Boring is the New Wonderful

BeachYesterday 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:Brunch

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:Supper

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?

Boring, right?

After 28 months on the AIP, Matthew went back to work. After 29 months, we had our first boring day.

It was wonderful.

Biohacking Update: 28 months on the AIP

28 months on the Autoimune ProtocolMatthew 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. Read More

Autoimmune Citizen Science

Vivek-23
Vivek Mandan

Many people who improve their autoimmune symptoms want to share what they have learned, so others can benefit too.

Most people just start a blog.

Vivek Mandan is creating Autoimmune Citizen Science, a free site that will enable anyone with an autoimmune condition to track personalized data to support their healing process.

Vivek and his team are looking for testers for the beta launch of their site this Spring. I’ve already signed up. Anyone else who is interested in the potential of measurement as part of their recovery will want to scoot over to Autoimmune Citizen Science to sign up as a beta user, too.

Consider this post to be your personal invitation from Vivek!

This month, I interviewed Vivek, who is 24 and lives in Ohio, USA, to find out more about his experience with autoimmune disease and about his vision for how Autoimmune Citizen Science could change the way we research and treat complex chronic health conditions. Read More

Mind Tricks for Pain & Illness

Mind Tricks for Chronic Pain & IllnessIn the past 9 years I’ve been observing a person who became almost completely disabled by disease.

And in the past 2 years I’ve been watching as he’s been slowly recovering.

I’ve noticed how he has handled chronic pain, loss of mobility, severe nausea and the catastrophic up-ending of everything he thought he knew about life.

And I’ve been impressed.

I don’t know how many of us could have handled what he has been handed with as much grace.

Not that he’s been gracious every minute of every day. He’s been profoundly depressed. And really angry about his situation. At times.

But on the whole, Matthew has maintained a profound equilibrium.

How has he done it?

Well, I’ve been watching, and I’ve figured out that this exceptional ability to roll with the challenges of multiple chronic health conditions is the result of mindset.

So, I thought I’d ask him to tell us about it.

Mindset for Living with Pain & Illness

Read More

Coming Soon: A New Platform!

Home Page

There’s nothing like a serious chronic illness to help re-set priorities. And we’re clear: our priorities lie with supporting others in their efforts to heal.

Matthew and I are developing a new platform that will offer individualized support for people who are taking personal responsibility for their health.

We’ve been working on this platform since the summer and we’ll be launching it soon.

The new site will be based on the idea that when it comes to health and healing, we are all unique. It’s the variations in our health status, goals, environment and genetic expression that determine the individualized pattern of living that will best support our well-being.

Eventually, once all the phases are rolled out, the new site will support the process of figuring all that out.

Read More

Where to Start? Assess Leverage

Assess Leverage2There are a thousand things you could do to improve your health.

Last week I outlined nine of them.

Nine is a lot!

And those nine don’t include things like addressing the impacts of gene mutations; figuring out if you have an electromagnetic sensitivity; or hacking your sexuality.

Once you decide to take responsibility for your own health, it can feel like there’s no end to the things to address. And that can be stressful.

The solution is to assess leverage.

In this post I’ll share a tool to help you do that. If you use it, you’ll always know that (to the best of your knowledge at any given time) your energy is being invested for maximum returns.

Assessing leverage will help you pick one thing, the right thing, out of a thousand possibilities. Read More

Finding the Pattern of Your Healing Path

FindingthepatternThe pattern of your life is providing you with the results you are experiencing right now.

If your life is excellent: the pattern is working!

If it isn’t, you can adjust it.

One way to adjust is to reorganize the relationship between habit and adaptability in your life.

Be Habituated & Be Adaptive

Sometimes we need to apply more logic to our life-design process. To introduce good habits that help ensure we’re on track.

Other times, we’re hampered by routine. We get rigid and don’t benefit from unexpected opportunities. We may need to exercise our adaptive natures more. Read More

Creative Destruction & the Adaptive Cycle

Embrace creative destruction 2The secret?

Embrace creative destruction.

Because it’s inevitable.

And it’s everywhere.

It’s evident in the turn of the seasons. In the life (& death) cycles of plants & animals. The rise and fall of civilizations.

Divorce. Illness. Earthquakes.

All the things we dread.

Remember the financial crisis of 2008? Creative destruction.

Hating it doesn’t help.

What does?

The Adaptive Cycle

The thing to know about creative destruction is that through it, resources are released. And become available for re-purposing.

Knowing that can change your life. Read More

The N=1 Healing Protocol

N=1 ProtocolHealing Protocols are proliferating.

There’s a dozen of them in 12 Healing Protocols: a guide.

And there’s more. Like #13: Dr Datis Kharrazian’s Autoimmune Gut Repair Diet.

Why so many?

Because new technology has led to new understandings about human biology and the origin of illness.

And it’s natural that as this new science has become available, people have used it to develop innovative strategies to reverse complex health conditions and improve performance.

And that those people then want share these strategies with the world.

First, because the strategies are working.

Second, because this is how our practices have evolved since the beginning of time: we try things out and then share our discoveries with each other.

But healing protocols have been multiplying so rapidly that it’s getting confusing.

People are asking: Which one? What’s the difference? Why so many? Which sometimes leads to: maybe I’ll just put a frozen pizza in the oven and try to figure all this out some other time…

I’d like to simplify things by demonstrating they are all just variations of the same protocol. Read More

12 Healing Protocols: a guide (part 2)

Healing Protocols 2Find part 1 of this post here.

In part 1, I considered the Autoimmune Protocol, The Wahls Protocols and the Bulletproof Diet.

This post offers an overview of 6 more healing protocols:

  • Jacob’s Gut Healing protocol;
  • The Brainmaker Diet;
  • Your Personal Paleo Code;
  • Paleo;
  • Primal; &
  • the Whole 30.

Jacob’s Gut Healing Protocol

Jacob does a beautiful job of explaining how the gut works in Digestive Health with REAL Food (2013).

This is the most restrictive protocol of the dozen, with only 4 vegetables included during the elimination phase. If you are simultaneously on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), you’ll be down to 3, as one of those (green beans) is not AIP-friendly.

created this diet specifically for people suffering from gut dysbiosis and significant digestive issues and therefore it removes all the usual foods that can cause leaky gut and systemic inflammation, as well as carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. Read More