theSkimm, Healthcare, and YOU!

For the month of June, I’ve partnered with theSkimm, for their No Excuses Healthcare Campaign. Ok, two things; first if you aren’t familiar with theSkimm, it is a media company that is changing the way female millennials receive news and information, that was just so happened to be started by two females! You are 100% missing out if you are catching up on the latest news every single morning with them. It has a no BS, super funny, but factual way of delivering the news to you; all before you even wake up. It’s just waiting in your inbox ready for you to open the moment you roll over in your bed and grab your phone in the morning. 

Second, you are probably wondering, what their No Excuses Healthcare campaign is all about. A quick summary: They are engaging their audience on key issues driving the national conversation and challenging US to make ‘No Excuses’ when it comes to being informed. During their last No Excuses campaign, they activated over 1.5 million of their followers across social media to take action. For their campaign around the 2016 Election, they registered over 110,000 people to vote. And for their recent No Excuses immigration campaign, they rallied over 500,000 people to take the citizenship test. They’ve been making huge differences to say the least in getting people involved, spreading the news, having people become more aware, more informed, no matter what political or social stance they take! It doesn’t matter! The goal is just to become informed and to simply care about what is happening in the world. You can read about their No Excuses Health campaign, by clicking here

"Why is this a big deal?

Because theSkimm’s mission is to make it easier to live a smarter life. And this time, we’re getting personal. Part of living a smarter life is taking charge of your own health. That doesn’t just mean going to the doctor. It means understanding what health coverage you have, what you want now, what you would want for your children, and how that matches policies being discussed. And we don’t just want to give you the info you need to understand and join the conversation, we want to give you the tools you need to take action."  Link

So why is this important to me? For starters, you all know that health is a big deal to me, a really big deal. Mental health and digestive health is my life and I openly discuss it with you all whether it be on my blog, Instagram, or throughout my stories from time to time. If you’ve been on this health rollercoaster ride with me, you remember that in February of this year (2017) I decided to leave my full time job and unbegntost to me, my health insurance was terminated before the end of the month from my previous place of employment. I had talked about this happening to me and the situation on my stories the moment that it happened, sharing my feelings, thoughts, frustrations, and was taken back at the amount of responses that I had received from you all that had experienced similar situations or had/have issues when it comes to health care coverage. I was under the assumption and was told that I had health care coverage until the end of the month, yet when I had gone to the pharmacy to retrieve my medication, I was unable to due to the lack of insurance and the prices it was going to cost me. I suddenly had no health insurance and the medication was now costing OVER 1,000 dollars for only a 30 day supply. Unfortunately, this medication is something that I need to take currently every single day as it is preventative care for my migraines. I’ve tried to not take it before, but have continuously ended up in the emergency room with severe migraines that are so debilitating that it takes almost 2 weeks to recover. Secondly, money does not grow on trees and I had NO way of paying for this. 

Naturally, I cried and was at a loss as to what to do. Working for yourself and figuring out health plan is the best one is confusing. (Side note, there are a variety of plans out there: HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, POS, HSHPs and so forth…any sound familiar or just confusing you even more?!). Honestly, would you know what to do? Which plan to pick, truly know which one would be the best for you now, fit your needs, your budget, in the future, for emergencies, medications, doctors and anything that might come your way? 

Having no health insurance flooded my mind with thoughts: What if I had a family? What if this was an emergency situation, how would I pay for it? What if I had a child and the child needed this medication ASAP? I couldn’t imagine how stressful this would be. Luckily, I can get by without taking the medication for a few days as I know what I need to do to take care of myself, but after a few days, I need to take the medication, as my system will begin to develop migraines, anxiety and it will soon spiral out of control. 

It ended up taking over 3 months to figure out a health insurance plan that would work best for my situation. The first two weeks of figuring out a plan were extremely stressful. It felt as if I was being passed along from one person to the next and because I take medication and see my doctors a good amount, I needed coverage fast. Therefore, for the first month, I had to go on a plan in which I had to pay a ridiculous amount for the first month. I would say that it was as high as most people’s monthly rent. However, there was no time to figure things out, wait a few weeks, plan ahead, or give it much thought because I needed medication and I needed coverage fast and this was the only thing that I could do. After that month had past, I was able to switch plans, a plan that is much better, the price is much lower and it works for me now and for the future. Even just typing this is giving me flashbacks and headaches! 

I often wonder I had just been more informed from the start, could this situation have been avoided. Would there been a way to have worked with my previous place of employment, my doctors, or anyone else to have figured out what I would have needed to have done in order to make this transition much smoother. If not, then it is up to me to be completely informed about what is available to me. I share this with you, not to cause stress, anxiety, or to freak you out, but because there are real issues that we must face every single day that we often forget about. There are things such as health care, that you need to be informed about; it affects me on a daily basis and my future greatly and while it may not affect you now, it will in the future; if there is an emergency, if you have a child, visit the hospital, anything! Being prepared now, being informed, and educated, only allows you to take care of yourself better today, tomorrow and the future to come. It is especially important, for us, women because we need to be in control of what happens to our bodies and should be the ones making the decisions when it comes to matters such as our reproductive system. We should have a say in how we want to run our bodies, the medications that we want to take, and the plans that fit our needs the best. This link, is a great read by theSkimm, that talks about statistics, facts, and other information regarding women, healthcare, and our systems today. Its quick and to the point, mainly focusing on reproductive care, trust me! 

I wanted to bring awareness to this idea, the importance of healthcare, the importance of being informed, educated and aware of your options, in hopes that you to do the same to others. Even if you are perfectly healthy now, it doesn't mean that it will not affect you later in life.Little did I know that leaving my full time job with benefits and working for myself, would I end up in the predicament that I was in for a few months. It was stressful, expensive, and left me feeling extremely frustrated and only wanted to learn more information about how our system works as well as make sure people are aware as to how important this is. Living in our world today, we should make it a goal to stay current with the issues that we are challenged with daily so we can either, make positive changes, be informed for the sake of it, and most importantly spread awareness. 

These kind of topics can make your head SPIN, I get it! theSkimm can help you understand everything and break it down for you! They’re Skimm’ing everything you need to know, by going here!

The Heart-Healing Exercise That Will Get You Through A Breakup (MindBodyGreen Article)

The Heart-Healing Exercise That Will Get You Through A Breakup

When you are grieving, whether it's from a breakup, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or whatever it may be, the pain and stress is taxing—not only on the body but on the mind as well. It is extremely hard to endure head on, and the majority of the time we run from the suffering, denying the reality of the situation, overanalyzing every little detail, or begin to foster the worst possible situation that we believe will happen.

Heartache does fade over time, just like physical pain. This is where yoga comes into play, not only during these times of suffering—a daily committed practice is essential to helping you grow and transforms your outlook, self-awareness, and perspective. The breath (pranayama) and the poses (asana) both have proven to be effective in calming nerves, soothing your mind, and helping in treating depression, allowing you to become more flexible and stronger during times of instability.

Yoga teaches you:
1. Self worth
2. Gratitude
3. Focus on the present
4. Go with the flow

I have a committed yoga practice, because of the transformation I have seen it do for my own mental, physical, and spiritual life, but I always turn to yoga during stressful times especially when I feel as if my world is caving in and I am just barely crawling to the surface. The four corners of my mat are where I find solitude, my own rhythm. By focusing on these four points, my perspective shifts from hopelessness and weakness to peace and strength and where I can begin to quiet the chatter in my mind.

Read more of the article that I wrote for MindBodyGreen here! The Heart-Healing Exercise That Will Get You Through A Breakup (MindBodyGreen Article)

Enjoy! xx

Part II: You need to heal your body first

You need to heal your body first. Part I here, incase you missed it.

In the second part I want to focus less on the facts, "the what is" per-say of the digestive health issue someone, aka you, maybe dealing with, and focus on the foods, tips, and offer up suggestions on how to heal and nourish your body from the inside out. I want to take you on a written, tour of my kitchen, my cabinets, fridge, what I keep on hand, always, and let you in on what has helped me overcome these daily struggles and what I do when I am experiencing the worst flares of my life. 

While some of these might not be anything new or groundbreaking to hear, it is just a reminder that self care is so important. It truly affects how you feel, how you carry out your day, and just your overall energy that you put out there. A few of the biggest things that I've learned throughout this whole process, is understand your trigger foods and stay away, seriously, managing stress and finding an outlet to do so is so key, and to not be embarrassed about any of this. Who cares if you bring your own food somewhere, it's better than feeling like complete crap, it's ok to be selfish during this time. 

Read More

Part I: Digestive Health, the what is.

so a lot of you have been messaging me on a daily basis related to questions about certain digestive health issues and how to deal with them when it feel as if you have tried just about everything under the sun and then some, yet nothing works. To be honest, I love these emails and questions the most. I geek out about gut health and read about it all the time, since this is the whole reason as to why I started my blog in the first place and I know what it is like first hand to deal with all of this; leaky gut, IBS, SIBO, distention of the abdomen, you name it, I pretty much have it or have suffered through it. It seems as if more and more people are suffering from these types of problems, yet we are at a loss as to why. What is the root cause? I like to think of these often taboo topics, a silent health issue, because while the person may appear normal on the outside, their insides and mental health is taking a huge hit. 

Read More

Meet: Jeannette of @shutthekaleup

Before we get started, a lot has been happening in my own personal life & I am excited to share just a few of the projects that I have been working on. [I am going to make this short as possible to not take away from Jeannette- more shares to come!} For starters, just as one's personality and life progress, it only seems natural that my blog would reflect this transition as well. Food/recipes of course, will still be of main focus, but so will yoga/wellness/and anything else that life throws at me. To kick things off with this new theme I have decided to do an interview series and what a better way to kick it off with J! [which we will get to the reason as to why I choose her first.] Each month, I want to shine the spotlight on someone that we all love in the community or someone that we might not know too much about. Someone that continues to inspire not only me but others as well each day. Readers would get to see a snapshot of their daily lives plus I think you will enjoy reading each one because I am approaching it with a lighthearted and fun touch.

Read More