living our best life – holiday movies

photo of string lights

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A warm hello to you today, thank you for stopping by for a visit.

In this post I am asking a question for more personal reasons.  Due to my multiple chronic illnesses, I unfortunately spend a lot of time watching movies.  Even if I am not actually watching movies, I have them playing in the background as I go about my day as I use them as a distraction.

So my question is, What is your favorite holiday movie?  

Thank you for responding, I am hoping to discover one movie that I have not yet seen!

Thanks again for stopping by.  Please know that each one of you are in my thoughts and I have prayed that today is treating you well and bringing you smiles.

 

living our best life – in the kitchen

yellow kitchenaid stand mixer

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As we are spending a little more time in the kitchen or thinking of holiday foods that we enjoy, I decided to write about the object in my kitchen that make my life easier.

I have to admit that I do not find much enjoyment from cooking.  I am thankful that on my good days I am able to feed my family healthy, mostly well balanced meals, but the smells and bending over and reaching makes me feel worse.  Even though I keep all of my frequently used items on the counters, I still feel poorly after preparing food.

To help me get through the whole, preparing a meal ordeal, I daily use my favorite kitchen appliance, putting it to good use.  It is my combination DVD/CD/radio that hangs under a kitchen cabinet next to the sink.  I received this from my parents who were getting rid of it and it has been one of my favorite gifts ever!

I turn it on every single time I am in the kitchen for more than a couple minutes.  I usually have a DVD playing as it does a wonderful job distracting me from pain and discomfort allowing me to stay in the kitchen longer.  Today there is a stack of my favorite Christmas DVDs waiting to be watched over the next month.

So, what about you?  What is your favorite kitchen appliance and how does it make your life easier?  

Thank you for taking the time to share!

 

living our best life possible – alternative medicine

alternative background color cooking

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Welcome back my friends!  Thank you so very much for joining me again for our next question on living our best life possible.

The question this week is………what alternative medical treatment(s) or recommendations, if any, have given you positive results?

A traditional medical path has, up to this point, provided minimal relief from any of my chronic illnesses.  As a result, I have sought out more non-traditional and alternative medical professionals through this very long and winding path towards (hopefully) healing.  But, do to the high cost of alternative medicine, there are many paths that I have yet to explore – but hope to some day.

I have experienced benefits from various supplements, following a grain-free diet, meditation, walking when able, and seeing a medical massage therapist once on month to help with muscle and joint pain.

How about you?  Please share your experiences!

 

~ Please note – no one on here is providing medical advice, we are only sharing personal experiences that have helped us on our journey.

lonely road

 

bare trees at golden hour

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no one can truly understand the pain and discomfort of  living

to understand the masks put on every day, to live within the confines of  this society, not to be viewed as worthless, useless, in a culture that wants fast paced living, quick movements, immediate answers, a fountain of youth, boundless energy, radiating health………..

we struggle to even maneuver down this path……….it is twisting, turning sharply with multiple bumps in the road

it’s a lonely road we roam…………..the desperation, the clinging onto hope, the desire to feel normal……………it is astounding thoughts of healing we try to keep alive – pushed to the back of our minds so not to be overwhelmed with the thoughts of what might be.

the road is endless and uncharted.  it is an intimidating place to ramble as the fog covers the path – your view is obscured…………you have no ability to see where you are going.

it’s like taking a trip, to an unknown place without any clue to where you are going or how you are going to get there…………..not a path I would have chosen to take, but one I am on nonetheless.

Book giveaway!

I would like to thank my current followers with a book giveaway!   Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to stop by,  read, comment, or just check out what I have posted, I appreciate it beyond words.

You will be able to choose from one of the two books that was listed in my last post about care packages .

All I need from you is to leave a comment that you are interested in a book  by May 6th, 2018 at midnight EST.  All names will then be put into a bowl on May 7th and a name will be picked by one of my kiddos. I will contact you directly regarding your win.  If I do not hear back from winner within three days, another winner will be chosen using the same process as above.

Your chosen book will be wrapped in brown paper and sent via USPS media mail to your address.  I am so sorry, but this is for US residences only as the shipping becomes way to expensive once it leaves the US.  Once the package leaves my post office I can not guarantee its safe arrival.  Thank you for understanding the guidelines.

May the 4th be with YOU!

 

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
― Mark Twain

10 steps to feeling like a super model while living with CI

afterglow backlit bokeh dark

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OK…………definitely not, but when you live inside your home for days on end in pjs, it doesn’t take much to make you feel like your’re rockin’ it!

  1.  Drink the recommended amount of water during the day and eat only healthy foods.
  2.  Shower and use soap.
  3.  Wash my hair with shampoo AND use conditioner!
  4.   Brush hair vs. throwing it into a ponytail or hat without brushing it.
  5.   Put on outside clothes.  Seriously………..my daughter stated the other day, Mom, we have bought more houses than you have purchased clothes since I have been alive.  I literally spit my drink out.  So true, so funny, and so sad.
  6.   Put concealer under my eyes to help hide the dark circles.
  7.   Put on some lip gloss………..to distract from my eyes.
  8.   Put real shoes on my feet, not just in the car for in case I get pulled over.
  9.   Leave the house, hey someone needs to see me in real clothing after all that effort!
  10.   Carry a small purse!
  11.   OK…………final step………take a well deserved nap!

 

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unsolicited advice

black ball point pen with brown spiral notebook

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I always carry a small notebook and pen with me wherever I go.  I do this for two main reasons;  one, I like to be able to jot down ideas or thoughts on paper that pop into my head before they fade into the abyss, and two, to pass along my info to someone who is giving me unsolicited advice.

Let me explain…..

I have been dealing with chronic illness for y-e-a-r-s, so I have heard a lot of remedies for my ailments. In fact, as I was typing this post I remembered even more unwanted advice and added those to a previous post.

So, I now deal with unwanted medical advice in a very simple way.  I politely thank the individual for caring so much about me that s/he wants to help.  I explain to them that I have a difficult time retaining new auditory information (which is true) and I would love to read more about their cure.  I take out my notebook and I write down either my email or physical address (which ever seems more appropriate for the situation) and tell them I look forward to hearing from them.

You can probably guess the rest………..I have NEVER once been sent any information through the mail, and who doesn’t love receiving mail?!  I have received two or three  emails over the years and they did contain some valid health information.  Now if I could only find a way to stop them from offering advice in the first place!

Until next time………

 

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

5 ways to reduce anxiety when dealing with chronic illness.

four rock formation

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It has been my experience dealing with illnesses for decades, that anxiety rears it evil, unwanted head often for those of us living with chronic illness.  We live in a world filled with a lot of unknowns.  This is a reality we don’t want, in a world that doesn’t really get it, and can appear as if it doesn’t care.  So, how do you tackle those moments (or days) when anxiety comes charging straight ahead and doesn’t take into consideration where you are or what you are doing?  I definitely don’t have answers, just a humble list of things that have worked (not always) for me.

  1.  Breathe.  I know this sounds so simple, but in times of extreme stress and anxiety sometimes we forget to truly breathe.  We need to take a slow, deep breath to tell our bodies that we are in control……….whether we feel like it, or not.
  2.   Remind yourself you have been here before and you got through it.  This is a big one, the road is bumpy and terrible and you want to take a detour but sometimes there is just no where to turn around.  You have to go down the road and it will end.  You’ve got this!  It may not feel like it, but I have confidence in you!
  3.  Magnesium.  Yep, only if it is allowed by your medical professional.  But for me, magnesium glycinate has helped take the edge off more times than I can remember.  Most people with CI are low, so getting your magnesium levels checked may be beneficial for you.
  4.  Meditate.  I pull up a YouTube relaxation video and do my best.  One minute is better than none!
  5.  Get up and move.  Sitting still appears to keep my thoughts stagnant and focused on the bad.  Moving my body seems to start my thoughts moving and can bring a new perspective.

On top of these five, I also have one thing I do NOT  do.  When I am really stressed out and filled with anxiety about my health (or lack there of) I want to search for solutions.  I want to get better, I don’t want to be like this.  Like everyone else suffering from CI, I want my life back.  But, I have found that “googling it” makes things worse.  No matter what you are researching it seems as if the first thing that pops up is the word cancer……..who the hell needs to read such a horrible word when you are already super stressed!

Until next time YOU are a superhero!  Only a true superhero could do what you do, day in and day out.

In my kitchen with chronic illness.

macro photography of a stainless steel faucet

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When you are ill, you still need to eat.  Nourishing our bodies with real food is one important way to stay as healthy as we can.  For me, meal prep, well actually all kitchen activities are exhausting.  From food gathering to kitchen clean-up, it all wears me out and makes me want/need to take a nap.

There have been times when I wanted quick fixes in the kitchen.  Overwhelmed with life,  dealing with chronic illnesses, being a wife, a mother, and all of the work that entails, I physically couldn’t do it all and something had to give.  Well, I gave in to the wrong things.  I should have let the laundry go, let the cleaning go……..it was going to get messy again in about 13 minutes anyway.  Nope, I picked the worse thing to let go…………food.  I tried hitting the easy button.  I did my best to still eat a healthy diet in comparison to the SAD (standard American diet) most people were consuming but I short changed my health by taking too many short cuts in the kitchen.  In my opinion, when you are chronically ill food MUST be a high priority, right after your spiritual life.

In the kitchen I am slow, it physically hurts to bend down, and at times it hurts to carry a pot or a frying pan.  So I have tried to work around my physical limitations and make things easier for me, even though it makes my kitchen look crowded and not aesthetically pleasing. I had to give up having things look pretty and organized so the kitchen could be more functional for me.

Here are a few things I did to make the kitchen more functional.

1  –  I got rid of things that I didn’t use.  It is physically exhausting for me to be searching for things that I need.  De-cluttering my kitchen made space for all of the items I use on a regular basis in easy to find uncrowded places.

2  –  I keep all of the pots and pans that I regularly use on top of the stove.  No bending down wasting more precious energy.

3  –  Kitchen appliances that I or my family uses on a regular basis are kept on the counter at all times, this includes a microwave, crock pot, and a blender.

4  –  Everything else that I use on a regular basis is within an easy reach.  Nothing is kept on a high shelf, or a in a low, out-of-the-way cabinet making it a circus performance to get to it.

I know these things sound so simple and you are probably doing all the same things too.  But I have found through my YEARS and years of dealing with chronic illness, you need to be kind to yourself and set up your home in a way that works best for you no matter how it looks to an outsider.  This is true whether or not you are married, have children, or are a single person.  It is harder to do when you have to think about the needs of others in your household, but it is vitally important that you do what needs to be done to help you.  So, if you need a twin bed in the family room because you need to lie down while hanging out with the family, who cares how it looks!  You need a big bulletin board in the dining room to remind you to do certain tasks, put it there!  Those that love you get it………it took me way too long to figure this out.

So……back to the kitchen.  Set up your kitchen in a way that makes food preparation as easy as possible.  Make it functional, whether it looks “pretty” or not.  A functional kitchen makes a healthier you.

How do you make your kitchen more functional?

Until next time, YOU are a superhero and healthy food is your fuel!