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Peaks & Valleys

At 15 I tore a ligament in my wrist, it turned out to be a life altering injury. It taught me to be creative and experimental. It taught me the importance of community and connecting with others. That as alone as I may feel at times, I am not alone. And neither are you. I invite you to come along with me on this journey. I’ll share how I manage the pain, cope with loss, deal with depression, improve my mindset, and ask for help.

The Easiest Golden Milk Latte Recipe
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If you're reading this, you probably are already familiar with the power of an inflammation-busting turmeric latte, also known as a golden milk latte. They can run pretty pricey at stores and require more time than I have in the morning so I experimented with ways to make it super easy to start my days with a golden milk latte. It has just 3 core ingredients and 2 optional superfoods to add to optimize your health. Here is a little bit on each ingredient.

Coconut Milk: 

Contains beneficial fat called lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy. Coconuts’ fatty acids are primarily saturated fats, but don’t think these will raise your cholesterol levels and cause heart damage. Instead, they’re known to actually do the opposite — coconut milk can help you lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or a stroke. (Source: Dr. Axe)

Turmeric Boost Restore:

TurmericBoost Restore provides a foundation for wellness. Turmeric supports a strong heart, liver function and most importantly, a healthy inflammatory response. It's a prebiotic blend delivering more than great taste, it feeds the intestinal flora that help maintain your natural defenses. (Source: Gaia Herbs)

Raw Honey:

Raw honey is a great anti-inflammatory, it has proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote healthier cholesterol levels. Raw honey is rich in phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties. (Source: HealthLine)

10 Mushroom Blend:

The 10 Mushroom Blend includes the most powerful body and mind defending mushrooms like chaga, lion's mane, reishi, and cordyceps, along with our other favorite fungi legends enokitake, maitake, shiitake, tremella (the main ingredient in our Beauty Blend), Agaricus blazei, and meshima. (Source: Four Sigmatic)

Collagen:

Collagen has a unique amino acid profile including four amino acids – proline, glycine, glutamine and alanine – that although are not essential, are conditionally essential to many important functions in our body. There's a long list of benefits including: supporting joint health, skin health, improving gut function and digestion, reducing inflammation, building and restoring muscle, supporting a healthy metabolism, normalizing appetite, promoting healthy brain function, promoting healthy sleep... to name a few :) (Source: HealthLine)

 

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Restorative Golden Milk Latte Recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Warm the coconut milk on the stovetop or in the microwave (if using microwave use the mug you'd like to drink out of to keep clean up easy)
  2. Add the warm coconut milk and coffee to your Magic Bullet/blender with the turmeric boost, collagen, mushroom blend and honey
  3. Blend until smooth and frothy
  4. Pour into a favorite mug and enjoy!

My 3 Favorite Superfood Supplements

1. Collagen Hydrolysate

Benefits: There are a number of benefits that range from anti-aging to improved digestion but the main reason I've been taking collagen the past 4 years is for bone and joint health. The combination of collagen and calcium phosphate makes bones strong yet flexible to hold up under stress. The consumption of collagen helps with elasticity and regeneration of tendons, cartilage, bones, joints and skin and may improve bone and joint health over time. A partially fused wrist means my body takes the stress of activities in a different way. And my fused bones grind on the cartilage in my wrist a unique way. Collagen is a great way to feed my body the nutrients it needs to counteract the unique ways my body works post-fusions.

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How I Consume It: I add a couple of spoonfuls to my coffee each morning (along with my second favorite superfood supplement you see in the photo). You can also add it to a smoothie (the best option for cold drinks) or a cup of tea. Don't worry, it really doesn't have a flavor once mixed into drinks. It mixes in hot and cold drinks but I prefer it in hot drinks as it dissolves quicker and can get clumpy when adding it to cold drinks unless you blend them (aka in iced coffee it can get clumpy).

Where to Get It: I use Great Lakes Collagen and get it from at Thrive Market (they have the best price). You can also order it on Amazon or check out your local health/grocery store. Another popular brand is Vital Proteins - their product is also grassfed.

2. Mushrooms 

Benefits: Antioxidants – those things that help protect our bodies from damaging free radicals that cause inflammation. I love Four Sigmatic's 10 Mushroom Blend because it includes the most powerful body and mind defending mushrooms like chaga, lion's mane, reishi, and cordyceps, along with our other favorite fungi legends enokitake, maitake, shiitake, tremella (the main ingredient in our Beauty Blend), Agaricus blazei, and meshima. It's hard to get mushrooms into my diet everyday but with this blend, I get a range of

How I Consume It: Again, coffee is my go to. Blending a spoonful in my smoothie is the other way I make sure to get my dose of mushrooms. They have mushroom "coffee" as well. Nice way to get caffeine without the anxious feeling coffee can bring. But it does have it's own taste, some may say it's an acquired taste. Personally I've grown to really enjoy it.

Where to Get It: Order it directly from Four Sigmatic or on Thrive Market.

3. Turmeric Curcumin

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Benefits: Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin is a natural anti-Inflammatory compound. Anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is essential for a diet of someone with joint injuries or arthritis (which I have as a results of my fusion).

In fact, it's known to reduce pain, inflammation and stiffness related. As an alternative to pain killers, if I'm in need of something I'll use Turmeric Supreme Pain pills, to support a healthy inflammatory response. 

How I Consume It: I take a turmeric supplement after lunch every day. It guarantees I get enough into my diet. But I'll also cook with turmeric, enjoy a golden milk latte or get juices/smoothies with turmeric in them. Higher doses of turmeric can cause stomach aches so if you're not used to eating it, I recommend gradually increasing your intake.  

Where to Get It: For supplements I'm personally not loyal to any brand. Nature Made has a 500 mg option on Amazon. Or youtheory has a 1,000mg supplement for a higher dosage. Lots of options for turmeric to find the price point and dosage best for you.  

It Wasn’t A Detour

It’s easy to believe the lie that you got knocked out of the game. Health problems, an injury, a toxic relationship, the loss of a loved one, whatever it is… it altered your life. It took you on a new path. Not the one you wanted but a path of greater sorrow, and greater joy. 

The hardest part for me has been the feeling of being left behind and the feelings of isolation. I can vividly remember those moments in my life. And while I am able to see the positive aspects in retrospect, those memories still brings tears to my eyes. 

The truth is that no matter what precautions I take, and no matter how hard I work to be successful, healthy, wealthy, and comfortable — something will inevitably ruin it.

I tore a ligament in my wrist playing soccer in high school. Since then I have had countless procedures and 7 surgeries. A four corner wrist fusion has left me with limited mobility. I’ve had chronic pain. It ended my sports career. Disrupted my design career. It has broken and tried me in just about every way. But has it ruined my life?

My suffering can be overwhelming,

My suffering can feel unfair.

But it’s real and most importantly, my suffering is meaningful.

I can grit my teeth and try to fight the pain. Or I can surrender. I can accept it and mourn the losses. It has taken me down other paths. It let me add value where I wouldn’t have been able to add value before. It humbled me. It showed me I can’t do it all and I certainly can’t do it alone. When I let light into the darkness in my life, the healing began. 

The past 15 years of my life have been a journey. The next 15+ will be too. Full of high highs and low lows. What I’m learning is those detours pay off.

 

Hello and welcome!

This concept has been in the works for about 5 years now. The method and vision have changed over time, but the desire to share my experience, learnings, and findings has been constant.

For me, it started when I was 15 years old and tore my right wrist during high school soccer tryouts. It was a life-altering sports injury. I've had a total of seven surgeries, years of persistent pain, endless tests, seen 10+ doctors. Today my wrist is marked with scars, partially fused by a two-corner fusion then a four-corner fusion, nerves have been clipped as each doctor tried to fix it. 

Over the past 15 years, I've had to figure out how to manage the pain, cope with the loss, deal with depression, improve my mindset, and ask for help. As I've been learning, life isn't a checklist. I haven't mastered any of the things listed above. I am constantly learning. My goal for this blog is to capture those learnings. My hope is that you will find it helpful. And my other hope is that it helps me to continue to heal and not just survive.

I know for me, finding other people going through similar experiences or people that had the same surgeries as I have, has had a drastic impact on my life. They've shown me that as alone as I may feel at times, I am not alone. And neither are you. I invite you to come along with me on this journey. Share what you've found relief in, where you're hurting and where you need help.

Keep the momentum,
raika

Raika SarkettComment