A struggle..

January 19, 2013 § 4 Comments

Today is day 17 of my whole 30. I have to say..this hasn’t been too difficult. After dealing with the initial coffee and coconut hazlenut cream cravings I’ve been flying through the days feeling really good. So this post isn’t about a struggle with the challenge..the challenge has been great!

Struggle. I think this is a nice way to put what I am currently feeling. Food allergies have taken over my life..I’ve gone from a gluten allergy to gluten,dairy, msg, sulfites, celery and now it appears possibly nightshade vegetables and maybe eggs? It’s been a hivey week that has left me about to pull my hair out while trying to pin point what’s causing these outbreaks. I have seen an allergist in DC, my general practitioner and my oncologist here in DC and all recommended a diet free from these allergens. Honestly I don’t feel confident in any of their treatments for me..other than my ND. She is awesome and it’s my fault for not seeing her as much as I should. (This is because of $$..she’s not covered by insurance..boo!!) But given this lack of DR support/following everytime I get a bad reaction, which means to me hives on my head, face, neck and body..I have been having bad panic attacks.

I’m trying my best to keep my focus on just getting through each day and doing what I know is best for my body..eating paleo and crossfitting. But I need answers.. from all of the reading I’ve done by various eastern & western docs it seems to me I have leaky gut. My guess is that I was already prone to leaky gut based on a lifetime of digestive issues but that it was worsened by chemo and immunetherapy. I hope i’m right. If I am there is hope that my body can heal.

My oncologist was kind of enough to recommend an allergist in Manhattan at Mt. Sinai who specialized in “escalating food allergies” which appears to be what I’m facing. I decided a few weeks ago it was time to go see this person. If I don’t get the answers there I plan to go back to see Dr. Fasano (leading celiac & gluten & all things leaky gut). I saw him last spring when I was only dealing with gluten allergies..he quickly dismissed thoughts that it could be celiacs and told me it sounded like sensitivity.

Sorry for the details but it’s good to express through writing. So yes I am struggling. Trying to keep my head up and not feel defeated by food. It’s horrible to live in a world where food that’s supposed to sustain you instead hurts you. GRHHHH!!

One of my oldest and best friends shared with me this week that I inspire her. That despite everything I’ve been dealt that my determination always shines through. Thank you Val. I needed to be reminded of that this week.


Love to you all!


Back to Relay..

January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment


Tonight Carlton and I are going to our first Relay For Life of Arlington Committee meeting. I am SO excited– this is the first time I’ll have just been on a committee for relay. I’ve been an event chair or an event manager (working for ACS) but never able to just sit on the committee.  We are looking forward to getting involved in our community and bringing back our old Strides for Sarah relay team. A little background on why I love Relay..

I left college and my life in DC to undergo chemo and immune therapy in my hometown of Syracuse, NY. It also happened to be winter– extra crappy! I lived at home and attempted to work a part-time job for as long as I could..but after one snowy morning that left me in a snowbank off road ..bald mind you, I decided it would be a much better idea to just stay home. It was, I rested and watched a lot of TV. In fact, I watched the Soprano’s from start to finish during those months. As time has gone by I actually can’t remember much of what I did other than TV, walking my then puppy Chaz and talking on the phone to Carlton. I wasn’t involved with ACS or any other charity..

At the beginning of my last month of chemo my sister Becca called me and said she was doing Relay For Life at her college, St. John Fisher. She also mentioned she was doing a team in my honor. That’s all I knew going into that first Relay. So off to Rochester my Mom, Dad Carlton (he drove in from MD) & I went. When we arrived at the gym where the Relay was held I can remember feeling overwhelmed. There were lots of people waiting in line to check in and none of them looked sick at all. I remember thinking to myself..great another place where I’m the only bald one. We all small talked and after we checked in my Becca told me it was time for me to go the survivors party. “What?! Party?!”. Off I went, I was greeted by a delightful young girl who welcomed me to Relay and gave me a gift of a purple survivor t-shirt and a Relay For Life Nalgene water bottle. “This is pretty cool..” I thought. Next thing I knew I was being shuffled into the gym with the other cancer survivors at the “party”. I listened to the eloquent program about survivorship and cancer prevention. A few people spoke about their experience with cancer. Next we survivors we asked to step onto the track and start the event off with a celebratory lap. The music started and off we went. In that moment I felt *ALIVE* for the first time in the 6 months since cancer had entered my world. The track was surrounded by strangers who were all clapping and cheering us survivors on. I no longer felt *ALONE*. One the second lap our caregivers were encouraged to join us so my Mom, Dad, Becca, Carlton & I walked that lap holding hands. The tears just flooded down my face. This beautiful moment was completely life changing. Relay gave me such a huge gift, the gift of Hope. I wore my survivor t-shirt to my last chemo therapy session and felt like a complete rockstar. I would defeat this disease.

Well I beat cancer, I am one of the lucky ones and this year I heard the word *CURED*.  I wanted to Relay again with friends & family to finish the fight against cancer so more and more survivors can hear the same word. I want to give another survivor the feeling I had at that first Relay.

So off we go to our first committee meeting..can’t wait!

If you’d like to join my team or donate please visit:


Until we cure all cancers!




P.S. Whole30 is going awesome..on day 8 and feeling strong. Have had some hives that seem to be related to sulfites. Who knew balsamic vinegar had added sulfites..grhh! I hate allergies!!



First whole30 weekend

January 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

Well I’ve made it through day 5. Hubs unfortunately didn’t make it through day 3.. he was having strange esophageal pain that really turned him off. I’m not sure if it was related to the changes in his diet or coincidence. Sadly he opted for grilled cheese as his big cheat. Since then he’s been mostly back on course and is graciously eating all my foods with me..so his support is much appreciated. Maybe I can get him to join on the next whole30. 

Day 2& 3 were miserable. I was HUNG OVER. I was shocked by how terrible I felt given that I am already gluten and dairy free. Further confirmation that gluten free treats are just that, treats. I over did it over the holidays with gf bread, rolls, cakes and cookies. I PAID for it on day 2& 3. I had migraines and zero energy. I did my first WOD on day 3 and it was horrible. I kept feeling like I was going to faint. I wasn’t even able to push myself which pissed me off big time! I am very competitive with myself and hate not pushing myself..so I was not in a great mood. Luckily waking up on day 4, Saturday morning I felt like myself. I had energy and a personality again…YAY!! I was able to push myself through a tough WOD…all kettle bells 5 rounds of sdhp’s, swings, goblin squats and snatch. (20 each) The time cap was 30 minutes and I thankfully finished in 29:02.. phew! 

Sunday (day 5) has gone relatively easy and I even ate my first meal out while on this challenge. I had breakfast with my oldest friend…she was kind and agreed to brunch at an awesome restaurant here in DC called Busboys & Poets. I had a western omelet and fruit with some green tea. It was so yummy! It was great to get out of the house, eat and be social! We watched the Redskins game with our neighbors and I brought down some SUPER DELISH wings and sweet potato fries. I got the recipe for the wings out of my Practical Paleo cook book that I love. They had a smoky dry rub..everybody loved them. 🙂

Overall it was a wonderful weekend. I was able to coast through food wise, WOD, see friends and spend good time with my hubby. Lucky lady, I am!!!


Here’s the wing recipe (tweaked by me!!) in case you are interested:

2lb chicken wings cut at the joint

EVOO or coconut oil

2 tbs sea salt

1/2 tbs black pepper

1 tbs smoked hungarian paprika

2 tbs chilli powder

1 tbs dry mustard 

1 tbs lemon pepper seasoning

1/2 tb cinnamon

preheat over to 400 degrees f

toss your wings in your oil of choice, now toss in the seasoning– making sure each wing is coated in this delish yummyness. 

Line your baking tray or pans with aluminum foil and seperate out the wings

Bake for 20 minutes and then flip the wings, cook for another 10-15 minutes until they reach 160 degrees.


A great dipping sauce:

1/4 cup homemade mayo

1/2 avocado

6 cloves roasted garlic

juice of 1/2 lemon 

salt and pepper

whisk together!


Enjoy. XO

Day 2

January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

We made it through Day 1 and are stumbling through Day 2. …

I made these delicious mini-frittata’s this morning for breakfast and they were a big hit with the hubs.

Kale/Mushroom/Onion/Bacon Frittatta

5-6 pieces of green kale (de-stem)

1/4 of a sweet onion

1/4 cup of shitake mushrooms

2 slices nitrate free organic bacon

olive oil (1-2tbs)

coconut oil for greasing the muffin tins


I cooked the bacon, then added right in the onions, mushrooms and kale. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Mushrooms soak up fat so I had to add a bit of oil to prevent burning. Then I oiled the muffin tins with the coconut oil and added the veggie/meat mixture. Scrambled 4 eggs with a fork and poured over the veg/meat mixture until 3/4 full.

Baked for 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees f. This made 6 mini frittatas! (we each ate 3)


DELISH …wish I took a picture! I’m going to make them again tomorrow and promise to upload a photo.

The biggest challenge for me right now is coffee. I never knew I could miss my one cup of starbucks with coconut hazelnut creamer SO MUCH. I had a cup of green tea this morning and kombucha with lunch..but need to drink more water. I’m sure that would help some with these kicking caffeine headache.

For lunch I had a salad with peas and green onions, evoo and balsamic,also had some baked plantains and a chicken thigh.

Snack: organic, grass-fed beef jerky

Dinner: Making burgers, left over squash and brussel sprouts (roasted)

Hubs is doing really well. I love that when I get home from work and walking our pup he’s all like, “when is dinner going to be ready?!’. (he NEVER asks this)…then he continued to talk about deprivation. I kindly reminded him that it was the first day and he hadn’t had much different than his normal day. Minus a yogurt and protein bar and add bacon and eggs. Minus a little slice of bread with his salad…drama king ;).

Tonight I go back to crossfit for the first time in a week..so fingers crossed!!

YAY WHOLE 30..28 to go!


Happy New Year!

January 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

It is 2013..I am so excited for what I know will be a great year. 2012 was a pretty great one…so 2013 better look out. After some contemplation and lots of hive outbreaks from wheat/dairy/msg contamination over the last few weeks I decided I needed to jump on the #whole30 bandwagon. My truly wonderful and supportive husband decided to join me. I believe this #whole30 will make a huge impact on my fitness with my crossfit goals and Carlton in continuation of his commitment to exercise and fitness. He may be joining crossfit in a few months! I am so excited to see how he does on this challenge..he’s more of a sugar addict than he knows…but so am I!

Today is day one..and I happen to have the luck of Aunt Flow joining me today as well. Yay for sugar detox and girl problems!!!! LOL (sorry guys!!) So far so good..especailly for not being prepared with many veggies in the house.

Breakfast: 2 HB eggs and organic bacon

Lunch: chcken breast and salad with sauteed vegetables (EVOO & balsamic)

Snack: Fruit Leather (no sugar added)

Dinner tonight will be: Pork Chops, kale & acorn squash

Drinking lots of water(sparkling) and green tea. I tried to choke down black coffee this morning–it didn’t go well. I don’t know how you people do it.

I’ll be checking in every afternoon..the hardest part is going to be not weighing myself! I usually weigh in every morning. Crazy I KNOW…but it helps me stay on track.

Sending you all lots of love and positivity as we move in 2013 🙂

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