“Hitting the ‘F’-it Button”

Nice title, huh?¬† I read that quote in an article awhile back.¬† They used it in the negative sense, but I kind of loved it.¬† That’s kind of been my approach lately.¬† Let me explain…

I think I’ve had an “it’s complicated” relationship with food ever since 7th grade.¬† I remember in FACS (home ec.) class learning about calories and fat grams and nutrition.¬† As everyone else zoned out, the teacher had my full attention.¬† This was back in the low fat era so I started avoiding fat like the plague.¬† I wouldn’t touch butter.¬† I’d make popcorn with a butter-esque spray.¬† Gag.

While my knowledge of nutrition has greatly evolved since then, has my relationship with food?  My relationship with my body?

I had a bit of an epiphany.¬† I had thought, almost obsessively, about food and diet every single day.¬† For way too much time each day.¬† I just kind of realized what a complete waste of time it was.¬† I was sick of forcing myself to “try harder” at staying keto when I was, frankly; over it.¬† I was sick of being so restricted.

For the past month or two I have been eating what I want.¬† No restrictions.¬† No fasting.¬† At first my weight did go up pretty quickly.¬† I had to trust my body.¬† I had to push through some uncomfortable “fat” feelings.¬† I haven’t stepped on the scale in ages.¬† It is literally covered in dust.¬† But I can tell that I’ve slimmed back down to what is probably my body’s healthy set point.

I’m feeling really good.

I think some of us are naturally drawn to more extremes.¬† But extreme doesn’t always equal healthy.¬† While I think the ketogenic diet is a good diet and it helps a lot of people- it is also very restrictive.¬† When I would “fall off the wagon” I would eat junk¬†excessively. ¬†For some people, that very restrictive way of eating triggers¬†more¬†unhealthy behaviors.¬† I am definitely one of those people.

Some people really benefit from structure and discipline but others just need to chill.  Life is so much better when you have figured out how to listen to your body; feed it what it wants, make peace with it, treat it well.

I’ve been listening to my body and it’s been really great.¬† Every morning I want scrambled eggs with cheese on buttered toast.¬† So I eat it.¬† I’ve still been adding collagen and goji berry powder to my coffee and my hair is growing really fast and my skin looks better than ever.¬† I’ve been enjoying carbs, oh yes.¬† I might again launch into a healthy eating plan in the future, but I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment ūüôā

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My Daughter and I

 

When Confronted with Ignorance

 

On day four I am doing really good.¬† I feel more clear-headed.¬† I¬†feel¬†like it’s working and that is probably the most important thing.¬† I’m having some cravings here and there (chocolate…) but I am bound and determined to do this.

I had an irritating experience yesterday.¬† I’m in a fitness group on facebook.¬† There’s a certain lady that posts frequently as she is trying to get into shape.¬† She had posted about how hard it was to give up sweets.¬† I reached out, mentioned candida, and sent her a link to my blog.

Which is not something I do lightly.¬† I know this is a public blog but it’s really my space.¬† I am pretty candid, 100% real.¬† I’m not selling anything and I don’t make any money doing this.¬† I do it really just to share my experiences and maybe help someone looking for answers.¬† That’s it.

So when this woman took a few minutes to peruse my blog and then came back dismissing basically (what amounts to) my¬†years¬†or researching and personal experience…also claiming that it is impossible to heal yourself of virtually anything.¬† She had a lot of diagnoses (ADD, asthma, whatever…) so she was an expert on all things health.¬† See the source image

I had to talk myself off the ledge.  At this point I had just consumed hot liquids and coconut oil on my fast so I was pretty quick to get in touch with my primal anger.

I corrected her on a couple points that she had incorrectly inferred, ending succinctly with “If I thought the way you do I’d probably still be sick and miserable.”¬† A little sassy, yes, but not close to what I¬†wanted¬†to say.

Some people just aren’t going to get it.¬† Some people think it’s weird if you question the (cough*pharmaceutical run*cough) mainstream medical advice.¬† If I never questioned doctors I would probably still be eating gluten and half way dead by now.¬† According to one doctor I saw, out of sheer desperation of “I’m in my early 20’s, why do I feel like I am 90 and normal digestion is a faint memory?”¬† Nah, you’re normal.¬† But you do need a flu shot.

Conventional mainstream medicine almost killed my son.¬† What started as minor eczema snowballed as he needed stronger steroids (black box) and oral prednisone and they were pushing immunosuppressant drugs.¬† We woke up to the fact that these drugs were actually¬†causing¬†their own condition that turned out to be a million times worse than his original eczema.¬† It’s taken literal blood, sweat and tears to pull him back from the brink and restore his health.¬† If we listened to the doctors I just shudder to think where he’d be now.¬† 95% of what we did was natural and it’s working.

This was him on steroids.¬† Notice how pale and tired he looks.¬† He was going downhill badly and we didn’t know what to do.¬†Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, shoes and child

This is what happened we discontinued steroid use.  All over his entire body.
Image may contain: 1 person, indoorHis skin turned fire-engine red, oozed and peeled off.  He was also completely wrecked from near adrenal failure as he had been on artificial cortisol for so long.  He was bed ridden for months.  A year and a half later he is returning to being a normal, healthy little boy.

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He smelt something gross at Whole Foods!

Anyways, I went off on a tangent all to say that THIS is why I am passionate about natural health and true healing.¬† You CAN heal.¬† You DON’T have to accept being sick and miserable.

I am¬†not¬†anti-doctor or western medicine.¬† Not at all.¬† But it’s a very symptom-driven industry.¬† As in, they treat the symptom, not the cause.¬† Not once did a doctor ever ask me about what Gabe was eating.¬† They just prescribed the creams and pushed me to use more.¬† When he developed chronic pneumonia we were told it’s a “triad”.¬† Kids with eczema almost always develop asthma and allergies.¬† But, WHY?¬† No one ever talked about it.¬† Now I know the strong steroids were suppressing his immune system to the point where he had no strength to fight off anything.¬† He would get sick and stay sick.¬† His doctor said it was “normal”.¬† To hell with that!

Now my son is in excellent shape with his cardiovascular system.  He can run and skip and jump and his asthma is completely gone.  We are still dealing with some skin issues but they are a million times better than they used to be.  His energy is back 90%.  He is on zero meds or prescriptions.  His medicine is cod liver oil, vitamins, astaxanthin, green drinks, and alkaline water and of course a gluten and sugar free diet.

The point is, there is always hope.¬† I believe it with all my heart.¬† I blog to share¬†hope¬†because I know life can be tough.¬† Chronic illness can suck the life out of you.¬† Sometimes you get kicked when you are down.¬† But when you are laid flat you can look up and gain a new perspective.¬† You can find hope where you didn’t previously knew it could be found.

If we had followed doctors orders, I have no doubt that Gabe could have, probably would have; died an early death from the extreme toxicity of the drugs.

We brought him back to his pediatric dermatologist office a few days into his steroid withdrawal, when all hell was breaking loose, looking for hope or answers.  They were hostile, blamed us, said Gabe needed to be admitted and slathered head to toe in steroids and antibiotics.  We stormed out.  Best thing we ever did. 20180805_1536293182491772027965179.jpg

 

 

 

Coconut Oil and Candida

Yesterday I did end up eating some keto cheese, egg and asparagus muffins and then more steamed asparagus and cauliflower.  I had taken my afternoon pills from the cleanse pack and oops!  It was a digestive enzyme and was giving me a tummy ache.  So I ate some food, but all super clean and low carb.

Today I am aiming for¬†just¬†bulletproof coffees and teas.¬† I’m focusing on coconut oil because it is amazing for getting ketone production ramped up- which practically means energy.¬† I don’t think I could do any kind of zero calorie fast because I just have too many responsibilities.¬† It’s not like I can sit around and meditate all day.¬† Though that’d be¬†great. ¬†

Another great thing about coconut oil is that it acts like kryptonite against candida.  See the source image

Coconut oil is amazing at¬†killing candida and fungus without doing any harm to your body.¬† Many people may feel awful when they first start using coconut oil because they are having die-off symptoms and toxins are being released.¬† I’ve been using coconut oil for years so I have a high tolerance.¬† When you first start out, you definitely want to take it slow and see how your body reacts.¬† Maybe a teaspoon on an empty stomach to start.

Since a cup of coconut oil has¬†almost 2,000 calories¬†it’s a great addition to a cleanse to make it more doable.¬† I can get that easily blended up in coffee and tea throughout the day.¬† I don’t recommend taking it straight (though you certainly can!) it is incredibly hard to swallow it.¬† I have to go to my happy place mentally to get it down.¬† It’s¬†much¬†better blended into a frothy coconutty latte. 20180803_1156428093723573880223056.jpg

I’m doing pretty good so far.¬† I feel hungry for sure but I am enjoying the clear thinking, calmer nerves, and steady energy that come with having high ketone levels.¬† My allergies are still much better.¬† Yesterday I visited a friend with two very fluffy cats and nary a sneeze out of me.

I’ll adjust the fast to suit me as needed.¬† I think it’s probably pretty harmless to add in some cleans foods- eggs, veggies, butter; as needed.

Cleansing and Toxins

One topic that has always interested me is¬†cleansing. ¬†If I had an irrational fear (if…haha)¬†it would be of toxins.¬† Many years ago when I started learning about how ubiquitous toxins are to our modern world it literally made me nearly sick with anxiety. I’m a person of faith so I don’t really fear death, per se, but living a subpar life.¬† My lifeforce (or whatever you want to call it) dulled and blunted by toxins.

There is many benefits to living in modern society.  But with that comes a price.  Sitting behind a big diesel truck in traffic.  Flame retardants on our mattresses.  Cancer causing chemicals sprayed onto our foods.  We can do a lot to minimize our exposure to toxins, but what about the toxins that have built up in our systems over the years?

Here in the Midwest, I have always lived within a stones throw of a field.¬† Seems innocuous until you realize that the only fields around here are GMO corn and soy that is drenched in chemical fertilizers and ultra-toxic roundup.¬† That of course works it’s way into the drinking water.¬† It’s in the air we breathe.

I also grew up eating a lot of canned foods (hello aluminum!).  We thought canned soup was healthy.   We had no idea of the dangers of microwaving food in plastic.  Diet coke was the healthy option.

See the source imageYeah, yeah, so we are all ridden with toxins.¬† Now what?¬† That’s where the cleanse comes in.¬† I know the word “cleanse” comes with some baggage.¬† In my research I’ve found that a lot of people doing youtube videos and writing articles on the subject tend to range from kooky to snake oil-y.¬† Or maybe you think of cleansing as a violent, run to the bathroom process….

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I couldn’t not include this GIF, you’re welcome

It definitely shouldn’t be that.¬† It shouldn’t be expensive.¬† It can be as easy as fasting for a day and drinking bergamot tea.¬† I also have used¬†this¬†simple 3 day cleanse a couple times and really liked it.¬† I found it at Wal-Mart for around $6.¬† I’ve also taking¬†red clover¬†supplement, and sorry, TMI; but it gave my a weird rash across my abdomen.¬† I wasn’t sure if it was a reaction or what.¬† The next day I just happened to hear about rashes being a common byproduct as your body is detoxing.¬† Everything gets stirred up and you can get some weird symptoms.¬† A couple days later I had taken it again and had done a workout.¬† The rash came back with little white dots of which I can only describe as crystalline.¬† It scrapped away.¬† Of course I have no proof, but I believe I was literally sweating out toxins.

I am going to embark on a more in depth cleanse, using¬†this renew life cleanse¬†(it’s a lot cheaper on amazon).¬† I plan to combine it with a form of water fasting.¬† At least maybe as much as I feel I can handle.¬† I like to do my fasting with tea as well because it accelerates¬†autophagy¬†which is huge in detoxing out junk down to the cellular level.¬† You don’t have to buy any fancy, expensive teas.¬† Any bergamot tea will do.¬† I also like spicy chai tea because the cinnamon and other spices are very anti-inflammatory and healing.¬† Plus it tastes amazing!¬† I feel like fasting is so much easier when you can combine it with hot teas.

The idea behind a cleanse is that you want to feel better when it’s done.¬† Lighter, more energetic.¬† Your brain may be sharper.¬† Your skin clearer.¬† You always want to listen to your body.¬† If you start feeling really terrible you may be stirring up more toxins then you can safely process.¬† You may want to back off a bit or opt for a more gentle “Daniel Fast” approach- incorporating fresh (preferably organic!) fruits and vegetables.

You can also greatly aid in the process by supporting your lymph system through rebounding (jumping) and dry brushing.¬† If you’re doing any sort of cleanse/fast you want to stay away from vigorous exercise.¬† This is about healing so you want to avoid eternal stresses.¬† Even good ones like exercise.

Don’t be like me and stress out about it.¬† The far better option is to find ways to naturally support your bodies ability to detoxify and heal itself.¬† You can mini-cleanses once a month and a more in depth cleanse once or twice a year.

Birthday Cakes and Icy Lakes

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. I went on a roadtrip to visit my mom’s side of the family for a reunion in Wisconsin.

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*Pretending to do lakeside Yoga*

My husband gifted me some pretty sweet bowflex select tech dumbells.  He knows the way to my heart!!

It was fun and included an iced dark chocolate mocha, french fries and an ice cream sundae. #noregrets

But today is going to be a fasting day.¬† I just got done watching most of the “Skinny on Fat” series and¬†Supercharged¬†the movie.¬† The series really should have been more condensed.¬† Each episode was over 2 hours long and there was a lot of repetition.¬† The Supercharged movie was pretty cheesy (low carb!) but had some good info.¬† But again, mostly just more of what I already know I¬†should be doing. ¬†

I say “should be” because the two things that stick out to me are two things that most human beings are pretty resistant towards- fasting and purposeful cold exposure.¬† #notfun¬† But if you want to get the best results, as far as being healthy, lean, and staying young- you have to embrace some discomfort.

One thing that sticks out to me is that now science is backing up practices that people have been embracing for health reasons for eons.¬† Fasting as a religious practice has basically always been practiced.¬† When I read about other people’s struggles to get into ketosis, it taking days and being very uncomfortable, I was surprised.¬† I got into ketosis the first day and it really wasn’t a difficult process.¬† Now I chalk that up to the fasting I’ve done over the years for spiritual purposes.¬† If you go extended lengths abstaining from food you¬†will¬†go into ketosis even if you don’t mean to or have any idea what that means.¬† At that point you have more fat-burning flexibility.¬† Your body is much more adept at transitioning.¬† Fasting has been embraced as a powerful spiritual tool throughout human history but now we can appreciate the truly amazing¬†benefits .¬† Fasting is probably the closest thing to the fountain of youth that we currently understand.

Up here in Minnesota we have what’s known as the “Polar Plunge”; where people will cut a hole in the ice (on a lake, of course) and jump into the freezing cold water.¬† I used to live by a dentist who swore by this and would jump into our icy lake often.¬† I thought these people were nuts.¬† Nuts, maybe, but now we know the amazing health-promoting¬† properties of exposing your body to intense cold for brief periods.¬† It’s even better if you can alternate hot and cold.¬† Like they do in Scandinavian countries- go from the sauna to the ice.¬† If you don’t have access to a frozen lake you can always mimic this in the much less cool (but still effective) basic ice bath.¬† Or even just cold water bath.¬† I think there’s one in my future that I am currently psyching myself up for.

Why go through all of this?¬† Well, I am 32 and I want to get better and feel better with age.¬† I spent a lot of my 20’s feeling horrible and I have a lot of life I want to live.¬† Oh, and I also want to look great while doing it. ūüėČ

So here is to living life.  Enjoying sundaes and fundays but also getting out of your comfort zone to tap into powerful, ancient health-rejuvenating powerhouses!!

Growing Kids and Lectins

Having your kids on a keto plan means that you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen.¬† A lot.¬† Cooking, baking, cleaning, oh my!

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Michael, with his 2nd keto brownie 

My plight is perhaps even worse because of the fact that my oldest child is growing like an inch a week and always hungry.¬† He’s only 13 and he is almost 5’9″!

They’ve been getting sick of eggs in all their different forms. so I’ve been making a lot of chocolate shakes for breakfast.¬† I just blend up half and half with peanut butter, raw cocoa powder and my monk fruit sweetener blend.¬† They really like the shakes and get a gazillion calories to fuel their weed-like growth.

We agreed that Friday would be a “cheat” day were they could eat whatever.¬† I figure it’s a good bribe to keep everyone happy and they are still getting the benefits of ketosis while getting a good dose of carbs once a week.

My daughter spent the weekend with my mom.¬† I wasn’t about to try to make her follow the keto plan at grandma’s house so Shiloh had a weekend full of fun and gluten.¬† I just got her back this evening and…wow.¬† What a difference.¬† She’s burst into tears no less than 10 times.¬† I had to take her to the grocery store and it was like trying to herd a stray cat through a maze of frenzied shoppers.¬† I guess it really serves as confirmation that at the¬†very least¬†she is benefiting greatly from a gluten free diet.¬† On the keto plan I have seen her become¬†way¬†more calm and focused.

I’ve been watching Naomi Whittel’s¬†documentary series on the ketogenic diet.¬† One really interesting thing that I’ve learned is that mankind actually shrunk a foot when they transitioned from a hunter/gatherer lifestyle (think paleo) to and agricultural one.¬† One reason is, many of the grains we consume today are high in lectins– effectively an anti-nutrient produced by plants as a defense against getting eaten.¬† It’s the reason that if you eat beans that aren’t fully cooked you can get very ill.¬† The lectins are tearing up your gut.¬† They cause the gas, bloating, lethargy and poor absorption of nutrients that many people just live with.¬† The two main ingredients that make up the bulk of processed foods- wheat and soy (which are also mostly GMO) also happen to be the highest in lectins.¬† I’ve noticed going keto has really improved my digestion.¬† So when I occasionally eat a treat that is¬†definitely¬†not keto or healthy, it doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it used to.¬† I suppose my gut is healing on this much less inflammatory diet.¬† Since gut and brain are intimately¬†connected; it makes sense that a flexible keto approach to eating would be a wise choice for growing kids.

 

Keto Kids

We started Keto as a family last Thursday so today would be day 6 of our “keto adventure”.¬† Well for everyone except my husband who is still sneaking foods like triscuits and heavily sweetened “coffee”. *eyeroll*

So, what have I noticed, other than a lot of complaining?

It’s hard to tell for sure but two instances stand out.¬† My daughter and I were shopping at Target yesterday.¬† Not a get in an out kind of trip, more like “I need to get of the d@mn house before I lose my mind” kind of trip.¬† Lots of meandering.¬† Midway through I glanced down at my daughter, Shiloh, with the sudden realization that she was being good.¬† Very good.¬† She quietly and calmly walked right next to my side¬†through the entire store.¬†¬†

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My Little Capuchin!

Then I remembered how eerily well behaved she was yesterday when we took my MIL to a huge antique store.¬† We were nervous bringing her into a cramped place jam packed with breakable items.¬† But she was borderline angelic the entire time.¬† Which, yes, is a huge improvement from her norm.¬† Running off, grabbing stuff, tantrums… oh my.¬†¬†In my opinion, it’s still to early to tell.¬† The real test will come when they go back to school.¬†¬†20180718_0809016013263692184364662.jpg

I did pick up some keto test strips yesterday for the first time.  I tested my daughter this morning and she is definitely in ketosis.  The reading was very high, which I attribute to the fact that she was in a fasting state after having just woke up.

I don’t know if I’ve noticed an improvement in either of my two sons though.¬† My middle child, Gabe, is my little sugar baby and has been¬†very¬†vocal and cranky about the diet.¬† He’s always loved his carbs though.¬† That kid could live off of bread alone.

 

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He’s SO dramatic, I have no clue where he gets it from…

If I don’t see any benefits for my two boys, of course I won’t make them stick with the diet.¬† It is, however, a great way to reboot and kick sugar addiction.¬† Even if I ease up I think it will be much easier to limit sugar and junk because they will have so completely changed their eating habits.