Good morning, Radiant Ones!
As we continue with Operation Parasite Shock and Awe, I wanted to inspire you to think beyond this second phase and make certain lifestyle adjustments so as to prevent as much parasitic infestation in the future as possible.
The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) states that one-third of all deaths worldwide are due to infectious and parasitic diseases. That’s a whole lot. And cases seem to increase every year due to climate change and more international travel. (This is why I carry clove capsules with me when I travel – to kill parasites in gestation). I also believe that the overuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial chemical agents such as hand sanitizers have actually aggravated the issue. The obliteration of both beneficial and dangerous bacteria simultaneously cannot be a good thing because it leaves us naked, unarmed and vulnerable. Hygiene is important. But so is getting just a little dirty. Microbes strengthen your immunity if you have enough good guys on your team. So wash your hands frequently with good ole soap and water (preferably of the natural variety) and stop “sanitizing” everything with chemicals! There are many natural ways of combating parasites and maintaining cleanliness without getting rid of ALL bacteria. As we strive to get closer to the 80% good bacteria vs. 20% bad bacteria ratio, or even 85% to 15%, we will be better equipped to handle any pathogenic invasion and emerge even stronger than before. Think of these incredible microscopic civilizations living inside of you. They are like little armies protecting the precious territory that is your body. The only way to strengthen an army is to present it with a challenge. You don’t kill your soldiers off when you need protection! But this is what we do when we take antibiotics (anti-life) or when we spray Lysol on everything. In order to repopulate these colonies, we must add life back. One way is to take probiotics (pro-life) daily and/or eat fermented foods as frequently as possible. Another way is to utilize the principles of nutrition we are experimenting with and build upon them in a constant quest for personal refinement.
Worms and other parasites can infiltrate your intestines when your immune system is operating inefficiently due to chronic illness, stress or malnutrition. Americans are the most malnourished, obese people on the planet. If you nourish your body with real fuel, it will protect you and do what it is meant to do: heal you always and keep you strong. We cannot prevent every single potential health challenge, but we can certainly strengthen ourselves so that no matter what comes our way, we shall overcome!
Here are some tips on ways to minimize parasitic encounters:
· Thoroughly wash your produce before consuming, even if it is “triple washed.” A recent Consumer Report found that a sample of a variety of triple washed, packaged organic salad greens contained certain types of bacteria that indicate fecal contamination. Eeww….please wash ALL of your produce thoroughly. Get a big, deep bowl and fill it with one part distilled white vinegar to three parts water. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) found this to be an effective mixture in killing 98% of bacteria. If you can, use purified/filtered water. The same parasites that lurk in our tap water can make their way onto our produce. They spread when crops are irrigated with contaminated water. We usually here about E. coli bacteria contaminating crops, but other parasites such as giardia and cryptosporidium can also be found in our produce. The roundworm Ascaris (the most common cause of human worm infections), has been found on unwashed lettuce and other kinds of produce irrigated with water contaminated by human or pig feces. If you don’t have vinegar, use a few drops of natural dishwashing detergent in the bowl of water and then rinse thoroughly. Or a few drops of grapefruit seed extract. Which leads me to my next point…
· Buy Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) and always have it around as part of your arsenal. GSE is a potent antimicrobial, antiviral, and antiseptic agent that kills over 800 KNOWN parasites, viruses, funghi and other bacteria. It can be used in place of chlorine in pools. It can prevent Candida overgrowth. It kills parasites such as Giardia and E. Coli. And it boosts the immune system. Imagine what is yet to be discovered about this beautiful, natural gift from Nature? Add about 30 drops of GSE into a large spray bottle along with purified water. Spray it on your produce (or soak your produce in water with a few drops of GSE), spray it on door handles, on your cutting board, on your baby’s diaper rash. If you feel a cold or virus coming on, or if you’re traveling to a third world country, add 8 to 10 drops into a little water and shoot it to zap the creepy crawlers. It tastes like throw up, but it works! And a little goes a long way. I bought a bottle once that lasted me over a year!
· If you have a kitty, use gloves when cleaning out the litter box. Toxoplasma Gondii is a brain altering parasite that lives in cat feces. It can trigger miscarriage in pregnant women, and according to a recent Danish study, women exposed to this parasite had a 53% increase in suicidal thoughts, schizophrenia and other mental disorders. It even made women attracted to bad news men. This is why your cat lady neighbor is kookoo....
· If and when you eat animal products, do your best to choose organic. Antibiotics used in livestock to both treat infections as well as fatten them up, are linked to "superbugs." Superbugs are a strain of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. Did you know that 80% of antibiotic use in the U.S. is for agricultural usage?! Yes! 80%!!! In 2009, and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) report concluded that 29 million pounds of antibiotics were used in factory farms. Absolute craziness. And even if you are vegetarian, the animal manure used to grow conventional produce can contain antibiotics. Eating organic as much as possible will help mitigate your inadvertent intake of antibiotics.
· Drink filtered water only. Even if it's a Brita or Pur (which cost less than $30 at Target), filter your water. It will help minimize unhealthy bacteria, chlorine, pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotic runoff in your drinking water. Boiling water kills bacteria, but doesn't get rid of antibiotics. So even for boiling pasta or making tea, use filtered water! Of course you can upgrade to a filter that also removes fluoride and other contaminants. But at the most basic level, you want to avoid tap water. Avoid bottled water, too. Regulations on bottled water are less stringent than those on municipal water, believe it or not. Plus, bottled water is just wasteful. Americans consume 1500 water bottles every second. Every SECOND, ladies and gentlemen. A great documentary to watch on this subject is "Tapped." I saw it on Netflix and cried. I will discuss more on water in a future post.
· Avoid eating undercooked pork, poultry, or fish. Raw animal flesh is a petri dish for mayhem makers. And Toxoplasma Gondii is especially present in undercooked pork. When eating at a restaurant, have them cook the s*@t out of your bacon! Extra crispy please!
· Eat foods rich in beta-carotene. Think “orange.” Sweet potatoes and carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is the precursor for Vitamin A. Vitamin A prevents the larvae of parasites from penetrating and making their home in you. Pastured egg yolks and grass fed butter are great sources of Vitamin A as well. You can get pastured (meaning raised on pasture) eggs at farmers markets and at Whole Foods. I even saw pastured eggs at Target in the 'hood where my mom lives! Very impressed. Their brand of pastured eggs are "Alfresco" and "Vital Farms." But farmers markets are a bit less expensive. I just bought 20 pastured eggs for $8.50 at the farmers market. The most orange yolks you've ever seen! The deeper the orange of the yolk is, the healthier the egg. Pale yellow yolks = sad state of affairs. And you can get grass fed (another word for 'pastured') butter at almost any supermarket. The popular brand is Kerrygold. Get the unsalted kind in the silver wrapper and salt it yourself! Butter should also be yellow, not white.
· Take up organic gardening. Even if it's just a container garden on your balcony, a particular type of microbe under study called mycobacterium vaccae has been shown to mirror the effect on neurons that pharmaceutical drugs such as Prozac provide. This bacterium found in soil is believed to stimulate the production of serotonin, the "feel good hormone." Studies have been conducted on cancer patients, and participants have reported feeling happier, sleeping better, feeling less stressed, and having an overall better quality of life. These are the kinds of good guys we want on our side! So go out there and get dirty!
· Avoid poop. Wash your hands after using the bathroom. If you are in a public stall, kick the handle to flush, or take a piece of toilet paper and use it as a shield between you and the handle. Avoid walking barefoot where animals roam. If you step on poop walking around the city, thoroughly wash your shoes with soap and hot water and brush underneath your fingernails. Shampoo the rug in your car, too! Don’t want them making babies in your ride…
· Avoid bug bites as much as possible. When hiking or out in nature, wear long sleeves and cover as much skin as possible. You can spray your clothes with insect repellant to take it a step further. Neem oil and citronella are very effective natural bug repellants. Neem oil is lover repellant, too. So don't use it around someone you're trying to make an impression on! :) There are many different essential oils such as cloves, cedar wood, lavender, eucalyptus, pine and oregano that are also natural repellants. Here is a very easy recipe I use for bug repellant spray: take a clean, small spray bottle (4 oz) and fill it with 2 oz distilled or boiled water, 1 oz witch hazel or vodka (don't drink it!), and 50-75 drops of whatever essential oils you choose. I try to include neem oil in every blend. Then spray it to exposed areas! A parasite is just a bite away…
Eating foods that naturally repel parasites and nourish the body will go far in protecting you. So will washing your hands often (and feet if you wear flip flops). And taking off your street clothes before crawling into your bed. Eat raw garlic often and arm yourself with the highest quality of nutrients you can give yourself so that you can fully enjoy life and all of its spontaneous moments without fear. Knowledge is power!!!
Wishing you a day filled with moment by moment Awareness…
©Erika Elizondo, H.H.C