Get to know the Clean Fifteen & Dirty Dozen!

4DD62057-8127-4612-9A61-6E15B1190419It’s important to clean your gut to avoid autoimmune disorders and if you have autoimmune disease(s) already.

Inflammation is the word for the movements that are all around us now. Eliminate inflammation for optimal health! A great way to start to clean your gut is to shop the dirty dozen and the clean 15 lists when buying fruits and vegetables.
Ultimately, growing our own would be the most healthiest knowing what environment these were grown in but not many of us can live with such a privilege.

Here are the ewg.com (EWG) Environmental Working Group dirty dozen and clean 15 lists to assist in avoiding harmful chemicals in the produce aisles. A good way to think about these choices is the clean 15 have the lowest levels of pesticides used ~ thin skin organic, thick skin non-organic.

 

Note: Green beans and kale are moving up on the most sprayed list.

 

Never Defined

I’ve never played the victim to my illnesses. My daughter said to me a couple of years ago `You are not defined by anyone or anything. “ I had two thoughts; one I had never thought about it before and wow that is a major statement coming from a 20 year old. Playing the victim to an illness is not helping your situation, in fact it is making it worse. Having that mentality is detrimental to your health. When I first started on social media about this last Crohns flare it was for one reason only, to let others know they are not the only one, that others are struggling and going through the grieving and healing process too.

As I posted and my followers grew I followed them too. But then I realized that almost everyone of them who was dealing with autoimmune disorders were sucky, poor me, look what happened to me now. This victim mindset was prevalent on more accounts than not. It was toxic. It disgusted me. I unfollowed every single one of them because it brought me down, it made me think this isn’t how this should go, why would you let others see you being weak and pathetic. I’m not like that I can’t watch this happen. I’m strong, I’m a fighter, I don’t back down. Never have!

So, for all you who have an autoimmune disease(s) I am a fact based person, here you will find my journey to figure out how to get from almost dying to healthy and beyond. And most importantly, to never ever let that happen again!

I think it is important for people to know the facts, to hear what happens to others so that we can learn and so that maybe I can help someone avoid what I’ve gone through. At 17 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in Toronto, Ontario by a specialist. At that time I was told to go on disability. I refused. I’m a fighter I’m not going to be labeled at such a young age. I am not giving in to disease, I’m not a quitter and I most definitely did not want people looking down at me. Wasn’t gonna happen! I’m still not on disability even as my diseases multiple but you know what I can see that I will have to at some point and there is nothing wrong with that. But at that young age all I could see was people would take over my life, that they would have control over me. And I’m glad I didn’t at that time.

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We don’t have to be victims to our circumstances, to illness, to diseases. Speaking our truth is different, it’s telling the facts, educating and advocating. Advocacy for ourselves, for others, for disease, for healing and for strength. So, please don’t mistake the content in my posts as playing the victim or wanting sympathy or attention. If you knew me you would know that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Thoughts become words which become actions. Being a victim is hard for me to understand so I had to do a little research.

Victim: One who is harmed by or made to suffer under a circumstance or condition. Victim mentality is an acquired personality trait in which a person tends to recognize themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave as if this were the case in the face of contrary evidence of such circumstances. Victim mentality depends on clear thought processes and attribution.

I think the worst part of playing the victim is not making changes to your life.  I have talked to many and they refuse to make changes.  If you have illness, your lifestyle is not working for you. You have to change your thinking, your lifestyle and your surroundings. We all struggle, there are far worse situations to be in that others are dealing with right now. Be a fighter, win back your life, DO THE WORK! You will get there. Don’t give up.

Tell your story! But for the right reasons. To educate, inform, advocate and to heal!

Light Love & Peace ~Andrea xo

Do seasonal changes affect you?

Ayurveda

What’s your dosha?

Ayurveda is an holistic approach to healing I have looked to in the past couple of decades but in researching about it in the past year and a half I have learned about it in much more depth. In practicing it to regain my health it has become a natural part of my every day life with absolute essential health benefits that I will carry on using for the rest of my life. I find it quite interesting because I need balance in all aspects of my life, in learning how my body works and what type of person I am, in how I react and deal with life helps me understand how to keep myself balanced.

I use mindfulness, meditation, listening to my body and understanding the signs, reading myself and using the resources I have collected to bring myself back into balance. When I am losing balance my sleep is affected, I become cold in my feet, hands and in general. I figure out what the root cause is so I can correct it immediately like removing stress and by drinking warm or hot beverages, eating wet foods like avocados, ghee and the like along with making sure to keep warm with clothes and blankets when I am sleeping are a few thing I do to balance my body for optimal health.

WebMD.com ~ Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. The primary focus of Ayurvedic medicine is to promote good health, rather than fight disease. But treatments may be recommended for specific health problems.

Adapting this philosophy requires an open mind, I can’t believe the amount of people that are closed minded and won’t even try something new or different even if it would help them heal and to live a healthy balanced life. If one thing isn’t working common sense tells me to try something new.  Look at different avenues to find what works best for you as a whole person along with your health issues. I can guarantee you will benefit from learning Ayurveda and how it relates to your whole being and especially when dealing with disease how it will bring you back to a healthy you or even better stay balanced so you won’t have to fight disease.

WebMD.com~Ayurveda Concepts-According to Ayurvedic theory, everything in the universe — living or not — is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and sickness. For followers of Ayurveda, anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body’s constitution, or prakriti. Your prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. However, how you digest food and eliminate waste can influence it.

The 5 elements in the universe are earth, wind, fire, water and space and each of us have a combo of these elements.  The three life forces are called doshas, these are : Vata – space and air, Pitta – fire and water, and Kapha – water and earth.

ayurveda_image_001-newFrom WebMD.com:

Vata dosha (space and air) is thought to be the most powerful of all three doshas. It controls very basic body functions, such as how cells divide. It also controls your: Mind, Breathing, Blood flow, Heart function, Ability to get rid of body waste through the intestines.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating dry fruit, Eating too soon after a previous meal, Fear, Grief, Staying up too late.  If vata dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anxiety, Asthma, Heart disease, Nervous system disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis, Skin problems.

vata

Pitta Dosha

The pitta dosha (fire and water) controls: Digestion, Ability to break down foods (metabolism), Certain hormones linked to appetite.  Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Eating sour foods, Eating spicy foods, Fatigue, Spending too much time in the sun.
If pitta dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Anger and negative emotions, Crohn’s disease, Heart disease, Heartburn a few hours after eating, High blood pressure, Infections

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Kapha Dosha
The kapha dosha (water and earth) controls: Muscle growth, Body strength and stability, Weight, and Immune system. Things that can disrupt this dosha are: Daytime sleeping, Eating after your stomach is full, Eating or drinking items that have too much salt or water, Eating too many sweet foods and Greed.  If kapha dosha is your main life force, you are more likely to develop: Asthma and other breathing disorders, Cancer, Diabetes, Nausea after eating and Obesity.

Kapha-Balancing-Diet

Ayurvedic Treatment

Treatment depends on your unique prakriti, your primary dosha, and the balance between all three of them.  A main goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to cleanse your body of undigested food called ama, which can stick to the inside of your body and make you sick. This cleansing process is called panchakarma. It is used to reduce any symptoms and reestablish harmony and balance.

Other treatments may also be recommended to: Restore balance, Improve spiritual healing, Boost your immunity, Reduce symptoms. The treatments may include: Aromatherapy, Breathing exercises, Diet changes, Herbs, vitamins, minerals, and metals, Plant-based oils and spices, Lifestyle changes, Meditation, Stretching and Yoga

Sourced from WebMD.com

I’m a VATA

I am a dominant Vata dosha. I had all the signs and symptoms that vata body types show when vata is not in balance. I had vitamin and mineral deficiency which causes anemia, malnutrition, low blood pressure, weight loss and muscle wasting. Protein deficiency that include symptoms of hair loss and fluid retention. Sugar imbalance having the symptoms of bloating, flatulence, and explosive diarrhea. And fat deficiency with typical symptoms of irregular bowel movements.  If only I had read deeper into Ayurveda sooner I may have recognized the imbalance as an issue and found homeopathy earlier. But I believe every thing happens for a reason and I know I learned a lot more than just about my failing health when I became so ill. Hindsight is 20/20! 😉

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To regain balance

Check out this amazing website, it has everything you need to learn about your body with the benefits of Ayurveda. Just click through on the links below!

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Vata-Symptoms

Now that I know what to do when I feel the slightest imbalance I can hop right back on the right path and avoid becoming unbalanced and never become as sick as I was again!

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~Andrea

UPdate!

On Monday July 24th I had a colonoscopy.  Wondering about the damage possibly done by the last flare. Having the resources of Homeopathy, biofeedback and natural remedies has been a saving grace for me. This trip was somewhat overwhelming for me. The appointment was in Hinton which is close to where I use to live but a two hour drive to the hospital from where I’m staying now. I had to ask for a ride so my older daughter was out a days pay but I was luck as my younger daughter actually had that day off so she came along too. It was wonderful to have double support. On our way out of Edson the tire popped on a dip in the road. It’s a good thing I didn’t have to do anything, I was pretty much useless.  Changed the tire to the spare with the help of a guy.  We couldn’t believe that there are actually people who are willing to help.  And another guy stopped and asked if we were okay.  That blew our minds too.  There still are a few people out there who are considerate and have respect for others.

The colonoscopy results showed NORMAL! NO DAMAGE, NO SCARING, NO CANCER!

Ironically, having the procedure triggered inflammation in the colon, so Colitis symptoms returned. Three days later I had a Homeopathic appointment and immediately it was under control.  Within a couple of weeks will diminish and in a month it should be completely gone.  No flare!

In all this illness I’ve learned a great deal in many areas of my life. But SELF CARE is definitely the most important lesson learned which I have made a daily practice. This does not come easily to me. When we have something going on it is so easy to get out of balance. Once we loose our footing for whatever reason, it can be extremely hard to get back on track. And so the momentum is lost and it’s easier to keep the unbalance going than it is to correct. It is such a time consuming struggle!

“And—please hear me loud and clear on this last one—self care is always the right choice.” ~UmberDove

I have put a few things in place that help me reset quickly so I don’t trip myself up leading to illness again or waste more time on finding my way back to a balanced life.

Natural Remedies – VC 15 Forte (Once the imbalance begins I take two of these shots, and by that I mean two viles of liquid down the hatch on two consecutive days), & AdrenaSmart. These are only used to keep my balance. I stop taking them until I find I am unbalanced again then will use for a short time until I feel I have come back to center.

Meditation – Extremely helpful to stop the negative thoughts that like to pop up when the imbalance begins and it’s so easy to stay there in that place while I beat myself up, feel fear, anger, resentment. After all if it’s been a life long habit, it is so much easier to stay STUCK! I find it a great relief to feel the guidance I get from this simple practice. Gabriel Bernstein is my favourite. Her voice and music used is soothing and the recorded meditations she has on her website are in perfect tandem to the thought process and the relaxing time needed. I also read, reread and use her books (#spiritjunkie). The Universe Has Your Back is EXCELLENT!

Walking – “When you get caught up in your head, move your feet.” ~Kelly Clark. Walking is a great way to get out of your head. It flows, it’s meditative. But it’s also a way to explore, see new places, find new pieces of the outdoors. Exploring in nature has always been my peace, the deeper into the bush the better.

Sleep – I lack in restorative sleep because I have Fibromyalgia, which stops me from reaching REM sleep. For this AdrenaSmart is a savior. It also helps with stress.  Who doesn’t have stress in their lives that they need to manage?

If you noticed food is not listed. That is because I have such a routine in this department that imbalance only happens if the above list gets really out of control (which hasn’t occurred in some time). Whole30 and Against All Grain Cookbooks keep my on track in the grocery stores and kitchen!

A new, or should I say a revisited item on my list, is art in all forms. I am drawing, writing more, colouring, painting, collecting, sketchbooking, observing so hard that I get lost in the realms of the forms of art in front of me. I love that feeling! It’s such a natural place for me to be.

“I am an internal processor; this I’ve come to recognize in the ebb and flow of sharing and silence.” ~UmberDove

I’ve done the surviving…now on to THRIVING! I am excited to see what my future holds. I know I am not finished with Crohns and Colitis but I am going to live…I am going to live hard, fast, free and wild! Doing exactly what I want to do. Being free! Live without abandon, set no limits, just being free! What I feel is my calling. The path I am here to lead. The changes I am suppose to make. The new world I am part of starting. I know my purpose now and I thank illness for taking away my old life and making me new, forcing me through all the horrific pain, debilitating defeat, chronic change, that has brought me to this place.

This place of peace. This place of renewed hope and strength. I have learned self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. This self awareness has taken me deep into a world of love. Loving what is. Love instead of fear. Pure Love!

You see, this illness brought me to my knees but I rose up and greeted it with full on determination, will, fight and GRACE!  I am fearless! Always have been, always will be. I am strong in mind, body and soul. For all of this I am grateful. I have shed some layers of that which no longer serves, and I am leaning hard into the rawness of my own authenticity.

Peace, Love & Light

~Andrea