Enlighten Your Body, Mind, and Soul

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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. ūüôā


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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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Coconut Oil Pulling

coconutoilCoconut oil pulling is one of the best ways to remove bacteria and promote healthy teeth and gums. Used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling is a popular detoxification process that is simply done by swishing a tablespoon of plant oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes, then discarding.  Bacteria and toxins are naturally drawn to oil, so by performing this procedure when first wake, you can prevent ingesting harmful pathogens that colonize your oral cavity at night. Oil acts as a natural cleanser, lifting stains and grime from the enamel.  Here are just some of the benefits:

‚ÄĘ Reduces plaque and tarter, preventing tooth decay, gingivitis, and cavities
‚ÄĘ Kills bad breath, lifts stains, and whitens teeth
‚ÄĘ Reduces bacterium including Streptococcus
‚ÄĘ Heals bleeding gums and dry lips
‚ÄĘ Soothes throat dryness, clears sinuses, improves allergies, and boosts immune systems
‚ÄĘ Improves acne by reducing inflammation, bacteria, and toxins in the face
‚ÄĘ Strengthens gums and jaw

Coconut Oil Pulling is a great choice over sesame or olive oil because it:

‚ÄĘ Balances Hormones and Blood Sugar, Improving Energy
‚ÄĘ Kills Candida
‚ÄĘ Improves Digestion
‚ÄĘ Moisturizes Skin
‚ÄĘ Reduces Inflammation
‚ÄĘ Burns Fat

This practice is especially beneficial for people with bridges, braces, or anyone who has difficulty flossing and brushing.

I like to perform oil pulling when I first wake, during a shower. ¬†It’s important to discard the oil in the trash, as it can clog drains. ¬†Flossing and brushing after help to remove all toxins, and make you mouth feel clean and pure.

For added health benefits and flavor, you can even add essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, tea tree, peppermint, or wild orange.

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Going Against the Grain

Have you ever notice that almost every food that comes in a package includes some grain?¬† Who would expect¬†tea, lunchmeat, mustard, baking powder, dog food, or even envelopes to contain grain?¬† Ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, hydrolyzed wheat protein, modified food starch, MSG, vegetable gum, maltose, artificial or natural¬†flavors, etc… the list goes on and on.¬† Wheat is more addictive than sugar, and processed food manufacturers know it.¬† Modified grain crops are bred to be resistant to pests and sprays, more compact to produce more kernels, and require little space to grow.¬† So, it’s a profitable industry.

Humans¬†have been¬†primarily hunters and gatherers for the majority of¬†their¬†couple¬†hundred thousand years existence.¬† Wild grains were not abundant until¬†the agricultural era.¬† Even then, the tall wheat and small corn cobs produced were incomparable¬†to today’s genetically modified super grains.¬† Wheat stalks are half the height, to produce more grain and less stem.¬† The couple rows¬†of kernels on corn cobs that Native Americans grew are multiplied several times, with large, sugary kernels.¬† These changes produce more calories to feed the human masses, our vehicles, and even livestock – why aren’t we feeding them grass?.

In a time of¬†growing¬†Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Neurological, and Behavioral issues, it’s obvious there’s something very wrong with what’s going in.¬† Children with Autism and other behavioral issues show significant¬†improvement with removing grain-given gluten from their diets.¬† People with diabetes are discouraged from eating glucose-spiking breads and pastas.¬† There is a¬†link between obesity and the modern¬†diseases that have come about in the last century (Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Autism, Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc.) Weston A. Price offers a valuable insight to the demise of American health after the reign of grains in The Oiling of America.¬† Not only have grains become a staple of the American diet, but the ¬†transition from an unprocessed animal and plant-based¬†diet to a genetically modified, highly processed¬†diet has happened within a¬†very short period of time in human evolution.¬†¬†Humans¬†have not had time to¬†adapt to the pesticide laden, genetically modified Standard American Diet.

Most bodies do not respond¬†well to¬†the¬†inflammatory¬†doses of gliadin / gluten.¬† If you are suffering from conditions such as Psoriasis, Excema, Acne, Acid Reflux, Bloating, Colitis, Diverticulitis, Anxiety, Depression, Allergies, or Fatigue, consider taking a break from grain for a couple weeks.¬† Start a food journal and note physical and mental changes.¬† Make sure to include other fibers such as dark, leafy greens¬†and low sugar foods.¬† To satiate your appetite, include healthy fats such as coconut, olive, and/or avocado oils.¬† Grass fed animal products¬†will provide muscle-building proteins and healthy Omega 3’s.¬† As always, eat a colorful, fresh, unprocessed diet. You may notice a die-off of all the sugary starch dependant yeasts.¬† Your Bristol Stool Form Scale may become more shapely and more frequent.¬† After¬†a few¬†weeks, you should¬†feel more energized and light and be more beautiful.

For more information, you can read the following books: Against All Grains, Grain Brain, Practical Paleo, and Wheat Belly.

Every Body is different, and it is everyone’s responsibility to listen to their own signals.¬† Part of the healing process includes some discomfort.¬† Any time you make a dietary change, it is¬†advisable to consult a Professional.

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MSG – The Hidden Lie

Most everyone knows about MSG (Mono-Sodium Glutamate).¬† It’s that food additive that enhances flavor, preserves food, leaves that mucousal, gargled feeling in your throat, triggers migraines,¬†brings on chest pains,¬†nervous issues,¬†causes eye damage, and much much more!

How does the food industry keep putting in our food then?¬†¬†What does a¬†Doctor do when their¬†reputation gets compromised from multiple malpractice suits?¬† The anwser is……..Simply change the name!

Here is a list for some of the hidden names for MSG:

“Remember: By food industry definition, all MSG is “naturally occurring.” “Natural” doesn’t mean “safe.” “Natural” only means that the ingredient started out in nature, like arsenic and hydrochloric acid.”

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Where Has All the Real Food Gone?

Our Ancestors took great care in smelling, tasting, and thoroughly chewing the foods they ate.¬† One wrong bite of a poisonous berry¬†or mushroom, and they’d be dead!¬† Food was eaten fresh and in season, or fermented or¬†cured with sea salt.¬† Today, so many people are rushing around,¬†eating out of packages.¬† Most of these processed “foods” are void of nutrients, and flavored with addictive¬†taste enhancers¬†leaving people hungry for more and more.¬† People are literally starving their bodies to death, while their fat cells are holding on to the borage of¬†poisons to protect their kidneys and livers from toxic overload.¬† These so called “foods” are combined together with non-food preservatives and chemically composed flavor enhancers to cover up the age and quality of what once was real¬†food..¬† It’s nearly impossible to detect the toxins in these fake foods with the multitude of non-pronouncable ingredients.

Manufacturers are able to get away with packaging low quality foods without properly preparing the nuts and grains because they are all mixed together with artificial flavors and colors, loads of sugar, and unhealthy iodized salt to cover up the rancid, stale ingredients.¬† It’s no wonder why so many folks are riddled with allergies, hypertension, and other degenerative diseases.¬† Additionally, children are behaving violently at young ages, and there is an epidemic of Autistic children.¬† It’s all related.

Beyond that, processed¬†food is old and dead.¬† The packaging is usually wrapped with cancer causing, estrogen altering BPA to prevent corrosion.¬† Beside that, all the packaging is harmful to the environment.¬† If you need to keep some emergency foods in your car or home, it is possible to find better alternatives that are BPA free, use sea salt, and don’t have the infinite¬†shelf life of a Twinkie – it’s just not natural!¬† Consider buying a dehydrator and a vaccuum sealer, and make your own fruit leather, properly prepared dried nuts, and jerky.¬† It tastes amazing, is easy to do, and saves you money.

Here are some guidelines on how to cope living in a society where processed¬†foods¬†dominate the grocery stores…..As a rule of thumb, make packaged food, a very small percent of your diet.¬†¬†If you have to ingest it, make sure you read every ingredient.¬† If you can’t pronounce it, or don’t know what it means – DON’T EAT IT!¬† Here is a printable list of the most common list of food additives and their side effects to post to your pantry.¬† You can bookmark it on your smartphone for when you are shopping.

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Eat Right For Your BioIndividual Type

Eat Right For Your Type

Eat Right For Your Type

Perhaps you have¬†heard of the popular Dr. D’Adamo’s Eat Right For Your Type book?¬† The¬†diet plan¬†is based on one of four¬†blood types O, A, B, or AB,¬†differentiating how¬†particular foods will either act as medicine, nourishment, or poison.¬† It details how different blood types benefit from¬†a variety of¬†exercises.¬†¬†The author¬†explains that blood type determines personality traits, a largely followed belief in Japan.¬†¬†Additionally, the book¬†lays out which diseases each blood type is more predisposed to.

The book details¬†how humans have¬†unique chemical markers called antigens that can identify foreign substances that enter the body. One of the most powerful antigens in the body is the one that determines blood type O, A, B, AB.¬† The different blood type antigens are so¬†sensitive, that they are the immune systems’ best defense.¬† Because the blood types are made up specific sugars, they have antibodies to foreign sugars. This is where diet comes into play. A chemical reaction occurs between the blood and the foods consumed. This is due to a factor called lectins. Lectins are abundant and diverse proteins found in the foods we eat. These lectins have agglutinative properties that affect the blood. The basis of the blood type diet is that when you eat foods containing protein lectins that are incompatible with your blood type antigen, the lectins will target an organ or bodily system and begin to agglutinate cells in that area. For example, milk has B-like qualities. So, if a person with Type A blood drinks milk, his/her system will immediately begin the agglutination process in order to reject it. Lectins that are incompatible with the person’s blood type act as a glue, drawing in all cells in the region. These cells work actively to destroy the protein, but the results of this agglutination can include irritable bowel syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney problems, digestive problems, a slowing of the rate of food metabolism, allergies, depression, fatigue, and along with several other etc.

In modern society, most “foods” are processed and lumped together into a convenient, age-proof package.¬† One packaged item might contain 30 or more¬†ingredients.¬† Rarely do we take the time to smell, taste, and decide if a food is¬†safe or healthy to eat.¬† And, it is difficult to do so unless foods are in their basic, simple form.¬† So, this program works best with raw or lightly prepared whole foods.¬† When following the dietary guidelines in the program, it is important to really listen to your body, paying particular attention to the beneficial and avoid foods.¬† Allergic symptoms such as itching, tiredness, bloating, and bowel dysfunction should be documented when eating foods you should avoid.¬† Feelings of energy, improved mood, skin quality, and overall health should also be recorded when eating beneficial foods.

Here’s my personal perspective on D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet:

As a former vegetarian, I realized that my mental clarity was suffering quite a bit.  My skin was inflamed, and my energy was low.  After reading this book, I found that as a blood type O, I was made to eat meat.  The heavy influence of wheat, soy, corn, and dairy in my meatless diet had been causing inflammation, slowly draining my vitality.  I also realized why I was am so unhappy sitting at work.  The constant need for movement and exertion makes sense for my active type.  While I truly love the meditative qualities of yoga, I gravitate more towards intense Hot Bikram style.  And while I enjoy a brisk walk through the woods, I now understand why I often have the urge to take off and run.  My tendencies to lead, rather than follow, and to do things on my own rather than a community aligns with the nature of my blood type.  I accept and am proud to be an O type.

I always wondered why my children gravitated towards cheese over meat.¬† Why couldn’t I get them to eat baked chicken?¬† They are AB types, and while dairy products are very beneficial¬†to them, chicken is toxic. ¬†It was a struggle to make meals in a diverse blood household at first, but I have found we can all eat Mozzarella, turkey, kale, apples, lemons, Ezekiel bread, pineapples, almond butter, quinoa, and much more.¬† I realize now that we should not force our children to eat foods they do not like.¬† They may actually still be in tune with their bodies!

On the other hand, one of my siblings is¬†also an O type, and suffers allergic reactions to oranges and guacamole.¬† I don’t have the same reaction.¬† After reading Dr. D’Adamo’s¬†other books, it is possible these “O avoid” foods are acceptable for me.¬† Not all O’s are the same.¬† Dr. D’Adamo’s¬†additional books like “Live Right For Your Type”, broadens¬†the diet based on secretor status, and “Change Your Genetic Destiny” which further broadens the diet based on GenoTypes (genetic survival strategies that predate ethnicity and race and correspond to such external traits as body type, jaw shape and teeth patterns).¬† The first book “Eat Right For Your Type”¬† errs on the side of caution by limiting any foods that could be negative for any particular blood type, but still provides a plethora of dietary choices.¬† Both of the supplemental readings require a nominal cost for testing supplies, but can be considered money well spent as preventative health.¬†¬†They also provide greater flexibility in¬†the diet.¬† The local library or should have this literature available for little or no cost.

There may be disaster/survival situations or times one might find themselves at a family dinner or a restaurant where only processed avoid foods are available.  The fact is, if you eat the right foods 99% of the time, your body should have the ability to cope with these rare occasions.  When I eat wheat, I am very aware of psoriasis itching on the nape of my neck.  When I consume condensed milk, I feel the tingling on my tongue.  When I eat corn, I feels the over-acidity in my stomach.  When I consume sugar, I feel lethargic.  However; after 20 years of barring red meat from my diet, I am now enjoying the organic grass-fed beef that fuels my body with energy.  The leafy greens fill me with vigor.  My body is strong, my hair is long, and my skin is clean.  I personally have found this diet to be very informing, helping me to be more mindful and aware of what I am putting in my body.   And for that, I am thankful.

This blood type diet should really be a guideline, not a bible.  It does not suggest that there are 4 types of people.  We are all bio-individuals.  Every individual should be very cognitive of the beneficial and avoid foods, and see how their body reacts.  Mindfulness is the key!