Why I say hell no to soy forever!

 

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Life as a kid drinking milk.  It sure tasted good though!

As a child I always had stomachaches. I would often ask to the go to the nurse’s office in high school and once in a while I would ask to go home, but most of the time the nurse told me to lay down until I felt better. It would always be after lunch and I would be so bloated and gassy that it was uncomfortable just to sit upright in my school chair! Ironically, no one ever asked me what was I eating? Not my mom, not the nurse, and I certainly didn’t talk about it with my peers. I’m still in awe at how far behind conventional teaching of nutrition was back then within nursing and medicine. The worst part about that, it is still VERY far behind.

From the very beginning, you are told that everyone needs dairy. Thanks FDA! It’s interesting to me that the food groups at the time required dairy and grains (the MYplate still does), and now that I know about food politics, it all makes sense. (And yes, you can live and thrive without dairy and grains. They are taken out of many anti-inflammatory diets such as the Paleo Diet, the Autoimmune Protocol, Repairvite Diet, and recommended by many nutritionists such as JJ Virgin to heal your ‘gut’. Shhhh, don’t tell the FDA!)

I never pieced that it was milk causing me distress, since I had skim milk every morning and didn’t have a reaction then.  Nor did I notice issues with all milk products. That doesn’t mean I didn’t react more often, I just maybe didn’t notice it as much or was in tune with what was going on with my body.   I remember having a box of skim milk with my lunch every single day as that was what I drank to stay ‘healthy’. I think the thought never crossed my mind that something healthy could be what’s hurting me.  It was not until college that the lightbulb went on and I realized that milk was a major factor in my daily bloating. I’d religiously have my milk with cereal in the morning. My new loved routine was going to Starbucks to study and have an ice cold Frappuccino. It started to annoy me when I’d keel over in gassy pain and would have to leave the place to go lay down at home! I truly needed to be annoyed with intensity to pay attention to what my body was saying.  It seemed to be the dose that made the poison, so I don’t believe that you have to have a reaction to a food every time, to know you are sensitive to it.  The clarity was bonking me in the head with the answer.

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How many times do I have to bonk you?  ~ says milk

 

Soy milk had just become popular at the time, so I decided I’d try and switch. It was easy and I loved the taste. Plus the crazy bloating was gone! I was about 19 when I made the switch. I drank soy milk every morning with breakfast, or I would order a Soy Latte at Starbucks. These habits would be consistent for the next 10 years of my life.

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My knight in shining armor arrived. Little did I know I would be betrayed.

I had no chronic conditions and was not on any meds, but at 32 years old, I experienced a tragic life threatening acute illness. I became sick with flu like symptoms, had strange stomach pangs, and had to be admitted to the hospital where I had to be intubated and spiraled downhill. After a week of possibly saying goodbye to life on Earth, I pulled out of it. There was never a diagnosis for what happened to me, besides ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). I was generally healthy, besides the lactose intolerance. It was amazing to wake up from that and realize I was given a second chance at life.  This gave me a new inspiration and I joined Weight Watchers. I became super motivated and active so I could be the best role model I could be for people. About 10 months after my near death experience, my period just stopped coming. I couldn’t be pregnant, and I was not under any intense stress physically or mentally. I was not even under 22% body fat, so low body fat was not a factor. I waited a few months before finally going to the doctor and asked to be tested. My doctor tested me for all the hormones that could be responsible for my period stopping.

Everything came back normal.  He told me he did not know what to tell me, or why it stopped coming, but that since my labs were great, it was nothing to worry about.  

This did not ease my mind. I had not had a child yet and I wanted one so I questioned what this could mean- could I not get pregnant? Not having a period is not normal. So I pushed him with more questions and he told me, “if you are worried about having a period, then go on birth control”. That was my only solution. I went NINE months without having a period, so it didn’t look like it was going to come back on its own and there had to be a reason for this, this doesn’t just happen to normal healthy people.

I began to do research about my symptoms (halting of menstruation) and was shocked at what came up. There was not a lot of literature or true evidence to back it up at the time, but it circled back to soy.

 

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I read a controversial article stating that soy could put women into a perimenopausal state. This was the only common denominator in my life that could explain what was going on. I had a history of using birth control pills on and off for about ten years which I believe might have also been a factor in my autoimmunity to come, but I had been off of it for more than 5 years by the time this happened. Thankfully, almond milk was just beginning to hit the shelves, so I made the switch again. I then had the doctor put me on the lowest dose of birth control pills available. I had quite a few bad reactions with this, including moodiness, weight gain, and low libido. “This was a nightmare,” I thought, “I can’t keep doing this.” So after 3 months of the pill, I switched to almond milk (and with some serious praying) I stopped taking the pill and my period resumed on time on its own from then on out.

I became pregnant 6 months later- after 6 months of having a regular period on no birth control pills and no intake of soy whatsoever. I do believe there is a God and that he answers prayers!

Soy contains chemicals that mimic estrogen and lower testosterone levels.

The current research is still controversial (is this because of Monsanto’s control over one of the top 3 GMO crops in the US?) Some studies say that too much soy in your diet can affect your thyroid because soy contains goitrogens. Unlike other goitrogenic vegetables, soy does not reduce these factors when cooked. It can cause breast cancer and impair fertility. (Wait, I thought it PREVENTED breast cancer?! Another one of those ‘controversial’ subjects folks!)

 

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American GMO soy is like a drug. An experimental mass dosed birth control drug. We ingest so much of it, thanks to Big Food and many people are now paying the price.

Fermentable soy is really only the healthy form of soy, not unfermented. And in small amounts. Fermented soy includes tempeh, natty, miso, and soy sauce. Unfermented includes tofu, edamame, and everything else made from soy. You even have a choice to give your infant soy formula, which I find to be the most frightening of all (birth control for babies, anyone?). You decide, but after my experience, I won’t gamble and don’t feel the need to supplement my diet or my child’s with soy products whatsoever. If we have sushi one night which is rare, I’ll perhaps allow for some edamame and soy sauce (if I did not bring my coconut aminos) but on a daily basis, that would be a definite no. #BYEFELICIA

“But the Japanese eat soy, and they are healthy!”

Well no, they have not only an entirely different type of lifestyle and diet overall than we do in America, but they do not eat large amounts of processed GMO soy like we in America eat. They do not eat soy hotdogs, fake processed soy meats, or consume large amounts of soy in general whether its soy milk, soy ice cream, or tofu. Soy is also used as a filler in a large majority of processed foods, and soybean oil is a common cheap oil also used in restaurants and processed foods.

Why Soy is promoted as a health food.  (This article gets me fired up, and although he did not emphasize GMOS he does mention big business, marketing, and profits. That is huge and I think a major factor as why we are pushed to believe by many establishments that soy is healthy.)

The interesting thing is that I developed Hashimoto’s with my pregnancy. (Read here for my post on what Hashimoto’s is). Remember soy affects your thyroid?   This means I always had the genes for it, I had leaky gut (intestinal permeability is the scientific term), but perhaps years of soy foods heavy estrogenic effects brought me to the cliff of autoimmunity. The stress of pregnancy on my body so soon after I swore off soy was the push over that cliff. Any kind of stress, whether physical, mental, or physiological can trigger an autoimmune gene to turn on provided you have leaky gut. And many people have this, but conventional medicine does not recognize it for some reason despite over 11,000 research articles on PubMed so how would you know if you had leaky gut? Most people don’t know what it is, and I sure didn’t at the time. (Read here to find out what leaky gut is, and its symptoms)

It’s been 6 years since my pregnancy, and I have had a regular period since. I avoid soy always remembering what it did to me. Soy lecithin is actually one ingredient that is not the soy protein or oil, and is safe for people like me with autoimmune disease, per my doctor. Of course, GMO free is always preferred. I look forward to the day when all food is labeled! #JustLabelIt

Why do consumers want GMO’s labeled?

Dr Mercola talks about soy links to brain damage and breast cancer. 

It was difficult to find research that mentioned soy causing perimenopause since I’ve tried to look some up for this article. I assume this is because Google is selective of what they want you to see and are probably paid from companies that benefit from the lies of the giant GMO soy industry, the star being Monsanto.

The Whole Soy Story book  ( a raw and truthful book written by a nutritionist with a PhD)

Well, I think the answer could not be more clearer.  I only wish my Dr, and those school nurses would of known enough to ask me, “What are you eating?” sooner.

 

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30 days of the Repairvite Diet: mistakes, revelations, and what now?

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I am grateful to have this blog to be accountable to, for I have had some close moments of getting way off track.  Knowing I would have to report that really made a difference! I thought that the first few weeks would be the hardest, and although I started this diet right before Christmas, it was actually the last two weeks that I found myself craving chocolate hard.  You see, chocolate and I have had an ongoing love affair, and we had to break up at the start of this nutritional experiment.  It was not easy, and it had to be cut off in pure denial. I was good at denying it for awhile, but I started to have a tough time again, even though I had gone more than two weeks straight without it. The saying that cravings go away with time, I’m not sure I believe that. But was it physical or psychological, or both? Who knows.  I found out however that the more I said in my head “I’m craving chocolate so bad right now” the more I made that craving stronger and real. One of the things I did differently this time around, was that I did not stroll the aisles of Trader Joe’s to see what new chocolates/gluten free sweets/ice cream they had.  If I missed that aisle, I was always greeted at the checkout, just in case I forgot to look at the chocolate.   Given this obstacle, I realized I needed a different, less tortuous approach to grocery shopping. I got in, and got out as soon as I could.  I pretended like I did not even see it at the checkout, even though I knew I did.

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This is me, every time I go to the store. Every time I am at work. Every time…well how about just all the time!

But this last week, due to a variety of stressors, brought on a strength that was dying to fail me. I was at work one night, and I have a particularly high stress job as an intensive care nurse, and had yet another opportunity to fail.  I rolled my eyes in my own sarcasm, as if I was not impressed with myself and these cravings, and asked God for help at the same time, remembering this verse:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

So I prayed in my head, “God thank you for helping me get through this so far. Please help me stay strong, I’ve come too far to give up and reverse my progress.  I want to succeed, and I feel so weak right now. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Please help me succeed. I know you would not put me in a situation I cannot handle.”

And I did not do it.

I believe in the power of prayer.  You have to put your heart into it, blind faith, and belief that there is a higher power that wants to see you victorious. And do not ever forget, there is also another higher power that wants to see you fail. That latter part, I think that is what really motivated me that night.

God is with me through the easy times, and the hard.  He is always there.  And He will always be the comfort in hard times, you just have to be relentless in praying to Him.

Mistakes: After some careful evaluating of foods I was eating, I realized I had made some mistakes and was eating legumes, specifically sugar snap peas and green beans, that are a NO NO on the repairvite diet.  It didn’t snap in my mind (no pun intended) that these could be legumes, and I had them throughout the diet. I’ve added these specifically to the foods list to help others not make the same mistake.

Fortunately, my Dr said it was ok for me, if that was the worst that happened.  Next to my Disneyland green tea adventures I wrote about in my other blog.

I’ve also added some other foods to the list, that my Dr. clarified highlighted here.

Review of symptoms: I debated about writing these things about myself. Things are about to get real.  But I understand that I cannot help people unless they realize that I am going through the same thing they are, so I am opening myself up here. Get ready for some TMI. (Too much information)

I have noticed that I don’t have nearly as much gas anymore, and I feel lighter. However, I still alternate between having diarrhea and constipation (I’m so thankful for modern man’s invention: the BUTT wipe. Hey, I am not ashamed! ), I have lost no weight in 30 days which is incredibly strange, given the strict food list on the Repairvite diet. I still have tough to treat dandruff. This is a chronic condition that apparently can be put into remission like any other autoimmune disease, and the only thing that works for me is topical steroids. Definitely not what I want to do long term because steroids can indirectly shrink the adrenals.  I still have more energy at night, and I’m very tired in the morning.  Hashimoto’s and adrenal fatigue are correlated in many people. And adrenal fatigue is not recognized in conventional medicine as a real condition, yet.  This is unfortunate, as so many people suffer from this and accept it as a way of life. So many people are dog tired, no matter how much caffeine they pump into themselves, and just live burnt out everyday. Our high stress lives compound the stress on our adrenals. I know that in time, it will become a true medical diagnosis just as depression was not accepted as a true medical diagnosis at one time. From a saliva test, we found out that my adrenal fatigue showed my cortisol levels to be disproportionately higher at night and lower in the AM instead of vice versa. This explains my tiredness in the AM, and energy at night. I’m not sure if it would take me longer to treat by diet to see results, or if we need to switch gears to Plan B. I will speaking to my holistic Dr soon about these results.

I highly value holistic practitioners.Although I have been trained in conventional medicine, they have opened my eyes to a world of true medicine: holistic healing. Instant gratification is a concept we demand in conventional medicine. This works well in acute settings, but it doesn’t have the best reputation in chronic settings. Instant gratification does not work in the long run, and does more harm than good often times.

A peek at my shopping cart below!

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My Costco basket: Including organic apple cider vinegar, organic sweet potatoes, cinnamon, halo clementines, kiwis, blueberries, Epsom salts for baths, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil for high heat cooking, beets, and organic ground turkey

Now that you got appropriately TMI’d , reflect on the kinds of symptoms you have that bother you, and you have just lived with and accepted as part of life.  Know that gas and irregular stools are NOT normal, and regular stomachaches aren’t either.  I would of never thought my skin issues were something that could be put into remission, and I am on a mission to figure out how.

Food is medicine. Medicine is food.  This is an underestimated fact not readily translated to the people in America.

There is hope.  It will take trial and error, but there is an answer you haven’t found yet.  Don’t give up.

Next blog post is about my follow up with my Doctor.

 

Going to Disneyland while on the Repairvite Diet

 

 

We planned a spontaneous last minute trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for New Years Eve 2015, and this was one week into my Repairvite diet.  I thought to myself, I am going to do everything I can to get through it successfully.  We rented a hotel at Marriott Residence Inn, so it was with a full kitchenette.  This is necessary for sure. I brought a large cooler with half frozen meals and other half snacks.  I stayed on plan with one caveat: I had an UNSWEETENED Starbucks matcha green tea coconut milk latte two times on both park days.  A Venti one day, and a Grande the next.  I was so tired, from walking from 9 am to 6 pm, and we wanted to make at least the 9 pm fireworks. I was yawning and just wanted to pass out.  I thought, couldn’t I have something with caffeine that won’t destroy me or give me jitters, considering I had been off of caffeine a week and a half already?  I learned a few things about this drink later, and will not make this mistake again. First let’s go over some facts:

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are :

Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

Whats in the matcha green tea?  The Starbucks matcha green tea powder is pre-sweetened and the first ingredient is sugar, with the second ingredient being green tea powder. Thanks to Carla for this information!  This means there is more sugar than green tea powder.   The Sumatra coconut milk is also sweetened.  This is good enough for Starbucks apparently, since they want you hooked.  You can add sugar, but you can’t take it away, and this is why I do not buy drinks often from Starbucks.

So how much sugar was in it? You can go to Starbucks website, and create your drink with coconut milk, plug in your size, and find out the sugar content.  I found out after i got home from my trip. Turns out my Venti green tea coconut milk latte has 40 grams of sugar (a man’s recommended amount for the day), and my 2nd day Grande drink has 29 grams of sugar (over a woman’s recommended amount)! This is asking for it unsweetened. They actually add more sugar to this in the syrup form, unless you say no sugar added! That is ridiculous! The venti was about 3 TBSP of sugar, and the Grande is 2 TBSP, I stress this is unsweetened.  Who needs the caffeine when you are secretly sugar attacked?

If I could change this choice, I would of asked for a green tea bag in hot water. Plain, simple, without any sugar.  I will tell you that my sugar infused drink did wake me up, and I had jitters after about 2 hours. I do not have low blood sugar so I thought that was odd.   I probably used up all the excess sugar walking, and maybe had a nosedive blood glucose level.  I definitely am not happy that my adrenals (which I am trying to heal, and chose green tea over coffee for the milder effects) were forced into overdrive because of the sugar and I had no idea why.

I just got the message from my Dr. that I do not need to add another week of the diet because of this mess-up.  Whew I am so grateful!  (Dr David Clark, DC is my awesome holistic healthcare provider!)

What food did I bring?

In my large cooler for the car ride, I had purchased meals from fuelmeals.com which had combos like broccoli, yams, and chicken breast.  I brought 6 meals for 3 days of traveling.  I also brought Aidells chicken and apple sausage for breakfast, and had 1.5 sausages each morning. I cooked up diced yam and cinnamon before the trip and had about 4-5 oz each morning with sausage. I bought cucumbers, sugar snap peas, apples, gluten and casein free turkey, avocado, cooked bacon from Trader Joe’s, and clementine oranges. I also brought peppermint and chamomile tea bags and had a few in my purse.

Sugar snap peas, oranges, Apple slices
Sugar snap peas, clementine oranges, apple slices

Breakfast: cinnamon coconut oil fried yams, Aidell’s chicken apple sausage (1.5)

Snack: Apples, clementines, coconut butter, turkey, butter lettuce, bacon, avocado

Lunch/Dinners Fuel Meals with 3 basic things: a green veggie, yam, and protein

I eat whenever I am hungry. You should not be hungry on the Repairvite diet.

When we were at the Disney park, I could not find a microwave, and no restaurant would allow me to give them my food to heat up. They mentioned that they thought the baby center might have a microwave.  I had no idea where that was, and this was New Years Eve, the busiest day of the year! I threw my hands up and asked if anything could be specially made. I had a chef at one of the restaurants in front of Star Tours ride accommodate me. He made me a plain burger patty with only salt and pepper, wrapped in a lettuce bun with a side of fruit and some cucumber slices. He had no onions available, or balsamic vinegar and EVOO for dressings if I wanted a special salad, so burger it was.  It was actually a big patty and filling.  I think it will depend on what restaurant you stop at, what they have available at that area.  Since my frozen meal had thawed at the end of the day, I put it in the fridge and ate it first thing in the morning. I’m glad I started with frozen for this reason!

The next day we were at California Adventure Park, and I knew already that the Baby Center had a microwave, so I mapped it out, and we planned our day.  In this park, it is in Pacific Wharf which is nothing but restaurants.  So if your family is hungry, go heat up your food first, and take it to whatever cafe they are going to eat.  It’s literally right there.

I carried my six pack bags purse which is a cooler. It holds 2 meals. They also sell backpacks that can carry up to 6 meals! This was a lifesaver! Be prepared though as Disneyland discourages bringing food into the park, however if you tell the security person that is checking your bag you can let them know you multiple dietary restrictions.  I don’t think you can bring a 6 pack of sodas or a gallon of water for instance, but you could try.  Worse case scenario you have to store it in a locker in the front of the park.   I had a few bars, fruit strips, and cheddar bunnies for my kid to snack on as well.

Bring a plastic water bottle, and there are fountains that you can fill up at. When we ate, we asked for tap water in a cup, and I used that to refill.  I stayed pretty hydrated, and went to the bathroom what seemed like every hour! But I know I could of felt so much more tired, had I not done this.

Bottom Line:

Rent a hotel room with a kitchenette. You need a cooler that you can carry in the park. Use ice packs in the coolers. Rent a locker for 12 bucks a day, to store clothes to change or valuables that you don’t want to carry. (I mention the following because I wish someone told me): I would suggest a pre charged battery to charge your phone, especially if you are using the Disney app in the park, and don’t post to social media if you can help it, again unless you have the pre charged battery to recharge.  Wait until nighttime after getting to the hotel to do that if you can. Posting all day will drain your battery fast!  If you can, use airplane mode to save the battery and just take pictures. Take one frozen meal per person, and a sandwich or quart size bag of finger snacks. Find out where the Baby Center is to use the microwave.  Take a plastic water bottle to refill (BPA free of course!) Pack a bag with mixed snacks. Decide before going, you will do this today and you will be successful.  Inquire the chef at any and all restaurants, even open air grills (they are in every restaurant) and ask what they have but give them some ideas like a plain lettuce wrap burger with fruit, or salad with a plain grilled protein if you brought your own dressing.

All in all, I think my trip was successful and I learned some lessons including my own strength. I encourage you to feel confident that it can be done, because it can.  I feel assured that the next time we go, I can do this better!  I hope this was helpful!

 

 

The Repairvite Diet Protocol

DrClarks Repairvite Diet

Please refer to the leaky gut post blog here, where I mention the WHY of doing a diet such as the Repairvite Diet, and what leaky gut means.

The repairvite diet is basically the autoimmune protocol or AIP, but with a few differences.  I would venture to say the repairvite diet is definitely harder to do than AIP. The list is more restrictive. The gal over at the Curious Coconut did a great post, defining the differences and gives some tips as to what to expect and how to do it. Diet is huge and unavoidable when desiring to heal leaky gut, and I believe supplements are extremely helpful too.  There are so many out there, how do you know what you need?  This is why it is so important to have a healthcare practitioner look at your labs and evaluate you, so they can address your specific concerns.  This is not a cookie cutter program. I believe diet can help everyone, however, if you have really advanced symptoms you might get better but get stuck or have really slow results.

Foods to AVOID on the Repair Program Diet

Sugars: including

  • agave
  • candy
  • chocolate
  • corn syrup
  • fructose
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • sucrose

High Glycemic Fruits, including:

  • bananas
  • canned fruits
  • dried fruits
  • mango
  • pineapple
  • raisins
  • watermelon and melons of all kinds

ALL Grains, including:

  • amaranth
  • barley
  • buckwheat
  • bulgur
  • corn
  • couscous
  • kamut
  • millet
  • oats
  • quinoa
  • rice (all kinds)
  • rye
  • spelt
  • wheat & wheat germ

ALL Nuts and seeds, including:

  • almonds, peanuts
  • sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Gluten-containing compounds, including:
  • barbecue sauce, binders, bouillon, brewer’s yeast
  • cold cuts, condiments (safe only if labeled as gluten-free)
  • emulsifiers, fillers, gums
  • hot dogs, hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein, ketchup, soy sauce, lunch meats, malt and malt flavoring, malt vinegar, matzo, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate, nondairy creamer, processed salad dressings, seitan, some spice mixtures, stabilizers, teriyaki sauce, textured vegetable protein

 

ALL Eggs
All Milk & Dairy products including:

• butter
• ALL cheeses
• cow’s milk
• cream
• frozen desserts • goat’s milk
• margarine
• mayonnaise
• sheep’s milk
• whey
• yogurt

Soy, including:

  • edamame
  • miso
  • soy milk
  • soy protein, soy flour
  • soy sauce
  • tempeh
  • tofu.
  • NOTE: soy lecithin is allowed
  • Fungi: edible fungi and all mushrooms.
  • Alcohol: all alcohol
  • All Beans and Legumes, including: black beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, pinto beans, sugar snap peas, green beans, and edamame or soybeans.

Nightshade foods, including:

  • eggplant
  • paprika
  • peppers of ALL kinds (even in salsas, Tabasco)
  • potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams)
  • nutritional yeast
  • tomatoes & tomatillos Other:
    • canned foods
    • coffee
    • processed foods
    • Artificial Sweeteners (Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet)
    • lemon balm tea

Adapted from Dr. Datis Kharazzian

Foods To Eat on The Repair Program Diet

 

Most organic vegetables, including:

• anise
• artichoke
• asparagus
• avocado
• beets
• bok choy
• broccoli
• cabbage (all kinds)
• carrot
• cauliflower
• celery
• chives
• cucumber
• garlic
• kale
• kohlrabi
• leeks
• lettuces (all kinds)
• mustard greens, collard greens • onions
• parsley
• radish
• rhubarb
• shallots
• spinach
• squash (all kinds)
• sweet potatoes
• water chestnuts
• watercress
• yams
• zucchini

Fermented foods — OPTIONAL but helpful

  • Kombucha tea — ONLY THIS BRAND: GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha Original Flavor
  • Pickled ginger — ONLY THIS BRAND: The Ginger People Organic Pickled Sushi Ginger
  • Sauerkraut –”Bubbie’s” is the best brand
  • Live Culture pickles (make your own, recipes on web)
  • Coconut Kefir — all of these are OPTIONAL
    • –  SoDelicous brand Original Coconut Milk Kefir
    • –  Inner Eco brand Original Dairy-free ProbioticKefir
    • –  Inner Eco brand Wild Berry Flavor Dairy-free Probiotic Kefir

 

Meats, including:

  • beef and pork
  • chicken
  • fish — Fish should be ocean-caught (not farmed) with a low mercury content. Swordfish, most tuna and kingmackerel are very high in mercury.
  • shrimp
  • lamb
  • turkey
  • Choose hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken,turkey, and lamb.
  • Choose beef & pork that is grass-fed, hormone-free,and antibiotic-free.Coconut, including:• coconut butter • coconut cream • coconut milk
    • coconut oil• unsweetened coconut flakesNoodles:• brown shirataki yam noodles (sold in Asian grocery stores)Herbs and spices: including• basil
    • black pepper
    • cilantro
    • coriander
    • cumin
    • ginger
    • lemongrass
    • mint
    • parsley
  • mace
  • sage• Non-iodized sea salt

Herbal teas – ONLY herbal teas without any caffeine or licorice such as:

  • chamomile
  • peppermint
  • rooibos
  • hibiscus tea
  • these can have “flavors” such as vanilla, peach etc NOTE: Avoid Celestial Seasonings brand until further notice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Bragg’s brand is a good one.
    Olive oil & Olives — Organic if possible.

– Tonix brand Coconut Water Kefir

Low Glycemic organic fruits — including

  • apples
  • apricots
  • avocados
  • berries
  • cherries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  •  lemons
  •  oranges
  •  peaches
  •  pears
  •  plums
  •  coconut
  •  kiwi
  • plantains

Misc foods:

  • arrowroot flour
  • carob powder
  • organic palm shortening
  • cassava flour
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fennel seed
  • mace spice

Adapted from Dr. Datis Kharazzian

My health care practitioner is Dr David Clark, DC.  He works with people everywhere around the nation. I consult with him over the phone. He is brilliant, and helped me when no conventional doctor could. I fell off the wagon, but I am human, so now he is helping me again.  I recommend him! You can google his name on youtube and watch his videos.  Tell him I sent you! Here is the link to his website.

What is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism)?

imageI have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease, which is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid. Your body creates antibodies towards your thyroid. The more antibodies it creates, the worse off your thyroid is. It’s not a thyroid disease per se, but a organ that is targeted. As your thyroid is targeted and destroyed slowly, you will eventually develop symptoms of hypothyroidism.  Some people are prescribed hormone replacement drugs, and others are told to keep checking it since it will be destroyed eventually if you have the signs of hypothyroidism (weight gain, hair loss, cold extremities, loss of outer 1/3 of brow, fatigue).  Eventually, if your thyroid keeps becoming destroyed, you might even be told by your doctor to have it eradicated, and be on thyroid hormones for life. Yet there are the few people out there who have mastered how to manage the triggers. This is no different than one with rheumatoid arthritis, who is never really cured, but might notice certain things or foods trigger flare ups.  Hashimoto’s is a lot harder to tell what a trigger may be, at least for me personally and in my opinion.  Between the research and food reactions, I don’t always have food reactions. But when I eat the offending food daily, over time my symptoms worsen.  It’s like a very slow process, and it tricks me. However, some people may have obvious reactions to food, or they may also have celiac disease which is commonly associated with Hashimoto’s. That can be very useful knowledge in mastering and taming the disease.

This was diagnosed after I had my child, so my pregnancy triggered this gene I already had. I had profound changes in myself from before pregnancy to after, including depression, weight gain, extreme fatigue, and oversleeping. I am also cold when everyone else is warm, and mostly my extremities. Hashimotos is most common in women, some kind of psychological or physiological trigger might turn the gene on, and once you have that gene turned on, its on for life. That goes for any autoimmune disease like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, etc. You can always manage the disease, but it will never be ‘cured’. I’ve learned that Hashimotos is largely missed by doctors because it is not routinely tested in the so called ‘full thyroid panel’ and that 90% of hypothyroid patients have this autoimmune disorder. The good news is that there are dietary measures you can take to downplay the destruction of your thyroid, and if you work with a healthcare practitioner (could be a ND, DO, chiropractor, or health coach) who is well educated in leaky gut syndrome, (there are some, but few MD’s that could help, look up functional MD’s) you may even come to find out more details about what triggers an autoimmune response in your own body. I am working with a chiropractor who is a functional neurologist, and I will be taking a list of supplements that were specific to my labs as well as doing the repairvite diet for 30 days to begin healing the gut, deinflaming the body, which will in turn balance my hormones and perhaps I could finally lose weight!

One experiment I did earlier this year was I joined Orange Theory Fitness which is an intense one hour session of half cardio and half weight lifting using your heart rate as a measure for exertion.  I had spent 6 weeks here and attended 3x week.  I was using a foam roller for recovery, branched chain amino acids as well, and was taking Epsom salt baths frequently.  I was also doing the Alternate Day Diet which I wrote a blog post earlier about.  Three times a week I ate 500 calories in the form of a liquid meal.  This intense class combined with this diet left me feeling extremely exhausted, and sore most of the days.  I still pushed on.  I am very disappointed to report that I lost zero pounds and zero inches.  As a matter of fact I ended up gaining 2 pounds at the end of that challenge.  How in the world was that possible?  This led me to my holistic Dr, a chiropractor/functional neurologist who specializes in Hashimoto’s.  He explained to me that everything that was happening to me made sense and with my disease what goes with it is that adrenal fatigue is common, and weight loss will not happen when the body is in this high state of inflammation. The intense exercise kept me in that state of inflammation.  The 500 calories 3x a week stressed my body out. It just didn’t work for me, although it may work for some. Makes sense, so how do I fix this?

After drawing some labs and ordering supplements he prescribed after reviewing those labs, he also prescribed the Repairvite leaky gut protocol, which I must start for 30 days, then we could add foods back in one at a time.  I am choosing Monday December 21 as my start date.  I know its tough with the holidays, but I think I’m tired of feeling bloated and sick already.  Knowing how difficult this is going to be, I purchased this book: 51GqqyYWeoL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_-2

I’m going to need all the help I can get!  Whatever way you need to stay on track, exhaust all avenues! Meditation, journaling, and hypnosis are other great ideas to help keep you on track.  These are all forms of self care.  If you can feed and take care of your spiritual self, it is easier to take care of your physical self in the face of temptation.  I’m not saying temptation free, but helpful, and easier.

Repairvite Diet Protocol on next blog post!

This information should not replace your healthcare practitioner’s advice!

 

 

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome and how do you fix it?

It sounds pretty odd doesn’t it? From someone with a medical science background when I first heard the term leaky gut, I thought it had something to do with loose bowel habits (sounds like dumping syndrome). But it actually does not imply that at all. In fact, it is an evidence based term that  is better described as ‘intestinal permeability’.  This is a term that is not generally accepted YET by conventional medicine, however there is plenty of evidence to back up the definition of leaky gut, as well as people who have experienced profound improved physical health, as a result of applying the specified diet.  Remember depression was not considered a diagnosis years ago? And now it is.  Here is an example of a medical abstract on the subject:

Intestinal Permeability in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Pathogenesis, Clinical Evaluation, and Therapy of Leaky Gut https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26582965

Definition of Leaky Gut in laymans terms Taken from Dr Weil:

“Leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability refers to the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity. The cause of this syndrome may be chronic inflammation, food sensitivity, damage from taking large amounts of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics, excessive alcohol consumption, or compromised immunity. Leaky gut syndrome may trigger a new or existing disorder, or worsen such disorders as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.”

I would like to add to Dr Weil’s definition of symptoms.  Brain problems can manifest from leaky gut.  Depression, migraines, anxiety, ADHD, and brain fog for example can all be attributed to leaky gut.

(Graphic property of Apex Energetics, creators of Repairvite Diet)

Notice the loose junctions at the 2nd vertical junction.

intestinal-barrier

If you have brain problems, stomach issues, or skin disorders, chances are you have leaky gut.  There are expensive tests you can take to find out, but why not do the diet and experiment on yourself? Here is a link describing the tests. Either way, some people would rather know to have a specific motivation to do a diet as strict as this. I would highly recommend working with an naturopathic doctor, a chiropractor, a functional medical doctor, or a health coach who specializes in leaky gut, to have supplements tailored to your symptoms/labs/you. My reason for doing this diet?  I have an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s that I am trying to manage, and also it is Dr’s orders!

In order to begin healing the gut, there are a few protocols that are designed to help. There is the autoimmune protocol or AIP, there is the Repairvite leaky gut diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet.  You can easily google these other diets to find out more about them.   They each differ in specific ways, and I think its good to know your options because if one is not working for you, then maybe some food is still keeping you inflamed. I will be using the Repairvite diet for my experiment, since my Dr wants me to do this one. The curious thing about leaky gut, is that when you are working to heal it, you really cannot ‘cheat’ on bad foods or you have to start over.  It can really derail and unravel all of your progress. This is what I find to be the most challenging of this kind of therapeutic diet, but I think when one comes to the end of a rope, they really just decide what is important to them.  Do you want to get by, or do you want to be optimal?  Another important thing to remember, is that this is not a long term diet. It is short term, meant to be like an deinflammatory and elimination diet, and much care must be taken to add foods back in strategically, as to note what you might be reacting to so you can stay away from it. This can actually be the hardest part of the diet, as it can take a long time to add foods back in and it takes a lot of discipline which is necessary to be able to accurately pinpoint the offending foods that could be causing your symptoms.  Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what is triggering your body? It is not easy, but I encourage you to join me if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Nothing worth having comes easy.

I will explain the details of the Repairvite diet in another post. I will document my journey and findings as I go through this.  Hope you enjoyed this post. Please comment if you have any specific questions I could address in the next post!