Archive for CFS / ME

Karma and the Morning Muse: Thinking about how your behavior affects your health

Karma and the Morning muse:
Karma comes around like the morning — it always comes. I write from a perspective of 10 years of being here, helping, managing, and somehow surviving against all odds. This is not about the political shitstorm. This is not about the ACA or it’s imminent repeal. This is about human nature. This is about karma. Good or Bad, the wise man said Instant Karma gonna get ya. I think he is right. 

How you treat people is up to you. In my opinion, it’s essential to our well-being. Why? Because when we treat other humans poorly, it affects us personally. When we treat others with vindictive resentment, it becomes a toxin in our system. The way we treat others has a way of coming back to us. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but it comes back.  It always comes back.

instant karma gonna get you

What you give, ultimately it comes back to get you.

Would you tell someone that has had a stroke to just ignore it and live normally?
Would you tell someone who lost a limb that they should grow a new one?
Do you tell a cancer patient that they just need to be more active and get out more?
Would you try to convince someone with dementia that they can and should do everything they did before, push harder, and work harder?
Would you tell your Mom, Your brother, Your neighbor that they aren’t really sick even though you can see they are suffering?
If a friends child has a difficult and chronic illness or something severe, do you offer compassion or tell them how they must parent?
 
Would you insist that a complicated disease isn’t real? Would you insist that your lay medical assumptions are more valid that the medical experts across the globe who don’t understand the illness? Do you demand that your person follows your lay advice? And if they don’t you just give up on them and bail?

Karma comes around. Be a jerk and you get treated like a jerk. Be kind, kindness comes back.
 

Would you ever say things to their only advocate that indicate you think they are enabling and should just stop? Would you tell them that the person afflicted doesn’t deserve your help?
What would you feel if you were the one receiving these kinds of judgment?
How would you respond? No, really. How would you deal with this? It’s the reason those who become ill tend to isolate. It’s the reason families are torn apart and caregivers start to avoid being with friends. It’s not about being needed 24 / 7 — often it’s a matter of being in solitude is more nurturing than being with judgmentals who can’t find their heart.
I am deeply grateful to our friends who have stayed with us through this nightmare. Erica, David, Jerry, Sean, and Kristi, in particular, have been amazing. They know! They get it.  Their friendship is such a gift. Such a treasure to not have to explain repeatedly and then feel like they just don’t get it.
 
I’ve lived with my beloved for many years and through many things. He was a tough guy who overcame many pain points. He was a hard worker and hard driving hiker. Now, it takes far to long to explain to others repeatedly what his illness is and why it is the way it is. It’s not dementia, but it’s like it. It’s not MS, but it’s like it. He does not need a nurse or a caregiver. He needs help and he needs a manager. And companionship from people other than his wife. 
 
I guess what I don’t understand is the calloused attitude so many have – knowing full well that if it happened to them, their choices would be as difficult as mine. I’ve literally had people tell me that if he didn’t get better, couldn’t get back to normal, that I should leave him. Yes, they have said exactly that and worse. 
 
I’m just saying: What is wrong with people? 
 I’ve heard too many calloused, insensitive comments over the past 10 years. Would people start treating others with more love and light if they ate right? If they stopped buying guns and eating meat from murdered animals, would they become softer hearted? Would they be more generous to the planet, the forests, the waterways if they ate more fresh foods that grow from the ground or swam in the sea?

 

 

People have unfriended me because I speak my mind articulately and eloquently. People have bragged about feeding the homeless or giving to their church while doing nothing to help those they are staring at. Maybe they need that separation. It’s like they get kudos for feeding strangers, but it scares them to help a friend or a relative. People who have plenty are expecting freebies while frowning on those who can’t afford whatever.
 
Yesterday I was called a very nasty, nasty woman, told I was a liberal twit, and later called a lesbian. Huh? I thought about it. I wrote back: Fuck Yeah, I am. I’m a NASTY WOMAN and I own it. LOL What these people seem to think is that compassion and consideration for others is a sin. I’ll never understand that. 
I’m not going to let this stranger bother me. It is truly all about taking care of myself, fighting when it’s right, standing up and standing my ground. With joy in my heart, I resist the haters.
I don’t care who you voted for. I don’t care that you have a different religion. I don’t care if you go to church and I don’t care if you don’t. If you are a human being, I expect you to act like you have a heart even if you lost it somewhere. 

New Super Food: Marijuana heals – Find out who is really behind blocking the plant use

Marijuana! If it’s so good why is it so bad?

New Super Food! Ok, it’s not new at all. And it’s not really a food. Marijuana – Cannabis – a plant that has far ranging benefits. My OB/Gyn mentioned cannabis when I asked about pain management. It’s no joke. It’s not just an excuse to get wasted. There are true medicinal and healthy lifestyle benefits from the mighty green. It’s a super plant.  Cannabis heals and helps people all over the world.

The Magic is in the Flower. It gives flower power a new meaning.

Marijuana – or Cannabis – does a lot of good. It helps a wide variety of people with a wide variety of ailments. It can be recreational or it can be medicinal.  Or Both. Marijuana! It’s time to break down the stigma and learn some truths. And coming from me, a long time health fanatic, it’s almost a contradiction – except that it’s not. Once I learned the truth, studied the history, studied the medicinal uses, it all became clear. It’s a plant. The real value comes when you use it with the right intention.

THE NEW SUPER FOOD!  Marijuana – it does more good than bad. When used with the right intention, it’s becoming the common choice for medical solutions too complicated for medical doctors to understand.

PTSD, Chronic Pain, Inflammation, Arthritis, Nausea, Skin issues, MS, and a bunch of other things are helped with no side effects. Doctors don’t seem to want to know. Less damage than wine, less toxic than most pills, double the anti-inflammatory effect than hydrocortisone with NONE of the side effects, sleep aid, energy, creative stimulus… It’s genius!

marijuana - it's a super plant

Medical Marijuana – A Natural Solution

 

And yet – the real opposition has nothing to do with abuse or addictions. Looks like it has everything to do with profit margins and fear of losing control – not by the people but by the corporate systems. It’s a threat to a major profit machine.

Weird. When one asks themselves why a doctor would ignore this simple, effective, non-toxic solution, or why the DEA refuses to change the schedule to make it non-criminal, there has to be a profit motive. It can’t be anything else. It’s not weird. It’s either misunderstood or it’s about money. Even when I completed the Anti-Inflammation and Oncology classes at Arizona State, nothing was mentioned about medicinal weed — AND THEY ARE THE FRONTRUNNERS on inflammation.
My recent studies indicate that pot has double the anti-inflammation effect than hydrocortisone.  It helps with PTSD, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, MS, CFS, Arthritis Pain, Epilepsy, Phantom Pain, and some say it can help with Alzheimers….   And NO side effects.

I’d talked with my OB/GYN. I went in for an annual visit. I asked her about pain management because this hip thing is destroying my ability to manage the rest of my life. We talked at length. She’s sold on the benefits, but can’t prescribe? What? Wait – it’s legal. I’ll just go to the store. When Washington State forced the Medical MJ shops to close, we lost valuable resources here. It’s really frustrating. And Fun because I’m learning. There is so much more to this than I’d ever imagined.

This isn’t the same weed I knew as a kid. It’s a sophisticated system of growing, and sophisticated delivery. Plus – I don’t want to get high. Not really. I made a commitment decades ago.

But now I read about the true reasons this plant became a controlled substance.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/09/a-maker-of-deadly-painkillers-is-bankrolling-the-opposition-to-legal-marijuana-in-arizona/

Care Partners Life

Love. Love what matters. Love what is real. Don’t feed the fear monsters… I rally because I’m tired. I rally because too many times, I’ve tried to talk with friends and ended up feeling worse not better. Care Partnering means doing what I can to help my partner – my husband. It means we work together for better living. We team up. We work through it together.  Simple thought. Better Words.

I’m tired of hearing:
“You do too much for him. You should make him do that. Why can’t he do that? Why are you doing that for him? You need to take care of yourself! Why don’t you just stop doing stuff for him? Let him do it himself. He just needs to buck up and fight for his life. He just needs to push himself harder ”  And frankly, the next people who offer this kind of advice may not like the responses I give next.

It’s abundantly clear to us. Isn’t it to you? All this kind of judgemental advice does is make the person who says it feel better. The FACT is this kind of ill advice takes away the energy and the focus needed to help a loved one.

Being a Care Partner is different. Care Partnering leaves the person whole. Care Partnering empowers. Care Partnering is a better label. For I am no longer a caregiver. I don’t show up, help, and go home to my family. I don’t get paid barely minimum wage to do what I do. I don’t handle hygiene, medication, or other things that a CNA would do.

Care Partnering is a combination of things – financial, medical coordination, insurance, legal, household, estate, food, shopping, phone calling, scheduling, managing everything but the basic ADL’s. (activities of daily living, in case you haven’t heard that one yet.)

As a Care Partner, my role doesn’t change a bit. I still do what I do. Most couldn’t do it. But I am no caregiver.

Lessons Learned

20160704-IMG_1391Hey Friends,
Happy Independence Day. As I walked home alone from the neighborhood fireworks display, I realized how lonely it has become as a caregiver spouse. All the families were bunched in groups. They were happily engaged. Usually, people engage in friendly chatter with neighbors, but not this night. I sat alone. No one said much at all.

The night’s cheeriest greeting came from a kid as four young boys rode past me in the dark. He whooshed past me and called out Happy New Year.

I replied in kind. And smiled. For every single day can be a new beginning. If we let it. If we continue to wake each morning knowing that today is a new day. And for me, it’s all I’ve got. One new day after another. What that simple call out of a Happy New Year wish did for me was more than any fireworks show: it put a smile on my face. I knew that not only would tomorrow come, but the lonely night was at an end. All I needed to do was limp the remaining blocks home.

young woman in panic

Lessons learned are hard to face.

Living with a spouse who suffers from a little understood, chronic disease means a life filled with philosophical lessons learned. It has destroyed me. It has taken too much. I do what I can but it’s never enough.

While I put me aside to help him, I didn’t find the focus needed to build what I thought would be a fun and fruitful business. I didn’t find that new job either. I’ve been caregiver,  advocate,  business builder, job seeker and more for 8 years — much has been lost including dreams, friends, family…

Really, I did what any loving spouse would do under the circumstances. You just do what you can to help that person — whether it’s a week or a month or a decade, you do exactly what I’ve done. If you are lucky, you can hire help and family shows up to give a hand here or there. I’ve talked with many who agree — you do whatever you can.

No amount of healthy eating can change a disastrous illness. He can’t trick this thing into submission. A lifetime of green juice and avocado doesn’t cure it. Eating healthy for the sake of good health is but one way to help oneself.

Accepting that diagnosis pushed him off the health wagon.

I can’t fix it. Screw it.
There comes a time. That time is now. It’s just time to take my life and rebuild it.

No amount of platitudes relieves the constant worry which I so ably push aside to deal with the moment or the day. No amount of healthy positive attitude interrupts this cycle of hell. No amount of meditation, writing, exercise, or gratitude fixes what’s broken.  And yet – it’s what I have to cope.  It’s easy to stay in a weird form of denial, but one can’t swim upstream forever. Not without help. Not without a life raft. I need that raft NOW.

Coping skills are strong – I’ve been doing this too long. The only thing I really know is that my expertise in healthy living feels like a bunch of lies.

In ten years, he’s not gone more than 2 months without a relapse.  I don’t know which person shows up for the day. What I do know is my encouraging words are now empty zones. I can say something or not. If he wants to eat comfort foods like an opiate, that’s his choice.

The truth: It’s time to just turn it all over to God – God as I UNDERSTAND HIM – a higher power that is not me. I learned a different concept of Spirituality. It works for me. I’m not in control. I don’t need to be converted from my origins. I don’t need a new religion. It’s always interesting how some want me to change my religion to make them feel like they’ve done something to help.  And when I stick to my origins, they practice exclusion. Actually, it’s not interesting. It’s annoying.

When the caregiver is burnt out, there is nowhere to hide.

What sucks most is what I pondered yesterday. I finally got the big lesson learned. It’s not the loss of family. It’s not the loss of friends. It’s not even the loss of activities once loved and many once shared.  It’s the loss of independence! That’s what it is.  So yeah, Happy Independence Day!

 

The New Mediterranean Diet

New Mediterranean Diet? It’s not that new, but there’s new information for us.

Isn’t it the same as the old ways or Asian diet? The New Mediterranean diet is really the same as it’s always been — only renamed several times. We’ve got a lot of pyramid happy graphic designers showing what to eat, how to eat, what to eliminate. The truth?  It’s pretty simple. The more the names change, the less the diet changes.

Mediterranean Anti-Inflammation Diet

Lower Your Risk – Lower your inflammation

When we went to the Mayo Clinic, we were taught in depth about the New Mediterranean Diet. It wasn’t so much eat like the Italians do. It is all about eating fresh produce, whole grains, more wild caught pacific fish, and … really — the only new twists were the new knowledge about Asian Mushrooms, Green Tea, Science based evidence on the virtues of Extra Virgin Olive Oil….

Try as I might, I can’t find that much NEW in changing the Meditteranean Diet to the Anti-Inflammation diet with the exception of specific inflammation-fighting herbs, green teas, and more olive oil.  Your Heart won’t care what you call the feeding plan any more than your aching hip will care. The bottom line is the results.

Why all the new names for old ways?

It’s part marketing, part psychology, part people don’t want to change so we keep seeking new ways to inspire this ever important change in lifestyle. If you look at most diets for improving health conditions, they have so many commonalities, it gets boring.  When I graduated from Nutrition School, there were not 2 but 5 new feeding guides or charts. There were 3 pyramids, and 2 eating plates, plus a Circle.

Then the fanatics started fighting with those who believed that moderation and eating whole foods is best. People will argue all the time. Not too long ago, coconut was bad. Now it’s so good there is a whole new industry. While many claim coconut oil does wonders, only a few doctors say sure, but eat the WHOLE coconut. I’ve heard many health entrepreneurs tout the virtues of 3 tablespoons of pure coconut oil a day – but I’ve not heard that from a single medical doctor. And most doctors may study the science, but they rarely have advice on how to follow a food plan. Don’t the docs just follow what the nutrition trends are anyway?  No one knows the long term effects. Not really. It’s too crazy.

Bottom line: There are several ways to go about reaching your health improvement targets.

  1. Eat to lower your inflammation
  2. Eat Local – food grown nearest you, preferably organic
  3. Eat Asian foods – Asian mushrooms are known for lowering inflammation
  4. Eat Mediterranean style – lots of fish, vegetables, and olive oil
  5. Eat Fresh and if you can’t eat fresh frozen whole food is better than canned or boxed
  6. Stay away from pre prepared, prepackaged, mass merchandised foods. Read the labels. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s an additive that your body won’t love.

Honestly?  You can break it all down to this simplistic view: The New Mediterranean Diet is closely related to the Asian Diet and sometimes called the Mediterranean / Asian Diet. Both serve well to lower inflammation in the body, but neither are completely fool proof. While most people will lose weight and lower blood pressure and cholesterol while following this plan, it is totally designed to lower inflammation.

Kid Friendly AI Diet

Kid Friendly Mediterranean Anti-Inflammation Diet

EAT MORE VEGETABLES AND FRUITS

CUT OUT PROCESSED FOODS

EAT WHOLE AND CRACKED GRAINS, BEANS AND LEGUMES, AND SMALL AMOUNTS OF PASTA

WATCH YOUR FATS, AND EAT HEALTHY FATS

EAT WILD CAUGHT PACIFIC FISH AND SEAFOOD

EAT SOME WHOLE SOY FOODS

EAT ASIAN MUSHROOMS

GET QUALITY PROTEIN SUCH AS EGGS, BONE BROTH, PEAS … AND LIMIT CHEESE

LEARN ABOUT HEALTHY SPICES

DRINK 3 – 4 cups of GREEN TEA daily

CHECK YOUR SUPPLEMENTS — WHOLE FOOD BASED SUPPLEMENTS THAT SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, YOUR HEART AND LOWER INFLAMMATION ARE HOT

RED WINE IS GOOD — BEER HAS GLUTEN  — HARD LIQUOR ON RARE OCCASION…

SWEETS ARE TREATS – NOT A STAPLE. GO EASY

There are 2 key elements to all dietary plans often unmentioned. It’s built within the Mediterranean Diet. It’s built into the Anti-Inflammation diet. It’s part and parcel of every diet on the planet. We are human beings, not robots. While many grew up playing, somehow we failed to keep active. It’s as if we reached a certain age and were expected to stay seated, indoors, in an office.  Oh, the American Dream:  Get old, stop moving, and make money.  Many wrongly believed that healthy habits were a waste of precious time – they figured they could always lose the added weight once they retired, but they didn’t get that the risk of life altering disease was so close at hand.

Good news, guys: There is always hope. There is always a benefit from starting right now to change your lifestyle.
You have to want it.  And starting with the most basic of all tips, you can get your health back.  But you have to want it. 

It is like we should all know, but then some need constant reminders:
EVERYDAY RULES:
1) STAY ACTIVE – protect your muscles and joints — and keep those bones strong. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That doesn’t mean work out like you plan to run the next Boston (or Seattle) Marathon. It means keep using what you’ve got.  Rest is fine, but sedentary living leads to more issues. MOVE.

AND

2) GET OUTSIDE – the most natural source of Vitamin D is the sun. The most natural way to perk yourself up in body, mind and spirit is to get a daily dose of at least 15 minutes a day of natural and UNFILTERED sunlight. It is not good enough to drive your car. It is not good enough to sit in a window. If you are sick or unable, that’s fine. But if you are not — get outside.  It’s good for all of you.

Harvardeatingplateapr2013

Harvard’s Eating Plate

 

 

 

 

BWBCoffeeCup

Have some green tea and ponder what you really want.

Roasted Beet, Garlic Scape, and Kale Salad

Asian Rice Mix

Asian 8 Grain Rice

Raw Carrot and Beets cubed, drizzled with EVO and tossed in Lemon Juice

Carrot and Beet Raw Salad with Lemon and EVO

Kale, Roasted Beets, Feta. and Sunflower shoots

Freshly Done

Anasazi Beans

Beans Beans Beans

What else to do with Kale and Roasted Beets

Kale, Beet, Feta and Sunflower Shoots

Roasted Beet, Garlic Scape and

Beans are Anti Inflammatory

Bean, Avocado, Garlic Scape Salad

Kale Salad — an all-new recipe that looks delish!

 In order to make this Roasted Beet, Garlic Scapes and Kale Salad, I had some ‘mis-en-plac’ to do. Cook once, eat twice is what they teach in school.  I take that a bit farther. I’ll make the basics in larger quantities and that leaves me with a lot of ways to use the same things. My challenge is making the right amount and getting a flavor filled variety. No one wants to get bored.

I love salads but I’m not always eager to put one together at the last minute. It’s summer. And that means farmer’s markets are bountiful.   We’ve experimented a lot of late – it beats paying restaurant prices and as a decent home chef, I can make it work.

Beans?  Man, I’ve never liked them.  But I’ve got to make some changes. Beans are high fiber, higher protein, cleansing, and economical. I’ve got to try. Again.

I got up this morning to a freshly soaked pot of beans.  I don’t have a clue why people love them, but once again, I am going to try.

First up was to cook my Anasazi Beans on a slow simmer.

But while at it, I  made not 1 but 3 salads. In 35 minutes!

I happen to love raw beets and carrots with a drizzle of EVO and lemon juice.  (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). I got busy peeling and chopping.  Three Salads in the time it takes to cook beans: 35 minutes exactly

Cook the beans in a large pot covered with 3 x the water as beans. Peel and chop your beets and carrots while this starts simmering. Set oven to roast at 400, spread beets on a cooking pan and drizzle with a little EVO and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. While this cooks:

  1. Raw Beet and Carrot Salad: Chopped Beets and sliced carrots tossed in a bit of lemon juice and EVO, sprinkled with salt and pepper, add some pine nuts, add some of whatever you want. Or savor this and add to other green salads
  2. Then I rinsed my cooked beans and tossed a cup into a salad bowl along with several delightfully fresh chopped ingredients: Tomato, Avocado, Scapes and more lemon juice and EVO.  I added some 9-grain rice.   And there it is. A bland yet healthy light salad with just enough flavor that it’s more exciting than boring.  And you can add whatever other texture or flavor, color or texture you want.
  3.  The Main Event: An inspired salad of Roasted Beets, Garlic Scapes, and Kale.  I made some 9-grain rice to add. Tossed in some Feta for flavor. Made a quick dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic, garlic, and salt.  I’ll put the dressing on the salad just before we eat it.

That, friends, is how I created 3 great salads in 35 minutes including cooking the beans and the rice, roasting the beets, and enjoying a savory breakfast right afterward.  It’s taken the rest of the day to get the photos, do some research, print some Anti-Inflammation documents, and get my photo printer to cooperate.

Why is that important?
I get to play with menus on Thursday. I might do some photos and videos, but we’ll spend the morning creating new things and finding fun ways to incorporate this Anti-Inflammation plan into already healthy recipes. I’m spending time with my friend Teri, and we are going to have fun in the kitchen.  And I’m bringing her a packet of information that I compiled for this Anti-Inflammation madness.

Game Changer

The Game Changer: Inflammation

It’s time for a game changer. While many health fads come and go, the anti-inflammation solution is here to stay. Focusing on fighting inflammation …

Life Pushed. I’m pushing back!  When I started health coaching and making my obsession with healthy living a way to share the legacy passed on to me by my parents, I wasn’t sure what would really come of it.  We studied hundreds of dietary theory, nutrition, science, trend.  The bottom line is Health matters. And it’s really confusing. It’s also hugely controversial. Too many antagonists insist their way is the only way. I guess I’m about to throw my hat in the ring as the Anti-Inflammation expert.

The plan was to enlighten and ignite others with a renewed healthy passion. Classes, workshops, retreats, and of course writing copy and content for myself and others. I’m a writer, right? We want to be out there living! The best way to do it is to manage our health as best we can. At 55, I was at the prime time to do something that would help others, be fun, and replace my previous career.

And then it happened. I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I was now loaded with current information, creds, and a background that included Foods, Nutrition, Meal Planning and Culinary expertise.  I was focused on helping people like me – later in life and not remotely ready to sit down and rest. Who hoo!  I was a real health coach and authority. Thrilled to be a part of the great Ripple Effect, I was ready to leave my technical career behind. I moved forward with a focused niche in writing, coaching and teaching. I’d have the best of both worlds: Copy and content writing and directly helping others get better and live better.  It was not my plan to be smacked down with a big game changer. Read More→

Anti-Inflammation Eating

Anti-Inflammation Eating

Lower Your Risk – Lower your inflammation

Anti-Inflammation Eating

It’s a lifestyle. It’s a way of eating. It’s a way of living life like it counts.
Anti-Inflammation Eating is the new way to help your body heal.

First a bit of background on the newest phase: Anti-Inflammation Eating is about eating to lower your risk of serious disease that used to be considered issues of aging. Not anymore. Too many are seeing signs of diabetes, heart disease, and even signs of arthritis earlier than ever before.

I’m a bit of a pioneer. Starting in the 70’s, eating healthfully and living actively was my thing. My reason for being was to live life well.  I’d come through the drug thing. I’d walked away from a close circle of friends to save my life. That meant significant change.  Out with drinking and drugging my life away, and on with making a difference. Answering the call to awareness, to mindfulness, to living life as if it mattered. Anti-Inflammation Eating wasn’t even a consideration. Back then inflammation meant a sprained ankle. Take ibuprofen. But now? Now We know better. We know that trying to cure systemic inflammation with ibuprofen will not give long term results before creating other problems.

This has been a windy road for me — being aware that the only thing I could really control in my life was my choices — I chose to do what I could to be healthy. In some ways, it was about wanting a vibrancy. But in other ways, it was because I didn’t want to be a burden on my loved ones.  Not if I could help it.

Out with red meat.
Out with empty calories – as Mom used to call junk food.
Out with eating for comfort and in with eating for fuel and nutrition.

That’s all old news. Everyone alive has heard it. Cut down on the red meats, white foods, and sugar. Eating a balanced diet has changed to eating a nutrient dense diet. Eating fewer calories than you burn is old news. Now we are told to eat coconut oil and olive oil.  It’s enough to make a grown girl cry.

But here’s the dealio — we can all continue to learn as we grow into the people we want to be. Please folks, please don’t assume that simply changing your diet means you can suddenly stop prescriptions or stop listening to a doctor. They mean well. Changing your diet can save your life, but don’t assume you can blow off the doctor’s instructions. Not at first.  It will take time.

Eating is part science and part art. Creating new menus is fun. Creating menus with friends and family? That’s a bonus.
Here’s a base for menu planning. sampleMealPlan

When 4 of us are told eat an Anti-Inflammation Diet for FOUR DIFFERENT REASONS, there’s something going on. When I was in nutrition school, we talked about alkaline diets more than inflammation. We talked about the Mediterranean and the Asian diets. And we talked about eating to cure what ails you.

Yes – there is something going on around here. It’s knowledge. It’s empowerment. When we can do some simple things to lower our risk, we mitigate what we can and thus have some sense of empowerment. We start to feel better on many levels. And then we take even more action. Everyone can benefit. Everyone!

I was told AI diet to reduce hip inflammation.
He was told AI diet to better deal with CFS / ME.
She was told AI diet to best deal  with cancer and diabetes.
She was told AI diet to deal with cancer, radiation, and lymph node removal.

In all, the AI diet helps the body by reducing inflammation. Not the kind of inflammation you get with a broken or sprained ankle, but the insidious internal inflammation that leads to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other issues once considered just a ‘part of aging’.

The truth is that eating certain foods is known to lower the risk of all of those diseases.  Following my practice of doing all that i possibly can to support me, eating this way is a huge part of it.

Why? Well, because I care. Don’t you care?

For starters, you have to look at your normal shopping habits. Figure out what you replace with what. No more red meat? Ok – what’s for protein? No more sugar? What’s for that sweet tooth?

Anti-Inflammation Eating
This site shows a great visual:  http://www.aesthetica.com.au/eating-an-anti-inflammatory-diet/

And if what you really want is know-how on how to shop to support your new lifestyle, I’ve got a great handout for you.

AI ShoppingTips

And here’s how to maximize the effect of Tumeric (Curcumin)
http://www.realfarmacy.com/kitchen-table-strategies-effectively-optimize-turmeric-maximum-bioavailability-therapeutic-potency/

A Day A Week A Month Living with CFS ME

A Day A Week A Month

How to live so that CFS ME doesn’t suck the life out of the wife!!!

Started to write a post about a day in the life with someone who has CFS / ME because it’s such a confusing and fluctuating ordeal. Many ask me why he can’t do this, that or the other thing. Or how it is that he can one day, but not the next. This is so baffling I can easily say it’s worse than cancer, or losing a limb, or this or that… but you’ve all heard it before. What you don’t hear much about is how we keep up hope, love, and a glimmer of courage.  What I rarely do is cry for help — for most often I get advice but not help.

At first, I was angry and frustrated. How could this happen? What did I do so wrong that life became such hell?  I’m a nice person who usually goes out of her way to help friends and family. I’m a good woman. Why! Why! Why!  But that was so long ago. Now? I’m just grateful for the love we share. It’s not easy. It’s hell. It’s terrifying. But it is what it is and I decided long ago: I don’t run away from this just because it’s hard, I’m scared, and we aren’t finding a cure.  Leaving would be cruel and selfish. Living with someone who has cfs  me forces a patience usually reserved for the dying – but it’s less predictable. And there is no endpoint.
thornyloveSo we go day to day. People do. They get by. They find ways.

Not to whine — we kept trying to figure out a flexible career.  We found people loved our team approach and we loved the creative ways we could serve. Photography is a gift. Words flow. And Design? it’s what we did in the corporate realm so we offered the same approach to smaller ops.  It was our key selling point.   Together we made a good team. 

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Hearts Line

Hearts Line – Telling friends what was going on meant laying our hearts on the line. Living with the unknown, knowing a chronic illness was sucking the life out of us both — it was too much to bear. Hearts Line is about loving  the line of life with a chronic illness. Hearts Line. It’s what carries us forward. 

2 years ago – Crowd Funding – Honesty and Fear
We became transparent. We told the truth. Chronic Illness was killing us. We had few options. 

Was it worth it? I often wonder. 

Like the first little bloom -- fighting our way through the cold and dark ..

Like the first little bloom — fighting our way through the cold and dark ..

After 13 years of chronic illness, some years better than others, but a constant chasing the dragon, I know it was worth it. Knowing the dragon by name, calming it’s flames, and constantly seeking ways to survive with its crazy constant surprises .. it means we live with a dragon. Better the beast you know, right?  We’d chased doctors for 13 years. From the day after my Dad died until today, Rick’s fought this demon and it’s invisible, unkind, unpredictable, and constantly changing and challenging.

12 Step Principles applied to daily life with a chronic illness such as CFS / ME 

This CFS / ME is worse than dealing with an addiction. There is no beverage or substance to blame.
And yet, without the tools of the program, there is no surviving this.  The first principle I had to repeat daily was that I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.  It’s so important. Remembering this meant sanity. It meant I was not in charge of his recovery, I could help, I could guide, but ultimately, it’s not in our control. 
The 3s:
The three c’s are as important in chronic illness as they are in accepting an addiction.  So are the three A’s — Awareness, Acceptance and then Action. Until these are grasped, there is no serenity, no mindful awareness, no appropriate and timely action. Rushing into solutions can often cause more problems.

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