Saturday, October 20, 2018

Some veggies with your chemicals?

You probably heard sayings like this when you were a kid...
Like when you put so much syrup on your pancakes that your sister asked you, "Do you want some pancakes with your syrup?"
Or when you lathered the butter on your potatoes until your parent said, "Do you want some potatoes with your butter?"
It was their way of putting things in perspective. What are you actually eating more of?

So, would you like some veggies with your chemicals?

The sad reality is that today most conventional produce is overwhelmed with chemicals - pesticides, insecticides, etc.

Each year the Environmental Working Group puts out a report about which produce has the most pesticide and the least. You can read the full report on their website. It has a lot of information to help you understand the current situation of produce in America, including information about GMO's, studies that have been done on the effects of pesticide in children, etc.
www.ewg.org
Just to give some perspective, here are some quotes from the report:

"The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed."

"A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides."

"People who eat organic produce eat fewer pesticides. A 2015 study...found that people who report they often or always buy organic produce had significantly lower quantities of organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples."

This problem is for real. And while not eating any fruits or veggies might seem like the easiest path, thankfully there is information to help us make good decisions about what we put in our bodies.

So to help us shop smarter, EWG uses the research and data to make two lists:
1) The "Dirty Dozen" - the fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.
2) The "Clean 15" - the produce with the least amount of pesticides.

They suggest, and I agree, to buy organic produce whenever possible. However, if you can't, then you can use these lists to help you know which produce is vital to buy organic or to just avoid, and which produce has fewer chemicals, if you choose to not buy it organic.

"Dirty Dozen"
1. Strawberries
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet bell peppers
+Hot peppers (tested positive for insecticides)
If you aren't already buying organic for these fruits and veggies, you might want to consider it. Or check your local farmer's market, as sometimes they sell organic for less or they may use fewer chemicals in their farming.

"Clean 15"
1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn*
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbage
5. Onions
6. Sweet peas frozen
7. Papayas*
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplant
11. Honeydew
12. Kiwi
13. Cantaloupe
14. Cauliflower
15. Brocoli

*Some sweet corn, papayas, and summer squash come from genetically modified seeds, so to avoid GMO's, you might want to buy these organic.

Obviously, it's vital to wash your produce and to peel it before consuming it. And try to be mindful of this reality when shopping or eating out. Eating a salad at a restaurant might actually be putting more chemicals in your body than doing it good from eating the salad.... I know it's not fun to have to deal with this challenge. But your body will thank you for being aware and thoughtful about what you put into it.

I hope this information will help you find good produce to enjoy and that will contribute to good health!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Foods To Avoid

Last week I wrote about some food products that I've found that have been helpful for me. This week I thought I'd share an article from Dr. Axe. It's about some foods that you may have heard described as "healthy," but they really aren't. Here are just a few foods from his list of 21:

- fruit juice
- soy
- tilapia
- table salt
- canola oil

Here's his article: "21 'Health' Foods You Should Never Eat." 

I hope you'll take a few minutes and read through the rest of the list. What we put in our bodies really is important. Since the food industry continues to sell unhealthy food products, it's up to us to be informed and make healthy decisions.

On a positive note - what's your favorite healthy food this week? Please share with us in the comments. =)



Sunday, September 23, 2018

Some Helpful Products


I’ve been trying to eat really healthy again lately (after a few months of not being able to for various reasons). As I’ve shopped and read labels and explored, I’ve found a few products that have been helpful for me. So I thought I’d share them in case you’ve also been looking for such things. =)

Protein bars:
RX Bars – I was so happy to find these because they don’t have preservatives and junk in them! They come in several different flavors, including blueberry, chocolate mint, etc. They are pretty chewy, so if you have teeth problems they might not work for you. They also have egg whites, so might not work for those with egg allergies. I like that they have very few ingredients and taste good. They are great to carry with you if you need quick protein, or to have as a snack throughout the day.
*Most grocery stores now carry these. Walmart and Target also sell them by the box instead of as individual bars.

Kefir:
I found a brand of water kefir called Kevita that I really like. It’s carbonated, and it’s sweetened with stevia, so that might not work for some people. The taste is good, though it’s got a bit of a zing to it. There are various flavors, and each one contains different ingredients, so be sure to read the label and make sure you’re ok with the specific ingredients. Some of them have acai or coconut, apple cider vinegar, etc. I don’t usually drink the whole bottle, and so far I’m not drinking one every day. But even with that, it seems to be helpful for me.
*Many grocery stores carry this brand, as well as Whole Foods and some Target stores. It’s usually with the other fermented drinks such as kombucha, etc. (Watch the expiration dates though, as some may have sat on the shelf too long.)

Yogurt:
I’ve had a hard time finding healthy yogurt. One brand that I liked was discontinued. Another kind became very hard to find. So recently I’ve been eating the Stoneyfield organic yogurt for babies, called Yo Baby. It comes in a 6-pack of small servings and has various flavor options, such as peach/pear or apple/blueberry, as well as plain. It has very few ingredients and not too much sugar, so it's been a good option for me lately. 
*Many grocery stores and some Walmart stores carry it.

Probiotics:
Garden of Life brand has a children’s chewable probiotic called Organic Kids+ that I’ve been using lately. Especially if you don’t like to swallow pills, these are easy to take. They do have several ingredients in addition to probiotics, so read the whole label and make sure you’re ok with all of the ingredients. I’m not taking these every day, but I rotate them with another probiotic, and that seems to work well for me. They do need to be refrigerated.
*You can find these at Whole Foods or online (or maybe at your local health food store).

Chocolate:
Bark Thins snacking chocolate has become a favorite this year. These dark chocolate snacks come in different options – chocolate covered almond, coconut, pumpkin seed, etc. The different options have varying sugar content, so be sure it's not too much sugar for you. Also, some of them contain rice ingredients. But in general they seem to be a pretty healthy chocolate snacking option, definitely better than candy bars, etc.
*Most grocery stores, Walmart, and Target now stock these.

Tortillas:
If you’re not gluten-free, but you want to avoid yeast, Mission tortilla brand now has organic options. They have organic white flour and organic whole wheat flour tortillas. They aren’t completely free of preservatives, but short of making my own, they’ve been a good option for me.   
*These are a little harder to find, but some grocery stores and some Target stores carry them.

I hope this is helpful. I'm thankful for these options that are helping me eat healthier and still enjoy what I eat! =) 


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Treatment For Lyme Disease

I wrote a post about this back in 2014, and since then I've met even more people struggling with lyme, or wondering if they have lyme. So I wanted to share this information again. I hope it will help someone in need today.


Help For Lyme Disease

It seems like almost every week I hear of another person with serious health problems where lyme disease is either diagnosed or suspected. I also have friends whose lyme disease went undiagnosed or untreated for many years and they are still suffering with it. 

The good news is that I know a doctor who is successfully treating lyme disease naturally - without months of antibiotics, drugs, IV's or other stressful methods. I've mentioned Dr. Smith several times because he's one of the doctors who helped me significantly in 2009 (and since then as well). He successfully treated me for various infections (viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc.), as well as allergies. Several years ago he also developed a method for treating lyme. 

Here's a testimony from a friend of mine about Dr. Smith:

"Hi Joanna! Several of my friends that have lymes have also used him (Dr. Smith) and have had HUGE success. I'm also waaaay improved so I'd love to recommend him to your friends. He also has a good website called lymestop.com if they want more info about the treatment and about contacting him and stuff." -A.

Dr. Smith's website is very well done. I encourage you to read all through it. You'll find testimonies, a symptom sheet to see if it's likely you have lymes, an explanation of the treatment, Dr. Smith's story of how he developed this method, his podcast interview about it, and more.

I know Dr. Smith personally, and I believe that the treatment methods he's developed are an amazing gift from God for this time when so many people desperately need them. They truly saved my life. My mom and I still use his CBT method when needed to treat for allergies, infections, etc. Since I saw him in 2009, he has improved and refined his treatment for lyme. I'm very impressed with all his research and how he is able to treat the various problems - the lyme, any co-infections, parasites, allergies, etc. - all at the same time...all without drugs or antibiotics. It's truly amazing!

(His treatment method works by activating the body's own immune system and ability to heal. You can read more details on his website.)

The lyme treatment takes a few days and has a flat fee around $3,000 I think. This covers all the appointments and treatments needed (for lyme, parasites, viruses, allergies, etc.), as well as a three-month supply of whatever supplements you need to take after the treatment. Comparatively speaking, this cost is very reasonable and definitely worth it for better health. (Some people spend more than $20,000 on lyme treatments, which often aren't successful.)

I can tell you about two people I know personally who have been treated for lyme by Dr. Smith. One of them is almost back to 100% normal function! The other person's health is much improved, though still dealing with some other chronic issues that needed to be addressed. 

Dr. Smith's office schedules apptoinments for lyme treatment several months in advance (because it takes 3 days to complete the treatment, and because so many people are coming for it). The office staff are very kind and helpful, so feel free to call with any questions. They aren't in the office every day, but they will return messages as soon as they can. 

If you know someone with lyme, please feel free to share this information with them. I hope and pray that many more people will find help and healing sooner rather than later. 


If you or someone you know has lyme, please don't put off making decisions about it. Please prayerfully consider this option. It's the only treatment I'm aware of where people are actually improving and recovering long-term. (Some lyme treatments seem to help in the short-term, but often symptoms return as bad or worse than before.) 

And please keep praying for anyone you know who has lyme. It's a serious problem today. May God continue to sustain, strengthen, and give help and healing. 

Blessings,
-Joanna  


P.S. I'm sorry I wasn't able to do a post last week. I thought I'd post this one today, then I'll try to get back to my regular schedule next Thursday. =)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

How Are You Thinking?

I think a more common question we ask is probably - "What are you thinking?" But there is an additional aspect to what we are thinking, and that's how we think. Do we think with a negative perspective or a positive one? Do we think intentionally, patiently, or chaotically?

These are some questions addressed by Dr. Caroline Leaf in the video below: "How to Train Your Mind to Avoid Burnout."

After the severe stress I experienced in May-July, I felt like there was a level of burnout. Praise God that He is healing me day by day. I'm thankful He walks with me in the stressful times and in the healing process. And He knows exactly what I need each step of the way.

The body and the mind are connected - stress to one affects the other. And when there is stress on both, it's even harder.  

Sometimes it can feel like there are no easy answers. Your life may seem like a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle...believe me, I understand. But don't let that stop you from continuing to put in one more piece at a time. =)

So for myself this week, I found Dr. Leaf's video informative and encouraging. We can recover from burnout, and we can learn tips to help us prevent it as well.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch this. (It's about 18 minutes.) Then feel free to share in the comments anything you found helpful or quotes from the video that stood out to you.

Here are some quotes that I wrote down to think about further:

"A toxic thought life will make you feel drained and exhausted."

"You can't change anything until you're aware of it."

"You're brilliant."

"You control your brain with your mind."


"How to Train Your Mind to Avoid Burnout"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRiM5NEYEJ0


I know that changing our thought patterns won't necessarily change our circumstances or "fix" the problems we face...please don't think I'm saying, "Just think better and your life will be great!" We know life is hard and much of what happens is outside our control.

At the same time, I think we can all agree that healthier thoughts are certainly a wise and long-term investment in our health and our lives.

May God continue to give us grace and strength for the challenges, and may He help us change how we are thinking, perhaps even starting today.

Blessings,
-Joanna

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Brief Update

Hello friends. I'm sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I was extremely ill, as some of you know. Thank you so much to all of you who have been praying for me! I'm slowly recovering. I lost a lot of weight, and I'm still trying to work back to eating a normal diet again. I'm able to eat turkey once a day now, and I ate some organic crackers today, which tasted really good. =) I'm also still resting a lot and catching up on sleep.

God is faithful and He is answering prayers. He is giving progress day by day. It's slower than I hoped it would be, but today I had to pause and remember that my body has actually been through a lot of stress and problems since early May. So it's understandable that it will probably take time to recover from the whole thing, not only the last couple of weeks. I'm very thankful that I've been breathing well the last few weeks, praise God! So I'm taking one day at a time and trying to allow myself the time I need to heal and trust God to restore health and strength according to His timetable.

I didn't think I'd ever go through something like this again...I thought the past health problems were the end of that particular trial. But the truth is that God is with me through every situation, and He always has my best interests at heart. I know He will be faithful to bring good from this very difficult time. Thank you again for your prayers!

Today if you find yourself still in a difficult situation, or once again facing challenges that you thought were behind you, I pray God will encourage your heart.

He created you. He loves you. He knows you. He is with you. He thinks of you. He holds your life and your days in His hands.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well...all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand--when I awake, I am still with you." -Psalm 139:13-14, 16-18


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.