Monday, February 5, 2018

January - Year of Health 2018

After a rough December recovering from my latest rituxan (immunosuppressant chemo) treatment, I gladly decided to declare 2018


This is kind of ironic being that I dont necessarily have a solid track record of "being healthy".  I have a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and secondary Parkinson's disease that are a daily battle. Then days that I do fall under the "good, I feel normal" category, I fracture a bone or break my neck or smash my face or do something else completely unrelated that sends me to the doctors.  It's very comedic. And the humor of declaring a whole year dedicated to breaking this track record has not been lost on me.

But, we're one month down and completed!! 

January has always been a harder than normal month; recovering from the holidays, it's freezing cold, it's slippery (aka hell for those with walking adaption equipment), and it's also super long. 

On top of this, this January I was still recovering from the chemo treatment, as well as my gma passed away (love you gma!  She always loved this blog so a big shout out to her!)

And yet, to repeat: one month down and completed!! YES!!

How do I feel overall?  Decently good. (:  This was one of my better January's since being diagnosed in 2012.  I'll take it!

Here are some highlights from my favorite highs and lows: 


Green Juice

It's a health trick that if you are suffering from some constipation backup, one of the best ways to handle it is to drink a green smoothie.  The mix of the fiber and the water soluble ingredients makes a great mix for helping to get you on the toilet.

Constipation is a real reality for people who have MS.  It's also something I feel like people are too embarrassed to discuss.  I am not one of those people.  (:  I enjoy talking about poop and making sure that myself and my loved ones are staying regular because it's a very vital part of keeping a healthy body.

So in honor of staying regular, I started using this green juice supplement every day.  And guess what?  Ive been so regular that I dont see myself never not using this!!  (I apologize if you're cringing at this TMI.  But like, everyone poops right?).

You mix this with a cup of water and tada- you have a green juice that's so nutritionally packed!  So convenient and easy (both fabulous things).


I take a packet of daily vitamins that have everything you could want in them.  They also are very wonderfully made and dont make you feel nauseous after (I've had that happen to many other brands).  

Here's all they contain:

 I love that they are packaged together because again, convenient and easy.

In addition to these multi-vitamin packs, I take magnesium, milk thistle, and l-lysine.  Magnesium is great for bone health, l-lysine is great for helping the skin and immune system, and milk thistle is fabulous for overall liver health.

I also take a packet of adaptogens daily, sometimes twice.  Adaptogens are natural herbs that are thought to help the body to deal with stress, such as lowering certain hormone levels.  Any kind of stress puts me at risk of causing an influx in MS symptoms so I naturally try to keep stress at an all time low on the regular.  These help to regulate what goes on inside my body.  They also help a lot after a steroid stretch.  

Vitamin fail

I'd taken Valerian root in the past and was really a fan of it.  So I decided to incorporate in my daily schedule again, taking at night with my nighttime meds.  I tracked my daily fatigue and energy levels daily and noticed a trend: on the nights I took Valerian root, I was extremely fatigued the next day and would take a nap.  As much as I love naps, I try to steer clear of them as they interrupt my nighttime routine.  So I stopped taking valerian root because of this. 

However, if you do struggle with insomnia or nighttime restlessness, I would suggest *trying* this but take good notes on how you feel the next day.


Protein shakes are everywhere!!  It makes sense as protein helps build our muscles and we want our muscles to be cool and lovely; so taking extra steps to nutritionally help them is a plus.  But I've learned you have to be careful of certain protein powders; many are filled with bad ingredients and in some cases, just pure saw dust as filler.  Ew. 

I love isagenix protein shakes and have at least one every day.  It makes me feel like superwoman because they not only taste fabulous, but they make me feel amazing.  I swear by them.  The ones I use are dairy and gluten free.  I dont really have that much of a gluten intolerance but dairy yes.  Because I'm lazy fatigued, I use a shaker bottle and they blend very nicely!

If you've read anything on nutrition the past few months/years, you've probably read about the trend of intermittent fasting.  This month I did a few full days of intermittent fasting (with nutrition products to help keep myself balanced throughout the day) and for the month of February I plan on following a 16:8 IF plan.  

I could tell you all about the benefits of intermittent fasting but my bestie actually wrote an e-book on the topic so I'll let her tell you all about it.  You can find the book here (<<click the link).

Personally I can attest to how wonderful IF has been for me in helping to rid myself of toxins and to help with liver health.  With the medicine that I take and infusions I've had, it's important to help the body in the release process.  IF helps so much with that!


Massage has been a constant theme during these past few years.  I love massages for the benefit of relaxing my muscles that are usually so tight from contracting and spasms.  

I started going back to getting massages every week.  I go to massage envy and would suggest it only if you can find a therapist that works with you.  Otherwise I'm not the biggest fan of the company; but I LOVE my therapist so I go. (:

I feel like massage would be most beneficial if you went every other day but this is such an expense I dont think I could ever explore that as an option.  Once a week already seems luxurious and the benefits of the massage only lasts at most 48 hours.  However, a little bit of relief for 48 hours is worth continuing.


I almost deleted this part because it's so unflattering.  But it's important to remember to always spot check your products and that not every granola/crunchy item is for everyone.  
I take great care of my skin.  Because I dont wear makeup on a daily basis (not because I dont want to but more because I'm conserving energy), I want my skin to look beautiful naked.  I use high quality products, I do weekly masks and always wash my face before bed.  My face is my favorite.

One night I decided to try Vitamin E oil as a moisturizer.  I had heard it's great for skin in the winter because it helps to keep dry skin at bay, plus its organic and natural (the brand I used was from trader joes).

I slathered Vitamin E oil all over my face.  I noticed that my lips and cheeks went numb but just told myself that was the multiple sclerosis and didnt think twice about it.

Until 45 minutes later when my whole face started to BURN. Immediately I washed my face, and when I looked up at the mirror I realized my face had broken out in hives.  These hives eventually scabbed over, and then bruised. 

It's been more than two weeks and my face still has bruise marks on my forehead.  Something so small and yet so sad because the whole process probably aged my face by three years.  Plus it hurt like hell and itched like crazy (I eventually made an appointment with my dermatologist and got some high powered steroid cream to help.)  I now am uber careful on not putting anything with vitamin e in it (which basically my whole beauty process has) and have taken great steps to calm the inflammation down.  It'll get better...right?!

Good news is that with a little make-up it looks normal-ish.  (:

So that was January in the highs and lows.  I cant really complain; it was a pretty good month.  I feel like the health steps I took were small ones but I'm proud I stayed consistent.

For the month of February I will be focusing on three areas:

  • Intermittant fasting 16:8
  • Bicycling training (started in January but more effective in February)
  • Draining the Lymphatic system (I'm really excited about this and cant wait to share!!)

(unrelated to health but we all love a good recommendation!)
Things I enjoyed this month:
Movies: Mudbound (Netflix original)
TV shows: Grace and Frankie (Netflix), Madam Secretary

Hope you had a lovely January and here's to a great (and short!!) February!