Life After Diagnosis: Jessica Kendall James on Redefining A New Healthy

Jessica Kendall James is the chronic illness lifestyle blogger and creator behind OurNewHealthy.com and The Spoonie Planner, living her life to the fullest and seeking to redefine “healthy” with multiple chronic illnesses. After spending many years in isolation while struggling to find a proper diagnosis, Jessica created The Spoonie Planner to lift herself back up and find diagnoses, treatment, and a life beyond just survival. It was in seeing how it empowered her that Jessica realized The Spoonie Planner might be able to help others too, and so she created Our New Healthy, a lifestyle brand and blog for the chronically ill. And this December, with the help of her Spoonie Community, she was able to launch the brand’s first tool, The Spoonie Planner.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Jessica! I am 25 years old and I love all things ocean, nature, and adventure-related! My greatest gift in life is my friendships, and my deepest passion lies in a few different arenas including organic beauty and lifestyle, patient empowerment, and the organization aisle at Target.

I also happen to live with 8 main chronic illnesses, including EDS Type 3, POTS, Gastroparesis, MCAD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Celiac Disease, Hypothyroid, and TMD, among other underlying diseases and disorders. I was born with EDS Type 3, that is for certain, but many of my other illnesses could have been avoided with proper early diagnoses of my EDS. You can learn more about me and my journey at OurNewHealthy.com !

Read more >Life After Diagnosis: Jessica Kendall James on Redefining A New Healthy



Writing Your Way to a Happy and Healthy 2017 | The Health Sessions

Writing Your Way to a Happy & Healthy New Year

It’s kind of an understatement to say that I love lists, notebooks and planners. As my husband jokingly says: you can tell Jen’s in the house by following the paper trail.

There’s something strangely satisfying and calming about putting pen to paper. And it’s not just me: studies show that regularly writing things down has several benefits for your physical and emotional wellbeing, from boosting your creativity and productivity to an improved mood, less stress and even a stronger immunity.

Now of course you can use digital planners and apps to track your habits, but it seems that writing by hand improves your memory, by combining neuro-sensory experiences and fine motor skills. Even doodling and free-hand scribbling can facilitate thinking, make ideas tangible and help you express emotions when you can’t find the right words.

So have a look at this list of ideas and tools to write your way to a happier and healthier new year! 

Read more >Writing Your Way to a Happy & Healthy New Year



The Best of 2016: The 10 Most-Loved Blog Posts of the Year | The Health Sessions

The Best of 2016: The 10 Most-Loved Blog Posts of the Year

Another year has almost come and gone, and what a year it’s been.

Reflecting back on 2016, I mostly feel proud on what I’ve accomplished, despite my fair share of challenges. I’ve published more than 40 in-depth articles on The Health Sessions, attracting over 200,000 unique visitors. I finished writing my first, 200-page ebook, which will be available late January 2017 – so exciting! And most importantly, there have been countless moments of personal bliss, with the baby boy growing inside me as the most precious milestone.

Of course there have also been many times I’ve felt stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed, concerned about ill family members, not to mention the disturbing and heartbreaking events around the world. But overall, I can honestly say that I’ve done all that I could do this year.

So to round up the old before welcoming in the new, here is the most loved content – by you and me – of The Health Sessions of 2016. 

Read more >The Best of 2016: The 10 Most-Loved Blog Posts of the Year



How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You're Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You’re Chronically Ill

December, the month of celebrations. From the Dutch Sinterklaas, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve , it’s the time for culturally-rooted festivities all around the globe.

But it’s little different celebrating when you’re chronically ill.

Pain, fatigue and other horrible symptoms can definitely mess up your plans and traditions. Depending on your personal health situation, enjoying things like shopping for presents, cooking an elaborate Christmas dinner, attending parties or even staying up on New Year’s Eve may not be an option – or one you pay a high price for with days or weeks of recovery time.

The trembling legs, relentless nausea or breathlessness won’t go away for a day just because today is a holiday and you want to celebrate. You still feel as good, bad or awful as you do every day, and it’s hard to keep smiling, enjoy the feast at the table and focus on sparkling conversations around jou when you experience throbbing pain or ’embarrassing’ stomach troubles at the same time.

So how can you make the most of the holiday season even when you’re chronically ill?

Read more >How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You’re Chronically Ill



Expecting... A Baby & A Book! | The Health Sessions

Expecting… A Baby and A Book!

In the world through which I travel, I’m endlessly creating myself.”

– Franz Fanon

 

I have some exciting news to share with you today!

If you hadn’t already guessed it from the title: a baby boy will be joining our family next Spring! I’m halfway through my pregnancy now and have been feeling relatively good so far. With a rapidly growing belly though, it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to keep up with a highly energetic toddler and all my daily demands. But hey, what matters most is that the little one and I are doing fine.

But that’s not the only creative project in store for 2017… 

Read more >Expecting… A Baby and A Book!