Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes - Interstitial Cystitis Friendly

What you may or may not know about me is, I am never excited about Summer making way for Fall. I usually have to find a way to console myself. Like with new boots, Halloween Oreos, and all things pumpkin. Recently, that entails lighting my Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle from Bath & Body Works (my all time favorite scent) and baking pumpkin treats. One of those treats just so happened to be a breakfast delight of Pumpkin Pancakes this past weekend. These pancakes did not disappoint and I think I ate about 4 of them. I really enjoy that the recipe only contains 2 tablespoons of sugar and was still really sweet. That coupled with how healthy pumpkin is made this the perfect Fall breakfast!

p.s. Yes, I attempted pumpkin and ghost shapes, but plastic cookie cutters do not belong on hot griddles - not even for a second. Oops! ;)

Pumpkin Pancakes
recipe via Martha Stewart Living

1 1/4 C flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt
1/8 nutmeg
1 C milk
6 T canned pumpkin
2 T melted butter
1 egg

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, stir together milk, canned pumpkin puree, melted butter, and egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and IC friendly pure maple syrup.

Makes 8 to 10.

Enjoy! Xx!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pumpkin Milkshake

My favorite milkshake spot in town is a little drive-thru called Bomber's. It's been around forever. Like, since my grandparents were little. Every Fall, I am first in line for their Pumpkin Milkshakes. They are the best! Last Fall I decided to try and make my own at home, since Bombers is not open for my every late night Pumpkin Shake whim. I was expecting my homemade version to not live up to the Bomber's shake, but it surprised me by being very close and very delicious! Every year I buy the Costco sized pack of pumpkin for baking season and that leads to Pumpkin Milkshakes a couple nights a week. (Hello, my name is Angela and I'm an addict.) If you are a fan of pumpkin, I suggest you try this! It is delightful and very IC friendly.

Pumpkin Milkshake


1 1/2 c vanilla ice cream (Breyer's Homemade Vanilla or Extra Creamy Vanilla are great IC options)
1/4 c canned pumpkin
1/3 c evaporated milk
1/4 c heavy cream
* pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon/ginger, if desired

Whip in blender until blended. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon/ginger (if you can tolerate it).


Xx, A! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Intersititial Cystitis Diet

If you are not familiar with the IC Diet by now take a minute to get yourself familiar. I'll wait here. See it's not so bad. A huge part of managing your IC symptoms and allowing your bladder to heal is following a proper diet. In my latest YouTube video I address some of the items you can enjoy and the items you should avoid (in general) along with some of what I personally eat. I hope you'll take a watch! Below are some general guidelines to follow and a list of some items/brands I find safe for my bladder. I also have a blog post I wrote ages ago on some of the snacks I eat. I will share the link to that below in the "snacks" category. I tend to stick to a very strict IC diet that is safe for even the most sensitive bladders. I also plan to do some grocery haul videos so you can see more of what I eat on a regular basis. The below are the two extremes of the diet - the "safe" and "caution" food basics. If you read the actual IC Diet Guidelines, you will see many "try it" foods that you may be able to tolerate. Always start out with just a little so you don't throw yourself into a full on flare. But don't be afraid to try some of the items. You may be surprised!

IC Safe Foods:
Alkaline Water: Essentia, Eternal, Fiji, or Evian
Dairy: milk, mild cheddar, mozzarella and other fresh cheeses, cottage cheese (check for acids), vanilla ice cream
Fruits - bananas, blueberries, honeydew melon, pears, raisins, watermelon, apples (Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady)
Vegetables - broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, peas, radishes, squash, zucchini, white potatoes, sweet potatoes & yams
Meat/Poultry - chicken, eggs, turkey, beef, pork, lamb. Check pre-packaged meats for nitrates/preservatives, especially lunch meats (I prefer Hormel Naturals or Applegate Farm).
Seafood - shrimp, tuna fish (i.e.Wild Planet Tuna), salmon
Grains - oats, rice, wheat, etc. Check pre-packaged items for preservative or if heavily fortified.
Snacks - pretzels, popcorn (check for preservatives), plain salted potato chips, saltines, Ritz Crackers, Gorge Delights Pear Bars, almond butter, tortilla chips, Carob, items from my IC Snack Attack list

IC Caution Foods:
Coffee - regular & decaf
Tea - caffeinated
Carbonated beverages - cola, non-colas, diet & caffeine-free
Alcohols - beer, red wine, white wine, champagne
Fruits - grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple
Fruit Juices - cranberry, grapefruit, orange, pineapple
Vegetables - tomato & tomato Products
Flavor Enhancers - hot peppers, spicy foods, chili, horseradish, vinegar, monosodium glutamate (MSG), seasonings that contain preservatives (i.e. BHT/TBHQ) or sulfites
Artificial Sweeteners - NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Equal, Saccharin
Ethnic foods - Mexican, Thai, Indian food

Twitter: @icgirlsguide

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and share with me what you would like to see!

Thanks, all!

XX, A!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Interstitial Cystitis Alternative Therapies

As I mentioned in my latest YouTube video, these are some of the alternative therapies I use to cope with Interstitial Cystitis, in addition to the supplements I spoke of in a previous YouTube video. Also, here is a link to the article I mentioned correlating Prelief to wound healing. I highly recommend reading it, as it has some very promising info in it! Below you'll find a list of items I spoke of in my "Interstitial Cystitis Alternative Therapies" video with a link to where you can find them. If you try any, let me know how they worked for you or if you have any tips to share! And don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

IC Alternative Therapies:
Prelief - Walgreen's, as well
AZO/Uristat - Walgreen's/Rite Aid, as well
Hot Hands Hand and Body Warmers
 - Teas: Chamomile, Marshmallow Root, Raspberry Leaf, Catnip

Many of the above items can be found in the ICN Shop. So check it out! I believe a portion of their sales goes towards IC research. It's a great opportunity to support our cause and get products we buy anyway.

Monday, June 16, 2014

No Bake Carob Cookies

This recipe is adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie's "Mocha Chip No Bake Cookies." Since us IC-ers tend to avoid coffee and chocolate, I adapted this recipe to be IC friendly. It's the perfect breakfast treat and can be made sugar free and still tastes good! It's also gluten and dairy free. This cookie is basically perfect. So get baking! 

No Bake Carob Cookies

2/3 cup quick oats 
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp oat flour (or make your own by blending oats in a food processor until they become powder. Measure after blending.) 
2 tbsp carob powder 
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar or xylitol
1/4 cup Rice Krispies 
1/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir well. In a small bowl, combine liquid ingredients, then pour wet into dry and stir until incorporated fully. Roll into smaller balls or put in fridge until a little firmer. (Note: if you use coconut oil, these cookies will harden when chilled, but go back to being soft if left out.) You could also bake these if you wish. I baked some of mine at 375 for about 6-8 minutes and they were still super delish!


Xx, A!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

IC Friendly Tacos

I know it seems nearly impossible to make certain foods like tacos or pizza IC friendly, but it can be done! And I promise they taste good! This is a version of tacos I came up with not long after I was diagnosed to help cope with the loss of my beloved Mexican food. While this recipe doesn't take the place of my cherished Taco Bell (which is debatable as being real Mexican food), it sure helps lessen the sting of losing it. What foods/dishes do you find the hardest to adapt to the IC diet?

IC Friendly Tacos:

2 teaspoons garlic
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons diced chives
1 tablespoon cilantro
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons parsley

shredded mild cheddar or mozzarella cheese
olives, diced
refried beans (unseasoned), warmed
red and green bell pepper, diced
avocado mashed and seasoned to taste with salt and garlic
ground beef
sour cream

Taco shells or tortillas of choice (I prefer to use preservative free shells from the organic section of the grocery store or tortillas. Tortilla Land makes fantastic heat and serve 5 ingredient tortillas).

Brown beef in medium sauce pan. Mix in seasonings and simmer about 5 mins. Assemble tacos with desired toppings. I do not drain my meat so it stays more moist and flavorful. But feel free to drain and just add a couple tablespoons water with the seasoning, if needed.

Always feel free to add anything extra you can tolerate or eliminate anything you can't. With IC you have to get creative in the kitchen and try new flavor combinations. Sometimes it may taste different, but that doesn't mean bad. It's all about retraining your taste buds. While this isn't a traditional taco, my husband doesn't mind them and adds salsa to his and almost can't tell the difference. Which is nice so I can avoid the extra work and dishes of cooking two separate meals.


Xx, A!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Interstitial Cystitis Regimen

Some of you may have watched my YouTube video (or not, but you definitely should as I go into detail about what the supplements are used for) and wished for a written list of the supplements (non- prescription) I take to manage my IC. So I thought I'd put it here in writing so it's a bit easier to see and follow along with. Like I said in the video, many of the brands I take do not contain preservatives or fillers so they are IC friendly - but everyone is different. You may need to try out a few brands in order to find one you can tolerate. I'll provide the links to the brands I use in case you want to start there. I won't go into details on the supplements I mentioned that I want to try because I can't personally vouch for them, yet, but when I can I'll do another video and post my thoughts. For now, here is a list of the oral supplements I've tried and what I currently take:

Vitamin D 5,000 IU - also at Fred Meyer
Fish Oil Supplement 1240 mg - also at Rite Aid
Probiotic 50 Billion live cultures - refrigerated at most local stores
Serrapeptase 40,000 units - also at Super Supplements
Bladder Ease - only found online
Prelief - also at Walgreen's

Previous Supplements:
Krill Oil
*One item I forgot to mention in the video is AZO - which is the over the counter bladder coating medication. This helped me in the beginning, but now I feel as if it makes me worse off when I take it so I no longer do. But it did help for a while and I know helps many with pain, frequency and urgency. Worth a try.

**Again, I am not a medical professional and cannot give medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or naturopath about taking any supplements.

XX, A!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Musings on Life With Interstitial Cystitis

Somedays I forget what being "normal" was like. Eating what I wanted, going where I wanted without thinking about what I was going to eat, not planning my days around meals, and living carefree. I see old photos of myself and ask what would I have done differently if I knew what my future held? Would I have savored every last bite and moment, eaten a lot healthier, taken more chances, been more brave, and lived more freely? When I see photos of friends/family living care free, eating how they please, not worrying how they might feel from one slice of pizza or a glass of lemonade, or making sure they know where every bathroom is I wonder if they are taking it all for granted or know just how good they have it? It makes me sad for them and myself. I feel bad for myself, but then remember: I am unique. I am strong. I am united with the millions who suffer from various ailments around the globe and fight day to day to live life to the fullest despite the inconveniences or discomforts. I have developed more compassion. Realized what is important. Learned to not take anything for granted - not even one bite of a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake (mmmm). This isn't the life I imagined, but there is beauty in seeing what I now do through these new lenses. Some people go through life never truly understanding suffering, pain, sadness, or loss and it may seem like they are the lucky ones. But I believe they have missed out. The growth and connectedness to life and others is rarely learned from an easy existence. So while I'm in denial some days about my IC, I know when I embrace it my whole world opens up and I see things I never did before. Things outside of myself - beautiful things. It's humbled me. Made me slow down. Made me more aware of how fragile every thing in life is and allowed me to truly appreciate how significant the little things are. I cherish those things now. Do you? Do you ever slow down? Do you notice the way the sun feels on your skin? The way an ice cold glass of water feels going down? How blue the sky can be? How delicious a sweet ripe blueberry tastes? How amazing a hug feels at your lowest moment? How soft, warm, and comforting a big fluffy blanket can be on a cold day? What the air smells like in all 4 seasons? The peacefulness of how a bird flies? There's more to life than parties, drugs/alcohol/sex, clothing/makeup/nails/, a six pack and a tan, even traveling to exotic locations. And many are missing out on it. So for all IC has taken it, it has also given me many things. I pray I never take them for granted. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Salmon Patties - IC Friendly

Believe me, a fish patty sounds nasty to me, too - and I grew up eating them. I never minded the taste, but those round bones from the canned salmon made me want to barf! I haven't eaten Salmon Patties since childhood, but sometimes crave that fried fish flavor. So when I came across a preservative and bone free version of canned Salmon at Costco I was beyond excited. With my limited food options, this type of thing thrills me! I researched a few recipes online for how to season and cook them, but ultimately just dove into it myself creating a blend of flavors and yummy ingredients I could enjoy. I even made mine gluten free! I was overjoyed with how they turned out and have made them numerous times now. Below is the only photo I took because I ate all but this guy before I remembered to take a photo. Oops! Oh well - Bon appetite! :)

Salmon Patties - IC Friendly

2 cans Salmon (preservative free)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons flour - I used gluten free
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used 1 whole teaspoon since I love salt)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste if can tolerate) 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 
1 teaspoon fresh diced chives
1/2 teaspoon diced onion (if can tolerate)
pepper to taste (if can tolerate)
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying 

Flake salmon in medium bowl with fork. Mix in all ingredients until combined. Shape patties into whatever size you prefer. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry patties about 5 minutes per side. Since the fish is already cooked, you can fry until any doneness you prefer. I like mine a little crispier on the outside and fried them a couple minutes longer. Enjoy! :)

* Sometimes I like to add in diced bell pepper, corn, or chopped kale (which is what I added in the photo above).

X, A!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Interstitial Cystitis Story - The IC Girl's Guide To Living

My second video is live! It's my personal IC journey. I have jumped in with 2 feet to this YouTube thing so bear with me as I fine tune and create videos to share, encourage, relate, and connect with my IC family. So take a watch and hang in there. We are in this together! Xx, A!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Disneyland 2014 - The Most Magical Time

This February for my nephew's 7th birthday we took a trip to Disneyland with my side of the family. That meant my mom, sister, bro-in-law, and my angels (as I call them) all hopped a plane together and headed The Happiest Place on Earth - dream come true! It all began last year on Mother's Day, when my brother-in-law- agreed to a family Disneyland trip in 2014. That Mother's Day, we surprised my sister with a sign my niece and nephews made that said, "We're Going To Disneyland!" We also gave her a Disneyland gift card to really cement it in. Several count down chains and Disney calendars later our dream became reality! There are sooooo many things I could say about this trip and the craziness of traveling and doing Disney with family and little kids, but I'll just leave you with some of our highlights. This trip was a blessing and we all feel very fortunate to have gone to Disneyland together. Such sweet and happy memories I'll cherish in my heart forever.

Oh you know, just Dax Shepard being escorted around Disneyland.