Monday, September 26, 2011

Fight Like a Girl

My third round of chemo went great, sounds like an oxymoron, at least compared to the others! The treatment center was full of women this time! It sounded like a beauty shop, only we weren't there to primp ourselves, but rather hope to improve our health and prognosis. After talking with some of the women for a little, I decided to take a much needed nap. This was a treat!  I have a 9 month at home and for those of you with little ones running around, three hour naps are few and far between!

That night after my treatment, I felt strong enough and hungry enough to make dinner and I insisted! Not only is preparing and cooking your food a healthier option to eating out, but budget friendly, and for me, a stress reliever.  If you are also on a strict diet, such as low sodium, it can also be very difficult to eat out and know exactly how the chef prepared your food!

This winter I plan to host a Mindful Eating class. Mindful eating includes paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body! It is an amazing concept, and once put into practice, will give you more appreciation for more nutritious foods and drink and a healthier lifestyle. Keep your eyes open for the class; more details to come!

Along with healthy eating habits, and moderate exercise, the last round of chemo appears to be BEATING the lupus nephritis! As I always say Beat Lupus! For the last 3 days, I can see my ankles! Thats right, my ankles-not cankles! I think I admired my ankles for about 3 hours and was excited to sport my GATOR sun dress for the past Gator game! My energy level is up, and I am starting to feel like "Laura" again. 

The day after my chemo, I had the honor of presenting my company, Back to Balance, at the Women in Business Network fair at Flagler college. I met some amazing women, talked nutrition, and shared my passion for a healthy lifestyle! It was great to get out, market my business again, and meet some other very inspiring women in business!

In honor of all the wonderful, hard working women in the world... FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!

She has achieved success who has lived well; laughed often and loved much;… who has filled her niche and accomplished her task; … who has always looked for the best in others and given the best she had; whose life was an inspiration. ~ Mrs A. J. Stanley

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Veggie Burgers

Today is chemo treatment # 3 and lately, I do not have a great deal of energy to cook dinner every night, so I thought I would share my secret to eating healthy with little energy.


PLAN out your meals at the beginning of the week. This way you are less stressed about what to make on Thursday night after work or soccer practice. PREPARE food ahead of time. Use the freezer! Instead of store bought toaster waffles or veggies burgers, which are full of sodium, preservatives, and can be also can be expensive, try making your own and storing them in freezer bags!  Now that the fall is coming, break out the crock pot.  Check out some of these healthy recipes: Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes.

These yummy veggie burgers I have created are low in sodium, contain no preservatives, and are full of protein and fiber! The recipes makes about 12 veggie burgers and cost about the same price as 4 store-bought veggie burgers. 

3-4 cups canned or cooked beans (I used mixture of red kidney beans, navy beans, black beans).
1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Canola Oil
1 Medium vidalia onion chopped
1/4 cup green pepper chopped
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp Tumeric
1/4 Tsp Red pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup thawed frozen corn or fresh corn kernels
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg white (3 tbsp) OR 1 egg

1. Saute onion, pepper, and olive oil for 5 minutes or until opague. Add all seasonings (cumin, oregano, tumeric) to pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Set aside to cool. 

2. Put onion, pepper mixture and the rest of the ingredients in food processor and mix until combined. 

3. Form 3-4" wide/1" thick patties on a baking sheet with wax paper. Place in freezer for 1 hour or fridge for about 2 hours. This will dry the burgers and make them hold up when grilling and cooking. You can use either a grill pan or place them on a gas or charcoal grill.

4. Set burgers on a plate to cool. Wrap each burger in wax paper and store in freezer bag. They can be stored for up to 6 months!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Round Two

Last Tuesday, September 6th, was my second round of chemo.  This time it took 3 nurses (not there fault but my veins) to attempt finding a vein and after a brutal 6 tries we finally got some blood! I was beginning to think I didn't exist.  After years of steroids, my veins are shot!

After they were able to draw some blood, we could get the treatment started. I put up the legs on the recliner, curled up with my blanket, got a good book out, and then.... they gave me IV benydryl! It was a little  hard to focus on reading so I indulged myself in a little cable TV! (We opted for Netlix instead of cable). So even though I was stuck to an IV pole, life isn't that bad when you are forced to relax for a few hour.

After my treatment, I was still a little groggy. Patrick came and picked me up, and cook me an AMAZING dinner. He is the best! I am very thankful for a wonderful, hard working husband! AND since they have great anti-nausea medicines now, I did not have any trouble with nausea this time and the IV steroids kicked up my appetite.  Patrick was only back in town for a few days, and I wanted to spend as much quality time with him as I could so I did everything I could to fight sleep. It was hard! Thursday, after he left, I slept and slept and slept!  I am not a big fan of sleep, so I felt like a wasted the day, but I guess my body needed it.  Being home when you are sick can be your worst enemy. Instead of resting, I see toys that need to be picked up, clothes that needed to be washed, dishes that need to be cleaned, counters that need to be wiped, and the list goes on and on.  Through all of this, I have now learned that there will always be "projects" to do and I have learned to listen to body and REST. Some of you can relate. We run ourselves down, trying to be super mom, super wife, and super hard worker.  Kind of strange that I am one of these people and I was diagnosed with a disease that is aggravated by stress.

The last few days I have had swollen feet from some of the medications and disease process, causing me to have beautiful cankles (when the ankle and calf disappear). Quite sexy! It comes and goes. Along with that, I have severe cramping in my legs occasionally. Today, the nurse called to tell me about my labs and it is a good thing I am a clinical dietitian and know a great deal about lab work-especially in relation to diet. I found out it was my low blood calcium level and low albumin level (protein in the blood cells) that is causing the camping and swelling. I am going to start taking 2 tums (calcium carbonate) a day and increase my intake of food/drink fortified in calcium (milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, canned salmon, tofu-YUM)!.  My labs are already starting to improve!! I needed to hear this good news, because unlike my usual self, I was starting to think negative thoughts and the worst possible situation. You need to always think positive, whatever problems you are facing! AND focus faith, hope, and love!

Quick side note: I don't know what I would do without my friends! I used to be very prideful and did not ask for help when I needed it. Forget that!!! I love the help and especially the calls and "stop by's" from my friends! A few of my friends brought me homemade enchiladas and watched a movie with me! Another friend came by for dinner and to play with Liam and I. My girlfriends are constantly calling/texting to check up on me! You know who you are and you all are amazing! Thank you for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers, and especially love you have shown!

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."  ~Leo Buscaglia