health

Fibro Friday: Recent Research

Happy Fibro Friday! I’m taking a quick break from reviewing different health protocols to share some exciting news that crossed my newsfeed a few days ago.

Several weeks ago, Dr. Ken Berry, a respected internist that focuses on improving health through food, exercise and lifestyle choices, shared the details on a study that was published, then mysterious retracted.

Dr. Berry mentions how this article was published but was soon followed by a retraction. After reviewing the retraction points, I have to agree with Dr. Berry and lead researcher, Dr. Pappolla, who both assert that the reason for retraction is likely due to pressure from influential organizations (think Big Pharma or Big Ag [Big Agriculture]). The reason provided for the retraction doesn’t appear to be valid, but you can read the reason as published on NIH’s website and determine for yourself whether you want to accept the research findings.

The research done by Dr. Pappolla and the other researchers establishes a connection between fibromyalgia and insulin resistance markers. Dr. Berry has recommended something similar in previous videos. However, this research goes a step further, by experimenting with the use of metformin (brand name Glucophage) and observing whether this drug can reduce fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms.

Dr. Pappolla’s research makes a connection between being insulin resistant (also known as pre-diabetic) and fibromyalgia. Reduction of sugar and management of insulin in the body (via metformin) both resulted in lower levels of pain in fibromyalgia patients. If you want more information, watch the video below:

This research exposes a possible (likely) connection between fibro and insulin resistance, and Dr. Berry recommends a ketogenic or other low carbohydrate diet to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms. I won’t go too deep in Dr. Berry’s recommendations this week, since I’ll be featuring his fibromyalgia protocol in a future week. But if you want all of the info on this new research, the video above is a good place to start.

I hope this information helps my fellow fibro warriors! Please let me know how you all are doing in the comments. Have a great rest of your day, and I’ll talk to you all on Monday!

health

Fibro Fridays: The Singh Khalsa Protocol

It’s another fabulous Fibro Friday, and I’m excited to bring you another protocol that may offer you (and me too, hopefully) some additional insight into how to best treat and minimize your fibromyalgia symptoms. Last week, I shared the Liptan Protocol, as promoted by Dr. Ginevra Liptan. This week, we’ll examine the protocol of another health expert.

The Singh Khalsa Protocol is the recommended routine as taught by Karta Purkh Singh (KP) Khalsa, former president of the American Herbalist Guild. He is a dietitian-nutritionist and herbalist, with over 45 years of experience as an herbalist. Within herbalism, his specialty is ayurveda, and many of his teachings reflect ayurvedic principles, especially when it comes to personal constitution (whether someone is vata, pitta or kapha) and conditions within the body (dampness, dryness, etc.). Singh Khalsa is also a published author, focusing on healing the body and improving overall quality of life.

I first learned about Singh Khalsa through a free webinar as published by the American Herbalist Guild. Since it was designed as instructional material, it is quite a bit longer than the video posted about the Liptan Protocol. Due to the length of the video, I will highlight some key takeaways from the video, as well as share a briefer interview with Singh Khalsa, where he discusses the treatment of neurological disorders (which most experts agree covers fibromyalgia).

As noted by Singh Khalsa, some aspects of his approach to treating fibromyalgia are as follows:

  • Understand that fibromyalgia IS NOT an inflammatory condition in and of itself (though there may be some concurrent inflammation that makes pain symptoms worse).
  • An elimination diet can help reduce food allergies and food sensitivities, which can exacerbate symptoms. He recommends an oligoantigenic diet to start the food elimination journey.
  • Fibromyalgia is considered a “cold” disease per ayurveda.
  • Symptoms can be improved through a variety of herbal preparations, including extracts from meadowsweet, hops, notopterygium root, kava root and others.
  • Effectively managing fibromyalgia requires a total lifestyle change.
  • His approach addresses treating the nervous and endocrine systems, where the actual dysfunction (disorder) is rooted. He remains adamant that treating the syndrome like a musculoskeletal issues ensures a far less effective treatment results.
  • His treatment approach is THRIVE: Touch (massage and bodywork), Herbs and hormones, Rest, rebalance and sleep, Immunity, Vitamins and nutrition, and Exercise. He prioritizes sleep over all other treatments, and recommends that people with fibromyalgia “bank” sleep (sleep more than the amount that the patient feels is needed), because more sleep helps to heal the body.

As you can see, many of the aspects of the Singh Khalsa Protocol are similar to the Liptan Protocol (especially as regards the emphasis on sleep and overhauling the patient’s lifestyle). I love that both protocols complement one another, and there are no points that are in conflict. I’ve taken some notes from Singh Khalsa (as well as Dr. Liptan) and I’m encouraged by the fact that he and Dr. Liptan both seem fairly confident that, by adhering to their protocols, it is possible to restore the body to it’s pre-fibro level of functioning, though, as Singh Khalsa mentions, the person may be a bit more “fragile” after recovery. The overall end goal is to live a full and happy life without pain, and it is possible according to Singh Khalsa.

Here’s the lecture taught by Singh Khalsa at Loyola Marymount University:

Reviewing this protocol has given me much food for thought: it’s a good thing that this is a holiday weekend! I hope you all have a safe and fun Fourth of July (for my USA friends) and a great weekend, no matter where you are. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all on Monday!

fitness · goals · health

Using Law of Attraction for Weight Loss

I was on the fence about discussing this, because I CRINGE whenever someone posts “shortcuts” for weight loss, career success, etc., and, upon reading their advice or listening to their testimony, I find that they don’t actually tell the FULL details of how they accomplished their goal. I also didn’t want it to sound like law of attraction (LOA) is a magic wand that can be waved over our difficulties and *POOF!* the challenges disappear. Don’t get me wrong: LOA can be magical, and yes, sometimes it takes no more than thinking about a particular thing to make it happen. But, this is not always the case.

Sometimes, action is required for law of attraction to work. But for today’s story, the actual “action” was minimal, so I’ll give you the step-by-step story of how I manifested 11 lbs of weight loss in 6 days, with no diet or exercise required. Yes, it’s true: I lost ELEVEN POUNDS using just my mind. Not one moment was spent counting calories or sweating at a gym (or on my personal treadmill!) to make it happen.

This all started with a doctor’s visit. This particular visit was on a Monday. When the nurse weighed me, I was a solid 25 lbs heavier than my goal weight. I’d tried the cabbage soup diet the week before, and, while that helped to flatten my tummy, I didn’t progress beyond day two, because I started experiencing terrible headaches (hence my reason for going to the doctor). Since the beginning of the year, instead of losing 15 pounds (per my 2021 goals list), I’d GAINED an extra 10.

This was discouraging, but I thought, hey, maybe it had something to do with my clothes. I came home, removed my clothing, and found that my home scale only went down two pounds. When the truth stares you in the face, it’s impossible to deny it TWICE. I accepted the weight and vowed to change it without harsh diets or rigorous exercise.

Intuition led me to try using the 55 X 5 method to kick off my weight loss journey. I’d advise anyone else to listen to what their intuition tells them, as it’s often the most reliable internal guidance system that any of us has available at any given time. Intuition doesn’t scream at us, nor is it usually drastic: it’s often a gentle nudge that feels like, “Hmm, why not?” or, “Ooh, that sounds like fun”. In my case, my intuition felt strongly like the former. 55 X 5 felt like an easy way to get my mind on board with weight loss.

If you’ve never tried the 55 X 5 method, I’ll give you a brief explanation of what it is. Simply put, you figure out what you want to experience or create (for me, weight loss) and craft a short, simple phrase that captures what you desire. It helps if the phrase includes gratitude. For me, I came up with, “I’m thankful that I weigh X pounds”. The phrase should be in the present tense, as if you’re experiencing your desire reality RIGHT NOW. Then, you write the phrase 55 times a day, every day for 5 days in the notebook or journal of your choice. At the end of the 5 days, you should have what you want, or see positive traction in the direction of what you desire. (If you want a more detailed explanation, I advise you to look it up on YouTube or check out articles online about it.)

I wrote “I’m thankful that I weigh X pounds” 55 times a day, every day, for 5 days. The weight that I put in my notebook was 15 lbs less than what I saw on my doctor’s scale, but I didn’t care about whether I would drop 15 lbs in 5 days: I just wanted to see SOME results. On day 6, I released my attachment to the outcome. My body didn’t look any different, but I felt better about my weight because I knew my mindset was changing to that of someone that was 15 lbs lighter. On day 7 (exactly one week after my doctor’s appointment), I weighed myself. And I was 11 lbs lighter!

I basked in my success for a few days, then I started reflecting on what else I did, other than writing in my notebook. I think it’s probably easier to say what I didn’t do, as opposed to what I did do. Here’s what I DID NOT do:

  • I didn’t count calories. I ate what wanted without guilt, though I will admit that I was a bit more mindful (I chewed a bit slower and savored the flavors more, so I wouldn’t stuff myself unnecessarily).
  • I did not do any structured exercise AT ALL. I did start keeping a quick count of my steps throughout the day, but my physical activity was at pretty much the same level.
  • I didn’t change my medication or supplement routine. In fact, while I had temporarily stopped my medicine during my cabbage soup “fling” (I was off of my medication and supplements for 3 or 4 days) I decided to get back onto my regimen a day before the doctor weighed me, and I’ve been consistently on them since then.
  • I did not shame my body. I sent my body lots of love and appreciation, and took a little more time to treat myself well (moisturizing my skin thoroughly after bathing, consistently doing my nighttime skin routine, etc.,.).

Now here’s the short list of what I DID do (outside of the things mentioned above):

  • I reminded myself that I am a person that weighs the amount I put in my notebook. I kept that in my mind, and tried to make decisions from that mindset.
  • I recalled Anne Barone’s advice, where she mentioned that any unwanted weight gain could usually be connected to an increase in clutter. I started throwing away some things that didn’t serve me anymore.
  • I started paying closer attention to the signals that my body was sending me. If a certain area felt stiff, I’d stretch until I got some relief. If I felt thirsty, I’d drink water until I felt truly hydrated, without obsessing about whether I was drinking too much or not enough. If I felt hungry, I stopped to pay attention to what my body was actually craving: fruit, vegetable, protein, or carbs, and yes, sometimes sweets or junk food. And, I’d give my body EXACTLY what it wanted, without guilt, but only to the point of satisfaction. Anything more would be me behaving as someone that weighs more than my target weight.
  • I slept without guilt, including, enjoying multiple midday naps. A well-rested body can release excess weight much better than an exhausted, sleep-deprived one.

At the end of this experiment, I think it’s safe to say that the most influential factor in the weight loss was the mindset shift. Writing my desired outcome 55 times in a row was a great way to program my mind toward being a healthier weight. The more than I insisted that I was 15 lbs less, the more my body conformed with that version of my reality. While I didn’t shed the full 15 lbs, I’m thrilled with the 11 lbs that I loss, and staying happy and grateful for success is another way to keep the weight off FOR GOOD.

I’ll be doing this again in the next few days, to blast through my next weight loss mental barrier. I can’t wait to tell you all how that works out for me!

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Three Books Published!

Happy Writers Wednesday! I’m really excited to share this post, as a follow up to Monday’s goal update post.

As the title says, I published three books this year so far. I mentioned briefly in this post that I had churned out two children’s books, and now I have added a new book to the collection. The newest book, Let’s Go to Japan, is my way of introducing children to the incredible world of Japanese culture, history and nature. I’m as proud of this book as I am of Let’s Go to China and Let’s Go to Vietnam.

Initially, I was on the fence about including these children’s books in my publishing goal. I think it’s because I don’t feel that these books are “serious enough” or have enough words to count as a publishing accomplishment. But, as usual, this is criticism that I have launched against myself (better known as self sabotage) and it has served me well to reconsider whether this perspective serves me.

I decided that these books, which take time for research, selecting appropriate pictures, and keeping the language simple enough for children, are just as valid as my novels or self-help works-in-progress. So I decided to count these books as part of my 5 published books goal. As a result, I am now more than halfway to reaching my book publishing goal for the year.

That being said, I still want to publish some of the other works in progress that I’ve had on my desk for a while (in the case of one of my books, more than 7 years!) and that are yearning to be in the hands of readers that will appreciate them. In that respect, my writing work truly doesn’t stop, even after I publish 5 books. I won’t feel truly “caught up” until all of my current works in progress are published. I actually haven’t done a count of how many WIPs I currently have, but I know that there are more than 5. In short, I have my work cut out for me.

I hope you all are having a terrific Wednesday! If you have any works in progress that you’re concentrating your energies onto right now, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

goals · life curation

Preparing For The Next Six Months

As I look back over the last six months, I realize that I’ve made great progress towards my goals. For that, I am thankful. That being said, I still want to make sure that I stay on target and have as many tools at my disposal as are necessary. I want to make sure that the next six months are even more productive and rewarding.

For those that are unaware, I enjoy listening to the vlogs of other writers and learning about how they are managing their writing careers. One of the writers that I really like watching on YouTube is JeSuisJusteMoi. The channel creator, Dr. Andrea, has a PhD in English and is a published author. Along with being extremely accomplished, Dr. Andrea is also a fellow fibro warrior, and seeing her manage her career and health is nothing short of inspirational. One of her recent videos included a great tool that I knew I needed to share over here.

Here’s the video:

And here’s a link to the worksheet that she mentions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-XwUWo9mbQQP73nrcvKn0oFZS_UoU7W27ujoqLZuHbU/edit?usp=sharing

I share the link to the worksheet but I feel that you will get the most benefit by watching the video. Dr. Andrea does a great job of showing how she created the goals that she has for the remainder of 2021. I will be going through this worksheet this week, so that I can hit the ground running in July!

Do you have any tools that you enjoy using for goal setting, or recalibrating your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

goals · health · life curation

June Goal Updates

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I accidentally posted this last week (before I finished collecting my thoughts), so I had to pull the post and reschedule it. It was one of those weeks, folks . . . Anyhoo, here’s my June goal update post.

As a quick recap, here are the goals I have for 2021:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

The Wednesday and Thursday posts will cover the first two points (weight loss discussion on Thursday, and publishing post on Writers’ Wednesdays, as normal). I’m really excited to discuss the (unorthodox) way I utilized to lose weight. I may even do a video on it (I’m still undecided about whether I’ll publish and attach a video related to the topic). Along with that, my Wednesday post will cover how I published 3 books in the past 6 months, and how I intend to publish 3 more before the end of the summer.

Onto the next point. . . While I very much desire to take 3 international trips (and I also intend to manifest the money to make those trips happen!), I haven’t been putting a lot of my energy toward that goal. To be honest, I have only decided on one international trip for sure, to happen at the end of December. I haven’t the faintest where else I want to go, or when I want to go there. I have a couple of ideas of how that can unfold for me, but for now, a lot of this is still undecided. I’m okay with the uncertainty: I don’t have to micromanage the details. So long as the perfect trips for ME come my way, I’m pleased.

So, I’m nowhere near my 6-figure business income goal. However, I’ve completely withdrawn my energy from my businesses in the past few months, so that doesn’t surprise me. Now, if I want to reach that goal, I’ll have to amp up the activity during this second half of the year. This actually works perfect for me, as I’ve built quite a bit of momentum over the past few months (by publishing my books at a comfortable pace, learning more about herbs and oils, nurturing my body so that I have more energy, etc.,). With the energy I’ve conserved, I have a lot more time available to pour into my businesses, so that I can see a drastic increase in my sales and so that I can knock out my goal of 6 figures in 2021!

I had to put my book-reading goals on hold during the month of May, since I was completing my Cornell University program. However, I resumed the reading challenge this month, and I’m excited to share which books I read during the month of June (also, I finally hit my monthly goal of 10+ books, which puts me on target for reaching 100+ before the end of the year!) The reading goal post will be available sometime next week.

I haven’t made any more luxury purchases in the past few months. I look forward to adding more goodies from luxury retailers sometime during August (my birthday month). I’m sure I’ll be eager to give myself a “treat” by then.

Finally, I’m still working on reversing my fibromyalgia. I think I’m getting close to a permanent solution, but I’m still testing a few things. Of course, you can simply peruse any of my Fibro Friday posts to see what I’m learning and trying on this journey.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing an amazing tool that I think will help tremendously with accomplishing my remaining goals. I can’t wait to share it with you! Until then, take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Redoing My Daily Schedule

It’s my first Writers’ Wednesday since my mini-hiatus, and the first order of business is getting back to the original summer writing plan. It’s been a lovely-ish break, now it’s time for me to get back to my goals.

As you may recall from my “New Cycle” post, I had four different challenges to address, as related to my writing:

Now that I’ve finally finished my Cornell classes, I can better assess how much free time I have in my daily schedule. And, as it turns out, I don’t have much free time at all! After finishing my classes, I suddenly got a surge in tutoring students (I also teach English as a second language) and I took on roughly 5 more teaching hours per week. This may not sound like a lot of additional work, but for someone that already had a minimal amount of free time, five hours is the difference between finishing a book in a few weeks or a few months.

So I had to take a closer look at my weekend free time. Now, I usually sleep in late on Saturdays and Sundays, but if I want to finish writing at least one more book before the end of summer, I’ll have to sacrifice a little bit of snooze time to reach my goal. This wouldn’t ordinarily be a huge issue, but as someone with fibromyalgia (and a persistent case of chronic fatigue), it’s hard to sleep less on the weekend and still feel functional. I’m going to try sacrificing 30 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday, at least for the next few weeks, just to see how it goes. If I find that I still need the rest, then I’ll figure out something else. In the meantime, I can’t worry too much about it: I just have to experiment with different routines until I find something that works.

In the weeks to come, I’ll experiment with my 30 minute blocks of time, and tell you all how that works for me. Wish me luck!

This weekend, I’ll try

writing

Writers Wednesdays: Finding The Best Beta Readers

Happy Writers Wednesday! Today’s post will be short, because there isn’t a lot to say about this topic.

Good beta readers (who are willing to read your book before you publish it) are invaluable, but also hard to find. Everyone will accept a free book, but few are willing to give substantive feedback on what they read. So, for that reason, it’s challenging to have a good, reliable group of beta readers.

However, finding willing readers is the first step to getting a group of good beta readers. And that part is pretty easy. I always start with family and friends. Then, I start scouring my social media. I look for people that follow certain hashtags, and see if I can connect with them. After engaging in a few conversations, I can offer them my unpublished work, and see if they’re willing to read it.

As I get a group of devoted beta readers, I’ll keep you all posted on how things are going. I look forward to telling you all more about in the future!

reading list

Book Review: The Magic Path of Intuition

I have another book review for you all, and this time, it’s a FREE audiobook that I found on YouTube!

The book I’m reviewing today is The Magic Path of Intuition by Florence Scovel Shinn. I’ve been familiar with Florence for several years, and I initially read The Game of Life and How to Play It about seven years ago. However, I recently decided that the best way for me to reach my 100 books in 2021 goal is to supplement my normal reading routine with audiobooks (I first mentioned this approach in a recent post). That way, I can listen to the text (auditory methods are my favorite mode of learning) while I do repetitive tasks, like folding clothes, sweeping, and all manner of general tidying.

In my recent post, I named a couple of Florence Scovel Shinn’s books that I read during the month of March. I wanted to finish reading all of her work before the end of April, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve met my goal! So, in this post, I’m reviewing one of the books that really impressed me.

So, one of the things that stands out to me is Florence’s consistent use of anecdotal examples to make her point. However, what is really special about this is that the examples she uses are both dated (she did write these books more than 80 years ago) and yet, completely timeless. It’s easy to envision ourselves as one of the characters in her stories, even if the story that she’s relaying isn’t at all possible in today’s world.

She impresses upon the reader the importance of following intuition in order to reveal, to ourselves, the best path for us to take. She indicates that listening to our intuition is part of communicating directly with God (or our highest, wisest self, if you prefer to describe it that way). After making a particular request, or setting an intention, it’s important to follow whatever inspired action comes next. Sometimes, that action may seem nonsensical, but, in my experience, the more nonsensical the action, the more likely it is that the action is truly inspired and will be crucial to whatever request you’ve made.

I enjoyed listening to this book which. on YouTube, is less than two hours long. I highly recommend it for all of my “woo-woo” friends that want to hear original law of attraction (LOA) teachings!

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

career · life curation

Minor Disappointments and Setups for Greatness

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all are enjoying a great day wherever you are, and I hope your weekend was fantastic!

Recently, I applied for a part-time position with an online tutoring company. I liked that the position was flexible (that is crucial, given my current schedule) and I figured that it would help me transition into more freelance work. After completing the second round of the interview process, I was informed that I did not get the position. As you can imagine, I was disappointed. I thought I was the perfect candidate, and I felt like I should have made it to the “short list”. However, the company felt otherwise, and they advised me that they would like to keep my application on file, in case they expand and have more openings.

This experience reminded me of something that my mother told me years ago. She said, “If it’s meant for you, nothing and no one will be able to get in the way of you having it”. This little disappointment was just a clear sign that this position was not meant for me. And, upon further consideration, I realized that I actually didn’t want the position.

Yes, you read that right: I didn’t even want that job, if I’m being perfectly honest. I intended that I earn money in a more passive way this year, and this job was quite the opposite of “passive”. It would require a certain number of hours every week, and I wouldn’t be able to delegate these tasks to someone else. Also, this job would involve me occupying a role that doesn’t enhance my future career prospects. In fact, it’s a bit regressive, in a way: I would have to downplay my knowledge and participate in some mind-numbing tasks in that role.

Yes, the role would have brought in more income, but it goes against the intentions that I set. Any action that goes against your intentions is bound to become uncomfortable and unsustainable at some point. Also, perhaps it’s because I’m older, or maybe because I’ve had enough disappointments that turned out to be blessings in disguise, I’m not taking this rejection personally. I’m not right for the job, but that is no reflection on my value as a person. I’ve experienced disappointment as well as incredible successes, and I have seen enough to know that everything works out in my favor in the end.

So, I’m taking this minor disappointment and counting it as a setup for future success. I believe that this position was denied to me because it is not right for me and what I’m creating for my future. It doesn’t fit in my grand scheme, and that’s okay. Additionally, by not clamoring to find some other position to validate my worth as an employee, I’m leaving space for the opportunities that are worthy of my time and attention.

Those are my Monday musings. I’ll have another Writer’s Wednesday post in a couple of days, as well as some other chat during this week. Talk to you all tomorrow!