Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soaking Up on Some Knowledge

When my Mother got a teaching job when I was little, she'd have me stay with my Grandmother until she came home from work. My Grandmother and I used to have so much fun cooking, making noodles with her noodle maker, cleaning, and just plain talking.

She has always been a great influence in my life and I discuss her and some of her recipes in my book The Fibro Hand in better detail. But one of the things she taught me was how to use Epsom Salt to my advantage.

If I had a sprain or strained muscle from gym class or exercise, she'd tell me to soak in Epsom Salt. She'd also use it very often for her feet. She suffered from polio when she was two years old and has post-polio as an adult now. Soaking helps her with inflammation.  I remembered this wonderful bit of information while with a gal at a social networking site.

One of the members had a question about Epsom Salt helping Chronic Fatigue sufferers. I'd never heard of it helping, but being the type of person I am, I started to surf the net to find out.

The beautiful thing about searching the net is that you can come across a lot of cool info in the process and when I do, I love to pass it on to you, my readers. Well, upon my search, I found a site called Epsom Salt Industry Council. And as you can imagine, they really like the stuff.

What I found was surprising, Epsom Salt's two main components, Magnesium and Sulfate, work wonders in your garden, beauty regimen, and also your health.

The benefits that magnesium have for your health are:
  • It can help relieve stress
  • Improve your sleep
  • Improve your concentration
  • Help your nerves and muscles function properly
  • Aid in preventing the hardening of arteries and blood clots
  • Makes insulin perform better in the body
  • Elevates swelling from joints to reduce pain and muscle cramps
  • Improves the use of oxygen

The benefits of sulfates are:
  • They flush toxins
  • Improve your nutrients absorption
  • Eases the pain of migranes
  • Helps in forming joint proteins,brain tissue, and mucin proteins.

When reading this, I said hot digity to myself because it sounds like a great thing for people that suffer from Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia! I'm so glad I decided to soak up some knowledge so I can feel more fabulous. Move over Victoria's Secret there's a new relaxation tecnique in town lol!

Hope you all can give this a try and let me know what you think by keeping the comments coming. Remember, I'll be giving away 4 autographed books and you can check the prior blogs for more details on that.

Love and friendship,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You Are What You Eat

One of the first things that I learned when I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was about what not to eat. I went to the local Borders and found two books on nutrition for Fibro sufferers, got home, and then started soaking up the knowledge.

At first, I couldn't believe what I was reading when I opened up the food additive section. It was shocking to see so many things containing things like MSG. I thought MSG was eliminated from food all together in the 80's since all the Chinese restaurants used to advertise that they got rid of the additive in their foods. Of course, I quickly found out how wrong I was when I started to read food labels.

Food shopping is a whole new adventure for me and the family now because I label read and we tend to go to places like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods instead of the old stand by food markets because I can find much healthier alternatives to the classic family food additive favorites.

I tend to make a lot of things from scratch now adays because of the amount of junk that's in prepared foods. Prep time for a home cooked meal can be time consuming this way because it's from scratch, and this can be torture for the chronically fatigued. So how do you prepare a fabulously healthy meal without zapping your own health in the process? You cheat.

You heard me right, you can cheat. I found through the years that making something quick can be a life savor when it comes to my fibro and fatigue.

I've cheated by having already cut up veggies and prepacked salads in my fridge and freezer along with some canned foods. Now, you might be wondering how I can get away with canned foods when a lot of them out there are filled with too much junk.

In the organic isles of food stores and in places like Trader Joe's, you can find canned foods that are healthy and contain no preservatives. These canned foods are usually things like pasta sauce and beans and those two ingredients can make a kicking chili with little effort.

Another great thing to have on hand is rice. I tend to go for Jasmine or brown rice so I can use it when I make a stir fry. A stir fry is also another quick and easy meal for me because I buy frozen vegetables for it. I keep frozen fish fillets on hand as well because fish takes about 10 minutes to defrost and 20 minutes to bake.

I also like to use my Crock Pot a lot. Making meals in there is easy for me because it cuts down on the time I have to stand over a stove and I also don't have to constantly get up to look inside the stove to see if the meal is done. Both of which have tired me out on some days. There are plenty of reciepes you can find on the net for the slow cooker, but a general rule of thumb is to add an hour for every 20-30 minutes something needs to be cooked for.

Good food shouldn't have to be complicated, especially when you have Fibromyalgia. I have a few recipes in my first book, The Fibro Hand, and they are pretty good, but I'd love to share my vegitarian chili recipe with all of you today.

What you will need:

*2, 20 oz cans of red kidney beans

*1, 26 oz jar of pasta or marinara sauce

1 and a half tablespoons of light brown sugar

1 teaspoon of sea salt

*1 half cup of frozen mixed peppers (red, yellow, and green)

And then add 2-3 teaspoons (or to taste) of the following spices




Garlic Powder

Onion Powder




*Chili Pepper Sauce

Add ingredients to a medium to large pot. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally until hot (about 15-20 minutes). Serve immediately and enjoy.

*all ingredients named can be found at Trader Joe's, however, you can substitute these products for your own favorites.

Stay fabulous! And don't forget that the contest is still going on so keep commenting!

Love and friendship,


Monday, November 3, 2008

Please Be Kind...Rewind

Something occurred to me the other day about care giving when I was having a discussion with my husband. I call them discussions when something he may be doing is annoying me. And believe me when I tell you that this was a long discussion.

You see, my husband either believes that we have little pixies that clean the bathroom, kitchen, and pick up dirty laundry, or he has a tendency to take me for granted. And since I don't believe that pixies live on Earth, I'm going to go with the later explanation.

Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is a wonderful man, but he's human, and humans tend to forget things. And of course, I can be a pretty good gal and be able to clean house on my good days, but again, I'm only human and my flares prohibit me from doing what I want.

But what occurred to me was that he and I have two very different ways of giving help. You see, if someone asks me to do some wash for them, I'll take it upon myself to separate lights, darks, and delicates, check for tough stains and pretreat, and then proceed to do the wash. On the other hand, my husband will hear the same task, and put everything together in one load and hit start. Now, both accomplish the same task in essence. But one may give you pink underwear and baby doll shirts. But, at least it's done, right?

Well, I could say right, but on those days that it happens, I get very frustrated and upset. I feel like it's really my fault that my sweater will better fit my 9 month-old now than me, but it really wasn't my fault. And then I feel like I just should have done the task myself so I could save all of the aggravation. But that really isn't the answer either when you have a bad flare.

I like to think of those types of situations as a "Please be kind...Rewind". And what I mean by that is that there are many people out there who love us and try to help us in many ways when they understand what we are going through with the pain of Fibromyalgia. Sometimes, though, even the ones who seem to understand may slip up and forget how hard life can be for someone who feels like a truck hit them right after they mop a floor. And when this happens, I try and think of a time when that person was understanding and try and calm myself down. In other words-- I rewind. The being kind usually happens later when I'm calm, but you get my point.

So if this every happens to you, try and think about hitting the rewind button.

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,

JS-Kit Comments