Tasty Tuesday: SWEET POTATO SALAD WITH BACON

As many of you know, it has been recommended I try several different things in an effort to reduce MS symptoms and deal with my gastro issues.  Hubby came across a book by Terry Wahls, MD who has lots of success with this eating plan in reducing and in some cases getting rid of MS symptoms.  I have talked to several who are on this plan, and it works for them.  I am doing most of it anyway, so I figured I would go all the way.  The only change is that I will add some meat back into my diet, eliminate eggs and sugar while I increase fruits and veggies.  Hopefully, this will help with some of the new MS symptoms cropping up.  Thank you and Heather Christo for this yummy recipe.  This is from Wahls Protocol Recipes.

I love potato salad, but mayonnaise is not my friend.  So, this one sounds YUMMY!  The color and crunch from sweet potatoes, celery, and a bit of bacon sounds like the perfect combination. Serve this at your next backyard BBQ and no one will be missing the goopy white old-fashioned potato salad. 

PREP: 15 minutes     COOK TIME: 15 minutes     SERVINGS: 4 TO 6

Ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 red Fresno chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 uncured bacon slices, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery hearts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium-large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer until just fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and briefly and gently rinse them with cold water. Set aside.
  2. To make the mustard vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the chili, mustard, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, bacon, celery, and green onions and toss with the mustard vinaigrette. Season with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Did you know????  SWEET POTATOES are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin A and a great source of vitamin C. One 8-ounce sweet potato will give you 100 percent of your recommended daily vitamin A. If you consume a little fat with the sweet potatoes (like the olive oil in the recipe here), it helps your body utilize all the vitamin A even more efficiently.

Want to take this YUMMY salad to you to work for lunch or maybe to the next barbeque???   Check out Thirty One’s Thermal Tote….  One of our most popular items, the Thermal Tote is the perfect-sized lunch bag for work, school, play dates, sporting events, golf outings, fishing trips or travel. The thermal lining and zipper closure help keep your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket is the perfect place to keep your cell phone, wallet or other important small items. Also makes a great gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors and babysitters, or your coworkers, neighbors and friends!

The best part is…. they are on sale this month along with all of the thermal totes for either $10 or $15 with a $35 purchase.  This is a great time to stock up for the school year.  A size for everyone in the household.  Which one will you pick????

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day

 

Thankful Thursday: Acceptance

How well do you accept things – mainly change?  Do you adjust quickly or do you fight it all the way?   Do you embrace change or close your eyes ignoring it is happening?

Since my health issues started in 2012, it has been a roller coaster ride of acceptance.  When the diagnosis of MS  finally came in 2017 I realized it would be physically challenging, emotionally draining, and around-the-clock exhausting with some extremely lonely times. The truth is for those who don’t have it, you can’t understand the challenges or how it is different in each person.  On the surface, I accepted things.  Those closest to me saw the struggles but I was still living a kind of denial.

I had been having a run of good days – when there is no brain fog, moving okay just a little slow and making it through most of the day before I was totally drained.  Then there are the days which take an extraordinary amount of effort to complete even a simple task. Try going through a day not knowing if you will be able to manage another moment of fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness, dropping anything you get your hands on, and feeling as if you don’t have the strength to hold it together for one more second.  I accepted these minor challenges too… or at least I thought I did.

When I started my journey again working through my addiction, I realized I have never really accepted my MS diagnosis.  Why was accepting I’m an addict so much easier than accepting I have MS.   On most days I admit to those around me the limitations I have especially with memory as a result of my MS. Acceptance, right?  Then,  I came across this definition of acceptance in an NA reading.  “Acceptance is an opening of your heart to the realities of life and to the ways in which you have been impacted by your life choices. It means you don’t fight against the realities of your life, but accept them for what they are and use them to grow as a person and move forward in life. Accepting life on life’s terms.  Accepting the things you can not change while you focus on the things you can“. The truth is, I have not truly accepted my MS diagnosis.

Last week, I was told by disability “you are not considered disabled”.  One of their reasons was “you can use your arms and hands so basically go to work” and instead of getting angry, I started to wonder if they were right.  Then I was told by the physical therapist, I had flunked the balance test!  She said “you are a fall risk and need to have a cane with you”.  SMACK!  She had me pegged though, she said “you still think of yourself as an independent woman who can take care of everyone else”.  It took both of these things to make be realize I was still fighting the realities of my life.  I continue to fight the things I can’t change instead of focusing on the things I can change.  I can’t change I’m a 62 year old woman who struggles most days with MS both physically and mentally.  What I can change is the way I decide to handle things………working on eating healthier, getting sleep, getting up and moving when I feel up to it instead of just sitting around then resting when my body says it is time.

Now, your struggle with acceptance could be much different.  The difficulties you face may be different from mine, but I am convinced there is someone, somewhere in the world who is going through the same overwhelming moments as you. Just because you don’t hear about them or know them personally doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Believe me, I have been there.

Whatever your challenge, it’s okay to feel like you’re falling apart.  Eventually things will get better and you will find new ways of coping with all the changes happening in your life. I can guarantee it, but in the moment or in the heat of the battle it may not seem like it’s even possible.  I know, I am there fighting the battle of acceptance right now – with you.

It’s okay to ask for help.  I’m grateful for the rooms of NA where I can dump my stuff on the floor and walk away feeling a little less like a hot mess.  Find someone you can talk with about ways to help you manage your emotional chaos.  There is still hope for a better tomorrow whatever your challenge may be. I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.

When all else fails, repeat the Serenity Prayer and wait for an answer.  Of course waiting for an answer is not one of my strong points.  Answers will always come but they may not be in a way we expect them or it may not be the answer we want….. expectations is a whole other topic.  LOL.

So, just for today, focus on the things you can change.  Accept life on life’s terms and count your blessings.

Have a blessed day!

 

Brain Jumble

letters
The cloudy cold dreary weather causes people to struggle with changes in their mood, and pain in their joints.  For me, add to it how it wrecks havoc on my foggy brain.   There was a time when I think my body just needs some oiling (lots of supplements/vitamins), and could definitely need some repairing but on those cold and dreary days….…I think a new one is the only thing that will help!
At the age of 61, some would say it is normal to forget appointments, people’s names, a movie I already watched (maybe more than once) or even what was said a few minutes ago….. the reality is my brain as seen on my MRI scans is filled with holes scattered all over the place. Some are bigger than others but definitely more than just the few which come with aging.
I love this explanation from a fellow MS blogger “I imagine words bouncing around in my brain, sliding from hole to hole and hitting road blocks in hopes of finding a way of escape. It’s kind of like they are stuck in a perpetual reality game of Chutes and Ladders.”   It is so true.  Combine that mess with missing memories and some days I feel like the movie “50 First Dates”.  Yup, I had to look up the name because I couldn’t remember it.  If you haven’t seen it, it is about a girl who doesn’t remember so each day is a new day.  An average day for me includes not remembering things BUT there are those crazy radon thoughts which find their way through the maze of detours.  It is those crazy random thoughts on a good day which make some think, I’m okay!
What happens to the thoughts and memories which don’t find a place to call home?  Do they just keep rattling around forever?  It’s such a weird feeling to know the words or the things I’m trying to remember are there somewhere…. stuck so they can’t seem to connect with my tongue.  Therapists wanted to call it selective memory or that I am repressing bad things.  What about the good memories?
I know I frustrate people from time to time with my long pauses, lack of complex vocabulary and not remembering things.  I frustrate myself.  I used to be able to multi-task, juggling lots of things and remember clearly important events (as well as random nonsense) in my life.  Most memories of my childhood seemed to be missing after my addiction so I adjusted or at least I thought I had.  I always said I probably burnt out more brain cells than I thought during my many years of using drugs.  Then along came the MS.   Only recently have they determined loss of memory can be a key factor in the diagnosis of MS so were the gaps in memory addiction or MS.  Guess we will never know…
I struggle to remember things when talking to my old HS classmates. I struggle to remember growing up.  I struggle to remember the birth of my daughter.  I struggle to remember the work and people I met doing social work for 20 plus years.  I struggle to remember my wedding.  I struggle to remember my accomplishments even looking at pictures or plaques seem like someone else.  I struggle with my business to remember prints, products, fellow consultants and even customers/hostess who have been with me for my almost 8 years in business.
I struggle to remember time frames so it may have been weeks/months since I talked to you but to me, it may be less than a week.  Some days I can’t remember anything at all, then some days I remember bits and pieces.  When people tell me things I have said or done, it seems so foreign to me. Like it was a different person – a person I can’t identify with now.  The memories I do have take on a different picture than those of the people around me – some things have fallen into the potholes of my brain still trying to find a way out.
I’m thankful for the people who are patient with me.  I thankful for the ones who give me the space and time I need to piece things together even when I get things all mixed up.  I’m learning to say “ I’m collecting my thoughts” which is so true some days.  I’m learning to be honest and say “I don’t remember” of course the blank stare I give when people talk is often a clue.  I truly know what it’s like to sift through words, thoughts and ideas as I attempt to make sense of things.
But that’s my world now…a jumbled up 3-dimensional word search game. The bad thing about it is someone keeps switching the game board and jumbling up all the words. I feel like they see I have made progress with my puzzle and then come along mixing up all of the pieces.  Just when I think I have things solved, BAM…there’s a new arrangement of letters, pieces and words to sort through.
Today’s blog was a rambling jumble of thoughts as I come to terms with living life with MS.  There are days I try to act like it isn’t there – things are normal (whatever that may be).  There are days when I am unable to move because my muscles don’t know what to do.  There are days when I actually do remember, and can function as if the MS is only a blip on the radar.  Most days, I’m just trying to sift through a sea of letters and words in my brain searching for…what was it again? Pancakes? Trashcans? Envelopes?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish

Penny wise and dollar foolish is a saying I have heard since I was little.  I will admit, it has been me on occasion – okay, maybe more occasions then I care to admit!  🙂

Halfway through the year and starting a new fiscal year at Thirty One this month is when review my goals and my finances.  Doing it mid-year check helps me keep things in balance or get back on track if I have wavered.

Life with MS (#MSwillnotdefineme) has been interesting to say the least.  No excuses, just the realization processing things doesn’t work unless I have a system.  A system to stay on track with bills.  A system to work my business.  Admittedly, the the money system faltered some in the first few months but I have grabbed the bull by the horns and am back on track with a new plan.

I hate to admit I am still learning money matters in my 60’s, but there are a few things I wish I had learned in my 20’s.  Learning is an ongoing process and I am determined not to give up on my goal.

#1 A bigger and better job doesn’t mean you get to spend more.  By keeping your costs the same when you increase your salary you’ll be able to save some.  I always thought more money meant I could spend more.  Silly me!

#2 Never spend more than what comes in.  And limit your cards to the lowest amount possible. This has been the toughest for this recovering addict to conquer. 

#3 Pay off any debt first.  Pay your credit card debt as soon as possible, those high interests won’t be doing you any good. Then once they are paid off DON”T use them anymore.

 

#4 Student loans on autopilot.  Students loans usually have a really small interest rate so make regular, steady payments to pay off your loan and it’ll soon be a thing of the past.  Check out too if you are eligible for a “forgiveness program”.  Make 120 payments on time & the balance of your loan is forgiven.  Works for the kids but not the parents.

#5 Build a back-up.  YES, saving is still important even if you have debt.  Make sure you always have a few hundred set aside for unexpected costs and bills.

#6 Insuring yourself is essential.  A crashed laptop, unforeseen doctors bill or stolen bike can wreak financial havoc if you’re not insured. The cost per month will pay off in the long run for any unexpected mishaps.

#7 Set long term goals to help you focus on what you really want. Figure out how much you’re gonna need and start saving now.

#8 Monetize your talent if you can.  Write blogposts, take photographs or try to monetize your special skills as (additional) income.  I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember.  I just wish I had of saved some of that money.

 

#9 Think about retirement.  This is especially important if you are your own boss.  Sadly, I learned too late it’s essential to put away money for the future.

#10 Lastly, here is a marvelous piece of advice given by StickleyMan on Thought Catalog. It’s reaaaaaally good.

Take some more chances. You know that idea that’s been ruminating in the back of your mind for years? That one that doesn’t have anything to do with your job or your mortgage. That one that falls outside your schema of living and routine and that you shrug off as some immature or impractical idea; as just some silly fantasy. Maybe it’s a crazy business idea or a trip to go live in a hut in India for three months or to breed Pygmy hippos or to become a juggling street performer. Whatever it is, explore it. Maybe even try it. I don’t mean take a stupid, life-threatening risk. I’m not suggesting a trying a lifestyle of meth addiction and bare-knuckle Fight Clubs. But something outside your comfort zone. Try it. Maybe you’ll fail miserably at it. But just try it. Because in about a decade when you’re responsible for more things and more people, you won’t be able to. And you’ll find yourself in a self-imposed mental prison of ‘what-ifs’. And take it for someone who didn’t because I was too scared, too embroiled in my own insecurities and addictions, and so heavily conditioned to fear failure – you’ll wish you did.

Any cash lessons you learned in the past year? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to hear how you spend and save.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What was I trying to say?

Have you ever been in the middle of a sentence and forgot what you were going to say?  Or maybe you want to use a word in a conversation but can’t think of it? Or maybe even use the wrong word the wrong way?  Or better yet, have someone say something and you are clueless on what the meaning is of a word so you don’t understand what they said.  I know everyone has it happen on occasion, right?
This past month has been a struggle to find the right words from writing my blog to talking to people to even working with customers in my business.  I usually can play off not remembering the names of products or prints when talking to customers – I mean I know what the best product is to solve their particular need, I just can’t remember the name of the product.  I may remember customer’s faces but 99% of the time, I can’t remember their name.  Then there are those moments when hubby tells a joke and then has to explain it because I didn’t process any of the words.
Why am I tell you all of this? It has been awhile since I shared about my struggle with MS.  On the outside everything seems to be great while on the inside there is a never ending struggle to keep my life the same as it always has been.
Okay, back to words…..
We all use words ALL the time.  From speaking to thinking them in our head or writing them down on scraps of paper. Not a day goes by without the use of words. My words seem to come out all mixed up.  It is like someone poured all the words in my head into a blender and then dumped the chopped up words on a table. Some where along the lines, the words get lost. 

Thankfully when I write, I can proofread and wait before I hit send on an email or post on social media..  Otherwise, my sentences would have words which don’t belong or the sentence would ramble on forever.  The scary part for me is when I talk. I will say something and then pause for a moment wondering “What did I just say?”.  Most people are polite and just smile if what I said makes no sense.  While others will question what I said or meant which causes more frustration for me.  Then there are those times when I “thought” I said something or asked for help with something only to find out the words never actually came out of my mouth.  UGH!!!

I hear everything correctly in my head but the words coming out of my mouth…well, they aren’t the ones I was thinking.  It’s crazy how the filter between my brain and fingers, or my brain and mouth, seems to get things all mixed up.  Even when I am trying to read aloud from a piece of paper – my tongue seems to have a mind of its own.   I wonder if there’s a replacement filter I can install? They make filters for the car which is replaced after so many miles of use. My air filter in my office gets replaced after some many months.  Our water filter gets replaced every 6 months.  Maybe I can get a filter replacement for my brain?

I thought auto correct was the solution.  WRONG!  Auto correct messes me up even more. It rewrites my words into different words and inserts random words into sentences which has nothing to do with what I’m trying to say. The end result – I get more confused then I already was.  Is that possible?

Life with Multiple Sclerosis. I’m learning to laugh about situations or at least be honest and tell people what is happening.  No, I don’t look like I have MS.  This crazy disease is playing havoc on the inside of my body – messing with my words, making my arms and legs constantly tingle and robbing me of my memories.

There are many auto-immune diseases out there which play havoc with people on the inside while their outside appears to be “normal”.  Maybe not to them because they are living with the craziness of their disease.  So the next time someone stumbles on their words, says something totally out of wack in a conversation or seems clueless in a conversation – have some patience for you never know what may be happening on the inside.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!