Posts Tagged ‘fibromyalgia’

  1. Tahini Sauce

    June 26, 2016 by Heather

    Tahini

     

    Tahini Sauce
    A wonderful alternative to the typical pre-made dips full of cheap ingredients and chemicals that you might find at your July 4th gathering!
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    Ingredients
    1. 1/2 cup tahini
    2. 1/4 cup water
    3. 3 tablespoons lemon juice - preferably fresh squeezed
    4. 2 Tbsp braggs aminos
    5. 2 Tbsp maple syrup
    6. 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    7. Himalayan salt and pepper (to your taste)
    8. pinch of cayenne (to your taste)
    Instructions
    1. In a bowl briskly whisk together the tahini and water until combined.
    2. It will look separated at first: just keep whisking!
    3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week. Delicious atop sautéed greens like kale or a whole grain side dish like quinoa. Also great for a dip for your July 4th parties!
    Fit With Fibro http://fitwithfibro.com/

  2. Step into your power!

    May 25, 2016 by Heather

    Step into your power...

     

    I registered for a health coaching retreat today and I cried.  It was one of those ugly cries.  I cried because it’s been a long journey to get to this point of stepping into my power.  Someone told me a few weeks ago that my story may inspire someone to step into their own.  So I hope parts of my story resonate with you and that maybe you can share it with someone that might also be moved by it.

    You may ask what this has to do with Fibro or chronic illness or healthy living.  It does because our emotional wellness is so very much connected to our physical being.  And for a very long time I fought an uphill battle trying to balance the two.  Until I met this wonderful man that showed me how it is supposed to be.  The reasons why I am where I am today is because I knew I deserved better and I hope that if you’re in the situation I found myself in that you too realize the very same thing.  Everyone woman deserves to be treated like a queen.  I truly believe that.  But, we, as chronic illness warriors, need and deserve someone that will love and support us even on our toughest days.  I know that that person is not easy to find.  In fact, it took me this long to find him. But I implore you not to give up and not to settle for any less than you deserve.

    Let me back up and tell you a little about my story so that you understand.  In 2008 I was married to a man that seemed to be the perfect spouse.  Sure, we had our problems, but I never had any indication that soon after we were married he would throw a glass across the room toward my head.  And that started the cascade of abuse that ended our marriage in 2013.  I will spare you the details.  But once I decided that I could not longer live like that I fought and clawed my way out until I could change the locks and file for divorce.  That took a couple of years of biding my time until I could get to that point.  Soon after I met a man that swept me off my feet.  I had many red flags but ignored them.  Please do not ignore the red flags.  If you take nothing else away from this post, please listen to your gut!  I lived with this man for three years, during which time the abuse kept escalating and I left.  That is condensing things a great deal but you see I did not leave a bad marriage to relive it again in my next relationship.  I could have stayed for convenience but I value myself too much.  So I packed up my stuff, put most of it in storage, and moved in with a friend.  Was that the easy way out?  No, but I needed to protect myself, my heart and my pets who were also suffering.  My poor cats lived in a room for two months.  I will never forgive myself for doing that to them.  But they were safe right?  I see now that the reg flags were screaming at me early on to listen to them.  But I didn’t.   I’m hoping that my story inspires some of you going through something similar to listen. 

    So back to why I cried when I registered today for that retreat.  Because when I left that house in February with all my crap and no direction I promised myself that I would never settle for less than I was worth, even if that meant being alone for the rest of my life. For two months I cried.  I’ll be honest I think I was severely depressed.  But I kept plugging along.  Because people count on me to be the strong one.  Until a friend I had known for several years became much more than a friend and turned out to be everything I could have ever hoped for.  I cried today because I have never been so completely supported in all that I do.  I’ve never been so completely supported in my illness.  I was always jealous of those women that had that spouse or significant other.  Ladies, I know they are difficult to find. But I’m writing this post not so much that you know my story, but that you know your worth and if that isn’t being supported that you find a way that it is.  Listen to the flags, listen to your heart.  It won’t lead you astray.  You are powerful.  You are worth every bit of wonderful.  It exists.  Step into that.

    Peace & love,

    Heather


  3. Traveling? Great tips from your Fibro peers!

    May 12, 2016 by Heather

    bakeshop

    I have had several requests from my clients on tips on how to travel well with Fibro.  Recently, I put up a post on my Fit With Fibro page asking for traveling tips from my followers because, after all, they know best right??  So instead of blathering on about my own tips, I wanted to share what my followers shared.   So that I keep their information in tact, I’m going to provide their information in quotes, without names, to protect privacy.   I hope that this is helpful!  And at the end I’ll add my own tips if anything important was missed.  Feel free to comment below if you have a tip that was not mentioned.

    “I’ve noticed that sitting upright really wears me out, so I try to recline as much as possible while also trying to make sure my low back and sitz bones are properly supported.”

    “Make sure you have your enough of your meds to make the trip and back too. Nothing sucks worse than hassling with a pharmacy to get your meds in another state.”

    “Go in with a positive time!!!!”

    “Wear loose fitting comfortable garb. Nothing worse than a pinching waistline, especially if your fibro is flaring and you’re hypersensitive.”

    “Yoga pants and a cami undershirt with a built in shelf bra are my best friends on a road trip!”

    “I love compression wear for flights. Lulu lemon has the best, in my opinion. I also don’t wear jewelry and wear my hair up to minimize external over sensitization. I plan my outfit for the airport very well to ease taking off and putting on things. I also cut out and carry all my paper prescription receipts (from the pharmacy with your name and the dosage) in my wallet just in case. Headphones with pre downloaded songs or audio books or assisted meditation for cars or the plane. A coloring book works well, too. Makes the time go by quickly.”

    “If traveling by car take frequent breaks and make yourself get out and walk. Carry nutritious snacks with you because it is sometimes difficult to find them on the road.”

    “Stay hydrated. Take blankets and pillows on a road trip. Travel with flexible clothes; I don’t wear a belt when I have to sit a long time. Yoga pants and a shelf bra help me stay relatively comfortable on long trips. Build in rest times and try not to plan more than one thing at a set time each day, but have a prioritized list of other activities that you can do for good days. If you’re going to be standing or walking a lot, compression socks will help your legs go the distance (if you can stand the pressure).”

    “Make sure you travel companions know about your illness. Know the schedule so you can identify when you may need to rest or take a break from the group, pack healthy snacks like nuts, give yourself time to rest before departure and after arrival! !!! People tend to pack their days with activities when on vacation, it’s okay for some people but not the fibro body.  If you find spots in the day to rest you are more likely to maintain activity level throughout the trip. This means you have to be with a group that knows your limits and will understand when you have to leave early or opt out of an activity.”

    “If they are traveling very far I highly suggest a motor home, we bought one so I can lay down or recline or sit on the couch all while having a restroom handy. I also travel with a fibro “toolkit”. It has an ice bag, a rice bag I can heat, a change of looser clothes, a blanket, essential oils, peppermint candies and gum and extra meds.”

    “It’s perfectly okay to ask for help getting your luggage into and out of the overhead compartment. People are generally helpful and I’ve never had trouble when I had to ask for assistance from a fellow passenger.”

    “I get extra sore traveling especially if I’m in the vehicle a lot or in the hotel room a lot. So I always bring bath bombs I get online that have ingredients especially for fibro suffers. At the end of the day I can take a relaxing bath and it helps a lot.”

    “We travel often – usually road trips. Most important thing for me over anything else is frequent stops to move around. Even if it’s just the side of the road. We stop at least once an hour and walk around for about 5 minutes each time.”

    “Build in rest periods. If you do something busy one day, have a mellow day the next. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.”

    “If you’re travelling by plane get your pharmacy to make a bubble pack of your meds and vitamins so you don’t have to carry a bunch of things with you.”

    “If you’re on a lengthy flight, be sure to choose an aisle seat. This allows you get up to stretch out without having to clamber over other people.”

    “Always give yourself 2-3 or more days before and after travelling,  i.e. wedding on Saturday, arrive by Wednesday at latest and limit activities until event.”

    “If you take prescription meds make sure to get prescriptions from your doctor before you leave if you don’t have enough for your trip.”

    “Make a check list. Pack a week in advance.”

    “Pace yourself. Take breaks. Stay hydrated. Take pain meds if needed (not a time to play hero). Eat light meals.”

    “Take a soft blanket. Bring your pillow from home.”

    “I take my tens unit with me and book a place with a hot tub!”

    “Stay hydrated, rest often, ask for help when you need to.”

    “Plan ahead and request a wheel chair in airports.”

    “Bring heat or cold packs, wear layers, bring option for shoes.”

    “Heated travel cushion is a must for me when traveling in the car, lots of coconut water for extra magnesium, potassium, and hydration, essential oils for relaxation and headaches, ear plugs for unexpected loud noises, loose fitting clothing, and my own pillow and blanket to make sleeping in a different place a bit easier.”

     Aren’t these such great tips from our fellow fibro warriors?  I will emphasize staying hydrated and packing healthy snacks.  I encourage my clients to eat as closely to what they eat at home as possible to avoid food reactions, digestive distress and inflammation.  I also encourage my clients to stay on their current supplement schedule.  If traveling by plane, I make sure to carry my powders in their original containers to avoid being stopped by TSA.  And I use multiple Monday-Sunday pill boxes to organize my supplements.  Just recently I have also traveled with both coconut oil and apple cider vinegar in their original containers, wrapped super, in plastic bags and in my checked bag.  They do sell a foam roller that has a hollow inside that you can store things such as underwear, socks etc. so that it isn’t a space waster.  I also travel with my heating pad and my tennis ball.  Anything that is a must at home for keeping you comfortable is a must for travel! Sometimes this takes time, effort, and creativity but it can be done.  I hope this helps you and again comment below if there is something that you swear by that is missed here!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather

     


  4. Can’t get to sleep???

    March 3, 2016 by Heather

    Sleep Hygiene

    Are you having trouble falling asleep?  Staying asleep?  Follow these tips below for a better night sleep TONITE!

    #1 Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine, and Other Chemicals that Interfere with Sleep
    Avoid these 4-6 hours before bed. Although alcohol may help bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, increasing the number of awakenings and generally decreasing the quality of sleep later in the night.

    #2 Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
    A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote sound sleep. To achieve this try earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light. Keep the temperature comfortably cool, between 60 and 75°F, and the room well ventilated. And make sure your mattress and pillows are comfortable as well as your sheets.
    Keeping computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room will strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.

    #3 Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine
    An hour or so before bed participate in some relaxing activities. Take a bath, read a book, have a cup of herbal tea, meditate or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities such as doing work, discussing emotional issues etc. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down in a journal.

    #4 Go to Sleep When You’re Truly Tired
    Struggling to fall sleep just leads to frustration. If you’re not asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do something relaxing, like reading or listening to music until you are tired enough to sleep. The same thing holds true for if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Just make sure to keep the lights dim during this time. The worst thing you can do is watch the clock. It can increase your stress level over not being able to sleep. Try turning it away so you cannot see it.

    #5 Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
    Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s internal clock to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine on as well. If you did not sleep well the night before, try to get up at the same time to maintain your schedule and keep your internal clock set.

    #6 Nap Early
    If you feel like a nap is necessary keep it short and before 5 p.m. If you nap too late it may affect your ability to sleep later.

    #7 Lighten Up on Evening Meals
    Eat your dinner and try to keep it lighter than your breakfast and/or lunch. A small snack before bed is alright if you have issues with low cortisol/low blood sugar during the night.

    #8 Balance Fluid Intake
    Drink enough fluid at night to keep from waking up thirsty but not so much and so close to bedtime that you will be awakened by the need for a trip to the bathroom.

    #9 Exercise Early
    Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly but don’t exercise too late in the day. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which can keep you awake.

    #10 Shut down your devices early
    Shut down your electronic devices and hour or two before bed as they have been shown to affect melatonin.

    Have you tried any of these? If you do, or have, I’d love to hear how it went!  Leave a comment below or send me a message!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather


  5. Powerful Plant Protein

    January 25, 2016 by Heather

    Eat

    “I was determined to know beans.”— Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field

    How about you? How well do you know beans?

    Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.

    Consider this: Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories.

    Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

    What To Do With Beans

    Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them. Are you one of them? Keep reading:

    • Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad.
    • Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
    • Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
    • Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
    • Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
    • Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.

    If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips for delicious and well-cooked beans.

    • Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
    • Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking).
    • After soaking, rinse, fill pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
    • To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water
    • Cover and simmer for the suggested time.  Skim off the foam off the top.
    • Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
    • Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead (some people find them even easier to digest!). Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.

     

    How do you like to eat your beans?  Have you been afraid to eat beans because of their, ahem, gas producing effects? Try the tips above and let me know how you make out!  I’d love to hear from you!!

     


  6. Do you have enough stomach acid?

    January 8, 2016 by Heather

    Stomach acid

    How is your stomach acid?  Do you even know?  Today I wanted to bring attention to the importance of stomach acid and the role of Betaine HCL in increasing it.  Stomach acid really is good for you.  Without it, your health suffers.  Our digestion suffers and we are not able to absorb the nutrients from our food which results in further health issues.  In fact, gut issues are one of the root causes as to why we got sick in the first place.  Betaine HCL increases the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food. Normal levels of hydrochloric acid are required for complete digestion of proteins and absorption of amino acids. It’s also required for the extraction of vitamin B12 from our food. Betaine HCL helps to restore the proper acid levels in the stomach and maintain healthy GI function.

    So how do you know if you’re suffering from low stomach acid?  Here are some signs that you might be:

    Indigestion

    Gas

    Bloating

    Undigested food in your stool

    Acid reflux

    GERD

    Constipation

    Diarrhea

    Malabsorption

    Nutrient deficiencies

    I wanted to mention a few things about acid reflux.  Often we are prescribed proton pump inhibitors for this (pepcid, zantac, etc.)  This can cause a few problems.  If your acid reflux is as a result of insufficient stomach acid, the proton pump inhibitors will further decrease your already low stomach acid, further exacerbating the problem.  Proton pump inhibitors have also been shown to deplete B12 and magnesium, two things we, as Fibro peeps, are typically deficient in already.  

    So how can we increase our stomach acid?  One option is apple cider vinegar in the middle of a meal.  The other option is supplementing with betaine HCL with pepsin (make sure it has the pepsin).  A stomach that doesn’t produce enough HCL also won’t make enough pepsin.  Without pepsin, we can’t break down proteins into the peptides required for proper absorption. 

    Please note: those taking anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids, NSAIDS etc. should not take Betaine HCL with pepsin unless they are working with a qualified practitioner.  These drugs can initiate damage to the GI lining that HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of ulcer.  A safer bet, if on these medications, unless working with a qualified practitioner, is digestive bitters

    Here are a few tips on getting starting with Betaine HCL with pepsin.  If you are concerned or have questions, please reach out to me or contact your physician. 

    How to figure out your Betaine HCL Dose:
    Each person will have a specific supplementary HCL dosage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a special formula. It’s a case of trial and error until you get to the correct dosage. You must find the correct dosage. Failing to do so will be a waste of time and money.
    To figure out the right dosage:
    • Eat a meal that contains at least 15-20 grams of protein.
    • Start by taking 1 pill of Betaine HCL during the beginning of the meal.
    • Finish the meal as normal and observe your body for any changes in feeling associated with the stomach and belly button area. Things to look for: heaviness, hotness, burning, or other GI distress.
    • Stay at this dosage of 1 pill for another day of meals with protein and if you don’t notice anything on the 3rd day, try 2 pills.
    • Stay there for another day and then try 3 pills.
    • Keep increasing the number of pills taken with each meal until you notice some GI discomfort described above.
    • When this happens, you will know your ideal Betaine HCL dosage is 1 pill less.

    Things to note:
    If you eat a snack or meal without much protein, you won’t need as much Betaine HCL. For a small snack such as fruit, you won’t need any at all.

    When you experience the GI discomfort finding your correct dosage, you can mix ½ tsp of baking soda in 8 oz of water and drink it to help lessen the pain.

    A normal functioning stomach is capable of producing and handling extreme acid ranges. If your dosage starts getting extremely high without any GI distress, you must use your GI symptoms as a guide instead. These include burping, bloating, gas and stool consistency. In this case, try to find the minimum dose needed to help your GI symptoms.

    As you start to heal your gut, your bodies ability to produce its own stomach acid will improve. You may need to tweak your Betaine HCL dose from time to time to compensate for this. This is a good thing!!

    I’d love to hear about your experiences with Betaine HCL.  Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or comments.  I also work with many clients on issues such as low stomach acid.  I’m here to help!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather

     

    Note: the above post contains affiliate links.  If you use the links to purchase the products I mentioned, I earn a small commission that goes toward running this site.  I only recommend products I use. 

     


  7. Adventures in Sauerkraut…

    December 17, 2015 by Heather

    Have you ever gone on a stint where absolutely nothing tastes good to you?  I’m not sure, but I think it’s the Lyme treatment but all I want is sauerkraut.  So I was buying it two jars at a time.  Not cheap my friends!  I joined a CSA this summer and I had cabbage coming out of my ears.  I made soup with it, roasted it, sauteed it and each time I wanted to gag.  I don’t blame the cabbage, really I don’t.  So I decided to try making my own sauerkraut.  After all, how hard could it be!?  It really wasn’t hard at all but I did learn a couple things with my first batch.  I think the amount of time you ferment it to your particular tastes is important.  My first batch tasted a bit too salty for me and I’m not quite sure why.  My second batch is still fermenting but stay tuned.  I’m going to let it ferment for longer this time and I think the head of cabbage this time was bigger, so I’m hoping the ratio of salt to cabbage is better.  I also cut the cabbage thinner for this second batch.  Please note:  I used himalayan salt.  You can use sea salt but please do not use your run of the mill iodized salt.  A good quality sea salt or himalayan salt is what you want. 

    Here are the very simple directions.  FYI…the mashing is very therapeutic.  🙂  If you make your own send me a message or comment below and let me know how it went!! 

    You’ll need:

    1 medium head of cabbage, himalayan or sea salt, medium bowl, a wooden spoon, mason jar (I used quart)

    Per one medium head of cabbage, sprinkle 1.5 tbsp salt onto cut up cabbage and let sit for 10 minutes in a medium bowl.  You will want to remove the outer wilted leaves of the cabbage, remove the core and cut the cabbage very thin and as uniform as you can get it.

    sauerkraut1

    After it sits, mash the cabbage with your hands until it starts to release its juices, about 15 minutes.  You want a nice amount of liquid at the bottom of your bowl.  This is a great exercise if you need to get some frustrations out! 🙂

    sauerkraut.jpg

     

    Once you have a good amount of juice in the bottom of the bowl, grab your mason jar and start packing the cabbage in.  You’ll want to put a few spoonfuls in and pack it down, repeat etc. so there are no air bubbles.  This also allows more liquid to be released.  Repeat this process until all the cabbage is in the jar and be sure to leave about 2 inches at the top so the cabbage can expand as it ferments.  If you don’t have enough liquid at the top to cover the cabbage you can make a brine.  It’s important that ALL the cabbage is covered so that you don’t get any mold.  Recipe for brine solution: Dissolve 1 tbsp salt (himalayan or sea salt) in 4 cups water.  You can keep this in the fridge if you don’t use it all.

    sauerkraut3

     

    Ok so now you have all your cabbage in the jar, covered completely.  Put the jar in a dark place away from direct sunlight and cover very loosely.  I put it on a plate with a paper towel underneath because it will expand and leak out of the jar.  I kept checking it every day to make sure there was enough liquid at the top.

    sauerkraut4

    As I mentioned before, I fermented the first jar for about a week.  That, for me, was not long enough.  But I don’t think I cut the cabbage thin enough.  Each individual’s tastes will vary so taste it after about a week and see how it tastes to you.  If it’s not to your liking then just allow it to ferment longer.  Once it is tangy enough for your taste, simply move it to the refrigerator.  I have read it keeps up to 6 months in the fridge.  I know it wouldn’t last that long in my house!

    Enjoy!!


  8. Meal prep…on the weekend!

    November 6, 2015 by Heather

    Meal prepon the weekend

    Ok some of you are super busy during the week and meal prep becomes difficult. Some of you have days that you are feeling super poopy and meal prep is out of the question. What happens? You go for unhealthy eats and you feel worse. Why? Because your body needs super nutritious fuel to feel it’s best. So how can you combat the busy or the feeling poopy? What can you do to get nutritious fuel into that body of yours? Well…..I could tell you to reach for your Shakeology, and that would be a nice alternative but you’ll need to do some kind of meal prep too. Sorry, you knew I was going to say that!! So…I recommend you do this on the weekend so that there are no excuses during the week to not eat healthy. This will take some time on your part on the weekend but once it becomes routine it will go quick and easy and you’ll thank me for it. 🙂  Remember, the freezer and the crockpot are your friends!

    Here are a list of things you can prepare on the weekend to prepare for the week ahead.

    Grains (brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal etc.) You’ll want to soak this the day before. You can have a couple pots of these cooking at the same time to make your life easier.
    Beans (again you’ll want to soak these the day before). I cook up atleast a bag for the week because you can pretty much add them to anything. These freeze well too.
    Lentils. They are great because they don’t need to be soaked.
    Hard boiled eggs if you’re not vegan.  These are great to add to salads or grab or go.
    A big ole’ pot of any kind of healthy soup you like. You can eat throughout the week and/or freeze leftovers.
    Homemade trail mix is so much healthier than the stuff you buy in the store. Make your own with dried fruit (preferably no sugar added), raw or roasted nuts (I would roast yourself) and anything else you’d like to add.
    Chop up a bunch of veggies to grab and go with some hummus or nut butter and to have on hand for easy dishes. No chopping necessary during the week!! You’re welcome!  You can also use some of these veggies to make up a big salad to have on hand for lunches, dinners, side dishes etc.
    Protein sources you can cook up ahead of time and keep in the fridge and/or freezer. Examples are chicken, fish, tofu, ground turkey, ground chicken etc. Get grass fed meats whenever possible.
    Casseroles are another thing that you can make up on the weekends that freeze very well.
    Veggie burgers! They freeze well and are great to have on hand on a busy night or when you don’t feel up to cooking.

    Do you need some healthy recipes?  I have a bunch on this blog and on my Facebook page.  If you go ahead and try this meal prep let me know how it works for you!  I’d love to hear from you!

    Peace & Love,

    Heather


  9. Heal the Gut

    October 12, 2015 by Heather

    lessons

    One of the most important things we can do when we have Fibro is heal our gut!  Not enough attention is paid to this crucial piece of the puzzle!  80% of our immune system is in our gut.  When our gut is in distress we are at increased risk for colds, auto immune issues, other diseases, cancer etc.  When our gut is not working properly we lose our ability to digest and absorb nutrients which leads to food intolerances and further disease.   This is one of the reasons we get sick to begin with.  So in order to heal we need to first work on our guts.  I personally do this as a combination of food and supplementation.  Below I will outline what foods and supplements are helpful. As always, start one thing at a time so you know what’s working or what may not be working for YOU.  We are all individual and what works for one may not work for someone else.  Oh ya and bonus?!  Healing our guts can also help us lose weight!  Woot!  Why?  Because an unhealthy gut leads to inflammation.  Inflammation = weight gain. 

    Prebiotics

    Prebiotics are foods or supplements high in soluble fiber.  Foods high in prebiotics are: jicama, onions, garlic, asparagus, leeks, bananas, chicory root and artichokes.  If you don’t get enough of these foods you can always take a prebiotic supplement.  I love my Shakeology for both probiotics and prebiotics! 

    Probiotics

    Your gut needs probiotics for a well-balanced microbiome.  Foods high in probiotics are: sauerkraut (the unpasteurized kind), kimchi, pickles (the unpasteurized kind), and coconut kefir.  Sauerkraut is like my new favorite thing!!  I also recommend taking a probiotic supplement because it’s hard to get enough from food alone.  Again, you could do Shakeology and I also recommend a refrigerated probiotic such as the one listed here.

    Anti-Inflammatory Foods

    Eating anti-inflammatory foods will help to soothe and heal your gut.  Some of these foods include: coconut (whole, oil, butter etc.), bone broth, turmeric, ginger, avocado, green leafy veggies, fatty fish, cruciferous veggies, berries, holy basil tea, green tea, atleast 80% dark chocolate (yes I said chocolate!!) and curry powder. 

    Supplements

    Along with the prebiotic and probiotic supplements listed above I recommend adding a digestive enzyme, l glutamine powder and quercetin to start.  But again, start one at a time to see what is working! 

     

    Healing the gut takes TIME and EFFORT!  But keep at it and you’ll be well on your way to feeling and looking better!! 

    Please let me know if you try any of the above and how it’s going!

     

    Peace & Love,

    Heather

     

     

     


  10. 9 Reasons to Drink Your Water

    September 7, 2015 by Heather

    9 Reasons To Drink Your Water

    I’m pretty sure there’s a water post somewhere here on this but it is SO worth repeating!  So many times I hear people are only drinking a glass of water a day, or worse yet, nothing!  Oh my word!  If this is you, you are walking around chronically dehydrated!  If you don’t think that’s a big deal let me break it down for you!  Below are 9 reasons why you should up your water intake.  And by up I mean ATLEAST half your body weight in ounces.  And no your coffee doesn’t count!  More if you are sweating, i.e, summer, hard workouts etc.  If you think this sounds like a lot and are starting from zero, then work your way up to that.  Warning:  You will be peeing a lot.  This is NORMAL and a good thing!  All of that water you’ve been retaining??  You’re flushing it down the toilet!  Don’t you feel less puffy already??

    Here are 9 powerful reasons to drink water!!

    Weight Loss!  They had me at weight loss!!  Water replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. It’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, no sugar. And if you are dehydrated your body will actually retain water!  Ouch!  Drink atleast half your weight in ounces to help your weight-loss regimen.

    Heart health! Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.

    Energy!  So many of us suffer from lack of energy.  We often blame our Fibro but this may only be part of the issue.  You could be dehydrated and being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired — even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.

    Relief from Headaches!  Do you suffer from daily headaches or migraines?  Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.

    Healthy skin!  Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won’t happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.  Who doesn’t want that healthy glow??

    Digestive problems! Fibro peeps typically have enough digestive issues.  Drinking more water can help!  Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).  There’s nothing worse than not being able to poop!!!

    Cleansing!  Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.  If you aren’t drinking enough you are holding onto that stuff!  Ick!  And if you didn’t know, the Fibro person absorbs more toxins than the average bear and has a harder time getting rid of them so drink up!!!

    Cancer risk!  Related to the digestive system item above, drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.  Wow!

    Better Exercise! Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to put the most into your workout. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise and if you’re sweating a lot up your daily intake.

     

    Here are a few tips to remember to drink your water! 

    Form a routine.  If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  A glass when you get up, before you go to bed, before lunch etc.

    Carry a bottle.  I always have my water bottle with me.

    Set phone reminders so you don’t forget.

    Substitute water for something you’re already drinking.

    Track it in a log along with how you’re feeling.  Once you realize you feel better not dehydrated you’ll be more apt to keep at it. 

    I hope this helps you to see just how important drinking your water is!  Often we underestimate the small, seemingly insignificant things we can do to help us feel better.  These things, added up over time, can go a long way to helping you feel so much better!

     

    Peace & Love,

    Heather