What to Eat with Fibromyalgia

If I eat crap, I feel like crap. So I eat to stay healthy and energized, and to help me keep the fibroflares at bay. 

As with most chronic conditions, fibromyalgia symptoms and treatments are not a one-stop shop. No two people are alike in how their bodies react to the condition or to treatment. The thought of using food to heal oneself has been around for centuries, yet many people still reach for the over-processed, low nutritional value, fast foods – either from the grocery stores or eating out. I, myself, am hypersensitive to medications, so I have chosen to manage my condition through lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

But just as no two treatments are alike, neither are the foods one should eat. A simple search for books on Amazon of “fibromyalgia diet” yielded 655 results, with this one being the most popular! But there are common foods that are more likely to trigger a reaction or flare and others that are good for reducing inflammation in the body. I offer some suggestions on finding what’s right for  you.

Continue reading “What to Eat with Fibromyalgia”

10 Things to Inspire You This Month


Since the subtitle of my blog is “Finding Inspiration in Everyday Life” I decided it was fine time to start a regular series on the topic. So welcome to the first edition for March, 2018.

  1. I have to give a shout out to Dr. Andrea Dinardo for her blog post about her recent TEDTalk on Thriving Under Pressure. Watching that on Sunday night as I mentally prepared for the week ahead sparked some creative ideas, and I started my week inspired and focused on what’s right.
  2. Read this story in the Washington Post about 7 Marathons, 7 Days, 7 Continents and One Man with Parkinson’s: Can he make it? and you’ll think twice about complaining about a few aches and pains. Bret Parker should inspire us all. I participated in the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk about 8 years ago. 60 miles over 3 days. As someone with fibromyalgia, that was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done – close to two and a half marathons spread over three days. I. Can’t. Even. Imagine. 7 marathons. 7 days. 7 continents.
  3. There’s an app for that. This teenager worried about walking alone, so she created an app. And then she won the Congressional App Challenge in Virginia’s 10th District. I work in the tech industry and I love seeing young women use technology to solve every day problems.
  4. I enjoy watching Shark Tank and all of the interesting inventors and businessmen and women trying to jump their business to the next level. I remember the pitch back in 2013 for “Doorbot” that didn’t get the offer he was looking for. Well “Doorbot” became “Ring” and was just purchased by Amazon. Even though the deal could be close to $1 Billion, Mark Cuban says he’d pass on it again. It was good enough for Jeff Bezos though. Just proof that you should never stop believing in yourself and do not give up on your dreams!
  5. Normally churches collect tithes from their parishioners, but this local church turned the tables over the weekend, encouraging the congregation to pay it forward and giving them the means to do so.
  6. Sports fan or not, watch this story of selflessness because Life is Bigger than Basketball.
  7. Looking for more ways to incorporate exercise into your busy life? Or perhaps you need some gentle moves that you can do while in the midst of a “fibro flare” or some similar physical condition. Check out these YouTube videos from Robin of The Balanced Life, who believes in “grace over guilt.” I just finished her 10 day Mind Body Pilates challenge and love that I can get in a quick 10-15 minute workout when I am pressed for time!
  8. Some days I just cannot bear to listen to the news on my daily commute. But I do start every day reading The Skimm so I know what’s going on. It’s a fun, quick read format. Check it out here. Sign up here. Hey, it’s good enough for Oprah and SJP!
  9. Every once in awhile I like to rewatch this TEDTalk from Steve Jobs on How to Live Before You Die. Hear how a calligraphy class inspired some of the features we now depend on in our every day life, how rejection helped in Jobs’ success, and his take on life’s great change agent – death. Three quick stories from his life urging us all to pursue our dreams, follow our hearts, and love what we do.
  10. And finally here’s a link to a downloadable printable with some motivational cards to put in your planner, use as a bookmark, or just leave in front of your computer to remind you how awesome you are!

I hope you enjoyed these articles, stories, and videos and that I have inspired you just a little. Let me know what inspires you, and perhaps I will share it in an upcoming edition.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs




It Begins with Sleep

I have taken a very deliberate break from blogging and social media lately, as the demands of my day job have been consuming my time and energy. And much like others at the beginning of every new year, I have been trying to lose a few stubborn pounds that have crept on. I already have a pretty healthy diet and exercise program, so I decided reducing stress and getting some extra sleep might just be the two missing factors. And when your schedule is already overflowing and you need some extra Zzzzs, something has to give – for me that was writing and browsing social media.

But, with Sleep Awareness Week around the corner it was time to write a new post….

It Begins with Sleep

If “cotton is the fabric of our lives”, sleep should be considered the fabric of bodies and minds, weaving together all of the ingredients to help us reach our goals. Sleep allows us to recharge, makes us less hungry, makes us more focused and productive, and keeps us happier and less stressed. For more about the benefits of sleep, visit here.

The word I am focusing on this year is Deliberate, so that included being more deliberate and intentional about getting a restful night sleep. I have some links below to past blog posts describing what I do to unwind at bedtime and prepare myself for bed and sleep. These days, even that takes preparation.

Sleep and Electronics

It seems that while most people know these things, not everyone is listening. People use their smartphones as alarm clocks – so the device is usually just an arm’s reach away from the bed. Tempting to reach for it when we hear the buzz or ding of some email or post! While it’s best to keep your smartphone in another room altogether, if you’re going to use is as an alarm clock, use these other features too:

  • Use the “Do Not Disturb” feature so that you’re not being bombarded with alerts all night.
  • Make sure the display is off to avoid “blue light” emissions that suppress melatonin.
  • Use a sleep timer and play some soothing sounds or music to help you fall asleep.
  • Keep it far enough away that it’s not easy to reach for – and definitely don’t sleep with it under your pillow!

Sleep and Children/Teens

The actual Sleep Awareness Week this year (March 11-17th) happens to coincide with “Spring Break” around here in Texas. I find this funny, since teens see Spring Break as a time to abandon their normal sleeping routines and bedtimes, preferring to stay up late binge watching Netflix, playing video games, or Snap chatting with friends. All of this extra electronic stimuli wreaks havoc on their ability to disengage their brains for some good quality sleep. And we all know that teens rarely want to listen to the advice of their parents when it comes to bedtime, but getting quality sleep and having a regular routine can help anyone better manage stress and maintain healthy habits during the day.

I find it disturbing that I opened my Target ad today to find a sale on “sleep aids, sleep vitamins, or energy supplements” and one of the items depicted was “Children’s Sleep with Melatonin” that promotes restful sleep. As a society have we become so addicted to our “always on, always connected” mentality that we now have to give our children aids for sleeping? We would rather reach for a pill than change our habits to adopt healthy life style changes. That is definitely not me. I will do anything first before reaching for a pill, save for the few vitamins I take.

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

As someone who has suffered from fibromyalgia for almost 20 years now, I know the double-edged sword this condition creates. Lack of sleep exacerbates the pain and daytime fatigue, and the pain makes sleeping at night difficult. Then you add to that the OTC or prescription medication used to help one sleep, and that can add to the daytime drowsiness and hungover feeling. Although I still usually sleep about 6 hours during the week and 7-8 hours on the weekend, my goal is for quality, uninterrupted sleep to help me recharge. And that comes from good bedtime habits.


Here are some links to additional reading and past blogs about getting better sleep:


My Past Blog Posts About My Sleep Strategies:

Begin with the End in Mind

When doing any sort of strategic planning session, I always “begin with the end in mind.” So when we are thinking ahead to the next day of our busy lives, we should think about getting a good nights sleep, design what we think that looks like, and then plan for that in our schedule as well. Remember, it begins with sleep.

Do you have any tips for better quality sleep? What are your bedtime routines?



Click here to learn more about Sleep Awareness Week 2018

Deliberate Success

Be deliberate

As I wrote about my 2018 goals in my last post, I have chosen to be more Deliberate this year — more conscious and intentional with my decisions and my life. I believe this behavior will lead to greater success in all I set out to achieve this year. So to start things on a positive note, I would like to share a quick post with a few words of inspiration for this first week of the new year.

It’s a time for reflecting on last year – what worked and didn’t:

“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the story you’re willing to create.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

And a time for making our plans for this new year to be better than the last:

“You are never too old to set another goal, or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis

And finally, for me, it’s a time to embrace my word and focus on what that means for me in building a purposeful path to a successful and happy year:

“The way into the hall of success always passes through the chamber of decision. Decide to be a success; success is deliberate.” ~ Israelmore Ayivor


I hope you are having the best week! Have you set any goals for 2018 or embraced a word for the year? I would love to hear your thoughts.



Conversation = Food for the Soul

via Daily Prompt: Conversation

There’s a coffee shop in my little town called “Conversations Coffee” that is a friendly little place to get something to drink and catch up with friends. In this modern age of electronic communications, I sometimes think the art of conversation is dying. So on this first day of the new year, I think we should all resolve to…

Converse more.
Openly and frequently, with friends and family,
Near and far.
Grab a cup of coffee with a friend,
Just to catch up.

Call a family member you haven’t talked to in awhile.

“Conversation is food for the soul.” ~ Proverbs
Conversation fuels the brain and feeds the soul.
It keeps us connected and grounded.

It helps us learn and grow.

So say hello. Reminisce.
Share a cry. Tell a joke.
Exchange ideas. Give feedback.
Express gratitude.
Demonstrate love.


And now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to make a phone call….and enjoy the conversation.




Building a Purposeful Path

As you start with the big picture, ask yourself: What do I have time, energy, and resources to accomplish? What makes me happy and brings me joy. The answers will then help you make your list of goals.

I started reading the Goal Setting Series by Lara Casey this morning (Part 1 here) and wanted to share some quick insights. While 2017 wasn’t my most productive year, I am trying to look past my shortcomings, extend myself some grace, and be happy with what I did accomplish.


I wrote about some self-care goals for 2017, and at last check I had given myself a solid B-. I would say that was where I ended the year. I am sleeping more and working out regularly. I still need to get away from my desk more at lunch AND not work so many hours – I am going to work on those items more in 2018, as I am building my purposeful path.

Lara’s series can help you take a good look at some areas of your life and determine what is working and not working. That is if you are truly honest with yourself. I mean really honest. If you want to fix something, you have to recognize it’s broken first.

So as you start with the big picture, ask yourself: What do I have time, energy, and resources to accomplish? What makes me happy and brings me joy?  The answers will help you build your list of goals. Here are a few points to consider while setting those goals:

  1. Focus on the positive. Didn’t achieve all your goals this past year? Well neither did I, but I achieved some of them, made progress on others. Think about what worked and what didn’t work. Did you set your goals too high? Remember to make them achievable. Being successful will help keep the momentum going throughout the year.
  2. Break it down. The old saying “Eating the elephant one bite at a time” applies to goals too. As a project manager, I like to think of my goal like a project – what are the tasks and milestones you need to achieve along the way to get across the finish line? And then try to focus on one thing at a time.
  3. Write it down. This helps you commit, and then you can track your progress and go back and review what you want to achieve and how you are doing. I am using my planner for yearly goals, which I can break down into monthly and weekly milestones and To Do’s to help me reach them.
  4. Celebrate progress. And as you are reaching certain milestones along the way, don’t forget to CELEBRATE those steps you have achieved. Be proud of what you have done, and don’t dwell on what you haven’t.

I hope I have given you some things to get you started on your goal setting journey. I will be reading through Lara Casey’s series the next few days, so I hope you check it out too! One of my goals this year is to determine if I am going to make the time to keep blogging, or if I should let it go for now. More to come on that…







Sometimes it is hard to feel Jolly at this time of year, with so many things cluttering your to-do list and social calendar! The holiday baking, shopping, gift-giving, and socializing can be overwhelming at times for anyone. That sense can be compounded for someone dealing with chronic pain or conditions like fibromyalgia.

So I have to admit I am struggling this year. Work and volunteer commitments are monopolizing my time to the point I can’t find time or energy to shop for presents or wrap the ones I do have. Each year seems harder – I struggle each year with what to buy, who to buy for because the burden to shop for everyone (except me) falls on me. Oh, and Christmas cards? Last year was the first year I have never sent them. This year isn’t looking so good either.

Ziplining with Santa down Fremont Street, Las Vegas, 2011

So Jolly is a state of mind for me. I try to find joy and humor in even the simplest of things, like this memory of ziplining with Santa. The real Santa. *<|:-{)} Ho, ho, ho!

The holidays should be a time for enjoying family and friends and celebrating, not stressing out. So I make my to do lists, and check them twice. And if I don’t get everything checked off, so be it. Maybe I don’t bake as much or buy as much or send those card. Lately I have given myself permission to let things go, such as writing blog posts. My goal was to write a weekly post, and then that became a monthly post. Now it is whenever the mood strikes. Like today. So today, I can be jolly. 🙂