Category Archives: Health & Wellness

30 Day Weight Loss & Healing #1- My Journey Overview

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As a healer, it has always been my goal to be able to help those who have not been able to heal by traditional/mainstream means. Those who have searched and searched, been to countless doctors, spent many thousands of dollars on supplements, tried a variety of diets, etc. and still are not well. I’m interested in helping these people because I am one.
I haven’t written about my experiences very actively over the past 3 years, but once upon a time I was 28 years old and very, very, VERY sick. I was so sick that I knew I would die before age 35 if I didn’t figure out why and how to fix it. I had been to many doctors, they offered me no diagnosis aside from IBS, and no help or hope. I was obese, I was swollen around my joints, which were inflamed and painful. I was fatigued all of the time, it didn’t matter how much I slept. I was in severe pain in my back and neck muscles and had headaches so intense that I would take 3 Ibuprofen upon waking and then lay on the couch for 30 minutes covering my eyes waiting for them to take the edge off the pain. Taking the edge off enabled me to attend to the basic needs of my children. I would take another 3 pills in the afternoon, and another 3 in the evening. That was the only way I could function even a little bit. I started blacking out randomly and having lengthy dizzy spells, often lasing for days at a time, with such intensity I had to hang on to things to move around the house. After my third baby was born was the worst. That was a very dark time in my life. “Luckily” that baby had such horrible colic for 5 months that I changed my diet quiet a bit as I tried to find the offending food. In the end it turned out the culprit was bananas, of all things, but the process got me off of dairy and sugar at least! I lost 20 lbs from those subtle dietary changes by the time he was 6 months old. That’s when I discovered raw vegan diets and read several books on that from our library. I spent the next month reading and doing an Isagenix cleanse (I had done a number of them over several years before but this was the only 30 I had done) to prepare my body for change. If I remember correctly I lost about 12-15 lbs in that month on that cleanse. This was the last Isagenix cleanse I would ever do. My health had improved noticeably. This was June 2009. July 1, 2009 I started my raw journey. I began slow by adding good things into my diet. The first thing I changed was starting my day with a huge green smoothie instead of the whey protein shake I’d relied on for many years. I never had any intention of going vegan, I loved meat and felt I needed it to be healthy, so I had planned on keeping a portion of meat at dinner time with everything else eventually being raw. I had always eaten what the world would consider and healthy balanced dinner; a serving of lean meat, a starch (potato, rice, homemade bread, etc.), and salad and /or steamed vegetables. As I transitioned my salads grew larger and I ate less and less of the starch and steamed vegetables, so I mostly ate salad and meat for dinner. My body changed dramatically over those first 4 months. As my health improved I gained the ability to discern how different food affected me. Every night I would have stomach pain after dinner. This happened for about a month before I accepted that it might be the meat and removed that and put a potato or steamed vegetable back in its place. From the day I made that change I never had a stomach ache after dinner again. I’ve tried eating meat a number of times over the years and it never does go over well with my body or my spirit. I became big into green smoothies and then started juicing, which catapulted my healing in a big way. Eventually I got into colon cleansing with water and that increased the speed of my healing as well. My skin was clear after years of painful face and back acne, I had energy, I lost 73 lbs, I had no need for pain medication because I was no longer in pain, my perspective on the world changed from dark and fearful to light and hopeful, I became an inspiration to others and I started doing Wellness Coaching which eventually led into Detox Counseling, specifically. Detox was my life. I still had some issues with weak digestion (bloating, gas, constipation, hemorrhoids) and low blood sugar, but all else was well and I was still working on those things.
And then I got pregnant with the 4th child. This was autumn of 2012. I had spent the summer rebounding and running and doing The Shred with Jillian Michaels… I was a 5’7″ 120 lb hyped-up-on-life machine of awesomeness… until the 7th week of the pregnancy. I went down. Way, way, waaaay down. As I did with all of my pregnancies, each one worse than the last. I was sure I was going to have the most amazing, fit, life-force infused pregnancy. I was sure I was going to be glowing and still running in my 8th month and tiny all over with a cute round bump. Not so. Whatever it was that caused my pregnancies to be so terrible was still there in force. I was sick the entire pregnancy. I could not eat healthy, I could not get down juice or vegetables. I could eat some fruit. I spent the whole 9 months eating whatever I could get in. It was survival. I was on bedrest almost the entire time with preterm labor. I was anemic. I could breathe but felt like I was suffocating the entire time. I had intense ligament pain on the sides of my tummy if I sat upright for more than a few minutes. I went into labor every time I got up. So I ended up spending the last few months laying down upstairs in my bedroom. We had moved to Arizona during my 6th month and my husband graduated Chiropractic College and went to WA to do his preceptorship for 2 months. I was alone in a new place, with my 3 kids, on bedrest and miserable. I became very depressed and had a lot of anxiety. And it was very lonely being isolated in my bedroom for months.
I was SO relieved when the baby was born. I had a birth that was absolutely awesome and very emotionally healing. That birth erased all the trauma from my second birth (which had also affected my 3rd birth). I felt I could accomplish anything and I was sure that the weight would come right off and within 6-8 weeks I would be a size 2 again and be back out there running and loving life. Well, that baby just turned 3 last week. Today I’m about the same weight I was after his birth. I lost some of the pregnancy weight during the first year but it came back on. I’ve done a handful of cleanses and have juiced all that I can now that I have 4 kids on my hands all hours of the day. Honestly, healthy eating is much more challenging for me with 4 children than it was with 3. I’m exhausted. Life has been very stressful. I went through about 2 years of extreme depression, which brought me through several periods of being suicidal. I never have yet been able to regain the health I was enjoying prior to the last pregnancy. I feel I should go on record here and say I would absolutely do it all over again for the child that came of it! He is amazing and I am as in love with him every moment of every day as I was that first day when I pushed him out of my body and brought him up out of the water with my own hands. He is my little friend who makes every day worth the struggle.
I have been able to identify a few reasons why I’m having these issues. #1 I’ve had Epstein Barr virus since I was about 7 years old. Its activated by hormones (um, pregnancy!). I was not aware of this until recently, and it is very common. #2 I was recently diagnosed with the MTHFR gene mutation. I have 2 copies of the mutation, which means that it comes from both sides of my family and means that I don’t get 70% of the folic acid my body needs to function. It also means that I’ve got massive amounts of homocystine causing a ruckus all over my body, putting me at risk of heart attack, blocking my D3 receptors so that I’m severely D3 deficient. And also my body can’t detox heavy metals very well, so I’ve got heavy metal toxicity in my gut. In addition, I have a mutation of the SUOX gene. #3 These gene mutations cause some fun autoimmune disorders which, in myself, have thus far been identified as fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, and lupus. Epstein Barr also contributes to symptoms of Hashimotos. No wonder I’m exhausted and overweight, huh?!! #4  I have an intolerance to just about every food known to man.  #5 I’m holding on to a whole lot of weight and sickness because of many factors in my life that my body has interpreted as “scarcity.” (More on that in the next post).

The good news: Every one of these things can be corrected. This is not a life sentence.

This is a brief history so you can understand where I am coming from and a bit of what my journey has been like. The next post will be geared toward healing and what I will be doing moving forward, which can also be a massive benefit to you!

P.S. I am 36 years old, I didn’t die at 35! I 100% attribute this to the grace of God as He has led me through my healing journey.
P.S.S. Isn’t it interesting that my healing journey originally began on July 1, 2009 and today is July 1, 2014. Coincidence? I don’t believe in those!

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Enemas vs. Colonics and Colon Cleansing How-To’s

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I get SO many questions about the difference between enemas and colonics and how to do them, I figured I’d just blog it for everyone.  If you don’t feel comfortable with the subject, don’t read on!  If you’re willing to suck it up and learn about the best way to improve your health, here are the basics…

Enemas

An enema is a way of cleaning the colon with water from home (or in a hotel room or wherever you happen to be) on your own.  Generally enemas only clean the rectum, or the left side of the colon (the descending colon).  With practice, experimentation, and good information you can get the whole colon.  Some people like to do enemas using catnip tea, apple cider vinegar, food grade hydrogen peroxide, or coffee.  I won’t go into details on those options here, but I will give you basic instructions to get you started.

First, you’ll need an enema kit.  I prefer a bucket, but some like a bag better.  A bucket can sit on your counter, while a bag will need to be hung from a towel rack or door knob.  Buckets can be larger and easier to fill.  I also find them easier to clean.  My first choice for an enema kit would be a 2-4 quart stainless steel bucket.  That would also be the most expensive option, running around $60.  The next option would be a plastic bucket for around $7.  These buckets are meant to be disposable.  I’ve had one for about 4 years now and am still using it, but the tip on the stainless bucket is MUCH more comfortable and the steel is more hygienic.  Go stainless if you can afford it.  The last option would be a 2 quart enema bag kit which costs about $10.  I haven’t liked using these personally and the reviews on Amazon aren’t great for any of the brands.  I bought the Cara kit and it was poorly made, the clamp wouldn’t even stop the water flow and would pop open all the time.  Bags are easier to pack for travel than buckets though, so that’s something to think about if you travel a lot with limited luggage space.

The goal is to rehydrate old waste in the colon and expel it.  The process should take at least 45-minutes, usually about an hour, when done well.  You won’t be able to take as much water or remove as much waste when you first start, but keep at it and it will become easier and much more productive.  You should feel great afterward, if you don’t you’ve hydrated waste that has not come out yet.  If that’s the case get back on it until you feel well.  The same goes for colonics (see below).

How to do it:

1)       Fill your bucket or bag with warm water and place it about 4 feet above the floor.

2)      Lubricate the tip well.  Most of us like to use coconut oil.

3)      Lay down on the floor, on your left side, and insert the tip into your anus about 1-2 inches.  It should be comfortable.  I like to lay on my memory foam mat with a towel over it and have a pillow or rolled up towel under my head.  Make yourself comfortable.

4)      Unclasp the tub and let the water flow in.  When you start to feel like you might need to eliminate (poop), clamp the water off and relax for about a minute.  If the need to eliminate passes, unclamp the tube and repeat.  If it does not pass, remove the tip and sit on the toilet and eliminate as you would any other time.  The more water you can get in and the longer you can hold it (10-15 mins is great), the better.  But NEVER force it.  You should always be comfortable.  You may want to massage the left side of your colon as you do this step.

***If you’re new to this, you will repeat these steps several times and then you will be done.  Once you get good at these steps and have cleared your descending colon fairly well, you will start each session with steps 1-4 and keeping going through the next steps***

5)       One you get to a point where you can fill your left side with a full 2 quarts of water comfortably you will move on to your transverse colon (the part that crosses under your rib cage from one side of your abdomen to the other).  To do this lay on your back and fill and release just as you did in step 4.

6)      In this position you should be able to get your entire colon, all the way down to the cecum at the bottom of your right side, or you may also need to lay on your right side to fill.  This may require more water than your bucket can hold.  I like to put my bucket in the sink under a trickle of water so I get a perpetual flow and don’t have to stop and refill the bucket.  You will likely be able to hear the water moving around with the gas in the colon and can feel it if you massage, which is a great way to break up waste and stimulate the colon to release.  You can keep doing this for as long as it feels good to you.  The more, the better.  You cannot be harmed by an enema.  It will likely take a few weeks of frequent sessions before you will be able to get water all the way to the cecum, but this is the ultimate goal.  Nothing in this world feels better than a cecum release!  You’ll know you’ve gotten there when you release very warm, soft matter and may recognize it as something you ate 12 or so hours before.

Enemas can be done daily, which is best, or as often as you possibly can do them.  A lot of people find that they are more productive first thing in the morning while the body is still in cleanse mode, but everyone is different.  Personally I have a hard time removing waste in the morning but have very productive releases in the evening.  Play around and see what works best for you.  You know you’re on the right track when you are eliminating heavy waste that sinks to the bottom of the toilet.  The thicker and heavier, the better.  That’s the old nasty, putrefied stuff that is making you sick.

Colonics

One colonic removes about the same amount of waste as 12 enemas.  They are more productive because the entire colon is bathed in water throughout the entire session, which generally takes about an hour, but can be anywhere from 45-minutes to 2 hours.  I wouldn’t recommend getting an enema from anyone who says it can be done in less than 45-minutes.  The amount of waste in the colon and throughout the body is unfathomable.  You won’t believe it until you see it leaving you, and then you still won’t believe it.  We need approximately 15 colonics for every year we have been alive.  This can be very costly to do, so those of us who are looking to reach the greatest level of health possible will typically invest in a home unit and in learning how to use it effectively.

There are several types of colonics, I will explain how each works.

Gravity Colonics

A gravity colonic is one where the water enters the colon by only the force of gravity.  These are the safest, most gentle, and most effective colonics.  There are two different types of gravity colonic.

 

Closed/Woods System:  A closed colonic is more discrete and more effective.  With this type of colonic you will have the therapist with you throughout the process manipulating the tubing (controlling the in and out flow) and massaging your abdomen to encourage release.  You will lay on a flat table.  A speculum will be inserted which is about the size of your thumb.  On the speculum are 2 tubes, one for water in, and one for waste out.  The waste that comes out will either go through the tube directly into a toilet, or just straight into the plumbing.  There is a viewing window on the tube to monitor what is being released.  You will be covered with a sheet and your privacy will be respected at all times.   After the session you will be able to sit on the toilet to be sure you have eliminated all of the water and loose waste.  You will want to find a therapist who is trained in the Wood’s method.  Wood’s Gravity Colonic Units are the type you can get for home/self use.

 

Open/LIBBE:  With the LIBBE system you will lay on a table that is shaped so that there are places to rest your legs on the sides.  In the middle of the table is a hole with a tube protruding from it.  The tube is fastened  inside of the table.  The therapist will give you instructions and leave you alone.  You will undress, put on a gown, climb on to the table, lubricate the tip of the tube, insert it into your anus, cover yourself with a sheet and lay back.  You will then push a button to call the therapist back in.  He/she will start the flow of water and will leave you to yourself.  You will feel your colon fill with water and when you need to release you just push like you would on the toilet and the waste moves out of your body around the tube tip (which remains in place) and in into the hole in the table.  It then goes into a viewing tube on the floor.  There will be a mirror positioned so that you can see your releases if you choose to.  You can call the therapist in at any time if you feel uncomfortable.  He/she will come in toward the middle of your time (usually you get an hour long treatment) and massage your abdomen.  You will then be left alone again.  At the end of the session you will usually be offered a probiotic implant, I highly recommend this.  Sometimes it costs extra and sometimes not.  If you choose to get it the therapist will put it through the tube after she has left you for a bit to finish eliminating.  She will leave you to let it colonize for about 3 minutes, after which you will get dressed and sit on the toilet for a few minutes to make sure you’re finished eliminating.  Open colonics are far better than enemas, but not usually as productive as closed colonics.

Pressurized Colonics

With pressurized colonics there are also open and closed types.  The difference is the water is pushed into your body by a machine instead of flowing gently in by gravity.  While these colonics are by no means dangerous, they are not as gentle as gravity systems.  Sometimes what will happen is they will compact waste in your colon and leave you feeling not so great.  If you get a headache, bloat, or have cravings for unhealthy foods after a colonic this is the case.  Go back for another colonic asap, and/or get out your enema kit and get to work.

Foods to Produce Results

The more alkaline, high water content foods you eat the more waste you will hydrate for removal.  If you’re planning on doing some colon cleansing, these foods can be a great tool to get really productive releases.  If you’re not planning on using any kind of colon cleansing but want to improve your diet, incorporate these foods SLOWLY and with caution.  If you feel like crap, it’s because you’re full of so much of it you can’t keep up with eliminating it fast enough.  Your level of wellness will always be relative to the amount of waste that LEAVES your body.   Awakening waste with these foods is not enough, you need to remove it as well or you will reabsorb the toxins and feel even worse.

The most hydrating thing you can take in is fresh vegetable and fruit juices.  The next best thing are fresh fruits and vegetables.  If you are looking to awaken waste, stay away from any packaged foods and any foods that are dense, dry, and acidic.  You can use foods like organic eggs, cooked vegetables, goat and sheep cheeses, and wild caught fish as tools to slow the cleansing process if your colon cleansing regimen can’t keep up with it.  You can also use aloe juice or fresh aloe to loosen waste and help to heal the colon wall.

Exercise is important as well, as it is the only way to move the lymphs, which are responsible for cleaning toxins from the body.  If they aren’t moved regularly they can easily clog.  Rebounding is the best way to clean the lymphs as the motion actually snaps, or wrings, the lymph nodes.  It isn’t necessary that you do a lot of high impact exercise; rebounding, walking, yoga… these are all great tools.  Aim for 20-30 minutes a day, preferably in the morning before you’ve taken in any solid food.   Also try to get in your fresh juices first thing in the morning before solid food is taken.

One other necessary tool is proper food combining.  Learn it and live it!  There are tons of food combining charts on the internet, print one and keep it on your fridge and/or in your purse or car until it becomes second nature to you.  You’ll be surprised how great you feel from proper combining alone and how quickly you adapt to doing it.

Castor Oil Packs

I love Castor Oil packs.  I use them over my liver and various areas of my colon where I tend to have pain or tight spots (gas pressure and waste accumulation).  They can also be used to break up scar tissue and uterine fibroids.

How you do it:

1)       Apply the Castor Oil.  First, make sure you’ve got a good quality, cold pressed oil.  You can either apply it straight to the skin, or soak a paper towel with it and apply that to the skin.  Either way, put the oil, liberally, over the area you wish to treat.

2)      Place a piece of plastic wrap over the oil.

3)      Place a towel over the plastic wrap.

4)      Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle over it all.

5)      Relax with it for 20-30 minutes, then wash it off and/or rub it in to your skin.  It’s a thick oil so you likely won’t be able to wash it ALL off, but its fine to rub in what you can’t get off.

For help resolving specific health issue or to learn more about the principals of cleansing and healing I am available for private health coaching sessions.  See my website at InnateWellnessCoaching.com.

My Child Will Only Eat Junk Food!

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Its mind boggling how often I hear this, and every time I think the very same thing.  The only way your child can be eating only junk food, is if that’s what you’re feeding him!  This isn’t meant to sound uncompassionate.  I know raising a “picky” eater can be a nonstop battle, and I know well the pain of nonstop battles with children.  But the fact remains that it is you who buys the food, you who prepares the food, and you who puts that food in front of your child.  They cannot eat what isn’t there.  And I ASSURE you, children WILL NOT starve themselves!  Of course they will throw a fit and protest and may not eat for a while… that is OKAY.  Fasting is actually very beneficial to the body.  Never force a child to eat.  Just prepare healthy food and put it in front of them.  If they don’t want to eat it, that’s okay.  No judgement.  Put it in the fridge.  When they say they’re hungry later, bring it back out and give them another chance to eat it.  Repeat again, if necessary.  If bedtime is nearing and they still haven’t eaten explain to them very straight forward, “This is what is for dinner.  This is your last chance to eat tonight.  You can eat it now, or wait until morning to eat.  If you don’t eat now, you will probably be hungry in bed.”  No threats, no judgement, just the truth.  If they choose not to eat and cry later in bed because they want to eat just state the truth, “You chose not to eat your dinner before bedtime, and now you’re hungry.”  Again, no threats, and no judgement.  Let them cry it out if they need to.  Lay with them and silently hold them.  You are not abusing your child, you are teaching them that their choices have natural consequences.  This is a very valuable lesson.  You won’t always be there to save them from the consequences of their choices.

A few tips on feeding kids:

1.  They generally LOVE fruit.  Fruit is the perfect food for the human body and most of them are still in touch with their instincts enough to be very drawn to it.  Never limit fruit.  In fact in our family I make 1 meal for dinner, and they can eat it now or later (but they must sit with the family during meal time) OR they can exchange it for fruit.  I will never tell a child to eat cooked food when they would rather eat fruit.  That’s just how I work, how you work is of course up to you.

2.  Require that a fresh, raw, colorful, tasty salad be eaten before the rest of dinner.  They will eventually develop a taste for it and will love it.  My kids go through phases where they don’t really want to eat dinner salad and where they eat 3-4 salads a day at their own request… and really, I do the same thing!  I just go with it, but the dinner salad is nonnegotiable.

3.  Never force a child to eat meat or drink milk.  Their bodies cannot digest these substances and unless you are really picky about quality, they are laced with poison, parasites, and mucus and devoid of nutrients anyway.  If they have an aversion, there is likely a reason.  If they do love their milk make sure they are getting fresh, raw milk, preferably from a goat as the casein molecule is smaller and easier to digest and less likely to result in allergies.

4.  If you have a child who doesn’t have an appetite for food in the morning, don’t push it.  Our bodies are still in “cleanse mode” from our night of sleep.  It takes some of us hours after waking to complete our nightly cleanse.  This is normal and very healthy.  Encourage them to drink water, herbal teas, or freshly juiced vegetables and fruits.  They may be up for just eating fruit for breakfast as well because it is light and very cleansing.  If your child attends school outside of the home there tends to be anxiety about “sending them to school hungry.”  Let them be the one responsible for that.  If they get too hungry before lunch time every day, they will likely be more inclined to eat in the morning.  And if not, no harm done.  It is perfectly fine to go until lunch (which in school is typically between 11 am and noon) before breaking the nightly fast.

5.  Make food fun!  Let them experiment in the kitchen.  Kids love to come up with their own culinary creations.  Play a home version of “Chopped”, give them several food items and challenge them to come up with something using all of those items…. say, raw cashews, bananas, raisins, vanilla stevia, and an avocado.  Give them their own bit of garden or planter and let them grow their own food.  Explore online and find creative ways of presenting fruits and veggies that are fun to look at.  Let them take part in grocery list making and shopping.  Let them cook with you and help them learn to follow a recipe.  Yes, this all takes time and patience… but no one ever said parenting was convenient or uninvolved!

6.  With infants, do all you can to breastfeed exclusively.  Delay solid foods until the child is a year old.  Feed the child only raw fruits and vegetables until they are at least 2 years old.  Toddlers LOVE green smoothies and fresh juices!  The first foods we eat become our “food imprint” and those are the foods we are naturally inclined to for the rest of our lives, so make that imprint a good one!

One last thing, I would feel I’m failing you if I didn’t mention this.  Lets be honest.  Most of the reason we feed our children certain foods, even though we know those foods are damaging, is because we ourselves are attached to them.  Food addiction is no different than drug or alcohol addition.  The chemical reaction in the body is identical.  It is a very real thing.  The fact is, processed foods are designed to be addictive.  Its just simple marketing.  Even foods that are labeled as healthy very rarely are and are also created for addiction.  Food addiction is something I have dealt with myself and something that I coach people on regularly.  It is too vast and too personal to cover in this post, but if you ask yourself if this is the reason you’ve still got these unhealthy foods in the house and the answer is yes, there is absolutely help out there, whether through me or another means.  The most important thing is that you take care of YOU first.  Lead by example.  Make the changes in your own eating habits that may be necessary before you can be of help to the rest of your family.  Inspire them!

If you are interested in my coaching services you can learn more at www.InnateWellnessCoaching.com.

Photo courtesy of ivillage.com

Photo courtesy of ivillage.com

Pain, Pleasure and Childbirth

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Throughout all of my pregnancies I’ve spent the majority of the time processing fear.  I’ve come to know, all too well, the inevitable link between fear and pain in birthing.  So throughout this pregnancy I’ve been contemplating the opposing natures of fear and love.  If fear causes pain in childbirth, can love cast it out?  Or is pain just part of this rite of passage?

Tonight I’m contemplating something deeper… if fear causes pain in childbirth, can love cause pleasure?  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of “Ecstatic” or “Orgasmic” birth?  I had before, but I hadn’t given much thought to it.  I think during previous pregnancies the concept was just so far beyond where I was at the time that it wasn’t relevant to me.  Honestly, I was just trying to deal with fear well enough to go one night without a panic attack, or to maybe to not feel like I was going to throw up every time the thought of birth struck me… which was all of the time.  Thanks to Hypnobabies my last labor was quite healing.  The labor was painless and relaxing.  It really was beautiful.  Of course, that was the only time I’ve experienced 1st stage labor (my first two were the fast and “furious” type), maybe 1st stage is just not that difficult, but whatever… it was wonderful and I loved it.  Once the intensity began to climb and I came into active labor and transition I lost my focus and went into my typical mindset of suffering and wanting someone to save me.  When it came time to push and birth I was fighting and hanging on for dear life.  So with this birth I’ve wanted to take it a step further and have, not only a painless labor, but a painless birth as well.  Throughout the last labor I was very aware of the fact that I absolutely COULD be in pain.  I COULD choose to perceive what I was feeling as pain.  But that’s what it really came down to, altered perception.  Instead of fearing the contractions, I welcomed them.  Instead of interpreting them as painful, I labeled them for what they really are:  pressure, tightening and stretching.  Over and over and over I said to myself, “this is God bringing you your baby.”  And each time I said this I would envision the hand of God gently sweeping my baby lower and lower so that he could come into my arms.  When I envisioned God’s literal hand in my birth, and acknowledged that we were “in His hands” I felt safe.  When fear would try to creep in I would remind myself that God was giving me my healing birth, that whatever was happening was exactly what this baby and I needed to complete this journey.   Long story short, that labor made me believe that if it’s possible to alter my perception and have a painless labor, it ought to be possible to do the same for birth.  And so, this has been my journey throughout this pregnancy, to explore ways that that might be possible.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the love aspect.  I love my baby more than I can express, but I don’t necessarily feel like that alone will cast pain out of birthing him.  The sacrifice I’ve gone through to bring him into the world is one of love, but in past pregnancies and births that has not cast out fear.  Is it a matter of loving myself?  Is it in the loving and acceptance of the process of birth?  I don’t have all the answers on this, but one thing is for sure, I’ve learned A LOT about love during this time.  And that is probably the greatest gift I could have gotten from, or along with, this child.  He gets to be born into a much happier marriage and a more peaceful home.  Lucky boy!  And lucky me because my love for my husband has grown immeasurably during this time.

The second thing I’ve spent a lot of time pondering is how sex and birth are tied together, and how this might affect someone, such as myself, who still has a lot of issues from past sexual abuse.  Tonight I was pondering how when women learn to embrace their sexuality they open themselves to the possibility of having pleasurable births.  The same energy and the same organs that make a baby, birth a baby.  Birth is essentially an exaggerated sexual encounter.  There is such a fine line between pleasure and pain.  Have you ever had an orgasm so intense you thought you couldn’t handle it?  Have you ever had an orgasm that made you cry?  I have.  I would imagine an intense orgasm, occurring for an extended period of time would be incredibly overwhelming and could very easily been perceived as painful and causing suffering.  So my thoughts in relation to sexual abuse and birth are this:  I’ve always described birth as being “hard” pain, intense, violent and traumatizing.  If my first experiences with sex were, in fact, violent and traumatizing, it is by no means a stretch to see how I would perceive birth the same way.  Especially considering that during birth we are more “open” and therefor vulnerable than we are at any other time in our life.

The third thing I’m pondering, as of tonight, is the power, or the “intensity” of birth.  When you are studying “painless” childbirth, “ecstatic” birth and “orgasmic” birth you quickly learn that how women experience these are vastly unique.  But rarely is there ever a woman who claims to have a birth that is without intensity, and I’ve often said that it isn’t even so much the pain that is hard, it’s the intensity of it.  From my first birth I’ve described it as feeling like the greatest force in nature possible is moving through you… greater than a tornado or a tsunami, even.   It is nature’s GREATEST force and it comes into you and moves through you and there’s nothing you can do but hang on until it passes.  And in between these forces (or, contractions) there is this incredible calm, like the eye of a hurricane.   So painless birth does not mean birth without this power, or birth without incredible focus and hard work.   Well, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is meant by the term being “in your power.”  I listen to a lot of talks by Natalia Rose and Amanda Dennis and this term comes up a lot.  It occurred to me tonight (and this is a HUGE light bulb moment for me) that maybe I am not a victim to the power of birth at all… maybe, just maybe, it is MY power.  Maybe I am so powerful, it is frightening.  Maybe I’m so powerful, I’ve refused to claim it because it is too much to wrap my mind around, or too great a gift to accept.  Maybe WOMEN are SO powerful, we’ve been led to view that power as pain, as something we are a victim to, to keep us down!   So, maybe when we are experiencing the intensity of labor, that is when we are most “in our power”.  And if this is true, are we not Goddesses?  Are we not tremendous?  Should we not embrace and claim that power with all the love that we possess and make THAT our birthing experience?  Quite a bite of food for thought, that’s for sure!

Some great resources to explore more:

Hypnobabies.com  (learn self-hypnosis and read positive birth stories)

Ecstatic-birth.com  (website of Sheila Kamara Hay, who inspired this post)

Inamay.com  (all of Ina May’s books are very empowering)

Joyinbirthing.com  (Giuditta Tornetta’s website, and her book Painless Childbirth)

debrapascalibonaro.com  (Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Director of the documentary Orgasmic Birth and co-author of Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth)

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Readiness to Change

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Change is something that is very difficult for most people to accomplish, and the reasons are as varied as the individual.  Most of what hinders us are emotional hang ups we haven’t yet worked through or released, and these issues can be deeply seeded and can have come from as far back as our own conception.  Our ability to reach a point where we are ready to make change will depend on factors such as our personality type, or reasons for wanting change (motivation), and our support systems.

From a personal stand point, I happen to love change.  I embrace it.  I’m constantly assessing all areas of my life and scouting for space where change can be made.  I work hard to move forward in life and the thing that matters most to me is being a better version of myself today than I was yesterday.  There are aspects to this that aren’t necessarily a good thing.  For one, I’m a stereo typical type A personality.  I crave and strive for perfection, all the while knowing that perfection without flaws does not exist.  As with all personality types it is easy to fall out of balance.  Our strengths can easily become weaknesses when we don’t walk the line in between the two.  For example, a person who is very laid back, friendly and easy to be around can also be complacent and flakey.  Or a person such as myself can fall out of balance by allowing the drive to succeed to become overwhelming and can easily burn out or neglect the things in life that truly matter.

But you came here in hopes of finding some answers as to how you can move forward, so let’s see what progress we can make today.

There are 3 main change motivators; crisis, osmosis, and vision.  I’ll quickly go over what encompasses each of these.

Change by Crisis

There are obvious crisis that would inspire change in a person, such as being diagnosed with diabetes or having a heart attack, or seeing a family member suffer from disease.  But “crisis” for the purpose of motivation can be anything that strikes a person.  It could be a moment of clarity, something said by someone that makes a profound impact, seeing a photo of yourself and realizing how far you’ve let yourself go.  Change by crisis happens when we are inspired by a traumatic event or profound moment or realization.

Change by Osmosis

Osmosis is a gradual process.  Readiness to change that happens in this way can take any length of time and come from both internal and external forces.  It may be that you are working through emotional issues, or even just maturing with age, that brings you to a point of being motivated to embrace change.  Or it may be your environment.  For example, maybe a close family member or friend has begun to make changes in their lives, maybe your employer starts offering free or discounted gym memberships and many of your coworkers begin working out together regularly, maybe you draw and build inspiration from a transformational TV show you watch regularly.

Change by Vision

We can equate change by vision to having a goal in mind.  Change by vision happens when we have created in our mind the specific place we would like to get to.  This is really where the magic happens, but we need to be aware that impulse control and acceptance of delayed gratification will be present in the small choices we make every day as we journey toward our vision.

For most of us all or several of these motivators may be a part of our change process at one point or another.  There are 5 basic stages that we go through as we reach a level of full readiness for change.

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Stage #1: Pre-Contemplation

In this stage we are not even considering making change.  It may be that we don’t believe we have a need to make change in our lives, or it may be that we just aren’t interested.  Maybe we are comfortable where we are on some level, we are enjoying the payoff we get from staying complacent, and we just aren’t willing to move beyond that at this point.  We may also sincerely believe that we “can’t” change.  Change is impossible for us.  Maybe we’ve tried and failed in the past, maybe multiple times, and it just doesn’t seem worth the risk of suffering the pain of “failure” to try again.  As a coach, there are several things that are very important for a client in this stage, and the great thing about it is that if you are in this stage you can make great progress by practicing giving yourself these things.  In fact, it will likely build the foundation for all of the change you will make in your life, just as from a coaching perspective it builds the foundation of the coach-client relationship.  A person who is pre-contemplative is there for a reason.  This is not a “lazy” person.  I do not believe that laziness exists.  What society tends to label as laziness, in reality, can be several things.  It might be lack of energy, which can be due to emotional or nutritional factors.  It might be deep emotional pain, which holds us back and often strips us of confidence to believe that we CAN effect change and the self-esteem to believe that we are worth the risk and effort.  It may be that past experiences have deterred us from wanting to try again.  It may be that habitual negative self-talk is crippling us.  It may be that we are so focused on all that stands in our way that we are literally creating walls around ourselves.  Whatever it is, the most important thing is to have empathy for yourself.  You are not flawed or inadequate.  You are not “lazy” or whatever label you or others have placed on you.  It is imperative that you accept yourself exactly as you are.  If you never move forward, that is OKAY.  There are REASONS that you are where you are, and those reasons are real and powerful.  Respect the place you are in and work to understand why you are there.  We all crave understanding and one of the best things we can do is to seek to understand ourselves.  Whatever feelings you have must be acknowledged, accepted and un-judged.  No matter how we feel, there is no fault in it.  Our feelings tell us a lot about what matters most to us, and it is there that we find our motivation.  So in this stage, we focus internally.  We learn to love and accept ourselves as we are.  We seek to understand, and we learn to stop passing judgment and become increasingly honest and open with ourselves.

Stage #2:  Contemplation

This is the stage where we begin to consider making changes.  We don’t have any specific goals yet, but we begin to have ideas about what we would like to change and how and when we might do it.  We begin contemplating change when we become aware of areas in our life that we are dissatisfied with, or when we start to consider the possibility of succeeding in our efforts to change.  This is the place where light begins to enter in.  We can feel ourselves slowly coming to life.  We may remain in this stage for a very long time.  In fact, it isn’t uncommon for people to become what is referred to as “chronic contemplators.”  People who think and talk about making change frequently, but who never take steps to effect those changes.  It may be that they don’t know what to do to move forward, or they may still have deeply seeded fears of failure.  It may also be that they are still weighing the benefits of change over the effort that change requires.  Once again, we do not judge these things.  Wherever we are in the process is just where we are meant to be.  This is a good time for you to identify your values.  When we are fully aware of what truly matters to us we can decide if we would like to stay where we are at or begin to move forward.  The most effective way that I have found to do this is to take the time to close your eyes,  relax, and imagine yourself at the end of your life.  Perhaps imagine you are telling your life story to your grandchildren or writing it in a book that will be read by many generations to come.  What might that story sound like if you stay where you are currently at and continue on as you are?  Now, imagine what your life story would sound like if it were exactly the story you would want to tell.  Whatever it is that you would want to tell about the life you have lived, there are your values.  Begin to contemplate ways you might alter your life so that you are living true to these values.  This might also be a good time to learn about the consequences of some of your choices.  For example, how the foods you are currently eating might affect you and what kind of suffering you may experience as a result.  Denial is common and does not serve anyone well.  We are subject to natural consequence even if we look the other way.  Here again, it is imperative not to judge but to view your current behaviors as just what they are:  choices that you make.  You have the power to make choices that either hurt or serve you and when we make choices that are hurtful it is an opportunity to explore WHY we are making those choices.  If we do not become aware of our choices and the reasons we make them, we cannot effect change in our lives.  If you feel ready, this can be a great time to begin experimenting with setting small, achievable goals.  It could something like reading a book, or stopping before you eat to ask yourself if you are truly hungry or not, and if not, ask yourself why you are reaching for food (stopping yourself from eating the food is not necessary at this time unless you are feeling up to it).  It could be that you make a goal to organize one small area of your home each Saturday, or decide that you will commit to attending one social activity per month.  Whatever you do, set goals that you are likely to achieve.  This will help to grow your confidence in your power to effect change.

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Stage #3:  Preparation

Let’s DO this.  Here you are ready to make change immediately.  Your motivation to change has overridden any hang ups you may have had in the past.  You are now aware of the barriers and obstacles that have kept you from success in the past and you have some ideas about how you might navigate those challenges as you move forward.  Preparation stage is marked by our willingness and ability to explore solutions.  This is the time to formulate a clear and specific vision of where we want to go, and develop a plan for how we intend to get there.  It is also a time to make a solid commitment to ourselves that we are going to put in the effort to see this plan through.  You might find journaling helpful, discussing your ideas with a close friend, or even just brainstorming on a piece of paper.  As with any stage, do not allow yourself to be motivated by external factors or other people.  Throw the world “should” out of your vocabulary completely.  This is about you.  This is not about what someone else wants for you or about pleasing other people.  You are the only person living your life, and you will not have a chance to live it over.  So make these choices based on honesty and authenticity.  Be aware that even though you have brainstormed strategies for avoiding pitfalls, pitfalls happen.  They are part of the process.  Avoid seeing them as failures.  In fact, they are there to serve you and propel you forward.  Each time we are set back we are awarded a priceless opportunity to reevaluate, re-strategize, and try again.  All great successes in life are preceded by many failures.  Failure is not an end, it is an opportunity for learning and gaining of strength.  Your success is hinged on your attitude toward setbacks.  For that reason it is very important to plan for how you will react to such situations.  It can be very painful to confront ourselves and very tempting to view ourselves negatively.  Don’t fall for it.  There are enough enemies available in the world, you don’t need to be one to yourself.  If you aren’t going to be kind to yourself, who is?

Phase #4:  Action

The action phase is the phase marked by doing.  The blueprint has been carefully mapped out, the foundation has been set, and now we begin the building process.  This is the perfect time to establish relationships with people who share your goals and values.  Support is an essential part of this phase.  Remember to keep your goals and action broken down into small, achievable steps.  Change happens one small choice and one small action at a time.  We are at a greater risk of lapse and re-lapse during this phase, so we need to be mindful not to set ourselves up for a fall.  Continue to work through setbacks by asking yourself what you can do differently the next time you are faced with a similar situation.  Discuss these things with people in the support network you are building.  Continue to love and accept yourself and your place in this journey, and ENJOY the adventure.  Finding joy in the journey is such a great thing, this isn’t all about getting to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it is about embracing and celebrating the profound internal transformation that is the reason for our human experience.  We will never be perfect.  We will never be exactly the way we would like to be.  There will always be another goal to reach for, another area to work on… and this is GOOD.  Remember, you are exactly where you are intended to be at any and every moment in your life.

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Phase #5:  Maintenance

In the action phase we are doing, in the maintenance phase we might say we are “still doing.”  The difference is that at this point we have made the change a habit, or a part of our lifestyle.  It is no longer quite the effort it once was, though we may still go through times of falter and will still need to examine ourselves from time to time to be sure we aren’t slipping backward into previous phases.  In maintenance phase we are fairly, if not completely, confident in our ability to maintain our new behavior.  Reaching this point makes all other changes we wish to make that much easier, because we have proven to ourselves that we are capable of doing great things.  We realize now that we have, and have always had, the power to determine our own life course.  We are still at risk of lapse or re-lapse.  Often this will happen because we become bored or because we lose touch with the reason we made change to begin with.  It is vital to never forget what your initial motivators were.  For myself, when I began my journey to lose weight and gain health I not only took “before” photos, but I also make a detailed list of the physical afflictions I was suffering from.  In fact, I have made multiples lists, and continue to.  I look back on these lists from time to time, especially when I’m feeling discouraged, and I can see the payoff I have gotten from my efforts.  These lists have gone from several pages in length to several lines.  Journaling can also be useful for this reason.  We all too often forget our pain once we have healed… which can be a great thing… but we do need to remember where we came from and why.  You will find in maintenance phase that you are able to get yourself back on track more quickly and easily and you get better and better at noticing when you are falling off course.  This relates not only to your initial goal, but to all goals set hereafter.  You are now aware of your strengths and weaknesses and can foresee situations that might have the potential to slip you up and you are willing and able to strategize how you will navigate those situations.  Seek out mentors and role models, people you admire who have achieved great successes.  Now is also a great time to step up and share what you have learned with others, to become a role model to them.  Sharing knowledge is invaluable, it is a universal law that the teacher always learns more than the student, so this can be a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself moving ever forward.

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You will repeat these phases over and over throughout your life as you continue to identify areas that are calling for improvement.  You may be working on several different goals and be in several different stages at the same time.  Life is an endless state of metamorphosis…  and it is wonderful.  YOU are a wonderful creation to whom the power to create has been gifted.  Creating change is not about willpower or strength or special ability, it is about the process of accepting and practicing self-love.  Love is not something we find or something we have or create, it is something we DO and something we ARE.  Love is a state of being.  The best news is you don’t have to be perfect to start.  You don’t have to be in a great place.  You don’t even have to be “ready”.  As I’ve pointed out above, there are actions you can take within every phase of readiness that will move you forward toward the next phase.  Be honest with yourself, be forgiving.  Start where you are at.  You cannot jump forward and change does not happen quickly or without effort.  Do what you can do right where you are at, being just who you are, in this very moment… and know that whoever that is, is wonderful, and beautiful and perfectly flawed… which is the only perfection.

((Cross posted from my blog at InnateWellnessCoaching.com))

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Hold your applause.

I’m not pregnant.

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Also sporting my victory marks for carrying 3 big babies : )

No, this is the hard work of a life-long weak digestive system, complicated by compulsive eating, stress, and a whole lot of sugar, dairy, meat and grain.

I try to argue with the people who attempt to praise me for my eating habits.  “You’re so GOOD!”  They say.  “I couldn’t never do what you do!”  Yeah, but guys, I make no secret about it, I have a tortilla chip addiction.

Stop laughing.  It’s a serious problem.

Maybe you’re thinking if an occasional tortilla chip binge is all the defense ammo I’ve got I should just sit down and shut up.  But the things is, there’s so much more to it than that.  Sure, for the past 3+ years I’ve been eating a whole lot of healthy food.  That’s great.  Yay me.  But what so many people don’t realize is that even after years of eating well, we’re still carrying around all that bad stuff we ate before.  Did you know you only eliminate, at best, 60% of most of the foods that you eat?  You probably eat about 1,095 meals a year.  That’s a lot of build-up.  This is why one of the basic principals of health is “waste equals weight.”  Clearly, there is excess weight on my abdomen.  The rest of my body is a size 2.  My abdomen is a size 18.  That is not natural.  That is a belly full of putrefied food, yeast, and carbonic gas.  And let me tell you something, it hurts.  There are sharp chronic pains in 2 areas of my colon, the rest is very tender to touch, and I feel like a balloon about to burst.  I’ve been bloated like this almost every single day for the past 15 years.  My whole life my abdomen has been distended, but 15 years ago is when it really began to be uncomfortable and wouldn’t go down for anything.   In my world there exists only 2 clothing ensembles.  Yoga pants and pjs.

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It started at birth (though probably before that as I’m sure it truly began genetically).  By the time I was 2 weeks old my mom gave up trying to relieve me of gas and stomach pain and took me to the doctor.  He told her water gave me gas.  Gee, doc, it couldn’t have been the baby formula?  Lack of even a single drop of breastmilk?  Or the water she was feeding me that was actually “sugar water” given to her by the nurses at the hospital?  No, water was the culprit.  The one thing entering my body that naturally exists in my body. (Eyes roll)

So I grew up rather sickly.  Always weak and tired.  Prone to depression.  I had a panic disorder and OCD.  Was always very tense and high strung.  I was addicted to sugar and chocolate.  By the time I was in my teens I was diagnosed with IBS and had chronic post nasal drip, which resulted in several tonsil infections each year.  I had painful periods.  At the age of 12 I developed an intense pain in the right side of my neck, at my 2nd cervical vertebrae.  This pain was so intense that from that point on, up until 3 years ago, I took ibuprofen upon waking and got to the point where I was taking 9 pills a day just to take the edge off the pain so that I could function enough to take care of the basic needs of my children.  The pain was blinding and sickening, not only in my neck but up through my ear, jaw, into my temporalis, and across my eyes. Even daily Chiropractic adjustments have not eased this pain.  In my late 20s I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  From about the age of 17 I believed I had a problem with Candida, but all the doctors I saw scoffed at this.  No one would help me.  Every doctor I went to told me either that is was “all in my head” or that it was caused by stress.

(There are many more afflictions that I suffered, this is just a sampling to give you an idea of where I’m coming from.)

After 3 years high-raw my health has improved quite a bit, and I lost 70 lbs.  But I’m still not where I want to be.  I’ve tried everything that I know of that I have the means to do.  What I desperately need that I’m not able to get is colon hydrotherapy, but I am working on getting a home unit and hope to not only learn to self-administer, but I am also hoping to get certified as a colon hydrotherapist this coming January.  It takes a whole lot of cleansing to get out all the garbage we’ve put in our bodies, about 15 colonics per year that we ate heavy cooked foods.  I do daily enemas just to keep on top of the bloating pain so that it doesn’t get too out of control, and to avoid constipation, but I really need so much more.  I’ve spent 3 years awakening waste and I feel like it’s all just piled up in my colon, stuck like tar.  An enema can’t move much of that.

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Who knows who Natalia Rose is?  She is my mentor, and a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman.  You really should read her books.  Anyway, I asked a question a few weeks ago that she responded to.  The question was specifically about my chronic hemorrhoid problem.  She explained how hemorrhoids are like that last symptom, the end of the digestive tract.  If you’ve got them, you’ve got bigger issues within the rest of the tract.  She suggested a 10-day juice fast, followed by 10 days on blended foods, followed by the strictest version of her Detox 4 Women plan.  I was pretty much exasperated, anxious, and defeated as I heard this.  I mean, it makes perfect sense.  Go on digestive rest.  Give the tract a chance to heal.  Wonderful.  I’ve been wanting very much to do a juice fast for several years and have a goal to do a 90-day fast at some point.  However, I’m so severely hypoglycemic I can rarely even make it all the way to lunch on just juice.  I want to.  Really, I do

So, as is typical of me, I pondered.  And then I devised a plan.  I always have a plan, and a great many lists to go along with it.  My name is Holly Wolfley, and I am an obsessive preparation-oholic.

Here’s what I’m thinking.  I can start off doing a whole lot of juice, some blended food, and still keep some well cooked veggies in there twice a day for 10-days.  I’m really taking my time with this because this will be adhering to the Detox 4 Women systemic plan, which every time I’ve attempted it has left me with dangerous low blood sugar levels.  After those 10-days I will do 5 days of just blended foods and juice.  Next, I will do 5-10 days of just juice.  I may do 5, take a few days back on blended, and do another 5 on just juice.  Or, if my body responds well I will just do 10 straight through.  During this time I will also work to regenerate my adrenals.  I’m hoping to find some friends to help with my children during the fast and plan to lay low, sleep and rest a lot, surround myself with positive energy, and indulge in Kundalini Yoga, detox foot soaks, and castor oil packs.  After the 10-days of fasting I will ease out by going back to 5 days of blended food, followed by 5 days of mostly juice and blended but bringing back 1 or 2 soft cooked vegetable meals, and then will move into the systemic Detox 4 Women cleanse until I feel I’m ready to go back to incorporating some fruit in my diet.  At which point I will start with 1 piece of low sugar fruit and feel it out.  Now, I’m going into this with a very open mind.  Although I have it well planned out (lots of lists printed out for my daily reference) I’m basically going to move at the pace my body needs, with the goal of reaching a point where I can juice fast for at least 3 days at some point.  My main purpose is just to give my body as much digestive and adrenal rest as it will allow me at all times.

Stay tuned, there will be much more to come on this topic and I will be blogging my journey.  Hopefully from the comfort of my cozy bed while breathing deeply and enjoying some quiet, restful moments.

Waste + Weight: The Monogamous Couple

New Eating Plan and Recipe for Grain, Nut & Soy Free Vegetarian Sausage Pizzas

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Lately, my body has been telling me it needs something different.  It’s taken a few weeks to conjure up some sort of idea what that might be, and also to process the coming change emotionally.   For several years I’d had severe hypoglycemia.  I’ve done many different things with my diet, but one of the most promising was Detox 4 Women by Natalia Rose.  I tried it several times, but I ended up very sick from it.  Then I was told about Dr. Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 Diet.  It resonated so well with me at the time I went overnight from a completely no carb/sugar diet to an almost entirely fruit diet.  I was afraid my blood sugar would spike out of control (I’d blackout many times from this in the past), but I was so sick I feared for my life either way.  From day 1 I had almost no low blood sugar!  I’ve been eating this diet since April, so almost 6 months now.  It’s been so good to me.  Recently though I’ve been gaining weight that won’t come off, just around my waist.  I’ve also not been sleeping at night, feeling foggy headed and fatigued during the day, and have had a lot of nausea after eating.  I know bodies, and all signs here point to 2 things.  1.  Candida.  2.  Awakened and not released waste.

I have learned some things over the past 6 months.  First, it was an overabundance of fat that was causing my blood sugar problems.  The trouble with this was I was eating a whole lot of fat (via coconut milk, goat cheese, avocado, over 100 grams a day) in attempt to balance my blood sugar.  I felt starving and faint all of the time on the Detox 4 Women plan.  I have learned that this plan is not meant to be high fat, but for me at the time there was no other way.  I have also learned that a high fruit diet, while ideal for humans, can wreak havoc in a body that hasn’t reached a high level of cleanliness.  Fruit awakens waste like no other, and for a person such as myself who cannot afford colonics, this is a big problem.  It was a great tool though in getting the blood sugar balanced, and I believe this was an answer to many prayers.

I decided to give Detox 4 Women another try.  There was a lot of anxiety toward this since my past experiences had been so negative.  Today was day one, and I’m happy to say it went MUCH better than I’d expected!  Normally, I’m a big overeater and food is pretty much an obsession, but today I listened to my body, and am so impressed with how little food it wanted.  I’d been feeling like the nausea after eating was my body telling me it wanted less food, a lighter load, and that very much proved to be true today.  I got up in the morning and waited until I wanted a little water.  I sipped water for an hour or so until I felt like I wanted juice, which I sipped on for a few more hours as opposed to dutifully guzzling like I normally would.  During this time I did an hour long workout.  At noon I took the kids to playgroup and brought a half batch of Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl Revisited along.  Oh, how I’ve missed this stuff!!  We were at playgroup for 2 ½ hours.  I came home and mixed up a little guacamole kind of magic and used it to dress a large salad.  This was at 3:15.  By this time I’d started to get a detox headache, which I really wasn’t expecting for a day or two.  It’s a good sign that the lightness is what I’ve been needing, assuming I can eliminate the toxins that are causing the headache.  For this I will be using aloe orally and wheat grass implants rectally, along with my usual daily enema.  For dinner I had another salad dressed with lemon juice, stevia and stone ground mustard, followed by the pizzas below.  Oh, I also had 1 square of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate after the lunch salad and about 5 cherry tomatoes out of my garden.  And while I was out there checking on my lettuce babies that I recently planted, I picked 3 large beets to bake for my lunch tomorrow.  I think the key to success here is preparation, always having *safe* food on hand.  Baked beets are perfect, GREAT for elimination, filling, sweet and satisfying, and contain no overt fats.  They’re also super yummy cold out of the fridge.

If I get hungry later (and I likely will) I will probably slice up a cucumber and sprinkle some sea salt and pepper on top, perhaps a little lemon juice as well.  I wish I were one of the lucky people who can eat more than a square of chocolate without going into caffeine overdrive and snack a few ounces in the evening, but I’m not and will have to be creative with my evening snack, which I tend to need to fall asleep and not wake up in the middle of the night ravished and with low blood sugar.

Today I have eaten a total of about 33 grams of fat, not bad!  I’m not an advocate of obsessing over numbers, but this is very much an experiment to see how my body responds to different things, so I like to have some numbers to go off of.

Note:  If you’re not into the veggie sausage you could omit that and just add the pizza seasoning from the recipe instead.  Olives, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, etc. would also be very yummy.

Vegetarian *Sausage* Pizza

~Grain, Nut & Soy Free~

Adapted from a recipe shared by Kandis on the forum at Detoxtheworld.com

 

Vegetable Sausage

1 cup carrot pulp (left over from juicing*)

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Egg

Fresh sage (to taste, I used 1 leaf)

Fresh thyme (to taste, I used about 2 tsp)
1 TBS Pizza Seasoning (I added a little extra fennel seeds)
Organic Butter

Place onion, garlic and butter in sauce pan and sauté until tender.  Mix egg into carrot pulp, add to the pan along with remaining ingredients.  Cooked until lightly browned.

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Sausage beginning to cook

Vegetarian Sausage Eggplant Pizzas

Serves 4

2 eggplants (I used one white and one regular)

Sea salt

High quality organic pizza sauce (I use Muir Glen)

Vegetarian Sausage (recipe above)

Mozzarella Goat Cheese (about 3 oz)

Peel eggplant, slice into 1/2“ thick rounds.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and leave to sit 20-30 minutes (this step is optional).  In the meantime make veggie sausage.  Rinse eggplant, dry well and place on a baking sheet that has been very lightly greased with coconut oil, olive oil, or butter.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flip, bake again for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Top with pizza sauce, veggie sausage, and a small slice of goat cheese.  Bake for about 8 minutes, until cheese is golden and bubbly.  I like to put it under the broiler at the end for 2-3 minutes.

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Beets baking for tomorrow!
The rundown on what I ate today:
-water
-green juice (carrot, spinach, Romaine)
-1 glass stevia sweetened lemonade
-1/2 batch Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl
-large salad topped with 1/2 avocado, heaping TBS salsa, a little lime juice, dash of sea salt and garlic powder, and a few drops of stevia all mashed together and then smooshed all through the lettuce with my hands (wish I’d had some cilantro to add, going to pick some up tomorrow!)  Ripe tomatoes would have also been great, but I didn’t have enough in the garden and the store bought ones have no flavor
-a few cherry tomatoes from the garden
-large salad with lemon juice, stevia and stone ground mustard whisked together as dressing
-Vegetarian Eggplant Pizzas
-1 glass stevia sweetened lemonade
I may have some herbal tea (peppermint with chocolate stevia) for dessert or the sliced cucumbers I mentioned above.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Milkshakes (Healthy Ones!)

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Dinner tonight was sort of a flop, at least visually.  My daughter had the idea of making a healthier version of biscuits and gravy, since my husband had requested this dish for his dinner.  So I made our go-to spelt biscuits (I use coconut milk instead of dairy milk in them).  Then I made a gravy similar to my mushroom gravy, but I didn’t have any mushrooms.  Unfortunately, the gravy came out more like a thick-ish soup.  BUT, as luck would have it, I’ve been trying to come up with a way of making creamy soups without using dairy, and I think I found it!  So, this soupy sad looking “gravy” may, in fact, have just been a blessing from Heaven, an answer to my un-creamy soup dilemma.  Thanks, culinary angels!

Now to the point.   I had some friends come over today to see how I make milkshakes and ice cream and to talk about health.  This is my favorite kind of day!  I’ve got a long list of milkshake/ice cream recipes I’m perfecting and I was hoping to post them all together, but I’m going to give you what I’ve got so far.  A few things first.  Be selective about your Stevia.  I will only use NuNaturals or KAL, everything else tastes bitter, with the exception of flavored Stevias, the Sweetleaf brand is okay.  Buy bananas by the box full, ripen them to well-freckled perfection, peel and place on a baking sheet.  Cut them into 3rds or 4ths and freeze.  Store them in freezer bags.  You need not waste any bags if you store the empty ones in the freezer and re-use them.  Flavor extracts, be SURE they are alcohol-free.  You can get the best price on these at Vitacost.com.  Nuts; be sure they are raw.  The bag must specify that they are raw.  You can get the best price on these at Trader Joe’s.  Nut milks, the best brand to get is Pacific, but the Trader Joe’s brand is also okay, or you can make your own at home.  Just blend 1 cup of water with a handful of nuts, or 2 TBS of nut butter and filter it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth.  Spinach; I use the organic baby spinach from Costco.  It’s the best price I’ve found, plus it’s prewashed so you can just toss it right in.  I make a big pitcher full of milkshake, and each of these recipes will make that amount.  I fill a Ball Freezer Jar and put it in the freezer for my late night ice cream indulgence (yes, every night, curled up in bed, with my husband and his TV shows and my current read).  If you are less of a glutton, just cut the recipe in half… or you could be a better person than I and share.  Your call.  Okay…  Blender; I use a Vitamix.  A Blendtec would also be great.  You can try it in a regular blender, but be sure to blend your “base” (the spinach, liquid and flavorings) thoroughly and be careful when blending your ice and frozen bananas, these shakes are THICK and I lost 3 blenders to raw recipes during my first few months on this dietary journey.  A high speed blender is WELL worth the investment!  If you would like free shipping on a Vitamix, please let me know.  I recommend getting a refurbished model, if you can.  They come with the same 7-year warranty, but are less expensive.

Alright, the recipes.  Here are my 10 current favorites.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Cone

1 cup water

2 TBS (heaping) raw almond butter

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 TBS alcohol-free vanilla extract

½ TBS vanilla powder

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

Dash of ground cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, almond butter, salt, vanillas, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice and banana and blend creamy.

 

Peanut-Butter-Scotch

1 cup water

3 TBS Organic Peanut Butter* (optional)

Dash Celtic Sea Salt

½ tsp alcohol-free Butterscotch Flavoring

3 droppersful NuNaturals or KAL liquid Stevia

½ tsp  ground Cinnamon

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, peanutbutter, salt, flavoring, stevia, cinnamon and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

*Be selective about peanut butter, and eat it only on rare occasion.  Peanuts are homes to a specific kind of mold which contains aflatoxin, a known carcinogen.  So, peanuts cause cancer.  Don’t eat too many!  Look for an organic brand without salt or sugar added.  If you want to be really great about it you can get Wild Jungle Peanut Butter, which is not only raw but the Amazonian peanuts used to make it are the only aflatoxin free variety.

 

Orange Julius Goes Green

¾-1 cup water

2 ripe, organic oranges, sectioned and frozen

1 TBS alcohol free vanilla extract, 1/8 vanilla bean, or ½ TBS Vanilla Powder

2 droppers-full liquid Stevia (NuNaturals or KAL brands)

1-2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Place water, vanilla, Stevia, and spinach in the blender, blend.  Add oranges and blend until smooth.  Add ice and banana and blend until thick and creamy, using the agitator to push the banana down.

Note:  Peel and segment the oranges in the morning or the day before and freeze.

 

Amaretto

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash of Celtic sea salt

½-1 tsp alcohol-free almond extract (to taste)

1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract or 1/2 TBS Vanilla Powder

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, extracts, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Add chopped frozen cherries.

 

Candy Cane

1 cup water

1/4 tsp alcohol-free peppermint extract

3 dropperful stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, extract, stevia and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  Stir in carob chips or a chopped chocolate bar (be sure its high quality, organic, and 70% or more cocoa-Green & Black or Endangered Species are great brands) after making.

 

Chocolate

1 cup water or almond milk

3 heaping TBS raw cacao powder

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Dash Celtic sea salt

1 dropperful Chocolate Stevia (optional, I use Sweetleaf brand)

2-3 droppersful Stevia OR 4-6 TBS raw agave nectar or pure maple syrup (or a mix of agave and maple syrup)

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, cacao, vanilla, salt, stevias/sweeteners and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Optional:  add ¼ tsp peppermint extract

 

Candied Vanilla

1 cup water or almond milk

1 dropperful Vanilla Stevia (I use Sweetleaf brand)

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or extract

2 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, stevias, vanilla and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Vanilla Bean

1 cup water or almond milk

Dash Celtic sea salt

¼-1/2 vanilla bean

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water or milk, salt, vanilla bean (cut it into chunks first) and spinach well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

Cinnamon Bun

1 cup water

1 TBS raw sunflower seeds

4 raw Brazil nuts

About 10 raw almonds

Dash Celtic sea salt

½ TBS Vanilla Powder or alcohol-free vanilla extract

Lots of ground cinnamon, I would guess about 1/8 cup

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Blend water, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds well, until a creamy milk forms.  You may use it like this, or make it lower fat by running it through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth to strain out the fiber and make a nut milk.  Add salt, vanilla, cinnamon and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

 

Black Licorice

1 cup water

½ tsp alcohol-free Anise extract (to taste)

3 droppersful Stevia

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

2 handfuls ice cubes

5-6 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

Add water, extract, Stevia, and spinach.  Blend well.  Add ice cubes and bananas and blend creamy.

There you have it, my collection of current favorite milkshake recipes.  I eat these every day for lunch and the frozen ice cream “left overs” every night for dessert.  I’ve got several more recipes I’m working on, as well as some delicious toppings for the ice cream.  Hope you enjoy these and I look forward to sharing more soon!

That We Might Have Joy!

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August 9, 2012

          I don’t often speak from the depths of my soul.  I think most of the world will not understand.  But maybe I’m not giving the world enough credit.  We are each, after all, the same.  And within each one of us is the gift to recognize truth, and good, and things that are of God, our creator. 

          So here is the secret of my soul.  Here is the unsheltered reality by which I live.  It is a painful thing to behold the world.  The depth of unnecessary misery is torture to witness.  I see a world of pain, where joy is meant to be.  I see us creating our own disharmony.  I see us intentionally manufacturing and attaching ourselves to dangerous distractions.  I see us allowing the forces of evil to penetrate our hearts.  I see us poisoning ourselves and our children.  I see an, ironically, barbaric civilization.  One that is so far distanced from its inhabitant’s pristine origins, it now sees them as barbaric, and shuns them.  If a person dares to attempt to live as the Creator intended, he is weird, crazy, a “hippy.”  A peaceful person who views the earth with wonder and gratitude, who treats others with love even when that love is harshly rejected, who nourishes himself from the earth and does not inflict violence on any living thing is so foreign to us we might actually fear him.  We wouldn’t know how to relate to such an individual.  But we are perfectly comfortable in our social circles, going on about which brand of crackers our children prefer, how to best clean our ovens, which fictional novel we are currently reading, what happened on last night’s episode of Bones… but none of this matters!  Stop feeding your kids death!  Stop poisoning your family with ovens and all that comes out of them!  Stop filling the space of your mind with these distracting and often scandalous inventions of unrealistic existence!  And, please, stop staring at flashing lights on a screen for hours a day, allowing your life to slip by while you live vicariously though someone else’s life, which may or may not even exist!  Why allow your life to be wasted away?  Because it’s all you’ve ever known?  Because you’re not aware of what is real?  Because it’s one of the few comforts you’re aware of?  Because the way you live your life is so unnatural and as a result the stress so high you feel the need to zone out?

          Steeping off the soap box now.  Please realize my irritation is with myself.  I am as guilty as anyone, and yet my consciousness is evolving.  And as it evolves I find myself questioning the activities I choose to include in my daily life.  I’m analyzing why I make the choices I do, what the payoff is, as well as the cost, and most importantly I’m asking myself if these things are serving greater good.  Do I need them?  Can I give them up?  What might I replace them with?

          The unfortunate truth is that we are natural beings living in a way that is completely unnatural to our species.  We tend to prefer not to see ourselves in such a way, as “animals” so to speak, as part of nature.  We surround ourselves with destruction.  Do you get what I’m saying?  We surround ourselves with DESTRUCTION.  Take a moment right now to look at what surrounds you.  How many things can you count that were created by the robbing of life?  How many things were created in a factory?  How many things were once living that are now dead?  How many of these things will decay with time? How many are capable of their own reproduction?  Are you surrounded by anything that is living in its pristine form?  Human beings are meant to be part of the natural world.  It is this world that was created for us.  All things within it are intricately linked.  All things work in harmony.  Every needful thing is provided for us there.  When we live true to our nature, we need not ask God for anything.  We need only rejoice and praise Him with gratitude for all that he has given us from the beginning.  Not because we ought to, not because He says, but because we would be so overflowing with the pure love available to us, that we would not be able to contain it! 

          What can we do, in our modern society, to tap into this joy?  Here are a few ideas for you to condsider.  Walk barefoot outdoors daily.  Grow a garden.  Eat food in the form in which it is offered from the earth.  Cleanse the toxins of the modern world from your body via colon hydrotherapy and eating as mentioned previously.  Make a habit of viewing your life with gratitude rather than despair.  Allow enough quiet into your life that you can hear the whisperings of truth all around you.  Choose to love others just as they currently are.  MOVE your body.  They are designed to be moving most of the day!  Detach yourself from electronics as much as possible.  Connect to the people, plants, and animals around you.  Don’t allow fear to be a part of your experience.  Where there is love and faith there is no fear.  Get to know yourself.  Find our callings in life.  What are you most passionate about?  What can you do to assist others?  Go to bed with the sun and rise with it.  Release the past, it is no longer happening.  It only exists in our lives if we choose to hold on to it by focusing on it.  Look for the growth opportunities in your suffering.  Allow what’s in your heart to have a voice.  Do not fear vulnerability.  Do not concern yourself with that others think of you, they see through their own set of filters, they cannot know your true heart.  But your Father knows it and loves it.  Women, you are DIVINE!  You are daughters of GOD!  YOU are His greatest creation, the absolute pinnacle of perfection!  You are equipped with gifts that enable you to take the world from its current state of destruction, back to its pristine origins.  Bond yourselves together, there is power in numbers!  Do not allow the forces of darkness to come between you and your sisters.  Turn away from pettiness, judgment, superiority, control.  Look at the people around you as people, not as objects.  Every person you interact with is just like yourself, in fact they are a part of you.  Treat them as such.  Do not destroy God’s creations.  Do not kill his animals.  They have been entrusted to you and are here to serve you. 

          My only hope as I write this is that someone will come away pondering.  Some spark will ignite in the depths of a soul which, as he focuses on it, will grow into a force for good in his life.  Each life on this earth is an essential part of the big picture, the Master’s Plan, and if I have said anything that might bring more power to the forces of light, I have done well in the sight of my Creator.  And ultimately, that is what matters.