Time For Spring Cleaning

You may or may not know this, but according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring time is the best time to cleanse or detox the liver and in our toxic world, we could all benefit from cleansing our liver. This isn’t just beneficial for someone that drinks alcohol. If you take any medication, drink water from the tap, eat conventional foods or simply live in the world that we live in, you will benefit from cleansing your liver. One of the simplest things you can do on a regular basis is to drink roasted dandelion root tea, preferably organic. I learned this from one of my first Naturopathic doctors. Dandelion is extremely beneficial for your liver and drinking tea on a daily basis is simple to do. If you don’t like tea, you can typically find dandelion root in capsule form in your local natural foods store. When the dandelions start to bloom, this is a good reminder that it is time to take care of your liver. There are so many other ways to cleanse your liver and some of our livers need more attention than others. If you have a health condition, you likely need a little extra help in this department.

I will be doing a more serious cleanse/fast at the end of May. It is a 9 day fast. The first 3 days are juice, followed by 3 days of water and then another 3 days of juice. There is more to it than that, but this is beneficial for more than just the liver and it will be doctor supervised. This isn’t something you should do on your own without supervision. There are other fasts that can be done on your own. Any fast will give your entire digestive system a break so that it can repair itself. I’ve done this type of fast a couple of years ago and I feel I’m ready to do it again. It is definitely not for a first time faster either. I used to do juice fasts on a regular basis. It is best if you’ve never fasted before and are thinking of fasting to start with a juice fast. If you have health issues, I highly recommend that you talk with your doctor first before doing a fast. The health benefits from a fast can be huge and it can improve chronic conditions depending on how long the health condition has been there.

Fasts are a matter of personal choice and they aren’t for everyone, but if your curious and you’ve never fasted before, spring time is a great time to fast.  But, if a fast is not for you, there are so many other ways to detox and improve your health. What type of spring cleaning are you doing for your body? 

Be Well Even In Winter

This is a time of year that the winter blues can set in for some people, which adds to the propensity for respiratory infections and colds/flu this time of year. I wanted to share one of the ways that I help myself to heal faster from acute illness and best of all ward illness off from ever taking a foot hold.

I sit in an infra red sauna about 3 times a week for about 20 minutes. I didn’t start out like this, but I’ve been sitting in a sauna for many years and I’ve worked up to the time and frequency that I’m currently at. The sauna is not for everyone, but it can be super beneficial for most people. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, are pregnant or suffer from another chronic illness, the sauna may or may not be for you and you should check with your doctor first. That being said, the sauna is an excellent way to take time for yourself and to assist your body in its detoxification process. The benefits are numerous from there.

A sweet looking sauna located in Canada.

My husband has two saunas in his clinic and I’m fortunate to be able to sit in the sauna just about any time I see fit. You may not have that luxury, but it is possible you might find a spa or clinic near you that may have sauna package and typically the cost is very reasonable. It is such a great way to warm up from a chilly day and we still have several chilly winter days ahead. Here is a link to my husband’s blog about the benefits of some sauna time. Treat yourself today. click here

There are other ways to ensure wellness as the winter blues hit. This is a great time of year to put plans in place for mile markers and wellness goals that you’d like to set for the year. I’ve done this and it is my goal to condition myself to climb a 14er in the fall of this year. The thought climbing a 14er is somewhat intimidating since I haven’t hiked a 14er since my 20s, but this is a very doable goal, yet challenging. My focus is set and I know what I have to do to be successful.

Another goal that I’ve set for myself this year is to cultivate more joy and pleasure in my life. When we experience joy and pleasure, we also naturally receive a boost in what is called Nitric Oxide. This is an important life giving gas, not the toxic kind that is important for cardiovascular health and so much more. By the way, negative thoughts and feelings can reduce your Nitric Oxide levels, so turning those feelings around as quickly as possible is so important to your health. Check out a post by Christine Northrup for more information on this topic. click here

There are many other things you can do to stay well and ward off the winter blues, but these are a few good was to start.

Be well!

Meet Yourself Where You Are

Do you ever look back on your journey and wonder how you possibly made the journey to arrive where you are today? I remember knowing that I would never give up on myself despite the many challenges (I still feel that way), but I was never quite sure if I would get to a point where I would feel well enough to do things that I had always hoped I would be able to do. I have met myself where I am… Does that make any sense? Well, I realize there will always be some element of management to my illnesses, but I have more good days than bad and I’m thrilled to say that I have a lot of exciting plans for 2015 and the future. It is like the clouds are clearing and the sunlight is beginning to trickle through. I’m not quite sure how I got here, but I know it was a combination of hard work and effort and always looking for new options if something didn’t seem to work quite like expected along the way. I have my whole future ahead and I know it won’t be all roses and I’m ok with that… I’ll take it.

I’m thrilled to say that I started my school work this week. I am studying for my Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) and my Nutrition Consultant (NC). I hope to have both programs completed by the end of 2015. This coursework will enhance my current knowledge as I begin to work on helping others on their journeys to wellness while they are challenged with chronic illness. In addition, some how, some way, we’ll be buying a house this year and I will be working toward launching my website for The Vital Beet all while working full-time and continuing on my own journey toward wellness. This may not sound like much to accomplish in a year, but for me it is and I’m proud I can even consider doing these things. I’m excited that none of this is scary to me… that means I am ready and that I’ve learned to set boundaries. I will be excited to look back a year from now and see where I’m at on my own wellness journey in addition to others that I will be helping in the year to come. I’m grateful for all the lessons I’ve had along the way and all the lessons I will learn not only from my coursework, but also from the experience of others.

As for my progress on the horizon, I’m doing well. There are a few things to tweak and my doctor not only is treating my genetic mutation based on my symptoms, but also some hormonal issues and pain that comes with flares. All this in addition to chelating the toxic heavy metals. In a couple of months we will look at labs, where my toxic metal load is and begin to eliminate some of the supplements and medications that I am currently on. I wasn’t sure there would ever be a day that I truly thought this would happen, but we have arrived. YAY! I’m grateful to slowly but surely get my life back.

In addition, we have been volunteering at MaxFund for the past three months and it has been so rewarding. Check out cute little Wilbur who will most certainly be adopted very quickly when he is ready. What a bundle of fun and energy. I have realized even more so how important animals can be for the healing process.

Cute little Wilbur at MaxFund

Thank you for your continued interest in my ramblings. If you are interested in or know someone that would benefit from Lifestyle Education for chronically ill, please contact me at The Vital Beet to schedule an appointment : TheVitalBeet@gmail.com

My Genetic Journey

I recently consulted with a doctor who focuses on functional medicine and biochemistry with particular knowledge in epigenetics and nutrigenomics. There are very few individuals with this type of expertise as these areas of study (epigenetics and nutrigenomics) are so new. My main focus was to have him review overall symptoms related to my genetic SNPs report. He reviewed some recent labs, my current supplement and lifestyle regimen and coupled that with the overall symptom picture. In most cases I would not have invested the time or money. Trust me, it was not an inexpensive consult ($350 for initial consult/$150 for follow up, OUCH!), but it is truly my feeling that the most progress has been made with my complicated case since we have started to scratch the surface with addressing my genetic SNPs and I wanted an expert to weigh in (mind you, I don’t think anyone is an expert in this area of practice yet due to how new these areas are, but some are more so than others because they have chosen to focus their efforts here). I believe that opening up my methylation pathways has made a key difference in everything else that we are doing including treating the Lyme. I just wish we had done something like this sooner. It is the first time in three years that I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m not feeling like things are “sort of working,” I know that they are and it is not just because of one thing that we are doing. I truly believe that what the future holds for complicated cases will be amazing and it already is because personalized medicine is becoming a very real thing. It is my hope that when I go back to school that I will be exposed to learning more about genetic mutations and how to address them effectively, because I hope to help others one day feel like they too can lift the cloud they have always lived under.  All this aside, I have to give true kudos to all my practitioners who started the effort in the first place and who encouraged genetic testing and who have been doing some things that are really right no matter how complicated. This is very leading edge stuff (my technical term, Ha!) in medicine.

The added benefit of talking with this doctor is that he has Chronic Lyme too, so not only was he very understanding of my case, but he was really was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together for me with regard to my specific genetic SNPs. Though, he admits he is not an expert on Lyme. I have a heterozygous HLA mutation, which means it is extremely difficult for me to clear biotoxins from my body. He made several protocol suggestions including a Lipid Exchange protocol that I believe will be helpful and I’m hoping that my Naturopaths are open to some of his ideas. I may not have agreed with everything and my NDs may not either, but I came away from the consult feeling like he had definitely added value and good insight.

On another note I will be starting my clinical fast this month, so wish me luck. I hope that I will have good news for you on the results. If nothing more, I know I will feel good. I always feel good after a fast.

I know there will still be bumps in the road, but I’m so grateful for my wonderful unwavering practitioners who have supported me along the way and continue to support me. I know that I still have a long road ahead, but I look forward to what the future holds and I’m hopeful that my body will one day function as it was meant to with just a little help on my part. We’re getting there!