"After I resigned from The New York Times over the summer for their hostility to free speech and open inquiry, I began to hear almost daily from such people. Their notes to me sound like missives smuggled out of a totalitarian society.
The passage above is from the article, The self-silencing majority. It is a great read. I was especially struck by it because it is a topic I wrote about recently. Ironically, I changed the word “censorship” to “sense-or-ship” in an attempt to outsmart Facebook algorithms that are increasingly censoring alternative points of view or diminishing the reach of people posting about controversial issues. I posted the following on August 6, 2020:
I can now look back on my life and remember times that I self-censored. I simply didn't speak up even though I had a very different view point or sometimes I purposely mislead the people I was with - I didn't actually lie, but I said things that led them to believe something about me that wasn't true.
I really feel that the most important "issue" of our time is learning to have hard conversations with people that are "different" from us. Over this past year I've lost one of my best friends because she thinks my beliefs are dangerous and irresponsible. Ironically, I had been open with her about our family's choices regarding vaccinations and we had kept our friendship alive for years in spite of our different beliefs. However, she was never willing to actually have the tough conversations about the topic even though I was ready to do so. When 2020 happened our friendship couldn't survive anymore.
I tried opening conversations with family too. I was again shut down. One family member said they didn't want to allow negatives into our relationship.
But for me, the negative is there now. I know how angry people are about people who dare to question our vaccine practices. I know because both of those people told me and reacted angrily. They say that they love and support my family and they just want to ignore the issue but is it really love and support if you have to hide and ignore parts of yourself? Is it love and support when people support government policies coercing your family into an unwanted medical intervention? Is that tolerance? Right now people like me are being portrayed in a way that is making others increasingly intolerant of me and my family. It is scary.
Consider the following passage from a great article written by a UVA student about tolerance:
"Tolerance is a two way street. We can scream all we want about the oppression of LGBTQ+ individuals at U.Va., but the fact remains — in Charlottesville, I have seen more hate and slander for reasonable conservative beliefs than I ever have about my sexuality. All struggles that come with identifying as non-cisgender and non-heterosexual are valid. However, we must start respecting everyone’s existence, as long as they are not causing harm — whether or not we agree with their political beliefs, their lifestyle or their religion. Respecting someone’s existence does not entail instantaneously slandering their character when they stray from our world view. This reaches far beyond my roommate — it is troubling behavior I see every day on Grounds. Consider this — nearly half of the electorate voted for Donald Trump. Do we really believe that half the country is comprised of genuinely hateful people?
We need to start listening to each other. We need to have the tough conversations. We needed to have them long ago, but since we didn't, today will have to suffice.
I’ll close with a quote from my beautiful and wise daughter:
“I think people need to learn how to disagree better.”
Yesterday marked two months since my friend DeAnna left this earth for a more peaceful existence. The picture above is from November. It had been almost 5 years since we were together, yet we were as close as we had ever been. DeAnna was a true soul sister to me. We could talk for hours. And how we laughed! Deep, fully body, belly laughs. I will miss our talks for the rest of my life.
DeAnna was one of the most beautiful spirits I have been blessed to know. In one of our last talks she told me about one of Voltaire’s writings and how he said we should all tend our own gardens. I love that so much.
Yesterday I deleted my Facebook account. Back in November I posted the following about Voltaire - I wouldn’t have found it without DeAnna:
“Il faut cultiver notre jardin: ‘we must cultivate our garden’ or as it has variously been translated, ‘we must grow our vegetables’, ‘we must tend to our lands’ or ‘we need to work our fields’.
What did Voltaire mean with his gardening advice? That we must keep a good distance between ourselves and the world, because taking too close an interest in politics or public opinion is a fast route to aggravation and danger. We should know well enough at this point that humans are troublesome and will never achieve – at a state level – anything like the degree of logic and goodness we would wish for. We should never tie our personal moods to the condition of a whole nation or people in general; or we would need to weep continuously. We need to live in our own small plots, not the heads of strangers. At the same time, because our minds are haunted and prey to anxiety and despair, we need to keep ourselves busy. We need a project. It shouldn’t be too large or dependent on many. The project should send us to sleep every night weary but satisfied. It could be bringing up a child, writing a book, looking after a house, running a small shop or managing a little business. Or, of course, tending to a few acres. Note Voltaire’s geographical modesty. We should give up on trying to cultivate the whole of humanity, we should give up on things at a national or international scale. Take just a few acres and make those your focus. Take a small orchard and grow lemons and apricots. Take some beds and grow asparagus and carrots. Stop worrying yourself with humanity if you ever want peace of mind again. Who cares what’s happening in Constantinople or what’s up with the grand Mufti. Live quietly like the old turk, enjoying the sunshine in the orange bower next to your house. This is Voltaire’s stirring, ever relevant form of horticultural quietism. We have been warned – and guided.”
I am finally ready to really embrace this philosophy... or at least move towards it. Facebook is a whole lot of ego - even when our intentions are pure and good. We want to change the world which means changing other people. We get angry and aggravated by people - strangers - who don’t understand us. We let them live in our heads and take up too much space in our lives.
Today I am much calmer than I have been in a long time. I have my little plot to tend. It’s cloudy right now but I know it won’t be long before the sun shines again. I have 3 beautiful children who have been entrusted to me. I literally don’t have enough minutes in the day to do everything I want. My family is my garden. I choose to invest my time, energy, thoughts and life in them. I am so tired tonight after a full day of cultivating - it feels wonderful. I will always be grateful to DeAnna for all of the lessons I learned from her and especially this parting gift she gave to me.
What is your garden? How can you choose to cultivate it today?
Fractured... Fragmented... Divided... Broken.
If you visited me today you would find me healthy, happy and tanner than I was a couple of months ago. Life is Good, there is no question. My family has been extremely fortunate to take the challenges of 2020 and turn them into opportunities.
Mike has worked from home for a year now. Funny how he resisted this change last year. He was determined to keep going into the office as long as possible... which turned out to be approximately 3 days. 😆
What we found over the coming months was that we all really enjoyed him working from home! We get to see each other so much more. We can touch base throughout the day: we eat lunch together and go on more walks. I can even do some errands or appointments more easily now that Mike is more available. Life slowed down even more (and we were already living a very slow paced life compared to most before this!)
But then we decided to cash in even more on this opportunity by moving to Florida. Now we enjoy lunchtime walks almost every day and weekly visits with Grandma and Grandpa. Stresses seem to melt away in the Florida sunshine.
So yes - My Life Is Good.
But life on Planet Earth? It’s very much a mixed bag still. And to pretend that isn’t so would be the greatest hypocrisy and epitome of privilege. My personal world - what an outsider would see if they could observe on a daily basis - is pretty wonderful. But inside I often feel like the Susan pictured above on the left. I took that picture of myself after I cried for hours and hours. It was September 2014 and one of my best friends had suffered a tragic loss - one of her best friends was hit by a bus and instantly died. My friend had already suffered much in her life - traumatic divorce, a parental custody struggle that lasted years and her sister’s suicide all within a short span of time. I couldn’t believe how unfair life is. I wept for her and her pain. I wondered how much one person could bear.
This same friend of mine took her own life 2 months ago, January 22, 2021. She had reached her limit.
So the picture above represents to me how Fractured I feel sometimes. The pain and grief of the world is overwhelming right now - it is such a stark contrast to my daily life. And I am grateful that I am able to experience this contrast because I know not everyone is so lucky. I also know life moves in cycles and pain and grief will one day become personal again. So I strive to stay in the moment and do my best...striving to make myself as whole as possible, because I believe that is the best way I can do my part to heal the world.
If you stand for freedom and informed choices, no matter what your personal choice is, now is the time to speak up. The time for being quiet and minding your own business is over. Current events may not impact you today or tomorrow, but it will impact you or someone you love eventually (probably sooner than later). I know I am wordy, but please read my following Random Ramblings:
I used to be like you. I vaccinated my baby and brought her to all of her appointments on the 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18 month mark on the dot. I believed I was doing the right thing. I graduated college, married my love, got a job teaching.
I aced school tests, played in the marching band and on Varsity sports teams. I dreamed of having a happily ever after family.
I didn't question much of anything. I wasn't passionate about politics - at all. I actually thought the following - "Well, the government *shouldn't* have surveillance on us citizens, because *obviously* that is an infringement of our rights.... BUT I'm really not worried about it - because I didn't have anything to hide!!"
Oh my. It's amazing to look back on our young, innocent, naïve selves.
It's fine if you believe in and desire certain modern medical procedures for you and your family. But do you think it's fine to have said medical procedures tied to a person's ability participate in society? For example, should a person's ability to do the following be contingent on them receiving certain pharmaceutical products:
3) eat at a restaurant
4) attend large events
If you think this is acceptable, I consider you a threat to my family and our ability to live a peaceful, fulfilling life in our country. Medical decisions should always be:
1) private: between a person and their self-selected care provider
2) informed and uncoerced
This is a human right's issue - Period. Many of us thought that this was settled with the Nuremberg Code, but apparently it was not.
If you think people that choose differently than you are dangerous and you feel angry or upset thinking about it, I invite you to talk with someone who has done so. I invite you to dig into your anger and try to figure out *why* you are so angry. I invite you to consider if any of your assumptions may be incorrect. And I especially invite you to start by learning about the power of simply taking Vitamin C regularly to promote your own health. (You know I had to throw Vitamin C in here!) This one health promoting habit will make you healthier, less fearful and more clear on the corruption that exists in our present reality.
If you are reading this, I thank you. I will tell you - the people I respect and learn from have been predicting every step of this past year. We're all exhausted. We all want things back to "normal". But some things will not be ok if we remain silent. There are some people who are exhausted from the effort of sharing - they are moving on, trying to build something for themselves and their loved ones. I'm moving in that direction myself. But I do find it hard to give up. I'm hoping more good people will start speaking up.
Sending you all love and strength! We all need it.
A friend shared a post that spoke about autoimmune diseases and how frustrating it is to have one of these "invisible" diseases. People often make assumptions that people who suffer from them are "fine" because they "look" fine or they make annoying suggestions about how people can be healthier. I've heard this many times and it has made me more aware that I should never presume to know what is going on with another person's health.
But the word that really jumped out at me was the word "rare". I feel like we are being programmed with this word. Yes, we are being duped.
Sure - perhaps each specific autoimmune disorder is "rare" - but as a group, are they? Let's take a look:
Autoimmune diseases are the 3rd most common category of disease in the US, after cancer and heat disease. They affect approximately 5-8% of the population, or 14-22 million persons. Hmmm. I don't know about you, but that doesn't exactly fit my definition of "rare"!
Why are we being conditioned to think of them as "rare", when they are clearly NOT rare?
What else are we told is extremely rare?
Vaccine injuries! We are in the middle of the COVID vaccine rollout, and many people are very excited to receive it. Others don't want anything to do with it and some fall in the middle - cautiously watching and waiting before deciding whether they want the vaccine.
My newsfeed is full of news every day of various reactions to the new vaccine, ranging from sore arms, fevers and a couple days of being out of commission, to miscarriages, severe neurological injuries and death. Are these reactions really "rare"?
I wish it was as easy as pointing someone to a place where there were black and white statistics laid out for us - this percentage of people get sick/die from the disease and this percentage from the vaccine. Unfortunately it is not that simple. You have to be a detective and dig. You have to understand a lot of different aspects of the world and how it works.
I will continue to point people to VAERS and the Harvard study funded by the Department of Health and Human services that showed that 1%, or even less, of vaccine reactions are captured by our reporting system. This means that any reactions reported represent a tiny fraction of the actual reactions occurring. So far 500 deaths have been reported to VAERS, so we know that the number is likely much larger than this.
Children are increasingly suffering from chronic illnesses and these include autoimmune diseases. Robert F Kennedy Jr. has noted the explosion in chronic illnesses since the late 1980s. You can watch a video about that here.
I think many people intuitively sense that our overall health as a population is not at the level that we want it to be and what it should or could be. Why aren't we able to change these trends? What is stopping us from becoming healthier?
I invite you to reevaluate this definition of "rare". Perhaps we've been programmed to believe something that just isn't true.
My friend on Facebook said it perfectly:
People "apply circular reasoning. They start with the premise that vaccine injury is rare. Then, when something happens after vaccination, they immediately rule out the vaccine as the cause since vaccine injury is rare. Since that injury goes unreported, the low number of reported injuries reinforces the idea that vaccine injuries are rare."
People don't speak up about these things because there are a lot of rewards for doing so. In fact, one thing that is increasingly rare these days is the ability to have a calm, compassionate and rational discussion about difficult topics. I hope that this becomes more and more common, that all illness does in fact become more rare, and we all move towards a healthier lives.
ps did you know that there is a whole text book that covers the topic of vaccines and autoimmunity?? Wild, right??
Exactly 4 years ago, we packed our belongings into storage and made the long drive to my parents’ in Florida, to live with them while we figured out next steps for our family. Mike lost his job (through very unfortunate circumstances which had nothing to do with him and were out of his control) - continuing to live in the extremely expensive DC/NOVA area wasn’t feasible.
The little truck in the picture below is from that time. We used it to move a few big pieces of furniture into storage. The big truck on the bottom of the picture is from last weekend. We packed up and moved to Florida - again!! 😆
To say I’m having a little bit of Déjà vu is a bit of an understatement!
Why did we do it? The “safe” answer is - because we could. Also, there were attractive reasons for moving. Mike can work remotely - he hasn’t worked in the office since March. Warmer weather also drew us during these cold winter months. Most importantly, we moved to a house that is just about an hour’s drive to my parents’ place! We are so excited to spend more time together regularly.
The more in depth answer that will make some people uncomfortable, is that we are unhappy with the direction Virginia is heading in and feel safer putting some distance between us and it. 2020 was a hard year for most. What we realized is this: if we want 2021 to be different, we have to make that happen by making different choices. Moving will seem drastic to many, but for us it felt right. I will probably write more about this in the future, but for now I want to document these last few weeks and months because they were memorable!
Most people won’t move unless absolutely necessary or desired because, quite simply, it is a massive amount of work and very overwhelming. What I found though, is that I welcomed the work - especially the physical aspects of it. It felt great to be focused on a goal, to occupy my hands and get out of my head - which had worked overtime in 2020! - and to disconnect from the World a little bit. Yes, it was a lot of work. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Of course packing is a massive amount of physical work. But equally important was all of the emotional and logistical work - last appointments, phone calls, cancelations, and of course goodbyes.
Thursday January 14th - my parents arrived in VA. We could not have done what we did without them. They watched Carter, drove Marisol around, helped pack/clean/drive and unpack - phew!! Oh and they also made time to play - there were many tickle/wrestle sessions with the boys.
Friday 1/15 - packing up boxes, Marisol gymnastics practice.
Saturday 1/16 - get the truck! Pack it up as much as possible and start cleaning. Marisol went to a friend’s for the afternoon.
The truck looks as big as the house in this picture! Haha. Of course it wasn’t, and I was (a little) worried that everything wouldn’t fit. Mike was optimistic all along and again, he was right! We fit everything we wanted/needed to bring, leaving only a few things at our house which we are renting out for a year.
Sunday 1/17 - finish as much packing and cleaning as possible. Mike and I literally worked All. Day. Long. Marisol had her last practice and her friend made her the sweetest binder with pictures and goodbye messages from all her teammates. Mike went out and bought food for the drive the next day. We finally called it quits at 11 pm even though there was still more work to do. Grandma, Grandpa and big kids slept on the main floor, mattresses on the ground and ready to be loaded up in the morning. Carter had an exhausted meltdown before falling asleep which pretty much summed up how we all felt.😆
Monday 1/18 - Driving day! But first - finish emptying the house, packing up the truck and car, and last minute cleaning. My parents and I wanted to leave as early as possible - like 7 am. Mike’s goal was 9 am. Mike’s departure time turned out to be much more realistic and we were on the road by 9:20 am on Martin Luther King Jr. day. I found it fitting to be moving on this particular day, as I admire MKL Jr a lot and am very inspired by his courage and commitment.
The drive couldn’t have gone any smoother. We had amazing weather, the kids were great, and hardly any traffic. We had enough food to get us through the day so our stops were quick gas/bathroom and get back on the road. We arrived at our new home by 9:45 pm. We had only seen pictures and videos before this moment and we were happy with what we saw for the first time in person.
Tuesday 1/16 - Unpack! It's amazing how quickly you can unpack a truck. What took 2ish days to pack, took less than half a day to unpack. My dad worked hard unloading box after box. Mike and I moved all of our big furniture for the last time (this move anyway, ha!) We returned the truck in the afternoon and breathed a big sigh of relief - we did it! A quick stop at Walmart for a few things and back to our new home so start settling in. Most importantly - we bought childproof handles for all of our doors going outside to keep Carter safe - No running out into the street or pool area without an adult!
That night Mike, Marisol and my parents went to watch the men's basketball Gators team play - fun! I was happy we had already secured the doors so I could relax with the boys - aka go to the bathroom without worrying my little guy would escape!
And now “all” we have left to do is unpack and get settled - ha! The nice thing is we can take our time. Carter is wanting to spend lots of time outside - so we are.
Compared to our marathon transition 4 years ago from Arlington to Florida to Charlottesville this move was much more of a sprint - it was intense! Both moves were among the hardest things we’ve done as a family. But the first prepared us to do it again. I can’t describe how empowering it is to make a difficult decision, map out a plan, follow it to a T, and complete what you set out to do - as a team. It feels amazing.
So that’s what we’ve been up to! If you’re looking for a place to crash when visiting Florida, let me know!
What we did on Wednesday, which happened to be Inauguration Day. It was nice to have a project and be outside working with my dad. We couldn’t bring our trampoline but bought one and put it up our 2nd day here. Carter needs one for physical activity and health. A friend told me a long time ago that jumping is great for your lymph system and the herbalist we’re working with has made it part of his treatment plan as it helps move toxins out. Awesome!
Thanks for sending that article! I agree that people might be overreacting but there are a lot of unknowns and knowns that are making me take this virus seriously. Here are just a few things that I am thinking of at this moment.
1. I have heard a lot of people talking about long term problems after contracting the virus too and have a lot of thoughts about that. I follow a highly regarded herbalist who knows of many thousands of people having issues around the world post-Covid19. Just as I do not deny that people really are dying, I do not dismiss this concern and definitely believe that there are people suffering from long term health impacts. One thing that the herbalist said is that mainstream medicine is basically of no help to these people. Some doctors are even going so far as to tell patients that they are "fine" (STATS,blood work and tests look normal etc) and that their problems must therefore be in their heads.
This is not a new phenomenon. Lyme disease has also had a very controversial history in which mainstream doctors often deny that there is such a thing as "chronic Lyme", leaving thousands to try and figure our their treatments themselves.
I realize that what I'm not saying may not appear reassuring at first glance. But that is not my point at all. My point is that we need a revolution in our paradigm of health. I was very scared of getting Lyme from ticks when we moved to Virginia. Now I am not as scared. Mostly, because I truly believe that the best thing we can do for our family is lead the healthiest lifestyle possible and that is our best defense.
Americans are not generally healthy and we do not lead healthy lifestyles. From diet to sleep habits, to our levels of activity and spending time with family/outdoors we have a lot of work to do. I think that most people know this. And I haven't even mentioned our stress levels and how busy we are and how that contributes to our inability to make changes towards healthy living! We know that the large majority of people that struggle with recovering from this virus have health issues. We should all be focusing on our individual health. Interestingly, there has been a narrative that "you cannot boost your immune system" (go ahead and search the phrase, you will find whole articles about this topic.) At the same time there are studies showing that vitamin D, exercise, healthy diets etc all help mitigate the effects of Sars-CoV-2. So which is it?
The government has consistently and persistently suppressed and censored doctors and treatments that are having powerful positive impacts on COVID19 patients. The narrative that there is "no treatment" continues to be drummed into the mainstream consciousness. That sounds scary, but is it true? I don't believe it is true at all. Vitamin C, the Marick protocol, hydrochcloroquine + zinc + zpac, all have been embraced by many doctors and doctors and patients are trying to spread the word themselves because the mainstream media is of no help. This is crucial for the people to begin to understand. It is corruption and evil so horrible that most of us don't want to begin to contemplate it. I am completely convinced of it though. The root, as always, is power and money. Vitamin C is so powerful and there are literally decades of research about it. Yet, in mainstream media it continues to be dismissed. Why? Cheap treatments and healthy people do not benefit big pharmaceutical companies, that's why.
So what do I say about fear of long term health impacts? I say, we need to all do our best to lead healthy lives and that includes not letting stress and fear overwhelm our physical bodies. We need to be open minded and hearted and seek out treatments that we feel will help us. We need to DEMAND these treatments be available to ourselves and loved ones. I wonder - how many pf these "long haul patients" have received "alternative" treatments? Have they received ANY treatment at all? It seems that the mainstream allopathic message is - sorry, we can't help you.
We have lost perspective - many viral illnesses can result in long term health problems. Read this great thread if you are still concerned about long term health impacts and to gain more perspective.
2. I don't know where you are hearing about overworked, stressed, exhausted doctors and nurses. In hard hit hospitals this was true early on, but across the nation? I haven't heard that. Also, what many people familiar with how hospitals operate keep reiterating is that hospitals are businesses that depend on beds being mostly filled, most of the time. This is not something to be alarmed about and in fact it is normal. To gain perspective on hospitals being overwhelmed, research how hospitals were impacted in recent years by the flu. They were overwhelmed. Italy's hardest hit hospitals are overrun every year. This is a local issue that they need to work on, but not a reason for a country wide, much less a global, lockdown.
In contrast, consider the hundreds of empty hospitals, furloughed staff, and hospitals losing millions of dollars every week.
3. In an ideal world people who are most at risk would be protected and would therefore not need to go to work, I completely agree. What is very problematic is that in our myopic focus on this one issue - COVID19 - we have lost perspective on many other people and issues. I feel horrible for all the small businesses and restaurants who will never recover from this. I cannot imagine the stress that families are experiencing due to this lockdown and forced government closures. Stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, physical abuse and suicide are all on the rise. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands who have gone without necessary medical care either because they are too scared to seek it or because the appointments were deemed "nonessential". There are plenty of experts sounding the alarm that deaths from cancer and heart attacks are up due to our lockdowns. Yes, those of us who can work from home are extremely fortunate but what of those who have been forced to stay at home and want to work? Not to mention, all of these thing decrease our overall health and our susceptibility to all illness.
Has there been a significant number of people working at grocery stores impacted? I have not heard of hundreds of people dying that are essential and must continue to work. Maybe this is something that I have missed.
We know who the most vulnerable are - those above a certain age and with certain health conditions. Those are who we must focus our efforts on.
4. I agree that those who feel their best course of action is to stay home and wear masks should be allowed to do so. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is top-down, government mandated restrictions. Masks is a whole 'nother can of worms that could take up another post. Here are some of my thoughts on masks:
The science is NOT clear cut. Many scientists, doctors experts are saying that this has been a controversial topic for years in medical communities. Why? Because there are negative impacts to wearing a mask for some people and some of them are serious. Read this post for more information about masks that you most likely haven't heard. What if masks (especially improperly worn masks, which we all know most people are doing - touching, storing in purses/cars, re-wearing constantly etc.) are actually causing more harm than good? This is an important and valid question to consider.
There are way too many stories of people being physically abused and discriminated against even when they have valid reasons for not wearing a mask. Masks should not be mandated because quite simply, we cannot handle mandates and also be compassionate human beings whom exercise commonsense and kindness.
For many people masks are representative of the direction our country is heading in and how our natural rights are being stripped away every day. Next up is the COVID-19 vaccine and there is already plenty of buzz being created about mandating it. Even though more than half of Americans say they don't want one today, billions continues to be poured into the development of vaccine technology.
Overall, this is about two very different philosophies of life: How people want to live, what risks they are willing to take and who gets to decide what risks are acceptable.
Ideally, scientists and governments would provide information to the public and make recommendations. Then each individual and family would proceed based on their risk assessment and comfort level. The approach we've taken as a country is going to have repercussions for years and every time we focus on only the people suffering or dying from COVID19 without acknowledging the people who are suffering or dying from our response to it we do humanity a grave disservice.
***THE FOLLOWING IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. PLEASE SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR ANY MEDICAL CONCERNS.***
Ascorbic Acid (AA) - Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C
Bowel Tolerance - This is the amount of Vitamin C that your body can absorb at a particular point in time. It is just below the level where you will flush. You know you’ve reached bowel tolerance when you are gassy, yay!
Flush - When you take enough Vitamin C to have loose stools. There are health benefits to flushing - more on this below and how to flush.
Step One: Obtain Vitamin C
From Katie Gironda, owner of Revitalize Wellness:
“When beginning this protocol it is necessary to buy ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate is ascorbic acid mixed with sodium bicarbonate to balance the PH of the powder. Sodium ascorbate is much easier on the stomach yet it is not absorbed as effectively as ascorbic acid. Sodium ascorbate is safe in smaller doses but not for bowel tolerance or flushing. Use caution with the amount of sodium that is being ingested. Vitamin c high doses will not deplete other nutrients. It will enhance the absorption and utilization of them and you may experience deficiency symptoms because your body needs more. Whole food C is not advisable at the doses sufficient to maintain optimal health. Ascorbic acid is made from glucose that is usually derived from corn. From all of the analysis sheets I have reviewed, not a trace of corn is ever present. But, for severe allergies can find tapioca or beet derived ascorbic acid.
Some people experience tooth sensitivity with ASCORBIC acid. Ways to reduce this issue are, dilute ASCORBIC adequately, rinse with water, use capsules, use a straw, avoid consuming any food an hour after taking aa, and do not take any vitamin c supplements with sugar.
Vitamin c detoxes and accelerates healing. Because of this there is an increased need for supporting nutrients like vitamin a and vitamin d.
Brands we recommend:
It is important that we recommend the highest quality brands.
Revitalize Wellness, a brand that was born from this group includes:
Extremely fine powder:
Other trustworthy brands:
Vitamin C Foundation Quali C”
From Susan: We have found many pure ascorbic acid powders through Amazon. Here are a couple brands we’ve used:
There are many, just be sure that whatever you order is food grade, pure ascorbic acid.
**Note: Tablets of Vitamin C may be useful - Especially when beginning or in addition to powder. Tablets are not great for taking large amounts on a continual basis because of the additional ingredients. We found it is more difficult to reach bowel tolerance or flush with them too.
The powder is sour in taste, but can be added to water/juice/smoothies etc. Or you can do it as a “shot” with a small amount of water like we do! You get used to it. ;-)
Step 2: Take as much Vitamin C as YOUR body needs. Remember:
It takes time and experimenting to figure out your ideal dosage. The important thing is to take it consistently and keep learning!
From Theo Farmer:
“If you study the biochemistry of ascorbate (vitamin C) in living systems, then the general rule you discover is the higher level of ascorbate available, the healthier the system." In animals that produce it, some spend up to 30% of their energy producing vitamin C. The limitation is how much energy they can dedicate just to that, so they produce enough to keep them healthy, a little excess, but they can hit a limit and get sick. In humans, we don't use our internal energy to produce it (we do use some to recycle it), but we produce it in factories and the amount we take is limited only by our bowel tolerance. It's best to always push toward bowel tolerance.”
In other words - it is ideal to shoot for bowel tolerance as often as possible! Practically speaking, for most of us that means we can usually be taking MORE. It takes time and practice to create this habit.
Remember - the amount of Vitamin C you need will vary. Sometimes you don’t feel “sick” but your tolerance goes way up and you can take a lot! That means your body needs it and is using it. Use your intuition!
Another Guide from Katie Gironda:
How to get started with C when NOT sick:
1. Acquire high-quality ascorbic acid in capsule, tablet or powder form. (See above for recommendations)
2. Day 1-3: take 1000 mg every 4 hours, getting in 4000 mg your first day. For some people, they may never need to exceed this dose, but for most, it will be a starting point
3. Day 4-7: take 2000 mg every 4 hours, getting in 8000 mg.
4. Day 8-11: take 3000 mg every 4 hours, getting in 12000 mg.
5. Day 12-14: take 4000 mg every 4 hours, getting in 16,000 mg
*some people may need to start with 500 mg.
* this is a suggested schedule only, your body may do fine ramping up faster or may need to go slower.
*Please note that ¼ teaspoon of a pure power=1000 mg. there is nothing wrong with using capsules or tablets but powders have the least fillers.
The goal of the above ramp-up is to find your bowel tolerance. This is the dose where you start to feel gas and rumbling, which occurs at the maximum point at which your body can absorb C orally. This is a gentle and simple way to get started with C and achieves the main goal, which is to get blood levels as high as possible, which is when healing can occur. Please master the above first before moving on to flushing with C, which is a powerful detox strategy and remedy for many GI complaints.
Flushing for Advanced Vitamin C Connoisseurs:
How to do a Vitamin C Flush
When to do a flush:
*When you suffer from digestive issues
*When you are having less than one bowel movement per day
*After giving birth
*To flush out toxins
Take 3-5 grams of ascorbic acid every 15 minutes until you experience rumbling or gas. Stop and wait or slow down. Sometimes if you continue on you will experience prolonged flushing. This will deplete nutrients and is not recommended. Keep track of the total dose amount that causes a flush. Subtract 10% from that dose and divide that amount up throughout every day. Over time the dose will go down as the body detoxes and heals. Flushing is quick watery or loose stools. Not prolonged diarrhea. After the loose bowels stop, continue taking 1-2 grams every hour for the rest of the day.
Children can benefit from a flush as well. Use 1-3 grams of ascorbic acid every 15-30 minutes. When they begin complaining of stomach upset slow down. Lower the dose to 1 gram every 15 minutes until loose stools occur. Keep track of the total dose amount that causes a flush. Subtract 10% from that dose and divide that amount up throughout every day. Over time the dose will go down as the body detoxes and heals. Flushing is quick watery or loose stools. Not prolonged diarrhea. After the loose bowels ease up, continue taking 1 gram every hour for the rest of the day.
Pregnant women and babies are not recommended to do the flush.
2-4 ounces of water is enough for one teaspoon of ascorbic acid. Stay hydrated but don’t overdo it or the bloating will be worse. Coconut water, sole, or other sources of minerals is a good drink to use.
Things that may help a flush move along easily:
*Not eating beforehand
*Juicing and other sources of fiber
*Coconut oil melted in warm water
*Sometimes a light meal towards the end of a flush will push it along
As we move forward, it is vital that we keep our focus on what kind of world we want to live in. At the heart of what has happened in 2020 is not a statistic, a study, or an expert's opinion. We need to dig deeper than that. I believe we need to get to common principles and a philosophy so we can move forward in a way that honors all of humanity. Believing in this possibility is part of my life philosophy.
If you could rewind to March of 2020, or even farther back that that, what would you change? If you could see what will be in the future, what dreams does your heart hold for future generations?
If I could go back in time I would want more humility, more listening, more discussion and more embracing of uncertainties and certainties**. It is true that we didn't know what we were facing; but, instead of admitting that, our leaders ramped up fear to paralyzing levels, in order to get people to do what they deemed necessary. What if we had leaders that said things like this, "Right now we're not sure about how deadly this is, how easily it spreads, how it spreads, and who is most at risk. We think it's best to be cautious while we learn more. To that end, we recommend the following (recommendations follow)."
And that is what they would have been - recommendations. Recommendations are a lot easier to reverse than mandates. Uncertainty is scary enough. Using models (that later prove to be completely inaccurate) to push fear levels sky high is never helpful. I would argue that it's immoral. Look at the more recent information and compare it to what we were told a few short months ago. NPR published an article on May 28th titled: Antibody Tests Point To Lower death Rate for the Coronavirus Than First Thought. The CDC has lowered it's estimates of the CFR for coronavirus to .4% for symptomatic cases. When you add in asymptomatic cases that number drops even further. But even the CDC numbers are now being fact checked now because it seems people don't want to believe it might not be as bad as we thought! (And might there be some egos involved that don't want to admit that they were wrong? Humility in the beginning allows for humility later on...)
The point is: we can argue about numbers all day long - no matter what your source, expert, study is - someone will have a counter source that supports their view. Additionally, there will always be new information, new studies, new statistics. We need to find something more constant to pin our decisions on.
Side note: Did you know that there is actually a book called "How To Lie With Statistics"? This description is fascinating: "There is terror in numbers," writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through "the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind" with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. "The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify," warns Huff.")
Sounds like an interesting read!
So let's forget the numbers for a bit. Instead let's think of questions we might ask ourselves as we reflect on the past few months and try to feel our way forward. Here are a few that come to my mind:
Here is one historical perspective on who controls the narratives and information flow to the public:
When thinking about "control" of public perception and reactions, the media is probably one of the most, if not THE most, influential entity. It seems like most people understand on an instinctive level the power of the media. But even though we "know" this is true on an intellectual level, most don't adjust their behaviors by choosing to disengage from the media, thereby weakening its power.
(Question for exploration: Who controls the media?)
I, myself, was in a state of constant searching in the early days of the lockdown. What was the truth? Were the steps we taking necessary? Were they RIGHT? It took a while for me to realize how much NOT tuning into mainstream news every day influenced my perspective. I have never watched mainstream news. I never liked it, never was drawn to it. I used to feel guilty about it, because I thought I was not being a "responsible citizen". Now I see that the opposite is true! How much more helpful for me to not get sucked into that vortex of fear and manipulation.
So how do we find sources of information that we trust? That is not a simple question to answer. I have actually become way more informed because of social media. I find people to follow that I trust. Why do I trust them? Because over time they prove themselves to be trustworthy. Some of the people I most admire from these past 2 months are those who actually changed their mind. I have seen people - scientists and friends - change their tune when faced with new information.
One thing you can be certain of: any mainstream media has a huge bias - whether they lean "left" or "right" - they have agendas and forces outside of "seeking the truth" that influence them.
When thinking about this idea of finding "truth" and knowing what is going on in the wider world, consider the following article (click on the picture, it links to the actual article):
None of those photos are of actual, real, in-the-flesh people. They are computer created. There are already tens of thousands of "Deepfake" videos online. Soon, we will not know if a video or picture is real or computer created. This seems scary. It's already so difficult to discern what is true and what is not! But in actuality it may be freeing.
How can that be? Consider the following sentiment that seemed to resonant with many people:
A friend shared the above sentiment. I think it is missing the mark. Being "plugged in" will not lead to us being present and connected. When we constantly seek to know "exactly what is going on" we can never be truly present. Because what we need to be connected to is right in front of us: Our families, our daily lives, our work, our purpose. None of those things change, regardless of what is going on out in the wider world.
What kind of world do I want? I want a world where people are encouraged to ask hard questions and have tough conversations with each other. Where we may not agree 100% with our neighbor, but we love and respect them anyways. Actually, scratch that - "anyways" - instead make that, we love and respect them ALWAYS. I want a world where information truly is just that - information. What we do with that information will be up to each individual and family. I want a world where I can smile at a stranger in the grocery store and they see my whole face, even if they choose differently than me. I want a world where people are not shamed for making a different choice. I want a world where children hug and roughhouse and play together, not because they are "allowed" to but because that is what they are meant to do. I want a world where I get to decide what's important to me and my family and you get to decide for yours.
In the beginning of this post I said I wanted more embracing of uncertainties and CERTAINTIES.
"But what is certain in this uncertain world?" you ask.
I want a world where people realize the one thing for **CERTAIN** is that we are ALL going to die one day and that the only thing we really have is HOW we live TODAY.
What kind of world do you want?
As we approach two full months since our country began it's widespread lock-down, it is difficult to get a good perspective on what we're going through. We're still in the middle of it. There are so many different aspects and perspectives, different ideas and beliefs, new studies and recommendations every week. It would be impossible to take it all in.
But it's important to try and make sense of some things.
I believe two crucial things we need to do are:
1) Lessen Fear
2) Learn Lessons
Lessening Fear: Treatments, Media, Healthy Habits
No one can claim that they have been "right" or that they had the answers for what we're going through. But I do know, that from the beginning I was focused on keeping my fear and stress level low. This was, and continues to be, important for my health which impacts my family's health, and by extension our community, nation and yes, even the world. We each need to do our part. Will we be perfect? No! My fear and anxiety has been like a wild roller coaster ride! But I address it each day anew. It truly is a practice.
I think the first and most important way we can lessen our worldwide fear level is to realize that there ARE effective treatments! What great news! Unfortunately, the mainstream media thrives on creating drama - click-bait titles, views, ratings etc. If you want to find information about treatments that are working (and also what is NOT working) you have to seek the information yourself. Then you need to share so this information spreads to as many people as possible. If you or someone you love gets sick, YOU are the advocate and are empowered with this information.
Here is a great article to start your research: "We’ve Cracked the COVID-19 Code.” (And Why No One is Listening.)"
For the past 2 months I have been sharing information about Vitamin C. For the hundreds of thousands of people who are already familiar with how powerful Vitamin C is - because it is a daily part of their lives - it is not a huge surprise that the media is not picking up on alternative healing solutions in a significant way. We already knew this was going on. For the average person it is a difficult truth to accept - the people in powerful positions are not trying to spread this good news, in fact they often try to do the opposite by discrediting and suppressing information. But it doesn't take a genius or a "conspiracy" to explain this phenomenon - healthier people and Vitamin C will literally make many medications obsolete and there goes millions, if not billions, of dollars of profit for the pharmaceutical companies. The best news possible for people is the worst for these businesses. It's a bittersweet pill for us to accept. But we need to start becoming empowered to take control of our own health. For more information about Vitamin C and coronavirus you can check out Dr. Cheng, Dr. Brownstein** and Doris Loh. There are many others, but these are good sources to start with.
**The link to Dr. Brownstein's website no long works because the FTC has ordered him to stop sharing what his practice is doing. Read more here.
Other ways to lessen our fear are to disengage from the mainstream media and work on healthy habits - getting enough sleep, eating well, getting outside - sun! fresh air! moving, spending time with loved ones, and one of my favorites - laughing! (My favorite new routine is watching Shitt's Creek with Mike most evenings - the belly laughs are so healing!) We all know that these are important, but changing habits is difficult. It's so important that we each do our best, because when we are feeling calm and centered that spreads outwards from us in ways we can't even begin to quantify or understand.
Learning Lessons: Listening, Healthy Debate, Trust
We can all agree that we need to learn from this experience. We will not all agree with what the most important lessons are, but the hope is that we can all learn from each other by truly listening. From my perspective, we cannot get to the deeper lessons without first lessening our collective fear, which is why I addressed that first. This is crucial because when our brains are in a fearful state we literally CANNOT access the calm, rational parts of our brain necessary for listening and learning.
Not being able to hear people with different perspectives was an issue from the beginning and continues to be a big problem. Here is an important perspective about the loss of healthy debate. I think this is one of the most important lessons we need to learn from this experience. If we had slowed down and really considered the many different aspects of this complex issue, we most likely would have taken a very different path. It's important to appreciate that there is not one right answer and there was no perfect way to respond to this world wide experience. Here is another good read and a quote from it that rings true for me, "But after thinking and writing about this question it seems that the most reasonable approach in this crisis is transparent information–no matter how stark. And, crucially, we must have space for public debate."
From my perspective, there are decisions that were made that are now difficult to undo. When we gave so much power to our governments to determine our path we lost a lot. (Of course, this was something that we had been building up to for years and decades, so not something so easily avoided when the crap hit the fan 2 months ago. What we can do is begin to adjust course NOW.) Please keep in mind, many things may have looked the same with transparent information and recommendations from our government - people would have chosen to be cautious, to socially distance, and do what they felt was necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones as safe as possible. People are generally intelligent and we need to trust them to make these important decisions. Does it mean you will always agree with your neighbors' choices? Of course not! But with each passing day and week, thousands of families' situations are becoming more dire. More and more people are recognizing this, but the path we are on is not easily reversed.
My hope is that we learn from this and respond much differently in the future. This story is far from being finished - lessening fear and learning lessons will continue be an important part of our collective path.
What are your hopes? What have you learned? How do you keep your fear level at manageable levels? I would love to hear your thoughts and perspective as we continue to navigate this unprecedented experience.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.