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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Garbage In, Garbage Out: The Nitty Gritty on Environmental Toxins

Garbage in, garbage out: the nitty gritty on environmental toxins

Hey y'all! Have you noticed how many people are getting sick these days? My best friend's mother has colon cancer. A friend of a friend's son has brain cancer. My uncle died recently from diabetes complications, two friends and a relative have diabetes.

I have at least seven friends with fibromyalgia. I have muscular dystrophy. Every day it seems like there is someone else to put on the prayers and positive intentions list. Why?

Honestly, I think it's a combination of our culture and environment. Our bodies were just not designed to handle all the environmental toxins and stress we have introduced since the 1960's. We are poisoning ourselves inside and out.

Environmental toxins in our homes

Think of household environmental toxins alone. There are:
  • Unfiltered showers and baths, through which we absorb fluoride and chlorine via our skin
  • Bath soaps, hand soaps, and body wash, by which we lather in toxic chemicals, petrochemicals (mineral oil), and the fat of roadkill (tallow)
  • Body lotions, which contains propylene glycol, the same chemical as antifreeze
  • Toothpaste, which adds more fluoride to our bodies via the inside skin of our mouths if not by swallowing it (note to my readers: the idea that Hitler used fluoride in the water to pacify Jews in concentration camps is just an urban myth or Internet meme- I do fact checking as a part of my job and strive to always deliver the truth to you... the Soviets did not do it, either)
  • Aspartame in diet sodas, sugar-free foods, and children's vitamins (also a controversial chemical- The FDA states that the safety of aspartame is "clear cut," and scientific research abounds which confirm the FDA's stand. Over 100 regulatory agencies have deemed aspartame as safe for consumption, yet there are still concerns over safe levels for children)
  • Aluminum, found in deodorants, cooking utensils, and beverage cans, has been positively linked to Alzheimer's disease.
  • Pesticides and fertilizer for our yards and non-organic food, such as Roundup
  • Roundup Ready corn, soy, and other GMOs in our food
  • Preservatives and nitrates in foods, with strong links to cancer
  • Automobile exhaust and other forms of air pollution
  • Prescription drugs, both consumed and found in city drinking water
  • Antibiotics, growth hormones, and permeate in commercial milk

How to detox from environmental toxins in our homes

image courtesy of Mountain Rose
  • Switch to Dr. Bronner's soap or Mountain Rose herbs bath and body products for bathing and handwashing (see sidebar ad)
  • Switch to something like Miracle II products for dishwashing and laundry
  • Dry clothes in the sun as often as possible and eliminate dryer sheets
  • Switch to cleaning with simple vinegar and baking soda
  • Switch to an all organic, high raw diet- either vegan or Paleo
  • Take cold water fish oil for the omega-3 essential fatty acids and Vitamin D
  • Do a thorough colon cleanse (part 1) (part 2)
  • Add superfoods
  • Switch to either reverse osmosis or distilled water, and drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day
  • Switch from body lotions to coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and/or wheat germ oil (check out Mountain Rose Herbs on the side bar... I get my coconut oil from Tropical Traditions)
  • Switch from perfumes to essential oils (Mountain Rose Herbs has some gorgeous ones)
  • Exercise or play in the sun if possible every day
  • Get off addicting substances like alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and sugar
image courtesy of Mountain Rose

Do you know of other household environmental toxins and natural alternatives to them? Please like and comment below!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just Say No to Effexor Anti-Anxiety Medication

Just say no to Effexor anti-anxiety medication

       Just one woman's experience withdrawing from Effexor

Hey y'all,

It's time to start getting real. I want to start telling you little parts of my story, so we can connect on a deeper level. I want you to understand why I started becoming interested in natural healing as opposed to allopathic medicine.

It may have started with my experience with Effexor. Back in April 1989, I had a miscarriage. It was my fourth baby, a baby I really wanted and had prayed for. I lost the baby at seven weeks gestation, about two weeks after I had found out I was pregnant.

I was so happy to learn that I was going to have another little one, and was already in love with it. I never knew if my baby was a boy or a girl. That has always bothered me, even to this writing.

That miscarriage changed my life forever. I didn't understand why I didn't get to keep that baby. My baby.

I lost the baby the day before Easter. My parents were visiting for the holiday. I had been spotting and cramping a little bit the day before, but with company coming along with a huge Christian holiday my other three children were really looking forward to, I ignored how I felt and kept working.

I lost the baby during the night in my bathroom, cramping, hemorrhaging, crying, and nearly losing my life. I stayed in the bathroom all night, not wanting to wake anyone up. In the morning, I told my husband and parents. I felt like I had failed as a woman and a mother. I thought somehow I had killed my baby.

My Daddy was my baby's pall bearer. The local garbage truck was the hearse. My baby was laid to rest in a Louisiana landfill. We planted a young sapling in the back yard as a memorial.

I called my OB/GYN with the news. She chewed me out for not coming in as soon as I started experiencing symptoms. I should have called an ambulance. I could have died last night. Stupid woman. Come in for a D & C to make sure we got it all.

Got it all?

Unfortunately, words were said by others to suggest I hadn't taken care of myself, and I did kill my baby. I had been varnishing a coffee table with toxic chemicals the week before. Maybe that killed the baby. Maybe I hadn't been eating right or getting enough sleep and that killed the baby.

Whatever it was, it was my fault that my baby was dead.

I went into a deep, dark depression. I was grieving the loss of my baby, but I noticed that some women were able to jump right back and have another baby within a few months. I couldn't do it. I felt like my flesh had been torn out of my womb.

I wanted to die myself. I absolutely felt like I was a complete failure and did not deserve to live any more.

I finally told my doctor, who immediately put me on Effexor.

It took three weeks for the medicine to kick in. I hated being on it. I hated the fact that my kids said I was happier now. I hated the fact that I needed a pill to be happy. I wanted to be happy by myself.

Even though I was "happier," it wasn't true happiness. It was medicated happiness. It was a lie. I wanted to deal with my problems on my own, and live a life free from drugs. I decided to get off the Effexor without telling anyone, and face life like a grown up.

I was on Effexor for a total of six months. I had no idea that there would be withdrawal symptoms. I had no idea that the way I felt after I quit taking Effexor were withdrawal symptoms. I just figured that the Effexor had been masking these symptoms, and that this was the true state of my health.

WebMD lists the following as possible withdrawal effects of Effexor:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Electrical zaps in the brain
  • Muscle twitching
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Crying for no reason
People weaning off Effexor say they feel like they are dying. I wanted to die, and the only thing keeping me going was the fact that I wanted my children to have a good mother. I even thought about killing myself so my husband could find a better mother than me. But my children wanted me.

I did get off Effexor by myself in order to save face. It was hard.

It took me a whole year before I was willing to consider having another baby. Losing my baby showed me the preciousness of human life. I went on to have my other four children. If I hadn't had that miscarriage, I never would have had seven children.

There are very safe alternatives to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications such as Effexor. 

Magnesium is one of them. You can pour 1-2 cups of Epsom salt in your bath water every night and allow the magnesium to soak in through your skin. You can stir in a pinch of Epsom salt into your drinking water. It works as a mild laxative and helps keep your calcium to magnesium ratio balanced.

I may write a blog post about how wonderful and essential magnesium is in the future.

Please feel free to leave your comments below. I love hearing from you.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Awesome News for Raw Foodies and Lovers of Things Natural

One of many rainforest waterfalls in Costa Rica- image by Costa Tica Trees

Hey y'all!

I'm going to break from my normal boring but factual and informative natural health articles to tell you a story I think you're going to love.

Remember how I told you that Finca de Vida, or Farm of Life, down in Costa Rica showed up on my radar a few months ago?

If you don't remember that story, here it is:

Finca de Vida: Raw Food Healing Retreat

Two friends of mine are down there at Farm of Life right now, finishing up a 30 day raw food detox. I am so extremely happy to report that one of  those friends got, to put in his exact words, "healthy as hell" during the raw food healing retreat!

I may even ask him to write a guest blog post for y'all. Natural healing is the bomb!