Category Archives: Uncategorized

Enlightening Consultation with FLO Consultant

If you didn’t know already, by signing up to receive emails at floliving.com, you gain access to a free 30 minute consultation with one of their representatives about your symptoms and important first steps. I just had mine last night, and I am so glad I did! Going into it, I was convinced that I was estrogen dominant. Here is what I learned (be warned, I will try not to get too graphic, but boys may want to turn back here).

  • The 4 day hormone detox plan that they describe on their website is NOT how you should start your healing journey. Doing the plan with frazzled adrenals (which is like 95% of the population btw) will only make the problem worse. I’m glad that I listened to my body and started eating more food on the second day when it got too hard!
  • After describing my menstrual cycle to the consultant, she came to the conclusion that I am actually low on estrogen, instead of estrogen dominant. She came to this conclusion because my flow was really light and because it only lasts 2-3 days. She also came to the conclusion that I am low in progesterone since I have a day or two of a more ‘brown’ flow at the end of my cycle. Symptoms of high estrogen, such as mood swings, cramps, and acne, can also be symptoms of low estrogen because they are also caused by adrenal fatigue (adrenal fatigue (and symptoms) > low estrogen). She said the #1 thing I should work on is my adrenal fatigue, by cutting out stress, and keeping fats and proteins high. I also am going to take a supplement called Adrenal Optimizer by Jarrow that they recommend due to it having a lot of good adaptogenic herbs in it.
  • Since my monthly cycle is shorter than 26 days (my cycle has been 23-24 days for the past couple of cycles), that is indicative of hypothydroidism brought on by adrenal fatigue. The good news is that by fixing my adrenal fatigue, I will be able to fix my hypothyroidism at the same time.
  • She definitely thought it was good that I eat well, but noted that my acne on my back is probably primarily due to digestive stress. I eat a lot of raw vegetables, so she recommended that I try to eat more cooked vegetables where the nutrients are more available. She also noted that my food sensitivities are a result of my adrenals being fried (again), so once I get those under control (by eating more cooked veggies, practicing light exercise, sleeping, and supplementing well), my sensitivities will go away!

I was definitely grateful for her consultation, and the most important take away is that I am on the right path, and that I should try to stop stressing about it. I was a little overwhelmed by the news last night, but I feel more at peace about it today. I brought in my yoga gloves so that I can do a few sun salutations throughout the day, and I have plans to increase my cooked veggies after I finish off all of the salads I have in place right now. I also am thinking of making myself some eggs in the morning on the weekends instead of a smoothie to get a little more healthy protein and fat in my diet.

Thanks for reading, and give FLO living a look if you are a lady!

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Holidays Round Two

So, this is the second year that I have been entering the holidays while being on a gluten free diet, and, so far, it is SO much easier than last year. Here’s why:

  • I’ve learned what foods make me sick, so it is easier to avoid them because I know that they will make me sick
  • I’ve gotten really good at cooking ahead of time, so I can go into the holiday meals with food already prepared. Trust me, it is nearly impossible to eat right when the only gluten free option for breakfast is potato chips. Lesson learned!
  • My family has been more exposed to the fact that I eat differently than they do, and are more accepting. They often will go out of their way to make food that I can eat, or at least they aren’t offended when I bring my own food.
  • The past couple of weeks, I’ve been eliminating cravings and leveling out my blood sugar to help resist foods that look and taste good, but ultimately make me sick.
  • I’ve been getting better at eliminating toxins from my body and detoxing to get myself back to health post holiday meal!
  • Healthy foods just TASTE better 🙂 It’s easier to get pumped about meals that are high in fiber and veggies and protein because I know they will taste great and make me feel great!

The biggest change is my mindset. Last year, the holidays were about the food traditions – cookies, banana nut bread, stuffing, etc. All things that I couldn’t eat. It was really hard. But this year, when I see those things, they look and smell good, but I know that they will make me really sick. That helps considerably when it comes to avoiding them! I can now actually bake my boyfriend two trays full of cookies and not be tempted by them. That is power!!

My biggest strategy this year:

  1. Eat a large breakfast on Thanksgiving
  2. Eat a good sized lunch with protein and fat to sustain me until the meal around 3 or 4.
  3. Bring my own carb and veggie sides, but enjoy the protein and whatever sides I can eat with everyone else!
    1. If I eat a few hours before the meal, it should be much easier to no overdo it
  4. In the evening around dinnertime, have a small snack of nuts to sustain me through until the morning.

Knowing my greatest weakness is the greatest key to overcoming it. Whenever I am faced with a situation in which everyone else is eating, but I can’t eat, I start to panic. Hunger sets in and I find myself eating things I wouldn’t normally eat (like potato chips) because I feel like if I don’t eat, then I will surely starve to death. I also feel left out while everyone else around me is making ‘yummy’ noises and eating food that looks and smells delicious.

Therefore, to combat this weakness, the solution is simple: bring my own food. Every time I attend a holiday gathering, I will bring at least one meal’s worth of food. That way, I will always have something healthy and delicious to munch on and enjoy while surrounded by family.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and thanks for reading!

 

End of Summer – What I Will and Won’t Miss

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall in the USA, but the fall-like weather is starting to trickle in here and there. Fall is my favorite season (and summer has been my least favorite for my whole life), so I’m always excited for the end of summer! But this year is the first year where a part of me will be sad to see summer go.

Over the last year, I’ve changed a lot about my diet and lifestyle. I’ve tried the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol, found new food sensitivities, and started taking daily walks at work for sunshine. I started a garden outside, made some mistakes, and learned some lessons about growing food. I thought it would be good to reflect on what made this summer in particular the first summer that I will miss.

On the other hand, there are many reasons why summer has been my least favorite (though I would never say as much as ‘I hate summer’, just my least favorite).

So, I decided to compile my list of Top 6 reasons to Miss the Summer and Not to Miss the Summer (in no particular order)!

Reasons that I will Miss the Summer:

  1. Brightness in the morning – I’m very fortunate to have a job with flexible hours, but I definitely prefer to go in early and leave early than the alternative. Last winter, it was truly miserable having to drive into work in the darkness in the morning, so over the summer, I relished in the sunlight!
  2. Farmer’s Markets – This was my first year where I truly went out of my way to experience farmer’s markets, and I have to say that they are wonderful! I know that most of them continue through November, but with my current schedule, it is unlikely that I will be able to go again this year. The main farmer’s market I went to was where my boyfriend lived, and since he moved in, we are stuck with poor choices where I live (a lot of markets that are only open from 8-noon during the week – PEOPLE WORK, FARMERS!)
  3. Warm weather – I know it is obvious that the summer is warmer, but this is the first year where the hot weather didn’t seem so hot. Since I made an effort to be outside for a small portion every day, I noticed that the heat didn’t bother me so much. This means that I enjoy my time outside in short sleeves soaking up that Vitamin D! In the winter, short sleeves will simply not be an option. The absence of the warm weather means that I’m going to be forced to spend a lot more time indoors. Womp womp.
  4. Vacations – This was the only redeemable quality to summer when I was growing up – no school! Now, I get to look forward to a more lax schedule as it seems like 20% of my coworkers are on vacation every week. I enjoyed a few great vacations this year, but as I plan to take time off next summer, I have to focus on saving up vacation time during the winter!
  5. Green life – As the leave change in the fall (one of my reasons to love the fall – so breathtaking!), I am more aware than ever about what it really means: the world is about to get a lot browner. This last winter affected me so much, that I was super giddy this past spring at watching plants grow. I have a lot of plants in my apartment, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of green outside.
  6. No school traffic – I typically commute to work before this is an issue, but that sweet summer season means fewer slow moving buses on the road stopping every 200 ft to let more kids on. The few times I slept in an extra half hour, this was definitely an issue!

Reasons to NOT Miss the Summer:

  1. Humidity – I live in Virginia, and it can get incredibly humid in this area. For those living in dry climates, it can get so humid that you feel like you can’t breathe. It makes your hair friz, and your body sweat. No, thank you!
  2. Perfect Weather Inbound! – The fall is my favorite time of the year because the temperature outside is absolutely perfect. Just cool enough that you can get away with long pants and a light jacket, but not so cold that you are freezing with a full winter coat on.
  3. Less stability at work – The flipside to being allowed to take vacations is that your coworkers get to take vacations too, which often means that their work is being dumped into your lap. Also, since I am still very much learning, it can be a little worrying when I have a question about a project and a senior engineer isn’t around to answer it. Having to figure stuff out on my own has done wonders for my confidence, but I’m glad to be getting back to a more stable work environment!
  4. Bugs – I believe I blogged about this, but at one point, I was plagued with a rogue mosquito in my apartment for about two weeks of agonizing itch. Since the Whole 30, I’ve definitely been getting less mosquito bites, but I will definitely not miss gnats and other annoying insects.
  5. High gas prices – Over the summer, gas prices almost always go up by about 20 or 30 cents/gallon to capitalize on all of the people traveling. When September hit, gas prices immediately dropped about 15 cents a gallon and they continue to drop.
  6. It’s less cozy than the cooler months – one of the great things about summer is that it encourages exploration. But the great thing about the Fall and Winter months are that they bring people together: Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, etc. As a homebody introvert, I definitely prefer small gatherings with the people I love over large parties! Not to mention, who doesn’t love snuggling up next to a fire?

Thanks for reading! Can you relate to my reasons? Any that I left out?

Stay healthy my friends, and get out while the weather’s still fine!

Naturopath Visit!

Hello! So, yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting my naturopath, Donna, who is amazing and always makes me feel better about the changes taking place in my body. Overall, I’ve been feeling much better, but I wanted to bring to her attention a few things that were bothering me and a few things I changed:

  • Emotional breakdowns once a month
  • I’m trying to reduce my calories and I just get so HUNGRY
  • If I’m away from food and don’t know how I’m going to get my next meal, I get really anxious
  • Adding carbs in the evening

I mentioned adding carbs in the evening, and she seemed to think that I was on the right path, especially since it seems to be helping with my sleep. Also such a change in my diet can cause occasional weirdness to my digestive tract when the change is first being made.

When it comes to the emotional breakdowns, she said that I have three options:

  1. Start taking ANOTHER expensive supplement that may or may not help
  2. Up the dose of one supplement I’m already taking for this during my period by 2 capsules a day since the breakdowns happen as soon as its over
  3. Keep going the way I’m going and just accept that it is one day a month and that will eventually get better.

I’m leaning toward the third option since I’m already paying out the ass in supplements. Then, when it came to the hunger and anxiety, she was torn between whether I have poor blood sugar regulation or if I have a parasite of some kind. She did some more acupressure testing and here were the findings:

  • Predigestion is still a huge problem
  • Regular digestion is still a problem, but is slightly better
  • My candida problem is MUCH better! Went from major pain to just a minor pain
  • She tested my feet to see if I have parasites, but my feet haven’t been bothering me, so she said parasites aren’t likely
  • She tested my back for some kind of disk that indicates low blood sugar, and said it was slightly there, but not severe, which is good?

She’s leaning toward it being a blood sugar issue, which means more supplements. That brings the total to:

  • Betaine Plus HP (for stomach acid)- about $17 per 90 caps – I take 2-3 per MEAL
  • Formula 25 (for calcium and mineral deficiency) – $42 for 180 caps – I take 4 a day
  • Formula 23 (for mood swings) – $42 for 180 caps – I take 4 a day (proposed 6 a day during period)
  • SmI (for candida) – $52 for 180 caps – I take 4 a day
  • Bio-Glycozyme (for blood sugar regulation – $29.60 for 90 caps – I take 6 a day

And this list doesn’t include the other supplements I’m taking that she didn’t prescribe: fermented cod liver oil for vitamins A and D, women’s multivitamin, magnesium (if I don’t take this, I don’t sleep), and more vitamin D since I’m really deficient in it. The cost also doesn’t include how much money I spend on organic, real food, which is also expensive.

*sigh* I know they say to invest in your health, but this is kind of ridiculous!

I’m planning on seeing her again in a few weeks, and when I do, I’m going to ask her if there is a way we can cut back on the supplements. Stopping them entirely would be a terrible idea, but I think it’s important to cut back for the sake of my wallet. I’m trying really hard to save money to buy a house, and since my supplements are so expensive, it’s really cutting into my ‘fun money’, which is the small amount of money I put aside each month for stuff I don’t HAVE to buy.

That being said, I’m so so grateful to my naturopath for finally finding answers for me! I know I won’t be on these supplements forever, and it is so worth it to sleep well, have so much more energy, and feel so much better! In the meantime, Donna asked me to keep an eye on a few things:

  • How are my feet feeling while I stand at my desk?
  • How does my food make me feel? Am I tired after meals?
  • Keep an eye on my moods after my period, see if they get any better over time
  • Do I still have symptoms of candida die off?
  • Are there certain foods that throw off my regularity?

Thanks for reading my ramblings! I’ll keep everyone posted, and have a great weekend!

Adrenal Reset Diet

So, I recently picked up a copy of the Adrenal Reset Diet, by Dr. Alan Christianson, and it’s a pretty good read if you’re interested in taking your health into your own hands. I know that when I first went to my naturopath, I had a myriad of problems (including digestion, hormones, adrenals, thyroid, etc.), digestion begin the worst. But I knew I also had stress/adrenal problems because even the smallest problem would make me freak out. Since changing my diet, this has gotten a lot better, but I picked up the ARD book while it was on special because I was interested to know if the contents could help me with my stress and fat loss further.

When I first started changing my diet, I focused on eating the right things, not the right things in the right portions. This led to a few nights where I said ‘eff it, I’m going to eat a whole pound of beef for dinner’. I was averaging around the 2000 – 2400 range, and my weight wasn’t budging a bit. It was going up and down and hovering around the same 184 lbs mark, so I know I need to bring the calories down a little bit to help my body shed the excess fat. Now that I’m feeling more in control, I want to slowly bring that number down to the 1600-2000 calories a day range.

I also want to slowly begin incorporating whole grain carbs back into my diet, since I’ve been avoiding them since I especially don’t handle them well. The ARD offers an easy way to bring them back in in a way that promises to help my sleep and adrenal function.

Here’s the diet in a nutshell. For food lists and how the diet works (really fascinating read by the way – and very limited website advertising), pick up a copy of his book on your Kindle or in print.

What you can’t eat:

  • Common allergens:
    • Sugar
    • Gluten
    • Dairy
    • Eggs
  • Processed foods (anything with more than 5 ingredients on the label)

Measurement sizes:

  • Palm of your hand – 4 to 6 oz.
  • Golf ball – 1 to 2 oz.
  • Unlimited

Daily diet (the same for all levels of stressed out – including not stressed!):

  • Breakfast
    • 1 palm worth of protein
    • 1 golfball worth of fat
    • No carbs
    • Unlimited veggies
  • Lunch
    • 1 palm of protein
    • 1 golf ball of fat
    • 1 golf ball of carbs
    • Unlimited veggies
  • Dinner
    • 1 palm of protein
    • 1 golf ball of fat
    • 2-3 golf balls of carbs
    • Unlimited veggies
  • Snacks
    • Avoid, but if necessary in the beginning, limit snacks to veggies!

How easy is that to remember and follow? By increasing your carbs at the end of the day, you are lowering your cortisol (the hormone responsible for you feeling awake) and making it easier to fall asleep.

Also, assuming a palm of protein is about 200 cal on average, a golf ball of fat is around 200 cal on average, a golf ball of carbs is around 50-100 cal on average, and we’re eating around 50-100 calories of veggies per meal (2-3 cups), this diet will land you at around 1500 to 1800 calories a day, which is almost where I’m aiming to be at. Adding one extra serving of fat or protein every now and again will put me right in the sweet spot!

I’m going to give this diet a try! I ate some organic brown basmati rice last night (only around 1/4 up or 1 golf ball since I want to start slow), and I’m handling it okay! No IBS symptoms!

One thing about the diet that I’m not going to be doing right away is working out in the morning. There is a quiz in the book that tells you how stressed you are, and I landed in the middle range. In that range, one of the bigger complaints is problems sleeping and insomnia. To combat this, he recommends sleep cycling (doesn’t sound fun, but basically you shift your sleep schedule back in a way that leaves you pretty sleep deprived for a few days), taking some supplements, and working out in the morning.

I hate working out in the morning. It makes me throw up.

Last night, I did everything right – relaxed 1.5 hours before bed, went to sleep early, limited my water so I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night, and even woke up a little early feeling refreshed. As soon as I thought ‘hey, it’s not going to get much better than this, time to work out’ I immediately got nauseous. Instead, I’m going to try to focus on getting into work early, so I can leave early, and workout in the early afternoon. This seems to be working so far, as my sleep is good when I do everything right 😀

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I encourage you to give the diet a shot! It’s easy to follow, and clinical trials of it show that even incorporating a change in diet only can lead to weight loss, better sleep, and better adrenal function!

Stay healthy (and stress free) friends!

Treating Myself!

While I was talking to some of my fellow dancers in class, one of them mentioned that they get massages regularly to combat the “hunchback effect” of sitting at a desk all day (as well as the tension of working your back and legs during dance). It’s been about 8 months since my last full body massage, and I had completely forgotten that that was a thing I could even do. I loved my massage therapist in Blacksburg (the massages were done at her beautiful home in the middle of the woods for a very natural feeling experience), and she didn’t have any therapists to recommend in my area.

The bad news: massages are expensive.

Most places were either too far away or too expensive. But I also want a high quality massage in which I can form a relationship with my therapist – they can learn about my problems and provide better treatment. I eventually was torn between three options:

  1. There’s a massage school that offers massages for $35, but it’s kind of far away, and I don’t know if I’d be able to come back to the same therapist (unlikely)
  2. There is a local business run by one woman who offers packages of massages at 8 for $600, or roughly $75 per massage. At least I’d have the same person every time, but she never returned my call.
  3. There is a massage center that is fully stocked with about a dozen therapists available, who specializes in sport medicine and deep tissue massage. They are the most expensive, however, at around $94 per massage (with a 10% membership – $104 normally!)

At first, I was leaning toward the school. I was looking for the most cost effective solution. I had an appointment for this Wednesday, but they called me a couple of hours ahead of schedule to cancel my appointment because it had snowed 1/4″ of snow that was quickly melting about 4 hours ago. If they are going to cancel my appointments for such a small weather reason, I don’t want to go there. I hate having something I want to do taken away from me like that (I know I sound childish, too). Not to mention, I’d have to travel about 30 min to get there. After my previous massages, I was so tired I shouldn’t be driving half that time afterward!

So the school was out.

I was a little put off by the business run by one woman. I could understand if it was during the holidays and she was away and that is why she didn’t call me back. But it’s not. I’m also leery of businesses run by one person – I could be waiting a long time to be seen, as well as they are more likely to cancel during inclement weather.

So she was out.

I called the third option and asked which therapist would be good for a dancer who is muscular, and she named about 4 therapists. Then I asked which would be best for deep tissue, and she mentioned about 4 more. But one therapist was listed in both columns: Becky. I caved and called them today to see if by any chance they had any appointments for tonight. Sure enough they had two openings – one was for Becky! The stars are aligning (I hope!). So I signed up!

They also have a good introductory offer of 3 massages for the price of 2. They mention that you really need to have more than one massage to feel the benefits. They also allow for changes of therapists, in case, for some reason, the stars are pointing me in the wrong direction and Becky isn’t a good fit.

Wish me luck! Remember to treat yourself every now and again!

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

Candida Die-Off = Painful Urination?

Yeah, I’ve been having some weird symptoms over the past few days after increasing my probiotic that is targeted toward fighting candida. I wanted to wait until I heard from my naturopath before writing about it here. Here’s how my mornings have gone (apologies if this is TMI!):

  • Wake up
  • First pee smells AWFUL. Like slightly rotting meat, and strong
  • For the next few hours, whenever I pee, it hurts and smells (which makes me smell like bad urine, because no matter how thoroughly I wipe, I still smell). I also feel kind of hot/feverish/uneasy
  • Then, after drinking TONS of water to try to flush my system out, the pain slowly fades away until I’m just dealing with stinky pee.
  • Repeat the next morning.

I’ve had enough UTIs to know when I have one, but with UTIs it always gets worse through the day, not better. Also, I know it’s not bacterial vaginosis (which I’ve had recently and can cause UTI-like symptoms – fun fact), because the smell would be coming from my vagina, and in this case it is definitely coming from the urine.

For the past few days I’ve been doing some research on this to see if I can figure out what’s going on. Trying to link my candida die off symptoms with painful urination yielded virtually no result other than candida infections, if left unchecked, can cause UTIs. My naturopath, Donna, mentioned that my smelly urine was a sign that I was killing off candida, and I didn’t think it was a coincidence that my symptoms took off when I doubled my probiotic (at Donna’s instruction, mind you). I also found this article which confirmed that having candida in your system can increase the acidity of your body and cause cancer (thank goodness I’m clearing out my system now!!). So here’s my theory (note, I’m not a doctor, just a person very interested in how the body works):

Throughout the day and night, my body is working hard to kill off candida, and, more importantly, CLEAR it out along with the other toxins and chemicals I pick up throughout the day. Candida releases dozens of neurotoxins when it dies off, which make you crave sugar, and generally feel like poo. The liver picks up some, and the kidneys pick up a lot as well. These toxins make urine very acidic, which can cause irritation during urination (?). Overnight, I’m not drinking water, so my body is stuck with the amount of water it has. This means that the urine is incredibly concentrated (strong smell) as well as incredibly irritating. During the day’s first urination, a small amount of urine stays in the urethra, causing the first urination to be painless but causing the urethra to be irritated. While I’m awake, I’m drinking lots of water to flush out the toxins, which dilutes the urine down to a more reasonable pH. This flushes out the urethra repeatedly, and allows the irritation to subside, causing a few painful urinations that gradually get less painful.

Just a theory. A similar theory poses that the toxins are the sole cause of urination, not affecting pH.

Regardless, I brought up my weird symptoms with Donna to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. Sure enough, she is convinced that I am just killing candida left and right, and that is causing my symptoms. She’s confident that it will get much better over the next few days, and if it doesn’t, I can always back down the probiotic.

I also think the reason why things got more out of hand this weekend is because it was a long weekend, and though I still ate well, I did have one or two slight cheats (hash browns on Monday come to mind). I also didn’t have time to work out since I was busy helping my mom with home repairs (the caulk in her shower was a disaster, so I had to try to fix it). In addition to those reasons, I also wasn’t at work, so I wasn’t drinking any detox tea or even enough water probably.

After working out last night, drinking lots of detox tea yesterday at work, and hydrating the heck out of my system, I’m tentatively feeling better today. I wanted to write this post though so that somewhere on the internet, candida die-off and painful urination are linked so that someone out there knows that they’re not going through it alone. If I didn’t know better, the first sign of a UTI would have sent me to do the doctor for antibiotics, which is the LAST thing you should do.  If you’re just starting a candida cleanse, and are experiencing painful urination, you aren’t alone!

Thanks for reading! Stay healthy, friends!

Another Meeting with Naturopath!

I’m scheduled for another meeting with my Naturopath, Donna, again today, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I’ve been pretty regular since starting her diet regimen, have lost a few pounds, and can see some of the swelling reducing in my body. On the other hand, I’m still tired all of the time.

One thing I’ve got to say about a low sugar diet is that I am very rarely not full after a meal. My tastes have changed (after that first week, which sucked for a few days), and I find that I actually crave things like salad and lean meats. My attempts to move every day have also been going pretty well, and I am sore as hell today. I haven’t been this sore in a while, and I know it’s because of the pole class I took on Tuesday. Since I’m Level 2 now, my instructor is really kicking it up a notch, and I left that class more sore and tired than ever. It also taught me that if I really want to improve my dancing, I’m going to need to set up my pole and dance at home at least once more in the week. At the minimum, it will help with my grip strength, which is part of why I’m falling and slipping in class. After this past class, my hands were so sore from the friction I’d induced on them!

I’m not sure how to approach my exhaustion in my meeting with Donna. I know I haven’t been sleeping the greatest lately (though I don’t wake up to go to the bathroom anymore, which is nice – but I still wake up early or in the middle of the night for no reason), which could definitely lead to me being tired, but I’d like to ask her advice as to WHY I can’t sleep well. I know I’m adjusting to a new mattress, but I’ve been sleeping on it for about a week now, and I don’t think it’s an uncomfortable mattress at all. I’ve also been eating right, exercising, and taking my supplements. I’m hoping she’ll have some advice as to the piece of the puzzle I may be missing.

I could also be tired because I’m fighting something off, though. Almost everyone I know (at home and at work) has been sick within the last two weeks, and, though my immune system is much better than it once was, it certainly isn’t bulletproof. I’ve been having off and on symptoms of having a cold for the past few days – occasional dry coughing, sneezing fits, and yesterday I felt like I had a really bad head cold for a few hours. But I keep waking up just tired, and not sick, so I’m hoping that I stay healthy!

I also already have tested my new years resolution, and I passed – with some help from the boyfriend. I was thinking part of the reason why I’m so tired when I wake up is because it’s so dark in the morning, so I was looking into getting a natural light alarm clock. I found one for sale on craigslist for about 60% off the list price because it was used for about $50. I was really tempted to buy it, because it was such a good deal, but my boyfriend pointed out, “If you get this and it doesn’t help with your tiredness, you’re just going to move on to the next thing and you’ve wasted $50.” That sounds exactly like me, and that’s the kind of behavior I want to stop, so I withdrew my offer for the alarm. I still have a lot of debt to pay off this month, and I can’t afford to just buy that stuff willy nilly, so I’m glad I didn’t. I’m thinking I’ll pick one up at the end of this summer, and will use it next winter, because by the time I can afford one this season, winter will be practically over!

I’m trying to plan out my purchases better too. Preventing myself from purchasing things right away is really helping me to learn how to prioritize what I want from what I need. For example, I was trying to figure out what my indulgence is going to be for the next month, and I was torn between a pillow protector/new pillowcase for my new natural latex pillow, a kneeling ergonomic chair, a comforter/duvet cover set (probably extended over two months), and the sunlight alarm clock. Because I had to wait, I realized that the ergonomic chair is not really necessary right now, and I don’t really need a comforter/duvet set right away since I have a comforter (and there are so many options that I need to make up my mind about color, material, organic/not, etc.). So it was down to the clock vs. the pillowcase. After sleeping on the new pillow, I absolutely love it, but my pillow protector doesn’t fit and my pillowcase is too short. This means that sometimes I’m sleeping on the decorative ripples on the end of the pillowcase. Therefore, a new pillowcase was a priority for me.

Having to prioritize what I’m spending my money on is really freeing too and is helping my stress. By thinking really hard about every purchase, I can say with confidence that my spending has been greatly reduced over the last week. It helps me to know that I can pay off my credit card bills better (because they will be smaller) and save more money! And saving is a good feeling 😀

I hope everyone is having a great week, and stay healthy friends!

Can’t Sleep Through the Night

So, I went on a trip to Michigan with my boyfriend, and we stayed at various relative’s houses while we were there. The beds we slept on were surprisingly nice for guest beds, and I slept soundly through the night while I was on the trip (except for sharing a bed, which I’m still getting used to).

When I got back from my trip and slept in my own bed, it had magically become the worst mattress I’ve ever slept on.

A little background on my current mattress situation. I don’t think I’ve regularly slept on a good mattress in about 4 years. My junior year of college I moved in with a friend, and his parents bought me a mattress that cost $200 for the mattress and boxspring. Total. It felt like sleeping on a trampoline. So, I bought a 4″ thick memory foam pad and 3″ thick pillow topper and slept much better for it. That worked pretty well for about 3 years, and then I think the mattress slowly started to die.

When I moved in with my mom, my mattress there is of a much higher quality, but it is probably at least 15 years old, if not closer to 20. So, even at home, I was sleeping pretty poorly (especially when the stress of living at home is taken into account).

Since coming back from the vacation (completely exhausted by the way), I haven’t slept for 8 hours straight a single night. The first night back, I barely slept at all, my mattress was so uncomfortable and giving me back pain. Then, my boyfriend slept over, and even though I slept more soundly, we went to bed late and I only slept for about 6.5-7 hours. For the past three nights, my sleep has been interrupted at around 3 or 4 in the morning by nightmares or other mysterious causes (like having a kinda full bladder, that isn’t full enough to wake me, but is uncomfortable enough to keep me from falling asleep). And when I wake up, it takes me forever to fall asleep. My eyes are completely bloodshot and I feel like I look terrible.

I need a new mattress. Badly.

The problem is that I want to upgrade sizes. The bed I have now is a full, and since the bed I’m getting will be nice quality, I want to get one large enough that I can comfortably share it with someone. So I’m upgrading to a queen size, which means I have to upgrade EVERYTHING. Sheets, bed skirts, mattress protectors, bed frames, etc. That stuff is expensive, especially since I’m trying to get organic everything!

I also have picked out my mattress, and will be going with a more eco-friendly online retailer called Saatva that offers high quality mattresses made of eco friendly materials at a very low price. I wanted to get a latex mattress, but I simply can’t afford one right now. I’m going to have to wait as it is until the next credit card billing period to even think about getting a mattress (also, I have just discovered that my car is in need of several repairs, which makes me even more financially strapped – though those can wait since they’re relatively minor repairs).

I really don’t want to become the person that is always stressing about something, but it seems like as soon as I am stress free about something, another thing comes up. Like I finally paid off my debt for moving in to my apartment, and then christmas came and I had a whole new pile of debt. And now I’ve just paid Christmas off, and I am separated from my mattress long enough that I can’t sleep on it at all and need to replace it (and my car is slowly breaking).

Anyway, I hope to get a mattress sooner rather than later! Hopefully then I can get some sleep! Thanks for reading, and stay healthy, friends!

Awaiting Results and Primal Brownies!

Over the weekend, I did the 24 hour urine panel, so that my naturopath can see what is really going on with my digestive tract and how well I am absorbing the supplements I take.

Oh my god, I had no idea that I peed that much in one day! To put it into perspective, they recommend that you drink 64 oz of fluid a day, so, assuming that you consume some water through your food, let’s say you pee out around 84 oz a day. I peed TWO HUNDRED oz on Saturday. And I only drank when I was thirsty, which was all of the freaking time. When I mentioned how much fluid I was going through (and all of my urine was most definitely yellow by the way, not clear), my boyfriend mentioned that I might be showing early signs of diabetes.

Diabetes. At just barely 25.

I think I might be showing early signs, because I also have insulin resistance, but all of my blood work has shown that I am consistently in the ‘safe’ zone for my Hemoglobin A1c, and my fasting blood glucose was lower than it has ever been. It’s scary to think that I might have caused myself to have an incurable disease, but I am surprisingly okay with my fate (no matter what it is), because I know that there are lots of ways that I can keep myself symptom free through my diet (and even maybe reverse it!). If I had gotten the diagnosis a year earlier, I would have been freaking the heck out! Not to mention, there are lots of causes for excessive thirst, so I’m hoping that my urinalysis, along with the other tests my naturopath has done, will help me figure out what really is the root of all of my problems!

On a less depressing note, I’m proud of myself for this past weekend. On Sunday, I suddenly got a massive craving for brownies (I am experiencing that time of the month, so this makes some sense). I was planning to go to the store anyway, so I figured that I’d pick up some gluten free brownie mix while I was there (full sugar). Then, while I was there, I decided to make paleo brownies instead, looking up a recipe on my phone. These brownies are sweetened with honey (which is considered a food with a low glycemic index, unlike table sugar and glucose), and made with coconut flour, which is high in fiber. I would know everything that was going into these brownies, and I liked being in control of what I was eating. I decided to go with this recipe on Empowered Sustenance, and my brownies turned out almost exactly like the ones in the picture – delicious! I found later that they are even better cold, and next time, I’m going to make a buttery chocolate frosting/layer on top for a little extra texture and chocolatey flavor! I’m proud that I took a craving and made a more reasonable treat instead, and I’m proud of how great the brownies turned out! (I think my boyfriend might even like these!)

Here’s hoping everyone has a great and healthy day!