Whoops, seems I rocked a boat.

I did a bad, apparently.

I’ve always known recipes to be for sharing. You make something someone likes, you pass it on. Great! That’s what I’ve been doing here lately. I have recently started following a keto diet for a multitude of reasons (funny enough, none of those is for weight loss) and I have a number of friends and family who are on the ride with me.

I like to revisit recipes after I made them and see what kind of improvements I can make (because there are ALWAYS improvements that can be done. People have different tastes, preferences and needs, afterall.) But some of these blogging sites make their recipes near impossible to share.

While I have absolutely no problems linking directly to simple blogs and recipe sites, there are some websites that are simply overwhelming with unnecessary info and novel-sized stories, photos and a multitude of ads and popups that make navigation difficult. These flashing, distracting advertisements prior to and WITHIN the recipe have caused me to miss steps and ingredients, and it is not a good platform for me to return for the recipe. My eyes have become extremely sensitive to light, especially flashing light, and it’s bad enough that I have to fight through double vision and all of that, but to have to look at small fonts through GIANT ads and photos is difficult. Also, friends and family I have spoken with feel the same as I do. And, so, I am posting my favorite recipes on my own blog for ME to find later. Yep, there are ads at the bottom of my blog now and again – that’s because it’s a free platform for me to share on. But not because I’m making a profit from those ads. They are minimal, which means I can find and follow the recipe I know where to find with ease.

I have linked to other recipe sites before WITH FULL CREDIT TO THE AUTHORS and they (ok, only one) has decided to threaten me with copyright and whatnot. I have reworded the recipes and added changes I’ve made. I suggest, if you want me to link directly to your site instead of posting it to my own, to minimize the extreme amount of annoyances that make your site not worth sharing because it’s so hard to follow. Recipes are meant to be shared, enjoyed and loved without the stress and hassle of trying to FIND the damned thing to begin with.

If you have put your hard work into making these recipes, I WANT to share them, and WANT to send people to you – but if I have a hard time reading them, I’m compiling them in a way that makes them easier FOR ME to read. While I wanted to link directly back to the authors, the authors have made it very difficult to view their page and to give them credit. If this offends you, I really don’t know what to say, except THANK YOU for making my tummy happy, and I hope you find fulfillment in your endeavors. I truly do.

Do your readers a favor and make it easier for them to follow you.

Some of my favorite, easy to read, no (or, at least, minimal) nonsense websites include AllrecipesDiet DoctorDelish, ketologic and healthfulpursuit. You won’t find the recipes from those pages posted here, because they are links that I can easily read through and will link directly to those sites from my meal list or Instagram account. The only ones I post here are from those sites that I just can’t deal with, so that I can reference back to them more easily. If you really don’t like that I hate visiting your website that much, then perhaps find out WHY and revisit your methods. I’d be happy to help you by answering honestly, but please don’t approach me with copyright mumbo jumbo. You are real, as am I, and we both have our reasons for doing what we do.

And here’s some info for recipe copyrights. Truth is, the only thing I really crossed the line on was that I used their photo for the journal entry header, which had their website link on it – something I did intentionally to show who I got the recipe from. The only other thing I copied from there was the recipe and directions. Which, if you read up on it, doesn’t really constitute a copyright infringement. That’s been fixed, and any changes I made to the recipes have been made and the instructions rewritten.

Recipe Copyright on Paleoflourish

Plagiarism on plagiarismtoday

Fair Use and Recipe Copyright Tips and Options on delishably

How to Copyright Recipes on WikiHow

EDIT: I’m adding links back in, because I don’t feel comfortable not crediting the original authors (although some of the recipes can be found on multiple websites, so it’s hard to know which one is the original). But regardless, most of the time, I’ve modified recipes and not created my own, so I’m happy to attribute credit for my starting point.

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Keto Creamcheese Crepes

Ingredients
4 oz cream cheese
4 eggs
1.5 tsp granulated sugar substitute (monk fruit or Swerve)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 pinch baking soda
2 pinch salt

Instructions:
1. Warm a greased griddle or non stick pan on medium heat.
2. Place ingredients together in a magic blender and mix until smooth.
3. Pour liquid onto griddle and cook until bubbles form on all edges.
4. Flip carefully and cook until underside is golden brown.
5. Serve with favorite toppings – coconut whipped cream or fresh berries or peanut butter.

I made a NOT keto mango compote with cardamom, ginger and butter, which is shown in the photo.

Original recipe can be found on the ibreatheimhungry blog by clicking here.

NOTE: This blog and the recipes I’m sharing are mostly for my personal use, and a place where I can SAFELY share the recipes with friends who are interested, or refer back to the recipe at a later time. I have no intention of making money off of them, and simply enjoy what has been made. Clicky here to read my journal entry regarding recipe sharing blogs for profit.

The Day After

This is the day after. I planned and prepared for a day out, with people and things I love and dinner after. I laid my clothes out the night before, I packed my purse with the things I need, and the things I might need. Antihistamines, Tums, my epipen, pain meds and creams and the cane and parking placard and heated gloves and extra batteries. I knew I was going to be around animals, so the day of I made sure to take what I needed to prevent a reaction. Had good, homemade food before I left, drank lots of water and electrolytes and spent a quiet morning preserving my spoons.

I had great fun! I got to spend time with people I don’t get to see often enough. Took some photos, talked to kids about reptiles – a passion of mine still, even though I no longer own any. Snuggled with a sloth and croc and spent time getting to know these animals just a bit more, and then headed out for dinner with some amazing people. I was having fun, even though I could feel the flaring start. I’m home so much, and it was so nice to be out, and my energy was gone but I wanted to squeeze in every awesome moment I was able.

I knew the next day I’d feel awful. That day is today.

I feel like I’ve been plagued by a flu.
My guts are flipping over and angry, swollen and burning.
My lips are aching and chapped.
My head is stuffy and clouded.
My ears are screaming and feel plugged.
My eyes are sore and leaking and heavy.
My vision is blurrier than usual.
My face is numb and tingly and swollen and uncomfortably warm.
My throat is scratchy and dry.
My nose is running and sore, like a canker sore on the inside of my nostril.
My skin is itchy. All. Over.
All the things hurt. Everywhere. My hands are stiff, my hips feel like they’re on fire, there’s a dull, pounding ache at the back of my head.
It feels like someone is standing on my chest.
My knees are buckling.
My neck is stiff.
Talking is horrendous, because I just can’t seem to form words well, or remember them.
I feel like I have to pee nonstop, but there’s not much there.
And my breath – dear god, what kind of rotten triceratops did I eat?! There’s a horrible layer in my mouth I can’t get rid of, with a terrible taste.
Getting up takes longer than usual, and it usually takes a long time as it is. Walls are suddenly best friends that keep you standing when you’re vision goes black and breath turns deep and legs give out because you’re too lightheaded to stand on your own.

And, as usual, the exhaustion is thick – but this a different breed of exhaustion. This is exhaustion like falling asleep typing, or waiting for the kettle, or just eating breakfast. This is exhaustion so thick that functioning is harder than ever, and you don’t know which animal gets which food, and you forget where you put the fork you’re holding, and put your milk in the cupboard instead of the fridge, and can’t remember what you were doing while you’re in the middle of doing it. And all of these things are just a 5 minute window of your day. This is exhausted to a level that’s dangerous. It doesn’t take much to forget to turn the stove off, or trip down the stairs, or burn yourself because you DID forget to turn the stove off, or brushed your teeth with hemorrhoid cream instead of toothpaste. Thankfully, I haven’t done (most of) those things. I’ll let you speculate which ones I have. But they’ve all come incredibly close.

And this is just how it is now.

I knew this would happen. I’m not actually sick with a flu. But this is just what happens when I go out and overspend my spoons, which really doesn’t take much.

It’ll probably take me until Wednesday to feel back to my regular tired but functional self.

Worth it? Would I do it again?

Absolutely, because cabin fever and depression isn’t worth feeling just ok most of the time. Because that’s the option. Stay home all the time and feel ok, but the depression is thick, and that’s what happens when I DON’T make the effort to go out, even just occasionally. It’s not worth avoiding life for. This isn’t something I can do regularly, and I have to plan carefully, knowing there’s a possibility I’ll have to cancel if I’m not up to it, especially knowing how I’ll feel after the day is over. I have to plan enough to build my spoons up before going, because if I use them all up before I go out I just won’t have the energy to go out at all, nevermind recover after.

This is why I don’t go out often. It doesn’t take much to bring on a flare to begin with. A whiff of exhaust or perfume, certain foods, animal dander, temperature fluctuations – which happen ALOT right now because of the insanely cold weather. I advocate myself as much as possible, but there’s only so much I can be accommodated, and there are certain things that are simply unavoidable. I do my best with what I’ve got.

This is my new normal. And I’m learning to live outside of my box again.

I see a rheumatologist at the end of the month. Maybe there will be some answers? But then, maybe not, and I’m not going to stress too much over it. We’re making things work the best way we’re able. And I’m so, so grateful that we’ve got the support to make things work.

Little changes can be bigger than they seem

My days are plugging by, with me plodding along an old, worn path I’ve never been down and I’m taking in the scenery as I go. I have no idea where I’m going. I’m just going, and wherever I end up…. there I’ll be.

It’s really not such a bad thing, most days.

Other days, I’m struggling. I get frustrated, sometimes, especially when the brain fog is thick and my eyes are tired. Have I mention I wake up exhausted? Sleep doesn’t help, and getting through simple tasks takes all of the energy I don’t have. I’ve been a person with goals for so long, even if they weren’t incredibly clear, I had them. They were fluid, often transparent, occasionally tangible, and seldom met to completion. And it worked for me. At least, I thought it did.

Changing that way of being out of necessity has it’s ups and downs, and there are no words that can really portray what it’s like. Most days, I’m content to just do my thing, which is maintaining the house, writing, crafting a little and taking care of the plants of animals. Very simple, very easy, but still exhausting. Other days, I’m frustrated, mournful of the life I had and want back, and resentful that the more I tried and still try to be healthy, the more my health deteriorates and there seems to be no way to win.

(Don’t worry. Those phases pass. But they happen, and it’s ok that they do. I’m human. I’m expected to have bad days, too, and I have to allow for that.)

Life is life. It’s not a game. There is no winning or losing – there’s living. And either you’re living or you’re not.

And oh, the things people say without really knowing how much they hurt. I’ve been learning this lesson, and learning to control my knee-jerk reaction.

“Keep your chin up! At least you don’t have cancer, right? At least you’re still walking. At least you are functioning. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright. I’ll buy you a drink when you’re better. Oh, you look so healthy! You look so great! Are you sure you’re not too focused on your symptoms? Have you tried supplements/vitamins/magic smoothies/dart frog poison/essential oils/acupuncture/stabbing yourself in the eye with a fork?”

The list grows. There’s always some new miracle cure, some amazing diet, some medication or happy thought that will make everything better.

It’s hard to cure something when you don’t know what it is, nevermind if it’s curable or not.

And the thing is, as frustrated as I get, I have to remember that not oh-so-long ago, I didn’t understand either. I didn’t understand the crippling exhaustion, or the heavy brain fog, or the heavy weight of the limbs, or the affects of gastrointestinal distress. I didn’t understand that sometimes eating healthy isn’t as easy as it seems. I didn’t understand the fear, the insecurity, the disbelief from others. And I definitely didn’t understand how unhelpful I was being while trying to be helpful. I really wanted to help. I really thought I could. And this experience has taught me that, sometimes, it’s just not as easy as it seems.

It’s a good lesson to learn. One that I’d like to graduate from and move on, now. The lesson is imprinted deeply. It’s a humbling experience, to be sure. I honestly felt like I was healthy and would live a long time that way, and I really thought I could help others feel better, too. 

But that certainly changed. I have no idea how long I’ll live. Maybe a long time. Maybe a week. That’s the thing, though – we have no control or insight over that, do we?

I wanted to help people feel the same I did, because I felt SO GOOD. I was on the healthy bandwagon, because I really believed it was the thing to do. And lately, it’s been really hard to know what to do, what to believe and how to move forward. If I can’t help myself, how can I possibly help others? This has been a huge blow to my own confidence, and I find myself questioning everything I’ve learned and everything I thought I knew.

And where I stand is where I am. I’ve let go of so much. I’ve let go of the things I thought I knew. The things I still know. The things I didn’t know. The things I have yet to know. I’ll know what I know as I get to know them. But sometimes, things change, and so does the knowing that comes with those changes. 

Letting go is hard to do. But it’s getting easier, and the more I let go the easier it is to move forward into the big, scary unknown.

Multiple Sclerosis. Lyme Disease. Lupus. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome. Neuralgia. Mast Cell Disorder. Myasthenia gravis. Fibromyalgia.

We don’t know what’s up. The big ones on the table right now are MS and Lupus. It’s a waiting game that I’m just trying to survive with the best quality of life I’m able to have… which involves warm blankets, heating pads, furbabies, hugs, forehead kisses, hot chocolate, and a whole lot of forgiveness for myself. This might not be enough for many people who want to know answers right now – but it has to be good enough, because it’s all I’ve got at the moment. So I’ll take my comfort where I can, and be grateful.

Hari om.

New News is Good News!

There’s been no action  from my GP because he admitted that my case was beyond his skill and he wanted someone better trained in internal medicine to look at my case. It’s been a waiting game where everything has been getting worse. But I get it – it’s hard to treat something without knowing what it is, and the side effects of medications may cause even more complications. It feels like a slow progression, but unfortunately it really isn’t.

January I felt amazing. My knee finally improved drastically and I was running again, and I felt like nothing could stop me. The incident with the bird on February landed me on my ass, and I recovered – but not 100%. There has been a steady progression downward since then. About the only thing that has shown any signs of improvement is my digestion, because smaller meals and limited options have made it feel a bit better to process.

The long wait finally ended. I even got all dressed up in a fun little boho outfit, just to go out to see the doctor. I’ve been living in yoga and pyjama pants for so long, sometimes it’s just nice to girl it up. If I’m gonna feel terrible, I may as well look good!

Healthcare-Waiting-Room-Cartoon.jpg

I was worried it would be a repeat of previous physician visits, and I felt nervous going into it. I really didn’t want to hear someone telling me that losing weight would solve all my problems. I’ve lost over 50 lbs with regular exercise and eating well – that should be enough to prove that I’ve been working on being healthy.

I was worried, but I went in with an open mind.

The internist was great. He introduced himself and shook our hands. He was thorough, asked questions, let me talk and offer full answers without interrupting, and went through my medical history in detail with us. He felt the tight abdominal area, located the abdominal pain, thought out loud and did a few different assessments. Most symptoms have been invisible and unseen, which makes it difficult for anyone to take seriously. Even me, sometimes, truth be told. Except since it’s been constant, it’s harder for me not to believe. And now, it’s started to show visible signs. He took my blood pressure. Couldn’t find it. Tried a few times and noted that it was low. Normally in the clinic my blood pressure runs higher than normal, which still isn’t high, but this time it came in true. Thank you, white coat syndrome, for trying to make me seem like a lunatic. I was so grateful for that moment. And as uncomfortable as it was, I was grateful for the next moment when he asked me to stand while he took my blood pressure and it dropped lower. And then again when he had me breath deeply while listening to my heart, which gave him an irregular beat and caused my face to flush and my vision to darken.

But he witnessed it. This simple incident made such a huge world of difference, and seeing the looks on the physician and my husband’s faces as they watched my face flush red and he listened to my heart rate quicken.

So more bloodwork this week, an ambulatory blood pressure monitor and an echocardiogram, and I wait for a holter monitor test in October, unless there’s a cancellation to get in sooner.

Also, the clinic managed to get my gynecologist appointment moved from September 27th to this Monday. Gertrude the dermoid ovarian cyst showed 4.7 cm on ultrasound with calcification, and she likes to snuggle in my hip bone. I’ve asked her to leave, but apparently she’s too comfortable. It’s time to get more physical.

So things are about to happen – hopefully in the right direction. The dizziness and fatigue are considerably worse, and it’s easier to stay in bed most of the time so I can relax. I’ve tried to keep active and productive, but I feel like I’m losing that battle.

All I want to do is sleep, and sometimes I do. I honestly don’t know what’s best for me at this point… so I’m just listening, and doing everything I can to limp through the time between appointments.

Soon. Things are about to change.

Mother’s Day Musings

“Mother’s Day is extremely painful for many of us.

-We may have mothers who could not or would not be there for us or protect us, leaving us with abandonment and trust wounds;

-We may have mothers who acted out paradigms of control, competition or abuse, leaving us deeply confused about what love is and how to give and receive it;

-We may have mothers who were themselves damaged, fractured, traumatized, unseen, unsafe, and who perpetuated that onto us in every possible manner;

BUT WITHIN US, SHINING AND LOVING, LIVES THE MOTHER OF US ALL.

Regardless of how our mothers could(n’t) or did(n’t) show up for us, for all of their own complex reasons,

WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO *BE* that mother we wished we could have had, for ourselves and for each other,

to break all the cycles of abuse, wounding and pain,

to love ourselves as SHE loves us,

to overflow that love to all of creation,

to commit to the splendor of fierce, tender maternal love that can and will indeed save the world.

THIS IS THE CHOICE THAT I MAKE, every breath every day, on behalf of all mothers, all children, and all beings.”

 

-Sara Sophia Eisenman

mother-earth-joe-christensenThis notion was sent to me by an amazing mother herself, who doesn’t often take the time to appreciate herself as much as she deserves. She’s come a long, long way and has worked incredibly hard for everything she has built for her family. She’s strong, determined and makes so many sacrifices so that her family can be happy. And she took the time out to send me this sentiment, knowing that I myself am not a mother but have had struggles regarding my own family history. Jasmine has grown and built MoonLily Wellness into something to be proud of. She is always growing and making something new and awesome, and deserves every good thing she hopes for.

Sometimes seeds are planted the wrong way up, and when they sprout they grow in a different direction than others might. For a time, at least. Some seeds may fade and die, but others will find their way out of the ground and upward. These seedlings may struggle for awhile. This can also create a deeper root, a more established base and more resilience later in life.

While there are many seeds that grow best in bunches, there are others that grow on their own where they have room to expand and can look to the sky without the living in the shadow of others. These are the seeds that create their own base, that nourish their own soil and that grow taller and stronger, prouder and more confident.

I am one of those. I have broken one cycle, and have started another. One of my own. I have found the confidence needed to rise above the shadows that tried to stunt my growth and I have given myself permission to be the person I needed the most. To love myself. To be brave. But most of all, to just be. I am a person I can look up to, and I want others to be that kind of person for themselves as well.

There always seems to be someone with an expectation, a judgement, an unkind opinion and a reason to hold oneself back from what they really want. It’s often hard to clear the mind of right from wrong from up and left and back and chatter and noise from day to day happenings. Studies show one thing, experts say another and no one can agree on anything.

You have the power to take control. We all do. No matter what situation you find yourself in, there’s always a better reason to do what’s right for you. Find your permission, and then make your way to the sun, beautiful lady. You deserve everything you want to be, especially to be yourself. Get to know you, and then love yourself more than anyone else in the world. You’re the one you have to put up with the most, afterall.

Whether you’re a mother or not, I want you to know that you are loved and you deserve to celebrate yourself. There is no one more important to love you, however, than yourself. You deserve it. Please don’t neglect you. Don’t just be you – but be who you are so hard that no one can deny you.

Always in kindness and love,

-Krystal

Spring is coming…

Doesn’t that sound so much more welcoming than “Winter is coming”? There’s simply no ominous way to say that “Spring is coming”. Even if you hire someone with a kickass, deep, luscious voice, the worst you’re going to hear is a sensual promise that leaves you wanting more. And is that such a bad thing?

There’s no doubt about it. Spring offers hope and energy and renewal, and it’s time for it to cut through the snow and bring life back to the cold north.

We recently bought a new (to us) Nikon D70 camera. My last camera kind of had a few incidences that caused it to no longer work (I guess introducing it to a concrete slab wasn’t a match made in heaven. I was sad, and we’ve been functioning with camera phones ever since. I’ve made do – all product photos are cell phone photos – not too shabby, considering.) It’s a big learning curve going from a point-and-shoot to the DSLR. SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

But so worth the learning. I’m loving it, and achieving photos I could never get before.

This last week has had me in a bit of a rut. I had gone from workout extraordinaire to tax mode – which means lots of sitting, swearing and repetitive motions. So going from super active to couch potato confused my body, and things tensed up and twisted and suddenly I wasn’t able to move my neck. Thankfully, I have an amazing care team who is getting me set straight again. Literally. I also found out in my pain-ridden week that the way I stand is not normal. Anterior pelvic tilt. It’s a thing. And a minor shift in my posture not only helps to realign my always-ailing hips, but also makes my extraordinary bubble butt look less bubbly. Who knew? It’s just a thrust of the hips…. perhaps there’s hope for this aching body afterall.

The cold weather snap we had hasn’t helped either, though.

After my visit with my acupuncturist, I woke up today feeling much better than I have all week. Still stiff and sore, but functional. I almost felt like dancing again. Almost. Instead, I took my new shiny camera on a bit of a nature walk with me, and I’m so glad I did. I’m not a photographer by any means, but I sure have fun pretending. And the macro! Oh, how I love macro shots. I didn’t get a very clear shot of the first bug of the year, but I got some other inspiring photos that depict spring like nothing else can, and just that bit of fresh air and sunshine has me ready to take on Monday.

I love nature. There’s really nothing that can pump me up for living more than life itself. The tiniest of details catch my eye, sometimes, and those are the things I focus on. Wood grains, bugs, birds, moss, mushrooms – these are a few of my favorite things to capture. Some people may find them boring, but I love them and the idea that they have such a huge impact on our environment but often go completely unnoticed. Today’s interest was the buds on the trees – new life is emerging from the branches, and it’s so amazing to catch a glimpse of the tiny protruding buds that will soon turn our countryside green again.

Happy spring!!

PS: If you’re looking for an amazing acupuncturist, I cannot recommend Vanessa more. She’s amazing at what she does, and can help with issues you didn’t even know existed. You’ll find here here: http://www.vanessagroshong.com/)

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to test, treat or diagnose health problems or diseases. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.