6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness

Chronic stress can cause extreme duress on the fibro body and your adrenal system.

Managing my fibromyalgia is a careful balancing act of self-care. This involves eating healthy, getting adequate sleep, working out, and taking time for me. Living with fibromyalgia means that normal, every day stressors can place an additional hardship on the fibro body. So when you are faced with an extended period of stress – bad flare or other health crisis, work deadlines, family emergencies, or simply just getting through the holidays – you can place an extreme amount of duress on your body and your adrenal system.

“Adrenaline is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.”

You can feel this when your heart starts to race or your hands or body sweats. Adrenaline is also responsible for that fight-or-flight mechanism that can give people extraordinary strength in times of crisis. And an over-exposure to the stress hormones can tamper with your overall well-being.

Continue reading “6 Ways to Cope with Stress when you Have a Chronic Illness”

Clean Eating: Smoothie Round-Up

Fight fibromyalgia with your diet

I have long managed my fibromyalgia with healthy life-style choices including diet and exercise. My best fibro-fighting weapons? Starting my day with yoga and a healthy smoothie.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” 

La Rouchefoucauld

The concept of eating “clean” just encourages you to consume more whole foods โ€” such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats โ€” and limit highly processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged foods. Yes, it’s a difficult concept to wrap your brain around during the holidays when we often indulge on extra calories in the form of holiday meals and baked goodies.

Oftentimes we equate healthy foods with tasteless foods. But done right smoothies are the perfect combination of both nutritious and flavorful foods. I have posted some recipes and pics on the blog and my Instagram of smoothies and smoothie bowls, so I thought I would grab my favorites in one post. Smoothies take about 5 minutes to put together in a blender, and then you have the perfect meal on the go!

Continue reading “Clean Eating: Smoothie Round-Up”

Clean Eating: Almond Butter-Banana Smoothie

I have embraced a “clean eating” philosophy, to keep my fibromyalgia symptoms at bay.

When I was a kid, my father used to come home from work and snack on a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter, to hold him over until dinner. The protein and fiber helped curb that hunger just enough. I always loved peanut butter growing up, too. Peanut butter with jelly, ice cream, chocolate, and bananas! PB&B may have been Elvis’ favorite sandwich, but this combination makes a great smoothie too! Continue reading “Clean Eating: Almond Butter-Banana Smoothie”

Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally

I have adopted many lifestyle changes over the years that I truly believe have lessened the impact fibromyalgia has on my life.

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a condition thought to affect up to 400 million people worldwide, or 5% of the population, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association. It is characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, with 18 key trigger points in the body. There are also a myriad of other symptoms, and I would venture to guess that none of us have the same symptoms, the same level of pain, or achieve pain relief from the same things. Fibromyalgia is still somewhat of a medical mystery with no silver bullets or miracle cures on the horizon.

For years I have considered myself a “high-functioning fibrowarrior” because despite my flares, I somehow manage to push on. I have my share of pain, flares, and exhaustion. Let’s just say there is much less jumping and much more creaking when I get out of bed in the morning. And yes, I spend time in bed curled up with a heating pad. My flares seem to last longer the older I get. But the flares are fewer and far between. Continue reading “Six Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally”