What’s Eating Up My Blogging Time?


Photo kindly from Molly Green Magazine, as part of a membership.

I wanted to tell here, at The Homeschooling Doctor, my story.  What is my story?  Well, it’s about a woman leaving behind an ordinary medical doctor career to stay home and homeschool her children.  It’s a story about her leaving behind expected medical doctor ideas to unearth new ideas (new to her anyhow) for health and healing.  And it’s a story of a struggle to align expectations with a gracious acceptance of reality.

I haven’t written for at least a couple of weeks for two reasons.  One, I’ve been following a new, interesting experiment to help put an end to my search for “complete health.”  You see, I’m pretty darn healthy.  But over the years, I’ve had intermittent headaches, foggy brain, vertigo, strange joint pains and swelling, abdominal distention/bloating, and chronic constipation.  I’m diligent, and I’ve visited the appropriate doctors.  The work-ups are really, overall, quite unremarkable.  So, I’ve chalked it up to stress or food or wear-and-tear and I’ve simply moved on, trying not to ruminate for too long on any of it–although I keep reading and reading because I love to learn and think about how this stuff may help myself or others.

By self-experimenting, I’ve found that if I eat a certain way, which coincidentally aligns fairly well with a vegetable-rich autoimmune Paleo diet, I can control about all my symptoms.  But to eat this way for life as a mother of four young kids who loves to travel, well, it’s pretty discouraging.  So, although I haven’t had time to write on it, over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to budge off of “my diet.”  I mean, eliminating grains, nuts/seeds, dairy, eggs, legumes, chicken, and coconut is, in my own words, about stupid.  I’m not saying I’m stupid.  Or you’re stupid.  I guess I’m just saying that to eat that way long-term is almost, not quite, impossible.  Which means for people who have to follow this way of eating, makes feeling good day-in and day-out about impossible.  I’ve tried many of the leaky gut protocols.  I’ve considered Lymes and heavy metals.  I’ve fasted.  I’ve done broths.  Meditation and yoga.  I’ve sent love and acceptance to my gut and body.  Probably my first mistake was to pray about it–I think God thought it would be good for this run-of-the-mill, proud medical doctor to get shaken up a little.  Anyhow, I think the autoimmune diet protocols are awesome at controlling symptoms quickly, but somehow I can’t keep wondering if some of us who follow these protocols can’t move on.

(Please remember, this is all my story.  My opinions.  My thoughts.  I haven’t even organized my thoughts well in my own head.  So anything you read here, you need to read about more and ask your doctor about anything that you may want to try.)

Well, my blog posting and reading has been replaced since my last post here with reading a medical doctor’s work by the last name of Sarno on a syndrome he calls tension myositis syndrome and trying his techniques.  He suggests that lots of symptoms and syndromes in medicine are able to be overcome by some pretty simple processes involving reading his books, daily journaling, and daily introspective thinking.  He writes a lot about back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (carpal tunnel, tendonitises, herniated disks, etc.), but I’ve decided to apply his techniques to my food sensitivities, which commonly cause me headaches, fogginess in my head, and bloating.  I cannot yet give a definitive answer to how it’s going, but I am broadening my diet.  I do not suggest that you try Sarno until you’ve hit the wall and tried “everything” or unless you’re a very open-minded person.  (And of course after you checked with your doctor about whether or not it’s safe to eat these foods or do these activities you avoid!  I’m not talking anaphylactic allergies here!!!!)  I’m open-minded, but I would not have even considered this man’s work at all when I started this journey in 2012.  His explanations seem bizarre to us doctors trained to look at X-rays, MRIs, and use known science to explain pain.  I’m early on in trying his techniques, but I think that the brain can override most processes in the body:  vascular, gastrointestinal, immunological, pain sensation, and so on.  Perhaps his methods are one way to achieve this end.  Bottom-line–I just wanted to let you know that the extra reading and journaling that are required daily have eaten up my blogging time lately.

The second thing that has cut into researching and writing for my blog is the time-constraints placed on a mom by, hmm, how should I say this–being a mom.  Ha!  I had completely forgotten how time and mom-consuming toddlers are!  I keep playing with our schedule and routine to find a way to write more, but success keeps eluding me.  I enjoy reading, summarizing this health stuff, and encouraging others so much, though, that I plan to persist on finding a way to keep in the game.  This week, we’re going to try having my daughters each pick meals to cook to see if I can’t decrease my kitchen responsibilities.  Maybe this will open up some more writing time.

That’s what’s been happenin’ here lately.  I didn’t link to Sarno’s work.  I figure if you’re at the point to try him, you’ll open a new tab and type his name in.  And I want to make it clear I don’t agree with all I read in his book, but so far with his methods, I’ve been able to abort most headaches, fogginess, and inappropriate tiredness as I move off of my autoimmune-style diet.  The methods stir up a lot of emotions and past family trash–so fair warning.

Happy Monday.  The day where we leave our rest and go find some good work to do.

And thank you, Molly Green Magazine Membership, for the lovely photo and quote to use at the beginning of this post.


34 thoughts on “What’s Eating Up My Blogging Time?

  1. Jo tB

    Hi Terri, great post. I sympthasize with you. Staying at home is supposed to give you oodles of time (the old adage that the housewife has oodles of time). How wrong can we be. And I have followed your explorations into health. And constipation!! I still haven’t got a handle on that either. It comes easily when I eat all the wrong things, and stays away when I do everything “right” according to the books. I take extra resistant starch, I try to add extra root vegetables. Does it help yes and no. My microbiome seems to have a mind of its own, contrary as hell!

    Having tasted good sourdough bread over Christmas, made me decide to have a go at baking it myself. It was fun getting the starter to start. I threw away 3 attempts, (too early as it turns out) before I got one on the go. The first rye bread I baked I had added too much water and so it was one soggy mess. Couldn’t knead it, so just threw the blobs into the tin and baked. Didn’t rise, but the bread tasted good anyway, so who cares if it wasn’t perfect. The second attempt turned out better, but still too much rye flour. So the next attempt will be more spelt flour and less rye flour.

    So am slowly adding back a “no-no” paleo food. It’s early days, but whenever I eat a slice of my own rye bread I really have a triple BM. AMAZING!! Go figure.

    Hope you will a fruitful 2016 with lots of joy with your family, and lots of interesting findings which you will blog about when you find the time.


    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Jo, Hello! My gut is still hanging out at a nice plateau which is manageable. Not cured. But I call it like a constipated normal person. 🙂 I hear what you’re saying about easy with the wrong foods and difficult with the right foods. My body kind of backed me into a corner like that too with my constipation facing off with my headaches. Things that helped one seemed to make the other flare. Anyhow, I wondered how that sourdough was going! Sounds like quite a learning quest! LOL! Soggy bread dough blobs that didn’t rise but tasted good! Love it! And Paleo/vegan/Adkins-schmadkins—I don’t care if I can honestly step back and say I’m feeling good and functioning well. I’d prefer it ideally, of course, to be real, whole, honest food! Man, I’d like to think about this rye bread–if I could get my head to feel good and my gut to move and my joints to feel good and have good energy–eating homemade sourdough rye bread, man, baby! I’m there. I’ve been making a Paleo bread we like but I just think it’s too much plain old processed starch flour. Jo, you know there are so many good studies on rye and the gut I found when I read about RS. Will you please send me the recipe? If you have time? And then I’ll track down a starter. Well, I’d better sign off.—Terri

  2. myjourneythrume

    Oh my gosh Terri, you’ve made progress with headaches, fogginess and fatigue with this approach is amazing! I am so happy for you. This sounds right up my street, I’m opening a new tab right now and typing his name. Will make an interesting read I think and tallies nicely with so much of what I’ve learnt these last few years. And I think you’re amazing for making time for this stuff when you have four children to tend to. Life gets in the way for me of blogging so often and I don’t have any children, I have no idea how you do it and I admire you greatly 😊

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      YES!! I think of your lightning process about every day. And if this continues to work, then I simply need to read up on the lightning process you did even more. The progress you made with it was almost miraculous. You may forget as you’re in the trenches. But I remember your posts a couple/few years back. This Sarno requires a lot of journaling, and it takes quite a bit of time. It also stirs up a lot of fear and anger. 🙂 Ah well. Fun, strange stuff. I’m eyeing those eggs in the fridge. I’ve had them baked in things and using the techniques have been able to abort some headaches. I keep wanting to try those eggs scrambled or boiled… but although I’m supposed to embrace the things which limit me, I’m still afraid of those eggs. Eeks! 🙂 On finding time, I have really nice kids and a completely supportive husband. I love them to pieces. XOXO, Terri

      1. Jackie

        I have recently been trying formerly off limits foods. Some still are a mess (thanks FODMAPs), but others are totally fine now! I have been loving having bananas back in my life.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        My banana saying, “As long as the bananas hold…[We don’t have to go to the grocery store.]” I love it when bananas are back on the menu! Congrats! I know, it’s strange, but I know many people who have problems with bananas! You navigating the winter adequately?

      3. myjourneythrume

        It is definitely very east to forgot the progress when you’re actually in it. You should remember the same, you’ve come a long with it all too. I feel similarly about gluten and dairy as you do about the eggs so I totally relate, still haven’t even attempted to reintroduce them and not sure I want to other than living with restrictions is inherently stressful but I do feel that gluten and dairy are not that good for anyone so I’m undecided about the next steps with those. What I love most about you is that your medical doctor embracing all this strange and different stuff. I wish there more like you 🙂 Yay for supportive husbands and wonderful kids, they’re what really matter. Look forward to hearing more about Sarno and if and when you’re ready to learn more about LP let me know, my very science driven husband totally got it when he read up about it whereas some of the ‘alternative’ stuff he’s like, you’re mad! So high praise for LP coming from him!! Jess xx

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Quick response. Heading out door. But on Sarno, I’ve read three of his books. The Divided Mind is probably the one I find most translatable b/c the others are more musculoskeletal. And also, I’m a fan of fermented dairy (cheeses, yogurt, etc.)–but not sure about straight milk. Got to run. 🙂

      5. myjourneythrume

        Yes there’s several books. Phil Parker is the author and creator. The book they recommend you read before doing the course, and was my starting point, is An Introduction to the Lighting Process: The First Steps to Getting Well. This really explained the theory and science behind it for me and made me see that it would work. Then there’s a second book called Get The Life You Love Now: How to Use the Lightning Process Tool Kit. This second book is the course I did in a nutshell. The books are available on Amazon etc but this is the LP website:
        Although at first glance it’s ME/CFS focused, the books explain how transferable it is and I know how much it has helped me with food and digestion issues. Anyway, some food for thought for you if nothing else 🙂

  3. Michael

    What you say about the ‘impossibility’ of the ‘diet’ is so true but yet I see no alternative for myself. Living with SLE, Autoimmune vasculitis, Hypothyroidism, Chronic constipation, tons of food allergies since childhood, lifelong anxiety and currently in the midst of a 14 month antibiotic regimen for Mycobacterium Kansasii. My current diet is so limited in an attempt to manage things. And the stress of attempting additions/reintroductions is off the charts. But I know living on Sweet Potatoes, Cruciferous veggies, Beef, Lamb and Buffalo/Bison is not going to be easy long term. I tried reintroducing Winter Squashes recently but was not successful. My next re-intro attempts will be Coconut Oil, Plantains, and Yams. I need more calories but weighing the risk rewards is scary.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I know, Michael. I know. It’s a reality I see/read about for many people (and felt myself, although I will never complain–okay, rarely complain– about the symptoms I had/have). I have not been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (although the signs and symptoms keep tallying up), and maybe it’s different for me. I simply don’t know. But I’ve read over and over the last couple of years of this person and that person and this blogger and that blogger curing their leaky gut and sensitivities. No matter how hard I tried, my husband could always tell–“You ate eggs today, didn’t you…”–no matter how I tried to hide it and act like I felt fine. I kept wondering, “What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I eat chicken or coconut or XYZ?” And there were times I had symptoms and didn’t even know I had been exposed till I asked some questions of the preparer, so it couldn’t really be said to be completely in my head. I will try hard to post on this Sarno stuff again after doing more time with it. It’s an interesting idea, to say the least. I heard about it twice in 12 hours from two different people so I thought that meant I’d better check it out. Ha! One place was over at Stephan Guyenet’s blog The Whole Health Source: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/ . I really hope you can re-introduce foods. Being around other people (which is kinda nice…) makes it hard to be restrictive. Now, if that’s what I had/have to do, then hey, that’s life and I’ll grit my teeth and bear up. But for me, since I’m not so symptomatic typically, I get the wiggle room to try some of these things and see if I can broaden my diet. Have you noticed the antibiotic treatment helping? Did you find a good doctor you liked to treat you? Did you have to travel far?


  4. Debbie

    Hi! A few thoughts: first, I know all about Sarno; I was almost two years into carpel tunnel syndrome, before the internet existed, and was healed overnight after reading his book in Barnes & Noble. I never would have believed it. I was at the end of the line, had seen every doctor, etc. and his concept made sense to me, and what’s more, I DECIDED it was true, that there was nothing wrong with me, that I would “stop caring.” And the next day it was gone. Now, I’ve had pain since, a whole foot/ankle pain thing – that in fact flared up yesterday – the Sarno concept isn’t working for, not to mention constipation, and this weird pain in my side, but – it worked for the Carpel.

    Back to health and constipation; I don’t know if you remember, but it’s the story of my life, especially after losing a lot of weight years ago. I don’t mind adhering to my weird diet, because I’m a food addict and like my dinner too much, so… Anyway, even the weird diet doesn’t always do the trick, and I’m trying to figure out the essentials. I think I need A LOT of water; when I get dehydrated I can’t seem to make it up and be okay; I can’t go too long without hydration, whereas I know people who can go almost all day without drinking, and still have normal BMs. Not I.

    Also, I think the fermented sauerkraut juice I drink might be necessary too. Maybe eating just the kraut and other fermented vegetables doesn’t allow for the absorption of the bacteria – what do I know? And then I eat potato starch daily too. Maybe it’s just – for me- tons of fiber, good bacteria and water. Anyway, it’s nice hearing from you!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks, Debbie! So to summarize, for you it’s plenty of water, sauerkraut juice, and potato starch as the BIGGIES (and I’m sure some other things too–I think you’ve mentioned some supplements too, if I remember right.)? (And I agree with what you seemed to say–chugging the juice helps for me more than the vegetables themselves! There’s never enough juice, it seems. Do you have that problem?) I do those things, too, I’d say. Except for the starch, I try to do leftover potatoes in place of that.

      For me, it was really hard to prepare meals for my family. With the extra work of a toddler, it was hard to prepare my food, their food, and her food! And we love to travel, and this also made it hard. So if I can eat eggs, coconut, chicken broth, nuts, seeds–well, that helps immensely!

      Despite Sarno using a constipation example in his book, I haven’t found that it has helped at all with that or with bloating. Remember, though, that I had recently reported that my GI was much improved lately! About the time I did that it seemed like headaches that I control with diet started flaring! I was like, “What in the world?” And that’s when a friend recommended Sarno–due to the migratory pattern of these issues. It has helped with the head symptoms I’d get from eating many foods, although I’m only about 2 and 1/2 weeks into it and plan on journaling and exploring for a month, then as needed after that. And a little bit with some joint pain, but I haven’t decided on that as my joints weren’t really flaring at the time. Just my head was killing me! Anyhow, SO interesting that it helped your carpal tunnel. You know my hubby is in orthopedics, and we go around about this Sarno stuff (in a good way–he kind of pokes fun and I tell him he’s repressed).

      Get that gut moving! And then tell me all about it! 🙂


  5. Jackie

    As I read your post, your thoughts about the book you are reading made me think of the phrase, “Take what you need and leave the rest.” I think that is true of many of these types of treatment protocols.

    You’ll get there with the blog posting. You’re doing a great job.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Good morning, Jackie. That’s exactly it. Take what you need and leave the rest, although I might add to make it a fuller, richer statement—and be careful that what you’re leaving behind truly is not needed. (Because I like to look at what I’m choosing to not take and make sure that it truly is not integral to the outcome. On the other hand, if it is truly integral but I just really can’t accept it, I’ll have to move on too.) If nothing else, the Sarno stuff has helped me with my parenting. 🙂

  6. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    Oh-the life of trying to figure out our bodies. 🙂 Special diets are tough. I find myself trying to simplify our foods as well as our lives. I have to say that neither have freed up more time for writing. LOL. Although, I do make time now to meditate and journal each day (they are short but I get them in). I thought for a brief second that I might could work 5-10 hours a week too. Hahahahaha! I don’ have a toddler and I don’t have time for it. I hope your new diet/lifestyle continues to help with those headaches and fog!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hahahaha! Work 5-10 hours a week! That would be SO easy! What are you doing there? (Complete sarcasm! Totally! 🙂 Hope it is read that way!) I hear you! My head is better. When my head goes funk, I get really angry. Gut stuff, well, it is frustrating for me. But I hate it when anything messes with my head. 🙂 I noticed your kids do lots of meal prep; mine are doing pretty well. But it’s only been a few days. Have a good week, Carolina girl! (I have a shirt somewhere that says that.)

  7. kemkem

    Wow! You poor thing. It sucks to have all those problems 😦 and here l whine about my bad back in the mornings. I hope this works for you, even though it sounds weird to me ;-). You’re right the diet of eliminating all the diary, chicken and my beloved coconut is not sustainable. I really, really hope you find a balance that works for you. My goodness, all that..and having to raise kids??? I salute you :-).

  8. Anon

    Have you encountered the commenter Wilbur at vegpharm who supplements a naturally high fiber diet with fiber rich powders to obtain over 100 grams of fiber a day? Perhaps, it might be a way to make your gut more robust.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes! I took great interest in Wilbur’s story and tried it out on myself. For me, no harm done but no significant gains, either. Still a believer in tons of plant matter for the diet, though. And definitely worth giving it a “Wilbur try.” Personally, I feel like I’ve given diet and supplementation about as much effort as I can (but I think the tenets I picked up still should be the basis of my diet, like probiotic foods, broths, plant matter, fats as part of foods, no processed foods, watch for personal reactions, etc.). I feel like I’d be banging my head into a wall if I didn’t try another approach. Sarno’s stuff seems to get some results, even if the ideas he places behind it end up being completely inaccurate (because frankly based on my training, they just sound “bogus”). It’s definitely helped my parenting/homeschooling process even if it doesn’t do anything else (although I think it is). And ha! That’s valuable! Thanks for asking me if I’d seen that approach. If I hadn’t, I would have wanted to!


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