How is everyone this fine Thursday? For me, the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful twenty degrees outside. I’ve been hanging out for summer for what seems like a very long time and I’m so excited that it’s finally arrived – well, almost arrived.
For the past two weeks I’ve been cooped up inside, mainly confined to my bed or the couch whilst I recover from surgery. It’s been a bit of a struggle but with my health now my number one priority, things are looking up.
I’ve never considered myself to be an unhealthy person. Sure I indulge in sugar and don’t drink nearly as much water as I should but overall I eat my fruit, my leafy greens and stay relatively physically active. So with all things considered, I never thought for a single second that I would have so many gallstones clogging up my gallbladder that there would be no other choice but to remove the entire organ.
I also never thought I’d hear the words “you have a collection of cysts on your liver” either.
I’ve always heard that health equals wealth but it wasn’t until I was lying on a hospital bed, being methodically prepped for surgery, that I truly took those words to heart.
Without good health what do we really have? And with good health pretty much anything is possible.
Now I know there are individuals out there who don’t have a choice in the matter, and illness is unavoidable due to many varying factors. But for those of us who are born and grow up ailment free, it’s vital that we don’t take that for granted and do everything in our power to treat our bodies like the queen (or king) they are.
I mean, let’s put things into perspective for a minute. If you’re lying in bed feeling under the weather, are you really going to care about your best friends next door neighbours party? The answer is no. Life ceases to exist. Your head is pounding, your muscles ache. All you care about is getting rid of that sore throat and snotty nose. But what if you didn’t have to be bed ridden. What if your health was so optimal that you never had to miss another social event again.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I lived most of my life with the mindset “yeah but that won’t happen to me,” due to the fact I don’t smoke and very rarely drink alcohol. Most people I know think exactly the same.
However when my mother passed away from cancer a few years ago and our family dog was diagnosed with the same disease – and then to top it all off, I discovered that my organs were not working as they should be putting my future life at risk – I decided it was time for a health overhaul.
Now I’m still in the process of researching what foods and herbs are best for optimal health – I’m a big believer and advocate of herbal treatments, and there’s so many books available out there recommended by professionals in the Western Herbal Medicine and Naturopathic field, that I know my education will continue for some time to come, but in the meantime, five things I’ve recently discovered that has been super beneficial to me and to beneficial to some of my closest friends, which is why I want to share them with you all, are the following.
Vitamin D – did you know that without enough vitamin D the body will struggle to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”) which in turn, leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet. Every three to six months I get a blood test to find out what vitamins I’m lacking and almost every time (despite being a sun baby) my vitamin D count is low.
Beetroot Juice – Organic beetroot juice is an excellent source of potassium which is often considered a vital health nutrient and a source of naturally occurring dietary nitrates. Beets is something I never really eat and the juice is hard for me to take on it’s own so I always mix two parts organic carrot juice with one part beetroot juice in a small glass that I drink once a day. Carrots are full of vitamin A which has a ton of health benefits on its own such as eye health, muscle growth, dry skin and so much more.
Echinacea – during the winter months and whenever I’m feeling like a cold may be coming on I take these vitamins every morning with breakfast for a minimum of a week (I usually take a really strong once a day dose). Whilst I’m fighting off an infection I want my body to have the best chance at beating it as possible and whilst eating tons of garlic and ginger in your food certainly helps (which should be done all year round), the echinacea plant will research has shown that the echinacea plant increases the number of white blood cells, which are what fight off infections.
Water – I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with drinking more than three glasses of water a day. I know, so bad! But while I ignored the importance of this healing wonder my organs were suffering in the process. And although it’s still a struggle for me to finish my 1 litre water bottle each day, after discovering that water could have helped me avoid surgery, well, I’m for it now.
Dandelion Tea – with cysts having been discovered on my liver, I immediately went in search of natural ways to detox my liver. Naturopaths and herbalists believe that dandelion root not only reduces water weight but it acts as a liver detox, due, in part, to its ability to increase the flow of bile. Everyday with my lunch I have a cup of this tea and not only is it pleasant tasting, but its doing my liver a world of good.
With all my research so far and much more to come, it really pays to find out exactly what your body needs and/or is lacking, because whilst most of us are on track with some of it, there’s so much more we could be doing.
I know without a doubt I want to live a long, happy and healthy life. Free of anymore surgeries or future illnesses. My body is my temple and I finally understand that. I just wish it didn’t take me losing an organ to come to that realisation.
Love and kindness, Nerissa x