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!