Tag Archives: food

Link Round-Up.

It’s been a while since I did one of these, but I just found a few links I had saved, so here’s some reading for your Sunday afternoon.

This report on study findings suggesting a potential link between salt and autoimmune disease makes me sad, because I love salt, and I do not love my autoimmune disease. My blood pressure is low and I tend to use salt to ward of extreme dizziness and faint spells. Might be time to find another strategy? I’m curious to see what further research will tell us in terms of dysautonomia and salt though; it seems like the benefits outweigh the costs in the short term at least.

An article discussing a study on the experiences of individuals with chronic pain engaging in online support groups and forums. I thought this highlighted nicely what one can gain from online support, and interestingly, a lot of what patients appreciated from online comrades echoes what is felt to be important (and often lacking) in chronic pain patients’ interactions with their health care providers.

It can be hard to ask for help when we’re incapacitated after surgery or during a particularly bad flare. Even once I’ve articulated that I need help, sometimes I can’t work out what specifically would be helpful, so nothing gets done even where people are willing to assist me. This article on how to help someone who is recovering from medical trauma has some good concrete strategies, and I think would be good to send or summarise to family members or friends asking, “What can I do?”

On the topic of helping, this article gives some advice on how to stop feeling guilty about taking time and energy to look after ourselves. A learned a long time ago, in the midst of some pre-chronic pain depression, how important self-care is for me, and it’s been a valuable lesson since becoming ill. Sometimes I do feel guilty and selfish for taking so much time and energy to make sure I’m healthy and supported. However, when I let these things slip, not only do I suffer, but I am miserable to be around, and have no resources to support anyone else. Affix your own oxygen mask before assisting others!

I’ve followed a range of blogs discussing body love and acceptance and concepts of Health at Every Size. I whole-heartedly endorse them and their exhortations to love your body for what it can do, not what it looks like. At least, I thought that worked for other people. I always struggled, though, with a chronic illness perspective; “How can I love my body for what it does when it doesn’t work properly or do the things I want it to?” I’m getting better and less harsh on myself in this regard, but sometimes it is still a struggle, so I loved this great perspective on loving your body despite malfunctions and betrayals in the form of pain an illness.

I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend 🙂

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10 Signs You Might Be a Damn Hippy.

  1. You can name 10 uses for coconut oil without Googling or checking Pinterest.
  2. Your idea of ‘just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy’ involved almond milk, bananas, nut butter, and cacao nibs.
  3. You spend an inordinate amount of time picking chia seeds out of your teeth.
  4. You couldn’t clean your house without baking soda and vinegar.
  5. You’ve traded in Chanel for home-crafted scents from Etsy. You persist, despite sometimes smelling suspiciously like an antique store run by an over-enthusiastic herbalist.
  6. You put a lot of food on your face. And underarms (coconut oil, baking powder and arrowroot starch only… so far).
  7. You spend as much time reading cosmetic labels as food labels, and in both cases, that is a lot of time.
  8. You’ve had an angry outburst in the aisles of a supermarket upon discovering the questionable ingredients that are in processed foods you’ve always eaten.
  9. You have the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database in your favourites.
  10. You have not only changed your own diet to one considered unconventional by most of your peers, you’ve converted your family … and your pets.

I’m moving toward crunchy and proud these days.

And my ten uses for coconut oil, besides the aforementioned deodorant: cooking oil, home-made chocolate base, smoothie thickener, hair mask, skin moisturiser, shaving cream, eczema treatment, make-up remover, oil-pulling, and a spoonful with my multivitamin to encourage absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K).

Any others? I need MOAR COCONUT OIL (clearly) 😀

In, On, Move: A Wellness Series.

My first post in this In, On, Move fortnightly wellness series got crazy-long, so I’m going to break them up in future. Tuesdays will be In (food), Wednesdays On (beauty & personal care), and Thusdays Move (exercise and activity). As always, take what works for you and leave the rest 🙂

In: So my inner self is a five year old who throws tantrums at the slightest hint of deprivation. What, I can’t have dairy?! ALL I WANT is dairy. I have found the best way to deal with this is to keep experimenting with non-dairy imitations of delicious dairy foods, and then once the five year old is distracted digesting her treats, I sneak in lots of vegetables, fruit, and meat. Hence, the peanut butter chocolate milkshake (that contains no peanuts, chocolate, or milk).

Lots of non-dairy healthy smoothie recipes containing avocado and spinach pretend they taste like a regular milkshake. They are frequently delicious, but they are also dirty liars because they do not taste like milkshakes. To me, at least, this one actually does. It is my adaptation of this recipe from Detoxinista.

Ingredients:

– 7 icecubes

– 2 frozen bananas (peel the bananas before you freeze them, otherwise it is a giant pain in the ass to get the peels off).

– 1 to 1 + 1/2 cups of milk. I use almond, but go with your favourite. I use 1 cup if I’m making just for myself, and it comes out thickshake consistency, or 1 + 1/2 if I’m making a serve for me and one for my partner, and it is more regular milkshake thickness.

– 1 tbsp sweetener. I use maple syrup or agave, you could also use coconut sugar, stevia or honey depending on preferences.

– 2 tbsp of nut butter. I use almond when I want a more peanut buttery taste, while cashew gives a creamy texture without affecting the taste too much. If you can have peanuts, try peanut butter. If you can’t eat nuts, I’d try a tbsp or two of coconut oil for a good fat boost and some creaminess.

– 1 tbsp maca powder (optional) + 1 tbsp of cacao powder. I get this in a blend and use both, but if you’re so inclined just use cacao. Try and get cacao rather than cocoa if you can, as cocoa has had most of the nutrients processed out of it. Maca is good for hormone balance but don’t take it if you’re pregnant.

– 1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional). I love this stuff; it can be a bit hard to find, but it has a nutty caramel flavour that’s great with chocolate.

– Pinch of salt (optional, but it helps complement the chocolate flavour of the cacao).

– 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of vanilla essence. I use a tbsp because I love it.

– 1 serve of protein powder (optional). I just started trying a carob-based vegan protein powder, since most contain dairy products, grains, or legumes.

Instructions:

Crush ice. Slice banana. Blend ingredients. That’s it!

I have had this for breakfast every day for a week and I’m still not sick of it, plus it’s a solid energy and nutrient hit. Let me know if you try it!

Link Round-Up.

Happy Easter to those celebrating, and happy long weekend to everyone else!

I decided to ignore my normal no dairy, grains, or soy rules for Easter and just eat what I wanted. It was delicious, but I feel pretty disgusting now; fatigued and moody with a pretty distressed digestive system. In a way, I think it’s good for me to fall off the wagon every so often, because it reaffirms how much better I feel normally, and that what I am usually doing is the right thing for my body.

So in case anyone else is in a chocolate-induced cloud of bleurgh, here are some distractions!

A piece from Laurie Edwards on the differences in medication efficacy between genders, the higher incidence of women with chronic pain, and the impact of these issues on equitable treatment. I know I post a lot of links on gender disparity in chronic pain, but it’s an issue that keeps popping up in my dissertation research and one I’m passionately interested in.

If you are one of the lucky ladies (or gents!) on steroids for autoimmune disease, you’re likely dealing with a whole host of sucky side effects. This article has some suggestions for how to combat one of them – dry skin.

Michelle at Living with Bob wrote this wonderful post on dealing with the all-too-frequent criticisms that seem to permeate the lives of individuals living with health issues. How many times have we all heard, “You just need to x, y, and z! You’re not trying hard enough!”? I think the perspective shift she discusses is essential.

Amanda at Celiac and Allergy Adventures has some great ideas for identifying and coping with social situations in which food allergies or intolerances may be an issue. I don’t handle gluten, dairy, or soy well, but tend to feel uncomfortable requesting special accommodations, so I usually just don’t eat or eat it anyway and then leave suddenly when I make myself sick. I know this is ridiculous and I’m working on being assertive!

A chronic pain topic I think is incredibly important and not talked about enough; Tracy from Oh What a Pain in the… discusses some difficulties and potential solutions around having sex when you have chronic pain. A friend who did a multidisciplinary pain treatment had a fellow classmate come up to her and quietly ask her if she had any difficulties in this area. This poor lady was suffering and didn’t feel like she could discuss it with her doctors or bring it up openly in class even though it was severely affecting her marriage and quality of life. This breaks my heart. Sex is important to our health and we should talk about it!

Is there anything you’ve written or come across that you think I should know about? Let me know!

Link Round-Up.

My ginger-and-pasty complexion requires me to wish you a happy St Patrick’s day! Here’s a couple of (non-Irish) things that have caught my eye on the web over the last few weeks.

Mindfulness has been shown to be a helpful technique in relaxation and managing pain. Here are some quick-and-easy ways to give it a go while commuting or in a particularly boring lecture.

xoJane has been running a series on respectful interactions with certain groups of (usually minority) people. It’s been a bit hit-and-miss for me, but this one on interacting with disabled people was interesting. Although it’s visible-mobility-issue specific (the writer uses a wheelchair), both the article and the comments (which are awesome) gave me a lot of “me too!” moments.

Laurie Edwards, who wrote both a blog and a book that I love, published this interview on relationships touched by chronic illness with the author of another interesting new book, In Sickness as In Health.

In scary but unsurprising news, a study has proposed a link between the high levels of refined and processed salt in junk foods and autoimmune disease.

Julie at Managing Fibro wrote a beautiful piece for International Women’s Day about the link between gender and fibromyalgia, and the impact of that link on fighting for research and treatment.

Via Fibro Feist, this article discusses tips for keeping your relationship strong when you are living with chronic illness.

And from Toni Bernhard at Turning Straw into Gold, some common struggles for balance in chronic illness.

I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend.