One of the many gifts/life lessons Lyme bestowed upon me is CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My playful description for CFS is, “No matter how many times I say ‘Go go Gadget body, it refuses to move.'” I swear, I spent so much time and energy just TRYING TO MOVE, only to remain stuck wherever I’d last planted myself. The term “feeling like lead” is the most perfect definition of CFS for me. When I recovered from Lyme a little over a year ago, the CFS mostly went away, along with the fibromyalgia, brain fog, etc., but it does still reappear when my body gets out of whack, and I do have to manage it regularly.
I don’t have the energy I had pre-Lyme, and might never; for one, I’m a few critical years older now, and for another, I think I had a pretty insane amount before. I worked 45-50 hours a week, minimum, in restaurant management, and was so highly active running around that I used to eat ice cream around midnight almost every night just so I didn’t lose any more weight- I was about 105 lbs, which at 5’6”, is skinny enough that you’ve passed enviable territory into the, “are you ok?” zone. After work, I’d generally go out to a bar with coworkers, and rarely made it home before 2 or 3 am, only to enthusiastically do it all again the next day.
I got my first symptoms of Lyme when I started my business, which took off at lightning speed; the first month, I worked over 16 hours a day trying to keep up with grocery store orders myself. At the end of the month, when I hired a staff and rented a permanent commercial kitchen, my body was shot. I’d gained 15 lbs (without even eating much- my thyroid just went downhill), I was spilling things everywhere, I cried frequently, and all I wanted was white flour and sugar (which, being raw, I didn’t even eat at the time). My body has never returned to the state it was in prior to March 2009, but I am elated with how well I’ve bounced back from the two horrific years that ensued after that month.
The following are what I use for energy, drive, and stamina. I don’t take all these things all the time, but cycle through them as needed, and tend to focus on whatever my current kick is. The sites they link to are where I tend to purchase them, usually because that is the best deal I’ve found.
This is the brand of ribose powder I’ve been using happily for awhile. I add one scoop to my pot of tea in the morning, and take an additional half-scoop prior to exercise. The dosage is higher than many other brands, so you only need one scoop instead of two like with others. You can also get ribose with magnesium malate for pain, but I didn’t find that helpful when I had fibro. If you take too much ribose, you may get edgy and snippy, so start slow.
This supplement is a GODSEND, and I’m not even vaguely religious. Unfortunately, this particular brand has been discontinued, but I still have plenty on hand because my mother buys in bulk, so I can’t specifically recommend another maker since I haven’t tried any. While NADH does not provide any palpable, notable energy, it gives you stamina. Once well, I still crashed by five pm daily, unable to make dinner or clean or anything after a few hours spent working. From the first day of taking 10 mg of NADH onward, I could come home from the kitchen and have a productive evening. I haven’t been taking this lately, as I haven’t been doing terribly much, but I take it regularly when I am active, or when I know I will have a long day. It eliminates my late-afternoon fatigue completely.
Organic, extra virgin coconut oil is something else I add to my daily pot of tea. I have about two tablespoons a day of it, and notice a minor increase in my energy level from it. It’s medium chain fatty acids are good for everything from thyroid function to liver function, and it can aid in weight loss (though it has never helped me with that).
Gaia Adrenal Support
This product made me feel SO good. Happy, vibrant, and alive. Sadly, it made me break out in huge, cystic pimples, so I can’t take it anymore. This isn’t the herb combo’s fault so much as the fault of my shoddy liver, and I still recommend it for those who do not have major issues with acne. I’ve recommended it to others, and it hasn’t made anyone else break out.
Spring Dragon Longevity Tea
I’ve posted about this tea before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It contains many of the ingredients in the Gaia formula, and unlike that, I don’t break out from it. The gynostemma has a mildly euphoric effect on me, and the Chinese herbs give me smooth, clean energy. One tea bag makes three cups of tea, and I drink 1-2 bags a day. In the morning, I combine one tea bag, sometimes a bag of liver detox tea also into a three-cup pot, and add one scoop d-ribose, 1 tbls coconut oil, and about 1/3 tsp stevia powder. It’s delicious and got me off caffeine quickly; the only coffee I drink now is decaf.
iHerb sent me a sample of CocoCeps with an order about six months ago, and it was the most effective marketing tool ever. Figuring it would taste shroomy and gross, I was amazed that this product tasted like nothing more than cocoa powder. Made of three simple ingredients- non-alkalized organic cocoa, reishi, and cordyceps- CocoCeps mixes fairly easily into any hot beverage (water, milk, etc), and tastes like a plain ole nice cup of cocoa. It does need to be sweetened, which the package mentions. It also contains 14 mg caffeine, so it isn’t suitable for those who can’t have caffeine. 14 mg is less than even green or white tea, so it’s a pretty minimal amount. I drink this every morning with decaf and stevia, prior to my pot of Spring Dragon, and it makes for a super healthy, delicious mocha.
I paid about $35 for my rebounder, which I chose based on the fact that it was foldable. I envisioned a product that would be similar to something on the Jetsons, and go from the size of a car to that of a briefcase. Alas, it was way more of a pain than that, and has stayed open the whole time I’ve owned it. As you can see from the clickable link, jumping up and down like a kid on a little trampoline is very good for you, and the fact that you get twice the exercise minute-for-minute on a cellular level is an added bonus. If I don’t feel up for much, I at least try to use it for a couple minutes, and I always feel better afterwards. Generally I use it for 20-30 minutes, with 2 lb weights in each hand for half the time I’m on it.
On the one hand, this stuff is really expensive pond scum. On the other hand, it is one of the most concentrated phytonutrient sources on the planet, and it’s excellent for your health. It also provides a solid boost of energy, and the one with “BrainOn” helps with clarity of thought. I use this occasionally, one ounce a day in the morning after teas and before breakfast. I tend to go through a full bottle in a short time, since it’s only good in the fridge for a week, then pause awhile before the next bottle.
Whether you are so fatigued that you can’t reach for the remote, or you just would like an extra competitive edge on life, I encourage you to try any of these products. I know I wouldn’t be able to have written all this without them!