Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Nutrition 2018 – Weeks 2-5

Dearest Readers,

Thank you for all of your kind messages and comments over the past month. My absence on here has not been intentional, rather a necessity to just get through what is left of the winter. This time last year blogging came easy as I was off work having recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and it was all I could to do distract my body and mind.

A year on and I am working full time, in a job that requires a lot of brain power for a fibromyalgia warrior who suffers dreadfully with fog at times and by the time I get home in the evenings I’m pooped. Which doesn’t leave much energy or time for blogging.

But there is something about February that has woken me up a little. Although winter isn’t quite over, and the migrating pain of the fibromyalgia still bothers me terribly, there is a little light at the end of the winter tunnel. The mornings are (very) slowly becoming lighter, making getting up just that little bit easier. The thought of the warm sun on my skin inspires me to work hard to feel good in the spring (although it was chuffing cold today). And March is oh so close… so close.

On the nutrition front I am looking forward to more seasonal fruits and smoothies, and growing our own organic produce in our allotment. Not long now until the ground will be soft enough to dig. Well not me digging, but my husband! Then we can get planting all of the things we love and enjoy our produce in the summer.

January saw me eating significantly less meat and moving ever closer towards a mostly plant based diet (because lets face it, junk food is nice some of the time). I only ate 2 portions of chicken and one of beef throughout January and for that I am super pleased. I didn’t miss it anywhere near as much as I thought I did, and on the beef day I think I must have needed some iron in my diet or something because the urge to eat it overwhelmed me. But compared to where I was this time last year I am pleased with my progress on the meat front. For me I work much better if I do a little at a time, I don’t have the strongest willpower in the world and so baby steps are better than no steps. The aim is to be vegan by the end of the year but saying goodbye to eggs and honey is freaking me out a little at the moment so I’m not quite ready yet!

Sugar remains my nemesis after doing so well before Christmas and then, well, it WAS Christmas and I completely fell off the wagon. Having cut right down on meat in January my plan is to cut right down on sugar again in February. Ive gone back over my old posts and enjoyed recapping with this post as to how I managed to cut it down last time and how good I felt.

Aaaaaaaanyway, I suppose a nutrition post wouldn’t be complete without sharing my recent food adventures, in the. hope of inspiring others to think about how what goes in effects what your body gives you in return, and so here we go!

I really do love pecans on my gluten and dairy free porridge in the mornings!
Gluten and dairy free sweet potato rosti with avocado and eggs
All the fruit and veg!!!
Homemade gluten and dairy free egg fried rice, super delish!
Felt extravagant having this porridge but it was all plant based and super healthy. Made with coconut milk and gluten free oats, and topped with homemade blueberry compote, cherries, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
More of that lovely blueberry compote with dairy free coconut yoghurt and topped with gluten free granola.
That vegan chickpea curry again!
Keeping it simple with gluten and dairy free porridge topped with banana and pumpkin seeds.

And thats me! Hoping that the new energy found in February so far lasts and that I can post much more over the coming weeks. But for now thank you so much for all of your support as always. I hope that you have been able to draw even just a little inspiration from my cooking adventures to make a positive change to your diet to help you feel good! I also just want to remind people that as I am usually tired in the evenings all the meals I cook are super quick and easy to make, but with a bit of love can be made to look super pretty, and we all love pretty food!

If you would like any advice or have any questions about how you can change your diet to benefit your chronic illness then please do get in touch. You can find me over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where I not only share my foodie adventures but also my daily life living with the F word.


Liebster Award 2018

Hey guys!

So despite my lack of posting throughout January (being reminded why Fibromyalgia and winter do not mix), I’m delighted to let you know that I have been nominated twice for the Liebster Award 2018, first by Afternoon Tea 4 Two and secondly by Mrs. Ram’s Jams, two great blogs I would thoroughly recommend you pop over to when you have finished reading this post! Thanks for the nominations guys!

leibster award

The purpose of the award, which you have to be nominated for, is to encourage others to discover new blogs that they may find interesting and to congratulate fellow bloggers for their hard work by sharing their blog with your followers in order to boost traffic to their site. This award is especially directed to bloggers with a smaller following than others. So you can imagine I feel very lucky to have been nominated twice.

If you are nominated and you accept you then go on to list 10 random facts about yourself along with answering the 10 questions posed to you by the blogger that nominated you. You then go on to nominate 5-10 bloggers whose blogs you particularly enjoy to continue the chain.

As I received two nominations I am going to choose 5 questions from each blogger, otherwise you may get bored reading 20 answers! Haha!

So here goes!

10 random facts about me

  1. I’ve been qualified as a midwife for 13.5 years and now specialise in pregnancy loss, and love my job.
  2. I spent my last three months of midwifery training in Stockholm, Sweden where I learnt so much and had the most amazing time.
  3. I’ve been published in midwifery journals twice.
  4. I own two cats (used to be three, RIP Poppy) and a hamster, and just today chose a puppy to join our family at Easter time.
  5. I have 7 (nearly 8) year old twin girls, that took nearly five years to come into our world after a long battle with infertility and IVF.
  6. I love to knit, sew and cook (although that last one isn’t a mystery).
  7. We have a large allotment and throughout the summer are pretty much drowning in strawberries.
  8. I’ve completed 4 London Marathons and countless other races prior to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a year ago.
  9. I can stand on my head despite not being an avid yoga practice.
  10. I currently have an unhealthy obsession with Swizzels Squashies.

Now onto the questions given to me by Afternoon Tea 4 Two and Mrs Ram’s Jams.

1. What prompted you to write a blog?

November 2016 through to last spring saw a difficult winter for me, and after a long time being unwell I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I decided I didn’t want to dive straight into strong medications to treat my fibro yet could only find snippets of information about how to treat naturopathically. I also couldn’t find that many personal accounts of treating fibro with natural therapies. So I decided to bring my own journey and experiences in trying out different remedies and so far it has proved successful (on the most part!).

2. Why do you blog?

I continue to blog in the hope of helping others with chronic illness, whether newly diagnosed or long time warrior, to approach their illness holistically and to consider other roads away from the pharmacological route that they may find useful. While many people need medicine to help them manage their illness, I offer insight into complementary therapies that may also help, particularly nutrition. I know first hand how difficult it can be to cook when you have a chronic illness and how daunting dietary changes can be, so my aim is to make it less scary and super simple.

3. Where was your last holiday?

Our last holiday as a family was to Cornwall, on our traditional summer holiday in August. We stayed in a great place called Mudgeon Vean within our favourite part of Cornwall, the Lizard Peninsula.


4. Cat or dog?

Very difficult question, given that I’m a long time cat owner and soon to be pup owner! I’m going to have to annoy you all and say I can’t choose!

5. What would your advice be to a new blogger?

I would say not to get too caught up in how much you post, or the traffic to your site. The main aim of blogging should be to share something you enjoy, and if you write from the heart then your enjoyment will speak volumes to your readers. Much preferable to blogging to be fashionable or to get traffic. While it is nice to know that people are reading your blog, for me it is much better to have people reading that you can genuinely reach out to and have a positive effect on their lives.

6. What genre of book would you be and why?

I would be a nature book. There is nothing I love more than losing myself in a book that transports me to a peaceful and beautiful place, so well described that I can smell and feel all of the book enveloping me.

7. What is the one battle you struggle with daily?

No surprises here but it is my Fibromyalgia. More specifically the changing nature of the pain and levels of fatigue. Each day I wake I never know what lies ahead, and I get particularly frustrated when I can’t reach my potential because of heightened pain and fatigue.

8. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

This changes ALL of the time. At the moment I have a real craving to visit Copenhagen, but anywhere Scandinavian is right up my street,

9. What TV show is your guilty pleasure?

Again I go through phases, but generally anything dramatic and/or uplifting. I really enjoyed The Last Post when it was on, and at the moment am particularly enjoying Call the Midwife and The Crown. The husband and I are really big fans of animated comedy too! The sillier the better!

10. What makes you smile?

Always a good one to end on and there are many things in my life that make me smile or laugh everyday. For this blog though I would say anybody who gets in touch to let me know that what I have shared has inspired or helped them in any way really makes my day.

Now for my nominations!

michelleslife2017 – I’m really hoping to start running again soon and Michelle is really helping by being one (or many) step ahead of me, really enjoying her journey into running again!

brainlessblogger – for ever informative informative and advice for dealing with chronic illness.

puddlesplashing – enjoying reading about positivity and beating fibromyalgia!

trippingthroughtreacle – Love reading positive posts about living with chronic illness!

fibromystory – great place to start if you are thinking about using exercise to fight your fibromyalgia!

My questions (trying to ask some thought provoking questions to find our more about you!) should you choose to accept are…..

  1. What inspires you to blog about your chosen subject?
  2. How old would you choose be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  3. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large audience, what would your message be?
  4. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  5. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
  6. If you could start all over again, would you change anything?
  7. Which activities make you lose track of time?
  8. If you had to teach me one thing, what would you teach?
  9. When was the last time you tried something new?
  10. Time or money?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I hope you have all had the best weekend!

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Nutrition 2018 – Week 1

Good evening!

I can’t quite believe a week has passed since my last blog post and we are already 8 days into 2018! Crazy!

2018 has gotten off to a good start. My New Year Fibromyalgia flare up has settled and I’m now back to normal levels of symptoms, my nutrition plan is back on track and I’m feeling good. Hoping to hold on to the new year feeling for as long as possible!

The major change for me since new year has been the exclusion of meat from my diet. I’ve been considering it for quite some time now, and I’ve started off with just aiming to get through January, but I’m feeling so good I may just keep it out altogether (mostly). I’m not vegan (although I have had more vegan days than not and strongly considering it) as I’m still eating eggs, fish and honey, but they are the only animal products I am now eating.

So why the change? Well, I just wanted to see how it would make me feel, as I know from monitoring my fibromyalgia symptoms that I generally feel better on meat free days. My digestion is usually better and my energy levels higher, and these two areas can be particularly bothersome to me.

On top of that I’m beginning to have some real issues with the animal industry, and the way animals are treated for our own cheap personal gain. But that’s a story for another day and forum.

I imagined it would be difficult to cut out meat, as I’m not a massive carb eater and so wondered where on earth I would get my energy from, but honestly it hasn’t been all that hard. I’ve explored new recipes, gotten my zest back for cooking, and actually vegan and meat free recipes are quick and cheap to cook. So lots of wins!

I’ve found my favourite free from cookbooks as well as Vegan Life magazine particularly helpful in meal planning, and have enjoyed the variety of vegetables I am getting in every day, far exceeding my 5 a day for sure! I’ll try and reference back any recipes I’ve used below!

The only downside…. I’m hungry 😂 but let’s face it, we could all do with being a little hungry after the festive season, and it does make me enjoy my food much much more!

Anyway, without further ado, here’s this weeks highlights! Details at the bottom of the post!

Poached egg with avocado on gluten free toast

Top to bottom

And that’s it!

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to talk about how adapting your diet to managing your fibromyalgia symptoms can help you! I can be found over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Toodle pip!


Hello 2018!

I’m back, slightly broken but back…..!

I’m looking forward to sharing this next year with you and building on the journey that I started what feels like a very long time ago but is actually only 1 year.

I thought I would start the year by reflecting on where I was last January to where I am today, looking back on the journey of 2017 and sharing with you my hopes for 2018.

Last January I was also broken, but very much more broken than I am today. Today is just a set back, just the Fibromyalgia biting me in the ass and reminding me of its presence. Last January, I hadn’t been diagnosed. I wasn’t sleeping. I was in a tremendous amount of pain. And I was desperate. Desperate for an answer……. a solution.

Towards the end of January I was finally given an answer, but sadly not a solution. At least not a quick solution. Over 2017 I discovered that there is no perfect way to treat Fibromyalgia, but rather many different ways of managing symptoms, that enabled me to get on with and love my new life.

The biggest change I made was to my diet. I cut out dairy and gluten, artificial colourants and sweeteners, and to a large extent, refined sugars. I added in feel good and anti inflammatory foods and never looked back. Yes I’ve slipped on occasion, but not to a point where I’ve completed given it up and gone back to a ‘conventional diet’. Over the next year I am working on eating less meat and eating more veg (if thats possible) and aligning myself more to a vegetarian, dairy free diet. This is beginning with January where I will not be eating any meat, but will be eating fish and eggs.

While this is a new change, and it has come with the new year, it isn’t a resolution as such. More a way of eating to make me feel good. I know that eating a more vegetarian diet definitely helps my symptoms, and so why not do what makes you feel good?! I’m not doing it to lose weight, or get a ‘summer body’, in fact I have stayed away from the scales this new year for fear of disappointment when I see the dreaded number appear on the little digital display. My only goal for 2018 is to feel good, building on the foundations I built during 2017. If my body feels good, and my clothes fit nice, then who cares what the little number on the scales say…. and weighing right after Christmas is a sure fire way to feel guilty about all the delicious homemade treats!

2017 also welcomed mindfulness and to a lesser extent CBT, into my life. what a welcome discovery that was! For anyone who is scared of CBT, please don’t be. CBT is not recommended because the Fibromyalgia is ‘all in your head’, but rather because with the right mind set you can thrive with Fibro. I’ve not had clinical depression or anxiety, yet find the symptoms of Fibromyalgia overwhelming at times, which will inevitably lower mood. CBT helped my to see past my physical symptoms, and how to plan my life and days around my condition, not giving in to it, but working with it and around it. By having CBT I most definitely no longer feel bad about my fibromyalgia (in a way that I don’t feel guilty or embarrassed by it), I don’t let it devour my thoughts, and I certainly do not let it rule my life. It is part of me and who I am, I can either live with it to the best of my ability, or be miserable. I chose the first of those two options. I cannot urge enough, if you have not yet had CBT for a pain condition, please see your doctor and ask about it.

Sleep hygiene came hand in hand with mindfulness for me, and probably had the biggest impact on my sleep. I won’t go on too much about it in this post as last year I wrote a whole series about sleep hygiene (I recommend you start with this post), but it is an area I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and making changes too. Thanks to changing my sleep routine I am reading so much more, devouring books in fact, and it is a new found hobby that I didn’t realise I loved quite so much, plus I’m learning a great deal about many different things. Give it a go!

2017 also saw the use of acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, physiotherapy, exercise, and general being kind to myself in order to regain control over my life. Blogging become a new hobby, and I thoroughly enjoyed blogging last year and can’t wait to pick up where I left off before my festive break.

So 2018 is here and where am I? Well, I still have Fibromyalgia. I’m still in pain and completely knackered most days. I still love cake and struggle keeping sugar out of my diet. Some nights I don’t sleep. Winter is still a massive problem and the short, cold days are my true nemesis. My legs and back have refused to co-operate for 5 days straight. BUT, I went for a job interview and got a new job (with a team that inspire me so much). I’m working full time and since being back to work in April I’ve only needed just over a week altogether off sick which for a woman with a chronic illness I am pretty darn pleased about (I know it isn’t perfect). Unsurprisingly, these days have mostly been throughout the winter months (hurry up spring). I can cook way better than I could a year ago and have a much wider range of tastes, eating food I never thought I would. I’m far more content. I am reading a whole new genre of books I never thought I would read. I’m knitting again. Oh, and most days I am medication free with the odd paracetamol and anti histamine. So all in all I would say I’m in a damn good place.

Happy New Year, I can’t wait to share my journey and the best things in life with you in 2018.

As ever you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, Or simply give me a follow on this blog.

Toodle pip!



See you in 2018

Dear all,

Apologies for my major lack of posting on here for some weeks now. However it is with good reason….!

With a lot of hard work and determination I have recently been successful in a new job which now see me working hard to establish myself in that role. Which is leaving very little time for blogging at the moment.

However, I am really keen not to let the blog fall completely off my agenda as I so enjoy writing and sharing my fibro experiences with you all.

So for now, what with the new job, working out what the hell I’m doing, and the festive season I’ve decided to press the pause button for now, and restart in January when I should have a little more time and energy!

So I guess this is a ‘see you soon’ but definitely not goodbye and I look forward to sharing my second year with fibro with you all.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who has supported me in this last year, you are all amazing and I definitely couldn’t have done it without you!

Big hugs and love to you all!

Sarah xxxx

Fibromyalgia and Me

Fibromyalgia and Me – Exercise

How have you found exercise since having fibromyalgia?

For me, in all honesty, it was initially terrible, but equally it could have been much MUCH worse. I think it all depends on where you have come from, what exercise you did before, and how much you compare your current self to your new self.

My fibromyalgia onset was pretty quick, in fact, just a few months before becoming too unwell to work I had just completed my 6th running race in 6 months. I was taking part in a personal challenge to complete 12 races in 12 months for charity, in memory of my younger brother who passed away from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and would have been 24 last year. It still pains me to this day that I was never able to complete the challenge, but in the first 6 months of 2016 I ran two 10K races, one 10 mile race, two half marathons, and one full marathon.


From June onwards it all went a bit/very downhill, I severely injured my achilles tendon which took AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGEEEESSSS to heal, and then I rapidly developed symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Come November I was off work sick barely able to move. You can visit this post for more about my journey towards diagnosis.

It took me a long while to pluck up the courage to exercise again, and a lot of input from my physiotherapist. At first I was incredibly frustrated, and even attempted to go for a run one day (which didn’t end well), but over time I learnt to forgive my broken body and to just let it recover somewhat. I also needed to give myself time to work out exactly what it was I needed to do just to be able to get through my day and function like a normal human being which took me about 4 months (and damn lot of hard work) following diagnosis. Returning to work was also far more important than gaining medals.

One thing I made sure I always did when trying to work all of this out, was to just keep moving. However slowly I moved, I always moved forwards. Initially it was just doing the school runs, then it progressed to the after school clubs. I then moved onto more gentle exercises, mostly stretching and physiotherapy, which felt wonderful for my broken body. Eventually when my symptoms were a little more ‘controlled’ I started going out for longer walks, and before long I was able to go out and walk a good 4 miles. I’d be wrecked that evening and possibly the next day but I did it and that sense of achievement was almost as satisfying as crossing the finishing line of a race (although what a feeling that is!).

Another (and possibly more important) factor is learning not to compare. At diagnosis I was constantly yearning for that woman who could just go out and run 10 miles and actually feel good afterwards. I missed the way my body used to feel and the way my clothes fit. I missed the glory of picking up a medals after months of training and doing it all in memory of my brother, raising worthwhile money for charity.

Today, I no longer compare. I no longer yearn. I do however still remain optimistic that I WILL run again, but only when I am ready, and only what I can manage.

What I am now able to do is get on with my day and cover most distance by foot. I cover a distance of at least 6 miles evenly across my day and it actually makes me feel better. In fact if I don’t cover this distance my evenings are absolutely terrible. I feel proud that despite what is technically a disability, I am active and I am doing all I can to benefit all aspects of my long term health.

This doesn’t mean I am now going to sit back and be 100% content with this equilibrium. For those who know me, they will know that running is in my blood and I’m not sure that I will ever be fully content if I don’t ever run again. It a big goal, but I don’t feel it completely unrealistic. Just one year ago, doing the school run alone was hell on earth, and it now doesn’t even cross my mind that it will be difficult, most days.

So what’s next? For me I am looking to work on my strength and flexibility, so I am looking to seriously get into yoga. I’d like to spend a few months working on doing some daily yoga, at home, to increase my core stability, and my overall strength. Why? Well, as I think you have gathered by now, I really want to run again, and building up this strength and power will help with that, not to mention the stretching element will benefit my joint pain immensely.


This is where I need your help. I am looking for a seriously good at home yoga workout. This can be on DVD or on You Tube, or wherever you know there is a really good programme for beginners. I really do not have the time or the energy to go after work, and so the mornings are key to fitting this into my routine. Recommendations are highly appreciated.

I would also really love to hear from you about what exercise works for you and your chronic illness. Are there any runners out there with fibromyalgia? If so I would really love to hear from you. Anyone recommend anything else that works well as exercise with fibromyalgia? Please do get in touch by either leaving a comment below or visiting one on my social media platforms. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Toodle Pip!