Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – My new way of sharing

Happy new week to you all!

I’ve been wracking my brains after lasts weeks Fibromyalgia and Diet post to think of a new way of sharing the food that I eat to make it as useful as possible. It’s taken me until yesterday to work this out but I am going to try keeping a photo food dairy to share with you once per week. The aim of this diary is to share not only what I eat but whether I prepared the food myself or brought it, to share the brands I love and where I eat my food (bear with me on that last point it will make sense). My  hope it that I will be able to demonstrate that whether you are out home, at work, on a day trip or commuting, where there is a will there is a way. You can change your diet to benefit your fibromyalgia. I am also hoping it will help everyone to see that I do eat all three of my meals and not just breakfast (which I seem to snap the most pictures of).

Now, as I only thought of this yesterday, I only have yesterdays diary to share with you today, but next week will be a full week. I also need to stress that as it is a food diary, snapping where I eat my food as well as what I eat, not all of the pictures will be Instagram worthy, but they will be real…..

So without further ado, here is yesterdays food diary!

Sunday – BREAKFAST – Cocoa Porridge with berries and nut butter LUNCH – Red Thai Chicken and Veg Soup and Sea Salt Potato Crisps from Pret A Manger DINNER – Chicken Roast Dinner

I hope I’m heading in the right direction by sharing the practicalities of eating well with fibromyalgia…… I’m also thinking of putting recipes to a vote, so people can choose each week which recipe I should share on the blog the following week 🙂 Would my readers like that? Let me know in the comments section below.

For now, toodle pip and happy eating!

You can find me over on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where I share articles that I have found helpful, things that make me happy, and of course, food, food, food.

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Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and diet – My top ten tips!

I’ve come to realise that these last few fibromyalgia and diet posts I’ve just warbled on about me and my food loves! I hope that you are finding it helpful, particularly if you are thinking about going gluten or dairy free, and also hoping that it shows that gluten and dairy free doesn’t mean boring or the end of good food!

So this week is a little bit more of the food Ive eaten recently, but also wanted to give some tips that I have picked up along the last 8 months or so since I have made the changes to help manage my diet, particularly from the gluten and dairy aspect. So here’s my top ten tips!

  • Make a food plan for the week and try to stick to it.
  • Cook as much in advance on a good day as you can, that way if you have a bad day you have something to fall back on.
  • Have plenty of fruit in the fridge to snack on for your desperate times!
  • Don’t alway be drawn towards the food that is labelled as gluten or dairy free, check out the labels on some regular foods too and you might be surprised and you’ll save money.
  • Cook things from scratch where you can so you know exactly what has gone into your food.
  • Get some good cook books! My particular favourites are 26 Grains, River Cottage Light and Easy and The free from cookbook from the Intolerant Gourmet. I have the Leon Cookbooks and Deliciously Ella on my wish list.
  • Try to alter some regular recipes and replace some ingredients with those suitable to your diet, for example replacing butter with coconut oil. Sometimes it may be a disaster but other times it will be a triumph.
  • Visit a decent health food shop for inspiration. While they can be expensive, I often go just to get ideas and then make food out of ingredients from my local supermarket which is much cheaper.
  • When eating out, check out the restaurant menu online if you can so you aren’t under pressure to work things out when you are there.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask what the chef can do for you if there isn’t much on the menu that fits your needs, most places are very accommodating.

I’m really keen to know what your top tips are, and also what you would like to see on the blog from a diet point of view. I’m planning on carrying on with the anti inflammatory series and whizzing up some more easy recipes for you, but what else would you like to see? Do you like to see what I’ve been chowing down on, or is that getting boring now? Please let me know in the comments section below!

Now for the food porn. Admittedly I’ve not snapped much food this week so this is more from the past month or so….

Honey, Lemon and Blueberry cupcakes from the intolerant gourmet cookbook. Refined sugar free!
Honey, Lemon and Blueberry cupcakes from the intolerant gourmet cookbook. Refined sugar free!
Smoothie
Raspberry and banana smoothie made with coconut milk
Gluten and Dairy free Yorkshire pudding
Gluten and Dairy Free Yorkshire pudding and featured as Recipe of the Week on the blog. Click here for the recipe.
Coconut Porridge
Gluten and Dairy Free Coconut Porridge with almonds, nut butter and banana.
Thats all for this weeks food dairy, see you next week! Don’t forget to come and say hello over of social media on Facebook, Twitter Pinterest or Instagram!

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – Going strong

Dearest readers,

Once again I am begging for forgiveness for the neglect I have bestowed upon the blog. Working full-time, kids in clubs every evening, keeping up the good diet habits to keep the fibromyalgia symptoms at bay….. it can all sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

So from last weekend I’ve been trying something a little different. I’m now working Monday-Friday 10-6 which means I am able to control my symptoms a little better (even though I am still screwed by the time I get home from work), and I now have weekends to get myself sorted a reset ready for a new week.

So last weekend I tried a new way of doing things which made the week a whole lot easier. I spent one day devoted to the kids and the family, going out for the day and making the most of our time together. The other day I spent cooking and meal planning for the rest of the week. This meant I didn’t once have to buy lunch, I didn’t have to cook when I got home and was already tired and as a result I have eaten so much better. I went meat free Monday-Friday, and moving towards being meat free pretty much all of the time soon.

This weekend I have repeated the process, spending Saturday with the family and enjoying the local festival and Sunday cooking, relaxing and just being free to enjoy my time at home. The only difference is that I am throwing in my blog planning and writing into the mix, writing and scheduling my posts for the rest of the week. I’m too tired to do this when I get home so the cooking day seemed like the perfect day to blog too. In fact, as I write this post I am halfway through a massive pot of quorn bolognese (you can find my bolognese recipe here and just substitute the beef for quorn).

As for the diet, its going well. Although I have to confess to giving in to a little gluten and dairy at the weekend 😦 which I WILL NOT be repeating!

The low sugar bit is good, I’m just having a little at the weekend in a bar of dark chocolate and maybe a can of two of San Pellegrino a week, and I’m not craving it anywhere near as often as I once did. Best step I’ve made in years. Even lost a little weight, which is always a bonus when you have a good covering 😉

Anyway, I’ve obviously eaten A LOT since my last post, so here are just a few of my anti-inflammatory, gluten and dairy free highlights from the past month. Remember, it can sometimes be scary and feel impossible to make a change, but if I can do it anyone can! Going gluten and dairy free has been a massive change for me this year but it is now just second nature and I don’t even really have to think too hard about it now. Hoping these pictures inspire some to make a change for the better and help people to realise that you can still eat delicious food even if you are gluten and dairy free. Enjoy!

 

Coconut porridge with strawberries and Pip N Nut peanut butter

Homemade granola with fruit and Coconut Collaborative yoghurt

Three of my favourite things, salmon, eggs, and avocado, just on a plate together!

Vegan, double chocolate cookies, homemade of course!

Soya hot chocolate from Cuppacino in Clapham Junction Station.

Mushroom and spinach omelette, yum!

Homemade Granola with Coconut Collaborative yoghurt and the freshest, yummiest cherries.

Maybe a bit heavy of the breakfast sharing now, this time Lizzie’s Granola with fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt

More coconut porridge, this time with fresh fruit and pecans

Homemade stir fried tofu with brown rice and pak choi

There’s the salmon and eggs again!

The last takewaway a had a few weeks ago from Naturally Chinese, the best gluten and dairy free takeaway menu ever!

Simple but very tasty, green beans in a tomato sauce served with brown rice. You can find my recipe under the recipes heading on the side of the page!

Sometimes I have to praise the lord for Pret, really saved my skin over the summer with the long commutes. This is their coconut porridge with red quinoa, toasted seeds, and jam.

Homemae blueberry and honey cake, refined sugar free!

Of course had to end with my favourite thing, porridge! this time with raspberries, pecans and honey!
That’s not even the half of it! Will share some more next week!

 

I wanted to thank everyone who have ben reading my blog still, despite the lack of recent posts. Your following and readership absolutely means the world to me and please don’t interpret my lack of posts as me not caring. I do! Just working out how to fit this all in. Oh how I wish this paid, then I could do it all the time!

Anyway, for now, doodle pip! See you soon and please feel free to come and say hello over on social media, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Naturopathic Nutrition

Fibromyalgia and Diet – 1 week off the sugar

1 week in, and a lot less sugar eaten!

Now, I feel like I need to explain something. When I say sugar free, what I really mean is refined sugar free, and as explained in my last post, there may be the odd occasion where I still have refined sugar, just because I deserve it. This is also a path towards being refined sugar free, and will take time to break the habit. Naturally occurring sugars on the other hand, they’re ok, in moderation, and some occur in foods are helpful in my journey, such as honey and fruit.

So how did I get on this past week? Well I think I did quite well. I only had refined sugar on two occasions, once in a San Pellegrino drink with a meal, and on Saturday my family brought me a small packet of jelly peaches (my favourite), and well, it would have been rude not to eat them!

Some things that have helped in cutting down so dramatically

  • Eating fresh food
  • Cooking from scratch
  • Eating some damn delicious seasonal food
  • Keeping hydrated has helped keep the pop cravings at bay
  • My porridges in the morning have been a welcome sweet treat

So yes, I’ve had two little bits of refined sugar, but considering I was having a little here and there most days I think thats a major improvement! So Im giving myself a little pat on the back (and not eating sweets) to congratulate myself.

However, its all very well cutting out the sugar, which alone will have many health benefits, but have I actually felt these benefits yet and has it been worth it? Well, I’m pleased to report I haven’t had as many post lunch slumps, I’m much less bloated, and I’ve worked through the headaches. I’ve still had some evenings of muscle weakness, fibromyalgia fog is still rife and I’m still super tired by the end of the day, but on the whole I feel much much better in the daytime hours, which are the most important hours right? I never thought it would be the answer to all of my problems, but all the little pieces of the puzzle link up to improve my symptoms. Totally worth it in my eyes!

It wouldn’t be Monday if I didn’t share with you some of my recent foodie adventures!

Good old coconut porridge with strawberries, flaked almonds, chia seeds, accidental poppy seeds and honey.
Coconut porridge with banana, raspberries, strawberries pecans and mint. Try mint if you have berries on you porridge, it all goes so well together.
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Superfood salad from Gails Bakery
More coconut porridge with strawberries, banana, pecans and mint.
Homemade blackberry and maple compote, inspired by 26 Grains.
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In a quest to stop buying salad at work I made my very own sushi salad bowl inspired by this months Good Food Magazine.
Chocolate porridge made with coconut milk, topped with blackberry maple compote and peanut butter. Inspired by 26 Grains.

That it for this weeks food adventures, all taken on the long road to thriving with Fibromyalgia. Stay tuned for more fibromyalgia and food related posts coming up this week.

To follow my journey and for up to date news and research on all thing fibromyalgia, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Toodle pip!

 

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 🙂 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 👌🏻
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 🙂 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 🙂 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 🙂 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!

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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!

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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.

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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.