It seems everywhere you look someone has sleep apnea. What gives?
Now, I'm not saying don't get a CPAP machine, but I am going to talk about some of the mind-blowing things I've been hearing about sleep apnea, where it comes from, and how to potentially cure it if you don't want a CPAP machine.
Warning: this is a stream-of-consciousness-like post and I specifically did NOT put links to research here because I want you to do your own research. There is so much out there and I don't claim to be an expert. My intent is pass on some mind-opening ideas that may help you find a solution where none seemed to exist before.
Of course this begs the question: do you think sleep apnea is curable?
I'm inclined to think many things can be cured. I have been curing myself of cellulite, for example, where my whole life people said it was just hereditary and there is nothing you can do about it. I've also healed little cavities naturally by changing my teeth brushing solution when I was taught growing up that they could not be healed. (And I was raised in a family with nurses.)
So while I don't know if YOUR sleep apnea can be cured, I don't believe that being diagnosed with it has to be a forever sentence.
Are you ready for a new idea?
What if sleep apnea is caused by all of our soft, processed food and the need for a stronger tongue?
That is an interesting theory, isn't it? And it may go a ways in reasoning why sleep apnea seems more common now.
The idea it this: in the past we had to chew our food. Really chew it. Sometimes straight-off-the-tree-gnaw it. Now everything comes in a tube.
This chewing gave us great tongue strength. Now, however, many tongues are out of shape, laying the back of the mouth and obstructing breathing. As a side note, these out-of-shape tongues may also be causing poor posture. If your tongue blocks the back of your throat you may be sticking your neck out to open your airway. If you lift your tongue up against the roof of your mouth, now you may find you stand up straight to get the most air.
I like air.
Getting air while you sleep and while you are awake is so important.
I know I'm stating the obvious here, but it gets even more interesting when you research the connection between oxygen and cancer. But I digress.
So what do you do about a lazy tongue?
You can do tongue therapy. There is a tongue therapist in my town, there may be one in yours. (Incidentally, when applied early enough with kids, tongue therapy can even reduce or eliminate the need for braces because your tongue is designed to widen your mouth appropriately so your teeth can all fit. If it strong enough to lay against the top of your mouth, that is)
There are also interesting articles about fat tongues and apnea, being tongue tied and apnea, and all other sorts of tongue-related apnea things.
In addition to tongue strength and positioning for apnea, there are also apnea success testimonials for Earthing/Grounding and Mouth Taping.
Earthing/Grounding is about allowing the frequency of the Earth to reduce inflammation and has been known to cure or reduce snoring and apnea. It certainly reduced so many of my own I-think-I'm-getting-old symptoms that now I feel younger again.
Mouth taping sounds barbaric and I resisted it like crazy but now I can't wait to tape my mouth to sleep. It is so relaxing. I get more rest in less hours (something any parent or busy person could use) and I wake up so much happier. It also reduces cavities because apparently when you sleep with your mouth open the back of your teeth end up as acidic as if you drake a Coca-Cola before bed and didn't brush. Huh.
Some say being overweight can cause sleep apnea but this makes me wonder: why? Does it all lead back to tongue size and shape?
So there you have it. Some interesting ideas and theories about sleep apnea and potential cures and things you can Google while you wait for your lunch.
I mean eating!
I mean Googling!
Oh, you know what I mean.
I scored with this Paleo nut-free 9" cake pan double-layer chocolate cake and vanilla frosting for my son's fourth birthday.
I was going to try a different receipt that called for 8" cake pans but I didn't have any cake pans (because, um, I don't really cook) and the stores don't carry 8" and it was too late to order from Amazon. Huh. So I started researching how to convert a 8" cake pan recipe into a 9" cake pan recipe and apparently you need an advanced math degree and the physical precision to add 33% of an egg to your batter.
Not going to happen.
So I found 9" cake pans–available at all stores–and this Paleo 9" chocolate cake recipe.
The cake was amazing.
It actually tasted like cake.
Chocolate cake. Real chocolate cake. One that even the non-Paleo people at the table were drooling over.
*Note: When you had a choice of oils, I used ghee.
I tried to make the frosting from the same recipe page too, but I don't know if I had the wrong kind of palm shortening or just no patience to make it "come back together" and it ended up looking like curdled ick so I found and used this frosting recipe I found instead.
THIS IS THE BEST FROSTING I HAVE EVER TRIED.
I put that in all caps, I know. It's worth it.
It whips, folks. Like real frosting. Frosting that even the non-Paleo people at the table were drooling over.
It also created an actual cake-like look, unlike other Paleo frosting I have tried which looks like a helmet.
I was eating my cooked Chicken & Apple Adele's sausage for breakfast when it occurred to me: This tastes a lot different cooked in coconut oil.
I had been cooking sausage in bacon grease for some time and I quite forgot you could cook it in a different oil. The only reason I even remembered was because I had some riced cauliflower from the night before to heat up and that was cooked in coconut oil. (Coconut oil takes away some of the cauliflower aftertaste. A mom told me about it and wow, it makes a difference cooking it that way for kids. And me. I'm just a big kid.)
I could blame forgetting about my culinary choices on having three kids and a puppy but honestly, cooking is not one of my natural interests and I might have forgotten anyway. I don't daydream about what's for dinner. If I did maybe it wouldn't be hamburgers again.
What other things can you change up with a tiny tweak? Off the top of my head:
And just for fun let's come up with more:
So if you are bored with your Paleo diet and you don't have the time or inclination to pretend you are a master chef with a food blog making up new concoctions with cumin and thyme (do those even go together?)....
...just make a small change and see what happens.
I'm back into writing (as my youngest child is almost four and I have the time to do a laptop swing-by now and again). I'm also eating breakfast. Every day, really. ;) And as I ate my carrot sticks this morning I realized: I never wrote that post about how to do breakfast without bread.
I'll admit. Breakfast was a hard one for me to shift when I went Paleo.
After all, it's the LEAST Paleo meal people traditionally eat with all of the sugar, grains, and dairy. I had to shift my mindset about the meal to make it work. I talk about that here.
But once I started pulling apart the ideas behind each food I ate in the mornings I got clarity which then made it MUCH EASIER to shift. And shift for good.
It started with questions:
I just kept asking myself simple questions about the bread until I realized:
Which means I could then ask:
What else could I eat that would give me the same benefits and experience?
The answer was cucumbers.
Cucumbers had a different texture then eggs. The crunch of difference I was looking for with a toasty piece of bread. The butter was irrelevant when you had bacon. Fat is fat. Yummy fat. And you could dip the cucumber slices in your runny eggs. Yum.
Later on I moved to carrot sticks. Same thing. A different crunch. A texture change. A dipping mechanism.
And that's when I realized I could apply this type of Q&A to all sorts of food issues. Why did I eat that? What did it give me? Sometimes it was just emotional. A memory. Sometimes it was a texture. Sometimes it was a change of taste. Sometimes it was an aftertaste.
And once I did that, I could find ways to change without giving up what I really liked about food: the pleasant, feel-good experience of it all. :)
I wrote this post back in June 2013 about how I cured my candida. Since then people have asked me what I ate. (The Biotheraphy Clinic here in the Bay Area, CA that cured me gave me a diet to follow for about 3-4 months. I went the full 4 months. I did NOT want to have to repeat it.)
I had tried candida diets in the past. While I was on them I felt better but as soon as I got off them my candida symptoms came back. I believe it was the combination of supplements, mineral water, diet and colon cleanses – complete with repopulating my gut with good bacteria afterwards – that cured me for good.
This clinic knows their stuff.
If you are in the Bay Area and you have candida, go see them. I drove 45 minutes each way to my appointments and I was grateful to do it. I emailed them to ask if I could publish their diet. They said of course. (They are so nice!)
So without further ado, here is the diet.
(Honestly, if you have tried one of the other candida diets being able to have an apple a day will save you. IT WILL SAVE YOU.)
Also, I think their recommendation that you space your eating so that you can digest fully is fantastic:
Here is the diet from Biotheraphy Clinic:
(I ate the Paleo version of this, so... this diet minus anything that was grains, legumes or dairy. It would naturally be a granulated sugar free, being a candida-free diet.)
OK, that was a little "ado".
If you want to be healthy, feel great and be in the best physical shape, eat as much “live food” as you can, meaning raw food that has not undergone temperature treatment. Develop the habit of eating cooked foods only once a day, at dinner time.
Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Try not to swallow even small, unchewed pieces.
If you are thirsty, have a drink ½ hour before your meal, or 1 hour after, otherwise the drink will dilute your gastric juices, and disrupt the normal digestive process.
Digestion requires more energy than any other bodily function. To save the energy needed for cleansing and healing the body (e.g. of waste, harmful bacteria and parasites), different foods have to be properly combined. At any meal, vegetables (except starches) should be combined with only one other kind of food, such as meat, fish, poultry, etc.
There should be a brake of 30-45 minutes between meals consisting of fruits. After meals that do not include meat, there should be a break of no less than 3 hours before the next meal. After meals containing meat the break should be 4 hours.
Eat dinner early so the food moves out of your stomach before bedtime.
Twice a day, drink a glass of warm water with juice of ½ or whole lemon.
Especially, drink at least 8-10 glasses of liquid, including mineral, distilled, spring or purified water.
Exclude the following:
- sweet fruits (bananas, figs, persimmons, sweet mangoes, grapes, oranges, mandarins and all dried fruits)
- sugar and sugar containing foods, including honey, molasses, maple syrup, etc.
- bread, pastries, cookies, pasta, anything containing wheat
- yeasty food (rolls, bread)
- dairy products: milk, cheese, cottage cheese (except plain low fat yogurt with active, living cultures)
- alcoholic beverages
- canned, bottled, packaged and processed foods, (usually contain refined sugar products and other hidden ingredients)
- sauces and vinegar
- pickled and smoked meats and fish
- all types of mushrooms
- starchy vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, winter squash, cooked carrot and beets) and white rice.
Eat – unlimited veggies (best raw, but steamed, boiled or baked acceptable ): cabbage, alfalfa, asparagus, avocado, beet, broccoli, carrot raw, cauliflower, celery, cucumber eggplant sweet pepper, lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach raw, sprouts,salat greens, tomato, zucchini;
- wild fish, wild skinless chicken and turkey, lean meat no more than 3,5 oz;
- beans, legumes (one cup a day);
- raw seeds and nuts (except peanuts).
- whole grains.
Eat only whole grains of oat, barley, millet, brown rice, quinoa, rye, buckwheat (no more than one cup per day).
Use only cold pressed plant oils (olive, flax, corn, etc.)
To replace vinegar use lemon or limejuice.
Drink only freshly squeezed vegetable juice. Avoid all fruit, carrot, frozen or preserved juices.
Everyday, eat 1-2 servings of unsweet fruits alone on empty stomach: apples, apricots, blueberries, all berries, grapefruit, lemon, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, plums, and cherries.
Eat as much raw garlic, ginger, onion and cayenne pepper, as you can.
Everyday, drink 2 cups of ginger tea (start with ¼ of tsp., increase to 1 tsp. shredded ginger per cup of boiling water) and 2 cups of strong peppermint tea. After 5 pm, drink 2 cups of chamomile tea.
- 2 eggs scrambled with finely chopped onion, sweet pepper and parsley
- 2 eggs omelets with asparagus, tomato, celery
- whole oatmeal with cinnamon and stevia or other spices
- buckwheat, kasha with oil or butter
- quinoa kasha with oil or butter
- plain low fat yogurt (Horizon, Nancy, Brown cow, Mountain high, Pavel's, Continental, etc.)
- spinach salad (spinach, green onion, dill, hard boiled eggs)
- green salad (dark green lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado, onion) with broiled chicken breast
- tricolor salad (arugula, endive, radicchio) with shrimp
- Mediterranean salad (tomato, cucumber, onion, dill, olives and hard boiled eggs)
- avocado salad (tomato, avocado, onion, basil) with baked fish
- green salad (vegetables of your choice) with rye bread (no wheat, no yeast)
- green salad with cooked beans (lima, red, etc.)
- green salad topped with nuts or seeds
- vegetable soup
- seaweed soup with tofu
- brown rice with onion, ginger and broccoli
- brown rice with onion, garlic, sweet pepper and parsley
- quinoa with ginger and green beans
- eggplant with onion, sweet pepper and sour cream
- cauliflower and broccoli with ginger and tofu
- zucchini with garlic and lima beans
- stuffed peppers with onion, cilantro and brown rice
- stuffed zucchini with onion, parsley and quinoa.
Fantastic! Just made these yesterday and Paleo and non-Paleo peeps gobbled them up.
Then we got out the homemade Paleo ice cream and amass ice cream cookie sandwiches. The cookies are soft but not crumbly.
Get your palm shortening from TropicalTraditions.com where it's sustainably sourced.
Chocolate can be Lulu's or Pure7 or do what I did... I found a bag of raw cacao nibs at Safeway and instead of one cup (because they are potent!) I guessed and used 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup. Perfect for us.
I just moved last month. It's the first time in 5.5 years my family (now a family of 5) has moved. It's my first move since going Paleo.
It's also my first move since having my third kid. This is a nice way to say: the house and garage was overflowing with stuff - some I haven't even sorted since the last move. Or the one before that. Or the one before that. ::blush::
But what a perfect time to clean out the kitchen!
I've been curious to see what gadgets and gizmos I still adore now that I'm Paleo and which ones I'm over and can't be bothered to find space for in my new kitchen.
Here is one for the win: an immersion blender.
I read a Paleo recipe that called for one. I had no idea what it was. Even better, I had no idea I had one already! I think my mom set me up with a Bed, Bath & Beyond shopping spree when I got my first apartment a million years ago. The immersion blender must have been part of that day.
What's is an immersion blender good for?
Anything you can get away with that calls for blending! Woot!
You can't puree a car engine like you can with a Vitamix but you can certainly whip up your Paleo ice cream concoction and save yourself from having to put on googles and a swimsuit to squeegee the stuff off the bottom of your said Vitamix. (I also think it saves you about $10 worth of Paleo ingredients like organic coconut milk made from coconuts that have been serenaded with gold-leafed harps and flutes.)
Other immersion blender ideas:
I'm sure there are other ideas, but unless you need to blend bacon for some reason I'm coming up with a blank. Hmm.
I just broke my immersion blender after all these years and I'm going to order a new one. I'm not picky which one - since they aren't expensive compared to most gadgets. If you have a favorite let me know. Otherwise I will do a very complicated calculation involving price and reviews until I just pick one that Amazon sends via Prime.
Happy immersive blending!
I've been Paleo for three years now, strict. I know what I am eating and how it affects me. Which is why my infrequent but severe attacks of acute gas and indigestion have baffled me.
My attack yesterday would be my fourth attack ever.
Is it the coconut? No.
Occasional seeds? No.
I've even gone on a bacon fast to see if that was the culprit. Thank the stars, no.
It starts with a small headache. Low and in the background at first the dull pain in my head grows over the course of a day. Since going Paleo I never get headaches - unless this is about to happen: the horrible gas.
Not just "you smelt it you dealt it" gas. This is painful gas.
Actually, I think it's the gas that causes the headache. I'm like a balloon being over-filled about to burst. (Nice, huh?)
Usually I do.
I know. Ewww.
It is a relief when I actually throw up. Sometimes I try to throw up just get it all out so I can stop the pounding in my head, the aching in my neck and shoulders, and the stabbing pain in my gut.
This horrible feeling lasts about 2-3 days. Sleep is a welcome oblivion when I can get it.
When I felt the headache coming on yesterday I was angry. I did not have time to be sick. I was too busy homeschooling three children, dealing with an "issue" in my life, and masterminding the heck out of things.
What did I eat differently?!??!?!
Hold the phone.
That's when it hit me.
"I was angry."
Yes. Yes, I was. In fact, I had been spit-mad angry about something since late Saturday evening. I was stressed out to the gills, swirling around in my head about something I could not stop obsessing over. On Monday morning I starting to get that low-grade headache and then, on Monday evening, I was starting that painful burping.
This was the same pattern as the other times.
Now that I thought about it, each gas attack coincided with a hard 48 hours where something I was bothered about had me eyes-glaring angry or pull-my-hair-stressed. The gas attack brought me to my knees and I stopped caring about that other issue, just begging for physical relief. I was always so grateful when my body felt better again I forgot to be angry or stressed or upset about what was bothering me in the first place.
Like cleaning up my diet with Paleo, I have done a lot of work to clean up my life. I do not walk around angry or stressed out or worried often. This is why, like these gas attacks, I can count on my hand how many times I have been spit-fire angry or really freaked out in a year.
Come to find out they line up.
So this time, instead of analyzing my diet, I cleaned up my emotions. I consciously sought relief. I meditated. I breathed evenly. I reminded myself that nothing was more important than that I feel good. I let that thing that was bothering me so much go.
And you know what happened?
As my mind calmed, my stomach did, too. My gas dissipated. My headache dissolved and I felt fine again. No more burping. No more headache. No desire to throw up.
I am still a bit shocked about it all as I type this but I guess it makes sense. Stress probably churns up your stomach acid. I could research it but I don't want to right now. I'm too happy with my own personal healing to bother. :)
And now I know what to do next time. Eat the bacon. Laugh with life. Done.
I am going to add some rosacea information here tonight because I have the time and lovely people are asking me for help right now on the topic.
I used to have rosacea. Now I only experience the red, hot face when I eat nightshades. And then only mildly for a day or two. Keep in mind I really am 100% Paleo.
Things I Do:
When I Did Have Rosacea and/or Wore Makeup I Used:
Much of the above I do not because of rosacea but because I don't like really hot showers, wearing makeup or sunscreen, or washing my face. When I do wash my face it is usually just with water. I'm sure some soap from shampooing gets on there sometimes, but honestly, the less I put anything on my face, the better it is.
In retrospect, not eating dairy may have helped the whole process. Not because of rosacea, necessarily, but because without dairy in my diet my pores are so much clearer. And because they are clearer I do not have to wash my face as often. And because I do not wash my face as often, my skin is healthier regarding the rosacea issue.
It Was The Juicing That Did It? Perhaps A Liver Cleanse?
I went on a 30 day juice fast. That really cleared my face up for the first time. I have heard that rosacea is a symptom of a congested liver. Because I cleaned up my diet, I assume my liver is happier. Because it is happier, it's cleaning like a champ, and my face is clearer.
Less Toxins, Less To Clean
Then again, because I eat a cleaner diet, my body has less toxins to process.
Oh for goodness sakes, don't you wish there was a one-step-to-Rosacea-cure-for-sure out there? Me, too. But I promise you, if you keep setting the intent that you have a clear face, and you keep imagining what that might feel like, and you don't give up, you can have success. Just play with it. Give it time. And, you know, try not to eat the nightshades. :)
Meet my new best friend.
This is the Igloo Wheelie 38 Quart Cooler. I got it at Target for around $25.
Why do I love this thing?
Because as a Paleo mom with kids who have food intolerances, I have to bring our food everywhere. This cooler is small enough that I can pack it full and still lift it into the minivan by myself, yet big enough that I can just open the fridge and chuck more things into it that we could possibly eat without doing hours of prep.
And, of course: wheels!
What do I put into it?
Last night I went to a family birthday party. About 5 minutes before we left I opened up this bad boy and threw in:
Did I mention how great it is not to have to prepare the food in advance? Oh yes, so when your kids are so busy playing they don't eat it's no bigee. You just bring the cooler home and toss everything back in the fridge.
Easy peasy Paleo squeezie. :)
I like the easy Paleo stuff.