New Year, New Start

December 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’ve never been a fan of New Years resolutions… I mean, does anyone actually stick to them?!? And if you’re going to be the one who points out that you actually did stick to your New Years resolution and you lost weight in 2013, that’s great. However, statistically speaking, you’re the anomaly.🙂

In the wake of the Christmas hustle and bustle, I can’t help but to take a moment to pause and reflect on what I accomplished this year and what I would like to achieve in 2014. Although, despite my lack of appreciation for New Years resolutions, do I have quite the ambitious list this year…

If I rewind a little bit further, in April of 2012 my Lyme doctor told me to finish out my 6 month protocol, but she didn’t need to see me anymore because I was doing so well (in my post here). This was exciting and great news and somewhere in my subconscious I thought I was “all better”. After that appointment, I would happen to miss a dose of herbs every now and then. And then another one here and there. Until you guessed it, I wasn’t taking them at all.

It probably doesn’t take much to put the pieces together, with the aforementioned admission, my fall while jogging in my post here and then my lack of posts all together… Yes, I had a relapse. I was in denial that I was declining. I knew I was getting worse but didn’t want to believe it. I just wanted to live a normal life not centered around when to take herbs and when I was allowed to eat. And yes, taking herbs is a relatively small sacrifice when you’re talking about a life altering disease, but obviously, logic didn’t really play a big role here… unfortunately.

I struggled getting back to my routine. I took just enough herbs to remain stable with no noticeable symptoms. And I was still telling myself that I was pretty much fine. Half way though 2013, I made a long overdue decision and decided it was time to get serious with my health again. I am proud to say that I have been taking my protocol regularly for four+ months. My symptoms are improving slowly, but they are not gone entirely.

As 2014 approaches, I’ve decided that it’s time to step in up another notch. I am going to continue my herbal regimen for a minimum of the next three months. While I want to be done with them, I don’t want to stop taking them prematurely (again). I wrote the dates on the herb schedule so I can’t miss a dose without some serious guilt. Motivation at its finest.

I also feel like it’s time to tighten down the diet again. I’m not entirely sure what that means just yet, but I know it needs to happen. I truly believe that our bodies are designed to heal itself if given the right building blocks to do the job. I want 2014 to be the year that I did everything in my power to kick Lyme once and for all. So, now it’s time to buckle down and really explore what our bodies need to heal.

I’ll post more on how my diet will be changing as soon as I figure out what that is. Seriously, it’s not going to be another year and a half!

Popcorn Festival 5k… Ehh…

July 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Failure. A joke. A virtual impossibility.

While all of that comes to mind, I’m trying not too look at it that way.

I decided that I wanted to run a 5k in September, approximately one year from the point where I was at my worst, when I was struggling to even walk.

It all sounded fine and dandy… that is until I started actually training. I had a whole plan. I bought an app, because you know, there’s an app for that. It supposed to take you from the couch to running a 5k in 8 weeks. I figured I already had a head start since I had been working out and was already off the figurative couch.

The first week seemed pretty simple. 5 minute walking warmup, run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds, repeat 8 times, 5 minute walking cool down. It sounds simple enough. Only 8 minutes of actual running. I mean, who can’t do that, right?

Well, in short, this girl.

The first day, I struggled, but I made it through and I did okay. The second day, I noticed that my left foot was dragging just a little bit, but I still made it. The third day, on my fourth interval run, my left foot was dragging and I eventually fell. I was able to direct myself into the grass and thankfully, I didn’t get any scraped knees.

Today, I decided to back off the intensity and give myself something that I could accomplish safely. Same warm up and cool down but only 30 second running followed by 90 seconds of walking. Long story short… I bit the dust, or concrete to be more exact. Scraped knee, hands and all.

I’m frustrated. Upset and even a little angry. Logically, I know how far I’ve come and I’m grateful for all of the progress that I have made.  But I still can’t help but to feel that I’ve already failed before I’ve really even started. I mean, It was the easiest running workout possible, right? I know everyone has off weeks, but there is still a fear in the back of my head that I might be beginning to have a relapse… and Lord, I hope that’s not the case. Time will tell, but I’ll be upping my smoothies and making sure to get all of my herbs in!

I don’t know if it’s possible for me to run an entire 5k in September. And if I had to guess, I would lean more towards the probably not side. But, regardless of whether or not I will be walking, running, or a combination of the two, I’m still planning on doing the Popcorn Festival in some sort of fashion. If I am unable to run this one, maybe I’ll be able to run another one a little further in the future… I don’t know, but I sure hope so.

Exactly How Do You Eat?

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

“So, you’re not a vegan, a vegetarian, or a raw foodist. You don’t exclusively eat gluten and dairy free… And just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s ok to eat it. I’m confused. Exactly how do you eat?!”

Most of my family and friends know that we eat differently, and occasionally someone will want to know exactly how we eat. I think most expect a short response of, We’re vegetarians or We only eat organic. While we do eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and mostly organic food, it doesn’t quite paint the whole picture.

In short, we follow The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin. Basically we try to eat the least processed food that we can. For example, we eat mostly organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed meats and raw dairy products. Unprocessed, unrefined, and untreated with pesticides or hormones.

If your interested in the details of how we eat, I highly recommend grabbing a copy of The Maker’s Diet. The author shares his own health struggles and how he made a full recovery, literally, one bite at a time. I think it’s quite an inspiring book and it’s one that has helped me on my journey back to health.

It’s Only a Matter of Time!

April 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

I haven’t yet made a 100% recovery, however I feel like I’m getting there! Most of my Lyme symptoms have completely gone away and handful of the remaining symptoms have improved drastically.

Yesterday Brandon and I took the hour and a half drive down to see my Lyme Literate Medical Doctor, LLMD. She reviewed my symptom chart and was very pleased with my improvements! All in all, I only need to go back on an as needed basis! And hopefully, I won’t need to!

While it is exciting to no longer need to be under the direct care of my LLMD, it doesn’t mean that I am completely in the clear yet. I am only on month five of my six month protocol, so I will need to finish that up as well as finish any remaining “extra” bottles of herbs that I have.

She did tell us, while it may not be completely necessary, if we wanted to we could continue the herbs and go another six months of the Cowden Protocol. This would mostly be a precaution to ensure that the Lyme is completely gone. If we decided to end the herbs this first round, I would need to carefully monitor my symptoms and start taking herbs again ASAP if I have any symptoms returning.

After thinking about the past year, I think Brandon and I are leaning towards having me do another six months of herbs. I can hear the voice in my head saying, “You’d rather be safe than sorry, right?!?” I certainly don’t want to have any question that the infection is completely gone and I really don’t want it to come back! So, what’s another round?

I still have a lot of work ahead of me in order to make a full recovery. In addition to the herbal regimen, I have been weight training a few times a week in order to rebuild muscles that have atrophied due to the lack of activity in the past year. Between continuing the Cowden protocol and continuing to exercise, I think it’s only a matter of time before I am 100% again! Exciting!

A Year in Review

March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m sitting here at Starbucks blankly staring at my screen. I find myself typing out a sentence only to delete it. I’m discovering that it is rather difficult to find the words to write this post. Sorry if it is a little jumbled.

This past year has been an… experience, for lack of a better word. This week last year, I was admitted to the hospital because my symptoms had progressed and I was starting to have a lot of balance issues and therefore had trouble walking. I had known that things weren’t right, but when I was being sent to the hospital for treatment, it began to sink in that something was seriously wrong. I stayed in the hospital for four days receiving intravenous high dose steroids. In addition to the multitude of tests that had already been worked up in the previous months, I had additional blood work done, a spinal tap, and another MRI. Eventually, all of this resulted in being given an official diagnosis of MS.

I knew, based off of my ‘very scientific’ online research combined with my symptoms, MS was a strong possibility. I remember sitting in the neurologists office right before I went into the hospital and asking him if he was under the impression that this was Multiple Sclerosis. He simply nodded his head and said until proven otherwise, yes.

With that nod, I all the sudden I felt like my world was crashing down around me. I remember over the next few days my husband simply holding me as I cried into his chest, trying to come to terms of what this meant for our lives. I had only met one person with MS and they were rather disabled, barely able to walk. I had so many questions. So much uncertainty. Is that how I will end up? Is disability inevitable?

I think of all of this now, a year later and it seems so surreal, like it’s a story of someone else’s life. Or maybe like a distant dream. When I begin to think about the different paths that could have been taken from that point, I begin to get rather emotional and I’m more thankful than I even know how to express.

I start to think of all of the “what if’s.” What if I would have just listened to my doctor, accepted my original diagnosis and stayed on immunomodulatory therapy? What if I wouldn’t have been open to a holistic way of thinking? If I never would have put any credibility to the MSA test and therefore never had a Lyme test ran? I find all of these questions rather overwhelming, as the predicted outcome to each scenario seems rather bleak.

Its been a year since I began to realize that, one way or another, my life was never going to be the same. This year could have gone a multitude of different ways and with that being said, I am so grateful that it has unfolded the way that it has.

I am beyond thankful for amazing family and friends that have given Brandon and I an immense amount of support through all of the ups and downs that we have experienced this year. And again, I don’t even know how to put into words how appreciative I am… Sincerely, thank you!

A Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

February 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

What do I even say… I don’t even know where to start.

I have, like many others, tried an array of diets with little success. Of course I would lose weight with each new food regimen, but It never stuck. Inevitably, the weight would always come back. Sometimes more than the amount lost. Discouraging to say the least. I was the preverbal yo-yo.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with MS, I made the decision to treat and heal my body naturally, with nutrition. I began drinking green smoothies and eating a lot of soups and salads along with healthy fat. My body was getting more nutrients than what it has ever received before. The results were pretty amazing!

I lost 35 lbs. in eight weeks.

It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it?! It was so much easier to lose weight when weight loss wasn’t my main focus and getting healthy was my top priority. This isn’t to say that this was easy by any means as you can see here. This was the beginning of a major lifestyle change for me and my husband.

We had the Standard American Diet, (SAD). We ate plenty of fast food, tons of processed foods, and more than enough high fructose corn syrup to go along with it. When I made the decision to treat my disease with nutrition, I cleaned out all of the “bad food” from my kitchen cabinets and started eating whole, non-processed foods with very little to no grain.

The first 30 days was the green smoothie detox which led to loosing 19 lbs. The following month I added in soups and salads and lost another 16 lbs! Since then, I have added in more grains (sourdough or sprouted only) and began exercising.

It has been almost 8 months since I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets.  I have continued to slowly lose weight as I am eating more of a “normal” diet now. “Normal” used loosely here. In general, I eat what I want, i.e. chocolate chip cookies, but they are made with whole, non-processed ingredients.

All in all, I have lost 40 lbs and have gained a fair amount of muscle. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how many inches… But I do know it’s been a few jean sizes! Woot, woot!

Well, I guess a picture is only worth 378 words…🙂

MS & Diet- No Evidence?!?!

February 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I found this video the other day and thought it was really interesting!

In general the conventional medical community denies that there is any cure for Multiple Sclerosis.  According to the National MS Society, “many different diets have been proposed as a treatment, or even a cure, for the signs and symptoms of MS, evidence of effectiveness is very limited.”

There are only a handful of accepted treatments used to delay disability with Multiple Sclerosis. These medications come with a whole slew of side effects, which are, at times, worse than the disease itself!

A well respected doctor and professor at the University of Iowa College of Medicine was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Before too long, despite the best medical care available, her disease had progressed and she was quickly wheel chair bound… She began self experimentation with diet.

The video below is her story. It’s well worth the time to watch. It’s a testament  to exactly how powerful nutrition can be and  what our bodies are capable of!

I guess my neurologist hasn’t seen this yet… I couldn’t help myself!!