Month: August 2018

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post!

This post is generously sponsored by OMI Bottle
As the temperatures drop, your motivation to stay healthy and hydrated may fall just as much. After all, Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas cookies are right around the corner – and who wants to sip on ice water or go for a run when the weather already has your teeth chattering? 
Today, though, I’m partnering with OMI Bottle to share my top tips and tricks for staying healthy and hydrated all year long! As usual, I want to say that I’m neither a doctor nor a health expert. However, I’ve had plenty of experience with staying healthy and hydrated year-round as a chronically ill college student.

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

So keep reading to learn my top four secrets on how to stay healthy and hydrated in college, out of college, and year-round – plus, learn how OMI Bottle can help you live a healthier lifestyle in 2017 and beyond! 

1. Move that bod!

This is perhaps the most obvious health “secret” out there: you + movement = one happier and healthier body. In fact, research has found that exercise can improve people’s self esteem, sleep patterns, range of motion and metabolism, and it can decrease the risk of cancers and heart disease. Talk about a major two-for-one deal!

In my experience, moving your body is even more important when you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. After hours of sitting in class or working on my computer, nine out of ten times, my neck and joints are not happy campers. Doing a workout – whether it’s a hard cardio session on the gym stair stepper or a relaxing yoga practice in my apartment – helps loosen me up and get everything to relax.

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

As a bonus, exercise also reduces the body’s stress hormones and increases endorphins, or the “happy” hormone. For me, stress is one of the biggest triggers for fibromyalgia flares and stomach problems (related to my celiac disease). So the more regularly I make time for exercise, the less stressed I am, the better I feel, and the more exercise I want to do. Hello healthy living cycle! 

2. Keep a water bottle close at hand.

One aspect of health that a lot of people overlook, though, is staying hydrated. In fact, as of 2013, 75 percent of Americans can be classifed as chronically dehydrated. If you’re following tip number one and enjoying a sweaty workout sesh on the regular, getting enough liquids is even more important.

The easiest hydration trick I’ve found is making a reusable water bottle your favorite accessory. Even during the fall and winter, I take my reusable water bottle with me everywhere and make sure to take advantage of the filtered water stations around my college campus. 

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

As I’ve shared in previous posts, hydration may be especially vital if you have fibromyalgia and/or celiac disease like me. Some of the medications I take for my chronic illnesses give me dry mouth, which calls for lots of water. Plus, drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day keeps my finicky digestion groovin’ along, if ya know what I mean. 
If you don’t already have a reusable water bottle or are looking for an even better option than the ones sitting in your cupboard, keep scrolling to learn about the new water bottle I’m majorly crushing on! 

3. Find medications and/or supplements that work for you – and remember to take them.

Some people can get all the nutrients they need from food and don’t need to take any supplements or pills on a regular basis. (As crazy as that may sound to spoonies like me.) For others, though, supplements can be key to staying healthy in college or other hectic times in life, like the holiday season. Discuss possible supplement needs with your doctor, and if you have chronic illnesses, I definitely suggest asking for blood work to test your vitamin levels. 
Personally, my doctor recently discovered that I was iron deficient. I started taking iron supplements six months ago, and I’ve definitely noticed a big improvement in my energy levels. Earlier this year, I also shared my experience with a joint health supplement. Supplements and medications can’t totally “fix” my chronic illnesses, but finding the right ones has made a (sometimes amazing) difference…and the same could be said for you.

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

Even once you find the supplements and medicines that work for you, though, remembering to take them can often be a challenge. As someone who is medically required to take several pills twice a day, I also can relate 1000% to the awkwardness of having to tote your pillbox or plastic bags with pills to various social events.

This is where OMI Bottle comes in!

4. Discover products that help you live a healthier lifestyle…like OMI Bottle!

The OMI Bottle is an inventive new 24-ounce water bottle that just launched its Kickstarter campaign earlier this week. What makes me so excited about OMI Bottle compared to all the other water bottles on the market? It has a built-in pill dispenser! 
OMI Bottle’s seven-day pill organizer slides right into the water bottle itself, so, as long as you have your water bottle nearby, you have your pills nearby too. Having daily compartments in the organizer also means you can easily separate your pills by times you need to take them or even store a whole week’s worth of medications or supplements inside your water bottle. No more frantically searching through your purse for the right pills (been there, still sometimes do that…) 

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

OMI Bottle is also great for anyone who wants a practical reusable water bottle that looks a lil’ more stylish than the average bottle. OMI Bottle is small enough to fit in your purse or backpack, and it’s made of BPA-free Tritan plastic that can be bought in various colors, like Stone Silver, Pearl White and Rose Gold. 
Like with any healthy living product, I don’t think that buying an OMI Bottle will automatically make you ten times healthier. However, if you want to be better about staying hydrated and are hoping to adopt a healthier lifestyle, OMI Bottle is a great place to start. And if you’re a fellow member of the chronic illness community who needs to take pills multiple times a day? Well, it sounds like OMI Bottle will make it easier than ever for people transport and remember to take their pills.  

To learn more about OMI Bottle, check out their Kickstarer campaign here or their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

How to Stay Healthy and Hydrated Year-Round with OMI Bottle

The truth is, fall and winter can be a hard season to stay hydrated and adhere to healthy habits. Not only can the weather make “Netflix and chill” sound more appealing than “gym and chilled water,” but it can also be easy to let the holiday rush push self-care to the bottom of your to-do list.

However, whether you’re trying to learn how to stay healthy in college or just how to stay hydrated every month of the year, don’t forget to take care of yourself during these next few months. Who knows? With some help from the tips I’ve shared above and healthy living products like OMI Bottle, you might be able to make this winter your healthiest and most hydrated season yet! 

*I received monetary compensation in exchange for spreading the word about OMI Bottle. However, I only partner with brands and products that I personally belive in, and all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting what supports Casey the College Celiac!*

Have you heard of OMI Bottle before? How do you stay hydrated and healthy all year long? Tell me in the comments!  

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How to Stay Motivated and Productive as a College Student with Chronic Illness

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post! Whether you’re an undergraduate college student or a grad student and teaching assistant like me, it’s impossible to deny that staying motivated for schoolwork can be challenging at times. Add in a chronic illness or two, and staying motivated and productive in college can feel even harder.

I should know: besides being diagnosed with celiac disease a few months before my freshman year in college, I’ve also been living with fibromyalgia (and all the chronic pain and fatigue that goes along with it) since age 11. Despite my chronic illnesses, though, I graduated college with a 4.0, and I’m currently attending grad school to receive an MFA in creative writing. And, today, I’m sharing the productivity hacks I use to keep checking items off my to-do list all year long.

Ready to kick college’s booty – whether you have a chronic illness or not? Then keep reading to learn my top five secrets to staying productive and motivated as a college student! 

1. Every day, make a list of small goals and big goals – and celebrate each one you cross off.

If I had to name one piece of college school supplies that I can’t live without, it would be my planner. I don’t worry about buying a certain brand or type of planner; for me, all that matters is that it has enough space for me to write out a to-do list each day. 

It’s important to mention, however, that I list more than just the homework I need to do or the extracurricular activities I have that day. My to-do list also involves self-care activities related to my chronic illnesses. For instance, since I have celiac disease, I have to eat a strict gluten free diet and I make all my own meals. As a result, my planner is often full of reminders to meal prep my favorite gluten free snacks, bake veggies for that night’s dinner or grocery shop. 

The benefits of listing out everything are twofold. First, it ensures you won’t forget anything. Second, research has found that writing to-do lists can increase productivity by reducing people’s distracting anxiety about uncompleted tasks. As an added bonus for college students, listing to-do list items that aren’t directly related to school lets you take a break from your traditional “homework” but still be productive (by making a big batch of energy balls, for example).

No daily item is too small to add to your list (heck, I even write down “refill your pill case” or “take out the trash”), and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back with every item you can cross off, no matter how minor.

2. Prioritize self care and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks.

As hinted at above, making time for self care as a college student is super important, especially if you have a chronic illness. College – and grad school – offer so many activities that it’s easy to stay busy from the time you get up to the moment you finally go to bed. However, if you don’t make time for breaks, you’re setting yourself up for major burn out…in body and motivation.
For me, taking breaks is easier said than done. As a result, in the past few years, I’m often a stressed zombie by the time summer arrives, and it takes me weeks to recover and feel “normal” again. 

This semester, I’m trying to be more intentional with taking breaks and scheduling self care activities into my day. Practicing self care doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time; it can be as simple as going for a 15-minute walk or taking a bubble bath instead of a shower. Not to mention that, according to various studies, taking a break from work can actually improve your motivation, increase your productivity and even give your mental and physical health a boost. So the next time you’re feeling tired or have been hard at work for several hours straight, make sure you honor your body (and brain) by taking a break! 

3. Establish your own definition of “productive.”

Before we even talk any further about productivity hacks, it’s important to define “productivity” in the first place. According to Dictionary.com, productivity is “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.” However, whether you’re a full-time employee, a full-time college student or a mixture of the two, when you have a chronic illness, it’s important for you to come up with your own definition of productivity. 

To me, “productivity” means “setting myself up to achieve set goals.” I like this tweaked definition for a couple of reasons. First, it means that productivity doesn’t require finishing or fully producing anything. As a writer, I spend a frightening amount of time tweaking pieces I’ve written without ever having a finished product to show for it. Does that mean I’m wasting my time? Of course not! 
Equally important, my definition of productivity also includes non-project related actions. Most people might not consider sleeping in or going to bed early acts of “productivity.” However, as someone with fibromyalgia who needs at least 10 hours of sleep to function optimally, this extra snoozing time is setting me up for success the following day. 
Now, I’m challenging you to come up with your own “productivity” definition and try to view your activities through that lens. For me, it’s easier to avoid feeling “lazy” or guilty for “wasting time” when the activities demanded by my chronic illnesses – like food prep, extra sleep, doctor appointments, etc – fit under my umbrella definition of productivity. Maybe establishing your own view of productivity will give you an equally awesome sense of freedom! 

4. Get creative while checking items off your to-do list!

If someone has figured out how to stay motivated for college classes and homework and other academic obligations 100% of the time…that person unfortunately isn’t me. However, I have discovered several tricks and tips to get everything done, even when I don’t want to – and getting creative with my homework is my secret weapon. 
Case in point: as a graduate student in an MFA program, I need to do a lot of reading. When I’m struggling to keep turning the pages of a book that isn’t my thang, I try to combine the reading with something I do enjoy: working out. Of course, not all exercise can be done while reading and it’s important to make sure your exercising form is still correct. However, reading while walking on the treadmill or pedaling slowly on the bike helps me focus, and it’s a lot harder to get distracted when I’m “trapped” on a workout machine!

Think of what you enjoy doing and see how you could creatively incorporate those activities into your to-do list. Hate studying? Study outside or somewhere with a pretty view, or reward yourself with a five-minute solo dance party after every 30 mins of studying. Need to stretch regularly during the day because of fibromyalgia or another chronic illness, but hate how boring stretching can be? Do some of your reading for class (or for fun) while stretching on your bedroom floor. 
You’ll be amazed at how much easier or quicker your homework will feel when you experiment with creative ways to get it done! 

5. Don’t forget to acknowledge your own awesomeness.

For me, one of the most challenging parts of going to college with a chronic illness is comparing myself to other, more “normal” students, finding myself lacking and feeling discouraged about the next day, week or even next semester of college. 
When you start to fall into this comparison trap, remind yourself how awesome you really are. The harsh truth is that you are not a “typical” college student when you’re going to school with a chronic illness. You may have limitations other students don’t have to deal with (like needing more sleep) and you might not be able to juggle all of the same activities that other students can. 

However, balancing college with chronic illness also means you have Beyoncé-level student swag. After all going to college is hard enough. Going to college while also dealing with doctors appointments, a special diet, medical procedures, new medications or countless other chronic illness challenges? That’s pretty dang impressive! So don’t forget everything you’ve accomplished, and use that knowledge to motivate you through another awesome semester. 
It’d be a lie to say that acing college is easy, even when you don’t have chronic health conditions. However, it is possible – and I hope these motivation and productivity hacks help you get the most of college…and life afterward!

How do you stay motivated or productive? Tell me in the comments! 

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How to Stay Motivated and Productive as a College Student with Chronic Illness

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post! Whether you’re an undergraduate college student or a grad student and teaching assistant like me, it’s impossible to deny that staying motivated for schoolwork can be challenging at times. Add in a chronic illness or two, and staying motivated and productive in college can feel even harder.

I should know: besides being diagnosed with celiac disease a few months before my freshman year in college, I’ve also been living with fibromyalgia (and all the chronic pain and fatigue that goes along with it) since age 11. Despite my chronic illnesses, though, I graduated college with a 4.0, and I’m currently attending grad school to receive an MFA in creative writing. And, today, I’m sharing the productivity hacks I use to keep checking items off my to-do list all year long.

Ready to kick college’s booty – whether you have a chronic illness or not? Then keep reading to learn my top five secrets to staying productive and motivated as a college student! 

1. Every day, make a list of small goals and big goals – and celebrate each one you cross off.

If I had to name one piece of college school supplies that I can’t live without, it would be my planner. I don’t worry about buying a certain brand or type of planner; for me, all that matters is that it has enough space for me to write out a to-do list each day. 

It’s important to mention, however, that I list more than just the homework I need to do or the extracurricular activities I have that day. My to-do list also involves self-care activities related to my chronic illnesses. For instance, since I have celiac disease, I have to eat a strict gluten free diet and I make all my own meals. As a result, my planner is often full of reminders to meal prep my favorite gluten free snacks, bake veggies for that night’s dinner or grocery shop. 

The benefits of listing out everything are twofold. First, it ensures you won’t forget anything. Second, research has found that writing to-do lists can increase productivity by reducing people’s distracting anxiety about uncompleted tasks. As an added bonus for college students, listing to-do list items that aren’t directly related to school lets you take a break from your traditional “homework” but still be productive (by making a big batch of energy balls, for example).

No daily item is too small to add to your list (heck, I even write down “refill your pill case” or “take out the trash”), and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back with every item you can cross off, no matter how minor.

2. Prioritize self care and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks.

As hinted at above, making time for self care as a college student is super important, especially if you have a chronic illness. College – and grad school – offer so many activities that it’s easy to stay busy from the time you get up to the moment you finally go to bed. However, if you don’t make time for breaks, you’re setting yourself up for major burn out…in body and motivation.
For me, taking breaks is easier said than done. As a result, in the past few years, I’m often a stressed zombie by the time summer arrives, and it takes me weeks to recover and feel “normal” again. 

This semester, I’m trying to be more intentional with taking breaks and scheduling self care activities into my day. Practicing self care doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time; it can be as simple as going for a 15-minute walk or taking a bubble bath instead of a shower. Not to mention that, according to various studies, taking a break from work can actually improve your motivation, increase your productivity and even give your mental and physical health a boost. So the next time you’re feeling tired or have been hard at work for several hours straight, make sure you honor your body (and brain) by taking a break! 

3. Establish your own definition of “productive.”

Before we even talk any further about productivity hacks, it’s important to define “productivity” in the first place. According to Dictionary.com, productivity is “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.” However, whether you’re a full-time employee, a full-time college student or a mixture of the two, when you have a chronic illness, it’s important for you to come up with your own definition of productivity. 

To me, “productivity” means “setting myself up to achieve set goals.” I like this tweaked definition for a couple of reasons. First, it means that productivity doesn’t require finishing or fully producing anything. As a writer, I spend a frightening amount of time tweaking pieces I’ve written without ever having a finished product to show for it. Does that mean I’m wasting my time? Of course not! 
Equally important, my definition of productivity also includes non-project related actions. Most people might not consider sleeping in or going to bed early acts of “productivity.” However, as someone with fibromyalgia who needs at least 10 hours of sleep to function optimally, this extra snoozing time is setting me up for success the following day. 
Now, I’m challenging you to come up with your own “productivity” definition and try to view your activities through that lens. For me, it’s easier to avoid feeling “lazy” or guilty for “wasting time” when the activities demanded by my chronic illnesses – like food prep, extra sleep, doctor appointments, etc – fit under my umbrella definition of productivity. Maybe establishing your own view of productivity will give you an equally awesome sense of freedom! 

4. Get creative while checking items off your to-do list!

If someone has figured out how to stay motivated for college classes and homework and other academic obligations 100% of the time…that person unfortunately isn’t me. However, I have discovered several tricks and tips to get everything done, even when I don’t want to – and getting creative with my homework is my secret weapon. 
Case in point: as a graduate student in an MFA program, I need to do a lot of reading. When I’m struggling to keep turning the pages of a book that isn’t my thang, I try to combine the reading with something I do enjoy: working out. Of course, not all exercise can be done while reading and it’s important to make sure your exercising form is still correct. However, reading while walking on the treadmill or pedaling slowly on the bike helps me focus, and it’s a lot harder to get distracted when I’m “trapped” on a workout machine!

Think of what you enjoy doing and see how you could creatively incorporate those activities into your to-do list. Hate studying? Study outside or somewhere with a pretty view, or reward yourself with a five-minute solo dance party after every 30 mins of studying. Need to stretch regularly during the day because of fibromyalgia or another chronic illness, but hate how boring stretching can be? Do some of your reading for class (or for fun) while stretching on your bedroom floor. 
You’ll be amazed at how much easier or quicker your homework will feel when you experiment with creative ways to get it done! 

5. Don’t forget to acknowledge your own awesomeness.

For me, one of the most challenging parts of going to college with a chronic illness is comparing myself to other, more “normal” students, finding myself lacking and feeling discouraged about the next day, week or even next semester of college. 
When you start to fall into this comparison trap, remind yourself how awesome you really are. The harsh truth is that you are not a “typical” college student when you’re going to school with a chronic illness. You may have limitations other students don’t have to deal with (like needing more sleep) and you might not be able to juggle all of the same activities that other students can. 

However, balancing college with chronic illness also means you have Beyoncé-level student swag. After all going to college is hard enough. Going to college while also dealing with doctors appointments, a special diet, medical procedures, new medications or countless other chronic illness challenges? That’s pretty dang impressive! So don’t forget everything you’ve accomplished, and use that knowledge to motivate you through another awesome semester. 
It’d be a lie to say that acing college is easy, even when you don’t have chronic health conditions. However, it is possible – and I hope these motivation and productivity hacks help you get the most of college…and life afterward!

How do you stay motivated or productive? Tell me in the comments! 

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Wholly Wholesome Pizza Dough

by on / Gluten Free

Author: antiwheatgirl

I’m wrapping up Celiac Awareness Month with one more review! Now, I used to be a big cooking and baking person but med school has really taken up all of my time and energy to do that kind of stuff. But when Wholly Wholesome offered to send me some samples to try, I mustered up as much energy as I possibly could and made some yummy stuff!

I looked around a bunch of their products and found this frozen pizza dough at Mom’s Organic Market. I have never made pizza before and was sort of intimated by the thought of it, but decided to give it a shot.

The first thing I noticed was how allergen friendly this pizza dough is! Wheat free, dairy free, casein free, egg free, soy free, peanut free, tree nut free and sesame free!!! SO FREE!!! Made in a dedicated gluten free facility and everything! And surprisingly, the dough itself was not that crumbly and pretty easy to work with. You can defrost it in the fridge a day in advance or at room temp for 3 hours. 

I was still feeling a little apprehensive to make a whole pizza, so I saw that they had some other recipe ideas on their website (see HERE) and decided to split the dough in half and make the garlic knots and the deep dish pizza bites. I took some liberties with the pizza bites because I’m vegetarian so I just used pizza sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan to fill them. 

They both came out SO well and it was SO easy!!! I really didn’t expect the process to go as quickly or as smoothly as it did. But like…look at these delicious bites!

I was really impressed with how soft and chewy the dough became in the garlic knots. I haven’t had a garlic knot in maybe…13 years? and it was just as good as I remembered. And the pizza bites? The dough held up SO WELL. It didn’t crumble apart or crack at all. It made perfect little muffin sized bites! I mayyyyy have finished all them in one sitting.

Now usually, I’m the person who will make some elaborate delicious thing once and then decide it’s too much work and never do it again. But these were actually really easy to make and were so good, so Wholly Wholesome has definitely made a repeat customer out of me! So thanks again to them for letting me try their products out! 

Anyone else ever tried Wholly Wholesome products? Check out their website HERE!

Author: antiwheatgirl
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31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post! Now that summer is officially here, healthy smoothies are my kind of gluten free breakfast, lunch, dinner or night time snack! My favorite part about smoothies is how versatile they can be. Don’t like bananas? Make a banana-free smoothie using melon or cantaloupe. Have a major sweet tooth? Meet my summer smoothie addiction: a superfood chocolate smoothie bowl (recipe included on point number 16 below!).

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

To make sure I could share smoothie recipes to fulfill each and every craving, I reached out to the blogosphere and am including delicious smoothie recipes from 27 other food bloggers I know and love. Like all of my recipe roundups, all of the smoothie recipes featured here are gluten free, but many are also free of other food allergens and/or appropriate for a vegan, paleo, keto or anything-in-between diet. So whether you’re looking for smoothie recipes for kids, decadent smoothie bowls that will make breakfast feel like dessert or healthy smoothie ideas, this is the smoothie roundup for you!

1. Energy Boosting Red Smoothie (Vegan, Paleo) – Kitchen of Youth

This smoothie is beyond beet-iful…and I’ll leave it at that.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

2. Chocolate Avocado Date Smoothie (Vegan) – Savory Lotus

Just when I thought avocado couldn’t get any more addictive, it appears in chocolate smoothie form.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

3. Zucchini Bread Nana Ice Cream (Vegan) – Casey the College Celiac 

If you’ve never tried adding zucchini to your healthy smoothie, prepare to have your mind (and tastebuds) blown!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

Like this post? Tweet me some love by clicking here: “Cool off this summer with one of these 31 delicious and #healthy #glutenfree smoothie (bowl) recipes. Whether you’re craving a smoothie that’s #vegan, #paleo, #keto or #allergyfriendly, this #healthyrecipe roundup is for you –> http://bit.ly/2scL5GI”

4. Wild Blueberry Ginger Kombucha Smoothie (Vegan) – Food, Pleasure and Health

Kombucha just got a smoothie bowl upgrade!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

5. Banana Mango Smoothie Breakfast Bowl – The Forked Spoon

Make sure you use gluten free oats, and you can send your taste buds to a tropical paradise – at least in smoothie form.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

6. Raspberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl (Dairy Free, Paleo) – Haute & Healthy Living

Once you find a gluten free protein powder that makes your taste buds sing, you’ll have everything you need to whip up a delicious protein smoothie recipe like this one.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

7. The Best Healthy Green Smoothie Recipe That Tastes Good (Dairy Free) – Jill Conyers

Learning how to make a green monster smoothie that actually tastes delicious can be challenging, but this smoothie recipe is a tasty place to start!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

8. 5 Ingredient Brownie Batter Smoothie (Vegan) – Healthy Helper

When a healthy smoothie recipe actually tastes like your favorite gluten free brownies, you know you’ve found a winner…

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

9. Peanut Butter Jelly Smoothie (Low Carb, Dairy Free) – Peace, Love and Low Carb

Thanks to vanilla protein powder, your traditional PB&J sandwich just got a protein-packed upgrade.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

10. Veggie Loaded Blueberry Pie Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – Casey the College Celiac 

Pie in smoothie form? Yes please…

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

11. The Best Power Green Smoothie Recipe (Vegan) – Spaceships and Laser Beams

Is this really the best green smoothie recipe out there? I’ll leave that up to you to decide! However, if you’ve never tried almond butter in a smoothie, this recipe will definitely motivate you to change that ASAP.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

Like this post? Tweet me some love by clicking here: “Cool off this summer with one of these 31 delicious and #healthy #glutenfree smoothie (bowl) recipes. Whether you’re craving a smoothie that’s #vegan, #paleo, #keto or #allergyfriendly, this #healthyrecipe roundup is for you –> http://bit.ly/2scL5GI”

12. Energy Boosting Smoothie with Papaya and Avocado (Vegan) – Happy Foods Tube

I don’t know about you, but this looks like sunshine in a smoothie to me!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

13. Tofu and Strawberry Smoothie (High Protein, Vegan) – All Nutribullet Recipes 

Tofu just got a deliciously smooth and creamy upgrade.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

14. Tahini Banana Smoothie (Dairy Free) – Foodal 

Who would’ve thunk that tahini could look soooo good in smoothie form?

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

15. Super Healthy Pomegranate Cranberry Almond Smoothie (Vegan) – Easy Cooking with Molly

Talk about vibrant food! This healthy smoothie is sure to catch any eater’s eye.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

16. Avocado Banana Smoothie (Vegan) – Curry Trail

Only three simple ingredients separate you from this green monster smoothie!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

17. Chocolate Superfood Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – Casey the College Celiac 

This vegan smoothie bowl may taste like dessert, but this chocolate smoothie is easy to make and loaded with superfoods and hidden veggies.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

18. Wild Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie (Vegan) – Amy Gorin Nutrition

Purple cauliflower has never looked so pretty!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

19. Tropical Pineapple Carrot Smoothie (Vegan) – Peas and Crayons

There are a lot of pineapple smoothie recipes out there, but this one looks almost too good to eat. Almost.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

20. Funfetti No Cake Protein Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – A Whisk and Two Wands 

I’ve never tried using frozen chickpeas in a smoothie bowl, but the drool-worthy photos of this vegan smoothie recipe are making chickpeas sound just crazy (delicious) enough to try!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

21. Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie (Low Carb, Sugar Free) – Graceful Abandon 

Just when you thought cheesecake couldn’t get any better, it got a smoothie makeover.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

22. Power-Packed Orange Mango Green Smoothie – The Holy Mess

Freshly squeezed orange juice, vanilla protein powder (make sure yours is gluten-free) and creamy avocado ensure that this green smoothie is one heck of a tasty pre or post workout meal. Depending on the protein powder you use, this smoothie can also easily be made vegan, dairy free or paleo.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

Like this post? Tweet me some love by clicking here: “Cool off this summer with one of these 31 delicious and #healthy #glutenfree smoothie (bowl) recipes. Whether you’re craving a smoothie that’s #vegan, #paleo, #keto or #allergyfriendly, this #healthyrecipe roundup is for you –> http://bit.ly/2scL5GI”

23. Chocolate Coconut Strawberry Smoothie (Low Fodmap, Vegan and Paleo Options) – E.A. Stewart

Cacao nibs and unsweetened shredded coconut are the perfect finishing touches for this refreshing chocolate smoothie recipe.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

24. Peach Turmeric Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – The Organic Kitchen

In light of my love of puns, I have to say that this vegan smoothie bowl sounds absolutely peachy!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

25. Secretly Healthy S’mores Smoothie Bowl (Vegan Option) – Casey the College Celiac 

Want all the goodness of a s’more with none of the work of setting up a fire? Then this green smoothie bowl loaded with s’mores toppings is exactly what you need!

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

26. Strawberry Cauliflower Smoothie (Vegan, Paleo) – Katalyst Health

This strawberry smoothie is so tasty, it can convert even cauliflower haters.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

27. Immune-Boosting Friendship Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – Strength and Sunshine 

Whip up a delicious and healthy breakfast-for-two with unique smoothie bowl recipe, which features superfoods like apple cider vinegar, turmeric and ginger.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

28. Purple Sweet Potato Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – Rhian’s Recipes 

If you’re looking for unique healthy smoothie ideas, this purple sweet potato smoothie has your name all over it.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

29. Green Keto Smoothie Recipe with Avocado and Mint (Low Carb) – Low Carb Yum 

If you’ve never tried using cilantro and lime in a green smoothie, this recipe is exactly what you need.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

30. Filling Blueberry Smoothie Bowl (Vegan) – DIY Candy

This blueberry pineapple smoothie recipe consists mainly of fruit, but smoothie toppings like chia seeds will help keep you full and fueled all morning long.

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

31. Mango Berry Protein Smoothie – Garlic and Zest

Who knew that mangos, berries, (gluten free) protein powder, almond milk and ice would turn into such a dreamy and creamy smoothie when blended together?

31 Gluten Free Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls for Summer

Even though I’ve been whipping up gluten free and vegan smoothies for years now, I’m always looking for new healthy smoothie ideas…and this roundup has definitely added some new recipes to the top of my to-do list, as well as encouraged me to experiment with even more unique smoothie ingredients, like chickpeas and tofu.

Like this post? Tweet me some love by clicking here: “Cool off this summer with one of these 31 delicious and #healthy #glutenfree smoothie (bowl) recipes. Whether you’re craving a smoothie that’s #vegan, #paleo, #keto or #allergyfriendly, this #healthyrecipe roundup is for you –> http://bit.ly/2scL5GI”

Which smoothie recipe sounds the most drool-worthy to you? Tell me in the comments!

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#4 Healing a Leaky GutLeaky

by on / Gluten Free

#4 Healing a Leaky Gut

Leaky gut (or intestinal permeability) is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged. The tight junctions that control what passes through the gut wall don’t work efficiently, allowing substances such as toxins, bacteria and undigested food particles to leak through.

When these substances are able to leak through the gut wall, the immune system unleashes its response (as these are foreign invaders that are not supposed to be present) causing inflammation not only in the gut but potentially throughout the body! A leaky gut also upsets the delicate balance of gut flora causing a whole host of digestive symptoms.

So what causes a leaky gut?

– Foods. Gluten being the main culprit due to gliadin’s role in the release of zonulin, the ‘gatekeeper’ of the tight junctions in the gut wall. Other inflammatory foods such as sugar, processed foods and alcohol can also cause damage.

– Stress,

– Toxins such as medications, antibiotics and pesticides.

– Infections such as parasites, Candida overgrowth and SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth)

So what can be done?

By making some simple changes and additions to your diet and lifestyle it is possible to heal a leaky gut. I read that the cells in the intestinal wall renew every 3-6 days so with the right support the gut can heal relatively quickly! (Although personally I’m sceptical that after years of damage the change can be quite so quick!)

– eliminate foods that irritate the gut such as gluten, dairy, processed foods and sugar. An elimination diet should be followed carefully, removing one food at a time for at least 2 weeks, then reintroducing it to see the effects. A food/symptom diary is a really useful tool to help you work out your triggers.

– Eat a healthy diet full of whole foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help repair the damage.

– Consider taking supplements that support digestion and healing such as omega 3 (to reduce inflammation and rebuild cell walls) and glutamine (an amino acid that strengthens the gut lining)

– When the gut has begun to heal, include high quality probiotics in to your diet to rebalance gut flora (you really do get what you pay for and investing in a more expensive product offering a diverse range of bacteria strains is well worth it!)

I am currently using:

1. Natural Health Practice Advanced Probiotic Support. This contains 12 billion bifidobacteria strains and 10 billion lactobacillus acidophilus! It also incorporates prebiotics and glutamine.

2. Natural Health Practice IB Support. This contains peppermint oil, marshmallow, slippery elm, ginger, turmeric and fennel to support healthy digestion and normal bowel function.

I’m still working on reducing my sugar and alcohol intake (some of life’s greatest pleasures right?) but I am so interested in this because I have experienced it for myself and already feel so much better after years of tummy struggles!

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Mike’s Discount Foods is

by on / Gluten Free

Mike’s Discount Foods is now my version of the $100 store. Only my receipts probably average $50. Tonight, I spent $73 on a variety of produce, snacks, plant based milks, and more. 

Silk Protein Nutmilk half gallon: $2.49
Pacific Vanilla Cashew Milk 32 fl. oz: $1.00
Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Plant Milk 48 fl. oz: $1.00

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that when shopping at Mike’s, you have to decide whether or not to worry about “best by” dates. The Bolthouse milk “expired” August 12 which was ten days ago, but I feel like it should still be good for awhile. The Silk milk’s date is August 27 which is five days from now, but we use a lot of milk for smoothies, so we’ll go through it pretty quickly. The Pacific milk is shelf stable and has a date of September 19; we put it in the fridge to help extend that. When we buy a few different kinds of milk like this, we triage them and try to use the one with the most recent “best by” date first. 

This Parmela Creamery aged nutcheese was a fun find; one has a date of August 9 and the other August 21 so we’ll try to use these pretty quickly. I feel like cheeses such as these are likely to spoil close to their “best by” dates. We found Follow Your Heart cheese at a previous visit and put some of it in the freezer to help it keep longer, and we may do the same with this cheese. Vegan cheeses don’t always thaw well, but I try to serve them in melted form which increases the chance of them being edible post-freeze. These 7oz. bags were $1.99 each and retail for $6.99.

Dr. McDougall’s soup retails for $3.99 and these don’t expire until April 2020, so this one is definitely a great deal. I love that each visit to Mike’s is different; this is a brand I haven’t seen there before.

We didn’t purchase this One Degree flour, but I grabbed a photo because it retails for $4.95, and it’s USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. I especially love that they use veganic farming methods.

We always pick up produce at Mike’s, and I was excited to see organic avocados today. They aren’t anywhere close to being ripe, so it seems like a solid purchase. The sweet potatoes and onions are always great, and we also grabbed blueberries, salad mix, raspberries, and kiwis.

I’m all about the caffeine, and I tried Pamela’s Masala Chai Ambition Bars a couple years ago at ExpoWest. They’re delicious, so I snagged four of these which are usually twice this price. Their “best by” date was July 19 so I’ll try to eat these pretty quickly. My biggest concern is the bars going stale.

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Above, you can see some of the other deals we came across, and you can check out my full receipt below. This is probably one of the better selections of plant-based products that I’ve found there — I feel like it gets better every time!

www.mikesdiscountfoods.com

Grocery Haul: Mike’s Discount Foods

Mike’s Discount Foods is now my version of the $100 store. Only my receipts probably average $50.

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Mike’s Discount Foods is

by on / Gluten Free

Mike’s Discount Foods is now my version of the $100 store. Only my receipts probably average $50. Tonight, I spent $73 on a variety of produce, snacks, plant based milks, and more. 

Silk Protein Nutmilk half gallon: $2.49
Pacific Vanilla Cashew Milk 32 fl. oz: $1.00
Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Plant Milk 48 fl. oz: $1.00

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that when shopping at Mike’s, you have to decide whether or not to worry about “best by” dates. The Bolthouse milk “expired” August 12 which was ten days ago, but I feel like it should still be good for awhile. The Silk milk’s date is August 27 which is five days from now, but we use a lot of milk for smoothies, so we’ll go through it pretty quickly. The Pacific milk is shelf stable and has a date of September 19; we put it in the fridge to help extend that. When we buy a few different kinds of milk like this, we triage them and try to use the one with the most recent “best by” date first. 

This Parmela Creamery aged nutcheese was a fun find; one has a date of August 9 and the other August 21 so we’ll try to use these pretty quickly. I feel like cheeses such as these are likely to spoil close to their “best by” dates. We found Follow Your Heart cheese at a previous visit and put some of it in the freezer to help it keep longer, and we may do the same with this cheese. Vegan cheeses don’t always thaw well, but I try to serve them in melted form which increases the chance of them being edible post-freeze. These 7oz. bags were $1.99 each and retail for $6.99.

Dr. McDougall’s soup retails for $3.99 and these don’t expire until April 2020, so this one is definitely a great deal. I love that each visit to Mike’s is different; this is a brand I haven’t seen there before.

We didn’t purchase this One Degree flour, but I grabbed a photo because it retails for $4.95, and it’s USDA Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. I especially love that they use veganic farming methods.

We always pick up produce at Mike’s, and I was excited to see organic avocados today. They aren’t anywhere close to being ripe, so it seems like a solid purchase. The sweet potatoes and onions are always great, and we also grabbed blueberries, salad mix, raspberries, and kiwis.

I’m all about the caffeine, and I tried Pamela’s Masala Chai Ambition Bars a couple years ago at ExpoWest. They’re delicious, so I snagged four of these which are usually twice this price. Their “best by” date was July 19 so I’ll try to eat these pretty quickly. My biggest concern is the bars going stale.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above, you can see some of the other deals we came across, and you can check out my full receipt below. This is probably one of the better selections of plant-based products that I’ve found there — I feel like it gets better every time!

www.mikesdiscountfoods.com

Grocery Haul: Mike’s Discount Foods

Mike’s Discount Foods is now my version of the $100 store. Only my receipts probably average $50.

Continue Reading

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

by on / Gluten Free

New blog post!

Back-to-school time is almost here, and I know from experience how stressful this season can for students with chronic illness. After all, when you have a chronic illness, you have to worry about staying healthy on top of completing homework, going to class and/or work and overall just kicking butt at school life.

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

Since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 11 and celiac disease at age 16, I’m no stranger to going to school, college and now grad school with a chronic illness. So today I thought I’d share 13 “necessities” I think all students with chronic illnesses should have for the coming school year, regardless of their age, chronic illness and education level.  

1. A planner. 

Like I’ve written before, you can use a planner for so much more than just writing down homework for class. You can also remind yourself about when to take your medication, foods you need to prep, phone calls you need to make to your doctor and anything else you need to do to kick life’s booty with chronic illness. 

2. A heat pack and ice pack. 

If you have fibromyalgia or another chronic pain condition, having heat and ice packs on hand is a total must. These are two items I didn’t think about the first time I went to college. I was so used to my parents having several of each that I didn’t even think of buying my own! But when a fibromyalgia flare-up hits, being able to lay down with a heat pack on my back and an ice pack on the back of my neck makes a huge difference. If the same is true for you, make sure you add these two packs to your back-to-school shopping list. 

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

3. All the emergency snacks. 

Ever been busy running around town to do errands and then realize, “If I don’t eat something right now, ‘hangry’ is going to be an understatement!”? When you have dietary restrictions (like from celiac disease), finding a snack can be more challenging. That’s why I always have a few bars, homemade energy balls or pieces of fruit stuck in my purse or backpack – just in case! If you need ideas of allergy friendly snacks to pack for back-to-school, check out this gluten free snack recipe roundup or this list of some of my favorite premade snacks lately! 

4. Blackout curtains. 

If you struggle with getting enough sleep, black-out curtains can seriously transform your life. I need more sleep than the average bear (thank you, fibromyalgia), and my black-out curtains ensure that the sun doesn’t wake me up hours early. In a pinch, close pinning a light blanket to your curtain rod will work too (not that I’ve ever been desperate enough for that…cough, cough), but black-out curtains are a worthy investment for lots of restful sleep. 

5. A good lunch box. 

Remember how excited you were as a kid to buy a new, cool lunchbox for the school year? Well, packing yourself a delicious, nourishing and allergy friendly lunch to eat at school is just as important in high school, college and even grad school. I’m always a fan of leftover gluten free pizza, vegan mac and cheese or any of these other gluten free packed lunch recipes. As long as you have a good lunch box to put them in, your stomach is destined to be very happy all school year long.

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

6. A reliable pair of shoes. 

Depending on how large your school is, you’ll probably be racking up the steps once the school year starts up again. As a result, having a reliable pair of shoes is a MUST. Personally, I wear my Adidas sneakers with orthotics as often as I can, but find out what works for you and stick with it! 

7. A note or paperwork from your doctor. 

Like I wrote in my comprehensive guide for going to college with celiac disease, my college required certain paperwork and documentation from my doctor to get the accommodations I needed from my college. So before the school year starts, I’d encourage you to reach out to your school’s disability resource center and ask what paperwork you should get done before school begins.

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

8. Frozen meals or foods for busy days at school. 

I typically cook at least once a day, but during crazy busy days at grad school, having frozen foods or meals that I can heat up and eat in a few minutes is seriously life-saving. I plan on doing a round up of my favorite frozen foods and meals soon, but lately I’ve been loving Dr. Preager’s GF veggie burgers, Path of Life’s quinoa meals and frozen portions of my vegan mac and cheese, stacked enchilada, oil-free fries, and granola. I’ve also loved eating Foster Farm’s GF chicken nuggets and chicken tenders in the past. 

9. All. The. Medications. And a pill pack to stay organized! 

In college, my friends used to joke that everyone should run to my dorm room if there was an emergency because I had all the food and all the medications. But on a serious note, making sure you stock up on your pills and know how and when you’re going to get them refilled is super important before every school year. When you move somewhere new for school like I did last year, it can feel really overwhelming to figure out your medical care on top of your new school and classes. So the sooner you make a game plan for your medications, the smoother your school year afterward! 

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

Depending on how many pills you need to take, I recommend investing in a simple pill organizer (or even a pill organizer + water bottle like this one!) as well. Always having a week’s worth of pills organized makes it super easy for me to just pour that night’s pills in a plastic bag to keep in my backpack if I have a night class or am going out with friends. Spending ten minutes or so organizing my pills for the whole week always saves me lots of time during my busy days later on! 

10. The phone numbers of several friends you can call for support. 

I’m not going to lie. Going to school with a chronic illness is hard. That’s why you should try to have at least one person you know you can call and vent to anytime you need. Having a solid support system can keep you from feeling alone in your struggles and give you important reminders about how awesome you really are! If you don’t have any close friends or family that could fulfill this role, you can always explore online support groups for your chronic illness as well. Some of these online groups are definitely better than others, but as long as you find someone who makes you feel safe and understood, that’s all that matters. 

11. A backpack loaded with all the necessities, from extra meds to backup snacks. 

There’s no point in loading up on emergency snacks and medicine if you don’t take them with you for when you might need them! That’s where a sturdy backpack or purse comes in. I’d also encourage you to have fun with your backpack and show off your personality…and perhaps even your chronic illness. My favorite part about my backpack (besides all the goodies inside it) is the buttons – including some about slaying life while gluten free – I have all over it.

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

As for what emergency items to include in your backpack, I always have a few bars (so I can choose whichever one I actually feel like eating) and some backup migraine, stomach and pain medications. There’s nothing worse than being trapped in class while battling a flare up, and these meds saved me several times last year! 

12. A self-care checklist. 

I get it. When you’re trying to be a rockstar student while managing your chronic illness, self care can often fall to the bottom of your to-do list. But taking the time to relax your body and your mind is virtual during busy times at school – especially if you have a chronic illness that makes you extra prone to getting run down or sick from stress. So I’m challenging you to make a list of three self care practices you’ll try to engage in every week. They can be as simple as painting your nails each Sunday night and as quick as just taking a 10 minute walk during your lunch breaks. If you need inspiration for easy ways to practice self care, check out my lists of self care activities you can do in 15 minutes or from the comfort of your own bed.

13. The belief that you are gonna rock this school year, no matter what obstacles may come your way! 

Most likely, the school year will come with some challenges. Most likely, there will be days when you think, “If I was normal, school would be SO much easier!” But know this: with enough determination, support and hard work, you can kick the school year’s butt, even with a chronic illness. And you’ll be amazed at how much the challenges you overcome make you grow in the end.

13 Back-to-School Essentials for Students with Chronic Illness

My Reminder to All Chronically Ill Students…

As the school year creeps closer, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious. However, I also know that I’ve survived much harder school years on the past – like being hospitalized for celiac complications during my freshman year of college – and that this year will be full of adventures, memories and opportunities to learn. 
And if you’re also feeling a little anxious about going back to school with a chronic illness, I hope this list makes you feel less alone and gives you a better idea of how you can prepare yourself for success!

What’s one of your chronic illness necessities? Tell me in the comments!

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[Question] Anyone have similar symptoms? Ideas on what it is? Treatment advice? Functional medicine?

by on / Paleo Diet

Hi everyone, I’m new to the group, but from reading and listening to Paleo “media”, it seems to be the closest thing I’ve found to a solution.

So I’ve been struggling with a group of symptoms that seem to be some kind of chronic/auto immune thing since about 19 years old. Many have gone on and off, but many have worsened over the years.

I was hoping to write a comprehensive report on this, and perhaps you fine people in different subreddits could help me figure out what the condition could be or at least share some information that would help me research it better and optimize treatment.

Here is an as FULL of a picture as I was able to put together about myself:

About me (sorry if this sounds like dating-profile info haha, just want to paint a full picture):

I am a 33/M, 5’9, 155lbs, athletic(looking) build, live in Northeastern USA, emigrated from Eastern Europe as a kid.

General Physical/Psych symptoms:

General anxiety, OCD (nervous ticks, little rituals, trying to control all variables), Low Stress Tolerance/easy overwhelm, chronic pain/stiffness/trigger points (upperback/neck/rear shoulder +lowerback/hips), IBS-C, sleep issues (waking up at night/problems falling back asleep, vivid bad dreams on with themes of insecurities), Low Sex Drive + Low semen volume on ejaculation, some Depression (sometimes), some difficulty concentrating.

  • Chronic pain/stiffness better with phys activity, hard trigger point massage, heating/cooling sauna, but only temporarily (although I’ve never done these things very regularly).

  • Back and joints also crack/pop and always feel like I need to do it to get relief.

  • My PT says I have lax ligaments making it harder to stretch muscles, but not hypermobile like “double-jointed” people

  • Physical activity: trying to get into functional training and swimming, but have really barely done either due to the bad sleep and aches/pains (probably should be doing it despite that). Go on a hike ~1/week.

  • IBS-C seems to be physical and mental: having quiet/private/calm time in the morning helps be go to the bathroom, as does eating well. If I don’t go in the morning, I feel more tired/stiff/not as sharp all day.

  • Sleep has been better last couple of weeks (not waking up at night is a big win for me), but not being very refreshed in the morning is a baseline for me.

Mental health:

Apart from described symptoms above, I have some complexes and insecurities that definitely seem to have a link to the past. More specifically problems fitting in in school as a kid and publicly shamed by classmates, strict/difficult parents, parent leaving the family in a bad way, 2 of my relationships being horribly toxic.

  • It seems that many symptoms I described in General, are psychosomatic, and get better with better mood and conditions, worse with more stress.

  • I am currently researching a good therapist for my situation.

  • I took Clonazepam in small doses (~.25mg) before sleep for ~4yrs, but stopped fully a few weeks ago.

  • Have struggled with getting into a career and being lost for the last 12 years, contributing to my distress. Finally taking some solid steps towards something in coaching/counseling/therapy though.

Dietary:

  • I have been eating a Paleo diet for the last couple of months, which seems to let me tolerate hunger easier, as well as improve my IBS-C – making it easier to go to the bathroom with better quality BMs (could also be the probiotic I take 2x a day).

  • I haven’t drank alcohol for a couple of months.

  • I am sensitive to sugar and dairy – feel more problems digestions and stiffness/pain-wise when I consume either.

  • Have been taking 5000IU Vit D 2x a day and 30 mins sun exposure (see below – deficiency)

Labs:

I have 3 tests from the last 2 years – blood and urine. Some are a little more comprehensive, but from just a normal PCP. Testosterone, TSH, B 12 levels seem to be pretty normal, but a deficiency in Vitamin D. I can post if needed.

Please let me know if I should include any other info, and I will do so. Thank you for your attention and help

P.S. might make a separate post later, but how do I find a good functional medicine practitioner near me? Will they have someone on staff for my psychological component as well?

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