About Me

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I love finding new worlds through writing and reading. I am excited by creating new flavours and tastes in the kitchen. I am fascinated by nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. I adore my my dog, family and friends.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 1 2014/15 - design the story that you want

This Wednesday is New Year's Eve, so of course, the "make sure you are the best you that you can be" motivational talks are everywhere. I think that it is as good a time as any to make a fresh start, to take stock of where you are in life, and make new goals and plans, but of course, you do not need to wait til January 1 to do this.
If what you plan for your year is not working out, make adjustments to your strategy. Reflect and assess throughout the year. Be aware, be grateful, aim big, be realistic, learn from mistakes, don't be discouraged, work hard, treat yourself, love your life, do not take any day for granted, fight for what you want and be happy.
Stay safe this New Year's Eve, celebrate within your limits, and enjoy the start of a fresh chapter. Happy New Year and may 2015 be one filled with good health, happiness and new opportunities.

Glimpse into end of year best wishes

Hello there! I truly hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas. I had a beautiful time with my small family, revolving around good food, thoughtful presents, Christmas movies, board games, love and happiness. Thankfully, my body allowed me a couple of fairly good days, and I was able to join in on the quiet celebrations at home. Since Boxing Day, I have felt pretty well wiped out though, however, when you deal with chronic illness, I think that is a fairly good trade. I am also a cricket addict, and I think Boxing Day is the best time of year (leftovers and cricket, thank you!), so I have quite happily rested on the couch in front of the test match since.

I am sorry that I did not complete my planned festive month of blog posts. I did not have a great few weeks health wise, and sometimes even the best laid plans go astray! I will still post them, they just will not be Christmas-style.

I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that you all enjoy safe and happy New Year celebrations.
I look forward to bringing you more blog posts and recipes in the New Year! Thank you for all your support this year.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 51 - what do you want this Christmas?

This week, in the days leading up to Christmas, take stock of all the amazing things in your life. I know, that sounds cheesey. This time of the year, however, is the best time to be cheesey! No matter what your health, family or financial situation, be aware of the things that make you happy, and if you can not find one thing that makes you happy, take this time to figure out what you are going to do to fight with all your power to get something which does make you happy! Material things do not matter; loving and being loved, doing what you makes you happy, and being a good person is what counts. Get out there and make it happen. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 50 - pancakes

I love pancakes - who doesn't?! The only problem with pancakes, I feel, is cooking pancakes! I can not do it. Even back in the day, when I used "normal" pancake ingredients, like eggs and wheat flour, I was never any good at it. I am a very patient person, but when it comes to delicious treats, waiting for the pan to be the correct temperature, and knowing the exact time to flip, is obviously not my forte!
However, as I do love a good pancake, I try every now and again, and who knew, but persistence was the key! I developed these grain free, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, low FODMAP pancakes, and they are pretty darn scrummy! Learn from my mistake; be patient and wait til your fry pan is hot!

This seemed like a great addition to our Christmas theme, as no matter what season your Christmas falls in, pancakes are an indulgent and delicious (and healthy, in this case) treat for holiday breakfasts!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glimpse into Wellness Wednesday - week 50 - lunges

Lunges are a simple exercise which can be done in various ways to suit your fitness level. As I have mentioned before, when you are often resting, the hip flexors in particular can become tight. Regular lunges can keep this flexible and minimise other issues caused by tight hip flexors, such as a bad back.

Begin by kneeling, both knees pressed onto the floor, the tops of your feet flat to the ground. Bring your right leg through, so that your foot is in front of you and your knee is bent. Slide your legs apart from each other until your thighs make a straight line which is at a diagonal to the floor (you know what?! Lunges are very hard to describe in writing!). You may need something like a chair next to you so that you can balance yourself. Gently stretch by pushing more deeply into the lunge. Hold for as long as you can; gradually work up to at least a minute each side.

Once you can do that level without wobbling, upgrade your level. You can try extending your arms straight above your head as you lunge, slowly going into a slight backbend. You can also lunge so that your back leg is no longer resting on the ground. Ensure you do not rotate your knee too far around, otherwise you will hurt your knee and hip.

This is a great exercise to throw into your routine. Try to do it when you first get up out of bed, after you have been sitting for some time, or when you feel tight; just as often as you find comfortable really!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 50 - the importance of balance

We hear it again and again; everything in moderation, balance is key. I absolutely believe this. I think a lot of people put the wrong amount of pressure on themselves though.

The "naughty" does not have to be unhealthy, negative choices. When you realise this, it is a major breakthrough in life! Whether it be food treats, in the form of nutritious chocolate slices as opposed to sugar and fat laden chocolate blocks, or lifestyle choices. A treat, a splurge or an indulgent moment can be so good for you, possibly even better than the "nice" choices you make; you just have to learn the best way. There are so many options out there, now that we are all so aware of how important health and wellness are to our lives. A "naughty" treat at a cafe which is actually nutrient dense is easily found now. Bath scrubs are available with healing, relaxing and muscle soothing ingredients. Movie sessions can be highly entertaining and educational at the same time. The list goes on.

I follow a lot of inspirational fitness blogs and I love the motivation they give out. However, as someone who has a body which is not functioning properly, I sometimes have a problem with some of the exercise messages put out. In particular, I find the "there is no excuse/your body is only as weak as your mind" type concepts a little stressful and unfair. I want to work out and be fit with all my heart. I used to love being active. I am not making excuses, nor am I weak. I know that I can not push myself because my body is not capable of it. It took me a long time to accept this. However, now that I have, I am learning how to incorporate it into the concept of balance. To some, spending the day on the couch is perceived as lazy; as a "naughty" indulgence. For me, it is an unavoidable (and highly frustrating) necessity. I can not feel guilty about it. Nor can I feel guilty about having a laugh with friends when I can not work, or about watching a movie when the paperwork chores are building up. 
An important part to balance, is learning what is relevant to you. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Everyone's situations, bodies, goals and abilities are different. Finding what is at your core is mandatory when developing balance.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 49 - Christmas trifle

I hope that you are excited! It is our first Christmas Foodie Friday for 2014! That means the great reveal of this week's big recipe, which has slowly unfolded over the week.

Did you guess what it is?!

What does a combination of strawberry jelly, ice cream, chocolate sauce, and banana bread turn into?!....

Christmas Trifle (1 serve)

Choose your favourite long or large glass, or pretty bowl suitable for a trifle.

  1. Start off with 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate sauce
  2. Place a jiggly layer of 3-4 large tablespoons of strawberry tea jelly
  3. Then scoop on 3-4 large tablespoons of mint ice cream
  4. Break up a few chunks of choc chip banana bread over the ice cream
  5. Top that with 3-4 large tablespoons of strawberry ice cream
  6. Pour on 2-3 tablespoons of chocolate sauce
  7. Sprinkle the top with a combination of shredded coconut, dried strawberries, cacao nibs, cinnamon, and crushed nuts.

I hope that you enjoy this Christmas coloured trifle! Such a decadent treat packed with nutrition! Double score!

Glimpse into choc chip banana bread

When you are grain free and gluten free, bread and cake textures are a distance memory! A recent discovery I made in a local health store was green banana flour. I have been experimenting with it, and it makes quite fluffy, baked treats.
This recipe is also dairy and egg free, so it can be a little dry once it has cooled. I find that it is yummy toasted or microwaved, and topped with mashed banana, strawberries or coconut butter.

Choc chip banana bread

1 cup green banana flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup choc chips
1/4 - 1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup banana, mashed
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 coconut oil
1 gelatin egg (1 tablespoon of gelatin dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of boiling water)
1 chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line loaf pan with baking paper.
Combine dry ingredients well.
Combine wet ingredients well.
Stir the two mixtures together. Pour into the lined pan.
Cook for 40 minutes, or til inserted skewer comes out clean.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glimpse into ice magic

Here in Australia, everyone loves ice magic on their ice cream! This is chocolate sauce which hardens when poured on top of the cold ice cream. Here is a healthy, nutritious version, which is just as delicious!

Ice magic (1 serve)

1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of cocao
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

Adjust these basic quantities to suit your taste buds.

Glimpse into healthy icecream

An important part to our special Christmas recipe, which will be revealed in its entirety this Foodie Friday, is this amazing and delicious recipe...


Banana ice cream

Basically, this recipe is: FROZEN BANANAS! All that needs to be done, is slice up a banana for each serve, and freeze. When ready to serve, simply blend the slices in a powerful food processor.

It is delicious in this simple form, but of course, you can add healthy extras for different flavours. Here are some of my favourite combinations:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Glimpse into Wellness Wednesday - week 49 - Santa squats!

This week's Wellness Wednesday will focus on the squat, and in keeping with this month's festive theme, it will be called the Santa Squat!

The squat is an awesome exercise which involves the upper and lower body, in particular the butt, thighs, lower back and core. It burns calories, and strengthens and tones your muscles.

It is a tough exercise, so take it easy to begin with. I began with two seated squats, and very slowly worked up to being able to do about 5-10 squats. I can not go very low, but I am working on it. Remember that every time you add a little more movement to your day, the stronger you get, so do not worry about not being able to get low. (I have written more about this concept here.)

To commence, place you feet firmly on the floor, about shoulder width apart.
Your feet should not point straight ahead, but slightly outward.
Looking straight ahead, bend at your knees.

Start off by lowering yourself into a chair, like happy Santa, sitting down for his cookies after his

156, 987th chimney descent! When you are stronger, lower down as if you were about to sit in a chair. Do not let your knees go forward past your toes, and keep your heels on the floor.
Turn your ab muscles on (pull them in), and keep your back in a neutral position.

Lower yourself down and back, slowly. Tighten your body so that your movement is controlled. Extend your arms in front of you for balance. You may find it helpful to place your hands on a bar or chair in front of you. Go as low as you can; but not further than when your thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. Remember, start off with the smallest of drops if that is what you can do.

Come slowly back up to a standing position, and say "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Glimpse into strawberry tea jelly

This month will be full of special posts to get us ready for the festive season! Just because you have restricted diets, or because you have chronic health issues, does not mean you have to miss out on the festive cheer! I will bring you ideas on how to be part of this Christmas season.

This week's extra posts will revolve around a surprise recipe which will be revealed in its entirety this Foodie Friday. The large (but easy) recipe will be broken down, and the first part of this recipe will be....

Strawberry tea jelly!

1 1/2 cups of boiling water
2 jasmine green tea bags
1 ginger tea bag
3 teaspoons of gelatin
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 cups of strawberries
1-3 tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)

1. Add the gelatin into the boiling water in a small bowl and stir constantly til it is dissolved.
2. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water and gelatin mix. Set aside til the tea is strong.
3. Blend the strawberries in a food processor.
4. Sieve the fruit puree into a large bowl, so that the strawberry seeds are removed.
5. Stir the orange juice into the strawberry puree.
6. Add the maple syrup if desired.
7. Remove the tea bags from boiling water. Pour the tea into the fruit mixture.
8. Stir until well combined. Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
9. Place the jelly mix into the fridge til set; at least 2 hours.

You can choose different teas, fruit and juice to use for the jelly, depending on your favourite flavours.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Glimpse into Motivation Monday - week 49 - enjoy the merry moments

Happy 1st of December! Welcome to the Summer (or the Winter, wherever you may be), and to the month of Christmas festivities. This month, our Motivation Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays and Foodie Fridays will have a festive theme.
To begin, this week's motivation is a quote from Dag Hammarskjold.
 "Time always seems long to the child who is waiting - for Christmas, for next summer, for becoming a grownup: long also when he surrenders his whole soul to each moment of a happy day."
Do not get so caught up in the excitement of what is ahead that you forget to live the moment which is happening to you in the present. It is good to have something to look forward to, but if you live in the future, you will miss the amazement of today. Make the most of every moment that is given to you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 47 - banana

Today's Foodie Friday ingredient is the humble banana!!

These delicious fruits are a quick and easy hit of carbohydrates, which normalise blood sugar levels, and so are great for sustained energy, workout fuel, and maintaining a good mood and a clear and effective mind. Bananas are a great source of fibre, antioxidants and some important vitamins, such as B6 and C. They can even help prevent and fight some cancers. Due to their no fat, low salt and high potassium combination, they are a fantastic food for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Bananas also have a pretty neat trick up their sleeve. Due to their low calorie content combined with their ability to be very filling, they have a high satiety index. This means it is fairly impossible to get fat on bananas! In terms of fructose content, bananas are safe for most of us on a fructose restricted diet. This is because the fructose and glucose content is fairly equal.

I use bananas in a lot of my baked treats and smoothies as they are a delicious thickener and a great egg replacement. They are also awesome by themselves, or sliced up with a few shakes of cinnamon on them. It is great to keep some sliced bananas in the freezer so that you always have some to use. Frozen bananas can be used in recipes such as "icecream", smoothies, or defrosted for cakes.

Here is a very simple recipe for you which you can knock up when 3:30-itis hits!!

Choc dipped bananas

1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of cocao
1 banana

Mix the oil, syrup and cocao til combined well. You may like to adjust the ratio to suit your taste preference.
Dip the banana into the mixture. The banana can be whole or sliced.

You may like to eat it as is, runny and straight out the bowl. Otherwise, try setting the chocolate by placing the dunked banana into the fridge or freezer til set to the desired firmness. Keep in mind that the banana may brown slightly. If you are not on a nut or seed free diet, you may like to also smear the banana with your favourite nut butter or tahini too!

Here are some other recipes on my blog which contain banana.

Choc banana quinoa cookies
Nut and seed banana bread
Spicy banana slab
Quinoa pancakes
Choc nut smoothie
Green smoothies

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Glimpse into learning to live with chronic fatigue/ PosturalOrthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome/ Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Now and again, someone stumbles across my blog who is new to dealing with chronic fatigue, or a friend of a friend points them in my direction for advice. This has made me think that it is time to do a summary post about some of what I have learned about dealing with certain issues so far on my journey.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Glimpse into Wellness Wednesday - week 46 - child pose

I have not been able to do as much yoga as I'd like for a while because I have been too fatigued and dizzy, but there is one move that is relaxing and beneficial that I can do when other moves are out of reach. It is the child pose, and it stretches the ankles, knees, thighs, hips and lower back, and relaxes the spine, neck and shoulders. It is calming, increases blood circulation to the head, and massages the internal organs.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Glimpse into Motivational Monday - SELF - week 46

Do not compare yourself to others. Use them as inspiration, but do not compete. You are the only person you need to get better than. Acknowledge what your own abilities are right now. Set a goal. Fight with every scrap of "oomph" you have to get to that point. Then set another goal.
You've got this.

Glimpse into reintroducing seeds and nuts on the Autoimmune Protocol

I have been eating within the Autoimmune Protocol now for three months. My gut feels happier on the whole, with less bloating and pain. I don't know that any massive symptom improvement has occurred in terms of my autoimmune conditions, so I am continuing on, though I wanted to try nuts and seeds and see if I could reintroduce them for their health benefits. If nothing else, I have seen the benefits of not sneaking in the odd bite of dairy, or a slice of gluten free bread containing egg for example. I know that I need to avoid the foods I am intolerant to and be strict with that, and then continue to test out the potential benefits of avoiding foods which can cause autoimmune flairs.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 45 - nut free pesto

I posted a pesto recipe on Instagram a while ago, and have also shared the pesto with friends a few times, and I keep getting requests for it to appear on the blog! With it being on my blog's instragram account, I kept thinking I had posted it! So here it is! Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm!

This pesto is nut free, but full of flavour. Make sure you stir it before serving, as the liquid can separate a little and become a tad runny.


1 cup of kale or spinach
2 cups of basil
1/4 - 1/2 avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2-5 anchovies (to your desired taste)
1/4 cup of olive oil (add a few splashes of garlic oil too if you like)
1 pinch of salt

Optional add ins:

* 2 tablespoons of oregano
*1/2 cup coconut milk
*10 olives

Blend all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Serve with fresh sliced vegetables, such as carrots, cucumber and celery, or through a bowl of zoodles/zucchini "noodles" (or any other way that takes your fancy)!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Glimpse into Motivational Monday - APPRECIATE - week 45

When things get tough and life is not going the way you had hoped, it is easy to wonder what is the point of having dreams and plans. However, the worst thing you can do is to stop working for the way you want your life to be. Do your best to not give into filling your days with wishing for something, and feeling hard done by. No matter how much it hurts, get up and fight for it. Only you can achieve the life you want. At the same time, look around, and be amazed by what you are blessed with. Take in the view on the way up, and be thankful for the journey.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Glimpse into a Glimpsing Gembles online Book Club update

Over in the Glimpsing Gembles Book Club section of the blog, there are new posts up. We are currently discussing a book by Bryce Courtenay called "Smoky Joe's Café." There is also the announcement post for November/December's book choice. Pop over to join in the online book club! Everyone welcome.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Glimpse into week seven of the Autoimmune Protocol

I feel quite happy with my progress on the Autoimmune Protocol. If nothing else, I have decided that I am much better off not sneaking in the foods I know that am intolerant to (who knew?!). I have decided that I am going to continue to avoid grains, gluten, nightshades, sugar, and the foods I am intolerant to (dairy, wheat, peanuts, eggs and FODMAPs) indefinitely.

Glimpse into week six of the Autoimmune Protocol

Week six! This is flying by. I would say my progress this week is similar to last week's. I have had the added nuisance of regular nausea though, which I am frustrated and confused by!

Does anyone else have issues with meat, and different ways of cooking meat? I have had problems with slowed cooked and stewed meats for some time. Even the smell of them cooking makes me feel unwell. This week, as strange as it sounds, I think meat that has a stringy, fibrous texture is what might be causing the problem. I would love to hear anyone else's ideas about digestive issues with meat, why it occurs, and ways to overcome it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Glimpse into week five of the Autoimmune Protocol, and starting Midodrine

This week began with a visit to a friend's place which involved food. I cut up a pile of carrots, celery, and cucumber, and created a pesto. It was simple, but I was able to cater for myself as well as bring something that other people would be interested in eating (though, placed on a table which was full of amazing looking (and smelling!) cakes and sausage rolls, I'd have not blamed a soul for not touching the rabbit food!!!)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 38 - AIP & FODMAP friendly green smoothies

As I mentioned in my update for week four of the autoimmune protocol, I am finding that green smoothies are a great start to the day.
I have previously done a post about green smoothies here. These are all AIP compatible, however you will need to skip the chia seeds, and use water, coconut water, or coconut milk for the liquid, instead of other milk alternatives.

Here are a few more which I have been enjoying of late.

The creamy delight:

A large handful of kale/spinach
1 stick of celery
1 frozen banana (sliced before freezing)
A few berries or pineapple
A few shakes of cinnamon
A big splash of coconut milk
Water (enough to create desired consistency)

The tropical juice:

A large handful of kale/spinach
1 celery stick
A large squeeze of lemon juice
A big chunk of fresh ginger
A small amount of fresh pineapple
Water (enough to create desired consistency)

The fierce zinger:

A large handful of kale/spinach
1 celery stick
1 kiwi fruit
A small chunk of fresh ginger
A few shakes of ground cinnamon
A few squeezes of lemon juice
Water (enough to create desired consistency)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Magnifying Moments

See the good...a blanket placed over you when you have fallen asleep in a random spot from exhaustion 
Feel the happy...muddy paws of a blissed out puppy
Brighten your mind...the tiny grain tries to protect itself by being hard to digest - hence all humans have a certain degree of problem when consuming grains
Find the moment...cuddling my new little nephew

See the good (small things to be grateful for)
Feel the happy (small things to be happy about)
Brighten your mind (small things to be fascinated by)
Find the moment (small things to plan to see/do/feel)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Glimpse into a book club update

Apologies for the late announcement of the next book for our book club. I have really been unwell lately, and even writing a blog post is hard work! I realise we are meant to start the book tomorrow, so I thought I better jump on and choose one! This is a fairly a short story, so even if it takes you a little while to find a copy, I am sure we will be able to begin as usual on the 15th of next month (October). I am going to download a copy from Audible to start listening soon!... So jump over to the book club by hitting the tab at the top of the home page, and find out which book it is!

Also, it is not too late to join in on the discussion of our current book, 'The Bees."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Glimpse into beginning the Autoimmune Protocol

I have learnt so much in the past couple of years, which is an opportunity I would have missed had I not become unwell. Having chronic illnesses which have caused me to stop work, and for my entire social, personal and active life to change to learn these lessons is far from ideal, but I am grateful (otherwise, what is the point of this struggle?!).
I am constantly reading (when the brain fog allows it, that is!) about my conditions and ways to improve my health. My background as a nurse has helped me here, and a passion for nutrition and wellness has been awakened.
Lately, I have been researching the Autoimmune Protocol (or the Paleo Approach). This is a diet which restricts certain foods so as to decrease inflammation in the gut, soothing and healing it, and subsequently, potentially, improving (or preventing) the autoimmune conditions that are often a result of the gut inflammation. When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune disease, I read about foods which were good and bad for thyroid conditions, and basically put it into the too hard basket (aside from avoiding gluten). I was already eating a restricted diet due to food intolerances, and I was quite unwell, so the idea of making it more strict seemed ludicrous! However, there appears to have been a lot more written about the diet since then and there are so many resources that demonstrate it is a feasible and beneficial diet (I purchased "The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook" and "The Paleo Approach; Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body" - both of which have been extremely useful). Also, last month I had my antibody levels tested (these show that I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis), and they have increased from 2400 last year, to 3800! They are meant to be under 60. This has really motivated me to find something that may improve this, and as my doctors says I do not require thyroid medication, food seems to be a smart place to focus.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Glimpse into healthy "Bounty" bars

I think recipes which make healthier versions of commercial chocolate bars and lollies are super exciting and fun! Today, I want to share with you a recipe for Bounty Bars, which is of course free of gluten, dairy and egg and is low in FODMAPs. This one is so simple and quick to make you'll wonder why you would bother going all the way to the shops just to buy a bar full of sugar, wheat and dairy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 28 - Rice syrup

This week, I made a super quick and simple, sweet bread to toast up for snacks and breakfasts. Instead of baking the usual banana breads (which, don't get me wrong, I love!), I chose to make one which revolved around rice syrup. I think rice syrup is delicious, and it has been a lifesaver when looking for a substitute for high fructose sweeteners such as corn syrup, honey, and sugar.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Glimpse into Foodie Friday - week 27 - buckwheat

Being intolerant to so many different foods as I am, it is possible to slip up now and again and miss something that you can or cannot have. This has been the case for me with buckwheat. Somewhere along the lines, I had thought that I could not have buckwheat due to the FODMAP content, but my mum discovered recently that I was wrong. So I bought some activated buckwheat and gave it a trial. It seems to have been a success and I can indeed tolerate it! This makes me happy to be able to add another food to my can-eat list! It is crunchy, which is an exciting texture change in my diet, and the flavour is quite versatile. I have eaten it sprinkled on coconut yogurt with fresh fruit, and have made toasted muesli/granola with it, and hope to make cookies with it soon. 

Buckwheat is not actually a wheat, even though the name might suggest this. It is a fruit seed, so it is actually a good alternative for people avoiding gluten and wheat. It has been shown to have beneficial effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, it can maintain blood flow and protect against heart disease, and some cancers and illnesses. It is high in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. Buckwheat contains a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids. It balances blood sugars and keeps hunger at bay for longer than wheat or grain alternatives. 
It is gluten, dairy, nut and egg free, contains only tiny amounts of fructose and very low amounts of fructans. Being on a low fructose/FODMAP diet, it can be easy to not ingest enough fibre. Buckwheat is high in beneficial insoluble fibre. Subsequently, these benefits make it a great food to be eaten by people on a restricted diet. 
This website provides some other interesting details: http://www.fineli.fi/food.php?foodid=161&lang=en

Today I thought I would bring to you the recipe I created for buckwheat, quinoa and mixed seed granola. 

Glimpse into the new man in my life!!

Hello all! I apologise for my recent absence from the blog. One of the ironic things about keeping a blog about life with chronic illnesses is that the chronic illnesses sometimes keep you from the blog!

Something exciting which has happened during the time though is that a puppy chose me to be his human! 
Meet Albi, the Shih Tzu.... 

I have written previously about how beneficial animals can be in improving health and wellbeing, and Albi is no exception! My daily incidental movement (including countless stair climps for frequent puppy toilet breaks!) has increased substantially. I have something to be excited about to do for the day. I have someone to give me countless cuddles and endless attention (and plenty of puppy mischief!). He is even tiring me out so much that I haven't used sleeping tablets since he arrived! He keeps me company and makes me smile all the time. 
Obviously, these are all small things in the scheme of everything that is going on, but it all definitely helps my ability to cope! I researched for months and months and decided on the Shih Tzu, and I am so glad I did. He is so clever and inquisitive, full of fun and energy but totally happy to snuggle with me while I rest for hours, and is absolutely win-over-everyone cute! I am in love.
I highly recommend you find an animal to cuddle as soon as possible!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Glimpse into July/August book announcement

Today is the day for the announcement of our next book for our book club! Drumroll please!!
The book to begin reading on July 1st is...

"The Bees" by Laline Paull.

For a summary of this book, visit the Glimpsing Gembles Book club page...


Find a copy to read or download the audiobook, and start reading on July 1st! Discussion will begin August 15th.