THIRTY. you feel GOOD. Let’s do this!!!

Holy WOW I have THE best family and friends.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who took the time to make me feel extra special yesterday. You guys are what make my world go round. YOU are all what make this life so crazy good.

I appreciate the well birthday wishes… texts, fb posts/messages, emails, the meaningful cards. all THE LOVE.
y’all sure make me feel special. Happy happy girl over here. Each and every bday wish I received means so much to me.

and a BIG special thank you to my mom who threw me THE. bEST. PARTY. My heart is SO full. Along with my WINE RACK!!!! Heck Yeah lol!!
And my Mama Mia over at her Mia Cucina blog. the special cake you made for me was to die for! (gluten free, dairy free). Ella, the balloons were perfect. Thank you ladies, and to all who came to help me celebrate. This is what matters most to me in life. Spending time with the people I love. Best birthday gift EVER.

And finally since it is the ‘big 3-0’ I couldn’t help but do a little reflecting..
My twenties were a wild ride. So full of fun + love + new friendships + growth + sickness + adventure + excitement. pain + loss. new beginnings. healing and lessons. and always thru it all, gratitude.
I am thankful for all of the opportunities and experiences that life has thrown at me. and for the tough shit too. I wouldn’t change a thing.

if my thirties are gonna be even better than my twenties, like some people have been saying, then I am one bleepin blessed lady.

THIRTY. you feel GOOD. Let’s do this!!!
#lifeiscrazygood

ZERO FOX GIVEN cause it’s international day of HAPPY!

[[International Day of Happiness is March 20th. ] 

today is #internationdayofhappiness so for that I am not letting anything get in the way of my happy! I decided I’m GETTING IN that gosh darn pool! Cause holy smokes was it HOT. I should be avoiding chlorinated pools like the plague, but I went for it :)    I feel like we always need an exception to the rule. especially on vacation. Right? It’s been 3 days straight  of 95 degrees and I’ve held out for this long. But today I said, FOX IT. i’m doing it. AND. my DAD was in the pool. I think I can count on one hand how many times in my 29 years I’ve had an opportunity to swim with my dad! So there. Definitely worth it. I think it’s important to not get hung up on the rules ALL OF THE TIME.  So we do what makes us happy. AND THAT’S OKAy ;-)

[not to say that staying within my restrictions makes me unhappy. Cause that’s definitely not the case. I’m quite happy with my lifestyle + grateful to know what the tools are to keep me feeling well and in remission.].

I’m just using today’s ‘happiness day’ as an excuse to get an extra bit of happy ;-)


When I was in the pool I was cringing just thinking of all the chlorine soaking Continue reading “ZERO FOX GIVEN cause it’s international day of HAPPY!”

Today is international day of happiness!


my mom would not be impressed to see ketchup on my plate 😜 but I don’t care cause #internationaldayofhappiness . aaand the processed sweet potato tots full of canola oil + cornstarch are another no-no 😋 Buuuut, I’m on #vacay sooo..YUM! This breaky makes me #HAPPY! hey, at least my egg yolks aren’t fully cooked so I’m getting some vitamin B! Plus D cause I’m eating in the SUN. Yeah baby 😎
#yummybreakfast #mesaarizona #wannabesnowbird #foodisthymedicine #healing #colitisgirl #ibd #ulcerativecolitis #colitis #autoimmunedisease #liveagreatstory #lifestyleblog #winnipegblogger #winnipeg #kateandmeblog #bewell #behappy #bepositive #gratefulheart #justbelieve

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

today I woke up to two really sweet / encouraging / motivating / inspiring / comments here on the blog. from STRANGERS. so that is always exciting. thank you to those who take the time to give me feedback. it really means a lot and makes a difference because sometimes it’s easy Continue reading “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

fun, eventful, weekend. living life!

holy bleep did I just make a big freakin mess of my kitchen! but man did I make a masterpiece for dinner. I enjoy pinning recipes / food + beverage ideas on my  pinterest board ‘Bon Appetite’  and tonight’s meal was inspired by spaghetti squash chow mien + egg roll in a bowl . actually the idea to make this came from the left over cabbage I had from the sauerkraut I made this afternoon.  and then I used the pinterest recipes as my guide. and it was faily easy! though you’d prob wonder if you saw my kitchen?!

live-a-great-story-blog

so this is what I did: I threw the spaghetti squash in the oven,  fried up some ground turkey with onion flakes, garlic, salt / pepper. fried up the cabbage, shredded carrots + red onions. then made my sauce: extra virgin olive oil, garlic, ginger + coconut aminos [i’m really trying hard to limit soy in my diet. cause hormones].and garnished with green onions.

so now that dinner is done I’m having some cravings for the damn cookie dough I made yesterday. i’m trying hard not to have any because I’ve been cheating a little too much lately. testing myself. pushing the envelope, eating things that I should not be eating. like POTATOES. OR. eating lots of something I should really only be eating in moderation. like…. cookie dough. and wine. I maybe drank too much wine last last Friday and then again this past Friday. BUT, I feel like i’ve been managing my stress levels well and I’ve definitely increased my gym visits. so no flare-ups allowed!

cheese. I also had some cheese on Friday. cause wine. too much wine. in fact it was a child’s third birthday party, ha. but that’s our fam. and we do fun.
my sweet birthday boy, Mason, helped aunty make her special pizza. while everyone else ate 222222222222. and I can guarantee mine was SO. MUCH. BETTER. in the yummy sense and health-wise. (obviously).  >>insert some reader’s eye-rolls here<<     lol. it’s okay.

love-life-pizza-wine

so, yes! a great, busy, fun-filled  weekend was had….

kate’s place / maseman’s bday party on Friday night with all my favourite people. {well some were missing}. yesterday I did a lot of work with just believe and this blog… been working on my next post about SALT. then my mom and I hit up the parade of homes yesterday. I made my fav cookie dough. [which, dammit, I am eating now.]
today I had no one to get my butt to church so I just attended online :) ..did lots of house chores and some packing cause i’m gonna be flyin’ high again soon. (Arizona here I come!!)  finally got to making my  sauerkraut. now it has to ferment for 6 days. then started step 1 of another batch of my sprouted /fermented homemade bread. and I am still so excited about the yummy dinner I threw together. I think my mama mia over at the mia cucina blog would be impressed ;-)

so that is all. thanks for being here! and somebody come take this cookie dough away from me.

lots of love. ciao. xo

‘just believe’, I love you and I’ve missed you.

just-believe-come-back

hello my loves! check this out!! a perfect stranger and JUST BELIEVE!!!!! 4500 KMs FROM HOME!!

just believe World [est. 2010] has been on my mind a lot in the last few months. unfortunately it took a back seat 5 years ago when I started my new job at the College.

and now I run in to this guy! WEARING MY #JUSTBELIEVE SHIRT!!!! IN MEXICO!!!!!
if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
(I ran up to him and complimented his freaken’ AWESOME shirt and excitedly told him and his wife that I was the founder of the brand. we had a really great chat about what ‘just believe’ means to him. as I left them to go for my walk on the beach my heart jumped with joy and gratitude, thoughts running wild with a big bleepin smile.)

i’m SO thankful for this moment, and more than ever now, i’m ready to continue this journey with just believe World. thank you to all of my family and friends AND STRANGERS who have continued to support this brand and dream since it’s conception 7 years ago. to the lovers and BELIEVERS of ‘just believe’, you know who you are, you’re gettin in on this journey too and we’re gonna rock the heck out of this.

I love yas. + happy Saturday <3

With a #gratefulheart,

-me

How do YOU survive a colitis flare? day7 and it’s been a #shitshow thus far.

Well 5 days ago I thought I was gonna get crowned ‘master colitis-flare-up-kicker-asser’. In my mind on #day1 of the flare I was already #winning. but then the wicked evil Mr.jerkface called STRESS kept getting in the way. stress prevails. stress wins. stress kills. all the time. even thinking and writing about the past week is probably gonna do damage.

today is day 7 and I’ve been in bed all day. [feeling thankful for an ensuite. ha.]

this is how everything went down….

day 2 of the flare: my truck had to get towed to the shop. being without a vehicle sucks, but the $930 estimate sucks even more. I own a home and run it on my single salary. (plus my special diet full of non-gmo and organic foods, and a lot of supplements.)  money is tight. ESPECIALLY after Christmas.

Continue reading “How do YOU survive a colitis flare? day7 and it’s been a #shitshow thus far.”

Happy New Year + [not so happy] new flare. colitis.

I’ve been working on this post for the last two weeks and the title was supposed to be ‘199 days in remission for colitis girl! and now today is day 1 of another flare. insert sad face here. nice to meet you too, 2017.

I can’t say that I am surprised though. that I’m in a flare. in the last month and a half i’ve been carrying on like I was magically cured and could eat, drink, and do whatever I wanted. maybe that’s a bit dramatic because I do actually work hard and limit myself very much so.  but this time of year it’s a lot harder with all the holiday gatherings and treats constantly shoved in my face. when I say treats I don’t mean just baking and chocolates. treats for me are POTATOES of all kinds (mainly potato chips),  gluten, dairy (cheese is a super hard one for me and tis’ the season for eggnog!), + WINE. wine wine wine.

I am usually pretty dedicated when it comes to following my restrictive diet except when I am invited over to other people’s places… if there’s only one kind of appetizer on the table in front of me that I should NOT be eating, 9 times out of 10 I’m gonna eat it. (unless I’m in a flare. when I’m in a flare I have all the willpower in the world to not touch something bad)  My one dear friend though, mama Mia, always goes above and beyond for me. When she has me over for dinner she always caters to my needs and I am beyond grateful to her for that. she also LOVES to cook and she started her own blog recently… www.miacucina.blog. (check it out!!) I can’t wait to collaborate with her on some colitis-friendly recipes and I will be sure to share them here.

anyywaaay……

for the last 6 days or so I’ve been getting some warning symptoms. as soon as I was waking up in the morning I’d have the urge to go to the washroom right away. and more than once. my instincts were telling me that it was a bad sign but I talked myself out of it because: my tummy wasn’t big and bloated, I wasn’t experiencing my typical colitis tummy ache and pain, no cramping + there’s been NO BLOOD. except this morning. the damn unwanted guest came this morning. but not lots, thank God! I had a ladies night at my place on Friday and I’m pretty sure (along with a couple other bad dietary choices days prior to that) that that’s why I am back in a flare. the appie menu I had served was pretty much all okay for me to eat on a good day… in remission, far away from a potential flare. like: non-gmo cornflakes for gluten free chicken nuggets (and all other non-gmo corn for that matter *in moderation*), goat cheese, nuts, grains + more examples in another post. the killer for me on Friday night, was almost an entire bottle of wine. insert feeling stupid face here. it was also a 3 am-er and I got maybe only 5 hours of sleep because I was hosting brunch the next morning. needless to say, New Years Eve was a very chill evening (+ NO alcohol cause I had a hunch I overdid it) and Bax and I did the countdown in bed. lol. I’m surprised I even made it til midnight. Anyway all that carelessness brings me here to today. in a flare. resting. I haven’t left my peaceful pad since. trying to redeem myself with lots of R & R and very strict eating.

Can anyone spot my little dude? he was helping me colour earlier… peaceful_pad

so the plan for today’s post was gonna be a bit of bragging for being in remission for 199 days. ha, that backfired a bit. and then I was gonna finally share my colonoscopy story which is about 6 months overdue.

here’s a quick side note for my fellow #ibdfighters who may be inspired to ‘cure’ themselves too!  last year I made it almost an entire year without going in to a flare. that’s a record for me in my 12-year-colitis-life. almost 11 months in remission. and that was also the year I was introduced to bone broth and started drinking it every. single. morning. except for right now!! lol. which probably has a little something to do with me being in a flare again. I ran out of bones right before Christmas, and I was supposed to steal some already-made broth from my aunty but that didn’t happen. I called farmer Jim a couple of days ago so hopefully he’ll have me hooked up soon!! I ended up stealing some bones from my aunty and they’ve been in the crockpot since last night. beef bones take 48 hours so they’ll be done tomorrow night. not soon enough!!!

so rewind back to May 31. 2016. 2 days before my colonoscopy. (I document everything in my Day One journal. best app ever. I write everything down about my moods, stress levels, digestion, versus what I ate that day / cheated on, and note when I exercised, and then it becomes super important data in helping me to learn how to stay in remission.) so back to May 31. was my first official day in remission as there was no blood in my stool that morning. (blood is the last symptom to take a hike when I am going in to remission.)

then the eve of June 2 I am chugalugging 4 LITRES of liquid drugs aka poison toxic overload. all the while wondering what it was doing to my recently healed, ever so delicate, intestinal lining….

the last three times I’ve gone in for a colonoscopy (this one was number 6 or 7) the nurses have problems getting my IV in and I end up blacking-out. [for those who haven’t experienced passing out, it’s not pleasant. your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen and blood so you lose consciousness. when you finally come-to you feel nauseous and sick. certainly not something you want to go through right before a colonoscopy.]

so, colonoscopy day… My nurse this time around, Nurse Jean, was a Godsend. I explained my situation and she was determined and assured me that this time around would be different. I trusted her as she was a nurse for forever, retired and came back. she knew her stuff. and it’s important to know that I am not passing out because I’m afraid of needles lol… As you can see in the first pic below I am in great spirits having a jolly ole time. after about 30 seconds of her doing her thing, I was convinced the needle was in and I actually even yelled out to everyone that Nurse Jean is my hero, woo hoo, she got it in!!! and I was pretty much doing a happy dance in my mind. but then she said aloud that it wasn’t in and that she was having trouble. so I’m pretty sure subconsciously I was going in to panic mode. my mom was by my side and we were joking around trying to distract me from what the nurse was trying to do but then the feelings starting to come. I felt my head start feeling weird and spinny but in slow-motion. it was a horrible feeling. so that’s me coughing in the second picture. I told everyone that I was about to go sleepy. that I could feel it coming. So I was instructed to cough cause apparently that’s supposed to help. I felt myself struggling to stay conscious and at the same time I was wanting to black-out so all bad feelings would be gone.

I thought for sure the coughing worked, but my mom swears I ended up fainting. I was adamant that I did not [because i’m stubborn and need to be in control], but then I saw the 4th picture, middle below. lol. so who really knows. I think at that point maybe I was just taking a rest. lol!!

but then the craziest shit happened. they finally got the IV in, but the whole ordeal ended up putting me in to ‘shock’ ..it was one of the craziest feelings I’ve ever experienced… all of a sudden my hands, arms, legs and feet got all tingling and immediately began to blow up. like you would a balloon. I was so freaked out by the pressure building up in my extremities and I started panicking trying to explain to nurse Jean what I was feeling. from my perspective she looked worried so that freaked me out and intensified what I was feeling. she just kept telling me it was my nerves but I wasn’t convinced. I ended up half calming down because I remembered I was in a hospital and if something terrible was happening I would probably be okay. within minutes it was time to wheel me in to the procedure room and then that’s when I got stabbed with a really bad colitis tummy ache. all of that was a crazy amount of stress that I endured. STRESS. is. a. WEAPON. and it’s POWERFUL. the dangerous thing about stress is that if I were to have experienced the exact scenario in remission, I wouldn’t have got that tummy ache as a sign of the damage the stress was doing, yet the physical damage to my body would have been the same. think about that. the signs are only there when it’s too late. and that’s not a colitis thing. that’s a stress thing. it just manifests its way differently in everyone.

when they wheeled me in to the procedure room I begged the anesthesiologist to drug me up quick so the feeling and pressure that was going on in my body would subside. no dice. my specialist (gastroenterologist) needed to ask me a bunch of questions before the procedure.

post colonoscopy, after I woke up, I had the urge to run to the washroom. pretty much to empty nothing but blood in to the toilet. so yes. I believe that the crap I had to drink the night before, plus the stress of the whole IV thing, and the probing around up there with the camera + biopsies, put me back in to the flare. (Nurse Jean promises me that the ‘IV team’ will be called in for my next colonoscopy and all the fainting shenanigans should hopefully never happen again)

My GI came to chat with me in the recovery room and told me that I was in an active flare. I was quite ticked by the news since 2 days leading up to my colonoscopy I had got myself back in to remission. not without tons of hard work and effort. and lots of help from VSL #3. and my bank account.

He explained to me that the drug that I’ve been on for 12 years (Asacol, which apparently is the most ‘safetest’ IBD drug to be on) is no longer doing its job and that I need to go on a more powerful drug. an IMMUNOSUPPRESSANT drug. okay so hold on here.. the year before  I almost made it a complete YEAR in remission. and the year before that I went in to two flares. and all the years before that I was in flares on and off all the time. so. according to MY calculations, I can’t justify switching to a more harmful drug. sorry doc but NOOOO THANK YOUUUUUUU. I told him I don’t feel comfortable going on a different kind of drug that will, one: only mask my colitis symptoms, and two: weaken my immune system for me to develop all other kinds of problems. He encouraged me to go for a specific kind of blood test that would see if my liver could handle this particular new drug and that we would talk about it again when I went for my follow up appointment. I agreed at that moment but I was pretty sure that this blood test would be pointless because I wasn’t going to change my mind.

I later told my chiropractor the story about the troubles I had with the IV and that my arms and legs ‘blew up’. she knew right away what I had experienced, nodded and said, yeah, that was ADRENALINE (!!) racing through you. CRAZIEST FEELING. I wish my mom would have had a video camera instead ha ha.

SO. two of the biggest changes / additions in my life, that I’ve done since I got out of that last flare….

ditching my Brita/tap water!!!  for the last 6 months I’ve been buying distilled water from World of Water. thanks goes to my interior design instructor! when I was missing all those classes last spring because of how sick I was I finally told her what was up. that I had colitis. she was very familiar with a similar disease and she’s the one that pointed out to me that the chlorine in my tap water was killing the good bacteria in my gut. I guess I thought the Brita was taking out ALL the harmful stuff in my tap water. little did I know that it was still full of chlorine. I am SO angry at this oversight. all these probiotics I was pumping in to my gut and the TONS of tap water that I was drinking every day was counteracting my efforts. so, so grateful to her for bringing that to my attention. I hooked myself up with an pretty water cooler (thanks, mom) and also looked in to getting a filtration system put on my shower as well. our skin absorbs 10 times more than any other organ in our bodies… (think about what we put on our skin every day…washing our hands with anti-bacterials, lathering up in body lotions, face creams etc.) I now save my bathtub time for at the lake where I can soak in *just* lake water. and I’ve also been making my own body butter for the last year and a bit. [I use this recipe and sometimes add beeswax.]

the next best thing in my life has been KEFIR. all thanks to my moms friend from work. I had heard of the stuff before but didn’t pay too much attention to it until it* showed up at my doorstep shortly after my colonoscopy. I’ve been making my own kefir and eating it everyday since! and this post has gotten waaaay too long so more on kefir later. [update: i’m a bit skeptical of the dairy kefir. so for that I’ve been off of it.]

 

because of the minimal blood today, no tummy aches or cramping, I’ve got a gut feeling *no pun intended, ha* that I’m gonna nip this little b*tch in the bud and i’ll be good as new SOON.  I’m pretty confident that the new additions to my diet / lifestyle in the last 6 months have been making a positive difference.  I honestly believe that I have the power to control this disease. it’s not easy, and I suck at it sometimes, but I BELIEVE. and that’s always half the battle. our mindset.

so quick quick before I go, for my fellow #ibdfighters, here are some of the things I do when I go in to a flare (in addition to my daily restrictions regardless of being in a flare) :

I ‘up’ the asacol from 3, 800mg pills to 6 pills per day. take salofalk suppositories before bed. increase probiotics. no more daily coffee (that’s the hardest for me) no cold liquids/foods. try and limit solid foods… more smoothies the better. limit grains. absolutely no alcohol, no corn and popcorn, no seeds, no turmeric (or spices), no soy, limit meat, increase alkaline foods, limit exercise to yoga or walking – I don’t do my regular 3 flights of stairs at work, no body building, nothing that will leave my body having to rebuild cells. get TONS of rest and be mindful about STRESS and avoid it as much as possible. and REST if I haven’t already said it ;-) go for a massage and chiropractor (I see Dr. Kelly who practices Korean Specific Technique).

holy moly that was long. thanks to everyone who read right to this point. I love yas. you keep me going.

nighty night. xo

-me

this is my happy pill. and #gojetsgo

vitamin_b_winnipeg_jets

so this is my happy pill >>> VITAMIN B. [complex]. I’ve been taking it religiously for about the last 2 years…

Continue reading “this is my happy pill. and #gojetsgo”

HELLO! just checkin’ in. #colitislife

so the last time I sat down to write this blog post, this is where I was.

gods_country

and then I was too distracted by the beauty (and the +16 degree WEATHER IN NOVEMBER) so taking this picture was as far as I got.

—-      ————         ————-        ——

but even right now I can’t find my words for this post cause my thoughts are lost in an unorganized mess that is my head. i’m feeling a tad overwhelmed with SO MUCH INFORMATION that I want to share with you. so I think for now instead of words we’ll just do pictures!

this is what i’ve been up to since my last post...  [and I’ll be back when I’m ready.]

Continue reading “HELLO! just checkin’ in. #colitislife”