All of a sudden there it was and I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It made my life seem unbearable at times. It took away my sleep, my figure, my family life, my joy, my art. It made me look at life through a different lens and what I saw was not who I was but who I could become because of it. It is Pain.

Last year it became apparent that I could no longer let go of the notion that walking up and down the stairs while holding on for dear life was normal. Nor could I console myself by thinking that if I just walked more the pain would go away. Then there was this inflammation that was ever present, I didn’t need a test to let me know that I carried around inflammation, all I had to do was look at my swollen feet, hands, and face. The pain I carried was like none I had ever experienced through any of the surgeries I’ve had and it was way worse than natural childbirth.

Everywhere was pain and the pain was everywhere. When all the pain receptors in your body are all turned on at the same time, you simply don’t know which way to turn. I turned to the medical community when I had an animal bite that would not go away even after two weeks. I still have flare-ups of strange pain around the scar that has disfigured my leg. The medical community tested me for everything known to them. I was sent to specialist after specialist and spent thousands of dollars but they could not understand where the pain and the inflammation came from nor could they give me a diagnosis. They just prescribed me with a couple of painkillers and strong steroidal meds that messed up my body.

On the personal front, it hurt to stand, walk, sit, lay down, type, and hold my husband’s hand. My skin hurt. My fingers and face turned shiny.  I could no longer crochet which meant the special afghan I was making for my son and his new wife would sit in my craft basket longer. (I am better and work on it from time to time until my hands cramp up with pain.)

Last summer seems like a blur because of the constant pain I was in. And it seems like the pain flare-ups are still with me. No matter what natural alternatives I take or do. Pain is still a constant in my life. The lessons I’ve learned through this pain are never ending and I view life so much more differently than when this painful journey began.

Pain Lessons

1st: Never take a day for granted. If you were able to wake up and open your eyes, then you’re day is a good one. If you woke up and you were able to move your hands and bend your knees your day got even better. If you were able to walk 10 steps when you woke up, or if you did something you couldn’t do the day before then you’re winning over the pain.

2nd: People in your life will look at you differently, they will withdraw from you, treat you with kid-gloves, and they may even call you names but none of it matters. What matters most is that you show up, you put a smile on your face and you tell the world, your family, your friends, your coworkers I am still here and I am still worthy of love. I can still contribute.

3rd: Never miss an opportunity to share your story with others. You never know when what you say and the example you live by will help someone else also dealing with their own kinds of pain. Our stories, become our history and our history becomes our legacy. Let’s leave a legacy for those who come after us to see that we went after our dreams in spite of the pain. We lived life the best we could while dealing with the pain inside.

4th: When people ask you how are you feeling? Tell them you are happy to see them, you are happy to be able to get out of the house, you are happy to ____fill in the blank. But never tell them how you are feeling. People really don’t want to know what you’re going through, it’s just a nicety that comes out of their mouths. You’ll be looked upon as a buzz kill if you share that you’re in so much pain that every movement you make feels like razor blades digging into your soul.

5th: Find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your pain. Support groups help in listening to what others are going through and how they deal with their pain. Always remember there is One who suffered greater than we could ever suffer. He hung on the cross and bared our sins for us. His body was scourged and beaten for us. Our pain becomes miniscule when thinking about what Jesus did for us.

6th: If you need help, ask. If you can’t carry something, don’t. Asking for help is one of the most humbling things an independent person can do. It will help you grow and it will help the person who is helping grow.

7th: Concentrate on the joys and blessings of your life. Look at old photos of your children, remembering the good times you had with them. Play with your pets, if you have them. Pets love you unconditionally, they see past your pain and they love your heart.

8th: Focus on the good things in life. Stop watching the news. Stay out of deep political discussions about the degradation of our society. Watch funny movies, old televisions shows, videos of animals and little children. Better yet get away from the electronic devices all together. Get yourself outside and soak up some vitamin D.

9th: Cry. It’s cleansing. It’s restorative. It releases healing and painkilling hormones. I didn’t believe this either but it’s true. Let go of the guilt trips that you put on people for whatever reason. I learned how to use guilt trips from my mother who did it do me, but that didn’t mean that I needed to let it continue. Let go of the negative impact of dealing with the stress of your life. It all comes down to that anyways. How we deal with the stresses in our lives can have a negative or a positive impact on our lives and those around us.

10th: Those of us who live with pain every day know that it’s going to be there with every step, every breath, and every movement. Resolve to be stronger than the pain. This is by far the most difficult yet most needed. Once you have this resolve within you, your strength in doing the everyday tasks like getting dressed, making your food, and taking care of the people in your life gets that much stronger.


I had a few months of almost no pain thanks to a new chiropractic technique. But last Monday that all changed when the pain came back with a vengeance to wreak havoc to my entire body yet again. I know it stems from the whatever diagnoses the medical professionals think I have now. In my head, it doesn’t really matter what name it has and I’m not even searching for a diagnosis anymore because the last one they said is rare enough. I won’t take the medication they offer anymore than I would drink poison.

I can’t always do the things I want to do in the same way I did them before but I’m learning new ways to accomplish them. I am opening myself up for new alternative therapies some are working, some help me maintain, and those that don’t get tossed aside. I’m forgiving myself for all the wrong I did in being a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a friend and will continue to do so, because only One is perfect and I’m not it.

Pain is a great teacher.

Keeping It Going!

Keeping It Going!

My favorite blog post over the last several years is one from 2013.

Keep It Going

Keep moving!   Keep smiling!   Keep shining!   Keep dreaming!    Keep Imagining!   Keep planning!   Keep laughing!   Keep deciding!   Keep giving yourself a chance!   Keep paying it forward!   Keep singing!   Keep dancing!   Keep running!   Keep reading!   Keep asking!   Keep doing!   Keep sharing!   Keep saving!   Keep encouraging!   Keep inspiring!   Keep writing!   Keep blogging!   Keep helping!   Keep praying!  Keep serving!   Keep listening!  Keep searching!   Keep my eyes open!   Keep finding!   Keep learning!   Keep playing!   Keep loving!   Keep speaking!   Keep hearing!   Keep watching!   Keep bringing!   Keep painting!   Keep creating!   Keep it real!   Keep telling the truth!   Keep living the word of God!   Keep natural!   Keep organic!

Keep on Doing

Keep breathing!   Keep living in the present!   Keep changing!   Keep growing!   Keep putting one step in front of the other!   Keep improving!   Keep showing up!   Keep forgiving!   Keep calling!   Keep compassion in your life!  Keep empathy a part of your life!   Keep thinking!   Keep camping!   Keep hiking!   Keep climbing!   Keep walking!   Keep swimming!   Keep hugging!   Keep your lamp burning!   Keep spinning!   Keep digging!   Keep eating healthy!   Keep taking your supplements!   Keep cooking!  Keep sowing!   Keep harvesting!   Keep pruning!    Keep mentoring!   Keep building bridges!   Keep tearing down walls!   Keep recommitting!   Keep appreciating!   Keep standing!  Keep feeling!   Keep talking!   Keep making peace!   Keep staying positive!   Keep praising!   Keep journaling!    Keep journeying into reality!   Keep promising!   Keep coaching! Keep loving!

Keep it going!

These are the areas that I want to keep going at since I want to make a consistent effort to be the best me possible I need to keep doing the things above. If you have some more positive, uplifting things you do every day, let me know. We all could use as much help as we can get.

Keep it going! 

ACV Drink Hack

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) drinks are popping up all over the place. Our new trendy grocery store Main & Vine has these drinks and their not cheap either. $2.69 for 16 ounces. Granted they are made with Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and good ingredients. To me, it’s just another way to waste money when I can easily make this myself. In fact, this ACV drink hack has been part of my morning routine for over a year.

 ACV Drink

ACV Drink Hack

Base Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (coconut vinegar can also be used)
  • Juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1 teaspoon Sweetener of choice (coconut nectar, yacon syrup, honey, equivalent of liquid stevia, maple syrup)
  • 16 ounces Clean water of choice (spring, reverse osmosis, distilled)

Mix together in a glass or recycled glass drink bottle. Add one or more of the following.

Variations (Pick one of more)

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen (adds 12 grams of pure protein)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger (pulverized)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped turmeric (pulverized)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons mashed, seeded cucumber
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • Substitute a good brand of coconut water for the water (Zico is my favorite)

Favorite Combinations

3 C’s: Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon

4 C’s: Chia-Collagen-Cucumber-Coconut Water

4 C’s Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon-Coconut Water


All mixed up ready to enjoy!

All mixed up and ready to enjoy! Chia-Collagen-Cinnamon-Coconut Water



Making My Own…

It’s been some time since I felt like writing but with spring around the corner, and here we are in the 3rd month of the year already, I have felt the need to get back to writing. So write I must.

These first eight days of March have been interesting. I’ve been focusing more on making my ownfill in the blank. I have made my own water kefir the entire month of February but it took over my kitchen because my husband and I weren’t drinking it fast enough; my husband ended up being the only one who drank it because I think it tastes like beer and I hate that taste.

This month I’ve tried my hand at making my own coconut milk that doesn’t have all the nasty ingredients in it. Do you know what’s in your coconut milk? Whether you buy your coconut milk (or any nut or seed milk) by the carton in the refrigerator section or in the can in a grocery aisle, it’s best to read the ingredients. Check out the ingredient label of your coconut milk. Are these ingredients in it? Carrageenan,  Sodium Metabisulfite, xanthan gum, tricalcium phosphate gellan gum then put it back on the shelf and learn how to make your own coconut milk. So many digestive health issues are associated with these ingredients alone that it would take the entirety of this post to list them all. But, I will give you this. Carrageenan may come from seaweed but it’s extracted using deadly chemicals. And Gellan gum is made from the lactose and cornstarch. This is why I am a big proponent of being an II (Ingredient Investigator).

So what do we do in the meantime? We make our own.

Coconut Milk!

Ingredients in My Coconut Milk


  • 1  33.8 container  coconut cream (Chaokoh Coconut Cream Classic Gold is my go-to brand because it only has coconut extract and water) room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon the best pure vanilla you can buy. I happen to like Madagascar vanilla.
  • 32 ounces clean water. I use either spring or reverse osmosis.
  • 32-ounce carafe with lid for shaking, I usually reuse another.
  • A funnel that will fit into your carafe.

Step 1: Shake the coconut cream to mix the water and extract, it usually separates sitting on a shelf. Open the coconut cream container, pour through the funnel into your carafe. Sometimes you will need to coax the coconut extract into the funnel. I use a chopstick for this.

Step 2: Once you have as much of the coconut cream as possible into the carafe, pour in the water. You may not use all the water depending on how much of the cream you were able to use.

Step 3: Add the vanilla. Shake. Enjoy.

I use this coconut milk for making smoothies and in cooking.

PLEASE more than ever before we need to become Ingredient Investigators. So much of the food marketing industry is leading people astray making them think they are drinking something that’s healthy like this new Flax milk that’s out by Good Karma. The only thing good about it is in its name. The company touts that their flax milk is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts, and gluten. How can this be when one of their ingredients is made from lactose (gellan gum) and another is made from soy (xanthan gum)?

While I’m making my own...Fill In The Blank, I hope you gain some courage to make your own too.

Deceptive Food Labels

Phosphate Alert

Common Food Additives Linked to Crohn’s Disease


Research Pays Off

It’s no secret around here that I love alternative health therapies and will research different modalities before seeing a mainstream medical doctor. Last year was different. I had several things going on with me all at once and couldn’t make heads or tails about it. So I went to my family practitioner only to have blood drawn, X-rays, sent to specialist after specialist only to be told we don’t know what’s wrong with you. I was told I had Lupus, RA, Ankylosing Spondylitis (arthritis in your spine), Fibromyalgia, and then Scleroderma. They didn’t know what caused it and proceeded to tell me that I always had the genes lying dormant inside of me and only through a traumatic experience would these full-blown auto-immune conditions surface. Then I was told since we really don’t know what’s wrong with you, we still want you to take this chemo drug if it works then you have this health issue.

I said no, No, and NO!! I got a copy of all my x-rays and decided to look elsewhere. I searched out alternative naturopaths who are making me take several different supplements, cleanses and dietary changes, but the pain was still present. I went to see a Chinese medicine doctor who gave me more herbs, and acupuncture treatments for the pain, but it only worked for a couple of days and the pain would return just like it did before. I didn’t feel any better.

Then I did some research and found several natural doctors who were treating people with my health issues so I looked further only to find that they never fixed the issue only treated it and said that I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life and that eventually alternative means wouldn’t work and I would need to succumb to the chemo. I didn’t like that answer so I kept searching. Then I found something that I thought would work, but I didn’t jump on the bandwagon right away, I kept doing research on this type of alternative therapy.

Anatomy cervical spine 1

I’ve been to chiropractors before and well, I felt worse after an adjustment than when I went in. I was kind of afraid to go back to another back cracker. Sorry, I have to say this because there probably are many chiropractors out there that are more than that, but I always seemed to just get the back-crackers and nothing more except to take their weight loss supplements.

Last Monday I woke up and proceeded to do my stretching exercises but something didn’t feel right. Then about two hours later I couldn’t raise my right arm. I was doubled over in pain. Pain is a great motivator. I remembered the chiropractor’s name, looked him up on the net and made my appointment for early Friday morning. I had to wait 5 whole days before I saw him. Whilst in his office I got the feeling that he was going to help me, he tested me but differently than other chiropractors did. Then he took x-rays of my neck and did not adjust me, but told me to continue doing what I had been, ice followed by heat.


The all important second appointment.

I was not in much pain when I went in, but I still felt like my body was off kilter. We sat down in his office and I watched a video about my neck. I got to see what a normal neck looked like and how it is supposed to be. My neck is 52 degrees forward than what a normal neck is supposed to be. Apparently, that’s huge. In looking at the x-rays of my neck, the chiropractor said I don’t have arthritis of any kind, he looked at my other films and there is not one bit of deterioration, not even in my hand. The only problem I have in my neck is the atlas vertebra is out of place and causing pressure on the major nerve that runs through my spinal column. He showed me how this translates into the pain in the back of my head and the halo headaches I always get. This is where I started to tear up. He said it was fixable.

Then we went into the adjusting room. He did not manipulate my neck like regular chiropractors do. You can read more about the advanced orthogonal technique here. It’s like nothing I have ever experienced before. The treatment is painless, no pulling on my neck, or twisting of any sort just a gentle tap of a percussion sound from a machine. That’s it.

The immediate results were astounding. I am glad my husband was in the room with me. I would not have been able to explain what I felt if he didn’t see it first hand. Before the treatment, the doctor measured my legs. My left leg has always been a little over an inch shorter than my right leg. I always walked and felt crooked and could never lay on my back without having my legs bent because of the pain in my lower back. After the treatment, my legs were measured again and this is when my husband’s jaw dropped (only happened once before when he saw that I was having twins on an ultrasound, 30 years ago). My left leg was only about 1/8 inch shorter than my right leg. I laid on the table with my legs straight out and I had no pain. You bet I started to tear up. Never before had I gotten any relief from that kind of pain.

I slept like a rock last night. I woke up this morning in no pain but I can feel the muscles in my shoulder blades starting to release. I go back tomorrow for another treatment. It’s the best thing I have ever found. Taking my health into my own hands and not succumbing to the rants of Western medicine that chemo cure everything propelled me forward in my research and it paid off.

Research your health issues don’t just fall in line with what the Western medical doctors say. If you’re not comfortable with a treatment don’t do it. If you need help with your research hit me up on Facebook, I would be more than happy to help you find the right therapy for you and your needs.


7 Simple Money Saving Health Hacks

Each day when you look through health magazines and search the net you are bombarded with the same health news only spun around to think you are gaining some new health truths. If you get right down to it good health is simple and saves money. Here are 7 simple money saving health hacks that will restore your health, keep your health intact, and make your health soar while putting more money in your pocket.


  1. Food: Examine the food you eat. If you are eating more food that comes from a package or is overprocessed then it’s time to rethink what you’re putting in your mouth. Buy as much as you can from organic resources. Know what’s in your food and you’ll know what’s in you. Think about how much money you spend on snack foods that are loaded with chemicals that were created in labs to give you the sense of tasting like food. It’s interesting when you remove all the chemicals from processed foods you’re left with a substance that resembles gray cardboard. While you’re rethinking the food you put in your mouth, ask yourself a couple of questions: Does this food help me have nurturing energy? Does this food help my children become spastic or nurture them?
  2. Fasting: When was the last time you fasted? Did you know that fasting helps your body deal with pain and helps it heal by giving it a chance to rest from trying to digest all the food you are constantly shoving down your mouth? By taking away all the food from your daily intake for 24 hours, your body has a chance to play catch up. Now, if you’re a diabetic I am not saying you should do this at all. I am not just introducing this topic willy-nilly. Intermittent fasting has been used by many people who are trying to gain and maintain health. We live in a world where food is everywhere, fasting goes against everything you’d see on TV, but trust me when I say that when you eat only two meals a day, you’ll feel better and you’ll save money.
  3. Cleanliness: Every time you use the restroom you wash your hands, right? Cleaning your surroundings. How often do you have trash or stuff everywhere around your home, office, dorm room? Did you know that there is a correlation between a messy home and how often you get sick? It’s a proven fact that clutter can contribute to headaches, accidents, depression, acid reflux, digestive issues, and weight gain. Clean up your surroundings and you’ll be saving a lot of money in doctor bills and lost wages due to sickness.
  4. Sunshine & Fresh Air: Getting outside, taking a walk, playing catch with your children, building a snowman, going sledding, building a sandcastle, camping, fishing, riding a bike, running helps us the most when we are depressed. Fresh air cleans our lungs. When we’re cooped up in our homes, most of us are smelling those artificial scents with the plug-ins that are deadly. We’re smelling the scents of all the plastics within our homes. Sunshine is the best way to get Vitamin D, it cheers us up and helps us see the brighter side of life.
  5. EXERCISE: We live in an instant, electronic, gadget-driven world. But we were made to move, so move, we must. It doesn’t even matter what exercise you do as long as you do it regularly. Walking, Biking, Running, Weightlifting, Swimming, Dancing, Stretching, Pilates, Rope Skipping, Kickboxing, the list is endless. Find some kind of exercise you like to do and continue in it on a regular basis. That’s the important part, a regular basis, it’s different for each person. For me, Pilates is three days a week and walking the other four days. This one simple way of living saves more money than just one. It reduces stress, helps lose and maintain weight, builds muscle, reduces depression, reduces appetite, induces a good night’s sleep.
  6. Sleep & Rest: Getting a good night’s sleep is the difference between sickness and health. It takes the other 5 tips to help with this one. A good night’s sleep keeps us alert, helps us to slow the aging process, helps our bodies digest certain minerals, helps our bodies repair and rebuild our cells. Resting helps our body rebuild but it also helps our mind to take a mini-vacation. Resting in the 21st century means we need to disconnect from all our social media outlets at least for 3 hours a day. Do something that’s enjoyable; read a book for fun, learn a new art technique, just sit and be. When was the last time you daydreamed?
  7. Build a Positive Mental Attitude: It takes the other 6 tips to help build and keep a positive mental attitude. You have a power within you to change your circumstances. Just like our minds can make us sick and broke we also have that power within us to make us for health and wealth. Being positive lowers your risk of heart disease, helps you have better relationships and better equips you to deal with the negative things that happen in life. Being positive can help you save money.

These are 7 health hacks that can save you money, but they can also be applied to your relationships, your family life, your career, your education, your spiritual soundness. Try some of these simple health hacks, your bank account will thank you.


Infused Water Dismantled

I’m not a fan of just drinking water all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I drink it but sometimes I like adding different flavors without adding any sugar or artificial flavoring. Most people just grab these infused waters off the shelves because the label looks like everything inside should be natural. You open it up and then take your first sip. It tastes like water with a hint of flat flavor.  You keep looking at the label and find out that this water has about fifteen different ingredients. You don’t even know where the spring of water comes from let along those ingredients.

Let’s dismantle infused water using in-season, organic fruits and veggies, herbs, spices, and some healthy add-ins that take your infused water to the next level.

Before mixing

Choose 2 cups of water.

Water: Spring water (Fuji is my favorite),  Coconut water (Zico is my brand), If you’re not able to get these, at least, make sure your water is filtered.

Choose a combination of 1/2 cup fruit and veggie of your choice.

Fruit: berries, mangoes, pineapple, lemon, lime, melons, kiwi, and star fruit,  other tropical fruits, peaches, nectarines, apricots

Veggies: Cucumbers, celery, carrots, beets, garlic,

Add a couple of sprigs of herbs

Herbs: Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, Cilantro, Dandelion flowers, Chamomile flowers and buds, lavender, rose petals, ginger, turmeric, sage, basil, and thyme, lemongrass, stevia

Spices: Cinnamon bark, dried dill weed, pepper,  and a bit of Himalayan salt, and organic spices of your choice that you can put into an organic tea bag.

A couple of drops of your favorite essential oil like Cinnamon bark, clove, peppermint, lemon, sweet tangerine, nutmeg, lavender, evening primrose oils are some of my favorites.

Nutritional add-ins:  Liquid versions of the following can also be added: vitamin B Complex, vitamin D, Slippery Elm, and apple cider vinegar.

Blueberry water

Here’s my favorite infused/blended water

  • 2 cups spring water, (I like using Zico coconut water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries (blueberries are my favorite)
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic English cucumber chunks
  • 1 small piece ginger grated
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 dropper full of vitamin B complex
  • 4 drops liquid vitamin D
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 7 drops liquid stevia

Take the berries and cucumbers and place them in a bottom of a clean glass bottle, mason jar, or even a blender container if you have no mason jars. Take the ginger and place in an organic paper tea bag. Place inside a glass bottle. Add the water of choice, along with the rest of the ingredients. Let sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

If you’re impatient like I am most of the time, you can just skip the tea bag step (if you don’t add the herbs) and mix it all together in a blender with a bit more water and get the most benefits of the fruits and veggies.

Water doesn’t always have to taste bland. We can add natural organic flavor to the water to make it both nutritional and healthy for what our body needs. Let me know what kinds of combinations you try.

Wishing you wellness for a new day.