Saturday, May 18, 2013

Who knew my body could talk...?


The more I travel down this nutritional road the more I realize that no one person has the answer.  When I began seriously following a candida diet in January I almost immediately felt the great affects of relief and thought it would be only a matter of weeks or a few months to have the complete relief I’ve been looking for.  Here I am almost 5 months later and still feel like I’m battling my symptoms and not finding relief for them.

It is hard when I talk to people about how I’m eating and see their reactions of… “You’ve been on this diet for how long?... and you still have ringing in your ears?...”  Then they stare at me as though they think I may snap at any moment and lunge at them with my hands or a concealed weapon of some sort and do them in.  But instead of agreeing with them I defend what I’ve been doing and the lifestyle I’ve chosen.

While all my symptoms are not gone I do have to remember the GREAT benefits I’ve experienced.  A resting heart rate (at times) of 45 BPM as well as a blood pressure level of 100 over 70 (previously was 139 over 90 something).  I’ve lost almost 50 lb’s and have kept it off for the duration of the diet…  OK… so I haven’t really lost 50 lb’s strictly from the diet but when I consider where my high weight was I’ve really lost that amount.  We even get some comments now like “well, you must be doing something right if the weight is not coming back!”

I should be happy with the results and just quit expecting to see the results I’ve been waiting for, but I can’t… once I’ve set my mind to something, regardless of what it is, I see that something through.  However; there are some adjustments I’m making in my diet to see if I can figure it out.

My wife and I visited a cousin of mine who is a Total Body Modification (TBM) holistic healer, but of different sorts.  He practices something to do with TBM; the idea is that your body is out of balance and can’t control certain aspects of what is put in it.  I am slightly skeptical, as I have been about the candida diet from the beginning, but I’m hopeful that incorporating some of these TBM changes will allow me to continue the progress that has been halted.

Here’s why I’m skeptical.  Part of the idea is that your body knows what it needs (which I believe) and, evidently, you or somebody else, can ask your body what it needs and it will tell you exactly what it needs.  I know… sounds crazy, right… but if you think about it your own body should know what it needs and be able to let you know, even if subconsciously.

As my cousin was “asking my body” what it needs I was reminded of an older movie that helps explain how it must sound.  In the mid 80’s Disney released a movie called “The Flight of the Navigator.”  In this movie the main character “David” was abducted by an alien spacecraft when he was 12 years old and brought back to where he was taken 8 years later, but he hadn’t aged.  Now I won’t get into why he hasn’t aged so if you want to know then you’ll have to watch the movie to see why.

Anyway… the spaceship he was on ended up crashing on the planet and the artificial life form on the ship lost all the star charts that would let him get back home.  Not to worry though because he had already conveniently downloaded the star charts into David’s brain so it should be only a matter of scanning David’s head and recovering the data.  The problem is NASA has found the ship and has now contacted David and taken him into custody to be tested.

During one scene they hook David up to a machine and then proceed to ask him questions.  As they ask him where he’s been David says “I don’t know!”  But as he says this a phrase pops up on the computer telling them where he’s been.  They ask him where he went and again David yells “I don’t know!”  Only to have the answer pop up on the screen.  Soon David’s brain begins to communicate directly with the computer.  David sees the computer going crazy and then asked “Whose doing that!”  The NASA guy looks at him and says “you are David.”  David flips out a little bit and then takes off.

I felt al little like David felt… somebody telling me what my body was telling them I needed only to have the same idea of “who’s doing that?” come into my head.  Now they didn’t hook me up to a computer but total body TBM health professionals believes in the body’s ability to respond to touch and react in a certain way.  It was this reaction that would give them the answer they were looking for.  Evidently my body can only give yes or no answers though not well thought out answers…

Let me be clear that I believe the candida diet has done wonders for my health and I will probably always be careful with the amount of sugar I put into my body.  The journey so far has been one of tremendous healing but I can feel it’s not done and feel like this course adjustment is needed.

As I talked with my cousin he asked about all that bothered me… well the biggest thing is still the ringing in my ears so I told him that.  He followed it up with questions about anxiety and pain and other health related questions but also asked whether I get up during the night.  Well… there have only been 3-5 times in the last year that I can remember not getting up at least once and more often twice—this is much better than it used to be fore me; I used to get up 3-5 times a night to go to the bathroom.

The first step of this process is to get me drinking enough water and sleeping through the night.  My water intake is good, but evidently it is still insufficient.  I weigh about 135 lb’s and I guess should be drinking somewhere close to 90 ounces of water per day.  This is based on the idea that you should be consuming about 67 percent of your body weight in ounces of water.

There are more tests that I’m going to need to go on and I’m still going to be on a sugar control diet, but the idea is a little different than candida—under this belief the body has the ability to control the sugars that are put I the body mine has just lost it and needs to regain it.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t have candida or that the diet I’ve been on has not done any good… I do feel like it is a piece of the puzzle; a puzzle that is sure to have all the pieces I need I just need to find them and fit them into place.

I am more convinced that one diet may work completely for one person and may not be complete for another.  It is easy to think that if this works for me then it must work for others… However; this healing by food is new for a lot of people and I’m not sure any one person or program has all the right answers, but I do believe there must be a diet out there that will work for me, or at least a combination of diets.

My motivation still remains the same.  Ringing in my ears is the number one (because I believe if that is completely resolved then a lot of my other issues will have been resolved as well.  I’ve tasted the benefits have having no brain fog and also having some relief of my ringing so I know it is close, so I’ll soldier on and await the relief.

One other change I’m making is using helichrysum oil from doTerra; not sure this will help, but I was using a sample of this oil early on in this journey (when my progress was stronger) so we’ll see what this will do.  Evidently my body wants the helichrysum right now too… at least that’s what it told my cousin.  He told me I may want to wait on using it because as he makes some adjustments my body my not need or want it anymore… but I’m stubborn and want to see if I feel relief from it so I’m using it!

Here’s to the next chapter in this journey of healing (first from candida and now from my sleeping problems, which hopefully will resolve most of my other problems).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Holding Faith -- There's Gold in Them Thar Pills!


After the passing of Mother Teresa I heard it reported that she had written letters to her “superiors” about feeling like she had been abandoned or at least lost her connection with God.  I’m not aware of the whole story of Mother Teresa but evidently she had some pretty spiritual experiences early in her life that actually set the stage for the remainder of her life.  It was reported, however, that as life went on she lost that connection and didn’t really have an answer why.

I point this out because in my last post I talked of a young person who had lost faith in their beliefs and had decided that they had tried enough and had given up… I don’t know this persons exact experience and it is easy for me or anybody else to call the shots from the sidelines, but I can’t help but think in Mother Teresa had done the same thing and has just given up as this person did what would the affect have had on the world?

There is no doubt she would have made different decisions and it is very possible she would not have made the great impact she had if she had simply given up.  The world is a much better place for the services she—and anybody else that helps people like she did—provided.

In todays world we are so concerned with the immediacy of what’s happening that we forget that sometimes the only path is the path of patience.  In Mother Teresa’s case she remained patient (at least mostly in private) for the remainder of her life.

The parallels with religion and nutrition are striking.  We (and when I say we I am really talking about I—at least the way I’ve been over the years) have a tendancy to look for the simple quick fix.  Anytime something is going to take a “long time” we scoff at the idea and then run for the pills.  The problem is a long time generally means anything longer than a few days to a few weeks!  When we are so used to being able to jump on an airplane and be somewhere in almost the whole world in about 1 day or so our concept of time and patience is really skewed.

When I traveled I fell victim to this mentality and saw many others who had as well.  A flight delay would be announced—I’m sorry… but the flight is going to be delayed by 20-30 minutes.  OH! OH! OH! The moans and screams coming from the crowd at times were almost too much to bear.  Health is no different… go to the Doctor and get a pill and you should start to feel better within a day and at most a month or so (if you are getting on mood altering medications to help with something like depression).

When I first started to look into holistic cures I would try something for a few weeks to a month and then just stop!  It wasn’t worth it!  I don’t notice ANY difference and don’t think it is worth my time to change.  When I began this blog at the beginning of the year I was certain that I would be better within 30-60 days!  I began to see the results right away and then nothing—everything stopped!  Into my 5th month now of extremely healthy living and I am finally thinking that it may take a while to get the total relief I’m seeking.

Now this is where “faith” comes in.  I believe that eating this way helps people and I’ve talked to many people who swear that they saw results in 30 to 60 days and others who have said that it took as long as 6 months to 1 year… so I know it works for some.  The question I’m asking now is will this work for me?  I don’t know the answer to that and I don’t know that I’ve found the solution that will work with a 100% guarantee, but I do believe I’m on my way… I’ve just had to make a choice.

This choice is similar to the choice the person who lost faith as well as Mother Teresa was faced with.  In both those cases the choice was to continue believing and “lie” to yourself or stop believing and head down a completely different road… Mother Teresa Chose one path and the other person chose a different one, so who do I follow?  In both cases they were looking for peace but both chose to go after their own peace in their own way.

In the New Testament the Book of Luke talks about 2 disciples who were traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus and the resurrected Christ appeared and walked with them, although they didn’t know who he was.  Christ heard them talking about him and asked what they were talking about to which they asked if he was a stranger to the land and didn’t know about what had happened (the Crucifixion).  They told him they were sad because Jesus died when they had trusted that he would be the redeemer of Israel.

Christ chastised them a little but they still didn’t know who he was but they had come to a fork in the road and Christ was ready to travel on… In a na├»ve wisdom they asked him to “Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”  Christ followed them and visited and ate with them and then blessed and brake bread.  Their eyes were opened at that moment and then he was gone…

This story was a great turning point for me on my journey of health.  Once they (the disciples) realized who he was they talked about how they should have known it was him while they were traveling.  Little did they know in the moment of sorrow that they actually were traveling with he whom they sought… but all they could do was complain.  However; they did ask him to tarry with them, a choice that changed their whole attitude.  Had they not asked him to tarry they likely would have traveled on not knowing how close they really were to what they sought…

Do I choose to continue down a path that I’ve believed will bring me the health I’ve been searching for (ask the Savior to abide with me) or do I choose a different path and give up on my health quest and go a different direction?  I’ve concluded that if I give up now it is likely that I would be back on this path at some point in my life because it is where I seem to be drawn lately.  But if I stick to the path then I believe I will make it to a point where I can look back and realize that the healing I’ve been hoping for the whole time is there… it’s just taking a little longer than anticipated.

I wonder if the person in the blog who claimed to have lost faith just never had it to begin with?  Did they fall victim to the time frame that “forever” was 1 month or 2 months?  Isn’t having faith believing in something you can’t prove is there but believe is there?  I believe I will see the benefits I’m hoping for now I need to give it time to prove it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

100 days and then some and... "Losing Faith"


My wife stumbled upon a blog post in which somebody proclaimed their new found disbelief in their faith and the reasons why.  It was concluded that God (if there is a God) would be happier with this person being happy and not living their faith than being miserable and living it.  Some of what was said is that this person had a tremendous amount of “faith” and had done everything they could to “1000” percent but just was not feeling like the answers were coming.  I’m not sure how long this lack of communication went on but I’m quite sure it was to the order of years they had been feeling this way.

As they put it, they were still a “good” person but they just had given up on trying to believe.  What made this interesting was my wife found the post on the facebook wall of one of her friends who shares the same faith as we do.  The way this friend posted the blog article made her think they had also lost faith in what they were doing.  The article ended with something along the lines of “if I could force myself to believe then I would believe in a heartbeat, but I can’t and so I choose to do what I feel I must which is to let go of the faith that I no longer believe in.

Some of the questions were “why isn’t my faith growing?” “why are my prayers not being answered?” “why is it that others seem to get the answers they want but I don’t?”   While there were more and the actual questions may have been slightly different those I listed were pretty much the gist of the problems this person had.  The post forced a bit of self reflection and really required a great deal of thought as to what the answers would be, if there are any at all.

This person felt they had put in a “1000” percent effort, but to no avail—the peace they had been seeking never came, why?  I ask that because I, like probably many others, have asked this very question in my own life.  I am actually living some of those questions right now.  But I know I’m not the only one.  Mother Teresa is said to have lamented the loss of her connection with God during her last while here on earth and that she had actually not felt his influence in a good number of years (I forget the exact quote or the amount of years but it was A LOT!).

On a side note I’m at a park with  my boys and just realized that my poor 8 year old does not know how to pump his legs to swing on a swing… YIKES… I’ve failed as a parent, so I must let this post go for now and help him learn.  I’m back and all is right in the world, my 8 year old can pump his legs and swing on a swing!... that was a close one!

There are some good answers to these questions but I think it’s worth thinking about for a few days before answering.  As far as the diet is concerned I’ve hit a plateau and have had a problem muscling through it.  I have felt the benefit and relief of the Candida diet I’ve chosen but also still have many symptoms that just won’t seem to go away and are frankly driving me crazy!

This difficulty feels like I’m “losing faith” in my ability to be freed from the many years of symptoms I’ve felt and I’m at a loss of what to do.  Nothing has worked completely yet, but there is still hope, which I do plan to hold on to.  Sorry it’s been a while with the posts but it’s been quite a ride! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Days 93 - 103


It has been too long since my last post.  Partly due to the boring nature of the last week or so, but also to do with the busy nature of the week as well.   Although there has been some fun we've had and some good stuff we've come up with--or more appropriately came across.

We found a recipe for chocolate chips made with cacao, coconut oil and stevia inspired by http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/desserts/homemade-chocolate-or-carob-chips/#comment-25510.  We only had what I mentioned above and did not add vanilla (since it is technically not something we are suppose to have.

Cacao Coconut Oil Chips
- 1 part pure cacao powder
- 1 part coconut oil
- We did about 3 or 4 droppers full of stevia

Melt the coconut oil on very low heat (you only need it melted and slightly warm so the cacao will mix easily--if you heat too much then the whole thing separates and just does not work as well.  Mix in the cacao and the stevia.  Place in a flat pan (we used about a 9X9 pan.  Pour the contents into the pan and let it sit in the refrigerator.  To speed the process up we placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes and it was done. Cut the chocolate  into chunks.  As we cut the chocolate it separated into chunks by itself.

This was the closest thing to chocolate chips we've had while on this crazy diet and we LOVED them... even made some chocolate chip cookies from http://cookieandkate.com/2013/gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Be careful though... since the coconut oil has such a low melting point we ended up with a baking sheet of very good cookie type bars (not cookies) we still haven't figured out how to get them to look like the picture but they were delicious!  Even the batter was delicious.  We did leave out the vanilla extract in ours and it was still excellent.  We haven't tried it yet, but we want to add an egg or two to see if they stick together more like cookies would.

This has been a week of reflection for my wife and me... we have really been very disciplined with our diet but have not seen all the great benefits we have been hoping for.  However; we did review how great we have felt physically.  My blood pressure is down from 139/95 down to something like 98/70 (or something really healthy.  Also, my resting heart rate when I got up to run one day last week was 45!  I don't ever remember having a resting heart rate that low EVER!  There are other benefits but the ringing in the ears is still there and the sinus pressure is still there.

I even got to the point this last week where I decided I need to give up or try harder to get the results I need.  If my wife wasn't as strong as she's been with this whole diet then I think I may have ended up with a big cheeseburger in my hand that night and I would have been done.  As it is we've come up with something slightly more crazy.

A lot of what we've been reading online talks about potatoes and even rice (or at least white rice) being bad for the growth of candida.  Other sites say that chocolate and cacao are bad for your body while it is trying to heal.  Thinking (and looking back at the blog) it appears the fastest progress was while we were being more pure with our diet.  Early on we swore off stevia but it didn't take long for our taste buds to adjust and we LOVE it.  However; it was during the times we weren't having stevia when we feel like we were gaining the most ground.

What it has really come down to though is the idea that nobody has all the right answers and as everybody in the whole world is different we are beginning to think that this includes nutrition.  My Doctor wasn't kidding when he said the only way to really know if a food bothers you is to stop eating it and then introduce it again.

With this in mind we've decided to cut off cacao, stevia, white rice and potatoes (at least right now).  The idea is that our diets have been very pure and we want to see if we notice some pretty quick improvements over the course of the next few days or weeks.  Every time we feel we have it pinned down it ends up being the wrong direction.

One of the most frustrating things right now is that I do believe what we are trying to achieve is more simple than we've made it out to be, but we are just not sure what our bodies need to have happen to heal.  I've also said this before but I also think it could be just time our bodies need, which would be kind of funny because we could try something and our bodies react (or feel better) and we associate it with whatever it was we were doing at the time when it may not be that at all.  (if that makes any sense.

I hope to have something more exciting in the coming days and weeks.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Days 91 and 92


This post will about bring me up to speed (real time) with the blog.  It is getting more difficult to log every days activities, mainly because the days are so monotonous lately I feel like I’m telling the same story over and over—a lot like the movie Groundhog Day.  I swear I even wake up in the morning to the same music playing on the radio… oh wait… that one is mostly true since we do sleep to some comforting music made to help you sleep I do wake up to the same thing playing over and over again!

Day 91 (Tues) nothing major to report other than it was a very difficult day for my wife, but I felt like I had a pretty good day.  We have been a bit more lax with our food intake and have allowed ourselves some—although very little—leeway.  I’m not sure what the issue was with my wife It, it was raining, she didn’t get a run in this morning, her kids at school were fairly awful—which I guess has more to do with coming off of spring break (and as some teacher swear, the rain) than anything else.

We have both decided that we do enjoy our cacao pows VERY much.  The recipe is listed on the recipe page but we do substitute some items on some days rotating (avocados, steel cut oats and quinoa) and often adding maca powder with hemp hearts.  Any way we make it we love it.

Still can’t believe we are continuing with very little variation—still want to see full relief come but not sure how strict to be.

Day 92, Wednesday, again not much to report although it was a very tough day for me—I actually think I felt more anxiety and depression.  During these times of reflection I focus on too much of the negative that’s happening and not enough positive.  I try every day to focus on the positive (at least to a point) but when the negative does happen I let it get me down.  It makes me realize that I must have been more depressed before beginning this journey than I realized.

Life goes on and—overall—continues to get better.  I notice the ups and downs and sometimes they are pretty extreme, but everybody deals with this to a point and I can’t expect to be rid of every negative feeling there is.  I do hope and believe that my ringing can and will go completely away as well as the few lingering health concerns I have but suppose it will take more and more time.