6/27/2017

LATELY...


Wow. It's been since January huh?? Well, I'm still here and it's my hope that you are, too. How have you been?? So many of you sweet people have asked me what's been up and I guess I have a few answers to that question. The short answer is that I've been nowhere. I've just been doing my same routine most days - work, cook, eat, sleep, read, hanging out with my friends and my family, managing my house and my health, browsing (and sometimes posting to) social media, and doing some traveling. In the midst of all of that, I guess I've been contemplating the fate of this space a little more than usual. But before I dive into that, let me give you a health update - because that might give you a little more insight as to why it's been quieter around here...

If you recall, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in March of 2016 - March 8th to be exact. You can read more about that here, here and here. Once I was diagnosed, I dove into this unknown, scary, and really uncomfortable world of learning how to control this symptoms naturally (i.e. without medication) through diet and lifestyle changes. Well, I am SO excited to say that my disease is in remission! I actually learned that back in early February, but I honestly didn't believe the results - despite the fact that I had been consistently feeling better and better. It had been less than a year at that point since I had been diagnosed and per my doctor and my research, remission could happen - but usually not that soon. But I had another test last month that yielded even better results, so I believe it now. I am in remission. I remember getting in my car right after I got the results at my doctor's office feeling like I had just won what has mentally and physically been by far the toughest battle of my life. I've always known that hard work pays off, but this honestly takes the cake...

So how did I get to this point in less than a year?? Basically it all came down to consistently eating a clean diet and keeping a self-care regimen. I kept doing the same things I mentioned back in this post - over and over and over again until I started to feel better. I quit eating gluten, dairy, processed sugar, wheat, soy, eggs, and some nightshades- all foods that a Food Sensitivity test yielded I was sensitive to. I didn't and still haven't slipped up not one single time. I meditated every single day (and still do). I formed a team of doctors and specialists that included a naturopathic doctor, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, and a massage therapist who essentially helped me put my body back together. I saw all of them except my naturopath almost weekly for about 8 months. I took (and still take) supplements that supported my thyroid and certain vitamin levels - and I never missed a single day of taking them. I stuck to nighttime routine and sleep schedule most nights. And I prayed every single day that God would give me the strength to not give up (which I wanted to do HUNDREDS of times) and for the energy to get through long days that consisted of work, multiple appointments some weeks, LOTS of meal planning and cooking all of my meals, and all of the other random things that just needed to be dealt with on a daily basis. And He came through as always...

That gets me to how I'm doing and feeling today...

Physically, I feel the best I've felt in a really long time - even before my symptoms were really apparent. Most of my symptoms are gone and have been gone for quite some time. My random anxiety and constant fatigue have dissipated, my hair has stopped falling out, I sleep well most nights, and my intense brain fog has lifted. I can certainly tell a difference in how much quicker I can think and how well I remember things compared to this time last year. I still have heart palpitations when I don't get enough sleep or when I'm a bit stressed about something, but they are far less than they used to be. Because of those crazy things called hormones, I might have one or two migraines a month. I used to have on average 10-15 a month just a few years ago, so one or two is certainly tolerable. I've also seen a lot of positive changes in my skin, hair, nails, and body since I've changed my diet. Do I feel amazing everyday? No. But I'm not 18 anymore either...

Mentally, I've got some work to do. Getting sick like that just freaked me out. And you might imagine that all of the work I've done over the past year to heal has left little time and energy to really enjoy life. Getting well has been like a second full-time job - one that I didn't really have time for in the first place. And while managing the disease now doesn't take as much time now as the healing process did in the beginning, it still takes time. In order to keep this disease at bay, I still have to be very careful about managing stress and what I eat. I still see my chiropractor weekly. I see my acupuncturist and massage therapist monthly. Blood tests with my naturopath are done quarterly. But the food is the biggest part. I've added back some foods into my diet, but might never be able to have gluten, dairy, wheat, soy, some grains, some nightshades, or processed sugars again without the possibility of a reoccurrence of symptoms. Time will tell. But being a foodie and not being able to eat whatever I want has been depressing - literally. Going out to eat, which was one of my favorite things to do, is now quite stressful sometimes. Food really heals- and my journey is a true testament to that. But eating this way is hard work sometimes! I often feel like I live in my kitchen. While batch cooking fresh food a few days a week is so good for you (and the food often tastes so good and fresh!), it can be so time-consuming and tiresome when you don't have help and work full-time. Don't get me wrong - I'm so incredibly thankful for where I am now, but I'd be lying if I were to say that my new routine is always easy. It's definitely not.

With all of that being said, here is where I think I stand with this blog. Now that I am physically healthier, I want to start enjoying life with my leftover energy and free time as opposed to being in front of the computer all day at work and all night to blog- then behind the camera most of the weekends to shoot blog posts. I also want to start exploring that whole "finding your purpose" thing (which is a whole other story). Today, my heart says to keep blogging in addition to working on all of that, but my mind says to stop. However, a week ago, the opinions of my heart and mind might have been the opposite. I still love writing, photography, design, and food, but I've realized that those things can't be a priority anymore until I figure some other things out. I've always heard that sickness can quickly and completely change your priorities and how you think and feel about certain things that you once thought were so damn important and necessary. I now know that to be so true. Anyway, I'm not sure if/when my heart and mind will ever be in alignment, but here is what I will do in the meantime:

I will blog here when I have something really special, personal, and original (to me) to share... 

And by special, it could be a life update or a photography project (food or life related) that I really want to share and have time to tell you about. It might be monthly, every two months... Or I might be go really crazy sometimes and do something once a week or every other week. I honestly have no idea. One thing I do know is that I recently went on trip to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. I'd be crazy not to share the photos I took with you here. So I will - and soon! In the meantime, you can always find me on Instagram. I do often share little updates there. I sometimes also do random InstaStories of things I love, things I'm doing, and recipes that I'm making. It's easier for now (and often more fun!) to share things with you there.

So that's what's up for now! I want to thank each and every single one of you who have reached out to me to see if I'm still around. As you can see, this last year has been a little tough, so getting lovely messages from people I've never even met before were double heartfelt and I'm so appreciative... :)



Dress: Max Studio (under $100 and is so comfy!) | Coin Necklace: vintage, similar here | Shoes: Topshop (old), similar here & here | Sunglasses: Banana Republic (old), similar here

Images by my amazing brother

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