Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Patiently Waiting - Update

It's the day after Christmas and though I was able to enjoy time with family, open gifts next to the tree, and sip delicious hot ginger lemongrass tea that I opened the night before (with a fancy new tea diffuser!), reality is setting back in.

In the previous post I opened up about the challenges I've had recently with the feeding tube and the choice to have it removed.  I was confident things would go well.  After all, I CAN eat a variety of nutritious foods and have helped others do the same!  Well, it seems as though it is not enough to sustain me. I've always been on the skinny side with a super metabolism my friends would agree was highly unfair.  Back then I could eat whatever I wanted all day long and not gain a pound.  The weight was healthy, I was active and felt good.

In the last few weeks the pounds have continued to drop almost daily, leaving me at my lowest weight yet.  In fact, it's hard to believe because I can still walk around and function, eat mini meals throughout the day and think well enough to play games, read and write!  However, I don't feel "normal," with a constant lightheaded feeling, hunger despite just eating, completely full, and easily fatigued.  We met with the doctor in Seattle last week who strongly advised getting a tube back in soon.  Unless I can get over 2000 calories a day there is no other option, and gaining weight at this stage is priority.

I was given the choice to either get the same type of tube as before, a G-J which is done endoscopically but does go through the stomach OR a J-tube which would be placed surgically (laparoscopic) by-passing stomach completely.  A few doctors I've spoken with are leaning towards the J.
At this time, I'm patiently waiting for my local docs (PCP and GI) to call me back with their thoughts and a referral.  This is all quite overwhelming but continuing deep breathing while asking for what is best and meant to be to gracefully fall into place.

For more information about enteral feeding options, check out the ThriveRX website.

For obvious reasons, health counseling is not something I'm focusing on right now but I do hope to provide this in the future again when my own health has improved.  Until then, I will continue to post updates and share thoughts, inspiration and support at JourneywithGP  FB page.

If I can do this, you can do this and vice versa!  Lets stay strong together and continue manifesting a healthy and happy future for us all.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Troubles Arise, Goodbye J-Tube

"The tube seems to have coiled up in your stomach and is likely the cause of your pain.  There are two options: 1) Come down to the hospital in Seattle and have it fixed/replaced, or 2) Have it removed, which is simple and can be done where you live.  A decision should be made soon."

The words I had feared suddenly came to life and bounced around my head, reverberating throughout my body.  Strange, because somehow, simultaneously I felt relieved.  I wasn't crazy!

After finally healing from SIBO I was finally beginning to feel "normal" again, for living with GP anyways.  However, about a month ago I started experiencing some pain around the tube site and under my right rib cage.  At first, it seemed to be a flare so I just tried resting more, hoping it would pass.  At that point I wasn't using the tube nightly anymore but as the days passed and pain increased I began using it more.  Instead the pain intensified and by last week I was doubled over, at the doctor for the third time, insisting something was not right.

First, there was the immediate problem at hand, a small infection at the tube sight.  With a big sigh of disappointment, I stubbornly agreed to start on antibiotics.  Next he ordered an abdominal CT scan but because it was late on Friday, it would have to wait until the following week.  I spent the weekend resting and distracting myself with puppy walks on the beach, reading, movies and LOTS of deep breathing.  When Monday finally rolled around I couldn't wait to get in and get scanned.

Early evening we found out the news with a recommendation to call the GI doctor in Seattle, who had originally placed the tube, first thing in the morning.  My initial thought was I'm not crazy!  Then, I have to survive another night like this?  Unfortunately, I did not get much sleep but did enjoy some 3 a.m. tea and a good novel to relax and distract with.  When I spoke with Dr. Ko from UW she gave me the options of removing or replacing the j-tube.  Her recommendation, concerned about the recent weight loss from pain, was to replace it for a few months.  My mother, caring and concerned, wanted the same.  My head spinning, I let her know I needed some time to discuss this with my husband and would call back.  This was not how it was supposed to happen.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Another GP Holiday Season Begins - Finding Thanks

How different it is to wake up on Thanksgiving morning, knowing the day is not all about indulging in endless amounts of food dishes.  This is now my 5th year with gastroparesis during the holidays.  I remember the first couple times being mostly in denial and, despite the special gluten free recipes, feeling so sick afterwards.  On one hand I was too proud and the other, too embarrassed to be complicated.  Food was my passion, how could I give it up?

Is this your first holiday season with GP and feeling anxious?   Or, maybe you have finally gotten used to being a little different and found peace with it.  Whatever the situation is, and this is something I repeat often, know that you are not alone.  Don't just say this to yourself, share it with everyone around you.  Some may think it's all in our heads or we are just being difficult, but not being able to eat certain foods, eat very much of it, or for some not eat at all, is VERY real.

Now, on to what this holiday is really thanks. Yes, food is wonderful and comforting and I do hope that those who indulge are incredibly thankful for the ability to do so.  But, how about indulging in what WE do have.  That is the goal for today and as the holiday season unwinds.  Shifting the focus to the small things in life (and the big!) that bring joy and comfort, just as much (or at least close, haha) to a piece of pecan pie.

I am thankful for all the love and support around me, including my wonderful husband, family, friends, the community I live in, and everyone here and on the FB page supporting each other.
I am thankful for the foods I am able to tolerate, even if sometimes the list is short.
I am thankful for my adorable puppy, Luna, a wonderful daily dose of healing therapy.
I am thankful for the small things, like the very small cup of local coffee I can tolerate, fresh air, good books, blogging, living in a free country, heating pads, clothes on my back, yoga, and hot tea.

As far as food goes, I am still making some dishes, both GP and non-GP friendly.  Sweet potato casserole, gluten free pumpkin cornbread, and creamed spinach.  T is in charge of making turkey this year, which we will be packing up early this afternoon to join the rest of the family.


Find something non-food related to indulge in.  I bring my knitting to work on and keep my hands busy.  Crafts, games, books, magazines, or maybe the paper to start planning your Christmas shopping.

If you have more variety in your diet, allow yourself to have small portions of a few dishes that work for you, as opposed to a big bowl of mashed potatoes.

Write down 3 things you can be thankful for and repeat them whenever you feel frustrated with what can't be had.

BREATHE and LAUGH whenever possible!  Both have been proven to reduce stress and relieve pain.

Feeling lonely today or have some tips to share with others?  Join the community here or on Facebook and leave a comment.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and warm wishes to feeling your best. 
With gratitude,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gastroparesis Friendly Breakfast

You've probably heard it from your parents:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Has this changed for you since your digestive trouble began?

Recently I've started posting a weekly "curious question" on the Journey with GP Facebook page, with thoughts on food choices, symptoms, remedies and so on.  Over the weekend the following question was asked:  "What do you tolerate best in the morning?  Juicing, smoothies, eggs, coffee, yogurt, cereal, etc."  It was nice to see such a variety of answers as well as some support for those who tend to have more nausea this time of day.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Young Woman with GP Creates Videos to Bring Awareness

"Who knows where I’ll be next week but I can take pleasure in how I feel RIGHT now or know that even if I don’t feel well today… tomorrow is a new day!"

Recently I watched a video, created by a gastroparesis patient, that stopped to remind me we are not alone.  

Lashelle Shuman, is young woman who has lived with GP now for a number of years.  Last spring, after being stuck in bed for nearly 3 weeks, her best friend Jessica called to check in on her.  After hearing how frustrated and upset she was at being sick, Jessica decided to take action.  

Later that evening Lashelle got on Facebook to discover that her friend had created a profile called "It's Not Easy Being Green."   She had gone to the mall and photographed herself and anyone she could find wearing green and got people to hold up an awareness sign.  From there she talked to random strangers in the mall who were wearing green and explained to them what Gastroparesis is, why her friend was sick, and what they could do to help (by donating). 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Re-Post: When Being Positive Isn't Enough

Back in March, I shared this post below when going through a rough time.  We can all relate to having bad days, both mentally and physically.  When we are tired of trying so hard or feel frustrated and overwhelmed with what we have been forced to live with.  Well, I've had one of those weeks, even though I choose to keep a positive outlook, eat the right foods and practice living a healthy lifestyle (breathing, exercise, time with loved ones...).  Why is this?  Because, despite all of this, I still have gastroparesis and days like these are a part of it. 
This blog, as well as connecting with others like myself, whether through the FB page, clients or personal contacts, reminds me that I'm not alone and neither are you.  Thank you for being a part of my journey and supporting this blog, it truly feeds my soul. 
Continue reading for a look at how I felt last spring during a challenging time, as well an additional  book recommendation that has been helpful.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin is a bit of an obsession of mine this time of year.  Starting in early September when the fog begins to settle in, the love affair begins.  Grain-free pumpkin pancakes* for breakfast and banana pumpkin smoothies for a an afternoon snack.  As the weather cools and the leaves begin to fall in October, starting the day with hot cereal with a scoop of pumpkin and almond butter to energize my morning, and tomorrow warm pumpkin soup with a drizzle of coconut milk to warm the evening.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Winter Wellness Giveaway

I'm excited to once again share a wonderful product from Snow Lotus Aromatherapy.  Last April we gave away Digest Ease, used for relief of indigestion, gas, bloating and other digestive discomforts.  With winter upon us (is it really November already?), it's time to really focus on staying healthy and keeping our immune systems strong.  

The Winter Wellness Sampler includes 4 essential oils: 
Sinus Clear - Gently helps open congested sinuses, relieves nasal stuffiness and discomfort, combats any pathogens present and stop nasal discharge.
Immune Stim - May be used preventively as well as for actual infections, as needed. It may be helpful with chronic or recurrent conditions of lowered immunity, long-term fatigue and low stamina.
Vir-Away - Can sanitize and disinfect areas and spaces against pathogens, and especially viruses.
Spirit Lift - Promotes  optimism and is also helpful with worry, obsession and sleeping difficulties.

For a chance to win this giveaway sign up for the monthly Journey with GP newsletter, which also features updates and a recipe!  Winner will be posted on 11/15.  

For more information about these oils and Snow Lotus, visit

*Congratulations to Dorothy T on the Winter Wellness Essential Oil kit!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Simple Squash Soup

What do I love more than a delicious fall meal?  A simple soup made from those delicious leftovers!  Even with a "broken" stomach, being in the kitchen still brings such pleasures, especially when I know the food is nourishing and good for me, body and soul.  However, there are always days when energy is low or the day is long, when a bowl of warm and comforting soup with minimal effort is calling.  We may eat mini meals but that doesn't mean we have to prepare them that way.  Rule of thumb in the GP kitchen: cook once, eat twice (or multiple times!).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Brave One is Lost But Her Memory Remains

I did not know Haley Stonehocker personally, nor did I know any of the other patients who recently passed from gastroparesis compications.  What I do know is that my heart is heavy and filled with thoughts for their families and friends, and for anyone whose lives they may have touched.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes

This time of year I can't get enough of this delicious, nutrient dense, GP-friendly food!  Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A (1 cup has 760% of the daily value!) as well as vitamin C, iron, and calcium.  The variety of ways to use it are endless, for example adding a scoop to hot cereal, smoothies, soup, etc.  Most recently I experimented with a recipe for a protein rich breakfast that would include the pumpkin love.  The result was a light and fluffy crepe like pancake, with plenty of fall flavor!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Lesson from Luna

Three weeks ago a new love entered my life.  Her name is Luna and she is a 13 week old blue heeler/rottweiler mix.  After two months of grieving our previous loss, Spier (see this post), we decided it was time to try adding a new member to our family.  The plan was to get a dog around the age of 3, knowing full well how much work puppies can be.  When we arrived at the event for the alternative humane society, there she was, curled up in the corner napping, and it was love at first sight!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fundraising: Oh, What a Wonderful Feeling!

After months and months of organizing, researching, emailing and preparing, it finally happened and quite successfully I might add!  I quickly learned putting on a fundraiser is no simple task.  It requires not only time and dedication, but a deep passion to make a difference.  Luckily, I was far from alone on this project.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Awareness Walk for GP T-Shirts and Bonus Macrobar...Must Sell to Complete Fundraising!

The walk was a huge success raising at least $3,000!!!  Weather could not have been more perfect, sunny, 80 degrees and no wind.  So thankful for all the volunteers and their hard work, this could not have been possible without them. We had several visitors up from Seattle area and met many locals who are dealing w
ith similar issues and learned so much. Later this week I will be posting a follow up report on the day as well as sharing photos. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Ebb & Flow of Acceptance

Does time seem to go by as fast for you as it has for me?  It's hard to believe a whole year has passed since having my feeding tube placed last August.  What is even harder to believe (and accept) is still a part of my life.  Thinking back prior to the procedure, when I was struggling so much to get down enough food in the day and pounds were dropping quickly, this option of "feeding" seemed unreal.  However, reality struck and acceptance sunk in that I could no longer avoid an alternative form of nourishment.  The doctors insisted it would only be short term, 3-6 months at most, until my weight became steady again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Missing Minerals Part II: Cashew Smoothie

To continue with ways to increase missing minerals, an excellent source of magnesium and zinc can be found in cashews.  They can be a great addition to your smoothie in the form of cashew butter or used straight from the package if you own a Vitamix or Blendtec.  Recently, I was given the opportunity to post one of my favorite past time smoothie recipes for Shiloh Farms Blog, one my family and friends enjoy very much!  The recipe itself has too much fat for most GP'ers, but that can easily be reduced by making a few adjustments.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

August Travel Pack: Round 2!

Summertime is wrapping up and whether you are taking a road trip, spending the day between airports, camping by the lake or simply taking time to enjoy a day out exploring local destinations, it is essential to have a GP friendly on-the-go pack.  This was a great giveaway for July so I decided to keep it going for the summer!  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Missing Minerals found in Fresh Crab

Two minerals essential for human health, zinc and magnesium can often be found deficient for those with gastroparesis as well as many other digestive disorders.

Magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar levels, helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, supports bone health and helps keep a healthy immune system.

Zinc has many benifits, including the metabolism of the food we eat.

While in Baltimore, I was able to enjoy what they are known best for, blue crab!  I'm a big fan of crab because it is hign in protein, low in fat and easy to digest for many.  Just 3 oz contains 20 g of protein, 1 g of fat, 13% of daily magnesium and 20% of the daily zinc recommended! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Post Johns Hopkins: Great Visit, Test Results, and Plan of Action

It's hard to believe only one week ago we were driving to Seattle to board our midnight flight, what turned out to be a long trip to the East Coast (due to the connection flight cancelled at 4 am!).  Even harder to wrap my head around how much I learned in just one day, and yes, it was well worth the trip.

Now, where to begin on sharing about this adventure?  If you read my previous post about why I chose to make this trip, then you are well informed about my battle with what I suspected to be SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth), and determination to find an expert I could trust.  Dealing with SIBO alone is one thing, but treating it while managing gastroparesis presents a whole new set of challenges.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Thank You GoMacro!

I'm so excited to share with my readers that GoMacro has just signed on to sponsor the Awareness Walk for Gastroparesis, happening in Bellingham, WA on September 8th, 2012.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dedication to Spier

I can't help but dedicate a post to our beloved Spier, who would have been 13 next month.  We were blessed to have so many wonderful years with him and will miss him terribly.  Thank you Spier for bringing us  so much love and light to our lives, not to mention taking me on walks everyday.  May you   be as spoiled and happy in eternity as you were in life.

I stood by your bed last night

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
We could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
“It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea, You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Trip to the East Coast: Exploring Options for GP/SIBO

I have to admit, I've debated whether or not to share this post, afraid I would come across as weak or failing to manage my own gastroparesis.  When looking back to the beginning of this blog and the journey I have taken, I'm realizing how much I used to write about my own personal day to day life with GP and the emotions that came with it.  My recent studies and work as a health coach has ignited a passion in me to focus on helping others by providing research, ideas, recipes and a positive outlook.
I've received a number of emails from readers who share with me how much this site has helped them, and clients who are finally feeling some relief and eating more nourishing foods for the first time.  The last thing I want to do is write about my own struggles.  However, I'm here not only as a coach but as a patient as well.  Now I want to give you a little update about my recent setbacks and future plans.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Asking the Right Questions

Despite doing my best to eat well, exercise, and manage daily life, there are still days that I feel challenged.  I still live with gastroparesis and the unpredictability of it can creep up when I least expected.  Whether the struggle be physically, such as needing an extra nap, a heating pad, or only liquids for a day.  Maybe its mentally searching for ways to cheer myself up and deal with the frustrations of being different.

Today, I read a book that asked the question, "Do you know where you are on your journey?".  It brought up an important thought to consider..."if you want a great life, ask great questions."  I'm going to quote a selection from the book, How Many Days of the Week can be Extraordinary? written and compiled by Dan Zadra and Kobi Yamada.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Herbal Tea Infusion

Water is essential, especially this time of year when the weather is hot and we need to increase our hydration.  Making a cold brew of herbal tea can not only help with this but also aid in digestion as well.  My wonderful friend Lindsey is always thoughtful when we get together, making a refreshing pitcher pleasing to the tummy and the eyes using herbs she grows right in her backyard!  Here is a recipe she used last time that settled nice after a small dinner with friends on a warm summer evening.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

FODMAPs Part II, with Handout!

If you have been following this blog or my Facebook page you are probably somewhat aware that I do my best to follow a low FODMAP diet.  To this day, the post Could FODMAPs be Related to GP? written back in November, 2011 is the most viewed on this website.  Since then, I have become much more familiar with this strange acronym by reading articles, books, and posts from other bloggers, listening to podcasts from healthcare practitioners and talks through medical universities. In addition, I've learned from personally working with registered dietitians as well as my own clients who seem to feel better when limiting these dietary carbohydrates.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Zucchini Ribbons and Summer Sauce

It's time to welcome summer with a delicious seasonal vegetable! Zucchini has not had enough spotlight in the GP diet, mainly due to the seeds located in the middle of this delicate squash.  However, there is a way around that, literally.  All it takes is a vegetable peeler, one you would use to peel those skins off the potato.  With this simple tool, you can create edible zucchini "ribbons."

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Personalized Handout for Family/Friends - About GP and What I CAN Eat!

How often do people ask you, "Well, what exactly can you have?"  It can be difficult to explain this to our loved ones or anyone who would wants to help out.  I can't tell you the number of times I've been invited to gatherings and end up bringing my own dish, snack or even eating prior to avoid the questions.  Recently, I've realized how many people actually want to prepare something for me, that it makes them feel good to be able to contribute.  What if our family could have snacks and beverages stocked for visits or friends had some specific ideas of dishes, smoothies or soup they could have at the next dinner party?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pancakes for Everyone!

Years ago, I enjoyed nothing more than entertaining friends and family with dinner parties and brunch gatherings.  My absolute favorite meal to make has always been breakfast.  On Sunday mornings friends and their kids would arrive, ready to chow down on stacks of my famous blueberry, spelt flour pancakes, topped with pure maple syrup and served with farm fresh eggs.  Now I'm ready to bring this tradition back to the table, GP style!  Keep reading for nutritious details and a 15% discount!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Preparing a Family Feast with a Slow Stomach

Preparing a delicious, home cooked meal is like creating a piece of art...even if it is purely to admire the beauty in the end, surrounded by family and friends.

Last week I flew back to my hometown in Kansas for a much needed visit with family and friends.  It can be a bit nerve-wracking to leave the comfort zone but I came well prepared.  We somehow managed to pack my  Blendtec (similar to Vitamix), feeding tube supplies, a bag of snacks including Macrobars, protein powder, crackers, teas and ginger chews, and even my favorite heating pad. 
As we all know, when family and friends get together it usually involves food and/or drinks of some sort.  Luckily, everyone here is very supportive and easily accommodating to my many "special" needs.  Prior to GP, I always made a feast of my latest and greatest recipes.  After a week of being here I began to miss the feeling of a chaotic kitchen, plates stacking and counters covered with cutting boards, pans and produce. 
I woke up one day and said to myself, "Just because I can't eat the whole kitchen does not mean I can't enjoy creating a feast for everyone else."  After all, the best memories usually involve everyone surrounding the food, not the food itself. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Now Scheduling Free One-Hour Consultations

By working as a health coach one-on-one, I can provide you with:  
  • Weekly/Bi-Weekly One-Hour Sessions - Over the phone or on Skype
  • Unlimited Email Support 
  • Recipes and Food Ideas
  • Living with food intolerance's such as gluten, dairy and FODMAPs.
  • Helpful Handouts - Relaxation techniques, digestive education, beneficial supplements and more.
  • Assistance on creating a medical "dream team."
  • Gifts to help you explore and experiment, which may include food samples, wellness products and books.

For more information Contact Me through email to set up a complimentary one-hour consultation, which includes a review of your health history, current challenges and goals.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cardamom Infused Cantaloupe Sorbet

Cantaloupe is not only GP and FODMAP friendly, but also packed with vitamins A and C, providing antioxidants as well as a good source of potassium.  This melons mellow sweetness pairs well with the earthy, sweet flavor of cardamom, a spice that has many digestive benefits.  And finally, if you are not familiar with Sucanat, it is a wonderful substitute for refined sugar, which unlike the white stuff, maintains its vitamin and mineral content.  Just a scoop of this simple, sweet sorbet is a perfect non-fat, refreshing treat on a warm sunny day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Giveaway: What 29 Gifts Gave Me

"Healing doesn't happen in a vaccum, but through our interactions with other people.  By giving, you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.  Giving of any kind is taking a positive action that begins the process of change.  It will shift your energy for life."

Cami Walker received this exact advice from her friend and spiritual mentor Mbali Creazzo, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 33.  With this came a "prescription" to give 29 gifts in 29 days that would soon change her life.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sharing Scents

Congratulations Anna D. on winning the Digest Ease essential oil.
Thanks for participating, it makes me so happy to share items to help live our best with GP :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Craving Chocolate Smoothie

With Easter here we are inevitably surrounded by more than just bunnies and baskets.  If chocolate candy is not an option and you are craving that rich flavor, give this cocoa cashew treat a try.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vickie Shares Her Story

"Pace yourself, only you know how you feel."
Today's post is the very first "Share My Story." I recently interviewed Vickie, a strong-willed Tennessee woman who refuses to let gastroparesis stop her from living life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Little Lark Guest Post on Acupuncture

I was recently asked by one of my favorite bloggers, this little lark, to write a more detailed story on my experience with acupuncture.   To to read it you can visit her post here.You might recognize her from my recent link to her wonderful tips on Overcoming Emotional Blockages During Dietary Changes.

What a treat to be able to contribute to her site!
If you've have any stories to share about your experience with acupuncture please feel free to comment.  We can continue to learn through each other :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

When Being Positive Isn't Enough

Photo credit to
I thought pretty seriously about whether or not to write about this subject, being that I highly promote positive thinking as the key to living a balanced life.  That said, its also not realistic to achieve this 100% of the time, unless you are either not human or incredibly gifted.  For some of us it might come easier than others, and one day might flow better than the previous.  Though I push for a good attitude everyday, I'm learning it's OK to allow feelings to come up such as sadness and anger, as long as I learn from it and move on.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Navigating Emotions with Illness

After many years of living with digestive issues, exploring variations of special diets and journaling my day to day experiences, one factor consistently presents itself as the most difficult challenge.  It's not necessarily the pain, the nausea, restricted foods and lifestyle, but having to emotionally deal with so many changes.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

When the Nausea Creeps In

One of the most unsettling symptoms (literally) of gastroparesis is nausea.  It can be hard to explain why we are fine one moment and then next sick with the stomach spins.  Yesterday, as my husband and I were out running errands, laughing about something on the radio, it hit me like an unforeseen tsunami.  I could only compare it to the feeling of just stepping off the tilt-a-whirl at the amusement park, spinning as though the blood had rushed out of my body.

So, what can we do in these situations?  My best advice is to, one, be prepared with a tummy toolkit, and two, practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Yesterday I popped in a ginger chew and took some slow, deep breaths of the Quease Ease.  Here are some additional tools and information to prevent this feeling from taking over.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spice Remedies Part II: Love Affair with Cilantro

Exploring the digestive benefits of spices is a journey I began years ago and still often turn to when preparing food.  From smoothies to soups, herbs and spices can be used to create much more than flavor. This series began months ago in Part 1: Cardamom Cures and to this day happens to be the most popular and viewed post!  So, this got me thinking, maybe its time to continue looking at ways to enhance flavor and digestion.  Continuing with C's, next on the list is my love for coriander/cilantro.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Feeding Tube Awareness and Update

This week, from Feb 5-11, is Feeding Tube Awareness Week.  The goal is to raise awareness of enteral/tube feeding as a positive and often life-saving medical intervention for those who are unable to eat and drink enough to sustain life and thrive.  I never imagined my life would turn out this way, having a feeding tube that is.  In the beginning I was scared and sad, not understanding how it came to this. Today I am thankful because it saved my life.  Though it is not a cure for GP, it has provided me with a temporary solution and enough strength and energy to stay healthy, an option I did not have prior to the tube.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Creamy and Delicious Almond Milk

Almond milk is a wonderful alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or just looking for a delicious dairy/soy alternative.  Years ago I started consuming other milks such as soy, rice, almond and hemp.  Almond has always been my favorite and settles the best.  However, I had no idea how amazing homemade would taste until a friend made it for me last summer.  Since then, unless extremely pressed for time, this creamy goodness is a staple in my kitchen.  Trust me, once you try it you will never want to go back!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yoga for Gastroparesis

Even before having GP I couldn't imagine a day without stretching, how good it feels to reach for the sky, touch my toes and bend or twist.  When in pain, and especially when feeling so full, it's easy to want to curl up on the couch and wish it would just go away.  Though necessary to rest at times, moving has been my savior.  Yoga has a way of healing not only the body but the mind as well.  If you don't already include this in your daily self-care I urge you to give it a try!  The benefits are infinite on digestion.  Here are some tips from my wonderful friend/yoga teacher/future acupuncturist, Debbi Yu.  Thanks Deb for taking the time to share!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Successful and Rejuvenating Trip to Mexico

It has been three days since my return from Mexico and I am slowly adjusting back to (and in serious denial of!) the cold weather and 6 inches of snow.  A week of sunshine, sand between my toes, the sound of waves crashing, and afternoon siestas is more than any diet or medication could ever provide.
I have to admit, weeks and even months prior to the trip I was filled with anxiety, nervous about how my body would feel and the possibilities of something going wrong.  Anytime we are diving into a new adventure, especially when self care is our top priority, being afraid is perfectly normal.  However, now that I have successfully embarked on traveling abroad, I feel like I can conquer anything with the right attitude and careful preparation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Travel Time...Mexico, Here I Come!

A few months ago my good friend Sue asked if I would like to join her for a week in Mexico for her birthday in January.  Ha!  "Funny," I said, "How could I possibly travel to a foreign country when I'm scared to even be away from home for more than a few hours?"  She insisted I take time to think about it, no pressure.  As the cool, rainy winter weather began to cloud the days my thoughts began to shift.  There has to be a way to escape to this week of sunshine calling my name!