A few weeks ago, I noticed that I had been outside for several hours and I wasn't feeling sick. I noticed it because several people around me had commented on how bad their allergies were that day. I did get an itchy eye later that day, but it wasn't too bad and I had no other symptoms. A few days ago, my mom was complaining about how bad her allergies were that morning. I remembered again that I had had no allergy symptoms for a couple of weeks. I thought about this as we went on a picnic that same day. We played on the freshly mowed grass in the mountains while the cottonwoods snowed all around us. And I felt great! I thought maybe I'd be suffering for it later that night, but no! I slept great and had no symptoms.
I am super excited about this for two reasons. One - I get to play outside again without worries! Second - it means that my immune system is healing! I heard a functional medicine doctor describe autoimmunity as an immune system that is fighting blindfolded... that it's confused and attacking things it shouldn't attack. If my allergies are gone - that must mean that my immune system is seeing things more clearly and not attacking what it ought not attack right? How cool is that??
I have had no UC symptoms for 3 and a half months. Maybe it's too early to be so optimistic, but considering I had UC symptoms daily for 3 months before that and that I had them off and on for at least 2 years prior - I think it's okay to celebrate this success :) Our bodies have amazing healing powers if we just clean them out and feed them right.
A couple of people have asked me to detail what I have done. I kind of hesitate to do so because I do feel that I have been led on a personal healing journey as I have prayed and researched about what my body needed. Every body is different. Certain information would stand out to me as I read, or a person would come into my life that had information I needed. Or someone would recommend a book. I think everyone needs to pray and trust that Heavenly Father will guide them to what their particular needs are. But I do think that sharing what has helped me may help others gain some general principles and ideas that may help them. So here it goes...
The first step to my healing was a veggie juice fast for 3 weeks. I drank a freshly juiced carrot, celery, chard, kale, cucumber, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, lemon, beet, green apple and chili powder drink whenever I got hungry for 3 weeks straight. I also got colonics 3x per week during that time. I went to a place for all of this in Draper where she also recommended supplements for me to take while I juiced. I took Intramax vitamins, K2-D3 supplement, homeopathic detox drops, Powdered Pectin for metal detox, sauerkraut juice, Digestron, GI Chi, Autocin, Innate Adrenal Support, Asea and probiotics. She kind of tailored the supplements to my particular needs. During those weeks I did infrared sauna treatments 2-3 times a week and tried to take a bath 2-3 times per week. I wanted to continue those habits, but I haven't really done so much. I am still taking some of those supplements on occasion, but not as religiously as I did those first 3 weeks.
When I started adding food back in, I started with salads with a protein, avocado and Sauerkraut for lunch, then a veggie-based dinner with a little meat. I've started replacing the meat more and more with beans that I had soaked for 24 hours, cooked and then fermented to make them more easily digestible (and so I could get away from eating meat much). I still juice for breakfast. I am still not really eating grains, corn or potatoes. I will try some once in a while, but they still make me a little sick and itchy. I hope to eventually introduce them with no problems, but I like what I am eating so I'm not in a big hurry. I just want to eat as close to the Word of Wisdom as possible (a revelation on health that my church upholds) and it states that grains are good - so I hope to be able to eat a little of them eventually - when my digestive system has healed enough. I don't plan to ever eat grains like I used to though! The American diet consists of far too many grains. I may like to add a some sourdough toast with my lunch or dinner... or some quinoa or rice. Maybe some oatmeal and millet as a snack on occasion. I don't eat dairy or anything refined or processed... except coconut, flax, olive and avocado oil. From what I have seen, I'm basically eating Paleo. I snack on fruit, seeds and nuts a lot. Probably too much :-b I also try to drink some homemade water kefir drinks and kombucha drinks - at least one per day. The only time I eat refined sugar is in the dark mini-dairy-free chocolate chips that I buy at the health food store that I like to sprinkle in my smoothies as my evening snack :)
I have also made exercise a priority. Before, it was one of the first things to go when my day was too busy. Now, I make sure to make it a priority even if other things do not get done. I try to do a yoga class twice a week, a weightlifting class twice a week, and cardio at least twice a week.
I have also done ozone treatments. They were kind of expensive at the clinic, and I wanted to do them 3x per week until I healed and then 1x per week for maintenance, so I invested in my own ozone machine instead. I don't know if ozone was necessary, but I do think it sped up my healing and has helped me stay healthy.
I also try not to eat after 8 (but I sometimes do) and I generally don't eat before noon (except for my veggie juice). Intermittent fasting is kind of popular right now... technically I'm not doing die-hard intermittent fasting since I still drink my veggie juice in the morning, but I basically just wanted to do this to give my digestive system a break (not for weight loss or ketone stuff) and veggie juice is easy to digest. I also drink a binder most nights before I go to bed.
Perhaps the thing that has helped me the most, maybe even more than my diet changes, is learning to clear my mind of toxic thoughts. It's funny because I always thought of myself as an optimistic, kind-thinking person. But once I started really being aware of how my thought-life impacted my health and really looking at my anxiety-causing thoughts - I realized how much toxic thinking I was letting into my mind. I have prayed for help and it has come. I am doing so much better about loving the people around me, and myself, as we are; forgiving them and me for weakness, and enjoying the beautiful, little things that make life meaningful.
I also buy a couple of organic chickens at Costco every three weeks or so and make bone broth and meat stock with them to use for dinners for those three weeks. And I try to do a 3 day liquid diet once a month.
That's pretty much it I think. If it sounds like a lot of work, it was. Our family life pretty much revolved around my health for a couple of months, but I am getting some routines down and feeling like I can focus on other aspects of life again too. It's not as time/energy consuming as it was at first.
Some days are better than others - I still make myself sick sometimes with eating way too much dried fruit, or snacking on too many nuts or Paleo desserts, or by letting myself get stressed. And I definitely need to make sleep a higher priority - it's super important to health. But overall, I'm feeling great. And I have no UC symptoms. And my allergies are gone! Not too shabby I think :)
Here are some fun pictures from May:
M&M game with our commonwealth
Joy and friend photo shoot while Cassia did her graduation pictures...
Joy, James and Joshua in their PJ masks suits on the mountain... too cute.
Dallin's first service at the temple:
Final Day of Commonwealth:
BYU museum of Art:
Park and temple with the Packs:
Good month for the books! :)