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Correlation Isn’t Causation

This super easy sorbet is a favorite of my kids'.  Just coconut milk, raw honey and frozen berries blended.  I stirred in fresh strawberries for a delicious treat!

This super easy sorbet is a favorite of my kids’. Just coconut milk, raw honey and frozen berries blended. I stirred in fresh strawberries for a delicious treat!

I hear it over and over again, the defenses of people who declare you’re blaming this or that for something to do with why someone is sick.

Whether it’s our food system, or our medical system, or genetics, or the environmental toxins or vaccines…

The blame shift goes on.

Believe me.  I get it.

I don’t think there was “ONE” thing that caused the domino effect in my own illness.  No way.  It’s not that simple.

It was the perfect storm, and the exact chain of events.

I can track inflammation back to when I was 26 months old and had my tonsils removed… I can track gut problems back to grade school, and IBS back to High School.  Irregular periods?  Breast cysts? Chronic infections… the genetics and gut health I passed on to our kids…

I could go on and on, but you know what I’m saying.  You’ve heard it before.

Is GLUTEN the source of all evil?

Of course not.

It just happens to be a major player in inflammation in the gut because it’s not digestible.

Are vaccines to blame for things like autism?

Alone?  No… but their toxin load are super dangerous to many who can’t detox those chemicals.  They land in the fat cells of the brain, and in the gut.

Do pesticides and GMOs cause gut issues?

By themselves?  No. Contributor?  Definitely.

So what DOES make someone sick?

Don’t think for one minute I haven’t back tracks into my past and thought…

What if amalgams weren’t used in my mouth?

What if my hormones had been balanced in high school?

What if I didn’t eat so horribly in college?  Or over use antibiotics?

What if SIBO was an issue since high school… and maybe that contributed to celiac disease?

What if when I was pregnant with my first, they would have realized the rash on my stomach was due to celiac disease…

How would my life be different today?

BUT… what GOOD does that do exactly?

Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

You know what DOES do good?  Counting just how God has followed me each step of the way, and THEN counting my what ifs…

What if I hadn’t gone through a year of specialists and testing, to make me look somewhere else for answers…

What if they had just diagnosed me with MS and put me on their 5 year round of shots…

What if I had been diagnosed with cancer – and just taken the chemo, because I didn’t know any differently…

What if any of those things had happened to my kids… and I didn’t know how to help them??

It’s definitely a better perspective, to know that God is in control of all things….  That it all happens with a purpose.  HIS purpose in mind.

You know, when people say to me, “Correlation is not causation”… I think to myself – you’re right… it’s not.  I’ve never meant that.  However, it’s just ONE more piece to the puzzle.

As I’ve worked (over a year now) to detox, and rebalance my body, my hormones, my life…  I realize the layers that make up “us” and how each contributes to life, or death.  How each one is either helping us live healthy for Him, or carelessly bogging down our system to a state of disease.

I’m happy to report on day… (12?) of my elimination diet… things are going REALLY well.  I had a good blood sugar this morning (I’ve been drinking bone broth before bed), I’ve lost almost all of the weight I was retaining after the whoops moment I had with supplements a month ago, and I’m feeling very hopeful after talking with my doctor last week.

Maybe it’s the time change, maybe it’s the warmer weather on the forecast, but I’m really JOYFUL that this spring is so hope-filled.  Your prayers and notes of encouragement have been priceless to me.  Thank you.  I’m so grateful to have the true meaning of the word “FRIEND” in all of you.  Thanks be to God and His Spirit which guides me each day.

 

“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another,

God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us,

because He has given us of His Spirit.”

(1 John 4:12, 13)

 

 

Attack That SIBO Monster

SIBO
I’m still alive, just plugging along and waiting for spring, who isn’t?  Temperatures we had yesterday made me realize how ready I am for vacation – just a few short months away!

Recently my focus as been on SIBO (Small Intestine l Bacterial Infection)
Several theories abound that auto immune disease, and cancers and those genes are triggered by inflammation or chronic infection.  It clearly makes sense…

Chronic inflammation and chronic infection seemed to go hand in hand in my sinus cavity for years….  and now, the same thing in my gut.

But what does that mean exactly, and what can I do about it?

Well, it means that if you have foods that don’t process well in your system (be it grains, large pieces of meat or the wrong combinations of foods, or food sensitivities), your body is slower to process those things.  They often sit in your stomach longer, and then “feed” that bad bacteria – either in your gut, or in your small intestine.

For me specifically, I had all of the standard tests for functional medicine.  I didn’t have candida, and I didn’t have a parasite, I had loads of food sensitivities.  We knew that I had slow emptying / slow digestion (gastroparesis), which was also leading to constipation with foods that your body can’t process, but SIBO wasn’t on my radar until more recently. (*Both SIBO and gastroparesis are very common in those with celiac disease)

Can I just say, I love that internet and what it has done for connecting people who are choosing this lifestyle to heal themselves, vs. drugs?

Because I seriously do.

One of the things my auto immune and paleo boards have been great for is more discussion and sharing.  It’s helped me identify and relate to so many others with similar struggles or symptoms.  I am grateful.

For instance, another girl with symptoms like mine, and adrenal fatigue, celiac and ms started talking about her POTS.  I had no idea what that was… so upon looking it up, I realized I had a name for me almost blacking out when I stood up, and struggling to get going when I go from squatting to standing.  Not only are my legs asleep – but apparently my blood return is too!

While I do run normally low with my blood pressure, it wasn’t just “low blood pressure”, but a specific reason why I see stars and it takes a while to get moving.  While not life threatening, I see now how it also hormonally connects with my cycle and why it’s worse some times, vs. others.  Working on all aspects of my health has improved this, but it’s still a daily occurence.

If you want to be enlightened as well.  Read about it here.

Back to the SIBO, learning about how others have battled SIBO, as well as getting some new resources on the matter has been very helpful. While SIBO also requires some dietary changes (low FODMAPS), it doesn’t seem as scary with everything else I’ve managed to give up.  Not to mention, the progress alone makes it worth it!

What is a FODMAP?  Well, there are some conflicting things written about this, but over all they have foods you’re to avoid, and some that you can have in moderation.  Unfortunately, I was eating a MAJORITY of FODMAPS… mainly asparagus, cauliflower, and apples.  There are tons more, but again – I must have something to eat, so I’ve chosen LESS of many of things and just being aware of my load, as well as the above protocol before each meal.  (do you know how much I miss apples)???

The following books have been instrumental in helping me figure out what is going to work for me – (treating SIBO with auto immune disease):

Digestive Health with Real Food, Aglaee Jacob  *(this has a cookbook available too, which is SUPER helpful)

The Paleo Approach, Sarah Ballantyne

Fast Track Digestion IBS: Science-Based Diet to Treat and Prevent IBS and SIBO without Drugs, Norm Robillard

What I take before each meal:

* Prescript Assist (pro/prebiotic with microbes – 2x day)

* Oregano Oil (great for killing off SIBO 2x a day)

* Cat’s Claw (2, 3x a day)

* Betaine HCl (Hydrochloric Acid to help my body break down things like meat and fat specifically) I did the challenge, and currently take 5 at each meal.

* Lauricidin – these taste like soap bubbles. 🙂 – 1 scoop at each meal
* Essential Enzymes (this is to help break down any of the major proteins and sugars that I consume)

* L-Glutamine (to help heal and seal my gut)

* NAC (not pictured above) – But has helped tremendously.

* Olive Leaf Extract – (again, not pictured) I tried this for a few days, but my blood pressure is already so low, I didn’t feel like it was safe for me to take, which is a bummer!
I’ve tried adding in some “safe” AIP starches this past month before realizing that was a SIBO no-no.  It could possibly be why starches don’t agree with me.  I’ve also been monitoring my blood sugars throughout the day to just make sure I’m not too high or too low.

Overall, I’m hanging in there.  I’ve had some struggles – we all do.  God has served me some great reminders about why He has allowed me to walk through this in the past few months… and in addition, He has put some excellent people in my life to walk with me.  I can’t thank Him enough!

“Joyful are those who obey His laws and

search for Him with all of their hearts.”

Psalm 119:2

Waffling Around

WAFFLES
I’m back, I survived the weekend and things went really well.  For one, I finished my 5K in under 30 minutes (which was my lofty goal after feeling so miserable last time), and secondly, I didn’t get sick!  I call that success!!  We had a great time.

Now, for whatever reason – my body has been in decompression mode following the traveling this month and I have been so tired that tired doesn’t even describe it today.  I took a 2 hour nap and could have slept into the night.  Tonight – it’s lights out EARLY!

So what did we do for food on our trip?  Well I wanted to share with you my exciting little treat I started making.  I used to always make banana pancakes for traveling, because they’re easy and have some protein when I can’t have warm eggs.  But honestly, they didn’t pack the best and were sort of mushy by the time I got to eat them.

Last week, a fellow celiac (who is so similar to me, I almost wonder if we’re sisters!) had posted her idea for making Belgium waffles a week or more ago, and I tried it out one night to surprise our son.  Well, low and behold – I realized it was something I could safely eat – so I ate one immediately following while it was warm… with syrup.  Mmmmmmm  It was calling my name.

(That’s a no-no, the syrup….my mouth sore reminded me the following day)  Naughty Sara.
I made some revisions the second time, and liked it even better.  I came up with a recipe that will make 3 large Belgium waffles and they were easy for us to break apart and snack on or use for breakfast with our yogurt and home-made granola.  My husband called them “banana bread waffles” – and honestly?  they didn’t even need syrup.  (Silly me…)

So here they are – and yes, they are Auto Immune Protocol safe.  Who doesn’t LOVE warm waffles?  That’s right – now GO… get some!!

BANANA-BREAD WAFFLES

6 eggs, organic pastured/grass-fed
2 T coconut oil
2 bananas
2 traveling cups of organic applesauce
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp  vanilla

1 cup coconut flour

Put into blender for 30 seconds, or until well blended.  Grease waffle iron with organic coconut oil or organic old pressed organic olive oil and pour onto waffle maker.

Enjoy!

I often go through a bit of a depression after I come back from Iowa…longing for things and people of home, feeling disconnected with people who have lived here forever.  It’s hard living away from family, and missing that connection of my youth.   This year was no different.  The first week back, I had a pity party of sorts.  I cried in Bible study.  I cried to my husband.  I just miss Iowa.  I was sorrowful that I had given up my family, and friends – and that life being different feels SO unfamiliar here sometimes.

The difference this year was, being around my old school and life last weekend – reminded me that I don’t miss Iowa as much as I thought I did.  I miss the IDEA of what Iowa represents to me and the dreams I had for myself before God intervened.  Sure, it’s hard to be away from family, and life long friends who just really “get” and love me, as I am.  But, it’s also a blessing that God uprooted me, and molded me by making me be alone and lonely for Him.  What I think of are the sparkling times in my past, and the positive things that are, indeed, wonderful memories I hold in my heart – I have to be real, that there are dark times too, and places God needed to save me from.  I must not discount every day and what God has so richly blessed me with now.   God knew what He was doing, even when I clearly – didn’t.  I’m so grateful.  Even if I waffle. 🙂

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. 

In the world you will have tribulation. 

But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

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