My Secret Life as a Mitochondriac: Part One
Caution and a raised eyebrow can be found after saying the word mitochondriac. It almost sounds like the word hypochondriac, right? But I promise they are very different from one another. Most of us know what a hypochondriac is. Often hypochondriacs are preoccupied with thoughts of impending doom, look up symptoms they may be experiencing and believe they have something wrong with them. In some of my research, hypochondria has been explained as a mental illness.
A mitochondriac, however, is someone who is pretty obsessed with their mitochondria, how it functions, and how to protect it. They are fascinated by their second set of genetics and have discovered that their mitochondria, which is passed on from mother to child, is actually the workhorse of the body. We’ve been taught that our DNA is everything, and when things start to go wrong with our bodies, it must be because of a genetic abnormality. However, our mitochondria are at the root of our health or ill-health.
I’m not going to get into what the mitochondria do, or don’t do. I want to touch a little on why I’m a mitochondriac and how that has affected my life to this point.
I consider myself a black swan mitochondriac, but I am at the hatchling phase…a cygnet if you will. My mentor is none other than the amazingly controversial and mindblowing practicing neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Kruse. Although I have never met him, someday (December 2018 😉 ) I hope to share a bottle of wine with him one evening on the beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and talk about how much he has changed my life. He shattered my old perceptions of what health was and like a bull in a china shop leveled my beliefs to the ground.
I told Dom that someday soon I’ll have a t-shirt made that has a photo of Jack and that states, “God’s Gift to the World.” Because that’s what Jack is.
This is what Black Swan Theory is to Jack:
The black swan theory of events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise to a paradigm of belief, has a major effect on those who realize it, and is often inappropriately rationalized by the paradigm after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed black swans did not exist, but the saying was rewritten after black swans were discovered in the wild. The implication is, absence of evidence is not absence of effect or reality or truth. Just because evidence is not present right here, right now, does not mean the possibility cannot exist or is not true. What nature allows, will certainly happen. It is the basis of the Kruse Thereom of living systems. This is why the wise among us build arks for the black swans among us. As they gain wisdom in unison, they begin to flock together. Then, the ark of wisdom, buried deep within the threads of nature can protect them from the poor thinking and the beliefs of paradigms built on half truths.
I’ve been following Jack’s work as it has evolved over the last several years. Most of what he has said went right over my head. It would take me HOURS to read just one of his blog posts. I needed a decoder ring to understand most of what he said until finally, I just relaxed and said, “fuck it, it is what it is and someday I’ll get it.” There was always a practical takehome from his blogs, and so I’d glean as much as I could and put it to practice.
A few years prior to knowing that I had electrohypersensitivity, he kept writing about non-native EMFs, blue light, circadian biology, the time clock in our eye and our skin, and the damage man-made devices do to us, but I didn’t understand.
But it went in. Like a silent time bomb set to explode. BOOM! One day it all made sense, and the work began. It isn’t easy becoming a mitochondriac. In fact, it’s freaking hard as hell. Want to know why? Because it’s so simple you won’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that the blue light that was coming from the artificial light like compact fluorescent bulbs, halogen, and worst of all LED bulbs, TVs, wireless device screens, and even the damn regular blue light that plagues most devices has the MOST profound effect on our circadian biology and mitochondria.
It wasn’t easy because it meant that I would need to change how I used light. I needed to purchase incandescent bulbs which don’t harm the same way that the new light bulbs do. Funny thing is that I have never liked having lights on at night. I would much rather have firelight. Candles or oil lamps always seem to calm me down at night. Yet, when I would go to bed, there was some sort of light on in the bedroom, such as the TV, and in the hall another light. I have on several occasions gotten a concussion from walking around in the dark. I’m extremely accident prone as well as being a sleepwalker, and if there is anything in my way, I’ll fall.
I had to learn how to keep the lights off. That is still difficult for me at night. My fear of more head trauma makes it difficult for me to see the value of keeping things pitch black at night. But I continue to work at it.
Being a mitochondriac also means I get to wear funny looking glasses when I’m exposed to artificial blue light at night, like my computer screen. Dom calls them my douchy glasses because I look like a douchwaffle in them. The photo on the right I took of myself in March as my hair was finally starting to come back in after falling out due to mold exposure.
So, my douchwaffle glasses serve a very important purpose. I put these glasses on at night a few hours prior to going to bed. They’re very trippy and it takes a little time to get used to them. They block out all the blue, green from artificial light and electronic devices, and encourage my body to release melatonin. During the day, I have a set of blue blockers that aren’t as aggressive as my TrueDark glasses but will block about 50% of the blue light from my vision.
We also have Iris software installed on our computer which helps to filter out blue light. You’ll see in the right sidebar an ad for Iris. It is my affiliate link. I don’t think I’ve ever had an affiliate link before, but this product I use, and I would encourage you to get it for your computer or wireless devices.
From the website Blue Light Exposed:
Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. These waves emit energy, and range in length and strength. The shorter the wavelength; the higher the energy. The length of the waves is measured in nanometers (nm), with 1 nanometer equaling 1 billionth of a meter. Every wavelength is represented by a different colour, and is grouped into the following categories: gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet (UV) rays, visible light, infrared light, and radio waves. Together these wavelengths make up the electromagnetic spectrum.
However the human eye is sensitive to only one part of this spectrum: visible light. Visible light is that part of the electromagnetic spectrum that is seen as colours: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Blue light has a very short wavelength, and so produces a higher amount of energy. Studies suggest that, over time, exposure to the blue end of the light spectrum could cause serious long-term damage to your eyes.
Blue light is highest in the morning, and it is always balanced with the other colors in the spectrum. As a mitochondriac, it is important for me to get up first thing in the morning and greet the sun. Dom and I go out every morning and look towards the direction of the sun.
What this does is it shuts off melatonin and lets my body know it’s daytime. It also does another very special thing…it creates MORE melatonin and stores it later to be used by my body at night.
Guess how much it costs? ZERO DOLLARS. Guess how difficult it is to do? Hard AF.
We don’t go outside anymore as a people. Who gets up first thing in the morning, takes off their shoes to make sure you are grounded, and takes in the morning sun?
When I’m outside, I don’t use anything on my eyes, like sunglasses. My eyes are always naked and searching near the sun. I know that in those morning moments as we either watch the sun rise, or are getting morning sun, we are giving our bodies a great start to the day.
As a farmer, it’s easy to be outside first thing in the morning. However, I still don’t have land to farm, so instead, we just go out and greet the morning.
Light also affects our skin. We have receptors in our skin that affect our circadian biology. Artificial light at night is a problem, so we cover up our skin when we’re in the presence of artificial light. Dom started wearing his orange glasses to work and he keeps his body covered as much as possible when he’s working indoors under fluorescent or LED lighting. It has had a dramatic effect on his energy levels, even though he’s exposed to very high WiFi signals. He’s also affected by EMFs, just not as severely as I am.
It takes time to change how I live. How do you live without a cell phone? How do you live without WiFi? How do you live without electricity?
That is the next evolution of my experience. I live without the cell phone and I chose to live in a place that is so scarcely populated that telecommunications would find it difficult to justify putting in a cell tower beyond the half-working one they have going in our main town.
I live 8 miles south of a cell tower. There is one cell tower near Datil which is about an hour north from me, and another very small tower in Glenwood, which is an hour south of me. There are no plans on getting more towers installed.
I chose to live here purposely because of that reason.
We are also at 33 degrees north latitude at an elevation of 5700 feet above sea level. This is important for another reason as a mitochondriac…
We want to make Vitamin D year round. At our latitude and elevation it is possible for us to make Vitamin D all year, and because we are not inundated with nnEMFs from cell towers and the wifi from neighboring buildings is low enough not to affect us, we can now make Vitamin D. As it turns out, if you are bathing in nnEMFs, you won’t be able to make Vitamin D. Even if you were at the equator. It’s not going to happen. Those great devices that we all love to use (remember I’m a technology whore) can sap our bodies of Vitamin D. You can take all the supplements you want, but if you aren’t changing your light environment and find a less densely populated place to live, you’ll continue to suffer as I did for so long.
My life changed dramatically in the last two years. At first, they were subtle changes, like being able to actually sleep at night. How many of you have autoimmune problems? Pick any autoimmune problem, and I bet you have an issue sleeping at night.
My sleep improved. It continues to improve, and as I fix my light problem, guess what else is improving? My hormones. Even though I’m almost 50, my hormones are not too terrible. I have a monthly cycle that wasn’t always perfect. Once we moved to the east coast and my exposure to molds increased, so did my issues with my hormones. Everything got messed up to the point that I thought I was finally entering perimenopause. My cycle was off sometimes by MONTHS, and it was erratic at best. This was a problem I never had before. When we lived in Vermont, we started implementing changes like using candles or oil lamps at night, as well as using a grounding sheet, which caused a dramatic shift in my hormones.
After moving to another house in Vermont, we hardwired our computer, got rid of wifi, changed our smart meter to a regular analog meter, got a wired phone instead of wireless DECT phone, shut our power off at night, and purchased our first blue blocker glasses.
All those things helped to get my hormones under control. We slept better at night, and Simone improved emotionally as well as educationally.
It has taken over two years to get to where we are. It was baby steps that got us here.
My diet has changed over the last two months as well. I have been on and off keto for the last 7 years, but because of inflammation in my body, I chose to go mostly raw.
I have been slowly transitioning to a raw food diet, but it isn’t a raw vegan diet. 17 years ago I was trained as a raw food practitioner and chef. Originally when I became a raw vegan, I put my autoimmune condition in remission.
Now that we have locked down our light problems, I’m taking that next step in implementing a raw food diet with intermittent fasting.
My diet consists of one meal a day that has about 5 oz of a raw protein of some sort, a raw yolk, fruit, greens, olive oil, rice vinegar, spices, and an avocado. It’s basically the same thing every day around 10am.
I eat either raw beef or raw oysters or both with each meal. On other days I will switch out the raw meat for two cans of sardines.
It’s basic, very filling, and doesn’t require me to think of food after 11 am every day.
I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing eating raw beef, but believe it or not, it’s freaking delicious. I couldn’t have imagined eating raw meat even just three months ago, but I am enjoying it.
The reason I’ve chosen to eat only one robust meal a day is for mitochondrial biogenesis. You can do a little research about how intermittent fasting affects mitochondrial function. It’s fascinating.
So where does a black swan cygnet mitochondriac go from here?
As I continue to heal my body, my desire to farm becomes stronger. I am blessed to live in a county that has some of the darkest sky in the world. Without light pollution or nnEMFs around, I would LOVE to start a center for mitochondrial healing where people can come to get their bodies jumpstarted.
The change happens so quickly, and even though I’m nowhere near finished with my own personal health journey, I feel this is such a powerful experience.
Having a place where people can completely unplug, will not be exposed to nnEMFs, can ground, eat great organic food, and kickstart their mitochondriac journey is so exciting to me!
Dom and I have been looking for the perfect location, and we’ll be looking for investors who want to help create a new center. It’s all in the hatchling stage of planning, but it’s something Dom and I are very passionate about.
For the sake of time and the fact that this has been a super long post, I’ll stop there.
Thanks for reading!