Friday, January 30, 2015

8 Myths about Autoimmune Disorders

 I am not a doctor, nor do I give medical advice. I just finished my lunch. Not this beautiful basket of fruit from my garden. It's January and it will be months and months before I can grab a fresh fig from my tree every time I notice a ripe one. My lunch today, as most days was a blueberry smoothie. I use coconut milk and coconut oil, frozen wild blueberries, stevia, raw protein powder, ice cubes and water. Spin it all in my ninja processor and voila, a thick and yummy shake. Sometimes I substitute a chunk of frozen pumpkin and some cocoa powder (a little cinnamon to add some bite). It made me recall a conversation I had with a stylist in the salon I go to when I was having my gray touched up just yesterday. I'd noticed she'd lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago and has gained it all back. She asked me about my health so I asked her how she'd been. She began by telling me she'd regained all her lost weight plus more - she's up to 270 pounds and feels awful. She's been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and her thyroid is "shot", whatever that means - she did not elaborate. She had expected synthroid to help her drop 20 pounds quickly, which it did not. She needs medicine to sleep because of the pain and she yawned as she told me how tired. she was. It was an opening so I took it. I quickly explained that I have MS (I think she already knew), that I've mostly been off of wheat and other grain since last May. I also take synthroid and have for years. It keeps me free of symptoms of the thyroid hormone deficiency but it didn't help me lose any weight. I explained that my triglycerides were down 40 points and she could see that although I'm much older than she, I'm certainly in better health, regardless of my autoimmune disorders.

Like many people, this lady wanted a pill, a magic bullet to fix what's been coming on for many years. That would be a wonderful thing but, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Although I've been working on various aspects of my diet and lifestyle for some time now, I recently discovered Dr. Amy Meyers when she offered an on-line seminar free to anyone who registered. You can still get it but now it's for sale. Dr. Meyers has a new book out, called "The Meyers Way". Here's what she has to say about autoimmunity. I want to print it on a card that I can hand out when I meet people that marvel at my health.

The 8 Major Myths about Autoimmune Disorders:  1. Autoimmune disorders cannot be reversed. 2. Your symptoms won't disappear without harsh meds. 3. When you treat an autoimmune disorder, the side effects are no big deal.  4. Improving digestion and gut health have no effect on the progression of an autoimmune disorder.  5. Going gluten-free won't make any difference to your autoimmune disorder.  6. Having an autoimmune disorder dooms you to a poor quality of life.  7. When it comes to autoimmune disorders, only your genes matter; environmental factors do not matter.  8. Your immune system is what it is and there is nothing you can do to support it.

I no longer take medication to control my ms symptoms because what symptoms I have are residual from my initial attacks. I was using a cane 10 years ago. I don't even keep it in my car anymore. My symptoms are mostly limited to balance issues and some burning in my feet. I take supplements, limit wheat and other grains to special occasions. I limit my sugar intake. I exercise regularly. I've had gut issues my whole life. I keep them under control by avoiding antibiotics unless they're absolutely necessary and taking probiotics regularly. My dad had Crohn's disease, discovered he had a dairy intolerance and cheated constantly. Now I suspect he also had a wheat intolerance.

It will take medical doctors 10 to 20 years to catch up. It's tragic but true. At least now we know we can take much of our health issues in our own hands and there is plenty of information out there to help us.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Big Snow is Coming...

Heat up some coconut milk and brew some chai


The weather is keeping us in

Work on a sturdy sweater

What else can you do?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ready for Color in the New Year

Christmas knitting...neutral and wearable

Charcoal cables for my daughter
Blue Barley hat for my son
The granddaughter wanted owls
Her boyfriend got a Sockhead hat in Knitpicks' Thunderhead

But look at what's coming! Soft, rich, sophisticated COLOR! Not hot and flashy, not neon, baby pastels or candy colors... ...just lovely, warm and wearable!

Monday, December 1, 2014


 Spinning wool as soft and as white as Santa's beard.
 Grandchildren with chubby cheeks to kiss.
 Flowers from my husband celebrating the day we met.
 Rows of owls on the brim of a hat, waiting for little button eyes.
 Summer spinning, finally plied and skeined.
 Apple sour cream pie for Thanksgiving.
 Fluffy plied yarn, ready to knit or dye.
A little red felted bird to keep me company while I spin.
I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the wonders of the season.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gifts from the Heart

 Herbed Sea Salt (Sala Moia)
Course natural sea salt, whirled in the food processor with chopped garlic, fresh sage and rosemary from the garden. Spread out to dry for two days stirring occasionally. Store in clean glass jars.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Make your own Hydrangea and Herb Wreath


First, I bent a wire coat hanger (which happened to be white) and bunched up branches of Sweet Annie that I bought at Rhinebeck. I wrapped as I went with green, light gauge wire, bending down branches and cutting off stray bare pieces. Then I pulled bunches of flowerettes from my Lime Light hydrangeas and wire them in small bouquets around the herb wreath with the same wire in one continuous strand. If you plan to make a hydrangea wreath, wait until around the end of October when the flowers have changed color - before they dry out completely. There are some brownish petals but most are still full of water - where the "hydra"angea gets it's name. My wreath is drying in my unheated garage where it's hanging out of direct light. I plan to give it a good spray with some extra hold hairspray before I bring it in to hang in my craft room. The Sweet Annie will scent my craft room deliciously!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pink-tober and the "Girls"

My OBGYN recently gave me an authorization slip for my annual mammogram. I told her that this year I was thinking about skipping it. I've been having one, almost without fail, for over 20 years. I've had false positives, been sent to the surgeon for evaluation ("You're going to stick a needle where? No, think not..."), been called back for re-checks ("Come back in six months and we'll look again."),  I've been told I had dense breasts. I've been told that they're not dense. I've been told that the type of breast cancer my mother had was not a genetic disease. I've been told the radiologist had to keep an eye on some calcifications. I've been told that calcifications are normal unless they're looking like they're getting organized. So far, they're not. My OBGYN felt no lumps and neither have I. I hardly take a Tylenol without being concerned about side-effects. What must 20 plus years of radiation aimed directly at the girls be doing to me? Do I seem confused? Not a decision to take lightly. My OBGYN told me that some of her other patients my age (over 60) are re-thinking the annual trip to the radiologist for the "squeeze". She didn't think it was unreasonable and didn't seem especially troubled if I chose to skip a year. Now, I wouldn't want anyone to take this as medical advice. We should all consult our own physicians on a regular basis and make these decisions with professional advice. I've been on a reduced carbohydrate food program (of my own design) since May and I've lost ten pounds and dropped my triglycerides by 40 points.  October is a great time to be reminded that we need to be aware of our health and take good care of ourselves. Now for some pink...