Parasites

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Having a parasite can be a scary thought, but you’re not alone; parasites are far more common than you think. It’s a myth that parasites only exist in underdeveloped countries. In fact, the majority of the patients I see in my clinic have a parasite. As you will see, parasites can causing a myriad of symptoms, only a few of which are actually digestive in nature.

What is a parasite?

A parasite is any organism that lives and feeds off of another organism. When I refer to intestinal parasites, I’m referring to tiny organisms, usually worms, that feed off of your nutrition.

Some examples of parasites include roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, hookworms, and more. Because parasites come in so many different shapes and sizes, they can cause a very wide range of problems. Some consume your food, leaving you hungry after every meal and unable to gain weight. Others feed off of your red blood cells, causing anemia. Some lay eggs that can cause itching, irritability, and even insomnia. If you have tried countless approaches to heal your gut and relieve your symptoms without any success, a parasite could be the underlying cause for many of your unexplained and unresolved symptoms.

How do you get parasites?

There are a number of ways to contract a parasite. First, parasites can enter your body through contaminated food and water. Undercooked meat is a common place for parasites to hide, as well as contaminated water from underdeveloped countries, lakes, ponds, or creeks. However, meat is the not the only culprit. Unclean or contaminated fruits and vegetables can also harbor parasites. Some parasites can even enter the body by traveling through the bottom of your foot.

Once a person is infected with a parasite, it’s very easy to pass it along. If you have a parasite and don’t wash your hands after using the restroom, you can easily pass microscopic parasite eggs onto anything you touch — the door handle, the salt shaker, your phone, or anyone you touch. It’s also very easy to contract a parasite when handling animals. Hand washing is a major opportunity to prevent parasite contamination and transmission. Traveling overseas is another way that foreign parasites can be introduced to your system. If you consumed any contaminated water during your travels, you may have acquired a parasite of some kind.

10 Signs You May Have a Parasite

  1. You have an explained constipation, diarrhea, gas, or other symptoms of IBS
  2. You traveled internationally and remember getting traveler’s diarrhea while abroad
  3. You have a history of food poisoning and your digestion has not been the same since.
  4. You have trouble falling asleep, or you wake up multiple times during the night.
  5. You get skin irritations or unexplained rashes, hives, rosacea or eczema.
  6. You grind your teeth in your sleep.
  7. You have pain or aching in your muscles or joints.
  8. You experience fatigue, exhaustion, depression, or frequent feelings of apathy.
  9. You never feel satisfied or full after your meals.
  10. You’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia.

The signs of a parasite can often appear unrelated and unexplained. As I mentioned previously, there are MANY different types of parasites that we are exposed to in our environments. I typically see parasites causing more constipation in patients than diarrhea, but some parasites are capable of changing the fluid balance in your gut and causing diarrhea. Trouble sleeping, skin irritations, mood changes, and muscle pain can all be caused by the toxins that parasites release into the bloodstream. These toxins often cause anxiety, which can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, waking up in the middle of the night or grinding your teeth in your sleep are signs that your body is experiencing anxiety while you rest. When these toxins interact with your neurotransmitters or blood cells, they can cause mood swings or skin irritation.

How to Test for Parasites

The best way to test for a parasite is to get a stool test. Most doctors will run a conventional stool test if they suspect a parasite, however these are not as accurate as the comprehensive stool tests that we use in functional medicine.

Conventional Ova and Parasite Stool Test

Conventional stool tests can identify parasites or parasite eggs in your stool, yet this test comes with many limitations. The problem with this test is that it is only conditionally successful. This test requires three separate stool samples that must be sent to the lab for a pathologist to view under a microscope. Parasites have a very unique life cycle that allows them to rotate between dormant and alive. In order to identify them in this conventional test, the stool sample must contain a live parasite, the parasite must remain alive as the sample ships to the lab, and the pathologist must be able to see the live parasite swimming across the slide. While these can certainly be useful tests for some people, they are unable to identify dormant parasites, and therefore I often see a high number of false negatives with this type of stool test.

Functional Medicine Comprehensive Stool Test

In my practice, I use a comprehensive stool test on all of my patients. The comprehensive test is much more sensitive than the conventional stool test because it uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology to amplify the DNA of the parasite if there is one. This means that the parasite can actually be dead or in its dormant phase and it will be detected on this test. Because this test utilizes PCR technology, it isn’t reliant on a pathologist seeing a live parasite swimming on the slide. I frequently diagnose parasites in my patients that were missed on conventional stool tests.

How to Treat Parasites

The comprehensive stool test is able to identify 17 different parasites, so when I know which parasite my patient has, I use prescription medications that target specific species of parasites. If, however, the parasite cannot be identified, I usually use a blend of herbs, including magnesium caprylate, berberine, and extracts from tribulus, sweet wormwood, grapefruit , barberry, bearberry, and black walnut. You can typically find an herbal combination at a compounding pharmacy or though my website. In general, these herbal formulas provide a broad spectrum of activity against the most common pathogens present in the human GI tract, while sparing the beneficial gut bacteria. Before starting an anti-parasite herbal supplement, I recommend you consult your physician and have your liver enzymes checked if you have a history of liver disease, heavy alcohol use or previous history of elevated liver enzymes.

If you think you might have a parasite, I encourage you find a functional medicine physician in your area so that they can order a comprehensive stool test for you. My motto is, It all starts in your gut and your gut is the gateway to health. A healthy gut makes a healthy person.

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11321/10-signs-you-may-have-a-parasite.html


Common Parasites

Here are the signs and symptoms of four common parasitic infections:

Trichinella: Infection with the microscopic parasite Trichinella leads to trichinellosis, also known as trichinosis. People contract the parasite by eating raw or undercooked meat from infected animals. Initial signs and symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal cramping. As the infection progresses over the course of about a week, symptoms may become more severe and include high fever, muscle pain and tenderness, swelling of the eyelids or face, weakness, headache, light sensitivity and pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Hookworm: Hookworm infects an estimated 576 to 740 million people worldwide and was once a common infection in the U.S., particularly in the southeast. Fortunately, the number of infections has dropped thanks to improved living conditions. Hookworms are a type of helminth, or parasitic worm, that you can get by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. Most people with a hookworm infection have no symptoms, but because the worm’s larvae can penetrate skin, an early sign of infection could be an itchy rash at the site of exposure. Digestive complaints may follow, with nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain that is worse after eating and increased flatulence. If infection persists, anemia and nutrient deficiencies may result.

Dientamoeba Fragilis: This parasite is one of the smaller parasites that can live in the large intestine. How it spreads is unclear, but is likely related to oral contact with infected fecal material (yet another reason to wash your hands before eating). In the acute infection, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the most common symptoms, with diarrhea being more predominant, lasting for one to two weeks. Stools tend to be greenish brown and watery or sticky. In chronic infection, abdominal pain is usually the dominant symptom, but people may also have loss of appetite, weight, nausea, vomiting, bloating or flatulence.

Pinworm: Pinworms are small, thin, white worms that most commonly infect children but are also contagious and may affect adults. The worm’s eggs may be carried to surfaces including hands, toys, bedding, clothing and toilet seats and must be ingested to cause infection. After an incubation period of at least one to two months, the main symptom is itching around the anus, which may be particularly bad at night. Disturbed sleep or abdominal pain may also result.

Natural Parasite Remedies

There are some natural remedies that may help you kick out the invaders as well. Keep reading to see if they could be right for you.

Garlic: Garlic has been shown to have antiparasitic and antihelminthic activity against a variety of different infections. In studies, garlic oil and garlic extract promoted immune defenses against parasites, and also helped to inhibit parasite function. Some experts suggest that two cloves of fresh garlic a day may help you fight off parasites, especially if you are traveling to countries where parasites are common. Anyone with a garlic allergy should not take garlic.

Wormwood tea: Studies suggest wormwood tea may also be effective against certain parasites, possibly by paralyzing or killing them. Some experts suggest that drinking wormwood tea three times a day for no more than 10 days may help with a parasitic infection. However, because wormwood is related to absinthe, make sure it is labeled “thujone-free” and be careful not to overuse it. It should also be used with caution in people with certain medical conditions. People with an allergy to wormwood, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take wormwood. Always consult your doctor before beginning use.

Black walnut: Black walnut extract may contain pigments that are toxic to parasites, and it may also soothe diarrhea and constipation. Some experts suggest that 1000 mg of black walnut extract taken three times a day with water for no longer than six weeks may help people suffering from parasites. However, those who are allergic and pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it. People with certain medical conditions, including kidney or liver disease, should use it cautiously, and long term use may be unsafe. Always talk to your doctor before beginning use of a new supplement or alternative treatment.

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Abel James : The Wild Diet

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What is The Wild Diet?

Simply, The Wild Diet suggests that we take a deep breath and start eating real food again.

We once had access to an immense variety of seasonal foods from small, local sources. Now we have access to very few varieties of very few foods from a massive industrial system often thousands of miles from where we live.

It’s important to note the few staples of the Standard American Diet – namely corn, wheat, and soy – are not produced in such massive quantities because they’re healthy. They’re produced because they make money for rich people.

Modern food manufacturers have overwhelmed grocery store shelves with foods that are nutrient poor, rotten, spoiled, dead, old, and contaminated with antibiotics, chemicals, and growth hormones.

GMO’s are creepy, artificial flavors are horrifying, and selective breeding has unleashed some freakish foodstuffs upon the general public. If selective breeding can do this to a wolf, imagine what they can do to a tomato.

Monoculture is raping the land, generating obscene wealth for a select few, and producing “foods” that make us fat and sick. We need to return to a system that works with the land, with nature, and with our own physiology and spirit.

Sure, it takes work to make (or find) fresh, wild, natural food these days. But the benefits for the health of our bodies and the land we inhabit are undeniable.

Here’s a small example of what you eat when you don’t pay attention…

  • Think you’re better off eating foods with “natural flavor”? Chew on this: secretions from the anal glands of beavers produce a bitter, smelly, orange-brown substance known as castoreum that is used extensively in vanilla and raspberry flavoring. It’s legally labeled as “natural flavoring.” – The Wild Diet
  • This is the state of affairs when you trust food manufacturers, my friends. I hope you like beaver butt.

The Wild Diet is a Paradigm for Making Healthy Decisions

The Wild Diet is not a dietary bootcamp; it is a template for making healthy eating and lifestyle decisions. But as a rule, the closer you can get to eating plants and animals that would thrive in their wild and natural habitat, the better.

Eat plants and animals that were recently alive and well. Heirloom and heritage plants and animals are in themselves healthier as a result more nutritious then their industrial counterparts. Imagine grain is expensive, hard physical work is necessary, and sweets are a treat.

And don’t be afraid to get some dirt under your fingernails. It’s good for you.

http://fatburningman.com/what-is-the-wild-diet

Activated Charcoal

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What is It, How It Works, and What It is Used For

You make activated charcoal by burning a source of carbon such as wood, debris, or better yet, coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen and activates it with gases like steam. What is produced is a highly adsorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged unwanted toxins and gas. Toxicology studies show activated charcoal to be harmless to human health.

  • General detoxification – Toxins from low quality, processed food, and environmental pollution are real problems. It is important to help your body eliminate them to promote a healthy digestive system and brain. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and more rapid aging. Regular use of activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant, often in minutes! Gut toxins quickly become brain toxins if you don’t eliminate them. Whether or not you are feeling under the weather, activated charcoal helps unwanted bacteria move through your system faster before they spread and multiply, helping you feel better faster.
  • Relieve digestive issues, gas, and bloating – After digesting foods like beans, the decomposition process from bacteria in your body creates byproducts like gas or diarrhea. Activated charcoal enters the digestive tract and counteracts this process by binding to byproducts and alleviating these digestive issues.
  • Antidote for drugs, chemicals, and poisons – Charcoal is an age-old remedy for counteracting poison in the body. If you ingest poisons such as bleach, fertilizer, or even alcohol, taking a single large dose of activated charcoal helps your body flush out the poison faster. Activated charcoal adsorbs most organic chemicals, many inorganic chemicals, drugs, pesticides, mercury, and even lead, before they harm your body. If you’re poisoned, go to the emergency room! But, there’s no reason you shouldn’t start binding a poison right away.
  • Rid bad breath, body odor, and skin ailments – Activated charcoal is often used in body detox products and skin products that help relieve insect stings, mushroom poisoning, poison ivy, cholera, bites, and inflammation. Body odor and bad breath is usually a result of toxins leaving the body, which is why taking activated charcoal greatly helps rid bad breath and body odor.
  • Anti-Aging properties – Studies show activated charcoal prevents many cellular changes associated with aging, adrenal gland, and kidney function. Famous Gerontologists discovered its powerful anti-aging properties in a study showing activated charcoal to increase the average lifespan of older test animals by approximately 34 percent. Activated charcoal slows the rate at which the brain becomes increasingly sensitive to toxins as you age, which makes for better cognitive functioning. It also builds a better defense mechanism by improving the adaptive functioning of essential organs like the liver, kidneys, and adrenals.
  • Better heart health – Activated charcoal helps lower the amount of total lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides in your blood, liver, heart, and brain. In a study where patients with high cholesterol took grams of activated charcoal, three times a day, patients showed a 25% reduction in total cholesterol and doubled their HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio Studies examining microscopic tissues show a daily dose of activated charcoal helps prevent abnormal hardening (sclerosis) in heart and coronary blood vessels.

How to Use It to Detox Your Body and Feel Noticeably Better

Because activated coconut charcoal is mainly used to remove toxins from the body, it is great to use for the following purposes:

  • Take it when you eat out at restaurants or eat low quality foods like processed junk foods
  • Take it with bad coffee – it won’t fix the problem, but it helps
  • It is particularly helpful to take when drinking alcohol
  • Take it if you suddenly feel moody or tired
  • Opening a capsule on your toothbrush does amazing things for stained teeth
  • Use during pregnancy to bind toxins
  • Helpful for jet lag

Taking activated coconut charcoal on a daily basis is a great way to help you thrive in an overly toxin-filled environment. It is best to take it between meals and a few hours after using any vitamin or mineral supplements, as it may interfere with the absorption of these into your body. Be sure to take it away from prescription, which won’t enter your body when they bind to charcoal.

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/the-strangest-way-to-detox/

Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome

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Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome

1. To re-balance gut bacteria, eliminate beans, grains, and sugars, including most fruit. Eat

primarily soups, (bone broths are ideal), fermented dairy (yogurt and kefir), free range eggs,

grass fed meats from organic grass-fed livestock and all the green vegetables you like.

2. Fermented Foods are a great way to re-populate the gut bacteria. Miso, kimchi, kombucha,

yogurt, kefir.

3. Take 1Tbsp organic raw tahini daily

4. Take 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil daily

5. Follow recipe below for real “Gell-O”. Eat several squares daily.

Real “GELL-O” Heals

Real ”Gell-O” made from protein collagen gelatin is incredibly healing to the lining of the gut. It

helps form collagen and contains the major amino acids lycine, glycine and proline shown to repair

the nervous system, the gut, hair, skin and nails. Gelatin can rehabilitate the gut by helping the body

make its own digestive enzymes—a crucial step in absorbing proteins, vitamins and minerals from

your food—and is very soothing to an agitated digestive tract.

The following recipe uses collagen protein gelatin from 100% organic, non-GMO grass fed cows.

Helps the body utilize proteins from other foods more fully

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

• One canister of Great Lakes unflavored Beef Gelatin (100% organic, non-GMO, grass-fed)

• Water

• Organic Stevia

• Herbal Tea Bags (your preference—some options are: herbal peach tea, black cherry,

tangerine, hibiscus, etc)

HOW TO MAKE GELL-O:

1) Boil 4 cups of water.

2) Add 3-4 tea bags; let tea bags steep for 4-5 minutes.

3) Take pot off burner and add one dropper full of stevia.

4) Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of gelatin (the container says 1 tbsp. per 2 cups of water)

5) Let it dissolve a little, then stir it. A frother may work well to mix it better.

TIPS AND IDEAS:

– Eat a few squares per day.

– Freeze to make Gell-O Pops

– Put Gell-O in smoothies

– Mix in Yogurts, Applesauce for kids


Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin

My bone broth didn’t gel / Saving the Fat?

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Health-Benefits-Bone-Broth-PrimallyInspired.com_1-e1385761220433

There are three, and only three, reasons why broth doesn’t gel.

BUT FIRST, SOME CLARIFICATIONS.

To make bone broth, you really only need a couple things: bones and water. Everything else is helpful (like adding something acidic to help leach the minerals out of the bones), or tasty (like adding onions and other aromatics to the concoction). But at it’s heart, bones and water are the foundation of a good broth.

There are two types of bones you can use when making homemade bone broth: jointy bonesand meaty bones. And before you say anything else, YES. Those are their scientific names!

Jointy bones are cartilage-rich bones and connective tissues that contain joints — chicken feet, wings, and necks, cow knuckles and ox tails.

Meaty bones have a bit of meat on them (like ribs) or marrow in them (like soup or marrow bones).

And finally, to get the most nutrients out of your broth, you’ll want to source good bones from healthy, pasture-raised or wild animals.

REASON 1: NOT ENOUGH JOINTY BONES IN PROPORTION TO MEATY BONES.

As a good rule of thumb, you want at least half the bones to be jointy bones, if not more. If your goal is a broth that gels, you can’t simply throw in one or two joints (or none at all). If using a whole chicken carcass, try cutting up the wings and neck and/or throwing in extra feet or necks to make sure you’ve got enough jointy bones to cause the broth to gel. (HINT: I buy extra feet and necks from my farmer for $1 per pound. They’re cheap because nobody else wants them. GO FIGURE.)

YOU NEED JOINTS. They’re full of the connective tissue that breaks down into gelatin.

REASON 2: TOO MUCH WATER IN PROPORTION TO BONES.

It’s a volume thing. You want to look into your stock pot and see it FULL of bones, barely covered by the filtered water you added. For chicken bone broth, this comes to about 3-4 pounds of bones (about 2 whole carcasses) per gallon of water. For beef bone broth, this comes to about 7 pounds of bones per gallon of water.

Don’t go stingy on the bones, not if you want that broth to gel.

REASON 3: YOU BOILED THE BONE BROTH TOO VIGOROUSLY.

What you want is a beautiful, rolling simmer that barely moves the surface of the water in the stock pot.

If it boils too forcefully, it will break down the proteins in the gelatin into their constituent amino acids. While that’s not bad, per se, it will certainly prevent your broth from gelling.

 http://www.foodrenegade.com/why-your-bone-broth-doesnt-gel/

1. Your bone broth didn’t gel because you used too much water.

This is the most common mistake of making bone broth. The ratio of bones to water is very important. Use only use enough water to completely cover the bones.

2. Your bone broth didn’t gel because you used low-quality bones. 

Conventional factory farmed animal bones don’t produce much gelatin. Use pasture raised animal bones for best results. Feet, oxtail and knuckle bones are the best for producing a gelatin rich bone broth.

3. Your bone broth didn’t gel because your stock was not cooked long enough.

It takes a long time to extract the minerals, nutrients and gelatin out of bones! Follow these cooking times:

  • Chicken and Turkey Bones: 8 to 24 hours
  • Beef, Lamb and Pork Bones: 12 to 72 hours
  • Fish Heads and Bones: 4 to 24 hours

4. Your bone broth didn’t gel because your simmering temperature was too high.

Simmering bone broth at higher heats can actually destroy the collagen and form MSG. It’s very important to turn the heat way down to the lowest possible setting when making bone broth.

5. Your bone broth didn’t gel because you didn’t use enough bones.

Try adding more bones or include bones like knuckle bones, feet, heads, and oxtails. Remember, the ratio of bones to water is very important. Only add enough water to completely cover the bones.


Save the Fat?

Should you save or toss the fat on top of the broth? Ask any of your paleo friends and they’ll probably have a strong opinion about this. Some save the fat and use it for cooking. Some throw it away citing possible toxins (if you’re making a chicken bone broth – the fat on top could be high in polyunsaturated fatty acids so you may want to toss that). Our paleolithic ancestors probably ate the fat. Really, it’s up to you.

Here’s what I do – I leave the fat on top of the broth until I’m ready to use it or ready to store it in the freezer. Then, I toss the fat. The fat is what keeps bacteria from entering the beef jello. My thought is that if it’s acting as a barrier between bacteria and broth… then I don’t want to eat it. That said, I’m not sure I won’t change my mind about this one day. It does pain me to waste what looks like delicious fat.

http://myheartbeets.com/beef-bone-broth/


http://www.eatyourbeets.com/recipes/how-to-make-your-own-healing-bone-broth/

elimination provocation diet

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Food sensitivities are shiftier and can exact an even greater toll on our health because they’re more challenging to identify, often causing the ensuing cellular inflammation to rage on for years. Many people have food sensitivities and have no idea.

Because a food sensitivity often rears its ugly head a few days after the offender is eaten, it can make it difficult to trace the irritation to a particular food. Identifying these rabble rousers can have a profound effect on your health, as silent inflammation is a major player in the onset of all degenerative diseases, according to the functional medicine community.

Symptoms of food sensitivities include, but are not limited to: fatigue, drowsiness after eating, brain fog, poor memory and concentration, agitation, mood swings, intense cravings (especially sugar, refined carbs, and starch), abdominal cramping, difficulty losing weight, depression, restlessness, irritability, headaches (including migraines), swollen and painful joints, muscle pain and stiffness, gas, bloating, flatulence, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, blurry vision, broken sleep, skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, acne), recurring sinusitis, and asthma.

Dang, right?

Here’s another kicker. Eating foods that we are sensitive to can also up the ante on autoimmunity, including autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s). Just as the body launches a seek-and-destroy mission on the thyroid in the case of Hashimoto’s, the body will also see offending or inflammatory foods as the enemy and will antagonize the whole autoimmune response, making it difficult to get a handle on Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune condition.

And…eating foods that our bodies see as “enemies” also increases our stress response, causing our adrenals to pump out even more stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). So while having a food sensitivity itself can cause people to hold on to weight or gain weight, wayward cortisol (“the belly fat hormone”) sets up camp around our midsection.

How To Snuff out the Fire

This Elimination/Provocation Diet (eliminate, then provoke the body) is very telling and can have a life-changing impact on your long-term health. It can be one of the most important things you ever do for your wellbeing and is considered “the gold standard” for identifying foods that don’t love you back. (Forget blood (ALCAT, for example) or skin testing for food sensitivities – these tests are a waste of time and money, as they’re been repeatedly proven to be inconclusive.)

Eliminate these foods 100% for three weeks:

  • eggs
  • dairy
  • gluten (including wheat, barley, and rye) *
  • soy
  • nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, and peppers, including cayenne powder)
  • corn
  • nuts
  • peanuts (which are legumes, not nuts)
  • shellfish

* If you have Hashimoto’s, gluten should be categorically, 100% avoided, always. Do not reintroduce.

After three weeks of this clean slate, reintroduce each food one at a time, eating 3-4 servings of that specific food on your reintroduction day. (Nightshades and nuts don’t need to be separated out, meaning on the day of your nightshade reintroduction, you can eat any and all nightshades and on the day of nut reintroduction, you can eat any and all nuts.)

Monitor symptoms for 2-3 days. If you have a reaction, BAM. There’s your answer. Reactions include an acute occurance of any of the symptoms listed above.

If you have a reaction, eliminate that food for approximately three more months while you continue to take a quality probiotic, glutamine, and to drink bone broth. If you think three months is a long time, ask yourself if you’re willing to live with your symptoms – and your autoimmunity. What if, after three or so months, your gut was healed (for some, it takes longer) and you could reintroduce that prior troublemaker without problems? When you think about the span of your lifetime, three months just doesn’t seem like that long, does it?

An easy way to eliminate these potentially offending foods is to use a combination of 1. Sarah Schatz’s amazing meal plans and; 2. Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultra Simple Diet. In his book by the same name, he shares a shopping list, meal plans, and recipes. These resources offer the easiest (and most enjoyable) way I know of to eat well and keep blood sugar balanced during this “diet.” (I hate that word.) This is a cleansing and detoxifying diet, and many people feel amazing – lighter and brighter, more energetic, more positive, and most people report losing a few pounds within a mere week.

Please know that elimination of foods we’re sensitive to can cause withdrawal symptoms for some people, such as fatigue, headache, or mild skin reactions. These usually subside in 2-3 days, so don’t despair. Taking a heaping teaspoon of powdered fiber (not Metamucil – something like this (or any gluten free psyllium, triphala, or acacia fiber)) in 8 oz. of water and/or taking activated charcoal capsules can alleviate symptoms quickly.

Recommendations and tips:

  • Read all food labels – the food industry can be tricky with naming ingredients.
  • Many prepared foods have hidden additives and fillers that contain wheat and egg byproducts.
  • Avoid packaged, canned, and convenience foods during this “diet.” (I hate that word.)

https://www.healthfulelements.com/blog/2012/09/foods-dont-love-you-back


Quick overview:

•    Prior to starting, take a week to journal/document all foods eaten within a day and perform for 7 consecutive days.
•    Document all physical, behavioral, and emotional concerns to determine a baseline.
•    Set a date on the calendar to start the program. (Allow for mental preparation.)
•    Plan meals in advance to ensure sticking to the program.

Action Steps:

•    Eliminate the most common foods that trigger sensitivities: gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and soy.
•    Eliminate for two to four weeks, and then reintroduce each food, one at a time, every 72-96 hours.
•    Monitor yourself closely for reactions, which can be emotional, behavioral, physical, cognitive, and social.
•    When reintroducing a food group (dairy), make sure to journal all symptoms and any changes in behavior for up to 4 days.
•    Make sure to also document the time of day and the intensity of reactions.
•    If no reactions occur upon reintroduction, still proceed with caution by rotating that food group with a frequency of every 2-3 days to avoid re-reaction.
•    After 4-6 weeks, a more regular eating schedule is usually appropriate for the previously offending food.
•    When offending foods are found upon reintroduction, remove that food group for another 2-3 months, followed by the above reintroduction plan.

Most common foods that trigger sensitivities are: gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and soy. 

Foods to avoid

•    ALL processed sugars and sweeteners.
•    Grains: Wheat, oats, rice, barley, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, etc.
•    Dairy: Milk, cream, cheese, butter, whey. Ghee is OK.
•    Eggs or foods that contain eggs (such as mayonnaise)
•    Soy: Soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, tempeh, soy protein, etc.
•    ALL processed foods
•    Canned foods

Foods to include

•    All veggies:  Asparagus, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, carrots, celery, artichokes, garlic, onions, zucchini, squash, rhubarb, cucumbers, turnips, watercress, etc. ( I realize that many of your children don’t eat any of these, so just try to incorporate as many veggies as possible.).
•    Meats: Fish, chicken, beef, lamb, organ meats, etc. Best choices are grass-fed and preferably from a local farm.
•    All fruits
•    Gluten-free grain: quinoa, tapioca, and sorghum.
•    All rice
•    Nuts and seeds
•    Coconut: Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut milk, coconut cream.
•    Olives and olive oil


The basic idea is: autoimmune disorders begin in the gut as it is from the intestines that nutrients are absorbed (or not) into the bloodstream and that foods that we are sensitive to can rupture the gut lining, so to speak, and cause other things besides nutrients to pass into the bloodstream (like undigested food, which gets attacked by your immune system which senses an invader-this is known as “leaky gut”).

Avoiding foods that may have an adverse effect on digestion, as improper digestion due to hard-to-digest foods is thought to be the cause of all autoimmune disorders.

So the deal with an elimination diet is: cut a bunch of stuff out at once, give it long enough to get out of your system; add it back in one at a time. Observe and record results. Repeat if necessary.

So I dug in, and decided it was time for a Whole30. Basically they created a 30 day Paleo reboot where you are challenged to only eat Whole foods for 30 days. You do not consume any grains on the program, which I’d already eliminated. In addition, I took their clean eating Paleo approach and cut out dairy, legumes, any added sweetener, artificial or real, and seed oils (canola, corn, etc), and alcohol. As per the Whole30, we put away the scale for 30 days. On top of that, I followed the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and cut out seeds, nuts, nightshades (tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant) eggs, and caffeine.

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sprouting seeds

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How to Soak & Sprout Nuts, Seeds, Grains, & Beans

Nuts, seeds, grains, and beans are nutritional powerhouses. However, the natural agents that protect them from early germination can wreak havoc in our digestive system. Soaking and sprouting replicates germination, which activates and multiplies nutrients (particularly Vitamins A, B, and C), neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and promotes the growth of vital digestive enzymes.

Soaking and sprouting is very easy. The method is exactly the same for nuts, seeds, grains, and beans—only the time required for full germination changes. (See the table below.)

Please note: Many “raw” nuts and seeds have been pasteurized and irradiated. Truly raw almonds and peanuts will sprout, but those that have been pasteurized and irradiated will “activate” with soaking, but will not physically “sprout.” However, soaking still removes anti-nutrients (compounds that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients), increases nutrient density, and makes the nuts more digestible.

HOW TO SOAK NUTS, SEEDS, GRAINS, AND BEANS

PLACE  in a large glass bowl or mason jar, and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for desired time.

RINSE food thoroughly and drain.

USE these activated “non sprouts” immediately to make plant-based “milks.” (Read my recent post on How to Make Plant-Based “Milks.”) You can also cook soaked and rinsed grains immediately, using them just as would un-sprouted grains in any of your favorite recipes or as a bed for vegetable dishes. Do note that most soaked grains only need a 1:1 water/broth ratio to be cooked through because they are already plumped with water.

OR

DEHYDRATE in a food dehydrator at no higher than 115º F for 12 to 24 hours, and store in sealed glass containers in the fridge. Beware: If nuts are not completely dry, they will develop mold.

HOW TO SPROUT NUTS, SEEDS, GRAINS, AND BEANS

GET a quart-sized (or larger) mason jar. Remove the solid middle insert of the lid, and cut a piece of cheesecloth or breathable mesh to fit inside.

FILL one-third of the jar with nuts, seeds, grains, or beans, and fill the rest of the jar with warm, filtered water and about ½ tsp Celtic sea salt. Screw the lid on with cheesecloth or breathable mesh screen in place.

SOAK For soaking times, see table below.

DRAIN/RINSE Remove the mesh insert of the lid, and replace with metal insert. Pour the soaking water out of the jar, fill with fresh water, replace lid, and rinse well by shaking jar. Replace the metal insert with the mesh lid again, and drain.

INVERT the jar and lay at an angle so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in the light.

REPEAT this process, rinsing every few hours, or at least twice daily.

WAIT  In 1 to 4 days, the sprouts will be ready. Sprouts vary from 1/8-inch to 2-inches long. When ready, rinse sprouts well, drain, and store in a jar (with the solid part of the lid replaced) in the fridge.

ENJOY within  2 to 3 days. Sprouts are a fabulous nutrient-rich addition to raw salads, sandwiches, and wraps, and are also tasty in smoothies, soups, and stews.

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