Posted by: Take Flight | April 24, 2017

Anger’s Deep Ocean of Emotion

 

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(In honor of National Poetry Month – I’m sharing a poem to help others better face their anger). The art journal above was done with a triangular shaped make-up sponge. All you do is put some paints on a paper plate, mix the colors around with bottom of your sponge, and then pound the page as you like. The process of creating the art also helps with anger release)!

Expression, Expansion you can raise your voice

You have the power of choice

until your days are done.

Speaking up, out

no more whimpers-may need to shout.

It’s okay to let your anger find a way. It’s healthy

to set clear, clean boundaries.

There is beauty in allowing anger to be

to express itself through you, and share it with me,

to no longer stuff it inside

allow it to hide.

Anger needs healthy expression

not randomly – it’s about the compassion to confront.

To never allow anger or rage to simmer

like a bright light – it won’t get dimmer.

Deal with what’s there. Don’t get caught in its snare.

Anger is one of many emotions.

No need to drown in that deep ocean.

Just say what you must in the moment. It’s okay to be bold and blunt.

It’s more important to let it come out with respect and love –

to resolve by getting to the source of what it’s about!

gut health 5 and 6

 

Current Healing Path

Great news-my diet listed in Part 4 is working well (adding in Gluten Free Oatmeal, having organic berries with an organic Granny Smith (green) apple and at least ½ avocado per day). Cutting back on protein (in the form of meat) has helped with digestion and increased my energy. The meat protein I have ranges from: Wild Alaskan Salmon, fresh or sometimes in a can from Trader Joes; or white meat (organic free range chicken or ground turkey). I opt for smaller portions and have one serving every 1-2 days.

To ensure I’m getting enough protein, I indulge in roasted sunflower seeds (unsalted) along with walnuts (about 1/4 –  ½ cup a day) along with Vital Nutrients Pro Veg Organic Pea Protein with my smoothies.

Results: Rarely any bloating and no extension at all and more productive “bathroom experiences.” I discussed the book the Medical Medium with my Naturopath team from the Bastyr University Student Clinic in San Diego http://www.bastyrclinic.org/. They suggested I detox from heavy metals later, not while attempting to rid my gut of Candida. It would expose me to too many toxins and could make my situation worse. They approved the following detox foods to add to my smoothies (or a salad) which also help with the elimination of Candida Overgrowth:

  • ¼ – ½ cup of cilantro
  • ¼ – ½ cup of parsley
  • Garlic (one entire clove – although the book recommends 2)
  • 1 slice (large) of fresh ginger
  • A small lemon peel with lemon (small slice of this)
  • L-Glutamin Powder
  • 1tsp apple cider vinegar in a glass of water 10 minutes before meals (am not entirely sure this works – it’s highly recommended though)

I make my smoothie with unsweetened coconut milk, some coconut water (nothing with added sugar), an apple, ½ avocado, Kale, protein powder (above) along with the detox foods listed above. This seems to be working well too, along with it being a treat to look forward to (there aren’t many foods to “look forward to” on a stringent Candida diet so we need something, right?)

Other Supplements I take which support eliminating Candida:

  • AC Formula II (I take 2 pills on an empty stomach – about 15-30 minutes before each meal – so 6 total per day). This combines grapefruit seed extract with Caprillic Acid and some other vital ingredients which have been proven effective to rid the gut of Candida
  • Calm Magnesium Powder with Calcium – this helps the nervous system and with elimination
  • Ultra Flora Acute Care Probiotics (for first 2 months of treatment) I take an additional 2 pills of this at bedtime
  • Renew Life Extra Care Ultimate Flora Probiotics (100 Billion) – 2 capsules daily before bed (allergen free)
  • Psyllium  ½ tsp. two times per day with about 12 ounces of water of as it can pull things through the intestines. Helps with elimination.
  • Am taking a special homemade tincture 2 x day for adrenal support and also another homemade tincture of herbs before bed which helps with sleep (made by naturopaths). Sleeping well is critical to healing! The adrenal support balances everything out.

Altogether I’m on a 3-4 month regimen and will retest (stool test) via Doctor’s Data (outside lab) sometime in mid-latter May. What is most critical for all of us dealing with Candida Overgrowth is to find ways to reduce stress. Daily rituals including meditation help to ground and center me for the day. Exercise, also daily, is non-negotiable. Finally, I turn to art activities for their healing benefits. As my profession is in the expressive arts, I feel blessed to also offer art to others as healing modalities. Art (the mere process of it) has been proven to lower cortisol (stress hormone) significantly so it’s definitely something to consider.

What helps you to release stress? You may want to do more of whatever eases it for you or find new ways to do so. Your life and the quality of it is well worth it.

How I healed Candida Overgrowth 6 years ago

After completing Dr. Humiston’s program twice and continuing to experience painful, almost nightly episodes of stomach bloating and often distension, I didn’t know where to turn next. I signed up for a women’s retreat week-end in hopes of meeting someone who might have insight. My past experiences have taught me that when I reach out for help, there is always another hand to meet mine.

Acupuncture Treatments

Not long into the retreat I met someone who had suffered from Candida Overgrowth who raved about her acupuncturist. I left with the phone number and a lighter step in my walk. After the examination with the acupuncturist, she thought I might have a form of roundworms (very difficult to diagnose) so suggested I drink Aloe Vera juice every day (starting with 2-3 ounces and building up to about 8 ounces or more per day on an empty stomach). This is now something I do on a regular basis.This helps keep Candida Overgrowth and parasites at bay.

Due to my lowered immune system she recommended I warm my body by using more cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and drinking chai tea. One drink she suggested was Good Earth Cinnamon tea with honey and tabasco sauce to help warm the body and improve my immune system.  This definitely helped my circulation, bringing the blood supply back to my hands which were normally icy cold.

If you have a referral for an acupuncturist, I definitely recommend you pursue this. The experience is also very relaxing which helps lower inflammation in the body that can contribute to the Candida Overgrowth. These sessions definitely helped yet I still didn’t have complete resolve over the condition.

Biocytonics

Fortunately at a friend’s party I met another person with Candida Overgrowth. She suggested I get an appointment with Dr. Hugh Smith with Biocytonics in Carlsbad, CA. He has since retired yet his daughter (trained well by her father) now runs the business: http://www.justicewellness.com/

He is an internationally recognized researcher in mycoplasma and cell wall deficient form research who has also consulted with M.D.’s around the globe. He takes a blood sample (from a prick in the finger) and then places it under a microscope which he projects onto a large screen. From this he can detect from the cellular structures, etc. what is going on in the body. He carefully explains what is up on the screen, and then writes up a prescription with supplements, etc. to remedy the situation(s) he has discovered.

Supplements that Worked!

My initial meeting with Dr. Smith was in February, 2012. By the end of July, 2012 he found no more evidence of Candida Overgrowth. I attribute my three meetings with him to finally resolving this health dilemma. Some of the issues he helped me overcome were: gallbladder stones through  the Edgar Cayce Castor Oil pack program which you can request at most health food stores (in San Diego: Sprouts). I first tried a formula he recommended (Para Clear) yet only took it for 30 days instead of 90 because I had adverse reactions. My body had a sensitivity to the ingredient Wormwood. He next suggested I take Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) 100 mg. 2 times per day for 90 days. I continued bloating through much of this phase as it is typical when the Candida dies off. After completing the GSE portion he suggested I take Hema Plex (1 tablet in the morning as needed) to rebuild my deficiency in iron, and B-50 (1 time a day for about 3 months) and B 12 (5000 mcg) 3 times a day for a month because Candida Overgrowth fuels itself with B vitamins and iron leaving us deficient.

Part 6

Stopping Everything for Self-Care is Critical

During my final visit with Dr. Smith in July he said the rampant inflammation he had noticed before had left. There was no sign of Candida Overgrowth. I felt my body sink right into the chair. Two years had passed and I couldn’t even find the words to express my relief.

I must also give additional credit to myself and to another doctor (my therapist/coach) who recommended I literally STOP everything. When physical symptoms manifest in our bodies, something is trying to get our attention. This is not the time to rev up our lives- we must instead slow down in order to heal. I quit working for several months, attended silent retreat week-ends, deepened my meditation practice, studied Buddhism as a way to live life, and even asked friends and family not to contact me for six weeks so I could just be and go within.

I realize that not everyone has the luxury to drop everything. Yet it is critical that you let go of as much as you can so you have more space for your healing to occur. Do whatever you can to alleviate stress from your life. Create daily practices which help you to feel more calm and grounded. I do some every morning and can’t imagine starting a day without them.

On my last visit with Dr. Hugh (as he prefers to be called) he said, “I don’t know what you’ve been doing yet this is the most profound healing I have ever seen.” When I told him that I had released everything to care for myself he said he had a patient he had recommended this to who had just died because he wasn’t willing to do this. He then said, “I’m not even going to charge you for this visit since you took such excellent care of yourself. You were willing to stop. You deserve a break.”

Ongoing Prevention Recommendations

With the help of many practitioners, particularly Dr. Hugh, along with my fortitude, I finally released Candida Overgrowth. It can return so I am vigilant with my diet (moderation is key),  take probiotics (only UDO’s or Garden of Life brands) 2 times per day, drink Aloe Vera juice daily (as mentioned), and also order Candida Liver Care from http://www.hannasherbshop.com/. I take this periodically before meals to help keep things in check. Regular liver and colon cleanses (at least 1-2 times per year) are important to continually release toxins from the body http://www.curezone.com/clark. Finally, managing stress with daily centering practices like meditation, yoga, physical exercise, and/or whatever works for you, is essential to well-being and remaining free from Candida Overgrowth.

I hope this series has inspired you to create your own healing path for your gut health, specifically Candida Overgrowth. If I you’d like to know more about expressive arts wellness sessions as a way to better cope with stress, please check out my site. I welcome your comments and/or questions.

 

 

 

Posted by: Take Flight | March 13, 2017

Healing Your Gut, Part 4

Healing Your Gut – Overcoming Candida Overgrowth, Part 4

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Current Healing Path

A nutritionist friend introduced me to a mind-blowing book called, Medical Medium by Anthony William. He believes Candida, and many other health situations, are actually “mystery illnesses.” William suggests that Candida is a side effect, not the actual culprit of what is really going on.

He turned what my western doctors and even naturopaths have recommended – on its head. Everyone has told me I no longer produce enough hydrochloric acid for my digestive system to effectively break foods down. Yet no one has had a plan to strengthen it other than enzymes (which I still take now – they offer some support), Apple Cider Vinegar before a meal, which did nothing, and HCL (supplements to rebuild it, which didn’t do the job). William suggests a unique program with food to repair the hydrochloric acid within 3 months which I’m considering. I found his successful case study inspiring so I took a few other steps. I’m a firm believer in the power of ‘baby steps.’ Any size makes a difference when one is moving forward!

Here’s what IS working:

  • He suggested eating fruit for the antioxidants and fiber. Most candida diets say to avoid it.I’m sticking with organic mixed berries and an organic Granny Smith Apple – a couple servings a day and this is working well for me. I also have about ½ an avocado each day (technically a fruit) as it’s such a healthy fat source (and delicious too).
  • I had gone off of my Gluten Free organic oatmeal and replaced it with eggs. He recommends having at least 1 serving a day of a grain for the fiber. I’m having my oatmeal again, with the mixed berries in it, and am now having more productive BMs (I know TMI – yet this is critical for healing).
  • He recommends either cutting out animal proteins or at least minimizing to every day or other day (only 1 serving) and making up the difference with greens, sprouts or other vegetables – and some limited servings of nuts, seeds. Wild Salmon is the best choice for protein (as a meat source). Hydrochloric acid is likely damaged by overeating protein as it takes a lot of effort for the digestive system to break it down. The combination of low hydrochloric acid and high protein meals contributes to bloating, stomach discomfort, constipation, and/or fatigue. I’ve reduced portion size and also am alternating between 1-2 days on having a serving of protein. I’m measuring out ¼ cup of sunflower seeds as a substitute and am exploring other possibilities.

Below is a chart which may be helpful:

Good sources of protein
Food Protein (grams)
3 ounces tuna, salmon, haddock, or trout 21
3 ounces cooked turkey or chicken 19
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt 17
½ cup cottage cheese 14
1 cup of milk (coconut ideal – unsweetened) 8
¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts (all types) 7
1 egg 6
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database, 2015

So far these nutritional changes have made a difference. I haven’t had any bloating or constipation and my energy level has been higher. I will let you know next week about the food plan William recommends to improve hydrochloric acid and overall digestive health. I’m “almost” ready to take another step! I wish you the clarity and wisdom to make the right choices for your health – and the courage to step into them.

Prior Healing Path 6 years ago – What Worked and What Didn’t

Along with taking supplements and following a strict diet plan as mentioned in my previous article, Dr. Humiston recommended I do a few liver cleanses. Since the liver is the critical detox organ of the body, it needs assistance so it can effectively eliminate the Candida. I spaced the cleanses out every 4-6 weeks during week-ends as it is a two-day process. Drinking the mixture of Epsom salts, which I later chased with olive oil, did not taste good, yet it sure helped. The racing thoughts I experienced in the middle of the night which kept me awake quieted down, and I felt some relief from the constant bloating. Here’s a link to the same liver cleanse he recommends: http://www.curezone.com/clark.  Just scroll down to the area on cleanses and click Liver.

After three liver cleanses I retook my Liver Function Test and my AST and ALT numbers had come down significantly. The commitment to my health and giving up fun week-end plans had been worth it.

Unfortunately the supplement program Dr. Humiston recommended did not work as well for me. The liver cleanse and step one kept the bloating at bay yet as soon as I began step two, the nightly distension returned. He suggested I repeat step one as not everyone had the same reaction to the supplements, some people needed more time. I felt my stomach drop like an elevator. Another month? Turning down social invitations to meet friends at either restaurants or for meals at their homes had been difficult. Feeling I had no other options, I extended the plan.

He also recommended I go off all supplements, the Candida program and any others I took for five days to see if I might be having some type of reaction. After this experiment, nothing had changed. My typical pattern was to wake up with a flat stomach, begin bloating around lunch-time and gradually reach full distension by nighttime. This continued.

Throughout this process I kept a detailed journal of the foods I ate, supplements taken, exercise, and anything else which could impact my health. Nothing made sense. I also had some consultations with a naturopath and holistic nutritionist. She recommended I take Calm, Magnesium Powder which eased the chronic constipation and helped me fall asleep. She also suggested I take stomach enzymes to aid digestion and to make sure I chewed my food slowly (about 30 chews before swallowing). When we “eat on the run” we’re often gulping air down with our food which can contribute to bloating.

During steps two and three I experienced stomachaches, nausea, and some dizziness along with headaches-normal reactions to the toxins releasing. Yet after four months my bloating and distension issues persisted. Dr. Humiston encouraged me to repeat the program and remain on the limited diet for another 3 months. Since Candida is not easy to remedy I stuck with the program. As a Candida sufferer himself, he shared that he does regular liver cleanses and repeats the program, or aspects of it, when it reemerges (about once a year). I did not find this reassuring.

Seven months later after completing the supplement program twice, my symptoms remained. Many people have had successful results from this regimen http://www.candidamd.com/store/index.html , yet it does not work for everyone. In spite of all the time and energy I’d invested, I refused to give up. This whole process taught me to be an advocate for myself. The Philosopher, Nietzche, once said: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I had a renewed energy to resolve my condition, not only for myself yet also for anyone else who might experience it.

Stay tuned for the final article, Part 5 where I will share how I finally healed from Candida Overgrowth six years ago.

Posted by: Take Flight | February 28, 2017

How to Heal from Candida Overgrowth Part 3

Healing Candida Overgrowth, Part 3 – Past and Present

 

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While posting this series about recovering from Candida Overgrowth six years ago, I just learned it’s returned – six years later. I have decided to share what I did then and also, what my plans are now to heal from this. Please double check any of this information with your medical professional(s) before adapting it as everyone is different. You may need a more customized approach. I hope this offers hope knowing you can regain your health and well-being. Patience with yourself and others who may not understand what you’re dealing with is a MUST!

So why did it come back?

Once you’ve had Candida Overgrowth it’s important to eat fairly clean for the rest of your life. Other foods can be eaten in moderation – yet it’s important to eat mindfully as a way of life. Even though I eat a lot of different vegetables (types and colors) every day; avoid red meat; and don’t eat many grains or desserts; I still overindulged on things like sweet potato or root chips (sometimes half a bag or more of them) as I love salt. I also had a lot of popcorn at the movies and had begun eating gluten free oatmeal with a banana often for breakfast. If I took a few bites of frozen coconut milk treats, I’d often devour the pint. Occasional dark beers on the weekends added more yeast into my diet – and over time these habits increased my risk of Candida Overgrowth. The final clincher was going on an 11 day cruise in December where I became mindless, especially with the endless selections of sushi.

What am I doing now to heal?

  • I’ve returned to a lean and clean diet – no carbs, one fruit a day only (organic berries or organic apple), a lot of vegetables (no carrots, beets or squashes (except zucchini is fine) with olive oil sprinkled on them, no carbs includes sweet potatoes or yams or beans – or my usual morning oatmeal. It has been replaced with 2 hard boiled eggs and ½ of avocado (smashed with olive oil) or a bowl of veggies with walnuts. No alcohol whatsoever as sugar (in any of its many forms) needs to go.
  • Am working with a Naturopath (at Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego) for guidance. I think it’s important to work with a medical professional who has extensive knowledge on this condition. It isn’t easy to heal from this.
  • Am taking 2 caps 3x daily in between meals of AC Formula II (this has both Caprillic Acid and Grapefruit Seed Extract in it). L Glutamine Powder (1 teaspoon twice daily) by Pure encapsulations (this is a MUST also) – this helps to heal the stomach lining.
  • Every night before bed I take Probiotics. It’s important to take them at that time so the body can properly utilize them. Every several months I switch the brand of Probiotics as they are then more effective. Currently I take Renew Life’s Extra Care Ultimate Flora 100 Billion – 2 Capsules. They will only last  15 days and yes, they are expensive (well over $100.00 per month) – yet critical to take at least 200 Billion per day when trying to eradicate Candida! I’m also taking 2 supplements of UltraFlora Acute Care by Metagenics (in the beginning phase of this process)!
  • Overgrowth of Candida also takes its toll emotionally. It requires a lot more self-care. Whatever brings you joy – do a bit more of it! It’s also a lot more difficult to socialize (e.g. potlucks and just going out to dinner with friends or your significant other). Travel is not easy. I only stay at places with a kitchen – no more hotel rooms. Since eating meals are such a big part of our lives and it takes a lot longer to prepare so many vegetables along with being able to resist temptation which lurks everywhere – it takes a lot of strength.
  • Here’s a few things I do to cope:
  • I take some time to be quiet – to meditate – to tune out the outside world and go within. This helps me to stay peaceful. My ideal is about 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening yet you can do whatever will work for you.
  • I spend time reading positive literature in the morning, write in a gratitude journal, and also journal (as I have time).
  • As I’m in the expressive arts profession this is what helps me the most: to actually draw/color/paint – whatever I’m in the mood for each day – the Candida! Then we have a dialogue – I prefer to do mine on paper (in my journal). I ask it what it needs for me. What do I need to know? Then it writes back surprising messages. It’s been telling me it has shown up because it’s about “mold” “decay” – and my repeating some patterns which are unhealthy – becoming oldy/moldy myself in some ways needs to change. I’m working on this now – listening to my body and taking action. I encourage you to try this!
  • Getting outside for a walk to breathe in fresh air – or any opportunity to be in nature is so healing and soothing.
  • Exercise is critical for me – each day I choose either yoga, Pilates, hiking, biking, walking, or Zumba (which I LOVE). Getting physical – moving my body – keeps me sane.
  • Reaching out to call a friend or family member keeps me connected and I don’t feel so alone.

Below is what I chose to do 6 years ago to release Candida Overgrowth:

It has been said that “knowledge is at least half of the battle.” Being aware of my health condition allowed me to do research and make choices to improve my well-being. Interestingly enough, I found little support overall on the web for anyone dealing with Candida overgrowth.

Here are a couple of helpful sites I ran across: http://bloatedbellyhelp.com/ – A Candida sufferer shares the knowledge he gained through his ordeal and sells an eBook. I think his site was more useful than the actual eBook, although I did learn more about Candida overgrowth and the potential negative consequences if I were to ignore it. Another site is: http://www.thecandidadiet.com/. I didn’t order their eBook or any other products which you might want to consider. I found their advice practical and diet plans well laid-out.

In the end I decided to go with Dr. Humiston’s Candida program since I live in San Diego and could combine doing his suggested regimen with office visits. I also liked his overall system with diet plans, menus, the liver cleansing information, probiotics, etc. http://www.candidamd.com/

Dr. Humiston’s program includes three phases of supplements designed to first protect the liver, then kill off the Candida in your overall system, and then eradicate anything left (e.g. spores). While taking these supplements you may experience lower energy, headaches, stomach aches or other symptoms due to the toxins being released.

The suggested diet pan is very strict. You will essentially give up processed foods, sugar, dairy, wheat products, bread (anything with yeast), caffeine, red meat, and even fruit–for three entire months! You must also not have alcohol. On a positive note, if you’re interested in releasing some weight, this cleanse will support you in doing just that—potentially 10 or more pounds.

Yet you must be wondering what is left to eat. As overwhelming as the limited food choices may be for you, it is critical for your health that you accept this extremely healthy meal plan (except the lack of fruit). There is no other way to rid this condition. As daunting as it all may seem, ask yourself: What is at stake? How badly do you want your health back? Having your mind and body back are so worth it!

My staple meals included: brown rice cereal (hot or cold) with rice milk in the morning, organic green tea (only caffeine permitted), a salad for lunch with olive oil and lemon juice (fresh) for the dressing, along with steamed vegetables, brown rice, and a lean meat or fish selection for dinner. The good news is after about a week I lost all craving for sweets. It is amazing how addicting sugar can be and it is so unhealthy for us. I also felt clear-headed and less anxious without drinking any alcohol or much caffeine.

If you have a significant other, enlist him/her in the program (at least for your meals together). My husband went along with it and his support made life so much easier in our kitchen. The most positive outcome of going through this for me has been how it transformed my relationship with food. I now rarely if ever eat processed foods or desserts. I eat only organic fruit and vegetables, drink very little alcohol and have given up bread and dairy entirely (I drink Almond Milk and do have goat cheese). I eat salads every day for lunch with the special dressing I mentioned. I’ve never felt better!

Stay tuned for Part 4. I will share the outcome of following the 3 month program, along with other tips to help you eliminate Candida overgrowth.

I will also share what I’m doing currently to release Candida Overgrowth again.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Take Flight | February 17, 2017

Healing Candida Overgrowth, Part 2

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During my initial health quest to resolve symptoms including bloating and stomach distension, excessive gas, sporadic abdominal pains, a fuzzy memory, and sleeping challenges, I underwent many medical exams. I had a pelvic ultrasound done to rule out ovarian cancer and a colonoscopy to make sure it wasn’t colon cancer. These two cancers exhibit similar symptoms to what I had. I later learned about another illness which can cause the same maladies, Hepatitis C. I think it is important to first make sure that what you’re suffering from is not anything more serious.

Fortunately, the tests came back negative. A floodgate of emotional relief opened for me, yet the physical symptoms were still there. I felt helpless. I’d begun wearing looser fitting clothes so I could get them on. The strangest thing was I had a flat stomach in the morning and a huge, pregnant-looking one by nightfall. The pain from having it extend as far as it possibly could until I thought if I put a pin in it; it just may pop, kept me awake often. With all of the grogginess, I could barely function.

Later I had a one-hour consultation with a new primary physician, Dr. Humiston, with The Center for Health and Well-Being. We discussed my health history including how often I had taken antibiotics throughout my life, if I swam much in chlorine pools in childhood and to-date, along with my overall physical activity and diet. I shared that I spent practically entire summers as a child in the overly-chlorinated community pool. I also took an excessive amount of antibiotics due to chronic ear infections when young; and then later in life heavily pre-medicated with them prior to any dental work due to an alleged heart murmur (mitrovalve prolapse) . Exercising consistently at six to seven days per week was definitely in my favor, and he found my diet to be relatively healthy except for some processed foods.

Toward the end of our time together Dr. Humiston suggested I may have overgrowth of Candida, especially given the exposure to so much chlorine and antibiotics. He ordered blood work for me to see if anything seemed awry. When I returned a couple of weeks later to review the results, he shared concern over the Liver Function test which checks the two main liver enzymes AST and ALT. Mine registered on the high side, one point away from being abnormal. My white cell counts were low indicating I had a weakened immune system. Finally my thyroid function was low suggesting adrenal fatigue. Although there is not a definitive test yet to confirm overgrowth of Candida, he thought these findings were proof enough. After months of seeking the source of my misery, I had some resolution.

This is part 2 of a 5 part series based on my healing overgrowth of Candida several years ago. I will post Part 3 next week.

Posted by: Take Flight | February 11, 2017

Healing Overgrowth of Candida, Part 1

candida-part-1

Approximately six years ago I began to experience bloating on a daily basis. Attributing it to hormonal changes, I ignored it. Then the bloat turned into my stomach looking several months pregnant each night I went to bed. When I’d wake up I’d feel dizzy, sometimes with headaches, often with stomach aches, and could barely drag myself through the day.

This began a lengthy health search, several doctors both western and holistic and many tests, to discover I had an overgrowth of Candida. Because it is widely misunderstood, I’d like to share my experiences to help any of you out there who may be suffering from this malady.

For the next several weeks I will write about it weekly to provide you with many resources on how to treat Candida overgrowth. I now have mine under control and have my body and mind back. The good news of going through this challenging journey has been how it positively transformed me. It became a gift to take my health and well-being to the next level. Whether or not you have this condition, I hope this information will be the catalyst for you to improve your health so you can either overcome this or avoid it altogether.

What is the overgrowth of Candida? Candida is part of the normal bacteria we all have in our intestines. Yet when it grows out of control it can become a fungus which can cause havoc by forcing its way into our bloodstreams and emitting toxins like ethanol throughout our bodies. This can weaken our immune system and cause damage over time to tissues and organs.

What are the symptoms of Candidiasis (overgrowth)?

The frustrating, and sometimes even debilitating, symptoms can include excessive gas, stomach bloating/distension, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, constipation, depression, anxiety, and poor memory. http://www.candidamd.com/candida/symptoms.html

How does Candidiasis occur?

Antibiotics are a primary culprit, though swimming in a chlorinated pool for extended periods of time can also because chlorine has the same effect on the body as antibiotics over time according to Dr. Humiston, The Candida M.D. Other factors such as eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates and/or drinking excessive alcohol, along with unattended stress levels and/or a diet high in processed foods can all come into play. Here are some powerful nutrition recommendations from Dr. Axe, a notable expert on this condition: https://draxe.com/candida-diet/. Candida overgrowth has been increasing rapidly over the last few decades largely due to the processed diets many people consume in our society along with the faster pace of life that we all try to keep up with. This situation goes undiagnosed often because many doctors are unaware of this condition.

Posted by: Take Flight | January 16, 2017

What Might Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Say Now if Still Alive?

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Today we honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. an American Baptist Minister who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. He candidly expressed his views such as, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere; and I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

According to the King Center’s website Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. achieved more progress in his less than 13 years as a civil rights activist than anyone had in the prior 350 years. He is considered one of the most revered non-violent leaders in history. Rather than resorting to violence he advocated the power of words with his solid oratory skills and he also believed in the grassroots movement, along with protests, to bring about significant change. He galvanized people around the idea that men and women from all walks of life, cultures, and religions are all equal in the human family.

Among his many accomplishments: the Walk on Washington which drew 1.25 million to the national mall to inspire action around the civil rights act. There he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. Subsequently one year later this social justice activist had helped inspire the Civil Rights Act which put an end to racial segregation in the United States. In 1964 he became the youngest individual ever to win the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.

What would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say now to the political leaders, particularly to the President-Elect Donald Trump if he was still alive at 87 years old? Here are a few ideas of what he might have said:

  • Your words matter. Think before you speak “or tweet.”
  • Look around and see the diverse nation we have become. Everyone deserves respect no matter their race, creed, gender, sexual preference, cultural identity, etc. We’ve worked so hard to get here. Whatever happens we must be tireless with our pursuit of justice and equality for all.
  • We have much work to do with gun violence and all forms of violence in the world. There is a root of anger and hate which we must dig up, look at (attempt to understand), and heal. We cannot blame our fellow man as we are all responsible on some level for the plight of our nation. As a collective we must take full responsibility to bring light into the darkness. We can do this by unifying. March in the larger cities to be seen and heard. Contact our political representatives and make our voices heard.
  • We must honor our Constitution. If we aren’t familiar with it we need to read it. The ideals of freedom and equality must be upheld.
  • Healthcare injustices are the worst kind. Everyone deserves affordable health care. Our objective must be to align with the highest good for our society and ensure that all have access or else we risk mounting debt (personal and also, as a nation).

Unfortunately Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lost his life at the early age of 39 on April 4th, 1968, when he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Roots of racism had not been examined nor addressed and in turn we lost a legendary nonviolent leader and activist. May his memory stir us all to speak up and take action.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” MLK

Resources: Charlotte Observer, January 16, 2016 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/religion/article55088210.html

The King Center’s Website: http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king

Posted by: Take Flight | November 11, 2016

Love versus Hate: Which Side are You on?

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Post-election one of my biggest concerns is for the children in our country.  Reports of bullying incidents on the RISE throughout our nation are rampant and alarming. School bullies are likely learning their roles from their parents or guardians with a dramatic increase in racist incidents  amongst adults.

Pictures of Swastikas being spray painted on walls or cars are being shared on social media. News of people being heckled and/or physically harmed for their race, religion, sexual preferences, physical challenges, gender (whatever makes them uniquely who they are) is spreading across our nation. This is NOT the America we are. This is NOT the America we can allow our already great country, thank you very much, to BECOME.

Political differences aside this is about love vs. hate. Which side are you on? If we really want a great country – it’s about showing a lot more love and respect. My heart is hurting from what I’m seeing having grown up in the Deep South with active  Klansmen in my own neighborhood. Lynchings. Unspeakable situations. Race riots. I lived through it. I remember how much pain I felt as I never could understand the level of hate which surrounded me (outside of New Orleans, Louisiana).

CHANGE. Can we accept it?  Life is all about change. Yet the hate inspired incidents are NOT the change which will make our country great. We need to be vigilant because we’re on the precipice of losing our great country if we aren’t. We may need to return to  a Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Rights Movements – on a much larger scale – to protect our fellow citizens.  I’m ready to do what I can. Are you?

As a free country our citizens deserve freedom from other’s judgments for their choice of religion, sexual preference, the race they were born into, especially when they involve  threats. Racism, or the belief that others are inferior, is the foundation for hate and the potential destruction of the democracy we  share.

Finally, we need to take a woman’s right to choose out of politics. It does NOT belong there! The new administration has threatened to take this fundamental right of women away. They also plan to defund Planned Parenthood. Do you realize how many people are served through this organization for other health situations?

Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education, information, and outreach to nearly five million women, men, and adolescents worldwide in a single year.  80% of services are meant to prevent unintended pregnancy. In fact only 3% of their health services involve abortion.  See more at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/planned-parenthood-at-a-glance#sthash.nE0Bm1fq.dpuf

Having an abortion is a personal choice and I’d imagine not one anyone would make lightly. It’s probably one of the most difficult decisions a woman, a couple or perhaps a family could ever make. Why are men (and yes, some women too) allowed to enforce this? What gives them this right? It’s okay to disagree with these decisions. It’s not okay to make a woman’s PERSONAL decision for her. This is another, if more subtle form, of spreading the hate.We need to get the right to choose/pro-life agendas out of politics and focus on what the real issues are.

Bottom line, if we really want to be “great again” – Hillary had it right – we are STRONGER TOGETHER. And that means all of us – every gender, race, religion, sexual preference,  physical challenge, etc………

Posted by: Take Flight | October 31, 2016

Women Deserve Respect

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The numerous allegations of inappropriate sexual advances toward women made by Trump reminded me of my experience as a young woman advancing in my career. I am speaking out about this in unity with any woman who has been treated like an object by men. Women Deserve Respect.

At 21 I received a promotion from a rep to a sales manager at a hotel in Houston, Texas.My new long-term accounts included relocation guests and airline employees. Perusing through the files, I noted that an airline hadn’t been called on in a long while. They did business with us years before and there had been no follow-up. I contacted the man in charge and he seemed receptive. We met later that week at his office for about two hours to discuss the possibility.

During our meeting the airline director gestured a lot with his hands, occasionally landing one on my shoulder or on top of my hands. Once he brushed his hand against my thigh. Each time I squirmed. He then scooted closer to me. Since he came from another culture, I gave him some slack.

After much negotiation he reached a decision. My heart beat faster as this airline executive agreed to have me draw up a contract. My boss would be thrilled with this sizeable booking so soon after my promotion.

Then he said, “I need to come out to the hotel to see it again. I’ll sign the contract then, over dinner. How about Friday night?” A chill ran through my body yet I nodded. I couldn’t walk away from this huge piece of business.

During dinner the airline executive continually changed the subject to ask me personal questions. Then he refused to sign the agreement. I wanted to walk out at that moment, but my car was in the shop. I told him I needed to call my roommate to pick me up. Unfortunately she didn’t answer the phone. When I returned he asked where I lived and said, “That’s the way I drive home. I can drop you off.”

We pulled up near my apartment and he asked, “Would you mind if I use your bathroom? I still have a long drive from here.”

I froze for a moment and then said, “Okay.” I didn’t think there could be any harm in letting him use my bathroom.

Not long afterward a short, paunchy, naked man walked out of my bathroom. My heart beat so fast I thought it would leap out of my chest as he walked toward me. Then I jumped from the couch screaming and laughing as I ran into the bathroom. Reaching over I scooped up his pile of clothes and with some super human strength tossed him and his clothes out of my apartment.

The entire time he taunted me with, “Don’t you want my business. You’ll never get the business unless you have sex with me. Women always do. What’s wrong with you?” He then called out names of women who had slept with him in the past, “for the business.”

The next day I shared the story with my male boss at work, and a male sales manager. At first they couldn’t stop laughing. Then my boss said, “Oh men will be men. I should have known not to assign you to any of these important accounts. You don’t know how to handle yourself.”

I handed them the file and soon afterward my resignation.

 

 

Posted by: Take Flight | October 19, 2016

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: What Does WE Stand For?

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“United we stand, divided we fall.” Simple words and also, powerful, hinging on life-changing. What does this mean for you?

According to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History these words originated in a verse of The Liberty Song in 1768 by John Dickinson: “”Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!”

Yesterday I attended an inspiring lecture at the University of San Diego. Jane Anyango, a grassroots peacemaker from Nairobi, Kenya and Dr. Cory Gooding, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at USD presented on The Politics of Division: Elections in the U.S. and Kenya. What struck me were the parallels drawn from what has transpired in Kenya with post-election violence to what is happening in our current election. There is so much at stake and the lecture highlighted what many of us may be taking for granted, our freedom. Underlying our hard fought liberation, with the “blood, sweat, and tears” of our Founding Fathers is our need to unify to sustain what we treasure. By pointing fingers, especially the middle one, we create distance, not only from one another, but from the ideal we are founded upon.

Both the U.S. and Kenya have “We, the People” as the preamble for our Constitutions. It isn’t “us and them.” In my opinion when we get to this fractioned place, we are in jeopardy as a nation–as citizens of this great country we reside in. Who is “We”? We need to take a hard look at this. Jane shared her concerns about how in the U.S. we seem to be people-based with the candidates rather than issue-based. She has been active in Kenya in trying to get the focus on what candidates can do for the people. In this vein she galvanized hundreds of women to stop the bloodshed of post-election violence in 2007-08 and prevent future violence in the 2013 elections.

What matters is the substance over the “personalities” because in the end we need a true leader. What I am curious about is: 1) Why during the debates does the media not shut down the other candidate to eliminate endless jabber, and at least some of the “mudslinging”? 2) Why do we tolerate the candidates continual smearing of the other rather than speaking directly to what our concerns are? 3) Why is sensationalism so encouraged? (in media and yes, also social media in which many of us are actively engaged)

Dr. Gooding suggested that after we watch the debate tonight, if we choose to watch it, to turn it off afterward. Challenge ourselves not to listen to the pundits with the microphones for what the outcome is. Instead turn within ourselves to see what is valuable to us. Jane shared, “We need to find our own true self and stand by that.” Each one of us is accountable for our choices and our actions. We need to take responsibility.

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