My Journey To Wellness, 6 Key Areas

 This is a journey I'm just beginning, and only time will tell where it will take me...and what better place to document my progress than on a blog, and maybe get some accountability to stay on track!? I hope you'll follow along and if you have any personal experiences, or advice to share, please do! Even better, why not join me, and we can help each other.

6 key ares to health and wellness

I've never been one to go to a doctor on regular basis, and very seldom go to a walk in clinic when I have a cold, sore throat or other minor issue. I know that I am allergic to penicillin, amoxicillin, and sulphas, so it seems pointless to go to a doctor when I can't take most of what they will prescribe! However, about three years ago I had a complete physical and found that I had some more serious health issues beginning...I had high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and low liver function. The doctor wanted me to go on medication, but also said some lifestyle changes would help each of these issues...losing some weight through a better diet, and being more active were at the top of the list. I didn't want medication, so I said I would make the necessary changes. I don't drink, smoke, or use any medications, so those are all a plus. I went home determined to do better, but life happened, I got busy, and all my good intentions went by the wayside.

Recently, I had a health issue that required a visit to the doctor, and that is where this journey began.

My mouth had been sore for a few weeks, and then I got sick with a terrible cold and irritating cough that lasted a couple of weeks. Before I even went to the doctor, I had figured out that I had Oral Lichen Planus (Yes, I know, it's never good to google your own symptoms!) I won't go into detail, but this link explains what OLP is-
Oral Lichen Planus. It's thought to be an autoimmune disease and can be triggered or made worse by stress. I'll be seeing a skin specialist in November to confirm the diagnosis, which is done through a biopsy. 

Something else that showed up when I saw the doctor was high blood pressure...which may or may not have been caused by white coat syndrome! Whatever caused it, it got my attention....and reminded me that I can't just ignore health issues. I may not be able to do anything about the OLP, but I CAN improve my overall health.

I'm going to focus on a few key areas on this journey to wellness 

  • Natural treatment of Oral Lichens Planus 
The only treatment seems to be to manage symptoms. What I have been doing is making my own mouth rinse, using tea tree, lemon, and peppermint essential oils. I'm also applying Frankincense to the sides of my tongue and inside my cheeks...wherever there's discomfort! I don't know if these oils can help with OLP, but I do know there are many benefits of essential oils, so I think they are worth trying. I use other essential oils for various purposes, such as pain relief and help with sleep, and I may experiment with more for the lichen planus, but until I have time to do some research, these are the ones I'm using.

  • Start taking nutritional supplements
Brian is joining me in this one. While I would like to think that we get all the nutrients we need from our diet, I really don't believe this is the case. 
This article gives some reasons why we probably need to take supplements. 

  • Try to get more physically fit
The hardest part for me, always, is getting enough physical activity. If only I could get in shape without working out!  I am not an active person, and at this point, I haven't come up with a plan that I feel I can stick that may be addressed in a future post. I'd like to start walking more, but my focus for now will be more on nutrition and finding ways to help my body heal itself. 

  • Make some dietary changes
Although I didn't keep up with my daily exercise routine from a few years ago, I did make some changes that I have continued, even if only sporadically....we bought a juicer, and I started making fresh fruit and veggie juices...and found some delicious combinations. Sometimes I just throw in whatever is on hand and come up with what we call caboodle juice! Juicing can be a great way to get more nutrients. One benefit of having a sore mouth is it has helped me to get back to this!

I also started having a smoothie for breakfast a couple of years ago...usually a banana, blueberries, and some milk...not completely healthy, but way better than corn flakes or toast and jam! I'm now switching to meal replacement shakes that are specifically formulated to support balanced glucose uptake, normal insulin activity, and slow the absorption of high glycemic foods.

This is something else I've been researching. Basically, I try to keep my meals within a 6 - 8 hour window, ...somewhere between 10 am and 6 pm. This allows my digestive system to rest for a longer period than a normal night's sleep. A 16 hour fast is not difficult, and from everything I've read, the health benefits definitely make it worth trying. I've fasted in the past, and always feel better for it, and I know that cutting out snacks in the evening is the best way to lose weight. Not that weight loss is my main goal, but it IS important to my overall health, so I'm recording my weight today at 160 lbs. 

Of course there is one other aspect of my life that needs to be addressed, and that is....

  • Reducing stress
I don't have a specific plan for that, since we aren't quite ready to retire to a quiet cottage on a deserted island, but finding some time for just Brian and I wouldn't hurt. Spending more time in prayer and Bible reading, I'm sure would benefit..... Maybe getting back to my songwriting would help's always been the best way for me to express my thoughts, feelings, and own form of therapy. I'll let you know how that goes!

In a few months, I'll go back to the doctor for another physical, to see if there's a change in my blood work. I'm hoping the changes I've made will start to make a difference that can not only be felt and seen but documented.

Until then, I'll continue with the changes I've made, and try to make a post in about a month to record any progress or changes I notice. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you'll follow along in my Journey to Wellness.

May Meanderings

Photo tour

May will soon be over, so I thought I better get my monthly photo tour posted. Brian took these while I was visiting Mom in Carberry, on the May long weekend.

I guess everyone is out of town enjoying the long weekend!

Main St. Carberry

Some beautiful trees in bloom!

Ornamental crab tree in bloom

The rest of these photos were taken in the area northeast of Carberry.

Touring the country side

Not too many of these around anymore!

An old tv antenna

Touring the countryside

He knows I love pictures of old buildings!
Touring the countryside

I like the way the rows show up in this one.

Touring the countryside

Found this red winged blackbird hiding in the grass.

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Such a great old truck!

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

Touring the countryside

That's it for Brian's May meanderings.....we'll have another photo tour in June!