Never Stop Growing

Health Is Your Greatest Possession – Enlighten Your Body, Mind, and Soul


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Life is Happening for You NOT to You

A farmer’s son got injured while plowing the field one day. He was left unable to walk…All the neighbors felt so sorry for their unfortunate stroke of the farmer had. How would they keep the farm?

Shortly after the accident, the military enforced a draft. All of the towns’ sons that were of age were required to go to war.

Months later they returned home in body bags. Years passed, and the farmer’s son recovered the use of his legs. He became the town mayor, possibly because he was one of the few existing candidates. He lived a very successful life.

……………………………….

The point is… We should all try to look at circumstances as opportunities. We can make the best of them. Sometimes what appears as a loss is actually a gain. If you flip the sword and change your perspective, you can live a more meaningful life.

We are all going to face obstacles. What matters is how we handle them. Do we choose to enjoy every day of life regardless of the circumstances? Or do we throw the days away that bring us discomfort?

I know what I’m gonna do.


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Change the Way You Do Things if You Want to Experience Change

This morning our Hot Yoga Instructor decided to mix things up. Rather than starting standing postures on the right leg, she had us start on the left. This was discombobulating to not only the teacher, but many of the students. Still, being yoginis/ yogis, we smiled and had fun with it.

We are programmed do most things a certain way. We have our rituals that are comfortable. Over time many of these things become habits, and are automatic…like driving a car. We don’t even think about it doing it…how dangerous is that? The point of yoga is to breathe come a be in the body, and be in the now.

Changing routine requires that you are present. It requires active participation. Changing your habits allows you to become more versatile and flexible when life changes come your way. It helps us adapt to unforeseen stresses.

Today I decided to eat my lunch for breakfast and my breakfast for lunch. I was more mindful and grateful for the food.

I will be mindful when I get in my car and fasten my seat belt before I drive away. I will have gratitude and say a prayer for my safety. I will make sure to have the radio off and myself on a way so that I can feel hear and experience my drive. Rather than taking the regular route, I will go a different way. I will walk somewhere that I usually don’t walk. I will take the time to feel the Earth beneath my feet, smell the aromas in the air, see the shapes andcolors around me, and to feel the breeze or the warmth of the Sun. I will listen to the world around me and my body rather than the thoughts that constantly cross my mind. And when I arrive home I will give thanks for arriving safely. Before coming inside to greet my children I will take a minute to breathe and visualize the way I’m going to enter my home. I will ask them how they are doing and love them and hug them.

Change starts NOW. We don’t have to be prisoners of our pasts or toxic habits and behaviors. Do something different every day. Make a plan, write it down, and reflect on it regularly. Create goals, and keep yourself accountable.

Namaste


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Over The Hill

I ignored elders when they told all of us children to slow down and enjoy our childhoods. The family get-togethers consisted of the children playing while the old folks gossip and complain about their ailments, including but not limited to pains, fatigue, hemmeroids, and temporary hearing loss. I recall hearing that getting older is no fun. I was warned about the dreaded 4-0.

My marriage ended the year I turned 40. So, I can likely attribute much of what was about to come to an over active immune response. However, I believe my genetic presdisposition and environmental factors mixed with the overload of new stresses were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Shortly after my divorce, I noticed what appeared to be a bruise on my right inner calf. It just wouldn’t go away. I went to the doctor and have them run all the blood tests to rule out any potential diseases. The bruise became itchy, so I booked an appointment to the local dermatologist. They determined I had varicose veins, and referred me to a specialist who could perform vein stripping. Additionally, there was an option for injecting a chemical into my veins to collapse and destroy the unsightly ones. Rather than opt for the surgical method, I ordered compressions socks, online herbal supplements, stopped standing for length of time at work, and even ordered leg massagers (like the ones used for sedentary patients in the hospital to keep the blood flowing). Nothing cured the condition. After reading about the surgical alternatives, I discovered that once the veins are stripped or destroyed, new ones could take their place and exhibit the same issues. Eventually, I decided to accept my new ailment. But I was determined to keep it at bay as much as possible by keeping my legs elevated, hydrating, and continuing my daily exercise routines.

Not long after, I was taken out bye some sort of virus. I was bedridden for several days. My family was worried for me. I lost some weight, and was very pale and lethargic. My doctor of course prescribed me a course of antibiotics which brought me back to life. But I paid for that dearly.

A few months later I noticed my face was becoming red. I was concerned, but decided that I would start wearing foundation to cover it up until it resolved. My face started flushing when ever I was stressed out, or in hot weather, or when I ate foods that didn’t agree with me. If became chapped and started to hurt. Soon, I started experiencing an acne-like rash around my mouth. My doctor determined it was perioral dermatitis. She prescribed me Doxycycline and Metrogel. I had to stop taking the antibiotic almost immediately due to the stomach upset it caused me. However I continued with the topical and my skin became worse than ever. I took time off of work and secluded myself from everybody for a few weeks while I was trying a regimen of home remedies. Antifungals, apple cider vinegar, black African soap, tea tree oil, Borax and hydrogen peroxide, several creams and tinctures consisting of violet, calendula, and chamomile…. You Google it…. I tried it…. I made my face angrier than ever. The papules and pustules started forming on my nose and around the sides of my nose. My doctor prescribe me Tacrolimus to reduce the inflammation and she got me a referral to the dermatologist and allergist. The topical burned so much, and I researched that it can be very aggravating to the skin. So I discontinued it and waited. I took it upon myself to take a fit test which exposed my chronic food aversions including coconut, eggs, almonds, yeast, and turmeric. The allergist prick test showed responses to chicken, rice, oats, and eggs. So I started excluding some of my staples from my diet.

When I was finally able to see a dermatologist, and she knew right away I had Rosacea. She prescribed me topical Soolantra, which is essentially Ivermectin – something I used to give to my livestock to worm them. Additionally she gave me Elidel samples to take care of the dry eczema that had formed on my face. Apparently Soolantra is a miracle treatment for Rosacea. I was so excited….. Until I got to the pharmacy. This drug was 600 something dollars without my insurance and about half that with. Fortunately the nice lady at the Pharmacy asked me if I had gone online to get what she called the golden ticket. I recall during the whirlwind visit at the dermatologist that they gave me a piece of paper. I handed that to the pharmacist, and my first tube ended up being free!

The first few days were amazing. My bumps went away and the redness reduced. It was for the next 12 weeks that I experienced the worst flare-ups I had ever had. I had bouts of skin crawling sensations, so I do believe this was Demodex mite related. The dermatologist urged me to stick it out, as most of the articles online do. We did determine that I also have some Eczema, and she provided me some Cerave cleansers. I didn’t like the fact that they had sodium laureth sulfate, so I opted to find an alternative foaming face wash. That seemed to help a lot. I learned to take lukewarm showers, as the skin condition doesn’t like extreme heat or cold. Additionally, I stopped scrubbing my face. After a 12 weeks was over, I went back to my dermatologist to show her that everything except for my perioral dermatitis around my mouth had significantly improved. Additionally I was experiencing redness and itchiness in my eyes. This is common in Rosacea. I kept telling her I thought this was digestion related, so she referred me to a Naturopath….

Meanwhile I started seeing an acupuncturist in hopes they could prescribe me some magic Chinese medicine. He did not, but the accupuncture helped improve my anxiety, breathing, and my tinnitus has mostly subsided. Additionally my varicose vein does not look like a bruise anymore. I believe my circulation is improving.

But, my digestion is what really needed resolved. I told my naturopath about my poor, processed food diet as a child, and acne as a teenager….how I took years of multiple antibiotics as well as Accutane. After Accutane, my skin then looked really great for a decade. I started developing anxiety in my 30’s and exhibited terrible digestive issues. When I ate anything with sugar including grain, fruit or alcohol, I would develop dermatitis and psoriasis on the back of my neck. I became lethargic, and had ringing and itching of the ears. I had horrible gas, and rotating diarrhea and constipation. I tried the vegetarian diet which left me hungry and eating all the time. When I found the Paleo Diet, I found that I had more energy but was still having negative reactions. Eventually I turned my diet into a primarily meat, oil, and non starchy vegetable diet. My naturopath had me start taking hydrochloric acid again, which I know would help alongside my bitters. She also wanted me to try expanding my diet. But, my body knew it was too early for me to try new foods and my body was very good at letting me know me.

I ordered a very high potency Allicin supplement online as well as a multi Spectrum herbal anti-parasitic, as I was experiencing pruritis. I completed a lactulose sibo test and scored high for the methane dominant strain. My naturopath then prescribed me the usual neomycin and rifaximin with erythromycin is a prokinetic treatment. My insurance denied it since it is only covered for IBS diagnosis, so I went online to get a coupon for the reduced price from $5000 to under $400. To ensure potency, I ordered a biofilm reducer to help with the treatment. During that time I stopped all of my non vitamin mineral supplements. I didn’t notice too much of a difference during or shortly thereafter. It’s known that the MMC or the migrating motor function is deficient in individuals with SIBO and that regular evacuations are necessary for keeping bacteria down. So, I went ahead and ordered a stainless steel enema kit and started doing coffee enemas. Taking a break from the harsh antimicrobials and enemas seemed to be the biggest help in calming my perioral dermatitis. My skin has been the best it has been in a year. It takes practice holding those enemas in and I usually have to do one or two water enemas before I complete my 15 minutes of cleansing. It makes sense that emulsified oregano again reduces my symptoms, as it is a natural anti-microbial. Unfortunately, I have to take breaks from the antimicrobials, as they tend to irritate the gut. For now I will continue to take my broad spectrum probiotic at night away from food. And I will continue rotating charcoal, bentonite clay, and diatomaceous earth and the early morning to cleanse my system. I will continue my daily enemas until my face entirely results. I will use my soolantra once a week and then go to every two weeks. I will continue on my mostly meat oil and green vegetable diet. I will attempt to keep my eating window to nine hours per day so that my body has 15 hours to detox for intermittent fasting. I will try to eat two meals a day on most so that there is more time for Transit. I will have apple cider vinegar before meals and bitters once a day. I will continue my hydrochloric acid until that improves. I will also start a broad enzyme supplement to help break down fats and carbohydrates. I will continue to do yoga weekly, infrared sauna, enemas, and dry brushing weekly, running twice a week, and walking for an hour everyday. If I keep my stress slow eat well and use gentle products like CeraVe (even though it has sodium laureth sulfate) and natural shampoo and conditioner, I feel like my skin and my gut will continue to improve. I’ll still wear a little foundation out in public, but it’s really best for the skin to breathe.

I suppose the lesson is..sometimes less is more. Healing starts from within. Reducing stress and mindfully eating quality foods that agree with you is key. It’s very difficult for me to share some of these horrifying an intimate details. But I hope it helps somebody else who is dealing with inflammation like me. On a happy note, my skin looked pretty good the day I ran my first five mile marathon. 🙂


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Easy Weekly Lunch Prep

After my weekend trip to Trader Joe’s and Costco, I performed my weekly lunch prep. I filled my glass containers with organic arugula, sprouts, cilantro, celery, and parsley. I’ll chop up a large helping of nitrate-free turkey breast and add apple cider vinegar and a generous dollop of extra virgin olive oil the night before. The ACV enzymes break the greens down so they are easier to digest. Celery helps my gallbladder produce bile to break down the fats so I get a fat soluble vitamins A D E and K. I’ll grab a teeny tiny avocado and put that in my salad as well.

My friend sprouted some broccoli, so I added that to my salad for tomorrow. Fresh sprouts are super foods that are loaded with enzymes that help us digest down carbohydrates and fats. They also contain several vitamins and minerals.

I cut up an array of organic vegetables for the children to put into their bento boxes and snack on in the evening. My kiddos will grab a hummus cup, a piece of fruit, some nuts or healthy chips and some cheese or an organic peanut butter and jelly or turkey sandwich the night before to put in their lunch boxes. Their teachers in their friends are so jealous of their lunches and snacks!

It’s so nice to be able to run out the door in the mornings knowing we got all our vitamins and minerals for the day.


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Allergy Testing

I know I’ve had digestive issues for a long time. It’s no surprise with my history of long term antibiotic use. It took me decades of reading, researching, schooling and experience, to learn that pain isn’t normal, and to listen when the body talks.

In the last few years, I’ve discovered that wet, sticky ears are symptoms of fructose malabsorption and the ringing tinitus stems from histamine intolerance. So after removing dairy, fruits, nuts, processed meats and alcohol from the diet, I realized better ear health and fewer candida symptoms.

Through aging and the stresses of life, I recently succumbed to dermatitis and circulatory dysfunction.

Initially, I combatted these ailments with conventional medications and topical remedies, but the conditions remained.

So, I decided to remove stressors such as unessecary obligations and started regularly meditating and increasing my yoga practice. Additionally, I went on a parasitic cleanse, and increased my immune supplementation (zinc, lysine, C).

I thought about how I could remove other stressors. So, I ordered a FIT Food Inflammation Test. To my dismay, I found that I had chronic inflammatory responses to eggs, coconut, almonds, turmeric, and yeast. Most of which were staples of my diet.

After several weeks of eliminating these trigger foods, I found little relief from my ailments.

Next, I met with the Allergist to perform an IGE prick test. I was able to fit 60 of the 90ish foods on the panel. So, I selected all of my regular meats, produce, and condiments. They inserted tiny needles all over my back. Though less painful than giving blood, it wasn’t extremely uncomfortable.

The results were quick! Several areas of skin reacted… Egg yolks, chicken, oats, and rice…. I was already avoiding grains, as I follow a mostly Paleo diet. But was shocked that chicken showed up. What was I to do? There goes 50% of my diet!

I headed to Trader Joe’s to pickup 5 grass fed steaks, 2 packs of grass fed ground beef, Fennel, kale, and Avocados. I picked up EVOO and organic frozen broccoli from Costco.

This is to be my diet for the next week. I will try hard to minimize the coffee and dark chocolate. We shall see…


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Starting Over

It’s been so long since I posted to my blog. Last year I made the hard decision to leave my marriage of 15 years. After much support and consideration, I opted to leave a toxic situation and raise my children alone.

Everybody has issues, but nobody should commit to a serious relationship without dealing with their existing problems. A friend once told me “Don’t start a new book until you finish the one you’re reading”.

Unfortunately, the wounds from my ex’s prior relationship were never healed; the addictions unsatisfied. They festered into jealousy, control, and lies, which ultimately destroyed the trust – the foundation of our union. He has since returned to his first book to complete it.

He’s not a bad person. I will always love him for his numerous good qualities. He inspired and supported me in becoming a Nutritional Therapist. And he helped make our beautiful children.

Our children are brave, and though they should be protected from the complexities of the adult world, they have endured much pain, and are wise beyond their years. They stood by their parents faithfully, without judgement, throughout this divorce. They inspire me to be brave and strong on my own.

I choose to take responsibility for my part in the failed marriage, so I don’t repeat the mistakes of my past. I am learning about myself, so that I can make me the best version of My Self.

May this blog help me heal. May I spend my time wisely sharing wisdoms instead of despairing in sorrow. May I inspire others, so they inspire me to do what love.

May we all have peace, love, joy, and happiness. May we be kind because everyone is fighting a hard battle.

And so, I must close my book – unfinished……and start writing a new one.

~ Namaste


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Bomb Proof Coffee

Many of you may have heard of the famous patented “Bulletproof Coffee” comprised of special beans, MCT Oil, and Grass Fed Butter.  It’s designed as a breakfast replacement to provide loads of energy with quality fats and caffeine.  The long-burning fats prevent the caffeine/blood sugar crash that people often experience after drinking black coffee or sweetened espresso.  Drinking the quality fats instead of eating a breakfast full of complex carbohydrates and protein give your digestion a break (also known as intermittent fasting).  This allows your body to perform lower priority functions such as healing, fertility, building new tissue, and immune restoration that do not occur until higher priority digestion has completed.

The high levels Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) found in Grass Fed Butter is a powerful antioxidant and aids in weight loss and prevent cancer while the Butyric Acid aids in colon health.  Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) found in Unrefined Coconut Oil absorb easily into the bloodstream for long-burning easily accessed energy, rather than being stored as fat in adipose tissue.

Coffee is one of most heavily sprayed crops, so buying Organic matters!  Instead of adding sugar, artificial Sweeteners and flavors that are pro-inflammatory toxins that get stored as fat, why not consume quality fats that taste sweet and satiate you by triggering your leptin hormone.  Give it a try!

Though I am primarily Paleo, I personally enjoy a twist on this recipe I call Bomb Proof Coffee that uses unrefined Coconut Oil instead of refined MCT, adds filling Gelatin for protein and bone / skin / digestive repair, and Organic Cold Brew Coffee, which is lower in Acid and higher in caffeine than hot brewed coffee.

All you need is a blender, unrefined Coconut Oil, Grass Fed unsalted butter, Organic Coffee Beans, and plain Gelatin.  Costco, Trader Joes, and the local Food Co-op have what you need.  Just soak your fresh ground beans in a coffee press overnight in cold filtered water (You can make enough for 2 days and refrigerate half for the next day) In the morning, press your coffee and heat it until it is nearly boiling.  Combine 1 TBSP each: grass fed butter, unrefined Coconut Oil, and gelatin in the blender and pulse until it is frothy.

Voila!  Enjoy.