Tag Archive | Prednisone

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. https://againstallgrain.com/2018/04/28/paleo-dairy-free-nacho-cheese-sauce-recipe/

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! https://eatwhatyoulovebook.com/

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: http://lisacan.po.sh

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!

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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: https://www.vitalproteins.com/collections/all-products  

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:  http://lisacan.po.sh/

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!

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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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50 Races by my 50th Birthday

I am back in training mode because, let’s face it, I’m crazy. I also committed to finishing 50 races by my 50th birthday which means I have 20 months to finish 12 races. I can do this. Right? And because I’m back in training mode, I thought It would be fun to share what it was like for me to run my latest race. And what I learned from it.

I trained incredibly hard for the Disney Half Marathon this past September. For twelve weeks, my entire life revolved around my running schedule and my every free thought was wrapped up in routes, nutrition and pain. Lots of pain. And after two years of health issues and a pretty serious fall about three months before my race (separated shoulder, mild concussion and cracked rib), I was ready.

The night before the race, we had a pasta dinner (gluten free for me) and then reflected at the start and finish lines to get ourselves in “the zone.” Then it was back to the hotel to set our things out and settle in for an early night of slumber. Now, I have to ask who really sleeps the night before a big race? Because my mind was all over the place. And did I mention how HOT it was? Good God we were in for a tortuous run.

The alarm went off at 2 a.m. and it was time to load up on the body glide, tape up my shoulder and don my race attire, only to find I had pinned my bib all the way through my shirt. With bib re-pinned, I double and triple checked my pockets, made sure I had my nutrition, ear buds, ID, etc., I forced myself to eat my pre-race breakfast and out the door we went. 3:00 a.m., 80 degrees outside and 70% humidity. WHAT? What the Hell were we thinking? We arrived at Disneyland only to discover there was a yellow flag warning and folks with health issues were encouraged to back out of the race. I am now of course, a bundle of nerves and have to pee every few minutes “I don’t have to pee. I don’t have to pee. I DON’T have to pee…” Perhaps if I say it enough times, I will convince myself that I don’t have to pee. Of course at this point I’m now questioning my training over the last few months and whether or not I will make it to the finish or be swept. Why the Hell is it so hot? Can I do this? Why did I think I could do this? And then the National Anthem plays and we all sing it together. What a beautiful moment. And then the realization hits that this is it. The moment we all trained so hard for. And, we are off.

As we run out of the safe confines of Disney and head out onto the open road, I notice the first of a many ambulances. It has barely been three miles and people are already dropping like flies. Did I mention how hot it was?! At this point there isn’t much to look at because Anaheim isn’t really that much to look at and it’s all mind games at this point. Although I am thankful for the kind souls who lined the race with their creative signs such as “Smile, remember you PAID to do this.” Yup, it takes a special kind of crazy to run 13.1 miles for FUN after paying $200 to do so! (And just so you know, I was having this EXACT conversation in my head as I was running.) As I approach mile 8, I’m fairly certain I cannot go any further. My fingers are so swollen, they are like sausages and I cannot bend them. I’m tired and feel overwhelmed by the heat and my feet hurt and I start pouring water over myself at each water station because I’m so miserable and it’s so hot.  I’m also bargaining with myself at this point and making myself promises in the event I actually survive this stupid race that I actually paid to run. And in that moment the race flag is changed from a yellow flag to a red flag warning. UGH. The game has changed. Now it’s all about survival.

We enter Angel Stadium and the sheer cool factor of running out onto the field makes up for the misery I’m feeling at this point. I run around the stadium high-fiving every spectator I pass in the hopes their positive energy will somehow enter my body and give me the boost I need. And, you know what? It worked! For a while. We run out of the stadium and through the parking lot down the street and see this giant overpass looming up ahead, in direct sunlight no less. And another person collapses. For a brief second I wondered (hoped?) perhaps it was me who collapsed and I was having an out of body experience. No such luck. And so I push on.

Mile 11. This is about the time I started crying. Yes, I actually started crying. It was hot, I was miserable, I couldn’t bend my fingers, I didn’t want to run ever again and I still had 2.1 miles to go. So close and yet so far. Some random woman in the crowd beckoned to me and held up one of those cooling neck rags to give me. At first I wondered why I was being singled out, but if I looked as bad as I felt, there was my reason. God bless her. That and the ice she poured into my bra was what got me and all my delirious glory to mile 12.

Mile 12.  I can see Disneyland. I mean, I can see actually see it. I’m close. Only 1.1 miles to go. OMG. I still have 1.1 miles to go… This race is never going to end. There is a saying that the longest mile in a race is the last .1 miles. Do you want to know why? Because at that point you are wondering where the HELL is the finish line. Because you want to finish strong (ok, who am I kidding at this point. I just want to finish upright) and so you need to be able to conserve your energy for that last sprint to the finish line. I was in such a fog, I didn’t even realize I had crossed the finish line until I did. So much for my happy finish photo. Let’s just say my photo looks pretty much like I’m sure you are imagining at this point. But no matter. I finished. I pushed through the heat and the tears and the pain and I FINISHED!

This race was not the best run of my life. It wasn’t even in the top ten. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is I believed in myself and accomplished something not everyone can do healthy, much less with the health issues I have. I learned that we all have so much more inside of us than we think. That even when my body is begging to stop, to be strong and reach deep down and fight. But, most importantly this race taught me not what I am capable of. It taught me to believe that I AM capable.

And as I walked to the medical tent to ice my shoulder, I smiled and began to plan my next races. Because there will be more. Twelve more to be exact.

 

The Prednizone Part Deaux

Have I mentioned lately how much I HATE this stuff? Now I get that walking pneumonia is no joke and the docs bring out the big guns. But man… I’ve been cranky and emotional and tired and never mind the night sweats or that every inch of my body hurts to the touch today. I can’t sleep to save my life and I’m doing everything short of locking the fridge so I don’t snack aimlessly. Three more days. I can do this. I just hope those around me survive. Just saying it’s gonna be close.

I did a lot of food prep today and will post the recipes below as they are not my own but man are they good. There’s something so wonderful about spending time in the kitchen on a fall weekend. That is truly when I’m at my best. I did create a recipe today for GF/Paleo pumpkin, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I had to put them away or I would have eaten every last one. I will post the recipe later (I actually wrote it down this time).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins: the recipe is from the Against all Grain cookbook from Danielle Walker

Instant pot mashed potatoes (I used fresh dill  instead) http://pretenditsadonut.com/2017/10/19/instant-pot-mashed-potatoes/

Crispy Sweet Potatoes: https://thewonkyspatula.com/2017/05/12/sweet-potato-cubes-with-basil-guac/

Breakfast sausages: http://pretenditsadonut.com/2017/08/18/jalapeno-cilantro-breakfast-sausage-patties/

Turkey stuffing meatballs chock full of carrots and kale and no stuffing. But with the spices and flavor combo, nobody will know the difference. https://m.facebook.com/OfficialWhole30Recipes/posts/1596723503681251:0

Buffalo chicken tacos: http://www.thewholesmiths.com/2017/11/02/football-family-and-buffalo-chicken-tacos/

I still need to make chicken nuggets for the grandkids but I forgot to buy sparkling water (necessary to get the batter just right) so I will make those tomorrow after work. That’s how easy these are.  But you can find the recipe here: https://againstallgrain.com/2014/09/18/gluten-free-chicken-nuggets/

I want to point out I did NOT spend all day in the kitchen. Thanks to my instant pot and these super easy recipes, it’s not quite 3:00 pm and I’m resting on the couch. And yet my family will now have healthy, tasty meals for the week. A win in my book. PS -the baked goods are an attempt to apologize for what has or will come out of my mouth the next few days… I’ll let you all know when it’s safe.