Finding the Joy

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It’s been awhile since I posted anything. I found that it was better for me to sit among my flowers drinking green tea rather than sitting in front of a computer blogging or tweeting. In short, I stopped writing to focus on living. I may have been focusing on living, but my past crept up on me resulting in this post.

Problem with constant self-care and the necessary daily autoimmune paleo cooking required to regain health (e-stim of anterior tibs and hamstrings, meditation, affirmations, weights, Wii balance exercises, strength exercises, bone broth etc) is that one ends up feeling that “this is all I do”, “this is all I am”. It became a joke around my house. If I was miffed or bored, I’d just announce, “I guess I’ll just go cook some broccoli!” The problem was, it wasn’t a joke, and by repeating that to myself I wasn’t doing myself any favors. In fact, I was harming myself and my already fragile self-esteem.
It became apparent when a close friend asked what I did for ‘joy” in my life, and I couldn’t answer the question. I had a serious problem.
I had lost any joy in my life somewhere between the unexpected loss of an extremely close family member in January and my increasingly longer to-do list. read more

Is your green tea safe?

Another lovely post about The profound health benefits of green tea from its high anti-oxidant level, lowering mortality rates, lowering cancer risks, and boosting immunity.

This is all well and good, but it is necessary to remember that there is a huge difference between types of green tea. The green tea from China has actually been shown to be toxic in some cases. It is always best to stick with either Japanese green tea or at least an organic green tea to insure purity.

Here’s a great summary from a supplier of Japanese green tea we use, Hibiki-An: Green Tea for Health read more


BG-12 (Tecfidera)
I keep track of what’s on the horizon as far as MS research is concerned. Given it takes many years for products to come to fruition with all the studies that need to be done in order to be considered for FDA approval, something that looks good in the beginning can fall flat somewhere along the route. BG-12, now known as Tecfidera, had my interest in its infancy as a drug.

I was so impressed with the data that it was the one drug I had even considered a substitute therapy—to finally leave Betaseron and the injections behind seemed a real possibility. read more

impending vacation

supine Edwin X-ray

supine Edwin X-ray

We’re supposed to leave for our fall trip to Japan this coming Monday, September 15. I say this with some trepidation as the last vacation in March was cancelled the day we were to board a plane because of Edwin’s emergency surgery. That’s Edwin in the picture above with his completed bilateral subcutaneous ureteral bypass system. Our cats are our family so there was no question we were cancelling the trip. They bring a great deal of stress relief to the house, but this particular event was anything and everything but. To say that it tested our ability to cope would be an enormous understatement as Edwin really wasn’t in the clear (or as clear as any being living with these kinds of implants can be) until recently. That’s a long time to be under that level of stress. Not good for anyone. We’re stable at this point, but things could change at any time. Isn’t that the truth for all of us, though? read more

tweeking my biochemistry

Appointment with my fabulous functional medicine MD this morning to go over my NutrEval retest. Where are we after two years paleo + supplements? Much improved would be the answer, but I could have told you that! The interesting part, however, is that we now know my system well enough that we are able to use the data to tweek my biochemistry. I still have urticaria occasionally and itchiness caused by things like the Itraconazole I briefly used to kill Candida. Seems my methylation isn’t quite where it should be so I don’t have enough spare methyls to deactivate my histamine reaction to die-off caused by the Itraconazole. Hmm. We know I have a methylation defect so let’s add a bit more MTHF. I’m also low in glycine one of the components of glutathione (soucre of sulfate and plays a key role in antioxidant activity and detoxification). This is probably another reason I’m having trouble clearing my body of die-off debris. NutrEval still shows I’m a bit low in zinc and lipoic acid so there’s more of those in my future, too. I show some markers for bacteria and Candida, but I’m continuing on my SF722 and Allimed while waiting for the results of the GI Effects Microbial Ecology Profile – Stool I submitted on September 4th for all the details. This wll be back by the time I return from Japan. My blood chemistries are pristine, and my inflammatory markers have declined. Great new for someone with two auto-immune diseases!! read more

vacation mode

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As we get ready for vacation from finishing up projects to cramming in extra appointments in hopes of lightening the load that we must deal with upon our return from Japan when we will be severely jet-lagged and incapable of dealing with much of anything, it is difficult at times NOT to simply focus on vacation. My partner runs two businesses; one is an online business which always goes into what we call “vacation mode” before we leave: it accepts orders but nothing ships until we return. I somehow feel that we, too, have our own vacation mode where we run about with our hair-on-fire trying to accomplish more than humanly possible while living for that time when we step aboard a plane and are finally, truly on vacation. Let me just point out that this is not a desirable way to live. You run past your life while focusing on a moment in time in the future. Definitely NOT living in the NOW. Vacation is wonderful, but so is life in general. You need to enjoy all of it. From the drive to the grocery store to the wait in a dental office, all experiences offer a chance to learn and experience. One might want to do that fully instead of through the prism of a to-do list or the screen of a phone. read more

breaking through mental blocks

I’ve been on a bit of a rampage of late. I discovered a mental block which was impeding my progress and encouraging me to put off several beneficial courses of action until we returned from our fall trip to Japan. I understand that sticking to my strict paleo diet is necessary, but I also know that there may be other pieces of the puzzle to find and incorporate.

Normally I’m trying to get everything done BEFORE we depart so I don’t have a stack of stuff waiting to be done when we return. Somehow I allowed myself to skate past that for several items namely beginning a physical therapy re-education program for my awakening nervous system, making/consuming bone broth on a regular basis, and trying a new med for my Candida problem. Thank you to Emma for unknowingly giving a nudge with her strength and motivation. read more

inflammation and green tea

The benefits of green tea continue to pile up, and this study, Omega-3s and Green Tea Can Ease Inflammation takes a look at the effects on the inflammation process. Inflammation is now considered by many to be the root of most disease including Alzheimer’s, auto-immune, coronary, and Type 2 diabetes.

We also know that green tea helps wonders in post-operative healing by reducing inflammation and, thereby, pain!

In this study participants took

a daily supplement containing green tea extract or a placebo for three months. The supplement contained 379 mg of green tea extract, of which 208 mg was epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the principal antioxidant found in green tea. read more

more benefits of green tea

We’ve looked at increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity, preventing dementia, and catechine, theanine etc levels, but what is the result of all that? Increased neurogensis! It turns out that some of it is making new connections for us as evidenced by Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing.

Notably, the magnitude of green tea induced increase in parieto-frontal connectivity positively correlated with improvement in task performance. read more

more and more green tea

evening matcha

evening matcha

In yet another study, Green tea component upsets cancer cell metabolism, we see more benefits of drinking green tea. This particular study shows that epigallocatechin gallate or “EGCG,” our favorite active biological agent of green tea, changes the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells by suppressing the expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), a critical enzyme in cancer metabolism.

  • “By explaining how green tea’s active component could prevent cancer, this study will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and help us understand how other foods can prevent cancer or slow the growth of cancerous cells.”

It’s summertime, but there’s no reason NOT to enjoy green tea when the temperatures rise. Hibiki-an supplies us with some great recipes for iced green tea. read more