Years ago, before I knew I had fibromyalgia and numerous food intolerances, my friend Ce Ce bought me a strange gift (at least that’s what I thought at first). She knew and understood that I was in pain most of the time and wanted to help bring me some comfort. Little did she know that she would bring me a lifelong way of comforting myself during fibro flare-ups and now, after workouts.
Earth Therapeutics makes these products (miracles) and they can be put in the microwave or in the freezer depending on what makes you feel better. For me, the heat seems to make the pain worse, but because you place the product in a sealed freezer bag before you freeze them, they don’t get bone chilling cold so they are perfect for aches and pains. Some of them have lavender and chamomile. Don’t worry; they don’t have a strong smell to them.
Below is the original Earth Therapeutic that Ce Ce bought me. It can be used for your back or belly but it’s a good size for your thighs especially after killer squats.
Below is the Earth Therapeutics Sinus Pillow. Depending on how you use it, it’s great for tension headaches; relieve sinus pain and puffy eyes. I personally can’t sleep with it on because I feel like I won’t see (as if I won’t hear) if someone breaks into our house, sneaks in our bedroom and then murders us (so much for stress relief). See what happens when you watch Criminal Minds. If you think that’s crazy, put this in the equation…we live on a military base.
Last but definitely not least, my all time favorite…. THE NECK PILLOW! It’s to relieve tension and stress but even when I’m not tense or stress, I can’t live without this one. It’s my secret to falling asleep peacefully at night. It’s become my security blanket (for my neck).
I’m not quite sure which one I’ll try next but soon, I’ll have enough to cover my entire body. Can you imagine how chilled (literally) and relaxed I’ll be? :)
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in May of 2009 after years of struggling with the oddest joint and muscle pain, headaches, insomnia, memory problems and fatigue. Doctor’s guessed it may have been brought on by the Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) I was diagnosed with in August of 2003.
Stress seems to play a big role in Fibromyalgia, but it is also suspected to be hereditary and strangely enough, I’ve found that I have a few birth relatives (I’m adopted) that suffer from fibro as well.
Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition.-www.wikipedia
Fibromyalgia sufferers can experience a wide range of symptoms with varying intensities and may include: (www.fibromyalgia-store.com)
How’s is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?
Pain that last more than 3 months
Pain that affects all four quadrants of the body
Patient must have 11 out of 18 tender points (When I was tested, I had 15)
Who get’s Fibromyalgia?
Men, Women and Children
Estimated over 6 million people in the USA and millions more worldwide
Things that help me live better with Fibromyalgia.
As you know, I’m not a doctor so I can only tell you what has helped me feel better and 95% of the time, totally free from Fibro pain.
- I cannot miss my Vitamin D3 supplement and have recently found that B-12 helps my energy level tremendously. I’ve read how Fibro patients tend to be deficient in both these areas. Ask your doctor to be tested.
- It’s vital for me to eat a plant-based/whole food diet. Eating processed food makes me feel terrible.
- Maintaining a good sense of humor.
- Daily massages from my husband. I’m not even kidding. Thanks Den! :)
- Exercising gently. It’s hard for Fibro patients to get on a consistent workout schedule because of the pain. I’ve found that walking either on the treadmill (1.0 incline) or outside at a medium pace works best for me. Yoga is a lifesaver for me (Thanks Lisa for introducing yoga to me) and I’ve recently started experimenting with strength training yoga. I strive for a good workout without it being too strenuous that it brings on a flare-up. Exercise also helps me sleep better.
Fibromyalgia seems to be quite the balancing act and my daily goal is to keep things from falling out of sync. And that is where having a good sense of humor comes into play. :)
To all my family and friends that have Fibromyalgia especially my FFF. :)
I swear I didn’t sleep from 2003 until 2011. Chronic insomnia. As you can imagine, I felt tired all the time which led me to snack more frequently (led to weight gain), I had no motivation to complete the tasks I started and I inadvertently woke my husband up on a constant basis. Something had to change. I tried all the tricks below ( the doctor’s recommended) and none of them worked. I was fed up and decided to do some research of my own and that’s when I figured out what was going on. Read below.
STANDARD METHODS THAT DID NOT WORK FOR ME: (some may work for you, so please give them a try)
Sleep mask (it didn’t matter what color I tried, the concept didn’t work).
Warm bubble bath before bedtime (hey, at least I smelled nice).
Going to bed at the same time every night/waking up at the same time every morning.
Shutting closet and bathroom doors that led into our bedroom.
Sleep sound machine (I continuously woke up searching for the bird that was chirping).
Spend more time outside during the day. The only time that method worked was when I spent about 12 hours (outside) everyday on vacation.
Shutting the TV or computer off at least an hour before going to sleep.
Keep room cool.
Read books before bedtime (School books almost worked).
Prescription drugs (I hated the side effects).
METHODS THAT DID WORK FOR ME:
*Quit eating (anything) at least a couple of hours before bedtime (best advice ever!).
*Avoid big, heavy, rich, spicy, greasy, fried, fatty foods at dinnertime. You may not realize that acid reflux, heartburn or digestion problems are causing you to have problems falling asleep, waking you up and not allowing you to fall back asleep (this was a big problem for me and once I added more vegetables to my diet and eliminated the bad food, I started sleeping).
*Yes, I promote dark chocolate but you seriously need to stop eating it at least 3 hours before bedtime.
*Quit drinking liquids at least 2 hours before bedtime. There’s nothing worse than waking up because you have to go to the bathroom.
OTHER METHODS: (I haven’t drank anything with caffeine for around 20 years, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, so I can’t personally tell you if they work BUT research indicates they do.)
*Drinking alcohol before bed is one of the worst things you can do. You may fall asleep faster, but it will interrupt and affect the quality of your sleep.
*Sorry caffeine lovers, but your favorite cup of joe or soda/pop may cause you not to sleep for up to 12 hours after you drink it. If you have to consume anything with caffeine in it, quit drinking it by noon for a good night’s sleep.
*Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant, which disrupts sleep. Smoker’s encounter nicotine withdrawal’s as the night goes on, making it hard for them to sleep.
I drink the below smoothie a couple of hours before bedtime.
MY “SLEEP” BANANA SMOOTHIE
1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of Rice or Almond Milk
1 large Banana
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
*Bananas: Contain melatonin, serotonin and magnesium (relaxing effect on muscles).
One sheep, two sheep, three…zzzzzzz
Photo by: redbubble
My husband lived in Japan for four years so he’s always passing on healthy living information that he learned from that country. I’m not sure why it took him 10 years to introduce me to Aloe Vera Water but better late than never, right? Anyway, last night we went out to dinner with our friends J&J (for sushi) and we all enjoyed some Aloe Vera water. One of the J’s text me this morning inquiring about the benefits of Aloe Water, so I thought I’d share the info and write a quick post on it.
Benefits of Aloe Vera Water:
May lower cancer risk
Potential to lower high cholesterol
Eases arthritis pain
Helps relieve muscle and joint pain
Helps treat constipation
Ability to help digestive disorders
Boost immune system
Natural detoxifying abilities
Lowers high blood pressure in a natural way
Best natural “sports drink” that aids in electrolyte balance
Enhances skin health (a way to get that “glow”)
I’ve read that you get more benefits from using the Aloe Vera gel and found this recipe to make your own Aloe Vera Water. I’m excited to make my own!
8 ounces of distilled water
2 ounces of Aloe Vera gel
Add ingredients to water bottle and shake well.
If you buy Aloe Vera water, I personally would check the label to see if there is anything added besides the Aloe and water. I’m sure they are all different and you never know if some companies are trying to sneak in some un-natural sugar or ingredients.
I’ve very interested in this wonder plant and would like to learn more about it. If any of you have more information, please feel free to leave me some comments.
I’m thinking some homemade Aloe Vera water will be a nice treat to our detox diet this January 1st. :)
“Four vegetables are indispensable for the well-being of man; Wheat, the grape, the olive and aloe. The first nourishes him, the second raises his spirit, the third brings him harmony, the fourth cures him.” -Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)
Have you ever-experienced heartburn, the nasty taste of acid backing up, the feeling of a lump in your throat or in my case, horrible chronic chest pain?
Symptoms of digestive stress: decline in energy after meals or becoming sleepy, stomach pain, acid reflux or heartburn, dizziness, moodiness, bitter taste in mouth and constipation (just to name a few).
I tried propping my head up when I slept, eliminating spicy or “acidy” food, Prilosec (had a terrible reaction from it), Zantac (gave me worse chest pain than I already experienced) and finally Tagamet, which worked better than anything but I was still not satisfied with the results.
Of course, the doctor just wanted to keep trying different drugs and by now, you may know how I feel about that. I was frustrated and needed to find some answers. After tons of research, I found some things that worked for me. I’m going to lay them out as simply as possible. Let me know if you have any questions.
1. I started- FOOD COMBINING (also known as trophology) is a term for a nutritional approach that advocates specific combinations of foods as central to good health and weight loss (such as not mixing carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods in the same meal). Wikipedia
The link below will give you quick easy instructions on how to begin food combining. Print out the chart she has posted and keep it with you. I started learning about food combining from this blogger and by following her steps, I started feeling better within a month. Trust me, it’s easy!
2. I started taking- ENZYMES right before lunch and dinner. Now I only need one before dinner. There are all different kinds of enzymes but this one works really well for me.
3. Quit drinking liquid with your meals. Oh, I was one of those people who thought I was doing my body good-by drinking lots of water with my meals when actually, I was just diluting the enzymes in my stomach that you need for digestion. It just so happens that your enzyme count goes down, as you get older. Now I don’t drink anything with my meals and for an hour after I’m finished eating.
4. Eat more-RAW FOOD. When you cook your food you destroy the enzymes at temperatures as low as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. To obtain enough enzymes you must eat raw foods or consume supplements of enzymes and/or friendly bacteria. Sadly, most of our food is either cooked or processed, so most people get very few enzymes in their diet.
5. Alcohol: Although, I wasn’t a big drinker (maybe every 3 months or so) I would get deathly ill after a night out. My acid reflux and chest pain would be so bad (lasting 2 weeks) that I would go to the doc thinking something was wrong. I quit drinking. The benefits outweigh the risks and let’s face it; I’m silly enough without drinking. :)
The combination of food combining, taking enzymes, not drinking liquid with my meals, eating a lot of raw food and eliminating alcohol has also helped cure my insomnia. I wasn’t aware that my digestion problems were mostly the cause of my sleep problems. I hope some or even all of these suggestions help you as well as they help me!
Have you ever wondered why you can’t lose weight or no matter what you do, you just never feel quite right or you feel sick all the time? I could have checked all three of these boxes (if they were actual boxes) for years and years until I finally got fed up and started to taking matters into my own hands.
I’m not a doctor or a dietician so I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you what I would do if I were you. :) If I were you, I would look into the following 5 issues in the order they are presented. I personally fell under categories 2, 3, and 4. After getting these issues under control, I’m fifteen pounds lighter and feel amazing!
- Processed foods
First step on your way to feeling better and losing a few lbs, DITCH the PROCESSED FOOD! Be leery of anything that comes in a package, can or box.
I beg of you, INCREASE your servings of vegetables a day! You will lose weight (unless you are sucking down quarter pounders with the veggies) and feel so much more energetic. My husband and I eat 6 servings of vegetables by 1:00 pm everyday and that’s JUST veggies, our fruit is not included in that figure. This weekend, I will post the smoothies we drink everyday.
I wasn’t even aware of the serious digestion problems I was having because they didn’t present themselves in the typical heartburn, acid reflux manner. I could write a whole other post on digestion alone. My chronic chest pain is gone now that I’m eating right. (Always, contact your doctor immediately if you have chest pain.)
4. Food intolerances
I like the article below because it explains food intolerances straightforwardly. Although, I was pretty bummed to discover that I was intolerant to a list of food, I was relieved to know why I was feeling so bad and grateful I can live the next half of my life comfortably.
I’m still learning about this condition but find it fascinating how much this can affect our health. The chart will blow your mind.
Of course, not all these situations are going to apply to you. Thanks goodness, right? :)
If you have any questions, please let me know and I can guide you in the right direction.