Is Raw Milk Paleo?

After my post on raw milk versus pasteurized milk went online, one of my Facebook friends questioned whether or not dairy was even Paleo? Which made me realize that I had not even addressed that issue. Dairy is one of those things that has become a bit of a sore subject for Paleo people. You know how you don’t talk about hunting when you are hanging out with a bunch of vegans because it’s just not worth the fight. Yeah, that’s kind of how some Paleo people get about dairy. One of the other reasons that I chose to call myself the Primal Otter instead of the Paleo Otter, because although, I started Paleo, I definitely have fallen into a more ancestral lifestyle. It really drives me a bit crazy to get into these conversations of “Is this thing Paleo?” because I think that question loses the big picture of the whole “Paleo” intent. Which is to eat in a way that is best for you and for Nature. At least, that’s my take, others may definitely differ.

Dr. Loren Cordain is known as the father of the Paleo Diet in a lot of ways. He wrote The Paleo Diet book first and is looked at as a solid voice in the community. And Dr. Cordain does not believe that milk should be consumed. His reasons are cited in this interview and his reasons are why a lot of people should not and do not drink milk. Milk can be a huge allergy trigger for some people. Between the casein and the lactose, a fair amount of people (numbers are given around 65%) are unable to digest milk. He also cites the drugs that are given to cows (they are) and references studies that show an increase in insulin for people who consume milk, although I am unsure if that includes all sources of milk or just store bought, mass produced milk. And since it is called the Paleo Diet, ingesting milk is not something the nomads of the Paleolithic era did. Drinking milk past breast feeding did not start until, we believe, less than 10,000 years ago which is a very short amount of time in the human evolution.

Caveman lady

What cave ladies probably looked like.

But let’s be totally honest folks. First off, there is no way that we as modern human beings can completely mimic the Paleolithic diet. We just can’t. Produce has evolved. Animals have changed. The world has changed. Does that mean that we should throw healthy, whole eating and the concepts of the Paleo diet out the window? No. But I also think that we need to look at everything bearing in mind that we are not necessarily Paleolithic people.

Now on to the people who are the big voices in the pro milk category. While technically, not a Paleo group, the Weston A. Price Foundation is an amazing resource for good, natural eating. They differ from Paleo in ways that I personally think are not important (although, you’ll see people on both sides bad mouthing the other side) because they think you should eat grains but you should sprout them first. And they are supporters of dairy products. Their similarities on the other hand are endless. They support local, grass fed meat, eating animal organs, cod liver oil, organic produce, consuming good, healthy fats, and the list goes on and on. Again, though, we tend to get lost in those little unimportant issues and lose the big picture.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a huge proponent of consuming dairy and keep in mind that we are referring to raw, grass fed milk not the store stuff. A few different sources that give you a general idea on their viewpoints of raw milk can be found here and here. This article also directly addresses Dr. Loren Cordain’s claims that milk contains growth factors that cause cancer. As that article points out, there is a lack of a direct effect between milk consumption and cancer.

Paleo reenactments. Not really. But wouldn't it be cool if it was?

Paleo reenactments. Not really. But wouldn’t it be cool if it was?

So where do the other names in Paleo come down on milk consumption? I think Mark’s Daily Apple takes a good stand about milk. He lists the good and the bad, and chooses not to totally take a stand, although you can tell he leans toward not consuming it at all. Abel James of the Fat Burning Man talks about his heavy cream, and grass fed butter he loves to put in his coffee. Angelo Coppela of Humans are not Broken and of Latest in Paleo tends to say that he does Paleo/Weston A. Price. Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom comes down on the side of choosing not consume dairy herself but recommends caution for others. It’s also important to keep in mind the background these particular bloggers come from too. Abel James and Angelo Coppela both are more the type who’ve tested it, found great results, and recommend that other people test it too. Sarah Ballantyne suffers from an autoimmune disorder and is Celiac disease so because of the similarities between gluten and casein, she can’t drink milk even if she wanted to.

As I’ve stated previously, I choose to drink milk. And other than occasionally getting some cheese on something when I go out to eat, I only consume my dairy from a local source because I think that’s important. I’ve tried it both ways. I’ve done totally dairy free, occasional dairy, or just raw dairy, and I feel the very best when it’s just raw dairy. I find my digestion is better, I’ve actually noticed less bloating. I’m satiated for longer periods of time and even though with the milk and yogurt I’m probably taking in more calories on a daily basis, I have not had any weight gain.

They were actually baking almond flour cookies!

They were actually baking almond flour cookies!

It really sounds like a cop out but it genuinely has to be a personal test. How do you personally feel when you eat grass fed, raw dairy? As it should be with all foods that are “Paleo” or “Not Paleo”. It shouldn’t be necessarily about whether or not the cavemen were eating it (because I highly doubt cavemen were baking coconut flour cookies in their caves) but how you feel when you eat. Experiment with foods objectively, keep a journal, listen to your body. That’s the true way to find the optimal diet.

Raw Milk versus That Store Stuff

Can I start off by saying that I really have missed writing? A lot. In my defense, I got married a month ago and you would think that all the stress and stress-related symptoms would disappear when the wedding is over, but that is just not true. Your body takes a beating when it is stressed and sleep deprived, and it takes real time to heal and get back to normal. And for me at least, while feeling that way, the urge and the ability to write is pretty much nonexistent. On the positive side, my wedding was completely amazing, the honeymoon was perfect, and I am back to putting my blog as a priority. And yes, for those of you who are into that sort of thing, there will be a wedding post with lots of pictures coming soon but today’s topic is about the benefits and risks of choosing raw milk over pasteurized store bought milk.

Milk

Let’s first start off by explaining what makes milk raw milk. It is simply milk that has not been pasteurized, or heated up until it kills the pathogens in the milk. Raw milk can be a carrier of dangerous bacteria including salmonella and E. coli, which can not only be dangerous but also deadly. Hence why the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and CDC (Center for Disease control) believe that it is necessary to pasteurize milk before the consumer can buy it. It is actually illegal to buy or sell raw milk in quite a few states. In my own home state of Michigan, it is illegal to sell raw milk, however, you can join a herd share and receive milk that way. The logic of the herd share is that you own part of the cow and pay for its room and board so you therefore have a right to what it produces. And there genuinely is a risk when choosing to consume raw milk instead of the pasteurized milk. Chris Kresser does a fantastic job of breaking down the actual statistical risks that CDC found and reported about raw milk and other foods that cause food borne illnesses. The findings basically come down to saying that there is a larger risk drinking unpasteurized milk than drinking pasteurized milk. However, it is only 9.4 times more likely to cause illness, and is actually last on the list of most common foods causing illnesses.  Bear in mind that these “illnesses” we are referring to are not necessarily just E coli and salmonella. This can refer to any illness like an upset stomach or diarrhea, and although food poisoning seems horrible while one is suffering from it, it is not necessarily life threatening. Personally, when I think about what foods are dangerous to eat and cause illnesses, my first thought is actually peanut butter or spinach. Now given the rate that peanut butter is consumed compared to raw milk is exponentially higher but it also proves that pretty much anything can have risks, and shouldn’t our concern be the source of the food, not the food itself? When pasteurization first became a requirement in America, there had been a huge TB breakout in New York. The tuberculosis was thought to be spread by milk, and most likely rightfully so. This was also during a time that doctors were just starting to finally accept that there lack of hand washing was what was killing newborns and their mothers. It’s hard to compare the knowledge of germs and sanitary conditions of the 1930’s to now. And again, source is so important. The more mass produced something is, the higher the risks for contamination. Mass produced milk has to be pasteurized.

So we agree that raw milk does carry a greater risk of illnesses and the CDC says that drinking pasteurized milk loses no nutritional value. So why drink raw milk? To start off, there are believed to be many health benefits, however, none completely proven, albeit more because of a lack of studies. Raw milk contains fats, good bacteria, and enzymes helpful to digestion. Because of it’s helpfulness in digestion its thought not only to help your immune system but also to even cure allergies. This sounds a little far fetched but as science continues to grow and develop about food allergens, we are more and more coming to understand that much of it comes down to gut health. Raw milk also contains lactase, which is the enzyme that helps to digest lactose. Those of us who are lactose intolerant can greatly benefit from the bacteria that creates those enzymes. I, myself, am one of those who does not have the certain broken gene that allows me to digest lactose well. I quit drinking milk in high school because of serious digestive issues and in an attempt to get my eczema under control, and it worked well for me. However, give me a glass of raw milk and I can drink it down with no negative side effects. I’ve actually seen an improvement in my ability to digest other foods but that is of course, only anecdotal evidence. And fat. Oh fat. The macro nutrient that has been vilified for so long. Fat is good for you. It’s good for brain development. Its satiating in ways that carbohydrates can almost never be. Breast milk is almost entirely made from fat and most people and experts agree that it is incredibly important to breast feed children. Even Dr. Oz is coming down in favor of “good fats“. I need to make the disclaimer that I definitely do not agree with everything that Dr. Oz points out in that video as good for you but getting the message out that fat can help with weight loss, wrinkles, and bone health is a definite improvement.

So we have anecdotal evidence of improved immune system, easier digestion, and healthy fats that help with overall health. But I believe that there is a moral responsibility in not supporting milk producers that use industrial raised cows. The milk that I drink comes from local, grass fed cows. Whereas these industrial raised cows are fed grains. Cows cannot digest grains well. As many people know, cows do that lovely thing where they chew grass, and chew and chew and chew grass until the grass becomes cud and then they swallow. The cud enters the first compartment of the stomach and is often regurgitated and chewed some more until the cow is able to digest it. Cows are not able to do this with grains. Their inability to do so can actually cause bloat and kill a cow rather quickly. Yes, we feed an animal something that can kill it and then expect it’s meat and milk to be good for us. So because of this, the cows are given antibiotics to help keep them alive. As well as animal byproducts and arsenic (at least for chickens but how long before its cows as well). They are kept in unclean conditions, spending a large part of their lives in their own filth, and then when ready to slaughter are shipped to more containment, mistreated, and slaughtered in unclean conditions. And dairy cows are not above this treatment. They, too, are given antibiotics to treat all the illnesses that inflict confined animals, to levels that are high enough to actually violate the FDA’s laws and leading to arrests in both Ohio and Idaho. These animals are genuinely sick and mistreated and we expect their products to be good for us. And not to get all hippy dippy on you, readers, but I just can’t believe that eating animals that have been treated that way is going to come back to you in a good way. God said that we shall have dominion over the land and the animals but we were meant to be caretakers of this world, and the mistreatment of animals does not fall under the role of caretaker.

Cow

I’m sure many of you can see that I come down on the side of raw milk. The farm that I get my milk from cares about their animals. They are well treated and the owners are open and honest. Visit their farm anytime, check out their equipment, and feel free to ask questions. They explain honestly that they do not regularly give any of their animal antibiotics, however, if one of their cows became sick, they would give them the necessary medicine to make them better. The cows have pasture upon pasture to eat and are happy, bright eyed animals. And I’ll be honest, I like the family. The husband and wife owners are genuine and interesting, and the children are gorgeous and active. It’s a small farm but I feel completely safe getting my milk, yogurt, and cheese from them. And it has, I believe, genuinely helped me. I feel better when I have it. I feel more satiated for longer. I have a better digestion. My overall skin health is also improved, which goes along with better digestion, less eczema.

Am I advocating that every person drink raw milk? Nope. I believe that if you think it is dangerous then you absolutely have the right to choose to not take the risk. I also believe that I should have the right to drink whatever milk I choose to drink. Our health, our food choices should be our own. Allowing the government to dictate the milk we drink is in a lot of ways opening the door for other things. We are all right with raw milk being banned because most people believe it’s  dangerous. How long before consuming the eggs that come from our own chickens becomes a food borne illness risk in the government’s eyes? Is buying organic produce from a local farmer going to be health risk at some point? It sounds a little paranoid, but we always have to think about the consequences of every law and how far reaching they can be. I’m so glad the federal government is doing raids in order to protect me from the dangerous Amish like this (sarcasm alert!). Raw milk or pasteurized milk, it should come down to our right to choose.

How about you? Do you drink raw milk? Would you? Do you believe that we should allow no one to assume the risks or should it be a personal choice?

Paleo Diet Part 3

Recently, I’ve introducing the Paleo Diet to my readers as simply as I can. In Part 1, I explained the premise and in Part 2, I tried to express the great and terrible things that can happen when you try to turn a life style change into a fad diet. Now I would like to talk about my favorite subject.

Me.

Just kidding. Well, sort of. I’m not that much of an ego maniac but I do want to spend Part 3 talking about my own personal journey and changes throughout the past year or so.

weight-loss

First off, let’s talk about the weight loss. Weight loss can be fantastic but I also don’t think that it should be the focus over health. But many times it’s what brings people to the Paleo Diet. It’s what originally got me interested. I was one of those lucky people who was born with a monster metabolism. I could put away more food that most grown men, and at 5 foot and 6 inches, I still only weighted 110 pounds my freshman year of high school. And I stayed pretty small until about 21 or 22, and slowly the weight started creeping up. Nothing major, though, this is not one those miracle stories, but it still crept up. By about 22, (with the help of working in a restaurant and let’s face it, way too much beer and box wine) I made it up to 146 lbs. And yes, I know that’s not a lot but I had two things working against me. One is that I am a very slender build and those love handles were painfully noticeable. Two is that even though I knew looking at the scale that I had gained weight, I couldn’t figure how to dress like I gained weight. I kept grabbing shirts off the rack that were way too small or pants that were incredibly tight around my bloated stomach. And as I’m sure many of you know, nothing will send into the arms of a glass of wine and bucket of ice cream faster than feeling like you’re too fat to wear anything.

So I tried what everyone tries. I started tracking my calories throughout the day. I lost no weight, and spent every single day only thinking about what I could eat, when I could eat, and how many peanut butter banana sandwiches I could have before I crossed over my calorie limit. I realize that limiting calories does work for a lot people, albeit mostly in the short term but for me, I couldn’t stand to be hungry. If I was hungry, I was unhappy. If I was unhappy, I wanted to eat. You can see the cycle forming. So I gave up. Fairly quickly. And bless my fiancé because I know there was a huge part of him that wanted to tell me that if I just eat a little less and exercise a little more then I’d lose weight. And partly because I am scary when I am angry but mostly because he loves me, he let me make my own decisions about my weight loss.

So anyway, fast forward. At this point, all my clothes were too tight and my acne, which was never an issue as a teenager, was terrible. I had very serious hormonal issues, as well as issues with anxiety. I genuinely thought that terrible gas pains and bloating were normal. I was just used to it so I never questioned the terrible stomach pains that followed each meal. Eventually, I watched a documentary that basically challenged the calorie obsession portrayed in Super Size Me. This documentary is called Fat Head. The director, Tom Naughton decided that he too, could eat McDonalds every day for 30 days. So he did and he made food choices that actually caused him to lose weight instead of gain it. It was sort of amazing. I highly recommend it and it is on streaming video on Netflix. It’s message really resonated with me. The idea that instead of eating filler food (bread, and other grain), eating nutrient dense whole foods made total sense to me. So I tried it. And I lost 10 pounds pretty quickly, but I didn’t know how to continue that. I didn’t know how to keep eating that way sustainably. Then my dad turned me on to this podcast called Latest in Paleo. Latest in Paleo is awesome. The host, Angelo Coppelo, is wonderful. He is sweet and genuine and when he talks about his wife and daughters there is such a sense of love that you feel that you are part of their family too.

So I started the Paleo Diet at this point. And I started it hardcore. And, wow, did it work for me. I dropped weight right away. I had a cyst that stayed put for 4 years, and the doctors were incredibly vague when I asked about it, but three weeks on Paleo and it disappeared. My mood got better, my acne slightly improved, not completely. That took further investigation and experimentation to get a hold on that. My energy level went up and my terrible eczema got better. It was awesome. I went from a size 8 in pants to a size 0, and I have kept it off for over a year. I felt stronger too. I don’t really exercise any more now than I did before but with the ability to burn fat, which I eat tons of instead of sugar, I build muscle fairly quickly. I’m still not as strong as I would like to be but I can do a couple pull ups and decent amount of push ups, and I haven’t been able to do that since I was 16. I felt like I had found the answer. Both my fiance and I finally felt like we were in our early twenties again, like we should have felt.

Bigger picture

Although, the difference between these two photos is more subtle to most people, the ridiculous changes that I can feel make these two pictures even more of a Before and After.

Thin Picture

Everything was great, well, almost. My hormones still didn’t feel like they were quite right and my acne had not improved any where near what it should have. So I became frustrated. I was doing everything right and yet, my body would not do what I wanted. So I fell off the wagon. I never gained any weight back but I started introducing things back in. Too many chocolate bars. Peanut butter. Gluten free snacks, which is just normal junk food with rice flour instead of wheat. Recently, I was exposed to something when I went out to dinner. It was sort of my fault. I should have investigated the food, but I had become so lax. I had always avoided gluten, even when eating things that were not Paleo because at the time, I thought it was the gluten that I was allergic to. Upon being exposed in that restaurant, my body decided to fight back. And hives appeared under my eyes. Big giant, very embarrassing bumps. And the journey began all over again.

angry otter

At this point, I was angry. I felt like I was living such a restricted life style. I couldn’t eat anything. Ever. Why could everyone else eat pretty much whatever and I couldn’t? And then came the journey of trying to figure out what I could eat and having no idea whatsoever where to start. I wasn’t sure if I was allergic to coconut or coffee or eggs or what. The thought of just not eating crossed my mind more than once. Oh, I know how dramatic that sounds but there is nothing quite like feeling like your body is working against you. And my issues are only an immune disorder that mostly only affects my skin. My heart breaks for people who have terrible debilitating auto-immune disorders.

So I started again. I started listening to The Paleo View and one of the hosts, Sarah Ballantyne, has Celiac disease and listening to her really made me start to understand what I was doing wrong. She explained how most people with Celiac disease cannot eat things like chocolate and coffee, or eggs and milk because the proteins in these items tend to act like the damaging proteins in wheat. And I realized that not only did I need to give up some of the things I love but I also needed to just go to the doctor and get tested for allergies. I kept putting it off because I just don’t think that doctor’s are sufficiently taught about nutrition. They treat symptoms amazingly but I don’t think they all know how to treat the underlying cause.

At this point, I stopped eating sweet potatoes, any dairy (including raw), eggs, coffee, chocolate, and any grains whatsoever. After my allergy tests, I received some really good news and some really bad news. The good news was that I do not have Celiac disease. The bad news is that even though I am not allergic to gluten, I am still allergic to wheat, corn, soy, shellfish, walnuts, and peanuts for sure. I think there may be a possibility that I have an issue with chocolate and sunflower seeds but that will be a later experiment.

So where does that put me right now. It still puts me mostly Paleo, I think. I’m just even more restricted than the general Paleo crowd, with some divergences. Like the fact that I do think that raw dairy is very good for you and that as long as you have no negative effects from it then consume away. Once I am able to do some gut healing for myself, 24 years of eating inflammation causing foods have done some serious damage to my health, then I am planning on reintroducing raw milk back into my diet. Many people in the Paleosphere you will find think dairy is bad because we didn’t start drinking until the Neolithic Era. I have to make the choice to eat and supplement as healthfully as possible. So that means my vitamins are all plant based, instead of synthetically made and added to corn starch pills. Which also makes them twice the price. And I will take my codfish liver oil everyday with my probiotics. I will try to eat my fermented sauerkraut at least once a day, as well as drink my kombucha, and will hopefully develop a taste for grass fed liver. And yes, I will try to eat sardines every day, too.

I almost didn’t put up before and after pictures to try and show off the changes that I have made in the last year. Part of me is incredibly self-conscious about it because even though I’m better, I still have a long way to go. Because of my recent exposure, my acne and eczema are terribly flared up. I can’t wear make up right now and even though, I want to be a person who’s 100% confident without it, well, let’s just say I’m not there yet. Whenever I want to encourage people to learn more about what they eating to help some issue they have, I want to put my hand next to my mouth to cover up the eczema patches that have recently appeared. It’s hard to try and tell other people how healthy you are when you know that you don’t always look it. But the entire point of even starting this blog was to encourage other people, especially women, that we should be proud of who we are. That as long as we are doing the very best we can for our health, that we should walk around like we are best looking people in the room. I’m on a journey right now to be the very healthiest and happiest I can be for me, my fiance, and our future family. And because of that, I have to be more forgiving of my faults. Please try to walk the same way for yourself. Stop being your worst critic and forgive of your own imperfections.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. ~Buddha

On food allergies

Let me preface this by explaining that I am allergic to everything and I have eczema. The combination of these two things is no fun at all. I recently went to the doctor’s office because after about a month of trying to figure out why there were hives on my face, I finally gave in and went for a conventional medicine approach. And when I say hives on my face, I mean that below my eyes there were huge bumps that became more exasperated the more I tried to cover them up with make up. The doctor did what I thought she would do and prescribed some steroids. Ugh. I hate taking steroids. My heart breaks for people who have to take prescriptions like that constantly. I felt so off kilter and I was only taking them for ten days. Complaining aside, the steroids only sort of helped, I started doing some research and decided that I need to just go get a food allergy disease test and a Celiac disease test. According to the test, I do not have Celiac disease. I am, however, still allergic to wheat (just not the gluten), along with a list of about 10 other things including soy, peanuts, walnuts, shellfish, and corn. The positive part of not being Celiac disease is that even though I still cannot have wheat, I am not as limited as so many others with celiac. From what I’ve gathered, those that are sensitive to gluten (which is a protein that does not like to be digested) also tend to have an issue with similar proteins. Those proteins include eggs (egg whites technically), coffee, chocolate, milk and tons of other things. If you are interested in the technical language, please check out this The Paleo Mom article. I had already given up so much. I did not want to get rid of my recent herdshare milk and my fiance and I had just bought 12 chicks and built a chicken coop.

In other words, the results from the allergy test, although seemingly having negative results actually turned out to be a positive thing. The way I was looking at it is that even though I am incredibly restricted, I am not allergic to what I think are the healthiest things. I am not allergic to milk, well, I am lactose intolerant. I choose to drink raw, hormone free, non-factory farm raised cow’s milk and that does  not bother my lactose intolerance. I’m pretty convinced that full fat dairy (from safe sources) is incredibly good for you. And eggs. Eggs are almost super foods. They contain protein, fat, good cholesterol, choline, and naturally occurring Vitamin D. And codfish. Fermented codfish oil is amazing for you. Second only to grass fed liver for great sources of vitamins like Vitamin A and healthy omega-3s. And I can have all three of those things. That’s awesome. I am a huge fan of Weston A. Price and the diet and lifestyle that they advocate and all three of those items are at the top of their list for healthiest foods. So that’s good, right? I can continue living almost the same as usual, minus a few more things that I used to think I could have.

Then came today. I went to the health food store, which I like to call the Hippy Store. And the awesome thing about this hippy store is that they have amazing gluten free options. They carry the natural teas that I like to drink. They sell goat cheese and ice cream made from coconut milk. It’s awesome. So I went today and told myself that I was going to get myself a gluten free cupcake or cookie. It had been a long time since I treated myself to something like that and I was really excited. So I looked at every single gluten free baked good and just became more and more frustrated. Every single item had either corn, soy, or sunflower oil in it. Oh, did I not mention that I am also allergic to sunflowers. All I kept saying to myself as I read yet another ingredient label that disappointed me was that I can’t have anything. Anything. And I’m getting married in 42 days, there is no way I am going to risk having another reaction. I felt the tears of frustration welling up and I had to fight the urge not to take my frustration out on the soy eating vegan with long hair working at the counter.

It’s so easy to think “Why me? Why do I constantly have to work so hard to eat?” Most people can have all their food on the go. They can stop at a fast food restaurant and get some french fries to go. They can say “Gosh, I don’t have time to cook tonight”, or even “I don’t feel like cooking tonight” and they can order pizza. Or just stop by the frozen section at their closest grocery store, grab a box and pop it in their oven when they get home. I’m incredibly jealous of those people and sometimes I feel very negative and aggressive toward those people. I have to work very hard at being positive about my restrictions.

Sometimes people ask me how I do it. How do I keep from eating the three most common ingredients in the Standard American Diet (wheat, corn, and soy)? Sometimes this question bothers me. Sometimes I want to scream “Well, I don’t really have a choice, now do I?” But I do have a choice. We all have choices and I had to choose what would be the healthiest for me, and the healthiest for my future children.

So where am I going with this? I am trying to say in my own rambling way that although, health and food choices can be incredibly frustrating, you have to be positive. The most important thing is that you are healthy. And health makes you happy. So what if you can’t eat a cupcake when you feel energetic and good enough to go for a 5 mile hike with your awesome dogs.

Some of the good things that have come out of hives on my face:

  • I finally made the move to using baking soda instead of shampoo
  • I started using homemade cleaning and household products
  • I stopped wearing make up confidently (that’s a huge thing for me)
  • I started fermenting my own sauerkraut (that’s to help gut health, which can have a direct affect on allergy symptoms)

These seem like small things but it feels good to feel good about yourself. It feels good to make good choices about what you put into the environment. No, I can’t have beer anymore but I can still have cider and wine. No, I can’t have store bought pickles but I can make my own and they are delicious. Make the choice to always view things in a good light.

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our
circumstances.” – Martha Washington