Monday, September 23, 2013

It Takes Guts: Part 4- The Gut- It's not a litter box, so stop treating it like one.

Ah, the gut.  It's a fascinating subject.  Really it is!
I have read a lot about it this past year and a half and what I have learned is that if our guts aren't healthy, we aren't healthy.
Period and the end.
I'm excited about this part of our series because I think it is so important!

But before we get started, let me remind you about part 1.
You know the part where I tell you that I am not a professional and I still have a long way to go.

In part 2  I told you our story and now some of you won't look me in the eye.

Part 3 we talked about the big subject of gluten, and I am happy to report that some of you have begun to make changes to remove gluten and see if that is indeed part of your problem.
Yay you!  You are on the road to healing your gut.
Which brings us to part 4.  Don't you love it when things come full circle?

I became interested in gut health last year when my sister started telling me the things that she was learning. Living in Africa and subjected to a lot of different germs and bacterias, she was learning what part getting their  guts healthy could play in their overall health.
During that time I was still struggling with a lot of digestive issues despite that fact that I had been gluten free for almost a year.  This is when I started to learn that gluten free was not the only answer and that I had a really unhealthy gut. This was a whole new concept to me.

I know many of my friends were getting tired of my stomach always hurting.
So was I.

I'm happy to report now that I don't have many episodes of my stomach hurting, however I do still struggle with GERD.  I'm trying to get a hold on that, and still see things I could change and do better.
However, as I've said in my other posts, this whole health thing is baby steps, and although I have made a ton of them, I still have many more baby steps to go in my gut healing and over all health.

Now lets get started shall we?

Did you know that our guts contains millions upon millions of bacteria?
Our guts are their own little ecosystem and it's a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria.
This necessary bacteria takes up about 5 pounds of weight in your gut and helps determine many other factors like disease, inflammation, and even mood and mental health.
Studies have shown that our guts are responsible for 60-80% of our immune system.
Makes sense since so many of us are sick.

There are many reasons why our guts are unhealthy.
The two most common are the food we eat and the medicines we take.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am not anti doctor or anti medicine.


Antibiotics and over the counter meds are overused.
I've been the queen of it, so I can say it.
My kids lived on antibiotics their first 3 years of life.
Every time you are on antibiotics, you lose valuable healthy bacteria, and most of us don't do anything to replace it.

Remember, we talked in part 3 about the fact that todays wheat is not the same as the wheat of old.
The same holds true for just about everything we eat.
The typical American diet is full of processed foods, sugar, additives, etc, and not a lot of whole -healthy foods.  It only makes sense that since we eat a bunch of crap, we feel like crap.

Let's make this very clear....I am not judging you!

I have only in the past 2 years made any positive changes for myself, and am now trying to incorporate these changes into my family.  I know all to well how hard it is to make changes for myself, let alone my family.
Our food system is set up to perpetuate our bad eating habits. It's all about ease and convenience and I understand that because we are all busy and going in a million directions.
I was at Sams the other day and man do they make all that food look good and it's all such a good deal!
It's all about buying lots and buying it conveniently.
They even give you samples to try and then you are hooked.
I get it.

We've also been taught to eat and cook a certain way.  That way may have been ok 50 years ago, but todays food is not the same as it was back then, so our guts are paying the price.
I love Grandmas passed down recipes!  I am all about nostalgia food and comfort food.


It's such a hard dichotomy.
We live in this age of modern medicine and abundant food, and yet, cancer, disease, and just all around feeling bad, is on the rise.
There has to be a connection between all this disease and our food, and therefore our guts.

There is a new buzz phrase that has gained popularity recently and it is called "Leaky Gut".
Yeah, its just as gross as it sounds.
For a long time it was one of those things that doctors discarded because they didn't know much about, and there really isn't a test to diagnose it.
However, more doctors are looking now at the validity of this Leaky Gut, and are taking it a little more seriously.
I have talked with my doctor about it and he agrees. Yay!

But what is it you crazy lady?

Think about your gut as a long, hollow tube.
You've got this whole tube that everything we put into our mouths goes through.
It's a fascinating process.
This tube is meant to keep harmful things out of the rest of our bodies and process everything else to its necessary places.

Our gut should act as a strong, solid door, protecting our bodies from harmful toxins, bad bacteria, and properly digest our food.

With a Leaky Gut, that door is broken down and you are left with a screen door instead.
Through that screen goes all the bad bacteria that the good bacteria is supposed to take care of, undigested pieces of food, and other toxins that we take in.  Now those things are just in your body, and causing harm.

Who wants a screen to protect them from harm?  
Not me, and yet that is exactly what happened to my gut.  
Through years of bad eating and lots of different meds, my gut wall was eventually being chiseled away from harmful toxins and bad bacteria.  Not only was there the bad bacteria, I wasn't replacing it with good bacteria to heal the damage.  
This caused a lot of years of sickness for me.  I struggled constantly with sinus infections, and every cold or flu that came around, not to mention constantly feeling achy, random fevers, and the dreaded "IBS".  
Because my gut wasn't doing what it is supposed to do.  It wasn't being a solid door, protecting me from all the yuck. 

This is a good article that talks about Gut health in more detail.  
You really should read it. 

This one talks more about the the bacteria and leaky gut. 

And this one is a little more in depth.

If you really want to know more about the science of the gut, I highly recommend these articles. 
It is fascinating!  I think it's amazing that God created our bodies to work and function on a certain level. He also has given us foods to help it function in a healthy way. We just usually choose the wrong ones, and usually because they taste good and it's easy or convenient. 
Our bodies are paying the price for what we are eating, and that price doesn't always manifest itself is typical "tummy troubles".  ADHD, depression, skin problems, chronic disease, autoimmune disorders, and all sorts of other ailments can, in many instances, be chalked up to unhealthy guts.  
Look at the information.  It makes sense! 

Have you ever read a food label?  I know I never did.
They are filled with all sorts of stuff we can't say and certainly don't know what they are.

Lest you think I am judging you, I still have foods with ingredient labels in my house.
I just buy a lot less.  
I try to do all of my meal cooking with whole-natural foods. That has been a gradual process.  I didn't just one day tell my family I was doing it, I've just over time, done it. Nobody complains about dinner.  We eat good stuff and are full. 

What do we eat?
We eat meats, vegetables, potatoes, rice, beans, and every Saturday night we have homemade gluten free pizza. We eat good stuff!
For lunches we have homemade soup, nitrate free hot dogs or bacon, eggs, leftovers, etc.
I've recently started making our own protein bars and snack/energy bites, instead of the ones that are supposed to be healthy, yet filled with more ingredients I can't pronounce. I make us our own gluten free oatmeal too.  I buy the bag of gf oatmeal and then prepare it myself. 
But like I said, I do have labeled food in my house, I just have less than I did before.
I'm trying to live by the 80/20 rule.

That was a little bit of side note, but the point of it is that all of these foods that we put into our body on a daily basis, without thinking about it, are contributing to our unhealthy guts.  
There is a lot of information out there about the harmful effects of all of these crazy ingredients, including the dyes like red 40, yellow 6, etc....  Maybe I'll do a blog about that too :)

Over time, eating a lot of this, and not a lot of real food, breaks down that door in our guts.
Some of us are more sensitive to it than others, and others it can take a long time to feel the effects.
Honestly, I'm jealous of my friends that don't have any visible effects of a bad gut.
I don't think it means it's not there though, and over time things will begin to manifest themselves.
It's still better to not eat so much processed food, whether you feel bad or not.
In my next blog, we are going to talk about auto immune disease and all of this is going to unravel itself even more.  

One more thing about Leaky Gut.  Dr. Oz did a show recently on it and showed a lady and her 3 year old son who had debilitating arthritis. It was a juvenile form and the poor baby suffered from debilitating pain. The doctors gave him NSAIDS (Advil, Aleve, Motrin, etc...) and then started him on powerful chemotherapy drugs.  None of this helped.
Another Dr said that this could be related to Leaky Gut and started him on an "alternative treatment" of diet change and natural supplements, and no more meds.
Ya'll...6 weeks later that baby got out of bed and said "Mommy, my knees don't hurt anymore!"

Oh how I wonder how many diseases could be cured if more doctors would look at the gut and healing it first!   Heal the gut first and then go from there if that didn't work.  It certainly can't hurt to have a healthy gut.

Healing Your Gut
So what can you do to reverse Leaky Gut and turn that screen door back into a solid studly protector?
What can you do to prevent damage and disease?
There are several things that I've been doing, and let me remind you that there are many things I still need to do better!

1. Bone Broth-
If you are my friend, then you probably refer to me as the crazy witch doctor lady that stews bones and chicken feet.
But hey, guess what!  That's how you make broth!
Your grandma has been making broth from her leftover chicken carcass's since her grandma taught her how to do the same.
The broth you buy in the store comes from bones.  It's just a weak form of it that doesn't hold the same nutrients and usually has added stuff that ruins it. 
Homemade bone broth is 1) great tasting and 2) so so good for you.
Broth that is made right will gel. 
Gel you say?  That's disgusting!

I'm about to rock your world and everything you've ever found comforting about being a kid.

Its made from the collagen that comes from animal skin and bones.  
I'm not kidding.  
Read about it here, here, and this one here is especially interesting. 

Now here's the good news!  The gel that is made when when you make homemade broth is extremely healthy for you and your gut!  (the gel they use for jell-0 not so much, since they add all that other stuff to it)
I like to think of this good bone broth gel as Spackle for my gut. 
When you drink this good for you, homemade broth, it goes into that long tube of a gut of yours and starts to repair that mesh like screen.  All that collagen acts, like I said, as Spackle.  
I love to think about that when I drink my bone broth soups.  
I get this picture in my head of these little people in my gut working really hard to spread Spackle over everything.  
It makes me feel all warm and tingly inside.  
Missy likes. 

Don't you remember when you were sick as a kid and your mom would give you chicken noodle soup?  It's been a thing for forever to eat chicken soup when you are sick.
This is why!  
Chicken broth, and I mean REAL chicken broth, has so many healing properties, vitamins and nutrients in it. 

Check out this link that tells you what bone broth can heal and how to make it.
This link tells you information about cooking with bones and what benefits they have. 
This one is great! Read it!

Ya'll, I'm not kidding, I could read about this stuff all the live long day!
It absolutely excites and fascinates me!
I wanna throw a bone broth party and you are all invited!

Alright.  I'll stop freaking you all out with my love and admiration for bone broth, and move onto something a little more tame.

2. Probiotics-
Did you ever go on a round of antibiotics and your mom made you eat yogurt for the probiotics?
The concept was there, there's just a lot more to it.
Read about the importance of probiotics here, here, and especially here. 
Probiotics play a huge roll in the healthy bacteria in our guts.
Remember I said that we have millions of bacterias in our guts, and some are good and some are bad.  
Probiotics help promote the good ones so that the bad ones don't stand a chance.
I take probiotics in chewable pill form.

That's an easy way to start.
Once you really start to get into this, there are a lot of other ways to get probiotics.
Kefir for instance.  I've used Kefir but I let the grain die and I need to start a new one.

The next thing I am going to try is fermented fruits and vegetables. 
Now you REALLLLLY think I am crazy dontcha?!
If you'd like to read more about it, you can do so here.
It's a great source of probiotics, plus its easy and cheap to make!
I'm gonna do it. 
I'm all about easy and cheap.

Hey Missy, what about yogurt?
Yogurt can be a good source of a certain kind of probiotics, but its not all inclusive.  
Also, buy the real and good stuff.
Something like Stoney field greek yogurt, or fage.
NOT the kinds that are loaded with lots of sugar and other crap. 
You are kind of defeating the purpose at that point.

Alright, so lets summarize todays lesson.

*Our guts are like a second brain.  Our guts send information TO our brains and a lot of that information is that we are ill.  Depression, skin disorders, tummy troubles, chronic fatigue, foggy brain, autoimmune disease, these are all things that our unhealthy guts can cause.

*Our guts are unhealthy because our food system is unhealthy. 
Our food is convenient and tastes good and we rely on it.

*Going gluten free was not enough for me.  It was a start, but not enough. My gut was literally leaking all the bad stuff into my body and I was sick.

*Eating cleaner, bone broth, probiotics...these are all things that have helped heal my gut.

*Baby steps.  Cut out some of your processed foods, and add something clean.

* Start taking one form of probiotics.

*If you are really brave, start making bone broth.  It works wonders and you can even use it in your rice, beans, potatoes, anything you usually cook in just water.  
You may even want to bathe in it.
Just kidding.
(Note to self...check into benefits of bathing in bone broth.)

*Know that any changes you make aren't going to work over night.  Healing takes time!  
I am 2 years into this thing and am still healing, but I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is so worth it!  I cannot begin to tell you how much better my quality of life is.
Be patient.

*I love you and I want to see you be healthy because you are worth it!

Everybody good? Everybody happy? 
I want you to tune in next week as we talk about food allergies and autoimmune disease.
Why are they so rampant these days?
I don't have a lot of answers, but I have done some research that you might like.

Tata for now!  Go get that gut healthy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It Takes Guts: Part 3- Gluten- The Smelly Cat

Ya'll are all good blog readers and you've already read Part1 and Part 2, and now you are ready to dig in, get down to the nitty gritty, pump up the jam pump it up, get this party started, and find out why I say things like "Gluten is the smelly cat."

Remember when Phoebe Buffay gave us the classic "Smelly Cat" song?
"Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smelly cat, it's not your fault!"
Well written Pheobe Buffay, and wise words to boot. 

Just like the smelly cat couldn't help that it was smelly, neither can gluten help that it is so glutenee.
(That is an official word.)
I feel bad for the gluten.  Really I do!
It's become such a hot topic these days and all it was trying to do is what God made it to do...
Hold dough together.

This is a good article that tells you what Gluten is.
Read it if you like, or here is an excerpt with the main point.
( I like to make things easy on you cause I'm cool like that.)

"Gluten is shorthand for a family of storage proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. The gluten proteins are found in the mature seed of these cereal grasses, which is what we refer to as the grain. Close relatives of wheat, such as spelt, triticale, kamut, farro, and einkorn, also contain gluten..."

So gluten is protein that binds. 

Kind of like the tie.  
Bad joke.
Gluten starts with "gl, as in glue, so you can think of gluten as the glue that gives baked goods their chewy yumminess.  
The problem is that this particular protein is hard on some guts, therefore producing yucky side effects.

Within gluten, there are 4 main proteins.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It Takes Guts: Part 2- Our Story- Why I have become the crazy lady you all think I am.

*Warning- This will be long, as it is after all, our story. However, I think it is important for me to write it all down to see where we came from.
And sadly, how far we still have to go.

So here we go.
You might wanna grab a drink.
Just don't spill it on your computer and then blame it on me.

When I was 14 years old my appendix ruptured, a couple of days after Christmas.
We had moved from Charlotte, NC to Marietta, Ga in August of that year, but my mom had brought me back to Charlotte that day to go on a ski trip with my old youth group.
I had not been feeling well for a couple of days, but was so excited about this trip that mom drove me up there anyways, in hopes it would pass.  That night I woke up in the middle of the night in extreme pain.  We were staying at my best friend Stacey's house, and her dad was a big fire fighter dude and I remember him carrying me out to the car and he and my mom driving me to the ER.
When we got to the ER, they took me back to xray and when I stood up for the xray, I passed out from the pain.  I woke up hours later after  having an emergency appendectomy due to a ruptured appendix, and then spent a week in the hospital.
( I also woke up to a large bald male nurse pushing drugs into my IV and I think he was an albino, but I'm not sure on that.  Remember, he was pushing drugs into my IV.)

When I was 15 I got mono.  I didn't get it from kissing boys. I think I got it from drinking after somebody at a fall time weekend camp retreat. (Again when I went back to NC for a visit. Are you sensing a trend here?).
I was sick for a long time.  I missed a couple weeks of school and it took me a long time to recover.

In the meantime and for a long time after, I got strep throat alot and was plagued with sinus infections.
I got the flu pretty much every year.

When I was 20, I got a bad case of pleurisy.  (Its like pneumonia I think.) It was so bad that I had to leave college for 2 weeks and go home so my family could take care of me.

When I was 24 I got pregnant with my first kid and had 9 months of constant sickness and vomiting that resulted in home IV's and me losing 35 lbs my first trimester. The kid was sucking me dry! That was followed by the labor and delivery from hell. (It did result in a cute boy, with the biggest cone head you've ever seen! But he was all worth it!)

When I was 26 I got pregnant with my second kid and it was basically lather, rinse, repeat, except this one had home IV's plus hospitalization for the sickness, then pre term labor with bed rest, followed by a horrible delivery ending in an emergency c-section.  ( It also resulted in a cute girl, so again, it was all worth it.) The Dr tied my tubes after this one and told me I couldn't have any more babies.  I was sad cause I love my babies and make cute ones, so a few more would have been great!

When I was 27 I had gall stones and had my gall bladder removed.

When I was 33 I had my tonsils removed.
(* I don't recommend this as an adult)

When I was still 33 my uterus that had taken a beating in my 20's decided it was ready to come out, and tried to on its own.  So in I go for another surgery.  Hysterectomy at 33.  Woohoo.
(P.S.  This technically turned into 2 surgeries.  While doing the hysterectomy, I was also getting a much needed bladder tack.  In that process my bladder was nicked and so the next day it was back to surgery to fix that and remove the bladder tack. )

When I was 35 I had my wisdom teeth taken out.
This doesn't really mean anything, just throwing it out there.
Or does it?

I'm now 38 and I've had 3 endoscopy's.
The only thing good about that is that I say crazy things when I wake up from those.
For example...
"I don't want to eat squid".
"I want to go to Chuck E Cheese."
Oh, and this one came after the wisdom teeth...
"Why did they bears take my teeth?  They already have teeth!"
The plan for the rest of my life is no more opportunities for anaesthesia, but if I have to, I'll invite you along.  It's a blast.

Bored yet?
Wondering what's left to remove?
Wondering if you can see my scars?
UM. No.
Wondering why I just told you all of that?
I'll get to it but first lets talk about my husband for a minute.

In 2003 he was working for Olan Mills as a church directory photographer.  Many of you friends have his work hanging in your living rooms.
Go ahead and look at that picture.  Reflect on how fast time goes by. No you didn't look better then! You look amazing now!  Yes, your kids have grown way to fast. No, Olan Mills no longer does church directories. Yes, it's time for a new family picture.
OK.  Are we done with the trip down memory lane?  Ready to get back to the task at hand?
Like I was saying before you all interrupted me with your moment of nostalgia, Stacy was up in Gadsden taking pictures at a church and got really sick.  So sick as a matter of fact that he went to an urgent care facility in the area that did an xray and told him to get to the ER.  So sick, that his boss had to drive him back to Birmingham to get to the hospital.
He spent a week in the hospital and underwent some tests and procedures and we found out that he had Chrons disease.
What is that?  At that time in 2003, we had no idea. I had never even heard of it.  I didn't know if that meant my husband of only 4 years and the father of my 3 and 1 year olds was going to be around to help me raise these two.  I was uninformed and at that point in my life, didn't know where to find out the answers.

More about that later.
I am a barrel of mystery today.
Maybe I should call this series "Missy's Mystery Machine".
I always wanted to be Daphne.  She had cute clothes and all the boys liked her.
I digress.

Moving onto my sweet darling daughter.
Bless her heart.  She struggled pretty early on with stomach issues.
Potty training her was hard because of it.
When she was 3 years old she got her first Urinary Tract infection and would drop to her knees and scream because it hurt so bad.  It was horrible to watch.  HORRIBLE.
They put her on the traditional UTI antibiotics and turns out, she was allergic.
After hearing her in her room in the middle of the night having a conversation with herself, I went in to find her burning up with fever, hallucinating, and broke out in a rash.
Bye Bye Bactrum.
She struggled for several years with on and off again UTIs.
When she was 7, the Dr. sent her for those dreaded tests they do where they shoot the dye in through the catheter. They had to stop the test short because she had an infection, so poor baby had to do it again later, and again later, she had an infection.
They put her on a dose of antibiotics for a year. One year. I didn't know much, except that this would hopefully prevent more infections.
A few months later, she was having a lot of stomach pain. I took her up to the local urgent care place where they did an xray and said she was all stopped up.
 (you know....with poop....It's my blog and I can say poop if I want to)
He gave me some medicine and said she'd be cleaned out by morning and sent me on my merry way.
By the next morning, nothing had happened. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.
We had even stayed home from church that night in anticipation of you know...stuff happening.
So by the next morning, when nothing happened, this is were my brain went.

"My husband has chrones disease.  Chrones disease causes bowel obstructions. The medicine they said would clean her out by morning has done nothing.  She is miserable in pain.  She just threw up. I need to take her to the local childrens hospital ER because if she does have what her daddy has, that's where we need to be."

Seems like a decently logical argument.  I even consulted some medical type friends and it was agreed that something is up.
So off we go to the ER on a Thursday morning.
I'm going to spare you all the details, because well...they are ugly, and they make me mad and cause my blood pressure to rise.
Suffice it to say, the ER staff that day was not on their "A" game.  They weren't even on there "C" game, and my poor sweet daughter went through a very traumatizing experience that caused her post traumatic stress anxiety issues for years to come.
(If you don't know her, she is one of the most chilled and laid back kids around.  Doesn't put up a fight over stuff, and has a really calm, sweet temperament.)

We did leave the ER with her cleaned out and with the assurance that there was not an obstruction.
We also left with a referral to a GI Dr.
We went to said GI Dr for over a year and the only place that got us was 2 invasive procedures (a barium enema and a rectal biopsy) and a lifetime RX for something to help her poop.  Oh, and I got something too!  I got treated like I didn't know that children should drink water and eat fiber.
I always felt like the GI Dr thought it was my fault my child couldn't poop.
There are plenty of things that I have done wrong with my kids that are my fault, but my child not pooping is not one of them.

We also got conflicting reports between the GI Dr and the Urinary Dr.  The Urologist said the UTIs were being caused from the chronic constipation.  The GI Dr said, No way!
I sided with the urologist.  It made a lot of sense!
Those areas are very close to one another and all of the infections she got were ecoli infections. Ecoli is from the poop.  So why wouldn't the infections be because of the constipation?
Not to mention the fact that the Mirilax they had her on to help her poop, made it such a sticky mess, and she's a small child...well can imagine.

So round and round we went for about 18 months.
At this point, I have had enough.

Oh. You've had enough too?
Ok.  Go get you a little snack.  Some grapes?  A cup of hot tea?  A little piece of chocolate?
Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala. Ooooooohhhhhhahhhhhhhh.

All better?  Good, cause we are just getting to the good stuff!

Around the time that I decided I was done with getting no where with the specialists, I had started to piddle around with the whole gluten free thing for myself.  A couple of my dear friends were doing the same, and were seeing results, so I thought I should too.
My mom had mentioned to me some months before that gluten might be an issue with Lana.
I did a quick google search and determined that was not the case.  It seemed like gluten issues was for people with diarrhea and that was NOT her problem. Sigh.
I was ignorant but at this point was also desperate. I put Lana on a one week "Gluten Free Trial."
Being the sweet and laid back girl that she is, she agreed.
After 5 days, she said "Can I do it for another week?"
After another week, she said "Can I do this for another week?"
After less than two weeks, she was no longer taking the medicine to help her poop, was going on her own, and her pee didn't stink. (That was one of the things about the constant UTI's.  You could still smell her pee long after she left the bathroom.  That is embarrassing for a kid.  That is embarrassing for anyone!).

Now.  Lets go back to the top and my story.
Did you read the ridiculous list of surgeries and illness?
Does it seem like any of those things are related?
Some of them yes, some of them no.
Horrible pregnancies don't have anything to do with wisdom teeth, or my tonsils.
My gall bladder has nothing to do with pneumonia.
And yet, I can look at it all now and see how that every one of those experiences was slowly sucking my health well dry.
Each surgery, every round of antibiotics, every invasive procedure, was chiseling away at the wall in my gut.  A wall that is supposed to be like a solid door, but gradually through all these years of all of the above, turned into more of a screen door.
"Say what crazy lady?  No habla cray cray!"

Here's the deal.
I am going to explain.
But not in this post.
Like I said in part 1, this will be a 7 part series.
So my crazy issues, you know the ones about my gut being a screen instead of a solid, well I am going to explain that in Part 4- The Gut.
I say I'm going to explain.  What I'm going to do is present to you facts that I have learned over the past year and then you are going to say "OH! That makes sense!"

The story about my husband and the Chrones disease?
Yep, that will be covered in Part 5- Autoimmune disease.
The issue of the Gluten?  Coming up next in Part 3.

Now for your homework.
Yeah, I'm assigning homework.
It's my blog, I can talk about poop and assign homework.
The homework is easy and simply this.
I want you to think about your overall health, over the course of your life.
Have you been well?  Do you struggle with reoccurring anything? Sinus infections, strep throat, stomach bugs, eczema, depression, or any other thing that effects your life?
Think about your top 10 favorite foods and drinks.

See?! Now that isn't so bad for homework is it?
Think about those things and over the course of the next few parts of this series, see how they fit.

Just as a reminder.
Read part one for disclaimers.
I don't want to have to keep reminding you that I am not a Dr, that I don't judge you, that I want to fix you but I can't fix you, etc etc.

Check back next week as we get down to the knitty gritty!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It Takes Guts: Part 1- Just like Coldplay, I will try to fix you. ( Just like Coldplay, I can't fix you)

We all know that Thomas Edison was a smart guy.  You are sitting somewhere reading this, by a light, that you most likely turned on by a switch, thanks to him
( And others.  I know. Who invented what isn't the point here.
Why are you still arguing?).
I wonder how many times he and other inventors like him failed before they got the final product.  When they got the final product, I bet there was a small window of time that they were happy with what they had done, and then started seeing ways to tweak it and make it better.
The light bulb was a good idea that has been improved on over the years due to lots of work, trial and error, and persistence to make the light bulb work at its most efficient level. It didn't have to be reinvented every time.  The basis was there, they just did things to make it better.

My health and the health of my family is an already invented invention.
(I'm pretty sure there is a better way to say that.
Just go with it.)
The basis is there. The things we need are there.  
We just have to figure out how to put it all together to make it work.
It is taking years of work, trial and error, and persistence. 
We have not arrived.
At all.
Not even close. 
I'm drinking Starbucks iced chai while I type this. 
(Most of you just said "What's wrong with that?") 
We are however, better off  than we were when I was ignorant to the issues of our health and that is what I want to share with you.

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." ~ Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison didn't just know about light bulbs, he knew the value of nutrition in our lives.
Sounds like he had high hopes for the health of future generations.
I do too, but the future is now and we can't keep ignoring the role nutrition plays in our lives. 
(That was brilliant.  You can quote me.)

Think of all the ways our lives are better because of the light bulb, the wheel, indoor plumbing, or any other convenient invention we use on a daily basis.
Think of all the ways your life could be better if your body was healthier. 
Just like all these other created inventions, God created our bodies to work and run a certain way.  
When we don't screw a light bulb in the right way, it doesn't work.  
The components that make up the light bulb didn't change, we just aren't using it the right way.
Our bodies are much the same.  The components are there for us to function properly, we just have to do things the right way.
Screwing in a light bulb is easy.  
(Unless you are short and can't reach.  Not that that ever happens to me....)
Figuring out how to effectively plug in all the parts so our bodies are well, not so much. 

Thats where the idea for this series comes in.
Let me just first say that I am not, nor do I claim to be an expert on health.
There is a lot that I don't know.
There is a lot that I do know, but don't do.
Much of what I have learned has been through people that are way smarter than me.
Much have what I have learned has been through trial and error.

So why should you listen to what I have to say?
That is a good question.
A really. good. question. 
The answer I have is that I truly do believe that so many of us walk around sick, struggling with disease, etc, when we don't have to. 
I don't have all the answers.  Not even close to all the answers.
But I've done the research, I love my friends, and I hate to see people suffer.
Especially when that suffering can be helped!

I have seen through my own experience how making changes, makes a difference. 
So listen to me, don't listen to me. 

You'll have 7 more chances to do what you want.

(Which of course is to hang on my every word.)

In this 7 part series, I am going to do my best to lay out the following:
- Our Story-  Why you think I'm crazy. ( Don't even act like you don't)
- Gluten-  It's like a smelly cat. (That's for all my cat lover friends)
-The Gut- It's not a litter box so stop treating it like one. (Not even kidding)
- Autoimmune Disease & Food Allergies- Why your grandmother didn't have them. ( She probably had bunions though) 
- Natural Remedies- Why charcoal isn't just for your grill. ( Neither is gas)
- Now What?- Practical baby steps. ( You'll have to change your own diapers)

I am hoping to give you a new part every Monday.
I am not superwoman.
I require much grace.
I'm a busy girl. 
I want to do a good job articulating the information, so some weeks may take me longer than others.
Because of the fact that Lana (daughter) and I eat gluten free, many of you think that is the main point. 
At the end of the day, I want to explain why that is only a piece of our health. 
That's why its going to take 7 parts. 
So listen close ok!

Thanks for reading along.  I'm excited about this little series and I hope you are too! 
If you aren't, shame on you.
Just kidding.
Don't feed me gluten.
I'll tell you why later. 

Now for the fine print.
1. I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training.
2. I am not anti doctor nor do I run to one every time we are sick.
3. I do not have an xray machine therefore I utilize the orthopedic doctor. A lot. 
(If you don't know, my kids have had 4 broken bones in 2 years.) 
4. I am not super fit or super healthy.
5. I am not doing the best I can.
6. I still make excuses even though I know the facts.
7. I didn't make all the changes I have made in one day.
8. I still have a long way to go.
9. I've made a lot of progress over the past 2 years.
10. Just when I think I have something figured out, something else pops up.
11. I cannot tell you what to do.
12. I do not judge you.
13. I want to fix you. 
14. I can't fix you. 
15. I am not remotely close to being an expert. 
16. I believe that modern medicine is amazing and has its place in our lives.
17. I believe that food is amazing and has its place in our lives.
18. I believe food heals. 
19. I want this series to be informative and helpful.
20. I want you to look into stuff on your own.
21. I want you to make at least one change.
22. I want to eat chocolate right now. 
23. I don't want to run today.
24. I need to run today.
25. I'm done.