Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's a Shore Thing

I have just spent the last two days on the beautiful island of St. Simons!! Anna  and I have been at the retreat center at Epworth since Thursday, and it has been an unforgettable trip!! We have shopped, ridden  bikes around the island, strolled downtown at night, gone to the beach, and ridden a Tandem bike!!! Riding a two-seater  bike has been on my bucket list forever!! And let me tell you, it is harder than it looks. You really have to be in sync with the other person. Overall, the trip has been a much needed breather from work and school, though today when I return to "real life" because I have to study. Test on Monday.  -_-...  my UC hasn't bothered me much on the trip due to me monitoring my diet (but only with Anna's help) appropriately. Praise the Lord!!!

It has been a serene reminder of how short life is, how precious every moment is and how in the biggest scheme of things there is always time to take a break. I have to give some of this credit to my father. He is a huge advocate of vacations. He is always asking me when I am going to get away and slow down and focus on something other than work and school. to be completely honest, he put the fire under my butt that I needed to follow through with the original plan. And thankfully it was another wonderful adventure!

Well, check-out is at 11:30 and it's already 10:34 and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet. Time to get up and get dressed and pack up. We've been on island time all weekend but unfortunately, it is time for me to snap out of it... Praise the Lord while it lasted!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Living Life to the Fullest....Regardless {Psalm 150:6}

So my temporary lactose-free diet has turned into more like a not-so-temporary dietary restriction, and now includes: soy, citrus, soda, whole grain, and just about any vegetable besides avocados... Now. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't limiting in someway, BUT, I would also be lying if I told you the overall quality of life is diminished because I cannot eat pizza, cookies, or ice cream. It sucks, oh trust me it does... but I do not base my life's quality on the foods that I can and cannot eat. Now yes, I have lost some weight.. 11 lbs. and counting, but I am doing what I need to do to either maintain or gain... No bobble head here!!! :)

All in all, it has been an adjustment, but a good one. I watch what I eat and I take tons of vitamins. I learned that hard way about not taking those. Apparently not eating vegetables or fruits for a month straight will leave you weak, fatigued, and faint.. lol. But all in all I am thankful. Thankful that I am building memories despite the abdominal pain, continual bathroom trips, and constant fatigue.

Today I learned to drive a stick shift! Yet another thing to cross off of my list. Yesterday I reserved the rental car that Anna and I will take to the beach next weekend, I painted a "farmer's apple red" accent wall in my living room to add a pop of color, my laser hair removal treatments are going wonderfully, my portfolio is almost complete, AND I am making provisions for Ciaro (my pit bull) to be brought to Milledgeville in the event that the house at 1148 sells before I graduate again in May.

These things go to show that life keeps moving....regardless.  Everyday is a gift, every life is precious, and every memory should be cherished.. From my "me" time, to my family time, to my friend time, I get on my knees every night and thank the Lord for it. The people in my life have all been strategically placed in my path and have all had a part in God's plan for me.  This UC has a part as well. Maybe to show me how strong I really am, or make me appreciate what really matters, or to make me want more for my life that to just slum through it... Whatever his plan is for me, its gunna be a doozy! I am thankful and excited about what is in store, and blessed to say that even though I have only been on this earth for 22 years, I am living life to the fullest!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Wonderful World of Lactose Free!

As you can probably tell by the title, I am have a dietary restriction...well, at least for a week-- I have been going lactose free! At least I have been for 5 days (a total of 12 meals); I am aiming for a full week. I messed up with my 3 cheese chicken penne dish from Apple bees and with Mark's lasagna from work today, but other than that.. fully lactose free!

As you can see by the photo, I have acquired quite a bit of lactose free items for my fridge which makes things easier! I cook like I always do, but this time using lactose free ingredients instead!

Now, if you're wondering why I am going lactose free, that has to do with the research that suggests that being lactose free might help with the symptoms of my ulcerative colitis (UC) during a flare up. So.... I've been testing the theory out. After all, the percentage of UC is higher in people with lactose intolerance than it is in people without it.

So far, so good, besides my 3 slip-ups, and the issue of cost that i see in the future. I can't say EXACTLY if the lactose-freeness is working, but I can say that I have been getting better day by day. Also, I am loving the new meals that I have been making and the way that I am forced to experiment and try new things! I always thought that I didn't have many taste buds per square inch, so I honestly can't tell the difference at all when I am eating my lactose-free goods with something else (ie. cereal and milk or a ham and "cheese" sandwich).

Alas, I am about to have some me time! I pulled out my mani/pedi kit, some girly magazines, I am about to slap a mask on my face and finish up this soy frappichino! However, I will be keeping you posted on my progress! Until nest time..ta ta!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Living with Ulcerative Colitis

       On May 22, 2013 I was diagnosed with left-sided ulcerative colitis. But only after a short yet slightly intrusive procedure (colonoscopy), which Harrison graciously escorted me to and from, while taking care of me post-op. :) (BLESS HIS HEART) Colitis is a chronic disease, which means that the condition will never truly go away: you control it with medicine, or if God sees fit, you go into remission. "Colitis" literally means the inflammation of the colon. Because it is only on the left side of my colon, my condition is considered mild. PTL!! Now. Those are the scientific facts. Are you ready to hear how I feel about it???

       I feel... the same. Blessed as usual. Yes, I have something that may slow me down physically at times, but, I REFUSE to let it disrupt my quality of life. I am living like I always have, making different eating choices, but living joyfully and freely none-the-less. I have learned so much about my body, and truly appreciate my "healthier" days. I am praying for and looking forward to being in remission. but, IF I have to take my Asacol everyday for the rest of my life... if that is God's calling for me, then I'm in. I will live abundantly as I always have, regardless! [John 10:10]

  Please stay tuned for health updates and a new post coming soon about my new lactose-free diet!