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RA Natural Way

Sharing what I have learned about treating chronic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and indeterminable autoimmune disorders in the most natural way possible while maintaining a positive attitude. Hope. Faith. Love. Yoga. Travel.

Healing a Leaky Gut

This article was recommended to me by a man at my yoga studio. He said I should follow Dr. Axe so I signed up for his emails. This one is great! 

4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut
  

Juicing for Pain

  
Today was a rough one! I would not have made it through the day without my amazing friends. One of which happens to be my coworker and after I was sent home from work today because I was in so much pain, she once again helped me get back to the health food store and motivated me to keep researching alternative medicines.

I ended up at Diane’s Natural Food Market where I purchased the necessary items to make a pain relieving juice. After I left school, I did some research and found this beautiful blog and recipe: So… Let’s Hang Out – Pain Relieving Turmeric Juice. I also researched how to juice without a blender, since I would be using my amazing Ninja, and I learned about Muslin cloth. Fortunately, there was also a Hobby Lobby right next door to Diane’s!

I took all of my materials home and created this beautiful juice! This was a first for me and now I am confident that I can fit juicing into my weekly meal plans.

Here are some photos I took including and one of the ingredients borrowed from So… Let’s Hang Out’s beautiful page:

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Ingredients for Juice [borrowed from So… Let’s Hang Out]

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Using my amazing Ninja!

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Using unbleached muslin to ring out the juice

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Look how much it made! I reused this jar and it’s almost full! 

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I enjoyed a cup over ice!
What an amazing process! Considering the ingredients, I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see all the juice it made. I look forward to doing this again soon! Now I just hope it helps with the pain!

 

2 Years Later

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It has been two years since I started this blog! So much has happened and mostly for the better! I finally saw a doctor and got the blood tests done that I desperately needed! My job has also changed to full time as a middle school English teacher. With health insurance, I have been able to see more doctors and get some answers.

Good news: I do not have Lupus or Lymes disease. And even though I do have elevated levels of rheumatoid in my blood, I do not currently have any other signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is a HUGE relief because RA is no joke.

Unfortunately, even though I do not have full blown RA, I do still have joint pain, which I mostly manage through diet and taking Plaquenil. I was very resistant to taking any pharmaceuticals, but the pain became overwhelming last year. My nerve pain had gotten worse and my muscles had become tender to the touch. Once the nerve and muscular pain became too much, I had to find the right doctor.

After months of blood tests and monitoring, I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Plaquenil helps with the joint pain and Gabapentin has been helping with the neurological aspect.

2016 has been full of changes for the better! I started Bikram yoga on January 6th and have fallen in love with it. It helps a lot with the pain and it has helped me put on some very necessary muscle. My legs have never been this strong! I feel amazing most days!

I need to start writing and sharing again because I am learning more and more every day about fibromyalgia, pain management, yoga, eating healthy, monitoring anxiety, and so much more! Sharing is caring.

Last month I got a new passport and traveled to Chile! This was my first major trip outside of the country in 6 years! My love of travel will never go away and this trip helped wake up my adventurous side. It has been lying dormant ever since my road trip across America two summers ago. But there is something so beautiful about being in a foreign country, learning and enjoying another culture. The trip also allowed me some time to be creative and practice my photography skills. During the school year, I am extremely busy and do not set aside a lot of time for personal creative activities. This trip reminded me that I need to set aside more time for writing, photographing and creating art of any kind.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Chile:

Cheers to a healthy life full of possibilities and positivity!

I have updated  My Story on the homepage if you’d like to know more!

Pensacola Moon

Tonight after we got home from dinner, I took the time to pull out the tripod and capture this beautiful moon! This is one of my favorite hobbies…

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Let the Road Trip Begin!

Finally!! After 6 months of planning, we are On The Road!

The car is packed, the bikes are hitched on the back, and the new roof bag is loaded up!  We are more than ready to begin our summer adventure out west! We even spent the night in the back yard to test out our new camping supplies.

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Testing out our new GoPro at the beach!

This map shows the first half of our trip. From June 12th till July 2nd. This part is thoroughly planned out. The rest of July is still up in the air… We will be doing more research because there are so many great places in California to visit! But for now, we are going to try and enjoy one day at a time!

1st Stop: Pensacola, FL!

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G.C. Training phase 2

IMG_0013_2Phase 1 involved getting myself moving on a regular basis! So far, so good.

Now, I must push myself harder and try to get stronger. I am also working on carrying my pack on my back. I spent a few outings carrying around a little weight at a time. I am up to 20 lbs and I must say that it is not easy! While hiking, I want to be free to move about as I wish and a large pack is a little restricting. This whole experience is full of so many firsts for me! Travel is nothing new but I have not had to carry supplies since I was a teen at summer camp. Flash forward 10+ years and I have RA!

UGH.

I digress. The good news is that I am highly motivated to succeed at everything I set my mind upon and this summer trip is no different. In fact it is what keeps me positive when life gives me lemons. Traveling around the US, especially the West, has been a goal of mine for years! The stars have finally alined and it is road trip time!

I’m also very excited about this new bike I purchased to help me get in shape! It is great for riding around town, riding on the beach, or even trying to climb up a hill. Not sure how it will do out west, but I’ve been told it should be just fine!

IMG_0002_2Check out this incredible photo I found of Brice Canyon, Utah. We will be here in June!

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Goals and Incentives

When it comes to our health many of us are trying to set lifelong goals. If you’re anything like me, you need a good incentive to accomplish these goals!

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For a long time, I exercised because I needed to lose weight. But now I have lost plenty and instead, need to gain back the muscle lost from RA. Unfortunately, the daily joint pain makes it harder to get motivated. In 2009, when I trained my body to swim a mile, I didn’t have much joint pain, just the shoulders and knees to worry about. It was one of the toughest few months of my life, trying to motivate myself to swim a mile. It took a very long time to get going and in the beginning I was extremely frustrated and could only swim about seven laps a day. Slowly but surely I built up to 10 and then 20 and then got stuck there for a while. Until one day, I decided I was going to swim 32 laps. I was fortunate to have two really good friends cheering me on!

I’m not usually very good at making New Years resolutions and keeping them. I gave up on that a while ago. But throughout the year, I do set goals and try to make the most of them! Last year was all about career goals and a lot of hard work went into finding the right job.

This year, I am planning a pretty lengthy road trip for this summer. In order for me to last more than a few days on the road, camping and hiking, I’ll need to get into really good shape! Not only will I be letting myself down if I fail, but also my wonderful boyfriend! Therefore, I’ll be doing a lot of research and writing about my findings here!

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“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau

Grand Canyon training phase 1!

I’ve been kicking this lighthouse’s rear end!ImageI went up and down 5 times and I plan on doing a whole lot more of this on a weekly basis! I have a lot of work to do if I am going to hike the Grand Canyon this summer! We plan on hiking to the bottom and camping. Therefore we will have packs on our backs! Phase 1 is only the beginning of my training, getting strong enough to carry a pack! Eventually I will load a little weight at a time into the pack and begin hiking with it. Since I live in Florida, it isn’t like there are mountains to climb… we must get creative!Image

The view from the top makes it well worth the trip! Even after the fifth time! I stopped to take in the view, walk around and take a few pictures.

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 Not too shabby… I look forward to coming back and picking up the pace!

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Check out The Trip link for our summer plans!

Chocolate will make it better! (gf) (*df) (org)

I’m a big believer in baking away my problems. My boyfriend has been gone for 3 weeks and I’m really beginning to miss him. He flew to Alaska after Christmas to work on a crabbing boat for a few months. I’ve been trying to stay busy and keep myself distracted but then I got the flu, and of course felt very alone. When you are sick, all you want is to be taken care of! And clearly that didn’t happen this time. So when I started to feel better physically, I decided it was time to bake. I have been wanting to try Bob’s Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix because I’ve enjoyed many of their products as well as Pamela’s Vanilla Frosting Mix. Both of these companies are amazing!

ImageThe chocolate cake mix directions were very simple. Water, eggs, butter and milk. I used a lactose-free, fat-free milk, which I usually bake with and a olive oil/butter blend to cut down on some saturated fat and calories. The frosting called for more butter and again I used the olive oil blend. Both mixes tasted yummy! Surprisingly the cake only took about 25 minutes to bake.

ImageI was very impressed with the results! I let the cakes cool for a while before taking them out of the pans and mixing up the icing mix. The icing turned out to be a little runny, so I put everything in the fridge for a few minutes to cool before applying the finishing touches. Icing a cake is not an easy task! Thankfully everything turned out delicious! The cake is very mild and not too sweet. The vanilla icing is the prefect complement! Feeling much better after a job well done!

ImageIt isn’t the most stunning cake, so I used a few of my favorite flowers to add some beauty to the picture! 🙂

*These mixes can be made completely dairy free if needed!

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