My Pantry Must Haves for Flares

When flares strike, I’m doing good to make my own cereal. Heat soup. I go for those meals that are easiest and can get me back in my comfy bed or snuggled on the couch with a blanket and pillow the quickest. I seriously doubt I’m alone in this.

I decided to share my favorite my absolute must flare foods that I keep on hand just in case of flares.

In the Cupboard

Soup ~ I try to always have homemade in the refrigerator as it’s so much healthier and usually tastier.  Life happens. I also make sure I have a few cans of soup at all times.

Knorr Pasta Sides Noodles ~ I especially like the Alfredo noodles. I add lots of chopped spinach and tomatoes. Not to mention they often go on sale 10 for $10 and I can stock up.

Oatmeal ~ I always have the instant packs on hand for these times.

Polenta ~ the roll kind. I purchase this at Trader Joe’s. Talk about an easy meal. Slice it and fry. Add berries and it’s done. Delicious!

Kind Bars

From the Refrigerator

Yogurt

Cottage Cheese

Fresh veggies ~ I like to cute up a portion of my veggies for snacking. So I have pepper strips, broccoli, baby carrots and carrots ready to go when I want a snack or if my family drops in. This has proven to be a lifesaver when flares hit.

Berries ~  Alone or mixed with yogurt, in a salad. I love fresh berries.

 

Countertop

Fresh fruit 

 

From the freezer

I always make sure to have a few frozen meals on hand just in case as well.

Tyson Chicken Nuggets ~ I especially like this brand as it’s NonGMO. I use these in my Fried Chicken salad and when I’m having a bad flare day just in a bowl.

Tempura Shrimp ~ this is a family favorite I have shopped Trader Joe’s since I was in my early 20’s. My family loves this dish! When I’m flaring I pull out just one tray, 5 shrimp and bake.

Macaroni and Cheese ~  the one I like has Asparagus and is made with Brie all for less than $4

Siracha Shrimp Bowl

What foods do you keep in your pantry for flare days?? I’d love to hear from you.

Carnitas and Tamales ~ I buy these from my local Marqueta and then freeze a portion of each. I freeze the tamales in packs of two or three. This way they’re ready to go when I need them.

 

 

Things that Bring me Joy

Living with Psoriatic Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, or any combination of Chronic Illnesses, I believe we need to surround ourselves with people and things that bring us, Joy.

Life is beyond challenging with all the medications, flares, dietary changes to stay as healthy as possible. etc…

So here is a list of thing that bring me Joy

Having a nice apartment community to live in. I’ve lived in many different places over the years and having good neighbors really makes a  big difference.

Books I love reading. No matter how harsh my day is I can find peace and happiness in a good book.

Cats seriously is there any happier sound on Earth than a cat’s purr??

I can think of only one. Family  Not just the born you’re into but the one you create for yourself along the way.

Music I need my music.

Plants I have plants everywhere in my house and on my patio. Not only do they make me happy, they clean the air in my little corner of the world.

When I’m flaring and can’t do the things I have to or need to. I turn to DVD’s and Netflix. We all have those favorite movies or shows that no make us feel better.

Cooking.

Writing.

Baking.

I love to create! It brings me so much Joy! Whether its chopping and creating a new recipe, writing a story or making up a new cookie recipe for my nephew.

What brings you Joy??

 

 

A Word on Suicide

Suicide is such a huge issue in our society today.  The rate among people who are living with Chronic Pain is remarkably higher according to a study done by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

I decided to write about this as I have tried to commit suicide in the past. I’m so very thankful that I failed!

I suffer from severe depression and have battled with depression since my early teen years.

I was in high school when I first tried to kill myself.

I’ve been in counseling for a very long time and highly recommend it if you’re feeling depressed, anxious or having any suicidal inklings.

Life is CHANGE.

No matter how good or bad it passes quickly and suicide is too permanent an answer for a temporary problem. I have lost dear friends and my beloved Uncle to suicide.

Now I’m a Mom and though I still have those ideas  ~ I know that suicide isn’t an option for me. I have way too much to live for! I couldn’t do that to my son! Or to my Mom.

Living with a chronic illness, chronic pain makes life more challenging in a lot of ways. At the same time, I feel like I’ve learned to appreciate life so much more.

I don’t just glance up at the gorgeous rainy day as I rush to work. I actually get to open the sliding glass door and enjoy it.

I’ve always been a night owl and now I sit out and watch the stars.

True I’m no longer able to teach Montessori. I have found a new passion though ~ I write. Something I thought I could never do and I dearly love.

Pantry Basics

Whether you’re getting your first apartment or just relocating ~ every move means restocking your pantry to some degree.  I like to keep a healthy, well-stocked pantry so that I can easily make meals and cut down on my weekly marketing expenses.

 

Refridgerator

Milk

Butter

Eggs

Sausage/Bacon

Salad dressing

Mayonaise, Mustard, Tabasco, Hot Sauce

Shredded Mexican, Cheddar and Swiss cheeses

Peppers, Carrots, Celery

Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Mushrooms

All Fruit Spread

Maple  and Boysenberry Syrup

 

Freezer

Chicken, Steak, Hamburger

Swordfish, Crab, Shrimp

2 bags frozen peas ~ for pain relief

Frozen Waffles

Chicken Nuggets ~ for when I’m flaring

 

Cupboard

Peanut butter

Pasta ~ whole wheat noodles, rice

Vegetable Stock

Crushed tomatoes

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce

Fire roasted tomatoes with Green Chiles

Popcorn

Refried Beans

Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Baking Soda and Powder

Oatmeal, Cereal

Dried Fruits and Nuts

Polenta

Grits

Cream of Potato soup

Cream of Mushroom soup

Barley

 

Seasonings

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Taco seasoning

Southern Gravy Mix

Red Chili flakes

Cayenne Pepper

Paprika

White Pepper

Cinnamon

Vanilla, Lemon and Almond Extracts

 

 

Oils & Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Vegetable oil

Non-stick Cooking Spray

Tamari

Low sodium Soy Sauce

Balsamic Vinegar

Apple cider Vinegar

 

Countertop

Fresh Fruit

Onions, Garlic

Bread, Tortillas

Honey

What pantry basics are a must for you??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

things that help me Relax

Being able to relax and enjoy life is so vitality important especially for those of us living with Chronic Illness. Stress can be a major trigger.

So I thought I’d share a list of the things that help me relax.

Reading ~ I love to read and usually have more than more book going at a time.

Gardening ~ even though I have limited space, I love digging in the soil and bringing plants to life, helping them grow.

Cooking ~ I zen out when I’m chopping vegetables or preparing food. My mind frees up and I can see things from more creative angles.

Playing with my cats.

Meditating

Walking in nature

Praying

Counting my blessing.

Spending time with my family and friends ~ talking and playing games.

Taking a bath with Epsom salts to help relax muscles.

Listening to music.

What helps you relax??

 

 

Easter Basket and Gift Ideas

I love doing fun and special things for my family. With Easter, right around the corner, I’ve been putting together ideas for gifts and baskets.

One thing my Mom and I really enjoy is going to brunch at a local restaurant.  I thought I’d get her a gift certificate to pay for this and a bottle of champagne.

I’m making a basket for my brother and nephew. I know they love gaming and watching movies so am doing mostly snack items. Veggie sticks, microwave popcorn, my nephew’s favorite drink and a surprise for my brother. I also got a couple packs of Peeps as they were a favorite of my brothers when we were little. candy.

For my son, I’m doing a card and cash. I want to do so much more at the same time he lives so far away it makes more creative ideas challenging.

What do you for your family for Easter?? I always love hearing new ideas!

Moving Prep 1 Month before the day

At this point, you should have your movers booked, boarding reservations for your pets as necessary and a first 24-hour box started as well as your unpacking box.

Call your movers and boarding facility to confirm your reservations.

Look through your plants ~ many moving companies will NOT accept plants. What are you bringing in your car and what are you giving away? When I moved to Ohio from Arizona I gave my neighbor my lemon and avocado trees.

Go through your pantry and refrigerator and start using your perishables.

Contact your utility and cable companies about services.

Change address  ~  post office, Dr’s offices, credit cards companies, bank and subscription services.

 

 

 

 

I Can’t Afford My Life! Money saving Ideas

Like most Americans, I used to live paycheck to paycheck. Then my health took a nose dive. Seizures, Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis, Migraines, Asthma….

Living with Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain means so much more than the physical issues. The added depression and feelings of isolation and the loss of income.

As a disabled lady, I have had to dramatically change my financial outlook. I get food stamps so that I’m able to buy groceries.

I’ve learned to save for things I want and to buy ahead of time for holidays.

~ Purchase a small collapsible file folder, like the ones used for coupons. Write your purchasing goals on the back. Mine are for things like ~  home furnishing, tattoos,, upcoming holidays, etc.. Put money in the slots each month.

~ Get online coupon help. I use Honey, Wiki, and Ebates. Where Honey.com and Wiki.com will go through and find me sayings on my online purchases, Ebates pays me a portion of my purchases quarterly.

~ Revamp your entertainment. Go to the museum or art gallery on a free or discounted day.

~ Game night with friends and family

~ Cooking with friends or your significant other.

~ discount movie day at the theatre.

Take a hard look at your kitchen,

~ stockpile the grains, snacks, and soups you use the most

~ Buy seasonally.

I also purchase my home cleaning products from Grove. I love this place! Healthy, environmentally safe products art an affordable price.

http://www.grove.co/pantry

If you use this link once you sign up we will both get a $10 discount. The choice is yours but I highly recommend looking into this company.

http://www.grove.co/referrer/1285990

How do you save money?? I’d love to be able to add to this list.

Moving Prep 6 weeks Prior

If you’re moving far away this is the point where you need to stop eating out and use what you have in the fridge and freezer.

No matter where you are moving its time to contact your vet and make arrangements for your pets to be boarded while the movers are working.  I know this seems early but I have had moves where I was unable to board because I hadn’t called early enough and there was no availability.

As I write this I have already made arrangements for my upcoming move.  My vet doesn’t usually do boarding but as it will only be during the day as the movers are working she is going to take my three boys. I made these arrangments last month.

My move date got moved up so I’m now moving in one month instead of three. Needless to say, I will be busy!!! Thankfully it’s a local move so will be much simpler.

 

 

Game Night

We live in such a hurried world. I think it’s important to make time for the people that are part of our lives. In my family, we have set one night a week as  Game Night. In the past when I lived closer to my friends we would do this too.

We make dinner together and then play various games. No phones or electronic games just time to catch up on events and enjoy.

Some of our favorites  include ~

Jenga   Giant Jenga is fun for picnicsGenuine Hardwood Jenga Giant Image 2 of 2

Catch Phrase

Apples to Apples

Uno

Various Card Games

What games do you and your family enjoy?