Two Simple Wishes

Eat Better, Feel Better

Eat Better Feel Better

We all know it’s true – if we eat better we feel better (duh).  It’s a universal truth.

But for someone with an autoimmune disease, it’s so much more.  Because it isn’t just about feeling better.  It’s about not feeling awful.  I’ll explain.

Having an autoimmune disease means your body is attacking itself.  It’s immune system going berserk and attacking healthy cells, affecting one or many different types of body tissue, including joints, organs, skin…nothing is off-limits.  In my case, having Rheumatoid Arthritis means that the inflammation in my body has gone wild and is attacking my joints.  The pain I felt before I started managing my disease with medicine was indescribable.  Simple things like putting on a seatbelt, turning over in bed, holding a cup of coffee…well, they weren’t simple – they were extremely painful.

Fortunately, I have been able to manage the disease with medication for the last 10 years.  I also try to avoid foods that cause inflammation (sugar, dairy, gluten) because these kinds of foods exasperate my condition – kind of like throwing gasoline on a fire.  But because the medicine works so well for me, it’s easy to forget how awful I felt before.  Which makes it easy to convince myself that it’s OK to have that pizza, or ice cream, or sandwich….whatever.   But that’s a slippery slope, because before I know it, food with sugar, dairy and gluten have become a big part of what I eat.  And I wonder why I don’t feel good(?!).

Recently, I’ve started to notice pain in the joints of my hands.  In fact, one joint on my left hand is starting to get the RA “look” – raised up and enlarged.  It’s been a good wake-up call and reminder that my RA is not cured (it never will be) and that I have to eat better to feel better…and not feel awful – for now and the long-haul.

You may not have an autoimmune disease, but I’m guessing that you understand the slippery slope of making bad food choices.  So what should we do?

It takes 21 days to change a behavior.  My behavior change is eliminating sugar, gluten and dairy (from cows).  What food behavior do you want to change to feel better?   Want to do this together?  It can be whatever you need it to be – it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that we start.  And we can help each other.  For 21 days, starting today.

Are you ready?  Follow me on Facebook for 21 days of daily (hourly, as often as I need it) inspiration.

Let’s do this!

21 days

 

Bug Off – DIY Natural Bug Repellant

BUG Off

Summer is around the corner, bringing with it sun, fun, heat, humidity and a plague worthy amount of flesh-eating mosquitoes.  This year there is even more concern about mosquitos and the Zika virus and warnings to protect ourselves with bug repellant.

Traditional wisdom was to protect yourself with a bug repellant that contains DEET.  But the negative side effects are alarming.  Short of wearing a suit of armor, what’s a girl who wants to keep it natural to do?  So I looked into how I could use essential oils as an alternative.

Using some inspiration I found online and the ingredients I had on hand, I mixed up a small batch and conducted an experiment – in the form of an outdoor movie night with some friends.  (I can ALWAYS find a reason for a party!)

One of our friends is a mosquito magnet.  To the point where she has served as my natural mosquito repellant – If I sit next to her…they flock to her and leave me alone.  She was the perfect test subject.  I also had my other friends try the concoction.

The results?  Amazing.  First, everyone who used it commented on how good it smelled.  But most importantly, the three of us that used the natural spray had ZERO bites.  Even my friend who is irresistible to mosquitos.  (And it wasn’t because there weren’t any mosquitos.  The bites that showed up on the ones who chose not to use it was proof.)

Here is the recipe for the natural bug repellant.

DIY Natural Bug Repellant Recipe

·        1 tablespoon witch hazel

·        1 tablespoon sweet almond oil

·        10 drops lavender essential oil

·        10 drops rosemary essential oil

·        10 drops tea tree oil

·        10 drops geranium essential oil

·        10 drops bergamot essential oil

DIY Natural Bug Spray-ingredients

Combine the ingredients in a small glass spray bottle (with dark glass).   You can get these online or at your local health food store.

DIY Natural Bug Spray-spray bottle

 

Label the bottle so you don’t forget what it is.  Shake well before using.

To apply, spray all over exposed skin.  (For the face, lightly spray your hands and then dab onto your face.)  And enjoy the great outdoors!

Important Information About Essential Oils

Make sure you purchase oils from a reputable source.  I get mine from Melaleuca because they are excellent quality…and I am a Melaleuca “member”.  But there are other sources out there.  Just do your homework.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent.  Before using be sure to check the specific safety data about each oil you use.  An excellent resource can be found on the web site for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.

Keep them out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets.

Essential oils are intended for external use only. Avoid contact with mucus membranes and eyes. If any essential oils have contacted your eye, wash out with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, not water.

Some oils may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is recommended to perform a patch test before use. To patch test, place one drop on the back of your wrist and leave for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs wash the area with olive oil then cold water and do not use the oil.

Exposure to essential oils generally should be avoided during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Be sure to consult a qualified health care practitioner before using essential oils during pregnancy.

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Disclaimer:  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website.

Mother’s Day Shout Out

Happy Mothers Day

This is a Mother’s Day shout out to all the moms who have inspired me to be a better mom in their own unique way.

To the moms who are single parenting – You are twice the parent that I am.  I have seen you do an amazing job raising your kids and I am inspired to be half as good of a mom as you.

To the moms with large families– I am in awe of you and have learned so much about how to “roll with the punches” in the chaos of life.

To the moms who work two jobs – one at home and one outside the home – I marvel at how you manage the logistics of your schedule.  Thank you for teaching me how to be a better juggler!

To the moms that have faced seemingly insurmountable challenges – I hope that in difficult times, I can show the same grace under fire that you have shown.

To the moms who didn’t have someone to teach you how to be a good mom – You have shown me that motherhood doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.

To the moms who entered motherhood earlier in life than you expected – You have demonstrated true sacrifice, giving up so much at a young age to be a good mom.

To the moms that had to wait a long time for motherhood – You are an inspiration to me of patience and refusal to give up hope.

To the moms that have lost a child – You have shown me that it is possible to have joy in times of great sorrow.

To the moms who hold down the fort while your husbands go off to serve people in need or our country – Your willingness to “make it work” so he can serve others is inspiring.

I am blessed to have known you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

P.S.  Let’s keep the love fest going.  Share this with a mom who has inspired you!

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