It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle Change

I’ve made many lifestyle changes over the years and although change is good, it isn’t always easy.

 

The beginning of this year was the start of several acute illnesses for me after what was a very stressful year in 2016, the stress finally caught up with me and took its toll.

 

Now half the year is gone and I’ve been feeling very out of shape. I began an Autoimmune Paleo diet or AIP at the beginning of the year, it’s a much more specific and strict diet than a Paleo diet. That was all good and well, but getting sick really derailed the plan. In the meantime I’ve studies up on a Keto Adapted diet coupled with Intermittent Fasting.

KETOGENIC DIET

Ketogenic diet has actually been around for years and can be extremely healing for a multitude of diseases including Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Insulin Resistance and so on. You may be saying great, sign me up, but the Keto diet isn’t for everyone and you really should check with a professional before beginning any diet and specifically the Keto diet. Certain labs should be run in order to ensure you’re body is prepared and perhaps more specific labs if you’re chronically ill. The initial stages of the diet can include symptoms referred to as “Keto Flu.” This is normal while the body is adjusting to burning fat instead of glucose for fuel.

 

Check out this blog depicting what and why Keto Flu happens: https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/post/2015/05/17/quick-guide-to-keto-flu-remedies

Other challenges regarding the diet might include individuals who have thyroid disease or if you’ve had your gall bladder removed. You’ll want to make sure you’re taking extra digestive enzymes, such as Lipase so that your body can process and digest all that fat and you’ll want to check your adrenals and cortisol levels, to make sure those are in a good place if you have thyroid disease.

 

A Ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat. Percentages of calories are about 5% carb, 20% protein, 75% fat and can vary slightly for each individual. Needless to say, this isn’t an easy one and most individuals start with 60g of carb and drop down to 20 g gradually over time. Fats should be organic, grass-fed and very good quality (butter, ghee, coconut oil, MCT Oil, avocado, olive, cacao butter…). Protein is a tricky one because is can actually raise your glucose levels and take you out of Ketosis. Keep in mind that this is not a high protein diet.

 

Fat is very satiating and satisfying. On a diet like this you’ll find that you won’t be hungry. It definitely takes commitment though. This isn’t the kind of diet that you can go on for the work-week and off on the weekend. You must be consistent or you’ll not only be unsuccessful, you could cause other problems.

 

I’m 1 week in and already able to get my body in ketosis, but my diet was pretty close to requirements prior to starting, so it didn’t take much for me to get there. Most people don’t enter ketosis quite that quickly. I’m not fully keto adapted yet. My glucose levels have been fluctuating and that means I need to tweak the amount of carbs and protein that I’m taking in and increasing my activity level will also help. Now that I’m feeling well, that is the goal. I had hoped to climb another 14-er this year, but I’m behind in training and I’ll settle for just getting into shape after being sick for almost half the year.

 

The goal is to gently ease myself into this new lifestyle and to keep a sense of humor while doing so.

 

Peace out peeps! I’m going to go eat some fat bombs!

 

 

Pneumonia Calls for Conventional Medicine Balanced by Alternatives

I have been recovering from pneumonia over the last 3 weeks. This is an illness that can take hold quickly and go downhill fast. Pneumonia is no joke. It ranks up there just above the flu and will slow you down entirely. It is a time to really listen to what your body needs. Pneumonia is severe and can put you in the hospital and even cause death. Antibiotics are often a necessary evil with pneumonia. There are cases that are less severe and it is sometimes possible to work through the illness without antibiotics. It is an illness that you can start to improve and suddenly take a turn for the worse, so it’s important for early diagnosis and early treatment or it can be fatal.

 

So, what to do…. Get lots and lots of rest. Pneumonia means that you have fluid in your lungs and thus less room for the oxygen that your blood and brain need. When you have pneumonia, just standing can feel like a real effort. I felt like I weighed a ton of bricks when I stood. Showering was almost all I could do for the day (even though in some ways it would make me feel better, it took a lot out of me.) I would go to bed around 7:30 pm and wake at 6:30 am and I’d feel like I didn’t sleep at all. It is the kind of tired that you feel tired in your bones.

 

I was fortunate that I could work from home. It was probably more than I should have done, but we’re short staffed in the office and busier than we’ve ever been. Unfortunately a good portion of my role requires that I’m on the phone quite a bit and that was just something pneumonia just didn’t allow me the oxygen for, for about a week and a half. I did all that I could while sitting upright that didn’t involve being on the phone. I worked modified hours and really tried to listen to what my body needed and when.

 

Here are some of the other things I did to help my body heal from pneumonia despite having to take a round of antibiotics.

  • Tons of rest / sleep…. #1 priority
  • Lots of bone broth and soup
  • Lots of blended greens shakes and essentially eating a very high nutrient diet (no sugar, no caffeine) and tons of water
  • Extra supplements including A, B, D and C
  • Double probiotics while taking antibiotics and for 2 weeks following
  • Breathing exercises to improve lung capacity
  • Neti pot several times per day to clear excess mucus
  • Herbal combo including Pleurisy root and Osha Root that are specific remedies for lungs and respiratory issues
  • Elderberry syrup for my cough
  • Gargle with salt water every day sometimes more than once a day
  • Drink a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of warm water (helps loosen mucus)
  • If I felt like I could make it to the sauna, that would have been beneficial, but I just didn’t have the energy for it.

 

The cough, chest & lung congestion that come with pneumonia are terrible and make it difficult to sleep. Unfortunately you want a productive cough, so that your body will rid itself of infection that comes with pneumonia. The cough itself can take all the energy you have while sick with pneumonia. It’s important to be patient and ride it out and be gentle with yourself and diligent about taking care of yourself and not over doing it. I finally had the first day of feeling somewhat human at the end of last week. I’m thankful the worst is behind me, but I will likely still be recovering over the next week or so.

Much of the same applies if you have a cold or the flu. Both can turn into pneumonia and that is a dangerous place to be, so plenty of self care and rest are just what the doctor ordered. Here’s to brighter days ahead and the end of cold & flu season!

 

 

Gluten By Accident, Oh, No! What Should You Do?

Happy new year! My goal is to bring you informative, helpful and healthful blogs over the months to come during 2017 and the focus of this blog is about eating gluten accidentally and what to do. I took a bit of a break while I worked on making my website available www.TheVitalBeet.com. Take a look around and discover new ways to take care of your health. New information is being compiled for the website, so check back often for additional information about services, new blogs, and other important updates.

Gluten Allergies and Intollerances

This blog comes to you through my own personal experience and it is a tough lesson to learn. Do you have foods that you avoid due to allergies, intollerances or just plain health reasons? I do and one of those is Gluten.

We decided to ring in the new year with breakfast at a trusted restaurant. They have awesome gluten free pancakes, so awesome that they taste almost the same as the pancakes that have gluten in them.

Gluten free pancakes often look the same as pancakes with gluten.

We placed our order and half way through my pancake, a waiter asked me if I was Celiac. I knew where this was headed. Low and behold they gave me the wrong pancake. IT HAD GLUTEN IN IT!!! Yikes! I smiled and laughed, because what else can you do in that moment. Its already too late. Half of the pancake was in my belly. The damage was already happening.

The manager joked and told me he fired his food runner. They truly felt terrible and the truth is, I wasn’t upset with them. I understand this is the risk I take when eating out. It is a rare occasion that I eat out, but I do from time to time and this is the risk I take.

Getting upset will worsen digestive issues. It will actually make them worse. They brought me a gluten free pancake and breakfast was free for everyone at the table. I haven’t had gluten in 7 to 8 years that I know of, so I really didn’t know what to expect or how it would or would not make me feel. I just knew if it became an issue, I wouldn’t really know for a while, so I was going to sit there and enjoy my breakfast.

My reaction was delayed by almost 48 hours and included a splitting headache for 14+ hours and some digestive upset along with some joint aches and pains. Others can have a much more severe reaction, sometimes landing them in the hospital, so I’m fortunate that my reaction was not that severe.

What to Do

Have you ever accidentally eaten one of your problem foods and just resigned yourself to the consequences? I took precautions that most likely reduced my symptom picture. As soon as I arrived home from the restaurant. Here is a list of what I did.

Ten Steps to Repair Gluten Damage

Enzymes

  • Taking digestive enzymes when I eat has been a practice of mine for years, so I did have one with my meal. Most of us need additional digestive enzymes as we age. Digestive enzymes help to break down fats, carbs and proteins and the enzymes humans produce naturally become less effective over time, so a supplement may be necessary especially if digestion is impaired to begin with.

Charcoal

  • I took Activated Charcoal with lots of water as soon as I got home. This is helpful in binding and removing toxins from your system and can help to sooth digestive upset.

Demulcent

  • A tea made from Marshmallow Root (drank this for several days). This is a demulcent and helps to line the stomach with a gooey gel like substance that aids in healing the gut. It can prevent leaky gut syndrome, which can happen from eating gluten, especially if you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten. Gluten is not the sole cause of leaky gut syndrome. Marshmallow Root has a whole host of health benefits. You can check them out here: https://draxe.com/marshmallow-root/
  • Ginger and Peppermint tea are helpful for any kind of digestive upset.

Rest, Anti-inflamatories and Fasting

  • Curcumin is key in reducing inflammation, so I’ve been bulking up on more than I typically take. I take a product called Curaphen on a regular basis and it is awesome. Its available through the clinic that I partner with called M3 Chiropractic and Wellness. Here is more information about its multiple health benefits: https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/
  • Rest is key when the body is under any kind of stress… from physical stress to emotional stress even good stress.
  • I already have histamine intolerance, so gluten would certainly raise my histamine levels and possibly cause for hives, so I took an antihistamine.

Probiotics and Gut Repair

  • A modified fast that included lots of greens shakes and bone broth for a few days is a good idea and one I was happy to do. Fasting allows the body to focus its energy on the areas that require the most healing. Greens shakes are much easier for the body to digest and less taxing. Digestion requires a lot of energy from the body and if your digestion process is impaired, it can be that much more taxing on your body. Bone broth is healing to the gut, provides nutrients and has so many health benefits. Its been around for centuries. This is old-school medicine at its best. Read more about the benefits of Bone Broth here: https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/
  • Bulking up on additional probiotics. I take them on a regular basis, but it is especially important to take additional if you’ve eaten something you are intolerant to.
  • This is an important one. Taking L-Glutamine for a month after any accidental gluten is helpful to repair any gut cells that have been damaged. Here is more information: http://blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2014/06/12/repairing-celiac-damage-healing-your-gut/

 

So, if you don’t eat gluten due to a chronic health issue and you accidentally ingest some, the above can be immensely helpful in reducing reactions to the gluten and can help to begin the repair process.

Bliss Even Without Pizza

Well, I got through my fast and to my surprise it was so much better than what I had experienced during the last fast I did like this. I had over prepared because of the experience I had before and the truth is other than feeling light headed, I really felt great. Last time I said I would never do this again, but here I am. I made it through and I’m glad I did it and I will do it again, perhaps around the same time next year.

This is not the way to break a fast, though it may seem tempting!

Breaking the fast is just as important as the fast itself. What you eat, when you eat and how much you eat are so important imperative after a fast. The first week or so after is primarily fruits and vegetables and oddly adding foods back in can be somewhat difficult and that blissful feeling during the fast usually subsides once foods are added back in and even if you aren’t overeating, which you shouldn’t do after a fast, you can experience dips in energy when you add foods back in, but that will dissipate. Not only does it take quite a bit of energy to digest foods, it may be that the fruits and veggies are pushing additional toxins through your body and this can result in energy depletion.

All in all, I feel great, my metabolism is working better than it has in a long time and things in general went much smoother this time. I’m still in the process of adding foods back in to my diet, but I’m nearly back to a normal healthy diet.

Fasting can be a nice break from everything. I know this may sound weird, but it was an oasis at a very stressful time in my life and it was just what I needed. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that someone go on a fast while experiencing high levels of stress, but this had a lot to do with me listening to exactly what my body needed and there isn’t really anyone that can know your body any better than you.

I’m feeling good and still aiming for hiking a fourteen-er in the early fall and I’m still in the conditioning phase. Things are progressing and I feel confident I’ll be ready by the time early fall rolls around.

I feel like this is the year my health will improve by leaps and bounds and many goals that I’ve been hanging on to will finally be attainable. Stay tuned!

Day 3 The Calm Before The Storm

I’m on the third day of my 9 day fast. This is the last day of juice fasting before the 3 day water fast. I’ll return to 3 days of juice after the water fast. I’m feeling really good with the exception of the occasional light headed feeling. I suspect the next few days will be a bit different. The last time I did this fast the water fast was the most difficult part, but I am hoping that this time will be different. Each consecutive fast is supposed to get easier. That is my wish for this one and I feel I’m well prepared no matter what direction I head the next few days. My stats will be taken twice a day and reported to my doctor for monitoring. I’m in good hands. I always feel great after a fast no matter how difficult the fast itself is.

Here is a look at the produce for one day of juicing. I cannot believe that I’ve ingested this many fruits and veggies for the last 3 days.

Produce for day 3 of the 9 day fast

It is tough to fit 3 days worth of produce in the refrigerator for a juice fast.

The only issue I’ve run into is with the removal of supplements and the histamine intolerance is kept under control with my thyroid medication (Liothyronine). I’ve had hives the past few days as a result. Ideally with any fast you want to stop all supplements and medications, but sometimes it just isn’t possible. I had to take a reduced dose of my medication in order to control the hives.

Once the fast is complete it will be equally as important that I am very careful about how and when foods are added back into my diet… I’ve heard many a story from others that just couldn’t hack the fast and they chose to break the fast with a burger or pizza… poor choice… they ended up paying for it. They felt so sick. This is a bad idea. I can tell when I add normal whole foods back into my diet after a fast those that are more difficult to digest, such as animal protein get added back last. Having this experience helps me to know how brutal it would be if I chose to eat pizza or burgers right away. It pays to be patient and truthfully I love the way I feel after I fast, inside and out, so that is the reward and I want to hang on to that feeling as long as possible, so I am motivated to eat well after a fast.

Cheers! Let me know what your favorite health or wellness activity is. What makes you feel at your best?