Sunday, June 5, 2016

The suckiness that is invisible illness

I've been sick. It's been coming for about 3 years, and hit about 9 months ago. I thought it was depression, and it was. But that's not all it was. It was also adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, hormone imbalance, and at the root of it all- leaky gut (i KNOW). It wasn't a clear cut answer in the beginning, so I didn't know how to talk about it. Plus, I've just been trying to keep my head above water let alone talk about something I didn't even understand.

I have gone to doctors for years trying to figure out why I have constant headaches, and more recently, why I found myself sleeping 10-14 hours a night and unable to think clearly. Finally, in May I found a doctor who specialized in just these concerns. She conducted several lab tests that checked literally everything; blood, saliva, urine...stool. It was slightly traumatizing yet so worth it because: I.GOT.ANSWERS!!!!

I DO have depression. I DO have adrenal fatigue. I DO have hormone imbalances.


It's all because of a little thing called....leaky gut. As if there could ever be a more Willis, Tx sounding illness, haha. Basically, due to either stress (physical or internal), trauma, or diet, the lining of my small intestine was compromised (creating leaky gut) and due to this a bad bacteria got into my blood stream. Cue wreaking havoc on my body.

After the results of my lab tests, my doctor created a 90 day treatment protocol for me that includes diet changes, supplements, exercise changes, and rest requirements. I started yesterday. I'm so thankful to have answers, and even more thankful that it most likely won't always be this way. My body can and should heal over the next year.

My supplements arrived in the mail this week! If this doesn't fix me I don't know what will

At the same time, it's been difficult to accept my own limitations. What I can and can't do. I like keeping up with friends, going to get coffee, going hiking, blogging, etc. I haven't been able to do these things for many months now. And it's just been a constant battle of accepting my current weaknesses.

So here I go. 90 days of no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no natural sugar (agave, honey, etc), minimal fruit, no chocolate, no coffee, no alcohol. No summer margaritas!!! Basically meat and veggies (minus corn and potatoes!).

But, I'm hoping this will mean lots more of time spent with friends, investing in people, clearing my mind, doing what I love, and regaining energy.

Here goes everything!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Healthy Recipes I've Tried

This could be a really long blog post including a lot of life updates, but I'm tired and my head hurts so instead I'll just share some of my favorite clean/paleo/gluten free/etc meals I've made lately! It's always hard to find clean recipes that actually have a lot of flavor so I hope this helps!

This lemon pepper baked salmon served on top of a caesar salad is loosely based on this recipe.

Levi loves pesto and it's super easy to make your own. The blog is no longer up with this recipe but it's very simple. Spread pesto (jarred or make your own) along the bottom layer of a baking dish. Lay chicken strips on top of that and then cover in pesto sauce. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes (I think that's what I remember). I had some extra grape tomatoes so I threw those in there too and then served it over whole wheat pasta.

My friend Natalie got me into quinoa veggie bowls after she made me one for lunch! It's pretty much a catch all for whatever vegetables you have lying around. Ours was a compilation of sweet potatoes, kale, garlic, ginger, red pepper, garbanzo beans, poblano pepper, and onions. You just saute it all in a pan and then add the quinoa!

I bought a large container of roasted red pepper hummus at SAMs and had a ton in my fridge. Luckily the container had a recipe on the label for chicken salad! Use a can of chicken (drained). Stir in chopped red peppers, green onions, and a large scoop of hummus. I served mine over avocados but have plans to try it in a whole wheat pita this week!

Another quinoa bowl courtesy of Gimme Some Oven! This one includes sautéed onions and peppers, corn salsa, and taco seasoned chicken. This was A+!

With the rainy weather I was craving a hearty soup. Budget Bytes had a recipe for Vegan Red Lentil Stew and it was good! I paired it with whole grain naan because bread.

This kungpao chicken stir fry is a GO TO in this house. I make it at least once a week. It's so easy and good. I added in red peppers and that was smart, will try more vegetables soon!

Also at SAMs, I bought a bulk bag of frozen cod. Then I found this roasted chili lime cod recipe and made it twice in one week!

Ok. So there's brown sugar in this recipe. SUE ME. Flourless peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They were really, really good.

Here's a few honorable mentions that were good but went unphotographed:

Healthy Chocolate Fudge Bites
Flourless Morning Glory Muffins
Vegan Flourless Banana Bread Muffins (added dairy free chocolate chips)
Thai Baked Salmon

I hope this helps all of you fellow healthy meal makers out there!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kelsey + Seth | Colorado Engagement Pictures

This is the engagement shoot that almost wasn't! During our family vacation in Breckenridge, CO I had plans to take engagement pictures for my step sister in law, Kelsey, and her fiance, Seth. Snow pictures are my FAVORITE and so I was super pumped. Once we got to Breck though I got super altitude sick and we weren't sure if I was going to be able to do it! My father in law went out and bought me a personal oxygen supply can and I was able to make it through the shoot, haha! I love the way these turned out and I am SHOCKED at Kelsey's flawlessness. I love the outfits they chose and how easy these two were to photograph! Looking forward to the wedding this July!

- Bethany