One Year Ago Today My Life Was Changed…

One year ago today I was getting my fifth and last treatment of IV Steroids for my Autoimmune Disease Neuromyelitis Optica aka NMO. The reason why I was getting that treatment was because I denied the other MS Meds my 3rd Neurologist had given me. I needed something asap that would suppress my immune system and hopefully prevent me from becoming blind and/or parlyzed. Steroids were the only option at that time.

Something in my gut told me not to take those drugs. I could not have both MS and NMO which 3 Neurologists had been telling me. I know they were similar but I just had a very strong feeling they were all wrong. I also tested positive for a virus which would have caused a brain infection if I had taken those MS drugs. Thank god I did not as I would not be here today sharing my story.

So one year ago I opted for 3 more MRI’s (#7,8 and 9) of my brain and spine to see if there had been a change. More lesions (tumors) etc. In the meantime I was receiving the 5 days of IV Steroids.

My veins have always been invisible so on the first day it took a while for them to appear. The nurses wrapped my entire arm up so that I would only have to go through that process of poking twice as each IV can stay in for 36 hours. Besides eating for an entire family after each treatment everything went fine. I was crazy wired, sweating like I’ve never sweat before and like I said eating and eating. I knew that was part of the drill though.

Everything changed on the fifth day. Throughout my treatment (about two hours) I felt ok. It wasn’t until the last 10-15 minutes I started swelling up and felt this pressure. A few minutes later it became extremely painful. I called one of the nurses over and she took my blood pressure immediately. It was 264. They stopped the IV Drip immediately. Then a team of nurses came rushing over to me. They put me in a wheel chair and ” ran” me over to the urgent care. Thank god it was right across the hall! They said I may not have made it if it was not there.

Immediaitely I had a team of doctors and nurses surrounding me doing EKG’s, bloodwork and I don’t really remember the rest. That was until they said they were rushing me in an ambulance to the hospital with the closest Neurology team. Thank god it was two blocks away. That ride it still a big blur. I was so scared I think I just blocked it out to be honest.

The next stop was the High Risk Dept. of the ER. From there I began my lovely 9 day hospital stay. And where I met my 4th Neurology Team that saved my life! Which I am forever grateful!

Being in the hospital I had to go through every single piece of testing that I had done in the past year. So now I’m on MRI #10, 11, 12. I also got to have another Spinal Tap! Fun Times. This one though I was so drugged all I remember is the ugly peach paint in the hallway! lol

Throughout my nine day stay I received another treatment that would suppress my immune system called IVIG. Something similar to a blood transfusion. Something you need really good veins for. Long story short. I went through 14 IV’s throughout that stay as well as a 2 hour pic line procedure that did not work. Mostly due to all the steroids I was on.

Here is a funny story about the pic line procedure. They had asked me if I minded if two medical students came to watch and I said sure. Ummm…

There were ten medical students. I was crying hysterically after the blue gown was draped over me and my anxiety was through the roof! When I heard the words “local enesthesia” I should have known…

It ended up being ok because my drugs kicked in right in time and I ended up laughing with all the med students afterwords and thanking them for playing country music to calm me down from one of their phones! lol

Thank god I have a port now! I actually feel better having this then the pic line.

I think it was around my fourth day in the hospital that the Neurology team came in and told me I was right! You have NMO and only NMO! It was like I won a life long court battle trying to save my own life!

The journey of all of this started the Summer of 2015 so you can only imagine how long it really felt. LONG!

After I got discharged from the hospital last year it was then time to come up with a treatment plan. I remained on steroids for months after but was finally taken off of them last Summer! Thank god because they made me craaaazy!

At first Chemo was out of the picture which I was so excited about. However, it reentered over the Summer. In the beginning my treatments were every week, then every month and now twice a year! The last one was in December and then next one will be in June! However, there will be more if I relapse so fingers crossed!

The Chemo I am given suppresses my immune system (preventing a relapse) and that is it. I have to take medication for all of my other symptoms unfortunately.

Ironically, I had taken care of someone with cancer years ago and took her to chemo and watched her go through it. ALL of the ups and downs.

The Chemo I am on is for the rest of my life as there is currently no cure for NMO! I wish I could do a few months and be cured but that is not the case for me.

I looked at chemo as a job. Just like it was for me in the past. That was until I started to really feel the side affects and loosing hair and all of the other painful, emotional and stressful baggage that comes along with it. The day that I couldn’t move one finger in my bed without it feeling like a truck was running over me was the day I finally realized that this shit is actucally happening to ME! This drug is in me and this could kill me!

I’m trying to stay positive here so I am not going to get into all of the details but chemo just sucks:)

Over the weekend I did a lot of journaling and self-reflecting and what I came up with was this….

I am a fighter. I always have been and ALWAYS will be! I know now when it is time for my body to take a break and so I take one. I hate that I have to sometimes nap in the middle of the afternoon but it is something that comes with this disease. Chronic exhaustion and pain.

I can handle anything that comes my way. I will ALWAYS find a way to fix a problem. So having NMO is just one more to-do added to my list! You know I looove a good list! lol

Sense of humor is so important for anyone going through a life changing moment. Whatever the case may be. You need to be able to laugh and smile at the end of the day. You need to override those feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and anything negative! Really enjoy the simple things in life such as fresh air and sunshine! Two of my faves.

There are going to be friends and family that you wish could understand what you are going through. But they won’t be able to just be there and some will just drift away unfortunatley. And some you will become so close to that you never would have expected. You just need to keep your circle tight and filled with the ones that love, support and truly appreciate you. They are the ones who are going to help you get through everything!

All I know is that I would never be where I am mentally, physically or emotionally if I didn’t have “MY circle”. They are everything! You know who you are:)

If you are still here thank you for taking the time to read this very long post. I wanted to share something that has been on my mind all weekend. Hopefully I will be able to help someone else out there my sharing my story…

For more information on Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) please visit The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation here.

Throughout my journey of finding my true diagnosis I realized that I wanted to create a happy, healthy, positive and productive space for other patients. A place for everyone to share stories and bring awareness to their diseases and illnesses through video and voice. I knew that if I was willing to share my story that there would be others out there that were feeling the same way. Others in need of learning more about what a family member or friend may be going through. Others searching for answers from patients actually living through what they have been diagnosed with.

Knowing that there is power in numbers and always hope ahead…

The place I created is called the Just For Us Community which you can become a member of here.

Well there you have it. My very long story semi-short. Yes! This is the short version of my NMO Anniversary coming up. Am I emotional? Absolutely! Will I give up? Never! And neither should you. This goes for anything and everything. Be the fighter you deserve to be. There is always a brighter light ahead. I promise:)

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Kelly

VEGAN ICE CREAM

As I am trying to eat as dairy free as possible and still have a sweet tooth I have created a delicious dairy free/vegan dessert to enjoy. I even eat it for breakfast sometimes!

Ingredients

4 Bananas makes a 2-3 servings

Pick a fruit that you love! Mixed Berries, Mangos, Pineapple. Add in 2 cups.

Vanilla/Stevia to sweeten. Optional.

Cinnamon for flavor. This is optional.

Blend in mixer until smooth and freeze.

Smaller portions are best as the block will end up frozen solid and difficult to eat.

The next batch I am going to make will be in large ice cube trays for portions.

Flavors…

Pumpkin. Add 1/2 can of pumkin

Mint Chocolate: Add Dark Cacao Nibs/Chips and Fresh Mint

Peanut Butter/Chocolate: Add PB Fit or regualr peanut butter and dark cacao nibs/chips. Tastes like a Reese’s

Honey, Cinnamon Spiced. I like to add Nutmeg.

Strawberry: You guessed it. Strawberries.

Need a crunch? I like to add granola every now and then…

Bananas will always be the base! Then just add your favorite flavor and freeze for about 4 hours.

Next step….

Enjoy your new dairy free/vegan ice cream!

 

 

PROTEIN BALLS-GLUTEN FREE

If you are someone who is always on the go then this simple recipe for protein balls is just what you need. They are the perfect kick of energy that you will need to get you through a busy day.

Ingredients

1 Can of Pumpkin

4 tablespoons PB Fit or Peanut Butter (Optional)

1/2 cup Protein Powder (Optional)

2 tablespoons Chia Seeds

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Vanilla

3 cups Gluten Free Oats

1-2 teaspoons Honey

1 packet Stevia (optional)

Have a favorite spice? Add that too! Sometimes I also add Pumpkin Spice!

What to do…

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Roll mixture (about two-three tablespoons) into balls.

Freeze and Enjoy! Two-Three will make you full!

 

 

HOW TO TACKLE TEDIOUS TASKS!

Hi There! Happy Monday!

Today I want to give you a few pointers on how to tackle your tideous tasks on your to-do list!

I want to start off by saying that these tasks that I am speaking of are most likely the ones you keep pushing to your to-do list for the following day! You know what I’m talking about…

Stop doing that! I’m not going to lie I caught myself doing it last week so since then I have been knocking them out one by one.

Here are a few tips for getting these annoying little projects done fast and efficiently! By annoying I mean updating your Mailchimp subscriber pop-ups, all of your podcast url’s and graphics, new graphics and stories for your new Instagram Spotlights, following up with three different support teams for your podcast, researching effective new hashtags etc. Oh wait! Those are mine! LOL

Well now you get the point…

I’m happy to report as of right now all of those projects are complete! Chickety check!!! Feel so good…

TIPS FOR TACKLING YOUR TEDIOUS TO-DO LIST

  1. Music. You must have some. Whatever you are into just put it on and turn it up nice and loud!
  2. Highlighting System. Some like this, some don’t. I love it! I use a different highlighter for each project, meeting, clients, doctor appointment etc. I have my own little system set up and you should do the same. However you prefer to cross things off your list. Just make sure it is happening.
  3. Hold yourself accountable! I sometimes put my to-do list on my Instagram Stories. This way I am able to post everything checked off right there again at the end of the day! Accountability people! It works!
  4. Schedule your creative and operational projects on different days. Example: It is very hard for my brain to switch from design mode to crunching numbers and analytic mode. Therefore, I try my hardest to schedule everything on opposite days so I don’t have issues throughout the week.
  5. Make a “celebration” list for the end of the week. I’ve been doing this for a while and it works! It puts a smile on my face and gives me that extra reassurance that I am on track and where I want to be!
  6. Shit happens! We all know that we cannot have a perfect work day every dam day! So celebrate the small stuff and keep on doing you! Self-Care is number one in my book. And it should be in yours. Trust me on this. You will be a hell of a lot more productive when you have a clear head and vision.

That’s all for tonight! Let me know how you tackle your lists in the comments below. Sharing is Caring.

KAG

PS Want to check out the last project I just crossed off the list?

Head to my Instagram @kkinvegas to see all the new Spotlights.

Have you seen the latest episode of The Happy Workaholic Show? Click here to watch.

Until next time…

 

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE IN HELL AND END UP BACK ON TOP! GOODBYE 2017! I WON’T MISS YOU!

Over the last 12 months I have honest to god been through hell and back quite a few times. I have been mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted more than I could have ever managed possible! I’ve shed gallons of tears, punched multiple pillows and screamed out of pure frustration until my voice was completely gone. More times than I can even remember at this point.

You always hear people say that the man or woman above will never give you more than you can handle. And I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. But come on!!!

I’ve asked myself multiple times every single day this past year…Why me? Am I going to die? Is today the day that my time is up? Am I going to feel pain when it happens or will I go peacefully in my sleep? Do I share my story or keep it a secret? How am I going to be able to work if I go blind or my body becomes paralyzed?

Pretty depressing right? I blame a lot of those dark days on being on way too many medications. As of today I am happy to say that I am no longer asking myself those questions or taking the crazy amount of pills that I was on for so many months. The withdrawels were the worst by the way! OMG!

For those of you who are reading this and unfmiliar with my story I was “officially” diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called NMO which stands for Neuromyelitis Optica. It is a very scary disease and one in which you are usually misdiagnosed with having MS at first. That is what happened to me. For those of us that have NMO that is a very scary situation because some of those MS drugs can actually kill us! I was a lucky one. I didn’t take it even though it was in my fridge. I just had a feeling to go with my gut (like I always do) and wait until my 3rd round of MRI’s that my 3rd Neurologist had ordered for me.

To make my very long story short. My 3rd Neurologist said that if I didn’t want to take the drugs prescribed my only option was five days of IV Steroids which would suppress my immune system and prevent a relapse. So I said yes to that treatment.

I ate like a piggie throughout that time (as expected when you’re on steroids) and on the 5th day my blood pressure skyrocketed to 263. I was immediately rushed to the urgent care across the hall which then put me into an ambulence and rushed me to the closest hospital with a neurology team.

I then spent 9 glorious days inside four walls of my hospital room. That is where I met my 4th and final Neurology team who then ran every single test twice that I had previously done throughout the year already. That included 3 more MRI’s and a lovely little spinal tap! Sounds so fun! Right?

I went through 15 IV’s during that time because my veins are apparently invisible. Thank god I have a port now! I mean a metal device in my body for the rest of my life is much better than the anxiety and stress of someone trying to find one of my veins now. I’ll tell ya getting bloodwork done now is a piece of cake for me!

It was on my 5th day of my hospital stay that I received my “official” diagnosis of NMO! I cried tears of joy! I felt like I had just gone through a life long court battle and had come out a winner! A winner I was. And the ones who were wrong were the three previous Neurologists that were trying to tell me different.

I am leaving out a lot of details of the pain and suffering throughout because I just wanted to share my story and somehow still keep it light! I hope I’m doing a good job!

Over the last year I have had to get 12 MRI’s, 3 spinal taps, more than 25 labs (some were 37 viles at a time), 5 days of IV Steroids (mentioned above) and 5 days of IVIG Treatment while I was in the hospital. I’ve had to go through months of physical therapy and now Chemotherapy. This right here would explain my lovely weight gain. However, I am happy to announce I’m finally down 10 pounds now:)

Cut to now. 12-29-17…

I had my last Chemo of 2017 yesterday which is why I’ve been able to work on my computer 12 hours today. The first day I’m usually wired and then I crash a few days later. It was my 9th treatment in only a few months and with my port I feel like a pro! I’m just praying I don’t have the week of bedrest like last month. Praying. Praying because that was the worst pain I have actually felt throughout this entire year or in my life!

I am saving every ounce of energy I have to ring in the new year with the biggest glass of champagne I can find because I dam well deserve it and so do my friends that have stuck by my side throughout this past year! I don’t even have words for how thankful I am for them. That also goes for my doctors and nurses who have completely saved my life!

Sitting in bed watching tv one minute. The next you cannot feel your arms or legs. Feelings of electricity running up and down your spine and body. Seeing white lights and then nothing as your best friend is rushing you to the hospital. That deserves a glass of something right? And my best friend a bottle!

That is just another glimpse into NMO…

I wanted to share my story tonight because it feels good to get a lot of this out. It feels good to know that I have a 150% correct diagnoses and treatment plan after fighting for my life for more than one year. I have a team of doctors that I fought like hell to get. A team that is familiar with this disease and knows how to treat it correctly. NMO is extremely rare and only 4,000 patients in the US have it.

I want to share my journey with you (trust me it’s a lot longer) because you need to be your own advocate. You must speak up for yourself because nobody else will! If you need a second opinion get it! If you need a 3rd or 4th get it! I did! And look where it got me! Back on top and starting to finally feel like myself again.

It doesn’t matter what you are going through in life. We all have our stories. The only thing you need to keep telling yourself is that you are going to make it through. If your family and friends slowly drift away because they don’t understand or for some other reason it is ok. You know who you need on your team to keep your spirits up, your laugh in tact and a smile on your face. You may laugh and cry at the same time. You may sink into a depression and be filled with a rediculous amount of anxiety but I promise you…

You will make it through because I did! And if you don’t have a team I will be your biggest cheerleader!

I hope that by sharing my story with you tonight you will open your eyes to what is possible. You fight hard enough you will win. This goes for everything in life! I’ve always been a fighter. This year I just decided to take it to a whole other level. Not by choice of course but I feel like now I can do anything I want!

You have to give yourself the permission to cry and seek help when you need it. You have to know when you are wrong and apologize. You have to always know that everything does happen for a reason and mine is this. To spread awareness of NMO especially for those who do not have the strength as I hold it for them.

Not every day but most of the time…

As of today my Chemo treatments will be every six months. That is wonderful news for me. I started off going every week, then once a month and now just twice a year but for the rest of my life. Sounds awful but it could always be worse.

I’ve lost enough hair from this drug and the stress added on top. Just FYI if you see my blonde locks again it will be my fabulous new wig as my Dr’s told me to stop dying my hair. If you know me well enough you know that I did not listen! I’ve been through enough shit this year just let me get rid of my dam roots so I can smile in the morning! lol

So to sum up this very very very long post…

Please know that wherever you are and whatever you may be going through you have a friend and supporter right here! We only have one life and we need to make the most of it! With a smile and a sense of humor.

Find your tribe and be the best you can everyday and know that they will always be there to support you just like you will for them!

I think that’s all I have in me tonight!

Sorry. One more thing. The most important!!! Me forgetting. Yup! That’s called Chemo brain and I am definitely suffereing from it right now.

There is currently no cure for NMO! Please take a moment to learn more about this disease below. And if you have an extra five bucks to donate to help find a cure that would be incredibe and I thank you in advance.

Visit The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation here!

Last but not least. Thank you for making it this far. I think now I owe you a drink! LOL.

I wanted to let you know that I will have two new shows up on The Happy Workaholic Podcast tomorrow. This will make it an even number of 40 shows thus far.

I will be sharing some very exciting news on those shows that you will not be able to find anywhere else so you are going to want to tune in.

You can listen to The Happy Workaholic Podcast right here on iTunes!

Not on iTunes? No worries. You can listen to all the episodes on my blog right here!

Thank you again for allowing me to share my story with you. It truly means the world!

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year! 2018 is our year!

XOXO AND CHEERS!

Kelly

PS To learn about the Just For Us Community I started visit www.justforuscommunity.org here!

***The  Just For Us Community was created for anyone going through a tough time in general. Health, heartache or just in need of some happiness. It is a safe place for you to share your feelings, find a few friends and most importantly know that you are not alone!

MAKE TIME TO UNPLUG

From someone who used to be allergic to the word “unplug” I somehow managed to (years later) learn how to do so. Not so much to do it but I learned why I NEEDED to do it! For my mind, body and soul…

It doesn’t matter what career you are in, if you work from home or take care of your family. All of these are job and you MUST take the time to unplug, relax and maybe even meditate. Be grateful for what you have. Take the time to write these things down in a journal. Create a zen for yourself. Create a happy place to escape to even if it just in your mind.

When you take the time to do this you will come back to wherever you needed to get to faster because you are feeling so refreshed.

When I gave myself this challenge of writing 30 blogs in 30 days for my How To Series I thought it was honestly going to be a piece of cake.

Ummm…

That was not the case. I had to create a posting schedule for 30 days and five weeks that would make sense and excite my readers. Manage the professionals posts that were sent to me as I had many guests help me create a few posts each week. Then I had to share my story as well as a few others every day. Almost every post was at a minimum of 1,000 words.

And I am so happy and thrilled to share with you that today is Blog #30. The end of my How To Series. I am not going to lie when I tell you how proud I am that I achieved this personal goal of mine. Again…

That being said I am going to take my own advice and unplug this weekend. I’m going to take deep breathes, write in my journal and just escape from my norm…

Aside from unplugging I will be working on The Happy Workaholic Podcast!

I wanted to leave a few of my favorite “unplugged” quotes. Please enjoy them below…

It was true pleasure writing this series every day and I truly appreciated all of the comments here as well as all over my social media channels.

I want to connect and/or stay connected with you! Let me know what is going on in your world…

Comment below and let’s chat.

Want to connect with me on my social pages? Just visit my home page to follow me.

Now it is time for me to officially unplug until Monday and I hope you do the same…

KAG

PS If you haven’t signed up for my weekly VIP Newsletter you may sign up here…

FOOD IS YOUR FUEL

As someone who has always been up and down in weight it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began eating the right foods and just not the right portions. I finally realized that I needed to eat certain foods as they were actual fuel for my body. Giving me the nutrients and energy that I needed for the day. This is when I really started to listen to my body! My past story was always making sure to prep my meals and eat in portions but it was what I was putting in those meals that was all wrong. Too many bad carbs, sodium, gluten and sugar! These are definite no no’s in my book especially with having an autoimmune disease. There are certain things that just do not agree with me. Wheat and Soy are two of them. Now I know why I always looked swollen and bloated in pics. It wasn’t the alcohol it was the food! I’m not kidding…

I decided to go (almost) dairy free about four years ago. The reason behind this was I found out I could not have my iced coffee with milk in the hour after I took my thyroid medication in the am. So obviously, I had to find a resolution for that because I cannot go that long without my iced coffee in the morning. That is when I discovered my sugar-free vanilla almond milk. Which I still use every morning. Side Note: After a week my skin was clearer and all of my bloating went away. I was in shock when I realized it was dairy that was actually causing that.

I do cheat and have dairy every now and then. Sometimes (monthly) I am in need of a soft-serve cone and on Friday night I need pizza. I am still searching for a dairy free cheese without soy that I love. So if you have any names please send them my way. I grew up on pizza every Friday night. I have to have the mozzarella and that is that! I am such a high maintenance East Coaster. Pizza and Iced Coffee! Hello! I cannot live without them. Cannot!

Over the last few months I’ve been creating vegan and vegetarian meals! Lentil Vegan Falafel, Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes, Detox Soups, Vegan Ice Cream, Fresh Juices, Hummus and my favorite so far are to make homemade Veggie Burgers. I have about five different variations now. Cooking is also a huge stress reliever for me so spending hours in the kitchen just puts me at ease. Using random ingredients and leftovers in my meals is usually one of the ways I end up making the most unique but delicious meals.

Throughout the process of cooking my meals I usually post on my Instagram Stories. And then the final result is posted on my Pinterest. I honestly just love to share my recipes. And find new ones that I attempt to create as well! I definitely need to up my baking skills. I will not deny that but at least I am trying right? lol

If you have been reading my How To Series all month long you may have read a few times about a Facebook group I am a part of that has literally changed the way I think, speak and live. The best way to describe it is that I got an attitude makeover. It was created by Cara Alwill Leyba aka creator of the blog The Champagne Diet and the book Girl Code as well as many others. This group is filled with the most inspirational, motivational and empowered women from all around the world. Yes! That actually exists. If you would like to see what The Slay Baby Collective is all about just click here...

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post. If you would like to get caught up on the rest of the How To Series posts click here. I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day! 30 straight days of blogs. Wow! Almost there and then it’s CHALLENGE COMPLETE for me!!! I am so proud of myself and thankful for everyone who was a part of the How to Series. As I could not have made it as good as it is without you…

Please let me know what you thought about the post today. Leave a comment below. Please and Thank You.

Want to see what I’ve been up to? Find be below on my social media pages…

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Want to receive my weekly newsletter? Visit home page to subscribe…

Wishing you a wonderful week!

KAG

 

 

HOW TO BE WELL

Today I wanted to share a few things that you really should do to just BE WELL! These tips are great for your overall health and well being. Don’t be overwhelmed if you haven’t done any since last year just make it a priority to get them done throughout the month. The first step is making a list…

When was the last time you went to the dentist or your primary doctor? If it’s been a while make a phone call and schedule an appointment. It really is that simple! Everyone is so busy and working these days that we sometimes forget to make the time to take care of ourselves.

Well my friend now is the time…

Follow up with any doctors that you have been putting off. I am telling you this as it has become my full time job for over a year now since learning over my NMO diagnosis.

Do you know how many patients your doctor will see in a week? I doubt it! You are just another name on a list. It is YOUR JOB to follow up if you want answers. If you are not sure how to do so email me and I will give you a step by step. I am telling you I am a PRO at this sh*t! Sorry for the swears but it is necessary. I feel like I am saving my own life every day.

YOU must be your own advocate and be proactive in any and all things medical. Always, ALWAYS get a second opinion if you are looking for answers regarding a specific medical issue you happen to be going through. And maybe even a third opinion. Don’t be shy or feel bad! This is your life we are talking about. You only have one to live so you must make the best choices in these matters. Again, I am telling you all of this from experience…

If you would like to learn more about my health journey and how to be proactive click here…

SELF CARE. Do you partake? If not, make the time. Even if it is ten minutes. Meditate, listen to some relaxing music, journal, listen to a podcast or cook a delicious meal. What ever your body is craving. Mind, body and soul. Just check the hell out! It is so important to do this every day or every other day even if it’s for five minutes. It will completely change the mood you were in. When you have more time like on a Saturday or Sunday treat yourself to a spa day. Either at a new hotel or at home. I am not going to lie. I love my DIY spa days. I put on a face and hair mask, sit in a bubble bath and just zone out. At times I bring a book or even my tablet to catch up on my shows. I know seriously? Yes. I am that girl! However, don’t knock it until you try it. Having a tv in the bathroom is amazing. Why do you think they are in your hotel bathrooms? Hello? lol

Lastly, I want to share something with you that has really been helping me through my recent health diagnosis. That is doTERRA Essential Oils. I tried them once and I was sold. I just love the fact that they can help you from the inside out. You can use them topically for your body and your home as well. Adding them in all my healthy juices and meals I create just adds so many additional health benefits. This info is just a tiny bit of what the oils can do for you and your overall well being.

I believe so much in this product that I have now become a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. What that means is that you can order all your doTERRA Essential Oils through my website which you can find right here.

As always, sharing is caring. If you have a friend that you feel could benefit from today’s blog post or anything else on my site I would love it if you could share it with them!

Please leave me a comment below to let me know what you do to “be well” and take care of yourself or maybe how you would like to change.

Wishing you a wonderful Day!

KAG

One more thing…

Today on #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center will be matching up to $2 million of funds raised for US nonprofits through Facebook’s charitable giving tools. I would truly appreciate it if you would create an NMO fundraiser on Facebook or hit the “Donate” button on The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation’s Facebook page. Neuromyelitis Optica is the autoimmune disease that I have and that there is no cure for. A disease where getting a chemo treatment twice a year for the rest of my life is the only way to prevent a relapse. You can learn more about NMO here…

Donations can be matched up to $50,000 per nonprofit, with a max of $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button, until the $2 million in matching funds run out. And, Facebook is waiving all fees for donations to nonprofits on #GivingTuesday. Don’t miss out on this incredible fundraising opportunity to double your donations! #GiveTueNMO

Thanks for letting me share this today…

 

 

 

 

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY WITH AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

The Universe works in such a crazy way sometimes. Ironically this blog post had already been scheduled as the How To Series post for the day. If you saw my Instagram post earlier today then you will understand how I am feeling right now and why I am talking about the Universe. I have less Chemo so it is time to get back on track with my healthy eating. I started my morning off with some Bulletproof Coffee and a Thanksgiving Stir Fry (leftovers) and feeling great so far!

You can listen to my latest podcast show here which explains it all…

As you may or may not know I was originally diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis lat year and now know that I do not have MS. I actually have an extremely rare autoimmune disease called NMO aka Neuromyelitis Optica.

You can learn more about it here…

Since then my personal and professional life has had to completely change. One thing I refuse to change is my positive attitude. Yes, I have those days that I cry and I am curled up in a ball in bed. But you will never see me posting a negative comment about it on Facebook. I just don’t want to bring negative energy or comments into my life!

My advice to anyone with a medical condition is to surround yourself with the most positive group of people. That includes your Doctors! Seriously even them! You have to be strong for yourself in order to get better and stay healthy. My mantra which you’ve probably seen me post before is Positive, Productive, Happy and Healthy. And this is how I choose to live my life…

The first thing I did when I found out I was sick was search for other patients online. I needed more information. I needed to speak with others that knew exactly how I was feeling. I was just thrown into a world of unknown and needed to find answers and others going through the same experience. And that is what I continue to do every day. Now I use my voice to help spread awareness about all of my recent diagnosis in the JUST FOR US COMMUNITY.

There are so many people out there that think they are alone. But they are not! They just need to want to find others out there. They need to be extremely proactive and want to do it. That is a must! Trust me it’s a full time zero paying job being your own advocate. I know my voice matters and can help others if I use it. I realized this when I started posting videos about my chronic illnesses. I’ve received hundreds of messages and emails from others wanting more info as well as providing me with info that I am so grateful for and messages thanking me because I made the video in the first place. That part is and still is crazy because I was just doing it for me! I needed an outlet…

I remember the day I got diagnosed. I cried my eyes out. My friends hugged me and told me I was going to be OK! There is no way I could hide this! I needed everyone to know so I could find others that were going through the same thing. I needed help and answers as this was the one thing I just could not fix or change. I was so frustrated but thank god for social media because that is where I found everything and everyone I needed to know! Part of me didn’t want to post because of clients finding out. But then I thought if they think I couldn’t handle their workload then they didn’t really know me. Everyone knows I am a Happy Workaholic and always have been. And they know my personality, which is I NEVER EVER give up!!!

And being healthy has a lot to do with how you feel. I personally feel that the less gluten, dairy and sugar are best. I’ve read up and researched a lot of “diets” and feel that everything in moderation is also the key to feeling your best. Everybody’s body is also very different. So go with what makes you feel your best. I go back and forth with eating meat. Some weeks I eat it every day and then I will go weeks without it. So you really just need to listen to what your body is craving in at the moment. What you do is up to you so just make the choices that will help you more in the long run.

Two very important things I would like to suggest you do are meditate and journal. Being around positive friends is one thing but you really need to be and feel comfortable in your alone time. Find a great book filled with blank ages and write your thoughts away. Trust me you will feel so good after a little “brain dump” session. As far as meditation I love using apps like Insight Timer and Relax Melodies. If you have an autoimmune disease you most likely will have some stress and anxiety that goes along with it. These apps will help you in that department. Try a few out the first week to see which ones work the best and then switch to one in the morning and one at night and use them consistently. I think even a quick five minute meditation will help you as you are just starting off!

I even love a good bubble bath filled with essential oils. Lavender and Eucalyptus work the best for me. If you want to learn more about essential oils feel free to check out my Doterra site here…

I would love to know if there are certain meals you love cooking. Please leave them in the comments. I post a lot of mine on my Pinterest as well as Instagram. I will leave those links for you below…

Pinterest

Instagram

Wishing you all a wonderful Monday!

KAG

MEAL PREP FOR DAYS…

Hello! Happy Sunday and first day of Health and Wellness Week!

Today I want to talk all about Meal Prep. Obviously, if you’ve been reading my posts or know anything about me you are aware of how obsessed I am with being organized both personally and professionally. This goes for food too!

For the last few years I have been prepping my meals in advance. I usually choose Sunday so that when Monday morning rolls around I am back on track and ready for what ever the week may throw my way. Chances are if you are running around like crazy you may choose to eat something not so healthy. Versus is you have a meal prepped you can just grab it and go and be healthy!

Prepping a few meals in advance and storing them in containers whether it be the fridge or freezer will allow you more time to enjoy your days. Less time spent on cooking meals every single night. Crock pot meals and soups are great but you will get sick of them. And they tens to have a little too much salt! Trust me I’ve gone down that road before…

Since finding out about my autoimmune disease (NMO) I have tried really hard to eat gluten free, dairy free and mostly sugar free. When I really need a drink I will enjoy a glass of wine or beer but try to keep it in moderation. However, today is an exception as I am celebrating my Thanksgiving. That could change one day but right now I am trying to do what is best for my body. Prepping my meals to help keep my mind and body healthy.

If you want the easiest tips on how to meal prep this is what you do…

  1. Put on some great cooking music to get you in the zone. You will be in the kitchen for a few hours.
  2. Pick a protein, carb and veggie out for each meal if needed. I go through phases with meats. I’ll crave them so badly that I will have it for a few days in a row. Other times I won’t have any for weeks. I’ve had to really start listening to my body over the last few months and pay attention to what it is I am really craving.
  3. Once meals are good to go, just portion them out evenly in containers. I prefer same size and shape this way they are stackable and allow more room in fridge or freezer.
  4. Once they are put away you are done! It really is that simple. Well I guess fill the dishwasher and then you can be done! lol

Prepping for fresh juices and smoothies can be a bit annoying sometimes. You cut up all the fruit and veggies but it goes bad in the fridge after a few days. And you need it to last a week or so. How many times has this happened to you? My trick is that I freeze everything.

I cut up all my fruits and veggies and portion them into Ziploc baggies. Sometimes I blend my spinach and kale to liquid and pour them in ice cube trays. This way they last longer. Definitely cut up your bananas so they don’t turn brown and freeze as well. Adding a frozen banana to a juice or smoothie will create a milkshake-like texture.

When you wake up in the morning take out what you need for your juice or smoothie and place in blender. If it needs a little help defrosting I always add Green Matcha and/or Cleansing Cranberry Tea to help liquefy as well as add some additional benefits and antioxidants to my drink.

Over the past few months I have been posting my healthy recipes on my Pinterest so I have a great place to share and save them. If you would like some healthy items added to your menu follow me on Pinterest here. I usually create something new every week.

My current obsessions are Vegan Pancakes, Protein Balls and Veggie Burgers. I make them both from scratch. Takes me a few hours but it is so worth it!

I usually post my meals and prepping on my Instagram Stories so if you want to check that out follow me here.

Cooking for me is stress relieving. I absolutely love it! I’ve cooked on a few yachts which was incredible but my no means am I a Chef! Side Note: Really miss that unlimited food budget to create amazing meals.

One thing I always tell my friends when it comes to cooking and meal prep is to use what you have. Be creative. I bet you never would have thought to use your rice/grains or leftover veggies to make veggie burgers? Or your left over meats in the fridge to create some dam good meatballs! Try it out! You will save yourself some money as well as create a new dish that could potentially end up a family favorite!

And again if you want to check out my meal prepping and recipes click the Instagram and Pinterest links below.

Instagram

Pinterest

 

KAG

PS Did I mention I have a few friends joining me this week?

Check back tomorrow for another blog! Want to stay up to date with me?

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter here!