Category Archives: Concerns

Day 6 HealThy Mouth Summit Preview

HealThy Mouth World Summit

The HealThy Mouth Summit is live. The new session begins at midnight each night. Tomorrow (Friday January 18th) is Day 6. Each day's speakers can be listened to one day only, I missed the first 5 days so I am considering the upgrade. Sometimes having a “real” job can really cut into the things I want to do. My friend Patty from Loving Our Guts told me about the upcoming HealThy Mouth Summit (nice play on words there “Healthy” and “Heal Thy”) and I looked into it and signed up but wasn't really able to pay attention to the sessions. Tomorrow is my day off so I will be watching and listening throughout the day.

I have talked before here at the blog about my amalgams. I really want to get them out and I'm very lucky to have found a holistic dentist. This summit going to share some information which I think I will find very helpful in deciding how to proceed with having my amalgams removed. It is confusing trying to figure out what to do.

Here is a summary of the speakers for Day 6 (Friday January 18th). I'm especially interested in hearing Dr. Cate Shanahan's science based argument against flossing!

And Dr. Mike Godfrey is going to share alternatives to mammograms. One of my younger sisters recently told me she really wished I would get mammograms. I had one set and then I decided I wasn't going to do that to myself. It worries my sister since our maternal grandmother lost a breast to cancer in the 50s.

Dr. Paul Rubin is going to share how to safely remove mercury fillings. The “regular” dentist I've seen for years does not believe there is any problem with mercury fillings and takes no precautions whatsoever in removing them for anyone: not himself, the patient, his staff, the office is wide open and I would think even patients in the waiting room are exposed.

Day 6 (January 18)

Dr. Paul Rubin

Dr Paul Rubin

Cofounder of New Directions Dentistry – a group who educates dentists how to be mercury safe
“Is Your Dentist Mercury Safe?”

Dr Paul Rubin offers us an excellent interview focused on the protocols of how to safely remove mercury fillings. Dr Rubin draws from his decades of experience as a mercury safe dentist to explain to us exactly what actions must be taken by a dentist during the removal of an amalgam filling to minimize the exposure to mercury. He goes on to go explain the difference between mercury free dentistry and mercury safe dentistry. This presentation is a must for anyone who is planning to have mercury fillings removed. Dr Rubin discusses questions to ask your dentist to determine if they are mercury safe.

Dr. Cate Shanahan

Dr Cate Shanahan

author of Deep Nutrition and Food Rules
“Walking on Both Sides – How to Eat to Support Greater Oral Health & What Each of Us Can Do in the Mouth to Create Positive Change”

Have you ever dreamed of having a medical doctor patiently explain to you exactly why you should be eating healthy food (not just the food pyramid)? You are in for a treat to hear Dr Cate expertly school us on exactly why certain foods cause a breakdown in our health and immunity and what foods we can eat to navigate back to greater oral and whole being health. Drawing from her background in biochemistry and medicine, Dr Cate offers several gems from which even the veteran real foodie will gain insight. Dr Cate also shares with us her science based argument against flossing!

Dr. Mike Godfrey

Dr Mike Godfrey

semi retired medical doctor
“Doctors Are Not Taught to Look at Teeth – the connection between cancer, particularly breast cancer and oral health”

Dr Mike Godfrey offers us a no nonsense, detailed interview sharing the connection between cancer, particularly breast cancer, and oral health. Dr Godfrey draws from his over 40 years of clinical experience to explain to us how 97% of breast cancers have an oral implication! If it’s true that the information we grasp impacts the decisions we make, then you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to grasp the significance of oral health in the cause of breast cancer. Questions Dr Godfrey addresses include: What impact do oral metals play in cancer? What can folks who are less than ideal health do? and What other tools are available to more effectively screen for breast cancer than mammography?

Join me at the summit!

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Quick Food Ideas for Traveling on the GAPS Diet

Traveling on the GAPS Diet

I asked for ideas on the GAPS Yahoo list of what a person could do while on vacation and still stay on GAPS. If you are flying, you may not be able to bring your food on board with you. Double check with the airlines to make sure.

Here are the ideas:

  • Grilled chicken/steak/pork chop option with vegetables or salad from a “decent” restaurant
  • Larabars (most of these are GAPS legal, double check ingredients to be sure)
  • Peanut butter [affiliate link]
  • Cut up apples
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Apples, carrot and celery sticks dipped in nut butter
  • Freeze meat and remove from freezer just before heading to the airport. Include butter, ghee, coconut oil [affiliate link] or other healthy fats in a container and carry it along with the meat.
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard boiled eggs [affiliate link]
  • Raw zucchini
  • Liver
  • Properly soaked nuts
  • Avocado – cut in half, put back together
  • Find the nearest Whole Foods, Sprouts or other “natural” type store. Also, more regular grocery stores have a “natural” foods department
  • Many restaurants will also work with special orders if you tell them you have food allergies.
  • Houlihan's Restaurant and Bar
  • Outback (Order the meat without the special seasoning and substitute additional steamed veggies, again without seasoning). Also, steak and seafood restaurants generally work.
  • Chipotle – Order a carnitas bowl (no rice or beans) with the tomato salsa, lettuce, and guacamole.
  • Jamba Juice – They have a few all fruit smoothies that are legal.
  • Hamburgers with just lettuce and tomato. In-n-Out would probably be the safest of the fast foods. Make sure to tell them no seasoning.
  • Order foods without spices and without butter if not currently on butter. Most restaurants are pretty accommodating.
  • Cooking up some meat, chicken, etc., freezing it, bringing it in your suitcase and when you go out just order a plain salad, bring some olive oil, and throw on your own protein
  • Hamburgers, e.g. McDonald’s ¼ pounder is 100% beef.
  • Five Guys Burgers also has 100% beef patties.
  • It's typically easier to eat at “real” restaurants (i.e., not chains, not fast food). The chains get their food shipped to them already semi-prepared so it's tough for them to take sauces and ingredients away.

I think I am going to be okay, especially with the suggestions for the hamburgers with lettuce if we get in a desperate situation to eat.

Thank you to all the people who shared great suggestions. I am feeling much less apprehensive about taking this trip and staying on GAPS!! Yeah!

UPDATE:  As it turns out our room had a “full kitchen” which I had presumed meant tiny fridge, microwave and coffee [affiliate link] maker when I booked the room. Boy, was I wrong! It was a real full sized kitchen with a regular sized fridge and 2 burner gas stove so we were able to shop at a local grocery store and were able to stay on GAPS very easily.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

I Could NEVER Do The GAPS Diet

People are really scared to give up grains. Terrified in fact.

Hey, I understand it. I used to say “I love pasta more than my own mother” and I believed that to be the gospel truth. But I think what I've learned is that if you love something that much, then your body is likely addicted to it (which is usually not a good thing), and unfortunately you probably need to remove it from your diet. At least for awhile.

A friend of mine keeps telling me, “I could NEVER do this diet.” And she has various comments that go along with this, but her main reason is because she couldn't give up gravy. This friend has IBS, and could likely be healed from it if she was only willing to try GAPS.

People who believe in Nourishing Traditions think they could never give up grains… but the list I'm on, there are digestive complaints that tell me these folks are on the right track… the traditional foods are great, but they might need to step it up for a couple of years, and try GAPS. But they are very reluctant to the mere suggestion, to the point where I have pretty much stopped reading the list, because it's hard to keep my mouth shut when people are talking about problems they have that could be addressed by doing GAPS, and healing their gut dysbiosis. Once your gut is healed, you can most likely go back to eating your precious grains, provided you've prepared them properly.

I tried to do Nourishing Traditions. But I just couldn't control my eating. And apparently, pouring on all that butter and fat, along with eating carbohydrates and grains, just makes you gain weight. At least it did that for me.

I want to ask my friend, “What if you weighed twice as much as you should weigh? What if you kept gaining weight? What if you thought you would keep gaining weight until you weighed 300 pounds? What if you found something that would heal your gut, so that you would get back to a normal weight? Could you do it then? Would you do it then?”

I think she might.

Click here to read about the changes I experienced on GAPS by six months.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Sticky Widget: Cooking at Work and My Boss

My boss is a sticky widget for me and this diet. I have a love/hate relationship with her. She's 70 and as is to be expected, rather set in her ways. She thinks I'm a bit loony for not having a microwave at home, but of course she would never tell me that to my face. That information comes from my son, who also works for her. She probably just grunted or something when they were talking about warming food at home. We use a toaster oven to warm plates of food, at least, Younger and Eldest Son use it to warm food. I always just use a pan on the stove. Anyway, I have a food service card, so I am allowed in the kitchen at work. But I am afraid my boss is going to say something to me. I am planning to bring my own pan so I won't have to use the giant ones from the kitchen. And my son is the cook, and pretty much runs the kitchen. So it really shouldn't be an issue.

I'm just afraid she's going to think I'm a weirdo. I did tell her we were going to be trying an “elimination diet”, but I don't want to tell anyone at work. I know how I think about people when they go on yet another diet. I think, “There she goes again, on another diet. It's not going to work this time, either.”

I don't want them to see my fail.

Actually though, I've never been on a diet while working at this job. I do sometimes eat kind of funny, and for many years I brought my own lunch because the lunches were not very good. Now that my son is the cook, he is preparing the food differently (not letting it sit in the steam trays for hours and hours so it is fresher tasting), so I have been eating lunch for the past year. It saves time, that is for sure, to not have to prepare lunch at home. And I'm sure has saved us some money over the past year.

There is also plenty of yogurt at work. Good stuff, too. Not just cheapo store brand, because we get a lot of donations from places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods sometimes. Food that was returned, like cashew butter that someone returned. They can't resell it, so it is donated to places like ours.

So I've been depending on the yogurt for snacks, and eating lunch there. That has to change now. Conveniently, or not, in the next few weeks we are on break and my son won't be cooking. However, that raises the chance that people will be going out to east fast food, or bringing it back to the office.

And that includes my boss. She'll be there next week, and will likely spring for lunch at least one day, and will expect me to join in.

I guess I need to tell her as soon as possible that I've started this “diet”.

When I told her about it, I told her it was mostly for my husband and Eldest Son. She was pretty happy to hear we were putting Eldest Son on a diet, as she says she worries about his circulation. So maybe I can sway it that way, that I have to do this first, so I can know how it's going to be.

The other thing is I sometimes work at her house on Mondays. I'm off today, because I worked Friday. But the days I work at her house, it gives her much happy pleasure to cook breakfast for me. She makes these delicious omelets, but unfortunately they contain some things that are not approved. Like American cheese, deli meats, and worst of all, she is a strong believer in using margarine and cooking sprays. And she uses non-stick skillets.

Anyway, I always clean my plate like a good girl. Even when the serving is too much, I always eat it all up. That makes her happy that I'm such a good eater.

Yes, apparently we have a bit of a dysfunctional relationship.

So I guess the first order of business is to let her know I'm on this diet. That will surely become a known fact to many people at work. At least I had the first week to myself.

I guess I need to give her a list of things I am allowed to eat, in case I have to work at her house. I need to explain to her that I may not be able to eat any unapproved foods for up to two years.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Schizophrenia in my Family

The first time I heard about schizophrenia was when my sister's husband was diagnosed as being schizo-affective. He heard voices. Back then I was much more superstitious about God and I wondered if it was demon possession. Since then I've learned to let go of all that superstitious nonsense of my childhood religion. Let me digress for a moment, and if you are uncomfortable with a bit of talk about Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, skip on down to the next paragraph. I'm now what is called a “Mid-Acts Dispensationalist” and I won't go into great detail, but basically we believe that we are to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” which means that the Bible is broke into different dispensations. As a result, we're living in the age of grace, and the only thing we must do to have our salvation is to believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose from the dead. I no longer believe that miracles are being performed, we don't have to ask forgiveness for every little wrong thing we do. All the work was done at the cross for our salvation and that is what we have today.

So my brother-in-law was diagnosed schizo-affective. He scared me. He was unpredictable (my fear of these people unfortunately manifests as hatred), would scream and yell and he beat my sister. Eventually she left and divorced him, but not until they'd had three children together. Eventually he killed himself, my sister claims it was an accident. Gunshot wound to the main artery in his thigh and he bled to death barricaded inside a friend's home. He was making my sister's life so miserable it was a nightmare; I hate to admit being relieved to know I won't ever have to face him again and he'll never be able to torture my sister again.

My niece exhibits signs of schizophrenia. One of those children is my precious niece. My sister had homeschooled her children for all these years, and when her daughter turned 13, she wanted to try school. She tried for a couple of years, but when she would go to school she would hear the voices. I think it was the additional stress of going to school that made the voices start. The voices telling her to hurt herself, or others. My sister decided to get into the superstitious part of schizophrenia, and had a friend who knew all about this “stuff”. So now my sister thinks that her daughter has a “gift” and she can speak to the dead, and help guide them to a “better place”.

I know that my sister is on a low fat diet to keep her weight low, and she keeps putting my niece on it. She has told me she gets “enough” fats from the natural fats in foods, like she quoted that apples have some fat in them. I know they also use Nutrasweet regularly. I have talked to my family about Nourishing Traditions and eating “good” fats, but they have not seen any improvements (like me losing weight, or having more energy) so I'm sure they just think I'm some weirdo. It's not like I've been doing NT completely. We have really backslid in the last ten years to eating a lot of SAD foods.

My sister exhibits signs of schizophrenia. My sister apparently also hears voices, and a number of her other children (six altogether) are “blessed” with the “talent”. My sister even announced at our grandmother's funeral that Grandma was in the room with us. I have another sister who claims to receive “visitations” from dead relatives.

My father has been officially diagnosed with schizophrenia. That leads me to our father, who was recently (about one year ago) diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has had mental issues all his life, and I thank God that he ran away and abandoned me and my mom and two sisters when I was five. He has done things over the years like get up on a roof and shoot at other houses, he slathers his head with olive oil to get rid of the “cradle cap”, he sucks on a pacifier to exercise his mouth, and about two years ago he was arrested for exposing himself to two young girls walking to school. He happened to be drenched in olive oil at the time. About a year ago I got a call that he'd drank antifreeze in a suicide attempt. He came to visit me about four or five years ago and he was very skinny, and looked horrible, skin and bones. His claim to the fantastic body (he really thought he looked exceptionally great) was his diet of corn tortillas and white rice and an occasional chocolate bar.

I was appalled. Especially after he told me a nutritionist told him that white rice is fortified so he was getting all his vitamins that way. He wouldn't stop bothering me (by email) about my weight, and it was one of the things that compelled me to stop having regular contact with him. My own husband never says a word about my body, my father ran away when I was five and how dare he preach to me about my weight.

I was convinced from the time I heard what he was eating that his troubles were caused from nutrition. I thought maybe pellagra.

For a while I was really scared that I was going to end up with schizophrenia, too. Surely it must be hereditary, and sometimes I feel so stressed out and full of anxiety, it would feel like my brain wasn't working correctly. I would feel very weighed down. I would cry easily and felt like I was going to crack at any minute. That's when I started taking Kava-Kava every day for about a month. I was finally able to go off the Kava-Kava, thankfully, mainly because my boss gave me permission to work from home one day a week and that helped a great deal. She has a lifelong friend who had a nervous breakdown and maybe she saw me exhibiting similar signs. I was pretty stressed out at work, even breaking down and crying. After a few weeks she commented to me that I seemed like I was doing a lot better.

When my niece started exhibiting signs of schizophrenia, I figured it must be hereditary. Now I believe, in a way it is. Not only her father, but her mother and grandfather exhibit the same disorder. If the parents have gut issues, the children are almost certainly going to have gut issues. The mother may pass on the wrong bacteria during childbirth and if the diet is wrong it can lead to gut issues. I have also read that schizophrenia can begin to manifest in the teen years, which of course is when the hormones are beginning to produce, and also the body is beginning to feel the stress of surviving on less than desirable foods. So it makes sense.

Our bodies have the wonderful ability to heal themselves. Sometimes, knowing what I know about traditional foods and nutrition, it's a wonder more people aren't bedridden since their diets are so horrible. I look around me and I see people taking antibiotics every month or every other month, people with IBS, one was recently diagnosed with lupus, another on high doses of thyroid medication with gut issues. I wish I could bring them all home and feed them nutritiously and help them to heal. But like anything else, I have to start with myself, and my own little immediate family first.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

What I’m Afraid Of

Here are the things of which I'm afraid:

  • Food cravings – The only diet I went on in my life was low fat. I now realize it was exactly the kind of diet that sets up food cravings. I started craving donuts most likely because of the fat content (at the time I thought it was the sugar). I'm afraid going on GAPS will resurrect those desperate food cravings that I don't experience when I allow myself to eat whatever I want to, and not only whatever I want, but the amount I want!! Many people will tell you they are on Weight Watchers and can eat ANYTHING they want, but then you find out that they can only have one bite, unless they want to eat only four slices of cake for the entire day.
  • I'm afraid this, like other diets, won't work. I wasn't able to do Nourishing Traditions, but then again my husband was not on board. Now that he has his own illness, he seems to be willing to help. Although just the other day he said maybe we shouldn't include ds1 in the 10 day trial. I almost started crying, because I feel so much desperation to help my son.
  • I'm afraid GAPS will be too hard.
  • I'm afraid I'll fail.
  • I know I'll have some slips, but hopefully we can work together to do this.
  • We're not using organic meats or vegetables, so I'm afraid we won't see any improvement.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Things We Need to Change

Here are the things I'm worried about, things I know need to be changed.

  • We have to stop eating pasta, bread, rice and potatoes
  • For about ten years we didn't have any sugar or white flour in the house, but then we backslid. We need to get it out of the house again.
  • We have to stop eating dairy products. This is going to be hard. I depend on a hunk of cheese to ease my hunger at times.
  • Fast food breaches. Ds1 has his own phone and will call his brother to request that he stop on the way home and bring him Taco Bell or Jack in the Box. But usually only once a week.
  • Ds2 is a cook at his job and often brings home leftovers or extras. Which for the most part I can avoid because I don't like how they taste.
  • Husband likes to have biscuits, rolls or bread with each meal. Also takes sandwiches for lunch. He has agreed to bring a can of tuna or two for lunch.
  • I need to learn how to make “breads” from almond flour [affiliate link] or nut butters.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.

Will Gaps Work for our Family?

My husband and I have agreed to try a ten day trial of the GAPS diet at the end of December when I'll have ten days off work. I have started this blog so that I will have a place to write my thoughts. I am about to burst with so many thoughts. I feel I could write a book in one sitting with all of them.

I guess the best place to start is to detail the issues we are experiencing.

Starlene

  • Low Thyroid – I have taken my temperature for fertility awareness and it is very low most of the month. Low waking temps are an almost certain indication of low thyroid. I have been tested, but my doctor said my tests came back “normal” and instead offered me anti-depressants. I refused them as I did not think I needed them.
  • Weight Gain – I was slender until my first child was born in 1987, I was 23 years old. I kept ten pounds of the weight. My second child was born in 1989. I gained another ten pounds. I dieted for the first time in my life starting in 1992. I lost back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 123 (and looked too thin). I tried to stay on the low fat diet for the next four years and failed miserably. I have gained roughly ten pounds every year. I do not know my current weight, but I was at 225 about one year ago. I am in size 20 jeans. The largest I have ever been. I hate it. I have tried to make peace with my body, but I just hate being this large.
  • Constant tiredness – I am always complaining of being tired, and yet I can't stay in bed for more than 7 hours at a time or my back stiffens up. I am currently working four days a week, sometimes my boss lets me stay home and work one day. I try to get caught up on my sleep on my days off.
  • No energy – I can't seem to get anything done on the days that I'm off. I have plenty of stamina to sit at the computer, although much of the time I can't focus well enough to stay on task. Possible symptoms of ADD. ?
  • I suspect my adrenals are fatigued. I have many of the symptoms. I am on a corticosteroid for my asthma. I understand that corticosteroids provide enough to stimulate the adrenals. I went off my medication for about four days, I was breathing well and no wheezing. But I became more exhausted as each day passed. So I suspect my body/adrenals are now relying on the once daily dose of corticosteroids.
  • I experience constipation at times, this is a fairly new problem. About two years old. Prior to then, I never had a problem with moving my bowels.
  • I have symptoms of yeast. This next section may be TMI, so feel free to skip down to the next symptom. [I  have experienced vaginal yeast infections during the end of my cycle. Having practiced fertility awareness, coincidentally once the fertile mucous dried up, I would start getting a yeast infection. This occurred monthly. Also I am the age that my periods are beginning to be very hard to track. I stopped taking my temperature about a year ago, because why bother to find the “safe time” when the “safe time” was the time I'd have a yeast infection?]
  • Fuzzy thinking – this can be a symptom of thyroid, but also can be caused by gut issues.
  • Poor memory – I am pretty sure this also lines up with gut issues.
  • Allergy tests by allergy specialist reveal I am allergic to nearly everything I was tested for, something like 26 of 30 things – doctor is shocked that I'm not on Allegra every single day of my life
  • diagnosed with asthma after bout with pneumonia in 2001 (suspect adrenal fatigue due to this illness precipitated the asthma)
  • I have always had low energy. I spent my life as a child reading books. My first optometrist blamed my poor eyesight on the amount of reading I did.
  • Cannot find the willpower to not eat pasta if it is cooked and ready to eat
  • Feelings of depression
  • Lack of enthusiasm for life

Husband

  • Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis
  • Craves chocolate and sweets
  • Ex-alcoholic (sober and clean since 1998)
  • Feels like he is more tired than he should be
  • Wishes he had more energy

Ds1

  • Has Down Syndrome (which complicates everything)
  • overweight
  • hacks and coughs, has lots of phlegm
  • possibly has reflux
  • craves carbohydrates
  • huge poops
  • has hair loss
  • probable thyroid issues although he is needle phobic so difficult to get bloodwork done
  • diagnosed with asthma after bout with pneumonia in 2001; currently on Qvar (suspect adrenal fatigue due to this illness precipitated the asthma)
  • seems to be tired a lot
  • little energy

I believe my youngest son has gut issues as well, but he is not ready to get on board with us just yet.

In looking at my family, I believe my mother, father, and all my siblings, nieces and nephews have gut issues.

I am not sure when I'll have more time to write again. Oh if I could only quit my job and be a stay at home mom again.

GAPS DIET JOURNEY is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to AMAZON.COM. GAPS DIET JOURNEY is an affiliate for several companies and may be compensated through advertising and marketing channels. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links.