Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – alighting the sugar train.

No fancy blog post today. Just my latest challenge. I’ll keep it short and sweet!

Diet can be one the hardest things to maintain in any health regime. We are constantly surrounded by adverts, restaurants, smells, and invites to dinner. And with so much deliciousness around us it can feel nigh on impossible to resist.

I like to think that I’ve taken on the gluten and dairy free challenge quite well. Yes, I have the occasional blip, maybe once a month, for one meal, but thats not bad. Yes, I think on the whole I deserve a big shiny gold medal for my non complaining efforts. Thank you.

I do have one food nemesis though that is proving harder to conquer since I was told to cut it out at my last nutrition assessment. SUGAR.

I love sugar. I love the taste, the variety and the high. I don’t like the slump, exacerbated fibromyalgia fatigue and fog though. I’ve fooled myself into thinking that as I have cut out caffeine, sweeteners, artificial additives, gluten, dairy and alcohol that its ok to have sugar, everyone has to have something right? WRONG. I really do need to cut out the sugar. We all know sugar is bad for us in large quantities, and I’m not that bad, but cutting it out almost completely, argh. The thought of that makes me sad.

The problem I have now that I am competing daily with a chronic illness, is that this is no longer a choice but a necessity. OK, the amount of sugar I have won’t kill me, but I know for a fact that sugar makes my fibromyalgia symptoms a whole lot more difficult to deal with. By giving in to my urges I am making myself feel worse and then kicking myself when I didn’t have the willpower to say no. JUST SAY NO SARAH!

So I’m compromising. I’m cutting out sugar a bit at a time over the next two weeks, so I don’t get a banging 3 day headache, and I’m cutting myself some slack, sometimes.

Like any good diet change, I’m starting tomorrow. Too many jelly beans today.

So here’s the rules. If its been a looooooong day at work, I’ve eaten well, done my exercise and hydrated myself enough with water, I will allow myself a can of pop made with natural products. At the weekends, if I want to bake for the family. I’ll allow myself a slice of cake. If we go for a meal, I’ll allow myself a pudding. This way I can still satisfy my sweet tooth, but without quite as much guilt, and I know that the next sugar rush is never too far away (I mean, I love baking and given the chance I will, and there is a long day at work at least once a week!). The main rule is not to have ‘just a little bit’ every day, a little bit can be hard to stop at.

I’m going to attempt to share with you all my tricks for beating the cravings, most of which I will learn along the way. For now, just wish me luck. I’m going to need it!

If you have any tips for me PLEEEEEASE leave them below! Or if you would like to join me in my journey then give me a wave over on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. I promise I don’t bite (unless you are a jelly baby of course).


Naturopathic Nutrition

My Fibromyalgia Week and Diet – Whoops

Hullo all!

Its been a lovely week away on holiday with my wonderful little family πŸ™‚ A week full of fun, laughter, food, sunshine, sand, sea and (unfortunately) pain. That being said, the pain hasn’t been so bad that it has beaten me, and I’m hoping that it didn’t stop me from doing things that were good for the whole family. The holiday was relaxing in equal measure with fun, and I feel proud of what I was able to achieve. I did have 2 days of really quite high levels of pain, but I kept going with my tried and tested techniques which helped a great deal.

Now for a naughty confession. The first 5 days out of the 7 were really really great on the food front. I was able to find many gluten and dairy free delights, of which lots of them were also local to the area we were holidaying, which is also important to me. However, theres always a but……..

Come the penultimate day, I caved in. I was really hungry, and fed up of often having to go without because there was no option for me. I caved into some really lovely food, that tasted incredible, but by golly did I pay…. Headaches, bloating, pain, fatigue, and generally just ergh. Was it worth it? Well, the taste was worth it and I don’t regret it that much, so yes I guess it was!

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t glad to get home and get back to normal with food preparation and habits. Having everything I need to hand is really important in maintaining my diet and therefore controlling some of my most bothersome symptoms. I’m pleased to report that the headaches have eased with just a nagging little frontal headache tonight, the bloating is dissipating slowly, and the pain is ebbing back towards that widespread mundane nagging pain that lingers in the background that I am accustomed to, as opposed to the more acute pain I had on holiday.

Sleeping in my own bed last night also helped a great deal and I slept right through, which I hadn’t done in quite a while. I used to be able to sleep well anywhere, but this isn’t the case anymore, although I was able to drop off fairly quickly in the evenings which was an improvement on the previous holiday.

Now to share with you my foodie adventures from the last 2 weeks since I last posted. Enjoy!

Roskillys farm dairy free coconut ice cream!
Roskillys sorbet – how amazing do these alcoholic sorbets look?! What I wouldn’t give for a mojito one now!
A visit to Trebah Garden is never complete without some amazing homemade cake. I used to have the cream tea but that was off due to my diet changes. Was so happy to find this Dairy Free and Gluten Free orange and almond cake!
Yes, Roskillys did well out of me last week, what of it?! This mango and passionfruit Sorbet was amazing. Who said you can’t enjoy food when you and gluten and dairy free?!
The beautiful Rick Stein Porthleven Restaurant in Cornwall. Plenty of gluten and dairy free options!
I thought I would never eat fish and chips again, but Rick Stein had this offering suitable for my and it was πŸ‘ŒπŸ»
This was a very much chucked together dish but it looked so pretty and tasted so good that I actually shared it as my latest recipe on the blog! Go check it out!

That’s it from me for today πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoyed drooling over this weeks food! As ever you can find me over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where I was quiet last week but now I’m back from holibobs will be back in action πŸ™‚ I hope you all have a fabulous week! 

Naturopathic Nutrition

My Fibromyalgia Week

Oh dear readers, how I have missed you and how I have missed writing! I’m sorry I have been AWOL.

I have finally got it sorted in my head how I am going to blog more regularly without it impacting on my well being too much, and without putting too much pressure on myself. There are many reasons why I haven’t been blogging, or even on social media much but the main reason is that I just haven’t had the best handle on working full time, being a mummy, keeping active, keeping up my regimes and having a chronic illness, along with keeping the smile on my face. I keep reminding myself that in this long long chronic illness game I am still in the very early days of learning, growing and thriving.

That being said I am learning. Slowly, but still learning. I have also still been writing, for magazines and other blogs. Keep your eyes peeled for me sharing the articles soon πŸ™‚ but I have missed the blog and the satisfaction it brings to be able to share my journey and be mindful of my experience, and so this means I need to get back on track.

So in the spirit of trying to return to ‘business as usual’, Mondays wouldn’t quite be right if I didn’t share with you some of my gluten and dairy free food adventures, so here goes!

These look so naughty but are oh so nice. Made by a local bakehouse from the train station I use, so supporting local business too!

I think I may have a slight obsession with designing my porridge bowls…… Kept it simple here with banana and almonds on top of coconut porridge… total yum!

Like I said, slight obsession, only this time with strawberries, pistachios, sunflower seeds and maybe a little too much honey!

I’ve broadened my breakfast repertoire to smoothies! This one is by far my favourite, mango, strawberry and banana with coconut milk.

While this one won the prize for the best colour! Banana and Raspberry smoothie with almond milk

You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is cream of tomato soup and that I have completely thrown my dairy free diet out of the window! It’s is actually tomato soup with some ground almonds mixed in which made this soup creamy, sweet and utterly delicious!
I do share my food adventure frequently on Instagram, as well as on Twitter and Facebook, where I also share fibromyalgia and chronic illness articles of interests and recent research. So come join me on this journey and lets thrive together!

Lastly, a little quote from my Calm App that I use for mindfulness, a little bit of wisdom from the really quite wise Dalai Lama, that helped me get back on track today.

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – 12th June 2017

It has been quite sometime since I did one of these posts!

Eating is still going very very well, and except for the odd day I generally get my eating right. Bowel symptoms are still ongoing on the occasional day, but on the whole, most days, I am almost symptom free. When my symptoms do come I can usually attribute it to something quite easily, such as then odd time I drink some alcohol, or devour a cheeky ice cream…..

I seem to be entering a bad phase again from an immunity point of view which is why I haven’t had the energy to blog as much as I would like. I had a heavy cold just a few weeks ago, and over the weekend have developed pyelonephritis. For once I have had to give in to some antibiotics, but am sure I’ll be feeling good again soon enough.

Work is also going well. I’m lending a hand on a project, which when done in between my clinical days seems to be suiting me well and my symptoms are a bit more manageable. Must remember to take those breaks though….!

Well thats enough of a round up from me, how has your week been? Do let me know in the comments below. For now, here are my latest foodie delights.

Yummy gluten free and dairy free porridge made with almond milk and topped with peanut butter, banana and chia seeds.
Homemade beef burger on a gluten free bun with homemade chips.
Homemade sausage and lentil stew with sweet potato. So comforting.
Almond milk porridge with raspberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and honey.
Yep, more porridge, this time with pecans, strawberries and honey.
Homemade granola from Troo Granola (will have a post about these guys very soon!) with dairy free yoghurt.
A reasonable glut of strawberries has led to many many jars of strawberry jam, Just the best on toast or porridge in the morning!
Simple yet so good. Broads beans and pancetta on gluten free toast.
And lastly, indonesian chicken with brown rice porridge and spinach.

I hope you can find something here to inspire you to make a change to you diet that will improve your health for the better.

As ever you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where I am aiming to pick up my engagement again in the next couple of weeks.

Toodle Pip!

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – Week 11

Hi guys!

So today I turned another year older but feel about ten years older than last year! Its been a lovely weekend and day spent with my favourite humans and I’m thankful for this birthday and all the greetings that come with it.

It been an OK week on the fibromyalgia front. My evenings have been a bit on the tired and painful side but I’m still sleeping relatively ok. Not waking up particularly refreshed in the mornings though. What I’m most thankful for is that my best cognitive hours are when I’m at work, and thats not to say I’m that rubbish for the rest of the time, but at least I am able to do a job I love, and to do it well enough.

Last Friday was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, and what a day it was. So much activity on social media and lots of visits to the blog which is always rewarding when you spend time typing up these little nuggets of information for people πŸ™‚ you can find the start of me new series of posts, Fibromyalgia and Me here.

It been a bit quiet on the cooking front, due juggling work and family commitments, as well as the boy starting a new job, so we’ve been going for quick and easy meals, with a bit of the comfort factor in them given the unseasonably cool weather. What I hope this shows however is that even without much effort you can still create tasty homemade food that meets your dietary needs. Heres the highlights!

You probably all know by now my love for breakfast. It was a cloudy morning on this particular morning and the strawberries reminded me of sunshine πŸ™‚ almond milk porridge with banana, strawberries, and chia seeds.
This is an adapted version of my smoothie recipe here, I simply replaced the peanut butter with strawberries and raspberries for breakfast in a hurry.
I refused to apologise on Instagram and I refuse to apologise here. Comfort food was craved so comfort food it was! Gluten free sausages with dairy free mash and beans.
Gluten and Dairy Free Spaghetti Bolognese
Last weeks featured recipe, spaghetti bolognese. Both gluten and dairy free, you can find the recipe here.
Coconut Victoria sponge – Oh my, what a lovely cake this was. My first attempt at a gluten and dairy free sponge and what a lovely things it was. Still working on the dairy free frosting, but even though it started off runny it soon firmed up and still tasted amazing. Hoping to have the recipe for this up later in the week.

So thats it for this week. I hope you have all had a great week. As ever I would love it if you came and said hello over on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. I promise I’m friendly!

Toodle pip!

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – Week 10

Happy Monday to you all πŸ™‚

It’s been a funny old week here at The F Word headquarters. Work has been going well and I’m gradually increasing my hours to return to full time (fingers crossed). Eating has also gone well but I didn’t have the energy to cook as much asI usually do, and it soon became apparent why! On Thursday, what I think was a small fibromyalgia flare began, and I was in more pain than I had been for a long time, with my sleep taking a backwards step and the fog and fatigue out in full force. It took some hard work and determination but luckily the worst of it was over after three days, and although I’m not quite back to where I was a couple of weeks ago I am making small steps in the right direction.

I’m still learning about fibromyalgia flares and what makes them happen for me, and also learning how to get myself back on track once a flare rears its ugly head. However, for now I’m happy with my efforts, I didn’t miss any work (luckily I’m still on short hours otherwise not sure I would have recovered quite so well), I continued to maintain a good anti inflammatory diet with only the odd naughty bits, and I kept up the good work that I know keeps me well.

So because last week was a flare week, I didn’t get much chance for recipe developing except for a spaghetti bolognese recipe which is coming up later this week. My apologies if this weeks food isn’t quite as adventurous as previous weeks, but I think considering the circumstances I did rather well πŸ™‚Β I also had a bit of a love affair with avocados, and you can find out why here.

Anyway, without further ado, heres the pick of last weeks noms! As always, its all gluten and dairy free.

Strawberry and Avocado Milkshake
One of the avocado love affairs and last weeks recipe on the blog, strawberry and avocado milkshake.

Above is last week avocado adventures, feel free to pop over to my special post dedicated to this wonderful fruit!

Chocolate gluten free porridge
Gluten free porridge with cocoa, banana, raspberries and pecans. Totally indulgent breakfast but worth the guilt! Easy to make by just stirring in a teaspoon of cocoa into the porridge while cooking.
Fresh Mint Tea
Sometimes simplicity is best. Saturday morning was spent having a lazy morning (well until 9am) in bed with some fresh mint tea. Better than anything you will buy and free once you have brought a plant to keep on your windowsill!
Mackerel with New potatoes, asparagus and eggs
Spring would be spring with new potatoes and asparagus. Here we baked them in the oven with some egg and mackerel. Very tasty!

I promise this isn’t all I ate, but simply the pick of the crop, where they both tasted great and looked good on camera!

What are you eating at the moment? What food love affairs are you having? Let me know in the comments below!

I also wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who reads this blog and either shares on social media or Β with their fiends over a cup of coffee. Every time to visit you increase awareness of fibromyalgia and associated conditions. Each week that goes by I have slightly more visitors than the last and that really drives me to keep on going. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Please come and visit me on Facebook and Twitter where I share news and information on fibromyalgia, and on Instagram where I document my daily life with Fibromyalgia.

Toodle pip!

Naturopathic Nutrition

Anti Inflammatory Diet – Avocado

Its been a bit of an avocado love affair this week, in fact, over on Instagram, I decided it was #avocadoappreciationweek and who doesn’t love an avocado??!! Not only do they taste great but they also packed a punch on the anti inflammatory properties too, a food and lifestyle change I am embracing in an effort to treat my fibromyalgia naturally.

The anti inflammatory properties of avocados are believed to be so strong that they actually offset perhaps not so healthy food choices (but don’t let that be an excuse to eat too many treats!). Avocados are rich in monounsaturated omega 9 fat, good fat in moderation, and this fat is high in anti inflammatory properties. They are also chock full of phytosterols, a nutrient often taken in supplement form by those suffering from inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, but I think I would much rather eat an avocado than take a tablet. They also contain plenty of omega 3 fats which are proven to reduce skin inflammation. These anti inflammatory properties, along with many anti inflammatory foods, are incredibly useful in treating my fibromyalgia, particularly the pain and bowel symptoms.

However, avocados are not just great for reducing inflammation in the body, they are also great for delivering these amazing health benefits too –

  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Improving heart health
  • Aids digestion
  • Regulating blood sugar (which makes them great for breakfast)
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Reduces risk of vision loss due to cataracts
  • Improved immune system
  • Anti cancer activity
  • Improved complexion

I could go on (but I won’t)…..

Okay, so hopefully I’ve convinced you to want to eat more of these beautifully smooth, creamy, buttery fruits, but apart from guacamole to dip your Friday night nachos into, what else are you going to do with them? Well, I’ll tell you! Here are just a few ideas to get you creative avocado juices flowing.