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the things you do for love (like swallowing fermented cod liver oil)

This year was amazing in so many ways. My older son started classes at UVA (and got a 4.0 his first semester all while appropriately experiencing college life and its variety of shenanigans), my daughter (the sweetest mommy ever!) gave me my first grandchild (and he's the cutest snuggly bear!), and my youngest son is doing great at his International Baccalaureate School and has a wide and varied set of interests and activities (including martial arts - oh, my heart!). For those of us who are parents, when our kids are doing well, all feels right in the world, doesn't it? And having a kind and generous hubby is the brine in the ferment, encouraging us all to grow and thrive. Love for my family has inspired me and pushed me to keep growing and learning and finding answers.

My life has sometimes been a struggle. Born a diethylstilbestrol (DES) daughter and dealing with the health consequences (including a cancer scare, fibrocystic breasts, severe endometriosis and immune dysregulation) of that medical nightmare, having PTSD from my childhood, learning through DNA sequencing that I'm a non-secretor (which explains my mysterious lack of gut-and-brain-protective bifidobacteria) and dealing with massive gut dysbiosis from all of the above, it hasn't always been easy for me. When the gut is disrupted, the brain and potentially any or all systems in the body are disrupted. I admit there have been times when I just felt like lying down and giving up.

But, being the stubborn person I am, I dove into rebuilding my gut through obsessive determination and will (or willfulness, but who's counting?). Having restored my scant traces of lactobacilli* to normal levels and feeling the amazing benefits of doing so - no more depression or anxiety, no more digestive issues, many moments of inexplicable joy (you mean this is how life is supposed to feel?!) and improved memory. [* I haven't received my latest test results back yet, but feel sure it'll show restored levels of bifidobacteria as well.]

There is ONE issue left that, at age 48, is affecting my quality of life, and that is PAIN. Joint pain, headaches (hello, Atlas, will you please stay in place?), shoulder and hip pain kept me from playing with my grandbaby the way I wanted to when I went to see him this month, and that is unacceptable. We do not have to accept aches and pains as a "normal" part of aging. I had to take an honest look at what's missing from my diet, and the conclusion I drew was this one: omega-3's and their plethora of benefits. This essential fatty acid is sorely lacking in the Western diet, given our food-animals are fed grains instead of grass (which decreases Omega-3's and increases Omega-6's), and we seem to have forgotten about including good quality fish and seaweed in our diets.

And so, it is for the quality of life that I want to enjoy with my family that I will swallow fermented (because you know if I can have it fermented, I will!) cod liver oil / butter oil. But hey, it's chocolate cream flavored, so it must be good, right? Ah, the things you do for love.

What do you do to include good, healthy fats in your daily diet? Email me your ideas and I'll include them here!




What is diethylstilbestrol (DES)? https://desaction.org/what-is-des/

What are the side effects of DES? https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/des-side-effects/

What is a non-secretor and why does it matter? http://www.dadamo.com/txt/index.pl?1008

Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187

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