Yesterday, while at work in the pharmacy, we got official word of a voluntary recall on several brands of valsartan containing medications. A voluntary recall means that the drug company requests that products be pulled from the pharmacy shelves, and selling of that product cease immediately until new product is issued. It does not extend to the consumer level. You can read more about the recall itself here.
Recalls like this happen every so often in pharmacy, and are not usually call for alarm unless it happens to be one that extends to the customer level (not the case this time). That said, media caught wind of it and began reporting on the recall, causing fear and worry amongst customers who are on this particular blood pressure medication. I began and ended my pharmacy day yesterday fielding these many calls from customers who were fearful of continuing their medication even one more day, now that this information was known.
Once you know something, you can’t un-know it.
The cause of the recall? It became known that one of the ingredients used in this particular medication is a ‘probable’ cancer causing agent. (Ironically, one of the people I spoke to was a smoker. SMH!) Now, before you start calling your pharmacy wondering what you are supposed to do if you are on valsartan, let’s take a look at the facts:
Visit the American Cancer Society website, you’ll see a list of these ‘probable (and known) cancer causing agents’ that people unwittingly use and allow into their lives.
Once you know something, you can’t un-know it.
I would advise stopping reading now if you want to remain blissfully unaware, because I’m about to give you the lowdown on just a few items on the FDA/EPA list.
Seriously. Stop now.
Here are just a few offenders from the long list:
Giving you examples of known and probable carcinogens could easily consume my day, because this list just goes on and on and on.…… and ultimately I will bore you to tears (or wake you up to what you likely have in your home).
I’m hoping by now you see my frustration in yesterday’s moment of media hyped hysteria over the valsartan recall. Of course it should have been recalled, but friends…… we have much larger fish to fry if we are going to worry about this.
I would venture to guess that each person I spoke to about the recall yesterday has more than 100+ known carcinogenic products in their home and garage that they willingly (but perhaps unwittingly) choose to expose themselves to on a daily basis.
If you didn’t listen to me, and read this post to completion, you’ve got some decisions to make. What you can’t choose tho, is to now ‘un-know what you now know‘. Knowing gives you personal responsibility for the skin in the game (your own) and begs the next question….. what are you going to do about it?
Reality is this: It’s not possible to avoid every carcinogenic or body damaging product out there, but there IS so much we CAN do to avoid the majority of them within our own home. There are also many ways to encourage detoxification of the body cheaply, effectively, and holistically.
If this post has you thinking that maybe it is time to wake up and clean up, I’d encourage you to start small in big ways. Get the ‘standard’ household cleaners out of your home…. one by one. When you run out of a product, don’t buy that junk again. Consider switching to Thieves Cleaner (a completely healthy way to clean).
Get the candles and formaldehyde laced air fresheners out of your home, and replace them with healthy diffusers. I promise…. you’ll sleep better, be happier, have fewer headaches, and….. if you diffuse the right oils, you’ll even boost your immune system and provide positive emotional support. This trumps possible and probable carcinogenic loaded products any day. Science backs this ya’ll….. as a pharmacist, I wouldn’t be here if it didn’t.
The cosmetic industry is rife with concerning chemicals. Use up what you have, but as you get close to needing more, consider ‘clean’ skin care and makeup. Yes, it does exist. I’d love to send you a few samples of whatever you’d like to see or try that is not only beautiful, but also loaded with health promoting ingredients. Ever heard of Savvy Minerals? If not, you are missing out.
This is one of the (many) things I love about Young Living. They stand in the gap for us where other companies do not. Scouring labels for toxins was time consuming and the print is small and fine (purposefully I think). I know I am taken care of safely with whatever I purchase for my family and our farm, and that we are taking personal responsibility for us….. because clearly, the governmental entities, are not doing enough of it.
If you’d like to learn more about living a more carcinogenic free life, please feel free to private message me.
I am not perfect in my walk, but I’ve done it now for much of my adult life and would be happy to walk with you as you begin your journey. It’s never too late to start.
Hugs and love ~ Liz
(You can reach me privately thru this link)
Have you ever felt like you were at a crossroads in your life? I’m not talking about a midlife crisis, but rather something bigger and more profound.
About 3 years ago, we took a pretty long road trip to pick up a bull in a remote (VERY REMOTE) area in West Texas. I mean…… drive to the very edge of civilization and then head 3 hours further…..the kind of remote that requires a physical map instead of cell phone/ GPS service. Without a map or good navigational tools, you’re sunk kind of remote. As you might guess, we confidently drove down the road….. in the wrong direction because we thought we knew where we were going. It cost us about 3 extra hours that day. We were reminded the value of an old school map and a dose of intuition!
This kind of parallels the last 15+ years of my life. I have been a pharmacist since 1991. I graduated, and like most health professionals…. upon graduation…… was pretty sure I had a really good grasp of the profession. I’m not saying I was God’s gift to pharmacy (hardly!), but I certainly thought I knew enough to make a difference in people’s lives. I toodled along in pharmacy doing the absolute best job I could do (because that’s my nature….. never tackle anything halfway).
When I was in my 30’s I thought we were living the dream. Charlie and I both had good jobs, had bought our farm, and had begun building our home (by hand, ourselves…. because that’s how we do things…. with all our heart and soul). We worked super hard…. 40-60 hrs a week at our respective jobs and then swung hammers and wielded paint brushes on nights and weekends for about 3 years before completing our home. It was somewhere during that time that I broke my wrist, was subsequently diagnosed with osteopenia , and both Charlie and I were diagnosed with high cholesterol. In hindsight, that broken wrist was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I won’t go into great detail (you can read more about that journey here and the second half here), but it was a big fat hairy road sign to stop and assess what I thought I knew.
That broken wrist reopened a different avenue of education for me…. only this time, it was not subsidized by the pharmaceutical industry and there was some skin in the game…. my own. When you are a pharmacist, you’re in the business of knowing side effects of meds. The good news is…. you know the potential side effects. The bad news is…. you know the potential side effects. I wasn’t willing to go down that road given the med options they were dangling in front of me. My gut said no way, and once my research started it changed my life forever. It all began with raw milk. From there, my research extended into finding access to truly healthy and healing foods. Each time I thought I knew enough, I found that more pieces to health puzzles were MIA…. not just my puzzle, but everyone else’s too.
About the same time, I went to work at a pharmacy that specialized in rare diseases, oncology, auto-immune disorders, and infertility (which frequently has an auto-immune component). Sadly, this pharmacy represented the outcome of people living in toxin filled environments. Silly me. I still thought I was helping people. I guess I was. Kindness matters, especially when you are dealing with life altering body dysfunctions….. but kindness and pharmaceuticals don’t dissolve the problems these patients face every day.
Another personal puzzle piece fell into place after I was diagnosed with something called interstitial cystitis and discovered (after 9 years of no REM sleep and frequent trips to the bathroom), that it could be managed well with a fresh and healthy, but limited, diet. Expensive medication and daily catheterization are the common treatments. Ummm, no thank you. I would later learn that IC is part of the autoimmune disorder family. Not surprisingly, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the USA are card carrying autoimmune disorder patients. I had been given my card.
Eight years ago, my dad was diagnosed with dementia. It made no sense to me and we had no family history of dementia. I backtracked the onset to a statin drug (commonly prescribed for high cholesterol). In the finest of the fine print of this class of drugs you will find information alluding to possible memory loss with these drugs. Dig deeply and you’ll find it. I thank God for leading me to raw milk to lower my cholesterol instead of that which stole my dad’s memory. I don’t blame the pharmaceutical industry for burying the whole ‘memory loss’ side effect in the fine print. I mean, would you want to take a drug that could potentially rob you of your memory as a side effect? Ummmm, no thank you.
By now, I’ve truly begun second guessing pharmaceuticals. I began educating myself on everything I could get my hands on that gave honest and documented proof that maybe what I knew wasn’t EVERYTHING…… that perhaps there were some gaps in my education and knowledge base. I dug deep deep deep into gut health and discovered the link to most autoimmune disorders. I studied sleep patterns, herbs, thyroid and hormones. I picked up yoga and began healing my posture and my stress level. That led to my recent certification (7 years later) as a Christian yoga instructor.
I had a life changing accident 3 years ago this week, and (eventually… after a 3 month recovery) walked out of it when I should have been an amputee. Last week I walked a 37 minute 5K with many close friends. Thank God. Despite the severity of my injury, I have no pain day to day and am not on any medication. I’ve got oils, supplements and a little thing called Dolphin MPS that rocked my recovery world so much so that I decided to begin taking classes so that I could help others as I was helped…. another tool in my toolbox that wasn’t related to pharmacy.
The last 18 years, by serendipity or Divine design (I believe the latter), I have been gathering tools to help people (myself included) heal physically and emotionally. What had started out as a mission to care for myself and my family gradually extended to include friends and strangers who have become dear friends. The more truth in healing I gleaned, the more uncomfortable I became in my white lab coat. Back in the day, we took an oath to do no harm (that oath has been changed and no longer includes that phrase).
Once you know something, you can’t unknow it.
I have grown uncomfortable in my pharmacist skin (and coat)….. able to speak only truths that are approved talking points regulated by the pharmaceutical industry.
Once I found that there are better, safer, more life sustainable ways to heal, it became harder and harder to deny people access to these opportunities in wellness……. because they exist for the taking.
Every day, people make unconscious choices that affect their health….. making poor food choices, drinking chemically treated water, watching too much media and not exercising enough…. taking meds without researching them thoroughly first. They think a pill will solve their ills. I’m here to tell you that medications are simply adding to the already hefty toxin load within all of us. The heavier the load, the sicker the individual.
I’ve had several people in the last many months call me a healer. I don’t claim that moniker. I feel more like a shepherd, leading those who are thirsty to a safe place to drink, eat, and rest. It gives me great peace, and it makes my heart sing a song it’s never sung before.
I have straddled both worlds now for many years, and being true to myself is becoming increasingly difficult despite the six figure income that comes with the white coat. I fill prescriptions for people I have grown to love in the community, knowing that they can be helped in other ways that actually heal. I respect my duty as a pharmacist and do not step outside that boundary……but I feel God’s hand firmly on my back telling me to Go. Do. Become. Shepherd those I send your way.
And so I prayed. “Lord, if it is your will, send me those who need me.” I began praying this daily about 5 months ago. God has a sense of humor. I’m sure of it. About a month ago, I had to alter my prayer a tiny bit. ” Lord, if it is your will, can I have a little breather so I can adequately help those you sent so far? ” God is so very good.
I would have never in a million years guessed that I would step away from pharmacy more than halfway thru my career. Pharmacy has taught me so much. Perhaps most importantly, it has given me the gift of scientific discernment: the ability to understand fact from fiction or skewed data.
When I was a young pup out of pharmacy school, I thought my life was set on auto pilot. I couldn’t have been more wrong. God took me down a completely different path, guiding me and giving me tools along the way: pharmacy, nutrition, exercise, yoga, health coaching, scientific based knowledge of essential oils, supplements, and herbs, Dolphin MPS, and most importantly the empathy acquired from personal experiences.
God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.
Here’s to the journey! I can’t wait to see what the second half of my life holds.
Hugs and love, Liz
PS: I am not completely stepping away from the pharmacy just yet. You will still see me in a white coat one or two days a week.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Honestly, as much as Charlie and I love each other, we are not huge proponents of this particular advertising holiday…. ’cause we just love each other every day, and do our best to show one another that we still do #evenafteralltheseyears. I mean, why limit your love to just one day? Of course we both fail spectacularly on occasion…. but the point is, that we both do try.
Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? It’s a concept that has been around for several years and was outlined in a book by Gary Chapman. My love language is service, and Charlie nails that one for me every time. It wasn’t always that way tho. When we were first married, he gave me a few gifts that resulted in a hairy eyebrow from me. Although he was giving from the heart, it was not in a ‘love language’ that my receiving heart understood.
I know my blog is primarily about health and farm life, and ya’ll might think I’m deviating from that venue in this post. Not so. Our heart, body, and emotionally health is completely and utterly dependent on healthy loving relationships….. not just with our significant other, but also with friends, family, and/or ‘framily’ (those friends who truly become our family). Do a little Googling on this topic, or take a peek at some of the benefits here.
I posted on my personal Facebook page about this topic last week, and my dear friend Miss Dottie added to my musings. She is a little older than I am, and infinitely wiser! ….. there is a distinct advantage to aging well, learning from life, and then passing along golden nuggets to others. Life lessons should shared so that others may find their road a little less rocky in life!
From Miss Dottie:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”~John 15:12
As a former relationship coach, matchmaker, & author of the Dr Romance column, I was immersed in the world of love & what makes us tick (or not). Each February my thoughts return to that season with a smile & I love writing about all things of the heart.
My friend posted this little chart this morning. Since Valentines Day is just around the corner I thought it might help you in showing love specifically to each person you care about. I know the media pushes roses, candy, & cards but sometimes that’s not what means the most. Valentines Day isn’t really about YOU, it’s really about THEM.
It’s really important for all of us to communicate what’s important to us. For me words of affirmation & quality time are the wind beneath my sails. Want to crush me? Use words that make me feel less than. Want to bruise my heart? Never spend time with me or come alongside me.
If you’re alone or maybe not in a healthy relationship, I would encourage you to meet my BFF Jesus. I would also encourage you to “romance the self.” Need a friend? Be a friend. Love flowers? Plant your own garden. I think you get my drift.
I think I Corinthians 13 offers the best definition of love: “Love suffers long & is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”
Enjoy your day tomorrow, regardless if you are single or have a significant honey in your life. You are loved by someone no matter who you are or where you are in life. Don’t ever forget that! Miss Dottie is a wise woman, and her words are golden!
Hugs and Love from me to you this Valentine’s Day, liz
(I’ll post on Elsa update a bit later, but I needed to get these thoughts out of my head first!)
Many many sermons ago, our pastor talked about the movie, The Matrix. I’ve never seen it…. not a huge fan of science fiction…..but the allegory intrigued me. Hollywood does tend to mirror real life, even in science fiction.
Lately, I’ve heard the term ‘Red Pilled‘ bandied around. It didn’t even occur to me that this phraseology was again a nod in reference to The Matrix. Silly me, I thought it meant which side of the political aisle you prefer! (Don’t leave…. I’m not going to talk politics. That’s not my ‘thing’.) I must have seen the phrase more than a handful of times before I felt compelled to look it up.
Red pill vs Blue pill…… it’s about choices. Nothing more.
The Blue Pill, by my estimation, is for those who are passive, and content with their lot in life. They prefer to be spoon fed information and lifestyles. Perhaps, they don’t like what they are being fed. They may grumble a bit, but they eat it anyway and do not look elsewhere for fodder. That puts the holder(s) of the spoon in a tremendous position of power, and fiction, untruths or half truths may look like fact. The rose colored glasses are, in fact, blue lenses.
The Red Pill is for the inquisitive. It’s definitely easier to be spoon fed than it is go out and forage for your own food (or grow your own garden & milk your own cow). The Matrix makes mention of going down the rabbit hole when you take the Red Pill. Lots of twists and turns that reveal important (and previously hidden) information along the way. The hand(s) that feeds the Blue Pilled peeps does not generally smile upon those of us who have become independent foragers of information. Their power is lost on us.
Ya’ll, I may get some flack for writing this…… but ‘the system’ that educates our healthcare professionals (myself included) AND the insurance companies that dictate how healthcare is to be provided are holding the spoon. We healthcare providers were indoctrinated and taught that the way of the Blue Pill was good. We were then taught how to administer the Blue Pill to others. They (I’m removing myself, because I now know better) know no differently… so don’t get mad at them. They believe 100% what they were taught, and if questions arise…. well…. return to the hand(s) that holds the spoon for answers. Remember tho… the hand that holds the spoon has the power to filter what you are fed.
You can take the Blue Pills all your life, but you can only take the Red Pill once. You have to look long and hard to find a good medical professional who is willing to look at and recommend all aspects of health and well care. I’m starting to see more functional medicine doctors…. praise God…. who have taken a stand and have Red Pilled themselves. They understand that you can’t just pharmaceutically treat symptoms of a body system dysfunction…. you have to address the core issue at hand or healing will never occur. They are open to recommending nutrition, holistic care methods, and wellness options. They only use medication as a last resort.
Each one of us has a choice. I took my Red Pill (before I even knew of such a thing) about 15 years ago. It’s the reason we drink raw milk , garden, avoid toxins (ie: standard household chemicals, processed food, toxin laden skincare products), manage our stress and sleep holistically, and make an effort to be physically fit. Like many people who have adopted the Red Pill mentality, my hand was forced when a couple of health conditions demanded that I make a decision on which pill to take.
Ignorance may provide short term bliss, but it will cost you plenty in the long term. Those of us who have taken the Red Pill stand to spend 16X less on healthcare than those who choose to take the Blue Pill….. Blue Pilled people are big business in the health care industry….. BIG (16X) Business. No wonder they feed you so well.
If you are like me and waited until a health situation surfaced, do not be frustrated…. you can still take the Red Pill. Better late than never!
If life seem to be going really well for you, but your intuition has kicked in and your gut tells you that you need to learn more, do more, and be more responsible for you and your family’s health….. let me symbolically hand a Red Pill to you (it’s free)….. message me, and I’ll help you unwind the fiction from fact and half truths.
The truth can be hard to stomach, but it can also set you free.
Would you like some kombucha to wash that Red Pill down?
Hugs and Love, liz
PS: The internet is a wonderful thing. If I learned nothing else in college and in pharmacy school, it’s the power of research. Two incredible sources to find accurate information and studies include:
Pubmed.gov ( a repository of all studies from all over the world)
Google.scholar (another repository of information)
My world has come to a standstill…..at least it feels that way. I take my hat off to all those mamas who have (human) babies. The 24/7 is real….. even more real when you’ve got one with a health problem.
Elsa’s entry into the world, while received happily by us has been fraught with issues. The last two days, we’ve been unraveling the problem(s) that have plagued her.
Once we found out she had pneumonia, we upped our game. Frankly, the vet, rather gently attempted to talk me out of saving her, simply by telling me her chances of survival were slim. That news came Wednesday. Today is Friday, and baby girl is doing better. She has been on a round of two antibiotics, and spent about 48 hours in our bathtub. Because we wanted to do everything we could to support proper lung function and boost her immune system, we’ve been diffusing therapeutic grade Frankincense, Copaiba, and Lemon around the clock. Our bathroom became an aroma tent for her. Two days of tube feeding…. and then we tried to teach her to nurse again, with very little success. We were all disappointed. Honey, (her mama) was THRILLED to have her back this morning after two days of absence. Honey’s mourning was heart wrenching. She went into a depressed mood, and didn’t even call for her baby. It was as if she knew she was dead. This picture isn’t so great, but neither one of them would stand still for a photo op.
Tube feeding is time consuming, but so is keeping a calf in the house….Keeping the house clean is a chore all it’s own. I’ve done load after load of towels and blankets. Little girl has proven that both her bladder and her bowels are functioning… this is GREAT news, as it means her organs are working. Her blood oxygen saturation level yesterday afternoon confirmed that….. it had risen to 95%. Because she is so tiny, she needs food every 2-3 hours. Feed. Clean. Repeat.
Honey, Elsa’s mama, can’t be forgotten in all of this…. she has a bag full of milk at any given time, and has pined for her baby. Throughout all of this, Honey has been a trooper. She is young, and has never been milked before…. so, on top of missing her baby, she had a crash course in getting to know me intimately while I milked. You can’t just walk up and start milking a cow. It actually takes time, trust, and a learning curve on the cow’s part. So this… milking….. has to also be added into the equation. Thankfully, because of scheduling at work, I was given a window of 7 days in a row off (Thank you Jesus!)…. but by next Wednesday, I’ll have to come up with a longer term plan.
This brings me to Elsa’s Problem #4: Last night in the wee hours of the morning as I was placing the tube down her throat for yet another feeding, I felt something odd on the roof of her mouth. No wonder the poor thing can’t suckle well…… she has a cleft palate! After feeding her, I promptly did a little research…. what are our options?…..are we looking at surgery, is death the only option…. what’s next? Surprisingly, I found a small group of farmers and ranchers who have successfully raised cleft palate calves. It appears that if you can get past the initial suckling problems (ie: get creative with feeding), they can actually grow up and thrive. I also found that this particular congenital defect is almost always due to ingesting a plant in the lupine family during a certain time of pregnancy. You know I’m going to be stalking those fields in the spring with the intent of destroying that offending plant.
Today is Friday. Technically, she should be dead by now. I won’t say she’s thriving, but I do believe she is at least 85% better than she was on Wednesday. But the “window”, according to the vet, is still 3 days away.
Y'all keep praying for her. She is a cutie, and she’s worth fighting for!
Hugs and love, Liz
T’was the night before New Year’s and all thru the barn,
Not a creature was stirring…….’cause it was dang cold on the farm.
The critters were nestled all snug in their beds,
With visions of warm spring days dancing in their heads.
With Charlie in his long johns and I in my leggings…..
We too bedded down for a year’s calm ending.
The morning came quickly, and someone was missing,
…. A cow named Honey had left without sleeping.
A package she left us half frozen we found…
A little calf so cold on the hard winter ground.
Shivering mightily, she lay there so weak…..
We feared our new year would begin with a valley, not a peak.
Spotted and tiny the little girl lay,
We towel dried & wrapped her in a blanket and prayed.
The temperature kept dropping, a crisis at hand,
So we brought her inside by the fire to mend.
A blanket, a fire, Frank & Myrrh on the (belly) button….
This baby girl was gonna grow up to be somethin’!
Slowly she warmed and began to stir,
And with a small ‘mooo’ we knew the coast was clear.
Two hours later she returned to her Mama,
Who was pacing the stall, clearly glad to be done with the drama.
And so this morning now that she’s well, We’d like to introduce
The star of the day….. Elsa’s her name (just like in “Frozen” they say).
Happy New Year from us…. Honey and Elsa too,
Although in cow language… you might have just heard ‘Moo’!
We hope your 2018 is filled with HEALTH, Happiness, and Prosperity! Thank you for reading my first year of blogging. You are appreciated!
One of my most favorite things about wintertime is grapefruit! I was prepping my breakfast this morning and I felt a surge of gratitude that I could eat something that I loved so much. I know…. it probably sounds weird. But way back when…. about 20 years ago, grapefruit suddenly landed on my ‘no no’ food list. That list became a very significant part of my life for about 12 years.
I think I was 33 when I started having peeing problems (sorry if that’s TMI!… just being real here). I simply felt like I had to pee all. the. time…… but especially at night. There were nights I probably got up 8-9 times to go to the bathroom. Doctors ruled out infection and said I simply had an overactive bladder. How does this even happen? I mean, how does one simply ‘acquire’ an overactive bladder? I wasn’t that old…. and had never had any children (both risk factors). We tried a few medications to limit the frequent trips. Pharmaceutical fail. The side effects of dry eyes, dry mouth, blurred vision, and dizziness and drowsiness were not a good trade off for the minor decrease in the number of trips to the bathroom at night. Just when I was approaching my wit’s end, I went to another doctor who finally gave me a definitive diagnosis: Interstitial Cystitis.
If you’ve never heard of IC, here is a short clip from the TV talk show, Drs as a way of explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mzAQgQaauM
IC is a beast. I was relatively fortunate…. and only had the urge to pee with ungodly frequency. Many other women have IC much worse, and the urge is accompanied by pain. The medications used are modestly effective at best, and have an impressive list of side effects. Daily self catheterization, surgical procedures, and even cystectomy (bladder removal) are also treatment plan options. My doctor was ahead of her time 2 decades ago. She recommended that I start a very restrictive diet as a means of helping control the urge to pee. I literally began the diet with a menu that consisted of 4 foods…… slowly adding one food at a time back into my life. Looking back, I realize that as awful as this diagnosis may sound, it was thru this that I was given the gift of culinary discernment and the ability to read even minute clues within my body based on how my bladder reacted to what I had eaten earlier in the day.
Here’s a sampling of my crazy ‘no no’ list: most citrus (except blood oranges, which are lower in acid and seemed to be okay for me), pineapple fresh or canned (but it’s ok to eat pineapple if I am actually in the country of origin), onions, peanut butter that had hydrogenated oils (natural was ok), food with dyes, fried foods, spicy food, tomatoes (unless they were yellow… also lower in acid), coffee, many over the counter medications…. the list went on….. but the biggie: processed foods. Those were like a lightning bolt to my bladder.
I learned that getting dehydrated definitely made things worse (and so I became a dedicated water drinker…. another blessing in disguise). I also learned that stress made an awful companion to a temperamental bladder, and have learned ways to mitigate stress. It was many years later that I actually learned I had inadvertently joined the ranks of 1 in 5 adults….. I had an autoimmune disorder.
I talk about this from time to time with people. Our bodies are like buckets and toxins drip slowly into that bucket on a daily basis from the moment we wake up til the time our head hits the pillow at night. And then, if you are an air freshener girl or guy (like I was), you’re lucky enough to be adding those toxins to your body even while you sleep. (Throw those plug-ins away and get yourself a diffuser and some toxin free oils… I promise you, your home and office space will smell awesome, AND you’ll be deriving therapeutic benefits instead of being slowly poisoned to death). Once that toxin bucket is filled and begins overflowing, well that’s when the trouble really starts…. and you get diagnosed with something fun like IC, or a host of other autoimmune disorders. Which autoimmune disorder you get usually depends on which part of your body is the weakest. In my case, it was my bladder.
My diagnosis of IC set my future in motion in ways I’m ever grateful for. IC became my dietary enforcer. I mean, who wants to eat something that will make them pee every 30 minutes ad infinitum? I also came to realize that being surrounded by chemicals (even basic skin care products) didn’t help the situation at all, so we began switching to nontoxic alternatives. My toxin bucket was clearly full and overflowing given the evidence my bladder had coughed up. It was a slow process…. this detoxing our lives….. and I’m not going to lie….it’s still an ongoing process. We are picky about where we eat (is the food freshly prepared, and preferably organic?), and we are picky about what we are willing to expose ourselves to. Do I fail? Oh yes. I’m not anywhere near perfect. I still have a hard time resisting Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (the peanut butter in them are of the devil as far as my bladder is concerned). But falling off the wagon will nearly always guarantee me the need to pee often and with urgency…so it’s usually not worth it.
I’m not saying it will work for everyone with an autoimmune disorder, but think about this…… If one in five of us are so sensitive to toxins that our bodies begin revolting in whatever unique manner it chooses to…….. why in the world wouldn’t you want to minimize the exposure to those toxins simply so that your life would be less complicated, less painful, and even less embarrassing? (I’ve had some truly embarrassing moments. Trust me.)
Fast forward to 3 years ago. The cleaner my personal environment got, and the more balanced my body became with essential nutrients, the calmer my bladder became. Just like a pesky sibling, I know exactly how to rile my bladder up and can do it in a New York minute, but why would I? Most of the time, when I do suffer with IC these days, it’s because I did something stupid. I got dehydrated. I got careless with food. I allowed myself to become stressed out.
Today, my bladder is a fairly normal organ. Yes, I still have IC and I probably always will. But I have healed considerably. I still have a ‘no no’ list of foods that will set my bladder off, but take a look at it now: processed foods (anything with a chemical component) and coffee. My bladder….. sensitive little creature that it is, can usually even tell the difference between what is organic and what is not. And really…. you gotta respect that in an organ :).
Grapefruit…. it’s what’s for breakfast! I am grateful indeed.
Hugs and love~ Liz
The inner science nerd comes out in me on a fairly regular basis. While I am most at home on our farm, I have said for decades that I could have been a professional full time student (if finances were no object). I think that is one of the things that initially drew me to pharmacy…. there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new at work. It is also one of the things I find so attractive about health and wellness in general. Every pebble you turn over reveals a boulder of information just waiting to be learned and absorbed. If you are a life science junkie (like me), you can lose yourself for hours (if not days) reading studies in Pubmed.gov. Finding this website several years ago was the game changer and light bulb moment for me. It was almost as if I had tumbled down a rabbit hole like Alice, and discovered a whole world that I had vaguely heard about but assumed must be inferior to ‘what I knew‘ from pharmacy school.
Big Pharma subsidizes the education of health professionals in the United States. They take the little fledgling professionals and give them their kool-aid and pat their egos. Well done young Dr/ Pharmacist/ Nurse/ ___________ (fill in the blank). Even today, when I read pharmacy continuing education courses on Natural Medicine, I can barely bear to read them. (Again, subsidized). I can earn 1-2 CE credit hours to learn that alternative medicine really is ‘minimally effective’ at best and/or ‘sham medicine’ at worst. It took me about 15 years post pharmacy school to deprogram my mind and begin thinking for myself. Now, with every new drug or new class of drugs, I listen to what Big Pharma says, and then I dig a little deeper to find the whole truth… not the sugar coated version. Ever wonder why those advertisements speak nice and slowly about the unicorns and puppies the drugs promise, and then speak auctioneer fast (or use 4pt font) to reveal some (but definitely not all) of the possible side effects? Me too.
After I quit drinking the kool-aid (now realizing that said kool-aid is full of high fructose corn syrup and red dye #3), and came to my senses, I simply can’t get enough of what alternative health options has to offer. Yes, there is and always will be a time and a place for modern medicine….. but there is also a time and a place for alternative health options. It behooves us all to be open to both.
If you venture in to Pubmed.gov and begin researching, take note of how many studies revealing the benefits of alternative therapies come from outside the United States. University scholars and scientists from all over the world are digging deeply into holistic care and coming up with astounding truths (with far far far fewer side effects than their pharmaceutical counterparts). The United States is slow on the uptake here. Why? Big Pharma doesn’t benefit from holistic care. Repair and restoration does not always have to come with a pharmaceutical pricetag or health consequence. Frequently, repair and restoration comes in the form of self care and simply understanding how we tick and why we do what we do or our bodies do what they do. Learning how to support our bodies instead of propping them up with pharmaceuticals. It’s a learning curve for sure… and the first step is to look at who is offering up those kool-aid cocktails.
Which brings me back to the original topic of this post. Elizabeth Erickson is a neuroscientist with a focus on applied cognition. Our brains can be our best friend, but they can also be our worst enemy. Tonight (Monday, Oct 30th), Elizabeth will discuss some very basic concepts for you to wrap your mind around. This is a free event, and even if you cannot attend the live class due to a scheduling conflict, I’d encourage you to make some time to watch it in the 24 hours it will be available for viewing. Come with an open mind and be prepared to learn. I will be there too…. learning and gleaning… one of my favorite things to do!
Link to the live Class (7pm CST) can be found here.
I hardly know where to begin. I am so far behind on all the wildly magical things going on in our life that this Summer has somehow morphed into Fall. I can hardly recall a year that has gone so quickly in my adult life.
I’ve always said I could be a professional student if only I was independently wealthy. Well, We’re still not independently wealthy, but we have somehow begun building a life that is allowing me to explore my passions and get paid. I pinch myself occasionally. Is this really me, getting to do this?
Pharmacy has been good to me ya’ll, but it’s no walk in the park. There is a reason it’s listed among the Top 10 Professions most likely to commit suicide. It’s a high stress job with long hours and demands 100% perfection. No surprise that the burnout rate is also remarkable. I am tremendously blessed with a husband who enjoys his job and has encouraged me to pursue what pulls at my heart. It is a gift he has given me this year… and a timely one at that!
At the end of September, I was fortunate enough to attend The 2017 Farm & Food Leadership Conference. Blessedly, this national event was held in nearby McKinney, Texas.
FARFA…. Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance is a national organization supporting independent family farmers. It works to protect a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA is an advocate for independent farmers, ranchers, livestock owners, and homesteaders, as well as the consumers who support them.
Ya’ll, you’d hardly think this organization would be necessary. We all need food and farmers. Shouldn’t it be easy to farm enough nutritious food to feed our huddled masses? Let these statistics sink in:
This AMAZING Conference covered so many facets of Farm to Table Education. There were so many education opportunities, but not nearly enough time to attend each session. I settled on those that pertained directly to our farm and the direction we are headed.
I almost forgot… the most amazing Farm to Table dinner too. This was our first, but it won’t be our last. Dinner for about 150 people at Pure Land Organic Farm , catered by the incredible sustainably (and locally) sourced ingredient restaurant in McKinney: Harvest .
Connecting people with a common bond. Farmers, Ranchers, Nutritionists, Chefs, Sociologists and Anthropologists, Beekeepers, Backyard gardeners with a vision, Inner City gardeners with a plan for their community. This event paid no heed to political affiliation, ethnicity, age, or religious beliefs. Our goal is the same. To learn. To provide sustainable nutritious food for the body, mind, and soul to all walks of life. Breaking bread together never tasted so good.
I really never gave too much thought about carrier oils until recently. My standby has always been fractionated coconut oil. Coconut oil can be great for certain skin types, and I’ve just never felt the need to venture beyond FCO….. until recently. Oh sure, I’ve dabbled here and there…. stepping out on my old friend, but always coming back home to my tried and true love. I was well aware of carrier oils for skin types (see above), but did you know that…. just like essential oils…. carrier oils have attributes that support and affect body systems beyond the integumentary system/skin?
Y'all know the difference, right? A carrier oil is a fatty oil base. They can go rancid over time and although they may have some health benefits, carrier oils generally don’t hold a candle to those benefits seen with Essential Oils. Essential oils, on the other hand, are not fat based…. nor do they feel oily. With the exception of the cold pressed citrus oils, they have an incredibly long shelf life (provided they are cared for properly). Essential oils can be diluted with carrier oils without affecting their effects on our body.
Young Living Essential Oils help support virtually every single body system. We typically choose which oils we are going to diffuse, apply, or ingest according to the body system we wish to support. We may or may not use a carrier oil along with our oils depending on personal choice. Regardless of which carrier oil you choose to use, begin with these tenants:
However, there are some distinct benefits to using carrier oils with your essential oils:
Yep. Here are a few examples:
Remember, Google is your friend here. If you are curious about a specific carrier oil, do a little research. You may get more than you bargained for (and I mean that in a really good way!).
Young Living has a complete line of carrier oils too, available in 8 oz bottles. Each one is a synergistic blend of carrier oils and essential oils designed for a specific purpose. (You will want to read the ingredients closely if you happen to have a sensitivity to a particular oil.)
Do any of these carrier oils tickle your fancy? Give one of them a try and let me know what you think.
If you are an oil carrying aficionado, I would encourage you to also keep a small bottle of carrier oil on hand to dilute in the unfortunate circumstance that you get an oil in your eye. Should that ever happen, don’t flush with water (it will only make it worse). Instead use a little carrier oil in the corner of your eye to immediately dilute the offending essential oil. If you failed to heed my advice and have no carrier oil on hand, simply use any fatty substance (butter, milk, or even a piece of bacon fat!) in place of the carrier oil. I hope you never need this piece of info, but if this has never happened to you, you’ve simply not used oils long enough!
Take care, and have a blessed September day!
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!