What I learned in 2012

Happy 2013 readers! I hope that you all had a great 2012 where you learned how to care better for your body and the environment. I have been very busy this year in my free time learning about all these little things that interest me. Me and Google are best friends 😀

I was wanting to do a “Top 10 Things I Learned in 2012” post, but I think it just needs to be a top few. I have been abit slower with the blogging now, as I am busy working full time now – unlike when I started with this journey 🙂 I hope that you all had a wonderful and insightful 2012, now lets make 2013 a year we learn even more about making ourselves and the world healthier! Below are the top things – the things that stand out the most in my head – that I have learned this year, plus some tips and a few goals for the year.

1.Magnesium! What does it not do!

You really need it! Magnesium used to be in our food, in abundance. Now with all our mass farming and lack of care for the earth, we have depleted the soil of this amazing nutrient. Unless you are swimming in the ocean daily, it is safe to say you are deficient.

Magnesium is a mineral that’s important for more than 300 enzymes to work properly and is needed for proper digestion and elimination. A magnesium deficiency causes a slower bowel emptying which leads to malabsorption and constipation and those are all contributing to gut flora problems.

Magnesium is also very important for proper and restorative sleep, vitamin D function and immune system function, three things that you want on your side when trying to heal the gut and rebuild a good gut flora. -via

This is one of my more recently discoveries, and I plan to write a very long and detailed post on why you need it. The short list of ailments caused by lack, of magnesiums are: Anxiety and Panic attacks, Asthma, Blood Clots, Bowel disease, Depression-Serotonin, Fatigue, Heart disease, Heart disease, Hypoglycemia, Insomnia, Kidney and Liver disease, Osteoporosis, PMS, and tooth decay. In the mean time, if you are interested – start doing some research of your own 🙂

2. D3 kicks the odor

Vitamin D3, it is my new best friend. When I take it my body odor leaves! yay! I could not remember where I heard about this, so I had to do some digging. It turns out that I can not find it, I assume I read it as a suggestion in a comment or such. What I do remeber is that earlier this year I wanted oh so badly to avoid the nasty chemical laden sunscreen. So in my searching I read that coconut oil and a extra dose of vitamin D3 a few weeks ahead and through sun exposure would prevent a burn. While it worked great on light sun days – ie. walking around town in and out of cafes and stores – it idid not work on the beach of hours on end. I did end up burning once I spent a full day on the beach – maybe I was not applying the coconut oil enough or maybe it was my “vacation eating”. Who knows! What I know is that I was in pain. Through all of that though, I kept taking the D3 through to the fall. I probably had started taking it around March, if I were to guess. In the late fall (aprx. September) I realized that if I missed a day of deoderant that it was not the end of the world as it would have been before. I could wear a cardigan for more than one day without making the people around me pass out and it was great. Now this is not to say that I am deodorant free just yet (though I feel that I am working toward it) but I am able to survive on natural deodorants with peace.. which is groundbreaking! yay! I am now taking around 300 micrograms per day of liquid drops.

3. Sugar is the devil!

Ok, well I already knew that – but I really got a good kick in the butt reminder about it. When I was growing up all my family knew that sugar made me sick. They always were so good about having alternative desserts and such for me. Sometime these were fruits and chesse (and sometimes sadly slendia laden desserts which at the time we thought were great). My stomach would twist up and cause me tons of pain.. and I was really good at saying “no” and avoiding it. For some reason once I cut out all gluten, I started getting abit more lax on the sugar consumption. I still get kill stomach aches, body aches and sometimes if I really over due it need to all but lay down for a half hour. I still like a treat here and there, so I am going to be looking into some of Sarah Wilson’s (aka: the I Quit Sugar lady) desserts and treats and stick to them instead of say ice cream or chocolate! I have done my fair share of experimenting this year with baked good and sweets with Stevia and fresh dates or berries to sweeten. They all taste amazing, even much more so if you have not been eating white sugar!

For the first time, a direct link has been established between the amount of sugar circulating in the blood and how old a person looks….They found that those with higher blood sugar looked older than those with lower blood sugar. In fact for every 1mm/litre increase in blood sugar, the perceived age of that person rose by five months. –via

If you are interested in reading some of the articles about quiting sugar that I read this year, then check these out!

4. Gluten allergies + coffee = BAD

When I started on the journey to heal my thyroid I read about coffee inhibiting my thyroid from healing, so I cut it out right away. Coffee is really bad on the adrenals, which we really need in tip top shape (if interested, read this article on The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol, and the Adrenals)

Frequent stimulation of the adrenal glands from caffeine eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion whether this be at age 20 or age 60. If you’ve been drinking coffee for years and think you are “just fine thank you”, think again. Feeling bone tired and not being able to get off the couch to do much of anything could be just around the corner as hormonal problems can strike suddenly and seemingly out of the blue (just ask any menopausal woman). It is the sleeping giant you best not ignore.

Other symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include lack of physical endurance and stamina, weight gain, reduced ability to handle stress, impairment of calcium absorption, and depression of immunity. -via

So that was why I kicked the coffee, but I still would occasionally have a small cup here and there. That was until I read this article about Coffee and people with gluten problems, here is an excerpt:

In a nutshell, fairly recent lab research has revealed that 10% of coffee is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies.

This means that if you are gluten sensitive or celiac and are avoiding gluten containing grains or perhaps have even gone completely grain free, if you still drink coffee there is a strong likelihood that the protein in the coffee is triggering the very same gluten related health problems you are trying to avoid.

In other words, even if you think you are doing fine with your current gluten free diet, it is very possible that skipping the coffee could take your health to the next level.

5. No more sick days

That once you cut out grains and sugar – you barley get sick! I used to get sick all the time, once the weather got cold – there I was home in bed. I was always having sick days – but this year I did not! I was only missing work a few times for small sickness this past year. It is such and improvement from the past! I think it is also to do with the facet that I am not so OCD about my cleaning anymore. I dont carry around hand sanitizer or bleach the house anymore. You know the saying “a little dirt never hurt” is so true! I also notice that when I eat sugar, I start feeling ill (not the ill I talked about like upset stomach, but sick/flu ill). I feel terrible and get headaches and sleep terrible ect. It is a nightmare. The times when I have been eating lots of sugar are the times that I remember getting sick – sugar weakens the immune system!

6. Gluten, that sneaky *****!

I still hate gluten! It is one tiny little sucker! It can stay in the body for around 6 months when ingested – so once accidental bite or acidental contaminated meal can really cause problems in the body potentially for months. It has taken the whole year with friends and family, but they final remember that I can not have gluten and dont think I am so crazy anymore! yay! If you have not read the book “Wheat Belly” I HIGHLY suggest it. Even if you think that you don’t have a gluten problem, you should learn about the dangerous genetically modified wheat that most people are eating multiple times per day. The book is very informative and a good read for health nerds like us! Gluten issues are up more than 400% in young adults than they are in 50 year olds! That just goes to show that this new modern wheat we young adults have gown up on has reaked havoc on us! It is also thought that one in three Americans have gluten senstivity! ekk! (source)I try to cook everything from scratch to make sure I know whats going in my body, but also to make sure I am not getting gluten. One thing I really noticed this year was how gluten is in everything! eh! I find it most on lazy days, where as I hate to admit it I walk through the store hoping for some quick dinner like soup or such. Soy sauce  sweet chilli sauce, brown sauce, white sauce – ok basically all sauces, soups, chili mixes, spice mixes, potato chips, trail mix (ekk! its the pretzels or chocolate with crispy things in it), ice cream and I could go on and on.

All these things I have learned are to help make me healthier … some may say that it is too late for them – but just remember that some of these things might take generations to heal.. so please start now 🙂

There’s the Pottanger’s Cats theory. In the 1930s Francis Pottanger ran experiments on cats over 10 years and found that when he fed them the cat equivalent of McDonalds they got sick. He found the illnesses (including infertility and the same degenerative diseases we’re now seeing in humans) took several generations to kick in. And that it took four generations again of being fed good food for normal health to be restored. -via

A tip

I suggest that when you are taking on this life style to take one thing at a time.. in the beginning when I started this I wanted to do everything at once. While I though that maybe I could handle it, I did not want to do that to my family so I decided to take one thing – like taking my own shopping bags – and once it became a habit for us, then I would move along to the next. I have made a list of Goals (though that is not all of them) that I would like to accomplish, and I try to tackle a new one every few weeks or at least once per month. It really helps on the stress end and also will help you get through each goal and stick to it!

What I am looking forward to in 2013!

I sold one of my websites this past fall, so I am looking forward to having more time to relax and blog on this site (that site took the majority of my blogging time up).

Reading Magnesium Miricle and writing a post on it.

Writing a post on my cleaning products/methods – I am starting to get lots of questions now, so time for me to get busy writing them out!

I am looking forward to getting the last few chemicals out of my house!

Eating full Paleo, time to cut the excuses out. I feel 100% when I eat clean – but sadly, all to often Ill allow myself some sugar for a “special event” and feel like crap for a few days. In addition to getting off the sugar, I would like to cut out a few of the gluten free alternatives I have been using (like corn based pasta.. ekk, I know!).

Full Paleo + strength training. We will be going to a good friend of ours gym this year. I am looking forward to it. It will be tough, but I am sure worth it!

What have your learned this year? What are you looking forward too? – will you share with us?

What do you think?