“You are dust…”

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**AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second post I have written in regards to holistic health, and how I am dealing with Celiac Disease. To read the first postย click here.**

I just realized it has been over four months since I have posted an update to the changes I have made in order to live a healthier life via means of more natural, holistic options. Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday I clicked “publish” on that post and the days have dragged on, while other times I can’t believe that it has been that long since I last posted an update on this topic!

Over the last six weeks I have been trying some more holistic detoxification approaches to see if they might help with some of the issues I have been experiencing. My mom has done a lot of research in this area, and we have gleaned a lot of the “ideas” in this post from the internet.

Although I might have been medically diagnosed with Celiac Disease, based on my symptoms (and especially the blemishes I still struggle with on my face), my mom was pretty persuaded that I was dealing with what is called Leaky Gut. I had heard of it before, and if there was a checklist to determine if you are struggling in this area, I think I could probably check mark “All of the above”.

My restricted diet became even more strict *grin*. In addition to removing all carbs, sugars, and processed food (including the use of a microwave), along with any food I am allergic to (or have reacted to lately), I also removed all dairy products. I have been limited to a high protein (without pork), veggie and fruit diet, with one meal each week set aside as a “cheat” meal.

Every morning for the first three weeks of this new detox I was on, I did what is called “oil pulling”. This term is a method of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for approximately 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then spitting it out in either a trash can or in my case the dirt in the backyard ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a process of detoxification where the coconut oil naturally begins to pull all of the toxins in your mouth as you swish, and then you spit out all of those toxins that have just been released from your body. I will admit, the process was not fun most days. I likened it to having a melted mold used to get an accurate shape of your mouth for retainers, swished around in there each day. There was gagging involved. My mouth is VERY sensitive to anything it determines should not be in there. For instance, I still struggle with the ability to swallow pills. It just doesn’t work most days. But back to my point…After three weeks, I did it every other day for the last two weeks. It seemed to really help. I will now use it if I feel like my mouth has reacted to a food I just ate. The other day I had fresh green beans (which I have never reacted to before), but the rest of the day my mouth felt very itchy and irritated. The next morning I did the oil pull, and felt much better with no reaction.

Next on the detox list was drinking lemon water mixed with honey every morning – another natural way to detox your body. This was less intense than the oil pulling in my opinion but still different. I mean, it wasn’t like I was drinking a shake, so it wasn’t my favorite thing in the world.

I have tried to consistently take the supplements the iridologist recommending specifically for me as well which included: essential enzymes, a nightly probiotic, chromium, and slippery elm. I did have to swallow these massive pills. Some days were better than others. After the first two weeks, I would forget to take them sometimes, but they did help calm my stomach down quite a bit especially during those “cheat meals”. I haven’t quite finished them all, and need to remind myself to take them each day and finish what I purchased.

Another method I used was drinking fresh chicken, beef, and lamb broth made at home from the bones leftover from when I ate meals with these meats. It didn’t taste as wonderful as chicken noodle soup broth which I assume is because all the other stuff wasn’t in it, but the marrow from the bones is supposed to be a great source of helping your body naturally detox.

One other method I used during this time was taking as hot of a bath as I could stand mixed with bentonite clay. This clay is in its natural form and it has been known to treat and help detoxify the body of foreign contaminants. This was probably the best bath I have ever taken! It was so nice to just soak for a while, but the clay also made my skin very soft. The clay will draw out any toxins into the water, and you can see how “dirty” the water is when you are done and drain it.

You might be wondering at this point, besides mentally trying to get used to ingesting and experiencing these new “treats”, how I was physically feeling? The first week I honestly felt horrible, almost as sick as a dog. My immune system was down from my body trying to release all of the toxins locked inside, and I almost developed a cold. Thankfully, I stuck with the plan, and I know what I was taking helped beef up my immune system as it was attacking all of the foreign material. The first week, I mostly stayed at home, too tired to do anything, and just rested. After that first week, I felt much better and know I released some of the toxins, so I resumed my normal activities and began going to the gym 2-3 days a week as working out would also be another way for my body to naturally release other toxins through my sweat.

Six weeks later, I have lost another approximately 8 pounds, and feel much better than I did before. I feel like I have more energy, and adding the additional workouts has made me stronger and increased my metabolism as well. I have decided to stick to the diet as much as possible and still restrict myself from eating things I know I was allergic or have reacted to in the past. But I do know that I don’t feel half as bad on the “cheat meals” as I had been previously.

As far as keeping up the other options, I think for now I am ready for a break ๐Ÿ™‚ and may or may not maintain them on a regular basis. Definitely as I feel needed like I have done with the oil pulling, or if I start to feel less great than I have been. The bath with the clay is definitely something I see myself using regularly. Would I recommend doing all the things listed above at the same time like I did for someone else? Probably not. I also think a part of why I wasn’t feeling well the first week was because my body was in complete shock from the drastic lifestyle change I was forcing it to go through. I think if I was to do it all over, I would have stuck with a couple of methods at a time, and then either added, or switched one out for the other. Also, each person is different, with the level of toxicity in their body ranging from less to what I was experiencing, to possibly worse. Because I had seen my holistic doctor, and made an appointment with an iridologist, I already had an idea of what was happening with my body, and how aggressively I needed to help it release these harmful toxins. For someone else though, this protocol might be too much, or too little. Working with your doctor/health professional, as well as making wise personal decisions for yourself and your body is the key. I would like to go back to both my doctor and the iridologist in the near future to see if there is any improvement in my blood since I have taken these measures. Of course, the results of that will be shared in another post, on another day as well ๐Ÿ™‚

I should probably stop at this point, though there is so much more I would love to discuss. In my next post I would really like to focus more on what changes I have made in my home to help expose myself less to toxins that will seep into my body thwarting the change I have been trying to make over these last few weeks. That post should be a lot of fun and very practical, so stay tuned!

In closing though, I thought it very interesting that the natural approaches I have taken over these last few weeks are not what your “normal” doctor would recommend to you if you are not feeling well, and yet they have helped me so much! I was constantly reminded of the passage of Scripture in Gen. 3:19 where God explains that as man was created from the dust of the ground, one day at his death, he would return to being dust once more. Our bodies are natural beings. We enjoy digging our feet in the sand at the beach, sloshing around in the mud, and swimming in the water, because it is those things that make up our bodies and make us feel good! It makes sense then that using natural means to help your body overcome the toxic bombardment it deals with on a day to day basis extremely effective!

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The Secret Life of An Unsatisfied Stomach…

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It has been a little over a year since I have begun a roller coaster journey to better health; and boy what a ride it has been! I was recently talking to a friend about my current health situation and I realized I began to list several improvements and discoveries that have changed my overall health. I never imagined I’d be where I am today concerning my health!

It all really began when I was pretty young. For as long as I can remember I experienced what I thought at the time were really bad headaches. It wasn’t until more recently that a family friend who is a P.A. informed me that my “bad” headaches were actually migraines. They only got worse in intensity and occurrence as I grew older. Trips to doctor’s offices resulted in no diagnosis and a prescription for pain medication. I finally had enough with my “normal” doctor when I was informed I could either take medication for the migraines which made me very jittery but helped them go away, or not take anything at all and suffer for the rest of my life. I felt like I had been pushed into a corner with no option for relief.

As discouraging as that appointment had been, it ultimately was one of the best experiences, because it forced me to look outside of the normal health care field for treatment/relief from my symptoms. I went to an optometrist to find out if my migraines were a result of vision problems. Sure enough they were. I have almost perfect vision in my left eye, but not so much in my right eye. My brain was trying to compensate on its own for the difference in vision – causing frequent migraines. I was prescribed glasses to help my brain do its job and relax a little. The difference they made was incredible!

While this process was started, my mom and I also began to look for a holistic doctor who might be able to look at my health in a different light and provide me with some answers regarding my migraines that my current doctor could not give me. We found Dr. Rashidi at Women’s View Medical Group (guys can be seen here too!) in Upland, CA. She has a LOT of patients who come to see her so appointments with her are booked a few months in advance. After my first consultation with her I was sent to get some blood work done. I thought I was going to pass out from how much blood they took out of me! It turns out that what the Bible says about how life is in the blood is absolutely right! Not only did I find out answers to questions I had, I found out so much more about my body I never would have known otherwise!

My bloodwork revealed I was anemic, and that my vitamin levels were extremely low. My body cannot absorb the nutrients from food like it should – answer solved regarding the migraines!ย My doctor also did a generic allergy test to see if anything came up because I have had a real problem with breakouts on my face that I thought was just acne but it’s not. My allergies included: wheat, corn, peanuts, walnuts, and sesame seeds (You know the little seeds on top of hamburger buns. Yep. HIGHLY allergic.) I could NOT believe it. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be allergic to things I ate on a regular basis. How could I not know? Turns out I have Celiac Disease. Not only is my body unable to absorb the nutrients in the food I eat, but my stomach had decided it wanted to be a security scanner at an airport meticulously sifting through everything passing through and fighting against food as if it were a foreign contaminant. My allergic reaction to these foods (and the others that joined that list later on) is thankfully not life threatening. My reactions are an upset stomach – again my “security guard” ninja-attacking anything I eat that passes through (this is quite a literal explanation by the way).

In the year that I have been with Dr. Rashidi I have since discovered that I am also highly allergic to celery of all things, and although I am technically not allergic to dairy products, sometimes my stomach refuses to let me absorb dairy in different forms. Once we had a good grasp of where I was at with my health, Dr. Rashidi put my on a detox diet to see if my stomach might calm itself down on its own by getting rid of any toxins (real foreign contaminants) that may have been present. Let me tell you I have never drunk so much apple juice in my entire life! That was quite the experience, but SO helpful! I felt so much better afterwards, and have since tried my best to avoid eating certain foods I know my stomach might get mad at. I have lost approximately 9lbs. and feel more energetic. Many of the the improvements and discoveries I have also found along the way I hope to share in more detail in later posts; there’s just so much to talk about, and I don’t want this post to turn into a novel!

I also recently went to go see an iridologist at the recommendation of some family friends because I am still struggling with skin issues. He looked into my eyes (no, he literally did!) and confirmed some of the deficiencies my body has. He then pricked my finger and placed it under a microscope. I was shocked at what I saw! Sometimes I wonder how I even managed to live and breath! One drop of my blood revealed white blood cells that looked like they were about to die, bacteria taking control of everything, and an overall invasion by toxins. We had found the foreign contaminants!! I have since been placed on some natural supplements to help my white blood cells get back in shape. This is where I am today. I hope to go back and see if there are any improvement in the near future.

I can tell you that regarding my health, even being on this new journey hasn’t solved all of my problems. This discovery has been an ongoing battle that I sometimes conquer, and that sometimes conquer me, depending on the day. I don’t know if I will ever fully recover, but now I have the tools I need to help combat the bad guys in my body, and allow me to live a healthier life.

Sometimes I think back to the last visit I had with my “normal” doctor and wonder where I would be had I decided to stick with the contemporary approach to medicine and health care. I would still be on drugs, and have no real answers to questions that had been plaguing me for years. I am so grateful to Dr. Rashidi and others who have opened up a whole new, more natural approach, to living a better life. I hope this post (and the many others to follow) can shed some light on a different approach and maybe help others who are also struggling to find the answers they are so desperately seeking!