Thoughts on the Journey

Top 5 Ways I Deal With Stress

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Stress is a common occurrence in our world. In fact, it’s so usual that may of us wonder if something is wrong if we aren’t feeling stressed. The whole—I must be forgetting something— stress! So the unfortunate fact is that stress is something we interact with on a regular basis. But just because it’s around us doesn’t mean that we have to participate in it, or even fight it. But before we can properly deal with stress, we first need to understand exactly what it is. Let's explore some of the definitions of stress according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.Common definition of stress: In common English language, stress means “a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.” This is a definition we are familiar with, and is true. But I don’t think it is big enough to expresses the whole meaning of the concept of stress. Let’s explore a few other meaning of the word “stress,” because I think it will help us better understand this thing that we deal with on a regular basis. Stress means emphasis: We also use the words stress to bring attention to something. If you want someone to understand your meaning, you stress certain words as you speak or write it. For example, I want to stress to you the importance of recognizing stress. I think, to some extent, we are the ones that chose to emphasize certain circumstances, shortcomings, or negative possibilities, thus increasing the stress we feel. Think about the last few things you were stressed about. Out of those, how many became more stressful because you put an emphasis on them? I know that this has been true for most, if not all of the things I have recently been stressed about. There are hard things we all have to deal with on a regular basis. But at times I think we create a larger amount of stress because of the emphasis we put on things. To be clear, not all stress is of our own creation. There are things that come at us that are stressors. And our body is made to gracefully handle stress. My point is simply that sometimes we increase or add to our stress by emphasizing difficult circumstances. Stress is not just emotional: Stress is also defined as “a physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.” Stress can come from tense or drawn-out situations, relational tension, the environment including pollution, loud noise or colors, bright lights, cold or hot temperatures, sickness, a nutritional-deficient diet, chronic disease, exercise, and many other things. Stress should not be continuous: Our body is designed to handle stressful events. Otherwise we would not have been able to run away from the tiger. But most of us now live in a series of stressful events that have no break between them, and often overlap and pile on top of each other. This leads to an imbalance of hormones. And these never-ending stressful events are what are involved in many disease causation. When we live in a never-ending stressful state, this final definition comes into play. Instead of being stressed, we become stressed, meaning: “a state resulting from a stress; especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter and existent equilibrium. In this state our body is no longer responding to a stressful event, but it is forced to live in a state of stress. This compromises our body’s natural balance, and does not allow the body to be in equilibrium. Our body does best when it is balanced. When we are out of balance, the functions of the body are automatically operating at a disadvantage. So now what? I probably didn’t have to convince you that stress was bad for you, but hopefully you are feeling more hopeful and empowered knowing that some of the stress you experience is within your control to change! Now, what are you going to do about it? Here are the top 5 ways I deal with stress. You will notice that none of these tips includes moving to Mexico to live on a beach. While there are times it is good to remove yourself from certain stressful circumstances, most of the time it is enough to simply change our thoughts and response to our current life situation.

Five Ways to Reduce Stress’ Effect

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.0.85"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ales-krivec-32094-unsplash.jpg" alt="Fight Stress By Getting Out Into Nature" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#1 Get Out into Nature!

Spending time in nature does several things. First of all, spending time in nature, grounding, gardening, and doing things like forest bathing reduces stress, brings your body back into electrical balance, increases happy neurotransmitters, improves your immune function, and increases your creativity. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Secondly, being in nature gives us perspective. It reminds us that the problems that seems so ginormous to us are really only a small part of the picture of the world and universe. And being out in nature also shows us that we are not the end-all be-all. We did not create ourselves, let alone the world around us. And when we start thinking that way, that load of responsibility we are carrying around can get lighter. When I’m in nature, I’m reminded that God made me, and put me right here and right now. He also made what I see—the huge mountains, and the delicate flower. He is strong enough and detail-oriented enough to handle my problems! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#2 Eat the Right Foods

The foods we eat affect how we respond to stress. Foods that contain vitamins A and D (among others) like butter, lard, and fermented cod liver oil help us deal with stress better. Foods containing the B vitamin complex, especially vitamin G, help our body stay strong and well while under stress. Moderate levels of carbohydrates (can be from vegetables and fruits) support our adrenal glands when we are under periods of stress. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/canstockphoto42100462.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" alt="Fight Stress by Eating Foods High in Vitamins A + D" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

And certain minerals, especially magnesium and iodine, increase our ability to handle stress better. One of my favorite things to eat when I am under stress is already-cooked spaghetti squash, fried up in many tablespoons of butter, and salted generously with a whole salt like Real Salt. This side, eaten as a snack or with a meal, really supports my body. If I threw in some liver, I would have a pretty complete stress support meal!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/blur-board-game-cards-776654.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" alt="Fight Stress With Play" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#3 Play!

Remember how we discussed that some of stress is an emphasis on the hard, difficult and bad? The best way to balance this is to go out and play! Have fun! Laugh! The best way to do this is to get out and move. I don’t mean go exercise—I mean go play! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

Maybe take a dance class. Or go out clubbing. Or go to an open gym or trampoline place and jump in the foam pit. Or play chase with your dog. Or join an indoor soccer league. Or you can stay in: play a board game with friends. Sign up for a murder-mystery dinner. Attend a wine and paint night. Do something you enjoy, preferably with people who you can laugh with! Leave the electronic devices in the car, and practice being a kid again! And remember, while alcohol is not inherently bad, you can have fun without it!

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#4 Listen to/ Play Music

Music helps with our stress at a little different level. While I’m sure science can show that certain hormones and neurotransmitters are affected when we listen to music, we all have experienced the connection that music has with our soul. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/adolescent-beauty-blur-235534.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" alt="Fight Stress by Listening to Music" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] This has been recognized for most of recorded human history. Music can be powerful. It can help us connect with and express emotions that we cannot put into words. It can also influence our moods. When you are choosing music, it’s best to choose something that connects to how you are feeling, but also something that brings you up. Listening to songs that help you cry or yell* are helpful to bring an initial connection to your emotions, but after connecting and feeling fully, you will want to start choosing songs that help you remember good things, and bring you to positive emotions like loved, supported, and even excited! Sometimes we do this automatically, and other times we need to be in tune with our emotional journey, and make choices that support the direction we want to go. *Releasing emotions is, in itself, healing. Emotions that get “trapped” in our bodies can cause disease, pain, and tension. This is one of the reasons why we feel better after a good cry. It’s not just “in your head.” Crying and expressing anger release emotions that could hurt you in the future if they stay trapped inside. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image _builder_version="3.0.85" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/rawpixel-com-423663-unsplash.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" force_fullwidth="off" show_bottom_space="on" alt="Fight Stress by Talking About It" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]

#5 Talk About It

So many times we increase our stress because we are feeling and acting alone. Many times we do this because we don’t want to be a burden on someone we love. Other times we think “it’s not a big deal,” or “I’m the one who got myself into the mess.” [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] Here come a couple of truths: 1: No matter how big something feels to you, it won’t be as big of a burden when you share it—to yourself and to the people you share it with. 2: If you are trying to keep a burden from someone you love and care about, they know already! They may not know exactly what is going on, but if someone (like your spouse) cares about you, they already know you are carrying a burden. One of the most loving things you can do is show them you trust them by sharing the burden. Even if you think “it’s not a big deal,” it is a big deal to you, which means it will be a big deal to the person who loves you, because YOU are a big deal to them. 3: We all mess up. And we all can use a helping hand at times to get out of the mess. Have the courage to ask for help. This will empower other people to ask for help themselves when they need it. Talking about it does so much good. It brings things out into the open and shines a light on them. So many times our fears come from the unknown. Pulling something out and examining it in the light (with other people) take a lot of power away from fear, which in turn will decrease our stress. Also, talking helps us release emotions, as we talked about above. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"]   Okay, that’s my top five! What are the top ways you relieve stress? Let me know what they are in the comments below. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my own advice and do a little stress relieving after making this article deadline!

Onward!

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The Silver Lining to the Omnivore's Dilemma

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.85" background_layout="light"] In 2006, a book was published that sought to give the reader a better understanding of where their food comes from. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan followed three major tracks, or sourcing, of food. The public reaction to this book was significant and varied, and it evoked discussion from vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. The main premise of the title is discussed in chapter 17 of the book (among other places) and presents the idea that we have a particular dilemma facing us (humans): we have a choice (perhaps even moral and ethical in front of us) because we can eat anything. So what do we choose to eat? I appreciate Michael Pollan’s exposure of the true nature of the environments in which most of the food that we purchase is raised. I also agree with him (and many others) that there is a weightiness to our position as meat-eaters. It is this weight that I want to talk about today.   I believe it’s important to realize the weight of death. I think it helps us.   I don’t think the act of eating meat is immoral or unethical. But I do think that eating without a thought of responsibility is wrong. Except for the last hundred years, humans have been completely connected to the food (animal or plant) that they ate. They either had to raise, hunt, gather or cultivate their food. They took responsibility for caring for the plants and animals that were to become their food because they understood that these things were connected to their own life and health. Now, with mass production and commercialization, we have become removed from this natural responsibility and awareness. That being said, we can still make conscious choices about the food we purchase: we can make sure we know where it comes from and how it was treated. But I think we have the potential to lose something if we are that removed from food. Something big and underlying. When I say “we” I am talking about the collective “we” of our modern culture. And I know there are many discussions we could have in relation to food about toxins, hormones, antibiotics, nutrient density, and animal treatment. And although these are important, that's not what I would like to discuss today. Today I want to discuss what I think are some of the  moral and ethical implications of being removed from raising and killing our own food. As I said earlier, I think that being exposed to and understanding the weight of death is important. I think it strengthens our idea of responsibility, and gives us an attitude of soberness about death, which causes us to put a value on life.  

Let me explain with some examples:

  When I was growing up I learned the responsibility of caring for animals on our “hobby farm.” My parents taught me the importance of putting the needs of the animals in our care before my own. As these animals were domesticated and confined, they were unable to provide for themselves. They depended on us to give them what they needed to live. I understood (and experienced) that a lack of care or attention on my part could lead to an unintended death.

Lesson: Growing up in this environment taught me that it’s my responsibility to care for things that are weaker. When we believe that it is our responsibility to care for those who, in that moment at least, are not able to do what we can, we will not bully and abuse them. This is true not only for how we treat animals, but also for how we treat people.

    As an adult, I have had some opportunity to keep the chickens, ducks, geese, and pigs. The lives of these animals were then fully in my hands, and even unintentional mistakes or omissions could and did have life or death consequences. Awareness of that responsibility would get me out of bed in the middle the night, or cause me to carry water down a steep hill in freezing temperatures so my animals could drink.

Lesson:Increased responsibility taught me that I could be depended on, and that there are consequences for my actions. Learning how to shoulder responsibility, be dependable, and take responsibility for actions are all admirable and desirable character qualities that will help any person succeed in their life.

    When the time came for these animals to be in the freezer, I did not send them to a processing plant, but did the slaughtering and butchering myself. In this way I allowed my animals to die the same way that they lived, happy and without fear. While it cost me emotionally to do the killing myself, it was something I was glad to do. I had accepted responsibility for these animals, and I wanted to fulfill that responsibility to the end of their life.

Lesson: Processing my own animals for meat helped me to put others before myself. When we think of others first, we learn to treat people with kindness, and we can develop good, lasting relationships.

    The last few years I have attempted (with some success) to obtain my meat through hunting—true wild-caught, grass feed meat! In case you've never been hunting before I'll let you in on a little secret... the animals have a HUGE advantage. Their natural instincts give them the ability to hear or smell us and leave the area often without us even being aware of their presence. When I am successful in my hunt (which doesn't happen every year—including this one), I am excited and sobered. Excited at the prospect of good quality, delicious meat (I love elk!). But sobered because there is a weight to death—all death—even that of a wild animal.

Lesson: Soberness is a correct and helpful emotion to have in regard to death. It's an important experience for everyone to have (in one way or another) because it helps us remember the value of life. It's vital to regard life as precious, and something to be guarded and cared for, not thrown away carelessly.

    To summarize, I believe that having a correct understanding of the soberness of death has significant implications. It will cause us to treat all living things with care and love (preventing bullying and animal cruelty). It is a way we can learn and practice responsibility and accept consequences. It teaches us to put others first. It motivates us to spend quality time with those we love (because we remember that they won't be there forever). And it causes us to reflect on our own mortality (which is a good thing to think about sometimes).   Now I’m not saying that you have to live on a farm for you and your kids to learn responsibility and soberness about death! There are multiple ways to teach responsibility and soberness that don't include raising and killing your own animals. You can teach your child the responsibility of care with a pet, or even through simple chores. You can take responsibility in knowing where your food comes from, and invite your children to be part of your decisions. You can tell them that you expect them to treat every living creature with gentleness and care, and give consequences if they don’t obey. You can explain to them your convictions about animal treatment and talk about food quality on a regular basis. There are many opportunities for you to show your child the precious gift that is life, and teach them about responsibility and kindness. My point is that it’s maybe just a little bit harder, and takes a little more effort to pass on these things in our modern world. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing. The good things are always worth fighting for. That’s why I believe that it’s a blessing to be an omnivore. There is a loss of life so we can eat, but that creates opportunities to experience deep life lessons when we face the weightiness of death. So there you have it, the silver lining to being an omnivore!  

Onward!

  This post contains affiliate links. Your trust is important to me, and I only recommend products that I trust. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Living in an Epic

[et_pb_section bb_built="1"][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.0.77" background_layout="light" border_style="solid"] I love epics! When I read, watch or listen to a story that shows gives me a glimpse or sniff of the epic, there is something inside me that reaches deep, finds courage, or gathers strength to face whatever I am facing in my life. Or reminds me that my life is pretty easy... that happens too.   Is this just me?   Anyone else?   I know that epics help me so much in my everyday life, so I try to put them in my everyday (or at least a few times a week) life.*

*This may be re-reading an number of books (the Lord of the Rings series, Narnia series, The Seeker series, The Space Trilogy, The Inheritance Cycle, various biographies of missionaries or historical figures, or even The Little House on the Prairie series (especially The Long Winter). It may also be from thinking about Epics I have read (at least in part) in the past, like the Odyssey and Illiad. It may also be from watching the movies that go with these books. It is not unusual for me to be reading one or another of the books in this list, along with health or business books I am reading. (Right now I am at chapter seven of LOTR: The Two Towers.)

  Today I want to share some reflections that I have concerning epics. Maybe you've thought about or experienced some of these things before, and maybe you haven't. But I believe that there is something inside each of us that responds to the essence of an epic tale. And I think there is good that can come from that response.  

One of my epics-of-choice is Lord of the Rings. While I do enjoy and watch the movies, the books give a deeper picture, a chance to immerse with the characters and experience what they are experiencing as they journey in the race against evil.

I've lost count of how many times I've re-read this series, but each time I read through it, there is something that soothes my heart, makes me feel understood (or helps me understand something), or gives me a different perspective. (I think this happens because each time I read it I am in a different place—I am experiencing something new or in a different way, or I have learned more.)

  But the personal strengthening I get from reflecting on these epic tales generally falls into one of three categories.     #1 Your story is important!Each of us have a story (or journey). And that story (journey) is important. Frodo may seem to be the star in the Lord of the Rings, but there are multiple stories involving different characters that are interwoven (at times) with each other. And in most cases, if the characters in those other stories did not act courageously, or if they had made a different choice, perhaps the great and evil Sauron would not have been overthrown. Every person is important:

  • Without Sam's support Frodo would have never made it

  • Without Merry and Pippin's appearance Isenguard would still be standing

  • Without Eowyn's care for her people Theoden could not have gone to war

  • Without Bilbo's gift Frodo would have been skewered by a troll in Moria

  And there are so many more examples! While the comparison isn't (of course) exact (as far as I know, there are no trolls), each of us something important that only we can do with our lives. And what we choose to do (and that we don't give up) affects others in ways you may never know. You are important! Your life is significant, no matter how it feels. I mean, most of what Frodo did was walk! But would anyone say his part was insignificant?     [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial" _builder_version="3.0.77" background_layout="light" border_style="solid"]

#2 There is a bigger picture!

So many times I am just putting one foot in front of the other. One more morning that I got out of bed. Several meals cooked and eaten. Another work day finished. A detox bath done. Lights out. I need epics to remind me of the bigger picture! As you read or watch any epic tale in which great deeds are done, I challenge you to pay attention to the timeline.

  • How many miles did that person walk before they found adventure?

  • How many days at sea before they found the next island?

  • How many years of study before they became a Plato?

  • How many failed experiments before they invented the lightbulb?

  I never used to notice the timeline. And I was always frustrated that my big break hadn't come yet, or that I was still in school, or that I wasn't where I wanted to be in any number of areas in my life. Then I started to read phrases like "they traveled 2 weeks" or "he studied that language for 5 years." And I realized I was missing something. I want to achieve the great thing now. I want to be done with the journey now. But that's not how it usually works (really, almost never!). Even "The Greats" did not become great in one night, or many. Years and years of hard work are often represented by a single sentence in their biographies. Because most of life's achievements are accomplished in the mundane. But those steps, mile after mile, are what prepare you for your great moment. And one day each of those steps will be the accomplishment of a journey. And one day you will probably notate all these hard years with a single sentence as well.    

#3 You are not alone!

It is common to feel isolated. Most people do (about 72% of Americans, according to a study done in 2016). We see loneliness in epic tales as well.

  • Frodo felt he had to make the journey to Mordor alone.

  • Aragon felt alone when Gandalf fell in Moria.

  • Merry and Pippin felt alone when they were captured by orcs.

  • Gimli felt alone when he was grieving Balin's death in Moria.

  • Gandalf felt alone when he was betrayed by Saruman the White.

  You may argue. "You don't know my life. I am alone." I believe you! I believe that you feel alone! But that does not mean you are, or that you have to be. Frodo thought he had to go to Mordor alone (and tried to), but it was right and good that Sam went with him. Here are two reasons why you are not alone.

First:

You have people around you who love you. People who care about you and would miss you if you were gone. They may be bad at expressing it, but I KNOW you have at least one person in your life that cares. Because if you truly can't think of anyone else who cares about you, I care about you!

Also, there is another person who cares about you, and He cares way more than I ever can. His name is Jesus, and He died for you. I know He cares about you because He also cares about me. He has helped me and loved me in amazing, real ways! If you want to know more about Him and how He loves you, please reach out to me. (I also share some more about it in this post on hope.) 

 

Second:

You are not alone because your experience of loneliness is something that we all experience. Everyone you know has experienced or is currently experienced loneliness in their lives. And while we may not get to hear the story of those around you (although I encourage you to ask), we can see this common human experience reflected in the epic tales. The reason why epics resound so strongly with our spirits is because we know that we too are part of an epic tale. We alone can feel the true weight of a burden, feel the exhilaration of our victories, or the crushing weight of fear or feeling alone. We are the only ones who can walk each of the steps of our journey.   But we don't have to do it alone! At each step along the way there are companions. They may not be the ones you would choose (Frodo and Sam did not want Gollum to be with them, but they needed him). Some are only for a season (like the Fellowship), and others stay with you until the end (like Sam with Frodo). Look around you. Who do you have next to you? Who may be your companions right now? I know how it is to feel alone. I have felt alone most of my life. I know that it takes tremendous courage to reach out. To get to know the people around you. To risk getting close to them even though you may get hurt. To initiate relationship again and again. But everyone feels alone and scared. Everyone is hoping for a friend to go through life with. But someone has to take the first step. And not everyone you reach out to will be your Sam, but someone may be. And maybe you will be a Sam to them. But you won't know unless you try.   It takes courage to live in an epic. Dangers are near and frequent. Patience and long-suffering are needed. But only in an epic is the victory so notable, and success so sweet, and the ending make you cry with joy. And only when I view my journey as an epic tale can I bring into perspective the hard things in my life. For I know deep down inside that I was created for something great! Something eternal! Something magnificent! Can you feel it too?   Our lives are epics. That means there will be wonderful things and horrible things that happen in them. But isn't it good to know you are in an epic? Then you aren't surprised at what you find around the next bend.   So take courage! And journey,  

Onward!

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It's Not Always Best to be Perfect

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Grass! It's a wonderful thing to lay in the grass and look up at the sky! Until this weekend, there have only been a few tufts of grass on my property. Most of the landscaping is river rock and mulch. But there was one area of dirt that I have had my eye on for grass, and on Friday it finally happened! With some (okay, a lot) of help from my sister, we laid patio stones (for a fire pit), pounded in metal edging, and hauled and laid 50 rolls of sod (transported in two trips in the back of my Santa Fe). Viola! Instant lawn! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Padfood4months.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="20px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid" custom_padding_last_edited="off|phone"] Padfoot was quite interested in the goings-on... although he preferred supervising from on top of the rolls of sod still in the back of the car (sorry, I was too dirty and tired to think about getting a picture of it, you'll have to take my word for how adorable it was) or playing in the dirt. Silly puppy didn't want to be on the grass until we were almost done. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] In keeping with my desire to be as chemical/pesticide/fertilizer free as possible, I did some research about grass to find out my best option. A quick internet search revealed: There probably isn't such a thing as organic sod, or if it does exist, it would be WAY more expensive. It's possible that sod contains significantly lower amounts of chemicals than I was expecting. While dogs do eat grass, they eat little of it. It would be unlikely that a little grass eaten from a non-organic lawn would be a problem unless I regularly put chemicals on it (which I don't plan on doing). It appears to be possible to get organic grass seed (about $40 to cover 1000 square feet), but I still had questions about what they put in the seed mixes. There was not a huge price difference between any sod company, especially for the small amount of ground I needed to cover (about 500 square feet). So then I was faced with the question... do I just get sod (and take whatever chemicals may be included) or do I get seed so I can get an organic yard? The decision may seem very black and white...the only option for organic grass is seed. So you may think that of course my choice was seed. But first I had to factor in what I call "the reality of life."  

Here is my reality of life:

I am not very good at watering and there is no sprinkler system. If I did seed, the chances of needing to re-seed at least once are high. This adds more time and money. I would have to research if I needed fertilizer or other additions to make my seed grow, and then pick from the available options. It is now the middle of summer. I was planning on doing grass right when I got so sick two months ago. Now it's July. If I want to enjoy a lawn this summer, sod would be faster. My landlord sprays for weeds. He is spraying less with me here (I'm pulling weeds as much as I can), but the ground already has years of stored chemicals in it. It's not organic soil. I've never seeded, but I have laid sod. My brain can only handle so many new things to learn at one time. And learning how to raise an organic lawn didn't feel like the correct focus for me right now. If I sod, I can immediately put up and use the clothesline I bought a month ago (this truly factored in to my thought process, I love line-hung clothes, and I don't have an electric drier).  

So I decided to buy sod.

From Home Depot. I paid with a credit card. I picked it up and put it in the back of my car. You can't get any less alternative than that. But my goal is not to be alternative. My goal is to be healthy, and to make conscious choices. I really want an all-organic yard. And one day I hope I can. But right now (and in the future) I need to make the best of what I've been given. Maybe I could have succeeded in an organic grass seed lawn. Maybe. But I want to do other things with that time. Things that feel more important right now. Because taking time away from important things to do something "perfect" isn't better.  

My plan for making this grass as healthy as possible:

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/GrassStrip.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" custom_margin="0px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]   #1 No more chemicals! I'm sure there have been some chemicals on this grass, but that stops now! Any "fertilizers" will be food-based (like old milk or yogurt, or the Green Pastures product below). Any weeds will be extracted by hand, providing me with sunshine and some light exercise.   #2 Add back microbes and nutrients I purchased a by-product of fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures called Liquid Fish Soil Rescue to re-vitalize my soil. I actually meant to put some in the ground right before we laid the sod but I couldn't (reality of life check: I was not strong enough to open the container, my neighbor-with-all-the-tools was gone, and I don't own a pipe wrench). So later (when I get it open) I will spread it over the top of the grass. It will be a little fishy for a day, but fish oils smell is not new to me!   #3 Water to encourage deep roots It's recommended to water sod frequently at first, but to still let it become just a little dry to encourage the roots to reach down and establish. Here in Colorado we are having 90 degree days, so I'm needing to water 1-2x/day, and the grass is still getting a little dry in between waterings. Soon I will be able to water less often, and next year I should be able to water once every 2-5 days. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]  

Today's lesson?

You don't have to do everything perfect. Sometimes the "best choice" is outside your budget for money or time, and sometimes there are circumstances that happen outside of your control. That's okay... it's normal. That's life. And today, life is good! Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PuppyFace.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ToungeFace.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CuriousFace.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Thankful for Our Freedom

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] I am a patriot through and through. My favorite place in this entire country is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. It is a historic town, an exact replica of what it looked like in the 18th century. There you get to walk among the buildings and people that took a stand against tyranny. And if you pay attention, you will feel the profoundness of it all. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" _builder_version="3.0.50" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" height="25" hide_on_mobile="on" /][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" _builder_version="3.0.50" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CW-debate-square.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url="http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/Spring01/images/coffeehouse1.jpg" url_new_window="on" use_overlay="off" sticky="off" align="left" always_center_on_mobile="on" border_style="solid" force_fullwidth="off" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] These were real people who decided they needed to take action against wrongs. They weighed the cost, asked challenging questions, and decided that they needed to stand for what was right. They did this knowing they may have to sacrifice wealth, families, even their own lives in order to do what is right. Invited in, you can hear their debate and experience what they were fighting against. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] You can see what freedom meant to them. The rights of freedom—what we take for granted—that they believed in and fought for. They took a stand and said people should be treated differently than animals because they are made in the image of God. They rebelled against the tradition of title, land, money and power—believing instead that people should be given equal opportunity in a free market to work hard and keep what they work for. They believed in representation—that the people who's everyday lives are affected by the government's rules should have a say in what those rules are. They believed that every person has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You may be yawning now. Because you have been livingwith these rights since the day you were born. But don't make the mistake of thinking that these "normal" rights are commonly accepted everywhere. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"] Because when you look at the rest of the world, you realize that our experience is unique.

In many other countries you are only protected by your money and power. Here, the poor and weak are protected equally by law.

In many other countries you are told how you can think and believe. Here you can think and believe however you want to.

In many other countries most women and children are abused and dominated over, and the attacker often goes unpunished. Here women's rights are being fought for, and we punish those who harm a woman or a child.

In many other countries, it could mean death to speak out in any way against the government. Here every person has the right to voice their non-violent opinion against anything or anyone.

Here we are safe. Here we are not afraid.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" _builder_version="3.0.50" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" border_style="solid"]   I am thankful to live in this country. Thankful to the men who founded it on Biblical principles, recognizing that humans have rights just by being born. Thankful to every person who sacrificed for my right to disagree... or agree... as I choose. Thankful for those who are still fighting for my freedom. Thankful   And Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Making New Ruts

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] We often get stuck in ruts. It's easiest to keep doing the same thing—once a pattern (good or bad) is established, we tend to keep doing things the same way. One of my deepest ruts is how fast I live my life. How much I try to squeeze into each day to live up to my own expectations. How hard it is for me to be okay with down-time. I have been consciously making different choices to try and get out of this rut for the last 3 years, but because it is so ingrained, it has been slow going. Of course there has been progress! I have become so much more okay with slowing down, saying no, and doing things just for fun. But a recent event has given me the opportunity for some concentrated time in the new ruts. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/tissues.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] The event? Being sick! Sicker than I have ever been in my life. Sick and recovering for 2 weeks! Sick enough that all of my energy went just to taking care of myself. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] It was hard to do. Taking care of myself is something I have only really learned to do in the last few years... when I found the GAPS protocol. It was then that I started to believe that it is important, and right, to take care of myself. And I began learning how to do it. I have been a slow learner... being busy and productive was so deeply ingrained in me that it has required a lot of purposeful energy and conscious thought to make choices that take me out of that rut.

I still considered myself a beginner at self-care. But after these two weeks I may be about to level up!

I had to let go of so many things as I allowed my body to heal. And I mean really let go. I could notcatch up, make up, or push through like I usually can. I was focused on one thing: me. And that focus was obligatory, I had no real choice in the matter. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

As I canceled my schedule day after day, I had to remember that my worth was unattached to my productivity or presence.

As I thought about everything on my to-do list that was not getting done, I had to remember that God is in control of growing my business.

As I gave my body the best support I could using herbs, essential oils, vitamins, and meat stock, I had to remember that healing is complex, and our bodies are amazing!

As I wondered at times if my body was strong enough to handle whatever was going on, I had to remember that it was okay to ask for help, and to receive it.

I was sick enough for long enough that I also needed time to recover. That means I couldn't jump back in a full speed once I was feeling better. I had to evaluate my important tasks, and be realistic in what I could accomplish in between naps. Part of me thinks that I will go back to how I was before. But most of me doesn'twantthat. Slowing down is refreshing and freeing. Tasks are so much easier when I let God carry the burden, instead of trying to bear it on my shoulders alone. I don't know if I can stay out of my old ruts, but I pray that I can. I want to keep making these new ruts deeper. As I go, Onward [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/New-Ruts.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Sharing My Story... For Hope

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

"Rear-View Mirror, a GAPS Journey"

  I was asked to write a guest blog post sharing my story of healing. It published today, and I wanted to share it with you all here.  

I had two main purposes for writing this story.

The first was to provide an honest view into what a typical up-and-down healing journey looks like, both physically and emotionally.

The second was to offer encouragement or hope for your own journey.

 

You can read my post on the Living Well Nutrition blog, HERE.

  And if my story gives you hope or inspires you to share something about your own journey, share it with us in a comment below!  

Onward!

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Take Courage

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I had an interesting week last week. For the first time in a while, my body stopped me in my tracks. I'm not saying that I've had symptom-free days every day for the last few months. I have had the occasional headache, been sick with colds, and felt the effect of too much detox or too little sleep.  

But this was a little more.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" custom_padding="40px||40px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] For four days I was out of commission, only doing the bare essentials. I cut out all the “extras" in my diet, ate foods only on GAPS Intro Stage 1, and increased my fat and desiccated liver intake. I went to bed hours early, took naps during the day, and still felt exhausted. I drank enough water and took enough detox baths to dry up a river, and I applied essential oils liberally. Nothing really helped, beyond occasionally providing a few minutes of partial relief. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] I am still not sure what exactly was going on, but as best as I can figure, it seemed to be some kind of significant detox reaction. I had a headache that wavered between annoying and a migraine, sore muscles, tinnitus, nausea, VERY tired eyes, and a brain that simply would not focus. None of these were fun, but what brought me to tears was not any of these symptoms.   It was fear.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Fear that I had missed something (since I wasn’t sure why I felt so awful). Fear that I had pushed myself too hard (although I had been pacing myself). Fear that my headache would never end (this did seem logical at the time). Fear that my eyesight was failing (my vision was fine two days before). Fear that I would feel like this forever, I would never again feel well, and I was wrong to think that I could be a “healthy” person. And just fear. Fear about nothing. But these fears were overwhelming my thoughts and reason. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" custom_padding="40px||40px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="3_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] My overwhelming fear only lasted a short time, because I have a great Friend who does not leave me alone. He gives me hope (see post), and I really couldn't do life without Him. He walked with me in that dark moment and let me know He was with me, and that it was going to be okay. That brought me peace, even though I still believed that my headache would be a constant companion for the rest of my life (honestly, I really did). [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] While it was not all rainbows and unicorns after that, the paralyzing fear was gone. It was good to remember how hopelessness feels, a feeling I have often experienced on my health journey. When it feels nearly impossible to believe that anything could change, that better health could be possible. It's good to be reminded, so I can be grateful, and so I can better help you. It takes courage to go to another practitioner, change your diet yet again, or make another lifestyle change. It takes tremendous courage and strength to keep striving for better health, when health seems to be an impossible goal. If this is where you are at rightnow, you are so very strong and courageous. I want you to know that. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#2a4a97" show_divider="on" height="50" divider_style="solid" divider_position="center" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] From years of experience I know that it takes courage to be sick. But over the last few months I have learned that it also takes courage to be well. It takes courage to live outside of the awful (yet familiar) limits of a health condition. Courage to eat a food that is now okay for you, order off a restaurant menu, or eat a food your friend offered without grilling them about ingredients. Courage to let your just-in-case prescription run out. And it takes tremendous courage to live your life in freedom, even when facing (like I did last week) a short illness, detox reaction or bad day. Courage to push the limits because you refuse to be intimidated by them anymore.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

And...

...sometimes you melt in the middle of the floor, in tears, because you think your health has collapsed and you're probably going to be blind soon!

That’s okay too!

Courage is not the absence of fear. In fact, without something to fear, there can be no courage.

Don’t be ashamed of your fear, but don’t let it rule you, either. Remember, you are strong, and you are made for more.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]   No matter where you are in your health journey, take courage!   As we go, Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Consistency... It's the Secret Sauce

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Here we are, at the beginning of a brand new year, making resolutions and stuff... And I think we should ask ourselves the question: Shouldwe? As we all know, most resolutions don't stick around past the first few weeks of January.

Why?

Because we didn't remember to put the secret sauce into the recipe. We can make goals. We can make them SMART goals. We can think through the ways we want to be different and come up with actions steps to achieve them. And these things are the meat and potatoes of change. They are important and we need them. But nobody wants to eat plain meat and potatoes all day long. Why not? Because it gets boring and monotonous. Meat and potatoes are made to be eaten with something more. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Enter Secret Sauce...

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/GarlicSecretSauce.jpg" alt="Fermented Garlic Secret Sauce" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Do you have a secret sauce, one that makes food so good? Don't you wish you could put it in and on everything? It just makes everything work! (My secret sauce is fermented garlic juice.) The secret sauce for achieving goals is consistency. It's what just makes it work! The best-written list of habits will not help you achieve your goals, even if you do all 75 of them on January 1st (we all do it). [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Every goal you have successfully reached was brought about by doing a few small habits consistently for a period of time.

Consistency is subtle.

When I add fermented garlic juice to a pot of soup, or my spaghetti sauce, I couldn't tell you why it tastes better. It just does. The change brought about by consistent habits is like this. Most of the time you do not see the results "As Seen On TV," but change is still taking place! Taking probiotics every day for a year will cause a significant change in your gut flora. Writing down three things you are thankful for every day will change the way you see life. Walking for 15 minutes in the sun, 5 days a week, will result in 65 hours of sun-exposure and exercise a year! Little things like this can make HUGE differences in your health. And these changes usually last, which is more than can be said for most "fad diets" or "get rich quick schemes." [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

So what should you do this year? Keep that habit list short!

1. Write down a few goals–the most important changes that need to happen in your life.

2. Come up with one (or maybe two) habits related to each goal that you can do consistently.

3. Prioritize and group them. Some go together, like drinking more water and less soda.

4. Startsome of those habits. Most experts recommend starting only one or two habits at a time.

5. When those are established, then you can start another one or two. Remember that consistency, not numbers, is your secret sauce!

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Accountability helps consistency. 

It's much easier to be consistent when someone else knows what you have committed to do. Share with the community! Tell us one or two of the habits you are committing to in a comment below. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SmallCommunityHands.jpg" alt="Be the Community" title_text="Be the Community" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

A New GAPS Book Almost Published

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] It has been somewhat of a secret project, not because it needed to be, but because I had no idea if or when this would actuallyhappen, but now it has! There will soon be some new resources to those on the GAPS diet... I am excited to announce... I am about to become a published author! I have been quiet (alright, absent) on this blog for a little while because it has been crunchtime for the book and journal that are about to be published.  

Here is what you need to know..

  Both of these GAPS resources will be available this coming Monday, November 28th (Cyber Monday) on Amazon. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Notes-From-a-GAPS-Practioner-book-cover.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Introducing: Notes From a GAPS Practitioner: Using Diet to Unlock the Body's Healing Secrets, available in paperback or Kindle In her review of my book, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride included this (see the entire review here):

"Amy was able to combine her personal experience with the clinical observations from her patients. That is why her book has an unmistakable quality of genuine information, from a person who knows what she is talking about."

  [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"] I am also publishing My Daily Insights: A GAPS Journal on Amazon. It will be available in paperback (because you can't journal on Kindle), also beginning November 28th. My vision with this journal is not only to give you a place to keep track of so many useful things in one place, but to provide a place for people on this health journey to build community. You can read more about how here.   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/My-Daily-Insights-Cover.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Please take a moment to like these fan pages on Facebook!

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Notes From a GAPS Practitioner

My Daily Insights: A Daily GAPS Journal

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Action Against Fear

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Last week I shared some of my thoughts about an inspiring quote. You can read it here. Today, let’s talk about some practicals. How does fear really affect us? Can we really overcome it? What does it have to do with health, or GAPS, or healing?The principle of “action conquers fear” can be applied in every area of our lives.

Like in the things you putoff

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Why don't you try a new recipe? Why don't you take that next step in bettering your health? Why don't you stop something you hate, or start something you love. If you follow it to the root, you will probably find that some form of "Iam afraid" is somewhere in your reasoning.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] You are notalone. The culture around us loves to manipulate us through fear. Insurance, vaccines, "a blizzard is coming," home security systems and more all play on our fear. Media is excellent at invoking a fearresponse in us. The next time you turn on the news, ask yourself what they want you to hear in this story? Then payattention to what you find yourself thinking.   [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#2a4a97" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="4px" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="15px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]

You are not alone.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#2a4a97" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="4px" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="20px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"] So what is your action step? What can you do against the noise and pressure around you? Is there anythingyou can do? Start with this simple step... [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Turn off the voices that feed your fears!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="20px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop"] No one needs help being afraid--we do it pretty well by ourselves. So stop letting other people make you more afraid. Quiet their voices or limit your time around them. Get angry at them if you need to. But stop listening! Turn the news off. Steer your conversations (on-line and off-line) to encouraging topics. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/StopSign.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/BridgeFence.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="5px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] And don’tforget the voices inside your head! When negative self-talk, or someone's disapproving words are etched in your memories, they affect you. Instead of the negative, make the goodthings others have said about you your primary voices. Our minds and bodies are both part of us, so taking care of our emotional and spiritual health are also important. I talk more about this in another post [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop"] On a physical note, many toxins and imbalances can enhance our fear, or inhibit our hopefulness. While it is possible to defeat our fears and choose hope, despite our bodies, things like sleeping enough, eating the right food, and managing our stress can make the fight easier. You can read more about it in thispost. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/LookingOvertheWater.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="10px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] So do it. Take action. And go,Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Action conquers fear

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] "Action conquers fear." -Peter Nivio ZarlengaI read this inspirational quote for the first time a while back, and it stuck with me--it was what I needed just then.

Fear

Maybe you don’t think you are fearful person. Or you're afraid that you are. Fear manifests in many different ways. It is not just being jumpy, or afraid of zombies, usually we fear more abstract things.Fear of failure. Fear of other's opinions. Fear of giving too much, or being too tired. Fear of rejection. Fear of disappointment. Fear of success. The list could go on and on… [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] According to Oxford dictionary, there are many definitions for the noun and verb fear:

  • An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat:
  • (fear for) A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone:
  • Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening:
  • Avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid:
  • Used to express regret or apology: "I fear I have not completed the project per your expectations"

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin_last_edited="off|desktop" custom_padding="||10px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet"] I think it's interesting that we even use the word fear when we express regret. I believe this shows our deep thoughts--when we do and don't take action. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#2a4a97" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="4px" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop" custom_padding="20px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]

"Action conquers fear."

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#2a4a97" show_divider="on" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="4px" hide_on_mobile="on"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="30px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"] Don't get me wrong... I am NOT saying we should never think before we do things, or that we should rush ahead without forethought (usually). But neither should we spend all our time thinking and analyzing. To understand myself better I need to sort out and acknowledge what the fears are that keep me from doing/achieving/being. But in the end, knowing will not remove the fear. What does? Taking action. You can take action even without knowing why you are afraid. It is the shortcut to overcoming, and the most successful way to accomplishment.Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Real Hope (Jesus)

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="||20px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop"] Many days I do not have the strength to believe that tomorrow will be better. Many days I do not posses the ability to believe that hope is something available to me. And, to be honest, there ultimately is no hope without the hope that God gave us in Jesus. Because the ultimate source of hope is found in Jesus--any other hope is only a shadow or echo of the hope that was made available to us when Jesus died on the cross, paying for our sins, allowing us to be made right with God again. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin_last_edited="off|phone" custom_padding="||20px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]

Without this gift of hope, all other hope is empty and short-lived. Even if our life is awesome here on earth, without an opportunity to be reconciled with God, the awesomeness ends when we die, and we are faced with an eternity alone and without God, which means without anything good. This life is the best it will ever get. Wow, there really is not much hope in that.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="||20px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop"] However, there is a hope. God did make a way for us to reconcile with Him. And when that gift is accepted, there is a hope that is beyond circumstances, feelings, hormones, neurotransmitters, toxins, exhaustion, or anything else that life tosses at us. The hope that Jesus offers is strong enough to bring light into your dark cell, when you don't even believe light exists anymore. And it is real. I would be dishonest to tell you to hope if I did not tell you what real hope was. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="||20px|" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]

If you want to talk to me more about this, please contact me. I would love to share the one sturdy foothold I have--the only one that never moves or fails me, as the world, my health, my emotions, and everything else shifts around me! Do you have a hope like this?

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When you have a bad day...

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Healing is hard. It takes a long time. We think we are ready for it, and with that initial energy we make it through for a while. Symptoms start subsiding, energy increases, you start feeling things you didn't even know existed! Happiness that lasts all day long. Peace, energy, pain-free days, easy digestion, stronger muscles, better stress tolerance, memory improvement, and much more. You think to yourself "This is awesome! Now I know why people enjoy life and want to be alive." [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#000000" show_divider="on" disabled="off" disabled_on="||off" divider_style="solid" divider_position="center" hide_on_mobile="on" divider_weight="2px" height="8"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" text_font_size="22" text_font_size_phone="14" text_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" text_text_color="#2a4a97" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Then you think: "Great! The worst must be behind me!" [/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#000000" show_divider="on" disabled="off" disabled_on="||off" divider_style="solid" divider_position="center" hide_on_mobile="on" divider_weight="2px" height="8"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" text_font_size="18" custom_margin="||10px|"] ...and then you have a bad day...

...or two, or more...

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] It may have been from eating too much fruit/honey/nuts in your diet that day. It may have been from forgetting to take probiotics for a couple days, or from increasing your dose. It may have been from too much stress, a change in routine, not enough meat stock, a new food you aren't ready for yet, missing your normal detox routine, or seemingly just from breathing wrong. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

And you are reminded of how frail you are. How sick you are.

How precariously your new-found health is balanced on a thread

...and that thread is ready to break at any time.

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It's hard.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] There are days that it is all you can do to get through the day. Sometimes physically, but definitely mentally. It is hard to remember that you were getting better, that you have had mostly good days for weeks, maybe even months.  Because you are only just making it. Then, whatever encouragement and strength you were leaning on deflated, and you are left holding up the crumpled cane. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/HardDays.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] There are so many emotions in play at this point--fear, anger, exhaustion, discouragement, depression, despair, anxiety, stress, panic, feeling overwhelmed. Wanting to curl up into a ball and stay there until the world passes by and learns to do without you. And often you feel silly about it, because to others, you may look fine, act fine, and seem normal. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] These are the days it takes courage to overcome. And strength. And support. And energy. And thankfulness. And more than you feel you have to give. And sometimes it is more than you have to give. Without people around you, without God, without support and love, it would be much harder. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] On these days you need to reach out to your support. Ask for prayer, let someone help you with housework or come over and cry with you. And remember, tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow will be different--it may be better or worse, or it may be about the same. But it might be better. Hold onto that hope.* It will get you through. *I can have hope that someday it will be better, because my hope is in something deeper than my health, or what I may encounter in this world. You can read about my hope here. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" parallax_3="off" parallax_method_3="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="on" border_color="#2a4a97" border_style="solid" border_width="3px" custom_padding="15px|15px|15px|15px" custom_padding_phone="5px|5px|5px|5px" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"]

So when you have a hard day, give yourself a break, take things off your plate, reach out to those who love you, and have courage. You are doing something to be proud of!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] How do I know? I have those days too. We are in this journey together. On these days, we walk as far as we can, and fight to believe the hope that tomorrow brings.

As we go, Onward!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/AnotherDayTomorrow.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Announcing...

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16"] Attention! Exciting announcement! I am announcing an exciting addition to help people on their journey to heal! I have officially expanded to have a primary care practice. I am able to fully function as a primary care provider (ordering labs, making referrals, doing well physicals) with the exception of prescribing or managing medications. But with diet and lifestyle changes, many medications may not be necessary. I would also like to share with you here, what I wrote about why I am who I am, and why I am doing what I am doing. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Amy2-200_TR2.png" alt="Amy Mihaly, FNP-BC and GAPS Practitioner" title_text="Amy Mihaly, FNP-BC and GAPS Practitioner" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16"] Hi, I’m Amy. I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner (which means I have gone to about 8 years of college to get a Masters degree in nursing). I graduated from CU Denver about 3 years ago, and recently all the seemingly random hobbies, study focus, personal health issues, and great friendships have culminated into something exciting! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16"] I am able to provide nursing care and support in a way I have desired and imagined since I first read biographies about Clara Barton (founded the Red Cross) and Florence Nightingale (“founder of modern nursing”) before I was ten! I loved the model of community health care, visiting nurses taking care of the sick and well, going from home to home doing baby weights, comforting the dying, and providing education. When I took community health in nursing school, I was disappointed at the changes that have occurred over the last hundred year. Developing countries have institutionalized the care of health–which we now call our health care system. Don’t get me wrong–we have had many great advances in medicine–surgery, procedures, life support–all these have lowered the death rate from accidents and other problems, and they are great! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BlueLeaf.png" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HeartStencil.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16"] But I had fallen in love with a different model of nursing, and although I loved my nursing job for many years, what I loved most about it was it looked like our history–when I felt that I was emulating my nursing “mothers.” I loved the idea of being able to be in a family’s world. To be with them through their most exciting and most difficult life events. Birth and death. Joy and sadness. To be there when the light bulb goes on, and they accept into their minds some new and previously foreign concept about sanitation, health, diet, immune support, whatever it may be. To provide the education that brought them to that point. To be accepted as part of their family–to be trusted with that humbling responsibility. [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#05492e" show_divider="on" height="0" divider_style="solid" divider_position="bottom" hide_on_mobile="on" divider_weight="4"] [/et_pb_divider][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="center" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="20" custom_margin="0px||0px|" custom_padding="0px||20px|"]

And this is what I love!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider admin_label="Divider" color="#05492e" show_divider="on" height="0" divider_style="solid" divider_position="center" hide_on_mobile="on" divider_weight="4"] [/et_pb_divider][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16"] And this is why I am so excited to be where I am today. The pieces came together quickly in the end. I am still at times surprised and just trying to catch my breath. But when I look back at the last 10 years of my life, I see the pieces God put together in a wonderful design–and I feel so blessed! There are times when I am so tired (mostly from doing the business side of this), and then I receive a phone call from a mom, or individual who is seeking someone to listen to them, so afraid yet another person will tell them they are making it up. After listening, grieving with them about the hard journey they have been on, and then sharing some hope that was recently shared with me, my exhaustion melts away. I often hang up the phone, smiling, and exclaim out loud (usually to an empty room) “I love my job! I love what I do!” Because this is when I am refreshed and renewed. This is what I was made for! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_3"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="2_3"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#000000" border_style="solid" header_font_size="36px" header_font_size_last_edited="on|desktop" header_font_size_tablet="30px" text_font_size="16" border_width="3px"] I believe God has many plans for me, and many things for me to do throughout my life–both hard and easy. But I am so grateful that I am able to use this part of how I am made in such a big way! And that I get to take part in bringing a blessing to the lives of others. Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Thanksgiving in October

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] There is something exciting and magical about Fall! I am part of a garden co-op, and we had our harvest feast last night! Everything (essentially) was from our garden and harvest, including the honey and eggs! What a feast we had--and it was great knowing that it was grown and picked (very) locally, and in season. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Harvest-Feast.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="||20px|" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="10px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|tablet"] We actually had a tough year--a fungus on our sprouts, a late frost (in June), hail, bugs, an early freeze... yet the yield was exciting! I have enough winter squash to last me months; apples, plumbs and herbs to dry; tomatoes cooked and frozen; kale to make into chips; and salad to eat for weeks still!  This is on top of the fresh veggies we have been eating (as fast as possible) for the last 2 months. Colorado does have a short growing season, but with a good gardener (not me, I am just learning) and commitment to cover things during freak freezes, you can grow many wonderful things.   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row" make_fullwidth="off" use_custom_width="off" width_unit="on" use_custom_gutter="off" custom_padding="0px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|desktop" padding_mobile="off" allow_player_pause="off" parallax="off" parallax_method="off" make_equal="off" parallax_1="off" parallax_method_1="off" parallax_2="off" parallax_method_2="off" column_padding_mobile="on"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="40px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|desktop" custom_padding="0px|||"] The bees had a hard time as well, but we still ended up with over 3 gallons of honey! And their busy work brought beautiful flowers, fruit, and vegetables! I am so thankful for them, and my friend who is doing bees with me, and is not afraid of them still (even though she got stung 9 times)!   [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Spinning-Honeycomb.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="0px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Spinning the comb to remove honey [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] And so we were discussing last night that Thanksgiving should be in October in Colorado, when harvest is in here. Because it is then that we are remembering how much we have to be so thankful for! Even if you don't have a garden, take a moment to think about all the great and beautiful things around you--everything from changing leaves and the start of sweater weather, to holidays coming and routine re-appearing after the whirlwind-of-a-summer is over. So... what are you thankful for? Onward! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Birthday Cake!

[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] In celebration of my friend's birthday, I made an "Amazingly Delicious Carrot Cake" (that's what the recipe was called, at least) from the "Heal Your Gut Cookbook." I am so excited to have found such a delicious-looking recipe, and if the batter is any indication, the cake is going to be delicious. I will not be able to tell you how it tastes until tomorrow... I am quite nervous, actually, because this is my first attempt at a GAPS legal cake. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] One ingredient in it that I have never even heard of *gasp, I know* is coconut butter (or coconut manna--they can be used interchangeably). This is not a more expensive version of coconut oil, as I first thought, but a coconut puree. I bought a jar (a bit pricey) at our local health food grocery store, or you can make your own. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Coconut butter is very sweet, and can be used as a little sweet snack. However, because there is more fiber, and it is much sweeter than coconut oil, if you are following GAPS, you should not introduce it until Introduction stage 6 or full GAPS. But if you can tolerate it, I would recommend trying this delicious coconut treat!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Sometimes I wonder why we even want to eat processed sugar, this cake is going to be so rich, moist and delicious! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_margin="20px|||" custom_margin_last_edited="on|phone"] Sadly for you, this picture cannot portray the enticing aroma I am experiencing! You will just have to try it out for yourself! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="https://www.bewellclinic.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BirthdayCake.jpg" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="off" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] The cake is done & out of the oven! [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

It looks and smells delicious! I am going to stack the cakes, and drizzle them with a frosting consisting of cultured cream, lemon zest, vanilla and honey--yum!!!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" custom_padding="20px|||" custom_padding_last_edited="on|phone"] *If you want to make this delcious cake, you can find it in The Heal Your Gut Cookbook. For you locals, I keep copies available for purchase [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]