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!

 

Can’t Have Pizza on an Elimination Diet?? 😩 Well, of course you can! Here’s how!!

While I’m a huge supporter of eating good, whole foods as much as possible, sometimes you need a little something fun, a little “cheat”, especially if you’re just getting used to eating for your health, not eating for fun!

My daughter is on an elimination diet which takes out several things including gluten and dairy. So when movie night shows up at school every couple of months and they are serving pizza, she can’t have it…and it breaks my heart and I hate it for her. 😥 So I have started making her a version of pizza that she CAN have. This “elimination diet approved” pizza has allowed her to feel normal! Check this video out to see how I make it!! (**Not all elimination diets are the same. Check with your doctor or health coach to see if this would work for you.)

https://healingmyhashi.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/img_1322.mov

If you need help navigating the waters of an elimination diet, e-mail me here. I would love to help and support you!!

Spring is in Bloom and Summer is Just Around the Corner!

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With Spring finally here and summer around the corner,  I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value.  (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard.  Wheew!!  That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂  I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!

I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first.  You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc.  Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today.  There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens.  First is in a smoothie.  I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!!  However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you.  Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie.  For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie.  They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for.  Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie!  It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!

The second easy way is to saute them.  My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed.  Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed.  Here is a quick and easy recipe:

EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste

Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next.  Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer).  Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted.  Bam, you’re done!  You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top.  I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself.  If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!

As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can.  It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season.  Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂

For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!
https://www.rebootwithjoe.com/benefits-of-eating-seasonally/

Struggling to Give up Soda Pop? Try this!

It’s been years since I had my daily Diet Coke! I could go into all of the reasons why I gave it up, but I don’t think I need to! Now-a-days, we all pretty much know that pop isn’t good for you. (Just in case 😂 causes dehydration, plaque build-up on teeth, SUGAR, ASPARTAME, phosphoric acid, caffeine, possible heavy metal toxicity, and high fructose corn syrup 😳) But, I’ve always missed the carbonated beverage. I got hooked on Zevia (a “better” pop) and I have been drinking that in the afternoons for a couple of years. But, fighting an autoimmune disease, I wanted to give up drinking out of an aluminum can because of the possible toxicity exposure. So, I did some research and found out I could basically make my own beverage! Check out this video to see how you too can give up your pop and make your own healthy version!

Are you looking for support on your autoimmune journey? E-mail me here!

Another Reason Why

This little lady made me a mom. Now don’t get me wrong, I have two beautiful, gorgeous step children who are much older than Paisley. They definitely made me a mom prior to birthing Paisley & Eden. But, by the time they came into my life, they were past all the late night, early-morning feedings, diaper changing, bedwetting craziness! And because of that, I say that this little stinker above, really completed the whole mom picture!

Paisley is beautiful, smart, and kind. She loves spending time with her best friends, loves our animals, and, although my parents would prefer she doesn’t, she loves rooting for Purdue with her daddy! She’s always been my fun-loving, laid back little girl…until recently.

As I’ve mentioned before, we currently have Paisley going through an elimination diet. Since almost the beginning of the diet, her behavior has changed. She has become stubborn, frustrated, easily angered and easily annoyed. Now it would be easy for me to blame the diet itself and say that she’s just angry that we are making her do it. However, she took it very well from the start. She even memorized all the things that she would have to avoid. She also made and decorated a food log. We’ve bought and made all kinds of things to help fill in the gaps of all the grain items that she knows and loves. We’ve made pancakes, muffins, bread, etc. I’ve bought different kinds of chips and crackers that she can eat. And she’s really enjoyed all of it. But, the one thing that I have not found a replacement for is dairy. Yes, I can buy coconut or almond milk yogurt. I can even buy vegan butter and cheese, but they all are missing the one thing that I think plays a huge role in why she’s acting out.

Casomorphin is something that is found in milk. God put this in milk to encourage the baby to continue to come back for more. It’s a way to ensure that the baby will get his or her nourishment. The problem is, casomorphins have a very addictive nature, which can be why a lot of people have a hard time giving up dairy, especially items like cheese and ice cream, which have more than double the amount of casomorphins than plain milk. I believe that this is what is affecting Paisley.

I think that Paisley is going through her own version of a withdraw. She was lactose intolerant as a baby and then we thought she had grown out of it. She would eat cheese and yogurt like it was going out of style. So, to completely remove that from her diet was like asking a crack addict to go cold turkey. 😳 So now that we’ve removed it, we have been struggling with her attitude and trying to figure out how to help her.

So, what’s our next step? Well, her functional medicine practitioner has asked us to do a urine test. This test will determine basically what’s going on up in her brain and what we can do to help her in terms of supplements until she is through this withdraw period. We will be doing this test this weekend and we look forward to the results.

What are your thoughts on dairy? Do you find it addictive for you? Have you or do you know of anyone that has eliminated dairy and found something similar to happen? I would love to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment!

For support going through an elimination diet or help with what steps to take, email me at StacyRawlings@mac.com for information on my health coaching packages.

*additional update on Paisley – we received news from her most recent labs. She has elevated IgG levels which is rare for a person of her age. We will be seeing an immunologist for what our next step will be.

**For more information on how casomorphins can be addictive, click here