Another Step in My Healing Journey ~ Cleaning Up In & Out

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I have been learning so much in the last couple of years about my body and how things in our environment affect us. If you follow me regularly you know I have working to heal my body from various autoimmune issues. I have changed many things in my life, and have been doing a lot of cleaning up so to speak, and wanted to touch a little more than that.

I mean that in more ways than one. About a year-and-a-half ago I moved to a Paleo and Autoimmune Protocol diet/lifestyle that focuses more on healing my gut, using the foods I eat to heal me; my focus is more on simply eating a clean, real food diet and lifestyle. I have gotten rid of chemicals in our home, using all-natural and many homemade remedies instead. I love the healing power of essential oils and use those instead in many of my cleaning products and have been making many of my own beauty products. I stopped using chemical and artificial ingredient containing scent products too, putting plain wax tea light candles in Pink Himalayan Salt Lamps instead, adding herbs or essential oils to diffuse in the air. I have filled every spare space in our apartment with air cleaning houseplants, have removed my computer from my bedroom, and have made conscious efforts in other areas. I am exercising regularly, changing my nightly light exposure, getting more fresh air, and making sure I stay properly hydrated.

Adding essential oils to my pink Himalayan salt candles.

Adding essential oils to my pink Himalayan salt candles.

I still have some work to do but the digestive and skin issues I have been plagued with for most of my life are finally under control and I feel physically healthier than I ever have. The asthma that has downright dictated my life for years is almost nonexistent; I almost never need my rescue inhaler anymore, relying on a blend of essential oils instead. My house is clean but I feel good about the products I use and it’s wonderful to be able to clean my house without suffering an asthma attack. I am sleeping better. I am overall just a little happier and settled…and honestly, downright human.

There is more than just the things you can see, though. I have had a lot of emotional healing to do as well. Physical ailments can take a mental and emotional toll, wearing on you day after day. The loss of two babies left a mark on me that will never go away. And there is the thought that depression can actually be labeled as an autoimmune issue; many who suffer from autoimmune disease also deal with depression. Whether it is because of the physical imbalance already in the body or simply the physical, mental, and emotional toll it can take, they don’t know, but it has been scientifically proven the two are interconnected. Many other issues I have shared before have all compounded and added to it. The most recent I talked about in my most previous post, but stress can take one of the biggest tolls of all, regardless of its source.

So now what? My physical body is beginning to heal but there was more I needed and I knew it. What I found surprised me. Most of it shouldn’t have, but it still did. What follows is an excerpt from the spiritual journal I keep; it is separate from my regular journal and used for scriptures that speak to me, things I am praying for, and so on. I wrote this several weeks ago and it took me this long to share it. It is very personal and from my heart; something when originally written was only for me, but I felt compelled to share. That has been happening to me a lot lately, where I feel led to share something I hadn’t planned to, and I believe there is a reason and purpose behind it and there is someone out there that needs it. (Note: all scripture comes from the King James Version of the Bible and are ones that spoke to me regarding what I use these for and what I am going through.)


Looking For Answers

I have started working with things like crystals and incense in my physical and emotional healing journey and wanted to be sure I was doing it with the right mindset and here is a start of what I have come up with. I feel like this is just one of those things that the world has perverted and taken for its own. Where did these stones and crystals come from? What about the herbs, resins, and spices incense is made out of? They all come from the earth that God created.

I feel the same way about these that I do if I drink a cup of chamomile tea to help me sleep, or chew on ginger for an upset stomach, taken oregano oil over an antibiotic, or use melaleuca oil in place of my albuterol inhaler. They are tools on this amazing planet we have been given. By God. Who created us. And gave us this knowledge.

Along these thoughts I think of the scripture, James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow.”

It all started when I purchased my first Himalayan Rock Salt candle several months ago. I kept hearing about them and reading how good they were for air quality and asthma control. I now diffuse essential oils in them – another great natural tool by the way – and have also learned they help discharge negative ions and electro-magnetic frequencies in the air (I now carry a small crystal of it with my cell-phone) as well as negativity in the air.

When I started my research I decided I wanted scripture to back me up and found verse after verse after verse.

Speaking the Word calls it into action in our lives and even non-believers can attest to this – speak something (good or bad) over yourself consistently and see what happens. I have seen it in my life and believe it is true. Plus, the Bible says at the end of John 6:63, “The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.” Proverbs 8:6-11 speaks of the Word and knowledge from it. Psalm 49:3 says, “My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.”

Isaiah 59:21 says that on our lips the Word will not depart from us, and Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” These things are tools that help me do that. Here is more of what I have found, starting back with the salt crystals.

Himalayan Pink Salt

I have candles made from this in every room of our apartment but this little crystal is carried in a pouch with black tourmaline and put in my pocket or purse with my cell-phone.

I have candles made from this in every room of our apartment but this little crystal is carried in a pouch with black tourmaline and put in my pocket or purse with my cell-phone.

Purifying to the air, it dispels negativity and discharges negative ions and electro-magnetic frequencies (EMF’s).
• James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
• John 1:9 – That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
• Ezekial 37:5 – Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.”
• Job 33:4 – The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the almighty gives me life.
• Isaiah 24:15 – Therefore glorify God in the dawning light, the name of the Lord God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea.
• John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world, He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
• Mark 16:18 – …And if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.

Moonstone

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A powerful stone for women on many levels, including emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual. It also helps relieve anxiety and stress, and promotes attitude flexibility.
• Isaiah 54 – (labeled in my Bible as, A Perpetual Covenant of Peace)
“Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
“For you will expand to the right and to the left, and your descendents will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame. For you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts in His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.
“For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God.
“For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.
“With a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, or rebuke you.
“For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord who has mercy on you.
“O, you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.
“I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and your walls of precious stones. (*)
“All your children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
“In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
“Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy.
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.
(*) This passage seemed so perfect for this it almost gave me goose-bumps. I found the mention of stones and crystal in verses eleven and twelve very interesting too. Intrigued, I looked those stones up and the ruby, provides strength and nobility, helping protect its wearer from the evils in the world. It signifies love and passion while attracting good. It doesn’t say what sort of crystal per say, but clear quartz crystal is a very healing stone that amplifies other stones and also dispels negativity. Sapphires are used to shield the evils that poison the body and mind. (Source: redcjewels.com)

• Deuteronomy 7:14 – You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you.
• Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Clear Quartz Crystal

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These amplify the power of any other stone that is carried with it. It is a powerful healing stone and also great for meditation. It can also dispel negativity.
• 2 Corinthians 10:5 – Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the obedience of Christ.
• Psalm 56:3-4 – Whenever I am afraid I will trust in you. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
• 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.
• Romans 8:15 – For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by who we cry out, “Abba Father.”
• Psalm 27:1-3 – The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident.

Rose Quartz

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The most powerful love stone. It heals the heart and calms emotions.
• 1 Corinthians 13 –
(1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
(2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
(3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
(4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
(5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
(6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
(7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
(8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
(9) For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
(10) But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
(11) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
(12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
(13) And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
• Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
• Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Brown Tigers Eye

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An emotional balancer. It softens stubbornness and clears perception.
• Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
• Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
• Philippians 4:8-9 – …Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the peace of God will be with you.
• Proverbs 17:28 – Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.

Amethyst

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This beautiful violet-colored stone is one of my personal favorites and symbolizes divine love but it is also a very powerful healing stone. It is good for intuition, meditation, and is a potent sleep aid.
• Isaiah 53:5 – But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed.
• Proverbs 3:24 – When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
This is the crystal my hand goes to in my pocket the most often. It helps me when feeling anxious or overwhelmed; I simply grasp it and run my fingers over it. It works for sleep too, under your pillow.

Aquamarine

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This is my birth stone, so it was at the top of my must have list, but it is perfect for me. It is a very healing stone and gives courage during grief. It can also augment one’s personal power.
• Isaiah 57:10 – You are wearied in the length of your way; yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’ You have found the life of your hand; therefore, you were not grieved.
• 1 Peter 1:3-12 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little wile, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.
• Psalm 30:5 – For His anger is for but a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

Labradorite

I made myself a bracelet with this one.  The green is the labradorite; the other is clear quartz crystal.  I wear this almost constantly.

I made myself a bracelet with this one. The green is the labradorite; the other is clear quartz crystal. I wear this almost constantly.

Enables one to work for long periods of time without tiring or reenergizes those who have. It also helps combat jealousy, depression, and anxiety.
• John 16:33 – These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
• Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race is set before us.
• Matthew 24:13 – But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
• Song of Solomon 8:6 – Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.
• Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
• Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
• Psalm 56:8 – You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?

Lapis Lazulli

Another bracelet, also with labradorite and clear quartz, plus some other fun accents, along with a crystal for the pouch in my pocket.  I rely pretty heavily on this one, if you can’t tell.

Another bracelet, also with labradorite and clear quartz, plus some other fun accents, along with a crystal for the pouch in my pocket. I rely pretty heavily on this one, if you can’t tell.

Releases tension and anxiety. Use to enhance creative expression. Helps with vertigo and depression.
• Psalm 126:5 – Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
• Psalm 12:25 – In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comfort delights my soul.
• 1 Peter 4:11 – If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever, amen.
• Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
• Jeremiah 17:8 – For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Black Obsidian

This bracelet I bought pre-made at a local shop where I love to get my crystals.  I found out about this stone doing research for someone else – but then added it to my list!  I love the way it looks and tried to get a good picture of it in the light; at first glance it is all black but look closer and you can see shades of browns and grays.

This bracelet I bought pre-made at a local shop where I love to get my crystals. I found out about this stone doing research for someone else – but then added it to my list! I love the way it looks and tried to get a good picture of it in the light; at first glance it is all black but look closer and you can see shades of browns and grays.

The, Mirror Stone. Helps us face our deepest fears. Can help to protect against the negativity of others and has a grounding influence, helping one stay focused in the moment. It helps stimulate analytical capabilities and precision. Can help promote a forgiving attitude and release of grievances. Carries strong healing energies.
• 2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in the same image from glory to glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord.
• Job 11:15-19 – Then surely you could lift your face without spot; yes, you could be steadfast and not fear; because you would forget your misery, and remember it as waters that have passed away, and your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like morning. And you would be secure, because there is hope; yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. You would also lay down, and no one would make you afraid.
• 1 Corinthians 2:5 – That your faith should not be in the wisdom of me, but in the power of God. Spiritual wisdom.
• Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you.
• Psalm 25:18 – Look on my affliction and pain, and forgive all my sins.
• Isaiah 58:8 – Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Black Tourmaline

This is the stone I mentioned I also carry in the pouch along with my Himalayan salt crystal with my cell-phone.

This is the stone I mentioned I also carry in the pouch along with my Himalayan salt crystal with my cell-phone.

Dispels negativity. Considered one of the top protecting stones. It is also very grounding and creates a shield against harmful electromagnetic fields. It absorbs negative energy and turns it into positive energy.
• Psalm 91 – (I speak this passage over my family regularly for protection and peace over them and our home.)
(1) He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
(2) I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.
(3) Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.
(4) He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
(5) You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,
(6) Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
(7) A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
(8) Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.
(9) Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
(10) For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
(11) In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
(12) You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
(13) Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
(14) He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
(15) With long life I will satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

All of the aforementioned stones I chose for myself, based on their properties. I have read you can be drawn to a certain crystal and you should always heed that call. Twice my four-year old son has been with me and pointed out a crystal he wants. They are reasonably priced where we go, he asks so sweetly, and the attributes of each were so perfect for him, I had to say yes. Most of the scriptures are ones I already speak/pray over him. He chose:

Prehnite

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For dreaming and remembering. Promotes calm.
• Acts 2:17 – And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.
• Joshua 1:8 – This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
• Psalm 62:1 – Truly, my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.
• Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.

Pink Opal

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Symbolizes peace and tranquility, and balances emotions.
• Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.
• Proverbs 3:24 – When you lie down you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
• Psalm 131:2 – Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul…
• 2 Thessalonians 3:16 – Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord will be with you all.

My four-year old son and I were shopping recently and I was drawn to a pretty light blue stone, called Angelite. As it sounds it has to do with angels and it sounded so neat and it was so pretty, but I didn’t get any. I should have listened to that intuition because later that very day I was on Instagram and stumbled across a picture by Spiritual Junkies, a jewelry design company I love that specializes in yoga malas and spiritual jewelry, made with gemstones and crystals. The picture was of an angel statue wearing one of their malas and I just fell in love with it and decided the angels I have around the house needed one – so I got some Angelite my next time shopping and am going to make some. It’s going to be just something fun and for just because – but surely angels love jewelry!

The Spiritual Junkies photo of the angel wearing a mala.  Awesome jewelry, by the way.  Check them out at: https://www.spiritualjunkies.com.

The Spiritual Junkies photo of the angel wearing a mala. Awesome jewelry, by the way. Check them out at: https://www.spiritualjunkies.com.



Angelite

I was hoping to have my statue’s malas done by the time I was ready to post this, but until then a couple of them just hold theirs.

I was hoping to have my statue’s malas done by the time I was ready to post this, but until then a couple of them just hold theirs.

Connection to your angels. Also, allows you to resolve problems more quickly and with ease. (Sounds good to have around the house!)
• Psalm 91:11 – For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

Another note: I am a born-again Christian. Many are surprised I am looking toward elements like this, but in my opinion, it is all about perspective. Do I worship my crystals? No, I worship the One who made them. I was praying and meditating recently and thinking on all this and searching my heart when I felt God speaking to me. It’s a little hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it, but it’s nothing crazy. It’s like an impression in your heart or your spirit. And that impression simply said, “Keep the focus on Me.”

I am. And I am sleeping better than I was. I am more focused. My cycles are lining up and are easier than they have ever been. My appetite has improved. And I am slowly working through some of the other aforementioned issues. At the very top of the list? My spiritual walk is stronger and I feel closer to God and this great earth He gave us; more than I ever have.

When I finish meditating, I thank God for it, whether I have spent that time praying or not. When I smudge our house I say prayers of blessings, I pray Psalm 91, and I thank God for our home and confess it to be a place of peace, joy, etc. I stand in our garage or my husband’s office and pray blessings and safety over our vehicles and our drivers and the business. When I cleanse and charge my stones I pray these scriptures over them and pray over them, speaking whatever the Holy Spirit leads me.

It’s all about perspective and focus, and now I feel more at peace, happier, and closer to God than I have in a long, long time. If you think I am wrong, then maybe I am, but I will be held accountable for it and it is no one but God’s place to judge. I have searched my heart and the scriptures and am heading in the direction which I feel led.

Gratitude is an amazing thing. Thank our Lord for the tools He gave us and connect to this earth in any way that works for you. Then sit back and see what happens.

I leave you with this, which personifies my reason for sharing: “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 9:1)

Peace, love, and blessings to you as you endure on your own journey. Thank you for joining mine.

From my heart to yours,
Emily

My Continuing Healing Journey (Through Diet, Positivity, Love, and Prayer)

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            I have been learning so much on my real food journey and I am continuing to learn and often being surprised along the way.  I changed to a Paleo diet at the end of March, moving to a grain-free, dairy-free diet to help resolve some ongoing digestive issues and terrible eczema.  

            One of the surprises I encountered was they are not two separate health issues but their roots are the same!  If you’ve been reading my past posts you know I was diagnosed with Celiacs disease in 2008 and have been following a strict gluten-free diet ever since.  It helped but I’ve still been dealing with some issues.  I’ve still experienced a lot of fatigue, digestive discomfort (and some other unmentionable unpleasantness that goes with it), depression, teeth problems, allergies and respiratory issues, and skin problems. 

            Guess what?!  They’re all related.  I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on where I have no health insurance right now, and through that (and my son’s pediatrician AND pediatric gastro-intestinal doctor have been nice enough to give me some advice as my son has started to experience some of the same issues).  One book that has been startlingly eye-opening is The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne.  It was reading this book that made me make the decision to try a Paleo diet, though I’d actually been considering it for the better part of a year or so.

            I had no idea how complex our digestive system was and how if it goes out of wack it will start to affect all sorts of other areas of the body.  The GI specialist my son has been seeing recommended the Paleo diet for me last year, thinking grain-free might help me.  He did not recommend it for my son because of his age and he told me that where I was feeding him whole-food, unrefined whole grains that was really good for him at his young age and we’re hoping some of the digestive issues he has he will simply grow out (he has tested negative for Celiacs and parasites and we are looking into some allergy testing – they want to wait until he gets a little older as they say the results are often unclear at a younger age).  If the allergy tests later this year don’t come up with anything and he’s still having issues we may give Paleo or GAPS (another healing diet) a try for him.

            But I digress.  Sarah begins her book by explaining what led her on her own journey of health issues – many of which were very similar to my own – and she says in the first chapter, “What I discovered was that the link between food and inflammation goes far beyond food sensitivities.  I learned that some foods cause inflammation and inbalances in key hormones that regulate the immune system; that some foods irritate the lining of the gut, interfere with digestion, and deplete nutrients from the body.” 

            All of a sudden all the dots started to connect for me.  I thought I was sensitive to dairy, intolerant of gluten, and that allergies were just something I was going to have to deal with.  I’ve dealt with terrible depression on and off for many years – but I’ve also lost two children, my husband and I have had some financial difficulties, we’ve both experienced a lot of personal and professional disappointment, and even the health issues I’ve already mentioned all take their physical and emotional toll.  I take very good care of my teeth now but I didn’t used to and most, if not all, the issues I’ve mentioned can be very physically tiring.

            All these are very valid issues with legitimate explanations but they can be very closely related and I believe in my case they are.  Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disorder, as is anemia and eczema.  Side effects of these can contain everything I’ve already mentioned.  Whether it is caused by the celiacs or the celiacs is a cause of something else I decided to start healing my body and it was that that led me to start sharing my journey in the first place.

            So, what could I do about it?  I started with the basics.  I learned the enamel of my teeth is weak and it is very typical of people with autoimmune disorders (including celiacs).  I also learned that in addition to that a lot of tooth decay can be blamed to today’s processed, nutritionally lacking food (have you heard of Weston Price?  His research on the subject is fascinating) and so along with doing my best to better care for my teeth and gums it is part of my clean/whole food journey and related to my overall health. Although I don’t care much for meat I moved on from a vegetarian diet as I discovered it was not best for me, thus helping to deal with the anemia that shows up almost every blood test I have had in the last few years.  I still deal with some ongoing insomnia (that has been an issue almost as long as I can remember) but by focusing on trying to get more rest and getting more exercise it has helped with my energy levels and the depression too.  I’m also using prayer and mediation and overall simply trying to change my outlook on life; I’m limiting my contact with some overly critical and negative (and sorry, but frankly toxic) people in my life, and trying to focus on the positive in my life and everything I have to be thankful for (like the two amazing people in the picture with me – that was from our first family camping trip earlier this month).

            As far as the allergies and debilitating asthma I have been dealing with part of it started by cleaning up my physical life.  Ten years ago an allergist advised me to remove the two cats from our home.  Repeatedly.  I ignored his advice and my issues got worse and worse.  Then last year my son started to show signs of allergies and breathing problems and though it broke our hearts to do it we made the heart-wrenching decision to say goodbye to them because ultimately our health was more important.  Also we have recently moved and our prior home was surrounded by dirt and very dusty, plus there was a lot of moisture and some mold inside; all of which was badly affecting me.  After a couple of months in a cleaner atmosphere the difference is night and day and I am now using my steroid inhaler (which on its own was messing with my system) less in a week than I used to in a single DAY.

            All of this helped but there were still some issues and it takes the body time to heal, but even in just a couple of months I am seeing a difference.  The biggest struggles that made me make the diet change were the digestive issues and eczema.  I’ve been sharing more about those lately but I was spending a fortune on stuff for my skin and missing out on a lot of things because I was either sick to my stomach or in pain, or my skin looked so bad I was too self-conscious to leave the house.  It was running my life.  I was constantly miserable and unhappy.  My husband can probably tell you story after story of me losing my temper at him or our two-year old for the dumbest most inconsequential things or watching me curled up on the floor and bawling or moaning because I was in terrible pain or itching so bad I literally wanted to peel my skin off.

            That leads me to this.  A couple of pages later Sarah states that, “…diet and lifestyle are intricately intertwined with the body’s ability to heal.”  Realizing that changed my life.  I don’t claim to know it all or swear that you should do it too.  I am doing what I have learned is right for ME and I am sharing it with you only because I am learning so, SO much and simply wanted to share that.

            I went off on more a tangent than I meant to, and I suddenly realized I just shared some things I haven’t told anyone and this has been such an emotional journey (along with the physical) that I’m actually in tears right now.  It’s not easy to share.  To admit to some of the things I have done or felt and I am so thankful for the people in my life that love me unconditionally, flaws and all.  My husband has been so amazing on this journey and so encouraging and I couldn’t do it without him.  He hasn’t exactly followed me on the Paleo diet (I think it has something to do with the fact there is no such thing as a Paleo beer), but he has liked the changes so far and more often than that he picks the grain-free alternative when I give him a choice (he loves cauliflower rice or last night I had my hamburger over a salad and he refused the bread and did the same).  It’s his choice and I’m fine with that.  I just wanted to say how wonderful he has been and understanding and he has been my greatest cheerleader so far.  I am so blessed.

            This started as a completely different post.  It was supposed to be about sauerkraut!!  I just started explaining about healing the body and was going to go on to talk about fermented foods and the job they can do in healing but I’ve gone off on such a different direction than I meant to I decided to make this its own post and I’ll add the sauerkraut one next.  I hope I’m helping somebody out there.  Thank you for listening and for those of you who have been so kind and encouraging.  It is very therapeutic to share this with you, but I hope through it I can help someone else.  I struggled and struggled with a title with this one and it might sound a little hokey but it is so true.

            I know I haven’t been very good at adding blog posts lately (honestly, it’s just part of dealing with some of the aforementioned issues) and I’m trying to get more consistent with it, but if you don’t want to miss a thing please follow me elsewhere too.  I am on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/preciousbelovedblessing, you can follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/precbelovbless, pin with me on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/epselos or follow me on Instagram at http://instagram.com/preciousbelovedblessing

            Thank you again.  Every time I get discouraged and begin to wonder if anyone EVER sees any of this or cares I get a wonderful comment from one of you, spurring me on!  You’re wonderful! 

           I have so much more to share but for now I’m off to soak up some sunshine, get some exercise and spend some time with one of my favorite people.  I’m taking my little boy for a swim in the pool.

 

Have a great day,

Emily

 

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, by Sarah Ballantyne, 2014, Victory Belt Publishing, ISBN 1936608391

 

Check out some information from the Weston A. Price Foundation on dental care here: http://www.westonaprice.org/notes-from-yesteryear/