7 Questions to Help You Process and Survive a Crisis

This pandemic getting scary. Many of us are on a roller coaster of emotion as we hear the latest news about loved ones, ICU patients, makeshift morgues, and healthcare workers making life-or-death decisions on the front lines.

When this pandemic hit, I was already neck-deep in trauma recovery. For the last twelve months, I’ve been working through my own post-traumatic stress that had compounded for decades.  Continue reading

4 Ways to Offer Hope in Times of Uncertainty

Once again, the world is experiencing a pandemic. Only this time it’s our turn to encounter travel bans, cancelled events, stockpiling and waves of uncertainty.

The response has been quite diverse. Some are waking up to a reality that has been looming for months. Others are running a “do not fear” campaign exhorting those who are anxious. Still some are promoting conspiracy theories, dismissing preventative action, or downplaying the virus as “just the flu”.

But for my family the threat is very real.

I am one of those in the “at risk” category. As one who is immunocompromised, my actions could literally be the difference between health and hospitalization.

For now, the virus is here to stay and will likely get worse before it gets better. Am I nervous? Of course. Am I taking precautions? You bet. A mutating virus to which humans have no immunity deserves our serious attention and responsible action.

How you respond to this crisis matters. Whether you realize it or not, your actions communicate a message. The question to ask yourself is, what kind of message do I want to send? Continue reading

When Your Healing Doesn’t Come

My journey with chronic illness has been both painful and long. My story is being featured this week as part of a series on Brave Women.

Truth be told, I have been more afraid than I have brave.

The last five years my life has revolved around immune-suppressants, flare-ups and fear. I did everything I could to optimize my health. I went dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free; all at the same time for a long time. I saw a naturopath, took enzymes, a regimen of pills, and drank dirt.

But I was still sick.

For years, I wrestled with God. Why me? Where are you, God? Did you forget about me? Don’t You see? Do you even care? 

If you’ve been curious about my journey with chronic illness or ever wondered where God is in the midst of chronic pain, please check out this post! God is answering my prayers, just not the way I expected.

I hope and pray my story will encourage you wherever you are at, in whatever battle you may be facing today.

Click here to read my story

Check out more inspiring stories in Becky Beresford’s Brave Women Series

Finding Hope When You Feel Hopeless

This couldn’t be happening. Not again. Not ever.

My heart beat wildly as I pressed a firm hand to my chest. Like lapsing waves, one hardship rose after the other, sweeping me into a sea of despair.

Anxiety. Depression. Disease. Inability to conceive. Now this.

Panic threatened to overwhelm as inflammation increased and my knee swelled for the third time. After four years of ceaseless prayers, all my hope for the future was shattered.

Again.

I thought I was getting better. But I was still broken. Continue reading

If Your Digestive Pain Won’t Go Away, Try This…

If digestive pain won't go away try thisTired of bloating, gas, abdominal pain or bowel trouble?

Reoccurring digestive issues can really cramp your style.

So you look to your doctor for help but he tells you it’s “all in your head” (wait…I thought it was my gut?). He labels you with a confusing acronym (IBS, IBD, SIBO) and sends you out the door.

Desperate for relief, you turn to the natural community. You sign up for an enormous amount of supplements, enzymes, cleansing treatments and spend all your money on whatever promises to heal you.

But what if you try it all and you STILL aren’t better?  Continue reading

10 Last Minute Super Bowl Ideas for Low Fodmap, Gluten and Dairy Free

Every. Single. Year.

It’s not like I don’t know February is coming. But somehow I always find myself panicking before that first Sunday. Because when the Ultimate Game Day is just around the corner, only one serious question remains.

What will we eat?10 Superbowl Ideas

Priorities, people. Priorities. When there are pigskin fans in your home, there’s only one thing that makes or breaks the game.
Food. And beer. And a working TV. And those comic relief commercial breaks.

Ok, ok. But back to food. Continue reading

How to be Corn Free and Keep Your Sanity

how to be corn free

Food sensitivities are no joke. And when you’re faced with the “eliminate them or else” scenario, you do what you must. Last year I sat across from the doctor as he handed me a list. My heart dropped to the floor. 25 foods and counting. And not just any foods. Gluten, dairy, and eggs had made the top of the list. But the biggest granddaddy of them all was corn. I remember feeling completely overwhelmed. What was I supposed to eat?? Recommending that I eliminate all 25 foods from my diet (all at once), Doc gave me a pat and a halfhearted “good luck”.

So I did it. A year ago. I went dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free, and everything else free…all at the same time, for a long time. It wasn’t until I started implementing changes that I realized these four foods are everywhere. They’re practically the foundation for all other foods. As you can imagine, I got a little stressed had a complete meltdown.

If you’re like me, there are times you think you might go crazy. Driving by Starbucks makes me a desperate mess (thank goodness for coconut milk)! But you restrict yourself out of necessity. Because you’re tired of feeling miserable and just want your health back.

Today there are good alternatives for those restricting gluten, dairy, and even eggs. But what about corn? Eliminating corn from your diet is challenging. If you don’t see corn on the ingredient list, look again. Like playing a game of hide and seek, corn is an expert at hiding in words like dextrose, maize, sorbitol, zein, zea mays, “food starch” and “natural flavors”. It’s no surprise that corn (and wheat) are the basis of American agriculture. Visit any of the “flyover states” and you’re bound to see endless ears of…you guessed it…corn! It’s even in your toothpaste, lotions, and car tires!

But what if you’re sensitive or allergic? Can you really be corn free in a corn-saturated country and not lose your mind?

The simple answer is yes. It’s a lot of work, but it’s doable. And to get you started, my cousin and I (she with her allergy and I with my sensitivity) have put our heads together to come up with some simple corn-free alternatives! Looking for corn free recipes? Check them out here. Continue reading

How to pick perfect produce

produce

Many find choosing produce to be a tricky endeavor. Just last week I was shopping for groceries and overheard a girl remark, “That is such a great deal on pineapple! I would buy one but I just don’t know how to pick it out!”

Say it ain’t so. I refuse to imagine a world where crisper drawers are left empty and sad.

Produce can be your friend. The day I learned how to pick out produce is still forever etched in my memory. I was standing in the produce aisle, bored out of my mind. Mom had decided Continue reading