Adina Mayo

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

Friday, April 12, 2019

We've had some seriously weird weather in Texas lately. Hot for a couple of days and then cold. Our heater and air conditioner doesn't know what to do! HA!

One of the days it was windy and cold I whipped up a quick hamburger soup with some leftover ground beef and simple ingredients from the pantry.

Paleo and Whole30 Hamburger Soup

Ingredients:


3 C of Beef Broth or Beef Stock or Bone Broth (whatever you have on hand)
1 Yellow or Sweet Onion roughly chopped
1 t Minced Garlic
1 can of Rotel
1 can of Organic Green Beans rinsed off
1 can of Organic garden peas rinsed off
1 T of Organic Tomato Paste
1 t of Oregano
1 Large Sweet Potato Cubed
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Leftover ground beef 1/2 lb - 1 lb
1 T of Oil Coconut or Olive or Avocado

Make It!

In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced sweet potato and saute for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions are clear. Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to get the yummy brown bits off. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated. Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 mintues.

Serve.

I made #leohusband cornbread to go with his.



Thursday, April 4, 2019

One of the things I do miss every once in a while is a good cupcake or brownie. I've tried a bunch of paleo brownies and they are delicious, but as I'm trying to avoid bananas right now (they're not great for adrenal fatigue) I'm looking for a way to get my once in a while brownie or cupcake fix.If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Honest Review Simple Mills Chocolate Muffin and Cupcake Mix

So I found Simple Mills mixes and thought I'd give them a whirl. A. They're paleo B. They only have 7 ingredients!

Almond Flour
Organic Coconut Sugar
Cocoa
Arrowroot
Organic Coconut Flour
Baking Powder
Sea Salt

How amazing is that?!?!

Directions were easy enough, just add your eggs, milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk) and oil. Volia, paleo dessert. I made these on a high pain day (which was mainly why I wanted the treat) and they were really easy to put together.

The back of the box tells you the different ways you can fix it:
12 muffins, 8" round cake, 12 cupcakes, or 9 brownies.

I went with the brownies style and it turned out delicious. Ok, I wanted cupcakes but I didn't have any liners...oh well, guess I'll have to get another box! HAHA!

If you're looking for a quick treat and don't want to have to figure out all the paleo substitutes then this is a great go-to!
I even tried the frosting which isn't paleo, but it is organic.

It has a bit of a funky taste on its own but tastes great with the cake.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Well, I did it again...I "threw out" my back. The weird thing is I don't even know how I did it. I did my normal routine and after my shower, boom. The sharp pain, the inability to move, the agony!

I'm already wondering what I'm going to do tomorrow to keep things moving smoothly. I've been icing every hour for 15 minutes and I've got my TENS Unit on. Thursday I'll take an Epsom salt bath. However, this really got me thinking, are there any signs that you're about to have a problem.

Well, after my Google search, turns out there are!

4 Signs Your Back is About to Go Out

I love these guys. They're so friendly and knowledgeable about your physical body. This video is great and make sure you subscribe to their channel!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

I can’t believe April snuck up on me. I really enjoyed taking a break in March, but it’s time to get back to the desk.

I have my bullet journal set up, and this month I went crazy!

I went with a Harry Potter theme because I am lucky enough to be able to celebrate #BreadwinnerBFF birthday at Universal Studios Harry Potter world this month.
I wanted to get excited for my adventure so I grabbed my prisma color pencils and went to town on drawing Hogsmeade, a Quidditch pitch complete with snitch, and how I always envisioned the Firebolt to look.
My favorite book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban so I took my cues from that book!
If you were a chronic pain warrior or a chronic illness warrior, and you haven’t started a bullet journal yet to keep track of your symptoms, pain levels, and day-to-day activities I highly recommend you starting one. You can start in the middle of the year it doesn’t have to be January.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Hello April!

I took a nice vacation with #leohusband for our 7th wedding anniversary. During that trip, I posted a picture of me getting ready for a nice dinner where I talked about having pain free days. One of my followers, PM'd me and asked me how on earth did I have pain free days...

Well, the short answer is I worked hard to get to having pain free days.

The long answer involves the process in which I got to a place in my life where I do have pain free days.

If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

6 Steps to Have Pain Free Days
1. Research and Diagnosis

If you are still in the "I don't know what's wrong with me but I hurt all the time" stage, then you need to start researching for yourself what you might have. You want to get a second and maybe even third set of eyes on what you have going on.

One of the key things I did was switching to a new pain doctor. When I called they asked me what I was coming in for and I actually said I need a fresh set of eyes on this and don't want to have any preconceived notions of what may be wrong. The receptionist said ok and noted that in my file and gave me the paperwork to fill out.

At the initial visit, my new pain doctor wanted her co-doctor to do an ultrasound of my areas of extreme pain to check for inflammation. If you've read my medical story, you will find out that I had none, and after checking my last MRI, he said you have Adhesive Arachnoiditis. Keywords from my MRI Report...nerve root thickening and clumping in the arachnoid at L4/L5.

Once, I had my diagnosis I was able to stop doing the things that made it worse, namely spinal injections, overstretching, heat, and deep tissue massages.

I found out that one of the many problems with arachnoiditis is spinal fluid not circulating properly so I got an inversion table. I learned to balance sitting, avoid standing at all costs and move frequently to keep the pain at bay. I learned to get a back brace for times when I may be sitting for a while or when I might be jostled.

There is not a lot of information on how to deal with arachnoiditis so I looked at other diseases that were similar and what worked for them. I researched Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and MS. I developed my own program and system of getting well.

One of the biggest things that helped was these two books:


2. Do the Work

If you want pain free days then you have to do the work. You have to be willing to change. That means commitment.

Change Your Diet - Whole30, Keto, Paleo, or AIP (research and find one to follow and stick with for the rest of your life)




Change Your Exercise Habits - Walk, Swim, or Yoga (do it every day or at least every other day)

Take Supplements - mine are prescribed to me from my functional medicine doctor, on top of the ones listed in the pain books above.

Meditate - Get a meditation app or Read You are the Placebo and start meditation, I recommend Headspace, they have a 30 day medition on Chronic Pain.



Get a Therapist - you need to talk and work through the new normal with a professional, chronic pain goes hand and hand with depression and while you may think you aren't depressed (I did for so long) you might be.

Try Alternative Treatment Therapies - find one or several that work for you - acupuncture, dry needling, e-stem, IFC unit, fasciablasting, dry brushing, inversion therapy, ice baths, etc.
3. Everyone Must Be on Board

Your family has to be willing to change with you. It's a team effort. If #leohusband wasn't ok with me changing both of our diets, I never would have succeeded. You can't be in pain and cook two different meals.

It takes a family meeting and loving understanding that your family wants you to not be in pain. They know that but airing out the logistics, concerns, and feelings in an open setting before you start your journey will go a long way if everyone is in understanding.

Hey, it means you will all get healthy. Your family eating healthier will give them a boost in their energy and mood to help deal with the stress of being a caregiver.

Plus, healthy food if cooked correctly is amazing and delicious.

Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks to get you started.



4. Keep Notes

I kicked off my 'I'm going to get better or die trying' campaign in January of 2017. I kept track of my pain levels in my bullet journal so I could see actual, tangible results that this was working. Where was my pain? How many days in a row did I have pain? What days was I in a good mood? a bad mood? If you don't keep a record, you might think you are not getting any results.

Because it takes months if not a whole year to see results. I went from two good days a month to three in the next month. The third month I had one good day a week and so on.

I started in January 2017 and by October of 2017, I was having five low pain days a week! However, without tracking, I would have given up. I changed everything and it was hell on top of all my pain. I hung in there by grit, determination, and support. My bullet journal kept me on track, especially on the days when I didn't want to do all the things, my brain convincing my body that this was pointless and wasn't working. It was. I had proof.

Bullet journals are also great to bring to your doctor with real data of what is going on! I'm happy to say that in January of 2019, I had five days of zero pain. That's huge.
5. Find a Good Doctor

If you are not satisfied with your healthcare then find someone else. If every visit is stressful and in your head, you are telling that doctor to f- off, that's not a good relationship. You want a good, and knowledgeable primary care physician. I'm lucky in that I have one of the best in the country. He even knew what arachnoiditis was, that's how good he is.

Having a doctor that is understanding and patient with you is key.

I also see a functional medicine doctor and I recommend trying to find one near you.

What a functional medicine doctor does is work on the whole picture. In the words of my functional medicine doctor, we can't heal the arachnoiditis but we can make your overall health better, which will help you deal with the arachnoiditis better.

If you can't find a functional medicine doctor try to find a naturopathic doctor, you are wanting someone to advise you on what supplements to take and to make sure they do not interfere with any medications you are taking.
6. Get on the Right Medication for You

I started out with the usual thing all pain doctors start with, gabapentin. Ugh! The worst. It worked for a week and then the pain came back. Then they upped my dosage and it worked for a week and then the pain came back. I also gained 35 lbs on it and I started having weird side effects like rashes and bladder problems.

Then they gave me Lyrica, which didn't work and one of the side effects is suicidal thoughts and attempts for a reason. It's dangerous and as far as I'm concerned shouldn't be on the market.

Cymbalta gave me migraines. Nucyenta made me itch all over. Zipsor made me throw up. Some other pain patch gave me narcolepsy. Seriously, I tried it all.

I was a medical guinea pig and had to be to finally arrive at the following:

There are a lot of medicines out there and sometimes a medicine that is prescribed for something other than what you have can make a difference.

For example, my PCP prescribed me .5mg of Xanax instead of Lunesta or Ambien for sleep. This was because in talking with me we determined that I needed help falling and staying asleep. Lunesta and Ambien help you fall asleep but not stay asleep.

We also found that adding a low dose of a muscle relaxer helped with morning pain.

A few months later, talking with him we decided to give Wellbutrin a try because I was having PMDD - which I realized from my bullet journal notes. Unbelievably, the Wellbutrin really helped my pain. It was a definite turning point in my treatment.

However, this is what worked for me, you need to find what works for you, and unfortunately, be prepared for the side effects that can occur.

This is a good starting list but I know you are probably curious as to what I actually do on a day to day basis. That post is for next week my friends so stay tuned.

Monday, March 11, 2019

I was chatting with my sister this past Monday about health and options. She's got a house full of hungry kids and she's trying to make healthier choices for herself and her family. Trying to get away from the S.A.D. diet. The Standard American Diet.

She laughed when she said nothing in her pantry is healthy and didn't want to throw it out. I came up with the idea that when something runs out, buy a healthier alternative.

So she asked me to find healthier alternatives for granola bars first, so let's get into the thick of it.

When I think granola bars I'm instantly transported back to childhood and the nostalgic flavor of the gooey Quaker Oats Chocolate Chip granola bar washes over me.

If I'm going to find healthier alternatives then I'm first going to the Quaker Oats website:

Information taken from Quaker.com

I'm going to bold all the words for sugar.

Ingredients

GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT], WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP (WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.
CONTAINS WHEAT, COCONUT, SOY AND MILK INGREDIENTS.
MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF PEANUT AND OTHER TREE NUTS.

Holy crap that's a lot of sugar. They should call it Crack-er Oats for the chemical addiction your brain must have to them.

via GIPHY


I guess the first question I have is, is this a snack or a meal replacement or dessert? (Hint: These granola bars should be treated as a dessert)

I'm approaching this from the standpoint of this is a snack. The kind of snack you would partake in after a day of school before you sit down to do your homework or run off to your part time job.

Also, transitioning from the S.A.D. diet can be hard so you many want to start with something on the sweeter side and transition to things like veggies and protein snacks.

I'm also approaching this from the standpoint of convenience, price, and ease. My sister is a chronic pain warrior as well so she needs something that is easy to throw together.

If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

14 Healthier Alternatives to Granola Bars

1. 100 Calorie Almond Packs

A Quaker Oat bar boasts that it is 100 calories, but it's empty calories because of sugar. It would be better to invest in the 100 calorie nut packs.


2. Rolled Up Turkey Slices

Everybody needs more protein. Take 2 - 3 slices of a lean turkey or chicken lunchmeat and put your favorite spread on them. I'm crazy for Maille Mustard. Put a small handful of spinach leaves in them and roll them up. Close with a toothpick. Boom! Super simple to make and very cost effective. You can even throw in pre-shredded carrots!


3. Two Clementines (and maybe a handful of nuts to balance the carbohydrates)

Two clementines clock in at 70 calories and they have 60% of your daily recommendation of Vitamin C. They are sweet but they are a natural sugar. Simple to peel and very portable, it's so easy to throw into a backpack or purse. You can get crazy big bags of them at any grocery store!
4. Apples

Let's get fancy ya'll. This is my current favorite snack. A sliced up apple sprinkled with half a handful of bare chocolate coconut chips and another nut, like pistachios or almonds. You get that hint of chocolate but there is no dairy or soy, and they are sweetened with coconut sugar which does not have the glycemic reaction that normal sugar creates. The coconut has a bit of protein to balance it out.




If you really want to get that bar experience in, then I suggest the next two bars:

5. Larabars

Today at Costco I saw a 20 pack for $13.49. That's a great price. Amazon has good prices of Larabars too. Some do contain sugar so read the label. I will put some of my favorites below. Note that for a snack these should be cut in half! Unless it is a meal replacement don't eat the whole thing. They're around 200-250 calories a bar so a 16 pack, is really a 32 pack.



6. RX Bars for Kids

I had to rope #breadwinnerbff into this one. So I gave her a ring and asked what she feeds her kids. Half the price of the normal RX bar and half the size which is good because this is a snack, not a meal replacement. Normal size RX Bars are a meal replacement.


I asked her about KIND Bars and she said, "they're a candy bar."
7. Deviled Eggs (or Angel Eggs depending on where you are from)

Protein is good and so are eggs! According to WebMD, they have 7 grams of high-quality protein, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Everytime I bring a platter of Deviled Eggs to a summer BBQ they disappear with in seconds. Why wait for summer BBQ's? Eggs are cheap and some stores even have already boiled eggs in a bag.

You can keep the eggs for up to four days in the fridge. In order to do this, keep the whites and egg yolk filling separate. Wrap the egg white halves well with plastic wrap and keep the egg yolk filling sealed in a Ziploc bag with all the air squeezed out (which is how you mix them anyway). Just fill when your kids (or you) are ready for a snack.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon season is just around the corner. This is a great hydrating snack for the summertime. Watermelon also contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, and betaine.

According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health and a lower risk of certain types of cancer.

9. Frozen Grapes

These are a delicious snack, just make sure you fill up a small bowl instead of eating straight from the bag. These are great for a good transition from S.A.D. diet because they are a sweet treat but still has health benefits.
10. Unsweetened Go-Go Applesauce

This is an easy to go, mass produced item that actually isn't that bad for you. Amazon has a 48 pack for around twenty bucks!
11. Ants on a Log

Cut up celery or get the precuts in the store. Top with almond butter or peanut butter (read the label and make sure there is no sugar added, check out my post on the different names for sugar) and raisins. You can also get fancy and top them with apple juice sweetened dried cranberries. Just make sure the cranberries don't have added sweetner.

12. Baby Carrots

Carrots are a great end stage transision snack. It's a veggie that does have sweetness due to a higher sugar content then most veggies. However, still a great snack. Especially when paired with my favorite Paleo Ranch Dressing.

13. Bananas

Natural beta blocker and easies anxiety are great qualities as a fruit. Start out by eating ripe bananas when you are making the transation from the S.A.D. diet to your healthier lifestyle.

14. Greek Yogurt with Berries and a Squirt of Raw Honey

Accoriding to all of the new research fat is good for you. I'll tell you to watch Fed Up, a great documentary about the sugar industry and the sugar lobbies in the government, but you may not have 2 hours. Instead watch this short clip from Adam Ruins Everything, which is a great summary of the Fed Up documentary.


So get out there and buy some full fat greek yogurt. Top a 1/2c of yogurt with a handful of berries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. and a tablespoon or less of raw honey.

During this transition phase if you or your kids find themselves still hungry, make sure the snack is eaten in conjuction with 16 oz of water, 2 glasses. Too many people mistake hungriness for thirst.

Let's not forget that boredom can also lead to unnecessary snacking. It is national craft month. Pick up something and learn or get outside and enjoy the weather.

Hell, one of the main reasons I knit and crochet is so I don't snack in front of the TV.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Sometimes I definitely fit into the basic white bitch category. It's never more apparent than when I get my FabFitFun subscription box. Yes, I'm a bad ass chronic pain warrior that defies the odds every single day but I love getting things. I do.

Self care is important and this is one of the things I look forward to. It gives me hope and excitement and those are some of the best painkillers around!

Whatever phrase you want to use here feel free but I think the kids are calling it 'extra' these days. I think my generation would say I'm outta control with my box or I'm such a drama queen about my box.

I'm so extra with my box. I love it and I hate to say it but I'd rather cancel Hulu than give up my subscription box. I might even cancel Crunchyroll.

via GIPHY

I didn't write about my winter box because it came right before Tiger's death and I just couldn't bring myself to open it. The emotion of the event was wrapped up in with the tangible, sitting right there on my dresser, a reminder that my dog was gone and my life was different.

That said, I have been looking forward to my Spring box. When my email came to pick my choices for my box, I was psyched! I also got an add on which I will talk about later.

Weirdly, I was a little disappointed I got it February 28. I actually waited for the next day to open it, that way it would officially be March and spring would be ushered in soon. Although, as I type this it's 37 outside, with a wind chill of 27. Ugh, I know it's much colder in certain parts of the country but that is too cold for this Texas girl!

Plus, I haven't seen the actual sun in a month. It's been cloudy and rainy every damn day. No way in hell I could live in a place that's cloudy more than 50% of the year.

So onto the box.


FabFitFun Spring 2019 Box

First of all, the design is always fabulous but they have updated their logo. I like the vibe the new one has, more organic instead of geometric.

If you've never subscribed to a subscription box let me school you on what it is. Basically, it's a box of curated items sent to you for you to enjoy. There's a category for everything, the self-explanatory Snack Crate or Loot Crate (which caters to geek and nerd culture).

Fabfitfun has a little of everything, gadgets, healthcare, crafts, skincare, makeup, to purses and handbags. Heck, this month they even had a bathrobe in 'choices.'

So 'choices...'

I'm a premiere subscriber, actually I don't even know if that is the correct term, but it means I pay for my whole year up front instead of month to month. There's a benefit in that, meaning I get to choose some of my items.
I choose the, body brush, water bottle, the essential oil diffuser, and then I had them pick for me the last one, because I couldn't make a choice. I got the sunglasses.

I think I'm most excited about the charcoal body scrub since I'm about to run out of my current one. I'm less excited about the Babe Lash lash serum because I've heard those products can change blue eyes to brown. So not worth it, besides I was graced by the gods with amazing eyelashes.

I've set the diffuser up on my bed table, so I can diffuse my sleepy essential oil mix...which I guess is worth posting. I'll get on that soon. The diffuser also came with a meditation app subscription but I already use Headspace.

The water bottle is clean and ready to go. I haven't used it yet because it's so cold I've been heating up my water in the microwave, so I've been sticking to glass jars.

The OUAI leave in conditioner, I may give to someone that needs it. I'm super happy with my hair products right now. The Dr. Brandt No More Baggage may also be given away, puffiness is not a problem I have right now, just dark circles.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019



Two weeks ago, I posted a great video on getting rid of shoulder, trapezius, and neck knots.

One of the things in the video he mentioned was self massage using a device that looks like a giant cane.

Well, I've had this for years since my massage therapist mentioned it to me back in my twenties. Apparently, I've had these knots for a while and maybe if I had dedicated my time and energy in my twenties, I wouldn't be in the bad shape I'm in today.
How to Get Rid of Neck and Shoulder Knots

If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

It's called a back buddy.




It was buried in the back of my closet and after I saw Tighten and Tone's video on 10 Things to Try for Knots, I went digging to find my back buddy.

I've been using it off and on for two weeks in conjuction with the exercises and I must admit, my knots are not causing nearly as much pain as they had been. My shoulder still hurts like hell, so after my month of trying to resolve the situation on my own, it's back to my orthopedic surgeon for a re-eval.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Every year of my adult life since 2009 I have met my out of pocket maximum on my medical insurance. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you don't have severe medical problems or you have an HMO.

I want to make it clear that I am well aware of my priveledge to have and have had medical insurance since graduating college. I don't know the numbers of uninsured Americans, but if you are one of those then my heart goes out to you. I don't know how you do it, let alone survive.

However, this post is about tracking your medical expenses in the hopes to get a nice tax deduction and $$$ back from the government.

How to Track Your Medical Expenses

I'm not going to get into the merits of HMO vs PPO suffice to say that if you have no medical problems get the HMO, if you have legit medical problems, Type 1 Diabetes, Chrons, or like me, Adhesive Arachnoiditis, you want the PPO.

Why? Well, after I meet my deductable, then I start paying a percentage of each visit or procedure. Once I reach a certain amount spent out of my wallet, I don't have to spend any more and the insurance picks up everything at 100%.

I'll save the nitty gritty of HMO vs PPO for another post.

Since 2016, I know I've done a diservice to our finances by not tracking what we are spending medically. Even though I reach my out of pocket maximum that doesn't include perscriptions, and now other things can be covered by FSA's like massages and acupuncture.

via GIPHY

I need to take advantage of this in 2019 and start now with writing down monthly expenses.

I have alotted a page in my bujo next to personal expenses for this, now the tricky part is filling it in, or in my case, finding the time and energy to fill it in. Shame I didn't think of this when I was setting up my bullet journal in December.

via GIPHY

Monday, March 4, 2019

Happy National Craft Month! If you shop through any of my links in this post, you help support this blog at zero cost to you. Thank you for your support.

I don't think it's a secret how much I love sewing, or maybe it is? However, if you had met me 10 years ago (Holy crap! That's 29 year old me!) sewing wouldn't have been on my radar at all. In fact, I was deep into my love of ceramics and beginning graduate school.
Which happened to culminate in my exhibit on ceramics and quilting, where I made 10 quilts and hand sewed my ceramics onto them. Weird how my life changed so much from the time I started grad school in 2009 to the time I finished in 2013. Then completely changed again when I got Adhesive Arachnoiditis.

Regardless, I have somehow transferred my love of quilting to one of my dear friends, #tomboybff, someone who I never suspected that would like, or get involved in quilting.

When she began her journey she asked me why I liked it and, if I remember correctly, if she thought I would think she'd like it.

Well, that sentence was confusing as all hell.

I told her I thought she would like it.
First, she's an engineer, although chemical, they are generally cut from the same brain wave cloth...organization is a stereotype for engineers for a reason. Quilting is all about organization. Patterns, shapes, and colors all cut precisely and put into a giant textile "chart."

Second, quilting is very relaxing. To me, there is nothing better for my OCD mind than a perfect rotary cut and the gorgeousness of removing wrinkles from fabric. I also love to iron. It's relaxing for me too. I know I'm weird.

Third, even though she is a total tomboy, #tomboybff, and can probably rewire my entire house, dig a trench in the backyard, and shoot some game if I asked her to, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to look at something as comforting as a quilt, a tangible heirloom and say, "I made that."

Chronic Pain Crafts: Learning to Quilt


Ok, so I know what you are thinking...Adina, I have (or maybe not) chronic pain (or stressful, sedentary life, etc.) so why is sewing so great?

Well for starters, you have to move, but you also get to sit (let's not rule out binge-watching Netflix).
I have my sewing room upstairs. I keep my ironing board down the hall in our game room. So when I need to press a seam or iron something I have to get up from my sewing machine, walk down the hall, press, and walk back.
This is key for chronic pain sufferers!

The more sedentary you are the more you will hurt.

Consistent movement is key to keeping your pain levels low. You have to move every day and believe me there were days that I literally hobbled from my sewing machine to the iron and back. However, because I did, I was able to see more low pain days.

Sewing is one of the things that I personally believe helped to get me to the low pain levels I experience today. The creative side of it saved my sanity. The movement back and forth saved my body.
Getting started.

I honestly believe that you don't need to go crazy out of your budget to get started. You just need basic equipment to just determine if this is something you think you want to get into.

Truly, we all could use a sewing machine in our houses. I can't tell you the times I've kept clothes from the bin with it. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Weirdly, a sewing machine is an investment that benefits you, your house, and frankly the environment. Besides it way cheaper to make your own throw pillows than to buy them!
My first sewing machine was the Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine. It made 10 quilts before it died so I counted that as a good investment. I have it listed below, along with some others that would do, just to see if you liked it. They are cheaper than an Xbox One...just sayin'



Alternatively, you can check Craig's List for sewing machine's. My #bubblegirltwinbff got a really expensive Janome (an awesome, bad ass sewing machine for those of you not in the know) for free. She checks the "free stuff" section daily and scored it because it was someone's grandmother's machine and they were moving and just wanted it gone.

Then you just need basics, a rotary cutter and mat, thread and needles, batting and such...


You also need to know what you are making, as I was saying last week, Skillshare has everything, including classes on quilting.

If you are interested, use my link and get 2 Free Premium Months. Signing up under my link is no cost to you at all and helps a starving health blogger out.

I found a perfect project to get your feet wet. Sew and Quilt a Handmade Tablerunner - a DIY Project - Skillshare

A table runner is a small quilt so you will learn all the skills you need to make a larger one, plus cool lingo like charm squares. Sounds charming right? Couldn't resist.

You should have an iron and ironing board, and you can use the kitchen counter if you don't have a table to cut fabric on. In fact, I sewed most of my quilts on a plastic folding table at grad school and when home at our table. Which I should clarify was not a big dining table, it was a round dinette set where I sewed.

When I knew this was going to be a lifelong habit, I upgraded everything, and you can too. Just find out if you like it first, and I think you will.
Me? I'm working on a quilt too. When we went to Hawaii I found a quilt shop in Maui. There is no better souvenir than me making a quilt from vintage Hawaiian fabric. Hopefully, I'll have the topper done by the end of the month. This one is a queen so I'm going to have to send it out to get it sandwiched together.

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