Living with Lyme Disease

lyme fighting back

After a year of experiencing declining health issues to the point of becoming bed ridden/house bound most days for several months, I finally got a diagnosis of Lyme Disease. I don’t ever remember being bit by a tick, many don’t, but it is believed I have had it for a long time.

For years I have struggled off and on with fatigue and other issues. It comes and goes and I have had many months of feeling fine. However, the past 12 months, many symptoms flared up for some reason and it stumped my doctors in finding the root cause. Severe brain fog (had trouble reading and was forgetting words), severe fatigue, anemic, vitamins and minerals depleted in 4 months time, hormone issues, adrenal fatigue, nervous system issues, neuropathy issues, muscle ache and pain, inflammation and honestly lots more. It was crazy!

Then I had several friends suggest I get tested for Lyme. I never ever would have guessed that and I am truly grateful God brought them into my life! I firmly believe I would still be searching for answers. I had several tests done and it was confirmed as late stage Lyme Disease.

lyme facts

I started several natural treatments about 3 months ago and am seeing huge improvement! I went on a paleo diet, cut out ALL sugar, went on an intense immune building supplement program, started 4 different homepathic meds and found a Lyme literate Chiropractor..  I was operating at about 0% to now about 70% so I take that as a WIN!  Huge improvement but still working to get to 100%.

I am sharing the struggle here for several reasons….

One in hopes of bringing awareness. Lyme Disease is becoming an epidemic with over 300,000 cases in the US. Lyme has been called the great imitator because it can mimic so many diseases including MS, fibromyalgia and so many more. For another, to share the gratitude to the people God put in my life to figure this out. One of my physicians and friend, Becky Cash, my business partner and friend, Bonnie Donahe and Trina who helped get me connected with a local lyme literate doctor . My husband, Clark who held it together for both of us. (and still does) He has sacrificed so much and I love him for his support and understanding.  For my parents, family and friends <3
And finally, because while I like to think I have it all together, I don’t. It’s good to remember we are human, we need each other and life is not perfect (especially on the internet lol).

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This will still be a long recovery and I am so looking forward to healing <3

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aqua aerobics

Splash into Fitness with Aqua Aerobics {guest post}

Summer is in full swing her in Arizona!  It’s hard to believe my boys have been out of school for 3 weeks already.  We have been spending a lot of time at the pool playing.  I hope you are enjoying your summer too!

Recently I connected with another blogger, Kaitlin from AnApplePerDay.com  Her website is full of great healthy living tips.  We agreed to partner up in our love of sharing and encouraging other moms and she was so sweet to write about her experience with Aqua Aerobics.   Thanks so much Kaitlin!  Be sure to hop over to her website and check it out.

aqua aerobics

“My husband will tell you that in a lot of ways, I’m not terribly adventurous. We always have roast beef on Wednesdays – I’m just that sort of person. So he raised an eyebrow when I said I was going to try an aqua aerobics class. I’ve been a runner for years, and pretty methodical about it. But I’ve discovered water workouts are so much fun, I’ve recommended them to all my friends.

There are so many choices. One of the first things I had to figure out – which aqua exercise to try first. There was just a wonderful range of options for a water workout, that I had to just pick one. I could try aqua tai chi, water yoga, kick boxing or the sexy Zumba. There were classes for strength workouts, and if I wanted to get in some cardio, a trainer suggested just treading water for a while. The first time I tried pool boxing, I figured out just how strenuous water work could really be. After punching in the water for a short time, I was really breathing hard, but felt a real sense of satisfaction that I could do it. With the classes, you get the added bonus of a social connection – people are having a lot of fun, are very friendly, and that will keep you coming back because it’s so enjoyable.

Wonderful benefits. Because I had run for years, when I heard about the low impact benefit of water exercise, I was very intrigued. The buoyancy of the water supports around 80% of my body weight, so there’s a tremendous lightness you experience during a water workout. My legs can feel the difference when I do something like lunges in the water – there’s not that clunky impact you get on land. Now the workout doesn’t lead to injuries – it helps prevent them. The muscles, joints and bones are stressed less doing exercises in the water.

A great cardio option. I never imagined that working out in the water could be such great cardio exercise. When I started aqua walking, I could feel one of the powerful elements of working out in the water – resistance. I had to work more to push through the dense water than I did on land, and let me tell you – it’s noticeable. I escalated to aqua jogging, which is at a faster pace than walking, and I was surprised at how quickly my breathing picked up. Instead of the heat and pounding of the running trail, I was soothed and cooled by the water, which made the whole experience wonderful.

A new use for the pool. If I don’t want to go to the gym, I now have a way to use my pool that doesn’t mean swimming (I just never have been that into swimming for exercise). One thing I have done a lot is core work. I will put a towel on the side of the pool, then lean my arms on it, facing the water. I take my legs and pull them up to my chest, then let them relax again, and do that about 15 to 20 times for one set. Then I try for 2 to 3 sets depending on how I’m feeling that day. If I’m having a stressful day, it’s a wonderful break to go out and enjoy the cool of the water for a few minutes, and get some awesome ab work at the same time.

I think my husband believed I would try water workouts one time and then go back to my running routine. He’s been surprised that I have stayed with the aqua aerobics, and now he wonders what’s next – will roast beef will be on Thursday?”

Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.

March Shaklee Special

I love when Shaklee puts out an awesome special and they have really topped them all with this one! 

 

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When you order 50 pv worth of Shaklee products, you get membership for free plus a free energizing smoothee canister.  (new members only)

You can build your own 50 pv by browsing my shop

 

OR purchase one of my favorite kits below that qualify for the special…

Get Clean kit.  {Purchase here}

Vitalizer  {purchase here}

Lean & Healthy Kit  {purchase here}

{After you add your product to your cart, add the membership.  It will be taken off at checkout.}

We have over 100 people, so far, take advantage of this special and join our member team, Project Health.

 

Thank you SO much to all of you who have supported my small business!

When I share Shaklee and my personal LOVE for the products, I get asked these 2 questions the most…..

1.  What is Shaklee?

Shaklee is a 55+ year old company with a 90 year history founded by Dr. Shaklee.  He was a chiropractor who developed the first vitamin and several of our products are even made in the original formula today! They offer 4 product lines for natural nutrition: natural, non-toxic cleaning, weight management/protein smoothies, food grade supplementation and paraben-free skin care.

THIS explains is all waaaay better that I could…. and it’s more entertaining too. lol

2.  What does Shaklee membership mean?

First of all, it means you join my personal member group which means you are totally cool!  lol

Seriously, tho….

Membership is a ONE time (i.e. Lifetime) fee of $19.95 and gives you 15% off ALL products.  You can also get an additional 10% off selected products.  The member is NOT obligated to order monthly or have a minimum amount to order. 

Membership also gets you access to secret sales that go on during the year on top of member discounts.

Super simple and easy to switch brands and give Shaklee a try.  I know you will be blown away, like I was, and love it just as much!

Hurry *** this offer expires March 31, 2014

 

Clean Eating {step 7} Whole Food Supplements

 

Our immune system is dependent on an adequate daily intake of a variety of essential nutrients – AND – most of us do not get all of those nutrients from diet alone.

After several weeks in our beginners series, we have been implementing some healthy swaps by now in our grocery trips and meal planning as well as adding in more water and veggies.  Like I have said before, just make ONE change at a time if it feels overwhelming to you.

This week we are talking about adding in whole food supplements. 

clean eating whole food supplements

 

I recommend starting with a multivitamin.   

 

Nothing replaces a healthy clean eating diet.  We absolutely get the nutrients we need from real, whole foods.

 

With that said, my family and I have been making changes right along with you!  However, I know that even with all of our clean choices, we are not eating perfectly.  I want to make sure that our family is getting the the right amount of nutrients that whole food gives us but I know I don’t hit it all.

 

I would guess that is true for most of us.

 

How do you know if your supplement choice is ‘clean’?

Not all supplements are created equal.  The reason some believe supplements don’t work, is because, honestly,  some don’t.  Many choices on the market are synthetic (man-made) or they start out natural and then are heat processed.  While these choices certainly won’t hurt you, they definitely won’t help either.  Why spend your money on nutrients that never get delivered to your body? 

Read the label.  Artificial flavors and colors are not nutritious and should not be in a vitamin. 

Test the purity.  A super simple test that you can do at home right now is to put your vitamin in a small bowl of lukewarm water.  If it dissolves completely within 30 min then you can be assured it is dissolving in your body.  Another thing to look for is ‘stuff’ floating to the top of the water.  Those could be what’s called, fillers. Yuck!  I don’t want that stuff in my body. 

Look at the this visual to understand the difference.

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For our family, we trust the Shaklee brand.  I know that they use raw ingredients, no artificial ingredients and no preservatives.  Both my husband and I as well as my 2 teen boys take the Vita Lea multivitamin.  Plus adding this to our diet helps keep our immune system healthy and therefore, we are sick less.  My boys have each only been sick with a minor cold once this whole school year.  They are surrounded by kids missing school due to illness and that is just not happening with us. 

vita lea

I also really like this video called Why Supplement.

Do you supplement?  Have you tested your vitamin before?  Do you feel better with it?

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*** be sure to email me at claireshealthyhome(at)gmail(dot)com to get my latest Shaklee special

 

 

clean eating step 6 protein

Clean Eating for Beginners {Step 6} Protein

We are talking protein today with Step 6 of the Clean Eating for Beginners series.

{to catch up on the series…go HERE}

clean eating step 6 protein

Protein is essential to our bodies and should be eaten with each meal!  It helps with the growth, repair and maintenance of all body tissues.  It provides your body with a source of energy and helps fight off disease.

 

These powers are made possible by consuming adequate amounts of dietary protein which supply the body with amino acids, the basic building blocks from which the body can make its own body proteins. 

But, as I have seen as I learn more about clean eating,  not all foods are created equal and the same goes for protein. 

Here are my top favorite protein sources {plant and animal} and what I look for in each one to get it as clean as possible.

1.  Organic Chicken

I personally get my chicken at Costco in bulk.  They have a great selection of organic meat.  Others rave about Zaycon.  I have not tried them…yet.  They are on my list.

2.  Eggs 

Farm fresh are the absolute best.  If you have a way to get your eggs from a farmer, do it! 

3.  Nuts & Legumes

4.  Non-GMO Soy (plant protein)

There are a lot of benefits to a quality non genetically modified soy protein.  I actually drink a non GMO soy protein smoothee daily but that is because I found the purest organic soy on the market (which is extremely rare to find).  Most soybeans are genetically modified and chemically washed. These are not.  Plus they taste yummy and make great healthy snacks for my kids.  I am always looking for more ways to ‘sneak’ in more nutrients in their diet.

{ read more about research on non-GMO soy protein HERE }

If you are a clean eating beginner, I suggest picking at least one protein source and swap it for a cleaner version. 

Which one will you start with? What are your favorite sources of protein?  Do you have it with every meal?

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Shaklee 180 Detox Review

Earlier this month I did the 180 Detox plan and really liked it!  I felt so much better getting off processed foods and refined sugars. 

I have done the 5 day mini-cleanse twice now and am gearing up for the next group. 

So many of you have emailed and messaged me with tons of questions so I recorded some short videos at the end of each day of the detox.  I hope it helps and answers your questions!

Get in on our next group NOW!

Read this post for more info 🙂

180 Detox Day 1

 

180 Detox Day 2

 

180 Detox Day 3

Somehow I forgot to record a video this day.  ooops!

 

180 Detox Day 4

 

 

180 Detox Day 5

Are you ready to feel better too?  
I would love to have you join me on our next 180 Detox {5 Day Mini-Cleanse}
Go here to get your Shaklee 180 Detox products.  After you order you will get access to our daily emails, grocery list, recipes and private facebook group.
{contact me for my latest special… claireshealthyhome(at)gmail.com}
Connect with Claire’s Healthy Home on facebook and pinterest

Clean Eating {step 5} Swap White for Wheat (and other healthy grains)

We are halfway through our Clean Eating for Beginners series!  If you have been following along and focused on just one healthy swap a week you have implemented 4 clean eating solutions.  Personally, I have added in a ton more fruits and veggies to our families meals and snacks, given up soda, started using organic sugar and local honey and stopped using vegetable oil.  I feel pretty good about it so far! 

[ To find the whole series, start HERE

This week we are talking about healthy grains.

I have been told and read that white bread and flour is one of the worst things you can put into your body.  Uh oh.  Guilty of that in our house.  Honestly, this will be a tough one in our house because my teen boys are so used to white bread.  However, there are a few beginner clean eating solutions we can implement and take our baby steps there. 

In the past, I have purchased and used white bleached flour to use for baking.  Now that I know that is definitely not a clean choice, I searched for solutions.

clean eating for beginners step 5

 

Here is what I learned :

Organic grains are best!  If you can’t swing organic grains, then look for whole grains with few or no additives.

Unbleached wheat flour is a better choice.  I like King’s Arthur or Trader Joe’s or Bob’s Red Mill.

Sprouted wheat is best for breads.  Ezekia 4:9 is a good brand. Trader Joe’s has some great options as well.  Your next best is to again look for whole grains with few or no additives.

Ditch the crackers.  We really don’t need these, but if you are like us, you like them every once in awhile for dips and easy kid snacking.  Opt for a multigrain or whole wheat cracker. 

These are good from Trader Joes

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Clean Grain Choices :

  • Wheat flour
  • Brown rice
  • Pasta (with recognizable ingredients)
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Barley

 

Clean Gluten Free Choices :

  • Coconut flour.  I have baked a few things with it and we love it!
  • Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour
  • Udi’s [bread, rolls, etc]

 

 

What is your experience with white and wheat flour?  Have you tried any of these clean grain choices?  What will be your first Clean Eating Swap this week?

Join our Healthy Mama. Happy Life private community for even more tips on clean eating.

healthy mama happy life

Clean Eating {step 4} Oils, Salt + Seasonings

I have found that by just making one healthy swap in our food choices a week is really easy for our family.  If I do it for a year, that is 52 clean eating swaps!  That is amazing to me.  Already we have added in more fresh veggies and fruit (step 1) to our snacks and meals.  We are drinking more water and no pop (step 2).  Last week for Thanksgiving, I used maple syrup (step 3) for our sweet potatoes instead of brown sugar and made a pumpkin bread with honey and coconut flour. 

I am learning all of this right along with you, so I am sure I am not covering everything.  But that is why I am focusing on just the basics for beginners.

This week we are focusing on the types of oils we use for cooking and baking.  Also clean salt and seasonings.

clean eating for beginners step 4 oils

Not Clean-approved oils ::

canola oil

corn oil

vegetable oil

soybean oil. 

I am sure there are others but I think these are the most common.

Vegetable oil has been a staple in our house. I thought it was our only choice when baking.  I have learned that is simply not true.  You can replace it with organic applesauce with equal measurements.

Clean Oils ::

Coconut oil 

Let me just start by saying that I have fallen in love with coconut oil!  If you are not using it yet, this is what I would recommend for this week.

Coconut oil has so many health benefits and is much healthier for you to use when baking. 

I use it to make our stove top popcorn, for baking, and sauteing veggies.  So yummy!

Olive Oil 

Virgin is best to use on high heat for stir fry or sauteing. Extra Virgin is great for dressings or marinade.

Grapeseed Oil

This has a high flash point so it is safe for sauteing, baking or frying.

Reading the label.  If it has words like refined or hydrogenated then it is not clean eating approved.

Salt and Seasoning ::

Celtic Sea Salt

This is an unrefined salt that contains the clean minerals your body needs. Refined or table salt is not good for you. 

Seasoning

The Gracious Pantry has a great clean recipe for an all purpose seasoning and taco seasoning.

Again, read your labels and avoid anything with MSG in it. 

 

So, what do you think you will change this week?  Will it be the coconut oil?

Do you have any to add to the approved or not approved list?  Let me know!

 

Shaklee Black Friday Special

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Members Only Black Friday Sale!

I am so very thankful to all my clients who have supported my business over the last year. It is been such a pleasure helping you discover Shaklee and all it has to offer. As a small token of my appreciation, I am offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $75.00 starting Thanksgiving night at 7p.m. thru 4 p.m. Friday.


Stay home and shop online!  Super easy to cross a few names off your list.

This is a great time to stock up on your cleaning products!  Especially the heavy ones like the laundry ;)  Go in with a friend on your order and save with the free shipping.

Also, did you know that Shaklee makes a great gift???

Here are a few of my personal faves::

Bavarian Chocolate
Mix with warm milk for a healthy and tasty hot chocolate. Gift it with cute mugs or make for a holiday party or for watching Christmas movies.

Get Clean Household Mini Kit
Such a great gift for new parents or homeowners.

 
Get Clean Laundry
Pair with new towels

Shaklee Baby
Gentle Wash & Soothing Lotion

Beauty Mineral Masque
Gift it with a cute head band or wash cloth.  I love this stuff and my teenage boys use it too.

180 Energizing Tea
You can break up the box and gift with a cute mug or cup.  Great for neighbors, teachers, mama friends.  Drink hot or iced.
Want to keep the weight and bloat off this holiday season?

Get the Shaklee 180 Kick Start Detox Kit.
5 Day Mini-Cleanse starting December 9th
Email me to help you customize your plan according to your needs and spending plan 🙂


Hope you each have a blessed Thanksgiving full of gratitude, family, friends and yummy food!
Claire


Not a Shaklee member yet?

No worries!  It’s super easy to join my Shaklee member team. 

1. Shop here

2. Place items in cart

3. Add $19.95 membership to cart

4. Save 15% off prices immediately and for life (regardless of how often you order)

5. Get free shipping on $75+ order (it will come off in confirmation email)

 

5 day natural detox

5 Day Natural Detox

5 day natural detox

The 5 day natural detox is designed to reboot your body.  

It rejuvenates, energizes and removes the toxic junk from your body.  It gives you a kick start to clean eating and/or losing fat.

Reset your cravings, feel energized and maybe even lose a few pounds without going hungry, workouts or cooking.

It is natural, safe and it works.

I am personally a big fan of cleaning out once in awhile.  No one is a perfect eater, so this is a great time to start fresh!

You may have heard my story of life after cancer and how I am building my healthy mama story with clean eating and clean home swaps.  I have purposed to make some swaps in our food choices to help our family switch to more clean eating.  I remember when I swapped soda for water that it took awhile to rid my body of the toxic junk I put into my body from that. 

This detox helps my body let go of the junk it wants to hold on to.  This is NOT about starving yourself.  You will get enough calories and nutrition and food to properly fuel your body and reset it from the junk.

Benefits of a detox:

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A typical day looks like this:

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Here’s what others are saying from our previous detox challenge groups…..

 

 Down 5lbs and 1″ off my waist. The detox was hard but I stuck to it!! Having this group kept me accountable and on track! I am still shocked that I was able to stay away from sugar, mostly pepsi!! for 5 days. I plan to stick with eating lots of veggies and drinking lots of water. I am going to try very hard at keeping sugar out of my diet. I will most definitely do the next detox in December.   ~ Melissa

 

Down 5 lbs as well…yeah. It was a great experience….I now know I can do it, I don’t need the cheetos after the boys go to bed!! Will definitely be interested in the december detox!   ~ Shelley

 

6 lbs down this morning. I feel pretty good! skin is more clear and I am not as achy. I am not craving sugar as much Thank the Lord, especially after eating Halloween candy! I plan on staying off of candy and having 1 shake a day plus 2 clean meals and a few healthy snacks per day. Thanks for the support!      ~ Jenifer

 

I didn’t have the headaches or cravings some people experienced. I didn’t always feel great physically, but emotionally it was the best week I’ve had in a long time. Biggest accomplishment is that I did it – I started it and I finished. Bonus is that I lost 7 pounds and feel like I have a bunch of new friends too.  Thanks to this week I am now down 36 pounds in the last two months. I have a long way to go to reach my goal, but for the first time feel confident I can do it without any medical intervention. I will continue clean eating along with some Shaklee smoothies and energizing tea and supplements.   ~ Elaine

Down 7 pounds, new friends and a more healthy lifestyle.   ~ Carol

 

Down 5 lbs. I made creative salads and snacks were carrots, celery, grapes, apples and tomatoes. I really love all those things so that part wasn’t hard. I am going to continue on with my shakes and now it will be easier to do. I really feel great.     ~ Ginger

 

I didn’t find the week too hard in that I had no sugar cravings and didn’t really miss my diet Pepsi.  I’m down 6lbs and looking forward to continuing with the 180 after this.   ~ Jennifer

 

This was my second detox. It went smoother knowing what to expect. I lost 3 lbs my pants are looser and my energy is through the roof!!    ~ Selena

 

This week was definitely a change in attitude towards food all around! I wasn’t cravings sugar in the least but really wanted cooked food! I also rekindled a love for veggies I had lost somewhere in the past few years! I actually woke up wanting my lemon water and some cucumbers! I plan on continuing with the 180 turnaround plan because I had such great success with the detox! I lost a total 9 lbs and 7 inches around my body! I’ve tried everything including hiring a personal trainer to help me lose weight in the past and never saw results like this!   ~  Christina

 

This week was eye opening. I am down 6lbs but my clothes fit better including my shoes(dress shoes i work at a bank). I feel super energetic.  ~  Hilary

 

This was a great week. I was never starving or felt deprived. If I got hungry I ate some veggies. I have no sugar cravings, I lost 4.2 lbs, and have lots of energy. This was just what I needed to kickstart a healthier holiday season! Oh and I think it has helped me to readjust my portion sizes post breastfeeding, I was eating a ton even after I stopped because that’s what I was used to. I’m glad to get a fresh start.      ~ Alex

 

Lost 5 pounds, but what I love the most was it cleaned my head! Slept easier, worried less, anxiety quieted, glad I did it!   ~ Rachel

When you order your kit, you will get access to our private online facebook group.  It includes a grocery and snack list, tips to stay on track and a support community to answer your questions and encourage you.

Reset Kits: Choose one

Essentials (raw plan protein + multivitamin + fish oil)

Foundations (raw plant protein + nutrition strip [multi, fish oil, probiotic, b, c, e, d + much more!] )

DETOX add in options:

Natural Energy Tea

Herblax

Alfalfa

Liver DTX

Order your detox kit to join us!

email me at claireshealthyhome(at)gmail.com with any questions

OR find me on facebook and message me there. 

Here’s to a healthy body, 

Claire 🙂