WTF is Leaky Gut?!

Leaky GutSarah’s Rap: Most people have never heard of Leaky Gut. Among those that have, I’d estimate that at least half think it is a quack diagnosis, including those close to Leaky Gut suffers such as myself. It is difficult to have a condition where you’re met with skepticism rather than support, with accusation rather than help. I can tell you that there are a lot of doctors out there that support this illness and many people that benefit from treatment designed for a Leaky Gut. Even those with diagnoses of IBS, IBD, Autoimmune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Celiac Disease, Thyroid conditions, Autism and more!

The best course of action is to get informed and if you’re suffering, know that you are not alone. The more people learn about the condition and others like it, the better able we will be able to heal, get medical attention and receive the support needed for healing. Even if you don’t think you have any health problems, I hope you still read this as I guarantee you that someone you know does!

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Health Crisis Part 3: Lifestyle

Stressed for timeSarah’s Rap: This is the third part in my series on what I feel are contributing causes behind the high numbers of disease and illness which so many Americans, and others around the world, are suffering from. If you missed them, check out my first two posts on the Standard American Diet and the “disabling” U.S. healthcare system.  It likely will not come as a surprise that unhealthy lifestyle choices are also key factors to the prevalence of disease, but sometimes what constitutes “unhealthy” may be less obvious.

I’m no saint myself when it comes to some of my own habits. In fact, I know that several are contributing factors to my own health issues in recent years. But if I don’t acknowledge the destructive behaviors and their negative impacts, I won’t continue to make (and keep) the changes necessary to get to a healthier me. I’m hoping this post can help you to do the same and take the right step towards better health. Continue reading

Be The Change You Want to see in Yourself

Sarah’s Rap: Everyone has likely heard the oft-used quote by Mahatma Ghandi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I’ve always loved this and try to live by it best I can. I try to treat others as I wish to be treated, I do what I can for the environment, and have a passion for helping others to grow and succeed.

But I’ve also had a personal motto that I try to follow over the years:

No one will make you happy but yourself.

Sticking to this hasn’t always come easy, but whenever I find myself struggling with dissatisfaction, I’ve tried to remind myself of this and use it to motivate me to make a change. This motto means two things to me:

  • Even if I have everything I ever wanted, I may still not be happy unless I let myself. I can receive love, money, security, a family, or whatever I desire, but if I continue to think negative thoughts, don’t take time to appreciate what I have, carry around anger or resentment, never feel good-enough, etc, I won’t truly be happy.
  • If I am unhappy about my circumstances, it is up to me to make changes to get to a desired state. If I am unhappy with my job, I cannot expect someone to read my mind, the perfect job to fall into my lap or some other miracle to occur in which the desired job is attained. Instead I’m much better taking action myself that will help me to reach my goal. In the end, I’ll actually be all the more happier for reaching it, by having taken control and gone after what I need.

The first interpretation is the one I struggle with the most. I’ve actually become quite adept at the second – it actually gets easier the more one does it. I imagine the first does as well, but I’m still working on it.

Over the last seven years of suffering from gut dysbiosis, Leaky Gut, SIBO and other digestive ailments, I’ve subconsciously expanded my motto to also include:

No one will make you healthy but yourself.

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Book Review: The Loving Diet by Jessica Flanigan

Sarah’s Rap: Last year I was walking with a long-time friend and after voicing my unhappiness with my health issues and resulting dietary regimen (for probably the millionth time), my friend suggested that I might need to accept that this was the way things were going to be. That I might not get past this. She had a good point, and for awhile after that conversation I tried not to be upset with what I COULDN’T eat and instead was satisfied with what I COULD eat, and all the other good things I had in  my life – a loving family, a good job, enough money to buy organic, high-quality foods and more. A strange thing happened. Just by deciding to change my mindset my stress-levels reduced and I felt more enjoyment in life.

Sadly, since then I’ve regressed and reverted back to fighting my circumstances and always striving to “get better”. On one hand, it’s a good thing to want to be better. I don’t sit idly by or decide to eat whatever I want no matter how sick it makes me. I got a new doctor, did some lab work to find more food sensitivities and bacterial overgrowth issues, bought a portable sauna for the house and started doing progressive relaxation. But this mindset of always striving for better health also causes stress and a constant dissatisfaction that my life is not what I want it to be. I’m always cooking, worrying about eating at social functions and turning a bit into a hermit.  What I need to find is a balance between the two. I need to bring more LOVE into my life and only I can control how receptive I am to it. Only I can generate love within myself for others, my environment and my life experiences. No one will do it for me. I am surrounded by love from others, yet I often feel dissatisfied and depressed. I am going to call this My Year of Love and I’ve just read an inspiring book that’s going to help! Wanna join me? If so, read on!love Continue reading

Melissa’s Health Story

14From a young age, my health has been a roller coaster of sorts. I am grateful that the things I have had to deal with are what they are. I am clear that many suffer from far worse ailments. But, I do hope that my story helps me connect with others who have had similar experiences, and sheds some light on what it is like to live with multiple chronic conditions.

When I was 10, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, curvature of the spine. My spine was and still is an S. Despite my doctor’s attempts, we couldn’t seem to slow the process, so when it degraded to a 60° curve on the bottom and a 30° curve on top, he recommended surgery. When I was 12, I underwent a surgery called Harrington rod implantation with fusion. Three rods were fused to my spine to prevent it from curving further, and to minimize the current curvature. My curvature went down to 15° and 30°. Continue reading