Saturday, November 19, 2016

Navigating the Holidays with GP

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
— Albert Schweitzer

There are times when we may feel like the world is falling apart, when our bodies cannot withstand the challenges they annoyingly present at the most inconvenient times, when our mind feels overwhelmed and exhausted.  It is during these times when finding gratitude and what to be thankful for, are absolutely necessary. 

The holidays can stir up a lot in our lives and perhaps that in itself is something to be grateful for. We are forced to step outside our routine, our comforts, and deal with more than we are used to dealing with. In the midst of all of this, we must also acknowledge what is good and find gratitude. As I'm sure you see, the internet is filled with tips and tricks for surviving the holidays, reducing stress, and of course, being thankful. It is also filled with food, food, and more food! Does that depress or inspire you? If you are someone who really struggles with eating then it can feel pretty isolating. So, let's talk about some ideas that may be helpful for you and those you love these coming weeks. 

I recently hosted a webinar for ThriveRx with another advocate, Michelle Guinigundo. We had a great time putting this together, brainstorming ideas with each other and others who live with digestive challenges. While it was created for those living on nutrition support like PTN and EN, the tips can really apply to anyone struggling with digestion in a food-focused world. You can listen to and watch the webinar here and below find a summary of what we shared. 

Be sure to keep reading as a special guest will then talk about ways to manage discomfort with essential oils!



  • Decide what your limits are and stick to them
  • Make checklists 
  • Delegate tasks to friends and family
  • Start early
  • Shop online
  • Priority - Schedule in self-care!
  • Inform host at events 
  • Explain your needs
  • Elevator speech 
  • Educate yourself 
Let Go
  • Visualize
  • Acknowledge change
  • Control and release
  • Accept help
  • Attitude of gratitude 
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Consider hosting 
  • Plan outside of traditional meals
  • Host event outside of home
  • Center around craft
  • Games
  • Keeping hands busy
  • Camera
  • "You-friendly" meal
  • Cozy comforts
  • Plan time for yourself
  • Prioritize 
  • Okay to say no!
  • Know limits
  • Games, Charades, Shopping, Video chats, Movies and TV specials 
  • Plan early 
  • Inform healthcare providers
  • Allow time for rest
  • Stick to what works 
  • ThriveRx Travel Toolkit (for those on TPN/EN)
  • Journal
  • Positive memories
  • Saying thank you
  • Simple ways to help others
  • It's okay to take it easy
  • You are doing the best YOU can

Again, you can hear the details by registering and listening to the recorded webinar, Navigating the Holidays on Nutrition Support

Now on to Chalyce Macoskey, who you may recall my interview with her here. If you have wondered where I've been these last six months, in addition to work with ThriveRx and travels, I have teamed up with this amazing lady to write a book sharing what she has learned over the years about managing GP naturally. The launch date is to be determined but I promise to keep you posted!

I have been contributing to her website,, and below are some tips she wrote to surviving the holidays. 

Overindulging During the Holidays? Essential Oils to the Rescue!

By Chalyce Macoskey

We are all guilty for eating more that we should, sometimes not matter how disciplined we are! Then we may spend the next few hours or days, depending on how "bad," trying to find the right remedy to make it all go away. And with gastroparesis, this feeling is quite familiar.

What happens next? We begin searching anything over-the-counter to take and relieve our misery. The problem with this? Sometimes taking something we think is harmless has consequences later on in life or may only be a band-aid of sorts to temporarily fix it. 
For example, studies have shown that antacids containing aluminum can contribute to phosphate deficiency. When there is not enough phosphate in the blood, the body will then take it from the bones, which may result in bone loss. Aluminum alone has been shown to cause impaired mental function and can also be related to neurological disorders. In addition, antacids may cause bone pain, muscle weakness, cramping and bowel issues, kidney stones, and a possible malabsorption of minerals in the body. 

Luckily, essential oils are the safest alternative to your tummy woes. There are many oils that will help with he ill effects of overeating!

Ginger Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil has been shown to be supportive of the digestive system; ginger is commonly used to soothe, comfort, and balance digestive discomfort. Applying to the bottoms of your feet, one drop to three drops of coconut oil, or alternatively inhaling. 

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