Stress…Learning to Live with It

I spent Friday morning at a CEU event about caregivers…taking care of ourselves as professional caregivers. The speaker LeAnn Thieman made some humorous yet sad comparisons….she said, we’d never dream of telling our patients that they couldn’t eat all day except maybe some vending machine junk at 2 pm but we do it to ourselves all the time! And, we are suffering because of it.

She shared a lot of helpful advice about caring for ourselves and taking time for ourselves.

My take-aways to tackle stress. Her suggestions and some of my own:

1. Sleep…aim for 7-8 hours a night

2. Eat healthy for my body and listen to my gut

3. Exercise…again listen to my body. Sometimes, running aggravates my body more than it helps so I walk instead. Aim for 4 days a week…3 15-minute spurts of exercise a day count!

4. Don’t be so serious…Laugh…my son is my comic relief! Last night at a family get together, we laughed so hard over old family photos. It felt so good to laugh.

5. Forgive others. Forgive myself.

6. Be positive. Think positive. Visualize. (At bedtime, I fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves on my sound machine with the visualization of myself sitting on the condo balcony like I did on vacation. Total peace.).

7. Breathe. Deeply.

8. Take daily time for quiet time and prayer.

9. Plan….a little pre-planning goes a long ways.

10. Invest in positive relationships that build you up

Stress is a natural part of life, but how we chose to handle it can make or break us. When I allow stress to overtake my life, my sleep suffers, my GI issues go crazy, my acne breaks out, and I become ill. It is then that I know I need to step back, reevaluate my situation, and get my life back in balance.

What helps you with stress?

Be still


Saturday Love and a Morning Protein Smoothie

I love Saturday mornings…moving at my pace, laying in bed just a little longer if I want, morning runs, hot showers lasting longer than 3 minutes, and Saturday morning smoothies. During the week, it’s a quick Blender Bottle shake with Silk almond milk, 2 heaping scoops of Orgain protein powder, and my Vitamin C powder and out the door. It works, but on weekends, I like something a little more like this morning’s creation.

Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

1 cup Silk Cashew or Almond milk

1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries

2 ice cubes

1/2 avocado

2 heaping scoops of Orgain Organic chocolate fudge protein powder

Blend together and enjoy. Perfect for a Saturday morning or any morning you have time to whip it together. It was the perfect post-run smoothie after my run this morning.

Saturday Smoothie

The sun is shining bright here warm with the promise of summer. It looks to be a beautiful Saturday and Sunday. Happy Memorial Day everyone! Remember to pause and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day and thank a veteran for his or her service to our county!

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 1861

Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Reactivity

Last week, I shared something on Facebook that another friend had shared with me about top anti-inflammatory foods. The list included several foods I eat fairly regularly such as walnuts and those I eat almost daily such as turmeric. But, that post led to a comment by another friend who suffers from food intolerance issues as well. She shared with me that she is currently following “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. I requested the book from my local library and began to search for more information on the internet. I located a food reactivity chart that is part of the plan. It takes several foods and rates their reactivity level. Not surprising to me, several of the foods I have been eating were rated high on the reactivity chart.

Quniona….50 % reactivity….every time I eat quinoa despite it being a gluten free grain, I end up with achey joints. Every Time.

Non-organic spinach….85 % reactivity…my tongue itches every time I eat raw spinach that isn’t organic.

Cauliflower and cabbage….85 % reactivity…every time I eat these foods, I end up with a very upset stomach and it triggers a colitis attack. All those Paleo cauliflower rice recipes, never tried any of them for this reason.

So, all week, I have been trying to eat on the low-end of the reactivity chart. I have avoided the four foods I know have triggered reactions for me personally…my beloved coffee, chocolate, peanut butter, and even bananas. My friend who is going through “The Plan” said we crave what our bodies react to, but if we quit feeding our bodies these things, then we quit craving them.

So, how do I feel after just 4 days of eating like this? Better, not perfect, but better. I have been eating bone broth, Silk almond milk with Orgain, chicken, organic greens, broccoli and carrots, sweet and white potatoes, raw nuts, berries, and flax/buckwheat flatbread that I make. I am trying to be very careful, and it seems to be helping.

Last Saturday, my stomach hurt, my joints hurt….I was a mess. This week has been better. I am hoping the book is in at my library soon so I can really dive in. I also plan to see my nutritionist soon so she can guide me and help me. I continue on my supplements..I need them!

Here  is the link:   and

People who eat whatever they want with no adverse reactions sometimes think this stuff is crazy. If you have food intolerance issues, you understand the effect food can have on your body. You understand the frustration, sacrifice, and struggle, but you can celebrate the successes, no matter how small.

This week, I have experienced small successes…no bloating, no pain. I’m willing to press on.


Self Forgiveness on the Journey of Life

It’s been one of those weeks. I don’t know exactly why, but it has. And when it has been one of those weeks, I find myself having moments of necessary self-forgiveness.

I know that second cup at 6:30 at night was not a good idea. Too much acid for my stomach. Too much caffeine. But, I did it anyways.

I know peanut butter is a trigger food for my GI issues, but….my blood sugar was low, and it’s a quick protein fix. So, I ate it anyways.

I appreciated the gluten free lunch provided to me during the marketing lunch at work even though I don’t normally eat bread. (By the way, Schlotzsky’s Deli makes/uses a really good gluten free bun). The baked chips were fine, too. But, I ate more baked chips, this time BBQ. And, the energy slump came. I knew it would, but I ate them anyways.

You get the drift. Sometimes, I want to stomp my feet like a little kid and say “It’s not fair.” But, I don’t. (Thank goodness for some self-control!)

Food intolerance issues are what they are. I need to incorporate more anti-inflammatory food in my diet: dark greens, blueberries, walnuts, salmon, turmeric (love, love, love this spice), and ginger. And…I need to not miss my dose of Hdryozyme with every meal. My stomach was burning today!

So, I need to forgive myself and move on. I know there is will power hidden among the temptations of life. Celebrate small successes….saying no to the candy dish at work!

Life is a journey…one step at a time…and sometimes that includes an ounce or more of self forgiveness along the way and then moving on!

LIfe's Journey

Mother’s Day Musings and Weekend Reflections

Weekends are hard for me. My daily Monday-Friday routine is thrown off with soccer games, family events, and other fun things, things I enjoy, but things that throw off my eating routines. Saturday I didn’t really have time to eat a real breakfast or lunch so I survived off protein shakes and protein bars…not good on the blood sugar! By the time I went to dinner with my cousin and her family at 7:30, I felt close to passing out. I couldn’t get to the salad bar fast enough! I love Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar.

Today, Mother’s Day…I enjoyed a Mexican casserole…totally gluten free but the cheese resulted in bloating that has lasted all day long. I have become a good detective at deciphering what is ailing me, and this time, it was cheese, too much of it.

After a family game of Scrabble,  I needed a walk to calm the awful bloated feeling I had. My son is adopted so as a tribute to his birth mom, we bought a balloon and he wrote her a message on the balloon. He does not remember her, but he understands she loved him but could not care for him. In a symbolic gesture, we launched the balloon towards the Philippines. (Disclaimer…yes, I know that this is not the best thing for the environment but one balloon as a tribute….please forgive me).


Back to the daily routine tomorrow and a taming of the tummy. The bone broth is in the crockpot. The sweet potatoes are cooked, and lunch is packed. Life with food intolerances is just life, slighty more complicated.

Brownies for Breakfast

Now that I have my precious Organic Orgain protein powder back…I actually have 2 containers… I decided to whip some into a batch of healthy brownies to up the protein content. And then, I thought, why not…brownies for breakfast!

plant based protein powder

They are healthy…no sugar. I used 2 ripe bananas for sweetness. Protein…egg, Orgain protein powder, and almond butter. Healthy and a nice chocolatey taste. If you are used to boxed processed sugar laden brownies, then these will not be sweet enough for you. My daughter lathered hers in Nutella and deemed it good. My hubby actually said they weren’t too bad and thought he might like it better dipped in milk if we weren’t currently out of milk. I rarely eat sugar, so the sweetness of the banana and Orgain were enough for me.

The batter before baking…

brownie batter

Breakfast Protein Brownies

2 Ripe bananas

1/2 cup creamy almond butter

1/2 cup Orgain chocolate fudge protein powder

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup avocado oil

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Process until smooth and well blended. Pour into a greased or lined 8×8 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool before cutting. I was able to get about 12 brownies.

brownies for breakfast 2

This is definitely not something I would eat every day…too much chocolate equals adult acne…not exactly a favorite reaction of mine. So, I am treating this as a thank goodness it’s Friday treat. Happy Friday!

Teaching Children to Learn to Love to Cook…Healthy

Children model what they see. If they see parents eating healthy and cooking, then hopefully healthy eating becomes ingrained into their lifestyles as they grow up. My 11-year-old son witnessed my walk through food issues and illnesses. He watched me undergo the BAX allergy treatments for some of my food issues. He has undergone treatments for some of his issues as well.

He is adopted from the Philippines. When he first joined our family, he ate rice. It was a learn as we go to discover what he would and would not eat. By default, we found out he liked peanut butter. At Easter, we discovered that he looooooved hard boiled eggs. While coloring eggs, he ate 4 of them in a matter of minutes.

When you have food issues, you begin to realize you have to do a lot of your own cooking from scratch. If I want to eat with the least likelihood of reaction, I must cook my own food, pack my lunch every day for work, plan ahead for snacks, and spend weekends prepping for the week. For me, that usually includes making 4 sweet potatoes, a pot of bone broth, and this or that.

So…my son sees me in the kitchen A LOT, and my teenage daughter who does the dishes in exchange for her cell phone bill, says I make A LOT of dishes. Every now and then, he decides he wants to cook. One night, he made rice in the rice cooker for a bedtime snack. He knows bananas have potassium and help his legs after a soccer game. He helped me create a peanut butter banana muffin recipe.

He decided one afternoon to whip together a Mexican wrap of sorts. He cleaned out the fridge with everything he could find that he thought would taste good, and he made himself a healthy snack. For this Cinco de Mayo…here is a glimpse into my son’s healthy cooking creations.

spring 2015 217spring 2015 218

A fall tradition…making homemade apple juice…

Pictures Fall 2013-Fall 2014 043

Model healthy eating and cooking…..and sometimes, they might just listen, watch, and surprise you. He even eats spinach now!