It CAN be done.

Some days are amazing.  Some weeks, months, years, lives are amazing.  Lately, I’ve been surrounded by people doing amazing things with their health, and I’m inspired.  Attractive happy woman joying in beautiful summer day.

As many of you know, I consult with clients on improving nutrition to help or heal a wide variety of health problems.  Many of my clients have autoimmune diseases, though certainly not all.  Here, I’m sharing two lovely stories of success on their journey, one a client of mine and one not.

This week, I was at a pot-luck and was talking to a woman who has suffered from Hashimoto’s disease for about 15 years.  Now in her early-50s, she’d been on a health journey for years.  As a professional in the field of alternative medicine, she’s been aware of plenty of ways to work at and improve body functions.   Yet still, 10 years into her disease she wasn’t improving and so she decided to go on the GAPS diet.  When I first met her last year, she casually mentioned that she had Hashimoto’s and was working through some things.  She expressed some happiness with the results of the GAPS diet, but also was hoping some other things would have improved.  At that point, she’d been on the diet for four years.

When I spoke to her this week, she’d been on the diet five years.  She’d just recently gotten her blood tests back from her doctor, and it turns out that she no longer has Hashimoto’s disease.  Let me say that another way: a healing nutritional protocol has healed this woman of her autoimmune disease!

This is unprecedented in the medical world, folks.  When one is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, they should expect to have it for life.  Yet here is one example of how diligence and hard work can pay off.  This woman has also worked on detoxifying heavy metals and other issues, but had her digestion not been strengthened by the GAPS diet, her body would have never have been able to handle the metal detox protocols.  I’m certain that other GAPS practitioners see such rewards often; this diet has truly helped thousands around the world.Kombucha

Next, meet a young woman in her mid-20s.  She’s young, active, and works as a Registered Dietician.  She’s busy, social and yet dealing with health issues.  Since her youth, she’s always had digestive issues going on.  From acid reflux to allergies, to problems with her esophagus.  More recently, she’s noticed allergic reactions to foods.  It seemed to her that every month she added another food to her list of allergies.  Her training had not helped her learn how to deal with allergies or leaky gut.

I began working with her in the winter of 2014 when she began the GAPS diet.  It was a hard road — she had to navigate a busy summer with lots of festivities on a relatively strict diet.  I’m happy to say that a few weeks ago she ate the first apple she’d eaten in five years, with no reactions.  Her digestive system is healing, her body is not attacking food or itself, and she’s on her way to a full recovery. She’s done a fantastic, amazing job with this diet thus far and is reaping the rewards.

To see such clear improvements after just six months on the diet is fantastic, though not always the case.  A whole variety of factors go into how fast or slow one heals.  Age matters; young people heal faster.  My son, at six months old, healed his eczema in under a year.  The 52 year-old woman took five years on the diet to reverse Hashimoto’s disease.   Every individual has a unique biology that will effect how long it will take to heal.

I have to say, I haven’t met anyone yet, whether my client or not, who hasn’t seen some improvements result from an improved diet, whether they do just basic improvements or something more drastic such as GAPS.   Whatever your issue, your meals can help you.
Food people, it’s all about the food.  Eat well, BE well, LIVE well.

Click here if you want to get started on improving your diet, step by step. 

 

 

 

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Throwback…. Wednesday?!

It’s National Breastfeeding Week!  With a bit of sadness, I can’t participate this year.  My good ole’ milk factory is closed. How did those years go by so fast?!  Two of them are weaned, and one of them is, gulp, starting school in September.  He’s so very ready, while I’m having a bit of trouble with the idea.

For me, nursing my kids was huge.   Huge for bonding, nourishing, loving, sleeping, comforting, growing.    Now with my 2.5 year old weaned just 6 months ago, I miss it.   I long for those quite moments together, just me and her.  Doing our thing, giving her what she needed.  Our time.  Now when she comes into our bed, she sucks her thumb and snuggles.  It’s sweet and luscious, but it’s not the same as the instant connection.

Just a few days ago my little girl watched a friend of ours nursing her newborn. She then took her doll and put it under her shirt.  I almost cried while cooking and watching them in my kitchen.  Damn. Those moments, years even, are so darn fleeting.  Cliche, I know, but I feel it truly this week.

Here’s a shout out to all your nursing mama’s out there, and all of you who join me in longing for those moments once again.

Here’s a little something from National Breastfeeding Week, one year ago.

https://holisticnutritionbasics.com/2013/08/03/milk-in-the-eye/

 

Organic Valley, you’ve let me down

Like everyone, I have my favorite products.  I usually by from local farms, and when life gets in the way I buy organic/grass fed from stores such as Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.   This week, my local stores were out of the fantastic, local, grass fed c20140212_082203ream that I usually buy.  Since it’s the middle of a snowy winter here in New England, it’s not abnormal to have low supply of high quality goods as milk production can wane in the winter months.

So, what did we do?  In my house, we put cultured cream on our food every day, which I often culture at home, and I wasn’t willing to go without.  (Are you interested in learning how and why one should do this?!  Click here!)   In a pinch, we bought Organic Valley.  Although I never suggest using ultra-pasteurized cream ever for anything, I caved this time and also was curious about how well this dead food would culture.  In a rush, I didn’t look at the back of the container.  Take a look at the bottom picture- what do you see that is problematic?

Did you see it?  The writing is small, but it’s there.  Carageenan.  What is wrong with carageenan, you ask?  Well, there are two kinds of carageenan- one that is damaging which isn’t supposed to be in our food, and one that is supposedly ok for consumption which is called food-grade.  The problem is that the one that is damaging actually degrades the intestinal tract and liver, and becomes a carcinogen (ie: cancer causing) in the body.

20140212_082148What if they use the the non-food grade version in food?  Do they?!  Would they do that?!  In organic food?!  The answer, unfortunately, is yes.  According to the Cornucopia Institute’s study

My advice is to avoid that stuff like the plague.  It’s often in liquids and used as a thickener, such as in almond milk or canned coconut milk.  Yes, it means being very very careful about what you eat, and checking all labels- even the organic ones!    If you’d like a more detailed explanation of the how’s, why’s and who’s behind this, check out this extensive and well-researched blog post.

Now, what do you think I did with this cream?!

My pearly whites

I sat down to write an entirely different post, but I just can’t get away from the one thing on my mind today.  Teeth, our precious teeth. I always get great reviews on my teeth quality and strength from my dentist, in spite of my total flossing negligence.  I attribute that to our great diet during the last 4 years.   Yet I had a lingering issue from a past dentist during my standard-American-diet years, who gave me some bad advice which I followed in my naivete: an unnecessary root canal.  Lately it’s been bothering me so I had it pulled.   That’s right, a tooth yanked out of my skull.   

Although I was sure it was the right thing to do to prevent long-term strain on my immune system, nothing felt more wrong during the procedure.  I had to resist the urge to pop up out of that chair and run like the dickens.  Today I’m in mourning and full of questions.   Was that a good idea?  Should I have just dealt with the occasional dull pain of the root-canaled tooth until it became a real problem I couldn’t ignore?   What if I don’t want to go back to get the implant- could I live with this thing in my mouth which is basically a denture forever (the answer to that is a loud NO!).  But is an implant better than a root-canaled (ie: infected) tooth better?  Many holistic dentists say yes, though not all, and that was my gamble also.

The Dr. put my tooth in an envelope for me to look at later- afraid I’ll faint, I’ve yet to open it.  I want the ache in my upper jaw to go away.  I want to be able to eat real food again.  I want this damn thing out of my mouth!   So I’m probably going to go through with the implantation 6 months from now, but until then I’ll be in the process of getting used to the new contours of my mouth, either the gaping hole or the denture while trying to eat real foods.  Believe me, I’ve learned my lesson- again.

What does all my whining mean for you?  Take care of your teeth, and when necessary read lots and lots of research before letting anyone mess with your mouth or any part of you for that matter.  So today, I leave you with a list of three dental resources that I love.   Enjoy, and take care of those pearly whites!

Heal cavities without fillings!

Oil Pulling

The Whole Body Dentistry

The Heal Thy Mouth Summit

Raw Milk Threatened in Foxboro!

This is a rare piece of activism from me, however I find it extremely necessary.  On November 25, the Foxboro, MA Board of Health will be voting on whether to adopt new and unprecedented town regulations of raw milk. 

These new regulations would likely put this Lawton’s Family Farm, a small family-run farm, out of business.  The proposed measures would lower the allowable bacteria to levels lower than that legally allowed for pasteurized milk, and give authority to the town’s Board of Health to shut the farm down for up to a month or longer and giving them alone the authority to re-open the farm.  Currently, the State has authority to shut the farm down only until a sample comes back with the current allowable bacteria levels.

The state of MA, no town has ever taken over this role from the state, as it is completely and utterly unnecessary.  These major changes transfers power to extremely anti-raw-milk authorities without need and will essentially shut the farm down and prevent access to this high quality health food.

Now is the time to act!  Read these proposed guidelines for more details, and then do the following:

  • Take the time to send letters and emails and PLEASE send copies to the farm or drop your copies off there
  • PLEASE be sure to send the farm copies as they do not trust our agent to pass them along to her board members
  • When writing your letters, please explain your rights to choose what you put in your body, the benefits of raw milk, and also include if you are a professional ( nutritionist, doctor, nurse, scientist , wellness person  for added emphasis) and all others : your educated and researched choices
  • Foxboro Residents: Please send letters to the Editor of the Foxboro Reporter as to your confidence in  the State Dept of Agriculture to regulate raw milk as well as the health benefits you receive from drinking raw milk.
  • Your efforts need to be in the paper before 11/25/13.
  • There is a public hearing on November 25 at 7:45 in the McGinty room of the Public Safety Building(which is located at the end of North St away from Route 1) WE NEED YOU THERE TO SPEAK OR JUST YOUR PRESENCE FOR SUPPORT IN RAW MILK

Email addresses: Pauline Clifford , town Health Agent     pclifford@town.foxborough.ma.us
Cc: oake_knoll_ayrshires@lawtonsfamilyfarm.com

OR hard copy:  Foxborough Board of Health, Pauline Clifford
40 South St, Foxboro, MA 02035
Cc: Terri, Ed or Nancy Lawton 70 North St Foxboro, MA 02035 or drop off at stand

Another mark against industrial oils

As if the rancidity & toxicity factors in “vegetable” oils weren’t enough, the EPA has recently allowed Monsanto to increase the allowable amount of the Glyphosate Herbicide, a known endocrine disruptor and carcinogen, to its oilseed crops.

http://preventdisease.com/news/13/080113_EPA-Allows-Monsanto-Glyphosate-Herbicide-60-Times-Higher-Toxic-Canola-Soy-Sunflower-Flax-Peanuts.shtml?utm_source=080113&utm_campaign=080113&utm_medium=email

What oils do I suggest?  Coconut oil, lard, butter, and olive oil used cold, all from farmers you trust or with organic certification.   Thats it.  Keep your kitchen simple and like your great-grandmother would enjoy.