Feeling fruity!

I am currently enjoying picking strawberries, loganberries, raspberries, cherries (and waiting slightly impatiently for blueberries -come ooon!). Loving popping them in a fruit salad with some mango and melon and perhaps papaya. Fantastic as this fulsome mix of flavour is, I also pop a drop each of food grade lemon, lime and wild orange essential oil in a tablespoon of filtered water and pour that over, stir and leave in the fridge. Hello sunshine in a bowl with a cool refreshing breeze – sort of! (Oh, use your imagination, will you?).

Kaarunchy Kale!

I tried out my new dehydrator today to make kale chips – a great immune booster. I just coated them in pink salt and paprika to see how they went and they are yummerz! So much more crispy than when they are done in the oven and they don’t go brown around the edges.

Got a couple of recipes to try with sundried tomato and nut coating so I’ll be getting right on that tomorrow. Awesome!20170116_14241620170116_14242720170116_142716

Autumn Energy Boosters

I am going to list a variety of autumnal foods that will boost you. Today we start with

Porridge.

I eat this almost daily. I eat sprouted oats as they are easier to digest (I use Rude Health). I add in unsweetened almond milk and a drop of cinnamon essential oil. Other options are to stir in nut butter, banana, blueberries or seeds. I sometimes stir in chia seed jam.

Oats are 3% protein so adding in nut butter or seeds (esp chia seeds) will boost its protein content and give more energy throughout the morning, seeing you more easily through to lunch. It’s a slow release carb and carbs will calm you allowing you to be more focussed. Blueberries are lovely when they heat and split, oozing purpley loveliness but other than making your porridge pretty they provide antioxidants.

Driving me nuts

So my kinesiologist, who I rely on for my supplements to literally keep me going, says to me two weeks ago:

No nuts, no sugar, no wheat, no spice for two weeks.

Okay, I say, I can do no wheat and no sugar cos I do that anyway.

Oh, that includes sugar from raw fruit.

Oh no! I can’t give up nuts and fruit. What???!!!

But, it made me examine my diet. I make cookies with ground almonds, and energy balls with nuts and granola with nuts, and fake fudge with nut butter, and I snack on nuts and eat Body Me or Naked bars that contain….nuts!!!

Maybe, just maybe, I eat too many nuts. Yes they are a good fat, blah blah, but too much of a good thing?

Sooo I went back to porridge with cinnamon (I double checked that didn’t count as a spice I had to avoid) or a baked banana with 100% dark choc melting in the middle (HEAVEN). I found a recipe for energy balls with dessicated coconut and seed butter. I stewed apple with cinnamon. I didn’t bake any cookies but made courgette brownies instead.

And, I have to admit, I enjoyed it. I am past my two weeks of avoidance. Whether it’s that or the supplements kicking in or both, I don’t know but I do feel better.

Raw nuts take a lot of energy to digest (I discovered after I could have used nut butter and ground almonds, but hey) and like anything, if the system is overloaded it will run sluggishly.

Just a thought – maybe it would do you good to have a look at your diet and challenge yourself to avoid or cut back on one or two things and replace with other things.

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.)

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.