Saturday, December 2, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {12}


Today is the twelfth and last Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


1. My weight hasn't changed, but I'm thrilled to end the year with an overall weight loss of 26 1/2 lbs.!  I was really hoping that I'd have an overall weight loss to share with you this month, but I don't.  My weight has been in a yo-yo/plateau phase for the last 2 months especially, and I am just now starting to get that more in check.  I'm hoping I can begin the new year with a weight loss, but we'll see.  At least I can say that I'm 26 1/2 lbs. lighter than I was at the beginning of the year, and that makes me over-the-moon happy. :)
 
2. My activity level is not where I want it to be.  Due to weather, bouts of sickness with me and my family, and family/church activities, my physical activity has not been what I want it to be.  I'm working on finding ways to be more active even on bad weather days, but it has not been easy.  I'm going to keep working on it, and we'll see what happens.  The big thing will be forcing myself to get outside for at least a little while, even when it is cold.  Wish me luck!

3. We covet your prayers about a few things.  As I mentioned last time, my husband has been dealing with a lot of health issues lately.  He did go see the allergist, and the allergist has said no more allergy shots for my husband for at least the foreseeable future, and he wants him to go off of gluten for at least 2 months because, about 6 years ago, he did test positive for one of the antibodies they look for in Celiac's Disease (though not the one that is specific to Celiac's) to see if that helps some of his stomach/GERD issues.  My husband is also having a CT scan of his sinuses on the 11th of this month to see if there is anything going on there that warrants surgery.  If my husband continues to have health issues that none of these things answer/solve, more blood work and tests are in his future.  Prayers definitely appreciated as we go through all these changes and tests.  Thank you!

Thank you to those who prayed for my oldest's eyes.  He has recovered very well, and doesn't need to go back to the ophthalmologist until spring.  The issues he had before the surgery are gone, and any issues he has now are essentially issues that can even arise in those with "normal" vision.  We are so thankful!


My middle kid had his ibuprofen challenge, and passed with flying colors.  We are so glad he is not allergic to ibuprofen!  We may never know what caused his lips to swell, but my guess is that he somehow got a chemical burn (he'd eaten some spicy things, and had told me (the next day after he'd gone to the ER) that his mouth burned before he took the Advil or used the chapstick) that was made worse by applying chapstick, causing the swelling.  Either way, we're just glad that he is ok, and able to take ibuprofen if need be.

We still have a few other huge unspokens that I don't want to share the details of online, too.  Just know that we covet your prayers right now.  Thank you!

This has been a challenging year in more ways that one, but God has been so good and has been so faithful!  We are grateful for His protection and help with all of these things and then some.  Thank you for being part of it with your prayers and support.  They mean so much!

4. I am hoping to do some updating to the blogs soon.  I am still behind on the updates I want to do here and on Natural and Free.  I have plans to attempt typing up those recipe posts (and maybe a few others) over the next few weeks, but I have no idea if I'll be able to or not.  Every time I carve out a minute to do some updates, something comes up that needs my immediate attention, changing my plans.  We'll see if I can get those posts up sooner than later. *fingers crossed*
 
5. This may be my last ever official Monthly Milestones post.  I am not sure if I will continue with Monthly Milestones next year or not.  I'm still on the fence about it.  I still plan on doing updates, I'm just not sure if they will be in the same format.  I'm throwing some ideas around, and we'll see what happens.  There's a lot of reasons for this line of thinking (about ending Monthly Milestones) that I don't feel at liberty to discuss right now, but know that this decision will not be taken lightly.  Either way, I'll keep you posted about any changes as I can.



That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {11}


Today is the eleventh Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


1. My weight hasn't changed.  I was deeply hoping that I would have another weight loss to share, but I don't.  My weight has roller coaster-ed a lot this last month, so I'm really glad I didn't have a weight gain to share.  I can attribute the lack of progress to not being as active and eating more "outside the norm" (read that as more sugar/carbs and less healthy).  I hope to eat better this month, be as active as feasibly possible, and hopefully have a weight loss to share next month.  Wish me luck!
   
2. The weather has been crazy, so activity level has reduced greatly.  We've had a lot of rain, so we've not been able to get out much.  I get out when I can, but that hasn't been very often.  I may have to start walking our stairs.  We'll see!  When the weather switches over to snow (we had our first sticking snow today, which thrills my daughter and no one else), then we can walk regardless (if we bundle up, of course).  Anyway, I am thinking of ways to stay active indoors, and it will definitely take some creativity on my part!

3. October was busy, but in mostly good ways.  Other than my husband (who has been ill with a respiratory issue for over 2 months), our health has been reasonably good.  We've had our Missions Conference (which I did miss a lot of due to being ill with a horrific migraine and fever), our oldest turned 15 before that, we had our Teen Youth Group take over a Sunday night service where our oldest preached and our middle kid lead the singing (which is huge deal if you knew the issues our middle kid has with public speaking) just this last weekend, and we also had a Harvest Party with our NBB and Teen groups (NBB is our version of AWANA).  As you can see - BUSY!  November should be a little less crazy, but not by a ton.  We'll see!

4. We covet your prayers about a few things.  As I mentioned above, my husband is still dealing with health issues.  Pray that we can find the cause and that he improves soon.  Now that Penicillin/Amoxicillin containing antibiotics are off the table for him, that limits treatment options, and that may be part of the reason he is having an issue getting over his illness.  He is improving, but it's slow going, and whenever he gets his allergy shot, it seems to knock him back a few steps.  Please pray that we'll know what to do in regards to treating his allergies, that he not be as sick this winter as he was last, that we'll know who to talk to about this (if he needs to see someone new or go back and see one of his current doctors), that we'll know if he needs a different kind of treatment or even further treatment, and (again) that he will get well in general.  Thank you!

Please continue to pray that our oldest eyes heal up well from surgery.  So far, so good!  He has had 2 follow-up appointments, and all looks well.  He goes back in 6 months to see how he is doing.  Thanks so much for those who have prayed for that, and keep praying that all continues to go well!  Thanks!

We still have a few other huge unspokens that I don't want to share the details of online, too.  Just know that we covet your prayers right now.  Thank you!

We have definitely been through it in some ways, but God is good and has been so faithful!  We are grateful for His protection and help with all of these things and then some.

4. I have been able to update the blogs a little, but not as much as I'd hoped.  I have managed to get one new recipe posted on Natural and Freebut I have yet to find the time to get any more ready to go.  I have also been able to do a few updates here and there, but have not been able to do more than that.  I have plans to attempt typing up those recipe posts (and maybe a few others) next week, but I have no idea if I'll be able to or not.  We'll see if I can get those posts up sooner than later.



That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Friday, October 6, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {10}


Today is the tenth Monthly Milestones of 2017 (I am posting this a day early because I will be at a Ladies' Retreat all day tomorrow and unable to do it then).  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


1. My weight is down another 3.5 lbs.!  I finally made my goal!  I'm under 200 lbs!  My next goals will come in 10 lbs. increments, so that makes my next goal to be under 190.  Just 7 lbs. to go!  We'll see if I can make that before the end of the year.  Wish me luck!
     
2. I try to get out and walk as I can.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get as much walking in as I'd like.  We've had a lot of illness, ER visits, surgery, and a other life happenings that have prevented me from doing that.  I have been decently active with other things, but I would still like to get out more while the weather is behaving.  We'll see how I do this month.

3. September and the beginning of this month have been insane for us.  As I mentioned above, we've had some adventures recently!

Everyone in the family has had a vicious head cold at one point that seems to last forever (the worst of it is over in about 3 days or so, but then it takes about 2 weeks or longer to be essentially back to normal), and we've all had it about a week apart, so that's made things interesting.  We are finally all on the mend in that regard, so that's good. :)

The beginning of September, our middle kid broke his collarbone, and then proceeded to have some form of allergic reaction a few days after that, possibly to ibuprofen.  He is healing up nicely now, and is headed for an ibuprofen challenge with the allergist in November, so please pray for that.  We also found out that he has scoliosis that isn't quite bad enough to treat, so we're keeping an eye on that, and hope to get his to a chiropractor after his collarbone is sufficiently healed in hopes that will correct some of it (all of it would be nice, too) or at least keep it from getting any worse.  Prayers appreciated for wisdom and direction here, too.  Thank you!

About 2 weeks ago, my husband either had a reaction to Augmentin that affected his heart or nearly had a heart attack.  He spent the night in the hospital, and we praise the Lord that there was no damage to his heart or signs of an obvious heart issue.  We still don't know for 100% what happened, but he is to avoid all Penicillin containing products (which is the ingredient in Augmentin that would have been the issue) from now on, and also we have to watch for any further issues with the heart.  So far, he's been well, and I'm so grateful!

Yesterday, our oldest had surgery on both of his eyes to fix a strabismus issue that his glasses could no longer correct adequately.  He is recovering well with the normal post-op issues which have included drainage and some double vision that should correct in time.  Please pray that he continues to heal well and that the surgery will have been 100% successful (something we will only know in time).  Thank you!

We still have a few other huge unspokens that I don't want to share the details of online, too.  Just know that we covet your prayers right now.  Thank you!

As you can see, it's been a wild ride, but God is good and has been so faithful!  We are grateful for His protection and help with all of these things and then some.

4. I want to update the blogs soon, but life keeps getting in the way!  I keep trying to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Freebut I have yet to find the time.  I have plans to attempt typing up those posts next weekend, but I have no idea if I'll be able to or not.  We'll see if I can get those posts up sooner than later.



That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {9}


Today is the ninth Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


1. My weight is down another 1 lbs.!  I am so thrilled that my weight keeps going down, and so is my doctor.  I was hoping that my weight would be below 200 for this post, but I didn't quite make it.  Actually, I did dip below 200 for just a day, but it didn't stay there.  Hopefully next month I will make it to that first big goal.
       
2. I try to get out and walk daily as the weather allows.  I wish I could say I get to get out and walk every day, but I do get out most days.  I am hoping that the weather stays nice for awhile yet so that I can continue to get out and walk for long spurts.  Right now, I am planning on taking multiple shorter walks when it is too cold to take a longer one.  We'll see what happens.  I may take to walking up and down our inside stairs on rainy days if nothing else.  Hopefully I'll be able to figure out some form of consistent exercise when the weather switches over to more nasty.  For now, I'll just enjoy the beginnings of autumn and walk outdoors as I can. :)

3. I have increased my water intake.  I increased my water intake from 9 (8 oz.) cups of water a day to 12.  I originally started this when I tried going off of my water pill for awhile to see if I could stay off of that pill (I will explain more below), and decided to continue it even though I had to go back on the water pill.  I find that I feel better if I'm hydrated enough, and it does help keep me from overeating.  I will probably increase my amount again in a few months when my body adjusts to the new amount.  We'll see.  

4. I am still dealing with some health/physical issues, and we could use your prayers for some other issues as well.  As I mentioned above, I tried to go off of my water pill for awhile, hoping it would help with my petechiae issue.  I thought it was helping for a few days, but then the petechiae came back with a vengeance.  So far, I have not been able to pinpoint a cause for it, so I'll have to wait until December when I see the dermatologist to see if she has any answers/ideas (I may call them next week, though, to see if I can get in sooner).  If it clears up on its own, that would be great, too.  All we know for sure is that we have no idea what has caused it, and (so far) it appears to be harmless.

I did not end up needing to have a diagnostic mammogram, and the regular one was "normal".  That has been a big relief!  I just have to keep an eye out for any new spots, and keep record of any changes.  Hopefully things will stay stable and I won't need a diagnostic mammogram any time soon. :)

My husband and I have been able to get back in to the chiropractor.  They are having issues with the kids' insurance, so the kids aren't able to go back yet.  Hopefully that will change soon.  We are not sure how much longer we will be able to afford going to the chiropractor, but at least we have been able to go for now.  It has been very nice to get our spines back in alignment!

Please be in prayer for our family.  We have a few huge unspokens that I don't want to share the details of online.  Just know that we covet your prayers right now.  Thank you!
 
Also, please pray as we get ready to start school up next week (wow - where did summer go?!?!?).  All 3 kiddos will be homeschooled this year, and that will definitely be very interesting!  I appreciate the prayers!

5. I want to update the blogs soon, but life keeps getting in the way!  I keep trying to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Freebut I have yet to find the time.  Ironically, I think I'll be able to get a bit more done once school gets into full swing and I have a schedule back.  We'll see if I can get those posts up.  I have so many recipes written down, but I just need the time to type them out and such.  Here's hoping I will have those things started in the coming weeks.



That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {8}


Today is the eighth Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


1. My weight is down another 2 lbs.!  I am so thrilled that my weight keeps going down, and so is my doctor.  I am hoping that next month my weight will be below 200!  Here's hoping! :)
       
2. I try to get out and walk daily as the weather allows.  I wish I could say I get to get out and walk every day, but I do get out most days.  Today has been especially nice, so we were able to go out an hike at a wonderful natural area nearby.  It was a lot of fun!


 3. I am working on eating more balanced and only when I am hungry.  We've been really busy as a family lately, and it can be really hard to eat right when you're in a rush.  I try to ask myself, "Why am I eating this?" before I eat something, and it helps me make better choices both in what I eat and when I eat.  I find that if I drink enough water, I am less likely to eat when I'm not truly hungry, too.  It keeps that water retention down as well.


4. I am still dealing with some health/physical issues.  I'm sorry I didn't post an update about my blood work.  The reason I didn't post one was because I didn't really have anything to report.  I had repeat blood work and that came back "within normal", so we're at a standstill right now.  I am still not feeling 100% (fatigue, hearing issues, sleep issues, unexplained fevers/chills, etc.), but the doctors aren't seeing anything obvious, so we wait and see how things go.  Going off my daily aspirin did help make the petechiae lighten a bit, though it is still there, so that's a positive.  I'll just keep plugging along and see how things go for now.  I'll let you know if something changes.

I have another appointment soon that includes a mammogram and all that.  I have found some new spots that needs to be checked out, so I may end up having a diagnostic mammogram vs. a regular one.  We'll see how that goes.  I appreciate your prayers for accurate results there.

I am scheduled to see the dermatologist in December to check on the "rash" that I have to see if it truly is petechiae or something else.  If it disappears between now and then, however, then I can cancel the appointment.  We'll see.

Chiropractic plans are on hold indefinitely for now.  Hopefully, we'll all get to go back sooner than later, but we've not been able to work out going.  We'll see what happens.

Thanks again to all of you who pray for me and for my family.  It means so much!

5. I want to update the blogs soon, but life keeps getting in the way!  I keep trying to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free, but I have yet to find the time.  With school starting soon, I am not sure I'll get the chance any time soon.  We'll see.



That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {7}

Today is the seventh Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

  1. My weight is down another 2.5 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues, though I am still yo-yoing sometimes.  I have been better about portion sizes and eating when I'm hungry vs. when I am bored, so that's positive.  I have noticed a decrease in my appetite recently which has made things a little easier, so I suppose that's a mixed blessing.  All in all, I'm glad that my weight is going down.
              
  2. The weather hasn't been as wonderful, but I still get out when I can.  We've had a lot of rain lately, so it's been harder to be active like I want.  When it's not rainy, it's (more often than not) been too hot to do much outdoors for long (it's still a bit too cold to really swim for too long).  On top of that, I've been dealing with some overwhelming fatigue, so that's made it even harder to be active sometimes.  I still try to stay active when I can, however, and I definitely get outside to walk when it's not rainy or too hot, even if it is just for a little while or in short spurts.  Hopefully I'll be able too do more in the weeks to come.  We shall see!
     
  3. I am drinking more water and less tea.  I almost never drink anything other than water now.  I will still drink tea at times and even milk or juice, but those times are rare.  I am happy to see that I've kicked the coffee/tea habit, and now just drink it as I desire vs. "needing" it.
         
  4. I am still dealing with some health/physical issues.  As I mentioned last time, I am dealing with some health issues right now.  I still have the "rash" (for lack of a better term) that we believe may be petechiae, I deal with severe fatigue, my appetite is down, and a few other things.  I did end up going to see a hematologist, and he re-ran some labs, and a few of my levels came back abnormal.  I am waiting to hear if I am going to be going back to him or back to my normal doctor to see if I need to repeat tests, do new tests, etc.  I should know by the end of next week what the game plan is, and I'll keep you posted.

    There is still a plan to get me back into the chiropractor soon, but that's not happened yet with everything else that is going on.  I am not sure if I will get back in there before August because July is so busy.  We'll see!  Until then, stretches and walking it is!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much, and I don't know where we'd be without them.   Keep them coming! :)
      
  5. I'm planning to add updates to the blogs soon!  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future starting very soon (I have pictures and everything, I just haven't been able to type anything up just yet).  I am also mulling about some ideas for here in addition to Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  This fatigue and multiple doctor's visits aren't helping me get much done.  My aim is to do purposely set aside blog time weekly starting next week.  We'll see if I accomplish my goal! :)

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {6}

Today is the sixth Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:

  1. My weight is down another 2.5 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues, though I am having a little more trouble with it being steady and consistent, and I didn't quite reach my birthday goal (Today is my and my twin sister's birthday!  Happy birthday, sisser!) of 200 or less.  There is a lot of yo-yo-ing going on.  I think it mainly has to do with being to comfortable at times in regards to the weight loss, assuming it will just happen, and not being honest with myself with it comes to portion sizes.  I am starting to work more on that piece of it, and it seems to be helping.  Hopefully the weight loss with continue, and I will get a handle on consistency. :)
              
  2. The weather has been lovely, so I've been able to stay more active.  I am finding that I need to be active more often than not.  I just don't feel right if I can't get in a decent length walk (I strive for 30 minutes or more, but sometimes I can only do 15 minutes).  It now bothers me to sit for too long.  I think this is a good change!
     
  3. I have to stay on top of my diet and exercise.  As I mentioned earlier, my weight is in yo-yo mode.  I have found that I have to get enough water, walk enough, avoid sugar and excess carbs, eat more protein, and avoid highly processed food or I just maintain weight or gain, and I feel awful.  It is a hard lesson to learn, but one I learn a little more each day.
         
  4. I've eliminated all of my supplements except my probiotic, and am dealing with some more health/physical issues.  I went off all the supplements except the probiotic to see how I felt off of them and if eliminating the turmeric and flaxseed oil would help with my easy bruising issue.  I still bruise easily, so I may add back in the turmeric and flaxseed oil, but am not 100% sure on that yet.  I am dealing with some health issues that I do not believe are related to the removal of those supplements (I do think removing the supplements may have brought them to the forefront), but I do believe they may help.

    Back in mid-April, I had a sinus infection that I went on Doxycycline for.  After I finished it (and I had also gone off the tumeric and flaxseed completely, one at a time during this period and was feeling fine), I noticed an odd looking rash on my legs.  About a week later, I noticed one on my arms.  The original doctor I saw for it thought fungal infection, and prescribed a cream.  A week after that (towards the end of May), I went back in and saw a different doctor because it really looked like petechiae to me.  Turns out, the new doctor agreed and ordered a bunch of blood tests.  They all came back "within normal", but the petechiae are still there and a little more pronounced.  I am also dealing with major fatigue and some joint pain now, along with random fevers and chills, night sweats, losing my voice, dry cough, hearing issues, and other random symptoms off and on.  My plan for now is to give it another week and see how I am.  If I am still having issues, I will go back in and see him and talk about everything, and then (with his consent - I don't want to do anything that may make it worse) add back in the flaxseed oil and tumeric as a trial to see if they help.  Prayers are appreciated!  Thank you!

    We've still not been back to the chiropractor yet, but we hope to do that soon.  The walking and stretching that my chiropractor recommended months ago does help, though.  That's a blessing for sure!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much, and I don't know where we'd be without them.   Keep them coming! :)
      
  5. I'm hoping to get updates done to the blogs soon!  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future starting very soon.  I am also mulling about some ideas for here in addition to Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  I've got a lot planned for around the house, too, so I may have too much ambition and not enough ability.  At any rate, we'll see what happens! :) 

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {5}

Today is the fifth Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 2 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues, though I have had a bit of a hiccup recently with yo-yoing.  It started when I was put on an antibiotic for a sinus infection that has left me with water retention and constipation issues.  It is getting better slowly - more slowly than I'd like.  I also have been struggling with eating right since the antibiotic (it left me incredibly nauseated unless I had something on my stomach at all times, so that definitely didn't help me any).  Again, I'm making improvements slowly, but it is definitely a frustration.  Hopefully I will get a firm handle on it soon, and will have another weight loss to report next month, too. :)
              
  2. The weather is better mostly, so I've been able to get out more.  You will notice that I definitely have more tone going on.  This is because I've been able to walk more.  It is so nice to be able to get outside!  I find that a good walk revitalizes me.  I've missed it a lot.  I've also kept busy with housework, and spring/summer cleaning has begun, so these are all good things to keep me active!
     
  3. I have to stay on top of my diet and exercise.  As I mentioned earlier, my diet has been off track, and I've paid the price.  It's no fun at all.  Losing weight is not a steady process for me.  It always yo-yos at least a little bit, especially when I get more active as muscle tone builds.  It can be easy to get discouraged, but I am determined to do what is right for my health, and it is paying off, even when there are hiccups.  I have to keep reminding myself that good health and proper body weight is worth taking the time to make the good-for-me meal vs. the easy, frozen, full of junk meal.  I also have to fight eating when I'm having a rough day.  I am an emotional eater, and that's not a good thing.  I am trying to form the habit of having a cup of herbal tea when I'm having a rough time vs. eating a piece of chocolate (ok - a whole bar of chocolate), and it is slowly forming and definitely helping.  Hopefully I won't lose sight of my goal.  Time will tell!
         
  4. I've made some changes with my supplements, and am still dealing with some more minor health/physical issues.  I decided to try going off all of my supplements except for my probiotic.  It was not a decision I made lightly by any means, but one I decided on based on improvements in my diet.  I am doing well so far, but may end up having to add back in the flaxseed oil at some point, and possibly the tumeric or B vitamins.  We'll see.  For now, I haven't noticed any major changes in my health to indicate that I need any of them back.  We'll see what my doctor says when I see him for my physical in July or August.

    As you may have noticed, I got new glasses.  My vision has actually improved.  My eye doctor could not find the cause of my vision blurriness that occurs sporadically, but did encourage me to keep looking into it.  I mentioned my hearing issue to her (my right ear still does not hear correctly), and she did say that my vision issue could be related, and thought an ENT would be a good next step.  The only question now is if I should wait until July or August when I see my regular doctor or if I try to get in sooner.  I'll keep you posted, but I will probably see about getting in earlier.

    We've still not been back to the chiropractor yet, but we hope to do that soon.  The walking and stretching that my chiropractor recommended months ago does help, though.  That's a blessing for sure!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much, and I don't know where we'd be without them.   Keep them coming! :)

  5. My boys are officially done with their homeschool year (my daughter has another month and a half nearly), and I'm hoping to get updates done to the blogs soon!  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future starting very soon.  I am also mulling about some ideas for here in addition to Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  I've got a lot planned for around the house, too, so I may have too much ambition and not enough ability.  At any rate, we'll see what happens! :) 

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do Most Doctors REALLY Practice Preventative Medicine and Search For The Cause Of What Ails Us?

Image courtesy of Getideaka at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a post I've been thinking about for awhile, and have stopped and started a few times.  I know it's going to be controversial.  I know some people are going to disagree or maybe even be outraged.  Before you judge, though, please just hear me out.  The point of this post is not to bash our medical community (I have friends that are doctors and nurses and they are wonderful people), but to inform and to make you think and give you questions to go to your doctor with.  Keeping that in mind, I hope you read this with an open mind.  Thank you!

Do most doctors really practice preventative medicine and search for the cause of what ails us?  
This is a hard question to answer.  I truly believe that most think they do.  I think they mean to.  I think they do the best they can for their patients.  I think that most want to help and take their Hippocratic Oath seriously.  

However, despite their best intentions, I think I have to be honest and say that most doctors do not practice preventative medicine or search for the cause of what ails us.

How can I say that?  Well, let's think about this for a minute.  If you go to your doctor for a well check, what do they do?  They ask you how you're feeling, order some standard blood work, listen to complaints or lack there of and do a physical.  This is great!  They seem to be covering all the basics, right?  Yep.  It seems like they are doing all the right things.  I would say, according to their training, this is preventative medicine and seeking out the cause of what ails you (if you had any complaints).

But is it really?

I mean, they are doing the bare minimum here because that's all they are required to do at this point.  They will look over test results, they will look for abnormalities, they will adjust tests according to what your complaints are, and this seems good enough, but is it?  I mean, they are doing all the standard things, but is doing what is standard all they can do?

My answer to this question?  No.

Now here's the kicker:
Should they do more than standard?
My opinion?  Yes.
Insurance opinion?  No.
Doctor's opinion?  Varies from doctor to doctor.
Your opinion?  Only you know the answer that.

Let's discuss a few true-to-my-life scenarios here to look a bit deeper into this debate.

Real Life Scenario #1:
When I was around 14 years old, I was plagued with sickness for about 4 months or so.  I would run fevers, have severe stomach aches/pain and a whole host of other symptoms.  Every time I went to the doctor's office, they were sure that I had appendicitis, so they'd do blood work.  Because my white blood cell count was only elevated and not high like they normally see in appendicitis, they ruled it out.  I did several specialized and horrible tests.  I had tons of blood work.  I saw at least 6 different doctors.  Every last one initially thought appendicitis until they did their tests.  I was ruled essentially a medical mystery because the diagnosis they expected based on symptoms didn't match up with the test results.

At the end of the 4 months, they were talking about doing a spinal tap to rule out leukemia, a colonoscopy to see if there was something there, and they were even talking about doing some tests to rule out a type of lead poisoning.  My mother begged, and I do mean begged, the doctor to do an exploratory surgery to check my appendix, ovaries, uterus, etc. before putting me through all those medical procedures.  The doctor agreed that he had done enough in the insurance's mind to warrant such a procedure (let that statement sink in), and agreed to do it.  He also agreed to remove my appendix regardless of what else he found.

During the surgery, the doctor saw nothing out of the ordinary.  My appendix was a little longer than normal, but looked fine.  He removed it anyway, resolving to do a biopsy on it just to be 100% certain it was fine, and then checked out everything else.  My ovaries were a little enlarged, but nothing that couldn't be explained by normal female cycle things.  Finding nothing amiss, he stitched me up fully resigned to having removed my appendix in vain and having to tell me that we'd have to do all those not-so-fun tests after I'd healed up enough to do them.  He did not enjoy telling us this, and we understood, but deep in my heart and deep in my mom's heart, we knew that the appendix had truly been the problem and were convinced that the biopsy on the appendix would prove that.

Later that day, after the biopsy came back, the doctor came back shaking his head in surprise.  He said, "I can't believe it.  Your appendix was full of infection.  You indeed did have acute appendicitis.  It looked so normal, I would never have guessed it was infected.  I'm glad we removed it when we did."

After that surgery, all my symptoms went away, and I was healthy again.

The moral of this story:  All the doctors thought it was my appendix that was making me sick.  Because the procedures and the blood work that insurance - INSURANCE,  not the doctors - insisted the doctors rely on above symptoms and presentation were inconclusive, I could not get the surgery I needed.  The INSURANCE (a very good one, I might add), insisted on more and more and more tests until we had done enough testing to justify an exploratory surgery and warrant the removal of the appendix without the tests being definitive.  Though the doctors believed I was sick, knew I wasn't lying, knew that everything was pointing to my appendix being the issue, the INSURANCE dictated what they could and couldn't do.  THAT is a scary thing right there.

Only a doctor should be able to make decisions about your health and wellness, and that their hands are tied is terrifying.  

This alone proves my point that most doctors don't practice preventative medicine or search for the cause of what ails us, NOT because they don't WANT to but because they CAN'T.  They have to jump through hoops, too, and that's just ridiculous.

Real Life Scenario #2:
My recent experience with chiropractic care has been a real eye-opener to me.  I had weakness in my limbs, inability to move, and other symptoms that mimicked MS.  Now, I'm going to be careful here and say that I still don't have a diagnosis, but chiropractic care has helped a majority of my symptoms.

Do you know why I went to a chiropractor?  Because the only thing that looked off on my MRIs was the alignment/condition of my spine.  My other doctors were dismissing the issues with my spine as "normal aging", and really didn't think a chiropractor would help, but told me I was welcome to try it.  I thought that their reasoning was odd, and decided that I would indeed give chiropractic a try.  I never imagined the difference it would make.  I trusted my gut and pushed for healing by finding a good chiropractor that practiced holistic medicine, and it made a huge difference!

How many time do we ignore our instincts to check further into things simply because a doctor has told us (s)he can't see how such a small thing could make such a big difference?
How many times are we told not to worry about something being just a little off because it could be "perfectly normal"?  Here's what I think about that: If something is off and it isn't sitting right with you, especially if you feel poorly and there is even the slightest chance that that small thing could be the cause, look into it further!  You never know - you could find the cure is closer than you think!

Real Life Scenario #3:
I've talked about this before here, but people have cured or managed illnesses with diet and life style changes.  I've been able to help keep my Fibromyalgia at bay by following my rules with food, exercise, environment, etc.  I know other people who have done so, too, and even cured themselves.  THAT is telling.

IF people have been able to cure themselves of Fibromyalgia, Autism, Epilepsy, etc., HOW can a doctor or group of doctor's say that it is impossible to do so in every case?
HOW can they say you can only treat the symptoms?  HOW can they say they can't know what triggered it?  HOW can they say you will never get better?  How can they say those things when there is so much evidence to the contrary?

They call it practicing medicine because things are constantly changing and evolving in the medical world.  There are new studies, new findings and new advancements nearly daily.  Unfortunately, there is big money in medicine.  There is big money in testing.  There is big money in anything medical...Except for healing.  If you are well, then there is no need for doctors or medicine.

Is it the doctors that are keeping us from healing?
In some cases, yes, in others, no.  I think most truly strive for full health of their patients.  I think they try to work themselves out of a job.  Unfortunately, most are trained to do the bare minimum and only search further into something if the basic tests are truly abnormal.  If they are on the fence or you have the symptoms and the tests don't support the hunch the doctor has EVEN IF NOTHING ELSE FITS THE SYMPTOMS or don't fit them as well as the hunch, they don't pursue it further UNLESS YOU INSIST, and even then only if you have a good doctor.  Why is this?  Because they are afraid of being sued or the insurance says they can't unless they do thus and so first.

Now, let's think of this:
What would happen if insurance wasn't involved?

What if doctors were allowed to do the tests they truly deemed necessary knowing that the insurance would back it because they'd trust the doctor to do tests for the right reasons?

What if there were more doctors out there who looked into the way food effects the body?

What if they realized that GMOs and additives affect everyone negatively, at least a little bit, and that processed foods and artificially ingredients are what are making us sick and fat?

What if they instructed us to keep food diaries and monitor our symptoms and see if we could find parallels?

What if they were allowed to practice truly preventative medicine?

What if they were allowed to follow their gut instead of wait on insurance red tape?

What if, when doctors suspected say a thyroid issue, they were allowed to do all of the blood work associated with the thyroid, not just the "gold standard" of TSH?  If this had been the case with me, my Hashimoto's would've been discovered when I was a child, if not a baby, not when I was 15, and certainly it would've been treated well before I turned 30.  Imagine the difference in my life had that been the case - more focus, less weight issues, and who knows what all else.

What if doctors would screen children for the genetics that show a child is more prone to Autism if they have certain vaccination BEFORE they gave them the vaccinations?  
What if they could go to the parents and say, "Your child has this and that gene that makes them more prone to vaccine injury if they have this vaccine.  Do you want them to have it?"  How many less cases of autism would there be?  

What if doctors would check children for food sensitivities as well as food allergies?
What if they had a parent keep a record of everything that happened when a child was given wheat?  What if they told them to not only look for rash or anaphylaxis, but also for changes in behavior or tummy aches or pain?  How many less issues would we have with Celiac's disease?

What if doctors trained patients to see the advantages of eating as unprocessed as possible?
What if pressure was put on the food industry to use non-GMO ingredients and to go more natural and get rid of chemicals and additives that are proven to cause health issues?  What if the pressure was put on the manufacturers to change instead of leaving the doctors to fix the damage that could have easily been prevented if people had just known the truth about how the alterations in our food supply can affect and has affected us?

What if the FDA stopped thinking that they had the right to dictate to the world that certain food derivatives are "safe" for those with allergies (like soybean oil or soy lecithin being "safe" in the case of a soy allergy), so companies couldn't lump those "safe" things under "natural flavors" or skip placing them on an allergen label?
What if the FDA stopped having the right to say that things were "safe" up to so many millionths of a percent, so companies were forced to list all ingredients used no matter how small the amount instead?  What if the FDA stopped saying anything artificial or chemical was "safe for human consumption"?

What if companies had to list the truth?
What if they had to say that yes, their food contained ____ , even if it was minute?  How many deaths could be prevented?  How many companies would change?  How much better off would we be?

When did we decide that a cooperation, a business, had the right to dictate what is right for us or good for our health?
When did we decide that we would stop thinking for ourselves?  When did we decide that life was less important than the almighty dollar?

Makes you think, doesn't it?

You see, it's not that doctors don't MEAN to practice preventative medicine or that they don't want to search for the cause of what ails us.  They mean to.  They try to.

The problem is that their hands are tied just as much as ours are.

Whether it be by choice, tradition or bureaucratic red tape, doctors are limited in the ways they can treat patients when it comes to preventative care.

So, what's the solution?

Educate yourself.

Research the benefits of finding out how food affects you, and consider keeping a food diary.

Research the benefits of exercise, and what types are most beneficial to you and your current situation.

Research everything.

Once you've done that, find a doctor you can trust, talk to and who is not closed minded.  After that, work with anyone trying to change the shift in power from business to the individual in terms of health.  Write letters.  Sign petitions.  Get your voice heard.

Together we can change the future.

Think about the world you want your kids to grow up in or even your grandkids.  Think of all the diseases, autoimmune disorders, allergies, etc. that are in the world today that weren't here just 30 years ago.  You can look back and tell yourself that those things were always here, we just didn't know, and you would be partially correct.

However, most cases of illness or chronic conditions, or maybe even all of them, are completely preventable or curable if we were to change our diets and dig deeper into our medical pasts and genetics.

How many times do we hear of "miracle diets"?  How many times do we hear amazing stories of healing?  They are all over the place.  I've shared some here.  

You say, though, "But that diet or those things didn't work for me."  Here's why: our bodies are individual.

NOTHING is universal - not treatments, not diets, not lifestyles.

You have to figure out what helps YOU.  We are unique.  Yes, some things are good for everyone and will help, like avoiding GMOs or highly processed foods and artificial ingredients, but some of us can have milk and others can't.  Some things are deadly for you and not for me.  Some people can't eat meat, others can.  Do you see what I mean?

The medical community needs to stop putting us inside a box.  No two people are the same.  I do think that tests need ranges of normal and abnormal, BUT if all the symptoms point to one thing and the tests are inconclusive, those tests should NOT be the determining factor on whether you get treatment or not 100% of the time.  If my doctor had not had the wisdom to think outside the box when I was a teenager, I'd be dead from a burst appendix.

Also, just because a doctor has success in treating a symptom does not mean (s)he should stop looking for the cause.  The patient should be saying, "Something caused my body to be out of align, to have this symptom, so help me find out what it is."

Knowing the cause leads to the cure.

We need to stop being content to treat symptoms or dealing with health issues as they arise.  We need to start looking into causes of illness more and into keeping our bodies at 100%, not being content if they are running at 90% - any missing percentage in performance should be a cause for concern, and can point to something much more sinister if left alone long enough.  The Domino Effect is very much a real thing in the scope of our well-being.

Anyway, I know this has been a long post, so I'll end with this:

Because doctors cannot normally practice preventative medicine like they would like to due to insurance red tape, it is up to us to be our own advocates.

We have to ask questions, demand answers, keep food diaries, note changes in how we feel, insist on being seen when we know something just isn't right, etc.  It is your health - your life - and you have the right to insist that your body be performing at 100% whenever possible or to figure out why it isn't.  This doesn't mean that you have to pay for things out of pocket as far as testing goes necessarily, but it does mean that you will have to do your research to see what can be done testing-wise and/or to see if there is a natural alternative that may help (i.e. diet change, lifestyle change, exercise change, chiropractic).  You will often find that there are more choices than just "treat the symptoms".  You may just find a cure if you push hard enough to find the cause and don't just settle for close enough.

If you need any assistance on learning to become your own health advocate, I am more than willing to help.  Just send me an email, and we'll work towards bettering your health together.



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {4}

Today is the fourth Monthly Milestones of 2017 (posted a week early because I will be on vacation next weekend and unable to post then).  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 3 lbs.!  I am so excited that my weight loss continues.  I've not been down to 210.5 lbs. or less in about 6 years, and I'm down about 20 lbs. since Thanksgiving.  Being aware of portion sizes, drinking enough water, avoiding sugar and caffeine, avoiding junk, and being active have paid off!  My biggest goal is to be down under 200 lbs. for my birthday in June, so here's hoping I can do that and beyond! :D
              
  2. The weather is thinking about getting warmer, but it's also been rainy and windy.  I like to identify spring in Michigan as having an identity crisis.  It can be almost summertime warm or wintertime cold, and all within 24 hours.  It can go from rain to snow to sleet to any other choice of precipitation within hours, too.  We are dealing with rain and rain/snow mixes right now, but the weather is warming up a bit more.  The wind still has it's days of being insane, but that, too, is dying down a bit.  As I can, however, I get outside and walk.  My other source of activity is spring cleaning.  It keeps me busy, and that's not a bad thing! :)
     
  3. I have to stay on top of my diet and exercise.  It is so easy to get off track when I am losing weight, and it is mainly because I feel like I can cheat a little and it's ok.  It's not.  It really messes with my gut, my health, my sleep - everything.  I do find that I do better if I allow myself a treat per day that is not completely horrible than when I deny myself all together.  It keeps me from overdoing later.  I'm glad to have figured that out.  I think it has spared me from going off the deep end too much.  It's hard to find the right balance - it's taken years for me - but it is so great once you find it!  It makes life enjoyable, and eating, too.  It doesn't feel like you're sacrificing too much, and that's the only way you stick with anything, I'm finding.  If it feels like a chore, you're less likely to continue doing it.
         
  4. I'd dealing with some cramping in my legs and some vision/hearing issues off and on along with some viral/seasonal allergy things, but otherwise, I'm doing well.  I'm not sure what the source of the cramping is, but it may be in part due to the higher level of activity.  I'm sure that part of it is dietary, but I haven't quite figured out the source yet.  I'm sure I'm lacking a vitamin or mineral somewhere.  It's probably potassium, so I'll have to work at trying to get more of that in my diet.

    The vision and hearing issues are what they have been for the last several months.  I have an eye doctor's appointment next month, so I will talk with my eye doctor about that when I see her.  I will see my regular doctor later this summer, and will talk with him about the hearing again, and he may refer me to an ENT.  We'll see.

    Viruses and seasonal allergies have been just horrendous since fall.  I guess it's the right combo of weather conditions to make all those things thrive.  I am grateful I've been able to avoid the doctor for myself, and that any viruses have been short-lived.  It's amazing how eating better and being active help with those things!

    We've not been back to the chiropractor yet, but we hope to do that soon.  The walking and stretching that my chiropractor recommended months ago does help, though.  That's a blessing for sure!

    Also, I want to thank all of you who have kept me and my family in your prayers.  It means so much.  Without your prayers, I don't know where I'd be, and I know those prayers have lead me to answers I wouldn't have found any other way.  Thank you so much!  Keep them coming! :)

  5. It's Spring Break for the next week, and I hope to be able to work on the blogs a bit.  I am hoping to get some recipes ready to post on Natural and Free that will go live in the future (probably one per month starting in  April and going at least a few months out).  I am not sure what I will be able to post here, but I will at least do Monthly Milestones.  We'll see how much I get accomplished.  I've got a lot planned for around the house, too, so I may have too much ambition and not enough ability.  At any rate, we'll see what happens! :) 

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Monthly Milestones 2017 {3}

Today is the third Monthly Milestones of 2017.  If you want to share a milestone post, just leave a comment below with a link to your milestone post, and I'll pop over and visit it and leave a comment, and hopefully some of my other readers will, too. :)  Normally, Monthly Milestones, where I will be giving you updates on how I am doing physically, mentally, etc., will go live on the first Saturday of every month, though sometimes I may be a day early or late depending on circumstances.

Here is how I am doing as of today:


  1. My weight is down another 6.5 lbs.!  I am beyond excited about this!  I have not been down to 213.5 lbs. in nearly 6 (Yes - SIX) years!  It seems my hard work of trying to stay active and eat right is paying off.  And, just a side note, I really started losing steadily after I gave up coffee, and I drank it black.  That is definitely something noteworthy.  If you are struggling to lose weight and drink coffee, maybe consider giving it up.  I drank 1 to 2 cups of regular coffee a day and then decaf (if that), so I didn't really drink much.  I even struggled with weight loss when I drank only decaf.  I would have never dreamed that it made a difference in my weight, but it seems it did!  Anyway, something to keep in mind for sure!
              
  2. Winter is having a hard time letting go.  We've had a lot of ups and downs in our weather.  It goes from cold, snowy and blowy to warm, rainy and windy.  The wind has been the worst part of it, and it makes it very hard to be outside for too long.  At least more sun is coming out now, and temperatures are starting to be higher vs. lower, so I'm hoping to start getting some regular walking in more often very soon.  For now, I stick with housework for my main exercise, and I've started putting the clothes away an item at a time as I fold them.  It's what works. :)
     
  3. Dietary/lifestyle changes are still basically habit.  Sugar and I are not friends, though I find that I do better in my daily eating choices if I allow myself a daily treat of sorts.  Generally it is 1 serving of something "bad" like a cookie or the like (and I am picky on the type, because I can't tolerate a lot of these options, so generally this is a homemade goodie or a limited ingredient/less processed ingredient one).  This keeps me from overdoing the sugar for now, but I am finding that I crave lots of sugar/processed foods less and less.  This is good!  I am also finding that the foods I shouldn't eat make me a lot sicker than they used to, so I avoid them a bit easier (soy is the worst).  It's amazing to me how when you eat better more regularly, the junk just doesn't taste good.  I am very happy about that! :)  Keeping track of what I eat and being honest about what I eat and the portion sizes helps a lot, too!
        
  4. My health is still basically stable, though I do have issues with weakness and other issues off and on.  I have not had any major weakness for a few months, but every now and again I will have some slight weakness/heaviness in my legs, especially my left leg, and I have had some real issues with my back at times that require me to do a lot of stretching to correct (and that sometimes takes days). I still have hearing issues in my right ear most of the time, and sometimes my vision will be off.  I also am dealing with insomnia now and then which is generally helped by drinking some chamomile tea, but not always.  I think the brain fog/emotion issues I mentioned last month are better, but not completely gone (I'll continue to monitor that, and report all these things to my doctor the next I see him).  Overall, I would say I'm doing well, though the weather fluctuation have caused some drainage issues (and I have a tea that helps with that, too, so that's a plus).  We're hoping to be able to get back to the chiropractor sometime this month or next, too, so hopefully that will help with the intermittent issues at least. 

    Also, thank you to all who continue to pray for us.  It's hard not having any real answers when it comes to my health issues, but knowing you are all praying and that God is there means more than you know!  Thank you!    
        
  5. I have not been able to post as much as I would like on my blogs, and I'm not sure when that will change.  I want to post at least monthly to this blog and Natural and Free, but have not been able to, though I have been able to do some more on Natural and Free (I just did a review on some amazing chocolate for one company, and hope to have a review on some wonderful natural skin care products this coming week).  Other than that, Monthly Milestones is about all I've had time for.  Things are still crazy busy, but I'm hoping that they slow down in April enough for me to get more to a regular schedule.  We shall see!

That's about it for now.  How are you doing?  Are you reaching your goals?  Have you tried something new?  Come up with a new recipe?  I hope all is going well with you, and I hope you will leave a comment sharing your thoughts and/or milestones (with a link to your post, if you wish).  As always, I wish you the best of luck in all you do, and hope you will return soon! :)