How I Lost 30 Pounds

I am really putting myself out there with this post. 😉 I was never the type of person to do any vigorous working out, especially after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (read about my Fibro story here). I started losing weight when I switched to organic/natural foods and eliminated the processed foods. Then I started taking a natural supplement called Protandim and weaned off the antidepressant I was taking (Venlafaxine, or Effexor). I began exercising but this only consisted of riding my bike around with the kids, going for walks, etc. What I would call ‘light exercise’. The more energy I had, the more I could do. Eating real foods and taking this natural supplement makes me feel good and gives me energy. Plus, with eating real foods you have to be up more with preparation and cooking. And really, I enjoy it! I thought I would gain weight back over Fall/Winter when I wasn’t out riding bikes and walking as much but I haven’t. I think the way I eat really effects my weight and my mood/energy level. The better you feel, the more energy you have, and the more you are up and movin’ around! 🙂

So I ended up losing about 30 lbs overall and I’m down to a size 6! This was my size before having kids. It’s still pretty unbelievable. I never thought I would be that size again. I wasn’t ever really trying to lose weight. I just wanted to FEEL better. There was a time where I actually thought something was wrong since I was losing weight without any major exercising. I contacted my doctor and had some blood work done. Everything came back fine. So I just kept doing what I was doing. And I do still eat sweets occasionally, carbs, and even go out to eat at non-organic restaurants. It’s just all in moderation. A list of the types of foods I eat during the day is included at the bottom of this post.

I still don’t plan to do any major working out but I do want to incorporate some type of exercise routine into my life. The weather is what gets in the way of that. The cold just hurts, down to my bones! If we ever get into a bigger house, I want to get some kind of exercise equipment. I do think I could feel even better with more exercise. And that’s all it’s about for me. I just want to feel the best I can feel and really enjoy life.  And now for the dreaded before and after picture…

before and after

Here’s my typical day of food. Please note that I eat a lot less than I used to. My metabolism has increased and I don’t feel the need to eat as much as I did before. I do need to eat each meal though and sometimes a snack in between. And what I eat is not a perfect menu, that’s for sure. I think there’s a lot more I need to do to improve and we have to find what works for us. And we like to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time we eat organic foods prepared at home, and 20% of the time we don’t worry so much and might go out to eat or eat something at a get-together with friends/family or work.

Breakfast – My breakfast during the busy week usually consists of a piece of toast with peanut butter (this is usually Dave’s Killer Bread, or bread that I recently started making, and Trader Joe’s one-ingredient organic peanut butter), an organic string cheese, and some kind of fruit. I do also drink 1 cup of coffee each day (Trader Joe’s fair-trade organic coffee) and add Organic Valley vanilla creamer, cinnamon & nutmeg and coconut palm sugar (like ½ tsp). Other breakfasts I might have during the week are Stonyfield organic vanilla yogurt with granola (I get my granola from our local food co-op – Olympia Food Co-op), and lately I have been obsessed with pomegranate in my yogurt because it’s so good; leftover pancakes; granola bars (I love the Nature’s Path organic pumpkin-n-spice bars! I think of those as a healthier version of a rice crispy treat); Larabars; granola cereal with organic whole milk (or hemp milk) and blueberries; and I always have fruit on the side with each breakfast. On the weekend, we usually have a bigger breakfast that might be hash browns (from scratch with eggs, bell peppers, onion, garlic, salt & pepper); pancakes (I have been experimenting with pancakes and have made several different kinds in which we all loved each one – zucchini, pumpkin, gingerbread, & apple cinnamon); French toast with cinnamon; biscuits & gravy (using a natural/organic sausage with milk, flour & rosemary, and biscuits from scratch); and recently we started a tradition of Fried Egg Sunday! We all love a fried egg with cheese and ketchup, and hot sauce for the grown-ups. Served with a piece of toast, and fruit of course.

Lunch – Lunch during the work week is typically leftovers from dinner and a salad. The salad consists of mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, baby tomatoes, avocado, dried berries, nuts/seeds, or whatever I want to throw in. I always add pepper. I grow kale/spinach so I will throw that in when it’s in season. I try to buy organic dressings but you really have to read ingredients. I do like Annie’s. And I do balsamic vinegar & olive oil a lot. On the weekend I will either have leftovers again or just a bigger salad with the works. Sometimes I will make a quinoa salad and eat it for 2 – 3 days. There are some canned soups I like, Amy’s brand, or Wolfgang Puck. And I do like Amy’s frozen meals that I will occasionally bring to work if I don’t have any leftovers to take. We do go out occasionally, maybe once or twice a month.

Dinner – We have many different dinners that consist of soups, stews, chili, and casseroles. They all basically have a meat/protein, grain, and veggies. I try to cook simple but good foods that our whole family will like. I don’t think our meals are much different than the typical American meal, however, we do not ever eat Hamburger Helper or Rice-a-roni like before. They are packed with additives. We just make our own version of those type of meals. It is pretty easy and doesn’t take much more time doing it from scratch. I love adding in what we want with all these different herbs & seasonings. We do occasionally go out to dinner but it’s probably once a month or less.

Drinks – I drink water with a slice of lemon everyday throughout the day and with my lunch. Lemon gives you energy, boosts your immune system and helps keep the weight off. Pepper also helps with weight loss and I put it on everything! Sometimes I will have a small glass of milk (organic whole milk) with dinner, maybe with something spicy or it just sounds good. I juice and/or make smoothies on the weekend, and put hemp milk in the smoothies. I don’t drink a lot of store bought juice and I don’t drink soda. If I were to drink soda it would have to be a special occasion where I am mixing it with a drink but I try to make it an organic/natural soda (Hansen is a good brand), and never diet soda, which has aspartame! Occasionally I will have tea with honey, usually Trader Joe’s organic green tea or ginger tea. I have organic wine, usually on the weekend. I just bought these coconut waters that I am excited to try with my lunch this week. One has pineapple juice in it and one has peach/mango juice (Vitacoco brand).

Snacks – I love hummus with pretzels (I buy the Trader Joe’s red pepper hummus, or Lilly’s red pepper hummus – I have even got my kids and husband to like it now); trail mix; fruit; homemade guacamole with organic tortilla chips; granola bars (Nature’s Path or Cascadian Farm brands) or Larabars; popcorn (organic popcorn kernels popped either on the stove or in the microwave in a paper bag, with real butter & salt, and I found a white cheddar seasoning from the food co-op); I also like crackers (Late July brand) with pickles & cheese. Is that weird? 😉

Dessert/Candy – I do have a little dessert and/or candy over the weekend sometimes, or if I just need a chocolate fix here and there. 🙂 Sometimes we make cookies, brownies, or there might be a birthday. I buy candy from Trader Joe’s or our food co-op – Olympia Food Co-op. It’s made from fruit/vegetable extracts for the coloring instead of dyes, and no high fructose corn syrup. I keep organic dark chocolate on hand for my ‘fixes’ and I buy dark chocolate chips and carob chips for the times we want to make cookies or whatever. Of course the time of year determines how many sweets we eat. Here’s why I’m not concerned about some raw cane sugar here and there:

A Day in the Life with Fibro

This is an exaggerated (and hopefully humorous) version of a typical day with Fibromyalgia (Fibro).  My Fibro is definitely better now than it was, but in the beginning this was pretty much it!

I start out the day trying to wake-up.  It’s hard getting up when you feel like you have a hangover everyday but yet didn’t drink a thing the night before.  My body is stiff, brain foggy, and feel so tired and out of it.  Once I actually get up and out of bed, I stumble towards the coffee pot.  Now it takes all my brain power to make this one cup of coffee.  Pour in the water in one spout, coffee in the other.  Don’t mix it up!  (We have one of those coffee pots where you can make a whole pot or just one cup of coffee.)  Now, time to get the kids up.  This is usually a struggle so I have to start slow and then keep at them to get up.  I go and try to get myself ready but can’t forget about the kids!  Make sure to keep reminding them to get up and get dressed…  Everything is a struggle, even just trying to button things.  My fingers are fumbling, time is ticking.  Coffee, I’ve got to go get the coffee.  Kids!  They need to get dressed and eat something.  My back hurts, so I am moving slow.  My mind is racing, faster than my body will go.  Anxiety sets in.  We are going to be late, hurry up!

Once we finally get through the morning routine and get out the door (hopefully on time), I drop kids off and head to work.  My brain is still foggy and we have been rushing all morning so I usually feel quite overwhelmed and out of it when I get to work.  I don’t want to eat anything until then either because of the nausea all morning.  Ok, turn on the computer.  That’s easy.  Once I’m done with my coffee I can usually function a little more.  The constant urge to go to the bathroom is a little annoying though.  I already went!  Stop!  Let me get on with my day.  Sitting for long periods of time causes stiffness, so I guess having to go to the bathroom frequently is a good thing.  It gets me up and moving.  Great, now my eyes are watering.  Something in the air is bugging them.  It looks like I’m crying.  It’s cold.  Oh it’s so so cold that I ache to my bones, fingers don’t want to move, can’t function.  Brain fog (Fibro Fog) continues, stiffness, hand cramping, oh and what’s this?  A shooting pain up my arm or leg.  That’s fun.  I need to concentrate and get some work done.  No, I already went to the bathroom!  Ok now where did I put that file?  What was I supposed to be doing?  All of a sudden, I feel very itchy.  There must be something in my shirt that’s bugging me.  Maybe the tag?  I can’t focus.  Now my hand is tingly.  In a meeting or walking by someone, trying to keep a smile on my face.  Tummy-ache, shooting pains, Fibro Fog, eyes watering, back hurts… just keep smiling, just keep smiling (I say in a Dory voice – from Finding Nemo).

Eating lunch is usually fine unless I eat the wrong thing.  This ‘wrong thing’ isn’t quite figured out yet but I try to have a salad every day and eat organic, of course.  I do eat out occasionally and sometimes pay for it afterward.  Everything continues.  It’s amazing I get anything done between the forgetfulness, slowness, and the overall struggle in functionality.  Every task involves a lot of effort physically and mentally so I congratulate myself after each one.  Way to go!  You filed that file in correct alphabetical order.  Yay!  You remembered to call that person back.  It’s kind-of a fun way to live, always praising yourself.

Sometimes I think back to ‘life before Fibro’ and I just didn’t have the appreciation I do now.  I appreciate when I’m having a good day.  Where I actually feel good, physically and/or mentally.  I appreciate when I can remember something.  Anything!  I appreciate that moment when you first slip into bed, or a warm bath, when the fire really starts going, warm socks, sitting down, standing up, moving, any amount of help from others, coffee, a clear head, no pain, sunshine, good healthy food, my children’s independence, good music, comedies, and a glass of wine!

Work is over, time to pick-up the kids.  When we get home, I relax for a little bit but this usually means I am at least thinking about dinner, maybe I will look up a recipe, etc.  And it doesn’t last long.  Uh oh, now I have sat for too long, stiffness occurs.  Get up, move around, stretch.  “Mommy, I want a snack.”  “Mommy, he hit me.”  “Mommy, she won’t play with me.”  Oh man.  Ok, time to make dinner.  Get moving.  If I am making something new, it would be nice not to have any interruptions, as it takes all of my concentration.  But this isn’t possible.  So, I figure it out.  I get one thing going and start another.  Chopping, oops-hand cramp.  Uh oh, forgot about the water boiling.  “Mommy, I’m hungry.  When’s dinner done and what are we having?”  Not now or I will burn dinner… Ok, what was I doing?  The water!  My back hurts from standing too long.  I need to sit for just a second, but the dishes need done too.

Once dinner is done (and hopefully not burnt), I can maybe think for a minute.  I go down the list of things I need to accomplish for the night.  My daughter’s homework, is it bath night?  Lunches for everyone, is it library day tomorrow?  I’m getting worn out now.  Better keep moving or I will crash!  But not too much or I will really be in pain.  Wow, it’s 7:30 and I haven’t started on anything.  Now I sat for too long again.  Everything hurts.  What was I supposed to do?  “Mommy, I’m hungry.” 🙁  Ok, let’s get everything done, one thing at a time.  Homework, lunches, baths, brush teeth, story time.  Once kids are finally asleep and I am laying in bed, the pain really comes on.  I stretch, toss and turn, trying to get comfortable.  Reading helps distract me from pain or anything that’s bothering me.  Finally, asleep.  And now I’m awake.  Bathroom time, toss and turn.  Asleep again.  Awake again.  Bathroom, toss and turn.  Sleep.  Awake.  Sleep.  Awake.  Alarm goes off…. Snooze, snooze, get up!  Start the day again.

My Life Now
So now that I am doing so much better, I will wake up and yes, it is hard at first.  But after I get passed the groggy part and just get out of bed and moving, I am totally fine.  Throughout the day I may have some kind of pain here and there and every day is different.  If I do too much, I might suffer later but this ‘suffering’ isn’t really anything like it used to be.  I can handle this and it is manageable.  I hardly ever have Fibro Fog anymore!  I can think clearly, function, I have a ton of energy at times, I can ride a bike again without pain!  I also actually get sleep now, and it’s a full night most of the time.  I really think it’s from eating right, losing weight, and taking a natural supplement called Protandim.  To read about my Fibro story, click here.  To find out more information on what I do to feel better, click here.

My Fibro Story – 9 Months of Trying to Feel Like Me

My Fibro StoryI won’t give you my whole life story, but in terms of food I ate like most other kids in the 80’s and 90’s. Top Ramen, Macaroni & Cheese, Kool-aid, Tang, Cheetos, fruit snacks, pop, candy, etc. When I became an adult, I ate pretty good with the exception of something bad every now and then, or so I thought. I began having children and worked full-time. With all of the stress life brings and trying to manage work and home life I started eating bad foods and just didn’t care or even think about it. After having my second child, there was extra stress and I really just didn’t feel like myself at all.

With a full-time job, two children, and a husband in school life became very overwhelming. I was very depressed and started to feel like a robot, just moving along trying to manage my life. I couldn’t seem to lose the weight from having another child and thought it would help to drink diet sodas, zero calorie drink mixes, use zero calorie artificial sweeteners, lite yogurts, reduced fat or no fat products, etc. Little did I know, they all contain additives like Aspartame. I wasn’t eating the best either but really felt like I shouldn’t weigh as much as I did, and feel as bad as I did.

In February of 2012, my grandpa passed away. He played a fatherly role in my life and this was very hard on me and my family. Then work really started getting crazy and with the stresses at home, my health started going down. It was around August that I started getting headaches more frequently and had a couple of full blown migraines. Headaches continued and then this eye twitching developed. I started documenting everything in an iPhone app. Then I started getting these body twitches. Just little twitching here and there randomly. We were putting together a new bed for my daughter and I didn’t think I strained myself but my neck and back were hurting really bad the next day. I felt really nauseous too. I made an appointment with the doctor. I just didn’t feel right and honestly hadn’t felt like myself in a while. I started getting these chest pains before I left to my appointment. I remember thinking on my way there that I just need to get there and they will check me out and know what’s wrong. I was sitting in the waiting room and everything was spinning and I just felt sick. My arms started to go tingly. I decided I better tell someone what was going on. So I got up slowly and told the receptionist how I was feeling. She rushed back and two other people came out with her. They put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me into the exam room to start checking my vitals. Blood pressure was a little high, pulse was fast, arms still tingly. I was trying really hard not to lose it but I was worried that there was something seriously wrong with me. So I was calmly trying to answer all the questions. They ended up talking to me about anxiety and prescribed me Lorazepam. I really didn’t feel like it was all anxiety. They ordered an EKG, blood test and pregnancy test, just to be sure. I wasn’t pregnant and EKG/blood test were fine. I thought I had the weekend to recover from whatever this was, but I wasn’t getting any better.

After an urgent care trip, more testing, more doctor visits and no answers, I was running out of hope. I was also getting worse. I had seen several doctors, a chiropractor, and a neurologist. I had blood tests, EKGs, an ultrasound, chest x-ray, CT scan of my chest, and many different prescriptions of things. I had a bad experience with the neurologist. She was rude and kept talking about anxiety again which made me annoyed and I started to wonder if there was something in my chart saying, “She has anxiety but won’t admit it.” I felt worse after this. The rushes to the head had become more frequent and I just felt all around weird. Like I wasn’t really there. My legs felt weak, like they were really sore and separate from the rest of my body. When I would walk, I wondered how they were moving. There were shooting pains down my arms and sometimes my legs, and my vision was squiggly. I had dizziness, nausea, and sometimes everything would seem extra loud. I would space off and it felt like my eyes were really wide. This happened frequently, especially when I was driving. I would be looking at something or reading something and my eyes went all over the page, like I couldn’t focus. Then I got dizzy. If I stood up too quick, the room was spinning. All these things played out in my head. Am I on the computer too much?? Should I just get that alignment at the chiropractor? Should I go see rheumatology (autoimmune diseases)? Should I see an inner ear doctor? Should I go get acupuncture? Should I get an MRI?? Is it all REALLY from anxiety? I would try to act like everything was okay but was screaming inside: What’s wrong with me?? Will they ever figure it out?? Will I be like this forever?? It’s so scary not feeling like yourself and feeling like you are somewhere else.

In November, I went in to see a Rheumatologist and they were able to diagnose me through testing tender points for pain. I had started thinking it could be an autoimmune disease because of the way everything was progressing. Over the weekend, the weakness and pain in my legs intensified, and then it radiated throughout my whole body. Like something was taking over. The doctor had come in and asked some questions. He went over all my information and did an exam. As soon as he started poking in different places around my body, I cringed in pain. It really HURT. Then he asked me if I ever felt rested after waking up. I said that no, I never feel rested. No matter how much sleep I get, I’m still really tired. But I thought that was a normal feeling of a full-time working mother of two. He was doing a lot of typing and then turned to me and said, “I know what you have.” My eyes opened wide and I perked up and said, “What?!” He said, “Fibromyalgia.” I was happy. I felt relief. He did a lot of talking after that. Going over EVERYTHING. Knowledge is key, diet and exercise is key, managing pain, etc. etc. I listened but was excited to leave and tell everyone that I know what I have. I have a label for all this. I’m not going crazy! Then I needed to meet with my doctor to make a treatment plan for this. There is no cure but I can treat it and manage it. That afternoon, everything was hitting me all at once. After picking up the kids, I had to tell them ‘no’ on many of the different things they wanted to do. It wasn’t fair to them but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to keep living like that. To not be a mom 100% to my kids….They deserve better. And there’s no known cure for Fibromyalgia. It was very overwhelming to think that I would have to deal with this every day for the rest of my life. And, I have a label now. It is taking over my life already.

New symptoms would emerge and then go away. The doctor prescribed Venlafaxine, which is a knock-off brand of Effexor. Then I started dealing with different side-effects of the medication like acid reflux and many other things. Other Fibro symptoms would appear. It would take longer to process something or I would get stuck on what I was trying to say or remember, which is called “Fibro Fog”. A simple mental task could take longer than before. So now I get to live with Fibro Fog, chronic pain, sensitivity, and fatigue. How am I supposed to work and take care of kids?? I had to take everything one step at a time. Stress and anxiety can cause all of this to flare up worse, so I had to keep that under control.

After I did get over the shock and depression of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I really did want to try to feel better and figure out what might have caused this. I started reading other people’s stories. For those that had the illness for years, it seemed like their condition had only gotten worse and they had tried all different kinds of prescription drugs to feel better. This caused all different kinds of side effects which was like a ripple effect of needing to take more prescription drugs to deal with the side effects. I did not want this to get worse and have to take all those prescription drugs.

Jeanette (my best friend and the other Admin for our website) was going through health issues as well (and received an official diagnoses later for Fibro), and we would talk about this frequently. We were looking for ways to feel better and saw this video go around on Facebook about the chemicals in the food. It really opened our eyes. She did the first big organic grocery shopping trip and I couldn’t believe the items that are available in the organic section. So on February 1, 2013, I did my first organic shopping trip (you can read about that here: I continued to shop for organic/natural foods and started taking a natural supplement called Protandim. I gave myself a few months and then started weaning off the Venlafaxine. That was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. They say that weaning off this drug is similar to coming off heroin. I think it would have been a lot harder without the Protandim. Once I was completely weaned off the Venlafaxine, I felt great! I was riding my bike, which I hadn’t done in a very long time. We started getting into juicing. I continued to keep up with my health and now am able to do almost everything I could before Fibromyalgia. I still have some bad days but it is nothing like it used to be. Now we just want to spread the word and help others feel better too.

Here are some things I do to survive Fibromyalgia:

Daily Tips for Surviving Fibromyalgia

Daily Tips for Surviving FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is something we suffer with daily and there are flares that bring on a lot of pain all at once in different areas. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to help manage Fibromyalgia, or just as a stress reliever. I try to follow these tips each day and most of the time I feel great! I have to remind myself sometimes that I have Fibromyalgia, so I won’t overdo it and pay for it later. (Here’s My Fibro Story)

  1. If you are a coffee drinker, add nutmeg/cinnamon to your coffee every day. Nutmeg and cinnamon are so good for our bodies! Here is some information on their healing properties: Cinnamon also regulates blood sugar levels.
  2. Have a salad for lunch or with lunch and add kale or spinach. Kale is high in fiber and great for aiding in digestion. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, and magnesium. Spinach is known for its nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer constituents. Avocados are really good for you too! My favorite salad that I could eat every day is mixed greens with kale or spinach, avocado, tomatoes, carrots, almonds, mixed dried berries and whatever dressing I’m into at the time, with pepper. I usually do olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing. Sometimes I make a quinoa & black bean salad that I will eat over the course of 2-3 days. It’s so good for you and it’s nice to have something I can just grab out of the fridge and eat.
  3. Take 20 minutes for yourself some time during the day (even if it’s only 5 minutes!). Lay down and close your eyes in a dark room, just sit somewhere and think, listen to music, go for a walk, read a book. Having that downtime to yourself can help so much.
  4. Take a bath with Epsom salt, and lavender if you have some. Epsom salt helps our achy bodies and the lavender has a calming effect. See the link below for Epsom salt and lavender oil on Amazon.
  5. Try to stay on a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed around the same time every night and get up around the same time each day. I know if I get off schedule, I am off for the entire day.
  6. Juice something, anything! The effects of juicing are huge for anyone with a chronic illness. Drinking fresh juice passes on the nutrients straight through your body in a larger quantity than if you were to eat the whole fruit. It separates the fiber that is harder to digest. And, you may juice something that you normally wouldn’t want to eat. Smoothies are good too! Any way to consume those fruit/veggies. Here’s my post on Juicing vs Smoothies:
  7. Take a natural supplement that fits your needs. I take Protandim that helps my Fibro and gives me more energy. Click here for more information on Protandim: There is also St. John’s Wort that is good for depression. But you don’t want to take St. John’s Wort with any anti-depressant. Talk to your doctor first before taking anything. Taking a Vitamin D supplement may be good to do in those cloudy winter months.
  8. Add a slice of lemon to your water. The lemon is not only good for you but it helps keep your water fresh as well. Drinking lemon water can help relieve or prevent digestion problems and can help you lose weight. Lemons are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on your liver, kidneys and blood, plus they are full of vitamins and minerals.
  9. Stretch in the morning and at night. This will help loosen up those joints to decrease pain and stiffness.
  10. Drink tea with raw honey. I drink ginger tea if I have digestion issues and green tea other times. Honey has so many benefits. To name a few, it boosts your immune system, helps you lose weight, reduces the risk of heart disease, soothes indigestion, and bolsters your energy levels.
  11. Try to get some kind of exercise each day. Even if it’s a short walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing work around the house, chasing after your kid…. 😉
  12. Laugh! Try to surround yourself with positive people. Laughter really is the best medicine sometimes. My husband and children really crack me up at times and I feel so much better after a bad day. Or watch something funny, like funny cat videos! haha
  13. Apply a honey/lemon juice face mask. This is great for your skin and should clear it up in no time. And it feels so good! Just mix about 1 tsp of honey to ½ tsp of lemon juice, apply to your face, leave it on for 5 minutes and rinse off. I don’t know about you but I break out from stress and Fibro/related issues. Or I sweat during the night sometimes and break out too.
  14. Read before bed. I read at night before going to sleep and it really helps get my mind off things that may have happened during the day or things going on in my life that keep me up at night. I have even fallen asleep reading before! Most nights, I get pretty good sleep and sleep straight through. Sleeping is so important with Fibro and we all know that it can be hard to sleep at times.
  15. Add herbs to your cooking. There are so many benefits of using different herbs but rosemary is especially good for memory and we definitely need that with Fibro! I even read something about sniffing rosemary to help memory, haha. Thyme and rosemary are really good in chicken noodle soup or on a roast. And in many other dishes! Other herbs I cook with are oregano, parsley, basil, bay leaves, dill, cilantro, and I use chives and mint sometimes too. I have lavender but I haven’t cooked with it. And I want to try sage.

I know sometimes life throws us curve balls and some of these tips are hard to follow every day but if you try to incorporate most of them into your daily routine, it may really help you as it has for me. I have come to realize that if you make time to take care of yourself you will have more energy to take care of others and get things done. If I stick to my routine and diet, I do pretty good most of the time and can keep up with everything.

Epsom Salt, Lavender Oil, and these fingerless gloves can be found here (the gloves are great for those cold mornings or days when you’re working on your computer. I know my fingers get ice cold. There are different colors available too.):

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!

FDA Proposes To Eliminate Trans Fats

Eliminate Trans Fats?!! Where was I when this came out? I was just looking through some of Dr. Oz’s blogs tonight and I came across this one and I was SHOCKED, but excited to read it. As much as I seem not to agree or support the FDA with all of the junk they allow into our foods here in America, this is certainly a step in the right direction. So for that, I am giving them an A for effort for at least trying to pass this. Let’s all hope this happens, it would great!!!

Hemp nuts- Dr. Oz raved over them. Find out why!

Hemp milk. Check out these great vitamins and their daily value % AMAZING! And on top of that, Dr. Oz said it helps us who suffer from memory issues and anxiety. (He mentioned Fibro.) I’d have to agree thus far. I use a cup to mix in my daily smoothie with fruits, veggies, and 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/2 tsp Ginger, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon.

Hemp milk

Hemp Milk

Nutmeg and It’s Awesomeness!!

Not only does it have a wonderful holiday flavor but it has so many great health benefits! Many benefits for us who deal with Fibromyalgia.

How about a little homemade coffee creamer? I put natural vanilla extract, nutmeg and organic half and half in my coffee every morning, it’s so yummy! And another easy way to get a little nutmeg daily… if you can’t have dairy how about coconut milk or any other great replacement instead?!

Check out the link below for some info! Jeanette 🙂

Fatigue Fighters!!

Fatigue Fighters!!

Vitamins are very important! (It’s a shame most Dr.’s are saying they don’t recommend even a daily supplement anymore! What?!)
If they are good, whole food vitamins or at least without fillers and artificial additives, please- take them! Trust me, they do help! Especially if you are not getting what you need from the food you eat.

Let’s see how we can help with Fatigue but getting what we need 
Depending on your dietary restrictions, you can get almost everything your body needs from good food. But as we know, fatigue is a big problem with Fibromyalgia. So TRY your best to FIGHT this monster with what your body needs and wants!

Hope this helps!

Foods Rich in Magnesium

Foods rich in magnesium may help you fight fatigue and boost your energy. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends a daily dose of 300 to 1,000mg of magnesium for feelings of fatigue. However, research studies have been mixed, and more research is required to establish a benefit. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a combination of 600mg twice a day of magnesium and malic acid can also act to increase your energy levels. Magnesium can affect your blood pressure levels, so check with your doctor before taking a supplement. Rich food sources of magnesium include nuts and seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12

If you are deficient in vitamin B-12, you may develop anemia, a condition characterized by pale skin, appetite loss and diarrhea. Other common symptoms include fatigue, light-headedness and a reduction in energy levels. If you develop anemia due to low vitamin B-12 levels, increasing the vitamin B-12 in your body can help combat your anemia and increase your energy. Vitamin B12 can only be found in animal foods such as poultry, red meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians or vegans who do not consume animal products may require a supplement to increase vitamin B-12 levels and can consult a doctor.

Foods Rich in Iron

Fatigue can also be a result of a condition called iron-deficiency anemia, a type of anemia that develops if you are deficient in iron. Symptoms of this condition include fatigue, energy loss and weakness. You can boost your iron levels by a supplement or through your dietary choices. Food sources of iron include red meat, pork, poultry, shellfish, eggs, beans, nuts, dried fruits, dark leafy greens and peas. Some foods, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, are also fortified with iron.

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body requires for proper growth and development, and normal brain function. Your body cannot produce these fats, so you must obtain them from dietary sources. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if you are deficient in omega-3 fats, you may experience dry skin, mood swings and fatigue. Food sources of omega-3s include fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel, salmon and herring. Other sources include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and walnuts.

Sticking with your Exercise Routine

firstrace1Months ago, I started with just playing at the park with my kids. It killed me physically. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was! I slowly saw myself improving and with eating heathy, drinking a TON of water, coconut water and Aloe juice, green tea as my special treats for over all health, the sun is shining finally in our Seattle Area, life just feels better and I can do so much more! I ran for the first time in over a year, last Thursday. It made me feel so good. Please set a goal- work for it. You can do it!!!

Start slowly. Many people with fibromyalgia have been inactive for a long time because of fatigue and pain and should not start a vigorous exercise program. Overexerting yourself may make your symptoms worse. If 3 to 5 minutes of activity are all you can manage at first, just do that. When you’re ready, try to exercise a little longer at a time. Increase slowly until you can exercise for 10 minutes at a time.

Build up your exercise program bit by bit, and aim for at least 2½ hours a week of moderate exercise. It’s fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.

Stretch before and after you exercise. This may improve flexibility, maintain good posture, and prevent injury. Stretch slowly and gently. Do not bounce, but keep a gentle pull on the muscle.

A daily journal can also help you keep track of your symptoms as well as factors that may aggravate them. By making a record of these factors, you can create a clearer picture for yourself of just what triggers your fibromyalgia symptoms thereby helping you to avoid symptom flare-ups when possible. Maintaining a journal of your daily activities can help you manage many of your fibromyalgia symptoms. If you’re having troubles with fibrofog, writing down all your appointments and up-coming events will make it easier to remember those important dates.