Friday, April 24, 2015

Chocolate "recovery" milkshake; allergies and fibromyalgia

Chocolate milkshake
Robie Creek 2015, a mountainous half marathon, is now a thing of the past. I participated last Saturday but I have to say my whole body is still reeling from the experience. I will recover but as you can see by the photo below, I was suffering when I reached the 8.5-mile point at the summit. No wonder, I needed a chocolate "recovery" milkshake. I made and froze one ahead of time to have at the finish. It was delicious and I really earned it.

Reaching Adalpe Summit after 8.5 miles of uphill
You probably noticed I'm not smiling in the photo above. You think I would have at least pretended I was having fun. But beware of events that people describe as both "fun and torture." Read more about how I got into this event at:

 Here's my post-race reward---Chocolate "Recovery" Milkshake. I froze it ahead of time, packed it in ice in a small insulated lunch bag and placed it on the truck that carries your post-race stuff to the finish line.


1 cup milk of your choice, frozen into cubes
1/2 cup yogurt (you choose what kind; I use homemade, lactose-free yogurt)
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla powder or 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 T. cocoa powder
stevia, to taste
1 T. seed or nut butter or ! T. coconut oil


Make your frozen milk cubes ahead of time. I usually keep a batch pre-made in the freezer. Combine the cubes plus all the other ingredients in your food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into your container for immediate eating or freeze for later as I did. Serve with an extra dollop of yogurt on top.

Delicious topped with or without extra yogurt
I felt like collapsing like Misha after the race
I slept like Misha, in photo above, the night after the race. Fortunately, among other things, I had my allergies figured out beforehand. Allergy medications do not work for me, and allergy season in my area is worse this year. Luckily, I found and tried Aller-C, a natural remedy by Vital Nutrients. It contains Quercetin, a natural antihistamine. My healthcare provider indicated many of her patients who can’t or don’t want to take regular antihistamines have had good results.

She mentioned that this product starts working in several days which was a definite plus. Some natural remedies have to be taken long before allergy season to allow them to build up in your body.

A 100-capsule bottle sells for about $20 plus free shipping on Amazon with a minimum order of $35. You take two capsules two to four times daily or as directed by your healthcare professional.

Quercetin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It belongs to a group of water-soluble nutrients, known as bioflavonoids. It is available as a supplement but is found naturally in many food sources, including apples with their skin, tomatoes, red and yellow onions, scallions, berries, red grapes, black and green tea, broccoli and citrus fruit.

Allergy season is no cakewalk for those with allergies but what if you throw fibromyalgia into the mix? The majority of fibromyalgia (FMS) sufferers have classic allergy symptoms, including runny nose, itchy eyes and congestion. They also have widespread, chronic pain in their muscles, tendons and ligaments, and many other symptoms.

Are allergies then a risk factor for developing fibromyalgia? No one knows for sure but one theory is that allergies, combined with genetics and/or immune system problems, could make you more prone for developing FMS.

Seasonal allergies seem to magnify the symptoms of FMS.  On bad allergy days, your pain may be worse; your digestive system may be more off kilter; and you may have less energy. Why? My theory is allergies cause inflammation in your body which simply adds to the load your body is already bearing.   

Many FMS sufferers get no relief at all from antihistamines or other allergy medications. In many cases, the medications cause all the side effects with none of the benefit.

Since FMS and allergies seem to go together, you need some kind of plan for dealing with the problem during allergy season. Here are some things I do as an FMS sufferer to reduce the affect of seasonal allergies on my other symptoms:

  • You may have to try several medications before finding the right one that works for you as FMS sufferers tend to be sensitive to medication. Beware of drug interactions if you are taking other medications.
  • If meds don’t work, try using a saline nasal spray and/or Neti pot or electronic nasal cleaning device, such as a SinuPulse. Consider herbal remedies as well.
  • I eat a clean diet, sometimes opting for organic fruits and veggies if possible.  Don’t venture into the unknown and try foods that may trigger symptoms. Many with FMS also have food sensitivities which are constantly shifting. This means new food sensitivities may appear at any time.
  • Getting plenty of sleep is at the top of my list. Sleep deprivation is not good for anyone’s immune system.
  • Stress can worsen FMS symptoms and allergies.
  • Exercise boosts my endorphins. I try to do something every day. (Note: Race to Robie Creek is a bit over the top.)
  • My healthcare provider recommended a natural product, called Aller-C by Vital Nutrients. It contains Quercetin, a natural antihistamine. She indicated many of her patients who can’t or don’t want to take regular antihistamines have had good results.


Good said...

great photo of you and good to get an update about your escapades. I am always amazed when I see what you attempt and accomplish. Good chocolate recipe too. Thanks... yum!

Sheree Welshimer said...

The chocolate shake is yummy but I'm not so sure about the photo of me being good. But I appreciate your comments.

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