Finding the Joy

2016-10-28 16.11.19
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

Tecfidera

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

buzzwords

As humans, you’ve got to admit that we are easily trained to behave in a certain manner. It’s not surprising that BigFood has learned that our brains respond to buzzwords instead of fact. We’re busy. Who has the time to try and decipher those ever-more-confusing nutritional labels and read the fine print on the ingredient list? It seems less and less of us do.

The study, How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health, examined the degree to which consumers link marketing terms on food packaging with good health. It found that consumers tend to view food products labeled with health-related euphemisms as healthier than those without them. 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

strangers

Serendipity. I love it when I run into people to have a conversation I was clearly meant to have. As I came out of my PT’s office the other day, a woman and her two kids were ahead of me in the foyeur yet the little boy, about 10-years old, held the door for me. This, in itself, surprised me; the woman asked if I had an injury given I was wearing Oscar. People don’t normally recognize him and confuse him with an orthopedic device. I explained he helped the MS-induced foot drop. She said, “I have lupus.” I responded, “I reversed RA.” She pointed at her son and said, “He has T1D, and I have Hashimoto’s.” I replied, “I’m paleo.” We all started to laugh as she said, “So are we!” I realize you’d have to be there to understand. This only took the length of time required to speak the words. It was not done in a one-upsmanship manner. It was done out of camaraderie. This is hard, and I know you understand because of the few sentences we just exchanged. Ensued a detailed conversation of allergies, genetics, functional medicine, food, and those people who like to give you grief because they don’t understand the path you are following outside of traditional medicine. She explained her daughter’s difficulty continued to be ice cream (dairy) which made her asthma act up; she must have been about eight, but the young girl smiled shyly at me, and gave me a look like she knew textbooks of information about food allergies. The woman’s lupus and Hashi’s were under control/reversed with diet. We shared amazing stories of disease reversal with real food and functional medicine. She also explained her son, for the most part, kept his diabetes under control with only diet. He was clearly very proud, and I congratulated him mightily! It was a lovely conversation, and that short human connection illustrated to me that there are many others on this path of consuming real food and the quest for health. We hugged, and as I walked to my car I felt validated and loved by three strangers I’d met only moments ago. 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

believing in paleo

Healing with real food.

Healing with real food.

Two years ago today, August 14, 2012, I was diagnosed with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I was told to prepare for methotrexate and all the side effects it would bring. It was my second autoimmune disease; I have had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1991.

I had no hope except that I had started paleo two weeks previous. I believed in the science behind paleo, I watched Cordain’s MS lectures, but I knew it would take time. I could not so quickly repair a body I had unwittingly been destroying over years. I had my first appointment with my functional medicine MD the next day, August 15, 2012. read more

brownies for people who are allergic to everything

The good folks at Paleo Demystified (@allaboutpaleo) thought this too extreme to publish on their blog. Maybe so, but welcome to my world! 🙂

I know you are out there: people who are allergic to coconut, nuts of all varieties, eggs, and the list goes on. This brownie recipe is for you.

I went paleo in August of 2012, but that was just the beginning of this continuing journey. When I saw a functional medicine MD a month later, she was happy to know I was already paleo, but she then ordered all sorts of tests to further understand my body’s state. MS and RA were the easy parts, of course. I also had leaky gut and carried around a not-so-lovely population of clostridia, campylobacter, and candida. I was also highly allergic to coconut, all nuts (tree and non), gluten, brown rice, bananas, pineapple, shellfish, berries, cow dairy, soy, and eggs; this is the short list. I must avoid fermented foods and vinegars (cause excess histamine and fermentation in sensitive guts) while following an extreme autoimmune version of the paleo diet. read more

paleo: two years and going strong

Wow. I don’t even know what to say. I started paleo in total desperation. Trained as a scientist, I believed the dogma we’ve been fed about low-fat diet but mostly how disease works and how we treat it. Diet wasn’t part of that equation. Thank goodness I’m trained well enough to understand Dr. Cordain’s lecture on MS, the biochemistry in Robb Wolf’s book (although no biochemistry knowledge is needed for his humor) and also understand that paleo was the answer. Two years ago, I was in so much pain from RA that I couldn’t use my hands or shoulders. A scientific article had just been published that told me what I’d been injecting for 19 years didn’t REALLY work for MS in the manner originally believed. The word desperate is totally appropriate. read more