Autoimmune Diseases

A little over a year ago I got the news I had an autoimmune disease. The first things that went through my mind were confusion, shock, disappointment, panic, worry, the list goes on and on!  The more I learned, the more I worried! In my head, all day long, I had so many thoughts and all of them were worries. The more I worried, the more down I felt. One thing I learned really quick about autoimmune diseases is that many result in severe depression. Imagine waking up sick one day and learning you will never get better. It turns your whole life around and its very lonely because so few people know anything about these silent diseases. I look fine (a tab bit fluffier than before I got sick) on the outside, but on the inside many of my organs are struggling, my body is attacking itself, and each day is a silent battle.

Autoimmune Diseases

After having a few days where I had pity parties for myself, I decided one reason I have this is because I have a voice, and most times I’m not afraid to use it!!! This subject has been harder for me to share though. I like to present myself as being strong, positive, a go-getter….not someone who is sick and “weak”. I can’t change having this disease, but what I can do is be more open about it! I can use my struggles to bring awareness. I can encourage someone who felt despair upon getting diagnosed. I can push people to learn more to help their friends and family who struggle with autoimmune disease. I can share with people how your life might be harder, but you can still find joy!! I can remind people not to judge, as you never know how much pain someone might be in. I can use my voice and hopefully inspire at least one person!

Autoimmune Disease

I’ve met so many people in the past year who also have major health issues, and the main thing we discuss is how lonely it is! I recently spoke to a young woman who got diagnosed 4 years ago and not a single member of her family asks how she is doing, knows what she has, or tries to help her. Unfortunately that is VERY common! I personally have been blessed with an amazing tribe! The moment I was diagnosed, my aunt was looking up what I had on google. My dad always encourages me, looks for options that might help me, and reminds me I can reach out to him at any moment! My best friends send me articles, encourage me, remind me not to overdo it, and notice the days I’m a little to quiet.  On the days where we feel very bad, the worse part is to be alone! If you know someone with an autoimmune disease, make sure to reach out to them! Even if its just to say “Hi” or “I’m praying for you”….just let them know they are NOT alone! Plus, when you are sick, tired, and depressed, you don’t feel like talking to people. If your friend or family member has a chronic illness, be the one to reach out to THEM!!! Nothing is worse than when you feel sick and overwhelmed and have a list of people YOU have to check in on….I know relationships are a two way street, but when someone is sick, don’t make them chase you down. Trust me on this one, it’s huge and so important!!

 

Other than being around for your friend, if you know someone with an autoimmune disease, you should also take the time to learn more about it!  It will show them you care, but it will also let you know what they are going through.  I’ve seen many people make hurtful comments about chronic diseases simply because they were to lazy to get on google and learn. Education is key! With that being said, I would love to share a little about autoimmune disease with you! If you have one, know someone who does, or just want to be more aware, there are tons of great resources online to learn! I personally think the best place and way to learn is by asking someone who has one! Even though you didn’t ask, I’m going to use my voice and share! Please share this with others, the more awareness, the better! It could reach someone who is feeling very alone right now.

Autoimmune Disease

  • An autoimmune disease is where your body attacks it’s own cells. It cause your immune system to be jeopardized and thus easily susceptible to more infections. It’s a chronic illness, has no cure, and for many people, it’s a depressing and lonely disease that for many people gets worse over time.
  • There are over 100 different autoimmune diseases. Many have similar symptoms which makes them hard to diagnose. Some autoimmune disease actually cause you to get more.
  • Over 50 million people in the US have an autoimmune disease, and yet less than 13 percent of people know what an autoimmune disease is! Autoimmune diseases are one of the top killers of women under the age of 65!
  • Many autoimmune disease run in families. If someone in your family has one, learn everything you can because you could end up with it, or one of your kids! Early detection can save years of pain!
  • The average person has to visit 4 different doctors before finding one who takes autoimmune diseases seriously. Most are told it’s “all in your head” and for many people it takes 2-4 years before they are diagnosed….talk about depressing!
  • Autoimmune diseases are the 4th largest cause of disability for women in the United States.
  • Most autoimmune diseases are hereditary. You can’t catch it, cause yourself to get it, fake it, or have any say in how it works. It’s your body attacking itself and there is no medicine to stop it. Often times once it “breaks” something in you, you then get a medicine to repair what’s broken, but their is not a medicine to keep more things from getting broken.
  • The average person has an autoimmune disease for many years, they just aren’t aware until it gets really bad. Different things can cause it to cause problems, but the most common are things like an illness, change in hormones (pregnancy or menopause), extreme stress.
  • Autoimmune diseases don’t care your age, occupation, health, gender etc they just attack!
  • Many people with an autoimmune disease wake up one day feeling bad. They go to the doctor but they can’t figure pout what’s wrong. Then they keep feeling bad each day with no clue why. Having an autoimmune disease is literally waking up sick one day knowing you’ll never get better again.
  • Some people go into remission with their disease, in which for awhile your symptoms are not as bad. Other people never have a remission and stay in what we call a “flare up”. The problem is autoimmune diseases cause inflammation, inflammation causes damage to your organs, and many more serious issues I don’t like to discuss.
  • One of the hardest parts of an autoimmune disease it’s the side effects. They range from joint pain, depression, weight gain, hair loss, exhaustion, insomnia, fever, etc. There are hundreds of different symptoms and each person’s is different. For me personally, I had exhaustion, bruising on my body, high fevers, a weak immune system, headaches, hair loss, nails breaking, and weight gain.
  • Every person’s autoimmune disease is different. I’ve talked to women with the same condition as me who don’t get out of bed most days. I met one at the doctor who said she has to be on disability and has a live in nanny to help with her kids. I met another who knew it ran in her family, got tested early, and changed her lifestyle so she has never had an issue. Every person is different so make sure to ask how they feel and not go by what you read offline. One of my major issues is I get high fevers, I’ve yet to meet another person who has that problem haha.

 

After reading that, not only are you probably shocked but also a little scared for your friend/family member. Don’t be scared, be prepared! When you know the facts, it allows you to better help them! One of my first suggestions is find an naturopath doctor, functional medicine doctor or holistic doctor. Those types focus on how to get your body to stop attacking itself, and not just on the damage it causes. Plus, they actually listen! I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of learning most doctors do not listen as autoimmune diseases are not something they understand.  Next step is learn about nutrition! It plays a huge role and can help you with many of your symptoms! Also, find someone to talk to! Falling into depression is so common but if you have someone to lean on, it makes all the difference!

Autoimmune disease

Yes autoimmune diseases are something you have for life, but I think with the proper care, education, and mind set you will be ok. That is what I tell myself! I’ve been in a really bad flare up for months, but I know one day we’ll figure out how to stop it, and then I’ll have so many amazing tips to share with others! I also think this will allow me to show others that no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way, if you never give up, amazing things will eventually happen! Today is a good day for me, and I’ve learned to say THANK YOU for the good ones! No matter how few and far between they might be!

 

If you have an autoimmune disease, or know someone who does, please feel free to share any tips. Or if you need someone to talk to, I’m here!! This is hard to write and a very sensitive subject so kind words, prayers, support are always welcome!

 

Make sure to follow my blog as I will work hard on being more open about this! Have a blessed day!!

More Resources On Autoimmune Disease:

Autoimmune Mom

American Autoimmune

Health Line

10 Signs You Have An Autoimmune Disease

Molly’s Fund 

 

Dana

Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana

WHY?????

10367582_10152570653389576_6730199825170286823_nOne question I hear all the time is “WHY are you working from home??? Aren’t you busy enough??” The answer is a simple one, for my kids because doing this gives me MORE time with them!!! I have a Bachelors in Psychology, Personal Training Certification, and Nutrition Certification yet I choose to work from home because it’s the easiest!!! Before Liam was born, I was lucky in that I could usually get 3-4hrs of work in each day. Will and Adalyn took long afternoon naps plus were in bed by 7pm each night. I had tons of free time to write meal plans, workout plans, and help clients one on one. When Liam was born my plan was to take a few months off from personal training and then take on the same work load. But I couldn’t do that!!!934898_10152572574349576_3952406333496227497_n

Will and Adalyn stopped napping, Liam would only sleep on me, plus with nursing Liam wakes up a ton at night. I found that I was too exhausted and stretched too thin and had no time for anything extra, not to mention once all the kids went to bed, I usually passed out. But I still needed an income source as we prepare for a big move, buying a new home, and my husband cutting back his hours as he returns to school soon. So what was I to do???

1456736_10152568941094576_6985649486394944378_nI stay home with my kids because it’s what’s best for MY family and its what my husband and I both agreed on. I never want to miss a moment of them growing up, but I still needed to bring some income in. That’s why I share a few products I love with people. It’s a win for me AND my family AND clients! I introduce people to amazing products, spend less time working and more time with my kids, yet still am able to bring in a full time income. The most important thing for me is to be present for my kids all the time. They only have a few years with me, and sharing products and getting paid for it has made that possible for me and my family!! I love my personal training business and clients and can’t wait to get back to that full time one day, but right now this is what is best for my kids, and provides me with no stress!!!

Sharing a product is not for everyone, and to be successful with it, you need to make sure it’s a product you use daily and love. If its not something you love, you will dread trying to share it and people can tell that!! The reason I have been successful is because I use the products I love daily.

 

 

Its an easy win for me. I work from home not to be a millionaire, but because I want time with my kids!! Its an accomplishment in my book to be able to make a full time income, working a few hours a week, loving what I do, and never having to sacrifice time with my kids. Sure I don’t watch much TV or do anything other than work once my kids go to sleep, but for me it is totally worth it and I wouldn’t change it. Oh, and it also helps to have a great planner and be super organized. That and coffee keeps me on track each day!!

Dana