Tag Archives: autoimmune disease

Lupus No More, and the secret of maintenance

I’m not gonna lie. The title is shamelessly pretentious simply to generate readers.  There is no known cure to lupus, and as far as my Chinese Traditional Medicine diagnosis goes, it’s not even considered lupus.  Only Western docs would say that.

It’s been 3 years. I’m getting healthier. It started at a turtle pace, but it’s progressed to a snail on Red Bull.  Acupuncture was given to me by the Gods, and I’ve been steady for one month at the gym, the haven that used to be my second home. Don’t get me wrong… it’s exhausting.  It’s a delicate balance that this (this being me) delicate porcelain doll lives in.  I have no life. I have no money. I have no time. This is what it takes to maintain my sanity and health.  But it’s what I sacrifice to be active, fit, well fed, and looking like a girl. Somewhat.  Some days it comes down to the decision whether to have a friend or do a few leg presses, the cost of a pretty necklace or organic celery, stealing a nap or making a green juice, comfortable old lady shoes or normal vixen heels, a midnight cookie snack or a starving belly, a surrender at Taco Bell or making my own 60 minute fast food versions.  But I balance these things to keep me in motion. I used to have 80/20 days. 80% bad, 20% tolerable.  I’m probably at 50/50 if not better. Whaaaat?

The secret is blood flow.  The lifeforce, the chi, the unblocking and purification from this polluted and suffocating environment that is America and other mass consumer countries.

What I’m saying is, if you have been suffering with lupus or another chronic autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, find a local barefoot acupuncturist that has feng shui’d her office, has a babbling fountain and plays plinkety-plankety music, and start paying her regular visits and buying her silly knick-knacks of grateful praise every few months.  Please. One year later, and bam…you’ll be a human again.  Granted, it takes some endurance and faith, but it’s either that or staying in pain and misery without progress.

So, here are the few things I need for the daily ying and yang.  Some are bargains, some are expensive, but they will smother us with benefits not afforded without search, trial, and error. I cannot express how much I value these things, not only because they sustain me, but because there are so few opportunities in this greed-saturated consumerist world, that quality has been stripped of the things we eat, live, and breathe.  I’ve always been seeking nature and truth, but had I not become gravely ill due to this man-forsaken environment, would I have studied and practice the depths of what it means to nourish a soul?

Youfit Health Club – the Gym. Oh my gym.  For $10 a month, $30 a year, and month-to-month contract, I had no choice but to sign up. Even if I only went for the smell of socks and stale sweat! I thought I would only survive one shameful visit a month, because all the other health programs I’ve tried at home have not challenged me, while at the same time circumventing all the limitations of my disease.  I went once last month, and haven’t stopped since.  I slowly, oh so carefully, built up strength and endurance.  And now I do everything I can not to kiss the dirty mats when I walk in.  I want to talk to every older and overweight person and say, “Yes, I know it’s hard, but here we are! We can do this!” I am overcome with my second chance to be athletic once more! Even if I never get back to the marathoner and weight lifter I hoped to be, you will find me at the gym with all the joint-friendly weight and cardio machines, awkwardly trying to adjust the seating to midget size with a deranged smile of ecstasy while I pump some muscle. I recommend this to everyone, and their mom! …. P.S. Same owner as Planet Fitness in other states.

Latex Stretch Bands – After my whole spiel about being fit, I have no choice but to proclaim the paramount emphasis of stretching. I learned the hard way, after years of boasting I was a supernatural freak of nature and required no stretching.  Everyone needs to do it. Even Michael Phelps. Especially  Michael Phelps.  Because if you want to, not only prevent from injury, but increase blood flow to wonderfully sore muscles just waiting to juice up, you need to invite the blood there.  And for all the twisting, contorting, and yoga-ish moves I tried to alleviate all the messed up joints and inflamed muscles and misplaced fascia..nothing has taken my healing and re-boning, if you will, like these little bands.  I tied them up to something sturdy and just hang there (in a proper position taught my manuals and youtube).  Like I said, it’s high maintenance if you have poor health and bloodflow. You need to help it.  I spend more time than I’d like doing this, but afterward I feel like Mr. Stretch.  Doesn’t hurt in the whoopie department either. Wink, wink.

   

Charlie’s Laundry Soap and Hardwater Booster – Godsent! Non-toxic, allergen free, and purer and cleaner than anything you can find at a frickin Target or Walmart.  These are two products I’m mentioning.  I bought both, highly skeptical of anything new and expecting new fun reactions to blindly and newly approved FDA chemicals tested on baby fetuses.  One hand ready to call and complain to the company, I can’t believe I haven’t ever heard of this before.  My clothes came out cleaner and softer than ever, and I have been able to stop paying exorbitant prices for natural dryer sheets (that were still essentially chemical poo storms)!  It makes me want to do the laundry every day. And I don’t say that lightly, but with severe reverence.  I didn’t realize that even this chlorinated, sulfuric city water was not only harsh on my skin and senses, but my clothing that just looked dingy. Husband’s work clothes would never feel clean, especially in the summer.  And he’s not thaaaat stinky. So, please please please, if you need more pure and less itchy and chemically in your life, in your kid’s life….go buy. www.vitacost.com has great prices. Now! I’ll write you a check. (Link for a coupon on the left panel of blog.)

They make six products…I aim to try the rest at some point.

Dandelion Tea – Any brand, anywhere you wanna get it.  Obviously, the more natural, the better.  It’s a natural caffeine-free stimulant, specially recommended if you’re having trouble dropping coffee (points to self violently!).  It’s flushes excess toxins out, clearing the liver quite a bit.  It’s a diuretic tea, great for someone with interstitial cystitis who loves to retain water sloshing around my spongy body.  Even though it’s not much of a problem anymore, it’s not yet a perfect science and this is great maintenance.  And flat belly mornings…all day long! Till I carbo load.

BCAA and Glutamine – Where has this been all my life? I scold myself for not learning enough about this during my training days. All I knew was protein, protein protein.  That was quite a damper when all the processed cancer-hugging whey and soy isolates started accumulating in my liver and hurting my brain! Branch Chain Amino Acids and Glutamine helps muscle recovery  and other stuff, and optimize weight loss through muscle preservation.  Do your own research. The point is, not only does it help with my slow and sluggish healing abilities, it has helped me reduce pain!  All the strange muscle pains I would get, even if I don’t work out.  It feels like an energy boost in the mornings.  I’ve never known exactly to what it’s due, but my metabolism surely went backwards quite a bit, and just digesting food was an ordeal.  Slow digesting food leads to putrification in the gut, toxin release, therefore even more muscle and nerve pain.  But if your muscles are functioning well, the stomach can focus on its own job and let the muscles focus on their healing.  And did I mention it helps weight loss? Of course, you have to workout to truly see some benefits.  Otherwise, you can just lower your standards settle for feeling them. I could go on, but I’m starting to be summoned by the arms of Morpheus, so I must hurry.

Ahava Oil Drying Mist – In searching this link for you, I have just ruffled my own feathers, realizing I paid waaaay too much for mine.  Good for you.  Anyway, what the heck is it??? It must be from Narnia or some magical land!!!! O.M.G. All I know is, almost everyone has some kind of allergy.  If you’re young and don’t have them…wait for it… Once I lost my immune system, even though its decently restored, I have noticed when I wear my favorite perfumes (including the amazing BVLGARI my husband bought me for my anniversary to commemorate the honeymoon), I will end up crying a fit and blaming you or anyone in the surrounding 3 feet for ruining my life.  I lose it, I cry, I get headaches, I get disoriented.  I might as well get tanked of some Ketel.  I’ve been about 2 years not wearing perfume, feeling bad that my husband has to smell my natural muskiness.  No sexy woman to pass him by and leave the lingering allure of my Spanish scent (that could go many ways)… just today I found this.  I save my pennies I promise you, so that I may make my expensive vegan/gluten-free desserts with ingredients exporting from far lands and soy free chocolate chips! I do hound over my monies.  But I need to smell better. Way better. And this, is heavenly, and not only is it heavenly…it doesn’t make me homicidal   And not only that, it’s soooo fricking healthy. In the sense that it’s made from sea plants, or algea or something.  Sounds gross? Well, I put it on my face and hair…and moved on.  Later I absently-minded grazed my cheek and about had an affair with my 19-year old self.  I have not had skin like this since over a decade.  It glowed like the Sun’s divine rays! I was Narcissus himself.  The cats had to step out.  Lucky for you I found it for about $15 less. Grumble grumble.

The uplifting scent of Mandarin and Cedarwood rejuvenates the senses as it provides a skin-friendly boost of vitamins and minerals.

If that caption is not a selling point, than I don’t know what is.

My friends, I want to share so much more with you but part of the balancing act is going to sleep at a reasonable hour.  I’ll continue to share my fun finds, freak outs, and moments of serenity.  And most likely….some endorphin highs.

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

Being Green? Easy as Pie

…at first.  But then you keep with it, and you stick it out.  And you get addicted to it.

I won’t go into details of why I haven’t written.  No, I didn’t abandon the blog.  Yes, I was dealing with…life.  But mostly it’s just because I can’t just sum up a short message and relay it.  I make my points, expand on it, elaborate, give links and details and pictures and ramble on, creating endless run on sentences that turn a brief prose into an essay.  There were a million things I wanted to share with you, but a billion words to organize.  I’m making a point of short-and-sweet today.

So the update:

1) Some of my symptoms are better, some are just as mysterious as ever.

2) Junk and intolerable junk sneaked into my nutritional lifestyle.  I gradually slipped up before I even noticed it.

3) I watched Forks Over Knives. Husband watched it too! http://www.forksoverknives.com/

4) Next day, gave into a Dunkin Donuts craving.  Mid-bite, stopped to meditate on the types of people serving, eating, and walking in to the chain store, felt gross, threw it away and went for a walk.

5) I hunkered down on a gluten-free-vegan-wholefoods-plant-based-diet.  A real mouthful.

The things I have learned once you take the dive:

1) Husbands notice the changes: cleared up skin, wrinkles diminished, hair shinier, no bloating.

2) It’s not that expensive if you buy local produce and give up the Publix.

3) It’s allergy free and prevents ailments of all kinds, for all those who constantly complain of allergies, fatigue, memory loss, sleep related problems, bad periods, aging….

4) Very addicting and hard to bite into a block of cheese when you know how great you feel and look if you just make a fruit juice instead.

5) It just feels closer to nature, in a world so far from it.

At this point, I’m starting to accept that my autoimmune disease is here to stay, but it would be irresponsible to give up and keep eating like crap, whining about it, and not applying what I know about integral nutrition, only to succumb to medication because I have no energy to boil water.  It’s what I deeply love and believe.  Ever since I was a kid, I remember having books on how to wash the skin or how to make homemade beauty products.  But as grew up and fell out of the childish connection, I argued for my right to “Live to eat” and not vice versa.  I resisted the diets because it just wasn’t fair that I can’t eat a piece of cake when I crave it.  That’s not living, I said.  As an adult, I’ve flirted with the diets, dated them here and there, but fall out of commitments out of stagnancy or hard times.  But hear you me, if watching the above mentioned documentary doesn’t move your conscious and responsibility,  we’ve fallen way too deep into the selfish lifestyle that will deteriorate us into an ugly sickly society.

Here’s another documentary that should bring awareness into the way we’ve been deceived to mistreat our bodies in the name of convenience and pleasure-seeking.  By now, even the young ones has all been exposed to a beloved friend or family member with cancer, obesity, or chronic disease.   Our food is our best medicine, we just need the tools on how to use it.  We need to relearn what we thought we knew; the information pushed into minds by marketing, pharmaceutical companies, and large corporations. http://www.foodmatters.tv/

Some might say I’m obsessed with this view, that it is not balanced.  And I would’ve agreed with them on the obsession part.  But the FOK documentary put it best.  Some might say a plant based whole foods diet is extreme.  They could never do it.  But slicing out an artery from your leg, opening up your chest and inserting it into your heart to clear a blockage…some would say that is extreme!  This was on eye opener for me.  There is no shame in letting people know there is better education out there on ways to eat.  I had to teach myself because I didn’t know better.  It’d be irresponsible of me not to share what I knew if someone wasn’t doing well, what they could do to prevent getting sick, short, or long term.  Let thy medicine be thy food.  I wish I was there when Hippocrates said it.

I am not dieting.  I am transitioning my nutritional lifestyle as I learn.  And I will continue to share as I go along.  Please pick up what you will and if what I say doesn’t seem credible…that’s fine.  Do your own research.  Go ahead, challenge me.  But you can’t tell me being healthier is boring and bland….

I leave you with my latest culinary discoveries:  Two desserts that are pure health into your tummy and sheer party-in-your-pants pleasure. As orgasmic as it is, they are raw! Meaning that its nutrient packed.  Your body, mind, and skin will thank you.

Click on the pics for the easy, inexpensive, side effects free (unless your allergic to walnuts) recipes:

Raw Vegan Key Lime Mousse - Healthy Blender Recipes

 

Raw Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie* - Hail Merry Blog

*Also listed is a baked pumpkin pie (still gluten free).  I have not made it so I can’t vouch for it.  Only for the raw version.  It’s so sexy.  The sweet potato version was also exquisite, just heavier.

I have so much to share. The conversation continues…

 

 

 

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Filed under Foodsies, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health

“Mawwage is what bwings us togwether today….”

In memory of my (not dead) husband:

Mawwage is awesome.  Some of the time.  Most of the time. Am I right?

via dailymail.co.uk

It’s been a year and a half.  I still consider us a pair of newlyweds.  I’m still madly in love and surprised at how in love you could be with someone you want to kill a few times a week.

I reckon since this blog is about being recently married and how to deal with so many changes all at once, it was due time to talk about man versus women.

If you’ve kept up with my mini-saga or read the bio, I’ve mentioned how immediately after marriage I – we- began to deal with serious health problems.  This causes a lot of conflict and confusion for a couple who is supposed to be  locked in the bedroom, high on endorphins and in honeymoon stage.  Even during the honeymoon, we had to make modifications due to my escalating symptoms.  Coming home to a surreal reality of problems is not for the weak.  While a women feels, “Thank God I have a good strong man to help me through this rough time”, a man is most likely feeling, “This is not fair! We’re supposed to be having the time of our lives.”  Though a wife still acknowledges the unfairness of it all, a man’s need to fix something he cannot can really test him, especially early in a marriage before either one has settled themselves into a role of new responsibilities.

This is not limited to couples with illness though.  Even before I got married, I was fascinated by the psychological relationship between husband and wife.  Being a naive and arrogant little girl, when I read books like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus (for fun, yes, I’m a nerd), I thought, “Why don’t people just say what they’re feeling? Then they would both understand each other!!! It’s so simple.” Haha. Hahahahaha. Hahahahaaa.

There are delicate balances in a loving relationship, or a non-loving one.  There are so many fine lines that it feels more like a tight rope when having to express needs, wants, and emotions.  God forbid you overuse that word: f-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.

However, I’m proud to say that through hard work and application I’ve found the strength to be patient and found a man who in his limited-emotional male vocabulary, and has been patient with me as well.  Better said, we have been patient with the life we’ve been handed and managed to breakthrough to all the little surprises that life shoots at the fan and that all the poo that will continually be flying down on us just to keep us on our game.  Disease, unemployment, cars breaking down, Verizon rape bills…… I gotta give a round of applause for a man who deserves more than a break; and I appreciate him not breaking down on me like that damn Ford Focus he spent six months to pimp out for my anniversary gift.

He has proven to be made of that good tough material.  He still hasn’t learned to make me a gluten-free vegan meal to save his life, but he tucks me in when my body is swollen and takes out the cat poop for me. More so, he trusts that there’s still a little firecracker in me, even when I’m stuck on the couch.  My hero!

For all the other new brides out there, and by new I mean at least up to two years (so says one of my favorite books listed below), the “struggle” is normal no matter what difficulties arise.  Men are a different species and us wifeys have a hard time not swatting our men over their heads when times get tough or when inappropriate fart jokes are made.  But we must be patient for them.  We’re the ones who have to figure it out before they do because they’re not designed to read up or ask their girl friends for relationship advice.  Weepy and naggy women, no matter what how much we deserve to whine, can distance a man or make him recoil into passive aggressiveness, closing the door to certain intimacies.  We have to put our big girl thongs on and learn how to control the situation while making them think they’re the ones in control.  It takes developing a strong measure of common sense and sass, if we haven’t learned it already by the time we’re ball and chain’d.  We’re more scientifically gifted and versed in communication, so it’s our burden and privilege to set the tone, the mood, to let them feel relaxed enough to take the reins.

Men can reach their husband potential relatively quickly if we support their individual needs;  all throughout keeping ourselves together during our times of needs when they’re too stressed to cater to us.  They were not created to wait on our hand and foot to our every want, and even need.  As a matter of fact, we are their complement.  Some men will be very helpful while learning to love after the lust period, but it will not always come natural to them and we have to buck up during this process.  I will admit that some husbands can just turn out a dud altogether sometimes, but that’s a whole other story.  But personally, I think, the ones who are honestly committed,  deserve a wife who can make them feel just as safe and secure during rough times, as they can to us.

So, here’s what has helped me through times when we’re both stumped, tired, annoyed, stressed, you name it….

  • Prayers. I mean, heartfelt, all out, near-accusation-kneeling-supplications, to the Big Guy upstairs.
  • Good and Selective Advice.  Limited to family, and one or two blood-tight friends (don’t want to air business out to everyone), and wise/older/successful couples.  To them, I am forever grateful for their honesty.
  • It’s a Guy Thing – It’s next to my bed.  Looove this book.  A look into the feminine and masculine balance and why men have to scratch and burp while we wonder where our flowers are.
  • What No One Tells the Bride – This book, with collective realizations from different types of new brides, allows women to ease into the violent shock of living in a committed relationship with a penis carrier, especially the independent women.  It takes two years for the average woman to feel like a settled wife.  And we all fear becoming our mothers.  This alone will settle a girl.
  • Why Mars and Venus Collide – I read this one before getting married. The knowledge carried through to the big plummeting vows was priceless.  Out of all the Mars and Venus books, this one seemed most relevant in its insight into times of high stress.  An reasonable  look into why men and women can’t help the way they are and communicate, why it clashes even though its biologically designed to complement each other, and why modern stresses affect the natural balance.
  • Feeling Good – This book is not about marraige.  It’s actually about depression.  I never wanted to read it because at the time I did, I was not depressed.  But for anyone who is highly emotional and reactive, (which marriage can highlight this part of our psyche) this doctor can lead you into enlightenment about why we have certain emotional thoughts and  behaviors and how to find the root of controlling ourselves.  Knowing thyself.  The downside is that you can catch when everyone else is behaving irrationally too and you have to resist the urge of calling them out.  If we can command ourselves, we can deal with others better.
  • Holy Scriptures – Oh yes, I’m serious. And I don’t mean the Ephesians where we’re all told who we are to submit to and that’s that.  Proverbs 31:10-31.  It talks about the capable wife.  Every time I feel lazy, whimpish, resentful, or needy…I read this over and over and imagine a Middle-Eastern prowess of ancient times, taking care of business, and being honored by her hard working husband.  This woman is energetic, spiritual, a real go-getter, a community socialite, runs her house like a tight ship, earns the trust and respect of her husband by being proactive, and earns the praise of her God.  Highly inspirational and more motivating than any of the other books I have in my library.
Have I got it all figured out? I don’t think so.  There are many more obstacles and adventures to come before we croak and we’re released from our sacred vows.  However, when you start with hardship, but constantly come out winning from each test, I swear it only gets better.
If children are involved, please disregard everything I’ve said and please find another source on advice.  I know nothing about dynamics with little ones and I’m no where near ready to know or comment on.  I would dare to say keep the scriptures attached to your foreheads like the Jews used to do.

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Filed under Housewifing, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Random, Under the Weather

Shotgun on All Natural vs Organic, for the curious on health

Let me learn you on something new.

For years, America has been adopting little lessons on health and slowly converting meat eaters into herbivorous creatures, as nature intended.  People have slowly started accepting that Coke cleans rust off car engines.  Wary citizens refrain from cocaine and stick to weed.  (Hey, it’s better than the chemical alternative.) In my world, it seemed like I was on the vegetarian bandwagon alone, so much, that my insecure teenage paranoid personality wasn’t ready to be that outcast.  I ate anything in my path.  Eventually, I said screw that and ventured on my own into veganism.  I got laughs, scoffs, and many reactions similar to the Big Greek Wedding movie….”Ok, I maek laam!”  During this time, people thought I only chewed on lettuce and grazed for berries.  In reality, I spent much toil and money to enjoy an interesting variety of yummy foods.  I raved about how healthy, alert, and energized I felt and people blankly nodded while munching on the BBQ ribs, not really caring to understand the concept of radically changing a dietetic lifestyle.  That’s fine.  I wasn’t trying to impose it on anyone.

Until recently, I only had one friend, who lives a few states away, understand healthy and natural eating.  The ins and outs of vegetables and grains, the (not-so-secret but certainly not published) nature of mainstream foods, bad habits, and tofu marvels.  In the last week I have learned that two+ friends are now vegan and one is going gluten free.  This makes me rejoice.  I….rabbit food eater….was able to eat a gluten-free chocolate cake among friends.  The scene of the world is changing.

Friends are discovering books like Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, Suzanne Somers’ Sexy Forever featured in Sex in the City and other books on hormones and health, that NY housewife Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin, and other diets that encourage healthy and plant based diets, ditching or at least moderating, foods that are not naturally beneficial to the human system.  No meats, no dairy, and if so, do it organic.  While not bragging about it since I certainly wasn’t the first hippie to grace the planet and since I’m not even following a solely veggie and grain diet currently, I’ve been reading books like Skinny Bitch (about not eating crap food) and watching documentaries like the Future of Food (free on Hulu.con, and shocking) and changing the way I eat since I learned how to fight for my natural reaction to the movie Babe the Pig when I was eight. I just knew something lay deeper than meat is hard to digest.  The story of corporate food is what is harder to digest.  Please heat this if nothing else, a hard life lesson… HAD I STUCK TO MY HEALTHY DIET, I MAY NOT HAVE HAD A DISEASE TODAY.

I’m so proud of my friends trying to be healthier and closer to nature.  Not only discovering new lifestyles, but loving it.  I’ve been trying to share that for a very long time without isolating myself every time I wanted to tell you that your chicken had beak pieces in it or that your cheese is affecting your puffiness.  In relation to what I said in my last post about celebrities okaying certain topics of awareness, this is one that affects everyone, and can be enjoyed in so many personalized/customized ways.  So if it takes Olivia Wilde to inspire vegan eating, this is one time I’m willing to swallow my words about celebrity endorsing.  Go for it.

Here is one I’m beating you to the punch to though:

If you’re trying to be healthy, unless you do your research, you’re probably still being taken.  If you think that taco meat at Taco Bell is real meat, you’ll wanna read this.  If you think eating an all natural carbonated beverage is any different than the average marketed death drink, peruse a little bit.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “NATURAL” AND “ORGANIC”. Label reading has not been made any easier as they’re trying to vaguely promote through a smoke screen of advertisement claims, with FDA and USDA stamps….read on.  And if this is the first you hear about it, I’m totally taking credit for it.  If you’re trying to eliminate chemicals or unnatural ingredients in your food, please consider this:

http://www.live-the-organic-life.com/natural-vs-organic.html

As opposed to fake dairy?

IMPOSTORS!

Cause now I know in a few years, everyone will believe me and not just think I’m an overbearing stickler that now falls under the medical and psychiatrist diagnosis of having an eating disorder: Orthorexia (people who abstain from chemicals and pesticides who eat a raw diet).  Goes to show every one in the labeling business are idiots!

And for those who are not curious enough about changing such an embedded lifestyle in regards to food-for-fuel vs food-just-to-eat, that’s understandable.  It usually takes an emotional push to get there.  But I do encourage you to toy with the idea.   Curiosity killed the cat, but that feline had a dang good recovery rate to come back 9 times.  Leaf through these books and watch these documentaries on what you are eating.  Imagine what foods you can eat and enjoy, rather than what would be taken away.  The best book for people who aren’t ready for a full on commitment is the Kind Diet mentioned above, which teaches you how to flirt with food.

This is not fanaticism my friends, it’s a way of life worth sharing for those who want to be vibrant and radiant after they eat a hearty and exciting plate of legumes, rice, and veggies; not take a half-day nap with nightmares after eating a Triple Appetizer from Chili’s.  Click on stuff below.  Click it. 

More articles on Natural versus Organic:

http://www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=natural_vs_organic_whats_truth_and_whats_hype

http://almostfit.com/2008/08/13/demystifying-chicken-labels-from-organic-to-all-natural/

http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-food/organic-food-basics/difference-between-organic-and-natural-food.html

Link that recently inspired a meat-lover friend to eat a plant based diet…The China Study, for you Dr. Oz fans.

For those with Autoimmune Diseases, pay attention about CRP (C-reactive protein or inflammation) levels. Please enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTdVT9UFMFY

Back me up ya’ll!

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus

Spice Girl

Some days I have great days and suddenly plummet out of nowhere.   Some days I wake up a wreck and in three hours I take over the world.  Usually, I take on the day a few hours at a time, not a day at a time, like the old proverb says. Anyone else? Anyone?

Here are some inexpensive ways to keep the body fighting all types of junk all day long, help stave off coffee urges, reduce appetite, keep from kicking innocent bystanders, and soothe joint pain and inflammation. The health benefits are listed for awareness of what aids you’re receiving in the short and long-term care. If you click on the subject link you get the full stories and any warnings that may follow along.  After all, too much of a good thing, yada yada…

These easy-to-find, easy-to-apply homemade remedy tips wind-me up for another go and help endure work days that render me a clockwatcher:

Ginger

I just drop some ground ginger into filtered water, heat, and drink; adding honey on days I can tolerate sugars.

Ovarian Cancer Treatment
Ginger may be powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. A study conducted at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

Colon Cancer Prevention
A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

Morning Sickness
A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Motion Sickness Remedy
Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion sickness.

Reduces Pain and Inflammation
One study showed that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural painkiller.

Heartburn Relief
Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy. It is most often taken in the form of tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief
Research has shown that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief
In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy
A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).

Turmeric

Yay for bulleted lists.  This one goes in every food possible, but also in the form of tea as described with the ginger.  Doesn’t smell as great but tastes very neutral.  Has similar properties to Tylenol and aspirin. Yes, it really works.

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin. Great for people who workout too.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Some hair loss or thinning may be inflammatory.

Cinnamon

Anything sweet I will have gets cinnamon.  Oatmeal, smoothies, shakes, etc I’ve never felt immediate relief from this one like I do from all the other ones listed here, but whatever is healthy and tastes good is worth including.

Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes. Or just a good insulin regulator.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections. Candidiasis (yeast) is one of the root causes of some lupus cases (like mine) and many cancer, (Aside from having an allergy to it). Most Americans probably have it to some degree (especially if you take medications and/or birth control) and may not know it because conventional medicine doesn’t offer to find this. Click here for the endless list of symptoms, including fatigue, sinus problems, irritability, poor memory, etc.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Allspice

One of my new favorite is Allspice with Ginger. Allspice is not a combination of spices like I originally thought. It’s the actual specimen that resembles a variety of spices like cinnamon and cloves. Circulation feels great after one cup of hot Allspice tea.


Traditional Usage:
– Analgesic
– Antibacterial
– Antifungal
– Antioxidant
– Colic, Stomach Upset
– Colds, Flu and Bronchitis
– Corns
– Diarrhea
– Digestive Disorders
– Flatulence
– Heart Health Maintenance
– Indigestion
– Menstrual Health Maintenance
– Neuralgia
– Respiratory Health Maintenance
– Rheumatism
– Vascular Disorders


Overview:
Allspice, Pimenta dioica(L.) Merrill [Fam. Myrtaceae], also known as pimento, Jamaica pepper and clove pepper, is an evergreen tree found in South America, Mexico and the West Indies. The unripe berry, which smells and tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, is used primarily as a food and medicinal flavouring agent. Allspice is used in folk medicine for treating many different conditions including: colic, infantile diarrhea, cholera infantum, bleeding lungs, painful menstruation, chilblains, nausea, chills, flatulence, corns, colds, dyspepsia, neuralgia, and rheumatism. However, there are no clinical studies to back up these claims. The herb is considered to be a stimulant, carminative (for treating gas), anodyne (a pain-relieving medicine milder than an analgesic), and antioxidant, bactericidal, fungicidal, and stomachic. Dr. James Duke in The Green Pharmacy refers to allspice as a tropical herb with a very complex aroma that is useful for treating indigestion. Animal studies with the total aqueous extract of allspice given by intravenous (i.v.) administration have shown that it reduces high vascular pressure (has hypotensive activity) and has a central nervous system (CNS) depressant effect. Interestingly, the hypotensive effect of identical doses (100 mg/kg) of the aqueous extract (95% decrease) was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than the effect of the ethanolic extract (67% decrease). The researchers also noted that there were no significant changes in the heart rate and no abnormalities were observed in the EKG. Another study using intraperitoneal administration of different extracts of allspice to normal and hypertensive rats caused a depression of the central nervous system (CNS) in a dose-dependent manner. Analgesic and hypothermic effects were also observed. Again, the total aqueous extract was more effective than the ethanolic extract. It was noted that the extract caused peritoneal irritation that may only partially explain the depressive effect over the CNS. 

 

Peppermint Oil

A rouge addition, for herbs are just as good as spices, but this one keeps me going at work when I cannot focus; whether it be pain, negative attitudes emanating in the office, brain fog, boring-ness, restlessness, need coffee-ness. It’s amazing how it has a similar effect as Aderrall, without thinking you’re Superman snorting lines. I just add two drops to a water bottle or something actually dab a teeny bit under the nose to help inhale it.

Peppermint essential oil is a fantastic essential oil with a sharp, invigorating and very familiar scent especially around the winter holidays. Historically, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it and it’s one of the oldest essential oils still in use. Most aromatherapy experts call peppermint essential oil a “must have” due to its ability to ease headaches, help with sleepiness and soothe digestive problems.

Helps with Nausea and Digestive Issues

To ease nausea and other digestive problems, place a single drop of peppermint essential oil onto a piece of cotton and inhale deeply. You could also hold the small bottle containing the essential oil beneath your nose, if it’s not too strong for you. Add a few drops to a massage oil (never apply essential oils directly to the skin) and lightly massage the stomach to help with other digestive problems such as indigestion. While peppermint essential oil helps with digestion, it should never be taken internally without first checking with a care provider.

Relieves Headaches

To relieve headaches place a drop of the peppermint essential oil onto a cotton ball, find a quiet place, close your eyes and inhale deeply. You could also place a few drops into a diffuser and lay down for a few minutes until the headache eases. Many aromatherapy experts feel peppermint essential oil works faster than commercial drugs at relieving headaches. If you can’t find a quiet place to inhale the oil, combine a one or two drops of peppermint essential oil with a massage oil (about half a cup) and rub a few drops into your wrists or temples.

Combats Sleepiness

Another peppermint essential oil benefit is that it’s invigorating and can wake you up when you’re feeling sleepy. Rather than having that cup of caffeine in the morning, try adding a few drops to a diffuser, deeply inhaling peppermint essential oil, or drizzling a drop or two onto the floor of your shower to help you wake up.

Reduces Inflammation

In addition to other abilities, peppermint essential oil mixed in a massage oil reduces muscle inflammation. If you’re tired, headachy and have sore muscles, get a full body massage using the mixture. You may find this one oil eases all of those problems. Great for joints that are tired from being in the same typing position. I curiously use the oil straight on the joints and was nicely surprised.

And to concluce: a random link on anti-inflammatory diets.  I hear it’s all the rage.:

http://www.inflammation-information.com/anti-inflammatory-foods.html


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Filed under Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Under the Weather

Food.Tired.Sleep.Banana.

I’m staying home from work today.  I feel like P. Diddy.  I brused my teeth with a bottle of Jack.  So long as I’m going to be drunk in the mornings, I might as well take up drinking, eh?  Alcohol will kill whatever I got.

My head and eyes are swollen and my brain can only be described as having some activity on the seismic scale.  When I walk it feels like my body parts are not communicating with each other.  I’m going back to sleep after breaking my fast and watching Dr. Oz (which is not my cup of tea). I swear I’m going to lose all the Oprah and Oz fans if I come clean on my view of them.  I kid, Oz isn’t so bad…  Oprah is.

Usually, I scramble and search for the point in time where I went wrong to set off severe symptoms.  I’m trying to learn not to blame myself for something I did, I ate, I took, and later ended up knocked down.  I can’t prevent from causing every single flare no matter how much money I spend on organic food, how many pee-tasting potions I drink, or how much I deny my cats hugs and kisses (mildly allergic).  Buuut I’m stubborn and still chastise myself when I ‘think’ I know what I did.  Still beating my self up for the Vicodin I took yesterday.

My husband knows more about painkillers and medicines than half the doctors that are getting shut down in Florida do.  He warned me and was adorably vigilant in the way I took them.  I took them as needed, and only half.  But after taking them awhile, their effectiveness wears off and the moods begin to wobble.  I was desperate yesterday. I’ve read that Lupsters end up paying hard if they don’t manage stress and sleep like handling a Faberge egg. I haven’t slept well in 3 days (out of discomfort and/or missing my ‘body pillow’), was in pain, and tried to re-do the spare room without help, but I knew I had to make it to work today. Mmm hmm. Not gonna happen.  Being knocked out by the pill sure lessened the morning pain, I woke up okay in that department.  But I woke up sad and crying.  For no reason.  Watching Dr. Oz here on the screen, he would say that my dreams were subconsciously telling me there is something wrong in my life.  Ya think?  But he would need to be given the proper intel: narcs change your brain chemistry, Doc. Simple.

Once I called in sick, after much deliberation and harassing my sister via text and leaving Husband messages for when he wakes up in Miami about how I wanna make that money to get a food processor and need to be at work and the world was going to fall apart if I didn’t go assist administratively, it was like I finally had that cosmo and I relaxed.  My body is tired and stressed.  And for someone who has an inflammation and an oxidative stress disease, I’m attending my full-time job way too much.

I continue beating myself up and telling myself I need to save my time off for the chiropractor, for the rheumy doc, and maybe indulge the idea that I can take a real vacation day soon.  Trying to reason with yourself when your brain ironically would rather sing Ke$ha songs to protect you from hurting yourself… is not a good idea.  Take that dollar-sign from the universe and stay home.  Don’t I always say pay attention to your body?  I’m the first to admit I that taking your own advice is harder than pooping with someone standing outside the door.

The benefit of today: I had a real breakfast.  I ditched Quaker for a new man, Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats that all these hippies are talking about.  Quaker has never claimed to be gluten-free and there’s risk of cross-contamination.  And yes, they we’re much fresher tasting and yummier than the processed ones.  Soymilk, a monkey-sized banana, blueberries, and  quarter-sized dollop of peanut butter.

So, here’s what I was working on writing last night before my brain started to party in its skull:

This draft was supposed to be an I CANT HAVE PIZZA rant.  By the time I’m ready to post it, the winds of food have changed.  Brownies are too sweet, fast food seems so plastic-y, and I put the ice cream right back in the freezer after having two sorry spoonfuls.  I don’t even know who I am anymore, but I’m crushing on this new mysterious stranger.  This detox may kick my a$$ energy0wise, but the progression is noted.   I feel cleaner.  My appetite is not dangerous anymore, I’m desire healthier things, I don’t want to kill people who eat a slice in front of me.  Well, yes.  I still do.  But I didn’t know I had accepted my situation until today (that was yesterday).  Three recent things have happened:

Number 1: I walked into a Taco Bell and didn’t long for the gastric caress of a grilled stuff burrito (I went to get tickets to Nuclear Cowboyz, not a Chalupa).  The smell of crumbled mystery meat simmering in grizzle didn’t appeal to me.  I stopped to identify what was the longing sensation I was feeling: It was the emotional connection of being stuffed and indulged once I’ve gobbled the burrito without ever tasting it.  It was the immediate satisfaction.  Two weeks ago, I would’ve caved and ate it in front of my cats making them promise not to tell my husband.

Number 2: For lunch I found myself eating an apple, a handful of blueberries, roasted edamame, hummus, and celery sticks, and felt very satisfied and proud.

Number 3: I found this website http://hungryhungryhippie.com/. Please also see the Favourite Links page for the other website I added as well.  My life is about to change.  Now I’m sure this great lady doesn’t want to be put on a pedestal and I won’t, but I find her fantastic.  With so many diet restrictions,  I haven’t found a flexible, easy diet (because I get fatigued too fast when I make complicated and long meals) that makes palatable sense to me other than a macro diet, and the answer to that is: yea right!  I’m hungry and always will be.  Her diet matches my diet.  It’s interesting, versatile, and crunchy.  I have been perusing (that word is  so pretentious for wannabe writers) her website for two days now and couldn’t wait for the weekend to start trying some of her ideas.

For dinner I had leftover brown rice, threw a butternut squash in the oven, and mashed half a little hass avocado all folded in with the rice like sour cream.  And oh.my.god!  Food-gasm!  First I’ve had in a long time since I’ve been banned from what-we-consider regular food.  I made yummy noises that I shouldn’t be making when Husband is out of town.  Chelios and Mishka were terrified.

It's a celly pic, so pardon the quality.

Detox process is in full gear.  I am not craving crap anymore.  Or veggies that kick me around.  I’m not lactose intolerant but out of my own free will, I kicked the dairy habit.  Cheese naturally produces morphine and opiates after all; why do you think we GOTTA HAVE it on everything?

More mini updates:

  • I’ve had to drop the green tea.  Too twitchy, even though on low caffeine.  Slso acidity rate was becoming obvious, tummy burns.  It helped with inflammation immensely though, so that sucks.  Sticking to ginger tea and might try Turmeric tea.
  • That celery juice…added pure aloe vera, cinnamon and ginger to the blender. Bellisimo!
  • I now need a tofu press and a more fierce and bigger food processor that’ll whip foods hiney, literally and figuratively.  Eating completely different requires change in thinking, budgeting, and accessories.  I wish it required a new wardrobe too.

So, I’ve had friends offer to cook for me only to find out that they have no idea what to make, even if they’re willing to change up their menu.  Another conundrum was the first time I rattled off the list of things I couldn’t eat to my sister so she can cook for me when I visit her back home.  She waited for me to shut my gluten-free no-pie hole and rightfully asked: “Well, what CAN you eat?”.  (Also coming to posts near you)

Here is an example of my green-light foods, I’m on a rotating diet of  (all foods must be organic or at least whole, artificial,dye, and preservative free)

  • Lentils (mine and Husband’s fav)
  • Brown Rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Black Beans
  • Eggs (I’m doing Egglands best, but intend to switch to organic, range-free, from the farms where they don’t kill the irrelevant male chicks 😦 )
  • Tortillas (Salvadorian style)
  • Salmon
  • Non-spicy spices
  • All herbs
  • Corn Cereal
  • Rice Crackers
  • Rice Cake
  • Hummus
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond butter
  • Apples
  • All kinds of berries
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli (I don’t care for cooking broccoli. Stinks.)
  • Watermelon
  • Celery
  • Carrot (sticks)
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Soups w/o strong spices
  • Occasional Grass fed turkey or chicken (hardly ever, don’t care for the taste of dead animals)
  • Occasional Greek non-fat yogurt or white cheeses

Just added to my list:

  • Butternut squash… where have you been all my life?

It sounds boring to someone accustomed to a different diet, but I’m not bored by it.  I love it.  And when you can’t just go out and pick up a burger, you get really creative mixing and matching.  Recipes and pictures will write themselves eventually.  This week has sucked for energy and activity so when I feel whole again, I’ll share how I’ve been managing to cook lately.

(Drastic conclusion cut-off.)

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Filed under Foodsies, Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Under the Weather

The Murder of Two Silver Hairs

Dying hair is not considered much in terms of long-term safety, more so about how long can you go before you drench your hair in paint again.  I certainly viewed it this way the few times I’ve dyed my hair and required follow-up maintenance.  But times have changed and the collective group of women willing to be educated are aware of the chemicals dangers in existence and on the rise.  Last night, I had the responsibility of considering whether I will dye with my mane with Naturint Permanent Hair Color, claiming to be safer than regular dyes (already purchased), or skip the vanity and leave as is, or experiment with Henna dye.

The following article about the risks , although very neutral, had me in a stupefied state.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n253/ai_21034492/


I don’t dye my hair frequently and I don’t want to anymore. As a matter of fact, I’ve sprouted two “gray” hairs more akin to a silvery snow that I’ve grown fond of.  I don’t care to see them go.  But from my last ventures into hair color, I have slight discoloration. It’s only visible in the sun from my natural dark brown/black hair, but its there.  I was even going to name my two strands of wisdom but if I’m going to darken them out, there is no point in becoming attached.

Growing up, I had an uber-conservative mom when it came to beauty.  She never died her hair, barely wore make-up, and other practical fixins considered to be normal in society for a lady.  She grew up a poor and humble country girl where these things were not needed for survival.  She once told me if I ever dyed my hair, I would not be her daughter.  Being raised in Miami where the masses all have the same sun-bleached brain, there was no way I could not join the sheep herd and dye my woolen hair.  But the peer pressure and curiosity got the best of me.  Against momma’s will,  my best friend and a Loreal bottle  colored my hair into the color of a rusty trumpet.

Mom remained in smoldering silence when she saw the hot mess.  Of course, money had to spent on salvaging my straw mop head.  The chemicals must have reached portions of my brain because I can’t remember who footed the rescue bill, but I do know she let me remain her baby girl.  As usual, my dear ‘ol momma was right.  We just have an innate preference for the natural in my family, whether its the way we were brought up or our indifference to popular opinion.  I want my God-given hair to stay as it is.  At this point in adolescence, I went back to black.

Naturally, an unwritten ethos from a whimsical spaz is easy to forsake in times if fashion kicks and identity switches.  I dyed it for my wedding with some lighter and with some golden tones to catch and glimmer in the sun’s reflection.  A year later, I’m back to my natural kick and want it dark again.  And I’m apprehensive.  Should I leave it and wait a few years until it grows back all dark, or hasten the restoration of balance?

We can’t protect ourselves from all every and all chemicals. “Every year 1700 new chemicals are approved — that’s an average of five a day.” (The Autoimmune Epidemic).  We can buy a water filter for our kitchen faucet and still have residual chemicals, or drink bottled water that’s been leaching plastic particles in the overheated truck its being shipped in.  I’m doing a full on detox, but when the pain is insufferable I must take some man-tinkered pill. We can use everything organic, but we step outside and we’re breathing smog.  But I can make a decision for my next move whether to invite a risk that’s I’m suddenly painfully aware of.  Where is the balance?

I was feeling the stress of all the tiny decisions that come with having a hypersensitive, body begging nature to overpower my faulty immune,  whilst living in a highly toxic city and society.  Considering I was going to dye my hair anyway with regular dye, using a healthier one will not kill me today.  Just like we can’t prevent your kids from every stupid decision that comes across their head, like trying to give yourself blond highlights without a pro in the room, I cannot prevent myself from every dirty little compound that might affect me.  I’ve learned how to read one more label and to research even deeper before purchasing products that we’re never much of a concern before.

My hair is a solid chestnut brown and is looking pretty healthy.  The product itself was great and I would recommend it to anyone who colors their locks regularly and would like a healthier option.  But the paranoia I went through about scabbing, follicles rejecting my hair, and a Lupus flare-up: not worth it.  Not to mention my friend’s dad was talking to me about cancer half the time.  Next time  I go with the henna. Or grow it out. I already miss the two little testaments of time that were trying to make a point.

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