Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Here's a Taboo Topic

So.... as you may recall, I started getting symptoms that lead to my Crohn's diagnosis back in May of last year. July 5 of last year was my last menstrual cycle until recently...

I know. This is not quite a topic you expect from me much less one that belongs on a Crohn's blog, but this is so amazing I must tell the story.

I went from having normal cycles every 29 days to none. No hot flashes, or any other symptom of menopause  Ultimately August of last year was when I believed I went through menopause.

However, I discussed this with my holistic doctor, and she suspected that when I was healthy again, I'd return to a normal menstrual cycle, but she suggested that if I really wanted to know for sure if it was due to my illness, or if it was menopause, to have my hormones checked the next time I'm in for my annual exam.

So in August of this year, more than a year after having my last menstrual cycle, I was due for an annual check up and I asked my family doctor if she could also check my hormone levels to see if I'm menopausal. She took two tests: the leutinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulate the ovaries. They are not necessary for life, but are essential for reproduction. If you're not producing them in the proper amounts you won't ovulate and therefore you are likely menopausal. 

Both hormones showed menopausal results. That added to the fact that I didn't have a cycle in over a year lead my doctor to believe I was menopausal, which of course is what she informed me. I wasn't really sure if I was happy or sad. I always wanted more than one child and now I was being informed that any possibility of that happening was over. Yet on a positive note, I went through menopause without one symptom. Wow. How awesome is that!

So this past October, out of the blue, after 15 months of no periods, I had a typical period. Hmmm....

I started researching online what could be the cause of bleeding in menopausal women and found a lot of disturbing information candidly. Most of which was not good. Most of which lead to complications of the uterus. All sites I researched suggested getting the cause of the bleeding checked out by a doctor. Well, life continued and time flew by and I forgot about it until, vwa la, here comes my November period. What??? Exactly 29 days later, I have another cycle. Now I'm getting scared.

So, I remember back at what Dr. Azar told me. She with certainty said, when you are healthy again, you'll start getting your periods again. I immediately decided to make an appointment and discuss all of this with my medical doctor. Her schedule and mine didn't line up so I saw her P.A. Jennifer Haugen. I shared with her what it was that my holistic doctor told me and the entire history of my Crohn's and how I was anemic and this physical shock to my system was what Dr. Azar, my holistic doctor, thought prompted the menstrual cycle to stop. 

Jennifer explained to me a little more about the two tests I had. She explained that the tests were an indicator of if the ovaries were working. Well from a layman's perspective, I already knew my ovaries weren't working during the time I wasn't having a cycle. That only makes sense. But what I really wanted to know was why? Had they stopped working because I'm menopausal, or have they stopped working because of the physical state I have been in because of what Crohn's had done to my body.

Ultimately, additional test results have come back and I am not so fortunate to have gotten through menopause with no symptoms. The results have changed, and although they don't indicate that I'm as fertile as a 20 year old, they do indicate that having a cycle is within my hormonal state. 

In further discussions with my holistic doctor, the body some times when in shock, diverts to life saving functions only. Now that my body is in balance, it could function normally again. How amazing is that? There is no doubt that based on my age and my current hormone levels that menopause is around the corner, but can you comprehend the amazing intelligence of the body? 

To put this in better perspective, my doctor also tested my blood count because I've been anemic for over a year now, and sure enough, my hemoglobin is normal for the first time in over a year. The normal range for a woman is 12 - 16 gr/dl. I've been under between 8 and 11 since my diagnosis, and only when my red blood count is normal, it was at 13 just recently versus 10.9 back in August, does my monthly cycle return. It's as if my body knew that retaining red blood cells was important, and it only allowed the loss of these cells after my body was back to normal again.

Ultimately, my blood tests last week are normal in all categories for the first time since my diagnosis. Even my body has responded back to normal in all aspects of my life. I've even gained weight without trying again. Haha....but seriously, this means my intestines are again absorbing all of the nutrients and minerals, versus when I couldn't keep anything at all inside of me. 

The bottom of my last and only flare up since my diagnosis last September occurred in March. Since May, I have been living without any medication and everything is back to normal! I'm amazed. I can't comprehend how just a year ago I was told I had an incurable autoimmune disease, and today I live a normal life without medication, without any symptoms, and all medical tests indicate I'm normal.

Consider how many people with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis live a life filled with medicine and still don't have a life without symptoms. I remember meeting a gentleman at Del Friscos, just around the corner from where live  This was around Christmas of last year. He had ulcerative colitis. He had to get drugs intravenously every two weeks because his body developed a tolerance to the drugs I was prescribed. He confirmed what Dr. Sigmon had told me early on. He had to bump up the medication he was taking because the weaker medication that I was taking at the time, no longer worked for him. The next step for him was to have his colon removed...

Wow! How blessed am I?

I have added more food to my diet and even some alcohol:) No red wine, however. But that's okay. It's amazing how I don't quite have a taste for it any more. In any regard, My next blog will be on how I'm balancing my diet. Even that is great news. But my most recent experience and doctors visits resulted in such amazing information, I had to share this first.

Regarding my diet, I'm still avoiding all animal products and limit myself on processed foods including any grains. I'll give you more details soon...

Merry Christmas everyone! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Post Healing Diet

I've been debating on how to explain the diet that has been working to keep me from having a flare up. I think I'll explain it two different ways. I'll explain the type of foods to eat and to avoid, but then in a follow up blog, I'll actually list the food. This blog will explain why certain types of food is good or bad for Crohn's.

Avoid The Following

Nutrient Deficient Foods: We need to eat foods that are rich in minerals in order to digest properly. Digestive enzymes are made by the body from the nutrients in the food we eat.  So if you eat foods that are nutrient deficient, the food will be harder to digest because you won't produce the appropriate level of digestive enzymes needed to digest the food without aggravating your digestive system. This means that candy, pastries, ice cream, etc., are not good for your digestive tract.

Excessive Cooked Foods: Consider that we are the only ones of God's creatures that cook their food, and we are the only ones that have widespread illness. There is a correlation. Protein, vitamins and minerals are virtually destroyed by cooking.Cooking actually makes food toxic. Ultimately, cooking food makes it nutrient deficient and for all of the reasons noted above, nutrient deficient foods make the digestive system work too hard for proper digestion and this can cause a flare up. I make it a habit to not eat more than one cooked meal a day.

Poor Food Combinations: If you eat foods in poor combinations, you can trap foods in the stomach longer than it is necessary and the food can spoil in your stomach. Then as the spoiled food enters your intestines it will likely cause inflammation which leads to a flare up. So eat foods in proper combinations or in order of the quickest digestive foods first. Eat melons alone. They digest very quickly and leave the stomach within 20-30 minutes. If you eat them with other foods the slower digested food will trap the melon in the stomach longer than it is supposed to be there causing the melon to ferment. So melon eat alone. All other fruit you can combine with other fruit, or non-starching vegetables. Starchy vegetables only eat with other vegetables. Don't eat protein with starchy vegetables because they require acidic and alkaline enzymes respectively, and these enzymes together neutralize each other so your intestines have to work harder to digest them than when they have digestive enzymes to help. Eat protein with non-starchy vegetables.

Don't Overeat or Eat Constantly: Both of these actions over works your intestines and this can lead to inflammation which can cause a flare up. Your digestive tract needs to rest between meals.

Other Irritants: Stay away from spicy food, salt, gluten (an undigestable protein), caffeine, and any other stimulant. If the food is spicy to your tongue it will aggravate your intestines. Salt is corrosive to your body.. Digestive enzymes don't work on gluten, so it is only your chewing that digests gluten. Clearly this can aggravate your intestines as they try to digest something that cannot be digested. And stimulants deplete your digestive nerve energy. Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco do this as well.

Mucous Forming Foods:  Cooked meats, dairy, soy, beans and grains are typically mucous forming and this leads to constipation and play a role in Crohn's. I have elimiated all animal products and eat cooked beans and grains in moderation. I will typically only have cooked beans or grains (quinoa is the best - gluten free as an alternative) once per week.

Acid Forming Foods:  This is really the biggest thing to avoid from my experience. We have metabolic waste acids throughout our body and we require alkaline minerals to neutralize it. If we eat too many acid forming foods, our bodies have to work extra hard to neutralize the acid and it resorts to our calcium reserves in our bones for neutralization, which cal lead to osteoporosis. A constant acid environment stresses the body and depletes nerve energy which is needed in order to prevent a Crohn's flare up. Below are the most common acid forming foods:

  • All animal products
  • All grains and flour except amaranth, millet and quinoa
  • All beans except lima, peas, green beans, soybeans and sprouted beans
  • All nuts except almonds, chestnuts, coconuts, pine nuts and sesame
  • White sugar, processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup
  • Carbonated soft drinks
  • Coffee and alcohol

Excessive Fat:  Cooked fats are a prime cause of Crohn's. It causes diarrhea accompanied by inflammation, triggering a flare up. 

Meat:  Meat, including fish, is the biggest cause of Crohn's because it is mostly indigestible and it poisons the intestines, bloodstream and tissues while acidifying the body. Even infrequent meat eating can trigger a flare up.  Meat is especially harmful to the colon and is a known cause of colon cancer. Animal food is acid-forming, mucous-forming, high in fat, lacks fiber and low in water content. They require an overload of energy to digest, and usually spoil in the intestines. If you want to live symptom free, you will have to eliminate meat from your diet. 

Increase the Following

Water:  Distilled, purified and spring water does wonders for cleansing the intestines. Drink plenty of water as it also helps increase nerve energy. 

Fruits and Vegetables: Uncooked fruits and vegetables are the best to eat because they help the body produce the levels of digestive enzymes necessary to digest the food properly. They also provide bacteria and fiber needed in order to maintain healthful bacteria in the intestines. Raw fruits and vegetables, when chewed properly, is also the most nutritious. 

Rest:  All healing requires nerve energy, and you replenish your nerve energy when you sleep. I make sure I get ample sleep. Prior to being diagnosed with Crohn's I would only sleep about six hours per day. Now I insist on getting my eight hours a day. It not only keeps me healthy, but it seems to reduce my daily work stress.

Fresh Air and Sunshine: Clean air helps oxygenate your body which clearly adds to your body's healing ability. Also, a few minutes of sunshine a day gives you the vitamin D that you need that you don't get from a meat free diet. 


As a general rule this is my daily diet:

First thing in the morning: I drink about 12 oz of carrot and apple juice. I use four carrots and two apples.

Early Lunch: I typically eat melon: honeydew, cantaloupe or watermelon. I eat a whole honeydew or cantaloupe most of the time, and an equivalent amount of watermelon. I love melons.

Mid Day Juice : I either have more carrot and apple juice or I drink melon juice which I love.

Snacks:  I eat fruit as snacks. Bananas, pears, peaches, nectarines, grapes and cherries are some of my favorite.

Dinner:  I typically eat steamed vegetables including a lot of squash. I often include a sauce that includes some blended tomatoes and some mild herbs such as parsley and cilantro. Tomatoes and mango make a good sauce. 

After Dinner Juice: I don't always have evening juice and when I do, I usually don't have an evening snack, but when I have evening juice I have a green juice which includes romaine, cucumber, red pepper, carrots and apple. This helps with my hemoglobin levels as I've been borderline anemic since I've been diagnosed with Crohn's. 

Evening Snack: I love my banana icecream. I freeze bananas and then blend the frozen bananas with a little coconut water. I add some dates when I want it a little sweeter. I also add cherries or mango if I want a change in the flavor. Instead of this, I'll also eat fruit.

Exceptions: About once to twice per week I treat myself to something other than the what I have noted above.

When eating out, I typically get a salad or I asked for grilled vegetables. A common meal will be vegetarian fajitas. I will only do this no more than once a week. I hold the onions, sour cream and cheese and I ask for corn tortillas. I'll even add black beans if they have it. 

Many times when eating out, I can get a couple of their side dishes as my meal: broccoli, asparagus, baked potato, etc. Something like this wouldn't even be considered an exception and perfectly follows my diet plan.

When having a salad, I tend to get a dressing without milk, such as a balsamic vinaigrette. This can be an aggravant, so I get it on the side and dunk my salad in the dressing just slightly. Both the oil and vinegar must be used in moderation. Again, I don't do this daily, just as a once a week exception.

I'll also have pasta on occasion. Quinoa is my favorite. I've twice now also had gluten free pasta and it seems to be okay. But if I decide to do this it is my once per week cheat. I am not having pasta or beans more than once per week. 

Another treat for me is pizza. Brixx's pizza has a gluten free crust and vegan cheese. I've had this with roasted red peppers, green peppers and mushrooms as my once per week exception as well and my gut seemed fine. 

If there is desert, I will usually only taste one bite of someone else's desert. Deserts simply have too much nutrient poor ingredients and they typically include milk so I only have tastes, and again, I don't do this but at most once per week.

Any time I have grains or beans, or even a taste of desert, I don't eat anything else the rest of the day or at least for six hours. These take longer to digest and aggravate the digestive tract more than fruits and vegetables so I want it fully digested so that the GI tract has a break before it has to work again.

If I make an exception to my daily routine only once per week, then I don't have any issues. However, if I have these exceptions regularly, as I did when I traveled to Florida for several days, then my gut needs some corrective action in order to feel normal again. In those cases, I will water fast for a day, or if it's not that bad, I'll juice for a day. 

When I juice to correct my bad reaction to some food, I usually juice with only apple and carrot juice as well as watermelon juice. Apple and carrot juice is my miracle cure. It seems to fix any bad reaction to any food I've eaten. It has pectin which is very healing and cleansing to the colon and it also acts as a protectant.

Watermelon is highly alkaline so it does very well for neutralizing an acidic environment. 

Additionally, keep in mind that proper chewing may have the most impact on proper digestion than any other factor. So always chew your food in excess. Digestive enzymes are in our saliva. Plus the act of chewing triggers digestive nerve energy. But ultimately, the more you chew, the more you lighten the burden of digestion in your intestines. Overworking your intestines causes inflammation which will lead to a flare up.

So this is what I've been doing for a few months now, and it seems to be working. I have had days that my gut didn't feel quite right, but I immediately go to water or juice depending upon how bad I feel and I nip it in the bud right away. I haven't had a flare up since March. Six months without a flare up; that's amazing. I've been off medication since May, so I have been four full months without a flare up and without medication. I'm thrilled!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's Been A While...

It seems forever since I last blogged. I guess that's good new actually. I have been flare up free since March. Woooo whoooo. I have had some gut discomforts, but small issues that prompt me to juice for a day or two and then the gut feels fine again.

On August 25 I had my annual physical and all my blood work except my hemoglobin was normal. My hemoglobin was 10.8, which is .1 lower than it was a couple of months ago. Basically it's stabilized, but I'm still borderline anemic. I haven't gone to my gastroenterologist lately simply because there hasn't been a need to go, thank goodness. But ultimately, I need to juice with more greens and eat more salad to help improve my hemoglobin.

I also went on a road trip to Key West since I've last blogged. Rode my motorcycle the entire way. The trip took over a week. I typiclly had fruit for breakfast and lunch and then ate at a restaurant for dinner. Dinners were usually some type of mixed vegetables and/or a salad. I may have actually raised my hemoglobin during this trip with as many veggies i ate. I did have some sauces and dressings but in moderation. By the end of the trip my gut definitely was inflamed, but not to the extent of a flare up or even significant symptoms. Again, I went to juicing a couple of days and now I'm back to normal.

When I juice to correct any gut discomfort I usually juice with apple and carrot juice and watermelon juice only. Apples and carrots have pectin which is only digested in the colon. It is healing to the colon.  Watermelon is highly alkaline forming which helps stabilize the acid in an incflamed colon.

I've now been off meds since May and am doing well. I've expanded my diet to include some grains and nuts too. I'll write more soon on the expanded diet but just wanted to write an update since it has been so long. Hope everyone reading this is doing as well as I. God bless.

Monday, July 9, 2012

An Update...

I was in Florida for the weekend and ate dinner on Saturday as well as lunch on Sunday at Mi Pueblos, which has a vegan/living foods organic menu. It's all raw fruits, vegetables and seeds as well as all organic. The only other food I ate was fruit. Yet, inspite of that, I have some issues with some Crohn's symptoms.

The symptoms are not extreme and are limited strictly to my bowel movements, but that is how a flare up starts. So I'm water fasting today, and going to melon juice for the next couple of days until the symptoms cease. Wish me luck. I don't want another flare up:-(

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Introducing New Foods

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, simply because there isn’t much to report. I’m doing well and still feeling great. I am introducing a few new foods to the diet. Foods that have a little fat, are harder to digest, or are not so alkaline forming.

Avocado:  Fats and oils are highly perishable. As such, they often rancidify in our bodies if not properly digested and eliminated. This results in the formation of free radicals which have a ravaging effect on mucous membrane cells, which likely contributes to Crohn’s. Even good fat, such as avocado, can only be introduced after the colon is healed. So I am now able to introduce avocado in moderation.

I intend to use it as in guacamole, and dressings over my salads. A couple of the dressings.
Tomato: Tomatoes are acidic, although they are alkaline forming. So tomatoes in moderation with other alkaline forming foods I can now test in moderation. One of my favorite dishes is zucchini lasagna. It’s raw, and the noodles are thinly sliced zucchini noodles. The tomato sauce includes sundried soaked tomatoes, tomatoes, dates for sweetening, and some Italian spices. I layer the sauce with crimini mushrooms and the zucchini noodles. It’s delicious. I’ll add a layer of nut cheese to this once I can eat nuts again.

Lemon Juice: Lemons also are acidic, but they are also alkaline forming. Basically, the juice I can add to dressing recipes. It would be used in guacamole, and salad dressings.

Guacamole at this stage I make with avocado, lemon juice and diced tomatoes.

I’ll also use the lemon juice in some salad dressings. Tomatoes very ripe, with some avocado and lemon juice is a good one.

Peaches, Nectarines and Cherries:   These are only slightly or moderately alkaline forming, but as long as they’re not acid forming, I can have them now with other alkaline forming foods.

Seeds:  I cannot eat the seed shell without them being soaked, but the inside of the seeds in moderation I can introduce at this time. Seeds are generally slightly alkaline forming, but can be on salads. Also I intend to make seed hummus after sprouting seeds. I haven’t done it yet, but will test this out soon. Luna’s living kitchen has seed hummus that’s delicious, so I definitely want to try to make this.

Popcorn: This is moderately acidic, and I can only have very little. I’m certain Dr. Azar would not have suggested this at this time, but I have inquired and she is supporting it as long as I have very very little and see how I react to it. Also, I cannot eat the partially popped cornels. This would be difficult on the digestive tract.

Ultimately, as I introduce these items, if I continue to feel well and my symptoms don’t return, then I can introduce even more items. My next tests are in about a month. If they remain as they are or improve, we’ll add more items at that time.

There is an ironic and unfortunate situation with someone very close to me. The only person I leaned on when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s is now having Crohn’s and colitis symptoms. She has non-stop diarrhea and has lost 22 pounds in the past month. She has undigested particles in her stool and everything just goes right through her. She is not having inflammation yet, but that came much later with me. She has some tests next week to determine what the cause is, but at this time the belief is it is a digestive tract disorder or disease. I’m not sure that I can disclose who this is at this time, so can you just keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Test Results

Great news! I had a call from my doctor’s office with the test results from my Tuesday afternoon appointment. There are two specific items that I needed to see improvement. The sediment rate, which is an indicator of the inflammation in the body. The higher the rate the greater the inflammation, and since Crohn’s is an inflammatory disease, this is the best indicator of the condition of the inflammation in my colon.

Secondly, the hemoglobin count is a count of red blood cells. Whenever Crohn’s is active, the red blood count drops and I become anemic. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is a protein that carries oxygen. The role of red blood cells is for the hemoglobin to absorb oxygen in your lungs and carry it to all the muscles, organs and tissues in your body, and oxygen is essential to the life of your cells.

A “normal” sediment rate for a woman is 20 or lower. At my most ill Crohn’s moment, my sediment rate was 107. This is insanely high. I have never had a sediment rate under 68 while not on medication. Since my diagnosis, the lowest sediment rate I have had is 36, and that was while I was taking medication. I was hoping that this recent test would result in a sed rate of 60 or lower. I was soooo happy to hear the news that my sediment rate is only 42! This is an awesome improvement from 107 in March, and to be there without medication is very very exciting and great news.

My hemoglobin count in March was 10.2. I was hoping to have it improve to 11 or higher, but most of all, I needed it to show improvement. Improvement means I am producing more red blood cells, which basically means it’s just a matter of time for it to become normal. I knew that the hemoglobin had to have improved because my energy level has improved, and that would be an indicator that my body is getting the oxygen it needs. The good news here is that my hemoglobin was 10.9. Soooo close to 11. Yay again!!

I return in six weeks. My goal of course is to get my sediment rate under 20 and my hemoglobin close to 12. I’ll continue to stay on my healing diet and include juice three times a day. Twice I juice apple and carrots which are high in Pectin. Pectin is completely digested in the colon and releases needed fatty acids. Since pectin is fermented only when it reaches the colon, it is said to assist in all colon related illnesses. It is even a colon cancer treatment. Pectin acts as a detoxicant, as a regulator and a protectant of the gastrointestinal tract, as an immune system stimulant and as an anti-ulcer and antinephritic agent (counter acting).  I am certain that the apple/carrot juice is a primary factor in reducing my colon inflammation, and therefore, improving my sediment rate.

I also juice romaine, cucumber, red sweet peppers, carrots and apples once daily. This gives additional pectin, and the iron I need in order to increase my hemoglobin. Other than juicing three times daily, I primarily eat only sweet alkaline forming fruits. On occasion, about once a week, I’ll have greens for lunch or dinner, and once to twice a week, I’ll have steamed squash or sweet potatoes for dinner.

The details of “My Healing Diet” is a blog entry on 11-23-11 if you’d like all the details. Ultimately, I am very happy with my current test results and am resolved to have even better results six weeks from now!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Doctor’s Appointment

I had a doctor’s appointment today, but there’s not much to report until the test results come back. My gut feeling is that my hemoglobin has improved, but is likely not normal quite yet. I also expect that my sediment rate has improved as well, but also is not normal. It has yet to be normal since my diagnosis last September, but as long as it is below 60, I think I’ll be happy.

I feel good, with ample energy to get through my day, and my bowels seem normal, so I’m certain both tests will show improvement. I should get the results on Thursday, so I’ll update this blog when they come in. The water and juice fast certainly helped my condition, but at the same time, I am completely off the meds and I haven’t had a sediment rate below 100 when I have been off medication, so I’m a little anxious to see the results. Keep your fingers crossed.

If both of these indicators are improved, then I simply stay on track with my diet for now until both hit “normal.” Once they are both normal, I can begin introducing some additional foods. I’m looking forward to that day, since this diet is very boring at this point. But then again, at least I feel good, and that’s more important that a temporary pleasure of the pallet.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Daily Update

Day 1: I have been psyching myself up for this water fast and juice diet for about a month, and it made this first day easy. I drank a little over a gallon of water. I drank about 16 oz every couple hours that I was awake. I spent about 30 minutes in the sun, 15 minutes on each side. Dr. Azar warned me not to stay in the sun much because it drains energy, leaving less available for healing.

I thought about food only a couple of times, and was able to block it out of my mind very easily with some positive self talk. Some side effects that Dr. Azar warned me could happen were a head ache and an upset gut, possibly even vomiting. I didn’t get a headache but had a very mild upset gut.  It was so mild that often with Crohn’s, the gut feels much worse than what I experienced.

The biggest issue is that I’m very tired. She indicated that these days I must have complete rest. Well there’s a reason for it and that’s because I have no energy to do anything else. Ultimately, the first day was as good as expected. I meditated much more than a typical day, and wrote a lot. Read a little bit, but not much.

I recently started dating a Baptist Pastor, believe it or not. He’s not what I stereotyped him to be, but I think he’s influenced me to listen to more Christian music. This first day, instead of my Christian music randomly playing on my iPod, I filtered the music and listened to Christian music exclusively for several hours. I don’t recall the last time I’ve done that. From what I have read about fasting, it that it can very well be a spiritual experience as well. Maybe that was the seed that prompted me in this direction.

All in all, it was a good day.

Day 2:  Last night, I went to sleep around 9:30 p.m. and woke up at 7:30 a.m. Ten hours sleep. Not bad. But even with ten hours sleep, I’m drained. Not tired enough to sleep all day, but drained enough to do nothing other than write, listen to music, and meditate in silence. I also went to church and spent some time with my mother and a friend on the phone.

I hope I didn't mess things up though. I was tired last night and didn’t make it to church. I typically go to 5:00 p.m. mass on Saturday nights. But because I missed it, I went to church this morning. It’s Pentecostal Sunday. The day the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles. Any ways, I took communion, which of course is a small wafer and the body of Jesus Christ. I hope because of what it is, it won’t mess things up for. I’m thinking it’s okay;-)

Overall, I feel okay today, very drained again. However, I felt as if I had a little more energy in the afternoon. In talking with Dr. Azar today, she said feeling tired is fine and expected, as it only tells me how much my body needs to rest during this process. The fact that I didn’t get a headache, and still don’t have one, indicates the cleanse-ness of my body. Yay. The healing diet I’ve been following has clearly done my body good.

Dr. Azar also said that it’s the time of day I start of my water fast in which the clock starts for the length of time I continue on the fast. The actual time of day I started was about lunch time on Friday. However, I did have a decaffeinated iced tea after that time. The maximum time she recommends being on the water fast without being in the care of a doctor is 72 hours, which means if I don’t count the iced tea, I am done with the water fast by 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. After three days without food, organs start to panic since they are not getting the nutrients they need and there could be complications, which is why a water fast for more than three days really needs to be done in a doctor’s care. Therefore, I will likely only fast until about lunch time tomorrow in which I’ll start the watermelon juice as noted in my prior post for day three.

That’s the recap for today.

Day Three:  Today, I took off about noon to go to Folly beach and will be there until Friday. My juicer of course is coming with me. This is the day, I introduced juice to my diet. Only watermelon juice of four ounces every two hours and as much water as I like, so that the total amount of liquid I consume is at least a gallon.

The view is awesome!

When I spoke with Dr. Azar last night, as I do every evening so far during this fast, she indicated that the light headedness I’m experiencing is to be expected. Additionally, she was not concerned at all about me taking communion yesterday, as suspected.

Some interesting advice from Dr. Azar has to do with how the hotel cleans my room, towels and sheets. From advice she has given me months ago, I have changed my laundry detergent, body lotion, hair products, even most of my make up (although I don’t wear much) to natural products without preservatives. The skin is our largest organ, and whatever is on our skin is absorbed into our blood steam, just as if we ingested it.

So during my stay, I will not be using their towels, nor will I allow them to clean my room with chemicals. During this cleansing time, she doesn’t want my system to have to process cleaning ingredients. When in good health our body knows how to rid germs and chemicals that are not good for us. But during this fast, the focus is to allow the body to do nothing but heal. When they service my room they are only allowed to make my bed and empty my garbage. I would have never thought of how damaging to this process chemicals in cleaning supplies could be.

Last night I went to sleep about 11:00 p.m. and awoke at 7:00 a.m. Only eight hours sleep. That surprised me, but I made up for it by napping for a couple hours once I arrived at the beach. I’m still drained, and also have a mild headache which Dr. Azar warned me would occur. The body has to get used to digesting things again, even if it is just watermelon juice. I will be discussing with her if I should change the plan for tomorrow because of it.

I went to Earth Fare yesterday to shop for everything I need to take with me, and they only had one seedless watermelon and no mangos. I thought that would be enough to get me started and had plans to stop at another Earth Fare to pick up those items for the balance of my juice fast. There was one in Charleston, which was on my way to Folly Beach. However, I had so much juice that came out of one small personal seedless watermelon, that there was no need to pick up any more. I only used three of the eight sections and got 14 ounces. The other half I used when I got to the hotel. This is enough to not only get me through the day, but I’ll still have enough for twelve ounces tomorrow. Who would have thought that that much juice would come out of such a small watermelon?

My recent normal weight is right around 125 pounds, give or take a pound. The two weeks prior to starting this fast, I knew it was possible that I would lose weight during this time, which candidly, for the first time in my life is not what I desire. So I added extra calories and got up to 128 pounds, which is what I weighed in at Saturday morning when I started the water fast. This morning I was 123.8. This is not bad. I basically don’t want to get under 120, which likely won’t occur, because as of tomorrow I will be able to drink as much juice as I like. I shouldn’t lose any more weight from tomorrow on as long as Dr. Azar doesn’t change my diet due to my headache. Can you believe just a year ago when I went to Europe I was 160 pounds. Now that’s one major benefit from my Crohn’s disease :)

My symptoms have basically disappeared since I’ve started this fast, and that also had occurred without any supplements or medication. The medication I was taking included budesonide, a corticosteroid and immune suppressant, in which I was taking three capsules daily. I had weaned myself down to only one prior to starting this fast. The second medication is Asacol, an anti-inflammatory and immune suppressant. I was prescribed six tablets daily. I was down to only two.

On Friday afternoon, I stopped taking both medications. I also have been taking iron supplements for my anemia, B-12 since a plant based diet lacks in this regard, and a probiotic. According to Dr. Azar, all of these items will just interfere with the body’s healing. They stimulate the body because they need to be processed, which will detract from the body healing.

Just to clarify my objective, it is to heal Crohn’s not just to get in remission. Healing is my goal. This fast is just part of the process. The entire process could take a year to two years or longer. I suspect I will do this water/juice fast at least once a year until the Crohn’s is healed. 

Day 4:  Yesterday, I had a mild headache and thought Dr. Azar might suggest changing my diet today. She did not. So I was able to drink as much fruit juice as I wanted. Honey dew melon and mango is absolutely delicious, but so sweet I had to water it down. I have realized that I brought entirely too much fruit and vegetables. I could have gotten away with half of what I brought. Since my entire diet has never been juice, I really didn’t know how much to bring. It’s amazing how much juice comes out of fruit, especially melons.

My lightheadedness is gone most of the time. Only when I go from laying down to standing up quickly do I experience it. My headache is gone and I’m not as tired as other days, although I did sleep eleven hours. Now for the Crohn’s symptoms that is nasty to discuss, bowel movements. I had my first movement in three days. All I have to say is it is clear that I am cleansing. Haha. You can ask me details off line if you’re interested. This also was something I expected.

Tropical depression Beryl came through. Yesterday and this morning were rainy. The afternoon became overcast and windy. Tomorrow and Thursday are supposed to be beautiful days. I wanted to get some sun while I was here. I’m hopeful the weather man is right about the next two days.

Because the weather wasn’t so desirable today, I went to the Tanger Outlet Mall in North Charleston. I definitely must be feeling better to have enough energy to shop:) My Coach handbag faded from the sun tremendously. I assume because I drive a convertible, it gets more sun than it should. Can you believe they swapped out my bag for another? You’ve got to love Coach. I was surprised to see they had iPad covers for $59. This is about the same price you can get one from Apple that has a similar quality. Any ways….moving on.

Ultimately, today was an awesome day. I feel great considering. I’m still getting lots of rest, writing and reading, as well as listening to music. This absolutely has been a no stress get-away. It is quite nice so far.

Day 5 and 6:  The only issue that I’ve experienced is a little too much gas. Lol. Dr. Azar said it was too much of the green juice, so I’ve back off of that to only 1 serving, and the gas has subsided.

Otherwise, I’m feeling great. No fasting or Crohn’s symptoms at all. I have more energy than I expected considering that I'm not eating solid foods. I also no longer have the bloated gut that I've had for months now, and up to the day I started this fast. I’m certain my colon inflammation is way down. Yay.

My bowel movements are only once a day, which is normal. It would be more if I had a significantly inflamed colon. I’m struggling getting the amount of sleep and rest that I should because I don’t feel like I need it. But I am being very good and not pushing myself at all to do anything physical. I did take a break to get a pedicure and manicure today. Other than that, it’s the same daily routine: read, write, meditate, and get some sun. I have also found myself singing a lot :-)

There’s not much more to say. The weather has been gorgeous these two days. Tomorrow is the last day of the juice fast. Then I have three days transitioning back to my normal healing diet. I’ll be traveling back to Charlotte tomorrow. This has been great for my health, I am certain!

Day 7 and 8:  Hmmm….what to do. I was supposed to head up to Tazewell, VA for a Bikefest, but my friend with the motorcycle has been sick, so those plans have been cancelled. Therefore, I now am home in Charlotte for the weekend without plans.

I have technically finished my juice fast yesterday, and today I’m supposed to begin transitioning back to solid foods by eating melons. I feel so good that I’m not sure I want to go back to eating solid foods. That’s crazy, isn’t it? But since my active plans for this weekend have been cancelled, I can be restful for a couple more days, and therefore, I believe I am going to stay on this juice diet for one or two more days. If I continue the juice through tomorrow, then  I can transition back Monday through Wednesday, instead.

The only foods I am not eating in juice form, that I would eat on my healing diet is bananas, squash and sweet potatoes. All the other foods I’m getting in juice form, and I’m getting enough calories that my weight stabilized during this process at 123 pounds.

One major symptom that is gone is the bloating I have had in my gut. I have had this since June of last year to some degree. To those that are observant, you could always tell how much discomfort I'd have in my gut based upon the looseness of my clothes in my midsection. I'm thrilled to say I have a flat stomach at the moment and can even wear my skinny jeans without any discomfort.  Wow! I'm so happy and grateful that this water/juice fast has delivered some fabulous results. I’d recommend it to anyone with Crohn’s or colitis. Make sure to work with a doctor before doing this on your own, though. For those interested, Dr. Zarin Azar is wonderful: drzarinazar@yahoo.com – 760.751.0638.

Days 9 and 10: Saturday and Sunday I stayed on the juice diet. I’ll begin transitioning to solid foods on Monday. I still feel great!!

Transition Day 1:  Ultimately, I had a total of three water fast days and six juice fast days. I absolutely feel the best I have in probably a year. I added solid food today. Watermelon only. All went well. I’ll eat all other fruits tomorrow, and by Wednesday will be back to my healing diet. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Water Fast and Juice Healing Retreat

Since adding apple/carrot juice to my diet, my energy levels have sky rocketed and I am back to 100% in that regard. However, my gut still isn't 100%, although it is significantly improved. I still get gurgling, and my bowel movements aren't quite normal yet.  When I read the book Self Healing Crohn’s and Colitis, they discussed a water fast, as well as a juice healing diet as a way to give your bowel a rest and enable it to heal up more rapidly.

Water Fast Description: 

Days One and Two:  I’ll be water fasting for two to three days. The definition of “fast” is a complete physiological rest (in bed), including abstinence from all food except pure water. This enables the body to utilize virtually all available energy for self-healing; all activities are ceased and energy conserved for the organism to use for self-healing. Fasting is generally not necessary for recovery from Crohn's, however, it can significantly speed up the healing. Fasting must be undertaken only when conditions are favorable and not when severe malnutrition is present or when a person is unable to take complete rest.

Juice Healing Diet:

I will then transition to the juice healing diet for the balance of seven days. Juice therapy has been known to greatly improve chronic digestive troubles, help overcome ulcers, increase vitality and resolve many more health problems. Juicers break open the cells of the vegetables or fruits, releasing minerals many times more effectively than our chewing can. Raw juices are rich in “organic” water, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, all of which assimilate within minutes.

After becoming comfortable with the healing diet (described in an earlier blog), which I have been following for a couple of months now, and symptoms have diminished and stabilized somewhat but are still lingering and not reducing further, an all-juice diet for one to five days, depending on how you feel, will expedite healing. It also requires complete rest during this time. This juicy diet gives the bowel a rest and enables it to heal up more rapidly.

Day Three:  I will transition from the water fast to the juice diet by drinking only watermelon juice of 4 oz every two hours for the first day of the juice diet.

Day Four:  The second day on the juice diet, I will be having apple/carrot juice twice a day, then as much juice as I like from the following fruits:  apples, grapes, pears, melons, persimmons, and mango. This will be the plan for the first day of the juice diet.

Days Five through Seven:  The remaining three days, I’ll also add romaine and cucumber twice a day.

Transitioning to the Healing Diet

Day Eight:  I’ll be transitioning back to the healing diet, which you can find the details of this diet in an earlier blog called “My Healing Diet.” In addition to continuing with the juice on this day, I’ll have only two melon meals. Melons are the most easily digested fruit, and this will help the digestive system ease into having to work again.

Day Nine: I’ll eat melons again, but I can have them for all meals. 

Day Ten: I return to work on this day, and will be able to eat all the fruit on the healing diet that I like.

Day Eleven: I can add the vegetables on the healing diet as well.

I’ll likely blog daily as to how I am feeling along the way. Wish me luckJ

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Awesome Diet Change

I haven't quite been improving from this last flare up as quickly as my first diagnosis. I had some immediate improvement once I started back on the medicine, but I haven't gotten to remission and I've been on meds and the healing diet since March 16. I consulted with my holistic Gastroenterologist, Dr. Azar about a week ago. I shared with her my food log and asked what I can do to expedite my healing. She suggested adding apple/carrot juice to my diet twice daily in addition to what I had been eating and drinking. 

I started doing so early last week and by the end of the week I had amazing improvement. My energy level is back to 100%, and my gut is feeling remarkably better. My bowel movements have reduced to my normal three per day. I still have some minor symptoms, but wow, what an improvement in the past week. I'm not sure if this is all because of the apple/carrot juice, or just coincidental and all of the other things I had been doing simply started working.

In any regard, not only do I feel great, but I've began to reduce the meds because of it. I am on two medications. One is a corticosteroid and immune suppressant, budesonide. The other is an anti inflammatory and immune suppressant, mesalamine. I used to take three capsules of budesonide and two tablets of mesalamine twice a day. I'm down to two capsules of budesonide and 1 tablet of mesalamine twice a day and there has been no worsening of symptoms. Yay! 

When I inquired with Dr. Azar as to why the apple/carrot juice works so well, she informed me that the juice is very healing, cleansing and anti inflammatory to the colon all at the same time. There is a large amount of pectin in both apples and carrots which is healing for the gut. Pectin is completely digested in the colon and releases needed fatty acids. Since pectin is fermented only when it reaches the colon, it is said to assist in all colon related illnesses. It is even a colon cancer treatment. Pectin acts as a detoxicant, as a regulator and a protectant of the gastrointestinal tract, as an immune system stimulant and as an anti-ulcer and antinephritic agent (counter acting).  

I'm just very happy with my progress in the past week. Apple and carrot juice has become my best friend :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Good News

The good news is that I'm not getting worse. I've seemed to have plateaued. As soon as I went on the medication, my energy improved and bowel movements improved, but neither improved to 100%. I still go to bed at 9:00 p.m. and require 10 hours sleep in order to have enough energy to work the next day. I still have irregular bowel movements and wake in the middle of the night each night because of it, among other inconveniences. I still don't have enough energy to do anything other than work and rest.

But the good news is, I'm not getting worse. I'm going to do something radical later this month. I'm taking some time off work and basically having a health retreat. I'll be water fasting for two to three days, then juice fasting for another four to five days. My days will consist of meditation, rest, reading, walking the beach, getting some sun, and plenty of sleep. I believe that this time will jump start my continued improvement. I'm consulting with my holistic GI to finalize the plan later this month.

Ultimately, this recent flare up must be really bad because diet and medication isn't improving it as quickly as when I was initially diagnosed. I'm excited about my healthy retreat later this month. I think it will really help.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Most Important Words You'll Ever Hear

When I was getting a divorce, it was a very tough time, and I wrote down affirmations that I said to myself a few times a day. I’ve done this to lose weight, to get a promotion, to get focused on new habits and many other things. Yet, I haven’t written any affirmations for healing my Crohn’s and to help with will power to stick to the healing diet and habits that will keep me healthy. So I wrote them tonight and thought I’d share them.

Remember that the most important words you'll every hear are the words you say to yourself. Your subconscious doesn't know the difference between truth and fiction. Feed it your desired truths. Here are my desired truths...

  • I am doing awesome sticking to the healing diet.
  • Eating animal and processed foods will make my Crohn's flare up and I hate the feeling of a flare up. 
  • Eating acid forming foods will make my Crohn's flare up and I hate the feeling of a flare up. 
  • I refuse to feel as bad as I felt on March 17 again.
  • Eating the wrong foods will make me have a flare up and make me feel as bad as I did on March 17.
  • I refuse to feel that way again.
  • My body knows how to heal itself when I eat properly and give it the rest it needs. 
  • That’s why I always eat properly, get the rest, and sunshine I need to stay healthy.
  • I love how I look because I'm adhering to the healing diet and am getting ample rest. 
  • I love how I feel because I'm adhering to the healing diet, getting ample rest and sunshine I need to stay healthy. 
  • My colon is healing right now. 
  • It has serviced me well and because I'm doing everything right it is healing rapidly and I feel great.
  • I'm so grateful for my health and blessed to be healing so that I can continue to live a healthy and happy life. 
  • Thank you Lord for everything!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Recent Test Results

I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday afternoon to check my progress. Some good news and some not so good news. My prior sediment rate was 107. It's only down slightly to 97. When I got the 107 results, I thought it was artificially high because I had been snowboard instructing the weekend before, and was wicked sore. Every muscle in my body seemed sore from walking up and down the mountain with all day students. But clearly, my new test results of only 10 lower probably means that the 107 sediment rate was primarily due to my colon inflammation, not muscle inflammation.

I have not improved as quickly this time on the medication as I did the first time. My cheating on the diet last week is not what's making the difference, because when I was first diagnosed, I wasn't on any special diet and within one week my sediment rate went down to 86. I've been on the medication for a little over two weeks when this recent test was taken, yet I'm not as low as the previous one week on meds produced. I clearly need to keep to the healing diet while taking the meds in order to expedite getting into remission since my body is not reacting on the medication as it had prior.

Unfortunately, that was the somewhat good news. The not so good news is that my hemoglobin has dropped to a new low. It was 10.2 my last test about five weeks ago. It dropped to 9.0:( So my anemia has gotten worse. I had not been juicing with iron rich foods (this is noted under "How to Cure Anemia" post) because the vegetable juice increases and loosens your bowel movements. And currently those changes would make each day a bit more difficult since my bowel movements are not yet back to normal. In any regard, juicing with iron rich foods and a prescribed iron supplement has immediately been added to my daily routine.

I feel much better than these results show. I clearly do not feel 100% but I've had some very good days. My energy is enough to make it through the work day without needing a nap, and I awake after about 9 to 10 hours sleep. So my fatigue has improved. Even my bowel movements have improved in frequency and consistency, yet they are not normal. Ultimately, the test results are just confirmation that I need to stick to the healing diet! That added to the medication will likely be the quickest way to remission, and once I'm in remission my anemia will likely improve easily as it had before.

My plan is to wean off the meds when it is clear that my sediment rate is normal or close too, indicating the my colon inflammation is gone. Once I'm off the medication, I have to stick to the diet. I refuse to go through this again due to my own diet decisions.

If you don't recall what the healing diet is and want a refresher, it's detailed under a post called "My Healing Diet."

Wish me luck, I'll be going back for additional tests in about 30 days to ensure that my hemoglobin is not still dropping. I'm going to be perfectly adhering to the diet, meditating, getting my vitamin D from the sun, and getting plenty of rest. Next test results are sure to be much better than these:)

Friday, March 30, 2012

On the Mend

I’m certain that March 17 was the worse medical day of my life. But fortunately, every day since then I have felt a little better. The Crohn’s and the meds, not sure which one contributed more, made my muscles and joints hurt all over. I couldn’t sleep for days due to the pain in my muscles. I hurt so bad a couple of the days I had to walk with a cane. 

I’m still not 100% but I’m certainly doing much better. My muscle and joint pain is gone now, but I still need about ten hours sleep. With enough sleep, however, I have enough energy to actively make it through each day now. Yay.

My gut is not quite normal yet. But there’s been improvement there too. My appetite has returned, but I’m not digesting normal quite yet. Bowel movements have improved, but they also are not normal quite yet.

Now this week, I’ve been very bad on the diet. Meaning, I haven’t followed it most of the week. I figured since the medication is managing my symptoms, I was going to take the opportunity to eat all of my favorite foods. So I did:)

I’ve still eaten vegetarian, but I’ve had vegan pizza, Mexican, pasta, a salad with thousand island dressings, Krispy Kreme donuts, and ice cream (almond milk based). All of this has slowed down my recovery I’m certain, but I know I will not be able to eat this as I wean off the medication and certainly won’t be able to do so once I’m off the meds, so I took this week and cheated massively!

Tomorrow starts the healing diet again so I can get to feeling 100% and begin to wean myself off the meds again.

You really don’t know how enjoyable the taste of certain foods are until you haven’t had it for months and then have it again. It was a wonderful tasteful week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Turn for the Worse

The fatigue continued to get worse and worse. I first started going to sleep at 9 p.m. so that I’d have enough energy to get up and make it through a work day. But then, that wasn’t early enough, and I began going to sleep by 8 p.m. and even then I didn’t have enough energy to make it through the day. So I literally began going to sleep when I got home from work. I’d get something to eat and then get to sleep by 6:30 p.m. and even then, with twelve hours sleep, my day was a struggle.

My appetite had been non-existent and because I was only awake 12 hours a day I was missing meals. Because of the lack of energy, preparing food hasn’t been a priority either, so I’ve lost about 5 lbs in the past two weeks. I’m really thin compared to any time in my life. I don’t think I’ve weighed 120 lbs since I was in junior high school. I really don’t want to lose any more weight, but I just haven’t had the energy to prepare food or eat.

Friday, the 16th, and my birthday, things came to a head and I left work early. I cancelled my evening plans, and was in bed by 3 p.m. Yet Saturday, I awoke at 10:00 a.m. just to realize that I didn’t have any more energy than when I went to sleep. This was the worse day I have had since my diagnosis, and may actually have been my worse ever, even compared to the days prior to my diagnosis that I refer to as my walking zombie days.

I have been soooo strict on the healing diet, yet things got worse and worse. Dr. Azar says you cleanse in layers, and this did not surprise her. But ultimately, I have been feeling ill since the end of January, and I cannot continue this way.

I made the decision Friday night to start back on the medication. Dr. Sigmon had recommended that I start back up on the mesalamine, which is an anti-inflammatory, the last two times I have seen him. I didn’t listen and tried to manage things holistically. But Friday night it became evident that I would have a long painful road ahead of me if I were to continue holistically.

I started back on the mesalamine Friday night. But when I awoke Saturday feeling so bad after seventeen hours sleep, I also started on the budesonide. Budesonide is an immune system suppressant and corticosteroid. I really didn’t want to start taking this, but I felt so miserable, so much so that I couldn’t image that the mesalamine alone would make an impact in a timely basis. Mesalamine is really meant to keep Crohn’s in remission, not to manage a flare up and clearly I was having a sever flare up.

I have already taken many days off of work this year, and I can’t afford to take another two weeks off right now which was the picture in my mind that would occur if I relied upon the mesalamine alone.

I’m very disappointed that back on the meds. But holistically working through this will take much longer and require much more time off work, and I don’t know how to keep my job with the amount of time I believe this disease would require curing holistically.

So I’m back on the meds. I feel better today than yesterday, but keep in mind, yesterday I was like the walking dead. I only got up to eat and use the rest room.

Oh yeah, in all of this of course, my bowel movements are all messed up. I almost didn’t make it to the toilet in enough time on Friday night. That would have been very embarrassing.

Now, the side effects of the meds have my muscles and joints fatigued everywhere. I had so much pain in my left ankle yesterday, I had to use a cane to get around the house. Of course I have Stephanie and Rick taking care of Rusty, because I don’t have enough energy to walk him.

Last time I was on the meds, it took about 4 to 5 days in order for me to have enough strength to make it through a work day. Tonight will make 2 full days. I really hope I can get back to work before Wednesday.

Any ways, once I am feeling good again and all my symptoms are gone, I do plan on weaning of the medication again, in an attempt to stay of the meds this time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I Just Want To Feel Healthy Again

The weekend of February 25, I was up at Beech Mountain with my boyfriend Rich, for the totally retro 80s weekend. It was quite fun actually, but I had no energy at all. I just felt drained the entire weekend. It felt like I had a mild fever and all I wanted to do was rest. Since I was in the middle of a Crohn's flare up, I just assumed that my fatigue and mild fever was related to the flare up.

But come Tuesday evening, I was so tired and felt feverish, and sure enough, my temperature was over 103. I assume that I had the flu because my fever hit over 103 through the next Saturday. In addition to the fever, I felt like I had arthritis in all my joints, had sinus and head congestion, massive fatigue, and a nasty cough. Just to put fuel on the fire, I also got this awful fever blister. My upper lip swelled up so much it looked like Angelina Jolie on botox! Seriously! 

This weekend, I was supposed to go to Louisville, KY, with Rich. His daughter is playing in a volleyball tournament there. I had to cancel, and instead, I'm home just resting. I still have the nasty cough, and massive fatigue. It seems that all the symptoms are running together. I'm not sure if I'm recovering from the flu or just dealing with cleansing symptoms.

This past week, I did return to work, but at then end of each day I was so tired. I've been going to sleep no later than 9:00 p.m. and getting at lease 10 hours sleep each day and it doesn't seem to be enough. Last night I slept 12 hours! That's crazy. 

My holistic doctor, Dr. Azar, says I'm going through a deeper layer of cleansing, and the fatigue and cough and fever has a lot to do with the effects of cleansing. If you've been reading this blog, you know that my healing diet, is also a cleansing diet, and I've been very strict at adhering to this diet over the past month because I simply want to feel healthy again, and cheating on the diet, I believe is what triggered the most recent flare up.

So, I'm on the most boring healing diet without any variance. I eat a banana smoothie for breakfast, a honeydew or cantaloupe for lunch. I have juice each day consisting of celery, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, romaine and an apple, and my dinner is either sweet potatoes, potatoes or acorn squash. This diet not only is perfect for creating an alkaline environment in my GI tract, but the juice is also great for improving my anemic condition.

This is the diet I have been following for about a month. Now and then I'll have mango, raisins, or pears. In any regard, I'm so bored with the diet, but at the same time, it's now just something I do without thinking about it.

I just want to feel healthy again...

If I just keep getting my rest and sticking to the diet, I should feel better soon.