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.

alex_signature_pink

Bliss Diary – July 14, 2015

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. — Helen Keller

Intention/Affirmation: Do the little things. Don’t procrastinate. Do it now, with a smile of gratitude.

Nutrition:
7:00 longevity tea w/ coconut milk, mct oil, collagen, peppermint oil, cacao butter, stevia
9:30 3 sweet potato/egg muffins w/turmeric coconut butter
1:00 green goddess salad
3:15 16+ green juice + kevita
5:30 kelp noodles w/ basil pasta sauce, kale, collards, and ground beef

Movement:
* 40 minute “creative” track workout – meaning I went with E + our dog so it made for a lot of variety
* 15+ minute walk to park
* 15+ minute walk back home from park

Meditation: 15 minutes + 20 minute guided meditation

Cleaning Habit: The habit I am building this week is to keep the kitchen clean throughout the day. So when we sat down for dinner the only thing left to clean will be the dinner dishes. I want to wake up with a clean kitchen every day.

I succeeded today. I also experienced more flow and ease cooking dinner with a clean kitchen. Brian told me that it’s been scientific proven that clean spaces increases willpower. More of that please. 🙂

Book Love: I finished The Danish Way of Parenting: A Guide To Raising The Happiest Kids in the World. It’s written by an American writer and cultural trainer and a Licensed Narrative Therapist. I loved it, it felt very RIE. It goes through the acronym P.A.R.E.N.T. which stands for play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, togetherness. We all want to do the best for our children/family and this book has a lot of really awesome and important information for parents.

Denmark has been voted as having the happiest people in the world by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) for almost every single year consecutive year since 1973…

America, on the other hand, the country with “the pursuit of happiness” built into its very own Declaration of Independence isn’t even in the top 10. It’s barely in the top 20, closer to number 17 after Mexico. Despite having an entire field of psychology devoted to happiness and an endless sea of self-help books instructing us on how to acquire this elusive emotion, we aren’t really that happy. Why is that? And, moreover, why are the Danes so content?

The Danes are happier because they do things differently than a lot of the traditional parenting advice out there. Conscious parenting can be challenging because we are creating new neural pathways by choosing to do something other than the way we were raised.  “Most people just repeat their own patterns. You are doing something much bigger and harder by making a change.” It takes intention, wisdom, commitment and love to raise happy, healthy and resilient children.

Sometimes we forget that parenting, like love, is a verb. It takes effort and work to yield positive returns. There is an incredible amount of self-awareness involved in being a good parent. It requires us to look at what we do when we are tired and stressed and stretched to our limits. These actions are called our default settings. Our default settings are the actions and reactions we have when we are too tired to choose a better way.

Choosing a better way is an investment. How we show up daily impacts our experience with our children. It isn’t going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but there can be soooo much more ease, grace and joy when we focus on play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, togetherness. So, instead of the terrible two’s it’s the terrific twos and the so-called “three is more terrible than twos” turns into the “three is more amazing than twos.”:)

Body Goodness: Today starts the completion phase of my menstrual cycle which is perfectly timed with my intentions to clean, organize and declutter. I’m having fun syncing my life with my cycle. I’m not sure how this works when you’re pregnant but for now I’m diggin’ it.

I am noticing a difference in my energy. I’ve been working with my adrenals and sub-clinical hypothyroidism with my TSH being at 2.7 (6 months ago). I just did another test 2 weeks ago so I’m looking forward to seeing what my numbers are now. My hunch is my thyroid hasn’t been optimal for awhile and after pregnancy, birth and extended breastfeeding it can get even more out of balance.

I’ve been working with Alan Christianson on this, he’s a Naturopath. He likes the TSH to be around .9 – 2.0, which is pretty standard for functional medicine. Conventional medicine doesn’t do much unless your over 10. I just started taking bio-identical hormones to decrease my TSH number. I am taking these temporarily and will taper off them once my numbers get back into balance. I don’t think I would’ve been open to this if I didn’t read in The Better Baby Book that Lana Asprey took bio-identical hormones after the birth of their first child. I respect Dave Asprey’s research, knowledge and passion. And, from what I’ve researched thyroid health is vital for having another healthy and awesome pregnancy in the future.

Proud Parent Moments: As I’ve said in my other post, I am doing more of “let him learn on his own time” potty learning. E has been really into wearing his “underwear,” he can put them on all by himself (yes, it’s the little things). He said he needed to go poop and asked B to go with him to the toilet. He did and then called me so I could see it. He did this 2 more times today. You know you’re a parent when you genuinely get excited about your child going to the bathroom (haha). So awesome!!

Mind/Heart/Spirit Goodness: I’ve felt such gratitude for my little companion. It gets easier and easier and more and more fun. He is learning so much and becoming so autonomous. I was thinking about our plan for schooling, which is…we don’t plan to put him in school. I researched about school years before I was even pregnant. I knew that I wanted to do a more natural homeschooling/unschooling learning style for our children. We like to call it optimal learning. 🙂

Since becoming a mother my naive bubble around time has been busted. I’ve wondered how the heck I am going to do it, especially adding another child to our family. I attended public school so this is something totally new to and I am learning as I go. But, today I saw it and felt glimpses of how we can make it work and have it be fun.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for the two walks. I am grateful for the local track. I really enjoy going there. I am grateful my son went in the potty 3 times today. Woohooo! I am grateful my husband helped keep the kitchen clean today. Go Team Johnson! I am grateful for books! 🙂 #thankyou

alex_signature_pink

Bliss Diary – July 12, 2015

Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started. — David Allen

Hello, Sunday! My morning wasn’t what I expected…there were dishes in the sink, toddler creations around the house, laundry pile, blueberries spilled on the floor, our dog peed and pooped inside and chewed up my one of my favorite headbands…then, a glitch when we transferred one computer to another and I lost some of my data which included deleting all my contacts on my phone.

Usually I move through things pretty fast, but I was feeling pretty crabby for about 30 minutes. I felt like I was going to cry with frustration, especially about the computer and phone stuff.

Then, I sat down to meditate. One of the text messages that was saved in the weird glitch was from our dear friend, Dave, who passed away in October. It’s been almost 9 months and I haven’t been able to delete his texts or his phone number. Sitting with his death in my meditation made my so-called “crappy” morning look like bliss.

I felt a rush of gratitude that I am still here (alive) writing these words. Then, I surrendered and shifted. This is the nature of life. Things come and they go. We come and we go. Everything passes. Sometimes the sun shines and sometimes  it rains. I was reminded that each breath I breathe is a gift. Truly a gift, no matter what the weather’s like.

Intention/Affirmation: I intend to get clear about what I want to complete during our declutter challenge on the Oasis. I want to get rid everything I don’t love and creating new systems to thrive. I am clearing space in my mind, home and life. #getthingsdone

Nutrition:
7:30 morning delight (same as yesterday)
11:00 strawberries and small piece of watermelon
12:45 salmon fillet from last night + small green goddess salad
2:30 chia lemonade
6:00 chicken + guacamole + bigger goddess green salad + fresh coconut meat + water

Movement:
20 minutes of rebounding
10 minutes of yin yoga before bed

Meditation: 15 minutes + 40 minute napitation

Body Goodness: I am surprisingly not that sore for my workout yesterday. My body feels good. Still moving through stuff. #detoxin’ Thanks to Ellen Mary, I am going to bring back daily skin brushing into my morning routine to help with the cleansing and stimulate the lymph system. I am also amazed at my success rate with naps. I laid down to do a guided meditation and didn’t think I was going to fall asleep and then…my son woke me up when he woke up from his nap. It had been 40 minutes. #queennapper

Mind/Heart/Spirit Goodness: My morning dealings with “stuff” plus the preparation for our declutter challenge next week has really inspired me. I want to elevate my habits in regards to organization/getting things done.

I’m going to dive back into my organization books:
Sink Reflections by Maria Cilley
A Mother’s Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Getting Things Done by Dave Allen
And, one of my favs Leo from zenhabits.net

I have a vision of what it will look and creating simplifying/organizational habits are essential to making that a reality. I must do them until they are just what I do, they become routine. I wouldn’t think of missing my meditation habit. I’ve done it for 8 years without missing a day (some days I was breastfeeding but still showing up). I’ve need to create a strong why and live into the benefits.

I sometimes put things off that don’t light me up. I want to read, write, create and be divinely feminine and not deal with phone calls, cleaning, little things that need to be fixed, etc. But, the reality is we all have to do these things, unless…we hire someone to do it all. Hmmmm, if I’m asking the question if I had it all my way… I may choose to include that in my desire list. 🙂 For now, I feel called to master this skill/habit more.

The ironic thing is when I do a bunch of completions and follow GTD principles I have more space in my life to create + do the things I love because I’m not dissipating energy on things I’m procrastinating on or things I haven’t finished yet. David Allen says:

If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.

Would love to hear what has worked for you. Books/Resources/Tips?

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for Whole Foods and the brilliant founder, John Mackey. I am grateful for RIE and all the parenting wisdom I’ve gained in the last 3 years. It has made life sooo much easier. I am grateful for our amazing communication as a family, we rarely have power struggles. I am grateful for the slow rhythm we’ve chosen to live in order to honor our son’s natural rhythm. I am grateful for all the time, money and energy we have to create the life we live, and for all the people that believe in us, support us and love us. #thankyou

alex_signature_pink