Posts

mistakes i see people make:: real food, real progress

This is the final in a three part series. Read the first two posts here and here

 

When I first thought of the idea for this series, I was hesitant to post it. I didn’t want to be sending anyone into a tailspin and making them questions themselves. Then I realized, that is my job. I’m a coach. It’s my responsibility to point out inconsistencies and challenge the thought patterns of my clients. It is also my position as a leader that makes it required for me to share these with my audience, client or not. When you read today’s post, as with the two before, please keep an open mind and be willing to hear.

The final biggest mistake I see people make every day is: not being willing to change what you are eating.

Food is fuel. It is that simple. What enters your body is what feeds your body—or your disease. That is a fact. If you are a science led person but are still having the sugar, the alcohol, the gluten, you can’t complain about how awful you are feeling each day. You just can’t.

I recently got a question via Instagram from someone asking for my recommendation of a greens based powder. They laughed and labeled themselves as picky and said they didn’t want to “eat rabbit food” each day. I told her the truth- that there is no powder I recommend over simply starting slow and incorporating more greens into your meals.

Tribe, listen up. I love you but you have to realize that NO man made product will take the place of a vegetable on your plate. None. (I do recognize that there are some reading this who survive from a feeding tube and liquids only diets; this person was not one of them.) Stop relying on drinks or pills packed with additives and fillers, labeled as “sports nutrition” to help you heal. Quit buying cans of protein powder and think you’ve checked the box. Your body deserves better than that.

Those who are chronically ill have a severe mineral deficiency. A body that is worn down and depleted looks for food it is programmed to break down organically—real food, from gardens and farms and fields. Not a shelf, package or can. It needs real vitamins, minerals and oxygen to repair. Orient each day’s food around these four NO’s:

-No alcohol

-No sugar

-No caffeine

-No gluten

If reading that makes you want to throw a fit, then check yourself. You say you are sick of feeling horrible day in and day out. You say you want to get better. If you can’t follow through on that desire by starting with your diet than buckle up. You aren’t going to see healing any time soon. Because I am committed to the truth, I have to tell you this. Like I talked about in the two posts in this series, your recovery is up to YOU. Everything is in your power to get better—ALL of it. Mindset, diet and protocol follow through are all up to you to execute. Not anyone else.

If reading that list confuses you, let’s talk. If you aren’t sure how those things impact your body then let me connect the dots for you. I am now taking 1:1 coaching clients for 2018. If education is what you need, then I am happy to teach. You deserve to get well.

 

What diet changes made the most impact on your healing? What did you think of this series?

mistakes people make:: the doctor’s job isn’t what you think

IT’S THE DOCTOR’S JOB TO HEAL ME– this is the second in a three part series on mistakes I see people make. Part one can be found here.

 

You most likely will not enjoy this post. Because I love you, I need to be honest with you. Too many people spend their days clouded in the turmoil of chronic illness but choose to waste their precious energy on things that do not get them any closer to healing. They talk for hours about the injustice of the medical system, how horrible their last appointment was and wish ill of those in the medical field. Today I am going to share a hard truth with you. Stick with me, I’m getting somewhere. Ready? Here it is:

It is not the doctor’s job to heal you.

That’s right. It’s not.

Doctors get a bad rap from most people who have been ill longterm. They are overworked individuals who are often run into the ground physically themselves. I believe that each of them went into healthcare truly wanting to help others. But what happens when they finish their first 4 years of medical school? They are told to choose a speciality and they spend the rest of their education learning only about that speciality.

Here is another hard truth: The entire body is connected.

Friends, we can not expect to go to a specialist and learn how all of our symptoms are tied together. If we have been sick for a while, our entire body is affected. Not just one system or area of our body. We can not expect to go to a one doctor, hear the diagnosis, get the cure, and then go on with life in one or two appointments. Did we go to only one school? No. We went to elementary, middle, then high school. Most of us went on to college. We picked a major and spent four years learning about that major. If I graduated with an English degree, don’t come to me with calculus questions- I probably won’t know the answer! It takes stages of learning to graduate with a degree. Likewise, it takes stages of healing for us to achieve full remission. This means it will likely take several care providers to walk the recovery road with us.

Some of us have found incredible practitioners who go above and beyond for us. These individuals make us feel cared for and help us find answers. The difference is US- we, the patients. Patients who are open to experimenting with different protocols, ready to make changes and stick with them, excited to learn, learn, learn—these are the patients who get better. Practitioners who are committed to their cases practice medicine in a different way than the ‘normal’ medical system, therefore, we have to be open to different ways of treating our diagnoses. When we trust our care provider, following their recommendations (and sticking to them!) is easier. When we start to see the results, it’s downright easy.

In my health coaching, I work with my clients to empower them to know how to read and learn from their doctors. I teach you specific language and actions that encourage your doctor to work with you, as an equal, not someone above you. We spend a lot of time on teaching you to read your body and knowing what to bring your doctor to help them make informed decisions for your care that bring results.

I want you all to know today, that you CAN get better. But it is YOUR job. Not your doctor’s.

Your doctor is there to help guide your ship. They know what they know- but they don’t know you. You know you. If you sit quietly during your appointments, don’t ask questions or give them feedback then chances are, you won’t make headway as fast as you could. If you stop listening to them once you are out of the office, you can’t expect them to be responsible for what does or does not happen afterwards.

I don’t believe doctors deserve the harshness that gets thrown their way from disappointed patients. Are some truly careless? Probably, as with any type of person. But let’s change the cycle and give them the benefit of the doubt. They are trying to help you. Our job is to give them as much solid information as possible to enable them to make the decisions that will most benefit us. To do that, we have to step away from the negativity and into our power. We have spend our energy on gathering information about our body’s state every day – that action is NEVER wasted.

Knowing when to trust your doctor’s judgement and when to trust your own is the biggest breakthrough you can make in your recovery. Ready to get that for yourself? I’m taking 1:1 clients for 2018. Email me today to schedule your free consultation call and we’ll see what we can make happen for you.

What do you think? Is it your doctor’s job to heal you?

what to do when you can’t do anything, part 2

I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for your own health. Even if you can’t afford treatment or if you haven’t been able to find a doctor yet, there are dozens of ways you can make strides in your recovery on your own. This is part two to the topic I first posted earlier this week here. I got some many great suggestions to add to the original list that I just had to share!

-Oxygenate your home by bringing in plenty of plants. Allow them to do what they do best and clean the air of toxins so that you are breathing in quality oxygen.

-Create a sanctuary in your bedroom. Allow only calming, soothing colors/textures/items in there. No screens, stress or drama allowed. Make it an instantly calming experience each time you walk in.

-Get outside. Nature walks, grounding/earthing, meditating in the breeze. Studies show that getting outside for 20 minutes a day or more has a healing effect on our bodies. Plus, the indoor air is much more toxic than outside- take a break and soak up some natural medicine outdoors!

-Affirm yourself. Making a consistent practice of journaling things you are grateful for and affirmations about your healing are a great way to rewire your brain and introduce higher vibrations into your frequency.

-Swap out all of your household cleaners, personal care products and cooking utensils for non toxic materials. Essential oils, silicone containers and white vinegar + baking soda make this an easier task than you think!

-Tap into your creativity. Painting, coloring, sculpture making, scrapbooking and crafting are all great ways to pass your time, but also to spark a fire in the underactive parts of your brain that slow down while being chronically ill. Making time for creative activities will always leave you feeling calmer, happier and more positive.

 

I hope you enjoyed this two part series! Still something that should be added? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

what to do when you can’t do anything

It never fails. I will wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and have at least one or two emails from followers who were up all night, overwhelmed with the feeling of “stuck.” They feel completely hopeless and limited by various circumstances and are convinced there is no way out of their chronic illness. When I dig deeper into their lives, I always find out that this is not true. There are always several things these people can be doing to help themselves that they weren’t able to see.

Here is what I want you to remember today::

 

No matter what roadblock you have in front of you, there is a way around, over or through it.

 

Today I am sharing some of the more practical things you can be doing at home, without the need of a care team, that will improve your health and pave the way for a remission. All of these are free or low cost and can be done from the comfort of your own home.

5. Dental hygiene. It seems common sense, but there are way too many people ignoring the care of their mouth. The first way disease enters our bodies is by what we put in our mouths. We need to be making more of an effort to be brushing and flushing. If you aren’t oil pulling already, start NOW. Also consider things like activated charcoal rinses (easy to make yourself in ten seconds) and dental probiotics to keep bacteria from growing and following those nerve pathways under each tooth into the rest of your body. (PS add bonus points for smiling often!)

4. MOVE! No excuses here, folks.  You MUST be active in some way for your lymph system to cleanse and flow and toxins to continue to be flushed out. Moving your legs especially, allows the lymph to thin, creating a better filter to catch the bad stuff. Can’t handle a 30 second dance party? Try a foam roller or resistance bands for slow, concentrated efforts. You can even google yoga routines in bed or talk with a physical therapist for options on how to move in a way your body can manage. This is crucial!

3. Juice/smoothies as snacks. It is appalling to me how many people request my help finding supplements that will replace them having to actually eat a vegetable. There is no replacement! If you are having time getting those greens in, then know your body is likely overly acidic, allowing disease to continue living. We need an alkaline inner environment and juicing or building a proper smoothie is an easy way to pack those nutrients in, in a way that still tastes good. Check out the Facebook group for more on this. 90% of people are doing it wrong!

2. Rest. Ignore the opinions of others and take that nap. Sleep in. Many of the chronically ill complain of less than quality sleep. Take this time now to incorporate a solid routine that allows you to rest when your body needs it. Even if you aren’t sleeping, listen to soothing music and allow your brain time away from any type of stimulation. This winding down allows the brain waves to even out, causing us to feel more relaxed and less stressed.

And lastly, invest in your face to face relationships. If you are feeling under supported, reach out and reconnect with those around you. If you are bedridden, ask them over to play a game or a cup of tea. If you are able to get out, pursue a hobby, attend a meetup group, try a new grocery store. Consider working as a freelancer on websites like Upwork.com. Small, short forays into the world are a great way to build up confidence in yourself and how far your body has come. Make it a point to reach out to someone each day and have a real conversation with them, even if only for a few minutes. This will make you feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment and can often raise your vibration to a higher level, allowing healing to occur within. Your illness does not stop you from being able to listen to them, give advice or laugh. Your diagnosis does not make you any less of a person– it only changes how you execute certain situations. I truly believe that.

 

Is there anything I should add to this list? What do you do to control your health when unable to afford a doctor’s help?

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!

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

dear weary warrior; what i’ve learned as a lyme disease patient

dear weary warrior,

i have been where you are right now. emotionally exhausted, body in pain, feeling like you are trying to see through eyes covered with ten layers of saran wrap. your brain is foggy and you aren’t sure what you are even thinking anymore. the road has already been long but seems to stretch out endlessly in front of you too.

i have been where you are right now. no plan, no hope, no help, no resources. it takes true courage to overcome the shadows each day. it takes a village and a toolbox to help you move forward. know that it is possible- if not today, then tomorrow. hold on to hope.

there are many things i have learned in my seven months since finally being diagnosed with lyme disease and several coinfections after 7 years of being mysteriously sick. seven months may seem short to you, but it was a whole life time to me. the lessons i learned are ones i will never forget. the person i am today i am grateful to be.

these are three of the biggest themes i have been experiencing in my life since getting those positive test results:

  1. self care, self care, self care: if you are tired of hearing this, you don’t truly understand what it means. you aren’t practicing it daily and therefore, aren’t healing the way you have the potential to. taking care of myself first every day is what helps me build up a reserve for the next day. we never know what we will come up against physically- that is why it is so important to incorporate habits and attitudes that enable us to feel mentally strong and resilient. showing love to myself by taking care of my faith, heart/mind and body is the best way to build courage and strength to be ready for whatever may come my way in the future.
  2. don’t fall into the label. MANY people are so relieved at finally getting a diagnosis, that it becomes all they can identify with. they spend all their time and energy talking to others who share the same symptoms and fail to work on building their way out of the hole- through relationships, hobbies and future goal setting. it’s ok to need to relate to others who truly understand sometimes. but don’t slap the label of LYME or something else over your entire life. you can have the tshirt, bumper sticker and fb friends– but are you nurturing those standing around you right now? are you finding ways to integrate back into the “real” world as you improve? have you found a purpose or an inspiration that lights your soul on fire and brings you renewed strength and energy? all of these are important.
    physical dis-ease is the last stop on the train. there are layers of factors that get piled up before our body begins to break down on the cellular level that lets disease take over. you should be spending AS MUCH OR MORE time addressing your emotional and mental health in form of removing negative thought patterns, limiting beliefs and trauma effects as you do taking care of yourself physically. the subconscious mind holds this load– and it is through alleviating that stress that we can being to experience true health.
  3. BREATHE. even when it feels endless, even when you truly believe the next time you close your eyes will be the last, IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. morning always follows night. always. remember, courage first, then conquer. pray for safe people. pray for clarity on the path forward. pray for real, quality sleep. pray for revelations of where you are stuck. pray, pray, pray. voicing our struggles out loud allows the brain to get unstuck from it’s negative thought loop. in releasing the negatiev thought, you allow space for a new pattern to be created. one you control, one that is positive, one that is uplifting. one that can drive you forward.

i say all of this in love. my journey is not over yet and neither is yours. but if we can approach our illness as a curious journey to be explored, i truly believe the possibilities are endless, the potential is limitless, the opportunity is great. of course, those are just my thoughts. i would love to hear yours: what do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned through your chronic illness? comment  below or shoot me an email.

 

how to have a successful ER trip with a chronic illness

knowing the appropriate time to go to the ER and seek additional help while having a chronic health issues is one of the most frustrating issues i see when talking with my clients. it can be overwhelming, scary and unfortunately- a waste of time and resources. i put together this list after my last ER trip because none of my ER trips have been a negative experience for me thank God; they have ALWAYS revealed more information or underlying issues i didn’t know i was experiencing. i want everyone to feel the same way so here are my tips. let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

how to have a successful er trip

1. know when its time to go. this piece is all about tracking and knowing what is a bad day, a flare or an emergency.
2. go in with the right mindset-i am gathering information. i am getting extra help.
3. pack right– be prepared for a long stay right off the bat.
4. listen to the doctors like you’d want them to listen to you. consider everything even if you don’t think its relevant. it may be– after you leave the ER. ask for their thoughts then respectfully bring up your concerns and questions after they have finished.
5. bring your notes!
6. treat the nurse/staff well. they are the ones who advocate for you. connect with them, ask questions and keep them informed. don’t make them do the guesswork. for example, my last ER trip resulted in an overnight stay. while waiting for my room assignment, i realized i had forgotten to take my newly prescribed thyroid medication in all the chaos of the day. i told the nurse and she asked if i would like them to run a TSH test to rule out any thyroid hyperactivity since the medication was recently started. we did and the test resulted in showing us an underlying issue that could have grown much worse if not caught.
7 don’t be the hero, thinking you will just continue to suffer in silence. (this is my weak area!) but also know when to let go. let them do their job– which is to rule out emergency or life threatening situations. you may feel completely and totally awful, but if their tests don’t indicate your life is at risk- then they have done their job. it is the reality of the healthcare system and it is not their fault. ask for a copy of your chart before leaving and make sure you understand the diagnosis, when to come back and what a worsening of your current symptoms would look like. NEVER LEAVE WITHOUT BEING CLEAR ON THIS!
8 stop stressing about the price. investigate hospital help programs–after you are well. financial aid programs are not advertised but must exist in every hospital.

 

was this list helpful? did i forget something? post below to let me know!