Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Hope

I'm so thankful for Christmas and the HOPE that it gives us. 

God sent His Son, Jesus, to this world - 
- so that we could have a Savior. 
- so we could have eternal life. 
- so we could have hope.

Hallelujah! And Merry Christmas!

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. -Ephesians 1:18-19a

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. -Colossians 1:27

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Favorite Things

Even though this EI life is so challenging, I've been thinking about the many good gifts God has provided to help me walk this road. So here's a list of some of my favorite helpful and enjoyable things. =) 

*Peppermint oil - This is one of the few essential oils I've been able to use and I LOVE it! I enjoy the smell of it, which is in itself a wonder (since I reacted to any smells for many years, even natural ones). And it's great for so many things - relieving pain, lifting mood, detoxing, etc. My mom and I use it almost every day, so even when it's not Christmas season, our house still smells like Christmas! =) 

*Epsom salts - There's nothing like a foot bath or detox bath in epsom salts to relax you. They're also great for helping with detoxing. 

*EM1 - A friend told us about this unique product and it's been so helpful with our laundry! If our clothes get contaminated with chemicals, mold, etc. we soak them in a small amount of EM1 then wash again, and they come out fresh and clean (or at least much better...sometimes we have to soak them twice if it's a really stubborn chemical). The product information lists many other uses for this as well, though so far we've only used it in laundry.

*Charcoal - You can buy charcoal in capsules or powder. We mostly use the capsules. Charcoal binds with/absorbs many different chemicals and toxins. We keep a bottle of capsules in our car. Then if we go somewhere and get exposed to petroleum products, cigarette smoke, or other toxins, we just hold a few capsules in the right hand for 10 minutes. This helps to counteract the exposure. We also put charcoal tablets in new appliances for 10-20 minutes to help them off-gas. Sometimes I even set charcoal out in my room for 15-20 minutes, if I've been detoxing a lot and my room feels toxic. It's a wonderful tool for trying to live non-toxic. 

*Organic dark chocolate - There are a lot of unhealthy foods that I don't eat, so sometimes it feels like my diet is very limited. But I'm so thankful that organic dark chocolate is actually good for me! =) I usually eat 1 tiny square 2-3 times a day. It gives me a little energy boost and feels like a special treat, all while benefiting my health. Win-win! =) 

*Coconut oil - I use it all the time for cooking, baking, putting on my food, and even as a lotion. I like the flavor. I love the health benefits. And I appreciate having a wonderful multi-purpose product. 

*The beach - We don't get to go as often as we'd like. But when we do go, I love the fresh ocean breezes, walking in the sand, and watching the waves roll in. It's very healing and refreshing. =)

Well, those are some of my favorite things. What about you? What's one of your favorite healthy things?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Breaking Up With Sugar

I know they say that breaking up is hard to do...but sometimes it's necessary. Especially when it's with the culprit of sugar. 

I wrote a post about the harmful effects of sugar a few years ago. But with the holidays upon us, I thought this was a good time to address this topic again. 

Not only does sugar negatively affect the body in many different ways, but most people are way over-consuming sugar! 

Some form of added sugar is in almost every prepared food these days. 
"...added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods under more than 60 different names!"

Just how much sugar is too much?

"The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to nine teaspoons (38 grams) for men, and six teaspoons (25 grams) for women. The limits for children range from three to six teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day, depending on age...and I strongly recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources, including natural sources such as fruit—regardless of whether you’re male or female."

I eat almost completely sugar-free, but even then I probably get close to these numbers. I eat fruit every day, use honey in my non-yeast bread, and occasionally have an organic granola bar, which contains 9 grams of sugar.

The reason these numbers are so important is because of how our bodies work.

"The main problem with sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is the fact that your liver has a very limited capacity to metabolize it. According to Dr. Lustig, you can safely metabolize about six teaspoons of added sugar per day. As mentioned, the average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. All that excess sugar is metabolized into body fat, and leads to all of the chronic metabolic diseases we struggle with...."

The human body is not made to handle the high amounts of sugar people eat today. That's why “sugar consumption in America is one of the 3 major causes of degenerative disease." 

Many people say, "Well, I don't eat much sugar." But when you ask a few more questions, you realize they are consuming a LOT more sugar than they realize. "Sugar" isn't just cookies or candy. It's in almost every processed food, like tomato sauce, crackers, etc. If you read every label and added up how many grams a day you're consuming, it would probably be well over the recommended amount. 

The kind of sugar you consume is also important. High fructose corn syrup is probably the worst kind of sugar (see my previous post here). White table sugar runs a close second. However, things like fruit, honey, and even small amounts of real maple syrup have various health benefits - as long as they aren't over-consumed.

This time of year it seems like the sugar is flowing freely at every event and place you go. But I hope you'll consider what a gift you'll be giving your body, your health, and your loved ones if you break up with sugar. =) 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mercury In Your Teeth

Before my health crashed, two people in my extended family had the mercury fillings removed from their teeth. Then they both had dramatic recoveries of their health. (I never had any fillings put in my teeth, so this wasn't a factor for my health challenges.) 

The fact is that mercury is highly poisonous. It's a neurotoxin, which means it damages the brain. It also damages the nervous system, the kidneys, and more. It is especially dangerous for children, pregnant women (negatively affects the baby), the elderly, those with neurological problems, etc.

Mercury fillings are toxic and dangerous, yet many dentists are still ignorant or try to tell you these filings are harmless. Here are the facts:

"Dental amalgam is a primitive filling material made of between 43 and 54 percent mercury. Amalgam fillings are commonly called as “silver fillings” – a marketing term that deceives many consumers into believing that amalgam is mainly silver, which is only a minor component of amalgam. 
Amalgam is not stable after it is implanted into human teeth – it constantly releases mercury vapor into your body.  And this mercury bioaccumulates."

Mercury fillings also expand over time and can cause cracks in teeth requiring more dental work. 

And, mercury fillings are unnecessary since there are other healthier options.

"Amalgam is interchangeable with numerous other filling materials – including resin composites, compomers, and glass ionomers - that have rendered amalgam completely unnecessary for any clinical situation." 

So there's really no good reason to keep using mercury fillings, yet many dentists still do. It's so important for your health and your family's health to protect yourselves from mercury fillings! If you don't know about your dentist, just ask what they use. Or look for a natural dentist. This website has a directory of mercury-free dentists by state. 

For more reasons to choose a mercury-free dentist you can read this article or watch the short video on this website:

If you know you have mercury fillings, I encourage you to consider having them removed. However, be cautious in this endeavor. Some dentists take little to no precautions for this procedure, or even replace the old fillings with new ones that still have mercury! One natural health writer had this experience. He later had to have the procedure done again by a trusted dentist to remove the mercury fillings that supposedly were taken out the first time. This time his dentist followed a very careful procedure, including oxygen for the patient, and respirator masks for the dentists. You can read his story here. He also shares some things he did before and after the procedure to help his body handle the removal of the mercury (including high dose vit. C before and charcoal after). 

For detailed suggestions on how dentists should safely remove mercury filings, check out this website:

Be sure that the dentist you chose knows what he's doing, and research him/her to make sure they have no bad reviews of their work. Also, expect that your body will have a transition/detox period. I think the people I knew felt dramatically improved in their health in less than a month. It takes time, but the more healthy habits and detox therapies you can use, the easier it will be for your body to recover.

Getting the mercury out of your teeth is definitely a good step toward better health. For some people it's the big step they need to return to good health. For others, it's not the sole cure, but it is a significant piece of the puzzle. 

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions please post them in the comments. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful For You

On this beautiful Thanksgiving day, I just want to say that I am thankful for you! 

I'm thankful for your presence and light in this world.
I'm thankful that you care about health. 
I'm thankful that you care about people.
I'm thankful for what God is doing in your life through all the trials. 
I'm thankful for your support and prayers. 
I'm thankful that I can serve you in this small way of keeping this blog.

I continue to pray for better health for all of us! But most of all for life that is ever sweeter in Jesus, regardless of our circumstances. I'm thankful that His grace abounds, so much more than our needs!

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:8

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. To express my appreciation for you, I'll be happy to send a free ebook copy (as a pdf download) of my book, Seeing God Through The Storm to anyone who leaves a comment on this post today, tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday. 

And here's a song by Robin Mark that I've been listening to a lot lately. It's a good reminder of the many things we do have to be thankful for because of God's grace, in spite of the difficulties in this world. I hope it blesses you. 

Happy Thanksgiving. =) 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Have A Healthy Kitchen

This time of year there's usually a lot of cooking, baking and eating going on. =) So here are a few tips on keeping a healthy kitchen.

*Healthy dishes - 
Use glass dishes, cups, baking dishes, etc. Or use made in the USA corelle dishes or ceramic dishes, bowls, mugs, etc. Be sure to read labels and avoid any dishes made in China, as they often have high levels of toxins. 

Use stainless steel pots and pans. Avoid all teflon or non-stick coated dishes. 

Use stainless steel silverware and utensils. If you read labels, you can usually find some not made in China. 

Avoid plastic dishes, cups and silverware, as they can leach harmful chemicals including BPA and phtalates. (Here's a good article about the dangers of plastic dishes.) 

If you buy foods in plastic containers or buy bottled water, be sure to check them and look for the less-toxic plastic. Plastic bottles and containers should have a number on the bottom or somewhere indicating what kind of plastic has been used. Numbers 3, 6, and 7 are the worst, containing dangerous chemicals that leach more easily. Plastic numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are less toxic, but glass containers are still the best. 

*Healthy cooking - 
Never microwave foods or liquids. If you haven't read it before, here's my post on why you should say goodbye to your microwave.

Use butter or coconut oil for cooking, never margarine or "vegetable oil" which are toxic to the body. 

Try to cook meats within 24 hours of purchasing if possible. Meat that sits in the fridge for several days can grow bacteria, mold, etc. 

Once you cut an onion, don't store part of it in the fridge to use later. Onions attract bacteria, so they must be used as soon as they are cut, or you may eat the bacteria and get an infection. 

*Healthy food storage - 
Use cellophane bags (less-toxic) instead of plastic ziploc bags. Use glass jars or glass dishes for food storage instead of plastic tupperware.

Store leftovers in the freezer, unless they'll be eaten within 24 hours. Mold begins to grow on food very quickly in a refrigerator, so storing food in the freezer is the better option. (Tips for using your freezer to eat healthier.) 

*Healthy clean up - 
Use baking soda or non-toxic dish soap for washing dishes. Use Heinz vinegar for wiping off counters. Avoid chemical cleaners, anti-bacterial sprays, bleach, etc. Also, if you do use plastic dishes, don't put them in the dishwasher, as it will cause them to leach more chemicals. (And never put plastic water bottles in the dishwasher to reuse.)

Well, these are just a few tips. I hope they're helpful. Feel free to add anything else you can think of in the comments. =)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

With the first snows fallen and arctic air blowing across much of the country, I thought it would be good to repost this article about staying healthy in winter. I hope it's helpful. Please add any other tips you think of.

Have a Healthy Winter

Here in Florida, summer lasted longer than usual this year. But for many people I know winter is well on its way. So here are some tips to help you in preparing for a healthy winter. (They're useful any time of year, but especially during winter.)

*Avoid unhealthy foods.
Winter is a key time to give extra support to your immune system, and diet directly affects the immune system. There's a very good article on the Beyond Organic Insider blog about the dangers of sugar, including how it damages your immune system. With the holidays coming, sugar is often the main course. So as much as possible, help your immune system by saying no to sugar. Try to avoid unhealthy foods in general, such as processed foods, fried foods, candy, sweets, sodas, processed dairy, etc. Keep eating healthy foods, and don't feel bad about not eating the cookies at every event you go to. =) 

*Monitor your indoor air quality.
As people start using their fireplaces, smoke can be a problem. If you have cracks around doors or windows, aluminum foil tape is a great tool. Just peel off the backing and tape it wherever needed to keep out smells. We have it around both front and back doors. (It's also useful for covering up toxins you can't remove, such as the pipes we just had replaced in the bathroom.) You can find aluminum foil tape online. We usually order it from Foust.

Also try to air out your house often, whenever the weather is clear and dry. Indoor air can quickly become stale in winter. Keep it fresh as much as possible. Use these tips for eliminating any smells. 

*Use foods as medicine.
Organic coconut oil is anti-viral, onions are anti-bacterial, and garlic is anti-fungal (many other foods fit in these categories as well). Besides cooking with these foods, you can use them other ways as well. 

You can rub organic coconut oil on your feet if you're fighting a general viral infection. Or you can rub it on wherever a viral infection has localized - sinuses, throat, stomach, etc. (Just remember that a little coconut oil goes a long way. You probably only need a few drops, unless you have very dry skin. And yes, it makes a good lotion as well.)

Also, simply holding an onion in your right hand for 10-15 minutes can help your body fight off a bacterial infection. Likewise, holding a few garlic cloves in your right hand can help fight off fungal infections. In fact, many winter infections are fungal, even though they're often treated as viral or bacterial. That's one reason a healthy, anti-fungal diet is so helpful in winter. (Just be sure to throw away the onion or garlic after holding it as it is no longer safe to eat.)

*Be sure you're getting enough vitamin D.
Many people don't get enough sun exposure during the winter, thus are at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Be intentional about getting sun on your skin and consider supplementing with vitamin D if necessary for your situation. This article has some helpful tips for keeping vitamin D levels up through the winter.

*Keep moving!
Continue exercising and doing lymphatic massage. The natural tendency is to slow down during winter, which is ok as long as you're still moving enough and getting healthy sleep. The body needs movement to keep the lymph flowing and the immune system functioning well. Find a form of exercise that works for you and keep at it.

*Have fun!
Most of all keep smiling, laugh a lot, be silly, sing every day, have fun, and celebrate the special joys that come with the winter season. =)

What tips do you have for enjoying a healthy winter?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

EI Shopper's Thankful List

Since Thanksgiving is this month, I thought it would be good to list some of the stores/suppliers that I'm very thankful for as I try to live healthy in these challenging times.

So here's my Thankful Shopper's Top Ten list. Maybe it'll help you find some healthier shopping options as well. =)

1) Publix grocery store 
They sell a lot of organic foods now. I can get organic fresh and frozen veggies, organic fruit, healthier eggs, chicken and turkey. They also carry many other good products like organic and gluten-free flours, organic apple cider vinegar, etc. And they have excellent customer service. =)

(If you don't live in the southeast where Publix is, there are probably other similar stores in your area.)

2) Super Target
They carry the grass-fed beef I like to eat (Laura's Lean beef). They also still have the gallon jugs of Heinz brand vinegar. (The other stores quit carrying it for some reason.) I pretty much clean off the vinegar shelf every time I'm in there. =) And they still carry the quality bottled water we drink, and often put it on sale. Hooray! 

3) Our three local health food stores.
We can usually find whatever we need at one of these stores. Sometimes supplements are cheaper with online retailers, but many products we can get on sale or use coupons for at these stores.

There are some franchise health food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, but a lot of cities also have small, independent health food stores that are often even better, with helpful service, local produce, etc.

4) Local Farmer's Market
Ours meets every Monday evening. It's about 40 minutes away, but it's worth it to get organic, raw dairy products and other goodies. 

You can always search online to find a farmer's market in your area.

5) Wal-Mart
I'm so thankful that Wal-Mart still carries 100% cotton clothes, not made in China! I buy most of my clothes here and they often have good sales. They also sell notebooks made in the USA, paper plates with no BPA, and toothbrushes for sensitive teeth, made in Switzerland. 

Of course they still sell a lot of toxic and made in China products. But if you take the time and read labels you can find a lot of useful and inexpensive everyday products.

6) Sam's Club
They carry the 13.5 lb bags of baking soda for less cost than other stores. With how much baking soda we use, we're very thankful for this store. =)

The next three business I've mentioned before several times on this blog.

They have discount supplements, shower filters, cellophane bags (instead of plastic ziploc bags) and more.

They sell the air purifiers and replacement filters we have found to be most helpful for us. They also carry the dennyfoil and aluminum tape, which are indispensable products for keeping the home non-toxic.

They sell organic, 100% cotton fabric, sheets, pillows, clothes, etc. I'm so thankful for this company and their high quality products, so that I can have healthy sleep. 

And last but not least,

Believe it or not, they actually have many good products. If I can't find something locally or with one of the above retailers, I always check amazon. I've found 100% cotton rugs, not made in China. I've found affordable shoes and sunglasses made in Italy. I also buy my special organic chocolate here. They pretty much offer anything you can think of. Of course I prefer to support local businesses, but when necessary, I'm very thankful for Amazon's wide array of products.

Well, that's my thankful shopper's list! =)

Do you have any stores/suppliers you'd like to add?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let Your Light Shine

This time of year it seems like there's more activity of darkness than usual. My mom and I often feel an increase of spiritual oppression and attack during October. I'm always grateful when November 1st comes and the focus turns to being thankful instead of 'celebrating' evil. 

The fact is that Satan will not stop his agenda of stealing and destroying as long as the earth endures. While it's tempting to want to ignore him, I think the Bible is clear that we are both commissioned and equipped to overcome his evil tactics.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. -Romans 12:21

Those of us who believe in Jesus now live in God's light. 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

We never again have to wander through spiritual darkness. And we have all we need to let God's glorious light shine through us. 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. -2 Corinthians 4:6-7

Jesus lives in us. His light can shine through us to a world wandering in darkness. 

I know sometimes dealing with chronic illness can feel so limiting, so frustrating, like we've been robbed of so many things that 'normal' people take for granted. But Satan can never rob us of the light of Jesus living in us!! 

So I pray that whatever you're going through this week, you'll take some time today to focus on Jesus and to ask Him to shine His light through you. It doesn't have to be something big or difficult. 

*You can sing a praise song softly in your room. Other people may not hear it, but the spiritual forces of good and evil will hear it and Jesus will shine. 

*You can spend a few minutes praying for those still lost in darkness, or for those fighting hard to overcome evil in dark places around the world.

*You can quietly speak a blessing over people you pass in the store or parking lot.

*You can send a card or email to let someone know they are loved. 

*You can put a sign on your front door that says "Jesus loves you!" =)

There are so many ways that Jesus can shine His light through us. And as we each hold up our little candle flame, the light of Christ will shine brighter and brighter! 

My friend, you are irreplaceable in this world! Don't listen to Satan's lies. Remember who God says you are and bravely let your light shine!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Updates, Praises and Prayer Requests

I think it's been about six months since I shared prayer requests on here. I thought it would be good to update you on some of the people you've prayed for in the past, with some praises and some new requests. 

Praises - 

*D & G - one of my friends with EI and his mom who was taking care of him.
 Praise God that D is now MUCH improved! He's been able to be out and about and has joy and hope in his ongoing recovery. Hooray! =) 

*KT - a friend with various health challenges.
 Praise God that her husband was miraculously healed of two years of depression! We are SO happy and rejoicing with her! 

*W - EI friend who didn't have a safe place to live and was barely surviving.
 She found answers at last and with some oxygen therapy she is almost completely recovered! 

Praise God that He is still at work and still powerful to heal! 

Prayer Requests - 

*S & N - twin brothers who've had EI since high school. 
 Next week is their 40th birthday. They're still in essentially the same situation as when I met them 5 years ago. 
 Please pray for much grace and encouragement for them as they face this milestone of turning 40 with little visible hope for the future. I KNOW God has good plans for them, though it's hard to see right now. 

*A - my dear friend who has fought the long battle of lyme and all its repercussions.
 She's nearing the finish line of her journey. I rejoice that she will soon be with Jesus and be completely healed and full of life! Yet those of us blessed to know her will miss her dearly.
 Please pray for endurance through her final days, and for comfort for her loved ones as they say goodbye for now. 

*S & T - my friend who's been taking care of her son with severe chronic pain. 
 S's husband had serious heart trouble and spent three weeks in the hospital. He's now on a transplant list. T is still very ill with the chronic pain. As you can imagine, S is overwhelmed with the needs and concern for her husband and son. 
 Please pray for supernatural strength and peace for S, and for healing for her husband and son. 

*KM - friend with chronic fatigue and other ongoing health challenges.
 She has an appointment scheduled with Dr. Smith in November. 
 Please pray she'll have strength to make the trip to Idaho for the appointment. Also that Dr. Smith will have wisdom and his treatments will be very helpful!

Thank you for praying for these dear ones. As always, if you have a prayer request, please feel free to leave it in the comments or send me an email. 

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer (1 Peter 3:12).  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Improving Eyesight Naturally

I came across this video by Dr. Mercola about improving your eyesight naturally, and I found it very interesting. 

I actually quit using my glasses a few years ago for various reasons. Surprisingly, I haven't needed them as much since I stopped wearing them. 

I think this video has some helpful tips, and it made me curious about what other things I can do to improve my eyesight naturally. As I discover more information, I'll share it with you. 

Enjoy the video and let me know your thoughts as well.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

I remember eating banana bread a lot as a teenager. It was one of my favorite snacks. Then I had to give it up for many years because of my health challenges and diet changes. Thankfully I can now eat it again! 

So I thought I'd share the recipe I use now, which you can make with either gluten free flour or whole wheat flour. I still prefer the taste of the whole wheat, but the gluten free version is also pretty good. =) 

Healthy Banana Bread

scant 2 cups (not quite 2 full cups) flour
      Option 1- Bob's Red Mill gluten free baking flour
      Option 2 - Organic stone ground whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand, but there are other brands available as well.)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

2 organic eggs 
2-3 organic bananas (with the gluten free flour I use 3 bananas, with the whole wheat flour I prefer to use 2 bananas if they're large or 3 if they're small)
1 Tablespoon honey (If you like your bread sweeter, you can use more honey. This is plenty for my tastes.)
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
3/4--1 cup organic sour milk (Depending on which flour and how many bananas you use, you might want a little less or a little more liquid, so that's why it's 3/4--1 cup. Also, I make my own "sour milk" using organic raw milk from the farmer's market. Put the milk and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and it becomes "sour milk".) 

Combine dry ingredients. 
Add liquid ingredients. 
Stir and pour into glass baking dish greased with organic coconut oil. 
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. (If you use the gluten free baking flour, it's a little harder to tell if it's done. But it usually takes closer to 30 minutes.)
Serve it hot with a bit of organic raw butter. Yum! =)

Note: It also freezes well. I slice mine and put it in the freezer for when I need a quick snack. 

Ok, I think that's all. Any questions? Let me know. Enjoy! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Most Important Question

I hear and read so many stories of people facing health challenges these days. For most, it seems to come as a shock. They often ask questions like - 
What do I do now? 
How can I fix this? 
Will it ever go away? 

However, the most important question to ask when facing health challenges is simply this - 

Why is the thyroid not functioning properly?
Why is the stomach always upset?
Why is the blood pressure too high?
Why are the allergies getting worse?

Very few doctors ever ask this question. Most of them simply give a name to your "condition" and start treating symptoms. 

We've seen this with my mom's recent health challenges. She had a rapid heartbeat, along with atrial fibrillation. The doctor immediately put her on medication, then he scheduled a heart shock procedure to supposedly get the heart back in rhythm. I will say that I'm grateful the doctor was able to help mom through the symptoms, which were pretty scary. (The shock procedure didn't work though). However, the doctor never asked, "Why is your heart beating rapidly? Why did it get out of rhythm in the first place?" 

These are questions my mom and I have been working to answer. So far we've discovered several contributing factors to her years of a-fib, including - arsenic in her thyroid, artificial sweetener in several organs, vit. A deficiency, and more.

Once you find some answers to the "Why...?" question, then you are able to figure out what to do, how to help your body heal, and to have hope of recovery.

Usually the answers to "Why...?" fall into a few basic categories, such as -

-toxins stored somewhere (this can be anything from pesticide to mercury to past medications and more)
-chronic infection somewhere (virus, bacteria, fungus, parasites, etc.)
-deficiency of something (vitamins, minerals, enzymes)

Also, by the time your body exhibits symptoms, there are usually several problems going on at once. So all of the above issues could be happening.

The important thing to remember when something in your body is not functioning as it should, is that there is ALWAYS a reason. If you start asking "Why...?" and do a little detective work, then you'll be ready to make a plan of what to do. And you'll be able to help the body heal and return to optimal function.

So what's your most important question today? 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Health Benefits of Singing

I love to sing, 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! 

More specifically, singing various sounds can help certain organs. I found the information on this website very interesting and definitely worth a try. It says:

*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. 

"Group singing is cheaper than therapy, healthier than drinking, and certainly more fun than working out. It is the one thing in life where feeling better is pretty much guaranteed."

"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). J Sometimes I catch myself singing a song with words that really aren't what 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.

Whether by yourself or in a group, have fun singing and knowing it's good for you! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Reasons Why You May Feel Worse

Working to improve your health often requires detective skills. There will be times when you feel worse instead of better, and you'll have to use your skills to figure out why. 

So here are some thoughts that I hope will help you when you wonder why you're feeling worse instead of better. 

First of all, if you haven't been doing anything lately to improve your health, then you can assume that if you're feeling worse, it's not a good thing. New symptoms or old symptoms returning are a warning sign for you. Your body is trying to get your attention. It's telling you it needs help! So please listen to your body and take some positive actions for your health.

Now, if you have been doing things to improve your health (lymphatic massage, detox baths, supplements, etc.), and you start to feel worse, there are several options of what might be happening. 

- an undedected chemical exposure
- an allergic reaction (more about allergies here)
- combination allergy to something you're detoxing and something you're normally ok with
- detoxing symptoms (more info here)
- your body trying to find its new "normal"

Let's look at some possible examples:

You visit a friend's house every week, but this week for some reason you feel awful by the time you leave - aching, tired, headache, etc. Why?

You've been taking a new supplement that seems to be helping, then suddenly you break out in a rash. Why? 

You eat something you've eaten before many times, but this time have a problem with it. Why? 

Ok, in the first example, since you've been fine at your friend's house before, you guess that something must be different this time. You call your friend and discover her husband sprayed for weeds right before you came. So the reason you felt worse was because of a chemical exposure. You didn't know about it, but your body felt the effects of it.

Example number two could be that you're having a delayed allergic reaction to the new supplement. Or it could be that the supplement is boosting your immune system or causing your body to detox something that needs to come out through the skin, thus the rash. This is actually a good sign.

In the third example, it's possible that something you are detoxing is reacting with the food you're normally ok with. Or it could be that as you've detoxed/healed, your nutritional needs have changed and your body doesn't want that particular food right now. 

There are other possible variations as well. It's not always easy to figure out what the problem is, but hopefully considering these options will guide you in your detective work. It's important to remember that not all symptoms are a bad thing. Sometimes they're actually a good indication that your body is indeed healing.

As far as what to do in these kinds of situations, taking tri-salts is good for allergic reactions and chemical exposures, and it won't hurt even if that's not what is happening. 

For chemical exposures, try to get away from or remove the chemical source as soon as you figure it out. Drink lots of water, take a detox bath, hold some zinc tablets in your right hand for 10 minutes, etc.

If you're fairly certain the symptoms are from detoxing, then try to endure knowing that it's part of the healing process. Again, you can drink more water, take extra Vit. C, get a detox bath, do deep breathing, get extra rest, and/or slow down with the supplements/therapies that started the detoxing. 

As you heal, your body will be changing. Pay attention to healthy cravings, such as for certain fruits or vegetables, or wanting more or less meat, raw foods or cooked foods, etc. Your body will try to communicate its needs. 

(Some examples: at times I crave tangerines, or I can't even think about eating zucinni, or an apple sounds like the best thing in the world, etc. Of course, unhealthy cravings for sugary or junk foods doesn't mean you should eat them, but does indicate a need in your body.) 

Sometimes you may feel worse because of doing too many detoxing/healing therapies at once. Your body may be overwhelmed. In that case, back off and start more slowly. Detoxing/healing doesn't always feel good. A little discomfort is expected, but you don't want to push your body to heal faster than it can handle. 

Well those are some thoughts. I hope they're helpful. If you have any questions, let me know. And I hope you have more days of feeling better and fewer days of feeling worse. =) 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Healing Power of Love

I had a rather strange dream last night. Well, most of my dreams are strange, but this one still has me thinking.

In this dream, as often happens in my dreams, I was involved in some sort of conflict. As the "bad" guys came toward me, I somehow knocked down the first man, even though he was huge and obviously strong. Then suddenly he became the one who stopped all the other bad guys. I was surprised, but grateful. 

Then he looked at me. In his eyes I saw a love deeper and stronger than I can describe. He didn't say a word, but I knew he loved me. And it wasn't the same look as someone who is simply "in love" with me. It was a strong, solid love that would protect me at all costs, even sacrifice himself for me. 

I was stunned.

The dream moved on, as dreams do. But the other bad guys hadn't given up. They tried to get me by pushing some kind of wall over on me. I was trapped in a tiny space as the wall slowly lowered on top of me. I crawled through the little tunnel space, trying to get to the end so I could get out. 

My hand was barely at the opening, and the wall was almost crushing me, when I was pulled out by strong hands. I looked up into the same loving eyes as before. Once again he spoke no words, just looked at me with deepest love. 

That was the end of the dream. There was no resolution to the original conflict, just the knowledge that I was loved, and loved more deeply than I ever expected.

I'm very grateful for all of the loving people God has blessed me to know. I certainly haven't had a lack of love in my life. 

Yet I think that love is a gift that needs to be received, not just acknowledged. Knowing that someone loves me is different than receiving their love with gratitude. 

I think part of learning to receive love is understanding the source of love. 

God is love. All love comes from Him. And His love is higher, deeper, wider, and longer than anything we can imagine (Ephesians 3:17-19)! 

God's love for us is so intense that He actually gave His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins (John 3:16) -
*so that we would no longer be God's enemies (Colossians 1:21-22)
*so that we could be rescued from death, despair, fear, loneliness, darkness... (Hebrews 2:14-15)
*so that we could find everything we need in the vast riches of God's love (Psalm 63). 

God's love is powerful! 

As we understand God's love better, I think we'll recognize His love expressed to us through others. And as we learn to gratefully receive love from God and others, it brings continual healing - to our heart, mind, soul, and even physical body. 

When I got up this morning, I wasn't feeling well, but I pushed myself to fix some breakfast. As I sat down to eat, I remembered my dream. I saw again those eyes of love looking back at me. And I couldn't help but smile. 

There is something very powerful in believing that I am loved.

So if you haven't heard it in a while, I want to tell you right now - You are loved. 

You are valued.
You are cherished.
You are treasured.
You are delighted in.
You are fully known and fully loved by an awesome God, with a love that is far beyond anything you've ever imagined! 

Please receive His love with gratitude. Let it put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Let it heal things you never thought could be healed. Let it strengthen you. Let it flow through you to others who need to know they are loved as well. 

This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. -1 John 4:9-10, 16a

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. -Jeremiah 31:3