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MTHFR – Yep. That Bad.

A question from my new book, "The Paleo Approach" by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.  (Highly recommended!)

A question from my new book, “The Paleo Approach” by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. (Highly recommended!)

When I first saw that abbreviation, I thought – whoa.  Someone is upset!

But alas, it’s just an acronym for the Methylenetetrahydofolate reductase – which is a gene mutation some have, that has to do with the liver.

My liver specifically….

and our children.

After my appointment last week, we finally opted for this gene testing (It’s a swab test, super easy).  My children’s testing so far has also pointed to this, and we’ve talked about it now for a year.  Seems it was time to get to digging a little bit further.

People with the MTHRF gene mutation have trouble detoxing.  They hold onto things like extra hormones, or metals, or substances like alcohol…  lots of different things.  They struggle with neurotransmitters, such as epinephrine and serotonin – which are both controlled by the methylation of your liver.  When it doesn’t function – there is a build up of homocysteine – which can then lead to a whole host of diseases, including cancer.  (Read/learn more about it here)  If you have more question, the video is really informative – I listened to it while walking on the treadmill one night.

“Elevated homocysteine has been associated with increased risk for many auto immune diseases, including diabetes, Hasimoto’s, Graves, RA (rheumatoid arthritis), vitiligo, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia (suspected auto immune disease)”The Paleo Approachand so many more! 

MS, yes – that too, and you’ll see why.

When you can’t detox from metals or hormones or toxins, and your body can’t turn one thing into another – the result is … the body in a diseased state.

Why would I need to know this information?  What could I do with it??

Well, specific genes can be established  to help us in supplementation – to help myself, and the kids.  For instance, there is a certain type of gene expression that needs a specific type of Vit.B6 and B12 to help support that methylation cycle.

For me, my biggest problem noticed recently besides the SIBO,  is my estrogen levels – when I don’t take my supplement on time – I can just feel myself getting anxious, and unable to control frustration.  Extra estrogen is a big reason for breast cancer and other issues!  Part of it is my adrenals – and that is all tied in.  My body can’t make adrenaline – so then I just end up feeling malise, or flu-like.

See how it’s all tied together and important to understand?

Personally I’m pretty excited to get the information back.  While I feel like I already know – it’s just one of those pieces to the puzzle and the specific information of gene expression will be helpful.  It explains substance abuse, another pathway to cancer/disease and so much more within my family, reactions to vaccinations, etc – and it can help us to help our kids.

So right now – my personal focus has been on natural treatments to get aggressive on my SIBO.  It’s a major problem that might never go away, but can be managed better.  With my limited diet – it’s just tough.  I need starches, but so many I can’t eat – and then my body can’t process them.  it’s a constant balancing act between foods I can’t process, and foods that trigger inflammation.

I may have had a bad morning the other day.  I was thinking about my friend who died of cancer – and how when she was sick, I really didn’t get it.  

For my birthday, she took me out to lunch and tried to explain it to me.  In my immaturity, and absence of life experiences – I just didn’t get it, but she knew.  She knew she was dying.

Now I consider – that lunch – and how precious her time was, and yet she spent it with me.  What a friend.

I know, we’re all dying… but I can’t help but realize the reality of my morality, and what a GIFT life is.

It’s helped me to prioritize my time, and my health – to let go of things I used to get upset about, and really just focus on gratefulness, and things of eternal value.  THAT is probably the biggest gift in all of this.

Recently, on my auto immune board, we were discussing just how toxic we were.  The comment was made about HOW toxic so many young women are in the western culture (the United States), and I nodded to myself.  Genetics are one thing – but they’ve also been altered by our environment and choices we’ve made and continue to make.  We have the power to change things for our children’s children – and help our children NOT pass on the vicious cycle, by living and eating the way God intended.  (Because you know most people don’t have time to be healthy – it’s all about convenience to keep us busy, busy, busy!) 

If I can help one more person understand that – it’s worth continuing to speak up.  “Diet, environment, lifestyle.” – The Paleo Mom.

Healthy for Him.

“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard?

And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

(Romans 10:14, 17)

 

 

Sugar-Free Paleo Me

flax_crackers

My most recent challenge is coming up with snacks and treats for my children who are doing through the whole food elimination for allergies.  One can’t have coconut, one can’t have eggs, and two of them can’t have almonds.  I’m having to dig deep.  Sometimes I feel like I’m making 5 different meals (counting mine).  Since I’m already struggling with my memory, I may have forgotten things a time or two this week.

One night my daughter with ASD shouted at me, “I NEVER get to have something special at dinner time.”

Whoa.  Excuse me?  NEVER?

Well, that’s obviously NOT true and I’m thinking the opposite might be true.  But this particular evening, she was slightly right – it had been awhile since I had a specific item for her.  After talking through that (gratefulness in all things, and saying NEVER when it simply isn’t true.)… It did light a fire under me to figure out a few other go-to treats.  Now, don’t think for a minute that we don’t eat A LOAD of apples and bananas, and veggies… we do.  But this has challenged me in a new way.  (Thanks for your prayers, I am still smiling – and grateful – although this particular night might not have been my high-point as week ONE wraps up!)

Just to give you an idea of how I’ve messed up lately.  I may or may not have:

-Left the back of the van open while driving away from the grocery store for the second time in 2 months.
-Leave the refrigerator door open almost every day while cooking (thankful for the bell that lets me know it’s STILL open!)
-Left a burner on and almost set some parchment paper on fire from the baking sheet I set on there.

Distracted?  Slightly.

plantain

The first thing I made were plaintain crackers from Paleo Mom.  They are super simple, and she has a great video on cutting a plantain (in half, and then lengthwise in half).  I meant them for my kids – but ended up eating 3/4ths of them.  They were SO good.

I cut them about 20 minutes into the baking, and bake until they are DARK brown.  They harden as they sit - and are SO good.  The outer ones might bake first - so just slide those off and bake some more.

I cut them about 20 minutes into the baking, and bake until they are DARK brown. They harden as they sit – and are SO good. The outer ones might bake first – so just slide those off and bake some more.

Secondly, I made some chocolate flax crackers from healthful pursuit  (they were very well received – see picture at top).  I can’t eat these, because they have cacao in them – also, I didn’t put chocolate in them or on top of them – as sugar is out for the kids…. but they said they were really good! 🙂

I’ve been making a BOATLOAD (no seriously… that’s a number) of smoothies everyday too… for myself, and all of the kids.  They always comment about how much it aids in their digestion.  Green/digestion smoothies all-around!  Next task – a birthday cake for most to enjoy?  Stay tuned!  Keepin’ it Healthy for Him!

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death,

but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:6

One Week – No Eggs!

Yes, that's a lot of vitamins!!!  Vit B complex, ProOmega, Lycopene, Gingko, and my Multivitamins.

Yes, that’s a lot of vitamins!!! Vit B complex, ProOmega, Lycopene, Gingko, and my Multivitamins.

Well, I’ve made it… one week, no eggs!!

Surprisingly, it’s been a lot easier than I thought.

When you don’t anything baked, or grains – how difficult can it really be?

Exactly.  Not very.

I did miss them in the mornings, but I’ve just had to be more creative to get my protein.  I went with making some pastured pork sausage patties.  A little thyme, rosemary and pepper, served with some cauliflower “rice” steamed in bone broth, and my staple cabbage/carrots.  I usually have some coconut yogurt as well.

Mid-morning I have a juice, and lunch a salad with some protein.  Snack is some figs or a piece of fruit and then veggies and more protein for dinner.

Honestly, I’ve been feeling really great.  I added back in my iron supplement, and I’ve had more energy than I’ve had in several months.  I’ve felt accomplished enough to cleaned several “hot spots” in our house in the past week…  which was happening every blue moon around here.

The KEY for me is this – when I’m feeling well, DO NOT to over do it.

It’s so tempting to start pushing things – like my bedtime, and my workouts, or say “yes” when I really need to focus on keeping my head above water…  and then next thing you know – I’m back to square one, stressed, a hormonal mess and wish I would have slowed down and kept my eyes on God.

Bible study couldn’t have come with a better this week than this:  Your worth is NOT in what you do, it’s in Him alone.

I was so guilty of trying to do too much… for a good reason – helping others.  However, when the “cost” is saying “no” to my family, and myself and my health – it wasn’t healthy.  Now I have to purposefully focus on keeping my stress level low, keeping my sleep in check, and continued time in prayer and fellowship with God – keeping me grounded and at peace.  It’s a daily battle, but one I feel like God is helping me stand up against.

Some people who don’t understand auto immune disease or disease in general may wonder why eating like “this” has to be so specific or particular – some might even venture to say you’re idolizing food, or your health…  trying to live forever.

I couldn’t disagree more strongly.  Trying to live, and take care of the body God blessed you with – is hardly an easy choice or a form of idol worship.  It is quite the opposite.  For me, I was being defiant to God – not wanting to slow down and “think” about what I was putting into my body and my family’s bodies.  I was stuck in a world of go, go, go… and thinking that we simply “couldn’t” make this work in today’s world because it was TOO different and surely God didn’t want my life to be THAT different.

Shame on me for doubting God.

It took me a while to learn empathy for diseases like this.  What a better way to learn, than through experience?  For those who assume it’s idol worship to fight disease with diet – just know they are simply limited in their understanding of what you’ve gone through and learned.  Pray for them, and educate them when they ask.  Hopefully one day they won’t have to learn the hard way.  There are SO many people out there who healing their bodies through diet, and never look back – eating to LIVE.  The systemic inflammation that gluten, conventional dairy and grains cause are undeniable – and it’s only a matter of time before the truth is mainstream.

If you’re starting an Auto Immune Protocol Paleo Diet, or you are thinking about trying to seal and heal your gut against disease – you might want to consider this cookbook.  It is available through Lisa’s website, or hopefully they will print it again soon.  There are also some ebooks available, as well as the Paleo Mom’s website – and she has some fabulous ideas also to help you get through this challenging time.  If you are on facebook, there are lots of support groups as well where you can hear other people’s tips and encouragement as well.  Do what YOU need to do to be Healthy for Him.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

James 1:19

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