Week 1 Is Over…Thankfully!

I cried, I laughed, I yelled…I got angry, I got frustrated, I got overwhelmed…but, I lived.

This past week has probably been the most overwhelmed I’ve been in a very long time. Now, how much of it was because I was fighting, what I have named, The Devil’s Cold, I don’t know. I AM sure that my lack of energy 💯% played a roll in my ability to stay in control. But, I continued to press through, making changes when needed, and today, I can finally say I don’t feel so stressed. 🙌🏼

So I have learned a few things already that I definitely want to share with anyone ready to take the plunge to an AIP diet, or really anyone ready to make some drastic changes, health-related or not.

Lesson 1: Don’t make matters harder than they need to be.

I brought on a lot of unneeded stress by trying to follow a 28-day-plan without considering the amount of time and finances it would take to cook all of the meals. (I spent roughly $400 for four days worth of food, snacks and smoothie stuff included. 😳) AND I failed to reference my planner…had I done so, I may have noticed the amount of practices, parent meetings, and the guaranteed homework duty, that was going to wreck havoc on my dinner making. 😩 Instead of following multiple recipes, I could have stuck with my normal chicken and apple and/or sweet potato for lunch and some meat and veggies for dinner and called it a day.

Lesson 2: Don’t try to do everything. Little steps can make big differences.

I had planned on making several changes all at once and I definitely don’t recommend that! I even tell my clients, “baby steps”, start small and build on it. I planned to up my chiropractor appointments (an additional hour and fifteen minutes per week), add yoga to my schedule twice a week (two and a half hours per week), start my ozone therapy (hour and a half per week), and follow an AIP diet (countless hours of cooking, making sure I’m taking all of my supplements, drinking tea and bone broth with collagen, etc.) And there was a funeral in there as well that took a fair amount of my day, but that doesn’t count because that was unplanned and I wouldn’t have missed that no matter what. Regardless, this is too much for anyone. Even if you are young, single, don’t have a job yet and still living with mom and dad or you are a stay-at-home-mom who has the luxury of a house cleaner and groceries delivered… STILL TOO MUCH. If I were to start this process over again, I would have slowly added each of these in prior to starting my Ozone treatments, instead of adding them all in at once.

Lesson 3: NEVER TRY TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES WHEN YOU ARE SICK. 😩😩😩

This one I can’t say enough. I think my whole week and whole outlook AND my blog would be different had I not been sick. JUST….WAIT. You won’t lose anything by waiting one week.

Lesson 4: When you sit around a campfire, no matter where you sit, smoke will follow you.

Lol – this one definitely doesn’t pertain to what we’re talking about however, the fact that I’m camping and sitting near a fire does. Make time for yourself. Whenever you are trying to heal, make big changes, pursue goals, OR JUST HAVE LESS STRESS, find time to relax, kick your feet up, look at the scenery… and breathe. After this week, I honestly just wanted to stay home and “catch up” on everything and sleep in some. But God knew that if I stayed home I would not sit down and relax, or play cards with my family and outdoor games with my kids, or laugh around the campfire (while my dad “catches flies” next to me 😂). These moments when you relax are the moments that allow your body the chance to refuel, so you go after any goal or intention that you have. (Don’t worry, I made extra and packed all my AIP meals and snacks to bring with me. 😉)

I don’t have a whole lot of lessons, but these are the big ones. But honestly, as stubborn as I am, I’m not sure I would have followed my own advice had I known all of this anyway! 😂

Next week, I have pulled out the breakfast recipes that I’m supposed to make, saving me some time and money. I know coffee is not part of AIP but I figure if that’s the one thing I keep in, it’s not going to kill me. I drink decaf which is definitely better. But my morning fast followed by my bulletproof coffee just has to stay. 😊 I will be keeping dinner recipes that serve four. My husband is happily willing to eat my meals… thankfully! So we will eat a recipe for dinner and then have it for lunch two days later. This will keep a little separation between eating them. Every lunch will be a leftover, cutting out cooking at lunch time. I have planned my week so I know when I need to prep each dinner so that it doesn’t interfere with sports and appointments. My post workout meals will be easy smoothies and I already have everything I need for those. So hopefully, after this next week, my blog will be a much different tone!

On to next week, less stress, and treatment number 2!

Until then, be well!

Ten Week Journey of Healing

Hi all!! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here!!  I had NO IDEA how much my kiddos being home from school was going to affect my work and blog over the summer! But man…note to self for next summer….someone say, “day camps”? Lol, I’m kidding…sorta…

Anywho…I hope you are having a wonderful Monday and a great start to your week!!
I’m back to blogging today and for a very GOOD reason!  I’m getting ready to embark on a little journey that may be of interest to you or someone you know!
As most of you know, I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease.  I’ve been battling it since 2003, at the young age of 24.  For a long time I just dealt with it, taking several medications to not only help my thyroid but to also help deal with the symptoms of Hashimoto’s…mainly anxiety, allergies, and my blood pressure dropping unexpectedly.  The last 6-7 years, I’ve slowly been learning more and more about nutrition, supplementation, essential oils, meditation and breathing exercises, finding the right doctor, holistic health, possible root causes, etc., etc.
A few months back, I had labs ran to test for possible infections.  If you aren’t aware, there are many infections that can trigger Hashimoto’s (and other autoimmune conditions).  I was aware of a few that I had contracted in the past (H. Pylori – ulcers, Epstein Barr – mono and Herpes Simplex – cold sores, and a few others), so I thought it would be good to see how active they were.  As expected, those that I just mentioned all came back as positive for having had them, with Herpes being a little higher as that is still active every once in a while.  But the one that I didn’t know they were testing for, and one that I wasn’t even aware was a possibility, was the one that came back so high, it was off the charts.  And it was one of the most common infections people, especially children, can get… and that’s Strep.  And this REALLY surprised me because I’ve only had strep once, maybe twice, ever.  So that leads me to the little journey I’m about to take.
There is something called Ozone.  Don’t ask me to describe it or really explain it because I’m not sure that I even know how to.  But, it’s known to be magical! 🙂 Ozone can kill infections in the body without harming the body. So, I’m about to go through 10 ozone treatments, one per week, at The Logan Institue for Health and Wellness.  There, Dr. Logan and crew will give me an IV with Ozone and Saline.  The hope is that these infections, mainly the strep, are/were the trigger for the onset of my Hashimoto’s, that this will kill the multiple infections that are both dormant and active, in bigger hopes that this will drop my thyroid antibodies and reverse my autoimmune condition.  Don’t be confused though, because there is no cure for Hashimoto’s.  So you’re probably asking why am I doing this then?  Well, because while there is no cure, reversing Hashimoto’s will allow me the relief of the multitude of symptoms that come along with any autoimmune condition.
So, why am I telling you all this??
I’m going to blog over the next 10 weeks about my experiences with the Ozone Treatment, my diet (AIP) during this time, what I’m doing for exercise, how I’m feeling, and of course, the end results.  So, if you have a thyroid condition, Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune condition, OR know someone who does, feel free to follow my blog or share with those who may be interested. (Warning – I don’t claim to be good at blogging, blog consistently, or make myself all pretty for my pictures and videos, as you may have noticed if you’ve already been following my blog! LOL) My hope, as always, is to empower people with knowledge about health and nutrition.
If you are willing, I would love some prayers of healing over the next 10 weeks!
Talk to you all soon!

To Exercise or Not to Exercise…

runningSo I’ve had a lot of questions about exercise lately and what you should do when you have an autoimmune condition. So I thought I would share my not-so “expert”, based on experience, opinion. 😂

I think exercise is as bio individual as is food. What works for one person may not work for another. This is an area where it really pays to be mindful of your body and it’s responses to what you are doing. Listen to your doctors and consider what they tell you. But also, no one knows your body as well as you do. So when you are taking part in an activity, really be mindful in the moment and pay attention to what your body is telling you. Most likely, you will have a gut instinct as our bodies are very good at telling us what they need, if only we listen.

If I had to give you my own opinion of what you should do, it would be something like this: If you are in the middle of a flare up or you are in the process of trying to heal, I would definitely dial back what you are doing. As an example, if you are someone who runs marathons and is training multiple times a week with long runs, you might dial it back to running 3 to 5 miles a couple times a week.  If you find yourself at the gym for a couple hours at a time, five to six days a week, doing several high intensity type workouts, maybe you dial it back by only being there for an hour, three to five days a week.

In evaluating your own situation, there is a really important question I would ask yourself. It’s not necessarily how often are you exercising, it’s

how often are you balancing your exercise with something that is grounding or centering?

In a more scientific way of saying it, how often are you balancing your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) by triggering your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)?

You have to understand that when you exercise, it is a form of stress on the body. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, when we are in a state of stress all the time, that’s when it can be detrimental to our health. So, if you are someone that has a very stressful job, several kids that you are running around, you’re exercising multiple times a week, running errands between appointments and/or practices, you are stressing your body all day long. That’s when it becomes a problem. Add in any financial, career, relationship, spiritual, or other struggles and now you’ve got a recipe for staying in, or triggering, a diseased state.

When you are in a state of stress, you are triggering your SNS. This system is designed to take all of your energy resources and put them in the areas, like your muscles, to help you flee from danger. Think back to very early human days when danger was keeping yourself alive from the tiger chasing you. In this state, there is decreased blood supply to the gut and an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Being in this state on a frequent, or all the time basis, can be harmful.

We also have another system called the PNS. You will often here this referred to as the rest and digest system. When it is engaged, there is an increased blood supply to your gut which increases digestion. When you are in a parasympathetic state, your body is in a healing state. When you have an autoimmune condition and are dealing with a flareup, you want to be in the parasympathetic state as much as possible.  And even if you are a healthy individual, it is still just as important to have a healthy balance between these two systems.

So when we talk about exercise, not only should you ask yourself how much stress are you putting on your body with the type of exercise you are doing, but, how often are you balancing that out with something that triggers your PNS?  How often are you doing grounding, centering, and/or relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, taking a bubble bath, reading a good book, or in my case, watching the birds at my feeders? If you can’t say that you are doing an activity that triggers your PNS as often as you are doing an activity that triggers your SNS, then I encourage you to push yourself out of the comfort zone of your normal routine, shake things up a bit.  Ask yourself what you enjoy doing that relaxes you and maybe look into meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.  Your body will absolutely thank you for it!  And who knows…you might just lose those extra few pounds that won’t go away.

 

If you need help balancing your exercise, your work/home life, or your stress, reach out to me here!  I would love to help you!

 

“True love is when both people think they have the better half of the deal”

Being that it’s Valentine’s Day, my husband found this very fitting quote and sent it to me this morning. At first, I kind of laughed to myself knowing he got stuck with me. LOL! I definitely think he got the short end of the stick! But after a light-hearted response back, I actually thought about how great of a deal I got and how blessed I am to have him as my husband.

Love is so important. Not just romantic love between two people, but love between parents and children, between siblings, and between friends. Relationships play a huge role in our overall health and well-being. If we are in a bad relationship, fighting with our parents or children, or not speaking to siblings, the stress of the relationship can take a toll on us. As I have talked about before, stress can do a lot of damage to our body, even cause chronic illnesses and diseases. So, how do we have good, healthy relationships? Here’s my top five recommendations and what to do if they aren’t meeting your needs.

1. CommunicationI preach this to my kids all of the time (just ask my 19 yo) . If someone has to second-guess what you are thinking, it’s never going to end well. If you just keep hoping that things are going to change, they aren’t. If you think your significant other can read your mind, (s)he can’t. If you think your boss knows that (s)he is disrespectful, (s)he doesn’t. If you think your friend knows that (s)he hurt your feelings, (s)he doesn’t. If you think your coworker knows that (s)he is annoying you with countless stories every day while you are trying to work, they don’t. 🙄 You have to speak up. I don’t mean start an argument by telling them all of their faults, I mean, in a tactful way, explain to them how what they are doing doesn’t work for you. The more you communicate, the better the relationship you will have. 2. HonestyThis goes right along with communication. You have to be honest in a relationship. If you can’t be honest, then you are not only doing a disservice to yourself, but you aren’t allowing the other person to truly love YOU.3. SupportWe all have an inner child in us that still looks for acknowledgment. When you share your dreams with someone, share a story from work, share something that weighs heavy on your heart, you need someone who is willing to listen to you, know when giving advice isn’t necessary, and someone who builds you up when you are down. You need someone who is willing to hold your hand and walk through the fire with you. 4. RespectA lot of people believe that respect is earned. I see it differently… I don’t believe that you have to earn respect. I think respect is a God given right to every human being. You may not like someone, and you may disagree with their beliefs, but God created all of us to be different. You don’t have to agree with each other to respect each other. Therefore, any relationship should involve respect, without question.5. TrustI do believe that trust is earned. You have to be able to trust the other person in the relationship for it to last. If you do not trust them, ask your self why? If you have a valid reason for not trusting that person, would you be better off moving on?While there are many other qualities that meaningful relationships should have, these five are my essentials. So, what do you do if your relationship lacks any, or all of these?Well, first, start with number one. Communicate with the other person. If after communicating, and working to make changes, the relationship is still lacking in quality, then maybe it’s time to move on. Don’t ever feel obligated to be in a relationship with someone if the relationship causes you undo stress, even if it’s a family member. I don’t say that very easily. However, you have to take care of your self. If you have went above and beyond to have a healthy relationship with someone and they aren’t reciprocating the effort, then find a way to remove yourself from that relationship. At the very least, set boundaries between you and that person. Maybe you only except a phone call once a week, maybe it means you only see them once or twice a year, whatever it is that you need, don’t be afraid to enforce it. It might be hard to wrap your head around letting go of a relationship, but your body will thank you later.

Love is an amazing thing. I believe that everyone absolutely deserves it. While it’s not always easy, it is one of the building blocks of having a healthy life.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.”

1Corinthians 13 4-8

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

For more information on health coaching with me, shoot me an e-mail at StacyRawlings@mac.com