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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Fasting & Healing A Tooth - The Root of All Evil

Today is day 4 of my latest fast, another week in this journey towards bringing life back into my gut, body, mind and soul. This time around it has gotten even more interesting – to say the least! My body is balancing it's flora and living organisms - exactly what I hoped would take place.

The details.

This fast started out like any other, all the usual detox symptoms – except on day 2 I got a migraine that was so bad I had to lay low for the entire day. Nothing I did or took or thought or anything, relieved the pain - until I did one thing.

I made the connection to my mouth, teeth, gums.

And this is where things get interesting. I have had a long history of good, strong teeth – thankfully. However, years ago I had a dentist who insisted on putting fillings where they weren’t needed - often starting with a drill - he would find a cavity where there was none.

For that matter I question if they are ever needed at all – over the years I have done my research and discovered so many instances of teeth being able to heal on their own, once we change the pH of our mouths.

However, what happened with me this week is that an old swelling around my tooth I used to have years ago flared up again. More proof of underlying old inflammation that is being rooted out each time I fast.

So, my body pulled out more of this stuff and once I realized I needed to treat my mouth (tooth) – my headache went away in 5 minutes! All I did was make a poultice with Fullers Earth, clove oil and a few other healing ingredients – pack this in place and let it work.

Needless to say my body’s ability to heal itself never ceases to amaze me.

Now, getting back to the fasting – well, actually my mouth and it’s flora have become the central focus of this fast – so I am doing warm salty water daily, still using a poultice on the tooth and all the usual herbal teas, fermented drinks, apple cider vinegars.

I am feeling pretty good so far – of course with all this sunshine it can’t be helped!

One thing I am seriously considering trying is some green juicing with a pile of green leaves, sprouts and herbs – just to see if my immune system boosts even more (if that is possible and I am certain it is).

We have one twist with this fast this week – it will end on Friday in time for our Summer Solstice celebration – where I will cook, bake, eat and enjoy the delights of the season.


So looking forward to this weekend – stop by and see me in the markets!

April

A little fairie girl in the field....

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Fasting with a Goal - Spiritual Quest

It is now 10 June and I am just finishing up 3 x 3 days of fasting on more of the same types of drinks….this time it has been mostly on my own as the others took longer food breaks. I kind of wanted to see how I would do on my own as well, and it was better then fine.

So, today is day 8 of my planned 9 days. I refer to it as 3 x 3 because I broke this fast down into 3 day or 72 hour increments with a goal to be achieved by the end of each section of 3 days each.

Actually I started out my fast with 3 questions that I wanted answers to and treated my time as an intense spiritual quest. And you know what? It worked far better, it has been easier and I have really found some deeper insights into the issues I was searching for. 

This is what fasting is all about – set a goal (it could be health, breaking bad habits, changing something, making or creating something or any number of questions you want answers to) then follow through with the fasting all the while focusing on your task.

There really aren’t any rules when it comes to fasting. Except, you don’t eat! LOL.

One of the things I have changed this time around is I am taking in more Apple Cider Vinegar. Of course that’s easy to do when mine tastes so good (can’t beat Rebel Foods ACV!) and I am adding it in to everything I drink.

I realized I was taking the usual amount of about 2 tablespoons each day – however, during a fast/healing situation, my body was constantly craving more. So I upped it to about ½ cup to nearly 1 cup throughout the day. 

And I immediately felt the difference. My energy went up – things started to ‘move’ at a faster pace, less detox symptoms and generally brighter all round. My body simply feels even cleaner, if that is possible.

The most wonderful thing about all of this is I do feel I have turned a corner – you remember from my initial goal of wanting to completely change out my gut bacteria into healthy colonies throughout, well that is happening. 

Only over these last 10 days or so can I say I do sense a significant shift in my internal gut flora and indeed in my overall body flora. Thankfully being tuned in really helps – but you can’t help being well informed when you are fasting.

There is only you and your body - in constant contact.

Right now I am finishing this post and I have reached my 9 days goal – just a few more hours to go and see how I will feel. I plan to take a couple of eating days to feed all of these good bacteria now living in my body and then go right back to fasting for the next phase of bringing back my life….

Onwards & Upwards

April

Rebel Foods Market Stall - Apple Cider Vinegar 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Gut Bacteria Profile Change....Days 13 to 16

Day 13 to 16

We are back fasting again after a days break – back on the liquids – this week I am taking in my fermented juices (kiwi, strawberry, orange, lemon & ginger) as well as apple cider vinegar, beetroot juice and raspberry apple vinegar plus 1 - 2 tablespoons of homemade goat’s yogurt a day in the drinks. 

Well, this time the transition from eating to fasting was a little bit more difficult. But, not because I wanted to eat or anything – my mind is clearly made up on that matter and I have no desire for food at the moment. It was something else, less tangible at first.

It actually took me a couple of days to ‘readjust’ (slip back into detox mode) into fasting again after taking a little break. Which was strange – I could feel such a resistance coming from somewhere deep in my gut and it was all to familiar.

I have some interesting thoughts on all of this – and I feel we are making significant progress. 

One of the things I noticed right away was that the difficulty was coming from gut bacteria. Of course, I would probably put these bacteria in the camp of non-beneficial ones as they have been giving me grief all along (deep inflammation).

That’s the reason I need to do a bacteria change out in the first place – my gut was never set up properly from the beginning of my life. Too many antibiotics, too many infections, reactions to vaccines, drugs, solid food way too early, and toxic exposure to endocrine disruptors. 

Whew! Anything else to add to that list....sadly all to common these days.

And that’s just what I know about! All of these same bacteria (remember they are present from the first years of our lives) or their descendants are still lurking around the place. These are the exact same ones that brought me IBS symptoms, digestive issues, arthritic pain, poor skin, non-functional hormones and cancer.

Is it any wonder I want them gone? LOL

This week, what flared up for me was an old inflammation (read hospital infection MRSA) that I had many years ago. Right now I can see how these infections (there have been 4) over the years have been the source of a lot of deep rooted inflammation leading to aches, pains and general ill health. 

Hospitals are filthy places for anyone, sick or otherwise! 

Actually I am quite pleased this has come up – this has shown me how much the probiotics are doing and hopefully (finally) taking root deep within my gut. I know they have to battle the other ones first and I am giving them space to do just that, through the fasting. 

That’s what this fast is all about.

Quite a few other things have surfaced for me as well. Mostly about how much our gut flora (and skin organisms too - one and the same?) must affect our thinking, behaviour, habits, moods, cravings, energy levels, nutrient absorption, digestion, immune system and all else. 

When our guts are down – so is everything else. Including our moods, thoughts and thinking, that's the first thing we learn as Nutritionists.

There really is a link between what inhabits our guts and how we go about our days – feelings, thoughts, and perhaps all else. I have long ‘known’ this was a fact, but only now am I getting a chance to watch it and feel it shift and change as my gut does the same. 

And of course, I have been talking about ‘obesity bacteria’ for years – they are generated and sustained from all of these medications, chlorinated water, rubbish foods and chemicals we are subjected to….not the least of which are these deadly antibiotics.

Our bodies are extraordinary places, and our gut flora is a living matrix capable of amazing healing – it’s not to be tampered with, only supported! Out with the trash....LOL

April

Dandelion Coffee is fabulous for your gut health! And it tastes great too....available on my Market Stall or by mail order! 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Building A Gut Profile......Days 10 to 12 of Our Probiotic Fast

Day 10 to 12

We are now on day 13 of our fast and feeling pretty good. To be honest, most of the time I feel as if I could carry on indefinitely – I think this is what it feels like to make progress!

Now, to catch you up on what I have been doing….

Days 10 and 11, we just fasted on our fermented drinks, apple cider vinegar and beet root fermented juices. Oh, and I have increased my intake of herbal teas – now I am including a liver tonic along with the hormone balance herbs.

During my fasts is the only time I have experienced unprecedented healing/balancing/regulating of body systems. Therefore, it always makes sense to me to take in lots of herbal teas anytime I fast because you get results far more quickly. Even if only doing a day here and there, herbal tea is the way to go!

To be honest, I just find that all healing takes place at an unprecedented rate whenever I am fasting….healing a body ‘system’ such as immune, endocrine and especially the digestive tract, is much more straight forward when unimpeded by food, debris and by products of metabolism. 

Of course, our bodies heal from the top down, inside out, however, the largest fires will be put out first. So, healing takes time and continued effort on our parts. Deeper inflammation takes the longest. But, you will see improvements no matter how long the fast!

Then, for day 12 - we broke our fast again with lots of garlic with a plan to have some milky foods the next day. I keep craving milk (perhaps because we have so much of it right now!). Over these past couple of days I have been wondering about the best way to get it into my system – fermented milk products are awesome for gut bacteria especially homemade from raw milk.

So, I decided to include some dandelion coffee with our own raw goat’s milk in it, a couple times a week to also help build beneficial bacterial colonies. It tastes great (we gave up drugged coffee years ago) and dandelion has the added benefit of supporting our livers. 

BUT….did you know that dandelion root is also a prebiotic? This means it has components that feed and benefit gut bacteria in their struggle to survive. And roasted dandelion root or dandelion coffee tastes quite nice. It’s a bitter herb needed to keep things in a healthy balance. 

What I know about beneficial bacteria in our guts is that they need all sorts of different foods (raw, living, wild, cooked, sweet, bitter, sour, fibre) to nourish them. Because this is a probiotic fast, I can see and feel already how it is working.

Over these next few hours I plan on getting a little bit of milk into my system – raw and fermented in smoothies and with dandelion coffee as well as perhaps a little meat or fish. 

Meat sounds like a weird thing to include on a mini break from our liquid fast days, however, we also have gut microbes who are complete carnivores (just like my cat) and I want to feed them as well. 

Let’s keep everyone happy in there! 

Up to this point I am feeling very well. I always feel great when I am fasting and my energy levels are quite good – even for all of the detox, changeover and perhaps a bit of an immune boost that is taking place in our guts. There’s a lot of shifting and changing going on…..

April
Getting there!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Onwards & Upwards - Days 6 to 9 of my Fast

Day 6 – 9

Right now I am on day 9 of this spring detox and it has been quite interesting to say the least. For starters, we broke our fast on day 6 for a few hours and ate garlic, some fermented veggies and thick smoothies with fruit. 

I am still very focused on getting all those lovely probiotics into my system – with nothing at all to slow them down! Actually, I am finding this quite easy for the most part and every system in my body is thanking me for the effort.

The next day, after our little interlude of different types of fermented foods, we carried on with liquid only fasting and have been back taking in herbal teas, fermented drinks, apple cider vinegar and beet root fermented juices again. 

Of course fasting gets easier each time I do it, but only because I get smarter about it! These fermented drinks are like liquid gold – tasty, filling and doing the job as far as gut health is concerned. Far easier then the lemon and maple syrup mixture of years ago and with faster results (but, that was a different stage of healing as well).

However, I was a bit concerned that it would be difficult to stop and start fasting again; just like that – taking a few hours out to get more solid sources of fermented foods in to me …but I found, it was just the opposite. The fermented veggies and garlic blended in nicely with our goals to flood our systems with probiotics – so it was an easy transition back to liquids.

So, you remember how I mentioned over this past few months we have been fasting in so many different ways? Well, perhaps we are now forging ahead with yet another type of fast – a few days on liquids, then a few hours on solids, the liquids again – all of it including probiotic and fermented foods, BUT, also the substrates needed to grow the beneficial bacteria once they are in our systems.

Now, as for the detox process itself….

Even with the few hours in-between we are still having all the usual detox symptoms and feeling very productive and energetic as a bonus. Usually my detox symptoms range from a headache, coated tongue, tiredness which comes and goes, bursts of energy, old memories surfacing and a need to clean (everything!) LOL.

Did I mention the clear skin, bright eyes and being able to smell, taste and sense the forces of nature....hmmm sounds like a new puppy! 

Right now I am not sure how long I will keep going, it’s just nice to feel cleaned out – we are still taking this one day at a time.

April
Wild Harvest Cordial - even my cordials are medicinal.... This one is Elderberry & Elderflower - an immune boost from nature! On my stand this week in Clonakilty & Skibbereen Farmers Markets

Monday, 5 May 2014

Now on Day 6 of my Detox.....

Well now it’s day 6 already….time sure flies when you are busy doing all those little jobs that you keep putting off because you don’t have the time. Each and every time that we fast, we simply find the time - who knew cooking, eating & digesting took so much work!

How on earth do we ever get things done? LOL

So….I started this fast last week on Wednesday, thinking to myself that I would take it one day at a time and see what my body’s needs are. Of course, over the past few years (since 2001) I have done numerous fasts, but this one is going to be different (again)!

I have found my purpose/goal/aim/destination! This usually takes a few days to sort out each time I do a fast - I kind of jump into things and then let my body guide me to what needs to be accomplished. 

For this fast, I intend to change out as much of the old gut bacteria as possible and gain a new foot hold where ‘life’ is concerned. During the last year and half or so I have intensively been taking in lots of probiotic drinks, apple cider vinegar and anything else living….and to great effect.

These are all my own probiotic drinks and cider vinegar - available on my market stall as well - taste great, and really work with you to get things back up to a sustainable level. (Some recent studies have been showing how detrimental antibiotics have been; so much so, that certain beneficial strains of gut bacteria are no longer found inside or outside of our bodies!)

However, I know there are a few ‘nasty’ bugs in my gut too. They have been there seemingly forever and always throw a spanner in the works somehow. For instance, I had serious whooping cough at 6 months old (days after vaccination) and find my ribs, back and chest can get inflamed from time to time (costochondritis).

Then, the entire blended, extended family I grew up with are plagued with arthritis and joint issues. Not to mention high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease! 

As a Clinical Nutritionist I just know that quite a lot of these modern day chronic diseases are inflammation related. And, I also know that when my body is populated with beneficial bacterial colonies, many of these conditions are no longer on the radar.

So….my goal for this fast is to support my body fully (read total focus!) as it builds up necessary levels of probiotic and prebiotic gut bacteria. Thankfully, as an Intuitive, I am always in constant contact with my body and am taking cues from it day by day.

For the first 3 days of our fast we just chilled (understatement! LOL) – I mean we worked very hard night and day, did markets back to back plus all the prep while taking in lots of water, probiotic drinks and nettle juices as well as my Para Cleanse parasite remedy. 

For the last 3 days – more of the same with an emphasis on beetroot fermented juices, apple cider vinegars and herbal teas (I blend them each day as needed). 

So….now, on to the next phase! I am actually quite excited to be doing this - I feel really good, am having fabulous dreams, sleeping well and getting lots done (loads of energy now, after the first 72 hours adjusting into 'detox mode).

I’ll keep you posted,

April
Rebel Foods Market Stall - Apple Cider Vinegar & Beetroot Cleanse Juice

A Spring Cleanse!! Day 2

Today I am fasting….it’s actually now day 2 of a spring detox I want (need) to do. I haven’t been writing very much over these past few months….well, actually I have but it’s of a different sort – mostly for the market and stuff.

But, that doesn’t mean I don’t have this need to write things down. It’s more of a record actually….I have written down so much of what has been taking place in and around me as well as my dreams over the years that I could fill many books. 

And of course, I have done exactly that!

So, getting back to my fasting. The last time we did a big fast was before Christmas and it felt so good! In the meantime, since Christmas, I have done several small and different types of fasts – things I would never have thought of before.

For instance, one week I was feeling quite off – so I did a garlic fast. Basically we just ate guacamole with large amounts of garlic (8 to 12 cloves) on very thin crackers/toast for 3 days and drank lots of water. 

It felt so good that I did it for the next 3 weeks as well. And now continue to do this for a day here and there whenever I feel I need a boost. There is something special about garlic, it uplifts and heals like nothing else. I always feel as if my thinking and my head is clearer when I take enough of it in…

Then we have had a few fasts on just my Butterfly Juice (in case you have not yet experienced Rebel Foods Market Stall Butterfly Juice – you have to make a special trip to west Cork! LOL). This is nettle, dandelions, Irish apples & ginger and it is pure heaven…..

We refer to it as ‘spring in a jar’. Including this in our fasts has been very effective for boosting energy levels, clearing skin and getting sluggish digestive systems moving properly again. And, it tastes greats too! Somedays it's all I take in and I feel it really helps with general well-being, especially suited for this time of the year. 

So….for this fast – I might incorporate nearly everything or just some of these things. I plan to take it day by day and see how we get on. At this stage we are still working on our goal – or the purpose of doing the fast in the first place. 

Also, I am learning so much more about gut bacteria this time around as well. And perhaps that is one of my aims here. I have a few questions I need answered and my body is taking me on this fabulous trip to find those answers….

I’ll keep you posted…..

April
Rebel Foods Market Stall - Butterfly Juice and Rebel Juice (fermented health tonics)