5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

5 Steps to healthThis post was so popular that I have decided to add a contact form about the greens if you are interested in learning more about them!  Read until the end!

5 Steps to Being Healthier Today!

1. Eliminate processed foods.  Have you ever looked at the back of a “FAT-FREE” box of coffee creamer as compared to real cream?  Just look at the ingredients.
2. Drink more water.  Why?  “Water’s involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently — and that includes your metabolism.
3. Add a Greens smoothie to your day.  Why the “Greens”?

  • Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
  • Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
  • Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
  • 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
  • Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every scoop
  • Free radical-fighting antioxidants

4. Add protein in the morning.  I prefer the things I have linked to because of these reasons:

  • Experience quicker post-workout recovery
  • Build lean muscle mass with fewer calories
  • Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Get feel-good, mood-elevating energy with maca and cacao powder
  • Promote healthy digestion with seven different soluble and insoluble fibers

5. Cut the sugar…but you can keep the fruit.  I have gone white processed sugar-free in the last two years and don’t miss it!  What do I use if I have to make a recipe with something like sugar?  Buy coconut palm sugar.  But if you are worried about sugar in fruit, check out this link.  I am guilty of loving mangoes.

So, in a nutshell…drop the sugar, add the water, add protein, and greens, but drop the processed food!!  Contact me here if you want to know more about the greens or visit vitalizeyouwellness.com click shop!

 

Save

Share the Wealth…blog talk radio show

Share the Wealth with Kellie Fitzgerald and her guest…well me!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2015/07/29/share-the-wealth-with-kellie-fitzgerald-and-aimee-barnes-halpin

Hopefully you got a chance to listen to that ^^ as it was actually a really quick show!!  Well, for me anyway.  I glossed over most of the details, but I do want you to know that there is a search button here on the page and if my story resonates with you or you know anyone at all who suffers from any of the diseases I talk about, please feel free to share this post with them.  Lastly, I am doing some more research on one more new gene mutation so look for that soon if you happen to like reading about invisible diseases and possible links as to why you might have what you have!  ~Aimee

Breaking chains

You can actually.

You CanAs disturbing as it is to think about, we can actually change our neural pathways.  I know that I have.  I am not a scientist, merely a researcher of all sorts of things.  A former teacher who is now on the path of teaching new things to new students.  Yoga.  As I have continued my inner studies, I have learned a great deal about my mind.  For example, because of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ever-changing potentials, anything is possible.  I cry every time I watch Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight due to the vastness of possibilities she describes.  The energy just plainly overwhelms me…and when I watched it again, I couldn’t contain my tears.

I am capable of great things.  Clearly I was designed to overcome this pain and do more with this life I was given.  Combining that knowledge with my new, and difficult, meditation practice, I focus on the places where I feel no pain.  Each time I practice this, I begin to realize I feel less pain.  The moments where there is no pain do last for seconds longer, and that is improvement.  When the thought of pain arises, I focus back on the breath.  The yoga.  The moment that I am in.  I learned a new practice of counting in my head as I am breathing.  Just simply imagining the numbers as I breathe in and out.  I imagine them forming in my head and it takes my thoughts away from the ramblings.

The more we repeat good habits, the more we can change our brain.  So tonight, I started with my quote, but I want you to try this.  You really can do anything you put your mind to.  Close your eyes, think of something you have been wanting to do.  Now write it down.  On the bathroom mirror in dry erase, on a list beside your bed, or a journal.  You can do it.

Awww shucks y’all…

Breathe in.  Focus on your breath.  Breathe out.  Whooosh.  What am I doing?  Oh hi there.  Nothing.  People are trying to make me cry and stuff…but like that man in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, I am holding it back.  Please tell me you clicked on that link.  It’s funny.  Shhh.  Kids movies are funny…plus I don’t see erm adult movies anymore.  Back to the point of this post.

I am counting the good days, the good things that happen, and the good people in my life.  I am ignoring the bad right now because it’s something I need to do for myself.  It is one of my coping mechanisms when I am having a hard time.  Somehow, God, the universe and good people know when I am having a hard time.  Ok, so I tell God things all the time, but it’s kind of like telling your teacher…maybe even tattling on yourself.  You can’t help but think God, are you listening to me?  Am I in time-out now?  Or maybe He’s like “Aimee, calm down.  I am trying to take of the other 1,000,000 people who need me right now.  Just chill.”  So here I am chilling.  Occasionally going God, pick me!  Pick me!  It’s my turn!!!  I am being patient.  Well, that’s when He sends in my friends.  My support system.  People who are there to help.

Knowing that I have a “life sentence” of dealing with the ups and downs of invisible diseases, well, I am not going to lie, I do have “woe is me” days and I hate those days.  So I work extra hard to focus on others on those days.  I built my fan page around picking up people like me.  So imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning, way after all you other nice people have gone to work, and found a note on my wall that I was one of 22 most inspirational pages for my friend Sheila.  Well, I was shocked.  Look for yourself…I am actually there.  Have a peek.  Really.  It’s still there.  I thought maybe it was going to go away like magic, but it’s still there!!  22 Most Inspiring Facebook Pages.   Ta-dahhhhhh.

A sense of “you must be doing something right” came over me.  Then this contest jumped up in my face here on Best Health Blogs 2014.  And I thought why not me too?  I got a later start than everyone else who knew about the contest, but it can’t hurt.  I technically need a mere 1000 votes to catch up, but it’s for $1,000 and I would definitely put that money to good use as I am paying off dachshund bills, backed up sink, and erm things that were ruined in my attic like my brand-new Christmas tree, but who’s counting?  I’m not.  Oh and that burning smell in my mini-van that I continue to pray to God will keep working…so we dump more oil in and keep on going (P.S.  it’s got some sort of oil leak…but it’s fine).  So these things I do not focus on.  I don’t.  I do that thing that children do when they can’t hear you…I cover my ears and go lalalalalala.   Ignore.  Can’t deal with you right now.

And guess what?  It works for me because I can focus on the good.  When I tell you the “bad” and you understand that someone out there gets it, not just kinda gets it, but really and truly could look you in the eye and say “I have been where you are, I might still be there, but it’s getting better day by day.”  And you realize that you are not always going to be wherever “there” is.  That it might be bad at this moment.  It might.  But stop, breathe in and out and find the good in your life.  It’s there.  Trust me sisters and brothers, it’s there.  Oh and note to self, God hasn’t stop listening.  He hears you.  He is making way right now for some amazing things to come into your life.  So put on your cape, and start focusing on the good.  You can do this.

empower cape time

30 days of thankfulness…

Be thankful

Last year at this time, I wrote all about my past teaching experiences, but I didn’t tell all the stories.  I think sometimes people go about their day-to-day lives and they don’t realize how hard it is for “others” to acclimate.  Let me explain “others”.  Others are the people who have seen more.  War veterans, drug users come clean, homeless, recovering alcoholics, people from poverty, cancer survivors, empaths, police detectives, people who live with invisible diseases, counselors, teachers and many, many more.  “Others” try to blend in, but it’s really hard sometimes.  They carry around the knowledge that there are bad things out there…bad things that perhaps normal people don’t notice.

So for my 30 days of Thankfulness on my, ahem, slightly larger Facebook Fan page,  I have paired with people from all walks of life.  Yes, all of the above types of people and I dearly LOVE them all.  They have the biggest hearts of anyone I know and they also hurt the most when things don’t quite go as expected.  The funny thing about the inspirational page owners is that we are people too, and sometimes, real life tries to kick us when we are down, but because we know, just know, others are counting on us to get up again, we do.

So I made a post and kicked off my 30 days yesterday, and the one word I used was “Life” because I am very thankful for it even though it does not always go as planned.  I am also thankful for my readers here because you guys have been with me for a while.  You know more than my FB fans do, because to them, it’s just pretty quotes.  But to me, and you, we know there are always stories behind every quote.  Always LIFE behind every quote I make.  So here’s to the life behind the quotes.

Thankful

Tune in Thursday all month long for Thankful Thursday here on the blog.

Author’s note:  I completed an extra journaling section just for you guys who are part of the 4 Weeks to Wellness challenge!

 

Save

Motivational Monday…pain

It’s hard to write a Motivational Monday post when all you can think of is how un-motivated you are when in pain.  But that being said, I got up just as I always do and struggled through my morning routine.  I use Samuel L. Jackson words in my head just to actually get through my “routine”.  My hair was on my nerves this past weekend because who has time to deal with that mess.  So I cut that off.  Now it’s time to get down to business.

I went out Saturday morning to meet a new group of ladies.  I don’t actually feel like I have that many friends.  I felt kind of bad ass with my new short haircut.  Like I could go all Matrix on whoever or whatever pisses me off.  I think it goes with my mood.  Don’t mess with me Pain, I have things to do.  Don’t make me cut you.  Like Pain has become some nemesis.  Maybe I should play Darth Vader music.  Anyway, so after that, Fatigue wanted a piece of me, but I just didn’t have time.  I had things to do.  A college buddy was in town and I said I was going to meet up with him.  It was my college homecoming and I had places to be.

I made it to the tailgating party in my high heel black boots, skinny jeans and black shirt.  Take that.  I enjoyed hanging out with my peeps and then there was the “after party” at a beverage facility nearby.  I was drinking water to better hydrate myself, but there was also free, and very cheap, wine.  UGH.  I can have one glass said an old friend.  Why aren’t you drinking?  Said another.  People.  Chillax.  Here, have this deep fried Oreo, said one more.  Nope.  I can’t.  Not if you don’t want me to be sick.  I really hadn’t planned on explaining that the Aimee they knew, ahem, just you know, a few years ago, is not exactly the same one now.  If it’s not gluten free, and refined sugar free, I am not eating it.

So yesterday, I had one more thing I was doing.  As luck would have it, I was able to make it.  I was dragging, but I made it.  So guess who is paying for it today?  Me.  Yup.  Pain, Fatigue, and maybe even their buddy Depression tried to visit this morning.  Depression was like “Don’t you wish you were normal again?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to dance with your friends without having to pay for it later?  And of course the old, it must be terrible not to be able to eat real food.”  So in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice I told it to SHUT the F up.  I heated up my heating pads.  I made my hot tea.  I took my last Relief…which is my product as I am only on all-natural, and I called my momma.  ha:)  Who by the way, knows I use the F word to relieve my pain, and while I wasn’t raised that way she would want you to know, she also knows that if that is the worst thing I ever do, it’s ok.  Because there is this wonderful thing called grace we can extend to others to let them know we understand that we are ALL human “beans”.  And human beans have emotions.  Even if the “they” who does research claims we only have 4, we all know that’s wrong.  Have you ever met an angry woman?

courage

Save

Motivational Monday…natural tips for pain

My plan was to write about something else today, but I can’t stop thinking about my pain, so I guess someone must need me to write this.  So I wake up most mornings with numbness in my hands and my thumb hurts now too (not including my shoulder, etc.).  I pump my hands open and closed for a bit to get the blood moving.  I go to hold my coffee cup, and the joint in my right thumb feels “rusty”.  My guess is arthritis.  So I called my dad because he had arthritis at a young age.

His advice is about 5 different prescription medicines he knows about.  And to each one I respond with, well, you know I don’t take anything that isn’t all-natural because we don’t how that might work on me.  So here is what I do instead:

  1. I make hot tea.  It is calming and gets my mind off the pain.
  2. I make Turmeric Milk.  See my Pinterest boards for more.
  3. I use only all-natural products.  Some from my own business I am now in.  Vitalize You tab or website Vitalize You Wellness.
  4. I am about to go back to yoga and start writing about that process as a way to heal.
  5. I put a microwave heated wrap around my neck and shoulders.  Helps some.
  6. I eat using anti-inflammatory foods.  No gluten or sugar.
  7. I have a tiny piece of dark chocolate.  Clicking the word tells you why.
  8. As a last resort, I take a nap.  I say last resort because I could literally sleep all day.

What do you do when you have pain?  Do you let it get you (I used to) or do you try to ignore/fix/move forward?  I think I’ll make my  latest find…a turmeric smoothie!

HealingAuthor’s note, since this post was written, I have completed yoga teacher training, gotten additional training in yoga for pain and arthritis, and completed sports nutrition therapy.  Work with me tab has more.

Save

I can’t turn it off…

If there was ever a time I needed to turn off my brain, it would be now.  I saw the signs leading up to it.  They have always been there.  I just THINK too much.  I think too much to meditate.  I think too much during yoga…well, when I went.  I think too much when I’m trying to go to bed…so I read until it’s impossible to think and I finally fall into deep sleep (with the help of some all-natural pills).  I think so much that when a friend invited me to “Mindfulness” day, I thought it was “Mind full of mess” and quickly accepted.  Oh wait, that’s not it.  Okay, because I totally have that day on repeat.

I even thought too much when I went to a relaxing float spa.  Don’t ask.  Alien pod, you float.  Thoughts of cryogenics and freezing me for later awakenings might have entered my mind.  That or being trapped in there.  And maybe, do they clean this thing?  Am I floating in someone’s healing water because I hope this is fresh.  How much salt is in here?  Hmm.  This place is hot.  I wonder if this is like the temperature of the jungle or something?  No Hawaii, wait how would I know?  Maybe this is like a hot spring.  Yeah.  I wonder if this is healing me now?  Oh yeah, that nice lady told me she hated this pillow for my head, but I like it because she also told me not to get my ear wet if I ever had ear problems.  Remember that one time when your ear drum burst?  Yes.  Worst pain ever.  How will I know when this thing is done?  How much time has passed?  Oh that’s right, the music cues up to remind me.  I had just dozed off when the music came back on and the jets started signaling it was over.

By the time I was done “relaxing”, I needed to relax.  Every single day, I write at least 3 blogs in my head as I am trying to fall asleep.  They are usually quite awesome, but I will myself to stay there and go to bed.  So some strategies I am GOING to start using are as follows:

  1. Stop looking at my phone.  The only way to do this is to un-install FB from my phone.  No lie.  I have done it before.  I lasted a week.  It was better than nothing.  Stupid Smart phone.  It flashes, and makes noise.  Stop.
  2. Get back to nature.  I love being outside and this winter has dragged on, and on, and ON.  And on.  Like the Groundhog Day movie itself.  Cold is not my friend.
  3. Get back to yoga…I will eventually do this one. I will.
  4. Pull weeds.  That’s right.  Gardening is good for the soul.
  5. Get to bed on time…which essentially means shutting down an hour earlier.  Making myself stick to “business” hours since I work from home has been difficult.
  6. Drink turmeric milk before bed.  Ahhh.  It’s tasty and healing.  See my Pinterest board.
  7. Remind myself that I have to let go of things that are out of my control.  Poof.

So, give over to this energy that creates dreams and let go of the energy you are spinning in all directions.  If you know how to do this, feel free to let me know:)

Author’s note:  This post was created before I became a yoga instructor…and before I created my meditative style of journaling.  See the Head|Heart|Health Club for the ways I really do turn it off.

dreams_2

 

 

Save

Infinite loop…

Infinite LoopAn infinite loop can be described as a computer program which loops endlessly.  Having “no terminating condition” or “one that can never be met” or “one that causes the loop to start over”.  After three years, I think I have finally found the start of my infinite loop.  I have long suspected, as far back as the beginning of this blog, that something wasn’t adding up.  I have a good head for knowledge and research, and I know my own instincts.  They have not failed me yet.

Years ago when the pain started, I thought the doctors were missing all the key signs.  I just found them in this slide show about Fibromyalgia.  I had my suspicions, but looking at the very first slide just now, I wanted to cry.  It shows every spot that was triggered.  For those of you who have been here with me for a while, you’ll remember the post about my shoulder 3 years ago, then my spine.  The back of my neck was next, and this summer was my hip.

In the fall I started waking up not being able to move my fingers well in the morning, and honestly, just didn’t say anything.  What was the point?  Then my eyes started having some issues.  The ophthalmologist said it was severe allergy eyes.  Hmm.  I later learned that almost all of my friends with autoimmune issues have had eye problems as well.  I did not know that.  I already knew I had 16 of the 18 trigger points as this was not the first time I suspected that this could be the underlying cause; however, no doctor has ever looked further into it.  I realized years ago when someone touched my back to pat me and I stared daggers at them like they had just forcefully beat me on the back, that something was wrong.  I just thought “they” would find it.

Slide 5 is very interesting to me as it suggests that patients with fibro “experience pain in response to stimuli that are normally not perceived as painful.”  That would explain many things.  Then there was this piece “Researchers have found elevated levels of a nerve chemical signal, called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients.”  When all of this started, I told the doctor, a rheumatologist who was “well-known”, that I could feel every single place in my vertebral column.  I got a blank look.  I believe now that was the start of it.

The next slide that is of interest to me is slide 9.  “Patients with fibromyalgia lack the deep, restorative level of sleep, called ‘non-rapid eye movement’ (non-REM) sleep. Consequently, patients with fibromyalgia often awaken in the morning without feeling fully rested, even though they seem to have had an adequate number of hours of sleep time.”  This would explain why my hematologist looked at me like I had lost my mind when I said I am still fatigued all the time.  I suppose it would be too much for any of my doctors to coordinate on a treatment plan.

So what am I going to do about it now?  Well, after I see the next specialist a friend recommended as she uses this doctor for her own fibromyalgia care, I am going to move forward.  I am going to do some of these exercises as well.  I am going to look into Qigong exercises.  I am going to live again and know that while there is no cure, I am not alone.  Thank you to all who have been supportive of me during this journey.

Prosper

P.S.  I like to believe God is more like a father…one who leaves me notes.  One who is supportive and understanding.  YOU can believe whatever you want.

Contaminated…

I am going to take a quick break today from the series I was doing, because this post wrote itself in my head and is banging around until I get it out.  Previously I had written about food as “killing me” here and told you how her opening really described me as well.  What is a food allergy?  “A food allergy is when your body sees food proteins as foreign, and it launches this inflammatory response to drive out that foreign invader.”  If you watch   Robyn O’Brien in that TEDx talk on my old post, you start to wonder.  You might get chills as I did that day when I began my research.

So when I realized that “four-score men and four-score more” could not make me as before, I began to panic.  Not only do people NOT understand what it means to live as if food is akin to Stormtroopers coming to attack what’s left, but it makes life difficult…for me anyway.  Now some of you read my post on Unhappy Meals which is the second most popular after the one I linked above.  So I think perhaps you might be looking for answers too. Well, I don’t have them…yet.  That isn’t to say I’m not trying.  I have enlisted in the help of my husband, who was put into my life for a reason.  The quoted line above is from the original version of “Humpty Dumpty” in 1797.  Quite simply, he keeps me together.  My parents are now on board with my theories as well.  The “problem” I think comes from the fact that my parents and I’m sure other parents see it as something they have done “wrong”, when in fact, I don’t see it that way.  Just like the mom in the TEDx talk, what is foreign in our food now that wasn’t there before?

This is our bodies way of reacting to things that were not there before.  My body is trying to protect me by developing the gene from the “Celtic Curse” and holding onto that iron thus causing the photo-sensitivity to morph and leading to the Vampire myths from old.  So what is one more step in the evolution of me?  The autoimmune response.  I realize that if you are new to my blog, this part just confused the hell out of you:)  Anyway, out of all the diseases, this last one is by far the hardest.  Here is another link I found on more information for the Autoimmune Food Challenged folks.  Yes, I like the word I made up.  We are AFC folks because when I go to a restaurant and ask for a “gluten-free” menu, they look at me like I am contaminated…just letting you know, it is not I, but sadly the food we eat.  Lastly, I will use this link and I say I wish my doctors had even thought of one of these 9 steps to heal autoimmune.  Just one.  Instead of looking at me like I’d lost my mind…which clearly will happen if your body keep attacking itself and you have no one on your side to believe you.  Hereditary Hemochromatosis friends, please read this as well about copper.  Whew.

So, here I am:

Take Care

Save