Thursday, December 29, 2016

5 Healthy Uses For Coca-Cola


Believe it or not, there are healthy uses for this popular soda. (After you read them, you'll probably be even more convinced never to drink it.) In our search for alternatives to home products that contain toxic chemicals, we discovered many uses for coca-cola.


1) Keeping sink drains clear.

It works great to get rid of mineral build-up, soap scum or other things that tend to coat pipes and clog drains. Over the summer I was staying with a friend and the sink completely clogged up. I was able to extract a large clump of hair. Then I poured half a liter of coca-cola down the drain, and after that it was perfectly fine!

I try to remember to pour some coca-cola down my sink drain about once a week. I pour it slowly then let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. It's a simple way to maintain clear drains.


2) Getting soap scum off porcelain sinks.

I use a natural coconut oil soap, which tends to build up on the porcelain sink. So I've discovered I can pour some coca-cola in the sink, then scrub with an old toothbrush (or whatever you have). Then I rinse the sink with cool water. This works well to remove soap scum, with no toxic exposure for me!


3) Removing toxic chemicals such as pesticide from objects.

Last year we had some really bad toxic exposures. As a result, many of the things in our laundry room and garage were contaminated. My mom figured out if she put coca-cola on a rag and wiped the objects down, it would remove the chemicals.

I'm not sure it works on wood materials, but on plastic, metal, and most things it's pretty effective and doesn't harm the item. Just wipe the object down again with water after the coca-cola.


4) Getting chemicals off your hands if necessary.

Yes, I have washed my hands with coca-cola before. If somehow you get chemicals on your hands, perhaps paint-thinner, herbicide, petroleum, etc., just pour coca-cola over your hands. Then wash with soap. It's amazing how quickly and easily the soda will remove many chemicals. 


5) Getting petroleum or other fumes out of laundry.

A few years ago some of my clothes got contaminated with gasoline fumes. Several washes still didn't get them clean. Then my mom found a recipe for soaking clothes in coca-cola and baking soda, and it worked! Here's the recipe. Feel free to adjust it as needed, and learn what works best for you.  

Coca-Cola recipe for soaking clothes -
- put 1-2 cups baking soda and 1 quart (4 cups) of coca-cola in a small water level in the washing machine
- stir mixture (or let the machine agitate for a minute) 
- add the clothes (you can increase the water level after adding the clothes if necessary, just try to keep the load fairly small)
- turn off the machine and soak clothes overnight (or up to 24 hours)
- drain the water; then rinse the load with 1-2 cups of white vinegar added (we use Heinz brand). 
- wash clothes as you normally would (we use Charlie's Soap for our laundry - charliesoap.com)
If the fragrance/chemical in the clothes is really persistent, you might need to repeat this process again the next day.
Note: If your laundry room is not air conditioned and you live in a hot, humid place, then after doing this a couple of times you might need to rinse your washing machine with vinegar. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.


Well, there you have it, healthy uses of a popular soda. =) I'm just glad to know there is a good use for it.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

He Is Here


So far this year I'm enjoying fun Christmas activities that I missed for several years.

My mom and I actually got a real tree! We ended up decorating it twice because after about ten days it fell down. So we had to start over and decorate it again (with more lights and candy canes this time). =) I've had fun wrapping presents while mom had fun putting decorations around the house. We're planning to attend a Christmas concert this week, and mom even baked cinnamon rolls. =)

These are simple things, yet it's a huge deal that I'm able to participate in them once again! I'm so grateful and I praise God for all the healing He has brought, especially this year!

I think these little things mean more to me because of all the years of missing them. And I don't want to forget how far God has brought me. I found an old post from a time when Christmas was anything but fun. I thought I'd re-post it today. I pray it offers encouragement for those of you who are still living with limiting health challenges and hope to remember that God can carry you from where you are today to a better place in the future!

Even in the midst of the fun activities, the thing that still means the most to me about Christmas is this simple truth - Jesus came as Immanuel, God with us. He never leaves us. In the fun or in the pain, He is here. Hallelujah!


No Holidays

Yesterday was Christmas day 2009 - and I had a really bad day. I felt even worse than usual. I got sick every time my mom came in the room with me. (We think I was reacting to a herb she's been taking. Go figure.) I had a "Christmas dinner" of turkey and peas (mixed with a few tears). It didn't settle in my stomach very well. 


I was reminded once again that for people with Environmental Illness, there are no holidays.
Most people look forward to the holidays as a break from their normal routine, time to be with family & friends, maybe doing special things like caroling, playing games, etc. Well, with E.I. there is no break from the 'normal routine' of being sick. This disease (like most diseases) never takes a day off. Being with family and friends is usually not an option unless they "de-fragrance" themselves radically (which isn't easy to do, let me tell you). And special activities take more energy than we, as E.I's usually have. 


I'd like to say that after 5 years of this, I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me. But that wouldn't be true. I miss all the 'normal' Christmas activities, traditions, and fellowship. For some reason, the holidays are a like a slap in the face for someone with E.I. It's just another reminder that life as it used to be is gone, at least for now. If we're not careful, it's easy to start dreading holidays, simply because they remind of us all we've lost, all we miss. 


Well, I imagine you're good and depressed for me now. =) I just wanted to share the reality of what it's like. 


On the bright side, even during the difficult holidays, God's kindness is unfailing. (Ps. 18:50) In the middle of my very bad day yesterday, God sent me a Christmas text message from a friend, a cheering-up phone call from a friend with E.I., and a mom whose smile never ceases to brighten my day. 


I think I'm learning that the secret to managing the holidays for those of us with E.I. (in addition to changing my expectations), is to focus on celebrating them in my heart, with or without all the wonderful things that usually accompany them. 


If you know someone with E.I., remember that something as small as a text message, email or phone call, could make a big difference in helping them see God's kindness instead of focusing on all they're missing. 


And may we all learn to be thankful every day that Jesus came to earth as Immanuel - God WITH us!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Joy For Christmas

Happy December 1st! It's 82 degrees here in Florida and sunny, but it still feels a lot like Christmas! =) I'm looking forward to a wonderful month of celebrating Christmas in various ways. It's such a gift after all the years of really difficult Christmases.

At the same time, I know many people who are going through incredibly hard things right now - loss, grief, broken hearts, suffering.... It's strange how life can be great and awful all at the same time. I rejoice with my friends in their happy circumstances; I weep with my friends in their suffering.

In the midst of this crazy life, Christmas is a special reminder that God has given us true JOY - a gift that stays with us through it all.

So I wanted to re-post something I wrote a few years ago. I hope it encourages you as you think about Christmas.

Blessings to you my friends,
-Joanna


Sorrow & Joy -

I've been thinking about the strange coexistence of sorrow and joy in this life.

We think of Christmas as a happy time. Yet for many people this Christmas will be anything but happy. And I think we've all experienced Christmases that were less than "merry." Even the first Christmas was not without sadness.

Luke 2:33-35 says, The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel...And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
 

The first Christmas was a joyful time, as angels sang and shepherds worshipped. Mary and Joseph marveled at this special event.

And yet, Jesus' birth was also greeted with this painful prophesy of His future. The child's life would not be one of ease and comfort. And Mary's own heart would be pierced with grief.

The joy of Christmas was in a sense shadowed by the sorrow of the cross. Yes, the Savior had come - but He came to die.

At the same time, for those of us who know the whole story, the sorrow of the cross pales in light of Jesus' resurrection!

After the most painful sorrow, Mary experienced (I believe) the greatest joy! The joy of seeing her son raised to life must have eclipsed even the joy of giving Him birth.

And that same joy is ours today! Regardless of whatever sorrows we experience, the glory of the resurrection is even greater!

The resurrection tells us that there is more than just this life.
It reminds us that in the end God's goodness will fully triumph over evil.
And it assures us that the God who loved us enough to die for us, is WITH us through every moment.

So even if this isn't a very merry Christmas for you, I pray it will be a truly Joyful Christmas!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful!

I just wanted to do a quick post today to say, Happy Thanksgiving! I have much to be grateful for today, as I'm sure you do also.

In the midst of the food, football and fun, I hope we'll all take a few minutes to remember why we celebrate this special holiday. We have a loving God who takes care of us, provides for us and carries us through every season.

I'm so thankful for God's goodness and grace to us!
I'm thankful for more blessings than I can count!
I'm thankful for you!

And I'm thankful that my new book, Strengthened By Grace--Encouragement For Difficult Seasons, is now available for pre-orders! This book has been through a long, challenging process, but praise God it's finally here! =)

If you want to pre-order, my publisher is offering a Black Friday sale, only $9 if you use promo code 195.
https://deeperroots.com/shop/other-resources/strengthened-by-grace/
After Black Friday, there's still a special pre-order price of $9.50 until Nov. 30th, using promo code 150.

Thanks for rejoicing with me in the completion of this book! I feel like I'm talking about it all the time, but the reason is because I know there are many people who need encouragement and strength these days. They need to know God is faithful and He is with them in trials. My prayer is that God will use this book to reach all the people who truly need it.

Here's a short video from a friend that shares what it's all about. 

video


Thank you for your encouragement and prayers for me! I'm so thankful God is able to take our difficult seasons and turned them into blessings for others. What an amazing God! =)

What are you thanking God for today?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dream Again

Wow, today is Day 7, the last day of my week of celebration! I've certainly enjoyed it. I hope you've been encouraged and blessed as well. =) 

On this last day I'm celebrating the gift of dreams. 

When I was a kid there were various things I imagined would be fun or fulfilling to do in my life, but I had one big dream - to be a missionary. God let me live that dream for two amazing years! And then my health collapsed. As year followed year, all my dreams died. 

If you haven't been in a place like that, I can't explain to you in words what it's like. If you've been there, you understand. I will say that living with no dreams isn't really living. 

Looking back, I can see that God had to take me through that valley. He was doing a necessary and mighty work in me. In His eternal ways, often things have to "die" before they can live again. 

How I praise God that the day finally came when He said, "My child, it's time to dream again!" 

At first my heart was afraid to dream again. Every time another dream had died, it was so painful. I didn't know if I could face that again. But God gave me courage to take one baby step at a time. He restored hope deep in my soul. I began once again to imagine possibilities and think about the future with anticipation.

In the process, God took my "little" dreams from long ago and transformed them into bigger dreams than I ever could have imagined! And He added new dreams on top of those! 

At this point I feel like I'm overflowing with God-given, God-sized dreams! And I can't wait to see how He is going to bring them all to pass!

Whatever happens, I've learned that the best dream of all is that of drawing closer to my Savior each day. No matter what circumstances I go through, enjoying Jesus is the sweetest dream that I want to live every day. 


God created us with the ability and the longing to dream big dreams. If life has trampled on your dreams, please take heart! Please don't give up on dreaming. You may go through a dark season, but hold on to hope my friend. God really does have greater dreams for you than anything you've imagined! Let Him be your first dream through it all, and trust Him with each step. One day you'll stand in awe of the awesome dreams He gives you and then fulfills in your life! 

Today will you do something with me? Will you take a few minutes by yourself to do this?

Take a big, deep breath. Exhale slowly. Close your eyes, and dream again.... Little or big dreams, it doesn't matter. Tell yourself to imagine again. Let yourself smile. Let yourself hope. Let your heart dream again. 

Here's a song from my heart to yours. I pray it will inspire you.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F77v41jbOYs

I love you my friends! I'm so grateful for your prayers and for sharing this journey with me. I pray for God's abundant blessings in your life! Through every joy or trial may you find His grace sufficient and His love always worth celebrating! 


P.S. Since I've been posting so much lately, I won't be doing my regular post tomorrow, but instead taking the day off. =) Thanks for joining me for this special week of posts!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Miracles!

It's Day 6 and I'm celebrating the many miracles God has done in my life!

A miracle can be spectacular, something impossible in the natural world, such as parting the Red Sea or multiplying loaves and fishes. Or a miracle can simply be something God does that's out of the ordinary. I've seen both instances in my life.

I praise God for the many miraculous ways He works in our lives!

Here are just a few miracles God has done in my life -

- Multiplying the gas in an empty gas tank in the middle of nowhere, until I reached a gas station.
- Giving me one breath at a time when I felt like I couldn't breathe (happened several times).  
- Protecting me while driving so many times!
- Providing free plane tickets when I needed them.
- Putting me in the right place at the right time to lead someone to know Jesus.
- Someone sending me a gift I desired but hadn't told anyone about.  
- Providing places for me to stay during all the months I couldn't live at home.
- Resurrecting an item that was lost and long gone.
- Healing my heart from past hurts, until there's no more pain from the memory.
- Speaking through me the exact words someone else needed to hear.
- Suddenly feeling led to pray for someone and later finding out they needed prayer right then.
- Experiencing restoration of health, joy, dreams, hope and so much more!

I'm so thankful that God is always at work in our lives. Sometimes it's hard to see Him, especially in trials. But with every miracle - little or big - He reminds us that He loves us powerfully, and He is present with us always. His grace is greater than all our challenges, weaknesses and needs. Praise His name!

What's one miracle God has done for you?

Here's one of my favorite songs about God's grace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z3q8IIT-XA

Monday, November 14, 2016

Simple Joys

Today on Day 5, I'm celebrating the simple joys in life!

 When we take time to look, we discover there are so many of them...

...getting a card in the mail
...finding something you needed on sale
...enjoying a piece of peppermint chocolate
...flowers blooming
...hearing the birds singing
...children laughing
...time with family and friends
...a rainbow in the clouds
...enjoying a good book
...a song on the radio at just the time you needed to hear it
...a sweet dream that makes you awake with a smile on your face
...and so much more. 

In recent years I've learned to appreciate things I used to take for granted. I've learned to stop and pay attention more often. I've learned that life really is full of precious gifts and simple joys. Even in the trials, God graciously sends us little surprises and daily reminders of His love.

What simple joys are you grateful for today?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Have You Laughed Today?

Hello! Today is Day 4 of my week of celebration, and I'm celebrating the gift of laughter! =)


"A cheerful heart is good medicine..." -Proverbs 17:22a

"...the cheerful heart has a continual feast" -Proverbs 15:15b

"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy." -Psalm 126:2a


Laughter is good for our physical health and for our souls, especially when we're going through trials.


I'm grateful for the many times God helped me to laugh when I didn't feel like it. 
I'm so thankful that my mom always kept a sense of humor and could make me laugh in the hardest times.
And I'm glad that the gift of laughter is something we can share with others.


So here's a little video that I hope will make you laugh today. =)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVh8LMU4uCM

P.S. This post lists some of my favorite laughter-inducing videos. =)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friends Forever

For Day 3 of my week of celebration, I want to celebrate the gift of friends!


I heartily agree with this quote from a classic philosopher:

"We'll be friends forever, won't we Pooh," asked Piglet.
"Even longer," Pooh answered.


I'm SO glad that the amazing friendships God has given me will last forever!

I wish I could name every friend who has blessed my life, especially in the last twelve years. Since I can't, I'll just post a smattering of photos of some of the wonderful people in my life. 


From life-long friends to new friends, I am so incredibly blessed!!!












 


Giveaway Winner - Jason!

Thank you Jason for your comment with such encouraging truth about our gracious God! I hope you'll enjoy Tozer's book! =)

Friday, November 11, 2016

How Great He Is!

Thanks for joining me for Day 2 of my week of celebration! =) (Don't miss the Giveaway at the end of this post.)


Celebrating Who God Is!

One of the blessings God gave me through the years of suffering was that He drew me closer to Himself. He showed me more about who He is. He gave me a deeper relationship with Him than I thought possible.

It's one thing to be taught that God is good or loving, etc. It's another thing to experience the reality of those truths in the midst of deep pain. That's when we truly discover how great our God is! 

Today I praise God for who He is! He is -
Powerful
Kind
Patient
Forgiving
Faithful
Gracious
Good
Loving
...and much more!

Whatever we go through, God doesn't change. He is and always will be far greater than we can comprehend.

God continues increasing my awe of Him and my love for Him. And in spite of the hardships, knowing Jesus fills me with greater joy than words can express! 


Here's a special song for you today about experiencing the joy of God's love. =)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cz9zMAmrZs
 
Giveaway!

The book that dramatically expanded my understanding of God is "Knowledge of the Holy" by A.W. Tozer. I have a well-loved copy of this book to give away today!

To enter, just post a comment sharing a truth about who God is that has been meaningful to you lately. I'll select one winner from the entries and announce it in tomorrow's post. =)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's Time!

This is a significant week for me. This week marks twelve years since my health completely crashed. Twelve years is a long time. I can hardly believe it's been that long.

The first four and a half years, my health actually got worse and worse, until I reached the point where I couldn't even speak or sit up. Looking back, it's a miracle to me that God kept me alive.

Then at the absolutely worst point, God gave me the gift of hope - of believing that I actually could get well. Hope and faith...just a seed, but enough to start me on an upward path.

It's been seven and a half years since that turning point. For seven and a half years God has strengthened me to persevere, He has provided helpful tools, He has grown the seeds of hope and faith, and He has healed me day by day.

Now, in this significant week, I've heard Him say, "It's time!"

It's time to close the door on twelve years of chronic illness.
It's time to say goodbye to the season of suffering I never would have chosen, yet am humbly grateful for.
It's time to praise God for ALL He has done in the last twelve years!
It's time to watch Him open a door to a new life for me!
It's time to celebrate!!!

It's hard to put into words all God is doing in my heart this week. But I wanted to at least try to share some of it with you - my friends, encouragers, and fellow sojourners. 

For years, I have longed for and prayed for this day. And many others have longed for and prayed for it as well. I believe it's time to praise God for answering those prayers; it's time to celebrate His faithfulness, goodness, graciousness, power, love, and restoration!

So I'll be posting special things on here for the next seven days, as part of my celebration! I hope you'll join me. =) And I hope my story will encourage you and strengthen the seeds of hope and faith in your heart as well.

I will exalt you, my God the KIng; I will praise your name for ever and ever...Great is the LORD and worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom...They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness...The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made...My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.

(Psalm 145:1,3,7,13,21)

Here is a powerful song that has meant a lot to me through the years of suffering. I hope it blesses you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu7JtouWtu4

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Some Encouraging Things

Hello, I have a few encouraging things to share with you this week.


1) The first is a blog post written by a friend of mine. I found it very insightful and encouraging, especially when struggling with how to handle limitations in a healthy way. I hope it'll bless you!

Sunday I sat in the hay barn and sobbed. My family was leaving for the baptismal service and I was being left behind. As I cried God DUMPED rain which reminded me of the song “Showers of Blessing.” It goes “Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.” The fact that I was able to walk up to the barn with my own two legs is an obvious “mercy drop.” Yet I sobbed because I wanted the ‘showers’ of blessing–being with people again, being at church, participating in spiritual milestones…
As I sat there crying and watching the rain pour down I wondered if it was wrong to long for what I didn’t have when I did have things to be thankful for. Were my tears getting out of hand? Were my tears helping me process and cleanse my hurt or were they making me a mud puddle to sit in? Was I processing my hard emotions or wallowing in them?


You can read the rest of her post here:
https://windowviewsblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/hay-bale-evaluation/


2) Next, a beautiful song that helps me keep things in perspective on the hard days. Hope it encourages you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh724PEkuTg


3) And lastly, some verses that are always helpful, no matter what we're going through.

But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you....” -‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-5‬‬

Friday, October 21, 2016

Five Free Things You Can Do For Your Health

I apologize that this post is a day late. I'm still on my road trip, which has been fun but with many unexpected turns and changes of plans...so I wasn't able to get this up yesterday. But here it is now. :)

People say living healthy is expensive. Well, not all of it. :) Here are five free things you can do for your health.

1. Deep breathing.
This is so important, but most people don't take the time for it. You can do deep breathing while lying down, like before you get out of bed in the morning. Before each meal stop and take a few deep breaths. Before you go to bed, breathe deeply for a full minute. Just adding this simple thing into your day can make a big difference.

2. Stretching.
This takes a little more time and planning, but is so worth it. I have two brief stretching routines I do. One is first thing in the morning before I get out of bed. The other is at night right before I go to bed. If I miss a day of doing my stretches I definitely feel it. Stretching is simple but very important.

3. Grounding.
If you haven't heard of grounding, it's basically putting your bare feet on the ground. This helps your body get rid of excess emf's, it's an anti-inflammatory therapy, etc. Even 10-15 minutes of grounding a day can make a difference in improved sleep, more energy, etc. (Just be careful not to stand on grass that's been sprayed with chemicals.) If you don't have a safe place to do grounding, you can buy a grounding mat. But hopefully you can find a good place outside for this, which is free. :)

4. Laughter!
Laughter is a powerful tool for improving health! There has been much research done that shows how laughter strengthens the immune system, improves mood, and even works the cardiovascular system similar to exercise! So make sure you are laughing a lot, especially deep belly laughter, which is most effective.

5. Relaxing.
Ok, seriously, I think people today must be the most stressed out generation ever. Most people don't know how to slow down, how to put their feet up and how to just look out the window admiring the trees, clouds, etc. (I'm not talking about "relaxing" in front of a tv or computer screen, that isn't genuinely relaxing because those devices are still stimulating the body instead of relaxing it.) We all need time to rest, to be still, to let our minds take a break from the busyness of life, and just be. Enjoying creation is a great way to do this. Also listening to relaxing music, or just sitting with a loved one and enjoying their presence. Relaxing helps our bodies de-stress, which is SO important for good health.

Well, there you have it. Five free things you can do. I hope this post is helpful, and may you continue to find ways to improve your health.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dangers Of Antibiotics

While antibiotics can be life-saving in some situations, they are widely overused and misunderstood. There are dangers to be aware of with antibiotics. People need to be more informed about them.

1) First of all, it's important to understand the nature of antibiotics.

Some antibiotics are actually made from mycotoxins - the toxins that mold produces. Think of a moldy piece of bread. The mold produces "mycotoxins" to kill all the bacteria so it can have the bread all to itself to "eat". The problem is that mycotoxins are, of course, toxic.

Also, antibiotics cannot discern between bad bacteria and good bacteria, so they kill off both. But it's essential for the body to have the good bacteria - for the immune system, digestive system, etc. Being depleted of good bacteria can seriously compromise your health.

Another problem is that antibiotics cannot kill off ALL the bacteria - which is actually a good thing, or you probably wouldn't survive taking them. But that means after you're done with them, you'll still have some of the bad bacteria there and you won't have much, if any, good bacteria to help fight the bad.

If you do not have a bacterial infection, but instead have a virus or fungal infection, then antibiotics won't help. And fungal infections usually get worse if you take antibiotics. Also, some microorganisms, like lymes, are notorious for adapting to antibiotics and becoming resistant to them, then waiting for an opportune time to attack again. So you may feel temporarily better, but once you stop taking the antibiotics, you feel even worse than before. I experienced this. I was on and off antibiotics for months before finally realizing I needed to do something different. 

There's also the possibility of an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Many people are allergic to penicillin or sulfa based antibiotics. Not to mention that antibiotics are a foreign substance to the body, which causes it stress.

So, since antibiotics will not rid your body of all the bad bacteria, plus they deplete the good bacteria and lower your immune system, and they add toxins and stress to your body - they are not a true healing solution. (Again, I recognize and understand emergency uses of them. But many doctors over-prescribe them.)


2) Secondly, a very important thing to understand is that there is really only one thing that can effectively rid your body of bad bacteria and other infections, parasites, etc. That one thing is your own immune system - which God created for this specific purpose. Chemically manufactured drugs cannot effectively rid your body of invaders. In fact, drugs are viewed by the body as invaders, adding more stress and making it more difficult for the immune system to do its job. (Again, I understand certain uses of medications. I'm talking about what will be genuine healing solutions.)

Instead of antibiotics, true healing methods will somehow activate or strengthen your own immune system to do what it was created and designed to do.

Some things that I believe help and strengthen our immune systems, especially for dealing with infections, are -
- essential oils
- coconut oil
- certain herbs
- garlic, spices and other immune boosting foods
- sunshine, laughter, exercise
and more. Of course the healthier we eat and live, the stronger our immune system will be.

When infections are present and just won't go away, then the body needs extra help. I know one doctor who has developed a method that naturally activates the immune system to get rid of infections. I highly recommend Dr. Smith in Idaho. He has been a life-saver for me. His methods have successfully helped rid my body of candida, viruses, parasites, fungal infections, bacterial infections and more. Because his method activates the body's own immune system, it is safe, simple and effective.

Here's his website if you want more info. He books appointments several months in advance because so many people are being helped by his treatment.
http://lymestop.com/

I hope this post has given you a better understanding of antibiotics. Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Don't Give Up

Last week I was in Dallas for a wonderful event with other Christian women in media. I had an extra day before my flight home, so I was praying about what to do with it, and God reminded me of a place I visited eight years ago. In 2008 I was in Dallas at a special environmental clinic trying to get help. It was a pretty awful month. But one day my mom drove me to see the famous mustang sculpture. It was the one bright spot in that very difficult time.

Fast forward eight years later, when I'm back in Dallas, and God told me to return to that spot with the beautiful sculpture. Only this time it was a completely different story.  Here's a little video that I recorded and shared on facebook, but I thought I'd post it here as well.

Wherever you are in your journey today, don't give up! God crafted you as His masterpiece for a special purpose. And He can fill you with more of His Life than you can imagine possible!

Blessings to you my friends.

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” -‭‭John‬ ‭5:21‬


video

P.S. I had major technical difficulties trying to include the video in this post. It seems to be showing up in some web browsers and not others. I apologize if you can't see it. If we're friends on fb, you can go to my fb page to watch it. Thanks for your patience. =)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Those "Pesky" Symptoms...

I know symptoms feel pesky at best and downright miserable other times. But they do have a purpose. I thought I'd repost this from last year, hopefully as an encouraging reminder to see the benefit in symptoms. =)

The Purpose of Symptoms

Through the years I've experienced a wide variety of physical symptoms, ranging from unpleasant and annoying to debilitating and dangerous. It's not enjoyable to have symptoms of any kind, but I've learned that symptoms really do have a purpose.
Most doctors are trained to provide symptom relief for patients. Few doctors seem to understand the purpose of symptoms, and that the goal isn't just to make them "go away."

The purpose of symptoms is to let you know that something is amiss in your body and it's time to address it. This is just like when a squeaking or grinding sound in your car makes you realize you better get it checked. Physical symptoms are the body's way of communicating that there's a problem. You would think this concept would be common sense, yet so many people have an unhealthy perspective on symptoms.

There are two extremes in how people handle their symptoms.

One is to ignore them completely and to keep pushing their body to do whatever they want it to do...to their own detriment, usually symptoms getting more and more severe.

The other extreme is to focus on symptoms so much that the person becomes consumed with them and actually perpetuates even more symptoms.

I can tell you that at different times I've experienced both extremes.

I realize that with chronic illness, a lot of time is spent managing symptoms. But I think having a healthy perspective on their purpose helps us handle them better.

First, we recognize that a physical symptom is a message from the body. Then we keep asking questions until we identify the root cause of the symptom. Why is the body asking for help? Once the root cause is identified, then we can select appropriate treatment that will help the body do its job of healing the root cause. Then, hopefully within a short amount of time, the problem is corrected and the symptom goes away, because it's no longer needed. This is the healthy approach to whatever symptoms we experience. And the sooner we address symptoms, the sooner we can help the body resolve them.

So for example, about two weeks ago I started feeling really awful, much worse than I normally do. My body felt heavy, achy and exhausted. I mostly ignored it for a few days, just continuing with my regular healthy habits of taking care of myself. Finally about the 4th day, I realized I better figure out WHY I was feeling so awful. A little detective work revealed two bacterial infections. No wonder I was feeling awful! But since I didn't have other "common" symptoms associated with bacterial infections, I hadn't thought to check that originally. But my body persisted with some symptoms until I discovered the root cause. So now I'm doing specific things to fight the infections and hopefully I'll soon be feeling like my "normal" self again. =)
 

Sometimes I experience symptoms from detoxing. When the body is ridding itself of toxins, parasites, viruses, etc., there are usually accompanying symptoms. It's important to listen to the body and not push it to detox too quickly or too much at one time. But when I know it's a detoxing symptom, I endure it until that detox cycle is finished. Thankfully, there are some natural remedies that help with symptom relief, as well as with foundational healing. (I'll write more about these two things next time.) 

The main thing is to look past the symptom to the root cause and take whatever steps you can to help your body heal that. So you might say that symptoms are actually helpful things, when we understand their purpose and take a healthy approach to resolving them. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Super Fruits

Have you heard of super fruits before? This is something I recently heard of and began looking into. Different sources include different fruits on the list of "super fruits," but the main ones you'll see in a health food store are -

 acai
 goji
 mangosteen
 noni
 seabuckthorn

The reason they're called "super fruits" is that they are packed full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory properties. They can help the immune system, digestive system, cardiovascular health, and much more.

Different fruits are helpful for various functions in the body. Such as, goji can help with eye health, noni with digestive issues, etc.

Dr. Axe has a few articles on his website about some of these super fruits if you want more information on specific ones.

Most of these fruits come in liquid form, though you can find some of them dried or as a powder. I decided to try a liquid product that contains four fruits (acai, goji, mangosteen, and noni). It does need to be refrigerated, but it's easy to take. I started very slowly with it, I think I took 1 tsp. at first. It made me detox some, so I didn't take it every day. But I do think it's been helpful for me.

Theoretically, any good and healthy food we can give our bodies should help them do the work of healing and repairing. I'm glad I gave these a try. =) If you decide to try super fruits, just remember to read labels and make sure there aren't added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavorings, etc.

Note: Generally speaking, it's best to only start one new product/supplement at a time. That way you can tell if it's causing any problems or being helpful. =)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Travel Tips - for Healthier Flying

After seven flights in the last five months, I'm starting to get the hang of traveling by air once again. =) It's very different than 12 years ago when I used to fly often...both because of changes in regulations and changes in my health. So here are some things I've learned that helped me. Feel free to add any of your own travel tips for flying as well.


Before you fly -

If possible, don't book an evening flight. Delays often happen and you can end up not arriving til the wee hours of the morning, which is very hard on the body. Try to book morning or early afternoon flights, so you'll have plenty of time to arrive at your destination and still have a reasonable bedtime.

Wrap any bottles of supplements you're taking in aluminum foil and place them in your checked luggage. This will help protect them against the emf's in the luggage scanner. Apparently the scanners for carry-on baggage have higher emf levels than checked luggage, so put anything emf sensitive in checked bags not carry-ons.

If you don't have a problem with plastic, then pack your clothes in large size ziploc bags to protect them from the petroleum fumes on the airplane. These fumes easily penetrate most luggage, so extra protection for clothing is helpful. I actually put everything I'm packing in ziploc bags for that extra protection.

If you're traveling with essential oils, put them in a small ziploc bag in your carry-on. When you reach the security check point, ask an employee to hand check the ziploc bag for you. That way it won't go through the scanner. I know some people say that airport scanners aren't bad for essential oils, but I prefer to be cautious. And it's not hard, the employees were willing to hand check mine for me.

Also at the security check point, you can ask for an "opt out" from the body scanner. Instead of having to go through the body scanner (which is a lot of emf's!), they will have someone do a quick pat down for you. It's not a big deal. It does take a few extra minutes though, so make sure you consider that when planning your arrival time at the airport.

Wear comfortable shoes and socks. You have to remove your shoes now at the security point, so it's good to have socks on (and not be walking barefoot on the floor, which undoubtedly has many germs, chemicals, etc.).

Take a sweater or jacket with you. Most planes and airports are cold.


While you fly -

Get some spring water in the airport and make sure you stay hydrated. The water served on most flights is "purified water" not spring water. "Purified water" is basically the same as tap water, so I always buy spring water in the airport before boarding.

Use the restroom right before your flight so you won't have to enter the lavatory on the plane if possible (those are full of chemicals, smells, germs, etc.).

Sit closer to the front of the plane if you can. I was told that the air is filtered in the front of the plane and then pushed back. This means that supposedly the cleaner air is closer to the front.

On some airlines, you can tell the person at the desk that you have special needs and they will often let you board earlier or help you with any possible accommodations. If you need extra leg room, the very first row of seats or the exit rows have more space.

If you end up seated next to someone with strong cologne or something that's a problem for you, feel free to ask a flight attendant if you can move to a different seat. As long as the flight isn't packed full I found they were willing to let me move.

If you have a good mask that works for you, you can wear it on the plane.


After you fly -

Plan for at least a day or two of rest after your flight. Allow your body time to recover from the flight and adjust to any time changes.

If you can, take a detox bath in epsom salts, or at least soak your feet in epsom salts.

If possible, spend some time grounding (with your bare feet on the earth) over the next few days to help your body get rid of excess emf's from the plane.

Take extra vitamin C and magnesium for a few days. Or add whatever supplements are helpful for you and support your immune system.


Well, I hope these ideas are helpful. It's wonderful for me to be able to fly places again! And I'm thankful for the things I've learned which have made the experience a little easier. Let me know what other tips you have learned as well. =) 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Liver 101

Last month my doctor assessed that my liver was only functioning at about 73%. That explains some things, such as being more sensitive to chemicals and foods, fatigue, etc. So I've been working on helping my liver recover with essential oils, an herbal liquid product, and other things.

Then one of my friends told me about some health videos that were helpful. I just watched this one about the liver and thought it was very informative. It is about 45 minutes I think, but you can watch it in segments if necessary. I think there's a lot of helpful information in it.

My one comment to add is that I don't think vegetarian is the best thing for everyone. Each person is different and for some people vegetarian is not the healthiest option. Of course I always recommend eating natural/organic meats if you do eat meat, not the conventional, toxic meats.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. There are many other videos by this lady as well. So far I've only seen this one, but I look forward to watching more as she seems to be a good resource for health information.


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N4TmlCIBIQY

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Horrible Stories with Happy Endings

So many people I've talked with recently have shared stories of the awful things they've been through with their health challenges...
- severely painful medical procedures
- doctors telling them they're fine, or that it's all in their head and putting them on anti-depressants
- other people telling them sickness is result of sin in their lives
...on an on. It's so sad to me.

But sometimes as people share their stories with me, after the horrible stuff comes the part when they finally found answers, when a doctor actually helped them, when root causes were discovered and when health was recovered!

I love hearing these "happy endings" after such horrible experiences. Although really they aren't "endings," they are new beginnings.

That's what my story is like now, full of hope and new beginnings as my body continues to heal. But for many years I only lived in the horrible part. I didn't know if my story would ever have a "happy" turn again.

So for those of you feeling stuck in the awful places right now, please take heart! It is possible that one day you'll see the end of that level of suffering and experience a new beginning of better health.

And for those of you who are recovering, please keep sharing your stories! Keep giving others hope. Keep sharing about what has helped you. Keep reaching out with compassion and kindness to those who are still where you once were.

We need each other. May we all continue working together to see more and more people live through the horrible parts of their story to a happy, new beginning!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Things You Probably Never Think Of

The last seven months have been an interesting journey for me, as I've moved more than 15 times. I thank God that He has always provided places for me to stay. I have been so blessed by the kindness and hospitality of others, and I've prayed God would make me a blessing at each place too.

Along the way God has continued to teach me many things. I'm so thankful that He never wastes anything. There is always a good purpose in the difficult things He allows. He still amazes me and often surprises me. =)

Anyway, all that to say that I've noticed some things about keeping a healthy home in recent months that most people never think of. So I thought I'd mention them here and perhaps this will be a helpful reminder for someone. =)

Things most people never think of...

1) Check under your kitchen and bathroom sinks at least once a week to make sure there's no water leaking anywhere.
This is what happened at our house that led to mold. We had a very tiny leak that wasn't noticeable from the outside, but underneath the sink mold started growing. A similar thing happened while I was staying at a friend's house recently. I noticed some water on the floor and traced it to a leaky pipe under the sink. Good thing we caught that one right away.
Checking regularly doesn't take long and is so vital in case you do get a leak at some point.

2) Clean your dryer at least once a month.
Again, most people never think of this, but especially if your washer/dryer are in a garage, so much lint, dust, dirt, etc. can build up. It's not hard to clean it. You can use a wet paper towel or cloth to wipe out the inside of the dryer, all around the place where the lint filter goes, and the inside part of the door. You may be surprised just how dirty it is. Cleaning regularly is good for the machines and for the clothes.

3) Dust fans and vent covers regularly.
Some things that people forget to dust are ceiling fans and floor fans, as well as vent covers where the air comes out and the intake vent for air/heat. A lot of dust can build up on these things. Since they are circulating air, if you don't dust regularly you'll be circulating dust along with the air.

These things aren't hard to do, they're just stuff we don't usually think of.

Please feel free to add to this list in the comments if anything else comes to mind. =) 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sing A Song!

Today I thought I'd repost something from a couple of years ago that's always a good reminder. Enjoy and keep on singing! =)

Health Benefits of Singing

 
I love to sing, I always have. But did you know that singing is good for your health? 
The research on this is quite amazing! Here's a list of some of the health benefits of singing.
Singing -
*boosts the immune system
*releases endorphins ("feel good" brain chemicals) 
*improves mood and relieves stress
*gives the lungs, abdomen, diaphragm, etc. a workout (if you sing with correct form, not just from your throat)
*stimulates circulation
*improves posture and mental alertness
*can improve sleep
Wow, that's pretty impressive! 
It's also possible that singing specific sounds can help certain functions in the body. I found the following information on one website that was very interesting. It said:
*Singing the short-a sound, as in "ahh," for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood-lifting endorphins.
*To boost alertness, make the long-e sound, as in "emit." It stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the body's biological clock.
*Singing the short-e sound, as in "echo" stimulates the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones that control the speed which digestion and other bodily processes occur.
*Making the long-o sound as in "ocean" stimulates the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar.
*To strengthen immunity, sing the double-o sound, as in "tool." This activates the spleen, which regulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.
Other research recommends group singing for better health.
"All types of singing have positive psychological effects. The act of singing releases endorphins, the brain's 'feel good' chemicals. Singing in front of a crowd...naturally builds confidence, which has broad and long-lasting effects on general well-being. But of all types of singing, it's choral singing that seems to have the most dramatic effects on people's lives."
I haven't sung in a choir since high school. But I do very much enjoy the group singing at church when I'm able to go. When I was in junior high, once a month we had what we called a "Singspiration." On a Sunday night we'd get together and just sing for about an hour. Anyone could request a song from the hynmal or praise-book. It was wonderful! Those are still some of my favorite memories. 
I think it's important to note that what we sing is key (pun intended). =) Sometimes I catch myself singing a song with words that are not something I need to be repeating to myself. A lot of catchy tunes have untrue or negative words. So remember to sing words that are true, encouraging, and uplifting. Most people remember words that they sing much more easily than words they read or hear. So find some music you enjoy with the life-giving words that you want to have playing in your mind, and keep on singing! 

To get you started, here's one of my favorite songs. =) 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qni5bIN5qmU

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Wonders of Garlic

You've probably heard that garlic is good for you, but most people don't take the time to truly gain from the benefits of garlic. Perhaps because it has such a strong flavor and no one wants "garlic breath." Or perhaps because it's easier to sprinkle garlic salt on food than to buy fresh garlic, peel it, and chop it (or press it).

But garlic is one of those simple things that has major health benefits. So with this post I hope to inspire you to go out and buy some garlic and start using it faithfully! =) 

Here are just a few of the many benefits of garlic -

For starters, garlic has antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties.

Garlic boosts the immune system.

Garlic is good for heart health, preventing plaque from forming in arteries and promoting proper blood flow.

Garlic helps normalize cholesterol and blood pressure.

Garlic is good for the bones and the thyroid.

Garlic helps protect against cancers.

Garlic helps reduce inflammation.


Wow! Are you impressed yet? =)

The trick with garlic is in how it's used. Here are Dr. Mercola's comments on the best use:

"Garlic must be fresh to give you optimal health benefits though.
The fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin in turn rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to "activate" garlic's medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.
A single medium size clove or two is usually sufficient, and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless.
You also won't reap all the health benefits garlic has to offer if you use jarred, powdered or dried versions."

from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/23/garlic-health-benefits.aspx

So yes, you can use garlic in cooking, but to gain the most benefits from it, it's better to consume it raw. I've done this before, and while it's not pleasant to swallow a chopped garlic clove, it's a pretty simple way to improve health. Or you can always add it to juicing as Dr. Mercola mentioned. (An exception would be if your digestive system doesn't handle raw garlic well, in which case just eat it cooked.)

Eating garlic isn't the only way you can use it though. You can also hold a raw clove of garlic in your right hand (for about 10 minutes) to help your body fight an infection. I often do this when dealing with infections, sometimes even twice a day. It's simple and helpful.

You can also use garlic as a tool for decontaminating things. You just peel the garlic and set one or more cloves on the object (depending on its size). Leave the garlic for about 15 minutes, then throw it away, and you'll be amazed how much less toxic or smelly the item will be!
I've used garlic to remove cat urine smell from things (when I was staying with a friend who had a cat).
I've used it to absorb mold/mycotoxins that got on objects. (We've had a lot of those since we got mold in our house last year. Many things we threw away, but some things we were able to save by putting garlic on them, yeah!)
You can use it to detoxify a new mattress or other new furniture (which are usually loaded with chemicals, especially flame retardants).
It's great for absorbing things like smells, mycotoxins, flame retardants, etc. If you're not sure if it'll help with a particular item or smell, give it a try anyway, there's nothing to lose. =)

Well, I hope all this information has amazed you with the wonders of garlic! I hope you'll go buy some (preferably organic) and give it a try. =)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Brain, Thoughts, and Health


"God designed the human mind with an absolutely breathtaking ability to change itself. We have a responsibility to use this power of free will well, to glorify him through the stewardship of our bodies and the rest of creation. To be made in the image of God, with the creative power of choice, is not just a nice idea to make you feel good about yourself, but a serious RESPONSIBILITY, an immense act of love on the part of a magnificent Creator." -Dr. Caroline Leaf

I've mentioned before how much I appreciate Dr. Caroline Leaf, a brilliant brain scientist and dedicated Christian. She now has a TV show where she covers so many helpful topics such as stress, toxic thinking, handling emotions, etc.

I love listening to her! I always come away with greater awe of God and greater hope for my own situation.

Here's the website where you can select past episodes of the show to watch. I think it's on TV every Wednesday in the USA, and air times are listed on the site for other countries as well.
http://drleaf.com/broadcast/

I encourage you to take the time to watch one episode a week if you can. And please pass this great resource along to others!

Dr. Leaf also has a facebook page you can follow if you want to.
https://www.facebook.com/drleaf/?fref=ts

Our brains are amazing! I hope you'll be encouraged and inspired as you learn more about how to use your brain for good.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Healthy Hand Soap

Hand soap is one of those products that most people don't even think about. But it actually can have a big impact on health. If you think about how many times a day you wash your hands, you'll get an idea of how much toxic exposure that adds up to if you're using a chemical-laden hand soap.

First of all, beware of hand soap that is "antibacterial." That means it has some form of antibiotic in it. With the overuse of antibiotics today, many strains of bacteria are becoming resistant, and using "antibacterial" hand soap contributes to this problem. Not to mention it's yet another toxic chemical your body will have to detox.

Another thing to watch for is hand soap that is made in China! Almost every product made in China contains high levels of toxic chemicals. You definitely don't want to be washing your hands with toxic soap.

For the last several years I used baking soda exclusively for washing my hands. It's worked fine for me, though I realize many people prefer an actual soap. Several months ago I began looking for a natural bar or liquid soap that I could use instead of baking soda. I was shocked at some of the ingredients I found while reading soap labels. Here's just one example, a list of ingredients for a name brand hand soap (I didn't even include them all):

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Calcium Stearate, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Peg-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, Fragrance (Parfum), Cocamide Mea, Polyquaternium-7, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dmdm Hydantoin, Tetrasodium Edta, Acrylates/Aminoacrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Peg-20 Itaconate Copolymer, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140), Blue 1 (Ci 42090).

I'm not sure what happened to the soap industry that they can't just make plain soap anymore. It's sad. Thankfully, after much research I finally found two options that are completely natural. One is Olivella fragrance-free bar soap. The other is Fiji Coconut Oil bar soap, fragrance-free. My local health food store carries both brands, or you can find them online.

There are some other natural companies now making soaps with various essential oils. Some of those might be ok for most people. Personally I try to stick with the fewest ingredients possible, which is why I selected the two soaps above.

For those who prefer a liquid soap, I found a recipe online where you can turn your natural bar soap into a liquid. It sounds fairly simple and is very cost-effective.
http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/homemade-non-toxic-liquid-hand-soap-2

Keeping hands clean is important for good health. But so is using a non-toxic soap. I hope this info is helpful. Let me know any comments or questions you have, or any suggestions of a non-toxic soap you have found. =)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Miracle Trip

Last week I actually got on a plane and flew to TX! It was the first time I've been on a plane in about 10 years!

I stayed in a hotel and I did fine! I attended an amazing conference with other Christians in media and received so much inspiration and encouragement!

God blessed me with a roommate who understood my needs and was fragrance-free for me, praise God! The rest of the people weren't fragrance free, but I did really well with the various challenges that came up.

I praise God for how far He's brought me in the last 7 years since my health first started its slow recovery. Some days it felt like even though I was making progress, I'd never reach that goal of "well." But faithfully using all the good health tools I've found, and perseverance and prayer have indeed brought results, praise God!

I do hope that everyone who reads this has a faster recovery than I've had. But wherever you are, please be encouraged that recovery is possible! Keep doing what you can, one step at a time. Don't give up! Celebrate every victory and every step of progress. And know that God does hear and will answer your prayers - not always as we want or expect, but always what is ultimately for our good.

Thank you for your prayers for me through the years, and for celebrating this amazing moment in my journey!

Here are a few pics from my trip. :)



 at the airport

on the airplane, met a fellow Jesus-follower and encouraged each other
 with my roommate, an amazing lady from Ethiopia
 all dressed up for the fancy dinner =)

warming up for the evening session

After the conference I stayed two nights with a wonderful couple who's kids are missionaries. I wish I'd gotten a photo with them, but I didn't think of it until too late. I'm just not in the habit of using the camera on my phone. I met so many amazing people, but didn't think about getting pictures with them. But anyway, at least I had these few, to give you a little glimpse of my miracle trip! =)