Sunday, July 6, 2014

Taking Zinc and MSM

I had started a zinc protocol a while back under the direction of my HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) practitioner but then along came allergy season. I figured with allergy season my adrenals were under so much stress that my body didn't need the additional stress of trying to balance my minerals. Part of getting the copper under control is having enough ceruloplasmin to bind with the copper and that takes happy adrenals. Adrenals that are fatigued by allergies are not happy. I quit the protocol for a while. Now I've started back up again, but I'm only taking zinc every other day. I'm also taking molybdenum a couple times a week.

My latest favorite supplement though is MSM. MSM is sulfur. It's not natural*, so I hesitated to take it, but allergy season practically forced me to. I had gotten to the point at which I was considering taking an OTC drug for allergies, when I realized it made more sense to try MSM before taking meds. So I did and I'm sort of in love.

I've been reading about sulfur and how important it is to...well, just about everything. We need sulfur and if we're not getting enough for some reason, then things just don't work right. I think it's helping my sense of well-being AND--big bonus here--my energy level.

I'm only taking 1 gram a day most days and have been thinking of taking 2 grams a couple days a week. I don't want to overdo it because it can cause detox and I really don't want to dump a bunch of stuff into my system and cause myself to feel bad. But like I said, I'm kind of love with it, and I do think it's doing good things for me.


*To explain the "it's not natural" statement, sulfur itself is natural, but the process by which MSM supplements are produced is not natural. So it's kind of like when you take synthetically made B-vitamins. B-vitamins are natural in that they are found in foods, but synthetically made B-vitamins are not natural.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How I Saved the Pea Soup (Sort of)

chicken broth
Chicken broth
I made pea soup today for the first time in a looong time. I was really excited to have some as I love pea soup.

Last night, I sorted, rinsed and set the peas to soak in water with some apple cider vinegar. Most recipes don't call for the peas to be soaked, but the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome*) diet calls for legumes to be soaked. This makes them easier to digest. So I went ahead and soaked them.

In the morning, I rinsed them and put them in a pot with some water and some bone broth. I figured the bone broth would only add to the yumminess, plus I really needed to use it since it'd been sitting in my fridge for too long. So I put some of the gelatinized bone broth in and stuck the rest of the broth in the freezer.

Once the soup was cooking, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Those peas were not getting soft. Peas don't need to cook for that long and I thought these would cook up faster since I had soaked them. Boy, was I wrong. They continued to be crunchy.

So I turned to the internet. I suspected it might be because I soaked them in apple cider vinegar or because I hadn't rinsed the vinegar off well enough. I considered, as this site says, that maybe the peas were old. I thought about the water that I'd used (from reverse osmosis with mineral drops added).

I saw on one site to add some baking soda. So I dumped some in. The soup foamed up quite a bit but then after a while, settled down.

Not too much later, the peas were starting to soften. I ate some. A little later, I ate some more. Definitely softer. Edible.

But...there is that baking soda. Ahem.

I may have added too much.

I was still not sure exactly what the problem was until I read here that hard water may prevent beans from softening up. Bingo! Guess what I had added to the pot that was full of minerals? Bone broth. Remember, bone broth (unlike the meat broth in the photo) is cooked for hours, until the bones actually soften up so that the broth is mineral-rich.

So the baking soda worked, though I should have added less than I did. And next time I know not to add bone broth to the cooking water for pea soup.

If you want to try adding baking soda to cooking pea soup to help it soften up, try 1/8-1/4 teaspoon.

___________________


*The book by the same name is by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Sources:
NMlost. "What is wrong with my split pea soup?" https://answers.yahoo.com/question    /index?qid=20090108155328AAuhOK1

Ruhlman, Michael. "How to Cook Dried Beans." 2011. http://ruhlman.com/2011/03/how-to-cook-dried-beans/

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Test Results: Magnesium and Free Copper






I got the results of some testing today. I haven’t yet talked with my health coach about them, so I don’t know what the game plan is, but it sure is nice to have some numbers. I did GAPS for over two years, supplemented with magnesium for much of that time, took some zinc last year and STILL this is what’s going on with me. So just use your imagination as to how bad things were before.


I have low magnesium. Really low magnesium. A decent reference range is 5-7. My level: 3.9. This was according to a red blood cell (RBC) magnesium test, which is a lot better than a serum test. If your doctor suggests a serum test, tell him that less than 1% of magnesium is stored in blood serum.

I also have unbound copper. Copper needs to be bound with something called ceruloplasmin. My ceruloplasmin is low, so I have free copper floating around. Unbound copper can cause trouble in the body. What kind of trouble? Just ask me what kind of issues I have; I’ve got plenty of symptoms. Or you can click here.

So what caused this low magnesium and low ceruloplasmin? A big factor is stress. Another big factor is my poor adrenal function. I’ve had plenty of stress, and I’ve had long-term adrenal issues.

The tricky thing is I can’t just bombard myself with magnesium. That stresses my adrenals out even more. I have to go slow, and I have to make sure I get enough salt. Salt? Yes, salt. Fatigued adrenals have a hard time regulating sodium and potassium properly. In this case, too much magnesium lowers that sodium level even more.

Currently, (due to some recent heart palpitations) I have been drinking salty water with magnesium in it. (I use ConcenTrace mineral drops for magnesium.) It seems like a good way to get my magnesium up while also keeping my sodium up.

And as for the copper and ceruloplasmin issues? Well, I’ve got to talk with my health coach first.

___________


Sources:

Robbins, Morley. "How to Restore Magnesium in 3 Steps." http://gotmag.org/how-to-restore-magnesium/

Robbins, Morley. Magnesium Advocacy Group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MagnesiumAdvocacy/

Wilson, James L. (2001) Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gone Missing

I haven't posted on here in a while, but I do plan to post again. And a little explanation for any of you who are interested.

In December, I was doing well. I was supplementing with zinc, and my mood was doing better--I even wrote a post about. But then it all came crashing down. One stressor after another, and I wasn't handling it well. I think I got myself pushing copper out too fast with the amount of zinc I was taking, and then the stress on top of it wasn't good.

I haven't been up to writing much. I'm slowly, slowly getting better.

Also, though I don't always post on here, I do still post on my Facebook page (link above).

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Why Searching for Better?



Why Searching for Better?

Maybe you noticed I changed the name of my blog...again. Do you want to know what it means?

I’ll tell you.

It means I’m not searching for perfect. Sure, I’d love perfect health. I’d love my mind to always work the way I want it to—no anxiety, no depression. I’d love to have no food intolerances. I’d love to always know what the right and best things to do are.

But...there’s a lot of imperfection in this world and in my life. I’d like to be better. I’m a little better, but I’d like to increase that. In addition, sometimes there is no best solution. Sometimes better is all there is. I try to make better decisions regarding my health, the environment, and other things.

Not perfect. Just better.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Iodine for Warts

So...I've had a plantar's wart for over seven years now. It hasn't gone away on its own. It hasn't even gone away with treatment. In my other wart post, I mentioned that it looked like it was getting better. And it did. But it stopped there and just stayed. I stopped actively treating it, though I'd still add essential oils to my foot soak water after it cooled a bit.

Enter iodine.

I have some Lugol's 2% iodine. I put it directly on the plantar's wart (which was really a mass of them, I think) a couple of times as well as on the regular wart on the top of my foot. Then, every time I soak my feet in borax and Epsom salt, I add a few drops of iodine (from 3-5 drops).

It did not take long for it to look like the warts were shrinking.

My pretty painted toes soaking in a foot bath

Seriously exciting, you guys. I called my mom.

THAT was what I originally wrote. And then I was sitting there at the breakfast table one day and I realized I'd been taking zinc as well. I started sometime in the summer, stopped for a bit and then started up again.

So the zinc could have affected my warts as well.

BUT now I'm back to thinking it was the iodine. They did start to go away pretty quickly after I started soaking them in the iodine water. I was waiting until they were totally gone to share this, but...I'm jumping the gun a bit. The plantar's wart(s) have gone slowly, slowly, slowly but definitely have faded. Right now, there's just the faintest little ripple there. It probably doesn't even count as a wart anymore.

I no long use borax in my foot soak water, and I've reduced the amount of iodine I drop in there, but generally when I soak my feet, I add a little bit of iodine.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Zinc and Mood Stability


I’ve been supplementing with zinc pretty consistently since this past summer. I did stop for a few weeks and found that I needed to get back on it. It’s hard for me to talk about what’s working for me generally because most stuff doesn’t happen immediately, and it's not always consistent, plus at any given time I can be doing several new things at once. However, I do think that zinc has been doing some good things for me.

Improvements I credit to zinc:

o   Mood stability. This is what I started to notice first after taking the zinc. My mood seemed more stable. It’s not always stable currently, but I think overall, zinc has helped my mood. 
o   Improved mood. Something I’ve seemed to notice more recently is that I am able to be happier.

Zinc may also improve my sleep quality.

So does that mean that you need to supplement with zinc? Not necessarily. Your body is different and you may have a very different mineral status than I have. I did have a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) done after I started the zinc and it did seem to show that I am burning through my zinc. I need it! I may have too much copper.

Some of my symptoms of zinc deficiency: 

o   Low stomach acid
o   Poor appetite (not always, but sometimes)
o   Slow and poor wound healing
o   Stretch marks (from when I was younger)

Zinc is necessary for so many things! Actually, minerals are very, very important and if you don’t have enough of them or the right balance of them, you can have problems.

So I’ve given you the positives, but what about the negatives?

Recently I’ve been getting some infections. Also, I rarely, rarely get sick and I’ve gotten sick. It’s possible this has nothing to do with the zinc, but I’m also wondering if the zinc is pushing excess copper out of me and leading to these infections and illness as the copper makes its way out.

A caution with supplementing with zinc is that you don’t want to get your zinc/copper balance off. Unless you’re working with someone, don’t take high amounts of zinc, especially for a long period of time.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hair Care

I posted this on my other blog as part of a Q/A I'm doing, but it works for this blog, as well.

Even though I have very curly hair, I don't use much in the way of hair products. I used to shampoo about once a week and then over the next few days, slather on the conditioner, but I got smarter. Rather than strip my hair of its oil with shampoo and then use a bunch of conditioner to replace the oil I just stripped away, I stopped shampooing so often.

Now I rarely wash my hair with shampoo. I comb my hair in the shower every day--that's how I do my hair. Since I rarely use shampoo, I don't really need conditioner. And the shampoo that I normally buy now (Giovanni's Tea Tree Triple Treat) doesn't contain SLS, so it doesn't wash away the oil on my hair as much anyway. I actually have a really old bottle of conditioner that's just been sitting there for a long time now and I did use a little bit a while back. But really, I don't use conditioner anymore.

For when I need something to keep my hair more controlled, I use aloe vera. I saw that on Dyno-Mom, and it works. I put the aloe in a spray bottle and keep it in the fridge.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

GAPS: What to Eat When You Didn't Make Enough



This post was inspired by a question I saw on someone’s Facebook page. When you’re on GAPS—especially when you’re first starting out—the idea is to stick to only legal foods. So you’ve made a pot of broth with chicken or beef and you’re eating cooked vegetables and everything’s fine until...you run out and you don’t have anything else made up to eat.

What to do?

Well best case scenario is you planned ahead and put broth and cooked meat in the freezer along with some veggies. Then you just pull those out and heat them up. But what if you didn’t do that?

Don’t panic. Unless you’re on intro, you can still stick to the diet until you get some food made. And even on intro, depending on the stage, you can stick to it mostly (but get some broth made as soon as possible!)

Some things to eat:

Fruit smoothies
Homemade yogurt
Apples or ripe bananas with nut butter
Canned pumpkin (if you’re sure it has no additives)--heat it up and top with butter and honey if desired
Canned salmon or sardines (again, check for illegal additives)--you could make salmon patties with eggs and salmon or mix salmon with homemade mayo, guacamole or olive oil and top a salad with it
Eggs
Cooked veggies with butter or other fat

Even if you have to go out and buy something to eat, you can find some things: (Always check the ingredients.)

Salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar for dressing
Guacamole
Raw crackers and snacks
Nuts
Plain store-bought kefir (a bit of a cheat)

Any other ideas?