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 🙂 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!
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!
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 🙂 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.
Now that summer is supposedly on the way (although I wish someone would tell the weather man), salads pretty much take over my lunches. I take inspiration from lots of buddha bowls that you can find on Instagram, which I think means just putting whatever you can find into a bowl but in a more organised manner?!
Avocado toast is probably my favourite way to enjoy avocado. What would you like best with your avocado, egg or ham? Both are great in my book!
This picture isn’t the best but it pretty much demonstrates that you can eat avocado with anything! Here I had it on the side of a parma ham pizza omelette drowned in sweet chilli sauce. Was delish!
Above is last week avocado adventures, feel free to pop over to my special post dedicated to this wonderful fruit!
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 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.
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 –
Improving heart health
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
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.
What a week of eating! As I wrote the title of this blog I can’t quite believe that it has already been 9 weeks since I have been treating my fibromyalgia through changes in my diet. What initially started out as cutting out anything artificial and processed, has evolved into also cutting out gluten, dairy, and on most days refined sugar (although I do allow myself to have the occasional treat!). I have also learnt to embrace anti inflammatory foods, a series of which I have started writing about within this blog (see posts about ACV and Alliums). Through these simple changes I have noticed a marked difference in my energy levels, my skin, hair and nails, my pain levels, and my resistance to bugs. My fibromyalgia related bowel symptoms have also pretty much cleared up, with the odd exception.
What has also been great about cutting out the nasties from my diet (as I refer to them), is that I no longer have to worry about how much I eat. Which is good because I love eating. I’ve been eating more in quantity of food than I ever used to eat and in 9 weeks I have lost 17lbs without even trying, even with all the cake! My appetite is also more under control without the rollercoaster of blood sugars surging through my body, which is simply down to the changes. My body is working better, feeling better, and ad someone who has always struggle with body image, I’ll never pass up a compliment or two when they come my way.
So here’s to another week of good eating and a healthier future. This week is a bit heavy on the breakfast front, only because I’ve been really enjoying it this week, will work on sharing more lunches and dinners net week!
Now for the usual stuff, you can follow my journey on Instagram if you want a feast for the eyes, or Facebook and Twitter if you wantbto keep more up to date on recent news, research and information on Fibromyalgia. I look forward to sharing the journey with you as I continue to rise from the beast!
Sorry this weeks Fibromyalgia and Diet post has been delayed. I won’t bore you with the details why but anyone with fibromyalgia will know that some days are good and others are, well, not so good.
I returned to work last week and so far so good. I am enjoying being back, and being part of a team. So far my symptoms have been manageable, even if I am a little more tired.
I had high hopes for the weekend just passed to finalise my carrot cake recipe but a nasty bug put a stop to that, hence only my ACV salad dressing recipes last week. I’m also realising that I need to get a catalogue of recipes and photos together for those time when I’m not so well! That way I’ll always have something to post!
For now, here is some of last weeks food that I enjoyed as part of my anti inflammatory diet to treat fibromyalgia.
Hope you enjoyed this weeks instalment. Remember all the ideas and recipes I share are Gluten and Dairy free and suitable for an anti inflammatory diet!
As always you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter where I share current developments in Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness, as well as gluten and dairy free ideas, and Instagram where I share my daily life living with fibromyalgia using diet, exercise, and natural therapies as treatment!
Welcome back to the second chapter of the anti inflammatory diet series. Last time we looked at the Allium Family, and the feedback I received was great, so hoping you will all enjoy this new post on Apple Cider Vinegar/ACV.
Admittedly I am only just beginning to use ACV as much as is beneficial, as it can sometimes be a struggle to find ways to use it in food, but am gradually increasing the amount I use, particularly in salads and dressings. It is currently a popular natural remedy but has been around for much much longer than it has been fashionable to use and can provide healing to all parts of the body.
ACV is made by fermenting apples, and this process encourages them to release prebiotics, which help to feed probiotics, the good bacteria found in our gut that we often hear about when we see adverts for yoghurts and yoghurt drinks on the television. Probiotics are essential to maintain a good level of overall wellbeing and to look after the amazing eco-system of microbes that live within our digestive system. As well as fostering growth of the good bacteria, ACV also kills the bad bacteria. This in turn helps to reduce inflammation of the gut, joints, heart, blood and many other areas of our bodies. It can do this because of it naturally alkaline pH, which stops our blood from becoming too acidic. Those who have suffered the effects after a long training session in the gym and felt sore the next day because of a build up of lactic acid will know how unpleasant high acidity in the body can make us feel.
Inflammation often begins in our guts and can have a very rapid onset. Inflammation is often affected by things such as diet, stress, and lack of sleep. Everyone will get different symptoms but typically symptoms of inflammation can include joint pain, headaches, tiredness and vulnerability to picking up opportunistic infections such as colds and gastroenteritis.
For me the importance of maintaining a healthy digestive system and therefore reducing inflammation in my body is very important. When people with chronic pain conditions have inflammation in their bodies they can get extraordinarily painful joints, to the point where they can’t do much at all. This of course can lead to a lowering of mood and activity, which both have a negative impact on health. I find it useful to look at the bigger picture when planning my diet, and using anti inflammatory foods such as ACV helps me to manage my symptoms, beyond the immediate bowel symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. The inflammatory symptoms it can help to improve are –
As well as being great for inflammation mostly because of its powerful healing compounds, such as magnesium, potassium and acetic acid, ACV is also a great source of polyphenols, which help to deliver many health benefits such as –
Slowing of onset of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, diabetes and osteoporosis
Prevention of Thrush
Anti fungal activity
Balancing gut pH
Improvement of varicose veins
Lowering of blood pressure
Removal of warts
Thats quite a list considering I was holding back!
So, now that we know all about ACV and its potential to benefit out health, how can we use it and incorporate it into our diet? I mostly use ACV in homemade salad dressings, one of which I will share in a moment, but I wanted to share this delicious dish with you.
Now for the salad dressing recipe, I’ve given instructions for 1 serving (I like my salads well dressed!), but this can easily be made up to more and stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for a few days –
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each of English mustard and wholegrain mustard (or you could just use 1 teaspoon of one mustard if you like)
1/2 clove of crushed garlic (keeps the blood suckers away)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
As ever, my recipes are oh so simple, simply stick in a jar and give it a really good shake to make sure it is well mixed/emulsified and serve on your favourite salad.
Finally, the easiest way to get a good dose of ACV into your daily diet is to do a shot of the stuff each day. Before I begun this journey of an anti inflammatory diet, I wouldn’t have dreamt of doing this, but now I’m converted. It certainly blows the cobwebs away and gives you a buzz! I promise, it isn’t that unpleasant! If you can’t stand to drink it straight up, you could mix it with some water, or there are many fancy recipes for daily shots online, including ones with lemon or cayenne pepper which are also both great for inflammation!
I hope you have found this post useful and feel inspired to use ACV more in your cooking and daily routine. Next time we will be looking more closely at Avocado!
As always please feel free to leave any comments down below or follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for daily updates on fibromyalgia and chronic illness.
As with everything on my blog, I am writing from personal experience and research. What I find beneficial may not be the same for everybody and so please experiment carefully and monitor your symptoms while trying any new change to your health routine.
Welcome back to another weekly round up of what can now only be described as food porn! I’m slowly getting together more recipes to share but obviously need to not overdo things, so I apologise if some posts are a little slow in arriving. My plan is to share one recipe a week, that I have particularly enjoyed and think other people will enjoy too. By doing this it also gives me time to write my other posts and get the recipes just right before sharing!
This week has been all about getting ready for the height of growing season at the allotment, and the food we grow will feature more and more as the year goes on. Seasonal eating at its best. We’ve already had our first crop of rhubarb which we have been scoffing every day, and we still can’t get through it. So some of you will be lucky enough, if you ask nicely, to get some (honestly, please help). Hubby has worked super hard at getting lots of seeds in the ground that are already flourishing and we ordered some more over the weekend to keep us going for as long as possible.
As ever all of this weeks dishes are gluten free, dairy free, and suitable for an anti inflammatory diet. Enjoy!
I hope you have found something on here that will inspire you to try something new this week. Remember, I am a busy mum of two and would not share anything that I feel is too tricky to make, or that takes too long. Meal planning helps in getting the balance between time spent in the kitchen and time spent on other things.
Apologies if you have missed the fish dishes, I am still eating plenty of oily fish but thought you might like to see something different. Plus I practically inhale fish so it rarely makes it to photo!
As I always say, you can check out all things gluten and dairy free, and chronic illness related in other sections of this blog, or by follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All links are along the right hand menus of this page!