Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Healthy Snacks

The more and more I learn about food in general and specifics about nutrients and such, the more I realize that it takes time and energy to eat healthy. Even more to feed a hungry husband! My challenge today is snacks for him to take to college classes with him. I don't want to just give up and buy a ton of cheep granola bars that are full of saturated fats and stuff - and the healthy snacks are so expencive. What to do?

Today I made a few fun snacks that were surprizingly simple to do.

#1 : Honey roasted almonds: I took some vegetable oil (olive oil would be better but i couldn't find it!) and honey melted it and coated the almonds - then a baked at 300 degrees until bubbly and salted when done - YUM! Easy to make, relatively healthy AND easy to pack!

#2 : Humus: I took a can of cooked garbanzo beans, added 3 cloves of fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes and vegetable oil (again I would have used olive but couldn't find it - and i would have used lemon juice too but don't have any). In a food processor I blended until humus consistency. YUM!

what are you having for a snack today??

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's for dinner?

What to make, what to make? Days that are either super busy or just super full of pain make it hard to make or even want to think of making dinner. When I was single I would just eat a bowl of yogert or crackers or popsicle and call it a day. But now that my life includes a husband - and one with a good appittite (how can he eat so much?) I find that I need to be more creative and find ways to feed him even when I don't feel like eating dinner let alone making dinner!

Today was one of those days. I found myself trying to lay down at every possible moment - in between my duties of caregiver, freezing some over-ripe peaches, doing dishes, changing the bed (the last of which was impossible to resist a quick nap - ahhh the bed is nice and clean and MADE!) But then the realization that my sweet husband would be hungry (and maybe even extra hungry since today was his first day back to school - GOOD JOB BABY!!!) hit me hard. What was I going to make?

Open the fridge: oh joy - we had leftover taco meat from tacos the other night (which I made extra of thinking that this day would come). So I thought i would make enchilladas. BUT, nah my body was too tired to individually cook each tortilla - so instead I made a quick and easy toco casserole. Here's what I did:
take corn tortillas (healthier than white flour) lay them on the bottom of a greased casserole dish - then have fun layering with meat, beans, cheese, salsa, onions, tomatoes, and do it all over again until you reach the top of the dish. Finish with enchillada sauce and cheese - bake til hot - YUM! Now if you find that tomatoes are bad for you skip those - I made a dish for my Love and one without the offending veggie for me. You can do this vegetarian or use chicken or really anything you would put in a taco - brown rice, corn etc.

Doing meals like this that are simple and can be as healthy as you want them to be, makes life better in many ways.
1. you have more time to rest which helps with your pain
2. you don't end up just whinning about how much pain you are in and this can help your significant other feel less burdened by your pain.
3. you don't end up just eating a cracker for dinner which is NOT healthy! (I'm preaching to myself here!)

Have fun and please let me know what you are making for dinner tonight!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Healthy fun recipies

If you're like me you don't want to have pain keep you from being a good cook, and from providing healthy food for your family and yourself! I am going to be sharing some recipies that I have been enjoying lately - most of which i just invented when I was needing something easy and healthy.

You have probably heard of the raw food craze that seems to be sweeping the world these days. There is a lot of truth behind eating raw foods - you keep more nutrients in the foods, have more fiber, and use less energy to make! Here is something that I have been loving lately - which is a twist on an old classic salad with a twist for those of us who have inflamation and need to stay away from tomatoes!

Cool as a Cucumber Salad

1 large salad cucumber sliced sliced and cut into 4ths (or bite sized pieces)
1/4 red onion (or sweet onion) slices into thin ribbons
a few leaves of basil or any herb - dill is delicious! cut into bite sized pieces
toss together searve with 1/4 cup of feta cheese sprinkled with some aged balsamic vinnegar and a squeeze from a fresh lemon or lime.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Take a sec

MY husband has taught me an important healthy living tip. And I don't even think he knew he was treaching me (teaching by example is really the best way!) Every morning - or almost every morning, or during odd moments thoughout the day I can see his laying in his stripped colorful hammock which is handing outside our door. If it's chilly he is wrapped from head to toe in a quilt. Often he has his Bible in his hand and is reading. Sometimes his eyes are closed and I know he is praying, sometimes he has a snack in his hand, sometimes he is just gazing at the beauty of the forest behind our home. He loves that hammock.

Yesterday we were busy painting the kitchen cabinets. I was stressed out wanting to get it done as fast as possible (which I think is an issue that I get worse from having chronic pain because when I am working I don't want to stop because then I have time to feel the pain). He went out and sat in the hammock and called to me to come sit down a take a break. I didn't want to - in fact I didn't really do it except for a second and then I ran back to work. But I should have rested. And I think the concept of taking breaks for pure relaxation is very important for everyone - and for those of us with pain it can actually help with our dealing with pain.

Taking time to swing in a hammock is a very good pain managment technique - and also can help with keeping healthy is every way - relaxing can help lower blood pressure ... there are so many health issues that are attributed to stress so it makes sence that de-stressing would help a lot!

so - get out there and find yourself a place to relax - a santuary where you can go to meet with God and pray, or read, or sleep, or just enjoy nature!

Where is your spot? I would love to hear!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

anti-inflamation cook book

Today my whole body hurts. The last few days I have been working more than full time caring for my sweetes Grammie who broke her wrist. It has been my pleasure to do this - but it is a lot of work - not to mention cooking and keeping house of my own! So now my body is screaming at me to stop - however that isn't really an option right now in my life. I am wondering if I am eating something I shouldn't. A few years back my naturopath gave me a book called: The anti-inflamatory Diet Cookbook. It brought back a lot of memories of my Grandma (who has since passed away)
She used to always say: "My naturopath told me to not eat tomatoes and potatoes .. and I never got sick again!" She wasn't kidding. There was a point in time when she was told that the doctors could do nothing to help her. She had yearly pnumonia attacks and had horrible arthritis in all her joints. According to the anti-inflamatory diet any plants in the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, mangos) cause inflamation in the body. So for anyone who suffers from inflamatory disorders (auto-immune, arthritis, lupus etc.) those things can make it much worse. If I so much as eat a spoonful of salsa I feel as if all the bones in my hands are broken, my whole body hurts. You wouldn't think that something so "healthy" could cause such pain and physical issues! It is so important to do all that we can to fight against the pain that consumes and to do all that we can to live well with what we have been given. Eating healthy and staying away from substances that make our pain worse is one very important part of that.
Now to figure out what I did to make my body hurt like this ... could be that I had something with "hidden" tomato paste or peppers ...

If you suffer from any type of inflamatory disorder or suspect that you do check out the book: The Anti-inflamation Diet Cookbook. It is well worth it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Last week my family went on vacation. I finally got some help with my hip pain although it is still swollen I got 2 cortisone injections that really helped.

Vacation was great. It is easy to overdo on vacation because it is a limited time to be with family or friends (or just be away from home) and you want to pack in as much as possible. I am not sure how to do it well with having pain all the time. But nontheless, it was a great time with family and just being with my sweet husband before the changes of him starting school and the business of the fall comes.

I was thinking that I would focus some on healthy living - things like eating healthy and eating for pain control, just living healthy. One thing that I noticed on vacation is that I was eating different foods and that some of those made my pain worse. I don't know if any of you are affected by what you eat or other "healthy living" things (or rather the lack thereof!) but I definately am. Lets's explore this together. Please share with me anything you find that helps with your pain- food triggers, other triggers or thing that make it better.

I am happy to have you all to explore together how we can all live the best possible life while having pain every day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Abide With Me

This hymn by Henry Lyte - in 1847 is one that keeps going through my heart these days. Such true and peaceful words and sometimes focusing on something like this is the best pain control there is. Read and focus on each word and each phrase.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

We Need God!

I everyone - I'm back! Last week I was down with severe inflamation causing fluid inside my hip join - put my flat on my tummy for a whole week until finally got steroids injected and fluid taken out to test to see what caused it. I was unable to get on the computer for more than a few moments because the pain and meds made me severly nauseated and was also drealing with a flair of my pericarditis so having dizziness from low oxygen. Phew!

At times like this - the timing couldn't have been much worse - I have to get take some time to sit back and regroup. The house is a mess. Finances are a mess. Company coming - next week family vacation. I'm doing wedding flowers this Saturday (which is also my birthday!) ... ah just so much that feels like a weight on me. I need desperately to take time and just allow God to refil my tank. I'm running on empty. People everywhere - with or without chronic pain or illness need God. Life can get going so fast or so hard that it feels like it takes the wind right out of you. We need God. We need the Bible to recharge us. We need to be honest with God in prayer. We need music. We need peace. Turning to others or to ourselves in times like this will just end up being void. WE NEED GOD and God alone can get us refilled. Sure - people can help and encourage, but ultimately we need God.

I know I just said WE NEED GOD about 10 times - because it is so true for where I am right now (and always) and where I am sure you are too. Take time - no matter if it is at 3 am, to spend some time reconnecting and being refreshed by God's presence.