I Can Not Eat Conventional Meat Anymore

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I can’t eat conventional meat anymore.

When I go to the grocery store I no longer go to the meat section and pick out some ground meat or chicken breast and especially not pork cutlets.  I just can no longer bring myself to buying what the majority of people are buying and living off of.  I can’t in good faith feed my family what most people feed their families.

I am not a vegetarian either.

However, I once was.  The 14 year old version of me fell privy to internet videos showing the cruelty and unethical treatments of animals supposedly fit for human consumption.  At that age I woke up and decided that I could not actively take part in eating meat anymore.  And I didn’t for 4 years.  For health reasons I began eating meat again.  I turned a blind eye to the truth because I thought it was the only way to get back the strength that I had lost in my muscles.  It was either my survival, or their’s.  Or so I thought at the time.

Something happened.  About a decade later I had a second awakening.  Once again, I could not go on ignoring the truth anymore.  But this time, I found a better solution.  A solution through education.  A solution that enables all living creatures to thrive.  That is, buying meat from local, ethical, and organic sources.

When you make the choice to start consuming ethically raised meats you are creating a ripple effect.
The one good deed goes on to become many.  For example, if you go straight to the farm to purchase, let’s say, a chicken, you are directly helping the farmer.  The farmer can then feed their own family.  The farmer can afford to raise more chickens on green pastures. This in turn means more chickens get the chance to feel the sun on their beaks and the grass on their feet as oppose to never being able to do that at all.

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I had he pleasure of visiting 3 farms this past summer where animals were being raised for consumption.  I got to see firsthand the happy pigs in the dirt, the cows frolicking across the huge pastures and the chickens hanging out wherever they please.  All three farms also had farm stores where you could purchase exactly what you just saw in the fields.  All three farms are within 45 minutes of the GTA by the way.

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Wild and Organic Meats from Morden’s!

These are the types of places that I like to go to and stock up for the week or month or even longer if buying frozen goods.  It just feels good.

The price no longer is an issue for me.  It was at first when I started buying organic meat.  It seemed to be a huge difference.  But this is life that we are talking about.  Can you put a price tag on your own life?  How would you feel if you were being sold for way less than what you are worth?

Let’s talk Guilt.  

How many people associate feelings of guilt with their food?  I think many do.  There was a survey done where a bunch of american’s were asked the first thought that comes into their head when they hear “chocolate cake”. The answer was: Guilt.  The same question was posed to people from France and their response: Celebration.

Food, whether healthy or not, can not do us any good if it is making us feel bad emotionally.  And food is totally emotional.  We eat when we’re happy, we eat when we’re sad, we eat when we’re bored, we eat because we can, and sometimes we even eat because we’re actually hungry.

The guilt is gone.  When you support local farmers who support ethical farming practices that give back to the soil so that we have something to leave behind when we’re gone, you just feel good about what you are eating always.  Whether it be beets or bacon, healthy or not, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is the ripple effect.

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Happy piglets sneaking off to chase the cows!

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There is this concept I believe in fully and that can be termed “molecules of emotion”.  All living organisms are made up of cells.  Cells hold within them the capacity to hold memories.  We think it is all in our heads, but in fact it is in every cell of our body.  If you do not believe me then think about anxiety.  Where do you feel anxiety?  In your whole body and especially in your gut.  Your body can shiver from fear, not just cold; it can sweat from shame, not just heat.  Your whole body reacts to emotions because it has the capacity to feel every emotion and to store it as memory.  Which is also why food can be equated to feelings.  Such as a specific meal you could have been eating when you got terrible news you would thereafter associate that particular food to that feeling.

The food that you eat becomes you.

Food gets broken down inside of you into tiny molecules that pass through your digestive tract and into your bloodstream.  From there these molecules get used to regenerate and remake the cells that make up every part of your entire body.

Now if an animal was tortured through out their tiny existence on this earth before you consumed it then each of it’s cells holds within it pain, torment, and unhappiness.  If an animal was able to frolic freely and was treated with love and kindness then their cells will carry within them that memory.  Which cells do you want to become your own?

We are all one.  We are all made up of the same elements.  Nothing in this universe is exempt from this. 

Perhaps the sooner people truly gain an understanding of this concept will be when the majority start caring about where their food is coming from and start caring about the lives they are affecting, including their own.  Because the problem is choosing ignorance.  Choosing to look the other way.  Is it fear that keeps us doing this?  The truth hurts.  But it hurts less to make the change.

So what do I do when I get invited over to a friend’s house for dinner or go out to a restaurant?  I do nothing.  I chose to be patient and accepting.  I do not throw my views in the faces of others.  I am not that person.  I make an exception to keep the peace and to enjoy life.  I want to enjoy good company and try new things.  My hope though, is that more people start eating consciously and that more restaurants make better choices.

I am not going to post the pictures of conventionally farmed animals.  I hate those scare tactics.  They make me sick to my stomach.  You can find that out for yourself and you can chose to see it for yourself.  I only want to show that the grass is actually greener on the other side because here, on this side, there actually is grass.

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Sunset over Meadow Sweet Farm with Clarence the mini Horse and the Cows

If you’re interested in learning more, check out these local farms: 

Everdale located outside of Caledon in Hillsburgh

Whole Circle Farm located in Acton

Meadow Sweet Farm located in Gormley just north of Markham

And  Morden’s Organic Farmstore located in Dundas and open all year round.

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How I Cured My B12 Deficiency

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20140905_102255About 4 years ago I was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency.  I found out I was deficient when I made what I referred to as an “emergency physical” at my doctor’s office.  My previous physical before this one was only about 8 months prior.  I knew something was not right.  I was beginning to get overly emotional often crying at the simplest discomfort or annoyance.  I was reasonable enough to know that I was not reacting normally and that my emotions were overruling my reason.  I was truly questioning my mental health and was worried that I may actually have to go back on anti-depressants/anxiety medication.  Mental Health is a topic dear to my heart and I will be focusing on that at another time, today I share how I become B12 efficient instead of deficient, a truly remarkable tale.

After that physical in June 2010 I got a phone call from the doctor’s office asking me to come in.  I was told that I had a B12 deficiency and that I would need to start taking injections regularly.  I had to go to the doctor’s weekly for the first month and during that month they taught me how to perform the injections on myself.  After that I started administering B12 injections into my thighs every 3-4 weeks.  I found that at 3 weeks I would start feeling my energy levels wavering so I became very dependent on these shots.  I asked the nurse how long I would have to give myself shots for?  Her answer, “Forever”.

When I first found out I was B12 deficient I began researching about this vitamin trying to understand how this deficiency occurred.  My doctor told me that “it just happens” but that was not a sufficient answer for me.  B12 became a buzz word for me.  Anything I could find about it I looked into, but it was not until I went back to school that I finally understood what might have went wrong.

I think there is not one factor that caused my deficiency, there are a few.  If anyone has a B12 deficiency and is reading this, my contributing factors may not be the same as yours but what I can do best, is to speak from my own personal journey and hope that some of my findings might help you with yours.

First of all, the vitamin B12 (cobalamin) cannot be made by the human body.  We need to get it from food sources.  It does not come from plant foods.  B12 can only come from animal sources.  Therefore vegetarians have a huge risk of developing B12 deficiencies.  In fact, if you are a vegan or vegetarian you must supplement with B12.

B12 can be found in fermented and macrobiotic foods however there is much debate on whether or not these sources can be utilized by our body.  Bacteria makes B12 and it can actually be made in our colon but it may not be able to be reabsorbed that late down the digestive river.  B12 is absorbed in the Ileum, which is the last part of our small intestine.  It is a long journey from mouth to ileum and things can go wrong along that journey.

B12 needs something called the Intrinsic Factor in order to be absorbed and utilized.  The Intrinsic Factor comes when there is sufficient Hydrochloric Acid (HCl, Stomach acid) in your stomach.  If you are not producing adequate levels of stomach acid than chances are you are also not making enough Intrinsic Factor.  The Intrinsic Factor binds to B12 in the stomach and goes with it down the river of the small intestine where it is absorbed in the Ileum.

These are the factors that contributed to my B12 deficiency:

I chose to become a vegetarian at the age of 14.  At this time I asked my doctor if there is anything I should do to make sure I stay healthy as a vegetarian and he said, “No, you should be fine.”  First mistake right there.  His answer should have been, “You must supplement with  B12 because you cannot get it from plant sources.”  I was not a well-educated vegetarian by any means.  My reasoning behind this lifestyle choice was because I was against the ways animals were being treated for our consumption and it caused me great pain and discomfort.  It never occurred to me that this choice I made at 14 was going to be the first factor as to how I became B12 deficient many years later.  You see, it takes many years to develop a B12 deficiency.

During my youth a was under a lot of stress.  Stress depletes stomach acid.  By the time I was 20 I had begun eating meat again but I believe that I did not have accurate levels of stomach acid at this time to properly utilize the B12 that I could have been getting from animal sources.  As well, I had gotten used to my bowel movements coming fast, quick and loose.  In other words, years of diarrhea (often from stress and anxiety) created malabsorption issues.

B12 is primarily stored in the liver (60%) as well as the muscles (30%).  I know that I had lost all my muscles do to not getting enough protein while vegetarian.  I had gotten to a point where I could not even do a push up anymore.  You can’t store B12 in muscles if you don’t have any to begin with.

Onto the liver connection.  The liver and gallbladder work symbiotically with the small intestine to secrete and re-absorb B12.  Anything that has your liver or gallbladder working over time could dismantle this function.  With this comes a major factor: Alcohol consumption.  When I was 25 I left an emotionally abusive relationship and began partying heavy on the weekends.  For a time, I found myself with terrible hangovers almost every weekend.  My hangovers lasted all day and included throwing up until all that was coming up was bile or stomach acid.  Not only did alcohol consumption contribute to the depletion of my stomach acid but it also depletes all B vitamins.  Speaking of B vitamin depletion, 10 years on Birth Control Pills is another factor as it depletes B’s as well as contributes to more stress on the liver.

These are all the reasons as to why I got diagnosed with a B12 deficiency at the age of 26.  And I must say, it feels good to have a how/why/when/what.  It feels empowering to find an answer.  Because within this answer I can share my story and hopefully prevent others from developing a deficiency.  All of these factors could have been avoided but if they were, I would not have learned so much.

Life is a journey and I have no choice but to be grateful for my slip ups because they brought me lessons that are worth sharing.

How I cured my B12 deficiency:

1.  I healed my gut with a digestive healing protocol (refer to my previous post).  This step fixed my malabsorption issues head on and I began having normal bowel movements.

2. I increased my digestion (steps on how to do that here).  As well, I did supplement with Betaine HCl for a bit to really increase my stomach acid.  *I do not suggest that anyone take Betaine HCl without the advice or guidance from a qualified practitioner. 

3. I made the choice to stop taking Birth Control Pills (BCP depletes B vitamins).  I supported this choice with something called seed cycling (or moon cycling) that I cannot wait to share in an upcoming post!

4.  I supported my liver and gallbladder by regularly eating foods (or nutrients) that will strengthen these vital organs.  Some foods include: Beets, dandelion greens, lemons, all leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and herbs like turmeric and milk thistle seed.  As well as lessening the load on my liver such as drinking less alcohol, eating more organic foods, and staying clear of toxins and chemicals (especially fragrances).

5. I started supplementing with good quality B Vitamins.  I take AOR’s B complex everyday as well as an additional oral B12 supplement from Natural Factors in the Methylcobalamin form.

There are 4 different types of B12 (that I am aware of) and I think if I wrote them out I would lose many readers!  The form that I was buying over the counter for 4 years is referred to as cyanacobalamin (the synthetic form) and at no point during that time did I ever learn of the other types.  I have found methylcobalamin to be a far more superior source because it is a converted version that is easier for the body to utilize.

If you are choosing to supplement (which I hope you are at least thinking about it after reading my post on soil depletion) than it is imperative that you are buying the right kinds of supplements.  First off, get out of shopper’s drug mart (or wal mart).  Those places may have “pharmacies” but lets face it, they also sell copious amounts of cheetos and coke.  Shopper’s drug mart has a wider selection of toxic fragrances than they do of vitamins.  Get out of shopper’s now it will do you more harm than good.  Good supplements can be found at health food stores such as S&H Foods and Nutrition House (both are found in almost any mall) as well as many other smaller and privately owed health food stores that are in every neighbourhood.  It  is not just about taking a supplement; it is about taking the right supplement for the right person at the right dose.

Now comes the most exciting part, the FACTS!!

Optimal B12 levels vary from country to country and change when populations change.  For example, when choosing what the optimal level should be the lab will take all the B12 levels at that lab and find the mean (or average) among them.  But there are a few things that are very wrong with this diagnostic.  For one, many people who go to doctors to get blood work done are already sick in the first place therefore the mean is found from possibly unhealthy blood.  Secondly, due to our environmental factors, many of us are already at a much lower B12 level than other places in the world.  So optimal B12 levels in Japan would not be the same in Canada.  Therefore we have lowered our standards for B12 levels and many people could be suffering because of this.  According to the article “B12 Importance” by Gabriel Cousens the optimal B12 level should not be less than 450 pg.  If you can get your lab results from your doctor you can read your levels for your self and make an informed decision on whether or not you can benefit from supplementing with B12.

I got my results in recently and they go something like this:

October 15, 2009 my B12 levels were at 191 (which was very low and was not caught by the doctor).

June 21, 2010 (the day of my “emergency physical” when I knew something was not right with me) my B12 level was at 133.  (Notice how much it dropped in only 8 months!)

October 31, 2011 (16 months of injections with B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin) my levels were at 319.

November 19, 2012 levels at 293.

So even with injections I was still less than optimal but this did not seem to alarm my MD in even the slightest.  

Finally, October 28, 2014 ——> B12 levels of 789!!!!  (I had stopped taking injections by February 2014)

I took a 2 year break from going to my doctors because I was focused on school and really did not have any free time.  As well, I really wanted to get down to the problem of my health issues before going back.  I wanted to return with results but I was scared of the reaction.  To my surprise my MD (medical doctor) was very supportive of how I was able to “fix” my issues through my studies in nutrition.

I have been able to do more for myself through education than my doctor has ever done for me but this does not mean I will stop seeing my MD.  I really believe that the alternative health community and the conventional health care practitioners can work together to provide a better quality of life.  The MD’s need proof, they need to see results and we need to appease their left brains.  Most importantly, OHIP does not cover alternative health care so for many of us we cannot financially afford to take another approach.  We need our MD’s because this is the society that we live in.  But I must admit, if I new what a Holistic Nutritionist was 5 years ago it would have been more than worth it to pay for this knowledge back then and see results than have to go through all the injections (and bi-weekly visits for my planter’s warts) for 5 years.

Instead I payed almost 100 times the cost of a protocol from a Holistic Nutritionist to learn it for myself in school.  And you know what, it was worth it.

Curing my B12 deficiency has been such an important job for me.  Inadequate levels of B12 can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and Parkinson’s disease (to name a few).  B12 is a vital nutrient that is necessary for energy production in every cell of our body as well as being an integral vitamin for our mental health.

It is critical to our health and longevity to make sure we are maintaining optimal levels of B12.  You can check your levels with a qualified doctor, make sure your digestion is not running sluggishly, support your liver, and eat good quality (free range, organic, wild) sources of animals or supplement with good quality supplements.

Health & Happiness for all ♥

8 Natural Tips for Healthy Digestion Everyday

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It is not too hard to notice trends in our society.  Remember when the phrase “muffin tops” were all the rage?  It seemed like everywhere I looked love handles were spewing over the tops of low jeans, partially due to the low rise jeans themselves I’m sure.  But nowadays what I am seeing is distention.  Pot bellies.  People who look thin from the back or front but at a side view you could mistake them for being pregnant.  I by no means want to make fun of bodies, but it must be noted that where weight is gained truly means something.  I also see it in myself.  I can usually wake up in the morning feeling pretty good about my body but by the time I go to bed at night, I look a few months pregnant.  This bloating comes from improper digestion.  So let me help you nip this issue in the butt before it becomes all too normal.  We get used to our symptoms and think they are normal and healthy when in fact we do not even know what it feels like to feel good sometimes.

If you are not aware by now how important digestion is to a healthy body and mind then it is time to start understanding this process.  Digestion plays a huge role in the health of our skin.  If anything is going wrong through this process it is going to show up on our skin.  It can manifest as acne, rashes, wort’s, eczema, etc.  Our gut is also known as our second brain. Mental Health issues are directly linked to digestive distress.  Afterall, 95% of serotonin is made in our bowels!  There will be more to come on this topic later on…

Here are some natural tips to help with Healthy Digestion that everyone should do Everyday!  

1. LEMON WATER, LEMON WATER, LEMON WATER

I cannot stress this point enough!  The best way to kick start your digestion is by drinking some fresh squeezed lemon in a little warm water every single morning.  Stock up on lemons when you go to the grocery store so they are handy and there are no excuses.

First thing in the morning, before any food or other drinks, squeeze half a lemon into a cup.  Add a little bit of room temperature or warm water to the juiced lemon and drink up!

This is also a nice way to wake up.  The bitterness from the lemon will get your gallbladder going and the acidity will promote more stomach acid secretion.

If you do nothing else to help with digestion, than do this.  Do this whether you have digestive issues or not because the best health care is preventative measures.

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Invest in a lemon juicer to make your life easier!

2. CUT OUT CAFFEINE, INCREASE WATER

This is probably the hardest thing for most people to do.  Many of us rely on that coffee or tea first thing in the morning to give us that boost we need to wake up and be alert.  I do enjoy coffee myself because it helps me to feel alert and gets my brain working at a faster speed.  But I think it is important to be able to wake up naturally without the help of a stimulant.  Instead of having a coffee in the morning have some water instead.  If you must have a coffee, drink it as a treat a little later in the day (but not too late!).

Coffee (or caffeine) is terrible for your digestions because it opens up the pyloric sphincter prematurely.  In other words, it will empty out the contents of your stomach before they have been digested.  Nicotine does the same thing.  This will often cause diarrhea.  Diarrhea will lead to malabsorption, which means you will not be getting proper nutrients for your body to function.  This will be the downward spiral into bad health as you age.

I know everyone knows they are supposed to drink lots of water (1-2 liters) a day.  But do we know not to drink cold water?  The temperature of the water is very important, when we drink ice cold water we are putting lots of stress on our body because it takes up a lot of energy to bring that water to the right temperature inside our bodies.  Also drinking the required amount of water in one shot is way too much.  We should be sipping water all day long and especially in between meals.

3.  APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

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There are so many reasons why apple cider vinegar should be in everyone’s fridge.  But today is about digestion and apple cider vinegar is amazing to help promote stomach acid secretion.  As we age, we naturally start making less HCl (hydrochloric acid/stomach acid) which means sluggish digestion is something we are all going to experience at some point.

Take 1 tsp with a little warm water before, during, or after meals and you will find that you do not get that bloating feeling anymore.

I do not take apple cider vinegar with every meal, only when I can feel things inside working particularly sluggish and apple cider vinegar works wonders.

Apple cider vinegar is especially great for those who have gotten dependent on digestive enzymes (a supplement containing various enzymes needed to breakdown particular food particles).  Our body should be able to make these enzymes naturally and by replacing them with a pill we are pretty much giving our body a vacation, which can be very handy at specific times and when it’s really needed.  However our body will get used to this vacation and it may even start thinking it does not need to produce these enzymes anymore.

*We have to be careful when supplementing: It can be handy at times of need but really our bodies need to be doing what they are made to do.

4. PROBIOTICS

Probiotics are the good guys (living organisms) that live inside all of us and help us to digest our food particles.  Anytime we have taken antibiotics through out our lives we have not only wiped out the bad guys (which is the intention) but we are also killing off the much needed good guys.  Probiotics (the good guys) keep the bad guys (bacteria, pathogens) in check.  Without them bad bacteria will flourish in our system and cause a list of health problems.

While I do like to supplement with a good probiotic, it can also be done naturally by eating more fermented foods.  Kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir (or good quality yogurt) are all fermented foods that we can add to our diets to increase our probiotic uptake naturally.

If you are taking a probiotic supplement the best time to take it is at night before bed.  This gives the probiotic time to make it’s way uninterrupted through your digestive system.

5. BITTERS

Bitter foods and bitter herbs are integral to getting our digestion moving.  We all have an acquired taste for certain things and we can change our palate by changing our diets.  For example, I used to go through more honey than I care to admit.  I was used to things tasting sweet especially my tea.  Once I made the choice to cut it out I was able to notice how sweet things are and became sensitive to overly sweetened things.  My point is that we can manipulate our taste buds as we so chose.  So if the idea of eating bitter things does not appeal to you do not worry I understand.  Start by buying mixed salad greens instead of romaine or iceburg lettuces.  Add some arugula to your salad or stir fry or even on top of pizza!  Get some dandelion greens and add those to your salads or to green smoothies.  Not only with this help promote digestion but it will fix your liver too!  Bitter is Better!

6. DO NOT OVER EAT, PIGGY!

Sorry for the insult, but I really mean it.  Overeating is what piggies do.  Right now look at your hands,  Now cup them together to form a bowl.  What you can fit in your hands is how much you can eat in one sitting.  Eating more than that stretches out our stomach receptors and in the end we start feeling like we need more to be full.  Not only does this lead to obesity but it is also very wasteful from an environmental and humane aspect.  Why take more than what you need?  Don’t be a pig.  Chances are if you are still hungry after eating and feel like you need more to be satiated it is because you are not eating the right kinds of food.  If the food that you eat is practically devoid of vitamins, minerals and nutrients than your body is gonna be asking for more.  What you need is less of the crap and more of the right stuff.

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7.  KEEP IT MOVING

This is one that I must keep reminding myself!  We need to move physically to keep the juices flowing inside,  Humans are meant to move and not to be idle.  Try going for more romantic walks, taking the stairs instead of elevators, walking to the corner store instead of driving, stretching, jumping, etc.  I am not one to tell you to go join a gym because believe me I’m not that into it myself, but these little choices can make a huge difference.  Stagnation is a root to illness.  Keep moving!

8. PRACTICE PROPER FOOD COMBINING

Different types of foods require different enzymes to be digested.  As well, acidic foods and alkalizing foods will require a different pH level in the stomach.  Therefore when we combine certain foods that are digested very differently we are putting lots of stress on the process.  As well, somethings will require more or less time and when these foods are combined putrefaction and fermentation happens.

To make it simple it goes something like this:  Eat proteins with non-starchy vegetables.  Eat grains with non-starchy vegetables.  Do not eat proteins with grains or starches.  Starches can be eaten with vegetables.  Fruit should be eaten on it’s own.  This is where the paleo guidelines come in very handy.

This concept is a hard one to stomach because we were brought up on meat and potatoes, rice and meat, and sandwiches (bread and meat).  Combining foods is not going to kill you or make you sick but let me put it to you this way, burping and farting are not actually “normal” or healthy.  If you are farting after your meals then you are causing stress on your system.  The day you stop having gas and bloating is the day you will finally know what it actually feels like to be eating the right foods for your body.

*For a detailed guide you may google: “proper food combining charts” and you can print out a chart for your fridge.

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

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Chances are, if you haven’t been living under a rock, you have been seeing more and more healthy and nutritious information popping up… in advertisements, online and even in the grocery stores near you.  You are seeing more labels with the words “organic” and “non-gmo” in all grocery stores, not just the high-end ones.  Perhaps you are even feeling overwhelmed with all of this new stuff because let’s face it, the average person does not necessarily fully understand what all of this means or why this is happening.

I think to grow an understanding and appreciation for this new trend the best thing to do would be to start at the very beginning, after all that’s a very good place to start.  So I want to start by sharing my story in hopes that maybe it will help others grow an understanding for themselves of why it is vital for your health to live with a nutritious lifestyle.

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          Salzburg – Sound of Music Land –  “Let’s start at the very beginning…”

Just over a year ago I was plagued with planter’s warts that had been spreading on my foot for over 5 years.  I would go to my medical doctor’s office bi-weekly and get my foot sprayed with a very painful liquid nitrogen.  I usually could not walk for the rest of the day after that.  Even after going there diligently for years all the warts did was spread even more.  They had always kept to the one foot but eventually they started to appear on my hands.  When I showed the nurse at the doctor’s office the new ones on my hand she told me that OHIP did not cover the treatment of warts on hands and that she would have to charge me to get rid of these ones.  I respectfully declined and reached out to shake her hand with my wort hand.  Warts are contagious after all.  Eventually I went away for work and was not close to my doctors office.  Sure enough the warts on my hands spread and even became quite painful.  When I started my holistic studies that following September I was embarrassed by the warts on my hands.  I was getting fed up with feeling like this.  Something had to give.

Within the first week of school my teacher talked to us about digestive issues.  We always tend to think that problems on the outside of our body are merely topical and must be coming from an outside force.  But let me tell you, most everything happening on the outside is a direct result of what is happening on the inside.  After taking some symptom questionnaire’s I quickly came to my own conclusion that I had some serious digestive issues.

It goes something like this: 

The soil is depleted of many of its essential vitamins and minerals.  There are many reasons why the soil is not what it used to be but the main reason is modern farming methods such as growing plants in an unnatural way and being sprayed with heavy pesticides and such.  Also ripping the plant out of the soil and not putting it’s remains back in, what we call composting.  Think about how many people are not composting their organic waste?  But this is a far more in depth tale for another time.

With this new understanding I had my ah ha moment.  I was diagnosed with a Vitamin B12 deficiency about 4 years ago.  So here I am administering shots of B12 into my leg every month and it never occurred to me, why am I deficient in just 1 vitamin?  How about the rest?  At this point I went home, opened up the cupboard full of vitamins and supplements, and started shoving pills in my mouth, no joke.  Before I went to school I did not even take 1 supplement, not even a multi-vitamin.  I did sometimes chew on those vitamin C chewables, but that’s about it.

We need vitamins and minerals for many of the metabolic processes in our body.  Without these essential nutrients many things can go wrong within.

I realized I had major malabsorption issues.  Meaning, I was not absorbing proper nutrients the way a body is meant to.  Somewhere down the gut line something was going wrong.

So now the question was, why was I not absorbing essential nutrients?  How did it get to this point?

Well for me it went a little something like this, “When you’re sliding into first and you feel something burst— Diarrhea!”

Anyway, my point is the answer was in my bowel movements.  Ever given yourself the beet test?  Eat (or juice) a whole beet and see how long it takes before your stool is bright red.  I was juicing at the time but I did not like to put beets in my juice because if I did I would be on the toilet within 20 minutes having red diarrhea.  THAT is malabsorption.  Nowadays I can juice as many beets as I like and I wont see it until the next day!

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            This is what beets look like fresh off the farm at a market near you!

I used to think I had great transit time (transit time is how long it takes for your meal to go in one end and out the other).  I would eat a greasy hamburger and be on the toilet before even leaving the restaurant.  I thought that meant my body was doing it’s job and working really fast at getting things out where they belong.  Boy am I glad I went back to school to learn the truth.

Food was being passed through me so quick it is no wonder why I was not absorbing the nutrients from it!

I immediately put myself on a digestive healing protocol.  This protocol is something we learned the first week of school.  The gist being that you have to eat really clean for 6 weeks as well as take a handful of therapeutic dosages of certain vitamins and minerals.  All these nutrients are what is needed to repair your digestive tract (aka “gut”).  As well you must do what you can to increase stomach acid.  Stomach acid (aka HCL) is vital in digestion and is a topic all on it’s own.

I was not even done this protocol when my planter’s warts started disappearing before my eyes.  It honestly looked like a miracle.  First to go were the ones on my hands and then slowly my foot was normal again.  It was hard to believe.  It happened so quick I was trying to take photos of them before they were all gone so that I could show my doctor this miracle.

I do believe that a huge missing link to my planter’s warts was Vitamin E.  Of course I had to increase my digestion to be able to process this vital nutrient.  But I would recommend trying to supplement with vitamin E if you are having issues with skin warts, it is a good place to start.

So one of the first things I learned on my path to becoming what I am today, a holistic nutritionist, was that the river of disease runs through the gut.  Most, many, if not all illness stems from our digestion.

When you are dealing with health issues, look to your gut.

This was just the beginning of my healing, I still had a B12 deficiency to figure out.  That took a few more months to understand but I will eventually get to it and share my findings to help prevent others from dealing with deficiency’s that can lead to a downward spiral of other health issues.

Coming up NEXT TIME:  Tips on how to increase your digestion!

Easy as 1, 2, 3! DIY All-Purpose/All-Natural Household Cleaning Spray

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IMG_0585 Quite a few years ago I started noticing a sensitivity to house holdcleaning products.  If I cleaned the bathroom I would develop a scratchy throat and have symptoms like I was sick for about 1 day.  At this time (about 7 years ago) new “greener” and more environmentally friendly products were coming out on the market.  Naturally, I switched to these cleaners instead.  They sufficed for a short time but eventually even the ingredients on those cleanser no longer sat well with me.

I started following some of these DIY blogs and one day I found a recipe for homemade cleaners. It was pretty much vinegar infused with spices and things.  So simple!

Of course we seem to have forgotten that Vinegar is the number one all time best cleaner out there!  After all, nothing cleans your windows better than vinegar and old newspapers!  However, the downfall to vinegar is that the smell is not exactly appealing to most.  I think the major selling point of most household cleaners is the fact that it makes your house smell like lemons or wintergreen after the rain sunshine rainbows.  However, if you infuse the vinegar with enough spices you mask the vinegar smell!

Just a tip, the best way to make your house smell lovely, is to bake something.  Or just heat up some spices (such as cinnamon) in a little pot with some water.  It is all natural and won’t sting your eyes or cause gagging.

We are completely wrong in our ideas about what “clean” smells like. “Clean” should actually smell like nothing.  “Unclean” is what a house smells like when it is masking natural odours with such chemical shit-storms like febreeze and pine-sol.  Do not be fooled by societies misperception.

It’s been 5 years now that I have been household cleaner free!  I will share my easy breezy recipe for your very own all-purpose and natural cleaning spray.

Together we can make life a little bit more simple, one step at a time!

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Recipe:

First Step:
Start saving up lemon and lime peels (Oranges work too!).  (I like to juice lemons for my water everyday so it takes me less than a week to save up enough peels.) Store them in the fridge until you have about 2 cups worth.

Second Step:
Put all the peels in a big mason jar.
Add Spices such as Whole Cloves and Cinnamon Sticks.
Add enough white vinegar so that the rest of the ingredients are swimming in it.

*fun fact: Cloves are anti-fungal, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiseptic.  What better cleanly actions could one ask for?

Third Step:
Wait a few weeks and then strain out the bulky herbs and citrus peels.  You can toss them into your compost (as I am sure we are all composting, right?)
Simply pour the liquid into a reusable or recycled spray bottle.

That’s it.  As simple as 1, 2, 3!  This recipe can be changed and experimented with.  Next, I would like to try one where I can add fresh lavender to the mix!

Through out my journey, I have found it to be very important to unload our reliance on corporations in order to take charge of what we are doing to our health and environment.  Everyone can take simple and small steps in taking charge of the reigns and thereby become better survivors in this lifetime.  We are capable of so much more than we realize!

Let me help you realize the little things that can be done to make this world a better place!

Why You May Want to Consider Jumping on the Organic Band Wagon

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Health Issues on the Rise can be Linked to Soil Depletion Over the Years

            There seems to be a rise in chronic illness over the years especially pertaining to mental health issues.  Growing up during 1980-1990, I had heard of perhaps no more than one child with ADHD.  My parent’s generation had heard of none.   Obesity was not an issue let alone an epidemic.   It is becoming the norm to have been on anti-depressants at one point or another in your life.  Health professionals seem to be diagnosing every other person with anxiety and depression and handing out medications to fix this.   Dr. Mercola wrote in 2013, “In all, mental and substance use disorders were responsible for higher global death and illness rates than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, and car accidents.”

WebMD recently published an article stating an increase in the chronic health conditions in children.  These chronic health problems include asthma, obesity, and behavioural problems.  These problems have more than doubled in a mere 12 year time frame.   “Chronic Health conditions were found in 12.8% of children studied in 1994, compared with 26.6% of another group of same-aged children studied in 2006, the researchers found.”(Dr. Mercola).  These findings point to the need for parents to pay more attention to nutrition.

In order to understand why there is a rise in chronic illnesses we have to look at what is lacking in modern day diets. 

What nutrition means in our present time has changed a lot over the years.  It is no longer as easy as eating your 4-8 servings of vegetables and fruits a day.  To understand why this is, we need not look much farther from the ground in which we walk upon.  I am talking about the soil.  I had always been under the impression that if I eat enough fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed foods then I will be getting enough of all the vitamins and minerals that I needed to live a healthy life.  It has been a real big eye opener for me to learn that we can no longer get the nutrients we need from commercially grown fruits, vegetables and live stock.  There are a few reasons for the lack of nutrient dense foods nowadays which I will delve deeper into.

Thomas F. Pawlick describes the modern day food supply in his book entitled “The End of Food”.  He clearly describes the decline of vitamins and minerals over the years.  Once, tomatoes were among the best source of vitamins.  Pawlick writes, “Compared to a tomato in 1963, it has lost 30.7% less Vitamin A and 16.9% less Vitamin C, 61.5% less calcium, 11.1% less phosphorus, 9% less potassium, 7.97% less niacin, and 10% less iron.  Remember, this is a comparison to 1963, if we go back even further the nutrients loss to this day is far greater.   What is evident is that there is a key trend to the decline of nutrients with an increase in fat and sodium.  Within tomatoes, there has been a fat increase of 65% and sodium increase of 200% since 1963.” (Pawlick, 2006, 6)

Not only has the nutrient content in produce gone down but depletion of nutrients among livestock is suffering as well.  “According to the USDA tables, chicken… is in deep trouble.  Skinless, roasted white chicken meat has lost 51.6% of its vitamin A since 1963.  Dark meat has lost 53%.  White meat has also lost 39.9% of its potassium; while dark meat has lost 25.2%.  And what has chicken gained?  Light meat, 32.6% fat and 20.3 % sodium; dark meat, 54.4% fat and 8.1% sodium.  Let’s hear it for fat and salt.” (Ibid, 26-27).  Pawlick goes on to speak about the increase of fat and sodium in dairy as well.  Since 1963, cottage cheese has gained 7.3% fat and a whopping 76.85% sodium while losing 36.1% of its calcium, 13.1% of its phosphorus and 53.3 % of its iron.

A recent study of 43 garden crops led by a University of Texas at Austin biochemist suggests that their nutrient value has declined in recent decades while farmers have been planting crops designed to improve other traits.  The data compared mainly vegetable crops from 1950 and 1999.  The main nutrients that Dr. Davis looked at were “protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid.  The declines, which ranged from 6 percent for protein to 38 percent for riboflavin, raise significant questions about how modern agriculture practices are affecting food crops.”

        Hort Science published an article in 2009 summarizing three kinds of evidence pointing toward declines during the last 50 to 100 years in the concentration of some nutrients in vegetables and perhaps also in fruits available in the United States and the United Kingdom.  One reason for this decline is the increase in plant yield by the use of fertilization.  Dr. Donald R. Davis, a chemist from the University of Texas assembled and rigorously reviewed the evidence that industrial farmed foods have a lower nutritional content.  His evidence indicates that there are at least 2 forces that affect this decline.  The first is what scientists refer to as the dilution effect.  “Davis notes that researchers have known since the 1940’s that yield increases produced by fertilization, irrigation, and other environmental means used in industrial farming tend to decrease the concentrations of minerals in those plants.  These techniques give growers higher yields, and consumers get less expensive food.  But now it appears there’s a hidden long-term cost: food quality.  For example, a study of phosphorous fertilizer on raspberries found that applying high levels of phosphorus caused the yield to double and concentrations of phosphorus to increase in the plants, but meanwhile levels of eight other minerals declined by 20 to 55 percent!

An article by Cheryl Long written in 2009 breaks down Dr. Davis’s data as so:

  • In wheat and barley, protein concentrations declined by 30 to 50 percent between the years 1938 and 1990.
  • Likewise, a study of 45 corn varieties developed from 1920 to 2001, grown side by side, found that the concentrations of protein, oil, and three amino acids have all declined in the newer varieties.
  • Six minerals have declined by 22 to 39 percent in 14 widely grown wheat varieties developed over the past 100 years.
  • Official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data shows that the calcium content of broccoli averaged 12.9 milligrams per gram of dry weight in 1950, but only 4.4 mg/g dry weight in 2003.

An article for the Scientific American written in 2011 also equates the evident nutrient loss to soil depletion. “Modern intensive agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows.  Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before.

The Solution

The solution can be found exactly where the problem arose from, the soil.   It is time to take a serious stance forward towards organic farming methods and biodiversity.  The Scientific American writes, “What can be done? The key to healthier produce is healthier soil.  Alternating fields between growing seasons to give land time to restore would be one important step.  Also, foregoing pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic growing methods is good for the soil, the produce and its consumers.  Those who want to get the most nutritious fruits and vegetables should buy regularly from local organic farmers.”

Time again, I have heard the statement that as long as people “eat like their grandparents” then they will live long and healthy lives.  However, eating like your grandparents is virtually impossible in this day.  There have been major changes in how the food that we consume is farmed.   The people in charge of the food supply have decided that it is more important to yield larger crops than keep those crops full of the nutrients in which we eat them for.

Why is it that health issues are on the rise yet we have more knowledge and means than ever before? 

The illusion that living longer has given folks faith in the health care system, but what is that quality of life?  What type of quality of life is spending your last 10 years suffering from bouts of depression, not wanting to see your loved ones, and wishing you could take your own life before you forget who you are?  While some are living longer, many others are having their lives cut short.   There is now a 1 in 3 chance of getting cancer in North America compared to 1 in 20 during the 1900’s.

It has become quite the norm for the elderly to develop memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Gary Null wrote an article for Green Med Info relating dementia to nutrition. “Research into the causes of dementia is now demonstrating a point I have been making for decades: deficiencies of essential nutrients can lead to a variety of health problems and leave us vulnerable to serious conditions such as senile dementia.”(Gary Null).  The solution he gives us is to look no further than switching from your regular commercially grown foods to organic.  “To help ensure that our bodies get the nutrients we need, we must make an effort to eat foods in their natural state.  For people suffering from senile dementia it is vitally important to purchase organic foods whenever possible, because these foods are more likely to have trace minerals like chromium, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, which are vital to the brain’s health.” (Gary Null).

People fear that which they do not understand

One of the reasons people may not be so keen to purchase organic foods could be because they are afraid of the word “organic”.  Funny enough, what your grandparents ate back in the day, could very well be considered organic by today’s standards.  A label was not needed back then because biodiversity was just the way successful farming was done.  It wasn’t until profits over people became the acceptable norm, an idea brought upon with the acceptance of Darwin’s evolution of survival of the fittest.  This idea has us all fighting for ourselves instead of working with the whole.  This mentality of caring only for ourselves and not the rest of the people is what is destroying the planet and contributing to raising health issues.

I encourage people to support organic farming methods however I understand the reluctance as it can often cost more.  Consider this; I know that when I am paying the extra 50 cents or dollar for a bunch of kale I am consuming every single square inch of it.  When I buy the commercially grown kale on sale at 99 cents, half of it is ending up in the garbage because the investment isn’t high enough for me to put the proper care into it.  There was a time when I would turn my nose up to organic, assuming that anyone can claim their product is organic because I did not understand exactly which regulations are involved with insuring that it wasn’t handled with heavy pesticides.  Through education, I now have a much better understanding of what it entails for a farmer to get that organic label.  Now that I understand the process I am more willing to pay for it and to support it.  Also, the more that people are buying the organic products then the more need there is to stock the shelves with it.  More consumers also mean that the prices are going down.  The companies are always going to want to make a profit so when they see that there is a profit in organic food, that this is what the people want and demand, they will provide it.

This is a chart from Dr. Jozef J. Krop’s book “Healing the Planet: One Patient At a Time” (pg. 150) showing the nutritional difference between conventional vegetables and its organic counterpart.  The plus or minus signs indicate the increase or decrease in the percentage of nutrients in organic produce versus conventional produce (for example, organic lettuce has 17% more Vitamin C than conventional lettuce).

VEGETABLE VITAMIN C IRON MAGNESIUM PHOSPHORUS
Lettuce +17 +17 +29 +14
Spinach +52 +25 -13 +14
Carrot -6 +12 +69 +13
Potato +22 +21 +5 0
Cabbage +43 +41 +40 +22

It is in the consumer’s power to decide where the food supply is coming from.

In the end it is the consumer’s choice to where their money is spent.  You can choose to buy the products that are laced with pesticides, fertilizers and injected with hormones in which these methods can be contributing to the increase in chronic health issues including (but not limited to) nausea, hormone disruption, allergies, cancer and cognitive decline.  Or you can chose to invest in a healthier lifestyle and by doing so hopefully get the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally.  You can pay for your health now or later.  I have definitely seen the prices of organic foods dropping over the years as more and more people jump on the healthy band wagon.   Welcome to the new world:  A world where we can make a stance and change the rate of increasing chronic health issues; a world where we can instead start looking towards a future where chronic health issues become scarce.  It is due time that we start taking better care of our soil and our health.

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REFERENCES

CNCA Health, “Declining Nutrition of Fruits and Vegetables”       http://www.cncahealth.com/explore/learn/nutrition-food/declining-nutrition-of-fruits-and-vegetables#.UyRtrfldXh5 (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Davis, Donald R.,“Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?”, Hort Science(Published online October 12, 2008  http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/44/1/15.full (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Doheny, Kathleen,”Rise in Chronic Childhood Health Problems”, WebMD Health News (Feb. 16, 2010)  http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20100216/rise-in-childhood-health-problems  (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Krop, Jozef J., Healing the Planet: One Patient at a Time.  KOS Publishing Inc, 2002       

Long, Cheryl,“Industrially Farmed Foods Have Lower Nutritional Content”, Mother Earth News               (June/July 2009) http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/nutritional-content-zmaz09jjzraw.aspx#axzz2w2ozda5i (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Mercola, Dr., “Mental Health Disorders”, (published on 2013)  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/09/12/mental-health-disorders.aspx     (accessed on 14/03/2014

Null, Gary PhD,“A Natural Approach to Preventing and Overcoming Dementia”, Green Med Info (Published online Tuesday, March 4th 2014)   http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/natural-approach-preventing-and-overcoming-dementia?page=2 (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Pawlick, Thomas F., The End Of Food: How the Food Industry is Destroying Our Food Supply.  Barricade Books, 2006.

Scheer, Roddy, Moss, Doug, “Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?”, Scientific American (Published online April 27, 2011) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/soil-depletion-and-nutrition-loss/ (accessed on 16/03/2014)

The University of Texas. “Study suggests nutrient decline in garden crops over past 50 years”, (Published online Dec. 1, 2004)  http://www.utexas.edu/news/2004/12/01/nr_chemistry/ (accessed on 16/03/2014)

Spring Cleaning

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I completed my first ever juice cleanse/detox this week.  I must say, it was not nearly as hard as I had anticipated.  I am one to get quite crabby (aka hangry) if I skip a meal so I thought that living off of juice was going to make my head spin.  It turns out, filling myself up with vitamins and minerals from juicing fresh vegetables sustained me just fine.

There are a few reasons as to why I felt it to be necessary to indulge in this detox.  For one, I have never done it before.  I’ve been hearing great things about detoxing yourself once a year and I felt it important to partake so that I know first hand what it is all about.  Everyone accumulates toxins in our everyday lives and I am no exception to this.

I know spring to be the time of year for rebirth and to feel renewed.  This is why we do the so called “spring cleaning”.  It is to give our surroundings a fresh start.  In my opinion, New Year’s should probably be right now instead of in the midst of winter.  Winter is a time to hibernate.  It is when the plants die and the weather is rigid.  Most people start feeling pretty down and depressed come February and this is a natural thing.  If we can accept this as the natural course we could understand our lack of motivation and over all moodiness.  This year has been especially hard because it is mid-March and there are no signs of a warm front; in fact we just had another storm.  Hang in there.  Once the good weather comes in there will be more spring to your step then ever before.  We will not take the beautiful weather for granted this year because we endured the cold with the faith that sunny days would come.

To prepare yourself for this rebirth, you can gave your digestive tract a vacation.  That is what a juice cleanse is.  It takes the pressure off those organs that spend all day and night trying to break down whatever your putting into it.  Personally, the longer the cold weather the more I want hamburgers and french fries.  When the pressure is off your GI Tract your body can focus on getting rid of any accumulation of the bad stuff lurking around.

I juiced A LOT of dandelion greens for my cleanse.  I wanted to focus on giving my liver a nice boost.  I enjoyed experimenting with different veggies to find better flavours.  I barely put any fruits in my juice to keep the sugar levels down.  I sweetened the bitterness with celery or fennel instead.  I found some lovely organic golden beets that were super sweet and delicious, I highly recommend them.  I did treat myself to freshly squeezed pineapple juice one day and it was heavenly.

The breakdown:

It cost me roughly $20 a day on produce for the juicer (to purchase a ready made juice cleanse can cost approximately $80 a day)

Day one was a great bowel cleanse (if you catch my drift)

I was extremely hyper the first two days, but by day 3 I was feeling more sluggish

I made bone broth from a couple of turkey wings, which I allowed myself in the evenings.  I did not eat the turkey, instead my dog got a nice treat.  I definitely feel like this helped me to sleep at night.

I did not have any hunger pains at all.

My advice if you are interested in partaking in a juice detox:

Timing is so very important.  Stress is the number one cause to illness.  Do not partake in anything that could possibly add more stress to your body.  I did my cleanse during March Break because I knew I could take three days off to not have to worry how this could possibly affect me.  It would be best not to over exert yourself during a cleanse; so keep activities to a minimum.  Take vitamin C supplements and probiotics to keep your immune system working optimally.  As toxins come out of your body there is a possibility that one could get sick if you are not mentally and physically prepared.

Now that I’m done tackling cleaning out my body, all that is left is the house…  I think I prefer drinking juice…

Parasite Cleanse

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Oh what fun can be had on the eve of a full moon!  The myth goes that people act a little wonky on night’s of the Full Moon.  Well guess what, if you are one of these crazy cats the truth is that you could have parasites!  In fact, you probably do, and you and you, and me too!

 We have monsters within that take so many different forms, some invisible, such as negative thoughts and emotions, but others can be seen.  They can be seen if you do a parasite cleanse.  Trust me, the thought of little creatures living inside my colon freaks me out without a doubt.  But as Shrek would say, “Better out than in!”  

We collect parasites through out our lives.  When we go on vacations, when we played in the dirt as a child, when we swam in a lake, and even when we sat down on that toilet seat in a seedy downtown bar.  We can even get parasites from sushi, and I know I’VE eaten my fair share of raw fish through out my life!  

Parasites are beings of a lower frequency.  They are a lower entity that attracts other lower entities to your lives.  After all, like attracts like.  They will often enter into you when you are at a weak or emotionally upsetting point in your life.  They will find a comfy place inside you and… *close your eyes, breathe*… lay eggs.  Even the word “parasite” has such negative connotation to it, when you refer to someone as a parasite you are not giving them a compliment that’s for sure.

Chances are, if you’ve been to a doctor and they can’t figure out what is up with you, you probably have parasites.  Digestive issues, diarrhea, skin conditions, allergies, teeth grinding at night, frequent colds, itching ears, nose, anus, yeast infections are all common symptoms of parasites.

Parasites work on the cycle of the moon.  Which is why today, on the eve of the full moon, I start my parasite cleanse.  The first step is to alkalize your body.  You can do this by drinking lots of lemon and water and decreasing your intake of sugary and refined foods.  Next you must open all your emunctories.  Emunctories are your doors of elimination: Skin, lungs, bowels, kidneys.  You can do an enema, colon cleanse, skin brushing, etc.  Next you will find the appropriate herbs to take, and you will be taking them every day for 3 weeks.  Take one week off (so that the parasites can lay eggs) and then go back on the herbs for another 3 weeks.  You can do another coffee anemia 2 weeks in.  I haven’t yet found the right type of anemia so once I do I will share that dirty bit of information. 

The Herbs:  You need antiparasitic herbs and there is a long list.  What I am taking is:  Wormwood, black walnut, cloves, goldenseal, oregano oil, and garlic.  The first 4 I am taking in the morning as a tincture.  The oregano oil I will take by itself.  And the garlic I am taking straight up.  I chopped up a clove this morning and hid it in with a spoonful of honey and just swallowed it.  The trick is to make yourself taste bad so that the parasites don’t want to live in you anymore.  The bad part is, I might not smell very good for the next little bit… Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Welcome!

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Welcome to my brand new blog all about my discoveries in nutrition!  A little bit about myself:  I live in the greater Toronto area and I am currently a student at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.  I made a pact with myself when I was 20 years old that I would be healthier at 30 than I was at 20.  I had no clue whatsoever that I would be a Certified Nutrition Practitioner.  Not only will I be healthier and thriving at 30 (which is a few months away) but I will also have the knowledge to teach you how to fix yourself and thrive on.

Through my studies in nutrition, I have come to realize the importance and over all coincidence of being born with the last name “Gut”.  All disease starts with digestion.  The foods we put into our mouth, the chewing and breaking up of particles, the further breakdown in our stomach, the route through the small intestine where vital nutrients become absorbed, and the final journey through the large intestine all happens in our gut.  This process can be metaphorically called a river, and this river runs through the gut.  We are not just what we eat.  We are what we digest, absorb, assimilate, and eliminate.  We can eat the healthiest foods on the planet, but if we are not properly absorbing those nutrients throughout the various mechanisms of our digestive tract (the gut) then they are coming out the other end in vain.

I will be sharing my personal health discoveries in hopes that I can help others, or at least entertain you at best!  As a practitioner, it is not right for me to ask someone to make a dietary or life style change if I myself have not tried it first.  I will be doing a cleanse within the next two months.  I have never done any sort of detox in my life so I thought it would be ever so exciting to share my experiences and gory details with you.  It is not going to be fun and it is not going to be easy.  I don’t even know how much it is going to cost me yet.  The first step I am taking is to prepare myself mentally.  I have set a date for my 3-day juice cleanse which will be March 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2014.  Before the juice detox, I will be doing a bowel cleanse, a parasite cleanse and a liver/gall bladder detoxification.  As someone whom loves to eat cheese and drink wine, this is a pretty big transformation to take and it will not be easy.

Please, do feel free to join along for the journey!  (Or wait in case I make a huge mistake and need to learn from it first).

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