Tag Archive | grief

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…

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This crazy ride called life

What a crazy ride this thing called life is. Right? One minute I’m ready to throw in the towel, and the next I am being interviewed by a national magazine about my health journey and how a Paleo diet made all the difference. Yes, it has been a crazy few days for me. More on the magazine later.

So, I started the Whole30 this week and things are going well. Today is day three and I’m noticing a bit of thrush coming to the surface but I attribute that to my body detoxing itself. I am also tired. TIRED!!! I fell asleep hard and fast early last night and this morning was rough. Otherwise, I’m feeling good. No, great actually. If you recall, I also began my half marathon training on Monday as well. Because, why not. It was raining on Monday and I couldn’t get home fast enough to change and go for a run in the rain – one of my absolute favorite things to do! I think it was kind of symbolic, the rain. A fresh start.
I cooked up a storm this weekend in preparation for this week. On Sunday, I made a beautiful salmon served over a mixture of shredded brussels and cauli rice and it was delicious. I had some leftover cranberry sauce (paleo from Danielle Walker’s Celebrations cookbook) that I heated up and served over the salmon. It paired so well. On Monday, we had this amazing meal from Pretend it’s a Donut – a one pan meal that consisted of cashew chicken and roasted veggies – I served ours over more cauli rice. Yes, cauli rice is a staple in my house. This recipe was company-worthy for sure and has been requested to be added to my regular repertoire. Yes, it was THAT good! Follow her. Good stuff! Tonight I have a date at the gym to get some cross training in and another run. I’ll be cooking for one so I’m sure it’ll be something along the lines of roasted veggies with an egg on top and some avocado. Breakfasts have been super easy because of the frittatas I always make ahead – filled with veggies and protein, you can’t go wrong.

As I said, my running is going well. I’m still a little slow going, but my pace will improve as I continue on in my routine again. I know that about myself and so I’m not stressing over it. Instead, I’m focusing on how free I feel on my runs. It’s just me and my music. I love how it feels as my feet hit the pavement, how I feel as if I’m flying (in actuality a toddler could probably beat me) and totally invincible. I feel strong. And the competitive side of me loves it as I surpass a goal. You even can see me fist pump every so often as the voice in my ear from my running app lets me know I have done so.

Now back to that bit about the magazine. As I have repeatedly said, life is just crazy sometimes. Last week was one of reflection. And God beating me upside the head repeatedly until I received the message. BTW, loud and clear. Thanks! Last Friday, I couldn’t sleep and wandered downstairs to pour myself a glass of almond milk. (Does it do the same as regular milk, I wonder?) Anyway… I sat at my kitchen table looking through Instagram and noticed Danielle Walker had posted a video about an upcoming article on her in a national magazine. She said the magazine was looking to hear from and feature her followers on THEIR story and how a Paleo diet changed their life as well. What the Hell, I thought, so I typed up my story, attached a photo as was requested and hit send. And I didn’t give it another thought. I mean, she has a HUGE following and I’m sure there were stories far better than mine. Cut to this morning. I received an e-mail from the magazine asking if I was still interested in being featured and that she was on a tight deadline. Um, what?!!! Seriously?! Absofreakinglutely! Next thing I know, I’m on the phone answering questions and filling her in on my health journey. Like I said, life is a crazy ride.

I don’t know what will end up happening with the magazine. Either I will be featured, or I won’t. The thing is, that’s not the point in all of this. The point is to believe in yourself. Always. To take chances. To listen when God speaks and be open to new possibilities. To never give up on yourself. Ever. I’m usually very determined and when I set my mind to something, God help the person who tries to talk me out of it. I firmly believe my health journey happened so that I could share the importance of a paleo diet and how it CAN change the course of your health. Of how you CAN make a change in your life and stick with it. Even if you have to start over each and every day. If you have a story to tell, tell it. If you have advice to share, share it. We all have something wonderful to offer. It’s just taking to the time find that voice and the platform from which to share. I’m so glad this is mine, that you continue to be on this journey with me and, most of all, that I didn’t give up. Thanks for believing in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.  Together we CAN do this.

Stay tuned for more on the magazine.

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Whole 30 or Bust… my pants

In my journey to get back on track, a Whole30 is in order so I can do a complete re-set. And because I’m not like everyone else and did not start on January 1st, I will begin on Monday. I’m actually looking forward to these 30 days of getting back to basics. Whole30 is strict – no sugar, no grains, no dairy, NO ALCOHOL, etc., but doable folks. Completely doable. I mean it’s only 30 days. And there are so many resources out there and so many amazing recipes that we never feel we are being deprived. To read about Whole30, go to this link: https://whole30.com

I just made my grocery list for the upcoming week. It is filled with protein and healthy fruits and veggies. My menu for the week will consist of a cashew chicken pan meal loaded with broccoli and bell peppers, salmon over a bed of shredded Brussels and cauliflower rice, baked chicken wings served with sweet potatoes and lemon-garlic kale. I will also make a giant frittata for breakfasts for the week and cut up veggies and fruit for snacks. Another tip is to hard boil eggs to keep on hand – I use my instant pot for super fast- super peelable eggs. I also make sure I always have snacks which travel well: tuna, freeze dried fruit(make sure the ONLY ingredient is fruit) and RX and Lara Bars so I’m not tempted to eat something I shouldn’t. On Monday my local supermarket has a special on La Croix water and you can bet I’ll be stocking up! You are probably thinking – she’s mentioned breakfast, snacks and dinner; what about lunch. That’s simple. LEFTOVERS! Usually I’ll just pack up some leftovers for lunch and call it a day. Or I will make a salad of some sort and load up on veggies and protein. A smoothie is ok, too. Just make sure there isn’t any sugar added. The Natural Nurturer has some amazing smoothies and I must admit the cauliflower blueberry smoothie is the bomb!  Who knew?! https://www.thenaturalnurturer.com/blog?category=Smoothies

Now for exercise… I have been really good about working out this week. So good, especially the last two days, that I’m currently having difficulty walking up and down stairs, sitting, getting in and out of the car… ok basically just existing. And as much as it hurts, I feel this giant sense of accomplishment every time I move and wince. Or whine. My husband says I’m whining… either way, this pain I’m feeling? I feel like it’s the pain of letting go and moving forward. Of starting over. And to me, it’s fantastic! In a really weird and twisted way. And I can’t wait to go at it again tomorrow. That is if I’m able to get out of bed. And half marathon training also begins on Monday because why not do everything at once!

By now some of you will have looked up the Whole30 plan and are saying it’s too hard.  Well let me share something from the creator of the Whole30:

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How can you argue with that? So stay tuned for the next 30 days. I’ll take you on my Whole30 journey. I start on Monday. How about you start with me? We CAN do this. I promise!

 

I hear you loud and clear

Life has a funny way of beating you upside the head when you need it the most. The last six months have been incredibly difficult and I’m still working through an immense amount of grief. My boss and friend of six years was transferred and I mourn his guidance and friendship and struggle with the change, knowing in a few months things will change yet again and there will be yet another goodbye. I mourn the loss of a dear aunt whom I adored so very much. I mourn a friend and colleague whose death was a complete shock. I mourn Tom Petty as if he were a family member -yes I realize how weird that sounds. There’s this deep sadness I just can’t seem to get a handle on and started to turn inward as that seemed to be easier. Safer… And because of this shut down I’ve not been good to myself – stress eating and not exercising, not getting enough rest, not doing the things which make my soul happy.  And so I thought it was time to hang up my blogging for a while and get my shit together, rather than let you in on this journey with me. And here’s where the smack upside the head comes in. It took a good friend to look at me and say “get over yourself. Share your journey with us.” She told me to share what I’m going through and how I’m working through it or not working through it. Warts and all.

And then I had some people tell me they were sorry I was taking a break as I’ve helped them so much. That I made a difference. And I look at the stats and people are still reading my posts. THEY ARE STILL READING!!  And received two requests today for my blog to be shared.

So, I had some time alone in the car today and did some soul searching. I can continue to feel sorry for myself and push everything and everyone away or I can take that brave step and let people in. I can show you how I’m picking up the pieces. I made a vow a long time ago I was going to pay forward the kindness shown me by sharing what I learned and helping others. Today at a retreat we talked about care of souls. Perhaps this is how I’m to care for souls: mine and others.

So I’m back and will continue to share my journey – the good the bad and the ugly.  We will walk through this together.

PS – started back in the gym this week and it felt great. Give it a try. Start slow and find something you enjoy and you will stick with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These boots were made for walking… walking pneumonia that is.

One year ago I was fighting to come off prednisone after being on it for nine years and I wrote about how incredibly hard it was and how I wasn’t feeling particularly strong or brave. But I did it. It took a few more months but I was finally weaned off. And I’ve done pretty well but find it ironic I write this as I sit here recovering from walking pneumonia. I was injected with 125mg of steroids last night and given another 60 today. I feel defeated by this setback. I’ve worked so hard and here I am, my cheeks red and puffy from the prednisone, I can’t sleep from the high doses and I was quite alarmed to see a series of about 20 bruises out of nowhere. Yes, it’s Halloween and I’m back in the Prednizone. And yet I’m reminded this is temporary. When you have an autoimmune disorder you are going to have setbacks. It doesn’t mean you are a failure. Things happen. Stress happens. Grief happens. These things all affect our health in ways you can’t imagine. But you stay the course. Because it works. Eating clean does not mean there will never be another setback. It means the number of setbacks and the length of them diminish significantly and that is what I hold on to. Below is the blog post I wrote exactly one year ago:

“Be mindful of your cape when you pee.”

And now a little about the last week. This time last year we were rooting for our beloved Cubbies in the World Series and this year our Dodgers. A great two years in our house. You have to have good food while watching a ball game, so I made Paleo nachos. So easy, good and filling: plantain chips, pulled pork, radishes, pico de Gallo, cilantro and guac. Did I mention how tasty these were?

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I started a tradition years ago with my girls making rice krispy treat “monster eyes” and I continue that tradition with my grandkids. But I also wanted to make a healthy treat as I’m trying to teach them young about eating healthy. And so we made these incredible green smoothie muffin “monster eyes” as well. For the recipe, please go to this link for the recipe from The Natural Nurturer. http://www.thenaturalnurturer.com/blog/paleo-green-smoothie-muffins  These muffins were kid approved and she even watched me add the spinach!

Now what do you cook when you aren’t feeling well or are in a pinch for time? I make a simple apple sausage skillet filled with whatever leftover veggies I have in the fridge and added some of my mineral broth and chili sauce for some heat. Delicious and just as good the second night. Excuse my little plastic plate. I don’t feel well and grabbed something I could quickly microwave.

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It doesn’t have to be fancy and sometimes good enough is good enough. And you would be amazed how “good enough” tastes.

So, what now? I push through and I stay the course. Because of the high doses of Prednisone I’ve been given, I have to do all I can to boost my immune system: kombucha, green tea, lots of water, rest, vitamin C and Zinc. I’ve upped my turmeric and added more ginger and drinking my immune boosting green smoothies. And am constantly washing my hands. I’m not like “regular” people and have to be more vigilant. It’s work, sure, but in the end is so worth the effort. And if I can do it, you certainly can too!

Hapoy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

 

The Day the Music Died

While I normally post about food and exercise and dealing with an autoimmune disease, yesterday was such a profound day of loss, I had to switch gears a little just this once and I hope that’s ok.

Yesterday was a sad day. The day the music died. I was trying to put into words why I was hit so hard by Tom Petty’s death or by the shooting in Las Vegas. I mean, I never met Tom but his music was with me most of my life and his music carried me through and defined moments in my life. So many memories… And to see him in concert was pure magic. And I didn’t know anyone at the concert in Vegas. And yet it was a tragedy that hit us as a nation hard. And I mourn. We all mourn. As a nation, and as fans.

I awoke this morning feeling the world off-kilter because life is forever changed. And for me, this is yet one more sad change in a sea of change – one more thing, one more person, one more change to mourn. So last night was one of wine and Tom Petty songs and Las Vegas news as we worked through our grief.

Today my world, OUR world is a little darker. We mourn and we weep. And we wonder why. And there are no answers. No right or wrong way to feel. In this moment of time we must be especially kind to one another. Yesterday there was such love in action. Strangers caring for strangers, sharing grief. Loving one another. We must continue to help each other through. Give blood, give of your time and your treasure. Be there for others. Share stories and remember. Most importantly, we must continue to enjoy and experience and share music with others. To not be afraid to congregate in a large group and do just that. And so, I end this with my favorite Tom Petty song:

Alright for Now
Goodnight baby, sleep tight my love
May God watch over you from above
Tomorrow I’m workin’ what would I do
I’d be lost and lonely if not for you

So close your eyes
We’re alright for now

I’ve spent my life travelin’
Spent my life free
I could not repay all you’ve done for me

So sleep tight baby
Unfurrow your brow
And know I love you
We’re alright for now
We’re alright for now

 

We are not in control – from the viewpoint of a control freak

I just started week three of my prednisone taper.  And, I’m doing ok.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that this is just going to suck for a while but it’s temporary. My husband tells me this is actually a positive thing and, after I stopped being irritated with the comment, I realized he’s right.  It means I’m healing.  I’m strong.  I’m winning.  And yet…

I was talking to a dear friend the other day about life.  About scary family news and the inability I still have to pray.  That I’m still angry at God.  And she said to me that maybe what I’m really angry at is the fact that I’m NOT in charge. And she was 100% right! You see, I’m the type of person who is always in control.  Or at least I sure try to be.

I’m a planner. My family lovingly calls me bossy.  Because I am. I’m a take charge kind of girl who likes everything planned out.  I like knowing what to expect, how it’s going to get done and that it will, in fact, get done.  And right now I’m so totally not in control of things – both my health and others’ – that I hate it.   Sure, I can control what I eat and how and when I exercise and by doing so, I’m controlling my health to a point. But anything beyond that, especially right now, is not in my hands.  I feel so out of sorts and helpless that it is making me crazy and I don’t like that there is yet one more curveball to deal with when I’m still trying to cope with everything else.  And I wonder… maybe what she said was exactly what I needed to hear.  I know God has been sending me reminders He is here, to lean on Him.  And each reminder has been a more deliberate, harder smack upside my head.  (Have I mentioned I’m not a quick learner?) Maybe my friend is right and I’m not mad at Him but at the circumstances.  Maybe this was the “aha” moment I needed. The sign I’ve been looking for. Begging for. I also learned this weekend it’s ok to be angry at God. To question Him. That it’s normal and I’m not a bad person for doing so.  Which is good because on top of the anger was this huge load of guilt for feeling as I did.  HUGE! No wonder my body is in chaos right now.

So back to my “aha” moment.  Maybe the lesson He’s been trying to teach me is that there really IS a reason for everything (you know… that thing people always say to you.  That there is a reason to this.  That thing people say that I say never, ever to say to someone else).  Maybe there really is a purpose to our suffering.  Perhaps, for me, it was to realize I’m really not in control.  Ever. That while it’s still my job to help myself, He is calling the shots. Maybe it’s time to let go of the anger. Maybe it’s ok that I feel helpless. To let Him carry me for a bit. That by doing so I’m not weak or giving up. That the world won’t end if I’m not running every aspect of my life.  Because I can’t.  None of us can.  And that’s ok.

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