Jul 16, 2013

REVIEW: My Health and Where to From Here

Its been a while since I posted about how my health has been, as last year I took you all through my journey of getting off raw foods, healing adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, and all the way continuing to heal my skin. Well in amongst all that I also always had gut issues, but have to say, the majority of my time on raw food I had none. It was only towards the end of my 100% raw days (after which my body had sufficiently detoxed and cleansed and was over due for rebuilding, and thus going down hill - fast - in my opinion; in hindsight) that my gut started playing up again. I say again, because it all began in primary school when I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Since I lasted posted about my fatigue and how I was feeling, I have had 2 months off to rest in Thailand, and continue trying new things to get my body back to where it functions optimally. I've just begun seeing a new Naturopath that I work with here in Cairns and now have a new plan to follow; hopefully healing my gut issues once and for all, beginning the cascade effect to heal the rest.

We're beginning with the gut as that's where all my issues stem from. Beginning with a few diet changes and supplements, we're going to heal the gut lining. Then we can reintroduce the good bacteria. Then do a parasite cleanse, a candida cleanse, and with other supplements continue to seal and heal, restoring my gut to its former glory. You might see it strange as this is in part what I have always been doing which is true. But I've been missing small pieces to my puzzle and in forever learning more and trying more, not everything that sounds miraculous is miraculous. And as I've learnt, some wonder changes for some are useless (or worse) for others.

Once I've healed my gut (which could take who knows how long), my liver will next on the list - poor guy isn't working optimally so detoxification and hormone issues are getting muddled up or not getting done. Both my gut and liver issues will also impact my adrenals and thyroid; both of which have been under functioning quite severely. Once we've done that, my skin, nervous system and adrenals are to follow.

My Diet Changes -

+ Vegetables are my staple; mainly cooked ones as these seem to settle in my tummy better, but a salad each day is still a vibrant, alive mix of colour and life, and they are also becoming easier to digest.

+ Loving organic ghee!
Oof it costs a bomb in comparison to organic butter but the taste is out of this world! And it's been used in Ayruvedic medicine for both gut and skin issues forever. Purely Twins (who were one of my Sisters interviews here) also enjoy ghee to heal their gut and skin issues. I always use this to cook with, and love a spoonful ontop of hot veggies as well.

+ Eating red meat, chicken, and seafood, as well as getting back on my bone broth.
This may surprise a few of you as I haven't mentioned this on my blog before. From my Hair Mineral Analysis, my body needed protein. And more zinc, less copper (which means animal foods). Specifically animal protein. But my stomach acid wasn't ready for it so we had to look at that at the same time (see Supplements below). Fish is my preferred animal protein food and I eat tuna or salmon most days. Chicken and red meat might be seen on my plate once a week; twice tops, sometimes never. Partly due to my body not needing it every day, and partly due to me not knowing how to cook it (vego here for 15 years). I feel great drinking bone broth and this is easier for my tummy than meat anyway. But when I do eat chicken or red meat, I seem to have no digestive upsets (bloating, cramps, wind, etc) and I feel better the following day. Yes the whole meat thing was initially hard to look at, but as I felt my body was becoming more open to trying meat again, it seemed less and less daunting, almost easy. There were still tears, and me having to look at the reasons I was choosing to do this, but so far I'm doing ok.

+ No more fermented foods;
I'm not gonna lie. This has upset me. Kombucha is my favourite thing in the world, and B's saurekraut is pretty darn good too. Fermented foods are great for gut health, but in my case, my gut is so wounded and sore that it first needs to be patched up before any happy friends can come and play.

+ Superfoods more;
I went through a period where I wasn't really feeling like any of these, and through Thailand I only took a green powder blend. But more recently I'm loving acai in particular, but also maca, lucuma, and spirulina. Acai and spirulina give me the most energy and clarity in my head. Maca seems to calm me and make me feel settled.

My Supplement Changes -

For the past few months I have been taking:

+ 2012 Probiotic
+ Vitamin C liquid
+ Glutathione liquid
+ Digestive enzymes + gentian root + HCl

On seeing my Naturopath up here in Cairns, these have all been put on hold. I've got different enzymes as the ones I was taking were not helping my gut. And the vitamin C and glutathione liquids are probably going in one end and out the other as my gut lining is not doing it's job, so we'll save them for later.
In the meantime I am now taking these guys:

+ Apple cider vinegar;
taken before meals to stimulate production of stomach acid (which is pretty much non-existant in me) and get my digestion going - it's working wonders!
+ Digestive enzymes;
taken with meals - again; wonderful!
+ Nettle tea;
3 cups every day to nourish from top to toe - I find I crave this
+ Liquid herbal mix;
to support my nervous system. This isn't the main focus right now but as my body is running on empty, we needed to start with this as well, but will dive in deeper with my nervous system down the track after Ive healed my gut - horrible as most liquid herbs but I know they are doing me well

Other Changes -

+ Regular lymphatic drainage facials; I've just started doing this again, and I'm only going once a month, maybe twice, for financial reasons. If I could I'd be there every week. It makes a huge difference to my skin.

+ Self love practices; facials, yoga, reading in bed, meditation, body brushing, cafe + book dates, girlfriend catch ups, travel to see family and friends. These all nourish my soul, my body, my mind, my spirit. I feel rested and relaxed when I do these, and more recently I have felt, seen and noticed the difference in my moods, energy levels, and self love when I do or do not do these. Much happier Christie when I do :)

+ Not exercising; this has probably been the hardest to come to terms with and to be honest I only really did last week after reading a blog post by Amanda Daley here. Always an exercise fan (runner, netball, rowing, weights classes, cardio classes, bike riding, yoga, pilates), I've still tried to do something active everyday. At least a walk you know? Well I can now see why sometimes a walk is even too much for me. From my place to the end of our street is about 200 metres, and on some occasions, I'm wrecked after doing that. On other days, I have felt super strong and powerful and decided to go for a run - and felt amazing afterwards (endorphins right?), only to be wiped out for the rest of the week. And then beating myself up and being quite upset that I still don't have enough yet energy to do yoga or go for a walk everyday. I'm coming to terms with it's ok to not exercise. For now. Until whenever feels right. We all do it as we believe we need too for our health. But do we really? I'm not saying yes or no. But I am saying that if a 10 minute slow walk wipes me out, perhaps I shouldn't be doing it.

+ Yoga; I wish I could do a daily practice but my body and it's energy levels are so up and down I struggle with consistency. Some days I'll do 45 minutes, but some days it's none. When I can manage it though, I love it, my body loves it, and I walk off my mat centred, energised, happier and feeling lighter on my toes.

+ Gratitude journalling; I try to do this every evening but let's face it, I don't always. When I do though I am filled with gratitude (obviously) but also joy and happiness looking back at all the wonderful things I am blessed to have in my life and it does light me up.

+ Coaching calls working on my "mean girl" ego, my fears, beliefs and more. I'm still working through them all bit by bit and it's bloody hard at times but it's all worth it. So I've been told ;)

+ No more coffee enemas; potentially; I'm still debating this one. For all things liver it's been going great guns, and I have to say since stopping these last week, there have been more than one occasion I have felt a little nauseous, and I'm putting it down to my liver trying to clean up everything else going on, and perhaps it's not performing at it's best. That's my instinct and it does make logical sense - in my case. I've had my current naturopath tell me that the coffee will be aggravating my bowels. Ok. So I stopped. But the nausea. I spoke to my lecturer (who has been in natural health for over 50years) and she disagrees - in my case. As does my naturopath in Sydney. Please note this is not a blanket statement. There is definitely times/people/cases where coffee enemas WILL aggravate your bowel. This is just another conflicting theory that I've got to sort out myself... unless you know more than me and can shoot me some info, I'm all ears :)

How I am feeling

+ More energy; generally speaking. Today; not. Some days plenty more, other days I feel like I've gone backwards. Two steps forward one step back right? But to rate my average energy out of 10... I'd say a 5.5. Maybe a 6.

+ Clearer skin; I'm so happier that I can actually see clearer skin. However this week one side of my face has been less than pretty. I'm wondering whether this is part of my healing crisis (will speak more on this next week), a monthly stage of elimination, or something else not being so happy. Having said that, on the whole, it's better. I do have very healthy beautiful vibrant skin in, under, and around my acne which I put down to my lifestyle. It's just the acne I have to let go of.
So be it from lymphatic drainage facials, exfoliation, coffee enemas I was doing (not anymore), green juices, vitamins, things starting to work better again, more self love and believing that I can have clear skin... who knows! It's clearer and that's all that matters :)

+ I feel like I'm functioning! Having said that I've had super whacked out week and could've said I'm totally not functioning and I've turned into a crazy person. So maybe again, two steps forward, one step back.

+ Sleeping better; I never set my alarm anymore unless I've got work that day. So if I need extra sleep I get it. Some days I plonk myself in bed late arvo for a half hour snooze if I'm feeling like keeling over and these also make a huge difference. I have also been feeling more well rested on the whole (although not this past week); I always slept well (sometimes 10hrs a night at my worst) but still woke up feeling like I crawl back into bed. Less and less like this which feels awesome!

+ Digesting foods way better; way less bloating, next to no cramping pain, regular bowel movements... This is HUGE for me and I've had this on and off since I was 7yrs old. I cannot explain the joy from eating a meal and not getting bloated. Wow. Wow Wow Wow!


If anything this has all taught me how adrenal fatigue is way more complicated than we all think, can be brought upon by some many different factors (or a whopper combination) and that recovery is slow and steady. Really slow and steady. But if I mess things up now, I'll only go backwards. And no doubt much faster than I initially did. At times, for sure without a doubt it can feel like the hardest thing ever - having no motivation, energy, get-up-and-go, oomf, or burst of joy filled happiness like I used to feel everyday. The restoration process is different for everyone; routine has to go out the window for some, for others they need it. And ever facet of healing is the same.

So next time I'm feeling like superwoman I'm going to high five my angels and thank everyone around me for being so wonderful. And perhaps go get a sh*tload of blogging done instead of believing a run will do me good.

Christie xx

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