An 11 step plan to heal your body from the inside out

An 11 step plan to heal your body from the inside out

pexels-photo-965161.jpegCheesy photo aside, this is a super important and detailed blog post so if you want to learn what I have done to make huge strides in healing my own illness, get comfy.

First a mandatory disclaimer, though I have studied nutrition, I am not a doctor and would never suggest that anyone should neglect a doctors recommendations in the face of critical illness. This being said, I also believe it is everyone’s responsibility and right to take control of their own health and choose a healing protocol that they can feel good about and believe in.  I am simply sharing what has worked for me and many others in improving heath and even reversing supposedly irreversible disease.

It is becoming a more common opinion that most illness starts in and is cured by the mind (followed by the gut), so if you believe the only road to healing your own body is following a western medical route, I would agree that you are probably right.

(Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford)

Many people facing illnesses ranging from the flu to cancer have been healed by western medicine, but on the same note, people also heal themselves every day using natural, less invasive methods. Listen to your body first, believe in its ability to heal and go from there.

These days it seems everyone is sick to some degree and it is actually more rare to meet someone experiencing vibrant health than it is to meet someone who has some form of illness. The list of modern day medical afflictions seems to be endless. Even the common cold seems to run through my kids school multiple times a year.

I truly don’t believe we were designed to live a life of illness and suffering, but sadly, our modern diet, toxic environment and lifestyle choices has predestined us to these fates. We put far too much trust in our traditional medicine that puts far too much trust in textbooks and dogma. Health care providers often fail to truly listen to their patients which then leaves us tuning out our own inner voices who are screaming at us, ‘hey, remember me, your body? Something serious is going on in here.’

Regardless of your current state of wellness, I believe it is vital for everyone on the planet to take a serious look at the foods they put in their body followed by a full body and mind detox to hit the reset button on their health.

If you are currently undergoing treatment for a life threatening disease I DO NOT recommend following these suggestions in lieu of treatment but rather integrate or turn to them after your critical illness has gone into remission.  These steps will help create an environment where your disease will be less likely to return.

Don’t be intimidated by the long to-do list, just put one foot in front of the other and check them off one at a time. Listen to your body, pay attention to how you FEEL. If supplementing, add only add one supplement at a time so you can appreciate the differences it affects in you. In no time you should feel like a completely new person.

1. Undergo an elimination diet followed by a complete diet overhaul. Hidden allergies and intolerances also cause constant inflammation leading your body ignite an autoimmune response. Some experts believe all modern autoimmune diseases are caused by chronic inflammation as the result of undiagnosed allergies and infections. Gluten dairy and soy are BIG ones to watch out for. You can also get professionally tested for intolerances but these tests are expensive and not always accurate. You already intuitively know what your body needs to heal, you just have to listen.

2. Begin a mostly whole foods, anti inflammatory diet and be sure to omit all ingredients you have found you have an intolerance to. You should try to make all your own sauces and become a vigilant label reader if you purchase anything processed.  Soy, gluten and sugar are hidden everywhere.

3. Replace all products that you use on your skin, hair and home with natural non toxic ones. You can make these yourself, or purchase them if you are not the DIY type. Your skin is your bodies largest organ and soaks up everything you put on it like a sponge.  A good rule of thumb I try to follow is, if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth don’t put it on your body.

4. Get tested for hidden infections, viruses, candida, heavy metals, parasites and bacteria. If your immune system is working overtime fighting off a chronic condition your body will be in a constant state of inflammation which leads to many forms of illness and will keep you operating below optimal levels.  Many MD’s are reluctant to test for these things so I recommend seeking out a naturopath.

5. Begin to detox. This part of healing is controversial, some health experts claim that your body is more than capable of detoxing itself but recent studies show everyone on the planet is carrying a toxic load (even babies are being born with thousands of toxins already in their system) and when your body is working to fight off constant inflammation it may put detoxing on the back burner. The detox phase can take a while, but will ignite a radical transformation to your overall health.  For me this was a huge game changer.  Some good detox strategies are dry brushing, saunas, Epsom bath and using herbal preparations.

6. Heal your gut. When you have eliminated all food intolerances and begun to detox their residual effects it is time to repair all the damage they have done. Gut health is so super important more and more experts are being led to believe that all disease begins right there. Taking bone broth, and supplementing with the Amino Acid L-Glutamine are two proven ways to heal that precious gut lining. Probiotics (good quality ones) are also super vital to replenishing your good bacteria, especially if you have recently done a herbal cleanse/ detox.  However, there is no point even beginning this step if you have not already done step two. As long as you continue irritating your gut with foods that you are intolerant to, it will never fully heal.

7. Find your supplements. All bodies will need and respond to different supplements so it is a great idea to work with a holistic nutritionist, Chinese medicine practitioner or naturopath to determine the things your body is lacking and start adding them into your diet via high quality nutritional supplements. Not all supplements are created equal, I was anemic for years taking daily iron fumarate tablets (at my GP’s recommendation) before an integrative physician recommended iron bisglysinate and I was finally able to raise my iron levels quickly and painlessly.

8. Change your mindset. A toxic mindset creates a toxic body. Having a positive mindset is important not just for healing but for affecting all elements of your life from money and career to love and happiness. Releasing patterns formed over a lifetime takes work and time, but it is time well spent. Integrating daily meditations, gentle movement, affirmations and breathing exercises will improve not only your quality of life but your health as well.  And NO MORE negative self talk.  You are a miraculous being so lets take a moment to acknowledge that.  This step in particular has been a huge change for me.

9. Sleep. You need at least 7 hours and 8 if you are dealing with illness. Period. Even if you seem to function well on 5-6 hours chances are your body wants more. Your cells do the most healing work while you snooze so this area of your life should never be neglected. Also sleep makes you look better which never hurts in improving your overall quality of life.

10. Exercise. You have got to get sweaty. While sweating in saunas and baths is a big part of a good detox plan, actual physical exercise that pushes you to your limit and makes you sweat buckets is a vital component of your journey to lifelong health and happiness. I have left this to the end because intense physical exercise before you are ready, can stress your adrenals and lead to raised cortisol levels (wich actually can make you hold weight and increase inflammation). When you have completed all the steps above and are starting to feel like a new person it is time to start pushing your body with both weight training and cardiovascular training. You’ll know you are ready for this phase when you actually WANT to exercise and (mostly) look forward to your workouts/ feel energised rather than depleted when your workout is over.

11. Remove the toxic people from your life, or at least limit the energy you give to them. You’ve done all this work removing toxic ingredients from your diet, skincare and household products, and improving your mindset, so why are you still allowing toxic people to suck the joy out of you. You are a sum of the people you spend the most time with so make sure these are high quality people and you will notice your energy levels and outlook improve drastically.

I know this can seem like a daunting amount of work to do but if you are sick of feeling run down, dealing with illness and quite frankly, looking like shit, this is a great place to start.

Health is a journey not a destination, and if you really want to get the most out of your life, you’ve got to care for this body you are living in.
Life is so much more enjoyable when you have energy, a positive mindset, and quality people surrounding you.

In 2017 I began implementing these changes and am finally feeling like a new person going into 2019. Hopefully this helps someone else who is suffering feel like they have their life back.

Grain free moderate carb diet

Grain free moderate carb diet
woman standing in a field

Photo by Tofros.com on Pexels.com

Since going grain free I have noticed a few major changes.

  1. My skin is consistently clear.  I am used to getting at least a couple doozies every month mainly around my period, but recently I have gone through 3 grain free cycles with flawless skin.
  2. My energy levels are higher.  Quitting gluten helped  tremendously at first, but then I reached a point where I felt like my progress had stalled.  Ditching grains and dairy has been the final push I needed to get me feeling like a woman in her early 30s rather than a rickety 90 year old.
  3. My breath is always fresh.  This is a weird one but a very welcome change.  In the past I have definitely had moments where I’ve had to fish through my purse for an emergency breath mint.  I’m not sure if its quitting the dairy, the grains, the uptick in chlorophyll from all those leafy greens, or a combo of the three, but I’ll take it.
  4. I can handle stress better and feel more positive about life.  Like most humans on earth, my life can occasionally get a bit nutty, and in my SAD diet days I Just. Could. Not. Deal.  Now I feel like there is no challenge I can not face. Even in the most hectic moments I feel a steady sense of calm, like my inner voice is able to speak more clearly than before, and give me constant reassurance that I’m on the right track.

I loved my new grain free life so much that I decided to push it all the way into Keto, I was already half way there and more of a good thing is even better right?  Big mistake.

Within weeks all of my hashi symptoms had accelerated.  My hair was coming out in handfuls (this is always the first alert my body gives me that something is amiss) and I was super cold.  I did have a slight uptick of energy but my breath was gross and I just really wanted a banana.

Finally, I did eat that banana and I haven’t looked back.

I’m sure a low carb lifestyle is great for some people as we are all so unique.  There truly isn’t a one size fits all diet plan. However, individuals with Hashimotos actually need a decent amount of carbs to convert T4 to T3 (the active thyroid hormone).  Dramatically reducing your intake can slow down your thyroid function and speed up its dysfunction causing a myriad of related hormonal issues.

Low carb diets are also extremely stressful on the adrenals. Most people with any autoimmune disease experience some level of adrenal fatigue and our bodies needs healthy carbs like a car needs fuel.

Carbohydrates have gotten a super bad rep in recent years but like with many things in life I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.

I generally consume somewhere between 100 and 150 grams of carbohydrates per day and they all mainly come from fruits, and veggies. I eat sweet potatoes on the regular and when I go to the movies with my kids I sneak in plantain chips to distract me from the glorious smell of popcorn.

Potatoes are still on the menu in moderation because they seem to agree with me, but I always choose organic and leave the skins on.  Potatoes are one of the dirty dozen so I eat them organic whenever I can.

For some hard science to further back up the benefits of grain free living I highly suggest the Wheat Belly books.  They are written by an MD and filled with mouth-watering recipes.

My mom keeps trying “grain free” but still eats croissants and has the occasional slice of pizza, she is adamant that grain free just doesn’t help improve her autoimmune symptoms. “How would you know?” I want to scream. Grain free (and gluten free) are things you have to commit to, you are either all in or all out if you want tangible results.

If you are suffering from autoimmune, adrenal or hormonal issues I challenge you to try one month completely grain free. Really get inside of your body and notice any changes that come, both good and bad. Journal it. Enjoy it. But don’t cheat! Even a little slip up puts you back at square one.  Take before and after pictures, the changes externally can be almost as dramatic as the internal ones.  And if you make it through alive (you will) and want to document your success feel free to tag me on Instagram @wildsagewellness.

Happy healthy carb-ing!

Lemon Dill Salmon

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Salmon is not my favorite fish.  But due to its high omega 3 content, relatively low mercury content and the fact that it can still be sustainably wild caught here in Canada, its one of the few fish I ever eat.  Still, to really enjoy it I’ve got to work it, and this recipe does the trick.

I love Asian inspired flavours with salmon, but I also love the freshness of dill and lemon.  It might seem like a bit of a weird combo but works really well here.

This can be on the table in under an hour from start to finish and even my kids love it.  I like to serve it with a creamy dill sauce and salad.  Usually I’ll also prepare some wild rice for my kiddos who are so not on board with my grain free lifestyle.

Lemon Dill Salmon

Ingredients:

A fresh wild caught salmon filet

Three cloves grated garlic

Two tablespoons honey

Four tablespoons coconut aminos (or tamari if you still consume soy products)

Drizzle of olive oil

Juice of one lemon (or lime)

Teaspoon of fresh chopped dill

Salt and pepper

Chopped veggies (I used cauliflower, shaved brussels sprouts and mushrooms)

Directions:

  1. Mix the oil, garlic, aminos, honey and most of the citrus into a marinade in the bottom of a baking pan. (Reserve one wedge of citrus for later)
  2. Add the salmon to the marinade and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Marinade it for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  4. Place the salmon and veggies into a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining citrus and top with the fresh dill.

Tip: Cook the salmon skin side up for crispy skin and more moist fish.

Creamy dill sauce (essentially my take on tzatziki)

Ingredients:

1 cup plain non dairy yogurt

1/2 cup finely grated cucumber

1 or 2 grated cloves of garlic

lemon zest

a squeeze of lemon

a generous amount of chopped dill

salt and pepper

drizzle of olive oil

Directions:

  1. Grate the cucumber, garlic and lemon zest into the yogurt.
  2. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

If you try it out and like it please let me know in the comments!