Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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Toxin-Free Mattress Review: Tuft & Needle

Last fall I was in need of a new mattress. A new non-toxic one. But it also needed to be affordable because well, Lyme costs a lot of money! So I needed an affordable, new, non-toxic mattress. I did a lot of research and there are some great non-toxic and organic mattresses out there… but at a much heftier cost. So, I ended up getting one from Tuft & Needle.

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They’ve designed their own adaptive foam aimed at being breathable and heat wicking. The mattresses are made in the USA and certified by 3rd party CertiPUR-US (you can review the details of that certification online).

I’m going to provide a review of this mattress based on 6 things: cost, customer service, toxicity, comfort, support of mattress, overall rating. I’ll be rating each category out of 5 (1 being the worst, 5 being the best).

Cost: 4/5

Let’s get right down to it. I got a full size mattress and it cost about $500. Yes, you read that right. What a great deal for a mattress in general let alone a non-toxic, American made one! Of course, things could always be cheaper so it’s hard for me to give something a 5 but you get my point ;). You can review all the pricing on their website but the most expensive mattress is the California King for $750 (again, you read that right).

Customer Service: 5/5

Tuft & Needle’s customer service is ON POINT. When you go to their website there is a chat option right there to get answers from A REAL PERSON (no robot!) almost immediately. I used that when I was first reviewing mattresses. The person provided links to their certifications and other pages on their website that would be helpful for answering my questions and they were very friendly.

Once you decide to order and put your order in, someone from their team emails you with details of your order and to find out if you have any questions. They stay in touch for a bit to make sure you like your new mattress and remind you how long you have until your 100-day sleep trial is up (more info below). AND if you have ANY issues you can email them and they reply quickly and thoroughly. They work very hard to make sure you’re happy with your purchase.

The delivery was quick (arrives in 2-5 days). The mattress comes in a box that you open, unroll the mattress, and it expands (it was air sealed). They have a 100 night sleep trial, so if you don’t like it you can get your money back within those first 100 nights (if you order from them directly, it’s only 30 days through Amazon). They also have a 10-year warranty.

I had an issue towards the end of my trial period, they helped me immediately and extended my trial period because of the situation. That is how accommodating they are. So props for customer service T&N!

The only thing to note is that the mattress is ordered online. They have a couple stores where you can test the mattress out but otherwise you are sort of ordering blind. That’s why I’m providing this review and why they have a 100-day trial period.

Toxicity: 4/5

I’m not going to go into major detail on this because you can review all the details online but they are CertiPUR-US certified, which is a 3rd party green certification. They’ve designed and use their own foam that isn’t filled or lined with your typical fire-retardant chemicals and other chemicals in normal mattresses.

I opened the mattress in a separate room and let it air out for a few days for any potential off-gassing. The off-gassing is minimal since the mattress is non-toxic but it is a NEW product so I wanted to be safe since I’m highly sensitive. After off-gassing for a few days, I slept on it fine with no negative effects from off-gassing.

Comfort: 3/5

I’m the type of person who likes a nice fluffy pillow to sleep on. I prefer softer, fluffier mattresses and I’ve always hated memory foam. BUT I decided to give this one a try since all the non-toxic mattresses seemed to be foam (or cost a bazillion dollars). This mattress does feel memory foam-esque TO ME, although not quite as conforming and stiff. Although many reviewers say otherwise, remember this is my personal opinion and review.

I expressed my concern to T&N and they immediately shipped me one of their toppers FREE of charge (hello customer service!!!). Their topper is made of their foam to add an extra layer between you and the base layer of the mattress, which is harder. I found the topper SUPER comfortable but for some reason seemed to react to it on a chemical level. I’m not sure why as I off-gassed it and it’s made of the same material as the mattress, but that’s the case. So, unfortunately, I had to remove the topper.

Although T&N claims their mattress is heat wicking, I find otherwise. The mattress feels quite hot to me and I usually have to sleep with my fan on to keep myself cool.

I have to say, it’s not the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever been on but it’s certainly not the worst. I’m quite picky so that plays into things. I wish it was softer/fluffier and slept cold but I’m happy with the low-toxicity and safety of the mattress.

Support: 3/5

I know lots of people are super concerned about the support a mattress offers as to keep pressure points, bed sores, and pain at bay. I guess since I’m 26, I’m not super concerned with that. So take this part of the review with a grain of salt (and research other reviews if this is an important issue for you). Since the mattress feels harder for me then I would like, I don’t feel like my body sinks into it as much as I want and therefore doesn’t feel as supportive. I know that may seem weird to some, because if you sink you aren’t getting support, but what I’m saying is if you lay on a hard floor, you aren’t getting any support! Not to say this mattress is like a board, far from it, I was just trying to make my point ;). Hopefully I did and that makes sense (feel free to leave a comment if you need me to clarify).

It just doesn’t feel quite as supportive on my hips and back as I would want and I occasionally wake up with a sore lower back (which could be a result of Lyme and not the mattress).

Overall Review: 3-3.5/5

I’m sure there are some better mattresses out there that are organic, non-toxic, and beyond comfortable but they also cost wayyyy more. So overall, for the quality of this mattress and the price, I’d say it’s a pretty darn good deal!

It took me a few months to really get comfortable with the mattress, and T&N will tell you that. You have to wear it in a little (for most it’s only about 30 days) and let it adjust to your body since it is foam. But if you are looking for something non-toxic and affordable, T&N is a good option.

I reviewed other non-toxic mattresses around the same price-point and although those looked good, too, T&N seemed more well known, with more reviews, and I ultimately just had to make a decision.

I hope this review was helpful for you if you are in the market for a new, non-toxic mattress. Let me know if you have any questions below and I’ll be happy to answer what I can!


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Grilled Lamb and Zucchini Kabobs (AIP, Low FODMAP, Nightshade Free)

I hope everyone had a good Easter or passover or no holiday, if that’s your thing! We had a delicious Easter meal that consisted of the grilled lamb and zucchini kabobs I’m about to share with you, along with roasted rainbow carrots, and a big green salad with sliced radishes, strawberries, and a maple dijon vinaigrette.

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Grilled Lamb and Zucchini Kabobs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs lamb stew meat

2 tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried cilantro (or 1 tbs. freshly chopped)

1 heaping tbs. fresh chopped mint

1/2 tsp. himalayan pink sea salt

4 zucchini

Skewers*

*If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for an hour before hand

Mix the meat, olive oil, and herbs + salt in a gallon sized back or tupperware to marinate the meat. Let it marinate for at least an hour (longer is fine).

Wash and chop the zucchini into chunks that will hold up on the grill.

Skewer the meat and zucchini, alternating lamb/zucchini.

Grill for 15-20 minutes until lamb is just charred in some places and no longer pink.

Serve immediately. Store leftovers in airtight container and reheat on low in the oven.

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Low FODMAP Paleo Shepard’s Pie

How is everyone doing?! It’s been a hot minute, eh? I’m back with a new, easy, nutrient packed dish for ya.

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Low FODMAP Paleo Shepard’s Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Topping-

1 large celeriac/celery root

1 large parsnip

1 tbs. coconut oil

2 tbs. full fat coconut milk

Salt to taste

Filling-

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs. ground beef (or ground meat of choice)

1 bunch of green onion, chopped (green parts only for Low FODMAP)

1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped

1 cup frozen peas

1 tbs. rosemary

1 tbs. thyme

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Peel and chop the celeriac and parsnip into chunks. Steam (or boil) until soft, about 20 minutes.

While the topping veggies are steaming, heat your EVOO in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and cook until slightly brown but still pink on the inside. Add the green onion, peas, and rainbow chard. Cook until beef is browned and cooked through.

By this point your steamed veggies should be done. Put them in a food processor with the remaining topping ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pour the filling (ground beef and veggies) into a large glass dish (about 9×9). Pour the “topping” on top and spread evenly over the filling.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until top is just beginning to golden and has set.

Serve with a side salad and you are ready to go :). Makes great leftovers! Store in the fridge, covered.

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I Need Your Help! 

 I’m working on an awesome compilation video to post on YouTube for Lyme disease awareness month in May and I need your help!
“What has being chronically or severely ill taught you?” I want to keep this positive so answers like it’s taught me to be more patient or it’s taught me to listen to my body etc are great. Answers like it’s taught me how much our medical community sucks ARE NOT what I’m looking for. What has being ill PERSONALLY taught or helped you with/understand? What’s been the silver lining?
You’ll record yourself answering this question in under one minute (so rehearse before and don’t be afraid of needing a few takes) and then email it to me at lemonsnlyme@outlook.com. Include your first name, age, and location in the email (okay to omit if not comfortable sharing) so I can share that in the video during your segment 
If recording on your phone make sure you record with the camera/phone horizontally
I need your submissions by April 19 (earlier the better). And please help me spread the word. Tell your other lyme friends, share on fb groups, and more. I’d love a diverse group of people and answers!
Thanks so much for your help 😄💚


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Cilantro Celeriac “Rice” (AIP/Vegan)

Here is a super simple side dish for any night of the week. You can sub this celeriac rice out for normal grain-filled rice in any of your favorite Mexican dishes (tacos, taco bowls, fragrant rice w/ fajitas anyone?) or any meal you love having with rice!

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Cilantro Celeriac “Rice”

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

1 large celeriac

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tbs. Extra virgin olive oil

salt to taste

Peel and chop the celeriac into large chunks. Place in the food processor and pulse until you get a rice-like consistency.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the “rice” and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro and salt to taste.

Serve!

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Valentine’s Day Beet Fudge (AIP/Vegan)

img_8917Here’s a healthy alternative to the usual chocolate and sweets overload that many of us experience on Valentine’s Day. Whether you spending it stag, with friends, or with a significant other, this is an easy and and tummy-friendly recipe!

The recipe calls for a secret ingredient- beets! What, vegetables in my dessert?! Yes! Beets are naturally quite sweet so they play perfectly into many dessert recipes. Beets are loaded with vitamin C, folate, betaine for inflammation. They increase nitric oxide which can help with exercise and brain function (my senior thesis in college was actually all about beet juice and exercise!) and they also contain nutrients to help your heart, immune system, detox systems, and boost iron levels. Talk about a super food!

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Valentine’s Day Beet Fudge 

Ingredients:

1 medium-large beet, cooked* and chopped (about 3/4-1 cup)

1/2 cup fresh cut strawberries or raspberries

1/2 cup melted coconut butter

2 tbs. melted coconut oil

2 tbs. maple syrup (you can add more for increased sweetness)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

chocolate chips (optional)

shredded coconut (optional)

*Cook your beets however you like- boil, steam, bake. My favorite way is to wrap them in tinfoil (skin on), poke a few holes and cook at 450F for 1-1/5 hours, until soft when pierced with a fork. Let cool slightly and the skin should peel right off.

Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor, except the chocolate chips and coconut. If you have fudge molds, you can pour batter into there OR spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet or dish. Since it’s fudge, you can make it as thin or thick as you like, I suggest somewhere between 1/4-1 inch thick.

Sprinkle your toppings on, pressing them slightly into the fudge to make sure they stick.

Freeze for at least 2 hours before cutting or breaking up into desired shapes and sizes. Serve immediately (this melts fast) or keep stored in the freezer.

Alternatively, you can melt chocolate and drizzle it on top of fudge pieces when ready to serve.

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