Essential oil in food and drink

I recently attended a doTERRA talk and was fascinated to learn about ingesting essential oils. I know there is debate about ingesting essential oils. It is safe if you GET THE RIGHT ONES so don’t do downing the cheapy ones off a hippy website. I bought the physician kit from doTERRA and dabbled half-heartedly with a few oils, not really wanting to expend my much needed energy on a new thing which may be a fad (for me, not generally). I think we’ve all dabbled with lavendar if nothing else. Yesterday, I hit a fatigue slump and needed to prep for work in the evening, so I rubbed a drop of peppermint oil on the back of my neck and inhaled it from my hands. Instant lift that lasted!

This week I’ve been listening to the Essential Oils summit who have fascinating talks daily. I think it’s too late to sign up but have a look at superfoodalchemy.com and traditionalcookingschool.com. I listened to Wardeh’s talk today (tradcookingschool). I happened to be in the kitchen with my laptop and was making a fruit tea, so I popped a drop of lemon oil and a drop of wild orange in it. Mega-yum! Energy boost! I also happened to be making a pasta sauce and rather than the herb, I popped a drop of oregano oil in (this oil is strong so you may want to drop it off of a cocktail stick but I like oregano). Wardeh says that a drop is equivalent to a teaspoon of the herb so that will give you an idea of how much to use akin to your own tastebuds. The sauce tastes amazing, plus, oregano is good for gut issues and I know my husband is having a stress work day which will inevitably upset his bowels, so I am hopeful his dinner will help sort that out. I am now getting really enthusiastic. Ever since I wrote Eating for Energy a few months ago, people have been asking about a second book. I never intended to write one, I just wanted to get how I improved my chronic fatigue condition with food out there to help other people. Now though I am getting excited about cooking and baking with essential oils…maybe there is a second book in the offing!

Super sexy summer salad

Come on! A fantastic eating for energy meal. Who says salad has to be boring. This one is half a bag of mixed leaves,  a handful of home-grown colourful toms, organic carrot, diced watermelon, organic feta cheese and organic sweet red pepper. I dressed it with olive oil, organic cyder vinegar and sprinkled on some pink salt and cracked black pepper, then drizzled raspberry balsam vinegar over it. Tell me your mouth isn’t watering. Mmm mm mmmmm. 20160824_134204

Palmed off by unsupported facts about a ‘healthy’ sugar.

Bum. Yesterday I thought I’d found a new sugar that wasn’t going to exacerbate my fatigue coconut sugar (or coconut palm sugar/coconut nectar). Frankly, I should have known better. I bought some coconut jam at the weekend. I spread it on a piece of toasted rye bread yesterday morning. Had I stopped at that, I might have got away with it. But I didn’t, and I didn’t. Believing it to be low GI and having nutritional benefits such as magnesium (great for fatiguers) I ate a couple of teaspoonfuls of it after my dinner. I work evenings teaching Pilates. I felt dreadful at my classes last night. Nauseous and knackered. I blamed the heat, of course, but a little voice was saying, Yeah, what did you eat that was different today? Coconut jam. So, referring to my nutrition bible Authority Nutrition (should have gone there in the first place) I now find it is loaded with sucralose, so I may as well be eating fructose, so I may as well be downing refined sugar. It’s not as bad as refined sugar. But it’s not a ‘good’ sugar. Let’s face it, that is probably never going to exist. I can obviously tolerate a bit, which is progress in itself. Several years ago, when my CFS was much worse, it would have increased my fatigue and sent me straight into a slump, because that’s what sugar does to anyone with a fatigue condition. But I think, in the interest of continued CFS recovery, it’s bye bye coconut jam. Back to Avocado on toast and banana in my porridge for breakfast. Anyway, my chia seed jam is much better (she convinces self). The link for the article is below.

https://authoritynutrition.com/coconut-sugar

In a bit of a jam

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It’s official. I’m in a bit of a jam. Had this sugar-free fantastic jar of lusciousness for brekkie on some gorgeous toasted coconut and cranberry rye bread, then took to eating it straight from the jar. I fear addiction. I have had to forcibly remove myself from the kitchen (and I left kicking and screaming). Send help. I may need therapy.

Excuse me, I think I left something on the hob in the kitchen…what do you mean put that spoon down? What spoon? (Hides spoon up sleeve.)

We’re jammin’

Mmmm. Toasted coconut and cranberry rye bread (Biona Organic brand) for lunch. Topped it with blackberry chia seed jam. You can use any berry or a combo. Great way of using up a glut of fruit or those berries languishing in the bottom of the fridge! Sugar free but still mega yummy and sweet. The recipe is in my book Eating for Energy (link on the side of the page) but here you go:

1 cup of frozen or unfrozen berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries (if using unfrozen fruit watch it doesn’t catch and burn, frozen is preferable)

1.5 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 teaspoons of lemon or lime juice (lime works very well with raspberries)

1 teaspoon of brown rice syrup or a drop or two of liquid stevia.

 Cook the fruit slow and low.

Mush it down with a wooden spoon or fork.

Stir in the sweetener and juice.

Remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds.

Pop into a small kilner jar and let cool then store in the fridge for up to a week (if you can make it last that long).

 

Sugar and spice, nasty and nice

Sometimes I think I crave sugar. I may, but I can’t. In the old days I would load up on sugar or carbs in the hope it would give me energy. Loads of fatigue-y people make this all too common mistake. Sugar for CFS people is a huge no-no. It causes a massive slump. So I’ve learned that when  want sugar it’s usually because I’m beginning to feel fatigued. Today I had a huge bowl of fruit salad; juicy nectarine, grapes, galia melon and sweet strawberries. So much more beneficial than any sugary treat. I have also learned to add cinnamon, a useful sweet spice. Goes with anything. Try it.

Incredible hulk supper

I sometimes crave green. Usually either a large leafy salad or kale chips. I love kale chips. I could live on kale chips. I think you get my gist. Sooooo easy – bung half a bag of kale on a baking tray, sprinkle rock or pink salt and cracked black pepper and drizzle with a nut oil. Bake until they crisp. Eat. I added halloumi today. Can’t beat a bit of squeaky cheese on a Saturday night, or any night (maybe I need to get out more). Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, and a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is essential in dealing with fatigue.

Blast from the past

In my role as a clinical hypnotherapist I specialise in dealing with people with anxiety and depression. Yesterday I saw a lady with anxiety and palpitations, a lady with self esteem issues who comes across as extremely confident (so often the way) and a lady with a chronic fatigue condition that is as yet officially undiagnosed. It was surreal listening to her frustrations and anger and misery that she tries so hard to hide from her loved ones but stores up inside until she nearly explodes. I saw so much of myself – my previous self – in her and heard so many things that I had voiced. Trying to keep a professional perspective is hard. I’ve been there. I don’t know how she feels literally but I have a damn good idea of where she is coming from. I hope I am an example to her (she knows some of my history) and she garners some hope from my recovery. Seven years on I am so different. I am not through recovery but I see a beacon at the end of the tunnel now, not just a faint light and certainly not bleak darkness any more (except the odd day!). Changing my diet was life changing and that’s why I wrote my book and why I took to blogging. It’s also why I stopped my old blog and started a new one. One that is more hopeful. This is the newly evolved me. The new improved version. The upgrade! There are so many people out there trying to do this alone. You are not alone. Don’t isolate yourself.