MY HEALTH JOURNEY

Welcome Message/About Me


This is quite a lengthy page, but I wanted to share my entire experience because I hope to inspire you. If you can relate to any part of my story, you can feel better and heal your body of many ailments.

Introduction: I didn’t get my diagnosis from a doctor.  So I felt it most important that I document “My Story”.  I need my children (especially) to understand that this "disease" or condition is something that they must continue to be aware of.  My belief is that genetics is not "THAT you will" get sick, but "how you will likely" get sick -  if you don't take care of yourself. 

But, in my eyes it’s not a disease at all.  Because, from my point of view, if I had to be diagnosed with a disease – this is the best disease that I could be diagnosed with.  Why?  Because this is one disease that even doctors admit that the only solution and the only cure is FOOD.  Food avoidance in particular for me (and for many), but that just justifies that IT DOES MATTER what we eat. This is a fact that many people are not yet aware of - or don't fully believe.  Paying attention to what we put inside of our bodies is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.

It is highly likely that this condition and many other diseases (as a matter of fact) would not exist if there hadn’t been any genetic modifications made to wheat and many of the "other foods" that we eat can call food - BUT, they are NOT REAL FOOD.

My body, as is yours, is designed for REAL FOOD as it was originally meant to be grown and eaten without modifications and pesticides! Most of our wheat, corn, and soy products have been altered and many are GMO foods. These make up the multitude of highly processed and high pesticide foods that people take into their bodies that shouldn’t be eaten…which is why I started this journey in 2004.  My hope was that I would be able to find healing with REAL FOOD and to prove that what feeds we choose to eat does matter. I think I’m living proof of that now.
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My Story:  When I was a child (and even a teen) I would come home from school and take a nap EVERY DAY!  When I was a college student I would schedule my classes around lunch so that I could go home to eat and nap.  Then in the evenings after classes and before beginning my class homework I would eat dinner and nap.  Once I got married I would come home after work, cook dinner and nap until my husband arrived home.  Do you see a pattern here? By the end of each day I was tired.  My life was full of napping. Yet one thing I could count on was that I would never have any problems falling asleep.

But, my napping days came to a complete halt once we added children to our lives and I began to notice a decline in my overall well-being because I could no longer nap while taking care of them.

My quest for better health all started soon after giving birth to our third child in 2001.  I was 31 years old when major symptoms showed that made it difficult to deal with day-to-day life.  During my 2001 pregnancy my joints ached all over.  I remember climbing up the stairs one day and informing my husband that this would have to be our last child…that my body could no longer take it.   I had been anemic during both previous pregnancies and this one was no different.  I was TIRED!  Also I had a persistent backache that lasted even after I had given birth.

My husband had started chiropractic treatments in 2001 for his back pain and found that it alleviated all of his troubles, so in 2002 I decided to go.  AND, to my surprise…it worked!…I was so amazed that this natural therapy could solve my mystery back pain that I started reading about alternative medicine therapies which I translate to be “natural therapies”.

Now that my back pain was gone, my drastic decline in energy really became apparent.  I knew that something was wrong, but I could not put a finger on it.  It was now around the year of 2004.   I read the book “Toxic Relief” by Dr. Don Colbert and I recognized my biggest symptom as brain fog.    I suspected metal toxicity and decided to get tested for mercury toxicity because I have many dental amalgams and they had been in my teeth since I was eight years old.  Yet, to my surprise it was not mercury but lead that was discovered to have the highest concentration in my body.  I had a lead ug/g creatine of over 30 and the acceptable level is less than 5.

So, I figured, great…this is going to cure me from the brain fog.  I endured 10 weeks of chelation which consisted of  DMSA plus Vitamin B intravenously.  And boy was that an experience!  After a day a chelation I could hardly get out of bed.  I was so dizzy and “brain foggy” that all I could do was lie down.  During this time, my kids were little and I would just tell them…mommy needs to sleep and I taught them how to dial ‘911’ just in case – yest, it was THAT BAD!  But, thank God, although I felt as if I would, I never lost consciousness.

After my chelation treatments were completed I did feel better.  I’m not sure of what my diet was during this time, but I do know that I was taking NAC and calcium and magnesium vitamin supplements as prescribed by the doctor.  Also, this was the first time I started learning about probiotics and how they support the immune system, so I started taking them also.

But as time went by, the old symptoms began to resurface.  I would occasionally embark on DETOX diets during which I avoided most meats, dairy, processed foods and wheat.  I would get better and then after the DETOX period was over, the brain fog would take over again and each time I felt like it was getting stronger and stronger and I was getting weaker and weaker.  So up to this point, I had spent 7 years DETOXING in order to feel better and I think with each occasion…I would begin to eliminate something from my diet that was on the DETOX “Beware List”…first I stopped eating lunch meat.  I didn’t need it anyway for lunch time because by this time I was no longer eating lunch.  I just didn’t get the urge to eat and I was busy anyway.  Most important was the fact that if I were to eat lunch, I would not have any energy remaining to do what I needed to do for the remainder of the day.   Also, I was totally avoiding all sweets.  I thought that I had a glucose/insulin problem. But the doctors reported "no" each time I took tests.

By the year of 2010…I had an aversion to almost all foods except for fresh salad.  I had stopped eating packaged cereal which was probably the only packaged food I ate on a regular basis.  Then, I stopped drinking milk – after all I didn’t need it anymore since I wasn’t eating cereal or sweets.  People would often notice that I wasn’t eating sweets and they would say, “I wish I had the control you have” and each time I would say, “sweets really make me feel bad, so I avoid them”.  And this was really an understatement.  Sweets and breads would cause so much brain fog that I felt unattached to life.  I was unable to think and almost unable to deal with the normal stresses of life.  It was as if I was living in a cloud that I could not break free from.  I was just existing most of the time.  But eventually, by this time, it was not just sweets and breads that were making me sick.  It seemed that no matter what I ate, I felt bad.  I did not receive any energy from my food  - food had the opposite effect of what it was supposed to do for me - I was exhausted after eating.  I saw food as my enemy because immediately after eating I would have brain fog – it felt like all of my energy had been zapped.

In October 2010, I started juicing AGAIN, but this time it was every day. I truly believe that his was the only way that my body survived the next eight months.  At this time my kids were ages 13, 12 and 9…and they needed my help and I wanted to have more energy for them.  Everyone around me…doctors included would just say “it’s normal to feel tired because you are getting older and you have three kids” and “you just need more sleep”.  By the way, the doctors started telling me that at age 31. That was ridiculous!  But thank God I persevered and I did not listen.

I would often reference my books and one in particular about how Jay Kordich (formerly known and “The Juiceman”) had healed himself of cancer with fresh-pressed juices and how he confessed to having so much energy (well, his energy is very obvious).  My husband found some documentaries on food and we totally immersed ourselves into watching them.  A few documentaries we watched led me to the book “The Gerson Therapy:  The Proven Nutritional Program For Cancer and Other Illnesses”. (Everyone should watch these. For more information about the books and documentaries that have been key to improving my health, go here.)   I learned so much more about food choices.  I was already eating many organic foods  and keeping hormones and antibiotics out of our diet by avoiding it in the meats we were eating, but the documentaries opened my eyes to how much of our food is genetically modified.  They confirmed my belief that the only thing that mattered to the U.S. pharmaceutical companies and their investors and most medical doctors was prescribing a pill to get rid of symptoms.  I hadn’t gone to a doctor and complained of my symptoms since 2004 – I refused the doctors because they didn’t have an answer.  The only time they can give you an answer is when you have an actual disease that they label you with and their only answer no matter what the case is "You have a disease and I can give you this pill to help with your symptoms." So to be truthful, I didn’t want an answer/diagnosis and I didn’t want a pill – what I wanted was a cure!

I started reading more books about the raw food diet and how much energy “those” people get from their food and I wanted that...I wanted "their" energy…I wanted that energy a great deal…so I kept on after my quest.

So beginning the three weeks prior to Thanksgiving 2010 I started on a raw food diet.  I DID NOT eat anything cooked.  I ate raw nuts (nuts that are not roasted and without seasonings), seeds, fruits and veggies.  I was surprised that the nuts were not making me sick like they always had before, so I became even more suspicious about what the food industry was doing to the packaged foods on the shelf because they always made me sick.  I didn’t want to eat anything packaged again as I seemed to be lifting out of the foggy cloud in which I’d been submerged.  My experience was that of a feeling of “peace” (or at the least I thought, but I had not yet reached “true peace” – that came later).  I guess what I experienced was a “peace” for my body, but my mind had not yet achieved it because I was still puzzled.  What in the world could there be in this food that made me so sick and how could I continue to feed it to my family?  But of course no one wanted to join me on my raw food diet, so I had to get to the bottom of this.

The following is some information that I discovered along my journey to better health:
 – Gluten can be Toxic to Some  –
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 “Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind”  by Jeffrey A. Morrison, M.D. 

I’d read about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity before in all of my books.  But I just skipped over it.  I couldn’t believe that it could be true and I certainly didn’t suspect that I had a problem eating bread.  I had reasoned that Jesus ate bread and fish and I was trying to adopt his diet.  I even have the cookbook, “What would Jesus Eat” – yes, I was this desperate.  BUT, what finally caught my eye was the fact wheat is a hybridized grain!  What?  Yes, it’s true.  I had just heard a few weeks before reading this that “the wheat we eat now is not the original grain”.  What?  For some reason, I just thought wheat was wheat.  Page 269 in the book titled, “Celiac Disease, A Hidden Epidemic” also states that wheat is a genetically modified grain and more specifically it says, “Recent studies showed that the most ancient forms of wheat lacked the toxic gliadin fragment.”  Apparently, “ There are two main groups of proteins in gluten, called the gliadins and the glutenins.” (http://www.celiac.com/articles/8/1/What-is-gluten-What-is-gliadin/Page1.html)   Why did it never occur to me that it could be a GMO?  Most corn is and I was aware of that.  WOW, did this chapter in the book change my mind.  (A note about wheat: Even if wheat doesn't fit the true definition of GMO it has definitely been "messed with" so much that the number of chromosomes are much higher than the original wheat grains. Our bodies just do not know what to do with it. The book "Wheat Belly" explains how a slice of bread has more sugar in it than a Snicker Bar - if I recall correctly. Go read the book - it contains great information.)

June 17th 2011 I decided to go on a gluten-free diet.  I should note that I began a gluten-free diet by avoiding wheat in 2011, but by January 2012 I was avoiding all grains and even potatoes. This is the point at which I discovered the GAPs/SCD Diet and then eventually the Paleo Diet.

This was the first step to feeling more energy and solving my brain fog.



So here I am today trying desperately to complete this part of “my story”. This update has been a long time in the making. And I have discovered how to eat in ways that improve the previous condition of my digestive system. My  previous way of eating had damaged my digestive system into a state described as leaky gut. My goal is to heal my "leaky gut" and increase my absorption of nutrients from the REAL Foods that I eat.

Remember, if you have read my Health Journey,  you will recall that I do have mercury amalgam fillings. So far, I've had 5 removed, yet I have 5 more to go! I'm still convinced that this has something to do with my "condition". It's just one of those environmental factors that takes a toll on our bodies. Unfortunately, this toxic load is something that I will carry around with me daily until I can get them all removed. My biological dentist is Dr. Marilyn K. Jones. I am getting these removed the proper way and replaced with non-toxic material. It's expensive, but I cannot afford to cut corners. My health is at stake here.

On April 16, 2014, my doctor confirmed that I have Candida Overgrowth via a blood test. Many
agree that Candida Albicans protect the body from heavy metal toxicity.

The most prevalent theory, is that Candida overgrowth develops as a defense mechanism as the body struggles to cope with mercury and other heavy metals. When mercury and other heavy metals are in the body, the cell walls of Candida bind to mercury and other heavy metals and prevent it from entering the blood stream. It is like a sponge soaking up the mercury. It’s the body's own protective mechanism. So as long as there is mercury or other heavy metals in the body, then yeast is going to proliferate.Some people believe that die off also known as the herxheimer response with Candida overgrowth is partly due to the fact, that when you kill off the yeast, it then releases the mercury back into the system (http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/mercury-poisoning-and-candida-overgrowth/)

During my chelation therapy (2004) to remove heavy metals from my body (I had high doses of lead in my blood) I also adhered to the Candida-Free Diet.  This was during the time that I felt GREAT! Hmm, I might need some more chelation soon.

But perhaps NOT! When I first started the removal of the mercury amalgams, I was having a very difficult time with recuperating. Yet my last visit to the dentist to have 2 removed at once was the easiest ever. I didn't even feel pain afterwards. I know that I owe this success to the Anti-Candida and Candida Free Diet and the detoxing strategies I would follow before and after the dental procedures.

Whew! I was worried about how I was going to survive the next visits for removal of the remaining mercury amalgams. My previous two episodes took me 4+ days to recover during which I felt totally exhausted and my jaw and teeth were sore.

Now I think I'm on my way to another level of recovery and HEALTH!

Just Google these key words and you will find they are intertwined: Mercury Amalgam, Candida, Leaky Gut, Gluten Sensitivity. Which causes which? It's hard to tell, but I hope by removing the mercury and gluten that I can cure my Candida Overgrowth and Leaky Gut issues.



Read the Real Food Page to learn more about the steps you can take to improve your food choices.



One definite fact was that my body was still malnourished in 2015.  It seems that I had experienced a break in 2012, when I was finally gaining weight. Yet, I'm not exactly sure what the cause is of losing weight again. In 2013 I would eat sweet potatoes or rice or popcorn or tortilla chips every now and then. But, all of these things are supposed to cause weight gain and not weight loss.

From my own perspective, I figured that my stomach was so inflamed and irritated from eating gluten, that it could not function well and digest my food. Or (2) I actually had Celiac Disease. When people with Celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, finger-like protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much "good" food one eats.  Yet, all the doctors continued to state that I didn't have Celiac Disease.

 - My Submandibular Gland Issues -  
It was April 2015 and my ears had been hurting for a while and my submandibular gland on the left side REALLY started giving me trouble. (The submandibular glands are salivary glands located beneath the floor of the mouth.)  So, I had doctor take a look at them again (first time was in 2012 and then again in 2013.  The first doctor 2012 said that my ears were fine and that the salivary glands just swell up some times and he added that I was probably just suffering from allergies.

But this time my submandibular gland was so swollen that I could not eat for many days! I was surviving by drinking bland juices and bland smoothies. I didn’t need this…I was already weighing less than I should.  These glands had been blocked before (on and off for about 3 - 5 years) but they were never blocked for this length of time.  Finally I had a CAT scan and it was confirmed that my submandibular gland was blocked by salivary stones that required surgical removal!

On June 12, 2015 I had the surgery performed during which the doctor made one small incision under my tongue and in another spot directly on top of the largest stone. My recovery time was 1 full week...and then my energy levels shot through the ROOF! The pain and discomfort from were causing inflammation and I guess you might say - suppression of my immune system to the point that I was just coping. But after I finally detoxed from the surgery medications and my mouth healed...I was supercharged.

- I found REAL Water -  
So at this point, I had been experiencing different levels of healing. In 2011/2012 my brain fog was just about gone...as long as I stuck to a "grain-free" diet. Then in 2014/2015 I had all of my dental amalgams removed. Then by the middle of this year in 2015, after surgery, my submandibular gland was back in working order.

Now, I could pay attention to other issues that were ailing me, yet ones I had pushed aside. These are the ones that many don't talk about, but I believe that I need to tell the "whole story" here so that others can find the help they need and know exactly what I have been going through and most importantly here is when and most noticeable miracle happened.

You see, I had been suffering for at least 3 years with bladder urgency. I had to run to the restroom (and I do mean run) almost every hour and on the hour. This condition interrupted my Yoga classes, so I stopped Yoga in 2013. Also, I usually had to get up and "go" once in the night in the middle of my sleep. This condition was so extreme that my children were steadily asking "you gotta go again?"
In the summer of 2015, I began testing with a urogynecologist. After all tests were completed, she explained to me that everything looked normal inside of my bladder and the only diagnosis she could give me for the urgency issue was that I must have Bladder Interstitial Cystitis. Which is really just inflammation of the bladder.

I also had been complaining to another doctor about being chronically constipated. Yet, I made sure to take actions to clean my colon regularly because I knew that if I did not, I would be allowing conditions for major colon issues - and my greatest fear was colon cancer. The actions I took were: drinking laxative teas (which sometimes worked), professional colon hydrotherapy and enemas.

Finally on October 1, 2015 I decided that there must be a blockage/kink somewhere in my digestive system, so I scheduled an endoscopy and colonoscopy. Through the endoscopy the GI doctor confirmed that I did not have Celiac Disease. WHEW! Instead, the main findings that concerned me the most were a hiatal hernia and stomach gastritis.

So the doctor suggested that I eat more fiber and she prescribed something similar to Zantac. NOTE: I didn't pay her much attention because I eat A LOT OF FIBER and I mean A LOT - have your looked at my recipes here? AND I had already found relief from ALL of these symptoms. And acid reflux? What? I had no idea that one of the symptoms I was suffering from was actually reflux because I didn't have the major pain of heartburn and indigestion (upper chest pains). I had found REAL water! By drinking REAL water I was no longer dehydrated because I was no longer drinking acidic water.

Dehydration had played a huge factor in the formation of stones in my submandibular gland. ALSO, you guessed it...I was no longer constipated. And my stomach pains and bloating are diminishing - thus, the reflux condition was being soothed. And, one more thing, although I still suffer from slight bladder urgency here and there...these moments are no way near what they were like before. On a normal day, I can hold "it" for 2 - 3 hours at a time (compared to only about one hour before).

I can only find a few natural occurring pH waters. Many others high pH waters are purified through processes like reverse osmosis and then minerals are added back (not natural/not real). The water that solved these issues for me is Evamor water which has a natural pH of 8.8 - 9.1. By natural I mean that the water is alkaline because of the natural occurring minerals that are in the water.

Previously, I was drinking REVERSE OSMOSIS water either from our home's reverse osmosis water system or sometimes store-bought purified water (reverse osmosis). Also I discovered during my research that many spring waters barely have a pH or 7 (neutral)...and many are acidic, so be careful when making your drinking water choices.




Read the Real Food Page to learn more about the steps you can take to improve your food choices.

I thank God that He designed our bodies to heal. I'm on my way. 


---- It's 2018! ----
Wow! This journey began over 14 years ago...actually almost 17 years since I realized how sick I was with carrying my third child. But it was 2004 when I knew I had to solve my personal health crisis. I was never labeled by a doctor with any diseases...although I think I might have had a couple of them mentioned to me, yet I didn't take note and neither was I willing to listen to them. I refused to take all medications that were offered to me and I'm very thankful that I had that mindset.

Almost exactly one year ago I enrolled in a Holistic Nutrition class offered by American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Now I am a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. After studying all that I could find over the last 14 years regarding nutrition and practicing a holistic lifestyle, I figured this was the direction that I should go.

My plans are still the same. I hope to share all the knowledge that I have learned with my website visitors and provide some additional services also. The knowledge that I have been given and the goodness I have experienced I know to be a gift of God. I plan to "pay it forward" as the saying goes. I want to share, with as many people as I can, how real food (as created by God) is good (and healing) for the body. [I won't get on my soapbox here, but as a believer, I have to take care of His temple!]

Let's experience better health together.

Shonda

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