ALLERGIES & LIFE

My relationship with allergies goes all the way back to when I was a kid. I had all sorts of skin rashes, sniffles, eye irritations and more. I am allergic to penicillin and other types of mold even the good kind like blue cheese. I have severe dairy allergies. My list of allergies just seems to be getting longer  with each passing day. As a person who will always choose natural remedies and holistic therapies for every health issue in her life, I am constantly looking for alternative ways to lead my life in spite of my allergies.

The last couple of days were no exception. I could not sleep because I had an extreme case of skin hives. I tried everything I knew that would take the itch away. Nothing worked then I resorted to benadryl.  HUGE mistake for me. Yes the itching stopped but the price I paid afterwards was worse than any itching I ever had. I had an out-of-body experience like I was floating around a room instead of sitting at the table. I also got a weird extreme headache in the back of my head. Never had one like this in all my life. Then of course there was that foggy brain feeling. I haven’t had a bout of foggy brain since I started taking my ASEA. But the worst came when the benadryl wore off. The itching was the worst it has ever been.

nettles

Last night I said no more and threw out the bottle. I researched and found something that helped hives and found something that is all natural that I take sometimes for my kidney. The great part was that I already had a bottle of it in my supplement cabinet. It’s nettles. I took four capsules, waited an hour and took four more. Guess what the itching subsided and I was able to get some sleep. Today I haven’t itched once.

I always think it’s more important to find out what the cause of an illness or a reaction then to cover it up. So today I researched and figured out that I am highly allergic to gluten and all grains because that was the only thing I ate that was out of the ordinary. So today I started on a totally grain free diet. Since my husband is already gluten free, I thought I would join him and see where this lifestyle leads us.

Grain-free-Symbol

Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t means it’s healthy. If you eat gluten-free products or use gluten-free flours and stabilizers you are still consuming the most processed grains that have no nutritional value. Anything that is modified should be avoided at all costs in my book. Xanthan Gum for instance should never be used. It is made by fermenting corn sugar (GMO) with a bacteria. But it can be derived from corn, wheat, or soy. So, let’s get this straight. If your allergic to gluten and you have wheat, then you shouldn’t be using Xanthan Gum. Companies don’t have to list the source of the xanthan gum on the label either so you never know what you’re getting. Xanthan Gum is not the least bit natural. Potato starch is another NO-NO for people when eating gluten free. All the potato starch used in the gluten-free industry comes from GMO potatoes. Plus potatoes are from the nightshade family and they cause inflammation.

So here I am well into the second half of my day. I have not itched once and I’m doing great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=drBSac1r8C8

http://www.glutenology.net/

http://www.leakygut.co.uk/Hidden%20cause%20of%20inflammatory%20disorders.htm

MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES

Many moons ago I used to be a special education assistant working in a small school where the elementary, middle, and high school were all connected in one building. Part of my job was to follow certain students from class to class; taking notes for them, reading tests to them, and disciplining them if needed. One certain class was a high school English class where each morning the teacher would write a new motivational quote up on the board and have the class write this quotation in their special notebooks: “Motivational Quotations”.

After writing the quote she would spend 15 minutes going around the class asking each student what he or she thought these words meant. She would even ask me occasionally to get an adult’s view point of these words. The students loved this exercise. I saw that it helped them internalize the words of the famous and the obscure people of history. This is also where I too fell in love with quotations.

I used this same exercise when I home schooled my sons. I would write simple quotations up on the board and ask my then grade school aged sons what they thought it meant. Only my sons being as astute as they were, would take the exercise a step further and sometimes used the quotations to write journal entries, or even dig deeper into the biography of the person from whom the quotation came from. This simple little exercise which started in English and Language Arts grew to include history, science, critical thinking, philosophy, and even religious studies.

Words can take us many places, they motivate us to do good, wound when they are hurled at us, comfort when whispered to us, inspire when internalized, and heal when spoken to ourselves. The connection we have with words, and the words we use everyday come from deep within us. Surround yourself with motivational quotes and your attitude will reflect that motivation.

Here are two of my favorites:

My Favorite Health Quote

Mark Twain

What are your favorites?

 

GENERATE ENERGY

How much energy are we generating? How much energy can you generate if you are constantly feeling sick because of the food choices you make?

Our lifestyles are on display to people who are looking up to us. Our children are watching what you eat and do every day; you are the example they model their lives after. If you aren’t healthy and fit; don’t expect your children to be either. When we are team members we watch the captains and listen to what they tell us to do, but more importantly we watch what they do. If what you are saying as a captain does not match what you are doing then don’t expect your teammates to follow you.

einstein

Here are three easy ways to generate energy

Exercise: Not just your body but you mind, your mouth, and your life. 

We all know that we are more energetic after we work out. But when we engage our mind, our mouth and our lifestyle into this generation of energy it will carry you farther in life. Read positive books every day. Talk to positive people every day, and your lifestyle will represent energy instead of stagnation.

Eat Healthy: Junk food” robs your body of energy because it doesn’t give you any nutrients. The same is what happens for your mind. When you eat junk food, your mind starves to death. Healthy, organic, unprocessed food gives your mind and body the required nutrients to generate energy

Choose Your Words Wisely: If you are constantly walking around saying “I’m so tired”, “Woe is me”, “I just want to sleep”, people will not want to be around you. You want energy so tell yourself, “I’m so excited to be awake, what can I do today?”  Remember our example’s mean a lot to everyone around us.

Power plants don’t make energy they generate it. You are the power plant. You can generate energy. Go out and generate some positive energy in your life.

 

 

FRIENDLY DECEMBER CHALLENGE

In honor of my upcoming 50th birthday, I decided it was time to get serious about my weight and my health. So instead of doing a little workout here and there, and not being consistent or conscious about what I’m eating; the time has come to get my rear (and my mouth) in gear.

This month’s personal challenge is to drop 18 pounds. It’s doable and I am already on course. Yes I am giving up my vices but I’m gaining back myself in the process.

18-pound weightloss challenge

Here are some of my affirmations: “Losing weight is easy and effortless for me,” “My body is getting stronger, slimmer, and healthier everyday,” “I love to moving my body everyday.”

I have cut out all sugar, including fruit; even though I don’t use artificial sweeteners I do like stevia, which I’ve also eliminated. Without the stevia in my tea, I realized I don’t like tea as much so it’s gone too.

I drink water with fresh lemon juice. In place of my tea in the morning, I drink a cup of hot water mixed with the juice of a fresh lemon.

I also eliminated all grains except organic steel cut oats. To get my allotted complex carbohydrates I’ve added lots of fresh and steamed vegetables like salads made with my favorite leafy greens (Spinach, kale, swiss chard, Romaine lettuce) .

I’ve added good organic proteins: chicken, turkey, bison, elk, and venison,  organic almonds, and eggs

This is what I will be eating for the next three days. The only exercise I will be doing for these three days is walking 3 miles a day.

Check back tomorrow to see how I’m doing!

CLOTHING MOOD CHANGERS

I recently read an article in September/October 2012 issue of Natural Health Magazine entitled 10 Ways to Go Natural. Number 7 caught my eye: it states that “people’s choice of attire is strongly influenced by how they feel. Jeans are worn by depressed women and dresses are worn by happy people.” I don’t think this is true of most women, because last week when I tried on my skinny jeans and they fit me, I was ecstatically happy. Depression for me looks like my comfy sweats.

From Target

Today, I decided to wear a dress, only to see if it could possibly change my mood, looks like it can. Because not not only am I wearing my favorite blue dress, I’m also wearing my new black leggings, and purple socks. So far today: I dusted the entire house, I took the trash out, I straightened up my living room, and did a load of dishes. I feel like June Cleaver, minus the pearls, from Leave it To Beaver.

Plus I find myself sitting up straighter, and more conscious of how I eat or drink anything. It’s not raining yet (It’s always raining somewhere in the Puget Sound area, this time of year), I think I’ll also take a walk in my dress.

 

INFLAMED NO MORE

Everywhere you look, you see articles on anti-inflammation and what to do to stop inflammation from taking over your life. Inflammation is a big problem now that most of the world’s population have access to inflammation causing foods like fast-food, genetically modified food, and foods that are laden with chemicals and pesticides. Many of the experts tell us to stay away from these foods because they are the cause of many of our health concerns we have today like cancers, cardiovascular disease, obesity, auto-immune diseases, and depression. These same experts are telling the public that they should be consuming more fresh vegetables and fruits, but some of those fruits and vegetables also cause inflammation; I’m talking about the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables.

The nightshade family of fruits and vegetables cause just as much inflammation as processed foods because they are in everything we, as a society eats. While in small quantities these foods do not cause problems but in large amounts can wreck havoc for our bodies. As a person who is riddled with severe auto-immune pain one of the big culprits to this pain are these veggies, fruits and condiments that contain them. I avoid them like the plague they are.

Fruits and veggies to avoid:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Potatoes (Sweet and Yams excluded)
  • Peppers (Black and White excluded)
  • Eggplant
  • Artichokes
  • Blueberries
  • Huckleberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Tobacco

Condiments to avoid:

  • Tabasco sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • A1 Steak Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Paprika
  • pepper flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • anything listed as “spices, flavorings, and seasonings”

Notice that these plants contain solanine which is a glycoalkaloid. It is toxic in high doses. It effects the enzymatic reactions that involve calcium which plays a part in our weakening bones and joints. It irritates the nerve endings in our joints which creates the inflammation (http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-182.pdf). So instead of poisoning ourselves with these plants we can choose to live inflammation free, if we just avoid them entirely.

I did this for one year and the results were quite good. I no longer eat anything on this list except blueberries which do not give me a problem. This has been quite difficult since both my husband and I are also gluten intolerant. But reading labels does help. Remember if you’re gluten free and still having stomach upset it could be the potato starch in many of the gluten free products. Solanine is known to cause stomach irritation.

Some interesting websites to read up on the possible danger of eating such plants:

 

SNACKING: BENEFIT OR CRUTCH

Many of us go through our day making sure we have our required meals prepared and our healthy, low cal snacks without giving a thought to whether these snack habits are beneficial or whether we use them as a crutch. I am one of those people who until recently would make sure I had a healthy snack available when the snack monster reared it’s ugly head and told me it needed to munch. I used myself as a test experiment to prove this point home to my own family.

Before stopping my snack habit I would eat breakfast and three hours later eat a snack; I’d wait another 3 hours eat lunch and then eat an afternoon snack so I wasn’t ravenous at dinner time. At dinner I would pick at my food because I wasn’t hungry and then eat a snack somewhere between 7 and 8 pm. All this eating, even though it was healthy food was making me fat. Because I didn’t see the big picture.

The big picture of snacking came to me when I stopped snacking altogether. If I eat a satisfying, healthy, nutrient filled breakfast there is no reason why I need to eat a snack 2 to three hours later. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that any pain we feel is wrong and we must remedy the situation. While we shouldn’t skip meals, there is nothing wrong with skipping the snacks. Skipping snacks will actually help us lose weight easier and take some pressure off our pancreas; eating several small meals all day long stresses out the pancreas by producing more insulin. “All this leads to hyperinsulinaemia, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome, leptin resistance, food cravings, and slower metabolism.” (The NO Crave Diet).

This all made sense to me, so I tried it for a week to see what results I would get. After my first week, it has been easier to lose weight, 4 pounds the first week. I am not craving food anymore. Before every time I snacked I would be hungrier after I ate something then before I ate it. Choosing to eat healthy foods at meal times is helping my body to use the nutrients from those foods. I’ve also noticed that I am not thinking about food all the time and I’ve begun thinking about other things that mean something. I have more energy to work out and not have to worry about what I should eat before or after my workouts. I used to get sick to my stomach every time I ate before or after a workout; now I don’t have to think about it.

Choose organic, unprocessed,non-GMO foods and your body will thank you with a happy pancreas,  no food cravings, tons of energy, and stabilized weight.