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Recipe: Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup 3

In No Kinda Mood for Raw Veggies

In these last days before we officially welcome the Spring season, there’s a lot of health-conscious folks getting ready to start their full body detox or cleanse. Spring is actually a really good time for renewal, and certainly a better choice than January 1st (in the dead of winter) to be convinced that a plateful of raw veggies looks appealing.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not there yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to all the spring fruits and veggies! But with thunderstorms and cooler temperatures still keeping me dressed in layers, I’m in the mood for something to warm my insides. So if you’re looking for a great way to start transitioning into a lighter, healthier diet while still looking for a little comfort food, here’s the best of both worlds: a bowlful of delicious veggies in a steamy, fragrant broth!

The Ingredients

2-3 bunches of kale (I prefer lacinto “dinosaur” kale because it’s less grassy tasting than the “lacy” kind)

4 leeks (white/light green parts, sliced)

1-2 zucchini, diced

2-5 carrots, diced

Juice of 1 lemon

4 peeled garlic cloves

½ tsp red chili flakes

3 celery stalks, diced

2 cans cannellini beans

1 tbsp tomato paste

3 quarts vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

2- 3 tbsps olive oil

Shaved parmesan (optional)

Sliced French baguette, lightly toasted (optional)

Leeks are fabulous. They tend to be sweeter than yellow or white onion, with the extra flavor of a green onion. But watch out for the dirt! I like to use a second cutting board away from my other ingredients to prepare them:

Cut off the dark green stalk (it’s woody), cut each leek in half lengthwise, and then slice. Put the sliced leek in a large bowl of warm water and slosh them around (in the sink) and the dirt will sink to the bottom:

 

Strain, rinse, and set aside.

Speaking of rinsing, now’s a good time to drain and rinse your cannellini beans, too:

Kale has become popular due to being full of nutrients and fiber, and I’m also drawn to it because I like the bite of bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion root, and radicchio. Not everyone in my family agrees, so I try to cook them in a way that balances out their flavor. In this recipe, I use the leeks and cannellini beans to add both a creamy texture and savory flavor to the soup.  

To prepare the kale, stack 8-12 (washed) leaves at a time and roll them from the stalk side up. Then you can easily slice them into thin strips. Set aside.

Ok. The rest is going to happen quickly, so you can go ahead and get your soup pot heated to medium high, then add 2-3 tbsps olive oil. Let the oil heat a minute or so and add in your washed, drained leeks. Season the leeks lightly with salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium.

While your leeks are softening, mince 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp fresh rosemary, and dice 3 celery stalks. Add them to your leeks:

Stir and let cook another couple minutes before adding in your tomato paste and red chili flakes:

The thing about tomato paste (whether you add it in a soup or anything else) is that it’s important to let it cook out. It’s kind of like “ripening”; the heat both intensifies the flavor and mellows out the rawness.

Stir it in!

As you can see, it almost looks like we added flour. Instead, we’ve created a great thickening base that will add body to the soup.

Alright, get ready to deploy your stock. I used (3) 1 quart cartons. By the way, see all that good stuff sticking to the bottom of the pot in the background? That’s flavor. Be sure to loosen all that up to incorporate into the soup as you pour in your stock. Then give everything another stir and turn it up to high heat. While it comes to a boil prep the last of your ingredients:

 

The juice from one lemon (strain the seeds). Dice your carrots and zucchini. Set the zucchini aside.

Once your soup has come to a boil,

add in the lemon juice, sliced kale and carrots:

Isn’t it gorgeous? Just like you ;). Cover and turn down the heat. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes. Uncover and then add your cannellini beans:

Gently stir them in. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes.

Serve hot, adding the zucchini to each serving bowl and topping with the shaved parmesan if desired:

 

You can also enjoy with some toasted slices of French baguette :)

Thanks for reading!

Be GoldenWell.

Dannelle  

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

  • Dannelle LeBlanc

Toxic Talcum Powder: The Tip of the Iceberg for Women, African-American, and Latina Consumers 0

You may have heard the news about an African-American woman named Jackie Fox who died from ovarian cancer, allegedly caused by the use of baby powder containing talc, a mineral also found in some makeup, adult powders/deodorants, condoms, and foundations.

Based on a report by the American Cancer Society: “talcum powder particles applied to the genital area, on sanitary napkins, or on condoms may migrate to the ovaries, where they can cause damage. Studies have found a higher risk of ovarian cancer among talc users.”

Read on to see why that last sentence is particularly relevant to African-American and Latina consumers.

It has now been reported that Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer of the talc powder that Jackie Fox used, has been ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family on the grounds that J&J was aware of the possible link to ovarian cancer in consumers who use feminine hygiene products containing talc. It can also be harmful if inhaled.

Johnson & Johnson is only one of hundreds of personal care and cosmetics companies that are virtually left to self-regulate in the U.S. Thousands of potentially toxic chemicals end up in the products we use everyday, but for now let’s look at talc as an example to see how this happens.

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Deny, Deny, Deny

A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson stated:

“The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome.”

With an understanding of how scientific data can be interpreted to benefit industry giants and experience reviewing clinical studies in support of beneficial (or damaging) effects of a specific product or compound, this statement echoed the tactics employed by the tobacco, BigPharma, and processed food industries.

I’m calling bull on the statement that the association between talc and ovarian cancer “goes against decades of sound science”. How is it possible to go against “decades of sound science” when minimal inquiry has been made in decades past regarding the possible link to cancer? Sound science is in some instances driven by ROI rather than seeking the truth that can save lives; nobody’s gonna buy a new town home off the money from studying the health effects of talcum powder!

The growing body of more recent evidence, however, makes this defense much harder to swallow. So the soundbite in defense of Johnson & Johnson only works if you’re a consumer who’s unfamiliar with the potential harmful effects of your favorite product ingredients (and unfortunately that’s most of us). It’s also vital to find sources of information outside the 2 minute segment allowed to most media outlets, who in many cases are sponsored by the very industries they are supposed to be reporting about.

Studies finding varying risk levels for ovarian cancer associated with personal use of talc should at least merit a warning to consumers.

If you're interested in checking them out for yourself, here's a few:

Cramer, D. W., Liberman, R. F., Titus-Ernstoff, L., Welch, W. R., Greenberg, E. R., Baron, J. A. and Harlow, B. L. (1999), Genital talc exposure and risk of ovarian cancer. Int. J. Cancer, 81: 351–356. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19990505)81:3<351::AID-IJC7>3.0.CO;2-M
Chang, S. and Risch, H. A. (1997), Perineal talc exposure and risk of ovarian carcinoma. Cancer, 79: 2396–2401. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19970615)79:12<2396::AID-CNCR15>3.0.CO;2-M
Terry KL, Karageorgi S, Shvetsov YB, et al. Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa). 2013;6(8):811-821. doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0037
Ness, Roberta B. et al. Factors Related to Inflammation of the Ovarian Epithelium and Risk of Ovarian Cancer. Epidemiology: March 2000 - Volume 11 - Issue 2 - pp 111-117
Nicolas Wentzensen and Sholom Wacholder. Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: Epidemiology Between a Rock and a Hard Place JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (9): dju260 doi:10.1093/jnci/dju260 First published online September 10, 2014

FDA Appears Impotent to Ensure Safety of Personal and Cosmetic Ingredients

While talc (and thousands of other chemicals/ingredients) in cosmetic and personal items has been banned by the EU (European Union) and other countries, here in the U.S. it appears that we’re willing to experiment with people’s health for the sake of commerce.

Although the FDA can act on evidence of harm related to cosmetic products, it is not required to review cosmetic products for safety.

So I’m curious; now that a lawsuit has implicated talc as being related to the death of Ms. Fox, will the FDA now act on the evidence found? While the FDA has been monitoring potential adverse health effects of cosmetic talc use, the assumption has been that cosmetic talc products are safe because they are (now) asbestos-free:

Asbestos, once used as an ingredient in many commercial products (including talc), is now banned in many instances, regulated since the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. However, the FDA’s statement that scientific results linking (non-asbestos) talc and ovarian cancer is “non-conclusive” is the same stance concerning over a thousand other suspected harmful ingredients that are banned outside the U.S.:

It seems to me that if we are aware that something is even POSSIBLY a carcinogen,  consumers should be warned against sprinkling it around the most sensitive things (like babies? or cha-chas?!?)

Increased Risk for African American and Latina Women

In a recent report by the nonprofit organization Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), it was noted that women who use feminine hygiene products may be exposed to known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Squirm if you need to, but let’s look at it anyway:

Latina and black women are at even greater risk of potential chemical exposure due to being more likely than other women to use powders, deodorizers, douches, and wipes.

 

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And it seems that these types of companies have done their market research. Have you ever noticed the type of personal products emphasizing minority women?:

It’s a little uncomfortable to talk about. Frankly, I’m uncomfortable. But talking about something that usually remains private is preferable to reading about the premature death or illness of another Jackie Fox.

Now that you’ve glanced beneath the surface of the iceberg, be sure to subscribe to stay informed!

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Be GoldenWell.
Dannelle

P.S. A great resource to check your personal products for toxicity is http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

References

Scranton A. Chem Fatale: Potential Health Effects of Toxic Chemicals in Feminine Care Products. Missoula, MT:Women’s Voices for the Earth (November 2013). Available: http://goo.gl/BgIwdu [accessed 22 February 2016].

Czerwinski, B.S. (1996) Adult Feminine Hygiene Practices. Applied Nursing Research. Vol.9, No.3. pp: 123-129. August 1996.

 Zota, A (2012) Descriptive statistics on feminine hygiene use among U.S. reproductive-aged women, NHANES 2001-2004. Personal communication. 2012

Nicolas Wentzensen and Sholom Wacholder. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (9): dju260 doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju260

Terry KL, Karageorgi, et al. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013 Aug;6(8):811-21. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0037. Epub 2013 Jun Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls.

Cramer, D. W., Liberman, R. F., Titus-Ernstoff, L., Welch, W. R., Greenberg, E. R., Baron, J. A. and Harlow, B. L. (1999), Genital talc exposure and risk of ovarian cancer. Int. J. Cancer, 81: 351–356. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19990505)81:3<351::AID-IJC7>3.0.CO;2-M

Talcum Powder and Cancer. American Cancer Society (November 2014). Available: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer [accessed 25 February 2016].

 

DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

 

Using Essential Oils On My Father-in-Law With Parkinson’s 0

For the last few months, my father-in-law has been calling my husband and I several nights a week, telling us he wanted to “go to his own house”. He has Parkinson’s and is beginning to suffer increased signs of anxiety and dementia, especially in the evening. He doesn’t like taking medications that make him feel “foggy” or “slow”, and I don’t blame him, so we weren’t sure what to do other than try to talk to him.

I’ve made dietary suggestions over the years that were not to his liking (he’s a sweets monster!), but there was something else that I hadn’t tried: essential oils. Even though my father-in-law has lost his sense of smell, he didn’t have to smell them in order for them to be absorbed through the skin. I did some research specific to Parkinson’s and anxiety, and decided to try a mix of lavender and melissa oils mixed in coconut oil.

It was one day last week when I walked over to his house with the oil mix (he lives a couple houses down from us). He had called minutes earlier, confused and disoriented. I gently massaged his hands, arms, and behind his ears with the oil blend for about 20 minutes. He seemed to enjoy it, and appeared calm and more centered by the time I left. He has home-based assisted living 24/7 now, and so I left the essential oil blend to use as needed.

It’s been over a week now, and neither my husband nor I have received one of those late night calls. Of course I can’t scientifically prove it was the essential oils, but it sure is interesting, isn’t it?

Thanks for reading!

Be GoldenWell.

Dannelle

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

  • Dannelle LeBlanc

Recipe: An Immune Boosting Soup 4

My family knows that sneezing and coughing in my presence is likely to result in a prescription for dinner. The good news is that the remedy is savory, light, and delicious! One of my favorite ways to fix a bad cold is a homemade, immune fortifying soup or stew.

So when one of my lovely sisters was still battling a cold after a week or so, I invited her to come over for a meal. The most potent immune builders in this recipe are the simplest: onion (both white and green), garlic, red chili pepper, mushrooms, and ginger. Here’s the rest:

TIP: If you’ve never shopped in an Asian grocery store, this ingredient list is a great opportunity to appreciate a produce section with a fantastically different variety! You’ll find everything you need in one place. Get organic whenever you can.

The Ingredients

For a quick, printable version of ingredients, click HERE

After I gathered every available family member in the house to come and look at my beautiful pile of vegetables, I proceeded. My sister was bringing her precocious 3 year old son, my sweet nephew Ro, so I wanted to be close to done by the time they arrived. The recipe serves 4 and takes about 25 minutes to cook.

Cooking Guidelines

In a large stock pot, add:

8 cups veggie stock and bring to a boil. Add fish heads and rest of fish body, lime leaves, and bok choy stalks. Lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

While stock is simmering, prep veggies:

Slice onion, bok choy, mushrooms, zucchini, radish, green onion, seaweed, and basil. Dice the turnips. Set aside until the stock is ready.

Have you ever noticed how vegetables cut Asian style are somehow more satisfying than normal? I was thinking about that as I was slicing, so I cut the zucchini into match sticks:

Here’s what the roasted seaweed looks like:

Once you’re done prepping your veggies, carefully strain your fish stock into a large soup pot. Add 1-2 tbsp red chili paste (to taste) and 1 tbsp miso paste.

Peel and zest garlic and ginger directly into the pot. I like using a citrus zester like this one:

 

TIP: If you want to enjoy another helping for lunch the next day, I recommend setting aside some of the broth, along with some of each of your prepared veggies and halibut to keep their texture (that’s also why we’re adding the ingredients in stages)

Add the onion, bok choy, and mushrooms to the pot. Cut your halibut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup to simmer for 5 minutes.

This is an appropriate place to add additional photos of the food prep, however, right about now is when my sister and nephew arrived. And so instead of more slicing and dicing photos, this is what I have for you:

My nephew Ro :). Clearly, you understand what happened. I was overwhelmed by cuteness!

But back to business…….

Add zucchini, seaweed, turnips, and cellophane noodles, cook for another 5 minutes.

To finish off your immune-boosting soup, garnish with slices of radish, green onion, basil, and alfalfa sprouts. So delicious and satisfying!

Serve immediately (large spoons recommended!)

Thanks for reading!

Be GoldenWell.

Dannelle

 

P.S. I’m happy to report that my sister is feeling better! :)

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

Healing from the Inside Out: Repairing My Immune System 0

(If you haven’t already read the blog posts “The Smorgasbord of Symptoms and the Prescription Cornucopia”, start here)

Where to Start When the House Is on Fire?

Once I’d made the decision to replace the prescription drugs with natural therapies, I began my research. With the few pieces of the puzzle that I could recognize, I understood that my immune system had been compromised, suppressed for years; I had avoided seasonal colds and flu most of my life, but I was now contracting nasty respiratory infections at least twice a year. My immune system was out of fuel. I hadn’t yet made the connection to my digestive system, so my primary concerns were:

  • To rebuild my immunity/decrease inflammation
  • To manage the painful itchy skin eruptions

Rebuilding My Inner Immunity Army

A battered army is not rebuilt overnight. The symptoms that had accelerated over a period of years would likewise require a period of time to be resolved. Healing required adding/increasing nutritional defenses as well as removing/decreasing the sources of damage. When it comes to healing/managing auto-immune disease, or creating health in general, one of the most important things to understand is that FOOD IS MEDICINE. The food we eat actually provides direct communication with our bodily cells, informing them how to perform. Here’s a summary of how I got started (I’ll share the rest of the missing pieces in later posts):

 

 

 

 

I have purposefully avoided specifying amounts of anything, because in order to improve your health, it’s important to evaluate how your body responds to the changes you make, and to adjust accordingly. And that’s good news for those of us who love french fries: you don’t have to be perfect, just keep moving in the right direction (fry them in grapeseed oil at home!)

Regardless, the results you get are going to reflect the nutritional value of what you consume. In my case, although the symptoms did not immediately go away, I did begin to feel marginally better within days of changing my diet.

You Can’t Go To the Grocery Store Slathered in Petroleum Jelly

During this period of time I was almost always at home, where I didn’t have to explain my appearance to strangers. But since I was no longer using the topical steroid clobetosol, I needed to find a way to control the skin eruptions, at least long enough to get to the grocery store and back without looking crazy. As long as no one could see me, I thought the best way to keep the open cracks in my skin covered was copious amounts of petroleum jelly (if I’d known better at the time, I would have found a toxic-free alternative). But you can’t go to the grocery store slathered in petroleum jelly! I’ve tried. People will notice....

And the petroleum jelly didn’t address the itchiness. I ended up stumbling upon a product online for both itchiness and cracked skin which included aloe, zinc, allantoin, and some other ingredients. Over the next several years I found a much more effective natural solution, but at the time it was better than nothing.

The other side of my epidermal defense happened in the bathtub. I started by learning about and using bentonite clay. Here’s something cool to know about how and why bentonite clay works (don’t check out on me here, I promise it will be brief!).

Bentonite clay has negatively charged ions:

And as it turns out, many toxins, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms have a positive charge, and bentonite clay attracts them due to it’s negative charge as well as it’s porous nature, which easily absorbs toxins!

Along with the bentonite clay, I added the following to my bath water:

Raw apple cider vinegar

Essential oils known for boosting the immune system, including:

  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Tea Tree
  • Lemon
  • Lavender

(stay tuned for more on essential oils)

How I figured out what to do next

I was headed in the right direction, but it was not enough. I had minimal control over the skin eruptions, and my gut was still protruding in front of me as if I were just a few months away from giving birth :/. Over the course of the next year, I began to understand that my body was basically in a cycle of auto-toxicity. Improving my diet was a great start, but I also needed to address all the extra waste I was carrying around.

Did you know that most of us, particularly in the United States (and other countries eating a typical western diet), carry up to 30 lbs of waste in our colons? Yeah, gross. But isn’t it better to know so you can do something about it? I believe so. I’ll tell you what I learned about internal cleansing, but before I do, I’m going to share some immune boosting recipes with you, coming soon!

Thanks for reading!

Be GoldenWell.

Dannelle

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References:

Blum, Susan M.D. (2013). The Immune System Recovery Plan. New York: Scribner, 41-59.

“The relationship between body ph and disease and other facts you’re not supposed to know.” Healthwyze. Online publication. http://healthwyze.org/reports/361-the-relationship-between-body-ph-and-disease-and-other-facts-youre-not-supposed-to-know. January 26 2016.

“PCB’s in farmed salmon: Factory methods, unnatural results.” Environmental Working Group. Online publication. http://www.ewg.org/research/pcbs-farmed-salmon. January 25 2016.

 

DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

 

  • Dannelle LeBlanc

The Smorgasbord of Symptoms and the Prescription Cornucopeia: Part 2 0

(If You Haven’t Already Read Part 1, click here)

When the Cure is Worse Than the Disease

I understand there will be some who might think that it was crazy to stop taking the prescription medications. What I might have left unclear is that I did not want to stop taking them. They gave me moments of “somewhat normal” where I did not feel as if I was going to lose my mind from severe (like in my bones) itching and pain.  

The problem was that the moments of “somewhat normal” were getting shorter and the meds less effective, while the symptoms accelerated.

I began to seriously suspect that the prescription cornucopeia was not all it was cracked up to be when:

      • I discovered that Clobetasol (brand name Clobex), the steroid ointment and solution that I had been slathering all over my scalp, neck, torso, and arms, was particularly hazardous to the endocrine system. Clobetasol is classified as a “Class 1” steroid, meaning it’s super potent and is the strongest prescription you can get outside of a clinical administration setting. It had been prescribed by a physician for his diagnosis of folliculitis, which “manifests with crops of pustules that result in permanent scarring.” It was the closest explanation I’d gotten so far for what was going on, and by this time I was grasping for anything that would make the nightmare stop.

        The package insert (for the brand name Clobex) states that too much “passing through your skin can cause your adrenal glands to stop working.” I was never advised of potential damage to my endocrine system (affecting internal hormones, metabolism, and other body systems), and I was using MULTIPLE forms of Clobetasol, over a period of months, which is considered to be an extended period of time.

        Other potential side effects of Clobetasol include skin atrophy, hypopigmentation, telangiectasis (chronic dilation of the capillaries and other small blood vessels), and striae (narrow ridges in the skin).

        There was no heads up from the prescribing physician.

        There is a name for disease when caused by the course of medical treatment. It’s called iatrogenic, or doctor-induced disease. In other words, the “cure” is worse than the disease. Iatrogenic deaths are now the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States of America!

        References:

        http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/021835s006lbl.pdf

        http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/death-of-americans-the-medical-system-is-now-the-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-the-u-s/

        Further evidence that the prescription cornucopeia was less than satisfactory:

          • The only way I could sleep (and get away from the symptoms) was to knock myself out with a pill. And each morning, for years (even after I stopped taking all the prescription drugs), I had to fight my way awake. Often it would take hours for me to get out of bed.
          • After each round of steroids, the next flare up was significantly worse. By worse I mean more severe, lasting longer, with shorter duration of “recovery” periods between flare ups.
          • One of my doctors kept repeatedly asking me if I was using a “hot-comb” in my hair (to explain why all my hair was falling out). He asked multiple times, and each time I answered “no” he raised his eyebrows at me with a skeptical look. Either somebody mistakenly told him all black people use hot combs, or he was looking for a reason why he wasn’t equipped to help me.
          • A specialist finally suggested I take Risperdal, a primarily anti-psychotic medication, because it would help me to NOT FEEL ANYTHING. And I had actually fired the previous specialist to see this Risperdal guy.
          • I never got a diagnosis that made sense – or a treatment that didn’t just attempt to suppress the symptoms I was experiencing - from any of the doctors who treated me. Eventually I learned that it really didn’t matter what the disease was called, as long as I could address the causes of the symptoms, rather than just treating the symptoms one by one as if my body were some kind of mechanical device.

          Let me say here that although I was extremely frustrated that these doctors could not help me, I do not blame them. For the most part, I think they were actually a little frightened that they didn’t know what was going on, yet were medically responsible for me. The fact that my deteriorating health was treated primarily as a dermatologic problem, without association to the systemic toxicity, swelling, and limited digestive function of my body, reflects a growing need for healthcare professionals who understand and practice whole body medicine.

           

          The Day I Knew These Meds Would Kill Me

          And that brings me to the day I understood that these meds would kill me. I was kneeling in the doorway of my bathroom, waiting for the tub to fill. The water was now the only place for me to be where I felt any relief, however temporary. By this time my entire face, neck, and upper body was covered in what I can only describe as hardened, black scaly flakes. It was disgusting and f@*&%!g scary as heck. Here’s what my neck looked like when a flare up was on it’s way to unbearable:

          Although a part of me is embarrassed to show you these photos (and they’re not the worst!), I’m doing it anyway, because it’s important to understand that the health, joy, and beauty I have today came after ugliness, sickness, and despair. Regardless of your current state of health, if you want lasting health and wellness, it is going to come from nurturing from the inside, not from any temporary solution that can be prescribed.

          In my case, stopping the steroids would mean that I would have to experience the full blown effect of whatever the hell this was, but I knew I wouldn’t survive the consequences if I opted for the temporary relief of another steroid dose pack. It would be a

          It was in the process of fully embracing my decision to do without the prescription drugs that I found what I call my “golden well”. For me, it was the source of resolve I found within myself when it seemed that no one in my local medical community could help me. Another word for it is “faith”, because trusting that this nightmare was going to come to an end was certainly a belief in sights unseen.

          In next week’s blog I will share with you how I began to reclaim my health. Hopefully someone reading this will be helped by my experiences, including my mistakes. One thing I know for sure: pursuing my health through natural means is the reason I’m alive today.

          Thanks for reading, and don't forget to subscribe below!

          Be GoldenWell.

          Dannelle

           

          Subscribe to our mailing list

          * indicates required
          DISCLAIMER: The content of this site should not be taken as medical advice. The conclusions expressed herein are those of the author. Neither the content on this site nor any links to other sites are intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning or altering your health regimen or course of treatment.

          Trademarks and copyright are the properties of respective owners, including Golden Well, LLC.

          • Dannelle LeBlanc