It all started with salt
By Jennifer Duty
How can salt be so important?
To start off I was sick for a very long time. No one knew what was wrong with me. I was only 34 years old and felt awful. So I started doing research on my own.
Everything I read sounded like menopause or maybe thyroid problems. My doctors dismissed hormones because I was only 34 and thyroid tests came back normal. I was told I was way too stressed out and needed to take care of myself.
True, I was homeschooling my two sons, running a nonprofit thrift store, doing ministry work which included Hurricane Katrina relief work, and the CFO of our home and my husband's entrepreneurial efforts. It is called life. I figured the doctors had no clue, so I just went about my life. after all, I was not dying. I saw people in my life every day that had it way worse. So, I was grateful.
Powering through it
I ended up powering through it for the next ten years. Some days were incredibly low. Most were okay, I knew something was always wrong. I was never 100%. I knew I could be better. When I was 43 things started getting bad. It started with Melanoma skin cancer on my left thigh.
Being blonde with blue-eyes, I was always told look for any changes in my freckles. Well, one changed to almost black. I saw my doctor right away. She confirmed Melanoma. Surgery followed. In a two-week checkup, I mentioned I felt a lump in my left breast. Surgery followed. Not cancer. Thank God! but it was a growing mass, that needed to be removed. Then followed multiple trips to ER barely breathing because of bronchitis. I was a sick girl, and no one had answers.
The last straw!
The one that finally stopped me in my tracks, was the day I had a massive anxiety attack on the 405 North in LA. I was in the carpool lane doing 80 in my Suburban, like I always did, and it happened, out of now where, I couldn't breathe, I was sweating, everything was blurry. By the grace of God, I made it out of the carpool lane, across six lanes of traffic, to exit off and find a place to park. I almost threw up. I was breathing so hard. I had to calm myself down and call my husband to pick me up. He was two hours away. It took all two hours to compose myself. We had to take all the surface streets back home to San Diego. I was too freaked out to get back on the freeway.
So I saw my doctor again
This time she prescribed some anti-depressant, anti-anxiety. I was not happy, but could not live this way. After another, smaller anxiety attack, at home, I cut one in half and tried it. That was a mistake. I felt even worse and just napped the rest of the day. That was not going to work. I threw those out and went about my life. I just quit driving altogether. After all, I homeschooled, my husband worked from home and my older son also drives. It would be fine. Except, it wasn't.
New symptoms started coming. Extreme exhaustion. Nausea. I would get up at 9:00 am and need a nap by 1:00 pm. Sleeping for hours. Heart palpitations. Sweats. Awake all night. That was just some of the problems. More tests, nothing came back, I was healthy and fine according to the doctors, but I knew better.
I had always been a healthy girl. Eating organic before it was trendy. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Cooked almost every meal at home.
"I have always believed that food could heal"
I also believed in so-called alternative treatments for the disease. Because of that, I read a lot of health books, newsletters, and blogs. The internet was a trove of research. This was the beginning of healing.
I had to take matters into my own hands. I remembered a woman named Kris Carr. She was diagnosed with a brain cancer when she was 24. She kept it at bay by choosing a vegan lifestyle. I started reading her blog and stumbled upon an article she had written about thyroid issues. My mind was blown.
There it was. I had every symptom on the list. It was great. She had a list of tests I had never seen before. I had several thyroid tests and they never looked like that. It turns out, I had never had a full test run, ever. I took the list to my doctor and asked to run the tests. At first, she didn't understand. We had done thyroid tests. I finally convinced her to just do it. She said it would be expensive. I explained I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Just help me get the tests.
Finally, a diagnoses, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
I could not believe that I have an autoimmune disease. I knew needed help from a professional to help me deal with this. Turns out, there are not a lot of doctors too chose from.
I found one in San Francisco and one in San Diego. Sunshine, please!
Kris Hart at California Healthspan Institute has been amazing. She is a great health care professional and she has the disease too and is living with it and thriving? I want/need some of that.
Two most important factors in healing?
First, food is the first line of defense in healing the whole body.
Next, it's what you think.
This one is the hard one for me. because I am a very negative person.
I always see the downside to everything.
First the food
The new tests found out I was vitamin deficient and have adrenal fatigue. I will talk about my experience with adrenal fatigue in a different blog post.
The whole body is this amazing thing that when working in balance is unstoppable. When out of balance it becomes an easy target.
The first thing I was told was to get off all grains, dairy, sugar, and salt. A deeper dive tells me to get off nightshades, eggs, and nuts.
I understood grains. My brother had a wheat intolerance. I understand dairy. My own son has a dairy intolerance. Sugar. Please. I have read studies in the 80s stating that cancer cells feed off sugar, but salt? What was wrong with salt?
Following an autoimmune protocol is not for the weak. You give up a lot. What you gain is your health. I at least wanted some salt to flavor the plain lettuce I would be eating for lunch. It turns out it is not salt that is bad, it is the stuff they put in the salt that is bad.
Salt is not salt.
There is a major difference between refined and unrefined salt. What? not all salt is created equal? That was new to me.
Who knew? Table salt as we know it contains anti-caking agents. That way it easily pours out of your salt shaker. There is a reason salt used to be pinched and sprinkled. Some anti-caking agents include aluminum. Ding! Ding! Ding! Hormone disruption. Table salt also contains iodine. That's good, right? No. It is a synthetic iodine that they add to the table salt, also a hormone disruption that your body can't reconcile because it is synthetic.
Europe has banned iodine for over 20 years, I think. They found it was not healthy and banned it. It is also bleached to look super white and pretty in your salt shaker. Refined. There are numerous books and websites to research for yourself. My son is much more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to the health and quality of all salts.
Check out the book Salt Your Way to Health.
So now what? No salt?
Wait... Pink Himalayan Sea Salt to the rescue.
Everyone is talking about how it is the savior of all salts. The purest salt available.
My son, Bryon, did some research, those home-schooled kids are always digging for more information. He found things they don't advertise. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is a mined sea salt that is not all that its written up to be.
There is a massive difference between mined, solar, and fire evaporated salts. More on that subject later.
Himalayan sea salt comes from Pakistan. The reason it is pink is that it contains iron. A few red flags. My son found that life in a salt mine in Pakistan is not great for the miners. The conditions are not favorable. The diesel exhaust from the equipment finds its way into the worker's lungs, skin, and the lovely pink salt. You can do more of your own research.
My son had read an article about a guy in Oregon making sea salt. He began what became a two-year quest to find and make the purest, highest quality sea salt. Thank you, Bryon.
Salt is so much more than something we put on our steak or avocados. It is a source of life that is missing from our bodies.
True salt, real salt is something that most people don't understand or know about. It's nutrient dense. It's something that adds to the body. Heals the body. Balances the body.
There will be future newsletters talking about the history of salt and the health benefits of true, unrefined salt.
I wanted to give you a background on how my son, Bryon, came to this work in his life. For me, his sick mother. My son has always wanted to create and make something. We are a family of makers.
I just didn't think something so beautiful would come from something so ugly.
After two years of intense nutritional therapy. I am much better. I am 47 now and I can stray a bit from Autoimmune Protocol, but not far. But that is okay. I prefer road trips and hikes in Redwoods, to pasta.
The best part is I am well enough to help get the word out about Bryon's salt, Pacific Flake.
Thank you. To your health. Enjoy.
"Your local sea salt harvestry."