Have you ever felt like you were in a continual and vicious cycle of being sick, tired, and worn out? This was the place I found myself back in April of this year.
First off, I will say I am not a doctor, I am just someone who has done a lot of research on these topics. Always do your own research before taking any of my advice. Being your own advocate can change your life.
A Decade of Disaster
My health has been a long term battle I have been facing in many regards since my early twenties. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at the age of 19, I am now 34 and have nothing of the sort. In addition, I had none of the risk factors such as being overweight, hereditary, or heart issues to lead the doctors to this conclusion. They strictly went off of the numbers. Yet, my doctor felt the need to put me on a statin drug. I took that drug for ten years before hearing a Christian talk radio show that explained the dangers of the drug.
After dealing with joint pain, a chronic cough, brain fog and other ailments, I quit taking the medication. There is a book titled, The Great Cholesterol Myth, by Dr Stephen Sinatra and Dr. Jonny Bowden. I am not a proponent of Dr. Oz’s theology (read more about that here), but he had doctors on his show who explained in great detail the myth of cholesterol. If you are on one of these drugs, especially if you are a women, I urge you to watch this segment from the show, from there you can watch part 2 that will be linked on the site.
After the Lord helped me to learn about this dangerous drug, I found myself in 2012 feeling sluggish, catching any sort of upper respiratory infection that came my way, dizziness, cluster headaches, inflammation, and just an overall feeling of being run down. I finally sought treatment again from the medical world. No one could tell me why I was feeling the way I was until I saw a physical therapist. He quickly noticed I had nystagmus in my eyes, a condition where the eye shakes and tricks your body into thinking it is moving all the time. This related to the cluster headaches which in turn led me to an osteopath doctor. They now thought it to be something internal. I then find myself doing a series of blood tests for the diagnosis of Lyme Disease, chronic inflammatory disease, thyroid concerns and the list goes on and on.
As you can imagine I am now at the mercy of the doctor to “fix this”…and what is their fix? That’s right…prescription medications. A whole protocol in fact that could last anywhere from 3 to 5 years of low dose antibiotics and anti inflammatory medications. At this point, you do what the doctor says, right? So that is what I did for a year and a half in the name of health. Sigh.
Well fast forward to April of 2014. I wasn’t really feeling any better. It would come and go but no steady improvement. So…I hit the point of “is this there ever going to get any better?” I continued to seek the Lord on this area of my life and could not figure out why I was not getting better. Then one day it just kind of hit me…I am going to have to do something drastic to turn my health around. What have I not tried? Nutrition. Changing my eating habits and researching what healthier eating could do for me.
It started with my husband and I watching the documentary, Food, Inc. I had heard about it and thought it would be insightful. We had no idea what we had embarked upon. After realizing what we had been ingesting daily, meal by meal, we were shocked. The bovine growth hormone being given to cows to fatten cows up, only to leave them weakened and unable to stand. was terrifying to see. Cows and chickens that are not grass fed on local farms are being given corn and grain to eat. They are standing in their own feces. They are getting so sick and bloated by the Monsanto corn they are being fed, that they need antibiotics so they won’t die. We were eating animals every day that were being treated inhumanely and essentially poisoned. No wonder I felt so bad! It’s a wonder I didn’t feel worse!
At this point, I had to know more. This started a journey of education about agriculture, research on GMO’s, and how food played a vital role in how we felt. My husband and I continued to be amazed at the damage we had been doing to our bodies.
We started making changes, the tipping point came when we watched a documentary titled, “Genetic Roulette.” This documentary was all about the education of GMO’s, genetically modified organisms.
What are GMO’s?
This is the best description of a GMO from the nongmoproject website:
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.
Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.
Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
So essentially, when you eat foods that have been genetically modified, the bluntest way to see it is that you are ultimately eating a weed killer that has been used to treat crops to withstand insecticides. Once that thought really sunk in, we basically both came to the same conclusion that by the choices of food we had been eating we were poisoning ourselves gradually day by day. GMO’s have been linked to result in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, infertility, and a whole host of other ailments. Jeffrey M. Smith has put together a wealth of information based on facts, research and science to prove these claims. After watching his documentary, Genetic Roulette, you will be able to see the evidence for yourself.
Time To Make A Change
After we had collected our information, we were then equipped with the knowledge of how to proceed about changing our health for the better. We started out small and steady. We knew we needed to start eating healthier, and we needed to detox our bodies from the damage we had been doing for so many years. For myself, I quit the Lyme Disease meds cold turkey. Again, I am not advising this for everyone, but for me, this was the decision I made. I never looked back. Doing this as a team certainly made it easier in some regards, but if you are going at it alone, it is possible. Read on for the practical tips of how we did it!
Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I love Coke – at least one a day. After hearing about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup from the research I had heard, I knew I had to give this up. Just understanding that over 90% of our corn crops in America were being produced by Monsanto- meaning all of that corn was GMO corn -was breathtaking. Corn is not just corn on the cob…it is high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, corn syrup, cornmeal, cornbread…you get the idea. Drinking coke was the equivalent of pouring liquid poison directly into my system. The fact that a can of coke can cut through battery acid should give you a direct indication of what that is doing to your stomach. So first things first, get off the Coke. When I realized the why behind the what, it was easier to do. I, too, quit that cold turkey.
From there, I started with substitutions and additions. To make it easier I will put it into a list of things we started to do:
• Coconut Oil! It is amazing what all coconut oil can do for you. It basically is good for the body inside and out. Try it out by using a teaspoon in your coffee or as a moisturizer for your skin.
• Probiotics. Taking a multi-strain probiotic that is of good quality can help repair gut problems and so much more. They will help replace the bad bacteria that processed foods and GMO’s can put into your body.
• Add in super foods that accomplish multiple good things for your body. They fight free radicals, boost immunity, and are loaded with antioxidents. Foods/Supplements such as: kale, mangosteen juice/fruit, spirulina capsules, raw honey (not recommended for children under 1 year old), leafy greens, cacoa chocolate are all examples of super foods.
• Apple Cider Vinegar. The more I research, the more I realize how important ACV can be. It helps to alkaline the system. It will get the PH balances straightened out as well as cure many common colds, sore throats, urinary tract infections and many others. I mix mine with water just to help with the taste aspect. Start with a tablespoon in water and watch your skin clear up as well as helping with digestion.
• For the ladies who suffer with urinary tract infections, try D Mannose before taking that antibiotic. It is phenomenal. I did not realize that something such as a powder or pill supplement like D Mannose could help rid me of UTI’s! It works to flush out the urinary tract while removing E Coli, which is the number one culprit of most urinary tract infections.
• Start switching out your baking products. Instead of white flour, switch to organic whole wheat flour (it may cost a dollar more (if that) than white flour), stop the white sugar addiction and switch to cane sugar or stevia ( I have not tasted any difference between the two).
• Use coconut oil or organic oils to cook your food. Stir fry veggies in a pan with some healthy oils! The taste is so much better.
• Add more salmon/tuna fish to your regime. I found that Whole Foods, or other organic supermarkets, are actually cheaper or the same price as Target on tuna and salmon. We have started making a batch of healthy tuna (see recipes at the end of the article) at the first of the week to fix sandwiches in a pinch.
• Smoothies. Breakfast can often challenge us as we need to get going quickly in the mornings and sometimes there is not time to cook a healthy meal. This is where smoothies come into play. You can throw a banana, frozen strawberries, some orange juice, and blueberries into a blender and you have a power smoothie to start your day. Once you get going with your new healthy eating, throw in some green veggies with some fruit to really pack a punch. I promise…your body will thank you.
• Find a Farm! This was huge for us. We have a farm that is literally about 10 minutes from our house. We had no idea. We get all of our eggs, milk, and butter from our farm. All the cows are grass fed, never given any antibiotics, growth hormones and are raised humanely. Farm eggs are amazing. We eat scrambled eggs with sea salt routinely. The protein and taste that comes forth has been a life saver as we transition over our eating. It is an old favorite that is still acceptable on clean eating. If you visit your local farmers market, just start asking around…they will help you get in touch with a local farm or trusted websites where you can get your farm goods.
• Grass fed meat. Plain and simple, this is a change that will greatly benefit your health. Some people choose to go full vegan/vegetarian when they start to eat healthy, that was not the choice we made. We still eat meat and have had to get creative about where we buy the meat. This is the one area where you will have to budget accordingly and watch sales.
Here is a great site that has been highly recommended if you are looking for grass fed beef and do not have a local option.
• Learn about what a yeast overgrowth can do to your system. There is much to say on this topic, but too much to go into for this article. However, if you visit this site, you will find all the info you ever needed. In addition to a great site, the creator of it, Dan, is a certified nutritionist and you can email him direct with questions. He has been a wealth of information for us.
• Stop eating processed foods. This is basically the culprit for all things GMO, unhealthy, and really dangerous for your health. This used to be all that my diet comprised. Chips, pastries, cereals, macaroni and cheese, ready to heat and eat meals etc…are all forms of processed foods.
• We didn’t have to give up chips or cookies, it is just about the ingredients that go into them. Look for organic alternatives. If you are fortunate to have a Whole Foods nearby, look for the 365 brand. It is often the cheapest brand, but not lacking in quality.
• Eat fruits and veggies, nuts, and healthy alternatives to the things you enjoy. It’s all about substitutions not total eliminations. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health.
• We used to eat out all the time, when we started eating healthy I found that we actually saved money! It has been fun finding new recipes and with trial and error you will find things you enjoy. But what about those times when you want to eat out? Do some online research for local flavor options. We found several options that use healthy ingredients. When all else fails…Chipotle is completely GMO free and VERY tasty. We know we can go to this chain restaurant and be eating safe.
• Detox Detox Detox. As you start eliminating the bad things from your eating habits, you might notice detox symptoms. That is okay. It will get better. Thankfully someone had told us about Aloe Vera. Our livers have been in such a state of destruction that it was necessary to help repair them. Everything is filtered through your liver, so by helping it to detox itself, your nutrients will be absorbed better. Lily of the Valley brand has an aloe vera gel that you can drink with some juice and it will help to clean up that liver! It’s amazing stuff! One large bottle is around $5.00 to $8.00 and should last you awhile.
• Condiments. Make the switch to organic condiments. They do not cost that much and they will be something you use a lot and they last a long time. Lots of condiments including ketchups, mayos, pickles, relish and mustard all contain heavy amounts of high fructose corn syrup. Go ahead and make the switch in this area in one shot. It will be worth it.
Are you Ready?
So now you have practical steps to put into practice. I hope and pray these things will help aide you in a new life of better health. I want to be clear to say that our goal was not to lengthen our lives, we know that the Lord Jesus Christ already has our days numbered. There is nothing we can do to live longer.
The goal is to live better with the days He has given us. When you have more energy, a clearer mind, a spring in your step…you are able to serve the Lord Jesus even better. I found that I was often out of energy and health for the things I wanted to do in order to bring forth the Gospel to more people. It was frustrating to me to have opportunities to do ministry work and simply was not able to do so because of my health.
John 15:8 says: My Father is glorified by this ,that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
We want our lives to bring glory to the Lord. By taking better care of ourselves and being careful what we put into it, we pray the end result will bring forth honor to the Lord. Even mundane things that we do each day such as eating should always be to the glory of God.
Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
So where are things now? Well we are into our 4th month of eating healthy. It has not been hard to stick with it. By doing meal planning, continued research, and relying on the Lord for help with all of it, we are on the road to better health. Within just a month of this switch, I lost 11 pounds. I was shocked by that aspect. I think just getting off the coke really assisted in this process, but putting things into my body that will help, not harm it, makes the ultimate difference. In addition to the weight, my inflammation has gone done tremendously. I encourage you to start today with some of these little changes and pretty soon it will become second nature to you just to incorporate them with every meal.
Listed below are some of the documentaries that helped jump start our new routine. In saying that, we do not watch things that contain blasphemy or cussing. Documentaries often don’t adhere to that warning as they are not rated a lot of times. So in recommending the following documentaries, most are clean, but there were a few that had mild things within them. Another aspect in some of the documentaries is the presence of some New Age terminology towards the end of them. Hungry For Change being the worst at the end with that theology, so please be on guard when that happens and at that point, turn it off.
-Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
-Hungry For Change
Fruity Tuna Fish Sandwiches
-two cans of chunk white tuna
-a clump of grapes cut in halves
-1-2 tablespoons of real mayo (I like 365 brand at Whole Foods)
-1-2 teaspoons sweet relish
-chopped nuts (pecans or almonds work best)
Drain the tuna, pour into a bowl. Cut the apple into sections and use a food chopper to dice/mince the apples. Slice the grapes in half after rinsing. Add apples and grapes to the tuna. Add the mayo and relish along with the nuts. Mix well. Add any ingredient for more taste. Store in fridge. Should make about 6 sandwiches.
-one can of pink salmon
-half a package of saltine crackers (about 15-20)
-oil of your choosing
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Form patties with hand, cook in a hot skillet with olive oil or oil of your choice. Cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with steamed asparagus, salad or dill tarter sauce.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Eating! ~Lori