Tonight my mom came up for Bachelor Night and I wanted to make us a healthy dinner that was easy on the tummy (that's what happens when you have two Crohn's ladies together for dinner). I kept seeing these "green goddess bowls" on Pinterest with varying combinations of delicious healthy items. I decided to make my own combination with a bunch of random delicious things in my kitchen and see if I could compete with these Pinterest concoctions. My mom and I were completely surprised when my random combination of healthy crap turned out to be one of our favorite quick meals that I have ever come up with!
Here is my recipe which I definitely recommend that you try for yourself!
Now that I realized how delicious this combination was I am excited to mix it up with some other combos. This meal was so quick to make, I just popped the rice in the rice maker and everything else was just a matter of slicing and dicing. I even made some leftovers for me to bring to work for lunch tomorrow. Definitely a success that I hope to repeat.
Let me know if you try my recipe! Also, if you have any suggestions of what I should add to my bowl, drop it in the comments!
Recently my Cimzia has decided to completely stop working for me which has left me really struggling day to day to do basic things like go to work, go to the grocery store, clean my house..... all of that fun stuff. It hasn't so much been just stomach related issues but my joint and body aches have become, on some days, debilitating. I have tried a bunch of different natural remedies (which there will be a post on) to get me through until my next appointment. We have been toying around with the idea of me switching to Remicade but we were waiting to make the final decision. I think this has been the final straw for me and Cimzia, though. I have heard you have to go through a month detox of one biologic before starting another. I am not looking forward to that but if it can mean better things down the road it is worth it.
During the time that I have been not feeling so hot, Netflix has become my best friend. Usually when I am stuck on the couch I like to work on the blog or work on actual work but at the end of the day and during the weekends I have just been so exhausted and brain foggy that I just need to chill. I always am searching for shows that I haven't seen yet that I can binge watch to make my time under the weather a little more enjoyable so I figured I should share them with you all as well! Considering the nature of chronic illness it is safe to say there will be some situation when you are stuck at home and need something to draw you in and take your mind off of how you are feeling.
I've narrowed it down to my top five recent picks of what to watch right now. Disclaimer before you read, they all aren't necessarily on Netflix, I do have quite a set up between Netflix, Hulu, my Amazon Firestick, my Roku....... a bit excessive, I know.
1. The Fall- If you've ever wanted to be uncomfortably attracted to a serial killer this show if definitely for you. And if that thought has never crossed your mind, well, it is about to. Jamie Dornan absolutely kills it in this British drama series. Gillian Anderson holds her own as well by being a total bad ass. Long story short, I made my way through this series in one weekend and couldn't stop talking about it for basically a month. Before watching this, I really wasn't into the whole Fifty Shades movies thing but this totally changed my opinion. Trust me on this one.
2. UnREAL- As a self admitted reality show junkie seeing things from the other end was surprisingly refreshing and just as dramatic. I just finished Season 2 and I am withdrawing. Definitely binge worthy and full of twists that can keep you drawn in the entire time.
3. This Is Us- I love a good cry and this show freaking does the trick. I especially like this one when I'm busy feeling bad for myself because this quickly puts things into perspective. Mandy Moore is literally such goals in this and I have been a serious Mandy Moore fan since "A Walk to Remember". It also bring back memories of her thrilling performance in "The Princess Diaries". Stupid cupid. Stop picking on me. Please tell me at least one of you got that reference.
4. Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath- If you're looking for some really messed up shit, well, this is for you. This show totally blew my mind and inspired a couple hour obsessive Google dive into Scientology horror stories. It is extremely informative and really gets you thinking. It made me feel productive while I was curled up in bed because, hey, at least my mind was working.
5. General Hospital- Seriously. Don't laugh. I know soap operas have a lame reputation but my mom and I have been watching this together since I was born. Literally since I was born. It's predictable, you still know what is going on even if you dose off half way through an episode, and there is a generous amount of content considering it airs everyday. I'm going to take a guess and say that only maybe 1% of you will actually give this show a try, but let me tell you, you are definitely missing out. Drama, mafia violence, and the most confusing family trees you have ever heard of, how can you not get into this shit.
I hope you all take at least one or two of my recommendations and if you have any recommendations for me I would LOVE to hear from you!
This is something I've been getting together for a little while and I figured what better time to post something about how chronic illness impacts those we love other than right around Valentines Day! A little back story: we did this interview in the middle of LAX in a crowded airport cafe with overpriced dirty chai lattes way too early. But it was kind of an awesome and memorable way to kick this series off. So please enjoy and let me know any feedback you have! As always.... this is a work in progress!
Something I haven’t delved into quite yet on Crohnically Blonde is the impact that our disease has on those around us. Whether it is a parent, a friend, or a significant other, let’s be honest here, it affects them all.
I want to start focusing on the external impact that Crohn’s Disease has because I want this blog to be a place not only for those with Crohn’s/any form of IBD/ chronic illness, but also for those who are support systems around them.
I am trying this new thing out where I am going to interview someone in my life who is externally impacted by the disease and hopefully we can spread some more awareness as far as what our loved ones are going through as our “rocks” per say. I have a list of a few “guests” in mind but I figured why not start close to home…..
I am very lucky that I have a strong support system through my family and friends but my main person that has to deal with me day in and day out is my boyfriend Matt. He has blown me away from day one with his understanding and flexibility around my lifestyle. In the beginning it takes a while to open up about the true struggles of Crohn’s because honestly it can be not so sexy at times…. but having the courage to share the truth of what is going on inside of you will open the lines of communication and make things a lot easier. Matt will be my first guest here for "Real Talk with CB" to give his perspective on not only living with me but how it impacts our relationship day to day. On top of him dealing with me, spoiler alert, he is also a nurse. So you can imagine his excitement to come home from being in charge of six whiny patients to an incredibly demanding and often bitchy one. Sorry.
Plans are, in fact, very hard to make. As is a dinner that your both can eat. Some days are hard and some days you can get through with only a glimmer of your disease (very lucky days, I may add). What I do have to say though is that I know for me personally, my experience with Crohn’s has made me more empathetic, understanding, and genuine. I think without my disease my relationship wouldn’t be as beautiful as it is.
Who is Matt
Matt is a 26 year old orthopedic nurse who has been dating Michelle (me, Crohnically Blonde, “whiny patient” as he likes to call me xo love you too) for going on two years. We have lived together for a little over a year and he is the father of my two crazy dogs. I projectile vomited on our first date and he still loves me.
CB: Are you excited to be featured on CB?
Matt: Yes, it actually is a pleasure sitting down with you today. I always see you working on the blog so it is kind of cool to give my two cents.
CB: So, let’s cut to the chase. Since you are a nurse and also deal with a Crohn’s sufferer at home, how does that affect your relationship with both work and me?
Matt: Well I have to be constantly mindful of the dietary restrictions and realize that you aren’t going to feel good everyday. No two days are the same. You have to be able to adapt. It is difficult working full time taking care of people and then coming home and taking care of someone else even though you love them.
CB: Yeah I definitely get that. And I can be a pain in the ass some days. No hiding that fact. As a significant other of someone suffering with a chronic illness, what advice do you have for others in the same position?
Matt: To be patient. As someone who is in relatively good health it is hard to relate to someone who doesn’t feel good all the time so you have to remind yourself what they are going through and even though you don’t understand completely you have to try. Research what your significant other can and cannot eat/do so that you don’t look like an asshole.
CB: Good advice. I like it. Tell everyone when I told you I had Crohn’s and what was your reaction?
Matt: When I first met her. I thought what actually is Crohn’s, what the hell is gluten and why don’t you eat it, and are you dying? It wasn’t awkward I was just confused. Even healthcare professionals don’t know to much about Crohn’s to be honest.
CB: What is the hardest part of being in a relationship with someone who has Crohn’s?
Matt: Dealing with the bad days. Some days they just can’t do anything because they are sick. It is hard to make plans because you don’t know if it will be a good day or a bad day.
CB: Do you feel any positives or silver linings happened because of my diagnosis?
Matt: I know more about Crohn’s so now I can better help people at work who have it. I am more understanding of others’ pain and restrictions. I think you are able to make more connections with people and be a part of a community, which I think you wouldn’t have had without getting diagnosed.
CB: How do you feel about me sharing her story constantly through social media?
Matt: I am happy that you are able to connect with other people and make an impact helping others. I think you thrive when you are connecting with other people who are recently diagnosed and helping them adapt. It is kind of cool. Plus having a support system that knows what you are going through is helpful since I don’t always know the answers.
CB: I’ll throw this in here as a teaser…. since I am about to do a post on traveling with Crohn’s, what has your experience been traveling with me and do you get frustrated with me?
Matt: Honestly, the only time I get frustrated is when you try and push yourself too hard because you think that’s what everyone else wants you to be doing instead of listening to your body. I know that traveling can be rough and I’ve learned that jam packing a day with things is not a good situation. I think as you put it, you only have enough spoons for so much. I think we definitely chill a lot on vacation like at night we aren’t out going crazy and you can’t feel bad about that. I think some advice for other significant others is to try and sniff out a bad situation before it unfolds. Like last night, we had those dinner reservations and I knew you were just going because you thought I wanted to go and I really didn’t give a crap if we went or not. So I canceled them and ordered in some safe food for you and we just watched Netflix and got a good night sleep so you wouldn’t feel miserable on our flight today.
CB: Yeah that was honestly one of the sweetest things. I really appreciated that. I think through all of this time you are finally getting that I feel guilty about so many things and having to cancel and potentially let other people down is one of them.
Matt: Well you don’t let me down. I knew what I was getting into!
CB: I know it annoys you when other people make negative comments about my situation or waiters get irritated that I order off the wall complicated stuff. I always get so uncomfortable in those situations but I feel like you deal with your annoyance so well.
Matt: I usually just use humor for everything. Everything is funny when it all comes down to it. I have our little jokes that we make to each other that kind of just makes everything okay.
CB: Very true, and it helps. Anything else you want to add to wrap things up. I know we’re sitting an in airport right now and your ADHD is killing you, you want to go explore.
Matt: Yeah (laughs) thanks for noticing that. But overall I appreciate you including me in this and I think it is good you are including more people in the blog than just people with Crohn’s. The support systems need somewhere to turn sometimes too!
I want to hear from YOU! Who else should I interview for these segments? I already have a pretty decent list of people I am asking to join but suggestions are welcome. Also, I will post in advance who the person will be (example: interviewing a mom, a best friend, a nurse at my gastro office) so you can send in some questions you may have that you want to ask this person in your life but feel weird so just let me do it for you.
LA/HAWAII VACATION RECAP
I am so excited to share with you all my recap of our LA/Hawaii trip! I wanted to really put a good amount of detail in this so I wanted to wait until we got all settled so I could focus and give this post the TLC it deserves. I hope you all enjoy it and if you have any questions at all about our travels or tips/places to go if you are visiting the same areas please feel free to reach out. Enjoy Crohnies xx.
Matt and I love being able to escape real life for a few days here and there and by time this trip was here we definitely needed some R&R as well as some new adventures. My mom has a timeshare in Maui so we knew we would be visiting there almost a year before the actual trip. Being the crazy reality TV obsessed person I am I insisted to Matt that we stop in LA on the way to Maui so that we could go to SUR. Yup. I requested we visit a city just to go to a restaurant. Matt vetoed that idea unless we spent a few days hanging out and checking out the LA life. I was thrilled, found an Air B&B and the rest was history.
I was definitely nervous for this vacation because our last vacation that we went on I got really sick a couple of days in and I wasn't really prepared. This time I did my due diligence, which you can read all about in my traveling with a chronic illness post. There were a few speed bumps but we had an amazing time! Instead of letting being sick stop me from traveling I use my travels as practice to get better and better at traveling with Crohn's. More of a reason to take more vacations right?
PART 1: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
We left on a Friday morning and got to LA midday which was the perfect time to grab lunch at In N Out Burger before we checked into our Air B&B. Neither of us had In N Out before so this was a BIG freaking deal. They are so gluten free friendly I am absolutely obsessed. I got my burger "animal style" of course and I don't think I've ever eaten a burger to quickly in my entire life. So good. Next time I fly to the West Coast it might just be to go to In N Out..... just saying. I finally understand all of the hype.
Our Air B&B was in a perfect location in West Hollywood, walkable to The Grove. It was so cute and had everything that we needed for such a good price. Matt and I took a serious nap that we really needed thanks to the time difference and were ready to take on the town. We got all LA ready (photo above) rocking my Stassi inspired look. Our reservations weren't until 8:45pm so we figured we would stop at this wine bar down the road that I saw had gluten free avocado toast. There will be a whole separate post on this goodness within the next few days so stay tuned. I have to say it was probably the BEST avocado toast I have ever tasted in my life.
SUR was and everything I thought it would be. Very Lisa Vanderpump. A lot going on. And, yes I did go to the famous bathroom where everyone cries. We met DJ James Kennedy... the legend himself, and his girlfriend... and his roommate. He is a reality TV gem and let me tell you he is just as out of control in person. I will leave it at that. His roommate bought me a drink and told me I looked like Stassi so uh life freaking made. I made sure to obnoxiously mention this to Matt for the rest of our trip and tell him that people will probably start asking for my autograph soon. Being delusional and optimistic works for me. Lisa's son, Max, was our server and really killed it. He was very knowledgable about gluten free dishes which made me like him even more. The food was, to my surprise, actually really great. I got the lobster bisque and the seafood risotto. The signature drinks were a bit too sweet for me to I switched to my usual Tito's and soda water but they had a great fruit selection so I had them add some raspberries. Now that's my new thing. After SUR, we went to Pump and it was everything you would ever dream of Pump being. Lots of scantily clothed attractive gay men, a lot of pink, and a lot of over the top everything. It was great. We didn't stay out too long because we were pretty jet lagged and had a big day the next day but I accomplished my goal and finally made it to SUR! Plus side, Matt also enjoyed himself.
We made a game time decision on Saturday to do a super touristy celebrity home tour which actually ended up to be awesome even if it was a little corny. Beforehand we went to brunch at The Guild in West Hollywood. We hadn't heard of it before, we just kind of stumbled upon it but it was absolutely amazing. The decor was so on point and the owner actually hung out with us for a while and explained his design decisions. He made all of the beautiful reclaimed wood tables in the whole restaurant. I got some herbal tea, bottomless mimosas, and duck confit nachos. SO. GOOD. If you are in WeHo I totally recommend you go here. You can sit outside and enjoy good weather and the service and food are so spot on. After our delicious brunch experience we made our way over to our tour and spent the afternoon cruising around WeHo and Beverly Hills. I'm usually not into really touristy things but I am happy we did this tour. It was an easy was to see everything from celebrity houses to the Hollywood sign, without having to rent a car or get lost. It was nice just to enjoy the beautiful day and the sights with Matt worry free.
That night we were supposed to go the The Parlour which I was super excited for but I just did not feel well. A lot of times my first few days of vacation for me are rough with the different foods, sleep schedules, and just changes in general. I wanted to really feel great by time we got to Hawaii so we had an early night and just got to enjoy time together watching movies. I felt a little lame that we were doing exactly what we would be doing at home on vacation but it was actually great because at home we have a million other things going on so we never get to just actually, really chill.
Overall, LA was amazing. There are so many more details that I probably could have done seven different posts about but I won't bore ya'll with that. I can't wait to make my way back to LA for a bit more time.... that trip will be hopefully coming sooner rather than later! We both loved it.
PART TWO: MAUI, HAWAII
Our flight from LAX to Maui was on Virgin Airlines which I had never flown before but I was definitely blown away. Their customer service and their branding are so on point. They also really won me over with the cheese plate that came with gluten free crackers. I spent our flight devouring cheese and reading Andy Cohen's new book. Needless to say it was a very enjoyable flight. I'm a sucker for cheese plates and Andy Cohen.
Once we got to Maui we got a cab from the airport to the other side of the island. The ride to our resort was absolutely beautiful. Looking at the coastline made me feel like I wasn't even in the real world. Matt and I were so blown away. We made it to the Kaanapali Beach Club where we were staying and immediately got some pina coladas and hit the pool. We explored the resort, checked our our suite which was insane (shout out to my mom for seriously hooking it up for us!), and we grabbed some groceries for the week from across the street. By time we were all settled in my mom and her boyfriend had made it to the resort so we all had dinner and got our leis!
Our whole week was an absolute whirlwind of fun but we still found pockets of time just to relax and take in our surroundings. I got to spend quality time with not only Matt but also my mom who just moved back from Rome. I got to do a ton of blog planning and read a few great books. I was completely wowed by the amount of cool things that we got to do and the places that we were able to go. I tried to really be present and in the moment with a lot of this things that we were experiencing so I wasn't on my phone documenting 24/7. I compiled the highlights of where we went and what we did though!
We went on a beautiful dinner cruise out of Lahaina and watched the sunset on the water. The night was complete with some baby whales making an appearance right next to our boat. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect and romantic night.
My mom treated us to a mouth watering dinner at one of her favorite spots on Maui, Duke's! I got the seafood risotto which was loaded with fresh lobster, shrimp, and scallops. Partnered with a chilled glass of Pinot and I could not have been happier.
I got to live out my Playboy Mansion fantasies, kidding, or maybe not. The pool at our club had the coolest grotto that we spent time relaxing in. Between the pool, the grotto, the beach view, and the poolside bar, I probably could have stayed and just hung out at the club for a full week.
We found this hole in the wall Mexican place that was walking distance from our club. They had the best fresh margaritas, ceviche, and fish tacos. Needless to say, we were there a lot throughout our stay.
Matt, my mom, and I went on a day trip on the Road to Hana. It was honestly one of the coolest experiences of my life. The views were unbelievable and we had the chance to really experience the Hawaiian culture. This tour really put into perspective for me how so much of the island really does live off of the land. They have true respect for nature and appreciation for the land that provides for them. We had the opportunity to do a lot of hiking and explore everything from red beaches, to black beaches, to ocean caves, and the Seven Pools. It was a long day but worth all of the bumpy roads.
Even though we were busy adventuring, we did have time to explore the town of Lahaina and relax on the beach right outside of our club for a bit. Even just relaxing by the beach you have a view of dolphins hopping out of the ocean and whales breaching. For someone who is obsessed with marine life, these views were an absolute dream. While we were at the club I also had the opportunity to do yoga right next to the water which was definitely a bucket list experience. I also went with my mom to some great water fitness classes. In Hawaii it seems that everyone at the resorts and clubs are so focused on wellness which I love. It also made it easy to eat pretty healthy because everything is so fresh.
I had these super fresh fish tacos at Pacific O's in Lahaina and was so in love. If you know me, you know I am constantly on a mission to find the best fish tacos and I think these may be topping my list at the moment. Matt became obsessed with ceviche on this trip which he had never had any interest in before. He may be disappointed when he tries to get it here in Maryland... not the same!
Pacific O's also had kombucha on tap which I was kind overly excited for but it was amazing so clearly I deserved to be. I'm going to be doing a whole post on kombucha. There actually was someone on site at our club that taught us how to make kombucha. It's big in Hawaii and its big with me. Match mad in heaven.
Our last big event was also one of the coolest things I've ever done. We went snorkeling on the coast of Molokini and Lanai. We started off our journey pretty early in the morning so we saw a ton of mother and baby whales breaching as we made our way out to the snorkel spots. The sunrise on the water was absolutely beautiful, I literally felt like I was in a different world. The first snorkel spot was home to a lot of interesting fish and some resident sea turtles which we got to get on camera (thanks GoPro!). The second spot was my favorite. It was an abandoned sunken bridge that is now home to a variety of different fish as well as turtles and even some sharks. My dream has been to swim with sharks and even thought these were just some reef sharks not a Great White it got me a bit closer to my goal. Being out in the water is one of my favorite things because there is always a bit of unknown when you jump off of the boat into the ocean. You never know what you are going to see so there is constantly adrenaline pumping.
This trip to Maui was a once in a lifetime experience that I am so thankful for. If you have the chance, definitely try and visit because it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, the locals are so incredibly friendly and helpful, and the nature experience you can have in Maui are beyond what you could ever imagine.
If you have any questions or want any more details about our trip feel free to comment or email me!
WE'RE BACK, WE'RE HOME....
We're finally moved in!
Yes... finally. After pulling the trigger on our home sweet home decision, making all of the selections and updates we needed to, and days of packing and moving we finally have everything in the house. Now, incase you haven't been keeping up, we also had a casual 10 day trip in the middle of moving which ended up prolonging our move but being totally worth every second (recap to come). The stress of traveling, moving, and starting a new position has caused my Crohn's to be all over the place but it seems that things are sort of evening out a bit. Now it is time for the fun part; decorating, organizing, and then having my family and friends over to share the awesomeness. There may also be a blog post... if you all are interested.I cannot wait to relax in my new home and I am even more excited that it is the hub of all of the big things that Matt and I have planned for the future. Finally having a place that we can call our own is not only so very empowering but also comforting. The process was a long one but we are thankful that things turned out the way it did.
Hopefully you guys have bared with me while I have went through these transitions and haven't been updating as much as usual. In these cases always feel free to follow me on Instagram (@mschienle_) where I do short updates a couple of times per week. Now things should be pretty much back in full force though. In honor of that I wanted to tease a few exciting posts that will be coming up within the next few weeks so you all know there is some great content to look forward to.
What you have to look forward to:
Please let me know if there is anything else that you want to hear about and I will make sure to address it soon on Crohnically Blonde!
As always, thank you for the support and thank you for the patience. This blog, like everything else good in life, is a process, and I appreciate you joining me on my journey.
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.
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