The high price of bulk bins

just a quick visual reminder… 

That’s a peanut and some peanut shells in a bulk bin of beans at the local grocery store. There were no peanuts near this particular bin, so I can’t blame it on sloppy cross-bin contamination. 

It pays to be vigilant. Closed packaging looks so much more attractive, even if I’m paying a few cents more. 

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Turn About for Autism

Locals!  There is a 1-day workshop in Pleasanton on Saturday, April 18. I’ll be part of the parents’ panel at the end of the day. Lots of things you can do immediately to help your child. 

Please join us!!


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What do you do when your chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia flares up?

As I try to crawl out this latest CFS/fibro flare…well, I’m more in a tie-a-knot-and-hang-on phase…I’ve been approaching this one a little differently.  I’m not despairing.  That alone is an improvement.  I took a few minutes, calmed myself down, and tried to imagine what I would say to someone who was brand new to chronic fatigue…or even just brand new to the idea that you can feel better by changing a few things.

AAR-20002-11. Respect the fatigue.  It’s a hungry, angry beast and if I ignore it, pester it, or mock it, it will bite me in the ass.  Sometimes it will feel like a literal bite if the whole fatigue-inflammation cascade stirs up my sciatica.  I’ve been trying to sleep more, taking epsom salt baths as soon as I feel the whole body achiness starting to stir, and putting my feet UP every afternoon.  Last week I started watching The Good Wife on Netflix because I needed to park myself, get my feet up but not sleep because I had a little computer work to do or it was too late in the day for a nap.  Even if you’re not sleeping well, or you’re just resting, getting your feet up makes it easier to think when you have chronic fatigue. (A book I read that discussed orthostatic intolerance in fibro used this question as a diagnostic tool: Do you prefer to read sitting up or laying down?  If you need your feet up to read, you’ve likely got orthostatic intolerance…which is another blog post.)

IMG_57102. Don’t eat crap.  Learn from my mistake!  I typically get too tired to cook and eat whatever I can grab.  Since my energy is flagging, that usually triggers big carb loading “meals” of toast (Udi’s), tortilla chips and salsa, etc.  These past two weeks I’ve stopped the  cycle a bit by making a big breakfast when I have energy, made a big pot of chili mac that fed us for a couple of days, and enjoyed turkey and bread-and-butter pickle wraps for dinner several times.  Twice I got a large take-out lunch that covered both my lunch and dinner. Minimal effort.

3. Remember what helps.  What are your go-to supplements, habits, support? Write them on a Post-It note and stick it on the inside of your supplement cabinet.  This time I remembered my adrenal support, magnesium, quercitin for allergies, taking a pinch of sea salt in water every morning, meditation, and leaning toward protein-rich meals.  After two weeks of dragging through my days and two consecutive Fridays where I couldn’t get out of bed, I saw my naturopath who added Meriva–a powerful form of curcumin, topical progesterone, and MCT oil.

What else helps?  This is my list.  Go make your own.  Seriously, go make your list because when the brain fog rolls in, you’ll thank yourself.

  • Penta water or other alkaline water.  I’m partial to Penta to the point I think of it as Chronic Fatigue Fixer.
  • Vital Adapt for adrenal support.  I LOVE this stuff.20131214-162520.jpg
  • Gluten-free, mostly paleo meals.  The two times I had rice this week I was miserable.  Dang it, I usually tolerate it well. Cook your veggies to reduce oxalates.
  • Epsom salt baths.
  • Magnesium and fiber.  Pay attention to your gut. A little extra fiber helps absorb any extra hormones your liver has been processing.
  • Be nice to your liver.  No alcohol. A glass of wine really won’t help.  Dandelion root, milk thistle, even artichokes are all supportive.  Coffee enemas if you’re up for it. (Ewww, right? It helps your liver produce glutathione.  Read more here and here.)
  • Homemade chicken broth is your friend.
  • A friend suggested bergamot essential oil, but I find I’m just sensitive to any smells at all.  I put it on my feet.
  • Gentle, restorative yoga can help ease muscle aches.

Be kind to yourself, rest as much as you can, and keep your go-tos handy.

Posted in Chronic Fatigue/Fibro | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

On support systems and asking for help

This was a bit of a rough week for me.  I had a big chronic fatigue flare up, probably   triggered by stress (ya think??) and an intense day trip to a consultation with the big guns pediatric neurologist in Sacramento.  The upshot of that appointment is more testing, more testing, and more testing.


Waiting…and waiting…

I wouldn’t have made it through without my wildly spread out and randomly assembled support network.  So thank you!

To my oldest son for not losing it when I asked him to watch his youngest brother for 20 minutes.

To my neighbor Melissa, aka the beautiful Yummomummo for taking my youngest to school along with her brood.

To Dr Mike Slone, of Dynamic Brain Solutions, for inviting Kyle to visit him at the fire house after the appointment. That motivated him to get through the long drive, the long wait, and the long appointment.


To Melinda at Gluten Free Specialty in Sacramento for always being so kind and welcoming when we stop by.

18105_10205658824177509_3885084957178470950_nTo Oracle, my Team TMR friend and editor, who met me at Chipotle in Vacaville because I needed a hug and a referral to an alternative therapy practitioner.

To Marivela, our nanny, for making this crazy life possible.

To my amazing husband who is off slaying dragons, conquering new markets, and bringing home the bacon, so I can stay home and do this (although, driving 250+ miles in a day for a doctor’s appointment isn’t really staying home…)

It’s a patchwork of a little village, but it’s ours.

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Allergic Shiners

Today I’m over at Thinking Moms’ Revolution.  We’re doing a series on Red Flags and I wrote about allergic shiners


This is my guy a few years ago. I should add in all the pictures other people are posting of their kids on Facebook.  It’s surprisingly common once you’re aware of it.  I always want stop the moms and suggest they take out milk for a week or two, see what happens.

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Bulletproof challenge: Days 6-9

Today’s brunch: Pumpkin pancakes. 

Adding a little complex carb: spinach, eggs, guacamole and a little bit of purple sweet potato.

On Day 7 I did the Protein Fast…about 15-20 grams for the whole day. I also did a big workout. The combo was not so great. I was ravenous the next day and unable to reel in my appetite. So, of the 4 lbs I’d lost, I regained 3. 

That is just not going to work long term. 

In light of my leptin resistance and borderline insulin resistance, I’m pulling out my old copy of “Mastering Leptin.”

I’m going to put this together as a mash-up: Mastering the Bulletproof Walhs-Protocol Structured Paleo.  The Recovery Road Protocol. Or something like that. 😉

  • I’m using the Bulletproof coffee with collagen for breakfast.  Adding a Bulletproof meal of I’m recovering from a workout the day before. 
  • Using the Bulletproof food lists, using avocados and grassfed butter liberally. 
  • No snacking. At least 5 hours between meals.  Never eat after dinner.
  • Small amount of complex carbohydrates with lunch and dinner. Yuca, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, roasted carrots or the occasional potato or serving of white rice.
  • Slow walking for 1 hour 4-5x per week. 
  • Load with antioxidants pre-workout. Acetyl-L-carnitine, CoQ10, and Vit C.  

Pumpkin Pancakes


  • 1 c. canned organic pumpkin 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 3 Tbsp xylitol 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder


  • Blend everything together in blender
  • Cook over medium heat in your favorite pancake pan. 
  • Top with butter (I used a little Walden Farms pancake syrup)

These are very soft. I used a ceramic-coated “pancake flipper” pan. 

Posted in Chronic Fatigue/Fibro, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bulletproof Challenge Days 2-5

I was listening to a Bulletproof podcast and Dave Asprey said “If you’re hungry, it’s your own fault.” Well, yeah. How about that?

I’m a few days in and I’m kind of amazed at the decrease in my hunger. My insulin-resistant, leptin-resistant, hormonally out-of-whack hunger has decreased.  True, I am consuming a LOT of Kerrygold butter.  A freaking lot of butter.  But I’m doing it according to plan: in my morning coffee, on my steamed veggies at lunch and dinner, in an afternoon tea or coffee (usually just a small amount) and in an emergency stash of almond butter-butter-and-chocolate powder blended together.  Oh, and at least half an avocado with dinner. I take less than 1/2 tsp MCT oil in my first coffee of the day and no other coconut oil. I’m working my way through some grass-fed mild Italian sausage, so that’s lunch, with a vegetable steamed greens, Brussels spouts, or cauliflower mash.  Dinner is usually eggs or chicken.

  • I’ve lost 4 pounds
  • I’ve been able to start working out. Woo hoo!  One full hour on the treadmill, including 1-2 minute bursts of high-intensity incline or speed, with almost NO post-exertion exhaustion.  I haven’t been able to do that in YEARS.  I’ve been increasing my walking just through dog walks, but that’s 15-20 minutes at a time, slowly with lots of stops. (Seriously, get a puppy for built in, graded exercise)
  • Less brain fog.

And I’m not hungry.  Did I mention I’m not hungry?


Posted in Chronic Fatigue/Fibro, Meal plans, other health issues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment