Category Archives: Health & Nutrition

Health Update

I’ve been doing so well with my daily routine of half mile walks and 100 reps with my little barbell, that I have added 5 minutes of yoga stretches and however long I can manage out in the yard (or cleaning my fish tank if it’s raining).

Yesterday, I worked 20 minutes in the yard before I crashed. This is so amazing to me!

The apple tree is budding, which has reminded me that it has been literally YEARS since I felt well enough to step outside during apple blossom season to smell that most heavenly aroma.

YEARS! To go down a half dozen steps and ten feet out the front door. Forget the mail box across the street. I NEVER got there. In ten years.

But THIS YEAR, I’m going to be out under that tree every single day, just breathing.  Photo of our tree in bloom by Warrior Princess.

Apple tree in bloom by KBC NICE

For April, I upped my Cordyceps to 3 per day and added Chaga back in. (I took each separately for a couple of months to make sure I tolerated them.)  I also switched my iron to a much more bio-available brand.  I think it’s all paying off.

“Many experts consider [chaga] to be one of the most potent natural foods for autoimmune diseases. … it is also considered an adaptogen. Adaptogens help keep your body in balance, by making sure all systems aren’t going into overdrive. By keeping a quiet balance in your body, you are better able to cope with stressful situations.”

https://healthyfocus.org/9-proven-benefits-of-chaga/

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I had the most AWESOME check-up!

Happy Dance

My thyroid levels (T3, T4, TSH) are all in the normal range again!

My red blood count is in the normal range again and my hemoglobin is just a smitch under normal!  My ferritin has dropped into the basement, so I am going to switch to a better brand of iron.  Ferritin is the body’s iron pantry.  I used mine up replacing the blood I lost last summer when I sprung a leak in my innards.  I hope the low ferritin is why my legs have been so very achy.  That’s on the list of symptoms for low ferritin.  If it is, the iron will fix it and my legs will feel better. This will be good for my Happy Dancing!

BEST NEWS OF ALL, my kidney function has IMPROVED!  If my doctor weren’t so laid back, I think he would’ve high fived me!  My creatinine has been stuck around 2.21-2.23 since last summer.  The latest test was 2.0.  !!! 

So NO more nephrologist and no more lab tests or office visits until JULY!!  WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am definitely going to keep on with my Cordyceps!!  It’s not only fixing my kidneys, but also boosting my energy level.  The other day, I took TWO walks.  In the same day!!

I really, REALLY wanted a walk today, but it has been COLD and raining buckets.  Plus, I realized that, after 10 years of never leaving the house, I do not own an umbrella!  So I treated myself to a new one to celebrate my creatinine!!

After consulting with the Queen of Shopping (aka, Mama Buzz), I chose a GustBuster, the brand preferred by the PGA.  My dad will enjoy that.  🙂  It’s vented for wind so it won’t turn inside out.  And it is nice and wide at 48″, with a traditional J-shaped, bamboo handle, a fiberglass shaft, and a warranty. Really top shelf.  Also, it’s PINK, so maybe Dearest will keep his mitts off it LOL.  Granted, it was pricey … but CREATININE!

My apologies for all the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It’s hard for me to be CALM RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

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More about Cordyceps sinensis

Yesterday, I realized I have so much energy all of a sudden that the amount of caffeine I was using (4 cups of tea, 2 black, 2 green) was making really hyper.

I reread the article (linked below) and noted that Cordyceps sinensis “increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels in the body by almost 28 per cent. ATP is the body’s energy supply source—the body’s battery, so to speak—and is required for all enzyme processes.”

I’ve been taking one to two capsules a day for about six weeks now; the bottle says the dose should be 3, but I didn’t want to overwhelm my body.  Next month, I plan to try using 3 per day and see how that goes.

Anyway, a number of the studies mentioned noticeable improvement after 30 days, so maybe that’s why I suddenly seem to have so much more energy and really don’t need caffeine just to stay upright!  This is so cool!

Clinical research in controlled studies had elderly patients suffering from fatigue and senility-related symptoms report relief in these areas after using Cordyceps for 30 days. Their fatigue was reduced by 92 per cent, their feeling of cold by 89 per cent and their dizziness by 83 per cent. Patients with respiratory/breathing problems felt physically stronger and some individuals were able to jog up to 600 feet.

Wow!

Cordyceps sinensis is considered a “food” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is classified as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS).  I get mine from Nature’s Sunshine; it’s also sold at my local health food store.

Keep in mind as you scan down this amazing list that these claims are not anecdotal, but based on scientific clinical trials.

  • Cordyceps sinensis has been found to be effective against all sorts of bacteria that have developed, or are developing, resistance to other, more common antibiotics (such as penicillin, another fungus product!).
  • It improves immune antibody responses.
  • It protects against the damage caused by free radicals.
  • It improves sexual function.
  • It helps lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
  • It increases physical stamina so much that there has even been talk of banning it from sporting events.
  • It is effective in treating heart rhythm disturbances such as cardiac arrhythmia and chronic heart failure.
  • A Chinese study showed a 51 per cent improvement in chronic kidney disease after only one month of dietary supplementation.
  • It improves respiratory function, alleviating the symptoms of various respiratory illnesses including chronic bronchitis and asthma.
  • It improves the flow of blood in the body by relaxing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels and allowing them to expand, enhancing the functioning of the heart and lungs and relieving tired legs.
  • It improves liver function and has proven helpful to patients with cirrhosis, sub-chronic and chronic hepatitis and related liver diseases.
  • It proved effective in several clinical studies with various types of cancer, leading to a reduction of tumor size and prolonged life.
  • Perhaps most amazing of all, a study in Ghana showed, after six months, that NONE of the 3,000 early-stage HIV patients in the study had ANY HIV in their blood!

Source:

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Cordyceps sinensis is an AMAZING fungus!

Codyceps

I started taking Cordyceps because I read about a clinical study that showed significant improvement in patients with chronic kidney failureBut the article talks about WAY more than just kidneys!  You have to read it. Seriously!

https://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/doc_view/103-the-cordyceps-sinensis-medicinal-mushroom

I’ve been taking Cordyceps for about 6 weeks and, while I do not have recent blood work (that will come in early April), I did see a remarkable change in my urine that makes me think it’s really working!

One of the symptoms of chronic kidney disease is protein spillage that causes persistent bubbles in one’s urine.  This week, I discovered that I’m not making bubbles any more!

My kidneys were functioning at 14% in July, when I was hospitalized. 15% or less is officially kidney failure.  After I got out of the hospital, they improved, which was very exciting.  But then they got stuck at 23%, so my primary sent me to a nephrologist who explained that above 25%, the kidneys are so AMAZINGLY designed that they can do their work indefinitely!

But under 25%, the filtration cells get overworked and begin to fail, which leads to dialysis, transplant, death. :oP  So I just need to get my kidneys functioning ABOVE 25%. 

This lack of bubbles in my urine has me OVER THE MOON with excitement.  I can’t wait to see what my next blood test shows!

I’m taking Nature’s Sunshine Products’ Cordyceps.  I’ve used their products for about 30 years and really trust the purity and quality of them.

https://www.naturessunshine.com/us/product/cordyceps-chinese-90-caps/1240/

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Heal your gut! Heal your auto-immune disorder!

I’ve been recording my fermenting stuff in my “I ❤ Ferments” Facebook photo album.  Today, I updated the intro:

“November 2014: I started adding fermented foods to my diet in hopes of improving my very serious food and environmental allergies.  UPDATE: December 2014: I am already feeling so much better!!  UPDATE: January 2016: I ate an egg today with no problem!  UPDATE: March 2017 – For the past ten years, I have been too weak to walk from my house to the mailbox (about 40 feet). Today, I can walk a half a mile at a time.”

https://www.facebook.com/christine.bravomom/media_set?set=a.434744026673811.1073741905.100004146523282&type=3

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Gardening and Spirituality

Plant Gardens & Eat Their Fruits – Watering [4:02]

Plant Gardens & Eat Their Fruits – Fig Tree [2:58]

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Why Epsom Salts Help

Epsom salts are known scientifically as Hydrated Magnesium Sulfate.

  • Magnesium stimulates nerve and muscle function, limits inflammation, and improves oxygenation and blood flow through the body. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium which, according to the National Academy of Sciences, contributes to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments.
  • Sulfates are also very important, playing a role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins, digestive enzymes, and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract.

Also, magnesium and sulfate stimulate detoxification pathways in the body.  When you soak in a hot Epsom salts bath, reverse osmosis moves toxins out of the body and pulls magnesium and sulfate inward through your pores. Avoid using soap during an Epsom salt bath as it may interfere with these processes. I shower at the end to remove salts and essential oils.  I dunno if this is necessary, but my skin is really sensitive and rashy, so I don’t take chances.

HOW MUCH: Dissolve 1⁄2 cup of Epsom salts in water for every 50 lb of body weight.

WARNING:  You should not take Epsom salt baths if you are severely dehydrated. If you have large wounds or burns, are pregnant or suffer from cardiovascular or kidney disease, consult your doctor to see if it is safe to begin an Epsom salt bath regimen.  Don’t assume any of these conditions rules it out.  I have kidney disease and my doctor recommended it.  Also, don’t worry about your girlie parts; it doesn’t sting and it is safe to get your whole body down into the water!

NOTE: Some Epsom salt manufacturers add fragrance.  Beware of these!  Read the label before purchasing.  If the fragrance is a natural essential oil, it will say so.  If the fragrance is a synthetic, the label will say fragrance and/or perfume.  These synthetic fragrances are made from hydrocarbons and other chemicals known to be harmful to your health.  My preference is to get the plain stuff and dribble some essential oils on my bath water right before climbing in.

GARDENING:  Epsom salt is also great for your garden. It helps speed up plant growth, increase a plants nutrient uptake, deter pests, increase flavor of fruit and veggies, plus increase the output of vegetation. See Best Plants article below for specifics.

SPLINTERS:  If you can’t get a hold of the splinter, soak the affected area in 2 tbsp of Epsom salt in a cup of water.  The splinter will move out of its own accord.

Sources:

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Why Essential Oils Help

A massage oil blend that suits your needs and preferences can be very helpful in the treatment of chronic pain.  Certain essential oils reduce inflammation, relieve pain, increase blood circulation, and reduce the stress and anxiety that pain causes.

Essential oils are truly amazing.  I raised my kids on them.  Tea tree oil for lice and ringworm.  Eucalyptus oil for colds.  Manuka for warts.  Ginger for tummy aches.  Lavender and Peppermint for headaches.  Lemon and Rosemary for study aid.  When they moved out, they each got a wooden box with a starter set of oils and a book.  When they deployed, they got travel sets to keep in their packs.

When my youngest was at boot camp, I dripped some clove oil (relieves neuralgia) on a letter to her, figuring she was pretty achy from all the PT.  She told me later she burst into tears when she opened the envelope.  Her bunk mate asked if she’d gotten bad news and she sobbed, “Nooooo.  It just smells like HOME.”

Over the years, I’ve gotten more help from essential oils than from OTC or prescription medicines and at a fraction of the cost.  Years ago, I designed a massage blend for a bi-polar friend.  Using it did not get her off her meds, but it improved her symptom swing enough that she was able to reduce her meds and live a much more comfortable life.

I was hospitalized in July for kidney failure.  I’m doing better now, but chronic kidney disease is a fact of life.  So when my doctor cleared me to start using essential oils again, I researched and designed a kidney health blend that I use on my neck and shoulders.  One of the oils is specifically for inflammation, so when I wrenched my knee last week, I started using it there as well.  It really helps.

There is a wealth of information about essential oils and how to use them safely and effectively.  I bought a couple of books and routinely check on-line as well.  I’ve put a lot of what I’ve learned in an album at My Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/christine.bravomom/media_set?set=a.230556967092519.1073741856.100004146523282&type=3.

I buy my oils and supplies (empty bottles, pipettes, carrier oils) @ http://www.aromathyme.com/.  It’s a woman-owned, home-based business, which is something I like to support.  And Debbie has good quality products at fair prices with good customer service.

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