Adina Mayo

Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

As I've mentioned here and here, I've given up coffee before.

Why am I giving up such delicious nectar from the gods?

Well, my thirty day hormone test results came in and I have severe adrenal fatigue. Which is good because in August of 2017 I had Adrenal Failure. My cortisol was at zero, meaning my adrenal glands were completely depleted.

Adrenal Failure if not given proper medical attention can lead to organ other words, it can kill you.

So most of 2017 and 2018 has been to get out of Adrenal Failure, which I have achieved, but I still have a long way to go because I'm now in severe adrenal fatigue.

Like all things in my life I immediately started researching.

This led me to two different paths.

I already did yoga and meditation which are key in dealing with adrenal fatigue. I knew I was going to treat this with diet changes because my mantra is food is medicine, but which diet?

The so-called adrenal fatigue diet, which has a lot of criticism based on some of the food recommendations or the anti-inflammatory diet which doesn't address key issues of adrenal fatigue?

Either way, both diets suggest giving up coffee because elevated cortisol is indicative of inflammation and adrenal fatigue.

How to Give Up Coffee

I don't want to give up coffee. Talking with my #breadwinnerbff this morning we discussed that the ritual of coffee, the smell, and the richness. You just don't get that richness from tea. You just don't.

Therefore after my adrenals heal, I will probably go back to coffee. Maybe.
When I gave up coffee in my 20's it was easy, I just switched to green tea and that was it. Easy peasy.

In my late 30's (I'm a year and a half away from 40) it's damn near impossible. I'm treating giving up coffee like a Whole30. I'm planning it out and stepping myself down slowly.

1. Pick a Good Date to Start

Just like a Whole30, where they advise you to pick a time when you are not traveling or have a special event - like a birthday or wedding where you would want to eat cake - I started my journey on August 15. I don't have anything special planned for the next month. I'm not going on any trips. I don't have any commitments beyond physical therapy and yoga.

2. Step Down Slowly

There have to be thousand of caffeine charts out there that show you the caffeine content of each drink, I know because I spent a good hour looking at them.

In summation of my research, if you drink a Starbucks Tall Coffee, you may have a problem. It has the most caffeine out of any coffee product on the market weighing in at an average of 260-300 mg per 12 oz cup. Comparatively, Dunkin Donuts (in store) has an average of 150-200 mg per 12 oz cup.

Home brewed espresso at 1.5 oz has 50-80.

Decaf coffee actually has 4-8 mg per cup.

Why ranges? Well, it really depends on how much coffee you use. I like weak coffee, according to #leohusband, so I do 1 Tablespoon for 16oz. This is because I drink it black. Most people who add cream to their coffee like it much stronger so they still have the coffee taste. #leohusband's family would do 2 Tablespoons to my 1 Tablespoon, or 1 Tablespoon for every 8 oz.


So obviously it would have more caffeine...

Step down the amount of coffee you are brewing, and if you are using a K-Cup, stop.

A. Heating up plastic alters your body chemistry and hormones.
B. Heating up plastic has shown to create or accelerate abnormal cell growth which leads to cancer.
C. Molds and fungus have been found in the holding water tanks.
D. K-Cups are extremely bad for the environment.
E. It's expensive.
F. K-Cups taste like s---

Need I go on.
3. Make the Switch to Tea

After stepping down the amount you are brewing, start mixing in a little decaf.

This was my first step. My scoop is 1 tsp or 5 ml of coffee grounds. So for my '4' cups of coffee that is three scoops. 2 of those scoops are regular and 1 is decaf for this week. Next week 2 scoops of decaf to 1 regular will be next week. My step down day is Saturday because I don't have die-hard commitments on the weekend so it's easier on me.

The half-life of caffeine is about 4.9 hours so at about 10 hours it's technically out of your system.

Once you are down to 2 decaf scoops and 1 regular scoop for about a week, make the switch to black tea.
4. Step down your caffeine intake to Green, White, or Herbal Teas.

You need to decide where you want your caffeine intake to be. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, white teas have even less, and herbal teas have none. This is where I recommend you treat yo self. If you love a tea - for instance, I love, love, love Numi's Organic White Rose Tea, it feels indulgent with the rose smell and the taste is delicious.

Side note - I love the smell of coffee so I need to replace it with something equally as aromatic.

It's a little expensive but I see it as worth it to stay track on my goals. It won't be forever and if it helps me from falling off the wagon back to my coffee, I can spend a few extra dollars.

5. Make a New Ritual

I'm so happy to be receiving a teapot in my fall Fab Fit Fun Box. This is going to make the transition so much easier. I do love the ritual of making coffee, and I'm going to replace that with using a beautiful teapot. I suggest getting something that gives you joy to use or maybe you have a family heirloom that needs to be dusted off and appreciated. Marie Kondo would be proud.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lately, I’ve been really into pickled vegetables. Did you know that you can pickle just about anything?

Yesterday, I did a quick pickle of radishes in zucchini to go with my salmon burger.

All you need to make a quick pickling solution you probably already have at home.

There are two ways to go about pickling. 

If you want to infuse herbs then you want the heat method (described below) or if you want them immediately - which I did with my meal - then thinly slice your veggies and dump them into a bowl with a mixture of 1/2 c of raw apple cider vinegar and 1-2 tsp of honey.  

Stir about every 2-3 minutes for approximately 10 minutes. 

Boom, quick pickled veggies.

For infusing herbs, and you've got time as in, overnight kind of time, check out my pickle brine below.


Variety of Herbs and Spices to Taste (dill, garlic, hot peppers, or plain)
3 t of Himalayan Salt
Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Honey
16 oz Mason Jar

Sanitize your Mason Jar by washing the jar and lid in hot soapy water. Rinse well and dry completely. You could also wash them in the dishwasher if you have a sanitize cycle. 
Combine your choice of chopped veggie with herbs and or spices if you want in the Mason jar, leaving 1-2 inches at the top for the brine.
Heat ½ cup of filtered water over low heat until boiling, then stir in ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, salt, and a little raw honey, maybe about a tsp. 
The hot brine infuses the spices and creates that tender crunch you get with pickling. Secure the lid, and cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Let the veggies refrigerate for at least 24 hours before enjoying.

Monday, August 13, 2018

When I’m tired or I have a long week ahead of me, I always turn to soft boiled eggs.

It’s so simple to grab my smallest saucepan, fill it with water, and set it on the stove. Turn the burner on high and get an ice bath ready while the water comes to a boil.

In next to no time the water is at a rolling boil and I’m slipping the eggs in, setting a timer for 6 minutes, and relaxing on the couch while my breakfast cooks.

When the timer is done, I scoop the eggs off with a slotted spoon into the ice bath and then begin peeling the shells off the eggs.
Sometimes I pair it with leftover meat from the night before or today I had it with one of my sweet potato muffins.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

So health watch, coffee is it good for you? Is it bad for you?

I talked last week about my 30 Day Hormone Test Results and my Elevated Cortisol with 4 Foods to Avoid for Elevated Cortisol based on preliminary internet research.

Well I now have my Adrenal Fatigue book in so let us dive in and really look at a hot-button topic: Coffee

Coffee does have good health benefits. It has antioxidants. It can protect your liver reduces your risk of liver cancer. In a recent Harvard health study, it also lowered the risk of suicide and depression. Seriously though???

Coffee is it Good for You or Bad? Part 2 of Adrenal Fatigue

I'm going to cut through the bull honkey (Super Southern I Know) and just come right out and say it.
If you are a completely normal person with normal everyday problems and stresses...

IE: getting your kids on to the bus with lunch, preparing for the presentation you're giving at work, fitting in a quick workout, and cooking a meal or purchasing one on your way home from work, your significant other and you have the usual stress of cohabitating but nothing that is relationship ending, or maybe you're wondering if you are ever going to get married (speaking from past experience here).

You are normal.

There are a lot of people out there like you. You don't really suffer from pain, except for maybe that sprained ankle you got on your morning jog or a headache every now and then. Maybe your shoulders are a little tight, but nothing a good one hour massage can't help. You are in decent shape and eat relatively healthy or maybe not all the time because you've never lost your awesome metabolism. You have an occasional or the rare head cold, but that's it.

You maybe have dealt with the death of your grandparents but your parents are still alive and kicking, even if they are divorced or were never married in the first place.

You have a job that pays the bills, maybe you're not keeping up with the Jones's but you are doing ok for you or your family.

You've never honestly experienced a great tragedy even though that super painful breakup a few years back felt like one.

You may feel mired in stress but you don't stay in the valley for long, you get breaks in between stressful times.

Coffee is good for you. Drink it but don't go overboard and get the Marble Mocha Macchiato at Starbucks. This is a hidden menu item and I do suggest getting it at least once in your life...for a special occasion.
However, if you have experienced real actual gut-wrenching tragedy, grief, or severe illness, you might want to stay away from coffee (or switch to decaf for a while).

If you experience multiple painful chronic conditions or illness, you might want to stay away from coffee.

If you have had one stressful situation after another in a snowball effect that has gone on for a year or more.

IE: financial difficulty making ends meet, job loss, surgery, extensive dental work, hospitalization, moving, bronchitis or pneumonia, miscarriage, changing jobs (even if it's a better job), death, car accident, injuries, short incidences of severe - sharp pain, long-term chronic pain and debilitating conditions or diseases, unpleasant side effects to prescription medications, separation or divorce, abuse and trauma, etc.

Guess what? Any of the above issues can lead to Adrenal Fatigue and the more incidences you have the greater your risk for end-stage Adrenal Failure which is life-threatening.

On a scale of:
0 for Rarely or Never
1 for Occasionally or Mild
2 for Often or Moderately Intense
3 for Always or Severely Intense

Answer the following questions and be as pragmatic as possible

1. I suffer from Anorexia or Bulimia
2. I am chronically fatigued, a tiredness that is not relieved by one or two good nights of sleep.
3. I sometimes feel week all over
4. I have decreased tolerance for cold.
5. I have low blood pressure
6. I have times of nausea or vomiting for no apparent reason.
If you scored 12 or higher on the above six questions and answer yes to more than two of the next few questions you need to get checked for Addison's Disease immediately by your doctor. I would highly suggest getting the book Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. James L. Wilson.

The following areas on the body have become bluish or black in color:
1. Inside of lips or mouth
2. Around nipples
3. For women only: Vagina
4. I have frequent unexplained diarrhea
5. I have increases of darkening around the bony areas, at folds in my skin, scars and the creases in my joints
6. I have light colored patches on my skin where the skin has lost its usual color.
7. I easily become dehydrated
8. I have fainting spells

So coffee?

If you have adrenal fatigue coffee is not going to be good for you. You need to get your body, adrenals, and hormones back in order before you decide to reintroduce coffee or at least decaf.

Coffee actually has cortisol in it which will throw off your already stressed adrenals even more. The caffeine also raises your cortisol higher in conjunction with the natural cortisol in coffee. It is simply not good for you.

That said, going off coffee is hard. I've done it several times in my lifetime and I always have to have something to replace it in the morning. For a while it was green tea, then it was white tea, but I always picked up coffee again.

Well, it is delicious and I do love the taste and its ritual.
I even tried to give up coffee a week or two ago. I made it three days and then I was like nope, I'm not even functioning without it and I have an event coming up that I need to prepare for.

So just like a Whole30, I'm going to treat my coffee detox with picking the right time to do it. August 15 sounds like a good day. I don't have anything pressing on my schedule for the rest of the month provided nothing weird happens. I'm also going to prepare by doing black tea for a week, then green tea for a week, to work my way down to white tea.

When fall hits I'm going to live for some yummy hot drinks like the Paleo Sachlav I just discovered as well as more yummy treats.
So coffee is it good for you or bad?

It is good for some people but not for others. It all depends on your overall health.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

So it's Wednesday night and I wanted something warm and as satisfying as coffee.

I literally Googled "hot drinks as satisfying as coffee."

I found this awesome article about Sachlav: The Hot Chocolate of the Middle East

I really suggest reading the original article by Devra Ferst simply because I found it fascinating.

Basically, a Sachlav is a hot, thick milk drink getting its name for orchid tubers called sahlab in Arabic. The orchid tubers is a thickening agent. Every country prepares it differently, some add orange blossoms or even rose water, which I suggest the later. A. It smelled amazing and B. The rose water was so soothing especially right before bed. Some places add toppers, some don't.

Apparently, the traditional method of using the orchid tubers is not really used anymore because of the scarcity and the expense and they have been replaced with other thickening agents.

The recipe listed in the article wasn't anywhere near Paleo compliant so I got creative with the listed ingredients and went to town.
Paleo Sachlav

3 C Unsweetened Coconut Milk (I used So Delicious because it is what I had on hand, but honestly, if you really want to indulge yourself, use a full-fat unsweetened coconut milk.)
2 T Raw Unfiltered Honey
2 t Organic Paleo Compliant Vanilla Extract
2 T Arrowroot Powder
½ t Organic Rose Water (This is easily found on Amazon if you don't have it on hand. I spray my face daily with rose water so this was simple for me - I'll research the orange blossom one though for future use)
1/8 t of Pink Himalayan Salt

I topped mine with cinnamon and pistachios. I also suggest:

Fresh Grated Ginger
Cacao Powder
Orange Zest
Dried Chopped Figs
Chopped Dates
Dried Chopped Cherries
Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

or if this is a party for winter or welcoming fall (I can't freaking wait) you could have little bowls out where guests could choose their own garnishes.
Make it!!

1. Simmer coconut milk, honey, vanilla, arrowroot, rose water, and Himalayan salt in a small saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly until hot and thickened, 3 minutes.

2. Serve in mugs and garnish!

Serves 2

It was pretty delicious even with the boxed, watery coconut milk. Since it's summer I thought this was fine but I could totally see using full fat in the winter when you need that extra boost. Hopefully by then I will have located some orange blossoms!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I’m always on the lookout for products that are going to make my life easier. Especially now since I’ve had such a problem with my left shoulder. The shoulder impingement, bursitis, and rotator cuff tendinitis has really made wearing a bra hard.

So I cruised around the web looking for ideas to get away with wearing a bra comfortably. Now I know what some of you were thinking, just go without one!?!

I know there’s a lot of information out there about wearing a bra destroys your breast tissue and then your boobs can’t hold up anymore so don’t wear a bra. I think that if you look at other cultures that don’t wear bras. And you see pictures of these cultures....that is completely untrue. I think you know what I mean here.

You get older and you have less human growth hormone, less estrogen and progesterone, and less collagen production. There I said it, boom.

You want to know why breasts sag as you get older. It's caused menopause.

So back to my bra buying experience, all over the web on Facebook, Instagram, etc. you see these ads for the Stickee Bra. There are also several knock-offs on Amazon that you can get as well.
So I first tried the knockoff pictured above from Amazon, it wasn’t the official Stickee Bra brand but used the same bio gel, had the same shape, and had the same reviews and claims on the website.

This year I actually took the initiative to figure out what my actual bra size was, based on one of my good friend's reviews of Third Love. She tested them out and worked with them to find her size so I thought, hey, I should do the same because I definitely know I’ve not been wearing the right bra for probably most of my life.

I’ve always worn a 34C, but after doing their quiz and taking my measurements it turns out that I’m actually a 32E.

That’s a huge difference and after wearing the correct bra size for about four months now, I definitely notice it. However, that’s not helping my shoulder problems.

Stickee Bra Unbiased Review

Back to the StickeeBra, so I purchased a knockoff from Amazon and based on their size chart I got the D size.

So it didn’t fit, and it definitely didn’t work. It peeled right off my skin it wouldn’t stay in place even with the directions of washing your body and patting it dry, it just would not stay adhered to my skin. Luckily, I could return it to Amazon. So I DID WASH IT and then returned it.

I thought maybe I needed to try the real thing, that there might have been some proprietary element in the bio-gel that made a difference in fit.

So to the official Stickee Bra the size chart for a 32E I needed a DD, which was different than the knock-off chart so I went with that.

It came in - paid for shipping in addition to the price of the bra - so my total was $45.00.

It peeled off my skin just like the fake one.


Back to the website only to find they don’t have a return policy. I could have kicked myself because I almost always check to make sure and the one damn time I didn't...I messaged them on Facebook Messenger and told them of my 'sticky' problem.

Pun intended.

I will state that they did work with me to send me an exchange for free. After trying a DD and a D, I went with a C thinking this has to work/fit.

I also looked up ‘Stickee Bra Hacks’ and saw two suggestions.

1. Wash your skin and then use rubbing alcohol to fully remove any oil that may conflict with the adhesive.

2. Heat the bio gel up with a hairdryer.

I tried both with the new C bra and at first, I was super excited, IT STAYED!

I put my shirt on went into the kitchen to make breakfast and boom, it peeled off within 10 minutes of wearing it.


So with all these *cough* great reviews about the Stickee Bra why the (insert adult word here) is it not working.
I know there are different breast shapes...Third Love has nice descriptions like athletic, relaxed, bell, east-west, and round just to name a few.

I think the success of Stickee Bra has to depend on your breast shape. I’m also wondering if age plays into this as well as skin type. I’m fair and have dry skin.

Anyway, I would say that if you want to give it a go, get one you can return from Amazon. I’m still pissed about my $45.00. It would have been more interesting to go somewhere and just make it rain.


Friday, July 27, 2018

There's nothing easier than throwing on a bunch on sheet pan veggies in the over to roast while you are busy grilling steaks.

Look next week for my Ladies Grilling Guide...

Right now I'm loving roasted radishes, broccoli, and red onion. Super simple to make and you can even use frozen if you are one of my chronic pain comrade in arms.

Summer Steak Side Dishes
1. Roasted Radishes, Broccoli, and Red Onion

1 bunch of radishes
1 lb of broccoil
1 red onion

Scrub the radishes, cut in half lengthwise and then into quarters. Cut the broccoli into 1 inch florets. Cut the onion in half and then into 1/2 inch half moons. Dump all veggies into a large bowl. Drizzle with Avacado Oil, salt and pepper. Stir well. Roast on a sheet pan at 425 for 30-35 minutes.
2. Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes

1 bunch of beets
2 sweet potatoes

Peel the beets and sweet potatoes. Cut into 1/2 cubes. Toss with avacado oil, salt, pepper, and herbs de provance. Roast on a sheet pan at 425 for 30-35 minutes.
3. Green Bean Salad

1 lb of fresh green beans
2 tomatoes
zest of 1-2 lemons
4-6oz of crumbled feta

Bring a large sauce of generously salted water to a boil. Trim the ends of the green beans. Cut away the core of the tomatoes and coarsly chop. Zest the lemon. Add the green beans to the saucepot and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a lage bowl. Add the tomatoes, lemon zest, feta, and 1 t of olive oil.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

I don't know if you have heard this but Texans like steak. In fact, if you ever get the chance to visit the great city of Houston you need to check out Taste of Texas. It is an experience. The best part is they can make everything Paleo and Whole30 compliant.

If you can't hop on a plane and are just dying for a good steak...I've got you covered.

Honestly, I kinda hate giving my dry rub recipe away because it makes a delicious steak but here I go.

Paleo and Whole30 Texas Style Dry Rub

I started making my own dry rub because too many supermarket rubs or marinades have non-compliant ingredients in them, even the organic ones at Whole Foods had a form of sugar in them.

Large Bowl
Mason Jar or an airtight jar with rubber seal
Herb grinder or mortar and pestle
(Organic Where Possible)
1/3 c Onion Powder
1/3 c Garlic Powder
4 T Salt
3 T Pepper
1 T Mexican Oregano finely ground
1/2 T Smoked Paprika
1/2 c Cumin

Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl. Using the funnel pour into mason jar. Good for 2 years!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Today I was sitting here contemplating life while crawling off the couch (I'm on day three of no coffee) to do my physical therapy exercises for my left shoulder.

In case you are just going me, let me catch you up. At the end of April, I severely hurt my left shoulder in yoga. It took me much too long to get into my orthopedic and by then, I had chronic throbbing pain.

So my diagnosis was shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis, and bursitis. It also took me much too long to get a steroid shot. Damn summer vacation and the doctor's taking off work.

Apparently, summer is not the time to hurt yourself!
So my PT is going ok...but I felt it could be better. I'm just not progressing fast enough or maybe I'm just so tired of being in pain. I'm on week 4 of my PT and my awesome Physical Therapist is on a much-needed vacation. I realize the irony here of saying he needs a vacation and my doctor's do not but - my doctor has literally taken off 6 weeks this summer - 6!

So I went to my favorite YouTuber's Bob and Brad the PT Guys as I like to call them. While I initially went there to see their shoulder impingement video, I found this gem.

15 Exercises You Should Never Do


I have done almost all of these - flashbacks to my high school Colorguard days where we warmed up with windmill's every day. Ours looked prettier than the PT Guys but still! I'm seriously not questioning why I have joint pain now...of course if I actually do have Elhers-Danlos then that just makes it worse.

Definitely check out their YouTube Channel - it's amazing and has helped this chronic pain girl out on more than one occasion.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ever since May I’ve had a really hard time keeping up with my bullet journal among other things.

This is also because I haven’t been doing my miracle morning for about three months now. I’m trying to diagram where my motivation is falling, I noticed that I kept up with my bullet journal more when I took the time to create beautiful layouts.

I think approaching August I’m going to jump back into spending more time creating a gorgeous design in my bullet journal. My goal this week is to get August set up and come to grips with my morning schedule.

I do love the miracle morning - that said - doing it from January to May, I felt less rested and more tired. I kept eating breakfast later and later and sometimes not at all.

Well, with all of the research I'm doing on cortisol and how it has such a strong connection to adrenal fatigue (which I also have) and hypoglycemia - the late breakfasts or zero breakfasts have contributed to my overall health.

I just kept becoming more and more exhausted and it definitely did not help that my golden retriever kept waking me up earlier and earlier. Hey, I'm supposed to be waking up to my 6:00 AM alarm not at 5:30 to feed you. UGH!

So the lack of sleep, not eating on time, and drinking too much coffee has landed me where I am now.

Back to the drawing board. So why did my carefully crafted habits fail when they were technically easy to follow?

Simplicity isn't everything but good rest and common sense are when it comes to troubleshooting problems. Now that I have had my hormone testing done, I'm convinced that sometimes habits fail due to unknown circumstances. In my case, eating too late and too much coffee just led me deeper down the rabbit hole to a place where I could not sustain my habits.

I'm working on a three-month detox for my adrenals so after that I want to re-read The Miracle Morning and see how to adapt and get back into it in a healthy way.

I want to streamline my morning routine so I can make sure I'm getting my journaling done but am getting food into my body at the exact right time. I can't wait for my adrenal books to get here so I can really delve into things like when to eat, when to snack, when to workout, so I can reset my cortisol.

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