Cambodian Children’s Home

cambodia-2015-ravi cambodia-children-dump cambodia-children-gathering cambodia-pilot-siela-babyI want to tell you about an amazing ministry I’m involved with through missionaries Dan and Gail Powers. The Cambodian Children’s Home is doing amazing work among the Cambodian people. The picture to the left is of me with Ravi, a little girl who stole my heart. The Khmer Rouge devastated the country of Cambodia, and with millions killed by the Communists, thousands and thousands of children were left orphaned and on the streets. Pilot Nhap was a child when his father died, and he and his brother and sister became one of those statistics. Pilot scavenged food where he could for his younger brother and sister (8 & 5) and though a child himself, managed to keep them all alive. They ended up sleeping under the porch of a church, and the pastor gave him a job cleaning the church. More importantly, the pastor told him about Jesus, and Pilot became a Christian in a Buddhist country.

God raised him up with a huge heart for his people and for the children suffering the same fate he endured. He and his wife Siela started a children’s home, rescuing the children they found digging through the garbage. Visiting the home is like stepping into a tiny piece of heaven right there on the dirty streets of Cambodia. The children are happy, fed, and attending school. They feel accepted and loved by their new mother and father. Even more importantly, the children learn about Jesus and embrace the one true eternal hope. And they’re so happy! It’s amazing to witness the joy they have and how they have merged into a big, happy family. Their children’s home is a such a great model that the Cambodian government points to it as a good example.

Pilot also pastors a thriving church in Takeo province. We love the people so much, and many are coming to the Lord and finding hope.

But Pilot needs help. He works 2-3 jobs to try to feed the kids (about 30 at the moment) since even in Cambodia, feeding and housing that many children is expensive. I would so appreciate your prayers for this precious ministry! And if the Lord leads you, any amount of monetary help you could offer would be a miraculous blessing right now. Even $20 would go a long way.

Here is the link to the webpage on one of the churches that support Pilot’s work. Cambodian Children’s Home

Thank you so much!

Colleen


Coffee

CoffeeRoasterIf you follow me on Facebook or know me personally, you know I’m passionate about my coffee. You will pry it from my cold dead fingers! But I’m also very picky about coffee. It has to be organic, and it also has to be roasted with a Dietrich IR roaster. Oh the flavor of coffee roasted that way! It’s bursting with coffee’s wonderful flavor and aroma. I also insist on wet processing because it’s lower in mold. That makes my two favorites Costa Rican and Guatemalan.

My daughter and son-in-law soon picked up my passion for this kind of coffee, and my entrepreneurial son-in-law Mark decided he was going to become a toastmaster. And boy did he! The coffee that comes out of that roaster of is has to be tasted to be believed!

Here is the website for Captain Davy’s Coffee Roasters. Get one of my favorites: Costa Rican or Guatemalan, and let me know what you think! Or try one of Captain Davy’s other premium roasts. You can’t go wrong with them! Even the decaf has fabulous flavor! http://captaindavyscoffeeroasters.com

Shipping is less per pound if you order 5 pounds at a time so that’s what I do, and I put 4 pounds in my freezer and take out a pound at a time. Hope you love it as much as I do!


HCG Protocol

The HCG Protocol Through Grammy’s Eyes

Welcome to the HCG world! You’ve read about it or heard about it on the big forum where I’m known as Grammy1952 (http://hcgdietinfo.com/hcgdietforums/forum.php ) and have decided you want to try it. Please ask any questions on that forum and not here. A reader told me about the protocol 3 years ago (Thanks, Janet!) and I researched it for 6 mos before I decided that maybe, just maybe, it really was all that it was cracked up to be. And guess what? It was even better than I ever dared dream!

When I did my first round, I only hoped that I might get into a 16. I allowed myself the faint hope that maybe I could someday see a size 14, but that dream was pretty distant. When the weight started falling off, I began to dream of that 14 and maybe, gasp, even a 12. Yet here I sit in my size 8s. SINGLE DIGITS!!! It’s unbelievable.

And it has been the easiest diet I’ve ever done. I’ve tried every diet known to man, but this diet is unique in several ways:

  1. It rests your hypothalamus so it’s more difficult to regain the weight.
  2. It reshapes your body. Every other diet I’ve ever done makes me more gaunt in the face while the hips and thighs stayed. With the HCG diet, you lose abnormal fat from where YOU need to lose it. If you’re an apple, it takes it from your stomach. If you’re a pear like me, it takes it from the hips and thighs. If you carry your weight all over, it takes it from all over. You will wear a smaller size at a higher weight than you ever have because of this phenomenon.
  3. Very rapid weight loss. In spite of the hype you’ve heard, most people do NOT average 1 pound a day. Some men might but most women normally lose .5-.75 per day. If you’re a woman, expect to lose 25-28 pounds in 40 days. Men typically lose 30-34 pounds in that same period.

All the previous things hinge on one very important thing: you must make sure that you are not experiencing hunger. A bit of hunger before a meal is normal but if you are eying your toddler and wondering how big of a stick you’d need to roast him, then your dose is off! 🙂 If your dose is off, you will be ravenously hungry. The hunger is a sign that your hypothalamus is NOT resting. It’s a sign that you are losing normal fat, not abnormal fat stores.

When I’ve had a dose issue in a round, I’ve immediately noticed my face becoming more gaunt, just like in regular diets. Once that is corrected and the hunger is gone, the fat loss from below the waist resumed. SO THIS IS IMPERATIVE TO FIX!!! I can’t stress that enough. You must get to the place where you are comfortable and don’t really care much about your meals. I know it sounds impossible on 500 calories, but it really does happen on the right dose.

 

WHAT KIND OF HCG?

 

You now have to decide what form of HCG you are going to take. I personally like the RX hcg. And I prefer shots. I’ve done one round of RX sublingual, but I didn’t have the same reshaping with it as I did with the shots. There is also homeopathic HCG out there but I’m not going to recommend them because there are so many. Some of them are okay and many of them are not. If you decide to go that route, then research on the forum I mentioned above and find a good brand. There are a lot of scammers out there. Even a year ago, much of the homeopathics were good. The FDA got involved in Feb 2011 and many manufacturers took out the dilute amount of hcg and replaced it with only amino acids. Not the same thing at all. So I’m not going to recommend any homeopathics now. If the drops you’re looking at don’t say hcg 3x, 6x or something with an x, then don’t use them!

Here is a popular recipe. If you have a liquid hcg like the Hucog brand, deduct 1cc.

Clean the tops of the sterile vial and the bottle of bacteriostatic water with alcohol. Withdraw 2 cc of bac water from the bottle and insert it into the vial of hcg powder. Swirl gently, don’t shake. Pull out the mixed hcg and put it into the sterile vial, then add more bac water to equal the TOTAL water below. In other words if you’re mixing a 2000 iu vial, add an additional 2 cc of water to the 2 cc that you used to mix your hcg.

* 2,000iu vial – Add 4 cc bacteriostatic water

* 5,000iu vial – Add 10 cc bacteriostatic water

*10,000iu vial – Add 20 cc bacteriostatic water

And here is the amount you would draw for your daily dose. It is the same no matter what size vial you started with.

.25cc = 125iu HCG

.3cc = 150iu HCG

.35cc = 175iu HCG

.4cc = 200iu HCG

I suggest starting at 150 iu per day. It’s a good dose for the majority though if you have hunger, you may need to go up or down. If your hunger starts about 1pm even though you’ve eaten already, it’s likely the dose is too high. If you’re hungry at night only, it’s likely the dose is too low.

Another popular mix is doubling the amount of water (and then you double the amount you take as well) and this is how Dr. Simeons mixed it. I often mix it that way myself.

If you are doing sublingual, then I would order the 5000 iu vials which would last for 2 weeks if you do the standard mix. Take30  units (150 iu each dose) on a syringe and hold under the tongue for 2-5 minutes. You take 2 doses a day.

 

LENGTH OF ROUND:

Now that you’ve decided how to administer the HCG, you need to decide the length of the round so you know how much to order. Dr. Simeons never did less than a 40 day round unless the person had less than 15 pounds to lose. If you just can’t force yourself to do the full round, I still would not go less than 30 days even though you see 23 day rounds advertised. After years of reading the forum, I see much more instability in the maintenance phase after doing a short round. I think our bodies are so much more messed up with chemicals these days that we need the longer time of resting the hypothalamus.

So my advice is to be an adult and do the long round. There is something magic about the long round. You learn a lot about yourself, and you break food addictions much more easily when you force yourself to go for the long stretch. You can do it!

For a long round, you will need either 4 vials of 2000 iu or 2 vials of 5000 iu for shots. For sublinugal, you will need 3 5000 iu vials. You will need syringes for the amount of days you are dieting (23-40) and sterile vials as well as mixing syringes (I buy 10 cc syringes with 18 gauge needles for mixing, 1 per vial of hcg) And you will need to order bacteriostatic water. Where to buy that changes so just do a google search.

If you do a long round, you must skip 1 day a week to avoid immunity issues. If you skip a day a week, you can actually go about 46-47 days on P2.

 

PURCHASING THE HCG:

You might be seeing a doctor for your hcg. There are also places available online to buy it. Two good options are www.safemeds4all.com (an overseas pharmacy) and or New Edge Health, a U.S. pharmacy (read the differences here.)  I I buy insulin needles, mixing needles (18 gauge 10 cc ones, 1 per vial of hcg) and sterile vials (1 per vial) from http://www.gpzmedlab.com. You also need bacteriostatic water if you’re doing shots but you’ll have to do a google search for them because where you can find that changes. Get either 4 2000 iu vials or 2 5000 iu vials for shots.

If you’re doing sublingual, you can buy would wash (plain saline) from the drug store. It’s a spray so spritz some into a bowl then suck up the amount you need into a mixing syringe and mix it into any clean glass bottle. You can get a child’s dosing syringe from the pharmacy as well. You’ll need 3 vials of 5000 iu.

 

PHASE 2:

Okay, now you’re ready to get started. Dr. Simeons’s Pounds and Inches doesn’t mention phases. Kevin Trudeau’s book The Weight Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About named phases and for expediency’s sake, we use those phases when talking about the protocol. Phase 1 (P1) is a cleansing phase that most of us don’t do. It’s not necessary. Phase 2 (P2) is the main diet that I’m going to explain next.

Meds: Most stay on their meds, by the way. But do keep a watch on your blood pressure if you take meds for it because you may need to lower the dose as you lose weight. I stayed on my bioidentical hormones and my thyroid meds on all my rounds.

The morning you are going to start the protocol, take your HCG. But wait! You don’t start dieting yet. You LOAD for 2 days. By that I mean you eat as much as you can stuff in. Eat the things you are saying goodbye to for a while. This will pump up your normal fat stores and you’ll be much more comfortable the first few days. Yes, you will gain a few pounds, but it will come right back off. Pounds and Inches says this:

we compromise by insisting that they eat frequently of highly concentrated foods such as milk chocolate, pastries with whipped cream sugar, fried meats (particularly pork), eggs and bacon, mayonnaise, bread with thick butter and jam, etc. The time and trouble spent on pressing this point upon incredulous or reluctant patients is always amply rewarded afterwards by the complete absence of those difficulties which patients who have disregarded these instructions are liable to experience.

Then on Day 3, you start the diet. There is a very specific list of foods you are allowed to eat. Some clinics add more vegetables or turkey, etc, but I’ve seen that most do best if they stick to the allowed foods. And come on, friends, it’s only for 6 weeks. I always told myself I could do anything for 6 measly weeks! 🙂

NOTE: At this time, you discontinue all oil products. This means if you use makeup, you must use oil free. No oil lotions on the body either. Switch to oil free makeup or lotion. You can use mineral oil or Curel Continuous Comfort as well. No massage as well.

Here is the food list:

Breakfast: Nothing is laid out for breakfast but you can have one of your 2 allowed fruits of the day if you wish. All the coffee and tea you like. Start drinking your water. It’s recommended to get down 66-100 oz or so of fluid a day.

Lunch: Meat: 3.5 oz of veal, very lean beef, chicken breast, white fish, lobster, crab or shrimp. All visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking and the meat must be weighed raw. It must be boiled or grilled without additional fat. Salmon, eel, tuna, herring, dried or pickled fish are not allowed. If you have access to grass fed beef, that is also allowed. Pounds and Inches recommends no American beef because it is so high in fat but some are able to eat it with no problem. But look for something that is at least 94% fat free.

One type of vegetable only to be chosen from the following: spinach, chard, chicory, beet-greens, green salad, tomatoes, celery, fennel, onions, red radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage.

One breadstick (grissini) or one Melba toast (usually lose better without it so I recommend not eating this.)

1 fruit: apple, a handful of strawberries or 1/2 grapefruit. Some versions of Pounds and Inches include oranges and some on the forum eat them with no ill effect.

Dinner: Same as above

Drinks and Seasonings: The juice of one lemon daily is allowed for all purposes.

Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweet basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram, etc., may be used for seasoning, but no oil, butter or dressing. Tea, coffee, plain water, or mineral water are the only drinks allowed, but they may be taken in any quantity and at all times. Allowed sweeteners are Stevia and Sweet and Low.

Read all labels! This is imperative. No added sugar or starch allowed. So if you’re using a chicken broth to make soup for example, make sure there is no sugar or starch in it.

Important Highlights from Pounds and Inches:

2 small apples are not an acceptable exchange for “1 apple.” Very occasionally egg – boiled, poached or raw – is allowed for patients who develop an aversion to meat, but in this case they must add the white of three eggs to the one they eat whole.

There is no objection to breaking up the two meals. For instance having a breadstick and an apple for breakfast or before going to bed, provided they are deducted from the regular meals. The whole daily ration of two breadsticks or two fruits may not be eaten at the same time, nor can any item saved from the previous day be added on the following day. In the beginning patients are advised to check every meal against their diet sheet before starting to eat and not to rely on their memory.

First Days: The first day you might have some hunger. The 2nd day should be much more comfortable. If you’re ravenous by the end of 2nd day of dieting, it’s time to think about your dose so if you’re hungry, on the 3rd day of dieting (5th shot day) skip your injection and see if your hunger is better. If it is, then the next day decrease your dose by 25 iu in dose. So if you were taking 150 iu (60 units) then go down to 125 iu (50 units.)

Hopefully your dose is right immediately but if it’s not, it can be fixed. If you cruise through your first week or two with no hunger and then suddenly begin to develop hunger, it’s begun to build up in your bloodstream and you need to decrease the dose. So skip a day as above and if your hunger is better, decrease.

There are various recipe books out there for the protocol. On the forum you will find recipes as well.

Exercise:

Dr. Simeons puts no prohibition on exercise but you will not have the energy to do more than you normally do. So this is not the time to start a strenuous exercise program. Walking is fine. Anything you normally do is fine. I’ve recently discovered Pilates and love it! I do this one by Denise Austin. http://www.amazon.com/Denise-Austin-Workout-Based-Pilates/dp/B000059H6M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1299550943&sr=8-2

WHAT TO EXPECT:

The first week will be stellar losses. Most lose 8-10 pounds the first week. I stall out every 10 pounds though so be prepared for stalls. I have had 10 day stalls in every round. Stalls are frustrating, but remember, you are still losing fat. It’s just not showing up on the scales. Some of what you lose the first week is water. When you hit the stalls, your body is still losing fat but is replacing some of that lost water weight. If you take your measurements, you will see you are shrinking, shrinking. 🙂

Most have a feeling of being “up” on HCG. If you suffer from depression, you may find it vanishes. I believe one reason for this is that depression is often based in a thyroid problem. HCG elevates your thyroid naturally. In fact, Dr. Simeons advised not taking thyroid meds while on HCG. However, most people on the forum keep taking all their meds. Most have more energy on HCG and even have trouble sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping, take melatonin (the veggie caps, not the pressed pills) and increase the dose until you are sleeping okay.

Headache: A headache the first few days of the first round is common. It’s usually detox. Take ibuprofen or any other med for it. It will pass.

Weakness: A few people have weakness and fatigue. If you are one of those unlucky few, try taking potassium or drink a cup of bouillon for the salt. Also check to see how much water you are drinking. If you are drinking too much, it can cause that weakness because it messes up your electrolytes. So if you’re drinking more than 100 oz, cut back on the amount. If that doesn’t fix it, then it’s time to look at your dose. Sometimes weakness is a dose that’s too high or too low (usually too high.) Skip your next shot, or next 2 doses of sublingual and see how you feel by evening. If better, the dose is too large. If no better, it’s time to try increasing.

Cold: Most people report feeling like they are freezing when on HCG. This is a result of the hypothalamus resting so it’s a good sign. Just layer up! 🙂

Cheats: A cheat will cost you 3 days. Just count on it. It’s so not worth it because it will undercut your losses for so long. Just hang in there and don’t cheat!

Ups and Downs: You will not lose every day. The losses will come in fits and starts. Just hang on and keep the goal in mind. Remember that the losses all average out in the end to .5-75 pounds per day for women.

Losses: I already mentioned the average weight loss but there are a lucky few who drop weight like crazy. You must stop after 34 pounds lost. If you are very obese, you are allowed to lose 40 pounds in one round but that is the maximum.

Menstruation: Pounds and Inches says to stop during your period, but most women on the forum have not found that to be necessary. But you can if you want. It’s also best to start right at the end of your period.

PROBLEMS IN THE ROUND:

Things are moving along and then you get word that you have to travel or some other issue comes up that is going to make dieting difficult. You have 2 choices: press on or take an interruption. An interruption is only recommended if the issue is going to last at least 4 days. If it’s only a weekend, just stay on the HCG and do the best you can. If you decide an interruption is in order, remember you must have been on the HCG for 23 days or you are in danger of easily regaining what you’ve lost. If you have been on long enough and choose to take the break, go off the HCG the same way you would when you are done: discontinue the HCG but continue on the diet for 72 hours past the last dose. (48 hours if you are taking homeopathic.) Then you will ease into what we call Phase 3 (P3.)

After your interruption, do a mini load of at least a day back on the hcg if you’ve been off a week or more before you start the diet again. Then finish up your round of 40 injections.

THE FINISH LINE AND ON TO PHASE 3

You’ve made it all the way through your round. Whoohoo! But as much as we are all looking forward to eating different food, P3 often is a source of great angst because the rules aren’t rock solid. Pounds and Inches says that this maintenance period is when you add back anything you want except starch and sugar. It’s important to get those calories up there too, otherwise your body will go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism. Here are some guidelines:

  1. At least double your protein.
  2. Limit your fruit to 1 or 2 a day in that first week.
  3. Add back in good fats like coconut oil, MCT oil, olive oil, and avocados. Get your calories up. Don’t try to maintain the 500 calorie diet. It may take about 3 days to increase your food intake enough but work on it.
  4. Add back in 1 new “iffy” thing for 3 days before going on to something new. These iffy things are those that are common allergens and the things that might be the underlying cause of your weight problem. Things like dairy, eggs, and nuts. If your weight jumps 2 or more pounds overnight, discontinue that food and try it again a week later. If your weight still jumps them, you are likely sensitive to that food and shouldn’t consume it.
  5. If your weight goes up MORE than 2 pounds above your Last Injection Weight (the weight you were the morning you took your last dose of HCG) then you do a steak day. You drink coffee, tea and water all day but consume no food until dinner when you eat as much steak as you can get down plus an apple or a tomato. Your weight will drop right back down. I generally try to get down a whole pound of steak.
  6. If your weight goes up but stays under that 2 pound range, you can often get it back down before a steak day is necessary by doing a high protein day. Eat meat every 2-3 hours and don’t eat any fruit, nuts, dairy or eggs.
  7. I use xylitol as a sweetener when I get to P3. It tastes like sugar and I love it. Some have intestinal issues with it but it’s not as common with it as with other sugar alcohols.
  8. You can use half and half or heavy cream in your coffee now. 🙂 I put grassfed butter in mine, aka Bulletproof Coffee.
  9. You can use almond flour or coconut flour now in place of regular flour which is starch.
  10. I use full fat Greek yogurt now and it’s fabulous! Love it in place of sour cream. You can use sour cream but the yogurt is just as good and is good for you.
  11. Look for salad dressings and mayo without soy. Soy is a common reason for insidious weight gain when you don’t know why it’s happening.

Don’t Eat: These are starchy: beans (except green beans,) rice, wheat, peas, beet, potato, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, peas, lentils, winter squash. No grain of any kind including wheat, oats, barley, etc. No sugar such as table sugar, honey, corn syrup, agave nectar, etc.

 

PHASE 4:

You’ve made it through maintenance! Now it’s on to normal eating. You must add things in slowly at this phase too. One a day for 3 days while you watch your weight. Common culprits are wheat, corn and soy. You can begin to add those things in the no list above. Just realize you can’t eat burgers and fries every day like you used to. You won’t regain easily but you WILL regain if you go back to eating unhealthy foods. Be smart about it.

MORE ROUNDS

You can do however many rounds you need to lose all your weight. However it’s imperative you take the proper breaks between rounds so your skin can catch up with your weight loss and your liver can have a break. Here is what Pounds and Inches says:

Patients requiring the loss of more than 34 lbs. must have a second or even more courses. A second course can be started after an interval of not less than six weeks, though the pause can be more than six weeks. When a third, fourth or even fifth course is necessary, the interval between courses should be made progressively longer. Between a second and third course eight weeks should elapse, between a third and fourth course twelve weeks, between a fourth and fifth course twenty weeks and between a fifth and sixth course six months. In this way it is possible to bring about a weight reduction of 100 lbs. and more if required without the least hardship to the patient.

Congratulations! You are at your goal. You never thought it could happen, did you? I’m so proud of you!


Travel

It’s no secret that I love to visit the places I want to write about. So here are some recommendations on places to stay if you happen to be traveling to the same places!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Beach HouseWe’ve stayed a lot in Kauai, and this sweet gem is one of our favorites! It has two masters and a great location near my favorite snorkeling spot of Lawai Beach. Nice finishes and immaculate too.http://www.vrbo.com/57020

 

 

 

 

We stayed at this FABULOUS log home near Nashville to brainstorm Smitten by the Book. Totally loved this home! http://www.vrbo.com/303977. If you’re going to be visiting Nashville, you MUST stay here!

We stayed here on the Big Island. Beautiful view, gorgeous house with terrific amenities. http://www.vrbo.com/387501?cid=E_OWNERINQUIRY_DB_O_20111228_propertyurl_text_LPROP

This place on Kauai was breathtaking! Marble floors, great zoning with two bedrooms separated by the living space. It even had a pool–a rarity on Kauai! http://www.vrbo.com/379263?cid=E_OWNERINQUIRY_DB_O_20111028_propertyurl_text_LPROP

 

We just got back from a visit to Maui. I can’t say enough good things about this condo: perfect location away from the hustle and bustle just a bit, great view of the ocean (we saw whales every single day off our balcony!) terrific kitchen stocked with quality dishes, etc, and comfortable beds.

We went with another couple so the two master bedroom plan (one is in the loft) was perfect for us. We ate out on the balcony lanai every day. One terrific perk as far as I’m concerned was a Cuisinart coffee maker! It’s my fave and I always hate traveling because I know I won’t have good coffee. I had GREAT coffee here!

The owners were terrific to deal with, and will definitely be back to this little slice of paradise. 🙂 Here is the link

 

 

 


Migraines

Migraines. They’ve been the bane of my life since my teens. In my twenties, they ramped up and in my thirties they became unbearable with two a week and each lasting three days. Then the triptan drugs  came on the market, and at least I had some relief. But the past ten years or so, the pain has been daily and has requried a dose of Zomig every day.

I’ve tried everything under the sun from supplements to accupressure. If I found any mention of a cure, I’ve tried it. I always felt that it was something my body was lacking that caused them. Why me and not other people? I’d see people who never had a headache in their life, and I so longed to live a normal life. Still, nothing I tried worked for long.

So when I saw a new “migraine cure” I was skeptical but intrigued in spite of myself. I read an article in Life Extension Magazine. You can read that article here. I bought the book, The Migraine Cure, and read it at least four times. Something inside just clicked when I read it and I sensed that this might be the answer for me.

I’m a can-do girl. I always think if someone else can do it, so can I. When I had fibromyalgia, I found a cure on Dr. Lowe’s website (he died of a fall a few years ago so the website is not up now) and took it to my doctor and managed to get healthy with Dr. Lowe’s insight. For more of his method, you might check out this author: http://recoveringwitht3.com/author-notes-rwt3.  I’m a big advocate of knowing your own body and taking charge of your health. So I took the article about migraine to my doctor and asked that he would prescribe the bio-identical hormones gels for me. Dr. James Bain is an awesome doctor and he has helped me follow every rabbit trail I’ve found about migraine including checking for a PFO (I’ve got one.) I was going to get involved in the PFO clinical trial until I found The Migraine Cure. Anyway, Doc sent me to a compounding pharmacy in Kokomo and I started trying it on my own, guessing at the dosages based on lab results I saw in the book. My migraines got worse instead of better. I stumbled along with the help of the pharmacist who was very helpful, but after nearly two months without improvement, I decided I needed help.

I talked to a patient of the doctor’s whose problems had been just as bad as mine. She was totally migraine free and felt fabulous. So I took the plunge. Within a week I was going 7-9 days between migraines. That’s PRICELESS! I’m just thrilled at the results so far. For more information, click the link below. And on down this page, I’m updating occasionally on my progress if you’d like to follow along.

I can’t reccomend this program enough! It’s changed my life. Now that I’ve researched the hormonal link, I now know it was a progesterone deficiency and hypothyroidism that made my ovary rupture at 14 and also caused by breast cysts and then the loss of the my last ovary at 23. After the hysterectomy, I had pratically no progesterone, and that caused the hormonal problems to get even worse. It also caused the thyroid resistance I’ve been dealing with. Like dominoes. LOL But now I’m on the mend!

Link : http://www.dzlogic.com/DZLOGIC/

May 25, 2007: Went to the Fountain Anti-Aging Clinic near Cleveland OH. Met with Dr. Rozakis, his wife Betty and my patient coordinator Susan Maloney who has been my life-line. The more I talked with them, the more convinced I became that this was the answer. Left there with my plan, a box of supplements and my precious bio-identical hormone gels.

May 26, 2007: Had a migraine this morning but wasn’t discouraged since I knew it would take some time. Took my proper doses of everything. Dr. Dzugan and Dr. Rozakis usually put patients on ProGreens but it has Chlorella in it and I can’t digest the stuff. It makes my throw up. So they prescribed another probiotic in a pill form.

May 28, 2007: Migraines still. Emailed Susan who has been holding my hand.

May 31, 2007: Migraines still. Got to thinking about how I’d tried the program on my own and had taken ProGreens with lemon juice. Looked it up and lemon juice contains more enzymes than anything else so it had probably helped me digest the chlorella. Started taking Progreens.

June 1, 2007: Began the doses for days 1-14.

June 2, 2007: Migraine free! I think it’s the higher doses of hormones. Informed Susan who told the doctors. They said they would adjust dosage before end of next month. Need to go through one full month on the initially prescribed dosages.

June 4, 2007: Still no migraines!

June 8, 2007: First migraine in a week!

June 10, 2007: Feeling great but have had some diarrhea and hair loss. Doctor adjusted dosage of magnesium and it abated. Also noticed some weight gain in areas where I’ve never gained weight: mostly abdomen (generally carry weight in butt and thighs.) Susan told me this is normal in beginning and it will stop and come off.

June 15, 2007: Face breaking out some. Doctors decreased testosterone to .1 ml. Noticing I have hair growing on my legs for the first time in years. Have so much energy and mood is terrific! Love this stuff. And my skin looks younger, with better color.

June 17, 2007: Oh no! A bladder infection (and migraine with it) but didn’t want to take antibiotic. Started taking Cranberry concentrate with d-mannose which KICKED IT IN THE BUTT! That stuff is fabulous.

June 20, 2007: Mild migraine, maybe a 2 but didn’t take Zomig for it. It lasted all day.

June 22, 2007: Bad migraine, about a 7 but I had to fly to Minneapolis yesterday and travel sometimes triggers them. Got new plan from the doctors who raised the doses of hormones and lowered my DHEA.

June 25, 2007: Starting new dose today. Still feeling great.

June 29, 2007: Migraine, about a 4 or 5. Hot flashes as well. Doc adjusted dose of DHEA and Tri-est. Went 7 days this round with NO migraine so that’s amazing. But I know this is just the beginning and I will soon be migraine free.

June 30, 2007: Feeling great.

July 12, 2007: Was traveling last week. Had a bad week with migraines 3 or 4 days in a row, but I realized I started not feeling as well when the doctor cut my testosterone dose. I also noticed changes like lack of normal hair growth again. Told the doctor and he increased it again and I immediately felt better. Now a four day stretch of no migraine and great energy again. Whoohoo!

July 13, 2007: The Fountain Anti-aging clinic also does things other than cure migraine–like help with high blood pressure, cholesterol and staving off Alzheimers. Dave signed up for the hormone balancing to see if his cholesterol will go down, and there is a lot of Alzheimers in his family. We got his plan yesterday. His blood work showed he was a little low in testosterone and a little high in progesterone as well as his pregnenolone being in the toilet. His thyroid was low too. He was ready to try it! I got him started on everything. I’m eager to see if his energy level comes up. STILL MIGRAINE FREE FOR ME!

July 24: The past ten days or so haven’t been as good. I’ve had some head pressure at night, around 9. And some hot flashes. Then yesterday I got a migraine in the morning, around a 5 or so pain level but it didn’t resolved until several doses of Zomig. I’m waiting to hear how the doctor will tweak my meds. He warned me this could take some time and I’m determined to figure out my perfect dosages!

July 31: I’m feeling much better since the doctor changed up the dose. I guess I just needed more estrogen. Good thing I have the doctors because I would have guessed I needed more progesterone! LOL

Aug 22: I’ve been in deadline dungeon and just emerged into the bright light of day. LOL I’m doing well, going 4-9 days between migraines. The doctor needs to see where I am in blood counts but I’ve not been able to get into the clinic for a test. I’ve got an appointment next week and he’ll know how to adjust me better. Dave is doing really well! He’s actually started losing a little weight without even trying. Oh, if only that were happening to me! LOLSept 17: Three weeks with no migraine! I almost can’t believe it. And I feel fabulous, great energy, good mood. Who wouldn’t be in a good mood with this kind of relief??

Oct 8: Nearly 7 weeks with no migraine severe enough for medication! I had a couple of minor headaches and the doctor upped my triest by adding triest sublingual drops. I feel really great and I’ve lost 13 pounds this month. I’ve been walking with three pound weights and that has helped. But at least I feel good enough for that much of a workout!

Oct 10: At 7 weeks with no migraine, I finally had one, but we’d been expecting it. When checking my lab results, we found my estrogen was still WAY low. It will take a bit to balance me with the addition of the sublingual triest.

Oct 12: A mild headache but nothing bad enough to take Zomig. The doctors adjusted my dosage again, adding more progesterone in the evening.

Oct 21: Feeling great again, no actual migraine since the one Oct 10.

Nov 13: Migraine, about a 5. I had a bladder infection and we’ve been monkeying with my testosterone again so I think that’s it. The doctor upped both Triest and Progesterone a bit so that should fix me right up. I still went weeks in between and I feel fabulous in other ways as well! The swelling in my legs and ankles is gone, the lymph nodes in my neck aren’t swollen anymore (they’ve been swollen for years!) and my mood is fabulous all the time. I love feeling so good. My brain is much clearer too–always a helpful thing for a writer!

Nov 30: I’ve been great the last three weeks until this week. It’s that end of the month drop in hormones that I take and we still haven’t quite found the right dose. But the doctor will adjust the dosage again and we’ll find the right one. I take the hormones on a cyclic basis as far as dosage. he tries to mimic the natural cycle. I think my body hasn’t had a natural cycle in so long, it doesn’t know what to think! LOL But I feel SO GOOD compared to the way I was before. Even if I have a migraine once a month or something, I’d be happy. I have more energy and a great sense of well-being. The really great thing was that when we went to Arizona over Thanksgiving, my legs and ankles didn’t swell at all! Great benefit! I’m also noticing I have fewer gray hairs. Even my daughter noticed.

Jan 20: You wonder where I’ve been and how I’m doing? I’ve been down for nearly two MONTHS with shingles! I always thought it was only older people who got shingles but I’ve found out anyone can get them. I’m on the mend now, but you know what’s really cool? Through the worst of the shingles, I didn’t have a migraine! I’m now trying to get off Lyrica, a NASTY med if ever there was one, and I’ve had some withdrawal headaches but I’ve just got to get through the next week and I’ll be fine. I feel fabulous still on the hormones.June 9, 2008: I’m still doing terrific, having only a very occaisonal headache that is a 1 or 2 and resolves with ibuprofen. What a change in my life!

July 25, 2008: Stlll feeling terrific and totally sold on the program’s other benefits as well. I Just got back from my eye doctor and the beginning cataract I’d had last year has regressed just like Dr. Rozakis said it would!

Oct 24, 2008: Still can’t believe the change in my life in a year. Heading to Hawaii shortly and won’t have to worry about constant migraines!

January 12, 2009 Went to the hairdresser today and she remarked about how much new hair I have growing in. Yet another great perk to bioidentical hormones! Feeling sooo good.

Feb 18, 2009: Still feeling fabulous! Will never stop this program

Oct 1, 2011: Still doing great. Can’t remember the last time I had to take Zomig.

March 2012: Still feeling terrific!


On Writing

A Book for Beginning Writers:

I highly recommend James Scott Bell’s book, Plot and Structure. It’s the best book on writing I’ve ever read and takes it down to a nuts and bolts explanation of how to create a novel from scratch. Check it out at www.jamesscottbell.com

WRITING TIPS BY COLLEEN COBLE

Write what you read. This is a pet peeve of mine. I can’t begin to tell you how many manuscripts I’ve looked at for aspiring writers who are trying to write something they don’t like to read. It never works! There’s something about reading that helps you learn to write. You subconsciously pick up how to structure scenes and the tension and conflict necessary to write in your favorite genre. What works in suspense doesn’t work in chick lit.

Attend conferences. I think this is vital. You can network with other writers, meet editors to find out what they’re looking for, and learn from the masters of the trade. There are several good ones out there. My personal favorite is the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference every September. And you should consider joining the organization. It’s simply the best place to network and learn about the industry.

Learn POV. Ask yourself who has the most at stake in the scene? Once you figure that out, stay in that POV for the entire scene—no headhopping. I’m sure you’ve seen the rules broken, but the better writers don’t jump from head to head.

Always have a book you’re reading on craft. Some of my favorites are: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne, and Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. Right now I’ve been reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. And of course I already mentioned James Bell!

Learn to say no. It’s easy to feel guilty when you’re asked to interrupt your writing time for worthy reasons, but it’s important to prioritize. The sky won’t fall if you miss your two hours of writing (or whatever schedule you set), but do it too many days, and that novel will never get written. When people find you’re home writing, they often don’t think anything of interrupting and asking you to do something for them. Learn to say you’re working.

When plotting your novel, make sure you start with enough conflict. That’s probably the number one flaw I see in manuscripts. When you first look at your conflict, twist it around and see if you can make it even worse. The very best conflict is when two people want the same thing and only one can have it.

Setting is very important. You want a definite sense of place. That comes with selective details that bring the setting to life. Try to actually visit your setting. I went to Kaua’i to research the Aloha serie, and there were wild chickens running everywhere. I never would have known about that important detail if I hadn’t gone to the island. In the Outer Banks I found out it’s very windy! Small details like that make a difference.

Finish that first book before you start sending it off. It’s easy to keep working on the first three chapters and have them polished. If an editor requests the full manuscript, there’s no time to polish the rest. Better to get it all done then see how you can move chapters around and make it better. You want the editor to see the best you can do.

Find a critique partner. I’m not a big fan of large group critiques, but if you can find two friends or acquaintances who see your vision and can read for you without imposing their own style, then you’re in luck. I’ve got three excellent critique partners who are all published writers: Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter and Diann Hunt. They all see the story in different ways and help me immensely. A good place to find a critique partner is by joining ACFW as I mentioned earlier.

Keep a lighted pen and notebook by the paper for middle of the night inspiration. I’m often struggling with a plot point, and God will drop the answer right into my head while I’m sleeping.

Email me at colleencolleencoble.com with any questions.


WRITING RESOURCES

» Do you write Christian fiction? Check out American Christian Romance Writers at www.acfw.com. The ACFW conference is wonderful too. http://www.acfw.com/conference/» Conferences are INVALUABLE! I highly recommend the ACFW conference above. And Mt Hermon in California is wonderful too. It’s always Palm Sunday weekend. http://www.mounthermon.org/writers/workshop.html

» Other Christian conferences can be found at: http://www.christianwritersinfo.net/conferences.htm

» I subscribed to Writer’s Digest for years as I learned to write. www.writersdigest.com

BOOKS ON WRITING

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni King and Dave Browne

Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass

Writers Market

Christian Writers’ Market Guide by Sally Stuart