Willpower Begins the Journey But Discipline Helps You Stay on the Path!

It’s been some time since my last post and the many reasons fill my head now as just excuses. But time is of the essence, it’s fleeting, and there are just 24 hours in a day. The business is flourishing, and I’m writing curriculum which takes the place of writing about my health challenges…practices. Time is incremental when I look at the health of both us…myself and my husband. My health is like a rollercoaster lately running the gamut of hills and valleys – sunny days and cloudy disparity. While my husband turned his willpower into the discipline he needed to stay on the path.

Willpower, is it a power of wills? Is it a will of power? Do you have control of your will? Dictionary. com says willpower is the control of one’s impulses and will. Well, what it doesn’t say is that my husband has an abundance of it when he finally makes up his mind to do or not do something. Dictionary.com says this about discipline. It’s a training, activity or a regimen that develops or improves a skill. Well, this explains a lot of why the two nouns go together. You have to possess the willpower to discipline yourself so you can improve your life or a part of your life.

Starting Point

So what’s the point of talking about willpower and discipline?  You see, back in January of 2017 my husband had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, his left leg had a blood clot from his ankle to his groin. The doctors at the hospital told us how lucky he was because normally they don’t give this diagnoses to men over 50 – they find it in an autopsy. So, yes, he was lucky,  but I liked to think that he was blessed.

Over the last year and a half, we changed diets, we changed lifestyle and we changed our health outlook. My husband spent only 6 months on the meds and with my research help and finding the right naturopath he transitioned to supplements. But he had a strange inflammation issue in his left leg that would worsen if he moved or sat still. Nothing would work long term. Diuretics (prescription and natural) only work when you’re taking them, they don’t address the cause of the inflammation. So back to the research I went.

About three months ago, my research took me to a place I never thought about, but wow it’s changed our lives. Health research more precise alternative health research is my forte, in being a holistic life coach. I had exhausted every avenue I knew but I was coming up short on answers. I remember it was about 2 a.m. one morning back in March,  I laid it all out on my desk before God and asked God to direct me. I got an answer three days later when my husband was talking to our friend who’s a doctor. “Have you looked into the lymph system?” I had never thought about that. I was thinking food allergies, side effects of the meds, scar tissue from the damaged veins,  wrong exercises, not enough exercising, etc.

The lymph system

We have more lymph fluid in our bodies than we do blood. And the lymph nodes in our abdomen area control the lymph movement in our legs. The lymph nodes in our neck control the lymph movement in our chest and arms. (Organic Lifestyle Magazine) This is fascinating stuff to me, and I’m talking about it constantly to my husband but, as is his usual,  he just wants the cliff notes. To make a long story shorter, I found a lymph cleanse for my husband to do. I used my knowledge of intermittent fasting and combined a raw, plant-based, high-fat, low-carb, low protein, alkaline plan to help my husband lose the inflammation.

First Three Week Regimen

A gallon of Cranberry Cayenne Flush

He also ate one huge salad every day made with alkaline veggies especially the red ones: beets, red cabbage, red carrots (nightshades excluded because they cause inflammation). I make salad dressings for him with avocado oil, garlic, cucumbers, ginger, blackberries, lemon juice, avocados and Himalayan salt.

The calorie count during this the first two weeks was 300 and 400 calories every day.

During the third week, we added a veggie smoothie to his huge salad. It was filled with full-fat coconut milk (no gums added), kale, carrots, beets, celery, avocado, cucumbers, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries (I would alternate the fruit for him), maca powder, our favorite raw vegan protein powder (Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend has no sugar, soy, or grains in it, it’s raw and it’s our favorite) and some water.

Fourth week and Onward

We added raw organic nuts but only the high fat, low carb, and low protein varieties: macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. We also added coconut oil fat bombs. I make my own with coconut oil, coconut butter, sunflower butter, maca powder, and carob (recipe below) which my husband calls fudge chunks because of their texture. Coconut Mama has a pretty good recipe that I started with and then started tweaking to make my own recipe with ingredients we can eat.

And he continues this plan now at the 8-week mark.

As you can see he doesn’t eat much only about 600 – 800 calories a day. He cut out all sugar even high sugar fruits and veggies. He doesn’t eat any grains. He eats all raw veggies, nothing steamed. He drinks a gallon of lemon water daily. He walks about 3 miles a day and does about 50 squats a day (squats are great at getting our lymph fluid moving). He also spends time on his spinning bike when it’s raining out.

2-month stats:

  • 50 pounds lost
  • Down 4 pant sizes
  • Lost 6 inches off his waist
  • Demeanor changed, he’s calmer and happier
  • Tons more energy
  • He’s got laser focus now
  • He doesn’t get overheated anymore. He had an issue since he was a teenager (he was a runner and very fit then) where he would overheat when the temps rose above 70. It was 87 degrees a couple of weeks ago and he was fine, even had on a long sleeve shirt.
  • His recovery time from hikes and workouts is getting shorter and shorter. As a landscape photographer, he hikes all over the place on different types of terrain. His first hike of the season was last week where the grade was steep at 19%. Yes, he was sore and what used to take 3 – 4 days to recover only took 24 hours.

This plan is a cleanse that will clean up your lymph system and your whole body. It will balance your hormones. It will reset you on a health journey by cleaning out the toxins that not only clogged your arteries but your life. This plan is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have the willpower to start and the discipline to say “NO” to food that’s sitting right in front of you or all around you at your office and social gatherings then it’s not for you. It’s not for everyone. But, if you are at the end of your rope, and you need to make a change that’s going to save the quality of your life, then you may want to take a look at some of the links I’ve posted above.

My husband’s willpower led him to say yes to this journey but it’s his discipline that keeps getting stronger every time he says “NO” to food that’s not right for him.

He can say yes to these!

carob-fat-fudge-e1528995792940.jpg

Carob Fat Fudge

  • 1/2 cup each coconut oil, coconut butter, and sunbutter (no sugar or salt)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder or raw cacao (cocoa and cacao have caffeine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon organic maca powder

Melt the coconut oil and butters in a small saucepan over very low heat. You only want to melt it without boiling it. Stirring till melted. When totally melted, immediately remove from heat. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool. Then add the vanilla, almond extract, and stevia. Whisk till blended. While whisking, add in the carob powder, salt, and maca powder. Whisk until smooth and incorporated. Pour into a 2-cup glass measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour into small candy molds or a mini muffin pan with paper liners. Only pour to about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Refrigerate about two hours to set. Remove from molds or pan (I removed the paper liners.) These can be stored on the counter or in the fridge. Makes 20 pieces of fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating Change

Creating change begins in our mind. Reading many articles and books on how the mind can be used to heal our boo boos has led me to finally understand the how and the why we humans can make or break our own lives. It’s been fascinating to watch as my husband transforms his cells from the inside out.

Different websites tout different foods cause inflammation and cutting back on the culprits will cut down the inflammation. The Arthritis Foundation says these foods are the eight worst.

  • Sugar
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids
  • Refined Carbohydrates
  • MSG
  • Gluten and Casein
  • Aspartame
  • Alcohol

As always I also read about inflammation on the alternative health websites. Dr. Axe says the following foods should be added to this list.

  • Corn and Soybean oils
  • Pasteurized Dairy
  • Conventional Meats

In reading the many journals on alternative health and inflammation I have found out that it’s associated with almost every health condition we know. By attacking the inflammation we can reverse these diseases and lead a vibrant life. So my husband and I have embarked on a journey to reduce the inflammation, not just with food, but actions, thoughts, and words.

Attacking the inflammation in our bodies begins with creating the change in our mind. We need to think about every we do, say, eat and think. We can think our way out of inflammation by visualizing ourselves becoming less inflamed. Our cells do what we tell them to. We think our cells do their jobs on their own, they do but to a certain point we can change their trajectory and create the change within us. If we think we hate a certain food and never taste it, then we create this ill feeling when we see or smell it. If we’re inflamed we can talk our bodies out of it by saying how much we love to exercise (lowers inflammation), for instance. We’re then finding ways to exercise. Same is true for giving up all the foods that cause inflammation. If we say how much we love their healthy alternatives, we’ll eat them more often.

We all have the power to create the change we seek right in our minds. If we think it, we can do it.

 

DETOX DAY 7: Sleep

What is the most important aspect of going through a detox or cleanse? You might think it’s eliminating the toxins, or replenishing your body with good, nutritious food and clean, distilled water. While those two things are equally important I feel the most important aspect of cleansing the body is sleep. When we sleep our cells get a chance to rejuvenate and we are better able to handle the stresses of life. That is another aspect of cleansing that I will discuss tomorrow: Stress. But for right now sleep and rest is the best way to get through a detox with my mind intact.

Our bodies need sleep just as much as they need water. But the right amount of sleep is different for each person based on their nutritional needs. For me the right amount is a good 7 hours. 7 hours helps my body remain in the holding pattern of homeostasis or balance, and while I’m detoxing these 7 hours are more important than ever before. One reason is that my body is dumping many toxins out and while I’m eliminating the toxins my body needs every chance it can to get back to a holding pattern where it can regroup and be stronger than it was yesterday.

Interesting facts about our health when we sleep.

Interesting facts about our health when we sleep.

Here’s what sleep can do for you even when you’re not detoxing.

  1. It keeps your heart healthy by lowering your blood pressure.
  2. It may prevent cancer. (detect, repair & replace, this is how our cells prevent disease)
  3. It reduces stress. (Yes I know that sometimes it’s the stress that prevents you from sleeping).
  4. Sleep reduces inflammation, but only if you sleep in the prone position. (sleeping in a chair does the exact opposite.)
  5. Sleep makes you more alert. (You’ll do better on tests if you have a good night’s rest instead of cramming all night.)
  6. Sleep makes your memory better. (You’ll remember the facts for that test and you’ll also remember where you put your car keys at.)
  7. Sleep also helps with weight loss  (Because when you sleep you don’t crave carbs as much.)
  8. Sleep is also associated with reduced risk of depression.
  9. Every cell in your body repairs when you sleep.
  10. Sleep helps you look youthful longer.

References

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2003/10/22/cancer-sleep.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sleep-deprivation/AN01344

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/tips-reduce-stress

http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/health-nutrition/620-sleep-the-secret-weapon-for-school-success.gs

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-while-sleeping

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brain_basics/understanding_sleep.htm

http://www.oasisadvancedwellness.com/learning/sleep-skin-care.html

SAVING MY HEALTH & MY MONEY

Yesterday I decided for kicks and giggles to tally up how much money I would have to spend to feel as good as I do while take ASEA. I was dumbfounded by the amount of money I would have to spend in order for my health to be at this level and my life to be this good. Below you’ll find a list of products that I don’t have to take because I take ASEA. By taking ASEA I’m saving my health and my money, but more importantly I’m building a life.

One of the things that ASEA does is accelerates the body’s production of its own natural antioxidants, like glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase.

A question I always need answered is where these supplements come from. Since ASEA accelerates our bodies own natural production of these antioxidants I don’t have to be concerned because they are made within my own body, but if I’m going to pop a pill to get these then I would want to know. Wouldn’t you? For instance, SOD comes from animal sources (www.webmd.com). Since many people today are vegetarians and vegans this is simply out of the question.

Since glutathione, catalase, and SOD helps with removing wrinkles, treating pain, and inflammation I’ve been able to stop using other single forms these products since I used to suffer from an autoimmune illness. Notice I said “used to,” because it’s been almost a year (next month) since I had my last flare up. I also used to have red, blotchy, scaly skin in different parts of my body which I haven’t had to deal with and I’ve been able to enjoy some of my favorite foods like grapefruit and an occasional piece of cheese. My face used to be screaming with redness on my nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead that would burn every time I washed my face. I had to use special cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup just to keep it from burning and showing every time I went out of the house. Now I use ASEA and I no longer have to wear foundation makeup because I have nothing that I want to hide.

Before ASEA

Below are the products I used.

Let’s see what’s the running total so far? I used to spend $380.51 a month on health products just for myself. I’d now have to double this to include the supplements my husband used to take for his health concerns. That’s a whopping $761.02 for dealing with both of our health issues individually. So when someone asks me, “Don’t you think $120 a month for a case of ASEA is crazy?” I say, “NO! Spending $761 a month is crazy!” Before I found ASEA I had no choice but to treat each individual health issue with different products. Now that ASEA has been a part of our life for over a year, we’ve been saving money because ASEA ($120) has taken the place of 10 supplements and numerous skincare products.

It’s not rocket science to figure out the numbers, $120 a month is a far better deal than $761. Saving my health and saving money in the process is only one half of the puzzle. The other half is that I get to share this wonderful product with all the people I meet throughout my day.

ITALIAN GIRL SAYS GOODBYE TO PASTA & LOSES 15 POUNDS

Two and a half weeks ago, I decided to do something drastic for the health of my husband and for myself. I decided to go Paleo and totally grain-free. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog then you already know that my husband has been gluten intolerant for more than two years. But I learned something interesting about myself almost 3 weeks ago. I have a gluten allergy and while I don’t have Celiac’s Disease, this allergy causes some pretty disturbing issues for me. So this Italian girl said goodbye to pasta and lost 15 pounds in 18 days.

I know what you’re thinking…It’s simply not possible to lose that much weight in that short of time. If’ I didn’t see the scale numbers for myself I wouldn’t believe it either. The clincher came when my jeans became so big it was difficult to hold them up. So I tried on my skinny jeans, and they were loose on me too.  Eating grain free is so easy for both me and my husband. I thought I would miss the pastas but I really don’t probably because I haven’t had regular pasta in over three years.

My scale is my friend.

People are constantly asking me what exactly do I eat and what kind of crazy exercise routine am I doing. So here goes this is what I’ve been eating:

Breakfast: 1organic egg cooked any way I want, with some Himalayan Salt and 1 small organic banana, 1 cup of Earl Grey Tea with 2 stevia drops, and 32 ounces of water.

I don’t eat for four hours between breakfast and lunch.

Lunch: I have a 20 ounce cup of tea with stevia and a salad with either tuna, or whatever protein we had from the night before.

Snack: a handful of soaked almonds or a homemade “Laura Bar” (My own versions that have no added fat except the nuts).

Dinner: I’ve been making burgers and all kinds of different ethnic stir fries (husband can live on stir fries with no soy because he’s allergic to that too) , another salad and for dessert a serving of frozen fruit puree. My favorite so far has been Pineapple Vanilla Sorbet. It’s super easy to make.

I’ve also instituted no eating after 7 pm.

This is my basic diet, I haven’t strayed from it at all. I drink 96 ounces of water a day.  The most interesting this is that I’m not hungry all the time. I do give myself one cheat meal once a week, but for me that’s usually a piece of chocolate.

I’ve been walking and using my old Shwinn Airdyne exercise bike that a friend gave me to use. And that’s it. I will start my weight training routine Next Monday.

This way of eating has really cause me to take a second look at how I feel because before, while I had a lot of energy, I was still having inflammation issues. Now that I’m totally grain free, those inflammation issues are not such a problem anymore. Another plus at eating this way is meal prep takes only about 30 minutes, and some of the stir-fries I’ve made in less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

My husband’s results to this eating plan are totally different than mine, he hasn’t lost as much weight but he hasn’t taken any digestive enzymes (which he was popping like candy) since starting this plan. Plus he hasn’t had a problem with his lipomas (fatty tumors)  or the pain in his side caused by his IBS of which he has not had a problem with this whole time and he’s been under a great deal of stress.

This Italian girl is staying on this plan until she reaches her goal weight of 145 pounds. I thought I could do it before December but if the weight keeps falling off of me at this rate, I’ll be at my goal weight much quicker.

Pastas will come and go; people will forever be posting photos of delectable foods everywhere we look, but we don’t have to succumb to these and give up our dreams and goals for a moment of tongue bliss. It doesn’t matter what ethnic heritage you are, you can lose weight and stick to a program especially if you’re seeing results. This program is easy, it’s simple too. I find the simpler the plan the easier to stick to it. Many people out there are trying to find ways to come up with recipes that mimic the regular version, that’s so time consuming and nothing we try will ever taste like the old version. So just make peace with yourself and resolve to change your tastes.

This Italian girl said goodbye to pasta and lost 15 pounds.

If I can do it, so can you.

INFLAMED NO MORE

Everywhere you look, you see articles on anti-inflammation and what to do to stop inflammation from taking over your life. Inflammation is a big problem now that most of the world’s population have access to inflammation causing foods like fast-food, genetically modified food, and foods that are laden with chemicals and pesticides. Many of the experts tell us to stay away from these foods because they are the cause of many of our health concerns we have today like cancers, cardiovascular disease, obesity, auto-immune diseases, and depression. These same experts are telling the public that they should be consuming more fresh vegetables and fruits, but some of those fruits and vegetables also cause inflammation; I’m talking about the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables.

The nightshade family of fruits and vegetables cause just as much inflammation as processed foods because they are in everything we, as a society eats. While in small quantities these foods do not cause problems but in large amounts can wreck havoc for our bodies. As a person who is riddled with severe auto-immune pain one of the big culprits to this pain are these veggies, fruits and condiments that contain them. I avoid them like the plague they are.

Fruits and veggies to avoid:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Potatoes (Sweet and Yams excluded)
  • Peppers (Black and White excluded)
  • Eggplant
  • Artichokes
  • Blueberries
  • Huckleberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Tobacco

Condiments to avoid:

  • Tabasco sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • A1 Steak Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Paprika
  • pepper flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • anything listed as “spices, flavorings, and seasonings”

Notice that these plants contain solanine which is a glycoalkaloid. It is toxic in high doses. It effects the enzymatic reactions that involve calcium which plays a part in our weakening bones and joints. It irritates the nerve endings in our joints which creates the inflammation (http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-182.pdf). So instead of poisoning ourselves with these plants we can choose to live inflammation free, if we just avoid them entirely.

I did this for one year and the results were quite good. I no longer eat anything on this list except blueberries which do not give me a problem. This has been quite difficult since both my husband and I are also gluten intolerant. But reading labels does help. Remember if you’re gluten free and still having stomach upset it could be the potato starch in many of the gluten free products. Solanine is known to cause stomach irritation.

Some interesting websites to read up on the possible danger of eating such plants: