Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A day in the life...

A day in the life, I named today’s entry that, but really it is a little more than that.

I can tell that I’m having one of those times where my immune system has gone haywire for whatever reason stimulated it this time (maybe it’s the flu epidemic running through my office?).  Anyway, since last Thursday I have been achy, tired, feverish, brain foggy and just generally blah.  I can’t get enough sleep, I’m cold, I’m hot, I can’t focus for more than two minutes, my joints ache, then my muscles do, sometimes together.  I get up from my desk chair at work or the couch at home and have to steady myself from the pain that comes.  It’s not a lot of fun, just an example of a few days in the life.

I found a blog recently that has provided some valuable information along with some validation about the ups and downs.  She talks openly about her “thyroidy” days, something I found comforting because there are times you feel like you might just be going crazy.  Her blog is here:  http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/category/autoimmune/ She’s got a great sense of humor and a good amount of knowledge about what’s going on with her and what works for her.  She’s also quick to say that what works for her may not work for everyone.  I think the key I got from reading many of her entries is that you have to take control of your own health.  There isn’t anyone else that’s going to be as much of an advocate for you as you can for yourself.

Moving down the taking control of my own health path I have learned to spend more time really paying attention to what my body is telling me.  If I’m really tired I sleep (I slept 9.5 hours last night), if I have brain fog and can’t concentrate I do those things at work that require less of my concentration, if I’m hungry I eat, making sure to eat lots of veggies while making sure I get the protein I need.  I gave up gluten which helped. However, with the ups and downs I have been experiencing since then, my body is telling me there is more I should do.  Now I’m considering giving up dairy and possibly soy.  One at a time so that I can measure the difference it makes.

There is so much to consider.  Selenium, yes or no (I read I can get what I need by eating a Brazil nut daily), what about iodine?  Do I need to look at other supplements beyond the ones I’m already on (iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, B12)?  There is always more research to be done.  The thing I’m sticking with now though is listening to my body when it talks to me, being gentler with myself.  The world will not end if I don’t vacuum/clean/do laundry and make a gourmet homemade dinner every night.

So, if you are having health issues, even if they are very different from mine, take time, slow down, listen to what your body really needs.  The world will not end if you take a needed break. Take care of you!

One last thing…..a recipe!  I make this soup every couple of weeks, blend it up and freeze it in small containers for those hungry periods when I want to take advantage and get lots of nutrients into my body:

Blended Veggie Soup
(This makes a lot of soup, be sure you have freezer space!)

½ T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (I actually use 4 but that’s too much for some people)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (I add more but I like things spicy)
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 small zucchini
1 lb mushrooms
1 bag spinach
1 bag of kale
1.5 big boxes of fat free or reduced fat chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1.      Heat a large pot over medium to medium high heat, add olive oil
2.      Drop in the onion, garlic, cayenne, carrots and celery and cook until slightly soft
3.      Add in the zucchini and mushrooms and cook for about 1 minute
4.      Add in the chicken broth then put the spinach and kale on top, pushing down with a spoon to get it in the liquid
5.      Cover and let simmer (not boil) about 15 minutes, check to see how everything is doing….stirring everything up at this point is a good idea
6.      Check for seasoning, does it need salt and pepper?
7.      Cover and cook for another 20-30 minutes, everything should be soft at this point
8.      Cool slightly then blend everything together using an immersion blender.
9.      Store in small serving size (about 1 cup) containers in the freezer, it warms up well in the microwave when you need it

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