blog · health

How Your Spiritual Health Affects Your Physical Health

Spiritual-Health-Advice

There is no doubt that the body, mind, and spirit are connected. The health of any one of these elements seems to affect the others.

Some research shows a connection between your beliefs and your sense of well being. Positive beliefs, comfort, and strength gained from religion, meditation, and prayer can contribute to well being. It may even promote healing. Improving your spiritual health may not cure an illness, but it may help you feel better. It also may prevent some health problems and help you cope better with illness, stress, or death.

Beating Disease God’s Way

“And not only this, but we also glory in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

—Romans 5:3-5

“And hope does not disappoint…”

Why some people get sick and others don’t, I’ll never know. Be that as it may, I can’t let myself believe that God smites people with disease to teach them a lesson or to prepare them for some great act of service. If this were so, we’d have millions of health crusaders proclaiming their healing and giving God the glory all over the world. Instead, we unfortunately have millions of people who live a life of misery and die never having conquered their disease.

Maybe the reason so many people suffer from disease is because it’s virtually impossible to find pure air, food and water nowadays. Maybe it’s because we live in the most toxic environment the world has ever known, and it’s only by the grace of God that we are all not dead at this point. One thing I am quite certain about is that He has gifted our bodies with the remarkable ability to adapt to their surroundings and to heal themselves under the right conditions, which is why it’s so important that we do our part!

Inspired by Romans 5, my suggestion is that you approach your illness with your spiritual armor on, tightly knitting these words to your chest in the very order that the Bible lays them out:

  • Tribulation
  • Persevere
  • Character
  • Hope
  • Love

We must not confuse Paul’s message about boasting in our sufferings to be a badge of honor. Disease is not a burden to bear. The key is to fight through the tribulation, never giving up until you gain the victory!

You need to be prepared to persevere against all odds and never stop until you find the cure the works for you. This experience will develop in you a proven character that will serve to inspire everyone around you; a character defined by hope in God and in His undying care for you and for the love He has for all people.

Following these five steps is critical.

Faith. The first step is to whole-heartedly believe in God’s promises to be your provider, your healer, and your redeemer. Faith is the foundation in which your entire life is built upon. Make sure your foundation is built on solid rock, not sand!

Prayer. Not to state the obvious, but falling on your knees to seek God’s merciful hand is just what the doctor ordered. You’d be surprised to learn about the number of people who literally don’t think to pray for healing or to ask God for the formula to cure their body. Somehow, it either slips their mind or they don’t think God is concerned about their health condition. In addition to the many proven health benefits of prayer including reducing stress inflammation, trust me, it moves God’s heart. Prayer works.

Seek. The third step is to follow God’s leading and to find the solution. Easier said than done, right? I understand that this can be an arduous task for some people, but don’t despair. The key here is to test, research, study and test again. If something doesn’t settle right in your spirit, don’t do it. Barring rare emergencies, you always have time to make a sound decision so you’ll do well to follow your intuition.

Action. The fourth step is to follow the instructions God is giving you. At this point, you should have a better understanding of how the Spirit is directing you to beat this thing. Remember, “faith without deeds is dead,” so you have got to do your part!

Repeat. Make this your new anthem: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken. Healing is a journey for many of us so keep repeating Steps 1 – 4 until you get the victory!

To help you along your way, here are some affirmations that I recommend you write out and tape on your bathroom mirror. Read them every day until they take firm root into your spirit, and make them part of your daily meditation!

  1. I serve an awesome God who proclaims that He is my healer! (Exodus 15:26)
  2. I serve a faithful God who promises to never leave me nor forsake me! (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  3. I serve an unconditionally loving God who says He sees what I do and will heal me anyway! (Isaiah 57:18)
  4. I serve a merciful God who commits to taking sickness from among me! (Exodus 23:25)
  5. I serve a gracious God who promises to restore me to health and to heal my wounds! (Jeremiah 30:17)
  6. I am made in God’s image and He has given my body the ability to heal itself! (Genesis 1:27)
  7. I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)
  8. I know that God will perfect that which concerns me to the end! (Psalm 138:8)

Last of all, don’t forget to go to others for prayer. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” (James 5:14-15)

 

blog · health

Healing Autoimmune Disease Naturally

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Have you ever asked yourself, “What is autoimmune disease?” If so, you’re in good company because millions of people don’t know what autoimmune disorders are or what their root cause is.

Traditional diet and treatment for autoimmune disease usually centers on symptom relief and never addresses the main issue. If we don’t know what’s triggering the disease, we’ll never find a remedy! Thankfully, not all healthcare providers think this way as more doctors are learning to ask the important questions to find the root causes of our ailments.

The more we try to understand autoimmune disease, the more we find out we don’t know too much about it. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stated, “The exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown,” and, “There is no known prevention for most autoimmune disorders.” Yet, one thing we do know is that natural treatments for autoimmune disease do exist and people need to be aware of them!

What is Autoimmune Disease and How It Works

When your immune system is operating correctly, it only strikes against foreign cells and menacing pathogens. But when an autoimmune reaction happens, your immune system thinks that your own cells are the threat. In addition to viruses, bacteria, toxins and cancer cells that are a regular threat, your white blood cells begin to target healthy, normal cells. If not resolved promptly, the immune system could operate in hyper-drive, which can cause immune fatigue and will ultimately lead to widespread problems.

Various reports claim that 80 – 100 diseases today fall into the what is autoimmune disease or autoimmune-related category. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases are:

  • Alopecia areata (hair loss)
  • Anemia
  • Celiac disease (gluten allergy)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • GI disorders (inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (a nervous system disorder)
  • Hashimotos
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin conditions (psoriasis and scleroderma)
  • Thyroid disorders (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)
  • Type I diabetes

When the immune system is in high gear, medical doctors are trained to address autoimmune conditions by prescribing powerful immune suppressing drugs. Unfortunately, this not only neglects to treat the underlying reason, it puts patients at a greater danger of developing complications from common colds and flu.

Causes Of Autoimmune Disease

Although the answer to “what is autoimmune disease?” still befuddles many doctors, there has been some major advancement in understanding the true nature of this disease.

  • Genetics – Research suggests there is a close genetic relationship among autoimmune disease, which explains why multiple family members oftentimes suffer from the same disorder.
  • Chronic inflammation – According to Mark Hyman, MD, “Autoimmune conditions are connected by one central biochemical process: A runaway immune response also known as systemic inflammation that results in your body attacking its own tissues.” When you think about how our culture’s diet is so rich in processed and inflammatory foods, it’s no wonder why 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disorders!
  • Vaccines – The June 15, 2014 report from the Department of Justice clearly shows that the flu vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine in America. Most of the injuries caused by the flu shot were linked to the autoimmune disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome. Of the 78 cases awarded settlements for vaccine injuries, 55 were caused by the influenza vaccine, including one death.

Natural Treatment of Autoimmune Disease

If you or a loved-one have struggled to answer the question “What is autoimmune disease and how can I beat it?” I understand your frustration and please believe me when I say that there is hope. Research and personal testimonies have shown that, YES, autoimmune diseases can be prevented and treated effectively through natural remedies!

If you expect that you have one of the autoimmune disorders that I have listed above, you’ll want to get in touch with your natural healthcare provider immediately. During your visit, don’t forget to ask about getting tested for celiac disease, hidden food allergies and heavy metal toxicity. These are sure-fire signs that something more harmful may be going on and can help give you a clearer picture of what you can and cannot eat.

5 Steps to Stabilizing Your Immune System

You’ll also want to implement these 5 steps right away.

  1. Address hidden infections (bacterial, viral and fungal) with oregano essential oil or other potent natural remedies.
  2. Heal your gut and start taking a live probiotic supplement.
  3. Implement a core nutrition strategy including sufficient doses of fish oil, vitamin C, and vitamin D3.
  4. Engage in natural anti-inflammatory activities like a home fitness program.
  5. Counteract stress with deep relaxation methods such as prayer, deep breathing, yoga, and special essential oils.

At the end of the day, Functional Medicine experts like Mark Hyman, MD have shown time and time again that their patients respond extremely well to these 5 steps. Make it your aim to beat this thing and get your immune system on track today by taking simple steps to improve your lifestyle physically, mentally and emotionally!

recipes

The Secret Ingredient For Smooth, Sweet, Banana-Free Smoothies + Recipes

 

medjooldates

We all love to throw a banana in our smoothies for that creamy, sweet texture, but sometimes it’s good to take a break. If you’re eating a smoothie every day (or you’re simply intolerant to bananas), there’s a secret ingredient you can use to make sure your smoothies not only taste amazing but also pack a nutritional punch.

Meet Medjool dates!

Medjool dates are a rising star in the produce department thanks to their delicious flavor and powerful nutritional composition. One serving (2 Medjool dates) has 33 grams of carbs and 281 mg of potassium. (That’s 50 percent more potassium by weight than bananas.)

The potassium, fiber, and mineral-filled Medjool dates have a caramel-like flavor that perfectly sweetens smoothies.

If you have a high-powered blender, simply drop Medjool dates in with whatever else you’re blending. If you don’t, blend your Medjool dates with the water first (with greens and any other high-fiber ingredients), then add the frozen components and any other bonus ingredients.

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

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Strawberry and Beet Superfood Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup sliced beets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup dark leafy greens like spinach or kale
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds in a high-powered blender.
  2. Enjoy in a glass or bowl! Add toppings like nuts, seeds or carob chips!

 

Blueberry-Muffin-Smoothie

Blueberry Superfood Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped raw or frozen kale
  • ¼ cup frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon all natural almond butter (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons oats or oat bran
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients together for 60 seconds in a high-powered blender.
  2. Enjoy in a glass or bowl, and top with toppings of choice!

 

 

 

 

blog

In Sickness And In Health, Loving Your Spouse Through Illness

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Many people suffer from chronic illness, some visible and some not. As one who suffers from several chronic illnesses, I can honestly tell you it is difficult to be married to me. Some days are good, some are really good. Some days are bad . . . and others even worse. You never know how you’re going to feel from day to day, or even hour to hour.

Being married to a person with a chronic illness is not much fun. It’s really taking the “in sickness and health” vow to the extreme. I’m not trying to compare my chronic illnesses, which are minor in the grand scheme of things, to a spouse who has lived through ALS or cancer with their husband or wife, but there are days I feel like my husband got the raw end of the deal.

Did he really mean to sign up for this?

Is he sure he wants to stick around and deal with this the rest of our lives?

He assures me he did and that he’s not going any where, but I still can’t help but wonder what his life must be like from day to day. Never knowing what “condition” I will be in by the time he comes home from work. Never knowing whether or not this is the moment I’ll have to go to the hospital. It’s not easy being married to me. These few reminders can help anyone going through difficult times.

  1. PRAY. Pray for your spouse and for your marriage. A chronic illness is something that will stretch the limits of your patience and test the boundaries of your love. It isn’t easy and it won’t just “go away,” so you need to pray. Pray for your spouse as they maneuver the difficulties of the illness, and pray that you will know just how to love them through it all.
  2. Communication is KEY. This goes for marriage in general, but especially when the spouse has a chronic illness. Their level of activity can vary greatly from day to day. Their level of comfort in those activities will vary greatly as well. Talk about EVERYTHING. This is the most important thing I can tell you. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary. But running from problems because they’re hard to talk about will only strain your relationship and tear you apart.
  3. It’s not their fault. Although you may tell yourself this, know that it’s not because of anything they did. They didn’t wish this illness on themselves and wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. It stinks. Know that they want to feel better. They want to be involved. They want to be active; they just can’t some days.
  4. Don’t be offended. Some days will just be more than they can handle, and the best thing they can do is say no. They still love you and want more than anything to be with you, their family and friends – but sometimes it is better they stay home and rest. Don’t take it personally; it isn’t you – really.
  5. Don’t pressure them. Your wanting them to feel better won’t make them better. And just because they want to feel better won’t make it happen, either. If they say they’re not up for a day trip, don’t make them feel bad for not going. If they say they can’t take the trip, don’t make them feel worse for the change in plans. They are already beating themselves up about it. Know that when they feel better, they will make it happen.
  6. Be patient. There will be days, and sometimes weeks (or months), when they will feel sick or just completely out of energy. They will continue to try and keep up for someone else’s sake or to keep up appearances or whatever other reason they can think of, but they will eventually hit a wall. And when they do, they will go down hard. Be patient with them as they recover. Be patient with them as they find a “new normal” with this illness and balancing their other “duties” as wife and/or mom, or husband and/or dad. It isn’t easy for them to admit defeat.
  7. Don’t ignore their issue. As with anything else, ignoring their issues will not make them disappear. In fact, ignoring them will likely lead to them shutting down and/or depression. And that is a scary, slippery slope. They likely suffer from bouts of depression when flare-ups occur anyway, so don’t ignore them when they happen.

Do you or your spouse live with a chronic illness? What ways have you found to love them through the difficult times?

lyme disease

4 Ways To Help Someone With A Chronic Illness

alone-together

If you ask someone who has a chronic illness how they’re doing, chances are they will answer with sometimes along the lines of, “I’m fine” or, “I’m OK.” I can tell you with confidence that they may not be be “fine” or “OK.” They don’t want to mislead you, but it can be difficult to be vulnerable about being sick because that answer typically does not change day after day. Many, including myself, feel like they are a burden to those around them, and it is easier to continue to put on that “I’m OK” face than to admit that life is hard and the pain continues to be too much to handle.

As someone who struggles with multiple chronic illnesses, I have dealt with many emotions when it comes to telling people how I’m actually doing. Most times I start with only mentioning a few things that hurt, or a few emotions I’m dealing with, to gauge the waters on how receptive the listener is to my pain. I’m always worrying that they are tired of hearing about my disease and just want me to stop sharing, and that definitely contributes to why I tend to not to share as much as I want to. After sharing with people, I have many people tell me over and over, “I wish that I could do something, but I just don’t know what would help you.” Most times I don’t know what to tell them either.

As someone with a chronic illness, my heart wishes so desperately that I did not have to feel like a hindrance on the friendships or relationships I have. I sometimes need others to express love, effort, and patience, in a creative way. As much as I hate it, I can understand that many get tired of hearing of my aches and pains, my struggles with treatments and side effects, and how broke and lonely I am from it all. But for those of you that stay and listen, you are the real deal and the champions of loving me selflessly. You will never know the impact of what it means to those that are deep in the trenches of this fight, but know that you are right in there with them.

 1. Offer your help before being asked. I know it may be your first instinct to say something like, “Let me know what I can do to help,” but that actually can be a bit hard to answer. When I’m asked that question, many things run through my mind such as: What would they be willing to help with? Are they really just saying that hoping I won’t actually ask them, or would they be willing to do what I need that week, even if it’s inconvenient? You see, it’s easy to offer help, but harder to listen for a need and offer to fill it. If you don’t know what to offer, chances are they could use a meal, because it can be exhausting to cook meal after meal when they are weighed down by pain. (They may have food restrictions, so make sure to be willing to make something to fit those.) Do they need help cleaning their house? Offer to come spend a Saturday afternoon and help them clean and do laundry. When someone offers to help me clean, I am so relieved, since that is something that typically gets left behind because I don’t have the energy to do it.

2. Learn all you can about their disease/condition. Have you spent time reading about what they go through each day so that you can better understand? Is there a documentary that you can watch with them to help show them that you care and want to be educated on their condition? It goes an incredibly long way when you can work hard to learn the basics and be able to ask informed questions about how they are doing. Maybe even offer to attend their next doctor’s appointment or treatment with them, depending on how comfortable they are with that.

3. Plan an event with them in mind. I know in my daily life, I miss being able to spend time with people that I care about and participate in activities that now would put my pain over the edge. There are many things I am unable to do because of my disease, and many time I feel left out because of it. As a friend or family member of someone with a chronic disease, find out the activities that they can enjoy and make an evening out of it. Whether that’s an evening movie night or a quiet picnic in the park, any sort of planned event that they are able to enjoy will be cherished. And a special note that when asking those with chronic illnesses to an event -please never take it personally when they cancel. They cannot control their pain levels that day, and if they are canceling on something they are looking forward to, then the pain is more than you can imagine.

4. Offer to buy groceries or supplements. When I think about my daily struggle with my disease, finances top the list. Every extra cent that my husband and I have goes directly towards treatment, tests, supplements, and a specific diet catered to my body’s needs. Eating organic and taking over 20 supplements a day adds up quickly, and it has taken a huge burden off my shoulders when someone has offered to buy groceries for a day,or to buy my month of probiotics so that I had one less item on my list. I understand that not everyone has the financial means to give, but if you do, this can be so helpful.

I hope that some of these suggestions give you a guiding point that goes past asking how to help, but by also being able to take that step and love on that person in your life that is hurting. A strong support system is crucial to the healing process, and sometimes being that support can be confusing and difficult, since many times there doesn’t seem like options are out there that will help them. At the end of the day, just the fact that you’re there, you’re listening, and you are loving them through it is enough.

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