Know your sugars

One of the first thing I talk to people about when discussing managing fatigue is cut sugar right back. It’s hard to go sugar free, but not impossible. But cutting sugar is a good way to begin.  This is all very well if you know what sugar is. I tell people to read the labels and then I give them a list of the most common disguises sugar uses to sneak into your food.

The following article, from a trusted research source, plainly and excellently lays out the sugars to watch out for.

Well worth a read. Carry a note of the common and uncommon ones in your purse or wallet when you go shopping. Stop letting food manufacturers poison you!

Butter me up!

I bloomin’ love nut butters. I love them in stuff, on stuff or straight off the spoon.

Nuts and nut butters are a great go-to snack option for anyone trying to manage fatigue or blood sugar levels. So for effective management of chronic fatigue or diabetes, these should be in your cupboards and handbags/pockets (maybe just the nuts in your pockets, it could get a bit sticky with the butters).

I recently discovered walnut butter and used that in energy balls. It made a denser ball and was less sweet than almond or cashew butter but was still yummy. Here is a link to an easy peasy do it yourself nut butter recipe (or seed butter if you prefer). It can also be found in an article on nuts but I thought I’d post is separately as I didn’t want you to miss out.

Homemade Nut & Seed Butter

 

Vegetable Muffins

I don’t recall where I picked this recipe up from but I was after a wheat-free savoury muffin and wanted

something to try chick pea flour with. I scribbled it down from somewhere then was without an oven for nearly three weeks so if I have pinched it from someone out there and you want me to credit you, get in touch! I have altered it to suit my tastes.

3 cups chickpea flour

3tbsp olive oil

1/2-1 cup of water

Cracked black pepper and rock salt

2 cups veg (recipe I wrote down read to grate but I just chopped up sundried toms, carrot, asparagus and green beans).

I added garlic salt and chopped fresh sage with a drop of basil essential oil the original recipe used herbes de provence.

3 eggs beaten

2 tsp baking powder

50g grated cheese (I used hard goat cheese)

Preheat oven to 180

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add in the veg and seasoning.

Mix oil with egg.

Add in the egg and two thirds of the cheese.

Combine the ingredients and add water slowly until you have a dropping consistency.

Spoon mixture into paper cases in a muffin tray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

The real M.E.

I class myself as a recovering fatigue. I’ve had some really tough times but I see the sun at the end of my tunnel shining and encouraging me on. Chronic illness can be self absorbing. Yes you must prioritise yourself but you can still be there for other people and it will do you good to do that. I appreciate the light but I have fought to see it. Don’t hide in your darkness. Accept help, don’t be afraid to ask for it, but also support and help where you can too. It’s how the world goes round best.14333129_686586391490310_6914153998707452042_n

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!

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.

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.