pots workout

Working Out with POTS: “I feel worse when I do the suggested recumbent exercises, like the recumbent bike or rower. What gives?”

“I feel worse when I do the suggested recumbent exercises, like the recumbent bike or rower. What gives?”

The first thing any doctor will tell you about starting an exercise protocol with POTS is that recumbent exercise is the best to start with. However, if you’re anything like me, you might find that you feel WORSE when doing these exercises. In fact, my first ever POTS symptoms started after spin classes, whereas I could run or elliptical fine. So what gives?

I can’t find any scientific statements on this directly related to POTS, but first and foremost, let me reiterate to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

My best guess (based on consulting some friends in medicine and exercise science) is that something about the heart working as hard as it is with less of the body involved means that less of the body is getting blood. Perhaps the gravity is pulling the blood down when sitting on the recumbent and rower more than it is when running, because the blood is continually moving to all parts of the body when running (??) I’m prepared to be entirely wrong, so if you have a real answer PLEASE COMMENT BELOW.



Holiday Travel Tips with Chronic Illness

✨ Holiday Travel Tips with Chronic Illness✨ •

🎄 Pack medications & supplements in a carry-on rolling suitcase. Why? 1. You don’t want to check them in case it gets lost. 2. You don’t have to carry it on your back/ shoulder as you would a shoulder bag or backpack. I use a small duffel as my personal bag that I carry on top of my rolling suitcase until it’s time to board, then I put it under the seat in front of me. It holds my book, water, headphones, travel essentials. • ✨

🎄Hydrate!!! Bring bottles to fill up/ purchase extra water at the airport. Bring nuun/ liquid IV/ salt/ your favorite hydration. • ✨

🎄Eat every few hours (if you can). I find my POTS does better especially when traveling if I snack every 2 or so hours. Keeps the blood moving. •✨

🎄Plan ahead for food/ keep safe snacks on hand in case you get stuck in a hunger situation without any safe food options. It’s way less tempting to cheat on food that will make you feel crappy when you know you have safe snacks that can get you through until you can find safe food. • ✨

🎄Squeeze those muscles!! If you can, try to get up and move every hour or so. If you are stuck in a car or a window seat, try to engage several muscle groups (squeeze your buttocks, point and flex your toes, do some knee raises from your abs to work your core, squeeze your thighs) in order to pump your blood! Your legs and muscles are a natural blood pump. My blood pools a bunch when I travel due to my POTS. Compression socks help a ton too! •✨

🎄Let go of the fear of being “high maintenance”- the first time I checked a bag and did the rolling carry on/ duffel above was just a week trip to meet my boyfriends family. I didn’t want his family thinking I was “that girl” who needed multiple suitcases for a week- because it wasn’t all clothes and shoes!! But I quickly realized that I need to take care of me, period. If anyone said anything, I could shortly state it was a bag of medical items, end of story. No one said anything! 💖✨🥄🧂

What’re your favorite chronic illness travel tips? Share with me below! 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

As always, sending light, love, salt & spoons!


Gluten & Dairy Free Homemade Spicy Gingerbread Cookies!

Gingerbread cookies were always my family’s favorite growing up. My mom would make them from scratch every year and use red hots for their eyes and buttons.

When I moved away from home, I took mom’s recipe with me. This year, with my chronic illness flaring, I wanted to have the magic of making homemade cookies, but didn’t want to feel ill. Thankfully it’s 2019 and with a few tweaks I was able to make them!

gluten dairy free gingerbread cookies

Now, just a few quick NOTES before we get started!:

Note 1, on flour: There are different kinds of gluten-free flour. I used a 1:1 variety by Bob’s red mill (I got mine on Amazon via Whole Foods) so that I could avoid having to add any Xantham gum or other ingredients. Make sure whatever flour you use is 1:1 OR that you have whatever additives you need to replicate ‘real’ flour consistency.

Note 2, on shortening/ butter: There are so many different shortenings and butter substitutes. I recommend finding one made of ingredients you are comfortable with (eg. some have soy, others don’t). I used this one by earth balance, soy-free. (again, from Amazon via whole foods because I got my groceries delivered #spooniewin)

Note 3, on molasses: This recipe calls for light molasses. I did some research, and it seems as though any brand of light or normal molasses should do. I recommend the Grandma’s brand, unfortunately not at whole foods, surprise! hehe. Any light or normal molasses should do, DO NOT use black strap molasses as it’s far more bitter. My whole foods only had black strap so I bought this separately.

Note 4, on spices: I always throw in a pinch more ginger and cinnamon than called for, because I LOVE spices! But rest assured if you use the measurements below you’ll be plenty flavorful!


Homemade Spicy Gingerbread Men Cookies 

Yield 24 cookies

5-10 min prep time, 1 hour refrigeration time, 20-30 min cutting/ baking time. 

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening or butter substitute

1/2 cup light molasses

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl measure all ingredients. Beat ingredients with mixer at medium speed until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin (note: my gluten free flour didn’t stick super well so you may have to kinda wing this part), roll chilled dough 1/8 in thick. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. With cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes. Reroll trimmings and cut again. With spatula, place 1/2 in apart on cookie sheets.
  4. On each cut out, use sprinkles, cinnamon red hots, or desired decor to embellish cookies. Or omit and use frosting to decorate after (frosting not included in recipe)
  5. Bake 8 minutes or until browned, then with spatula remove cookies to cooling rack.
  6. ENJOY!!!!