Posted in Coffee, Entyvio, Family, Health, Motivation, Sparkle, Stress Relief, Teacher Corner, Ulcerative Colitis, Xeljanz

Monday ❤

Conquer your Monday’s with this piece of love! 

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Posted in Ulcerative Colitis

Help!

I’m trying something new in my classroom to motivate students.
Please send me links to you favorite motivational videos & quotes that I can play for them or print pictures of the quotes for my hallway. I teach 7th graders so something they would find helpful.
Have a sparkly Friday!!!

Posted in Colitis, Entyvio, Exercise, Family, Health, Motivation, Sparkle, Xeljanz

#11

Today is not so much about Entivyo infusion #11 going in but about the small successes in my health.

My blood dr showed me the various different iron reports that I’ve had since July 2016. I started with a 72 & it has steadily increased since my 2 Injectifer iron infusions last July. My current iron level is 88 which, according to doc, is absolutely perfect!

2 things that number means. 

1. My gut has healed dramatically since Entivyo infusion #1 on my birthday in October 2015. When a colitis patient is flairing, they lose blood, sometimes in small traces & sometimes in large amounts. In my case, it was a combination of trace & large amounts over an extended period of time. 
When I do something, I do it big!!!!! 
Over time the blood cells shrank & my iron production dropped. Once the iron infusions kicked in, the circumference of my blood cells grew increasing my iron levels to the perfect level it is today!

2. Iron makes all the difference in my world. 

* I have energy to play with my boys that I didn’t have at this time last year. 

* I have reached (& exceeded) the amount of weight I needed to put back on after my year long flair. 

* I don’t feel like I need a morning & afternoon nap everyday, just on the weekends & only because I like snoozing with the baby man & not because I’m falling down exhausted. 

*We just finished basketball season & im ready for track without feeling like I need a break. 

*I feel like exercising again & I try to do something active daily. 
I could go on & on about how I have drastically improved but I’ll let pictures do some talking.

January 2016

January 2017

 

My face is fuller! My skin has color to it, without being out in the sun! I see more energy in my eyes or maybe a twinkle of orneriness! I just look (& feel) so much more human!

I didn’t get sick over night. Well, actually, the HPylori that brought out the colitis was fast acting but the disease itself has been ongoing since 2012. To think realistically, it has taken more time to heal than it did to hit the bottom. I remember Chad asking me one day when I was weak & bone skinny if I was dying & he was very serious. Slowly over time, I have healed & this phrase rings true. 

It may not happen as fast as we want but God’s timing is always fabulous! I like to think I can sparkle even in the dark times but God is the one who makes the sparkle shine in the dark.

Posted in Colitis, Entyvio, Health, Recipes, Xeljanz

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes! It is a southern staple at the dinner table, especially when your main course is fried! I don’t fry often but when I do, I throw some kind of potatoes with it.

 

So on this particular day, I actually found a recipe in The Quiet Gut cookbook that would get approval from all under my roof. Well, all who actually eat mashed potatoes. The little men have never been mashed potatoe lovers, even when mashed food was all they ate. I know, strange children!

 

I love it when I look through a recipe and can mentally check off every ingredient already in my cabinets. It feels like a small success in this crazy busy world of ours.

 

Ingredients:

  • Milk- I have never liked milk or its smell until I discovered Fairlife. It is milk without lactose and its easy on my gut (small successes once again).
  • Potatoes- I used Idaho because they were in the cabinet but the recipe calls for new or baby potatoes.
  • Butter- I prefer the lactose free sticks.
  • Salt- Sea salt is preferable to plain table salt.
  • Pepper- Freshly ground tastes much better than the ole’ McCormick pepper.
  • Bacon- Any kind of bacon but stay away from breakfast flavors like maple or you might mix up a batch of breakfast mashed potatoes (yuck).

 

 

Now its time to get this show on the road! Start by peeling your potatoes. Cooking can be a family affair so teach your littles to peel as well and you can bond! Sometimes with mashed potatoes I like to live dangerously and leave the skins on, just not for a new recipe.

 

I’m not OCD often but when I am, its to stack my peeled mashed potatoes!

 

Next step, boil your taters. I boil until I remember to take them off but the typical boil, if your pieces are smaller, will take about 15ish minutes.

 

I love this spoon/potatoe masher extraordinaire from Pampered Chef. All in one utensils are the bomb!

 

By the way, I know you wondered what my bacon mashed potatoes will be paired with. Well, chicken of course but only lightly fried, non breaded chicken (because I wasn’t up for the floury mess). It was fabulous and got the thumbs up from the hubs and children.

 

You also need a real veggie so we had boiled squash.

 

 

I haven’t yet mastered the art of baked bacon yet so I cooked my bacon in the microwave for approximately 3 1/2 mins. I personally think Scentsy should come up with breakfast flavors and the best seller would be bacon! Just a thought Scentsy flavor developers!

 

 

After you let your potatoes drain, add the goods…butter, milk, salt and pepper. I love my new Pioneer Woman measuring spoons.

 

 

Lastly, add your mouthwatering bacon. Voila, your ready to serve.

 

 

You may notice that I did not add the scallions list in the recipe. My husband does care for onion flavors so I don’t usually keep these in the house. I think it would definitely add a flavor punch so try them. The potatoes tasted delish even without the scallions so its not a necessity.

 

A change that I would make, now that the seal of approval has been stamped, is to boil garlic cloves with the potatoes. I love my garlic mashed potatoes and it would add a great dimension of flavor to the bacon mashed potatoes.

 

Enjoy your gut friendly taters and share links to your favorite gut friendly taters in the comments.

keep-calm-and-eat-mashed-potatoes

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Collagen

Love this article on Champagne at Shannon’s.

hand-heart

Collagen is a major part of bone broth. More specifically, the collagen that comes out of the chicken bones or beef bones in the bone broth. Collagen inserted into your diet is healing for your insides. What UC patient (or any living human being) wouldn’t want more collagen!?!

 

Here is a link to the awesome article….Why I Put Collagen In My Coffee

collagen

I am going to try this. Even though I am feeling quite sparkly right now with my current cocktail of medicines (thank you Entivyo & Xeljanz) you can always add non-medicinal means of healing your body.

 

Among the benefits that Champagne at Shannon’s lists that I  would be more than willing to obtain are:

 

  • Strengthened joints
  • Healthy skin, hair & nails
  • Anti-aging benefits

 

I think this is worth a shot. I will definitely give it a shot & let you know my thoughts.

sparkle-and-shine-darling

 

Posted in Family, Motivation, Sparkle

Nothing Says Coffee…

coffee-lorelei-gmg

Today is an in-service day but tomorrow, spring semester starts. The next 8 days will be busy busy busy! Momming and wifing, 2 basketball games and 1 basketball tournament, lesson planning, teaching, starting a weight loss challenge, preparing for spring semester and my next 6 hours towards my masters.

Pretty sure I forgot to mention my fall semester 4.0!!! That is 12 hours down and 24 hours to go. By then end of spring semester, I will be half way finished. Who knows what I will do next!

So I may have binge watched the new episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix over Christmas break so you can expect my favorite GMG quotes popping up in the near future.

Have a fabulous Monday & don’t forget to sparkle!

sparkle-and-shine-darling

Posted in Coconut Oil, Colitis, Entyvio, Health, Herbalife, Stress Relief, Xeljanz

Keep Calm & Embrace Change

Gotta Do Something…

Everyone has pesky little problems that pop up now & again. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t. I’m assuming my current problem is coming from my system getting back into balance after five years of just being in overdrive survival mode!

So my current problem is not something I typically encounter because I have Sjögren’s syndrome which is a bi-product of my auto-immune diseases. I know, I hit the jackpot! Not 2 but 3 autoimmune disorders!

Sjögren’s syndrome is a lovely way of saying super duper desert dry! My eyes, my nose, my skin! I’ve just learned over time to deal with it. Restasis for the eyes, body butter for the skin & vaseline for the dry nose.

I asked my dr last month if he has had any patients complaining of dry, dry nose but he pulled up the Entivyo medical page and that is not a known side effect. Leave it to me to be an anomaly! He thinks it’s a combination of Entivyo, Xeljanz and Sjögren’s but I bet a little moisture in this Texas winter air would help a bit.

My hair right now is soooo confused! It’s usually dry so I give it a few sprays of coconut oil a day before I shower & it stays away from being brittle. I used to lather the whole head up with coconut oil until last summer when I got the plumber bill & the cause….coconut oil clog! Watch out ladies, the balanced hair struggle is real!

So, my solution to the oily hair issue has been drawn out. I have changed hair care, no help. I quit coconut oil, no help. I was kinda at a loss for what to do but then the light bulb went off & I decided to try the Herbalife hair care line. It smells amazing!!!! It’s less than I would spend on my favorite Organix shampoo & conditioner & I am already a distributor so why not give it a shot.

I dove in head first & bought the shampoo & conditioner, body wash, bar soap & the lotion, which I already use regularly.


So what have I experienced!

Shampoo & conditioner: Did I mention that my hair smells so fresh & clean…all day long! You know that squeaky noise your hair makes when it’s clean? Well, I can still hear the squeak before bed! My hair is not oily anymore, unless I play with it too much. I think I’ll be able to wash it every other day again! Yay!!!

Body wash & bar soap: My skin doesn’t feel dry after I use the bar soap. My trusty old friend has always been Zest but I get out of the shower & have to immediately slather the lotion on thick to last the day without my skin feeling tight & irritated. I think I’ll be switching to the Herbalife bar soap when I run out of the Zest. The body wash is moisturizing & silky & my skin seems to hold the moisture until I shower the next day. For someone with dry skin, this is the best thing since pumpkin spice creamer!

Hand & body cream: I’ve loved this cream since I laid eyes on it. Have I mentioned how wonderful it smells. It’s not a sticky or oily moisture that you get from the lotion like my usual body butter or coconut oil. It’s just the right amount of moisture for me!

So, I hadn’t planned to sell you anything here but I apparently advertised for the Herbalife Herbal Aloe line anyway. Run to your favorite Herbalifer & get some.

Anyway, the moral of this story is, don’t be afraid to change. Life is a never ending story & you have to adapt with the twists & turns.

The end.