Ahhh, the life I lead is a busy one… I promise I haven’t forgotten that I committed to this blog thing a year ago and that I should update the recipe page with new favorites, but sometimes life just gets in the way of my To Do list!
Besides the obvious things, like being a mom, wife, teacher and health nut, I am still dealing with my own health issues. I think the last time I updated about my health was last spring, when I was exploring my leg swelling issues with a new doctor. Click here to refresh your memory. Wow, so much has happened since then….
After I started seeing the new doctor in April, my legs started to improve quite a bit. The swelling that was present most days was minimalized and manageable. It didn’t disappear completely and I still have days that are not as great, but having come from days of having to put my feet up on my desk at work 4 times a day to ice them, things are pretty great now. In fact, to really build my leg and knee strength slowly, I decided to get back to running (if you can call what I did last spring ‘running’).
In January, I started the “Couch to 5K”, a running program designed with the beginner in mind. It has you walk/run 3-4 times per week, slowly building up your stamina to end the 10 weeks by being able to run the whole 5K, 3.1 miles. Well, yesterday was the last day and it was raining…so I decided to just run it on the treadmill, since getting drenched didn’t seem a fun way to celebrate the end of my 10-week commitment. I was able to finish in 31 minutes and 31 seconds, cutting 6 1/2 minutes off of my time last spring. Though that might not be a huge difference to some, I feel so much better this year. I am not hurting the entire time or thinking that I might pass out at any minute. Oh the difference a year can make! I can honestly say that I wasn’t sure I would make it to the end when I started in January, but the last few weeks have been exhilarating. The adrenaline rush that I have felt conquering each small goal is beyond words. My only disappointment now is that I cannot run every day, for fear of over-doing it. I need to develop some cross-training techniques, perhaps dusting off the elliptical that I needed so desperately when my knees felt like jello. Whatever is next, I am looking forward to it with enthusiasum!
Remember how my new doctor suggested I go off of dairy? Well, I did and some things improved. The “adult acne” that never really went away, subsided some. I felt some of the brain fog lift, but things were not improving as quickly as expected. By late summer, he decided that I probably had what was called “yeast overgrowth”. Basically, the years of antibiotic use (to cure said acne) caused yeast to grow throughout my body and take over. It was in my sinuses, gut, brain and more….ugh 😦 I spent 2 months working on getting rid of the yeast and then building up the good bacteria in my body with probiotics. But even after that was complete, I didn’t feel healed. I came down with a severe sinus infection that caused headaches that would last all day, every day. I could hardly function in the classroom, so after 6 weeks, I went to my primary care doctor and was given more antibiotics. I did know that I was jumping back into the yeast spiral, but I was desperate! Unfortunately, I only felt slightly better after finishing the antibiotics. I still had sinus issues, though not quite as bad. But then started developing stomach issues of bloating, etc. after eating certain foods. When I went back to the doctor (alternative, not primary care doctor), he said I was developing more food allergies and now needed to take out tree nuts and tea. Really??? We talked it over and after further testing, he determined that the yeast was back in full force. I needed to do another 2-month round of killing off the bad bacteria and replenishing the good with probiotics. Here we go again!
Meanwhile, I am still questioning everything I eat and trying to find the right combination of foods that will give me enough protein and energy to sustain my running, but not make me feel bloated and brain-fogged!!! Enough already!!!! Over the past few months I have started to look into the Paleo diet. It appealed to me because it takes out grains, so I don’t have to worry about which grains are safe or trying to find gluten free versions of things. I also like it because it promotes eating and cooking with whole foods. It seems to simplify things for me.
There is another diet that is closely related to Paleo, called the Standard Carbohydrate Diet or SCD. SCD focuses on eliminating complex carbohydrates that are more difficult to digest, which can help reduce inflammation and help restore balance for a healthy gut. It allows soaked legumes and nuts, to rid them of some of their harmful, more difficult to digest, enzymes. Danielle Walker, author of the blog and cookbook Against All Grain, healed her ulcerative colitis symptoms (an auto-immune disease of the intestines) designing Paleo and SCD-friendly meals for her and her family. I have been devouring her recipes weekly and for the most part, my family loves them too. If you are interested, check out her blog here.
What have I learned?
If you aren’t dying, don’t use antibiotics! No seriously, I am avoiding them for the rest of my life. I completely understand they are designed to save lives and I am grateful for the option, but they have done very bad things to me. On the flip side, my doctor gave me a recipe that I have to share with you, that can be used instead of antibiotics! (Disclaimer here regarding I am not a doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice…you get the idea) His recommendation was to use this when you would normally feel the need to go to the dr. for antibiotics. Since he gave me this recipe, we have avoided the doctor’s office at least twice by taking this instead! It is called Thieves Oil. There is a long story about how this oil was used to keep thieves alive during the Bubonic Plague in Europe so they could steal from the dead. Now, you can make it for yourself and use it at home to get rid of or prevent infections. So, please…use it and go heal yourself!
35 drops clove essential oil
30 drops lemon essential oil
25 drops cinnamon essential oil
20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
15 drops rosemary essential oil
**Put into a dark colored bottle, mix with 2 tbsp. of a carrier oil (I used jojoba oil) so you won’t burn your skin. You can put a few drops of the oil on your feet ad put socks over them at night; rub it on your chest or throat or wherever you are feeling the ailment; if you feel brave, you can ingest 2 drops to allow it to get into your system more quickly (we have added it to a tsp. of raw honey or coconut oil if taking internally).