8/27/15

Thursday Health Thoughts: 15 Amazing Benefits of Ginger

I first heard of ginger from my acupuncturist about a decade ago. I started using ginger (specifically for nausea during times when I would travel) but didn't know all of the amazing health benefits of consuming ginger until I did additional research. Y'all I am so amazed at the health benefits that come with consuming ginger and hope that it will inspire you to add this to your daily life! So what are all of the health benefits that ginger has? Check out these 15 amazing benefits:

1. Ginger contains gingerol which is a powerful substance with medicinal properties. Ginger has been known to not only help aid digestion and reduce nausea but also help fight the flu and common cold (as I mentioned in this post HERE!)

2. Ginger helps prevent motion sickness. As I mentioned above one of the things that I have long used ginger for is to help prevent motion sickness. There was a study done several years ago that showed that ginger was as effective (but without all of the side effects) as Dramamine! [It should be noted that many times it takes a "build up" process with ginger so if you are going to travel I would suggest using ginger for several weeks ahead of time and in addition to the time during your travel.]

3. Ginger helps reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. There have been many studies that have been done that when ginger is added to an anti nausea regime for chemotherapy that nausea and vomiting was reduced!

4. Ginger helps the body absorb essential nutrients.

5. Severe digestive issues or cramps? Ginger has been known to help digestive issues and cramps! Ginger has been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in help relieve pain from menstrual cramps in women (see #6!). Another benefit to ginger is that it may help prevent stomach ulcers which can be caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 

6. Ginger helps reduce pain. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and recent studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may rival non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In a study done in 2013 on women's athletes it was found that those that took 3 grams of ginger each day had a significant decrease in muscle soreness and muscle cramps. In addition to muscles though ginger has also been found to help with migraine headaches. 

7. Ginger can help reduce nausea from morning sickness. Recent studies have shown that ginger can help reduce pregnancy-related nausea. 

8. Ginger can help Osteoarthritis. 

9. Ginger may help lower blood sugar and improve heart disease risk factors in patients. Although the studies on this are very new (just started in 2015) doctors are now saying that ginger may help diabetes and heart patients. Ginger appears to help with insulin release and insulin action in the body and helps improve lipid metabolism. Another clinical trial done recently shows that those who consumed ginger had a marked difference in many of their levels. It will be exciting to watch in years to come what future studies say about this!

10. Ginger helps improve circulation. 

11. Ginger can help inhibit certain bacteria, including Salmonella. Ginger is a great item to add to your kitchen as it an help prevent sickness due to salmonella!

12. Ginger helps fight Cancer. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties that ginger contains it is beneficial for many chronic illnesses including Cancer. A recent British study shows that Ginger can help in the effective management of certain Cancers, including prostate Cancer. Other studies have shown that it helps promote anti-tumor activity that can help treat even the difficult to treat types of Cancer. In addition to this a study that was performed at the University of Minnesota found that ginger can help slow the growth of colon Cancer cells.

13. Ginger helps reduce vertigo. Studies show that regularly consuming ginger or ginger tea can help reduce vertigo.

14. Ginger helps reduce the chance of a stroke and the damage done due to strokes. Taking ginger may help reduce the effects that a stroke can have on the body.

15. Ginger helps strengthen the immune system. Along with other wonderful foods, ginger can help improve the immune system.

While using fresh ginger is a wonderful idea, ginger can also be used dried, powdered, or even as an oil (or tea). Do you use ginger? In what form have you found it helpful? Have you found any benefits to consuming ginger?

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}

8/26/15

What's Up Wednesday (August Edition)

Happy Wednesday friends! I am excited to link up with MelShaeffer, and Shay for the "What's Up Wednesday" Link up! I have so enjoyed reading these ladies posts and am excited to join in! It was so fun last month to connect with so many other ladies who are doing this! 

What We're Eating this Week... 
Well I am just going to be honest here y'all... food is difficult right now, but one thing that I still enjoy is my morning smoothie that is filled with yummy fruit and lots of probiotics. 

What I'm Reminiscing About... 
With the upcoming cruise next month I am definitely reminiscing about the last cruise 17 months ago! It was such a fun and sweet time with my best friend and new friends that I can't wait for this adventure (and to celebrate being finished with this treatment round!!)

What I'm Loving... 
Becoming a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel. Taking this job has been so incredible as I have been able to connect with so many amazing women, partner with an amazing company, share beautiful and gorgeous jewelry, and help raise awareness and funds for charities and friends who I am passionate about. (Interested in hosting an online pop up party? Email me: caravansonnet@gmail.com - I would love to work with you!!)

What I've Been Up To...
If you follow me on instagram than you know that this month has continued the intense summer of fighting for my health in new ways. Starting on June 8th we added in intense antibiotics, shots, new supplements, and new IV's. It's intense and every hour of the day is taken up doing something for my health but I am determined to beat Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease.  This past week was especially difficult with an unplanned and emergency trip to the ER due to intense and severe pain. Unfortunately we discovered that Lyme has been attacking another part of my body that has decided to cause some issues. I continue to appreciate prayers for the pain to diminish, some specific issues to be resolved, and for complete healing. 

What I'm Dreading... 
Due to the findings this past weekend there are a ton of additional testing that has to be done... not looking forward to this at all. 

What I'm Working on... 
final edits for my book, December Caravan, and a devotional for Lyme Disease patients. 

What I'm Excited About... 
I know I shared this last time but y'all I realized this past weekend that it is only FIVE weeks till the cruise with my best friend! I LOVE how the Lord works out details and had already planned this long before we knew what this summer would bring! It will be a wonderful celebration of finishing this round of treatment! 

Even though it is still five weeks away I have been already planning and figuring out what I will pack (okay, lets be real... I have been doing this for months! *smiles*) as it is going to be a cooler weather cruise. As I have been researching so much I shared yesterday my Top 10 Must Pack items for a New England and Canada cruise as it has been so hard to find information! If y'all have any thoughts or tips I would love to know them!

(p.s.- Words can't begin to express my gratitude to the kind friends who have paid for this opportunity and wish to remain annonymous. You are a blessing to my little heart in so many ways!)

What I'm Watching/Reading... 
A couple of years ago I shared about one of my heroes, Darlene Diebler Rose and my favorite book, "Evidence Not Seen". Her book is absolutely inspiring, life changing, and encouraging. Although I have read it nearly a hundred times I always make a point to re-read it each summer. The spiritual truths are so encouraging and have truly encouraged me in my walk with the Lord. 

What I'm Listening to... 
Honestly, the same songs from the last months are still on repeat this month. These past few weeks they have grown even more dear to my little heart. I have talked about the one, Isaiah 40, in this post HERE, and love the music by the Wissmann Family, especially this CD HERE, and cry through Aaron Keyes song "Sovereign Over Us" almost every single day. Each one of these is such a blessing!

What I'm Wearing... 
pic from here
Okay so ever since I was preparing the post for yesterday, I have been sneaking looks at fall clothes. I can't even begin to describe how much I love summer and don't want to see it end, but I might be crushing on some fall clothes y'all. *smiles*

What I'm looking Forward to Next Month... 
The cruise is NEXT MONTH!! Yea!! AND... most importantly... next month we will officially hit the end of this round of treatment!!! This treatment has been.... extremely rough. I would continue to covet prayers for this treatment round as I am not feeling so great and am fighting as hard as I possibly can. Thank you so much friends!!

I would love to know your answers to these questions friends! Share your thoughts below in the comments!! *smiles* Happy Wednesday!

8/25/15

Top 10 Must Pack Items for a New England and Canada Cruise

Cruises to New England and Canada aren't like packing for a day in the Caribbean. So when it comes to packing for my upcoming cruise to these places I have struggled to decide what should end up in my luggage. The truth is that unlike my last cruise where my suitcase was filled with cute sundresses, lots of flip flops, bathing suits, and adorable warm weather clothes, this cruise will not be a tropical getaway. 

So as I searched for what to pack for this type of cruising climate I struggled to find answers. There were tons of ideas for warmer weather cruising but not for "colder weather climates". So I searched to find anyone who had been on a New England cruise that could share their thoughts, talked with Carnival Cruise (who we are sailing with), and searched tons of travel sites for their thoughts on visiting this area of the world. The reality is that this area of the world in the season that we are going (early fall) can bring unpredictable weather, beautiful views, and gorgeous opportunities. So here are the top 10 things that you can't leave home without y'all:

1. Layers
photo found on pinterest
With weather that is unpredictable during this time of the year (some days can be in the low 30s to the high 80s!!) it is important to pack clothes that you can "layer". 

2. Boots, Booties, Shoes, Sandals
Unlike the Caribbean where you live in sandals, you might want to vary your shoe "wardrobe" a little bit more for a New England Cruise. For time on the boat you might want to still live in cute sandals but time off the boat and the excursions that you choose might determine that you wear different types of shoes. Taking a cruise to New England and Canada offers you a wide array of options as far as choices go for excursions and many that include hiking so don't forget to pack a variety of different shoes that you will need for your cruise!

3. Scarves
photo found on pinterest
Lets be honest. If you have been around the blog then you know that I love scarves and where them in all different weather environments, but a cruise to New England and Canada is a perfect opportunity and excuse to wear a variety of different scarves on the cruise. 

Scarves are also a perfect accessory for a cruise as they are lightweight and don't take up a ton of room but can bring a pop of color to an outfit, change up an outfit (by simply wearing a different scarf), and are the perfect addition to any cruising outfit.

4. Sunscreen
It can be easy to forget this necessary component of your New England and Canada cruise since you are not traveling to a "warm weather" environment but don't forget to pack your sunscreen! I heard from several people who have been on the Carnival New England and Canada cruise that this was something that they forgot but were pleasantly surprised that they needed with two full days aboard the ship that turned out to be in the high 70s! 

5. Camera (and the Extras)
Although I technically live in New England for half of the year and have been to several of the ports that we will be stopping at I can't wait to experience this cruise and the beautiful views that I am sure we will be met with. Fall in New England is gorgeous and I am so excited to explore Canada during this time of the year. Don't forget to bring all of the "extras" that you will also need like a spare battery, battery charger, extra chip, etc.(A great tip that a friend of mine shared with me the last time I went on a cruise was to charge my camera battery every night. This tip was invaluable as one day I accidentally forgot to turn off my camera in all of the fun we were having and would have missed out on some precious picture memories had I not done this!)

6. Extension Cord
Okay, so this isn't a particular suggestion only for New England and Canada cruises but can be for any cruise! This was a suggestion that someone gave to me on my first cruise and it was a lifesaver! Throw in an extension cord and you will be glad that you did!

7. Umbrella or Rain Jacket
As I stated before the weather in this area of the world is unpredictable, but many northeast cities get 3 to 4 inches of rain during the fall months. Consider bringing rain gear or a small umbrella so that you are prepared for whatever weather that you might encounter!

8. Purse, Bag, Etc.
photo found here

Anyone that knows me knows that I love big purses. They are honestly one of my favorite accessories. Taking a big purse with me on my cruise last time was the perfect way for me to carry everything that I needed for our days off the ship (and adding a cute accessory). Some people like to use a backpack or some different type of item to carry their belongings in, but definitely remember to pack some type of bag. For me a large purse works perfectly as I can fit in everything I need to (including a small umbrella!) into it! 

9. Journal, Travel Books, Etc.
Y'all know from my shop that I love creating and altering travel books and journals so this recommendation is probably not a surprise at all! *smiles* Some people like to pack travel guides to take with them on the cruise so they can explore in depth the ports of call while others like to bring journals on board so as to remember the special details and memories that are made. With so many special memories that are made it can be hard to remember every detail and was so glad that I brought this along 

10. Cruise Documents and Passport
Don't forget like any other cruise that you will need to bring all of your cruise documents and passport if you have a Canadian port of call (and you are American). 

What about y'all? Any must pack items that you recommend for a New England and Canada Cruise?

Chloe + Isabel St. Jude Walk/ Run Fundraiser


As I was sitting in treatment yesterday, receiving necessary things for my body I was reminded how big of a struggle it is to pay for the necessary treatment procedures that my body needs. From IM shots to IVs to supplements and medication to a thousand other little things it can be extremely overwhelming. The financial aspect and burden when you are sick is a stress that I wish noone had to live with honestly. But the reality is that it is there. Every single day. Whether I want to think about it or not I am reminded everyday of the hundreds of little things that I need to purchase and spend money on in my fight to get well all the while worrying that it will never be enough. Through the kind generosity and help from others with my go fund me page, I receive help that is needed in order for me to get better. 

And then I think about what it would be like to have my own child be sick and the heartbreak, the burden, and the passionate desire to do anything to get them well and not have the financial resources to do so. 

And I think about the children who are suffering and desperately need help due to being sick but due to finances can't afford to get better.

And that is why I am so personally grateful to partner up with St. Jude to help those kiddos that are fighting desperately for their health and the parents who are longing to see their kiddos happy, healthy, and returning to "normal life". 

So will you join with me y'all?!? TODAY ONLY I am sharing my commission from my boutique in hopes of raising $100 for St. Jude. All you have to do is click HERE and shop away knowing that you are not only purchasing beautiful jewelry but you are changing a child's life! Will you join with me today?!?


8/24/15

Envy in the Single Journey

“A tranquil heart gives life to the body, but envy makes the bones rot.”
-Proverbs 14:30-

One of the real aspects of the single journey (or in anyone's life!!) is the aspect of comparison and envy. Unfortunately though, as I grow older in this single journey I see more and more single women who grow envious of the relationships that they see others have and experience. Instead of rejoicing with what the Lord is doing in other's lives, they grow resentful, bitter, and even withdraw from friendships. 

Do I think that it is easy to always rejoice when I see one more friend get engaged and that is my heart's desire? Absolutely not. It can be painful, I sometimes spend a few moments crying, but as I take this to the Lord, He truly comforts me and gives me the strength to rejoice that someone has been given a new season or relationship in their life. 

I do think that there are times and places that someone can be sensitive to our hearts as single gals (as I shared about here) but if I allow envy to rule my heart I miss out on the opportunity to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and miss out on celebrating the ways that the Lord is working in someone else's life. 

The reality is that if we withdraw out of envy or comparison for what the Lord is doing in someone else's life because we long for that then we do not have love for those people and we are not acting out God's love. I Corinthians 13:4 clearly states that; “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”

Romans 13:13 encourages us to walk honestly with one another not with envy. In a healthy and God-honoring friendship we can feel free to express our longings and struggles knowing that our friends will pray for us and will walk along side us in our hurts while we walk alongside them, rejoicing with what God is doing in their lives. In God honoring friendships we can have freedom to find comfort, truth, and exhortation to live for Him alone. If we struggle with this area the book of James encourages us to confess this. “But if you harbor bitter envy… do not boast about it or deny the truth.” (James 3:14) 

So sweet friends, lets confess our struggle to the Lord and to those that we trust and love so that we can live in freedom. Ask the Lord to help you release your envy, not just for today but for everyday that we live. Ask Him to remove any jealous feelings you have. Ask Him to help you release any envy and lay it at His feet. As single gals lets deal with this issue now so that if we marry in the future we can take the lessons that we have learned in this area into our marriages. Let us not compare our lives or our friendships or our future relationships to others. 

God is writing our stories friends and we can rest fully in the knowledge that God is good and we have no need to be jealous of another person's story. 

8/23/15

St Jude Walk/Run Fundraiser


The end of childhood cancer starts with me, and you can help.

I've signed up for the St. Jude Walk/Run (online fundraising) to End Childhood Cancer, and I need you to help me reach my fundraising goal of $100. You can donate directly to my personal page by clicking here or you can click HERE to purchase items in my Chloe and Isabel boutique where I will be donating 10% of the proceeds for the rest of the month to this cause

As a lady who is fighting for her health I am passionate about the health and resources that children have available to them in their journey with illness. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is where doctors send their toughest cases, because it has world's best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancer. Since St. Jude won't give up the battle against cancer, neither will I. Join me, and help the kids of St. Jude win the fight against childhood cancer.

How Your Support Helps:
  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, and food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
So don't delay! Head on over to my boutique and shop for a great cause today! (Click HERE!) Thank you so much for joining in to support St. Jude! 

Notes From the Porch (thirty-nine): Prayers Needed

I shared this on instagram yesterday but would covet your prayers friends as I head into these final two weeks of this treatment round and am now dealing with some new news. Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Thank you to so many of you who have been praying for so many years of this journey and specifically for the last day in the ER due to severe pain that we could not get controlled. Thankfully there was nothing life threatening that was found but unfortunately we have discovered a new area of my body that Lyme was attacking that is now "rearing its ugly head". 


While at this time I don't feel comfortable sharing more details (as I am still processing and will be finding out more information in the weeks to come) I do appreciate your prayers for this news and the severe pain which has not diminished. I also appreciate your prayers for my little heart which is hurting at this new news.


 I find hope and comfort in while this is a surprise to me it is not to the Lord who carries us each day (Psalm 68:19), understands that we are made of dust, and who promises to work out all things for His purpose. Thank you friends for all of your support and prayers. You are a blessing.