Best Superfoods For Spoonies: Chronic Illness Symptom Relief

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Living with a chronic illness is a struggle, all the more so when the illness is not physically evident. Some people assume you’re perfectly healthy when, in fact, seemingly mundane tasks are hard to fulfill.

People living with chronic illnesses (known casually as ‘spoonies’ in a term coined by lupus sufferer Christine Miserandino, who established the Spoon Theory to communicate an understanding of what her life is like) will draw upon medically prescribed treatments to help with their condition.

The Best Superfoods for Spoonies

They may also seek natural remedies, such as superfoods. These superfoods such as garlic, turmeric, ginger and salmon can provide much-welcome relief to symptoms of chronic illnesses.

Most of them contain anti-inflammatory ingredients which relieve pain and help to prevent cancer, while some are beneficial in terms of stabilizing cholesterol levels. Indeed, the consumption of salmon can even help to fight against feelings of depression. Depression is a hidden illness which can often be experienced by people suffering from other chronic illnesses.

The infographic below from Burning Nights identifies seven of the best superfoods for spoonies and deals specifically with five common hidden illnesses, highlighting the best and worst foods for those concerned.

A person living with a chronic illness is likely to grasp at any remedy which can relieve feelings of pain. Consequently, these superfoods could make their condition easier to endure.

Read below to find out more.

best superfoods
Superfoods For Spoonies (courtesy Burning Nights)

I want to express a big thank you to Victoria Abbott-Fleming who is the founder of the chronic pain charity, Burning Nights, for sharing this excellent information and the visual featured above. Also, you can visit her website at Burning Nights.

The Takeaway

Eating superfoods such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, berries and grapes, olive oil, hot peppers and salmon can have amazing healing benefits for people with chronic illness. As a result, the best superfoods are an excellent substitute to pharmaceutical drugs for anyone who favors natural remedies and solutions to chronic pain.

Consequently, I can tell you from personal experience these superfoods really work!

Along with other healthy choices a few months ago I started taking turmeric curcumin daily. As a result, I’ve been able to stop taking two medications I was taking daily for chronic pain from chronic Lyme disease symptoms.

Please note, don’t ever stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first. 

Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? Have you tried any of these superfoods? Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love hearing from you! 

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This post contains affiliate links. And you can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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Top 10 Ways To Prevent Lyme Disease (And Other Tick-Borne Diseases)

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The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid outdoor spaces where deer ticks live and breed. This includes tall grass, bushy and forest areas.

But for many of you that simply isn’t realistic, or what you want to do.

So for you who like to venture out and explore this great big world (myself included), it is essential to know how to protect yourself from ticks.

How To Avoid Ticks And Prevent Lyme Disease

prevent Lyme
Wear long pants tucked into long socks and boots to keep ticks out.
  1. Wear light-colored clothing. This makes ticks easier to spot so you can get rid of them before they reach your skin.
  2. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Button all the buttons so sleeves are tight around the wrists.
  3. Tuck pants into long socks and boots. This prevents ticks from crawling up your legs.
  4. Stay on trails. Don’t venture off into high grasses or forest areas because ticks are more prevalent there.
  5. Maintain your yard and keep the grass cut and hedges trimmed. Here is a great article to help you tick-proof your yard.
  6. Spray your clothing and shoes with tick repellent. Typically I recommend natural products, but you have to weigh the benefits and risks. And everyone has their own opinion about this. So you have to decide what works best for you. In the past I’ve made my own essential oil repellents and tried a variety of natural repellents and personally haven’t found them to be as effective. Perhaps I haven’t found the right one. But, based on my situation, I’ve come to the following conclusion: Because I’ve been infected with Lyme twice, I want to reduce the chances of my loved ones getting sick and my being reinfected as much as possible. I just recently overcame my fear of going out into my backyard again. (And trust me, that fear is real. And when you have children it is heightened.) Currently, I’m using a Deet Repellent when I’m in areas I believe ticks may be lurking. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a handy online tool to help you select the repellent that is best for you and your family. I also ordered an Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus repellent for a more natural option to repel mosquitoes for when I’m not in tick-infested areas. You can find it here: Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent. (Like I said earlier, I generally recommend natural products. So if you’re wanting to go all-natural the next tip is for you. Just keep in mind that this option may not be as effective as some of the chemical options.)
  7. Some essential oils that may deter ticks include lemon, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree, geranium, catnip, clove and lavender. Essential oils are quite potent, so mixing a few drops with a carrier oil (such as jojoba or olive) and applying should be plenty. Or, you may prefer to make your own tick spray. The following video shows how to make a simple essential oil tick spray using only 3 ingredients.
  8. Check your body for ticks. Especially after spending time outdoors. And especially if you have a pet that lives indoors. Use a full-length mirror to check your entire body, taking special care to check the warmest areas, including: under the arms, under where elastic clothing straps have been, inside the belly button (yep, even there), the scalp and all hair, behind the knees, inside the elbows, between the legs, around the waist and inside and around the ears.
  9. Check clothing for ticks. Put clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill ticks.
  10. Check your pets for ticks. Remove any ticks that you find.

How To Remove A Tick

Don’t squeeze or squash the tick. Also, don’t burn it or cover it with petroleum jelly.

First, use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull the tick straight out.

Then disinfect the entire area.

Save the tick in a ziplock bag or bottle for testing. Label the bag with your name, the date you removed the tick, the site of the tick bite, and how long you believe the tick was attached.

Learn about free tick testing.

Over the next few days and weeks be vigilant and watch for symptoms of Lyme disease. If you develop rashes or flu-like symptoms do not overlook them.

Go to the doctor and report the tick bite and symptoms. 

You can find a Lyme Doctor in your area through this link.

The Takeaway

There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. Furthermore, wearing long pants and boots, staying in the middle of trails and avoiding tall grass, shrubs and forest areas are key to prevention.

What tips would you add to this list?

Please share your comments and questions in the comment section below. I love hearing from you!

For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

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Instagram — @LoriGeurin
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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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The Signs, Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

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Lyme disease continues to be a hot topic in the news, likely because it is increasing at an alarming rate due to climate changes and other factors.

Between 2004 and 2009 reported cases of Lyme disease rose 94%. What?!

And they continue to rise today.

Fortunately, many people are starting to take notice of this disturbing trend.

But, if Lyme disease continues to spread, often unrecognized and untreated, it won’t take long before everyone either knows someone who has it, or they have it themself.

Lyme is now much more common than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and other vector-borne illnesses.

Knowing what to look out for is crucial.

I’m going to share the signs, symptoms, and stages of Lyme disease below so you know what to watch for. I truly hope this will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme diseaseSigns Symptoms And Stages Of Lyme Disease

1. Early Localized Lyme Disease (1 to 4 weeks)

This stage can develop from days to weeks after becoming infected.

Symptoms may include:

  • Rashes – Less that 50% of Lyme patients remember developing a rash. Sometimes the rash looks like a bulls-eye. This is referred to as erythema migrans (EM). It is a myth that you must  have this rash to have Lyme disease (1). I did not ever see a bull-eye rash, but have developed a number of unusual red and splotchy rashes since the tick bites (for more on rashes, keep reading below).
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, fatigue, headache, pain or stiffness in the neck and swollen lymph nodes (2).
  • Nausea, dizziness and vomiting

Stage 2: Early Disseminated Lyme Disease Infection (1 to 4 months)

This stage develops when the disease is not found and/or treated properly soon after infection. At this point the infection can begin to affect the joints, heart, nervous system and skin.

Symptoms may include:

  • More rashes that start to appear in different parts of the body due to the infection spreading
  • Paralysis of the facial muscles, or Bell’s Palsy
  • Fainting
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Painful, swollen joints, such as the knees
  • Heart palpitations or Lyme carditis
  • Conjunctivitis, or pink eye
  • Meningitis – swelling of the brain

Late Persistent Lyme Disease, Or Chronic Lyme

Failure to treat Lyme promptly can cause damage to the brain, joints and nervous system. This is the most serious stage.

Symptoms may include:

  • Extreme exhaustion which is not relieved by sleeping or resting
  • Inability to control facial muscles
  • Heart problems, such as pericarditis
  • Tingling and numbness of the hands and feet
  • Arthritis, often in the larger joints, such as the knees
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Confusionsigns symptoms and stages of Lyme disease
  • Difficulty thinking or reasoning
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Getting lost, even in familiar areas
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smells
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Mood swings, depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Migrating joint and muscle pain
  • Vertigo
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Vision difficulties
  • Weight gain or loss
  • “Air hunger”
  • Pain in the chest or ribs
  • “Heart block”
  • Neck pain, stiffness and cracking
  • Night sweats
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Heart murmur or valve prolapse
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Menstrual irregularity

The Takeaway

This list of signs, symptoms and stages of Lyme disease is not exhaustive. I’ve talked to a lot of people with Lyme and many of our symptoms are similar, but others are different.

My friend, if you are struggling with an illness and the doctors have been unable to help you, you may want to consider this list to help you rule out (or in) Lyme disease, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in a tick-infested area.

And of course, if you know you’ve been bit by a tick, mosquito, etc and aren’t feeling well, please get yourself checked out immediately.

Here is a list of doctors who specialize in treating Lyme patients. I would highly recommend starting here.

Do you have any of these symptoms? Or do you have an unexplained illness and can’t seem to get answers?

Please share your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

Pinterest — /LoriGeurin
Facebook — /LoriGeurinBlog
Twitter — @LoriGeurin
Instagram — @LoriGeurin
Bloglovin — lorigeurin
Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.

Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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Experts Caution Increased Lyme Disease Risk : Reports Of Possible Tickmageddon On The Rise

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Happy May Day friends!

When I was a girl on May 1st my mom and I would make beautiful May Day baskets. Then we would drive around to deliver them, usually to my grandmother’s houses.

I’d set the basket down by the front door, ring the door bell, and run and hide. It was always fun hiding and watching my sweet grandmas open the door to find the small gift we had left them. My little brother, took part in the action too, probably more interested in the running and hiding if memory serves.Lyme disease risk

I’m curious if anyone still does this? I have to admit I haven’t continued this tradition with our children. I did it with them a couple of times when they were really little but now they’re grown up.

When I was a girl growing up in Missouri I knew all about May baskets, but I didn’t know about Lyme disease, even though I loved being outdoors and had been bit by ticks several times.

Fortunately, I was healthy until 2012 when I was bit by 2 more ticks and, to make a long story short, have been dealing with the cruel effect of Lyme disease and the damage it’s done to my body ever since.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and I’m planning to share several posts about Lyme this month.

The Media Reports About Lyme Disease Risk

Even if you’re not a news buff you’ve likely seen something about Lyme disease on the news recently.

Many researchers have predicted that 2017 will be the worst ever for new Lyme disease infections. This is likely due to the mild winter and unique climate conditions which makes an enticing environment for ticks.

The volume of news articles and interviews about Lyme is considerable. It’s baffling to me how much is written about Lyme, yet how many people continue to suffer.

We still need to find a cure for all for Lyme. If Lyme is diagnosed and treated appropriately early on it can be eradicated in many cases.

The problem is that for many people this doesn’t happen. Lyme is often misdiagnosed. And once the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi has time to invade your body, it settles into every organ and system, causing untold damage.

Diagnostic tests are notoriously inaccurate. And most treatments are not covered by insurance.

Considering the seriousness of the disease and the massive amount of people affected by it, it is alarming that we’re so far behind. For more on this, keep reading.

The CDC Staying Surprisingly Quiet About Lyme Disease Amidst Widespread Concern

In a recent article on www.thehuffingtonpost.com, contributor David Michael Conner said he did a Google search of news including Lyme disease from March 26 to April 26, 2017 and it returned 43 pages of results, which is a lot.

He then compared the results he found to basic facts with HIV and Zika and shared his findings in the following graphs:

Lyme disease risk
Lyme Disease, HIV and Zika (photo courtesy www.huffingtonpost.com)

Here you can see that Lyme is clearly the most widespread disease of the three, but receives next-to-nothing when it comes to federal funding. And as author, Conner points out,

“The news media, in other words, show a greater acknowledgment of the disease than federal public health agencies. That comes down to the nature of the news, though; …most of the substantive coverage of Lyme comes from local news outlets, and the reason for this is that those outlets reflect the realities of their communities—whereas national news organizations are more likely to report what they are told by federal health authorities are the reporting priorities. This designation is supremely important to keep in mind.”

Conner also mentions that in the past 30 days the CDC, “the agency responsible for protecting the public’s health interests” has tweeted:

  • 20 times about Zika virus
  • 3 times about HIV
  • 2 times about swimming pool urine
  • ZERO times about Lyme disease

If you want to read this article in its entirety I’d urge you to check it out here: What The Media Don’t Tell You About Lyme Disease (But Should).

 The Takeaway

The media has had much to say about Lyme disease recently. And while bringing awareness to Lyme can be a positive things, it’s essential to sift through information for the facts.

Many experts warn the Lyme disease risk may be greater now than ever. And despite the vast media attention and expert warnings, the CDC has remained unusually quiet about Lyme disease. This raises many questions and concerns which need to be investigated further.

Do you know someone with Lyme? Have you noticed Lyme disease in the news recently? 

Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

 For more on Lyme disease, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

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8 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills: Your Friends And Family Will Love You For It

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Having good communication skills is vitally important in many areas of life. Yet it is sometimes, dare I say, neglected.

Whether at the office with co-workers, socializing with friends or at home with family learning how to communicate effectively is essential to developing good relationships with others. Not only can improved communication help you enhance your relationships, but it can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

So, whether you’re a beginner with much room for improvement or a pro, here are eight steps you can take to develop amazing communication skills.

8 Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills

1. Listening is key.

Do you remember Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign?

It turns out there’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing happens, “with or without your consent“. Hearing is passive and doesn’t require any effort on your part.

On the other hand, listening requires concentration and attention. You must consciously choose to listen.

Everyone wants to know they are being heard. So really listen to what the other person is saying without interrupting.

And without formulating a response in your head.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘s Eric Barker outlines the basics of active listening:

  • “Listen to what they say. Don’t interrupt, disagree or “evaluate.”

  • Nod your head, and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh.”

  • Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said, from their frame of reference.

  • Inquire. Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.”

2. Eliminate distractions.

Put down your cell phone, shut your laptop, turn off the T.V. or whatever it is that might distract you from giving the other person your undivided attention.

This not only helps you pay better attention, but shows the other person you’re focused on them and what they have to say.

3. Pay attention to your body language.

Avoid sending out negative signals through negative body language such as tapping your feet nervously, avoiding eye contact and crossing your arms.

Instead, use open body language. Keep your arms uncrossed with palms up. Maintain good eye contact. And smile (when appropriate).

This positive body language sends the message that you’re approachable and interested in what the other person has to say.

4. Consider who you’re talking to.

For example, if you’re talking to your best friend it’s fine to use informal language, including slang.

If you’re a twin, you may enjoy “twin talk” with your identical sibling. No one else will understand what you’re saying but you two will, and that’s all that matters.

And if you’re conversing with your boss, it’s generally best to keep that in mind too. To sum up this tip, simply try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind.

5. Ask questions and paraphrase.communication

So I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions.

I’ve also been told curiosity killed the cat.

But I digress…

Ask questions to clarify your understanding of what the other person said.

Also, paraphrasing is a great tool to use to show the other person that you’re really listening. Here’s an example: “So Sam, what I’m hearing is that you’d prefer to go to the conference next week?”

6. Don’t finish other people’s sentences.

I know it can be tempting to “help” people when they’re struggling for a word or thought, but please avoid this temptation.

I admit I’ve done this before, usually thinking I’m being helpful, but simply put, it’s just not.

When you finish another person’s sentence, you’re actually stealing power from them in the conversation by taking over, and this never feels good or garners either of you the respect you wish for.

7. Avoid being judgmental.

Some conversations are fun and easy. Often this is because we feel comfortable and perhaps know the other person or have things in common.

But even the most difficult conversations can have successful resolutions.

It’s essential to put aside judgement and criticism about the other person if we want to be good communicators.

8. Be assertive and set boundaries.

Developing an assertive communication style has many benefits, especially when it comes to your health. According to www.anxietybc.com, assertive communication:

“can help you to relate to others more genuinely, with less anxiety and resentment. It also gives you more control over your life, and reduces feelings of helplessness. Furthermore, it allows OTHER people the right to live their lives.”

Assertiveness is based on mutual respect, which is an essential skill when communicating.

It’s also important to keep in mind that assertiveness is completely different from aggressiveness (or passive aggression).  The aim of aggressive behavior is to control and dominate others.

On the other hand, AnxietyBC points out assertive behavior is:

“the honest expression of one’s own needs, wants and feelings, while respecting those of the other person. When you communicate assertively, your manner is non-threatening and non-judgmental, and you take responsibility for your own actions.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, learning to be more assertive is a healthy skill which can help you control feelings of anger and stress, while boosting your self-respect.

The Takeaway

Learning and implementing excellent communication skills can help you be more successful in life. Knowing how to effectively communicate is an essential part of improving your relationships at work, with friends and family. And having these skills can help you enjoy better health and less stress and anxiety.

Do you have thoughts or more tips to share about being a better communicator?

Please share them below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

 If you enjoyed this, you may want to check out:

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Intermittent Fasting Nutrition: What To Eat For Maximum Results

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Intermittent fasting nutrition is essential if you’re aiming to lose weight, gain muscle mass and radiate health and vitality.

Intermittent fasting (IM) is a concept that has been around for ages. It is not about what foods you choose eat. But it is all about the timing of when you eat and don’t eat, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Nutrition

Many people will tell you that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight while intermittent fasting.

And, while this may be true, if you want to be the healthiest version of yourself, then you may want to upgrade your diet and make healthier choices when it comes to nourishing your body with life-giving food.

Here are a few tips to guide your food choices and maximize your results when intermittent fasting:

fasting nutrition
Be sure to eat high-protein foods, such as chicken, grass-fed beef, beans, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt and whey protein.
  • Include a serving of protein with each meal or snack. Examples include plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whole eggs, chicken breast, grass-fed beef,  fish, whey protein, a can of tuna or beans.
  • Eat plenty of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Include healthy fats, such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters.
  • If you’re in the mood for something sweet, fruit is an excellent choice.
  • A bit of dark chocolate (at least 70-80% cocoa) is full of antioxidants and makes a delicious and indulgent treat.
  • Complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and quinoa are okay if you are able to reach your weight loss goals. Just keep in mind that if your weight loss is stalling you might try eating smaller portions (or eliminate these foods until you reach your goal weight) and see if that helps.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Coffee and green tea are healthy beverages you can include in your periods of fasting.
  • Avoid simple sugars and simple carbohydrates found in white bread and baked goods.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods.

The Takeaway

fasting nutrition
Berries are chock full of antioxidants and are an excellent choice when you’re craving something sweet.

To sum up, intermittent fasting is a timing concept, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

It is essential to nourish your body with healthy foods such as protein-rich foods, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are tolerated fine by some people, but this may be something to pay attention to if you have difficulty meeting your weight loss goals.

Finally, avoid sugary, simple carbohydrates and prepackaged foods. And always drink plenty of water.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you like to eat?

Please share your thoughts and comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:

Connect With Me Below:

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