When Your World Feels Like It Keeps Shirking: An Open Letter

 

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One of my worst fears is that my health will deteriorate to the point where my primary goal in life is to survive, not thrive. I fear that my world will become smaller and smaller, until all I see and can handle is myself and what is immediately in front of me. This is more than an uneasiness or worry I have; it is a gut-wrenching, borderline-panic-attack causing fear. With every passing year and sacrifice I make for my health, I fear that my world will shrink to past the point of no return.

This post was very difficult to write because it is a topic that is deeply personal to me and the people I love. It is also something I struggle with every time I have to make a lifestyle change or didn’t get the news I was hoping for. Hear my heart when I say that I am truly and deeply sorry that this is your reality. I have cried those same tears for myself and people I care about. I sincerely believe you were created to thrive, not to simply to survive. With that said, this is an open letter to those with a shrinking world caused by chronic illness:

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Packing for Two Weeks in Greece (with Food and Mold Sensitivities)

 

 

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I love to travel. I know it may sound cliché, but this love runs deep within me. Travel is about connecting myself to something greater and comprehending global interconnectedness. It is about understanding why people behave and make decisions the way they do. It is about appreciating the beauty of this world.

I returned from Athens, Greece less than a week ago. The purpose of this trip was to work in refugee camps in the greater Athens area. This was the first significant trip I have taken since being identified as a carrier of the multisusceptible and mold susceptible HLA genes and having recognized the effects mold exposures have on my body. Once I arrived, it quickly began apparent that I was unconsciously very nervous about a potential exposure and its consequences.

However, knowing in advance that I would be losing a lot of the control I typically have over my diet and environment, I packed prepared.

Here are the items I packed and found to be helpful when traveling with food sensitivities and mold-related illness… Continue reading

Daily Routine with Mold-Related Illness

Daily Routine

Currently, I am living at home and working for the summer. This poses several benefits and challenges. My schedule is very full. Time gets filled quickly with working at least forty hours a week, visiting friends and family, taking an online class, preparing for two upcoming international trips, and maintaining a balance of everything else.

Several weeks ago, when I recognized how rapidly my health was regressing due a significant mold exposure, I realized I was going to have to makes some changes my daily routine. To put it lightly, I was no where near thrilled about the idea of a new set of scarifies and changes.

Since I did not have enough time to do a full lab work up for mold illness (I do have HLA gene indicators) nor to follow a protocol to release and heal from the biotoxins, I needed a different plan. Continue reading

Four Practical Ways to Detox Your Body at College

Four practical ways to

While everyone’s body is different, we all have a limit of how much exposure to various toxins our bodies can handle. There are many short-term detox cleanses you can find online, but unless you make lifestyle changes, you will continue to increases the toxic burden on your body.

Detoxification pathways (liver, kidney, skin, lymphatic system, and intestines) can become blocked for many reasons. Just a few include poor diet, stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, and daily exposures to chemicals in what you eat, drink, breath, and put on your skin. With all of these factors working against your body, it is important to be proactive in removing these toxins from your system.

Still not convinced detoxing is important? Symptoms of poorly functioning detox pathways can range from acne to yeast infections to bloating to headaches to aches and pains to food cravings. None of the aforementioned and countless other symptoms are enjoyable; yet, nearly everyone deals at least one of them.

As a college student, time and money are precious. With that in mind, here are four hopefully more practical ways to encourage your body to detox while at college.

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Emotional Processing of Mold-Related Illness

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Chronic illness has a way of not only stealing your health but also something deeper, something more personal within yourself if you are not careful.

Last summer, while I was traveling and volunteering throughout Europe, I received an email from my mom that would go on to dictate the course of the next year. Tired of reading, learning, trying countless different things, and spending money, she was ready to give in and say good enough on her own health. Then, she watched Dave Asprey’s documentary, Moldy. She picked herself up and had the house tested. The test came back positive. There was mold in our basement, likely from water damage.

It was early morning, and I was alone outside when I read her email. It said she thought she had identified the root cause of both of our illnesses. A wave of emotions came over me all at once. Anger. Relief. Sadness. I sat there and cried for a few moments. While I was familiar with mold causing illness, I had never considered that my childhood home might have contributed to making me sick.

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Tips for Traveling in Europe with Food Restrictions

TipsForTravelingInEuropeWithFoodRestrictions

This summer I had the incredible opportunity to intern with two international organizations. I spent two months traveling around various European countries for both work and play. Majority of my time was spent in Italy, Hungary, and the United Kingdom. God clearly arranged my summer to be exactly what it need to be and I learned countless things about myself, Him, and the world we all live in.

I was nervous about how this travel would effect my health and the diet (no gluten, dairy and sugar) I need to maintain my health. I would later found out that I would have access to a kitchen because I was unexpectedly blessed to stay with people associated with the organizations.

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