My Heavy Metal Chelation Success Story

Do you remember in Finding Nemo, the fish that Ellen voices saying “just keep swimming”?  I think I’ve been in the “just keep swimming” mode for so long going through heavy metal chelation, and before that trying to figure out what had stolen my energy…that when my doctor actually said the words “great news” and “you can stop chelating”…I don’t think I fully understood her.  She was speaking but I wasn’t fully grasping it.  So much so, that I just cried.  Not a little teary cry but an embarrassing, need a minute to compose myself – cry.

Wow… now what do I do?  More on that later, but first… I want to share with you what I think really helped me get through this and what was instrumental to my fantastic results after 6 months of chelation.

For those of you that like numbers…here are mine:  My lead levels dropped by 60% to a now acceptable level.  My mercury levels dropped by 84% to an acceptable level.   For both my original test and re-test, I took a provoked urine test, which means that you take a chelation drug (in my case DMSA) and then collect urine for a predetermined time.  There are limitations of this test (and many other tests), but as long as you understand what they are, I believe the results are still telling.

For more on what started me down this road: My Chelation Journey

For tips for success: 6 Tips to a Successful Chelation, De-tox or Cleanse

  • Seek Out Support:  I don’t think I would’ve had the results I did if I had been working full-time.  I know that doesn’t help many folks out there who are facing this, and do work full-time.  I’m very thankful that I have a husband who made no complaint about the messy house, or lack of dinner cooked every other week for 6 months.  It just goes to show that God works this stuff out.   I had a couple of private yoga clients stop their sessions and my class load had dwindled to just 2 per week.  As it turned out, having those classes during chelation forced me to manage my energy levels and nap intentionally so that I could have enough energy to teach.  If I would’ve had no classes to teach, I’m not sure I would have practiced the skill of energy conservation.
  • Practice a Different Kind of Yoga:  Any yoga teacher will tell you that your yoga practice really helps you to be in the moment and not think about the future or dwell on the past.  After 15 years of practicing yoga and 8 years of teaching it, I’ve never learned how to be present better than I have with chelation.  Having a chronic condition that completely zaps you and turns your world upside-down forces you to be in the moment.  No plan. No expectation.  And when I had a good day, with a bit more energy to play with the dog or make dinner, it was such a sweet victory.  On my bad days, I tried to continually tell myself that it’s just a bad day and it will be different tomorrow.  I gave myself permission to rest and trust that it would be.
  • Go All the Way:  If you have received a heavy metal diagnosis and you’re thinking about chelation, do your research.  There are supplemental treatments/therapies that your doctor or naturopath should be telling you about and if they’re not, then ask them.  The way I looked at this, if I’m going to pretty much put my life on hold for 6-12 months for this, I might as well give it the best shot of actually working.  So I took my doctor’s advice and went to Colon Therapy or Colonics after each round of treatment (every two weeks).  I was very hesitant at first and even tried to negotiate my way out of this, but my doctor was insistent and I’m glad she was.  It just makes sense that you would want to help your body fully cleanse not only the toxins but the chelation medicine as well.   I also went in for a Magnesium/B Vitamin injection after each round.  These were often painful and created a big bubble on my backside that passersby would catch me trying to massage out.  But, I will say that after each injection, I felt better.  When you’re chelating, the meds are also pulling out good things like minerals and vitamins that you need.  The supplements I took daily and the injections helped to replenish my system. Finally, we ate a pretty clean diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Midway through my chelation, we started eating a plant-based diet.   I firmly believe this really helped my cleansing.  In addition to our plant-based diet, I drank a green smoothie virtually every day and really noticed a deeper lull if I skipped the smoothie.
  • Pray and Ask Others to Pray:  It can be really difficult to share the tough stuff with others.  We all answer the How are You? question with Fine or Great or Busy.  Take time to share the truth, the reality of your life, your burden.  Maybe you don’t share with everyone, but pick a few close friends to let them know the truth.  If you believe in God, pray.  If you have friends that pray, ask them to pray.  There is power in prayer.  I’m so grateful to those that I shared this with who were overwhelmingly positive and who prayed faithfully that I would be healed of this.  I find great comfort especially on my bad days visualizing that I was giving this heavy, frustrating burden over to God.  That I didn’t/couldn’t carry it anymore.  And, that really helped.

I think those are all of the nuggets I have to give.  If you or someone you know is contemplating chelation or in the middle of a treatment, leave a comment here.  Ask a question.  Or just jump into our discussion. I’d love to help if I can…

6 Tips for A Successful Chelation Therapy, Detox or Cleanse

This week, I finished my 10th round of the heavy metal chelation therapy that I started this past spring.  I’m planning to re-test next week and see if I need to do more but in this space where I’m celebrating making it through and hopeful about what’s next, I wanted to jot down some insights.   To re-cap, last spring I tested high for lead and mercury and then embarked on my heavy metal chelation journey.

Briefly, I’ll go over a couple of definitions.  Chelation Therapy is the administration of chelation agents to remove heavy metals from the body. Chelation therapy has a long history of use in clinical toxicology. Poison centers around the world are using this form of metal detoxification.  A “round” for my protocol was 5 days of taking the chelation drug DMSA and then 9 days of taking supplements to build my body back up.  Unfortunately, when the chelation medicine pulls out metals such as lead and mercury, they are also pulling out good things that we need like calcium and magnesium.  So you need to adjust after each treatment and replenish. So, a round = 14 days.  10 rounds = 5+ months.  Doctors tailor the protocol to meet your needs and I would definitely recommend doing chelation therapy under the supervision of a qualified doctor.

While I do not have my re-test results yet, I do think I’ve learned a few things that have helped me and my family get through this process and I wanted to share with you.  I think you may find these insights helpful whether you’re going through chelation or some other sort of detox or cleansing regimen.

  • #1 Detoxifying is HARD WORK and needs nearly your FULL ATTENTION:  I’m not sure how anybody goes through an intense detox like chelation while working full-time or while trying to go about life as usual.  I feel very blessed to be able to focus on the chelation process and work just part-time.  While you may have good, energetic days especially during the supplementation process, you will likely need a nap every day.  At least I have.
  • #2 Detoxifying is HARD WORK:  No, that’s not a misprint.  It deserves repeating.  Try to really listen to your body during the chelation or detox process and give in to what your body needs which will most likely and most often be rest.  Quiet that inner critic that bases  your worth on how many boxes got checked off your list and instead focus on the big important task:  taking care of yourself.  There’s no guilt in that.
  • #3 Go the extra mile or two:  Chelation therapy is expensive in terms of dollars, time and toll on your body and family.  With that said, you want to stack your deck for success by doing everything that your doctor recommends.  My doctor recommended colon therapy (colonics) after each round and a magnesium and b-vitamin injection also after each round.  I believe these two things cost roughly an extra $80 each round.  Again, it’s not cheap — but I’m banking on the hope that I don’t have to do much more of this.  Now back to the ick factor.  Google colon therapy and you’ll get the idea of what’s involved.  But it makes sense; you want to rid your body of both the toxic medicine and the toxins moving about your system.  I will say that yes, it’s uncomfortable, but the benefits to your digestive health far outweigh the ick factor.  More on this in a future post.  The injections are painful but the energy boost you enjoy afterwards eclipses the pain.
  • #4 Be choosy and  mindful about what you eat:  A couple of things happen when you’re going through chelation.  You’re exhausted on the days that you’re chelating and playing catch-up on the days that you’re not.  But somewhere in the process, if you haven’t already done this, you begin to change WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY.  I was already eating fairly healthy, but during this process, we moved even more in the direction of a clean, whole foods and mostly plant-based diet.  I’m not saying that that’s a must — but the more you directly feel the impact of what you eat and how you feel…those subtle changes will happen.  It gets back to the point that you’re doing all of this work to feel better and enjoy better health, you might as well ride that momentum train forward…why not?  You’ll only feel better.
  • #5 Adjust your expectation for activity & exercise:  I did a lot of gentle yoga, hanging on my inversion table and short spurts of cardio and strength training exercises in my living room.  Only now that I’m wrapping up round 10, am I visiting the gym more frequently.  Remember, your body is going through the equivalent of a 80 hour work week on the inside, trying to rid itself of the toxins stored over years.  Give yourself a break, already.
  • #6  Keep a journal:  I know it may sound cliche, but write down how you’re feeling throughout the process.  Whenever your body goes through a detoxification, it’s not just the physical stuff that’s being cleansed.  You’ll notice emotions, old hurts, regrets, disappointments come up throughout this process.  Write them out and think through why you’re feeling this and how you can move through that emotion and not get stuck there.  In yoga class, I encourage students to acknowledge the emotions that come up – positive and negative ones – and release them.  Lastly, journal on the good days too.  Document how you had tons of energy today and enjoyed a long chat with a friend or a neighborhood walk with the dog.  Write down those small victories so that you can re-read them when it’s a rougher day.

 

 

Teeter Inversion Tables – Special Offer for Wellness Junkie Readers

Hanging out on my Teeter

Sometimes we all need to reminded of the great wellness tools that we already own and walk by everyday.  Maybe for you, it’s that smoothie blender or your treadmill that’s become a clothing tree.  Recently one of my yoga clients shared with me that she purchased a Teeter Inversion Table per my recommendation and testimonial.  To catch you up — I’ve owned a Teeter Inversion Table for about 5+ years now and I just love it.  But, we all get into different routines and busy seasons and sometimes some of our healthiest habits fall off the to-do list.  Sadly, this had happened to me with my inversion table.  Then, when my client shared her story with all of her excitement about the relief from stress and pain, I went home and yes, hung upside down with my old friend Teeter.   Now, it’s back in the inner circle of my daily activities and I feel wonderful!

Learn more about how you can try a Teeter Inversion Table in your home for $14.95: Teeter Hang Ups

Even Dr. Oz is talking about the health benefits of inversion:

To view the Dr. Oz spot, he talks about Himalayan Salt first and then the inversion table: Dr. Oz Video

Inverting has a ton of health benefits, and you don’t have to be completely upside-down to enjoy these benefits. Even a slight angle is beneficial.  Here are just a few:

  • Reduces back pain
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves circulation & lymph flow
  • Increases oxygen to the brain
  • Reduces the effects of aging (helps you keep your height, decongests internal organs, etc.)
  • Stimulates hair follicles

Give it a Try…

As a Wellness Junkie reader,  you can enjoy this special offer:Teeter Hang Ups

Learn more about GMO Labeling – Even if You Don’t Live in California

What are we really eating?

Do we really know what we’re eating?  This past week, a massive lightbulb was turned on for me regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  I knew these foods existed but I thought I was doing a decent job of avoiding them by buying organic and avoiding big brand processed food.  It turns out natural and even organic don’t always mean you’re safe from GMOs.   And with no labeling requirements, the companies that use GMOs want to keep us in the dark about what we’re really eating.  Now that I’m researching and learning more, I’m very concerned and want to share with all of you.

California has the unique opportunity to be the first state in the union to require that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) be properly identified and labeled on most food items.  What California decides will affect ALL of us — so if you know of anyone living and voting in California, please forward this information to them and urge them to support Proposition 37.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m sharing with you trusted sources so that you can learn more.  Natural News is a wonderful resource for alternative health remedies, GMOs, and so much more.  I’ve been receiving their newsletters for years.

Natural News Article with other great resources

Infographic that shows you which companies are fighting Prop 37 (GMO labelling) and which are supporting it

More on Prop 37: www.carighttoknow.org

Get involved in your community.  I’m sure groups like this one are popping up as more people stand up to be heard.  Here, in Phoenix: GMOFreePhoenix

With so many dire causes and the upcoming elections…who has time for another cause?  Since this is truly about our food supply and ultimately our health and well-being…I strongly urge you to make the time…. educate yourself on the issue and let your voice be heard.

 


 

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothies

Don’t get me wrong — I love green smoothies.  Mostly, I love the energy boost that I enjoy after the green smoothie…but every once in a while I need a change.  At the farmer’s market this weekend I spotted some gorgeous peaches. The kale and other desirable greens looked a bit haggard so I opted for a little orange and peachy goodness.  Enjoy!

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothie

3/4 c. coconut water or filtered water

1/2 c.  almond milk (or your favorite nondairy milk)

1 peach, cored and sliced

1/2 c. of frozen mango or half fresh mango

1 -2 inch slice of fresh ginger, peeled (use 2 if you like the “ginger” kick)

1 scoop (or serving) of your favorite protein powder. I used Tera’s Whey Bourbon Vanilla.

Since I used frozen mango, I didn’t add any ice.  If you’re using all fresh ingredients, add 3/4 c. to 1 cup of ice to your smoothie.

Ginger Mango Peach Smoothie for Summer

The BEST Natural Deodorant

I’ve been on a quest for awhile – at least 5 years – in search of a natural deodorant that actually works.  The “actually works” part is key, as no one wants to take yoga class from a stinky teacher.  So, time and time again, I’ve had to return to the aluminum and other chemical-filled name brands as my staple.  Not anymore.  My search is over!!

Yes, in the most modest and unassuming place – my local farmer’s market (for Phoenix folks: Central Ave & Northern), I met Frances who assured me that her handmade, all-natural deodorant worked great.   At first, I was skeptical, but willing to give it a try.  For those of you who are not my neighbors, rest assured…you can order Frances’ products Soap Works Scentsations online.  The deodorants are $8 each but keep in mind – they are all-natural, no junk and they totally work.  I’ve waited over a month to write this post to ensure that yes, these deodorants work great.

Just check out the ingredients for the Rosemary Deodorant:

Ingredients: Organic unrefined shea butter, organic virgin coconut oil, cornstarch, baking soda, bentonite clay, kaolin clay, beeswax and doTerra Rosemary Essential Oil.

My husband and I have both converted to these deodorants.  I love the Rosemary scent and he has the Berry Fresh (it’s subtle – not girly at all).  Soap Works Scentsations also has soaps, gift sets, bath teas and great lip balms if you’re stocking up.

So…if you’re looking for an effective all natural deodorant and believe in supporting small, woman-owned businesses… take a closer look at Soap Works Scentsations…

————————–

(I receive no discounts or freebies for this post — just sharing the love of a great product!)

The BEST Eye Cream Ever!

Pure Organics Coffee Bean Eye Cream

Let me just say that dark circles have been my not-so welcome companions for a long time.  Yes, sometimes more sleep and less stress help but I think it’s also just one of my crosses to bear.  So… in my quest to find a gluten-free eye cream that actually worked, I have been delighted to find 100% Pure Organics Coffee Bean Eye Cream.

And yes, I’ve been using this product for a good few months now and I do notice (as does my husband) a difference!  For me, as I mentioned, dark circles are my issue but the product website does talk about results for puffiness and fine lines as well.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Even Dr. Oz is trying it!

Check out this video from Dr. Oz (eye cream is featured at 1:45)

You may be wondering why not get the eye cream at the cosmetics counter or drug store?  Take some time and educate yourself on just what’s in those products.  The website, No More Dirty Looks is a great resource done by gals who have already done tons of research for us and recommend great alternative products.  Think about what you put on your face and body in the same way you think about what you eat.  You absorb those ingredients through your skin so it’s important to know what’s in them.  There. That’s my soapbox.

Enjoy this eye cream and you can even purchase on Amazon with your summer reading… (click on our link to purchase and a few pennies come back to us to help keep WellnessJunkie moving along…thanks!)

Converting to a Plant-Based Diet

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’m always trying new things in the world of health and wellness.  Some things stick and I continue to eat/do them on a regular basis and some turn out to be novelties that just last a short time.  Well, I have a feeling that this is becoming a lifestyle change that is sticking.

Last month, hubby and I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and had dinner with friends (one is a cardiologist) who had already been on the plant-based diet the movie recommends.  After reading more on the diet and critics of the movie, we came to our own conclusion to give it a shot – but also allow for an occasional bit of oil or yogurt as needed.  My philosophy is that by allowing some leniency, you won’t restrict yourself to the point of falling off the wagon in a big, unhealthy way.  Plus, we’re young, no heart disease that we’re trying to reverse, etc.  My motto = Baby steps, people.

With that said, we’ve been on our plant-based diet for about 2 weeks and feel wonderful.  Let me be more specific. In just 2 weeks:

  • Hubby has lost 4 lbs, slight belly is disappearing fast. He has more energy and is sleeping better.
  • My skin looks better (no more breakouts), I’m feeling fuller at meals (thus eating less) and my sugar cravings have dramatically decreased.  And no more sinus trouble.
  • I also have more energy and sleep like a rock.

I will say that my digestive system is adjusting and with that, comes a bit more…gas.  But, I’m assured that that gets better over time.

First, if this interests you, see the documentary Forks over Knives.  It’s on Netflix and likely at your local library.  Watch the movie with your partner/spouse/family as seeing is believing…I was so grateful that my hubby watched it with me which got him on board quickly.  It’s very powerful to see these people improve their health so dramatically.

Next, if you decide to do this, you’re going to need help.  Here are several resources that have already proven to be a great help to me:

Happy Herbivore:  I purchased Lindsay’s latest book Everyday Happy Herbivore and have already found 4 go-to recipes that we both love. And, I can’t put the book down… recipes are simple and easy to prepare in 30 minutes or less.  Note: We only have product links on this site for products that we use. If you click on the link below and purchase the book here, we’ll get a few pennies to help support this site.

Engine 2:  This is the same firehouse featured in the documentary… great resource for “plantstrong” recipes… I especially love their one-dish meals which make it easy to cook every few days and live on the leftovers.

I also have found yummy-looking recipes that are on my list to try but haven’t had a chance yet at FatFreeVegan.

Well…some of you may be thinking – what? 100% plant-based?  No meat, no dairy, no oil?  And it feels like it’s impossible.  How can we possibly get enough protein?  Well… plants and grains have protein…I’d encourage you to check out these resources – Forks Over Knives and the Engine 2 site and learn more.  Educate yourself and consider taking a baby step or two forward for your health.

I’m so glad we took the first step on this journey.

 

No Fail Kale Chips

No Fail Kale Chips

This yummy recipe I cannot take credit for.  But I do have permission to share it from the creators, my Mom & Dad.  While my folks were visiting us in Arizona this past winter, my mom and I baked Kale Chips several times with mixed results.  Sometimes too limp, sometimes too much seasoning and oftentimes burnt.  Nothing like burnt kale chips: all that effort and little reward.

Back in the Midwest, my parents continued to experiment with the heat and duration of baking kale chips and this recipe is the result. It’s easy and flawless.  Feel free to add or change out seasoning.  If you like spicy, chili pepper flakes give you a nice kick.

Kale Chips

2 T. olive or coconut oil (if your coconut oil is solid, place it under a low heat to melt to liquid)

1 bunch of kale (we prefer the curly kind — but any will do)

2 cloves of garlic,  minced

Sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 300.  Mix together the oil and minced garlic in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

2. Wash off each leaf of kale and remove the stems. Place the kale pieces on a towel.   Either roll the towel from one end or place another towel on top to dry the kale.

3. Place kale in oil/garlic mixture and mix until all pieces are coated.

4.  Place kale on cookie sheets one layer thick. Sprinkle sea salt (or pepper flakes).

5. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 and then take a look.  Kale chips should be crispy.  Place on cooling rack.  Eat when cool!

Why Kale?  Here are just a few of the benefits of Kale:

  • Rich in Vitamins A, C, K, Calcium & Iron
  • Good for bones, thyroid health and immune system
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Rich in lutein (for eye health)
  • A Way healthier alternative to store bought potato chips!!

More Green Smoothie Recipes

Lately, I’ve been exploring green smoothies without lemon.  I have a friend that just can’t tolerate the lemons and the greens together.  If that’s you, here are some great smoothie options:

Green Smoothie Love:

1 ½ cup coconut water (or filtered water)

2 handfuls of greens (kale or spinach)

1 banana peeled and cut in half

½ zucchini

1 inch sliver of fresh ginger, peeled — optional

1 apple, quartered

Fresh or frozen pineapple chunks (if you used fresh pineapple, then add a cup of ice cubes)

1 scoop protein powder ( I love Tera’s Whey Protein and Vega All Natural)

1 T. coconut oil

Berry Greens:

1 ½ cup coconut water (or filtered water)

2 handfuls of greens

1 banana peeled and cut in half

1 cup of blueberries or blackberries

1 apple, quartered

1 scoop protein powder

1 T. coconut oil