Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Reflections - How I'm turning things around!

NOTE: Sorry this was a day late???? Glitch in the system I guess.

I try all these "things" to get and stay healthy.

I'm forever tweaking my diet and supplements, exercising, playing with the timing of my key routines - bedtime, supplements, meals, snacks and seeing various doctors.

I'm hopeful and determined that I will get feeling my best.

I have been struggling for about the past year (well, actually, my whole life except the few months I felt great last year when I first started eating clean). When I say struggling it hasn't been all bad. Some good hours/days/minutes and some bad. But since November I had been having more bad than good.

Just feeling off. My system was off. Digestive issues. Feelings of low blood sugar. Dizziness. Brain fog. Insomnia and the resultant tiredness. Mild anxiety.

Inconsistent symptoms. It was like I was walking a line - just holding it together. If I babied myself like crazy (strict with food, sleep and supplements) I was okay. Not great but okay. If I cheated just a wee bit I was teetering over the edge.

Not a full fledged adrenal shut-down. Not Candida. Not anemia (blood work is "relatively" okay). Not my best. And confused.

And then I tweaked things a bit further a few weeks ago and somethings seems to have snapped back into place. I am FEELING BETTER. And not just for a few days. A few weeks. Not back to where I want to be. But consistently much better than I had been.

So I'm going to share a few of the "tweaks" I have done that may or may not be the reason for my sudden turnaround. For your information, if you are desperately searching for new ideas on how to heal yourself and for my information. Because I come back to these posts when I need a reminder of how I can turn things around. Its amazing how quickly you can forget these things.......especially when the brain fog sets in.

1) I FINISHED BREASTFEEDING - It's just too much of a coincidence that as soon as I fully weaned my little guy I started feeling better. I've mentioned before that I think breastfeeding can be really hard on a body that is pre-disposed to digestive issues, food sensitivities,  low stomach acid and low absorption. A perfect storm for significant nutrient deficiencies - supplements and clean food be damned. If you can't absorb it and its getting sucked out of you by an adorable little vacuum its going to take its toll. Would I change the fact that I nursed all three of my kids exclusively for over a year. No. Given their genetic pre-disposition to digestive issues and food sensitivities it was the best for them. So no regrets. But am I ready to start feeling better. Oh yeah.

2) B12 SUPPLEMENTATION - I've mentioned B12 many times. You are probably sick of hearing it. BUT SERIOUSLY. Please listen to me. B12 injections (I get mine through my naturopath for $12 a pop but you can also get them through a regular MD) work miracles. And I'm not even in the published "low end of the range". My B12 sits around 400 which is well above the 200 threshold western medicine believes is acceptable. NOT FOR ME. Maybe not for you. I went for a B12 injection about 3 times in 4 weeks to get my levels back up. The first couple only helped for a week or so. The third one has been holding for over 3 weeks and I feel so much better. In the meantime, I have also added a daily oral B12 (with folic acid) to my supplement routine.

3) ROTATING PROBIOTICS  -  After probably 8 months on the same probiotic I decided to change things up. I started taking ALIGN (which I bought at Costco for about $1 per pill/day). Now, I didn't make this one change in isolation (see #'s 1, 2 and 4) but it really does seem to be working. I went from having several multiple-day colitis type attacks (in January) back to awesome digestive health. If I eat clean and keep my portions a reasonable size my stomach seems to be working just fine. Coincidence. Maybe. But if your system isn't working properly maybe you should consider rotating probiotics once in a while. And if you are not happy with your brand then give Align a shot. Every body is different but it seems to be working for me.

4) GAVE UP THE GRAINS (AGAIN) - I'm really bad at being "grain-free". I never stick to it faithfully in the long term - I don't even cheat on fun stuff. Its usually just that I get hungry and can't find anything to snack on so I have some gluten free cereal or something else of my kids. Hunger and convenience just seem to win out over intelligence and common sense much too often. I KNOW it plays havoc on my digestive system. I've proven this to myself over and over (and over) by eliminating them and re-introducing them. Same result each time. They slow my digestion right down. And that is just bad for so many reasons. Its a bad, bloated, uncomfortable, Candida friendly environment that I don't want any part of. So once again, I got my shit together (lol) and cut the grains out. And what digesting got immediately better. Big surprise.

So there you have it. I don't know if its one or some combination of all of these things that is helping me out. I don't know if it will last. I don't know.....................

Well you get the picture. Just keep trying new things. Don't give up. Unfortunately there isn't ONE answer that is going to work for everyone. You've just gotta keep working at it. And its worth it. Because life is much better with a clear head, a flat (or at least not bloated) stomach and cheer (not fear) as your constant companion.

Cheers - Mama!!!

PS. A couple insomnia/PMS tips I think I've figured out this month:
1) My sleep is seriously buggered up before my period. But this month I started sleeping with an ice pack under my pillow. When I wake up during the night I flip over my pillow (cool side) and/or use the ice pack to cool off. Its not solving the problem but its helping; and
2) Exercise for PMS. Its unbelievable how different I feel on the days I exercise in the morning. Thursday didn't work out - felt terrible all day. Friday worked out - felt energetic and healthy all day. Saturday - woke up feeling terrible. Extremely dizzy and icky. Went to hot yoga. Walked out feeling completely normal.
Now to just figure out how to have the energy and time to work out every morning - especially in the weeks that sleep is alluding me....................

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