Avocado Shrimp Salad

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Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp:
1 lb medium shrimp (31-40 Count), peeled & deveined
1 tsp cajun spice
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Ingredients for Salad:
1 medium romaine lettuce (5-6 cups chopped)
½ lb (3 medium) Roma tomatoes, sliced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ English cucumber (or 3 small), sliced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted & sliced
1 cup corn kernels (from 2 freshly cooked cobs)
Ingredients for Cilantro-Lemon Dressing:
Juice of 1 large lemon (3 Tbsp)
½ small bunch of cilantro (1/2 cup finely chopped) or parsley
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt or ¾ tsp table salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
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How to make Avocado Shrimp Salad:
  1. Pat dry shrimp with paper towels & place in a medium bowl. Add 1 tsp cajun spice, 2 pressed garlic cloves, a pinch of salt & stir to combine.
  2. Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp butter & once its melted & hot, add shrimp in a single layer. Sauté 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through. Transfer to a plate & set aside.
  3. Chop, rinse & spin dry 1 medium head of romaine lettuce. You should end up with about 6 cups lettuce. Transfer that to a large mixing bowl. Now add 3 sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, sliced cucumbers, 2 sliced avocados & 1 cup cooked corn.
  4. To make the dressing, start with 3 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice, now finely chop about ½ cup of cilantro & stir that in. Add 3 Tbsp of olive oil & extra virgin has the best flavor. Season with 1 tsp salt & a generous pinch of black pepper & stir that together.

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Source: Natasha’s Kitchen

12 Ways

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12 Weird Ways My Life Changed Because of My Chronic Illnesses

August 26, 2015

I believe chronic illnesses can change your life in some weird ways, but sometimes they are the best ways ever. For instance, I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing people I’ve become such close friends with. My illnesses also make ER trips and words like “eosinophilic” just a part of my life, along with “seizures,” “comas” and “spoonies.” My life has changed in some of the weirdest ways, but it’s a good thing. Here’s a list of some of the weird ways my life changed because of my chronic illnesses…

1. I almost always have selfies from a hospital or ER on my phone at any given moment.

My favorite selfies are when I’m drugged from the medicine I take for my chronic illnesses. Someone should learn to take my phone away, but I think it makes for a good text to my best friend the next day.

2. I’ve lost people close to me.

My experience is that when you become ill, people stay for a little while, but when you can’t hang out and you’re too weak to text them back, they might slowly fade away. That even includes family and close friends. And that’s when…

3. I found the world of spoonies.

“Spoonies” are people who are chronically ill and people who deal with being ill. When you find this world online, it can be like magic. You find people like you, people who enjoy the weird things you do. They take photos of their feeding tubes and their ports like it’s nothing, and for a moment when you have to deal with this world, you could feel slightly normal.

4. I set goals for showering, taking meds, eating and anything else.

My goals might be small to some people, but when you have a chronic illness and take a shower, it can be a big freakin’ deal. It’s hard to shower for me; it’s hard to move, let alone do things that are physically hard.

5. Watching Netflix/Hulu/cable has become a sport.

I can tell you all the good shows out, and I can totally win any trivia game on TV shows and movies. I’m really good at Netflixing. It’s a passion at 2 a.m.

6. I’ve learned people don’t always care when you don’t get better fast.

For some reason, some people don’t understand the chronic part of chronic illnesses. They forget that chronic illnesses don’t get better in three months and with rest, and they forget me. But slowly I’ve found the people who stay and stick with me, and those people are my heroes.

7. The guilt of having a chronic/rare/incurable disease is sometimes worse than the pain from the disease.

I have a few moments when I felt horrid because of the guilt. For example, I couldn’t wash dishes and I felt guilty because of it. I want to be there for my family and friends, and I don’t want to make people do things for me. All the money they spend, all the sleepless nights — I notice them and am really thankful for them.

8. People stare at you for weird reasons all the time.

People with chronic illnesses often get stares, whether it’s because you’re in a wheelchair or using a walker, or you have a port connected to a backpack or a feeding tube sticking out of your stomach at the beach or swimming pool… Or for no reason at all. We learn to deal with the stares and we have to learn to laugh about them. But please don’t stare.

9. I’ve learned to enjoy little moments.

I love being able to wash dishes or go to Target on good days, and I love Facetime-ing with my friends who also have chronic illnesses. You might learn to appreciate the little things, too, like the t-shirts your sister got you and the spoon necklace. The smoothie my sister brought me to bed this morning meant more to me than words can say. It’s all the little things.

10. Doctors might call you more than most friends.

I got a call from my allergist the other day, and even this morning they called me. The nurse totally knew who I was. And this happens a lot.

11. I sleep more hours than I’m awake some weeks and vice versa.

A while back, I slept for a bunch of days in a row. Or wait… I was in a coma (coma joke). But sometimes I can’t sleep. Like this week, my body doesn’t want to sleep unless it’s 2 in the afternoon. But last week I was nonstop sleeping.

12. I accepted that my life from this point on is a chronically amazing one.

I might be chronically ill, but I’m also chronically amazing. I will be sick; it’s just a matter of how sick I will be. But I can find the happiness in each day. I will be OK because I will fight until the day my body has no fight left in it. And even then, I’ll fight like hell. And I know I have some amazingly fantastically people who will fight for me and with me and alongside me.

I’m accepting that I’m sick, I’m ill… That changes me — but in the best way possible. It has showed me so much I never knew. It has shown me how to breathe deeply and enjoy the air. It’s been so amazingly wonderful, and my life is good. I like my life. I like the world I have.

I wouldn’t change my spoonie world for a lot. I was born and my journey is unfolding exactly as it should be. I am strong enough to live in my body.

http://www.themighty.com

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Going Solo

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I don’t remember what going to the restroom alone was like…it’s been so long 🙈🐾❤

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Truffles

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Need:
1 8oz of philly cream cheese
1 regular size jar of your favorite Peanut Butter
1 Bag of melting Chocolate/chocolate bark
1/2 Cup of Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
Nuts (optional)

Do:
Take your cream cheese, powdered sugar & peanut butter in your mixer & whip together using your paddle attachment (you can hand mix if you would prefer) until fully incorporated. Once combined, use your hands to create little balls, about an inch/inch & a half each
Roll each ball in the Graham Cracker Crumbs, then press them into each ball with your fingers (you dont want loose crumbs). Place each of the balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for 1-2 hours (or until solid, if you can wait that long).
Place the melting chocolate or bark in a bowl & microwave for 90 seconds. Stir &, if needed, heat an additional 15 seconds until it’s smooth & creamy. Watch it closely, keep stopping to stir (it burns easily if you use this way).

I recommend using a double boiler, easier & you always get perfect melting chocolate. Using a fork, dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Tap your fork on the side of your bowl to remove the excess. Place back on your parchment lined sheet. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Things I Wish Others Understood About Life With a Chronic Illness

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4 Things I Wish Others Understood About Life With a Chronic Illness

By Mikayla Sabins

Have you ever tried to tell a story but the listener just didn’t find it funny? Where it was one of those “you had to be there” moments? Same. Every day. But it’s not a joke or a memory, it’s about my wellbeing. It’s like no matter how hard I try to explain it, I can’t make you understand how it is. I can’t make some relate by telling them how I feel. This is especially true when trying to explain to someone the mental toll or the “hard days.” But, I’ll give it a try anyways.

To me, there are four parts to understanding the emotional rollercoaster of living with a chronic illness. I am sure for everyone it is different, but for me and many many people, here are some things I wish those around me understood.

1. It’s always there.

I have this disease on my bad days when getting out of bed takes all the energy I can find, and I have this disease on the good days when I am able to run errands, go to work, see friends and cook dinner. It isn’t that the disease went into hiding or went back to where it came from; it is still there. The only difference is that I was able to find energy that day. I was able to feel like the day was worth fighting for. Some days, I am conquered. Some days, I will conquer. I need people to let me choose which days those are and let me have those days. I am in pain and I am weak and fatigued. I am struggling to find words and the thought of food makes me nauseous. It is OK when those days happen, and it is hard for me. I do not like it and I do not want to be conquered that day, but sometimes it happens.

2. It consumes my memories.

This sounds sad, and I do not mean it that way. In fact, it’s really OK. I have been diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since I was 9, but I have had the disease for much longer. That means 11 out of 20 years I have spent with hospitals, doctors, pills, IV’s, pain, fatigue and the horrible scent of waiting rooms. Sometimes when I think of positive memories, it leads to something dealing with my disease. One of my greatest memories for some reason is when my dad came to my Orencia infusion at the hospital for the first time and a service dog came through the doors. He got on the bed and licked my face and I had a picture taken with this pup and my dad. I love this memory I shared with my dad! But, it was in a hospital. Some of the most amazing people I have ever met have been from conferences and hospitals I have gone to because of my disease. These people bring me nothing but joy, yet I wouldn’t know them if it wasn’t from my disease. Some days it is hard that so many of my memories are from disease related things. It is a constant reminder of my problems. So many times I will go to tell a story and I will realize halfway through that it happened in a hospital. This is sad to me. I want memories from going to Disneyland or playing on a soccer team, I want memories of middle school drama and prom. I don’t have those. I don’t have “normal” memories.

3. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I want to say this to everyone in my life over and over. I feel guilty for putting my family through the stress and the tears and the sleepless nights. I am guilty for the times someone has tried to be my friend and I kept saying no to hanging out. I am guilty for the times my mom and I have gone to the mall and I have had to leave early. I have immense guilt because whether they will admit it or not, my disease has affected their lives – and not for the better. My disease has held me back and put me down and I hate that I feel guilty for my health, but I do. Everyone says that’s silly of me, but I know my health has caused stress and sadness. Just know that we who are chronically ill do not want to cancel plans or stress you out, it’s inevitable. And thank you to those that continue to stick around, so many haven’t.

4. The future is scary.

The future is up in the air and that scares me. I have always wanted to get married in my 20s and have a big family, but not only am I unaware if I can even get pregnant; I do not know if I can physically handle it. What if I have two kids and go into a flare? That isn’t fair to my future kids or my future spouse. Is it selfish to start a family? Can I serve my husband the way I want to? My career is in the air. Ever since I was a child my mom has prepared me to choose a career I can conquer in a wheel chair. I have this in the back of my head, but there is no job you can take 25 to 30 days off in a year like I did my senior year of high school in just one semester. I don’t know what is possible, and that’s hard too. There is a chance I will kick-ass at everything I do and there is a chance I will struggle with everything I do. I walk around unsure of my future on a level most able-bodied people cannot understand. To those like me, don’t ever think you’re alone. I am here and I am scared too.

So, to those living around someone chronically ill, try to read this with an open mind and don’t forget next time you’re around someone living with “a little more than just the pain.” We are people too, just with a few more bad days.

Keeping It Together

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“True strength is keeping everything together when everyone expects you to fall apart.”– Unknown

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