Grateful for food and the ability to eat it (gonna hold onto this one for a while!). Last night, we made individual pizzas with the gluten free crust from My GF Chef at Crack A Daddle Do Farm . Mine had a lemon-garlic-tahini sauce with tomatoes; mushrooms from DarkSpore Mushroom Company ; swiss chard and red onion from JBo Ranch ; kalamata olives; banana peppers; and feta cheese. For breakfast today, I had a mushroom and sundried tomato quiche (also from Crack a Daddle*) with some citrus fruit (so I can put the peels out later to dissuade the neighborhood free-roaming cats from using our mulch like a litter box). I also made some homemade strawberry (from the farmer’s market, of course) sourdough muffins with a crumbly topping, which came out fantastic. And as an additional note, I’m now the kind of person who drives her own herbs.
Trent said, “Is that a quiche from Crack a Daddle? They’re doing a lot more prepared foods now.” And he’s right. They are because people want convenience…but also healthy and good-for-you foods. We had their stuffed shells and Bolognese the other night, and I’ve got their Tuscan Chicken Pasta bake in the freezer for the next time I don’t feel like cooking from scratch for dinner. Next best thing to homemade because I know it’s made with good ingredients and not laden with preservatives that are bad for my microbiome and overall health. Win!
eatfresh #buylocal (for me, that’s at the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market !) #Maintain2022
Today I’m #grateful to be back home and back to my routines! Even before CDI, I always felt best when I was on routine. After CDI, routine became even more important to healing. Even small shifts in routine could cause a PI-IBS flare. That’s gotten so much better now that I’m over a year out. But it’s still good to get back on routine. I’m doing a bit of a kitchari “cleanse,” since I did so much new and different eating over the last week. I’m back to my tea and turkey tail extract and tongue scraping and morning face mask and hour-long dog walks and yoga (although I did do some yoga every morning and evening on a towel in my hotel room 🙂 ). These are all things that helped me while healing, and now they’re a great way to make sure I stay healthy, especially after a change in routine. Just because I healed my gut doesn’t mean I can start taking it for granted again! Do you have a get-healthy or stay-healthy routine that’s helped/helping you?
Good gifts don’t have to cost a lot of (or any) money! Tonight I am #grateful for this stack of new-to-me books pre-screened by friends. Nothing better than a book a friend read, liked, and says, “I think you’ll like this too.” Ready for some 2022 reading! Happy 7th day of Christmas!
Handmade presents are the best presents! On the fifth day of Christmas I’m grateful for friends who gift us new homemade ornaments for our tree. Every ornament has a story, and this one’s story is about co-workers who become friends who become like family…the kind of people who show up at your house to do yard work when you’re bedridden, who send food when you’re sick, who share laughter and love in good times and bad…and make homemade ornaments to show they’re thinking of you at Christmas time. Happy fifth day of Christmas.
On the fourth day of Christmas, I am #grateful for another thoughtful gift. This is a “tree of healing” ornament gifted by a friend. When she saw it, she thought of me and my guiding word for 2021: healing.
It’s a gorgeous ornament, and it’s special because it has a story. We are the kind of people who have a tree whose ornaments all have stories. We’re not the kind of people who have one of those fancy themed trees or one with matching ornaments.
This one’s story is about a year of healing. It’s also a reminder that we don’t do it alone. Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor wrote in her book A Stroke of Insight, which I read early in my recovery: “Recovery, however you define it, is not something you do alone, and my recovery was influenced by everyone around me.” Same girl, same. As the ornament’s explanation says, “Like a tree, you are constantly rooted to those urging you to keep strong.”
Remember when I used to be all about “eat your colors?” But then I wasn’t because I couldn’t (and couldn’t really eat food at all?). Well, tonight I am going to bed #grateful that I ate my colors! We had maple carrot power bowls for dinner. Usually, on Christmas vacation, we’d have lasagna or spaghetti with “to die for” sauce or steak…special occasion stuff. But it’s a different kind of Christmas…a staycation…with home cooked colors. But how wonderful it is to eat the colors! #Healing2021 #domesticgoddess
Two things: 1) I added some (not too many!) cherry tomatoes when I was cooking my vegetable khichdi for the week. I ate it for lunch 4 times. I also put a tiny tomatoe slice on a sandwich earlier this week. And…nothing bad happened! 🥳 2) I’m so exhausted. Work is crazy. I slept for 9 hours the other night! I am so tired of having to prepare 3 meals a day for every day from scratch in my own kitchen. So I gave takeout another go. Last time did not end well. So we again scoured a menu for something we thought I could try and then I made some custom requests: whole grain bread instead of brioche; no butter for grilling; no sauce with milk. It’s a Ham & Gruyere Melt. I researched gruyere, and apparently it’s lactose free. So I had this sandwich (well, not the whole thing because it’s huge) for lunch today. Fingers crossed it goes well! So far, so good, but tomorrow will be the real tell. It will be such a relief to find at least one takeout thing I can eat! I’m almost 10 months post-treatment. Tuesday will be the anniversary of my first bacterial infection diagnosis and treatment (Flagyl) which started this whole roller coaster. That’s getting in my head obviously. Focusing on my gratitude though! And the tomato success is on the list!
ETA: Update: I SO wanted this to be a success. But at around the 24 hour mark, it became clear it was not. On the upside, unlike with previous attempts, there wasn’t the terrible, painful abdominal pain. So I guess that’s still a win(ish). 🤷🏼♀️😭
First meal out in over a year and a half. We walked around downtown and passed on 4-5 restaurants after checking the menus. Settled on Shortfields. I had a turkey burger with feta cheese and sauteed spinach and mushrooms with a plain baked potato. I kept the lettuce and tomato off. It was so good. And so nice not to have to make a meal! Fingers crossed it’s still good tonight and tomorrow, but so far this is a success, and I am grateful for that!
I’ve said a number of times that the practice of gratitude has been key in my healing and recovery. It especially helped with the post-infection anxiety/PTSD. Even during this latest PI-IBS flare, it helped me. Every night, I list at least three things I’m grateful for. I spend my day looking for those things. It makes a big difference in my emotional and mental well-being.
From this article (courtesy of the gratitude app this AM): “Simply being grateful can give your mood a big boost, among other benefits. For example, a recent two-part study found that practicing gratitude can have a significant impact on feelings of hope and happiness.”
The gut-brain connection is real. Research and my own experience has taught me one can impact the other: a lot! I really believe this healing journey is mental, emotional, and physical. So if you need a reminder this morning to take care of yourself, here ya go! Mind, body, spirit: you got this! 💜
A lot of people battling c-diff experience a lot of anxiety. Here’s how I fought (and continue to fight) through it:
I think the first step is just acknowledging the anxiety and the fact that it’s perfectly normal. In fact, your brain is doing exactly what it’s hard wired to do. The problem is you don’t actually need it to. The upside is you can rewire your brain so you don’t have that anxiety. Notice-Shift-Rewire is a simple strategy to start that process.
What also helped me was Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor’s research and the 90 second rule. You’ve been through something traumatic, so it’s natural to feel worried or scared. Most of us experience that. Recovery is physical, mental, emotional. The best any of us can do physically is support our body’s recovery by following medical and nutritional advice. Be careful with our bodies, with what we put in them, with what we try to push them to do. The mental and emotional are very closely linked. How you think affects how you feel. Think positive thoughts. Read positive things (and not negative). Surround yourself with positive people, people who believe in your full recovery. For emotional, remember that emotions really only last 90 seconds. Seriously. It’s science. Everything after that, is basically you stuck in your own head about it. So when you find yourself feeling a negative emotion, that’s ok. It’s natural. Give yourself 90 seconds to feel it and then let it flow through and out of your body. Stop your brain from making it last longer, get out of the emotional loop. I personally do that by practicing gratitude. Once for example, something happened that triggered a fear response in me: the c-diff is back, I’ll never be healthy again, etc etc. I had a complete breakdown right in the middle of the public street. I just sobbed and sobbed. For about ninety seconds. And then, I got up, looked around and forced myself to choose 3 things I’m grateful for, and I focused on those three things until I felt better. I had another emotional response later that same day. Sat down on the bathroom floor and cried it out. Then did it again: 3 things I’m grateful for. Break the feedback loop, get out of my own head, focus on those things. I know it sounds kinda lame. But it’s based in neuroscience, on how our brains work. I practice gratitude every morning and every evening: at least three things I’m grateful for. Force myself to do it. It has improved my mindset, my emotional and mental health. The longer I’m healthy, the better it gets. Less fear, anxiety.
Another thing that helped me is meditation. So if I just can’t break the feedback loop myself, I go to a meditation app. I have both the Calm app and the Buddhify app. Buddhify is free. Even a quick meditation (3-5 minutes) can help break that loop.