Viewing entries tagged
healing

Healing in Spite of Having No Answers

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Healing in Spite of Having No Answers

A lot of my clients come to me after years of working in the medical establishment to figure out what is wrong with them. They can sense it that things are not right and lets face it, they feel horrible. Yet the medical establishment will either insinuate that the person has mental illness and its "all in their head", or they will say things like, "huh, I haven't ever seen/heard of that before!"

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Clearing Time Clutter For Optimal Vitality

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Clearing Time Clutter For Optimal Vitality

Nope, I'm not one who is perfectly organized. I still have clutter on my desk and in certain areas of my home. But lately I have been particularly paying attention to the clutter in my life that does not come from stuff. There's plenty of websites out there that deal with the stuff. 

We normally think of clutter as physical objects, but there are many types of clutter that aren’t. Cluttering our mind with too much information, cluttering our body with too much food we know isn't good for us and cluttering our schedule with too many commitments are examples of other types of clutter. If there is no space in our schedule, then we have no space to to focus our attention to healing, ...

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People Heal

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

I dont have one of those posters on the wall above my desk with inspirational quotes, and I typically ignore those kinds of posts on social media. But every now and then Danielle Laporte posts some pretty good #truthbomb's. The other day, I uncovered a very simple set of two words on one of her truth bomb cards: People Heal.

O.M.G.!! It was one of those moments where the universe was trying to give me a message. I think anyone who is on a long-term healing journey can understand. We spend so much time making sure we procure, prepare and eat the right foods, get the right amount and quantity of sleep, do the right kind of stress reduction, make sure we are doing enough exercise yet at the same time not too much exercise, take the right supplements at the right times of day (yes, its overwhelming when you put it all together like that)... And then sometimes, even all of that, and we still are sick! It's those moments that I get impatient and think that there will never be change.

PEOPLE HEAL

But then, I read these two words and its like the universe placed its hand on my shoulder and just reminded me that, "yes this will happen. It may take time, but it will happen." Actually, it was more like Aslan came strolling beside me and said those words as a huge gentle reminder. (I think I will always love those books!)

The truth is that the body has an innate capacity to heal. Its sort of what it is built to do. Cells breakdown and get recycled and rebuilt time and time again. Every second that we're alive, the cells in our bodies are endlessly working to bring us back to a natural state of homeostasis (or equilibrium).

In fact, here are a few TEDx talks by Lissa Rankin MD that are worth the few minutes watching: her first talk and her second talk. Lissa talk about the science and the practice of Mind over Medicine and how healing has a lot to do with our mindset! If we are constantly stressing out about not healing fast enough, or well enough, then that will negatively impact our body's capacity for healing. She suggests its a much better approach to focus on the positive and use mindfulness (1) to boost the body's capacity for healing. Does that mean you have to have an elaborate mediation practice? No! Even just repeating a few words or taking a deep breath will help!

Sometimes, all it takes is to take a deep breath and remember that People Heal.

 

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Inflammation Busting Turmeric Tonic

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

Inflammation can come from many sources. It could be a cold, or flu... or from foods that don't agree with your system (aka me and gluten, not the best friends). Or you may be exposed to something environmentally (molds, chemicals from cleaning or beauty products, etc). Regardless, inflammation is a normal response of the immune system, but sometimes our lovely immune system needs a little love. Good thing there are things we can do to help support it in its time of need. One of those foods is turmeric, and its got some awesome anti-inflammatory (amongst many other) benefits (1, 2).

The last few weeks, I have been experimenting with turmeric root in the kitchen and really loved this concoction that can be fairly versatile! So I wanted to share it with all of you. The best part is that it can be made in batches so you only have to do it once a week or once in a while (depending on how often you consume it). And it can be used in a variety of ways: cold, hot, gummy snack, sparkling... whatever your fancy. One thing I know is the marigold-orange hearts make me happy when I see them in my cup!

The other great thing about this recipe is that it also contains ginger which supports digestion. And since I use the root (peel and all) you also get the beneficial bacteria (read: probiotics) that are present in the outer layers of both the turmeric and ginger. I tend to get both of theses roots in the market when I can find them fresh, and then chop them into smaller pieces and freeze them for longer term storage. You can then let the quantity you need thaw slightly before making the tonic.

Note: I use a blender and nut milk bag to make mine. If you don't like the hand/finger workout (good for rock climbing, right?), you can always use a juicer to make the same thing. Just be forewarned, your pretty white nut milk bag will be forever bright yellow after this :)

Turmeric Tonic Concentrate

Use this concentrate for "shots" to be added to regular water, or fizzy water. You can even freeze them into ice "shots" for fizzy water or, heck even cocktails when you are feeling fancy! I use 3 cubes, which is about 1 oz or 30 ml of tonic for every 10-12 oz (300-400ml) water/fizzy water.  You can use ginger and lemon essential oil as well to enhance the flavor, but not required to get a good tonic.

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons peeled
  • 1-2" of fresh ginger root (~25g)
  • 2-3 "fingers" of fresh turmeric root (~75g)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 drops ginger essential oil (optional)
  • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place peeled lemons, ginger, turmeric and water in a high-powered blender
  2. Turn it up to max speed and blitz until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag to strain into a quart sized mason jar.
  4. Store in the mason jar, or freeze smaller "shot" portions in an ice cube tray.

Turmeric Tonic Gummies

These are potent! So if you want them for snacks, I would suggest that you dilute with more water and perhaps increase the gelatin. However, i find the gummy version to be excellent for adding to hot water to make a Turmeric Tonic Tea. I use 3 squares (about 30 grams) for each 10-12 oz (300-400ml) hot water.

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons peeled
  • 1-2" of fresh ginger root (~25g)
  • 2-3 "fingers" of fresh turmeric root (~75g)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 T gelatin
  • 1-2 drops ginger essential oil (optional)
  • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place peeled lemons, ginger, turmeric and water in a high-powered blender
  2. Turn it up to max speed and blitz until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag to strain into a sauce pan.
  4. Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and warm it up to just steaming, not boiling. Place the now warmed liquid back in the blender and turn on low so that its just keeping the liquid in motion. While the liquid is moving, sprinkle the gelatin in to get it to mix properly.
  5. Pour into silicone molds to create gummy snacks and refrigerate until set. If you don't have a mold, then you can pour into a small baking dish. Once set, cut into smaller squares.

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How to Deal with Regression

CC image courtesy of Kenrick Turner

CC image courtesy of Kenrick Turner

Let's face it, having autoimmune disease is not an easy road. The healing path is full of hills and valleys, and even though I like to think its always linear, I have written before how the reality is much different from the fantasy!

But sometimes we tumble into a crevasse so deep, its hard to realize what just happened. For the last several weeks (more like 5 now) I have been dealing with one of the worst regressions of my autoimmune disease in probably 4 years. At first I was somewhat nonchalant about it. I had a few days of really bad symptoms, but then bounced back pretty quickly to feeling great. Then it happened again, and again and again! After a few weeks of this, I knew something was wrong because now Im spending more days in bed or on the couch than I am outside or up and about.

I think the biggest part of the healing path is mental. I go through phases of denial about my health. For example, I happily sit in denial of the affects of caffeine on my body. I went weeks recently pretending that my matcha blended tea was my new BFF. Loving the ritual, loving how it made me feel. Completely denying any fact that I was getting hooked, feeling more and more sluggish when I woke up, and that days without it were giving me headaches. So we had to break up. (BTW, I found a new morning beverage BFF - no caffeine and supportive of liver and detox pathways - Thank you Jessica at Delicious Obsessions!)

I also have a tendency to just drive through the pain. I have a fairly high pain tolerance, and I can handle quite a bit. But when I just go about life as if I don't have pain (or any other of my AI symptoms) I can get another good case of denial going! Really, I start numbing out to what my body is trying to tell me, and carry on as if nothing is wrong. Then my body rebels and pretty much forces me to take a complete day of rest!

So how does one deal with regression? I'll share with you what I am doing, in hopes that it will help some of you when you are in a deep valley or crevasse of your own.

  1. Admit there is regression in the first place. I know, this sounds a lot like the first step in a 12-step program, but frankly, its the starting point! You can't start to heal or start climbing you way out until you admit what might be happening. It took me a good 3 weeks before I admitted to myself that I was in full regression!
  2. Be kind to yourself. Even if you knowingly did things to get you into the crevasse (can we say sugar during the holidays anyone?), be kind to yourself. Meaning take time to relax, give yourself permission to need more healing.
  3. Clear your calendar and commitments. If you don't know by know, Im one of those that over-achieves the over-achieving! So when I feel great, its pretty much a sure bet that I have taken on too much, packed my calendar and signed up for 35 new courses to start on the new year! When I am in full AI regression, there is no room really for much other than sleeping, nourishing food and maybe some walking. Work tasks get minimized down to the absolute necessities.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Once I was able to admit there was a regression going on, I finally called my doctor. I requested additional lab work be done and reviewed those results with colleagues and my doctor. Once I had my appointment with her, immediately I started to feel better! Not only was there validation that something was wrong, but we constructed a new healing plan and actions for me to take to start to feel better! Such a relief to get some help!
  5. Examine your lifestyle. There are 4 key lifestyle areas that contribute to wellness: Nourishment (food), Rest (sleep), Movement (exercise), and Stress (ya know, stress!). This is a tough step mind you, I always hope that I can be a little less regimented with my lifestyle, but when I get too relaxed and let things creep in, inflammation creeps in! I had to get pretty honest with myself about these areas of my life leading up to my regression. The number one area where I was not managing well was S-T-R-E-S-S! I had fallen off the Headspace practice, taken on too many commitments, had to deal with too many negative people and stopped doing my weekly hikes in the forest. The other contributing factor was with food. I had let too much sugar and caffeine creep into my diet over the last few months. Plus I was trying to reintroduce foods from the AIP elimination. I really think that too many nuts (grain free baked goods during the holidays) were contributing to massive inflammation I was/am experiencing. 

How do you deal with regression? What are your tips and tricks? Leave a comment below - would love to hear your ideas!

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