Endo Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to me!  Today I am 34 years old and to be honest with you – I am feeling it!  I am not feeling young and energetic, but rather tired and trying to smile through the pain I’ve been feeling a lot more lately because of my endometriosis.  This is exactly why I am so committed to sticking with what we call the endo diet.  People say “you can’t deprive yourself” or “It’s your birthday! Live a little!  No alcohol?  No cake?”, but they don’t live with pain everyday they believe can be changed with food and I do.

It isn’t like I wouldn’t love myself a nice espresso martini with baileys in a chocolate rimmed glass, and a box of Entenmann’s raspberry cheese danish.  I didn’t always eat this current way.  I completely understand that life gets in the way and sometimes you just want to do certain things, but on a daily basis if you want to feel better it is important to remember you have control over your choices when it comes to food.  I just want to be out of pain, and really – even if you don’t have endometriosis this kind of diet is what everyone should be at least trying to incorporate into their lives at some level.

So let’s talk about the cake! My daughter is a total sugar freak (she and my son are 18 months apart so I gave into so much more regarding the sugar – I will get a handle on it at some point soon but man is she feisty).  She and my son decided to bake a cake literally first thing this morning with my husband and then somehow they were diving into this mess at 10am.   I need to get my son in some pictures, but he is a little on the shy side which clearly my daughter is not.  How cute is this:


I did not partake in that cake, although it really did look delicious especially after those grubby little hands were all up in it don’t you think?  I did, however, explain to them that I loved the cake but it really was not good for my body.  Then of course my son, who is 4 and very analytic, wanted to know what was not good and that opened up the whole discussion about food dyes and flour, etc.  He may not understand everything but it is important to me to teach my children as much as possible as food because I’m not confident that is going to be happening in school.  I say “you can have that cake but you should know what is in it and why it is not good to eat it all the time and why you should definitely not eat a ton”.

Anyway!  My husband has been extremely supportive of the way that I am eating and he called all over the place where we live to try and find a gluten and dairy free cake.  Now, we live in a small town in CT so this is not really that common for places to carry but he never gives up and found this little beauty:

It may not have been the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, but when a girl is trying to do what I am when it comes to diet it tastes pretty delicious.

Remember to celebrate you especially on your birthday!

 

Stop picking!

kids-leftovers

You will hear me time and time again stress the importance of planning, but remember – I am human and I sometimes don’t plan well either.  Today was sort of one of those days.  It is cold, dreary and just plain depressing to look out the window here in CT so it would have been totally easy for me to pick at my kids’ leftover chicken nuggets. Yes they are organic, but they are not gluten-free and really Julie? Chicken Nuggets for lunch and that’s it?  You’re just going to go down that road of picking then for the rest of the day!  This is the conversation I have with myself more often than I’d like to admit.

I hadn’t thought about lunch for myself and was starving.  I’m sure many of you reading this are in the same or boat or have been before.  I remembered that I had some lettuce in the fridge and looked to see what else. I didn’t really feel like just lettuce and some veggies so what kind of protein could I throw on top since I didn’t have anything … or so I thought!  Why not quickly boil up some hard boiled eggs? And figure out what else I could throw in that would be appetizing to me.

So I came up with the following:  a mix of kale and spinach, raw broccoli, carrots and a tomato with the hard boiled eggs.  Look how beautiful it came out if I do say so myself,  although I am clearly not a great photographer:

betterlunch

If you can’t whip something up in the middle of the day like I did for whatever reason then this is ESPECIALLY important when planning.  If you were to plan a salad like this for a few days for work then my suggestion would be to hard boil your eggs before your work week starts (make your life easier and peel them when you do this) and then put tomatoes and/or cucumbers in a separate bag so your lettuce doesn’t get soggy.  And of course put your salad dressing in a separate container.

Please feel free to post what you had for lunch today.  I’m more than happy to provide some feedback if you want!

Endo What? Still?!

I would have thought that after all these years, women in particular would be more familiar with endometriosis.  I remember when I had my deep excision surgery back in 2007, there were only a handful of U.S. doctors performing this type of surgery and most women were misdiagnosed and having multiple surgeries and even hysterectomy before age 30.   I, for some really stupid reason, just thought that somehow others would catch on but it appears we are in almost the same boat as we were 10 years ago!

  • Endometriosis STILL affects 1 in 10 women in the U.S. and that is only the number of women recorded
  • It STILL takes an average of 10 years in the U.S. from the onset of symptoms to for a woman to receive a diagnoses of endometriosis
  • Women are STILL having to see 7-10 doctors in order to get a diagnosis
  • Women are STILL being told the pain they are experiencing is normal, in their head, part of being a woman
  • The way we practice medicine STILL is not conducive to what a woman with endometriosis needs

Women in particular tend to take care of others before themselves and end up suffering in silence.  Endometriosis becomes an invisible illness which is the most difficult part about this disease if you ask me.  People always tell you how great you look, but little do they know the pain you suffer with almost daily.

A new documentary came out that I highly recommend you watch:  Endo What Official Trailer   . It is just the trailer and then you can go to their website and buy the movie, but I think the trailer is enough to make you want to watch the full thing.

It is time for us to create a movement and change these statistics one person at a time.

#endometriosis #endowhat #endoawareness #endomomstrong

Feeling crappy? 

Feeling like you may be coming down with something? The best thing to do is try and support your immune system as soon as possible so that it can fight whatever it is you’re fighting.  I have quite the mix of natural remedies in my cabinets, but something that really seems to help is to drink a couple cups of hot water with fresh ginger cut up, honey and lemon.  


The lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C and helps to flush out toxins.  The ginger helps strengthen your immune system and the honey balances out the ginger flavor as well as can help when fatigue sets in. 

I should actually try and start drinking this on a daily basis because of how beneficial it is to our bodies to help keep my immune system strong. It can be very tough to stay healthy when you have sick kids in your house, but as mothers we just don’t have time to be sick so we have to try whatever we can think of to stay healthy! 

Coffee for breakfast? Please! 

At this point in your life I’m asssuming you have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but throw real life at you with invisible pain from endometriosis and maybe a kid or two, and breakfast can seem absolutely impossible.  

I tried doing the whole just coffee thing for breakfast (snack and lunch) and at first it was great. I felt awake, I didn’t feel hungry and I felt like I could make it through the day and maybe even lose weight!  This sounds insane coming from a Health Coach (which I am), but it’s just being honest.   I wasn’t making time for myself. I was making sure everyone else was taken care of and knew it was going to catch up with me, but I chose to wait. Hey – I was functioning.

I went to see my endometriosis specialist (who I had put off seeing for my follow up for months) and don’t know why it surprised me to hear, but the pain I was experiencing was in fact caused by my endometriosis which was pushing my uterus toward my left ovary hence why I had left lower pelvic pain like I had years ago prior to my deep excision surgery. 

It was overwhelming to hear what I knew had to be true – the endo was back. Not only because the endo was back because I knew I hadn’t been helping myself by the way I was eating and drinking especially all the coffee I was drinking.  There was a direct effect of the coffee to my pain and I chose to ignore it just to get through my day. 

I’ve made a lot of changes and we will talk more specially about coffee and coffee alternatives, but here is an example of what I am currently forcing myself (it won’t be forced once it becomes habit) to eat for breakfast: Apple Cider Vinegar drink with water and ice with eggs and veggies. This morning it was mushrooms and broccoli sautéed up in coconut oil. Add a little Himalayan Sea Salt and it’s delish!  


Yes, first thing this morning I would have much rather had a Starbucks Americana coffee, but this evening am very happy with myself that I didn’t. 

Gluten Free? How? I’m Italian!!

Uggg gluten free?! That is the worst thing to hear especially when you’re Italian. What am I going to eat? How am I going to survive? And how I am going to survive in winter in New England when I love comfort food!!! 

Ok pump the brakes, Julie. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. I know from my education that eating gluten is really not necessary, so why does it feel so hard right now? Well reality has set in and I’ve allowed myself to take care of everyone but myself, so I’ve got to pump the breaks and remember that I can do this and so can you! 

Gluten wreaks havoc on our bodies and causes so much inflammation that for someone, especially with endometriosis, it truly isn’t worth it.  When I was told to go gluten-free I actually said no I’m not doing that. You want me to go dairy-free AND gluten-free? No. Can you believe that as a Health and Wellness Coach I actually said that? 

I then took a moment (a day, a week or maybe even almost 6 months) and thought about all the money I was spending on supplements and on Naturpath visits and still not feeling fantastic. That’s when I had to kick my own self in the butt and say “get it together and go gluten and dairy-free”.  I told myself that it didn’t mean I couldn’t indulge every once in awhile (instead of every week or maybe every day), but this was ridiculous to spend so much money and not make these 2 quite large changes. 

I’ve gone dairy-free before, but this gluten thing is hard especially if I’m not prepared because it’s just so easy to “pick”.  I’m actually only on my first full week of being gluten-free and I’ve had a little slip up or two but I also have to tell you – I was so itchy! I forgot (how could I forget?) about the DETOX from gluten! My skin was hive like, my skin was so itchy I wanted to scream and thought it had to be from a new supplement. Nope. Gluten detox. I will have to remember this for whenever I feel I want a piece of bread or a Stacy Pita Chip (my favorite).  

It’s important though in order to feel better and really our bodies don’t need gluten.  I’m going to start to compile recipients for you and just different items I eat for each meal and snacks to help you that are gluten free and I will continue to be brutally honest about my feelings while I go down this gluten-free road. 

Hello 2017!

2016 was a ridiculously stressful year for me and from what I hear for many others. I had so much going on in my personal and professional life that I really did let stress consume me and boy did I feel the effects both physically and emotionally.  

I would try running on coffee all day because I had no time (or should I say made no time) to eat and then pop a Xanex or anything I could think of that would help me to sleep.  Now, I knew and know this is absolutely no way to live but I couldn’t help it and I ultimately could not put myself first and so I just keep spiraling downhill. If at any point I had a few minutes with someone and they tried to ask me how I was doing I would just burst into tears.  

To shed some quick light on what was going on: I have 2 small children that are 18 months apart, I have a mother who has been battling cancer for years, I moved back to help my parents from a beautiful sunshine state to CT where I grew up and never wanted to end up, I lost my job that I loved and thought I would have for many years to come and I lost myself.  I started getting migraines and then found out I had a recurrence of Lyme disease as well as a new case (meaning I had recently been bit) and I was starting to have my endometriosis pain again.  

I tried time and again to help myself. To go back to eating and thinking the way I knew I had to – the way I had been educated on, but I just couldn’t keep up. Every single day there was a new obstacle thrown at me. I felt like I was the target in a shooting range and every day I would endure another shot.  It wasn’t until an incident happened that I was quickly jolted into a realization that I could handle everything but needed to get healthy, and so that’s what I am doing now. 

January 1, 2017 marked the date that I said to myself enough is enough. I am a strong woman who is going to feel better and I am going to do this by supporting myself and hopefully supporting others along the way. I am in no way perfect and I am going to keep reminding everyone of that, but I will stay strong this time and no matter what 2017 throws at me I am going to handle it without letting it take me down like before.