My Reasons Why

I thought I was healthy. I thought I was fit. I thought the little aches and pains that were becoming more and more noticeable and annoying were due to age. Everybody has something that hurts at my age, right?

One day in January 2016, I’m out and about shopping with the husband. It’s a “man” shopping day and not a “me” shopping day so we’re  out looking at “man things” which for some reason doesn’t include shoe shopping or dropping into HomeGoods. We’re in places that sell camouflage and car parts.

I had finally reached my limit of looking at things I would probably never buy and left him perusing an overcrowded aisle of man things while I decided to check out what else was in this shopping center. Three doors down I spy smoothies through a store front window. Score! I could go for a smoothie.

Once I walk in, I realize it’s not a smoothie shop. It’s Golden Health Pharmacy and they sell smoothies. Killing time, I order a smoothie and start chatting with the owners, Elsa and Melvin. I was honest…I told them I’m waiting for my husband…not in any need of pharmaceuticals but I would wander around and check out their shelves. I notice a product called PaleoCleanse Plus. I’ve been reading about the Paleo diet and I been wanting to do a cleanse, but not enough to actually research it and do it. So Elsa and I start talking about the product.

By time my husband wandered in looking for me, I had made up mind that I was going to do the PaleoCleanse. I convinced my overly skeptical husband to do it with me (because..well, misery loves company, right?). We also both decided to do SpectraCell Laboratory’s Micronutrient testing through Elsa and Golden Health Pharmacy. What’s that you ask? Straight from their website:

What is Micronutrient Testing?

SpectraCell’s Micronutrient tests measure the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and amino acids within our white blood cells.  Scientific evidence shows us that analyzing the white blood cells gives us the most accurate analysis of a body’s deficiencies.

Now, I go and get a physical every year and get the blood tests done and the results come back with cholesterol results and other very basic information. Mine have always come back pretty normal – nothing to worry about. HA!

Micronutrient testing goes much deeper than that. When Elsa got our results back, her first thought was “this can’t be them”. I told you…we thought we were healthy and fit!! The results came back and many were in the blue. Which means deficient! Even more where in the yellow, which is borderline deficient! I also found out that my vitamin B panel was, well…non-existent. My body wasn’t absorbing B vitamins. My results showed I had possible gut issues, which I never would have guessed because I HAD NO SYMPTOMS!! No gut pain, no diarrhea (tmi?), no anything to suggest what my results were suggesting.

micronutrient testing
Sample Results of Micronutrient Testing by SpectraCell Laboratories

But, the wake up call was this: we both found out the we were both well on our way to being pre-diabetic. WTH??? We’re not overweight, and we don’t eat a lot of sugars/sweets/desserts!!! How can that be??

Sugar binge and pre-diabetic
Posted to FB in 2013.

Really, Lynette? You don’t eat a lot of sweets? Facebook had the audacity to remind me of a memory “you posted this 3 years ago today”. Apparently, I had a “post golf round hunger” going on and dropped in at Trader Joe’s. I remember Mark taking this picture. And yes…I was probably doing my happy dance. When evidence like this slaps you in the face, you can’t ignore it. I was eating a lot of sugar.

Add in the fact we didn’t realize (or we conveniently ignored) that the starches and carbs that we were constantly eating turns to sugar in our bodies. Yeah. French fries and pasta were two of my favorite dietary food groups. Seriously…I don’t eat a lot of sugar. Riiiiiggght!!!

And if that wasn’t enough of a wake up call, here’s the cherry on top: our results showed our bodies were handling free radicals only at a 50% rate. Meaning…our bodies were not taking care of free radicals as a normal healthy body should. And according to The National Cancer Institute:

Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells. They are created when an atom or a molecule (a chemical that has two or more atoms) either gains or loses an electron (a small negatively charged particle found in atoms). Free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes (1,2). At high concentrations, however, free radicals can be hazardous to the body and damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. The damage to cells caused by free radicals, especially the damage to DNA, may play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions (1,2).

Abnormally high concentrations of free radicals in the body can be caused by exposure to ionizing radiation and other environmental toxins. When ionizing radiation hits an atom or a molecule in a cell, an electron may be lost, leading to the formation of a free radical. The production of abnormally high levels of free radicals is the mechanism by which ionizing radiation kills cells. Moreover, some environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, some metals, and high-oxygen atmospheres, may contain large amounts of free radicals or stimulate the body’s cells to produce more free radicals.

So now Elsa’s got my attention. But in the back of my mind (maybe I’m in denial??), I’m thinking…all results probably come back like this so companies can sell products, right? Umm. No. A good friend of mine went to Elsa and did the micronutrient testing after mine came back. Damned if hers didn’t come back near perfect.

So, we’re motivated now. Mark and I started the 21 day PaleoCleanse Plus made by Designs For Health. From their website, this explains better than I can what the liver detox does (and it’s the last quote of this page, I promise):

Our bodies detox continuously as a natural function. It’s only when our detox mechanisms become overloaded that the process becomes less efficient and symptoms may occur. Toxins may be internal or external in origin. Pollution or pesticides in our food source put undue stress on our detox organs, the kidneys and liver. Improper digestion and imbalanced gut ecology provide internal forms of toxins in the way of metabolic by-products stemming from certain bacteria which have toxic side effects and therefore impact negatively on overall health by compromising detox pathways. It has been suggested that toxic overload contributes to more serious conditions such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory/rheumatoid arthritis and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The goal of this program is to gently and slowly cleanse your body of toxins that add an extra burden so serious diseases like these can be avoided. This program should turn your liver into a healthy, cleansing machine.

I can only speak from personal experience. Let me state here that I am not in the medical profession nor am I getting paid by any company or product mentioned on this page. I am speaking solely from my personal experience.

Four days into the detox, I mentioned to Mark that the lower back pain I had has diminished. And I mean diminished a lot. I was having trouble turning over in bed without waking up from the pain. Seriously, I had to turn over in The Matrix style – really, really slowly! I wondered if I was imagining it. I’ve got a bad knee from a motorcycle accident I had in the 80s. About 10 days into the detox, it dawned on me that I was getting out of bed by putting my feet on the floor and immediately walking without thinking about it. Previously, I was putting my feet on the floor, slowly standing up, shaking the knee awake so it would support me and then taking my first step. These two pains (lower back and knee) were pains that I thought I would have to live with for the rest of my life…it comes with age. Now, I honestly believe, the detox and the diet choices that are a part of the detox (not eating foods that cause inflammation in the body) reduced inflammation and as a result, my aches and pains were hugely diminished.

After our 21 days, we continued eating paleo. It’s our lifestyle now, not a diet. After six months, we went back and did the Micronutrient testing again to see if there were any improvements. Exhale here. Yes, there were, thank goodness!! Mark’s improvement has been more drastic than mine. He has moved out of the deficient range in most areas. I have moved out of the deficient range on most of mine, but that just puts me in borderline deficient. My B panel didn’t improve much so I went to see my doctor. I am still working on fixing my gut issues, which, is not an easy task. I found out that I had a parasite living in my gut (was that damn thing gobbling up all my B vitamins?), and we took care of that. I’ve added a B supplement now and eating more fermented foods to get my gut’s healthy bacteria back in balance. With the changes I’ve made, I’m hoping my next test will show even more improvement!!

Some noticeable changes for the better: I now sleep through the night (without waking up or being restless multiple times). Which I haven’t done in 30 years!! I never knew how restless and fitful my sleep was until I got a Fitbit 2 years ago. Sleeping through the night is a big deal for me. Also, I can sleep flat on my back without any back pain or having to have a pillow under my knee and, both my back pain and knee pain have diminished considerably!

I’ve not once since we’ve started this lifestyle eating change, have had to unbutton the top bottom of my pants after a meal (we’ve all done that before!). I’ve not felt bloated. At all.

Today, I am a firm believer that we should eat foods that heal, not harms our bodies. What we eat directly affects our health, if not immediately, then most definitely in the long run. You may not have symptoms today, but…by time you do have symptoms…it might be too late. Ok…I didn’t mean for that to sound as ominous as it did, but…I did want it to sound serious!!