Was It Gout, Pseudogout…My High Heels?

Manic: Waking up on my hub’s birthday last December 9th with an unexplained, incredibly painful and swollen ankle that I could bear no weight on!  I was perplexed and in extreme pain.  I had not injured it and had gone to bed as usual the night before. It was so strange!

Managed:  After weeks of doctor’s appointments, two emergency room visits, medical tests, meds and more, I don’t have a solid answer, but I have a tale to tell with some lessons learned to pass on to my readers when it comes to foot, ankle and really overall health.

Back to December 9th now.

My ankle upon waking. A painful mystery!  It swelled much more as the morning wore on as can be seen in the below photo…

The pain.  Wow!  I told my husband and the ER doc that the extreme discomfort was an 8 on the pain scale and reminded me of laboring with my son…who was 9lbs!  The physician told me that typically he would call my swollen ankle/extreme pain gout, but that I was missing the classic burning redness that accompanies a gout affected joint.  For most, gout happens in the big toe, but some can experience this ailment in an ankle or elbow.  Gout was pretty much eliminated, but the X-ray showed a lot of swelling with no fractures of any sort, so I was put on steroids to reduce the swelling.  I was also given pain meds.  I tend to be somewhat homeopathic, so I try to avoid pills, but not this time.  The pain was bad, so painkillers were my friend as I got through this.

Three days later after the initial December 9th attack (as I call it), I was back on my feet and back to my busy life.  I was running around quite a bit, but I was wearing tennis shoes and not high heels.  I still had a slight limp as I ran around town.  Unfortunately, I returned to my busy bee self too soon.

Later that evening, and with hubs now out of town on a business trip, I laid in bed literally watching my ankle swell, yet again.  This time it was moderately bruised by morning and the extreme pain had returned.  One careful bath filled with anti-swelling Epsom salt and one pain pill later, I again could bear no weight on my foot.  I was so frustrated that I was having a second attack.  Thankfully, my son had just finished his college finals and was able to come over and drive me to the emergency room.

Once again, a different doctor didn’t think my ankle presented enough of the symptoms to be called gout.  He was equally perplexed.

Later in the ER waiting room, my ankle continued to mysteriously swell!

After receiving normal bloodwork, to my relief, I was sent home to wait on the MRI results.

Back to couch rest, but at least I had furry friends to keep me company!

The MRI showed a lot of swelling (this I knew) and listed a potential arthritis gout like condition but no definitive diagnosis.  The next step was to have fluid drained from my ankle by my podiatrist.  Kudos to Dr. Jon Beecroft with Ahwatukee Foot & Ankle, who took excellent care of me through this ordeal staying in touch with me every step of the way as we worked to figure out my mystery diagnosis.  I have blogged about his excellent care before when I battled and overcame my plantar fasciitis. 

Dr. Beecroft was very gentle as he administered a numbing shot to my ankle, withdrew fluid for testing and inserted a steroid shot.  I experienced very little discomfort and was also in good shape due to my caring mother-in-law, who came to town and held my hand during this procedure.  She is also a nurse and taught nursing at NMSU, so I was in good hands both with her and with my trusted podiatrist.  My regular doctor at Caring For Families was also excellent, too.  I am a lucky girl for sure to have terrific physicians and family!

Dr. Beecroft did a nice job gently doing the extraction and the steroid shot with my ankle.  Unfortunately, only a little fluid could be extracted, so it was not enough to get a confirmed gout diagnosis.  However, other conditions like Valley fever were ruled out.

So, the mystery continued.  I stayed on crutches for a few weeks and rested a lot. Keeping my foot elevated was key.

By my follow up appointment with my podiatrist, I was back on my feet and taking things slow.  I wore an ankle brace for support and only wore tennis shoes.  As Dr. Beecroft went over all my normal test results, we were both pleased but still puzzled.

He mentioned pseudogout.  Because I never experienced some of the more classic gout symptoms, this other type of gout, psuedogout was something to consider in my case.  A big cause of pseudogout can be dehydration.  When excess calcium is deposited into the joints, it can create the very painful irritation, like what I experienced.  Perhaps we had an answer now!

Well not completely.  Since we can’t confirm this (unless we do surgery, which my docs and I deem unnecessary, thank goodness), the game plan became keeping a med on hand called indomethacin, which is used to treat conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis.  During my second flare-up, this drug proved to be effective.  I only had to take it for a few days.  In the event of a future swelling attack, I can take it as this drug works quickly to reduce the swelling, which can cause a lot of pain.  Six weeks after the initial attack, I returned to my gym and to normal life…minus one item…

High heels.

The heels on this rack are now outnumbered by tennis shoes, my new best foot friend.

I realized that without a definitive diagnosis, I needed to acknowledge that I was dealing with some sort of inflammation and what, if anything, could I do about this.  I didn’t have to think long and hard to discover the answers.

Less wine.  Better nutrition.  More consistent gym workouts.  Less sugar.  More whole foods.  And no more high heels!  Getting a good night’s rest is also helpful.

Leading up to my attacks, I was drinking a lot of wine, about 2 to 2 1/2 glasses five days a week.  The cumulative effect of that can add up.  Too much wine and coffee (my two favorite go to beverages as I avoid all other sugary drinks).  Not enough water and too much coffee and booze can lead to dehydration, something my doctor says can greatly contribute to a condition like pseudogout.

Better nutrition. I was dining out a lot.  During the weeks leading up to my affected ankle, my daughter did not yet have her driver’s license.  She was cast into a lead role in a paid theatre production, so this wonderful accomplishment became our main priority.  With almost nightly rehearsals, I waited for her at nearby restaurants, meeting with pals to eat high fat restaurant food, drink wine and parade around in my cute high heels.  Soon my daughter was a newly licensed driver, so ordering that second glass of wine, almost nightly, was too easy to do since I now had a designated driver!

I also had let my workouts wane due to our busy schedule.  Exercising with strength training is very important to keep up with as we age.

And a big culprit, I now think was my beloved high heels!

At a holiday event with my girl and the high heels I was wearing have zero ankle support.

I was wearing them a lot at my restaurant meet-ups.  Several years earlier, I had injured my ankle and my podiatrist tells me that I could have an old sprain that never healed 100%.  Running around in heels so much of the time could have aggravated the old sprain and resulted in the swelling that resulted in the bruising. But again, this diagnosis can’t be proved.

So, it may have been gout or pseudogout.  Or a prior injury/sprain that was kept from completely ever healing by continued high heel wear and tear on my foot.  And just in case it was gout, I now eat very little red meat, no shellfish, no beer and less wine, as I mentioned.  These foods can contribute to a gout attack.

After switching my footwear to mostly flats and tennis shoes, my longtime massage therapist couldn’t get over how much looser my hips are and how much less pain I experience in my glutes during our sessions.  He asked me what I was doing differently.  When I thought for a minute and told him that I no longer wear high heels, he exclaimed that was it.  He then told me that heels do us ladies absolutely no favors and cause long term damage and pain as we progress in age.

My mother has warned me about my beloved heels for years.  Yes, Mom knows best.  So I have only worn heels twice since December 9th, both at work.  I now regularly wear stylish flats, Chucks Converse and tennis shoes most of the time.  I did recently treat myself to a pair of Tory Burch flip flops and I now believe the hype about why they are worth the price. I do feel like my feet get more support with the Tory shoes due to the wide embracing top of the shoe.  Although I don’t think flip flops are good for our feet and ankles.  

I have wanted to blog about this for a while, but I put it off since we never could get a definitive diagnosis. I finally decided to share my story to encourage all of you ladies out there to wear your heels with caution, wear them less and find styles that are supportive and not as damaging.

And most importantly, do what you can to reduce your chances of experiencing inflammation, which is the root of so many disorders. We can’t always avoid these difficult health situations due to heredity, a crazy busy lifestyle that can’t be avoided at the moment and other external factors.  But we can do these things…

*eat well

*exercise

*get good sleep at night

*stay hydrated

*do things that give you joy

*have and practice your faith, whatever that faith is for you

*spend more time with your peeps and less time on electronic devices

…and yes, wear those high heels less, ladies!  They take their toll as we age.

By New Year’s Eve, I was finally 100% back on my feet, but I wore a brace (and yep, Chucks tennis shoes with my dress!).  I wore the comfy and supportive soft brace that my podiatrist gave me for a few more weeks until my ankle was finally back to normal.  I have been cautiously optimistic that I don’t have another attack.  I continue to practice my healthier habits and only wear high heels on special occasions.  I choose heels that have support as well.

And with that, I am going to step into my tennis shoes and jump into my day…carefully jump…with my potentially gout, pseudogout or high heel abused ankle.  We will never know the real answer, but I move ahead doing all that I can to keep potential inflammation at bay.

 

 

On The Go Smart Snacks Seen In My 3TV Segment

Manic:  My metabolism since turning 50!  Sometimes I am quite hungry and other times not at all, but no matter what, it is way harder to drop a few pounds than it was when I was younger.  And I love snacks.  KIND Bar minis are my new favorite find, so that is a go to snack for sure.  But many other readily accessible unhealthy snacks tempt me when I am on the run.  I am on the go a lot, so grabbing a quick snack is many times necessary, but also tempting with so many unhealthy foods out there.  So what is a manic managed mom to do about snack attacks?

Managed:  I have taste tested some easy to grab snack solutions that work well when you are running around town.  Take a look at my yummy picks…

The Smartest Snack Solution

The smartest snack solution is to stick with good ol’ veggies and fruits.  I buy the precut veggie tray at my grocery store, but I try to get the tray without the tempting Ranch dressing.  Also try different fruit combos like blueberries and pomegranate seeds together.  I like to mix this colorful and nutritious combo in with my plain Wallaby organic yogurt for a nutritious yogurt that I sweeten myself.  Try it! Or freeze grapes and you will love how they tastes just like a popsicle.

Of course, there are times when we want snacky snacks instead of fruit and veggies exclusively, so here are some of the lower calorie snack ideas that work for me.  I have listed them in categories that include salty crunch, sweet tooth and coffee drinks/ice cream alternatives. Take a look…

Salty Crunch Busters

Want something salty and crunchy?  Say no to potato chips and instead try these ideas…

*Skinny Pop Popcorn – only 100 calories in the snack bag, non-GMO, gluten free and no artificial ingredients.  Yes please!

*Organic Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn – at 100 calories a bag, this snack fills me up and I appreciate that only three ingredients fill my snack bag which include organic non-GMO popcorn, coconut oil and Himalayan salt.  Protein and fiber are also good byproducts you get with this snack.

*Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds snack pack – Only 100 calories per pack and these are easy to throw in my purse.  Only one ingredient is listed…almonds.  Perfect choice! 

*Skinny Quinoa Sticks – I just found these at Walgreens and I am hooked!  As the website says, these tasty snacks contain real ingredients like quinoa and omega-3 rich chia seeds that make this whole grain snack a smart choice. These crunchy sticks are a delicious and family-friendly snack with a big taste, minus the bad stuff.  These have zero trans fat, cholesterol, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and this company boasts that the skinny sticks contain 30% less fat than the leading potato chip.  Sold plus they taste really good!

*Terra Real Vegetable Chips – These are my new obsession that keep me away from potato chips.  Non-GMO in original Sea Salt flavor, these guys contain a seasonal mix of root veggies that include sweet potatoes, yuca, parsnip, sea salt and beet juice.  At 150 calories a snack bag, my urge for crunchy chips is satisfied with this better choice.  BUT I must admit that after doing some research, these chips don’t add up to a healthy snack, but I eat these instead of potato chips now because I still believe that root veggies are better than white potatoes.

*Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Rosemary & Olive Oil Crackers – Gluten free, 100% whole grain with no artificial colors and flavors, these are my go to crackers now.  Perfect with a nice slice of cheese on top.

Sweet Tooth Treats

Oh, that tempting sweet tooth!  Instead of candy bars, cookies and ice cream, try these savory snacks…

In place of a candy bar, try these…

*KIND Dark Chocolate Almond Mint Bar – I especially like this flavor because of the yummy chocolate mint combination.  And there are several KIND varieties that only have 5 grams of sugar with ingredients that can be pronounced.  So, you know what you are eating.  This bar is 200 calories, so it is filling, and it also contains 5 grams of protein.

*Power Crunch is the protein bar that my trainer recommends.  He likes these because each bar only has 5 grams of sugar and no sugar alchols.  I love this bar because it is delicious and tastes like a wafer cookie without the chalky aftertaste that many other protein bars leave plus the Power Crunch bar won’t result in a sugar crash.  My daughter loves the chocolate mint flavor and my favorite is the peanut butter crème variety.

Instead of cookies, try this…

*Emmy’s Organic Coconut Cookies Dark Cacao – Starbucks sells these now in their snack section.  USDA organic, vegan and gluten free, these mini cookies are made with fair-trade cocoa powder and cold pressed coconut oil.  One cookie has 100 calories and 5 grams of sugar.  Not bad for a cookie and the coconut flavor and texture is chewy and satisfying, so one cookie takes care of my sweet snack craving.  I especially appreciate the whole ingredients in these cookies that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup.

 

Iced Coffee Craving/Ice Cream

Instead of a sugar filled iced coffee or blended shake at the drive-thru coffee shop, try this…

*Enlightened Cold Brew Coffee Chip – Buy a box of these yummy ice cream bars and only take in 90 calories a serving instead of the typical coffee shop blended coffee drink which can run as high as 340 calories and a whopping 47 grams of sugar for a drink like the 16 oz Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino. That used to be one of my old faves before I gave that up!  I am especially happy to find the Enlightened ice cream bar that only has 5 grams of sugar.  Enlightened has other ice cream flavors as well like mint chip.

Interesting Curb Craving Product:  Meal Enders

*Try Meal Enders.  I heard about this interesting snack candy idea on social media.  So I ordered a bag of yummy chocolate mint flavored Meal Enders and I do think they sort of work.  I say sort of because they aren’t cheap, unfortuntely.  So you have shell out the dough for this snack solution and I can’t prove that they really curb your appetite and keep you from snacking and consuming dessert or if it is a mental thing.  But they do taste good, they do satisfy my urge to keep on eating and the tingly taste that is the aftertaste feels like an after dinner mint.  Somehow all of this signals the brain that eating is done.  Again, I am not a spokesperson for Meal Enders and I don’t know for sure if they truly work, but for me, they do the trick on a lot of days.  Not every day, but a lot of days if I pop a Meal Ender after my meal, that satisfies me instead of ordering a dessert.  That is a good thing.  I just don’t like the price.  One solo pack that contains 25 pieces costs $16.95 or get a 3-pack for $34.95 or a 9-pack bundle for $89.95.  Flavors include Citrus, Cinnamon, Mocha and Chocolate Mint.  I have only tried the Chocolate Mint and my daugther and I both like that flavor a lot.  I have ordered the Mocha, so I hope I like it.

What are your smart snack solutions?  Leave your yummy ideas in the comments section.  Happy snacking and happy summer shopping for fashions, too.  That is also a good remedy when you feel a snack attack coming on…try on last summer’s clothes or go shopping!  In any event, eat as healthy as you can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Mama Wellness Kit

Cold and flu season got you down?  Or are you trying to keep those germs away?  With two kids who are now 20 and 16 (guess I can’t say kids anymore), I have learned a lot of tricks and tips along the way when it comes to family wellness maintenance. And that can be a full-time job. Kids and teens are so busy these days with academics, activities, friends, jobs and more that keeping them well is important and when things become unwell, it is important to have a Mama 1st aid kit, or as I like to call it, a mama family wellness kit on hand ready for action.  Here is what we keep in ours…

Colds & Cough

The thing about some colds and some viruses is that kids can keep going as long as they don’t have fever. But they can still feel miserable, so these are the remedies we use when that happens…

*Traditional Seasonal Tea Medicinal Seasonal Sampler Herbal Tea – I buy my box at Whole Foods, but I have seen similar sampler herbal teas at grocery stores. This one houses four flavors that are all beneficial and work to ease symptoms.  The sampler incudes Gypsy Cold Care, Echinacea Plus, Throat Coat and Breathe Easy.

*EmergenC – My family loves this stuff!  So, at the first sign of a cold, this is mixed with water and consumed!

*Medicine Ball Tea also called the Jade Citrus Mint Tea – We found this ourselves when we asked the Starbucks barista which tea would be best for my girl as she had a big performance and a head cold with cough.  Not fun!  She told us about the Starbucks Sick Tea and we swear by it!  It has been renamed and the Starbucks website says that this is a customer creation that contains Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea, hot water, steamed lemonade and a touch of honey.  Try it the next time you are under the weather.  I will caution that a 16-oz. serving does contain 33 grams of sugar, so watch your added sugars the rest of the day after having this tea.  Other than that, I have nothing but praise for this amazing Starbucks remedy!

*Raw Manuka Honey – My daughter had a lead part in a big VYT production last year and on opening day, she barely had a voice!  First, we used the above recommended Throat Coat herbal tea, she took 2 Advil and she drank the Starbucks sick tea mentioned above.  Then we followed up with a ½ tablespoon of raw manuka honey.  By curtain time, she had a voice again and got through it!  We did see her pediatrician that day to confirm that it was a cold and nothing more serious and her doctor knew about the manuka honey remedy, too. WebMD has a detailed article about the benefits and research done about this honey and what ailments it helps.  VERY IMPORTANT:  never give honey to a child under one year old. It can cause botulism.  Also, be sure that your child does not have an allergy to bees. So, before you try honey, be sure you read up on it and then if all works for your family, you will probably find this to be a good remedy for coughs and more as our grandmothers did with honey years ago. Manuka honey is expensive, and I have seen it sell for as high as $35 a jar, but it has been worth it for us. I get mine at Whole Foods.

Injuries & Soreness

*Family Pack Band-Aid – Doesn’t it always seem like when you need one size of band aid, you only have the wrong size on hand?!  I finally purchased this cool family pack at Sam’s Club and this box contains 170 premium bandages in all shapes and sizes.  This has saved the day more than once.  And this box has waterproof band aids as well.

*Epsom Salt – For swelling following an injury or soreness from a sport or workout, an Epsom bath is a great remedy. Webmd.com says that in water, it breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into your body through your skin. That hasn’t been proven, but just soaking in warm water with the salts can help relax muscles and loosen stiff joints.  I have personally found this to help a lot.

Eczema

*Aveeno Oatmeal Bath – This has worked wonders for my daughter when she used to get bad eczema outbreaks.  Webmd.com explains that Colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and forms a protective barrier that also helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation. Oatmeal for this can be made at home, but I love the convenience of buying it prepackaged at the drug store.  We really like the Aveeno brand.

Cuts, Scrapes, Minor Burns, Chapped Hands, Lips & Nasal Irritation from Colds

*Boiron Calendula Ointment Both my mother (who is very homeopathic) and me love this homeopathic medicine that soothes, protects and heals cuts, scrapes and especially chapped skin. It is paraben free and comes from the garden marigold plant.  I buy mine at Sprouts Markets, Whole Foods and Vitamin Shoppes.

Nausea

Here is one home remedy that everyone has on hand!  A washcloth and cool water.  Simply wet the washcloth with cool water and place on the back of the neck.  My mother-in-law, who was the head nurse at her hospital and taught nursing at NMSU, recently did this for me, just last month and it worked like a charm!

Did I leave out one of your favorite family wellness remedies?  Wishing you wellness this winter season!

 

 

 

 

Lori’s Story: Her Happy Health Treatment That Worked

Manic:  Me a couple of years ago wondering why I was losing a lot of hair, getting sick a lot, dealing with itchy skin and more.  My wonderful mother suggested that I have my thyroid checked as both she and my grandmother have hypothyroidism.

Managed:  Listened to my mama and sure enough, I have an underactive thyroid, too.  For myself, I started taking Synthroid and I have done very well on that.  However, I have heard from a lot of friends, that they did not do so well on that med.  I will continue my course of meds since I have personally responded well to it, but if that ever changes, then I will check out another option that I am sharing here below.

(Disclaimer:  I am NOT a medical professional, but a blogger who likes to share tips from other moms…hence the name of this blog, managedmoms…of things that have worked or not worked for people.)

The one thing I can tell you for sure is to have your thyroid checked if you have any of the symptoms I described or just feel off.  It is very common and once diagnosed, many women notice a terrific improvement with their overall health and well-being.

So with that, when a dear friend of mine asked if she could share her thyroid treatment success story, I agreed since thyroid disease is so common.  She tells me that after years of all kinds of unwellness, she has drastically improved with a successful doctor visit and the follow-up treatment he recommended for her.  Here is her story and I thank Lori Olawski for writing in to share.  This blog loves to share tips with each other that make our manic lives a bit more managed.  Here is Lori’s story….

Lori, in blue dress, looking lovely and feeling good, with her daughter.

Lori says:

Before finding Hope Integrative Wellness, I literally spent decades visiting doctor after doctor searching for at least a reason for feeling completely devoid of energy, motivation and a spark for life.  I felt physically exhausted, craved carbohydrates to give me the energy to get through the day, was losing my hair, gaining weight, feeling depressed and was getting more and more discouraged.  I knew I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but was told time after time that the medication I was taking that was all that I could do about living with this autoimmune condition.

Coming from a medical background, I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t anything more I could do to improve my situation.  So I visited numerous endocrinologists, internists, D.O.’s, and Naturopathic physicians over the years.  I was treated for adrenal problems, Hashimoto’s, had my medication dosages adjusted numerous times, followed many different diets and exercise programs, meditated and slept a lot.

A lot.

I also watched my body develop Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, brain fog, joint stiffness, sciatic nerve pain, all while losing even more hair, and gaining more weight.  At the end of my rope, I attended Dr. Kan’s free seminar and immediately knew everything he said made sense to me.  After extensive physical and blood testing, a custom plan was developed for my situation. Dr. Kan explained how my autoimmune problems could be attributed to a leaky gut…never before had another doctor explored this route.  After just 3 months of treatment with Dr. Kan and his amazing team, my blood work came back with remarkable results. My Type 2 diabetes was under control, with my Hgb A1C testing coming back into the normal range, my thyroid hormones had regulated and lowered so much that my medication was cut in half, my energy was up, I no longer napped, I increased my exercising, and lost 30 pounds!

Also interesting, was that the detox protocol used by Dr. Kan detected substances hidden and settled in my tissues from decades ago, such as chemicals and mercury that I was exposed to while working in a lab over 30 years ago! As I near the 6-month mark of recovery and treatment, I am pleased with the continued progress and healing I am achieving. What I learned most was that in order to heal, I had to be aware.  Aware of my own contributions to my state of health, aware of my stress levels and how to alleviate negative situations, and mostly to be aware of the positive influences, expertise and care offered to me at Hope Integrative Wellness.   If you’re at the end of your rope with your current medical situation, I would not hesitate to explore the healing and opportunities to recover offered at Hope Integrative Wellness.

Thanks for sharing that, Lori!  Amazing!  We also heard from her doctor regarding his view on thyroid issues.  Here is what he told us…

Dr. Kan says:

Struggling with a thyroid condition??  Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to feel like yourself again, control your symptoms and feel more energetic?

Autoimmune diseases emerge when your immune system becomes overly stressed and confused and begins to see your body as foreign. Your immune system then attacks your own body tissue instead of an offending toxin or pathogen. The illnesses that fall under the category of autoimmune disease involve almost every human organ system.  Autoimmune disease affects the nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and endocrine system as well as other connective tissues, your eyes, blood and blood vessels.  In every one of these autoimmune conditions, the underlying problem is autoimmunity – the misdirection of your immune system, resulting in an attack on your organs that your immune system was designed to protect.

All autoimmune diseases are the same disease.

You may suffer from:

Adrenal Issues

Anxiety

Autoimmune Issues

Celiac

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Inflammation

Crohn’s

Depression

Digestive Issues

Fibromyalgia

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Lethargy and low energy

Lupus

Multiple Sclerosis

Myasthenia Gravis

Psoriasis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Thyroid Issues

Ulcerative Colitis

However, all of these autoimmune diseases are the same disease.  They just happen to attack different body systems.  So the disease, no matter the classification, must be treated as an autoimmune disease.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans have an autoimmune disease, and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) believes that number is actually 50 million!  The NIH data is based on only 24 of the most common autoimmune diseases, while the AARDA data is based on 120 known autoimmune conditions, with some that are considered extremely rare.  Those numbers are staggering in either case, and in comparison, cancer affects up to just 9 million, with heart disease affecting just under 22 million.

Of the 50 million American living and coping with autoimmune disease, more than 75 percent of them are women.  The Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health has recognized that autoimmunity is the underlying cause of more than 100 of the serious chronic illnesses classified as autoimmune disease.  Research discoveries made in the last decade have made autoimmune research one of the most promising areas of new discovery. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health, autoimmune disease and the resulting disorders ranked #1 in a list of the most popular research health topics requested by callers to the National Women’s Health Information Center.

In fact, this research has led to the finding that 70 percent of your immune system is actually in your gut! Chronic inflammation of the gut lining, or leaky gut, is actually a prerequisite for having autoimmune issues. So getting to the root cause of your autoimmune condition is imperative before the proper support and supplementation can be determined.

Has your immune system gone haywire because of a food sensitivity?  An exposure to a toxin?  Or did a pathogen cause an infection in your body?

Functional Medicine practitioners address the underlying root causes of disease, as the client and practitioner work together in a supportive partnership. Functional medicine is adapted to meet the needs of new research and support modalities for the current direction of healthcare.

If you are interested in learning more about your thyroid condition, or any autoimmune disease, join us at Hope Integrative Wellness Center for FREE seminars on Thyroid conditions and/or Autoimmune Disease.  Call us at 480-988-6269 for reservations…space is limited!

Thyroid Seminar:  September 5th at 5:30 and September 19th at 5:30

Autoimmune Seminar:  September 12th at 5:30 and September 26th at 5:30

Hope Integrative Wellness Center
(480) 988-6269
[email protected]

www.askdrkan.com

Dr. Peter Kan is a board certified Chiropractic Functional Medicine Doctor and Functional Neurologist. His practice at 3336 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Ste. 123, in Gilbert, is nationally known for treating complex neurological and metabolic conditions. For appointments or to attend a free informational class, call 480-988-6269. For more information, visit AskDrKan.com.

***I have not personally seen Dr. Kan, so I have no experience with his office.  This recommendation and experience comes from one of my blog readers and I do value her opinion.  Here’s to good health for all!***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does Your Health Insurance Policy Do This? Good To Know Tip!

Manic:  Opening up four letters (one per family member) from our health insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, to read the upsetting news that some of our meds will no longer be covered starting on January 1, 2018. Of course, my one super important drug, that I must take daily no matter what for the rest of my life, Synthroid, is on the list.  Of course it is!  Murphy’s law!  Ugh.  Knowing that a lot of people are getting the same (and sadly much worse) health insurance news, I took a deep breath and paused to read the entire letter.

Managed:  I calmly called my insurance carrier, reminding myself that it isn’t the customer service rep’s fault, to discuss the situation.  I knew going in to the conversation, that she would most likely recommend a generic.  I heard her out and she surprised me with some hopeful news.

She told me that I can ask my doctor to call a Blue Cross Blue Shield special authorization phone number to request that my Synthroid prescription stay covered.  I have done very well on this particular med, so I really don’t want to change.  Finding the right dose of the right thyroid medicine can be tricky.  Hormones are tricky. Having done very well on my dose and medicine, changing is not appealing to me.

I decided to blog about this, as I am guessing that many of my readers are receiving (or soon will receive) similar frustrating letters. So I am hoping that this article saves you a little stress knowing that a doctor authorization may be the answer.  Of course, I can only refer to my own policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but I would guess, and hope, that other insurance companies have similar options in place.

In any event, good luck out there with our crazy healthcare system.

Be well my friends!

A Plantar Fascittis Guide

Whenever I blog about my own medical experiences, I always get a good response from my readers, so when I received an opportunity to share this information about dealing with the frustrating plantar fasciitis foot condition, I was happy to do it.  I suffered from this painful ailment a few years ago and by following some of the suggestions below, I have been pain-free ever since.  I was able to avoid a cortisone injection and healed my own foot with the help of a physician and several at-home remedies.  You can see my personal story here.

If you have experience with this painful condition, share your story in the comments section. Wishing all of us healthy feet!

Courtesy Of: FeetRemedies.com

 

 

 

A big thank  you to Feet Remedies for sharing this sponsored infographic.  Wishing all of us healthy happy feet! 

Nana Joes Granola Perfect For My Fab 50s Lifestyle Change!

Manic:  Me thinking about turning 50 next month! 

Managed:  With this milestone birthday on the horizon, I have decided to try to mostly eat plant based foods.  I am not going 100% vegan, but I am striving for 85% to be realistic with my lifestyle.  Plus, eating this way helps our bodies, earth’s animals and the environment as stated in this interesting Medical News Today article.  My thriving and healthy 72-years-young mother also eats mostly vegan and this lifestyle has served her well.

My mom with my girl at my daughter’s Wizard of Oz performance last month. Told you my Mama looks good!

I am certainly not criticizing meat eaters as I do occasionally enjoy a meat meal as well…which is why I am striving for a 85% change. Plus I will still have dairy from time to time as a decadent chocolate malt or coffee ice cream cone are a must have at least once during the hot summer!  Call me fickle, but partially vegan is my goal for now.

Great example of my plan…mostly plant based lunch…but with wild salmon.

I started the gradual dietary switch one week ago and I already feel a positive difference!  I was having bad allergies, left leg and ankle pain and sinus issues.  Not to mention bloating and a sluggish feeling after eating some foods.  I do believe in everything in moderation and after reading countless accounts of folks who went vegan, and marveling at their improved health, vitality and energy, I have decided, at almost 50, to give this mostly vegan lifestyle a try.  I am loving it so far and just in time for me, I discovered the awesome vegan, gluten free and super tasty Nana Joes Granola line!  Who says you can’t have treats on a healthy eating plan?  With Nana Joes delish granola, a little good sweetness can be added to breakfast, snacks and more.  Love this stuff! Check out my tasty breakfast vegan makeover today that I made in 10 seconds…so yummy!I replaced cow’s milk with almond milk (I truly taste no difference) and those sugary processed cereals with the Nana Joes Trifecta Blend Granola, which only has 5 grams of sugar (per half the packaged serving, so I used the one bag for two separate meals). This combo filled me up and I felt energetic and satisfied.  I am pretty impressed with the wholesome and real food ingredients.  Plus, I adore that this stuff is handmade in San Francisco (my hubs and I honeymooned in the City by the Bay 🙂 )

They also have granola bars, too. I am a fan!  My personal favorite is the Swell Bar with Coconut, Almond and Cocoa Nib.

Gonna have this snack tomorrow when I take a reading and snack break. Readers…another fab 50 accessory!

I highly recommend Nana Joes for your healthy gluten free and vegan go to breakfast, snack, smoothie ingredient, dessert topping and more.  I love how her versatile this stuff is, not to mention super delicious, too!

Have any of you gone vegan or semi like me? Share your experience in the comments section and I am wishing all of you good food, vibrant health and joy!  Those are my goals as I dive into the fabulous 50s next month!

 

A big thank you for the Nana Joes samples so I could test it out!  My opinion about how much I love this granola line is 100% my very own. 

My Experience With Less Invasive Pinhole Gum Grafting Surgery

Wow…I must start this article out by saying that I had a good experience with pinhole gum grafting and you can read on to see how smoothly my surgery went for the most part.  BUT so many comments that have been left with this article are from readers who said that they did not have a good experience.  So if you are considering this surgery, read my article and all of the comments left and make a list of questions to ask your periodontist as you make your decision.  I am so disheartened to read all of the comments from those who struggled with this procedure.  I guess I was lucky.  Here is my story and the comments from others follow…

Need gum grafting for receding gums?  I did and I dreaded it.  I was able to try a new technique called pinhole gum grafting surgery.  This is something that you should know about in case receding gum treatment is in your future.  It is a common ailment.

First, let’s talk about traditional grafting surgery.  It is unpleasant, since typically, skin is cut from the roof of the mouth and then inserted into the receding gum area. Eek!

So, when my dentist told me that grafting was needed with a referred local periodontist, I instantly felt anxious.  My mother and brother had been through the traditional grafting and they felt for me, too.  I didn’t want to do it.  I wasn’t having any pain and my receding gums weren’t bothering me a bit, but I knew that they would at some point and if receding gums are ignored for years, the actual tooth could fall out.

I didn’t want that, so I bravely scheduled the appointment with Dr. Randy Fitzgerald at AZ Perio in Ahwatukee.  The AZ Perio staff is very nice to talk with on the phone and to work with in the office.  It is like they know that patients fear the word, periodontist.  And Dr. Fitzgerald was very nice as well.

And he had some good news for me.

I wasn’t going to have suffer through what my poor mom and brother endured because there is a relatively new procedure called pinhole surgical technique.  Dr. Fitzgerald explained to me that I would be numbed and then he would inject collagen strips under my gums, thereby filling in the receding spots to cover the tooth with the gums to the previously normal state.

He was also honest in letting me know that there would be a recovery period with some discomfort and that I would need to be on a cocktail of meds during the recovery time. I appreciated knowing that because if the words, pinhole surgical procedure is googled, words that he didn’t use come up.  Google searching said painless, no recovery time and no stitches.  That is not always actually the case.

Dr. Fitzgerald is very thorough and works to greatly reduce the chance that future surgery will be needed. Although only time will tell us that for sure.  So he does incorporate a few stitches into his pinhole procedure if he feels they are necessary.  In my case, a few were needed.

So how did my experience go?  Would I recommend this?  Here is my short gum surgery story.  First, a few pictures of my recovery stages as these photos will help reduce the fear if you end up needing this procedure.  I have read that over 50% of the population suffers from some sort of receding gums, so chances are, many of my blog readers may need this treatment in the future.

Day 1 and definitely swollen, but not too bad.

Day 3 and it is obvious which side had more surgery. My family called this my Joker smile! A sense of humor is good medicine when one is homebound recovering 🙂

Day 4 and a little more, but not too bad at all.

Peaking! This is as bad as it got. Again, not too shabby…or swollen, I should say.  Somewhat, but manageable.

A little over a week later and feeling like myself again. My lips are chapped from the recovery and, although I still feel like a cotton ball is stuffed under my cheek, the visible signs of swelling are gone. Happy me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you see the pictures, you can see that the recovery with the pinhole procedure was not bad at all.  I will now take you through my pinhole journey.  Short and sweet, but with some stuff to pay attention to and remember when considering the pinhole technique.

On January 3rd, I drove myself to breakfast before my procedure.  My entire family was sick and I wanted to get this surgery over with, so I proceeded. I went to a restaurant first, as I had asked the doctor if I could enjoy a big meal and a mimosa pre-surgery, since I would be required to be on soft foods for two weeks following the operation.  He agreed to that.  He had offered me Valium to relax me for the procedure, but I turned it down since I would not be able to drive and would lose a day feeling loopy.  Good thing I chose that route since my family was too ill to drive me and to care for me that day!

After a big delicious breakfast and one enjoyable mimosa, it was time for my surgery.  I was lucky that I wasn’t going under, so I could fill up my tank first before heading to the shop, so to speak!

Pre-surgery breakfast with a raspberry mimosa that took the edge off!

The numbing shots hurt, as expected, but nothing too terrible. They asked to cover my eyes with a towel, so I decided to pretend like I was at the spa having a facial, as they worked away.  No pain, but unfortunately, I did have some sinus discomfort on the opposite side of my mouth as they worked.

Scheduling this right after the hectic holidays left me rundown and getting over a cold, which made my sinuses vulnerable, but I was OK and could deal with it.  I also knew that the antibiotic I would take, to prevent post-surgery infection, would also wipe out any sinus infection that was left over from the pesky holiday virus my family fought.  Tis’ the season!

So my first big piece of advice #1…don’t schedule surgery or procedures right after the holidays or an event that may have you rundown.  Try to be your strongest and healthiest self when preparing for any type of surgical procedure.

The procedure took a little over an hour. I had already purchased my soft foods, so I departed for the drug store to get a narcotic painkiller that the doctor prescribed for me, just in case my pain warranted that.

Great news.  It never did!  The extra strength Tylenol and prescribed ibuprofen did the job.  Which brings me to my advice #2…stay ahead of the pain when recovering from a surgery.  I kept a chart of the different meds I had to take and the times of day and night each one was ingested, with a list of the upcoming times as well.

My chicken scratch chart wasn’t pretty, but it did the job.

When recovering from a surgery, the body is tired and rundown.  No matter how minor, the body is messed with and it responds to the invasion and needs TLC.  So even if you think a surgery is common or minor, schedule time to recover.  Truly.

I had to take more pills than I like to endure as I recovered from this procedure. As I mentioned, for three days, I stayed on extra strength Tylenol combined with a prescription ibuprofen, that I kept scheduled to take at different times.  My least favorite item that I had to take for a week was the steroids.  This helped to reduce the swelling and I was required to start the pack one day in advance of the surgery. I didn’t like the side effects, which included an increased appetite, ironic when I couldn’t chew many foods.  I also had a cough while on those pills, but it cleared up as soon as I finished the pack.  The doctor has patients reduce the amount taken gradually each day, so that body comes off the powerful steroids gradually, which is good.

I was also given a powerful germicidal mouth rinse that I was required to start the day after surgery.  This stuff is strong and greatly reduces bacteria, which I found to appreciate since I was not allowed to brush or flush my teeth for two weeks following the surgery.  Sound gross?

I was afraid of just how gross that would be, but this rinse took care of any potential bad breath. However, it will be good to be done with with it soon, since it can stain teeth. I will be finished with this rinse in one more week.  The doc also gave me a special super soft post surgical tooth brush.  I got to brush very gently last night.  The things we take for granted…brushing teeth!

So I found my recovery to be almost be more about coming off the different meds than my swollen jaw.  The painkiller combo made me sleepy and the steroids made me feel rundown with a cough. As I finished each med, I gradually felt better.  Since it is winter, the soft foods diet wasn’t as challenging as I had imagined it would be, since soup is in season.  I had lots of soup, we juiced fruits and veggies and pals brought me yellow curry, homemade soup, smoothies and more.

My sweet pal, Julie brought me yummy yellow curry. It was soupy and I mashed the veggies inside while she had wine and gave me some great company. Both the food and her company nourished my recovery.

Juicing was so helpful and my sweet teen daughter did just that for me.

This brings me to my advice snippit #3….ask for and accept help.  Again, googling the words, pinhole procedure makes this surgery sound easy breezy with no recovery time. Not true.  Your gums are being messed with.  In my case, they were also cut a little and asked to accept injections of a foreign matter. My body is not used to taking in a bunch of new meds, all at once.  My gums were swollen and I was adjusting to a different diet.  So if you do have pinhole surgery, take comfort in knowing that it is way less invasive than traditional grafting with a shorter recovery time, but you will need to schedule some recovery time.

I was told that it would be two full weeks for me. Two full weeks on soft foods, too.  Well, I followed the long list of post-op care tips to a T…and I shortened my recovery time by doing so.  This piece of paper below became my bible and I followed all the instructions religiously.  Like most of us, I don’t have time to be down and I didn’t want any post-surgery complications.  So, my advice #4…do exactly what they tell you to do post-op, have a family member read it with you to help you keep track of it all.  Be sure to keep notes regarding what time meds are taken, unusual bleeding, etc.  I also drank healing herbal teas and ate as much veggies and fruits juiced as I could. I took my vitamins and added protein powder to my smoothies.  And I got extra rest.

These guys encouraged me to cat nap and get recovery rest 🙂

I did have a little unusual bleeding the day of my surgery.  The post op instructions failed to stop the bleeding, so my wonderful periodontist stayed open after hours to take a look at my gums.  All was good but the time I arrived, so that was a relief.

That would be my only complication and it was very slight.  So I do recommend the pinhole technique. If you live in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend AZ Perio and Dr. Fitzgerald.  I am very happy to be ending this experience and this article with that recommendation!

And one more thing…I have read in multiple articles that good dental hygiene and care can add 10 years to your life, so don’t ignore your chompers.  If surgery is needed, hopefully I just gave you some good news about the wonders of technology when it comes to gum grafting.  Remember the words, pinhole procedure if your dentist tells you that receding gum surgery is needed.

My Black Eye Story & Boiron Arnicare Gel to the Rescue

Manic:  Me!  My former boss once lovingly gave me the nickname, Calamity and it still sticks, I must admit. When I saw her recently and reported to her that I gave myself a shiner (details below), she wasn’t surprised!  blk-eyeAnd of course, I did this the same week that my daughter was set to perform in the summer musical production we had been anticipating. 13Hiding out while my eye healed wasn’t an option.  Because that is what mothers do.  We keep going.

Managed:  I followed the healing plan advice of both my mom and my mother-in-law.  I am incredibly blessed to have these two amazing women in my life and although we all live far apart, we communicate regularly and I benefit from that, let me tell you.  I applied an ice pack that first night, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, for the next few hours.  But I really like homeopathic remedies and my own mother certainly raised me that way.  I wish I would have remembered that first evening that I had a fresh tube of Boiron Arnicare Gel on hand, but I didn’t.  Arnicare-Gel-5thPanel-left-800Several days later, and after a lot of agonizing about just how bad my eye looked, I remembered!  And it made a big difference.

But first let me tell you how I got my impressive shiner in the first place.  It was a tale of me against the glass dining room table.  Here is a photo of the enemy and guess who won?!  Not me!

Yes the corner of that table was a painful collision!

The corner of that table was a painful collision!  Calamity in action.

When one of our kitty cats ran under the table, I bent down to get her.  I came up too quickly, failing to navigate my return to standing.  I never made it to standing.  Falling and clutching my eye is what happened next instead. I knew it was going to be bad because it was quite the blow.  At first it didn’t look too frightful, although I still pouted as I worried about the progression in the coming days.  I hoped that this was as bad as it would get.  So I started to faithfully ice my eye the rest of that long evening. at-firstice-eyeFinally, it was bedtime and when I woke the next morning, I had a full-fledged shiner.  Just what I hoped to avoid! What a difference 8 hours makes and not in a good way.

Still pouting :(

Still pouting 🙁  Much worse next day.

So, I laid around and iced it all day long.  I got some kitty pity from my feline (she is not the guilty one from the night before, although she usually is the naughty one, but not this time).  sadie-ice-packThe next day was not much better and my daughter’s opening night was now only 2 days away.  Finally, I remembered my Boiron Arnicare Gel!  As soon as I did, I ran upstairs and immediately starting treating my eye with the wonder gel several times a day.  My mother asked me if I was applying an arnica gel to the area and I told her that I had just remembered to do that.  Boy, do I wish I would have thought of it a few days before.  Once I started incorporating the Arnicare Gel into my recovery plan, my black eye truly started to fade!

The healing was kicking into high gear with the help of the Arnicare Gel.  You can see the improvement below.  Arnicare Gel is made with Arnica montana, a type of mountain daisy that grows in the mountains of Central Europe.  WebMD says that arnica can be applied to the skin for pain and swelling associated with bruises, muscle aches, and sprains.  My mother swears by Boiron Arnicare Gel and I have tried this gel myself for sore muscles in the past and it worked well.  I was so happy to remember that I had some on hand because once I started applying a little of the non-greasy homeopathic gel to my eye, it made a difference.

Still there, but starting to fade, so no more pouting!

Still there, but starting to fade, so no more pouting!

But that pesky black eye still wasn’t completely gone and my girl’s show was the next evening.  So, my wonderful gal pal, and managedmoms.com beauty expert, Bianca came to my rescue with a quick makeup lesson on what she recommends for good coverage.  Boots No 7 Beautifully Matte from Walgreens.boots-covereye-after-coverageNot bad.  And this is hours later so the makeup had faded some, but was still doing a good job, especially when it was time to take post-show pictures, I am happy to report!  Here I am with my babies.  Since my son has gone off to college, anytime I can get a picture with my cuties, I jump at the chance, even with a black eye! fave-pic-with-kids-after-13-show

My sporty black eye wasn’t gone yet.  But within another week of faithfully using Boiron Arnicare Gel, getting my sleep, taking vitamins and eating well, it was just about gone.  And this happened by the time our family took a quick last minute weekend trip before school started.  We snuck away to a great resort in Tucson.  (My blog post with my review on that property coming soon.)  A black eye can take close to three weeks to completely disappear, so I was happy with my progress, let me tell you!

tucson-with-my-girlI definitely recommend getting a tube to keep on hand.  Because you never know when you are going to need it.  I figured that I would use mine for sore muscles.  A black eye at 49 years old?! Now that, I didn’t plan for!  So, I am sure glad that I had some in my medicine cabinet because believe me, I wasn’t going out in public more than I had to during that frustrating time!  Boiron Arnicare Gel to my rescue!  It can be ordered online and it is sold at Whole Foods and Target locations.  A complete store finder for your area can be found here that shows where Boiron Arnicare Gel is sold locally.

 

Note: I am not a doctor or a pharmacist, so you may want to first check with your doctor before using an arnica gel.  These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  For me, it worked great. 

 

I was lucky to first learn about Boiron Arnicare Gel when they became an advertising partner with managedmoms.com.  I swear by it ever since, especially since my mother also had used arnica gel for healing.  My opinion about how much I love Boiron Arnicare Gel is 100% my very own. 

Massage Deal, Food & Other Items Seen in my 3TV Segment

If you caught my lifestyle segment that aired on the KTVK “Your Life A to Z” show today and you want to see more of what I discussed, it is all here.  The fantastic massage deal that is being offered, how to determine which power of reading glasses you need in just 3 seconds, the healthy online recipe tool for family meal planning that I love and more.  It is here, so take a look…

Segment Topic #1 – Readers:  Styles, Strength & Shopping

When I first bought a pair of readers, I mistakenly didn’t do the research first.  Our show host, Suzanne suggested that I research a bit about reading glasses for my segment and I am glad that I did.  I purchased a pair that was too strong and my eyes started playing focus tricks on me and I would get headaches.  So this research is important.  The good news is that it is quite simple, too.

Check out a great website called Readers.com because this site has a simple one sheet guide that helps you discover what strength is needed.  With the strength range going from +1.00 to +3.25 with lots of numbers in between, it is very useful to know which exact strength is needed before readers are purchased.  I showed the chart in my segment.

Go to my link below to see this chart on the readers.com website. Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses strength.

Go here to get this chart that you can print out.  Then you can take the quick quiz to find your reading glasses power.

You can read more about what I learned about reading glasses here in my blog article that also shares where to buy them in bulk for less.

Segment Topic #2 – Empty Nest Syndrome Adjusting

Dorm room move-in day ant this picture says it all. Happy kid and happy mom, but the sadness shows a little on my face, doesn't it?!

Dorm room move-in day and this picture says it all. Happy kid and happy mom, but the sadness shows a little on my face, doesn’t it?!

Since my first born went away to college, I found my heart took over the keyboard and several honest posts published in my blog became very popular…and I am told helpful with a lot of my readers.  The first one I blogged was a 1 minute video that shows the dorm move-in day.

Then I wrote a piece about how it felt 7 days after he went away to college.

And I chimed in again at the one month mark, which is when it truly sank in and I had a bit of a half empty nest syndrome (still have one left at home hence the word, half) breakdown.  Well it wasn’t really a breakdown, but it was a good hard cry.  And I needed to have that.  That article called Half Empty Nest Syndrome Harder & Happier Than I Expected is here.

The best thing about writing these articles is the love and support I received both in the comments section, with private emails and some social media comments, too.  Thank you to all of my readers who gave me support, who shared their own empty nest experiences and who have cheered me on…and my son, too.

I can say that the gal pal support is HUGE.  The family support is so helpful (I am blessed with an incredible mom and mom-in-law).  My husband has also been good to go through this with and we are working on reconnecting with date nights.  When one leaves the busy nest, many couples do have to work to reconnect.

I also found that exercising has been a big help, too.  Please share your thoughts with this empty nest experience.  We love to hear from other mothers going through the similar stages that parenthood serves up!

Segment Topic #3 – Stress Relief Deal on my Blog – 35% off of a very good massage!!

And speaking of needing help dealing with life changes, one of my favorite and very helpful stress relief practices is to get a massage.  Movement Restoration, located in Scottsdale, is offering a 35% discount for a 60 minute massage to my readers!  So be sure to take advantage of that before it expires at the end of October. A lot of pro athletes get their massage treatments there.  I used my blog’s discount code and had a great experience…twice now!  And yes, that has helped me with my transition as I adjust to one of my kiddos leaving the nest!

The awesome discounted price that we receive through my blog is only $49.99 for 60 minutes!

The regular price for the massages that are being discounted for my readers is normally $85 each, so this is a great savings!  The awesome peeps at Movement Restoration are offering a special introductory rate to my blog readers of only $49.99!  Just call Movement Restoration at 480-612-5090 or visit their website link hereto book using the discount code, managedmoms  to receive the introductory rate of only $49.99 for one of several fantastic services.  And this offer is good through the end of October, for those of us who may want to pamper ourselves with a healthy massage over the upcoming Fall Break, too.

Segment Topic #4 – Online Meal Planning Tool- Mealgarden.com

Healthy treat recipes are also offered on Meal Garden like these dark chocolate covered strawberries that are made with coconut oil. They were yummy!

Healthy treat recipes are also offered on Meal Garden like these dark chocolate covered strawberries that are made with coconut oil. They were yummy!

I do still have one kid left at home, but trust me I am still feeling the half empty nest syndrome!  But with one child still at home, I am not off the hook having to plan larger meals yet.  So I recently found a very cool online meal planning tool called Meal Garden and it works great.  Meal Garden gives readers a free 30 day trial, which is what I am doing now.  I have found this site to be super easy to use with healthy meal ideas that are easy to prepare.  Plus this site organizes my own personal meal calendar and then helps me to create a grocery list that checks off items that I already have on hand.  So far, I love this site.  I have used it for a crockpot chicken dinner, a yummy oatmeal breakfast recipe and snacks, too.  I will probably purchase the membership after my 30 days expire.  At that time it will cost me $5.95 a month and I think that is worth it since I get a ton of nutritious recipes to choose from, an organized calendar and grocery shopping lists.  I recommend Mealgarden.com!