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.