Categories
Uncategorized

E.I. Christmas Album

Now, back by popular demand (okay, no one really demanded it, but I had fun doing it anyway) — it’s the E.I. Christmas Album! Featuring creative E.I. variations on popular Christmas songs. Only found here! =)

* An E.I. Christmas *

It’s The Most Fragrance-filled Time Of The Year

We Need A Little Non-toxic Christmas

The Holly And The I.V.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Meltdown

The 12 Months Of Detoxing

Do You Smell What I Smell?

God Rest Ye Chronic Fatigue Gentlemen

Hypoallergenic Jingle Bells

I’m Dreaming Of A Normal Christmas

Joy To The Toxic World

We Wish You A Merry Christmas And A Healthy New Year

Well, I hope you got a chuckle out of this anyway. =)
Christmas can be a difficult time for those of us with E.I. I’m thankful that regardless of circumstances, we can always celebrate the true meaning of Christmas – God’s gift of Jesus.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” -Matthew 1:23

Categories
Uncategorized

E.I. Gift-Giving Guide

Christmas is approaching…the feel of shopping is in the air. =)

The Natural News website has a good article about what NOT to give people for Christmas this year. It’s getting harder to find “non-toxic” gifts. You can check out the article at:
http://www.naturalnews.com/034253_Christmas_gifts_toxic_chemicals.html

Whether the people on your gift list have E.I. or not, my personal recommendation is please do not give gifts that are:
1) made in China (highly toxic)
2) sugary or preservative-laden foods

I know finding just the right gift is sometimes a challenge, especially when you’re thinking of someone with E.I. Here a few suggestions I hope will be helpful.

*Glass dishes (not made in China) of any kind are always good.
Most E.I.’s can’t use plastic or metal dishes, and clear glass is often hard to find. (We usually watch for them at garage sales or thrift stores.)

*For many E.I.’s a new CD or DVD is always nice. (Even though the cases often smell toxic, I usually put them away somewhere and can still enjoy the disc.)

*Encouraging sermon CD’s from your church are a good gift, as most of us are unable to attend church.

*Postage stamps are always a practical and helpful gift.

*Gift certificates to the local health food store or to NEEDS.com (if you know they often shop there for needed supplements, etc.).

*Some E.I.’s can’t receive anything in the mail (except plain paper letters) without reacting. For them, you might consider donating to a charity in their name. There are many worthy ministries. A few that I personally appreciate are:
1) The Bible League – distributing Bibles all over the world, and much more.
http://www.bibleleague.org/
2) Life Today – feeding children, drilling wells, rescuing girls from trafficking, taking care of orphans…they do so much!
http://lifetoday.org/
3) Samaritan’s Purse – relief work, evangelism, Christmas boxes for children, etc.
http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

Well, I hope these ideas are helpful. Most of all, remember that God is the giver of ALL gifts! May we be thankful every day for His generous heart. And may we give to others out of His love and joy.

Happy giving! =)

Categories
Uncategorized

Thankful

(I know Thanksgiving was last week, but I’m still thinking about being thankful.)

Thankfulness is a powerful antidote to many negative emotions – anxiety, frustration, despair, etc.

Dr. David Jeremiah says that gratitude is an attitude in your heart, but it’s not thanksgiving until it’s expressed. So today I want to express some of the gratitude that’s in my heart. =)

10 Things I’m Very Thankful For –

1) Christmas music!
2) warm Florida winters
3) fresh ocean air
4) organic coconut oil
5) mashed potatoes and gravy (yum!) =)
6) that God created the body with the ability to heal
7) my wonderful friends and family who love me, encourage me, and pray for me
8) the Bible, God’s Word – I’d be lost without it!
9) God’s promise in Hebrews 13:5b – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
10) Hope for each new day.

Hallelujah! We have so much to be thankful for!

May you have a blessed weekend, remembering all your blessings. =)

Categories
Uncategorized

Wonderful Vinegar

On this blog I’ve often mentioned how versatile baking soda is…that you can use it for so many different things. Today I want to talk about another incredible product – Vinegar.

First, vinegar is indispensible in the home.

“Heinz company spokesperson Michael Mullen references numerous studies to show that a straight 5 percent solution of vinegar—the kind you can buy in the supermarket—kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of germs (viruses).”
(from: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html)

Vinegar is an effective cleaning agent, deoderizer, and mold remover.
-You can clean with it in the kitchen, bathroom, etc.
-You can pour it on moldy sidewalks or other moldy surfaces instead of bleach.
-You can use it to clean out your washer & dryer. Pour about 1/2 gallon of vinegar in an empty washing machine, run it 1/2 full of water, then run a rinse, not full cycle. This will clean out any soap build-up, mildew, or smells. For the dryer, pour about 3 cups of vinegar on a bath towel, then dry for 30-45 minutes. (We do this at least once a month to clean out the washer & dryer.)
-You can set out a bowl of vinegar to help absorb offensive smells.
-You can pour vinegar down the drain once a month to help remove build-up.

There are so many great uses for vinegar in the home! Here’s a website with a few more tips: (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/annies-top-10-vinegar-uses.html)

(Note: always use Heinze vinegar for home uses. Other brands of vinegar use petroleum products in processing, thus are toxic. Heinz brand is a safe, natural form of vinegar.)

Second, you can use vinegar to promote healing in your body.

-Some missionary friends of ours were exposed to serious pesticides in Venezuela. They used vinegar to help detox the harmful chemicals. – Mix 1 Tbl. of organic apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp. of honey in 8 oz of water. Drink it first thing in the morning before you eat. (How long you should do this will depend on how much you need to detox. But my friend said this vinegar drink has also helped her arthritis, so she continues to do it daily.)
-You can use 1-2 oz of organic apple cider vinegar in a detox bath. Run the bath as hot as is comfortable, add in the vinegar, and soak for 10-20 minutes (as long as it’s still comfortable).
-Vinegar can help with digestion and has other benefical results in the body as well.

Check out this website for much more information about organic apple cider vinegar:
http://www.bragg.com/

(Note: when using vinegar internally or externally on the body, always use organic apple cider vinegar. My massage therapist recommends Bragg’s brand, as do many other health experts.)

So there you have it, the many uses of wonderful vinegar! =)
If you have any other uses to add, please share them in the comments.

Categories
Uncategorized

Perspective

(FYI – I’m putting this post on both of my blogs this week, since it applies to both.)

This week marks 7 years since my health collapsed. 7 years of feeling like my life is on hold. 7 years of learning, changing, healing. 7 years of a strange journey I never would have chosen.

In some ways it feels like I’ve been in a time warp, stuck at age 25, while the rest of the world moves on. In other ways, I feel like I’ve aged 15 years, not 7.

Most of my friends are now married with 2 or 3 kids, serving on the mission-field or active in ministry somewhere. They’re living the kind of life I always expected to live.

I confess, sometimes I feel impatient with God. Other people with health challenges similar to mine have gotten well in a matter of months. Why must my healing process take so long?

Then I think of my friends Sam & Nathan (twins). They recently turned 37. They’ve been living with Environmental Illness for almost 20 years. They didn’t get to finish high school, never even got their driver’s licenses. They’ve missed out on so many “normal” things in life. They’ve been enduring and persevering through their illness, day by day, for close to 20 years.

When I think about them, I sometimes get more upset with God than I do over my own situation. What is He thinking? What kind of life is that for my dear friends?

As always, my heavenly Father is faithful to gently rebuke my wrong thinking and remind me of His truth.

– “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” -Psalm 139:16b

– “LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup….” -Psalm 16:5a

– “You are good, and what you do is good….” -Psalm 119:68a

– “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’
Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’” -John 21:20-22

God’s plan for each of us is different, but His call is the same – to follow. Wherever our Shepherd leads us….

Is God’s plan for my friends in missionary service good?
Certainly.

Is God’s plan for my friends Sam & Nathan good?
By faith, I believe it is.

Is God’s plan for me good?
How could I doubt it.

I know my 7 years have not been wasted. I know God is working out His perfect plan for me.

And I’ve learned that it’s not the passing of time or my circumstances that matter most – but rather finding joy in the fellowship of my Savior, one day at a time.

“Surely you have granted [me] eternal blessings and made [me] glad with the joy of your presence.” -Psalm 21:6

Categories
Uncategorized

Detoxing Quotes

The lengthy process of detoxing can be annoying, frustrating, even agonizing. My mom and I try to keep a sense of humor through all the pain, frustration, and crazy symptoms.

Here are a few quotes we’ve come up with to amuse ourselves in the midst of the struggle. =)

“Wherever I go, there my toxins are.”
– I often feel like Pigpen (from Charlie Brown) with his cloud of dust following him everywhere.

“Blame it on detoxing.”
– Are you feeling irritable, depressed, schizophrenic…it’s probably from something you’re detoxing.

“Don’t inhale.”
– Always give this warning to anyone you’re about to hug.

“Crying washes out the toxins.”
– Bursting into tears (because of reactions or symptoms) is never fun, but when it happens, my mom alway reminds me that at least it’s another way of getting rid of toxins.

“Eat it today, detox it tomorrow.”
– This is especially helpful to remember when I’m tempted to eat some non-organic, preservative-laden food. Is it worth the price of taking 3-4 days to detox it?

“Dare to detox.”
– Detoxing is not for the faint-hearted. It takes courage, perseverance, flexibility, a sense of humor, and lots of prayer!

In some ways I think the detoxing process parallels the Christian life. God is continually removing the “toxic” things from our lives and replacing them with His goodness and truth. This process of inner transformation can at times feel annoying, frustrating, even agonizing. But a changed life is well worth the pain.

Spiritual transformation is a life-long journey.
I just hope that the detoxing process isn’t.
=)

Categories
Uncategorized

Super-Hero Food

Popeye had spinach. Mr. T had milk. For Super-E.I. Girl, the super-food of choice is — Chocolate!

Yes, after nearly 20 years of being allergic to chocolate, it’s now my favorite “super-hero food.” =)

Thanks to Dr. Smith’s CBT allergy treatment, I’m no longer allergic to chocolate. And thanks to my herbalogist I’ve discovered it’s many benefits.

A few quick facts – chocolate is full of antioxidants, rich in minerals, lowers cholesterol, is good for the heart, and improves mood.
(You can find more details online. See – http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html)

According to my dr, chocolate is helpful for detoxifying the liver and boosting immune health.

However, the type of chocolate you eat IS important. Organic, dark chocolate, with little or no sugar, preservatives, or milk ingredients is best.

I get Vivani organic, dark chocolate. It has no soy products and very little sugar (organic cane sugar). There are other healthy brands as well.

I only eat 2-4 small squares of chocolate a day (there are 24 squares in one bar, so it’s not much). The healthiest serving size probably varies from person to person. Viewing chocolate as a healthy food – to help your body – not as an indulgence, may help you find the right amount for you. =)

Also, chocolate or cocoa can be used topically for detoxing. At one point, my herbalogist had me put a cocoa/flaxseed oil paste on my neck (for I think 30 minutes). Or sometimes I hold one small square of chocolate on my liver for anywhere from 5-10 minutes. (Dr direction is advised for specific uses.)

No doubt about it, chocolate is a wonderful super-hero food! =) It gives me a little extra energy for exercising, provides quick relief when my adrenals are stressed, and makes me happy that something that tastes so good is also good for me! =)

Well, I better go. I hear a piece of chocolate calling my name….

Categories
Uncategorized

E.I. Photo Diary

Someone suggested I include more photos on this blog. Sadly, there just
isn’t much that’s “photo-worthy” in this E.I. life. But I decided I
could give you a little photo-glimpse into how I live. My brief, E.I.
photo diary. =)


– My trusty shoes (made in Brazil) lasted about 7 years! I literally
wore them to death, as you can see, before I finally found a new pair I
wasn’t allergic to.


– This is my birthday watermelon! (No cake for me.) It was delicious,
by the way. =)


– I enjoy visiting the beach when I can. I went once a month this past
summer. We always go to the national park beach because there’s hardly
anyone there, so I don’t have to worry about sunscreen smells or
smokers.


– This is my humble abode. Totally bare except for essentials – a
mattress and an air purifier. Thank goodness at least I have windows so
I’m not just staring at blank walls all day. =)


– My clean laundry has to air out on the dining room table before I can
wear it. (At least I’m not airing dirty laundry.) =) It’s not my mom’s
favorite place for leaving laundry, but it’s what works the best. (I do
clean off the table and actually eat a meal there every once in a
while, as a special treat for my mom.) =)


– A bright spot in my limited life – my precious nieces & nephews! They
come to visit me in our back yard, since we can’t let anyone in our
house. (It’s impossible to “de-fragrance” a non-E.I. person completely,
and it’s very hard to detoxify the house once a “fragrant” person has
entered.) I usually do okay visiting with people outside for a short
time, thank the Lord. =)

That’s the brief tour. I hope it helps you appreciate some of the everyday
things that are easy to take for granted. =)
Blessings,
-Joanna

Categories
Uncategorized

Fermented Foods

In response to my last post I was asked about plant-based probiotic foods. (Obviously fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt have probiotics – though I only recommend them if they are made from organic, raw milk and not filled with preservatives and sweeteners.)

In “The Maker’s Diet,” author Jordan Rubin explains the importance of eating fermented foods – for the probiotics and enzymes they contain. (p.142-143 & p.153) He says modern vinegar-fermented foods are not the best kind to eat, even though most commercially made products use this method.

Jordan writes that lacto-fermented foods (using lactic acid fermentation) are the best for the body. These foods are easy to make or you can find them in many health food stores – foods like fermented vegetables (cabbage, carrots, beats, cucumber, etc.), pickled relishes, eggs, and even some fruits.

“The Maker’s Diet” contains recipes for fermented vegetables and also lists national health food stores that carry such products. (You can probably check out this book at your local library. It’s a helpful resource to have for many health & nutrition topics.) Jordan’s company, Garden of Life, also sells a fermented coconut oil which is in most health food stores.

Personally, I haven’t yet branched out to fermented foods because of my extreme sensitivity to them over the years. (I take a probiotic supplement which I order from NEEDS.com.) However, I do agree with Jordan’s information and hope to implement it in my diet eventually. Until then, maybe you can let me know how it works for you. =)

Categories
Uncategorized

Antibiotic–Free Anniversary

Praise God that I’ve now been antibiotic-free for 6 years! Considering that I spent several years on and off and on antibiotics again, this Anniversary is nothing short of a miracle! =)

In some cases, antibiotics are life-saving. But in general, they are way over-prescribed.

One problem with antibiotics is that many times the infection is fungal, not bacterial. Eating an anti-fungal diet can help prevent fungal infections. Using coconut oil on food and topically on the skin also fights fungal growth. Taking antibiotics can make fungal infections worse, so it’s important to distinguish fungal from bacterial infections. (For more info about fighting fungus visit knowthecause.com.)

Another problem is that most people are seriously deficient in good bacteria in their bodies. Taking antibiotics kills the few good bacteria they have, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of invaders. Taking probiotics on a regular basis is vital for overall health and even more so during and after a course of antibiotics.

Adding insult to injury, antibiotics are toxic to the body. Some kinds seem to be worse than others, but each time you take antibiotics, your body has to work extra hard to process and detox those chemicals. (Over the last two years, I’ve detoxed several kinds of antibiotics. It’s been a slow, not-fun process.)

So those are some good reasons not to take antibiotics. (For more reasons, try googling “dangers of antibiotics”.) But can they be avoided?

For one thing, I recommend not using anti-bacterial hand soap or cleaning products. The continual use of such products leads to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and harms the body through constant exposure to antibiotics. (http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/anti-bacterial-soap-triclosan-47071501)
Vinegar is an excellent cleaning alternative. (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/vinegar-kills-bacteria-mold-germs.html) For hands, use regular soap or baking soda.

Also, if possible, avoid meat & dairy products that are not organic. Non-organic products are filled with antibiotics that were fed to the animals. (One glass of “regular” milk contains traces of over 100 different antibiotics!) Again, continual ingestion of small amounts of antibiotics can cause big problems.

Using non-toxic products, eating an organic, anti-fungal diet and taking probiotic supplements are all helpful things you can do. Taking care of your environment and doing things to strengthen your immune system are important keys to avoiding antibiotics.

I realize sometimes it’s necessary to take antibiotics, but hopefully with some minor lifestyle changes, you can avoid excessive exposure to them. And, like me, maybe you can even live without them for the next 6 years…or longer. Wouldn’t that be great?! =)