“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
Becoming a mitochondriac has been a process for me. For a number of years I have been making subtle changes to my life. Nothing happened overnight. Instead, the changes that I’ve made have stood the test of time. It’s not easy to change. Whenever I’ve changed a part of my life, there were unintended consequences but if I stuck with that change it made a huge difference in my life over the years.
My quest for wellness has been a 25 year journey. My children have never known their mother as being healthy and strong, or vibrant and active. I’ve been ill for 25 years now. Let that sink in for a moment. Two and a half decades of being sick. Lymes disease, peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, SLE, biotoxin illness, severe mold allergies, extensive hospital stays being in intensive care with my life hanging by a thread because of pneumonia sometimes twice a year, alopecia, miscarriages and complete infertility, morbid obesity, and the final blow in the latest of diagnoses…Celiac disease.
I’m not well. And it shows. With the exception of going raw for more than a year and finally being in remission, that was the only window of time when I was vibrant, strong, and healthy. Two years in 25.
My quest all these years was to find a way to NOT be on any medication. For someone with an arsenal of ill health under her belt, I’m not on any medication. If I’m diagnosed with something, I have a knee jerk reaction and right away start researching how to get rid of a particular autoimmune disorder. The Celiac diagnosis was particularly difficult for me to handle. I already knew that I had a sensitivity to gluten, but I had no idea that my neurological problems were actually tied to gluten. High blood pressure is also another unintended consequence of eating gluten for me. I’m a fat Celiac. Most Celiacs are frail and thin. However, regardless of whether a celiac is fat or thin, we aren’t getting the nutrients we need from food. I haven’t had any gluten since I was diagnosed in 2014.
Tweaking my diet has been an ongoing challenge. I’ve made lasting changes to how I eat. You would think that someone who eats as healthy as I do, would just drop the weight quickly.
Morbid obesity is a mitochondrial disease. Old school thinking is “calories in, calories out.” If you eat 1200 calories a day, exercise, drink water and stay away from junk food, you’ll lose weight. Here’s a fun little story…
Back after my son was born, we were living in NJ. At the time we were vegetarians. I’ve always provided my family with nutritious food. No junk food. I started going to a doctor in NJ who was famous for his practice of fasting and reversing disease. Back then I was considered morbidly obese, and he said that if I just followed his plan and exercised, the weight was guaranteed to come off. I stuck with the diet, ran three miles a day, and didn’t lose even one pound over the span of a few months. He thought I was lying about exercise and what I was eating. He accused me of binge eating and being lazy. And then he fired me as a patient.
My doctor said he could not waste his time with me if I wasn’t serious about my health.
But I was. I have always been very health conscious. It makes no sense, right?
Here’s what Dr. Jack Kruse has to say about obesity and mitochondria:
The truth is, obesity is a quantum disease that dramatically alters quantum signaling that occurs on the inner mitochondrial membrane. The change leads to a dramatic change in current on the inner mitochondrial membrane due to changes in subatomic distance in proteins of cytochromes that alter vibrational resonance. This makes us very energy inefficient. The changes in protein conformation diminish energy transfers by altering bond lengths in Angstroms. When energy transfers are diminished, people have to eat more to offset the change in the Angstrom distances in the cytochrome complexes found on the inner mitochondrial membrane. The conformational changes lead to protein folding errors in the proteins that couple oxidative phosphorylation to the correct metabolic and environmental signals is lost or becomes very inefficient. The folding errors increase the subatomic lengths of bonds in the chemistry of molecules.
One thing scientists are correct about: obesity is not a disease of carbohydrates, excess protein or an excess of dietary fat or excess insulin. It is a metabolic process to limit collateral damage from a loss of energy transfer in the cell. It is tied to not being able to correctly tell time any day of any season of the year.
Obesity is tied to an inability of the brain to process the proper amount of photons and electrons in the body in all places it matters, specifically in the hypothalamus essentially throwing off energy balance between our semiconductors, our inner mitochondrial membrane, and our leptin receptor. The obese never get the correct signal from their metabolism or the environment, to tell what the energy balance status really is in their fat cells. Because they can not decipher this message correctly, and they are losing photons and electrons to the environment because of a lack of proper quantum tunneling and quantum time; they have the sense and perception that they must eat more to improve the current of flow over their altered inner mitochondrial membrane that now leaks like a sieve because of the altered chemical bond lengths. This is also why obesity is linked to all diseases of aging. Obesity and diabetes are two circles of a Venn diagram in this enigma. That much is crystal clear. Where they intersect is the key to solving the puzzle. To solve it takes systems thinking not reductive science by itself. At their core of this intersection is where mitochondrial inefficiency issues live.
As I stated in Part One of my Secret Life series, it takes a LONG ASS TIME to digest what Jack has to say. It’s so worth it though!
Currently, I’m correcting my circadian biology. Dom and I have been working on correcting it for nearly two years now. It’s not easy. Why? Because it means changing how I do life each day. This is why it is taking me so long to get my shit together. To sleep at night in complete darkness? I would go through phases where we would start to practice it, but then I’d get some sort of autoimmune flare up which always keeps me up at night. Tossing and turning in bed? That’s torture to me. So the vicious cycle of putting the tv on at night starts. Which ruins my circadian biology.
One way I’ve hacked that problem is to wear my blue blockers every night. It takes about an hour for my brain to finally calm down and I get very tired when they are on. Another thing we do is not have any artificial light on after dark. We use candles.
Getting my body to start healing is the most important thing I can do for myself. As long as I’m obese, I know I have a mitochondrial problem. Other people may not have a problem with obesity. Their issues might stem from migraines or other other disease processes where you need medication. High blood pressure is a mitochondrial problem. I used to have extremely high blood pressure. It would feel like my head was going to pop off. The medication I was on was very strong. After I stopped eating gluten, my doctor was able to get me off the blood pressure meds because my blood pressure regulated properly. However, there is one other thing that causes my blood pressure to spike now…EMFs. If I’m in a city or place with lots of WiFi and cell towers, my head will start to feel like it’s going to pop off. It’s scary sometimes. So I avoid going to cities as much as I can.
When my circadian biology is working properly, my hormones will also start to normalize. I’ve spoken to many women who can’t sleep at night, are restless, have problems with their monthly cycle, and are either depleted in progesterone or are estrogen dominant.
Our modern lifestyles are the perfect storm for infertility and hormonal problems.
Natural Fertility Info explains melatonin and fertility this way:
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland located between the two hemispheres of the brain. In relation to fertility, melatonin is also produced by the follicles (eggs) within an ovary, the mass of cells that surround the follicles, and in the immature follicle itself.
Melatonin has been found to be a powerful free radical scavenger exerting strong antioxidant effects, important for supporting cellular health and protecting an immature egg from oxidative stress, especially at the time of ovulation. One small study of 115 women at the Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan showed melatonin may increase egg quality by reducing the level of one oxidizing agent called 8-OHdG in the ovum, which is a natural product of DNA oxidation.
Another study in the Journal of Ovarian Research states that, “It has been believed that melatonin regulates ovarian function by the regulation of gonadotropin release in the hypothalamus-pituitary gland axis via its specific receptors… Higher concentrations of melatonin have been found in human preovulatory follicular fluid compared to serum, and there is growing evidence of the direct effects of melatonin on ovarian function especially oocyte maturation and embryo development.”
Melatonin also helps control body temperature, the timing and release of female reproductive hormones and possibly egg quality. In fact, melatonin has been found to control the onset of puberty in females, the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles, and even when a woman stops menstruating and enters menopause.
Preliminary evidence suggests that melatonin may help strengthen the immune system as well.
During pregnancy, melatonin in the blood passes through the placenta not only supporting its function and health, but also aiding in the creation of the fetal suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN, where a human’s central circadian regulatory system in located. Because of its antioxidant effects, Melatonin may also protect the developing fetus from oxidative stress.
In conclusion, recent research of the role of a healthy circadian rhythm and cyclical production of melatonin is proving to be critical for optimal female reproductive hormone function, menstrual cycle timing, ovarian function (including follicle function- both health and quality), as well as placental function.
One can influence her circadian rhythms and melatonin production simply by waking when it becomes light outside and sleeping when it is dark. While we understand that many of us are not able to sleep the entire time it is dark outside, you can create a routine that allows you to slow and enjoy calm as darkness sets in and avoid bright artificial lights (from televisions, computer screens, hand-held devices, cell phones, etc.) at least one hour before bedtime at night (No TV in bed!).
Learning a new way to live life each day isn’t easy, and yet it’s so simple! I’m still just a Black Swan hatchling. I’m a mitochondriac who is striving to get my mitochondria healthy again. I am getting there, slowly but surely.
Since I started to religiously keep the lights off at night, go out and sun gaze in the morning and throughout the day, drink great water and begin to eat foods that are deuterium depleted (no longer eating foods that are high in deuterium) I’ve dropped one dress size. Go figure! This is something that is working for me. For every pound that I lose, I have gained a more robust mitochondrial function.
It’s a great trade-off.
Dom and I have discussions every day about the kind of center we want to open. It would be a place to jumpstart your circadian biology. This would the place you come and unplug from EVERYTHING. Leave your cell phones and wireless devices at home. It’s a digital detox. It’s actually becoming a trend in many coffee shops and cafes around the country. Cafes are opting no to provide any kind of WiFi or even places to plug in devices, because we as a society have forgotten how to really talk with one another. Our center would be free of all electrical devices. You’ll ground, drink great water, eat food from our garden, and our animals will not be grain fed, but instead pastured so that the meat will be deuterium depleted.
We need a place where artificial light doesn’t exist. Our place wouldn’t have any at all. Just Firelight. Under our dark clear skies at 5700 feet in elevation and not a cell tower in any direction. I want to create this. I want people to get excited about being able to unplug. To know that they aren’t alone in this.
We need land with water rights donated or purchased and away from any other neighbors or town and away from major roads. We need to build the infrastructure.
If a project like this resonates with you, drop me an email at email@example.com
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!