When Asked, Do Your Research!

???????????????????????????????It is a gorgeous late summer day in Minnesota, one of a handful we get each year, but last night was a harbinger of colder days to come. I awoke to frost and, of course, the end to the fragile vegetables that grow in my garden.

I had plenty of warning of this impending rime of ice, so yesterday, with some reluctance I picked every tomato, ripe or not. Every pepper was plucked and the yellow summer squash was gently removed from the vines that would soon be dead. With a lot of reluctance I left my garden a mere shadow of its summer self.

I am always sad to see the seasons change and my once burgeoning garden die but, just like we humans must change, the seasons must morph from summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring and back to summer again. It’s the cycle of life.


Iodine or not?

Speaking of change helps me segue to my next topic. I had an interesting experience this week that has caused me to change my mind. I was asked to be a moderator on a thyroid group, to try to help people who have this perplexing disease. That is what Krisinsight is all about, so at first I jumped at the chance to help even more people but then turned it down.

Why you ask have I turned down this opportunity? It seems I turned it down because I am not up-to-date with the latest thinking on iodine. I had said I would help out but then decided I should make sure I agreed with the recommendations the group makes. In asking some questions I discovered that they recommend iodine supplementation. I am not a supporter of iodine supplementation and that did it for me, I turned them down.

You see, 4 years ago my mentor was a “no iodine if you have Hashimoto’s” kind of gal. Her thinking, which is still correct, was based on the fact that iodine supplementation can cause flare-ups of Hashimoto’s and believe me flare-ups are not pleasant. She used to tell all of us that our thyroid medication filled all of our iodine needs and any further iodine would just make us sick.

I have adhered to this philosophy pretty stringently and it has worked for me. However, I have done many things that have improved my health including taking T3-only and healing my adrenals with Paul Robinson’s Circadian method of taking T3. I got my electrolytes normalized by taking slow release potassium and Celtic sea salt. I regularly take selenium and two years ago I went completely gluten-free which was one of the best things I ever did.

It is really hard to pinpoint that one thing that has made the difference but the hard truth is I may be healthy enough now to start supplementing iodine.

My Iodine history

I have a good reason for being wary of iodine despite the fact that it helps our bodies fight disease. I did take iodine about four years ago and I took 50 mg of Iodoral upon recommendation of another thyroid site dealing with iodine and Dr. David Brownstein. The idea is you detox bad things and the iodine feeds your thyroid and you get healthy with no other intervention. (Keep in mind that is a very simplistic and succinct statement it is far more complicated.)

At the time I took iodine my TSH went up to 13 which has never been the case not even when I was first diagnosed with thyroid problems umpteen years ago. That scared me and I lowered my dose but did not stop taking it. Once I started following advice on the RT3 Yahoo group I gave up additional iodine completely.

On changing one’s mind

Fast forward to my thinking as of today, my mentor’s advice is still sound when dealing with really sick and fragile people but there has been good patient feedback, according to Janie Bowthorpe, with healthy people taking small doses of iodine (as little as 3 mg of iodine and up to 12.5 mg of iodine).

My mentor was also correct we do get iodine in our thyroid medication but the amount of iodine in thyroid medications like Cynomel/Cytomel and NDT is measured in mcg and is inadequate to provide enough for your body as “the body is made up of about 1500 mg of iodine in all our tissues”. With the constant bombardment of fluoride and bromide (we need iodine to push the fluoride and bromide out of our thyroid receptors) it is reasonable to think that we need more iodine (measured in mg) than our thyroid medication (measured in mcg) is providing.


In conclusion, it seems reasonable to me to start supplementing with iodine but in very small doses. I am going to start with capsules by Pure Encapsulations (If you would like to order from iHerb you can use my coupon code YAN884 and get a discount on your first order) that only provide mcg of additional iodine. I already supplement 200 mcg  of selenium which is a must (start with selenium and then add iodine if you want to try it). I am going to add additional B1 and B2 because iodine works synergistically with those co-factors and also Vitamin K (which is also needed to utilize Vitamin D).

My thinking, and no one else’s, is if a small dose has no ill-effect on me I will raise my dose and eventually take 6.25 mg but no more. High dose supplementation as recommended by Dr. Brownstein and others just did not work well for me and I do not care to repeat my experience.

I have always really respected Dr. Joe Mercola and his ability to rethink his advice. Over the years he has changed his recommendation on the amount of water one needs to drink, how much protein your body requires and even the type of exercise that is the most efficient. I think we really need to be willing to change. If patient’s are being helped with some iodine supplementation and not experiencing an autoimmune flare-up, my time has come.



P.S. My recent Vitamin D test result was lower than February’s result yet again. In March my result was 74 ng/ml August’s results were 61 ng/ml. Every summer it is the same, my result is lower than the winter result when I am using my Mercola Sunsplash D-lites. This has now been true for 5 years.



Cocoa Butter, Bodysound Chairs and Other Interesting Experiences

???????????????????????????????When I think of summer I always think of this Lovin’ Spoonful song from my youth, “Hot town, summer in the city, back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty. Been down, isn’t it a pity. Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city. All around people looking half dead. Walking on a sidewalk, hotter than a match head.”

To me that is quintessential summertime music and every time I hear it, or just conjure it up as I have this morning, I have a flash back. In my mind’s eye I clearly see the 16-year-old self. I am in my young skin, reclined in front of a fan in our family’s livingroom with my poodle Bridget by my side. I am barely dressed in short shorts and a tube top having just returned from our local lake, Baw Beese in Hillsdale, Michigan. I am tanned and fit as a young person often is but I also feel the agitation of youth that creates a certain unhappiness in many young girls.

44 years later I no longer dress so insufficiently. My house has central air and the angst of my youth is gone, replaced by a certain satisfaction that I am still alive. I take joy in dancing down the aisles of stores with my grandson. I sing at the top of my voice if I hear a song I love. I quickly become enchanted by a really good story yet can find comfort in the silence of my own company. By some standards I am old but age truly is only a number and in my heart I am still that sparsely dressed teenager who has found her soul.

My youth was an interesting experience that formed the foundation upon which I have grown up. My life continues to be a series of interesting experiences and this past month was no exception, so let’s talk about July.

Blood test results

I finally went in to LabCorp and had my blood draw for my “Weight Loss Panel” from Life Extension’s yearly sale. This was a very complete panel that cost me $97. You can click here to see everything it included. I really didn’t know what to expect but overall the results were positive and my doctor was impressed. However, I saw some things that were not ideal, so I will post those and explain why that isn’t ideal.

My FT3 was mid-range which is not ideal when you are on T3-only. Most people feel best when their FT3 is at the top of the range or slightly over range. Most doctors like the mid-range and that is a problem for those with thyroid disease because their doctor, like mine did, will tell them everything is really good yet they still feel bad.

I really don’t feel bad. My energy is okay. I probably don’t feel like running a marathon but I ran a 25K years ago and have never wanted to do it again. I sleep well most nights (but, not all. I add that caveat for the sake of good Karma). Here is what I notice, when I get up in the morning my eyes are very puffy. As I move around the fluid disperses and my eyes look more normal. I know this would improve if my FT3 were in the upper range.

While we are on the subject of thyroid results, some of you might be interested to know my TSH was .036. That caught my doctor’s eye and she told me to reduce my dose of T3 but I can honestly tell you a suppressed TSH is not unusual when on T3-only. I am not hyper and she knows that from observing me but her allopathic side immediately says reduce the dose of T3.

My total cholesterol was a wee bit high (226)  but my cholesterol ratio (2.5) and my CHD was <0 .5 . As always my HDL cholesterol was very high (90, anything over 30 is considered good), LDL was up but my VLDL was at a good level (20, anything over 40 is a problem). My Triglyceride level was good (98 with a range of 0-149). Overall my doctor looked at that report and said “great”. However, I know if my FT3 was in the top of the range my total cholesterol would come right down and everything else would look even better.

One more issue that may have something to do with taking T3-only (but not with being in the middle range of FT3). My fasting blood glucose continues to be high. However, my A1C was good and my fasting insulin was good. My doctor was not concerned but seriously it isn’t good to have a high (100) fasting glucose. I know my diet could and should be cleaner but even lowering my carb intake has little effect on my FBG. Many people who take T3-only have fasting glucose issues unless they follow a very low carb diet and that alone makes me want to try getting back on NDT at some point.

The itch of eczema

Yes, as I reported last month I still have eczema on my lower legs. I have tried various things to control it including having that blood test panel done because I feared my liver was the problem (it wasn’t, my liver numbers looked good). I followed the lecithin regime religiously for a month but the eczema came back as soon as my stress increased (when I found out my second poodle had a tumor and needed surgery).

I understand the need for the lecithin regime because eczema is a sign of inflammation in your body and increasing your levels of  phosphatidyl choline (lecithin is high in phosphatides) can lower inflammation in addition to a host of other positive effects on your body. However, it seems related to stress in my body and now I am working on releasing those pent-up emotions involved with an ailing furkid.

While I work on dealing with my furkid induced stress I have found that cocoa butter works as well as anything I have tried. It not only soaks into my dry skin nicely it smells dee-li-cious. I don’t itch as much (unless I shave my legs an event that has been reduced to once a week) and I walk around smelling like a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie.

If you have an interest in a really nice quality raw cocoa butter I bought mine at Amazon.com. It is by Plant Guru and it is delivered in a HDPE food grade jar. You must warm it slightly to apply it to your skin but it is food grade, so you can cook with it. Yea! Stay tuned I have plans to try making my own chocolate.

Energy healing at Soul Source Connection

It really has been a month full of exciting  and new experiences. Have you ever had the opportunity to try a session in a Bodysound chair? Late last week I had such an opportunity  at the office of  Reverend Kathryn Niflis Johnson in Woodbury, MN (Kathy@SoulSourceConnection.com). It was, to say the least, an interesting healing experience. I know, I know, interesting is vastly overused but this truly was interesting. I have never before reclined in a comfy chaise in a healer’s office, been gently covered by a soft blanket, light obscured by an eye mask and then been totally surrounded by vibration and sound.

This chaise works its healing magic by using a “neurophysiological mechanism that creates profound states of relaxation and meditation” (I felt a certain suspension between reality and a dream like state). The “second mechanism of action relates to the electromagnetic stimulation of the human energy system”. “Bodysound consists of amplified layered music played through transducers that generate sound and vibration. Synchronized electromagnetic fields affect the central nervous system and the human energy system.”

Now in my own words, it quite literally sweeps you away, in and out of a wakeful state of mind. I would doze off, dream and awaken only to completely lose the thought I had just had. I felt profoundly relaxed and Kathryn’s office setting makes you feel secure and cozy, so dozing off is not in any way threatening nor frightening.

I have had this feeling before and it was during my first Reiki healing session. I liken these healing sessions to being put in an hypnotic state of mind but Kathryn might not approve of that comparison because you are not hypnotized you are just profoundly relaxed. As with Reiki healing, during my Bodysound 52-minute session I had fleeting dreams and thoughts that would go away as suddenly as they came. I experienced a color show in my mind’s eye of vibrant purples and yellow and whites. When the session was complete I felt relaxed, happy and pleased that I had the experience much like you might if you had just had 52 minutes of healing massage.

Unlike with my Reiki sessions I have not experienced a healing effect from this particular healing modality. I believe from what I have read that a person needs more than one session in the Bodysound chair to affect healing. I am told by those who have experienced healing with the Bodysound chair it occurs with at least weekly use of the chair.

If you have an interest in a healing session in the Bodysound chair or you already have experienced healing with a Bodysound chair and would like to purchase one for home use you can contact Kathryn online: Kathy@SoulSourceConnection.com. Personally, I think it is well worth trying, it will do you no harm and it may help you on your path to better health.


I hope, as I always do, that you learn something interesting when you read Krisinsight but know that this is my insight and my unique experience I share. I am a certified Reiki practitioner but I am not giving you advice nor telling you what works for me will work for you. Each body is unique which is what I think makes humans so marvelous. I know I have been able to improve my health using the modalities I share. If you choose to try them and they work for you I would be overjoyed but do so with the guidance of your medical provider and your own intuition.




Come Forth July

IMG_1917 (2)Today, July began and the skies clouded over, the temperatures decreased and the winds picked up. Rain is promised but so far today it is dry as a bone and for once I actually need some water on my garden.

This is so 2014. Thus far this year, if we need rain it doesn’t. If we are drowning with rain, it does. Should we need a calm day, the winds howl and if you aren’t sleeping well it storms all night long with great flashes of white-hot lightning and thunderous boomers. July may well continue this contradictory pattern. 2014, so far, has been full of mixed up crazy weather, so why change now?

Experiments ongoing

This past month of June has been one of experimentation and I thought I would share the results with you but first explain why I was experimenting at all.

Over this past winter I developed eczema on my lower legs. Nowhere else but each leg has several patches of dry itchy skin that was diagnosed as eczema by my homeopathic doctor, Kim Lane, M.D.. Overall, this past year has been one of good but unsettling changes and I have never been one for feeling out of control. I understand that at least one cause of eczema is stress and I feel like stress has been a constant friend for about the last 9 months.

At first I just scratched the itch but once I realized what I was dealing with I asked my health oriented group on Facebook (Krisinsight) if they had any proven remedies. Dr. Lane had offered one bit of advice, use Vitamin A&D ointment but that really didn’t appeal to me, thus I asked the group. One person came forth with something that had worked for everyone who had tried it, so you know me, I had to give it a try.

Treatment for eczema

The magical ingredient is Lecithin. I am not fond of soy (often not non-GMO and bad for thyroid), so I purchased NOW Brand Sunflower Lecithin at iHerb.com (if you use the coupon code YAN884 you can get a discount for being a first time buyer and I get a few pennies as well). It comes in 1200 mg capsules which are big enough to choke a horse but if you have yogurt to help them down it is really quite easy.

For one month, my group member stated, you take 2 capsules in the morning and 2 capsules in the evening. After the month is up you take 2 capsules once a day. I was all over that one and started my 4 capsules every day. Immediately(within days) my spots started to dry up. The itch decreased dramatically and I was a believer.

Setbacks are inevitable

I don’t really think that setbacks are inevitable but I did have a huge setback after two weeks of taking my sunflower lecithin. I took my Big Guy to his doctor because he was having problems with his anal glands. Imagining he just had plugged anal glands I, without any dire thoughts, took him in to see what was bothering him.

Sidney’s vet is the same vet who put my 10-year-old poodle, Fitzy, down in December (something I still am not completely over), so as he examined Sidney I could tell he was not anxious to tell me what he thought. Poor ol’ Sidney had someone doing a digital rectal exam and my heart bled for him already but when Dr. Winter told me he could feel a mass on one anal gland and pulled his finger out covered with blood, my heart sank.

Whether or not Dr. Winter is a prognosticator  is up for debate but he recommended surgery to remove the offending tumor and he is a good veterinary doctor, so Sidney had surgery almost three weeks ago as I write. Keith has predicted that Sidney has perhaps 6 months to live because, it is his experience that these type of tumors tend to metastasize. I like to think Sidney will be with us longer than that.

Here is what I know today, Sidney is going to be 13 (82 in human years) in October and he is a large dog (71 pounds of bouncing poodle), so both my spousal unit and I already knew he wasn’t here forever. His blood panel showed everything within normal limits, his eyes are clear and his gregariousness has returned after major surgery. We have vowed that whatever the time we have with the Big Guy we are going to enjoy every minute.

No matter how I look at it now, this was a huge upset for me and guess what? My itch returned with a vengeance.

Now what?

Even though the itch and redness was back I carried on with my 4 capsules a day of Sunflower Lecithin for one month. I also treated the spots directly with Peaceful Mountain Eczema Rescue homeopathic cream (also available at iHerb.com). This virtually took the itch away while the lecithin did its healing and I am working on regaining my composure and positive attitude.

Now that the month is up I am on 2 capsules a day and if it were to really flare up I would return, as was recommended, to 4 capsules a day. I truly believe that the lecithin would have healed the eczema had it not been for this new upset in my life because the areas are greatly reduced and what is left is drying up.


We all know that emotions play a huge role in our health. Negative energy is so harmful and I do what I can to eliminate negative energy but when one’s furkid is given a short period of time to be with you it is like someone cut off one arm and then asked you to floss your teeth. You can do it, you will do it but you really have to deal with the initial disappointment  (or in the case of your arm, total devastation) and see the good in the situation.

I found that happy spot within 24 hours but the emotional damage had been done, the eczema returned. I credit my Reiki training for turning me around but I have to admit to you that at first my Reiki training was forgotten. I shed tears of grief and frustration from the moment Keith uttered his terrible news until I got home where I fell in to the spousal unit’s arms and wept until I was totally spent. The idea of losing two dogs in less than  year was almost too much to bear.

Somehow the next day I remembered one line of my Reiki affirmation. “Just for today, I will not worry.” I repeated it and repeated it and then, much to my relief, I found my inner Reiki healer. I started doing Reiki on Sidney from the minute I found out until today. I do as much as he will allow and sometimes that isn’t very much. Other times, he is very receptive. He wears crystals for immunity and calm around his neck. His diet is anti-inflammatory with turmeric and probiotics and herbs that might benefit his ability to destroy cancerous cells or the tendency for cells to divide in an insane manner creating tumors.

This take charge attitude changed my emotional state. I had an inner sense of calm and acceptance. I accept that he will not be here forever. I accept that I can make whatever remains of his life a good experience. I also accept that I may need my Reiki skills to make his end of life comfortable and peaceful. In the end, end of life transition was a big impetus for becoming a Reiki healer. No one wants to talk about end of life but it happens to all living things and if we humans can ease the passage we should. I will.

After all that, I also accept that I still have patches of eczema on both legs. I don’t particularly like that they are still there but with sunflower lecithin, Peaceful Mountain eczema cream and wait for it, my cream kefir (cream fermented with kefir grains and spread lightly over the area) I control the itch and the patches are drying up and disappearing.

This experience did make me wonder if anyone else has experienced a healing “miracle” using a method that is not allopathic. If you have, feel free to share it. I would love to hear about non-standard and successful ways of treating an otherwise bothersome health matter. I am sure others would as well.

I send you all Reiki,  prayers and healing energy and wish you all a very happy Fourth of July.



Back On The Tundra

IMG_1663Phew! At last I am back on target for my June post. I am overjoyed that June has arrived and with it warmer weather and the ability to be outside.

I am sorry for the delay in posting (you may or may not have noticed I didn’t post anything last month). Sometimes life just gets in the way but let’s get right to what’s been happening to fill my days.

Winter Blues take their toll

Life getting in the way, started as I shared with you last time, sometime late winter when we decided we were tired of Minnesota. Tired of Minnesota winter. Tired of the traffic in the Twin Cities. Tired of the big city, period.

When we left Idaho 8 and a half years ago we left more than a little bit of our hearts there, so we decided to check out Boise, Idaho as a possible place to live. Our hope was that Boise, being smaller might provide us with the big city advantages without the BIG city challenges.

Here are a few reasons for considering Boise, Idaho:

  • The climate. I actually like winter but not for 6 months. Winters exist in Boise but they are much shorter. Winters are cold but not as cold as Minnesota. Summers are hotter in Boise but it is a dry arid heat and is fairly short-lived. Spring, ah blessed spring, it is much longer in Boise as winter is mostly over by the end of February.
  • Proximity to our land and cabin. Boise is an easy two-hour drive from Fairfield, Idaho. Our isolated cabin is approximately 10 miles out of Fairfield, so we would have better access to our cabin without living in the mountains.
  • The people. The people in Boise seem really happy to be there. They are friendly and welcoming with the laid back attitude that is much more prevalent in the western United States.
  • Access to easy air travel. Boise airport is small and easy to use. There is a direct flight to Minneapolis at least twice a day.
  • Access to all of the western United States. There are a multitude of National parks within hours of Boise. The ocean is only 8-9 hours away and the ability to stay active and fit is amazing.

To be honest, we loved Boise. We were shown the town by a really nice realtor, Eric DeBord. Between Eric and a friend and co-worker of my husband’s we were introduced to every corner of the area and we fell in love with it all. We came within seconds of making an offer on a really nice house near Boise in a town called Emmett and then…….

What is really important in your life?

Suddenly yours truly had to evaluate what she really valued in her life. I think the SU already knew that winter was not the evil thing I had conjured up during one of the worst winters I have encountered in my 60 years. Family, friends and even where we live near Stillwater, Minnesota were all things we love. They were all things we valued, so at the last-minute, (and thanks to Eric being rather busy and not getting right on it) we did not make an offer on the house we liked.

I have to admit that the biggest reason I could not leave Minnesota was my bond with my grandsons. We had a two-week trip to Scotland in the midst of all this decision-making. Two weeks of thinking, considering and contemplating our lives.

When we got home, the first thing we did was see our boys and I have never, ever experienced the heart wrenching feeling of holding them in my arms after two weeks of thinking I was going to move away from them. My oldest grandson, who is now 3, had a meltdown when his mommy had to get home after being with us most of the day. That caused this Nonna to meltdown and in a flood of tears my decision was made.

So now what?

We could not tear up our roots in Minnesota and replant them in Boise no matter how much we loved the city and surrounds, not now anyway. I knew my friends would visit and I knew from asking them that we would stay in touch no matter where I lived. I knew leaving my house was not an issue. A house is just that, a box that houses a family.

The family is the soul that gives a house life and as long as I had my family with me I could live anywhere. My daughter and her family have no interest in leaving Minnesota, so I knew I needed my soul much more than a box.

It wasn’t as easy as it sounds but for the sake of keeping this post somewhat succinct let’s just say that over the course of two months other decisions were made that have now been undone. We are busily making our house more comfortable for us. I am getting my long-awaited spa (I will report on this later) which I am hopeful will allow more outdoor time during the long, cold winter months. We are going to make life here in Minnesota comfortable but whilst we are doing that we will enjoy the closeness of our family and friends.

Other news

As I also mentioned in my last post, in the midst of all this palaver of moving away I took my first level of Reiki healing. Now that I understand Reiki and its healing abilities it has changed things for me. My Reiki training was the best thing I could have done during this time of upheaval.

I find Reiki has helped me deal with life and its ups and downs. My sleep has improved more than I can tell you and one reason is if I wake early in the morning I say my Reiki mantra and perform Reiki on all my chakras. Before I know it I am back to sleep, and it is a deep restorative sleep.

I am also more meditative either through meditation or just Reiki self-treatment. I have found an inner calm that I have never possessed before. I am even doing yoga and signed up for Yoga classes at the nearby Pure Yoga studio.

I feel like a new person and I believe I owe much of this inner peace to the calm that Reiki instills. I look forward to my second level of Reiki training this summer. It seems that the more I know about Reiki, the more I want to know, so now I am even considering becoming a Reiki Master. Aside from an increased knowledge of Reiki, and its history, the master level would allow me to teach others this fabulous healing modality.


I have already shared much of my insight with you in the words above. I mentioned last time that I am much healthier than I was which is still true. I think just as a reminder that I still have things to share there have been some ups and downs with my thyroid in the last month. I will be brief but hopefully enlighten those who share my dis-ease.

Since my last post I have increased my dose of T3 from 50 mcg. to 62.5 mcg. Now I cannot seem to stabilize my temperatures. One day they are close to 99, the  next day at the same time they are 97.8 (as they are right now at 2:30 in the afternoon and I just took a 12.5 dose of T3). I am concluding that it is possible that my dose of T3 is actually too high and my adrenals cannot support it but there are many things to be considered.

My reasons for increasing my T3 a few weeks ago were my basal temperatures were incredibly low (one morning my basal was 97.3). I increased by 6.25 mcg but my basals did not come up to a normal range of 97.8-98, so after a few weeks I increased my dose to 62.5 mcg. After about 10 days my basal temperatures are now closer to normal but my daytime temperatures are much too varied and, to me, that is indicative of too much stress on my adrenals.

For those of us who ride this roller coaster we know the ins and outs and ups and downs of thyroid dis-ease. There are many reasons that things can suddenly change, adrenal fatigue is only one possible cause, so I have to consider all things.

For instance, I know that it takes 6 weeks after making an overseas trip (one in which you cross several time zones) to get some semblance of normalcy. I have not been home from Scotland for 6 weeks yet, so perhaps that is causing some of my issues.

Another reason for possible variation is that the Cynomel could be from a bad batch or a new formulation. I did inquire about this possibility and was told the pharmacy was unaware that there were any other complaints and/or changes. By the way, for those on ERFA NDT, I did recently read that people are having hypo symptoms and the thought is the maker changed the formulation. Knowing that this happens all the time and no one is informed of the change, it is possible that something changed with Cynomel.

I also know that for me, and for many others, if we take too much T3 it can lower our temperatures, so the one way that most people can tell if they need more thyroid medication, our body temperature, becomes invalid. Paul Robinson’s book on Recovering With T3 deals with this subject very well and I know what I need to do is some testing and then consultation with Paul or the RT3 group to rule out any of those reasons.

First, with a blood test, I need to see where my FT3 is and if it is not in the upper range I know I actually do need more T3. If it is in the upper range and my temperatures continue to vacillate then I need to test my adrenal health with a diurnal cortisol test through Canary Club.

To this end, I recently took advantage of Life Extension’s blood panel sale getting a very complete blood panel including all my sex hormones, CMP, CBC, cortisol, insulin, A1C, FT3 and TSH for $97.50. Now I need to get to Labcorp in Edina, MN for my blood draw and I will have more information at my fingertips to help me and/or the group figure out what is happening on this exciting ride.

The good news, because there is always good news, is my energy is good. My sleep is great. My mood is happy and upbeat. Overall, most people with hypothyroidism would be happy to be where  I am at the moment but I know this body temperature issue is not right. I can tell when my temps are falling, as they are right now, because my toes and fingers start feeling very cold, so as always the quest continues. Where it takes me only next month will tell.

As for next month, I think I will stay on track for what Krisinsight currently entails, a pursuit of optimum health. I feel I have survived a crisis of small proportion. Perhaps turning 60 was more upsetting than I understood and having dealt with all the possibilities for change I learned that life as it is, is really quite good. So thank-you for bearing with me and I look forward to sharing more insight in the coming months.




Pondering Life Not on the Tundra

IMG_1663Standing in my kitchen and looking outside I wouldn’t know spring has officially arrived in Stillwater, Minnesota and I want spring. In fact, I crave spring with windows open and birdsong in the air but we still have many inches of snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing.

The other day I was beside myself with happiness when a robin landed in the crab tree that looms large near my kitchen window.  A robin? Really? That’s not big news in March, at least not big news anywhere but here in Minnesota. We should be seeing birds building nests and rearing their young. I am actually concerned that the hummingbirds and orioles are due back in two weeks as I don’t want them to freeze and/or starve to death. WE NEED SPRING!

Can you divorce your state?

I know we are not alone with our tiresome winter but this one with its endless ice and relentless cold has caused a rift in my relationship with Minnesota. I am, in fact, so distressed about this winter that lasts for 6 months I am ready for a divorce. Not from my spouse but from this state.

This desire for separation flies in the face of reason. I know better than some that when one divorces it rips apart relationships, causes undue stress and costs a boatload of money.  Worse than that I have deep roots (called adored grandchildren) here in this god forsaken tundra and ripping them up will be painful.

The question is why?

So you, my dear and cherished readers might be asking why would I do it? Here’s the thing that motivates me to seek greener pastures. I have never liked complainers and action must be taken when you become one, so we are looking to leave our state of two seasons, winter and road construction, and plant new roots.

I’m not saying I will never return to Minnesota, I know better than that. In the 34 years we have been married we have left Minnesota three times and every time we have returned (even times we really wanted to be somewhere else). I have called myself a Minnesotan for 40 years and its hard to contemplate being something else but I am up for the change and I am tired of complaining.

Future of Krisinsight

My possible future move revealed I am now contemplating the future of my blog. Here is the truth of the matter, I am not as “sick” as I was when I started my blog. I have been able to heal to a point of comfort and satisfaction.  Maintenance is always and will always be a challenge. Especially as you age it becomes not one challenge like thyroid disease but many challenges and I am up for sharing with my readers all I learn but I think it might be nice to add some other dimension.

I start my Reiki training next week (Hurrah!) and I am truly excited to embark on this healing adventure. I hope to continue to share the wonders of energy healing as I have already with homeopathy and my own Reiki healing.

I want to get back to sharing healthy cooking ideas and expanding on grain free recipes as that has become a big part of my life. It isn’t for everybody and I understand that but for those of us who have issues with grains learning to live with it is a challenge in so many ways including gaining acceptance from those around us.

In talking about the future of Krisinsight with my research buddy Chloe she mentioned my avid interest in birds and how adding some birding dimension might be, not only interesting, but healthy, as birds can bring great joy to ones’ life. I ask you, what could be more healing than happiness and joy? Thus, I am contemplating this idea and trying to figure out how it might fit in to my blog and possibly expand my posts. The winds they are a changing.

How about a recipe?

Last but not least I have discovered some taste sensations recently and since I haven’t shared any for some time I thought the time was right. The following recipe is taken from Elana Amsterdam’s “Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry” and she actually adapted it from The Silver Palate cookbook. “The Silver Palate” cookbook used to be my go-to cookbook and to find this simplified version of Chicken Marbella was like a blast from the past and it is tasty besides. If you want her original version check out www.elanaspantry.com this is my adaptation of her adaptation.

Chicken Marbella


  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup prunes, pitted and halved
  • 2 cups green olives, pitted (I halved the olives)
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350°. Cut the chicken thigh meat in to bite size portions and place in baking dish (I used a 9×13 glass pan). Mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the chicken pieces in the pan. Toss the chicken until completely coated and arrange in a single layer in the pan. At this point you can cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight if desired.

When you are ready, bake the chicken for 40-50 minutes, stir to distribute the prunes and olives and serve. The prunes melt away to a nice sweetness and the salty olives provide a tasty contrast.

If you seek another alternative, I had a friend in Rome who used to make Chicken Marbella when she had guests coming for lunch. She used the Silver Palate recipe but would make a paste of the olives and prunes, oil, herbs, salt, garlic, pepper, etc..

Using skinless, boneless chicken thighs she would coat the tops of the whole thighs with the paste and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. When she was ready to bake the chicken she would put the pan in the oven and bake for 50 minutes and serve with rice and a salad.

It would be worth your while to look up the original recipe in the Silver Palate cookbook but Elana Amsterdam’s recipe is simple and tasty. My adaptation is even easier and was spouse approved.



Re-Treading and Just Being

IMG_1917 (2)Happy Meteorological End To Winter (METW)! I so wish I could wish you a Happy Spring but that doesn’t happen during the first of March. It stealthily waits ’til near the end of this month and in Minnesota this year it is likely, but not guaranteed, that spring will remain hidden until May or June and then collapse in to summer. I repeat Happy METW!


I am also celebrating an end of sorts and a beginning of many things. On the 18th of February I officially retired from being a dental hygienist. I don’t see this as an end of anything but a beginning of something new. I still have all that knowledge I have accumulated over 37 years of looking in mouths, talking to thousands of people and attending continuing education seminars. I have friends across the country and abroad that I met thanks to my choice of career. Lest I forget, the monetary rewards were plenty and for all this I am grateful.

That stated, I also feel that 37 years of repetitively doing one basic skill (a good skill but still one skill) is, plainly and simply put, enough, and my brain was crying out for something new and more attuned to the person I have become. I have outgrown traditional dental recommendations and old stodgy dental statements of the benefits of fluoride and silver fillings. I don’t believe that modern-day dairy grows strong bones and teeth (my current boss did and told everyone to drink lots of skim milk). Get this! I don’t even think root canals are the best answer for your health even if they do save a tooth (only to need extraction down the road). It was time for a re-tread.

What will you do now that you are retired?

Honestly, I’m not sure what all I will do with my time. One seemingly unattainable goal is I really want to learn to sleep in, past, say, 5 am. Lordy, I am writing this on a Sunday morning and I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by 5. To “sleep in” means sleeping until 6 am and that doesn’t feel like a lot to ask but of all the things I want to do this seems the most difficult to achieve.

I am really excited about spending time with my grandsons whom I adore. They make every day I spend with them complete. After a day with them I am replete with joy. Not to mention that a morning with them makes me appreciate, even more, my ability to leave them with their mom and go home, put my feet up and have a cup of milky Keemun tea while reading my latest Matt Stone dissertation.

I am going to start my Reiki training in April and if I am very lucky I will become a Reiki healer. I believe in energy healing and have seen huge improvements in my health thanks to homeopathy and Reiki. I am fortunate enough to know a Reiki master, Donna Murray (I have featured her in blog postings more than once, simply type in Reiki in the “search” box) and she is going to start with basic Reiki in April and we shall go from there if time and money allow. My hands will not be idle and they will still improve people’s lives.

I want to travel and have the ability to make last minutes plans (just saying that always reminds me of “When Harry Met Sally” and Sally offering a reason for not having children with her boyfriend  “….because we always wanted to make love on the kitchen counter but we never did. See, the counter is just this cold piece of marble and not very comfortable.” I hope that doesn’t mean I want to make last-minute plans but probably never will.)

I think more than anything I just want to enjoy my life and I intend to do just that. Many have now told me that they had heard it called re-treading instead of retiring. I well remember when I first heard  the term and I knew I, too, would re-tread. The person who mentioned it to me was a retiring pastor who happened to be sitting in my dental chair. He announced his retirement but said he wasn’t retiring, he was re-treading. That was back in the 80’s and I still remember his words to this day (yet another gift of being a dental hygienist).


Just a bit about health as there is always something I can say or share in regards to the latest. Last month I told you I was having a RBC Magnesium test run to see where my magnesium levels were at a cellular level. At the same time, I was testing sodium and potassium in a basic metabolic panel.

My RBC magnesium came back slightly low at 50 (Magnesium Advocacy recommend 60 or above). This despite what I would say are hefty doses of magnesium and magnesium baths, both full body and foot baths. However, the month prior to having my blood draw I was experiencing a bout of IBS and I suspect everything that went in was exiting before being absorbed.

Bathing should have been more frequent, so I have increased the number of foot baths (I use magnesium chloride which I purchased at Ace Hardware in the form of SafeStep 8000. It is dead sea salt that is shipped in and then repackaged for so-called safe ice melt). I also started some cell salts by Hyland, Magnesia Phosphorica 6x as they are sublingual and bypass digestion altogether. I am still taking Magnesium threonate almost every day which never seems to upset my “delicate” digestive process. Jigsaw Magnesium is also taken daily but anymore than 2 at a time is one or two too many, if you know what I mean.

My sodium was almost perfect but my potassium was still low (according to the guidelines on the RT3 group). I still take 2 teaspoons of sea salt every day. I currently take 2-10 mEq tablets of slow release potassium every day and that did not get my levels anywhere near the high-end of the potassium range. I am trying to increase food sources of potassium like chocolate (dark, of course), potatoes, dark leafy greens and dark green pumpkin seeds. I suspect after much reading that my sodium and magnesium wasting have a lot to do with my low potassium. If I can finally balance sodium and magnesium, potassium, too, will fall in to place.

See you here on the first Monday in April. In the meantime, we need to talk to the weather gods and ask for an early spring and an end to this “stupid cold”. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul had day #49 with below zero temperatures this morning and the temperament of the people is slowly degrading in the grips of this record-breaking winter. I decided if I can’t stop winter I may as well face it head on and go to Bayfield, Wisconsin to view the ice caves on Lake Superior. I’ll let you know how I did in April.




60 Years Of This Wonderful Thing Called Life

Photo4502I am starting this on the first day of February 2014 and I have officially (within the immediate family) claimed February as “My Month” and will celebrate as befits my soon-to-be 60 years on earth. 60 years on this side of my mother’s womb. 60 years of trials and tribulations. Most importantly, 60 years full of learning and improving the genetic mix I was provided by my much missed parents. Thank you Mom and Dad for this wonderful thing called life.

Magnesium mania

Sometime ago I joined a group on Facebook that is all about magnesium. Like all groups about health they focus solely on magnesium. If you have an ache or pain, try magnesium. If you have migraines, try magnesium. Tummy aches? Magnesium. Can you tell that sometimes it gets on my wrong side? Having gotten so much better once I had a well-regulated thyroid it does irritate me when one element is singled out and given some kind of magical powers. That said, the group has a lot of useful information to share and I can tell the advice given out has helped many a needy person.

They (Carolyn Dean and others who moderate the group) really stress a test called HTMA which is done with hair and looks at all mineral content plus heavy metal toxicity. It seems that this test needs to be done very specifically and only by certain people or labs and I have not done it yet. That is not to say I won’t but I have no experience with it, so can offer no help.

The group moderators also highly recommend a RBC Magnesium blood test. I have long been a supporter of testing things at a cellular level and a RBC will give you a more accurate assessment of your actual magnesium levels. I have now ordered a RBC magnesium test and will get the blood draw later this week.

Reasons that you may not be getting enough magnesium

I have tried many forms of magnesium in various amounts and now I understand that some of us may need more magnesium than others (wasters and/or high utilizers). Barring a RBC blood test I tend to be very aware of how often I am having foot or leg cramps. If I still have them I need more magnesium. If they are gone or under control I have assumed I am okay. This is very unscientific and not to be counted on for vital information but, by and large, it works for me.

I have also found that my potassium levels are very important to the cramping test. If my potassium is low I can experience cramping in calves and arches of my feet. Unfortunately, now I read that low potassium (hypokalemia) is also a reason you  might be wasting magnesium. In fact, there are a myriad of reasons why one person might need far more magnesium than another person.

Low taurine levels can waste magnesium as can low and high aldosterone. IBS, Crohn’s, and obesity, volume diarrhea, alcohol consumption and laxative abuse. You coffee drinkers won’t want to hear this but coffee is a known antagonist. Phytates, phosphorous (sodas), fiber, saturated fats, tannins, NSAIDS, diuretics and even hormone replacement can all deplete your magnesium levels and cause any number of health issues, so the group is not all wrong pointing the finger at almost every ailment someone discusses.

What I have tried

  • Calm brand magnesium
  • Ionic Fizz
  • ReMag
  • Jigsaw brand magnesium
  • Magnesium chloride flakes
  • Magnesium chloride liquid
  • magnesium oil
  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium Threonate
  • Magnesium bicarbonate water

Which magnesium has worked?

  • Magnesium threonate
  • Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) baths and foot soaks
  • Jigsaw magnesium
  • Magnesium chloride (oil spray and baths)


IMG_1917 (2)You might ask what I mean by “worked”. For various reasons some forms of magnesium simply do not agree with me and/or I could not take enough to stop the cramping. Some like Calm cause me to have non-stop diarrhea (TMI, I know). ReMag was just too pricey. I obviously needed more than recommended which drove the costs up not to mention it could not be ordered from companies that I frequently order from like iHerb and Amazon. Ionic Fizz contained citric acid which caused me to feel very acidic and have uncomfortable indigestion after just a few days (but it is the easiest form to ingest taste-wise).

I can only tolerate magnesium oil on my feet but when my toes used to cramp spraying them with oil was almost miraculous. In fact, I did a post on the subject ( but you will note at that time Jigsaw wasn’t working very well, see my comment below). I think my favorite way to increase my magnesium levels are epsom salts or magnesium chloride flakes in my bath. It is supremely relaxing and I sleep like a baby the nights I indulge in a good soak.

I take magnesium threonate almost every day no matter what other magnesium I ingest or bathe in that day. I subjectively feel my thinking is clearer since I started taking MagMind and I will not be without it. What I cannot detect is if three MagMind capsules are actually enough elemental magnesium per day, so I supplement with another form of magnesium, usually Jigsaw magnesium but sometimes a foot soak or bath. I now suspect that the real issue with Jigsaw  was that I am a waster and I need much higher doses of a tolerated form of magnesium. It wasn’t that Jigsaw wasn’t a good supplement I just needed to either take more than was recommended on the bottle or take another form of  magnesium in conjunction with the recommended dose.

At the end of the day

As some of my readers will note I am a wee bit late posting my blog this week (although with the Super Bowl, overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and other headline news you may not have noticed). Yesterday, when I should have finished writing and editing my creation I got the unexpected pleasure of spending the day with my daughter and my grandsons.

There is nothing so exhilarating as the words of wisdom from the two-year-old and the smile of his little brother melts my heart, so with an inner glow that I cannot disguise I wish you a fabulous month of February and look forward to seeing you right here come the first Monday of March.




Good-bye 2013

IMG_1917 (2)2014 rushed in like every new year does. They all scurry in overnight and take over, presenting us with a new number in the morning. At our house sadly we met the New Year with one less furry kid and relentless cold weather. Today, our high is the current temperature of – 6º F. Our low will tumble toward -30ºF and tomorrow it will rebound to all of -14ºF.

We have gotten soft in today’s world, or so my spousal unit reminds me. He is one of those northern Minnesota fellows who “walked barefoot” to school in -30º F weather and rode his bike on icy streets. “It was once so cold” he says as he starts yet another tale “that from my schoolroom window I sat watching a man in his car start the engine. As I watched, the driver took off down the street and amazingly the front tires of the car weren’t moving, they were absolutely frozen in place!” What happened at the approaching corner he was never to know but let me tell you if the tires don’t move that is cold. That day the thermometer read -40ºF in Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

These days, in our litigious nation it is impossible to ignore deadly cold weather. Tomorrow, by governor’s decree, all schools have been closed in Minnesota. Even 3M has closed and is telling people to stay home. Hopefully, people will, in fact, stay home because the more people out and about, the more people who have to be out and about governing them. Lastly, I hope everyone, every creature, will be safe and warm over the next couple of days.

There is always a detour

IMG_0259With just one small detour I will get right in to my favorite things of 2013. First though I want to pay tribute to my furry kid, Fitz Hughes. Our 10-year-old “little guy” (a standard poodle who had been a rescue dog) had to be euthanized a week before Christmas. I took him in to “my vet” on Friday December 13th because of recurring diarrhea, and to be honest, a dire feeling that I didn’t have very long to enjoy him.

He had been listless for a few days and I noticed you could see his backbone more than would be considered normal. His appetite had disappeared in the few days of the recurring diarrhea but when we both realized he wasn’t wagging his tail anymore we knew he was in trouble.

He had been seen by a vet a month prior to his fateful visit that Friday and that vet after running blood tests (all came back absolutely normal other than elevated lymphocytes and signs of dehydration) put him on antibiotics and gave him fluids to help with dehydration. She also did utter a warning that sometimes there are tumors that cannot be detected until it is too late (perhaps this was the reason for my feelings of doom). In reality, he wouldn’t let her examine his abdomen, it hurt him, and she shied away. Had she probed a little further she would have felt the tumor.

After that visit, thinking we were dealing with a digestive issue I had put him on digestive enzymes and probiotics. I also limited his diet to a “no grain” kibble that was agreeing with him. In general, I had done what I could to stop the diarrhea but now that it was back I knew it wasn’t just a digestive issue.

I called and made an appointment with “my vet” not just any vet at my clinic.  “My vet” handles my big guy, Sidney, with ease (not an easy thing to do) and seems to relate to me as well (probably not easy either). The minute Matt Winter walked in to the examining room where Fitzy and I sat on the floor together waiting patiently, he walked up to Fitzy, felt of his sides and looked at me in a very concerned manner. In a hesitant voice he said “I think he has an abdominal tumor his sides are distended. Let’s take him in and do an ultrasound.”

Fitzy was so good and let me hold his head and coo in his ear while Matt looked at his abdomen. We looked together as the ultrasound revealed a huge cavitated tumor that filled the entire void that should have been his abdomen. This grotesque growth hadn’t affected any organs (thus his blood tests were okay) but it basically filled what should be an empty area and it was clear our boy was not long for this world no matter his brave face. He was experiencing cancer at its worst.

We went home with pain killers and the hope that we had a few weeks to say our goodbyes. I intended to spoil him rotten with car rides, meaty bones, ice cream, you name it, life was going to be good for Fitzy but I admit I was tortured by the thought that he might suffer. On Sunday, as I talked to my Spousal Unit about my decision to have him home I said “I just need a sign, just any sign to help guide me”.

15 minutes later I walked in to the livingroom and Fitzy tried to stand up from his bed and couldn’t do it. When he finally did his hind legs were somewhat paralyzed and he kind of hopped on them across the room. I gave him a second dose of pain-killer and reassured him I would not let him suffer, I would pay attention to the sign he just gave me.  As my daughter said “Our dogs, we ask them to do something and they do as asked.”

We spoiled him terribly for the rest of the day giving him car rides, feeding him big bones and basically letting him do anything he wanted to do. The next day, with both of us by his side, Fitzy crossed the Rainbow Bridge and an end to any pain or anxiety he might have had. When his spirit left that room a little bit of me went with him.

I feel a debt of gratitude to Matt Winter, of Stillwater Veterinary Clinic, for making this sad moment both respectful and humane. Fitzy passed with no fear, filled with biscuits that he cheerfully ate from Matt’s hand. Dr. Winter is a very kind man and his hug as we left our Fitzy behind was a sincere hug of sorrow. I am sure these moments are not the highlight of his career but he handled a difficult moment very well.

A few nights later in the midst of my grief Fitzy came to me in a dream to let me know all was well on the other side of the “bridge”. He came to my side and did his favorite Downward Facing Dog pose, I itched his back and he ran cheerfully on his way, his little tail wagging again. RIP Fitz Hughes we loved you and miss you terribly but the “Big Guy” is doing his best to keep us entertained.

Moving forward

That detour was a bit longer than expected. Thank you for indulging me. Now having shared a bit of Fitzy with you all I can move on and mention a few favorite things from the year 2013. My readers will know that I am a huge energy medicine person. I believe in the healing energy of the body, mind and spirit. I know I have mentioned it before but homeopathy and my homeopathic doctor, Dr. Kim Lane has done wonders for me. I am not sure, for the scientific types, that I can quantify the positive side effects but people are noticing and mentioning the good changes in me.

As an example of how a homeopathic doctor can help when I lost Fitzy I thought I was becoming depressed. The grief of losing Fitzy simply felt overwhelming, so I made an appointment with Dr. Lane. It was a phone appointment (which she will do now and then) and we talked for 30 minutes. In the end, she prescribed the remedy Ignatia to help me through this grieving period but she also reassured me that from a medical standpoint I was experiencing all the stages of grief and it was perfectly normal. The remedy simply helped me cope with all my human grief but my appointment with this gentle woman helped me smile again.

I also had been having trouble with my right arm, so being a medical doctor as well I mentioned my achy arm to her. She asked me to describe the pain, what caused it, what made it feel better. She thought it was an issue that would pass and advised me to “breathe in to the pain”, so I have given it my best as I don’t take pain relievers. It is somewhat better but I am comforted by the fact that the symptoms didn’t seem to point to anything too significant. I am hoping a tincture of time will do the trick.

I cannot prescribe anything to my readers as I am not a medical professional but I can tell you that Dr. Lane combines allopathic medicine with energy medicine very successfully and I highly recommend her. You can find her website by clicking on her name in the fourth sentence of the first paragraph.

Favorite Supplement?

I think you can call this a supplement but in any case it is another “favorite thing”. It is a product for females only and it was recommended by Dr. Lane. It is a product to be used by those who may have vaginal dryness and is called Yoni’s Bliss. If you are embarrassed by the mere mention of such things read no further. For others who have this issue and it is interfering with your sex life or just making you dry and uncomfortable this product is wonderful. It is “all natural, water based, infused with love, pH balanced soothing and non-sticky” and can be used daily as a tissue tonic. I personally find it just makes me more comfortable on a day-to-day basis. Menopause is a challenge for some of us and any product that can improve one’s quality of life is a “favorite thing” in my book.

Recipes, recipes and more recipes

I am trying to think of what I have made more than anything else in the last year and it has to be the One Pan Taco entrée. It is so simple you don’t need a recipe. All you need is the following:

  • One pound of ground meat of your choice or some vegan/vegetarian option, my very favorite is ground turkey
  • Spices of your choice. I like cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric, salt and pepper.
  • Onion, diced
  • Green or red pepper diced
  • Broth or water
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Taco or chili topping of your choice. I like tomato, green onion, avocado, oil cured black olives, medium taco sauce.

Put a bit of lard in a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients and serve your family at the table. Brown your ground meat, chopped onion and pepper in the lard until it is cooked to your satisfaction. Swirl in your spices and cook for a few minutes to brown the spices slightly. Add some broth and cook down to a thick sauce. Turn off the heat, and add the cheese. Cover the pan and let the residual heat melt the cheese.

Bring the pan to the table with either the toppings in separate bowls to be added by each person or just throw the toppings on top and  serve. Each person can serve themselves. It is yummy with tortilla chips but vegetable slices would serve as a fine vehicle to get the mixture to your mouth. I like to just put a big helping in my bowl and eat it as is but it could be served over shredded lettuce or cabbage as well. Anyway you do it, it is tasty, easy and healthier than any fast food you could bring home in a bag.


IMG_0286Whatever your life challenges you with in any given year always remember life is for living. Living as defined by Wikipedia is “a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and DEAD organisms”. Living is not always easy nor are all of its experiences welcome but every second we live we become stronger, more insightful and better human beings.

“Living” means experiencing all the joy and sadness that life offers. Every morning that I wake up, that I am not a dead organism, is another great day of living and I try to take the time to be grateful for that ray of sunshine on my face or that “snowflake that stays on my nose and eyelashes”. I will deal with the sadness and pain of living to experience the heart melting joy of life.

My wish for all my readers is that in 2014 you have the pleasure of living with all that encompasses.


Christmas Time Is Here

IMG_2334The Charlie Brown song is going through my head now, don’t ask me why. I don’t watch the show and to be honest am not terribly entertained by Charlie Brown but that song sticks in my head like molasses and after all Christmas time is here at my house.

In fact, you could say Christmas arrived at our house two weeks ago when our tree went up. Yes, you read that right. I know plenty of people who object to what I did but what I choose to do and what others choose to do is entirely up to the individual.

In my case, my grandson had come to stay a couple of days and just before he got sick we put up the tree and decorated it. I say “we” but really it was “me”. I did let him choose the spot to put each ornament and he did his job proudly. Never mind almost every ornament was to go in the same spot, basically one a two-year-old could reach, and had to surreptitiously be moved.

Sadly, Odin went home hours later because both he and Nonna had caught a bug and Nonna’s energy to keep up with a whirling dervish plummeted. Still, we had fun putting up that tree and he and I continue to enjoy it tremendously.

Whatever your religious bent from Christian to atheist, I hope you are fortunate enough to take the time during this Winter Solstice to be happy. Finding even one thing you can be grateful for will make your spirits soar and keep a smile on your face.

Are you doing a holiday detox?

The other day on Facebook an interesting topic came up on a Magnesium Advocacy group that I “follow”. They were talking about the amount of magnesium in cilantro which is apparently quite high for a leafy green herb. In the ensuing discussion one commenter warned that if you have high mercury levels eating cilantro can be dangerous. It seems cilantro pesto(recipe to be found by clicking on cilantro pesto), in particular, if eaten to excess, can act as a chelation agent and release too much mercury in to your system and cause dementia-like symptoms for several days. This woman, according to her own report and not mine, was in bed for three days with memory loss and basically feeling a wreck.

I have made cilantro pesto for years whenever my summer cilantro crop is ready to harvest and I have to admit I have not suffered undo stress from eating copious amounts. However, posting the pesto recipe on my Krisinsight group on Facebook elicited several comments from my post and others. The gist of the comments were, if you suspect or know for certain you have mercury buildup in your body, use cilantro pesto with care. If you would like to detox your body of heavy metals by trying the pesto recipe I have a solution for the chelated mercury that will save you the days in bed with no memory (crikey that sounds horrible).

Purify Your Body

IMG_2337Yes, purify your body. I have a friend who sells detoxifying foot pads and her company is called, appropriately enough, Purify Your Body. I have known Rebecca for several years (of all things we met on Mercola.com attracted to each other by our common Minnesota tie). I know her commitment to good health and a healthy lifestyle and I know her reasons for her commitment.

When the subject of free-floating mercury came up she suggested her foot pads to help remove the mercury. She has an immune deficiency due to things that were out of her control (in utero)  and  has used her own product for a long time to remove heavy metals and other pollutants from her body. Given her immune issues her body doesn’t need the “gunk” clogging up her system and diminishing her ability to fight off disease, so she regularly places her foot pads on her feet and lets them do their work overnight.

My experience with Purify Your Body foot pads

I have used the Purify Your Body foot pads for a few years but very irregularly. I have never tested my body for heavy metals but I suspect lead could be abundant due to carelessly handling lead throughout my years as a dental hygienist (something I no longer do but every x-ray packet has a lead liner in it and most of us picked those up with bare hands and put them in the recycle box). I would fully expect mercury given a few amalgam fillings that remain in my mouth (two or three small fillings) and working in offices that have inadequate ventilation but as I said eating the cilantro pesto has never bothered me, so who knows, perhaps I was able to detox mercury.

In other words, while I have not tested the product myself, I know these herbal footpads are of the highest quality because I know Rebecca wouldn’t settle for anything less. She has picked these footpads because of the purity of the herbs and materials used. She has tested them for the heavy metals and other impurities they have removed and can give you a plethora of details if you contact her on her blog. They are simple to use, so I will show you.

Step one

IMG_2336The herbal packets come in a pouch with adequate adhesive patches and the directions are written on each pad that you will use. You simply cut off the top of the packet and open it to reveal 10 footpads. They have a definite herbal aroma which is not at all perfumed. I would find something artificially perfumed impossible to use and much prefer the hint of herbs.

The packets you see to the left contains the herbal mixture and the plain side of this packet sits against your foot as is plainly worded on the side that doesn’t sit against your foot. I can tell you from a careless experience that if you put the other side against your foot nothing will happen. In the morning you will find yourself truly amazed at the total lack of sticky gunk on the pad until you see the print side come off the sole of your foot. It was not one of my prouder moments. Afterwards when I was “talking” to Rebecca about the clean appearance of my pad (because I had messed up the application) she told me that eventually the pad will be clean but thus far mine never have been.

Step two

IMG_2338For me, step two is tricky at first but with experience you become much more able to handle the adhesive pad. Whether or not this is exactly how you should apply it, I don’t know, but this is what I do. I take the adhesive sheet in hand and remove all but the edge of the covering. Holding the sticky side up away from my hand, I apply it on top of the herbal packet that I have balancing on the sole of my foot.

With the edge piece still intact I fold the adhesive around the herbal packet and press in to place. Once that is accomplished I remove the last strip and press it down. I sometimes only do my toe area because that is associated with the thyroid and as we all know my thyroid is my biggest challenge and the one organ from which I would most like to see heavy metals and other toxins removed.

IMG_2340However, should you want to cover the entire foot it is simple. Follow the instruction for the toe area and just keep working your way down the sole of your foot. In the end, it will look something like the photo to the left. If you look on Rebecca’s  FAQ page you will see the associated areas of your body that you will be detoxifying.

Your feet, according to Rebecca’s site, are considered by Chinese medicine as the “Second Heart” because they help pump blood and lymph back up in to the torso. Thanks to our inactive lifestyle these days this action is often sluggish and inactivated, so if you use them and see nothing the first time you might try wearing them during the day when you are more active and the system is working more efficiently. I happened to take these photos this morning, so I am wearing mine as I stand at the computer. I hope to show you a pad that has been worn for several hours at the end of my post.

Full disclosure

Just to be clear, Rebecca is going to provide me with more footpads for reviewing her product. I would never review a product I didn’t try myself nor a product I didn’t believe in. When I said I would take advantage of her Black Friday special (Which, by the way, is good until the end of Cyber Monday. Just enter BLACKFRIDAY2013 for 30% off your purchase) but was a bit low on cash she offered me a deal I could not refuse. Voila! December’s blog was born. Thank you Rebecca for this gift but I am also happy to help others find out about your product.


I think these footpads fall under the “Do No Harm” category that I so strongly advocate. Given the tests that Rebecca has run on her own pads and the results she has seen I know these foot pads assist the body in its detoxification process. I also know that those of us with thyroid issues have trouble detoxifying.  This is also true of people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. (My research buddy, Chloe, would back me up on that statement). If wearing an herbal foot pad doesn’t rid my body of all heavy metals and other elements that shouldn’t be there, it sure doesn’t hurt and judging by the gooey mess forming right now they are working hard, as is my lymphatic system (Ah, the beauty of standing to use your computer. I will never sit again.).

Sadly, before I close, I did want to report the death of yet another very knowledgeable and well-respected thyroid researcher, British doctor, Gordon Skinner. Particularly in Britain, thyroid sufferers have lost a real warrior in the battle to treat thyroid disease effectively.  In January 2012 we lost Dr. John Lowe, my T3-only hero, after a fatal fall in the autumn of 2011. Unfortunately, with each of these losses we thyroid folks take a step backward as their expertise and respect is lost. I hope and pray that in 2014 other experts in the treatment of thyroid disease will step forward and take up where these great researchers left off.

I will see you here the first Monday of 2014. Have a wonderful winter solstice and as always find something you can be grateful for every single day. I am grateful for all my readers and for any information I can provide that helps you along your path to recovery and eventual stasis.



P.S. Here is the result of about 4 hours of wearing the detox pads on my left foot. It looks like my heel was the “gooiest” winner this time IMG_2342(bottom of the photo). My toe area doesn’t look half bad and the arch looks the cleanest.

Both the SU and I have had some intestinal bug for a couple of days and the heel area contains small intestine and descending colon, so here’s to cleaning out this bug. I am wearing them again tonight on both feet and we shall see what area is the most productive! If you try Rebecca’s detoxifying foot pads let me know what you think and what your experience entailed.

Wind in My Sails

IMG_1917 (2)I have just arrived home after a whirlwind trip to northern Minnesota. It was one of those last-minute decisions that worked out perfectly, something that often doesn’t happen with those bees up-the-rear-end- type of events.

It was not a happy occasion but a necessary one. Our aunt died in October and left no children just nephews and nieces (by marriage) who loved her and cared what happened to her. My SU was ultimately responsible for her estate, so he and I spent all day Saturday emptying a house of Janet. We had moments when we laughed and moments when we cried. We had some difficult moments when something precious just had to go in the dumpster but others when we could think of a place for something else that will always remind us of her life.

In the end, I have to question the acquisition of things.  I keep thinking if someone came to my house today to empty it of “me” where would all of “me” go? Unfortunately, I know all too well after this weekend. I am trying to find solace in knowing that our life’s accumulation might help someone, somewhere, furnish a home. I know Janet would, but still, I think I will be more careful about adding things to my life in the future.

Updates galore

Or perhaps just, updates, would be more accurate. I have had a rough month now. It started as a rough week when Janet died, and then other things fell apart but it just keeps coming at me, so now I will call it a rough month. This on top of a trip abroad in September, which I love, but it always takes its toll. Have you noticed that you don’t recover as well from time change holidays? I sure do. First it takes me a week to get back on my time. Secondly, my adrenals get shaky and that’s not a good thing for someone whose endocrine system is already challenged.

By the end of October, I was feeling pretty good but there were blips. One blip was my irregular heartbeat. Everything was pretty stable in the morning but by afternoon and my second dose of T3 at noon my heart races at the slightest provocation and then it blips every so often. I hate that, I really do and it was happening frequently by the third week of October. My sleep was pretty good but the daylight hours from 1-3 p.m. were often marred by an occasional bur-blip, bur-blip and a cough. It varies by the day and by the stress in my day.

Here is what I noticed, warm hands and feet, something that is abnormal for me, so I randomly checked my temperatures. They were running really normal and slightly above. Hurrah! Perhaps I was slightly hyper but in any case things were better than average. My sleep was fair to good, also a good measure of thyroid output. My aches and pains were lessening.

What to do when it seems your world is falling apart

In general, I think things were/are pretty good despite the heart blips (sometimes called arrhythmia). Then just when you think things are going right with your world again something comes along to shake your foundation. Within the last week a family member informed me that I was difficult to be around and we needed a “break”. This is beyond upsetting to me and I wouldn’t normally share such goings on with the world but I think it is important for thyroid folks to know that family arguments, like deaths of loved ones, are very destructive and you need time to recover. The recovery will not happen overnight.

For two days my limbs visibly shook if I faced any tense moments (getting behind schedule at work for instance). I heard from this person via email and just reading the email caused me to shake and feel weak all over. As I read through the email I found that some of what was said was very true (I do comment on thyroid health a lot. I do try to be sympathetic to this person’s family situation.) Some statements were patently untrue and the untruths undid me even more. By the time the day ended I had that “wired but tired” feeling that I had when I had taken myself off all my thyroid medication (By the way, not something I ever recommend. I have been recovering for about 8 years now).

My nights were and are restless. I am waking early in the morning (around 3:30). As soon as my brain is awake it is recalling all the things I might have said and/or done and I get up and start my day. There is always a positive side to our ups and downs and my early morning schedule worked really well this weekend as we started both Saturday and Sunday around 4 a.m. We accomplished in one and a half days what would have taken much longer had things been normal.

What the……..?

So I would say my world kind of went topsy-turvy, wouldn’t you? You want to know something interesting? My heart has quit acting up, The breathless feeling I was getting walking upstairs or chasing dogs has gone. The heartbeat that wanted to race at the least amount of exertion has all but gone.


In summary, it is obvious my adrenal health is not perfect. I think my adrenals are still a problem and that causes this roller coaster when presented with day-to-day stresses or worse, family issues. I know I need a cortisol test so that I can adjust my CT3M dose of T3 and heal them completely but I am still trying to catch up from my September holiday and subsequent unexpected days off due to the death in our family. In other words, it will be awhile.

I have not scheduled any other blood tests but I did schedule an appointment with my Homeopath/MD. My energy feels more positive after a few days of mulling over my course of action and getting back in charge of my emotions but I feel Dr. Lane will help me right now more than a blood test. She can help me work through my emotions and connect with the deeply buried hurt that now exists and is draining my endocrine system.

I also have not been taking my slow release potassium regularly. I forgot to take it at all last week. I was feeling an acute need this weekend, so I did eat bananas (something I normally don’t do) because I had forgotten to bring my potassium tabs along for the trip. In addition to my adrenal short comings I am sure my electrolytes are off and that always affects my heartbeat

Over the course of the past month my aches and pains have decreased.  I rode all morning today in a Ford F-250 and when I got out of the vehicle for a rest stop I could walk without stalling while my joints got in gear. Up until now I have had to stand for a few minutes to get my body to work properly and propel myself forward. This would also point to a more optimally treated thyroid. If you are hypothyroid everything gets stiff with inflammation and aches. That is one reason there is a general feeling that many fibromyalgia cases have their roots in under-treated thyroid disease.

The facts stated, now comes my latest experiment and my insight. The decrease in pain and the feeling of being optimal started when I started taking two capsules of Vital Choice Curcumin every day approximately two weeks ago. It is known that curcumin reduces inflammation but finding the right formula to optimize the effects of the turmeric is difficult. I looked at various formulas and decided this one was right for me as it’s base is Alaskan salmon oil. In subsequent blog entries I will try to update you on how the old aches and pains are doing.

The current turbulence in my life continues.  Just when I think I am in calm winds a gust of wind speeds me along my way and then the wind changes  and knocks the wind out of my sails. Believe me the wind will fill my sails again and things will be on an even keel again very soon but this only happens when you take charge of your life.  One thing this disease has proven to me is I am the captain of my ship and what happens is ultimately up to me.

See you the first Monday of December.



P.S. I have edited this because I felt it was necessary. This gives me the opportunity to tell my readers that I had a really good night’s sleep last night. I went to bed at 8:30 and basically slept until 5:30, my normal time to get up. My mind did not race nor did it seem troubled BUT I did have an Epsom salts (3 pounds because we have a big Jacuzzi style tub) soak last night with 2 cups of baking soda and I wore some detox foot pads to bed. Did that make the difference? I don’t know but it sure felt great.