It’s been a while since I’ve written about my health/healing experiments – so I’d thought I’d do a little update. I’m pleased to say that it’s been over 6 weeks since coming of conventional anti depressants – and I actually feel like I am in a good place. I’ve found during other past attempts at withdrawing from ADs, that I usually feel good up to this point, and then at around the 6 week mark, experience a huge mood crash (probably as the drugs would still be somewhat in my system up to this point).
Through healing with homoeopathy I have had a significantly different experience this time. I have been through a few “aggravations” or healing crisis, which have brought up a lot of past symptoms/ailments – both physical AND emotional – but that has happened for a reason…. it’s all a part of the healing process you see. I suppose the ADs have been masking a lot of symptoms, and it’s perfectly natural that they come up and are addressed head-on during this journey. I actually feel as if I am moving forward this time – not teetering in a fragile place between falling back into AD-use or emotional turmoil.
Anyway, I truly feel that I could not have done this without the support of homoeopathy – I am definitely a convert of this therapy. I KNOW I will continue to use it myself, and treat my family with remedies.
Another aspect of my healing process has been (obviously) diet – I haven’t written much about my recent diet-experiments since my little foray in an 80/10/10 style of eating. I really loved the fruitarian way of eating for a short period of time – unlimited fruit during Summer came naturally as the abundance of delicious tropical fruits made the diet very easy. For the first few weeks my energy was excellent, but this way of eating didn’t have staying power for much longer than that in my opinion. After an initial energy boost, my endurance started to wane, and I began noticing other not-so-glamorous side effects of the fruit-heavy eats. My digestion started to go a little “off” and I noticed dark circles under my eyes. I began to see WRINKLES! Oh the horror! I put this down to the low amounts of fat I was eating, and rectified the situation immediately – as soon as I had increased the amounts of fat I was eating (primarily coconut oil) my digestion became more productive, and my skin texture improved immensely.
All in all I think that the 80/10/10 diet is a great way to eat for short periods of time. If you are like me, and cannot comprehend the idea of a liquid detox (juices only) then I reckon that this is a perfect way to help “re-set” yourself after a period of indulgence. The initial stage is brilliant – increased energy, good mood/skin/digestion – but it isn’t something that (in my opinion) should be sustained for more than say 2 weeks. If you read my blog a lot, you will know that I have the attention span of a squirrel, so even though I love fruit a LOT, I did get a little bored eating in the 80/10/10 style. I missed COOKING, and all the techniques and dishes that go with the territory – plus I love to eat out, and the restrictions that this diet involves really cuts out a lot of options in social situations.
Anyway, to help me feel motivated and creatively inspired (aka happy) I need more food-scope then just slicing an apple or peeling a banana (however convenient that may be). I’ve naturally fallen back into a more varied style of eating – a balance of cooked and raw – lots of fruit & veggies, moderate beans/legumes, minimal grains and lots of fat. Works for me (until I get bored once again and go off on another eating-tangent).
The most exciting news of late (diet related) however, doesn’t concern me at all. After (finally) agreeing to watch “Forks over Knives,” with me, Viper has decided to adopt a plant-based diet. He has cut out all animal products, including cheese and milk – to say I am over the moon is the understatement of the year. I am going to keep you all updated with his transition into a vegan diet, as I think the male perspective is an interesting angle – at the moment his only complaint is that he is constantly hungry – good thing I love to cook, right?
The following recipe came about from me trying to use up scraps before we head off to New Zealand – fridge scrapings at it’s finest. It’s a take on the traditional kofta ball – although not deep fried (soaked in oil), because I can’t stand deep fried things, plus I don’t have a deep fryer. There you go.
Healthy Baked Kofta
(Vegan: gluten/wheat/soy/seed/refined sugar free)
- 1C chopped veggies (I used grated carrot and broccoli – but most vegetables should work just fine…. grate any root vegetables so they cook quickly)
- 1/4C + 2T chickpea flour
- 1/4C crushed cashew nuts (I just bashed them in a mortar & pestle until they reached a chunky bread crumb consistency)
- 1/2t ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2t tabasco sauce
- 1t whole grain mustard
- 1/4t ground coriander seed
- 1/8t sea salt
- 1/4C water
- Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Let mix stand in the fridge for about 10 minutes to help it firm up.
- Wet hands, and pat into balls (about golf size).
- Bake in the oven at 160 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn balls over.
- Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
- Serve with some of my Spiced Apricot Relish, or a nice mango chutney.
Makes 6 Kofta – they are quite spicy, so omit cayenne and tabasco if you are not fan of heat.
These are really quick and easy – plus a great way of using up leftovers – which always makes me happy.
So on all fronts, things are looking good – my emotional health is on the up, and my family’s diet is improving 10-fold. I’m so excited to be able to cook ONE meal for all of us now – plus exploring vegan food WITH Viper will be such a treat.
This week has been full-on, that’s for sure. In both good ways, and then not so good. I’m working on a post at the moment in response to something I went through this week – a healing crisis. It’s really been an interesting few days – a lot of physical and emotional stuff has come up as a result of weaning myself of anti depressants, but the thing is, it all needed to come to a head so I can continue on the path to wellness.
As I type this all I can think about is a huge pimple. Gross analogy, yes, but probably the most simple way to put it. Imagine one of those really sore, inflamed pimples, where you can just feel the infection building up under the skin…. lot’s of pressure, lot’s of discomfort. The toxic stuff needs to come to a “head” (ew) so it can be released and healing can begin – and that’s what I have been experiencing this week (sans the pimples, thanks goodness). A healing crisis is like the pressure-part of the pimple…. the body starts to try and get rid of old toxins/emotions/behaviours to make room for healing – and it can bring up a lot of OLD and dormant issues that’s for sure.
Anyway, at first I thought I was losing my mind – but after some research and supportive encouragement from my homoeopath, I realised that what I was going through was GOOD – almost a sign that things are getting better. I have been lucky enough to be introduced to a community of inspirational women, recently – among them energy healers, naturopaths, homoeopaths, authors, Mother’s – really any “hat,” you could imagine. I am collecting some of their thoughts/experiences on the topic of healing crisis, and I will share them with you next week.
I have been spending a lot of time in my yoga space, that’s for sure – really working on breath and balance within the body while I’m in a bit of healing turmoil. Works a treat. Cooking also helps give me a sense of focus & direction…. I’ve said this in the past: cooking is a bit like meditation for me. I have so many more thoughts to share on this topic – I think it is something that we need to be more aware of – how many people may have given up on their health when faced with a healing crisis – thinking it was a turn for the worst, whereas it is actually a sign of progress? Next week I will delve deeper, that’s for sure.
I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe before…. I’ve been making it for years. It’s one of those super quick and easy things to whip up, when you feel like you need a little something else with a meal. We are huge condiment fans in this household – and if you are not into apricot, I have condiment recipes to suit everyone: Beetroot, Fig, or Tomato. On the side of a curry, stuffed inside a roast chicken, spread on sandwiches, on a cheese platter, used as a tofu marinade – this little relish has all sorts of uses.
Spiced Apricot Relish
- 3C dried apricots – a brand that does NOT contain sulphates or preservatives…. the apricots will be a darker brown.orange as opposed to the fluro-orange-additive-laden ones.
- 2 & 1/2C water
- 3/4C apple cider vinegar (malt/white wine will also work)
- 1t ground cinnamon
- 1t ground coriander
- 2t tabasco sauce
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped into chunks
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/8t cayenne pepper – or more if you like it really spicy.
- Juice of half a lemon
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/2t sea salt
- Combine all ingredients except lemon, pepper and salt in a large saucepan.
- Bring to the boil and let it bubble rapidly for 3 minutes.
- Reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook for as long as it takes for the liquid to reduce down to about 1/3C (thereabouts – not a crucial point, but the flavours will be more intense, the more you let it cook, plus it will be a thicker end result).
- Let the mix cool before whizzing in the food processor until nice and smooth.
- Season with lemon, salt and black pepper.
- Divide into sterilised jars and store in the fridge.
Have you experienced a healing crisis?
I’m one of those annoying people that sing/hum/mumble songs that aren’t “songs” if you know what I mean? As in I make noises which are meant to be songs to fill in uncomfortable silent gaps in conversation when I’m nervous. I also make weird noises all the time. Clicking my tongue, squelching my lips and sometimes even weird farty raspberry type tones.
I get really anxious, especially in social situations. Words are no problem when I write them, but when I have to string sentences together, and vocalise thoughts succinctly its a case of verbal diarrhea or stuttering splats. Lovely. It’s like my brain works to fast for my mouth, and they can’t work as a team.
I pretty much end up looking/sounding like I’m a bit ‘slow’… or jacked up on speed. It’s not ideal for first impressions.
The only place I don’t feel crazy nervous-anxious-jittery-chittery is the kitchen… creating weird stuff out of leftovers… like:
Found in the freezer from those sweet days when I could make almond milk.
Waste not, want not, right? Pining for food processor? You bet… but let’s not linger on things out of our own control.
- 1C grated apple
- 1t lemon juice
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1/2C raisins
- 1/2t ground cinnamon
- 1 + 1/4C almond pulp… you could probably sub almond meal, but I would add a splash of milk to juice it up a bit.
- 1/3C oat flour (oats ground to a fine meal in a food processor/bashed in a pestle & mortar)
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 1T flax mixed with 3T water to make a flax “egg”***
- 20 drops vanilla stevia liquid
- First up, make you flax egg***
- Once you have let your egg gel up, combine with all other ingredients.
- Scoop golf ball sized “buns” into dehydrator and dehydrate at 60 degrees C for around 6 hours. You could possibly do this in an oven – on the lowest setting with the door open for a few hours until they firm up, but are still soft like “buns.”
- Makes about 12 buns.
Me and Misty ate them all for breakfast. Actually.. Misty smooshed one into the carpet, so I confiscated it, then ate the rest.
I love my house. I’m a bit of a homebody. I love the freedom of being able to do what I like, when I like and not feel uncomfortable. I like my stuff where I want to put it. I like to be able to relax in my surroundings with Viper, Misty and Boosty. After almost a decade of house sharing, I relish in the luxury that is living on our own as a family.
I have lived in a few different cities, many different houses, with a variety of colourful characters. I’ve been pretty lucky, I suppose, I haven’t had to endure any really horrible or hideous people – most of those I have lived with I consider good friends today – there have been just a few who have been what I call special.
Special Housemate #1:
He was hairy. I mean really hairy. He once asked me to help him dye his hair (!) I remember not being able to distinguish where his head hair-line stopped and his neck hair began. Shudder. We named him the Reclining Beast, as he liked to sprawl himself in his favourite armchair, wearing an old tatty terry towelling robe with nothing underneath. It would always “accidentally” fall open. I think he was a bit of an exhibitionist. Yeah, he was really hairy.
This is not him, but the likeness is eerily similar.
Special Housemate #2:
He was a perfectly nice kind of guy, but there was just something a bit off about him. You know what I mean? We named him Creepy. It didn’t matter what you said, he had already done it, but 10 times better. He was stronger, faster, smarter and richer than you could ever dream. He literally told us he was a lead guitarist in a band, an on line entrepeneur, a barista, and a talented chef. Yet he worked in a coffee shop, lived in a dingy house with us, and would always pay his rent late. Hmmm.
The creepiness was what went on in the bathroom. This guy had some weird habits. Picture this: you get up in the dark at 3am to use the bathroom, but it’s occupied. By Creepy. You wait out in the hall, thinking that he won’t be long in there, it’s 3am for Pete’s sake.
He would spend hours in there. In the middle of the night. Doing what you may ask? Who knows? He would violently turn the taps on, off, on, off, on, off, on. His hair dryer (yes, hair dryer. He had really short hair, and would always wear a hat. Hmmm) would be blasted in a similar ferocious fashion to the taps. There was much speculation over what went on during those midnight bathroom sessions. Actually I don’t think any of us really wanted to know the truth. Creepy.
Why? Why would he need one?
Special Housemate #3
Pigman. I secretly called him Pigman. Slightly mean, yes, as he did have a little bit of an upturned nose. It wasn’t the nose however, that inspired the name. It was the snorting. Every morning I would be woken from my slumber not by the sweet melodies of songbirds, but by the snorting of phlem I could hear through the walls. The whole household would be woken by this snorting, It was disgusting. The snorting wasn’t the only annoying part. There were the stories too. So many stories.
I have always worked in quite ‘socia’l work settings – either retail or hospitality which both involve a lot of “people-time.” By that I mean constant interaction with not just work mates, but the general public. This can be pretty draining; usually when I got home of an evening, I was done with talking for the day. I wanted peace, quiet, and chill out time. Pigman would barrel into the house, literally shouting his stories of the day at my head. At first I tried to be polite and humour him, but after a while I just couldn’t handle it. The stories would not stop, and when one ended, another one would start-up straight away. He was the Never Ending Story (teller). I would actually physically walk away from him, and he would follow, shouting his stories at the back of my head.
Viper called him “Smokey the Bear” as when he had finally run out of stories (by this time, I would have barricaded myself in my room just to get away from the stories) he would retire to his room and proceed to watch surfing DVDs all night while a particular pungent smokey aroma would fill the house. So the snorting, story telling swine was also a stoner. Amusing now that I look back on it, but he drove me crazy. Thinking about the snorting still makes me shudder. It was disgusting.
Now when I need to relax, and escape to my own special place, I drink this:
Chai Spice Tea
This is my ‘loose’ recipe – my mix changes on a weekly basis. Add or subtract whatever you like. I’m a fan of spice, so sometimes I even add chilli and fenugreek depending on my mood.
- 2t black pepper corns
- 3T dry ginger root (ginger powder will work)
- 3t nutmeg (use whole nutmeg and grate it)
- 3T whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 6 whole star anise
- 2T rooibos tea
- 4T powdered mixed spice
- 2T green tea
- 1 1/2T green cardamom pods
- 1/2C strong black tea of choice ( I used this mix- pictured below- which included other random bits and pieces) Plain black tea is fine.
Put your cardamom, cinnamon, and star anise in a mortar and pestle.
Smash it up.
Mix with other ingredients.
Brew however you like – I’m crazy for really strong tea, so I put it in a very fine mesh tea infuser lined with cheesecloth (so all the powdered bits don’t escape and make sludge at the bottom, ick). I let it steep for about 10 minutes in boiling water, then add honey and a tiny splash of milk. This is my usual cuppa, but in the evenings when I want something a little more hearty and comforting, I steep the tea in vanilla soy milk and add a bit of maple syrup. Warm, sweet, milky, spicy – makes for one sleepy and satisfied Lou. Especially when I can drink it in my own house with no special house mates or snorting.
Have you had any special house mates?