Focus On: Acupuncture

So those of you that have been following me for a while know that I live with chronic daily headaches and that I’ve tried all manner of treatments to see what will help to heal me.  I won’t go through the entire list of what I’ve tried, but suffice it to say that I’ve been pretty exhaustive in my search for a cure.

A few weeks ago, my chiropractor recommended trying a sublingual Vitamin B12 supplement.  Well actually, the conversation stemmed from trying B12 shots, but those are ridiculously expensive and I don’t even have a doctor to go to that would help to administer those on me (in case you didn’t know, I pretty much hate doctors).  Did the B12 help?  No, but I’m still taking it.

Usually I can deal with the pain, because it’s become such a regular part of my existence. Any other person would probably be whining and complaining about having to take a Tylenol and lay down to sleep with the pain I normally deal with.   So when the pain magnifies, I tend to forget how truly bad my pain can get until it gets there.

Yes, that’s what it feels like when it gets really bad, but I just deal with it.

I can’t stand living the rest of my life with constant headache pain though.  As a result, I’ve decided to try acupuncture once again.  Several months ago, my chiropractor tried it on me, but it was only for 2 days and each session was 10 minutes each.

Thanks to another Beachbody coach on my team, I found out about Community Acupuncture.  Instead of paying regular prices for an acupuncture session (which can run from $60 to $85 or more, as far as I know), at the place I go to, there’s a sliding scale of $15 to $40 per session.  You pay what you feel is best, no questions asked.

I had my first session last week and for once, I actually had results!!!  Super exciting.  My pain did not completely dissipate, but it did almost get broken into clusters (normally I feel pain all over), with pain levels almost dulling down in other parts of my head.  It’s hard to explain, but for me, it was like a miracle.  And then I actually had energy!  Me having energy like a normal person is very rare.  If you ever met me, you’d never know I always feel tired, because I play it off well.

I’ve been twice this week and haven’t noticed anything too significant, but every time I go, I get freezing cold, to the point where I feel like there’s a blanket of cold air surrounding me. The acupuncturist told me that that’s a great sign, because my chi (energy) is moving around my body.  He recommended that I go at least 3x a week for the next 4 weeks, then re-assess from there.  Praying that this is finally my answer!!!

Have a great night everyone!  Enjoy the Olympics if you’re watching the Opening Ceremony.

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Go Heavy or Go Home!

I just had the best workout ever and I can’t get over how amazing it made me feel.  Last week, I went through the same workout, but I could barely do it because the pain from my fibromyalgia was so horrendous.  This week, I powered through it and even though I was sweating buckets, I felt fantastic.  Chalene Johnson even said at the very end “You should feel like a million bucks” and I shouted back at the TV “yes Chalene, I do!!!!”  I can’t wait to work out live with her at Beachbody’s Coach Summit in Vegas in a few more weeks.

I even bought heavier weights last night because 5 pounds just wasn’t cutting it anymore!

Despite the recent weight loss that I’ve had thanks to the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, my weight has stabilized and I’ve been getting frustrated with myself because of the fact that I still have body fat on my body.  Which you might think sounds kind of ridiculous, but as my good friend Katy affectionately says to me, I’m eating “twigs and berries.”  I honestly don’t understand how it’s physiologically possible for me to have fat on my stomach and thighs when I drink a superfoods shake for breakfast everyday, have a salad with fruit for lunch, have another shake as a snack, and then eat vegetables with a whole grain for dinner, practically everyday.

I’d understand if I were eating junk here and there, but I’m honestly not.  There’s nothing that I’m eating that my body can grab onto in order for the fat to be there.  The only thing I can think of is that something strange is going on with my PCOS.  Either I’m not eating enough calories, or I’m eating too much (I don’t ever bother to count calories).  My guess is I’m not eating enough, because I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night starving.  I’ve also been eating higher glycemic fruits, like bananas, so I guess I have to cut back.  I’m still figuring out what works for me, because so many foods still make me so bloated, but it’s just so frustrating because I know that I take care of myself, and although I’m not severely overweight, I’ve got at least 10 to 20 pounds to go.  It’s even more frustrating when I see people shoveling junk into their bodies and they maintain a slim physique.  Trust me, the last thing I want to be doing is shoveling junk into my body, but it’s kind of a pain having to overanalyze every little thing that goes into my mouth.  Ok, rant over.  🙂

The weather’s been gorgeous around here, so today at lunch I sat outside with my IIN Fast Track Workbook and worked on learning on how to market myself while I enjoyed my delicious fruit.

And then when I left work, I couldn’t resist stopping by Starbucks and buying a soy chai (with half the amount of sugar or else it’s way too sweet for me!) and then having some Shakeology “ice cream” as a snack!

I also ordered two new books from Amazon and was excited to see that they were at my door when I arrived.  One’s a brand new vegan cookbook (as if I didn’t have enough already!) and the other one is about, as the title says, healing your headache.  The latest medicine that the neurologist gave me isn’t working, and even though I’m seeing him again next week, this book came recommended to me by another Beachbody coach who has fibromyalgia, and I’d like to see what it says and whether it’ll help me.  Hopefully it’ll tell me something new that I don’t already know.  It also had great reviews on Amazon.

For dinner, I had these amazing Tempeh Taco Lettuce Wraps courtesy of The Fitnessista.  A super easy recipe that only took me a few minutes to make!  Unfortunately I didn’t have mushrooms and I probably would’ve added some more spices next time, but definitely a recipe worth repeating!

Can’t believe it’s already June tomorrow, but I’m ready for it!

Glowing Green

It was back to work today!  Only 3 more weeks until it’s the end of school, which is pretty exciting, although I’ll be working throughout the summer to help me pay bills until I can get my Beachbody business off the ground running.

The exciting thing is though that it’s only 3 more weeks until Beachbody’s Coach Summit 2012 and 1 month until I turn 30!  I’ll officially have 3 weeks off (notice a 3 week theme here?!) between my last day of work and working summer school, but it’s definitely going to be a busy time!

Breakfast was, as usual, Shakeology, and for lunch I’ve been sticking to microgreen salads.  I won’t lie, I’m definitely getting tired of eating them everyday, but they’re so quick & easy to make, and I can get pretty lazy when it comes to cooking, so they’re my standby for now.

I accompanied my salad with some delicious blueberries.

Even though today was my workout rest day, I decided to do ChaLEAN Extreme today because tomorrow night I’m meeting up with some people who are in my Integrative Nutrition class.  My pre-workout snack was Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, which I haven’t made in a while, but it was delicious!

And for dinner I decided to have some of the butternut squash that my mom roasted for me yesterday along with some garlicky kale toasted in some coconut milk.  It was so good that I was thinking next time I’ll have the kale with some gluten-free pasta!

Now it’s off to bed for me.  It’s raining again, which means my pain levels are high and sleep tends to elude me.  Praying it’s different tonight!

 

Fibromyalgia meets PCOS

Imagine having pain all over your body 24/7, with no relief in site.  It’ll come and go in waves, but it’s always there.  For a while, the best I could describe it is that it felt like I could always use a massage through my shoulders and back, but I didn’t think much else of it.  Oh yeah, and then there are the chronic daily headaches that I live with on a daily basis and that I’ve talked about before.

As I’ve gotten more involved with going to the chiropractor regularly and been more involved with researching my symptoms, I’ve been hearing more and more about fibromyalgia.  My chiropractor even briefly mentioned to me a few weeks ago that he thought I might have fibromyalgia, but I still had no idea what it meant.  I finally did my own research thanks for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and thanks to the guidance of a few other Beachbody coaches that also have it, and I couldn’t believe that I felt like I was reading about myself.

So today I finally talked to my chiropractor about it.  My Beachbody coach friends told me to ask him about a functional medicine doctor.  Somehow, it went over my head that he also practices functional medicine.  He’s actually been suspecting for a long time that fibromyalgia has been my problem, but since it’s hard to diagnose and there’s no specific test for it, other autoimmune diseases must first be ruled out of the picture.  Since I’ve tried pretty much everything and ruled out a lot of things (including Lyme!), he finally conducted the official diagnosis by assessing the fibromyalgia trigger points, which was most definitely painful!

I’m actually happy that I finally have an answer.  And it’s no wonder that nothing is really working and I feel the way that I feel.  Having PCOS AND fibromyalgia is quite a concoction in my body, to say the least.  I know that the healthy lifestyle changes that I’ve made are definitely helping.  Exercise is definitely helping.  Even if I don’t immediately feel it, I know that the pain could be a lot worse.  And every single day I’m thankful for my illness (illnesses? dis-eases?), because if it weren’t for what I have, I would never have discovered my true passion.

Now, onto the food I had today!  Shakeology was for breakfast, as usual.  I actually stopped taking pictures of the Shakeology because they’re always the same, yummy and good!  But I do have an awesome picture that was shared by another coach on Facebook related to Shakeology!

Lunch was a yummy microgreen salad

With some fresh fruit

I did have a chocolate Shakeology as a snack before doing my ChaLEAN Extreme (gotta stay in shape, despite the pain!)  I used to use the pain and being chronically tired as an excuse, but after another coach told me that she doesn’t let fibromyalgia win, I decided to adopt the same attitude, and I haven’t missed a single workout since!  🙂

I was super tired today too, because I didn’t sleep well last night.  On days like these, I don’t feel like cooking.  Instead of being lazy about it though, I threw some millet into the rice cooker, chopped up some zucchini, onion, asparagus, and some carrots, and dinner was ready in less than 15 minutes.  Quick, simple, easy, and delicious!

And now I’m headed to bed because my pain levels are high and I need some sleep!!!

Seeking Answers

I’m baaaaack!!!  So I never intentionally set out to be gone for so many days, but ever since I finished the Reset, my food just has not been as interesting or fun to blog about.  And as much as I enjoyed preparing my meals on the Reset, I just haven’t made the time to do it post-Reset.  My goal though is to start shopping from the ingredients that I already have in my house, instead of going out and spending money on things when what I have is perfectly good.  My other goal is to make full use of all the amazing vegan cookbooks that I have.

Post-Reset, I’ve realized that foods are bloating me out more easily, so I ordered the Optimize and the Pre and Pro Biotics to see if it helps me with that.  During the Reset, I was hardly ever bloated.  The great news is that I’ve maintained my weight loss.  I’ve also started working out to my TurboFire/ChaLEAN Extreme Hybrid, and let me say, it feels awesome working out again!!!

I’ve also been delving further into my health issues thanks to the help of some amazing Beachbody coaches and another one of my fellow IIN students and I’m really started to suspect that I have either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  My chiropractor a few weeks ago had mentioned that he thought I might have a mild case of Fibromyalgia, but I didn’t really pay attention to all of its symptoms until I read this list and my jaw dropped.  Pretty much every single one fits me.

I don’t have every single one of these symptoms, but I definitely have a lot of them.  And combined with PCOS?  Recipe for disaster!  Yet I’m thankful for my illness because it’s led me to where I am today.  My next step is to ask to get tested for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, gallbladder issues, and whatever else my intuition tells me could be causing me so much pain.  It may not make it go away, but at least I’ll have answers.

Now, onto the food for today!

My beloved Chocolate Shakeology for breakfast

Marinated lime tempeh with farmer’s market asparagus and brown rice.  I was inspired by this tempeh recipe and it’s pretty much the only recipe that’s allowed me to really enjoy tempeh!

I accompanied that with a side salad

And then for dinner…well, have you ever had one of those nights where you don’t really feel like eating real food, but you know that you need to eat something?  I had leftover brown rice, so I decided to have rice pudding for dinner, and it was delicious.

I’m looking forward to the weekend and warm, sunshine!