I took CBD every day for 30 days, here's what happened

I remember in high school when, if I wanted to smoke weed, I literally had to call a sketchy drug dealer, drive over to their house, awkwardly exchange money for some potentially awful marijuana that was grown WHO KNOWS WHERE and then hope I didn’t get pulled over by the police on my way home. 

Now, with weed being fully legal in 11 states as I write this post, and medically legal/decriminalized in the majority of the others, a lot of people are coming around to using the plant as medicine, specifically in the form of CBD.

My older family member called me, and in their thick Chicago accent said:

 “HAVE YA HEARD OF THIS BBD?” 

“You mean CBD?”

“Ya, BBD! It’s made from marijuana but it won’t get you high!”

Giggling.. “Yes, I’ve heard of it.”

“Ya, well I’m usin’ it for this sciatica I got and it’s really helping!”

My father, on the other hand, is still pretty skeptical. He struggles with eczema, knee pain, and arthritic-like hands (undiagnosed). I tried talking to him about taking oral CBD to help with inflammation, but he’s only willing to use it topically. Even then, the topical cream I got him for Christmas seems to be helping. He uses it regularly after working in the yard and found that it helps dull the pain a bit. It seems he’s still opposed to ingesting it due to the stigma associated with taking something derived from hemp, which is too bad because I believe taking it internally would be far more effective. 

Since my family members were having success using CBD for pain management, I decided to look into what else it could help with. One of the major things I saw over and over again was its ability to help with inflammation, something I struggle with due to my autoimmune diseases, three years of toxic mold exposure, and food sensitivities. I know the root of all disease stems from inflammation, so I thought adding CBD oil into my supplement routine could be beneficial. 

I was absolutely right. 

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I took CBD oil for 30 days and this is what happened:

NOTE: do not introduce new supplements, including CBD, without consulting your healthcare provider. 

I’ve only taken hemp products medicinally on a regular basis twice in my life. Once when I was coming off antidepressants to help relieve some of the withdrawal/anxiety/panic, and now as I’m detoxing from mold and trying to rebalance my hormones. 

Both times, I’ve found it to be a very helpful tool. I was able to successfully get off antidepressants after taking them for 15 years. The CBD oil helped ease some of the symptoms and I don’t know that I would have been successful coming off them without it. I took 20 mg daily from a company called Supergood Hemp, which has turmeric for added anti-inflammatory benefits. I also used Alchemy Food Co paleo-friendly edibles (only available in Colorado), which have THC in them and helped me escape on my deeply depressed days. 

Now, a year later (and still off anti-depressants!) I’ve decided to pair Winged CBD with my toxic mold treatment. I’ve been dealing with androgenic alopecia (which creates male pattern balding) and severe PMS symptoms due to high levels of toxicity in my body. Winged CBD has a formula specifically designed to help balance out women’s hormones. That’s because the CBD is paired with evening primrose oil, known to help with PMS symptoms, menopause, fertility and hair growth. 

After 30 days of use, I’m happy to report that my hair is growing back and my most recent cycle was far less painful than those before. While I cannot say for certain it was the oil alone (I’m on a strict detox protocol as well), I believe Winged CBD has had a hand in the rebalancing of my hormones. It has also helped improve my sleep (I take it every night before bed) and reduce my anxiety. 

Paleo-friendly CBD products I recommned:

I love both of the products I mentioned above, but lately Winged CBD’s Balance is my go-to because of the evening primrose oil blend and my need to balance my hormones. It’s also a lower price point, and you can get 10% off by using the code WHITNEY10 during checkout. 

I recommend Supergood’s golden oil to people who are on the autoimmune paleo protocol because it doesn’t have stevia and it’s infused with turmeric. It does have a small amount black pepper, which is not AIP compliant, but I believe the benefits of CBD and turmeric far outweigh the very small chance there is a black pepper sensitivity. Note, this oil does taste quite “marijuana-y” due to the minimal filtration it goes through. 

Both products promise non-GMO, organically grown, transparency with Certificate of Analysis, gluten free and CO2 extraction. You can’t beat that! 

Have questions about this blog post? Leave them in the comments and I will compile a new FAQ post to get them answered for you! 




How I'm Honoring the Sadness of Saying Goodbye to my Childhood Home

I mentioned on my Instagram stories this week that I said goodbye to my childhood home. UGH WHAT HEARTACHE! It's tough to say goodbye to something you went through so many big life moments in. The place is crawling with memories and every time I came home I found comfort in the reminder of them. Sometimes it would make me sad to realize that while some things were the same (like the concrete, oil, and dirt smell of the garage being more potent on a hot day, the creaking of the floors, the drum of the ice machine down the hall as someone got a glass of water late at night), those tiny familiarities often brought me a lot of sorrow. When I noticed them, it was as if I had traveled back in time -- as if maybe, just maybe my mom would be turning the corner in her flannel nightgown and poking her head in to tell me she loved me. The heartache came calling every time I'd come back to reality and realize the distance between here and the memory I was just wrapped up in. 

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Regardless of how sad those memories made me, they brought a sense of comfort. It was nice to have a place I could go that triggered so much remembering, especially since one of my coping mechanisms has been repressing things. After my mom died, I could hardly function at the thought of her or things left unsaid. I think my brain helped me move on from the trauma by tucking my memories away. 

As I've started to heal some old wounds caused by the tumultuous relationship I had with my mom, walking into that house full of memories felt like walking home to her. Lots of things were redecorated -- but she was still there. She's still there. I think a little piece of her always will be. 

I've been trying to approach endings with more grace and love as oppose to devastation. I've been doing that by navigating to a place of gratitude for what was and honoring the cycle of my experiences. Everything has a season. Some seasons are longer than others, and if we're lucky, the seasons in our lives will be long and fruitful with love and lessons. Approaching endings through this lens has been incredibly healing for me because it allows me to reflect on the immense value of the pieces of my life that were meaningful. The more emotions that come up as I'm saying goodbye, the luckier I am for what it brought me. 

As I said goodbye to my home, I decided to take time to honor the season I lived in it. I got down on my knees, touched my hands to the floor, and asked that I recall the memories I needed to recall for closure in each room. In the family room, I saw my mom's 50th birthday party. It was a surprise and my dad invited all of her family and friends to come. When she walked in the garage door, she hadn't showered all day, had bulky white socks on, sandals, gym shorts, and a baggy t-shirt (I'm giggling through tears as I write this) -- but my god, the combined look of confusion and joy on her face as she scanned the room and saw the faces of the people who loved her... it's the kind of thing you hope everyone gets to experience. 

Then I remembered watching hours of cartoons and running upstairs to sneak more freeze pops at commercials, playing "hide the dollar" with my neighbors while our parents were upstairs drinking wine, turning the fireplace into my "stage." I remembered the year they let us get a second Christmas tree and how excited I was to have it where I watched TV, the smell of the grill outside the sliding doors in the summer time, slumber parties with my best friends, kissing boys on the couch, watching my niece and nephew run around playfully in circles, and the last Christmas we spent with my mom, snuggled up with her on the couch in front of the fire, watching White Christmas as a family one final time. 

Then I proceeded to do the same with every. single. room in the house. Yes, even some of the bathrooms. They all held special moments from the 32 years my family called it home. When I felt like my memory seeing had come to a close, I thanked the room for keeping me safe and moved to the next one, leaving a tiny little drops of tears in every spot I walked away from. 

I think this process would have been too overwhelming for me in years past, but this time around it felt so cleansing. I was happy to remember how much I experienced in the home and grateful for the people I made memories in it with. One of my best friends growing up messaged me on Instagram and said "I remember when we got caught trying on your sister's bras!!" and it felt comforting to have her share one of her memories related to the house. Another friend reminded me that when she arrived for my mom's surprise party, my dad had been up in the kitchen with a hairdryer trying to get the hand dipped chocolate covered strawberries he'd made dry before she arrived. I loved realizing that our house also held memorable space for our community. I think that’s a really special thing about homes.

If you're going through transitions in life or losing something special to you.. whether it's a house, a person, a job, or otherwise, I encourage you to honor what comes up for you. The grief you feel is likely a testament to how deeply you you were impacted by it.

Here are some ways you can honor your transitions:

  • Be a weirdo and place your hands on the thing you’re losing and call upon the memories that will help you get through the process

  • Journal about all the good things it brought to your life and tuck it away or put it in a Chinese lantern

  • Call together a circle of friends related to the situation/loss and ask that they help you remember


Thanks for reading this out of the ordinary blog post that is completely unrelated to autoimmune disease or autoimmune paleo recipes!

xo,

Whit




What to Ask a Mold Inspector

Questions to ask a mold testing company if you struggle with CIRS, Lyme, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or Autoimmunity


Do you offer remediation?

You do not want a company to test for mold who also remediates it as they will benefit from you having mold. The best thing to do is work with a company who does the inspection and writes a remediation protocol, and will refer you to trustworthy companies in your area. If they say they both test and remediate, it’s a conflict of interest and you should continue looking elsewhere.

How long does your inspection take?

We live in a 970 square foot house and our inspection took three hours. According to the company we worked with, an inspection should take anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the size of your home. Your inspector should initially walk the entire perimeter of your home, check for areas where there may be potential water intrusion, and then walk through your entire house looking for signs of water damage. They should also go in your crawl space and attic, if you have them.

How many of your clients have CIRS, Lyme, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities?

You definitely want your home inspector to understand the consequences of mold on your health. When I called the inspection company I asked if they had heard CIRS and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The woman at the front desk said yes, but she wasn’t entirely confident answering all the questions I had. She connected me with one of their inspectors who said he was very familiar with these illnesses and that he would be personally coming to inspect our home because of that.

Have you heard of the ERMI and HERTSMI tests and do you perform them?

Just because mold doesn’t come back positive in an air sample doesn’t mean you’re not struggling from CIRS. The ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index) is the most recommended test by mold illness doctors. It examines the proteins in a dust sample for the genetic presence of 36 different types of molds and helps your specialist get an understanding of the history of mold in your home.

The HERTSMI is similar to the ERMI test, but it only looks for the presence of the top dangerous species of mold and is therefore less expensive.

If the specialist you’re speaking to is not familiar with these tests, it’s best to go elsewhere.

Is it okay if I shadow you as you walk around our property?

If they’re a good inspector and willing to do a thorough job, their answer will be yes. This isn’t just an inspection but an opportunity to educate. As your inspector walks around your home he/she should inform you where they see risk for water damage now or in the future and share their recommendations. If they don’t want you to follow it’s likely may rush the process.

Are you familiar with mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are gasses produced by mold that are harmful to human (and animal) health. You want to make sure your mold inspector understands what they are and how important it is for you to reduce your exposure to them.

Do you test the HVAC system?

Your HVAC is a major contributor to your indoor air quality and should always be inspected and/or tested during a mold inspection.

DENVER MOLD SPECIALIST

If you’re in Denver and looking for a mold inspection company, we went with HS Scientific. At the time of writing this, their website is under construction but they can be reached at 720-295-6408.

You May Also Like:

What to Do If You Think You Have Toxic Mold

Is My House Making Me Sick?

Should You Buy a Berkey Water Filter?

Yes, yes you should. There are tons of contaminants in drinking water and getting a water filter is going to benefit your overall health, especially if you’re working on healing or preventing autoimmune disease.

If you don’t have a high quality water filter you’re exposing yourself to all sorts of nasty shit in your drinking water. Chlorine, prescription drugs, bacteria, antibiotics, pesticides, glyphosate, industrial chemicals.. the list goes on. Many could have a negative impact on your health when you’re exposed to them on a regular basis. 

I’ve known I needed a water filter for a while. First, I got the Aquagear pitcher, which is a great affordable option, but it was annoying to keep refilling it all day (#woeisme). I didn’t replace the filter when it ran out and started researching other water filters to buy. Most of them seemed really expensive and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the investment.. but the longer I waited, the more chemicals I was drinking.

When I was diagnosed with heavy metal toxicity I got my ass in gear and decided it was time to just spend the money on a filter. I had been reading about the Berkey for a while and went with that one.

The Berkey water filtration system has a carbon filter that helps remove most lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, chlorine, BPA, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and fluoride (when you get the additional fluoride attachment for $60 which I’m about to purchase for us).

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I was excited when our Berkey arrived because I had seen tons of big name bloggers in the health and wellness community using theirs, and now I finally had one (does this mean I finally made it?!?). My husband and I got the Royal Berkey and put it together in about 30 minutes and filled it up. By the time we woke up in the morning we had 3.25 gallons of fresh, filtered water. 

 In all honesty, Denver drinking water tastes pretty good and I haven’t noticed a big change in the flavor of our water, but my guess is I’ll notice it after I add the additional fluoride attachments. Other people I’ve talked to in the autoimmune community noticed a huge change in the taste of their water with the Berkey, so I think it really just depends where you’re at. 

rooted in healing, coconut whip almond butter, sugar-free, paleo,

The biggest draw for me with the Berkey is that each black filter comes with a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That means if you’re using 3 gallons of water a day, it should last approximately 5 years. The fluoride filters need to be replaced a little more often, every 1,000 gallons, so they last approximately 11 months. Plus, the manufacturer warranty is 12 months on the system and PF-2 fluoride/arsenic filters and 2 years on black Berkey filters.

Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase and would absolutely recommend it to friends and family looking for a high quality filter. If you want to purchase one of your own, click the banner below and you’ll get 5% off your purchase!

 

 

Autoimmune Food Journal Template

Food journals are a tool I use with every client in my practice because they help tell a story. Through analyzing food and symptom journals I’m able to get a view of what my client’s relationship is like with food, how much they’re eating, and see patterns of how food and lifestyle is correlating with symptoms. 

AUTOIMMUNE PALEO CERTIFIED COACH AIP NUTRITIONIST NTP NUTRITION FOOD JOURNAL SYMPTOMS FOOD TRACKER

Some symptoms we look out for:

  • stomach cramping

  •  bloating,

  • diarrhea

  • constipation

  •  anxiety

  •  depression

  •  acne

  • rashes

  •  brain fog

  • sleep disruption

  •  fatigue

  •  headaches

  •  itching

  •  joint pain

  • undigested food in stool

  • heartburn

Symptoms can happen immediately or take a few days to present themselves.

Some things I have my clients focus on:

Nutrient density - I encourage my clients to eat the rainbow and include lots of fruits and vegetables in their meals throughout the day

Eating balanced meals - We work on a good balance of fats, carbs and proteins

Stress relief - There’s a strong link between the gut and the brain, and constant cortisol release can be taxing to the entire body. I ask my clients to implement stress relieving techniques (otherwise known as “self care”) like positive self talk, meditation, and gratitude journaling.

Water intake - Water is essential to our everyday function and dehydration can cause lots of symptoms in our bodies. In order to determine the proper amount of water you should be drinking, take your body weight and divide it by two. That number is the amount of ounces you should have each day. If you’re drinking diuretics (like coffee) then you multiple the amount of ounces of that drink by 1.5 and add it to the total water you should be drinking.

Movement - Depending on my clients physical abilities, I’ll encourage them to stretch, go for walks, and engage in 30 minutes of mildly rigorous exercise 4x/week to help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Even if you aren’t working with a nutritionist you can still look out for correlations between your food and symptoms.

I put together a food journal template for those of you who aren’t working with me, so that you still have access to one of the tools I’m using in my practice. The best thing about this printable, 7-day food journal template is that it provides space for meal planning, creating a grocery list, tracking your symptoms, supplements, exercise, water intake, and self-care, and has a spot for you to reflect on how the week went for you.   Plus, as a little special Rooted in Healing touch, there are encouraging messages at the bottom of each page. 

 Ready to get more in touch with your body through your very own food journal? I put a lot of love into this template and I can’t wait to see you using it out in the real world! Enter your email below to put your health back in your own hands. 

Snag Your Free Food Journal Template! 

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    HOW TO TRAVEL WITH AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

    I didn’t realize how much I love traveling until I hit my mid 20’s. Coincidentally, that’s also when I started losing my hair in patches and had to start making some big lifestyle changes to grow it back. Over the years I’ve found ways to make traveling while on the Autoimmune Protocol and the Paleo diet doable for me and I wanted to share some of those tips with you.

    ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS

    Things are different now. You can’t expect to travel the same way you once did and it’s important you come to terms with that before you take off on your journey. You may not see EVERYTHING but you’re going to see SOME things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Embrace this and allow yourself to enjoy your new way of traveling.

    GO ON A BEACH VACATION

    I personally love, love, love city vacations so I’m surrounded by art, music and lots of unique shops and restaurants. That being said, when I was in the intense healing phase of my autoimmune disease, I would have never gone to a big city. They are draining and you usually need to walk everywhere you go. The whole point of a beach vacation is to rest and relax, so it’s perfect for those with autoimmune disease.

    DO YOUR RESEARCH

    Travel to cities you know focus on fresh and grilled foods. While we were in Spain there were plenty of places serving meat and vegetables, and I knew I could find something that wouldn’t make me feel awful. Along with that, take time to scour the internet for different restaurants in the city you’re visiting. Chances are you’ll find some with dishes that can be slightly modified to meet your requirements.

    DON’T STAY IN HOTELS

    My #1 recommendation to people wanting to travel on the Autoimmune Paleo Diet is to get an Air BNB or VRBO. These are typically stocked with pots and pans so you can cook for yourself. Head to a nearby market or grocery store and get food that complies with your diet. For fun, look up recipes you can eat that mirror the traditional food of the city you’re visiting.


    MAKE YOUR TRIP LESS THAN A WEEK

    I don’t recommend planning to travel for more than a week when you have an autoimmune disease. Travel can be stressful, draining, and if you’re anything like me, you push yourself to see everything possible. That can be exhausting and potentially trigger a flare, so forcing yourself to come home early is a good plan.

    Exploring public gardens in Spain

    Exploring public gardens in Spain

    PLAN ACTIVITIES THAT AREN’T CENTERED AROUND FOOD

    There is so much to do in cities that doesn’t have anything to do with food. Pack a compliant lunch at your Air BNB in the morning and head out on an adventure. Here are a couple non-food ideas:

    • Visit the most popular public parks in the area

    • Rent bicycles or a scooter to explore the city

    • Bring a sketchbook and draw what you see

    • Bring a notebook and write what you see

    • Explore an art gallery or history museum

    • Take an architecture tour

    • Go on a scavenger hunt for cool street art and take pictures of your favorites

    • Explore a local market

    • Head to the local library

    • Visit an an old church or cathedral


    BUILD IN TIME FOR REST

    It’s ESSENTIAL when you are traveling that you make space for breaks. If you’re struggling with autoimmune disease it’s likely you also struggle with fatigue. Set yourself up for success by planning out your day with several breaks. Stop at a coffee shop to read and people watch between activities in the morning and always head back to your accommodations for an afternoon nap.

    Sketching a courtyard in Granada

    PLAN TO HAVE DOWN TIME ONCE YOU GET HOME

    No matter how careful you are when you travel it can be really taxing on your body. Don’t plan a deadline at work right after you get home nor to go out with friends every night. You’ll likely need a vacation from your vacation, and that’s totally okay. Give yourself some space and practice having grace for yourself as you bounce back.

    HOW TO SHOP AIP ON A BUDGET

    When I first swapped from a vegan diet to an AIP diet it hit my bank account HARD. I used to spend roughly $60 a week on groceries for the two of us and that number more than doubled once I started preparing AIP recipes with organic veggies and free-range meat..

    Transitioning to a healing lifestyle can feel socioeconomically prohibitive but it doesn’t always have to be. Over the years I’ve learned how to keep my grocery bill down to around $80-$100/week for two people and today I’m sharing how I do that. 

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    WHOLESALE MEMBERSHIPS

    If you have an extra $50-$60 consider purchasing a year-long membership at one of the following places:

    COSTCO: They usually have fantastic deals on organic produce, high-quality meat, and lots of pantry staples. I love getting my coconut oil, olive oil, coconut aminos, collagen, and organic meat + produce there. ($55 MEMBERSHIP)

    THRIVE: Thrive Market is an online wholesale store for health food. It’s perfect for purchasing pantry staple items and high-quality meat. The best part (at least for me) is that you don’t even have to leave your house. The prices are very similar to Costco but they have a wider variety. ($59.95 MEMBERSHIP, plus 25% off your first order by using this link

     Thrive Market also provides free memberships to families in need. You can look into their program if you are low income and apply here.

    DON’T PURCHASE EVERYTHING ORGANIC

    If you are in a financial bind it is not necessary to purchase 100% organic vegetables. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. These are compiled based on which non-organic vegetables are the most toxic and which are the least toxic each year. Do your best to avoid purchasing the Dirty Dozen non-organic. Also know that if you cannot afford to purchase organic, pasture-raised/grass-fed food, you can still achieve healing.


    COOK AT HOME MORE

    There is a restaurant in Denver I love to go to because they have grass-fed burgers and duck fat fries. It’s freaking delicious and I love the whole experience of going out to a restaurant. That being said, the burger is around $13 and the duck fat fries are $7. We share the fries so our total ends up being around $38 with tip. For that amount of money I could get 2 lbs of grass-fed beef at whole foods ($5.99/lb), six organic sweet potatoes ($1.69/lb), a whole jar of duck fat ($7.99), plus some organic lettuce and I would STILL be under the total it costs for my husband and I to go out. Plus, that amount of food could easily last the two of us for four + meals.

     

     STOCK UP ON SALE ITEMS

    When you are at the grocery store and see a good deal on meat or produce, buy extra and stock your freezer. I am constantly doing this with meat and frozen veggies.

     START A GARDEN

    This is by far the most cost-efficient way to have organic, fresh vegetables. We grow more expensive items in our garden like spaghetti squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, blueberries, and herbs, as well as some other fun things like zucchini, cucumbers, and cauliflower.

     BUY IN BULK 

    Foods are oftentimes cheaper in bulk than they are when you purchase them in pre-packaged bags. Some cities have bulk stores or you can shop the bulk section of Whole Foods and Sprouts. 

    DON’T PURCHASE SPECIALTY FOODS

    Things like Paleo Puffs, jerky, pre-made bone broth, dehydrated fruit, and sweet potato chips are all great convenience foods but they also cost more at the grocery store than fresh food. Consider making your own versions at home for way less!

     BUY FROZEN VEGGIES

    Frozen veggies are a great way to get healthy food at a lower cost. Trader Joe’s has a great selection. Just make sure the only ingredient is the vegetable. 

     

    PURCHASE CANNED GOODS

    Purchasing chicken and fish canned is typically cheaper than fresh and it has a longer shelf life. These are great to stock up on when they go on sale! It’s best to make sure the fish is wild caught, the chicken is free-range or pasture raised, and the can is BPA free. 

     

    EAT OFFAL

    Most people are a little grossed out at the idea of eating the organs of animals but it’s an incredibly affordable way to get high-quality, nutrient-dense protein into your diet. Try fried chicken liver or pate to start!

    SHOP MULTIPLE GROCERY STORES

    This can get a little time consuming but check the Sunday paper for coupons and sale flyers for grocery stores and shop multiple places in order to get the best deals. Many stores also have apps you can download where you get exclusive deals. I use apps for King Soopers (or Kroger) and Whole Foods.


    Those are my best practices for saving money on a healing diet. Have some of your own? Feel free to come tell me about them on my Instagram!

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