Back Problems – MRI Results

As you probably know, I’ve been struggling with some serious back pain and problems since October. Using this pain scale, I have been at an eight since October. Sometimes I get lucky and might drop to a six, but that is extremely rare. It all started so suddenly, that my physical therapist – I’m in constant physical therapy to help keep my body functional despite my health problems – got quite concerned. She thought it would be a good idea if I went to an orthopedist.

The orthopedic appointment was a nightmare. Continue reading

Kale Banana Smoothie – Recipe

This recipe came about because I had a ton of kale, which I’d never had prior to this diet, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I wasn’t actually allowed to eat raw vegetables, (until I got my gastric emptying results back) so I couldn’t eat it in salads. Then I remembered that everyone was going “green smoothie” crazy not too long ago, so there were probably plenty of kale smoothie recipes out there!  I simply Googled “kale smoothie” and the first result I got was for this Kale Banana Smoothie recipe on AllRecipes by Rice.

I did have to modify the recipe a bit, because it wasn’t a low FODMAP recipe, but it was really easy to modify! I’ll post the recipe how I used it (below I’ll tell you what the modifications were). This recipe makes one serving.

Kale Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups kale (either chop full kale, or just firmly pack a measuring cup with baby kale)
  • ½ cup lactose free milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (to taste)

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice and enjoy!

What did I change?

The recipe originally calls for “light, unsweetened soy milk.” Soy milk is not allowed on the low FODMAP diet! (Nothing that is a product of whole soy beans is allowed.) I use Fairlife milk, which is lactose free dairy milk (recommended by the dietitian). You can use Lactaid, which is another lactose free dairy milk, or you can use nut milks, coconut milk, rice milk, or hemp milk. I use the Fairlife because it’s high protein and all of my “meals” have to be balanced: protein and carbs.

Originally, the recipe calls for flax seeds. I don’t have any flax seeds right now, but I have plenty of chia seeds (and I love them). The serving size for chia seeds is 1 tablespoon, so I was able to do an even substitution. You can add one serving of any of your favorite seeds (for flax seeds, it did say to add one tablespoon).

The maple syrup was supposed to just be one teaspoon, but I like sweeter smoothies. I thought the one teaspoon wasn’t sweet enough, so I added some more. Obviously, this is completely up to the individual. However, pure maple syrup is the only liquid sweetener allowed on the low FODMAP diet! Be sure it’s 100% pure, and you’re good to go!


This smoothie is really thick. Like, really thick! I like thick smoothies; I think that’s how they’re supposed to be. However, if you don’t like super thick smoothies, just add more of you chosen milk product until it gets to the proper consistency.

The smoothie isn’t very cold, which is why it says to serve over ice. You could also blend ice into the smoothie if you would like. I did a little of both last time, and I really liked it! I would say, the ice is a must. However, if you don’t mind room temperature smoothies, then you don’t have to use the ice I suppose… 😛 I will not be joining you for smoothies, ever, however!

FODMAP Diet – Week 2 Roundup

Week two of my low FODMAP diet (and the other changes) has gone interestingly… to say the least.

I started having severe abdominal pains and crippling nausea on Monday, the ninth. The nausea actually started on Sunday, the eighth, but wasn’t as severe as it became on Monday. Continue reading

KmS Mineral Essentials Clear Skin Challenge – The Beginning and Week 1

This product was given to me by KMS Mineral Essentials for trial use. Even though I received this product as a gift, all opinions expressed in this posting are my own, and all results are genuine. I do not receive any additional compensation if you click on any of the links included in this post.

A few weeks ago, I applied for consideration to participate in the KMS Clear Skin Challenge… And I was chosen as one of four women who get to participate! I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity, and can’t wait to share my progress with you!

What is the KMS Clear Skin Challenge?

KMS Mineral Essentials is a mineral makeup specially formulated for people with sensitive skin and acne. Kristi Shannon-Brooks founded KMS Mineral Essentials 9 years ago, specifically to help those of use with “problem” skin. See, most of us with problem skin cannot wear mineral makeup of any kind without it causing even more problems for us; that’s because most mineral makeups contain bismuth oxychloride. Bismuth oxychloride can cause skin irritation for everyone – even those people with “normal” skin can have problems with products containing bismuth oxychloride! So, Kristi created KMS Mineral Essentials, a makeup line with formulas free from bismuth oxychloride, other common irritants, talc, fragrance, gluten, and parabens. The makeup doesn’t just make you look good without irritating your skin, it is also designed to help your skin! Yes, while wearing it, the makeup works on your skin to help reduce various problem conditions!

Continue reading

FODMAP Diet – Week 1 Roundup!

Dan suggested that I do a “weekly roundup” of my FODMAP diet, and I loved the idea! Since I’m keeping a food log anyway, it’s really not that much more work on my part. For this first month of the diet, at least, I’ll be doing weekly updates on how my diet is going, and include what I’ve been eating that week. I will also occasionally post recipes for the meals I’m making so that you can make them too. Of course, the recipes will probably take much longer to get posted, so if you want to see a specific recipe sooner rather than later, comment on that week’s roundup and I’ll move it up the to-do list. (Weeks will run from Saturday through Friday, that way I can post it for you to read over the weekend! Sorry this first one is late, it took me a little while to figure out how exactly to format this.)

Now, without further ado, the diet for Week 1! Continue reading

Gastric Emptying Study Follow-Up

On the 28th of December, I had a gastric emptying study done. Today, the 6th of January, I had my follow-up appointment with my gastroenterologist. It wasn’t quite what I expected…

First of all, let me explain what a gastric emptying study is. While the way they are conducted can vary quite a bit, the premise is the same: eat some food with a radioactive tracer in it, then get scanned periodically to see how fast the food empties from your stomach. For me, I had to eat some radioactive eggs (more like, one very small scrambled egg), then I could eat two pieces of toast with jelly, and I got a shot glass sized amount of water to wash it all down with. After I ate, they scanned me immediately to get a baseline (see what 100% looked like). For the next four hours, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything at all. Yes, four hours; I sat in a pretty, sunny hallway and read a book for four hours, minus the few minutes each scan took. The scanned me again at one hour, at two hours, and at four hours. After I left, they calculated the percentage of food left in my stomach at each scan, then sent the results to my doctor.

Gastric Emptying Study imaging machine

The scanning machine; I stood between the two giant paddles while they were scanning me.

Continue reading