When it’s NOT Manflu

This was supposed to be a recipe for grain-free, nut-free banana and berry muffins. Maybe next post!

After nearly two weeks of being weak and coughing, getting a bit better and then worse again my darling wonderful husband admitted it was time to go to the doctor.

Once we got there the doctor told him the good news that he had influenza, either type A or Swine ‘flu, that it didn’t matter which- the treatment was the same, rest and fluids, he could expect to be bedridden for at least another 3 weeks and suffer post viral fatigue for a few months after that. Not the best news at the best of times but given the plans we have for renovating and moving in the very near future it left me a bit glum.

I also confess I get a bit cross when he is unwell, my husband does some crazy things and somehow I am certain that it is his rather cavalier  attitude to safety that has caused his illness or injury (to be fair this is really only a perception but if you had seen the accidents he has been in and the way he approaches some things you may have sympathy for me).

Then yesterday his lungs started making bubbling noises (well just the right one really) and he got weaker, then he started struggling to breathe a bit. But refused to let me take him to hospital on the grounds he was too weak to sit take the sitting waiting at Emergency. So I called the government medical helpline on 1800 022 222 which was a good idea as they recommended he got straight to hospital and organised and ambulance. All good until HE SAID HE WOULD REFUSE TO GO. Luckily it seems that paramedics are used to this recalcitrant sort of behaviour and when the two women arrived a few minutes later to assess him they took his vitals and sternly explained they were going to take him in which he agreed to (to my mild surprise) on the grounds that having him here was making my life more difficult. Oh well, whatever gets us there in the end.

Now he is in hospital being treated for pneumonia, on oxygen and intravenous antibiotics and staying for the night at least.  We are waiting for blood tests to confirm he doesn’t have sepsis. I had to insist he stayed the night- he wanted to come home!

I found myself annoyed that there was a blowfly inside, it was let in by the very prompt and efficient paramedics as they stretchered my husband away to receive prompt, government funded health care. despite the occasional blowfly we are very fortunate to be able to tap into resources like this when it is needed. I am very grateful it isn’t needed more often in my family.

I am pleased he is getting the treatment he needs but I miss him already as I haven’t had more than 3 days away from him in total in 7.5 years of marriage!

Tomorrow it’s back to school, trying to muddle through decisions I normally make with my missing other half and finding out more about his current condition.

If you are worried about a health condition please call the helpline and they can advise you if you need to get some immediate treatment. It may have been a life saver for our family today.

Crio Brü CHOCOLATEY Fudge (grain free, can be vegan & nut free)

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Ok see it? It tastes better than that, it is amazingly indulgent and rich, doesn’t taste like a compromise but it has a lot of redeeming features. It uses coconut cream instead of cream so you get coconut oily goodness, almonds because they are awesome and Crio Brü because it tastes amazing, it full of antioxidants and lifts chocolatey things to the next level.

If you want to make this vegan or dairy free just use dark chocolate which doesn’t have dairy. If you want it nut free omit the almonds- it will still taste crazy good!

I make this for a chocolate hit, I nearly always find I have chocolate in the house but THIS IS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE so I tend to make this fudge with chocolate instead of just eating it these days!

OK you probably want a recipe rather than me telling you how great it is right?  It’s really easy:

1 can of coconut cream (the big ones, not the silly little ones) refridgerate it  so the cream floats to the top and solidifies- alternatively live in Tasmania like I do- this is coconut cream’s natural state here!

30 g Crio Brü of choice

200g of chocolate melts (DARK please)

100g almonds

50 g shredded coconut.

Take 3/4 of the solidified cream from the top of the can, (the watery stuff you can use in smoothies, the rest of the cream freeze in ice cube trays, handy to have goes off easily in the fridge)  add the Crio Brü and heat to boiling point, I use the microwave, you may use stove top or Thermomix also- just heat it to boiling and keep it there for a couple of minutes.

Add chocolate melts to the coconut cream.Crio Brü infusion and stir until melted, Whilst you are doing this you can toast the almonds, easiest in your microwave but can be done in the oven too.

Add almonds and coconut to the chocolatey, coconutty ganachey stuff (*drrrrrooooooool*), Stir well and pour into a small pyrex tray lined with baking paper, or cute little patty pan liners would be nice too.

Leave it to set for longer than you can bear in the fridge (a couple of hours sorry).

Enjoy sparingly and mindfully (seriously it is rich stuff!)

Jessie XX

P.S Do I need to write a post about Crio Brü? I think I might have to

Family Flu Time and Not Wanting to be “That Guy”

Things have been set to basic here for the last week. My gorgeous wonderful husband has been hit by the flu hard, he’s barely able to get out of bed for more than 30 minutes at a time and has been like this for a week now.

I got it too and for three days my Twitter activity increased even more, as anything more strenuous than interacting with 140 characters at a time was too complicated.

I am almost recovered completely but all the children have had staggered variations, one has a burst eardrum, baby girl has conjunctivitis and our younger son had it bad first, so naturally he is right as rain now and bouncing off the walls.

Whilst I was sick I tried to pay attention to nutrition, supplements, rest, yoga, anything that could help me out of the quagmire of aches, pains and spotty throats earlier. I started having coconut oil in my herbal and green teas. Coconut oil has anti-viral and antimicrobial properties so it seemed a good bet. I also ate a lot of raw garlic in spoons of avocado. This seems to have hastened my recovery but it also increased my appetite. I can eat for Australia at present and the best explanation I have is the metabolism boosting effects of the  coconut oil. I have also lost a kilo.

This is very interesting to me and even more so because I have never been able to eat much of it before, I was in terrible pain and feeling nauseated whenever I ate it which was disappointing as it has many advertised and studied health benefits but I didn’t seem to deal well with fried food or “free fats”. Then I got a new jar of coconut oil and now it seems I can eat it merrily. Which is good!

I steered away from grains as I was trying to be as nutritious as possible (except for the thin crust vegetarian pizzas we had for dinner when I was too achey and tired to move) and yesterday I made some bread and had a chunky sandwich, then I spent the next 6 hours in agony and bloated and depressed and angry and taking it out on everyone. Which was less good. So today I am avoiding wheat and other grains again and feeling fine again.  It’s not a scientific or definitive approach but I keep having symptoms like this when I eat reasonable quantities of grains so I will make a conscious effort to include some grain free eating (which is often very nutritious as well).

I always thought I ate everything but I have found that soy makes my joints ache, I can’t digest chickpeas or other dried  beans, I haven’t eaten meat other than seafood for years and now I am avoiding grains!

I don’t want to be a allergic fussy eater but I don’t want to be in pain either so I am paying attention to my body and how it feels about foods instead of worrying what other people thing about the food I eat!

I am eating fudge made with coconut cream right now- there are a lot of grain free high nutrition DELICIOUS recipes around these days.

ImageLuckily I am too busy trying to look after a sick family and squirting breast milk in the snotty baby eyes (difficult by the way) to be too angsty about it all! Must go make the boy a cocktail (he read about them in this month’s Delicious- I make him “cocktails” by blending frozen berries with whole lemons and a bit of honey or agave in the Thermomix, add some sparkling water and strain- serve with all important straw!)

Have you found you have had to face an intolerance or allergy you just didn’t want to have?

Naturalising My Beauty Routine

 

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Apple Cider vinegar, diluted raw honey, macadamia and castor oil and coconut oil at the front.

I have been having a good hard look at the things I use on my skin and hair lately as I have found a very dry scalp and a face that wants to dry up, itch and breakout (oh and work on some broken capilliaries) just hasn’t been suiting me (I know astonishing isn’t it!) So I am working on cleaning up my act.

I have made an effort to get rid of as many man made irritants as I can with out going totally feral (or broke- I love Jurlique stuff but can’t justify the price) so I have assembled a few things to help me along the way.

There are a few proprietary products I have been using which fit the bill but shampoo and conditioner has been a tough one, my hair was either lank and dull or dry and itchy of the scalp (with much scurf-y build up-not a good look) so I am taking the plunge and going shampoo free. It’s been two weeks now and going OK. I can see it has potential, whether it will suit me remains to be seen. In the mean time I will wash my head with honey, brush my hair well (and wash the brush a lot) rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar as needed. Oh and wear a scarf on my head until it settles down a bit!

I have written about the oil cleansing method before and I think it is effective- I find it gets rid of makeup pretty well, I am using macadamia oil and castor oil. I have started wearing more makeup since discovering the Couleur Caramel cruelty free, natural organic range for which I am happily acting as an ambassador (makeup is fun isn’t it! But one MUST remove it before bed!) More on this in a later post!

Coconut oil is wonderful for rashes, as a lip balm, as a leave in (but lightly applied) conditioner, it is especially great for when you are shampoo free so that’s in my kit too. I even got a little travel pack of empty bottle to store everything in! (By the way don’t pour boiling water straight in the bottles- it melts them! Oops)

I am using bicarb and Hydrogen peroxide as an occasional toothpaste which helps with my tricky not quite through wisdom teeth and leaves them madly clean.

I have experimented with natural beauty products before and gave myself a nasty rash making my own deodorant out of bicarb of soda but it looks like I can get good results with these natural products with little effort or cost so I will report back!

Have you tried going shampoo free? (I can’t refer to it as the No ‘Poo method I just… can’t!) do you have some natural beauty standbys?

Redeeming Features Food.

Redeeming features food.<
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I try to strike a balance in our house. It can be frustrating for me sometimes as I have very adventurous tastes compared to my husband and then there are two small boys to try to work around (but most of their issues don’t come from the actual food, more from some misplaced power struggle which whilst exhausting normally results in them loving the food and eating seconds!) and of course a baby who refuses to eat anything she doesn’t feed herself (which appears to be a side effect of baby lead weaning).  I am quite happy eating  quinoa, kale chips, seaweed – (I really do!) etc but I am aware that people have different tastes to me so I don’t push too hard. Ideally of course we would eat heaps of home grown veggies, eggs and fruit but this has to balance with our current reality so I try to make sure that our food has as many redeeming features as I can fit in without protest.

It’s not about being obsessive. I see a lot of people really obsessive about what goes into their food and a lot of people saying they don’t want to eat like that, so they are the other extreme; eating absolute junk and shortening their lives. I try not to be either. I try to keep both sides down to a dull roar.

Today I made pumpkin blueberry muffins (also oil and egg free) so there is a bit of fruit, vegetables and flaxseeds, biscotti are fairly high in protein, no added fat but do have lots of healthy almonds, and cheesy pumpkin scones. None of these things are perfect foods but they have more goodness than those 100 biscuit mixes or similar and they get eaten! I would love everyone to eat like I try to but for now ensuring the food they do eat has redeeming features is a good start!

Having a Thermomix helps me but also ensuring that we have enough “healthy staples” so that there is always an option of some sort is really the key.

Here are mine:

Pantry:

Coconut cream (use for icecream with frozen fruit whizzed in the Thermomix, fudge, curries, smoothies etc)

Couscous (good with veggies)

Onions

Sweet potato

Garlic

Agave syrup

Honey

Jaggery or Rapadura

Passatta (bottled tomato puree)

Yoghurt (dry mixes)

Dinosaur shaped pasta.

Long life tortillas

Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pepitas, chia, flax)

Almonds

Bulk premium flour

Rolled oats

crio bru

coconut oil

Fridge/Freezer:

Frozen )

Frozen spinach

Frozen peas

Frozen corn

Cheddar

Shredded parmesan

Eggs

Milk

Carrots

Pumpkin.

Using these things I can whip up something fairly healthy without meal planning (which I keep forgetting to try!) and often times don’t use recipes (except for baked goods, boy do I have some disasters when I try to get all substitute-y with baked goods!)

Do you have any must have foods on your list of staples that I should add?