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Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Hey, guys! Hope you’re having a great “Wellness Wednesday” so far πŸ™‚ I’ve been having a flare-up of a lot of symptoms lately, including pain and fatigue. It’s so hard with chronic illness because you’ll have a good week or two and feel like you’re finally getting somewhere! You get so full of hope and then a new week comes and smacks you upside the head and you feel like you went into a downward spiral back to where you started. You just have to keep digging yourself back out of the hole, hoping that at some point, the hole will get more shallow and you’ll gain some ground. I do think I have gained ground in the last year. It’s hard to see at times, but it takes less time for me to recover from bad flares than it used to. And by recover, I mean, back to being able to function at a better level. I still don’t live the way I want to live. Mornings and evenings are difficult for me and I’m generally exhausted. But, I keep trying new things, researching, talking to other people in similar situations, and just trying to learn as much as I can while still trying to find joy in the small things. Sometimes I feel like I am always in my head, in another world, and never totally present because I’m always thinking about the pain I’m in or how much I want to get better. I think people think I’m a bit spacey or disconnected sometimes. We do the best we can, right? I try to keep this in mind before I jump to conclusions about other people. Getting lost in a flare is easy to do. I’ve had some where it seems never-ending and I start to feel defeated. The truth is, things always eventually get better, but sometimes you have to fight even harder than you feel like you can. I wanted to share this recipe with you in hopes of helping you through a painful flare if you’re going through one, too.

I have a hard time finding things that help with the pain. I find something and it helps for a while and then it seems like it loses its potency and doesn’t work for me anymore. That’s not to say that a lot of the things I have done and tried aren’t helpful at all, they are. It’s just that they’re not long term solutions. But, something that I always go back to is this creamy turmeric drink that a fellow Lyme Warrior shared with me a couple years ago when I was in the thick of chronic Lyme Disease. I’ve been having really bad back and hip pain lately, so I pulled this recipe out and tried it again. Sure enough, it is the number one thing that is helping my pain right now!! I’ve done A LOT, so it’s kind of a miracle that this simple, inexpensive drink is what’s hitting the spot right now, but I’ll take it! Glady. πŸ™‚

We all probably know by now that Turmeric is great for decreasing inflammation! Turmeric contains curcumin. Curcumin is a biotactive substance that fights inflammation. It can be just as powerful as over the counter anti-inflammatories, but it doesn’t have the negative side effects that they do! NSAIDS, which are your standard drug store anti-inflammatories, like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, can cause damage to your stomach lining, liver, and serious problems like ulcers and bleeding if used too often. But, if you use turmeric in high doses, you can avoid all of that! You want to aim for around 1 gram of turmeric to get the full benefit.

This drink combines everything that helps turmeric do it’s antioxidant work for your body. It has healthy fats in the coconut oil which help your body to absorb the curcumin which is fat-soluble. It also contains black pepper, which has piperine in it. Piperine is a naturally occuring substance that helps your body to absorb the curcumin better as well!

I like to double this recipe when my pain is really bad. By the end of the drink, I feel a total body relaxation. It feels like my whole body gets warm and I can feel the pain slowly dissipate. You don’t need to worry about overdosing on turmeric. It’s a natural food. You do want to get yourself a good organic brand though, because spices like turmeric are known to carry lead. You can get quality sourced turmeric by doing your research. I like this brand.

This recipe is a little complicated because you have to make a paste first. But, it’s totally worth the time, and you’ll have paste leftover in your fridge for your next drinks once you make it! I usually combine this with almond milk, but coconut milk is really delicious with it, too!

This recipe was recommended to me by my fellow Lyme advocate, Aimee Miller. You can find her website here. These turmeric drink recipes are originally from Darin Olien’s plant based meal plan “The Superlife 10-Day Nutrition Program”. Thank you, Aimee for recommending this drink to me! It’s been so helpful <3

Total Body Turmeric Pain Reliever Drink

Turmeric Paste:
Makes about 1 cup (16 – 1 tablespoon servings)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

Steps:

  • Mix pepper, ginger, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan on low heat mix together turmeric and coconut milk. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.
  • Bring to gentle simmer and continue to stir.
  • Add mixed spices and continue to simmer for 3 minutes or until a thick and smooth paste.
  • Add coconut oil and raw honey, turning off the heat. Continue to stir until completely smooth.
  • Allow mixture to cool a few minutes and transfer to a clean Mason jar. Mixture thickens as it cools so don’t wait to long to transfer.
  • Place lid on jar once it’s cooled completely. Store in refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks (mine last less than a week since using daily).

Now that you have made your paste, you can put it into some milk with the following ingredients and start de-flaming, LOL! πŸ™‚

Creamy Turmeric Drink

Prep time: 5-6 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (find a good brand without added ingredients. Just pure vanilla extract!)
  • 8-10 drops of stevia (or 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other plant based milk

Steps:

  • Add all ingredients in a sauce pan and warm.
  • Use a blender or whisk until foamy
  • Pour into a mug and relax πŸ™‚

Please let me know if you try this and how it works for you! I hope that it gives you some relief. I’ve been thinking of things that have helped my Lyme symptoms for those of you who are struggling with Lyme (and other chronic pain diseases). If you haven’t yet, check out my post on the essential oils that help my joint pain! As always, this is not medical advice, just my own experience in things that have brought me some relief. Sending you lots of love and healing vibrations!! πŸ™‚

Kelly

Happy Wellness Wednesday!! This week I wanted to open it up to you guys to ask some questions that you have for me! I love hearing from you all and want to be as helpful to you as I can. So, anytime you have any questions for me, I’m more than happy to answer!

To be totally honest, I had a major pain episode last night that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning. So, I didn’t have as much time last night or this morning to finish these questions. But, I got to some of them, and I will gladly finish the rest at a later date! So, here’s what I have for you so far! πŸ™‚

What diet are you currently on? So, you may have seen my diet change on my Instagram profile several times since I started this blog, LOL. I am always a work in progress and going with what I believe is the best, most healthy diet I can feed myself. But, sometimes my desires don’t always align with what my body currently needs. So, I was doing a plant-based and vegan diet. I really loved it. I would prefer to not to eat meat. However, I had some testing done, and I have a lot of inflammation in my gut still. So much so that they think I might have Chron’s (working on figuring this out). So, my doctors said that I need to return to more of the AIP style of diet. The AIP diet takes out all gluten, grains, dairy, sugar, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, soy and any processed foods or oils. I never eat gluten, dairy or sugar. But, while I was on the plant-based, vegan diet, I was eating a lot of nuts and seeds, some grains, and soy. I can’t really survive on a plant-based diet without these things, so I had to add animal protein back in. I feel badly about it, but, I think I have to try and heal before I can go back to a vegan diet. I do eat some organic soy, though, to try to cut down on my meat consumption (when I say meat, I mean all animal protein) and still get protein.

I’m also currently on a protocol to fight mold toxicity. I was exposed at some point earlier in my life (and mold is everywhere! On food that goes bad and just in the air – we breathe the spores in or the toxins from mold in and BOOM – you have mold toxicity if you are susceptible to it. Some people have stronger immune capabilities against mold. I am not one of them! :/ ). So, I am trying to get rid of the mold that’s in my body. It can make you VERY sick – like it has me. So, I’m not supposed to have things like starchy vegetables and fruits, vinegar, anything fermented, mushrooms, etc. So my restrictions list is long. But, I find ways to enjoy foods anyway. I like to put guacamole on pretty much everything! LOL.

Where do you find your recipes?

I find most of my recipes on Pinterest! I have created quite the list of Pinterest Boards for all of my various diets over the years! If you haven’t, come follow me! My name on there is Kelly Bonner-Bibza. I also have one for the blog that is just Kelly Bibza. But, the first has more recipe boards if you are looking for some good recipes. However, I’ve found that Pinterest is starting to get over-saturated lately. It’s harder to find exactly what you’re looking for. So, I do get some cookbooks on Amazon. Some of my favorites are “Paleo Cooking with Your Instant Pot” and all of the Against All Grain series by Danielle Walker! I also google and find some ones on different blogs sometimes. I have specific restrictions I talked about above, so it’s hard to find exactly what I’m looking for. I have to make substitutions for things a lot, so I end up kind of creating my own recipes. That’s okay, though! It’s fun to experiment, and it’s helped me to learn more about how to cook with different things.

How do you “fight the fatigue”? Any tips for someone who constantly has to get stuff done but can’t seem to find the energy?

Ugh. This is a tough one. I don’t have it figured out. But, I do a few things that help. First, I always take an adrenal support supplement. I’m currently taking Drenatrophin by Standard Process. I have been on this for a long time. Probably too long to be honest, but I’m not functioning well without it. But, an adrenal supplement can really help with fatigue! When we are over-worked and over-stressed, our adrenals go into over-drive and get run down. You probably feel it by the middle or end of your day. You kind of feel like you want to pull your hair out and you can’t handle doing one more thing or you’re going to flip out on someone? That’s most likely your adrenals screaming at you. So, I take the supplements to help with this. I also like Adrenamax by Nutritional Frontiers. It’s an herbal option.

I try to make sure I get at least 9 hours of sleep. If I can, I get more! But, when I feel like I’m getting run down, I have to stop and rest. You have to listen to your body. The rest can wait, you can’t overdo it. You’ll end up crashing, and then you seriously can’t get anything at all done for weeks!

I try to schedule out my appointments and social events so that I always have time in between to rest. I also have learned to set boundaries. I can’t tell everyone yes. My health comes first. So, if it means having to say no to a party or a work event, I do it. I always am thankful for it in the long run. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing you can just rest! I get so excited when I realize I am done for the day! Haha! I mean, I’m never done. But, at least I don’t have to go anywhere.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Every day is different! But, I always wake up in the morning and take my thyroid supplements and other things that need to be taken on an empty stomach. To be totally honest, when I wake up in the morning, I feel pretty terribly no matter how much sleep I get. I just feel so heavy and exhausted. It feels like having mono all of the time. It’s so hard to get out of bed and push through the fatigue and fogginess in my brain. But, I manage to do it. Showering and just getting moving helps. Then I get my pup up and we eat breakfast together. I take some more supplements and I do some blog work for the day for a couple or few hours, and then I get ready to go and do whatever I have planned outside of the house for the day. Most of my week days are filled with appointments. I do sing in a women’s group that rehearses on Mondays, which is fun! But, throughout the week I’m usually headed to physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractor appointments, doctor appointments, or blog related things like different collaborations I have with local businesses. I keep up with my hair and skin, too! Gotta take care of yourself πŸ™‚

I also have a full time job of managing my protocols, diet, making sure I’m eating healthy and exercising – Barkley needs exercise, too! Blogging comes second to all of this – most of the time. I do photoshoots about once every ten days. So, I’m usually busy putting looks together, finding new items to include in the photoshoots, curating topics to write about, writing and putting together the blog posts, finding and linking all the items, managing my website, responding to emails that come through from brands, managing social media, going through and choosing photos from each shoot, etc, etc. It’s a lot more work than it probably looks like!

I usually come home from appointments and either get dinner ready, take Barkley for a walk if he hasn’t already been, and do some more blog work for a few more hours. Then, Ryan and I try to always spend time together at the end of the day. We almost always eat dinner together and watch an hour or so of TV. Then, I do my evening skincare routine, get things laid out for the next day, and always read before I fall asleep! My current favorite book is “The Universe Has Your Back”! I’m also looking forward to finishing “A New Earth” and Oprah’s new book, “The Path Made Clear”. I find these books so thought provoking and helpful. They make me feel calm and hopeful and that’s just what I need before falling asleep πŸ™‚

How did you start your blog?

I didn’t know much about blogging at all when I started! I literally just took a huge leap and jumped right in! I had some of my favorite outfits at the time, I put out a post on Facebook for a local photographer (who is now a dear friend!), and I scheduled a photoshoot with her. Then, I whipped up my website in about 48 hours! That was HARD. I was up for about 2 days straight, just so determined to get it off the ground. I learned how to build a website in a couple of days! I used MailChimp to start a Newsletter. I bought my domain on GoDaddy previously, and I hosted my website through Bluehost. If I had to do that over again, I would just have bought the domain through Bluehost so it was all in one place. But, I learned how to point my domain to Bluehost and it’s been honestly pretty easy since. It showed me that I was capable of accomplishing whatever I put my mind to πŸ™‚ I used WordPress tutorials on Youtube to learn the ropes of how to build the site and write and publish posts, and WALLAH! Here I am!

Thank you all for you questions, I hope this has helped answer them!

I’ve linked the books I’ve mentioned above here for you in case you are interested, as well as the Adrenal supplement I take πŸ™‚ Have a great day everyone!

Happy Wellness Wednesday everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. I wanted to take some time today to talk about common myths about Lyme Disease, being that it is Lyme Disease Awareness Month!

When I first found out I had Lyme Disease, I was pretty upset because I had had chronic illness for a while and I knew several people who struggled so much with chronic Lyme. I also knew that I was past the point of the antibiotic being effective (after 3 weeks of exposure the antibiotics cannot kill the infection because the bacteria has formed a biofilm to protect itself – this is when the disease becomes chronic). Once the infection becomes chronic, it is EXTREMELY difficult to kill. People spend their lives and their savings fighting this disease. I knew it was going to be a difficult road to get better. I was sicker than I could ever even imagine one could be. It was really terrifying and it’s uncomfortable to write or talk about because I know that looking at me, you would never know and you might be inclined to think I’m exaggerating. But, ask any chronic Lyme Disease sufferer, and I guarantee you they will tell you the same exact thing. I quickly learned that there are so many myths surrounding Lyme Disease, how it is contracted, detected, and treated.

MYTH #1: You don’t have Lyme Disease unless you get a Bull’s Eye Rash. This is wildly untrue. Less than 50% of Lyme cases present a Bull’s Eye Rash – myself included. I think you’re actually very lucky if you get a rash! If not, a lot of doctors won’t know what to test you for. They often do not test for Lyme and will misdiagnose you. So, if you see that Bull’s Eye Rash, get to a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD) or a Naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease, right away!

MYTH #2: Ticks are only found in the woods. Ticks unfortunately are everywhere that animals are. Not just deer either! Ticks are on birds, mice, dogs, raccoons, ducks, you name it! We live in a neighborhood that has a ton of houses in it and cleared out lots with few trees. Only once in a while do we see deer near our neighborhood, but we have found ticks on Barkley and our neighbors complain about it, too. You can get a tick just walking to your mailbox. You can get one in the city. Think about how many birds hang out on the streets of the city. They’re everywhere now and you have to be diligent about checking your skin.

MYTH #3: Ticks are only found in the Northern States of the U.S. Ticks have been found and confirmed in all 50 states. There are some states that are more heavily populated than others, such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Virginia, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Maryland. Currently, Pennsylvania ranks as the state with the most cases of Lyme Disease (why do I live here still!?!). But, they have been found all over the United States and other countries have Lyme epidemics, too!

MYTH #4: You can only get Lyme Disease from a Deer Tick. Many insects now carry Lyme Disease. Mosquitoes, flies, fleas, mites and spiders have also been found to carry Lyme Disease. My doctor actually contracted it from a spider! I always use a deet-free repellent when I go out on a walk, or spend time outdoors!

MYTH #5: You cannot contract Lyme Disease in the winter. Ticks can live for two years and survive very cold temperatures. It has to get below 10 degrees Fahrenheit for quite some time for ticks to die off. With climate change, temps during the winter haven’t been falling this low. Although the number of reported cases drop, there are still many reported. This is likely because people spend less time outdoors as well.

MYTH #6: The test came back negative, so I don’t have Lyme Disease. If only this were true… Unfortunately, our testing for Lyme Disease is pretty much useless. I don’t mean to sound like a Debbie Downer, and I’m really not one, but this is a fact. There is no definitive test that can tell you that you do not have Lyme Disease. The standard test that your doctor will run on you called the ELISA test is less than 50% accurate! No joke. The Western Blot that is used by medical practitioners is slightly more in depth, but still not accurate. If your test comes back positive, you definitely have Lyme Disease. If part of your Western Blot comes back positive, in my opinion and the opinion of doctors I trust, you most likely have Lyme Disease. In some cases one of the 5 markers on the Western Blot can interact with the EBV virus, which most people with Chronic Lyme tend to have anyway. So, it may be the mono virus is activated in your system, but if you are presenting clear Lyme Disease Symptoms, it is probably Lyme. You should always get your testing done by a Lyme Literate Doctor or a Naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease. I cannot stress that enough! Do not just go to to your general practitioner. They are not educated in Lyme Disease and are often misinformed. They will probably tell you the test is fine, and so are you. They might prescribe you a short dose of antibiotiocs. You always need 6 weeks of Doxycycline if you have caught it early. If not, I would recommend seeking the help of a naturopath who specializes in Lyme, because at this point, you are past the effectiveness of the antibiotic anyway. Continuous use of antibiotics can really do a number on your gut and immune system and you will end up damaging your body even further by going this route. There is a lot of research to back this up. If you’re considering your treatment options, be sure to do your research first.

On a separate note on this… if you have the tick (when you remove it, remove it very carefully with tweezers by the head. Do not bend or twist it, you could leave parts of the mouth in the skin, and that’s not good) you can send it out to be tested. But, you want to make sure that you get a full Lyme panel that includes co-infections, not just Lyme Borrelia. This testing is much more accurate than human testing.

The reason why Lyme Disease is so often misdiagnosed is in part because the testing is so horrible. I can’t tell you the number of people I know and have spoken to that have had misdiagnoses, including myself. It can often be misdiagnosed as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Diseases of all kinds, athritis, Alzheimers (and early onset), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Bells Palsy, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and more. If you receive one of these diagnoses, I would highly recommend you go see a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLMD) or Naturopath who specializes in Lyme to rule out Lyme FIRST! It can definitely be lurking and causing all of these issues for you. You gotta find the root cause behind your symptoms and problems! As you can imagine, there are so many people living with Lyme that don’t even know it. It really is a huge epidemic and it’s extremely upsetting that there is very little awareness or action on officials’ parts who are well aware of it. The CDC knows. There are so many lawsuits against them and so many activists trying to change things, but there is corruption and money involved, and the people are suffering for it. If you are interested in learning more about this, Google Lyme Cryme and/or Lyme Disease Dearborn Scandal.

MYTH #7: Antibiotics cure Lyme Disease. I hate busting these myths. I want to have faith and trust in our medical system more than anyone. I want to believe that they have my back when I get sick. But, when it comes to chronic Lyme Disease (and other chronic illness in my experience and the experience of so many others) it’s just not true. If you catch Lyme Disease right away and take a 6 week dose of Doxycycline – and you are relatively healthy person otherwise – you very well may be just fine after those antibiotics. However, more than 20% of patients continue to have Lyme Disease symptoms and often times worsening symptoms, after receiving the CDC’s standard 28-day course of antibiotics. They will often tell you, it’s not possible that you have Lyme after these antibiotics. They will probably tell you it is something else you have and send you off to another doctor. You might even test positive still! But, you’re not crazy. The antibiotics do not always work. If this happens to you, find yourself a naturopath who specializes in Lyme Disease. (No, I’m not going to stop repeating myself! LOL!)

I’ve had years of treatments and I’m still not able to exercise more than what my grandmother did in her 80s. I still have a lot of pain, digestive problems, organ and tissue problems and damage, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, brain fog, neurological symptoms and more. So, if a friend tells you “I have Lyme Disease” please don’t respond with “Oh, that’s good! At least it’s not cancer! Lyme Disease is curable!” (This has happened to me more times than I can count, as I felt like I was literally going to die any day!) As much as we desperately want to be cured, it just isn’t that easy. And putting us on the spot like that to have to be the bearer of bad news, is an awful feeling. It makes us seem like we want to be sick and we want to complain about how awful this disease is. It might even make you think that we are seeking sympathy and attention. That’s not the case. We are just scared and we know that this is much bigger than what the rest of the world believes it to be. It can be a very lonely place to live when the people around you don’t understand and can’t relate – even worse when they don’t believe you. We look fine on the outside, but inside it feels like our bodies are a torture chamber. So, if you are in a supportive role of a Lyme Disease sufferer, just know that they are facing an incredibly difficult battle if they did not catch it soon enough. If I had to describe what chronic Lyme Disease is like, I would say that the entire experience is just inhumane.

MYTH #8: The tick must be attached for 48 hours in order to contract Lyme Disease. My Lyme doctor who I’m so thankful to have crossed paths with, and knows more about Lyme than anyone I’ve ever come across (and we are talking about A LOT of people), says that the tick does not have to be attached for long AT ALL for the diseases to be transmitted. He says if there is any attachment at all, you are at risk. There is other research that claims the same. I always err on the side of caution with this. Lyme Disease is a deadly, debilitating (not to mention extremely expensive because nothing beyond your first course of antibiotics is covered by health insurance) disease and not something you want to take chances on.

Myth #9: You only contract Lyme Disease from a tick. Ticks carry many different kinds of pathogens. It is very common for them to carry other strands of bacteria or viruses called “co-infections”. Co-infections are infections seen commonly along with Lyme that are tickborne. These include Bartonella, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Erlichia, Mycoplasma, Rickettsia, Brucella, and many more. I myself had 9 co-infections. Mycoplasma is one that is often overlooked but can cause SO MUCH damage. It’s the smallest of bacteria and it is really dangerous. Be sure to ask to be checked for co-infections if you have been bit. You may not have contracted Lyme, but might have contracted co-infections.

MYTH #10: Lyme Disease can not be transmitted from mother to baby. Research has shown that Lyme Disease can pass from mother to child while the child is the womb. The child may not show signs of the disease for many years. Often times, the disease rears it’s ugly head when the child’s immune system is weak and the infection begins to spread. They may experience strange pains and sickness that puzzle their pediatricians.

BONUS: It’s pronounced Lyme Disease, not “Lyme’s”. No “s” on the end of Lyme πŸ™‚

I am sorry if if this post was hard for some of you to read. I think hearing news like this can be shocking. You might have mixed emotions about it and feel like this can’t possibly all be true. She’s got to be over-exaggerating a bit! I wish I were, friends. I honestly feel like we are all walking around with an enormous predator waiting to attack us just outside our doorstep. We flirt with the devil everyday. I do it, too! We have to keep living our lives. But, it’s best to live with the knowledge of this so that we can do our best to prevent it.

With all of this being said about chronic Lyme not being curable with antibiotics, I’d like to take a moment to talk about that. I 100% do believe in full healing from Lyme Disease. There are new treatments and technologies that are out and being experimented with right now that are really exciting! There are laser treatments, rife treatments, stem cell treatments, and more being done by alternative medicine that I think have real potential to help people. There are also powerful herbal protocols that have helped so many people! I know that that some of these (for me the laser, rife, and radionics treatments) have really helped me. A couple years ago I felt like I was likely going to die from this long before I would ever want to leave this Earth. But, I was so blessed to have people come into my life when I raised up my red flag for help, and I’m in such a better place than I was years ago. I was mostly bed ridden and in excruciating pain day in and day out for years. It does a number on you. I’ve had to learn how to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and I’m always in a state of learning to heal. I believe in all of our abilities to make a comeback and to heal from the inside out. I like to think of it as a long walk. There doesn’t have to be a destination of perfection at the end. There just needs to be bits of uncovering things that will lead to more and more healing. Like layers of an onion – you peel one at a time. Take time to explore your emotional and spiritual healing. Read books that help you stay in the best possible mindset you can be in. (If you are looking for suggestions, please reach out, I have some that I really like! ) Hopefully you can find ways to stay as comfortable as possible while reaching a better place. It is so hard to be in so much pain everyday with no end in sight. But, I can tell you from my experience that it can and does get better eventually. Not perfect, but improved, and with time things continue to improve. Stay the course. All the while, the things we learn along the way will shape and form us to be even better than we were before.

Sending you all so much love and healing today. Especially to my Lyme Warriors and to the ones who love and support them. <3


Hey, friends! Happy Wellness Wednesday! I hope you are having a great week so far! I am relieved that spring is finally here and the warmer weather and sunshine really have a positive effect on me! I hope it does for you, too.

I know I shared with you a couple of weeks ago that I got some not so great news from my doctor recently. As I’ve shared on my blog before, I have had troubles with gut problems. For many months I have really struggled, especially when I travel or eat out at a restaurant. My immune system is very weak despite all of my efforts, and I get gut infections often. Even if I eat the same thing as everyone else, I end up with some kind of bug. So, when I brought this up to one of my functional medicine doctors at Advanced Integrative Medical 360 in Pittsburgh, they suggested I do a stool test. The results came back and showed that I have really high markers for inflammatory bowel disease. He said he’s positive I have Chron’s or Ulcerative Colitis. I need to have a colonoscopy done to completely determine this, so I’ll be doing that in the coming months. For now, I am trying everything I can to bring down the inflammation in my gut and treat the infections. I’ll keep you all posted, and hopefully have some good news sooner than later. If anyone reading this has experience with Chron’s or Colitis and has any recommendations for me, I’d love to hear from you!

One of the things I have been finding really helpful for me in reducing inflammation has been CBD oil. For years I tried so many different brands, and I honestly could not feel any difference. I was so frustrated because so many people rave about how CBD oil has helped them! So, when I started asking around in my online wellness groups for the various chronic illnesses I associate with, I got some good recommendations for the best CBD oils out there. After trying them all, I have to say that Charlotte’s Web is my favorite!

If you are new to this whole CBD, hemp oil business, you will want to note that hemp oil and CBD oil are NOT the same. This is probably why I was not experiencing much relief by using hemp oil. Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. It is high in anti-oxidants and omegas 3 & 6, but it does not contain any CBD. It is more of a carrier oil like jojoba or grapeseed oil. CBD is cannabidoil which comes directly from the cannabis plant. It is derived from the leaves, flowers and stalks of the plants rather than the seeds. It has a higher ratio of CBD to THC than hemp oil. It is more beneficial for inflammation. So, when you are looking at labels, you want to choose one that says CBD in the name. Sometimes it will say Hemp CBD oil, which can be confusing, but that generally means it does have cannabidoil in it.

CBD oil is legal and is sold online and in stores. There are very small traces of THC in it, but you won’t feel particularly “high” from it. I use it a lot for anxiety. Sometimes my illness gets the best of me and I get fearful and anxious. I’ve found the CBD oil to help bring me a sense of calmness. I can definitely feel it. I also notice that my pain decreases when I use it. I have joint and back pain, headaches, abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, and muscle pain, and it helps take the edge off. I usually use a little bit more than the recommended dosage because my pain levels are often pretty high. I typically will use 2 droppers full of the Charlotte’s Web Extra Strength CBD oil per serving. I usually use it 1-2 times a day, more often in the evening.

Through the end of today, Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is on sale for 25% off at Thrive Market! I do not get any commission or free products for telling you guys about this. This is all my own experience and personal recommendation. (I will never recommend a product to you if I don’t personally like and use it, no matter if I get paid or free product or not!) If you’re interested in trying CBD oil, I would definitely take advantage of this sale on Charlotte’s Web. They do not go on sale often. If you have never tried Thrive Market before, I’d also highly recommend it! They have so many amazing specialty products for less than what you can find them on Amazon or other stores. You can find foods for every diet! I’m talking cookies and even chocolate for every diet! LOL! They even have non-toxic cleaning supplies and personal items. The shipping is fast, too which I love!

Use this link by clicking here to get 25% off of your first order any day on anything on their site! If you are looking for the CBD oil, just go on and search for Charlotte’s Web, and all of their products will populate. I use the Extra Strength CBD oil. Their oils are gluten free and vegan. I buy the regular flavor, but you can get it in Chocolate Mint, too! There are two different strengths. One is Full Strength and the other is Extra Strength. I have never tried the Full Strength, so I can’t tell you exactly how I feel about it. It is cheaper, but that is because it has less CBD in it. If I were you, I’d take advantage of the sale and get the Extra Strength. They also have balms, capsules, and even oil for your dogs! I just ordered some for Barkley because he is a very anxious little guy, too, so I’ll let you know how it works for him!

Have you tried CBD oil before? What has been your experience? Do you have a favorite brand? I’d love to know! Have a great day πŸ™‚

Happy Wellness Wednesday, everyone! Hope your week has been great thus far!

I wanted to share with you a little bit about fermented foods today! I have recently been trying to strengthen my immune system, as I have written about in previous wellness posts you may have seen. A major part of doing this is paying attention to your GUT HEALTH! I’m sure I’m not the first person you have ever heard this from, but I definitely agree that it is crucial to our overall health and well-being.

What Are Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are foods that are steeped and left to sit for long enough periods of time for the sugars in them to break down and begin to grow bacteria or yeast. Some of your favorite things in life might be fermented, like WINE! πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, wine isn’t quite what I’m suggesting you intake for gut health, though πŸ™ Our ancestors began fermenting foods so they could enjoy them during times when they weren’t able to harvest them freshly. Now, we eat them for pleasure, or for their many health benefits!

Some wonderful fermented foods are: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, miso, tempeh, kombucha, raw cheese, and pickles! These foods provide beneficial bacteria for gut health. Most fermented foods in large stores go through pasteurization which will kill off bacteria. So, if you’re eating them for more than the taste and are wanting the benefits of the good bacteria, buying them at your average grocery store wouldn’t be the best idea. There are some brands at specialty food stores, like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, or local health foods stores that are pretty good, though. Some of my favorites are Bubbie’s and Health Ade. They don’t go through quite as heavy pasteurization that conventional brands do. But, it’s best to make them yourself, or to buy them homemade. I was so thrilled to find a small local business, Prescription Foods, that makes them and delivers them to local stores.

Fermented Foods help balance your good gut flora by replenishing it. This can help conditions like autoimmune disease, irritable bowel disease, cancer, arthritis, Lyme disease, liver disease, and really any form infection, chronic infection, chronic illness or disease. It also helps to strengthen our immune system, and keep a healthy weight.

Why Is Gut Health So Important?

We have 100 trillion or more types of bacteria and microorganisms that exist in our digestive tract! We need these bacteria to balance out the bad bacteria. When the gut microbiome is disrupted and becomes unbalanced with more bad bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites, etc, we become sick. This can lead to a load of health problems, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Remember, serotonin is found in the gut and is a mood stabilizing chemical! So, it’s not just physical problems that can manifest from imbalance gut flora. It can also cause depression and anxiety as well lead to poor sleep. Needless to say, incorporating good bacterias into your diet is a great way to get and stay healthy.

You might notice that after you take an antibiotic you seem bloated and may have trouble digesting. This is because antibiotics kill off good bacteria as well as bad, disrupting the balance of your microbiome. In some cases, they can completely annihilate entire species of good bacteria. This is very dangerous because certain strains cannot be found in probiotics and fermented foods, and we have no way of getting them back into our system currently. (Although, fecal transplants are becoming a thing – no joke) The overuse of antibiotics causes our gut flora to be so imbalanced, which weakens our immune system, and leaves us susceptible to more illness. So, you want to be careful when taking antibiotics. I personally don’t do it. I use natural forms of killing off pathogens without killing off all of the good bacteria. Of course we can all make our own decisions about when we feel it’s appropriate to use antibiotics. But, I would warn against using them for small or questionable purposes, or using them for extended periods of time.

What About Probiotics?

A lot of you may already take a probiotic. That’s great, I am pro-probiotics! However, some probiotics do not have high enough levels of good bacteria. Studies have shown that you need between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria per serving for it to be effective. Lots of probiotics do not contain this amount. There is also the fact that they can start to die off while sitting on the shelf. The actual counts of bacteria may only be what they were when the product was produced, not when it hits your mouth. Also, there is so much that we don’t know about probiotics yet. Probiotics typically contain the species of bacteria that certain researchers and companies believe to be the best ones. But, are they?

So Why Could Fermented Foods Be Better?

Fermented foods have so many more species than just the ones selected for a probiotic. Fermented foods also have more than the 1 billion good bacteria count per serving. They also contain non-digestable carbohydrates that act as “prebiotics”. Prebiotics help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. So, you’re not only supplying your gut with good bacteria from fermented foods, but you’re also giving them the nutrition they need to thrive!

I hope this has helped you learn a bit more about fermented foods and why they would be great to add into your diet! You can find lots of recipes to easily make some at home on Pinterest! If you’re in the Pittsburgh area and would rather buy some, you can visit Prescription Foods’ website here and find the various locations where you can find them. They have many varieties like this “Cogurt” (coconut yogurt), kimchi, garlic beets, sauerkraut, and more! If you’re not local to Pittsburgh, try googling for businesses near you that make them, too!

Hey, guys! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post! We just got back from Cartagena, Colombia and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida a week ago. It was an amazing trip! I’m so excited to start sharing some photos with you and make a travel guide, too.

Being in Cartagena was like stepping into another world in a different century! It was so beautiful. They are so creative with their interior decorating. Everywhere you looked was an Instagramable! The people were so beautiful and kind, the food was DELICIOUS, the energetic vibe was contagious, and we just had an incredible time! My cousin also married an amazing woman while we were there and we got to attend their fabulous wedding! It was a trip we will never forget πŸ™‚

All that sun and sand made me think about how important it is to protect yourself from harmful UV rays! So, for this week’s Wellness Wednesday, I thought I would share one of my favorite non-toxic products that is super effective AND a time-saver, too! It’s the Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer by Suntegrity.

This moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup primer all in one is pretty awesome! I love how it deeply moisturizes my skin. It creates such a nice base for your makeup. My skin feels so smooth and soft, and makeup just glides right on on top of it. I hate having to use multiple layers of products. Sometimes it gets cake-y and then makeup will crumble on top of the layers. This is everything in one, so it’s quick and easy! It has SPF30 in it, which is a great strength for your face. I notice that SPF20 doesn’t protect me enough. My freckles come back when I use a strength that’s lower than 30. It does have a white color to it, but you just have to rub it in well and that goes away. It’s also full of anti-oxidants and amino acids which enhance your skin, too!

Suntegrity is an awesome company that was developed in honor the loss of the founder’s mother to melanoma skin cancer. Since then, Suntegrity has received the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG)
Champion Status for Safe Cosmetics! You know you are using a safe and quality, non-toxic product when it’s EWG approved!

I can’t share about my favorite sun essentials without including a self-tanner! I’ve currently been using NKD Gradual Glow Self Tanner and Moisturizer. I love it! Of course, it’s also naturally derived and non-toxic! It has no alcohol, perfumes, or parabens like so many self-tanners do. I love the gradual glow because you can apply it daily as your moisturizer and control the level of tan that you want to be.

I always use a tanning mitt when applying self-tanner to ensure that it goes on evenly and streak-free! A little tip – avoid your knees, elbows, feet and hands until after you’ve rubbed the majority of the product onto other areas. Then, use what small bit is left on the mitt to go over those areas. This will help keep them from absorbing too much product and looking too dark or splotchy. I use this tanner on my face as well and it looks natural and never orange-y!

Suntregrity and NKD have some other great products that I am linking below, as well as this cute leopard one-piece that was my favorite on my trip! You can’t go to the beach without a great pair of sunglasses (I’m obsessed with these Ray Ban’s!) and a cute bag, so I’ve added those, too! What are your favorite vacation essentials?

Happy Wellness Wednesday, babes! I hope you’re having a great week so far! I wanted to share this recipe I’ve been making lately with you. I’ve recently switched to a plant based/vegan diet most of the time. It’s hard when you travel a lot, but I definitely stick to it at home. I’ve had a hard time finding recipes that I like that are filling and and don’t have added junk in them like store bought vegan cheese. So, I started experimenting, and I am really digging this Tempeh Stir-Fry!

Here’s what you need:

1 Package of LightLife Organic Tempeh – Original (Whole Foods)

1 Yellow Squash

1 Zucchini

1 Red Onion

1 Red Pepper

1 Green Pepper

Organic Balsamic Vinegar

Avocado Oil

Frontier Salt-Free Organic Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend (Or other seasoning blend you like)

Sea Salt

How to make it:

  • Cut the Tempeh into strips, then cubes
  • Slice and dice veggies
  • Pour a Tablespoon of Avocado Oil in a skillet on medium high heat
  • Add veggies and Tempeh cubes to the skillet
  • Sprinkle with salt, and plenty of the Garlic & Herb seasoning. (at least 1 TBS)
  • When it’s starting to turn slightly brown, add about 1/4 cup of the Organic Balsamic Vinegar and stir it in.
  • Continue cooking on medium high heat until the Tempeh is soft and the veggies have a nice brown to them.
  • Enjoy!

It’s so easy to make and the flavor is really great! I love that! I hope you do, too! Let me know what you think if you try it out πŸ™‚

Infrared Saunas

Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Hope your week is going well! I am excited to be sharing about Infrared Saunas with you today! It’s been something that I have been using for a while now and it has so many great benefits.

When I was in the throws of my Lyme Disease treatment, I was in desperate need of ways to help my body detox. If you are going through this treatment now, or any kind of treatment where you are killing off pathogens, you know how horrible toxic die-off can make you feel! I was doing many different forms of detoxing like ionic foot baths, massage, dry brushing, binders, supplements, cleanses, hydrotherapy, epsom salt baths, etc. When we heard about the infrared sauna, though, it sounded like a whole new level of detoxing I had yet to experience!

My husband Ryan is actually the one who was particularly adamant about purchasing an infrared sauna for our home. We have a friend with Lyme Disease who swears by it and he really thought having it at the house was our best bet. But, before we bought it, we wanted to try it out first! So, I made an appointment at Three Rivers Thermography to try it out.

I was a bit nervous because I do get claustrophobic and tend to get faint in high temperatures. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The thing about far infrared saunas is that they use infrared panels to heat your body directly instead of heating the air around you. So, you don’t get that suffocating feeling you might get in an ordinary sauna. The infrared lamps use electromagnetic radiation, unlike traditional saunas. This allows your body to get all of the benefits of sweating it out in a sauna at a lower temperature. Plus, the heat goes deeper into your tissues than your average sauna, too! So, I didn’t feel like I was gasping for air at all, or I like I couldn’t withstand the heat as I have in the past with other saunas (and even epsom salt baths)!

So, we decided to purchase one for at home use. We did some research on our own, and had some suggestions from friends. One of them was High Tech Health International. They had amazing reviews and their customer service was really helpful! We decided to purchase their Transcend Two Person Sauna. We even got a great deal on it during one of their sales. This model has plenty of room for two people to sit and relax together or for one person to sprawl out. It was the best choice for us! They have larger and smaller models you can purchase as well.

The saunas by High Tech Health are made of Poplar wood which is great because it does not splinter the way cedar models can. It is also environmentally friendly and sustainable! These are all great things you would want to keep in mind when purchasing a sauna.

It was very easy to put together, too! You just follow the directions and it snaps right up! You can set it to the temperature you like from outside of the sauna and inside, too. There’s built in speakers, a timer, and chromotherapy lights, too! So, you can switch the lighting inside to stimulate the mind, body, and senses! Pretty cool!

Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Use:

We all know that a good sweat does great things for the body. But, you might not know that sweating in a far infrared sauna has even more benefits for you, like:

  • Detoxification (heavy metals, mold, fungus, environmental toxins, and chemicals which can be the cause behind what’s making and KEEPING you sick, for so many chronic health conditions like Alzheimers, CFS, Fibromyalgia, and autoimmune disease, etc)
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Skin Clarity and Tightness
  • Immune System Stimulation
  • Relief from Joint and Muscle Pain (very helpful for those of us with chronic conditions like RA, Lyme, CFS, Fibromyalgia, etc)
  • Increased Blood Circulation
  • Better Quality of Sleep
  • Stress Relief
  • Cardiovascular Health Improvement

As you can see, the far infrared saunas have a lot of benefits for those of us with chronic conditions. It has certainly helped me a lot. But, it’s an excellent thing to start doing even if you are not chronically ill! It will no doubt decrease your chances of an illness happening to you. Think of all of the pollution and toxicity we come into contact with daily. You might not realize it, but our bodies do not handle this much toxicity well on their own. Especially the older we get. These toxins can build up in our organs and tissues and cause a host of problems. Plus, toxins also feed pathogens that are present in the body. They are the main reason why we get sick and how we stay sick. So, I’d highly recommend making it part of your weekly routine whether you’re sick or not.

As for me, I like to use the sauna about three days a week. I would do more if I could, but this is the amount that currently fits into my lifestyle and what feels best for my body. It’s perfectly safe to do on a regular basis. It’s a very safe practice, but if you are under medical care, just run it past your doctor so they know that it’s part of your protocol.

I started low and slow, as they recommend you do. The first week I began at 100 degrees for ten minutes, then gradually built up my time and temperature to 150 degrees for thirty minutes. When you are finished in the sauna, (be sure to get up slowly, don’t push your body too hard) it’s best to hit the shower right away if you can so that the toxins you just sweated out don’t re-absorb through your skin again. You also want to be sure to drink a ton of water and take some minerals (I do 600mg of Magnesium and 300mg of Potassium). If you notice that you are feeling anxious, weak, or light-headed, it’s most likely because you need to replenish those minerals. You do lose some when you are detoxing in any way, so be sure to keep feeding your body those essential minerals!

If you can’t afford a sauna for your home, you can find them at a lot of wellness centers. I know there are several places here in Pittsburgh. Three Rivers Thermography is a great one! I’d highly recommend using their facilities. If you aren’t in the Pittsburgh area, just google Infrared Saunas near me and you should be able to find one pretty easily.

If you have any questions about how infrared saunas work or how they can help your detoxing routine, I would love to help you! Please leave a comment below or send me a message πŸ™‚ Have a happy, healthy rest of your week!

How to Boost Your Immune System with Superfoods & Supplements!

Okay, so I have a confession to make. I’m sure you’ve seen me in my Instagram pics looking happy and healthy and like I’m totally enjoying the heck out of life right now. While I do take joy in every moment that I can, I have been having a really hard time with my health lately. My trips to NYC in December and last week to Charleston were at times excruciatingly difficult. My energy has been completely tanked, I get sick almost every time we eat a meal out of the house, and I feel like I am walking around with a constant case of mono. By the end of the day, I typically feel like death and have to push so hard to get myself up to even brush my teeth or wash my face. Most of the time I feel like I’m dragging my body through life. I get moments where I’m excited and adrenaline kicks in and I seem fine, but I’ll crash the minute that is over. Even though my Lyme Disease is in remission or perhaps gone after the treatment I had, I still struggle with a lot of other issues. I have mycotoxins and other pathogens that have taken up in my body while my immune system has been wrecked so hard. So, when I asked my practitioner why I’m feeling so awful and why it hits me so hard when I travel, he did some tests and realized that my immune system is currently only functioning at about 50%. I knew this was the case, but it’s nice to have someone else back up that it is in fact the reason behind my struggles.

I’m kind of under the gun at the moment to get my immune system functioning at a higher level, because we are about to travel to Cartagena, Columbia in about 2 weeks! Being in a foreign country, you are always exposed to new germs that your body isn’t used to. So, it’s time to get serious about boosting this immune system! Plus, I get this question so often from so many of you about ways to do the same for yourselves, so I thought it would be a great topic to share with you!

Over the years, I’ve done so much research and studying to find ways to help myself through the worst of my health problems. I’ve read so many differing opinions about the best ways to do things. But, when it comes to the immune system, everyone pretty much agrees on the same things: vitamins, minerals, and herbs in the form of foods or supplements! These are your three powerhouses to get your immune system back into fighting shape! Of course eating a clean, and healthy diet rich in plants will also greatly benefit you and your gut. So, don’t assume that you can just get away with eating herbs on your takeout pizzas everynight, LOL. Wishful thinking.

Herbs for Immunity:

  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Hot Mustard
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Dandelion
  • Mint
  • Celery
  • Echinacea
  • Olive Leaf
  • Astragalus

I like to do a combination of eating herbs, and taking them in supplement and tincture form. As for eating them, you can easily throw them into your smoothies, soups, salads, and on top of other dishes. It’s best to eat them raw if you can. You can find them at your local grocery store. Sometimes they will be in small packets because a little goes a long way. Just try to get them in a few times a day. You don’t have to do them all at once either.

I take several herbs in supplement and tincture form around my meals. At differet times, I do an Olive Leaf Capsule, Cayenne Pepper capsules, Goldenseal and Echinacea Tincture, Garlic Capsules, Moringa capsules, and Astragalus capsules. You don’t want to do all of these together right off the bat. Start with one and slowly add some in if you like. You don’t want to overwhelm your system. My favorites are Garlic, Astragalus, and Goldenseal and Echinacea. You can experiment and see which one’s work best for you. As always, it’s great to work with a natural healthcare practitioner to guide you!

Foods Full of Vitamins and Minerals for Immunity:

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Leafy Greens of any kind
  • Radishes
  • Avocado

In addition to eating these foods, I do take vitamins and minerals in supplement form as well. I always take a good quality magnesium in tablet form (the blue bottle linked below that says Trace Minerals on it), an Ionic Zinc tincture, Esther-C capsules (I take this instead of a Vitamin C because it does not have citric acid in it, which is often made from GMOs and can damage tissue lining like the stomach, intestines, and bladder walls), Vitamin B-12 tincture, Vitamin B Complex, an Iron Patch, Maganese Tincture, and Vitamin D. I know this sounds like a whole lot, but I’m a lot sicker than you probably think! I am doing better than I was in the past few years, but I still have a ways to go and need a lot of supplemental support. If you are looking to simplify this, you could always look for a quality multi-vitamin. I would recommend shopping at a natural health food and supplement store either online or locally. Some practitioners who have established an online presence such as Dr. Amy Myers have multivitamins that are of good quality, too. Most pharmacies and grocery stores have them but they have a lot of filler ingredients that are not beneficial to you and can be harmful. If you must buy from a grocery store, I would recommend Whole Foods.

How To Incorporate These Into Your Meals:

Superfoods & Supplements

In the morning, I’ll make a smoothie with Nutragen Pure Plant Protein Powder, water, frozen blackberries, raspberries, parsley, and mint leaves. I love to use my Vitamix Blender! It makes my smoothies so soft and fluffy! They’re seriously like a soft serve ice cream/sorbet texture and it’s so much better than my old blender could do. It can blend big chunks of frozen fruit or ice, make nut butters and nut cheeses, chop vegetables, and so much more! If you are committed to eating healthier and want to invest in something to make it easier and tastier, I’d highly recommend getting one of these!

Later in the day I will drink a glass of pure cranberry juice (not the sugary kind, the only ingredient here should be cranberries) with a scoop of Amazing Grass Berry Green Superfood Powder which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants! I squeeze some limes into it to add to the taste and vitamin power, stir it really well, and slowly sip it. For some reason I almost always feel better after doing this!

My practitioner recently told me that I should switch my heavier meal from dinner to lunch because pathogens eat at night. So, if we eat a heavy meal at night, especially with animal protein (which is a dead food that pathogens love to eat), it’s just strengthening those invaders and keeping our immune systems further suppressed. So, for lunch, I’m going to eat my meals with protein, either animal or plant and any vegetable form of starch if I want. So for example, I could make a piece of salmon and cover that in some dill and lemon juice (which is a delicious combo!), or I could make my grain free vegan tacos (Siete tortillas at Whole Foods are BOMB!) with tempeh or quinoa and top those with spinach (or other greens), avocado, cilantro (or parsely for those of us who have a cilantro aversion – ME!) and lime.

For dinner, it’s best to keep it light and stick to vegetables and bitter fruits. My practitioner tells me, “If you want to have a sweet life, eat and drink bitter. If you want to have a bitter life, eat and drink sweet.” I know, bummer, right?! Ugh. Well, people have differing opinions on whether or not some fruits are helpful or hurtful to healing processes. It can get so confusing and you start to feel like, who should I believe? Well, my guy has never been wrong, so for now I’m following his advice! He also says that if you eat garlic with the fruits, it will help keep your blood sugar low and pathogens under control. If you aren’t familiar, garlic is known to be very effective in killing pathogens. I once took it in very large amounts for several months, and while my breath was rancid, I felt SO MUCH BETTER!

So, for dinner, I might make something like a salad loaded with multiple kinds of greens like spinach, arugula, and romaine, topped with cucumbers, celery, avocado, and a dressing made with EVOO, apple cider vinegar, and lime. I also really love to make plant based meals around vegetables, like zucchini lasagna, where you add in orgegano, spinach, parsely, and garlic, or eggplant rollotinis adding the same. You could also make a Buddha bowl of veggies and incorporate these herbs and foods. You kind of have to get creative and find ways to add these things in that taste good to you!

After dinner, I like to make tea. Since ginger is an immune boosting food, and I happen to love it, I drink a lot of it! The best way to do it is to get a chunk of ginger from the store, grate it into chunks, or cut it into small pieces, and add it to a tea ball. That way you can boil your water and add the tea ball in without the chunks floating everywhere. I also like to add some fresh turmeric to it and some stevia, too! As you probably know, turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory. So if you’re feeling discomfort from any sickness already it can be beneficial to you, too!

I hope you’ve found this post helpful! Below, I have linked this outfit and more importantly all of the products I’ve mentioned in this post! I would love to hear any feedback and comments or questions you might have!  Wishing you a healthy season πŸ™‚


Power of Positive Affirmations

Hey there! I hope that your new year has gotten off to a great start! I’ve been a little behind in setting goals and writing out my intentions for the year this year. I think it is because the holidays hit on a week day, and so the rest of the week just seemed like an extended holiday! But, I wanted to share something with you that I started doing last year that I think has been really helpful for me.

As I’m sure you know by now if you’ve been following along, that I have had a long battle with chronic illness. For last several years, I was so bogged down with pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and fear from it all that it was taking over my mind and I couldn’t see anything past what I was feeling in that moment. I was struggling to see a future for myself that didn’t involve pain and struggle. My illness isn’t the kind where you eventually get better a week later, like you would when you have a cold or the flu. When people say “I hope you feel better soon” it actually would make me feel worse because I knew that wasn’t going to happen. It was just a reminder of that fact. But, as I was exploring ways to heal myself, I kept coming across people saying that you have to work on your emotional and spiritual health, too. You can’t ignore that. If that’s not healing as well, you won’t ever get better physically. Part of healing the emotional and spiritual health is changing your thoughts to be more positive. While I always knew that thinking positively was beneficial to me, it was so hard to do all of the time when I was in so much pain and feel so lousy. So, instead of just trying to remember to think positive thoughts, I physically wrote them out, framed them, and put them in the place where I spend a lot of time and would see them every day as a constant reminder: my bathroom!

Last January we went on an amazing trip to Hawaii! We spent New Year’s there, and it was incredible! A couple weeks before we left I had just started having constant, horrific bladder pain that would not let up no matter what I tried. That was when I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. We almost didn’t make it to Hawaii because of it. But, I figured if I was going to be in pain anyway, Hawaii was probably the best place to be experiencing it! Lol. I was in agony the whole way there, most of the time we were there, and even worse the entire way home. But, while we were there I was working so hard at staying present in the moment and being so grateful for everything I was experiencing. Hawaii certainly made that easier to do! It was honestly just what I needed at that time in my life. I felt so inspired by the beauty and my time there, that I promised myself I would continue to do this when I got home to help cope with the pain. I was journaling my thoughts and using meditation a lot. But, one day I got an email from the Lyme specialist, Dr. Rawls, that talked about the power of positive affirmations and how placing them in front of you can be really helpful. It gave examples of things to write down that would help to retrain our brains to think differently. So, instead of thinking my usual thoughts like, “This is never going to end, I’m going to be in this kind of pain for the rest of my life”, I turn that around and write down “I will heal and do wonderful things with my life” and “I am doing good things for my body and it will respond”. I got out my old art supplies from college and wrote down several more affirmations like “I am becoming more calm and focused everyday”, “My life has value”, “I can and will heal”. I made it look pretty with colored pencils and drawings of flowers around it. It was actually a really peaceful and relaxing exercise! I decided since I spend a lot of time in my bathroom getting ready for bed and to go out during the day, I would frame it and put it on the counter. This way, I see it several times a day and those thoughts go through my head each time I look at it.

A year later, I’m ready to write myself some new affirmations because now I know without a doubt that those things I wrote down are TRUE. I think it really did help me to believe and get behind the idea that positive change was possible for me. None of the statements were lies or things that were utterly impossible! And by seeing them each day and reading over and over “I am doing good things for my body and it will respond”, I started to see and believe the truth in those words. I felt like I was letting go of some fears and trusting my body to do what it naturally wants to do. On the really hard days those affirmations helped to bring some positive energy to my mind and calm my nerves. If you think about it, we do repetitive exercises for our physical health, so why not for our mental health?

Even if you’re not sick, you can still benefit from positive affirmations! This year, I’ll be writing some that don’t have to do with my health, which feels pretty amazing! For so long my health was the only thing going on in my life. So for example, one of mine this year is “You are capable and worthy of success”. I’ve always struggled with feeling like I am good enough to do things, or deserve to have good things happen to me, which is another negative thought process that I’d like to see turn around! We all have untruths that we tell ourselves and those things just stand in the way of our happiness and fulfillment in life. So, whatever yours may be, turn that thought around, write it down, and put it somewhere where you’ll see it. Then maybe you’ll see some positive changes for yourself, too! πŸ™‚

Positive Affirmations

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