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Wishing all my followers a happy week filled with love and light. Do great things and be with people who make your soul smile. Float your cork.
It has been way too long since my last post. I hate it when I'm too busy to blog. I've been in such a funk and I know a huge piece of it is because I've missed reaching out to all of you. Today's post is all about my progress to date, well- lack there of as it seems right now.
I had an appointment with Deb today to discuss some concerns I'm having about my health. Unfortunately, I feel as though I got to such a great point with my progress where I was glowing from the inside out and now, that glow is slowly starting to fade. I have worked tremendously hard to maintain my health on this sensitive journey of mine. Anyone who follows TSL knows that very well. It's month 6 of my journey on the Leap MRT diet and I'm at a place where I find myself looking back at my journey to figure out where exactly my health reached a plateau. Could it have been shortly after returning home from Italy? I don't know. It's almost pointless to speculate. At this point, I have to work with what I know and figure out how I'm going to move forward and get my glow back.
So what do I know? I know that I'm working with an old "road map" so to speak. The road map is my list of sensitivities. That list of sensitivities was produced at a time when my health was a step or two below rock bottom. My immune system and gut ecology were entirely different six months ago- this we know for certain. So here I am, at month 6 of my journey and I am still eating only my low-reactive foods. Why? My body has recently decided to be extremely rude about everything I put into it. I feel so much more sensitive to my moderately-reactive foods now than I did when I first reintroduced them. My solution? Just stop eating them so I won't be miserable. I'm even feeling sensitive to my low-reactive foods, which as we know, is a painfully short list of foods. My diet is limited and it seems that my body doesn't seem to care for it anymore. This old road map that I'm working off of is essentially outdated- new roads, bridges, and paths have been built in this sensitive vessel of mine. The reality is some of my low-reactive foods, which I eat every single day, could now be moderately or even highly-reactive foods. I wasn't aware that this could happen until Deb brought it to my attention. She shared her list of moderately and highly-reactive foods from November of 2009 and her list of moderately and highly-reactive foods from January 2011. While there are only 14 months in between the two tests, her results changed drastically. Only a few foods stayed the same. Some of her reactive foods changed to non-reactive foods and vise versa. Mind blown.
I have speculated for a decent amount of time now that I can no longer tolerate some of my low-reactive foods. Proof of this: I'm losing my hair, I get welts on my body randomly, and my tummy hates me. The hair loss and welts aren't symptoms I experienced prior to starting my diet. Thankfully I have so much hair that it's not noticeable, but it's actually frightening to see that my hair is coming out in the shower and on my hairbrush way more than it ever has. While it's normal to "shed" (I hate that word) roughly 50-200 strands of hair depending on how much hair you have everyday, you would know if you're shedding (AH) too much. The welts are embarrassing and I don't care who you are or what you say, we all care about our appearance deep down. Naturally, I feel very down on myself when this happens. I will note that using diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner has made a tremendous difference, though. It's clear to me that my body has something to say and it's wildly rude. I'm on the verge of being at war with my body once again and I won't have it. I can't let this control my life more than it already has in the past. This sensitive bitch doesn't have time for it. So, I have a few options for possible solutions. The first and in my opinion, most important option, is retesting my sensitivities. I need a new road map that aligns with my new needs and sensitivities. I just pray that I don't end up with a more restrictive road map the second time around. While that hardly seems possible, unfortunately it is possible. Until I have my new road map in hand, I'll continue to send out those positive vibes with the hope that my new results end up bringing a smile to my face and some relief to my sensitive life.
The important thing for me to realize as I gradually pass over this bump in the road, is that I am doing the best with what I've been given. At the end of the day, if we are doing our very best, there's not much more we can expect from ourselves or our bodies. This sensitive vessel of mine has been through the ringer as we know, so there's no sense in sabotaging the progress I have made with any down-putting thoughts.
Deb said something to me this afternoon that warmed my heart and felt true to my soul. She told me I was resilient. Sometimes it's tremendously helpful to be reminded of your strength even if you know it's there. I'm a strong person no matter how sensitive I am to the core- literally. I've adapted so well to my sensitive life, both internally and externally. As I've mentioned before, I've worked very hard to create a sensitivity-friendly environment for myself at all times. I don't use any personal care products you'd find on store shelves because of the chemicals they contain; I read every single label of any product or food I ever come in contact with; I'm always researching natural, alternative remedies for all aches, pains, and discomfort; I pack "sensitive snacks" with me when I go away for the weekend with friends- the list goes on. I've adapted once before and I am more than confident I can do it again. As I always tell my followers, your health IS worth it. I will do whatever it takes to get my glow back. I'm sure many of you who have experienced similar challenges would agree. I'm glad I have The Sensitive Life community this time around and I look forward to sharing the next phase of my sensitive journey with you all. My previous success with the Leap program makes me eager to get the ball rolling and see how things have changed since March. I'm more than ready to feel my best again!
As always, if you have feedback about your own experience please comment on the post to share it with The Sensitive Life community! :)
My next big thing: apple cider vinegar, of course. A while back, Deb had mentioned that I could try taking ACV to help with one problem or another that I was having, (I can't remember what it was) but I never followed through with it. Last night I jumped on the ACV train after taking a look at all the other amazing benefits it has to offer. As I sip on a concoction of ACV and water right now, I have to tell you that I hardly mind the displeasing taste knowing that my body will thank me later. A sensitive bitch will try anything that is known to work, has several benefits, and is natural/organic in times of need. As I have mentioned before, I feel like I'm becoming more sensitive to the foods I initially eliminated but reintroduced. For this reason, I have had to eliminate again. When I was in the Cape this weekend, I had the most difficult time with eating the *right* foods because we ate out often. By the right foods, I mean that it was close to impossible to just eat my low-reactive foods. Restaurants don't always accommodate the sensitive bitch and I wasn't about to starve all weekend. So, I did have to resort to eating some of my moderately-reactive foods. Wouldn't you know that I'm feeling and seeing the repercussions of my food choices this week. I'm feeling extremely fatigued, irritable, achey, my joints hurt, and I'm breaking out on my back and face. Yes, I drank alcohol while I was in the Cape, although not excessively by any means. I was careful about what I drank, too. Regardless, we know alcohol isn't good for our bodies and to boot, it's candida- which I am sensitive to on a disappointing level.
So where does ACV come into the equation? In my attempts to reboot my system previously and now post-Cape, I have realized something important: my body has become accustomed to certain "sensitive" products because I've used them for so long and they don't seem to be getting the job done. My breakouts aren't going away with the usual baking soda and coconut oil concoction that I've always used. Epsom salt isn't cutting it. Lemon juice isn't cutting it. So, I figured maybe it's time to try something different. That's where ACV comes to my rescue. I did some research to see if it had any benefits associated with clear skin. Not only was I pleased to find that it did, but it also had a long list of other benefits that I was particularly psyched about.
Some benefits that ACV has to offer include:
* Increased hair body & shine if used as a hair rinse
* Regulates the pH of your skin
* Fades acne scars and age spots
* Minimizes appearance of pores
* Dissolves dead skin cells
* Removes stains from teeth
* Aids in weight loss & decline in abdominal fat
* Balances entire inner body system by helping the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level
* Boosts energy (Research shows that lower pH levels lead to fatigue and more frequent infections. By maintaining a healthy alkaline pH level with the use of ACV, you boost your energy and reduce your risk of infection.)
* Detoxifies the body
* Stimulates cardiovascular circulation and helps to detox the liver
* Helps break up mucous throughout the body and clean out lymph nodes
* Reduces effects of allergies and risk of sinus infections/head colds
* Helps rid your body of candida (eureka!)
* Reduces heartburn
* Helps with inflammation
* Can be used to remove warts
* Can be used as a sunburn remedy (Mitchell, 2012).
As with everything else in this sensitive life, the quality of the product is tremendously important. Don't go looking for your Heinz bottle of ACV, please. Raw, organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is what you'll need if you want to reap any of these benefits. The brand I use is Bragg and it sports that beautiful Non-GMO Project label I adore so much.
Since I just started using ACV last night, I have yet to see any earth-shattering results. I'm extremely optimistic based on my research, though. So many people swear by it. I will include links below that provide information on how to make your own facial toner, hair rinse, etc. with ACV. Many sources will tell you that you can also add to your homemade ACV/water toner with witch hazel or essential oils. Check them out! If you've used ACV and have a success story to share, please feel free to comment on the post. I'd love to hear any feedback you have to share. :)
How to make your own ACV facial toner
ACV Toner- how it works
How to use ACV for beautiful hair and skin
5 fab uses for ACV
Reader's Digest- 8 health benefits of ACV
Huffington post- 10 amazing facts about ACV you should know
Natural News- 7 powerful, therapeutic uses for ACV
Mitchell, Lisa. "12 Fruits & Veggies With The Most Pesticides What Non-Toxic Beauty Products *Can* We Use? 10 Signs You're Gluten Intolerant How To Make Anyone (And Everyone) Want You 15 Reasons to Use Apple Cider ."MindBodyGreen.com. N.p., 21 Aug. 2012. Web. 5 Sept. 2013. <http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5875/15-Reasons-to-Use-Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Every-Day.html>.
I have been ITCHING all weekend long to write this blog post. As some of you may know, I went away to the Cape for the long weekend with two of my girlfriends. It was a nice weekend away. I wish the weather had cooperated a bit more- I'm such a mermaid and I LOVE the ocean, but it was too cloudy/rainy for beach-going.
Of course, I packed all my essentials. No matter where I go, I travel with a lunch box or two or three. Since I was staying in the Cape for 3 days, I had to pack plenty to eat. I'm at a point now in my journey where I'm becoming more comfortable with eating out at restaurants and explaining my food sensitivities to the wait staff and chefs. Our first night in the Cape, we went to The Flying Bridge in Falmouth. We sat at the bar for dinner to avoid the wait, which may have been our first mistake. Our waiter was more of a bartender and not only was he old/hard of hearing, but I don't think he took ANY of what I said about my sensitivities too seriously at all. I ordered a hamburger and told him I couldn't have the bun because I have a gluten allergy. I asked him what kind of rice they served and he told me they had white rice, so I thought I was golden. I also ordered a medley of veggies and explained that I can't have any butter on my rice or veggies- only olive oil. The way our waiter spoke to me was just completely rude. When I was explaining myself, he was almost scoffing at me- mocking me in a condescending way. So when we made eye contact, I said to him very firmly, "I wish I was bullshitting you, sir, but I'm not. This is the way I have to live my life." I almost felt like he took me as some prissy bitch, who by choice, likes to be on 50 different fad diets. I have always loved to eat. I've never in my life jumped on the fad diet train. So, this man's attitude was completely aggravating.
Our meals came out of the kitchen and not to my surprise, there was rice pilaf on my plate. I asked our waiter if it was gluten-free. He audaciously raised his bitch hand and had me glaring at the palm of it as he annoyingly stated, "I don't know, miss, I'm going to have to go ask the chef again." My jaw dropped. I picked it up. I collected myself enough to calmly say, "I told you that I have a gluten allergy, that's why there's no bun on my burger. You told me you had white rice but that's not what this is- it's rice pilaf. So, yes, please go ask the chef." Sure enough he came back and told me that the rice was not gluten-free. He then suggested, "how about I get you a gluten-free menu." This was a wildly genius suggestion. As I was eating my burger and veggies and looking over the gluten-free menu, I spied mashed potatoes, which were a possibility. I asked the manager what other ingredients were in the mashed potatoes. He explained that the mashed potatoes were not gluten-free. My jaw dropped yet again. I boldly reminded him that the mashed potatoes were on his GLUTEN-FREE MENU. He said that they don't make the mashed potatoes at their restaurant and he wouldn't trust them even if they're on the gluten-free menu. Side note: to any human being in the restaurant industry- if you advertise something as "gluten-free" it damn well better be just that. While gluten sensitivity is a spectrum, gluten intolerance is exactly what it sounds like. There are individuals who cannot even TOUCH gluten products or they have a reaction. I should hope that any restaurant owner would want to be aware and considerate of this for liability reasons. Needless to say, The Flying Bridge can sensitively go fly a kite. This is not the place for anyone who has food allergies and sensitivities.
I have to say, my weekend getaway opened my eyes to how fortunate I've been with the service everywhere else that I've gone recently. More than that, it made me realize that while there are so many people who support what I'm doing and think that it's great, there are people who are insensitive to the sensitive life. I met a dietician at a bar (what a way to start a sentence. It sounds like the beginning of a joke- am I wrong?) and she was nice and interesting to talk to at first. I told her about my sensitivities and whatnot and she thought it was a good idea to casually say to my friend, "I'm in that professional field, and that's actually bullshit. Nobody is allergic to all of those things." How sad for her. No compassion, no understanding, no filter. I'm not "allergic" to all of these things. I have sensitivities to all of these things. And yes, it's all very real. If it was truly a big bowl of bullshit, do you think I'd be passionately blogging and raising awareness about it? The bullshit fairy didn't cure me magically one day with a wave of her wand, I can assure you. It took a lot of dedication and strength to get to where I am today- feeling healthy, as I do. My life has changed in so many ways- some ways better than others. Yes, it's wonderful to have my health. Yes, it's so obnoxious that I have to explain myself when I eat in public. I'm *that* customer. But in all honesty, the good changes outweigh the bad. Not only am I learning a lot about myself, but I'm learning a hell of a lot about the people I meet and connect with on this journey. I'm learning a lot about people in general.
As a side note, some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as often as I usually do. The school year has started back up again and getting back into the swing of things has been pretty tiring. I will continue to post as often as I can and as always, if you ever have any questions or suggestions for blog posts, please feel free to let me know!