A Christmas List for Healthier Living

Christmas is coming quick! I hope this gives you some ideas of either what to add to your list or to purchase for your loved ones. There’s no better gift than the gift of better health. Some of these items are on my list for sure. I keep a wish list on Amazon that my husband has access to. There’s no guessing here. 🙂 You never know what can happen with a simple gift. A gift can turn into a huge lifestyle change, or even little changes here and there. Why not give someone a gift that could possibly change their life? Now I know some of these kitchen items don’t necessarily mean healthy living. But cooking from scratch is better than eating out. So starting there is great. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

healthier christmas list


For the Kitchen

1. A New Pan (or pans): Mama Natural has raved about this pan so I added it to my list. I have some stainless steel pans but haven’t quite mastered them to be non-stick yet. I either want to get a pan like this or regular cast-iron. Getting rid of the teflon-coated pans is a must.

2. Frozen Yogurt/Ice Cream Maker: This is something the whole family would love. Homemade ice cream!!! Even if you buy organic ice cream, there are usually still the added ingredients that you don’t want in your ice cream. With homemade, you can add in what you want. And it would be fun to make! 🙂

3. Cupcake Decorating Kit: I usually make cake/cupcakes for my kids’ birthdays so this would definitely come in handy for decorating.

4. Spiralizer: Our garden produced a crazy amount of zucchini one summer and I don’t know why I never purchased one of these to make zucchini noodles. I still plan to!

5. Bamboo Cutting Boards: It’s always good to reduce the amount of plastic we use and cutting boards are no exception. I have a couple small ones that are glass and one that is plastic. I plan to buy these and get rid of the plastic one.

6. Pineapple Corer Slicer: This is just kind-of a nice-to-have item. If we were really going to go through pineapple that much I would want to have this. And maybe we should be eating more pineapple. Anyway, it’s on my list to buy someday.

7. Glass Tupperware: To reduce more plastic in our homes, why not give the gift of glass tupperware?? And, it is also much better to use glass in the microwave than plastic. When we were using plastic in the microwave, you could see the plastic warp over time. I’m sure we were eating plastic at some point… 🙁

8. Glass Water Bottle: Speaking of reducing plastic, my husband got me this glass water bottle last Christmas and I use it all the time! It hasn’t broke, it’s dishwasher safe, the water tastes better and stays cool longer, and the outside is made of silicone instead of plastic. There are different colors too!

9. Popcorn Popper: I’m still popping my popcorn in the microwave… It’s in a paper bag and I use organic kernels, but I’m sure it would be better to do it on the stove or using a popcorn popper.

10. Bread Machine: A bread machine would be a great gift! We have used ours to make bread weekly, pizza dough probably every couple weeks, and I have also made cinnamon rolls using the machine to make the dough. I’m sure there are many more things we could make but I just haven’t tried yet. And this isn’t the machine I have, but mine is 10 years old lol.

11. Electric Griddle: I would love to have one of these so I can make a double batch of pancakes easily. Then I could freeze some of the pancakes to eat later.

12. Tortilla Press: Okay so this would be a nice-to-have item too. We don’t need a tortilla press but it would be cool to be able to make our own corn tortillas someday. If this is something that you (or whoever you are buying for) eat a lot of than it would be worth the investment.

13. Food Processor: I do have a food processor but I admit, it hardly gets used. Only because I’m always trying to not dirty so many dishes, haha. But I have used mine to cut up cauliflower into very small pieces to make ‘cauliflower rice’. For a while I was doing it regularly. In a real food kitchen, I’m sure this could come in handy.

14. Waffle Maker: This is definitely an item that I want to get so we can make waffles! We have never made waffles before, only pancakes. And I have seen other things made in a waffle iron, like quesadillas, grilled cheese, and omelets (just to name a few).

15. Donut Pan: We have a mini donut pan that is silicone and it works great! The donuts pop out pretty easily, and it’s safe for the oven and dishwasher. The mini donuts are cute and all but I would really like to have a bigger-sized donut pan like this. Of course this is just a wish list item, not something I need. 🙂

16. Slow Cooker: Of course a slow cooker (crock pot) is nice to have. There are some weeks that I use it 2 or 3 times, and other weeks not at all. But it really is so nice to have dinner all ready when everyone gets home.

17. NutriBullet: We have got so much use out of our NutriBullet. We use it to make smoothies, milkshakes, grind up seeds, grind up graham crackers to use for breading on meat, and probably more that I can’t think of right now.

18. A Juicer: We also have a juicer, but I don’t use it nearly as much as I want to. It is expensive to buy large quantities of produce, and washing the pieces of the juicer is not as convenient. But they are dishwasher safe. And sometimes it’s fun to make homemade apple juice or orange juice. I have also used it to juice spinach to make green food coloring before, and juiced strawberries to add to milk for homemade strawberry milk. 🙂




Other Items for Healthy Living

1. Salt Lamp: Even if we have eliminated the chemicals going into our body, on our skin, and everywhere else we can think of, chances are we are still being exposed to chemicals all the time. There is flame-retardant in so many things like our couch, other furniture, our clothes, etc. Everything that is made of plastic is full of chemicals. What about the paint on the walls? SO many things we aren’t even thinking about. I would love to have one of these salt lamps to help purify the air, and they also help to reduce stress. Win win!

2. Natural Soaps: Okay I have never bought these soaps before but they sure are cute and free of harmful chemicals. Would be a great gift!

3. Beeswax Candle: It’s shocking to learn about all the chemicals we are exposed to. Candles release a lot of toxins into the air that we breathe, unless you buy the right ones. Beeswax is the way to go. And if you want one that is scented, make sure it is scented using essential oils instead of chemicals.

4. Lavender Bath & Body Gift Set: This gift set says all natural ingredients are used. No harmful chemicals. And lavender is very calming.

5. Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Gift Set: I just thought this was adorable. And they are samples of some of their products so it’s a good way to introduce someone to the natural world.




Books/Cookbooks for Healthy Living

1. Reboot with Joe: Fully Charged

2. The Food Babe Way. Here’s my review on this one: http://organicfibromommies.com/2015/02/book-review-food-babe-way/.

3. 100 Days of Real Food cookbook. My review: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/09/cookbook-review-100-days-real-food/.

And see what I’ve made from this cookbook so far: http://organicfibromommies.com/2015/03/what-ive-made-from-the-100-days-of-real-food-cookbook/.

4. The Grain-Free Family Table. My review: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/11/cookbook-review-grain-free-family-table-deliciously-organic/.

5. The Wellness Mama cookbook

6. Deliciously Organic cookbook


Other ideas for gifts on healthier living: plants that purify the air, homemade gifts like vanilla extract, homemade granola, cookies or other treats made with organic ingredients and sweetened with honey/maple syrup or very little raw cane sugar. There are so many options out there for making soaps, candles from beeswax, and many many more.


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Natural Personal Care Products

It is just as important to use natural ingredients on our skin as it is to consume them. Whatever we put on our skin is absorbed into our body. Also, whatever we wash off in the shower is going into the lakes & streams. The less chemicals all around, the better for everyone and everything. There are some good options for natural personal care products out there, and recipes to make your own. I know I don’t want to spend a ton of money on products and would rather spend more money on our food, so I try to find better products at lower costs.


natural personal care products


Tom's natural deodorant

Of course, regular deodorants typically have a plethora of chemicals in them. Some have been linked to possibly causing breast cancer. I feel like I have been through every kind of natural deodorant you can find in the stores. This is really getting personal but I used to sweat a lot more than I do now. I think it was from the meds I was on, and also from being overweight. Anyway, I couldn’t find a natural deodorant that worked for me and the Tom’s scented deodorants (even though they are all-natural) were causing me to breakout. Now that I don’t sweat as much, the Tom’s original unscented works just fine unless it’s summertime. Then I have to reapply a couple times throughout the day! I have heard great things about Pit Paste but haven’t tried it yet. Here’s the Pit Paste if you’re interested in trying it (there is lavender-scented available and you can buy it in a stick too):


coconut oil and Tom's toothpaste

Dental Care:
I do like Tom’s toothpastes but I did make my own toothpaste once using baking soda. Regular toothpaste has a lot of chemicals including dyes added, which aren’t good for our teeth and gums. I buy Tom’s for my kids too. They have a strawberry flavored product specifically for kids. I am also doing oil pulling (started in March of 2014). Oil pulling is where you swish around about 1 tsp – 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes each day. Try to go at least 5 minutes to get the benefits of it. Since I have been doing it, my husband pointed out that I don’t have bad breath anymore. I always had bad breath, and not just in the morning. I had gum and mints on hand because I was so worried about it. My teeth are whiter, and gums don’t bleed like they used to when I floss. I also got my daughter to start doing it (only sometimes). She definitely needs all the toxins out of her mouth! She doesn’t do it very long but I figure some is better than none. My husband did give it a try once. I have been doing it just about every morning, between 5 and 15 minutes. It just depends on how long I feel like going. Sometimes it gets really gross and I have to spit it out. When you spit it out, make sure you spit into the garbage can, not the sink. It can mess up your pipes! And DO NOT swallow it. You can use other oils but I have heard so many great benefits of coconut oil for your teeth and gums so that is what I am going with. I used to do it every day, now it’s about every other day, and I did skip a week a couple times just because we were low on coconut oil. When on a budget I wasn’t going to go out and buy more just so I could do the oil pulling. 😉


Hair Care:
For shampoo and conditioner I was using a natural Tresemme, but when you read the ingredients you can see that it isn’t really ‘natural’. I was very disappointed. I have used a coconut shampoo and conditioner before that I found in the natural section of the grocery store but you get this small tube @ like $9 each so for shampoo and conditioner I was spending $18, and that just seems crazy. So I had to pick and choose what I would rather spend money on. An all-natural shampoo or fresh organic fruits & vegetables? Yea, I think I’m going to put more money towards food than personal care products. Of course, you can make your own too. But I did decide to try the “no-poo” method (sham-poo that is). Sounds weird but it really works! Here’s all about it:oily hair


Week 1 – I used 1/2 tsp baking soda with a drop of tea tree oil and a little warm water, just on the scalp. I did this one time during the week, and other times I showered I didn’t use anything. There’s no way to avoid it. Your hair just gets oily and gross in the beginning.

Week 2 – Same method as above except I started applying apple cider vinegar to the ends.


Week 3 – Same method as above. I’m starting to notice that my hair is looking healthier and there’s a wave to it. Plus I am not losing as much hair in the shower or when brushing. Before I had a handful of hair that would come out. The top is still oily looking. Sorry, these aren’t the best pictures.

no shampoo method results

Weeks 4 & 5 – Getting better (picture above, on the right). I do the baking soda on top once a week and sometimes add the tea tree oil. And I apply apple cider vinegar to the ends once/week. Overall it seems to be going okay but my hair does look oily sometimes.

no shampoo method results

Week 6
– I got a hair cut and specifically told the stylist what I am doing and not to use any products on my hair but water was okay to wet it down. Well whatever he was spraying me with was not just water. I could see the bubbles in it and it had a scent to it. Then he said he needed to use something on my hair just so he could make sure the cut and layers were even (I can’t remember what he called it). I was like okay… I really think he was playing with my hair. He did a good job on the cut but I was just annoyed that he put products on my hair when I asked him not to. Then I felt like I had to start all over with this. The good thing was that he mentioned how healthy and nice my hair looks. This picture is after I got my hair cut and them using the product on my hair. Wish I would have gotten a picture before but you can still see that it is pretty healthy looking.


Tea Tree shampoo and conditionerSo, this does really work, over time, but I was having a hard time keeping everything balanced. My hair became dry so I added coconut oil and then it was too oily looking. The baking soda works on top to keep the top from being oily but I read that baking soda isn’t good for your hair. And my hair wasn’t smelling good between the baking soda w/tea tree oil and the apple cider vinegar…. It didn’t smell that bad, but my husband always liked that my hair smelled so good. So I needed something to balance out the oily and dry in my hair, and smell good. I decided to start using Trader Joe’s tea tree shampoo & conditioner (picture to the right). It’s a great price and has some really good stuff in it. Like peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus botanicals. My hair seems balanced now, and my husband likes the shampoo because it helps with his usually dry itchy scalp and dandruff. What I noticed though after I started using shampoo again is that more hair is coming out in the shower or when I brush. But I just put a little shampoo on the top and work it in, and a little conditioner worked into the ends. Everyone’s hair is different so you may find something else that works for your hair. I tend to have thick dry hair, usually. I may end up making something that will work to wash my hair with and if I do, I will report back on that.


I use coconut oil for shaving. You only need a small amount at a time and it’s so great for your skin. It’s not perfect but it does work and feels good. It leaves my skin smooth after. I just keep a small tupperware container of it in the shower so it’s easily accessible. Using the coconut oil in the bath/shower has not clogged my drain either. And I do use an electric razor sometimes too. Which is great for camping. 😉 Here’s the one I have:


natural bar soap

Face/Body Wash:
I use a Burt’s Bees peach facial scrub and I also do a lemon and honey face mask a couple times a week (whenever I remember). Just take about a ½ tsp of honey and a squirt of lemon juice, rub together and apply to your entire face, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse off with luke-warm water. I like the Kiss My Face soap to wash my body with, and I take an Epsom salt bath every now and then. Sometimes I add lavender (I have a lavender plant but you can get lavender essential oil too). I also came across a pure castile bar soap with lavender. Both are pictured above, to the right. I found both bars of soap and the facial scrub at Fred Meyer (Kroger).


honey and lemon face mask recipe


coconut lotion

For lotion I found a good coconut lotion that isn’t too expensive and has lasted me a while (Desert Essence), found at Fred Meyer in the natural section, or just use coconut oil as a moisturizer. I use coconut oil for Sunscreen (it has an SPF of about 10) but only when I am just going to be in the sun a little, or in and out of it. If we are going to be out in the hot sun all day, I will use a natural sunscreen, which is what I use for the kids. Just anything I can find that says ‘natural’. It’s not perfect, but better. Here’s a natural organic ‘Food Babe approved’ sunscreen:

chapstick and lipgloss


I use Burt’s Bees chapstick and lipgloss. There are different colors too. I use the chapstick a lot more than I use the lipgloss. You can probably find these at any grocery store but I purchased mine at Fred Meyer (Kroger).



natural makeup

Make-up & Make-up Removal:
I don’t wear make-up that often anymore but if I do, I use grape seed oil to remove it. It works great and is good for your skin too, but a little goes a long way. You can also use coconut oil. I found some natural make-up at our local food co-op. It’s made with much better ingredients. It’s expensive but like I said, I don’t wear make-up that often.

There are many recipes out there for making pretty much anything, from deodorant to mascara and in-between. There are also companies you can buy from like The Honest Co. One of these days I am going to sign up to receive their products each month! I think you get to choose 5 products each month for a certain price.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Book Review: The Food Babe Way

Book ReviewI love Food Babe (Vani Hari). I love that she is right to the point about everything and isn’t afraid to say it how it is. She doesn’t just support organic foods and choose not to purchase the bad foods. She fights to have those companies change their ways. Sure, we could all just look the other way and not care because we aren’t the ones eating that food. But there are people out there that are eating it. And we are still eating it on occasion during our ‘cheat’ times. There’s no reason we shouldn’t fight to get them to change. The production of that food and everything around it affects us in one way or another.

Of course, there are people out there that don’t like that Food Babe is fighting so hard. And they are getting very defensive and protective over everything she is putting out there. This is causing threats towards her, and some very nasty comments. I guess people just can’t handle the truth! If it wasn’t for Food Babe, I would just trust anything that says natural, or organic. It’s because of Vani that I am reading labels on everything now. I am always open to more information about our food system. And I take everything with a grain of salt. I like to do my own research and figure things out for myself instead of just believing everything I hear. I’m pretty good at filtering out things I don’t agree with and keeping what I think is right. There are those things that we come across and aren’t sure about. They stay out there in the grey area somewhere and eventually they might make sense. And sometimes we think we understand something and it goes back to that grey area. That’s okay. Our food system is far more complex than I would have ever thought.

When I saw Vani’s book and the chance to review it, I jumped at the offer. I wanted to read it right away and get the information out to you all. Well let me tell you, I did not want to put the book down. But I had to of course. Life with kids is too busy to sit and read all day. 😉 I thought that I would already know most of what is in the book. The information about our food system, the investigations that Food Babe did, and her story. Well I was wrong. There is so much information included, I definitely learned a lot! She doesn’t just tell us that something is bad for us and we shouldn’t eat it. She has done the research to back it up. And provides all the information, data, resources, etc. When it goes into Vani’s story from when she was growing up and how she ate, I could totally relate. I too was addicted to candy and junk food and can tell you about a time I ate Sour Patch Kids for breakfast! I was so addicted to refined sugar and just didn’t think about it or take the time to care. I could really relate to a lot of what she was saying. My health problems didn’t come on quite as drastically as hers did but I felt like they were severe at the time.


In The Food Babe Way, you’ll learn how to:

  • Develop 21 simple, lasting habits that will get you off chemical-laced food for good;
  • Avoid the top 15 ingredients that wreak havoc on your weight, beauty, and health;
  • Spot manipulative marketing and manufacturing techniques the food industry uses to get you to eat processed foods or hide questionable ingredients;
  • Replace the foods that make you fat, look older, and sap your energy with healthful, delicious substitutes;
  • Prepare dozens of additive-free meals with easy and delicious recipes.


Vani Hari Grocery Store - Credit Kwaku Alston


Reading about the investigations Food Babe accomplished and the changes the food companies made afterwards got me all-fired-up. We all really can make a difference! And we should be fighting for our health and the health of others. We all live in this world together and it all affects us in one way or another. Vani has encouraged me to use my voice. Investigate, research, speak-up. I hope that my family/friends don’t consider it as an insult towards them or think that I’m crazy when I explain to them what is in the food they are eating. I just care about them and want them to be healthy and live a longer life. So, sometimes I do decide to speak-up and other times I stay out of things. I decided to speak-up when KFC posted on Twitter that their nuggets in the popcorn chicken are made from the world’s best chicken. Really?!? I had to say something. And my reply got some attention! My reply was: “@KFC The world’s best chicken?? So your chicken is not from factory-farmed chickens? Your chickens are outside roaming around? No.” I wanted to say more but you are limited on the number of characters on Twitter. My reply was ‘favorited’ and retweeted right away and I had some nice replies too, supporting what I said. You just never know I guess! Companies like that should not be able to get away with saying that kind of stuff. They are lying. How can they say it is the world’s best chicken??? Come on…. That post got 432 views. I hardly ever have any action on Twitter. That got me pumped up and excited to keep fighting. 🙂 And no, KFC did not reply…

So, back to the book. I love that Vani goes into details about all the different diets. What they are, why she thinks they are flawed, and what chemicals you might be exposed to on those diets. I think this information will be very helpful to so many people that think they are on a good diet. I got so excited reading about Food Babe’s 21 day health plan! I wanted to start it right away. When I started Day 1, the lemon & cayenne pepper drink in the morning instead of my usual coffee, I was grumpy but felt like I really needed to do this. Sure, I love coffee. But I know it’s not doing my body any good right now. I’m not saying coffee isn’t good for you. And one day, maybe I will add it back in. Right now I just need to cleanse my body of all the toxins and get well. I’m sick of being sick every.single.day. I need to heal my gut. I realized I am already doing a lot of the 21 days of habits listed in the book but there was still a plethora of information included and I learned a lot. And reading about the other habits that I haven’t been doing has motivated me to make changes. Some I had thought about before but haven’t done anything to make the change yet. Food Babe has encouraged me to take that next step. I’m not sure if I will do everything listed but I will try. The only thing I would add to the list is to clean out all the toxins in your home. From cleaners, to soaps, to candles and air-fresheners, and anything else you are breathing or are exposed to. Everything that you breath and that touches your skin can seep into your body.


Love this. Straight out of the book:



After the 21 day health plan is the 21 day eating plan, followed by recipes that coincide. This includes information about the ingredients in the plan to help guide you, like what kind of flour and oil to choose, and much more. And some of those recipes sound really good! Much better than I expected. I already made a smaller version of the Ginger Berry Smoothie, a slightly different version of the Quinoa Veggie Scramble (just cauliflower ‘rice’ instead of quinoa because I had some I needed to use up), and the Creamy Kale and Artichoke Dip. All three were very good!

I’m excited to try the following recipes:

  • Breakfast Burritos w/sweet potatoes,
  • Cinnamon Raisin French Toast Crunch,
  • Spicy Tomato Kale Soup,
  • Open-Faced Crunchy Veggie Sandwich,
  • White Bean Chili,
  • Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup,
  • Organic Homemade Frappuccino,
  • Sweet Potato Fries,
  • Almond Chocolate Freezer Fudge,
  • And much more!


Food Babe Way_Quote_Bernstein


There’s even more information included in the back of the book. How to start a petition, tons of resources, a rundown of how much certain corporations spent during the past 12 months to make sure GMOs aren’t labeled, followed by a bibliography. I highly recommend this book and think that everyone should read it! I did think that some of the promises to lose weight and become healthy were a little much, but I do believe if you stay on a healthy path you will get there. And The Food Babe Way will definitely guide you. Overall I think it was a great book and would be worth purchasing. I think I will be going back through this book many times, and it’s always great having more recipes on hand! 🙂


Video Book Trailer: The Food Babe Way Video Book Trailer.

You can purchase the book here: http://thefoodbabeway.com.

Or here:


**GET RID OF ALL THE CHEMICALS! START TODAY, THE FOOD BABE WAY!** Vani Hari Throwing Doritos - Credit Kwaku Alston


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Fibro at Work vs. Fibro at Home

fibro at work vs fibro at homeI was working full-time when I started getting Fibromyalgia symptoms. I was in and out of the doctor’s office but still tried to work full-time. I worked full-time for 5 months and then my boss let me switch to part-time. It was definitely easier to manage things at home but after a while I still felt like I never got any down-time and it was hard to keep up. My time at home was filled with other things. Especially since I really wanted to spend more time on this blog! 🙂 So we finally felt like we were financially stable enough for me to stay home. Now my job is to manage everything at home, take care of my health and my kids, and work on this blog. But I love it! So here is what it was like for me at work vs. what it is like at home, and pros & cons of each.

Fibromyalgia at Work:
It was nice sitting down at a desk throughout the day and having the adult interaction. I got to eat my lunch and take a break in peace. It was much quieter too. And being at work kept me on a schedule. I had a designated time to eat breakfast and lunch. At home sometimes I don’t end up having lunch until like 2. I get busy with something and forget. It was nice feeling like I accomplished something. At home sometimes I feel like I didn’t get anything done all day when in reality, I did do something but it was bits and pieces so it didn’t feel like much. And sometimes I do miss dressing up and looking professional instead of being in my pajamas or jeans all the time. It was a good feeling to feel important, doing something to contribute to society and feeling appreciated. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel appreciated sometimes at home. But not like I did with my job. I liked having the excuse of work though. ‘My house is a mess because I work and don’t have time to clean it’, lol. Now it’s like, uh… my house is a mess because I have Fibro and don’t have the energy to keep up with it all the time. If I spent all my time and energy cleaning I wouldn’t be able to make all the food that I make and blog about stuff. And wouldn’t be able to do all the fun things with my kids.

Sitting down that much was also killing me. I don’t like to sit for that long. It hurts, and my body gets stiff. The stress at work wasn’t good for me either. Stress can make us physically hurt and have a flare-up. It was also hard to interact with people all the time, especially when I didn’t feel good. I would have to put on a smile and not show how I really felt. That was VERY hard for me. If I am in pain I have a hard time keeping that to myself. The bright lights were too much sometimes, and it was hard to work in an office building in the summer when I wanted to be outside in the sunshine. It’s good for us and my body needs it. It is definitely easier to take care of myself at home and do what I need to do. If it’s sunny, I can drop what I’m doing and go outside. If I need to make a smoothie or have some tea, I can anytime. I can’t make all the things I want to make if I’m at work all the time. At home I make bread once/week, homemade granola sometimes, I experiment with different foods. I was able to keep up with the garden and I cooked pumpkins to make pumpkin puree. These are things that would be much harder to do if I had to work too. Sure, they could be done. But my time would be filled up from morning to night and I would not have that much energy. My spoons would be long gone! And I wouldn’t have time to blog about all these things either.

Fibromyalgia at Home:
There is more physical work at home for sure that does get to me at times but I feel like it is good to keep moving and keep busy. I don’t think about the pain and exercise is good. When my kids fight it gives me bad anxiety. I usually just separate them but that’s hard sometimes too. It is much easier to keep up with the housework at home. I have all week to do what I normally tried to cram into the weekend. And vacuuming alone can be a lot of work, so I like to do that one day and do other stuff the next day. Spread it out so I don’t suffer as much. I can also do what I need to for my health. If I need to sit down, I can. If I need to move around, I can. At work, I was stuck sitting. But at home I never feel like I can take a nap or have too much down-time, like I thought I would be able to do. There’s always something to do around here and it really is like you are never leaving your job! I have guilt too, for not being the one to bring in money to support our family. So I try to save money wherever I can. And I always make sure the important things are done. Dishes, dinner, kids are taken care of, etc.

fibro in summerHome in the Summer – In the summer, we are a lot more active. I try to get things done at home in the morning so that we can do what we want to do in the afternoon. Keeping a schedule is harder. I might say Monday is laundry day but really, it takes me all week to get it all done. We are a lot more relaxed in the summer. We just eat when we are hungry instead of scheduled times. We get up late and I always said I am going to set an alarm so I can have at least an hour before the kids get up, but no. Never happened. As you know, mornings with Fibro are very hard. So we would get up, do our own thing for a bit, have breakfast, do a chore and some kind of schoolwork. We made a chart for Monday – Friday that has a chore, schoolwork, and a life lesson. (More on this below.) Then do what we want to do for the afternoon. Maybe go to the pool, park, ride bikes, just play outside, go visit someone, go on the boat with daddy when he gets home. I get a lot more exercise in the summer and sunshine! I feel better because of that. It’s a lot harder to blog in the summer than winter for sure! 😉 We are just very busy so I was trying to do at least 1 post/week.

fibro in winterHome in the Winter – Well, I assumed everything would be easier in the Winter because we wouldn’t be so busy. I thought I would be able to get projects done around here, more cleaning, and more blog posts. My Fibro is a lot worse in the Winter. There are days I barley get anything done and look forward to the next time I can sit down. It also didn’t help that I got off of a natural supplement I was taking. No energy, major Fibro Fog all the time, some kind of pain all the time, anxiety if something comes up that is more for me to worry about or to have to do. Family functions, school activities, etc. The holidays were insane. So, I can barely function. I do the minimum possible and projects just start piling up again. Then I only take care of extra stuff when I really have to. I tried doing some kind of exercise each day hoping it would help but I think I pushed myself too hard and it had the opposite affect. I am more depressed too. So I get up and focus on my daughter first. Making sure she gets ready, has her breakfast, and we make her lunch. Then we go out to the bus stop with the dog. After she leaves, my son and I have breakfast and some quiet time so I can get on the computer and check messages, write blog posts, do my work. I was also doing my exercise, the dog has to be taken out several times, we have lunch, we try to take the dog on a walk every day, we go grocery shopping once/week, there’s dishes to do every day, laundry, cleaning, bills to pay, you get the idea. 😉

Chore Chart (from Summer):  We did this in the summer and do still have chores during the school-year but not as much. It’s hard enough trying to get dinner done, my daughter’s homework (that we spend a lot of time on sometimes), her Art class is after school once/week, and then all the usual bedtime stuff, with a small amount of time to play. Our chore chart is for Monday – Friday in the summer, but you can do this all year long if you want, and consists of a chore, schoolwork, and a life lesson. This was nothing fancy. We don’t have a working printer right now so we just made this by hand. I did not spend a lot of time on it but you could make pictures and everything. I’m not very artistic lol.

  • Chores – The chores consist of sweeping, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, wipe counters and the kitchen table. Of course each kid might have a different chore depending on their age. Tyler (4, at the time) can do a lot of things but he is shorter and it’s harder for him to push a big vacuum than it is for Kailey (8, at the time). There are other chores that they do sometimes too like change the cat and dog’s water each day and make sure they have food, put their clothes away, put toys away, clean their rooms, help put groceries away, water the garden, etc.
  • Schoolwork – The schoolwork consists of writing, math, counting $, shapes & colors (fun for Kailey and learning for Tyler), telling time (Kailey), and reading (Tyler). Kailey is to read every weeknight before bed.
  • Life Lessons – The life lessons consist of tying their shoes (Kailey has this mastered now but sometimes I have her teach Tyler and that helps me out), a fire drill, cooking lesson, earthquake drill, and anything else I can think of. Maybe going over some family rules, what to do if a stranger comes up to you, when and how to dial 911, etc.

IMG_6110Our Chore Chart for the summer (sorry, it’s kinda messy and got drawn on)

We didn’t always follow exactly what the chore chart said. Sometimes we didn’t need to dust so we did something else. Or we would swap a chore with a different day. Basically we just did what needed to be done. This really helped me stay on track too and get things done. Otherwise I might say, ‘I really need to do this’ and forget and move on to something else. We did the Chore Chart in the morning before the kids were allowed to go outside to play with their friends in the summer. During the school-year, Kailey is at school so things are a little different. When she gets home, she has to do a chore and her homework but it really depends on the weather. We don’t have a lot of nice days here in Washington during the school-year. If it’s sunny out, I’m going to let her play outside when she gets home and do her chore and homework later. But like I said, this is rare. It’s usually raining or at least cloudy in the Fall/Winter. And Tyler is helping me during the day with things like unloading the dishwasher (the silverware mostly), helping put groceries away, he likes to help make the bread, do some juicing, and other things I make, he will sweep sometimes with a little broom. And he does preschool activities.

So there you go. This is my view of working vs. being home and how it effected my Fibro. A lot of people ask how Fibro is while working and how it is at home. Obviously not everyone has a choice to be home. I am not really sure which is better for Fibro. There are challenges with both. I knew that I really wanted to be home. Now that I have been home for a while, there are some good things about going back to work but the thought of managing work and home gives me a lot of anxiety. I hope that I can continue to stay home and do what I love to do. Tyler will start Kindergarten in the Fall but it will only be for half a day. I am still planning to stay home and use that time that he is gone for the blog or anything else I need to get done without any distractions. We shall see what the future holds. I’m not going to rule anything out. 😀

Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness

The holidays are so busy and crazy, and when you add Fibromyalgia to the mix it is just too much. The bright blinking lights, the noise, the crowds… And those posts going around on Facebook that tell you how many days are left until Christmas don’t help! That just brings on the anxiety. Well don’t listen to that at all and don’t panic. It will all get done. Believe me, I know it is a lot because I go from Thanksgiving, to my daughter’s birthday, to Christmas. I just tackle one thing at a time, keep lists, and stay organized. And anything I can get done ahead of time, I jump on it and just get it done. I am one of those people sending out their Christmas cards right after Thanksgiving. 😉 Don’t stress and just try to enjoy the holidays. 🙂

Surviving Holidays with chronic illness


Tips on Surviving the Holidays with a Chronic Illness:

1. If you are hosting a party, ask everyone to bring something. That really cuts back on the amount of food you have to make.

2. Communicate. If you don’t feel good, say so. If you want to say ‘no’, do it. Your family/friends should understand and support you and if they don’t, it’s on them, not you. You have to do what you have to do for your health. And maybe tell them that you need to cancel for now but would like to do something at a time where you are feeling better. Ask for help if you need to! It’s OK.

3. Feeling depressed? Depression can hit hard during the holidays. It’s a battle with everything we do and we can’t win. We want to participate in everything but if we do, we pay for it. There are some natural remedies in this post: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/08/battling-depression/. And make sure to follow tip #2 above.

4. Focus on the happy fun times throughout the holidays and not all the work and stress. You don’t have to do everything that comes along. Pick and choose certain things and save others for next year.

5. Make a plan. You can plan out everything you want to do and how you will do it. A plan-of-action. For example, if you are going to someone’s house for a party, plan it out ahead of time. Bring anything you might need while you are there. You could talk to the host(s) ahead of time to let them know you might need a quiet place to go and rest for a bit. If you have a significant other or a friend with you then communicate with them and maybe you can have a signal to know that you aren’t feeling well and need to go sit in a quiet room or get yourself together in the bathroom for a minute, maybe splash some water on your face. Social gatherings can be exhausting. If you are hosting the party, make sure you have help. Your significant other or a friend can help clean and get things setup and be there during the party to help and give you an out if you aren’t feeling well. Maybe you can socialize when guests first arrive, go take a break, come back out and socialize some more. That way you are able to participate for the majority of the time.

6. Bring a dish to a party. Bring a side dish to the party that you know you can eat (healthy foods) so that you can eat some of that and a little of the other stuff. That should help so you aren’t feeling so icky after eating a bunch of foods you probably wouldn’t normally eat.


How to help someone with a chronic illness during the holidays: Be supportive. If they can’t attend something it’s not usually because they don’t want to. They probably want to really bad but their illness has taken over and it is best that they do what they need to for their health. The last thing they need is to feel guilty about it. Try to plan something with them another time, when they are feeling better. It doesn’t have to be during the holidays. And offer to help as much as you can, especially if they are the ones hosting a party. It may not be easy for them to ask for help but they may really need it and would appreciate the offer.


Holiday Checklist

Here’s a list of our holiday items and how I coordinate them. I know all families have different traditions or religious beliefs. This is just to show you how I get through the holidays and still make sure my kids can participate in some of the fun holiday activities. 🙂

1. Family Photo/Christmas Cards – We always try to have someone take a nice picture of our family on Thanksgiving. We are already dressed up and there’s someone around to take the picture. Works perfectly! (Or you can use a photo you like from earlier in the year.) Then I put our Christmas cards together, usually using Walmart’s online photo program but there are other ones like Walgreens and many more. I ordered 28 Christmas cards for about $12. You can have them shipped to you too. I like to get this done right after Thanksgiving and start getting them sent out.christmas tree with lights and a star(I also have to do my daughter’s birthday invitations at this time as well.)

2. Christmas Tree/Decorations and Christmas Music – We get our Christmas tree and start decorating after Thanksgiving. Well, we used to have a fake tree so we would just pull it out of the garage. But it’s nice just doing everything together when we are all in the spirit. And we listen to Christmas music while decorating. 🙂 Item #1 & #2, done right after Thanksgiving! Now there’s plenty of time (and energy!) for many other things.

3. Christmas Lights – Your local newspaper may post different neighborhoods that have amazing lights to go drive around and see. This is a great F R E E way to do it! And not much gas to get there. Or, in our area there are places you can drive and pay to see lights (Spanaway Lights, Zoo Lights). We do this sometimes, not every year. But we always at least drive around and see lights in different neighborhoods. It’s also fun to watch the ones on YouTube with the lights flashing to music. 😀

Santa picture4. Santa – visit, write, and/or call Santa. Now, of course you can go stand in the long lines at the mall to see Santa and pay an arm-an-a-leg for that picture, but we choose to just see Santa when we can. We saw him at the Christmas tree farm and got our free picture taken with our phone, and he came through our neighborhood on his sleigh collecting canned foods. The kids sat on his lap and we took another free picture. We have never gone to the mall. The thought of that gives me a lot of anxiety and I couldn’t imagine waiting forever and spending a ton of money on a picture. It’s already an expensive holiday! We did see him at Walmart one time and did pay to have a picture but it wasn’t very much. To call Santa, just dial (951) 262-3062.

5. Christmas Shopping/Wrapping – If you have kids this is definitely harder to do. You have to get a babysitter first, go get everything that you can during that timeframe, bring everything home and hide it or start wrapping. I do all my wrapping for other people’s presents when the kids are home. Just space it out if you can. And online shopping is so easy! You can avoid the crowds, wasting energy on the shopping trips, wasting gas driving around, having to get a babysitter, etc. And I do not do Black Friday shopping. No way…. lol. And I hate to sound like a salesman but if you want to use our link to do your shopping on Amazon it would really help us out! There’s no discount for you but it helps us offset the costs of blogging, and it’s so easy. You just click on the following link and start your shopping. We would really appreciate it! 🙂 OrganicFibroMommies-Amazon-Link. We also have an Amazon store if you want to check out our items: http://astore.amazon.com/orgafibrmomm-20.natural stocking stuffers

6. Stocking Stuffers – I start collecting stocking stuffers right away while I am shopping at different stores (Fred Meyer, our local food co-op, Trader Joe’s). I have found things like naturally flavored candy canes (no dyes), 100% pure maple syrup candies, chocolate coins, and holiday gummies. You can also put fruit in the stockings, homemade cookies (wrapped of course), and non-food items like stickers/tattoos, little toys, play-doh, Christmas-themed toys/pencils/stickers, etc., mini activity book/notepad, crayons/colored pencils, mini books, money, small stuffed animals, new socks, a rolled up new shirt, a jump rope, jewelry, matchbox cars, and so much more.
naturally colored christmas sugar cookies
7. Baking Cookies –
Maybe just plan to make 1 batch of cookies. Why do we have to make several batches of all these different kinds? Let the kids pick what kind they want to make each year, to make it extra special. Or you can make a batch in the beginning of the month and another before Christmas, space it out.
Trader Joe's Gingerbread House

8. Gingerbread House – I found this natural Gingerbread House at Trader Joe’s last year for like $8! Yes it has sugar but they use fruit/vegetable extracts for the coloring. I know the kids aren’t going to be eating the whole thing but it’s pretty cheap and makes me feel good about not buying the bad stuff. Whether or not we are eating it, we don’t want to support purchasing it either. (That’s just my opinion.) 😉

9. Christmas Movies – I keep a list of Christmas movies that we want to watch each year and find them on Netflix, On Demand, Amazon Prime Instant Video, regular cable (ABC Family has 25 days of Christmas!), or we own some of them. It’s just fun to cuddle up with a bowl of popcorn, maybe some hot cocoa, and watch the classics. 🙂

10. Advent Calendar/Elf-on-the-shelf – We still don’t have an advent calendar because they are expensive but I have been watching for one that is reasonably priced. In the meantime, we just make a calendar on a piece of paper and check off the days. My daughter’s birthday is in December too so this helps them know when things are happening (and not bug mom & dad so much – well, mostly mom). 😉 And we don’t have an Elf on the shelf but after seeing the pictures I am tempted to get one! If there’s a good deal I might just do it. I bet dad would get in on the fun too and then I wouldn’t have to remember to do it everyday, haha.

11. The Nutcracker This year my daughter and I are going to see the Nutcracker! It’s her first time and I haven’t been since I was a kid. We can’t wait! This is not something we are doing every year but more of an at-least-once-during-her-childhood thing. And maybe we will go again when Tyler is older, if he’s interested in going.

xmas ornaments12. Make Ornaments – Last year we made ornaments using flour, salt, water, and coffee grounds. The coffee grounds made the ornaments brown so we could do bears. And then you can paint them too. And in this case, we just bought the cheap non-organic stuff. It was just a fun family activity we wanted to do and Grandma was here participating too. Maybe one day I will write up a post on how we made them. Here’s a recipe by MommyPotamus on making ornaments: http://www.mommypotamus.com/how-to-make-salt-dough-ornaments/.

The Challenges of Being a Mom with a Chronic Illness

This is all about being a mom with a chronic illness and the challenges we face on a daily basis with our children and trying to manage everything at home. I will have another post coming up that will include the challenges of trying to work with a chronic illness.

It is very hard dealing with Fibromyalgia while trying to take care of kids and manage the household. What I have learned along the way is we must first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others and this presents many challenges. There are times where I have to tell my kids that mommy has to rest or do something for herself before she can do something with you. “Give mommy some mommy-time and then I’m all yours.” They are usually pretty understanding. There are other times where we end up not doing the thing we were going to do because mommy just can’t right now. That is very hard to do. They (understandably) are disappointed and it breaks my heart. That doesn’t happen very often because a lot of times I push through and do it anyway. I typically don’t push myself to do things I know I shouldn’t but if I have my husband’s help, I know I can push a little and do things even if I don’t feel like it. There are nights where I stand on my son’s ladder to his loft bed so that I can scratch his back and that is very uncomfortable for me. I hurt afterwards but will still do it because I love him and these moments don’t last very long.

Sometimes I wish I could be that mom that can do every-single-thing my kids want to do and keep up with everything…. have the house clean all the time. But I have faced reality and know that it just cannot happen. I do what I can, when I can. And it’s amazing what I get done when I am having a good day! I do things like stack wood, garden, dig a trench (don’t worry, it’s a small one in the driveway), 😉 go on a bike ride with my kids, housework, cook, make new things for the blog, activities with my kids, grocery shopping, and all the other things that come up. Of course, I don’t do all this in one day, lol. We only have so many spoons for the day! (Check out the spoon theory below.) It is not selfish to listen to your body and take care of yourself before you take care of others. It’s smart, and the right thing to do. If we don’t do this then we are of no use to anyone.

Have you heard of the spoon theory? It works for any type of chronic illness. It is basically using spoons to describe what all you can do for the day. So each spoon represents a task that you can accomplish. We only have so many spoons for the day and something as simple as a shower can use up a spoon. It can be really tricky at the end of the day when you are only down to a few spoons left. You have to decide what you can do, and what you have to put off for the next day. 

spoon theory

There are many days where I just want to curl up on the couch or in bed, but I don’t. I force myself to get up and keep moving. I find it funny when people think those with chronic pain are lazy and especially now that I’m home people may assume I am lazier than I was just because I am home all the time. That is so not the case. And it actually hurts to sit down for too long so I don’t want to. I get all stiff and legs just ache. Some days I am just barely getting by and there are others where I feel great and have a lot of energy. On those good days I feel like there is so much I want to do! Cleaning, cooking and making new things, bike ride with my son and other fun things, the list goes on and on but there is only that short window of time where I feel so good and have to choose what I can and can’t do. A lot of times I will figure out what exactly needs to be done for that day. I make sure my son is taken care of first, and that I am taking care of myself. I tackle things around the house as I can, and work on the blog as I can. The blog is something I want to do and love doing it. Sometimes it is work, but in a good way. It really keeps me going and helps keep me busy, which is definitely what I need to stay motivated and help keep the depression away.

A lot of the time I am hard on myself and feel like I should be able to keep up with it all, especially with being home full-time now. But then I tell myself that it really is amazing how far I have come after being diagnosed, and with how much I am able to do on a daily basis. Sometimes I just stop what I am doing and do what I need to to take care of myself. Because if I don’t, I will really pay for it later. Like today, I stopped and made myself a juice in the juicer. It is a lot of work gathering all the items and prepping them for the juicer, then making the juice, and cleaning all the parts. I definitely don’t make it that often! Usually I make a smoothie because it’s so much easier. But the point is, because of that healthy juice that I added turmeric and ginger to, I am able to continue on with my day and get a lot done. If I didn’t stop and take the time to do what I needed for my body, I probably wouldn’t have gotten much done or just pushed myself and paid for it later.

Challenges of Working in the Kitchen with Fibromyalgia:
Wow are there many challenges while working in the kitchen. I am clumsy, my hands shake at times, I get anxiety and overwhelmed, I am very forgetful (Fibro Fog), and I get worn out. And once you start something you have to finish it. Dinner is the craziest time in the kitchen for me. And that’s usually when the kids start fighting too. Sometimes I make them get in there and help (or they actually want to help, like lately Kailey has been wanting to help in the kitchen more), but there are other times where I am working on something new (and might be tracking everything for the blog and taking pictures), and don’t want them in there. Plus we have a small kitchen! It gets crowded easily. Sure it would be easier just to buy everything instead of making from scratch but I know that eating that way would do us a lot more harm than good. So I will continue to make things from scratch, make new things, and have a ton of dishes pile up! 😉 It can be very discouraging to spend all your time and energy making something that doesn’t turn out. Then you are left with food nobody wants to eat, wasted money, wasted time & energy, and more dishes… But, I just keep moving forward and try try again. The more we practice, the more experienced we will get and I look forward to the day where I can just go into the kitchen and whip something up with whatever ingredients I have, and it turn out amazing. That will happen someday right?! Haha 🙂

So to help myself feel as good as I can on a daily basis, there are basic things I try to do every day like stretching, some type of exercise (usually riding my bike), drink a smoothie or juice in the juicer, drink water with a slice of lemon throughout the day, eat healthy foods, and keep a good sleep schedule (go to bed around the same time each night and get up around the same time each morning). Here are more tips of things you can incorporate into your daily routine to help: http://organicfibromommies.com/2014/01/daily-tips-surviving-fibromyalgia/.

Natural Ways to Boost Immunity & Heal

I will probably get sick tomorrow after posting this but since we have switched over to eating real organic foods we hardly ever get sick. The kids do sometimes but it isn’t for very long and I usually don’t get it, even with kissing them and drinking off the same drink! It’s amazing what our bodies can do. (Of course, I do still get Fibro sick at times but that’s not even very often.) We used to get sick a lot more. We do what we can to prevent getting sick but it’s okay to be sick once in a while. Our bodies need to rest sometimes and this is a way of letting us know to slow down. We just have to listen to our body. Also, I try really hard to not get sick because it will cause my Fibro to flare up and nobody wants that. 😉 I am not a doctor or an expert on this but have done my research and know what works for us and what doesn’t. Use your own personal judgement on what you want to try or eliminate. Talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet or adding in supplements. Even all natural supplements could have side effects.

natural healing

We Don’t Get Flu Shots Now and Here’s Why:
Last year we didn’t get a flu shot for the first time and don’t plan to this year as well. That may sound risky and my former self would have thought I was nuts! In previous years we have gotten terribly sick, several times throughout the year. Last year (with no flu shot), we probably got sick a couple times and it wasn’t too bad and didn’t last long at all. I know this has to do with the way we are eating now too. I think the flu shot does more harm than good. Do you know what is in a flu shot that we were injecting into our bodies every single year??? Aluminum, mercury, MSG, latex, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80, triton X100 (strong detergent), sucrose, resin, gentamycin, egg products (including avian contaminant viruses), chick embryo cells, gelatin. I like Food Babe’s post on the flu shot. And here are 11 reasons why flu shots are more dangerous than the flu itself. This is a decision that you need to make for your family. This is what we are doing and it works for us. Do what you believe is right.

What We Do To Boost Our Immune System:
So to protect ourselves from getting the flu (or other crazy stuff going around), we try to boost our immune system on a daily basis. I do give the kids a multi-vitamin in the Fall/Winter months, since these are the months where people get sick the most and all that cruddy stuff is going around. I make sure the vitamins don’t have any artificial colors in them. And they probably don’t even need the vitamins but I like to give them an extra boost. We incorporate all the healthy good foods we need into our diet like homemade bone broth, raw honey*, leafy greens, grass-fed beef and other organic meats (we should be eating fish but none of us really care for the taste), fresh organic fruits/veggies (we grow some of our own too), and we tried canning for the first time this year! We canned some peaches with a honey/water/lemon juice mixture. We eat cultured yogurt and butter (contains probiotics), organic brown eggs (I try to get pasture-raised when I can), organic cheese and raw cheese sometimes, I put a lot of garlic and onion into our meals, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, pepper, a variety of herbs, all kinds of nuts/seeds, avocado, smoothies (with hemp milk, chia seed/flax seed, spinach/kale, ginger, turmeric), and many other healthy foods that we eat all the time. I juice sometimes too, and drink ginger tea and green tea on occasion. I try to give my kids raw honey* and cinnamon whenever possible. This will really boost their immune system! I put it on their pancakes, bread/toast, or just eat a spoonful of it. You could give your kids a spoonful before they go to school in the morning or before going to any large events where there are crowds of people. Also, I make “kid’s tea” that has honey/cinnamon (see recipe below). I put a slice of lemon in the kids’ water sometimes and I do with my water every day if I can. *Honey is not recommended for children under one.

Here is some information on the benefits of some of these foods: Lemons are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on your liver, kidneys and blood, plus they are full of vitamins and minerals. Definitely an immune booster. Cinnamon is a powerful antibacterial and is used in Chinese medicine to treat cold & flu symptoms. It is also used to prevent nausea and vomiting. And it’s one of the top 7 antioxidants in the world. Honey boosts your immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease, soothes indigestion, and bolsters your energy levels. Probiotics aid the immune system from the inside out. Garlic contains powerful antioxidants and fights infection and bacteria. Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier, a potent anti-inflammatory, natural pain killer, immunity booster, and much more. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural pain reliever, it’s great for nausea, motion sickness or upset stomachs. Green Tea is good for depression, contains strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial agents, improves your immunity, and can help fight allergies.

Other Ways to Boost Your Immune System:

  • Vitamin D – easier to get in the summer but you might consider taking a supplement other times of the year;
  • Sleep – try to get to bed at a decent time so you can at least get 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is just as important as diet for boosting immunity and energy levels; 
  • Stress Less – yea, easier said than done right? But we really do have to try to manage our stress as best as we can or it will wreak havoc on our health and effect everything we do;
  • Exercise – releases tension and stress and enhances immune function;
  • Stay Hydrated – drink plenty of water throughout the day and don’t drink anything that dehydrates;
  • Avoid Anything that Depletes your Immune System – smoking; drinking alcohol; exposure to chemicals which are in so many things we might not even think about like personal care products, soaps, cleaners, candles, perfume, make-up products, hair dye, and obviously non-organic foods.

Treating Our Ailments: 
If we do get sick, ginger and peppermint are great for tummy problems (make sure it’s actually real peppermint and not a substitute). I buy Trader Joe’s organic ginger & pear tea and add honey and sometimes a slice of lemon. There are also these Ice Chips available in our area and I keep a couple different ones on hand – ginger and menthol eucalyptus (in the picture above). They are made with natural ingredients and sweetened with birchwood xylitol. There are many different flavors. (Here’s the story on the Ice Chips, and where to order some if you aren’t in our area. They were on Shark Tank too.) We make homemade bone broth now and use it to make chicken noodle soup. Bone broth is very healing for the body. You can learn more about that in my Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot & Homemade Broth post. If it’s a simple cold they will get over it pretty quick. Our “kid’s tea” (see below) is great for soar throats or other common cold symptoms. Sometimes kids just need to be sick, rest, eat healthy foods and recharge themselves to move on with their daily lives. Apple Cider Vinegar is good for clearing sinuses (mix 2 tsp with 6 oz of lukewarm water, stir and drink). Another soar throat remedy (besides the kid’s tea) is to gargle salt water. Just add 1/2 tsp salt to a cup of lukewarm water, stir, then gargle. If my kids get a fever (which is rare nowadays), I don’t rush to give them Tylenol. A fever is our body’s way of fighting infection or whatever is causing them to be sick. I just give them plenty of fluids and rest. If they have a high fever that just won’t break, then maybe I would give them Tylenol (or a similar fever reducing medicine).

kid's teaKid’s Tea: 
Note: I don’t measure so this is an estimate.

  • 1 mug of really warm water (you want it pretty warm or hot to start with so the honey mixes up well)
  • 1 TB Raw Honey*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small slice of lemon (optional)

Just heat up the water, add the honey* & cinnamon and stir it up. Add a slice of lemon if you prefer, and serve. Make sure it isn’t too hot to drink or let the kids stir & blow until it’s cool enough to drink. Both of my kids (5 and 8) like to have this when they are sick, and have had it for over a year now. (Another option is to add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar for an extra boost.) *Honey is not recommended for children under one.

Other Options for Healing (that I still want to try, or am thinking of trying):

  • Essential Oils Thieves Oil is great for boosting immunity. It is made up of essential oils specifically designed to boost immunity and support the body’s natural defenses when combating infection.
  • Elderberry Syrup (here’s a recipe to make it, by Mommypotamus) – Elderberries offer great immune support, reduce cold & flu symptoms, and provide nasal/sinus congestion relief. For more information on the benefits of elderberries, click on the link above for the Mommypotamus recipe. It also includes a video on making the syrup.
  • Neti Pot – This is used to wash out the nasal cavity and get rid of the mucus and debris. Sounds like a good idea and probably works great but this has always scared me so I haven’t tried it. I’m afraid of what it would feel like.
  • Homemade Herbal Teas – There are so many different types of herbal teas out there and I can’t even pronounce most of them. Here are a couple (that I can pronounce): Dandelion Root Tearich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus. Good for B complex vitamins, trace minerals, organic sodium, and even vitamin D. Even contains protein too, more than spinach. It’s a digestive aid, removes toxins from the liver, rich in antioxidants, reduces inflammation and boosts immune function; Rosemary Teaimproves circulation while easing joint pain and headaches – also good for memory.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Battling Depression

Battling DepressionIt only seems appropriate to blog about my battles with depression after hearing about Robin Williams. I was just in complete shock when I heard the sad news. I loved all his movies and never had a clue he was battling depression. That’s the thing, we can be battling this horrible disease and no one knows…. I come from a family of depression and other mental illnesses. I have never wanted to admit that I might have any kind of an illness. I wanted to be just a regular girl. One that had it all together. I will go into details about my depression before Fibro (Fibromyalgia), and after. This is all very personal and hard for me to talk about. I haven’t really talked about it with ANYONE. Not my husband, not even my best friend. Maybe bits and pieces here and there but never a thorough discussion. I was in denial. No, not me. I am a mother and a wife. I have to have it together for them. Well guess what? I don’t always have it together….

Back in my school days, I had a hard time fitting in. I tried to be like others but it was obvious that I wasn’t. I couldn’t style my hair like the cool girls and didn’t have fancy clothes. I couldn’t even say the right thing. So I just kept quiet. It felt safer that way. I lived a long time wishing I was like other girls and keeping quiet. I did get to meet the love of my life when I was about 16 and everything changed, for a while. I felt loved and appreciated! I could open up and be myself. Senior year of high school was by far my favorite year in school. I was myself! And felt good about it. Graduating was exciting. I was doing good in school. After high school, I started to go down again. I didn’t know what kind of career I wanted for myself. I wanted to be successful and important. Well I had to switch jobs a couple times because my husband was in the military and got stationed in CA, and then a medical discharge got us sent back to WA. I found a great career when we moved back home. Loved what I did but there always seemed to be someone or something to get in the way of that. Someone that wants to wreck the good thing you have going. I switched jobs and found another job I really loved but again, something got in the way. It was a stressful environment and when my Fibro started, I couldn’t handle the stress as good as I used to. (You can read about My Fibro Story here.) Some of my insecurities from school developed in the work place too. Trying to fit in with others….

Anyway, I have always dealt with some kind of depression. There were days where I was fine and others where I wanted to sink in a hole. I turned to TV a lot to escape reality. I was addicted to watching General Hospital. Never missed an episode. And I ate a lot of junk. Food and TV were my comforts. I was disconnected with my friends for a long time. I would talk to them periodically but wasn’t really there. I wasn’t myself. Just said what I thought needed to be said. I wasn’t handling life well at all. Things really got bad after having Tyler (my 2nd child). I dealt with some postpartum depression. Especially having to leave him and go back to work. I really really really didn’t want to do that. My husband was in school at the time so I had to work. I knew we needed to get him through school to get our family in a good place. So I pushed along, feeling like a robot. TV, food, drinking occasionally…. Those got me by.

The bad times were really bad. I could hear voices in my head telling me really bad things. “I am a bad mom. I suck at life and could do so much better. I am a horrible cook. Don’t even bother. My house should be clean all the time but I’m lazy. I’m fat. No one cares about me. I am bad at my job.” It just goes on and on. It was so hard hearing these things and believing them. You want to curl up in a ball and cry forever. After being diagnosed with Fibro, it was a whole other kind of depression. Finding out you have a chronic illness that will never be cured is devastating. It took a long time for me to accept it. Even now I still struggle with some depression over the fact that Fibro can control my life. I can only do certain things based on how my Fibro is for that day. Because if I push myself too hard, I may suffer later. And the amount of that suffering can be huge sometimes. It can effect everything. A lot of times, I beat myself up for not treating my body right and letting it get this bad. Wishing I could go back in time and change everything. Have another chance. And then being around people that don’t have it and don’t understand can be hard. You just want to be like them.

Some of the Robin Williams stuff that was going around really hit home for me. One of my favorites is:
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.” So true. I would rather be alone than with people that pull me down. My husband always knows how to make me feel better. And he can always make me laugh! Love him. 🙂

I am definitely better now than I was but I refuse to take medication. I was on an anti-depressant that caused more side effects and problems than anyone would want to deal with. And getting off of it was brutal. I also tried St. John’s Wort (a natural supplement) but there are some possible side effects with that too and it didn’t agree with me. I am just doing what makes me feel good now. Helping others makes me feel good, eating healthy, doing fun things with my kids. I like to watch things that make me laugh and be around people that make me laugh. And I love to write. I have always kept a journal. I’m putting myself out there hoping to help someone, anyone. To know that they aren’t alone. And I think it helps to face your fears, admit things you never EVER want to admit to anyone. I still have bad days where I just want to lay in bed all day. But I push myself and get up, get moving, live life. There is definitely a lot more I need to do to improve myself. I think an exercise routine would definitely help, along with sticking to my diet. Keeping busy really helps. When I worked, there were slow times and I hated it. I like to keep busy now all the time… but I do rest sometimes, haha. I just try to keep busy and positive about life as much as I can. We have to fight this depression and Fibro, and not let it win. And fight hard! We are fighting for our life here. And we only get one shot at it. Do we want to live our life wishing we didn’t have Fibro, feeling sorry for ourselves, letting everything get us down? I know I don’t want to live that way. I want to live life and make memories. Be there for my kids and let them experience life too. But it’s okay to have a bad day. Tomorrow is always a new day.

Ways to Help Those Suffering from Depression: It may be hard to tell if someone is suffering from depression. It’s very hard to talk about being depressed and a simple question could be a call out for help. Listening is key. Just be there for each other. You may not always have an answer but sometimes just listening really helps. Contact them as often as possible. It could just be a little note to say you are thinking about them. Anything helps. Offer to come over and help, or just be there with them. It is VERY hard to ask for help, at least for me. And make them laugh! Laughter is the best medicine. Or watch something funny together. Do something fun together. Help them enjoy life. The smallest things can be huge.

Things NOT TO SAY  to Someone with Depression: “You need help.” “What is wrong with you?” “Oh, you’re fine.” “Yea, life is hard for everyone at times.” These don’t help. And like I said, you may not know if someone has depression but just be aware that they could be calling out for your help and what you say to them is critical. These kind of comments have always made it worse for me. It brought me down even further… And you can’t just snap out of depression. It doesn’t work like that.

Natural Remedies for Depression:

  • Tangerine Essential Oil is good for depression because is helps release serotonin in the brain and is often used in treatment of anxiety too.
  • Cashews – Apparently 2 handfuls of cashews is the equivalent of a dose of Prozac! You can read about it here: http://www.realfarmacy.com/cashews-anti-depressant/.
  • Magnesium – Consume more magnesium-rich foods like seeds & nuts, beans & legumes, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin C – some foods that have vitamin C besides the obvious oranges are: bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, peas, papaya, grapefruit juice, vegetable juice, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango.
  • B Vitamins – meat, eggs, dairy, fortified breakfast cereals, enriched soy or rice milk, fish, shellfish, yeast extract spreads, of course you can take a supplement too.
  • Yoga – here’s a 15 minute yoga video: http://yogabycandace.com/blog/yoga-practice-for-arthritis.
  • St. John’s Wort – a natural supplement (do not take with an anti-depressant). There are some possible side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, and upset stomach. And, it can interact with certain prescription medications, therefore be sure to talk to your health care provider first.
  • Acupuncture – I have never tried this but have heard about this helping with Fibro too!
  • Serotonin-Enhancing Diet from omega-3 fatty acid foods, healthy fats like coconut oil, and a high protein diet.
  • Being around people that bring out the good in you, make you laugh, are positive and help you enjoy life. Being around negative people can really bring you down.
  • Listen to Music, and Dance! – I know this gets me in a good mood. 😉
  • Diet, Exercise, Sleep and Vitamin D are very important. Cod Liver Oil is the next best source of Vitamin D (after sunlight).

This information is all based on my experiences, and some research I have done. I am not an expert and what works for one person may not work for another. I am sharing my personal story and information to hopefully help others. I hope to help at least one person out there, hopefully more.

Here is information from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, if you or someone you know needs help: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

Juicing vs. Smoothies

I think juicing is so important, especially for those with health issues. Juicing takes all the nutrients out of the fruits & vegetables and when you drink it, those nutrients go through your body a lot quicker than if you had eaten them, and in a larger quantity. We don’t usually eat that many fruits/vegetables at a time and you might juice something you wouldn’t normally eat. Like for me I wouldn’t normally eat a beet but I would juice it with other fruits & vegetables and eat it that way. Yes, juicing does leave a lot behind (the fiber). But that can be harder to digest and if you want to get a lot of nutrients into your body at once, like a detox, this is a great way. For those of us with autoimmune diseases or other health issues, we need this. I juice periodically. Usually once on the weekends, just because of time and money. It does cost a lot to juice because you have to buy a lot of fruit and vegetables in large quantity, and you want them to be of the highest quality (organic). Some people go through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Or you can buy large quantities of what is on sale.

carrot apple orange

I recommend watching the documentary ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’. I watched it through Netflix. It’s about a guy (Joe Cross) that is going through all these health issues and taking all these medications. He decides to do a juice detox and ends up clearing up all his health issues and weaning off all the meds he was on, in addition to losing a lot of weight. The documentary also shows another guy and his situation of health issues and going through the juice detox. I have never done a detox, but I try to juice when I can. Like I said, I would like to do more juicing but it really only happens once/week for me right now (and I have really been slacking since we bought the NutriBullet because it is more convenient to use and clean! More on that below. But I will get back to my once/week juicing regiment). I don’t think a detox is needed unless your health is so bad that your body needs it to try to get on track. Like the situations shown in the documentary. Back when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I think a detox would have been good if I was more aware of it. Instead I had switched the type of food we were eating and later incorporated juicing into my diet. (Here’s my post on switching to organic foods and how I lost 30 pounds.)

Here’s the same brand of  juicer we use-Breville (I couldn’t find the exact model):


This is what we typically juice, just because it’s what we always
have on hand (and I like to add ice to mine):

  • carrots
  • apple
  • orange
  • celery
  • spinach/kale
  • ginger*

*I don’t use a lot of ginger because it has a very strong flavor. You can use fresh ginger or sprinkle in ginger after you are done juicing and just stir it up.

Some things to know about juicing: Make sure to rinse everything thoroughly. Cut off the ends of the carrots but you don’t have to peel. You don’t have to peel an orange when juicing and it’s actually good for you to do it this way but it can taste very different. You don’t have to peel the apples, or the ginger. You can put the whole apple in, even stem and seeds. You will just probably have to cut it in half to fit it in the machine. Celery leaves should be included in juicing. I put the ingredients in the machine in order of speed. So, hard veggies first, then apples, citrus, soft fruits. Then I turn the machine up to full speed to kind-of clean it out before shutting it off. Stir and drink! The juice needs to be consumed right away, or you can put it in the refrigerator (covered) but it goes bad after about 24 hours. It is at it’s very best fresh.

watermelon juiceJuicing is also handy when you want to make the juice to add color to frosting. Beets are good for red, spinach for green, and I found that raspberries make a pretty pink rose color that was great for my daughter’s birthday cake. Or let’s say you have a watermelon that is kind-of soft inside and no one wants to eat it but it’s still good (hasn’t gone bad). I just juice it and make popsicles with the juice or put the juice in my daughter’s lunch. She loves it! One time I had an abundance of cucumbers and we love cucumbers but I was worried about us not eating them fast enough, so I juiced several of them and we drank the juice. It was so good, and good for us. I bet my daughter would love a cucumber juice popsicle too! 🙂



I do think smoothies are a healthy way to go too. It’s how I get the majority of the fruit I consume, just because I’m so bad about eating fruit. I do like fruit, it just doesn’t sound appealing to me all the time. Smoothies are great as a healthy drink or even for dessert! Mix in some ice cream and whatever fruit you want. Yum! You can do yogurt instead of ice cream. We have been into the hemp milk lately for our healthy drinks.

Here are the reusable straws that we use and we invested in a NutriBullet recently. Here’s one through Amazon:


This is our basic recipe, but we just throw in whatever fruit we have
(no measuring necessary):

  • blueberries
  • mango/pineapple
  • banana
  • strawberries/raspberries
  • spinach/kale
  • hemp milk
  • chia seeds/flax seeds (ours are usually ground)

(then I sprinkle in ginger & turmeric in mine)

Comparison of juicer to NutriBullet and juicing vs. smoothies
I think we need to juice and make smoothies. Incorporate both into our diet. I juice on the weekend, so once/week, and try to make a smoothie every day. Juicing is not as convenient as my awesome NutriBullet. It is so easy to use and easy to clean. The juicer takes more time to use and is so bulky. There are so many parts. Yes, they are dishwasher safe but it takes up the whole top rack! I would love to drink a freshly made juice every morning, but this is costly and inconvenient. So instead, I choose to make a smoothie every day. The reason I think we should do both is because juicing takes all the nutrients from the fruit/veggies without the fiber that can be harder to digest, and when you drink it these nutrients go right through your bloodstream. And you can drink a juice a lot faster than sipping on a smoothie. We can consume the amount of fruit/veggies that are recommended in a day, which is a lot harder than trying to eat that many in a day. And I do like that there isn’t any waste with the smoothies. But we are going to start composting, so the ‘waste’ from juicing will be great for that. Which will be good for our garden!

Here’s Food Babe’s info on common juicing mistakes: http://foodbabe.com/2013/08/05/juicing-mistakes/.  If you type ‘juicing’ into her search bar, you will find all kinds of great information and recipes about juicing. She is like the Juice Queen! 🙂

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!

My Daughter – Dental Problems, Behavioral Problems, & Seizures

I am just going to lay it all out there in this post. I am okay with posting all my mistakes as a parent and everything that happened if it helps even just 1 person. My daughter, Kailey, is 8 years old. She was a pretty content baby/toddler. Hardly ever cried or gave me any trouble. I gave her all the typical Gerber baby foods, rice cereal, and formula. She did have breast milk for about 3 months because I had to pump and feed her and after going back to work after 2 months, it was hard to keep up with the pumping at home and at work. To this day I wish I would have tried harder. There were lactation consultants available and I did get a little help when I was in the hospital but didn’t feel like going to see anyone after I was home. I felt like this should happen naturally and was depressed and frustrated that it didn’t. At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with formula and felt proud that I had pumped for 3 months. Kailey had some asthma during her baby and toddler years. When she would get sick, she would get this wheezing and have to be on the nebulizer. And she had many ear infections. Other than that, she was a pretty healthy kid. Also, she got all the scheduled vaccinations and a flu shot every year until recently (we no longer get the flu shot).

PicMonkey Collage2

Dental Problems

When Kailey was 3, I took her to the dentist for the first time and she wouldn’t let them do anything. They couldn’t even look in her mouth. I felt like it was a total waste of a trip and didn’t bring her back for a while. By the time I did bring her back, she had a mouth full of cavities. By this time we had Tyler, and I admit we neglected Kailey’s teeth after having another child to take care of. We didn’t brush every day and never flossed. And I was giving her those fluoride drops the doctor prescribed. Well one day she got ahold of them and there was no child safety lock on the bottle. She drank probably ¼ of the bottle! I threw it out and stopped giving her fluoride (except what is in our water and toothpaste). We were also really bad about candy. Think about all the holidays there are where candy/treats are involved. It is never just one day out of the year like people say. There are so many days in the year. Between holidays, grandparents, birthdays, friend’s houses, school events, and the treats we liked to have on the weekends, it just became way too much. I feel really horrible about neglecting Kailey’s teeth. I just thought back to my childhood and that I had candy & treats and my teeth turned out okay. Well after seeing several dentists (she had kicked one of the dentists!) and attempting to tackle the cavities two at a time, we ended up having to put her to sleep to get all the work done. When she came out of the anesthesia, I had never heard her scream and act the way that she did. She literally screamed from the top of her lungs as loud and hard as she could. Her face was beet red. It broke my heart. There was nothing I could do. She had to come out of it on her own and we couldn’t leave until she was okay. It was a horrible experience and I hope we never have to endure that again. 

Behavioral Problems

After we got through the horrible dental experience, life went on as ‘normal’. Whatever normal is… We were definitely brushing better and toned down the candy/treats. I started telling people that they will have to contribute to Kailey’s dental fund if they want to give her sweets. That got people to back off, ha! 🙂  Kailey was such a sweet girl, most of the time. She loved being a big sister and really cared for others. When she started developing these behavioral problems, it was puzzling to me. I felt like something was taking over her body. It wasn’t like her at all to act this way. People would tell me it’s normal for kids to act like this but I knew it wasn’t. I can tell you about a situation I clearly remember. A friend was over with her kids and Kailey was acting up, more than she usually would with friends over. At one point in the day, she had a plastic bat and was batting at the TV and cussing. She would never use a cuss word, or bat at her TV. This was not her at all. Everyone was wondering what was up with her. Why was she acting so different? I also remember times where we would be doing homework and it was like she was completely gone. She wasn’t listening, she couldn’t function and it was stuff that I know she knows. Then other days, she would be right on top of it. As soon as I was feeling better, I was able to really focus on her so I started to track these behavioral problems, especially after we switched the type of food we were eating. I wanted to see if what she ate made a difference, and boy did it! Red dye/refined sugars are a huge factor. Even though we switched to organic/natural foods, she was still getting these ‘bad foods’ from other places. School, friends’ house, grandparents, even church! We couldn’t seem to get away from it. So now, when we allow Kailey to have a special treat (the bad food), we make sure it at least doesn’t have red dye in it and she is just allowed to have one. If she has too much, she has a lot of problems the rest of the day. The ‘other Kailey’ comes out. We also try to make sure she gets enough sleep at night and doesn’t stay up too late. Her behavioral problems have subsided drastically. It is not perfect but she has made huge noticeable improvements.


The Seizures

4th of July, 2013, Kailey was 7 1/2 years old. We were at a friend’s house. We brought some of our own food/drinks but had some other stuff too. There were definitely some items with red dye in them. There were fireworks, the kids had glow necklaces/bracelets, and lots of sugary stuff. The kids were having fun and we only stayed until after the fireworks. Then loaded them into the truck and left. I remember noticing that the kids fell asleep right away. We only had about a 15-20 minute drive. When we got home, Jesse carried Tyler inside and I tried to get Kailey to wake-up so she could walk inside. She wasn’t moving, not even a little. Usually she woke-up pretty easily. So I tried to pull her out of the truck and she was really heavy, just limp. Then her legs started moving up and down and I remember thinking, ‘What is she doing? Why is she doing that?’ She threw her head back and started convulsing. I laid her on the ground on her side but held her head and started yelling for help. It’s crazy how you remember things in an emergency situation. I didn’t even know that I knew to lay her on her side, it just happened. My neighbor heard me yelling and came to help. I tried to dial 911 but my fingers were fumbling, so she dialed for me. I ran inside to get my husband because at this point, he still didn’t know anything was happening since he had gone in to lay Tyler down. Kailey had been seizing for a few minutes, as far as I could remember. I know it felt like forever! The ambulance came and she became aware of what was happening. She freaked after seeing the ambulance, fire truck and ALL the people involved. So I got on the gurney with her and tried to hold her down. At the hospital (picture above) they did a urine sample, blood test, checked all her vitals and asked a lot of questions. Then we were sent home and had to follow-up with her doctor. The next day Kailey informed me that she had bitten into one of the glow bracelets that night because she was nervous from the fireworks, and ingested some of the chemical-filled liquid. We went to see her doctor and they didn’t think it could be from that but I thought it was one heck of a coincidence that it happened the same night. Then we were referred to a specialist. It very well could have been a combination of the chemical from the glow bracelet, too many dye filled sugary treats, and the fireworks. Sometimes things may be just as simple as they seem. This made sense to me.

Kailey's EEG

We saw the specialist and didn’t get any real answers as to why this happened, which I think is pretty common at first. They asked a lot of questions and went over information about seizures. They said they think she has Benign Rolandic Epilepsy. We were to follow-up with her later in the year and have an EEG done. The EEG came back abnormal and two days later, Kailey had another seizure. Was it from the lack of sleep prior to the EEG and all that was involved in doing the test? I don’t know but I was freaked now. I thought she would have just the one seizure and it would never happen again. This time, it was really early in the morning. She had a bad dream and ended up at the end of our bed. It was about 6:30 and I could hear like a choking sound, or gagging. I thought it was the cat at first and when I realized Kailey was in our bed and it was coming from her I jumped up, turned on the light and woke Jesse. This time, she wasn’t breathing. I tried dialing 911 and once again, my fingers were fumbling. I stayed by Kailey while Jesse called. It seemed like she was seizing for a few minutes but we really don’t know when it started. When she stopped seizing, Jesse moved her to the couch, medics came and checked her out and we had to head to the hospital again. Same tests and questions. This time they called the specialist to see if we should put her on meds right away. I was crossing my fingers that we wouldn’t have to do that. Luckily, they said no and that we would discuss it in person. We went in and discussed everything and they thought she should be put on medication. When they went over the medication with us, it was about a half hour long discussion of all the side effects and risks involved. I was not excited about this and really did not want to put her on any meds if we didn’t have to. I didn’t know much about seizures but I trust my instincts and they were telling me this was a bad idea. The next step was to have an MRI. She did and the results were conflicting with the results of the EEG. The MRI showed scarring which could have been caused by a possible stroke in utero, and the EEG wasn’t showing what they would normally see for Benign Rolandic Epilepsy. So then they said they aren’t sure it’s that and that if we don’t want to put her on meds that’s probably a good idea at this point. I was happy about that.


So we are basically on seizure watch now. Will this continue? Is it only at night? We don’t have to go back to the doctor unless it happens again. Well, it’s not like we are watching her while she is sleeping. She could have had more seizures that we don’t know about. And why is she having them at all? There are many nights I don’t sleep very good and will peek in Kailey’s room. I worry about her a lot. I have also even wondered if she has Fibromyalgia, or SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). She’s so sensitive to everything. The kitchen chair hurts when she sits on it, she’s always so cold and tries to bring a blanket to the table, she’s sensitive to sound. When the bath water or shower is running she plugs her ears. Pain is intensified. Something that shouldn’t hurt that much hurts 10 times as much to her. It takes her longer to wake-up in the morning, like she’s in a fog. I will ask her a question and have to repeat myself several times to where I have to yell to get her to hear me. She will also get dizzy when she gets up fast sometimes.

There are so many unknowns, so I go back to what I do know. For me, everything goes back to the chemicals we are exposed to. They are everywhere. In our food, in the air we breathe, in just about everything we touch. Just think about being exposed to so many different chemicals all the time. Of course it would cause damage over time. I believe this is the cause of Fibromyalgia, I believe this is the cause of so many other problems out there that didn’t even exist back when our grandparents were growing up. I can only go with my gut instinct and what I truly believe. Were the behavioral issues and seizures caused from everything she was exposed to? From all the vaccines, the crazy amount of fluoride she was exposed to, anesthesia from being put to sleep at the dentist, all the GMOs/chemicals in the food along these years and the abundance of dyes/sugars in candy and sweets, glow stick chemicals she ingested, all the other chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis by breathing or touching, who knows?!?! I do know what makes her better, and that’s all I can go by. I will keep fighting for the health of my family, and the health of others. We will continue with our natural way of life and just hope that Kailey continues to improve. Hopefully there are no more seizures and that we never have to put her on meds. There was a time where I thought Kailey had ADHD, or ADD. I’m sure if we had gone to the doctor about this, she would have been prescribed some kind of medication. We could be in a totally different place than we are now. But I feel like we have a handle on things and that she doesn’t need to be medicated. We just need to keep doing what we are doing.

I just want to be clear that you should always consult with your doctor or your child’s doctor if you are considering whether or not to take medication or if you want to stop a medication that was already prescribed. This is what we did for Kailey and what we believe is right for her and her situation. I wanted to put all our information out there and share our story with others in hopes to motivate towards eating organic/natural foods and to become aware of damage that can be caused by the exposure to so many different chemicals. Maybe we can prevent these kinds of things from happening. I am not an expert on this. I am simply a mother that cares a whole lot about her children and wants the best for them. 🙂

IMG_3511UPDATE – 7/18/2014 (and an official diagnosis!)

Well, we really thought Kailey wouldn’t have another seizure but it happened again. On July 9th, about 6:20 a.m., my husband (Jesse) was getting ready for work and I got up to go to the bathroom. I heard a noise, like gagging or choking and knew that sound immediately. Kailey was seizing, and I yelled for Jesse. We made sure she was on her side and that nothing was around to harm her. I was watching the clock (and panicking). It went on for a few minutes. She stopped convulsing but was very out of it. She had drooled out the left side of her mouth. We were trying to talk to her. She was finally able to say her name but could barely get out the words. She couldn’t tell me how old she was though. Then she started to stare at me with blood-shot eyes and her pupils were huge. It was freaking me out. It was like she was there, but not. The scariest blank stare I have ever seen and I can’t get that vision out of my head. She developed this twitch by her mouth. I was just so freaked out I decided to call 911. We weren’t thinking she would need to go to the hospital again if she had another seizure but I thought they could just come check her out. Well, she started convulsing again but it wasn’t like before. It was just a little bit. And she wasn’t breathing. This went on for a few minutes and it was probably 5 minutes in-between the 2 seizures. She caught her breath and came-to. We just let her be. The medics arrived and checked her out. They recommended taking her to the hospital.

At the hospital, we answered a lot of questions and did a urine sample. She wouldn’t let them draw blood. The doctor came in and said he wanted to give her Lorazepam. Just a half a pill. Well I didn’t think she needed it. I know what Lorazepam is because they gave it to me when they thought I was just having anxiety but it was really Fibromyalgia symptoms. So the doctor argued with me and was extremely rude. He asked why we came to the hospital and what we were expecting if we didn’t want treatment. And then he said that if he felt that Kailey was in danger and needed treatment, he would give it to her and there was nothing I could do. Now, my husband wasn’t in the room at the time. I was very tired and upset from the whole morning. This was not what I needed. I told him that I felt like she was fine now and didn’t need to take any pills. We can do whatever testing we need to but I don’t want to give her any medication without talking to the neurologist. He had also admitted that he knows nothing about Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and hadn’t even heard of it. So why do you think she needs Lorazepam then??? Well guess what? His tone completely changed after coming back from talking to our neurologist at Mary Bridge (and also my husband was in the room this time). He was very nice and said we don’t need to medicate. We just need to call the neurologist and schedule an appointment. Kailey’s urine sample came back fine and we were out of there.

Kailey told me that she developed a headache at the end of the hospital trip and when we got home she felt sick and dizzy. I’m not sure if that was just normal stuff after having such a crazy morning with 2 seizures but I made sure she rested all day and drank lots of water. So, we met with the neurologist a couple days later and she said everything that has happened so far fits Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and thinks that’s what Kailey has. She said she should outgrow it and I really hope she does, soon! It is so hard to sleep, wondering if she’s going to have another seizure. Even if Kailey is right next to me, I am constantly checking her and worrying. I have to figure out how to live with this because it most likely will happen again. I have to be strong, for Kailey. And I can’t go without sleep! 🙂 We are fortunate that this is something she will probably grow out of and it is a milder form of epilepsy. I recently read a story about a baby girl with a rare form of epilepsy that was so severe she was expected to regress developmentally between the ages of 2 and 6. With diet and natural lifestyle changes, she was able to reduce her epilepsy symptoms by 90%! It was an amazing story. Even though what Kailey has is a lot different, this gave me hope with what we are doing and motivated me to keep going and make even more changes towards natural living. 🙂