Monday, October 16, 2017

Healthy Snacks! Gingerbread bars are back & the 100 Calorie AdvoGreens Snack Shake!

They are back! AdvoCare Gingerbread Bars are back and they are SO delicious!  Click here if you'd like to order some! They are only available for a limited time, so make sure to order soon :)  I don't know about you, but I find that I need lots of snacks throughout the day (sometimes if I don't have food in my stomach, I get nauseas as a side effect from the medicine), and these are a great snack for helping stay full as well as satisfying the craving for something sweet!  They really taste just like gingerbread cookies!

If you're looking for another healthy snack option, the AdvoGreens Snack Shake is a great option! I love shakes, but sometimes I find that they don't fill me up enough to be a meal and then I end up drinking the shake PLUS eating a meal, so instead of losing weight I probably add pounds by eating twice! Am I the only one who does that?! LOL.  That's why I love these snack shakes. They are loaded with vitamins and greens, but are only 100 calories! The perfect snack!!

If you have questions about AdvoCare, please reach out to me at 

xo Nikki 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Sleep: Why you need more when you have Lupus

Do you have issues with your sleep? Please comment below if you can. I'm really struggling with this one! I know I need to make HEALTHY sleep a priority, but I have a 3 year old son and a busy life and sometimes I put sleep last. And on those days, I feel the worst!

This medical article says that sleep is truly healing.  I think we all really do know that though, right? But how many of us actually follow that advice.  I grew up believing that you can sleep when you're dead, but now that I have Lupus, that comment frightens me too much! I know I need balance, and I need to sleep more now so that I'll be alive for many more years in the future.   Here's an excerpt from the article:

'In Sweden, the Uppsala Sleep Inventory was used to assess sleeping in 30 female outpatients with SLE and 30 age-matched controls. Statistically significant differences included a higher frequency of pain when trying to fall asleep and during the night, being awake more than 30 minutes during the night if awakened, waking up with a headache, fatigue during the day, and were more likely to nap during the day. While 34.5% of those with SLE stated they were not rested after sleep, 16.7% of controls also reported this and the difference was not statistically significant. The researchers concluded that the central nervous system might play a role in sleep disturbances reported in SLE.94'

Do you find that you also wake up sometimes with a headache or even more tired than when you went to bed? This happens to me SO often, and I honestly never associated it with Lupus. I just thought it was because I was run down from being a mom of a toddler.  In some ways, I'm relieved to know this is 'normal' for Lupus patients.

For me, on a normal night, I often fall asleep when I put my son to bed around 7:30pm and I do my best to get up around 4am so I can get some work done or household chores, but many mornings I feel sick or still too exhausted, so I hit the snooze button and end up running late.  Right now, as I type this, it's 6:30am and I really need to get my son up and get in the shower to start my day.

Unfortunately, it no longer works for my schedule (due to work) to nap mid-day, but I know some people with Lupus who swear by a mid-afternoon nap.  I used to LOVE a good nap when my son was a baby and when I was home mid-day, but right now that's just not an option for me.

What works for you?  What makes you feel the best & what makes you feel the worst? I'd love to see this little blog of mine turn into a forum in the comments where we can chat about these things. I get so many wonderful emails from readers (when I started this blog I didn't even know if you all were out there!), so please don't hesitate to comment and start the discussion.  You can stay anonymous if you'd like.

Hope everyone has a happy Friday!

xo Nikki

Monday, July 17, 2017

Checking In - How are you feeling?

When I started writing this blog, I didn't think anyone would actually read it! Lately I've realized I do have some readers out there (thank you!).  The reason I keep writing is because of the amazing emails I get from people who are also fighting Lupus and who share their stories with me. It makes me so happy to hear from people who have inspirational stories to share, or who are just happy to know they aren't alone in this.

Today I want to turn this back on you all and check-in to see how you're doing? 

Please feel free to comment below (or email me if you'd rather... and let me know how you're feeling today.  Happy, Sad, Frustrated, Sick, Hopeful, etc. We've all had a wide range of emotions and it's ok to share them.  HUGS to everyone who needs them.  


Love y'all xoxo Nikki 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge - Starting August 1st 2017 - JOIN ME!

I have posted about it before, but I gained over 90 pounds with the birth of my son Alec. Part of this was due to complications from Lupus and overall inflammation.  The other part of it was due to eating too many chocolate milk shakes & french fries #letskeepitreal 

So far, I've lost the majority of the weight with good old diet & exercise. I'm down 75 pounds.  I still have 15 left to lose.  In the past, I have done AdvoCare 24 Day Challenges with great success. In 2013 I went from a size 8 to a size 4 and kept it off until I had my son.  Now, I'm ready to do another AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge to get my body back in shape.  The key to any diet plan is eating clean & healthy and exercising, but AdvoCare gives your body the boost to help you achieve those goals a little more quickly and keep the weight off.  After the 24 days is up, I always continue with Spark & Rehydrate (the 2 best drinks ever! spark replaces coffee and rehydrate is a healthier version of many of the sports drinks available - and you can mix them together to create fun flavor combinations!), as well as Catalyst (an amino acid supplement that helps you maintain muscle mass, which as we know, can be hard with lupus), OmegaPlex (a great omega supplement which is how I found out about AdvoCare to start with back in 2013), and CorePlex (a great multivitamin with iron that helps keep me from getting anemic).  

The best news is that no matter where you are reading this, you can participate! I will create a Facebook Group where we can support each other, I'll help you create a customized meal plan and shopping list, and I'll check in with you daily to give you some personal motivation!  

If you're interested, email me at to learn more :) 
I'm so excited to 'meet' some other lupus fighters and help us all get healthier!  

The 24 Day Challenge includes all of this, and you can learn more about it here

If you've been feeling unmotivated and like you need to do something to get yourself in shape with more energy, but not sure what to do, and feel like no one understands because of how yucky you feel each day, then maybe this is a good option!  Of course, I'm not a medical professional so PLEASE make sure you print out the ingredients sheets for each product and clear it with your doctor ahead of time :)  

Looking forward to getting healthier all together! 
xo Nikki 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CRP Levels & Lupus

I usually post upbeat things here...things that are motivational, not posts where I complain or seem scared.  Today is a little different, because I want to be open with you about how I'm feeling right now.

Yesterday I spent the morning in the emergency room.  I had pushed myself too hard over the weekend, didn't get enough sleep, and ended up with what I thought was a stomach virus but might be a lupus flare up.

My CRP (c-reactive protein) is normally between 0.2 and 1.2 which is pretty good for someone with lupus, but yesterday it was 11.  The doctor said it could be from being sick, or it might be the sign of a lupus flare.  I won't know until the doctor re-tests it next week.  If it comes down, then I was fighting a virus and that's what caused it to spike.  If it stays up, then it might be a lupus flare and I'll have to use oral steroids (prednisone) to bring it back down. I hate that drug though and try to avoid it at all costs, especially due to long term side effects of it that scare me too much!  But if I have to take it, I will do what I need to to get healthier.

If you have lupus and you're reading this blog, do your CRP levels go up when you're sick with an illness other than lupus (like the stomach flu, for example)?

The hardest part of all of this for me is that I had been feeling great prior.  We went on a 34 mile bike ride where I towed our almost 3 year old son on my bike the entire way.  I haven't had a lot of aches or pains lately.  I've been feeling good.  So good, that I think I pushed myself too hard pretending that I don't have lupus.  I know I do, and that it's all a marathon and not a sprint, but that's the part I find the hardest mentally.  Balancing things when I feel good so that I don't wear myself out.  We have an active young son who I love spending every moment with, and when I was sick yesterday morning it broke my heart that I couldn't play with him.  He is so sweet though and got his doctor set out and pretended to give me an exam :)  Seriously, just the sweetest little boy!

I would love advice on how you balance your life so that you don't push yourself too hard when you feel good, but also so that you do exercise and enjoy life.  I guess a good start would have been doing a shorter bike ride ;)

I hope you all are feeling good and hanging in there!  I am sorry this post is a little rambly, but I just wanted to get all of my thoughts out before my little guy needs my attention.

Have a great day!