magic juice:: what it is + how it changed my life

I often get asked what my secrets to healing were. If it is one thing I wish everyone knew about, it is celery juice. Adding in this one simple thing changed me forever! It has been over a year since I began drinking it daily and I can’t go a day without it. (Seriously. My juicer recently died and it took a month to be replaced. I did the blend and strain method instead but didn’t get nearly enough of my magic juice that way! I was a very grumpy person that month.)

The perfect blend of minerals and electrolytes in celery make this a necessary component to your staple diet—especially if you have POTS. Each client I work with gets the suggestion of adding celery juice to their diet because all of those who are chronically ill are mineral deficient. Every single metabolic and cellular process in our bodies require minerals to be performed. It can be very difficult to keep track of all the supplementation you need each day, but juicing is an easy way to start the day off on the right foot. If you don’t have a problem with oxalates, this is a safe and easy change to incoporate.

 

Celery juice can help alleviate:

-heart palpitations + skipped beats

-headaches (often because headaches stim from dehydration)

-frequent urination (from stressed kidneys that are overworked. The kidneys are the balancing organs of the body; if something is out of whack, the kidneys are working to put everything back to right.)

-dehydration, preventing POTS episodes

-body temperature regulation

-dizziness (again, from dehydration and stressed kidneys) and too low blood pressure

-near syncope symptoms

-brain fog

-inner trembling, shivers or chills

…and so much more!

 

In the morning, we wake up from sleep already in a dehydrated state. Our cortisol levels are high and our bodies need to adjust to being awake as we begin to move throughout our day. All of this is extremely stressful to our nervous system and kidneys when we are chronically ill—even more so if we aren’t getting quality sleep! And yet this cycle repeats every day, depleting us even more. If we aren’t taking enough minerals in, we can not produce things like energy, mental clarity, stamina and mood stabilization. Hence why celery juice in the morning is so crucial—it brings in added nutrients at the exact right time we need it, allowing our bodies to sustain us throughout the rest of the day.

A lot of you may notice that your dysautonomia symptoms are worse during the morning,

 

when you are dehydrated, over stimulated, stressed or very tired. This is another time you can turn to celery juice. The effect takes place within minutes versus waiting for a pill to take effect. Many people will start with 8-16 ounces in the morning and add more to a smoothie or mixed vegetable juice in the evenings to get ready for quality sleep. Experiment and see for yourself what your body likes.

You may be thinking, “Ew, celery!” Don’t let that stop you! The juice tastes like salt water. As you make drinking it a habit, the salty taste disappears. The closer to water it tastes, the better your internal mineral levels are. I love that I can have a measuring tool for what my body needs. If your morning juice tastes extremely salty to you, consider adding another glass later in the day. Likewise, for anytime you are extremely symptomatic, recovering from a detox session or POTS-y.

What do you think? If you give it a try, let me know how it goes! Send me an email at lisa@abundantlifeandwellness.org!

traveling with your diagnosis

Recently, I spent a weekend with friends out of town. Since I wasn’t the only one with a chronic illness diagnosis going, I thought sharing how I coordinated with the others to make sure I had everything I would make a helpful blog post!

First, we planned all of our meals ahead of time. This helped us put together everyone’s restrictions and preferences and allowed us to bring as much as we could from home, cutting down on possible cross contamination and cost. We also made a list of items to bring that we would all share: one juicer, a crock pot, one single container of bone broth protein, etc.

We also made a rough plan of activities that allowed for flexibility for everyone going. Those who needed some afternoon siesta time (me!) were able to take that time for ourselves, without missing out on things we wanted to do. Obviously, flexibility is key here, but it worked well for us.

 

Here are some other things to put in place for a successful trip away from home::

-Pack the go bag. This will be within close reach in the car or on the plane so you want it to have all your essentials in it: any medications, oils and other doses you will need to take while traveling. Also include a warm scarf or jacket, water and any aid that will help if anxiety arises. Don’t forget snacks! Sunglasses and a hat in case of overstimulation of your senses is always a good idea. I like to keep Alka Seltzer Gold, bergamot EO and my beanie in mine; this all bring a sense of comfort to me.

-Be prepared to struggle. If you can accept before hand that you may experience a sense of discomfort or even panic when leaving your safe place, it can make the rest of the trip much easier. Traveling is hard on your body AND your mind. Accept that symptoms may show up in the process—both physically and mentally.

-Keep your eye on the prize. You deserve to have a great time. Allow for plenty of time to travel and give yourself the chance to orient and settle in once you reach your destination. Don’t jump right into the activities. Rehydrate, remineralize, and rest.

-Open yourself up. Mentally, approach the trip as a way to make new positive memories, laugh and relax outside of your usual scene. Let your guard down and allow the good to flow to you! Note what thought patterns go through your head while you are away from home. Journal about anything that seems to resonate with you. Reflecting outside of our normal spaces can bring about incredible breakthrough. I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me after getting some time away to reflect and organize their ideas.

 

Taking a trip can be a great way to raise your inner vibration and fast track healing. If you’ve been unsure about giving in to that wanderlust, go for it! Don’t let a “limitation” keep you stuck. There’s nothing a little planning can’t break through.

Need help prepping for a getaway? Email me for more suggestions on how to make it go great!

review:: bowen therapy- updated

It’s been 6 weeks since I started using the Bowen therapy in my routine. So much has changed! I am sleeping great, experiencing less headaches and definitely less stressed and more centered. Who doesn’t love that? One of the biggest improvements though is this: My 15 year old knee injury that left me numb in that area is actually waking up- I can feel it for the first time since the surgery! All from just four, yes FOUR, sessions.

I have gotten a lot of questions about my experience with Bowen, which is the purpose of this post. I feel like my first review here didn’t do enough justice to the technique now that I have a few more appointments under my belt!

When I first started working with my therapist, my biggest complaints were the cyclical insomnia, chronic headaches and repeated ovarian cysts. Clearly, my hormones needed some extra support outside of what I was already doing for them. The first session helped decrease my headaches and got me back to sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night. The second one was more pelvic focused and my PCOS symptoms vanished. I haven’t thought about them since!

The best result for me, is the feeling of peace and calm after our time is done. Bowen isn’t massage necessarily, but it carries all the benefits of it afterwards. There is a definite sense of grounding I feel in the days after that helps me stay focused and productive. I love the very real “feel” of improved circulation and inflammation being repaired after each set of acupressure points is opened up. I love the sense of my energy flowing through me instead of being stuck and stagnant. My initial complaints before I started are definitely vanishing.

Bowen therapy wonderfully complements my mindful approach to my healing. I know I’ll be using it for years to come as I continue to progress. With each session, my therapist points out areas to nourish and how to be more aware of my trouble spots before they become symptomatic. Who doesn’t love a partner in their recovery? I’m blessed.

Bottom line, if you haven’t already, try Bowen. It’s gentler than massage or cranial sacral therapy so there is no worry of a Herx effect afterwards. It is detoxing without being negative and restoring without being depleting. You’ll love it!

the patient’s survival guide to:: syncope

Syncope, or fainting, can be one of the most terrifying symptoms you may feel while battling an illness. It is often the sign of the brain not getting enough oxygen, which results in fainting or near fainting. The tunnel vision, cold sweat and temporary paralysis can leave emotional scars. Syncope often hits suddenly and quickly, and leaves us in fear of leaving our safe spaces.

My goal as your health coach is to improve your quality of life with your illness by providing you with the right information for your bio individuality and your diagnosis. Syncope can appear differently in people but it does have a basic outline:

+a sudden loss or near loss of vision, strength in the body and ability to talk

+clamminess or a cold sweat

+pins and needle feeling in limbs or even the entire body

 

Other symptoms can present as well but these are the three usual symptoms.

If syncope or near syncope keeps rearing it’s ugly head at you, scope out this checklist and see if you can narrow in on the possible trigger. Then, email me for a consult and find out how to eliminate this issue for good! Knowing your trigger(s) is key in order to fix it. I find that doctors don’t talk often about this issue (“panic attack” anyone?) and this issue is a very common goal I work on with my clients.

possible near syncope triggers::

+as a pain response to any type of physical or emotional event (you may feel other adrenaline related symptoms if this is the case)

+hypoglycemia or ingestation of too much sugar. Balance that blood sugar!!

+DEHYDRATION. Your kidneys balance your body’s overall mineral levels. If you are chronically ill, you are in a constant state of mineral depletion. Make sure to drink your fluids and to include the proper electrolytes and minerals with them!

+a sudden change in blood volume. Were you constipated for several days and finally able to move your bowels? Did you have eat a large meal quickly? Experience loose stools or diarrhea in the past couple of days? Chug a ton of liquids? All of these events are known to trigger syncope episodes within 48 hours of happening. (fun fact:: this is the most common cause of POTS symptoms!)

+heat intolerance, too much sweating — even hours after coming inside.

+not exhaling as you change positions, allowing gravity to suck the oxygen out of your brain too quickly. Make this a habit!

I’ve had numerous syncope episodes during my years of Lyme disease and the POTS life. All of this info was gathered from my personal experience and the education of my doctors. I love teaching on this topic because the truth it, it is actually quite easy to correct this issue, but the process looks different for everyone. I encourage you to get in touch and schedule an intensive with me to come up with a plan of action for you, especially if you have POTS!

Hope this helped! Leave your comments and questions below!

 

 

 

fatigue :: the patient’s survival guide

Fatigue.

Glorious, crushing fatigue. The kind where your eyes burn around the clock, you feel like you’re floating away, and your legs are too heavy to lift to take the next step. I remember this feeling well. To decode fatigue and why you are experiencing it, it’s important to cover the 3 cornerstones of chronic illness.

 

1. Are you detoxing? — This is an area that people think they can avoid. If you have been a client of mine, you know I address this in our very first session together. It is too important to ignore! We take in toxins every day through our air, skin and mouth. But what about the toxins produced from fermenting food in our gut? The ammonia levels in our brains? The imbalance hormones whose levels sky rocket? All of this HAS to come out. If you don’t have a regular detoxing practice that address all THREE areas of the body (blood, lymph, gut/brain) then don’t bother to read further. (Tough love. As your coach, I won’t apologize for telling you the truth.)

Our body gets weighed down from exerting energy swirling those toxins around from place to place inside of us– how else can you expect it to have energy to do things like digest your food, sleep well or tolerate exercise? You can’t.

 

2. What is the air quality around you like? — Check your oxygen levels. Are you breathing properly, from your belly and diaphragm? Treating your asthma and allergies with natural options as they occur? Staying clear of dust, mold and other microbials? What about internally? Is your brain getting enough oxygen? Are you producing mycotoxins inside? If you don’t know, talk with your chronic illness doctor right away, or email me!

 

3. What are you eating? — Listen, I love you, but give up the gluten and sugar. Please. If you want the ability to live a little more normally, to have a better quality of life, you need to feed your body what it needs, not what you want. There is time for that later. Digestion takes up an enormous amount of energy, especially if it’s processed food you are ingesting. Alleviate that stress (and therefore inflammation creation!) by going back to the basics: no sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten. No eating the things you know you are intolerant of but want anyway. No excuses.

Anything you do, say (yes!), or eat has the ability to create inflammation within you. If fatigue is ruining your days, start analyzing your inflammation levels with the help of a qualified health coach or provider and take the steps needed to bring those down. You should experience an energy surge within a few days if you are doing it right.

—————–

Still exhausted? It could be several things. Shoot me an email and we’ll get to the bottom of it.

the patient’s survival guide to:: dizziness

Dizziness can be one of the most frustrating symptoms you will ever experience as a chronically ill person. It can often be one of the first signs of illness to show up—and last to leave. Did you know that there are several types of dizziness? All of them originate from different parts of the body; brain, vestibular system, kidneys for instance. Being able to decode what type you are experiencing can help you figure out what to do to minimize or get rid of it.

Most people are familiar with the rocking, lightheaded sensation of being dizzy. Vertigo also has a few different types. But what about when dizziness comes with inner pressure or a splitting pain in your head? This list was created for those who have already ruled out the normal causes of dizziness, such as an inner ear imbalance or infection, or the crystals inside winding up outside of their vestibular curve. If an Epley maneuver just isn’t doing the trick for you, try some of the suggestions below.

———————

-Basil essential oil around the outside of each ear. Reapply every few hours as necessary.

-Frankincense essential oil under the tongue. Can repeat every 20 minutes and combine with the above remedy.

-Is your blood pressure lower than normal for you? Raise it! Slowly and steadily sip on cold water with a pinch of real salt (not table salt!) in it for every 8 ounces to replace lost minerals and electrolytes. Dizziness can often be the result of a kidney imbalance. The answer to any kidney stress is fluids: but what you put in those fluids can make all the difference in the world!

-Get cool. Shed some layers, open a window, put some ice under your tongue.

-Try a chiropractor adjustment. Pinch each earlobe between your pointer finger and thumb and pull up sharply into a J motion, starting from the bottom of the letter, upwards. Youtube has several videos on ear self adjustments for better direction.

-If the spinning sensation is particularly intense and worsens with even a slight movement of your head, look up vestibular migraines. These are different than regular migraines. They feel like a combination of severe dizziness AND vertigo AND a migraine. There are several triggers for those excruciating events and they are more common among the chronically ill because of our knack to be unable to retain minerals. Incorporating a lot of fish into our diets and supplements can also be a trigger, as well as sudden weather patterns. If you think you may be having one, the above remedies will still help. You may want to talk with your doctor about medication options if they occur often despite your avoiding all of the known triggers.

 

Still not finding relief? Get an autonomic and vestibular workup. This is a series of neurological tests that will help you find the root cause of your dizziness. Rule out BPPV vertigo or a viral infection. Make sure you know and understand all of your medications and supplements and any contraindications among them. Drink drink drink!

Often times, physical therapy (yes, you heard right!) is all that is needed to correct the imbalances that occur structurally when dizziness is a chronic symptom. It is well worth the effort to follow through on anything your doctor or therapist prescribe here—less kidney stress, more overall balance in the body!

As always, use your best wisdom and talk with your doctor between attempting any of these suggestions. Ask all your questions and understand each answer before trying something new.** 

 

 

Have questions? Post them in the free Facebook group for me and over 100 other individuals to answer. You never know what you may learn!

 

review:: the bowen therapy

For several weeks now, I have been trying a few new therapies to see if I could help my body in a new way. As you all know, I believe that true healing from a chronic illness happens when you are willing to work with your emotions and past baggage, not only the physical side of things. Because of that belief, my treatment plan has always looked different than most. Last week, I had my first (and definitely not last!) Bowen Therapy session and I have to say, I am hooked!

The Bowen Therapy is a touch based method, using the skin rolling technique at certain acupressure and meridian points around your body to stimulate increased blood flow and therefore, oxygen, in your connective tissues and nerves. This creates healing in the places we can’t often reach with IV therapies or other common healing methods. You lay on a massage table in comfortable clothes and simply enjoy. The touch is very gentle and the therapists focus on certain parts of your body, while giving you a timed break between each area. This pause allows the blood to flow to the newly relaxed area and start the healing. The therapist will repeat this process until every part of your body has been worked on; it usually is an hour long session.

During my time, I was amazed at how deeply relaxed I became. I immediately felt like I was breathing easier and overall was very peaceful and calm. I was able to truly zone out and relax for the session- a break I needed!

As warned by my therapist, I did feel very sore as the next 24 hours passed. I also was FREEZING cold. I shivered for several hours afterwards but a sweater took care of most of it. I knew I was releasing toxins and wasn’t worried. I made sure to drink a lot of water and rest for the rest of the day.

Over the next couple of days, I felt the tension wearing off. I still felt relaxed, finally caught up on sleep (!!) and even released some pent up emotions with a gentle good cry. I was constantly amazed as the days went on how GOOD I felt. The effects of a session can last up to 7 days which is fascinating. My sleep, mood and energy stayed high the entire week. Amazing! I highly recommend checking out a Bowen therapy session if you’re looking for a hands on, gentle physical and emotional release therapy. I can’t wait for my next one!

 

Have you tried Bowen before? What was your experience like?

blood sugar- one of the worst mistakes you can make

My health finally took a change for the better with one simple change three years ago. After 9 months of postpartum chaos, I invested in a health coach who specialized in hormonal health. Within 3 days of our first session and her initial suggestions, I was feeling better. Within two weeks, I knew I was finally getting better.

What was the change?

Getting control of my blood sugar roller coaster. Friends, please don’t overlook this important piece to the puzzle. It may seem unimportant– when really, it has the power to literally pivot your healing direction. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it!

Most people know that disease is caused by inflammation, but they don’t understand how inflammation gets created in their bodies. Stress, lack of sleep and food all play a crucial role. You can control your inflammation each day with the food and supplements you put into your body, thus lowering the stress your body goes through each day by trying to absorb what you eat. This plays a direct role on how well your kidneys, liver and brain can function throughout the day – which has an indisputable impact on your daily symptoms! Managing stress and sleep can be tougher, so for the sake of this blog post, I am going to focus on food.

When I hired my coach, I was still nursing and pumping for my son. Every day was spent being continuously hungry. I was also anemic- which has been linked to milk production, so I spent any free time I had making sure to take care of myself so that I could produce as much as I could. When I was short on time, sleep and energy, I resorted to eating a lot of oatmeal, Cheetos and brownies. Which was often. CRINGE!

The first time I changed was the timing of my food. I started eating smaller meals, more often and still do to this day. This helped me feel less frazzled and crabby in the mornings, especially since Liam was not a good sleeper. I, however, started being able to sleep better by adding the right kind of a bedtime snack. (Don’t knock it, it is actually what some chronic illness patients need!)

Next, I changed the food itself. I ditched the typical American sugar and carb based breakfast completely. Greens, sweet potato and a lean protein became my norm. It may be strange for some to think of, but a dinner type breakfast is what sent my energy soaring and got me feeling like my normal self again. I would prep everything ahead of time and portion out the amounts that morning. My milk production soared, the baby weight disappeared and the intense brain fog? Gone in just 3 days. I felt like a completely different person!

I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get sugar out of your diet. That bagel? Those cocktails? Get rid of them. As soon as they enter your body, they are turned to sugar, which feeds all kinds of microbes and candida and leaves you feel uncomfortable and symptomatic. If you struggle with digestive issues, headaches, mood swings,  shakiness, dizziness- make sure to look at WHAT you are eating, not just WHEN you are eating. Be sure that how you combine your food isn’t sending your blood sugar soaring suddenly. If you are experiencing cravings, dig deeper to find out what your body really needs when it’s saying to grab that chocolate bar. Cut out the junk, or quit expecting to get better. If you don’t clean up your diet, you won’t heal to the ability that is possible. Tough love, but truth.

The last thing my coach taught me in our time together was so invaluable. She showed me how to feed my individual organs. People, it isn’t about filling up your stomach and dashing off to the next activity. It’s about nourishing yourself. Find where you need more support and eat accordingly. Food is powerful! If you are living with an invisible illness, chances are your blood sugar could use some help. Blood sugar spikes and their impact on cortisol, gut health and brain chemistry is too important to ignore.

 

Not sure if blood sugar swings are a part of your health? Email me and let’s talk about it. I’m sure there are a few tweaks we can make to get you feeling better.

the biggest lessons i’ve learned from lyme disease

It’s been a little over a year now since I found out that Lyme disease was likely the root cause of my autoimmunity and chronic illness. At that time, I had already worked with a few clients who had Lyme and their stories were resonating with me in a deep way. Though I was already experiencing major strides in healing and living a relatively “normal” life, I always wondered if I would find out what had been the reason why I suddenly became so sick nearly 8 years ago. You can read more of my story in past posts, but for today, I wanted to share three of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since finally getting my diagnosis.

 

 

  1. Don’t judge. Please.

Don’t look at someone and think “They look fine, therefore they are making it all up.” People with cancer look fine. People with a prosthesis or in a wheelchair can look fine. The point of invisible illness is that it is INVISIBLE. Below the surface, under our skin. EVERYONE is waging a war you don’t know about. Yours may be something different, but don’t look at someone and automatically assume that they can’t be sick because they “don’t act like it.” In truth, someone with a chronic illness is trying VERY VERY hard, to be seen as “normal” or “looking good.” Trust me on this!

 

  1. Don’t over identify with your diagnosis.

This can be extremely difficult for a newly diagnosed patient to handle. At first, they want to immerse themselves in the community, learn all they can, connect with others like them. It is HARD to resist finally being heard and validated by others living and feeling just like you.

Be careful that your disease doesn’t take you over. Your conversations, your social circle, your daily activities should be a healthy mix of people and things that encompass a variety of areas. If all you are talking about is your diagnosis and how it makes you feel, you are likely to experience even more loss in your life from those who don’t or can’t understand, as well as opportunities for jobs, travel, new friends. Be careful to keep your mental game strong and your emotions felt and processed in healthy ways.

Also, be willing and open to LIFE! As best as you are able, don’t let your diagnosis get in the way of joy and pleasure. This is a big part of focus in my 1:1 coaching program. It may take some creativity, but I promise you can be sick and still find hope, peace and love in the midst of the healing journey.

 

  1. There isn’t a quick fix.

This was the hardest lesson for me to learn. In the year since my doctors validated and agreed to test for Lyme, I have explored just about every treatment option out there. I’m a rip off the bandaid girl- I’ll jump right into the hard work if it guarantees a quick result! But chronic illness is exactly that- chronic. It took years to get to my worst and it will take years to recover from that. No matter how fast I want to push, that is the opposite of what will truly heal me. Healing needs to be felt.

My inner circle knows when it’s time to gently dial me back and refocus on all of the tools I ALREADY have at my disposal, instead of wasting time, energy and resources on the next big thing. I’m not perfect, (I got caught up in this pattern just yesterday) but I’m way ahead of where I used to be five years ago.

This is where a solid gratitude practice, prayer and mindfulness comes into play for me. Whenever I get caught up in the next “fix” for me, it signals that it is time to get back to basics. Zoom out. Refocus. Remember how far I have already come.

I am already the healthiest I have ever been, BECAUSE of Lyme disease and the growth it has propelled me into.

 

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I’m curious to hear your thoughts- what was your biggest lesson learned from your chronic illness? Comment below or send me an email!

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FACING THE FEAR:: what if i never get better?

 

let me ask you this- what if you do?

fear comes in many forms, usually as a result of an insecurity. i say this all the time to my tribe- fear is the result of a lack of trust in ourselves to escape a situation unchanged.

we love and crave what is familiar, what is known. there is nothing wrong with that. but if we truly want to get better, that means stepping outside of that familiarity zone and trying something different in order to experience a breakthrough on our healing and begin to feel better.

that’s where my mantra comes from: courage first—then conquer.

how? do all you can to access your courage. we all have it within us, no matter how deep down it may be buried. set yourself up for success. raise your mindset. believe you will get better.

then, take that baby step. then the next and the next. all the way gathering information, gauging how you feel and staying open to the possibilities. in this way, you can not fail. you can only learn. and the more knowledge you have, the better you understand yourself, your body and your diagnosis, which helps you narrow down on what direction to go in next.

no matter what you have NOT tried it all. there is ALWAYS another way.

so, my dear, what if you DO get better? even just a little bit. is it not worth it? is this not YOUR life?

this is the last in our facing the fear blog post series. what did you learn? what are you going to begin to implement? as always, i am here for you if you need it. send me an email and i’ll respond within 48 hours.

courage courage courage,

lisa