I Think I May be Allergic to Wine!

We survived Thanksgiving but we didn’t make it completely unscathed as the loss of my father in law was greatly felt and we all shed tears at one point or another throughout the day. But, we worked through it together as a family by remembering dad through stories and by giving to others. What  better tribute to him than that. And a giant sigh of relief when the day was finally over. We did however enjoy a delicious Paleo dinner inspired by Danielle Walker’s Celebrations cookbook – always a hit in our house!

We made plans to meet my parents in Lake Tahoe the Saturday after Thanksgiving and looked forward to the escape. And then everything fell apart leading to three awful things in as many days. Stay with me, you’ll see… The day we planned to leave, we found out my uncle had passed. We knew it would be coming but that doesn’t make it any easier. And then while in Tahoe, received a phone call our nephew had been in a serious car accident. Well there was two and I made the mistake of asking what next. Because bad things always happen in three’s. And let me tell you, that question was answered. But not right away, because I’m a slow learner. I’ll start with what number three was and then what led up to it. On Monday night, I was rushed to the hospital. Yep, I was the number three.

I had been experiencing what I thought was a bladder infection and rather than going to the doctor, decided to try and treat myself. You know, cranberry juice, Azo and lots of water, while increasing my probiotic use. It seemed like a good idea at the time… Saturday night I was miserable with the chills and shakes so bad I ALMOST said to take me to the hospital. ALMOST. But I didn’t. When I awoke Sunday, I felt a little better and downplayed everything until it started up again Sunday night. But I still was convinced it was just a bladder infection and I would “stay the course.” Monday morning came and downplaying was the name of the game and off to work I went. As the day progressed, I was in utter agony just trying to make it through the day suffering in silence, with plans to head to urgent care after work. Upon arrival at urgent care, the doctor took one look at me and said I had two choices: go to the hospital via ambulance or call my husband to drive me. I opted for the latter and the doctor phoned ahead to the ER. After peeing in a cup, giving what seemed like all of my blood and a CT scan and waiting for what seemed like forever, I was hooked up to an IV drip consisting of pain meds, fluids and a heavy duty antibiotic. Why? Turns out I had a “serious” kidney infection. And how did I end up in this mess? I downplayed and tried to self-treat like an idiot. All of this could have been avoided had I paid attention to my body. Something I always stress to others. Can’t wait to see the hospital bill for this costly error in judgement.

With Christmas approaching, I gave in to decorating the house but I’m still in no mood. I miss my daughter who lives so far away, I miss my father in law who passed in August, I’m still recovering and I just can’t get into the holiday spirit. I mean, I really have no desire for anything remotely related to holiday fun. I’m hoping my attitude changes but I’m just not feeling it this year.

And now to what may be the most tragic thing of all… I think I may be allergic to wine! I know, right? The last few times I’ve had wine, my body has not reacted well. For those who know me, you know how awful this is for me. Wine is a part of our life. Wine country is practically in our back yard and we enjoy our wine memberships, visiting our favorite tasting rooms with friends and, you know, DRINKING wine. I’m going to try just white wine for a bit to see if that helps and am hoping this is yet another blip. Fingers crossed!

I received Danielle Walker’s latest cookbook yesterday and am finding joy in reading it cover to cover, planning what I will cook. Maybe I’ll do it “Julie and Julia” style and blog while I try every recipe in her book from beginning to end. Wonder if anyone would be interested.

And so, this is my life these days. I’d like to share some wisdom or food advice today but I honestly have nothing this week. Perhaps I’ll find my groove in the middle of my new cookbook. Until then, pray there isn’t a number four!





I haven’t blogged in quite some time because, well, life… We moved our daughter out of state, my Father-in-Law passed away, I got a new job and we recently found out we are going to be grandparents for the third time. Life has been all over the place for me, but the one consistant has been how and what I eat. That has been what had kept me strong. And healthy.

In June, my youngest daughter and I set out on a week-long drive across the country to get her settled for her new job (her husband had to temporarily stay behind for his job). We dubbed it the Thelma and Louise road trip and had an incredible time together and some crazy fun. If you are ever able to travel a distance by car alone with one of your children, do it. It was a gift in so many ways: we got to know one another as people, we had time to talk about so many things and I think we both learned to be a bit more independent. Most importantly, we didn’t kill one another.

A little over one month later, we received a phone call that altered our lives forever: “Come home, dad has been given last rights.” The next weeks are a blur of caring for him, loving him and honoring him. And now we grieve. Grief is a funny thing,  you continue moving forward and yet there’s this awful feeling that’s always just below the surface. And it doesn’t take much for it to rise to the top – a favorite song on the radio, a holiday, a moment in time where you just miss your loved one. From the outside all looks fine, but we are all fragile and broken and trying to grieve in our own way, in our own time, because grief is different for everyone. This man who said to me “There are no in-laws in this family; you are my daughter” was my dad too for over half of my life. I miss him and I am sad.

In late September, I was offered a job. A once in a lifetime opportunity I could not pass up. And so I said yes and goodbye to people I have worked with for almost nine years; some of whom have become dear friends, some more like family. It’s scary starting a new job. You leave what is comfortable and familiar and move to something that is not. Most days I feel lost but each day gets easier and I’m still glad I made the decision I did. Sometimes you just need a change. Having the courage to actually make that change? It’s everything!

About the same time I was starting my new job, our daughter – the one that I drove across the  country with – announced they were expecting their first child. So many emotions: excitement then grief and then sadness. Why the grief and sadness? The realization this baby won’t know us as well as our other two grandchildren kicked in, as well as this is the first great-grandchild Dad will never know. He would have been filled with joy to hear the news. Of course, I’m betting he already knows and looks down with such love and joy.  And there again, that grief lurks just below the surface.

Through all of this, my health has held on. I’m not saying I’ve not had some struggles with RA flares and the like but through all of this, I was able to use what I’ve been taught to manage my way through. By eating deliberately and following a Paleo diet, the flares have not been as bad or lasted as long. I listened to my body, I mean REALLY listened, and was proactive instead of reactive. I’ve noticed my RA really acts up right before I get sick. Once I put the two together, I have learned to step up the probiotics the minute my feet hurt and walking is painful and I make sure my diet is super clean while using the tools I was taught by my Integrative Medicine Dr. to boost my immune system. And it has worked, every time. And for the very first time, I feel completely in control of me.

So, it’s fall-like outside (I live in Cali so fall-like means 80 degrees while the leaves are changing color) and I decided to get my pumpkin on. Today was all about pumpkin muffins, pumpkin custard and the most unbelievable Paleo oatmeal cookies we have ever tasted.   Recipe links below:

And, of course, our favorite Sunday waffles (not pumpkin but SO good):

When I first started on this journey, the options were few but now you don’t have to eat bland food to be compliant.  We eat delicious Paleo food that is good for us and helps build my body up, instead of tearing it down. While life is sure to throw you many curve balls along they way, you can be in control by eating healthy.  It’s completely doable – start by switching out one or two things and then move from there.  Take this in small chunks.  How you get to this point doesn’t matter.  Much like grief, our paths are all different. But changing your lifestyle can be done, one small change at time.



Wait, Oreos aren’t paleo?

Yesterday was an incredibly stressful day. So much so, I feel like I’m in complete overload and fighting the urge to flee or sit at the bottom of my pool – it’s curently a tie. Instead, I got up in the middle of the night and had some Oreos. It’s not like I ate the whole package or anything – I had three. However, I was truly bothered that I let myself get so out of sorts, I reached for junk food. I mean I never eat Oreos. And what has me so freaked out I grabbed for something that shouldn’t even be in my house in the first place? Well, I’m still recovering  from being ill and have this whole broken rib thing going for me (yup, apparently it’s broken), kid stress, work stress, trying to get my new business up and running stress… It’s a lot. Normally I would go for a run, but there’s that whole broken rib thing I’ve got going on. So, it got me to thinking. We all are battling stress and things out of our control at some point or another. How do we handle those times without sabotaging our health?

I talk a lot about how important it is to eat healthy to stay healthy.  But emotional health is important too.  Find time in your day to breathe and regroup. There’s always time in your day.  ALWAYS!  Find something that calms you and make time for that. Go for a run, listen to music, go outside for fresh air.  Remove yourself from the situation.  Don’t let the small things become big things. Talk to a friend or loved one.  Whatever it is that works for you, do that.  Because nothing is more important than your health. Nothing.

So I challenge you to find small ways in which to work on handling the stress in your life. You know, that doesn’t involve Oreos, because not taking your health seriously can have major consequences. Pay attention to your emotions, get rest and eat properly. Reminders for both you and me. Together we CAN do it.

Later this week, I will share what we’ve eaten for the week. Hint – NOT Oreos! (Geez, you eat three little Oreos in the middle of the night… 😉) But I did discover some new recipes I can’t wait to share.

Until then,





Banana eggs?

I have two words for you. Banana eggs. That’s right. Banana eggs. Lately, I’ve been seeing an onslaught of recipes on various paleo sites, and decided it sounded so weird, I HAD to try it. And banana eggs are exactly what they sound like. And you know what? They are DELICIOUS!!! I challenged you to try a new food/recipe and thought I should follow my own advice. Plus, who wouldn’t be curious about banana eggs? Am I right? And if I’m being honest here, it was a lot healthier than the apple pie I really wanted for breakfast and tasted just like French toast. The recipe we used is below:


So, I’m still packed in ice and pillows. This whole pneumonia and separated rib thing stinks. My lungs are improving but the ribs are still excruciating. The only time I find relief is with an ice pack or the heating pad, and I spent most of the Fourth of July either with my feet propped up or in the horizontal position. What really sucks is I will be missing our nephew’s wedding because I’m not up to traveling a long distance yet. HUGE bummer. So, I will be the one having a pity party on the couch this weekend. But, as many of us who suffer from an autoimmune know, our bodies are oftentimes the enemy and our world is one of ups and downs. It’s just knowing how to navigate those down times and what to do so there are many more ups than downs.

With temps in the 90’s and 100’s these days, we have changed the types of meals we eat, and have moved to lighter fare. I shared last time how I discovered the blog “First and Full.”  We are hooked on her recipes. This week, my husband made the blackened shrimp salad and couldn’t believe how easy the recipe was. Give it a try:


One of my other exciting discoveries is how easy it is to make your own paleo mayo. I mean, it takes no time at all. My husband was making his famous potato salad yesterday and we didn’t have enough mayo. Well, Michelle from “The Whole Smith’s” to the rescue!! It was super easy and tastes amazing. Plus, the ingredients are something I always have on hand.

I challenged you last time to try new things. And that challenge holds. Try a new recipe and comment on what you tried. If you come across a paleo recipe you feel is share-worthy, leave a comment and I’ll link and share in my next post. Going paleo can be a challenge but it’s not impossible. Be open to new ways of cooking. There is a whole, big paleo world out there, folks. And it needn’t be scary or difficult. What you will discover is that it is delicious. I promise!

Until next time,






Yes, You Can. End of Story!

I hear it all the time – “I can’t change my diet, it’s too hard,” or “I can’t go without bread, cookies, etc…” Newsflash! You CAN. End of Story! And, if you are like me and have no choice, you find ways to make it work. Is it hard? I’m not gonna lie. I called my husband while crying in the grocery store once because I didn’t know what I could eat. I felt lost and so overwhelmed. But, I have come such a long way and have learned so much since then and, honest, we don’t suffer. We eat good food that tastes AMAZING and we both feel better by following our paleo diet. I say “Our” because I’m not a short order cook and will only make one meal. Period. And you don’t have to go without the treats you love; you just need to learn how to make and find new ones. Like the vegan cupcakes I found from a local bakery. I like to bring them to celebrations and not tell anyone they are vegan. And you know what? Unless I say something, they have NO idea. Making a change like this IS doable. You just have to want to do so.

I have to admit one of the foods I missed was nachos. I mean who doesn’t love nachos, right. However, I can’t have corn chips because I have a corn allergy and I can’t have cheese because, well, dairy. So, no nachos for me. Or so I thought. One day I’m searching on Instagram and see that Danielle Walker came up with a recipe for nachos. OMG! I was in absolute Heaven and had to make them immediately! I used plantain chips and some leftover taco meat and poured that gooey wonderfulness all over. Is it exactly like cheese? No. However, it was close enough that my husband gave it two thumbs up. Here is the link to her recipe. Try it. These are super easy to make.

And speaking of Danielle Walker. She has a new cookbook coming out soon and I’m super excited about it. You can click this link to learn more about her cookbook and pre-order. I seriously can’t wait!

Now, even though I’m careful about what I eat, my immune system does not function like most people and I’m more prone to illness. Especially when stress plays a role. And let me tell you, I’ve had a very stressful few months and am now recovering from pneumonia. To be honest, I have been a bit down about this because no matter how bad my immune system has been, I’ve never ended up with pneumonia. And it scared me. I mean it scared me straight. No more occasional cheats because it’s painfully obvious my body can’t handle it. Luckily, I have a fantastic medical team who work together and who all believe in and support eating purposefully for better health. And if they didn’t, I’d find new doctors.

Because of this dumb pneumonia, I have not been running much, which is a bummer because running is the one thing that makes me feel NORMAL.  When I’m running, I’m not that chick with the autoimmune disease; I’m just another runner. Just last week, my doctors got tired of my whining and finally gave me the go ahead to work out again. I am now allowed back on the treadmill for some run/walk workouts and I’m slow but I don’t care. I’m loving every sore muscle, every aching joint, the feeling of working through the wall of “I can’t” that every runner experiences. Because instead of “I can’t,” I’m back to “I CAN and watch me!”

I also recently joined a company called Perfectly Posh as a consultant, and here is why. Because of my autoimmune disease, I am not only conscious of what I put in my body, but what I put on my body as well. I had been looking for years for products that were clean but I found either they still contained ingredients I was allergic to, weren’t really clean or were way too expensive. A few months ago, a friend introduced me to Perfectly Posh. I was excited to find products that were truly clean and inexpensive and something even my doctor approved of. And as soon I tried them I just knew this was supposed to be a part of my health journey.

Did you know most skin care products contain toxic ingredients such as parabens and sulfates? And that 60% of what is applied to your body is absorbed into your blood stream? Perfectly Posh uses ingredients which are naturally based and gluten, soy, paraben and paraffin free; many of these products are vegan as well. The best part is all products are under $25 and are made in the USA – all things I can get behind. Most importantly, I LOVE these products, they WORK and smell amazing, using only essential oils and fruit extracts to create incredibly yummy fragrances. These products aren’t just another skin care line – these are good, clean products you can feel good about. If you are interested in trying Perfectly Posh, here’s my link:

And there’s my update. I’ve been a little silent on my blog lately because, well… life. But I haven’t stopped sharing my story with people because I feel there is a purpose to all of this and for me, that purpose is helping others. For years, I was given drug after drug to treat my symptoms but nobody ever got to the root of the problem until my Functional Medicine Dr. stepped in. It’s because of the changes I made in my life that I’m now almost completely drug free but for the one medication I’m temporarily on for my lungs. There is so much information out there now on the benefits of a clean diet and removing as many toxins from your home, including what you put ON your body. If your doctors don’t agree or support this, find new ones. Ask questions. Take control of your health because, at the end of the day, it’s ultimately your body and your responsibility. I choose to be as healthy as I can by taking charge. And if I CAN do it, so CAN you! End of story!


Trying something new…

I am writing this from bed as I recover from my latest “blip.”  This has been a rough year for me health wise.  I had the dreaded flu in December and January and have just not been the same since. And I’m now experiencing a cough that just will not go away. And not only will it not go away, it’s violent and awful and I’m fairly certain those around me are just as tired of it as I am.  I’m supposed to be training for a 12k, but have accepted that we will just be walking this year. And that’s ok. I’m disappointed, sure, but have come to accept that sometimes life just happens.  We can either roll with it or fight it, but having an autoimmune disease means this will happen occasionally, even doing everything right, and so you just do as you’re told, rest your body and move on. And by doing as I’m told, I mean the dreaded prednisone and breathing treatments.  As much as I hate both, there is a time and a place and this is one of those times  So, I stepped up my supplements, am resting my body, getting enough fluids and eating wisely the foods that will bump up my immune system.  Or in my case these days, just get it to work. (For information on living with prednisone, please  see a previous post: Prednisone tips)

Last I wrote, I was doing a Whole30. How did it go?  It felt great. A re-set every now and then is a good thing. For everyone. I also started using Vital Proteins.  Can I just say that stuff is AMAZING?!  I mean, it’s like a miracle powder.  My fountain of youth.  The small lines around my eyes have lessened, my hair is growing like gangbusters, my nails have never been this strong and I have eyelashes that go on for days.  I can’t wait to see the continued results. It also keeps me full and I’m loving that added benefit as well. Vital Proteins has lots of different products – check them out:  

We also went on a few trips and, per my usual I packed snacks and food.  One trip was by plane and that makes it a little difficult, but here are my tips:

  • Pack an empty water bottle or travel mug to get through security and then fill it up.  I go to Starbucks and either order a tea in my mug or ask for hot water and use a tea bag I brought. It’s important to stay hydrated – especially when flying.
  • Besides your carry on bag and purse, you are allowed to bring a small, collapsible lunch bag on most airlines; just all ahead to be sure.  I use a freezable one.  It goes through security just fine but IT NEEDS TO BE FROZEN.  I pack fruit and lettuce wraps, etc.  Just don’t pack anything that is smelly and will offend other travelers around you.
  • I also pack almonds and pistachios, Larabars and beef sticks in case I’m stuck and need protein.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, scout out a store for any provisions you need. It’s not hard.

If traveling by car, your life is so much easier because you can pack a cooler with supplies. And boy do I bring supplies because I don’t want to be stuck with nothing to eat.  I’ve also found that most gas station stores now carry healthy options.  On our recent trip, I was happy to see Larabars, RX Bars, paleo meat sticks, fruit…

And now to the something new… Healing yourself means not only minding what you put IN your body but what you put ON your body as well. My doctor has talked to me about pulling toxic cleaning supplies out of my house, using safe/clean personal products, swapping out my plastic food storage to glass and I have been slowly making those changes.  The problem with beauty products is that companies will claim they are “clean products” but they still contain soy or other fillers, have parabens, etc. And then a friend introduced me to Perfectly Posh. I watched her video and said “YES! These products are what I’ve been looking for!” and have been using them for the last two months and I am hooked! And very impressed.

These products are safe and natural, filled with ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, salt, sugar, etc., and no harmful ingredients such as parabens, sulfites or fillers. Many products are vegan, they are gluten free, are not tested on animals and, they are made in the United States! Best of all, nothing costs more than $25! All things I can get behind. And have I mentioned I love these products? In fact, I love them so much, I took the plunge to become a consultant.  If you are interested in taking a look for yourself, check out my web page:

Getting and staying healthy takes a lot of work.  But it also takes perseverance because there will be times when, no matter how hard you try, your body does what it wants anyway.  The thing is to keep fighting and, most importantly, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!  If you do not have an Integrative Medicine doctor, I suggest you find one. There is a place for traditional medicine; I honestly believe both go hand in hand.  But in order to get and stay well, you need the balance of holistic and traditional. And if your Doctors do not support the holistic, find one who does.  It took me a while but I have both.  And I can’t imagine going through this ride without either one.  Stay strong and stay the course, take one day as it comes, and remember you can do this. Honest. If I can so can you!







This is only a blip

It has been a while since I’ve written an update and I’m currently writing this from bed. Because I’m on Dr.-ordered bed rest. And you know what? This time I didn’t argue. It has been an incredibly difficult nine months for me, filled with a lot of loss, grief, change and stress. And I’ve not been kind to myself. And, because of that, here I am in bed trying to get my strength back. But rather than wallow in self pity for this latest blip, I’m looking at this as a positive. A reminder that we MUST take time to care for the most important ones… and that is OURSELVES!!!  It’s like when you are on a plane and the oxygen masks drop. You must first put on the oxygen mask before you are any good to anyone else. The same thing goes for life. You must always come first. And I mean that by eating right, exercising, getting the rest you body needs. So what am I doing as my body heals? You know besides naps, checking in with my family and friends and cheesy lifetime movies? I’m back to the basics – a completely clean AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet to heal my gut, I listen to my body and am resting and napping when I’m tired and have bumped my supplements back to the blip I had a few years ago. A complete and total re-set.

1 – Probiotics: I use VSL3 at the recommendation of my dr. You can only get it with a prescription (actually my doc said it can now be found at Costco) but it is the best I’ve come across. It is rather expensive but is the only one which really works for me. I put it in my smoothies each morning.

2 – Vital Proteins Collagen: I love this stuff!  I put a scoop in my coffee or smoothies, water, etc. It’s water-soluble and tasteless. I’ve been using for the last three months and LOVE it! I have eyelashes for days, my hair is healthier and I’ve seen a change in my nails and skin. I also believe this is one of the reasons my blip is just that and not what it could have been.

3 – Supplements: I take tumeric, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and ginger. I also add Soothing Calm when I’m sick. Please do not take this because I say so, check with your doc First before starting any supplement regimen. I also add astragalus root to my tea. It is great for an immune system boost. Licorice root is also good for  gut health and inflammation. And because my RA and fibromyalgia is also acting up, I’ve added ashwaganda back to the mix.

4 – I can’t say it enough, people. SINUS RINSING!!! I do this religiously. I’ll save you the gory details but this is a must!

5 – Food: Right now I’m just keeping it simple: scrambled eggs, green waffles from the natural nurturer’s website (check them out – soooo good), smoothies, bone broth. And if I want gluten free toast, I’m having that too. I also made a giant pot of my chicken noodle soup GF style. YUM!  But everything I ingest right now is purposeful. Chia seeds, collagen and probiotics in my smoothies. Turmeric in my eggs. Simple things that will heal my gut and strengthen my immune system. By mindfully eating, I am allowing my body to not have to work as hard and rest.  Because, let’s face it, I’m in chaos because I didn’t follow this as well as I should have when I had the flu in January or the respiratory infection earlier this month. So here I am.

But here’s the thing. Isn’t life full of ups and downs? It’s how you handle the downs that matter. Use them as learning experiences. I’ve learned I can’t slack on clean eating. Ever. That a piece of fudge at Christmas or an occasional beer or bagel, etc. are things I just can’t indulge in. And while that’s may sound difficult to you, let me tell you a health crisis is more so. And now I rest, reflect and heal. From the inside out.

And now I want to talk a little about “from the outside in.” You know I believe it’s important, not only what goes in your body but what goes ON your body as well. I’ve been looking for quite some time for products that are clean and safe. And I found them! Totally vegan, cruelty free, natural products made in the good ole US of A and none of the products cost over $25. What?!!! I KNOW! I will be sharing more about these products as I’m planning to join and sell. I never thought I would say such a thing but these products are something I believe in. I have been trying them for a bit and am in love. These are amazing products I can’t wait to share. Stay tuned…