Goji Berries for Chronic Illness

I’ve written a bit before about my son, Gabe, and his health issues.  One aspect we deal with is the ups and downs that occur with his health.  He has allergies and a very sensitive immune system.  Allergens seem to have a massive systemic affect on him and of course, his skin problems.  He had been doing really, really well this summer but I was dreading this time of year because it has always been very hard on him.  Here, in Minnesota, the ragweed gets really bad through late August and September.  The ragweed affects him terribly.  So much that we have to shut up the house and run two big air purifiers 24/7.

As August stretched on and Gabe continued to go downhill, it dawned on us that he was in no shape to go to school.  The allergens triggered a big flare with his skin.  Areas that had been healed for a long time became red and flakey and painful again.  He deals with a lot of pain every day to the point that we have little bottles of children’s ibuprofen stashed around the house.  Image may contain: 1 person

I signed him up for an online school, because I was not about the make him suffer through another school year.  Last year was pretty bad.  He spent so many days quietly suffering while trying to be a “normal kid”.  He had something crazy like 47 absences.  This year we are going to give him the break that he needs.  I’m his learning coach and his caregiver so I won’t have as much time to blog.

But I absolutely will continue to research all things health and natural wellness.  In an attempt to help my son (and myself!) and whoever happens across my blog.

What has been helping Gabe the most lately has been…*drumroll*… goji berry powder!  I got mine here.  I actually bought it back in February but didn’t do much with it.  I was keto with a vengeance and once I realized it had carbs, it got shelved.  I was organizing my kitchen cupboards awhile back and rediscovered it and figured I should give it another shot.  I started making “recovery drinks” or post workout drinks with coffee, ice, collagen powder, a heaping tablespoon goji powder, a tablespoon of raw cocoa, pyure sweetener and a bit of milk. 20180913_1401202792594796765434391.jpg The shake is so good.  Not only does it taste amazing but it’s jam-packed with antioxidants. and a bit of protein from the collagen.  I noticed I felt really amazing after drinking it and was experiencing less soreness after workouts.

So yesterday, when Gabe was just dragging and too tired to even do school work, I decided to whip up a fruit smoothie with a secret scoop of goji powder included.  He sucked down his smoothie (goji, while not super tasty on it’s own, blends really well with other flavors) and was bouncing off the walls for hours.  It was really wonderful to see him happy and full of energy again.  He’s had a really rough month.  He got all his work done and even some extra stuff.

It’s definitely something I’ll incorporate into his regular routine.  I’m also going to look into Indian Gooseberry, or “Amla” because it is like Goji berry on steroids.  

Here is some more more info on the amazing health promoting effects of goji berries.  You can add it to coffee, yogurt, smoothies.  I even used it as the “flour” in some dark chocolate brownies.  They were amazing and had a flavor like the brookside acai chocolates but richer and more complex.  Maybe I’ll post a recipe in the future 😉

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Sugar-Booger

Ok, so my title makes sense in that I am theorizing that my recent sugar consumption may have triggered my allergies to basically explode.  I wish it was just boogers.  No, it’s been itchy ears, sneezing, watery snot (sorry, TMI), itchy skin, and even a full-on sore throat.  I’ve always struggled with allergies but in recent years it has seemed to improve as my health improved.  Even to the point that we got a cat this summer.  Which never would have been possible in my not so distant past.  See the source image

I’ve been ok with the cat but allergies are cumulative.  Meaning the cat fur, dust kicked up by vacuuming, pollen floating in through open windows- all conspire together to drive you into a state of histamine overload and sheer misery.

So how does sugar play into all of this?  Basically the cradle of life lies within our guts, apparently.  Healthy gut=happy life.  Sad gut=jiggly butt.  Lol  But seriously a poor microbiome can actually cause obesity.  Our insides are host to billions of bacteria.  Some are highly beneficial and aid us in digesting and properly absorbing nutrients.  Others are parasitic little buggers that actually make us eat sugar  Candida is kind of a buzz word right now it is basically just an overgrowth of yeast.  You know you have candida if you’ve struggled with yeast and fungal infections.  Candida is also implicated in allergies, eczema, obviously sugar cravings and even depression.

Candida wants to survive in your body at your expense.  See the source image

What causes a candida overgrowth in the first place?  A history of weakened immunity, antibiotic usage, poor diet, stress.  Basically everyone has some level of candida but a healthy immune system keeps it in check.  If you’re like me, and took a million rounds of antibiotics in childhood and grew up on a high sugar diet- chances are you are a candida hotel, baby.

Your poor gut health could be causing your lethargy.  Maybe the best thing for your hay fever is a good probiotic?  Maybe you’re depressed because your body is overrun with these tiny little parasites that release toxins into your system continually?

I’ve had periods where I have cut out sugar and I feel so much better.  But like many addicts, there have been many relapses.  Like yesterday when I made chocolate chip cookies “for my kids”. See the source image I used almond flour, sweetened with monk fruit, but there was still sugar in the form of insanely delicious 63% dark guittard chocolate chips.  Omg they were so good.  I ate, well, a lot.

This morning I woke up with awful allergies.  Just awful.  Itchy, achy, miserable.

I was able to feel better using a recipe I found online.  It’s 2 parts sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to one part potassium carbonate.  You mix 1/2 tsp. of the mix into 8 ounces warm water and drink.  It’s gross but it does help.

I am excited to start my cleanse soon.  It should be arriving this afternoon.  Doing a cleanse, and combining it with proven candida obliterator- coconut oil, should make a profound difference on how I handle the onslaught of fall allergies in Minnesota.  I’m also hoping for less cravings and more energy.  Renew Life - Flush & Be Fit - Woman's Care - supports detoxification and cleanse supplement for women - 14 day program

This is the cleanse I’m doing but you could get results just through “starving” off the bad bacteria and yeast with a very low carb (zero sugar!) approach and making sure that you are getting enough sleep.