3 Reasons to Try Third Love

A couple of months ago I posted my unbiased review of the Stickee Bra. I bought and paid for it with my own money and tried several versions to zero effect. Definitely check it out.

Now, I've got to say that in my research for better health, part of that is breast health. The girls are important ladies.

As I've said before, my soon to be podcast buddy Rebekah tried Third Love and posted her review on her Facebook group. She and I are kindred spirits, so of course, I had to give Third Love a try. Yes, I'm totally going to tout Third Love as the best bra company, and everything I've bought from them has been out of my own pocket.

They have paid me nothing to write this.

I was having shoulder problems, my boobs were weirdly hurting, and nothing in the stores fit. Nothing.

3 Reasons to Try Third Love
1. You're Probably Not Wearing the Correct Size

Did you know that when you get a new bra you should wear it on the farthest hook out? You should tighten your bra over time as the elastic changes and wears out. The closest hook is for when your bra is almost worn out.

Yep, I didn't know that.

My 34 bras were on the closest hook and still riding up my back.

After taking the fit finder quiz, they determined I was a 32 D. I tried one on, shipped to my house, and I had spillage. Returns were so easy. Log in to your account, work with the fit finder program to get a new size. They email a pre-paid label to you. I dropped the box off at my local "print and ship" place because Post Office lines are so not my thing. My new sized bra shipped within the week and I went to a 32 E. It was perfect in that style.

Since then, different styles do require different sizes. Some I'm a 32 E, others I'm a 32 F.

2. They have Amazing Customer Service.

Let's talk about me effing up my shoulder for a quick second. I messed it up in yoga. I couldn't wear any bra that touched the area between my shoulder and shoulder blade. It was super painful. I got some strapless bras and some racerback bras from Third Love.

I had a serious problem with the racerback bras. They were just not for my girls. Every woman is a different shape and these were not for my shape. I tried on a 32 E and then got put in a 32 F in one style and a 34 D in another. They still weren't quite right. While they were no longer digging into my armpits...every time I bent over the girls would just fall out.

Super awkward in public. The dance I would use to shimmy back into my bra without someone guessing what was going on had to be priceless.


Months went by y'all. Months.

I stopped wearing them. I hated opening my lingerie drawer and seeing the expensive bras going to waste. Guilt. Anguish. Anger. You name any negative emotion and I felt it about these bras.

Well, 2019 came and I've seriously decided to change negativity, even on a small scale like bras that just are not a good fit.

I called customer service fully expecting for them to tell me it's too late to exchange them. Except that it wasn't!

I couldn't believe it after all these months went by and me wearing them but they exchanged them for completely different bras. Two brand new ones.

Who does that?

No one. No company I've ever dealt with.

I was so happy and excited to no longer feel guilty over my purchases and to get bras I could actually wear. It was money well spent.
3. Their CEO is amazeballs.

I don't know if you heard the buzz, but after Victoria's Secret show, CEO Ed Razek slammed plus size women in a Vogue interview. He was quoted in saying "[The] televised fashion show is "a fantasy" and "no one" has "an interest" in watching plus-size models.

Let's be honest, the Victoia's Secret fashion show isn't about women. It's about the millions of men who feel the need to add to their spank bank.

Third Love's Heidi Zak took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to respond to Ed Razek.

Here is her letter.

Yoga for When you are Sick Part 2

Last week I talked about doing yoga while sick or that phase of getting sick. You know that terrible feeling you have that something is just not right, no it's not a poltergeist, it's the beginning of a cold or flu or bronchitis. Ugh, the worst. I shared an awesome YouTube yoga session for just that occasion.

Yoga for When you are Sick Part 2

This week I want to share another awesome YouTuber, Yoga with Adriene.

I love this woman. I, of course, found her by one of my searches...yoga for shoulder pain. She had an amazing no shoulder class which I desperately needed at the time (still do). I had an inkling she was a fellow Texas girl and come to find out that yes, she is. I could tell by her colloquial phrases. Texans have some amazing catch phrases.

Anyway, her Yoga for When you are Sick is much more low key. I found it helpful when I was in the middle of the "I'm going to die" part of being sick. This flow is gentle and relaxing, plus Adriene's voice is very soothing, especially when she talks about honoring your body and your immune system.

Definitely check her channel out and subscribe to her videos because they are amazing.

Bullet Journal Daily Routine 2019

2018 was a year that I tried to get things right and failed miserably. In that failure, I realized what I needed to do to change and that change was being consistent in all things.

Basically, it's learning to be a baby boomer. It's learning to be an adult. It's tidying every day. Putting things back where they belong. Not being a Scarlett O'Hara and waiting until tomorrow. Doing it now. Doing it even when you're tired and sick and struggling because not doing things is what got you into this mess. So do them.
2018 I plotted out two days, one day where I feel great, and one day where I'm having a pain flare.

Bullet Journal Daily Routine 2019

The problem was I never freaking followed either of my plans. I didn't even test them out to see if they were actionable, practical, or achievable.
This year I have taken a different approach. I have what I want to do each day plotted out but I'm waiting until I have a months worth of data before I fill the times or the chart in.

How long does my morning routine take on average?

How long does it take to blog and get pictures for my blog?

How long will menu planning, making the grocery list and doing the actual grocery shopping take?

So many questions, so little data.

I started out strong at the beginning of January only to be thrown a complete curveball with getting strep and a sinus infection. However, part of consistency means not giving up and getting back on that horse. February is right around the corner and my stopwatch is waiting to be activated.

Does Routine Lower Your Pain Levels

We are now at the end of January and I'm posing a very big question for the rest of 2019. Does consistent routine and schedules lower your chronic pain?
Right now, I'm at the end of reading You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza and one of the several key points he makes about pain is always feeling overwhelmed, rushed, out of time, and panicked.

Um, yes. All of the above. All the damn time.

I constantly feel overwhelmed and behind.

I feel like I'm never going to catch up or gasp, get ahead?!?!

I've noticed that the more things I have left undone on my to-do list, and the more things I feel stressed over, my pain does skyrocket. As evidenced by this last December rushing around to get things completed by the time family arrives and I went into one of the worst pain flares of 2018.

I'm mentioned several times that my word for 2019 is consistency. Part of that consistency is developing a schedule for each day, tasks to follow at particular times, things to do each day. Ok, I've totally failed at it so far but I do get up and try every damn day to follow some sort of routine. More on that tomorrow.
What I'm thinking is, if I follow this daily, even if it's just a 30 minute allotment, I will eventually get caught up and then get ahead of my to do list.

Therefore taking the fight or flight burden off of my brain.

The next tricky part is getting my brain to quit the addiction of stress. That is a topic for another day.

Paleo Hot Toddy

Let's be honest folks, Hot Toddy's are not good for you. Alcohol lowers your immune function plus you can't take most over the counter or prescription medicine's with alcohol. It's not healthy either.

So years ago when I was just dying Christmas of a terrible respiratory infection I Googled the crap out of homeopathic sorethroat and cough recipes and eventually I settled with my own special concoction. It works everytime. I've given it to my brother, #leohusband, and #breadwinnerbff and they all agree it's amazing.

I won't lie, it's strong, but it works. I've even come to crave it when I'm feeling sick.

Paleo Hot Toddy

2 T of Raw, Organic with the Mother, Apple Cider Vinegar
2 T of Fresh Squeezed Lemons (store bought pre-squeezed lemon juice often has chemical preservatives that you want to avoid)
2 T of Raw, Unfiltered Local Honey
2 Drops of DoTerra On Guard
1 t of Fresh Grated Ginger or 1 drop of DoTerra Ginger

Place all ingredients in your largest ceramic mug (I have a 14 oz mug I usually use). Top off with boiling water. Stir well. Drink.

5 Self Care Ideas for When You Are Sick

I think we can all agree that as a society we are starting to embrace the idea of self care. If you are burned out, stressed out, suffer from mental or physical pain, it's good to take some time to access what your body, mind, and spirit need.

This is especially true when you get sick. I've spent the better part of the week trying to turn the corner with my strep and sinus infections, which seems like to no avail, but I did wake up with a jot more energy this morning. I feel the light is at the end of the tunnel soon.

I've worked, literally, worked at getting better as fast as I can, so here is some of the self care ideas I put into practice.

5 Self Care Ideas for When You Are Sick
1. Lemongrass Epsom Salt Baths

Lemongrass is a natural anti-inflammatory and epsom salt relaxes your muscles helping with those body aches and pains. Also, if you are like me you slow down from your normal routine and almost round yourself into a ball just because you are not feeling good. Let your muscles unwind, let the warm to hot water help sweat out your toxins, and let the lemongrass relax your muscles and open your airways.

Make sure you set a 20 minute timer so you don't spend to long in the bath and overheat your body. If you are running a fever, do this with caution.
2. Hot Lemon and Ginger Water

It's good to drink a lot of water when you are sick. I however find it easier to drink hot water. I tend to get congested right at the top of my chest, bottom of my throat area, and cold water (in the winter) just seems to keep me congested. Ugh! However, hot, just before boiling, water with a slice of ginger and a squeeze of lemon is amazing and I could drink it all day long. The hot liquid seems to keep my congestion loose which is what I definitely need.

I also have a tisane that I drink when I'm sick so look for that recipe Friday.
3. Moist Heat on Your Chest

This is also a nice soothing go to. You're sick, you've got the chills, and you're trying to cough up the crud in your chest. Similar to the Hot Lemon water above, take a rice pack and microwave it and place on your chest. No rice pack? Dampen a washcloth and put it on your chest with a heating pad on top. This drives away your chills and also helps to loosen the congestion. I also like to pair this with DoTerra's Breathe if I have chest and nasal congestion.


4. Watch Somthing Funny

Being sick sucks so after your warm bath, and you've got your hot water and heating pad set up, put something funny on TV. Now is not the time to catch up on The Handmaid's Tale. While compelling that show is depressing AF. Nope. This is when you need your funny go-tos like, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Parks & Rec, The Office, or Brooklyn 99. Whatever makes you laugh consistantly, that's what you need to watch to release those endorphins that will help your healing.
5. Lay Down with Soft Music and No Distractions

Ok, so I'm really talking about a nap here but let's be honest, napping is hard. It's also hard when your throat hurts and you can't breathe. However, you need to rest so at some point turn off the TV, go into your bedroom and shut out all distractions. Put some soft music on, if you have Headspace put on their Doze section, and lay down. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Best case senario you do actually fall asleep. Worst case senario, you rested by engaging your entire body just by laying fully down and closing your eyes for 15 minutes.

Hope these ideas help and if you have your own self care ideas, leave a note in the comments!

Yoga for When you are Sick

So it's official. I've got strep and a sinus infection at the same time. Awesome. Actually, I've probably had the sinus infection since early December after I got the flu, but I've been fighting it all these weeks homeopathy style. I also committed to doing yoga no matter what and I've done a damn good job at that part.

What about when you are sick as hell?

There's an app for that. Kidding!

No, but there's a YouTube class for that.

Seriously, my new favorite thing is typing into YouTube what I need and it comes up with it in seconds.

Yoga for When you are Sick!

I've got two different videos for you.

The one I'm going to share this week I feel works best when you have that little inkling that you are coming down with something. It does have some power moves that might be challenging if you are feeling like death warmed up. Again, I recommend this at the beginning of an illness, for the slight cold or allergy attack, or when you are finally rounding the corner and need some moderate exercise.

From one of my favorite Yoga YouTubers Brett Larkin. Subscribe to her channel and definitely follow her for updates.

I tried to do this in the middle of my strep infection and failed miserably but not to worry I've got something for the "I'm going to die I'm so sick" days, next week.

2019 Budgeting and How to Track your Spending

I spent 2018 trying to figure out what I actually spend on myself that is not medically related expenses. It was hard and I failed miserably. I just plain gave up in June. I was still spending way more than I should. Shopping is an addiction and it's one I've had for a long, long, time.

I do want to say up front that I fully recognize that I am a child of privilege and I have distinct advantages that some readers do not have or have had or ever will have.

So let's dig into my first world problems...


Is a massage a selfish frivolous perk? Paying for a pedicure because scrunching up or bending over to do my toes with arachnoiditis is not pleasant, is that extra? Well, yes and no.

I went almost a year without "getting my toes did" and the resulting ingrown toenails on my big toes were not pleasant either.

What is necessary? What is medical? What is a perk? What are additional expenses?

Back to the massage, I will say I like get a massage once a month because it helps my chiropractic adjustments last longer, but I definitely don't go enough because I usually spent my money elsewhere, like on pajamas, bras, makeup or haircare.

However, I cut my own hair every other time and dye it myself. So what gives?

I also get Botox.

It helps with my headaches, or lack thereof, due to my arachnoiditis, which my insurance refuses to pay for. Insert obscene gesture here...but I get it. It's also helping the aging and the wrinkles so it's an elective expense. Honestly, though, I'd pay anything to not get headaches all the time like I used to back in 2016. Botox is a huge expense and if something happened, it would be the first thing I would cut. That said, I am tracking it for budgeting this year.

2019 Budgeting and How to Track your Spending

Honestly, I had to make a decision to what categories I wanted to allot my monthly spending, and I wanted to go back to the cash system that helped me do things like pay off my car early, pay for grad school, and put money in savings.

January 2019 is my flagship month with me keeping spending to a bare minimum to reset my mind, spirit, and body for what I really needed. I am tracking exactly what I spend regardless of staying within my allotment. This way I'm hoping to see a pattern.

Here are my categories of spending, and a few I don't use thrown in for examples:

Personal Upkeep:
Makeup, hair styling (products, cut and color), skin products or treatments, waxing, pedicures, manicures (I don't get these but other people do).

I don't wear makeup everyday so what I have lasts. However, I do go through quite a bit of skin care products so I can't wait to track that this year.

Self Care:
Massages, acupuncture, botox (or other medical procedure), yoga class, gym membership, box subscription etc.

Let's talk about massages again. This year I want to see if I can get a chiropractic adjustment and then, in two weeks, get a massage. I want to flip them back and forth to see if I can cut down on both of those expenses this year.

I think this category is pretty self-explanatory but everything clothing related from your blouse to your shoes and your socks to your handbag.

I think I mentioned back at the beginning of 2018 when I was cleaning out my closet that I shopped my way to happiness through the tragedy of getting adhesive arachnoiditis? Well, when I cleaned out and moved to a capsule wardrobe, I resolved to not buy anything else unless it was replacing something that was worn out or broken. I did this for the most part. I can list the clothing I bought for the entire year of 2018. Can you?

3 sweatshirts at Costco to replace worn out, stinky ones.
3 t-shirts at Target, no replacement, just needed something in between super casual and business casual.
3 Dresses - 1 Anne Taylor and 1 Michael Kors from Goodwill and 1 designer dress from Stitch Fix for my 20th reunion
2 Skirts - 1 Banana Republic pencil skirt and 1 Anne Klein circle skirt from Goodwill
1 pair of Kut from the Kloth jeans from Goodwill
2 pairs of Lunya Restore pj's
6 Third Love Bras (2 of which are a black and nude strapless) (my biggest category expense)

That's it, folks.

I would like to say that I personally know the best Goodwill in the entire state of Texas and they always have amazing clothes that usually still have the price tags from the original store attached. No, I'm not telling you where it is.

So even when I do buy clothes, they're not crazy expensive. I save money for the big stuff, like my 20th reunion dress...which will probably be my 40th birthday dress when that rolls around in 2020.

What my 2019 financial tracking isn't going to cover are my other necessary medical alternative treatments like medicine, supplements, or dry needling.

I'm starting a separate medical expenses tracking collection in my bullet journal for those.

Wish me luck. Ok, I'm done complaining about my stupid lack of responsible spending in 2018, which is a problem of total privilege, and I resolve to do better in 2019.

Understanding Chronic Pain Sufferers

Last week I was contacted by a fellow health blogger, Shannon Johnson, who asked me a very pivotal question.

What do I wish I could do that I cannot because of pain?

Understanding Chronic Pain Sufferers

Honestly, I almost hate this question because admitting that I alter my life because of my pain is something I'm actively trying to overcome. My psychologist is convinced that I can completely overcome my adhesive arachnoiditis with the power of my brain, and gosh I sure hope she's right. However, that is another post for another day.

That said, I want to bring awareness to my readers that don't suffer from chronic pain to hopefully understand what it's like and what you take for granted on a daily basis. Maybe your spouse has chronic pain and you just don't get it, maybe it's your mom, or an uncle. Either way, I feel like their answer to this question would be very similar to mine.
What do I wish I could do that I cannot because of pain?

I wish I could bend over and wash my face without pain shooting through my back and up my body.

I wish I could be spontaneous without having to plan out social events, day trips, or vacations to finite details to ensure I'm not going to be in so much pain I can't go.

I wish I could go bowling with my family or play board games all day.

I wish that my life never fell apart.

I wish I could have children.

I whish I could sneeze without bracing myself for a wave of level 8 or 9 pain.

The fact is, there are too many wishes that I wouldn't even be able to narrow it down to three for the geine in the lamp.

I wish, I wish this never happened to me.

Paleo Breakfast Sandwich

Some mornings I'm in a rush and I'm needing to eat and get ready and get out the door to get to a doctor's appointment. Whew! That was a mouthful.

Speaking of mouthfuls...

Paleo Breakfast Sandwich

I came up with this mainly because I had leftovers from burger night and I needed to eat while putting on makeup. I know some of you know exactly what I'm talking about here! Multitasking at it's finest.

Ingredients: (Serves one, just double for two)
1 large portebello mushroom very carefully sliced in half to make 2 "buns."
2 pieces of Whole30 or Paleo compliant bacon
2 eggs fried or scrambled (however you prefer, I like the fried and #leohusband likes them scrambled)
2 large tomato slices
Make it!
Cook your bacon in a skillet. When done pat the bacon dry with a paper towel and set aside. Kick up the heat a bit and "sear" the mushroom halves for 2 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel to rest. Cook your eggs in the prefered way. Salt and pepper your tomato slices.

Using the biggest half of the mushroom top with bacon and then the eggs. Place the tomatoes on top and cap with the last mushroom half. Pro tip, if you have leftover guacamole, throw that in there too!

Now you have a great Paleo friendly breakfast sandwich.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix

I've often listed as cleaning out one of my finest selfcare moments. If I'm upset or stressed, I tend to clean. I know I've mentioned this before but when #breadwinnerbff and I were roomie's in undergrad...we would know if each other had a bad day based solely on how spotless the apartment was when getting home.

I distinctly remember her walking in once to me violently cleaning the floor and saying in a mildly amused tone, "So, how was your day?" We still laugh about it.

So my house is relatively clean and tidy. Monday was my tidying day, and I'm not ready to KonMari the attic or garage yet so I did the next best selfcare thing I could think of.

I put Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.

I've talked about the KonMarie Method extensively because it's awesome and it works. I love it, you should love it. Read her book. Check out her YouTube videos. Watch the Netflix show.


I can tell my hormone cycle is making a shift because I'm so dang tired. I literally Googled "Yoga for When You Don't Want to Do Yoga" this morning. Ugh.

I need some selfcare y'all.

I've been waiting to watch the show since I saw it drop on Netflix over the holidays. 5 minutes into episode one I'm totally hooked and want to binge watch so bad but I'm going to restrain myself. Ok, so I may have watched 30 mins into episode two, but I really need to get to work around the house, but my almost 90 minutes of selfcare was worth it.

I will say overall the show is informative, heartwarming, and peaceful. Marie's calm nature washes over you and you do feel refreshed and rested after an episode is over.

What are the Best Organic Eggs to Buy?

I'm on day 9 of my January Whole30 and like most people on the Whole30, I'm super into eggs.

Eggs can be expensive y'all, but it's worth it when you are getting the best quality eggs right?

They have so many benefits that they are worth paying up for, packed full of vitamins, protein, and amino acids. The ease in which they translate from meal to meal is also perfect.
Hold onto your chair because I'm about to rock your world.

When you walk in the grocery store and you go to buy your eggs and the package says "Cage Free" and "Organic" you most likely are getting the same equalivent as the cheap, regular, non-special eggs!


What are the Best Organic Eggs to Buy?

There's a company called Cornucopia Institute that gives a scorecard to all organic grocery store items to help consumers make the best choices.

I usually buy three different kinds of eggs depending on where I have to go during the week and what part of town I'm running those errands in.

HEB, a local Texas grocery store - where I usually buy their in house brand of organic cage free eggs
Kroger or WalMart - where I buy Egglands Best Eggs
Costco - where I usually buy their in house brand of organic cage free eggs

I like most people thought that organic was organic, and cage free meant cage free.

Cage free means they have a bigger cage y'all. Organic means they are fed organic corn. All the above eggs scored a 1 on the egg score card.

So damn misleading.
Anyway, Cornucopia Institute's scorecard for the best eggs, for the Texas Region, at a 5 egg rating is World's Best Eggs. Unfortunately, the closest store that sells that for me is a drive....I'm not willing to make, let's just put it that way. Houston traffic sucks so much that I'd rather not even bother with it.

So at a 4 egg rating, lower on the tier, is the nationwide retailer Vital Farms. They are actually stocked in my WalMart along with salted and unsalted butter. Boom!

They actually are free range, meaning they walk and scratch and eat worms. So if you are wondering which eggs to get, make sure the package says free range chickens. I actually like that Vital Farms calls it Alfresco Chickens. Makes me smile.

If I'm going to drop the money, I expect to get what I'm paying for, right?

For the best eggs in your state or region check out Cornucopia's Egg Scorecard

2019 Bullet Journal Set Up

It's hard to believe we are already one week into 2019. Last Saturday, I looked at #leo husband and said that I couldn't belive that Monday was 2018. It felt like 2018 was three weeks ago, not 5 days ago. Man, that time dilation field gets me every dang time. #stargate #nerdqueen

So much has happened in one week. From taking all the decorations down, which after this meme by a friend, I felt totally cool with procrastinating...

...which was great because with all the family and friend fun I was totally behind on setting up my third bullet journal for 2019. Ticks me off though because last year, I was telling myself that I needed to start earlier next year, like the beginning to mid-December early. Well, that didn't effing happen. Ugh, best-laid plans of mice and men.
Well, with my niece's here I got to work on it because they love all things art. I've even tried convincing my oldest niece to try one. Showed her a couple of videos and she dug it. I love corrupting, bringing others over to the dark side, inspiring those around me to dig cool things that aren't mainstream.

Like Bullet Journals.

2019 Bullet Journal Set Up

This year I feel like I streamlined my collections to what worked and didn't work. It's an evolving process which I like. I'm also super stoaked about my brush lettering. Half of my setup was just having fun trying to come up with beautiful titles or unique ways to put the letters on the page.

What I kept the same:

My health/body tracker is mostly the same with the exception of I went to measurement only, instead of weight and measurement. That may change but I feel too many negative emotions are tied up by my scale. I want to see improvement in my tape measure, not the scale.
My Satan's Waterfall Log was super handy last year so I'm keeping it mostly the same but with a few new additions for symptom tracking.

My replacement tracker is exactly the same because I made it last year on a seperate page and never put it in my bujo.

Expenses, after tracking last year, I spend about $200-300 a month on myself. It seems like a lot but it is mostly medical related "perks" which I will talk about in a later post. I save what I don't spend and redeposit it at the end of the year into savings.

What's new:
I changed up the design for the year at a glance from a horizontal layout to a vertical one. I added the month view calendar above the item lists.

I have a Goal's page with my goal of consistency and kindness. I left blank spaces so I can add to the list as I become aware of the areas I need work on.

Vacation and Gifts have been narrowed down to one page instead of a two-page spread.
I cut movies because that was way too hard to keep up with, we watch a lot of movies, and increased my reading spread to two pages with 24 spaces because my goal is to read 24 books this year.
I have a perfect day "Daily Routine" which I haven't been able to reach yet, but I am building habits that will get me there. Although I will say part of the problem is my complete lack of a sleeping schedule from the holidays. Ugh.
I made a dedicated Whole 30 planning spread, and I'm hoping to do two Whole30's this year, I'd love to shoot for one each quarter but that ambitious goal is going to be a 2020 one.
I added a weekly tasks page because I tend to lose focus and do what's immediate and urgent that day. I really want to get into a good schedule because consistent daily routine reduces inflammation.

I have two blank pages left for anything that may come up later in the year that I feel is necessary to add.

2019 is going to be a great year. I've got a basic handle on my adhesive arachnoiditis. #leohusband isn't going to be in Europe for 8 months out of 12. We have big ideas and goals for us as a couple and can't wait to see them come to fruition.

Happy New Year my lovely readers!

5 Tips for Chronic Pain and The Whole30

As I mentioned last week, I'm kicking off 2019 with a January Whole30.

While I consider myself a Whole30 veteran, I still find new ways to make Whole30 more accessible, especially since my last three Whole30's have been post-Adhesive Arachnoiditis.

If you have never heard of the Whole30, it is a 30-day eating program with two goals. First is health, detoxing your body by eating healthy whole foods and meals. Second, teaching you how to cook healthy, make menu plans, and realize that cooking is not hard.

So I already know all this, my problem is that I know cooking isn't hard and that eating healthy definitely makes a huge difference in my pain levels. However, due to my limited mobility, I can't stand up longer than 15 - 20 minutes to food prep! I had a food prepping nightmare back in the fall that took me 3 weeks to recover from.

I had to get smart this time around.

5 Tips for Chronic Pain and The Whole30

1. Precut Veggies

Every grocery store has them. Cut up onions, celery, carrots, butternut squash, just to name a few. Yes, they are slightly more expensive but it is worth it if you are going to stay on track. Plus, it will enhance the desire to cook your own food if you are not doing massive amounts of chopping vegetables. My local grocery store even has pre-washed and chopped cilantro!
2. Frozen Veggies

I cannot praise frozen riced cauliflower enough. It is my best friend. Along with, frozen green beans, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Frozen veggies are my go-to for almost everything. They're inexpensive and easy to cook with. Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, S&P, and Herbs de Provence...veggies are done!
3. Plan your Whole Month of Meals and the Grocery Lists to Match.

They really stress planning. In fact, all of the literature you read about the Whole30 emphasizes planning. Plan when you are going to do the Whole30, plan out your month of meals...in fact, plan for when you can plan. LOL!

I take mine a step further and also write out my grocery lists. This is because I want to
A. Maximize my time and not be wandering around a grocery store during a pain flare.
B. It also helps me keep track of what I bought when...exactly how old is this avocado?

With chronic pain and illness, the last thing you want is food poisoning. Our immune systems are already compromised, our guts are definitely leaky, let's not add to that.
4. Make a Pinterest Page Just for the Whole30 (or put post-its in your cookbooks with dates)

This year I took my planning to the next step and made an entire Pinterest page. All the recipes for my January Whole30 are there, maybe not in the exact order, but easy to access and get to when I'm ready to cook.

Not a Pinterest fan or maybe you have a snazzy Whole30 or Paleo cookbook you are going to use. Then grab some post its and write the days and dates down that you are cooking that meal and mark them in your book. I do this on a weekly basis after my meal planning.
5. WalMart has Whole30 Approved Frozen Meals Y'all!
Ok, so Melissa Hartwig has been super awesome in 2018 about making Whole30 accessible to more people and through a partnership with WalMart, they have created frozen dinners.

I have all 4 in my freezer as an emergency back up meal. I have not tried them yet, but let's be honest, if you are in a lot of pain and need to eat something immediately to take your medication, this is it! As soon as I try one, which will probably be next week, I'll get a review up.
For any and all things Whole30, check out the Whole 30 website and their many books!

Whole30 and Paleo Mexi'cauli Rice

I would love to say that I'm totally prepared for this January Whole30 but I'm not. This will be my 4th Whole30 since 2015. I do cook paleo on an 80% basis so I'm not completely caught with my pants down, still, I don't feel prepared.

Actually, the only thing I'm not really prepared for is breakfast and snacks. First I know what you are thinking...snacking is not on the Whole30.

I have stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue and I have to snack. It's part of my functional medicine doctor's program. Whole30 is about a healthier you so snacking at designated times is healthy and necessary for me. #youdoyou

Second, we had a lot of family and friend time during the holiday's and unfortunately, some of our guests departed 3 days early due to health issues. That left us with a fridge full of uncompliant Paleo and Whole30 food. I froze what I could, gave away to friends what I could, but I'm still left with a great deal of tempting food I can't eat.

So I did what any good Texas girl would do. I threw everything into a skillet and made Tex Mex.


Whole30 and Paleo Mexi'cauli Rice

20oz (two bags of frozen cauliflower rice)
1 t of Cumin
1/2 - 1 t of Salt (to taste)
1/4 t Smoked Paprika
1 t of Minced Garlic
1 can of Rotel or Hatch Tomatoes and Chilies
1/4 c of Pace Picante or any salsa without Sweetener
Avocado Oil
Raw Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

Make it!
Heat the oil in a deep skillet. When oil is hot but not smoking add the minced garlic. Sautee garlic until aromatic, about 1 - 2 min. Add the cauliflower. Break up any clusters with a spoon. Sprinkle on the cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir well to combine and saute about 3-4 min to really let the spices meld with the cauliflower. Add in the Rotel and Pace. Bring to a simmer and stir frequently. Simmer about 2-4 minutes.

If you're vegan you may just stop there! Top it with guacamole and pepitas and you're done. Easy peasy.
We topped ours with my instant pot pork carnitas. Look for that recipe next week! Yum!