Yesterday was boring.
By that I mean, ordinary.
It was an ordinary Saturday. Like the weekends I remember. From our life before.
Here’s how it went:
We woke up early.
Noted that the #3 kid will likely have purple hair the next time we see her, based on the state of the bathroom.
Went back to bed.
Woke up later. Drank tea and bone broth. Put together a menu plan for the week (using the Healing Kitchen our new favourite cookbook). Wrote grocery lists.
Did house stuff.
I went to yoga. Matthew did the first wave of grocery shopping.
We made brunch. Here it is:
The teenager awoke: purple hair confirmed.
She went out.
We made tea in go-cups and drove to the beach. Watched the water and talked about nothing in particular.
Did more grocery shopping.
Bought water containers at Canadian Tire for our update-the-emergency-kit project (because Fort McMurray).
Came home. I filled up the containers with water and stashed them.
We made supper. Here it is:
While eating, we watched the new episode of Peaky Blinders.
Played scrabble with the #3 kid when she got home.
Went to bed.
Are you still with me?
After 28 months on the AIP, Matthew went back to work. After 29 months, we had our first boring day.
It was wonderful.
I wrote a book to support the process of healing.
It is the culmination of 2½ years blogging, the last 8 years caregiving for someone with chronic illness, and my 20+ year career creating intentional change in complex situations.
It’s available today (and until May 9th), exclusively through the Paleo Family Toolkit.
(To find out more about all the other amazing items available through the toolkit, click on through or read more below).
Helping a Loved-one Heal
My new book is called Helping a Loved-one Heal: N=1 experimentation and paleo healing protocols for caregivers.
It’s designed to provide caregivers with the most effective new methods to support healing for the people they love, but it can also be used by people who want to heal themselves.
It’s the book I wish I’d had before I got so much hands-on experience!
- Outlines the various Paleo Healing Protocols and explains how to customize them;
- Explores ways to start a healing protocol, including when someone is reluctant to begin;
- Shares stories about what real-life healing looks like;
- Devotes a section of the book to the change process, with practical information about traditional and innovative ways of understanding and implementing change;
- Gives clear instructions for safely engaging in customized experimentation to improve health based on personal responses to interventions;
- Explains the role of measurement in the healing process, with instructions for easy approaches that can be implemented right away;
- Delves deeply into strategies for coping as a caregiver; and
- Provides tools and links to support all aspects of helping a loved-one heal.
In this book I provide a template, not only for getting through the experience of caregiving but for becoming stronger in the process.
The Paleo Family Toolkit
The Paleo Family Toolkit is a bundle of resources featuring 42 e-books and programs; 12 exclusive video interviews with leaders from the Paleo community including Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Danielle Walker, and Liz Wolfe; plus 55 discount codes and bonus resources.
The toolkit comes with a memory stick (shipped worldwide) so you have everything in one place.
I wrote my book for the love, but I also get $18 for every toolkit sold though this page, so it’s a win-win!
In our old life, we had a restaurant habit.
A favourite was a neighbourhood brew pub that featured locally-sourced food, and my top-pick from that menu was always the Moules-frites.
Mussels and fries.
The Mussels were cooked in a gorgeous broth and the dish came with a glorious dollop of aioli, for dipping.
Really elegant comfort food. Continue reading
This week the worldwide community of Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) bloggers has banded together to highlight how we each live our healing protocol lifestyle–in real life.
We are each committed to taking personal responsibility for our own health, and supporting other people around the planet who are interested in doing the same thing.
As part of #AIP4me week, I’ve joined forces with four other paleo healing protocol bloggers. We’re each exploring two elements of the ‘AIP Evolved’ Manifesto created by Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott and we’re publishing the results on each other’s blogs.
Here’s where you’ll find us:
- Emma from the Bacon Mum posted at Joanna Frankham and addresses manifesto elements #11 Seek help and #12 Test, don’t guess.
- Jaime from Gutsy by Nature is posting right here and tackling #14 Strive for balance and #17 Practice gratitude.
- Rory from the Paleo PI posted on Gutsy by Nature and is concentrating on #3 Information is power and #16 Reframe the negatives.
- Joanna from Joanna Frankham posted on the Paleo PI and focuses on #8 Be a nutrient-seeker and #18 Eyes on your own journey.
- I posted on the Bacon Mum and wrote about #2 Embrace the template and #4 Start simple.
These posts are rolling out all week and we’re linking them together as we go. #HowIAIP. #AIP4me.
Here’s Jaime Hartman with #14 Strive for balance and #17 Practice gratitude. Continue reading
After almost 2½ years on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), we’re finally in reintroduction territory!
Matthew has reintroduced coffee, white rice (occasionally), soaked and dehydrated pumpkin seeds, and eggs (sometimes). I have reintroduced soaked and dehydrated nuts, cocoa and eggs.
We overlap on the eggs, and that has been fun.
This recipe is our new favorite.
Where do eggs fit on the paleo healing protocols?
The elimination phase of the AIP excludes eggs, as do the Wahls Protocols.
Sarah Ballantyne explains why in this post.
When attempting egg reintroduction, starting with yolks is recommended. Eileen Laird has a how to video on how to separate whites and yolks three different ways, and also elaborates on the nutrient-density of eggs.
Find Eileen’s book on AIP reintroductions here.
If you find you can tolerate yolks but not whites, you can still make this recipe. Just use eight egg yolks rather than four whole eggs.
Some paleo protocols that don’t focus on autoimmunity recommend eggs as a dietary staple, if they come from naturally-raised chickens. These protocols include the Primal Blueprint, the Bulletproof Diet and the Whole 30.
This is the 4th in a series of posts about Women, Weight and the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
Find the first on Joanna Frankham’s blog.
This post focuses on the top-three strategies for weight management identified through research that Joanna and I conducted with 20 long-term AIPers, 90% of whom indicated that weight management still causes them stress.
Through a confidential survey, one question we asked respondents was about weight management strategies that worked for them while on the AIP. The question wasn’t multiple choice: people had to come up with their own ideas.
11 of the 20 women who participated in the survey had not yet identified things that worked. Nine of the 20 women had. From these responses, three strategies emerged. Continue reading
Matthew returned to work this week.
When he took disability leave at the end of 2013 we thought he’d never work again.
At that time, he was taking 6-8 hydromorphone painkillers a day, as well as a high dose of Methotrexate by injection weekly.
He had developed severe and disabling nausea that no one could diagnose.
Now, the pain and nausea are manageable and he is medication-free, except for a few Tylenol Arthritis a week.
That sounds dramatic, and it is, but there were many times during the past 28 months when his health didn’t seem to be improving at all. And times when it was definitely getting worse rather than better.
But all of his autoimmune symptoms have gradually improved, and he is now in better health than he has been in eight years.
Back to Work
We honestly weren’t sure how the back-to-work experiment would go.
When he initiated it, he was partially bluffing. Continue reading
As a caregiver, you may need to advocate on behalf of a loved-one in the medical system.
In a crisis situation, when someone you care about can’t speak for themselves, advocacy is straightforward: they need medical attention and you make sure they get it.
But the role of advocate is more complex when the person you care about has some ability to speak for themselves. Especially if their capacity changes from day to day.
In this case, an advocate needs to adapt their approach as the ability of the patient evolves.
My husband Matthew has often needed medical advocacy in the last eight years. And my role as his advocate has caused friction in our relationship.
In fact, my role as advocate has been one of our primary sources of conflict during this time.
You’d think it would be simple:
- He needs help;
- I provide it;
- He’s grateful for my assistance.
But real-life people in real-life health crises are much more complex than that. Continue reading
This is the fourth in a series of posts:
- The first discusses ways that caregivers can support a loved-one as they embark on a healing protocol;
- The second considers self-care for caregivers, including dealing with powerful emotions; and
- The third addresses sustainability, by investigating how caregivers can address their own needs.
- This post examines the shadow side of caregiving.
- The fifth explores how to be an advocate.
Carl Jung referred to the rejected and hidden part of the self as ‘the shadow’.
The shadow self is unknown. Inherently. When it’s existence is also denied, it can cause serious problems.
“Everyone carries a shadow,” wrote Jung, “and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.“
According to Jungian psychology, we try protect ourselves by denying the existence of our shadow self. Usually this results in projecting the contents of our shadow onto others. Anytime we blame someone rather than taking responsibility, or judge others rather than working to improve ourselves, chances are good that the shadow is at play.
We each have a shadow, and entire societies also have a collective shadow.
When ignored, this shadow creates tremendous pressure.
It needs to be expressed.
If we don’t take charge of it’s expression, it will find it’s own way. And is likely to do harm in the process.
A Current Example
Compassion and exhaustion.
Anguish and anger.
Constant worry. Trying not to let it show.
Caring for a chronically-ill loved-one is difficult and demanding.
And most of us don’t have mentors to help us to figure out how to do it sustainably.
As a result, most caregivers end up relegating their own needs to the bottom of a too-long list.
Because the needs of a healthy person don’t rate compared with what’s happening for someone who’s chronically ill. Right?
Your needs as a caregiver
Any needs, if repressed for too long, find ways to express themselves.
When they finally bust out, they can do damage to relationships. Continue reading