In 2009 I had my chronic fatigue diagnosis. Worst time ever (not that there’s a good time) I’d just gone fully self-employed without the luxury of sick days and reliant only on myself and the finance I was able to generate. No pressure then!
After doing A LOT of stuff wrong, I went to visit a nutritionist, Claire Stone, who gave me some extremely useful pointers about where I was going wrong (quick fixes, carbs, sugar – we’ve all done it!). I took most (sorry couldn’t get on with linseed tea) of what Claire discussed with me on board. It wasn’t easy and took effort, but when I let myself fall off the wagon, boy, did I notice the difference Claire’s suggestions made. Having implemented a lot of changes over a bit of time, I still felt something was missing. Yes, I was addressing my health with nutrition but I wasn’t combining my mental health with my physical health. Knowing, thanks to Claire, that nutrition was key I started my search for a retreat. Having found one that advocated vegan ‘clean food’ and incorporated yoga, I contacted the organisers and told them about my condition. At the time I was walking with a walking stick and not going very far. To cut a long story short, I was amazed at what I was able to do on the retreat under kind and attentive instructors and co-ordinators. I incorporated more of what I learned and today I now class myself as a recovering fatigue. So now I’d like to give something back. I have set up a retreat in beautiful surroundings with private ensuite bedrooms for that all important heavenly night’s sleep. A place for you to rest, recuperate and learn about self love and care. Optional Pilates that can be tailored to you, fantastic whole food, fun, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, colour breathing which balances and aligns energy centres. This retreat could help you learn what you can be capable of and learn to manage fatigue and/or stress. To help you find freedom in gentle movement and be proud of what you achieve. There are various options, I know it can be scary to commit to a weekend, or finances may not permit, so to make all the benefits accessible and affordable I am offering a two night stay, a one night stay and a day retreat taster. Full details are on the website and you can jump to Dates and Prices.
Energy balls with a twist…the usual recipe but with lavender essential oil and rosewater. Perhaps chill out balls or bliss balls is better! You get these in your room if you come on my retreat
Recipe in my book Eating for Energy on Amazon.
As part of a retreat I am running, I will be offering colour breathing. This isn’t colour therapy and while it took off about a decade ago, it’s become rather an unknown entity, however, it’s powers of relaxation are one of it’s best kept secrets. Based on the simple system of chakras, or if you prefer, energy centres, it is a therapy that balances and aligns using colour and breath – as the name suggests! It really is that simple, it does exactly what it says on the tin.Well, if it’s that simple, can I just stare at a colour and breathe? You may well ask – you can certainly try and the breathing alone may relax you, but this system goes a little deeper. Each chakra is related to emotion, emotions fire our thoughts and both make up our state of mind. Therefore, chakras can become clogged, unbalananced or blocked. Colour breathing uses discs coloured in a specific pattern to give the impression of a vortex and to draw the subconcious in and thus down into your inner most self. It promotes your ability to connect to yourself and the emotional unbalance and helps you release it with breathing in the colour and thinking about certain words – a bit like a mantra. If you want to know more, or experience it for yourself, you best book on the retreat and find out! http://www.rejuvationretreat.com
Have a look at this retreat in March designed to refresh, rejuvenate and relax you.
Two boxes in one week is what! I am trying to decide between two veg box companies and thought I had got it sorted with skipping orders on alternate weeks. Apparently not since I had one on Tuesday and another on Wednesday. Ooops.
Well, since it is soup season and I have picked up this bug (and suspect I have kindly passed it onto my husband) I am looking for ways to counteract its effects, particularly the energy sapping ones.
So, here is todays vitamin and energy boosting soup
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 leaves of cavolo nero (black kale) you can use any leafy green
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A pinch of garlic salt
Ground black pepper and rock salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
A cheeky shake of cayenne pepper
Brown the onion slow n low (I used garlic infused olive oil) and add in the deseeded and chopped pepper. Cook for five minutes and add in the peeled and chopped carrots. Cook for another five minutes and add in the sliced mushrooms and greens and all the seasoning. Pour in one pint of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for ten minutes and pop the toms in. Leave them for a few minutes until they split then remove from the heat to cool slightly before blitzing in a blender. This soup is chock full of anti-oxidants and vitamins C & D, anti-imflammatories and immune boosters. Get to it!
B12 is a wonder vitamin. It’s a wonder what we’d do without it! Actually, its one that a deficiency of will get us into a bit of a mess.
The thing with being B12 deficient is that a lot of the symptoms can be mistaken for something else and not recognised. Fatigue: it’s just tiredness; I’ve been busy. Ache and pain: it’s the time of year, everyone is a bit achy. Dizziness: I’m hungry or have low blood sugar; I’ll eat some carbs!
Ringing any bells?
An interesting if controversial article. Sure to provoke thought and discussion. Make of it what you will.
Well the veg box arrive this morning so I’m souping today!
Lightly Spiced Autumn Soup
3 large carrots scraped and chopped
3 handfuls of kale torn up
2 leeks chopped
1 cup of sliced fennel
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp mixed spice
Pop the leek and fennel in a pan with olive oil and cook slow n low for five minutes. Add in the carrot and kale. Stir until the kale cooks down a little. Pour on a pint of boiled water and add in all the seasonings. I also popped a bit of fresh parsley in.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 2o mins.
Allow to cool slightly (so it doesn’t spit) and blitz in a blender.
Yummy with oatcakes!
Kale is a great source of magnesium which is helpful in managing fatigue. It also has antioxidants, vitamin K, Vitamin C – immune booster, and B6, B2 and Folate – all useful in dealing with fatigue or nervous issues/depression.
Carrots are a good source of the B vits too and vitamin C.
So, get your soup on!
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!
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.
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.