Tag Archives: Turmeric

Ten things to make vacations possible with Chronic illness

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Ten things to make vacations possible with Chronic illness

I can’t go on vacation. I could never keep up. I can’t slow my family down. It would take weeks to recover.

I hear this all the time when I tell other chronically sick people I went on vacation. I am here to tell you it is possible. It takes planning. It takes determination but it is possible. The last three years we have been doing a camping trip to Disney, here is what I have learned.

  1. Plan it out

 I am not talking about the little things. I am talking about generalizations here. We leave on one day, set up camp. We go to the park the next day. We hang around camp/pool the next day. The last day we pack up and go home. I am not slowing anyone down this way. We all need time to recover and relax after the park. This also includes increasing exercise. I started this about three weeks before we left. THREE. WEEKS. Planning helped me plan in rest/recovery time. I planned out what I was bringing with me to help my body hold up. I planned out where the jacuzzi’s were to help my muscles recover a bit. I started cutting back on soda and increasing water three weeks prior to leaving as well. Taking your body on vacation it needs to be well hydrated before you even start.

2.Eat anti-inflamatory foods before leaving

Before we left I made sure to stock up on anti-inflamatory foods. Cucumbers, celery, pineapple, and ginger. I cut back on pasta and white rice. I made sure I was eating foods high in Omega three’s.This is not far from what I normally eat but, I tried to be extra vigilant about these things. I severely limited my sugar intake as well. Sugar causes inflamation on so many levels.

3.Sleep

I would say the three days prior to leaving I was super protective of sleep time. I tried to fall asleep close to the same time every night. I get that sleep is hard. Good sleep is even harder. This is where I pulled out all my tricks. Melatonin, cherry juice and magnesium.

4.Supplements

So if you follow me pretty regular you probably know what I am going to say here. Ultracur. Yes, I took it on my vacation. I did not take aspirin, aleve, or any other nsaid. It was not however the only supplement I took. I was also taking a flaxseed oil supplement three times a day. I took the ultracur four times a day. I took L-lysine two times a day. I use a Stomach enzyme and probiotic mix that I took twice a day. I also took a ginger supplement twice a day. It has taken me at least three years to figure out which supplements give me the most help. I can’t afford to take them all the time, plus I already take enough pills. I also highly believe that you should space these out.They should not be something you take daily all the time. I have found it to be more effective that way. I know others have not. This is where you have to really know your body and really take the time to find out what works for you. Briefly I will explain why I take each of theses. Ultracur which is Curcumin the helpful property in Turmeric is basically a coverall. There is hardly an area it doesn’t help. It is anti-inflamatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal,works for the skin, the brain and the digestive tract.  I use the ginger mostly for help with muscle pain although it is good for many other issues as well. Flaxseed for joint lube. L-lysine is for membrane health. Originally I started taking it for coldsores but found my muscles really really like it when I take that. I kind of think the stomach enzymes and probiotics are self explanatory. They make my stomach and gut muscles happy. I am all about making my muscles and joints as happy as possible. I have tried glucosamin condroitin and really could not decern a noticable difference. I know some swear by it.

5. Spread it out

This somewhat goes in with planning, but not exclusively. For me I don’t mind not getting to all of the park, for others that might be an issue. There are two ways around this, plan more than one trip, or more than one park day. FOr me that would require extending our stay and I know my body and it is not up to that. I am pretty determined to camp because I love it so much. I used to hike and camp. That is really hard and I know I can’t do that. I can’t carry a sixty pound backpack and hike. This is my compromise with myself, that also allows me to give my daughter the experience of camping. Perhaps it is not important to you and you are good with a hotel. DO what your body can handle.

6.Eat to keep up

Protein protein protein. We all know that you need protein for your muscles after you exercises. Sometimes it is easy to not think of walking around a park as actual exercise. It is essentially what you are doing though. Eat high protein and low sugar while at the park as much as possible. However, that being said, you are on vacation so indulgences are allowed. Disney made it pretty easy to eat a balanced meal at every meal. Breakfast even had veggies available. This is where paying attention to serving size mattered most to me. Protein was the main part of my plate with room for fruit and veggies and a small space for carbs and sweets.  Don’t forget to keep hydrating. Drink a lot of water, when you think you have drank enough ,drink a bit more. By eleven am I had already drank sixty ounces of water. It sounds like a lot. Sure it made me go to the bathroom a lot. A lot. Factor in it is also summer in Florida. Sweat was dripping off us when it wasn’t raining. This is where I would also say powerade or gatorade are acceptable choices of hydration. I personally can’t stand coconut water but it is also an excellent hydrator. Don’t swear off all sugar and caffiene. They can be helpful tools to help you last all day. I tried to make sure the water I drank was twice as much as any amount of caffiene/sugar I had at each meal. Use the sugar/caffiene high to your advantage.

7.Rest frequently

Sit where and when you can. Sometimes it hurts worse to even try to sit down. I know I get that way too. However, your body needs it. Try to remember to stretch when you sit. I will be honest here and say I didn’t always remember that. There where times that sitting felt a lot like what the tin man most look like trying to sit. Keeping an eye out for oppurtunities for me to sit down really helped though. Even though I was tired, I made sure we got jacuzzi time in. There was one day I used it twice for the full fifteen minutes each time.

8.Allow indulgences

Normally I try to keep desserts and treats to a minimum. I know it doesn’t always seem like that and I am not always good at it. Remember though, this is vacation. Aside from knowingly consuming corn(an allergen for me) I let myself have desserts and other things, High carbs, I normally wouldn’t.  I had bread with breakfast and lunch and dinner most of the time. We had sweets and I sure did drink a lot of juice.

9.Keep hydrating

The last two years the week after hit me pretty hard. It took me a while to realize I had slacked off on hydrating. I wasn’t outside sweating any more. It is easy to forget to hydrate. Just like it is going to take more out of us to do the vacation, it takes a lot to recover. Hydrating is going to make that easier. Your muscles will thank you.

10. Allow for rest afterwards

This year I did not allow for full days of rest. I have found that to actually bring on a flare worse. Instead I planned short small activites with lots of rest afterwards. The first full day back I did my cleaning job and then we rested. A friend and I took my daughter to the beach. Which was perfect because I could rest knowing my friend had an eye on the kid. The salt water also really does help. If you are not near a beach plan on epsom salt baths. I still used those on top of the beach. Be gentle with yourself. I know this is a hard one for me too. I was starting to get discouraged I wasn’t back to normal by friday which was a week after we left. Pushing at it though is not going to help. I don’t really feel like I am fully recovered even now. I don’t expect to start that rise back to my “normal” level of everything until Tuesday night or even possibly Wednesday.

Remember this is after three years of almost the same exact trip to learn this for my body. After the first year I put in the extra day to relax before coming home because I paid for not having it the first year.  The only other thing that changed was which park we went to.

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The hellfire and brimstone juice

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I repeat I am not a doctor. I don’t even want to be one. This is what I have learned while tortureing myself. I also would only use this for a max of three days and if you are not 100 percent better GO TO THE DOCTOR. Although I am not sure his Tardis will pick you up. You will need to see a doctor.

I can’t believe it, well actually I can. Anyway people have actually asked for the recipie for the nasty juice I use in replace of antibiotics.

There is nothing pleasent about this juice mix. NOTHING. It’s gross. It goes down like acid and feels like hellfire and brimstone for at least five minutes. Sometimes I chicken out and instead of keep drinking water I eat a tums or two. Lets face it when you are drinking this three times a day, a chicken out is gonna happen.

Let’s first dissect why I use what I use for this juice.

Ginger: It may be spicey and weird looking but it actually has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic. I am fairly certain it just burns it away. It is also an anti-inflamatory. Inflamation is a bugger boo to get rid of and if you battle chronic illness’s its not normally irradicated easily. Not to mention it does wonders for your GI tract, although probably after its absorbed not while its burning a path way through! This is not an exhaustive list of the benefits. This is just the benefits I am concerned about and have read about in these produces.

Turmeric: oh Turmeric, what don’t you do is more the question here. Its pretty much a superstar. It does the whole antioxidant thing, the whole anti-inflamatory thing too. Oh it boosts that immune system that is constantly rebelling. They keep finding more and more about this, Anti-cancer, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor. Its been around thousands of years and it seems they have only scratched the surface of what it can do.

Red Onion: I admit I like cooked onions. I don’t mind cutting them, but raw has never been my thing. THen I found out they do so much, heart and bone health. They also can pass on some anti-histimanie benefits as well. They do stuff for your gut track too and they are also helpful for keeing that skin youthful. A little ball of a fountain of youth.

Lemon: Lemon is mostly for detoxing effect it can have. I don’t want whatever crud the above just burned out to hang out somewhere else. Please let me just get rid of that and move on! Then it also has its own antioxidant properties plus it does so much more. Insomnia, losing weight, gives energy and helps lift the fog. Not too shabby mr. Lemon not too shabby at all. Plus it helps fight off scurvy so there is that too.

Garlic: It has all kinds of good nutrition in it. Its good for your heart. It likes to lower your blood pressure which is good since we are at high summer and the kid and I are butting heads more. Detox pops up again here but its best for detoxing metals. It also good for bone health.

Cucumber: Ah cucumber. Remember when I bought three a week and they rotted. Yeah. Now I blink and they are gone. I use the cucumber to try and cool down the juice. It may or may not help. I don’t know. It gets the last of the stuff out of the juicer so I know I got all the above stuff. They help with your brain. They are hard at work fighting inflamation.  They are good for your digestive system and support heart health.

if the infection seems bad or I feel especially horrid I add a twig or two of Basil. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is full of minerals and stuff your body needs, vitamin A, C, K, Manganese copper, Iron calcium magnesium to name a few. Its good for treating a cold. Its helpful in upset stomachs and acne and headaches too. It also rocks for oral health. Oh alright its also good for your eyes too.

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For each 2.5 oz container.

1/4 ich ginger

2 large fingers of Turmeric or four smaller ones.

two to three cloves garlic

a fourth of a lemon

an inch of cucumber

annd if you choose a twig or two of Basil

It may make more than 2.5 oz but I wouldn’t recommend trying to force more than that down at once. Have something light in your stomach and have a full 12 oz glass of water near by. You will need that water.

I add the basil about once a month at this point but I do this juice one day a week three times that day. I can honestly say it works to get rid of infections and quickly.

Time to dig out the toolbox

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I didn’t realize how much my body and my mind had started to crave my walks. It is getting hotter out. I have been to tired, too achy. I put them off. When I did try to get back in the swing the heat and the humidity have reached the point that I need to cut my walks in half. Trying to walk the full four miles left me swollen for hours and too depleted to function. This is where my brain and my body don’t agree. My brain says you can do it. My body says not even close.

I know that now it’s not as hot and as humid as it will be in the dead of summer. I know this is just the beginning, which is why I need to get my Fibromyalgia/mental health toolbox out. I need to get it up to date and keep it fresh in my head too. We need to have a good balance of things that I can do inside and outside. I am not saying I am perfect at this. Far from it in fact. This is why it is important to have it out where you can see it.

What? Don’t you know what I am talking about? What toolbox do you ask? Well if you ask me this is essential and you probably already do it on some level.

This is a list you keep handy to help you remember ways to pace, function and recover.

This is mine. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. However, this can get you started and give you some ideas. Slap this list up on the refrigerator. It needs to be somewhere you will be often. Chances are you will be going to the refrigerator at least once a day. The bathroom is another idea.

I pulled mine and looked it over and updated it a bit. As I am sure many of you know, what worked six months ago may not necessarily still work.

Pace tools

1. Schedule classes/activities in the early morning or late afternoon as much as possible.

This now I would probably change the morning and early afternoon. Late afternoon is not a great time for me to function. I don’t want to have to jump out of bed either so anything after nine am is preferred. Of course, this is not always possible. This is where other aspects of your toolbox will help

2. Take medications on time.

Sigh. I do this one really well for weeks at a time. Then, I fall flat. It’s four hours past medication time and I wonder why I am so exhausted and my heartbeat feels so fast. I then start setting really annoying alarms to go off on my phone. It doesn’t help if you look at it and turn it off and still forget to take your pills. I have done that too. The more annoying it is the more likely it is I will stop what I am doing and take the pills.

3. Schedule Recovery time after activities.

If I am going out and we will be out an hour, I am probably going to need at least half hour recovery time. This is not one of those things I follow all that great. I should, I really should. It really does work. I can get a crapload done around the house if I do it. Twenty minutes cleaning thirty minutes resting and so forth.

Function tools

4. Take a water bottle!

Hydration is of the up-most importance. Obviously it is for everyone. However, our chronic illness/chronic pain bodies are working twice as hard. Drink water! Bring it with you, don’t assume they will have it. If you are not keen on the taste of just plain water, try infused water. Try not to use artificial flavors. These may seem to help you drink water, but it really doesn’t help.

5. Eat!

I can’t tell you how many times this one catches me off-guard. Wait. I eat. I ate this morning. Oh, that was six hours ago. Yeah, those shakes and feeling light-headed might just be related to a lack of food. Specifically protein will be the best bet. I keep roasted peanuts in the car almost at all times. It’s amazing how fast a bit of protein and water will help me recover enough to function until I get home.

6. Focus

Sometimes what we have to do overwhelms us. It can overwhelm anyone, even those without any illness. When I am having trouble functioning, I try to focus on just how much longer I have to do this. How much longer until I can sit down, lay down, be home? This is where some of my recovery tool box items come in handy, like deep breathing.

Recovery tools

7. Meditation

It took me a long time to get into this. I had no idea there were so many types of meditation. The more I explored the better I got. The first few you try won’t necessarily be it for you. I can tell you there are plenty of Guided meditations on YouTube that the person’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard. There were ones the background music drove me nuts. I think a few even made me twitch. You can find a lot of downloads for Guided meditation which is what I recommend. Self-guided was of absolute no use for me. I need someone to tell me breathe in and count the seconds and all that. Tell me what I am supposed to be seeing in my mind. Tell me how my body is supposed to feel. Guess what? It is completely okay if this is not for you. It is completely okay, actually really good if you fall asleep. I often use meditation for this exact purpose. When my brain is focusing on every twitch and pain, my brain is going a mile a minute of all the things I should have done today. It redirects my mind and before I know it, I am asleep.

8. Ginger Tea

This stuff is magic. Ginger works so well for muscle relief. I can’t tell you how many times Ginger has aided my recovery time. I will make it extra strong in just a few ounces of water and toss it back if I am not particularly in the mood for tea. Ginger is scientifically proven to help. This combined with number nine has taken the place of aspirin or Advil for me.

9. Ultracur

Curcumin has so many benefits, not just for people with chronic illness/chronic pain. It has completely changed the way I medicate. If you tried this and were on prescription pain meds, chances are you didn’t notice a difference. I never got the full benefit of it until I had to go off my prescription pain meds. It easily took several weeks for me to notice a definite difference. It took six months before it completely replaced Advil. I am now working on trying to stop taking Tylenol all together at night. Until I found Ultracur it was hit or miss if I could find fresh Turmeric root. Quality products of Turmeric or Curcumin were out of my price range for the amount I needed to be taking per day. Ultracur is by far the most reasonably priced I have found. Every now and again I run out and I realize just how much it does help. It’s very subtle so it’s effectiveness can easily be missed.

10. Epsom salt bath

Okay so this one wasn’t working for me for several months. It drove me nuts. Nothing like looking forward to relief and it not coming. I still haven’t been able to soak for twenty minutes but I have gotten to ten minutes without getting too uncomfortable. Adding essential oils can greatly increase the effectiveness. I use them but there are times I just use Epsom salt. Muscles like magnesium. They like it a lot.

11. Natural Calm

It’s a specific type of magnesium that you drink. It doesn’t always have the greatest taste. However, it works. This is another thing I will take like a shot of alcohol. Just toss it back. Natural Calm tends to work quite quickly. Start your dose very small and work up to the full dose if you need it. Your doctor should be consulted to see what your magnesium needs are and how much you should use for relief. Of all the doctors I have seen, I have yet to have one tell me not to take it.

12. Tart cherry juice

This is another new one that I added not too long ago. It was primarily to help sleep but it also seems to help a bunch of other things. I didn’t like it when I first started drinking it. I struggled to get the minimum two oz down. Now I am more likely to pour at least a six oz cup of juice a few hours before bed.

So there they are, things in my toolbox.

Please do share what is in your toolbox! Let’s share ideas!

update on product review of ultracur

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I have a habit that when I find something that works, I am not always picky on the brand. This one I am. I can honestly say it works better than anything I have tried before.

Nature’s Made and Sundown being my normal go to brands. I ran out of Ultracur and I had some sundown on back up. My daughter actually takes it to boost her immune system in the winter. It wasn’t like from one dose to the next I noticed the difference. It was more once I reached the 24 hour mark without Ultracur. I started noticing aches, pains that had quieted. Could I have really pin pointed when they quieted. Probably not. It was like. oh hey, that was gone. Don’t worry there were other areas that were yelling. When it kicks in, it tends to be just as subtle. I know for me when I am not functioning my brain is constantly checking my body. NOW? Can we go do something now? Can we at least sit up? Can we stand? Once I am up and moving I tend to think less about my pain issues.

My routine has become I get up and take two. About thirty minutes later, my morning stiffness is noticeably less. I should note I also use Ginger,either in juiced form or in my Chai. Often two to three times a week I take a four mile walk. When I return from my walk. Two capsules and ginger. Most of the time thirty minutes later I can function again. Sometimes if I have really pushed myself it takes an hour.

At this point a little over a month after starting it, I have completely stopped taking aspirin. I only take Tylenol at night to help me sleep. For whatever reason Tylenol knocks me out. It is worth mentioning there is some minor risk taking aspirin and curcumin together. I never took them at the same time it was either one or the other. Until I tried this one, I had not found anything that would work at bedtime where I could stop using so much aspirin to help the muscle pain and the Tylenol to take the edge off the joint pain.

There have been some nights I have begun to question if I even need to take Ultracur at bedtime. I have skipped it several times and surprisingly had decent sleep.

If you missed the original product review you can read it here.

Please still contact Casey if you are interested. We continue to work together.

Wait,What week are we on? TTOT 77

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Um. It some how got to be Wednesday before I even thought of starting this post. Oh well.

I didn’t even publish anything Wednesday either. Maybe Friday I will get my Starbucks time and really crank some stuff out. I do have a few people waiting on stuff.

This was the first week of working part time as Squish’s Nanny. For such a little guy and for as much as I came over to adjust. He is kicking my butt. Its a good thing he is so gosh darn cute.

Monday was not quite as chaotic as I expected.  Weekly lunch date with friend was super timely. We also splurged and had chocolate cake. Sometimes Mondays need a little pick me up. This thing is super decadent and we split it!

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Tuesday brought the first day of working. I am super thankful to have a job to go to, even a part time job, even if it is for a friend. We got a great walk in. We kept our pace pretty close to what it is when I am not carrying a baby. We even went .7 miles further than we normally do. It really was a fantastic walk. I managed to have enough energy to make dinner and get the kid to bed. Of course doing so much more my pain levels were much higher. It made it both harder and better for sleep. When I did finally get to sleep, I slept good.

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Wednesday as much as I really did not want to, I got up and got going. We even went on a walk. I was more interested in just moving and not pace. Never know what you will see on the inter-coastal. It was so interesting to see a coast guard boat. I looked it up and learned this is a bouy tender.  I watched them repairing one of the buoys but didn’t know there was a specific boat for it or that it was also a specific job. Grateful that I can learn something new everyday.

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The good news is we both survived the walk. I hate how walking both helps and doesn’t. Once I was warmed up the walk was fine. Afterwards the recovery was a bit rough. Squish actually cooperated and took a two hour nap. I took some ultracur and relaxed. Definitely pushing my limits but you know, I am not giving up.

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Then there was this sunset Thursday night.

Friday I took an impromptu hike because I saw the bald eagles that are nesting flying over, so I parked.  Even though the walks I take are outside, there is just something restoring about hiking in the woods.  I can’t even tell you how renewed I felt after. It is like a part of me is off and I didn’t even know it until it was back. Taking time to notice the small things, the way the light falls in the woods. It is just magical. I can not wait until the winter solstice ritual celebration!

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Trust me that middle picture is a bald eagle.  I must have been wearing Eagle Repellent because as soon as I parked they disappeared. Anyways afterwards I had a second shot of ginger. The first one happened before leaving the house Friday morning because muscles refused to work.  Ginger and Ultracur are the only reasons I survived this week.

There must be Ten things in there. I didn’t count. I don’t feel like going back and counting. It was a good week even if it was busy and my body told me how much it hates me. There must be something in the BoSR/SBOR (secret book of rules)about this. I am sure I read it. I am thinking I am probably the only one who has read to rule 729, that was where it was.  Rule 729 subsection b2 line three.

Product review- Ultracur

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Ultracur reached out to me on Instagram. I know it’s hard to believe I was on Instagram! NOT! I am addicted to Instagram.

 I emailed Casey and she sent me some samples. It was as simple as that.  I literally opened the package in my car. I had hit a wall and was trying to figure out how I was going to function for three more hours. I mean, everything hurt, I did not want to do anything at all. I took two capsules. I was pleasantly surprised that within thirty minutes I was feeling better.  It most definitely gave me the extra time I needed to finish the most basic things left in my day. I had to pick up the kid, pick up the husband, and we had to go to the store. That night I took my normal dose of Turmeric before bed. I have to say, I noticed it wasn’t as effective. Curious, I started looking into this Ultracur thing. I emailed Casey and told her how impressed I was. I told her I was impressed enough with it to do a full blog review of the product.

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Curcumin is the magic part of the Turmeric that makes you feel better. It helps relieve inflammation. It is not just joint inflammation that it helps. It will also work for gastrointestinal inflammation. It is like a soothing balm for your colon. The joints, the muscles they really like this stuff. There can be some difference of opinion on wether to take just Turmeric or Curcumin. I would suggest you try both and see which works best for you. Now the other thing, most likely you won’t notice an immediate difference.  It can take a few weeks for you to notice the difference. I did not have that experience with it but, I also have been taking it for months and originally started taking it via juicing fresh root. The supplements that I had been taking did not seem to work as well. I have to say Ultracur is probably the closest I have gotten to the feeling the freshly juiced root gave me.  Ultracur says you can take up to two capsules four times a day. What I have been doing is setting aside six capsules in the morning. Some days I get by with just two in the morning and two at night. I did use it with quite impressive results during a flare. It was a lot like taking advil. It didn’t just help one area it was an all over improvement.  In fact, there is research that suggest that Turmeric is just as powerful as many pain killers. Check it out.   Also here as well.

As always please, discuss this with your Primary Care Provider prior to taking this supplement.  There can be some interactions with medications and Turmeric. Ask for the samples and bring them with you to the Doctors office. Do your own research!  This is what Dr. Weil says about Turmeric.  This is the website for Ultracur and what they have to say.

I know a lot of you, are like me, on a fixed or very inflexible income. It is hard to just go out and spend money on something that might not work for you. So here is what I have for you. Email Casey Centola for a free sample, let her know you saw it on my blog!  ccentola@hausbio.com