Eat Your Veggies?

Yummy Nutrient Dense Superfoods Smoothie

Happy Nat’l Eat Your Vegetables Day!

If you don’t like them, hide them in a fruit/berry smoothie! Great way to get your children to consume their veggies! 

I like veggies but I prefer them raw for health reasons and my favorite way to get raw veggies everyday is in a smoothie! But I don’t particularly enjoy veggie-flavored-smoothies, so fruit and berries are in there with added health benefits and yumminess!

I just posted to my online vasculitis support group a couple days ago how much better I feel when I have my daily nutrient-dense-superfoods smoothie! I had gone a few days without and felt run down. Had a smoothie and felt more energetic, less lethargic, had better mental clarity – and so of course I was happier!

It really makes a difference in how you feel! Smoothies are a great way to get your veggies everyday!

Get a good blender if you don’t have one and make it part of your daily routine!

My smoothie today has all organic, all raw: mixed baby super greens, broccoli, mixed berries, banana, pineapple, carrot, acai, watermelon.

I don’t taste the veggies! Sometimes at first I do, but after marinating for a few minutes, all I taste is fruit and berries.

Note: If your smoothie tastes too green, add more pineapple.

I use mostly frozen organics from Trader Joe’s. Convenient, affordable and produces an ice-cold smoothie!

I buy organic bananas and when they get nicely spotted, I peel and slice them and toss them in a container and freeze them. If you buy them already spotted, they are discounted and perfect for smoothies – and spotted bananas have anti-cancer nutrients that unspotted bananas don’t have! Most people don’t care to eat them once they’re spotted but they are wonderful in smoothies!

So are avocados! They make your smoothie smoother! And add health benefits!

Adding chia seeds and other seeds to smoothies is great, too!

Eat your veggies or drink your veggies! Fruit and berries too! You will feel better!

A superfoods smoothie is the healthiest energy drink there is!

But they are pricey away from home. Investing in your own good blender is a great way to have them everyday and not break the bank.

Other great resources for affordable frozen organics are Grocery Outlet (opening soon near me, can’t wait!), Walmart and Costco.

For fresh produce this time of year, support your local farmers market! It just feels good to shop at them!

For more tips on healthy eating without breaking the bank, go here.

This started out as a status update to just say: Happy Nat’l Eat Your Veggies Day! But I got carried away ♥️

“You Can Do Hard” by Les Brown

Hiliary Hoffner: then and now ~

You Can Do Hard by Les Brown

“It’s hard…it’s hard changing your life. It’s hard picking up the pieces and starting all over again. It’s hard getting your mind together after you’ve gone through a life shaking experience (being a primary caregiver for someone; hearing a diagnosis you didn’t want; starting over again from a loss of any kind; being alone in a new place; wanting a friend.) But you can do hard. You can weather the storm. You will come through this.

Affirm to yourself every day ~ several times a day. No matter how hard it gets…I’m going to make it!! Stand up inside yourself and look yourself in the eyes and say “I can do hard!!” Exercise, pray, seek solitude, allow for periods of sadness…but know that you will get through this. Keep the faith; continue to work; and expect to make it through. You may not be able to change your circumstances or situation…but, you can change yourself! Hold on! You can do hard! You have GREATNESS within you!”
— Les Brown

The young woman, Hiliary Hoffner, pictured above, has the same rare life threatening condition that I have. We almost lost her a year ago. She was hospitalized for 4 1/2 months. She fought hard. She’s a warrior. Today she’s doing quite well, engaged to the man of her dreams planning a wonderful future together!

When you’re going through hard times, remember, this too shall pass!

For Coping Strategies, go here.

Photo Credit: Hiliary Hoffner

Understanding Invisible Illness and Disability

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Understanding Invisible Illness and Disability

As we kick off Vasculitis Awareness Month, I’d like to talk a little about invisible illnesses and disabilities, as vasculitis is a chronic illness which is most often invisible. And a lot of mystery and misconception surround invisible illnesses and disabilities.

People with ‘invisible illnesses’ don’t look sick or disabled.

Even cancer is often invisible these days. I’ve seen friends and family go through cancer without losing any hair or losing any weight – and they look just fine. 

Those of us with serious illnesses are not always emaciated, gaunt, or pale. We often have all of our limbs, we’re not always in wheelchairs.

Sometimes we need wheelchairs and sometimes we don’t.

When we are lucky enough to walk, it’s often a great effort to do so – but we try really hard not to let the effort show.

We try hard not to let any of our struggles show which adds to the invisibility of our illnesses.

We try to hide our struggles because: A) we want to be “normal” and; B) we don’t want to be a burden.

Sometimes we’re missing vital organs but you would never know by looking at us.

For instance, I’m missing a lung and a large percentage of the population is missing a lung, making many simple tasks difficult for us.

Some have insufficient airways. I’m in that club as well.

Many have an invisible heart disease. Many others have only one kidney, or they’re waiting for a kidney.

On top of missing or damaged organs, we are most often afflicted with chronic pain, crushing fatigue, low energy, depleted stamina, and reduced vitality.

We need to pace ourselves. We need to rest. We need to use the handicap-designated parking spaces.

There are times I can’t walk across a parking lot and also walk through the store to do my shopping. Walking across a parking lot can trigger the same symptoms as running a race – leaving me extremely dizzy, sweaty, gasping for air, my heart pounding out of my chest, and exhausted. It often triggers an asthma attack. We need close parking.

Everything is an effort. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

I often can’t grocery shop and cook in the same day. If I cook, forget about being able to clean up after. Just getting dressed or taking a shower can leave a serious/chronically ill person exhausted. The smallest task can be a huge undertaking for us at times – for some, it’s all the time. 

I love to cook, but anymore, it has to be rather quick and simple, no more cooking big feasts. I lack the required energy and stamina. And cooking is often painful.

The struggle is profound.

Living with serious/chronic invisible illness symptoms and medication side effects takes a daily toll, draining our strength, stamina, vitality, overall health and well-being.

Medication side effects can be severe. They can even cause other diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Even cancer.

“The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease, and once from the medicine.” – Sir William Osler

The struggle is real.

It’s like having the flu or a hangover or UTI that just never really completely goes away. Even on our good days, we are not up to par with the average healthy person of our age.

It’s often harrowing.

And you don’t usually see us on our bad days – those days when we have to cancel plans and stay home in bed, or on the sofa – or go to the ER/ED. These days can hit at anytime.

But what about remission?

  • Even in times of remission, we live with the permanent damage caused by active disease. When the disease is quiet, I still have only one lung and other internal damage. And if it’s a drug-induced remission, we live with the daily side effects of the medications.
  • Remission does not always mean symptom-free.
  • Most of us still have limitations during remission.
  • The word ‘remission’ isn’t always accurate and some doctors won’t even use the term to describe disease inactivity.
  • We still encounter bad days during remission.

Not everyone who looks healthy and able-bodied, is.

So when you see a “healthy-looking” person park in the handicap-spot, remember, they more than likely have an invisible illness/disability.

Smile and offer to get a cart for them.

For coping strategies, click here.

For fatigue and energy issues, click here.

Thanks for reading ♥️