Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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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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Treatment Update: April/May 2016

It’s about that time again. Time for a treatment update. I actually don’t believe I ever did an update when my IV’s changed in January but we will discuss that in a moment. I figured this would be the perfect time for a treatment update not only because my treatment has changed, but also because May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

Before we get into the treatment, I’d like to quickly provide 5 “fun” facts about Lyme in honor of May being what it is.

5 facts about Lyme that you should know:

1. Less than 50% of Lyme cases present with the typical bulls eye rash

2. The standard Quest lab test (western blot and Elisa) only test for one strain of Lyme while there are 100s all over the world, 12 of which are currently known to cause Lyme (no wonder so many test negative for Lyme!) 3. Lyme is more epidemic than AIDS, west Nile, and avian flu combined

4. Annual cases of Lyme disease far exceed the number of new cases of breast cancer each year

5. You can contract Lyme disease from almost any insect that bites, from spiders to horse flys, NOT JUST ticks .

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As many of you may already know, mid December-end of March, I was completing weekly IV’s, about 3 IV’s a week. And they were seriously kicking my a**! I felt miserable and come April, I knew I needed a break.

I don’t think the IV’s were necessarily a bad thing, I think they were just doing their job REALLY well and it was a lot for my body to handle. I reached a point where I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to back off. I was completing a mix of hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C, and ALA IV’s along with Argentyn 23 (silver) and glutathione pushes. Mind you, at baby doses of them all. Man, I’m a wimp…. or at least my body is. My doctor even took the time to make fun of me on occasion😉.

Surprisingly, I felt like vitamin C was kicking my ass the most. How odd? The one IV that was supposed to be the most nourishing made me feel like I had been hit by a bus. Have any of you experienced that? Any thoughts on why vit C, of all things, would make me feel that way? I mean, not to say that h202 wasn’t also kicking my butt.

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Throughout all of that, I, of course, continued my detoxing regimen and will continue to do so until the day I die (maybe just at a lighter load in the future… well, definitely hopefully!).  So let’s move on to what I’m doing currently.

We decided to put a break on IV’s for April and May, until I seem my doctor again at the end of May. Instead, I’ve been completing:

  1. 2 ozone sauna’s a week with the goal of staying in them for 30 minutes to get as much ozone into me as possible. I’m big on the ozone right now, but due to the fact that my blood could win an Oscar for clotting skills, I can’t do ozone IV’s at the moment. I’m trying to make up for it my getting ozone into my body every other way possible.
  2. Ozone insuflation… in every hole south of my mouth (Hey, I know ya’ll like when I’m honest). Like I said, gimme all the ozone!
  3. All the usual supplements. I am not taking any tinctures or supps designed to kill or break biofilms, just your usual dietary supplements and the prescription medications I “need.”
  4. All my usual detoxing.
  5. I just began seeing a Chinese Medicine doctor who works with my main LLMD. She is going to be addressing food allergy/intolerance issues using the NAET technique. I also will be completing some more testing and muscle testing with her to determine what else may be going on or what the biggest problem is (mold? parasites? Lyme? What is the first layer of the onion that needs to be addressed to get to the other layers?). I’ll keep you posted on how those appointments go, I just saw her for the first time last week.
  6. I also have been working hard on the emotional aspect of Lyme and treatment. This includes seeing a therapist (I have a great one who also has been through the Lyme tornado) and completing a session of Family Constellation therapy, which I hope to continue in the future if finances permit.
  7. I am still doing bee venom therapy but I have dropped down to once a week.
  8. I added in Cranial-Sacral therapy once a week. Although I can’t say I’ve noticed anything from it yet, I feel something there and my therapist is fantastic. I’m excited to keep working with her.
  9. Per usual, I’m working hard to try and keep my diet in check. DANG, is that hard when you feel like crap with no energy to cook and the sugar cravings are on high.
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Ozone Sauna

So, that’s the gist of it. Still working hard to get my life back. And to be honest, the life I had when I was 7 years old. That’s the energy and happiness I want back. What a puzzle Lyme is, am I right?! I feel like we are missing one tiny thing and once I figure out exactly what that is, everything else will fall into place. Fingers crossed.

 

I wanted to share a video I made about a day in my life. I posted it on my YouTube channel and I share what a day in the life of someone with Lyme disease, who is treating holistically and alternatively, looks like:

 

How are you all feeling? What treatments are you doing? What have you found works for you? How do you keep your diet on track when you aren’t feeling well? Let me know, I love reading comments and hearing from all you wonderful people!

 

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Raw Vegan Pizza

You know those nights where you just want to eat a whole pizza by yourself? Well, now you can! Okay, it is a raw vegan pizza, maybe not quite the same as the real thing, but it’s still yummy and a healthier substitute. My dad tasted it and approved so you know it’s blog worthy when that happens!

Everything from the crust to the “cheeze” is made from scratch and although this pizza is somewhat time intensive, it’s quite easy to make. I encourage you to give it a shot the next time you want a whole pizza but don’t want the negative health consequences that come along with it.

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Raw Vegan Pizza

Serves 2-4

Carrot-Bell Pepper Crust:

1 large red bell pepper

2 large carrots

1 cup ground flax seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tbs. fresh or dried basil

1 tbs. fresh or dried oregano

1/2 tbs. fresh or dried rosemary (more of all spices if desired or a few tbs. Italian spices)

1/4-1/2 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Start with 1/4 cup water and add more if needed. You want a thicker dough like consistency, nothing too watery or runny.

Pour batter onto two dehydrator sheets (lined with teflex or parchment paper), or more if you want smaller pizzas. Spread dough out with a spatula into nice, round pizza crusts. Keep dough thick, as dehydrating will thin it out (and you don’t want cracked pizza crust!). You can spread it thinner if you want thin crust, just be careful not to spread it too thin. You can also create a slight lip around the crust to hold your toppings on.

Place in dehydrator set at 115 F for about 6-8 hours. Check crust about 4-6 hours through and flip crusts when able. Dehydrate for last 1-2 hours flipped. If you want a crunchier crust, leave in even longer.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use the oven at the lowest setting (usually around 120-200F so you won’t have to leave the crust in for quite as long).

Pizza Toppings:

Mushrooms, thinly sliced

Yellow squash/zucchini, thinly sliced

Spinach

Coconut aminos

While preparing your sauce and cheese, marinate your mushrooms and squash in some coconut aminos. massage aminos gently into veggies and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Sundried Tomato and Mango Sauce:

1 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for at least 1 hour

1/2 a mango

1 tbs. dried basil

1 tbs. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried sage

1-2 dates, pitted

1 handful of spinach OR 1/2 a peeled zucchini

1/2-1 cup water (I used the same water the tomatoes soaked in)

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender, starting with 1/2 cup of water. Add water as necessary to reach desired sauce consistency.

Basic Cashew Cheeze Sauce:

2 cups cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour

1/4-1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1-2 tbs. dried Italian herbs or fresh parsley and cilantro

2 tsp. turmeric powder

1/2 cup water

Blend all ingredients in the food processor or high speed blender (hold fresh herbs if using) until smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner cheese. I like to start with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and then add based on taste. Some people love nooch and some hate it. If using fresh herbs, mix in chopped fresh herbs at the end of blending.

 

Assembly:

When ready to assemble your pizza, take crust and spread tomato sauce over it. Top with spinach and then the rest of your veggies evenly. Put cheeze into a plastic ziplock bag. Cut a small hole off one corner and then squeeze cheeze over your pizza. Cut into desired pieces and eat up!

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Blueberry Cups (Raw/Vegan/Paleo/NUT-FREE option)

As most of you probably already know, I can’t do life without dessert. I mean what is life without dessert? I can’t sleep without a bedtime snack. It just won’t happen. But seeing as “dessert” usually means sugar laden crap and seeing that I’m attempting to heal from illness and should be consuming no sugar or processed foods of any sort, I have to find other ways to satisfying my dessert cravings.

Eating one piece of fruit usually doesn’t cut it, I need something creative and yummy. So I came up with this recipe. It’s not super sweet, which I love (because I actually don’t like when things are overly sweet, anyway), and you can feel free to leave out the couple of tablespoons of honey/maple syrup or replace them with added coconut butter or oil.

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Blueberry Cups

Makes 9 mini pies

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup of pitted medjool dates

1/2 cup buckwheat groats (preferably sprouted)

1/2 cup pecans (for nut-free option, use sunflower seeds or more buckwheat)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tbs. coconut oil, melted

1 tbs. raw honey or maple syrup, replace with melted coconut oil if you don’t want the added sweetener

Filling:

1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed

1 very ripe banana

3 tbs. coconut oil

2 tbs. coconut butter

1-2 tablespoons raw honey, maple syrup, or more coconut butter

2 tbs. agar agar

1/2 cup water

Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it comes together and sticks like a dough (don’t over process to the point where it is super smooth).

Divide dough among muffin tin (this recipe makes about 9). There is no need to grease them or use muffin liners. Use your hands to press dough into muffin cup and about 1/2 way up the side of the cup, forming a crust.

Now, place agar agar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and stir until agar agar is dissolved (about 5 minutes).

Melt coconut oil and coconut butter together over low heat (or in the dehydrator).

Blend all filling ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Pour filling into your mini crusts, dividing evenly.

Place in the fridge and let set for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to remove, slide a knife around the outside edge of each blueberry cup to loosen from tin. You should then easily be able to scoop them out of the muffin tin.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy!

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