The Brain & Body Optimization Game

Tomorrow I start playing a game I created called: The Brain and Body Optimization Game. If you’ve been following my journey the last few months you know I’ve been investigating the cause of 2 seizures with the biggest trigger being hidden mold in our kitchen. I’ve seen a lot of doctors/healers/practitioners and have received valuable advice. Now I am simplifying and focusing on the action steps I think are the most vital for my well-being.

One of my biggest findings is that I have mycotoxins (from the mold) in my system. These are very toxic for the brain. I found this out by doing a urine test with RealTime Labs. I am working with my local functional doctor to detox. The basic protocol is: specific supplements, eating a super nutrient dense diet, glutathione IVs, along with colonics, infared sauna and hyperbaric oxygen sessions.veggies 1

I also learned some amazing goodness from Dr. Amen about my how my brain is currently functioning. There are a few places that need some extra lovin’.

My brains scans were congruent with some emotional trauma and he recommended EMDR therapy for that. I also had one area on my QEEG that he thought neurofeedback would help. I met with his friend, Bryan Hixson, and will be starting a series of sessions soon. And, Dr. Amen generously gifted us with a month’s worth of supplements to help optimize my brain more. #jazzed #blessed

I’ve got my “team” for the next phase of healing. It consists of my functional medicine doc – Dr. Bernhoft plus the brain doc/neuroscientist – Dr. Daniel Amen and Bryan Hixson the neurofeedback brain performance expert. I still need to find an EMDR therapist and then it will be complete. I will re-evaluate in the next few  months to see if anyone else is needed but I feel pretty supported with these 3 superstars!

I will share the whole game in the next few days so you can see how I intend to play. 🙂 I’ve always loved creating my life in a gameful way. I’ve been doing it for years and with this specific game I’ve added some upgraded tools and inspiration from Superbetter. I’m golden and ready!

The game will be 5 weeks long with the focus being on healing my braiveggiesn and my body and taking my health to the next level. I will be eating a lower carbohydrate diet, moderate protein and higher fat with a splash of the autoimmune protocol to reduce any hidden inflammation in brain/body.

This is a whole family game. Because #1 it’s more fun to optimize and supercharge together and #2 because we have all been exposed to mold.

Today we made a bunch of green juice, and the guys got a blissload of nutrient dense foods at the farmer’s market and then, we made sweet potato fries, celeriac root soup, and sauteed purple cabbage. And, we just finished washing and cutting up a bunch of veggies to get ready for the week. Go Time! Yahoooo!! 🙂

Now, we are off to walk to the park! Hope you’re having an awesome day!

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Bliss Diary – July 23, 2015

There’s nothing wrong with us. There’s nothing missing in us. Everything is for us and there is nothing against us. Let us remember this together. — Michael Beckwith

Intention/Affirmation: Glow with gratitude ❤

Nutrition:
7:15 morning delight
10:45 4 muffins – same as yesterday
2:00 few slices of watermelon
5:30 big goddess green salad

I didn’t feeling super hungry and was slightly nauseous later in the day. I did an afternoon workout and felt much better.

Movement:
20 minute strength workout + 5 minutes of stretching.
15 minutes of yin yoga before bed

Meditation: 15 minutes + 45 minute napitation

Sleep: 8 hours and 20 minutes. Bed by 9:20 and up at 5:40.

Body Goodness: When I originally looked at my thyroid results I thought I was golden because my thyroid antibodies weren’t in the red (nothing was in the red). But, then checking in with my Doc he said yes, you do have Hashimoto’s. My antibodies were on the lower side — Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody was 32 and Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody was 14. I’ve seen some people with 600-1200 on these. I guess if you have any antibodies that can mean you have Hashimoto’s. I think I’ve slowly been healing in many ways because I’ve been gluten free/dairy free (except some ghee) for almost 9 years while eating an organic whole foods diet with no processed foods. Now I can get laser focused on the next part of the journey. Exciting! 🙂

There are a few things I need to take out in order to do the full Autoimmune Protocol. I’ve gone through spurts of taking each one of these out but not all at the same time:  Eggs, seeds like chia/flax/sunflower/hemp, cacao, stevia, ghee, lentils, some nightshades. I feel like knowing what I am working with now gives me more focus.

I’ve been wondering how many animal products I should eat and if I really needed them (letting go of the belief I’ve had for 9 years that animal products are toxic). But, everything I’ve read and researched has lead me to believe I do need them to heal.

And, I also wonder if aspects of my veganism diet may have contributed to micronutrient deficiency, inflammation and irritated an already leaky gut. Dr. Terry Wahls wrote a great article, Could Vegetarianism increase your risk of autoimmune disease? It’s about being a vegetarian for 15 years and how she completely changed her diet and psychology around eating animal products. This has removed some of my ambivalence about eating meat and I’ve gotta go all in and believe this path is the best one for me, especially working with an autoimmune condition.

Mind/Heart/Spirit Goodness: In my meditation this morning I visualized the blue-butterfly-on-pink-hydrangea-garry-gaythyroid, it looks like a butterfly. A butterfly symbolizes transformation for me. That is why I have a butterfly in the Rock Your Goddess Life logo. I smiled because this is and has been my path: self-expression, creativity, love, transformation. My thyroid and immune system are helping me to live my destiny. It’s not how I thought it “should” look but this is how it’s unfolding. To quote Byron Katie: “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.”

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for another lovely day. I am grateful for my gratitude practice. I am grateful for the spaciousness in my life. I am grateful for meditation. I am grateful for all the books, websites and stories people share on how they’ve healed themselves. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for my menstrual cycle. I am grateful for all the simple joys and laughs I experience daily. I am grateful for naps and rest. I am grateful for all the love that surrounds me. ❤

Final thoughts for the day…I started my moon yesterday and in order to honor my cycles I’m going to rest and be offline and shut down my computer until Monday. I will integrate and prepare to start the AIP protocol on Sunday. This weekend I will also focus on the things I’ve written about in the last few posts in regards to healing on the mental/emotional/spiritual level.

Thank you for reading. I am sending you love and appreciation! ❤

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Bliss Diary – July 21, 2015

I found out I have Hashimoto’s last night. I recently got the results of a thyroid panel I did two weeks ago. This was the first time we tested for antibodies. My TSH was down so I was jazzed about that but later learned the antibody numbers confirmed Hashimoto’s. I knew that was a possibility but I was pretty sure I didn’t have an autoimmune disease. I’ve never had any “serious” symptoms some people deal with. My main symptoms are fatigue, some dry patches on my scalp, slight fluctuations with weight, and acne (altho, that has changed drastically since I’ve taken out grains and limited higher glycemic foods).

I am feeling a bit shocked with moments of denial along with a sense of relief. After I put my son to bed I sat on the couch and cried. I cried because Whaaaat? I have an autoimmune disease? And, I also cried because I finally knew what has been going on for the last probably 15+ years. I have been tired for awhile.

I remember the fatigue in college. Some days I would take caffeine pills before volleyball practice just to get moving. I’ve had skin issues since then too. I’m an athlete…strong with a disciplined mind and a high pain tolerance. I played Div I college volleyball with a stress fracture in my foot for 3 years. I felt better doing certain things nutrition/health wise but there was still a level of fatigue and skin issues that persisted.

Last night the tears just kept flowing from my eyes as I was trying to go to bed. I knew (for a long time) that something was off in my body. I’ve diligently focused on healing my body for 18 years. I got certified as a massage therapist, private trainer and holistic nutrition coach to learn more about the body & health.

My lifestyle is so dialed in now because I’ve made big and small leaps moving away from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to an organic whole foods diet (no grains, no vegetable oils, no processed foods/sugar). I feel like my thyroid has been the missing piece. This has been under the radar and limiting my full healing and optimization. My body has had to work with a lot of things throughout the years.

Snap shot of my health history: born c-section, strep throat and antibiotics every year, adenoids/tonsils removed, pushing my body *really* hard in college, taking advil for pain relief from the stress fracture. etc. Most autoimmune diseases are caused by intestinal permeability (leaky gut), genetic disposition and nutrition/lifestyle triggers.

There is no doubt that I’ve had a compromised gut/immune system for a long time. It probably started the first few weeks of my life because c-section babies gut lining usually doesn’t seal properly because they didn’t get the healthy vaginal bacteria that helps with this process. This can cause all sorts of inflammation problems which is most likely one of the reasons I was hospitalized for 2 seizures when I was a toddler. My sweet little baby body.

So now what? Well, serendipitously I was already thinking (and have been for awhile) to have our whole family do the AIP diet. We will just need to make a few tweaks and we’ll be golden. I already have a lot of books on autoimmune diseases. Before I was reading them because I’m passionate about optimal nutrition and now I am reading them with a new fervor.

I’m obviously still integrating this but my goal is to have my blood tests show that  Hashimoto’s is in remission. I will do this with diet and lifestyle and continue to do tests until the numbers prove that what I am doing is working. I also know that this new data is only going to make me and my family so much healthier. There is a new fire, a new commitment that feels powerful and I feel so grateful that I have the knowledge and support to rock this! 🙂

Nutrition:
morning delight
green juice
salmon and coconut chips
strawberries and watermelon
3 scrambled eggs with steamed broccoli and olive oil

Movement:
* 20 minute walk pushing the stroller
* 45 minute family walk

Meditation: 15 minutes + 50 minute napitation

Sleep: 5.5 hours. Bed at 9:15 but couldn’t sleep so I read for a bit and fell asleep around 10:45 and then woke up at 2:45 wide awake and fell back asleep from 4-5:30.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for my commitment to learning and studying and finding ways to heal myself. My curiosity and passion for learning and growing is why I’ve gotten to the root of my health challenges. I’ve been moved to tears today with an overwhelming amount of gratitude and appreciation for so many people. I am grateful for my amazing naturopath doctor who’s made this his life’s work. I am grateful for my awesome acupuncturist and my local functional doctor. I also have a new level of compassion and gratitude for myself and my body. I have been doing an amazing job throughout the years. I am grateful for all the hard work I’ve already invested. I am grateful for all the pioneers in the autoimmunity community, especially Sarah Ballantyne, Terry Wahls, and Amy Myers. I am grateful for my husband, he has supported all my health adventures, tests, questions, and intuition. Lastly, my son…I am beyond grateful for my son. His presence in my life continuously inspires me to rise up and be the woman I am. I go to bed with a bunch of questions and an abundance of appreciation. #thankyou

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Bliss Diary – July 20, 2015

Functional medicine is about causes, not symptoms.
It is getting to the root of the problem. —
Mark Hyman, MD

Nutrition is on my mind today. As I said in yesterday’s post I am thinking about doing the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet with some GAP principles for the whole family. The more I dive into nutrition the more I learn. I wish I would have known this stuff 15 years ago. It seems like there has been a lot about gut health come out in the last 3-5 years.

I remember when I was probably about 6 months pregnant with little E. We were having dinner with Dr. Junger and the Clean team and I was talking to him about my skin breaking out. He said that gut health was the focus of his upcoming book and I should test to see if I had parasites/bacteria/viruses in my gut. He sent me home with a stool test. The results showed I did have some gut issues, mostly candida.

What about the hubby? He was super sick as a kid with ear infections and allergy shots, lymph nodes removed, migraines, etc. And, in the last 3 years his health has greatly improved since we’ve taken out grains, limited carbohydrates and added animal products back into our diet. But, with his health history there is no doubt that his gut has be compromised for a long time and would benefit from a healing protocol.

The little guy? He was born naturally and healthy at home. He had a posterior tongue tie that took me 3 months to figure out and I was so grateful for all the people sharing their stories, especially the Mommypotamus’s blog posts! He didn’t have any vaccinations and he will be 3 years old in 2 months and he has never been sick, never had to go to the pediatrician for anything. He eats better than most adults I know. He’s vibrant and creative and an absolute joy. So why would I have him do an AIP diet?

A few things. One he did have some red rashes that appeared on his face/arms/legs when he first started consuming anything with almonds (butter, raw nuts, bars). It was a process to figure out that it was the almonds that were causing the rashes. His skin completely healed within 2 weeks of taking them out. Skin issues usually represent something off in the gut. I also noticed he has waves of tiredness that could be gut related (and of course maybe just part of growing a ton). He poops a 2-4 times a day but sometimes theyBSF-with-highlight are more in the type 2 or 3 and once in awhile 1’s on the Bristol stool chart. It’s ideal for our daily bowel movements to be type 4,5,6 which he does have plenty of those!

I did a stool test for him and there wasn’t anything major off and our pediatrician said he thought it was all fine but…Momma’s intuition tells me that there might be some imbalances. I’ve learned to trust myself with this whole process. I don’t want to go looking for problems but I also know that both Brian and I had gut issues when we conceived little E and from what I’ve read we pass our microbiome on to our children. So, if that’s the case he could use a little healing support as well.

Emotional side of this: I am happy that I know what I know now and also sometimes feel flashes of irritation/frustration that I didn’t know this before I got pregnant and throughout my pregnancy. I recorded my whole pregnancy journey (just like I am doing now on this blog). I was so committed to having an extraordinary pregnancy/home birth…and I did, it was amazing. I believed I was doing the right thing with as an almost veganism diet with the addition of 3-6 eggs a week. I was still eating gluten free grains and more fruit/carbs than is ideal. I know this because I did a genetic test to see what is optimal for my body. I did the best I could. I ate a whole foods organic diet and lots of salads, cooked greens, avocados, green juices, etc. But, I would have done things differently had I known what I now know. When I think about all of this it fuels the fire of inspiration and desire to support other families to be as healthy as possible.

Affirmation/Intention: I am a powerful Goddess. Choose from an empowered place.

Nutrition:
7:00 morning delight tea
10:00 16 oz green juice
11:00 4 sweet potato/egg muffins w/ turmeric coconut butter
3:45 cucumbers, carrots, chicken dipped in garlic lentil dip
6:30 salad with some hard boiled eggs

Movement:
* 45 minute adventure with toddler
* 35 minute rebounding

Meditation: 25 minutes + 50 minute napitation (felt sooo good!)

Sleep: 7.5 hours – Bed at 9:15 and woke up at 4:45 feeling good so I meditated before the little guy woke up. A few months ago I would sleep for 8.5-10 hours every night and still wake up tired, so this feels awesome!

Declutter Challenge: I starting a decluttering challenge/habit of doing something every day to keep things organized and moving forward. This is what I did today:
#1 organized and decluttered all bathroom cabinets and drawers. The goal is to just have a soap dish, air spray and 1 thing of lotion on the counter!
#2 called to set up an appointment to have someone check on our dishwasher/stove top (totally been procrastinating on this one)
#3 cleaned and organized my desk. The goal is to only have these things on my desk: journal, mom’s one line memory book, 1 book, 1 pen, family picture, a baby picture of me at 1, computer and I just added a 1979 United States dollar coin with  Susan B. Anthony on it that my hubby gave me.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for my clean desk. I am grateful for my clean bathroom. I am grateful for little E’s help with organizing. I am grateful for all the fun and tender moments I have with him everyday. I had a moment today while we were sitting on the floor at his little table eating our carrots/cucumber/hummus/chicken and chatting away and laughing…I thought I am a Mom. Wow. I got tears in my eyes. It was one of those moments where it hits you that with the help of God, we created a human being. #AMAZING I am grateful for my incredible husband and all of his support and love.

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