Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know --- my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix Read more

Healing the Gut with Bone Broth

What is bone broth? What the @&*$ is bone broth and why is everyone talking about it and its medicinal benefits.  First, bone broth is simply stock!  Chicken or beef bones are usually used although you can use venison/lamb/pig etc.  Read more

Breastfeeding Tips

  Here's a different topic for today regarding breastfeeding!  We all know how important the gut microbiome is and breastfeeding is a natural, inexpensive way to help your baby's gut get all those good bacteria!  Natalie Michele the author of Read more

Avoid these banned foods

Are you eating food that's already banned in other countries but is still allowed to poison and kill Americans? Learn these pernicious ingredients and common foods through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend's experiences.  Comment down below with Read more

Body

The Sauerkraut Challenge

As many of you may know — my 9-year-old daughter has been extremely ill for the last 4 weeks.  It is so painful to watch your child suffer from illness and not be able to do anything to fix it.  All the mamas out there know that when our kids hurt– we hurt too and just want to make things better.

I have to express the gratitude that I have that my kids aren’t sick often and that they (Praise God) don’t have any debilitating or chronic diseases.  It took one viral syndrome that lingered to get me thinking about how unfathomable it would be to keep strength having a chronically ill child.  I have so much respect and admiration for those parents that endure this journey in life.  I can’t imagine—

Although Stanley steamer made quite a profit this past two weeks, (Emma’s room looked like a crime scene after an unfortunate projectile incident involving red Gatorade) — The rest of us have tried to stay healthy and avoid this nasty bug.

I have been eating sauerkraut for the healthy probiotic benefits daily ( about 6 forkfuls daily ) along with my Garden of Life probiotic.  I even added some Young Living Oil of Oregano that I put in gelatin capsules and take daily.  So far so good.

Another major tip is activated charcoal –you can buy that over the counter — (I get mine at Fresh Thyme)– it absorbs toxins in your body before they can harm you.  They actually use it for food poisoning and alcohol overdose in the Emergency Room.  Ancient Egyptians used it on wounds and Hindus used it to purify water.  It is said that it was used in the past to treat anthrax and epilepsy.  Common dosing says to take 2 capsules every few hours– but keep in mind that it will absorb some of the good nutrients in your body — so don’t take it at the same time as some of your other supplements .

Posted on by Angela in Body, disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Dealing with High Triglycerides

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I’ve discovered that elevated triglycerides and fasting blood sugars have become epidemic in my practice. It’s not surprising considering all the food misinformation we have been given in the standard American diet (SAD).  I remember questioning my girl’s pediatrician about feeding them honey nut Cheerios for breakfast because they were so picky. Her answer was “have you looked at the nutrition information on the side of the Box— Cheerios are fortified with most vitamins and minerals that they need.”  WOW is all I can say–WOW.  You would think I would have known better at that point after years of medical education.  But NO –I took her word for it because that is what I was taught in med school about nutrition too.  I didn’t have any concept about the importance of vegetables and REAL FOOD on health at that point.  I’ll bet you have been in the same boat as well. We simply haven’t been taught the correct information.

 

Why are triglycerides important?  I thought LDL was the BAD cholesterol–

Triglycerides block insulin– that can elevate the blood sugar and lead to weight gain

High triglycerides can cause pancreatitis and be toxic to the pancreatic cells that make insulin–this can add up over time–

Here is where the LDL is affected— more triglycerides will interact with lipoproteins and cause the LDL to be smaller particles which are more likely to cause heart attacks —

So overall –the higher your triglycerides are –you are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

What do I want my triglyceride levels to be?

The labs say that 150mg/dl is the cutoff for high triglycerides—however the levels really need to be below 60mg/dl to help decrease the size of the LDL particles.

How do I lower my triglycerides?

  1.  Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids— I recommend 3000mg of fish oil daily.  The EPA and DHA of the fish oil help remove the (chylomicrons and VLDL) triglycerides after a meal.  I personally love the brand BLUE ICE–fermented cod liver oil.  It sounds gross but it really isn’t a large pill and doesn’t cause fish burps (you can put it in the freezer if you get the dreaded burps).
  2. Have a healthy gut flora—yup– those probiotic foods play a role here too.  You need good healthy fiber to feed those good gut microorganisms because they help reduce lipid and insulin levels.
  3. Eliminate GRAIN and SUGAR:  Yep— sorry but these elevate your sugars and cause insulin resistance — this includes alcohol/carbs —I’m sorry — I know it isn’t fun. 
  4. Intermittent fasting —this can help as well — try to go a full 12-15 hours without eating (yes- you can still drink water/coffee/tea etc–just don’t add sugar)
  5. Don’t cut back on Good Fats —these include avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and olive oil.

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Check this out guys!!

emma-and-mom

So I was so excited to be offered the opportunity to do an interview on The Food Heals Podcast!  This is my new favorite podcast after Sean Croxton retired from Underground Wellness.  (By the way–check him out now on “The Sessions with Sean”).  My 45 plus minute commute to work is über long and the time passes quickly if I listen to a health podcast rather than the Smiley Morning Show.  (Don’t get me wrong –I love Smiley but I feel more productive learning about my passion of reversing disease).  I stumbled upon “The Food Heals Podcast” which has been called the “Sex & the City for Food” on iTunes.  These two gals are super fun and share all kinds of great information.  They even have a great documentary completely worth watching.  “Food Heals”-  is a film starring Joe Cross, John Salley, & Kerri Kasem who have used food over drugs to heal!  Remember Joe Cross from the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead“?  He’s the guy with the sexy Australian accent that was able to overcome chronic urticaria (AKA –REALLY BAD ITCHY HIVES ALL OVER THE BODY) by going on a juice fast.  Fortunately, the universe was in my favor when they asked me to share Susan’s empowering story.  She was able to overcome an autoimmune disease by changing her diet and removing processed foods (Red Dye #40)

Here are the links —

Link to the episode on iTunes:
http://bit.ly/AngelaMD

The Food Heals Nation Web site:
http://foodhealsnation.com

The link to the episode blog post:

75: Let Food Be Thy Medicine with Dr. Angela DeBord Henriksen

 

Posted on by Angela in disease, Humor, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something.

Of course–the old standby of chicken soup is helpful!  You can make some fabulous Homemade Bone Broth which will help boost your immune system!  You can also order some from THE BROTHERY.  I keep some of Chef Lance’s bone broth in the freezer just for this type of occasion.  When you feel crappy –it’s not always exciting to make your own so this hits the spot.

ELDERBERRY —is available as a supplement and research shows that it accelerates cytokine production to help regulate the immune response.  It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

GARLIC— is rich in vitamin C and zinc which both support immune response.

PROBIOTICS— these gut friendly bacteria make for a robust immune system.  You can buy these as a supplement (check out my faves in the AngelaMD store) Even better, try eating some fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut or kimchi.  I’ve heard of people taking a dose of probiotic every hour when they first start feeling ill.abb30214f90e578ef00ebef0b4841291

Zinc — this essential mineral is the most common mineral (after iron) found in the body and zinc depletion causes immune dysfunction.  So load up on that

Vitamin C/D/E— These support the production of anti-stress hormones and interferon which is an immune system protein that stimulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition Leave a comment

Microbiome Summit

apple_bgSo I know that I am a geek –but I am so excited to listen to these 33 talks about the microbiome (that funky little ecosystem we have going on in our guts!)

You can actually listen to all these talks as well!  This is all cutting edge information that is really diving into how these gut bugs help us and how they can actually cause disease if they get out of wack!  This is good stuff and it is free!

 

food for thought

 

SUBJECT: Add these 33 microbiome experts to your medicine cabinet!

The Microbiome Medicine Summit starts next week, and tens of thousands will learn from the expert wisdom so important to leveraging your body’s amazing microbiome to optimize your health!

What about you?

What you could learn at The Microbiome Summit:

  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Impacting genetic expression
  • Improving metabolism
  • Controlling caloric absorption
  • Guiding your brain
  • And more!

If you’re just hearing about it, there’s still time to gain access to all 33 expert talks!

  1. Register immediately to see this week’s free talks:

Register HERE

  1. Purchase all 33 expert talks (price GOES UP when the event STARTS):

PURCHASE HERE

Once you own the expert talks, you can listen to the audios on your computer or mobile device, read the complete transcripts and share this important information with family and friends.

If you learn even one fact from one expert that changes your life, it will be worth it!

The online access package for all 33 expert talks is $59
now through Monday morning at 10 A.M. U.S. eastern.

After that, it increases to $79.

Owning the talks also gives you access to eCourses, guides, eBooks and other advice from the expert speakers, at no additional charge!

Click here to learn more about owning this expert advice:

PURCHASE HERE

See you at the summit!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Nutrition 4 Comments

We’re putting it in the wrong hole!

So this weekend I am painting my 8-year-old daughter’s room (bright teal for the DIVA EMMA) and I have been catching up on my new favorite podcast!  The Food Heals Podcast—  I just listened to the truly inspirational story of Evita Ramparte.   In the year 2000, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and began an enlightening journey of detoxification and emotional and physical healing thru changing her diet.   She was inspired by a lady on New Year’s Eve who gave her set instructions on how to heal.  She starts this whole process off  by fasting and doing a COFFEE ENEMA— yep you heard me   —-EEk !!!  The podcast hosts (Suzy and Allison) had me rolling on the floor laughing when they exclaimed “We’re putting it in the Wrong Hole!”  So far-I’m with them–I like to drink my coffee and maybe on a whim, put the coffee grounds in my garden.

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My initial thought was on the logistics of how to actually do the enema.  Do you use organic coffee?  Does it have to be warm?  How do you do that without your family finding out?  Do your farts start smelling like hazelnut?????

I may have been a little high on paint fumes after that second coat of primer because when I stumbled upon a great link on how to do a coffee enema while perusing Facebook, I felt like the Universe was luring me into this world of detox and poop!  My friend Dr Christopher Nagy (Yourpersonalwellness.com) is always sharing a wealth of holistic information and I figured if he thinks it’s post worthy –it’s worth checking out.

I haven’t tried it yet but after reading all the health benefits — I may actually do it —Don’t worry- I won’t post pictures!a3ef587aff52ed01b2a9b5a67f5e7892

Here is the LINK  that Dr Nagy shared on liver detoxification and coffee enemas –I found it quite informative     http://www.mygutsy.com/the-ultimate-liver-detox-coffee-enemas

There is great information in this post.  She explains the many functions of the liver and how to determine if you have symptoms of a toxic liver.  Oh yes– and step by step instructions on how do one at home.

Coffee enemas aren’t a new concept –They have been used for years and were popular in healing cancer at the famous The Gerson Institute.  For more information on Dr. Max Gerson and his cancer treatments –see this BLOGPOST

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If you aren’t “gutsy” enough to try the coffee enema –check these other LIVER DETOX options.

Share in the comments below if you or anyone you know has tips or any experience with them.  We don’t judge here and won’t share your name!  We are all in this together!!

Posted on by Angela in Body, cancer, Diet, disease 2 Comments

Liver Detoxification

Steps to Detoxify the Liver

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Step 1

  Remove toxic substances from the diet –this includes sugar, grains, processed foods, and especially conventional meat and dairy  (these are loaded with antibiotics and hormones that will completely disrupt your GI system)  These set up a perfect storm to create a leaky gut.

Step 2

Add detoxifying herbs to your diet

Milk Thistle 100mg twice a day

Turmeric 500mg twice a day

Step 3

The liver is said to hold toxic emotion according to Ancient Chinese medicine.  Specifically the liver holds, anger, resentment and frustration.  Many suggest writing down people in your life that you hold these emotions towards and work on forgiveness.  A counselor may be helpful with this.

Another practice that may be helpful is practicing Gratitude by writing down things you are grateful for on a daily basis

Step 4

Consume Liver (Yep–I said liver)

Famous physicians Dr. Gerson and Weston A. Price studied this and found that consuming liver on a regular basis is excellent at detoxifying the body

You can buy local chicken livers at your farmer’s market and throw them in the crock pot with chicken breasts, celery, carrots, onions and vegetables

If you just can’t bring yourself to eat real liver, you can buy desiccated liver at your local health food store

Step 5 

Drink warm or room temperature water with fresh lemon as an early morning detox

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Digestion Sessions

 

Did you know that sixty-percent of the Unites States population alone is dealing with at least one symptom of digestive dysfunction?

You name it — gas, bloating, heartburn, abdominal pain, candida, constipation, diarrhea — the statistics say that YOU are more than likely experiencing one or more of them, right now at this very moment.

Living with digestive problems has become the new normal. Typically, they begin as minor complaints — a little indigestion here and there, the occasional tummy ache or bout of heartburn.

Sooner or later, what was once a minor annoyance becomes something that can literally take over your life. This usually happens for two reasons — embarrassment and ignorance.

Let me explain.

Let’s be honest, no one goes out of their way to talk about their digestive problems. What happens on the other side of the bathroom door has become the most taboo of topics, a private matter requiring the utmost discretion.

Unfortunately, there is no “bathroom therapist” office to sit in safety and speak freely about your bowel issues. Instead, you keep it to yourself and hope it will all go away with time.

It doesn’t.

And that’s when you find yourself in the doctor’s office, finally revealing every detail of what you’ve been going through for months, maybe years.

At some point during this cathartic act of courage you realize that you’ve used up all 12 minutes of your allotted appointment time and suddenly find yourself in the pharmacy with a prescription for a drug that comes with two pages of side effects.

No exam. No testing. No investigation whatsoever into what may be causing your symptoms.

Just ignorance in the form of a pill.

What now?

THAT is the very question hundreds of millions of people worldwide are asking about their digestive problems.

Today, I’ve come with the answer.

The truth is that “modern day” medicine has fallen as much as 17 years behind the latest research. In other words, almost two decades will pass before your doctor recommends what actually works.

Chances are, your doc is unaware of the growing number of research studies demonstrating these alarming findings:

– The toxicity of persistent constipation may cause common, everyday symptoms like fatigue, attention deficit, and brain fog.

– Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are almost always rooted in digestive dysfunction.

– The inflammation from gut dysfunction can spread throughout the body, causing inflammation in the brain, joints, and other important organs.

By the way, inflammation in the gut may also shut down your body’s ability to burn fat. Not good.

Most doctors are either unaware of this information or don’t care to know. Meanwhile, people like you are paying the price in unnecessary suffering and medical bills.

This has to stop. Now.

And that’s why our friend Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness — a real life health crusader — put together a FREE online event called The Digestion Sessions, featuring 25 on-camera expert interviews and gut-healing cooking classes on all things digestion — so you can get the answers you’ve been looking for. Without the 17-year wait.

Here’s a sneak peak…

* Dr. Daniel Kalish reveals the hidden stomach infection that causes heartburn and reflux — 50% of us have it but don’t know it!
* Christa Orecchio outlines a step-by-step program that kicks candida for good.

* Dr. Shawn Soszka discloses how digestive problems can cause depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

* Dr. Michael Ruscio details a stepwise approach to solving diarrhea.

* Drs. Jillian Teta and Tom O’Bryan show you how to use food to cut the inflammation and heal your gut.

* Sayer Ji breaks down what the research REALLY says about gluten sensitivity.

Plus, a whole lot more!

Click the link below to get the scoop on this FREE online event kicking off in November and to watch the incredible video trailer. It’ll give you chills!

REGISTER HERE

 

Don’t forget to save your seat and get INSTANT ACCESS to the free Digestion Sessions Quick Tips video series including:

* Dr. Teta’s 3 Best Tips for Beating Constipation with Dr. Jillian Teta

* 3 Critical Lab Tests Your Doctor (Probably) Isn’t Running with Christa Orecchio

* How to Save Your Gallbladder, And What to Do If It’s Been Removed! with Dr. Alan Christianson

REGISTER HERE

Don’t wait!

Angela

Posted on by Angela in Diet, disease, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment

Gluten Free Update

Here’s Superhero Sandy’s latest gluten-free update.  It seems it is possible to change and still enjoy food!  Here are a few of her recent observations and recommendations.  Thanks Sandy–we are all inspired by you!

 

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Sandy Writes:

Gluten free update: I’ve always been one to buy quality name brand products, not the generic store brand stuff that doesn’t taste as good. I’m known among close family and friends as a good cook, and it has always been my contention that good cooking starts with the choices you make in the store. I’m a picky shopper, favoring name brands and top quality fresh food; my motto is “if nobody eats it, it’s not a bargain,” so stay away from the cheap, generic stuff.

Anyway, while driving the four blocks to Kroger from my home one day about three months ago, my phone rang. It was the nurse at my doctor’s office telling me that my thyroid antibodies were sky-high and that I needed to get on a gluten-free diet as soon as possible. I also needed to start taking probiotics, selenium, and CoQ-10 to help combat the catastrophe that was taking place in my intestines and finding its way to my thyroid gland…and who knows where else…probably wherever I felt pain, including my arthritic knees. As I understand it, the antibody issue is separate from the TSH, T3, T4 markers for thyroid disease. This was something different, an autoimmune thing I had going on along with a underactive thyroid gland.

The nurse sounded serious. This wasn’t just a “why don’t you try this and see what happens” suggestion; it was an order. Oh, man. I had a lasagna pan full of semolina pasta covered in meat sauce, cheese, and sour cream…all ready to bake for my grandson and his friends who would be arriving in a couple of hours. I started doing an inventory of what I was planning for dinner that very night that I could and could not eat if I were to actually change my diet to gluten-free. Salad? Okay, yeah. Pasta? Not so much. Bread? Don’t make me laugh. First I panicked. And then I started to solve the problem.

I started changing my shopping practices on that very first trip. Luckily, I ran across some gluten-free pasta, so I bought it, scraped some sauce and cheese off the casserole, cooked up the new pasta, and mixed them together. Not bad. So far, so good. Everybody else ate the original casserole while I ate my gluten-free pasta version. And from that point on, my kitchen only contained gluten-free pasta. You literally couldn’t tell the difference…although you do have to be a bit more exact about cooking time.

Then I started doing research, shopping the out-of-the-way sections of the store: buying organic stuff, fresh fruits and vegetables. I also started going to the local meat market here in Greencastle, buying better, unsullied by hormones and antibiotics meat and milk and butter and eggs.

Now, less than three months later, I just returned from a grocery shopping expedition. I have completely changed, one or two items at a time, what I buy at the store. My shopping list is entirely different from it was not long ago. Here’s a partial list of what I buy now:

Trader’s Point milk (grass-fed, organic, not homogenized, the real stuff my Grandpa Hause used to carry in buckets from the barn to the house)
Kerrygold Irish butter (kind of like the stuff my Grandma churned from those buckets of milk)
Blue Sky free range eggs (I’ve tried several brands of eggs; these have the most golden yellows I’ve ever seen.)
Van’s gluten-free waffles…or pancakes…or whatever. These are better than Eggo. Trust me.
Rudi’s gluten-free “original” white bread (okay, so it’s not quite the same as what you usually buy…but it’s gluten-free and you can make a sandwich with it.)
Izze soda (instead of diet Coke…nothing but fruit juice and sparkling water)
Smucker’s Simply Fruit jelly…again, no sugar, no sweetener of any kind…doesn’t need it…just fruit juice.
Udi’s blueberry muffin tops (gluten, soy, wheat, and dairy free)
fresh produce from local suppliers, including some honey crisp apples from Anderson Orchard, which we picked up yesterday
heirloom tomatoes…don’t fall for vine ripe or Indiana tomatoes…heirloom are the best
100% grass-fed beef from local producers. If I can’t find grass-fed, I will still buy local. If I can’t find local, I buy organic…no hormones, no antibiotics. Sometimes this means there’s no chicken available today, so you have to buy pork instead or you can’t find the cut of beef you want. You have to be adaptable to eat well.
Kemp’s frozen yogurt (because my soul needs ice cream)
Talenti gelato (can’t eat much of this because it’s calorie-, fat-, and sugar-laden, but it is gluten-free, HFCS free, and oh, man, is it ever good!)
Simple Truth gluten-free animal crackers (a store brand, but good)
Quinn’s popcorn (although i don’t use the flavor packet that comes with it…I use the above mentioned Kerrygold Irish butter.)
Pamela’s chocolate chip gluten-free cookies
Glutino table crackers
Ronzoni gluten-free pasta
Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (I already knew these were the best canned tomatoes and tomato sauces and spaghetti sauces around…been buying Muir Glen for a while now)
frozen corn, peas, green beans, broccoli…whatever I can’t find fresh, I buy frozen. Just the vegetables. Not the kind that come with sauces already in them. I love those ones that you can steam in the microwave.
Maple Hill creamery yogurt (full fat with the cream on top, just like the milk from grass-fed cows…and mostly I buy plain and mix in my own fruit and granola and sweeteners. Trader’s Point makes good yogurt too, but Maple Hill is thicker. I like it better.
organic blue agave syrup
real maple syrup
GiddyUpGo gluten-free granola
Nature’s Path corn flakes
Cheese…I don’t know about cheese. We still have a bunch I bought in Wisconsin last month. I can’t swear that what I have is organic and grass-fed. Probably some is and some isn’t. I’m working on that.

I try to buy things that are sugar-free, but you have to watch that. Most of the time “sugar-free” on a label means that they used aspartame or some other poison instead of sugar. Sugar isn’t good, it contributes to inflammation, but poison is worse. Sugar is also better than high fructose corn syrup.

That’s all I got for you now, but my list is ever-changing, and I still haven’t been able to explore Fresh Thyme as thoroughly as I want to. Look for more updates in the future on my gluten-free lifestyle. Oh, and I just got another blood test last week. My numbers are “a little bit better.” We’re making some adjustments. But I feel better all the time, am not sick as much as I used to be…I’m staying on top of this thyroid deal, and that seems to actually be helping with the arthritis issues too.10505625_10152531893746815_5633312240394115874_n

Posted on by Angela in disease, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Whole Food Leave a comment

Robin Williams

I’m devastated at the tragic death of Robin Williams.   However,  I am grateful in so many ways.  I’ve seen testimonials of depression, addiction, and imperfection posted on social media sites all day.    Robin’s comedy entertained us with wicked humor,  but his death provoked a new set of emotions.  He now demonstrates the issue that mental health is a disease.   In my world, he is still teaching and entertaining on a whole new uncomfortable level.

Unfortunately, my profession holds me hostage to stories of despair, victimization, and contempt of disease states.   Stories of suicide and the aftermath are hard to hear .  Unfortunately, I’ve found myself attracting them into my life via my confused emotions on the subject.

Depression is a disease.  Is it hereditary? maybe—-Are you predisposed and destined to get it?  NO, I think not.

I believe that illness evolves into disease  based on everyday choices.  Nobody chooses to be depressed or sick.  I get that.   Robin Williams’s death is a call to action.   He had the coveted wealth, fame and stardom-but, it wasn’t enough.  Please reach out to those struggling quietly around you.  I hope this post helps!  A few of my closest friends and I will be doing the suicide prevention walk –I hope you can join us!

 

For Lucy and Maggie …

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Countless hours spent on the deck discussing the uncertainties of life. Innumerable days of listening to our children giggle, play, fight and cry together. Tears shed watching one another battle the ups and downs of family life in the 21st century. These experiences have made our former neighbors become our dearest friends and confidants. They are our “wolf pack”.

This week, the Henriksens, and their dear friends watched their families bond together once again as they faced yet another frightening event. An event that would forever change the way all ten of us view life and the ambiguity of the world. We will become different people having experienced this sad tragedy.

Our dearest friends’ daughter has known one of the most vivacious, loving, talented and endearing girls for many years. The two girls were kindred spirits at the mere ages of 15 and 16. To the shock of everyone, she took her own life this week. She battled depression for years. Unfortunately, the disease won the strenuous fight. Sadly and despite her suspected perception, young Maggie was never alone.

Most all of us probably know someone whose life has been affected by depression, either directly or indirectly. We may not know that someone is suffering from depression, they may not even know themselves. Two out of three people who struggle with depression never seek help resulting in untreated depression as the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, it’s estimated that 19 million people live with depression, and suicide is the third-leading cause of death among those 18-24 years old.

Perhaps you have seen the countless photos on social media of outstretched arms with the word “love” scribed on skin and merely thought it some new type of arm art fad. There is a much deeper meaning to these sharpie tattoos.

Renee was a troubled Florida teen. Described as one who “has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide” she at one point used her cocaine-cutting razor to carve “F—k Up” on her arm adding to the other fifty self inflicted scars there. A group of concerned friends finally convinced her to go to a drug treatment center but she was deemed too “high risk” due to her distinctive markings and denied treatment. Fearing for her life, they designed a T-shirt selling drive in hopes of raising enough money to pay for her care. Their experiences led them to realize the greater need beyond just Renee.

Together they organized and formed TWLOHA, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people lost in depression, addiction, self-destruction and suicide. You can read their complete story and Mission Statement here: http://www.twloha.com. Their efforts caught on and went viral. Photos of teens with “Love” on their arms began popping up in dramatic fashion. Famous bands and the Hollywood elite began wearing their trendy T-shirts. “Why do you have that written on your arms?” “What does that T-shirt mean and where can I get one?” All were keen efforts to raise awareness for this cause and show those in need that they are not alone. By metaphorically applying “Love” as a pressure bandage to the self inflicted ugly wounds of the story’s character, this band of persistent friends helped not only Renee, but began to define and fulfill TWLOHA’s vision including:

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we’re more loved than we’ll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

 

Lucy, I won’t let this be the end of Maggie’s story either . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on by Angela in disease, Exercise, Nutrition, Whole Food Leave a comment
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