Friday, July 13, 2018

Some Resources

Once again, I apologize for being late with this blog post. I'm still dealing with a lot of health challenges, and doing what I can one day at a time.

I know I've mentioned some of the following things before, but I thought today it would be good to share some health resources again.


*Doctor -
I highly recommend my doctor in Idaho. I've been to him for treatment 3 times in the last 9 years, and every time he has been very helpful.

He is the only doctor I know of who has successfully treated lyme disease. His natural methods are also helpful for other infections, allergies, and more.

He is only in the office 3 days a week, so when you call, please be patient and the staff will return your call as soon as they can. There is also a lot of information on his website.
     Dr. Anthony Smith
     http://lymestop.com


*Products & Info -
Nature's Sunshine is a really good company that has many different herbs - in both capsules and liquid forms - other supplements, essential oils, and more.

Two of the probiotics they sell have been very helpful for me: "Nutribiome Bacillus Coagulans" and "Probiotic Eleven." Here's a link to those products: www.naturessunshine.com/us/general/search/?q=probiotics

Nature's Sunshine also has a lot of information on their blog about supplements, how the body works, health, etc. This post about the nervous system was helpful for me lately:
http://blog.naturessunshine.com/en/nervous-system/


*Air Purifiers -
Having an air purifier is very important, especially when the air quality isn't good. Here are two kinds that we use that have been very helpful.

     1) Honeywell air purifier is reasonably priced, and mostly sold online - Here is a link to it on Walmart's site: www.walmart.com/ip/Honeywell-True-HEPA-Air-Purifier-50250-S-White/5130782

     2) E.L. Faust room air purifier costs a little more, but it was designed for those who are chemically sensitive. www.foustco.com/airpurifiers.html


I hope some of this information is helpful.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Breath, Hope, and Dreams

Hello! I apologize again for being late with this post. I'm currently seeing my doctor in ID. I'm so thankful that he has been helpful once again with the challenges I've been having, especially with the difficulty breathing. It's been two months now that I've struggled to breathe, almost every day. Praise God that the air here in ID is better, and overall I've been breathing much better. I'm still having some difficulty at times though.

When you aren't breathing well, everything else seems unimportant compared to taking the next breath. It's been hard for me to think about much else besides breathing. And at times I didn't know if I would make it through the day. Thankfully, my mom kept telling me that God isn't done with me yet, and I will live through this. She was the voice of hope that kept telling me not to give up.

I don't know what challenges you're experiencing today, but I hope you'll be encouraged that if you are breathing, you have life. You have hope. And I hope you will be able to dream again. Because God isn't done with you yet either. Let's take one breath at a time, hold on to hope, and ask God what dreams He still has for us.

Blessings friends,
-Joanna


(This is something I posted a couple of years ago. I hope it encourages you.)

The Gift of Dreams

Today I'm celebrating the gift of dreams. 

When I was a kid there were various things I imagined would be fun or fulfilling to do in my life, but I had one big dream - to be a missionary. God let me live that dream for two amazing years! And then my health collapsed. As year followed year, all my dreams died. 

If you haven't been in a place like that, I can't explain to you in words what it's like. If you've been there, you understand. I will say that living with no dreams isn't really living. 

Looking back, I can see that God had to take me through that valley. He was doing a necessary and mighty work in me. In His eternal ways, often things have to "die" before they can live again. 

How I praise God that the day finally came when He said, "My child, it's time to dream again!" 

At first my heart was afraid to dream again. Every time another dream had died, it was so painful. I didn't know if I could face that again. But God gave me courage to take one baby step at a time. He restored hope deep in my soul. I began once again to imagine possibilities and think about the future with anticipation.

In the process, God took my "little" dreams from long ago and transformed them into bigger dreams than I ever could have imagined! And He added new dreams on top of those! 

At this point I feel like I'm overflowing with God-given, God-sized dreams! And I can't wait to see how He is going to bring them all to pass!

Whatever happens, I've learned that the best dream of all is that of drawing closer to my Savior each day. No matter what circumstances I go through, enjoying Jesus is the sweetest dream that I want to live every day. 


God created us with the ability and the longing to dream big dreams. If life has trampled on your dreams, please take heart! Please don't give up on dreaming. You may go through a dark season, but hold on to hope my friend. God really does have greater dreams for you than anything you've imagined! Let Him be your first dream through it all, and trust Him with each step. One day you'll stand in awe of the awesome dreams He gives you and then fulfills in your life! 

Today will you do something with me? Will you take a few minutes by yourself to do this?

Take a big, deep breath. Exhale slowly. Close your eyes, and dream again.... Little or big dreams, it doesn't matter. Tell yourself to imagine again. Let yourself smile. Let yourself hope. Let your heart dream again. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Thank You!

I'm sorry this post is a day late...I'm still dealing with serious health challenges and trouble breathing. Thank you for your continued prayers!!

Today I just want to say a big "Thank you!" to all the caregivers out there. Thank you for being courageous, faithful, and selfless. Thank you for persevering, praying, and holding on to hope. There are many people I know who couldn't make it without your amazing support. So thank you!!! 

And to all of the family and friends of people with chronic illness or serious health challenges - thank you for your continued prayers, your encouragement, and your love. It means more than you will probably ever realize. 

Thank you!!! 

God bless, 
-Joanna

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Air Quality Issues

If you've noticed an increase in asthma or allergy symptoms lately, you're not alone. Almost everyone I've talked to has had more problems recently. I think the reason is because of really bad air quality.

About three weeks ago I started having serious trouble breathing almost all the time. I assumed it was because of local issues - record heat, construction, etc. However, I soon found out that air quality around the country is currently bad.

Last week I drove from TX to FL and the air was bad the whole way. I've never experienced air quality this bad in the US before. (I have in foreign countries.)

There are several factors related to air quality. Heat, pollution, and ozone levels are some of the factors. Right now many places are having record temperatures. And in many cities there is a lot of new construction going on.

As far as ozone, here's an article that explains about the dangers of ozone near the ground.

https://www.thoughtco.com/ozone-not-all-ozone-is-good-for-earth-3443718

There are websites that rate and forecast the air quality each day based on various factors. Here's a site for the state of Texas. I'm sure there are similar sites for other states.

https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html

It's important to check the air quality index and heed any warnings that are given. 

For now, until the air quality improves, it's probably better to keep doors and windows closed and run air purifiers if you have them. And be aware that people may experience more symptoms than normal - respiratory, allergy, headaches, etc. 

 Sometimes we forget how important air is, after all you can't see it or touch it. But it's necessary for life. Please join me in praying that God will heal whatever is causing this terrible air quality, so that we can breathe clean air again. Thank you! 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

What Are You Asking For?



Hello, I'm so sorry this post is a few days late. There's been really toxic air quality for the last week, causing me to have a lot of trouble breathing. I really appreciate your prayers. 

Thankfully, I have the privilege of sharing a guest post from my mom. I hope her words of wisdom are encouraging and helpful. =) 


From Jan Harris - 

I lived with Super E.I. girl for years, and I've watched her overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles—by God’s grace. In this guest post, I want to encourage you with some things that you can ask God to do for you in the midst of challenges and trials.

1. Ask God to keep you aware that He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b) This is God's firm promise to all who believe in Him. No matter how rotten you may feel physically, God is still with you to comfort, encourage, and strengthen.

2. Ask God to make you a person who reaches out to help and comfort others. When you’re ill most of the time, it’s easy to forget that other people are facing difficulties too. Their difficulties may be different than yours, but they're still real and hard and painful for that person.

3. Ask God to remind you that He is sovereign. In our family we often say, “This thing that happened didn’t take God by surprise.” When you go to church and are overwhelmed by perfume, when there’s something wrong with the food in the restaurant though it seems perfectly fine to the waiter, when you feel like all your organic food and supplements are costing far too much—go back to God. Ask Him again to show you His sovereignty - that He is still in control of everything. 

4. Ask God to never let you forget that He is good. “So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.’" (Mark 10:18) Pray that God will make you aware of His goodness in your life.

5. Ask God to strengthen you to claim His promises. The Bible is full of promises God has made to His children. One of my favorites is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Here is a link to a site with more of God's promises: www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/gods-promises-verses-in-the-bible/

6. Of course, ask God to heal you. I can’t remember how many times I asked God to heal my daughter. God welcomes our prayers for healing. I believe He always heals, but not always as we expect. Perhaps in one moment, He will touch you and restore your health. Or maybe He will heal you inch by inch through a number of years. Or maybe He will only heal you when you meet Him in heaven. But He will be faithful. God cannot be anything else. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

On your worst day, remember—God loves you, He wants you to give all your worries and cares to Him. (1 Peter 5:7) And He is working out His perfect plan for your life.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Kefir - Quick Facts and How To Make Your Own

Have you heard of kefir? If not, here's an explanation from one of Dr. Mercola's articles:

"Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains beneficial probiotics that may help give your immune system a boost, among other health benefits. One of the best and least expensive ways to get healthy bacteria through your diet is actually to obtain raw milk and convert it to kefir yourself. All you need is one-half packet of kefir starter granules in a quart of raw milk, which you leave at room temperature overnight. By the time you wake up in the morning you will likely have kefir. If it hasn't obtained the consistency of yogurt you might want to set it out a bit longer and then store it in the fridge.

A quart of kefir has far more active bacteria than you can possibly purchase in any probiotic supplement, and it is very economical as you can reuse the kefir from the original quart of milk about 10 times before you need to start a new culture pack. Just one starter package of kefir granules can convert about 50 gallons of milk to kefir. This is also a far healthier, and far more economical, way to nourish your body with probiotics than buying any of the commercial probiotic beverages on the market, as these typically contain added sugars and are made using pasteurized milk, which I don't recommend drinking."

(from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/31/top-10-healthiest-foods.aspx)

There's more information on Dr. Mercola's site about kefir, recipes, etc.

I have friends who make their own kefir regularly, and they will tell you what a difference it has made for their health! It has been especially beneficial for their children who have a lot of health challenges.


If you want/need a non-dairy option, you can also make kefir using water. Here's a simple video on how to make your own water kefir.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdLl1i_GwXU

Here's an article about different kinds of kefir grains and where you can find them. You can order kefir grains online or sometimes you can find them locally, from a friend or a farm nearby.

I realize that not everyone is able to tolerate fermented foods. (I'm finally able to eat yogurt again, but I haven't managed kefir yet.) But if you can, then kefir and other fermented foods can be a great addition to a healthy diet and a valuable tool for improving health.

I hope this information is helpful. Please share any great tips or resources about kefir that you have in the comments. Thanks!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Apple Cider Vinegar - Have you tried it?

You've probably heard of apple cider vinegar. You may have heard people claim it can do all kinds of wonderful things.... Well, I'd have to agree! =)

While apple cider vinegar is not a magic pill, it is a good tool to have in your health toolbox.

You can use ACV for various things, including detoxing, an an anti-fungal, as a cleaner, etc.

Dr. Axe has a very good article that lists 6 benefits of ACV and 20 different uses for it. I hope you'll check it out; it's an easy read, and you may find some helpful tips for how you can use apple cider vinegar for your health.

https://draxe.com/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/

Personally, I have used the Bragg's brand, but there are probably other good brands as well. Read the label to make sure it's a quality product. Also, check the expiration date on the bottle, since some stores don't always keep a recent stock.

A few cautions when using ACV -

 *Be careful when using it on the skin if you have sensitive skin. I don't apply it topically on my skin, but for some people it seems to be fine.

 *Start slowly when using it, and see how your body responds. Or try using it for a short period of time and then taking a break. Pay attention to your body, and do what's best for you.

 *Don't start another health supplement at the same time you start using ACV. Do one thing at a time, so you can pay attention to how your body responds. (By the way, this is a good principle to apply with any health supplement, program, etc.)

 *Remember that improving your health takes time. When you see small improvements, celebrate! And keep persevering with what you know is good for your health.

I hope you'll check out this information and find something helpful. If you already use apple cider vinegar, feel free to share with us in the comments how it's been helpful for you. =)