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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Glimpse into part two: things to do when your body doesn't want to play ball -Wellness Wednesday week 16

Last Wellness Wednesday, I blogged 5 ideas for things to do when you are chronically unwell, to keep yourself entertained and happy. You can read them here. This week, I bring you five more ideas!

1. Do a chore. I know, I know, I said that these ideas would entertain you and make you happy! Finding a chore that you can handle without making yourself more unwell however, can be so effective in the healing process. It is physiotherapy, and it helps you feel like you contribute something to the world, no matter how small. It also helps you work towards the elusive and tantalising dream of a Spoonie...that thing they call independence! (Don't know what a Spoonie is? Read the post where I wrote about it here).
Something I enjoy doing when I have some energy is baking, or cooking a simple meal. Hidden in the joy of filling the house with delicious smells, and your belly with healthy treats, are exercises which strengthen your arms, walking and movement as you get the almond meal from the fridge, and squats to empower your legs as you reach for bowls in the cupboards. Find something that you can enjoy which won't set you back for days. Walk with your helper/friend/family member around the shops as they do the groceries. Wipe the kitchen bench. Fold the washing. Load the dishwasher. It might seem like a little thing compared to what you used to do, but from little acorns...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Glimpse into things to do when your body doesn't want to play ball -Wellness Wednesday week 15

A common question I see popping up in forums and groups for people with chronic health issues is "how do I stop myself from going crazy with boredom/frustration/loneliness/anger/sadness?" It can be a problematic issue, and it is a catch 22 situation. You feel so unwell because your body is sick, so you inevitably miss out on more and more in terms of socialisation, work, chores, physical exercise and activities; normal life! So then in resting your body and trying to heal, you find yourself feeling lonely and frustrated, which then makes you feel worse. It is a vicious circle. The best thing for your body while it heals is to find things to do that can keep your soul happy, your mind active and your body moving within its limits. These are some of the things that I have found to be effective. I will post 5 today, and another 5 on another Wellness Wednesday. 

1. Find a hobby: Take this opportunity to turn a bad situation into a good one; do something that you haven't had chance to do before. For me, I have dived into paper craft, scrapbooking, memory keeping and photography in a big way, and I am loving it! Find something that is within your body's current physical capability (for example, scrapbooking is great because you can sit in a comfy chair or even lie down with a tray table across your lap and relax, but still be doing something with your hands and mind). I love to listen to audiobooks because I am an avid reader, but find physically reading too taxing most of the time (Audible is an awesome site for affordable, online audiobooks). Try painting, or decorate a mug or a pillow, do some cross stitch, play chess with a friend, play a gentle instrument, learn the rules and strategies of a sport on tv such as cricket or the formula 1, try your hand at writing, sewing, or gentle gardening. 

Creating a crafty mess while scrapbooking....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Glimpse into May-June book announcement

The next book for our book club will be......"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.

We will start reading from May 1st, so you now have a couple of weeks to find a copy. We will start discussion June 15th.

Happy book hunting and gathering, my bookworms!
Blurb: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer? 
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Glimpse into March - April book club book DISCUSSION - Winter's Tale

The time has come! Our first book club online discussion is here :-). We have the next two weeks to discuss, and then we will start reading our next book on May 1st (the next book will be named on the blog today also!).

Winter's Tale is a book which was published in 1983, written by Mark Helprin. It is a story set in New York and follows a man, Peter Lake, during his troubled life, and his meeting of a young, dying woman.

Now, I am ready to be honest! I did not finish this book! Not a good start for our first book club book! I only made it to page 41. In choosing this book, I made a change from my normal genre selection, but was taken by the blurb. I decided this would be our first book to read, without determining the page count, or whether it was available on audiobook. Currently, I struggle to read for long, and hence rely on audiobooks for the pleasure of stories, which I know a lot of you do too. Winter's Tale, however, is sadly not available. My close friend decided to record herself as she read the book and send it to me. This amazing and thoughtful plan worked for a while, but then stopped! I assume (but wait to hear her side in this discussion!) that this may have something to do with the storyline! She is an avid reader, so it tells me a lot if it didn't grab her enough to keep reading and recording. I have learned from this experience that from now on, the books we read for bookclub will be shorter and available on audiobook, as well as freely available in bookstores, libraries or as an ebook. Feel free to put your ideas below on what our page limit should be.

As I did not get far into this book, I missed out on a lot of the story. I was intrigued by where the story was going. I did find that the background set up was dragged out too much though. I feel this may be why I struggled to get into the book (and I know I am not alone!). I felt the writing was descriptive and created amazing imagery for me. I enjoyed the introduction of various characters, told from their own perspective, instead of another's. I found the choice of language added to the character's personality and description of their background. I do want to find out what is going to happen, so it did hook me in, and I do hope to finish it one day (I believe that I would have finished it had it been available on audiobook).

What are your thoughts about the writing in this book? What do you think Mark Helprin did well? What did he not do so well?
Did you finish reading it? If not, why do you think that was? If you did, were you immediately interested, or did it take you a while to get hooked?
Did you enjoy the characters? Who did you like the most? Who did you not like? How has their past and backgrounds effected them today? How does that effect others?
Do you feel any characters developed themselves during the book? Did you enjoy the romance? Did you find yourself heartbroken?
Did you learn anything in this story; for example about life, or love, or history?
Did you enjoy the ending?
What would you ask Mark Helprin, given the chance?

In the comments below, leave your thoughts and ideas about this book. Feel free to be honest and open! We have two weeks to talk about it, so jump in and get chatting!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Glimpse into body image with chronic conditions (i.e. wanting to look and feel great!) Wellness Wednesday week 15

Something that I do not see written about much in relation to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and other chronic illnesses, is body image and getting fit. Obviously, it is not the highest priority when you are struggling to gain a good quality of life, so it doesn't feature so much in articles or forums. However, I feel that it is an important factor to consider. When you lose control over your body and it is not functioning well, it adds to the frustration and sadness when you realise that you can not even work towards making it do and look like you want.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Glimpse in Motivational Monday - LAUGHTER- week 15

Hello all, on this cloudy Motivational Monday! I spent time yesterday with some of my favourite people in the world, and it really showed me how laughter is the best medicine. It is incredible how much better you feel in a moment of laughter. 

Subsequently, this week's motivational quote is going to be: 

"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand." -Mark Twain 

Be positive in the face of your troubles this week if you have any, and find a way to smile despite them (or in spite of them!). As hard as it is, look for something that keeps you going, and concentrate on the happiness it brings you. Be thankful, be happy to be alive, and laugh hard. 

"In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed." -Khalil Gibran

Friday, April 4, 2014

Glimpse into lemons and a No Bake Lemon Slice - Foodie Friday week 14

For this week's Foodie Friday, I am looking at the humble lemon, and am giving you a tasty, super easy, no bake slice recipe which I made up recently. I have struggled to post lately because I haven't been well, so I apologise for my silence!

Lemons (and other citric fruits) are considered the lowest fructose containing fruits. Therefore they are great for use in meals and drinks for those of us with fructose malabsorption. They also have health benefits such as helping to improve skin health and beauty. They can have a calming effect so are good in stressful situations, and can help with metabolism, digestion and the elimination of toxin build up in the body. They also have antiviral qualities, with vitamin C, and can boost energy.

Soak up the benefits in this nutritious no bake slice.

No bake lemon slice


1 cup quinoa flakes or gluten free oats
1 cup almond meal (or LSA - linseed, sunflower and almond meal)
1 cup desiccated coconut
200g dairy butter
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 lemon rind
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp rice syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup rice milk (if needed*)


2 cups dextrose
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp lemon

Line a 20 x 30 cm tray or airtight container with baking paper.
Mix all the base ingredients together well.
Press the mixture into the lined tray or container.
Refrigerate until firm.
Combine the icing ingredients well til smooth.
Spread icing over slice base.
Refrigerate until firm.
Cut into squares.
Store in sealed or covered container in the fridge or freezer.

*You may find your mix is wet enough without the rice milk, or you may just desire a few splashes. 1/2 cup creates quite a moist slice, but it still is firm. A fork is in order to eat it with though!