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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Get the Gunk Gone

Buenos días, amigos.  Perhaps you have noticed that most people fall ill in the wintry, frozen, frigid months.  I dislike the cold as much as anyone.  I dislike getting a cold even more.
One way I stay warm - crawl all the way in.


Perhaps you are looking for some good immune boosters as we forge through the longest and coldest and snowiest winter in the history of the entire universe?  (Can you hear my teeth clench as I speak the last bit there?  I thought so.)

What to do?  How to fight the germs?

Here are a few things you can get your (hopefully not grubby little) hands on.


1.  Exercise.  Really.  I know, you were so totally looking for me to say "eat more ______"  (and don't you worry, I will), but you have got to get your booty out there and sh-sh-shake it shake it, come on, shake shake it.  Yep, f'realies.  Moderate exercise is a good idea for so many reasons - it moves your lymphatic system around (you don't want that lymph just sitting in its little puddle there, wallowing and slodging around inside you).  It doesn't have a pump besides your fabulous muscles.  So, c'mon, homeboy/girl, get it going.  And what about your cardiovascular benefits?  Healthy heart, healthy happy lungs, I  think so.  Regarding personal antedotal evidence, any time I have the very first inkling of a bit of a sniffle and I go for a run, it hacks itself right out of me and I don't get sick.  Now, if you're already full blown sick, heck no, skip that (OBVS).  You're just going to end up some kind of tired puppy and blasting your poor T-cells.  But avoid it as much as possible by giving your body a lift with some exercise.

2.  Don't eat crap.  (This reminds me of a very weird question someone asked me, "Would you rather eat high fructose corn syrup or poop?"  Do you know what I said?  "Whose poop?"  It all depends, you see!)  No, really.  Sugar and its buddies will feed those little germsicles in your body faster than you can say Jack Robinson.  Or maybe even faster than you can say "hi".  Either one is pretty fast.  And so is the feeding of nasty germs if you're going to shove your mouth with sweets.  You know how all those tiny micro-organisms grow, right?  They LOVE sugar!  Just think of bread yeast. All those little creatures think sugar is the bomb.  And if you're addicted to the narcotic (yeah, I'm being totally serious), then you should at the very least break your crack addiction for a while if you're starting to come down with something (or if you already have - stat).  Feed your body fabulous healthy things it can use and digest well.  (If you get sick, get your hands on some Bieler Broth: a very nourishing, body boosting green soup.  Look up the recipe, but it is basically steamed zucchini, green beans, celery.  You keep the steaming water to add to the mix.  Add parsley at the end.  Stick everything into a blender and feed it to your sick ones.  The original recipe does not call for salt, but I must have it with some good Celtic grey.  It has all the right minerals in balance for you and is extremely bioavailable.)

3.  Suck down garlic like you hate Team Edward with a passion.  My friend went to a weekend retreat and everyone there was getting hit with the sickies.  She ordered an  entire clove of garlic, roasted, and ate it.  She was THE ONLY ONE who didn't get sick.  That stuff is crazy powerful.  Maybe everyone just ran away from her because she was stinky.  Not sure.  But either way, she didn't get sick, did she now?  No, garlic is a powerful force to be reckoned with.  Not only is it famous for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, it powerfully assists in the uptake of iron, while serving as an excellent source of Vitamin C, B6, manganese and selenium.  It is a cheerleader for your heart, high in sulfur compounds making it a knockout in the cardio section.  It is nearly a complete and utter wonder.  And don't get the stuff in a jar.  Get the real deal and crush it.  Studies show the potency and efficacy of these properties are vastly different in garlic from a glass jar versus the clove you just crushed fresh.  (Duh.)

4.  What time is it?   Are you up at an an ungodly hour right now?  GO TO BED.  This is me, talking directly to you.  Get appropriate sleep.  Yes.  Like 8 hours.  If you are nursing a baby, I know that is not going to happen with a wee teeny one, but the rest of you, shut off your stinkin computer/phone/tablet/TV and GO TO BED.  Your body is able to to its job when you aren't burning your candle at both ends.  Go to bed at a reasonable time and get the sleep you need.  What a surprise it is another one of the biggies for boosting your immune system (or killing it if you go the voluntary insomnia path - oh, and speaking of insomnia.  If you feel that you are having a bit of insomnia, may I recommend that you re-read point #1 again?  If you are having trouble sleeping and you have run 5 miles that day, please come talk to me.  I am pretty sure that you can pass out just fine when you've exerted yourself enough.)

5.  Avoid anti-bacterial soap like IT IS THE PLAGUE.  Wash your hands with real soap, like castile stuff.  May I recommend Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile soap?  The stuff is AH-mazing.  Were you surprised for two seconds there that I said don't use anti-bacterial stuff?  Well, hang around here for a bit, kid, and I'll kick that notion straight out of your head.  You do know that the FDA is just beginning to recall and investigate stuff with triclosan in it, right?  That's the anti-bac ingredient.  It's pretty much worthless, no, wait, less than worthless - it also screws up your endocrine system.  Read this ditty from the FDA on triclosan.  Don't be so 1990.  Anti-bac is the thing of the past.  Dump that junk like it's hot.

6.  Get yer Vitamin D.  However you can get it, do it.  If you can go and get some sunshine (and there aren't too many planes playing stratospheric geoengineering up there), do it.  If you live in the land of the white sky of perpetual cloud wonder, get your hands on some good (NON-LAB CREATED) Vitamin D.  I personally take the Garden of Life brand with a sun on it - it is made of raw, whole foods that your body can recognize when it enters your system.  A deficiency of D has been linked to cancers, especially breast cancer.  Help your body out.  

7.  Eat, drink and be merry with your ginger (and turmeric).  Those guys are incredible for anti-inflammatory responses.  Ready for another antedotal story?  My dear friend's mother has suffered with arthritis in her hand(s).  She was so unable to move, she decided she would go get one of those cortisone shots.  The shot was so painful she began debating whether or not she ought to just live with the pain and give up.  But she is a smart lady, and she minced up some turmeric root with some raw honey on a spoon and began taking it daily.  Wouldn't you know that HER ARTHRITIS WAS GONE after a very short time?  I'm not just flaunting it for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions within a body, it is a great helper when you're just starting to feel unwell.  Get out your potato peeler, shave off a little bit of that brown outside of your ginger and then cut away a little yellow piece to make into itty bitty pieces.  I like to put it in boiling water and smash it up with a fork to release the juices, add some raw honey and some squeezed lemon.  It is a tasty concoction and great for throat issues.

May you live well, m'dears!

Peace, love and grab health by the horns (um...if health had horns),
Ms. Daisy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Letter to Her Younger Self Re: Abortion

Warning: PG-13 material follows

Today I want to share with you something from the heart of a dear friend of mine.  This is a letter that she writes to her younger self, who is facing a terrifyingly frantic and life-altering situation: unwanted teenage pregnancy.  If you have experienced an abortion, perhaps you will identify with these feelings.  If you are considering an abortion, think deeply on these words.  This sweet, passionate friend of mine lays this all out in her own way, transparent and raw.  May you be encouaged, comforted and loved through her words.  And even more, may you know that peace of the Almighty Creator.

Peace, love and forgiveness,
Ms. Daisy

If I could go back in time and talk to myself, while still being who I am today, I would put my arms around the young woman sitting in that chair with her face covered in tears. I would tell her that I understand how lonely she feels, how scared she is, and how she feels like she can never do anything right. I would also tell her that one day soon the term "a blob of tissue" will no longer be used by anyone because it will be recognized as a scientifically and medically wrong term. It will simply be referred to as a fetus. The fact is, my sweet girl, that you have a life growing inside you.

I know, oh how I know, that you do not feel ready to be a parent yet. I understand the feeling of having to take care of (what seems like) a problem and the want for it to go away. Please trust me, no matter what you choose to do, your problem, your situation, will never go away. You cannot erase this time in you life out of your memory however much you wish or try to. The hopelessness you feel, the confusion, and frustration that lives inside of you will not go away just because you end the life now growing inside of you.

There will come a day in your life, a day that you cannot now imagine or ever believe to be true, but the day is going to come when you will understand life in a whole new way. That day, you will once again be struck by what you have done. Pain you now only think you understand will grip your heart and almost drown you. Your eyes will be opened to a whole new world, a spiritual world where you will see yourself for who you really are. You will weep like you never have wept before as you are allowing yourself to be embraced by the Almighty, Triune God. Before you are able to utter the words that are rising up inside you, you will already be forgiven. You will become a new creation, you will fall in love with a Heavenly King.

As you walk on this journey as a new creation, as a forgiven person, you will meet people that will bring your thoughts back to what you did all those years ago. You will meet husbands and wives that will share their inmost desire of having a child of their own. You will look at their faces, you will see the pain in their eyes, it will be as if you can feel their longing to have a child, but for some reason they cannot conceive on their own. Your feelings of guilt will once again rise up. What if you would have been able to give the life growing inside you to a loving husband and wife like that?

One day, not so terribly far away, you will meet a man that will happily become your husband despite all your baggage. The day will come when you will find out that the two of you are expecting a baby together. You will rejoice, but once again, you will be reminded of this first time you found out you had a life growing inside you and tears will involuntarily stream down your cheeks. Then, the beautiful day will come when you will experience a new kind of love - the love of holding your baby in your arms for the first time. At that same moment, you will experience a new kind of pain and sorrow. You will look at your beautiful baby and you will realize that this baby once were at the same place inside of you and began growing the same way as the life you decided to end.

No one will ever again be able to convince you that you are not a murderer. I cannot forgive myself, but I praise God that He is so much mightier than me. I praise Him for not depending on me forgiving myself in order for me to have forgiveness in Him.

Friday, March 14, 2014

An Interview: Kicking the Pop Habit

Hello, my lovies!  Today I have something I am SO EXCITED to share with you!  Sometime in September, I heard that my friend's hubster kicked the pop habit.  Now this may seem like no big deal to you, but this guy...let me just say, he was the DEFINITION of a pop habit.  She told me that she never ever thought that he would give it up.  He slept with a 2 liter of pop next to his bed at night in case he woke up.  Seriously.  He packed it tenderly with him when he went on a vacation (one for every day, plus one extra on backup).  This is not your average pop drinker, my friends.  This was a full-blown addict.

It takes a lot to kick any habit, but a habit that is ~35 years in the making is exceptionally difficult.  Jeff did it.  You can, too.

I know there are many of you out there who drink pop and can't imagine how you could give it up.  This story is for you.  It should serve as your inspiration.  If this guy can do it, I know you can, too.  Stop killing yourself and read on.

Without further ado, the interview.

1.  Please introduce yourself.  (You can include whatever you want about yourself.  You can say your job, whatever you like.)
JM: My name is Jeff and I’m going to turn 39 soon. I’m an electrical engineer by degree and work at a security integration company as their lead engineer.

  1. On the whole spectrum of crunchy organic granola, one being you are the president of Monsanto and microwave your GMO lunch in plastic bags while showering in pesticides and ten being you make your clothes out of homemade organic hemp that you grew in your backyard while you ferment your kombucha in your dreadlocks, where would you say you fit?
JM: I’m probably a 5 (from my perspective) LOL.

  1. How long have/had you been drinking pop?
JM: To say my whole life would be an understatement. I can’t remember not drinking pop. My parents bought it, so I drank it.  I had it with most meals and whenever I went out to eat. I drank it throughout college and didn’t stop once I graduated. It was a way of life. So totaling that all up, I’m thinking about 34 years.

  1. How much, on an average day, did you drink?
           JM: From college on I would say about 2 liters a day minimum, but there were days that 3-4 liters happened.

  1. Did you have any health or dental issues as a result?
JM: I’m not aware of any health issues that this may have contributed directly to right now, but I’m sure that it indirectly has caused my increase in weight (duh) and my lack of energy at times (but what about the caffeine? – when your body is being embalmed with caffeine it no longer has the desired effect).  I know that it has had a devastating impact on my teeth and gums. I recently had a dentist appointment and they asked if I had changed my diet. When I told them I stopped drinking pop they said it was obvious because my gums were starting to repair themselves. (Luckily my gingivitis had not progressed to the point that my gums were permanently damaged! Wish I could say that about my teeth, especially the one with the crown and the two other that need crowns that I’m waiting on.)

  1. What kind of crack, er, I mean, pop, did you usually drink?
JM: Growing up, I drank Coke as that was what my parents bought. In high school I switched to Mountain Dew. This continued throughout college and didn’t stop until 2006 when my son was born and I decided to try to stop then. It didn’t last long. Pepsi released Diet Pepsi Max about 4 months later and it contained more caffeine that Mountain Dew, so I was hooked again.  Then they relabeled it to just Pepsi Max (but it was still diet) so it would market to men better.  I now had an excuse to continue my habit since it was diet.

  1. How did you used to view pop?
JM: It was my water. Seriously, I never drank anything else - only Pepsi Max. There were times where I had run out of my 2 liters (which I bought 10 and 20 at a time) and I seriously didn’t drink anything for a day to the point of dehydration. I was seriously addicted and had to make a change.

  1. I heard that your children, when they were very little had their baby bottles, your wife had her water bottle and you had your 2 liter.  I also heard that your 2 liter was called “Daddy’s water”.  Is this true?  Do tell all.
JM: That is true. I drank directly from my 2 liter. I carried it with me everywhere. I had it by my side of the bed at night so I could take a drink of it if I woke up. I always had it near me around the house wherever I went.  I had next to me in the car.  I would take multiple bottles with me on vacation (at least one for everyday plus a spare.)  It was a part of my attire, like underwear but meant more to me…LOL.

  1. What was the catalyst that started you thinking about changing this habit?
JM: It wasn’t just one thing. Like I said before, I tried to quit back in 2006. I think that as I’ve grown older I was realizing that the “benefits” of drinking pop (the caffeine and the taste) were not worth the cost financially nor to my health. I knew it was affecting my weight, my sleep, and it wasn’t good when I ran out because the only thing I could think of was getting my next bottle and I didn’t really care about anything or anyone else in those moments. But if I had to choose one catalyst, it was when my son (who ironically doesn’t like pop at all) said, “I can’t wait until I get older like you Dad and then I will like pop and can drink as much as I want.” My other kids had said things like this before but they DO like pop.  To have my son who doesn’t like it think that this is just something he has to do in order to grow up just opened my eyes to the message I was unintentionally sending my kids.

  1. What sealed the deal all the way – what was the fact or the phrase or the thought that tipped you over the edge and made you realize you wanted to do this for real?
JM: I had no more excuses left that held any basis in logic. I knew it was bad for me with all the chemicals in it. I knew it was contributing to my weight gain, my lack of good sleep, and my declining dental health. The caffeine had no effect on me in regards to keeping me up at night at all. I could drink 2 liters of pop and go right to sleep.  In fact, I was having trouble staying awake at night. Now I’m able to stay awake with no caffeine at all.

  1.   Your wife thought that you would never, never, never, ever, ever give up pop.  (Except add in fourteen more “nevers”.)  Some people may give it up easily because they drink pop once every other week with their pizza, but your pop drinking was a way of life.  How on earth did you do it?  (Was it a cold turkey thing or did you cut back?)  What is the secret?
JM: You could probably put “nevers” to the power to infinity [*cough* engineer *cough*] and that is what my wife thought. I had to do this cold turkey. That is the only way it was going to work for me. So I went through a tremendously painful 72 hours of a no pop weekend and then just started filling my empty 2 liters with water and drank those instead. In many ways that actually helped me because part of any addiction are the [physical] processes [and habits] leading into it. So to still have the two liter near me filled with water instead of pop was helpful. I now have a refillable 500 mL water bottle that I take everywhere with me instead.

  1. Did you ever feel like you were a little addicted to it?  If you were, was it just an emotional tie to it (being used to it in your everyday life) or was it a physical thing (you needed it to stay awake, etc.)?
JM: There is no doubt in my mind that I was addicted to it just like a smoker, or a “choose your drug” addict. It wasn’t just physical, it was emotional and there are still times I have the desire to buy a 2 liter. I still miss the sound of opening a new 2 liter of pop.

  1.   How did you tell your wife that you were thinking about giving it up?  What did your wife say/do when you told her you were thinking about quitting pop?
JM: I told her on our 15th anniversary.  She was in complete shock and I think she was skeptical. I told her that she should could call people and tell them about my decision (which I knew would help me follow through - no one wants to let people down).  I told her she could call you and others and let them know.

  1.  What do you drink now?  What do you do instead?
JM: I drink water primarily. Just to be on the level, I will on occasion have a glass of pop when we are out to eat or over at a friend’s house or party. But we do not buy it and do not have it in the house anymore.

  1.  How long has it been since you’ve crossed over to the non-pop drinking side of life?
JM: It has now been 7 months. One of the reasons I waited to do this interview [the time between the interview questions being sent out and them being answered was about 6 months] was to make sure I had actually made the switch and wasn’t going to backslide.

  1.   Do you feel any different yet?  How?
JM: I feel very different and it is a good different. I have more energy and when I wake up I don’t feel lethargic. I can now stay awake without caffeine and if I have something with caffeine in it, it actually has the desired effect of helping me stay up later. My kidneys like me and I’m reminded about that multiple times everyday.

  1.   What would you say to someone who is considering giving it up?  How would you pull them over to the dark side/onto the crazy train?
JM: Accept the fact that you are an addict and that staying there is not a good thing. It isn’t good for your body, it isn’t good for your mental awareness, and it isn’t good for those who are watching you and may try to follow your example someday. Once you have accepted that, then take the leap and do what it take for YOU to change. My way (cold turkey) may not work for you, but whatever you think will work - try it - and make that choice each day.

  1.   Have you lost any weight?
JM: Yes, but I ended up putting that back on during Christmas. But I have now continued to lose and I’m down 15 pounds since Christmas.

  1.   Have you saved any money?
JM: Yes. You do the math… 365 days in a year equal 365 bottles of pop times $1.29 or more equals about $500 a year.

  1.   How much do you miss it?  On a scale of 1-10: 1 is you can’t imagine drinking it ever again in your life and 10 is you have composed several songs and poems to your old 2 liters which you sing in hymn-like and devoted fashion upon waking daily.
JM: This is still a situational thing. I would say that on average I miss it about a 3. But there are days that it is about 9 and I drink a lot of water on those days!!! J

  1.   As a result of ditching pop, have you made any other changes in your lifestyle that are steps toward further healthy decisions?  (a.k.a. Has ditching pop been your gateway to other healthy things?)
JM: I have started to pay attention to my food intake and I do plan on starting running once the weather gets warmer.

  1.   Any other benefits that you’d like to share with the world?
JM: Overall, I just feel better about myself knowing that I’m making the healthy choice and I’m now a good example to my family. I think that my kids now have an example of someone who had made a bad choice, but instead of wallowing in shame and despair, showed the guts to own the problem and make changes for the better. 

  1.   Is it true that you’ve even tried kombucha?  What do you think of that stuff?
JM: Yes I have. It is an acquired taste. I will probably make another batch at some point in the future.

I, for one, am very impressed.  I know that your wife had always said that she thought you would never, never, never, ever, ever give up pop.  But you did it.  And for that, I bestow upon you a very glittery and pink high five.

Peace, love, and three cheers to Jeff for killing the habit!
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Gallbladders: Part 5 - the removal

Hello, lovelies.  It's time for another episode of Ms. Daisy and the Gallbladders (yes, that is my band name).

If you are already quite familiar, this post is one part in a series of five spanning about a six month period.  You may be surprised to see the title, but (as usual) I've got the whole story for you, coming right up.

If you've been reading along, you've seen the absolutely DELIGHTFUL journey we've had in Galbladderlandia - the enzymes, the flush, the naturopaths, the chiropractors, the Hulda zapping, the veganism, the Beta Fooding, the quinoa, the detox baths, the accupressure, and much more.  We have apple cider vinegar in bulk for chugging after meals here.  I have fifty kinds of Standard Process supplements that should have helped the hubby and his little buddy, Mr. Gallbladder.

Ewwwwwwwwwww, gross stuff.

After the first gallbladder attack where my hubby got a gallstone stuck in his bile duct and turned yellow, we figured his body was just a teensy bit perhaps trying to tell us something.  So we opened the tools in the toolbox - the regular doctor, the surgeon, the chiro, the naturopath, and a doctor of integrative medicine.  I went crazysauce on researching herbal remedies, detoxification and cleanses.

As you may be aware, we aren't the type around here to just hop onto the surgical bandwagon first thing.  I find that to be rather disturbing, actually.  So, we avoided it like the plague for as long as we could.

The flush worked well.  It got out the gallstones.  In fact, if having gallstones is your only problem, I highly recommend that you get on that bus and ride.  Do the Hulda lemon, olive oil thang and you will be amazed.

But, unfortunately, for my hubby, we found out that gallstones were not the problema.  Mr. Gallbladder was a sick, sick puppy.  

I am the sort to ask a surgeon if I may see the organ or if I may not, if I may please see pictures of the organ.  (I can hear half of you shaking your heads saying, "I am zero percent shocked." from here.)  And that is what Mr. Surgeon did.  Now, if you're wondering, we did not go to Surgeon Dr. McStupidpants, we went to one that actually had (how shall I say this) a brain. 

It was distressing to me, to be quite honest, to think how we failed at rescuing Mr. Gallbladder.  I suppose that the signals of bad digestion he was experiencing twenty years ago as a teenager should have been paid attention to, but they were not.  And I wasn't around then, and I did not think the way I do now back then, even if I were to be some random other teenager running up to him, begging him to not eat like a human garbage disposal.
Poor little Mr. Gallby, getting ripped off of the liver bed.

At any rate, when he had a reaction to almond milk and hemp cereal, I looked deep within myself and wondered if I was going to end up killing my hubby if I didn't suggest that we get rid of the nasty thing.  He was afraid if it went gangrenous that it would murder his pancreas and harm his liver.  At around 2:00 a.m. after the hemp cereal gallbladder attack, I finally said the words I thought I'd never say, "I think it might be time, honeybearsweetiesnookemsdeary."  (Or something like that.)

He called the surgeon and begged for a date to get in that would not be a month and a half away and graciously (for crying out loud, the guy is getting paid like one bamillion jillion dollars for a fifteen minute procedure, so I guess he figured it would be okay, especially since dear hubbsters was practically crawling on gravel in front of him) he agreed.  (He was going on vay-cay-cay for like a month.)  

The day approached and my waif of a husband was ready.  Sorta.  He so hates hospital stuff.  It makes him think of croaking.  And he didn't want to croak.  Yes, he did read all of the possible things that could go wrong during a surgery (like having your bowels severed and you die instantly), so he was prepared.  The poor guy got stabbed in some nerve because a young and new nurse thought he ought not have pain meds to insert his port thingy since he said he had issues with novocaine.  (It wasn't related to novocaine, and his arm still hurts weeks later.)

Thank the Lord, all went as well as could be expected and he is healing well.  I gave him chicken broth after his surgery and he was so starving that he thought I had pretty much made him the best meal in the history of the entire universe.  Poor guy.

He seems to be on the mend and back to his wily ways - yesterday (I KID YOU NOT) he picked up some pazcki's for some customers and had a half one himself.  (Hello and welcome to Revoltingland.)
And by "other", we mean "filled with partially hydrogenated poison".

We got word from the follow-up appointment that Mr. Gallbladder got sent off to be tested in the lab.  Hubsters asked about the state of it, and what was found out.  He had mentioned to the surgeon that he felt surprisingly well, and had not had any bowel issues (this is a common issue with people who have their gallbladder removed).  The surgeon replied, "Yes.  Well.  That is because we found out at the lab that your gallbladder was functioning at ZERO PERCENT."  I guess that whole looking yellow thing was a jolly decent sign it was not happy, either.

So, my friends, this ends the saga of the gallbladder.  I still will stand by most all of you and tell you to fight for yours.  Try everything.  Don't go jumping on the surgery bandwagon unless you've done it all.  You can't get it back, it is a one way street.  And then you have the issue of worrying about absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.  Consider carefully and be wise, lovies.

Peace, love and be well,
Ms. Daisy