Posted in Health

Guest Post: 21 Essential Items to Pack in A To-Go Bag

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN ITS ENTIRETY BY Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019].

No marriage or relationship is perfect, but if your spouse is physically abusive, or becomes physically aggressive, such as getting too close and violating your personal space while screaming, it’s time to think about leaving. Every woman should prepare a to-go bag with essential things she’ll need in case she needs to get our quickly.
Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019], has prepared a list of items to pack in a to-go bag.

21 Essential Items to Pack in A To-Go Bag:
Emergency cash
Your driver’s license,
Your credit cards
Your checkbooks
A list of your assets and debts
A set of clothes for you and the children
Diapers and a few toys if you have young children
Court papers, such as a temporary restraining order, if you have one
Your passport
Birth certificates
Marriage certificate and pre-nuptial agreement, if any
Social security cards
Medical and immunization records
Insurance information
Welfare documents
Immigration papers
Other legal documents
A list of important phone numbers, such as friends, relatives, doctors, and schools
Information on local resources, including your local battered women’s shelter
Journal of any verbal or physical abuse recording dates, threats, and events-start this now if you haven’t already!
“Put your go-bag in a very safe place or give it to someone you trust to hold it for you,” suggests Lombardy. “Keep the driver’s door to your car unlocked in case you need to escape in a hurry. Make sure you have gas in the tank and keep a spare key hidden inside your car in case you don’t have time to grab your key chain before leaving—or in case your husband takes away your keys. When you leave, grab jewelry, pictures, and other items of value if you have time, but leave them behind if staying longer jeopardizes your safety or that of your children.”

Posted in Health

Guest Post: How to File a Restraining Order

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN IN FULL BY: Rosemary Lombardy, financial advisor, candid abuse survivor and author of Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019], is sharing her expert advice on why a woman might need to file a restraining order and how to navigate the process.

How to File a Restraining Order
Where to start: If you need to file for a restraining order or an emergency protective order, you can obtain one from a local court without a lawyer. You will have to fill out the required paperwork, and the order, issued by the judge based on the information in the complaint, forbids your abuser from coming within a certain distance of you. It may also contain other restrictions, such as forbidding him to place phone calls or send emails to you.
Why you need one: Even if your husband has not been physically violent up to this point, if he has been verbally or emotionally abusive I recommend that you obtain a protective order before you inform him of your plan to divorce him. He is not stable if he is abusive and this action step could tip him over the edge. If you must call the police, they could potentially release the children to their father unless you have this type of court order in place. It will protect you and the children from him until a hearing is scheduled with the judge.
How long it lasts: The laws vary from state to state, but typically an emergency order remains in effect until a hearing takes place—usually within ten days—at which time both sides are allowed to present evidence. The judge then decides whether to grant a final restraining order, which may last up to a year.
Who you need to tell: Enlist the people you interact with at your children’s school and in your workplace in helping to keep your family safe. Give the principal of your children’s school a copy of your restraining order as well as your new phone number. Give a copy to the daycare center with as your new phone number, too. Be sure that they know not to give your new phone number to anyone who asks without your prior approval. Insist that all the necessary staff members are informed of the restraining order. Also, inform the people who take care of your children of who is permitted to pick them up and show them a picture of your husband. Make sure that they realize it is unsafe to release your children to him or to anyone else you haven’t authorized.
If your children’s caregivers ask for details, you only are required to tell them that you are in danger, and so are the children. The rest of the personal details are none of their business. Set a boundary with them if they press you for more information. You want them on your side, so just say politely that it is too painful an issue for you to discuss and that you are worried for your children’s safety. Period. If you have moved, make sure that they have been informed not to give your new address out to anyone.
Make sure that your employer, neighbors, and friends know that you have a restraining order in place. If they have never met your abuser, show them a picture of him.
Violations: Most states have laws that call for an arrest if the police find probable cause that a restraining order has been violated, even for driving past the victim’s house. Unfortunately, there is widespread hesitation among police to enforce restraining orders so many are not upheld. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Gonzalez vs. Little Rock that the police could not be held liable for violence that ensued due to the lack of enforcement of a restraining order.1
If your husband violates your restraining order, call the police immediately. Write down the names of the police officers involved, and the date and time that they came out in response to your call. You will need to retain this information for when you go to trial.
If your abuser violates the restraining order more than once and has threatened physical violence or has been violent, inform the police when they come out. This behavior is called stalking. The laws against stalking are not always enforced by law enforcement officials, especially if the stalker is considered a “pillar of the community.”
You may request to get the restraining order moved from family court to criminal court and have your husband prosecuted for felony stalking. You may need to be insistent about this to ensure that he is prosecuted. Stand up for yourself and don’t let someone else decide that your abuser deserves to get a free pass. It may mean life or death for you and for your children.
If that’s not enough: The illusion of protection is sometimes worse than not having it at all. If you fear for your safety, the best recourse is to leave home immediately with your children for a domestic violence shelter.
1 Henry Weinstein. “High Court Shields Police Who Fail to Enforce Restraining Orders,” Los Angeles Times (June 28, 2005). Available at:
About Rosemary Lombardy
Rosemary Lombardy is a financial advisor with over 35 years of experience. Although her professional expertise is in financial matters, her perspective on marital abuse, divorce, and recovery is deeply heartfelt and holistic. She draws on decades of personal experience, as well as the experiences of others who have gone through similar situations, to help inform abused women so that they will become empowered to leave their abusers and begin to heal.
Her former background in law, as well as being both a Catholic who has studied the Kabbalah and a Reiki master, have enabled her to provide practical guidance and spiritual techniques that women can use when they most need them. Her intention with Breaking Bonds is to offer a comprehensive plan to foster self-awareness, self-responsibility, empowerment, and critical thinking so that women can break the cycle of abuse in their families and truly heal to transform their lives.
Connect with Rosemary Lombardy on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit

Posted in Food, Health

Guest Post: Raw, Cooked or Modified: Could You Be Feeding Your Autoimmune Disease by Eating Foods in a Harmful Form?

THIS ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED IN FULL BY: Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories

In recent years, we’ve learned a lot about the harms of eating genetically modified foods (GMOs). There are, however, conflicting opinions on whether whole foods offer greater benefit when consumed in raw or cooked form. It’s not enough that we have to be thoughtful about which foods we put into our bodies. Now, we are being told that we have to consider how to eat them. For those who have or are at risk for autoimmune disease, this consideration can be even more critical.
Scientific studies show a link between GMOs and health problems, inflammation, a higher risk of disease, intestinal damage and—in extreme cases—death. Dr. Amy Myers, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Thyroid Connection, best explains why. First, GMOs contain more pesticides and toxins than non-GMOs. Overexposure to pesticides and environmental toxins can trigger autoimmune disease and worsen a preexisting condition. Second, GMOs can cause leaky gut, which in turn can lead to autoimmune disease, and inflammation, which aggravates the condition. Finally, GMOs can disrupt your gut microbial balance by decreasing the good bacteria and increasing the bad bacteria. In a nutshell, there is a lot of downside to making modified foods a part of your diet—especially if you suffer from autoimmune disease.
It is widely known that for optimal health we simply must eat whole foods. But what a lot of people fail to understand is that GMOs are not limited to processed foods in a box. Even whole foods can be modified. In fact, an estimated 92 percent of corn and 94 percent of soy grown in the U.S. are genetically modified! The best way to avoid modified whole foods is to buy organic fruits and vegetables and eat meat from cows that are grass fed and poultry from free-range organic chickens (though keep in mind that meat and dairy—even grass fed or free-range—can also be trigger for inflammation in some individuals).
With GMOs settled, we move on to the next question: Raw or cooked? Some believe that fruits and vegetables should be eaten in raw form for the highest nutrients and that cooking them destroys some of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Others maintain that cooked foods are easier to digest and allow for better absorption of nutrients. The truth is that yes, cooking veggies can eliminate some of the nutrients. But different foods have different reactions, with some producing more minerals through the cooking process. For example, cooking vegetables can increase the amount of calcium they provide. Ultimately, for the average healthy individual, eating a balanced diet of both raw and cooked vegetables and fruits will provide the best intake of nutrients.
For those with autoimmune disease, an altered diet might be necessary. Just as foods react differently to the cooking process, so do our bodies. It is important to remember that everybody (and every body) is different. Our systems, although similar in function, are made up of different genes, unique chemistries, varying levels of digestive enzymes, different absorption rates and so on. There are many foods that are known to be inflammatory in general, but it varies from one person to the next, especially based on whether the food is consumed in raw or cooked form.
Taking stock of how your individual system functions best, which foods best fuel you (and in what form) and those that lead to negative reactions, is your best path forward for a healthy lifestyle, particularly if you have an autoimmune condition. An elimination diet can be helpful in determining foods that are problematic for you; however, this can be a timely, frustrating and inconclusive process. For those seeking more efficient answers, Cyrex Laboratories, a clinical immunology laboratory specializing in functional immunology and autoimmunity, offers multi-tissue antibody testing for the early detection and monitoring of today’s complex autoimmune conditions. The Array 10C – Comprehensive Food Immune Reactivity Screen – assesses the most advanced array of wheat/gluten, dairy proteins and food proteins in raw, cooked and modified forms.
Proper diet and nutrition are essential for optimal health, fighting disease and feeling our best. While we should follow scientific evidence as a guide, our individual chemistry and function must also be taken into account. If you suspect you have hyperimmune reactivity to foods, seek the advice of a doctor and inquire about whether testing might be a good option for you.

Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on the Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories. Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine and environmentally-induced chronic disease.

Posted in Health

Guest Post: 5 Signs Your Loved One is in an Abusive Relationship

The following is a guest post written by Rosemary Lombardy.
5 Signs Your Loved One is in an Abusive Relationship

1.Changed behavior or demeanor. This person used to be happy, friendly, and confident, but is now apathetic, withdrawn, anxious, jumpy, apologetic, secretive, or fearful. She exhibits low self-esteem, doesn’t trust her own judgment, or is depressed.

2.Negative coping behavior. Excessive drinking, drug use, overeating, overconsumption of caffeine or sugar, or frequent shopping sprees are common coping mechanisms used by abuse victims.

3.Excessive contact and control. Her abuser texts or calls her frequently when she is in the company of others to see what she is doing and who she is with, keeping her on a very short leash. She answers his every call or text.

4.Isolating behavior. She no longer spends time with friends or family because of the controlling demands of her partner, who deliberately isolates her from needed support. She relents to please him and avoid conflict.

5.Unexplained bruises or accidents. The victim covers up her bruises with makeup or clothing and will make up excuses if she is confronted with suspicions because she is afraid and mortified.

“Many women never tell anyone that they are being abused because they are embarrassed and ashamed or fearful of repercussions,” says candid abuse survivor and author Rosemary Lombardy. “It is not always possible to know, but there are telltale signs that may indicate that abuse is going on.”
Lombardy is author of the new book, Breaking Bonds: How to Divorce an Abuser and Heal – A Survival Guide [February 8, 2019]. She has advice for women to end any relationship successfully – mentally and financially. Her goal is to offer a comprehensive plan to foster self-awareness, self-responsibility, empowerment, and critical thinking so that women can break the cycle of abuse and truly heal to transform their lives.

Posted in Health

A Viral Weekend

It hit me Friday. Out of the blue. One minute I was happily going about my day and the next I was in misery. Initially, I thought I was having a vicious allergy attack. My eyes were acting funky. My upper respiratory system was freaking out and I felt awful. By the time the hubs got home that afternoon, I couldn’t function. I kept thinking it was just a nasty allergy thing due to the weather spiking from 20 to 60 in 2 days time.

By Friday night, I knew it was viral. My body ached so badly that my husband said I was screaming in my sleep. During the day, I couldn’t stay awake. I think I took 3 naps Saturday. I’d had high hopes for the weekend. I have been desperately looking forward to starting a new, really big painting. I didn’t have the energy to feed myself let alone paint. At some point, I told my family to just enjoy their time together & I checked out.

Even my fur babies were concerned. Buster was laying on top of my legs as I couldn’t get warm. Butter was curled near my head and wanted to endlessly lick my head. God, I love them. I didn’t expect sympathy. I wouldn’t have gotten it anyway. I let my mom know and she along with my aunt prayed. I spent a lot of time in prayer, too. To keep myself from being consumed in my misery, I tried to remember all the words to specific praise songs.

Whether I was in and out of sleep or consciousness, I don’t know. When Sunday hit, my stomach became involved. It was an angry stomach. Very angry. No vomiting, but I really, really wanted to. Along with the nausea came mind-numbing pain. Full body, lose your senses pain. Parkinson’s makes everything worse. It’s an unfortunate, but accurate fact.

As the day went on, my senses cleared. I felt human-ish. I couldn’t do anything really. I read a lot. I prayed a lot. As Monday arrived, even though I had a horrible time sleeping, I feel better. I’m operating at perhaps 75%. I am so grateful that the Lord heard my prayers and honored them. To be this much better after feeling really close to meeting Jesus face to face, is a miracle. I’m disappointed my family didn’t seem as concerned as I was. My advice to other Parkinson’s patients is to take care yourself even when your family drops the ball. But, stay in close contact with the Great Physician. He’s always available.

Posted in Beauty, Health, Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Hack #4: Makeup

One of the things that has definitely kept depression at bay for me is makeup. Not only does it keep me from scaring the masses, it makes me feel alive and better all around. But, like everything else, when you have Parkinson’s, things need to be adjusted. Here’s a few little tidbits that have made the experience more enjoyable and easier.

1. Invest in self-adhesive eyeshadow shields. These, for me, are a game changer. By using them under the eyes, you reduce fallout of shadow onto your cheeks and even hands. By using them on top and bottom of your eyes, you can create a streamlined eye look with crisp, clear lines. Also, if you’re having a shaky day, you needn’t worry about whether one side is darker, higher, etc than the other or worry about getting the shadow everywhere but on your lids!

2. Switch from a pen/pencil eyeliner to a gel. Those little gels in their little bitty pots bring me such joy! Although it’s applied with a small brush, the line can be gone over to make it bigger, longer, thicker or even thinner. There’s less chance of poking yourself in the eye (which I’ve done quite often). It is also much easier to accomplish more dramatic eye looks without the fuss.

3. Multi-task! Using one product with multiple functions is a time-saver with or without PD. Highlighters that double as a primer for example, are a great way to do double duty.

4. Don’t be afraid of color. Especially if you are suffering from depression, now is the perfect time to play with color. Remember how much fun makeup can be! Check out some YouTube gurus and try something new. It does wonders to lift your spirits. Change your look to fit your mood.

5. Rethink your makeup. Although no one quite knows why, PD can change your skin. Be it tone, oil, dryness, etc. changes happen. Do you need a matte foundation? More concealer? Take a look in your makeup bag and do something new.

6. Maybe some things need to go. Okay, maybe we can’t do false eyelashes anymore. That’s ok. Mascaras have come a long way! Try one with a thicker brush to eliminate oops moments. If you have to avoid your lower lashes, than do that. There aren’t rules here! It’s makeup. We may not be able to recreate those fab Instagram looks, but, hey, we work with what God gave us!

7. Moisturize! Then, moisturize some more. I know that I had to switch primers because the one I used for so long started to dry me out and wasn’t worth the pore minimizing effects. Once I went to a hydrating primer, problem solved.

8. Do it for you! It’s about doing something for you. To benefit you, to make you feel better, to help you see some sunshine everyday. It shouldn’t be a have to. Make it a want to. It may, as it does for me, motivate you to do more things. The better you feel, the more you are capable of. Don’t give up.

Posted in Health, Home, Product Reviews

2018 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers from Mouthwatchers

What’s the age-old question that all ‘Santas’ face? What to put in those stockings! Different ages, different personalities, different preferences- there’s a lot to consider. But, what do they all have in common? Teeth. Santa and his parental helpers can provide a gift that keeps giving: a healthy mouth!

Our friends at Mouthwatchers make it super easy to fill those stockings.

Here’s all you need to know: NATURALLY ANTIMICROBIAL* BRISTLES For Better Health – Infused with silver to naturally eliminate 99.9% of bacteria that grows on the bristles within 6 hours!

FLOSSING BRISTLES™ – Dual-layered bristle structure provides superior cleaning: the inner bristles, thin as a human hair, gently brush away food and plaque in places other brushes miss while the outer thicker bristles ensure complete cleaning of gum and teeth.

SOFT LONG LASTING POLYESTER BRISTLES – Get up to one extra month worth of use thanks to the polyester better bending properties than nylon, used in most brushes on the market! (The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months. The Doctor Plotka’s brush will last about 4!)

Dentist Developed – Dr. Ronald Plotka designed this innovative toothbrush as part of his thriving 40+ year Boston-based dental practice.

I can completely stand behind this product. It has been a huge game changer in our dental health. We’ve had 7 checkups since we began using Mouthwatchers and our son is still cavity-free. Since we first tried them, we’ve gotten spoiled. Other toothbrushes just don’t measure up. Brand does matter in brushes! When you find a product that is cost effective, great quality, and delivers proven results, you stick with it.

With all the food and sweets we all consume during the holidays, it’s a good idea to invest in new toothbrushes. Pick up some Mouthwatchers brushes, quality toothpaste and floss. Make those stockings a healthy treat this year. Once you’ve tried the Mouthwatchers brand, you won’t want any other toothbrush. We love them!

*I received the aforementioned product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. 

Posted in Health, Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Skin Issues

Next to fatigue, this PD symptom really stinks. The best way that I can describe it is creepy-crawly. It’s almost as if you sat down on an ant hill. Until today, I honestly thought it had something to do with allergies or something similar.
I went to the PD forum on as I often do and looked it up. It even has a funky name. ‘Formication’. Those of us in the forum made jokes about how it’s one letter off from ‘fornication’. Two ENTIRELY different definitions! At least we can laugh about it, right? It seemed that most of us with young onset PD have the most trouble with it.
Being that I never expected it to be related to PD, I’ve tried everything- new bath items, moisturizers, pills- you name it. Apparently, Cetaphil is the go to in the group for moisturizing. Regardless, my back, arms, and legs have been in a constant state of ‘itchy’ for weeks. It’s quite unnerving.
No one wants to be out in public looking for a wall corner to scratch their back on! Plus, the hubs is tired of me saying, ‘Can you scratch my back? I can’t reach this spot.’
I really do try not to blame everything that occurs in my messed up body to PD. I try not to be a complainer. But, this symptom is simply awful. So, I will offer it up in prayer and continue to search for remedies. I do stay well hydrated and don’t take overly hot showers. The forum is awesome for looking up new, obscure symptoms. I’m jealous that many of the folks there have really good neurologists. Mine isn’t great, but he’s the only one in close proximity.
I will try the Cetaphil and see if it helps.

Posted in Faith, Health, Parkinson's Disease

Painting With Parkinson’s

I’ll be honest. There was a time here recently that I was giving up. My body wasn’t cooperating. My mind was following its lead. I was depressed and fed up. Nothing was making me happy. The things I wanted to do I couldn’t. I certainly didn’t want to do nothing. I started letting my mind wander to all the things I have never accomplished. Basically, I had a full-on pity party.

Then, I got a text from my mom, showing me an embroidery piece she’d done. Then, another. Mom, with her more advanced Parkinson’s was sewing! It wasn’t like I forced myself to tell her it was nice. It WAS nice. She did a great job. I got me thinking.

When my husband & son decided to pop into Hobby Lobby, I went to. I went up and down aisles. Shaking my head and doubting myself, I ended up in the painting aisle. Now, I am not artistic. I’m not even kind of crafty. But, they had this guided painting kit. It was on sale for under $10 so I thought, ok. I’m going to try.

I brought it home and realized that the instructions were daunting. But, 2 weeks later, I had finished an adorable likeness of 2 puppies. My husband and son, though still skeptical, told me it wasn’t half bad. Ok, I’ll take it.
The next time I bought a kit, I went a level higher to challenge myself a little more. Now, I’ve almost finished that one and have set a long-term goal of painting a picture for my sister’s new house.

I noticed some other changes too. I have been filling idle time with painting. I also pray while I’m painting and just enjoy talking, inwardly to the Lord. I also haven’t dropped anything in several weeks. I was usually good for 2-3 cups a day, etc. No more dropping. Less type-o’s too.

I’m grateful that the Lord found me a hobby and I am grateful to my mom for pushing through.

Posted in Beauty, Health, Product Reviews

#Sponsored Get Ready For ‘Back-to-School’ With Dr. Plotka!

It seems like yesterday that we were all planning Summer activities and breaking out the tank tops. Now, everywhere you go there are reminders that school starts- soon! My sister, a teacher in Alabama, goes back early in August and we’re set to begin here at home within 4 weeks! I’ve even seen a display of *gasp* Halloween candy! Anyone raising children knows how quickly 3 short, summer months go by.

We also know that the best way to get back into school is routine, routine, routine. I’m sure you have your own checklist of things to buy, borrow, or find. We certainly do! But, considering that dentists recommend getting a new brush every 3 months, the start of school is the perfect time to do it. (If you’re past that 3 month mark, don’t be too hard yourself. We all forget!)

But, don’t just buy any toothbrush. Make a conscious choice, this school year, to earn those better dental check-ups. My family has been using Dr. Plotka’s brushes for quite some time now. I can say, for fact, that they have made a difference. I won’t ever endorse a product that I haven’t used AND believe in. This product, this company, makes a difference. Need some convincing?
Explore the features of this bathroom essential:
NATURALLY ANTIMICROBIAL* BRISTLES For Better Health – Infused with silver to naturally eliminate 99.9% of bacteria that grows on the bristles within 6 hours!

FLOSSING BRISTLES™ – Dual-layered bristle structure provides superior cleaning: the inner bristles, thin as a human hair, gently brush away food and plaque in places other brushes miss while the outer thicker bristles ensure complete cleaning of gum and teeth.

SOFT LONG LASTING POLYESTER BRISTLES – Get up to one extra month worth of use thanks to the polyester better bending properties than nylon, used in most brushes on the market! (The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3 months. The Doctor Plotka’s brush will last about 4!)

Dentist Developed – Dr. Ronald Plotka designed this innovative toothbrush as part of his thriving 40+ year Boston-based dental practice.

That’s impressive, right? It’s not just ‘lip’ service either. My 15-year-old son’s last SIX dental visits have been cavity-free. Zero. Some of the most beautiful words ever spoken are: ‘You have no cavities!’ It makes me proud that I am doing something good as a caregiver. In today’s world, we need all the positive reinforcement that we can get!

Before switching brushes, he had cavities. There were at least one a year to a year and a half. He goes every 6 months as suggested, so that means 6 visits- 3 years- of no cavities. It’s better for his mouth, health, and our finances! Dr. Plotka’s brushes simply clean better than ordinary brushes. They’re worth every penny.

My husband & I have both been using them too. He’s had no more tooth pain and gum issues. My gum issues are a thing of the past. Try them. What have you got to lose? You have a lot to gain. Get ready to have the best school year ever featuring a winning smile!

I received the aforementioned product in exchange for a review. All opinions are mine.