Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making A Decision to Change

Stress and Endometriosis

I believe one of the biggest factors in my endo pain is stress. Every time something stresses me out, pain is sure to follow. I learned more about the correlation between hormonal balance and stress in Dr. Claudia Welch's book, Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life (a recommended read).  

She talks a great deal about the effects of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is released from the adrenal glands when the body is stressed, and since the body uses this hormone along with adrenaline in life or death situations, this hormone essentially trumps all others. 

So...In order to find true hormonal balance to naturally treat endometriosis, stress must be lessened and/or we must learn to handle stress effectively. 


A Healthy Happy Home

To help unwind from daily stressors, its important to have a safe haven to come home to. Your home should be your sanctuary - a place to aid in your healing. Unfortunately this is not always the case, especially if there are stresses at home from an abusive relationship. 

In one of my endometriosis support groups, a gal mentioned that her endometriosis pain was eliminated when she finally left a relationship she was unhappy with for many years. I know that when I am stressed and fighting with someone close to me, that my endo pain is awful, flared by strong emotions tied to love and hurt.

After eight long years, fortunately my husband and I rarely fight. I am blessed to be in the presence of true love that makes me smile and offers support on my pain days, or days where I just don't feel "up" :) 

While we have little stress between us, unfortunately we have stress at home coming from the darkness below...

We own a condo in a two story building and we have a "crazy" neighbor that lives below us. He's been quite abusive to us for over three years. He bangs violently on our ceiling and walls, screams at us, beckoning a fight with harsh words - "I'm going to kill you!"  He also has a very loud bass system that he turns onto club levels, literally shaking the dishes in our cupboards...We have resorted to calling the police several times.

He sporadically freaks out, often when things are quiet, or when we are in a happy mood. Usually it is unexpected. When he does freak out - I stress out. My heart rate rises, my body gets freezing cold and shaky. I don't want to do anything. It sucks the happiness out of me.

And pain usually follows. 

Why am I writing about all of this? (Besides the fact that it rages in my mind most of the time). Because I've made a decision to make a change - to move - to get away from the negative energy surrounding our home. It's not healthy and in no way helping with my healing. 

So I've been packing and prepping the place to sell, in hopes of moving into a new home close by :) 

The first step to making a change in your life is making the decision to do so - then taking action. I've sat and stressed about this crazy neighbor for years. The time has come to break away. This is not to say that I think it right to run away when anything gets stressful, but there comes a point when enough is enough. 


Things Don't Change Unless You Change Them

When I was first diagnosed with endometriosis and offered the limited treatment options I fell into a depression. I had something that doctors said could not be healed, that may compromise my fertility. 

Then I came across a load of natural healing sources and inspiring stories of women who healed themselves naturally through diet and lifestyle and I made an important decision to change, then took action. 

I eliminated gluten, dairy, soy and caffeine from my diet, as these are all things said to aggravate endo. This was hard. This is what I ate all the time, everyday. I started introducing more fruits and vegetables. I switched to organic. I eliminated as many chemicals from my life as possible. I started checking labels and changed the products I used to use. These changes positively effected my health. 

I feel better since I made the decision to do so. I made the decision to change.

Taking control of my health has empowered me. I will not let endo control my life, and I will not allow a creepy neighbor to get in the way of my pain free days. The time is now. Why wait? 


On the Positive Side? 

I've searched for the positives in our stressful home environment, in hopes of remaining somewhat sane, but admittedly I struggle with this. The only solace I've been able to provide is that the negativity living below us is a test. A test of patience and of being able to find peace regardless of the stressful situation. 

Truth is, the stresses in our lives are not going to go away. We have to learn how to deal with them. I find my breath to be a strong guiding force to calming my body and mind. I also find relief from stress from my wonderful morning Yoga :) 

I pray each day for peace. For myself and for the darkness below. 

And Peace to you Dear Reader :) 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Is the Answer in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda for Endometriosis


Of late I've found quite an interest in Ayurvedic medicine on my quest to naturally treat endometriosis. This is not a huge surprise given my pull towards Buddhism and Yoga - which share similar values of balance. 

There are several reasons why I feel Ayurvedic medicine is beneficial for healing endometriosis and other health ailments:
  • It focuses on digestive health, taking into consideration individual qualities and constitutions in order to properly balance things out. 
  • It focuses on balance within an intertwined health system of body and mind. 
  • It includes nature as its most important teacher, going back to a more natural, systemic way of healing, with food as primary medicine. 
  • It gives an outline on what to eat and not to eat depending on your individual constitution. 
I just finished a great introductory book called Prakriti Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Dr. Robert E. Svoboda - which gives an overview of Ayurveda and the different characteristics of each constitution. The following is some of what I've learned...

The Three Doshas


In Ayurveda there are three main energy sources in the body called Doshas. Together, these three elements are essential for life.
  • Vata - Principal kinetic energy source in the body, connected to the nervous system, responsible for physical movement in the body, moving nutrients and wastes into and out of cells.
  • Kapha - Controls body stability and lubrication including tissues and wastes.
  • Pitta - Digestive processes and "cooking" in the body (including thoughts cooking in the mind). The enzymatic and endocrine systems are part of Pitta.
Dosha means "a thing that can go out of whack". When Vata, Pitta and Kapha are out of balance then the system is likely out of balance as well.

Dosha Characteristics

Vata relates to nature as air or wind. It dries, cools, roughens, is erratic and irregular. It tends to congregate in the brain, heart, colon, bones, lungs, bladder, bone marrow and nervous system.

Kapha relates to nature as water and earth. It has the same qualities as mucus. It is slow moving, cold, heavy, dull, thick, smooth, sticky and sluggish. Kapha gathers in the brain, joints, mouth, lymph system, stomach, pleural and pericardial cavities.

Pitta relates to nature as fire. Like fire it is hot, intense, light and fluid. It's fiery qualities are used to digest food. Pitta gathers in the skin, eyes, liver, brain, blood, spleen, endocrine system and small intestine. 

The three doshas are regularly eliminated from the body - Kapha as mucus, Pitta through acid and bile and Vata through gas and as muscular and nervous energy. 


The Six Tastes


How much of each Dosha your body produces depends on which of the six tastes you consume. Overdoing any one taste causes negative effects. 
  1. Sweet - increases Kapha, decreases Pitta and Vata. It nourishes and excites the body and promotes an increase in all tissues.
  2. Sour - increases Kapha and Pitta, decreases Vata. It refreshes the body and encourages elimination of wastes, and improves appetite and digestion. 
  3. Salty - increases Kapha and Pitta, decreases Vata. It eliminates wastes, cleanses the body and increases appetite and digestion.  
  4. Pungent - increases Pitta and Vata, decreases Kapha. It improves the appetite. 
  5. Bitter - increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha. It purifies and dries all secretions and returns tastes to natural balance. It amplifies appetite and restrains skin diseases and fever.
  6. Astringent - increases Vata, decreases Pitta and Kapha. It purifies and constricts all parts of the body and reduces secretions.

Ayurvedic Body Types


Your individual constitution is determined by the factor that is dominate in the body. There are eight possible ayurvedic body types: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Pitta-Kapha, Vata-Kapha, Vata-Pitta-Kapha and Balanced. 

I took a few tests online to determine my constitution including one are Banyan Botanicals and tested as a Vata-Pitta. The book goes into more detail and I believe is more detailed in figuring out what your constitution is. The book confirmed that my constitution is Vata-Pitta. 

With knowledge of my constitution, I've been able to adjust my diet accordingly to foods that I should and should not be eating to balance out the three doshas in my body. I find this helpful, as I continue to struggle with what to eat, while certain foods are touted as being healthy, they do not always agree with my body. 


Raw vs. Cooked?


Vata people are more likely to require cooked food, while Pitta and Pitta-Kapha types do best on raw food. Vatta-Pitta types are better to eat raw in the spring and summer and cooked in the winter. Kapha and Vata-Kapha people can do raw, but should not overdo it.

Food combining is important for Vata types who do best with one pot meals like soups, stews and casseroles. A variety of foods at once is discouraged for Vata types because of the dryness and variability of Vata's limited digestive response. 

Eating habits affect digestive capability. If you always eat cooked and then the next day eat raw, then the body finds it harder to digest as the system is not used to breaking down raw foods. 

Fried foods aggravate all three Doshas and should be avoided. 

Foods For Each Constitution


"It's not what you eat, but what you digest that counts. The healthiest food in the world will become for you the deadliest of poisons if you cannot digest and assimilate it properly." 

- Dr. Robert Svoboda

The following are eating guidelines for each constitution. It is important to discover for yourself which rules should be followed and which ones are alright to break once in awhile :) 

Vata  


Vatas do well with Sweet, Sour and Salty Foods. They should avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods and avoid large amounts of any one taste as Vata is aggregated by excess

Wheat is good for Vatas, but if an allergy is present, then it should be avoided. Well cooked oats and rice are also good. Corn, millet and rye are drying and should be avoided. 

Vatas do better with cooked vegetables than raw. Raw onions should especially be avoided, as they cause gas in the digestive track. Rough, hard vegetables like celery are better digested as juices. Greens like lettuce and spinach may be consumed on occasion as long as they are eated with an oily or creamy dressing. 

Some of the best fruits and vegetables for Vata include: asparagus, beets, carrots, celery, garlic, green beans, okra, onion, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, apricots, avocados, bananas, berries, cherries, coconuts, dates, figs, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples and plums. 

Vatas should avoid all dried fruits and unripe fruits. 

Vatas are the only type who truly need animal foods in their diets. However, overindulgence in meats should be avoided. Eggs, chicken, turkey, fresh fish and venison are all good for Vatas. Fried eggs should not be consumed regularly. 

The best legumes for Vata types are black lentils, red lentils, chickpeas, mung beans and tofu. All nuts and seeds are good for Vata people but not too concentrated or regularly unless they are made into nut butters or milk.

Most oils are good for Vatas. Sesame seed oil is the best for Vatas and safflower oil the worst. Honey may be used frequently, but never cooked (cooked honey is poisonous in the body).

All spices, especially ginger and garlic are good for Vatas in small quantities. 

Vata people are prone to addiction. They should avoid all vices including tobacco, sugar and caffeine. Large quantities of alcohol is very detrimental to Vata types.


Pitta


Pitta types should avoid Sour, Salty and Pungent - the "hot" tastes and focus instead on "cold" tastes - Sweet, Bitter and Astringent. 

Pittas should avoid meat, sea food, eggs, alcohol and salt. Vegetarianism is the best choice for pure Pitta people. Grains, vegetables and fruit should make up the majority of a Pitta's diet.

Barley is the best grain for Pittas followed by rice, oats and wheat. Buckwheat, corn, millet and rye should be avoided as they are heating in the body. 

Pittas should avoid tomatoes in all forms. Garlic should also be limited. 

Pittas do best with the following vegetables and fruits: asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cilantro, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, cress, green beans, leafy greens, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, peas, parsley, potatoes, sprouts, squashes, water chestnuts, zucchini, apples, apricots, avocados, cherries, coconut, dried fruits, figs, grapes, lemons, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapples, plums and pomegranates. 

If meat is consumed it should be limited to chicken, turkey, rabbit and venison. Legumes should be limited. The best legumes for Pittas are black lentils, chickpeas, mung beans and tofu. 

Most nuts and seeds are too oily for Pitta types. Small amounts of flax and almond oil is alright and larger amounts of coconut, olive or sunflower oils, but not in excess.

Pitta is reduced by sweets (yay!) so they can handle more sweet things. Molasses is hot, however, and should be avoided by Pittas.

Pittas should avoid hot spices. The best spices for regular use are cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, turmeric and small amounts of cumin and black pepper. 

Pittas should avoid tobacco and alcohol as these are hot in the body. Coffee and black tea are alright occasionally. 

Kapha


Kapha types should focus on eating Bitter, Pungent and Astringent foods and avoid Sweet, Sour and Salty foods.

Kapha types should eat less grains than Vata and Pitta types. The best grains are buckwheat, millet, barley, rice and corn. Wheat should be avoided.

All vegetables are good for Kaphas with the exception of potatoes, tomatoes, and water chestnuts. Leafy greens and seeded vegetables (like squashes) should be preferred over other root vegetables. Raw vegetables are good as are peppers. 

The best fruits for Kaphas include: apples, apricots, cranberries, mangoes, peaches, pears, and pomegranates. 

Kaphas do not require much protein so they should not consume much meat. If they do then it should be chicken, eggs, rabbit, seafood and venison. Legumes should also be limited and black lentils, kidney beans and soybeans avoided. Well cooked tofu is alright in small amounts. The best legumes for Kaphas are black beans, mung beans, pinto beans and red lentils.

Kapha types should avoid nuts and seeds. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are permissible occasionally. Kaphas should avoid oils. Almond, corn, safflower and sunflower oils are alright when necessary, but in small amounts. 

Kapha should avoid all sweeteners except for honey in small doses. All spices are good for Kaphas except salt, which should be avoided. Ginger and garlic are best.

Black tea and coffee are acceptable for Kapha types and occasional smoking is tolerable as the smoke helps reduce Kapha. Overindulgence, however increases Kapha. Only pure Kaphas should touch hard alcohol. 


Dual Constitutions


Vata-Pitta types should follow a Vata controlling diet in the fall and a Pitta controlling diet in the spring and summer. "Vata-Pittas should avoid spicy, pungent foods and search instead for sweetness in everything they do and consume" - Works for me :) 

Pitta-Kapha types should follow a Pitta controlling diet from late spring to early fall and a Kapha controlling diet from late fall through early spring. Bitter and Astringent foods are best for Pitta-Kapha types. Sour and salty should be avoided. 

Vata-Kapha types should follow a Vata controlling diet in the summer and fall and a Kapha controlling diet in winter and spring. Vata-Kaphas should consume sour, salty and pungent tastes and avoid sweet, bitter and astringent tastes. 

General Ayurvedic Food Guidelines


Brown rice is not recommended for anyone to consume as it is very difficult to digest. Milk should only be consumed by those with very strong digestive fires (pure Pittas). Salt should be limited as in excess it quickly ages the body. Honey should never be cooked, as it acts as a poison in the body. 


On the Positive Side?


I feel like the food guidelines presented in Ayurvedic healing provide me a better blueprint of what to eat and what to avoid. I've already eliminated so much with the endo diet (gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine) and feel better, but not all the time. 

In realizing that things like brown rice, raw onions and tomatoes are bad for my constitution, helps me to pay attention to my reaction to these things and adjust accordingly. (I have said good bye to raw onions - tomatoes I have a harder time...)

I know that I've only touched the tip of the iceberg in learning about Ayurveda for healing, but is has sparked my interest. I do plan on continuing studying it and playing it out on my own natural healing journey :) 

Thank you for taking the time to read this...a long one today....

Is there anything that I missed, or additional knowledge you want to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below....

Peace to you....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Colonics and Endometriosis

In the Season of Thanks

I got a colonic yesterday to finish up my fourth liver and gallbladder cleanse. I must say it was quite a success! For about an hour I watched gobs and gobs of waste flow out of me. Wow. 

My colon hydrotherapist mentioned how she was really busy this week. I assume this is because of the Thanksgiving - the holiday centered around eating lots and lots of food :) The holiday was on my mind too. I wanted to make sure everything was cleaned out before the feast :) 
So in the season of giving thanks I am very thankful that I discovered colonics....Never thought that I'd say this :) 

What is a Colonic and Why Do it? 

I used to sell advertising over the phone to small businesses. One such client of mine was under the category of "Colon Hydrotherapy". I believe this gave me a chuckle. What is this about?  

I ended up talking to the owner who was a certified colon hydrotherapist and she was so passionate about it! She explained how colonics remove waste that gets stuck on the sides of the colon - things like pills, pesticides and other chemicals that build up for years. 

By the end of the conversation my interest was definitely peaked but I wasn't ready to take the plunge. My biggest fear I think was having to insert something up my butt - Ha, ha :) 

It took me three years to finally do it. After deciding to do my first liver and gallbladder cleanse, I had to do multiple colonics as part of the cleansing process.

I made a last minute appointment so I didn't have time to stress and worry about the experience. My wonderful husband came with me. The system we used is called the Angel of Water. It is an "open system", which means the piece that is inserted is much smaller :) 

It was weird at first, but as time moved on I've gotten used to them and now I think I may enjoy them a bit :) I know - who knew? 

I believe a huge factor in healing endometriosis comes from removing excess toxins in the body. The body has several ways of eliminating toxins including through the skin and obviously out our waste systems as urine and feces. When things get stuck in the colon these toxins don't exit the body. 


Colonics and Colon Cancer? 

After coming home from my colonic yesterday I received an unfortunate call from my mother. My grandmother is in the hospital. She has a "mass" in her colon that the doctors think may be cancerous. This mass is preventing things from exiting her colon so her body is recycling toxins as waste is unable to move out of the body. She's unable to eat anything. 


"If you want to see your grandmother again you better come now," my mother said. Oh no...

My grandmother is quite old and suffering with Alzheimer's. This is just another hit on her. I was super saddened when I visited her yesterday in the hospital :(

She is having surgery soon to remove the mass and hopefully remove the pain. My grandmother is an awesome woman - so strong. Praying that whatever happens that she's able to find peace. 

I find it somewhat ironic that I had just finished a colonic and received this call. Is this a sign that what I am doing is beneficial to keeping me from being in my grandmother's condition. Do colonics help prevent colon cancer? 

When I went in search for an answer on this question via Google, I only found articles from the American Cancer Society and other medical conglomerates expressing how dangerous colonics are and how they do not prevent colon cancer. 

They state that the dangers come from faulty machines or dirty equipment. I believe these opinions to be quite biased, and am further saddened that this is all the information I found from the medical community in relation to colonics and colon cancer. It seems the cancer industry does not want the public taking preventative action with colon hydrotherapy. 

Oh well...nothing new here...


On the Positive Side? 

I believe that the benefits of colonics are clear and should be considered when seeking natural methods to heal endometriosis and most other diseases. 

Since I've started to do colonics I've noticed a definite improvement in my digestion. They are a great way to hydrate my body and have improved my skin. They also assist in ending constipation and bloating. I rarely bloat up anymore even when I eat foods that were problematic for me before (in small portions).

Disease begins in the gut and must exit out the colon. Why not take the time to clean it out once and awhile? 

Much love and peace to you this holiday season. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

4th Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse Results

A Rough Go Round...

I completed my fourth liver and gallbladder flush this weekend and I will be first to admit that I just wasn't that into it this go round.

I think part of my problem was the fact that I picked a Friday night to do the cleanse, which includes fasting for half of the day, drinking epsom salts and a citrus/olive oil combination before an early turn in time of ten o'clock. All this while my husband, his friend and my brother-in-law ate, drank and were merry :) I do not do well with not eating so my temper was a bit hot. 

After taking my second round of epsom salts I felt really nauseous and was just dreading drinking the olive oil by myself. I was able to get most of the oil down but I confess that I was not able to drink it all this time. I felt super sick and was sure that if I finished it I would throw it up immediately. So I left a smidgin of the oil and juice mixture in my mason jar, laid down and tried to relax the extreme sickness in my stomach. 

I was able to sleep for a couple of hours before having to get up and eliminate...and puke. Fourth time and I have yet to keep the oil down - my body just keeps rejecting it. 

Am I Almost Done...Or Just a Lull...?

I woke up several times during the night to eliminate and expected to see stones (as in the past I passed them immediately after drinking the oil mixture), but to my disappointment - no stones. 

I got patchy sleep before rising at 6:30 AM to drink more epsom salts. I continued to eliminate - but no stones...no stones...then some very little stones - maybe twenty total? 

After a long prep week and Saturday morning filled with burning bile escaping my bum, I must say that I felt quite disappointed that I didn't have a big release of stones. I felt like it was all for nothing...

A part of me wonders if I had a poor release because I failed to finish all the oil mixture. I will not make this mistake again. If I'm going to do it, I have to finish it. I dislike having this doubt in my mind.

Then the other (positive) side of me hopes that I've cleaned out most of the blockages and that I am nearing the end. But if this is the end, shouldn't all the pain be gone? Or at least lessened? I suppose time will tell. Will see how my period is next cycle.

On her site, Sensible Health, Julia Chang mentions how it takes three to four cleanses to clear out all the stones, (so maybe I'm almost done...) but I remember Andreas Moritz giving a number of six to ten. He says to continue cleansing every three to four weeks until you have two consecutive cleanses with no stones....

So - Yes - I am going to continue cleansing...

On the Positive Side? 

I am feeling great today! Very clear headed and no pain. Very relaxed...happy :) 

I was not as disciplined in my eating choices yesterday (the day of passing stones). I ate an egg white omelet at about noon with an array of vegetables and some fruit and gave in last night to some sushi :) 

These choices were impacted by my raging stomach that I was not able to control this time. But since I did not pass too many stones, I was pretty sure I was not going to get any stuck as I have in the past...

Regardless, my digestion feels good today. I was sure to take some Vitalzym and Probiotics this morning, which I took a break from the past prep week. This has helped things move out of me :) 

I am going to take a break from the liver cleansing through the end of the year since my birthday is next month followed by the craziness of Christmas. 

I feel good knowing that I can relax a bit on the cleansing. I do feel like the whole process can take over and cuts into time on the weekend (yes these are sounding like excuses to myself right now) but I need a little break to enjoy the season :) 

Peace to you. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Make Your Own Almond Butter

My Love For Almond Butter

I found out not too long ago that I have a love for almond butter after discovering the most delicious brand ever - Justin's Nut Butter. I find it difficult not to devour the entire jar in a few days :) 

Unfortunately Justin's doesn't always love me back - with aches and pains resounding through my body as I gobble it down spoonful by spoonful. I think the culprit ingredients are the palm oil and of course the sugar. 

In looking into this further, I found that palmitic acid (found in palm oil) significantly relates to the development of endometriosis. Sounds like its not all that great for the heart either as it's been shown to raise bad LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. 

There are some advocates for the benefits of palm oil, but sounds like a lot of these benefits are lost in the production process. So overall, palm oil is a no-no (my body already told me that) :) 


Make Almond Butter at Home

After a little You Tubing I found out that making your own almond butter is super easy, and dare I say - as delicious as Justin's? The best part about making it at home is having control over the ingredients. 

This is what I included: 
  • about a cup of organic almonds
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup of organic coconut oil (depending on how creamy you want it)
  • sea salt to your liking
  • dash of cinnamon
  • organic honey to your liking (optional)

To make, put the almonds in a food processor and grind them up to powder, then add the coconut oil and the rest of the ingredients to your liking and re-mix until it is a creamy texture. 

That's it - super simple! I whipped mine up in my magic bullet so I'm able to store the right serving in there. You may have to get more creative on storing it with a regular food processor...

Benefits of Almond Butter

In addition to being delicious, my homemade almond butter has a host of health benefits: 

Almonds - Unlike palm oil, almonds lower bad LDL cholesterol, they contain a good amount of magnesium and potassium (great for cramping), manganese and copper (maintain healthy reproductive and immune systems), and they are alkalizing in the body.

Coconut Oil -  Boosts the thyroid (great for endo gals who often suffer with hypothyrodism), and has anti-fungal, anti-viral properties so it supports the immune system. The good fat from coconut oil converts to fuel in the body and it boosts metabolism.  

Sea Salt - Also boosts the immune system and is alkalizing in the body.

Cinnamon - Also anti-viral and anti-microbial and is warming in the body.

Honey - Another with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and boosts immunity (in small doses)

You can also add maple syrup instead of the honey, or a dash of raw cocoa to give it a delicious chocolate flavor :) 


On the Positive Side?

Making almond butter at home allows me to control the ingredients that go in and to make the correct portion, as I have a tendency to pig out on it :)

I really like the coconut oil base. It gives it just the right sweetness and often times cures my sweet cravings. 

The good fats in the almonds and coconut oil help to keep me full. My homemade almond butter was the staple of my dinner tonight :)

It's very easy to make and the freshness factor of freshly ground almonds can't be beat. Why not try it out? 

Peace to you. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reflecting Back, Looking Forward

With each day of pain, I only grow stronger...

I made it through the first few days of my period this past weekend and am relieved that the worst is over :) 

Fortunately, my days of pain were improved. I think back to this same time a year ago and I was suffering tremendously with unrelenting pain, nausea and diarrhea on the first couple of days of my period. These past few days it was not nearly as bad. Also, my PMS symptoms were lessened and my mood has felt more balanced.

Owing up my overall decrease in pain to the cleansing I have done, or at least this is what I am telling myself to keep me moving forward with them :) I also made sure to take my key supplements in the week before flow -- moringa, calcium/magnesium and fish oil -- all factors that play into the reduction of my pain and balancing my mood.

While improved, I am still suffering with pain so my work is not done. I dream of the day when I don't have to plan my life around the arrival of my period, when I do not have to suffer with pain.  My quest to naturally treat endometroisis continues...


Keeping the Hope with Another Liver Cleanse

I am gearing up for another liver and gallbladder cleanse next weekend. I started prepping today, after making a quick decision to do so. With the holiday season right around the corner, I decided to get another one out of the way before I am faced with all the bad temptations coming...

Admittedly, I have not been as strict with my diet as usual and have allowed things to enter my mouth that I would not normally consume including quite a bit of deep fried things, alcohol, cheese and even a little gluten. I think a part of me is testing the waters after all this cleansing to see how my body reacts. And while I was expecting to pay for all these bad choices this past period - in all reality, I am feeling better. My body didn't bloat up like it used to...

This tells me that the removal of about 1,000 stones from my liver and gallbladder that things are digesting better and helping to rid myself of the hormonal imbalance inside of me. So I am going to continue doing them. I will let you know how this next one goes...


Further Insight Into My Body and Pregnancy

While the destruction of my pain is a primary goal, I am also hoping that my cleansing ways will clean up my body enough to fall pregnant, while providing a healthy start to my child's new life. While we are not actively trying right now, I am always hopeful that a mishap may occur :) 

I started reading a great book this past weekend called Taking Care of Your Fertility by Tony Weschler.  The book goes into Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) - with instructions of how to chart different fertility factors throughout the monthly cycle. As soon as I pick up a thermometer, I plan to start charting my cycles so I become more aware of when I am ovulating, how long my luteal phase is, etc. 

These insights should help me to fall pregnant eventually, or at the very least, help me to recognize when I am not (no more stress over pregnancy tests), since simple charting methods allow you to recognize when you are pregnant :) 

On the Positive Side? 

I am feeling hopeful right now that my body is healing from endometriosis and that I am getting closer to a point where I will be able to naturally fall pregnant. I am taking the first steps towards at least understanding my body's natural fertility signs, which better equips me to doctor myself. This is really the point in naturally healing. Connecting back to your body. Listening and paying attention to its signals. Feeling better. 

Keep the hope. 

Peace to you dear endo warrior :)    

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

GMOs and Endo - Just Say NO!

Watching Proposition 37 in California

It's election night in the United States and there is one pertinent issue I am keeping my eye on - Proposition 37 in California, which requires food manufacturers to label their products if they contain GMOs. It's passing could spur like movements across the United States and be a key in having this requirement become a federal mandate. 

I brought up my interest in the results of Prop 37 this morning to someone unaware what GMOs were. Oh no.... This lack of knowledge prompted me to blog tonight :-)


What are GMOs? 

GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms  - basically seeds that have been genetically engineered to resist pests and herbicides. The biggest player in the GMO game is (evil) chemical company, Monsanto. I first heard about Monsanto in the awesome documentary Food Inc. This movie literally changed my views on the food industry in the United States. 

I (like my boss) was unfamiliar with GMOs, their effects or the amounts of them that I was eating on a daily basis. The crops most likely to be GMO in the United States include alfalfa, corn (canola), cotton, soy, papaya, sugar beets, zucchini and yellow summer squash.

Proponents of GMOs claim that they are necessary to feed the world and Monsanto continues to claim that there are no dangers associated with consuming GMOs, even though lab studies continue to prove otherwise. 

GMOs and Endometriosis

The consumption of GMOs cause overly negative effects on the health of the immune system. Those who consume GMOs regularly are more likely to get sick. GMOs have also  been linked to fertility issues as regular consumption leads to a harder time getting and staying pregnant. In one study done in Europe rats who were feed GMO food gave birth to babies who died within weeks of birth. 

In addition, another study animals feed Monsanto's GMO corn showed liver and kidney damage within three months. More bad news for endometriosis, as these organs are responsible for the filtering of toxins from our bodies. 

All of this is bad news for endo gals, especially those of us trying to fall pregnant. Things are already hard enough without added chemicals disrupting things further. 


How to Avoid GMOs?

  • Buy Organic
  • Buy products who are part of the Non-GMO Project - who label their products voluntarily 
  • Avoid processed foods 
  • If you're out and are unable to eat organic then avoid corn, soy and sugar (all things not great for endo anyway :) 
  • Educate others about the effects of GMOs. Most people are unaware of this issue. Knowledge is power and true change comes from grassroots movements like that in California. 

On The Positive Side?

Proposition 37 would be the first labeling requirement to pass in the United States. All other countries (except Canada) require GMO labeling or have banned GMO production. If California passes this they could lead the rest of the country to do the same. 

We have a right to know what is in our food. Proposition 37 started with the help of a lot of concerned citizens who believe in this fact. 

My favorite Dr. Bronner's is a huge proponent for Prop 37 - increasing my love for their products :-) Seeing who is investing in the law's passing and who is investing in it's defeat in turn tells the world that they are using GMOs in their products - a public labeling of sorts. 

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