Friday, January 1, 2010

Adventures in Wellness

I feel like I've finally figured out most of my health issues, and I wanted to share my discoveries so that they may help others.

After having Brady, I felt like I was constantly sick. Doctors diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), moderate to severe allergies (with no prior history), repeated urinary tract infections (UTI), repeated yeast infections (with no prior history), several colds, sometimes sinus infections... On top of this, my hair started falling out, I felt lethargic, my brain was always foggy, I tossed and turned all night, I felt achy at night and when I woke up in the morning, I had mood swings and chronic headaches (prior to having Brady, I probably had about 6 headaches my whole life). Conventional doctors had no explanation for the sudden overall downfall of my health, and I seemed to only get worse. Here are a few of my favorite Chinese proverbs.

The superior doctor prevents sickness;
The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness;
The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.

Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.

Whatsoever was the father of a disease, an ill diet was the mother.

I'll save you the trial and error I went through, and try to focus on what you can use. Dr. Steven Hotze ( hosts a weekday radio show from 12:00 noon - 1:00 PM CST on 700 AM. He also hosts free conference calls and has a great website. I exhibited all of the symptoms of low thyroid and yeast dominance, and wanted to treat myself naturally with foods and yoga. I didn't visit his clinic because he's really expensive and doesn't accept health insurance. I also have a book by Dr. Maoshing Ni called "Secrets of Longevity, Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100". Here's what I eat / do in order of priority:

1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) for 1 - 5 minutes twice a day, to stimulate my thyroid gland. If I miss my shoulder stand two times in a row, I immediately get sick again (UTI's and/or headaches come back). The shoulder stand also gives me a chance to assess my breathing and congestion (see number 4).

2. Drink something healthy all day long - I drink mostly black tea, with lemon and sweetened with Stevia (the blue, pink and even the yellow stuff leaves chemicals in your stomach that cannot be digested and thus prevents your stomach from digesting nutrients properly). Any tea is an excellent anti-oxidant, though green is supposed to be the best. Aside from being wonderful on its own, drinking tea keeps me away from soft drinks or water bottled in BPA leaching plastics.

3. Eat Greek Yogurt and fight the yeast - If you've ever been on an antibiotic, there's a pretty good chance you have too much yeast in your gut / stomach. This prevents you from properly absorbing nutrients and digesting food. I eat the honey flavored yogurt by the Greek Gods; I also make a smoothie with 1 c. frozen blueberries, 1 c. frozen strawberries, 1/2 c. yogurt, and 1/3 c. orange juice (sometimes I add a little local honey to sweeten it up and build my allergy tolerance to the local flora). Check out all of the probiotic goodness in Greek yogurt!

4. Congestion is one of the earliest signs of illness. If I'm starting to get congested, I load up on vitamin C. I've also started supplementing with Red or White Ginseng (Chinese call this a cure-all) and/or liquid Astragalus (I put a few drops in my tea, it gives it a slightly minty taste). Astragalus is safe for children as long as they do not have a fever. Lastly, I started experimenting with Neti... the verdict is still out.

5. Eat salmon every day - Brady and I usually split a 6 - 8 oz. filet. If you're worried about toxicity from mercury or other metals, purchase farm raised salmon or (even better) top your salmon with a little ginger or garlic. The selenium helps convert dormant thyroid into active, the B6 and B12 boosts your energy, the vitamin D is great for your immune system (particularly noted to build your immunity towards swine flu), and of course the fatty acids are great for a healthy heart and healthy brain. Chicken and beef cannot compete with that kind of nutritional value. If you're a protein junkie, add shrimp to your diet.

6. Eat a rainbow every day - My favorites are spinach for green, sweet potatoes for orange / yellow, blueberries for blue / purple, and strawberries for red. The berries are easy to get in my morning smoothie. We pile the spinach on a quesadilla at night and season with fresh minced garlic, cumin and cayenne. Sweet potatoes are great mashed, baked or fried; I like them any way as long as they are well salted. If you've never tried seaweed salad before, I also recommend giving that a try.

7. Seedilicious bread from HEB - If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. The seeds are all super healthy for you and it doesn't need anything extra. When I'm feeling indulgent, I'll sprinkle a lot of Italian herbs and spices into my EVOO and use it as dip for my seedilicious bread... mmm...

All of my aforementioned symptoms have gone away. God created our bodies with very powerful immune systems; natural cures boost your body's system rather than overriding it. This enables all of your body's systems to continue to work in harmony, rather than fighting with one another. Regardless of what you may be struggling with, I encourage you to Google / research natural cures.

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