Tag Archives: n=1

Toxin Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT)

TILT3

I first learned about Toxin Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) from Dr John Cline, Matthew’s Functional Medicine Doctor.

TILT made sense because it describes a tipping point: how toxins accumulate in our bodies until our tolerance is compromised and we tip from an equilibrium of health into an equilibrium of illness.

As Dr Cline explains, “when our bodies accumulate enough toxins, often in combination with stressful life events, a tilt occurs, and our health then deteriorates rapidly in many ways”.

The idea behind TILT is that many chronic illnesses, as well as environmental sensitivities, originate in an accumulation of toxins in our bodies over time. At some point in this accumulation, susceptible individuals tip over into poor health. Continue reading

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Self-care for Caregivers

Self Care

If someone you love has a chronic health condition, you need to get really good at taking care of yourself.

Especially if they have an illness that is going to affect you in the long term.

For a short-term situation, like a broken bone or a cancer that resolves, you may be able get away with running your caregiving efforts on stress hormones. With the idea that when the crisis is over, you can take time to recover.

But by taking that approach, you are gambling with your future. You are assuming that the crisis will resolve, and that life will return to some kind of normal.

And that is not always the case.

First, because there is always the chance that the situation you are facing with your loved one will get worse.

Second, because a new situation might emerge.

Not taking care of yourself when you find yourself in the role of caregiver is like buying stuff on credit. Of course we all have to do it sometimes. But if you rely on it too heavily and you can’t pay down your debt, the compound interest will start to create problems all on its own.

I’m an Example

Continue reading

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12 Tips for Caregivers: supporting your (reluctant) loved-one to start a healing protocol

Your (reluctant) Loved-one

Some people are motivated to begin a healing protocol on their own.

Some are well enough. Can think clearly. Make plans. Set goals.

But others require help to get there.

If someone you love has a chronic health condition, and you think that a healing protocol could help, you probably feel some urgency. You want them to get started. Already.

But what if they’re not ready?

Or worse, what if they’re hostile to the idea?

If you push too hard, they’ll resist.

I know from experience!

How to support your (reluctant) loved one to start a healing protocol

After years in the role of caregiver, here are my 12 strategies: Continue reading

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Why Measure your Recovery?

Why MeasureMatthew and I started measuring because we didn’t know what else to do.

We didn’t know we were measuring his recovery, because his health hadn’t started to improve yet.

Research and evaluation are part of my trade, and Matthew has a background in Continuous Quality Improvement, so when we’re in doubt: we measure!

And we were in a lot of doubt.

Why Measure Health?

Measurement can seem superfluous when you are really close to your experience.

Especially if the numbers don’t change from day to day.

Or if they swing around wildly for no obvious reason.

But if you stick with it, measurement can be incredibly useful as a way to discern trends and track progress over time. In fact, measurement can be a way to begin the process of recovery. Continue reading

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How to Measure Recovery

MeasuringRecoveryI have a new crush.

I get them. Big intellectual crushes. On people who are doing really innovative work in the field of measurement.

I have a long-standing crush on Michael Quinn Patton, originator of Developmental Evaluation.

My new crush is Dr Skye Barbic, who has created the Personal Recovery Outcome Measure (PROM). I spend a blissful hour and half this week learning all about it.

The PROM questionnaire is designed for people who are recovering from mental illness. But it can be used by everyone.

In fact, I think it should be used by everyone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Clearly we don’t need to be recovering from a debilitating mental illness to be pursuing improved mental health. In fact, the WHO definition for mental health could be the definition for purpose in life.

The PROM questionnaire is designed to help anyone realize their potential and cope with stress. Continue reading

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Coming Soon: A New Platform!

Home Page

There’s nothing like a serious chronic illness to help re-set priorities. And we’re clear: our priorities lie with supporting others in their efforts to heal.

Matthew and I are developing a new platform that will offer individualized support for people who are taking personal responsibility for their health.

We’ve been working on this platform since the summer and we’ll be launching it soon.

The new site will be based on the idea that when it comes to health and healing, we are all unique. It’s the variations in our health status, goals, environment and genetic expression that determine the individualized pattern of living that will best support our well-being.

Eventually, once all the phases are rolled out, the new site will support the process of figuring all that out.

Continue reading

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8 Areas for Health (Pick 1!)

You don’t need to do everything at once.

Pick one thing.

Once you’ve upgraded your life that area, pick another.

The elements of a healing protocol lifestyle are all connected and they all support each other.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed about addressing all the components at once, don’t.

Pick One3Starting is the thing.

Here are eight areas to focus on that will each improve your health.

Pick one!

  1. Nutrition;
  2. Sleep;
  3. Stress Management;
  4. Connectedness (to people);
  5. Connectedness (to nature);
  6. Habits & Patterns;
  7. Self-knowledge; &
  8. Goals.

1. Nutrition

A great place to begin.

But if changing your eating makes you cringe, pick something else! And come back here later. Continue reading

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Biohacking Update: 3 months on a yeast & biofilm busting protocol (& 25 months on the AIP)

BiohackingIn August, Matthew started a three-month protocol designed to tackle biofilm-protected yeast colonies his gut.

Five months later we are feeling optimistic.

The Back Story

The symptom: debilitating nausea with no apparent cause.

The nausea first occurred in October 2013 after an autumn feast of chanterelle mushrooms I had picked.

It happened again when we ate chanterelles a second time that month.

And then just kept recurring. And getting worse. Until it gradually became Matthew’s most problematic symptom.

In fact, it was the severe nausea that finally prompted Matthew to take the leap and commit to the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

The AIP

After a few test runs, we both committed to the AIP long-term in December of 2013. Almost immediately, Matthew moved to an even more restrictive low-FODMAP version of the protocol to reduce his nausea.

The AIP:

Before & After

Before & After

  • Improved all of Matthew’s other symptoms, including arthritis pain, psoriasis and severe brain fog;
  • Enabled him to get off Methotrexate, a toxic medication that he had been taking for 10 years that caused its own host of nasty side effects;
  • Helped him significantly reduce prescription and non-prescription pain medication; and
  • Caused me to feel younger and more vital than I had in my adult life.

But Matthew’s nausea kept getting worse. Continue reading

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Hacking Sexuality (part 2)

Copy of Get your sexual self sortedThere are three steps to getting your sexual self sorted:

  1. Get Sex Positive;
  2. Conduct a Needs Assessment; and
  3. Experiment.

In part 1 of this post I explored step one.

In this post we’ll look at the next two, plus the #4 bonus step: keeping a sense of humour.

Step 2: A Needs Assessment

A need is a gap between what is and what would enable you to thrive.

Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of needs to psychology in the 1940s with the Hierarchy of Needs model, and sex finds it’s way into two levels of the hierarchy.

Sex in the Hierarchy

According to Maslow, sex is a basic need, as fundamental as sleep and breathing.

He also placed sexual intimacy little higher up in the hierarchy, at the level of love and belonging. Continue reading

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Personalize Your Diet for Weight Loss

Personalize Your Diet for Weight LossWe each respond differently to the same food.

Specifically, our blood sugar responses differ.

And elevated blood sugar leads to all kinds of health issues, including obesity.

A New Scientific Understanding about Obesity

Like most people who have struggled with being overweight for most of their lives, I’ve suspected for decades that our response to food is individualized.

Because I’ve spent those decades watching my effortlessly-slim sister scarf down all the food she wants.

If I ate like she does, I’d be obese.

I know. Because I used to be.

Obese.

But now, we have scientific proof to back up what most overweight people have always known…

Breaking News: Maybe Overweight People Haven’t Been Secretly Binging & Lying About It All This Time

Continue reading

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