4 Months… Allergies, Workouts & The Green Smoothie Detox

So everything was AWESOME up until 2 weeks ago when I started getting tired. Now up to 5 days a week at the gym, I thought if I backed off it would help. It didn’t. Then the sneezing started, then the itching. Then terrible, hopeless depression and fatigue.  

Like dietary sensitivities, seasonal allergies are the most common symptom of leaky gut – which unfortunately takes longer than 4 months to heal. I sniffed my way through some local honey, Nettle Extract, green juices, tortured myself with the Neti Pot and finally did the unthinkable and bought my first ever allergy medication from Walgreens. Thanks to a Facebook post, I identified the strongest and most potent pill as breathing was getting rough – which turned out to be Allegra D. I am no fan of taking pills unless they are really needed but I have to say I woke up this morning feeling better than I ever have. Why? Because I am realizing that with 4 dogs in the house and a ton of dust that I need to get tested for dust allergies. My ill feeling predates having dogs and when I clean I sneeze like crazy. 20 million people in the US have dust allergies and as I am sensitive to every substance known to man I have a sneaky feeling I may be in need of allergy shots while my system in continuing to heal. I thought it was just seasonal but I feel better than I did all winter and the pollen hasn’t been around that long.  

 However, the good news is over time on the ETL diet many people with asthma/allergies see them clear up completely – which I am sure in my case will be when my gut stops leaking. 

Here are Dr Fuhrman’s comments on the issue: https://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/Other.aspx

“Allergies and Asthma improve and can even disappear over time

A significant number of medical investigations have uncovered that, just like other diseases, people develop asthma and allergies for reasons. Asthma and allergies have been linked to nutritional factors:

  • Low levels of fresh fruits and flavonoids[iii]
  • Fried foods, protein-rich and fat-rich foods of animal origin[iv]
  • Low blood levels of fruit and vegetable derived antioxidants[v]
  • Dietary fatty acid imbalance—an excess of omega-6 over omega-3 fats[vi]
  • Increased intake of high saturated fat foods (meat, cheese and butter)[vii]
  • Bread and butter consumption, lower vegetable intake [viii] (my old staple!!! – Nat) 

My experience in working with hundreds of patients attempting to resolve asthma and allergies has been rewarding. The asthmatics gradually improve, and the allergic patients slowly reduce the severity of their allergies and many become entirely non-allergic. Many patients who had strong allergies to cats, dust mites and pollen, no longer have these sensitivities. From a combination of dietary advice and a limited amount of nutritional supplements, most people start to improve their condition in a few months. I have even had patients who surprisingly continued to be allergic a year later and then after about 20 months following my recommendations, their allergies faded away. Recoveries are the rule and not the exception.”

 

I also dug up this from: http://fuelyourhealth.net/tag/asthma-2

“Dietary Guidelines for Children with Allergies and Asthma (from Dr. Fuhrman’s Disease-Proof Your Child on page 66)

  • A high-nutrient, vegetable-nut-fruit-based diet
  • One tablespoon of ground flax seeds daily
  • At least one ounce of raw walnuts daily, with the addition of other raw nuts
  • DHA supplement, 100-400 mg daily
  • Multivitamins without vitamin A or isolated beta-carotene (such as Gentle Care Formula)
  • No processed foods, dairy fat, or trans fat
  • Little or no oils; essential fats are supplied from raw nuts and seeds and DHA supplementation
  • Avoidance of known allergens (for example, pollen, house dust, cat hair, chemical irritants, etc.)
  • The reason for increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables is to increase the immune function of the affected individual. The reason for the elimination of animal fats and oil is to lower the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids while increasing the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to the above recommendation, supplementation in vitamin D should be seriously considered given the associated benefits.”

 Having felt so much better from changing my diet, it’s entirely possible with the right allergy treatment I could feel even better. However, I don’t believe in medicating forever which is making me re-evaluate adding beans back to my diet so soon because they make me pretty tired. I believe beans are great, but they mess me up at this time. I also need to watch oils better, based on the info above. 

 So I’m almost a normal person but maybe this Allegra has made me realize what I am missing – how it feels to get up feeling rested with a lot less ADD. Like anyone on a healthy diet, I am disappointed that I had to use pharmaceuticals BUT now I KNOW that allergies are causing my fatigue/depression/add. Not just in my diet, but in the house and environment too! Which is why medication for those things specifically didn’t work. Because now I am on Allegra I am on cloud 9 and feel I should apply for the New York Marathon. 

Therefore I’m going to commit myself to healing with a 10 day organic green smoothie fast ( 2 bananas/spring greens to top of Vitamix from Wegmans) – ironically I’m going to have to do it whilst taking Allegra, but the new energy will help me keep my house and companion canines as clean as possible while I restart the healing process. After all, when one feels terrible, one tends to go buy vegan chocolate which is exactly what I had to do yesterday to stay awake through a photo shoot. 

Feeling grateful & full of purpose! 

Here’s to another 4 months and an allergy free 2015 😀 

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3 Months A Nutritarian and 95% Free Of CFS

It seems like a lifetime ago that I started my commitment to follow Eat To Live 100% and I never could have anticipated that just 3 months later, I would live and feel like a normal person.

Last year was beyond a nightmare for me. CFS is generally progressive and can be caused by any number of underlying issues or food sensitivities.

This time last year, I was unable to work and struggling to run my own photography business to make ends meet. I typically would wake up between 9 and 11 feeling like I had been kicked in the head. If I tried to get up earlier and drink coffee to open my eyes, it would trigger PVC arrhythmia that has sometimes sent me to the emergency room. My insurance of course, didn’t cover enough diagnostic testing to see a cardiologist. At night I could NEVER sleep and would toss and turn whilst munching on melatonin.

How I longed to go to the gym or take my bike out. I would shuffle though a few errands and then drift back to Facebook, because at least I could sit down. My muscles were weak and my joints swollen, so a simple walk would frustrate me and cause me pain. I gave everything I had to my photo shoots, and tried to keep up a social life but by the evening I felt so tired I had nothing to say to my friends. I didn’t want to call people and be negative so I stopped calling them at all. Some days I would get bursts of energy, spend it all and then pay it back for days later. I clung to every sporadic surf session, walk and gym visit with a mixture of hope and despair. My friends offered me jobs and I would constantly be calling out because I was in bed all day, weak, feverish and sometimes with extreme nausea. I lived to sleep but it never satisfied me.

I had read every book on nutrition and thought I was doing my best. Gluten free muffins, Kashi cereal for breakfast, brown rice pasta for dinner and even salads at lunch time. To me, there wasn’t much more I could be doing. Maybe I needed more Abx for Lyme disease or an underlying infection. I ran a gamut of blood tests with my PCP which showed immune markers. Even though my insurance didn’t cover any further visits I decided not to pursue any single diagnosis because at this point there were numerous problems with my blood work and health that indicated something was wrong on the holistic level, rather than an individual disease.

What I didn’t realize was that the pain I felt often after eating was my body telling me my digestive system was seriously out of balance, which was destroying my immune system. The sugar I used to feel alert was feeding a massive overgrowth of the wrong kind of bacteria. 3 months on Abx for Lyme had destroyed my immune and digestive system including filling my body with dead cells that needed to be cleared out. A toxic diet when I was younger had left permanent damage. Using an elimination diet, Eat to Live’s guidelines for the foods I CAN eat and a few juice fasts when I felt toxic, I have a life again.

At first I resisted posting too much because I was so afraid I would wake up and feel awful again. I religiously stuck to my grain free, nightshade free version of the plan and took things one day at a time. I forced down green smoothies. I took my Vitamix on a ski trip. I ate 5 papayas a day in Hawaii. I made mistakes and reacted violently to eggs and dairy in processed foods. But I kept picking myself up.

Today it is 3 months since I started my journey. I truly credit my success to finding like minded people on Facebook and checking in every day to stay motivated and keep a clear idea of what my health goals are.

I naturally wake up between 7 and 8 now and have no trouble falling asleep… usually at 10 or 11. I start my day with affirmations and a gratitude list, because despite the cold weather I enjoy being awake for the first time in years. I have 3 jobs now and am back in graduate school which was a huge gamble because I applied when I was just starting my new diet. I am able to keep up with everything and take my dogs running on the beach. The swelling in my knees took the longest to heal but has made the biggest difference in my life as I can be as active as I like. I am back at the gym regularly and look forward to biking daily when the weather breaks. I waste time on Facebook still but it’s optional, I can see my friends just fine.

Changing the way I eat and treat my body has changed my whole world. Now nothing is impossible to me. I want to run 5ks, surf around the world and take long hikes with my dogs and there is no longer anything holding me back as long as I stick with my dietary program and make sure I get a fair amount of rest. I’ve learned to say no and to treat myself right.

I just went to see a new PCP and my blood work came back perfect. Best part – NO AUTOIMMUNE MARKERS! My new doc is a Functional Medicine doctor and has many patients who have changed their life though diet. Apparently gluten, dairy and food additives found in processed foods can mimic any number of diseases and cause massive inflammation. Anemia I had when I was eating meat is now gone – B12 and D3 are good bc I supplement often with Emercen-C drink.

My typical diet is super simple: unlimited fresh fruit/green smoothies for breakfast. I figured out how to make almond flour crepes but the strangest thing is when I eat dry foods such as baked goods and pasta, I find them too ‘dry’ and get uncomfortable with a  stomach ache. I am so used to fruits and vegetables!

Lunch: unlimited Salad, Steamed Vegetables, Fruit, nuts, seeds, beans

Dinner: Sometimes skipped to allow fasting, steamed veggies/smoothie or veggie soup.

Can’t say I feel deprived at all as being in bed every day when I should have been at the beach is deprivation. Eating foods that my body likes is just the right thing to do, regardless of what everyone around me thinks and eats! My new challenge is learning to let things go and let people be right when they challenge plant based diets – but given how much Eat To Live helped me it’s hard not to get passionate! At just 3 months in, I am so excited to see how I feel in the future!