Posted in Overall health

January Reset!

Is anyone with me on resetting or starting new this month? I had wayyyyyy too many carbs and sugar in the months of November and December and I’m feeling the effects. While my sleep has been good, I have also been much more tired than usual. And I’ve been stiffer in the morning though that could be due to the colder temperatures as well.

Making plans!

For so many (including me), a new year means new resolutions that typically dissolve before the month is over, despite the best of intentions. Instead, I’m making plans! These plans include my physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual health. So many times I focus on just the physical aspect because that is what is easy for me to grasp. But my hope for this year is to nudge each area just a bit down the best path for me.

Won’t you join me?

Wishing you all the best in 2023! Thanks for supporting this journey and you are invited to share your own.

Posted in Overall health


Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

That being said, I started using Humira to stop/slow the progression of Ankylosing spondylitis. The rheumatologist recommended it and am I glad that she did! I can move better and more and I no longer need to get up an hour plus earlier than a normal person would to start my day. While I still get tired (working full time, part time and going to school part time will do that!), the all day fatigue has lessened. The knee swelling that made my right knee look double its normal size has gone down. And so many more benefits!

I got news of the biggest change yesterday!

I’ve mentioned working on my bloodwork numbers before, especially iron and c-reactive protein because iron would be low and CRP (an indicator of inflammation) would always be super super high. I had been trying everything – lifestyle changes, totally changed how I eat, exercise, supplements. I had to do bloodwork yesterday morning to set a baseline on the medication.


Even my iron level went up to normal and the C-reactive protein dropped to a normal level; the CRP level had been crazy high when I first had it tested in 2018. If my calculations are correct, my original CRP level was about 100!!!!! That’s at the border of the high level and points to an autoimmune condition. Now it’s less than 3! I am so thankful and so grateful for finally getting relief.

I realize that everyone does not go the medication route but after trying alternative solutions for 4 years, I am elated to find something that has been most helpful!

Posted in Overall health

Finding balance

I’m sitting on the beach at a lake in Ohio. As my brother jokes, this has become my new favorite place. 🏖 and in a way, it is. I can get outside, enjoy the sun and disconnect for a bit before going back into the business of everyday life.

And I’m thankful that the beach is only 30 minutes away!

I decided to bring a book today along with my usual snacks. It’s called Body on Fire by Drs. Aggarwal and Rao and I’m already hooked on the first few pages. It goes along perfectly with my desire to find balance, or homeostasis as mentioned in the book. And for me, that’s everything at this point. So many times, I’m going from one thing to the next all day and not resting until it’s time to sleep!

And I’m on a such a mission to regain balance that I recently put in my notice at work without having another job lined up immediately. There’s a travel component that is just too much for me physically as I learn how to manage Ankylosing spondylitis. But the wild thing is that once I made that decision and put in the notice, I started receiving TONS of interview requests; and while that’s a post for a different time, it brings a level of validation that others positively view your skills the way you see your skills but your current place does not.

But, I digress …I am finally saying yes to myself and all that entails. And my yes may look very different from your yes, and that’s okay. Each of us is so unique and it’s time we celebrate our uniqueness in healthy and balanced ways. So as I continue to read, and begin class again next month, I hope to hold this moment to look back on when I don’t always have a moment to pause.

Wishing you all the best from the beach! And check out the book 📖

Posted in Overall health

Confessions of a former carb and sugar-binger

Where do I even begin on this blog post? I was talking to my mom the other day and was talking about my current heath challenges (I’ll update in a separate post but have to see another specialist as I was rear ended in a car accident last week). So much of the “health advice” given when I was young has been proven to be so, so wrong now. And I believe it has a long term effect on my health and the health of others.

One of my first memories of wayyyyy too much sugar and carbs involved eating cereal. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well it is when it’s a sugar laden cereal (think the orange animal who claims the food is great or something similar) and I put additional sugar on top of it! And then moistened the cereal with canned sweet milk. OMG!!! There was also the syrup with the side of pancakes. Or my love of pop tarts. I even did Nutrisystem at a young age and had to drink skim milk. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Remember this was the 90s when fats were vilified so I stayed away from “fat” products. But the substitutes were laden with sugar, sugar and more sugar- Snackwell cookies and candies. My go to meal substitute was a bag of skittles while on the run, again no fat.

And the low point was in college. There was a sweet shop in the cafeterias on campus and a “light” ice cream machine and the waffle machine. Carbs and sugars everywhere. When you have PCOS like me, this is the recipe to have crazy and uncontrollable cravings. Like I wanted sugar all. of. the. time! One thing I’ve never admitted and I’m so embarrassed and ashamed even now because I can’t imagine that I did this- my roommates would have pop tarts which were my biggest weakness. I would sneak and have one at times without asking. 😭😭😭 I would eat and within two hours be hungry again because I lived on carbs.

So why mention all of this now? Sometimes you have to remember how far you’ve come, especially in light of various health challenges. I am pretty sure that my overindulgence of carbs and sugar left me so nutrient deficient that my body was like – chick what are you doing?! I am so thankful that I learned how to appreciate real, whole food. And I know that this health journey will take time. Clearly, none of this happened overnight.

Maybe that’s where you are today, thinking will anything ever improve? How long will this take? Let me encourage you that you can be healthier and support a healthy lifestyle. Each day is the opportunity to make great food and lifestyle choices that move you to optimal health. That’s the goal. So if this former carb and sugar-holic can move past the above mentioned habits and food choices, everyone can!

Now versus the carb/sugar-holic (7 years ago)
Posted in Overall health, Updates

Healthy with Friends

As I’ve mentioned, I really started focusing on new ways to get healthier in August 2018. But before that, I had tried so many times to lose weight and would get to a certain weight and get stuck! In the in-between times, I would just think – screw this – and eat or do whatever I wanted, even if it wasn’t healthy.

What I have learned in this health journey is that having others who are moving in the same direction as me is key. That being said – a memory popped up on FB today from 7 years ago with a good friend. In the “then” picture, she had lost 15 pounds and I had not even tried again.

And then there’s our now pictures. We took very different paths to achieve better health but look how far we’ve come! My friend is a workout queen, working her way down to a size 6. I am more the lighter workout (think yoga, walking, bike riding) person and am at a size 8. And we both changed our eating habits, though I am much more strict since I’m following the AIP.

And I have other friends who are working on their health too! Be that person who motivates others to make a change to become healthier 🤗. I recently read a quote that where you will be in 5 years will depend on the people you hang around. Get some friends traveling in the same direction as you. It makes a difference!!

Posted in Overall health

What’s your why?

Everyday, I have a decision to make: to either do all the things to give me a chance to feel great that day or revert back to old habits that weren’t the best for me. Every. Single. Day. I say this because every day is NOT a great day but I choose to move forward with something that can help tomorrow.

Why? Even when it’s hard. Why? Even when I seem stuck. Why? Even when there’s no progress. Because I cling to my reasoning behind what I’m doing. See, when I started my journey in getting healthier, my nutritionist asked – what’s your why? I took that to mean- what’s the reason that is so strong that even when I don’t feel like it, I’ll keep at it. My why?

Elimination of pain

So as I’ve mentioned, PCOS can cause low grade chronic inflammation which I definitely deal with. Well when everything is inflammatory, then it can have negative effects on the body including the wearing and tearing of joints; this can lead to osteoarthritis. And arthritis is painful. Pain is that motivator for me.

I plan to start the autoimmune protocol diet in January to start targeting what may be causing pain and to heal the gut, which I need in the worst way. When you wake up in some level of pain everyday, then you will look for ways to reduce pain – physical therapy, gentle exercise, NSAIDs, more sleep, Epsom salt baths, CBD oil, dietary changes, weighted blanket. I’m trying them all in an effort to minimize pain and enjoy each day.

So what is your why? Whether you are just starting or looking for ways to stay motivated, I encourage you to find a strong reason to stay on track. Writing it down and sharing your reason with accountability partners are both great recommendations that I’ve used. On my vision board, I even include ways to accomplish my goal.

What is YOUR why? Share below and motivate someone today!

Posted in Overall health

Losing Inflammation- Wellness Wednesdays

Everyone deals with inflammation. You get a cut, a bruise or some other bodily harm and your body has an acute inflammatory response to help heal the area. But what do you do when the body has a low level chronic inflammatory response that doesn’t turn off?

Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health. But I do want to provide further info on inflammation that can be found at

So when I found out that I had osteoarthritis, I was blown away. I mean, I wasn’t even 40 and one of my knees was near bone and bone?! Well, after doing research, I found that one of the ways PCOS can affect women is to cause low grade chronic inflammation. And it can happen in so many ways – being overweight, lifestyle choices, eating too many inflammatory foods – the wrong oils, processed foods etc- not getting quality sleep which means that your body doesn’t have a chance to repair from inflammation. I could go on and on.

When I started with the nutritionist, one of the markers for inflammation, C-reactive protein was SKY high. So we started changing what I ate, making better lifestyle choices, losing weight and doing gentle exercise. Exercise can be tricky because the body can think that higher intensity is a stress which can result in higher inflammation. Ugh! 😩 what to do??

My nutritionist recommended using vitamin c. Vitamin c has been researched and shown to aid in reducing the C-reactive protein level. So I started taking that 3 times a day. Below is the link for one of the articles that I read-

I also started using spices that have been shown to reduce inflammation – ginger and turmeric. A note if you try turmeric: to activate it, you have to use it in conjunction with black pepper. I drink hot ginger or turmeric teas on most days as well as take turmeric supplements. With the lifestyle and food changes, my C-reactive protein has been cut in half. I haven’t checked it recently but hope to sooner rather than later. Hopefully, my continued efforts will decrease the level even more! 🤞🏾 the earthclinic website has so many details on both spices.

Lastly, I made lifestyle changes to incorporate more holistic long term adjustments. Yes, making changes this way can take longer but I’d rather not keep taking ibuprofen or nsaids. I also take Epsom salt baths weekly, do yoga and have started grounding. If there is a possible natural remedy, I’m going to try it.

What recommendations do you have to tackle inflammation? Has anything worked for you? Leave a comment below and let’s chat. Until next time!

Posted in Overall health

Summer fun – Wellness Wednesdays

Have I mentioned before how much I love summer?! Being born in the summer surely has something to do with it 😉 I mention this because finding something pleasurable or that you find joy in is a part of wellness. So I’m sharing my summer joys.

Summer for me is all about relaxation. And that falls in line with my meditation work. I’ve recently read more about grounding and try to step in the grass daily, when it’s not raining. I have a massage chair topper as well to help with relaxation. That helps your nervous system turn on the parasympathetic stage- rest rather than flight or fight mode.

While I try to get outdoors throughout the year, I really focus on outdoor life during the summer. I walk outdoors a lot more and spend more time exploring the area, discovering new things. I try to visit the beach, hike, ride a bike – basically anything that allows me to enjoy the world around me.

Barbecue and ice cream! I’ve had to back off of these to adhere to diet protocols but summer is the best for both. I have found mustard based bbq sauces since I can’t do tomatoes. And ice cream on hot days – whew! I’ve found a non dairy coconut cream brand that I absolutely love. But …sugar *sigh* so I reserve that for days that are over 90 degrees. It’s all about balance.

And while I don’t swim, I do like to get in the pool occasionally or just sit out and bask in the sun 🌞 I try to go before kids get to the pool so going early on a hot day is crucial. I prefer the beach but I don’t live close to any at this time.

What are ways that you enjoy the summer? Comment below 👇🏽. Maybe we have some things in common ☺️. See you next week!

Posted in Overall health, supplements

Iron! – Wellness Wednesdays

One of the markers that I have to monitor is my iron level. Minimum should be 12 but to feel great, the goal is at least 50. And let me tell you, this marker has been a struggle!

Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

About 14 years ago, I had a huge drop in my iron level. Long story short, my menstrual cycle stayed on for almost a year. There were ebbs and flows but just constant. It was so bad that I was freezing while everyone at work was warm. I went to an outpatient urgent care and found out that my iron level was 6!!! The nurses were surprised that I didn’t have more complications with such a low level.

Soooooo I had to get a blood transfusion of two pints and stay in the hospital overnight. Not a fun process but I was able to begin the work on having a higher iron level. But with heavy cycles, it’s a challenge to have a higher iron level. It typically hovers around 12 🤯

I was taking a really good iron supplement once daily and recently switched to desiccated beef liver, which has a higher bioavailability. I actually had lab work taken today that included my iron level so I am hopeful that the desiccated liver has helped. 🤞🏾

Why mention all this? Your hemoglobin level is so critical to many body functions. Did you know that you can have heart palpitations if your iron level is too low? Or that you may develop pica? I’ve not had these symptoms but a friend did. Developing a healthy iron level is still my goal and I’m determined to keep pushing the envelope for better health in this area.

Any suggestions on how to increase the iron level? I’m definitely open to suggestions. See you next week!

Posted in Overall health, supplements

Vitamin D – Wellness Wednesdays

Allow me to remind everyone that I am not giving medical advice, but just sharing my journey that has allowed me to move toward better health.

I have always heard vitamin D referred to as the happiness vitamin. And this is crucial as vitamin D can be a challenge to acquire naturally. But it does so much more!

Studies show that women with PCOS tend to be vitamin D deficient. I thought mine was low as it was just outside normal range but a friend with PCOS had a level in the single digits! 😲 And with PCOS, there tends to be higher levels of anxiety and depression. Could there be a correlation there?? I believe so, but then again, I’m always looking for a conspiracy when it comes to health and wellness 🤷🏽‍♀️

Since my vitamin D was low, my nutritionist had me take 10,000 IU per day to begin – yikes! But the megadoses worked. I cut down to 5000 IU per day which is now just 3 times per week. I typically add a day or so when it’s rainy as there’s no sun but my vitamin D level is pretty good now.

So how can you get vitamin D? Sun exposure, which I love love love! 🌞 Sources also include –

  • oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
  • red meat
  • liver
  • egg yolks (from NHS)

Pretty short list right? There are also fortified foods that have vitamin D but I don’t eat those, like breakfast cereal, so high quality supplements have helped tremendously. Besides boosting your mood, what else does vitamin D help with?

  • Fight the flu
  • Lower chance of multiple sclerosis
  • Possibly decrease chance of heart failure
  • Lower chance of some types of cancer
  • Slow bone loss, building stronger bones (source: webmd)

If you have not, please get your vitamin D level checked. For me, it was one of the first aspects of my health that turned around quickly. This quick turnaround encouraged me to give the other health modifications a try too. I liken it to climbing a ladder to better health. Until next time! 🎉