When Autumn was bit by a tick at age 19, it took a number of years before her Lyme disease surfaced. She realized a change needed to happen, little did she know homesteading would help her Lyme Disease recovery.
Often times in life we feel like we're not quite “there yet”. We have ideas of what we want to be doing, we've seen what other homesteaders are achieving, and there's ALWAYS something more to be learning!
Just remember, you can actually change the course of your entire life by doing SMALL things!
You've heard me share before how one tiny change with my food actually healed my body and helped me get off of prescription medications.
In today's Pioneering Today Podcast (episode #280), Autumn Rose, who lives with Lyme-Disease, is sharing today how she manages her disease through food, lifestyle, and HOMESTEADING!
Autumn lives with her husband on a tiny farmstead in the mountains of southern British Columbia in Canada. She's a full-time homemaker, whole food cook, avid gardener, food preserver, and lover of farmyard creatures!
My kinda person!
In her early adult years, she was leading a typical modern lifestyle until she got sick. After being diagnoses with advanced Lyme disease she began searching for ways to strengthen her health after she reached a point where the doctors told her they couldn't help her anymore.
That's what launched her into the “back to the basics” movement where she started experimenting with different foods and learning about nutrition.
This is when she came to the realization that vine to table, raising your own food was actually the healthiest way to go. She got into preserving that food and built momentum from there.
She keeps a natural home now making her own body care products and household cleaners. Essentially she embraced whatever gave her positive results.
In this episode:
- Autumn was bit by a tick at age of 19 but she noticed something different about this tick bite than any other.
- The symptoms she experienced when the Lyme Disease became very apparent (nearly TWO years after the bite).
- The emotional and mental struggle of dealing with a debilitating unknown disease.
- What happened that changed the way Autumn approached her health.
- How taking her health into her own hands and being her own advocate changed her future.
- Does she recommend using anti-biotics to manage the disease?
- How nutrition and detox helped manage her health.
- How homesteading skills actually helped her recovery.
- Verse of the week: Psalm 103:2-4
Links from this episode:
- Follow Autumn on her blog at A Traditional Life.
- Check out my other podcast interview with Autumn where we talk about making homemade fruit vinegar.
Melissa Norris: Hey there pioneers, welcome to episode number 280. Oftentimes in life we feel like we're not quite there yet with what we want to be doing. I know for many of you, myself included, this homesteading lifestyle is definitely a journey and there's so much more that we want to be doing. It's kind of like going down that proverbial rabbit hole as soon as you step foot on this homesteading journey, you immediately see that there's so much more and you can't wait to dive into it. While I always want to be learning and moving forward and doing more, it's really important for me and for you to remember that we can make vast improvements, in fact actual life changing things can happen by just doing the little things. That comes back to our food. If you've been listening to the podcast for any amount of time, then you know my story, which I shared in a three part series back in episode, the first part one is back in episode number 126 about how I quit my stomach acid meds and healed myself naturally. That was really the catalyst for me of going down this homesteading journey to where we are now. Of course, I want to go even further.
But I think it's really important I share with you guys other people's stories and other people's journeys so that you really can see what is possible and also sometimes I need to be reminded too. Sometimes I get tired. We all do. When you live this way, season after season, year in and year out, there could definitely be times when you get a little bit tired and run down. Sometimes you just need that reminder of why this is so important and why we do what we do. Welcome to today's episode. Here's a little bit about the podcast. I'm your host, Melissa K. Norris, a fifth generation homesteader who got back to my roots of using simple, modern homesteading for a healthier and more self sufficient life after a cancer scare in my late 20s. This is the place for you, my friend, if you've sometimes wondered if you weren't born 100 years too late. If you've always thought that you and Laura Ingalls would be best friends and if you think that every home and kitchen would be better if they were filled with mason jars and cast iron. Those things were used daily with homegrown and homemade food. If that is you, welcome home and welcome to this amazing community of modern pioneers.
I'm excited to be bringing back today's guest, which is Autumn. Autumn and her husband live on a tiny farmstead in the mountains of southern British Columbia, Canada. I had Autumn on the podcast, actually this summer. We were talking all about making homemade fruit vinegar. I didn't get to talk to Autumn as much as I wanted to on that episode, which is very brief, on this part of the story that we're going to be diving into full on today. That was in Autumn's early adult years, she got really sick with advanced Lyme disease and was really struggling with her health, very severe. How homesteading and whole foods and home remedies brought her to a place where the disease is now manageable. You're not really ever cured of it, which she goes into more detail in this episode. But even if you don't have advanced Lyme disease, there was so much in this story that I know you are going to find useful. You may even know people who maybe have these symptoms that don't even know they have Lyme disease. There's so useful things in this episode that I wanted to share it with you. I hope you will enjoy Autumn's story just as much as me.
Now, if you want to go and grab any of the links that are in today's episode, you can do so at MelissaKNorris.com\280, just the number 280 because that's the podcast episode we're on is 280. Without further ado, we're going to dive straight into this episode.
Autumn, welcome back to the podcast. I have been really looking forward to talking to you about this. My interest was totally piqued, the last time we got to meet, thank you so much for coming back on.
Autumn: It's great to be back, thanks for having me.
Melissa Norris: People always want to find out about healing. That's one of the things I get asked about the most on my own is how I healed my stomach ulcers and really bad gerd, et cetera. For me, it was a whole foods journey which then started this catalyst of going to everything more natural in our home, from cleaning products to looking at the medicine we were taking to using herbs. All the different things. I am always fascinated when other people who have had different conditions and different diseases have found a similar path and similar healing because I think it gives a lot of hope to a lot of people and shows that no matter what you may be battling with, that you will find some help. Of course, there's not always complete healing, that would be not true to say.
I feel like it can really give people hope if they're really struggling in certain areas of their life to hear what other people have done and that there is that light at the end of the tunnel where things do get better. Yours is a completely different in the aspect yours wasn't stomach acid or ulcers but you had really severe Lyme disease. Can you share how that came about and then how homesteading and whole foods and everything like that, the progression you made and maybe what you're still dealing with and how you did it? I'm just fascinated to hear this story.
Autumn: All right. Well, it began, a lot of people who struggle with Lyme disease don't have a really clear this is when it began but I do know because I was actually bit by a tick on my parents farm. I was 19 years old and in college, home for the summer, I was up in the mountains there. I love nature and wildlife photography. I was out doing my thing and I had come back down out of the hills into my parents fields. I actually felt kind of a pain on my arm, I looked down and there was a little tick, happily sucking away at me. Very gross, I hate ticks, I always have but you're a farm kid, we're used to bugs and ticks. Dealing with critters on livestock. You pick it off and you go your merry way. But I did notice with this particular tick bite there was a weird red rash around it. I was like, "That's really odd." But of course I didn't think anything of it at that time. Lyme disease, this was over 10 years ago, Lyme disease wasn't really talked about a lot.
I didn't know symptoms, signs, any of that stuff. I just kept living my life after that. It took a couple years for me for it to really kick in and take hold but when it did, it was aggressive. It actually went really, really fast. But it was also very helpful for me to remember that and have that knowledge tucked away in the back of my head when I did start looking for help. That's a sure sign of Lyme disease is that rash around the bite. That was over 10 years ago. It has been a journey ever since. That's how it all started, though, for me.
Melissa Norris: When it became aggressive because something people, like myself included, the bull's eye rash and ticks carry Lyme disease and stuff but what were the symptoms when it became really obvious that something was wrong that you were experiencing?
Autumn: I was working a really, really stressful job. It did start as a pretty slow degression but I was working for a Christian organization, actually. I took on way too much. I was young, I was in that stage of life and you feel like you can do anything and you should be able to do everything. Right?
Melissa Norris: Oh yeah.
Autumn: I was going from working with this Christian organization, it was actually a bible college. Then I would have my summers off so I would go work at a horse camp near where I grew up. I was a head wrangler there because I love horses. I kind of did that back and forth for, I think it was two years, just going from one to the next. They're both really intense, very involved with people. I had noticed during that time that I was getting more and more exhausted. I was like, "Oh you just keep pushing through, that's what you do." That's farm kid stuff, right? You have your seasons and you push through. When the hay is on the field you push really hard until you get the hay up. We're used to pushing ourselves. I had not learned to respect my body at that point. Getting really tired, I started going to doctors just to get checked out, am I low on iron or is something off? They kept saying, "No, everything is in the normal range. Some things are in the low normal range but everything's okay."
The second year of working at the bible college, the fatigue got to be really, really bad. It was enough to where I wasn't able to work full-time. Kind of looking for answers with doctors but actually I decided the one summer that I was just going to go home and rest and just give myself a break. I thought the fatigue and the brain fog and all the different things that were happening, I thought it was just because of my really stressful job. That's what doctors had told me, "Make sure you're taking a break and respecting your body." I was like, "Okay, I'm going to do that." My parents are still on the farm where I grew up and I love the farm, love horses. I always wanted to learn trick riding on horseback. I decided that summer I took off, I was going to go home to my parents farm, just relax, recharge and I started training for trick riding. I started working out an hour, hour and a half every day trying to build the muscles I needed.
I went home and here we go, a little bit of emotion coming out but I was doing that. I went home and eight weeks later I couldn't get out of bed. Everything just literally crashed in my body. It was a really, really scary time for me. I was young, I was 21 years old, I had never really experienced health issues before. But I think because I had pushed myself so hard that it opened a doorway for the Lyme disease to just take off in my body. That was summer 2011. I grappled with a lot of things that summer. Of course I had to give up the trick riding, some days I couldn't hardly walk. My legs were clumsy. Some days I physically, my limbs felt detached from my body, which is really weird but a lot of people who have Lyme disease, they understand what that feeling feels like and just not good control. It's amazing what comes clear to you when you're faced with something like that. What really matters, what is most important.
It's something I still look back on today even and it's something that has shaped me so much. Money doesn't matter, your home doesn't matter. Your location, it doesn't matter. The only thing that mattered to me in that time were relationships. Am I in good standing with God? Can I trust that he's there? People around me, those were really the only things that really seemed to matter in that time. I had a really crazy summer, went back to work. I actually thought, Melissa, that I was going to die. It was getting to be so bad. Not that in the state I was at, at that particular time, I was like, "I'm fine now" but how aggressively things took hold it was like, "I will be dead in a year if this continues." You don't know with that stuff.
Melissa Norris: Wow.
Autumn: Now I can look back and say, "Wow. It was fine. I was fine." But it was so strong when it took hold that I would have been dead in a year if it had kept going. I didn't know that it was going to let up but it did.
Melissa Norris: At that point, had you been diagnosed yet?
Melissa Norris: Did you know-
Melissa Norris: You didn't really know what was causing- [crosstalk 00:14:12]
Autumn: It was all unknown. I was like, "I'm going to die of an unknown disease."
Melissa Norris: Something's wrong but nobody knows what. Okay.
Autumn: Yeah. I had been to doctors before, to check for fatigue. They're like, "No, you're normal, you're normal. Everything's okay." I was like, "Okay. It's just an emotional thing. I'm drained emotionally." But when I went home, what that solidified for me that summer break, solidified a lot of things. But what it solidified was it wasn't just an emotional thing. Something was physically wrong with me. That was a crazy, crazy time. I know I keep saying that and I don't have time to go into everything that happened then but it made me realize that I needed medical help. Still no diagnosis. I went back to my job that fall and worked part-time. I pushed pretty hard with my doctors like, something is wrong. Before, they can say whatever they want and you don't really know. I was like, "Maybe it just is emotional. I don't know."
But after that summer I knew this is a physical health issue and there's got to be an explanation. I still wasn't doing super well health wise. I was working part-time at my job. I really tried to dive deep with my doctors, like something is wrong. He did test me for a lot of different things, like a lot of different things. I always jokingly say you could have drowned a horse in all the blood he took from my body for testing and just going through so many different things. Eventually, though, he sat me down and was like, "Autumn, we're doing all these tests. We can see something is sort of happening in your body. Your white blood cell counts aren't where they should be but then they pull back up six weeks later." He basically sat me down and in a very careful way told me that it's a mental problem and that I needed to sort out my mental issues and then I would get better.
Again, here I go again getting a little choked up, but I remember walking out of that doctor's office with just such a crazy mix of feelings I was angry, I was hurt, I was scared because you don't know, when a doctor gives up on you, what do you do? I did not go to another doctor. I was like, "I don't want to go through all this all over again" which is trying it with another doctor. I will say, in hindsight, that doctor did actually give me one of the best gifts I've been given in the whole course of my health journey. Not that what he did was good, he was doing what he had to do. There was no answers so logical conclusion is this is a mental thing for you. But he really made me realize that when it comes to my health, I am number one in the line of responsibility.
Melissa Norris: Yes.
Autumn: My health is in my hands. I didn't like what he did but let me tell you, I walked out of that doctor's office like, "I am going to find answers and I'm going to do it my own way. I'm going to get really serious about my health. I'm going to start researching. I'm going to take whatever steps I need to take to create a healthier life." In the moment I wasn't very happy but in hindsight I was like, "Wow, that gave me the push in the right direction that I needed." It's still something I'm actually really grateful for, to date. I wasn't in the moment but now I am. That totally drove the point home to me and it changed the way I approach health, actually, forever after that.
Melissa Norris: I totally understand what you're saying. I felt the very same way when I went through everything. Yes. It's a bad thing but you look and try to pull the good out of it. I'm there with you. We are the single biggest factor of our health. We have to be our own advocate no matter what.
Autumn: It was totally and it was so funny though because I didn't realize I even had that mentality. I didn't grow up in a family, we went to doctors for broken bones and stitches and surgeries. I did not grow up with a mentality that a doctor was responsible for my health but somehow in there, I kind of did have that mentality. That was really interesting to me to look back on and realize like, wow. I did have that mindset. I didn't even realize it. I'm not saying doctors don't help us, I totally am grateful for doctors but something was flipped the wrong way. His saying that and pushing me kind of got things into the right standing with the way it should be.
Melissa Norris: How did you finally, did you just do self diagnosis or did you finally get blood work that confirmed it? How did you finally discover that it was actually Lyme disease?
Autumn: I have a sister-in-law who actually has Lyme disease really, really bad. She was just at the point, she had just got a diagnosis and basically I was like, we had noticed that symptoms were similar. She's like, "You're three years behind what all my symptoms were or I'm three years ahead of you." She was in the States, in was in Canada at the time. She had gotten a diagnosis and right away she got ahold of me and was like, "Autumn, you need to get tested for Lyme disease." She's like, "I feel very certain based on your symptoms and the fact that I had the same ones earlier." She's like, "I'm pretty sure you have Lyme disease." I tried to get testing through Canadian doctors but they actually, the tests they run generally are not very reliable. There is a lab in the States that specializes in Lyme disease and diagnosing. I actually had to go to the States, it's a very expensive test but paid for it and was working with a doctor down there. The test came back positive. Not just for Lyme disease but also for some of the co-infections that can come with it. That's how I actually found out. I actually had to go to the States to get the testing.
Melissa Norris: Okay. Once you got the testing, what was the protocol that they put you on?
Autumn: I did not ... It was actually really hard. Suddenly you're thrown into this new world and you're trying to figure it all out. You're grappling with what it means for your health. Once Lyme disease takes hold, it doesn't go away. I hate to use the word chronic because that sounds so hopeless but it's there to stay. If you catch it right away, if you have the tick bite and the rash, you can go in and do antibiotics, often they can obliterate it. But I am quite sick, I'm several years into this thing living in my body. I toyed with the idea of antibiotics, I talked to different people who had Lyme disease and actually, a lot of them said, "Don't do the antibiotics" because you have to go on for so long. Basically, it's a lifetime of being on and off antibiotics, which can cause massive other problems. I did some research and it didn't seem like a good plan, especially in light of the fact that my liver wasn't doing super well at that point and there were some other things. I didn't have peace about trying the antibiotic route and the more I talked to people who had Lyme disease, the more I was like, "You know what? I think it would be better if I just learned to manage this."
Just get really healthy and give my body as much of a fighting chance as I can give it, by giving it everything it needs to function really well. That's kind of what happened. I chose not to go on antibiotics, I have attended two different natural treatment, not treatment centers but health centers that taught me about nutrition and they taught me about how to detox your body. They taught me about different natural treatments you can do to help manage the Lyme in the body. They actually, interestingly enough, they actually taught me that home raised food was the best food that you could put in your body because it doesn't have all the sprays, it's super rich in vitamins and nutrients because you can take it straight from the vine or the garden to the table. There's no loss there. They said, "I know not everybody can do this but ideally you would raise all your own food because that's the best way you can support your body is by feeding it good food that it needs and really clean, healthy food." That kind of put me on the right path. It's just been a journey from there.
Melissa Norris: That is amazing that you found a clinic or a place that told you that and endorsed that because I feel like so much of our modern medicine ... I'm like you, modern medicine totally has it's place. I still go to doctors when needed, my family. I do see a naturopath but it's in co with doctors and stuff. I'm not anti modern medicine as a whole but that being said, I feel like when we go to modern medicine that a lot of it is, if they can't find something like you did, right away, they can't diagnose it, instead of approaching our health holistically, all the aspects, they want to put a Bandaid on it or an immediate fix but it doesn't really fix or get to the root of the problem. Especially when you're dealing with something that is going to be, I know you don't like the term but a chronic disease. There's not a cure. There's not an absolute cure for it.
Autumn: Yeah. Right.
Melissa Norris: It's not like you take an antibiotic and get over it and immediate affection type thing. I feel like that's where modern medicine really drops the ball.
Melissa Norris: Because there's so much that we can do that's simple things. The food that we eat is simple. It doesn't feel always simple if you're making that shift. I get it. It's not simple to grow a big garden and to raise your own food because we do that. It's a simple thing but it's not always easy.
Melissa Norris: I think that's what I was trying to get at there.
Melissa Norris: But it really can make a huge impact, especially long term.
Melissa Norris: My hope is that more and more people who are discovering this on their own, like I discovered that, you discovered that and we're now able to come together and to share that with other people. My hope is that will become more of the norm and we'll be able to help create a shift where this becomes more of the norm versus what you get when you go to a regular doctor and that. I'm so grateful that you found that and I know you are, too. Up to that point, you were raised like you said, on a farm, doing a lot of the homesteading stuff. So was I. But were you really actively living that way or did that change a lot that you needed to do?
Melissa Norris: Yeah?
Autumn: I was actually living in a small town, I was in a duplex. I had a little, tiny front yard, no backyard. But once I realized that I needed to get really serious about my health, I don't recommend people necessarily do it this way but when I realized diet was important and that I needed to clean up my eating, I literally opened my pantry and just started chucking things in the garbage can. Refined flour, white flour, in the garbage. I had canola oil, vegetable oil, in the garden. Pasta, any of those prepared white sugar processed anything, we had a big garbage can in our house. By the time I went through my pantry, it was full. I was like, "All right. That's done. I am going whole food." It wasn't super easy initially. I did grow up, my mom always milled her own flour. I already know how to work with whole wheat flour and some of those things.
But the hardest part for me was actually sourcing those things because at the time, I was in northern BC actually. It wasn't super easy. Organics was just coming in up there which is kind of funny but it is very behind. It's not super big on those sorts of things. I started sourcing my local farmers, though. There's a little gal in our church who had chickens, she would sell the eggs. I started buying eggs from her. I started buying grass fed, pasture raised beef. Started going over to whole grains, whole foods, doing more leafy greens. A lot of it, I knew I wanted to go further with it but I was like, "I've just got to start here." I started with food and then it transferred to other things as well, household cleaners and body care, skincare products. Just started cleaning it all up.
The more I researched and learned, the more I was like, "Wow. This is really geared toward convenience, not health." That is what most products and most things in our lives are geared for is convenience and to be fast. It was a big learning curve. Over 10 years later and I'm still learning. But that was where I began was in a townhouse, actually. I always tell people, "Don't wait. If you know you need to make health changes, start right now." Even if your goal is to get in the country and get on a homestead, start now because if you don't and you wait until you're on your homestead and then you try to do all these things, you're going to sink and you're going to burn out. It is an adjustment.
Melissa Norris: Yes. Yes it is. I was smiling when you said that's what you did, when you just cleared everything out. I'm laughing because I did that similarly but I was the one, I want to say my daughter was one, my son was almost five and then my husband. I was the one that was having the health issues. They weren't really exhibiting anything. I was like, "Well, we'll finish this box of pasta." I remember when I got to the shortening. I don't know, shortening is my thing. I got to the shortening and I'm looking at this big, huge thing of Crisco. I bought the Costco size of Crisco. I'm looking at this and it was that and the vegetable oil. I'm looking at these two things and I'm like, "I don't care that I just bought these and barely broke the seal." I'm like, "I cannot. I just can't." I remember I did toss those. At that time it killed because I'm like, "Oh there went" however much money it was at the time. I was just like, these are the two I just can't. I immediately threw those out. Then there was other things, after we ended up using it up I'm like, "Nope." Then it got swapped to the other thing.
Autumn: Yeah. That's what I recommend people do.
Melissa Norris: But on one hand, I think, too, if you are really experiencing your symptoms and you do have the money to replace those items. I'm with you, I started this about 10 years ago, too. I'm amazed at how much more there is out there now and available than there was even 10 years ago.
Melissa Norris: It's more than doubled what I can find now on store shelves. It's really amazing. Of course, with online ordering from different companies as well, that's expounded too and really opened up the door. I felt like the prices have really gone down, too, I've noticed.
Melissa Norris: Finding the good sources and stuff. I say if you are having really severe symptoms, whatever that may be, of course we're not diagnosing because we don't know what everybody has or anything.
Autumn: Right, no.
Melissa Norris: You have the availability of the money to replace those items, I feel like the sooner, the better.
Melissa Norris: But if you don't want to overwhelm or feel like, "Man I can't afford to replace everything in my pantry right now" I totally get that. Doing it, like you said, just use that up and then replace it with the next best option is really key. You cleaned up diet first and then you started looking at all the other things that you were using and coming in contact and stuff. How has that helped with your Lyme symptoms? Do you still have symptoms? Does it ever go into what I guess you would call recession [crosstalk 00:32:32] or submission. Where are you at with that right now?
Autumn: It definitely did help. I noticed right away once I started changing my diet and cleaning things up. It seemed like my body just could heal faster. That's even true now. If I eat unhealthy, I'll get sick way faster because I do have a compromised immune system still. It's pretty strong when I eat healthy but if I don't, oh boy. Look out. Trouble is coming. Initially i just started noticing, I had always struggled with store bought lotion and different things like that. My skin, especially since getting sick, just did not respond well to some of that stuff. Part of it was just it eliminated some annoying, what would you call it? Side issues. Over time the food, my mental clarity, I was dealing with a lot of brain fog, I was dealing with extreme fatigue. There were some days where I could only be up for two hours at a time and I'd have to go lay down and sleep again. It helped with that and just overall energy is huge for me. My food drastically affects my energy levels. Just overall health stuff. I feel stronger, I feel healthier.
Until you experience, it's kind of hard to explain to somebody who hasn't experienced some of the Lyme symptoms but I'll tell people my body doesn't feel gross and dirty. I don't know how else to put that. But when I eat processed food, my body, I will swell sometimes, I'll feel really irritated and I just feel yucky. Not like you do before you're going to throw up but almost that idea through my whole body. It feels gross. I know that's not a great explanation. I can't explain it to somebody who has never felt it. But it's a really bad feeling. My food directly affects how I feel, my mental clarity, my energy. It's a really big deal. That's actually why my husband and I have taken such drastic steps with getting back to the country and setting up this piece of land into the food producing system that we need because it really makes such a big difference. He can see it in me. It's not just me feeling it, he can observe the difference.
Melissa Norris: Yeah. Do you feel that it was mainly the food and the sourcing and stuff. Was there anything else that you did that you felt like really helped as well? Or mainly focusing solely on that?
Autumn: Like I said, I did do some treatment centers. Sorry, not treatment centers, I'm not supposed to use that word in relation to Lyme disease.
Melissa Norris: It's okay.
Autumn: Health centers. I did attend some of those, there's actually one we have here in Canada that really helped find more of the co-infections that have come with Lyme disease. I would love to say food fixes it but it doesn't. If you still have issues going on underneath the surface, you do still need to address those. This one center was super helpful, they actually found five more co-infections. That's one of the reasons Lyme disease is so difficult to keep under control because it comes with up to, I think they've said its over 24 different infections as well. They can be bacteria or parasite based. They will ride on and protect the Lyme disease. Actually, in order to get on top of, for me to really get on top of things, I actually had to deal with those. I had five different infections and then once we got those and got those under control, some of them you can completely get rid of. Then we really started noticing the food and the lifestyle really being kind of my, I don't know what the word is but that's my foundation now. Rest, I still have to rest. I'll never return to my full energy that I used to have just because of worn out adrenals and some other things. But definitely now, the diet is my number one on my list of priorities.
Melissa Norris: I'm really glad you shared that because I think it's important to know that diet can have such a big impact. I've experienced that and you've experienced that with two totally different things. But on the same hand, I think it's important to be really transparent and I don't know if realistic is quite the right word but realistic that you're still going to battle with things and it can make a big improvement but it isn't a cure, necessarily.
Melissa Norris: Even though, I feel too it's always a journey. Compared to where I was 10 years ago, man, my diet is amazing but it's not perfect. There's definitely room for improvement with my diet. I'm constantly going through that. I think, too, when you go through something like this and when you do really clean up your diet and you really do begin to pay attention to how do I feel, really how does my body feel? A lot of times I'm so like you, I'll ignore things until they get really bad which is not smart.
Melissa Norris: If you deal with something in the beginning, it's much better. I'm trying to practice that even now and really pay attention to things. Be like, how am I feeling? What am I doing? Paying attention to, "Okay if I do this activity or if I eat this food or I'm eating this way, how is this making me feel?" Really being, I guess in tune with your body and really paying attention to that. I feel like a lot of times we don't realize the correlation. It's there but we're ignoring it or we're just not seeing it.
Melissa Norris: We're not allowing ourselves to be cognizant and take note of it.
Melissa Norris: I feel like that's a really big thing. Even with having a clean diet, there's new things that have popped up for me, like I have a low thyroid. Like you said, adrenal, yes, absolutely. Then different hormonal issues, I became estrogen dominant. There's been a lot of things and even though I was eating very clean I still was going through those things. That being said, I could still adjust my diet and I'm still trying to pay attention to that and adjust it as well. I just kind of wanted to put that out there. I didn't want anybody to feel like, "Man I'm eating really well but I'm still dealing with things that it would be like this perfect cure" but that it has definitely made such an improvement. Thanks for bringing that up.
Autumn: Yeah. I like to think of it, okay, I'm a farm kid. Bear with me on this illustration. If you have animals that you are working really hard, let's say I grew up doing some hunting on horseback and different things and lots of riding in the mountains, if you're not feeding your animals proper nutrition, things are going to go wrong.
Melissa Norris: Oh yeah.
Autumn: In the most basic sense, if you only feed your animal half of what they should be getting, you can't expect them to go have the same energy to do their work for you. It's kind of that same concept. Growing up as a kid I understood that concept with animals and the farm and nutrition matters, you have to feed them good food if you want good end result. But when it came to myself, totally spaced on that one. But that's the way I like to explain it. If you need your body to do its job, you need to feed it properly. It's not going to eliminate every issue and be the magic cure, it's just common sense. You've got to give it what it needs to do its job. Other things will come up but you'll get over them faster, probably and it will make you be able to cope better.
Melissa Norris: Yeah, no I completely agree. Isn't it funny how, I think too is understanding the macro nutrients. A lot of times, I don't know if when you were a kid but when I was a kid, we took the little Flintstone chewable vitamins every week.
Autumn: Okay yeah.
Melissa Norris: I'm probably totally dating myself here but we'd have our little chewable vitamins. We know that you need vitamins, we know we need certain vitamins, nutrients, et cetera and minerals. But I don't think because we don't really get this in school, or at least I should say I didn't. I didn't get this in school.
Melissa Norris: Most doctors have very little nutritional training, actually.
Melissa Norris: It's a very short period of their overall training is on nutrition. We don't really understand why we need those specific vitamins and those specific nutrients and minerals and what they actually do for our body. Vitamin D, you live further north than I do. Yes, we need vitamin D but what it actually does and how it's actually a hormone and what it does for our immune system and what it does for all these different functions within our body. I think if we knew that, then we would be like, "Oh, of course I need to make sure that I'm getting these proper amounts and I'm getting it from food and it's natural source and not just a fortified flour with these fortified, synthetic things. Anyway, that's a whole nother soapbox. Yeah, with that knowledge and just taking a little bit further and understanding it, then I think it clicks for us because otherwise it's just like, "Well, I'm eating food, I'm not letting myself get hungry." Sometimes we just don't go beyond that. I didn't, for years.
Autumn: Right. Eating doesn't necessarily mean you're supporting your body.
Melissa Norris: Definitely. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. I know there's people out there that it's going to help. I thank you for that. I know a little bit of that was hard, I really appreciate you coming on. Is there anything that you want to leave people with or if they want to find out more about what you're doing, the best place for them to do so?
Autumn: I think something I would say to somebody who wants to start making changes or knows that they need to, just start small. It's been a 10 year journey for me. I just looked at what was affecting me the most and just started trying to make changes there rather than it's easy, especially with the online world to find people who look like they're doing all the things. You're like, "I'm never going to get there." That's not how they got to where they're at. You have to just pick one thing, dive in with that, master it and then once you've got it, then you can move on. This is like you're building a building. You've got to do it one board at a time. Eventually you will have the structure and the lifestyle that you want. If you try to do it all at once, it's not going to last. You're going to burn out or you're going to get so frustrated because you have so many unfinished pieces in your life that you're going to give up. There's no shame in starting small and starting slow. That's how I started. It sounds like that's how Melissa started.
Melissa Norris: Yeah, that's the way to go.
Autumn: That is normal and that's good. If people want to know more, they can find me on my blog Eat Traditional Life. I'm also on most social media platform under the same name.
Melissa Norris: Perfect. Guys, we'll have in the blog post show notes that accompanies this episode I'll have links so that you can easily click those and follow Autumn's journey. Autumn, thank you so much for coming on and sharing today.
Autumn: Thanks for having me, Melissa.
Melissa Norris: Guys, I hope you enjoyed that episode just as much as I did. It was so nice to hear Autumn's story. She really, really shared her heart. I know that that came through. I hope that it encouraged you and it inspired you. I wanted to also share with you our verse of the week for this episode. Many of you have been commenting and messaging me or emailing me your reviews and how much you like this part of the episode and how much it speaks to you, which I am thrilled about. I don't always do it on interviews but I felt that I wanted to share a verse of the week with you on today's episode, which is obviously was an interview. That is Psalms 103, verses 2 through 4. This is the amplified translation. "Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, oh my soul. And do not forget any of his benefits who forgives all your sins, who heals all your disease, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you lavishly with loving kindness and tender mercy."
I wanted to share that verse with you because sometimes, when we are in the midst of a struggle or turmoil or whatever it is that we're going through, sometimes it can be easy to forget that it will be redeemed, no matter what dark spot we're in. To trust in the Lord, to praise him and to not forget any of his benefits, even if it feels like we can't see them at that time, that they are coming. He will forgive all your sins, he will heal all your diseases, he will redeem your life from the pit and he crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercy. I don't know about you, but I need more loving kindness and tender mercy in my life as well as extending that to others. Thank you so much for joining me today, I will be back with you next week. Blessings and mason jars for now.
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