My health journey has taken a TWIST!

It's no joke that I'm obsessed with health and wellness!  I had no idea that it was my calling in life until about 7 years ago.  During this time, my husband and I were given the diagnosis of "unexplained" infertility.  Frustrating, maddening and depressing words that no couple who wants to have a children and a family wants to here.  From that point on, I turned as far away from Western medicine as I possibly could.  I started dabbling in everything that has to do with holistic health.  I immersed myself in learning about the body in a new way, as a whole entity that cannot be "fixed" by popping pills, and that it needs to be treated in a whole way, leaving nothing out.

About 3 months ago, I decided it was finally time to do something about my, our, fertility, and see if we could really get to the root of why we haven't bee able to get pregnant up until now.  I have this deep fire and determination to actually get to the bottom, the source, the individual DNA strand if we have to.  I am not ok with an "unexplained" diagnosis.  I don't believe in that!  So to start the journey, I begrudgingly set foot in to the office of a reproductive endocrinologist.  I was so nervous, and uncomfortable, and felt completely out of place.  She was nice, very nice, and very understanding to our situation and my need to do things as natural as possible.  She explained a lot of things that made sense, and other things made me want to roll my eyes, but I nodded, smiled, and was polite.  Overall, she's doing what she knows is best and is trying to help in that way.  We had some tests done, and everything look fine, normal, within range.  Barely any red flags except for low vitamin D on my end.  Nothing was even tested in my husband's blood, just other, um, fluids that help to make a baby.  "You're perfect IVF candidates"  is really all I heard.  Because a pregnancy had never occurred, our recommendation was to do IVF.  Spend $15,000-20,000 of our precious dollars that are needed for so many other things on a "maybe" that we would have a baby.  And if we didn't, the IVF would give us our final diagnosis, or reason, why conception wasn't taking place.  Ugh, that was NOT what I wanted to hear.  I needed something more, and was ready to get deeper.

We continued with zoning, acupuncture and healthy diet as best as we know how.  Then I found a functional medicine practitioner, and decided to take a leap and go see her.  Functional Medicine is tricky to define, and if you've never heard of it, this might help (from functionalmedicine.org)

  • Patient-centered care. The focus of functional medicine is on patient-centered care, promoting health as a positive vitality, beyond just the absence of disease. By listening to the patient and learning his or her story, the practitioner brings the patient into the discovery process and tailors treatments that address the individual’s unique needs.
  • An integrative, science-based healthcare approach. Functional medicine practitioners look “upstream” to consider the complex web of interactions in the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle that can lead to illness. The unique genetic makeup of each patient is considered, along with both internal (mind, body, and spirit) and external (physical and social environment) factors that affect total functioning.
  • Integrating best medical practices. Functional medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes considered “alternative” or “integrative” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of drugs and/or botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

 

At my first appointment, I did an overall health history interview and was given a list of tests to take.  Tons of blood work to be done at the lab, saliva test, and even a stool test.  I will skip the details on that!  For the saliva test, I spit in to little cups that have a lid 4x a day and sent then in for analysis.  I had to send in my stool for analysis too.  So fun!  I also had to complete genetic testing through 23 and Me.  I spit in another cup (my DNA is all out there now, so I'm expecting to meet a clone of myself one day in the near future) and got results that told me I was 2.4% Neanderthal, 20% French and German decent, 13% Eastern European decent, etc.  Then I took the raw data, which is actually my DNA genome sequencing, and input it in to this algorithm that my dr sent me to.  What came out were a bunch of letters and numbers that I didn't understand, and I was hopeful that she could help interpret them!

About 1.5 months later, we met to go over my test results.  I was feeling anxious and excited.  Answers were coming, I knew it!!  My husband went with me as he was being tested as well.  We are both in this together, no reason to go about it alone.  We love and support each other no matter what, in any situation.  He is a steady rock of love and support in my crazy world! 

So now I know what you're waiting for, and we did get answers!  I'm not going to say this is THE reason as to why we haven't been able to conceive, yet I have so much faith and trust in this process that I really feel with all my heart that we are on the right path and are getting closer every day.  I am determined to get pregnant without expensive and invasive surgeries and procedures.  I am not saying that conventional medical treatments for fertility are bad or don't have their place.  Thousands of couples who have had no hope and no where to turn have been blessed with babies through IUI and IVF.  There is a place for it, there is a reason for it.  And it's not for me. 

Well, to keep this short (haha, do I know how to do that??) and to not air out ALL my dirty laundry, I will be concise with our findings.  Basically my husband and I BOTH have quite a few nutrient deficiencies, which in and of themselves, are enough to cause fertility issues.  Think along the lines of magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin D, folate and iron.  All necessary to create life, and some completely lacking in either him or me.  And our conventional doctor didn't think to look in to any of this.  Hmmm.  And on my end, I have some problems detoxing excess hormones.  So my body is making enough, but then the old hormones that aren't needed any more are just hanging around, causing issues, and my liver is having a hard time getting rid of them.  Also, my cholesterol is SO LOW that I could not possibly support a life growing inside of me.  I eat avocados, use coconut and olive oil all the time, and eat plenty of nuts and seeds.  But I am lacking other good fats, animal fats.  So yes, this former vegan is now ... going Paleo.  Crazy, I know!!  I have completely shifted my thinking.  Food is medicine, its nourishing and provides what my body needs.  So if my body needs fat, it shall have fat!

Ok, last finding, here's the kicker.  I, a clean eating, exercising, water drinking, essential oil using, former vegan health nut, have stage 3 adrenal fatigue.  WHAT?!?!?!  Yes, yes I do.  I don't see it as a diagnosis though.  This is how I see it, my adrenals need love, and love is what they're gonna get.  My acupuncturist was astounded.  She said I do not fit the mold of someone with adrenal fatigue.  She told me my skin looks good and I appear to have a lot of energy.  Well, it comes and goes, and to be honest, some days I crash HARD.  Some days I am struggling for the right word to stay, and I have lots of other signs of adrenal fatigue.  At the end of the day, I'm not just "tired", I feel like zombie.  I tell my husband every night "I've hit the wall" because it feels like my mind is mush and my body is barely able to move.  More often than not, I don't have the energy to do what's necessary to make a baby.  Yep, that's adrenal fatigue. 

The super encouraging thing is that I can easily take care of this, and will be in top health in 3-6 months.  I am so excited at this prospect.  I used to be extremely anti-supplement, thinking that all my nutrients needed to come from food.  Well, when I learned that my body is not absorbing some nutrients, and most likely not assimilating those nutrients and not converting them to what they need to be (folate not being converted to methyfolate, for example), then supplements are actually crucial and needed to bypass the conversion process that's not happening, so that they can go exactly where they need to go.  It's not like I'll be taking them forever, a few months tops.  I can do that.  Years ago I wouldn't have been able to say that.  The old me would have been vehemently against any supplement at all, even the mention of it.  My pendulum is swinging and I'm realizing that there is not just ONE WAY to get healthy.  There are so many different ways, and they are all here for a reason.  It's impossible for just one person or one healing treatment to know how to heal and fix everything.  I truly believe that my path is exactly where it needs to be.  I foot zone myself once a week, go to acupuncture once a week, and now I'll be taking supplements too, including bovine adrenal desiccant.  My past self would have been horrified that I would even consider this.  Now my feelings are BRING IT ON!!  I have been led down the path that I need to personally be on for health and wellness.  My path is not the next person's path.  There is an endless amount of combinations that could probably help me.  Feng Shui?  Crystal therapy?  Reiki?  I don't know.  IVF might even help, but it's not on my path.

I encourage you to find your path.  Pray, ask your heart, meditate, do whatever you need to do to get in touch with your inner guide so that you can be led on the path you are supposed to be on.  I know I have been divinely led by God to be where I am now.  My faith has exponentially increased lately by this experiece.  I hope the same for you, in whatever you are going through, that you can find your path and your faith.

To love, light and healing

4 Tips for a Vibrant New You in 2014!

4 Tips for a Vibrant New You in 2014!

Yes, I'm doing one of those cliche New Year's blog posts. 

Announcements for the new year are all over Facebook and countless blogs and articles.  New year, new you!  Goals, resolutions, things to leave behind, new habits to consider, out with the old and in with the new.  And I'm joining the bandwagon and doing one of them.  How unoriginal of me!  You know why though, it's because we secretly love these things!  We love to read these obvious, commonplace articles and feel good about ourselves,  saying "I love that idea!  I can do that!"  Because sometimes, we have the idea or the notion, and when we can find it validated somewhere, it gives us the motivation to get up and DO SOMETHING!  So here you go ... I will try to be as original as possible ;)

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Exciting Happenings!

I am bursting at the seams with excitement about all the amazing things that are quickly coming up in my life!  I have so much gratitude and joy, it's ridiculous.

Alright, alright, I'm sure you want to know so I'll get right to it. 

Starting tomorrow, I am going to be a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!! 

For one year, I'm going to learn the ins and outs of nutrition and health from the TOP names in the wellness community (David Wolfe, Dr. Mark Hyman, Kimberly Snyder, Deepak Chopra, and soooo many more!!) and I'm going to be fully coached in the business, networking and marketing arena so that I have all the tools necessary to be a successful, entrepreneurial health coach.  I'm going to be a wellness warrior, and the possibilities are ENDLESS!  I am beyond excited ... can you tell ;)

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Must watch video on GMO's

May 25, 2013 is the worldwide March Against Monsanto.

lthough I cannot attend because of 2 events that I am already going to on that day, I hope that you or your friends/family consider attending!

GMO's are poison to the body, they are not food, the body does not recognize them as food because their DNA has been manipulated.  Instead, the body takes in these toxic food "products" and they make us sick.  They have been linked to auto immune diseases, infertility, inflammation, and cancer.

ust say no to GMO's!

Forks Over Knives

his could be the first generation of children in the United States that lives less than its parents. -Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General

recently watched "Forks Over Knives" for about the 4th time.  I love this documentary for many reasons.  For me, it solidifies why I have chosen eat a plant based diet.  The research findings are intriguing and astounding.  I also love that the two doctors in the documentary, Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn, were raised on dairy farms and now advocate a meat and dairy free, plant based diet!

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he basic premise of the film is that although the U.S. is the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are the most overweight, the sickest, and on the most prescription medication than any other nation.  The film examines the claim that most, if not all degenerative diseases that burden us, can be controlled or even reversed by eating a plant based diet free of animal products and processed food.

ere are some of the startling statistics from the film:

  • About half of all Americans are taking some form of a prescription drug
  • The U.S. spends $2.2 trillion on health care (in 2011)
  • Health care per person in the U.S. is more expensive than any other nation, yet we are sicker than ever
  • Diet related health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure cost the U.S. more than $120 billion/year (in 2011)

 

If this is intriguing to you (and why wouldn't it be!!), I highly suggest watching "Forks Over Knives".  A great follow up, which is also on Netflix streaming, is "Forks Over Knives:  The Extended Interviews".  Like the title, it has more in depth interviews with Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn, as well as other main contributors. 

And because I know you want even more fun, check out Dr. Esselstyn's son Rip Esselstyn's "Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue".  He is a plant-strong firefighter who advocates for teaching people how to transition to a plant-based diet.  A mantra that he repeats often is "real men eat plants"! 

ll of these can be viewed on Netflix instant streaming, yay! 

Start the organic made-on-the-stove-or-in-the-whirly-pop-with-organic-coconut-oil-and-himalayan-sea-salt popcorn and settle in for a night of mind-bending, educational films! 

Isn't that how everyone spends their Friday night ;-) ??

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Rip Esselstyn also has a book coming out in May, "My Beef with Meat", which I can't wait to read! 

A strong, manly firefighter discussing the ins and outs of why to eat a plant-based diet ... yes please!!

So ... how did you get started?

I'm not really sure I can answer that in one easy swoop.

 Actually, I know I can't.  So here's what I'll do.  My journey to wellness, holistic living, and FootZoning has really just begun, even though it started quite a few years ago.  Here's a quick timeline of what happened, to help bring on the realization that  wellness is a lifelong goal, and not a one time quick fix.  If you have questions, please comment and I'll be happy to reply!

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Oh, you're one of those health nuts ...

Yeah, I guess you could say that I am.  But really, who cares?  Aren't we all "nuts" in our own weird way about things that we are passionate about in life?  What is "normal" and not nuts anyway?  I'm not sure I want to be that, because it sounds terribly boring!  What it comes down to, is I care about my health and the health of others, of my family, friends, and those I come in to contact with.  I have done my research and have found what works,  for me.  And I'm still researching and learning new information all the time.  What I find could be helpful for you as well, or you could think it's complete garbage.  But it's up to you to decide!  I'm not going to tell you what to do or how to eat.  I am simply going to present information that I have found over the years to be helpful, and you can do with it what you will!  Hopefully someone will read my findings, and it will help them too.  That's what I'm here for!

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