Tag Archives: health

My Interview with Alison Golden on Paleo/NonPaleo.com

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Click this image to read it!

I recently had the honor of doing a “Paleo Success Story” interview with Alison Golden of PaleoNonPaleo.  And it published TODAY!  Yippee!

I hope my experience inspires and encourages others to make a positive lifestyle change.  Lord knows it’s not easy, but IS SO WORTH IT!

Pain Paste

Last week I had the misfortune of getting unexpectedly “glutened”.  We had some Jelly Belly jelly beans as a treat – which we had researched (and eaten) several times and found to be gluten-free – but did not read the label on the (licensed?) Kirkland package from Costco until it was too late.  Just minutes after consumption, the pain began.

“How did this happen?”, you ask.  Well, apparently the Jelly Belly beans made for Kirkland are

“produced on machinery that also manufactures blah blah blah WHEAT blah, blah blah…”   

If you have food allergies, you know the line…  Uh-huh.

Kirkland Jelly Belly

You would be wise to avoid these at Costco.
They are NO bargain!

WHAT?!  The Jelly Belly website states that all of their beans are gluten free.
Gotta read the teeny-tiny print on EVERY package you buy.  Period.  Never assume!

So the wheels in my brain started turning and I thought of a few things that might minimize what was coming.  First, a dose of Max Digest.  This digestive enzyme product can supposedly break down some gluten proteins and help protect against accidental cross-contamination – which is what we apparently had going on here.

max digest

As a side note: I love Dr. Osborne’s products – they are specifically formulated to assist celiacs in recovery from gluten-induced damage.  Thank you, Dr. Osborne and Gluten-Free Society!

I also remembered my experience with Activated Charcoal this winter.
It’s ADsorptive properties seemed suitable here too.


Thank You, Dave Asprey!

These actions helped ease my immediate digestive pain, but over the next 24 hours came the leg, joint, back, neck and headache pain.  That required more.  I succumbed.  I gave in to the pain and took ibuprofen, an NSAID.  This is not a good idea as NSAIDs contribute to Leaky Gut Syndrome – the root cause of autoimmune disorders (which both of mine – Celiac and Hashimoto’s – are!)

Because I know this, I was reluctant to take another dose despite the pain.
I knew there had to be another way.  Hmm…NSAID = Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug…


There are loads of scientific data demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, specifically cinnamon, turmeric and ginger.  These three ingredients and more are found in turmeric tea.  I remembered seeing this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple and hunted it down.

Essentially, it is hot coconut milk mixed with those three spices, some vanilla and honey to taste.  (I left out the cayenne since it is a nighshade and doesn’t play nice with my autoimmune disorders.)

Voila!  A creamy, soothing pain reliever in a cup.  It worked, too!  Of course I am familiar with Professor Dan Ariely’s research on placebos and pain.  But whatever works, right?  I’ll take it.


OK, that worked well at home, but what about away from home or times when you don’t want to sip a hot beverage?  Like say, when it’s nearly 100 degrees outside?  Well…a little creativity goes a long way.

Our local Co-op sells empty cellulose capsules in the bulk section.  I use these for my Bulletproof Glutathione  supplement, as it tastes like something died (for real!) and I couldn’t choke it down to save my life.   Don’t know how people do it…  Anyway: I decided to put my turmeric tea in a capsule.

I mixed equal parts cinnamon, turmeric and ginger powders in a dish and added enough softened coconut oil to make a paste.  Put it in a syringe and filled size “00” cellulose capsules.  Tada!  Portable, natural pain reliever.  No nasty NSAIDs here.

Pain Paste 2

I wasn’t sure if the coconut oil would dissolve the capsules, so I tested it.  While glutathione does soften them quickly, the coconut oil did not seem to have that effect.  So, one could pre-fill some capsules and keep them in an airtight container for a while, especially if you have one of those desiccated moisture-absorbing packets added.  I am storing mine in the syringe as coconut oil acts as a natural preservative.

This Pain Paste can also be used as a base for hot turmeric tea.  Add vanilla and honey (along with about 1-2 tsp of the paste) to hot coconut milk to complete the recipe.  Enjoy!

Wisdom of the Lorax

Lorax Quote

Ah, the wisdom of the Lorax.  Of course he is referring to the environment in this quote, but it applies to so many other things as well – including our health.

When I read this quote, I think about the state of our food supply.  In my opinion, it’s a crime.

One afternoon my son complained that he was too skinny.  We had a discussion about how things have changed since I was young.  Back then, kids were very lean with rare exception – but now 1/3 of all kids are obese and at least half are overweight and unhealthy. 

My husband recently asked me if I’d noticed just how many kids were fat and unhealthy these days.    “Yes, I have.”

It’s an epidemic, and you don’t have to look to news reports to see it.  It is evident all around us.  I look at my son’s classmates and it saddens me how many are overweight at such a young age.  And worse – how many people now think that is normal and even healthy.

Babies and young children are not predisposed to overeat.  They listen to their instincts and stop eating when they have had enough.  So why is this happening?  A number of factors:

  • Overabundance and availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor processed foods engineered to make us “addicted” to and overeat them
  • Truly addictive foods made from wheat, dairy and sugar in overwhelming supply
  • Marketing messages enticing us and taking advantage of our hardwired preferences
  • Foods that alter our hormones to increase hunger and store fat
  • Caregivers taking the easy way out by giving in to children’s pleas for these foodstuffs 

I see these over-fed, under-nourished, obese, suffering children and feel so sad for them – that they have to live their lives this way due to greed, misinformation and bad technology.  Despite high levels of obesity, our culture is very prejudiced against fat people.  It affects everything in life.  I’ve told friends (based on my own experience) that when you are obese, you are invisible at best and at worst people are cruel.  I came across a photo blog Pictures of People Who Mock Me that really shows this experience poignantly.

Yes, change is hard.  I have addressed the question of why people do not initiate and/or sustain lifestyle changes in this post on transformation.  And I recently came across another blog post from the Minimalists that also accurately describes the challenges of lifestyle change.  It’s hard. People judge.  They question.  They shun.  It’s like you are holding a mirror up for them – showing them what they want but have not achieved.

But consider the alternative – the status quo.  Is that really what we want for ourselves and our children?  To become a (bad) health statistic?

As one of my Paleo heroes (Diane Sanfilippo) has been known to say:

Nothing changes if nothing changes.



Green Eggs by Monsanto

Post-Detox Advice from Diane Sanfilippo

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Post-Detox advice from Diane Sanfilippo – a Few Important Things to Consider:

If you were completingThe 21-Day Sugar Detox…

Then you’ll want to think about the following before chugging a glass of fruit juice or a pile of candy:  What was your diet like before the 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) and were you on Level 1, 2, or 3?  How do you feel now that you’ve reduced the amount of sugar or dense carbohydrates you’ve been eating?  How has your sleep been? What about your digestive function?  Do you think that eating sugary or carb-rich foods will make you feel better or worse?  Has the time and energy commitment that’s gone into avoiding sugar and dense carbs added more stress to your life than it alleviated your cravings and how much sugar or carbs has controlled your life and food choices?

Consider how often you used to consume sweetened or carb-rich foods, then decide whether adding some of those foods back in perhaps once a day versus at every meal will be something more livable for you on a regular basis. Fruit, for example, is a great way to enjoy a dessert or a treat, but most of it isn’t included on the 21DSD. Consider whether you previously ate sweets or dense carbs as rewards, as comfort, or even just as part of a habit. Then consider whether or not eating them made you feel your best or helped you to reach your goals. A LOT of people lose weight on The21DSD, but it’s not the primary goal of the program. If you did lose weight, recognize that the bite here or there of sweets that seemed innocent enough before may have been too much for you and for your goals. If your goal was not primarily weight loss but rather to break unhealthy habits and conquer cravings, think about how eating sweets again triggers the problems and causes a downward spiral, then become mindful and conscious when choosing what to eat on a daily basis.

To safely and slowly add some naturally occurring sugars (like fruit) and starches back into your diet, take care to consider portions and the timing of these foods. Fruits should not be eaten alone if blood sugar regulation and cravings have been issues for you historically. Eat small portions of berries or half of a piece of fruit if you’re not a very active person, or larger portions if you are more active. Starchy foods are best added back in on days when you are more active and specifically in the meal following your activity. Keep portions of starchy foods to a minimum otherwise, and don’t allow them to monopolize your plate if weight loss maintenance is your goal. If simply avoiding cravings is your goal and you feel okay/don’t have them when you add back in some starchy foods, then you can enjoy some root vegetables, tubers like sweet potatoes and squash more frequently. Continue to avoid refined foods including bread, pasta, cereal and other products made from flours and purchased in packages- these are never healthy options.

The bottom line: After the 21-Day Sugar Detox, a sugar-bender is not recommended. The first time I completed The Detox myself, I ate candy the following day when I was hungry (note: this means my blood sugar was already low!). I spiked my blood sugar SO high that when it crashed about an hour or two later, I nearly passed out. Seriously. It was THAT intense. I vowed at that point that I’d never let that happen again. Hopefully you can learn from my mistake, and from the questions outlined above, when choosing how to ease back into your regularly scheduled programming of life and food.

A package of Paleo Treats arrived the day after my Detox was completed, and I heeded Diane’s words in that last paragraph.  I planned ahead to deal with my sugar-demon temptation – or rather, what I thought would happen.  I took out one treat of each variety and promptly placed the rest in the freezer – out of sight, out of mind.  Then I shared those morsels with others, thereby limiting my own consumption.  I was able to sample each, but not get carried away.  I was in no mood to feel sick!  Surprisingly, I did not feel the pull of Sugar Love to go back for more.  One bite of each was enough.  Mission accomplished!

Wrapping Up the 21-Day Sugar Detox


Today is Day 21.  I made it, more or less sugar-free.  Looking back on the past three weeks, a few things learned: (1) I was definitely consuming far too much honey and high-sugar dried fruits over the holidays. (2) I need veggie or unripe banana carbs to avoid feeling hypothyroid.  (3) A week or so off of sugars can reset the taste buds and kill cravings.

Follow me on my 21-Day sugar-free journey in the COMMENTS of my original post.

I highly recommend everyone do this periodically.  It’s just too easy for that destructive Sugar Love to sneak up on us!  Click HERE to get your own 21-Day Sugar Detox Guide!

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21-Day Sugar Detox

21 day sugar detox banner

Stacy of Paleo Parents posted her experience with the 21-Day Sugar Detox this week and I was inspired – I identify with the feelings of inflammation and sluggishness, especially since recovering from a virus.  So I joined one of her Facebook threads, commenting:

Thanks for sharing, Stacy! I’m going to do this too, starting tomorrow! I just bought my copy to get me re-focused in the next few weeks. I need a jump-start. Just recovered from a virus and everything seems to be bothering me – the inflammation is palpable. …And the (natural) sugars have been creeping back in too. Bone broth and probiotics alone just aren’t doing it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way without being glutened and I’m not sure what’s up.  I speculate it’s the natural sugars that have been creeping back into my life with the winter holidays.   While I’ve tried to leave it alone, that sugar is sneaky stuff!

So I decided to put it in writing – out in public where it becomes real.
No sneaky cheats, and I’m accountable to more than just my own conscience.

Eliminating sugar from my diet was the HARDEST part of my journey to health.  Giving up grains and dairy was far easier.  As a sugar addict, I had the dreaded Candida Albicans yeast sending messages to my brain to feed it.  Once it’s embedded in the body, it has the potential to reestablish (overgrown) colonies.  Coconut oil and Caprylic Acid were my secret weapons in the war against candida, and they will once again be my best friends.

But I know it’s more than just the candida.  It’s the rediscovered love of sweetness and habit.  I went for many months without a twinge of sugar love and I was happy.  I want the happy back.  The taste of sugar is not worth the inflammation in the joints, skin and insides.  So here we go!  I will be doing the Level 3 program with adjustments for autoimmunity, just like Stacy.  No nightshades or egg whites, and minimal nut products.

I’ll keep you all posted on the progress.  Wish me luck!