My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Healing Journey

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My Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Healing Journey

  • I never knew I had PTSD.
  • I never realized my Daddy’s violent outbursts were from his PTSD as a WWII hero.
  • I never realized how much PTSD had negative impacts on my health.
  • I never realized my PTSD comfort came from food.

PTSD: A mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event.

My mom was a prescription pill drug addict my entire life. She had moments of sobriety, but they were brief and often ended with large increases in her addiction. By the time I was in high school she was addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling. She also was anorexic and vomited almost everyday.

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My dad was a WWII hero who was drafted on his 18th birthday. He was shipped overseas and served in active combat during the war. Awarded a Bronze Star for his bravery he suffered from server PTSD and often yelled, screamed and got physical with my sisters and mother.

I was never hit which is another blog topic.

I do remember the one time when dad strangled my oldest sister so hard around her neck it looked like she had a string of hickeys. The vision is as clear as day. My older sister was putting something in the oven and said something to my dad, which set off him lunging & grabbing her by the neck in a fit of rage.  He was literally strangling her and had to be pried off to get him to stop. I thought my sister was going to die from strangulation by my dad.

I always felt bad for both of my parents. They were great people simply victims of their upbringing.

  • No one recognized PTSD in the healthcare world during my childhood.
  • No one knew my dad was suffering from something he could not control.
  • No one knew what is was like for my dad to watch men be killed on the daily and what fearing for your life when others are shooting at you everyday is like.

My mom became an addict at the hands of doctors. She lost both her father and a foster sister within years of each other. Both tragic endings for two people my mom loved who also had hard lives making their untimely death an even harder pill to swallow. Doctors gave my mom opiates.

Her life of addiction began at the hands of those she trusted. Her doctors.

I remember when Michael Jackson (MJ) died and they released the drugs in his system it took me right back to my childhood. I knew all those drugs. My mom loved them all. She also had doctors she could manipulate like MJ to get whatever drugs she wanted. It was a sad, horrible existence that eventually took her life at the age of 55 due to liver and pancreatic cancer.

  • I used food for comfort most of my life. 
  • Feeling terrified started when I was born and ended at the age of 50.

Recently I helped a family in need and there was a sibling late night argument that included screaming and yelling. It was before the BAM van and I was staying in their home. This triggered so many PTSD symptoms I could not believe it. Here I thought I had solved my PTSD issues along with my miracle status and yet this trigger sent me way back. It was eye opening. I immediately had to open my "Bag of Tricks" to get started using all of my wellness tools to stop PTSD from triggering a negative unhealthy chain of events.

How do you heal from PTSD? Do you heal from PTSD?

The first step is realizing you have it. I did not know until I was in my 2nd marriage. when a therapist told me. My husband suffered from bio-polar disorder and had severe paranoia. It triggered and enhanced my PTSD.  I was traumatized almost daily by his words yelling and screaming about things that were in his mind only. I could see the changes on his face long before he expressed knowing I was in trouble for something I never even did. I lived in fear and he had many guns in our home and was an expert shooter which scared me even more.

Mental illness is hard no matter what side of the equation you are on, the victim or the one suffering.

I was seeing a wonderful therapist twice weekly and learning so much when I learned about PTSD. MS was winning at every turn and I was about 50 pounds over weight at this time. I could barely move my body and my marriage was a huge challenge with not much hope insight. My husbands bipolar was becoming increasingly hard to live with and my PTSD was at an all time high.

When my therapist mentioned PTSD to me and it was a HUGE blessing.

Realizing that a life filled with trauma came with a whole host of unhealthy outcomes literally gave me a path to healing. One time when my mom was in a rehabilitation center she paid for our family to have a weekend retreat to heal. One of the doctors told me that I will know when I have healed from the trauma of my childhood when weight is no longer an issue. Even he knew I had PTSD, but never really came out and told me.

Not going to lie I was pissed at the doctor when he said this. Only because I did not understand what he was really saying.

Food is my comfort and eating is how I self soothe. Many sucked their thumb I turned to food. The idea that PTSD was a driving force in many of my choices opened up an entire healing journey for me. It not only gave me insight into my actions, but more importantly it helped me to forgive both of my parents. This happened while they were both alive for which I am most grateful.

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Most treatments today for PTSD are prescription medications. I am not anti-drug, but I have not used this route for healing. Instead I took a more holistic approach.

My TOP 5 Healing Approaches to PTSD:

1.     Therapy – I love a good therapy session. Throw narrative therapy into the mix and I am one happy camper. I believe my therapists over the last 20 years helped pave the way for healing coupled with my hard work.

2.     Community – You know me and how much community is the ground on which I stand. Being able to talk with others who had similar experiences or simply a listening ear cannot be measured in value. Priceless.   

3.     Gut Health – Healing my gut diminished my anxiety attacks almost immediately. I went from the girl who lived on Xanax to no anxiety at all.

4.     Yoga – No words to describe the healing powers of yoga. There are so many direct links to the power of yoga in my life and managing PTSD is one of them.

5.     Meditation – Free and accessible meditation is key to helping quiet the mind to help decrease stress and deliver calm.

PTSD is treatable with conscious effort and actions. I am grateful today that I recognize triggers and have tools to help me. I am sad my parents did not get the help they needed simply because they suffered in silence.

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The American Dream is a Fu*king Lie

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The American Dream is a Fu*king Lie

The American Dream as I know it is that the person with the most money & expensive possessions wins. Why else do we have 3+ car garages that are filled with stuff and our cars parked in the driveway because there is no room? In addition stores like Costco so we can have tons of everything in mass quantity. 

Once again I call bullshit on the fucking American Dream.

I lived the consumer driven American Dream. Was raised in a working class family where we had a nice life, but tons of struggles financially. My mom was an alcohol and drug addict. By the time I was 30 I had earned my 1st million dollars and at 35 was worth several million wearing 10+ carets of diamonds with a diamond studded Presidential Gold Rolex. I had live in help, my kid in the finest school in the state, only designer clothes while traveling at least monthly & only first class 4+ star hotels. Rags to riches baby and living the dream right?

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I was miserable and my body self destructing at every turn as my financial worth & possessions grew.

Once you have money and possessions the world becomes a much different place and I don't mean easier. Tons of folks simply worry about not having money and most struggle to have genuine relationships with others.

Money changes quite honestly everything and not having to worry is not one of the things.

It is funny how for me personally money changed my thinking. Made me less genuine and much more materialistic. It got to the point where our household monthly financial burn was over $25,000. If we wanted it we bought it. If we thought it we did it. Literally for most of my adult life I was living the dream.

The larger my ability to be a consumer grew the sicker my body got.

I thought achieving the American Dream would be the ticket to happiness. Instead it was the ticket to paranoia, superficial relationships and having way too much stuff. I was buried under possessions I hardly used. Shit, I had a craft room which only at Christmas time did I ever step foot in this room. Yet it was outfitted with everything you neededd to make any type of craft any day of the week and yet I used it with my daughter for the Christmas holiday only.

What the fuck.

Many American families have more cars than drivers in a household. I was one of them. We had a 4 wheel drive, sports car, family car and date night car. We were not alone in our neighborhood everyone had the same. Every house needs more cars than drivers in 2018 it seems. I see this all over America as I tour so it must be true.

What the fuck.

When I grew up we had 2 cars with 5 drivers and one was a company car that only my Daddy could drive. So literally we had one car for 4 drivers and somehow it worked just fine.

What happens with the consumer driven American Dream is that it only benefits the companies whose stuff we buy. It does nothing to help us be happy, healthy and secure and in fact it does the complete opposite.

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You see when you have tons of stuff it keeps you in the cycle of having to work hard always to pay for this stuff.

I remember when I was running big tech companies I would encourage staff to buy expensive cars with their bonus checks because I knew if they accumulated debt they would continue to work hard to pay for their expensive possessions. This was taught to me by the CEO and President of a company I worked for and encouraged by the board of directors at our yearly planning meetings. They would tell me to keep encouraging the sales staff to spend on big ticket items so they work hard to hit their bonuses each year. Bonuses they now need to live their expensive lives filled with possessions.

Not going to lie I often feel sad about this part of my life and my actions.

The real truth is that this is what America is built upon - 100% consumerism. Simply look at credit card company growth and their marketing tactics. Somehow these companies have us believing that using a credit card is the way to "free" airline tickets and we all buy into this fucking lie which is the greatest marketing scam there is. Put money on a credit card to get points for a FREE airline ticket. There is nothing FREE about these tickets and yet we ALL buy into this fucked up marketing scam saying "I got my ticket free with miles."

Once again I call bullshit.

Today I live in a van with minimal possessions at the American standard of poverty. I am also potentially the most healed from Multiple Sclerosis using ONLY diet and lifestyle in the world. I am living an American Dream. The one that no one talks about. It is actually a life dreams are made of.

A life lead by purpose, fueled by community & nourished by Mother Nature.

Today I live my life with hardly any stress. I am a minimalist who has more than enough. I see nature as a place I need to be daily. I move my body freely and without pain by offering it daily meditation, mindfulness, conscious movement and have applied the art of bio-hacking to my foods and most of my life. I serve others and have true friends all over the world. None of this involves consumer driven anything. Zero. Nada.

This was not possible when I was living a consumer possession driven life because that life keeps score. When you live a life of purpose there is no score keeping because you are driven by ideal's and not stuff.

The person with the most stuff actually does not win. Sad to be the party pooper.

Winning is living your dream and if your dream happens to net you financial freedom it is what you do with this freedom that defines you. Do you buy more shit or do you use it to drive an outcome that fuels goodness and not a 3 car garage filled with shit from Costco so you have to park in the driveway.

  • Possessions do not deliver joy.

  • Possessions do not deliver health.

  • Possessions do not deliver purpose.

  • Possessions do not deliver true friends.

  • Possessions do not deliver best life living.

For those suffering from anything, physical or mental issues please know that the consumer driven American Dream stands in the way of your healing. It does nothing to help you tap your BAM. I know because I lived it.

Defining YOU and YOUR best self does and this has nothing to do with consumerism.

I wake up with joy in my heart and excitement for every day. Do you?

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Harms Reduction for a Sugar Addiction

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Harms Reduction for a Sugar Addiction

It is so funny that I constantly have 'brick hits forehead moments' regarding my food journey. I remember after two years of eating consciously I finally thought to look at my dogs food. Took me two fucking years and the brick really hit hard on this one.

Why so long I often wonder?

Recently I had the same type of moment regarding my approach to the famous sugar addiction. As many of you know sugar is my drug of choice. It has been years since I have had refined sugar in my diet, but not natural sugar.

I am still addicted to sugar.

Each year of my healing journey I have made small strides in overcoming my addiction. From consumption to psyche I have been proud of the progress even though baby steps. Slow and steady is the constant mantra in my miracle life especially when dealing with things  I am truly addicted too.

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Both Cigarettes and Sugar have been a true harms reduction approach.

I used to eat a pound of honey a week the first year I gave up refined sugar. I had not control and did care to change it. I knew I was going through hard core withdraws and decided harms reduction was the only way I was going to quit my sugar addiction.

Honey is less harmful than refined sugar in large quantities.

Examples of common harms reduction techniques are nicotine patches and methadone. Both used to help decrease the effects of addiction offering a less harmful approach using a taper method. This approach geared toward helping both the body and mind adjust at a slower rate than the all or nothing approach.

My addiction so strong I need the taper if I want to overcome. I learned this early on in my journey and have never been ashamed of it.

Not going to lie it is still hard. It is hard being an addict of anything. Sugar truly has shown to have a strong hold on my body & mind. The cycle is vicious and each year I believe I get closer and closer to the end of this addiction and hope within the next few years to be done with it.

I have struggled from time to time with the societal norms associated with overcoming addiction. These types of thoughts produce nothing good and have also been a part of this healing journey. Whenever I find myself saying things like "Why is it taking so long?" and "You are still having way too much fruit" I check myself.

Too much fruit is progress.

The last step in my journey to quit smoking came from the help of a talented Hypnotherapist. On my birthday this year she happened to call me sharing she was staring to consider Paleo and looking for resources. Sasha also shared in her work she noticed just like cigarettes many have a sugar addiction. Believe it or not she developed a method to overcome this addictive behavior and was releasing it this year. BAM. BAM. BAM.

Thank you life for once again for always providing. I am pretty sure hypnosis will be my last step in the sugar addiction journey and for now I continue to mentally prepare myself and work toward lowing my intake with healthy, baby steps.

My Harms Reduction Sugar Addiction Timeline;

  • 2012: Stop all refined sugar replace with honey, dates, maple syrup
  • 2013: Start doing Whole 30 challenges for a total of 2 challenges completed.
  • 2014: Continue with Whole 30 challenges for a total of 5 challenges completed.
  • 2015: Focus on Ketogenic approaches and begin fasting 12 hours
  • 2016: Start doing Whole Life Challenges for 8 weeks for a total of 3 challenges. Begin juice fasts and longer fast times. Start only eating seasonal fruits.
  • 2017: Give up maple syrup and honey items except for special occasions or recipe testing. Start 3 day bone broth fasts and 16 hour daily fasting/ 3~5 days weekly. Limit banana, apple and pears.
  • 2018: Increase 18 hour fasting, add more 3 day bone broth fasts, increase berries and decrease melons, mango's and figs.
  • 2019: TBC...

This my friends are my harms reduction steps regarding sugar. I learned by year 2014 that my addiction was strong and I was unable to maintain zero sugar after challenges. Any type of sugars triggered almost bulimic tendencies. After many failed attempts at stopping long term I realized I was truly an addict and needed to start a path of harms reduction.

I will update you all on my journey toward hypnosis and in the meantime hope a harms reduction  approach might inspire your journey with food.

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Community is how we change the narrative regarding healthcare.

BAM.

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Chocolate Chip Donuts with Icing

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Chocolate Chip Donuts with Icing

I cannot take credit for this recipe although I added a few things. The recipe for donuts can be found here and it is from my good friend at Back Porch Paleo.

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I simply added sugar free dark chocolate chips to the mix by adding them to a the sandwich bag I used to squeeze the batter into the donut maker.

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The icing is melted coconut oil with 1/4 cup of the chips melted. I simply dipped the donuts into the icing and let them rest on the cookie tray. I prefer to make some with icing and without.

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Healing is Not Just For Me

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Healing is Not Just For Me

One of the things I know for certain is that we all have the right to heal our bodies. That does not mean everyone is going to heal from everything, but it does mean we all have the same options before us regarding consciousness.

Now clearly if your body is filled with a deadly invasion this is an entire new level and I have no insight. If you live with allergies, constipation, disease or any condition we each have the same choices before us.

Healing comes from consciousness.

Once I realized the role I had in sickness and health beyond going to the doctor and taking drugs I made healing available to me. I had to own me. Every thought and interaction. 100%.

The autopilot of life had to stop and once that does ownership came right along with it. I remember being in the temple at Burning Man and realizing for the very 1st time I had a role in my health beyond being a good patient.

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What a fucking concept.

Not once did anyone tell me I had a role in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) beyond preparing myself for life with a progressive often cruel disease. I was lead to believe I was now simply a victim in waiting regarding life with MS. We simply were told to hope for the best and pray.

For decades I hoped for the fucking best.

I did every damn thing the doctors told me. I spent money and traveled far to see 'the best' in everything MS and all this did was create space for MS to continue to be in control .

Everything I did was in response to MS.

Western medicine is a response only healthcare. You have a problem they will fix it and most often with drugs to simply get rid of the symptom. You have heartburn after eating pizza simply take a pill to make it go away.

Western medicine does nothing to understand the way of healthcare.

My miracle status is because I answered and continue to answer every why. Every day.

  • Healing did not happen in a finite period of time.
  • Healing did not happen because I simply changed my diet.
  • Healing did not happen because I love to work out.
  • Healing did not happen because I fell in love with me.

I know this surprises you. All of those things are the steps that lead to the miracle known as PalreoBOSS Lady.

Knowing my why is why I am in this miracle journey. Knowing MY WHY outside of societal and cultural norms lead me to the healing steps I share above.

Healing is not only for V. It is for anyone who is willing to truly wake up & know their WHY!

Western medicine does not care about the why. Instead they care about keeping the body free of symptoms using drug therapy.

I am a miracle because I know my why. Do you know your why?

BAM.

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Selling is not my style.

Building community of consciousness is.

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Disease Does Not Define You

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Disease Does Not Define You

This lesson was one of the hardest for me to learn and I actually did not even know I had to learn it. Literally for years I always referred to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as "My MS." I hear so many who still do this and it reminds me how far I have come.

Using the words 'my MS' creates a level of ownership through language that does not create the space for miracle status. In fact it does just the opposite and sets you up for failure. I know it did me and by the age of 37 I was declared legally disabled and unable to earn sustainable income.

Learning how words and thoughts defined my life with MS was a huge lesson I learned in my late 40"s and it has produced great outcomes. Thinking about language in this way created for me the first ever truly objective space for healing by removing the word "my" from MS. Finally I was able to see MS separate from myself.

When someone is talking about issues of addiction to say "I am an addict" brings with it huge societal and cultural norms that are not always easy to own. The simply phrase "I am an addict" brings all kinds of negative thoughts just by using language in this way. Now if you would please Imagine for a minute saying "I struggle with addiction" instead there are almost no negatives and it is also outside of your person.

See how the simple change of language offers less 'baggage' and now can be viewed objectively and outside of one self?

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It is not 'my MS' instead I struggle with MS. MS is one part of my person and it is not who I am. These are just a few of the lessons recognizing the role language plays have brought to my life. Literally set the beginning stages of MS no longer defining me.

For years no matter what it was some how MS took front seat to every event or occasion. When I was invited anywhere my first thought would be how is MS going to handle this. So strong were these thoughts that I failed to remember the reason there was an event. My life was MS absorbed, paranoid, fearful and getting smaller by the minute.

Being invited to a wedding, graduation or even a birthday party always came with way too many thoughts about how MS was going to handle this. So many that it often made going out and engaging in life pretty impossible. This extreme response was felt by friends and family and began to limit the number of invites we were receiving. Little by little MS was taking control of everything by defining who I was.

An invitation would start the checklist of anxiety with thoughts like:

  • Will there be stairs?
  • Do they have air conditioning?
  • How far is the bathroom from the main room?
  • Will they have a buffet or sit down meal?
  • Do I need to hold a plate?
  • Will it be outside?
  • How will I wall walk if it is outside?
  • Will they have a tent for shade?
  • Will there be chairs for me to sit or will we be standing?
  • Is parking close?
  • Is the driveway flat or slanted?

I would be so wrapped up in thinking of all the hurdles MS offered that I could not see things like:

  • I didn't get out much how grateful I was for events where I can see many at one time.
  • The reason for the gathering and/or celebration.
  • Gratitude to be included as many invitations stop coming when you live with chronic disease.
  • The joy you get from having a night with friends and family.
  • That life was meant for living and my disease was making my world a life of fear driven realities

I am not saying that ignoring things that support your well being when an invitation comes is the alternative. I am saying that disease is only one part of our life equation and for many of us it can grow to be the only a part which is never a good look.

When i had full time help my assistants mother had MS and it had her almost blind and 100% dependent and bedridden. Sitting in a wheel chair was even hard for her. She was awake and aware with trouble speaking most days.. This however did not stop her from going out to dinner with family and friends to their favorite Mexican place in Venice Beach. Quite often you could find her attending weddings and events. She even came to a fund raiser I did supporting MS.

Clearly MS was the 1st thing you knew about her simply because of how she looked & her wheelchair, but once you met her somehow MS was invisible. Her zest for life in spite of MS was contagious and did not defined her.

How is this possible?

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Stop focusing on what you can't do and always start with what you can do.

I could not be in heat or cold for many years. It would bring on crippling outcomes and for years I would worry about temperature issues. This limited my ability to say yes to invitations because I was afraid to risk it. Sadly there are ways to deal with this and somehow I could not see them.

  • I could attend events at optimal times for temperature management.
  • I could wear a cooling vest or neck wrap.
  • I could dress in a way to support my body temperature issues rather than for the occasion.
  • I could go to my car and heat up or cool down if I needed.
  • I could rest up all week for the chance to engage with community.

I know that I have control over how my body responded to MS based on my choices. These choices were not limited to how I moved, ate or slept although a huge part of the equation. Instead they where choices made in how I thought about those things and most things in my life. When all of my acts were focused on MS I stopped living and being V. Once I began focusing on loving myself and honoring a life with MS I was able to have living define who I was and not MS. BAM.

  • I don't do yoga because I have MS. I do yoga because my body loves it.
  • I don't eat healthy because I have MS. I eat healthy to fuel my body for another day.
  • I don't not hula hoop because I have MS and need cardio. I hula hoop because it is fun and helps on long drive days.

Language creates the lens.

Listen to how you speak to yourself and the steps you take to deal with chronic disease. If a step is identified because you have 'blank' begin to think about ways you can change the phrase to create a space for living.

Disease does not define you unless you chose this for yourself.

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Eli's Date Drop Cookies

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Eli's Date Drop Cookies

As many of you know while the BAM van was being built out I lived with my daughter and her boyfriend for a few months. God bless them both for this. I know how much of a sacrifice it was to have me and Gidget.

Not only that, but I learned Eli is quite the baker.

While living with them I introduced Eli to Otto's Cassava Flour  & Nutpods and the next thing I knew I was waking up to delicious cookies.

Eli made the most incredible recipe for what I consider to be a breakfast cookie and I am proud to share it with you because they are tasty beyond words. This recipe does have dairy using grass-fed butter.

When I left on tour he packed me several and I savored every bite. Officially I have the recipe and an oven in the van. I see these in my future and hope you will too!

Eli's Date Drop Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of Otto's Cassava Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground organic cloves
  • 2 sticks of grass-fed butter
  • 1.5 cups of Nutiva Coconut Sugar
  • 3 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 2 tablespoon Nutpods origianl
  • 2 cups of organic chopped dates
  • 1 cup organic chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chopped chocolate chips

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Have butter and eggs at room temperature.
  • Mix wet ingredients and fold in flour and dry ingredients one at a time. (Eli does this by hand the entire process) mixing well.
  • Add nuts, dates and chips mixing together.
  • Place about 3/4 tablespoon of batter on tray and bake for about 12 -15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

 

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Food Intolerance

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Food Intolerance

As someone who travels all over living with others sharing all I know about conscious living I have seen first hand the power of food intolerance testing to help change the narrative in many lives.

I wanted to know for myself, but was not motivated to go to a lab to have the test done.

I travel all the time and somehow this never got checked off my to-do list when I am back home visiting in Southern California. As much as I really wanted to know it never happened.

Not going to lie as I continue to bio-hack my body regarding food I have less and less real knowledge of where to go. Most of my choices have been based on science I have read and how I feel. I have been eating consciously since 2011 and bio-hacking ever since this way.

My life always has a yearly healthcare goal that involve changes regarding various areas of my wellness plan  and food is one of them. This year I decided it was time to know for sure what my body liked and struggled to like. Food Intolerance testing was going to happen.

I decided to take an at home Pinnertest.

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This test was the answer to my prayers and made the issue of finding out food intolerance a breeze. I actually did the test at 5am in the comfort of my kids home and in less than 10 days the results were sent to me in an email.

The kit includes all you need. It comes complete with the return box and postage so once you are done simply put in the mailbox and BAM results will come to you via email.

A Pinnertest involves a few simple steps, which does include a finger prick. I am not going to lie I was a little scared to do this even after self injecting for almost 2 decades with a drug for Multiple Sclerosis. Silly me because it was a joke and nothing to even get your self worked up over.

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Pinnertest supplies a lancet that looks like the cap of a pen. You wipe your finger with a swab and place the mechanism on your fingertip. Next you simply push down and BAM it is done. Apply 3 drops of blood onto a collection card they provide, seal it up and mail it away.

It is simple and takes like 5 minutes start to finish.

When the email came I was excited to see my results and grateful the labs are easy to read and understand. Zero learning curve, which is huge. Pinnertest checks 200+ foods to see for intolerance and also rates the level of intolerance. It is a laboratory blood test that measures IgG molecules that react with commonly consumed foods.

They also rate the intolerance by levels from 1-3 which I like and find helpful. I am proud to say that I had only 5 food intolerance issues. Even my naturopath said she never saw so few. This gut is healing like no bodies business is my story.

My issues were with foods I could care less about except for one of them. I am grateful the one I care about was rated the least worrisome with a number 1. For me I will take this year to figure out a plan to eliminate it from my diet.

Here are my results:

Level 3 (being highest intolerance

  1. Pineapple
  2. Anchovie
  3. Shrimp
  4. Swordfish

Level 1 (least intolerance)

  1. Pork

I always heard most with autoimmune issues should not eat pork. However I chose to ignore this with bacon being the original gateway drug to Paleo. Today it is not even bacon I care about as much as my pork sausages and pulled pork. I will pick a 6 month period to give it up and reintroduce noting any changes in my body. I can say it took me many years to bring eggs back, but I have and using Pinnertest I will continue to bio-hack my body to keep my gut healthy.

I am super proud to have Pinnertest offer my followers a $60 off code. FREE world wide shipping too! Simply type PaleoBOSSLady in at check out and SAVE.

Without question I highly recommend you and your adult family members consider learning how to ‘harmonize your diet with your immune system for wellness.’

Keep me posted!

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Expo West 2018 Hot Products Round Up

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Expo West 2018 Hot Products Round Up

I have to say having Expo. West and the time change happen in the same week almost did me in. Still recovering and hence the delay in getting this blog post done.

I spent 4 days at Expo and still did not see everything. Heck I was not even able to say hi to the vendors I already know and love let alone new companies. I am grateful to have had 2 early morning strolls that allowed me to cover a lot of ground where I caught quite a few products I am tickled pink to see.

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TOP PICKS FROM EXPO WEST 2018:

  • Zevia Tea:  My good friends at Zevia just introduced an organic ready to drink tea line. Like all Zevia products, these items are sweetened with stevia, and contain zero sugar. In addition, Zevia Organic Teas are non-carbonated, non-GMO, brewed with Fair Trade Certified Tea, and will carry the USDA Organic seal. The flavors include Black Tea, Green Tea and herbal flavors, featuring two caffeine-free options. BAM.
  • Nutiva: Boy did Nutiva blow me away with the new MCT Powder. The 1st of its kind and quite delicious if I do say so myself. I love this and Nutiva made the MCT powder with those who have a sensitive stomach in mind. Many complain about MCT liquid being a little harsh on the tummy and this powered MCT has got you covered . Nutiva has included ingredients that help to minimize stomach upset making this a huge win. Looking forward to this coming out in April 2018.
  • Siete: I literally lost my mind when I tasted the cashew tortilla wrap. OMG they are delicious. Siete  also launched a chick pea wrap, but I am on team no chick pea so I did not taste. History leads me to believe it will be delicious. Now stand up and scream 'Hell Yes" Siete also announced new chips with ranch! Drops mic and walks off stage. BAM.
  • Bubba's Fine Foods: I love a good serving size pack and even more when I get to chose if I want bourbon vanilla un-granola, Nana chips or a savory original. Single serving size packs keep me from embarrassing myself and eating an entire bag in one sitting. Thank you Bubba's for helping a girl out with your cute little bags of YUM.
  • Abeego: Beeswax wraps rule. I love these and literally almost hugged the woman who is the CEO of this company. What a great way to say bye bye to plastic wrap and foils. These wraps are washable and last. They come in many different sizes. Side note: For vegans this will not work.
  • Further Food: Daily Turmeric Tonic is a must have for everyone. I added turmeric to my life a few years ago and in the last year have increased how much I consume 2 capsules daily and notice a great difference in inflammation. Further Foods Turmeric Tonic is tasty and a great way to say hello turmeric and feel special doing it. Trust me.
  • NutRaw: Pistachio milk for the win. I was giddy when I tasted this line and this company is all about anything pistachio. I could see this in my refrigerator on a monthly rotation. I love all the nut milk choices don't you? Not going to lie I really liked pistachio milk a lot.
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If I had to pick my favorite product for 2018 it would be the beeswax wraps from Abeego. Not to discount the foods I mentioned because all of them are delicious game changers. The wraps are a narrative changer in the space many of us still hold many toxic habits. Wraps, foils and plastic containers are filled with all kind of toxic stuff and this not only creates the space for a conversation to happen it also offers a wonderful solution.

I am grateful for shows like Expo West for many reasons. Everyone under one roof makes life easy and I get to see people I love in one event.

I look forward to trying these products and seeing if they make it to my regular rotation. Let me know if you get your hands on any of them and what you think. Wishing luck to all the companies who showed and hope Expo West exceeded your expectations.

Not subscribed to this award winning blog? Shame on you. LOL.

Would love to have you join the tribe.

Crushing life one post at a time.

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Review of Green Enough

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Review of Green Enough

The book Green Enough is a book filled with tips, tricks and insights into how to detox your home from top to bottom. Written by Leah Segedie this book offers a lens for the entire family to learn how to live consciously.

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I first was introduced to Leah's work about 3 years ago when I attended ShiftCon. Shiftcon is an eco-blogger event founded by Leah. Shiftcon is also the most supportive environment I ever participated in with my peers. From the moment you enter ShiftCon and at event you are supported, educated and respected for your contributions.

I was excited to read this book knowing Leah personally and how much she has opened my lens. I thought I was conscious and as I turned page after page I realized just how much I still need to learn. Love being a student! In addition not a handful of pages into the book when the 'f' bomb was dropped. I nearly jumped for joy. seeing this. I love someone who keeps it real. I fired a literary agent and co-writer for a book I want to write because they told me no one will respect me if I use curse words. They told me it tarnishes all the words on the page. How wrong they are because after reading Green Enough I confirmed once again the use of 'swear' words merely serve to get our attention and exclamation to our words. .

I love how Leah breaks things down in each chapter focusing on a different area of your home and lifestyle choices.

So many of us get caught up in the auto pilot of life and forget to really make sure we are awake and aware of what we are eating, and putting in our homes. Environmental toxins are everywhere and Leah helps to cut the barrier to entry so we can really understand just where toxins may be leaking and steps we can take. I love how the book puts things in categories for so many of our favorite things letting you know what are the worst, medium and best choices we can make. Immediately I felt empowered with my knowledge.

From room to room and in every important aspect of your life Leah inspires the reader to begin to question the status quo in an easy to read and powerful book.

The book includes recipes, how to clean your home 'green', DIY household product idea's and even goes so far as to call out companies not walking the walk. I love Green Enough for its straight forward approach to life and the drops of wisdom on day to day living mixed with approachable science.

I think Green Enough is a must have for every home and everyone. Brava Leah. You have done it again with excellent content. BAM.

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The Road to Minimalism

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The Road to Minimalism

By society standards I am a minimalist with less than 100 possessions to my name. This process took years to achieve and I believe is one of the most powerful tools in my ‘Bag of Tricks.’  Funny thing is that as with everything in my healing journey this is opposite from where I was when I was at my sickest.

I believed for most of my life that the person with the most possessions wins. Isn’t that the American dream?

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You can’t have your eyes open for one second without a consumer driven message appearing. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, but especially in America we are always being encouraged to spend, spend, spend.

I bought into all of it.

It was only 15 years ago I was the girl with the gold & diamond Rolex, 3 carets in each ear, tennis bracelet and only couture. Had several homes, cars and even a 40 foot RV that was the envy of many. I was also sick and my life was driven by fear and money.

Today I have little to nothing and I am homeless (who is days away from living in a converted van). To most I am the American dream gone wrong.

My lens sees this life as someone who took 54+ years to wake up and define his or her version of a best life. Prior to getting conscious I lived a life based on societal and cultural norms with little thought to consciousness.

For more insight into how amazing these norms can be and how they truly deeply played a role in my life. Take a minute to check out a video I did about the roll cultural plays in our subconscious life. Enjoy friends:

Minimalism is more than limiting how many possessions you have. It really places a value on this life that I did not have before. I was the Target consumer who believed clothing and many household items were seasonal and new was the mantra for each year. No value was placed on anything beyond instant gratification. I thought nothing of a new season meaning a new wardrobe and household 'freshen; complete with new bedding, bath and kitchen items.

This was my life and all of my neighbors. Each season had a decor and holidays added a whole new level. Are you kidding me I had the best in the business custom make all of my bows and wreaths I so bought into it. Hook, line and sinker. Just typing this it sounds insane and yet it was my life and I worked hard to make this happen.

The truth is the more I had the less I was able to freely move my body, live pain free and have healthy relationships. Today with so much less (a hair away from poverty by American standards) I have no pain, move my body freely and toxic people have left the building.

Minimalism helps you to really have a clear understanding of what you need to live your life to the fullest. It spills over outside of possessions by the nature of the thinking regarding minimalism. If you are only equipping your life with what you need than relationships will enter into the picture at some point. I appreciated this aspect of minimalism because it allowed me to clear my ‘house’ from top to bottom.

Top 5 Steps to Becoming a Fashion Minimalist:

  1. If you have no worn it in 6 months donate or sell it. This does not include seasonal items like winter coats, gloves etc.
  2. If is does not fit you it has got to go.
  3. If it is in need of repair it has to go or get fixed.
  4. When you buy a new item and old one gets donated. Example: A new pair of shoes means an old pair gets donated kind of thinking.
  5. Have a wardrobe that is mix and match like you do for 5 year old kids.

They say that life happens outside of your comfort zone. No matter where you are mentally with your relationship to possessions this process will find you feeling like you are in uncharted territory. Hang on and enjoy the ride. I promise it will deliver surprises to your life you never considered.

As someone who most would define living the rags to riches to rags story I can tell you with certainty that my life today is the most joyful and rich I have had to date. It is purpose driven and no longer consumer driven.

Who the fuck knew this would be the answer???

It is completely the opposite message society shoves down our throats daily and yet somehow living almost entirely outside of all societal norms: I get to be potentially the most healed with Multiple Sclerosis in the world. Not only that, but I do it using ONLY diet and lifestyle. No docs. No meds.

Really in all of this I finally get to be V and that my friends fucking rules. I found V becoming a minimalist and I am pretty sure you would find YOU.

Not subscribed to this award winning, high class blog? Shame on you. LOL

Make today you join the tribe of folks who are the greatest tribe EVER.

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Cinnamon Breakfast Bars

There are few times in life you meet people and you know from the moment of introduction you know they are 'good people.' A few years ago I was at a party thrown by the founder of Tin Star Foods and I met Sadie & John the founders of Otto's Cassava Flour and knew from the word go they were 'good people' as my grandmother would say.

Hearing the company was named after their son Otto confirmed my gut feeling.

I have decided to give up nuts for 90 days at some point in 2018. I have terrible allergies that we cannot seem to get under control. Allergies are an autoimmune issue and I am committed to changing the severity of my allergies. I am allergic to mold and many nuts are prone to mold. So nuts gone for 90 days will happen. Until this becomes reality I will be working hard to find replacement foods that support me mentally and physically during the transition.

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As luck would have it cassava flour is not only gluten and grain free it is nut free. BAM.

I have been working on the menu list for the tours cooking classes and knew I needed menu idea's that were nut free. Grateful Otto's Naturals Cassava Flour makes it easy. I have been busy in the kitchen these last few weeks and decided to try a cinnamon breakfast bar recipe using Otto's.

Luckily I am living with a friend who was more than happy to be my taste tester and we could not decide on one recipe so I will share two versions: a paleo and primal.

The difference in the two versions involves using grass-fed butter or Ghee.

Believe it or not the texture and taste is quite different. Me and my friend Clair agreed that both were worthy of sharing. You will have to be the judge as to which you like better.  Enjoy and report back.

Thank you Sadie, John and Otto for making my healing transition delicious and easy using your Cassava Flour. I am pleased to say that Otto's has joined the tour as a sponsor and is helping support the community I serve. BAM.

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This recipe was adapted from Back Porch Paleo's Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

CINNAMON BREAKFAST BARS

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Combine flour, salt, baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  • Add 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, ghee or butter, egg and date paste in a bowl using a mixer blend well until creamy. Next add coconut milk mixing well. Note mixture will be thick.
  • Grease a square 8 inch pan and place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until done.
  • Once out of the oven mix the remaining coconut sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and sprinkle on warm bars. These bars are delicious hot or room temperature. The texture changes based on temperature and both are BAM.

 

 

 

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The Art of Making Love

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The Art of Making Love

It is so funny I spent my entire adult life wanting to be a good lover to find out I have been and just didn't know it.

In case any of you missed this I am a person who has always worked out. Since the early days of "Jane Fonda" I have loved to get my sweat on. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) also required daily movement if I want to move my body.

A typical 'self love' session lasts anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 depending on what my body is telling me married to what I may be asking of me that day. These loving sessions usually include yoga, stretching, meditation, dancing, hula hooping and ball rolling. In some form or another most will be included  somewhere in my day.

Another thing you may have missed about me is that I am voluntarily homeless. To date and for almost 2 years I have lived with friends or strangers almost full time. Although this will change once the BAM van is done for now it has me couch-surfing full time which means many witness my self love sessions on the daily.

One universal truth holds true when others see watch me day after day host my self love sessions and that is their comment about the vocal part of my workout. Everyone says it sounds like I am making love. To which I respond, "I am...to my body."

Little did I know until this kept happening that I truly was making love to myself.  Not only was I doing it, but that I was damn good at it. The art of making love I have on lock.

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How do I know I am good at the art of making love?

All of the millions I spent on western medicine bullshit were directly connected in a large part to physical therapy. The good news is that I paid attention and learned the many tools that live in my "Bag of Tricks" and keep me a walking miracle.

The art of making love for me is so perfected this gal has zero out of pocket health care costs associated with movement. No PT, yoga classes or massages. This is how I know I am damn good at the art of making love. One time not that long ago and for decades this stuff cost me $730/weekly. Today I spend zero because my love making sessions are so on point it is an art.

In addition to what I do on my own there are tools I use that support the art of making love:

  1. The MS Gym (on Facebook): This is s private page and not limited to MS only although it is the focus. Trevor & Misty Wicken are the founders and all I can say is the work happening in this room contains one of the most important steps in tapping your BAM and that is moving and getting to know your body.
  2. RAD Rollers: Are a system of tools to help you to perform the healing modality of self myo-fascial release. The fascia are connected throughout our body and often get stuck to the bone. By using the tools RAD Rollers offers one can work the fascia themselves to move better in their body. This work is essential to use my hands and feet on a daily basis. In addition my neck , jaw and head are greatly supported too.
  3. Yamuna Foot Wakers: I have had this lover in my "Bag of Tricks" the longest. These little prickly 1/2 balls are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to needing acupuncture married to reflexology. I do a sequence on the wakers over about 4 minutes using my feet. This time offers a healing power that has been essential to my best life for almost 15 years.
  4. Knot Out: All sizes of these are in my "Bag of Tricks." I start big and work down rolling my feet and nothing has ever hurt so good. Loving my feet a huge part of my ability to use my body. It is amazing how connected your feet are to so much.
  5. Yoga Tune Up - Alpha Ball: I have all the different balls from this company, but find myself using the Alpha Ball the most. This is my IT band destroyer. I suffer from strong IT band pain on the daily and rolling on this ball is how I kick it to the curb. I have had the same ball for over 5 years so it is also longer lasting than other YTU balls which average about 6 months.
  6. Affirmat: I have had my share of yoga mats and need to be honest this mat helps my practice. Having wonderful affirmations on my mat when I am getting in and out of poses is my jaunt. I love it and have been a fan for 5+ years. You can even custom design your own. I love my Affirmat.
  7. Hula Hoop: My friend Crazy Amy gave me my hoop. I can tell you it is a portable weighted hoop made to fit my height. It is best to take a class to find out what hoop size works best, but don't be discouraged everyone can hoop. Size matters here! I consider this a great aerobic work out and fun.
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The real 'Art of Making Love' is a solo affair and a true union.

I lived for 49+ years not connected to my body behind it being a vessel. Today my body is my hero honored daily loving it for all it affords me with my diet and lifestyle choices.

This is the "Art of Making Love:" loving yourself with intention, adoration and respect.

Are you making love daily? If not 2018 is your year to perfect 'The Art of Making Love."

Not subscribed? Today is a great day to join the tribe & subscribe.

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The Missing Piece to Healing is Not Food

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The Missing Piece to Healing is Not Food

  • Special Edition Blog Post!

  • Featuring V Capaldi and Trevor Wicken of The MS Gym!

Now once again please don't freak out by the title simply because my brand is named PaleoBOSS. Hear me out. As one of the most healed with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), former board member of the Delaware National MS Society and someone who tours the USA living with others I would think my insights are valuable. 

Food was my last piece to the miracle life puzzle. It is 100% important,but not the most important.

So often I meet people and they are trying so hard to use food to change their life outcome and are seriously struggling and big time. When I 1st started touring I was shocked at how many people were failing at trying to heal. Until I realized most were just starting and doing so with food. 

I personally disagree with this as the 1st step and know why most if not all seem to feel they are failing.

I spent hours working on figuring the why and as usual my reference is my own personal experience leading me to realize the order to a miracle life starts with moving your body, loving yourself followed by consciousness regarding diet & lifestyle. 

There was a common thread in all of this and after a year of living with others I noticed this pattern. Most are coming to a holistic healing lifestyle by way of food and it stops there. I personally don't think that is the right approach and it certainly was not mine.

I also don't believe food should be the 1st step. I believe it is the last step and not because it was my path. 

I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who are able to stick to a food as medicine lifestyle. Most seem like the stereotypical New Year's resolution and launch with great momentum then die off. Time and time again I see this as a common thread.

Believe it or not I have the answer to this problem and I know it is the golden ticket like Willy Wonka. 

When Movement and getting your mind right are the start of your journey into miracle status you not only start a conscious relationship with yourself it has shown to motivate you to make other healthy lifestyle choices. Getting to know your body through movement is key and will be a huge part of your road to BAM.

Thoughts from Trevor of The MS Gym-

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Moving your body does 3 things: 

#1 Exercise releases “feel good” chemicals called endorphins. 
These hormones work to inhibit the pain receptors in your joints, muscles, and brain. Endorphins also act as natural anti-depressants and anti-anxiety chemicals to bring your body back to a state of calm and composure to ward off things like panic attacks, depression, and dementia. 

Daily exercise like dancing, dynamic stretching, yoga, balance training, core strengthening, full body resistance exercises, and sustained / interval based exercise has also been proven to:

- Boost self-esteem
- Improve sleep
- Increase memory
- Allow you to focus better
- Clear brain fog

Moving = Happiness

#2 Exercise improves Your Over All Health & Physiologic Function of your body:
Exercise not only helps your body counteract your stress and fatigue but also helps you manage and reduce the intensity of your MS symptoms. When your body functions better, it can find a balanced state of functioning quicker and maintain that balanced state better. 

This is super helpful for MSers since your body is constantly riding the MS roller coaster and having to re-adjust on the fly as your symptoms can change week to week or even day to day. Exercises teaches your brain to find alternative pathways around your damaged MS nervous system and improve your strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. As these physiologic components improve, your body gets stronger which trains it to fight off MS better. 


With this, Exercise also has these added health benefits: 
- It strengthens your heart
- It increases energy
- It lowers blood pressure
- It improves muscle tone
- It strengthens and builds bones
- It helps to reduce body fat
- It makes you look and feel fit and healthy

Movement Is Medicine. Take your daily dose!

#3 Exercise flushes out toxins and brings in oxygen and nutrients
As you exercise your heart rate, respiration, and blood flow increase. When this happens, it signals your blood vessels to dilate and allow more blood to flow in and out of your tissues, more oxygen to get into your lungs and bloodstream, and more toxins to be filtered out of your body. 

This means that your cells are absorbing more nutrition to feed your muscles and nerves, delivering more oxygen to your cells which decreases fatigue, and flushing out bad chemicals and waste out of your body that cloud your thoughts, stiffen your muscles, slow down your nerves, and destroy your body. 

Movement is one of (if not THE) MAJOR driving force behind all physiologic function in your body. If you move you live. If you don’t you die. Period.  

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Thanks Trevor for these words of BAM regarding movement!

Once you are loving the movement portion on the road to a miracle life you often start feeling better about yourself which creates the space for a kinder & gentler you to emerge. This often brings a loving lens which allows the conscious awareness self love work to easily be brought into the journey. It is in this space you bring about a lens that will support a healthy food journey. A road that exists without deprivation, fear, anger and a fight it out of mentality. 

i say it often and I mean it with 100% certainty that I am not mad I have MS. In fact the things I love about myself are a direct result of living with MS. This my friends is how we heal. Food seals the deal after you got steps 1 & 2 down.

Not subscribed to this award winning blog yet? Today is a great day and a perfect way to end the year.

Join PaleoBOSS Lady and friends as we raise the roof on life tapping our BAM.

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Failure to Launch

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Failure to Launch

Touring is a life changing experience and I am learning every day. Being invited to share others lives is a great gift and I am humbled daily that this is my life.

I am also no longer surprised at how much we live in a world that includes what I call, 'Failure to Launch.'

The work I do deals mostly with individuals/families in need who are dealing with a physical or psychological issue. Most of what we do based on psychology and the idea of a Failure to Launch' seems to happen often in many households.

When you are dealing with any area in life that requires help from another we begin to set the ground for a failure to launch. Last time I checked we all come up against this because truly living does not happen without a little help from our friends. A 'Failure to Launch' seems to be something we all face and work to overcome at least once in our lifetime. For me it has happened more frequently.

When your need for help is almost daily a 'Failure to Launch' really becomes an issue.

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Seldom does a daily need have to become a life script yet many have trouble stopping this from happening. More often than not actions viewed as helping can have the opposite outcome serving to be enabling and condoning of someones situation.

With anxiety and autoimmune disease being huge problems in American I often see families dealing with these issues on the daily. Building a padded house and lifestyle is not the answer. Supporting a sustainable lifestyle is and changing the household narrative to support the needs of others is most important here.

Helping in excess can cripple the ability to overcome any life adversity. When illness comes into play we all want to help. However help has to be as conscious as the work needed to grow. When we continue to keep doing everything beyond a triage situation we hurt rather than help. Don't discount the role an autopilot life plays in a 'Failure to Launch' specifically when the role of parent/child comes into play.

 

Here are a few words of advice:

  • To the person or family dealing with anxiety and depression of a loved one be sure to engage then daily and encourage their life. Don't walk on egg crates and stop challenging their life choices. Be present with them everyday.
  • To the family whose dealing with a disease that makes a loved ones mobility a challenge remember this does not mean they are unable. It means new ways of moving and working have to be constructed to support the challenges. Doing is not helping.
  • To the person dealing with a physical or mental issue stop abusing the generosity of others. Do whatever you can for yourself always and no matter what. How long it takes is not an issue. The freedom to care for yourself is your greatest gift. Do not freely give it away and take care of whatever you can for you.
  • To the family surrounded by changes due to any illness remember we all have the right to live our best life and define how this looks. Judgement and lack of support stand have no place here. Different or conscious does not mean difficult. Supporting our life choices is a huge healing modality.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but these are patterns I can personally relate too as I have lived times that included the 'Failure to Launch' life.

By understanding the fine line between helping and harming a failure to launch can be avoided.

Being conscious about life is not always easy so be prepared to have to take a stand and be brutally honest with yourself and others especially when you are in need. Many times we realize in this journey that cultural and societal norms play a huge role and often dictate actions that set the stage for a 'Failure to Launch.' Needing help and giving to another are actions that should be clearly defined with goals so that the stage is not set to fail either party. Simply helping or being helped are not enough. Goals, activities and measurements for success need to be clearly defined at all times so helping does not become hurting.

I still cannot believe this blog won 'Best Of' from Paleo Magazine for health and wellness!

My heart is humbled and my spirit overjoyed.

I would not be mad at all if you wanted to share this with your family and friends.

BAM.

 

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The Caretakers Curse

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The Caretakers Curse

I often say the two hardest and thankless jobs many of us experience are begin step parents and care takers. They both offer no play book and are most often two critical roles to families.

Care taking comes in many forms and for me personally it came in the form of helping my father after he had several strokes which left him unable to care for himself and live alone. I moved my Dad to an assisted living facility in the state I was living and for 6 years saw him almost every other day assuming management of his day to day needs.

This was one of the hardest jobs of my life to date becoming my parents parent. A role no one ever imagines happening until it does.

  • Most care takers love deeply those they are caring for.
  • Most care takers have no advanced warning of their job.
  • Most care takers make huge life sacrifices in their own lives when taking care of another.
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I remember after my Dad had passed and been gone for several weeks and my family was heading to a Sunday afternoon movie when I announced I better call my Dad after the movie because he is probably worried about me and where I have been. My family looked at me with concern reminding me that he had passed weeks ago.

I literally was almost shocked for a second that I did not even remember. All I could think of is all I needed to do for him. I was overwhelmed at that moment how much the stress of care taking had played in my life.

It literally took me 6 full years to heal from my role as a caretaker. I was forced due to my fathers death, but many of us are lucky enough to have this role change due to healing.

When healing happens many caretakers struggle to heal.

It is actually exactly the opposite reality of what you would think would happen. Of course every caretaker wants their loved one to heal. However when it happens they often experience emotions that they never saw coming. This happens on both sides of the equation and often is the hardest part of healing.

Imagine finally healing and yet your caretaker holding you back from living your life.

Truth be told this happens all too often and is another form of a Cultural Collision which I shared in my TEDx talk. The collision happens when the caretaker identifies so strongly with their role and the sickness that defined this outcome they can no longer see the individual for who they are. They only see what brought about the care taking role.

I remember when I started healing from the effects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on my body and suddenly did not have at least 9 hours weekly of appointments with my healthcare team. I did not know what to do with myself. For almost 3 decades this was my life and all of a sudden my body no longer needed all of these appointments as my miracle status grew. In addition I realized my social life was somehow tied to my healthcare team too.

It sounds ridiculous, but when I started to heal from MS I lost my identity. I didn't know who I was anymore.

I had grown to identify with my disease and all that it took from my life to live with MS. The same held true for my relationship with my role as my Dad's caretaker. Once he was gone I was still holding on to the role of care taking and somehow forgot my role as his daughter.

This dilemma is one that many who are chronically ill and heal face and it is one of the hardest outcomes of healing. Believe it or not both the caretaker and the healed struggle with letting go. The only difference is when I caretaker does not let the person who heals go back to identifying outside of their illness it creates an almost abusive outcome.

When you are living a caretakers role it is all consuming and often takes everything you have mentally and physically. Little to no down time happens and life becomes all about the sick. Even when healing happens it often comes about slowly with subtle victories until one day BAM a new day appears with hope realized.

I remember the morning I woke up and asked myself if I thought I could live independently for the 1st time. I was healing from the debilitating symptoms from MS and still had a long way to go, but thought I was close enough to be able to care for myself. At my PT appointment that day I asked my PT what she thought.

I remember her initial response was less than favorable. She paused and suddenly began to rattle off all the things I would struggle with doing like cleaning, laundry, lifting, shopping and the list went on. It felt like a knife in my heart. She ignored all the progress I had made and simply focused on what I could not do.

At this time I realized that if I wanted to move and live alone I was going to have to decide and do this on my own 100%. Those who took care of me only saw me as someone with MS and not me as the person I was outside of MS.

The caretakers role removed my person from the equation and this was a huge shock to me and a difficult lesson to learn. No matter what I knew I had to overcome it and begin to live my life.

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So how do you transition from being a caretaker to being free from this role? The truth is the same steps one takes to heal are what the caretaker needs to do.

  • Start loving yourself by giving yourself time to do things that bring YOU joy.
  • Start reminding yourself of your dreams and life goals.
  • Start to begin to transition and have alone time that is not defined as a break from care taking, but a beginning to freedom from this role.
  • Start to believe that hope realized is happening and it is a good thing.
  • Start to take credit for this amazing outcome that created a dream come true.
  • Start to believe in yourself and your loved one.
  • Start to fake it until you make it.

Sadly no one seems to give credit to the role of the caretaker. Most often others cannot see past the healed to those who contributed to this outcome making this job often feel thankless. When this aspect of healing becomes a weight I recommend spending time with a therapist to help you begin to put this into a prospective that does not diminish your role and helps to re-establish your worth outside of care taking.

For those who have healed and struggle growing with your caretaker I ask you to be strong, be bold and be grateful when expressing your desire to move past your sickness and to begin living. These actions are not only necessary for you, but they are critical to the caretakers road to healing as well. Set them free leading by example and making them proud.

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Why Loving Yourself Matters Most

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Why Loving Yourself Matters Most

I need to share that self love is the core of my life outcome. I also have to share most of us do not have a high level of self love in our 'Bag of Tricks." Just yesterday I was talking to someone who stated they absolutely loved themselves, but did not like the way they looked. I was like then you don't love yourself.

Self love is both an inside & outside job.

You gotta love the person you are completely. You cannot say you have a high degree of self love when you look in the mirror without loving what you see. Sorry to be the messenger, but I speak only the truth.

Self love involves owning who you are no matter where life takes you.

I knew for years I was an overachiever who set goals and knocked them out of the part. I was always a great student, involved in the community, had lots of friends and lived a very busy successful life.

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I also hated what I saw in the mirror and never trusted my body due to having Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since 1986.

This type of thinking only stood to prevent me from even beginning to kick MS to the curb. Which is a powerful as living a fear driven life. Literally for decades I lived in fear and was a person that did not love my whole person. I only liked parts of me.

I believed that if I achieved financial and professional success that would bring me to love myself. Consumer driven ideals where my diving force in thinking this was the way to love myself because every one would see what i have accomplished. A simple concept like the person with the most toys in the sandbox wins was the metaphor driving my thoughts. The truth is when I had no debt, homes bought for cash and millions in the bank I was the sickest.

I literally was living the American dream and my body was failing at every turn.

At this time in my life I believed financial success and the lens of others defined my person. This coupled with hating MS and believing I could fight it out of my body were the catalyst in the acceleration of the disease to the most progressive form. I literally had self loathing thoughts that were so strong coupled with actions that MS simple took over and was winning at every turn.

Once I achieved financial success, professional recognition, and became certified as a yoga instructor I thought my life would change the path of MS. Instead it was when MS took control of my every move and wiped out my bank account.

This clearly was a brick hit forehead moment and forced me to realize my thinking, actions and relationship with MS was wrong and destroying my chance at living my best life.

The 1st step for me was to begin the outline a road map to BAM. I needed to start a path towards self love that allowed me to realize my thoughts are what controls my outcome followed by conscious action. There are a few critical pieces to establishing a self love journey that I believe matter when trying to live a life dreams are made of.

Here are my TOP 5:

  1. Know you too are worthy.
  2. Open your eyes to cultural and societal norms
  3. Define your person based on acceptance and appreciation.
  4. Add silence to your life.
  5. Find community to support your path.

Slow, steady, sustainable steps are the magic path to any life long change in action or thinking. It took a long time for me to understand I was worthy of good health. Somehow I found myself defined by MS and therefore never felt worthy and simply thought I was on borrowed time with a functioning body.

There is no race to the finish.

There is a race to beginning this process knowing that all roads to a miracle life begin and end in self love & that this is what is needed to set the stage to tapping your BAM.

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Fasting as a Spiritual Journey

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Fasting as a Spiritual Journey

I have been fasting now for almost 2 years and learning a lot along the way.

For many of us fasting is done to loose weight, detox your body and/or to decrease inflammation. For me it is done to slow my role and give me and my body a break.

I first began fasting for 12 hours a day happening mainly overnight meaning if my last meal is at 7pm I don't eat again until at least 7am or later. This grew to include two days weekly increasing times to 16 hours and my body showed remarkable changes for me personally.

When I started fasting I could barely drive longer than 30 miles in a day and today I can drive 400+ miles in a day. This is the only major eating related change I have made so I believe this to be the reason for the healing.

Next up I grew to do 1 day juice fast and found this to be an outcome of mental work than hunger. I was not hungry at all, but was concerned with not having food for 24 hours and what that would be like. So I took a meditative approach to fasting and maintain it to this day.

When I fast I see it as an opportunity to increase the self love and to honor myself in a fashion that is very spiritual.

Recently I completed my first ever 72 hour bone broth fast. This included huge doses of water and bone broth with ghee throughout the day. I find this to be one of the most spiritual journeys I have had in a long time. 

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Fasting a spiritual journey?

For me I never do anything without much thought and preparation. My MS body hates change and rapid change at that. The slower I move the better it responds. My fasting life represents this path as I have been working on this as a healthcare tool going on year 2 and continue. Each step along the way including huge doses of spiritual focus rather than food focus. Fasting to me is simply not focused on food. Rather it is an opportunity to up my spiritual game.

  • When I fast I hibernate.
  • When I fast I create a scared space.
  • When I fast I meditate at least 4 hours a day.
  • When I fast I do not watch TV or read.
  • When I fast I have focused loving kindness moments of body awareness.
  • When I fast I affirm with my body my desire for healing and supporting my body the best I can.
  • When I fast I get tons of sleep and afternoon naps.
  • When I fast essential oils play a key role.

I believe that fasting is a time to slow my role and allow my body a chance to not have to work. It is most importantly time for me to slow it all down and stop doing and thinking. I find fasting to be a spiritual journey 100% and focus on creating the space to just be.

Slowing down my body works best in harmony with slowing down my mind. 

I see so many people fasting and going to the gym, work and maintaining normal day to day activities. I prescribe to a different mantra and believe that fasting is a spiritual journey allowing us to create the space to simply be. To me this is where the true healing comes in.

For many of us this journey can happen just as easily with a 12 hour fast as in a 72 hour fast. I live a spiritual life and know that when my mind is at rest my body heals best. Without the two miracles do not happen.

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I highly recommend thinking of fasting as a spiritual journey and less a no food journey. Fasting is a time to stop the body and mind from working so damn hard.

My healthcare goal for 2018 is to progress to water fasting for 72 hours. However before this I will do at least 2 more bone broth fasts. Slow and steady has always won the race for me resulting in my miracle status. I believe my body heals quicker with slow progression than trying to be an over night sensation and going from eating to fasting with water for 72 hours. However we each have our own journey and I am sharing mine.

I did not become a walking miracle overnight. I took slow, steady, sustainable steps to be the inspiration behind the award winning brand PaleoBOSS Lady. I would personally recommend if you are considering fasting you have an honest conversation with yourself so that you don't see it as not having food for x number of hours and rather it be a spiritual journey that is creating the space for miracles to happen.

Nothing would be more disappointing than to have a fast be a mental game of hardship not having food. The best way I have learned to avoid this outcome is to work up to a full fast with a progression like I shared and to see this as a spiritual journey and not a journey without food.

I recommend you consider adding fasting to your "Bag of Tricks" and let me know how it goes. I believe in you.

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BAM.

 

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Stop Helping Others First

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Stop Helping Others First

I am not kidding.

Do you know how many people help others without owning their own shit?

I know I was one of them.

In addition to being an enabling parent who was more than willing to drive to school 5 times in one day when my daughter forgot something I was involved in everything from the MS Society, local community organizations, volunteering at school, fund raising for 1/2 dozen charities a year & all of this with a body that was increasingly struggling with the devastation known as Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Of course when MS progressed to disability I had the perfect excuse why I found it hard to take the best care of myself. Clearly I was busy.

Healing to the level of miracle status involves helping yourself 1st and foremost. It is only after we care for our own needs that we can truly help others and this my friends was the hardest lesson for me to learn.

I think my therapist of many years told me each weekly visit to realize if there was a book that listed the amount of time someone should spend helping others I would have exceeded the average limit so that I can take a break to focus on myself. My response was bullshit and I could not have been more wrong.

When I moved to California I decided to resign from all volunteer stuff and any optional commitments. Already disabled and my health failing quickly I was beyond desperate and almost way late to the party. As luck would have it once I took time for me the miracle known as PaleoBOSS Lady started to happen. Little by little I was able to create the space for my healing & help myself.

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Finally I owned my life 100% by committing to helping myself & miracles began to happen.

It is amazing how once you start to live in harmony with your body, mind and spirit how illness both mental and physical start to appear differently almost on a daily basis. For the 1st time I started to feel like I had a role and was not simply a victim in waiting. MS had always felt like it was the BOSS & once I moved to CA to begin my healing journey for the 1st time I felt like I was becoming the BOSS of me.

By the time I was blessed to find the work of Dr. Terry Wahls where I quickly became the BOSS of my life & my body.

My health was in such poor shape I cut myself off from the outside world and began to hibernate desperate to find answers. I was waking up regarding life & how I lived it to the point of realizing my life was toxic in its current form and I needed to make major changes. Even with the commitment to work on myself only I still needed to wake up and own my life. Stopping being of service to the community was not enough. I had to own the life of V in order to heal.

Once I was able to own my shit I was able to begin the process of being the miracle known as PaleoBOSS Lady.

In order to help others we must offer our personal best. Without bringing your "A" game you are simply sacrificing your best life in order to please another which although this my seem admirable it is not a good look. Not at all. All to often I see people who are sick and suffering forgoing their own needs to help others. This is diversion from owning your life no matter how you slice and dice it. All of mankind would be better served if each of us were healthy, happy and awake. The autopilot of life sets us up for sickness, disappointment and not the best quality of life.

Now don't get it twisted I am not talking about roles that happen outside the home only. As I mentioned my enabling behavior as a parent offered the perfect excuse as to why I had no time to heal. How we live in our own family also comes into play when we are striving to live our best life. No parent should ever put the needs of their children first although we are taught this.

Remember you put your mask on first in the event of a plane emergency. This holds true with our needs beyond the plane.

So how do you begin to make this change? Slow, steady, sustainable steps wins always. Find ways you can begin to remove yourself from anything that takes your eye off the self love ball to begin owning your role in sickness and health. Just as we have a hand in our wellness we have the same hand in our sickness.

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Stopping the autopilot of life & giving 100% to our life purpose creates the space for the magic of healing to happen. As long as we give without having our house in order we never truly can tap our BAM.

Trust me I know because I live my BAM every day as a walking miracle who got here by owning my life. I believe in you to do the same.

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Eating Consciously Triggers 2 Eating Disorders

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Eating Consciously Triggers 2 Eating Disorders

As many of you know I have been eating consciously for over 6 years & experienced life changing results that set the stage for the miracle known as PaleoBOSS Lady. My food healing journey began with gluten & the changes my body felt with removing gluten from my diet were astounding. Restless leg almost immediately left my body which is an MS (Multiple Sclerosis) symptom that is often quite troubling.

This initial result of saying bye bye to gluten let me know that food was my missing piece and I needed to keep looking at food to biohack my health. Within a year of giving up gluten I started a Paleo lifestyle followed by The Wahls Protocol which is where I have remained and to this day I am a proud & faithful Wahls Warrior.

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Sadly eating consciously triggered 2 different eating disorders in my life.

Many who eat whole foods develop an eating disorder called Orthorexia which is when the restrictions of eating healthy become excessive regarding "clean" eating. Often this restrictive behavior flows into to other areas of your life limiting the ability to live your life.

I do not believe I had or have Orthorexia, but I do believe I have had bouts of Anorexia and Bulimia.

About a year after becoming a Wahls Warrior I decided to follow the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP Protocol) to see if I had any food triggers especially regarding night shades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potato) & eggs. A trip to Italy where I got very sick eating a tomato, pepper & eggplant based meal prompted me to feel I needed to see what foods did not work for me in my healing journey.

AIP focuses on eating foods that heal your gut. After 90 days I begin a slow reintroduction which is the recommended path to see what foods may be a trigger for my body.

Because I am a dark chocolate lover extraordinaire I chose chocolate for my reintroduction & it did not go well. I was devastated & symptoms of MS started to return. This result made me pause, but I still keep going and in another couple days I reintroduced eggs with another poor result.

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Now I am 2 for 2 with negative outcomes & I begin to get concerned.

During this time my only resource or support system was Dr. Google. I was completely alone in the journey outside of a few bloggers offering online information. I personally do not know a single person using food as medicine & my doctors had already thought my approach to healing was bogus. Dr. Wahls had no book yet and Mark's Daily Apple was my most significant resource which is not AIP focused, but proved to be a lifeline regardless so many times during this period of my life.

Without conscious effort the negative results of the reintroduction translated into an almost anorexic behavior for me.

Suddenly food became an enemy & I was afraid to eat because I did not want any MS symptoms to return. The sad truth is I began losing so much weight & the compliments started pouring in which did not help my healing journey. It almost reinforced my anorexic behavior which was easy to hide because most stopped listening to me using food as medicine. At this time these types of healing protocols were new and somewhat ground breaking translating into most thinking it was 'hippie' bullshit.

I am not going to lie the positive reinforcement by way of comments about how great I looked losing so much weight continued to fuel my anorexic behavior.

Eating foods again became hard not only because of fear of an MS flair, but also because I loved all the attention around 'how great I looked.' Luckily for me I was deep into my conscious life journey & I woke up. It was a true brick hit forehead moment when I began realizing that my mitochondria needed food to continue to kick MS to the curb & eating was essential. I also reminded myself that I was not interested in being on the cover of Vogue & that I was trying to heal myself & regain some quality of life.

My current state of using food as medicine involves killing my sugar demons. Gave up refined sugar years ago yet I still struggle with anything that has a natural sweetener especially honey & maple syrup. In the last 2 years I have noticed a bulimic style behavior eating 'healthy' desserts with reckless abandonment

I literally can eat an entire pie, cake or box of Paleo style treats without any sense of self control & in one sitting.

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My 2017 healthcare goal has been to kick this type of habit to the curb as I have every conscious eating change. For some reason this demon has been the hardest of my life to date finding myself dealing with daily struggles that shock & scare me. I lack self control in a way I have never experienced. In May with the help of community I worked hard on a road map with tools, a good plan and course of action to overcome this addiction using tried and true steps that have served me when I quit smoking, gluten, dairy and processed foods and still the struggle is real.

I began looking at my conscious eating journey since the beginning and trying to see what I may be missing that I forgot or simply for insight into what has brought me to this place.

When I first started this path I was 100% alone not knowing anyone using food as medicine. There were little to no companies or food products that you were able to buy at a grocery store beyond ingredients to make all of your meal. There were no cakes, cookies, tarts, pizza, puddings, ice creams etc that were called Paleo. In fact, few and far between even recipes for making this desserts where hard to come by with bloggers just started to pop up. 

I have come to understand in this year of focused effort that my addiction is not to the ingredients it is to the food category.

I was under the assumption that eating ingredients that are Paleo or Wahls compliant was a good look & okay. I was dead wrong. In fact it simply is a gateway drug to get back into old unconscious eating habits or in my case creating new ones.

Once I have one compliant cookie I cannot stop until the box is gone.

Literally this is the path I have been on and of course I don't discount the power of addiction to substances, but this for me is coupled with a HUGE psychological addiction to my favorite comfort foods of days gone by.

I thought I needed to take honey & maple syrup out of my diet for life, but the reality is the types of foods that have these ingredients added are what I need to give up.

America is a consumer driven country and the conscious living movement is one of the fasted growing retail sectors in shelf space and new companies in a long time. Almost every month there is a new brand of some favorite processed food that is now available in a Paleo version. Companies know this is a fast growing market and are jumping on the gravy train yet this is merely recreating different forms of "processed type foods" using acceptable ingredients.

All of this truly serves to continue the bad habits we are trying to break regardless of the ingredients.

Now I am taking it back to my conscious living roots which did not include desserts of cake, cookies, ice cream and all the new products that mimic the things that simply are not Paleo or conscious no matter what we tell ourselves.

No doubt I got this finally. I am pretty confident the final quarter of 2017 will finish with me reaching my goal. Wish me luck.

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