Friday, 30 October 2015

Healthy Cinnamon, Apple, Sultana and Walnut Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  Cup of Wholegrain Plain Spelt Flour
  • 1 ½ Cup of Wholegrain Plain Rye Flour
  • 6 level Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1 slightly heaped Teaspoon of Bi-Carb Soda
  • 1 ½  Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • ½ Cup of Oat Bran
  • ¾ Cup of Rice Bran Oil or other good quality cooking oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ¾ Cup of Stevia
  • Approx. 1 Cup of Low Fat Lactose Free Milk
  • 1 Cup of Sultanas.
  • 1 Cup of Walnuts, chopped.
  • 400g of Pie Apples mixed with the Sultanas about an hour prior to cooking or overnight in the fridge.

Method:

  1. Triple sift the Flours with the Baking Powder, Bi-Carb and Cinnamon. Fine ground flours from the Health Shop sift quite well with only a small amount of the bran left in the sifter. I just tip that back in each time.
  2. Soak the Oat Bran in ½ Cup of the Milk.
  3. Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray – makes 24 Muffins.
  4. Cream Oil, Eggs and Stevia until well blended.
  5. Add sifted Flour mix gradually, adding more milk as needed. You want stiff dough, almost as dry as biscuit dough to compensate for the moisture from the apples.
  6. Add the chopped Walnuts.
  7. Lastly fold in the Apple/Sultana mix. Be careful to keep the Apple chunky.
  8. Fill your Muffin trays – it will make 24 nicely.
  9. Bake in a Fan Forced Oven on 160 C until cooked.  Keep checking them with a wooden skewer and when it comes out clean they are done.
  10. Cool on racks, eat some and freeze some for later.

NOTES: Try to get ingredients that have no Sulphites and other additives where possible. The idea is to have control over the quality of your ingredients to make them as natural as possible.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

A Healthy Take on Chocolate, Walnut and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup of Wholegrain Plain Spelt Flour
  • 1 Cup of Wholegrain Plain Rye Flour
  • ¾ Cup of Cocoa Powder
  • 4 level Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1 level Teaspoon of Bi-Carb Soda
  • ½ Cup of Oat Bran
  • ½ Cup of Rice Bran Oil or other good quality cooking oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup of Stevia
  • 1 ½ - 2 Cups of Low Fat Lactose Free Milk
  • 1 Packet of Dark Chocolate Chips/Buds
  • 1 heaped Cup of Walnuts, chopped and mixed with the Chocolate Chips

Method:
  1. Triple sift the Flours and Cocoa with the Baking Powder and Bi-Carb. Fine ground flours from the Health Shop sift quite well with only a small amount of the bran left in the sifter. I just tip that back in each time.
  2. Soak the Oat Bran in ½ Cup of the Milk.
  3. Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray – makes 18 Muffins.
  4. Cream Oil, Eggs and Stevia until well blended.
  5. Add sifted Flour mix gradually, adding more milk as needed. You want a moist mix but not too wet. I have had to experiment so I know what the consistency looks like now. If it is not moist enough the Muffins will be a bit dry, too moist and they will be a bit doughy in the middle.
  6. Lastly add the Walnut and Chocolate Chips mixture and mix till well blended.
  7. Fill your Muffin trays – it will make 18 nicely.
  8. Bake in a Fan Forced Oven on 160 C for approximately 20 – 25 minutes.  Keep checking them with a wooden skewer and when it comes out clean they are done.
  9. Cool on racks, eat some and freeze some for later.


NOTES: Chopped Dates are good to add to the mixture or replace the Chocolate Chips or Walnuts. Try to get ingredients that have no Sulphites and other additives where possible. The idea is to have control over the quality of your ingredients to make them as natural as possible.

Some people would say that I should have used Cacao instead of Cocoa Powder but it is simply too expensive to use in the amounts I like to use for Chocolate cakes. From what I have read humble Cocoa Powder is still full of goodness. It is made from roasted Cocoa beans while Cacao is from the raw beans. If you want to be really strictly healthy leave out the Chocolate Chips. I look at it this way. If eating something like this muffin satisfies the chocolate and cake/biscuit cravings then I am ahead in the health battle.

A Healthy Take on Date and Walnut Muffins


Ingredients:
  • 1 Cup of Wholegrain Plain Spelt Flour
  • 1 Cup of Wholegrain Plain Rye Flour
  • 4 level Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1 level Teaspoon of Bi-Carb Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Natural Vanilla Essence
  • ½ Cup of Oat Bran
  • ½ Cup of Rice Bran Oil or other good quality cooking oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup of Stevia
  • 1 - 1 ½ Cups of Low Fat Lactose Free Milk
  • 1 heaped Cup of Dates, chopped.
  • 1 heaped Cup of Walnuts, chopped and mixed with the Chopped Dates

Method:
  1. Triple sift the Flours with the Baking Powder and Bi-Carb. Fine ground flours from the Health Shop sift quite well with only a small amount of the bran left in the sifter. I just tip that back in each time.
  2. Soak the Oat Bran in ½ Cup of the Milk.
  3. Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray – makes 18 Muffins.
  4. Cream Oil, Eggs, Vanilla and Stevia until well blended.
  5. Add sifted Flour mix gradually, adding more milk as needed. You want a moist mix but not too wet. I have had to experiment so I know what the consistency looks like now. If it is not moist enough the Muffins will be a bit dry, too moist and they will be a bit doughy in the middle.
  6. Lastly add the Walnut and Date mixture and mix till well blended.
  7. Fill your Muffin trays – it will make 18 nicely.
  8. Bake in a Fan Forced Oven on 160 C for approximately 20 – 25 minutes.  Keep checking them with a wooden skewer and when it comes out clean they are done.
  9. Cool on racks, eat some and freeze some for later.

NOTES: A third of a Cup of Raw Carob Powder added to the Flour Mix makes a nice favoured Muffin.  Try to get ingredients that have no Sulphites and other additives where possible. The idea is to have control over the quality of your ingredients to make them as natural as possible.

This is one of my own recipes that I created when I got serious about cleaning up my diet. I was having a lot of trouble with Gastritis and I had gained a lot of weight. By eating less and making a big effort with the kind of food I put in my mouth my stomach troubles reduced dramaticly over several months. As a by product of this I also lost weight.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Self Worth

One of the things that Fibromyalgia attacks early on is our Self Worth. Most people measure their self worth according to how successful they are at their job, in their relationships, socially, physically  and intellectually. I may have left something out but I'm sure you know what I am getting at.

Fibromyalgia attacks all of these areas of life. We can't pull our weight at work or at home anymore and we can't keep up socially with our friends and family because we may be in too much pain or too fatigued or too anxious or even too depressed.

Where once we were mentally sharp and quick witted we are now befuddled and slow. People get annoyed with us because we don't react physically quickly enough for their liking. It is not nice to be roughly shoved aside because you weren't able to move quickly enough.

If I keep listing everything that attacks our Self Worth I will have us all so depressed we will give up the fight for a good life and that is the opposite of what I want to do with this article.

I can only share what I do to maintain my Self Worth. It may not work for you but it may generate some ideas that will work.

I have realised that I have to change the benchmarks that I measure succes in life against.

My value as a person is not dependent on being in the workforce full time or even at any time. I certainly don't want to be a burden to my husband so I make sure that I do my share of the work around the house. What I have to do though is honour the fact that it now takes about 3 times as long to do whatever chores I have to do. So I take pride in the achievement of getting a chore done no matter how long it took me.

I don't let myself compare the current me to the pre-fibro me. I think that is probaly the number 1 rule to follow. Don't look back at who you were but look at the amazingly strong survivor you are now.

We are strong. We have to be to keep ourselves from falling into that black pit of despair. Whenever I get close to the edge I consciously drag my attention to something positive in my life even if that is simply the current book I am escaping into.

Being able to escape for awhile from the ever present affects of this disease is a triumph in itself. Being able to do that is something to feel good about because not everyone can do that. Some  people keep the focus on their illness and that doesn't help them or the people in their lives. So when you can find other, positive things to focus on then you have achieved something to be proud of.

So we need some new benchmarks to measure our success against:

  • Completing things in our daily lives no matter how long it takes.
  • Finding ways to take our focus off how rotten we are feeling.
  • Not looking back at what we were and falling into the trap of self pity.
  • Acknowledging that it is not our fault that we have this disease.
  • Looking for ways to help others in life even if it is just showing support and understanding for them.
  • Nurturing ourselves so that we can be as well as possible. It takes courage to put our needs ahead of others as we run the risk of being seen as selfish. However by doing so we give ourselves the chance to be there for others when they really need us.
  • Accepting that working for as little as 3 hours a week as a volunteer or being paid is a worthwhile achievement.
  • Having the courage to say no to people.
I'm sure you can add to this list. I do realise that these things I have listed are not normally things that are considered achievements and it is usually achievements that make us feel good about ourselves. Well, for a person with Fibromyalgia they are achievements as we have an enourmous battle with ourselves, with accepting ourselves in our new way of physical, mental and emotional being. Our greatest challenge is not to lose ourselves within this disease but to rise above it with a strong sense of worth as a human being.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Useful Web Pages for Fibromyalgia Information

Fibromyalgia News

10 Strategies for Healing

Keeping Active with Fibromyalgia

It is very important to keep body and mind active when you have Fibromyalgia. That is often easier said than done and what one person can do another may find impossible. I can only share my own experiences in the hope that others will benefit.

Normal exercise is not an option for me but I get a lot of benefits from Aqua Fit. For nearly 3 years I went 3 days per week and built up muscle that I had never had before even prior to Fibro. It also helped to stabilise my weight and increased my flexibility. Unfortunately over the last 12 months I have had a lot of un-fibro-related illness, primarily Ross River Virus and so my Aqua Fit routine has been very random. I am trying to get into a twice a week regular routine as I am feeling more pain these days and  I think it may be due to lack of Aqua Fit exercise.

It really is a matter of finding that balance between getting the exercise that improves stamina, strength and flexibility and having the time and energy to get day to day tasks done. I only work a few hours a week to earn enough money to top up my pension so I can afford the Aqua Fit and my natural supplements. I can only manage those few hours but if I didn't exercise and take those supplements I would have an extremely poor quality of life that would then bring me down into depression and once down in that deep dark hole it is very hard to get out.

I keep my mind active with reading and Facebook activities and the work I do is more mental than physical. Magnesium not only helps with muscle pain but also helps keep the Fibro Fog at bay. I need more than that for the Fibro Fog though and I have found through experimentation that for me taking 1 multi B vitamin plus 250mg of B1 and 250mg of B5 gives me almost my pre-fibro mental clarity back. It allows me to be mentally functional. I would not be writing this Blog without it.

I also paint which is probably more mental than physical although I can only seem to do it in blocks of about an hour whereas years ago when I first got into painting I could do it for hours at a stretch. Most things now have to be done in small chunks but at least things do get done and I get to feel like I can still accomplish things.

Service

I have decided to start with the Spiritual Attribute of Service. For me it was the most obvious one to start with because I have become the sort of person who copes with their illness by focussing outwards onto helping others.

Even before I got my illness I was comitted to helping people and I have done so in various ways for over 30 years.

Of course with the onset of Fibromyalgia I had to focus on myself so that I could function on a daily basis. I chose not to go down the path of prescription medication and so began a journey through natural therapies. The Internet and my Fibro savvy Chiropractor Dennis brought me to a point where I can have a reasonable quality of life. It is not the quality of physical life that I would have if I did not have this illness though. Because I have organised my life so that I can live within the limitations of my illness I don't feel limited unless I am forced outside those limits.

Once I got myself in order I realised how many Fibro sufferers were having a much harder time than me. I felt I had to  try to do something. Initially a friend and I started a Facebook Page for Fibromyalgia in our local area. It slowly grew in numbers and I felt well enough to organise a monthly get together. We are in the early days of this now and I hope that it can grow and that those of us who are well enough can make it something that is a true Service to our local community of Fibromyalgics.

Of course Fibromyalgia is not my sole Service focus. The Universe places many opportunities for Service in my path and I take them.