Going Gluten Free…

Most probably think going gluten free is easy, when in reality it is far from it to do it right. If you’re having health issues and are serious about going gluten free there are some things you’re going to have to do/replace to make sure you do not continue to get exposure from items you have that may be harboring gluten. The gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye is a very strong protein that is nearly impossible to kill on surfaces. It takes extreme heat, hotter than most cookware will tolerate and/or higher than most ovens will heat to. Gluten hides in scratches in plastic, wood, non-stick cookware, etc. If you have non-stick cookware that has any scratches whatsoever on it they will need to be replaced. I recommend buying stainless steel cookware, as it’s safer for your health and the environment and will not harbor gluten. If you want non-stick cookware my personal favorite is WearEver Pure Living non-stick ceramic coated cookware. It is safe for the environment, healthy to cook on and works so good. If you use the right tools it will stay scratch free for a long, long, long time, making it perfect for making sure any accidental gluten doesn’t contaminate the cookware. You’ll also need to replace any plastic storage bowls you may have if they have any scratches on them. With as sensitive as I am to gluten I chose to replace them all whether they were scratched or not, just to make sure I couldn’t get sick from them. I have a few plastic containers, but for the most part I have replaced them all with glass Pyrex bowls. Black Friday at Wal-Mart they have had Pyrex bake wear and bowl sets all with lids for a very good price. The last couple years we’ve bought a total of 3 sets so we have plenty of storage bowls to use. You’ll also want to go through your drawers, replacing any plastic, wooden or silicone utensils you may have. I also recommend replacing any measuring cups or spoons you may have if they’re not seamless. If they have riveted handles with a crack between the spoon/cup and handle I recommend replacing them just to make sure there’s no gluten hidden in the crack. Don’t forget as you’re replacing things to replace any cutting boards you have whether they’re wood or plastic. Glass cutting boards should be safe, but if you’re worried about it feel free to replace glass too if there’s any cuts/scratches on them. And don’t forget to replace any plastic cups/dishes you have as well to make sure there’s no gluten residue on them.

Okay, so you’ve bought new everything for your kitchen, what now? Before you bother putting everything away get a large package of sponges. You’re going to want to use hot water and bleach or vinegar to thoroughly wipe down all your counter tops, stove, everywhere. For each area you wipe down go over it with one sponge then throw away the sponge and go over it a second time with a new sponge. You’ll want to clean every surface at least twice, throwing away all sponges after one use. It will probably take quite a few sponges and at least a couple hours to do it right. I think I used about a dozen sponges and spent at least 4 hours giving everything a thorough cleaning. You won’t want to miss anywhere that may have gluten contamination on it, don’t forget cabinet handles and knobs, also you’ll want to wipe down every door knob in the house to make sure there’s no gluten from someone’s hand on it. Anywhere that may have been exposed to gluten you will want to clean. If at all possible it’s best for your whole house to become a gluten free zone. Going gluten free, while it’s an adjustment, will not hurt anyone in the house. In fact others may benefit from it without even realizing they had an issue, so try to have everyone go gluten free with you if you don’t live alone. If necessary ask them to try it for at least 30 days to see if they experience any benefits that would make them want to stay on it. It can be very difficult to manage to not get “glutened” if you’re living in a house that’s trying to combine being gluten free with not being gluten free.

If you are going gluten free, good luck and I wish you many, many health improvements with the change. If you have any questions or comments feel free to sign in and leave a comment and I will try to respond to everyone that has any comments/questions.

Hypothyroidism, IBS, migraines, chronic fatigue, etc.

Having thyroid problems, migraine headaches, IBS “irritable bowel syndrome”, chronic fatigue, etc?

Did you know that “thyroid problems” can be caused by many things other than a bad thyroid? A few years ago I went to the doctor for an infection, during the blood work testing it was discovered my TSH “thyroid-stimulating hormone” level was 6.5, which is high and an indicator of hypothyroidism. During that time I was also very sick, overweight, and felt like I was dying. I had a goiter “enlarged thyroid” forming that was painful and made it hard to swallow. Not wanting to take thyroid hormone medication I started digging into possible causes and remedies without the drugs, what I found through prayer and God’s guidance changed my life. Thyroid hormone is found in possibly every cell of our body, and quite often the cause of the “thyroid problems” is not the thyroid at all. In my case it was an autoimmune issue called Hoshimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is the immune system attacking the thyroid. Multiple things can cause this reaction, but what was causing it for me was leaky gut syndrome, caused by food intolerance. I found that I had an issue with gluten, eggs, dairy, soy and possibly some others. Another thing that can damage the lining of the intestines and cause issues are exposure to things such as pesticides in your food from eating conventional produce and conventionally fed meat products. GMO’s “genetically modified organisms”  are another big cause of all sorts of health problems. By going gluten free, organic, non-gmo, grass fed, free range, as close to God’s original creations as possible I shrunk the goiter, lost weight, felt healthier, overcame illnesses I had been struggling with, dropped my TSH from 6.5 to 1.38, which tested last at 1.23 and felt so much more alive. No drugs, no hormones, using food as medicine I cured myself of so much illness and misery.

Now that I’ve been gluten free for a while it’s very easy for me to tell when I get accidental exposure, and now know all that it had caused for so many years that I had no idea was caused by gluten. It causes severe, debilitating migraine headaches, gastrointestinal distress, extreme bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, confusion, inability to focus or concentrate on anything. The slightest exposure affects me for anywhere from 1 – 3 weeks and it can actually take several months to a year to fully recover from a single exposure.  I have found after being off of them for a while so my intestines could heal that I can tolerate eggs again, as long as they’re organic free range. Occasionally if I eat too many they may bother me, but when they do I just back off for about a week then I can eat them again in moderation. I can also tolerate grass fed organic dairy, where conventional gives me issues every time.

Being gluten intolerant is a life sentence, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of the things you like. There are lots of yummy gluten free products out there you can buy and enjoy in place of your old diet. There are some pretty good breads, muffins, cookies, pastas, all sorts of things out there, and the more people recognize and realize this is a much more common issue the more you can find. There are way more stores carrying way more products than there were just a couple years ago. And while you have to be careful about cross contamination, there are multiple restaurants out there that are trying to cater to the gluten free society. Most, while they serve gluten free you have to remember that it’s still conventionally raised/grown ingredients, so if you’re an organic eater like me you may experience the side effects from the conventional food. Chipotle is one of the few places I can go and enjoy a meal without the worry of gluten or the quality of ingredients. If you tell them you are gluten intolerant they will do everything they can to try to make sure you don’t get contaminated food. Out of dozens of times eating there I’ve gotten sick from contamination maybe twice, which isn’t bad. And if they really understand and care they’ll give you everything out of fresh stock if they can with clean spoons and there is no worry of contamination that way.

If you have any serious health issues I urge you to at least try giving going gluten free a try and see if they don’t improve or completely go away. One thing that I do feel the need to mention is that if you’re on thyroid hormone medications going gluten free alone will not help enough to stop taking the medication. When you take thyroid hormones your body stops producing its own, so while if you’re still having symptoms despite being on hormones going gluten free may help relieve or eliminate the symptoms, you will likely need to keep taking the medication for the rest of your life.

Going gluten free is a lot harder than one may think, you can’t just stop buying gluten containing foods and think you’re good, you need to decontaminate your home so you’re not getting gluten from lingering sources. My next post will be instructions for how to prepare for your new gluten free lifestyle.

Coconut Oil Uses

There are countless uses for coconut oil! You can cook with it, apply it to your skin and use it to treat and prevent many, many illnesses.

Do you love going out in the sun but hate putting on chemical sunblocks? Try coconut oil. Unlike commercial sunblocks, coconut oil helps block out and protect against the harmful UV rays, but allows your skin to absorb the ones you need to produce vitamin D. Unless you happen to be allergic to coconut you won’t have the possible harmful side effects some people experience from chemical sunblocks. Not only will it protect from the sun, but it’s an excellent moisturizer and helps slow and/or reverse the appearance of aging. To use as a sunscreen the best thing you can do is apply it daily, whether you’re planning on spending a lot of the time or not to maximize its effectiveness. What I like to do is take a shower in the morning and either use a natural coconut oil based soap or rub organic virgin coconut oil on while I’m in the shower. You can actually mix coconut oil with some baking soda and use it as your soap, the baking soda is a cleanser and the coconut oil hydrates, softens and nourishes your skin. It’s also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral so it’s an awesome natural way to pamper your skin. If used in the shower and rinsed it still protects the skin and leaves it nice and soft but doesn’t leave a greasy feeling. Applying the oil directly to the skin, until it is fully absorbed does leave a bit of a greasy feeling, but if you’re planning on spending a whole day out in the sun it’s best to reapply it at least a couple times throughout the day to make sure you’re protected.

Got a sunburn, other burn or minor cut? You can use coconut oil in place of first aid cream. I’ve actually burned myself with hot coconut oil I was using for frying and it never blistered or caused any pain after the initial, “Darn that was hot!” effect. Within 24 hours I couldn’t even tell I had burned myself.

You can use a blender to whip it to turn it into lotion, adding a few drops of your favorite oil for fragrance.

You can use it for male or female yeast infections or other bacterial and fungal skin infections.

It can be used as a massage oil and personal lubricant.

You can oil pull with it to whiten teeth and improve oral health. Oil pulling whitens teeth, tightens teeth and improves gum health. To oil pull you put a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it back and forth through your teeth.

Coconut oil heals the stomach and intestines, relieves constipation, relieves IBS pain, and protects against certain cancers.

Coconut oil can be used to heal cold sores. When I first start feeling the annoying tingle of one coming on I start putting coconut oil on it a few times a day and it goes away. It never becomes a painful, open, nasty sore. As long as applied before the sore forms it should prevent one from ever forming, if it does happen to form it will make it go away much faster than any other method I know of.

There are many, many more uses than what I have listed, these are just I few I personally use, here’s a link to 100 different uses.

Cure for Depression

This is sort of a mix of a story, message and a healing remedy for depression, anger, rage, fear or any other negative feeling your facing. I had my first major surgery in March, despite my faith I have to admit I was filled with one of the biggest sins I’m sure everyone commits at one time or another, fear. I tried to fight it, deny it, hide it, but it was still there right up to the point of them giving me the meds that worked very well, thank the good Lord. I don’t like taking medications of any kind if I can help it, and the good Lord has helped me overcome quite a bit without any, but for something like a major surgery I didn’t really have a choice. I have had bad reactions to so many that I didn’t know what something new was going to do to me, so all I could do was pray and leave the outcome in God’s hands. Despite “giving it to God” I still couldn’t overcome the fear, the closer it got to the day of surgery the more fear I was battling. The surgery was actually a breeze, everyone was surprised at how well I was doing afterward and of my lack of need for strong pain meds, no narcotics for me, thank you Jesus! Following surgery I went through a few months of torture and torment of pain, sickness, depression, anger and rage. I was on a downward spiral I never thought I would get out of, at one point I even got mad at God. I tried turning toward natural supplements to try to take control of the depression, anger and rage attacks, only to have them make me unable to function. Then I had a breakthrough after talking to a good friend at the dinner table one evening, instead of being angry with God, I turned to him. Before my surgery I was on a roller coaster ride in my soul, tormented and torn by what someone had told me that I didn’t agree with but couldn’t get confirmation until that evening at the dinner table. Receiving that confirmation brought peace and harmony back to my soul and I knew then what I had to do, turn back to the one who’s always been there for me since childhood. This is the message I was given when I asked God to help me overcome all the battles I was fighting for 4 months following my surgery.

Fear is one of the “gateway drugs” satin uses to attack us, once we let the fear set in it gives him the open door he needs to attack and torment us. The fear I had before surgery allowed him to sneak in and take control, leading to the pain, return of illness I had already overcome once, depression, anger and rage attacks. What is the cure for fear? God! Give everything to me says the Lord, let me worry about your health, your finances, your relationships, anything you may be worried about. Truly and completely let it go, give it to him and it will set you so free and give you so much peace. With fear out of the way lets work on the depression. Know what the cure is for depression? Happiness and love. If we are filled with happiness, joy, peace and love there is no room left for depression. There are many things that can trigger depression, anger and rage such as a bad relationship, a job you hate, loneliness, loss of a loved one, the list goes on and on and on. If in an abusive relationship pray about what he wants you to do, while marriage is meant to be until death do us part, sometimes we don’t make the right choices of who we are with. For the times when we take the wrong path and choose who we want instead of who God has meant for us we do have the option of getting out. While he meant for marriage to last a lifetime he does not want to see us live with torment, fear, abuse, neglect and adultery. He created divorce as a way out of the wrong relationships we get ourselves into, which I’ve been through twice myself before finding my lifelong soulmate God had for me. As far as jobs go, I’ve always said if you don’t like what you’re doing there’s no sense doing it. If you’re stuck in a job that when it’s time to get ready to go to work makes you say, “Do I gotta go”, you’re doing the wrong job. Above all else, if you’re feeling any negative feelings, if you’re not completely filled with happiness, joy, hope, love and peace you need God. Jesus has an amazing ability to turn all of your sorrow and sadness into joy and happiness, often without any explanation as to what changed you. What does it is him changing your heart, filling it with the living water that hopefully will overflow and spill out to those around you, in turn changing them.

There’s no “magic pill” that can make you happy, no liquid in bottle that’ll bring you pure joy. All the medications they prescribe for depression do is dull the pain, make you numb to the pain you feel which can also take away the joy you should have. By all means, I’m not saying if you’re on any medication for depression to stop taking it, that can be very dangerous if not done right. But if you’re battling with depression, anger, rage, homicidal or suicidal thoughts or any other negative feelings and aren’t taking any medication, before you decide to take them pray. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, to take away all the bad and overflow it with His love and joy. He has the ability to heal your heart and soul so you’ll never feel those bad things again, and he’ll remove the pain without making you numb. You have nothing to lose turning to Jesus, but a whole lot to gain.

Natural Remedy for Yeast Infection – For the ladies

The next time you feel the symptoms of a yeast infection annoying you don’t reach for the monistat. Go to the doctor to get it diagnosed if you want, but once diagnosed here’s a natural remedy for you that will kill the yeast without killing or upsetting your natural balance. I found this remedy after going to the doctor the time that my UTI was diagnosed. Buy a container of organic, virgin coconut oil, the kind that is solid when it’s cold. If it’s not hard when you go to use it put it in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 min and let it chill so it hardens. Next cut some squares of plastic wrap, make 6 about 4 – 6 inch squares. Once you have the squares ready and the coconut oil is hard enough take roughly a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil and place it on the plastic wrap. Start in the center on one end, rolling it in the plastic, then forming a little log/bullet/football shape so that it is comfortable to insert. Next take your little homemade coconut oil suppositories and place them in the freezer, making sure you do this at least about 30 – 60 minutes before going to bed to make sure they’re fully set. When you’re ready to go to bed get one out of the freezer, insert it into the vagina, pushing it in with a fingertip so that it’s up inside where it needs to be, but be careful not to push too hard. Wash your hands and lay down immediately after inserting, your body temperature will start dissolving the suppository before long and you don’t want it to leak out before you even get in bed. One thing I recommend, as it can be messy when you get up in the morning is placing a pad in your underwear before inserting it. The pad will absorb any that may leak out in the morning when you stand up before you make it to the bathroom. Depending on the severity of your infection you should notice improvement or elimination of symptoms within 1 or 2 days, but I recommend continuing the nightly treatment for a full week to make sure it’s gone. You can also use coconut as a personal lubricant, it works great for comfort and helps to keep you balanced and helps to prevent sexually triggered UTI’s.

Natural Remedies for UTI

A few years back I had gone to the doctor for persistent female problems that weren’t responding to OTC treatment. I’ll share my secret remedy for that infection in another post. Anyway, 4 months and 6 rounds of antibiotics later my infection, which started out a mild Group B Strep urinary tract infection grew massively and became a double infection of both Group B Strep and E-coli. The antibiotics were having no effect, it seemed I had an antibiotic resistant infection that was thriving. I however at one point had wanted to die, as I had a severe allergic reaction to the penicillin, which left me in a head to toe excruciatingly painful and itchy rash from head to toe. At more than one point I thought I wasn’t going to beat it, I thought it was going to beat me.

Just when the doctor was getting ready to have me go in to discuss further treatment options, which likely would have been powerful IV antibiotics I prayed for a solution instead. God is so good! He led me to information about some natural remedies that have worked wonders for me. I’ve tried several that worked but weren’t pleasant from herbal tea mixes that taste awful, which is what kicked that infection. Since I suffered from chronic UTI’s, one after the other after the other. Not wanting to drink that tea I prayed and found a better solution, there are two things I take for my UTI symptoms that knock it right out. Don’t waste your time on cranberry supplements or cranberry juice, they’re not potent enough to get rid of the bacteria once it’s made your urinary tract home and actually feed it. This is especially true for the cranberry juice because of the added sugars in most to make it more palatable. Unsweetened cranberry juice helped some, but unless you happen to like it that stuff is nasty!

First is a product called ClearTract, it comes in capsules or powder. My preference is the powder, just mix it in a little water or juice, I prefer mixing it in some lemon water. It is the sugar in cranberries, called D-Mannose that has been extracted to make a very powerful powdered sugar that the bacteria are so attracted to they let go of the walls of the urinary tract and attach to this cranberry sugar in your urine. Which then gets flushed out when you urinate, resulting in bye, bye bacteria and bye, bye infection. You can take this as soon as you start feeling the symptoms of an infection, or you can take maintenance doses daily like I do to keep them gone. Occasionally I slack and don’t take it every day and an infection tries to sneak up on me, but I just take some more of the ClearTract and it wipes it right back out.

Second thing I use if the infection is especially bad or has reached my kidneys is parsley tea, I buy the flat leaf, as the curly has a more bitter flavor. Parsley tea is very cleansing for the urinary tract and normally relieves the pain associated with a kidney infection for me within 24 hours. To make the tea buy some flat leaf parsley, preferably organic because you don’t need the pesticides in your system that typically are found in conventional parsley while you’re trying to heal. Boil a quart (32 oz/4 cups) of water in a pan, while it’s heating up take a handful of parsley, clean it and chop it, the whole thing stems and all. If you have access to a whole parsley plant chop roots and all as they are the most powerful part of the plant for this. Once the water comes to a boil turn the burner off and dump the parsley in the water, stirring to disperse it throughout the pan. Next set a timer for 20 – 30 minutes and let it sit with the lid on so it can brew. Once the timer goes off strain the tea into a glass container, being careful not to pour it into a fragile container hot that might break it. I usually strain it into my 4 cup measuring cup because it can handle the heat, or I may strain it into a couple canning jars. If you choose the canning jar or another glass pitcher of some sort to prevent the heat from cracking the cold glass put the stopper in the sink, set the container in the sink, next fill the sink partially with hot tap water as much as you can without getting any in the container or causing the container to float or tip over. With the container now “tempered” you can safely pour the hot tea into the container without breaking it. Drink a cup of this tea immediately, refrigerate the rest and drink it a cup at a time throughout the day, so you will end up drinking 4 cups a day for 1 week. You can do this daily in the morning starting with a hot cup or you can make up the next days batch the day before and have it ready in the fridge to start drinking as soon as you get up. Two things I like to do to this tea both for flavor and to make it extra strength is adding a little organic lemon juice which is also a detoxing and cleansing agent and I mix in some of the ClearTract as an added bonus to the mix.

As stated on my welcome page, I am not a medical professional in any way. These have been found to work for me and many others that I found online, if your symptoms are severe, accompanied by high fever, chills or any other signs of a blood infection or do not respond to these methods seek medical attention immediately. I never go to a doctor for a UTI or kidney infection anymore because these work for me, but if they should ever not work my butt will be sitting in an emergency room. I do everything I can naturally or without going to a doctor, but occasionally one is needed. Listen to your body and pray, that’s what I did.

Depending on where you’re located you may be able to find ClearTract locally at a Sprouts or health food store if you need it in a hurry. For those that want to keep it in stock or can’t find it locally start with the tea and order it online. I’ll attach 3 links for you, first is the manufacturers website, second is the fastest way I know of to get it online if you’re an Amazon Prime member, third is another website that has it for one of if not the lowest price.