NFP & Napro: Lent & Whole30

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:33
Divine Mercy Hike in the Inland NW

For Lent, Isaiah and I followed Whole30 program, which the idea came from my last naprotechnology appointment with my napro doctor, when the words “surgery” reappeared, and after a rather bleak ND (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine) appointment. The idea of an elimination diet or anti-inflammatory diet became a priority. Thankfully, I also had the support of the man I’m courting in this endeavor.

After my exploratory surgery almost three years ago, my napro advised me to avoid dairy, gluten, and sugar which I already did- mostly. Between my chronic migraines and renal metabolic acidosis, I operate in a perpetual state of nausea. Specialized diets always pose risks. But as a woman who rarely does anything by halves, I chose Whole30 partly because of how strict it is, and also for the straightforward nature of the protocol.

I’m not advocating that Whole30 is the best protocol for you. Each person’s health, wellness, and nutritional needs are different. But here are some lessons I learned on Whole30:

  1. Didn’t help my migraines but did lessen the severity of my PMDD symptoms except the cyclic mastalgia.
  2. My abdominal bloating and pain decreased.
  3. By the end, I felt more satiated when eating less because of consuming whole foods with no or minimal additives.
  4. After no sugar or natural or artificial sweeteners, products taste super sweet in comparison to before.
  5. I have a greater appreciation for the food and drink I consume.
  6. The program challenged me to be more deliberate. Make choices. Be creative. And take Responsibility.
  7. I am looking forward to adding food back in phases and discovering a healthier way of eating for my health and wellness needs.

The #Endowarrior Litany of Humility

*** This litany emerged from a night of grappling with God’s plan for my life as a Daughter of the King and as a woman. Where is the source of my worth & dignity? Why must I bear this cross? Why am I lovable? What is authentic femininity? I decided to stop grasping. I truly desire healing and restoration, but I desire being united with God more- come what may. God’s ways are not my ways. You are beautiful. You are enough. You are Made in His Image. ***

THE LITANY OF HUMILITY:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being a biological mother …
From the desire of being loved for my reproductive health …
From the desire of being extolled for my reproductive health …  
From the desire of being honored for my reproductive health … 
From the desire of being praised for my reproductive health … 
From the desire of being preferred for my reproductive health …
From the desire of being consulted for my reproductive health … 
From the desire of being approved for my reproductive health … 

From the fear of being humiliated because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being despised because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of suffering rebukes because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being calumniated because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being forgotten because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being ridiculed because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being wronged because of my womanly struggles …
From the fear of being suspected because of my womanly struggles …

That others may be loved more than I:
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I as a biological mother, wife, & woman …
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease … That my trust in your loving and merciful plan for my life may increase … That salvific suffering may open my heart to love beyond measure …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

AMEN.

** original text for the Litany of Humility was found on ewtn.com

Fighting for Life

Photo Credit: Students for Life
Photo Credit: Students for Life

In the recent wake of Planned Parenthood videos depicting illegal organ harvesting of aborted babies, I wanted to share a story. Honestly, I’m horrified by the footage but unsurprised or less-than-shocked. The behavior follows a logical and historical pattern of evil, twisted yet fallen human reasoning when a group of people play God and deem themselves more a person than another. Back to the story.

My eldest brother and I share the same chronic kidney dysfunction. My middle brother does not. My brother and I are a medical phenomena that have outlived, out diagnosed, and out performed beyond the wildest imagination of the medical community, which by the way does not know everything. We are walking miracles that would have died and did die previously as “failure to thrive” children just a few years before our births. We represent a new demographic of children that will survive because of medical advances, but our lives are no less cherished or important than the lives of the children with our condition that died before us. For whatever reason, my brother and I live- a testimony to life in the face of adversity and uncertainty. A testimony that life is worth fighting for and the worth of the individual isn’t tied to their tangible, measurable utility.

Such a beautiful success story, right? My parents fought for our lives- my life. A medical professional in Philadelphia deemed my existence, before he ever knew whether or not I actually had the genetic kidney condition, as unworthy and a potential burden to the medical community and cost of healthcare in the United States of America. He debased my parents as “negligent,” “idiots,” etc. This medical professional knew better than anyone else involved, including God. This didn’t sit well with my parents. My father and this man ended up screaming at each other in the medical center hallway. My parents found a new practitioner. And nine months later, yours truly came screaming into Northern Philadelphia. The medical support staff, doctors, friends, and priests commented profusely on my beauty and vitality or how unusual my presence was. Shortly, I did become ill and was diagnosed with Distal RTA. Life hasn’t been easy, but I had a chance because my parents took a staunch position about my fetal dignity and the worth of my in-utero life and the countless individuals already touched by that life. I’m not a statistic or a ICD-9/ICD-10 code; I’m living flesh and blood with soul, mind, and emotions/ feelings. Thank you, Mom & Dad, for fighting for my life.

I’ve learned that life is beautiful in all its forms and function. Regardless of the person’s apparent utility, the worth of an individual is weighed on a divine scale that supersedes all human, limited notions of perceivable measurement of worthiness or substance. Nowadays, since exterminating your child is a “logical” option, parents must fight for the lives of children deemed “unworthy,” “burdensome,” “not human,” “impaired,” “inconvenient,” or “deformed” by relatives, friends, and the medical community. Please, fight for your child’s life whether your earthly relationship with your child lasts in-utero, shortly after birth, or in the years to come. Saying, “yes,” to these children is the most beautiful fiat you and I can utter.