Saturday, January 31, 2015

What is happening in my body?

As most of you know, I do not get squirmy when it comes to matters of the body. However, what happened yesterday was disgusting. Why was it disgusting? I'll tell you a bit later in this long blog about digestion. We had a workshop on the colon, what we are trying to do while we are here, how toxins hurt our digestive system and how to do the enema. Let me just say that I hope that everyone is able to do a cleanse at least once in their lifetime. This retreat I'm doing is the most intense and full on cleanses one can do for themselves. I'm 99% sure, by the end of the retreat, that all my digestive problems and, hopefully, my esophagus issues will be cured. I'm going to be much lighter, have more energy, clearer skin, and be glowing. They did take a before picture, and will take an after pic so I can prove it.

So what is it we are doing? Listen up folks, because this is good stuff. If you want to skip all the details and get the gist, scroll down to bottom where the text gets big.

Our digestive system starts with smell. We smell a pie baking, or see the food and smell it under our nose. The digestive system has now kicked in, and our mouths salivate, creating enzymes that break down our food in our mouth. The most important thing when trying to digest our food properly is to SLOOOOW DOWN, and CHEW your food. 20 chews per bite to be exact. This allows us to break down our food so that in our stomach the acids help digests it easier. When we start eating, our stomach produces a gastric acid called Hydrochloric acid, HCL. Many people are deficient in HCL, because of many factors. One could be not chewing your food properly, another could be fast food diets, or prescription drugs. There is an interesting article on HCL here. Another reason for a depleted HCL is heart burn. People with heart burn don't have a lot of this acid (this would be me) because they aren't chewing enough. The bigger the pieces of food are in our stomach, the more the HCL is working, and then depleted, and then HEART BURN! I eat my lunches sometimes in less than five minutes. I even choked on half a strawberry because I didn't chew it, and it got lodged in my throat. Lexy, from Ketchikan, was there to save me with the Heimlich, scary stuff. If you, or anyone you know is suffering from heart burn, and you want to try to heal your gut without going to a retreat, you can at least start by drinking 1/2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in 2 tsp of water in the morning. It will help your HCL levels get back to normal. If you follow a raw diet, or meat diet, it's something you should add, because raw foods, and meat are hard to digest. But remember, chew your food kids... its the best thing you can do for your digestive system.

After you have chewed your food and all those tiny chewed up pieces are in your tummy, they start to get broken down. The magnesium, zinc, calcium, etc. get absorbed in your blood stream by traveling through the cellular walls of our intestines. Think of cellular walls as perfect blocks, with no holes or leaks, on top of each other, like legos, but spongy. The nutrients goes through the cells into our blood stream, BUT if we are eating something toxic to our bodies, if that's dairy for you, or sugar, or McDonalds, over time those cellular walls break down and mucous is produced. If we were to vary our diet more, this wouldn't happen as often. We tend to walk into the grocery store, pick all our favorites, and walk out. I ate eggs, peanut butter, and toast almost everyday for years. Guess what my system is refusing to digest; eggs, peanuts, and yeast. Those don't seem toxic at all, but after six plus years of eating the same thing, my body is saying, "woa, lady, eat something else!" The mucous that is produced from those toxins, will act like a cut on the arm, it will be soft at first, but then it turns into a scab. As you continue to eat the same foods everyday that are hurting you, that scab is like tar on your cellular wall. It doesn't scrape off that easily. How is the nutrients supposed to get through the walls now with a big mucous scab covering it? No wonder we are all sick. None of our food is nourishing us the way we think it's going to.

So in a nutshell: Person eats bad food, bad food creates mucous, over time that turns into a scab. No nutrients get through cellar walls because of mucous scab, and then person gets sick because no nutrients.

Our end goal here at NIH is to remove the mucous from our walls. We drink four detox drinks a day. We also do two enemas a day. What is in the shakes are Bentonite Clay, which absorbs everything, such as, toxins, mucous, crap, even medicine, and also in the shakes is Psyllium Husk, which helps us feel full, as well as grabbing toxins and putting all the crap together like matter. To make them drinkable, they add a little bit of juice, and coconut water. The enema helps to flush all that matter out. If you want to see what that stuff looks like, just google Mucoid Plaque. It usually always is like a rope, you can't break it, and it smells horrific. If you haven't ever done a cleanse and grew up not eating the best foods for you, you're gonna have it coming out of you, but it will take time. That is why I am here for 14 days, getting rid of mucoid plaque and parasites.

Which brings me to the topic of parasites. Many have asked how this zapping works. It's a small device that you attach to both your wrists. Seven minutes it zaps your body, and then 20 minutes of nothing. This happens for an hour. The zaps don't kill the parasites, but it's enough to get them out of their little hiding places and close to the matter that the Psyllium and clay are making. The host Lola, during her first cleanse, didn't have any parasites the entire time she cleansed until the last day when she did her colon cleanse, a big 6 inch worm came out. um, YUCK!
Zapping at 5 am!

Many people think mucoid plaque and parasites are a hoax. Many professional doctors too. And those doctors are probably funded by Pepto, or some other digestive drug. It's just like kidney stones, or gall stones, some people get them, some don't, but that doesn't make it a hoax. Did you know that almost all medical programs at universities to become a doctor don't have one nutrition class, and if they do, it's an elective?! It's true! That to me speaks volumes. If you go to the doctor for a disease, or medical problem, and they don't ask you what you have been eating, go to another doctor.

So enema time, the fun part. When we are doing the enemas, also later the colonoscopy, and Liver flush, not only are we making ourselves squeaky clean, but emotions will come out. Lola talked about how when you hold on to something, resentment or anger, it will be released too. You might cry, you might feel lighter, you might feel relieved. If someone is holding onto a lot, they probably are experiencing constipation as well. Also the expression, "listen to your gut" makes sense to me because our gut is like our brain in health. Whenever I'm stressed or in a bad situation, my gut gets upset, and it lets me know by the pains it gives me. I had a friend who was dating, and every boy she dated she was constipated, but then when she met her husband, she could poop with ease. They are happily married couple, living in Alaska, and pooping comfortably.

Okay, so back to the disgusting part of my day. I did an enema. This consists of sticking a tube up your b-hole and allowing a bag of water to flow in. Then for 5 - 15 minutes, you jump around and massage your stomach to get things moving and agitated in the intestines. That is the hard part. You know that feeling when you HAVE to go, most commonly called Irritable Bowl Syndrome. You get hot, and your stomach cramps, you have the chills, and you run to the toilet. Well that's what it feels like, except you have to at least try to get to five minutes. I did exactly five. And what came out of me was the most horrific glob of green goo I have ever seen. You put a colander in the toilet to catch it, to analyze it, etc., and the colander was full. My stomach felt sick for a good hour afterward, and they said that it will eventually go away the more I get the crap out. I did take a picture, but it's too disgusting to show. No mucoid plaque came out that I could see, but it was still pretty nasty!

Here are a few pictures of the retreat location:

Commons room
TV, Library in commons rooms
This is the main walk way to everything!
Yoga and Meditation Hut
Pool
Ants EVERYWHERE!



Friday, January 30, 2015

Bali experience

Bali isn't quiet. Ever. Even in the middle of the night, which is a vast difference than Alaska life, where one small hike can put you in a place of no noise. I remember hiking with my Spaniard friend, Marcos, in Skagway to lower lake, a few years ago. He stopped and put his hands up, eye brows raised, and said "Cole, stop, LISTEN!" I immediately thought he heard a wild animal, or some weird bird call. But then he said "It's soooo quiet! You can't hear anything!" For me, that is the way I grew up, but apparently, in other parts of the world, quiet is a luxury.

I thought the noise would be a problem for me, but I am surprisingly enjoying it. Every morning I have a team outside of mostly critters, birds, and roosters, buzzing, tweeting and crowing me out of bed. The rooster is the real eye opener at 4:30 am "Cock a doodle your butt out of bed Cole Doooo"! There is, however, one beetle that is the worst sound ever. It's like having tinnitus, except for it's on the loud speaker and 100 times more annoying. It sounds like some electrical problem, high frequency... and he will buzz for hours, and then pause, making everyone sigh of relief, until 5 seconds later, he starts up again. Other than the beetle, I enjoy the rest of the noise... water flowing, King Fishers calling, other birds I can't identify tweeting, rooster's crowing, etc.

Bali is also plush. Green everywhere. It's their rainy season right now, so we are getting a lot of thunder and tropical rain storms. The retreat's (NIH) atmosphere is more than ideal. I am currently in the commons room, that has no walls, watching the ducks play. Every once and a while I see a Tokay Gecko, which is about the size of a small crocodile. It is more afraid of me than I am of him, but he will crawl around from time to time, jump in the pool, swim, and then go back to his home. NIH has a yoga hut area, meditation room, kitchen, pool, and commons area, which consists of a family size dinner table, bean bags, library, couches, TV and movies. Every area is open air... nothing has a door that shuts behind us and encloses us except our bedrooms. My room is pretty much the most perfect room ever. I have doors that open to a balcony, a writing desk, big closet, large bathroom with a tub, and a bed up on a platform that has a mosquito net. Bali also has a lot of ants, and because everything here doesn't really have walls, ants are everywhere... so don't get too jealous of my adventure haha!

Fasting started yesterday. Today we will get to learn what exactly we are drinking and how it detoxifies us. We also will learn how to do the enemas on ourselves. This part makes me nervous. Not only on how to do them, but what is going to come out of me. They told us that some people would find marbles coming out, or kids toys, that they had swallowed as children. Yikes! I haven't decided yet if I want to share that experience with you all on the blog. It doesn't gross me out one bit, but I know a lot of people share a different opinion than mine when it comes to gross things. I'm mostly curious if I find a parasite. That I will definitely photograph, but most likely will email to those who want to see, and not post on the blog.

I attached a few pictures below of Bali, but the only way I can get them to upload is if I Instagram them first, so many of you have already seen them. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Friday night!! Don't get too crazy Seattle friends at the Gold Party!! And I want to see lots of pictures!!
The women in Bali do all the hard labor, carrying heavy items on their heads.
Oldest Spa in Ubud, Bali


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Natural Instinct Healing

Detoxing is hard. It's day two here of smoothies and broths, which is our transition into the 10 day fasting detox. I'm grateful for these two days. It has allowed us to start shrinking our stomachs, and going through the emotions of not putting food in our mouths. I can't imagine just going straight into the fast. The daily schedule also keeps us busy, so that we aren't thinking so much of how hungry we are. Today has been lovely, but not easy. The day started for me at 5:30am. Yes... I know, big SHOCK here, but I attribute it to the rooster next to my room and jet lag. I meditated and read until the scheduled events started at 8 am. 
  • 8am Juice & activated B tablet
  • 8:30am Walk through the rice paddies (exercise)
  • 10am Liquid Breakfast - Papaya smoothie
  • Dry skin brushing
  • 11am Sauna/steam and cold baths - Get super hot, and then dip yourself in cold water. 
  • 1pm Liquid Lunch (Pineapple and cucumber frothy drink)
  • 2pm Massage
  • Parasite Zapping - This is pretty awesome, but also disgusting. Basically we are killing the parasites in our system and then later going to see them come out of us. The process doesn't hurt and it takes an hour. After doing the zapping every day for a week, or more, you'll start to see the results, or not. Everyone is different. One host said she had a six inch worm come out of her. Ewwwwww!!! Don't worry, I'll take pictures.
  • 3pm Coconut Water (optional)
  • 4:30pm Juice
  • 5:30pm Meditation
  • 6pm Liquid Dinner
  • 7:30pm Digestive Tablet 
You also need to drink two or more liters of water, one cup of the tea of the day, one cup of this water they put stuff? in, 10 minutes of breath awareness, self reflect and meditation, and a few personal things that are different for each person here.
Not so bad, right?
Tomorrow is where things will get interesting. Here is what an average day of the fasting will look like.
  • 7am Detox Shake and Enema - When I say shake, it's not a smoothie. It's a bad tasting, bentonite clay drink, with psyllium husk, little bit coconut water and juice (very little).
  • 8:30am Detox herbs (droplets) and exercise (usually yoga, rice paddy walks, swimming)
  • 10am Detox Shake
  • 10:30am - Some days we have a workshop at this time.
  • Dry Skin Brushing
  • 11:30 Detox Herbs
  • 1pm Detox Shake
  • 1:30pm Parasite Zapping
  • 2:30pm Detox Herbs
  • 10 minutes of Breath Awareness
  • 3pm Massage (not everyday)
  • 4pm Detox Shake and Enema
  • 4:30pm One on One session with specialists (Reiki, diet guide, energy work, etc.)
  • 6pm Detox Herbs & Broth
  • 7pm Documentary (not every night)
  • 7:30 Detox Shake (optional) and Detox Tablet
Workshops include: Colonic & Digestive System, Nutrition, Break Fast, Raw Food Kitchen Class
We also have the option to nap, watch movies, sit by the pool (although its been raining everyday), play games, etc. The hosts, Lola and Becky, have really made it feel like our home for the next two weeks.
                         
Pictures have been taken, but getting them to upload to the ipad, or blog, either takes an hour, or fails.  So I'm sorry there isn't much here. This is rice paddies in their off season. They have a water system that isn't used anywhere else in the world. Small canals deliver water from temples of Bali, blessed by the priesthood. The water system is called Subak, and you can read about it here. But in a nutshell, water flows to all the farms, and when the farmer doesn't need anymore water, he/she puts mud to block off the ever flowing water. Woman and men work in the rice fields. Women, however, do most of the hard labor. If there is a project that needs rocks, women carry them on their head. Lola, one of the hosts, saw a women carrying a full sized dining table with four chairs on the top, all on her head. Craziness.

                         

Everyone rides scooters here. Everyone! They also drive on the other side of the street than the USA. They honk a lot, don't go too fast, and never stay in the lines. Crossing the street is scary especially since I keep looking left, instead of right. *gulp


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bali, Indonesia Retreat Adventure - Travel Days

First flight of 12 and a half hours went surprisingly fast. I watched two movies, took a five hour nap, and visited with the passenger next to me, who is a fruit broker (is that such a thing?). My layover was four hours in the Tawain airport, which is equivilent to Hello Kittyville... or duty free and snobby rich boutiques. Second flight was five hours, in which I watched Gone Girl Gone, and then immediately wished I had chosen Frozen instead.
Aaannnywaaay....
Before this retreat I was provided with a pre-fast information to help acclimate to a sugar free diet. I did the exact opposite of what the pamphlet said. Instead of eating an alkaline diet (avoiding meat, alcohol, processed food, caffiene, sweets, etc), I drank chai teas, ate cake pops, bought cookies for the plane, ate red meat, and drank wine (it was free, how could I resist?) all the way up until I got to the gate. Literally, I was shoving a cookie into my mouth as we pulled into the driveway. You have to understand that sugar is my crutch, vice, drug, whatever you want to call it. We have had a long, loving, not-so-loving relationship, sometimes making me feel super good, and then usually making me feel super bad. The one time I went off sugar, I actually made it for about two weeks, then broke down and had a Starbucks Frappuccino (aka 57 grams of sugar!!!!!), and immediatly felt dizzy and sick. Did that stop me? Nope. I do have to say though, that I really don't eat a ton of sugar, compared to the average American. I don't drink soda, juice, or mow down chocolate bars on a daily basis. But the little sugar that I do eat, is still too much sugar. I know sugar is bad for me. I know that is why my waist line isn't my best feature. I know that it's toxicity on the liver is just as bad as alcohol. But... I eat it anyway. Isn't that the second sign of addiction, using despite the consequences, denial being the first?
I chose to go to this retreat not just for detoxing sugar, but because I have had a handful of health problems with my esophagus and stomach. Five years ago I was told I had a hiatal hernia (stomach is pushing up into my esophagus causing heart burn). I was given a Rx, which I never picked up, and instead avoided the five foods that were too acidic and caused heart burn for me; tomatoes, almonds, bananas, avocados, & apples. That lasted 4 1/2 years, up until last summer, when I was getting heart burn just sitting there, eating nothing. I had to sleep sitting up, would vomit almost nightly, and it hurt. I also felt my stomach in my esophogus. I would drink hot water and jump up and down until the stomach would fall back down. Everytime I ate something, I could feel my esophogus swelling. No bueno. I flew back to Seattle, had an endoscopy, and was told I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Uummmm...what?

Exactly. Here is what wikipedia says:
Eosinophilic esophagitis (eosinophilic oesophagitis), also known as allergic oesophagitis, is an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus that involves eosinophils, a type of white blood cell. Symptoms are swallowing difficulty, food impaction, and heartburn.
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) was first described in children but also occurs in adults. The condition is not well understood, but food allergy may play a significant role. The treatment may consist of medication to suppress the immune response, but in severe cases it may be necessary to stretch the esophagus with an endoscopy procedure.
After prick tests (about 30 on my back) and two blood tests, I was told that I had an allergy to the following: Dairy (all milk/cheese product), eggs (WHY GOD WHY?!?!), peanuts and all treenuts, and yeast (brewers and bakers). This means, no bread (sandwiches, buns, toast, etc.), no beer, no omlettes, no almonds, no peanut butter, no cashews (my favorite!!), no cheese, no baked goods with eggs, no massaman cury from Starfire....

Excuse me as I take a moment of silence for the last one.......

...and now I'm that annoying friend to go out to eat with. "Yeah I'll just have some lettuce, sans everything else!" But, here's the catch, all these tests are inconclusive. None of them are 100% accurate, and to really figure out what I'm allergic to, an elimination diet is the answer.

So here I am. Bali. Starting a 14 day detoxification cleanse, with colon enemas and all. I'll cleanse the system and slowly bring back in foods and see how I feel. Two days of supercleanse, which includes smoothies, and broth.  10 days of liquid fasting, to two more days of bringing food back in to my diet. Massages, yoga, mediation, classes/workshops, hikes, sun, sleep.... here I go.