I have such mixed feelings about Sundays. I definitely get the Sunday Scaries big time but at the same time I really do love Sundays. I feel like Saturday I always feel pressure to be out and doing something productive or fun so I don't feel like I wasted away my weekend. Sundays, though, are easy, relaxed, and pressure free. They are my time for getting things done around the house, running errands, and making sure I am ready for the week to come. I like to use Sundays to just appreciate my family and my home that I love so much!
Today I used my Sunday to sleep in (SO needed) and then revamp my home decor for summer! I have been absolutely loving pineapple accessories (call me basic, I don't care) so those have pretty much taken over my house. If you read my post on my April Favorites you know this! Cleaning up the house is stressful work which means I definitely needed a little liquid motivation to get me through wiping down the kitchen and reorganizing the Tupperware cabinet. So. Thrilling. I am really feel about as domestic as they come today. Anyway, I have been really into drinks that taste good but also offer some type of nutritional benefit so that I can at least say the good and the bad equal out. I also struggle with trying to find alcoholic beverages that I can enjoy that are tummy friendly. Some of my favorites lately have been Tito's and Lacroix water and kombucha mimosas. Today I came up with a new creation that I think is going to be a summer favorite of mine! Spiked smoothies!
Here is the super easy recipe to make two servings.
Add all of these ingredients to your Ninja blender cup.
I am super excited to try this in place of mimosas when we have our brunches. I love that next time I can include some of my favorite smoothie add ins and get even more healthy benefits while I get a little buzz.
I can't wait to hear what you guys add to your spiked smoothies or just some interesting new ideas for smoothie add ins in general.
P.S. Feel even less guilty while drinking tequila because guess what?! Tequila actually has some potentially cool health benefits relating to IBD!
Just a few of my favorite things! With May right around the corner I wanted to do a round up of things I have been loving this past month. I've always loved reading posts like these on the blogs that I follow. I like to think they give a cool insight into what the "vibe" of that person's life has been like lately and also they are a great way to pick up some ideas of things to implement into my own life or routine. I will try and get into a habit or doing these posts each month and I would love to hear ya'll's feedback on what you like/have tried/are into right now as well! Enjoy!
1. Fresh Tulips- I have been absolutely loving having fresh tulips in the house this spring. Every week or so I have been trying to pick up some fresh blooms from our local Wegmans. They are only $6 for a simple bouquet and add some charm to my dining room. Recently I've been going to lavender and purple hued ones. I've also been reading a lot about starting a thriving garden of my own. A couple weeks ago we planted some tomatoes, herbs, and hibiscuses in the backyard and I definitely have plans to add some more blooms to my outdoor collection.
2. Pineapple Decor- Call me basic, but I am loving pineapple themed decor items. Between pineapple statues, candles, notebooks, and even adorable straws, pineapples are completely taking over my home. I've been using them to add more of a summery feel to the decorations I already have throughout my home. I've seen a ton of cute pineapple decor at Target but my favorite place that I've been able to pick up some home accessories lately is TJ Maxx! They have a ton of great items that are a fraction of the price of other stores. It definitely takes a bit of hunting but it is completely worth it for the steals you can find.
3. Murad Intensive C Radiance Peel- I love a good peel. And I have been all about glowing, radiant skin since the weather has been getting warmer. I usually like to do a peel or an intense exfoliating situation at least once per week. I like to do them right before my spray tan days so that I can start with a fresh face. I also like to use either a really heavy moisturizer or a moisturizing mask a couple of times per week as well to keep my skin looking full. Murad's Radiance Peel is one of my favorites right now because it leaves your skin feel super squeaky clean and renewed but isn't to harsh. I also really like to put a little bit on the backs of my hands as well. Hands are something that so many people forget to consistently take care of. They are one of the places on your body that really show age if you don't treat them well! Overall, I love everything that I have ever used from Murad and this product is no different. I also recommend grabbing one of their trial kits that have samples of usually four of their products that you can try and see how you like them.
4. The Lady Gang Podcast- If you want to feel like you are hanging out with three of your best friends, this podcast is for you. I am a podcast fanatic and I am always looking for ones to add to my weekly list. The Lady Gang makes me laugh until I cry and are so relatable they make me feel like the crazy weird things that are happening in my life are completely normal. They're always a fun start to my mornings to listen to while I get ready and on my way to work and I literally feel like I know their personal lives better than I know my best friend's.
5. The Art of Southern Charm- Patricia is literally my definition of goals right now. I devoured this book in one weekend and was actually taking notes of things I need to implement into my own life. I loved the book because it gave me a totally new perspective on her by hearing about her whole life story. I also loved the advice that she gave on life in general. It is a quick read and I definitely recommend it. Whether you are a Southern Charm fan or not, it is a great read for any woman who is interested in classing things up a little.
6. humm Kombucha- I have been all about the booch. I am currently still in the process of brewing my own and trying to discover some different flavor combinations. Usually I drink G.T. brand but the other day my mom brought over some humm kombucha and I fell in love. The flavors are so refreshing and are definitely providing me with some inspiration for flavor ideas for my own batch.
I hope this provided some inspiration for things to try! Looking forward to hearing everyone's feedback on these!
Isn't it funny how one inconveniently timed glutenous pizza mishap can cause an unfortunate ripple effect of turmoil throughout your life? I'm just saying, this story I'm about to tell you if honestly one of the most annoying things that has happened to me recently. Usually things that irritate me roll off my back within a matter of minutes (or hours depending) and then I forget about them, never to be rehashed. This stupid event, not to dwell on it, but has really put a damper on my week!
I had an awesome Easter with my family. Like, really really awesome. There was a gluten free pancake situation, my dogs behaved, and I got to see my mom for the first time in forever. We ended up going to one of my absolute favorite restaurants that has gluten free options for dinner. I will not name this place, for reasons you will realize later. Now, this server definitely knew that I was gluten free because it only took about three times of him asking me what I was ordering and me reminding him I didn't know because I needed the gluten free menu please. This doesn't bother me though. I've worked at a restaurant. I know shit gets busy. And I know me and my inability to eat gluten are a pain in the ass. I used to care about being an annoyance but you know what, that server can go home and have a beer and a toaster strudel and a big bowl of EZ Mac. All things of which I never will have the pleasure of enjoying again. So we're even?
Anyway, I order my GF flatbread and I am beyond PUMPED. The reason I love this place to much is because they have GF flatbreads that are so similar to regular pizza crust it is delicious (and mildly frightening). A food runner from the kitchen brought out my pizza and said "gluten free? Is this you?". Yes, yes that is me and I am starving since I haven't eaten since the carb filled gluten free pancake situation I mentioned earlier. So I am so ready to devour this thing but I still stop to confirm.... "This is the gluten free, right?". I get a straight up yes.
About three flatbread slices in, our server comes out with yet another pizza. Mind you, we only ordered one. "What is that?" I ask, excited that my dreams are coming true and I am in fact, getting TWO of these delicious pizzas. He responds with, "This is the gluten free flatbread."
Well sir, someone is mistaken here and this guy quickly realized that shit was about to get really real for him. "Hmmm I think I made a mistake. Stop eating." He said with a very startled face. At this point he went back to check with the kitchen and I wasn't alarmed yet because I was pretty certain that pizza I was devouring was the GF one. I've become a serious pro at identifying the reals from the phonies. Obviously my skills aren't as developed as I had hoped because our server came back with some very grave news. I had been eating the glutenous pizza.
I do a mini freak out but I didn't eat THAT much. How bad can it be? I honestly can't remember the last time I had a regular piece of pizza, or a bagel or piece of bread or donut or anything like that. So this was going to be uncharted territory for me. I know that if I accidentally eat gluten in something it definitely causes a seriously unpleasant reaction but in the past couple of years that I haven't had gluten there has never been a time that I ate THAT much.
Game over for me. After Sunday night and Monday spent in intense pain, I woke up Tuesday legitimately thinking I was going to end up in the hospital. I absolutely hate going to the hospital because they never know what to do and I end up being admitted for a week for no real reason it seems. I called into my doctor's office and he gave me a call later that day which pretty much reiterated the unfortunate timing of this event. I am only two loading doses into my Remicade and my Cimzia is out of my system which mean that I am not "fully covered" but any medicine. Basically what I got from that is anything that went wrong in that fragile period of time could cause some BIG problems.
So here we are $157 of steroids later. Also add a liquid diet, lots of Pepto, and probiotics on probiotics. I finally started to feel better towards the end of the week. By this weekend I was finally feeling decent but still a week later I am not back to normal!
I'm not sharing this post because I'm trying to be snotty about the whole dietary restriction thing. That is the last thing that I want from this. What I want is for people to realize that, yes I don't have Celiac and my dietary restrictions to impact me in the same way it does someone suffering from Celiac but that doesn't make it any less serious. I read a ton of articles of people freaking out saying that gluten intolerance isn't real and it only really means something if you have Celiac. This really irritates me because it doesn't matter who has what and who can eat this and can't eat that. It matters that if someone chooses not to eat something whether it be gluten, dairy, meat, soy, whatever, they deserve to have that choice be respected. It shouldn't matter whether you have Celiac, Crohn's, UC, or just choose that those things don't serve your body properly. No one knows your own unique medical situation besides you so be an advocate for your own health, choose what you must do for yourself, and ignore anyone who has something negative to say.
Excuse the rant. But I know there are those out there who either feel the same or who could benefit from reading this and taking on a new perspective from the other side.
Two Friday's ago I had my very first Remicade infusion! If you read my post about switching to Remicade before, you know that this was something that I thought about for a long time and a decision that I was unsure about making. I took the plunge though and went for it. I ended up taking a half day from work because my glorious idea of working from the infusion chair was promptly shut down when I realized my first treatment would most likely be the worst and most tiring. Cool.
Upon my arrival at the Gastro I went through the usual motions and sat down with my doctor so that he could verify that this was, in fact, the option I had chosen. The answer was obviously yes (or at least obviously to me) since I have spent the past months suffering ridiculously with no relief in sight. Despite my certainty, he still offered me an all expenses paid journey down the experimental drug route. I have been there before and I do not feel like going there again. I am sticking with Remicade. Tried and true. Side effects know. Countless studies completed.
After I shut that down really quickly I went on my merry way up to the infusion center and snagged a room with this friendly looking lady who was actually working from the room which was encouraging. We chatted while my favorite nurse checked my vitals and started my IV.
Honestly, what follows ended up kind of sucking. But not as bad as I thought. I developed an injection site reaction which caused a my entire left are to get itchy and bright red. Then it turned into an achey feeling accompanied by hives. Things are just heating up. I started having this weird throat/cough situation which made me sound like a man for a few days afterwards. The worst lasting problem is that all of my joints on my left arm (where my IV was) are so still and achey they even wake me up in the middle of this night. Lucky me, this migrated up to my shoulder and back (all on my left side). I am a little concerned that this hasn't subsided nearly two weeks later.
I fell asleep about 40 minutes into the IV. By fell asleep I mean passed out to the point where I was probably drooling and my favorite nurse had to sweetly wake me up at the end of the drip. Even then I literally could not keep my eyes open. Driving home was a huge struggle because I was ready to get back in bed and snooze away. That night I barely left my bed besides to eat a small dinner. Saturday I slept for most of the day and the same goes for Sunday. No matter how much I slept it was never enough. Monday was the first day I felt at least decently back to normal but I didn't feel fully back into action until Wednesday. This actually was lucky because on Thursday I left for a work trip that lasted through Sunday, #nodaysoff. Fun fact: I was supposed to wear a medical mask on these flights but I didn't because I am a horrible patient and now I have a cold that won't kick. I deserve it. I know.
As far as feeling better.... I have to say I haven't seen a dramatic improvement yet (which makes sense) but I did avoid feeling super sick while on my work trip. This is definitely an improvement considering every time I travel I get seriously ill. The side effects still seem to be bothering me though which I am not a fan of. I know it seems trivial that I am complaining about these seemingly harmless side effects but I am just being full disclosure with you all because that is what I would like to hear before I went in for this. Plus, I deserve to bitch a little don't I? I'm hoping that this round two will not upset my body so much and I hope that my gastro can explain this weird swollen joints/pain situation going on.
Has anyone else ever experienced any of these side effects? I know I'm not alone on the side effect piece of this but I do know that everyone reacts differently so who knows! I have to give a big thank you to all of the people (both that I know and those who have just seen my story online) that chose to reach out and give me some well wishes and words of encouragement. To "regular" people, Remicade seems like just another medicine that you add to your routine but to Spoonies it means having a new chance at living the life you want to live. With that chance also comes the fear that it won't work and the doubt of what you will do next if it plays out that way. This is why our community needs to stick together. We are the best rocks for each other to lean on!
Let me know about your experience with Remicade or just your biologic journey in general! I always love to hear other's stories!
This Friday is my second loading dose and then I will have my next in six weeks!
AS IF THE ADORABLE BRANDING WASN'T A GOOD ENOUGH REASON......
I have wanted to try a meal delivery service for the longest time. I used to do Galley when I lived in the city, which delivered precooked gluten free meals that just needed to be heated up. Those saved me a ton of time and stress of trying to come up with delicious and healthy meals. Unfortunately, Galley doesn't deliver to my new suburbia location so I was in the market for a new solution. A lot of the delivery "boxes" or whatever you want to refer to them as, didn't have specific gluten free options and would require me to substitute items from my own pantry. I know this sounds high maintenance but if I am paying $60+ per box I don't want to have to shop for my own supplementary items! I was super excited to hear about Sun Basket (actually via the "Straight Up With Stassi" podcast.... shoutout!). They have gluten free, paleo, dairy free, soy free, and vegetarian options while still featuring absolutely delicious recipes. Each meal averages around $12.50 each when you break it down, which really isn't bad when I factor in all of the groceries I buy that go to waste. Plus the fact that I see those brown labeled bags in my fridge and remember the money I spent on them helps to motivate me to actually get cooking!
Matt and I have used this as a bonding experience and have actually grown to really enjoy cooking together. Even I have found some solace in coming home from work, putting on a podcast, and focusing on putting together a delicious dinner. I have to say these meals that I have made from Sun Basket are some of the best recipes I have ever come across and honestly things that I never even thought that I could make for myself as corny as that sounds.
These Chipotle Chilaquiles with black beans were a personal favorite of mine. Dare I see even more satisfying than my usual Chipotle bowl go to. This is a gluten free, vegetarian, and soy free option that did not disappoint! I also really like that they have the calorie counts and the prep time listed.
These Seared Salmon Tacos with asparagus-scallion salsa and lime yogurt, which I actually made tonight, are a prime example of how the calorie counts are decent and the portion sizes are plentiful. Another thing I love is the use of interesting ingredients that aren't staples in my home. I wouldn't go out and purchase a huge helping of pumpkin seeds, for example, without prompting but having them in small portions allows you to taste test and see how you like them before committing to them becoming a pantry staple.
I completely recommend Sun Basket to anyone looking to make some delicious, healthy meals. This has made me infinitely more confident in the kitchen AND you even get recipe cards to keep and 24/7 access to the recipe collection in the Sun Basket app.
If you want to give it a try, use my link HERE for 3 free meals!
Let me know how you like it!
With the warmer weather finally hitting Maryland I am constantly craving all things light and citrusy when it comes to food. I have been guzzling sparkling water with grapefruit like it is my personal mission and I really cannot get enough lemon in just about everything I ingest.
That being said, when I found this recipe on Pinterest it spoke to my summer craving soul because of the olive oil/lemon vinaigrette. My undying love for feta may have also contributed as well. I am not going to lie to you guys, Matt made this one, not me, but that doesn't change the fact that I picked out the recipe and tasted it so, therefore, I can blog about it. He does get all of the credit for execution though.
My favorite thing about this recipe was that it tasted so delicious but was actually healthy and a great way to get an extra dose of veggies thanks to the switch from pasta to zoodles. Since zoodles are cooked they usually tend to be Crohn's friendly for me and the sauce didn't cause an issue which was refreshing. With other pasta options being creamy alfredo sauces, tomato sauces which can be upsetting, and pesto sauces which I love so much but my stomach can't handle, this option seems to be the best out of all of them. The taste, luckily, got two thumbs up as well. Even though I wasn't the one who actually made the dinner, I can vouch for the fact that it was relatively easy and didn't take to long at all. Needless to say, we will definitely be making this again for warm nights out on our patio! And trying some more light and fresh zoodle recipes.... maybe even making up some of our own!
Click above for the recipe and let me know what you think once you try it! Also, please feel free to share any yummy zoodle recipes with me so Matt and I can try them!
This mug speaks to my soul..... Especially right now. Over at the Crohnically Blonde camp it has been a busy (and a little rough) past few weeks. I've been not feeling so hot while in preparation for my first Remicade treatment, which makes sense because I had to wait for my Cimzia to wear off. Luckily, I got my first infusion yesterday (there will be a post to follow) and hopefully I will see some improvements within the next week or so. I have been trying to relax and remind myself that it is perfectly okay to take a break or take it slow sometimes. This is definitely not a strength of mine.... This weekend is my first post Remicade weekend and I am traveling for work this week so I need to make sure I start feeling a bit better. I had a serious "self care Saturday" today and went to get my nails done, got a couples massage with Matt, and then have been binge watching "Nashville" on Hulu.
As much as I have been under the weather and trying to relax, there have been some blog worthy things that have happened. And as much as I can't wait to share those with ya'l I am waiting for my foggy brain to clear so I can get it right. I appreciate everyone following this journey and bearing with me while I get myself back up and running.
Make sure to follow me on Instagram for even more frequent updates. @mschienle_
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.