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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Nut butter is one of the recommended protein foods in the attached article. You can make fake fudge by gently melting it with coconut oil and adding vanilla paste or powder then freezing it. Recipe is in my book: Eating for Energy.
Avocado on toast today – yum! I used two slices of spelt bread spread with goat butter.
So, slice a ripe avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and add a 1/4 tsp of hazelnut balsamic vinegar. Add ground black pepper and sea salt (I like the Cornish Sea Salt Co). Spread across toast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Eat. Enjoy!
Pink porridge to start the day with blueberries and alpine strawberries from my garden. Love Rude Health’s sprouted oats.