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CAUTION: Environmental Triggers

My mom used to tell me that I was “burning the candle at both ends” as a teenager by going to bed late and getting up early. From experience, we all know that our bodies cannot run on very little for long. Why? Because when our bodies are tired, our immune system (our wall of defense) is lowered allowing viruses to attack us. Whether you have asthma, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or arthritis, environmental triggers will make your symptoms worse.

 

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Here are some of those circumstances (besides Insomnia) where we may need more rest, time, and compassion to recover OR to stay completely clear of instead of pushing our hard-working bodies too far, and then crashing. Do NOT blame your body for working so hard to compensate. 

 

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Heavy Metals, such as mercury (mercury based fillings, mercury in foods: seafood, tuna, swordfish, etc.) arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, alloys, steel, aluminum, and copper, that are in our systems, including in our liver.

 

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Foods including Eggs, Dairy, Corn, Wheat, Soy, Pork, Canola Oil, “Natural Flavors” (which is actually MSG), cane sugar, other preservatives, and processed foods. I also stay away from Rice and Oatmeal if they are not organic and gluten free because I can literally FEEL the trigger. Too much meat and fat (regardless of the organic nature) in your diet can also clog up your liver causing you to lose part of your immune system.

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Insecticides in the home, (bug spray, ant spray, roach spray, etc.)

 

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Carpet cleaner, air fresheners, fresh paint, and other chemical cleaners,

 

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Pesticides and Herbicides including DDT,

 

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Mold exposure,

 

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Swimming in red algae, or in contaminated lakes near run off land from old land dumps,

 

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Vitamin deficiencies especially Zinc and B12,

 

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Emotional trauma in any form can weaken the immune system: Death in the family, Broken heart, Betrayal, Taking care of a sick loved one, Divorce, Financial strain etc.,

 

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Medications: over prescribed amounts or high dosages, virus friendly medications like antibiotics and benzodiazepines, or drug abuse,

 

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Hormone changes such as puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, etc.,

 

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Physical injuries,

and more…

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Your health is important. Taking good care of your body will help it to keep fighting off the viruses and strengthen the immune system you need to accomplish many good things that God has prepared you for in this life!

 

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Don’t give up. You are worth it!

If you are already sensitive to these triggers, the truth is that your liver is already over-loaded with chemicals and needs to be cleansed.

 

Jumping for Joy in January!!!

Christmas Day, I received the final answer to my health puzzle. I said that HEALING, to me, means that I do not need meds and if I WANTED to, I COULD pursue any work I desired without worry about whether I could handle it.

 

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January Changes: 

Wk1-Celery Juice and lemon water
Wk2-beet/strawberry smoothie replacing cereal and magnet rings to sleep with
Wk3-blueberry/spinach smoothie adding to my meals and a commitment to stay away from cheese and wheat to heal. 
Wk4-evaluating meds and supplements, lowered protein by half, and tried a couple of new recipes…  
You do NOT have to sacrifice taste to feel or get well!!!

 

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I had 4 medications… 

-I no longer need my asthma med.
-I do not need the extra herbs to sleep on top of meds and I’m actually sleeping!
-I’ve cut one anxiety med from a full pill daily down to a quarter (I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t need it. I won’t need it this week.)
-My steroid that keeps me standing has been cut in half and the doctor gave me the okay to get off of it, if I feel comfortable. It’s going this week.
-That leaves one anxiety medication.

 

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This weekend, I went out with a friend for a few hours. The next day, went to a Women’s Conference for two half days and a night where I danced and stood to sing a few songs. Tomorrow, I’m driving to see my family at their church over an hour away. I’m not worried one bit. A little tired, but who wouldn’t be. I am healing!!!

 

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My stomach feels cleaner, my ab muscles feel stronger, and I can think clearer.

 

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Which opens up another calling for my future… a Health Coach. I have a few future callings (Promises) that God has been lining up for me while I’ve been seeking His answers for my healing.

 

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But first, I want to get well, and stay there, and help my family, as well. This is going to be a GREAT Healing year for me!!

 

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Just because you’ve been told that there is no cure, and that you’ll just have to learn to cope, does NOT make it so. There is an answer for every problem, and God answers prayers!!!

 

Breakthrough!!!

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Christmas Day, I was tired. Extremely tired. I ate cereal and pancakes with syrup. We opened presents, then I slept. I got up, ate left-over pancakes or more cereal, did something, then slept.

 

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Finally, in the evening, I begged my daughter to make me a green smoothie. She, of course, did so happily since she would get some. I immediately felt better and began to enjoy my gifts… after the kids went to bed. So, I realized juicing or smoothies are the way to feel better. I researched the Green Smoothie Girl, and another smoothie to try.

 

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The next day, I asked a different question: “How to heal POTS?” Usually, I just research different healing techniques and pray about the validity of it. I received my final answer.  Why did I not ask that specifically before? Did I, but I wasn’t ready for the answer?” As I looked back over the last year and a half… I received part of that answer twice, and I then trusted other sources and went a different route. This third time, I was ready. “Give me what you got, Lord! I’m ready to heal!”

 

 

This last answer came from an unlikely source. I was like, “Really? Is this really an answer from you, God? It seems questionable.” But, as I prayed and read more on this answer, I knew.. “This is me… this is my final answer to the puzzle. I can actually heal this year!!! Not just FEEL better, but GET WELL!” And, the more I realized what I knew in my heart was true the last 10 years of my health issues, “I’ve gone through this to help my whole family heal.”

 

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So, I began trying the healing protocol, which included celery juice. Even just doing celery juice for a week… and I actually like it, now…. I feel stronger, clearer, and I looked in the mirror yesterday and didn’t see my normal dark circles under my eyes!!!

 

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So, if this is your answer, great. If not, that’s okay, too. But I wanted to share that I am excited to see the light on my path… I am actually healing this New Year!!!

 

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Celery Cleanse

CELERY JUICE!!!

 

Last night, during our New Year partying with junk food and fun, I was researching how to do celery juice. I had previously read on how this is a great healer especially on an empty stomach in the morning. These anti-inflammatory properties can help with acid reflux, bloating, IBS, constipation, acne, eczema, and other inflammation issues in the body. Celery juice is very high in vitamin K which promotes general bone and heart health.

 

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My husband grabbed his chest and said, “Oh man! I ate too much sugar. I’ve got acid reflux again,” and my 10yr old daughter, starts coughing like she’s dying. I’m like…. “uh, wanna try celery?” We don’t usually have celery, but since my husband knew that I was going to begin juicing it this week, he’d picked me up some. They both split a celery stick and both claimed that they felt better. Cool.

 

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Today, I woke up feeling extremely tired. I had already made a goal to make celery juice before I ate, so I just had to get downstairs to make it. I zombied through it. Nothing, but celery and water using my food processor and blender. (1 celery stick – 1 cup of water) It didn’t taste that awesome, but I felt better right away.

 

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The goal is to get up to 16oz in the morning before breakfast. (probably twice as much because I add water.) Now, granted, I could have added an apple to make it taste better until I get used to it and slowly adjust to plain celery juice. But, I want to heal as fast as possible. So, here we go!

Magnesium Rich Foods

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Here are some Magnesium Rich Foods that we are currently enjoying; most of which friends and family have gladly shared their knowledge and time with me… 

 

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Roasted Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

Originally, I had been frying them, but since burning a hole in the microwave above the stove, I decided to roast them. 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

1 can Garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp salt

 

 

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This is one of the first things I began making. At first my kids stayed far away from it, but after I told them that it was mine… they began wanting it. I have to keep the banana out for one of my children, but it is an amazing source of Magnesium!

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Green Smoothie

1/3 Kale
1/3 Spinach
1/3 frozen Berries
1 Banana
1/2 Water (some use milk, but all use different kinds of milk in our household, so this is best for us. Almond Milk would be the highest source of Magnesium. Feel free to use ice if you don’t use frozen fruit.)

 

 

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Kale Chips

My son made these last week after a friend at church told me how to make them. We all love the taste, and they are super easy to make. I did notice that when I put them away in a ziplock bag or plastic container, that they would become soggy again. I then put them back in the oven. We left them out all night a couple of nights ago, and they were super crispy!

In a bowl, mix Kale leaves with a tiny bit of Olive Oil and salt.
Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

 

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And just adding Avacado and Spinach to your Salad is a great boost of Magnesium!

 

 

 

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This has been a fun learning experience for my family and I as we are changing for the better. I will add more as we learn more. I hope this encourages you today!

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Other Related Articles:

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Magnesium Deficiency

Treatments for EDS

 

 

Mullein for Asthma

One of the very first herbs that I was introduced to is a plant that grows in our yard. It’s a soft-leaved plant called Mullein.

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My mother had been researching alternative help for my 2yr old son’s asthma. He would get a cold and it would turn into an asthmatic cough that we couldn’t get rid of without rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and breathing treatments. I began to wonder what strain these drugs were putting on his little body and I was worried for his future. We wouldn’t leave the house for a couple of months trying to help him recover just to go back out into the world for him to get something else.

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We began putting Mullein leaves into a tea for him. At first, it did not taste very well, so we added juice to it. But now, at 5yrs, he drinks it super fast without added sugar. I also use this tea to help any of us in our family heal from respiratory colds.

Thankfully, we have also learned preventative herbs and are working on healing his body from the damage done by antibiotics, but I am thankful to have learned about Mullein. It has been a life-saver. It’s important to remember that not one herb works for everyone, but this has worked for us. There are many herbs that work to heal the same issue.

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Uses for Mullein: Ear Infections, Wounds, Hemorrhoids, Colds, Flu, Diarrhea, Migraines, Gout, Tuberculosis, Croup, Cough, Sore throat, Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis), Whooping Cough, Tuberculosis, Hoarseness, Pneumonia, Swine flu, Chills, Fever, Allergies, Tonsillitis, Colic, Gastrointestinal Bleeding, and Joint Pain. Mullein is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, frostbite, and skin infections. The leaves are used topically to soften and protect the skin.

Tinctures, capsules, lozenges, powders, and ear drops containing mullein are found in many health food stores.

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Other Herbs for Asthma: Licorice, Adhatoda, Ginkgo Biloba, Coltsfoot, Turmeric, Chinese Skullcap, Grindelia

Essential Oils for Asthma: Breathe, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Frankinsence, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melalueka, Myrrh, Owie Spray, OnGuard, Oregano,  Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Thyme, Ylang ylang,

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Where to buy bulk herbs:

http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/

http://www.herbco.com/c-2-bulk-herbs-spices.aspx

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Homemade Arnica Cream

muscle-relief-creamArnica stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which not only strengthens the immune system, but also digests congested blood and displaces congested fluids in injured tissues, joints, and muscles.

Dealing with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, we have a LOT of bruising! I used to get so frantic fighting with my children to keep ice on for a half hour to keep the hematomas down. My mom brought over this cream that she made and I thought, “Why not?” I first began to use it on the bruises all over my kids’ legs. Once or twice a day seemed okay to get the bruises gone within a week. I thought it was neat, but didn’t really know how awesome it was.

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The next time my child got a forehead injury with a lump, I could not fight him to keep the ice on. My mom kindly reminded me to use the Arnica cream. The lump had gone down and did not have a lasting bruise. I was shocked. I did the same the next time I had an injury and I could feel the cream “zinging” (circulating the blood.) After we’d run out, my mom made another batch and added in Comfrey and Yarrow. I noticed that the healing of bruises went down to a couple days for me.

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Not long after, I strained my side for the second time. I decided to try the Arnica cream on it. The previous time that had strained it, my side had taken about 6 weeks to recover. This time it took a couple of days. I then used it on the ankle that I kept spraining and my knee that I kept injuring, to my hips subluxing. I am so impressed by how fast I can heal as long as I keep applying it 2-3 times/day.

Arnica

Here are a couple recipes to do plain Arnica cream. You can add other herbs, also to your cream. Make sure that it is the same part of each: If you do Callendula, Arnica, and Comfrey, and Yarrow, make sure that its the same amount of each. Example: 1/4 cup Callendula, 1/4 cup Arnica, 1/2 cup Yarrow, and 1/4 cup Comfrey. Just don’t let it go above the top of the mason jar and keep room for your oil. (I do not know what is in other store-bought Arnica creams, but I do know that this one has worked for me. I try to be self-sufficient vs. store bought if possible because I do not like additives. Better and Cheaper together equals better over all in my book. My body is very sensitive to harmful additives and I need to be careful.

Arnica  Arnica



WARNING: Do NOT use it on open wounds. It could irritate the wound or cause a rash.

WARNING: Do NOT use while pregnant as it can cause miscarriages.



My favorite way of using the Arnica cream is in a roll up bottle like the ones they make for deoderant (for home) or chapstick (for travel). This way we don’t have to touch it and make a mess.

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Here are a couple of options to buy your dried herbs from:

http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/bulk-herbs/

http://www.herbco.com/c-2-bulk-herbs-spices.aspx



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Hip Strengthening Exercises

the stronger you are the better you feel

Since my hips have been subluxing lately, I thought hip strengthening should be the first exercises that I’ll post. I’ve been through physical therapy a few times and learned a few things. I haven’t always stuck with them, but they have gotten me stronger when I do so. My first EDS doctor was a Sports Medicine doctor who kept reminding me to keep up the squats. At the time, I had injured my knee, then had a baby, and had lost muscle in the hip area. He kindly let me know that the lack of muscles in my buttocks area was causing my knees and ankles to turn causing more problems. So, my first thought has been always back to squats. It’s not always easy to do squats. You may not want to cause further injury if you’re not strong especially being EDS. So, as always with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome:

1) Start slow and Don’t overdo

2) Don’t hyper-extend and Keep good form

3) Keep up the repetitions and add more when ready.

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These two exercise are very helpful. When you gain strength, just add weights. I like to start with 2 repetitions of 10 each. Then I flip to the other side and do that, as well. As I gain strength, I go up to 3 repetitions of 10 each. Then I add weights and start back down at 2 repetitions again.

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You can also do the side leg exercise standing up.

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This exercise has always been one of my favorite, as I learned it with Callenetics when I was a teenager. Callen Pinckney teaches much better form, but these are to gain strength up to do regular exercises. The second picture is for more advanced when you feel ready.

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Fit young brunette pilates instructor showing different exercises on a white background a blue yoga mat. White background NOT ISOLATED




These are simple hip exercises. The goal is to get stronger and do squats without help. That is how you know you’re ready for other work-outs.

strength_squatsStay Zebra Strong!!!!





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Treatments for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Magnesium Deficiency

I have been putting off writing this post for a long time. There is so much that a Magnesium deficiency covers, not to mention finding the right kind of Magnesium! It has been exhausting process for me, but WELL worth it! I would like to pass on this information to you.

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So, let me start there. You many be Magnesium deficient if you have these SYMPTOMS:

  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Behavioral disturbances
  • Lethargy
  • Impaired memory/thinking
  • Seizures
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Chronic back pain
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Muscular pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • ADHD
  • Brain fog
  • Tension
  • Anxiety disorders such as OCD

Then, let’s add on mutations. A connective tissue disorder such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome causes problems in holding Magnesium (and other salts) in your body. Dr. Heidi Collins talks about how many problems in EDS that are aided by adding Magnesium in one’s diet. Her paper is summarized by Dr. Diana Driscoll here. (both Dr. Driscoll and Dr. Collins have EDS)

Now, if you’ve established that you may have a Magnesium deficiency, try adding foods with Magnesium into your diet. Also cut out sugars, processed foods, starches, and gluten in your diet that are immediately decreasing your Magnesium (and other salt) levels. Personally, I do not even like salt and many foods that have Magnesium in them, so I poured over the food list that includes Magnesium and first chose the foods that I didn’t hate. Now, I am trying foods that I never particularly cared for with different recipes to find a way that I may like it instead of completely dismissing something that is good for me.

First, I knew I liked Spinach. I began adding fresh spinach to the salad that my husband began making for me to get well. Then, I began doing the same with avocados. Next, I began eating tuna salad (albacore without mercury) with veggie chips instead of on bread. Now, I’ve completely cut out the chips. I tried an internet recipe passed around on Facebook on garbanzo beans.  I’m trying spinach smoothies. (and other green smoothies.) 6 months ago, I would have thought that green smoothies were crazy, however, I figure if I’m not feeling well with what I’m doing, try something new! (for any diet changes, I’ve found it easier for me to go slow and not to jump in, or I won’t stick to it.)

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Now, being extremely Magnesium deficient because of EDS and dealing with Chronic Pain and Fatigue and Insomnia beginning 2 1/2 years ago, I knew I had to do something drastic. I began searching for vitamin supplementation even before getting in to see Dr. Collins. Even after working with her on it, I have found these things to be true:

  1.  There are many types of Magnesium. The many different types work best for different issues and systems of the body.
  2.  Because every body is different, one Magnesium that works for me, may not work for you. Dr. Collins suggested that Chelated Magnesium was the best for those of us with EDS, however, my body did not absorb it… it simply did not improve my health and quickly left my body. There is only one that has worked for me to improve my health. I have found that the types that end in “ate” work best to absorb, and the “ide” endings just go right through (best for laxative affect.)
  3.  Magnesium Citrate is the fastest way to get it into your body. This is also the type that I’m able to give my children with EDS who cannot swallow pills.
  4.  You need other vitamins with your supplementation that help your body to absorb Magnesium: Calcium, B6 and Vitamin D3. This is easier to do with food intake rather than supplementation, but when you are extremely deficient, consider these vitamins, as well.
  5.  Calcium supplementation ratio should be Calcium 1.5-Magnesium 1 (Calcium 150-Magnesium 100 or Calcium 200-Magnesium 130.) For my child with IBS, we need a 2-1 ratio. For him, I add in chewable calcium to make up the difference when he takes his Magnesium drink.
  6. You can overdose on B6 causing neuropathy. My favorite supplement is vitamin B50 which has the FDA limit of B6, but also other B vitamins in it. I also take a B12 vitamin for energy that does not have a limit like B6 does.
  7.  Taking Magnesium in the morning is best. I had been trying to do 1500mg before bed and waking up not feeling so well still. Taking a bunch of salt before bed, before not eating for a large amount of time, can cause hypoglycemia. I do not have a problem with that, but lack of salts in my body acts the same way. I have always had to eat every couple of hours. I do not need to cause another problem. But having the right amount of Magnesium at the right times can stabilize insulin. The Magnesium that I currently take says to take 3 times a day, so I take it with food.
  8.  Taking Magnesium with Iron will cancel out both vitamins. I take Magnesium separate from my Vitamin C and multivitamin. (Dr. Collins suggests that a multivitamin is not necessary because the high vitamin ratio that is actually needed is so low in the multivitamin.)
  9.  Foods with Magnesium in them absorb best.
  10. Do not forget that salt and water work together. One is supposed to drink half their body weight in oz. of water. If you are taking a ton of salt with no water, you will dehydrate. If you are taking in a ton of water, but no salt, you will also dehydrate. (Sports drinks have too much sugar in them)
  11. Exercise, even just taking a walk, is extremely helpful in maintaining health.

These things have been helping my family and I to heal from Chronic Pain/Fatigue, Insomnia, Hyperactivity, Allergies, Joints that easily pop out of place, and Easy bruising/bleeding. When your body is well in other areas, you do not get sick as easy. Another thing I like to do to help to not feel dizzy (POTS) is to add Epsom salt to the bath water or plug the drain to do so while showering. Also Magnesium spray  or Magnesium cream onto my areas of muscle pain. It absorbs quickly into the part of my body that needs it. Carrying around Magnesium tablets or powder with me have also been a life-saver when I am out and have an episode of my blood-pressure dropping. I hope this has helped or will help you in your journey. Here are a couple of other videos that have inspired me.

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Dr. Terry Wahls talking about her journey with MS.


Digestive Health and Healing

digestive-health-reversing-ulcerative-colitis_300 The stomach if VITAL in your everyday health. The intestinal tract is where about 70% of your immune system resides. Much of the beneficial bacteria we would normally obtain through fresh fruits and vegetables are removed in modern food preparation processes. Plus diet, stress, travel, and even some medications can encourage the non-beneficial bacteria in your body to flourish. An imbalance of bacteria could lead to a weakened immune system, which means your health is at risk. But if you take care of your body, it will take care of itself.

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One of my all-time FAVORITE essential oils is Peppermint!!! For me to remember, it seems to take the power of 3. My mom bought me Peppermint essential oil when I was pregnant with my third. My prior pregnancies, I had been extremely sick for up to 5 months. I would put a drop of Peppermint Essential Oil on my finger and put it on the roof of my mouth. It would stop the nausea for a while. (It is not good for you closer to the end of your pregnancy or during nursing because it can diminish your milk supply) I have since put a drop of Peppermint Essential Oil in a cup of water and drank it down to stop migraines, upset stomach, throwing up, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea. It is awesome for emergency digestive problems. (For children, dilute one drop in a tablespoon of oil and rub on the outside of the stomach)

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Peppermint Essential Oil 1 drop in a glass of water = 26 cups of peppermint tea Peppermint is popular in countless forms—from toothpaste to chewing gum. As an essential oil, it is useful to ease breathing and as a digestive aid.*

 


 

CELERY JUICE 

The anti-inflammatory properties in celery juice can help with acid reflux, bloating, IBS, constipation, acne, eczema, and other inflammation issues in the body. Celery juice is very high in vitamin K which promotes general bone and heart health.


 

Probiotics…. are healthy bacteria that your body needs to help fight viruses! Yes, your body does already have healthy bacteria, but in our culture with high sugar, high processed foods, high stress, high medicinal use, more people than not have stomach issues.

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However, fermented foods and cultured probiotics on the shelves do not stay alive enough to affect your small intestines which is where you most need them. There are a couple of probiotics that can, and I will list them here, but your best bet is organic fruits and veggies: not washed or cooked too much or you will strip off the prebiotics on them.

A couple of other options are Enzymedica – Pro-Bio Probiotic and MaryRuth’s Liquid Probiotic. Make sure that they are plant-based, not milk or animal based.



 

I am not a doctor. I am a mom who researches natural answers for our family. I hope that it helps you. It is important to remember that all Bodies are different. Please follow the recommended dosages. It’s also important to remember that not ONE herb can heal every person. If you cannot handle the smell of a particular herb, stay AWAY from it. There were many herbs created that heal the same thing. God knew that each of our bodies are different and accommodated for that. It is also important to make sure that we watch our diet and exercise, as well. Research your ailment, medications that may interact, and potential allergies. Essential oils are potent, so use them the way they were intended. Some are only aromatic or topical, and many are able to be ingested. Some you can use without diluting them, others are not for children. Other oils that can help with these ailments include:

Bloating: DigestZen

Constipation: Rosemary, Lemon, Peppermint, Marjoram, DigestZen, Ginger, Fennel, Orange, Rose, Juniper Berry, Sandalwood

Diarrhea: Peppermint, Ginger, Geranium, DigestZen, Orange, Patchouli, Melalueca, Sandalwood, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Cypress, Eucalyptus

For children: Geranium, Ginger, Sandalwood

Gas/Flatulence: Lavender, Ginger, Peppermint, Eucalpytus, Bergamot, Myrrh, Juniper Berry, Rosemary, DigestZen softgels

Heartburn: Lemon, Peppermint, DigestZen

Indigestion: Peppermint, Ginger, DigestZen, Lavender, Orange, Lime, Thyme, Myrrh, Grapefruit

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Peppermint, DigestZen

Nasea/Upset Stomach: DigestZen, Ginger, Peppermint, Lavender, ClaryCalm, Clove


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