Where’s Leah?

Where’s Leah?  All Over!

Anaheim, CA

 The 16th Annual Wise Traditions Conference, hosted by Weston Price in Anaheim, California was November 12-16th. I networking with other healers and educators while learning all about the cutting edge science behind natural healing.  Also, I will be enjoying fantastic food!  That is something I do not get to do a lot out in public so I’m glad I was able to attend.  Here’s a video of the action.

I added some posts on Twitter and Facebook

In The New Year

I already have several speaking engagements lined up for the New Year and I will announce those as they get closer.  If you know of or have a group that would like an inspirational, informative and engaging speaker, feel free to contact me at Leah@TheFibroLady.com.

 

A Keynote Speaker at a Medical Conference

This might be the most exciting thing I have done to date!  I am one of the keynote speakers at the Southeast Regional Integrative Medical Conference 2016.  It will be held March 4-5, 2016 in Winston-Salem, NC.  

What the most interesting part for me is that I have now gone from doctors not believing me to doctors paying me to hear how I recovered from fibromyalgia, and how they can help their patients recover too.  Isn’t it amazing how life works?!

 

Big Announcement – Everywhere!

And, as I mentioned in The Support article, I will be live everywhere coming January 26-28, 2016 for The Healing Fibromyalgia ~ Chronic Fatigue ~ ME World Telesummit. This is a FREE virtual event, meaning everyone that registers will have free access to listen to the interviews.  

I will be interviewing doctors and other experts in from all over the world to discuss how they are helping people heal from these supposedly incurable conditions.

This is the biggest project I have undertaken since starting to write my book and I am very excited about it.  We will be announcing more details as well as the speaker roster in the coming weeks.

 

Well, that’s about it for now!  Keep up to date on all my happenings on the Where’s Leah tab on my website and stay in touch with me on FaceBook, Twitter, and, YouTube.

Yours in joy and health,

Leah

The Fibro Lady

A Reader’s Question: Do You Believe in Super Foods?

 

Leah Answers Questions super foods A Reader's Question: Do You Believe in Super Foods? Reader QuestionsHere is a question I received recently:
“Do you believe in “super foods” and if so, what do you consider a “super food”?”

Answer:  

Yes and no.  I do not believe there is a silver bullet of nutrition that meets all the needs of every human for long term. While it has been studied that blue green algae, such as chlorella or spirulina, might be used in space for long term travel, I believe we are meant to eat a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods, like our healthy ancestors did.  

There are a lot of wonderful foods that are very nutrient-dense such as liver, eggs and raw butter, which are pretty super in their own rights. But do I believe there are some exotic foods from remote places that are super? Maybe. For example, medicinal mushrooms, such as Agarigus Blazei, are pretty amazing and I have had spectacular personal results with them.  

People’s food today is so lacking in nutrition that the addition of nutrient-dense super food really seems to make a big difference for them. In my book, Freedom from Fibromyalgia: 7 Steps to Complete Recovery, I list “The Freedom from Fibromyalgia Superfoods,” which are the 11 foods that are so powerful they are like supplements and should be eaten daily (see the list at the end of this article).  [Note:  this list does not contain supplements, such as cod liver oil, probiotics or other amazing food-based supplementation, just actual powerful whole foods.]

My suggestions is to try out various foods and see how they work for you.  However, in the end, a diet of traditionally-prepared whole foods is what has been healing and healthy for thousands of years.

If you would like more information on an Agarigus Blazeii mushroom extract  (buy before December 31, 2016 and save $5.00) and a fermented spirulina-based probiotic that I personally take to maintain my health, go to Ripples’ Health Shop.

If you would like to submit a Reader Question, just email Leah@TheFibroLady, subject, Reader Question.

List of Potential Super Foods

  1.  Bone broths
  2.  Liver/organ meats
  3.  Poultry eggs
  4.  Raw/fermented dairy
  5.  Sauerkraut/fermented vegetables
  6.  Beet kvass
  7.  Coconut oil
  8.  Lard
  9.  Apple cider vinegar
  10. Unrefined sea salt
  11. Mineral water

Fibromyalgia Support at your Finger Tips and an Announcement for 2016

There are Fibromyalgia Support Options! fibromyalgia support Fibromyalgia Support at your Finger Tips and an Announcement for 2016 inflammation 30

Why provide fibromyalgia support? I am on a personal mission to help people recover from fibromyalgia and its coexisting conditions.  To reach this goal, my team and I offer multiple resources to support you on your healing journey, most of which are FREE.  You don’t have to go on this journey alone, we are here to help you!

Virtual Fibromyalgia Support

  • On the The Fibro Lady YouTube Channel

    • Fantastic how-tos and tips for natural recovery
    • Leave comments on the videos
    • Subscribe and be notified when we release new videos
  • The Unconventional Traditional NewsletterLose 15 pounds - Free Fibromyalgia Support  fibromyalgia support Fibromyalgia Support at your Finger Tips and an Announcement for 2016 Lose 15 pounds cover

    • Conveniently delivered right to your inbox
    • Cutting-Edge Natural Health and Living Information
    • Subscribe today on the form on this page
    • When you subscribe you will automatically receive the free ebook “Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 30 Days Without Starving, Exercising or Stressing

Interactive Fibromyalgia Support

  • The Fibro Lady Facebook Page

        • To insure you get to see all the posts, on the “Like” button click on the arrow and chose to receive all notifications
  • The Fibro Hope Support “Closed” Facebook Group

        • This is an online support group that I personally monitor daily
        • To join the group, search for “fibro hope support” on Facebook  or go to www.facebook.com/groups/fibrohopesupport and request to join the the group.

In-Person Fibromyalgia Support

  • One-on-one Private Coaching
  • Monthly Packages
  • Unlimited email coaching
  • Local Support Groups – The Fibro Fighters

    • We are currently developing curriculum for local support groups nationally
    • Right now we have two groups on Meetup.com

Big Announcements!  Coming Soon:

    • January 26-28, 2016
    • 12 Experts in Natural Healing sharing actionable information
    • The first-ever event of its kind!
    • Bonuses and surprises!
  • 3D Fibromyalgia Healing Teleseminar
    • Starts February, 2016 after the World Telesummit
    • Put the information you learn in the Telesummit into action!
    • It spans over 6 weeks of information, bonuses and interaction where everyone gets to hear everyone else’s questions.  
  • Resource List of MORE Practitioners

    • We will be enlisting more help with recovery from healing professionals all over through The Freedom from Fibromyalgia Certification Course for Healing Professional.
    • Once complete, these professionals will be listed by specialty and geographic area

We have been very busy and we have exciting plans going on now and in the near future to provide even more fibromyalgia support options.  Stay tuned!

Yours in joy and health,

Leah

 

 

Healing Lunches to Go

How to Prepare Lunch to Go with Ease

Finding decent food away from home can be difficult and expensive.  It might surprise you but I pack a meal with me quite often.  It’s healthier, tastier and a lot of times, just more convenient.  I have a “formula” for my lunches so I am sure to include all of the food groups that are important to me:

Protein (sliced cold cuts, hard boiled eggs, leftover chicken, canned tuna)

Fat (cheese, sour cream)

Ferment (raw sauerkraut, beet kvass)

Soup/Stew/Broth (chicken soup, chili)

If you are making a bag for your husband or child, add the following for more carbohydrates:

Fresh fruit and/or veggies with dipping options of sour cream, yogurt or peanut butter (apples and peanut butter, strawberries and whipped cream, blueberries and yogurt, celery and cream cheese)

Milk (whole, unpasteurized and not homogenized)

As long as you have all those components showing up you are guaranteed a healing and fulfilling meal.  This is a typical example of what you might take in an insulated lunch bag:

Meat “Salad” – this combines protein, fat and ferment

Hunk of raw cheddar cheese (fat)

Thermos of broth (see Raise the Dead Chicken Broth Recipe)

Cucumber slices and sour cream (veggie, fat and ferment)

Mineral water to drink

To keep soup hot, fill a small thermos with boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes.  While that’s going, heat up the soup or stew on the stove top; pour the water out of the thermos and immediately put my soup in.  It will keep warm for several hours and the warm liquid really helps me to feel full.

To keep milk or other beverages cold, fill a drink thermos bottle with ice water, (this one is really great for kids because they can open it themselves), let sit for five minutes, pour out the ice water and immediately pour in the milk.

Put milk and other foods in an insulated lunch bag with a reusable frozen cold pack.  Pack whatever eating utensils you will need, plus a napkin.  Thicker glass containers are great for anything cold that might leak, such as the Meat “Salad.”  This is all pretty easy to set up and almost everything can be put in the dishwasher for cleaning.

I have used this system for several years now and it really works!  How do you eat healthy while you are out and about?  What tips have you found that really work for you?

 

Partners in Healing

Healthy Eating  organic food in usa Partners in Healing Me and Joel Salatin

Recently I was at The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund Food Freedom Fest and Business Summit hosted by the Nutritional Therapy Association in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.  A spectacular setting for a fantastic event!!  I got to meet healing professionals from all over the country and I even got to meet a personal hero of mine, Joel Salatin, The Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-Farmer from Polyface Farm (sorry for the poor quality picture).  There is grass fed beef and other pasture-raised products available in the US mainly due to the efforts of Joel Salatin and people like him.  When farmers raise food that is nourishing, people are able to heal quicker and more completely.

In my book Freedom from Fibromyalgia: 7 Steps to Complete Recovery, one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle I discuss is healing nutrition.  When one is recovering from fibromyalgia, good food is a necessity, but often difficult to acquire, much less prepare.  Now there is a short-cut: Paleo on the Go.  I met the owner of Paleo on the Go, Dave Rohdi, at this same conference.  He takes the high quality food made by farmers that are like-minded with Joel Salatin and makes them into ready-to-eat meals that can be shipped anywhere in the country.

If you are too sick to cook, too busy to cook, or you just don’t want to cook, but you want the highest quality, nourishing food like I make, I think Paleo on the Go is a great option.  While the way I eat is not strictly Paleo, the Paleo Diet is actually fairly close to what I do.  Dave sent me some delicious samples of his food and I was very impressed.  The quality and ingredients were outstanding, they were easy to heat up, and the portion sizes were perfect, just right!

My favorite was the Decadent Fudge, made with just dates, organic raw cacao powder, coconut oil and honey.  No refined sweeteners!  There was enough in the pack I could share with my son and husband too.  My second favorite item was the Elk Burger with Wild Mushrooms.  I was shocked by how tender the meat was.  When I reorder the next thing I want to try is the Thai Chicken Soup-Tom Kha Gai.

Paleo on the Go has a wide variety of foods, even those without nightshades in the Auto Immune Protocol Section (no nuts, seeds, nightshades or eggs).  They also have BROTH!  Real, honest to goodness broth that I am excited to tell you about.  I think the prices are also really fair, about the price you would pay for an entrée at a chain restaurant, but gourmet-quality food.

So here is a great deal if you want to give it a try, use coupon code FIBROLADY at www.PaleoOnTheGo.com for $20 off your first order of $150 or more.  I would love to hear about what you ordered and what you thought of it!

If I Can’t Have Sugar…

Sugar Cravings  If I Can't Have Sugar... sugar cravingIf I Can’t Have Sugar, What Can I Have?

It is my belief through years of trial and error that one of the biggest reasons for pain in fibromyalgia is sugar consumption.  No one wants to hear this and I’m often asked, “If I can’t have sugar, what can I have?”  First, you are an adult, you can do anything you want.  You can continue to do whatever you want, you are the person that faces the consequences.  However, if you are serious about getting out of pain once and for all then it is time to take a serious look at eliminating sugar, and foods that act like sugar.

The Feedback Mechanism

There is a system present in your body called a feedback mechanism which alerts you to sensitivities and allergies to food and other products.  Most people who are symptomatic of fibromyalgia just kind of feel bad all the time and have no idea which food or combination of foods is causing which symptom.  It really is impossible to tell and lab tests are not very helpful with this either.

The first time I tried getting off sugar, I white-knuckled it for about a month.  At that point I was still highly symptomatic with fibromyalgia, but after a short time without the sugar, my pain medication started working better and I was much more comfortable.  However, I was still really craving sugar and after about a month I finally succumbed in a big way. Then I noticed I was in so much pain, especially in my back and shoulders.  I had my feedback mechanism in place!  I could finally see the cause and effect of my diet because I had removed the gunk.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Forever

My suggestion is to try to go one day without sugar.  Just one day and see how it goes. You will probably not notice any significant health improvements, but in this day and age it is actually a really big deal to go one day without sugar.

Next, go one week without sugar.  You don’t have to get fancy, just one week without ingesting obvious sources of sweetened foods.  You will probably start to notice improvements in everything from joint mobility and body pains.  If you are taking pain relievers, you may start to notice them working better.

Finally, set out to go one month without sugar. Once you make that, your feedback mechanism will be firmly in place.  At that point you should be able to gauge how much sugar it takes to start feeling bad.  So in my case, one piece of cheap-quality grocery store cake is enough to hurt my back and give me an immediate headache, so it is actually not tempting at all to turn down cake at a party.

However, one scoop of gourmet ice cream every once in a while seems to have little effect on me other than gaining weight, which although I’m not happy about gaining weight, I’d rather that than be in pain.  So I can have the occasional high-quality treat and not succumb to pain.

There is Help

Like I mentioned it above, the first time I tried cutting out sugar I “white-knuckled” it.  I just went by shear will power.  I don’t suggest that, it is very difficult.  Nine out of ten of the cells in your body are actually not you, they are microbial life forms.  So when you have a sugar craving, it’s not just you, it’s them too!  So to help keep the natives calm, the best way I have found is to flood your system with microbial life that does not crave sugar, with a therapeutic-grade probiotic.  (See the article here on Why You Need a Therapeutic Grade Probiotic.)

Eating other foods rich in probiotic life forms such as raw sauerkraut and beet kvass are also helpful.  For intense cravings, I suggest a chunk of raw cheese.  I also suggest applying magnesium oil every night to head off chocolate cravings.

Finally, a detox bath of 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup sea salt (like Hain’s) is one of the best ways to help your body get into balance.

There are alternatives

If you are avoiding sugar, then you want to be on the lookout to avoid the following ingredients as well because they can set off cravings for sweets:

Nutrasweet

Aspartame

Sucralose

High fructose corn syrup

Sugar alcohols such as Maltitol

Also, avoid super sweet fruit such as dates, grapes, melons, pineapples and figs.  Instead try berries and citrus fruits such as grapefruit.

What you can try is the herb stevia.  It is available in powder or liquid, but I like the organic, least-processed form the best.  It can satisfy a sweets craving without triggering more.

Later, after your feedback mechanism is in place, you can try foods that have unrefined sweeteners to see how they affect you.  Here is a list of some unrefined sweeteners:

Honey

Maple Syrup

Jaggery

Date Sugar

Unfortunately, you may not be able to eat much of any kind of sweetened foods.  I am basically “allergic” to any kind of sweetener.  If I eat sugar, I usually feel the effects pretty quick.  If I eat something with honey or maple syrup, I generally have a little more leeway, but too much too frequently and I feel pain again.  Now, I want to clarify, I am not in so much pain I need to take any pain relievers.  I feel uncomfortable and that is my feedback mechanism letting me know I have overdone it.  If I were to continue, then I would probably see a cascading of negative outcomes and I really don’t want to go there.  I would rather forgo the sweet and live the sweet life!

 

Why You Need a Therapeutic Probiotic

Why You Need a Therapeutic-Grade Probiotic

organic probiotic probiotic Why You Need a Therapeutic Probiotic organic probiotic
All the steps in Freedom from Fibromyalgia: 7 Steps to Complete Recover are important for complete recovery of fibromyalgia and the coexisting conditions, but I get asked often if there was only one thing I could do, what would it be?  My answer is always Step 3: Quickly Begin to Heal Your Gut.  If you heal your gut, then that will eventually make the way for all of the other healing.  (That being said, if you do all seven steps in order it is the fastest, most efficient way to heal from fibromyalgia, of which I am aware.)

If you have the symptoms of fibromyalgia, rest assured you have a damaged digestive system (gut).  You more than likely have other issues as well, such as toxicity, but the digestive system is at the crux of most of the issues with fibromyalgia.

Healing your gut is actually a long and slow process which can take years.  The only way I know of to jump-start the healing process is to use a therapeutic-grade probiotic at high levels for an extended period of time (thirty to ninety days or more)  This, combined with a simple no-fake-food diet, and a detoxification element such as zeolites, is what we call The Healing Cleanse.  (You can find in-depth information about this process in Freedom from Fibromyalgia: 7 Steps to Complete Recovery.)

Probiotics fortunately are receiving mainstream attention and now you can buy them everywhere.  I remember trying the yogurt and the various “pearls” all to no avail.  So what’s the difference between foods such as yogurt and raw sauerkraut, supplements you can buy in stores, and the supplement that saved my life?   Foods are great for maintaining gut health, while probiotics at the store are just not very strong because they do not contain multiple strains of beneficial microbes that colonize like therapeutic-grade probiotics do.

 

Features to Look for in a Therapeutic-Grade Probiotic:

  • Several strains of beneficial microbes such as:
  • Lactobacilli
  • Bifidobacteria
  • Beneficial yeast strains such as Saccharomyces boulardii
  • (antagonist to the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans)
  • Colonizing
  • Organic
  • Free of gluten
  • No GMOs, artificial coloring, flavorings, or preservatives Every batch tested

Therapeutic Grade Probiotic probiotic Why You Need a Therapeutic Probiotic prescript assist probioticThe brand of therapeutic grade probiotic I use is SH FermPlus Pro.  (I use a maintenance amount daily and a few times a year I do a “detox” for a period of time.)  This is the probiotic I consider to have saved my life, and I know a lot of others that feel the same way about it.

If for some reason you cannot use SH FermPlus Pro, perhaps maybe there is an ingredient in it you are allergic to, then my second choice is Prescript Assist.  It is available in chewable tablets or capsules.  (SH FermPlus Pro is only available in a powder that needs to be mixed in water.)  I give the Prescript Assist chewable tablets to my child who is too small to take capsules, and I use the capsules while traveling.

The main point is to address healing of the gut.  If you would like more information on this subject, get my free eBook, Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercising, Starving or Stressing (by signing up for my newsletter) and see the section on “The Healing Cleanse.”  Feel free to contact me, Leah McCullough, at www.TheFibroLady.com or at The Fibro Lady on FaceBook and Twitter. This video also explains the difference. Once you begin this process, there are ways to maintain a healthy gut. You may have to seriously consider what you eat and drink. When you are ready, please visit the site, check out the recipes and sign up for my newsletter, which will give you great ideas for continuing to heal and take your life back!

Pets for Fibromyalgia

Why Do Many Chronicly Ill Patients have Pets?

Pets & Fibromyalgia pets Pets for Fibromyalgia Annie and LeahI get to talk to people every day that have a chronic illness of some kind.  When talking about comfort measures, an often overlooked one is pets.  When I was severely ill with fibromyalgia and its coexisting conditions I had several pets that meant the world to me.  They were part of my family and my link to the world.

I lived in a two-story house and I had to go down both flights of steps to let the dogs out into the yard.  Some days it was all I could do to get up and down those steps to let them out.  I was actually wishing for a one level house, which, ironically now that I’m well, I now live in.  But going up and down those steps, and letting them outside and interacting with them, was part of the bridge that kept me in this world.

It can be very difficult for “normal” people to understand how isolating it is to have a chronic illness.  In my case, I lost my job, I lost most of my friends; my family relationships were strained, and at the worst points, the only “social” interactions I had were with health care providers.  I wasn’t shopping, going to restaurants or going to movies.  I felt like an elderly shut-in person, which is awful for anyone but, for an outgoing and friendly person such as myself, that is even more terrible.

There were times when I was so depressed and in so much pain that the only things that kept me in this world were my husband, my parents and my pets.  My sweet little pets were my non-judgmental friends that were a great comfort to me.  Petting and interacting with them was a tangible way to get some much needed social and emotional stimulation.  I was very fortunate that my husband was able to take care of the litter boxes and take the dogs for a walk.  The only thing I could do with them was let them out into our fenced back yard, as I mentioned above.

When I started to recover, my fur babies were right there with me.  In the mornings I would get up to spend some time with my husband before he left for work.  Normally, after he left, I would go back to bed, and sometimes that would be the best sleep I could get.  As I started to recover, I started sleeping normally and I didn’t have to lay down in the morning.  After my husband left in the morning, the gang would start trotting down the hall to the bedroom, but when I didn’t follow they got confused.  This was one of the signs for me that things had really changed.

Be Fibro Free pets Pets for Fibromyalgia Issy and Leah 2One of the more “impossible” things I thought could never happen was horseback riding:  I was too heavy, my boots wouldn’t fit because my feet had grown, and my knees were shot.  Much to my surprise, after I lost 70 pounds, my feet and calves shrunk so much that my from college fit again and my knees didn’t hurt anymore.  I began taking riding lessons again and after an over 20 year hiatus I was shocked how my body remembered to ride.  It was wonderful!

I have been so well for over seven years now so all those precious pets have now gotten old and passed away.  We wanted to wait awhile before we got any more pets, but the house didn’t feel like a home without a dog and a cat.  After our last cat died we only waited three months before we got our new cat Mitzi, and after our last dog died we only waited five months before we got our new dog, Annie.

What types of comfort measures have you taken that have worked to alleviate the social and emotional isolation that having a chronic illness makes?  Also I would love to see a picture of your fur babies, preferably with you!

A Mission of Recovery #FibroFree

Share your Recovery Stories #FibroFree

Be Fibro Free  A Mission of Recovery #FibroFree Complete Recovery from FibromyalgiaIn case it is not obvious, I am on a personal mission to let people know that fibromyalgia does not have to be a life sentence.  People are recovering from it all the time, all over the world.  I want to highlight and celebrate what people are now able to do through pictures.  In social media, if you put the hashtag symbol, #, in front of a phrase, it will set it apart for search engines and groups.  To inspire and motivate others, I am putting up pictures of myself and others doing amazing things now that we are #fibrofree.

So far I have put up kind of mundane things like the putting the wash out on the line, but I have put up other pictures like being in a giant bouncy ball (it was so much fun!).  I could have NEVER done any of those things when I was sick!  Now I can do anything I want:  I have energy, strength and endurance.  I get up every day excited about life and I live it.  This is what I want for others to know:  this is possible for you too!

Run half marathon fibro free  A Mission of Recovery #FibroFree run a half marathonJoin the Fibromyalgia RECOVERY Awareness movement and post your pictures with the #fibrofree, even if you are still recovering, we want to celebrate with you!  Then we can meetup on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.  Also feel free to Like “The Fibro Lady” while you’re at it.  I can’t wait to see how you are living your life #fibrofree!

 

Yours in Joyful Health,

Leah

 

The #1 Food for Energy

What is the best food to increase energy?

Recover from Fibromyalgia and improve reproductive health  The #1 Food for Energy Leah and new babyDo you need more energy? Besides pain, the main symptom of fibromyalgia that I found life-wrecking was the severe fatigue.

After I recovered, I felt like I had a “normal” amount of energy, but that I could do better. After having my baby, and then running around after a toddler, I needed more energy in order to fulfill the desires of living my dream life. I found it with the number one food for energy…liver.

you can run a marathon  The #1 Food for Energy anything is possibleMy results? I literally went from the couch to the finish line! In just 3 days of consuming liver I felt a major difference in my energy and mood levels. This gave me the extra oomph I needed to start to exercise. I went on to train and complete The Air Force Half Marathon in 2014. Here’s a picture of me at the finish line.

I believe these results were so quick in part because I had already detoxed and healed my gut, the first part of my recovery.

In my book, I talk in-depth about how liver is so nutritious and 3 painless and easy ways to get it into your diet. One is by eating it with a mixture of spices and other meat, such as in my recipe Energizing Chili,

The way that I had the best results was by making my own liver “pills,” but that is not always feasible, especially when I travel. The least painless and easiest way to incorporate liver into your diet is with Desiccated Liver Capsules, and I have found a brand that uses grass-fed beef and is not defatted. This is the brand I use and recommend.

Yours in Joyful Health,

Leah

From now until August 31st you can get the Desiccated Liver for a special price of only $14.95 a bottle with coupon code JULY15. You can order as many bottles as you like! Each product from Ripples’ Health Shop, LLC comes with further detailed instructions for using them.