me to accept and retain hope for our healthcare system.

My husband’s toe and psoriasis skin issues are a fabulous example of what is going on IN your body that you often can’t see.  Most people keep treating the rashes, or unsightly fungus with topical treatments, or in the case of his toe nail issues – a high power drug that could have damaged his liver or kidneys. (after a one month round  several years ago – he no longer took it, and of course it came right back – thankfully that drug was pulled off the market relatively quickly.  Some people aren’t so blessed – and have lasting consequences from these drugs, including death!) 

My husband has been gluten-free and mostly dairy-free for 10 months, and his toe has grown out almost perfectly within that time!  His body no longer is fighting this chronic poison of gluten damaging his gut and slowly breaking down his body until something major finally shows up.  Once we eliminated the main problem – it’s amazing that the goes back to healing itself – as it was intended.

Please.  If you have issues with thyroid, depression, cancer, auto immune disease, asthma, chronic inflammation, sinusitus, allergies – do you struggle with fatigue or migraine headaches?  Have trouble with brain fog?  Do you not absorb vitamins?  Are you iron, potassium or magnesium deficient?  Do you have a hormone imbalance, rashes or light sensitivity?  Trouble losing weight or getting pregnant?   The list goes on and on and on – but you have signs in your genetics that gluten IS a problem and it’s possibly destroying your body.  There is no reason to have a celiac diagnosis to remove it from diet.  There are so many foods God made that you can enjoy – and regain your health and your life before it’s too late!

Rip out the problem at the ROOT system!

Personally – my favorite part of the video above, is the fact that our bodies should be viewed as a bagel.  The inside “hole” of the bagel is still the outside.  Our digestive system IS the outside of our body – and the food and drinks we put in should NOT pass to the inside of our body’s system.  When they do – that is what creates havoc!  Spend the 20 minutes watching it – you’ll be glad you did.  The last 5 minutes is the best!

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

Bone Broth Is In The Air

Here's a celery flower for you in case yesterday left you empty handed.  I just love the way God designs every detail.  Living food is so beautiful!

Here’s a celery flower for you in case yesterday left you empty handed. I just love the way God designs every detail. Living food is so beautiful!

So, how was your Valentine’s day?  Romantic?  Predictable? One-of-a-kind?  Whatever type of day you had… I hope that you were able to reflect on the giver of Love – and His ultimate gift to us, His valentines.

On a day that was often filled with disappointment for me (because I happened to marry someone who wasn’t blessed with thoughtful gift giving skills, but IS gifted with qualities that I rate of eternal value so I have learned to get over myself)… I truly had one of the best Valentine’s days ever.  I’m thankful for my health soooo much, and my valentine has been there for me  “in sickness” this past year – that it filled me up to bless HIM with some extra special gifts this year!

So what did we spend our Valentine’s day doing this year?  First of all, I *love* Valentine’s day… I normally dislike hearts (as in, the shape of a heart)… Valentine’s day and this season is the exception.  I spent the morning with the kids baking crust-less apple pies to share with each other and their grandparents after lunch, and I prepared a big batch of bone broth to start saving back.

Why would I want to make bone broth?  <—-( some great reasons why bone broth should be part of our everyday diet, and how to make it – however there is loads of information all over the internet.  If you have auto immune issues, this should be a staple – if not, and you use broth – you should be making it simply for the nutritional difference.  We ARE what we eat!)

If you’ve never made bone broth (like me), then you might be thinking – “why on earth would you do that, when you can just go to the store and get organic, yeast-free, free-range chicken broth?”

You might be shocked to know, as I was… that the nutritional value in ANY store-bought bone broth….

is ZILCH.

*gulp*

You remember the saying, “Chicken soup heals the soul”?  Well, unfortunately it doesn’t have any healing properties if it’s not home-made from organic chickens/meat source – because none of the store-bought brands contain the nutrients in a homemade bone broth and they’re loaded with preservatives to keep their shelf life long.  Another “boxed”or canned dead food that truly is best in its living state.

You also might be shocked to realize that even those delightful organic “broths” you can buy can LEGALLY put MSG in them, even if they state, “MSG FREE”.  How can that happen?  It’s hidden in other things, like “natural flavors”.  The law states as long as the MSG is less than 50% of those natural flavors – then voila!  Skirt the issue.

I felt sick!

I had no idea… I assumed I was purchasing something of quality that would help HEAL my leaky gut.  I was sadly mistaken.

After the 8 hours of simmering, I strained all of the bones and vegetable pieces out this way.  Worked like a charm and I have 3 huge containers of bone broth ready for soup making or recipes calling for broth!

After the 8 hours of simmering, I strained all of the bones and vegetable pieces out this way. Worked like a charm and I have 3 huge containers of bone broth ready for soup making or recipes calling for broth!

So, I went old-school – and started making my own!  It’s super easy, and the nutritional value for your digestive system and immune system is wonderful.  Truly, a natural healer.  It’s great to keep on hand – or in the freezer if you have space.  My mom had a great idea to put them in ice-cube trays and then you could bag them up easier.  I might try that the next time!  (Thanks Mom!)  I know my husband ‘s grandmother would have been proud.  It’s one more thing this past generation rarely did, in the name or “rush, rush, rush…”

It’s clear that in our effort to cram more thing into our lives, we’ve lost a lot of the essential importance in our lives… and definitely in the HEALTH and quality of our lives!

But, like most people – you don’t slow down until you’re forced to.

I am so grateful I have had to slow down.  I no longer get stressed that I can’t do it all.  Besides, God didn’t design me with the expectation of doing it all anyway!

Have a great weekend and start boiling up the bone broth for our cooking and nutritional needs!  I want you to be healthy for HIM also!!

 “Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong!”  

Eph. 3:17

Little Things, Big Effects!

Onions

I thought I might peel back the layers of my health onion in the past few months. I wanted to take a look at how each piece of my health puzzle has weighed in on making me so sick. After all, things DON’T just happen over-night, and they don’t fix themselves with one magic pill either.

So where did I go wrong?

I was eating healthy. I was exercising 4-6 days a week. I had taken out gluten and dairy – as my body couldn’t process either one. How did my body continue to take such a hit each time I was cross contaminated and why was it missed?

COFFEE:

Remember how I had taken out coffee (which I dearly loved, but recognized something about it made me sick – like gluten?) Well, it seemed anything from that roasting type process was an inflammatory to me – personally, but it causes problems in many people with auto immune disease. Normally it’s a fabulous antioxidant and anti-inflammatory… but for me, it just isn’t safe. After 6 months off of coffee… I decided I would try some again at the end of September.

Within a week. I had uveitis.

On steroid eye drops and dilation drops, and realizing coffee could have played a part… I gave up coffee right away. Within 3-4 weeks my uveitis improved. By the time I met with the uveitis specialist, he said it couldn’t be uveitis, because it went away too quickly… he claimed it was scleritis. My eye doctor said it wasn’t. You see where this got me.

“People have it for months, sometimes years,” the specialist said.

“But I’m fairly certain of what triggered mine, couldn’t that make it go away more quickly?” I questioned.

“There have been no studies tying it to diet,” he touted.

Now of course there are no studies that would tied coffee specifically TO uveitis… because for some, it’s probably not an inflammatory. I also predict MOST people with uveitis and auto immune disease in general aren’t making the gluten/gut permeability connection – to know that other foods could potentially be seeping into their blood stream and causing more symptoms.

BUT, if you’re as in tune with what is setting off your body as much as I have had to be …. you just might.

As well – YOU should. YOU are an expert of you. No one else.

Personally, I was shocked to realize how many foods I consumed on a regular basis, were making me sick – but I call that being aware, and taking responsibility for my health by avoiding those foods, vs. continuing to make my auto immune disease issues worsen, and broaden.

When I had my food cytotoxin report done, it confirmed that same thing – coffee was highly inflammatory to my body – and was breaking down my white blood cells. Tea was also in the category. I didn’t notice the SAME effects from tea as I did from coffee. Other things like rice, and almonds were in there – which most know that even gluten-free grains are usually loaded with rice flour.

REMOVED ALL GRAINS, STARBUCKS TEA….

However…

As I removed those foods recommended from that blood test… I saw an improvement in my health. The only two things I had changed that first month, while doing my other homework of tests… was removing foods on the list and changing to a higher quality fish oil. Both things contributed to an improvement – but I was still … so tired. Clearly my immune system and thyroid were just not making progress on their own.

THYROID ENERGY SUPPLEMENT

So after that, I added in Thyroid Energy, and was making more progress… I was hopeful. The systemic pain had gone down significantly – but was still random. The energy was improved, but I didn’t feel “like myself” yet.

As I’ve made more changes I kept coming back to my Starbucks tea, and knowing I just didn’t feel that super after having it. Usually not immediate – I just felt… foggy, and more tired. Not the effect I was looking for from caffeine.

“I wonder what else can help me improve?” I considered. I started taking that CoQ10 enzyme and L-Glutathione, as well as Milk Thistle for liver support as more toxins left my body.

CoQ10 and L-Glutathione ADDED IN

After my second meeting with my naturopath – and going over most of my results… I started on a half of a grain of natural Armour and a few other vitamin supplements. It took about a week, and I really started feeling – more and more improvements.

ARMOUR THYROID ADDED & A LOADED PROBIOTIC at 256 billion (yes, even more powerful than my daily dose of 50 billion!)

Because I have eliminated so much from my diet – it’s pretty easy to figure out when something doesn’t agree with me. While seemingly strange to most – it’s my reality – and the reality of most people with auto immune disease issues.

A week later a thoughtful friend brought me some organic white tea leaves to try making her favorite tea, since I had success with an organic green/ginger tea. I read everything I could about their brand of tea, the leaves, etc. I had two cups one night – smooth, delicious.

The next day I regretted it. I hurt all over, and was so foggy all day…

It just shows me that once you have gut permeability issues from gluten or yeast damage… it can be completely random what sets your system off – things that SEEM like they should be good for you.

The damage may be the unthinkable, or unimaginable – but it’s very real and sometimes crazy frustrating.

So now I’m on the auto immune disease protocol diet. While I hate “labels” – it’s the best way to explain partly how I eat “works”… It’s a modified Paleo diet. No grains, dairy, yeast or soy. Some organic meat, eggs, organic fruits and veggies, juices, and supplements.

When people say, “What CAN you eat?” The answer is – plenty. I eat LIVE premium foods and am making efforts each day to remove toxins from our house and our family’s lives. When you know better, you do better. I just didn’t realize how each “little” decision I made impacted my health so GREATLY.

I’m feeling strong and wonderful right now and I’m so thankful for my health! I used to take my health for granted. It’s true that you don’t often know what you have, until it’s gone! Now I protect my health, and I work at it every day as I try to live not as a patient, but as a person!

My husband I were counting our blessings this weekend and I stated, “I really thought I was dying.” He said, “You were dying.” and agreed he thought I was going to continue to worsen. What a helpless feeling, as a spouse. Thanks be to God, the Restorer of my health. I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to make the best choices and choose health.

“The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.”

Psalm 41:3

Auto-Immune Protocol

Taken from the book "Practical Paleo" - just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet?  Check it out. #1 rule on the list?  REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.

Taken from the book “Practical Paleo” – just WHO should be on an auto immune disease diet? Check it out. #1 rule on the list? REMOVE GLUTEN from your diet.


Have you ever heard of such a thing?
 I suppose I skimmed over some pages in a few of my Paleo and Auto Immune Disease books as I was one of the few who didn’t have multiple auto immune diseases.  RIGHT?

Bad idea.

Well the reason so many auto immune diseases are tied together – is because of leaky gut, and an impaired immune system through inability to absorb necessary vitamins and minerals.

So what is the AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE PROTOCOL?  It’s basically a revised Paleo Diet, but can vary as everyone has different inflammatories, based on where your gut damage is, and how you are uniquely made.

NO GRAINS (only nut based flours – coconut, almond, hazelnut meal)

NO EGGS (I can eat these, but they are a problem for most because they are inflammatory)

NO NUTS (I can’t eat peanuts or almonds, therefore almond flour is out)

NO SEEDS (including cocoa, coffee and seed based spices) – this rings true for me, although I do eat chia seeds without problems.

NO NIGHTSHADES (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers)

NO ALCOHOL

NO NSAIDS (which ironically are what the “specialists” told me to take!  But they are bad for your gut)

Then there is the possibility that other foods are causing you issues through gluten cross-reactivity which require a food cytotoxin blood test to sort out.

Sounds miserable?  It’s NOT.  There is plenty I can eat, and I feel fabulous.  (Which is of UTMOST importance!)  I eat to live.

Lots of vegetables, grass-fed meat, bacon, chicken and fish!  God is good.  He is restoring me – and I’m so thankful.

Will I ever be ‘cured’ of my auto immune diseases?  The answer is no.

I need to eat to live – and improve my health – for the rest of my life.

That means – eat organic, get rid of as many chemicals as I can from my body, exercise regularly, keep my stress level lowered – and sleep well every night!

I’m still vulnerable to illness and having flares if I get accidentally cross contaminated, or my stress level overloads.  Anyone with auto immune disease is in a constant battle for their health – and much of it depends on choices they make.  Someone with AI disease shouldn’t ever consume gluten again – the systemic damage will pick right back up, even though many effects can slowed down, or reversed – depending on how severe the damage has gotten.  (Anyone who has the HLA genes shouldn’t sit around like a ticking time bomb – waiting for your auto immune disease or cancer to appear.  If these types of auto immune diseases are in your family – chances are, you have those dominant genes.  It just makes sense to remove gluten as a start.)

I, however, am not my auto immune diseases, and through continued health and detoxing – our family doesn’t plan to add any new auto immune disease to our lists!  We are grateful to have this opportunity to take responsibility of our health as best we can.  We encourage you to do the same.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:2-3

A Miracle? Or Quackery?

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You know how I love watching documentaries on health.  Several months ago the Gerson Miracle was recommended to me by a good friend.  I really hadn’t had much time to watch things like that until most recently…  So I broke the show into 3 nights and made time for it.

I’m actually glad I waited to see it.  I’m not sure if I would have soaked it in, and believed it – as I do now.

Could there be a therapy answer for ALL illness?

Obviously my eyes have been opened as to how our bodies get broken down and sick – and what our environment, and our choices contribute to that… whether we understand it – or not, while it’s different within your body – it’s similar just the same.  There are higher and higher cases of auto immune disease and cancer than ever before… and it’s not without reason.

Our environments are OVERLOADED with toxins, and our bodies are not nourished in a way that they can keep up with that load for years on end.  It isn’t simply because medicine is “so much better” at diagnosing things.

OBVIOUSLY.  I’m proof of that.

It’s actually because more things are occurring, contributing, and being consumed – and most of the time people WILL NOT change until they have to, (and even then – some people aren’t told by the medical world the major contributors to disease in general.)

I’m proof of THAT too.  (Stubborn?  Maybe a little.  I prefer determined or focused.)

The Gerson miracle is a documentary based on a holistic method of treating people who are sick, called Gerson Therapy.

Sick means a variety of things… but for a majority of his patients… it meant cancer.

Before you stop reading and think – no way, no how.  Consider that many of these people had NO cancer after 2 weeks on the treatment.  Most improved within 72 hours.

HUH?

That’s exactly what I was thinking…. HOW? (click here)

The method was eating a variety of delicious organic fruits and vegetables, and drinking a specific carrot juice and natural supplements… which removed toxins from the body in a way only pure foods can, and also helping the liver from becoming overloaded with those released toxins – through coffee enemas.

Crazy?  Well, maybe not.

Many patients said they were one of a group of people diagnosed with a certain type of cancer at the same time.  Within in a year, many of those others who went through standard surgery and chemo, died – because that’s what chemo does – it kills everything in your body, the good and the bad cells.  Meanwhile, 9-20+ years later, these people on the Gerson Therapy had a different story.  They were alive, and well!  It seemed like a miracle… but simply – it just made sense!

Apparently Dr. Gerson brought his unique methods and impressive statistics to America and shared them with our government.  However the medical system, in bed with the pharmaceutical businesses, wanted nothing to do with these natural healing practices!  They even banned them from being able to treat cancer in America by any other means than surgery, chemo and radiation, so Gerson was forced to set up a clinic in Mexico instead.

Well, the principles overall hit me hard – and they are exactly what I’m dealing with in regards to auto immune disease.  A lifetime of toxins… bound up in my body, and breaking it down, causing cell mutation, and DNA mutation… and killing my immune system, only to cause it to over react in other areas from the slightest things.  The process takes years for some, and the build up of symptoms one might shrug off as “normal for me”…  until – it’s completely, obviously, NOT normal at all.

While my breast surgeries for fibroadenomas alone have been 3 in number, and I was prepared to have a fourth this past summer.  I’ve now considered the changes made in my breast tissue – simply from removing gluten (the lumps have gone down).  I’m excited to see what further changes might occur if I implement some Gerson therapy myself!  Two of the lumps I have, have been with me for over 20 – years, and we have needle biopsied them to ensure they are not cancer.  Certainly worth a try!

One lady said she had scar tissues for years from a car accident earlier in life.  Gerson therapy not only cured her daughter of terrible life-threatening asthma (that never returned mind you!), she was finally able to feel the bones in her face for the first time before the accident!

The list of diseases, and illnesses the Gerson Therapy reversed, or stopped was incredible – and CERTAINLY believable.  Why do we view natural treatments as more risky, and invasive treatments and drugs our “best” hope to wellness?

Definitely worth watching more about HEALING your body, vs. just trying to mask symptoms. (a great interview with Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte on the body being designed for healing itself)

Watch the Gerson Miracle here for free.  FoodMatters is another great documentary to watch that ties into the Gerson Therapy – and it’s more recent.  Let me know your thoughts.

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

– Genesis 18:14

What Your Body Needs

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Flax seed is best in liquid form. I put a tsp. of this in my smoothies and enjoy an immunity boost from the Vitamin D as well. This is found in most refrigerator sections of your health food department.

Ever wonder what a coma feels like?

I used to.

I used to think it must be painstakingly awful to be trapped inside your body… screaming – and no one could hear you.

Maybe you could feel pain, but couldn’t tell anyone?

Simply. Awful.

I truly felt like 2012 was my coma of sorts. I believe my gut issues ramped up again before that, but my body completely dumped hormonally in January, and my nightmare of sorts started then. I went gluten-free in April, got a UTI for a month in June… Then as I was cross contaminated during the summer a few times, it just kept knocking me down another notch, and then another.

I couldn’t figure out what was happening, and what made it worse – is no medical doctors could tell me what was wrong either.

Clearly, something was wrong.

My own body had to be screaming… in a sense it was speaking to me – and using the only way it knew how to communicate.

Doctors told me fatigue was hard to diagnose. I tried to explain, this wasn’t fatigue. It was way worse.

Come on. I had 8 kids in 10 years. I know what sleeplessness feels like.

This was different.

It felt like a carb coma. Only 10x worse and all day long.

I mentioned how all disease starts in your gut from damage – that then leads into your bloodstream, and how that can throw off your cells, and do some really weird things depending on where that damage is in your gut. Mainly – you feel SICK – but WHY??

Well, one of the things “weird things” that can happen – is that leaking starts depleting your body of essential amino acids, and enzymes. Without those cells functioning correctly, your body suddenly unable to take the foods you eat, such as beta carotene in carrots, and turn it into a vitamin you need to function – like vitamin A. See how this snow ball effect can take off rolling?

When your body is unable to do those essential things… clearly – things are going to start going hay-wire – and you feel symptoms, which you may or may not treat or shrug off.

One of the two major enzymes I was low on was Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. This decreases with age naturally, but it’s essential for cell respiration (healthy, oxygenated cells), electron cell transfer (for your muscle movements to be smooth as you move, vs. tight and hurting), it’s also a strong antioxidant and also may inhibit certain enzymes involved in the formation of free radicals (oxidants) building up in your system. So without it, your body is going to hold onto toxins, and that build up will make you sicker.

CoQ10 is found in your mitochondria and it’s necessary for the production of ATP (quick and easy access to energy from your cells). Non-sick people needs 90mg/day, and sick people need about 300 mg/day. There are several disorders tied to the lack of this enzyme (congestive heart failure, cancer, Parkinson’s, periodontal disease, miscarriage, auto immune disease, etc) and it’s also tied to the loss of energy in “chronic fatigue” that goes along with all auto immune disease. Without CoQ10 availability, aging accelerates.

The other deficiency I had, which is tied to many people who are sick – is glutathione. It’s an important molecule that helps prevent damage to your cells by neutralizing the negative molecules generated during energy production. A fabulous antioxidant – but if you’re body isn’t producing it, it’s bad news. It processes medications and cancer-causing pounds known as carcinogens. It helps build DNA, proteins and other important cellular parts.

Normally it recycles itself – which is awesome, unless your toxin load is too great and then there is no way for your body to fight a chronic illness. If your body is attacking itself – and then it then can’t repair itself… you have some major problems. Most symptoms of a deficiency in glutathione include things like seizures, slowing down of physical reactions, movements and speech (brain fog anyone?), loss of coordination (ataxia), and recurrent bacterial infections (yep! that was me!)

Poor diet, pollution, toxins, medicines, STRESS, trauma, aging, infections and radiation ALL DEPLETE your glutathione. Most likely if you are sick – YOU ARE LOW on glutathione. (Definitely one to ask your doctor about) A glutathione deficiency is tied to chronic fatigue, heart disease, cancer, chronic infections, auto immune disease, diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, asthma, kidney problems, liver disease… on and on. Do you get the picture? I’m on supplement for this, as well as selenium supplement (In my Thyroid Energy, as this helps the body recycle and product more glutathione), and Milk thistle herb (which also helps boost glutathione levels and helps your liver detox). Exercise also helps – one more reason to keep moving!!

So, that’s a little bit of what my body was trying to tell me … and a few things that I’m working on to heal and repair this damaged body of mine… and I can tell you that so far – combined, I’ve made HUGE strides that I never dreamed would be possible with how I felt in 2012. I know people go on like this for YEARS… and while I dealt with celiac for 20 some years… this was a whole new adventure that I’d love to help just ONE more person NOT experience. You can have an auto immune disease – but it doesn’t have to have you. To God be the glory – GREAT THINGS He has done!

“But God has helped me to this very day;

so I stand here and testify to small and great alike.”

Acts 26:22a

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