February 2019?

Hi, all.

It has been too long without an update on the good old blog.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know what’s been happening.  If you don’t, here’s a quick rundown.

I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis in my left leg.  The tendon is responsible for some of my knee and ankle pain according to the Physical therapist and the doc told me recovery would be long.   Recovery and PT have been decidedly unpleasant but PT is working.  Slowly.supports

Due to the injury, my fitness game is limited.  I am not allowed to lift heavy or spend too much time on my feet.  Yoga, Pilates, and some walking in 30-minute increments make up the majority of my training schedule.  Yay.  The pain increases the fatigue, but it’s not anything new.  Fibro/CFS life, right?

Of course, my weight is having a negative effect on recovery.  Nutrition is the main focus for hitting my goals.  I’m currently following 2B Mindset and figuring out how to customize my plan.  2BThe program is helping me change my relationship with food and to get in more water and veggies daily.  It’s also helping me pinpoint exactly how much corn I can have before I have a reaction.  I’m not allergic, but am sensitive to it.  I’m losing inches and have fewer digestive issues all around.

I’m counting down to the big 5-0 and kicked off 2019 with the Shrimp & Grits 5K (one of 5k 2019the Charleston Marathon events).  There was a new course (all flat, baby), a new location for the finish and after party, and were veggie grits available.  There was also coffee which was awesome because it was COLD!

Meal prep is not just a one-day marathon anymore.  I break it into a two-day thing and find it a better fit overall.  As always, there are batches of greens and beans every week.

culi fried rice

Batch cooking this way makes it easy to throw together meals on the fly that I did not necessarily plan for.  I felt like Asian food one night, so I made Edamame Cauliflower Fried Rice with the baked tofu I batch cooked, a cup each of frozen edamame and mixed veggies, and two cups of cauliflower rice.

And now you’re up to date.  If you have any questions for me about my nutrition, PT, food prep game, or anything, feel free to ask.

2018 is almost here!

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted here.  Time literally got away from me.  Wasn’t it just August?  Anyway, the end if one year always results in me looking back and ahead.  Join me in my look back.

2017 was my PlantFusion New Year that saw me rock my second 5K, increase flexibility training, and come out as a person with Type 2 Diabetes.  I added new knives to my kitchen collection and embraced both the Instant Pot and Air Fryer as necessities.  I also spent a few months back in physical therapy after a car accident (and hubby was right there with me).  Now that the year is about over, I do not regret any of it.  Off-plan meals, iffy days, and other things that made up my days were part of what made me.  Embracing the good, bad, and ugly experiences of life helps keep me honest.  That’s my short and sweet review of 2017.  Come on, 2018!

What about you?  It’s not too late to end 2017 on a high note and not too soon to make plans for 2018.  I’m always around on Facebook and Instagram, so if you want to cheer each other on, give me a shout.   I always have your back!

Until next time, peace!

Catching up

train shirtMorning, y’all.  Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie is slowly coming out of hiding. Between losing my boy Oz, extended pain flares, and a bit of a spiral, I have slacked off on taking care of myself.  Eating like crap (mostly junk) and minimal exercise (stretching enough to make moving easier and walking while shopping) led to increased pain, more fatigue, and losing a little bit of me every day.

Between losing my boy Oz, extended pain flares, and a bit of a spiral, I have slacked off on taking care of myself.  Eating like crap (mostly junk) and minimal exercise (stretching enough to make moving easier and walking while shopping) led to increased pain, more fatigue, and losing a little bit of me every day.  Although I have realized that my normal means that I will hurt and feel tired more often than not, I started feeling sorry for myself and pictured my future with more pain and less mobility.  This sent me down a darker path and binge eating.

What brought me out of it was a combination of things.  Well, I’m still in it, but fighting to pull out of it.  Physically, I’m getting better (thank you anti-inflammatory foods and support sleeves), but the brain still needs work.  Hubs and I joined a gym and are still tweaking our schedule.  I’m learning to recognize and listen to my body. I know when I need to switch to a different body part while training, when to start getting my heart rate down, and to start more slowly so that I can get stronger without hurting myself.  After a little over an hour yesterday (treadmill and a full-body lifting session), I don’t feel that bad.  The BCAAs do make a difference.

I would love to skip supplements and get off all meds, but that is not in the cards for me now and may not be later.  And I’m okay with that.  I refuse to let anyone shame me for doing what I need to do.

Some days are better than others, but that’s how things are with everyone.   I may move more slowly than I used to, but my inner athlete is coming back.  And she is badass.

Until next time, peace.

Chronic pain killed Prince?

I loved Prince.  I loved him since 1979 when “I Wanna Be Your Lover” hit the airwaves.  I loved how he was different.  He cared not for haters and did his own thing.  He inspired me.

I read an article a few minutes ago that made his death even sadder.  Lorraine Berry’s Raw Story post states the Prince died from chronic pain.   There is speculation that he has a cocaine habit.  He could have tried self-medicating, something I’ve done from time to time. I don’t know what happened with him, and will not speculate any further on what happened to him . I do know what chronic pain does to me.

Some days it’s like I can feel the life draining out of me. When meds stop working, I get desperate to find anything that helps.  Sleeping all the time does not work because I have things to do and people to care for.  Self-medication becomes a necessity at times, and that is not how things should be. I’m  not just looking to score drugs. I want relief; to feel close to the old normal again.

And now this post is coming to an end.  You know,  because things to do and people to care for.  Taking a few deep breaths, pasting on a less grouchy face, and going for it.

Costochondritis

I’ve been feeling like crud lately and thought this would be a good time to discuss various side issues that go along with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.  I am not a  medical professional and don’t claim to be.  Don’t assume that my experiences are the same as yours.  If something is happening that you don’t recognize, go get checked out. 

Costochondritis is literally a pain in the chest.  It’s terrifying to anyone, especially one with a family history of cardiovascular issues.  My first experience with it came in the early 90s.  I was in the middle of an argument with my then boyfriend and started feeling bad.  I put the argument aside and went to bed, hoping rest would make me feel better.  It didn’t.  I awakened with strong chest pains and trouble breathing. The trip to the ER cost a pretty penny to the uninsured food service employee. but it was worth it to know that I wasn’t having a heart attack.

Many years and a few similar episodes later and it still results in a similar fear.  I know now what symptoms to look for and know the attack will pass.  Costochondritis is a regular part of my life now and just part of a severe Fibro flare.

Costochondritis, or inflamed breast bone,  is painful inflammation of the breast bone and rib cage.  Like me, if may make you think you’re having a heart attack.  The pain may come out of nowhere like mine did, or it may be the result of overtraining, an injury, or extended coughing fits that accompany a cold or flu bug.  Treatment is easy – just over the counter anti-inflammatory solutions like tylenol or Advil should do the trick. When Fibromyalgia is involved, the pain is intensified and does not always fade as quickly as one would hope.  Extended pain saps energy, and when the chest pain combines with the spine pain, makes Sherrie tired and angry rather than friendly.

Do you have Costochrondritis?  How do you deal with it?

Healing by any means

No, this is not another ‘no longer vegan,’ posts.  It’s just a commentary on trying work around meds and supplements that aren’t exactly veg-friendly. 

It’s a struggle,  y’all.  Not sticking to my way of eating, but trying to find vegan supplements and meds.  I’ve found many that work, but not all are veg-friendly.   Does it make me less compassionate?   No.  It means I’m one of the many dealing with this.

If you choose to judge me based on this mindset, so be it. Step into  body on a high pain day(well, week)  and talk to me afterward.  I’m doing what needs to be done while I find the optimal balance.

Does it mean veg-friendly instead of certified vegan supplements?   If the veg-friendly products work best, yes.  Does it mean dealing with meds that have no vegan alternative?   Yes, unfortunately.   Does it make me sad?  Yes.

I need to keep it together while on the journey.   On days like today, that means healing by any means necessary.

Nuphorin for anxiety relief

Note: I am not a medical professional. Anything shared here is based on my personal experimentation and not meant as medical advice. Do not alter your protocol without discussing it with your doctor.

Vitavana offered me a bottle of Nuphorin free of charge for my review.  My views on this and any product I review are my own. 

I am not a fan of pharmaceuticals, but I know when to stop experimenting When no other options work, I take my meds. If the side effects nullify any of the medication’s benefits, I discuss the options with my doc and we’ll work together to find an alternative solution.

Before I found a drug and supplement protocol that worked for me, my doc suggested I try an anti-anxiety medication for help with pain and stress relief.  Fibromyalgia and chronic pain patients sometimes also deal with depression and anxiety, so sometimes the addition of anxiety medication may reduce those issues and help take the edge off of pain.  With daily pain hovering in the 6-7 of 10 range with flares and spikes in the 9-10 range, I figured I should try.  I was willing to try anything.

After three months of Cymbalta and her side effects, it was time to try a natural option.  I’ve heard that GABA, 5-HTP, magnesium, and vitamin B all have positive benefits for some anxiety symptoms, so the search for a supplement was on.  I didn’t want to add many more pills to my protocol, so I focused on combination supps.  Vitavana offered me a sample of Turmerex and I noticed the company also had an anxiety relief supplement available.  They offered a sample of Nuphorin and asked that I give it a try and share an honest review.

Nuphorin Anxiety Relief may be a good alternative for those using alternative options for anxiety or stress management. Each vegetarian capsule contains Ashwagandha extract, GABA, Chamomile, 5-HTP, DMAE Bitartrate, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, Niacinamide, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, and Magnesium.  The ingredient list did not worry me, so I stuck to the recommended dose of 1-2 capsules a day (one with breakfast and one with dinner) and wished for good results. I did not feel the blah haze the came with the Cymbalta and I didn’t feel the need to binge eat.  My heart hate went back to regular, my eyes stopped throbbing, and that, uh, loving feeling came back.  Hubby was happy about that.

If you’re currently using supplements for anxiety relief, Nuphorin Anxiety Relief is worth a try.  Each 60 capsule bottle is $39.95 with free shipping for Amazon Prime Members.  Vitavana offers a 60 day money back guarantee, so trying Nuphorin is risk-free.

I’ll share more about my protocol in other posts.  Finding the right mix of pharmaceuticals and supplements was just one part of the process.

Flare week two

Your friendly neighborhood Sherrie isn’t feeling very friendly.   The frustration,  anger, sadness, and grump are strong in this one.

Frustration stems from an inability to control pain when it’s in an uncontrollable state.  My daily routine, relaxation,  and even meds only aggravate the pain sensors and make me stabby.

Anger comes from the same place as frustration,  but is magnified by the limited mobility, lack of meaningful exercise,  and fear of the flare continuing past week two.

Cue the sadness.  Once fear comes around,  the tears are sure to follow.  I’m only 46.  If this is what 46 feels like, what will 56 bring?   If I need assistance to stand now, I might need more assistance later.  And what if the degeneration speed increases with time?  How am I supposed to train when I can barely stand?  

Yes, it gets that bad sometimes.  It’s hard to tell when people see me smiling and pushing through.

Once anger passes, the general grump sets in.  Why are people calling me?  Why do I need to cook?  These dogs need to feed themselves.   Bah, humbug.

The longer the flare, the longer this cycle lasts.  I know flares are temporary,  but while living through one, logical thinking flies out the window.  And laughs at me.

Why do I share?  Because it helps keep me sane.  And to let anyone reading this know that the feelings are real and you’re not crazy.  Or alone.  Chronic conditions can do a number on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you need me, give me an hour or so.  I’m riding out the flare from my bedside workstation.   Thank you, flexible scheduling!

Peace.

Inside a Fibro flare

All pain sucks.  It sucks the energy out of the body and mind.  Extended pain due to injuries takes a toll on the injured.  Days (or weeks) of pain seem impossible to handle until the pain eases as the injury heals.  With spinal issues, I ache daily.  When Fibromyalgia rears its ugly head, it’s agony.  Before it fully attacks, Fibro toys with me.  It pokes, prods, and smacks at different body parts before jumping on full force.  Fibromyalgia makes pain worse.

The early indications of a fibro flare throw my days off.  Yesterday started off great.  We attended the boy’s apprenticeship signing ceremony and had a fairly relaxing morning after that.  By early afternoon,  a dizzy spell hit that took me out for a few hours.  Out cold.  I didn’t see it coming.  By early evening,  my ankle began to tingle.  Tingle isn’t the right word, exactly.   The pain fell between a tingly sensation and pins and needles.   When it happened,  I knew – June’s flare is coming.

This morning,  on went the anke support.  Suppirts ease the pain and keeps those joints stable.  By 9 am, the knees, elbow, and shoulder tingling kicked in. All at once, the discomfort level rose.  I made a note to change my training plans (no lifting) and took the preemptive dose of anti-inflammatory herbs and meds.  By 10:30, my overall pain level went from 3 to 7 as my spine joined the pain party.  I had to switch from a seated to reclining position for work.  By day’s end, I’ll resort to prescription medication and an early bedtime.

The pain will either increase or remain at the 8-9 range for a few days.  Light either annoys me or hurts.  Sunglasses outdoors are a must, even if I’m in the yard with the dogs.  Otherwise,  it feels like heat rays boring into my brain.  There is no movement without pain and no comfortable position.   I’ll smile and socialize, but I’d rather be aslleep until the the flare passes.  I’ll eat because I have to,  not because I’ll want to or enjoy it.

Within a week, the pain level will drop to the 5-7 range with occasional spikes to 7-9.  Within two weeks,  I’ll be back to my usual self.  Some flares end sooner while others drag on for weeks.  While the general symptoms stay about the same,  something new pops up from time to time.  In May, it was a shap, stabbing pain in my hip sockets.

That’s what it’s like for me when a flare strikes.  If someone you know mentions a flare, be kind.  They’re not trying to blow you off.  Pain makes people angry, sad, frustrated,  and forgetful.  And hopefully,  it’s only temporary.

Until next time, I may or may not be in a blanket fort with a book or two and the Roku remote.  Peace.

One week into 21-Day Fix

Thank you, Autum Calabrese!  The 21-Day Fix is legit!



I’m proof that just about anyone can do the workouts and I had a good first week even with the modified moves and schedule! You know by now that I have to modify any program I’m on thanks to the crumbling spine.  I cannot (but can) belive I still had a successful week as far as weight and inch loss.

I made sure I ate my reds, greens,and blues every day without fail. Greens went into my smoothies along with fruit – even cabbage and broccoli.  I ate Soy Curls, tofu, beans, hemp seeds, and Gardein.  I counted oranges and teaspoons with nuts, nut butter, flax seeds and touches of oil in salads, oatmeal, and on bread. (Note:  Sherrie needs garlic bread with pasta!)  Starchy yellows included bread, rice, and oats.  When I ate Gardein as protein, I ate half to three-quarter sized yellows.  When I used beans as protein, I measured them in yellow containers and added more green to my meal.  My blues included homemade hemp and coconut milks.  I didn’t cheat last week.  I also didn’t eat on schedule thanks to a couple of crazy days.

For training, I alternated Upper, Lower, Total Body, and Cardio Fix with PIlates Fix and Yoga Fix to aid in my recovery.  I had a bad day on Thursday, so I did two short sessions with Tony Horton and a short walk.  Ten Minute Trainer is a great one for people short on time.

My results?  1 pound down and lost inches in my waist and hips.  Yes, inches plural.  I lost two inches off my waist and one off my hips.  I’ll take it!  I don’t usually care that much about the scale, but weighed in to prove that modification still yields results.

I cannot wait to see what the next two weeks brings!  I’m checking out Team Beachbody Club and Beachbody on Demand and will substitute a workout from 21-Day Fix Extreme, Focus T-25, P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Insanity, Asylum, RevAbs, Turbo Fire, or any of the other streaming workouts available on BOD.  If you like mixing it up or want to try a program before you buy, BOD rocks!

Here’s to another week of eating clean and training.  It doesn’t matter how you train – be consistent and go as hard as you can.  If you want to join me, just give me a shout.  I’ve got your back.

Note:  The images link to my Team Beachbody Store.  If you want or need support or accountability and don’t have a coach, pick up 21 Day Fix or any other program and I’ll be your coach.  You can join for free if you’re not ready to commit to a program yet and just need some help.  I’m here for you.