IBS food allergy & sensitivity test results

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We sure did. It’s been extra nice to skip the Black Friday madness, sleep in and enjoy a toasted coconut almond milk latte by the fireplace.

Last week I got an email with the food allergy/sensitivity test results. Seeing it for the first time was like connecting all the dots to my lifelong IBS symptoms. It made so much sense, I wasn’t even mad to find out that some of my favorite, healthy foods were poisoning my system.

I was actually relieved to finally have something on paper telling me the daily pain and frustration was not all in my head. It also explained why I was unsuccessful in pinpointing the culprit so many times. That is because there are multiple culprits.

While I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able eat anything but green jello for the rest of my life, turns out, I’m actually allergic to green jello.

We did a blood test on 96 most common foods. It was not the average testing the typical allergist tests for, it was specific to IgA, IgG & IgE immunoglobulin testing. (I had to google that word) There was also a stool test that I can say was one of the least glamorous things I’ve done in my lifetime. But I’m so happy I did. I’ll share those results at the end of this post. For now, here are the food results.

Foods I am highly sensitive to:

  • Banana
  • Cranberry
  • Lemon (grew up with 2 lemon trees, my parents and grandmas)
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Mushroom

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Foods I am allergic to:

  • Milk only (not cultured milk products like cheddar cheese, and not lactose, that I can have)
  • Beef

(Chart colors are: white and grey = sensitivity, black = allergy. Sensitivities below 2, are okay for now.)

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Borderline sensitive foods: 

(Not cutting them out yet, but if symptoms don’t improve we might)

  • Eggs
  • Avocado

Common allergenic foods that I am NOT sensitive or allergic to:

  • Gluten
  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Nuts, corn, legumes & grains
  • Seafood & shellfish
  • Coffee was also tested and I am not allergic or sensitive to it. LONG LIVE COFFEE!!!!!!!

Bananas & lemon were a daily staple and I practically grew up on beef, so those alone made so much sense. But really, who in the the heck is allergic to beef? I had no idea that was a thing. Ha! Yeah, no green jello!

Edited to add: Some reactions to foods are not immediate. They can take up to several days to become symptomatic. For example, if I had a chicken salad for lunch and at dinner time, I don’t feel well, I used to blame the chicken salad. When in reality, it was the mushrooms in the beef pasta dish I had 2 nights ago. Lovely, uh.

Over the years I cut out onions, dairy & gluten because the internet told me those are the most common things. And to some point, they are. But those efforts obviously failed and only fueled my frustration. When Mike heard about an IBS clinic that claims to cure IBS, we thought it was worth looking into and that’s how we ended up here.

I am very optimistic this is the key to healing my gut and fingers crossed curing IBS. 6 days after cutting out the sensitive & allergic foods, I am already feeling so much better. Except for the splash of canned milk I put in my coffee, Thanksgiving at grandma’s house. I was weirdly happy to finally be able to recognize the reaction and know exactly what caused it.

In my head, I saw my test results and heard the words “So it is written, so shall it be done” and a smile crossed my lips……fade to black.

The other thing we’ll need to address and tackle is the Candida (yeast) overgrowth in the gut. On a scale from 1-4, 4 being the highest, I’m a 2. So it’s not that bad, but we need to get it under control. The Candida diet is overwhelming and way too restrictive for me, so I’m still looking into options for it.

Anyone else have gut issues or IBS? 

Do you have food sensitivities or allergies? What are they?

If you have tried the Candida diet or other ways to cure it, please leave your best tips.


Kombucha contains alcohol? And other random stuff

Good Sunday morning to you!! There are a bunch of random things in my brain and the boys are still snoozing so I figured I’d chat with you guys.

First things first, Kombucha contains alcohol?? Is this a new thing? Clearly it meant that I needed to try the Synergy brand for the first time. The grape flavor rocks btw.

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I took Bam for a hike at our favorite trail and we met another Jack Russell, Murray. They are now BFF’s and I want another JRT, but Mike said nooooooo. They will conspire against us. I’m willing to take on that challenge.

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PS I take Bam to the same trail all the time and walk in the same direction just in case he loses all of his eyesight one day. Hopefully he will be able to use his other senses to navigate it. But more so, hopefully he doesn’t lose his eyesight.

I had another setback this week, but after this PT treatment I went for a surprise run. It went well, the sesamoids are still a little angry, but most of the pain now is the Mortons Neuroma. Does anyone else deal with this? Please send your best advice, because I’m thinking about cutting this foot off and seeing if it grows back like a starfish.


Even with the setback, I nailed all of my workouts, which I’m pretty stoked about. I even slipped in a pool run with Maiah. Pool running, counts towards steps, right?


Speaking of workouts, here is what I have on the schedule this week:

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I love not having to think about or plan workouts. They just magically appear in an app. Okay well, I’m sure Paige puts a lot of thought and hard work into accommodating my failing body parts. Which I have an endless appreciation for.


At the end of the work season, I try to do something a little special to celebrate a fantastic year. Something I normally wouldn’t do or buy. This year I picked out a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne. I can’t tell you how many bottles I’ve poured – actually cases, especially for a private party from Beverly Hills at Concours d’Elegance. Hopefully it’s a good pick, though I did sale 4 bottles to a famous basketball player and when I asked how many glasses he would like, he replied “oh I don’t drink that stuff” then promptly took it to the 18th hole, shook it up, opened it and sprayed it on his buddies. So yeah…

I can’t get enough of Bam, he’s kind of a big deal. We got to snuggle yesterday morning, and if you know the JRT breed, then you know how special this is. It only took him 10 years to slow down and let me snuggle with him.



Are you planning to go shopping on Black Friday?

Nope, I hope to go for a hike and shop on Cyber Monday.

Do you drink Kombucha? 

I do occasionally, but Mike thinks it tastes like butt cheese.

What does your training plan look like?

4 things you’re thankful for?


Some life updates

Good Sunday morning!! I hope you are enjoying the weekend. Is anyone getting excited about Thanksgiving? It’s also my grandma’s Birthday so it’ll be extra special this year.

It’s been awhile since I last checking into the world of SCB, so let’s bring you up to date with what’s been going on around here.

  • It’s officially the off season!! When the time changes, the course slows down and get to take the winter off. I’ll go back for a couple large events and Pro Am, but other than that I’m free like a hippie which makes Bam very happy because we go on a lot more adventures. Dude really needs a North Face vest.


  • Speaking of Bam, he is losing his eyesight. He can’t see when it’s really dark, which means he’s been running into things and seems really confused. The other night he was in bed with me (which is a treat for him), Mike came home and he got really excited. He ran to the edge of the bed to jump down like usual, but couldn’t see. He walked back towards me and jumped right onto the nightstand and into the wall. When I rushed over to see if he was okay, and he was running into the wall. After making sure he was fine, I had to laugh. So now we’re working with him to learn his new normal, which is depending on his other senses to navigate the house. It would work a lot better if he had it in him to slow down, but that is pretty much impossible for a Jack.


  • Last month we went to LA for the Shape Mag event, I also had an appointment with the IBS Treatment Center in Santa Monica. Mike heard about them, and their claim to cure IBS. We are still kinda skeptical because I’ve always been told IBS is incurable, but it’s worth a shot.  The test results should be in later this month. I bring this up because I know some of you have similar issues, so I’ll let you know how things go.

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  • Have I told you I hired an online personal trainer? I forget. Anyway I’m on my second month of training and I really love it. We’ve been really focusing on strengthening the hips, glutes, quads & hamstrings, along with upper body and some cardio for a nice balance. (Loving spin class!) I already feel stronger and she recently increased my running time this month! She currently has me doing a run/walk. My next goal is to run one whole mile pain free. As you can see, I dream really freaking big these days, ha!
  • I’ll leave you with some pictures from yesterday. There was a high surf & sneaker wave warning, so we drove out to Pacific Grove to watch the best show in town.

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Now it’s your turn to fill me in on what’s going on in you life. Spill it!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

When do you usually get your Christmas tree?

Always right after Thanksgiving.


Unexpected conversation

Some of the best conversations start just as we’re walking out the door to leave. I have no idea why we feel the need to open up a little bit more when we’re about to leave somewhere, but I absolutely love it when moments like that happen.

Recently, I had one of those conversations. It was completely unexpected. It was non judgmental & raw, full of trust and honesty. Funny thing is, it wasn’t really deep or a emotional. Just a chat about life, marriage, music, happiness & being content. But it was incredibly uplifting and gave me the kind of happiness you can’t fake.


Then I realized why I enjoyed it so much, it was the human connection I had been missing for quite awhile and didn’t even know it.

I don’t consider myself an emotional kinda girl, so opening up, even just a little bit is tough. But when I finally allow myself to be vulnerable, it’s refreshing.

I think that women tend to worry, analyze, and try and find the danger (emotional, physical…) in every encounter we have. When we have a conversation that is just pure and free of agendas, it makes me happy.

I really need to work on letting my guard down a little more and open up. I just make it so hard, if not impossible for someone to earn my trust.

I have no idea why I felt the need to write this post, but maybe it will resonate with some of you. Or maybe not. Ha!

If you’re uncomfortable reading this, then multiply that by infinity, take it to the limitless edge of space and you will still not understand how uncomfortable I am writing this….. Just realize, I’m really not that deep. When I do have deep thoughts, I get scared that I might be growing up.

Time for some coffee, a workout, and a good hike with Bam. Enough of all this mushy shhhhow of emotion! (Home Alone 2 quote)


Shape Magazine Meet & Tweet, Santa Monica


SHAPE Magazine invited me to their Meet & Tweet event yesterday in Santa Monica. It was an honor to be apart of a wonderful event overflowing with many health minded folks, who help cultivate the online fitness community.

It was impossible to leave this event feeling uninspired, so I wanted to share some highlights with you that I found inspiring.


Finding Your Motivational Formula

Biggest Loser trainer, Jen Widerstrom:

  • Use accountability & bragging rights to stay motivated.
  • Use the “what if” to motivate yourself.
  • “Don’t give in, get better. It’s an opportunity.”
  • Have a measurable goal. Power of your word. Be accountable to yourself and hold yourself to it.
  • Add a sprinkle of trust to your goals.
  • “Please eat carbohydrates. Your body NEEDS carbs.”
  • “Do what’s right for you, not what’s comfortable for those around you. Even if it’s unpopular.”
  • “Am I doing things that will allow me to participate in my own life?”


Skin Smart

Dr. Katie Rodan

  • When it comes to skin 20% is genetics and 80% lifestyle. That’s great news because it puts us in the drivers seat.
  • Post workout, don’t stew in your own sweat. Wearing sweaty clothes can cause bacterial infections, fungus & yeast infections. Lovely.
  • Use cleansing cloths if you can’t change out of them right away.
  • It’s more than just sunscreen. Use clothing. Black clothing shields your skin from the sun more.
  • Foundation is aging. Wear makeup to enhance, not conceal.
  • Favorite items, not trends: Needle rolling. It’s effective, roll every night. Makes a huge difference with skin. And micro needle patches that deliver peptides loods the skin with peptides, smoothes out skin & has lasting results.
  • You want skin to behave like younger skin. Exfoliate every day, know the main issue with your skin, use the right products for your proper type.
  • Hydration is HUGE.

Sonya Dakar & Mimi 

  • Skin care & body care are a pyramid to health.
  • To shrink pores, wash your face with cold water.
  • Negative affects on skin from working out: change your clothes, take a shower, exfoliate & let the skin breathe. Omega oil, is better than lotion.
  • Exfoliate, wear a large hat, sunglasses & black long sleeves block the sun.
  • Trends Mimi is excited about: Oil. It’s ont a bad thing. Also treatments you sleep with like sleep masks.
  • What you do every single day is far better than anything I can do in my office.
  • Don’t spot treat. Treat the whole face.



Taking Your Brand To The Next Level

Lisa Lillien

  • Build your audience, don’t focus on the big picture, instead focus day by day.
  • Make sponsored posts useful for readers.
  • Content is key & focus.

Annie Lawless

  • Readers want great content, you to answer questions, interacting. Not pretty blogs.
  • Always be creative. Evolve, take your readers on a journey with you.
  • Don’t ignore your readers. Make them feel heard and engage with them.


Building Your Brand

Tone It Up girls, Karena & Katrina

  • Get on SnapChat. People enjoy the fact that it’s all done in real time.
  • Look at your Instagram as a whole, not pic by pic.
  • Don’t become to busy and forgot about taking care of yourself.
  • Stay in touch with your following.
  • Their blog & readership didn’t skyrocket one day, it was a slow incline and still is.
  • When you create content, have your readership in mind.
  • They love your emails!!  kandk@toneitup

A couple things that resonated with me:

  • We as a blogging & social media community have no idea where we are headed in the next 5-10 years. Will blogs exist or will YouTube take over. Maybe there’s some new technology that’s coming out and will be the next big thing. It’s kinda fun and a little scary to think of what the future holds.
  • I really suck at responding to comments. I read every single one and enjoy them immensely, I need to start focusing on responding to you guys more often.
  • The left side of my face is going to be all old and wrinkly because I’m a side sleeper and don’t plan to change that anytime soon. Or ever.
  • Let your readership guide the direction of your mission.
  • I’m gonna have a carb par-tay every day. #pizzaforlyfe

What or who motivates and inspires you?

What do you enjoy the most about the online fitness community?



Monterey area recommendations from a local

I’ve had quite a few emails lately requesting recommendations on things to do in the Monterey area, so I figured I’d put a post together for you guys.

First, if you are planning a trip to Monterey, you have made a fantastic life decision. I hope you love the beach, incredible views, great food & wine and outdoors.

Welcome to paradise!!

Things to do:

  • Hike Point Lobos. Park outside the park along Highway 1 and walk in to save a couple bucks. The hikes I’ve done have been pretty easy and very scenic. Like my mind is blown every time I go. 
  • GO TO BIG SUR. This is a must. Stop at the Bixby Bridge to take in the sights and some pics. Heading there from Monterey, park across the street in the dirt (on the left) that’s where the bridge is most scenic IMO. Of course very carefully walk across the 1 and check it out from there as well.
  • Hike Garrapata. It is magical.
  • Take the Ocean exit off the 1 and check out Carmel By The Sea. It’s charming and if you keep heading west, you will end up at Carmel Beach. Sooooo pretty much paradise. It’s an off leash dog beach so you might see Bam peeing on someones backpack or chilling on a blanket with some family he just weaseled his way into. (Bam is a sucker for blankets)
  • Walk the trail from 8th Avenue & Scenic Drive south to River State Beach. It’s about 1.5 mile one way. You can always drive it, but really you need to do this! I’ve lived here for 2 years and drive/walk it often it’s really that beautiful.
  • If it’s your first time here, check out the touristy hot spots like Fisherman’s Wharf & Cannery Row. Then head north (kinda west towards the ocean) to Ocean View for a beautiful drive along the coast. Stop at Lovers Point or Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove for a picnic or just to chill.
  • 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach. The gate fee is $10 and I highly recommend driving it. You can ride a bike, but I would NEVER recommend that. It’s a 2 lane road and scares the crap outta me when I see folks riding because there are hills and blind corners. If you’re short on time, be sure to stop at Ghost Tree & The Lone Cypress, which is the logo for Pebble Beach Golf.
  • If you’re running Big Sur or just want to relax & unwind, check out Refuge in Carmel Valley. It is worth every penny.

Beer, wine & food:

Let me start by saying I am not a foodie at all, so maybe Google around.

  • La Bicyclette in Carmel By The Sea is our absolute favorite place to dine. Hands down their pizza owns my heart.
  • Mike suggests Cannery Row Brewery in Monterey.
  • Rosines on Alvarado Street in Monterey for American Classic entrees.
  • Corkscrew in Carmel Valley, which is owned by La Bicyclette.
  • The Breakfast Club in Seaside.
  • Sushi By The Bay. I’m not a huge fan of sushi, but Mike & our co-workers recommend it and Lu was a regular there last summer, so it must be good.
  • Spanish Bay Golf course at sunset for cocktail hour while bagpipers play. I’ve never been, it’s on my list of things to do, but tons of folks love it. There are also a few restaurants there as well.
  • Stave Wine Tasting room at Spanish Bay. It’s brand new, so I haven’t tried it, but if you’re in the area maybe pop in.
  • Clint Eastwoods Mission Ranch for Sunday brunch. Not cheap, but really great food & views.
  • Wine tasting in Carmel Valley. It’s got an old western feel, friendly folks and tons of wine tasting rooms. There’s a trolley that leaves from Monterey as well.

Other tips:

  • Bay Bikes for rentals.
  • Hashtag restaurants/points of interest on Instagram for pics & ideas. One that is on my list is #mcwayfalls in Big Sur. The pics are incredible.
  • My Instagram account has a lot of pics from local adventures. Leave a comment if you have questions.
  • Adventures By The Sea or Monterey Bay Kayaks for SUP/kayak/boogie board/watersport rentals.
  • The Recreation Trail for a run/walk/ride. It goes through Fisherman’s Wharf and north towards Seaside/Moss Landing.
  • I don’t have recommendations for hotels or places to stay since I live here, but if you need some direction on locations or distance to nearby things you want to do, leave me a comment and I’ll help ya out.
  • I love you, but I’m still not telling you where my favorite beach is. 😉


Pic above & below were taken on the Recreation Trail.


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Sunday brunch at Mission Ranch in Carmel.

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Carmel River State Beach.


Along 17 Mile Drive from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.


Refuge Spa in Carmel Valley.

Please reach out if you have any comments, questions or recommendations in the comment section.


The year of healing

After quite a bit of reflecting on what I had planned this year, peeking at the vision board I made of goals & dreams I had for 2015. Then laughing because nothing I planned on paper became a reality. Like NOTHING ha!

2015 has now been dubbed the year of healing. Healing the hip, healing sesamoid bones in both feet, healing the muscles that took a beating from surgery, healing IBS (Mike found a place that claims to cure IBS, so I’m crossing my fingers this is possible), healing the mind, healing this dang toothache I currently have.

Is this some cruel life joke that the body starts breaking down when you hit your 30’s?? #fiddlesticks


Fresh outta arthroscopic hip surgery. Hope you can sleep tonight after seeing that mug.

I find myself comparing past fitness to the current reality. This is problematic. My current ‘lofty’ goal is to build strength and run a 5K for Christmas. A couple years ago running a 5K was no big deal at all for me. In fact, at one point there was talk of hanging up my 5K running shoes and sticking to longer distances. Oh gosh how I wish I could go back in time and bitch slap myself for saying that. But hindsight is 20/20, right?


I consider myself an optimist, but truthfully my heart hurts not being able to train and run consistently for years. On one hand, I truly miss running so much it’s painful. I ran/walked 2 miles at a yoga event in Santa Cruz in July and the feeling of missing something I truly love sunk in. I should not have done those 2 miles, but the mental boost was definitely worth the pain.

On the other, I’m worried about getting injured again or body parts will start flying off or a meteor will come crashing down on me. #chickenlittlestatus

This isn’t a pity party post, writing in my little corner of the internet is very therapeutic and I think we all go through times like this. If you don’t, show me your ways kimosabe.

Positive changes are coming, and I couldn’t be happier to have something to look forward to. Even with this nagging hesitant feeling. I have no idea what my body has in mind, but there are goals I would love to reach before the year wraps up.

To help reach these dreams, I hired a personal trainer to take the guess work out of training. We did a Google Hangout yesterday and virtually meeting her I knew instantly we are a perfect match! I told Mike she’s gonna make me hawt. He didn’t seem impressed with my joke.

If you ask me where we should start, I’d say everything. Seriously, it’s that overwhelming. So I asked my physical therapist which areas we should focus on first. He is such a wonderful resource since we’ve worked together for so long, I even joke about paying his car payment. Thankfully he was enthusiastic about this idea and was happy to give us a starting point. Glutes, hips, quads, core/lumbar/pelvic floor strengthening & soleus stretching in case you’re wondering. Training officially starts Monday. I am pumped!


Quad/knee the night post op. 40 liters of saline used during surgery destroyed the left quad.

A few other goals are total body fitness, truly listening & honoring my body, building confidence, cooking more and focus on being patient with my body. 

I still have this fear of never being able to run in the back of my mind. This might be true, but I’ve at least got to give it a try. There’s no way I wanna live with “what if’s” floating around in my head. I’d rather fight for something, than do nothing at all. Giving up is not an option yet.

So here we go!

PS If you want to laugh, check out this video clip Mike made took of me coming out of anesthesia.

What are your fall/winter goals?

Do you currently or ever had a personal trainer? Share the deets please!


A bloggers advise on working with PR companies

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time. Now that I have transitioned myself mostly out of the blogworld and basically have zero f’s to give, it’s time I share what I really think about working with PR companies.

Before I jump straight to the negative, you should know that there are 2 PR companies I work with, highly recommend and LOVE. One is Fitfluential. They offer awesome products, support and pay is based on what you are truly worth.

SMACK! Media is by far my favorite. They have a fantastic support team-down to earth, they match great products to you and your audience and give you the freedom to use, market and share your love for the product as you wish. A very natural, organic approach – the way IMO marketing should be.


SMACK! won’t send you a pitch for deer antler extract or genetic testing for pain relievers and make you agree to sharing 5 times on all of your social media channels (don’t forget to use our generic #), do a blog post with a minimum of 400 words + 5 high resolution images taken by you, do a giveaway and stand on your head for 83 minutes a day and they’ll pay you $50. Whoopty do. Can’t wait to miss it. Break it down, and all that work translates to about $1.76 an hour.

Then there was that one time a PR company wanted to send me a full workout outfit to take pictures, share on the blog & SM. Wash them and ship them back for FREE. Really?? Oh boy, can’t wait to do all the leg work, share your brand with my loyal and hard earned readership and ship the outfit back to you for free. #NOT

Opps got a little off track there, but really if you are interested in collaborating with a team of professional, folks who are REAL and talk to you like that, with schweet gear, check out SMACK!

Now on to the part where I get real and honest. Keep in mind, this is 100% my opinion. You don’t have to agree with it or like it. That is fine. But after years of navigating this field, I wanted to share my thoughts and hopefully help you understand the way things work. Or should work IMO.

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This morning I opened my email and this is the first thing I read (copied word for word) which in turn inspired me to write this post:

“But before I go any further, a short but super important PSA: PLEASE READ ALL DETAILS AND DELIVERABLES (including dates) before applying. If you apply, we will assume you can participate and meet deadlines, etc. We are receiving far too many applicants who later realize they can’t complete the campaign, sometimes even after products are shipped which is frustrating and burdensome on our generous clients. We work really HARD to bring these opportunities in for you guys (sometimes way too hard) so don’t ruin it by being a bad apple in the bunch. It doesn’t look good on ya….READ details first. Ok, I’ve said my piece, so ithout further adieu, here’s the new opportunity:”

My thoughts on this email: If you hire the right people and pay them what they are worth, a lot of these problems could be avoided. A lot of folks are motivated to earn a couple extra bucks and when the product + audience + blogger + pay align, things tend to work out better.


Along the same lines, here is my advice on dealing with PR companies in general:

  1. Respect your audience. They follow you for a reason, so don’t hawk a product you wouldn’t consider buying with your own hard earned money. Be open to trying new things, just make sure they are a natural, organic fit. Your readership can tell if you truly love the product or are just doing it just because it was sent for free. Can you take me seriously if I came at you guys with some product that you know I don’t use, you would never use, and has now wasted everybody’s time? Like seriously SCB, tell us about your favorite curling iron??
  2. This is business, not personal. Be 100% professional when reaching out and replying.
  3. Work with brands directly. This can be a bit more challenging, but it is hands down the way to go.
  4. Don’t do anything for free. Gosh I despise that “F” word. This is where things can get complicated and you will have to decide if working with a brand is worth your time and effort. Not every brand or PR company is willing to pay cash. For me, if the product is kick ass but they don’t pay, it’s worth it. If the pitch is for “free” boxes of bars, I’ll pass. You have to keep your audience in mind. Don’t take every PR gig that comes your way because you get “free” stuff. I can’t tell you how much “free” crap I have been sent, tried it, hated it, tossed it, and never told you about.
  5. Doing giveaways are fun and great. For the brand you are working with. Not necessarily your brand.
  6. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. In other words, don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite brands. Again, be professional, find the marketing contact and email them. Don’t leave a comment on on their social media account. It’s tacky and will likely not be replied to. The Marketing Coordinators that work for these companies are professionals. If you come across as a ditsy blogger that has 2 readers, your mom and sister, they will not be open to you.  Act professional and tell them how partnering with you would be beneficial to both your brand and theirs. What can you offer? What are you willing to do? What do you want in return?
  7. They are not doing you a favor by sending you free stuff. Marketers know the power of blog & online influence. Demand what you & your audience are truly worth, not what they say you’re worth. Those same marketers main job is to get the biggest bang for their buck, if they can reach your targeted readers that look, act, and buy like you, then that has worth. Therefore you have value. Don’y underestimate yourself.
  8. Working with brands should be a small part of blogging & SM. Your opinion & recommendations are taken more seriously.


I think collaborating with brands that fit yourself & audience is a fantastic thing and I don’t ever want to discourage you from working with them. Everyone wins with the right partnerships! This isn’t all about making money, it’s about valuing your time, effort and audience. Promoting products & services is more than just snapping a few pictures and talking writing a few enthusiastic lines and posting it, so just be sure you are compensated for all of your effort.

That’s the beauty of blogging. You design your name, brand, what content to write and who you choose to work with. You have 100% control over you little corner of the internet. How freaking cool is that!?

Just wanted to share my perspective from personal experience. Per usual, take what I say with a grain of sea salt.  


Treating and curing Sesamoiditis

This post is probably not going to appeal to many folks, but I want to share my experiences in dealing with sesamoiditis. I am not a doctor or expert or anything smart like that. There is no Dr. SCB, so take my advise as a grain of sea salt. Just sharing some positive things that are working for me after searching the ‘net and finding a bunch of  Debbie downers and negativity. Sesamoiditis is treatable, curable and no, it’s not the end of the world if you get it.

A little background:

I have had sesamoiditis off and on in both feet for about a year and a half now. Sometimes both feet want to join the party at the same time, and other times they like to trade off being punks. Lovely.

Sure, you can find a lot of information on the internet about it, but I wanted more of a comprehensive understanding of how it develops, why it takes so dang long to heal, and a bunch of other intricate questions. The Type A in me has to understand how things work and why they happen. And yes, this makes my husband crazy in case you are wondering. 😉

The basics:

Sesamoiditis is a form of tendonitis. There are two tiny bones about the size of kernels of corn embedded in tendons under the big toe joint. They are not attached to other bones so they kinda float in tendons. Their primary function is to help raise and lower the big toe with each step.

Because of these bones are weight bearing, they are prone to becoming injured and/or inflamed and tough to heal. We are always using our feet, and the only break they get to repair & heal is while we sleep. Unfortunately healing takes a lot longer than that once they become irritated and inflamed. I have found some ways to help speed healing along and want to share them with you. But first, before we get into what has worked and is currently working for me, you should know a few things:

  • I am not a doctor or anything that comes close to one. These are all based on my personal experience and research. Please do your own research and investigating. These are just tips that will hopefully give you a good start at healing.
  • Do not believe everything you read on the internet. There are some really helpful sites, but I’ve also read a butt ton of sites/threads of Debbie Downers that make me shake my head. It is 100% possible to heal sesamoiditis. I don’t care what anyone else says. I am living proof of it.
  • We are only talking about sesamoiditis. Not a stress fracture, complete fracture or anything else.
  • To completely heal, you MUST be diligent and take healing seriously the entire time. You have to become more stubborn than the injury itself.

2015-10-01 10.51.35

Are you ready to heal some bones?? 

That sounded really awkward uh….good thing I never claimed to act mature.

My symptoms:

  • A lot of pain and stiffness in the ball of foot, big toe and joint. It feels like a pokey ball sticker that won’t come out. <-Technical terms, because we’re classy like that.
  • Unable to bend big toe up while walking. Therefore I walked with a gangsta limp, using the outside of my foot.
  • Swelling and redness especially when warm. For example right after a shower.
  • Symptoms will not go away on their own and get worse with time.


Time reference:

According to my podiatrists (I saw 2 for this) it can take up to one full year to heal.

My response to them: Wanna bet?

I love a good challenge and I knew between my stubborn personality and my super amazing PT ninja, there was no way it was going to take that long. And I was right.

My most recent case and one that I am dealing with right now, was diagnosed on August 31, 2015 and started treatment the following day, September 1st. Since I have tried just about everything under the moon and stars. Heck, my husband even made custom orthotics that work a gazillion times better than the expensive ones my podiatrist gave me. (We’ll get to that soon.) I wanted to share some things that are helping. I will also update you guys as we work through this, kick it’s butt and learn how to prevent it from coming back.


Here are my recommendations:

  • Take sesamoiditis very seriously. If you are not 100% committed to getting better, you won’t. This was learned the hard way on my part.
  • The first thing you need to focus on, is getting the inflammation down.
  • Ice both feet 2-3 times a day for 15-20 minutes. Rest them as much as possible. One of the reasons why it takes so long to heal is because the vessel leading to the sesamoid bones is so tiny. Any inflammation can restrict the blood flow which hinders healing and in worse cases the bones could actually die. Finding this out was enough for me to start taking sesamoiditis a lot more seriously.
  • After icing, elevate your feet above the heart to promote circulation. I did this for about 10 minutes 2-3 times a day. Sometimes I kicked my feet up on the back of the couch while watching tv or chilling out on my phone.
  • Take an anti inflammatory if you can tolerate it right away. I started with Advil for a few days, then asked my doctor for a more natural approach. He recommended turmeric, glucosamine & chondroitin and fish oil. When combined they become an excellent anti inflammatory. After a few days, the glucosamine & chondroitin upset my stomach, so I stopped taking it, but I’m still taking the others and they seem to be working.  
  • Gently massage the areas that are painful and tender to start breaking up scar tissue and bring circulation to the area. Gently stretch the big toe up & down to help with range of motion and relieve stiffness.
  • Calf stretches 2-3 times a day. The calf muscle is connected to the sesamoid tendons, and I have found huge pain relief stretching it out. 
  • Start physical therapy ASAP. This has helped me tremendously. There is no way I would have made the progress I have without it.
  • Find a supportive shoe with a wide toe box. I highly recommend Altra Running shoes. The Torin 1.5 are hands down my favorite, but I also love wearing the Intuition 2.0 at work. I’ve heard really good things about the Hoka One One brand, so maybe look into them as well.
  • Once the injury is stabilized & under control enough to move a bit, get into the pool. I’m not a swimmer, so I took up pool running. It brings down inflammation, increases circulation which flushes out the sesamoid area, helps with range of motion and you feel amazing. I do 30 minutes about 3-4 times a week.
  • We are busy and life moves on with or without pain, we have to keep moving. So you are going to want to sort of “float” the sesamoid area in your shoes. Dancers pads and Dr. Jills gel dancer pads were recommended by my podiatrist, but they actually caused more pain for me. They might work for you though! I also have Morton’s Neuroma which flared up when offsetting pressure to that area. My feet are just a barrel of fun.


  • My husband is very handy and made a pair of orthotics to float the area using a YouTube video, a $10 memory foam mat & some foam glue from Home Depot. I kid you not!! The man is a freaking genius. When I put them in, I started to walk normal and pain free almost right away. Let me know if you would like a tutorial or video on how he made them.
  • Never go to bed with inflamed feet.
  • Never walk barefoot. For me, putting on shoes when I get out of bed was not practical, so I picked up a pair of stiff soled slippers at Target to wear around the house. I didn’t use them to clean or do anything other than to make coffee and sit in my chair which is far better than walking around barefoot.
  • Once you are on the mend, consult your physical therapist about starting a strength training program. Chances are, there might be a muscle imbalance/weakness that caused sesamoiditis. Of course there are other reasons this happens, so try to figure out what the cause was, so you can make changes to prevent it. For me, it was a combination of ‘skinny feet’ &  hip surgery right before Christmas. I never used crutches and walked funky so my feet overcompensated.


My progress one month into treatment:

Right foot, which was the worse one is about 95% healed.

Left foot, which was fine until about 3 weeks ago is about 85% healed.

I met with my podiatrist today to add more padding to my custom orthotics. He LOVED the custom ones Mike made BTW! I wanted to make sure these are going to be a long term solution and he said after getting the custom orthotics dialed in, I should be fine. Crossing my fingers.

I hired a trainer to put together a strength training program for the next 90 days and there’s talk about getting back into RUNNING soon!! This makes my heart so happy but terrifies me at the same time. I’ve been injured for so long my confidence is pretty low. Good thing I love a challenge, right?!

If you have any other questions or tips, please feel free to reach out!! I hope this post gives other sesamoiditis suffers hope. 


Simple things Monday

You know, all those things that make you happy…..










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