Here I am with my usual epic ‘state of the nation’ type post at new year for you. I have just read last year’s post actually and felt almost tearful; it’s really interesting to look back at where you were, what you hoped for and what actually happened during the year, isn’t it? I write these for me mostly, so I can remember, but I know a lot of you look forward to them too, which is lovely!
In 2016, I had done a huge amount of work personally and professionally in the mind-body medicine field and resolved to try and get it down on paper for you as a kind of plan for you to follow or take bits from. That took me most of 2017 it turned out, but resulted in the Healing Plan.
Many of you raved about it and some said it was even better than the Gluten Plan (praise indeed, as that one has been received wonderfully well!), but, as I predicted, it has been somewhat of a hard sell in that people don’t believe me most of the time when I say you need to look at the brain and subconscious patterns rather than just the physical side! I am getting further with it slowly as more people with unresolving chronic diseases take a punt on it – and invariably smack their heads in awe that they missed it for so long (like me, doh!). Get the Healing Plan Intro here for free if you don’t know what I’m talking about!
It took some real doing to try and get it into some kind of structure for people to follow and I have latterly realised that it would, of course, be improved by having some more demonstrative stuff to go with it such as ‘how to WHEE’ videos and the like. So, one of my first jobs this year is to see if I can break it into smaller parts and deliver it in a more personal, interactive way somehow. This will involve me learning how to do videos etc, which I have already started with my most recent post on SIBO testing, where many of you agreed that I do indeed sound like a posh Brummy!
Of course, that also begs the question about my other huge book: the Gluten Plan. I reckon I shall have a go at doing the same thing there: breaking it down a bit and holding your hand a bit more through it in some way. The need for it has not diminished – I thought it might, but it seems more and more people are contacting me about chronic hypersensitivity illnesses and grain issues so it is still growing if anything. I made the TGF Supplements Master List free for everyone this year – and we resolved to stop doing so much research on it. Ha! Christine (supplement rottweiler woman on the TGF Facebook group) has been kept more than busy with it, haranguing suppliers who often don’t know the answers to our questions still. Many more people have downloaded it now it is free and I hope it is helping.
One nice bit of news was that Berrydale Books asked if they could publish the Healing Plan! Er, yes please. A shorter version will come out on Amazon first sometime this year and it will be interesting to see how that goes – all very exciting!
On top of all that, I set up a new Mind-Body Medicine resource area for you to dovetail with the Healing Plan. There are new sections on the shop for non-toxic toiletries and TGF-safe toiletries (properly corn, grain and dairy free – NOT easy to find!) as well as my own new supplement and toiletries shop where you should find most of what you want via the very specifically-chosen brands I have put in there. There is also a new supplement advice area here.
Chronic Disease Plan
Big-project-wise, (as you know I always like to be working on one for us!), I realised last year I said I was going to try and come up with a chronic disease model or mechanism that combines all the info from the biochemical, physical perspective of the Gluten Plan (which has now expanded to be much more than about gluten!) with the mind-body medicine techniques and knowledge of the Healing Plan. I am convinced the combination of the two approaches is the key to most chronic diseases.
I had forgotten I even said that, in fact, but funnily enough I have recently been thinking about the next step and that has come up again in my head, so it must be right! In truth, writing the Healing Plan took a lot out of me and I couldn’t face starting another big project straight away! I am turning to it now, I hope – I am still whizzing about with ideas quite a bit and working out exactly what I want to create and what might help you all the most. It will be a huge job and I need to know it will be worth it! I’ll start something, no doubt, anyway. If you have any burning needs for things that would make your life easier, do let me know so I can assess and incorporate them.
A big project this year was to redesign this whole Purehealth website as the old one was looking far too old-fashioned and wasn’t that mobile friendly. That was a huge task which I did myself, techy geek that I am, and also involved me updating every one of the 70+ factsheets in the A-Z. I never wanted to see another factsheet after that, I can tell you. I combined the TrulyGlutenFree and Mind-Body Medicine websites with Purehealth as well as retiring the TGF Facebook page and Twitter account – not a great marketing move but it means I have less to keep up with! In fact, people are STILL signing up to them, so I might have to take the hint and look at that again!
I wrote 283 blog posts during the year. I can’t believe that! And I continued to witter on and manage all the social media, including all the – currently 871! – recipes on Pinterest. The Facebook groups are as busy as ever, although I need to look after the FB Pages more, sorry; they tend to get neglected. The TGF group is by far the busiest. It is moderated by expert patient Christine, and full of really knowledgeable people on all manner of chronic disease issues. We have become a little offshoot TGF family and I love seeing everyone helping each other; warms the cockles of my heart. The Healing Planners one is not busy at all – maybe people are shy at talking about that kind of stuff? And, the Purehealth group should be busier, not sure why it isn’t. I might look at that more. I did work out a while ago how many followers I have now across social media and it was phenomenal (for me – no doubt tiny to others!) – I forget the exact number now, but it humbled me and I thought I must look after you more!
Anyway, that’s what happened with Purehealth this year – it is now over 20 years since I started Purehealth Clinic and it still amazes me how so many of you have stayed with me through the years. I still hear from people I saw in 1999! Thank you; I love my Purehealth family 🙂
Personal Health Progress
I know many of you like to follow my story – if you’re on the Facebook groups, you’ll have no doubt seen some of it enfold as it went along! At the start of last year, I was still motoring along: loads of foods had gone back in and I was returning pretty much to normal with just the migraines and mouth pain to sort out. My aim was to focus on the physical body to renourish and strengthen it, and to practice self care more.
Well best laid plans and all that!
What actually happened was that I learned what impact stress can have on leaky gut and sensitivity levels, and how my resilience was still very dodgy. You can actually read the Progress Update I wrote here at the end of July to see what happened. In effect, a stressful event made me more sensitive to foods again and painkillers compounded that by making my gut leaky again. So, a little naffed off, it has to be said, I set off to lower my amygdala response again and re-heal my leaky gut. This time, though, there was one big difference: I knew it could be done, having already done it once – and I kept a lot of the regained foods including all the vegetables and fruit as well as all nuts, so it wasn’t anywhere near as depressing or restricted!
This process has actually taken longer than I expected, mainly because other stressful stuff has happened since. A dear friend of mine died very unexpectedly and this was followed by a couple of more minor upsets, but they compounded. Then, as many of you know, I was planning my wedding and we got married with a big weekend do in October. The body doesn’t know the difference between positive and negative stress, unfortunately, so even though I was excited and enjoying the ride, the adrenaline was pumping just the same and the physical body and subconscious found it stressful. I was just calming my system down again when, sadly, my Granny died of norovirus in early December and we had to wait for her funeral, which was only last week. Obviously, I am now dealing with the loss and grief and that will also take a toll on my healing mechanisms. I plod on with it….
So, the bad news is that I experienced quite a few stressful events and it has impacted on my sensitivity again. When I trial new foods, my jaw and mouth pain comes back up showing that my body is chronically inflamed, so I have to wait to bring that back down. However, there is a lot of good news too! The migraines are now once a month, centred around my cycle so less unexpected if you know what I mean. They score maximum 6, usually 3-4, instead of 12 out of 10 and last 1-2 days. When they first started I was having three a month, 8-12s lasting 4-5 days each: never ending! Now I can even ward some of them off 🙂
Just recently, though, I have begun to notice that I feel truly back to the old me. This is MAJOR. During the fear-cycle time as described in the Healing Plan, I felt anxious and easily-overwhelmed a lot of the time, even having to cancel Christmas three years ago because I couldn’t face the people, smells, noises etc without feeling panicky – hypersensitive on all levels, see, not just to food? This year, I never even thought about it. I have one fear left – driving on these steep, narrow Cornish roads, but my job in January is to beat that! I will do it, too. I went for a half hour drive today to start building my confidence up again, in fact! I compare recent stresses with the event that triggered the loss of foods again – Minnie puss being poorly – and my reactivity is far less, which means my resilience is higher. I can only assume I am now more in control of my amygdala, so hope the sensitivity will start to come down food-wise soon too. As usual, we have to get the mental and emotional state balanced before the physical will follow.
I think some of this recent change is the Cranio-Sacral therapy I’ve still having about once a month or so. I’m not sure how it works, but I feel my body is coming back into balance somehow, so I continue. She is doing a lot of work on my head currently which feels disconnected energetically from my body. Wish it was; I could have a new one :). In fact, I have moved away from so much meditation and brain retraining now, doing some, of course to convince my brain food is safe again and keep my amygdala nice and calm as per the Healing Plan, but I find I am shifting to more physical therapies like the Cranio-sacral, movement meditation like Qi Gong, walking and stretching. It’s like my body has been cramped up for too long and now needs to be elongated somehow. Ooh, I wonder if I might get taller?!
Anyway, that’s where I’m up to. I have kept most of the new foods in, but look forward to getting some eggs, beef, chocolate and wine back in again! Instead of constantly thinking about new foods, this January I have made myself a meal plan using the foods I can have. I bought myself a lovely magnetic meal planner thing for the fridge, like the one above, and some new Pukka pads with dividers and have been busy putting all my meal and recipe ideas into various sections and then making up weekly meal plans. I don’t know about you, but I am very bad at just having the same meal types again and again with my safe foods. This way, I hope I can enjoy the foods I have instead of somewhat resenting them, poor things! If it works, I’ll share how I did it and some of my meal plans for you, if that would be helpful?
Generally, I feel well most of the time now. I even joined a local choir and did about 19 Christmas concerts! This, of course, gets me out of the house building confidence again – and is designed to exercise my jaw for the TMJ and to tone my vagus nerve that controls the parasympathetic nervous system – singing is one of the best ways to do that; I’m not daft. I’ve started doing a few massages so I can get some face to face touch therapy stuff in, which I enjoy – the facials I love doing will have to wait until my sensitivity drops again as some of the lotions and potions don’t like me much yet.
And, I look forward to the time I can do some colour work as part of confidence-building for people, as much as for me. I am enjoying wearing my best colours – blue-red, black and white; I am a Cool Winter, red-type if anyone wants to know – and I really feel it has played a part in my own self-care programme, so that will be nice to teach others. I am currently working out how I might do it over Skype for you! It will be a nice mix of light and shade for work – chronic disease and fun self-care – which is exactly how it should be; we need fun at work too!
OK, that’s it folks, that’s my review for this year; I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to re-reading it at the start of 2019 and seeing what happened!
What are you up to in 2018? What successes and setbacks did you have? What is your main aim this year health-wise? Here we go with another lovely year. How far can we get…? Do share your own ideas and inspire us.