Lists, Listing and A New Adventure – Part 5: The Invitation

Of course, we can’t forget Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We’ve made changes and are making more. Anyone want to join me? Whether a healing diet or just slow changes to healthier eating? Start now, don’t wait until your life depends on it or you have urgent need to change a lot at once to regain your health.

“Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another’s danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse…”   — from For Whom the Bell Tolls (No Man is an Island) by John Donne

“Your body is no more you yourself than the hoop you trundle, or the pony which you ride. It is, like them, your servant, your tool, your instrument, your organ, with which you work: and a very useful, trusty, cunningly-contrived organ it is; and therefore I advise you to make good use of it, for you are responsible for it.” — from Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley

 

Following is a list of blogs with info on how diet has helped with eczema, auto immune, etc.  Most (all?) are Christian ladies. These are not full of scientific research studies, though there is some, they are personal accounts, they’re sites I look to for information, recipes and inspiration. I believe they will be worth your time to visit.

Traditional Cooking School

Deliciously organic

Delicious obsessions

Wellness Mama

Commonsense home

When healing takes place, it will be a show of the intelligence and natural healing in God’s design and it will be to His glory.

OK, no more listless listing, time to set sail on a new adventure!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not that the 3 people who read this will think otherwise, but I feel compelled to say — I’m not a doctor, just a regular old person sharing my experience and opinions based on what I’ve read. If you have health issues, I can’t be your doctor but I can be a friend and share more research (there is A LOT out there) and opinions and encourage you toward healthy choices.

Advertisements

Lists, Listing and A New Adventure – Part 4: The Map

If you missed them, here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

A few years ago, we changed our eating habits. But with recent happenings, we, or at least I, need to make a few more changes. Here is the current plan, the map on this new adventure, to encourage the natural healing process God has designed in me:

We already (and will continue to):

  • Choose mostly sustainably grown or organic grains and produce, large volume and a wide variety
  • Choose pastured, non GMO, etc meat and dairy
  • Drink low temp pasteurized, non-homogenized milk
  • Choose organic or foreign produced dairy if pastured isn’t available
  • Choosing mostly real sourdough bread
  • Choose organic for the few packaged foods we eat, don’t purchase products with artificial or highly processed ingredients.
  • Choose many other natural products for our home – deodorant, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent, air freshener, cleaners (we even make our own of some of these). Most commercially available options of these products are big endocrine offenders!

 

But, we also (and probably need to stop):

  • Choose fellowship and feelings over health – eat bad food to spend time with loved ones
  • Eat out a little each week to make it easier on myself with the busyness of our schedules sometimes
  • Go a place regularly that burns scented candles so much (another big endocrine offender!), it seems to have permeated the walls. This is a tough one, since we will continue to go there, but hoping maybe a naturally scented candle gift will help some. 🙂
  • Probably have a little too much sugar. I was trained on this my entire childhood, a tough monkey to shake

 

To do: additional diet changes for gut healing

  • Cutting wheat & oats, other grains, significantly reducing rice – Due to the return on the blood tests of a wheat allergy and because grains are inflammatory. The hope is that this will heal the gut.
  • Significantly reducing sugar, limiting raw honey and 100% maple syrup, as these feed bad guys
  • Reducing potatoes, these also feed bad guys
  • Significantly reducing high temp pasteurized dairy (our milk is low temp, but yogurt, cheeses, etc. are not), including making our own yogurt again with the low temp milk we drink
  • Having bone broth daily
  • Eating fermented, cultured foods 2-3 times daily, including yogurt, kombucha and traditionally fermented vegetables
  • Adding supplements such as a food based multivitamin, transdermal iodine, fermented cod liver oil, transdermal Mg, desiccated liver (truth be told, I don’t eat much in the way of offal but should), and adaptogens. I have these things, but forget to take them regularly. For reference, most herbs produce a particular action, e.g. calming, but adaptogens are a small group of herbs which produce a balancing effect and work well with the endocrine system.
  • Forgoing some meals with family and friends, when it will not be healing, Time together might be without food or I could do the food prep myself
  • Eating out A LOT less, out is where the bad food lives 😉
  • No more Starbucks, except maybe tea

The necessary changes might be as simple as needing a little more iodine and needing to eat only wheat that has been soaked, sprouted or soured. But at least for the time being (weeks, months, a year, more?), this is the plan. I might need to change “reduce” in the plan to “eliminate” or might add some things back to the above plan if it seems to not have a negative effect, indicating the gut is healed. The goal will be that all seeds, grains, nuts and beans added back will be sprouted, soaked or real sourdough. Some items on the to-do list are permanent, such as adequate cultured foods.

We appreciate those who have tried to learn more about the changes we have made and have even been accommodating and loving to us in that way, as well as those who obviously care deeply and try even if they don’t understand the whats, hows and whys. There will be some people with whom we will not be able to share meals. Not because they don’t care (though some have indicated a lack of support), but in the name of health and honoring God. We hope they understand.

Part 5, the final part, is your invitation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not that the 3 people who read this will think otherwise, but I feel compelled to say — I’m not a doctor, just a regular old person sharing my experience and opinions based on what I’ve read. If you have health issues, I can’t be your doctor but I can be a friend and share more research (there is A LOT out there) and opinions and encourage you toward healthy choices.

Lists, Listing and A New Adventure – Part 3: In with the Old Traditions

In case you missed them: Part 1 and Part 2.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Traditional foods, you know, like our great grandparents ate, are likely the healthiest options.

Besides just choosing more produce, produce grown without chemicals (organic) and with a concern with the health of the soil (often called sustainable practices) are even better choices. If the soil is healthy, it will produce healthier food. If the food is healthier, so will you be.

Choosing meat and dairy raised on non-GMO pasture will be healthier. Choosing dairy that is raw or pasteurized at a low temperature leaves not only more of the protein intact, but the beneficial organisms as well. In high-temp pasteurization, lactase is destroyed. Lactase helps the body to process lactose. Wait, aren’t there a lot of people these days with dairy allergies and lactose sensitivity..? Ding, ding! Again, God has a beautiful, complex and perfect design, which we arrogantly continue to try to improve upon. In addition, raw milk does not rot because it isn’t dead; it will sour and, believe it or not, still be useful. Ask your ancestors.

Wheat and other grains, especially those not properly prepared, as well as dairy not properly processed, can be inflammatory, contributing to modern health issues. They feed the bad bacteria (more on that below) in the gut. Sugar also feeds the bad guys, including some studies indicating it can contribute to cancer.

Properly prepared grains, seeds, nuts and beans should be done the old-fashioned way – sprouted, soaked or soured. If done properly, this will break down the phytic acid and make the food more digestible and nutrients more bioavailable. It will also lower gluten, where it is present. And modern wheat and yeast varieties have been bred for bread, turning a formerly 24hr+ process into a 20 minute mass production process, to the detriment of our health.

Very few people consume fermented vegetables anymore, like the old-fashioned sauerkraut, not the vinegary stuff we buy at stores nowadays. These also contain the good gut flora, lactobacilli, the good guys for gut health. In some ways, our great-grandparents had great ideas.

Research indicates one condition contributing to many of our modern health issues is called “leaky gut,” in which the bad bacteria in the gut bores holes in the lining of the gut, allowing food that hasn’t been fully processed to pass into the blood stream, causing the immune system to go into overdrive, fighting these food particles as well as other good guys resembling them, the result being food allergies/sensitivities and autoimmune disease. The bad bacteria in the gut can be kept in check with good bacteria – lactobacilli, found in fermented veg, yogurt and kombucha, among a few other sources. To emphasize the importance of the digestive system: digestive issues can cause stress, resulting in raised cortisol levels and possibly adrenal exhaustion. So much of our nervous system is present in the gut that it is called the “second brain.” Also, there is a little known subset of bacterial microflora in the small intestine called the estrobolome which metabolizes estrogen. Women with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine issues, endometriosis, etc. often have digestive health and gut flora issues.

The toxins in the modern diet, artificial, genetically modified and overly-processed ingredients, put a strain on the liver.

Digestion, sugar levels, and liver health are key systems for overall health vs specific foods, e.g. eating/avoiding a lot of _______. But traditional foods, as mentioned above, give these systems the support they need.

In Part 4 is what we have been eating and what changes we are making.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not that the 3 people who read this will think otherwise, but I feel compelled to say — I’m not a doctor, just a regular old person sharing my experience and opinions based on what I’ve read. If you have health issues, I can’t be your doctor but I can be a friend and share more research (there is A LOT out there) and opinions and encourage you toward healthy choices.

Lists, Listing and A New Adventure- Part 2: I Believe, Healing Creed

Don’t forget to read Part 1, if you haven’t yet.

I believe, Healing Creed

  • God Almighty, Creator and Healer has put into His intelligent design of us, His beloved creation, the ability to heal so much of what is wrong, if we have the right medicine. In fact, with the right medicine, we can prevent many health issues.
  • I believe in the wisdom of the saying attributed to Hippocrates: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
  • Jesus declared all food clean (Mark 7). Two points here, are we really just talking about the health of our bodies with respect to clean food? Or what does not defile us in the sight of God? I contend, the overly processed, modified, chemically-created, bastardized stuff we try to pass off as food isn’t in fact food. It might not defile our souls, but it isn’t according to His design and doesn’t honor Him. No, food is not salvation, but it is not realistic to expect overly processed food, plastic and chemicals to nourish the way God’s food does. God has a design for our bodies, their functioning and fuel and He provides that fuel with whole, real foods. We, in our pride, decide we can improve on His design and end up causing disease.
  • It used to be people died of contagious diseases, now it’s heart disease, diabetes etc,
  • These modern diseases are a product of our lifestyles, including eating what we want and covering symptoms with pills rather than providing the right environment for healing and proper functioning, according to God’s design. I have read many cases of modern diseases, including allergies, asthma, ADHD, autism, and autoimmune diseases being reduced or reversed with diet changes. It makes sense than God’s design would be the thing that works!
  • Grave’s disease, as well as Hashimoto’s, is a modern, thyroid auto immune disease, but it’s really just a symptom. Pills or removing or killing the thyroid with radiation is the modern protocol. But this only removes the thyroid symptoms. There is a reason the thyroid isn’t doing its job right and that is now a common modern problem. THAT is the disease.
  • Autoimmune diseases can domino. Removing/killing the thyroid might remove symptoms for a while, again, the underlying problem still exists and could very well cause additional autoimmune symptoms/disease. In fact, I have had some possible adrenal symptoms as well. These systems are all related!!
  • Wheat allergy, another common modern disease, is not (always) the disease itself, but a symptom.
  • Thyroid issues being more common in women makes me believe giving birth has an effect. Guess what else is part of the endocrine system, along with the thyroid, pancreas, pituitary and adrenal gland… Stress is a factor as well. I am much less stressed than I used to be, but I am wired type A, and the move this year has had its effect.
  • We can’t change the past, but we put effort into doing better in the future.

So if Grave’s, Hashimoto’s and other modern conditions are just symptoms of the disease of poor modern habits, will a change to “healthy” food fix it? Maybe. Back to the opening statement of misinformation, what is healthy can be confusing. Also, when damage has occurred, limiting or eliminating foods which are otherwise healthy, will help in the healing process. What does all that mean exactly?

Part 3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not that the 3 people who read this will think otherwise, but I feel compelled to say — I’m not a doctor, just a regular old person sharing my experience and opinions based on what I’ve read. If you have health issues, I can’t be your doctor but I can be a friend and share more research (there is A LOT out there) and opinions and encourage you toward healthy choices.

Lists, Listing and A New Adventure – Part 1: Lists and Listing

Long time, no see! Well, I’m finally back with a little more of what has been happening. You might recall, a few years ago, we made some big changes to our eating habits for the purposes of better health and honoring God. In this short series, I will tell where we are now and the direction of our new destination.

~~~~~~~

There is SO much information out there about what is healthy and what is unhealthy. To the detriment of many, much of that information conflicts. But, I believe when we keep in mind who God is, we can make sense of it all.

(By the way, you will find a number of lists in this post. I love lists! I hope you bear with me through them.)

Speaking of lists, I haven’t been feeling 100% for a couple years, with things really becoming worse this last year. Oh, we bought a small piece of a farm with a gutted house. We are excited about raising more of our own healthy food. It’s been good, but stressful. I/my:

  • have been fatigued (also guilty about not being able to accomplish all that I feel I should be)
  • have trouble sleeping
  • get a lot headaches and migraines (going to bed, waking me in the middle of the night or waking in the morning)
  • brain is foggy
  • get ocassional hives
  • have worsening vision
  • eyes are sensitive to light
  • have dry skin
  • get minor breakouts
  • hands swell, especially in the morning…

We changed our eating habits several years ago to much healthier options, including a greater variety of fresh produce and becoming more informed and familiar with the sources and growers of our food. I did feel better and more energetic for a while. And yet lately, I have been listing (you know, like a boat with no wind in its sails). In speaking with the chiropractor I go to, he mentioned a few months ago that it could be adrenal exhaustion. Hmm, I had been thinking maybe that was it. This move thing and preparing a new home and property has been stressful, though exciting. I found desiccated, pastured beef adrenal gland capsules per his suggestion… and usually forgot to take them. Meanwhile, headaches, fatigue and brain fog continue. At a recent visit, he mentioned it might be my thyroid and I might consider having my doctor (who I hadn’t been to in 5 years) check my levels. Again, what I had been thinking. (I want to interject briefly, I love my chiropractor; he’s Christian, intelligent, knowledgeable and appreciates the natural approach.) Sooo.. I made an appointment at the doctor to request tests, specifically for nutrient levels, thyroid function and food allergies. I think he wasn’t convinced, but he did care that I wasn’t feeling well. His concern truly showed when he asked what my hobbies are and I sat there like a lump with my mouth half open desperately trying to think of something. Does washing dishes count as a hobby?

He ordered the tests I asked for and a few others:

  • blood counts
  • blood sugar
  • cholesterol
  • various nutrients
  • liver function
  • TSH
  • common food allergy
  • EKG (He heard a murmur, I said it’s been checked a few times before, but he wanted to check again. “It’s nothing to worry about.” Mhmm.)

Results: Everything was right in the middle of the appropriate range, with just a few exceptions:

  • Wheat allergy returned “low” and dairy returned “undetermined.”
  • Cholesterol — Total was a little high, but HDL was 20 points higher than the range. As the doctor said (he actually called me on the phone to talk about the results!), there really isn’t a “too high” for HDL, and the LDL was right where it needed to be, so it is “perfect.”
  • TSH — made by the pituitary to tell the thyroid to do its work. This was not detectable, indicating the pituitary wasn’t functioning properly or the thyroid was overproducing, sending the message to the pituitary to stop doing its thing.
  • based on TSH result, additional tests were ordered to determine T3 & T4 levels. These are tested when hyperthyroidism is suspected. T4 was just a tiny bit high = hyperthyroidism. Cause? Inflammation/Grave’s Disease/auto-immune disease or nodule(s) on the thyroid…

Another test –(Radioactive) iodine uptake scan — to determine if it might be Grave’s disease or a nodule

The doctor called to say it is Grave’s disease; I would need a daily Rx (can’t remember what it is, I haven’t picked it up) and an appointment with an endocrinologist (yet to make this appointment, will see what (s)he has to say). I said I’d like to work on this by way of changing my eating habits. He respectfully said that while he appreciated me wanting to go a natural route, changing my diet wasn’t going to help. If you know me, you know I like to think for myself. 🙂

Read Part 2 to find out what I believe…

Reclaim Your Terrain

ForestAs some of you might know, I have begun an herbalist class. I see it as a natural continuation from the changes we have made in our diets. I have always been interested in plants and natural solutions. Maybe a love inherited from my Grandma. Besides the changes in our diets, we have started making some of our own cleaning products with plans to make more, are choosing more natural solutions for those products we purchase, and have begun making changes in the medical professionals we choose to more holistic practitioners.

Following some plant walks & a class with a knowledgeable local, native plant expert (thanks Abby!), I’m happy to have found a natural health school founded and run by Christians, using Biblical principles. Our goal has been to eat more foods that are closer to how God made them — less processing. I believe God has also provided us with plants to help us stay well and to heal. All a part of “let your food be your medicine.” The first several units of the herbalist class are about food, so I thought I might share the related projects with you here. Please feel free to share your thoughts on these issues, as well.

Reclaim Your Terrain

By Heather Shaut

      I recall my grandmother, who graduated from nursing school in the 1930s, telling me that many times a child would come to the hospital sick and all they needed was a bath. After being bathed and changing in to clean clothes, these kids would quickly feel better. From Dr. Semmelweis’s discovery in the maternity ward to my grandmother’s deduction and beyond, evidence supports the hygiene hypothesis. With so much substantiation, it would be a tough argument against the effect of preventing or treating illness via hygiene. Again, though, evidence is mounting that our society has gone to the extreme in attempting to sterilize our environments and our bodies. Our society has become overmedicated; treatment of disease has produced resistant strains of bacteria, illness and disease are disguised by veiling symptoms with medication. We use hand sanitizer to kill the germs on our hands before we eat our food yet consume junk devoid of nutrition resulting in an increase in disease to the point of epidemic. Beneficial bacteria have been forsaken. Despite the advances in modern medicine, cancers, heart disease and diabetes are all on the rise. While a concern with hygiene is not completely unwarranted, it is time we reclaim responsibility for our health and support the terrain. It’s time to give these pathogens a hostile environment.

Having a healthy body, designed to protect us from and fight off illness, is key to maintaining or regaining health. God’s intelligent design does not need to be fixed or changed, but recognized, accepted and supported. He has put into His beloved creation, us, the ability to stave off sickness and disease. Included in this design is the need for exposure to germs to keep the immune system strong and in working order, homeostasis. While this battle is not one fought cognizantly, the choices we make each day strengthen or hinder the body’s ability. Are we allowing what God created to work or have we set up roadblocks and traps? The best way to establish a more resilient terrain, to support the interieur milieu, is to learn as much as we can and resolve to apply this learning to the choices we make. Reexamining what we think we know about healthy food, reforming our thoughts on medication and disease being the expected eventuality, and reclaiming responsibility for our own wellbeing are our best weapons in the battle for good health. With respect to germs or terrain, working with God’s design is a successful battle plan.

Cease Striving: Confusion Say Proverbs is a To Do List

Dock…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. Philippians 1:6-7

I love a list. Did that. Check. Progress verified in writing. Lists help me to remember all the things I need to do and I feel a sense of accomplishment each time I can cross something off. If I do something not on my list, I like to add it for the simple satisfaction of being able to cross it off. Holidays are a great time for lists (and checking them twice) to aid in getting tasks done.

And for stressing about what isn’t getting done, for losing sleep and forgetting the reason for all these tasks – family, friends and our Lord, for getting cranky with our loved ones, and WHO put That ornament THERE!?… oh, wait.

Once we finally make it through Christmas, it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions! Another list! …yeah. Set a goal, or maybe 10. Common ones are eating better and getting more exercise. I even saw one on facebook that said “be more pleasant.” As a perfectionist, it’s easy to set my aim too high, in the wrong direction or too many directions and end up defeating myself before I even start.

Numerous Bible studies give lists of the qualities we should exhibit and we can begin to create to do lists –

  • The Prov 31 woman — weave, farm, lose sleep, feed everyone, work fast, be strong, start & run a business, make a profit, provide a portion for the household, give generously to those in need, produce well-made clothes and bedding to keep everyone warm, have another business, be wise and share this wisdom, don’t be idle. IF you do all this, THEN you are worth more than rubies, your husband will be respected and your children, husband and the whole town will honor & praise you. What? Whew! I’ll just give up before I start.
  • Galatians 5:22-23, Fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All facets of one fruit, without one facet the whole precious gem is damaged, flawed, worthless. *sigh*
  • 1 Corinthians 13 – No matter what I say, what I know, what I do or what I share, without love I am nothing, so I have to be patient, be kind, don’t envy, don’t boast, don’t be proud, don’t dishonor others, don’t be self-seeking, don’t get angry easily, don’t keep track of others’ wrongs, don’t delight in evil, rejoice in truth, always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. Always? As in not ever not doing it even a little, not even once by mistake? Hmmm….
  • Don’t forget Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 4-6, and 1 Tim 5
  • And if you’re still feeling energetic, you can check out the rest of Paul’s writings and the rest of Proverbs. As for me, I’m tired.

Hmmm, I just made a list, didn’t I? But I can’t be the perfect Proverbs 31 woman. If you are, let me know the secret, would you? Proverbs 31 is wisdom from a mother to her son. Jewish comedies are fraught with the notorious epitome of the mother-son relationship, nobody is good enough for the Jewish mother’s son. But seriously, I believe the intent was to remind her boy what to look for, not necessarily to tell women what to be. It tells her son what kind of women would make a good wife to keep the relationship going beyond the puppy love. What to look for beyond the pretty face so he isn’t distracted by the temporary, the physical. Someone with whom to survive all life has to dish out, to count on for Godly counsel, to be a woman to love. Also, there are clues to women as to what kind of godly wife a godly man is looking for. What qualities will cause her to be treasured by those she meets. A reminder to both men and women to focus on deep issues like Godly character. This is not about perfection, just a picture, an example.

So, what am I to do? As the woman of the house, I have a huge influence on the tone of the house, an impact on the relationships between family members, not to mention friendships. It’s important for me to remember I am setting an example to my children and all who see me. Am I putting more effort into a task than the result is truly worth? Often, the cost is too high, the reward worthless – praise from others. Losing sleep, losing relationships all to give the right impression, do the job “right,” get praise and approval from others. What is the real value in that? There is so much more in life that is important.  As one perfect task is completed, the next comes along. A never ending cycle that takes the living out of life. I have learned if I put God first, the rest will work out. Studying & memorizing scriptures will put them in my heart so they reach my hands. Allowing God to bring the changes through study, knowledge, and opportunities to practice living out a Godly life, puts Him in charge of the spiritual to dos.  My best isn’t going to be THE best. God doesn’t ask me to be THE best, just my best with Him. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have standards, but I need to be realistic and remember what is important, relationships with people & Jesus, seeing the beauty in God’s creation, including my family and myself, including our flaws. It’s time to have fun, enjoy friends & family, live life… and trash the spiritual to do lists.