Category Archives: Health

Health-related subjects, products and supplements

Window Shades and Sleep Hygiene

With longer days and Daylight Savings Time comes more sunlight – and with it, the challenge of getting enough quality sleep for my child with an “early” bedtime.  One key factor is darkness.  I have used sleep masks with great success, but my family refuses to try it.

What to do?  Well, I wasn’t ready to try taping foil or newspaper over my windows as some people have (how unattractive would THAT be here in the ‘burbs?!) and I wanted to be able to open the blinds/windows occasionally, so I went to my local Home Depot in search of window treatment solutions.  I was on the hunt for some form of room-darkening shades that would not bankrupt me – or require replacing the 2″ blinds already in place.

et voila!

IMG_1420

Temporary pleated paper shades: hung with adhesive strip and held open with small clips

I found just what I needed – a temporary pleated shade that fit against the window behind the existing blinds.  And the price was right – less than $5 each.  We’re in business!

They have been in our windows for two nights and we all slept better immediately.  Our bedroom windows face East, but there is still significant outdoor ambient light that comes in through the blinds at night – even when cloudy or moonless.

My son was up early the very next morning – and I normally have to NAG him to get out of bed at the last possible minute!  I didn’t expect such dramatic results so soon.  I am amazed.

Why didn’t I try this sooner?!  (And why do I end up asking myself this question so often?  Oy.)
I am definitely hanging these shades in the baby’s West-facing window this Fall!

shades

2013 in Review: Rollercoaster Year

2014b

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Sad to say I didn’t make it to midnight.  So close!
This was the first year Alex tried to stay up until midnight, but by 11pm or so we were both teetering – and NOT from alcohol! We collapsed into our beds without seeing the sparkly ball drop.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Wait… what did I say last year about practicing what I preach about healthy sleep habits?  We’re both in a sleep-deprived fog this morning.  No energy to take down the tree and decorations yet.  Maybe later…after our movie marathon.

We did celebrate by roasting the turkey that was intended for Christmas – the one that arrived frozen solid (unlike the one we ordered at Thanksgiving, which was fresh).  Served with sweet potatoes, cucumber-avocado-salmon roe appetizer and vanilla-honey-cinnamon coconut butter candy.  And let’s not forget the sparkling apple juice to toast the New Year!


This past year has had some tremendous ups and downs for me.

I started Pamela’s Paleo Life just over a year ago after Thanksgiving.

Completed a 21-Day Sugar Detox, during which I discovered I was pregnant at the age of 45.

Addressed a critical issue for those undergoing radical transformation.

Cooked a LOT.  Ate a lot.

Suffered a miscarriage with complications requiring antibiotics at Easter time and lingering adrenal fatigue throughout the summer.

Son turned 9.  Pets turned 12 and 14 years old respectively.

Son had orthodontic palate expander and braces.

Met my hero, Tara Grant at the Minneapolis Primal Blueprint seminar.

Completed a course in Behavioral Economics from Duke University (fascinating!)

Celebrated turning 29 with 17 years experience (that’s 46 for the math-challenged.)

Posted lots of pet photos for cuteness and laughs.

Discovered Paleo Dough!  Used it lots.

Rediscovered archery.

Attended a family reunion, lost two more members thereof.

Did an interview with Alison Golden of PaleoNonPaleo.

Enjoyed playing with the ever-expanding line of colors and products at Red Apple Lipstick!

Continued to educate myself about autoimmune disorders, especially celiac disease and ways to heal and stay healthy.

Celebrated our 1st Blog Birthday!

Whew!  That’s a lot of ups and downs.
Here’s wishing all of us a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, SMOOTH and STEADY 2014!

My Secret Weapon

Capryl

My secret weapon in the battle against candida albicans (aka the “Yeastie Beasties”) is caprylic acid.  This is the anti-fungal component of coconut oil.  I first learned about its ability to kill yeast and other fungi in the book The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife.

These capsules were the helping hand I needed to kick my lifelong sugar addiction 3+ years ago.  I had tried repeatedly to stop but just couldn’t.  I’d learned that my sugar cravings were likely due to candida overgrowth, but until I read that book I had no idea what to do about it. When I asked my doctors about medication to control yeast overgrowth, they looked at me like I was from another planet!  (Sound familiar?)

Those first two days of withdrawal were still a beast, but I made it – and the change set me free at last.  Free from the cravings and effects of sugar consumption.  I lost 20 lbs within that first year just from eliminating sugar – not even grains at that point.  It was a year after I kicked the sugar habit that I discovered Paleo and eliminated the grains and legumes too.

So now if I start feeling the “Sugar Love” again, I take some caprylic acid in the form of capsules or my new favorites: Bulletproof MCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil.   These oils are super-concentrated forms of carpylic and capric acids and as the name suggests, fuel the brain with “high-octane”!

Brain Octane

I use both the MCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil regularly

The Holidays brought with them all kinds of tasty sweet treat temptations, and I succumbed – my resolve weakened by the dreaded “Yeastie Beasties” resulting from antibiotic treatment for an infection in late Fall.  I really hate the power sugar has over me in that state, knowing the damage it does to me with my autoimmune conditions.  I know it’s the candida sending “feed me” messages to my brain…but it’s difficult to fight off such strong cravings, even with strong willpower.  It takes much more than willpower.  It takes a strong weapon.

It’s definitely a war, and I am determined to win it.

Dogs Are Gluten-Intolerant!

Jingle Dog 4

This is Delenn being a good sport.

Veterinary science is rapidly catching up with human medical research and studies are revealing pets having similar health issues associated with gluten consumption.

Humans aren’t the only ones in the family that shouldn’t eat gluten.  Dogs (and cats!) evolved as carnivores and should eat a diet consisting of primarily meat with an occasional bite of vegetation.  BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods) is best, but not always feasible.

Luckily, there are both raw and grain-free pet foods on the market.  We feed our girls Wellness Core grain-free kibbles accompanied by Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw foods.  I would love to feed raw exclusively, but with a 60 lb. Labrador it’s a bit cost-prohibitive.

Unfortunately, we only learned this information about two years ago when we discovered Paleo and its benefits.  So for most of their lives, our 14-year old dog and 12-year old cats ate SAD pet food. As a result, the dog developed arthritis as well as a heart murmur and one of the cats is hyperthyroid.  However, the change in diet halted the progression of these conditions.  Diet matters just as much for our beloved pets as ourselves!

12 Days of Paleo Christmas!

The second annual edition of Pamela’s 12 Days of Paleo Christmas.
OK, so I listed more than twelve…the more, the merrier!   Enjoy!

[Product links provided below.]

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
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Another scrapbook design by Smilebox

Gift ideas featured in Pamela’s 12 Days of Paleo Christmas:

Paleo Dough makes nearly anything savory or sweet: bread, biscuits, crackers, tortillas, pizza crust, dumplings, meat or fruit pie pockets etc.

Bulletproof Coffee and Kerrygold Butter (available at Costco and other stores)

Great Lakes Gelatin and Silicone Mold(s)

EPIC Bars

Downton Abbey Teas
Why is Downton Abbey Paleo? http://paleononpaleo.com/downton-abbey-guide-paleo/

Gather: the Art of Paleo Entertaining

Paleo Happy Hour

Bulletproof Activated Charcoal for rapid recovery from consuming anything dubious

Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts  (available at Costco and other stores)

Red Apple Lipstick Products: lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, lip balm, eyeliner, eyeshadow

Caveman Feast App for IOS or Android

Paleo Treats

Mabel’s Labels – for all the things people lose

Ball Mason Canning Jars for food storage and drinking

Primal Blueprint Boxed Set – ALL the Primal Blueprint books in one place

Evernote Market – amazing tools to keep organized at home or on the go

*Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliates and I may receive a commission from purchases.

Sugar is Evil

Sugar is Evil.  

Why do we love something so destructive so very much?  Evolutionary Biologists claim we are hard-wired to pursue the sweet stuff and consume as much as possible as a survival mechanism.  In whole food form, sugars in fruits and veggies attract us to foods rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  However, we humans are just too clever for our own good.  We isolate the sugars from the fiber and other plant nutrients, leaving us with something that becomes toxic on its own in quantity.

After watching Dr. Robert Lustig’s lecture Sugar: the Bitter Truth a couple years ago, I’ve made concerted effort to consume whole fruits and honey instead of processed and other natural sugars like maple syrup or evaporated cane juice (which are separated from the whole plant) to satisfy my desire for sweetness.

I understand only too well that I am a recovering “Sugar Hound” and must be cautious of the slippery slope that is the sweet stuff.  Keeping blood sugar steady is of utmost importance for those of us with autoimmunity and vigilance is required to avoid candida overgrowth, from which I suffered nearly my entire life – and am currently battling again due to the (necessary) use of antibiotics.

I recently viewed another lecture by the good Dr. Lustig: Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0 which reinforces avoidance of high fructose corn syrup and other processed/natural sugars outside whole food form due to its overall toxicity as well as its special contribution to obesity.

I encourage you to watch both of these.  They are important and worth your time!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM??feature=player_detailpage]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceFyF9px20Y?feature=player_detailpage]

This is War!

My apologies for recent “radio silence”.  I have been ill with a bug I caught from my son.

This germ is a beast – dragging on and on.  It’s been following the same pattern as the kiddo’s, starting with a couple days of mild fever, then progressing to a persistent cough, lingering more than a week.  Very unfortunately for my son, he got a secondary infection of pneumonia.  I am desperately seeking to avoid that fate.  I do not want another round of antibiotics in less than a year!  Recovery from that medical emergency has been challenging.  Antibiotics are a double-edged sword.  They save us from the pathogens, but destroy the good gut flora we have been building for over two years.

I don’t know where this thing came from, but it took us both down in record time – despite our Paleo lifestyle with a nutrient-dense diet and sacred sleep.  What’s up with that?!  It’s not failed us before!  In the past two years we’ve rarely felt ill – and when the tough stuff was going around, we just got a touch of whatever it was – not nearly as bad as everyone else.

Fellow Bloggers to the rescue!  Cold and flu season is upon us and the Paleosphere contains plenty of advice on dealing with these bugs.  I’d seen a few posts about Oregano Oil as a natural antibiotic/immune therapy with less negative impact and no (known) drug-resistance issues and decided to give it a try.  The ladies at our local co-op swear by it, so I chose this:

oil-oregano

I didn’t know what to expect.  So I just took the recommended 4 drops in my mouth…

Whoa!  This stuff is so potent it’ll take your breath away!

Wow.  That sure opened up the sinuses!  I’ve been braving the burn for a few days now.
Has it worked?  I think so.  I haven’t been carted off to the clinic barking with pneumonia. *knock-knock* on wood… Although I did wake up last night drenched in sweat – but no fever.

Of course I have been consuming even more bone broth than usual, avoiding sugars except Manuka honey in hot tea and Wedderspoon lozenges, and taking my supplements daily.  Steamy showers, a vaporizer and performing saline sinus irrigation to flush out the yuck.
I’ll admit to using some OTC remedies out of desperation – the slime just doesn’t stop!  Oy.  

If anyone can give me some effective options that do not contain immunostimulants such as echinacea, licorice root or lemon balm, PLEASE share in comments!  Thank You!

(See The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol by Anne Angelone for details on why those make those of us with autoimmune disorders worse.)

I Will Not Be Pink-Washed

pink ribbon_100-dollar-bills

I will not be Pinkwashed.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Cancer is a tragedy and my heart aches for its victims.  [We’ve lost two in the family to esophageal and lung cancer(s) this year.]

Cancer is also preventable and treatable – something the pink pushers would like to ignore.

I agree with the author of this article.  This exploitation of breast cancer as a cause has become a huge money maker.  It seems everyone wants in on the ruse.  Perusing Facebook today and encountered another article, this one posted by Primal Docs.

I do not purchase items simply because they support the pink ribbon.  I make my purchase decisions based upon whether the product is of quality and promotes healthy lifestyle – as defined by Paleo/Primal criteria!  I worked for marketing/advertising agencies for 5+ years and learned many tricks of the trade and I believe that helps me avoid some of them now.  Two of the biggest tactics used are the emotional response to the tragedy of cancer and the desire to do anything to help; and the affiliation herding (or groupthink) –  that feeling of belonging through purchase.

I encourage everyone to think carefully about the “awareness” and charitable campaigns they support.  Research the organization’s efforts and spending.  What do they really accomplish and support?  Health and longevity or profits?  I for one will NOT be Pinkwashed!

 

As a side note: one of the key chemical contributors to breast cancer are parabens.  Parabens are a group of cosmetic preservatives that mimic estrogen.  Studies in the UK have found at least 6 varieties of parabens in all breast cancer tumors tested.  Look for the “-paraben” on the ingredient label of cosmetics and personal care products and avoid them like the plague!

I choose Red Apple Lipstick lipstick and eye makeup because it is paraben-free in addition to being gluten-free.  They are on a mission to share safe makeup with the world.  And I recently found Tarte Amazonian Clay mineral foundation and mascara.  They are also gluten- and paraben-free.  There are safe, conscientious companies out there.  We just have to make the time and effort to find and support them!

History of Paraben and Breast Cancer

 

New Fall Colors!!

The latest from Red Apple Lipstick!  The new Fall color collection is now available, and it is gorgeous.  Perfect Fall shades for eyes and lips.  Something for everyone!

RAL FALL 2013

Cozy colors! Matte eye shadows in rich Fall shades and auburn red lipsticks.

As mineral-based lip and eye products, the color is buildable from a soft hue to intense opaque color.  Eye shadows also take on a new effect when applied wet.  These mineral-based products also do not stain skin and clothing the way dye-based cosmetics can!

Brr!  The wind and cold is coming – get extra protection.  Stock up on Rallye Balmthe BEST lip balm on the planet!!  [...and under-eye and cuticle moisturizer!]

Rally Balm 2

Be sure to sign up for the VIP Club email list to get 20% off codes each month – the first one arrives IMMEDIATELY (conveniently located at the top of their web page).  Free shipping for purchases over $50.  Look for the many select-your-own discount packages in each category.

Click on any of these Red Apple Lipstick images to ORDER ====>

It’s Beauty without the Beasties!

RAL Apple