I am about to share with you of one of the most profound discoveries I've ever made. So extreme is this old concept, that for anyone with chronic illness will have immediate effects.
About two weeks ago I had a couple of weeks off work for some much needed down time. As usual, throughout the first week, I could feel my body decompress continually for seven days. It is as though my body must move through the added kinks of stress in life to reconfigure back to basic course again. Working prompts great stress for anyone suffering from fibromyalgia. Most of us live for the weekends when we can build up our energy stores again.
Throughout this first week and into the second my body was filled with aches and pains. Movement of a flu or minuscule virus could be felt as my body became charged with extra flem and fluids. My head held extreme pressure and most of my time was centered near my favorite hangout anymore - my bedroom. What's the use of weeks off anymore? They are just an added stress of pain and displeasure.
One particular day pain was cursing through my feet, to my thighs, stretching out to my hips as I was checking up on my Facebook to live life through others. It was there I found the short film on grounding I shared with you last week. Thoroughly intrigued, I watched it. And with each passing moment i could feel the electricity of change, I knew I was onto something.
Just as the sun gives us warmth and vitamin D, the Earth underfoot gives us food and water, a surface to walk, sit, stand, play, and build on, and something you never, ever thought about—an eternal, natural, and gentle energy. Think of it perhaps as vitamin G—G for ground. What does that mean to you? Maybe the difference between feeling good and not so good, of having little or a lot of energy, or sleeping well or not so well. You can’t see the Earth’s energy but some people can feel it as a warm, tingling, and pleasant sensation when they are out walking barefoot along the water’s edge at the beach or on a stretch of dew-moistened grass. (Earthing)
Years of extensive research has shown that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy, by walking barefoot on grass, sand, dirt or rock can diminish chronic pain, fatigue and other ailments that plague so many people today. This connection is referred to as Earthing or Grounding.
To put it briefly, when your bare feet or skin comes in contact with the earth, free electrons are taken up into the body. These electrons could be referred to as nature’s biggest antioxidants and help neutralise damaging excess free radicals that can lead to inflammation and disease in the body. The Earth is a conductor or free electrons and so are all living things on the planet, including us. The body is composed of mostly of water and minerals which in combination are excellent conductors of electrons from the Earth providing there is direct skin contact or some other conductive channel for them to flow through.
The Earth’s energy upgrades one’s physiology by allowing the body to cope and repair thereby promoting wellbeing, vitality and better sleep. It also harmonizes and stabilizes the body’s basic biological rhythms, knocks down (and even knocks out) chronic inflammation and reduces and eliminates associated pain, making it the most natural and powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging remedy around! No matter what your age, gender, race or health status you will benefit from a daily dose of Earthing! (Barefoot Healing)
BENEFITS EARTHING HAS BEEN SHOWN TO HELP WITH:
Armed with the video and the above information after researching, I decided to give this a shot. What do I have to lose? I wasn't doing a damn thing on my break that I had planned; so why not throw caution to the wind? So, I drug myself up, and trudged outside during the latest Arctic blast. Granted I live in the southern states, but it was biting cold nonetheless. I bundled into sweat clothes and ventured outside. I slipped off my fleece Dawgs and planted by feet on the ground.
The effect was almost instantaneous. I never had anything work so quickly and effectively in my life. I began to feel tingling in the soles of my feet. Within five minutes my mind went internally after I noticed I could breathe easier and my nose no longer felt stopped up. My nose is always plagued with sinus issues during the colder months. I constantly feel as if I am coming down with some type of cold or flu.
Two more minutes in and I visually checked my feet, ankles, and knees because I began feeling a relaxing sensation all of a sudden. I focused my inner sensing to my hips. All gone! I was still lying on my chaise and turned over to place two hands on the ground - just me the bare earth and grass. Within minutes my nueropathy pain was extinguished. I stared up into a blue sky, deeper than I've ever remembered and wondered what did I find? The wind whipped around me, but I didn't seem to notice. I was connected to the earth and something enormous was happening to me.
How long do I ground?
Throughout the week I had more energy, able to focus longer and better, and I was not as hungry. For some reason during the winter months my body over compensate for hunger when I was stressed or frustrated. This I believe is the weight gain factor in fibromyalgia. For some reason, in the summer months I would take off a few pounds, but quickly put it back on when winter/fall began. I know this is a common factor in weight gain, but if you have a chronic illness, you crave more carbohydrates when you extended your body's natural resources.
I will be sharing more information in the upcoming weeks. I offer you this simple exercise this week to give it a shot. What do you have to lose? Bundle up, step outside, and slip your shoes off.
I've decided to add a great cookbooks. I am sure there are other Foodies out there that enjoy reading a good cookbook. When ever I hit the library, you can always find me in the cooking aisle browsing.
This book takes the reader on a gastronomic journey through the Middle Ages, offering not only a collection of medieval recipes, but a social history of the time. The eighty recipes, drawn from the earliest English cookbooks of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are presented in two formats: the original middle English version and one adapted and tested for the modern cook.
In a fascinating introduction, the author describes the range of available ingredients in medieval times and the meals that could be prepared from them—from simple daily snacks to celebratory feasts—as well as the preparation of the table, prescribed dining etiquette, and the various entertainments that accompanied elite banquets. Each chapter presents a series of recipes inspired by a historical event, a piece of literature, or a social occasion. Here we find descriptions of the grilled meats consumed by William the Conqueror’s invading forces; the pies and puddings enjoyed by the pilgrims in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales; and the more sumptuous fare served at royal feasts and Christmas celebrations. The author ends with a discussion of herbal recipes for various ailments.
When adding vegan foods, life can get a bit expensive if your settling for store bought fare. Just take a few minutes of prep and you can make a beautiful nutritious broth in just minutes.
And all you need is some scraps from the kitchen. It’s so easy and cheap to make. Just throw your vegetable scraps into a bag in the freezer until you have enough for a batch of broth. Then freeze broth in small portions for making the best soups and sauces EVER! No more buying broth at the grocery store.
There are no rules to what you can or cannot use. I basically use it all. I know that people say not to use cruciferous veggies (like cauliflower, broccoli, and kale), but I throw in little bits all of the time, and my broth tastes amazing. Of course, I balance it out with lots of sweeter vegetables like carrots and sweet potato scraps for a nice flavor.
NOTE: Be sure to use only clean vegetables and scraps. Dirty, gritty broth is no good. And please use your common sense. If it’s moldy, you probably don’t want it in your broth
WHAT I USE IN MY VEGETABLE BROTH:
The possibilities are endless. And your broth will taste different every time depending on what you put in it. I like to mix it up and add some extras for flavor and to boost nutrients. The recipe below is just a place to start. Feel free to experiment.
THINGS I ADD FOR FLAVOR AND NUTRITIONAL VALUE WITH VEGETABLE SCRAPS:
Place everything in a large stock pot. Add water to cover by two inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 1 hour.
Turn off heat. Using tongs or slotted spoon, remove solids. Then strain through a mesh sieve.
Store in airtight jar for up to a week. Or freeze in small portions for use later.
It's easy to make your own gluten free pie crust. This easy and homemade pie crust is made using just three simple ingredients, including shortening or butter, gluten-free flour, and cold water. When it comes to gluten-free baking, I've had good luck with Bob's Red Mill brand gluten-free all-purpose baking flour, and I also like to use almond flour.
1/2 cup shortening (or butter, cold)
1 1/2 cups white rice flour (or other gluten-free flour)
4 tbsp. cold water
First, pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Cut the shortening or butter into the rice flour or other gluten-free flour until crumbly. Add the cold water and then use your hands to work the dough until soft. Mixture will be crumbly at first, but will slowly come together as a dough. Do not over mix.
Once your dough comes together, form it into a single ball.
Next, place the dough in an 8 inch pie pan and press it into the bottom and sides. You can use the back of a spoon, a fork, or even your (clean!) fingers for this.
Once your pie crust is comfortably in the pie pan, take a fork and prick the bottom of the crust a few times. This allows steam to escape as needed and helps to ensure that your pie will bake evenly and smoothly.
Place your prepared pie crust in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges of your pie crust are golden brown
You won't miss the meat in this savory veggie potpie! The spring veggies, easy prep and impressive presentation make this a perfect lunch or dinner entree.
1 package (14.1 ounces) organic refrigerated pie pastry or gluten free
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup all-purpose or gluten free flour
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Preheat oven to 400°. Unroll one pastry sheet into a 9-in. pie plate; trim even with rim. Line unpricked pastry with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on a lower oven rack until edges are light golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights; bake until bottom is golden brown, 3-6 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrots; cook and stir until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and peas, cooking until vegetables are tender, 5-7 minutes. Whisk in next five ingredients. Increase heat to medium-high; gradually whisk in vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 4-6 minutes. Stir in chickpeas. Remove from heat.
Spoon vegetable filling over bottom crust. Unroll remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim; cut slits in top.
Bake until top crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
“If we had a rampant epidemic of self-love then our health care costs would go down dramatically”
One of the biggest challenges most people face is learning how to care for themselves. It requires a delicate balance between what often feels like polar opposites. I’ve spent a lifetime studying self-care. And I’ve come to the conclusion that good self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, period. The programming of self-sacrifice leads ultimately to health-destroying sentiments, such as guilt, resentment, anger, and other emotions linked to high levels of stress hormones. Self-sacrifice feels wrong to us on a soul level—our spirit gravitates naturally to joy and happiness. That’s why self-sacrifice ultimately makes us sick and keeps us stuck in dead-end situations.
How well we care for ourselves as adults is often determined in part by how well our mothers cared for us (and themselves). Ultimately, however, it’s our responsibility to learn how to optimally care for ourselves regardless of what happened (or didn’t) with our mothers. We refine this process throughout our entire lives.
The key is knowing in your heart that the best way you can care for others is by caring for yourself. I know this requires a paradigm shift for many of you! Despite what you’ve been brought up to believe, caring for oneself is not an example of a zero sum model—where your gain is someone else’s loss. Everyone benefits from someone who knows how to care for him or herself. Self-care sustains and enhances the health of all those around you. The flight attendants are right when they say: You have to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
Seven Simple Steps For Enhancing Your Health Through Self-Care
Step 1 - Tap into the stream of healing energy regularly.
Your body is connected to a healing stream of energy (also known as chi, prana, light, Source, and God) that you can absorb at will. All you need to do is be aware of it and be open to receive it! This is the basis for the healing power of prayer. A particularly powerful way to absorb this healing energy simply involves sitting with your limbs uncrossed while listening to classical music and receiving a healing stream of energy. The practice, which is available to everyone, is associated with many well-documented physical and emotional healings from all over the world that cannot be explained by conventional medicine.
Step 2 - Know that you are your own best mother.
Treat yourself like an ideal mother would by talking to yourself in a wonderful, nurturing way and providing for yourself that which you wish you had received from your own mother. For example, say to yourself, “Darling, I see that you’re tired. Why don’t you lie down and take a nice nap. When you get up, we’ll have a nice cup of hot tea” or “I see that you need a break. How about a nice hot bath and a good book.” You get the picture.
Step 3 - Do something pleasurable each and every day.
Taking time for pleasure and fun decreases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin, which, over time, are responsible for heart disease, cancer, and most chronic diseases such as arthritis and high blood pressure. Plus when you take time for enjoyment, you’ll be able to approach arduous tasks with more energy and a better outlook.
Step 4 - Breathe deeply and fully on a regular basis.
Breathing in fully through your nose instantly engages the rest and restore parasympathetic nervous system and helps the body metabolize stress hormones. Put Post-it notes on your phone, your computer, and your bathroom mirror. Write BREATHE in beautiful letters that uplift and remind you to breathe fully.
Step 5 - Get support for self-care.
Find a self-care buddy and agree that each of you will hold the other accountable for taking care of herself. Start with my suggestions and add your own ideas. Brag to each other about how well you’re doing and especially how well you are caring for yourself. Plan to call your friend whenever you start to slip into over-care of others.
Step 6 - Use the incredible power of no.
When someone asks you to do something you don't really want to do, say NO! This is especially important if saying "no" makes you feel guilty or unworthy. In most cases this means you’re letting the needs of others overshadow your own. Only you know how much you can handle without over-committing. Over time, you’ll strengthen your “no” muscle and also attract friends who support your need to set healthy boundaries. Remember, saying “no” to someone else usually means saying “yes” to yourself!
Step 7 - Don’t wait for permission to start taking care of yourself.
Believe me, no one is going to give it to you, although I know how much you desperately want someone to do so! How well I remember being on call in the hospital watching the nurses give each other breaks. I yearned for one of my colleagues to give me permission to take a break after being up all night. But no one did because the culture of medicine (particularly a surgical specialty) is so macho. Far too many women get sick because it’s the only socially acceptable way to get the self-care they require. I think we can do better, don’t you? Prepare to be called “selfish” when you start taking better care of yourself. And when someone calls you that, celebrate! After all, taking care of yourself is prevention at the most fundamental level.
-Dr. Christine Northrup
At this point, most of you realize that fibromyalgia also makes you much more susceptible to developing other conditions. This past year, I have been experiencing quite a bit of burning in my upper abdomen. It got to a point where my usual Tums were not working. So, off to a trip to the gerontologist I went. After sonogram and an endoscopy, my diagnosis was GERD. Lovely, one more symptom I must conquer.
One of these conditions is gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD. This is an extreme form of acid reflux. It can result in lots of very unpleasant signs and symptoms and could make your symptoms of fibromyalgia that much worse.
Luckily, for this condition, there are lots of very effective options for treatment to help you eliminate this.
Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is an extreme form of acid reflux. In this condition, the food and acid in your stomach backs up into your esophagus. This causes some very uncomfortable symptoms such as chest pain, heartburn, and throat sensitivity.
GERD is very similar to heartburn and is very common among those living in the United States. It is thought to affect somewhere between five to seven percent of the population.
On the other hand, unlike heartburn, the symptoms of GERD actually occur several times in a week and very often, individuals with this condition will suffer with symptoms every day. If it isn’t treated, this condition can have some serious effects on your overall health, leading to some very severe complications.
This condition is typically due to a combination of various factors including physiological and lifestyle. The majority of individuals suffering from this condition have a problem with the sphincter that is located at the bottom of their esophagus.
This sphincter is referred to as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter, or LES, and, when working properly- keeps the stomach acid or food in the stomach from coming back up into the esophagus.
However, in some cases, this Lower Esophageal Sphincter becomes weak and allows foods and acid to come back up into the esophagus. Additionally, it can also have occasional periods of relaxation- typically during the night- which allows the acid and food back into your throat.
Some other things that contribute to the development of Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disease are diet, weight, and even overall health.
Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disease is very common and affects men, women, and even children. However, if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia, you’re at a greater risk for developing this condition. In fact, over 60 percent of individuals with fibromyalgia also suffer from GERD. The reasons behind this are not known at this time.
There are some other things that put you at risk for developing GERD:
The signs and symptoms of this condition are numerous and will become much more severe as time goes on. Some of the symptoms include:
If you don’t get prompt treatment, this condition can be extremely dangerous to your overall health. When exposed to the acidic content from your stomach, it can cause your esophagus to become eroded as well as damage the enamel on your teeth.
This increases your chances of developing esophageal cancer as well as diseases of the mouth such as gingivitis. Additionally, the condition of GERD can cause an obstruction, called a stricture, in your esophagus.
GERD also has an effect on your sleeping patterns, which can cause your symptoms of fibromyalgia to become much worse. In fact, it has been proven that individuals suffering from GERD will wake up much more often during the night and therefore spend much less time in the states of deep sleep, which can cause an increase in daytime fatigue.
There are lots of different treatment options available to help you gain some control over your GERD symptoms. Generally, it is recommended that you use a variety of these items in order to get the best relief.
Of course, self-treatment can do wonders in helping to control your symptoms of this condition. Particularly, following a strict GERD diet can help you to eliminate both acid reflux and heartburn.
Try to avoid eating fatty or spicy foods and eat smaller meals more often rather than three large meals each day. This allows your stomach to digest what you eat quickly.
Also, try to avoid lying down or even leaning over for about three hours after a meal. This will keep your stomach acid and food where it belongs- in your stomach.
If you have a severe case of GERD, self-treatment will not likely be effective. You will need to seek medical treatment. You can find both OTC and prescription medications that can help to minimize your symptoms and offer relief. Following are the two most common types of medications used to treat GERD:
These particular medications prevent your stomach from producing acid. you can get them over the counter under the names of Pepcid AC or Zantac. If you prefer, you can speak with your physician about getting a prescription.
PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, keep the acid in your stomach from being released into the esophagus. You can get these either over the counter or by prescription under names such as Nexium, Protonix, or Prilosec.
This one is a real page turner. Just when you think you've got it all figured out Sandra Brown brings you to a new edge.
Carl Herbold is a cold-blooded psychopath who has just escaped the penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence. Bent on revenge, he's going back to where he began--Blewer County, Texas...
Born deaf, lately widowed, Anna Corbett fights to keep the ranch that is her son's birthright, unaware that she is at the center of Herbold's horrific scheme--and that her world of self-imposed isolation is about to explode...
Drifter Jack Sawyer arrives at Anna's ranch asking for work, hoping to protect the innocent woman and her son from Herbold's rage. But Sawyer can't outrun the secrets that stalk him--or the day of reckoning awaiting them all... - Amazon
Valerie utilizes an extensive amount of research producing this blog. Categories are purposely set up in stages, rather than topics, so you can easily implement one step at a time.