March 31st is always a tough day for me. But this year, I had a plan: fill it with lots of friends, family, and keep busy from beginning to end. We started the day with hockey games, an afternoon ballet, and ended with Easter Vigil mass. At one point at church, my heart felt so full it could burst, which was a strange sensation on a day I usually feel so empty. The only thing missing was my dad. i carry your heart in your heart.
Defying Genetics…it’s something my functional doctor said to me after reviewing my lab work. It made me feel empowered. My paternal grandmother had diabetes, my paternal uncle has diabetes, one brother was diagnosed with diabetes last fall, another brother was just diagnosed as pre-diabetic, my mom is pre-diabetic, I had gestational diabetes (which increases your chances of having diabetes), and if my dad was still alive I am almost certain he would be diabetic.
A year and a half ago, I went to my family doctor for my annual check up. I was told because I have a family history of heart disease and diabetes I can only do so much. My dad died at 67 from a heart attack. His dad died from a heart attack two days before his 51st birthday. My bad cholesterol was creeping upwards and the doctor told me that I will probably need to get on cholesterol medication soon. He said even the most fit people can’t out run family history, it’s not something I can control.
Needless to say, my functional doctor gives me hope. I’m determined to defy genetics.
- I’m following a gluten, dairy, soy free diet. Goodbye gooey yummy melty cheese, edamame (and almost all snacks, read the label…soy is in everything!), and my beloved bread. As much as I love these foods, it took about a month to stop craving them. I feel so much better without them, it’s worth it. My labs showed that I have a non-celiac gluten intolerance. Gluten effects my brain. Knowing the long term effect of gluten for me has been a good motivator to stick to this diet.
- Slowly but surely, we are eliminating plastics. All those scorched plastic containers, goodbye! Our kids are at the perfect age to use ceramic plates at dinner when the meals are pipping hot out of the oven.
- Healthy Mind, Healthy Body: I’ve started doing more yoga. I can feel it working it’s magic. It’s very detoxifying and stress is rolling off of me. My mom has said for years to my kids, “take three yoga breathes” when they would get worked up. I should have known…mama is always right.
- I’m working to make our house free of harsh chemicals. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s site to see what you use in your house matters.
- Lastly, and most importantly, I am following my functional doctor’s plan: Lots of vitamins and herbal supplements….I am taking about 20 pills a day for 8 weeks. I’ll go in once we think my gut is cleaned up and have my blood work checked again.
I started this journey for my Josie Girl. Her health struggles lead us to a functional doctor. After looking at my test results and Josie’s, it breaks my heart to see the road she was heading down.
Now we both are defying genetics.
Billy’s birthday is always a double whammy holiday falling on Valentine’s Day…but this it was a triple celebration: Birthday, Valentine’s Day, and Ash Wednesday!
Don’t worry, Billy wasn’t an after thought, he was the main event! We had friends over for beef tenderloin two days before his birthday. We celebrated him on his actual birthday and went out with a group of friends two days after his birthday. We also did another dinner for all February birthday friends the following week. I think this is a record for celebrating Billy’s birthday. He’s learning from me 🙂
My mom surprised me on Valentine’s Day by bringing me flowers, candy, AND she serenaded me! It totally made my day. All the kids at Religious Ed got a kick out of it.
The kids and I started sending love notes to Billy at work. He had a few rough weeks at work so we decided to turn that frown upside down. We all like mail, but a love note at work seemed to do just the trick!
We started our clean eating journey thanks to The Jos. She’s always had horrible acid reflux. At her 10 year old check up, the doctor referred us to a GI. We had tried a few prescriptions, Zantac, Omeprazole, and lots of tums. So in August she had her first scope. They determined her stomach is fine, but her esophagus flares up when she eats certain foods. I asked if we should do an elimination diet to figure it out and the GI specialist told me “No, I don’t think she should have to go with out pasta. You like pizza and pasta, right Josie? Let’s just give her two pills every day and tums as needed. Tums work differently so she should be fine.”
Meanwhile, starting in July she started to get this bright red flare up rash around her mouth (see picture below). We went to a dermatologist 3 times and got 3 different prescriptions. The top two pictures and the bottom left picture are on the different prescriptions. They eventually referred us to the Mayo Clinic.
Side note: Josie also has SEVERE seasonal allergies. She’s taking shots once a week to try and help her manage them. She has an inhaler that she has to do twice a day, plus a rescue inhaler, singular every night, and Xyzal.
A friend referred us to a functional doctor. This was when we finally started to see some results. We have a long road ahead of us, but the bottom right picture is Josie without any prescription medication just changing her diet. We are currently gluten, dairy, and soy free.
We got Josie’s test results back and found out she was heading down a path for rheumatoid arthritis. Her inflammation is so bad it could turn into colitis or crohn’s disease. YIKES. Her immune system is crashing. Josie’s body is working so hard. Her toxic load is flaring up with asthma, allergies, and the skin rash.
So…the plan is to calm her tummy down. We’ll be doing plant enzymes, herbal supplements, and eating TONS of fruits and veggies.
We also found out that I have a non-celiac gluten intolerance. Gluten effects my brain and spine so for the rest of my life I need to have a low to no gluten diet.
All of the above was very eye opening for us. Josie and I have been gluten free for 3 weeks and have seen huge changes. Neither of us are bloated or have stomach aches, which were common. We both feel better. Josie hasn’t had ONE tums all month! We plan to start weaning her off the acid reflux medicine soon. Hopefully this spring we will notice some great progress with her allergies too!
There’s no snow on the ground, there hasn’t been any at all yet this winter! It feels so strange to be a week away from Christmas and no snow!
We’ve had a busy December and it’s been a lot of fun too. I feel like every age we say this is the best year yet, and as this year comes to a close…I’m feeling like our kids are at the best age and this is the best year yet! Here’s some of the fun we’ve done this month so far:
- I took Josie and Ben to Katy Perry with some friends. It was Ben’s first big concert. He was nervous for the loud noises. Especially since Josie told him that at Paul McCartney, there were fireworks. The usher saw he had his ears plugged on the way to the bathroom, so she gave us earplugs. By the end of the show, he didn’t need them in. We danced, sang, and rocked out. It was great. (Billy and Will did an indoor golf simulator with friends. Livi was on a date with her boyfriend).
- Ben was in his first performance of The Nutcracker. I say first, because it won’t be his last. The kid was beaming. He’s feet never touched the ground, Ben was on cloud 9. He was in the Infantry. His part was very small, but he has a ball. We had two full rows of friends and family that came to support him. My heart felt full the whole day, we are lucky to have so many special people in our lives.
- The kids had their piano recital at school last week. They did fantastic.
- I had a birthday!
- Livi turned 16 two days ago. We currently have a house full of teenagers. It’s our first time with a teen birthday party. I think we pulled it off pretty good. They are all nice kids, but we hid the alcohol just to be safe. 🙂
We have one week left of school then holiday break begins. Ready or not, here we come!
Will, Ben, and Josie.
This year marks 6 years of doing our month of give thanks. Here are some of the highlights:
- We donated to the school library for the first time. We gave over 100 books so students could enjoy them.
- Josie and I wrapped presents for Amanda the Panda (They support families that are grieving the loss of a loved one)
- We wrote thank you cards to farmers to show them a little love.
- We donated a buddy bench to the school in memory of our neighbor and buddy we lost earlier this year.
This year was also the first year we let the kids select a charity to donate to. They researched and we made the donation. Josie selected Children’s Cancer Connection in memory of Aunt Meredith’s mom, Lynn. Will selected JDRF for his buddy Luke. Ben wanted to donated to research, originally he said wikipedia. But thanks to a good friend we were connected with the Drake Library and got a behind the scenes tour of the archives. It was really cool!