Tag Archives: Lupus

Tips for a Healthy 2013!

1 Jan

photo (22)

It is a new year!  A time for fresh resolutions and determined resolve.

Today, I started off with teaching Pilates and am now embarking on a fast.  Not sure how long I want this water fast to last.  Maybe just to sunset.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe a few days.  (can you hear my tummy growling from your house?)

My health goals: Get back to eating plant strong.  Not just vegan, but LOADS of plants.  Crowding out my plate.  I would also like to move further in Pilates and go through Reformer training.  Some day I would love to have my own Pilates studio and I would like to start working towards that.  I also want to make a concerted effort to get off of Prilosec. The last man standing in the meds.  It may be over the counter, but I still want off.

So what are your goals?  Want to join me in kicking off 2013 right?  You don’t need to fast.  Or eat plant based.  Or eat gluten free.  Or exercise like a maniac.  Here are my suggestions for getting healthy in 2013:

  • Drink a smoothie every morning.  Blend almond/coconut milk, frozen collard greens (or kale or mustard greens) with frozen berries, milled flax seeds, and a banana  (If you need it for flavor and sweetness.  I prefer without.)  Add some cinnamon and vanilla for flavor.   I believe that THIS IS THE CORNERSTONE OF MY HEALING.  Every morning, without excuse, I make this.  And I drink this.  And my body is saying thank you in SO many ways!  Read here for my GREAT START SHAKE recipe and here for a little tutorial!
  • Make a really healthy soup on the weekend and eat it as your lunch all week long.  That way, you aren’t pulled into snacking on your kids leftovers or something you really know you shouldn’t eat.  Include tons and tons of veggies in your soup!  Some ideas: vegetable rice soup, butternut squash soup, vegetarian pho, lentil soup, black bean soup, and so many more!!!  I will post more soup recipes, if you would like!
  • Aim for more and more meatless days every week.  Start out with 1 or 2.  You will soon see that you don’t need meat to be strong, have energy, or anything else that the world tries to sell you on.  I am LIVING PROOF, people!  Don’t know what to make?  Start here for tacos.  Then peruse my blog and many, many other recipes on the great www.  Why meatless you say?  Because more and more and more research every day shows that we consume way too much animal protein.  Animal is inflammatory to the body.  Our chickens and pigs and cows are not fed what they ought to be fed.  They are fed to make them fat for not a lot of money.  Do your research on this. I ate a healthy diet of lean, organic (when possible) protein with lots of fruits and veggies before.  I was SO SICK.  Off all of the animal, my body is healing itself without meds.  What argument is there that we NEED meat?  I am strong and still teach weight lifting classes!  Don’t buy into the “you need protein from animals” bit!!! 🙂
  • Watch Forks Over Knives and every other food documentary you can get your hands on.  Most are free on Netflix.
  • Eat a grapefruit at night instead of junk.  Why?  Nothing magical. It is just good and if you start, you will become as addicted as I once was and soon hope to be again.  You have to take your time and work for those little bites!  Oh, and get used to them without sugar.  Buy ruby red ones.  They help!  Then squeeze out the remaining juice and drink it straight from the bowl.  Heaven!
  • Get your hiney moving.  Join a gym, come to one of MY classes (!!), start walking your neighborhood, buy a treadmill.  Just get moving.  Write up your plan, put it on your fridge, tell your kids and spouse so that you have some accountability, and DO IT!
  • Meal plan!  I will resume posting my meal plans if YOU will join along!  I always think through it on the weekend and post it on Sunday.  You will eat so much healthier if you will just plan ahead.

So…please share!!!  What are YOUR goals for the year?  What would you like to see on this blog?  Please comment.  I see how many hits my blog gets and would LOVE more than anything for you to  say hi when you pop in.  🙂


Happy New Year!


26 Feb

Stress has a way of creeping in, even when you are doing your best to lay low. The month of February was very hectic for us and me, personally. I took on 2 extra classes per week, subbed a number of times, and we had a bunch of responsibilities for a committee we are on (meetings, scheduling, lots of emailing, etc…). Oh, and Daniella had her birthday party!  It will all come to a close a week from today.  But until then, we press on!

I have been needing caffeine in the afternoons to make it through.  This is frustrating for me because I don’t drink caffeine at all any more.  And I have been hurting all over my body.  Joint pain, as well as muscular pain.

So this weekend, I decided to go on a juice fast.  If you have been following my blog, you know that this is just what I do to end flares or to jump start my body to get rid of symptoms.  So far, it has worked every time.  This time, I took all of the fruits and veggies above and used a fabulous juicer that is on loan from a sweet friend, Heather.  Since yesterday morning, I have been drinking only fresh juice.  I have had beets, cucumbers, rainbow chard, collard greens, granny smith apples, gala apples, green and red grapes, carrots, oranges, and more…

I have explained this before, but the idea is that my body gets a total rest from digestion.  And I juice these fruits and veggies and right away get the awesome nutrients into my blood stream.  And while doing this, I rest.  Yes, I ran a 5k and went to a dinner for the above mentioned committee…but the rest of the weekend is bedrest.  Not unlike most of my weekends. 😉

The green one pictured was collard greens, granny smith apples, green grapes, and cucumbers.  The red one was beets, gala apples, red grapes, rainbow chard, and carrots.  I start with the veggies because they are going to be the strongest.  Then I add in apples and grapes and the sweeter things until I like the juice. Simple as that.

There is very little in this world that tastes as good as fresh juice!

While you should eat all of that fiber that gets thrown away during juicing…there is a time and a place for NOT eating it.  For me, this is it. If you are trying to kick some serious health problems or jump start some weight loss, give this a try. I am no expert, but I can help you with some basics!

Bottoms up!


8 Feb

While I am getting better every day, I am weary.  Frankly, I am a little ticked off.  Tired of making my own bread and not being able to eat and serve the normal stuff.  Tired of having to prepare every single thing I eat.  I just want to grab food.  But eating out always makes me feel bad.  And there are no quick foods that are vegan and gluten and corn free.  So today, I am kinda annoyed and weary.

I told a girl I would sub her Pilates this week (3 classes).  That was before I was doing the 6 Weeks to a New You.  Normally, I have 5 classes a week. During this six weeks, I have 7.  This week, I have TEN.  Ridiculous, I know.  A sweet fellow instructor at the JCC just took my early morning class tomorrow for me!  SO thankful for the support I get over there.  So now I am down to 9.  I was hoping to make the money from all 10 because we have a bunch of expenses coming up.  But God will provide.  Always does.

I don’t want to be stupid and make myself sick.  And yesterday, I flipped backwards off of the kids’ plasma car.  Landing flat on my back and whipping my head against the deck.  It was lovely.  Especially since I get my house cleaned and all of those sweet ladies were standing right there to see it happen.  (BTW, I work for 2 reasons: 1)cleaning lady every other week and 2)family camp. Both are expensive and both are paid from my job.  Worth every penny!)  I screamed and we all laughed so hard we felt sick.  I was super embarrassed.  As the night went on, I also started hurting.  Call me crazy, but I swear that as soon as I fell, I felt like a Lupus flare slapped me in the face.  I felt horrible everywhere.  I have no idea if something as silly as that can trigger a flare.  But now I am emotional and in pain and feel sick.  Hence, the sub tomorrow.  And my mood.

Thanks for walking this road with me!  Here is my Facebook status:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:8-10)

I NEVER feel stronger than when I am weak.  It is when I truly lean on the Lord and He shows me his goodness that feel Him lifting my burdens.  I am blessed!

Six months!

10 Jan

It is my half year anniversary!  I have now been plant fueled for 6 months!

At this point, I am not in a flare.  🙂  I am having more good days than bad.  Overall, I feel like my old self pops in every once in a while. It is a beautiful thing!

Like I say all of the time, I SLEEP A LOT. Or at least I lay in bed a lot (which is why I am on the computer a lot).  This is big for me.  When I am busy one day, I actually plan nothing except coming home and getting in bed from 6 or 7pm until the morning.  Or I will plan for the next day to be spent in bed. I have discovered how to preemptively strike so as to not get sick from stress and busyness.  It is something I still find myself defending occasionally.  Especially when people tell me how lucky I am to get to lay in bed a lot.  But overall, I realize that it isn’t their fault that they don’t understand.  And I pray that they don’t ever have to understand.

New syptoms…I am bruising easily, and the bruises don’t go away.  On my shins.  This happened back in high school and college.  I had bruises that where there for literally years. This makes sense given my blood counts recently.  I am not anemic (so don’t tell me to eat red meat!), I just have low counts.  I also have slight pleurisy.  What a change from this time last year!!!  I was in constant pain from pleurisy!  And nauseated all of the time.  And totally wiped out.  And sun sensitive.  And having fevers all of the time.

So I was told to give this diet 6-12 months to see any real change.  http://www.eaturveggies.com/  Please go give Elisa a shout if you are needing to combat a disease or have health issues you wish to address with a plant based approach!  She will steer you right.  And I can tell you, she has been right.  It has taken about this long to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I am no dummy.  Lupus comes in flares.  A new flare may be on the horizon tomorrow.  But I am going to keep eating like a rabbit and praying that this balance of eating plant based and resting all that I can is making my body reverse this disease.

ps.  I am stronger right now than I was 6 months ago, too!  I do more weight in BodyPump than I have ever done before.  Don’t believe that you need animal protein to be strong!  Plant protein is doing my body good!

A time to fast.

20 Nov

Watching my family drive away to church without me led to tears.  Tears of sadness that I am not with them having those conversations in the car. Tears of sadness for Lucky having to go places without his partner.  Tears of guilt for not being with Daniella and Reid and spending so much time in bed.

I have been having constant stomach aches, total fatigue, headaches, face broken out, joint pain, etc…  It is time I do something about it.  So starting today, I am going on a juice/blending fast again.  I honestly don’t know how long I will do it.  It is not an ideal time for me.  Mostly because I teach Body Pump and Boot Camp tomorrow.  And oh, that big holiday THANKSGIVING is just 4 days away!

Yesterday I was angry.  Angry that I am still sick all of the time. But I am not angry at God.  I actually prefer times like this.  Simply because I am more aware of my need for Him.  When I am feeling okay, well, I don’t always feel I need Him for each breath. Right now, however, I am acutely aware of how I can’t do this alone.  I rely on Him for so much more.  This is how I should always be.  I guess that is why Paul said that, …when he is weak, then he is strong. I wholeheartedly agree.

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of the good things Lupus brings to my life.  And I am hopeful that I will feel better soon.

13 Nov

I can’t ever decide when and what to post. I am getting better little by little.

However, Lupus still sucks a lot of the life out of me.  I maintain some normalcy through the week while I homeschool and teach classes.  And I am able to attend more functions than I used to. But I spend most weeknights and weekends in bed. And this week I had a day where tears took over and I couldn’t get out of bed to homeschool. The kids are troopers. Luck is amazing.

Along with other symptoms, I am having an upset stomach every day.  Really not sure why on that one, as I am eating such a limited diet.  I think that it could be inflammation inside of me. I’ve been considering getting a more in depth food intolerance test. But frankly, I don’t want to!  I don’t want any other foods taken away from me right now.  We need to have it done for Daniella and Reid, as well.  It isn’t covered by insurance.  And that fact, along with a lack of desire to take anything else out, has my head stuck in the sand.  At least I am admitting it, right?  The first step is acknowledgement….

So besides a few things here and there, this weekend I was busy putting a giant dent in our bed.  I am once again sad to constantly miss sweet time with the family, but so appreciative that I can take the time to let my body heal.

Christians and vegans.

7 Nov

My observations:

Christians don’t always respond well to vegans.  There is an instant defense mechanism that seems to kick in whenever I tell one that we (Sometimes I, but for the most part, we) are eating vegan in the home.  I tend to get the vibe that Christians feel that God intended for us to eat meat and therefore, this is NOT something they want to be a part of.  Biblical references are always tossed out there.

Here is my personal place of reconciliation.  Yes, God did provide quail for the Israelites in the wilderness.  Yes, rabbinical law speaks clearly of how to handle animal foods.  And yes, the New Testament speaks of slaughtering the fattened calf when the prodigal son returned home.  And so many, many more examples.  The Bible also clearly states that all foods are permissable.

So eating meat is not a spiritual problem.  What my research has found is that the meat we eat now, the milk we drink, the eggs we cook with, etc…. have all been raised and fed very differently than what God intended. And THAT is the problem.

Cows used to eat grass and wander in fields.  Now they are fed corn, which is toxic to them. But it fattens them.  And they get stuck with hormones to further fatten them up. The same is true for all other animal products.  From the fish we eat from “fish farms” to the cheese we buy at HEB.  It has all been made “better” by our American way.  Our gov’t so heavily supports the corn industry, there is no question why corn syrup is in everything.  (And no, it is not just corn sugar.  The process it goes through to make it in to high fructose corn sugar is so chemically laden, it is sad)  There is also no question why our cows are fed corn.  They were not meant to eat it.  Go ahead, watch some of the food documentaries floating around out there.  You will see!  I am not making this stuff up!  And if you want a list, start with Forks Over Knives.  Then watch King Corn, Food, Inc, and SO many others!!

Well, there is my explanation.  I DO believe God gave us animals to sustain us.  But we were not meant to eat the portions we eat here in the US.  We don’t consider it a meal unless something had a mama on the plate.  And our animals were not meant to be fed and housed the way they are.  I think that eating healthy animals in moderation is perfectly healthy! For our family, that means a few times a week.  For me, none.

And THAT is how I, as a Christian, can swallow the fact that being vegan is contributing to the improvement of my disease, as well as many others.

And before you ask…yes, we still buy some animal products.  The kids still love grilled cheese and egg in the holes.  They like cheese on their pizza.  When we are out to eat or at people’s houses, all 3 of the other Smiths eat whatever is served.  But we don’t buy meat or cook it.  And we don’t drink cow’s milk.  We have completely switched to almond milk. The kids prob go for days eating vegan and don’t even know it.  They are getting plenty of calories, plenty of protein, and LOTS of veggies, fruits, and nuts.

Please don’t judge us.  I don’t judge you.  Promise.  And I never forget that no matter what I do or don’t do…I know who is in control.  It is not my diet alone making me better.  😉