Lessons Learned- Trip to Crete, Greece

When I was extremely sick with chronic Lyme disease, one of my most debilitating symptoms was environmental and food sensitivities. I could spot a mold problem long before any diagnostic test. Cleaning products with ammonia or bleach would trigger a severe asthma attack within minutes. Toxic, non-moving air in closed hotel rooms would keep me up all night with an overwhelmed liver. It was very hard for me to eat out in restaurants. Ingesting conventional animal products would cause me to vomit within the hour. Glyphosate laden wheat products would cause diarrhea and an inability to properly digest food for a week. For these reasons, I developed an intense fear to traveling and eating out. I could recover from symptoms when I had my clean “safe space” of a home and home cooked meals. Traveling became panic inducing and out of the question for a couple of years.

3 years, 32 liver flushes, hundreds of coffee enemas, and an impeccable plant based diet later, my health had vastly improved and my husband and I planned our first trip as a family to Crete, Greece where much of his extended family resides. Oddly enough, I had no anxiety or fears traveling across the world with a toddler to stay on an island for two and a half weeks. I was not concerned about our living arrangements, as staying in someone’s home with good air flow is enough to get a good night’s rest. I was not concerned about the food, because the Mediterranean diet is put on a pedestal in the health world. I was excited to dive into the mineral rich, tasty produce. I was not afraid of any hiccups or issues that may arise, because we were going to be with lots of family who has our best interest in mind and willing to help resolve any issues that may arise.

Lesson #1

When you let others cook or prepare food for you, you risk acute illness and disease.

Right after we arrived at the airport in Crete, we were expected to go straight to my husband’s grandmother’s house to meet the relatives and eat a meal. Even though I wanted to go straight to where we were staying and rest, I obliged as this was a new culture and felt it best to go with the flow. I quickly learned that the familial expectation was to eat lunch together everyday that had been prepared by an aunt or grandmother. I felt uneasy as I am used to preparing everything my toddler and I ingest. I obliged with this expectation for several days. I felt “off” during this time and was quick to blame any malaise on jet lag and being introduced to a new microbiome. It wasn’t until my baby, Athena, was vomiting for the second day, I was extremely nauseous with stomach cramps, and my husband felt digestive discomfort, that I decided to say enough was enough. I was no longer willing to let someone else prepare food for me. Soon there after, everyone recovered and we were finally able to enjoy our stay.

Lesson #2

There is junk food everywhere. Living a healthy lifestyle is now a choice, even in the Mediterranean.

The food we were ingesting that made us ill was still plant based and gluten free. When someone else prepares food there is risk for poor quality ingredients, rancid ingredients, poor preparation methods, and additional unwanted ingredients. Even though some of the dishes were similar to what I prepare at home, we were exposed to refined sea salt that contain anti-caking agents (hello aluminum), rancid olive oil in large quantities, and refined sugar. For example, we were given what they call “Greek candy”. I was told it consisted of roasted sesame seeds and raw honey. Later I found out that they add brown sugar and “fructose”, heavily refined sugar derived from fruit, to bind the bar together. My family has not ingested refined sugar in months, so it reeked havoc on our systems.

Lesson #3

The Mediterranean has Westernized.

I was sitting in the Venetian port when I opened my first restaurant menu. I could not believe what they were selling: hamburgers, ice scream, soda, and most dishes containing some sort of animal product. This was surprising to me, because Greeks are known for eating animal products sparingly. Their cuisine is typically vegetarian unless there is a holiday or special occasion. This menu was something I would find at a restaurant in America that I would never chose to visit. The disease inducing food we frequently see in restaurants in America is also widely available in Crete. As a consequence, the health of their population is quickly deteriorating. Although their rates of obesity are lower, a visit to the beaches will prove that most people are now overweight and carrying excess fat around their mid section. Beautiful healthy bodies of a healthy weight are becoming the exception when just a few decades ago they were the standard.

Lesson #4

When the land offers you an abundance of fruit, simplify your diet and life by eating mono fruit meals for optimal hydration and health.

As soon as we started sourcing and preparing our own food, we found an abundance of fresh fruit at produce stands across the city. It is near impossible to find seeded watermelon in Boston, so we were stoked to dive into copious amounts of watermelon. We decided to start each morning with a watermelon cleanse. We cut a large watermelon in half and ate straight from the bowl until we couldn’t eat anymore. Our kidneys would feel slightly overwhelmed when we hit our limit, so we would lie down until it passed. This type of breakfast hydrated us for the whole day, prevented our skin from burning, and has had lasting effects boosting our kidney health. We snacked on mono fruit meals of sweet doughnut peaches, cucumber, tomato, nectarines, and fresh squeezed orange juice. When fruit is allowed to fully ripen on the tree and be eating soon thereafter, the flavor is so rich that there is no need or desire to add anything extra.

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Lesson #5

Your health is more important than any societal expectation.

In most culture, the food traditions are an integral part of social experiences. People want to cook for you as an act of love. People want to dine together and discuss the cuisine. There are expectations to eat together from similar dishes. These traditions are worthless if and when they lead to disease and a decrease in vitality. Each individual is solely responsible for what they put in their own mouths. While awkward and uncomfortable, I no longer hesitate to bring my own food to social gatherings and refusing to eat anything that I know will not nourish my body and lead to a greater state of vitality. It is a form of self-love and self-respect to choose to ingest only what properly nourishes your body.

Lesson #6

Traveling Abroad can create an increased need for breastfeeding a toddler.

Before our trip, I was nursing Athena in the morning, once or twice during the day, and at night. I was finally able to leave her for an extended period during the day without having to worry about nursing her. I have been delaying weaning, as I knew it would be very helpful to breastfeed during our international flight. I was surprised by how often and how much Athena wanted to nurse abroad. We went from almost weaning to a breastfeeding relationship reminiscent of that with a 3-month-old infant. She was attached to my boobs night and day. After the rough adjustment to Greek cuisine, she became very picky about what and how much she would eat. She rarely drank water, so she nursed for food, hydration, comfort, and security. It was a very difficult stress on my body, but I was grateful for the ability to nurse her on demand to smooth over any difficulties while traveling with a toddler.

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In conclusion, my trip taught me very important life lessons and help to solidify much of the health and wellness wisdom I have gained over the past few years. The food that we eat lays the foundation for the state of our health and wellness. It is an individual responsibility to take care of our bodies and fuel our bodies with nourishing food to the best of our ability and knowledge. It is time to create new recipes and new traditions that will lay the foundation for healthy individuals and therefore healthy populations.

Root Cause of Allergies and How to Reverse Them

One of my biggest challenges of living with Chronic Lyme Disease was the emergence of food and environmental allergies. I developed a severe case of OCD in an attempt to eliminate or avoid anything that triggered an allergic response. I was highly reactive to mold, construction dust, pollen, animal products, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, wheat, dairy, corn and corn products, chemical additive such as sodium benzoate, synthetic fragrances, and even foods, such as sweet potatoes, pineapple, zucchini, eggplant, etc. I would have panic attacks, asthma attacks, mental confusion, general itching, and debilitating fatigue. I was so consumed with fear of everyday activities and environments that I could no longer live fully. I had entered pure survival mode with a very low quality of life. I developed PTSD and experienced increasingly worse allergic reactions.

When I finally discovered the right path to healing, I still eliminated and avoided allergy triggers, but I kept an optimistic perspective. I was determine to understand the root cause of allergies and how to reverse them. I was highly disappointed with the literature on allergies from a western medical perspective. I found proclaimed ignorance to the cause and poor symptom management techniques. In the alternative medicine realm, I found NAET and used that technique for several months without much decrease in allergic reactions. I would have had to done hundreds of NAET sessions to reverse all of my allergies if it was effective, so I found the treatment to be a poor use of time and monetary resources.

I gathered what information I could find from various sources that presented pieces of the puzzle to the allergy mystery. I created an allergy theory and drew up a lifestyle game plan to reverse my allergies. As of a month ago, I have successfully reversed all of my environmental and foods allergies, including my most severe reactions to mold and sweet potatoes.

In this article, I will present my allergy theory and the steps necessary to reverse allergies. My theory and experimental results closely align with the theory presented by nutritional balancing scientist, Dr. Lawrence Wilson. My theory differs in that I recommend the elimination of animal products and the inclusion of organic fruits.

For the purpose of this article, I am going to define an allergic response as a prolonged inflammatory stress response. I am going to focus on IgG and IgE type reactions. This theory does not apply to anaphylaxis IGA type reactions.  It is important to remember that allergic reactions have an evolutionary advantage that consists of protection from foreign objects. In a healthy immune response, there is a stress wave consisting of an acute phase followed by a recovery phase before the body returns back to equilibrium. In the acute phase, the immune system secretes pro-inflammatory signaling proteins and hormones to attack and sequester the foreign object. In the recovery phase, the body secretes anti-inflammatory hormones, such as cortisol, to disperse and replenish nutrition to the army of immune responders. When the immune responders are dispersed, rested, and restored then the body is back in equilibrium ready for the next attack. An allergic response occurs when there is a breakdown in the proper immune response and symptoms arise from prolonged inflammation.

Root Causes of Allergies

  • Weak Adrenal Glands.

The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, the body’s main anti-inflammatory hormone that is responsible for the regenerative phase of the stress wave. Also, the adrenals produce pro-inflammatory hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine (AKA adrenaline and noradrenaline), to slow down allergic reactions by opposing histamine production. A person showing signs of a sympathetic dominance pattern struggles from a dysregulation of glands that prevent the nervous system from properly responding to immune responses. Exposure to fatigue, cold and stress of any kind can weaken the adrenal glands and trigger more severe allergic reactions.

  • Cell Permeability

Cell membrane defects allow foreign proteins to enter cells; this causes histamine to pass freely in and out of cells. When the histamine reaches blood circulation, symptoms will appear.

  • Nutrient Deficiencies coupled with Heavy Metal Toxicities

Vitamin C deficiencies lead to adrenal insufficiency, as this vitamin is a building block for the production of cortisol. More vitamin C is stored in the adrenals than any other part of the body. Under times of stress, the body retains copper and dumps zinc to properly manage stress hormones, such as adrenaline. Chronic stress and poor nutrition will lead to a zinc deficiency coupled with a copper toxicity.

  • Leaky Gut

This condition presents with damaged, inflamed, and malnourished intestinal membrane that becomes excessively permeable. Unwanted foreign objects, such as partially digested food, food toxins, food chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and fungus, cross the intestinal membrane and enter the bloodstream. At this point, the body mounts a systematic inflammatory response to clear the blood of unwanted, foreign objects.

  • Ingestion of Foreign Objects

The human body is not meant to ingest certain objects, because there is no nutritional value and the objects cause harm to human tissues. Common foreign objects that elicit strong allergic responses include but are not limited to chemical toxins (food additives, herbicides), heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, and vaccines.

  • Autointoxication

When the elimination organs and pathways become congested, the body’s ability to properly break down and assimilate food decreases. This could be the result of liver congestion due to thick bile, intrahepatic stones, and parasites. Intrahepatic stones may appear in the common bile duct where they partially block the flow pancreatic enzymes of fluids necessary to break down food in the stomach and small intestine. Decreased food breakdown and absorption leads to large food particles putrefying in the large intestine thereby causing auto-intoxication.

  • Trauma

Emotional and physical traumas can weaken the adrenals, deplete nutrients, and encourage the storage of toxic metals. The type of trauma can have an effect on where the toxic metals are stored and where the allergic reaction presents.

 

How to Properly Interpret IGG Food Allergy Test Results

Allergy and sensitivity testing is very popular in the alternative health world right now. While it is logical for someone to have an adverse reaction to a foreign object, it seems strange that people are having adverse reactions to whole foods. Being allergic to foods that have incredible healing properties never sat well with me. Recently, I listened to a podcast by Anthony Williams, The Medical Medium, on this topic (see sources) and his interpretation of IgG testing resonated with my understanding of natural laws and my personal experience with reversing food allergies.

The IgG allergy test recognizes when the body produces histamine in response to eating certain whole foods. However, the method in which these healing food produce histamine is indirect via a healing reaction. Often these foods have powerful healing capabilities, such as antimicrobial properties. If you have a viral, bacterial, or fungal overgrowth, then ingesting this food may will the infection. When these germs die, they release neurotoxins and the body needs to clean up the debris, so the body mounts an immune response (cue histamine!) to clean up the mess. Also, you may only exhibit the undesirable allergy symptoms when your elimination organs and pathways are congest and the adrenals are weak.

If you chose to get tested, pay attention to the foods that elicit an IgG response. Those food are going to be your medication for returning to vitality. However, start slowly and watch how you respond as to not elicit an intolerable healing reaction. Make sure to support your adrenals as you reintroduce or increase these foods. You want to avoid consuming so much at once that you exhaust all of your adrenal resources. I recommend muscle testing foods that trigger IgG responses before adding them back into your diet. If you muscle test strong, then your adrenals are healthy enough to handle the healing that will happen in response to eating that food.

How to Reverse Allergies

Begin a nutritional balancing program that focuses on organic, gluten-free, non-gmo whole foods. This means you must reduce and eliminate wheat, dairy, animal products, and processed foods, especially those containing refined or synthetic sugar and gmos. See my article on glyphosate as to why I make this general recommendation.

Focus on incorporating foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, bioflavonoids, essential fatty acids (avocados, Greek extra virgin olive oil, coconut oi), and herbs like stinging nettle. Eat lightly cooked vegetables 2-3 times a day to reverse nutritional deficiencies. Reverse mineral deficiencies by incorporating sea salt, fresh pressed celery juice, lemons, limes, sea vegetables, and leafy greens. Heal leaky gut by incorporating pre-biotics (bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes) and living probiotics in the form of fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kombucha).

Decongest elimination organs and pathways. This is key. It doesn’t matter how good your diet is if you cannot break down and absorb nutrients or effectively process toxins and metabolic waste. In my experience, the best way to decongest the liver is to perform a liver flush series by Andreas Mortiz (check out “The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush”) combined with coffee enemas as needed and nutritional liver support, such as dandelion tea. Decongest the intestines by performing colonics or warm water enemas and reducing or eliminating animal products that have no fiber. Support the kidneys with optimal hydration. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of pure water every day. Drink cranberry juice, lemons, and kidney cleanse tea to break down calcification. Decongest the skin by sweating regularly during exercise or warm Epsom salt baths.

Reduce and eliminate ingesting foreign objects. Cease taking pharmaceutical medications, vaccines, and flu shots. Avoid eating processed foods and taking synthetic supplements. Switch over to natural cosmetics and cleaning products (castile soap, vinegar).

Exercise at light and moderate intensities by incorporating walking, yoga, stretching, rebounding, and light weights into your fitness routine. Temporarily reduce or eliminate intense exercise, such as running, that can deplete the adrenals.

Utilize stress reduction and management techniques, such as sleep, meditation, and spending time in nature. Find ways to process and let go of negative emotions while focusing on optimistic perspective and positive thoughts. Work through and release past emotional traumas. Don’t forget to laugh and remember Bill Hick’s saying “It’s just a ride.”

The most important take away from this article is that allergies can be reversed. You do not have to suffer and live in fear of the next reaction for the rest of your life. Be patient. It may take a year or longer for allergic reactions to cease when you take steps that lead to rebuilding the adrenals, liver, and intestines.

Sources:

http://www.theraj.com/allergies/allergies-causes-treatments.php

https://www.tcmworld.org/get-to-the-root-cause-of-allergies-with-tcm/

http://www.ener-chi.com/gallstones-in-the-liver-can-cause-disorders-of-the-respiratory-system/

http://drlwilson.com/articles/allergies.htm

https://player.fm/series/medical-medium-podcast/healing-from-allergies

Glyphosate’s Role in Causing Chronic Illness

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular “broad spectrum” herbicide, Roundup. This herbicide has greatly impacted agricultural methods and is at the root of the rise of chronic illness in the United States. Many genetically modified foods are designed to be “Round up Ready” meaning they are resistant to roundup. As of 2001, Glyphosate is the most used herbicide. Let’s take a look at how glyphosate is causing chronic illness and what you can do to minimize exposure on your path to wellness.

It is generally accepted that the farming land in the Unites States is becoming increasingly more mineral deficient. This idea is used to justify the need for taking supplements daily. But humans are not deficient in supplements. We are becoming deficient in plant based nutrition. By understanding what is causing these mineral deficiencies, we are able to make dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes were all we need is whole foods, exercise, rest, and sunshine to live a life full of vitality.

Monsanto claims that glyphosate is non-toxic. “All Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer products contain the same active ingredient*, glyphosate, which targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” This claim could not be further from the truth. However, the damage caused by glyphosate may take years before symptoms appear, so although death is not imminent with ingestion, chronic illness is prevalent with chronic exposure. Glyphosate targets a protein synthesis pathway called the shikimate pathway.

There are multiple pathways by which glyphosate could lead to pathology. A major consideration is that our gut bacteria do have the shikimate pathway, and that we depend upon this pathway in our gut bacteria as well as in plants to supply us with the essential aromatic amino acids, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine. Methionine, an essential sulfur-containing amino acid, and glycine, are also negatively impacted by glyphosate. Furthermore, many other biologically active molecules, including serotonin, melatonin, melanin, epinephrine, dopamine, thyroid hormone, folate, coenzyme Q10, vitamin K, and vitamin E, depend on the shikimate pathway metabolites as precursors. Gut bacteria and plants use exclusively the shikimate pathway to produce these amino acids. In part because of shikimate pathway disruption, our gut bacteria are harmed by glyphosate, as evidenced by the fact that it has been patented as an antimicrobial agent. – Stephanie Seneff

Ever been told that you need to supplement iron, folate, coenzyme Q10, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B12, Magnesium, Manganese, Chondroitin Sulfate, or Glutathione? All of these deficiencies are directly correlated to ingesting glyphosate that inhibits the production of precursors necessary to create those nutrients in bioavailable forms. Glyphosate binds to an enzyme, EPSPS, in the shikimate pathway that produces amino acids that are necessary to create bioavailable forms of nutrients listed above.

Glyphosate harms the bacteria and fungus in the soil and in our intestines leaving the soil and our bodies lacking in bioavailable nutrients. This creates a perceived need for fertilizers and supplements. But what we really need is avoid further use or ingestion of glyphosate and to flood the soil with bacteria and fungus to effectively break down the glyphosate. This can be accomplished by creating compost for farmland and ingesting fermented vegetables and mushrooms.

Illnesses that have increased with the use of glyphosate include but are not limited to Lyme disease, Autism, ALS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety, Mood Disorders, Insomnia, Obesity, Cancer, Tooth Decay, and Mitochondria Disease.

The most common sources of glyphosate in food are Round Up Ready GMO crops and conventionally grown crops that are sprayed with Roundup three days before harvest. Foods approved to be grown as GMOs in the US are corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets (can be GMO and labeled organic), alfalfa, papaya, yellow “crook neck” squash, zucchini, “Arctic” apple, and “Innate” potato. Crops that are sprayed with Roundups a few days before harvest include wheat, peanuts, nuts, beans, lentils, and oats. These lists are a baseline, but are not all encompassing.

Conventional animal agriculture feeds their livestock with gmo corn and soy. The glyphosate builds up into the animal tissue and remains in the animal products you buy in stores and at restaurants. If you are not ready to give up animal products, make sure to buy grass fed, free range, organic animal products or wild caught fish.

Organic farmers are not allowed to spray Roundup on their crops, so eating organic is a great way to reduce exposure. However, conventional farmers use aerial spraying techniques that cause contamination of neighboring organic farms. Glyphosate is so prevalent in our society that trace amounts have been found in rainwater. It is not possible to completely eliminate glyphosate, but we can dramatically reduce exposure and support our elimination organs to prevent it from building up in our bodies.

Protect yourself from glyphosate by buying organic and non-gmo produce and going gluten-free. Products high in gluten, such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats are also heavily sprayed with Roundup. Most processed food includes ingredients that are sprayed with glyphosate. For a processed food to be certified organic, it only needs to contain 95% organic ingredients (unless labeled 100% organic). Therefore, even 5% of organic packaged foods could contain trace amounts of glyphosate in the form of gmos or conventional produce. Take control by growing your own garden, boycotting Monsanto, refusing to buy products sprayed with Roundup, and supporting your local organic farmers.

Liver flushes and coffee enemas support your liver and colon thereby increasing nutrient absorption and detoxification of toxins, such as glyphosate. Epsom salt baths help replenish magnesium and sulfur. Sea vegetables and sea salt help replenish trace minerals that are deficient in our soil. By completing a liver flush series, performing coffee enemas, taking regular Epsom salt baths, and eating an organic, non-gmo, whole food diet you can heal whatever chronic illness ails you and return to vibrancy without taking supplements. Nature has innate methods to return to a state of harmony. In agriculture, organic permaculture returns the land to harmony. In humans, organic food consumption and a healthy lifestyle returns our bodies to harmony.

For further reading, check out research by Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT. She has published several peer review articles looking at trends involving usage of Round Up.

 

Sources:

http://www.roundup.com/smg/goART3/Howto/how-do-roundup-weed-and-grass-killer-products-work/43200019

http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC4392553/

 

Healing Crisis During Ovulation

This is a story of my experience with a recent healing crisis. I’m sifting through the progression of events to further understand my body, my cycle, and its healing mechanisms. My hope is that by sharing this story others may develop a deeper understanding of their own healing mechanisms.

A healthy body is responsive and adaptive. A healthy body will experience discomfort and a range of sensations, energy levels, and nutrition needs. This has been a very important revelation for me. As an athlete and a singer growing up in a man’s world, I was taught I had to be linear and ‘consistent’ to be successful. I interpreted this as sticking to a strict training regime and never falling ill to prevent sub optimal performance. I pushed myself until my body could no longer be pushed. I’ve spent a lot of time resting and healing over the past couple of years. The problem with the linear approach is that women are not linear; by nature women are cyclical, or even spiral. Becoming a mother has taught me very important lessons, one of which is understanding my moon cycle.

Pre-pregnancy, I intuitively knew that I was infertile. Many women who have Lyme disease struggle with fertility issues. In fact when I first hear my Lyme diagnosis, I cried for hours mourning the children I never had. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be a mother, but had to face the very real possibility that my body was not healthy enough to grow and sustain another life. I had signs of endometriosis. I had severe nutrition deficiencies. I had low estrogen. And I had issues with the left side of my pelvic region. I was too scared to be told I was infertile, so I never got tested. My hope was that if I figured out my other health issues, then my fertility issues would also resolve on their own.

Six months after beginning liver flushes, I became pregnant with my rainbow child. My menstrual cycle returned four months postpartum. This has been an interesting journey breastfeeding and menstruating simultaneously. Both require a great amount of energy, nutrition, and rest. At these times, women need to go inward, listen, and respect the ever changing needs of her body.

In January, I had a very difficult mid cycle experience. I suspect that I was dealing with an ovarian cyst that had burst. After a week or so the symptoms resolved. I used yoga to rehabilitate my pelvic and core regions, and soon felt as good as new.

In February, I had no mid cycle discomfort. I had mild emotional PMS, the shortest cycle of my life (22 days), and the heaviest menstruation, which ironically fell on Athena’s birthday party. At the one year mark postpartum, the heavy bleeding reminded me of the intense bleeding following childbirth. I embraced this by wearing a red dress for the birthday party to celebrate my fertility. The sensations I felt indicated that I ovulated from my right ovary in February.

In March, I was feeling amazing from day three to nine of my cycle. I went on a few runs. Felt strong with my energy flowing well. I didn’t have any excess tension. My mind was sharp. My mood was optimistic. I was happy to be alive in this body. There was a moment when I reminisced on how much pain I used to be in and how I no longer felt that pain. Then on day ten of my cycle, I began feeling abdominal and muscle cramping. Tension creeped into all of my muscles. My lymph nodes became swollen and sore. My spleen felt tender and overwhelmed. My stomach became nauseous. My digestive fire diminished. I felt extremely fatigued to the point of adrenal exhaustion. I felt a need to rest in bed as much as possible. If I was laying still, then I felt okay. The more I moved physically, the worse I felt. Movement triggered hot flashes and muscles to freeze up mid motion.

If you look at a hormone chart for menstruation, you will see that the body increases its production of estrogen, LH, and FSH in the few days leading up to ovulation. Since my body is constantly production prolactin for breastmilk, I figured my adrenals were struggling to keep up with total hormone production. Prolactin keeps estrogen levels low, so that partially explains the hot flashes. I took note to rest more and eat foods high in fat and vitamin c to assist hormone production.

On day twelve of my menstrual cycle, I hit total adrenal exhaustion. I could not handle stress or physical activity. I was too tired to pick up my baby girl. I could feel EBV taking over my whole body. A few years ago, I was unable to function for a few months as I struggled with mono. I know this sensation well. I felt tenderness and inflammation in my lower legs, all of my lymph nodes, shoulders, neck, spleen, stomach, and brain along with total exhaustion. My illness lead to vomiting up leftovers from the night before. I had not felt that experience since the year I developed food sensitivities when I was still eating conventional animal products, gluten, and processed food. Since my diet changes, I rarely vomit, not even during pregnancy.

When the muscle tension and inflammation started, I did yoga to keep my energy flowing, but found myself intolerant to light exercise. When the abdominal cramping became intense, I drank a dose of Epsom salt just in case I was experiencing gallbladder issues. Next, I did a coffee enema to help reduce inflammation. After the enema, I passed foam cholesterol crystals from my bile ducts. This helped reduce symptoms temporarily, but was not a solution to my problem. Next, I took an Epsom salt bath to support my lymph system. This helped temporarily, but the muscle tension creeped right back in. I stretched several times a day and rolled my back out with a tennis ball as a deep, painful massage. My husband also gave me a deep massage, but the tension came back immediately. As my usual troubleshooting methods were not successfully reliving discomfort, I realized that I was amidst an intense healing crisis. I was not muscle testing well to nutrient dense foods or responding well to detox protocols. My body had all of the energy and nutrition it needed to heal whatever it needed heal. All I needed was rest, hydration with coconut water, and time to heal.

On day twelve of my cycle, I woke up with the entire left side of my body sore. It felt as though I had over exercised and injured the left side of my pelvis. All of the discomfort was stemming from my left ovary and my endocrine system. I suspect that the discomfort is a result of my body attempting to heal my left ovary and restore fertility completely. My bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints ached terribly especially in my pelvis, shoulders, and ankles. I felt pain and weakness in a particular part of my pelvis that I had felt trauma during childbirth.

On day thirteen of my cycle, I woke up with residual tension, but the adrenal exhaustion was gone. Even though I felt crappy, I was able to accomplish running errands, going for a long walk, watching an active toddler, cooking homemade meals, and washing and folding five loads of laundry. I could tell the worst of the healing crisis was over. It is likely that I had successfully ovulated on this day and my hormones levels were dropping. I ended the productive day with an Epsom salt bath to help drain the toxins from my lymph system. I stretched and fell asleep.

On day fourteen of my cycle, I woke up feeling good. There is a little residual tension in my shoulders, but my stiff neck and cramping is gone. My energy is back, and I’m feeling better than ever. My left hip feels weak, but with a few days of yoga the strength will return.

What is amazing to me is that pre-liver flush, EBV could take over my life for weeks at a time. Now, it takes over for two days and then disappears. This healing crisis obviously correlates to the hormones produced during ovulation. Perhaps ovulation is a time for deep healing and menstruation is a time for deep cleansing.

As I reflect on my experience, I can see that this was not only a healing crisis, but also a time of retracing. According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, “Retracing is a specific type of deep healing that fully restores the anatomy and physiology of a part of the body.” I encourage everyone who is embarking on a health journey to read his article on retracing: http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/retracing.htm. Understanding the principles of healing crisis and retracing will ignite a deeper understanding of your own healing mechanisms and reduce fear of illness in times of discomfort.

How did I know that I was retracing and going through a healing crisis?

  • The tissues that became inflamed had been stressed and traumatized during pregnancy and childbirth. The tendons, ligaments, bones, and spine are some of the last tissues to heal completely. The spine fully heals around one year postpartum.
  • My energy levels were very high right before the healing crisis, which is an indication of a vitality high enough to tackle deep healing. My recent diet and lifestyle included high amounts of vitamin c and vitamin d, which are necessary to repair the inflamed tissues.
  • I was reliving old trauma sensations. I had flashbacks of when I had previously felt that type of pain and discomfort. When I acknowledged the sensations as a healing crisis, then the symptoms began to diminish.
  • None of my detox methods stopped the discomfort. The body will not begin retracing unless it can completely heal the deep trauma. This means you have to ride the wave of discomfort and not interfere or suppress symptoms.
  • Food with dense nutrients muscle tested as weakening to the chi of my body. When you experience a healing reaction, excess nutrition will send the body into a more intense state of healing, which decreases vitality.
  • My symptoms were short-lived. A healing crisis will last from a couple of hours to a couple of day. If symptoms persist longer, then you are experiencing illness and not a healing crisis.
  • My vitality has returned to a greater capacity after the healing crisis.

I’m curious to see what happens mid cycle in May. When there is a deep trauma, the body may need to retrace through several flare-ups before the body can be whole. For now I’m grateful to have a support system that allows me to rest during healing crises and the bravery to tackle a roller coaster of sensation head on without symptom suppression.

“Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her, and all those who come after” – Christiane Northrup.

Unleashing the Healer Within

Earlier this week, I received an email from a kind soul who had been struggling with chronic infections and had taken my advice and ran with it. As I read his email, the scripted words transformed into tears in my eyes, and in that moment my purpose was clarified. He wrote,

“I can’t thank you enough for sending me down this rabbit hole of a journey. It’s brought me comfort, energy, and confidence to take on my healing journey by myself rather than relying on practitioners who know bits and pieces of beneficial information but also could be doing harm as well. I have a renewed hope for good health, and a much better timeline for achieving that than I could have dreamed of. This all started with discovering your blog, which prompted me to try something new and different and now has led me to a ton of additional research on root/underlying causes and answers I was not finding anywhere else.”

My goal is to give others the tools, resources, and confidence to be their own healer. I am here to inspire and to teach. I want to be an inspiration, a guiding light, and a giver of hope. If you are suffering from a chronic illness not caused by acute trauma, then you can heal yourself. It is going to take time, effort, resources, and persistence, but it is possible. You are given one body, one vessel to house your soul. Only you intimately know your feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories, consciousness, and sub consciousness.

If you wish to hire a healthcare practitioners, I urge you to remember that they are consultants you are paying. Legally, all medical decisions require your informed consent. For this reason, it is your responsibility to own all health related decisions. This is a concept I did not grasp for many years.

When I was working with a functional medicine practitioner, I thought he was solely responsible for my health and wellbeing. I thought this was a puzzle I could not figure out or fix on my own. And while I did learn a lot from him, such as muscle testing, I didn’t really start to heal until I was no longer directly under his care. My health deterioration led to a serious relationship ending, an inability to work, and forced me to move back home. My trust in doctors was already extremely low due to personal experiences, and the one doctor I trusted was hundreds of miles away and I could no longer afford his services. This was terrifying. The situation I found myself in forced me to realize that nobody cared about my body or my health and wellbeing as much as I did. I made a vow to rid myself of the victim mentality and dedicated all my coherent time and energy into being my own doctor, my own science researcher, and my own healer. I stopped looking for love and validation on the outside and began to love myself unconditionally. Within weeks my health improved, my seizures decreased, my energy increased, and I felt a new sense of calm within the storm. Two years and a half years later, and I have yet to walk into a doctor’s office. They no longer offer a service I desire.

As many on health and spiritual journey will attest, it is just as important to unlearn what we have been taught as it is to learn new information. The healthcare practitioners are not the experts on your body. They are experts in literature taught in school. This literature is very limited, and if it is of the western philosophy, very lacking in knowledge and understanding of health and wellbeing due to its foundation built on the germ theory and intimate relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. One of the most important myths to unlearn is that you must suppress all symptoms of discomfort. Often times, the healing process involves discomfort. For long term health, it is important to quiet the desire to suppress symptoms and instead support the body during healing crisis with nutrition, rest, hydration, and a few tools to support elimination organs.

Resist the psychological warfare of our western culture and remind yourself that you alone are good enough. You are powerful. Your body is amazing. You can heal. Whole foods, water, sunshine, physical movement, and rest are the foundation of health and the healing process. You are capable of unleashing the healer within. If you are struggling with this, then take time to meditate. Ask yourself what it is that you need. What nourishment do you need in this moment? What is your body trying to communicate to you? Open up a daily dialogue between your mind and body. Take the first step on the journey to health with confidence and hope.

EBV: The Gut Inflammation Connection

The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and consequently full blown mononucleosis (mono) can be Kryptonite for even the strongest superheroes. A happy, productive person can turn into a shell of their previous self who hibernates as their liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and possibly brain swell.

I’ll never forget Jan 1st, 2014. It was the day the EBV took over my body and turned into an intense case of mono. My level of fatigue was so severe that walking ten feet from the couch I was laying on to the bathroom was a daunting feat. My body was under so much physical stress that any additional mental stress would trigger seizures. My adrenals were depleted. My motivation to do anything was completely gone. I was in enormous amounts of pain. I was unable to work. At times speaking or standing was more than I could bare.

I had tested positive for EBV two years before I developed any symptoms. I wondered what caused this virus to activate and how could I reduce the symptoms so I could return to living my beautiful life. I initially looked to medical literature for answers, which was incomplete at best. This is what I read.

What causes Mono? EBV.

This answer is incomplete. It does explain why I was able to be infected with EBV without mono symptoms. It does not explain what activated the virus. This answer essentially claims they have no idea what causes mono.

What is the treatment for Mono? There is no treatment available. Drink fluids, get plenty of rest, and avoid contact sports to prevent the Spleen from rupturing.

Without understanding the cause, it is impossible to recommend an effective treatment. Avoidance is not the answer. Much more can be done, but we will get to that later.

How long does Mono last? The virus has an incubation period of 4-6 weeks. Once the body builds up antibodies, then it is immune and the illness will not return.

FALSE. The time period of mono varies from person to person and can return. My first bout of mono lasted four weeks, but I fought in on and off for over a year. If I took one wrong move, then mono would return. In fact, I’ve been battling mono this past week, which inspired me to further research the cause of EBV activation.

To begin to understand the cause of EBV activation, we have to look from a perspective that views viruses as symbiotic organisms, not demons. According to Antoine Béchamp’s Pleomorphism Theory, germs are the result, not the cause of disease. An unhealthy terrain creates a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. In fact, virus activation is the most effective method for the body to overcome a toxicity crisis. They initiate a strong immune response that cleans up dying tissue, increases blood flow, and provides nutrients to the site of toxicity thereby restoring it back to health. Therefore, a negative change in terrain can cause a dormant virus to become active.

The Missing Gut Inflammation Connection

As soon as my EBV symptoms returned this week, I began to dissect my every move. What changes had occurred in the terrain of my body to allow this virus to reactivate? My diet, activity level, and sleep had remained consistent. However, I had been passing a large amount of rope worms after liver flushing and daily coffee enemas. Rope worms are extremely toxic. The colon becomes inflamed as they pass. I experience severe bloating, liver congestion, fatigue, and heavy metal poisoning. As soon as the rope worms are flushed out of the colon with an enema, the gut inflammation significantly decreases and my EBV symptoms disappear. Was I on to something? Was severe gut inflammation the cause of EBV activation? I looked to scientific research for evidence to see whether or not my theory had a valid basis. Bingo!

A study performed at the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed and compared the amount of EBV DNA in the mucosal lining of health individuals to that of individuals with various bowel diseases. Here is what they found.

“RESULTS: EBV DNA was essentially undetectable in normal gastric mucosa but was present in 46% of gastritis lesions, 44% of normal colonic mucosa, 55% of Crohn’s disease, and 64% of ulcerative colitis samples. Levels of EBV DNA exceeded what would be expected based on the numbers of B lymphocytes in inflamed tissues, suggesting that EBV is preferentially localized to inflammatory gastrointestinal lesions.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22410851/)

Essentially, EBV prefers to activate in lesions of the stomach and intestines. When there are lesions in the stomach and intestines, unwanted particles pass through the gut lining into the bloodstream. This can create blood toxicity and therefore incite a systematic viral infection associated with inflammation in the lymph system, also known as mono.

Treating EBV/Mono

Since gastrointestinal lesions may be at the core of EBV infections, one must become a detective and determine what is causing their lesions. Often times, parasites, heavy metals, and a poor diet can cause gastrointestinal lesions. Therefore, it is important to eat a clean, whole-food diet, gentle exercise, drink plenty of water, rest when possible, and detox the body.

I recommend starting with soft, easy to digest foods that promote gut healing. Bananas are soft, easy to digest, and are a great pre-biotic, which feeds the good gut bacteria and promotes gut balance. Cooking anti-inflammatory vegetables increases nutrient availability and absorption while reducing gut irritation. This is not the time to load up on raw vegetables or fiber-rich grains. Pro-inflammatory foods, such as grains containing gluten, dairy, meat, nightshades, refined sugar, and alcohol should be avoided. Coconut oil is particularly helpful as it is anti-viral, antimicrobial, and full of medium length chain saturated fatty acids that promote energy and healing. Turmeric and cinnamon should generously added to meals as they greatly reduce inflammation. Anti-parasitic herbs, such as clove, may also be helpful. Taking chlorella will help bind heavy metals and reduce gastrointestinal irritation.

If you can muster up the energy, exercise at a level your body can tolerate. This will help get the lymph flowing, reduce pain and dehydration, and boost the immune system. Intense exercise should be avoided, since the adrenals are already over-taxed over-training will reduce your body’s energy reserve for healing purposes. Yoga, rebounding, and DIY pressure point deep tissue massage with a tennis ball are great to promote blood circulation, reduce pain, and decrease fatigue.

If you are too weak to exercise, then I recommend a warm Epsom salt bath or sauna therapy. These detox methods will promote blood circulation, get the lymph flowing, and reduce organ swelling without the exertion required by exercise. When my symptoms became unbearable, I immediately soaked in a warm Epsom salt bath and drank lots of water to stay hydrated. Coffee enemas are another great detox method, especially if you have a parasitic infection. They flush out parasites and worms that may be causing gastrointestinal inflammation and lesions while healing the swollen liver. During a coffee enema, intracellular glutathione increases 500-700%. Glutathione is the body’s most powerful anti-oxidant, so inflammation decreases dramatically.

Incorporating the previously mentioned lifestyle factors will speed up the healing process, thereby reducing the length and severity of EBV infections and mono. With a greater understanding of the purpose and cause of infections, we no longer need to fear them. We should view the symptoms as a reminder to love ourselves by incorporating healthy lifestyle changes.

Coffee Enema Procedure

What You’ll Need:

  • Organic Coffee (Must be caffeinated to work!)
  • Enema Kit (Bag or Bucket and Tube)
  • Lubricant (Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, or Castor Oil)
  • Old Towels
  • Bathtub or Yoga Mat
  • Stove with pot
  • Cheese Cloth
  • Sea Salt
  • Distilled water
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Timer
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium Bowl

Directions:

It is highly recommend to take a binder, such as Bentonite Clay, 1 hour before the coffee enema. Mix 1 tbsp of Bentonite Clay in 6-8oz of spring water and drink the mixture. This will help absorb toxins in the intestines that are released by the coffee enema. If you skip this step, then you may experience a toxicity symptoms a few hours after the enema due to toxin reabsorption through the gut wall.

Coffee Preparation

Pour 4 cups of distilled water and 2 tbsp of organic coffee into a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to a warm, but not scalding temperature.  If the coffee is too hot, then you could burn the intestinal lining, ouch! If the coffee is too cold, then the liquid will shock your system making the enema very difficult to hold. Be like Goldilocks and make sure the temperature is just right.

Place a medium bowl on the counter with a cheese cloth draped on top. Pour the coffee through the cheese cloth into the bowl. The cheese cloth will strain out the coffee grinds leaving only liquid in the medium bowl. Rinse out the cheese cloth and hang to dry. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to the coffee and stir.

Bathroom Setup

Lay one towel on the bottom of the tub where you will lay your body above your waist. Roll up a second towel so that it is several inches thick, and lay it below the other towel where you can rest your hips. Place a third towel on the tub edge. This is where you will lay the enema bucket. Remove floor bath mats near the bathtub and toilet. It is easier to clean the tile than wash the bathmats if there is an accident. Place Hydrogen Peroxide, a spoon containing coconut oil, and a timer on the tub edge. Lubricate the bottom 5-6 inches of the enema tube and the site of insertion with coconut oil.

Coffee Enema Procedure

Make sure the clamp on the enema tube is closed. Pour the coffee into the bucket. Open the clamp to let the coffee flow through the tube thereby removing the air. Lay down on your back with your hips elevated on the towel. Gently insert the tube into your rectum. Do not force the insertion. Remember to breathe, relax, and move the tube around if there is resistance. Once the tube has been inserted 5-6 inches, unclamp the tube and let the coffee flow.

Once all of the coffee has drained from the bucket, remove the tube and set a timer for 15 minutes. If you are new to coffee enemas, you may find it difficult to hold the liquid for the full 15 minutes. This is fine. When the timer beeps or you can no longer hold them enema in, sit on the toilet and release the liquid. Be patient and wait until all of the bowel contents have passed. If you are having issues, massage your belly two inches to the left of your belly button.

Clean Up

Rinse and clean the bathtub, enema kit, and any spills with water, hydrogen peroxide, and/or castile soap. Throw dirty towels into the laundry hamper, and you’re done!

Tips

  • Buy the enema kit online.
  • Whole Foods sells organic coffee, cheese cloth, and Bentonite clay.
  • Target and Walmart sell Distilled Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, and Epsom Salt.
  • Trader Joes sells Himalayan sea salt.
  • Double the recipe. This becomes very useful if you can’t hold it for the full 15 minutes. Extra coffee can be kept in the fridge.
  • Light a 100% Beeswax candle and put on relaxing music. Use this time to pamper yourself.
  • If you’re not squeamish, check the toilet bowel for parasites. You may be surprised at what you see.
  • If you are having a gallbladder attack, add 1-2 tsp of Epsom salt instead of sea salt. This will dilate the bile ducts further and will help intrahepatic gallstones to pass.
  • If possible, perform the enema after having a bowel movement. Otherwise, perform a warm salt water enema prior to the coffee enema. This will reduce toxicity reabsorption and improve the ability to hold the coffee enema for the full 15 minutes.
  • If you are sensitive to caffeine, begin with 1 tbsp of coffee and lay on your right side.
  • Do not exceed 4-6 tbsp of coffee per day.
  • If diarrhea is induced, drink water with one fresh squeezed lemon and a pinch of sea salt to stay hydrated.
  • If you are detoxing heavy metals, crush broken cell wall Chlorella into a powder and add it to the coffee.