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.


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.


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.