Posts Tagged ‘positive’

  1. Health Dynamo or Demon: Coffee Myth Busting

    February 27, 2017 by Heather

    fee Myth Busting

    Today I want to do some myth busting on coffee!!  I know so many of you love it and wonder if it’s good for you!

    So much of the health media promotes extreme viewpoints that leave you thoroughly confused. Depending on where you get your data, vegetarianism is either touted as the best or the worst dietary solution for obesity. Soy either directly causes breast cancer or definitively prevents it. Oatmeal reduces risk of heart disease or directly contributes to it. Of course, sensationalism sells. And many sources (especially on-line) are just based on opinion and personal experience. But especially when these headlines are touting sound biochemistry (and perhaps clinical study results as well) to back up their claims, it makes you wonder how and why scientific inquiry comes up so often with opposed findings.

    The truth is that the correct answer to the question often asked of me, “Is this healthy or not?” is almost always “Well, it depends.” Unfortunately we like generalizations; we want to have a short list of healthy choices that everyone can follow without further inquiry. The truth is that nothing is healthy for everyone all the time. Some people thrive as vegetarians; others become exhausted and anemic. Oatmeal helps some to lose weight; others become insulin resistant and gain more belly fat. Yogurt for some can help to heal an irritable gut; for others, it directly causes inflammation. We are all different. In my practice, the focus in our client work is on customizing solutions for each unique person given their goals and the full set of dynamics happening in their body. So yes: coffee is indeed a health dynamo for some and a demon for others.

    Here are some truths. Coffee is a beverage brewed from the roasted, ground seeds of the coffea plant. Coffee is loaded with a rich variety of phytonutrients, including a particularly high level of polyphenols, the same class of antioxidants for which we trumpet the cardiovascular health benefits of red wine and olive oil. Much of the world’s population gets well over half of their daily intake of polyphenols from coffee or tea (another study write-up). There are however, hundreds of specific nutrients in coffee (not just polyphenols and caffeine), and people may have a varying response to them.

    Plenty of major institutions have published comprehensive research summaries (e.g. this one from Harvard’s School of Public Health, which is quite well-written) to demonstrate that “generally”, “overall”, or “for the majority of the population”, coffee consumption up to a few cups daily is safe and perhaps even protective against a number of chronic, inflammatory diseases.

    A situation in which I am likely to actually recommend coffee is for those with cognitive impairment, including dementia and early signs of Alzheimers.

    Genes can play a large role in determining how coffee might affect you. Coffee contains caffeine, and the stimulatory effects of coffee can vary dramatically depending on whether one is genetically a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine. For example, research shows an increased risk of heart attack if slow metabolizers consume two or more cups of coffee daily, while fast caffeine metabolizers will reduce their risk of heart attack if they consume at least one cup daily. Similar studies have come to the same conclusion regarding coffee consumption and the risk of hypertension; genetic variation in caffeine metabolism is a key differentiator in whether intake is potentially harmful or harmless. That’s not conflicting science; it’s the devil in the detail. Increasingly, interested consumers are able to learn a bit more about their genetic make-up via at-home test kits such as that offered by 23-and-me.

    But there can be devil in the detail – and thus confusion about the best personal health choices – on many other fronts. Here are some specific circumstances in which I definitely don’t recommend regular intake of coffee (or black tea):

    Ulcers and gastritis or acid reflux (GERD). Coffee is very acidic and can exacerbate existing erosions in the protective mucosal lining of the stomach. It’s important to make dramatic dietary changes when gastritis is first detected, in order to prevent eventual ulceration. I recommend a very specific supplement for my clients in order to heal the stomach lining. Coffee is also a known trigger for acid reflux and should be avoided by anyone with ongoing GERD challenges, so that the true root causes can be identified. We have also seen several clients eliminate 80%+ of their GERD simply by giving up coffee! So definitely worth the exploration.

    Adrenal fatigue. Cortisol is a vital stress hormone in the body which protects us from the damaging effects of stress. Chronic levels of mental/emotional stress or physiological stress (e.g. unaddressed allergies or food sensitivities) can cause sustained, elevated cortisol which eventually wears out adrenal function and drops levels of cortisol output to unhealthy lows. Low cortisol can also cause immune system imbalance and increase allergy, asthma, and autoimmune activation. While these individuals may be attracted to caffeine as an “energy boost”, in truth coffee just accelerates the metabolism of cortisol and worsens the root cause of the problem. We also need adequate cortisol in order to allow thryoid hormone to be active within our cells (as an aside, low cortisol is one of the major reasons why one’s thyroid hormone levels can be mid-normal or better and one can still struggle with hypothyroid symptoms).

    Type 2 diabetics. Similar to the above situation, T2Ds may be drawn to coffee for an energy boost because insulin resistance prevents their body from receiving the appropriate fuel source within their cells. Plus there is evidence that coffee or caffeinated beverages exacerbate blood sugar after meals, especially for those with poorly-controlled diabetes. Until the insulin resistance can be addressed at its root, these clients usually get much better relief by adding more medium chain fatty acids (MCFA – likely coconut oil) to their diet. MCFAs are readily metabolized in the cells, unlike other fats, when there is insulin resistance.

    Insomnia – even mild. Despite myths otherwise, the stimulating effects of caffeine can be quite long-lasting. The half-life of caffeine in the body is up to 6 hours, which means it takes up to 24 hours for it to be fully excreted from your body. This means that your late morning cup of coffee can be a major reason why you struggle to go to bed early enough or why you don’t sleep as deeply as you wish. Many of my clients over the years have been surprised to learn that even their single, early-morning cup of coffee was actually a major contributor to poor sleep.

    Anxiety. This one is probably obvious, but many people who struggle with anxiety still choose to consume caffeine to counter the fatigue coming from anxiety-driven insomnia. This is of course a vicious, never-ending cycle, and in our experience the only way out – to real wellness – is withdrawing from the caffeine.

    Indeed the devil and the dynamos for wellness are often hidden in the details for each of us as unique individuals! As you look for new ways to increase your vitality and well-being (feeling fantastic most days!), if you are used to drinking coffee daily, consider stopping coffee for a full month and seeing how you feel post-withdrawal. Many are afraid of withdrawal, but in my practice, with adequate hydration and additional magnesium support, withdrawal usually only lasts 3-5 days.

    I’d love to hear about your coffee experience!  Feel free to comment below or reach out to me to chat personally or to set up a consult!


  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. 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!!

     


  4. Why Not YOU!?

    July 21, 2015 by Heather

    Why Not I just returned from Nashville for the annual Beachbody Coach Summit.  It was HOT in Nashville!  Oh my!  I packed as many as my fibro tools as I could but this time, despite my best efforts, I suffered a bit.  Did I mention it was HOT!?!?

    How many of you take a beating when you travel?  I always do my best to stick with a routine, drink lots of water, take all my supplements etc. but you know how it goes.  When I went to Cancun in March I actually did pretty well.  This time, not so much.  But I have all the tools now at home to get back on track.  But before I do that, I’m super busy trying to get caught up and super excited to share some new things that are coming out!

    There’s a brand new Fixate cookbook that was based around the 21 Day Fix Program!  The recipes in the book look super yummy!  I can’t wait to try them!  If you want to check out the book for yourself head here…..http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/FixateCookbook?referringRepId=242583

    Cize, the new workout program from Shaun T also came out!  Who wants to workout but not feel like they’re working out!?  ME!!!  If you want to check that out head here….http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/BCPCZ160?referringRepId=242583

    Beachbody also came out with some boosts for Shakeology and a Performance Line.  Super awesome stuff!  I have to tell you…we were sitting in one of the sessions really tired and failing when we decided to grab a Shakeology from the bar with the focus boost in it.  Holy cow!!!  We were like brand new ladies, and were ready to go for the evening!  I will definitely be getting that on home direct!  I think it the perfect product for any Fibro peep to have in their arsenal for sure!

    But I didn’t just want to write this post to tell you about all the new stuff, despite how awesome it all is!  What I really wanted to ask you is what hopes and dreams do you have for yourself?  Did those hopes and dreams get pushed aside with your Fibro diagnosis?  Are you struggling to get yourself back?  I’m here to tell you that I am no different than you.  And just because you have Fibro, it shouldn’t have you.  And it won’t if you don’t let it.  I was up on stage last week in front of 25,000 people.  Why?  Because every day I help people just like me live a healthier more fulfilling life despite chronic health issues.  Why not you?  I am currently looking to add people to my team that want to help others while helping themselves at the same time.  No health and fitness experience is necessary.  All I ask is that you have a want to help others and a need to help yourself.  I’ll take care of the rest.  We have one life to live.  Why not live it the best way we know how?  If any of this resonates with you, reach out.  I’d love to hear from you!

     

    Peace & Love,

    Heather


  5. Top 10 Weight Loss Tips

    July 2, 2015 by Heather

    Top 10

    Have you been struggling with losing weight?  Here are some tips that should get you on the road to reaching your goals!!

    DRINK WATER
    Hunger is often confused with dehydration. Next time you feel like having a snack, have a glass of water.
    Even mild dehydration can alter our body’s metabolism, so aim to drink 1/2 your weight in ounces and limit or remove soda, caffeine, and alcohol. Drinking water before meals can help promote weight loss, and studies show that those who drink two glasses of water 20 minutes before meals feel fuller and eat less.

    EAT CARBS: REAL CARBS!
    Replace refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, and pretzels with complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which slows digestion and promotes stable blood sugar levels. Complex carbs are also packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body. Whole grain carbohydrates should always be chosen over refined varieties. Think about eating foods in their most natural forms.

    CHOOSE HEALTHY FATS
    A common misconception is that fat should be completely eliminated. In reality, we could not live without fat. The body utilizes dietary fat for energy, healthy hair, skin, nails, vitamin absorption, and normal
    everyday bodily functions. Good fats promote several health benefits such as protection against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression as well as reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Choose sources such as raw nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.

    EMPHASIZE LEAN PROTEIN
    Our bodies require protein to continuously renew and replenish our cells, stabilize our blood
    sugar, and give us energy. Our bodies are literally made out of the amino acids that make up protein
    in our food. Many foods contain protein, but the richest sources include animal products like meat,
    dairy, eggs, and fish as well as plant sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. When choosing animal protein sources, be conscious of the way the animal was raised andwhat it ate. Grass-fed beef and free-range chicken are healthier and more ethically sound choices than feed lot meats. Organic yogurt and cage-free eggs are great for vegetarians, while tofu, tempeh, and peanut butter are good vegan protein sources.

    EAT BREAKFAST
    By eating a hearty breakfast, you’ll give your metabolism a jumpstart andbe in better control of your cravings. When we miss our first fuel of the day, we are often hungry by mid-morning and more likely to engage in mindless nibbling, snacking, overeating, and over compensating for any calories “saved”
    by skipping breakfast. Studies repeatedly show daily breakfast consumption is associated with
    maintaining a healthy weight.1 But if you’re not ready for breakfast early in the morning, listen to your body and eat when you feel it’s best for you.

    EAT MORE FREQUENTLY
    It’s important to balance your food intake throughout the day to help maintain normal blood sugar and decrease the chances of binging when hunger strikes. Try to keep track of your meal choices and balance your caloric intake. Feeding your body on a regular basis lets it know food is available and it’s okay to burn energy rather than conserve and store it as fat.

    EXERCISE YOUR BODY AND MIND
    Exercise has enormous benefits for your mind and body, with research boasting decreased body
    weight, smaller waist circumference, lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, AND it boosts your
    mood! Strive to be active at least 30 minutes every day to help keep your body strong and lean.
    Try these tips for starters:
    • Get off the subway or bus one stop earlier.
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Go on nightly jogs or walks with a friend
    or your dog.
    Even playing with your children in the park or trying a hand at gardening will keep your body active.

    CATCH SOME ZZZZ’S
    Research suggests that those who sleep five hours or less weigh five pounds more than those getting at least seven hours of shut eye per night. Lack of sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and can lead to inefficient body regulation of energy balance, metabolism, and appetite. Abnormal leptin and ghrelin levels -hormones that tell your body “I’m full, stop eating” – can go away with too little sleep.
    Said simply: Sleep more, eat, and weigh less! Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

    LEARN TO COOK
    Cooking meals at home allows you to control portion sizes, the quality of ingredients, and cuts your intake
    of sodium, fat, and calories. Try to avoid frying foods by learning how to roast or bake, and eat more raw
    foods to boost flavor and cut calories. Also try experimenting with herbs and spices to reduce salt intake.

    KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU EAT
    Be a food detective and investigate what you choose to put into your body. Check labels and avoid ingredients such as sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and long chemical names that
    are hard to pronounce. The healthiest foods are those found just as nature intended – whole and
    unprocessed. When was the last time you saw an ingredient list on a stalk of broccoli or a fresh fillet of salmon?


  6. Listen to your body…it speaks!

    March 18, 2015 by Heather

     

    course

    As some of you may know I recently started a program at Integrative Nutrition.  I’m super excited to share my new knowledge with each of you!  But before I get ahead of myself I want to share some recent news I received from my doctors appointment a few weeks ago.  I had about 25 tubes of blood taken!  Ouchy!  Some of the bloodwork was an IgE food test.  I received the results back the other day and almost died.  The insurance only covers a certain amount of foods to be tested at a time but of the ones I chose about 90% of them I showed a reaction to.  These are on top of my already limited vegan, gluten free diet.  I immediately freaked out and determined I could eat buckwheat and water!!!!

    So I took a few days to let it sink in.  And this is what I came up with.  I could be totally off base and this could totally back fire but I’m giving it a whirl.  I already know my immune system is wacked out.  Not in the traditional sense of getting colds, flu’s etc.  Luckily, thanks to Shakeology and a clean diet I don’t get “normal” sick anymore but I do have a history of intestinal bacterial infections and was recently diagnosed with Chronic Lyme so my immune system in that area needs help.  What this tells me is that my body will eventually show a reaction to any food because I believe it sees it as a foreign substance.  Fun right?! 

    This leads me back to my Integrative Nutrition program.  I was listening to a lecture the other day about healing with foods and the answer came to me.  I know my body.  If I really listen I believe it will tell me what I do and do not need.  I believe it will tell me what to do.  So I’m going to make a few changes.  These changes do not include removing the items I showed a reaction to.  WHAT?!  Yup!  Going rogue here!!  I’m going to increase my grains, add in some sea veggies and add in a bit of fermented soy (which up to this point I have avoided due to its controversy).  I received a cool little journal in my IIN welcome packet and I’m going to use this to chart my journey.  I believe we are all different and what works for one won’t work for another but I’m hoping what I learn through my journey, much like my med free journey, will be helpful to someone else.  So stay tuned.  If you have any similar story in regards to food reactions I’d love to hear it!  Together we are better!

     

    Peace and Love!

    Heather


  7. Do I make you uncomfortable?

    January 17, 2015 by Heather

     

    p o s i t i v e v i b e s . c o m

    It was bound to happen again my friends.  Attacked again, on my own page.  I guess I need to get used to the fact that there will be haters.  But if you do not like my page and what I have to say then it is very simple and easy to leave.  It is, however, just plain rude to come to my page and attack me when I did nothing to provoke it.  I don’t go to other people’s pages and attack them and I expect to be treated the same. 

    I have been “watching” said person for a few weeks.  She seemed to have a negative comment to everything I posted and today was just the last straw.  She has been removed.  I have no time in my life nor the energy for negative people that would rather pity themselves than help themselves and that kind of activity does not belong on my page that I created to be a positive space.  It is ok if you want to be sick and you’d rather suffer than find healthy ways to manage this condition we’ve been given, but it is not ok to come to my page and tell me that my Fibro is not as bad as hers because I do Insanity.  Pardon me, but do you even know me?  Do you live in my body every day and do you know what I have been through in my life?  I prefer not to get into a bitching contest about who’s fibro is “worse”.  Perhaps we should put that energy into helping ourselves.  And perhaps I can do Insanity because I have gotten to the root causes of my condition and have learned how to manage it without the use of drugs.  Maybe that makes said person a little uncomfortable.  Sometimes bashing someone instead of facing the truth is easier ya?!

    I get that people on my page are all at different stages of their journey.  It is no secret that I am a huge advocate of managing drug free, exercise and diet.  Most people I have encountered want to come and learn about how they can improve upon what they are doing, make positive changes, get off meds, get moving and learn to eat for less pain.  And some people will have every excuse in the book as to why they can’t make the changes, will try to convince themselves that taking Oxy everyday of your life is ok, that not pooping is normal and that you can’t be fit with fibro at 40.  Pfffttt……  I’m sorry but noone with Fibro should be taking those drugs on the regular.  And if you have to convince yourself that the side effects of said drugs are ok then you have a problem bigger than my making you uncomfortable.  In fact, I feel sorry for those that would rather suffer, that prefer to be the victim and that do not want to help themselves.  And I am thankful that most people that come to my page want to make the changes and want to live and not just exist.  These are the people that keep me going and inspire ME because the changes are NOT easy and it takes guts to get your head out of the sand and move forward toward positive change.  So this post served not only as a vent but also a thank you to those that make my page a better place everyday!  Hugs to you all!!


  8. Adventures in Gluten Free Bread

    December 21, 2014 by Heather

     

     

    Adventures in... (2) I typically make gluten free bread in my trusty bread maker.  It usually comes out just fine.  Last weekend I apparantly could not follow directions and ended up having to bake a loaf in the oven.  I have no idea what happened but it turned out very hard.  It was still good and I still ate it because I’m not a huge fan of throwing food away.  My Italian boyfriend on the other hand, did not approve.  So I went about finding a recipe that I could make in the oven because sometimes you just don’t want to drag out the bread maker. 

    I found a few recipes and daringly tweaked them to suit my needs.  I mixed it all up and anxiously waited for it to rise.  It seemed to be taking forever.  I decided to walk my dog in the hopes that when I got back it would have risen.  Upon my return, it had risen a bit more but still very SLOW….  I did start to panic wondering what the heck was taking so long.  But, alas, about 3.5 hours later it rose about an inch above the pan and was ready for the oven.  I think the issue was I didn’t add a bit of sugar to proof, so maybe try that.

    50 minutes later the top was browning good so I took it out and the internal temp said it was ready.  While waiting for it to cool I went to take a bath.  My boyfriend came in eating a piece a few minutes later and it was Mikey approved!  Now that is HUGE since he’s a pasta and bread man!  So here it is the anxiously awaited recipe.  I’m sure you could make it in the bread maker too.  If anyone tries it in there please let me know how it turns out.

    Ingredients

    1⅓ cups brown rice flour
    1⅓ cups tapioca flour/starch
    1⅓ cups cornstarch
    1 tablespoon potato starch
    1 tablespoon xanthan gum
    1 tablespoon gluten-free egg replacer
    2 teaspoons himalayan salt
    ½ cup almond milk
    9 tbsp water and 3 tbsp ground flax seed (or 3 large eggs if not vegan)
    ¼ cup coconut oil melted
    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    ⅓ cup honey
    1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast (not INSTANT dry yeast)
    1 1/2 cups warm water

    Directions:

    Spray cooking spray into two 8-inch bread pans.

    Add the yeast to the 1 1/2  cups of warm water and stir until mixed. Set this aside to activate while you mix the rest of the ingredients. (don’t forget to add the tsp of sugar)

    Mix the flour blend, xantham gum, gluten-free egg replacer, and salt in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

    Put eggs, butter, vinegar, milk, oil and honey in the bowl of your mixer. Mix together for about 30 seconds. 

    Add half the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the mixer. Mix just until blended, and then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix for another 30 seconds, until blended.

    With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm water and yeast mixture, then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for 4 minutes.

    Spoon the dough into your greased bread pans. Set aside in a warm place to rise for approximately about 50 to 60 minutes. Mine took a lot longer but again I think that was because I didn’t add the sugar. While dough rises, preheat oven to 375 degrees. I put the pans right on my preheating oven to keep them warm.

    When the dough has risen to about an inch above the top of the pans, place the pans in your preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the bread’s internal temperature reaches 200 degrees.  I used a meat thermometer because that’s all I had.  It said 200 when it came out.  If you don’t have a thermometer you’ll just have to hope and pray it’s done. 😉  For some odd reason my bread deflated a bit when I poked the hole in it with the thermometer.  Too much air?!

    Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then remove loaves from pans and place on a rack to cool.  Make sure it’s cooled completely before cutting into it and go easy with the cutting.  Gluten free bread takes a bit of extra care.  

    Enjoy!  And let me know how you like it!!


  9. Yes I’m fit and Yes I have Fibromyalgia…

    September 13, 2011 by Heather

    Someone asked me the other day if I really had fibromyalgia….because I looked so fit.  Um, it is possible to be fit and have fibromyalgia.  Now this does not mean that I don’t suffer.  This just means that I have learned to manage my fibromyalgia naturally and that I choose to not let it rule my life.  Does it suck sometimes?  Hell ya!  But on the sucky days I choose to have a positive attitude, because after all, what else is there? 

    I won’t lie.  The question kind of bugged me.  It was almost like she was calling me a liar.  That it couldn’t be possible to be fit and have this “condition”.  Let me tell you, I am fit because I choose to get up each and every morning, whether I feel like it or not and exercise.  Yes, on some days it would be so easy to stay in bed.  But I CHOOSE not to.  And some days are definitely suckier than others.  But I do it.  And you know what?  I feel better after I do!  Movement helps.  Sitting around focusing on your pain doesn’t and in most cases will make it worse.  Why?  Because you are focusing on it!  I know this may sound harsh but this is how I feel.  And I do realize that everyone is different and pain levels will vary. But if you just do SOMETHING…over time you will feel better.


  10. The Positive Me…

    July 13, 2011 by Heather

    It has been hot and humid here in New England.  The humidity does not like me.  I have learned that it definitely increases my pain levels and exhaustion.  For the past few days it has taken everything I have to drag myself out of bed, lace up my running sneaks, and go for a run.  I do this because I know NOT moving will only make the pain worse and I will feel better when I am done.  So I go for a run then I come home and do my weights.  And I do feel better.

    And I stay positive for the rest of the day.  Because really, what else is there???  I could have a pity party.  I will not lie, there are days….  But if I stay positive, it helps!  Tonite it is killing me just to sit here.  I am uncomfortable in every sense of the word.  But guess what???  I am going to put a big fat smile on my face and be happy that I am alive, that I get to do what I love to do, that hopefully I impacted someone’s day today with a positive thought and that maybe, just maybe I can help someone else going through what I’m going through!

    Night everyone!  Stay positive!  Because that will get you everywhere!!