My Health and Healing

November 9, 2010

This post is going to be all about words, words, words. But if you don’t know me (or even if you do) and wonder why I’m here blogging or why I eat the weird things that I do, it would help to understand the “whys”. This is where to find that info. I’m not really sure how to start this, so let’s just take a little walk through my recent history.

A couple of years ago, a nodule was found on my thyroid. It’s actually been there much longer, but I didn’t realize what it was. It’s been biopsied twice and is clearly benign. I get regular ultrasound measurements taken to monitor it’s size. My thyroid function is totally fine (following conventional wisdom).

In January 2010, I decided to do a nutritional cleanse, following Dr. Alejandro Junger’s CLEAN program. In all honesty, I’m not 100% sure what drove me to this decision. I was hanging out on the forums at MyFoodDiary.com and met an amazing woman who changed her life with a nutritional overhaul. One thing that was definitely a factor was my desire to get off of anti-anxiety medication. I was doing great on it, but I was sick of the idea of being dependent on a pill. I was also highly suspicious of having a gluten intolerance. I’d suffered from IBS for years and also have a history of celiac in my family. I thought going through a detox then performing some allergen tests would be a good idea.

Looking back now, I think there was something bigger building that was telling me to go on a detox. Who knows what condition I would be in now if I hadn’t done it. After going through the program, I was able to cease anti-anxiety medication and perform a variety of allergen tests. Through the process of re-introducing foods I found that I’m better off without cow dairy, gluten definitely causes bad things to go down, and SURPRISE I have a systemic overgrowth of candida albicans. Since I’ve never had a yeast infection of the “girl parts” ever in my life, I thought there was no way it could apply to me. But as I read more and more about it, I finally had to admit that it was an issue for me. So my original quest to clear out diary, gluten, and refined sugar are now child’s play to me…easy. It’s the candida monster that I fight every day.

After basically living on sugar for a solid month through the 2009 holidays, I’d returned to my endocrinologist for a follow-up thyroid ultrasound. At this appointment, it was shown that my thyroid nodule had grown quite a bit. The doctor sort of panicked and recommended surgery immediately to remove the nodule. What he failed to mention (until I asked) was that would entail removal of the thyroid also and I’d have to take replacement hormones for the rest of my life. I could go on and on about why I hated this guy, but it really doesn’t matter. I decided to seek a second (and third) opinion. My third doctor agreed with the assessment, but he also understood my feelings. He agreed to do another biopsy and ongoing ultrasound monitoring.

At this point, I am convinced that it had shown growth at that appointment due to all the sugar I consumed over the holidays. It is fed by sugar and other foods which easily convert to sugar. Is the candida causing the nodule to grow (or even exist)? Maybe not, but maybe so.

Since that time, a follow-up ultrasound has shown the nodule is shrinking. I attribute that to following an anti-candida diet along with daily supplements to support my thyroid. The irony is, of course, that even though I am no longer on pharmaceuticals I’m still dependent on pills. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be back to just a single multivitamin every day.

I know, I know, it sounds like I’m completely nuts. If I’d have read something like this a year ago I would’ve thought the same thing. I would have thought, “this woman is a flake who’s gone off the deep end.” I get it. Really. But I’ve lived it and now I know better. Hope you’ll keep visiting even if you do think I’m a crazy person.

I’ve learned some really amazing things over the past year and I couldn’t have done it with a few key tools:

– If you have a health crisis (or if you just want to feel better), get thee to a naturopath. Seriously. Just do it. Even if you think you feel fine. You could probably feel better.
MyFoodDiary.com I’ve been a member for several years, but the site really proved it’s worth this year. It’s a great tool for changing your diet and monitoring what’s going in your body.
– The food blogging community is an amazing resource and I’m forever grateful for its existence.

Before I sign off for now, I’ll point out that I’ve added info to the About page regarding what I do and don’t eat and I will try to keep that updated as things change. I’m sharing this simply so you’ll understand why I’m using certain ingredients. See a recipe that looks good but you have no interest in making nut cheese? Then use regular cheese as you normally would. Don’t be afraid to substitute to make these foods fit into your life.

toodles for now

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Welcome

September 10, 2010

I have been toying with the idea of starting up a health/nutrition/fitness/whateverifeellike blog for a while.  The reason for part of my reticence — I already have two blogs that have been severely neglected.  But health is my new thing, it seems.  (We’ll get to reasons and motivations later.)  I’m finally getting far enough along in my knowledge that I feel like I have things to share.

Then, one of my best “students” up and quit her job so she can spend more time with her kiddos.  ((sad face))  This means I completely miss out on the weekly health brainwashing I’m accustomed to doling out to her on the one day I normally go into the office.  And she misses out on the benefit of all my acquired knowledge!

So, here I am.  A new blog.  What you’ll find here will focus on anything and everything related to supporting optimal health and healing — namely nutrition, exercise, and feeding the soul.  I know all three are equally important.  I’m not great at all three; this blog will help me improve.  Without doubt, more mundane details of life will sneak in, but that’s what makes a blog interesting to voyeurs.  Feel free to skip over those parts; you won’t hurt my feelings.

The name?  Yeah, I’m not sure about that either.  But I’m liking it for now.  (And in case you’re wondering — no, I didn’t know what it meant until I looked it up.  I like to learn new words so that’s partly why it stuck.  And I also lurrrrves me some alliteration when I can get it.)

Before we begin, I must say thank you to all the wonderful healthy-food bloggers out there.  I am where I am now (a pretty good place) only due to countless hours of stalking their blogs.  You’ll get to know some of them by name soon as they will surely be the inspiration for everything you’ll see posted here.  If you are a healthy-food blogger, thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do!

I’m still decorating the place and figuring things out here, but come on in and welcome to the journey.

(P.S. Fair warning – I’m a terrible photographer.  I don’t have a great camera, but I can’t blame it on that.  I simply don’t have the eye to create beautiful pictures and I don’t have the time nor patience to make them better in Photoshop.  Hopefully you will learn enough here to make up for the sub-par photos.)