Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Cashew Milk

I know there are a lot of cashew milk recipes out there but there isn’t one on my blog :). I recently posted the picture below on my Instagram “> and had some feedback for the recipe. So, I decided to post the recipe on my blog as easy access for you all. I’ve recently become obsessed with making homemade nut milks because 1) It’s super easy 2) They are so delicious and creamy 3) There aren’t all those nasty, unhealthy additives like in store bought varieties 4) You can make all sorts of flavors!

So let’s get to it. Homemade milks allow you to adjust flavoring and sweetness to your liking so take all the flavoring ingredients I post below with a grain of salt, adjust according to your lovely taste buds!

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Homemade Cashew Milk
Makes about 6-8 cups

Ingredients
2 cups organic, raw cashews
4-6 cups of water (less for thicker and creamier milk, more for a thinner milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 dates

Soak your cashews for at least four hours or up to overnight in filtered water (store soaking cashews in fridge). Drain and rinse thoroughly.
Place cashews and all remaining ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix). Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until everything is well blended, smooth, and creamy.
Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag (I’ve found that cashew milk doesn’t create much pulp compared to, say, almond).
Store in glass mason jars in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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Why I Call Myself a Lymie

There is a divide within the “Lyme world.” There are those who refuse to associate with Lyme, call themselves a Lymie, or define themselves by there illness. Then there are those who 100% define themselves by their disease and would consider nothing else then to be called a Lymie.

I understand both sides. When you are so sick you can’t even lift your arm because of the pain, you feel so incredibly lost that you don’t know what else to associate yourself with other then your disease. I think some people are just more positive about the whole situation or they have many other things to associate themselves with or they have an amazing support system or they’ve been lucky enough to where they haven’t truly suffered. Whatever the case may be, I get it.

I call myself a Lymie but I fall somewhere in between the two extremes (as many do). So why do I associate with my illness? Because it IS part of me. At least for right now. It doesn’t define me but it sure as hell feels like it tries to. I associate with this illness because I feel an obligation to. What I mean by that is this community of Lyme-fighters 110% needs advocates in the world. How many people and doctors don’t believe in chronic Lyme disease? How many sick patients are out there without a proper diagnosis? How many of us who ARE diagnosed are STILL suffering? I define myself as a Lymie to make a point. To let the world know I have suffered, I am suffering, and I will continue to suffer until progress in the medical community is made. I do it to let the world know there are 100’s of others just like me, worse then me, SCREAMING for help and relief and progress.

I spent years in pain and sick, searching for a diagnosis. So yes, I am a Lymie, a Lyme-warrior, a Lyme-fighter. I want the world to know how hard I have fought the system to get a proper diagnosis, to get my health back. I want the world to know how much of a battle this disease is BECAUSE of how abused and corrupted our medical system has become. I want people to know how much I’ve suffered. Not because I want pity, but because I want people to understand how much this “easy to treat and hard to get” disease can take from your life!

I don’t call myself a Lymie to make people feel sorry for me or to feel sorry for myself or to drag myself into the depths of this disease (although sometimes I go there, don’t we all?). I do it to make a point. To bring awareness. To support others in this battle. I’ve put up one hell of a fight to get where I am today and I want everyone (especially the medical community and insurance world) to know that. To know how brave people with Lyme actually are. I want to be the face, the voice, the advocate for those who can’t work, who are bedridden, who have lost friends and family because of this illness. Lyme isn’t a joke and it can’t be treated with just 2-4 weeks of doxycycline.

Do you call yourself a veteran because that’s all you associate with? That’s all you are? No, you do it because it’s a huge part of your life. You fought a giant battle and you probably have scars or medals or insane stories to show for it. We honor you for your bravery. Well, I fought a damn huge battle myself. Against my own body. Want to see the scars? Or hear the stories? I have them. You can call me a veteran if you want, I’ve been brave enough to keep fighting this battle every single day and to keep myself alive through it all. Lyme disease is a large part of my life, every day revolves around treatment and pills and how I feel. It doesn’t define me but it IS a huge part of who I am, how I’ve gotten to where I am today, and what I’ve learned.

I’m not saying you should fall into the trap of your disease or only associate with the negatives in your life, but if you have a chronic illness, it is part of who you are. It’s okay to connect with it, to identify with it. Sometimes that can make it easier to understand and live with, rather then trying to continually push it away and make it this foreign, frustrating thing that has taken you over. Accepting your illness is important for recovery, it allows you to come to terms with it, acknowledge it, and figure out how to move forward. I am still working on this, it isn’t easy. The more I’ve tried to push it away, the harder it is for me to mentally cope because I become angry at Lyme (which is totally okay to do, too) rather then work with it. And those negative emotions towards your disease can actually make it worse and cause flares (anger is a type of inflammation in your life and Lyme feeds off inflammation. Lyme also looks for any moment to pounce and when you are sad or upset or negative, it can weaken your immune system and allow Lyme an opening). I am coming to terms with Lyme by acknowledging I’m a fighter, a warrior.

 

I AM a Lymie. I’m proud of it. I stand up for everyone else who is suffering. I’m making a point.

And this is why I'm a fighter… because I had an IV line in my arm, straight to my heart, for 7 months.

And this is why I’m a fighter… because I had an IV line in my arm, straight to my heart, for 7 months.

Oh, you take a multi-vitamin and fish oil? Add 50 more pills to that and 7 tinctures. Now you're close to my level.

Oh, you take a multi-vitamin and fish oil? Add 50 more pills to that and 7 tinctures. Now you’re close to my level.

Why do you call yourself a Lymie (if you do)? Let me know in the comments!


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Detoxifying Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

I’ve been really into smoothies for the past few months. I’m not a fan of super sweet, all fruit smoothies and if you have a chronic illness like Lyme disease you really shouldn’t be drinking those types of smoothies too often. The sugar content of an all fruit smoothie is both inflammatory and will feed the Lyme bugs so I’ve had to find ways to make my smoothies nutrient packed but still tasty.

Although this smoothie takes a little bit more effort then throwing 3 ingredients into the blender, it is totally worth it! It contains both ginger and turmeric for anti-inflammatory effects and cilantro, lemon and lime juice, and greens to help detoxify.

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Detoxifying Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/4 cup full fat canned coconut milk

1/4 cup almond milk (or replace with more coconut milk or non-dairy milk of choice)

1/2 cup cold filtered water

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger root (can replace this with 1/4 tsp. ground ginger)

1 tsp. maca powder (optional)

1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

1 small handful (1/4-1/2 cup depending on how strong you want the flavor) fresh cilantro

1 large handful spinach

Juice from 1/2 a lime

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1/2 frozen banana

1/4 cup frozen mango

It is easiest to prep all your ingredients. THEN throw them all in a high speed blender. The best order is to place the liquid first, then all the powders/spices and lemon/lime juice, then the spinach and cilantro, and finally the fruit. This allows everything to blend evenly. Turn blender on and let it whirl until all ingredients are mixed in and it is nice and smooth.

I top mine with local bee pollen which contains an amazing amount of nutrients, has natural antibiotic effects, and provides the body with sustainable energy. I’ve added it into my diet to help aid in healing from Lyme disease. Using local bee pollen can also help with allergies. So, even if you aren’t sick but you suffer from seasonal allergies, bee pollen can be a great natural way to boost your immune system to local allergens without using drugs or chemical filled allergy meds.

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