Can You Actually Swim With Sharks?

Environment

What: Not one, not two, try at least 20 sharks spiraling inches and feet away from your body floating in the ocean! The purpose: education, conservation, and a thrilling, once in a lifetime experience. We saw Galapagos, Sandbar, and even a Hammerhead.

Where: Haleiwa, Hawaii aka North Shore of Oahu.

Why: Because sharks are misunderstood species and what better way to get your blood pumping?

How: Choose a company. I’ve done both OneOceanDiving and IslandView and loved both experiences for different reasons. One Ocean is more educational and overall a great experience, however we saw many more sharks with Island View and they took photos for us (for a price of course). Wear a rash guard because it gets cold and there are jelly fish! Bring a towel, gopro, sunscreen, etc.

(yes, that’s me in the picture!)

 

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1 in 79 Million

Self Healing, Uncategorized

I consider myself to be a pretty healthy person. Definitely not all the time – some may call me a pizza connoisseur and French fry enthusiast – but I’m also vegetarian 90% of the time (still eat a little fish here and there), normal body weight, normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, normal blood glucose, work out occasionally (this needs improvement), etc. As stated, I consider myself pretty normal, except now I am part of a new normal that doesn’t seem so normal – I am now 1 of 79 million Americans who have HPV (source here). I normally wouldn’t share such a personal and upsetting story with the world, but because it is so common but I feel rarely talked about, I hope others can relate to what I’m going through and maybe my story can help someone, somewhere, because it’s a lonely place to find out you have an “incurable viral infection”.

The facts:

  • According to the CDC, HPV will affect nearly every man and woman who is sexually active at some point in their life (source here). I’m 26, probably among the most sexually active demographic, so why am I so in the dark about this disease that apparently everyone has, has had, or will have? (Side note –  I just talked to my mom who just now informed me she had it twice, my grandmother had it, and my great grandmother had it – what the heck! Why didn’t I know this?)
  • There is no test for guys to find out if they have it and women find out during their pap smears.
  • There’s no test to find out what type of HPV you have (there are literally HUNDREDS), meaning you can’t see if you have the cancer-causing kind, the herpes-causing kind (except the obvious clue), or the kind that goes away on its own.
  • Only a handful of types cause cancer.
  • The vaccine only protects against 3 of the most prevalent cancer-causing types and doesn’t mean you won’t get HPV (I had the vaccine at age 18 and still got HPV now at 26).
  • According to western medicine, there is no cure – DON’T LOST HOPE just yet! Stay tuned for more information on my research from the web and naturopathic doctors I am now working with 🙂

This has been such an emotional time full of questions, mood swings, and a search for enlightenment. Please continue reading to hear my story, and maybe it will be similar to yours or someone you know.

2015, age 24…

When I first found out about this incurable virus that I had from an OBGYN, I was devastated. It was a little over a year ago when I went in for a routine pap smear and the results came back abnormal. At this time, she called me back in for a biopsy, after which the results showed I had low grade HPV. I had already had HPV before when I was about 19, but shortly after I got the vaccine and my body healed itself within 3 months. Now here I was 24 going on 25 hearing that I have the virus again. My doctor said it could be stress induced, sometimes peoples HPV just comes back, I could’ve been reinfected since there are so many strains, and countless other things. Overall, she told me not to worry, it’s just mild grade and my body will probably fight it off so she’ll see me in a year for another routine pap.

2016, age 25 (almost 26)…

Here we are in 2016 and I go back in for my yearly exam expecting things to be better. Not only did I not get better, but my HPV progressed from Mild to High Grade, skipping the Intermediate level. It did exactly the opposite of what she said would happen and now I’m in the predicament I’m in now. I wish I had listened to my gut and done something, ANYTHING last year when I found out about the mild grade to help support my body to fight it off. I was devastated. I haven’t cried this much consistently in a long time. To be honest, I thought i was doing fine. I follow a blog called Organic Olivia and constantly educate myself about organic foods, vegetarian & vegan diets, exercise, etc. I am truly passionate about natural cures and a healthy, earth-conscious lifestyle (just ask anyone who knows me). I can’t help but think “Why me? Of all people. I am not perfect, but I consider myself pretty healthy when you compare me to the average American.”

The immune system…

When I think about it, my immune system has always been questionable. I was born with asthma, had mono when I was 15 and was nearly dying 3 months in (I’ll share that story another time), had shingles at age 22 (yes, THE shingles), and was hit by a drunk driver the same year in December 2012 where I was left with 2 herniated discs and a pinched sciatica nerve, pain that I still deal with everyday. The body is always trying to heal itself, but I realize my body has been subjected to major stress throughout my life and this definitely plays a role in holistic health.

So, what to do?…

According to my OBGYN, I have one option: the LEEP surgery where I get put under anesthesia and they cut off 1 cm of my cervix. Apparently this is a very common and routine procedure, but I couldn’t get over the fact that when I asked her if there is anything else I can do to try and help the cells return to normal, her answer was always no. According to Western Medicine, this is my only option – get put out and cut it off. She then tells me that there’s no guarantee that she’ll get it all or that it won’t come back. Why would I #1 subject myself to this surgery if it it’s not even for sure going to solve the problem? In fact, I spoke with my mom who I just found out had this exact thing happen to her and she had to get the procedure twice because hers came back. I don’t think this surgery is going to treat the real problem, it will just get rid of the cells but I want to heal myself and get to the root of why my body can’t fight off this virus.

I’ve since made several appointments with a few naturopathic doctors in the area and have spoken to two women who told me I DO have other options. It’s a holistic treatment that takes dedication and hard work for a longer period of time than just a quick surgery, but I am willing to do what it takes to heal myself for the long run.

This will be my story of my journey trying to heal myself. I don’t agree that there is no cure – there is always a way to help your body heal. I have to believe in that. I’ve believed in it with small things like curing warts on my skin with apple cider vinegar, using oregano oil and ginger, lemon tea when I’m sick, coconut oil for oral health…there are so many things out there and I think this is another one of those things. I have this gut feeling that through healing my body as a whole and using local treatments, I can get rid of the bad cells and replace them with good ones, thus solving the problem in a sustainable way.

This is my story. What’s yours?

Feel free to message me or comment below. I want to help anyone with the knowledge I gain from this experience, and would love to hear how others have battled this virus as well. Any advice, experience, questions, or comments are welcome.

Finding your inner inspiration

About LiveInLoveOrganics, Self Healing

Getting started is often the hardest part in anything we choose to do. Well actually, second to maintaining the behavior long term, it is still pretty difficult. It’s new, you want to do it right, you want to be efficient because everyone knows time is limited these days in our busy schedules. So how do you do it? Well, along my journey of discovering truth, self awareness, health & wellness, our world..I’ve found that it’s best to start with what you do know and apply what you’ve learned there to this new task.

What do I mean? Well, I am a very curious person. I’m always trying to learn and understand what is right, what is best for my body, my world, my peers. I know there are a ton of great books out there that I could learn from, but I’m not much of a reader (yet another thing I’d like to become one day). So, if i let the fact that I am not much of a reader stop me from trying, and the fact that even if i do try i often fall asleep or lose interest after 50 pages, then I’ll never do what I truly want to do – to learn and grow! So, what to do?

DOCUMENTARIES

They’re on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube…they’re FREE! They’re also efficient and pack a lot of information in about an hour or so. They’re visually stimulating, easy to understand, and there are a lot of them on almost every topic you could imagine. I’ve found that if i want to learn something, i need to start by inspiring myself with a documentary. Bonus – these documentaries feature experts, authors, filmmakers and the like which can then lead you to your next source of information.

BLOGS/INSTAGRAM/FACEBOOK

To be honest, i don’t have days to read about one topic – most times I am new to the topic anyways and want the abridged version. People are constantly promoting themselves and their ideas on social media so search for pages that talk about the topics you are interested in! Whether it be health, fitness, food, spirituality, the environment..there are pages for everything! Which leads me to…

YOUTUBE

I found an amazing series called Spirit Science on Youtube, absolutely free to watch whenever I have time and learn about the mind, body, and spirit. There are tons of series like this on Youtube that are much more educational and fulfilling than the sitcoms we binge watch (yes I still binge watch sitcoms, but it’s great to mix it up!)

Anyways, I’m just thinking out loud and I am sure everyone is like DUH i already know this, but as a Communication Studies major I’ve found that even the most “duh” concepts, when organized and categorized into specific and concise thoughts and ideas, have a much more lasting meaning in our lives, as these then become the basic principles in which we reference when carrying out our daily lives. What i mean is, by breaking things down into their simplest form, we can then apply them to almost anything in our lives!

I was inspired to write this tonight after watching the documentary “Food Matters”. I am currently overwhelmed with my desires – I want to lose weight, have better health, have more energy, be happier, be less stressed, look more beautiful, blog more, volunteer, help my friends and family be healthier, workout more..I didn’t know where to start. So I started with a documentary to efficiently inspire me to take control of my life and start taking action. We can all stand to function at a much higher capacity in all of the areas I listed, but how can we address all of those issues? By starting with what we choose to eat! “Let medicine be thy food, and food be thy medicine” Hippocrates said. I am starting with the basic foundation of what I put into my body to then address every issue I have in my life. I’m going to attempt to blog about it and share my story. Hopefully I can inspire others to start taking action today and empower you to know that you are in control of your life and if you want to change something YOU CAN! You don’t have to be of a certain class, of a certain level of beauty, have a certain income, have a million followers..you can do it, but it starts with YOU 🙂

5 minute smoothie

Recipes

Start your morning off right with this 5-minutes-to-make smoothie! 

Ingredients (all organic):

💚kale

💚half banana sliced

💚half packet acai

💚handful frozen mixed berry blend

💚tablespoon chia seeds

💚almond milk filled up to kale

💚pomegranate juice filled up to top

Such an easy recipe and so YUM ! You can find all of these ingredients at costco for cheap-just keep the fruits and kale frozen, chia seeds stored in your cupboard, and pomegranate juice/almond milk in the fridge. I like to wake up, drink a warm cup of tea with lemon, let it sit for about 10 mins then drink this smoothie. The warm water will kick start your digestive system and the smoothie will follow. Enjoy!!

How to scramble

Recipes

The less time you apply heat, the more nutrients vegetables retain. At least that’s what I’ve heard and it seems to be true! Whenever I overcook my veggies they don’t taste as good, and it only makes sense that the more alive something is the more nutrients it will have. Anyways! Here’s my scramble and how I made it ☺️ enjoy! *all ingredients are organic*

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions 
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3 heaping handfuls of spinach
  • 2 heaping handfuls baby spinach (the spinach and kale should fill a large salad bowl uncooked because they cook down so much, but you can always add more if you need)
  • 2 eggs (can always add more)
  • Chili powder to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

How-to:

Turn the stove on medium head and add the olive oil. After about 45 seconds, add the garlic and onions then sautée for about 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and kale and stir around until they cook down (about 3 minutes). Remove onions, spinach and kale mixed with the garlic from pan and place into separate bowl. Then add the eggs with a tbsp water into the pan. Stir to scramble and once the eggs are almost done cooking, add all veggies, including tomatoes and green onions, then stir together with spices. I chose chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Enjoy!  

 

OatMEAL that’s actually good

Recipes

Working full time, keeping the house clean, paying bills, trying to stay fit and healthy…this can all be difficult to time manage. However the one thing that we can’t go without paying attention to is that you must eat! Therefore, finding quick and easy recipes that you don’t have to make everyday is key. 

Welcome: the breakfast oatmeal casserole! Healthy, quick, and satisfying. Here is the recipe below, which can be modified in many ways (see my modifications below). I used all organic ingredients and swapped out the dairy where I could. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this an 8! Very easy, inexpensive, filling, and tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All Natural Oats
  • ⅓ Cup Brown Sugar 
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Chocolate Chips (dark chocolate)
  • 1 Cup Strawberries (raspberries)
  • ⅔ Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 2 Cups Milk (vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Butter (organic melt buttery spread)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 10×10 casserole dish generously with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the chocolate chips, & half the berries. Stir well and pour into casserole dish. Add the other half of the berries & chocolate chips to the top of the mixture. Then, slice the banana & add to top. Sprinkle on chia seeds. 
  4. In a separate bowl, combine milk, egg, butter, & vanilla. Whisk thoroughly. Pour on top of oatmeal mixture, making sure the all oats are soaked evenly. 
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Then, remove casserole & add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the top of the casserole for added sweetness (optional.) Bake for an additional 5 or 10 minutes or until the top of the casserole is golden brown.

Some modification ideas:

  • Try adding chia or flax seeds to the mix
  • Lessen the sugar and butter
  • Swap one cup oats for one cup freekeh
  • Try different berries, like raspberries

Find the original recipe here. Enjoy!

 

FedUp – watch it!

Uncategorized

This movie is incredible and it’s free on Netflix! I wrote a bit about my thoughts on the food industry (check it out below) but as an intro here is a snapshot of what you will learn about by a few quotes:

“The school lunch system is serving the food industry more than the students”

“AHA guidelines recommend 6-9 tsp of sugars per day. Most kids get 41!”

“Tomato paste is a vegetable!” So pizza and French fries count as vegetables according to federal regulations-2 out of the 3 mandated veggies serving options..OPTIONS kids don’t even have to eat, which they probably won’t if there is pizza as an option (I know I wouldn’t). 

“I don’t know any child who would rather have vegetables over a candy bar when both are placed in front of them”

“We could cure 80% of the problem for children if we went back to the cafeteria in schools.”- Bill Clinton 

“Children as young as 2 and 3 start to recognize brands.”

“That is exactly why you see Health insurance companies buying stock in food industries”

“Junk food companies are acting just like tobacco companies acted 30 years ago”
“We’ve had this information for decades and have failed to act on it”

“Over 95% of all Americans will be overweight in 2 decades. By 2050 1 in 3 Americans will have type 2 diabetes.”

“If we want better conditions each of us has to do something to make that happen”

“Everybody has a choice 3 times a day what they put on their fork! Cook real food, forget about nutrients..if you cook real food your family will feel better!”

I sometimes think about whether the government is behind all of this obesity and sickness. First I think, no they couldn’t be. Then I look and the evidence and I go, well that’s what’s happening so why would they do that? What is the motive to poison us and keep us sick? Why would they want the environment to be destroyed by poisonous products? Why do they bio-engineer foods and animals against what has worked for thousands of years in nature without our manipulation? And then it hit me: it’s not necessarily just the government, but the food industry. Food companies are behind all of this because they get in with policy makers and lobbyists from the beginning of heir careers, creating a bonded partnership! Despite any evidence or science that their product is harmful, these politicians can’t deviate from their original agreements or they risk losing their position of influence. I as a consumer am also bound to this system, I am realizing. What a scary fact..I eat food everyday, we NEED food everyday, we are dependent on food! We are becoming so dependent on the food industry when their sole mission is to generate more profits. They aren’t functioning to benefit our health, our planet, or anything but their profits. But then I think, wouldn’t they want to preserve us and the environment that grows their foods for long term sales and profits? Well, why would they be concerned about what happens decades, even centuries from now when they can be the CEO or the Director or Marketing that boosted profits by 300% from 2010-2015 by getting us Americans addicted to their products to keep coming back for more and more and in turn make a ton of money for themselves. To close with another quote: “don’t you have any shame at all? You have to know that what you’re selling is bad. How do you live with yourselves?”

Parasite Cleanse #2, With Friends!

Uncategorized

This marks the 2nd parasite cleanse I’ve ever done, and this time two of my friends decided to join me to see what parasite cleansing is all about! I’m hoping to have them write a guest blog post at the end of our two weeks, so stay tuned to hear their experiences and results!

You may be wondering, what prompted them to try it too? Well, they saw how my acne cleared, my face glowed, my energy levels increased (not to mention how I literally saw parasites) and they wanted to see if they could experience the same results!

The cleanse so far:

  • Unfortunately this time around I have not been eating very healthy..I’ve been craving the most unhealthy foods every day! I think this is due to my past 3 weeks of binging on processed foods and eating out at restaurants while my boyfriend visited Hawaii and I visited home in California. It’s amazing how even a few weeks of bad habits can be so hard to break! My strategy: I’ve been trying to slowly get back into the healthy eating routine by allowing myself to give in to temptation and eat unhealthy foods when I really want them, but always try and have one healthy meal per day to help me transition back into mostly/all healthy meals.

I actually had this discussion with my yoga teacher (Check him out on instagram @hnlguru) about not depriving yourself of the foods your body is telling you you want. If you seek a binary solution (all healthy or nothing at all) then you will not enjoy this new change and you could potentially be setting yourself up for failure. I prefer a more achievable approach, with unhealthy things in moderation, perhaps more slightly skewed in the unhealthy direction at first, then slowly moving on to the healthier side of things as time goes on.

I will post in about a week with our final results from this cleanse!

Results so far:

  • Two friends have seen at least one parasite each!
  • I have seen at least one parasite!
  • Acne is clearing up
  • Skin tone is smoother
  • We also have noticed our energy levels increasing! My firnd is on her period and she said usually she is very tired, but this time she isn’t. I also noticed that on my last cleanse, so it’s great to hear someone else experiencing this!
  • We are all experiencing a lot of bloating. I think this is from the colon cleanse as the bottle says to decrease the dose if you experience bloating

We have all been eating unhealthy, so hopefully we will see more results this coming week! Stay tuned 🙂

What is Xanthan Gum & why is it in almost every processed food I see?

Uncategorized

Being conscious of what you put into your body requires reading labels and ingredients in all products. I’ve always read the “Xanthan gum” part of ingredients and been like, “hmm..this is in so many foods that it must be safe.” I never read too much into it, but after learning that msg has 50 different names, gmo corn can be found in many things as high fructose corn syrup, etc. I decided to do a quick search. Here’s what I found:

So what’s it for? Xanthan gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent used in foods, cosmetics, toothpaste and medicines to name a few. It can also lower blood sugar & cholesterol and stimulates the digestive tract (source). If you are gluten free, use store bought salad dressing, or use anything that needs to remain thickened or mixed, chances are you are consuming this on a regular basis. 

In scientific terms: xanthan gum is a polysaccharide secreted by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris (source). I get that we need to thicken foods or keep them mixed nicely, but seriously who was the first person to recognize that a certain kind of bacteria’s waste that produces rot on vegetables could be a useful sugar we could add in almost any food? So strange to me haha. 

Xanthan gym is derived from corn, wheat or soy and is usually only less than .5% of the product weight. According to FDA regulations, Organic products need only be 95% organic to carry the “USDA organic” seal. This makes me think then that our organic processed foods could still have some gmo ingredients from these little emulsifiers perhaps? I don’t know just something to consider as I thought “organic” meant 100% organic. 

So should you avoid it? If you are allergic to corn, wheat or soy then yes. I haven’t found any scientific studies that prove it to be harmful. However with most things we manipulate in a lab, add to foods and consume on a large scale, I would be careful. I have decided not to worry about it since it is in such small quantities. You gotta pick your battles, right?