Guys, I am finally doing it. I listen to podcasts like it is my job and am so obsessed with them that I have been toying around with starting my own for about 8 months now but was always waiting for when I had everything so perfectly ready to go. Well shout out to Lauryn Evarts whose main piece of advice is to just freaking go for it when you are looking to launch something.
Part of the reason I was finally ready to take the plunge was that I had such a cool experience of being a guest on The F-Word Podcast (I will post and share the link to my episode when it airs!). Matt bought me all of the equipment off of Amazon so I really had no more excuses.
I am currently just putting the episodes on SoundCloud for now but hopefully will get them up on iTunes if we can get a decent amount of traffic. Now let me just say, I KNOW that I say "um" a million times during this and I know it is kind of all over the place but it is my first one and honestly it is a lot freaking harder to talk to yourself for 20 minutes straight than you might think. So take it easy on me and hopefully you enjoy! I will be hopefully trying to get episodes out maybe once every two weeks to start and eventually once per week. I need to get some guests lined up though so if you are interested in being a part of Crohnically Blonde: The Podcast please don't hesitate to reach out.
I am SO SO SO excited to share with you guys a little recap of the Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis Walk 2017. This is an event and a cause that is near and dear to my heart since there are so many people close to me (myself included!) struggling with IBD. This event was a great opportunity to raise awareness about IBD. This is so often an invisible illness that people definitely do not want to talk about, besides me of course who is just all out there about just about everything. People also think that having IBD is the same as having IBS and an upset stomach sometimes. THIS IS SO NOT TRUE. IBD effects you whole freaking body! It effects your mind! It isn't just a little tummy ache. Of course, if you are reading this blog you probably know that so I digress.
I had never been to the walk before but everyone at my local Crohn's and Colitis Foundation was really talking up how great this year was going to be. I was not disappointed! There were great sponsors that had tents at the event, from Hopkins to Cimzia, a stand giving out yummy dog treats they had it covered. There was a separate area for kids to hang out and Star Wars characters walking around. It was so cool to see the amount of people who came out to support the cause and why wouldn't you come out?! It was a phenomenal family event.
Lucky for me, I had so much support around Team Crohnically Blonde. My mom and I raised over $850 for the cause and we had our closest people in our support systems come out to walk with us. It was a fantastic day that I was so happy to spend with these people and we even walked down to Bond Street Social for a tummy friendly brunch afterwards. Fun Fact: This is the restaurant where Matt and I went on our first date (and I projectile vomited LOL good times). If you want more details about that.... click here.
I think this year was great and sort of a test run for what I want to do next year. I hope that each year I can get more and more people involved and eventually even get to the point of having our own team tent. What whhhattttt.
I also HAVE to give a shoutout to Crabby Chic (my friend and coworker's company) for making my shirt which I literally could not be more in love with. It is so on brand I just about lost my mind when she showed it to me. Check out Crabby Chic, here!
I am so excited for today's post! It is full of a ton of valuable information for people struggling with IBD or digestive issues of any sort and explains the true importance of having a registered dietician as part of your care team. Lucky for me, one of my childhood friends, Raquel, is a super knowledgable RD who deals with Crohn's patients on a regular basis. On top of her day job she also has a blog that is full of recipes that are not only nutritious but also super yummy. Raquel is also extremely passionate about fitness and overall helping people learn to live happy, healthy live!
She offered to answer some FAQs for Crohnically Blonde readers to help us navigate the wild world of trying to figure out what we should and should not be eating. All of her tips are extremely helpful and are very easy to incorporate into your daily routine. I know for me this information really helped to clear up a few things that I had questions about. In addition, it really made me realize that I need a Registered Dietitian that I can utilize on a regular basis. I hope you all enjoy and find a ton of value in this post, just like I did!
BEFORE WE START... HERE IS A LITTLE INFO ON RAQUEL/ SINCERELY-NOURISHED.COM
Raquel Redmond is a Registered Dietitian working in acute care in Philadelphia. She is an advocate of eating well and being well without the pressure. She can help you reach your goals! Browse recipes and nutrition tips, or reach out to work with her to assess your dietary needs on her blog. Sincerely Nourished (http://sincerely-nourished.com/blog) is a source for nutrition advice and ways to improve your quality of living focused on healthy eating, disease prevention & management.
I, personally, love her blog and keeping up with her meal suggestions via her Instagram (@dietitianraquel). My favorite thing about her recipes and suggestions are how doable they are. Not only does she feature original recipes but also suggests meals/snacks while you are on the go and meal ideas for eating out. Go give her a follow! You will not be disappointed.
NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF.....
CB: It seems like everyone I talk to has different "trigger foods" that spark their symptoms. Is there a specific science behind what foods are truly the worst for Crohn's sufferers or does it really depend on the person?
SN: Unfortunately, there is no science behind it! The best thing you can do to avoid symptoms is to eat well. You may not be able to digest or absorb all the nutrients you eat so it is paramount that you stick to a healthy diet and get enough fluids. People with Crohn’s and UC are at risk for malnutrition due to diarrhea, loss of appetite, decreased intake and/or malabsorption, corticosteroid use, and inflammation. Make sure to eat every 3-4 hours and try to avoid skipping meals. Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks and try not to use sugar substitutes.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but try keeping a food diary that also includes your symptoms. You may find that certain foods give you symptoms on a consistent basis and should limit or avoid them. I have found that people who are strict about keeping a food diary are able to control their symptoms better.
The Low FODMAP diet may be an option for you if you continually have symptoms. Talk to a Registered Dietitian to find out more!
CB: What are the best anti-inflammatory foods to eat either during a flare up or to prevent one?
SN: Anti-inflammatory foods are fruits such as berries and oranges, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes, fatty fish and nuts, olive oil and turmeric. You definitely want to avoid foods that promote inflammation such as fried foods, soda, simple carbohydrates and processed meats.
When you don’t have symptoms, include whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. This way you will get a variety of anti-inflammatory foods. You may want to take a chewable multivitamin daily! If you are not getting enough calcium in your diet, then you should take a chewable calcium supplement with vitamin D.
P.S. Supplements could contribute to your GI symptoms. It is important to check the labels, read the ingredients and make sure that there is no interaction between the supplement and medications you are taking. You should consider eliminating unnecessary supplements from your routine.
CB: Often times Crohn's patients get put on liquid diets (either clear or full). What are some ways to still make sure you are getting enough nutrients and protein to sustain you throughout the day?
SN: As you probably know, it is extremely hard to meet your calorie and protein needs while on a clear or full liquid diet. In an acute care setting we generally recommend supplements (i.e. Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast etc.) to help people meet their nutrient needs. If you are able to tolerate supplements I would recommend you drink them while on these diets. At home you will have more options and probably tastier options than while admitted to the hospital. A dietitian can help you come up with more options and recipes.
Clear liquids: jello, broth, juice, water ice, a clear supplement Full liquids: anything on a clear liquid diet, cream soups, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, cream of wheat, smoothies, regular supplements
CB: What foods/drinks are the best for getting an added dose of probiotics?
SN: Probiotic food trends are on the rise! A probiotic supplement may not contain the strain of probiotic that works best for you. Supplements contain only the most common strains of probiotics. But, you can totally get probiotics from food! Try kombucha (my favorite), kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods to eat your probiotics. Yogurt is also a good source. Probiotics may increase gas and bloating so try these foods in small amounts.
Sometimes the Crohn's friendly food options are limited when traveling or attending events. What are some tried and true snacks that you recommend to throw in your bag before leaving the house? Some of the best grab and go snacks are the same for people with and without IBD. A handful of nuts or nut based bar (think KIND bar) is easy to put in your purse or pocket. A piece of whole fruit is also easy on the go. If you have a lunch box and ice packs you can get a little more creative. Yogurt, fruit cups, cheese sticks or hummus are all good options. A Registered Dietitian can give you even more options that work with your body.
CB: Does Crohn's/UC change the way your body absorbs or metabolizes food?
SN: Yes, IBD can change the way your body absorbs and digests food. Most commonly it may negatively impact the absorption of nutrients. Due to mucosal inflammation your body may not absorb everything you eat. This is why it is so important to maintain a good nutritional status while you don’t have symptoms!
CB: I lot of people I know suffering from IBD (me included) are constantly on steroids. These are notorious for causing weight gain. What are your tips for staying slim even while on high doses of these medications?
SN: If you are taking a steroid you should stick to a low fiber diet. While having symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea you should remain on this diet. When symptoms decrease you can slowly add small amount of whole grain foods and high fiber fruits and vegetables. Don’t continue adding more fiber into your diet if you start having symptoms again.
Steroids can also increase your blood sugar. You may need to pay attention to how many carbohydrates you are eating. Carbohydrates include fruits, dairy products and starchy foods. A Registered Dietitian is trained to help you control your blood sugars through diet while you are taking steroids if this becomes a problem for you.
P.S. If you are taking Methotrexate or Sulfasalazine you should take an extra 1 milligram of folic acid daily except on the day you receive Methotrexate.
CB: Why is it so important to have a Registered Dietitian to work with if you suffer from Crohn’s/UC/IBD?
SN: Working with a dietitian can help ease the burden of constantly worrying about what to eat! We can’t totally prevent flare ups, but in addition to your medications we can help make eating a more enjoyable occasion. If you would like to work with me – please reach out! I can also make a referral to a dietitian in your area.
You know when you keep hearing about something in a really short timeframe that you have never paid attention to before but all of a sudden it seems like everyone is talking about it and you don't know how you've lived your life without knowing about it?
That is how I feel about the Keto diet. Within a few day timespan I heard about it through two people randomly at work, randomly on social media, and through Matt's mom. Coincidence? I think not.
After some research I realized that this has been a "thing" for quite some time now and it isn't just a fad diet that is used to drop pounds quickly. It has been used to treat serious medical conditions such as epilepsy and migraines, and overall has proven to decrease inflammation in the digestive system. Have I been living under a freaking rock?
I usually try and steer myself away from getting to engrossed in different eating patterns due to 1. my sensitive digestive system and 2. my past with an eating disorder. After years of ongoing cognitive behavioral therapy telling you that diets are silly and counterproductive, there has been nothing to really stir the pot like Crohn's Disease. Having Crohn's means you 100% have to change up your diet in at least someway and be way more aware of what you are putting in your body. For the past couple of years I have just been adhering to a strict gluten free diet which has helped but at the same time not gotten me into remission yet. I made a conscious effort to eat decently healthy but carbs, sugars, and unnatural crap still littered my diet probably more than it should have.
When I went in for my Remicade infustion the other day, I was completely at my wits end about what to do. I saw a different doctor than usual and she made a suggestion that spurred a serious realization for me. She said that if I want to stay off of steroids on top of my Remicade I should just really try and buckle down and watch my diet. I always just convinced myself that I was doing enough when it came to diet but this conversation was enough to make me realize maybe I wasn't.
She suggested that I cut out dairy if that is something that seems to be an issue and to go back to following the low FODMAP diet. All of this seemed irritating but necessary. I figured I would mention to her a Ketogenic Diet instead just to see what she thought about it. She said that is definitely an option and we sort of left it at that.
I continued to Google and research everything about dairy free/low FODMAP diets and a Ketogenic Diet. Keto just seemed to make sense. It eliminates/limits so many inflammatory foods, how could it not be good for my situation? The problem I kept debating was the dairy piece of it. Is dairy really my problem? Or is it all of the other crap that I'm ingesting. Who. Freaking. Knows.
What I did decide is that SOMETHING needs to change. Clearly whatever I am doing isn't working for me. I've decided that I think I'm going to go for it and make that change. Not necessarily hardcore Keto because with the lifestyle I have, let's be real, I am never going to be able to follow it perfectly. I like to think it is more of a Keto inspired situation. I talked to Matt and got his nursing expertise. He said that a trial period can't hurt and if the dairy seems to be negatively effecting things then we reevaluate and if not then we keep going. Over these past few years I have grown continuously more in tune with my symptoms so I am using this as an experiment and gauging my response. I'm making a conscious effort to decrease sugars, processed foods, and unnecessary carbs. Carbs and Crohn's can be a rough situation. I crave starchy things when my stomach feels acidic and during my liquid diets I often resort to processed soups which contain additives and often times hidden sugars. These things are completely counter productive to my end goal. While I am limiting these things I will be upping my healthy fats, protein, and veggies (cooked of course to save my stomach!).
I know it seems a bit extreme to be on a Keto Diet long term so I'm not planning on doing that by any means. I'm really just trying to find an eating style that works for my situation and that I can adopt long term. I think that doing a type of lower carb and sugar stint will help me determine if these are things I should implement long term. Like I said, this is an experiment that hopefully I can come to some conclusions from. I am all about balance and adhering to such a strict diet can take some of the fun out of life. Coming from a place of unbalanced eating this can definitely be a challenge. I am an all or nothing kind of person. There is no 'sort of' with me, it either it is or it isn't. That being said, life is a huge gray area and I find that completely terrifying. If I box myself into "good days" and "bad days" I just start a downward spiral of judgement and frustration. That is why I am taking a fun approach to this. I am striving for more balance, more mindfulness, and more compassion for my own body. I shared my concerns with Matt and he is committed to hold me accountable if I get too crazy into this. That is a great partner right there, thanks babe!
No matter what I conclude from this shift in mindset and new health journey, I see this as being a positive experience. It is forcing me to reconnect with what I am putting in my body and really making sure I am doing everything I can, and more, to combat Crohn's the best way I know how.
This is the second day I have implemented my lifestyle change and I actually feel like I have more energy. It could be just the good weather or who knows... this thing really could work. I haven't been craving starchy things, just sugar, and I have been extremely thirsty but that has forced me to drink probably twice the amount of water (if not more) than I usually drink each day. As for stomach issues... absolutely NONE the past two days. Coincidence? Placebo effect? We shall wait and see.....
I will continue to keep you all updated on my progress through this and I would love to hear from anyone who has done Keto or has suffered with Crohn's and what styles of eating they have adopted. Any of the above! As always, your thoughts are always greatly appreciated.
SPOILER ALERT: Crohnically Blonde has an awesome guest post coming up that couldn't have happened at a more perfect time. Right in the middle of my food crisis, we are lucky enough to have a blogger whose job it is to deal with food crises on a daily basis! All of her knowledge will be featured on the blog later this week so STAY TUNED.
With a name like Crohnically Blonde it is only fitting that I at least am a LITTLE bit into haircare. Fun fact: I did go to hair school and I have my barbering license, what whattttt. But also fun fact, I hate doing hair now, especially my own. Weird right?
Not so much. I went to hair school kind of on a limb (an expensive one), and I love the concepts behind everything I did I just hated the school that I went to; therefore, lost the love of it and went on to pursue makeup sales to fulfill my beauty junkie side until I hit the corporate world. I never really thought that doing hair would be my forever career, I just thought it would be a cool way to make some extra dollahs while in college. That was the case but I actually enjoyed the science behind the products more than I did the actual artistry. Also weird, right?
Well it helped me sell haircare products and to this day, that knowledge helps me select what I want to use on my hair. Now I am no expert anymore but I am a self proclaimed guinea pig for many things hair related. Since quite a few years of experimenting with some less than flattering and often wild hair (thanks hair school), I finally went back to my roots (pun intended) and settled on blonde. Full disclosure: my roots are more of a mousey, dirty blonde but still..... Anyone who had bleached their hair or went through any extent of serious processing knows that it can be a rough time for your hair's health. Me, personally, I have so really freaking thin hair that is flat and gets greasy super easily and also breaks off by just looking at it the wrong way. I may shed more than my dogs. Not. Kidding.
My entire life I have HATED my hair. Like really hated it. But now with the right stylist, the right products, and the right extensions (occasionally), I have finally started the journey to kind of loving my haircare routine. I received quite a few questions about how I maintain a cool toned blonde look. To be full disclosure, my hair girl, Lauren, absolutely kills it and hooks me up with the perfect cocktail of toner that is equal parts Stassi Schroeder and Pinterest success. So she should get all of the credit. The problem is, let's get real, going to the salon is expensive. I can honestly say I try and stretch my appointments as far out as I can to save money. I started getting my highlights painted in, instead of just regular highlights which really helps them grow out more naturally, but the problem I run into isn't my roots. The ombre trend has really helped us money saving girls out but the tone of my hair is the problem. I HATE when my hair gets brassy and recently it has been out of control on the brassy bus. I was using a moisturizing shampoo to help with my dry ends but totally neglecting the color maintenance at home.
Let me just go on the record here and say:
PURPLE SHAMPOO IS EVERYTHING.
But you have to get the right one. I have been through so many and finally found my cocktail of two shampoo/conditioner combos that keep my hair up to my standards.
The first one is Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo and Conditioner. You can get the shampoo and conditioner for around $30 for both at Ulta, but often times they have deals like "2 for $20" and stuff like that which is great. This shampoo and conditioner combo is actually great for every time you wash your hair because it doesn't have a huge color payoff. It definitely tones but doesn't cause an insanely noticeable difference. This is my go to, every wash kind of stuff. It is also decently moisturizing without leaving your hair greasy. Yay.
When I get towards the latter end of my time I can go between salon appointments, it is time to bring out the heavy duty hitter. AKA Clairol Shimmer Lights. Okay, I know I sounds like a 75 year old woman but let me tell you, this stuff freaking works! The smell isn't fabulous but the color payoff is out of control. So much so that I can only use this combo maybe once per week. When I first got it, I was so obsessed with the cool toned results that I definitely overkilled and got a grayish lavender tone to my hair for a couple of days which is super cool but not for my corporate life. I highly recommend this combination to use once per week if you are looking to cut the brassiness in your blonde. The best part.... it is SO cheap. You can get each of these products on Amazon for under $12. SCORE.
Next up on my hair necessities are hair extensions. I have been through some really, really bad extensions. Like soooo bad. But I finally have found some that I am liking. They took a bit to master styling just right but now I have them down pat and only have to ask Matt maybe three times if you can see my clips before we go out.... thin haired girls, you know the struggle. I have always had super fine hair and not a lot of it for my entire life. Between various periods of lacking nutrients due to medical reasons and a slew of medication side effects to follow, my hair just continues to suffer. I am a firm believer that if there is something small you can do to make you feel better about yourself and more confident then why not do it? Hence, my love of hair extensions.
My huge hair extension tip is:
GET THEM COLORED AND CUT TO MATCH YOUR HAIR BY YOUR STYLIST.
My stylist, a hair extension enthusiast herself, did a killer job of taking my extensions and making them look like they grew out of my head. I made the mistake at first of wearing them super long when my hair was around collar bone length. She made them blend really well but they just still looked stingy at the ends because of the lack of hair. Things changed BIG TIME when she cut them only about two inches longer than my natural hair and we went for volume not length. The scraggly ends were gone and my hair actually looked nice and full for the first time that I can remember. She also carefully toned my extensions to match my hair exactly. Big warning here, do not try and tone them at home, especially if you are a blonde. Having super blonde extensions, they will just suck up the color so it is best to let a professional do their work.
I like to purchase a more blonde extension than I actually need because it is easier to deposit color/toner as opposed to lifting color out of them. I like THESE, the Piccolina Ash Blonde 120g 18" from Bellami. Since I have thin hair, anything more than the 120g would be too much and anything longer than 18" would be unnecessary since I mainly use them for volume. These are only around $120 (you can get promo codes all over Instagram for various percentages off as well), which isn't bad compare to what I have seen other brands come out to.
These bad boys have lasted me for OVER a year which is amazing. I only wash them once every few wears which I know may sound gross but I don't wear them for physically active events. I usually only wear them on weekends for events which only last a couple of hours, which has definitely help me extend the life of these.
The only downsides are that since my hair is so thin sometimes you can see the clips if they aren't styled perfectly. That is more of a me problem than an extensions problem. The other downside, they are too much upkeep to wear everyday. For more of a permanent look (thinking engagement, wedding, honeymoon situation, hint hint wink wink) I am thinking of getting some tape ins. Believe me there will be a WHOLE other Crohnically Blonde post about that.
Anyway, I hope this post helps! I know I scour endless blogs trying to discover what the best of the best is when it comes to keeping blonde hair blonde and when it comes to making my hair not look so wimpy. My last tip is to realize that a lot of the hair you see today is fake so don't be hard on yourself. I tell myself this almost 24/7. For the longest time I would admire reality TV stars and wonder how the hell they all were blessed with such perfect hair. Now don't get me wrong, some of them are, Brittany Cartwright I'm looking at you. But a majority of them utilize the secrets (and the staff) that we all wish we had. That being said, DO NOT hold yourself to unrealistic standards. You are beautiful no matter what you hair looks like. So own it. And if taking these tips and putting them into action makes you feel a little better and more confident, then I say go for it.
For the past week I have been feeling totally not myself. Chalk it up to pre-Remicade, post-Remicade, or just plain not feeling so great! I have been really internalizing a lot of how I have been feeling when I realized how totally counterproductive that is. I have an entire support system around me AND an entire support system of CB readers/ an online community. The reason I even started this blog in the first place was to connect with others and share my story!
who else gets super down when they aren't feeling great?
To me that seems like such a ridiculous questions. Like of course if I don't feel good physically, emotionally I don't either. But, I have to say I know some super strong ladies who I have seen power through sickness with a smile consistently plastered on their faces. I always wonder if they are faking it or they just are in on a secret that I am not. If it is the latter, please do tell.
This past week was my 6th week between my second and third Remicade loading doses and I felt like complete shit. I was tired and rundown which made me feel like I couldn't be 100% at work and at home and maybe I needed a little more sleep than usual. All are totally normal things to experience but I get so frustrated when I can't be on my A game.
I thought Remicade would make me feel a bit better but instead I feel so much worse after this most recent dose. Like WHAT! I'm back on steroids for the next eight weeks and going back on a variation of the low FODMAP diet and eliminating dairy all together on top of gluten. I have also been exploring the Keto diet which is supposed to be great for decreasing inflammation (additional details on that to come). This Remicade infusion also left me feeling a whole lot worse than usual. I've had a fever, cold sweats, tingling in my limbs, brain fog, body aches, and I've been SO incredibly tired. I definitely didn't feel this bad the first couple of times so I am super confused at why this time has taken such a turn for the worse.
Luckily, I was able to relax this weekend with a whole lot of sleep. As much as I enjoy a well rested weekend situation, I hate feeling like I wasted the days. This will forever be a struggle for me, switching the mindset that I need sleep. Sleep is not a waste of time.
I got to spend some quality time with my mom and other members of my family today which was much needed. It was honestly a struggle to pull myself out of bed but I was happy I did (despite almost passing out in Target, yikes!). I shared with my mom how much I have been struggling with not feeling like myself. Physically I feel like I can't control what my body does. I feel like I gain and lose weight with no warning either way. My clothes don't fit right. The steroids I'm on change even how my face looks. My brain fog is out of control and I cannot, for the life of me, remedy it. I feel like I can't give myself fully to any part of my life because I only have so much energy to give. As someone who loves controlling a situation, this is not my cup of tea. I know you are supposed to try and be kind to yourself but it is hard when you are so unbelievably frustrated with things you can't control.
I'm writing this now, snuggled up on my sofa, binge watching Nashville, with my two pups by my side. I finally am feeling a little better for the first time in over a week. Even though I didn't come to a resolution for my problem, just saying it out loud makes me feel a little better. Writing it here makes me feel a little better. Like I said before, isn't this the reason WHY I started this blog in the first place?! I refuse to be one of those people on social media who unauthentically portray themselves as having their shit together all the time. Because, truth be told, things can be a real mess. But it is nothing to be ashamed of and the bloggers and influencers who are the most honest are the ones who are my favorite. So share your mess with me. Lets help each other along this wild journey that is living life with a chronic illness.
Head over to the Crohnically Blonde Facebook page and give it a like! If we can get enough people rallying around each other I'd love to start a secret Facebook group where we can all share our lives with each other. Sort of like what The Lady Gang and The Skinny Confidential have done. Let me know your thoughts. If you think it would be cool or not? All that jazz.
Too many cocktails. Flights. Long days of traveling. Medications. Lots of salty food (aka all of my favorites, olives, chips, pickles).
These are just a few of the things that are precursors to the dreaded morning puffy skin. No amount of contour can help. You know what I'm talking about.
I have spent many mornings trying to figure out what to do with this little problem. Everything from eye creams, to cooling serums, to compresses have been tested in my routine but it took me up until recently to find something that really gets the job done. I heard about ice rollers from The Skinny Confidential (post here) and I figured I would give it a try. I completely fell in love with this handy little tool when it arrived via Amazon Prime to my house. (Get it HERE)
Here is how it works. There is a little detachable roller that you put into the freezer for about 15 minutes or so. When it is nice and frozen you pull it out, attach it to the handle, and roll away! I roll it in a downward motion all over my face. neck, and chest. I really focus on my jawline and my eye area. I know it sounds so simple but the depuffing effects are insane. It also helps a lot with pain. I grind my teeth like crazy 24/7 (especially when I sleep) and always wake up with a super sore jaw. I've been recently using this on my jaw when I wake up and it has really helped to reduce my pain. Also, this thing is a LIFE SAVER when you have a few too many glasses of wine and that sugar/dehydration headache kicks in. For real, I wish I knew about this in college. Also, my dogs are obsessed with it. At least, Charleston is. The first time I brought it out he started sniffing it so I started to roll it down his back. Now I have one specifically for the dogs and roll them to relax them. Charleston has some serious anxiety so this definitely calms him, especially at night.
So that is tip number one. Tip number two....
These eye pads (HERE) are amazing. Uh-may-zing. I got them as samples, I think from Birchbox, and tried them after my work trip in Orlando. I figured that was the best time to test their true depuffing power. It was four days of little sleep, lots of work, traveling disasters, and, of course, some libations. I really doubted that these would actually do the job to make me look like I was at least a somewhat functioning human. I was very pleasantly surprised!
These tiny little pads are packed with collagen serum cling nicely to your face so you don't have to lay their like a zombie while you have them on. I was walking around the house, doing laundry, reading, many activities, all while wearing them. I left them on for about 20 minutes and, boom, my bags under my eyes are essentially gone, my skin looks plump and lifted, and I officially have a new favorite under eye product. The best thing about this is the results actually lasted all day. You can get them on Amazon for only $18. SUCH A STEAL.
To lock in the moisture I like to use Sephora Brand's Total Age Defy For Eyes & Lips. I just went to buy it again the other day and I think they discontinued it which is really upsetting. Now that I have the rest of my routine down I need to find a replacement for this! I love it because you can use it on your eye area and your lips for a plumping and moisturizing effect. I will be searching for something comparable that doesn't cost a fortune. If any of my CB readers have any suggestions please send them my way. I actually came across a great guide recently (check it out here) that breaks down and reviews the best eye creams for different conditions. Their picks for depuffing seem pretty legit. The one from Honest Beauty is at the top of my wish list right now!
Hopefully this post is helpful and you can depuff this weekend and go into Monday with a fresh feel!
Like I said, any recommendations for eye creams are greatly welcomed. Also, if there are any requests for posts please send them my way! I've have gotten a few so far which I definitely take to heart and have added them into my list of posts to do! I also recently changed my Instagram handle to @crohnicallyblonde to be cohesive with my brand so follow my page to stay updated on new posts and share your feedback with me!
How long have I been throwing the crackers out of my cheese bistro box? How long have I been eating marshmallow dream bars in place of breakfast foods? (Maybe it's just me on that one...) How long have us gluten free basic bees been waiting for Starbucks to get it together and come out with a gluten free breakfast option?
Well my friends, it is here.
And it is packaged in a separate "gluten free" bag. There is none of this "maybe its gluten free" crap that companies like to use to cover their behinds. Nope. We may have waited what felt like (and was) far too long for this but, dare I say, it was worth it.
This sandwich is an actually decent and non soggy GF english muffin with an egg, white cheddar, and Canadian bacon. In addition it isn't super greasy, which is also a stomach friendly plus. Consider my mornings made. Thanks Starbs.
Check out the full specs on this yummy little addition HERE.
I had a completely different post that I wanted to do today but I became super inspired to get down and dirty into this topic. I feel that it resonates with my life right now so I am just going to go with it....
I spend 90% of my life acting like I have my shit together. Like I am a good girlfriend, a good daughter, a good sister, a good dog mom, good at my job, good at keeping my home, good at blogging. I have lived my entire life growing up without feeling like I was able to say "hey, I have no clue what I am doing SOS". Through the years, I realized that people really dislike other people who unauthentically act like they have their shit together. So I changed my tune and found a decent balance between faking it till I make it and admitting I actually need help with something. The problem with this, though, is I spent so much time faking that I was good at these things that by time I became an adult I had no gauge on what I actually was good at and what I had just convinced myself I needed to be good at. It was like there were certain things that are unacceptable to be bad at and other things that I almost got a free pass on.
Here is an example: I always identified with making sure I was really good at "work" (whatever I was doing at the time) and had a no sleep, grind hard, get ish done mentality. On the other hand, I identified with being so incredibly undomestic that I swore off having children, cooking, and even getting married. I also just plain sucked at having deep friendships or relationships because I "didn't have time".
I'm not sure where I came up with the idea that this was the "right" way to live, but people accepted it and stopped questioning me about the stuff I was "bad at" and praised me for just being a really hard worker. But was I actually "bad at" these things? Or had I just never tried them? Maybe the reason that I never attempted these things is because they actually were the things I really did care deeply about and I was so scared to fail at them? Hit the nail on the head right there.
It took me up until the past couple of months to come to this life changing conclusion. I identified with being a bad ass working boss babe because I thought that was the only thing I could actually be good at. I knew that the outcome of that was controlled and my input would directly correlate with the output. Strangely enough, I am in a career that yields just that. As I get deeper into my twenties I realize that my life would be pretty lacking if all I did was work at my 9-5 (just kidding it is way longer hours than that). I need family, I need passions, I need hobbies. I could no longer place my self worth on whether or not I am doing well at work because, you know what, I came to realize you can't always control work either.
Since we moved into our home a few months ago I have started experimenting with things I always thought I really sucked at. And guess what? I don't suck at all of these things like I thought I did. I can be domestic. I can cook, and I actually enjoy it! I can garden, and I actually am really enjoying that too. I started blogging more seriously again, but this time with a more authentic approach. I love taking care of my dogs and I love the feeling of selflessness they bring me. I love the unconditional love I have allowed myself to have for Matt. Not only for Matt but also for myself.
I have given myself permission to fail. I am allowed to have a bad day at work. I am allowed to burn the dinner. I am allowed to forget to buy dog food and feed them leftover canned tuna. I am allowed to write a blog post that not everyone loves. I am allowed to say something to a friend that they may not agree with. I am allowed to feel like crap because my Crohn's is acting up and lay in bed all day. These to me, used to be failures, but now I am working to change my mindset. These are just things that just happen in life, and often not because of any wrong doing of my own. If it is a wrong doing on my part, so fucking what.
I have given up the idea that I can only be seen as successful if I am the best of the best at work and at home and in my side projects. I will never be the best. And that is okay. I am just moving forward day by day trying to be the best me that I can be. I have given up the old identity that I carried through my whole life and I am really liking the new flawed and fabulous me. I like my child loving, gardening, cooking side. Even though I'm not by my standards great or even truly good at these things, I just don't care anymore because I am happy. Of course, this doesn't mean that I am giving up everything that I built my identity on, I just have different motives for it. I want to kick ass at work, not just to show people how awesome I am and gain recognition. I used to want that. Now I want to kick ass so that my kids look up to me and see that their mom is a boss. I want to work to make money so that Matt and I can travel and see the world together. I want to share my story not to just put it out there and get people to blindly listen to what I am saying. I want to share my story and my blog to truly connect with people and hopefully help them. I am focusing on my legacy. To me legacy is what fully encompasses a person, not just one aspect of them. I am working on rounding out my life and really living my truth, that way, my legacy is one that I can feel so, so good about.