Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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Basil Mango-Avocado Dressing/Sauce (Vegan, Paleo)

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Basil Mango-Avocado Dressing

Ingredients:

1 small mango

1/2 large avocado

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2-1 tsp. dried basil (fresh basil would also be delicious)

1/4 cup+ water

Blend all ingredients in a blender, starting with 1/8 cup of water. Add water to reach desired consistency.

This sauce tastes great as a thick dressing for salads or over zoodles/coodles/any veggie noodles for a cool, creamy summer dish.

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Plantain Waffles (Vegan/Gluten Free/AIP)

This has been my new favorite breakfast recently… and dessert… and… you get the idea. My recipe is based on this recipe, but with a few tweaks. I found her waffles too oily for my liking and didn’t quite fluff up as much as I like. Plus, I like to add a protein boost so I added some plant-based protein to the recipe (although you can easily use some coconut or even almond flour instead)

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Plantain Waffles

Makes about 2-3 waffles (depending on how big you make them)

Ingredients:

1 large ripe plantain (yellow with some brown spots)

1 large unripe plantain (green)

1.5 tbs melted coconut oil

2 tbs. coconut flour OR plant-based protein

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2-1 tsp. baking soda (use 1/2 if at altitude, 1 if at sea level)

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Plug in your waffle iron and let it heat up while you prepare the batter.

Peel your plantains and chop into quarters. Place plantain chunks in high speed blender or food processor and blend for about 30 seconds (until roughly pureed).

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. You should have a thick batter that isn’t easily pourable (you’ll have to scoop it into your waffle iron).

Follow waffle iron instructions. You may need to cook these waffles slightly longer then a normal waffle, but they should be fluffy and perfectly browned when done.

Top with fresh fruit, fruit compote, almond butter, maple syrup, whatever your heart desires. And, Enjoy!

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Guest Post: Advice for the Newly Diagnosed Lyme Disease Patient

I’m really excited today to be sharing a guest post by Kerry from Body, Mind, Lyme. Kerry was diagnosed with two autoimmune disease before finally figuring out the root cause- Lyme disease. Today she is sharing some tips for those recently diagnosed with Lyme and how to handle the diagnosis.

Although both of us have been dealing with health issues for quite some time and many of you reading this have also been dealing with Lyme for awhile, Kerry’s advice still applies. I know I get many newly diagnosed with Lyme reading my blog, as well, so here is some great advice for everyone! Let me know in the comments what you wish you would have known when you were first diagnosed. And don’t forget to head on over and check out Body, Mind, Lyme!

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Advice for the Newly Diagnosed Lyme Disease Patient 

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I suppose the silver lining of a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis is that you have a diagnosis. So many of our ranks suffered for years with no answers. I know the sense of relief I felt when I finally knew what was wrong.

But that is just the first step. Now you must venture into the strange maze of chronic Lyme disease treatment. Here are a few things I wish I’d know when I asked the doctor, “So, you’re sure this is it?” and she confidently and reassuringly said, “yes.”

1. You are not alone. 

It is scary to receive a diagnosis of a “rare” disease, but Lyme disease is not rare. There are 300,000 new cases recognized by the CDC each year, and some estimate a much higher number that go unrecognized or unreported. In my small circle I know 2 other people who have been diagnosed with Lyme. Once you start telling people about your diagnosis you will start hearing the stories, “my cousin has that,” “my uncle’s sister’s best friend’s niece has that.”

Aside from connecting with people who are 2nd and 3rd degrees of separation, I would strongly suggest tapping into the vast Lyme community on the internet.

The first place I looked was on Facebook and I joined a closed group for female Lyme disease patients all over the world and a regional closed group for people in Illinois (where I live) to share resources and ask questions. Then, I tapped into the blog world looking for posts from people who have had similar experiences to mine. Finally, I started my own blog to connect with other bloggers and Lyme patients with the goal of being a positive place for Lyme patients to stumble upon, like I did with so many other blogs, including Lemons ‘N Lyme.

There are countless blogs and social media feeds related to Lyme disease. I would suggest finding a few that share your attitude and approach to illness. I follow blogs and social media feeds that focus on positivity and a modified diet. Some people may want to follow blogs with a focus on research or a certain treatment protocol. The good thing is whatever you are looking for, you will find it.

I truly don’t know how Lyme patients diagnosed over 10 years ago coped with this illness without the internet.

If possible I would also recommend talking to Lyme patients face-to-face. I eventually joined a Lyme disease support group and have found it to be extremely helpful. If there isn’t a support group in your area, I would suggest having coffee with another Lyme patient who lives close by. If you live in a small area and are unable to find any other Lyme patients near you there is the option of Skype or continuing to form connections online.

The good people of the chronic Lyme disease community are a wealth of support and information. We have to be, because besides some medical professionals, we are all that we’ve got.

2. It gets worse and then it gets better (and then it gets worse, better, worse). 

Now that you and your doctor have decided on a treatment plan, it is time for the roller coaster ride of Lyme recovery. I often describe the Lyme treatment process like an upward moving roller coaster. There are rises and falls, but slowly you will be making upward progress. It just doesn’t always feel that way.

I’ve found that on my bad days I can’t remember how I felt on my good days and on my good days I can’t remember how I felt on my bad days.

You’ve likely read up on Herxheimer reactions and if you haven’t here is a good post. You could feel better for weeks, then have a huge herx reaction as the bacteria die off and leave your body.

My doctor has a good strategy for showing me that things are slowly getting better. She documented all the symptoms I brought to her on our first visit (debilitating pain, headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, etc.) and each visit she asks if I still have those symptoms. Most are better, if not gone. I still feel sick, but she helps me see the progress.

This is a strategy you could do with your doctor or on your own. Write down all your symptoms and return to the list once a month to add new symptoms and track progress on your old symptoms.

3. Your treatment will not be like anyone else’s treatment. 

Dr. Richard Horowitz calls Lyme disease Multi Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome or MSIDS. That is because Lyme usually comes with multiple coinfections (including parasitic and viral) and attacks multiple systems in your body. So depending on which coinfections you have and which systems they are going after you are going to present differently than any other Lyme patient.

There are common symptoms across most Lyme patients, like fatigue, brain fog, and pain, but there are hundreds of other ways the disease can manifest.

Other things that will affect your treatment plan are: autoimmune responses (such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), food intolerances (gluten, dairy, etc.), gene mutations (MTHFR), and vitamin/mineral deficiencies (anemia).

When you look at the above list it is pretty clear why no treatment plans look alike.

Usually they include antibiotics and/or antimicrobials, supplements, and lifestyle changes, but it will always be a variation.

4. There is no right treatment, there is only the right treatment for you. 

In my first suggestion I tell you to tap into the Lyme community on the internet. In this suggestion, I’m going to tell you to take it with a grain of salt.

I tend to skip over any Facebook post that contains any negativity or controversial discussion. There are people who will say never take antibiotics and there are people who say antibiotics are the only thing that worked for them.

It is very difficult to land on a treatment that you are comfortable with. When I was undiagnosed, I said no to many different medications, including antibiotics. At the time, I just wasn’t comfortable with that particular treatment. I feel like at this stage of my disease I am on the right treatment for me, so I tend to take with a grain of salt advice on what to take or not take. I’m always open to a new approach, but it has to be something I am comfortable with or it will end up doing more harm than good.

5. There is hope. 

Lyme disease is a devastating diagnosis and will surely have many days where it feels like an impossible climb.

When you are feeling like you will never get better, go online and read one or two stories of recovery.

I’m 75% better than when I began treatment and I still have moments where I break down and cry. In these moments I use advice I heard on The Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago. There was a guest who had been hit by a drunk driver and had severe, disfiguring burns covering most of her body. She told Oprah that she allows herself 5 minutes a day to cry and after that she gets up and keep going. When I break down, I let it all out, then I get back up and keep going.

It’s all we can do.

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If we can figure out how to fly above the clouds over the middle of the ocean, we can heal

 


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The Lyme Interview

I hope everyone is having a great Friday, yay for the weekend! I recently did an interview with Kerry over at Body Mind Lyme and it would be awesome if you all would head over there and give it a read (plus let Kerry know how awesome she is). Kerry has a great Lyme blog and a regular series called The Lyme Interview where she interviews various Lymies, sharing their stories and how they remain awesome despite illness😉. My interview encompasses a little bit about my story, why I started a blog, and how I cope with Lyme disease.

I also wanted to share this video a new Lyme friend, April Moor, posted sharing the faces of Lyme and the variety of symptoms we deal with.

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Easy Buckwheat Porridge (Raw or Cooked)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I post a lot of smoothie pictures, but I do get sick of smoothies. Sometimes I want something warm or thicker and more hardy then a smoothie. I don’t tolerate a whole lot of classic breakfast foods and I’m still not a fan of salad before noon.

I also hate oatmeal. I think it’s one of the most disgusting foods on the planet. Not only do I not like the taste, but it doesn’t agree with my tummy (granola does alright but oatmeal? I don’t think so). I’m not sure why I can handle oats in other forms but not when cooked into oatmeal. The smell and texture/volume makes me nauseous. Just thinking about oatmeal makes me nauseous! So, let’s move on to something more delicious.

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I recently discovered buckwheat porridge. And we all know how much I love buckwheat! This did the trick. It’s similar to oatmeal, to give you that hardy, warm flavor and texture, but I think it tastes better and I digest it easier. I provide two options below- one for a raw version and one for a cooked. This dish can easily be made either way with just one extra, quick step for the cooked version. I usually like to keep it raw in the morning (in general, I handle raw foods better), but sometimes you just want a warm meal.

This recipe does require soaking the buckwheat groats, so be sure to read the whole recipe so you can soak your buckwheat the night before. And you can easily adjust this recipe to serve more!

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Easy Buckwheat Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/4 cup buckwheat groats, dry (1/2 cup soaked)

1/2-1 cup plant based milk of choice (I use my homemade coconut milk)

1/2 ripe banana

1 tsp. chia seeds

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 date AND/OR 1/2-1 tsp. honey/maple syrup/agave/sweetener of choice

Toppings:

Banana

Fresh or frozen berries

Hemp seeds

Coconut

Take 1/4 cup buckwheat groats and soak overnight in double the amount of water.

The next morning, when you are ready to make breakfast, drain and rinse your buckwheat thoroughly. You should have about 1/2 cup of buckwheat now (as it expands when soaked).

Blend buckwheat and 1/3-1/2 cup of milk (start with 1/3 cup if planning to eat raw, add more if you like a soupier consistency) in blender for a few seconds until just combined. Add in remaining porridge ingredients. Sweetness depends on your liking, so add dates/sweetener as desired. Blend until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.

If eating raw, pour into a dish and mix with your toppings.

If you’d like a warm porridge, pour mixture into a saucepan over very low heat. Warm on stove, stirring frequently. The porridge should thicken quickly, so keep your eye on it. Heat until desired consistency and warmth is reached. Add more milk as necessary if it becomes too thick.

Scoop into a bowl and top with fresh fruit and other desired toppings. I like to pour some extra milk over the top of my porridge, as well, to keep it creamy.

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All Natural Home Part 1: Hygiene Care

I’ve been wanting to do a series on how to keep your life “natural” aka non-toxic. So, I’m finally going to be doing a 3-part series on the products I use in my home and on me to maintain a non-toxic (or lower-toxic) life/environment.

Part 1: Hygiene/Body care- all the basics from soap to shampoo

Part 2: Household products- how to make cleaning products at home without the toxic load and how I lower my exposure to toxins from things like tap water

Part 3: Beauty- My tips and tricks for non-toxic make up, hair spray, and more.

This series will be spread over the next few months. So let’s get started with part 1 today! Not all of the products I use are the absolute cleanest, but I have to balance cost with toxic-load. Therefore, I try and find the cleanest products I can within my budget. I also like to make a lot of my own products but sometimes that can be more of a hassle, so I want to show you what you can find in the store. I’m sharing those products with you today and I hope you find it useful if you are also on a budget. All products are $10 or under.

Body:

1. Face Lotion: I have extremely sensitive skin and for a very long time I could only use one, very toxic, face lotion without breaking out. I finally found a brand I like that is less toxic AND gluten-free! This isn’t 100% the cleanest product on the market but it’s pretty good, free of some of the worst offenders, and my skin handles it alright.

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2. Body wash: Again, sensitive skin Sally here! I needed something that would minimize break outs, keep my skin from drying out, and get me clean. I like how simple this product is and it smells amazing! My favorite flavor is the tangerine or the vanilla.

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3. Body Lotion: This product does the trick but another favorite for me is straight up coconut oil! Coconut oil can feel a little greasy until it soaks in and sometimes you don’t have the time to wait, so using a body lotion can be easier. Coconut oil can also clog pores and since my skin is very sensitive, it isn’t always the best option for me. This one is pretty clean and seems to hydrate my skin well (another problem I have- very dry skin).

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4. Deodorant: The deodorant I use is made locally here in Santa Fe so I’m not going to share that brand (but for all of my Lymie Santa Feans, it’s the one sold at my doctors office ;)). I suggest making your own unless you have an awesome apothecary near by and they make deodorant (cough FORT COLLINS I LOVE YOU cough). Pretty much all deodorants in the store are filled with nasty chemicals that you shouldn’t been putting on your skin, especially directly on top of your lymph nodes. There are a few brands out there that you can get your hands on in the big grocery stores sometimes, though, like this one

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Hair:

1. Shampoo: This isn’t my favorite shampoo but it was on sale (2 for 1!) last month so I had to take advantage of it. I’ve struggled to find a non-toxic shampoo that actually works and isn’t a thousand dollars (I have hair that is SUPER greasy on top and SUPER dry on the bottom and is on the thinner side). If you have any suggestions shoot ’em at me! But, this stuff still does the trick and I found my hair has been better since I’ve worked to not shampoo every day and installed a shower filter. The water really does make all the difference. More on that in a later post😉

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2. Conditioner: I’m pretty nonchalant about conditioner. If it’s non-toxic, I’ll take it. Conditioner is conditioner to me. This was another 2 for 1 deal. Again, any conditioner suggestions send them my way.

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3. Coconut oil: 1-2x/week I smother the ends of my hair in coconut oil, tie it up in a bun, and chill out for 30-60 minutes before washing the oil out. This helps protect my hair, add pack in some moisture (I do live in the desert), and keep it shiny and soft. Basically it’s a non-toxic deep conditioning treatment for your hair! You can feel free to really massage it into your scalp and whole head of hair if you have dry hair or dandruff. My scalp is quite oily so I avoid that and only put the oil on my ends.

Mouth:

1. Toothpaste: There are a handful of good toothpastes on the market these days. Yes, you can very easily make your own but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of that. Whenever I buy toothpaste, I look out for fluoride, gums, and sugars on the ingredients label. I’ve always loved Dr. Bronner’s products (so clean!) so I was quite excited when they came out with a toothpaste. I’ve tried a lot of natural toothpastes and this is by far my favorite one.

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2. Coconut oil: I use coconut oil for oil pulling, an all-natural method for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy! I plan to do a separate post or YouTube video about it but for now you can click on that link to learn more. Have you figured out yet that coconut oil is the miracle product?! If I was stuck on a desert island I’d want a roll of duct tape and a jar of coconut oil!

I hope this gives you all some ideas if you are struggling to transition your products from toxic to non-toxic ones.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3! What are your favorite toxin-free products for staying clean? Are you sensitive like me?

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2-Minute, Single-Serving Healthy Mug Brownie (Vegan/Paleo)

You know those nights where you HAVE to have something chocolatey? Where the brownie craving is too real? But you know if you make a whole batch, you’ll eat the whole thing before dawn (I know that’s not just me). And you also don’t want to sabotage your healthy eating by downing a sugar-laden piece of chocolate cake? Or, you just have no patience to wait for a whole batch of brownies to bake or to drive to the store for a chocolate cake? I got you. Don’t worry, Victoria to the rescue.

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I’ve mastered the 2-minute microwave mug brownie. Let me rephrase that, I’ve mastered the HEALTHY  2-minute microwave mug brownie. I know I know, a MICROWAVE! I try to avoid them at all costs, but sometimes it’s just worth it. So if you are looking for an evening treat without sabotaging your health or your healthy eating, then whip this up! It features one of my favorite superfood blends from a company I just recently discovered, Philosophie. I’ve sampled all 3 of their superfood blends, but their Cacao Magic is just PERFECT in this recipe with the REAL cocoa nibs that are in it. Of course, if you don’t have any Cacao Magic, you can use regular cacao powder.

This brownie is perfectly dense and fudgey but light and absolutely delicious for dessert. It’s also low in sugar with virtually no added sweetener (1/2 tsp for the whole brownie!). Trust me, you’ll be wanting to make this ASAP.

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2-Minute HEALTHY Mug Brownie

Serves 1

Ingredients: 

2 tbs. Philosophie Cacao Magic (or regular cacao powder)

1 tbs. almond flour

1 tbs. coconut flour

1/8 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 small very ripe banana, mashed

1 tsp. coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp. raw honey (or maple syrup), melted

3 tbs. almond milk (or plant-based milk of choice)

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add all wet ingredients and stir well, until combined (make sure you’ve mashed banana very well).

You can leave the batter in the bowl you mixed it in or put it in a mug.

Microwave for 1.5-2.5 minutes, depending on your microwave and the altitude you are at.

I am at 7,000+ feet so sometimes cooking times vary. You also may need to add another 1/8 tsp. of baking soda if you are at a lower altitude (if your brownie falls flat then try adding more baking soda).

If you place your batter in a mug, run a knife around the outside to loosen the brownie and then you can flip the mug upside down to release the brownie onto a plate.

I can’t do life without toppings, and love to add more chopped banana, fresh or frozen berries, and drizzle of almond butter to complete my dessert.

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