Fighting Inflammation Ninja Style

Fighting Inflammation Ninja Style

Everybody and in every body has inflammation.  And while some may tell you it’s a bad thing to have, inflammation in smaller amounts is good for the body when it comes to exercise. However, when it starts happening repeatedly due to a bad diet, lack of exercise, or autoimmune disease, it can affect your mood at the very least. In my case my MS or diseases like it such as Lupus, Thyroid syndromes, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome they are all affected by inflammation in the body. Symptoms are triggered or increased when inflammation occurs.  If I were to just focus on one symptom for the sake of this blog, I’ll say that fatigue is one to set in quickly and the most misdiagnosed in an immune system that is chronically over excited. Issues that can raise inflammation include stress, lack of exercise, eating too much junk food, or have long-lasting low-inflammation triggers.

Here are a few Ninja secret (not so secret LOL 😉) tricks that can help with Inflammation

  1. Fitness Time

This will always be my #1. It’s made the most different in my life. Everyone has a different limit and everyone has a different start point. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Yoga , Walking, Running, Pilates, Daily Stretching all can reduce your stress which lessens inflammation. No matter what your level or what your goals you should at least do a low impact workout daily, it will make a huge difference. 

  1. Eat More Leafy Greens

Whole-food plant-based diets are becoming more common place.  It is often called Vegetarian or Vegan. This diet of mostly plant based foods can help lower inflammation. The meats in our society now have become overly processed with hormones and antibiotics and cause more inflammation than they ever did in the past. Eat more greens! 

  1. Gut Health

Taking in health pro and pre-biotics, which is the good bacteria that fights infections, can impact and reduce the symptoms of heart inflammation. You should have a good probiotic like yogurt, pickles, dark chocolate, kimchi, or sauerkraut daily. Pre-biotics can be found in garlic, onions, apples, and bananas 

  1. Laugh and Smile

Last but definitely not least HAVE FUN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!! Have conversations, have social interaction and just genuinely enjoy yourself. Research shows that having good social contact each day can be a powerful anti-inflammatory. So laugh and smile away!!!

Pictures provided by Logomakr, and Pixabay

 

 

Meditation for MS – Why It’s a Yes For Me!

Meditation for MS – Why It’s a Yes For Me!

Mediation seems to have this connotation that you are supposed to sit still in a silence and think of nothingness. Just empty your thoughts and go to a place of blank empty space. Soooo, let’s discuss how that is a myth and let me explain to you why.

Sit still in a room with nothing on. No TV, radio, no outside noises that you can control. Now…think of nothing for a minute, I mean nothing.  Not about dinner tonight, what you are about to do when you finish, not if you can do this exercise, don’t think about why you are trying this LOL, not about picking up the kids or how you are going to pay that bill that’s due….I’ll wait…it’s only a minute, right? AND… if you tried this you will find, if you try it 1000 times, you won’t be able to do it. I  mean, maybe if you are a skilled monk or true ancient Ninja…Who can control your inner chi, then maybe you are the Iron Fist (comic reference for you comic geeks out there LOL) Howwwwever, for us normal folk…your mind is not geared to shut down unless you are sleeping and even then its wanders into a dream land and you are “thinking” about something.

Mediation is really about relaxation and becoming centered. Thinking about one thing, just one thing and not letting your mind wander from thing to thing, as we tend to do, for a certain amount of time.  It’s basically a training exercise for our mind and body that teaches us how to control our thoughts and relax when we need to, instead of spiraling out of control when our minds seem cluttered with EVERYTHING.

A lot of people start off a mediation practice by thinking about their breaking pattern because in a lot of ways it is the easiest things to focus on in the beginning.  Also, relaxation comes with proper breathing technique…in through the nose, filling your belly with air – not your lungs (for a certain amount of seconds) your belly should expand and your chest should not rise when doing this  Out through the mouth – sometimes even making a almost snoring sound from your throat, exhaling all the breath from your belly as it collapses -belly to spine- (for a certain amount of seconds).  Why did I put a certain amount of seconds you ask? Because in the beginning you may only be able to inhale and exhale at 3-5 second intervals, if you keep it up you will find those intervals will increase. Hence; training exercise, but that doesn’t ever sound sexy when you put it with the word meditation, because everyone thinks of meditation as such a zen space, not something you have to work to obtain. In the beginning you may only be able to focus for 3-5 minutes but your build each week and try to get to 20-30 minutes.  Some will even meditate for an hour. I don’t require that much. 30 minutes is my max and 20 is about my norm.  As you progress in your practice of meditation you will change from thinking about breating to thinking on one thing. For some it could be a mantra, or a prayer, or any one thing that makes you feel at peace – this is where that zen state comes in I suppose! It’s really just trying to ensure you stay focused on the one thing you want to think about at that moment and not letting your mind get the best of you and start going all over the place while you breath and relax. I’ve been asked do you sit up or lay down. That is a personal preference really. I like to lay down on my back on a flat hard surface, preferably with a yoga mat, if I am not too sleepy, because that is where I feel my most at peace and my body is in it’s best alignment. But I’m not quite this flexible   😂    =======>>>>>>>>

I’m more of a  lay flat with your arms laying down to your side in a super relaxed state (GOOGLE search the yoga pose CORPSE..super easy to do)

However I think you should do what ever makes you feel the most comfortable. I don’t want to fall asleep when I meditate so that plays a factor. **Side Note: There is a certain type of mediation you can do to help you fall asleep as well that works like a charm if you are one of those people who cannot shut off your brain once your head hits the pillow. I use an app called Calm and it works every time, even though I think I can beat it to the end, it always puts me out. LOL

Meditation has helped me so much with my MS. Crazy as it sounds! My brain fires at what seems like 1,000.000.000 miles a minute. If this is the first blog your have read from me, you may not know this, buy my daughter also has MS.  She was also diagnosed with adult onset ADHD. Her neurologist believes it’s linked to her MS. Like myself we both have our issues with shiny object syndrome or better known to some movie enthusiasts as SQUIRLLLLLLLLL.. I also have a slight form of OCD which my neruo thinks could be linked to my MS since it wasn’t an issue I had as a child or young adult. I’m not knee deep in it, but I have some quirks for sure. So when I’m spinning out of control or if I can’t figure out why I can’t get one thing done before the next thing is in my lap, these are the moments I will choose to meditate. Once I am finished I seem to gain some clarity and can put a list together and prioritize my life for that moment and make it work. It’s strange to say, but I can’t seem to get that list together and make it work until I get that clarity. If I try, even that list will become a sore source of my spinning out of control. Oddly enough if I can put a list together early in the morning I am usually okay. I get more foggy and cluttered as the day progresses. So if the list happens to not get structured before that sets in, my meditation pulls it all back together for me. Kind of like wiping my slate clean and starting over for the day. I call that a win-win! Mostly because before I started this practice I would just be frustrated at the fact I couldn’t get stuff completed at the end of the day because I was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I’m pretty much opposed to taking any drugs unless it’s all out necessary. So this is a holistic approach that keeps me grounded and doesn’t take hours out of my life. Much like my exercising, it’s something that keeps my MS in check and makes me a happier Ninja!

One last thing…And PLEASE always remember this…when you start off you don’t have to be prefect! JUST START… Because there is not right or wrong way… just A BEGINNING to your journey!

Exercise and MS…Why Do I Push So Hard & Why Do I Do It??

Exercise and MS…Why Do I Push So Hard & Why Do I Do It??

Once I heard the words “Yes, this is a confirmed diagnosis of MS.” I am not sure what I felt first, confused, anger or overwhelm. I knew what I was feeling physically, I felt extremely fatigued, my migraines were off the charts in frequency and pain levels, I tingled down the entire left side of my body; top of my head to the bottoms of my foot, and I had this crazy annoying pinching feeling in the back of my left arm and the same feeling wrapped halfway around my ribs; spine to sternum — lovingly known as a MS hug — feels nothing like a hug by the way!! I knew my life was about to change for sure, but I didn’t know how.

They let me know I probably had this disease for years, starting in my mid-20s by virtue of my lesions and some “possible symptoms” I had on and off over the years.  I literally blew them off, because they were sporadic and didn’t last very long. I use to trip over my left foot, just walking on flat surfaces. Jokingly I’d say to myself “I wonder if that is MS” Since my sister was diagnosed, it was always in the back of my mind. Everyone in my family had some kind of ailment or illness except me so my mind always wondered. I also had some muscle spasms and this funny fluttering in my ribs. I just ignored it and chalked it up to nerves, or something else.  I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 40 years old, June, 2012. How did I hold it at bay for so long?  

My doctors told me it was more likely than not due to how I took care of myself.  While I always had a weight issue,  I worked out regularly and took supplements and that is what probably kept me normalized for the most part. They cannot say 100% for sure if that is the case, but I will have to agree with them on this one. Why, you ask?  Six months before my diagnosis my mother passed away. I was devastated and went into a depression of sorts 😞. Not the typical depressing most people think of. I didn’t pull away from everyone, hide in my room, stop talking to everyone and cry all the time. However, I was tired A LOT , and I had no desire for my workouts and couldn’t care less about cooking healthy, fast food was just fine with me! I forgot to take my supplements all the time, so I just stop taking them all together, because it was a chore to get them ready. In those six months I gained about 10 pounds. And almost five months after her death my symptoms kicked in and little by little they increased. Then,  basically six month to almost the date, my symptoms were full blown and out of control and I had my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Now I am not going to lie, I couldn’t get my life together for about two years as far as working out and eating healthy. Mostly because the doctors told me I couldn’t do most of the things I use to do before workout-wise and I felt crazy going to the gyms.  They were worried I’d hurt myself, falling or something of the like so I was discouraged to say the least not to mention I had put on a total 30 extra pounds within three months after the diagnosis. I could no longer distinguish between what was MS and what was me being in pain because of my weight.

 

FINALLY I found a workout program I could do at home, completely modified along with a all natural nutritional shake that MADE MY LIFE. A program I could start from ground zero with lots of accountability and support. If you’d like to know more about that program Click Here And Check It Out! It made all the difference and within only 42 days I had lost approximately 13 lbs and I can’t even remember how many inches, but this is what it looked like~

Click the pics if you’d like to know more about my fitness journey! 🤗

And my symptoms were starting to fade. I wasn’t cured and NO! I didn’t stop taking my preventative meds. Over time I noticed I didn’t have to modify as much and I could do the workouts just like the people I was watching on TV.  Even better I could out do my 6’3″, physically fit Hubbinator (that is my husband, for those who don’t know..😂) And he was still in the Army at that point.🏋🏼‍♀️

It’s been approximately three years since I started this journey and there are days when my MS still gets MSessy 🤷‍♀️and I have a bad day, but it doesn’t last long and I usually know what’s triggering it. I didn’t drink enough water, or eat enough vegetables. I ate too much white bread. I didn’t drink my shake for a few days (I NEVER DO THAT… ANYMORE 😳) but I did in the beginning, because I didn’t realize how much of an impact it had on me. Now my workouts are very intense, I still use some modifications, because I have some bad knees. Being 5’ and 225 pounds at one point in my life, did some damage that I can’t be fixed with weight loss alone and require surgery and I’d rather not do that at this point, so I prefer to modify when needed and wear knee braces. I don’t let ANYTHING hold me back. I push harder than ever, but I do know my limits. When I first started, my limit was working out no longer than 30 minutes MAX. Now I can do 45 minutes and few days  and 60 a few days,  but I can’t do 60 minutes every day or I will fatigue out. I can workout 6 days a week, but I HAVE to have a rest day. I need self-care. Massage and chiropractic care from time to time, because I have slight scoliosis. I listen to my body. I take a week off about once every three months. I also have cheat meals from time to time and enjoy the food I eat without guilt. I just don’t indulge to the point of getting over stuffed. I hate feeling that full; makes me feel sick.    

I have to say this again..I AM NOT A DOCTOR, but I KNOW everyone with Relapsing/Remitting MS and other functional autoimmune diseases should find a healthy lifestyle (actually everyone in this world, but since I’m talking to my Ninjas, you get where I am coming from right now).  Incorporate exercise in your life.  Just like Newtons’ First Law, a body in motion, stays in motion! Conversely, a body that stops will grow weak and more sickly (mentally and physically). You will notice that if you stay immobile and you have the ability to actually move, your muscles will begin to atrophy, meaning they will gradually deteriorate and become ineffective due to underuse or neglect! You need those active endorphins in your life that come from exercise to stimulate your muscles and your brain cells.  It makes your body feel better and your spirit! Start slow, you don’t have to be fit in a day, you didn’t get unfit in a day!! You also don’t have to be the most healthy eater instantly. You didn’t start unhealthy eating habits in one day either. It’s a process and you have to give yourself a break and understand sometimes you have to take things in segments. I can teach you how to do this. If you are interested. You can schedule a clarity session with me! CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE!  

So, that is my story,! It’s why you see me sweating my bunz off at what looks like workouts that may be killing me, but they aren’t. They are just challenging my mind and body to go where it hasn’t before. Even when I was doing the minimal, most modified moves ever, guess what? I was still doing more than the undiagnosed, possibly, healthy person who was sitting on the couch doing nothing! So I rock! 😝 You can too and I know it! Because we all have an inner Ninja waiting to come out!