Mindful Parenting

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Medicine has consequences April 9, 2013

Filed under: Holistic Health,Uncategorized — Lauren @ 2:30 pm

After this past years election I kept hearing a famous political commentator say “elections have consequences….elections HAVE consequences”, reminding the American people that there are very real consequences to every election, whether good or bad.

Well I found myself really resonating with what he was trying to convey to a very temporal-minded people. Elections do have far-reaching consequences.

 

So do drugs.

 

I am amazed at the uncanny ability people have to disregard in their minds the VERY REAL consequences of their medical choices, particularly when it comes to taking drugs.

 

I am often mistaken for being over-zealous for natural health, or under-supportive of ‘main-stream medicine’…yah know, being a nurse and all.

 

Really though, if you’ve walked where I’ve walked and seen things the way I have come to see things, my conclusions really are the most natural ones to draw. What is far more shocking is that people who work in the medical field are NOT overwhelmingly cautious about medications and procedures. The negative consequences of them are ALL AROUND us in the hospital, the damage- impossible to avoid. Unless of course, they, like the rest of this country, effectively disregard the effects these myriad of medications have on the human body.

Digging just under the surface of the simple act of popping a pill, lie thousands upon thousands of red danger flags demanding our attention. Medication is FAR from benign.

  • Adverse drug reactions in this country by drugs taken according to directions with the appropriate dosing, causes approximately 106,000 deaths a year (SOURCE)
  • Medical error causes approximately 98,000 deaths a year (SOURCE)
  • Making these the 4th and 6th leading causes of death

 

What these studies brought to light should be astonishing to us consumers of the main-stream healthcare system. These numbers are not ‘case-studies’ of imaginary people…these are real people, with real families and real lives.

 

These are not statistics to me, they represent faces. Faces of people I have cared for in an average emergency department in this great country that spends the most money on healthcare.

 

Faces like:

(and his endearing wife who stood by his side, singing, stroking his face, and reminding his what a wonderful man he was)


  • The postpartum mother who has hemorrhagic stroke due to the administration of pitocin
  • The postpartum mom who came in being resuscitated 1 month after having her baby via c-section, dying of a massive pulmonary embolism (clot in lungs) most certainly from her major abdominal surgery (c-section)
  • The man in his 50’s playing tennis who dropped dead from a massive heart attack, that was shown to be caused by the avandia he was taking for his slightly elevated high blood sugar
  • The woman in her 30’s who took steroids for a couple of years due to back pain from a car accident, the steroids causing avascular necrosis, the complete deterioration of all of her socket joints, leading to 6 joint replacements in 2 years and a lifetime of continued replacements until she dies


  • The woman in her 70’s coming in dizzy with acute rectal bleeding due to the NSAIDS she just started for her arthritis
  • The baby who was born premature and through medical error his bowel was punctured, leading to a colostomy bag as an infant, months later a colon resection then months later another repair due to bowel obstruction from the scar tissue

I need to stop myself. I could go on.and.on.

 

The saddest part is most of these stories are recent cases I have encountered….i’ve lost track of so many of the stories I promised myself I would never forget. They are endless.

 

Ignorance is NOT bliss, folks.

 

We have surrendered our freedom to a paradigm that says: the medical field always knows best, always takes our best interests in mind, would never recommend something if there were negative consequences, and can solve any type of problem that they might cause.

 

WRONG. This is simply not true.

 

You are NOT going to get FULL disclosure from the medical field. There are wayyyyyy too many variables to prevent this from happening.

 

Maybe many medical professionals want you to believe those fallacies. But there are many who want YOU to take responsibility of YOUR health, and stop expecting them to do so.

 

I am one of them.

 

I am a good nurse. BUT I have made MANY mistakes. – because I’m human

 

And I give drugs that I have no idea what to expect from. –because I have to and because no one really knows

 

I take part in procedures that may be unnecessary.- because I have to

 

I make recommendations that I don’t really think will be helpful, and will most likely make the situation worse. – because I have to

 

Everything you do regarding your health has consequences—potentially good, potentially bad.

 

It is YOUR JOB to be informed about the pros and cons from as many angles as you can, and stop handing your health on a platter to the medical world and expecting them to preserve and nurture your health.

 

You are your BEST advocate. You are your child’s BEST advocate.


A call to responsibility…A call to understanding…A call to mindfulness.

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GAPS Seminar Reveal April 8, 2013

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition — Lauren @ 10:01 am

Here is the video, yes rather amateur nevertheless very informative, of the GAPS Program 101 seminar I put on several weeks ago. I am glad to have this resource available to those who want to learn more about the connection of our gut health to the rest of our bodies. Several people who are now implementing the GAPS program have found this compilation of information very helpful. I hope you do as well!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

 

GAPS Seminar and Start-up Help! March 15, 2013

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health — Lauren @ 9:53 am

Last night I presented a seminar on the GAPS program. It was a fantastic night! We had a great turn out with around 25 people attending. This was such an encouragement to me, as I would LOVE to help people now and in the future implement the GAPS program successfully and reap the benefits of it! We had some attendees who were already on GAPS diet and finding that their sugar addiction was gone, while another person with diabetes shared their blood sugar levels were normal and ‘severe digestive disorder’ was completely gone. These were encouraging real-life examples of people finding healing through GAPS! We videotaped the 1 ½ hour presentation, and will be working on editing it a bit and getting it posted online for anyone to view. Here are some resources I wanted to share for those interested in learning more about the GAPS program.

 

How to Prepare for Going on the GAPS diet:

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/01/how-to-prepare-for-going-on-the-gaps-diet.html

http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/basics/starting-gaps/

Intro quick-guide (chart)

http://www.mygutsy.com/gaps-intro-quick-guide/

Intro and Full Recipes:

http://healingthroughgaps.blogspot.com/

http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/category/recipes/

http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/p/recipes-remedies-nutrition.html (fav. site)

http://www.healthhomehappy.com/gaps-recipes (other fav. site)

Informational Websites:

www.gapsdiet.com

www.gaps.me

Classes and How-to Resources:

Go grain-free online cooking class

Grain-free/GAPS meal plans

30 Day GAPS Introduction Diet E-book

Easing into GAPS 5-4-3-2-1


 

PLEASE!!! There are many wonderful GAPS-centered blogs. The column on the right side of my blog has many GAPS sites I follow. Everyone has a different style and likes different foods, so search for a few that you really click with and go with those for looking for recipes! ALSO- under the RECIPE tab on the top of my blog I have taken the time to list MANY (almost every!) recipe I’ve made. A lot of them are my own, with many of them sourcing out to other great GAPS-blogs. They are tested and liked! Take advantage of this—you will avoid many food blunders if you’re doing recipes that ‘work’!

 

Here are some video resources that I was planning on showing last night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epkFl5qaYEU (Video that was shown last night)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYTCids0dXE (More of Dr. Natasha- watch all her stuff- she’s great!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7_3EJihVfU (start around 2:00 minutes) (There are many segments to this woman’s presentation, great resource)

 


 


 

 

The Dreaded Words: I’m back to GAPS Intro January 27, 2013

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Uncategorized — Lauren @ 8:22 pm

 

Well after lots of thought and painstaking avoidance- I’m back to the intro phase of the GAPS diet. The intro diet slowly walks you through 6 stages of foods progressively, allowing you to proceed as your symptoms subside. You start with soup with boiled vegetables and meat only.

 

Argh.

 

It’s been 1 week, and i’m in a much better place than I was earlier in the week. My emotional status wasn’t pretty.

 

We’ve felt great eating GAPS-friendly foods. We feel full, energetic, and are genuinely enjoying what we are eating.

 

While it had pushed me A LOT, I have loved the new opportunity to learn how to cook differently, and in one sense with more creativity and improvisation.

 

Maybe I was looking for the push that this grain-free, sugar-free, completely whole-foods diet has given me.

 

BUT——I didn’t want to be pushed BACK to the introductory diet. Nope. REALLY did not.

 

There have been lots of very positive changes, but one area of my body that still has a long way to go is my gut. On a daily basis I am still battling with stomach symptoms of pain and bloating after eating. Sometimes it’s worse than others, but it’s been very hard to determine which foods are causing the problem…..so I reluctantly accepted that the best way to pinpoint things further is to go BACK to the introductory diet. On top of clarity, I’m hoping for another round of even more intense healing one can find on intro that they might not find on the full GAPS diet.

 

 

 

The gut is the seat of our immune system, as 80% of the immune system resides in the gut lining. When the gut is not working properly, the immune system isn’t either. This can be disastrous.

 

 

 

Recently on my journey to health I unfolded the reality that I have had this ‘leaky-gut’ (AKA gut dysbiosis, bacteria/yeast overgrowth- the very thing the GAPS diet addresses) for A LOT longer than I had thought. I was under the impression that while my health wasn’t stellar as a child, it didn’t turn into this leaky gut until I became a young adult and that’s why I am having all these symptoms presently. WRONG. The body develops autoimmune disorders when gut immunity has been terribly compromised……my autoimmune disorder developed when I was 5. Meaning- my gut has been compromised, unsealed and leaking toxins into my blood steam, causing an autoimmune reaction…..since I was a very young child. This was shocking to me. Not sure exactly how this happened, but a few of the contributing factors were: lots of antibiotics for reoccurring ear infections, full schedule of vaccinations, environment toxins, a very apparent sugar addiction (a symptom and cause) and the Standard American Diet (sorry mom- you were a GREAT cook, but it would still classify as SAD! Luckily you’ve got the whole-foods fever now ;o) Seasonal allergies developed as well as intermittent headaches as a child. Surprisingly, I was protected from any significant bowel problems….and SO many other things that I could have surely developed. It wasn’t until my late teens that I developed GERD (reflux) intensely, then very frequent headaches (turning into 5-6 a week), fatigue, and very very uncomfortable stomach symptoms. (Two pregnancies in that process…causing me to become more and more deficient sure didn’t help my situation).

 

 

 

Onto the big news: I have noticed a lot of symptoms changing, so has Luke (the hubby). Our acne is virtually non-existent, headaches less frequent, energy is higher than it has been in years, cravings minimal, our kids are eating EVERYTHING I make (and gaining weight—good for them there on the small end) my random infections have gone away, our immune systems seem much stronger than normal (not getting much at all, and when we have it’s been mild)……

 

 

….and the coolest thing to date is my autoimmune disease is showing signs of reversal. Yes. I am very serious. My skin disease called ‘vitiligo’, causing white pigment areas on my skin, is actually filling in…..in amounts big enough that even people outside my family can notice. This has not happened since it ‘slowed’ or ‘went into remission’ as a teenager. It has not budged since then. This is a VERY encouraging sign. Autoimmune diseases are one of the scariest diagnosis’ possible, and I am very eager to prevent my body from triggering any further autoimmune diseases…..the best way to do that is HEAL THE GUT.

 

 

Despite the setbacks I have had, and the frustration in trying to figure out this massive puzzle piece of my health….it appears that there is wonderful change happening deep within my body.

 

 

 

Luke’s breakfast today (Full GAPS): Omelet, banana-nut muffin (coconut flour), veggie/fruit juice (I could have the eggs and juice)

 

 

 

 

Tessa sitting over the heat vent while eating her smoothie :o)

 

 

 

Carrot juice I introduced. Whoa-quite exciting.

 

 

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Vaccination January 21, 2013

Filed under: Holistic Health,Vaccination — Lauren @ 3:56 pm

 

Vaccination is clearly a controversial, heated subject, especially when it concerns children. I am a firm believer that informed decisions are possible for any person deciding whether or not to vaccinate…

 

 

There are many informational websites and books that will give you a further breakdown of the scientific literature that is available on vaccination. Obviously, it’s not possible as a parent to do your own scientific studies of individual vaccines, combinations of vaccines, or vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children (although, trust me, I would LOVE to do those studies)….it’s also quite the task to read through actual scientific articles published in journals (not impossible though!)…it almost feels like you are reading another language!

 

 

 

SO as informed parents we read through explanations of those journal articles in ‘lay-mens’ terms through educated authors. This still has the potential to be very informative and very very helpful. ALWAYS examine the SOURCE of any health information you read. If it is funded by a pharmaceutical company (MUCH of vaccine literature marketed to parents is), please keep that in mind when it comes to objectivity and agenda. If it is information produced by organizations/government arms such as CDC (Center for Disease Control), AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) or ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), be mindful of what message they are very purposefully and clearly trying to convey, and information they might leave out to make that message stronger and less controversial. It’s always prudent to look at the author of what you are reading and see who they are, and what their interest in vaccine issues stems from.


 

Honestly, my favorite authors to read are mainstream medical doctors who have seen firsthand the adverse effects that can be caused by vaccines, and who then choose to personally investigate the scientific literature to see what is actually known about vaccines, apart from the vaccine dogma they were taught in med school.

 

 

Once you feel you are thoroughly educated, and have decided if, when and which vaccines you would like to choose…take certain precautions to reduce risk for adverse effects from the vaccines. I am not in any way saying, if you do these things you ELIMINATE the risk of complications….you don’t. Any medical intervention poses risks large or small, known and unknown….and vaccination is not exempt from that reality. I am just aware of some common sense, and not so known ideas, that may help prevent vaccine injuries…and I am all about preventing vaccine injuries.

 

 

 


 

 

 

  • DO NOT get ANY vaccine for your child while they are sick. PERIOD. It does not matter what the office may say.

 

 

  • DO attempt to feed a whole-foods diet free of processed foods and white sugar for your child. Preferably always, but definitely the weeks prior to scheduled vaccination.

 

 

  • DO administer the chosen vaccines apart from each other. Give as few together as possible (I’m not talking injection, i’m talking vaccine). Limit the # of ‘live’ viruses given together.

 

 

  • DO ask the nurse to pull the shot from the vials in front of you. BE SURE if they are multi-dose vials, that she SHAKES it well before pulling it up. (this disperses the preservatives throughout the vial so it doesn’t all end up in your kids body)

 

 

 

 

  • DO give your child VacciShield prior to vaccination. This combination supplement will help support and fortify your child’s immune system.

 

 

  • DO proceed very carefully if your child shows signs of a compromised immune system, chronic problems such as asthma, eczema, allergies, developmental delays or constant infections.

 

 

  • DO proceed very carefully if your child was born via C-section and not breastfed. Their beneficial gut-flora may be compromised.

 

 

  • DO NOT give your child a vaccine that they have previously reacted too. If you’ve given them together and aren’t sure which one caused the reaction, proceed very cautiously. There is a reason they reacted to it and often subsequent reactions are more severe.

 

 

  • DO report any and all reactions to VAERS– Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. (Government system to track reported vaccine injuries)

 

 

 

 

 

This is my blog, and my advice, and for some reason you wanted to read it ;o) I’m not your doctor, I’m just another informed mama who genuinely wants to encourage others to be more mindful of their decisions regarding their health! If you wonder where I come off suggesting such things, you can wonder…OR you could ask for more information on where I am coming up with these suggestions.

 

BE MINDFUL. BE INFORMED.

 

Desserts without sugar- is this an oxymoron? December 12, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition,Recipes — Lauren @ 7:23 pm

Dessert without sugar, well, refined-sugar that is.

 

I have been eating a whole foods diet for 3-4 years now and I really only dabbled in natural sweeteners…..

 

Up until the GAPS diet entered our world. I will never go back to depending on sugar as the only sweetener that ‘tastes good’.

 

Honey is a fantastic sweetener. Yes, maybe partially because our sweet ‘receptors’ have become more sensitized…but I don’t think that is the primary reason!

 

We have realized the simplicity and deliciousness that comes from using honey and fruit as a sweetener in desserts. We have also had non-GAPS friends try some of our treats and they have been pleasantly surprised. Open your mind to the thought that your ‘sweet tooth’ can be given loving attention, without the robbing, destructive effects of white sugar. There are entire books written on the very well documented effects of white sugar on the human body. It truly robs us of many nutrients, while literally giving nothing back. Sugar feeds cancer, grows yeast, rots your teeth, leads to osteoporosis and arthritis, is as addictive as drugs, causes gallstones, contributes to heart disease and adrenal fatigue, suppresses the immune system significantly, causes exhaustion and irritability…..

 

It depletes us so profoundly…it’s amazing with the amount we eat (170 pounds a year per person, Nourishing Traditions), people are still functioning somewhat ‘normally’.

 

There are certain foodies that say no sweetener is a good sweetener. I do NOT fall into that category. Honestly, I delight myself in sweet things. There are few things that are as enjoyable as a sweet treat that really hits the spot. It’s actually something I have been battling in my mind for the past several years….I just didn’t want to give up that ‘sweet taste’ in this world. The sacrifice, even for health’s sake, seemed too large a request. Whole-food sweeteners actually have something to offer your body. They should still be eaten in moderation, as they do affect your blood sugar, but they can be a healthy and enjoyable part of a whole-foods diet. I am overjoyed that my new understanding and experimenting in cooking has brought me to realize I don’t have to give up “sweetness” to be healthy!! Phew. It is SUCH a relief. That may sound silly to you, but if you like the majority of people, you love sweetness too ;o)

 


 

This is one of our new favorite desserts I just made. It is made with almond flour and sweetened with honey and chopped apples. It’s called Apple Spice Coffee-Cake. You can find it at this amazing site: Against All Grain.

 

This is just one of the MANY desserts that we have made in the past 2 months without refined sugars. And I have bookmarked dozens more (we just try not to eat too many, as the primary source of our calories on the GAPS diet (and for most people) should come from animal products and veggies).

 

For non-GAPS families, grade-B maple syrup is an especially delicious whole-food sweetener, as well as rapadura (completely unrefined cane sugar). Dates are very sweet and are complimentary to many different recipes. One of my favorite recipes using dates as the sweetener is peanut butter-coconut bars.

 

Learning to enjoy sweet things… without the guilt and harm to our bodies. Join me.

 

For the first time I…… November 17, 2012

Filed under: GAPS,Holistic Health,Nutrition — Lauren @ 8:47 pm

We’re probably around day 40 of our GAPS diet, to restore our gut and immune health and I can say it’s been truly an incredible experience so far.

Here’s a brief snapshot of some of our successes thus far:

For the first time I

    Haven’t eaten sugar-sugar (we can have fruit/honey…which is much enjoyed ;o) for one whole month!

    Didn’t get sick when the rest of the family had a mild cold ( I ALWAYS get everything my family gets, and am wiped out by it!)

    Haven’t eaten ANYTHING out, everything we eat is prepared in our humble little kitchen

    Have felt in control of what I’m eating, not compelled and helpless to eat what I know I shouldn’t eat

    Spent more money on produce than I thought possible!

    Have successfully gotten our kids to eat and like very non-kid foods! They were decent before, but nothing compares to this!)

    Have been comfortable with everything that has gone into my family’s mouth, knowing it was ALL beneficial!

These are ALL first’s for me!!!!! So thrilled at the successes we have had so far, and the rewards for our effort to get our bodies ecosystems back in balance. Luke and I feel better than we have felt in a long time. There have been many symptoms that have gotten much better and some that have completely resolved already. We have noticed a HUGE difference in what the kids will eat, and their interest in good food. This THRILLS my heart as a mama that wants to build her babies up strong and resilient.

I have made more new recipes in this last month than I have made in my whole 6 years as a married woman, cooking for her family! Most homemade meals you can adapt to make GAPS-friendly, but there are so many delicious recipes on the web for GAPS meals, snacks and desserts that I have just been out of my mind with trying to plan and make them all!! It’s just too exciting!! And the best part is, that even when serving dessert, I can feel really good about what my family eating. Why did ‘treats’ become this thing we do to reward ourselves for something, that in turn only steals our bodies of their nutrients and health. Why can’t treats be delicious and beneficial to our bodies?!

We have had so many tasty recipes so far in this experience and not too many flops surprisingly!! I want to share what our evening of nourishing our bodies looked like tonight.

Appetizer:

Broccoli Bites from Food Renegade


Dinner:

Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Italian meatballs and Sauce (my recipe, not my pics)


Dessert:

Pumpkin Cake Bars with Cinnamon Icing from Food Renegade

 

 
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