• Accept and Adjust

    August 14, 2012

    Anytime Mal and I struggle in life, we always remind each other of something his Grandma used to say: accept and adjust. I’ve blogged about these words a few times in the past, but when it comes to health issues, they mean so much more.

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    My own grandfather had a similar piece of advice when things don’t go your way: life is not fair. Basically, you can get all bent out of shape and dwell on the crappy things that happen to you or you can change your attitude and roll with it. Obviously, I’m going with the second one for this colitis stuff.

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    Things are different for me with UC this time. In the past, I didn’t want to accept it. I didn’t want to accept I had the disease and I really didn’t want to accept it was something I would need to deal with for the rest of my life. And, of course, as I explained yesterday, I didn’t want to accept that some of my favorite things in life (iced coffee, beer, dessert) were possible culprits in making me sick. With that said, I accept that I have Ulcerative Colitis and I’m ready to adjust.

    Breakfast

    Check out what was part of my breakfast this morning! It’s not iced coffee!

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    I accepted I can’t have iced coffee and I adjusted.

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    A reader left a comment on CNC yesterday saying that her husband, who also suffers from UC, drinks Choffy since it’s more friendly on his digestive system. (Choffy is brewed chocolate made from cacao beans.) I had a bag of Choffy in our cabinet from many months ago, so I brewed a batch yesterday afternoon.

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    I chilled it overnight (obviously), so this morning, I poured it over ice and added almond milk.

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    I’m happy to report it’s almost as delicious as iced coffee. Choffy has a rich, dark chocolate flavor, so it’s different than coffee, but a great substitute. I drank it around 7:00 this morning and haven’t had any issues so far. It could be a keeper!

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    To eat, I whipped up a batch of cold “Oatmeal” Minus the Oats, which I made last night and then chilled in the refrigerator in a nearly-empty jar of cashew butter. All I had to do was open it up, grab a spoon, and eat it this morning.

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    In the mix:

    • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 banana, mashed
    • 1/3 cup grated zucchini
    • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

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    Dinner

    Last night’s dinner was ugly and boring, so I’ll add it here at the end of this post. I had a piece of grilled sirloin steak and roasted zucchini with truffle oil, salt, and pepper.

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    Question of the Day

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from your grandparents?

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    { 100 comments… read them below or add one }

    Natalie August 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    My grandma had a mug with this phrase and always used to say “life’s a b*tch and then you die.” Ha! A little pessimistic, but it always reminds me of her dry sense of humor and how she had to learn to “roll with the punches” of life. :)

    Reply

    Tina August 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Haha!

    Reply

    Wendy August 14, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Tina
    Have you tried chicory?
    Here is link.

    http://www.davidstea.com/our-teas/herbal-tea/chicory-dickory-dock-organic

    Hope your feeling well soon

    Reply

    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance August 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    This is a random question, but when you make coffee ahead of time, does it ever lose its punch (caffeine)?

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    Tina August 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Great question! Flavor-wise, it still tastes great, but I’m not sure about the caffeine. I wouldn’t think it would change, but I don’t know for sure.

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    Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings August 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I love that quote accept and adjust! It can be used in so many different areas of life :) I’m glad you found an iced coffee substitute :)

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    Jessica August 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    This is AWESOME! I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I know exactly how you feel. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the ripe old age of 24 & was in denial about it until pretty recently. Your words really help to send the message home…this is my life. I’m going to make the most of it! & it could ALWAYS be worse.

    You’re awesome Tina!

    Reply

    Laura @ My Pink Thumb August 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Being the end of the work day, my brain is a little fried and I can’t think of advice from my grandma’s, BUT, I do want to say… kudos to you for accepting and deciding to adjust your lifestyle to accomodate your disease. I was sort of in your shoes last year although my problem was hives. Hives mysteriously appeared on my body June 2011 and were SEVERE every day for MONTHS… Sept 2011, I was simply diagnosed with chronic hives with no explanation as to why they appear. I just had to learn how to deal. After an intense course of prednisone and other strong anthihistamines, i finally found myself drug free at the end of January and I seemed to be doing ok. Once the weather got hot again though, I realized that my body will no longer be the same. This summer, instead of having severe hives all the time (THANK GOODNESS!), I seem to suffer from some sort of sweat-induced condition. About 10-15 minutes into any workout, the part of my body that is moving most (so my chest/stomach when I am horseback riding, my legs when cycling, my legs/chest/stomach/arms when running) becomes completely covered in red, itchy splotches. The itch is so intense that I have to completely stop what I am doing and relax (or walk) until it goes away. Moral of the story, I was someone who went through HELL last summer, and gained weight because of it. Over the winter, while on drugs to keep me comfortable, I had myself on an intense workout program of 30 min workouts 6x a week which I LOVED… I even did a 10K in May. I had lost the weight and was feeling great! When the itchiness started again once summer hit, I took it hard, but have since learned to accept and deal. Life definitely sucks sometimes, but overcoming obstacles that are out of our control can only make us stronger, better people, right? :)
    (not sure if there’s a real moral to the story, but I just wanted to share mine and let you know that you’re not alone!)

    Reply

    Tina August 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Laura!

    Reply

    alison August 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    @Laura @ My Pink Thumb: @Laura @ My Pink Thumb:

    Hi there, I just saw your comment and wanted to reply. I had a similar situation with the hives. I got a pregnancy induced rash (pupps) about 4 years ago. It was miserable but my doctor was confident it would disappear once I delivered my twin boys. Instead it got worse and for several months I visited different doctors, dermatologists, etc. It was worse when I was hot and was severely itchy. They then told me it was dermagraphic hives (anytime I scratched somewhere on my skin welpy hives would appear) and that all I could was take an antihistamine to manage the itching. I tried acupuncture as a last ditch effort. It worked for me and it hasn’t reappeared for 4 years. I just thought I’d share with you because I know it’s miserable. It might be worth a shot. Good luck!

    Reply

    Katy August 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Did you have any flares while you were on the meds? Can you stay on the meds permanently? Or is it meant to be a short term fix. Just curious. I get not wanting to be on a med for a whole life time. But I was just wondering. It stinks because you eat healthier then probably 99% of the population, and now you have to make even more sacrifices. What are the downsides about being on the meds for longer? In one way I get it, not being on meds is probably the right thing to try for…but ice coffee and beer every now and then isn’t too much to ask. Good luck and feel better!

    Reply

    Tina August 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I didn’t have any flares when I was taking the meds, but when I stopped them, things got weird after about a month.

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    Ilana August 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    As always, you seem to be able to make lemonade from lemons (though, realistically the lemons are probably better for your symptoms vs. the sugar in the lemonade, but you get the point :) Your honest approach, which does not sugar-coat the fact that the changes will be challenging yet still demonstrates a genuine sense of commitment and bravery is truly inspiring. Hoping that it comes easier than you think and you feel better than you’ve ever felt!

    Reply

    Mary August 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    My Poppop always says, “Never look for fair”. Pretty similar, ha!

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    Liz August 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Kudos to you for having such a positive attitude! There are definitely worse things to deal with, but having to give up a lot of favorite foods/drinks definitely stinks – I think the best way to deal with it just how you’re going about it :)

    Reply

    Lindsey August 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The last time I saw my Grandpa before he passed, (unexpectedly–we didn’t know it would be our last time together) I was adjusting to life with a newborn, and expressing concerns about how I was managing time. Grandpa told me that life is going to throw so many changes and challenges our way, and we will always adjust, sometimes without even realizing it. It was the most fitting thing he could have said for our last conversation. He was killed in a motorcycle accident a few days later, and while grieving I repeated what he had just told me, that we would have to adjust to life without him.
    Sorry that got off topic, but I thought this was a great post!

    Reply

    Tina August 15, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I’m so sorry about your grandfather.

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    Christine August 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

    So I have 2 things for you. 1. As far as advice from grandparents. When I started dating in high school and my grandpa found out, he called me up and told it was fine for me to date, in fact, I should date around and see whats out there, but don’t stay with someone until I find someone that loves me as much as he (grandpa) loves my grandma (which is a lot, we always catch them kissing and cuddling). 2. As for your health concerns, its a learning process. My mother has had Crohn’s disease for about 20 years now (since I was about 4) and she has learned that certain foods irritate her system more than others (dairy, berries), certain foods are worth a little pain (really high quality ice cream and blueberry pancakes), and that certain stressful events (holidays and seeing her mother) can cause flare-ups and that she should start taking meds to prevent the flare-up/decrease the severity before the particular event. If you have any other questions on this, feel free to contact me.

    Reply

    Erin August 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I totally hear you, Tina. For a long, long time I didn’t want to accept the fact that I had had cancer (still don’t really like it, but who does!) I just wrote a post today about dealing with “why me.” It’s REALLY hard to accept something that you don’t like, but I found the sooner you do, the sooner you’re able to stop fighting it and starting dealing – like you said. I give you major credit for accepting and adjusting :)

    We joke that my grandmother’s best advice is “hot, soapy water” because she is the biggest OCD clean freak. Her house is sparkling, like – spark.l.ing – and whenever you ask her what you should do, she tells you to clean. It kind of works as a metaphor for life. Sometimes you just have to clean it up to get going.

    Reply

    Whitney August 15, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Random question for you–when you make your Oatmeal minus the Oats overnight, do you cook it on the stove the night before and just refrigerate, or do you just mix the ingredients together and refrigerate? I am loving the oatmeal alternative, but just wanted to make sure I was making it correctly!

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Tina August 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I cook it then refrigerate it.

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    Gianna August 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

    another really great coffee substitute is “Teeccino” if you want to give it a try! It’s actually really delicious and has a very similar taste to coffee.
    http://teeccino.com/

    Reply

    Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger August 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    My grandparents were such a huge part of my life! My grandmother was much like yours (it seems) she was all about moving forward and not dwelling on things you couldn’t change. I always keep our talks in mind when life hands me lemons :)

    Reply

    Stephanie @My Freckled Life August 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I have always adored my grandparents (my grandmother actually passed away about 2 years ago…). Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m the oldest grandchild, but I always felt a special connection to them and would love to go visit them. They used to parade us around to all of their bridge club friends and brag about our accomplishments. Who doesnt like to be bragged about?? haha. But I have to say, the best piece of advice from my grandfather (stated during EVERY road trip we ever took) was “never pass up a chance to go to the bathroom.” You know, it’s actually pretty good advice, if you think about it. haha.

    Reply

    luv what you do August 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    What wonderful advice from your family!
    My grandpa who just turned 100 takes each day as it is says ‘Every Day is My Birthday’. His great attititude reminds me to be thankful for all the good each day has to offer.

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    Zoe at A Single Magic August 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Choffy sounds so interesting! I love coffee but sometimes after drinking too much I get a tummy ache.

    My family totally says the same thing. We as a family are big on visualizing and moving forward rather than being pulled back. Stay strong! It seems like you’ve really got a good mindset this time.

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    kalee @ SoreyFitness August 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I’m catching up on my reader today–I love this post! I have perioral dermatitis which is no where near as bad as UC (which my mom suffered from), but I have had to adjust that I may always have flares of a rash on my chin from it. It is also a stressed-induce problem for me. The best advice my grandparents have given me has been to be nice to everyone you see even if they seem mean–you never know what they are going through to make them like they are.

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    rhonda g August 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    WHERE CAN I BUY CHOFFY AND FRENCH PRESS??? I HAVE COLITIS AND WOULD LOVE TO TRY IT, AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO COFFEE…THANKS :)

    Reply

    Dani August 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I have an ulcer so I also cannot drink coffee. Based on your recommendation I went out and bought some Choffy and a french press :) I was wondering what ratios you used to make that batch of iced choffy (tablespoons of choffy to cups of boiling water)? Thanks!

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    Tina August 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Nice!! I just used the ratio that the package said, but next time I’m going to brew it stronger. It was a little weak.

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    Dani August 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Sorry one other question…since I’m going to also chill it overnight to have it iced, did you press down the piston of the press before refrigerating it overnight or in the morning? I don’t want to over-brew it if that’s a problem with waiting until morning. Thanks again!

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    Tina August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Yep, before. I let it sit for a bit and then pushed it down before chilling it in the fridge.

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    Amelia @ Eating Made Easy September 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Sorry to hear you’re suffering from UC symptoms again, Tina. Yuck. But I love this advice from Mal’s grandma. My great aunt, who is like a grandma to me, says the same: “life isn’t fair, so if you expect it to be, you’ll always be disappointed.” I think of this all the time now. Since becoming a mom I find that my heart routinely breaks for other kids/babies who are born into more difficult situations than my own baby was. Keeping the “life is unfair” truth in mind helps me do what I can to help, then move on. Obsessing over suffering, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, just isn’t very productive.
    Glad you found some yummy iced coffee substitute :)

    Reply

    caren September 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Hey there,

    So sorry about your health issues, but you seem to be managing them very well!

    In terms of coffee alternatives, I’d also recommend Techinno. It’s really good, organic and no caffeine whatsoever. I was shocked at how tasty it is!

    I’m also curious if you’re experiencing any weight gain with all the nut butter you are consuming?

    Reply

    Tina September 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Haha! No, I’ve always eaten this much nut butter! :)

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    Aimee September 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve not met someone who doesn’t adore my grandmother. When asked her secret to gaining such respect and admiration, she said simply, “Even when you don’t feel like going [to a graduation, birthday party, visiting a friend who is struggling, etc…] you dress up, show up, and put a smile on your face. You will be glad that you did.” I’ve adopted them as my mantra for pushing myself be accountable and supportive to the people that I love in my life.

    Reply

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