Wow, I feel so honored to be nominated for the Liebster Award this year by Kayla who blogs over at Joy Rises. The Liebster Award is a way to honor and celebrate young (not as in age) bloggers. From what I’ve learned from others who have been nominated, Liebster is a German word that means anything from kindest to lovely to valued (and much more). When honored with this award you answer a few questions about yourself and then chose your nominees and ask them to answer a few questions in a subsequent blog post. Kayla put it best that “It’s all about building a community and connecting with others.” What fun!
First, or after you read my post :), you should head on over to Kayla’s blog to check her out! She also has Lyme disease and we have connected over the past few months- talking about Lyme, treatment, diet, and life. She is one of the sweetest people I know and her blog is so honest and open, most of her posts make me emotional because they are just so real. She has been eating a paleo diet to help combat her Lyme and occasionally posts some delicious recipes! These are intermixed with her series The Lyme Diaries where she shares others Lyme stories- showing all sides of and the real truth about Lyme. She works her butt off to promote Lyme disease awareness and I can’t thank her enough!
These are the questions she asked me to answer:
1.) Why did you choose your particular diet plan and what health benefits have you seen from it?
I was introduced to the Whole 30 about 2.5 years ago when I confided in someone about my digestive issues that I’ve had for YEARS! I didn’t know what paleo was or that the Whole 30 related to that. I decided to give a variation of the Whole 30 a try and made it about 20 days, if I recall correctly. Cutting out grains made a HUGE difference in bloating and other digestive problems I was having so I started researching what the Whole 30 really was and came upon this whole paleo lifestyle. I then began researching all about the paleo diet, reading books and articles and blogs. It made so much sense to me and is truly based off the idea of eating whole, natural foods that the earth provides! So I dove right in.
Recently I started incorporating the idea of a raw diet, as well. With trying to heal from Lyme, I’ve done so much research and half of it is BS while the other half is worth a shot. There is a lot of research and evidence for the basis of a raw diet in healing (and for health in general). I believe in both the raw diet and the paleo diet so I mix the two- I eat some animal protein and eat most of my veggies raw.
I have to say I haven’t seen leaps and bounds in health benefits, mostly because my body is so out of whack from the Lyme. If I’m REALLY strict about eating raw or paleo my digestive system improves somewhat (less bloating and pain). But I’m not perfect and I don’t eat 100% paleo/raw. I have to say, my skin has cleared up and managed to stay clean when I am consistent with my diet. I’ve also always had very soft hair but I contribute my diet to helping it stay that way.
2.) What inspired you to start your blog and what is your favorite part about blogging?
I’ve always loved cooking and baking and being creative in the kitchen. When I started paleo, it forced me in a new direction and challenged me in the kitchen. That was exciting and I wanted a way to document my creations. Once I was diagnosed with Lyme (only a few months after going paleo), I became fascinated in the idea of how diet could play a pivotal role in treatment and recovery. I wanted to raise awareness about Lyme disease, as well, so I decided to merge these two ideas- my love for the kitchen and the fact that I had Lyme. Plus, I randomly thought of the name Lemons ‘N Lyme and thought it was the most genius thing ever so I just HAD to start a blog!
My favorite part about blogging is meeting other amazing people! Whether they have Lyme or not, I’ve met some of the most awesome people who I never would have connected with had it not been for my blog (and related social media like Facebook and Instagram). I also love how it forces me to continue to be creative in the kitchen. It helps me from getting bored and makes me try new ingredients and ideas.
3.) What foods do you eat most often?
Bananas. Like wayyyy tooooo many for being someone with a chronic illness. And Granny Smith apples (since they have a lower sugar content then other types). And kale. I drink TONS of green juices (at least 2x a day)… which, obviously, contain kale. I have an obsession with carrots but have been trying to limit my carrot intake recently since I get headaches from them (actually I get headaches from any food I over consume 🙂 ). Those are foods I consume almost daily. I also really enjoy pumpkin seeds because they add a crunch to salads, soups, or snacks (like with a banana).
4.) What is your favorite “cheat food” or comfort food?
Sweet potatoes! Mostly in fry form. Or a Red Robin burger on a gluten free bun. Or tortilla chips. I have the BIGGEST obsession with tortilla chips, but obviously since being diagnosed with Lyme have tried to cut them out of my life. Two years ago (when I was first diagnosed), I had the worst craving for tortilla chips in the middle of the night so my best friend (and roommate at the time) went to the grocery store for me at 3am to get me a giant bag of them. They were gone by the next evening. This is why I can’t be around them.
5.) What do you want your readers to know about you? (It can be anything)
I want them to know that I’m not perfect. I’m not perfect with treatment or my diet. I feel like a lot of people read blogs and think that blogger is awesome because they eat this perfect diet (I mean look at those healthy, wonderful recipes they post regularly) or stick to this perfect workout regimen (look that those sweaty pictures of themselves!) or are so committed to treatment it hurts (they also post about their latest addition to their regimen). And yes, those bloggers ARE awesome. I mean, I AM awesome 😉 but I’m not perfect. I don’t think any blogger is. No on is perfect. I have days where I eat foods I’m not supposed to (I mean really bad ones like gluten-free chocolate chips cookies or tortilla chips or ice cream) and I have days where I’m so sick of or so exhausted from Lyme that I refuse to take my meds/supplements/whatever that day or do my detox regimen (that probably would make me feel better). It doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m supposed to do or what is healthy… I do know, but everyone has their bad days. Bloggers get to post what they want on their blogs, they don’t post everything. I’m here to provide recipes and insight but I don’t post my whole life. I’m here to support every single one of you, though, so never forget that!
Now for my nominations:
Canada Girl Eats Paleo– This Chick Rocks. Point blank. Sam and I started blogging around the same time and she was one of my first blogger friends. She is Canadian (obviously) but all my American followers, don’t let that deter you ;). Just Kidding. Seriously, though, she posts delicious paleo recipes! She also will run various challenges, like right now she is holding a one month yoga challenge where you can join along in doing yoga with her daily! She’s just plain cool and nice and has really been there for me through Lyme and with eating paleo despite being in another country :).
Health Without Sacrifice– This girl posts some really freaking delicious, easy recipes! She doesn’t call herself paleo but some of her recipes are. Not everything is gluten free but most of her recipes can be easily made gluten free. I’ve really enjoyed following her because she is also a college student so her recipes are simple and not too crazy fancy. They are just very relatable if that makes sense at all.
Ethereal Junkyard– Dude, this girl is the funniest ever! She also has Lyme and although I know she struggles with it like the rest of us Lymies, she seems like such a blast and is kickin’ its butt! She doesn’t post recipes, but her posts are hilarious (most of the time… but her sarcasm is always fantastic), honest, and real. She posts about her life but not in a boring way. Really, go check her out now.
My questions for the 3 lovely ladies above:
1) What is your all time favorite food?
2) If you could have ANY superpower, what would it be?
3) If you could build a house anywhere that you wanted, where would it be?
4) What was your vision for your blog when you started it (what were you hoping for it to be)? And has that changed over the course of blogging? (For example: your goal was to just post recipes but now you realize it’s an outlet for XYZ, as well)
5) Is there any aspect of your diet that is a “no exceptions” aka you will stick to no matter what? (For example: sometimes I cheat and eat dairy or sugar but I will NEVER touch gluten)