Learn to Listen to Your Body

It’s story time.  And this story is dedicated to a very couragous lady whom I gain inspiration from every time I’m with her…..

Denise, a good friend of mine was dealing with some strange physical symptoms for which she was seeing 9 different doctors and was $7,000 dollars in debt.  A debt that this hard working waitress was going to be paying on for a while.  Those strange symptoms were bloating, weight gain, headaches, upper arm pain, stomach pain, acid reflux and night hot flashes. 

She underwent CT scans, endoscopic procedures, and was put on Nexium, 4 tablespoons of milk of magnesia, and 2 stool softner pills per day. She was taking 4 to 6 excederin per day to control her headaches. She was told she had acid reflux, a hiatial hernia and would be on Nexium (an expensive medication) for the rest of her life and that she was premenopausal and to just learn to live with her symptoms.  Lucky for Denise she did not except this answer and knew in her heart that there was help for her somewhere she just didn’t know where.

Now comes the strange turn of events….she went to an aerobics class at a church (from which she had been absent due to how crappy she felt) and at the end of class the instructor played a religious song for cool down.  The words of song moved Denise to the point of tears.  A lady sitting  next to her noticing this and scooted a little closer and held Denise’s hand.

The instructor stopped Denise before she left to say she was glad to see her back in class.  Denise explained to her that she hadn’t been to class because she wasnt’ feeling to good.  This instructor was also a nurse at a holistic physician’s office and told Denise that she should stop in.  Denise expained that she simply could not afford any more doctors.  This intuitive instructor gave her a gift certificate to help with the expenses.  After a few days Denise decided to call for an appointment.  The receptionist was expecting her call and fit her into an already totally booked schedule that Friday.

Denise was found to be extremely toxic due to constipation. She was placed on a 7 week diet plan, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, physical therapy, and probiotics 225 million organisms and was taken off her medications.  Denise has finished the 7 week diet plan and feels better than she has in years!  She continues to get adjustments and acupunture from time to time.  Her weight is back down and she does not get headaches as often.  She has not had any night hot flashes and best of all she does not have any stomach pain or reflux.

Denise is on a path to healing the whole body.  Mind, Body, and Spirit and I am so proud of her!

The purpose of this post is to reach those of you who suffer from symptoms similar to Denise’s.  When it comes to your health and well being…..listen to your intution and TRUST it. Seek other answers.

This post is no way meant to undermine the medical community….God guides our physicians and other healthcare professionals and we need them, however, we need to learn to listen to our inner voice and ask lots of questions and if possible  try alternate therapies.


Need a Reboot?

Do you ever feel like you are out of sync?  I  know I do.  I’ve been feeling tired, out of focus and I am making bad nutritional decisions.  Knowing that I have crazy determination – hence the name for the blog- I know that through persistence and perseverance  I will get out of this funk and kick my auto-immune condition into remission.  

I have been reading a lot about detoxification, juicing, and eating a plant-based diet.  I’m not so sure I want to give up meat at this point but the juicing sounds interesting.  

In order to get myself out of this FUNK, I believe a reboot is in order. 

I  continually marvel at how incredible the human body is….  it is completely organic and yet operates like a machine!  The cells of the human body are constantly replacing themselves.  Bone cells reproduce to the point that we have a new skeleton every 3 months, liver cells – every 6 weeks, stomach lining – every 5 days, the body continually replaces old blood cells with new ones, and the skin replaces itself every month. 

I’ve always been a bit of a science buff so….. I wonder –  could the majority of the human body be completely reborn in 6 weeks?  What would need to happen within that 6 weeks to make this come true?

I know that sugar invites inflammation into our bodies so NO SUGAR, and I know processed foods are full of junk our bodies weren’t designed to deal with so NO PROCESSED FOODS, and I know that alcohol can adversely affect the liver’s ability to function so NO ALCOHOL.  The body needs healing micronutrients, phytochemicals, clean fluoride free water, lean protein, and rest. 

I have decided to try an experiment.  A 6-week experiment.  Beginning November 4th I will begin a reboot nutrition program to see if I can improve my health.  This reboot will consist of juicing and eating lean protein – that’s it….nothing more, nothing less. Not sure how my family will like this since it will take place over Thanksgiving.  This program will end on December 16.  This is also the week that I return to Cleveland Clinic for more tests. 

I will follow-up in 6 weeks to let you know how it went.  And at that time share my detailed diet and recipes so that you can do your own re-boot.

Wish me luck!

Surviving The Weekend’s Pitfalls

Weekends!  We love em’ but we also dread em’ because we know our healthy lifestyle is going to be tested. 

This post will give you some ammunition, i.e. snack ideas, to survive the weekends and enjoy them as they are intended to be enjoyed. 

The weekend is more non-structured (Thank goodness! We need a break!).  However, it is this lack of structure that can lead us to make some unhealthy choices.

 It is important to plan ahead on the weekend just as you do during the week (although a little more loosely).  If you know you are going to be going somewhere for a while pack 2 to 3 snacks.  Get a small soft cooler and fill it with your healthy snacks before you head out for the day. 

Don’t worry about sticking to a certain meal time schedule.  Just don’t allow yourself to get overly hungry as this allows the “emotional voice” to come into play.  This emotional voice sounds like……”it’s ok go ahead and eat whatever you want just do extra cardio this week”, or “you deserve to have what you want because you have worked very hard this week”. When you hear this voice STOP and recognize it, then get protein as soon as you can.  Protein takes the body a while to digest so hunger pains will disappear quickly and you can take back the controls.  Once your hunger is under better control you can make better healthier choices about your food. 

As long as your goal is still weight loss you have to stick to some kind of plan 7 days per week.  Do allow yourself one treat meal per week. Plan it and Look forward to it. 

Snack Ideas

Fresh Fruit

Protein shake

Protein bars

Hummus and fresh veggies

Lean lunchmeat wrapped around a dill pickle (dip in mustard)

Brown Rice cake with almond butter

Almonds and string cheese stick


Cottage Cheese

Celery Stuffed with one wedge of laughing cow cheese

Hard Boiled Eggs

Foil Pack of Tuna – mix a little flavored mustard in

Chunks of chicken – dip in buffalo sauce and light ranch

 Hope this helps you to survive the weekend DeterminedInDEEd warrior style!!

Workout: Glutes and Delts

What you will need:  a pair of dumbbells and a treadmill

The Workout:  Set the treadmill to the highest incline at a speed that is a challanging walk (climb).  Dig your heels in and squeeze the glutes walking for 5 minutes, pause the treadmill and get off.  Do 20 reps of front delt raises, 20 reps of lateral delt raises and finally 20 reps of bent lateral delt raises.  I use a moderate weight dumbbell….not to heavy but not too light.  You want to be feeling the burn around repetition number 13 to 16.  Get back on treadmill for another 5 min.  REPEAT 5 times for 100 reps of shoulder work…. or go for more rounds!

Good Luck!  You will feel your delts for a few days!

Detoxification Step Two

All the toxins that you breath, drink and eat are processed by your liver (the scrubber) and excreted in bile (the dirty water).  Here’s the interesting thing, not all of the toxins are removed!  Leftovers are held in the liver and fatty tissues. In order to rid your body of these leftovers it is necessary to do body detoxificatoin cleanses.  A total of 4 cleanses can be done however, there is an order and associated time requirement between them.  Another good way to detox is simply drinking lots of water throughout the day to help remove toxins efficiently.

Start first with a basic total body cleanse, second an advanced total body cleanse, third a liver cleanse, and finally a heavy metal cleanse.

Basic Total Body Cleanse

– takes 2 weeks to do and can be done twice a year

-AM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible: artichoke, blessed thistle, burdock root, dandelion, echinacea, fenugreek, garlic, green tea, hawthorn berry, horsetail, kelp, milk thistle, mullien, nettle, oatstraw, oregano, parsley, red clover, turmeric, wormwood, yarrow, yellow dock.

-PM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible: buckthorn, flaxseed, rhubarb, slippery elm

Advanced Total Body Cleanse

– takes 30 days to do and can be done twice a year

-AM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible:  artichoke, ashwagandha, beet, burdock root, bupleurum, celandine, cholrella, cornsilk, dandelion, hawthorn berry, larch, mullein, milk thistle, red clover, turmeric

-PM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible: cape aloe, fennel, ginger, magnesium hydroxide, rhubarb, slippery elm

Liver Cleanse

– takes 30 days to do and should only be done after the basic and advanced

-AM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible:  alpha-lipoic acid, artichoke, dandelion, green tea, methionine, taurent, milk thistle, N-acetylcysteine, phosphatidylcholine, selenium, turmeric.

-PM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible:  andrographis paniculata, Belleric myrobalan, Boerhavia diffusa, Eclipta alba, Picrorhiza kurroa, Tinospora cordifolia.

Heavy Metal Cleanse

-takes 30 days to do and should only be done after the basic, advanced, and liver cleanses

-AM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible:  biotin, boron, calcium, chromium, copper, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, vanadium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc.

-PM formula should contain as many of these ingredients as possible:  alha-lipoic acid, bladderwrack, chlorella, cilantro, garlic, kelp, leucine, N-acetylcysteine, sodium alginate.

I have used Renew Life products which is available at healthfood stores or on-line at www.renewlife.com. I am sure there are others out there so be sure to check the lables and make sure they have the above ingredients.

Detoxification Step One

What is detoxification and do I really  need  it?  The answer is that question is a resounding YES!  Every human being is exposed DAILY to toxic chemicals (period).  The point of this post is to not make you afraid of everything around you but to simply make you aware of the potential toxins in your environment.   I also want to tell you what you need to do to lessen your exposure and improve your overall health.  

Most of us already know that “pollution” being pumped out of factories into our air and water supply is bad for us, but what a lot of people don’t know is that pollution is in our homes!  Indoor pollution can be found in aerosol sprays, asbestos, bleach, carbon monoxide, synthetic carpets and carpet adhesives, cleaning materials, dry-cleaned clothing, gasoline, glue, rubber cement, gas heating systems and appliances, insulation foam, lawn and garden chemicals, lead, mold, newsprint, permanent markers, personal care products, pesticides, plastics, radon, room deodorizers, synthetic fabrics, tap water, tobacco smoke, and wood preservatives.

Think about the items in the above list and identify these items in your home.  Begin your detoxification by switching out those toxic items for natural products and items.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1)  Install air filters or change them as required

2)  Drink filtered water by installing water filters on your facets and change them as required

3)  Make your own cleaning products or purchase environmentally friendly ones

4)  Eat organic foods

5)  Enhance your digestion by taking digestive enzyme and probiotic supplements

6)  Replace household items that contain chemicals

Step one to detoxification is improving your home environment – clean it up!  Next week – step two – I’ll tell you what you can do to set up a detoxification program for your body.

My Latest and Most Challanging Trial

Well, it has been a while since I last posted on this blog.  This year has been an unbelievably challenging one for me personally.  I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in February.  The condition is called scleroderma which causes the skin to become thick and hardened.  This is a pretty rare illness and only affects 1 in 7,000 people.  (lucky me!)

While it was a relief to finally have a diagnosis for my strange symptoms it was also shocking to know that my body was going to change.  There is no known cause and no known cure so I am in this for the long haul.  My doctors tell me that my skin will get tight over a period of time and then loosen up again.  I can’t wait for that day!  I have learned to do things a little differently and take rest breaks when I need them.  The emotional toll has been life altering to say the least. I struggled with my weight for so many years and finally got that under control and now I have to face something even more difficult. 

I knew that in order to get to a “better place” emotionally I had to go through the grieving process.  I am still working on it but I know now that I am a much better person because of it.  I am more determined than ever to nurture my body with healthy foods and exercise.  My faith is strong and I consider myself fortunate to be in such good health when this occurred. I am also fortunate to have many caring and loving friends and  family around me.  They are probably sick of hearing me whine but I love you all and appreciate your listening.

So, enough about that for now…..my point  is this….we never know what the future holds for us so I hope through my example to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle.  Many of us have to deal with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  Nurturing our bodies with fresh organic foods, exercise, getting plenty of rest and maintaining a positive attitude is KEY to surviving any chronic illness.

I will continue to update this blog with healthy tips and stories so each and every one of you can apply them to your  lives.  Believe me when I say …. it is better to be in a healthy body when conditions beyond your control come knocking at your door!

Thanks for listening and talk to you soon!