Please share TSL with friends and family, as well!
If you're not following TSL in the social media realm, check it out! I post all kinds of resources, inspiration, and fun facts on my Facebook and Twitter that you don't always get to see here. Also check out TSL's Pinterest page for all kinds of pinnable resources, recipes, and sensitive info. :)
Please share TSL with friends and family, as well!
Autoimmune diseases are more prevalent in women.
This post is for one of my followers who commented on an oil pulling blog post with a question.
The reader writes:
Hi, Do you have any advice on oil pulling for people suffering from vasculitis? I have this doubt since oil pulling improves your immunity while the main drug for vasculitis and other autoimmune disorders are immune suppressants. There is an inherent anomaly.
Some background info on autoimmune diseases for my followers:
Autoimmune diseases can affect different parts of the body. When someone has an autoimmune disease, systemic inflammation causes their immune system to attack the healthy cells in their body by mistake. While there are several autoimmune diseases, inflammation is the common symptom among them all. This inflammation occurs when your body is working to fight against something it sees as an "invader," which can be anything from an infection, an allergen, a toxin, or even foods- yes, food sensitivities! The problem here is that the body fails to recognize the difference between the "invader" and the healthy tissues in the body. As such, the body turns antibodies against itself and causes all kinds of uncomfortable, painful symptoms (Myers, 2013).
From what I have read, there are different types of vasculitis but general symptoms can be fever, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, decrease in appetite, nerve numbness/weakness, skin lesions, and the big one- inflammation. Inflammation can occur in the arteries and veins, eyes, there may be inflammation and clots in the blood vessels of your extremities causing pain, stomach ulcers and GI inflammation, etc. I will address the oil pulling in relationship to vasculitis and other autoimmune diseases towards the end of this post, but first I would like to talk a bit about the drug/medication aspect of this question.
First, I want to be clear that unfortunately, I'm not a doctor- although somedays I really wish I was. I will share my thoughts, opinions, and advice with all my followers, but please know that it is important to communicate with your PCP or another health professional before trying something new. As I've said before, I firmly believe that any bodily symptomatic response- acid reflux, Crohn's, joint pain, acne, autoimmune diseases, and the like, are a result of ONE root cause. Our body is smart in that it tells us when something isn't right by being symptomatic. Until I began this health journey, I never thought that my GERD (acid reflux disease), celiac & possible Crohn's (which are both autoimmune), stomach ulcers, joint pain, eczema, dry eyes, hives, night sweats, and more were a result of ONE root cause. For whatever reason, a lot of us go through life thinking that each individual symptom has its own individual trigger. After learning about my long list of food and food chemical sensitivities, I was able to eliminate all that I was sensitive to, and surprise- all of a sudden ALL of my symptoms were out of sight.
There are several people who take medications for various conditions and health issues. I was one of those people before I found my nutritionist, Deb. I was on medication for acid reflux and inflammation. Here's the kicker- once I had my list of chemical sensitivities in hand, I was able to find all the ingredients of these medications online only to discover that they contained chemicals I am very sensitive to, ha. So, I thought I was "curing" my problems when I was really only adding to them. To be honest, I didn't notice a change in my symptoms either. Regardless, these medications came with a long list of other side effects, some of which I began to experience. Medication does not get to the root cause of your symptoms, it simply masks your symptoms or puts them into remission so that you don't have to *hopefully* experience painful flareups. Some people would call me a nut for arguing this. But then I say- okay, what happens when you stop taking the medication? Are your symptoms gone? We all know the answers to those questions. Of course they're not gone. They've just been hibernating and now that there's nothing keeping them in hibernation, chances are when they wake up, it's not going to be pleasant.
Still think I'm nuts? I came off of my medication, got tested for my sensitivities, eliminated my trigger foods and chemicals, and I've been fine ever since. The root cause is no longer present in my life because I've eliminated it, not masked it. My symptoms will only reappear if I decide to toss my hard work out the window and eat everything that I know will make me sick.
My super important advice for anyone living with an autoimmune disease: look into food and food chemical sensitivity testing. This, above all else, could be the answer you've been searching for all along. I did the LEAP MRT food and food chemical sensitivity testing. You can check out their website HERE. If you would like to talk to someone at Oxford Biomedical Technologies about the testing, you can call (888)669-5327. You can tell them you were referred by Deb Konkle's patient, Meaghan Howe.
Now, at long last, I will discuss the oil pulling with organic virgin coconut oil. Some of the many benefits of oil pulling as it pertains to autoimmune diseases include:
* Heals joint pain
* Helps to relieve symptoms from allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes
* Cures chronic sinusitis
* Helps heal chronic skin problems- acne, eczema, & psoriasis
* Makes skin soft and smooth
* Heals inflammation in the body
* Strengthens/supports immune system health
* Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers
* Supports tissue healing and repair
* Boosts energy & endurance
* Aids in digestion and supports digestive health (80% of your immune system is located in your intestines- fun fact! So, it's important that you nurture your gut.)
* It's 100% natural :)
Coconut oil is truly a miracle ingredient known for all its amazing healing properties, antioxidant components, and natural electrolytes. When someone has an autoimmune disease, there is a lot of damage done to healthy tissues in the body. Coconut oil is just what the doctor ordered for tissue healing and repair. Similarly, autoimmune diseases can make one feel fatigued. All the natural electrolytes in coconut oil and coconut water support energy and endurance. Oil pulling offers SO many different benefits other than the ones I have listed above. If oil pulling doesn't appeal to you, you can also put it in or on your food. For those who have autoimmune diseases that affect the skin- I recommend using it topically. It was the only thing that cured my eczema.
Everything I have read indicates that oil pulling and coconut oil are beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases. Our mouth is home to all kinds of toxins, parasites, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Oil pulling removes these bad guys from the equation. When our immune system becomes overburdened by stress, environmental toxins, poor diet, and the like, these little organisms spread throughout the body. What results are infections, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, and other unwanted health issues. My understanding is that oil pulling removes some of this burden on our bodies.
I hope what I've shared here has been helpful. Best of luck! :)
Myers, Amy. "10 Signs You Have An Autoimmune Disease + How To Reverse It." MindBodyGreen.com. N.p., 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8843/10-signs-you-have-an-autoimmune-disease-how-to-reverse-it.html>.
To all my beautiful followers,
The Sensitive Life wants to know! Please, please, please take a few minutes to fill out this VERY quick and pain-free survey. I would like to know what your favorite organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, antibiotic-free, no preservatives, uncured, etc. products are. I would like to know what your favorite "sensitive-friendly" personal care products and brands are, as well. The only mandatory boxes are the email address box and the very last question. For the last question, all you have to do is make a selection by clicking on a bubble. It's not as bad as it sounds. ;) You may also use the other boxes to leave additional comments if you'd like. Many thanks in advance to those of you who take the time to complete my survey. I hope to get enough information so that I can make a solid blog post with it.
Love & Light,
We all know I'm obsessed with everything coconut by now, but there is really no such thing as coconut overkill when it comes to blogging about all its miraculous uses and benefits. Yes, coconut would be a sensitive bitch's best friend, but anyone who's anyone could benefit from befriending this drupe.
According to Natural News, the coconut is used to treat all kinds of health conditions such as abscesses, asthma, hair loss, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, tummy troubles, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gum disease, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rashes, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, stomach ulcers, psoriasis, fatigue, and wounds- to name a few (NaturalNews, 2013). ;) Virgin coconut oil contains triglycerides MCT's, which have a number of health benefits and act as antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial agents. It's no wonder that it can be used to treat and prevent so many health conditions.
Don't EVER google "saggy" this is the only cute saggy there is.
Let's talk about coconut oil and our skin. As I've mentioned before, I use it with baking soda for face wash, I moisturize with it, condition my hair with it- it's amazing and all I'll ever REALLY need in a personal care product. I have yet to discuss the antioxidant effects of coconut oil. As we age, free radicals gain momentum and produce chain reactions when they're free to have a radical party, which is no good for us as this plays a huge role in the sagging and wrinkling of our skin. I hate the word sagging. Research shows that virgin coconut oil actually reduces our body's need for vitamin E and fights off free radicals, as it's unrefined and possesses essential antioxidant properties. It's basically 100% all natural anti-wrinkle cream that doesn't cost you a chunk of your pay check with the added risk of potentially giving you a number of other unwanted health issues. Yes, other unwanted health issues- don't forget that it only takes 26 seconds for all those toxic chemicals in your brand name anti-wrinkle cream to seep into your bloodstream. #Cancer. Virgin coconut oil can actually rejuvenate the skin, saggy and wrinkly or not, and strengthen the tissues (NaturalNews, 2013).
Brown, freckle-like spots, also known as liver spots, are another indication of free radicals accelerating the aging/deterioration of the lipids in our skin. When this lipofucsin pigment develops, it's typically there to stay. Using virgin coconut oil on these spots may slightly diminish the appearance of these spots over time and will prevent any additional damage from occurring. No matter how old, saggy, or sensitive you are- I urge you to give virgin coconut oil a try. It's much, much cheaper than purchasing face wash, conditioner, moisturizer, etc. Even better- it's natural and not cancer-causing.
For more information on the benefits and various uses of coconut oil check out the links below!
14 Beauty uses for coconut oil
1,001 Uses for coconut oil
Mind Body Green- 17 beauty uses for coconut oil
Top 10 evidence-based health benefits of using coconut oil
WellnessMama- Health benefits of coconut oil
NaturalNews- Superfood with amazing health benefits
Mercola- coconut oil
Dr.Oz- going nuts about coconut oil
Simard, P. "Coconuts are the "wonder food" with a multitude of uses." NaturalNews.com. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 4 Aug. 2013. <http://www.naturalnews.com/041367_coconuts_coconut_oil_skin_care.html>.
These quinoa cakes are LEAP MRT friendly and dairy-free, as long as you omit the Romano :)
What you'll need:
1 cup uncooked Quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
2 to 3 large carrots, grated
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 to 3 large eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup Romano cheese (optional for flavor)
Light olive oil for frying
Salt & pepper
What you'll need to do:
Mangia e Crece!
Let me start off by saying that breakfast IS in fact the most important meal of the day. Too often people think there isn't enough time early in the morning to prepare a healthy, satisfying breakfast. If you think about it though, the choices you make first thing in the morning are really going to set the tone for the rest of your day. It's easy to avoid all those unwanted cravings and hungry horrors late at night by doing something as simple as eating breakfast. Today's post is inspired by a lovely co-worker who is in search of some energy-boosting breakfast ideas.
First things first- one thing I highly suggest is drinking a nice big glass of ice water in the morning before you've had anything to eat. Sip away while you make breakfast. Drinking water on an empty stomach purifies the colon and makes for easier nutrient absorption. While I'm on this rant, I'll riddle off some other notable benefits of drinking water in the morning. Just 16 oz. of chilled water in the morning will actually boost your metabolism by 24% and aids in weight loss. It increases the production of new blood and muscle cells and purges toxins from the blood, which keeps your skin radiant and glowing. It also helps balance your lymph system, which is tremendously important as these glands are responsible for helping you perform your daily functions, balancing your body fluids, and fighting infection.
If you're looking for a drink to accompany your breakfast foods in the morning, my best advice and honest opinion is not to reach for the juice. I always have coconut water with my breakfast. It's THE natural energy drink and loaded with electrolytes. Learn more about coconut water and its benefits from a previous blog post HERE.
Now onto the energy-boosting breakfast ideas. You always want your breakfasts to be high in protein because without it, you'll be running on empty a couple hours into your day.
Omelets- eggs are high in protein, but be sure to include the yolk as it contains several important nutrients including vitamin A and zinc, which support immune health and tissue growth. Sure, you can have your eggs scrambled- BUT, omelets are more fun because you add other yummy stuff to the eggs. Note that leafy greens are energy boosting. A yummy omelet to consider (I had this prior to learning of my sensitivities) would be a spinach, tomato, and feta cheese omelet. Whenever I have an omelet, I have fruit on the side. I like to have bananas in the morning because they're high in potassium, which is an electrolyte. Spinach also contains a lot of potassium. Other ideas for veggies in omelets that I enjoy include zucchini, summer squash, onions, and organic mozzarella.
Yogurt, fruit & nut bowl- Yogurt is also very high in protein and potassium. I like to add some raw, local honey, pure vanilla extract, and a dash of cinnamon to plain, organic yogurt for flavor. Greek yogurt will keep you feeling fuller for longer if you're not a texture-sensitive person. Chop up a banana, some blueberries, cherries, organic (because they're the dirtiest fruit) strawberries, or whatever fruits you enjoy and toss them in the bowl. I almost always add blueberries to my bowl. Bluebz are rich in antioxidants and fiber, low-glycemic, and support immune health and lower cholesterol.
Add raw/lightly salted almonds or walnuts for added protein. If you make a big enough bowl it's VERY filling. This is often my go-to breakfast. If I make a smaller bowl, I might have a rice cake with sunflower butter or almond butter, too.
Nut butters are a great way to go in the morning or even as a late-morning snack for protein, energy, and to keep your blood sugar stabilized. One thing I have learned, believe this or not, is that peanut butter contains aflatoxin, which is a fungus that has been linked to cancer. Yes, peanut butter is a moldy nut butter. If you're gonna go the nut butter route, almond or sunflower butter are my recommendations. If you need your peanut butter, buy it organic and keep it IN THE FRIDGE.
Steel-cut oatmeal- high in protein and complex carbs, which give us vitamins and minerals that keep us feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Complex carbs provide glucose- our body's main source of energy! I haven't had steel-cut oats in months since I'm sensitive to oat, but when I used to make steel-cut oatmeal, I'd cook some apples in a pot on the stove and add a bit of cinnamon for flavor. Then I would add in the water and oats. Before I learned of my sensitivities, I would add raisins to the mix as well, which was really yummy. Once the oats were cooked, I'd drizzle 100% pure maple syrup for added flavor and chopped walnuts for added protein and crunch. This breakfast would always hold me over and keep me satisfied. You can always add other cut up fruit on top, too. Blueberries go well with all the ingredients I mentioned above!
Breakfast smoothies- The classic go-to. I use NutriBiotic rice protein powder, which is vegan and 80% protein. I add in a variety of different fruits, liquid drops of stevia (100% natural sweetener), yogurt for added protein, coconut oil because it's GREAT for you, and almond milk. Coconut oil supports digestive health and nutrient absorption. It also speeds up your metabolism, which is a bonus! I won't get off on my coconut oil tangent though because the benefits are honestly never-ending. If you're anything like me, you'll want to bite into something in the morning. Something other than a straw. I like to have a rice cake with some nut butter on it when I have a smoothie, as well.
Another smoothie I'm a fan of is the banana and nut butter smoothie with chocolate rice protein powder!
Of course there's always the green smoothie, which when mentioned, will make some of us shutter and dry-heave. BUT as I said before, leafy greens are known for their energy-boosting properties. Please know that when you cook the leafy greens (like you would with spinach in an omelet) you're not reaping the nutritional benefits of the greens that you would be if you ate them raw. No one necessarily likes to prepare a spinach salad for breakfast and understandably so. The solution- a raw green smoothie.
Benefits of leafy greens, even if it means a green smoothie:
Supports digestive health
Benefits depending on the fruits you add to your green smoothie:
Great doses of vitamins A, C, E, and K
Great doses of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium
High fiber content prolongs energizing effects
Fights against aging and disease (Steckler, 2013).
I've never prepared my own green smoothie so I don't have recipe suggestions based on what tickles my own palate. Here are some websites I found with different recipe ideas. If anyone knows of some good green smoothie recipes, please send them to email@example.com and I'll share them! :)
Fruit & green smoothie recipes
Simple green smoothies
Yummy Mummy Kitchen- "best green smoothie recipe"
5 delicious green smoothies for beginners
...Just some ideas :) Also, I take no responsibility for whatever kind of weird shit happens in your blender.
SEEDS, SEEDS, SEEDS- Nuts and seeds add great texture and flavor. Seeds such as flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds give us those omega-3's and monounsaturated fats we need for good heart health, as well as vitamin E and protein. My favorite seeds to add to just about anything are chia seeds! Many of you may be familiar with them. They're easier to digest than flaxseeds and have a long list of benefits. Please note that the maximum amount of chia seeds you should have in a day is 1 oz.
*Help weight loss
*Reduce food cravings
*Regulate appetite, sleep, and mood
*Feel fuller faster & longer- they absorb 10 times their weight in water forming a bulky gel, which slows down the digestive process. This gel is also hydrating.
*Slow down how fast our bodies convert carbs into simple sugars, thus controlling blood sugar. *Beneficial for diabetics.*
*Great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium
One source explained that when shopping for chia seeds, quality is obviously important. Black and white seeds are solid choices. Avoid red chia seeds, which are immature chia seeds and small black seeds that are visibly smaller than regular black chia seeds.
Check out this awesome source HERE and learn more about the benefits of chia seeds.
To conclude, always eat breakfast. Also NEVER reach for those GOD AWFUL meal replacement bars. They're LOADED with all kinds of chemicals and preservatives. If you want REAL energy, eat real food. Don't get me wrong, there was a point in my life where meal replacement bar was my middle name. It got me nowhere and based on what I know now, the thought of them is nauseating. I'll probably have to do an entirely separate blog post on that shit now that I think about it.
Another important thing to consider is making sure you have an energy-stabilizing snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Also check out my blog post on L-Glutamine supplements HERE and learn about the benefits this amino acid has to offer in terms of boosting your energy and stabilizing your blood sugar!
*If anyone has other ideas for energy-boosting breakfasts please feel free to comment on this post and share them! :)
Steckler, Joshua. "Green smoothies provide health benefits, energy boost." Daily Herald . N.p., 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 1 Aug. 2013. <http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130318/entlife/703189983/>.