Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Best Medicine

There are a lot of "medicines" out there today. Some can be helpful, while others actually cause more problems than they alleviate.  

I believe the Bible is right when it tells us what is truly the best "medicine" for our whole being:

A joyful heart is good medicine, 
But a broken spirit dries up the bones. 
-Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)

Joy is a wonderful medicine with NO side effects! And it's compatible with all situations (believe it or not). And one of the best ways to cultivate joy is through laughter. 

I've written posts about laughter before, including this one about its great benefits and value.

As I watched a recent episode of Life Today, I was reminded again of how vital it is to keep cultivating joy in our lives. I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to Dr. Don Colbert sharing about how laughter helps to heal the body. 

He also talks about how having an attitude of gratitude helps bring healing. I can attest to the fact that what we choose to focus on in our thoughts will increase. Making intentional choices to focus on gratitude and joy will help those things to increase in our lives. 

I know it's not easy to be joyful all the time (and sometimes it seems impossible). But with God's help, I believe it is possible to live in a habit of joy and gratitude. That is my desire, my prayer, and my goal. I will pray the same for you as well. 

If you need some help finding things to make you laugh, I included of some of my favorite laughter-inducing clips in this post last year. Enjoy! =)

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Can Try New Things

I wouldn't describe myself as overly adventurous, but before I got sick, I did enjoy having new experiences. Once my body went into "survival mode" though, anything new often seemed threatening or overwhelming. 

Thankfully, as my brain has healed, it's more open to new things. And as my health continues to improve, I've been able to exercise a little bit of my old adventurous spirit once again. =) 

So far it's only been in small things, baby steps I guess. =) 
- Last month my mom took me out for lunch and I ordered something totally different: a crepe. It was delicious (though a little on the sweet side for me). I really enjoyed it, and it was fun to try something new. 

- This month my mom talked me into watching an episode of Duck Dynasty. It's not my preferred genre of entertainment, but I watched it with her and did get some laughs out of it. =)

- I bought a shirt that's coral-colored. I don't think I've ever worn that color before, but at the moment I'm really enjoying it. =) 

- I actually planted something - dug a hole, got my hands dirty and everything! =) (My former experience with plants was watering them occasionally for my mom. I definitely don't have her green thumb.)

These are small steps, but at least I'm moving in the right direction. =) 

If you've been living in "survival mode," I hope you'll be encouraged that one day your adventurous spirit can return. We all go through various seasons in life. Right now I'm so grateful to be emerging from a season of suffering and transitioning into a season of new life. 

I praise God that I Can try new things! And I'm looking forward to all the adventures He has in store for me in the near future. =)

What is something new or different that you can do to brighten up your week?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Watch Out For High Fructose Corn Syrup!

This morning after my mom ate breakfast, she started to feel worse and worse. Thankfully, she realized it might have been something she ate. So she investigated and sure enough she was allergic to the cherry preserves she put on her toast. 

I picked up the jar of preserves and read the ingredients. To our surprise it contained both "corn syrup" and "high fructose corn syrup," along with sugar. Why in the world fruit preserves would need both sugar and corn syrup, I don't know. My mom hadn't read the ingredients because it never occurred to her that fruit preserves would contain corn syrup.

The sad reality is that HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) is now in more foods than you would imagine. It's cheaper than regular "sugar" and also much sweeter. Most manufacturers are more interested in their bottom line profits than people's health, so they have no problem using this dangerous ingredient. 

There are some people who try to tell us that HFCS is healthy for you. But the research all indicates otherwise. Because of all the negative effects it causes in the body, HFCS has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and even Alzheimers. 

As if that isn't bad enough, HFCS has now been shown in some studies to increase the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. (This blog post by Jordan Rubin explains it.) With the abundance of HFCS in almost every packaged or processed food these days, it's no wonder cancer continues to spread.  

One of the main products containing HFCS is soda. I never drink soda for many reasons, but this is another important reason to avoid it. (This article by Dr. Mercola talks more about HFCS and how it increases bad cholesterol.) Drinking soda is basically like drinking poison. 

I understand occasionally eating something that isn't entirely healthy, or that may contain HFCS (I indulge in a piece of cheesecake now and then myself). But we must be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. When it comes to our health, we can't afford to live in ignorance or denial. 

As much as possible, high fructose corn syrup is definitely to be avoided. So keep reading those labels, and keep eating food as God created it, not as man has corrupted it. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

I Can Enjoy Some Smells Again!

I spent so many years reacting not just to fragrances and chemical odors, but also to natural smells like food cooking, pollen, etc. 

-my mom used to have to cook her meals in the laundry room then eat in her bedroom so I wouldn't react to the smells. 
-if my mom went outside to check the mail, she'd have to get a shower when she came back in because of the mold/pollen smells on her skin.
-she couldn't eat mints or candy canes in the house....

Those days were pretty awful for both of us.

But now, I praise God that smells hardly bother me at all any more! And some smells I even enjoy! 

-banana bread baking in the oven
-the fragrance from our rosebush when it blooms
-aroma of fresh strawberries

It's wonderful not to be so sensitive to smells anymore. And it's even sweeter to be able to inhale a scent and actually enjoy it!

The sense of smell is a valuable gift. It keeps us aware of what is happening in our environment, with both good and bad things. It helps us record positive memories more strongly. It gives us a fuller experience of the world around us.

Believe it or not, smells are important to God. And Jesus is the best "aroma" there is. Those of us who follow Jesus now carry His pleasant "smell" in this world. 

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. -2 Corinthians 2:14
I don't think I'll ever again like the smell of perfumes or colognes. But I'm very grateful that I Can enjoy some smells again! 

And I hope that because of Jesus, my life will be a sweet aroma to those around me. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Got Parasites?

Last week I detoxed yet another parasite! I think that makes 8 or 9 parasites that I've treated for in the last four years. Apparently for most of my life my immune system wasn't very good at fighting them, so I had a whole lot of them along for the ride. 

As my body has continued in its healing process, it has kicked various parasites to the surface at different times. (Parasites are notoriously good at hiding out and avoiding detection, so it's important to check for them frequently.) Most of the ones I treated for were in my stomach or colon, but I also had ones in my liver, thyroid, and adrenal gland. 

When you talk about parasites, most people think of the obvious ones that you see in little kids in third-world countries. But the reality is that there are many different kinds of parasites, including microscopic ones. And you don't have to live in a third-world country to get them. 

In my opinion, almost everyone these days has some kind of parasite. If you've ever had a pet, traveled to another country, worked with animals, eaten meat, or experienced any number of other risk factors, you most likely have parasites.

Parasites are alive and active in our world. People with healthy gut function are often able to fight them off. But more and more people today are suffering from the effects of unhealthy, toxic diets and the stress of modern life, thus they're bodies are unable to fend off parasites. 

Often when I hear someone explaining about their health problems, my first thought is "they probably have parasites." Unfortunately, most doctors never think to check. And the few who do run tests for parasites, only check for a select few. And even if they give a medicine supposed to kill parasites, most of those medicines only kill the adult parasites, not the eggs, thus they are ultimately ineffective. 

So what's the answer? Well, it's important to keep a complete health program in place - lymphatic massage, exercise, healthy diet, supplements as needed, etc. These things will help strengthen your immune system overall. Then to address the specific issue of parasites, there are some natural remedies you can take to combat them. I tried a few different ones over the years (Wormwood, garlic, Paracleanse, etc.). 

However, the BEST method I found for truly getting rid of parasites, is Dr. Smith's CBT method (which utilizes the brain's ability to activate the immune system to actually locate and kill the parasites). If you live anywhere near Idaho, I highly recommend Dr. Smith. If that's too far from where you are, you can check this page on his website which lists some doctors who have had his training. Or you can call his office to get a referral for someone in your area.

The most important thing is to take parasites seriously! Don't let them do serious damage. Learn what you can and take action to kick the critters out! 

This website also has a lot of information about parasites:

What questions do you have about parasites? 

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Can Work Up A Sweat

Yes, believe it or not, this is a picture of me digging a hole. =) 

In May I bought a rosebush, and last week I finally put foot to shovel and dug the hole to plant it in. 

Last week I also scrubbed some metal shelves a friend gave us, cleaned out part of the garage and loaded my mom's van with stuff to give away. I worked up quite a sweat with all this activity - and it felt great!!! =)

After all the years of laying on the couch, unable to do anything, it feels wonderful to be able-bodied again (at least most of the time). With all the lifting and scrubbing, I used muscles that haven't been exercised in ages. But even being sore the next day felt good! =) 

Most people would probably complain about cleaning out the garage or scrubbing shelves, but I'm just so thankful I CAN do these things! I'm thankful I can actually work outside for a while. I'm even thankful I Can work up a sweat! =) 

What can you do today that you're thankful for?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recipe for Oat Scones

Years ago I found a recipe for Scottish Oat Scones in an Amish cookbook. Since then I've adapted it to my needs and tweaked it several times. Here's the version I'm currently using. Give it a try and let me know what you think! =) 

Organic Oat Scones

2 cups organic rolled oats (I usually use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1 cup organic tapioca flour
5 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt (table salt is stronger, only 1/2 tsp needed, but I recommend the sea salt as it's much healthier)

1 egg (organic)
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/3 cup organic milk (sometimes I substitute with water if I don't have milk; almond milk might also work, though I haven't tried it) 
1 Tbl. honey
1 small package of organic blueberries (you can use more or less depending on how many blueberries you want per scone)

Alternate: instead of blueberries, you can add 3/4 cup of organic shredded coconut, but then you might have to slightly increase the amount of milk/water to get the right consistency.

Mix dry ingredients & make a well in the center. In a separate bowl beat egg until frothy. Then pour egg, milk, oil, & honey into the dry ingredients. Add blueberries and stir to make a soft dough. 

Place in well-greased (with organic coconut oil) dish - you can bake them in a pie plate or small casserole dish. (Be sure to use glass cookware, NOT teflon or "non-stick" pans.) 

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly browned. 
(FYI - our oven tends to overheat, so I always set it at 400, but if you're oven is correctly calibrated, you can probably bake them at 425, which is what the original recipe lists.)

After baked, let them cool, then cut into squares or pie-shaped wedges. 

Enjoy! =)

Monday, June 3, 2013

I Can Utilize Adrenalin

Last Friday our church had a farewell party for some dear friends who are moving out of state. All day long I debated if I would go or not. My body wasn't feeling great, but I knew if I missed this special time I'd regret it.

So I pushed myself out the door. Once I got there a wonderful thing happened - the adrenalin kicked in and I was able to have a wonderful time! I enjoyed visiting with friends and family and honoring our dear friends who are moving. 

I did leave early, but it was such a blessing that I got to be there at all. Not long ago, that would not have been possible. 

For many years I had "adrenal insufficiency" - which basically meant that my adrenals had quit working. I depended on a medication (cortisol) to keep my body alive. If I had a stressful situation I had to increase the medication. I had no physical "reserve" for emergency situations. As much as I wanted to push my body at times, it just wasn't physically possible. If I had, it would have caused adrenal crisis, which is life-threatening.  

(Back in 2008 I wrote an explanation about the dangers of adrenal insufficiency here. It might help you understand what life used to be like for me.)

But now my body is so much healthier and stronger, with a reserve of strength, that I CAN make myself do things, even if I don't feel up to it. 

Of course, this doesn't mean I should push myself all the time, and I don't. But for those really special occasions that I just don't want to miss, I'm SO thankful that I Can utilize adrenalin! 

God has created our bodies in such a remarkable way! Yet it's important that we listen to our bodies and take care of them. 

What does your body need today?