Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Tired of Being Tired?

Fibromyalgia is a tricky thing for me.  I can feel really good some days and really lousy the next.  The pain can be tough during a flare, but I honestly think the fatigue is the worst.  My exhaustion is worse during the winter months, the price I pay for living in New England.  This exhaustion has gotten me quite tired of being tired.

During one struggle of wanting to retire at 2 PM this week, I got fed up and went to the grocery store, hell bent on finding something to add to my diet that would boost my energy.  I found it in the produce section.  Kale, also known as borecole, is a form of cabbage that packs quite a punch. 

Kale contains a lot of antioxidants, is high in beta carotene, vitamin K, C, and calcium.  It has a good source of magnesium, a vitamin believed to help with chronic fatigue and Fibromyalgia, and is also a good veggie to help alleviate inflammation because it's considered anti-inflammatory.

Kale is great with pasta, but I decided to try something new with it.  I added turkey bacon and red quinoa to spice things up and it tastes really good!  I made it as a side to compliment some fish.  You can see a picture of it here.

And now, drum roll please, the recipe!

Kale and Quinoa

1 cup of prepared red quinoa (one to try is Trader Joe's)

10-15 Kale leaves washed, drained, and cut up into bite sized pieces

5 strips of cooked turkey bacon cut up into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 clove of garlic diced

1 shallot diced

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 cup of water


Sautee kale, garlic, and shallot in olive oil and water for about 3-4 minutes or until Kale is wilted.  Add prepared quinoa, bacon, and sea salt, toss and enjoy.

I also have a great drink recipe for Kale too, but I'll save that for another blog entry.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Monday, December 27, 2010

Detox the Natural Way

There is new talk out there about detoxing the body of heavy metals and other impurities. A lot of Fibro sufferers like this because they can remove heavy metals from the body that may be causing their symptoms to flare. I find some of these methods horrifying, however, some are not all that scary. A natural detox can be found right at the local grocery store.

Cilantro is one of the herbs that can be used for this purpose, it aids in restoring the normal functions of body cells. Cilantro is great with salads and also can be added to soups. Others like it in drink form, Dr. Oz is one of them.  He explains that chewing our green veggies and herbs, even finitely, will not allow the body the same benefits as the liquid version.

Milk thistle is another herb that helps detoxify the body of heavy metals. It aids the liver and also protects red blood cells. Milk thistle can be found in tea form in grocery and health food stores.  There are also many other herbal teas one can use for detox.  Some popular ones are dandelion and burdock, lemon and jasmine, as well as raspberry.

The popular herb known as garlic can make mercury, cadmium, and lead water-soluble to detoxify the body. Garlic can be taken in pill form or used fresh while cooking most dishes. Garlic salt can also be used in place of table salt to achieve these same benefits.

Any kind of juice can be used to detox the body.  Putting fruits and vegetables in juice form retains the antioxidants and vitamins better.  The best fruits and vegetables for detox purposes are celery, cucumber, carrot, apple, pineapple, lemon and ginger.

Mineral or bottled spring water is also good for detox because it aides in flushing out the system of heavy metals.  Just make sure that the water is low in aluminum since that is one of the heavy metals you will want to eliminate from your system.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Monday, December 13, 2010

Tired of Being Tired

Fibromyalgia is a tough disease because the symptoms are vast.  Some people experience IBS, where others do not, however, a good majority of people, about 90%, suffer from fatigue of some sort while dealing with the condition of Fibromyalgia.  The fatigue can be moderate to severe.

A new explanation of this fatigue which is closely related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is that Fibro sufferers have dysfunctional mitochondria.  Mitochondria are something inside our cells that convert nutrients and oxygen into energy for our body.  If there is a break down with our mitochondria, we don’t have enough energy being produced.

I’m not sure what side of the fence I’m on as far as explanations go for the source of all of my exhaustion.  I’ve read about this finding along with many others that are all closely connected to some type of deficiency in the body.  To be honest, though, I’m so tired of being tired that I’d rather have some solutions for my exhaustion.

What I’ve found that works:

Regular Bedtimes

Mom was right you have to have a regular bedtime every night.  I was never a huge stickler for regular bedtimes.  I would burn the midnight oil if I needed to work on an article or chapter of a book.  I wound up paying for it the next day every time I did this, though.  2:30 in the afternoon would come and I needed to sleep.  I put myself through sheer torture trying to stay awake by drinking a pot (yes you read it right) of coffee before dinner.  Once I ate I’d drink another cup or two just to keep myself moving until the kids were in bed.

Plan a Bedtime Ritual

Mom was also right here.  Setting a routine for yourself eases your body into getting ready for sleep.  You see, I realized quickly that coffee drinking the day and night away wasn’t working well for me. I wasn’t a college kid anymore and I needed something in place to help long term.  I set out to keep a regular bedtime schedule.  I now stop my computer and house work about a half an hour before bedtime so I can get my body into relaxation.  I enjoy a cup of caffeine-free tea and then brush my teeth before bed.
I also make it a point to change into sleepwear.  I know this might sound strange to some of you, but I’ve gotten so tired that I’ve slept in my day clothes.  This is not the best of ideas because day clothes can be very constricting and also too hot for bedtime.  I’ve awoken from sleep because I got tangled in the bed sheets or became too hot.  Waking up in the middle of the night doesn’t bode well for Fibro sufferers that deal with insomnia.


It also appears that Hulk Hogan was right too.  Taking your vitamins is a good idea for Fibromites.  A good multi-vitamin with a great absorption rate can help give you the energy you need.  This will help alleviate some of your tiredness during the day. 
Multi-vitamins are not all created equal.  There are some with better absorption rates than others.  You can find the best ones by consulting with your health care provider and/or nutritionist.  It’s also a good idea to take them with a meal because that may double the chance of absorption.

Same Wakeup Time
Yeah this one may be difficult because everyone likes to sleep in on the weekend.  This isn’t the best idea for Fibro sufferers.  Your body needs to get used to a daily wake up just like it needs to get used to a nightly bedtime.  Waking up at the same time every day helps your internal to stay on track.

Warm Baths 

A warm bath can help reduce your stress if you take one right before bed.  Soaking in Epsom salt will help too.  Epsom salt eliminates toxins from the body and relieves muscle soreness.  The properties in Epsom salt have also helped Chronic Fatigue Sufferers.

Teas and Supplements
Teas containing chamomile, passion flower, or valerian will help to calm nerves and aid you in sleep.  They don’t make you feel groggy the next morning but I have found myself waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip.  This can spell disaster for me because I have just as much of a problem staying asleep as I do falling asleep.

A supplement like Melatonin taken 30 minutes before bed is another option.  It is non-habit forming and it won’t make you feel groggy because it’s not like a sleep aid drug.  A drug or even alcohol may allow you a few zzz’s but you won’t be able to achieve deep sleep. 

Melatonin is naturally occurring in the body and supplementing it will help to restore your internal clock for insomnia.  However, there can be side effects.  Some include headaches, nausea, depression, nightmares and vivid dreams, irritablility, abdominal cramps, dizziness and decreased sex drive.  A low dose of .3mg to 5mg is suggested.  Most of the ones I’ve seen on the market adhere to this dosage.  But it is best to consult your physician before using any teas or supplements.   

In my experience, Melatonin works wonderfully and will allow me deep sleep.  I do not take it as part of my daily regimen, however.  I only use it when necessary and I never mix it with prescription drugs, other sleeping aids, or alcohol.  

Hope these tips help you achieve dream state tonight.

Stay Fabulous!
Love and friendship,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stress Busters for the Holidays

Stress is one of those things that seems to creep up on you during this time of the year.  Sometimes we see it head on and other times we won't see it until we are completely overwhelmed.  When it comes to myself, I tend not to notice things until I'm completely overwhelmed.  Having said that, I try to find ways where I can eliminate stress so I don't have a complete meltdown in the baking isle at the supermarket because I forgot to write down on my list whether I needed baking powder or baking soda. 

Here's my 4 top picks for the holidays:

  1. Trim your time on the trimmings by making it a family affair.  I used to be the one decorating the house every year.  It wasn't because I was the only one who was in the spirit, it was just that I tended to do it late at night when the kids were in bed.  Taking out the storage boxes with no children around was easier, but it got frustrating when I'd have to play find the fuse at 3 am.  Now I enlist the help of my husband to help me put up the lights, and the kids help put on the ornaments.
  2. Clean by rooms.  Maintaining a house with little ones, both furry and not, is hard enough without adding in the stress of having company.  I try and break up the load by cleaning one room a day and I delegate out what I can't get to. The kids' rooms are always part of the delegation.  I don't count on their rooms ever being perfect, but they do well and that's all that's needed.
  3. Loving from the oven doesn't have to take all day (or month for that matter).  There are many prepared cookie doughs you can buy at your local markets for less than the price it would cost to make them from scratch.  They are still baked by you, but your kitchen time is cut in half.
  4. Early birds catch less crowds.  It's true that the early bird catches the worm and when it comes to holiday shopping, an early bird can catch less crowds during the week. The best day of the week to do this is a Tuesday.  It's no secret to anyone that the busiest day for a retail store is a Saturday, but did you know that the slowest is a Tuesday?  Try shopping early on that day if you don't want to feel rushed or stressed.
Hope these tips help you to decompress for the holidays.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,


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