“I’m so sorry this is happening to you.”

There are a few things medical professionals have said to me that have really stuck: “I’m so sorry this is happening to you”, “I don’t know how you are still working”, and “there really isn’t anything we can do”.  Listen, folks, working is hard on your body. It’s hard on a healthy body, so when you are suffering with chronic and debilitating pain – it can become unbearable. But I love what I do for a living, I love working and being active, and I love helping people, so I had to find a way to make it work.

In just the first few months, my medical costs were in the thousands (with insurance), and I had experienced lost wages when I ran out of leave. It was scary! Then one evening after commuting and working 10 hours, I was told by my Project Manager that I “had until midnight” to get something done. Midnight? How on God’s green Earth was I expected to work and commute 17-18 hours? That would be hard on anyone, much less someone who was standing in front of you wearing an $800 back brace just weeks after 6 spinal injections! 

I stayed way too late. I suffered horribly. Then I simply refused to do it again!  There are things I know now that I wish I knew then.  Maybe these things can help you – I do not want people to suffer as long as I did.

01

JUST SAY NO!

It’s okay to say “No” to things that are bad for you. When you are injured, healing, or going through intense medical procedures, learn how to say “No”.

It’s okay to have boundaries! It’s healthy to have boundaries in all aspects of your life. Work is no different. Check out this great blog by Kathleen Nicholls about setting boundaries when you have a chronic illness:

https://themighty.com/2019/05/creating-boundaries-relationships-chronic-illness/

02

LISTEN TO YOUR FEET

I was told time and time again to buy better shoes. I tried, I picked the wrong style over and over. I bought Clarks, Nike, Converse. I tried everything.

Enter Brooks Running shoes.  It’s the only shoe I found I could wear that wouldn’t trigger pain. I could put on Nikes or Clarks and within an hour, I could feel intense pain flaring up in my low back.

03

YOUR DESK

I had a VariDesk adjustable desk for years and loved it, but it was pretty heavy with my two monitors on it. Electronic adjustable desks will prevent any unnecessary lifting every day. I found this VIVO Electric Height Adjusting Desk. It was only $249 when I bought it and it is an absolute dream!

Before I had my desk, I used this super neat little portable laptop stand by Levit8

04

WALK OFTEN

Walking is good for you! Your joints and muscles need movement.

I got this great treadmill for under my desk. I can use it while I’m working or I can pull it back and pop the handrail up to walk or run for exercise.  Check out our These Bones Were Made for Walkin’ blog for more information on why walking is so good for you!

05

WHEN SITTING IS PAINFUL

This, for me, was a LONG process. Just like shoes and mattresses, finding the right chair is expensive and painful – literally!

Here’s all of the chairs I have bought and alternate:

SONGMICS Standing Chair $125.99

Vari Active Seat $250

Serta Office Chair $80

ComfiLife Seat Cushion $35

Exercise Ball $22

Exercise Ball Stand / Chair Base $15

Recliner with massage $360

 

06

SLEEP WELL

I have gone through 3 (yes THREE) mattresses in the last year. And that’s okay! Don’t give up! You will find something that works for you. Everyone is different, but there are 3 basic styles: memory foam, coil, and hybrid (part memory foam and part coil). I tried all 3! Memory foam was too hard, hybrid was too soft. I returned to a coil mattress and have slept so much better since then.

Next, let’s talk pillows! I have bought 5 pillows in less than a year, and I had 2 before that. Believe me when I say I  know that all pillows are not created equal! Again, don’t give up. It’s expensive and painful (figuratively and literally – one pillow lasted 2 night before I realized it was the root of a new pain flare up!)

Before finding the right mattress and pillow, since my pain was in my back and hips, I found this $35 Bed Wedge helped a bunch!

 

07

HANG UPSIDE DOWN

This inversion table has been worth its weight in gold. It was painful at first and I could only do it briefly. I kept healing more and eventually, I was using it multiple times throughout the day: in the morning, on my morning breaks, at lunch time, my afternoon breaks, in the evening. It was truly a game changer. Even though I don’t need it as much now, anytime I feel tender in my hip and low back, I jump on my inversion table several times a day to help decompress my body. 

You can read more about inversion tables over on the When Back Pain Turns Your Life Upside Down blog.

08

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Listen, I am not some tree-hugger type that is all into PETA and “save the animals”! I love animals, but I also loved steak and potatoes. I was, however, so desperate that I would have tried anything. If I kept hearing that eating a whole goat every day would help, as cute as they are I would have tried it.

But that’s not what I was reading over and over. I was reading things like “plant-based diet” and “sugar-free” over and over. I had joined several “support groups” on social media to ask for help and read other people’s experiences. The message was LOUD – I needed to change my diet! I have another blog coming out where I talk about how I did it – and how I’m still doing it a year later! It’s really easy once you see the dramatic results!

09

PLUG YOUR EARS

Shew – I wish I learned this earlier. It would have saved me a lot of heartache.

I’ll put it simply: people are gonna talk crap about you, your injury, your illness, and your journey. They are gonna be mean. They will not understand and they will not get it. They won’t understand the lengths that you will go to control your pain. They won’t understand you standing in the middle of dinner. They won’t understand you leaving everything early or just not going places at all when you’re in pain. You’ll hear you “always miss work” or you’re “going to fall behind” if you don’t work overtime.

And on your good days? Oh, yeah, they won’t understand those either.  When you are trying to get fit and heal yourself and push yourself to become healthy? Nope. They won’t understand that at all. Then they will say “it must not have been that bad if you can walk/run/exercise/lift”. I couldn’t do ANYTHING right with some people – even people I considered to be friends. 

You have to learn not to listen. One of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, tells us what people say about us is none of our business. You have to learn to tune out those negative voices out and listen to your support group. My best friend of nearly 30 years and my Mother saved my life. They listened to me cry, cuss, groan, and rejoice. They heard my desperation, and they answered every call. Listen to those voices and ignore the others. Trust me – it just may save your life, too.

10

PRAY

This isn’t about religion. This is about you having a close personal relationship with whoever, whatever or however you believe (judgement-free zone here!).  Sometimes, it’s going to be all you have left… and you’re going to pray.

And when you are praying for God (or whoever you are praying to) to end your suffering, or for the strength to make it through the night or to crawl across the floor when you cannot stand, you are going to realize that those prayers are going to be all you have to keep you going in that moment.  And believe me, it’s worth the fight… so pray.

 

 

 

Turmeric Curcumin Instant Drink

About this item

  • Qunol Turmeric Curcumin Instant Drink Mix, Ultra High Absorption, 500mg + 50mg Ginger, Supports Healthy Inflammation Response and Joint Support, Dietary Supplement, 60 Servings
  • SUPPORTS HEALTHY INFLAMMATION RESPONSE AND JOINT HEALTH: Get moving Qunol Turmeric supports healthy inflammation response associated with physical overexertion and can also help promote joint comfort*
  • BIOENHANCED CURCUMIN FORMULATION: Qunol Turmeric Instant Drink Mix Stick Packets contain 500 mg of Bioenhanced Turmeric Complex and 50 mg of Ginger and is manufactured in a cGMP compliant facility
  • ULTRA HIGH ABSORPTION: Qunol’s Turmeric Instant Drink Mix has water dispersion technology which delivers ultra high absorption Unlike regular1 turmeric, which is not soluble and has very poor absorption
  • EASY TO DRINK: Just add 1 scoop to water or juice, shake, and enjoy the refreshing orange flavor at home or on the go
  • THE POWER OF CURCUMINOIDS: Turmeric provides one of natureâ€s best kept secrets, curcuminoids, a group of antioxidants that supports healthy inflammation response associated with physical overexertion Qunol softgels are 1 inch (23 centimeters) long
  • No 1 DOCTOR RECOMMENDED FORM OF TURMERIC CURCUMIN: Qunol Turmeric has water dispersion technology which delivers superior absorption compared to regular turmeric so you’ll be able to reap the FULL benefits of turmeric

 Qunol Turmeric Curcumin Instant Drink Mix  contains 500mg of Turmeric Curcumin and 50mg Ginger in this high absorption instant drink mix. You can get it in orange-flavored and no flavor Supports Healthy Inflammation Response and Joint Support.

 

If you would rather try a different brand, there are many Turmeric Drink Mixes on Amazon. I have tried and LOVE the Qunol brand (I have purchased 3 boxed and 1 container of it in the last 6 months, so it’s a staple at my house!)

Mango Avocado Kiwi Honey Smoothie

First, let’s take a look at the very simple ingredients that pack a HUGE punch!

Mangos

Mangos are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids with inflammation-fighting properties. Mangos are a great source of fiber and polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in plant-based foods and help to regulate blood pressure, fight inflammation, and heart disease.

One cup of mango is bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals. This is the healthiest drink to help fight inflammation thanks to a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). These treats contain flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties.

 

They contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the body. While short-term inflammation is needed to heal injuries, long-term inflammation is harmful to our bodies and can lead to chronic illnesses. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a great way to lower inflammation and prevent disease.

The mangos I’m using today are from Misfits Market. You can use this link for 25% off your first box!

Honey

In addition to its use as a natural sweetener, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent.

Honey is in a lot of our recipes. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial agent, and packed with antioxidants.

Avocado

Avocados are a healthy fat that helps fight inflammation. They’ve also been shown to decrease cancer growth and reduce your bodies inflammatory response.  

You can use a handful of frozen avocado or a fresh avocado for added creaminess. In one study, when people consumed a slice of avocado with a hamburger, they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared with participants who ate the hamburger alone ( 23 ). Avocados offer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce your cancer risk.2

Kiwi

Kiwi has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

  •  
  • 1/2  large avocado
  • 2 kiwis (peeled)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk 
  • 1–2 tablespoons of honey (or agave)
  • 2–3  ice cubes (or frozen plant-based milk!)
  • I threw everything in my Instant Pot Ace Plus Blender on the “Smoothie” setting. It’s that easy!

Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Juice

[caption id="attachment_106" align="alignnone" width="300"]Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Juicing Recipe healthy juice made of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables[/caption]

Carrots

These and other orange-hued vegetables are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which are believed to fight inflammation. Cooking seems to increase the availability of these compounds.1

Apple

Research suggests that eating some apple on a daily basis might lower levels of cholesterol as well as C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood.2

Ginger

Ginger contains chemicals that are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Studies show that it helps ease severe inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, too.1

  • 1 https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/rheumatoid-arthritis-pictures/foods-that-fight-inflammation
  • 2 http://blog.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/apples-anti-inflammatory-arthritis-diet

Turmeric Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an abundant source of powerful antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Antioxidants help prevent or slow cellular damage and reduce inflammation, which may reduce your risk of several chronic diseases.1

Turmeric
Turmeric’s main active component — curcumin — is what gives the spice its yellow color. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a potential treatment for a number of health conditions, including reduced pain and increased ease of movement in people with osteoarthritis.2

Carrots
These and other orange-hued vegetables are rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, both of which are believed to fight inflammation.2

Sage
Sage tea is particularly high in rosmarinic acid. Animal and test-tube studies have shown that this antioxidant provides numerous benefits, such as decreased inflammation and blood sugar levels ( 3 , 4 ).3

Thyme
Thymol’s anti-inflammatory effects have been documented in several studies. The thymol in thyme oil is effective at reducing inflammation and infection. According to recent research, thymol’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make it beneficial for oral health.4



Recipe
1 butternut squash
1 yellow onion
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2.5 cups of vegetable bouillon
5 cloves garlic
5 sprigs of Thyme
5 leaves of Sage

Prep the squash: Set oven to 450. Cut the squash in half, lay face-up on the cooking sheet or pizza stone. Drizzle with oil of your choice – I used olive oil. Top with salt, pepper, and ground turmeric. Bake for 45 minutes.

Prep the veggies: While your squash is roasting, cut up your onion, carrots, and celery. Dice up the garlic cloves.

For the next step, I use the Instant Pot Ace Plus Blender for homemade soups and it is a life saver. If you are using the Instant Port Ace Plus Blender, simply place your veggies, broth and herbs in the blender, and press “Soup” twice and then hit “Start” and you’re done. As of this post, it is currently 60% OFF.

If you’re using a traditional stove and blender method, I’m sure cooking in a pot of the stove and then blending the ingredients would work fine, but probably not nearly as fun! Another thing I love about my Instant Pot Blender is the self-clean feature. Simply rinse the glass body, fill with 32 ounces of hot water, hit the “Clean” button and you’re done!

I also made some candied pecans by tossing chopped pecans in plant-based butter, golden monk fruit, and cinnamon, and popped them into my convection oven for a few minutes.

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Let’s talk about the ingredients!

Honey
In addition to its use as a natural sweetener, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent.1

Any honey will do, but I love buying local honey at the health food store a couple of blocks from my studio.

Avocado
I didn’t include it in this recipe but have thrown in a handful of frozen avocado or even better a fresh avocado for added creaminess. In one study, when people consumed a slice of avocado with a hamburger, they had lower levels of the inflammatory markers NF-kB and IL-6, compared with participants who ate the hamburger alone ( 23 ). Avocados offer various beneficial compounds that protect against inflammation and may reduce your cancer risk.2

Mango
One cup of mango is bursting with antioxidants and over 20 different vitamins and minerals. This is the healthiest drink to help fight inflammation thanks to a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). These treats contain flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoy in moderation.3

They contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the body. While short-term inflammation is needed to heal injuries, long-term inflammation is harmful to our bodies and can lead to chronic illnesses. Eating anti-inflammatory foods is a great way to lower inflammation and prevent disease.4

The mangos I’m using today are from Misfits Market. You can use this link for 25% off your first box!


Blueberries

Berries provide antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds may reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and reduce your risk of heart disease.5 The blueberries I’m using today are also from Misfits Market. I love that their prices on organic fruits and veggies are 40-50% less than my local grocery store. You can use this link for 25% off your first box!


Collagen

Taking collagen supplements has been shown to reduce inflammation and stimulate collagen synthesis in the body. This may help promote pain relief among people with joint disorders like osteoarthritis.6

If you are not vegan, you can try the popular Vitals Proteins Collagen Powder.

Recipe
1 mango diced
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup almond milk
2 scoops collagen

I used my Instant Pot Ace Plus Blender on the “Smoothie” setting.

Tell Your Inflammation to Beet It! ;)

There’s a great article on the benefits of turmeric over at Healthline.com. They remind us “Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.”

Misfits Market 25% Off: COOKWME-TT6RYR Promo Code

Affordable Microwave – or Juicer 😉 – Cart: https://amzn.to/39zrt5i

Koios Masticating Juicer: https://amzn.to/39E5H0t —Currently $40 Off!!—

Original recipe source: https://www.feastingathome.com/turmeric-golden-root-juice/

Turmeric and Ginger Inflammation Fighting and Immune Boosting Shot

Ginger turmeric shots

“Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.”

Read more about the benefits of turmeric here: HealthLine’s Evidence-Based Benefits of Turmeric.

Misfits Market 25% Off: COOKWME-TT6RYR Promo Code

Affordable Microwave to use as a Juice Cart: https://amzn.to/39zrt5i

Koios Masticating Juicer: https://amzn.to/39E5H0t (—Currently $40 Off!!—)

I modified a recipe I found online at https://www.feastingathome.com/turmeric-golden-root-juice/

Ingredients
2 tablespoons sliced ginger root
3 tablespoon fresh turmeric root
6 medium organic carrots
1 lemon freshly squeezed

As will most recipes, you can use any quality fruit or veg you want to have access to, but organic is always a top choice at home. That’s one of the reasons I love my Misfits Market subscription! SAVE 25% OFF of your first box!

Hello, Fresh!

During the 2020 quarantine, I took advantage of using a few different meal kit delivery services. I loved that Green Chef has vegan and vegetarian meals full of healthy and organic ingredients. I’ll be reviewing them next month! It’s a little more expensive than Hello Fresh which I’ll be reviewing today, but you can get $55 off Green Chef if you sign up this month! If you are looking for a specialty diet (paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian), you may want to check them out.

Hello Fresh is affordable and the recipes are relatively simple. You won’t find as many vegan and vegetarian dishes, but if you are a little seasoned in the plant-based lifestyle, you will have substitutes on hand to convert your vegetarian meals to plant-based. I always keep plant-based vegan sour cream, mayo, and eggs in stock at home!

Let’s dig in and look at one of my meals from my first week of January 2021 of Hello Fresh!!

First, I had Greek Goddess Blugar Bowls. This meal is particularly healthy are great for pain as it is packed full of chickpeas and bulgar wheat. Chickpeas help fight pain-causing inflammation as they are packed full of anti-oxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds like protein and fiber. The fiber-rich bulgar wheat will also help fight inflammation and will also help with digestion.

You can pop over to Hello Fresh to check out the recipe. Normally, I omit cheese from my Hello Fresh meals, but I had a cheat meal and added the feta cheese. Feta contains a lot of calcium, protein, and has bacteria which promotes intestinal health in addition to having anti-inflammatory effects. You can also sub the dressing for the cucumber salad to something you have on hand. I really love the Skinny Girl dressings because they are sugar free, gluten free, fat free, and low carb, and they taste great!