Archives for January 2017
Let’s talk for a minute. You have been reading (and hopefully learning) on this site for about a month now.
We (my husband and I) are “preppers” in the truest sense. By definition, “to prep” means “to make ready”. As a responsible adult, shouldn’t we be doing this in ALL aspects of our lives. If you spend life flying by the seat of your pants, chances are you will be caught with your pants down more than you’d care to admit, right?
So we prepare for life… We have insurance. We have careers. We plan and save for our future and retirement. We plan for our vacations, and we plan what we’re going to get at the grocery store. We create goals in life. WE just happen to plan in the event that those safety nets (the government) that we assume are in place fail us.
In essence, ALL of us are preppers to one degree or another whether admitted or not…… AND YET….. When we discuss this, the reactions are all over the board:
- You might think us nuts.
- You might think…. “No worries, I’ll just come live with you should “the poop hit the oscillator”. (Ummmm, no you won’t…. unless you have a skill,trade, or asset that we believe can be utilized, or you have been previously invited).
- You might be the…“Hey! I’m with you in spirit, but I don’t have the knowhow or environment to do what you do. NOT. Everyone can learn and prepping can occur anywhere!
- Or, you might be walking right along side us and prepping in your way that is relevant to your way of living. If that’s you……hopefully you’ve now embraced the notion that you need to be preparing on a level that is unique to you and your family’s personal health concerns. (If so, message me or email me… it’s time to get serious about the planning.)
Health preparedness is different. It is not as simple as just storing product.
While product is nice to have on hand when you need it, the ability to apply knowledge that you’ve accumulated thru personal experience and thru experience of others could be a gamechanger. Proficiency in anything requires practice. It is my personal goal that every single person who joins in this journey with me will have access to as much education as they desire (in the form of private Facebook groups, books, education here (thru my blog and private emails), and also direction to science backed resources)….. so that they (you?) can become proficient in their unique health and wellness plan BEFORE a crisis situation dictates that it must be implemented. However, when a crisis happens (and it WILL happen someday), what if you don’t have access to your internet, phone, or your “go to person” when a “how to” question arises? Then you must rely on what you have stored in your brain & what you have in your Bug Out Bag to implement your plan.
Today’s the day… make a commitment to do this. Let’s pack your bag with the essentials that will be pertinent to YOUR health, (along with the 400+ page essential oil manual you’ll get for free from me) AND begin training your brain to think a bit differently. Let’s get some practice under your belt! Who knows…. by implementing what you learn now, you will likely become healthier for it, and THAT itself could actually save your life… even if the SHTF doesn’t happen anytime soon.
Well hello there!
I had no intention of leaving you hanging precariously on my life’s edge, but the last few days have gotten away from me. Farm life is full of unknowns, and at times you must drop everything and take care of the business at hand.
So where was I? Last I left you, you were dealing with a 30’s something gal with endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, osteopenia, and hypercholesterolemia. That makes it sound like I had one foot in the grave! Not so…. other than “that”, I was pretty healthy and pretty active. I had given up Diet Cokes and coffee as my New Year’s resolution in 1995 simply because my stomach couldn’t take them anymore. (It’s the only resolution I’ve ever kept!). That was probably the best unintentional health step I’ve ever taken.
The combined diagnosis of osteopenia and hypercholesterolemia was a rude awakening tho! I realized that something had to give in my life….but it wasn’t going to be my cheese (I am a confirmed cheese-aholic). I started researching natural ways to decrease cholesterol and interestingly enough, I came across an elderly person, an article, and a book all about the same time. All three recommended raw milk. Say what? You can learn more about raw milk here and here and also by reading The Untold Story of Milk by Ron Schmid, ND. After doing some very thorough research, we drank the Kool-Aid milk and never looked back. Because I’m science-minded, I decided that we would be guinea pigs ourselves.. since we both had cholesterol issues (high LDL and low HDL and average Triglycerides) pre- raw milk. A year after drinking it religiously we both went back and were rechecked. No other methods of lowering cholesterol were used during that time. And by golly…. the proof was in the Quest Medical Diagnostics report. It was like our cholesterol had turned upside down. The LDL was now low, and the HDL was remarkably high and the triglycerides had lowered too. Hmmmm. I might just make it to old age after all. I was unable to get a bone density test at that time because our insurance wouldn’t pay for it again. (stay tuned… we will revisit that in a big way later).
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my bladder situation had improved a bit, but only with close diet control. In addition to my stomach, it appeared that I had a very finicky bladder too… my doctor had told me that certain foods would cause bladder spasms, but that everyone that has IC has a different set of food triggers, and I would have to figure out which triggers were mine. Oh boy…. here’s what I found out immediately: citrus… all kinds (except for low acid oranges). onions (but not garlic). Tomatoes (but not yellow ones). Peanut butter (but not organic peanut butter). Pineapple (but not if I eat it in the country it’s grown in!). Cantaloupe (but not Honeydew). Peppers of any kind….and many more. Yes, the list was strange. And frequently, I would avoid everything I thought I should, and I would STILL have problems day and night. It was very frustrating and I went for nearly 10 years with no REM sleep… at least not deep enough to ever dream. Heavy sigh.
In 2009 Charlie and I went on a business trip (for him.. pleasure for me) to northern Thailand. It was an amazing trip……even including the political uprising occurring while we were there which prevented us from leaving the country. Over the 3 weeks we were in Chiang Mai, we ate nothing but fresh clean food, and guess what…by the end of our stay, I had very few bladder problems. It was amazing. We talked it over, and came to the conclusion that eating fresh and organic food might have played a part in this dramatic improvement. So upon our arrival home, I did the “great kitchen overhaul” and threw out everything that wasn’t fresh or that would qualify as being a processed food item. My eyes had been opened even further to food as a true healing agent. Interestingly, I had been an “above average” eater in terms of eating healthy before, so even the seemingly insignificant semi-poor eating habits were wreaking havoc on my bladder. The food changes I implemented really helped, but I was still getting up 3-4 times a night on a good night.
I had been dabbling in supplements and herbals for several years by now. We had discovered that exposure to chemicals of all kinds (including certain medications both prescription and OTC) had the tendency to set my bladder on fire, whereas I could usually achieve the result I needed (whether that be cleaning or needing to rectify a fairly common health issue) with a cleaner product. We discovered that we are actually pretty dang good organic gardeners….and that we really could grow what was healthy AND safe for us to eat. We also bit the bullet and got our own dairy cows (whom we LOVE). There is much more to this story, but for the FDA’s sake, let me just say that I was introduced to a product that I ended up making into a face serum (for my 40 something year old farmgirl face) along with another product designed to “support recovery time and acute inflammation associated with exercise and overall joint health”….. both of which were NOT for my bladder. Serendipity is a wonderful thing when it happens….And that’s what happened. I “serendipi-fied” my bladder, and woe and behold…. I slept thru the night, not just once, but fairly regularly from that point forward (late night farm noise notwithstanding). I understand now how and why each product worked as it did adding support to my bladder, but at the time, I was shocked at the beauty of sleeping without needing to constantly pee. Now, let me be clear. I am not cured, but my IC is nearly 100% managed when I abide by a good diet, hydration, my face (wrinkle) serum, and a joint supplement. Interesting, huh?
Fast forward again to 2015. I had a run in with our bull. Literally. He charged me, and pretty much knocked my left foot off of my leg. By the grace of God, I did not bleed to death right then and there in the pasture. AND, by the grace of God, an excellent EMT team, and a great surgeon, I was able to keep my foot despite the destruction that had occurred….. tendons severed and complete external dislocation of the tibia, and fracture of the fibula among other things. Wait. Back up. Did you notice anything peculiar about the last sentence? That girl who was osteopenic 15 years prior who should have now been osteoporotic…. was charged by a bull who knocked a bone literally out of her leg, that didn’t break? The surgeon’s comments were these: “Your leg should have shattered upon impact given your history. I think it’s time for another bone density scan.”. And yes, the scan revealed that I now (as a 48 year old) had the bones of a healthy 18 year old woman. Shut up. Yes, really.
So what was my secret? Again, serendipity stepped in. The raw milk I’ve been drinking for 15 years for my cholesterol and the magnesium I’ve been taking for the last few years have done their job well….. better than I had imagined they would. People, proper food heals. Elimination of chemicals in your life heals. Listening to your body and correcting problems before they are out of control are life sustaining actions that heal. Exercise heals. It’s that simple. (and yes, I do walk without a limp, have participated in multiple 5K’s, and work out weekly with a P31 bootcamp sisterhood… and my EMT friends who saw me that day think THAT’S miraculous)
I want to shout from the rooftops! Being healthy is really not that hard. I see people every day at the pharmacy who come in looking older than me, or struggling just to make it thru the day. Who are on disability….. ENORMOUS numbers of people in our country on disability. That limits their income, and limits their life and their life’s dreams. Don’t tell me it’s too hard to be healthy. Watching them, I’d say it’s much harder to be “permanently sick” than to constantly strive towards good health.
This is my heart song…. to help others find their way back towards health.
Want to join me in this journey? Come on in,….. and Welcome!
If you want to ask something nearly impossible of an introvert, ask them to write a blog about themselves. Sheesh! This is going to be a rough one for me to write.
Yes, I’m an introvert and don’t normally air my health laundry…… but my passion to promote great health is bigger than my privacy issues…. and YOUR health is just as important as mine…. so I’m here to spill the beans on how I came to be “a healthy me” at the age of 50. Perhaps you can glean some inspiration, knowledge, and hope from MY story….and then maybe you too can turn your health around. I going to dissect my life into two halves, and will post the first half today… the second will come by the end of the week.
Life is full of lessons. I have been fortunate in that my profession of choice (pharmacy) has given me the gift of continuous learning. I LOVE learning, researching, digging up and exhuming hidden facts. It took me many years to piece together my health story, but once I did, everything made perfect sense. If I had not made some conscious choices to change my life habits in my early 30’s, I likely would be one of the statistics (one of the “one in two” people in the USA with an active chronic health condition).
I was not a chronically hospitalized kid growing up, but I had my share of chronic issues. I was the kid in the family that the pediatrician saw frequently for fairly severe allergies, bad asthma, and for some odd reason, strep throat regularly. I had a steady diet of (prescription strength) Dimetapp, steroids, and antibiotics in the early ’70’s. When I hit puberty, my cycles… tho regular… were excruciating. It took a few years, but I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis. This was in the early ’80’s, and not many doctors were well studied on this female disorder. I will abbreviate the story here…. 2 surgeries later, and after being told to ‘have children quickly or good luck with that‘….. we found a way to manage the ongoing problem with a prescription. Meanwhile, I still had allergies to many things. Sadly, the things I loved the most were the things I was most allergic to!….. animals and the great outdoors (pollen, grasses, trees, etc)! My allergies were severe enough that they prevented me from entering Vet School (my life long dream). I was crushed, and after some deep thought, switched directions to pursue a pharmacy degree. Many years of college (and working while in college), poor diet, too much coffee and Diet Coke and not enough sleep eventually gave me some fairly significant stomach issues. I graduated in ’91 with my degree and a diagnosis of (ICD-10 code K59.9) ‘functional intestinal disorder, unspecified’ as an added bonus.
Fast forward…. Charlie and I got married in ’92…….. and in 2001, after 4 doctors and many months of seeking answers for my new issue (the incessant need to pee both night and day) … I got diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (a bladder condition that has no cure). Thru trial and error over the next several years ( that’s another post/another day) we found a definitive pattern regarding food triggers. Using diet modifications, I was able to ‘somewhat‘ manage my IC without the VERY EXPENSIVE drugs or the daily self- catheterizations that are common among people with this condition. Thank God! Let me tell you…. there is no incentive like the prospect of daily self-cathing to change your diet!
About the same time my IC was diagnosed, I had a fairly minor fall (tripping over a wheelbarrow) and broke my wrist. I was 33. My orthopedist suggested a bone density scan, and I was subsequently diagnosed with osteopenia. He told me to take more calcium and warned me that I would probably need to be on a medication to prevent further bone loss before I turned 40. It was the same year that Charlie and I both were told that we both had high cholesterol (over 200), and that if we didn’t attempt to lower our cholesterol levels soon we would both need to be on a cholesterol med.
So you see….. I was right on track with the “not so American Dream”…. to be good and unhealthy by the ripe old age of 40. I was set to join the ranks of the 50% who drew the genetic short straw and got to be on the losing team of the “one in two” who have a chronic health condition. Yay me! Not.
And this is where the baby steps of change truly began occurring.
Fast forward to 2017….so how did a sickly, allergic, asthmatic …..who became a young adult with endometriosis and a messed up gut…. who then became an adult with interstitial cystitis, osteopenia, and hypercholesterolemia on top of all the previous ailments (at 33) become a healthy 50 year old? That, my friends, is what comes next….. how I slowly worked my way backwards out of this health hot mess train wreck I was going to be the older I got.
Stay tuned…. You truly ARE what you eat….. and drink…. and expose your body to (or deprive your body of)! In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about some of my lifestyle choices my family and I have made, join me here!
Hugs and Love,
Several days ago a friend and I had a conversation about a Young Living oil purchase she had made on Amazon. She was pleased with herself as she had gotten “our oils” at half the price that you and I would generally pay. This of course sparked conversation and the resulting Public Service Announcement from me, your Wellness Prepper.
How can someone sell oils below our cost and make an income doing it? It simply isn’t possible…. unless there has been a bit of subterfuge occurring. It is so easy to adulterate a bottle (usually diluted) and then place a brand new safety cap (that can be purchased easily online) back on to the bottle, making you….the buyer…. think you are purchasing a brand new bottle issued straight from Young Living’s bottling facility in Utah.
Please do not assume that all sellers are honest on Amazon, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. They are not!
I’ve included a video below so that you can see how simple the “switcharoo” process truly is. (Take a look. It is less than 3 minutes long)
In Health and Preparedness~
Liz James, RPh
NSHC Certified Health Coach & Wellness Educator