New Hope?

Science is defined as “knowledge attained through study or practice,”or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”  (New Collegiate Dictionary)

The scientific method is an ongoing process, which usually begins with observations about the natural world.

All that being said, in my opinion, any mom is a scientist.  Knowledge is gained from the moment of conception, especially if the blessing of morning sickness is present.   As the days and years pass by, a mom is not necessarily just a scientist, yet also an expert.  If paying close attention, she knows the habits of her spouse and children, what it takes for their survival and knows how to best help them succeed.   Observations are taken in, processed, and as time goes by, adjustments are made to fit the necessary needs of one or all individuals.

In science, nothing is constant.  Things continually change with new findings from new observations.  You could say that  a new perspective may have come to fruition, allowing for an observation and conclusion that had not before been attained. (You all know I truly enjoy perspective)

I remember when we were first married and I had purchased a book called Beyond Cellulite.  I remember reading in it things about the body and nutrition that I had not heard before.  Although that first book made an impression, I cannot remember all that I read, only that it was the start to my journey on health, nutrition and making proper food choices.  We’ve been married 22 years, so that book must be at least 21 years old at this point.  It’s been quite a learning process and just when I think I’ve nailed it for my family, I find out I’m still on the first step at the basement level.  This brings me to my post for today and a challenge I bring to all of my followers who struggle with health, illness, weight, depression, anxiety, allergies or who just have plain old too much time on their hands and like to try new things.

Let’s talk food….

When I was pregnant I read everything I could on carrying for my baby so that he/she would be healthy.  I nursed both of my children for a year, introduced foods as the pediatrician recommended and made sure not to introduce sweets, sodas, or anything of the like too early.  Over the years, we learned that our son, who was having allergy symptoms and night terrors, was allergic to many environmental allergens, pets, and foods.  His food allergies included tomatoes, wheat, and dairy.   I remember the doctor asking which we wanted to avoid first and my response..”All“!

Amazingly, after only one month of complete avoidance of all three food allergens, he was a calmer child, his intestinal discomfort was nearly gone and for the first time since infancy he was not as congested.  It was not as easy as it is today, gluten free foods were bland, hard to find, unaccepted and misunderstood.   He was teased in school over his lunches and we as parents were criticized by many that we were doing wrong by our son by not letting him eat whatever he wanted.   It was difficult for all of us, yet we understood that health issues at an early age could become more severe with serious consequences to follow if we didn’t manage it in a timely fashion.

Fast forward 14 years later and we come to where we are today.  We eat all organic, eat gluten free, low carbs, low grains, very few potatoes, organic grass fed beef from 1/2 a cow in our freezer, drink raw milk and eat raw cheeses, free range organic chicken and turkey, free range organic eggs daily, soda only on holidays or special occasions, very little sugar (especially since I’m a failure at making cookies and GF are too expensive for a daily dessert or treat)…you get the point.  We avoid, MSG, HFCS, the dirty dozen, all gluten, processed meats, cereals etc.  Yet, at the same time all four of us have been diagnosed as celiac…yes by a doctor and yes through testing.  (A common question I get quite often.)  Three of us are hypothyroid, we are all on the obese scale, I have Lyme disease, and three of us have adrenal issues.  As many have said, “Why would I eat all organic, it’s too expensive and hard to find.  I don’t have time to cook all day like you do.  Plus, what benefit have you seen?  After all, you guys are always ill and I’m thin and healthy.”  (Okay, I exaggerated that last part a little, after all, they let us know how we always have issues, they just don’t tell us we are fat!)

I myself have been told over the years that my priorities are not in order and that I could be thin again if I would just quit spending so much time at church or in bible studies and get myself in the gym.  I’ve been told that I just don’t do enough to get my body moving.  (I so wish sometimes that those people could be inside my body when I come inside after a 4 mile walk and collapse from adrenal shut down, and then, because of my Lyme, I cannot move because every muscle and joint has stiffened up due to too much activity.)  I know, sounds like I’m complaining doesn’t it.  Yes, fetch me some cheese to go along with the whine.  🙂

I just need to explain why my journey has not been an easy one and why I continue with every cell of my being to learn as much as I can about nutrition, foods and health.  I do not take it lightly.  I do hours of research, reading and learning.  What started 21 years ago, has only continued and hopefully  will continue until I no longer find the need to have the information.  This brings me to….

My old discovery made new.

I bought a book over 10 years ago.  I do not know when or why I bought it, yet I know I unpacked it at this house so I’ve had it at least 10+ years.  I remember reading most of it and putting it on the book shelf and honestly I don’t think it went any further than that.  I remember almost taking it to goodwill a few years ago as I thought it was likely inaccurate and just another silly “diet” plan.

Well, I have to admit that I was wrong and I have since pulled that book off of the shelf, dusted it off and am taking a  serious look at the subject, content, theory and finding.   You could, if you were reading this closely, come to the conclusion that I’m just desperate and looking for anything to help our family.  In fact, if I didn’t know myself, I would say that too.  I have however, come to the conclusion that there is something to this book and that God’s timing for me to understand the content of this book is now, after the journey of learning through everything else that I have.  There was a process of observation that needed to take place before I could understand and accept the knowledge before me in this book.

Let me explain a little further.  In our journey over the last 5 years the kids and I have gone through food intolerance testing, only to learn that foods that were on the avoid list were things that caused inflammation, and illness.   We learned about foods that were in our daily diet and our bodies response to them.  We had several lists of foods that were to be avoided for several months up to a year.  After that we could slowly introduce them back in.  Knowing that we do all organic and the test is done on conventional foods, I had a difficult time accepting that everything on it was accurate.   We did what we were told and avoided accordingly, knowing that some may not be as accurate because of how we already ate.  What we did learn however, was that our son’s unknown fevers and aches that lasted 12-18 hours were due to conventional beef, and that my intestinal track was not dancing with joy after rice intake.  We saw that some foods the kids or I did not enjoy were on the avoid list.

In November/December our 19 year old son decided that he was going completely raw.  My husband and I were concerned over this concept (even thought I own a book of recipes on raw foods) because we thought he was not taking in enough protein etc. for his age.  We did notice however, that his attitude was better, he played his bagpipes almost flawlessly, he had more energy and he was motivated.  He also lost weight.  During the holidays and through our move from our cottage things got crazy around our home and he found it difficult to resume this lifestyle.  He went back to eating as we were.  High protein, red meats, fruits, vegetables, lots of eggs, etc.  He complained that he did not feel as well and was not functioning as well as he did on the raw diet.  His proclamation last weekend that he was going back to raw grabbed my attention.  My husband and I decided we needed to understand what was going on with his body and the foods that he was consuming.  I woke up Saturday morning remembering the book I had purchased all those years ago and wondered how far back in the book shelf it would be.  Ironically it was right in the front.  I pulled it out and began reading.

At this point your asking yourself if I’m ever going to reveal the book name.  Yes I will, with one promise from you dear reader, please continue reading before you think I’m off my rocker.  🙂  It’s called Eat Right 4 Your Type.  It’s a book regarding one’s blood type and the foods that affect how your body responds to foods based on that type.  I am not kidding you that I was stunned what I was finding.  Many of the foods that were on our food intolerance avoid list (which was not a cheap test to have done, not to mention that 3 of us had it) was on the avoid list in this book for our blood type.   I also noticed that the foods that I did not like and avoided in my younger years (when I was a size 4 and healthy) were on the avoid list.   The foods that our kids do not like or that do not make them feel good were on the avoid list.  Everything we eat daily is on the avoid list.  The things we were allowed to eat were  the things we avoided on all of the meal plans we had tried previously.

Just a little more history….

Prior to 9 years ago (which is when we moved to our current home) we were thinner and healthier.  We were gluten free, dairy free, and ate limited red meats.  Well, shortly after our move here,  we were introduced to raw milk and our son who had been dairy free since the age of 5 could drink it without any issues so we began introducing dairy back into our diet.  We also found that we could order a 1/4 or 1/2 a cow.  The freezer was stocked, we made weekly or biweekly trips for raw milk, we were the healthiest eaters around.  We learned about fermentation, gardening, raising chickens, bee keeping, sprouting grains, seeds and nuts.  Our diets have been so different than mainstream society that our dinner invitations are limited out of the fear for cooking for us.  🙂  With all of this, how in the world could we be obese and ill?  Could this book be the key we were looking for?  Could we have finally found the answers that we were looking for?

Back on track.

Let me just tell you, nothing happens just because.  There are no coincidences.  God leads us and gives us what we need when he wants us to have it.  In most cases, people don’t believe just because it makes sense, they have to be convinced.  In my case, as an “expert mom in training” and as a “home scientist” I like to consider theories or hypotheses, make observations and conclude.  My Lyme disease is no different.  I have had to see the science behind the research and choose the options for my care that through observation were making a difference.  I currently have minimal symptoms and when my friends peak their ugly heads to remind me they are still a part of me, I work with what protocols I have observed work for me.  Sometimes they need tweaking and sometimes changes have to be made.  Just as changes need to be made for our family and our food choices.

One month… that’s it… one month should give us a glimpse into whether or not this book is accurate or just another lost hope for healing and wellness.  So, we started officially Monday, with several family and friends joining in as support.    For the kids and I, we are supposed to avoid all red meats and eat minimally fish and chicken.  We can eat lots of vegetables, yet not the night shades.  (Hmmmm…. remember our son could not eat tomatoes?)  We have to limit dairy to fermented choices, kefir and yogurt with limited goats cheese and ricotta second.   We are to avoid all gluten, which we already did…hmmmm….is this why?  We are to add back in soy products.  (Hmmmm…. not a fan of this, yet willing to add in Tofu, Tempeh and Miso only if it’s organic.)  We can eat GF grains?  What about the protein or paleo diets?  Nope, causes inflammation and weight gain if we do.  Is this why I still have inflammation and the doctors cannot figure out why?  Not to mention the water retention that has them stumped?   No eggs (which we eat daily), olives or pickles…. Again, you get the idea.

In talking with others, it’s interesting to hear that for their blood type, they should be avoiding certain foods which they already know cause them grief.  Or, they lose weight based on a specific diet plan that fits with their blood type food lists.  You could call this a second observation.

Have we observed any differences in just a few days of eating for our blood type?  Yes.  Bloating and water retention is already lessening.    Feeling detox affects through exhaustion.  Sleeping through the night again.  Hmmm….It is with great hope that this is the final stage of the healing of our bodies and that we will once again look like the pillars of health so that others will want to follow in the right path to nutrition, healing and wellness.

If you will join us, please drop me a note and let me know. We can support one another during this one month trial and exchange our observations so that perhaps our conclusions can be considered by the trained “experts” as “scientific”.  🙂

To be continued…..

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