The First Steps For Living With A Chronic Illness

steps for living with a chronic illness

One of the worst times in anyone’s life is when they are told they are suffering from a lifelong disease. This is not the kind of news that anyone ever wants to hear. But if you are told this, your most important concern will be to try to find a way to deal with it as best you can. To find a new normal.

The truth is this can take some effort – it can take a long time to even get used to the situation, let alone work out what your next steps are. But if you are in this process at the moment, we hope that the following information will help you get a better sense of what you need to do next.

Action Steps For Living With A Chronic Illness

1. Gather Your Support Network

No matter what it is that you are diagnosed with, you will need a support system to get through it. In some instances, you might need people to help you with even fundamental self-care issues. For others with other illnesses, it could simply be a case of needing a little emotional support from your family.

Whatever it is that you need, it’s essential to work it out and gather everyone together to fully appreciate the enormity of what is going on. If you think you will need some kind of home care, then you should have that arranged as soon as possible. If you need financial help at all, then get the ball rolling there.

Looking to your support network early on will make sure that you do not worry unduly – and that’s important for your state of mind.

2. Keep Your Mindset Straight

One of the toughest challenges here is ensuring that you keep your emotions in check. It is a good idea to work towards accepting your illness, so it’s essential to feel your emotions fully from the start. But you need to find ways to deal with the inevitable emotional backlash of the diagnosis, as this might take some time to recover within you.

Again, this is a situation where having a good support network can really help, so make sure you feel comfortable and safe expressing yourself to those people around you. Keep your head straight, and you will find it makes it easier to deal with – even if you have fears about the future as well.

3. Prepare For The Future

It is likely that your life is about to change in some profound ways. The more prepared you are for those changes, the more likely it is you will be able to cope with them head-on when they arise. Change is inherent to life, but especially when you have a serious ongoing medical condition.

It is likely that your workload will change, your love life will change, your social life will change. Know that this is normal. You are not alone. It’s a good idea to try to accept this as early as you can so that you can then work towards doing what you can with what you have.

Also, be encouraged that many people with chronic illness say that going through the struggles taught them valuable life lessons. It caused them to reflect on their priorities and spend more time with family and friends, or pursue interests they didn’t make time for before.


Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips can you share that could help someone who has just been diagnosed with a chronic condition?

Share your thoughts below.


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Health Food And My First Time to Trader Joe’s

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Trader Joe’s was started back in 1958 as a chain of little convenience stores called Pronto Markets. In ’67 their founder changed the name to Trader Joe’s. They made the stores bigger and selected fun Hawaiian shirts for employees to wear. The company works to cut costs and bring customers good value on the health food and other products they sell. They are quite popular and continue to open stores throughout the U.S. I only wish they’d open one close to where we live in southwest Missouri.

Health Food Obsession

health foodI wanted to go to Trader Joe’s for a long time. If you’re one of the lucky ones who live close to a Trader Joe’s it’s probably not a big deal to you. But for me, it was. I love trying the latest health foods!

That, and I tend to get excited about the little things in life.

If you’ve never been, they have fresh produce and all sorts of healthy foods, including gluten-free, vegan and kosher items. The prices are reasonable too, especially when you consider the quality of food you’re getting.

We bought some apples and the best natural peanut butter I’ve ever tasted. David, my dear husband, and I talked about how we can’t believe there’s not a Trader Joe’s in Springfield, close to where we live, and he started dreaming about opening one of our own. I love my entrepreneurial guy!

TJ’s has a website full of great recipes, tips for what to serve when entertaining guests, meal prep tips and all sorts of healthy information you might want to check out: Trader Joe’s


Do you have a favorite place to shop for healthy food? Have you been to Trader Joe’s?

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


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3 Ways To Get Motivated And Stay Motivated To Work Out

stay motivated to work out

Anyone who doesn’t have that infamous ‘natural fitness bug’ will know that half the battle of getting fit is finding the motivation to get there. With busy lives and illnesses getting in the way, squeezing in exercise can often feel like the last thing that we want to do.

If you are struggling to find that motivation to keep at your fitness plan then read on for tips on how to make sure exercise becomes a regular fixture in your weekly regimen, and more importantly, that it is something you can really start to enjoy.

3 Easy Tips To Get Motivated & Stay Motivated To Work Out

1. Ease Yourself Into It Slowly

The first common mistake that many people make when starting a new exercise regimen is to go in too hard at the beginning. Starting off slowly and building yourself up steadily over time is most certainly the best way to integrate a new fitness routine that suits your lifestyle, fitness level and actually inspires you to stick with it.

Going in too heavy at the beginning can often lead to people burning themselves out in the first few weeks. This can not only ruin any long-term plans at a regular fitness program, but it can also result in damage to your muscles and body. Not easing yourself in nice and slow is one of the main reasons that so many people stop exercising before they can really find their groove.

So first things first, be mindful of building yourself up slowly but surely.

2. Look The Part And The Rest Will Simply Fall Into Place

Another major problem with fitness motivation is getting to your allocated exercise slot of the day and really grappling with yourself over whether you can be bothered to do it or not. We have all been there. When you feel like this, just do one very simple thing. Get your gear on and you will instantly feel different.

If you have old, ragged workout gear, treat yourself to some lovely new ones, such as these workout clothes for women that will have you feeling the part in no time at all. Just looking sporty has a very strong influence on your mood, and once you have your favorite gym gear on, the workout will simply follow suit as you instantly feel ready and raring to go.

3. Just Do It – No Excuses

This really is the biggest obstacle of all when it comes to sticking to a new exercise regimen – Finding excuses not to do it. There is always an excuse (very rarely an actual reason) about why something else should take priority over our workouts. But giving into those excuses is one of the most sure-fire ways of guaranteeing your exercise plan will never really take off.

Giving into excuses makes way for discouragement and feelings of self-disappointment, whereas pushing ourselves to block out the tempting excuses will bring natural highs and feelings of motivation. And, before you know it, your new fitness regimen will be one that you truly love as it makes you feel stronger, happier and generally more positive in your day-to-day life.


How do you stay motivated to work out?

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!


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How Intermittent Fasting Cured My Hypoglycemia

intermittent fasting cured my hypoglycemia
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A couple of years ago I started having frequent blood sugar issues. I would eat a meal or snack, then less than two hours later, break out in a cold sweat, feeling weak, dizzy, nauseated and like I was going to pass out. Maybe you can relate? There were many times I was on the verge of fainting with my head between my knees, or lying down on the couch while my husband fed me a banana with peanut butter trying to get my sugars back up.

These “episodes” started coming more often and more intensely. And, with all the other health problems I was encountering with the Lyme disease, I knew I should get it checked out.

Reactive Hypoglycemia And A Wake-Up Call

My doctor ordered me a fasting 3-hour glucose tolerance test. If you’ve ever been through this you know the experience takes half a day. You have to drink a cold, syrupy (and nauseating) liquid, then wait at the doctor’s office, having your blood drawn multiple times, at 1-hour intervals to check your glucose levels. I remember feeling okay after the first blood draw, and feeling sleepy and sick after the second.

Then, after the third blood draw I was so ready to get out of there and go home because I felt extremely weak and nauseated. The office was only a 10-minute drive from my house so I didn’t think much of it. But as they say, “hindsight is 20/20.”

intermittent fasting cured my hypoglycemia

I got in my car and drove about a half mile from the doctor’s office when I went around a sharp curve, feeling myself fade in and out of consciousness, nearly passing out, driving off the road and almost into a ditch.

It was scary. If I’d known how out of it I truly was I never would have attempted to drive myself home. I was thankful I was safe and that I didn’t cause an accident. Although it certainly wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, it was definitely a wake-up call.

As expected, my doctor called a few days later and said my test results showed that I had reactive hypoglycemia. She asked me how I’d felt after the last blood draw and I confessed my near-accident. Then she mentioned she didn’t know how I drove home because my glucose levels were so low. She referred me to a special diet for people with hypoglycemia and I started following it right away.

How Intermittent Fasting Cured My Hypoglycemia

I immediately started researching natural cures for hypoglycemia on my own and found information about intermittent fasting and how it reduces insulin resistance and can prevent Type 2 diabetes. After talking to my doctor I started the 16:8 IF and within a couple of weeks noticed drastic improvements.

The cold sweats, weakness, constant hunger and cravings for sweets and carbs dissipated, and has continued to improve over time. I used to have horrible brain fog due to the neurological impact of Lyme, but IF has helped with that too. Also, I tend to get easily distracted, but during my fasting periods I’m more focused and better able to concentrate than before. I wish I’d known about IF years ago because it has helped me health-wise in countless ways and simplified my life.

What Is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Fasting isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for years. The cavemen and cavewomen did it back in the paleolithic era. In fact, our bodies were designed to live through periods of feast and famine. It was a necessity.

Intermittent fasting, or IF, is a timing concept. It is not about what you eat. But it is about when you eat or when you don’t eat.

Most of us have probably been told we should never skip breakfast….that it is the most important meal of the day. Likewise, we have no doubt heard that we should eat frequent meals and snacks to avoid hunger and boost weight loss. However, it doesn’t matter how many “experts” repeat this information because the research does not support it. And this is probably also why when I followed their advice I was constantly hungry, had food cravings and developed hypoglycemia.

IF has some impressive benefits that extend beyond reduced cravings and hunger (after your body adjusts) and weight loss.

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  • Increased longevity (1)
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation (2)
  • May prevent cancer (3)
  • Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes (4)
  • Regulates hormones (5)
  • Repairs cells (autophagy) (6)
  • Weight loss and loss of belly fat (7)

For the basics on how to get started with IM-ing please check out:


Do you have hypoglycemia? Have you tried intermittent fasting? 

Share your thoughts below – I love hearing from you!


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. Please talk to your doctor about IM to learn if it might be a good option for you.

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