My Intro to Intuitive Eating - and it's not what you think!

My Intro to Intuitive Eating - and it's not what you think!
Have you ever lost weight following a particular way of eating only to gain it back soon after? If so, you're not alone.

Based on a recent poll of my Instagram followers, no one who loses weight on a diet (or some would call it a lifestyle) keeps the weight off. Unless they go back on the same (or sometimes an even more restrictive) diet. 

The Biggest Mistake I See My Clients Make

The Biggest Mistake I See My Clients Make
The one thing I see my clients do over and over again is looking for the quick fix that will also magically heal them. Friends, I cannot tell you how much this breaks my heart. The worst part? There are people (and companies) out there that are more than happy to profit from their desperation. And THAT makes me angry.

So how do you stop falling victim to this? Easy, start doing your research. Look for those who take a balanced approach to treatment, who's been where you are, and who understand that outside of a miracle or Jesus, there's no cure for autoimmune disease. That last bit may be hard to hear, but it's so important. I didn't really see much progress until I sat with that and processed through it.

Does that mean that you're doomed to be in pain, have fatigue and brain fog, and feel like the StayPuf marshmallow man the rest of your life? Of course not! What it does mean is that once you've been diagnosed, you now fall into a life of symptoms management. You may very well even go into remission -which is wonderful! 

But none of that happens overnight. Are there things that make us feel better quickly? YES! My Celebrex helps me reduce inflammation and joint pain when I wake up so that I can do what I need to do. It doesn't heal my RA or the cause of my inflammation though. 

How do you begin the work of going from a quick fix way of thinking to one of endurance and patience? The first step is to recognize or bring awareness to the fact that there is no quick fix. You can't fix what you don't acknowledge, right?

Once you do that, you can start to research ways of getting to the root cause of your symptoms. Healing is not linear, which you find out more and more as you travel this journey. I literally started my search on Google (but maybe Duck Duck Go is better nowadays) and I started looking for people who'd managed their symptoms naturally. 

Many of them worked with a chiropractor, naturopath, or a health coach to begin to unpeel the onion layers of root cause work. If you are tired of feeling tired, if you want to improve brain function and your memory recall, if you want to start seeing less inflammation and pain, and you are willing to do what it takes to begin to heal, set up a free discovery session with me. Let's get you some relief and create a plan to help you thrive with chronic pain. 

How My Life Changed Since I Began Healing Naturally

How My Life Changed Since I Began Healing Naturally
Almost a decade. I've been on this path for nearly 10 years. That blows me away. It's a blessing and a burden.

How do you encapsulate a journey that spans this much time without writing a tome? Truthfully, not being able to tell my story in a succinct way kept from sharing it for a long time. But with autoimmune conditions on the rise, and the health of most Americans, especially women, on the decline, I figured it was time to try.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I'd spent the previous night sleepless, tossing and turning trying to get comfortable. I'd eaten my husband's homemade potato soup and it was so good. But within a few minutes, I had heartburn so bad that I thought I'd never find relief. I popped Tums like candy and went to bed.

After what seemed like seconds, I was up and in the bathroom. If it wasn't coming up, it was coming out. Both felt like lava escaping my body. No one else was sick so I knew it wasn't food poisoning. Then came the joint pain, subtle at first, but then it felt like flames throughout my body and pain that felt like stepping on Legos. OUCH!

I moved to the couch, again trying to find a comfortable position, but nothing worked. My body finally resigned to sleep around 2:30 or 3:00 am and my alarm went off at 5. I was so tired and bone weary, I don't remember fixing the coffee or what I read in my bible.  I'd had a few other moments like this over the last few weeks and I was DONE. I knew I needed to see my doctor. So I called into work and made an appointment.

I put water on my body in the shower and struggled against the fire and legos in my joints to get ready. Then I got in the car and drove to the appointment. Again, I don't remember how I got there. Not good, right? I used the automatic doors and the elevator to get to the doctor's office on the second floor. The walk from the car felt a mile long. 

I sat in the waiting room and waited for my name to be called. After the nurse put me in the room, I asked her to turn off the lights (they were blinding me at this point). I laid down on the table and went to sleep. Then the doctor came in. She was really worried about me. I remember stumbling over my words and just wanting relief.

 I told what had been happening and she told me I probably had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), acid reflux, and chronic fatigue. She told me that this was totally normal for a "woman of my age".Being just 38, I couldn't imagine that what I'd been through was normal but I didn't question her. She gave me a referral to a gastroenterologist, a prescription for Celebrex, and encouraged me to "work on my stress". 

I was raising 5 teenagers at the time and my marriage was in trouble. I was in a faith crisis and hated the work I did. Exactly how was working on my stress going to help? But I didn't question her. She was the doctor and I was not. She knew best, right?

After the gastroenterologist wanted to put me on even more medications, I asked what role diet could play in my health. He looked me dead in the eye and said it had no bearing on my condition unless I had celiac disease. So I asked for time to think about it and he agreed. I went home and took the rest of the next several days to research my conditions. 

Do you know what I found? HOPE. Hope that I could heal without medication. Hope that I could reverse all my symptoms on my own. So that's what I started doing nearly a decade ago. 

If you're wondering where my RA diagnosis came in, while I had the symptoms that day at the office, it took 6 years to get a diagnosis from a rheumatologist. All my doctors and specialists kept telling me my symptoms were normal "for my age". 

Y'all, I was 38 years old at my first appointment. What I was experiencing was not normal for someone in their late 30s, but they had no other answers. So I went looking for those who did.

I found a health care team that believes that less is more when it comes to medication, that diet and lifestyle absolutely play a role in healing and that remission is possible. It's a team effort, but I know I'm going to beat this.

What am I doing? Here is a high level summary of what I do each and every day.

-Eating an AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) diet
-Drinking filtered water that removes fluoride without removing minerals
-Get at least 15 minutes in the sun each day and supplementing with Vitamin D3 on the days I can't.
-Do gentle stretches and light strength training at least 5 times a week
-Use essential oils, deep breathing, prayer, and bible study, and walks by the lake to reduce stress. 
-Removed all toxic personal care and cleaners from my home. Found nontoxic cleaners instead.
-Made a commitment to reach out to friends and family on a regular basis to keep from feeling isolated.
-Taking clean supplements that fill in the gaps created by digestive issues.
-Use natural, nontoxic pain relievers, heating pads, and frozen veggie packs for icing down my joints
-Take my medications as prescribed and keep my appointment
-Continue to research the latest in natural healing for autoimmune conditions

If you're still reading this, God bless you. I pray that you find what works for you. It can be such a confusing and lonely journey. If you would like a guide to help you on your journey, reach out to me. I love helping others find their path! 

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Miss Happy Hour? Try these AMAZING mocktails!

Miss Happy Hour? Try these AMAZING mocktails!
Today I want to talk about something a little different - alcohol intolerance and some killer mocktails. I was never much for social drinking. Or if I did, I'd have one or two at the most. In the last year, I've realized that not even wine - yes, even the healthy stuff, works for my body. #sadface

It works against it in a BIG way. All of that to say, alcohol is a no go for me. Alcohol intolerance is common for those with chronic pain. 

I missed the social aspect of a happy hour and love the taste of a good rum punch or pineapple mojito. So what's the solution? Kombucha mocktails! It might sound like something out of a SciFi movie, but I can assure you they're not. They're delicious and nourishing at the same time. Pretty good trade off, yeah? You can read more about the benefits of kombucha here.

When I was first thinking about writing this, I realized I hadn't MADE one. So I went to my resident mixologist (aka my husband) and asked for his advice. Being the simple man he is, he said, drink your favorite kombucha. Thanks, babe, but not exactly what I was looking for! He was trying to be helpful, bless his heart. 

I mentioned my two favorite drinks earlier, and those are the ones I wanted to recreate. I mean, I've seen some great recipes online, but I wanted something of my own. You know what I mean?

So I set off in search of just that. And honestly, came up a little flat. I was going to have to create my own. Not an easy task for someone who sometimes can't decide what to wear in the morning.

My first one, the rum punch, is based on this recipe from Health-Ade kombucha. This one contains alcohol, so I swapped out tonic water for both. I was so skeptical when I tried it, but it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself. 

The other drink is a pineapple mojito. This one from Flavour & Savour was pretty close. It calls for Triple Sec, so I subbed out orange kombucha for that. I think a blood orange kombucha would be fabulous with this one.

So there you have it—two of my favorite cocktails made into good for my body mocktails. Comment below with your favorite cocktail, and you just might see it in a future blog post. Don't worry; I'll make it worth your time! :)

The ONE Thing That Changed Everything for Me

The ONE Thing That Changed Everything for Me

It helped me feel better (and younger!) than I had in YEARS and helped fill in the gaps on those days I didn't take care of myself.

A cool side effect is that my hair and nails are the longest and strongest they've ever been.

One thing is for sure, I will never be without it! 

So...what is it? It's a called Sulfurzyme and it's chock full of ingredients to help support both your joints and immune system. Let's take a closer look at why I believe this is a MUST HAVE in the home of anyone with chronic pain.

Wolfberry - containing 21 trace minerals (included what is needed to properly absorb natural sulfur (MSM), 18 amino acids and other vitamins, it is a significant source of coenzymes, and the highest level of naturally occurring s-ORAC antioxidant activity, wolfberries are known for their ability to fight free radicals in the body.

MSM (Sulfur) - supports the body's natural detox process, preserves the molecular structure of connective tissue, supports a balanced immune system, and so much more. You'll definitely want to do some research into this! 

FOS (fructooligosaccharides) - a type of carbohydrate (the good kind!), it is both a prebiotic and a powerful protector against certain pathogens. NOTE: Use caution with this if you have IBS as it can be irritating. I've used it for at least a year now without seeing any negative effects but wanted to caution you all the same. 

I combine this powder with Ningxia Red and Lime Vitality to accelerate the effects throughout my body. This recipe is called "Red Drink" and was popularized by Dr. Robert Minke. You can learn more about that here. Some of you may have allergies to Sulfa drugs and may be concerned that you'll have the same reaction to Sulfurzyme. I promise you, this is not the case. I found this page that better explains the difference. 

This is a VERY popular product, so if you see that it's out of stock, feel free to grab the capsules. Some great partner products are Master Formula for total body wellness and Agilease and BLM for joint support.

Interested in grabbing your own? Send me an email so we can discuss if this is right for you!