Underground Wellness

Monday, April 30, 2012

Word Cloud

Today is the final day of the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge. For the final prompt, I created  my word cloud. This sums up all the things that have been created here over the past month. I was hoping to be able to post it here, but I cannot seem to figure out how to move it over. I hope you will head over and take a peak. Thank you for a very inspiring month.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The First TIme I...

I'll be honest here. I'm not usually afraid of much. I'm a go with the flow kind of girl. I always see new adventures as learning experiences. An opportunity to get out of my box. But If I had to choose one thing, it would have to be the first time I made sauerkraut. Would I do it right? Would I make myself sick? I new it was something I needed to try for the sake of my health, but I kept postponing it. When I finally got up the courage to give it a try, I have to say that of course it what not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and yes,  the benefits far surpassed any fear I had when I started.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Top Five

The top five things I have found most difficult about having an auto-immune disease:
1. The unexpectedness.
I am a perfectionist. I need to have a plan. But disease has no plan.
2. The exhaustion.
There is no time for exhaustion when you are raising a family.
3. The digestive issues.
Food intolerances that change make it really impossible to enjoy meal time.
4. The moodiness.
This speaks for itself.
5. The brain fog.
I really have a difficult time with this. Sometimes I just can't be the person everyone needs me to be and I feel I am failing them in so many ways.

The top five thing I have found most positive about having an auto-immune disease:
1. Experience.
I have been through so much.
2. The learning curve.
Know matter how much I thought I knew before I got sick, being ill has forced me to search for answers to questions I didn't even know I had.
3. Slowing Down.
In our fast paced world must of us only dream of slowing down and taking real time for family and friends. Being Ill forces me to slow down. This has produced so moment with my children that I would not want to miss for anything.
4. Bravery.
Finally being strong enough to take charge of my own life and doing it my way.
5. A Purpose.
The knowledge and ability to make a difference in the health of future generations.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Health Tagline

Okay, so today I am creating a tagline for my blog. My existing tagline is "Creating the happy, healthy life you deserve". I do actually kind of like that. In my profession, it's what I do. The funny thing is that when I was looking at the prompt for today, I realized that I do really need to keep a notepad and pencil attached to my hip. So many of these prompt have come and I've had to say, "oh, I just had a good one for that". Yet the memory always escapes me. So the tagline stays, but I have learned a valuable lesson. Post-its are going in the purse.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Third Person Post

A memory, written as if I am watching from a distance. I see it clearly....
She sits in a waiting room. Filled with chairs. A few other people sit around her, but she barely notices. She looks around, everything is so quiet. Her nerves are on edge. She has traveled so far to be here. It is her last chance for answers. It hurts her to sit, she is so thin. Her brain can barely think straight and the long walks through this amazingly large building are exhausting. She laughs to take the edge off. The waiting is long and out of the small bag beside her she pulls out a set of knitting needles. Something to make the time go by. Something she used to love. A small dishrag in the making. She only has enough energy to concentrate on small projects. Her husband sleeps beside her. She thinks of her children back home. I week with out her girls is a long time. She hopes to have good news for them. Outside the weather is bitter cold. Back home they will receive the biggest snow storm ever and she will miss the snow days with her children. She is called in to see the doctor and the news is not promising. Will she be around to raise see her girls grow up. Tests are scheduled and the rest of the afternoon is free to explore the town. There is not much to do here. Back at the hotel she calls home to check in with everyone.  Questions run rampant but she will do what she has become accustomed to. Take each moment is it comes and just keep moving forward. Enjoying each moment to the fullest and holding on to hope.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Daily Schedule

Today is Health Activist Choice Day 2. I get to write about what ever I want. So it goes without saying that I could not figure out what I wanted to write about today. So I've chosen to do a bonus prompt. My daily schedule. I get to let you peek into a day in the life of me. I usually wake up at 6:30am. I head straight into clean up mode. Switch the laundry and empty the dishwasher. Dust through the whole house, clean both bathrooms. Sweep and mop all the floors, all 1600 sq. ft. of them. Clean the litter box and take out the garbage and recycling. At this point I take a quick break for a cup of yerba mate. Then it's time to wake the oldest one and get her set to head off to school. Once she is out the door I hit the showers. Next it's time to wake the little one and get a head start on her homeschooling day. At about 10:15am we pack up. Me to head of to work and the little one is off to dad's for the day. She brings her workbooks and the computer to do quiet work. Dad works nights and so it works out nicely. I work until 3pm. During this time, if I have any breathing time, I will catch up on any school work that I have. I am currently attending classes at the local community college, working on my second year with IIN, working on a Family Herbalist Course, and Yoga Certification. Thankfully, almost all of my classes are online. At 3pm I run any quick errands needed for the day and head over to pick up the little one. We make it home a few minutes after the older one gets home from school. The afternoons vary. This time is usually used to finish up our homeschool day, mow the lawn and work on the garden. If the oldest is in an afterschool event at the time, we are usually off to watch her. To be honest, with all of my food sensitivities, meal prep is no longer a fun activity for me. Once a week I hit the grocery store and spend the rest of that evening doing fridge prep. Lots of cut up fruits and veggies. Precooked grains and potatoes. Hard boiled eggs and precooked bacon. The fridge is filled with easy to put together healthy meals that the children can put together as they please. After dinner is homework time for the oldest. Snacks and a movie round out the evening. I usually like to head to bed around 9pm. If it's been a rough day illness wise for me, I will just crash. Otherwise, a little reading is in order. Sometimes I am finishing up some studying, but I've been trying to do some just for fun reading. Computer work comes either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Soon Saturday mornings will be filled with 4 hours of workshare time at a local farm for a CSA share, and season passes to the local amusement park will fill our free time. It's a busy day from start to finish. Some of you may notice the one missing piece to this day. Yes, I know I should fit consistent exercise into my day, it just never seems to quite make the daily schedule. When time allows, I head over to the local forest preserve for a 2 mile walk, but as of yet it has not made it into my daily schedule. Someday.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Health Madlib Poem

Well this has been an interesting day. Today, I was to create a poem based on a mad lib. Fill in the nouns, verbs and adjectives and then you get to see what the poem is. What a mess! I have spent the better part of the day going back to the poem trying to create something that would at least make some kind of sense. So without further ado, here is the poem that has taken close to 8 hours to create. I hope that you enjoy...

Good life's Good life

I read my words and all the truth comes home; 
I fill my days and all is well again. 
(I relax I build you up inside my mind.) 

The thoughts go spining out in time and space, 
And bright sun flows in: 
I follow my heart and all the world stands before me. 

I loved that you talked me into search 
And let me grow, judged me quite clearly. 
(I relax I build you up inside my mind.) 

Illness takes from the soul, Hashimoto's thyroiditis drains: 
tired body and brain's fog: 
I follow my heart and all the world stands before me. 

I dreamed you'd stay the way you where, 
But I set free and I trust your vision. 
(I relax I build you up inside my mind.) 

I should have planned a vacation instead; 
At least when family visits they head back again. 
I follow my heart and all the world stands before me. 

(I relax I build you up inside my mind.) 

- Amy & Sylvia Plath

Thursday, April 19, 2012

5 Dinner Guests

If I could invite any 5 people to dinner, who would it be? The first person on that list would be my grandfather. He passed away 8 years ago and I miss him terribly. He was an amazing man. He spent his whole adult life with one leg and battled cancer three times. Even with those trials he raised 6 wonderful children and traveled the world, making friends everywhere he went, started his own business, and was always there when you needed him. I would love to be able to talk to him now about all that has happened in my life. The second person would be Joshua Rosenthal, founder of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has been such an inspiration to me over the passed year and I have learned so much from him. It would be amazing to meet him in person and find out what lead him to do what he does. Number three is an interesting one. It would have to be Sully Erna, lead singer of Godsmack. This one is purely selfish. He is just to darn good looking. He is also amazingly talented. It's not my usual music pick, but talent is talent. Onto number four, Nicholas Sparks. The man has never written a book that I haven't loved. Last but not least, my fifth guest would have to be my soon to be ex-husband, aptly named the x-man. My superhero. My best friend. An event like this would just not be complete without him. While I have to admit this would be the most interesting dinner party ever, I also think it would be a lot of fun. With such a wide array of background, it would be amazing to see how these people would interact with each other. I do know that it would be very entertaining and I would come away have learned much from the evening.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Open Book

"We are all on a spiral path, Growth does not occur in straight lines. There will be challenges along the way, There will be shadows. But they will be balanced with whispers of joy, And baskets of happiness." - The Gift of Yoga by Gena Kenny.
When I see this I realize how absolutely true it is. Life is ever changing, and sometimes all that change can leave our heads spinning. But it's right at the moment that we feel we cannot take another step that something amazing and wonderful happens. I've learned this personally. Being sick can be extremely draining. It is no longer as easy to see the brighter side of things. But there are those moments. Curling up on the couch with my girls, taking a walk in the woods, or just a moment when all is quiet but the birds in the trees. In those moments, all is right with the world.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Learned the Hard Way

There are a couple of thing over the years that I have learned the hard way. The most important one being....STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF. Like most women I know, we put others before ourselves. Ingrained in to my nature was the combination of taking care of others and being fully excepting of other people. For me this meant that there was no one better or worse than me, just different. I was always seeing the good qualities in everyone and overlooking the bad. Combine this with my need to serve, and I all but drained the life out of myself. While it is good to meet people where they are at, at what point do we do this at the sacrifice of who we truly are? At the end of the day I realized that I had completely given of myself to so many others by become who they needed to be at any given moment. I lost sight of who I was. Being flexible is one thing, but you need to stay true to who you are in the process. Do what you love, be authentic, and those who truly appreciate you will love you all the more for it and you will feel so much more comfortable in you own skin. The second thing I learned the hard way is DON'T WAIT TO SEE A DOCTOR. I'm the natural girl. Yes, this is still for me the way to go, and I have found that it has been the most beneficial to me. But there comes a time, when that little voice in your head says that something is just not right. This is the time to go see your doctor. It may be nothing or it may be the biggest event to hit your life. Get a jump start and you'll be much farther ahead. I waited, I knew something wasn't right, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I waited and waited, until one day I woke up and barely knew my own name. The road back up has taken years away from me and my young children. Years I will never get back. These are things I have learned the hard way. If I could go back in time, I would have done differently.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Today' post is on pinterest. Since I've been pinning for awhile I have several boards already in motion. So today I would like to invite you to take a look at my health and wellness pinboard. This is the place where I pin items that I feel may be beneficial to my health. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Dream Day

Today I get to write about what my dream day would be. I actually do this every few months on my own. I find it a great way to connect with where I am at and where I would like to be. It keeps me on track for reaching any goals I have and allows me to reevaluate. Life is ever changing and my dream day will reflect that. So here we go...
A wake up with the sun. Spend the next few hours getting the house cleaned and in order. Fix my self a cup of yerba mate and take it outside where I will work quietly in the garden as meditation. Come in and put in rebounding, yoga and weight bearing exercise. Wake up the children to get them ready for school. Fix a health breakfast for all which we eat together leisurely. Send my oldest one off to school and sit with my youngest while we work on our homeschooling . Send the youngest to work on special interest project of her choice while I go into my home office and see clients for the next few hours. Meet my oldest daughter off the bus and pack a healthy bag of snacks and some paper and pencils and head of to the park or forest preserve and spend the afternoon outdoors in the fresh air enjoying time connecting with my children. Coming home to cook a fresh from the garden meal in my outdoor kitchen. After dinner I would relax with the x-man and maybe a few neighbors while all of the children and dogs run around enjoying the setting sun. The evening would end either around a fire outside or with popcorn and a movie.
There are moments when parts of my perfect day come together and I feel completely at piece. I am still working on coming home full time to my home office, and I haven't quite perfected the exercise part of my day. Some days it all fits in and sometimes not. I hope you've enjoyed this sneak peak into my perfect day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ten Things You Couldn't Live Without

When all else fails, this is my go to food.
Need my yummy real food probiotics
I'd be lost without something to read.
It is an ingrained trait, I must create.
They are the light of my life.
It's so multipurpose. It can wrap you up on a cold day or be laid out on the beach on a warm one.
I have to say, this is the only soap that I don't break out with, and it's great for general cleaning too.
They love unconditionally.
A girl has got to have her chocolate.
Sad but true. I need my meds to function.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Day

"Today I looked in the mirror and...."
Realized that striving to survive is the easy part, striving to create a life is the not so easy part. I give a huge round of applause to all of those out there suffering from auto-immune diseases. I am a perfectionist, I'll admit it. I like to have my days planned, my future planned, the whole nine yards. I work best that way. Disease does not allow you to do that. You never know what each moment will bring with it. I looked in the mirror today, and saw that I spend way to much time looking in the mirror these days. Comparing myself to who I was 20 years ago, or even just last year. I realized something very important, I'm human. I don't need to look perfect or act perfect. I don't need to look at myself and see the great days ahead. Today is a great day filled with amazing possibilities. The irony of this post is that while today I looked in the mirror and saw...., I would encourage you to not look in your mirror today. Just go on out and have an amazing day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Theme Song

Today I've been given the opportunity to pick a theme song for this blog. Wow, that's a tough one. So many choices. It's interesting that what I would pick just for me isn't the same as what I would pick for my blog readers. So in an effort to go out on a limb here I have chosen what resonates with me in the hopes that it will actually be an inspiration for others. This song embodies the journey that having Hashimoto's has lead me through. I did not create this video but I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear 16 Year Old Me

Dear 16 year old me,
It's been a long time. I still remember vividly how strong and healthy you were. Always ready to have a good time. The things I could tell you about what your life is to become, you can't even imagine. I think you already knew all the things that would prepare you for the future. All but one. Believe in yourself. You are stronger than you think. Don't let anyone get you down. Oh, and one more thing. Don't wait to see a doctor!
Love ya,

Vintage Remedies for Tweens

You've heard me talk about Vintage Remedies before. They are a great company. I absolutely love what they are teaching. So I thought I would share that now through Friday they are offering their Vintage Remedies for Tweens curriculum for half price. So if you have been thinking about teaching your children about real food, natural skin care and herbs, this might be the time to check them out. Priced at only $15.00 through Friday. Feel free to click the link on the right. Just use the code "tween" when you check out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

With the Easter holiday yesterday, enjoying family and friends became my top priority, and so I chose to take a slide on participating in the Health Activists Writer's Month Challenge. Today, I am back on track and here to create this poster for you. A version of the old "Keep Calm and Carry On".
It's been my mantra for quite some time. Always keep moving forward. There is always hope when we keep moving in a new direction from the ones that don't work for us. It's is powerful to know that no matter what, as long as we keep moving and striving for something better, we can do great things for ourselves and those around us. So today I encourage you to "Just Keep Moving".

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Health Activist Choice!

Today I have the opportunity to send out a big thank you to Wego Health. I have spent the better part of the past year with the passion to share a message. I have just not been sure exactly how to share that message. When I decided to participate in this years Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge, it was because I knew it would be the push I needed. The topics were already chosen and all I had to do was write. The thing is, I use to be a beautiful writer. I was the person everyone came to when they wanted something written and they were not sure how to word things. Hashimoto's took that away from me. I've been afraid to write. This past week has been amazing for me. It has allowed me to get past the fear of putting myself out there. It also reminds me that some days are good and some days are not so good, but to write anyway. A few days ago I had no words. As a wrote, nothing seemed to come together. While I couldn't figure it out at the time, it turned out to be one of those days. The rest of the day progressed in much the same way. Everything I typed got mixed up. It's on those days that my energy is usually up and I think it will be a good day that my brain decides to fail me. When I decided to start blogging, it was for this reason. To show someone out there the bad days. So for today, as I write about my health, I want to send out a big thank you to Wego Health for giving me the courage and the opportunity to get out there and do what I've been wanting to do for a very long time. Hopefully, I will be able to make a difference in the lives of others as you have made a difference in mine.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Health Haiku

Today we turn health into poetry. I've never been good at poetry. After much thinking and scribbling, I have come up with this...

I wish I had known
That life would be this amazing journey
I would have packed better.


How I see the world
Through the eyes of a  foggy brain
Is not an easy task.

and I different take on the Haiku, a Tanka...

The birds outside are chirping
The sun brings forth warmth and light
The grass upon my feet.
The breeze feels good on my skin.
Nature never judges who I am today.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Today's post it to be inspired by a picture. This picture grabbed my attention unlike anything else. Unfortunately, I could not figure out for the life of me how to repost the image here. I hope you will take the time to click the link and view the image. If I have to be honest, I've rewritten this post at least 5 times trying to think of the words that would express what this picture means to me and how it connects to my health focus, but today I just can't seem to come up with the words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope that for today the picture will just speak for itself.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Write About My Health Because....

Why do I write about my health? I remember when I first got sick. After the official diagnosis of Hashimoto's, I came home and did what everybody does. I hit the internet! Search after search and all I got was a list of symptoms. I wanted something more. Answers! Ideas! I'm not sure what I was looking for but I needed something. After the first year I realized that what I needed was companionship. When everyone around you can't figure out why you are barely functioning, because you look just fine. I wanted to have someone to share my trails and accomplishments with, in the hopes that it would take the stress away from those who share this disease. Sometimes the best thing we can do is have someone to talk to. Someone who understands. Common ground is a powerful thing. I write because I hope that someone out there who gets diagnosed with an auto-immune disease can find my blog and not feel so helpless, hopeless, or alone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Superpower Day

Day 3, Superpower Day. This one is easy for me. SUPER STRENGTH! Actually, this one came so easy to me that I actually took the time to go through some other ideas, but no, with out a doubt it has to be super strength. You see, as a health coach, I talk to many people. Some are battling illness. Some are actually quite healthy, and some fall in between. There is one thing that they all have in common. Fear. Fear of making a change. Fear of taking that next step. All the "what ifs" of the world are sitting on their shoulders. If I had super strength, I would carry their burdens, just long enough for them to see clearly and make a move. A move that would allow them to see past all those things that are holding them back. They could move forward without questions or fears of what lies ahead. They would then have the opportunity to see what life could be like. Yes, super strength it is.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Quotation Inspiration

"It's not who you are that holds you back; it's who you think you're not." - unknown

I'll be honest here. Once upon a time I was the person that had it all together even when I didn't have it all together. Then one day a ran into a brick wall called disease. In the beginning, I just fought to keep it all together for my kids and those around me. I was in survival mode. A constantly reminded myself that I am not my disease. Interestingly enough, as I've gotten better it becomes much harder to except the limitation that I still carry. When I saw this quote, it hit home for me. Don't get me wrong. I don't feel sorry for myself. I think that it's more that I'm hard on myself. I have a message I want to share and I keep thinking that I need to have all the answers so I can save the world. That's not who I am. I realize in this quote, that it is who I am right now, with the progress I've made, the good days and the bad, that makes me real. Maybe it's the person I am today that has something important to share, not the person I think I should be. It's a little nerve racking to be putting my faults out there. Recently, someone very close to me called me out. He asked me if I follow my own advise. That hit home for me in a very real way. So today, I am being me, and I'm moving forward.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Health Time Capsule


Do you remember as a child filling a shoe box with items you loved, to bury in the backyard to be dug up when you were older. A reminder of what life was like way back when. I have to admit, I would only last about a week before I would dig it back up. Today I am revisiting that theme, with a new twist. I am filling my time capsule with my life now as an adult with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It will not be opened until 2112, one hundred years from now, when I am long  gone. A legacy of sorts for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, or maybe just someone passing through. Hmmmm, what do I put in this box. I'll be honest, I've thought about this for days and I am really struggling with this. Do I put in this box the items I wish I'd known before I got sick, the items that have helped me along this journey? Do I put only the good things, or the bad things too? Do I put visions of what I hope my life will be "when I get better"? One thing that absolutely comes to mind is a photo. A photo that I pass be everyday. It was taken on Easter of 2010, almost exactly 2 years ago. Only 4 months after my diagnosis.

Right in the thick of things, when I had no idea how much worse things would get before they got better. When I look at it I remember what it felt like to be in that body and yet we looked so happy, and we were.
The next thing I would probably add would be the wonderful book I found 6 months later, the beginning of the climb back up. Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? I would probably also add a copy of my IIN Program Guide. Without it, I don't think I would be alive today. When all else failed, this helped me put the pieces together, to customize and take charge of my own health. There would also be a bottle of kombucha, the only probiotic that reset my stomach, and coffee, who would have thought that taking up coffee would lead me to find out that I had very low stomach acid. Some dried fruit, nuts and herbs. A sampling of the importance of real foods. These are the many things that would tell specifically of my journey thus far. I look into my life and my health focus. I would also add a book that has yet to be written. A book detailing my journey, the ups and downs, the ins and outs. With stories of the autoimmune diseases before me. The genetic makeup of a long line of disease, and hopefully an end to the line for future generations. A letter, that says we have the power within ourselves to make a difference. Lastly, a postcard, maybe designed by me, that states 'IT'S ALL GOOD!'. We need to let go of the perfect life and complete control. Sometimes, that makes all the difference. Oh yes, and one more thing. I homemade knitted dishcloth. I leave you guessing on that one. When I try to visualize what the person who finds the capsule will think, I hope that they will find that no matter what our struggles, we are fully capable of making the best of our life and making it better. I hope that somewhere in that box will be the Aha! moment for someone who needs it. The right place at the right time. One hundred years from now it will probably look like folk lore, but sometimes that's just what we need.