RECIPE: DIY Strawberry Fruit “Roll-Ups”

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As you know from reading my blog, I try to maintain a healthy diet for my Pso-Sanity. Well, luckily I’m not much of a sweet person but when I got a craving, I tried to find alternatives to sugary things I liked. I came across these fruit “roll-up” imitations a while ago and they hit the spot. You don’t even need to add sugar!!!

Everyone has their own method to making these at-home fruit “roll-ups” or “fruit leather”. You can google a bunch on the internet but here’s my method. I do not use a dehydrator but if you have one or want to purchase one, I’m sure the process goes along much smoother.

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Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  6 hours
Total time:  6 hours 5 mins

What You’ll Need:

4 Cups of strawberries

Wax paper (O.K. to cook in oven with or you’ll have a melted mess that doesn’t taste good)

Shallow baking tray

Blender

Oven

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to its lowest setting, somewhere around 150 to 170 degrees.
2. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat.

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 8.43.39 PM.png3. Puree the strawberries in a food processor or high-speed blender.

4. Taste the puree and add sugar if needed. (I do not add sugar as I feel like it’s healthy and sweet enough as is.)

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5. Spread the fruit puree in a thin, even layer on the baking sheets. The puree should not be more than ⅛ thick. (To measure, stick a skewer in the puree and then measure how far up the skewer the puree comes.)

6. Dry the puree in the oven until darkened, dry to the touch and pliable, approximately six hours.

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7. Peel the fruit leather off the Silpat or parchment paper and cut into strips

8.Store in an airtight container.

Of course mine sometimes look like broken messes of sticky delicious fruit roll-up pieces but, hey, who cares if it’s healthy and yummy, right!?

“Stay Calm and Spot on” -Brittany xo

 

 

 

Eat Well Wednesdays! Grilled Chicken Kale Caesar Salad ala Nikki

Eating healthy is an important part of keeping your chronic illness under wraps. I find the best way to make sure you’re doing this is to meal prep but not everyone has time for that.

So here’s a super easy, quick, healthy kale salad that a friend whipped up for me. It’s definitely a new favorite.

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INGREDIENTS:

Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
1 avocado
Kosher salt
1 bunch of kale, tough stems removed
Chicken cut into cubes
1/2 red onion
Caesar dressing

DIRECTIONS:

Coat a large pan with olive oil. Toss in thinly sliced onion and bring the pan to medium heat. Toss in cubes of chicken and stir until fully cooked and onion is soft. Remove from the heat and reserve.
In a bowl, toss in the kale, the cooked chicken/onion, chop up one avocado and place inside mix, sprinkle with Parmigiano and add dressing (but don’t soak the salad). Taste and season with salt if needed.

Voila! Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Nikki Bucks, cook extraordinaire and fitness instructor.

What’s Stress Got To Do With It?

O.K. So Tina wasn’t singing about stress but for people with Psoriasis, stress certainly doesn’t feel like a “secondhand emotion”. So, why exactly DOES stress affect our bodies so much?

Well, stress can cause a lot of ailments and discomforts in the body. First let’s look at stress by itself. Stress is an emotional and sometimes physical reaction that your body has in response to an outside threat or demand. When you feel threatened, your nervous system reacts by flooding the body with stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which gear the body up for emergency action. So why does my skin react??

Although medical professionals still have a lot to learn about Psoriasis, they do know that it is an autoimmune related skin condition. It is thought to occur when the immune system turns on the body creating an overproduction of skin cells (that’s why we have those fun white patches of built up skin). I don’t know about you but if my body is going all civil war on itself, It’s stressed out!!

So, if you’re body is like mine and stress is a trigger, here are some handy dandy tips and suggestions:

-Exercise! Get your butt up and get that adrenaline coursing. It will release your happy hormones too!

-Meditate. Put some OHM in your life.

-Put down that bad habit. Alcohol, drugs and even smoking can heighten your stress levels. Cut them back or cut them out!

-Get enough sleep. Catching those needed ZzZ’s helps your body re-energize and relax.

-Reduce caffeine and sugar. These temporary “highs” will send your system into crash mode as soon as they start wearing off.

-Eat healthy. Believe it or not, changing the way I eat helped my psoriasis tremendously.

Is stress a trigger for you? What do you do to help manage it!

 

#MyInvisibleFight : 30 Things About My Invisible Illness

“Be kind, For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato

It’s Invisible Illness Awareness Week (September 28 – October 4) and I’m encouraging everyone with an Invisible Illness to stand up and stand out!

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with Severe Plaque Psoriasis only a few years ago. I try to keep my blog posts light and happy but the truth is, it can be a crippling illness.

When I learned that I would have Psoriasis for THE REST OF MY LIFE I broke down. I sat in bed with my computer open, reading other peoples blogs, for days and cried. Seems silly but it was a huge blow for me. At the time I was COVERED in spots that varied from dry and flaky to sore and bloody. My scalp, my ears, my eyebrows, my neck, my arms and legs, my torso… everything… covered. The only things pretty clear were the palms of my hands and feet and the center of my face (aside from my eyebrows). The hot water burnt my skin and made me bleed, sleeping was impossible because I was consumed by open wounds and sores and the slightest move was painful, my scalp just had CHUNKS of dry skin that i picked constantly… i picked it so much, i wondered if i was picking through my skull! I was tired, I was in pain, I was miserable, people were disgusted by me (even if they didn’t say so), I love to cook but avoided the kitchen because I knew no one would eat anything I made (I would hesitate to eat anything someone who looked like me made!)… it was awful. I saw NO END to my illness and technically there IS NO END; this is something I will have for the rest of my LIFE. But I’m only in my 20’s! I’m single! Who’s going to want to date me??? How can I get jobs like this??? My life was at an all time low. Even the lotions and creams that soothed my skin temporarily had to be saran wrapped on and were sticky and messy and smelly. I saw no end to this…

But I looked at Brooklyn, my little wonder pup, and thought “hm, this little life depends on me and loves me and wags her tail no matter what I look like…” So I started SeeingPspots to vent, to motivate, to help people like me who were in bed reading about their psoriasis for the first time. I decided to be PRO-ACTIVE instead of IN-ACTIVE. Yes, this is a lifelong battle for me. Yes, it’s gonna suck sometimes. But I revel in my skin when it’s clear and I do the VERY BEST at being positive when it’s not. We are ALL fighting battles of various proportions… be the best version of you, always. ❤

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Severe Plaque Psoriasis
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2014
3. But I had symptoms since: 2013
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Accepting the person underneath the skin
5. Most people assume: I am being vain and am not actually suffering
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Facing the day and being positive when I am sad or don’t want to look in a mirror
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Phone
9. The hardest part about nights are: Sleeping
10. Each day I take 5 or 6 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Try everything and am a huge advocate of treating your insides the way you want your outsides to look like
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I wouldn’t change a thing
13. Regarding working and career: My illness has certainly morphed what I want to do with my life in a positive way
14. People would be surprised to know: not much… I’m an open book.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that people are vain and when I’m not pretty on the outside the amount of people who want to be around me decreases significantly
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: wear a bathing suit again!
17. The commercials about my illness: make me a little angry. They can be inaccurate. They show the elation of the patient AFTER being clear but not how we feel PRIOR to clear skin.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: sleeping better
19. It was really hard to have to give up: crappy food. But I allow cheat days =)
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging ❤
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Right now I am pretty clear, so I do whatever I can: cook, work out, take hot showers… little things my skin doesn’t permit when it’s in super flare up mode.
22. My illness has taught me: to not judge a book by it’s cover. The happiest people are sometimes fighting the largest battles.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: grammatical errors
24. But I love it when people: point out MINE lol
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: saying the “Hail Mary” prayer
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I PROMISE, it is going to be O.K.!!! and give them a (gentle) hug
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: that I am stronger under pressure and adversity
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: love me anyway
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I believe in spreading awareness for my illness
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: special =) THANK YOU!! ❤

How The H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks (HELL) Did You Do It???

Due to the OVERWHELMING request from you guys to know what I do to help my skin, (did I mention how appreciative I am for all the love? Well, I am.) I’m dedicating an entire blog to you all and spilling the beans. Please keep in mind *** I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL, ALL ACCOUNTS ARE MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AND YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING WITH ANY MEDICAL CONDITION *** Now that we got the boring stuff out of the way…

Early 2014 I ran into a few life snags. I was stressed, I was eating poorly due to this and I just wasn’t taking care of myself. At All. As my stress increased, i began to see tiny dots on my body. I visited a doctor and he diagnosed it as Guttate Psoriasis (thanks doc. for the $200 bill… you were wrong). He gave me a topical lotion with steroids and sent me on my way.

A month passed and it just got worse. The tiny circles were now giant red, irritated, bleeding circles. Ouch. Not only were they painful but they began to itch and grow plaques (white scales that just fell of all over the house). How embarrassing !?!? But no one was telling me what to do because NO ONE KNEW. The sad thing is… most doctors are not informed enough to inform us. So what do you do? I took charge and researched and researched and then I cried and cried. Was I going to look like this forever? Who will want to date me? Who will even want to be in public with me? So I became pro-active.

AGAIN, DO NOT TAKE WHAT I TELL YOU AS SERIOUS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK OUT A PHYSICIAN.

TIPS:

-Don’t itch. I know it hurts, I know it itches and I know you want to pick those tiny little pieces of skin that seem to just about be falling off. DON’T. Let them come off on their own.

-Showers… luke warm showers. Not hot. And do not cheat and use a loofa (I know who you are). Use a bar of soap or a lather from a liquid soap. I recommend any baby soaps as they have little or no chemicals in them (same for lotions) … also, tar soaps have been amazing to me but everyones skin is different. Trial and error is best. Head and Shoulders for hair or T-Gel for hair. They are expensive so use them only when needed and don’t over wash hair if you don’t need to. Oils are OK!!

-As said above, keep your lotions chemical free. Baby lotions work best for me.

-Washing your clothes seems like a small thing but the detergent you use can affect your skin as well. Tide works best for me so I buy the Tide Pods.

– I don’t know what or if your doctor prescribed or recommended a lotion. If he or she did, i suggest rubbing it on the parts of your body that need it… if he did not then I suggest buying TAR based lotions an rubbing it on and saran wrapping those body parts. It seems ridiculous but it keeps the lotion on and soaks it in overnight. Your skin will be soft and supple in the morning.

-If you itch in the evening, wear gloves. Ridiculous? YUP! but you will be clear as soon as you can spell PSORIASIS.

-KEEP YOUR NAILS SHORT!!! This leaves less room for scratching. I know it sucks ladies but it’s worth it.

-Vitamins!!!! Take a daily vitamin and some vitamin D every day

-Your diet. When I chose to eat better my body thanked me. I limited alcohol consumption, red meat and I started eating Paleo. Paleo is essentially what the “cavemen” ate. Anything you can pick or kill. Fruits, veggies, meats. No carbs or sugars. If not just for your disease, do it for your overall health. You will feel stronger, healthier and happier. I assure you.

-Add exercise!!!! This disease attacks our immune system. Attack it back!!! Eat right, work out, kick it’s ass!!

There are many other things I recommend but will not on my blog. Medications have helped many people, I myself used UV therapy, topical lotions, etc. All things your doctor can prescribe …

BUT my general advice is eat right, treat your skin well. get some natural sunlight. and be positive. it seems simple but im living proof. I love you all and feel your pain. I am here always for any of you. ❤ SeeingPspots

I am ALWAYS available for support and question at seeingpspots@gmail.com ❤ Keep positive, keep hope

The First Sign Of Pspots

First let me start by apologizing for my hiatus. I’m back! Now let’s get to today’s business… shall we?

So we all know my first outbreak was about a year ago. It was misdiagnosed by numerous doctors for MONTHS. This was what ultimately caused my Psoriasis Spiral i.e. not a patch of skin on my body, aside from my face, was not completely covered in red patches. It was awful.

Because of this, I pay very close attention to my body (I look a little like inspector gadget) so that when spots begin to appear I can do my very best to nip it in the bud. I can see them begin to resurface a little now and here’s what I ask myself..

1) What’s going on in my life right now? Am I stressed? How am I feeling?

2) What am I doing to take care of my body? Am I working out? Eating healthy food? Keeping up with my hygiene?

3) Have I changed anything? My lotions? Soaps? Perfumes?

4) Where am I showing signs of Psoriasis?

It’s really important for you to know what’s happening to your body and around your body (or in your head) when you have a flare up. For example, I can tell you I am super stressed right now but I’m not eating terribly, I haven’t changed my diet much and I haven’t changed my regimen. I am showing spots on my face and joints. NOW WHAT???

Kick your butt into high gear and start applying your lotions, stay on top of your scratching and since stress seems to be a personal trigger for me I started meditating again, etc.  JUST BECAUSE THERE IS NO CURE, DO NOT DESPAIR. TAKE ACTION AND MANAGE YOUR PSORIASIS!! IT’S YOUR BODY, YOU ARE THE PILOT.

I’ll keep you posted on my spots and my progress. ❤

Diet and Psoriasis???

I have read that your diet helps your Psoriasis. I found what they call the “Anti-Inflammatory Diet” and minus the red meats, it’s really close to the Paleo Diet (from what I can see). Here’s some information on the diet… Recipes to follow!!! =) 

 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Many individuals benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms.

Foods to avoid because they have been shown to cause or increase inflammation include:

  • Fatty red meats
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Refined sugars
  • Nightshade vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes and peppers

Foods to include in your diet that have been shown to reduce inflammation include:

  • Coldwater fish. Fish contains omega-3 fatty oils. Fish rich in omega-3s that has been shown to reduce inflammation include albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, and lake trout.
  • Flaxseeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. These are plant sources of omega-3s.
  • Colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating foods from the colors of the rainbow.

Nutritious examples are:

  • Carrots
  • Squash and sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale, and broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Mangoes
  • Strawberries and figs