Living with ME – my latest crash

I always hope that either I will get better or at least learn about what makes me crash.  But while I’m definitely in a better place than I have been in the last 5 years, I’m not back to full health. ME is still very much present and what makes me crash varies so much from day to day, week to week, month to month that I haven’t quite worked it out yet.

What is a crash?

If you have ME you’ll know all about them, but if you don’t then a crash is a sudden decline in health that’s very hard to get out of. Suddenly, for no obvious reason, you’re just not able to do the things you were able to do yesterday.  Such as walk up your stairs at home without getting out of breath, stand too long or pick up your child.  Arms that worked, muscles that had strength just don’t anymore.  And with a body that no longer functions, comes a brain that’s not really sure with what’s going on!

This time I noticed it

Continue reading “Living with ME – my latest crash”

Simplicity Parenting

Simplicity parenting was a fairly new term to me until I kept seeing it appear on Facebook posts of a page I was following.  Eventually curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on one of the posts and was fascinated with the claims in the article. But more than that I found myself nodding in agreement to the points being raised and I realised that there was a lot about modern families and parenting that I was struggling with.

So what is simplicity parenting?

Obviously from the title it’s about making things simpler, but to me it’s also about getting back to some of the stuff I had in childhood that has gone out of fashion now. And while I embrace our modern lifestyles, it does feel like gadgets, games and ‘stuff’ should be in addition to a slow, more natural childhood that I enjoyed.  Kinda feels like we threw the baby out with the bath water on this one! Continue reading “Simplicity Parenting”

My favourite summer salad

Salads and summer are a perfect combination and this is my current favourite!  Not only does it taste super yummy, but it’s easy to make and, unlike many other salads, can be made in advance and keeps for a few days.

Ingredients

  • 300g quinoa or cous cous
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 85 g raisins or sultanas
  • 100g feta cheese crumbled
  • 200g pomegranate seeds (I just grab a tub, it’s easier!)
  • 85g toasted pine nuts
  • small pack each coriander, flat leaf parsley and mint roughly chopped
  • juice 3 lemons
  • 1 tsp sugar

Method

I am a little embarrassed to actually call this a method but here goes!

  1. Make up the quinoa or cous cous and leave to cool and dry
  2. Add all the ingredients, mix together and season

And that leaves you plenty of time to get on with whatever you’re having with your salad!

How I deal with the gym

I have ME, I’ve never been particularly sporty and I’m not really known for my willpower…..but despite that I love going to the gym!  If you know anything about ME then you’ll know I’m playing with fire with this one as a major part of the illness is post-exertion malaise.  To put it into simple words if I physically overdo it I pay for it – big time.  Not that I’ll be a bit sore or a bit tired after, but I’ll be completely wiped out, unable to function or think properly for a period of weeks or months depending on how wrong I got it!

So why do I go?

Continue reading “How I deal with the gym”

The power of no!

I’m not sure where my need to say yes comes from…..it could be that all British politeness of not wanting to offend anyone or just that I like to please others but I know it’s in there.  For years all you had to do was ask for a favour, ask me to help with something and I’d be there.  Even if that put me in a right spot or left me with no time for something I really wanted or needed to do, I would still get this overwhelming need to say yes.  And I know I’m not the only one. So many of us seem to be hard-wired to say yes in even the most impossible circumstances.

But constantly saying yes isn’t all that helpful………we end up stressed out with a to do list we physically can’t get through, with conflicting priorities and a total lack of focus because we don’t know which way to turn.  And those feelings of inadequacy that we all experience from time to time can be massively added to.  Not to mention the fact that sometimes by saying yes we create the overwhelming circumstances where we’re unable to do the thing we’ve said yes to letting the other person down.  It’s just not good!

What would happen if you used the forbidden word ‘no’ sometimes?  And more importantly, what would you do with the precious time you’d free up by saying no?

There’s no need to be nasty about it!

Of course I’m not suggesting that you go around rudely shouting no in everyone’s face! That would be, well quite frankly, just rude.  But I am suggesting that a no response, said in a very polite and friendly manner is completely and totally acceptable.  Really!

Ditch the guilt

Think about it, if you asked someone to do something for you and they very politely explained that they were unable to do it at this time, would you feel mortally offended?  Would you never speak to them again or find ways of punishing them for the rest of their life?  Of course not (well, at least I hope not!) and that’s how others will feel when you say no.  There may be a momentary feeling of disappointment that they haven’t been able to offload the thing they were asking, but, of course that will be swiftly followed by a recognition that it’s their thing and they need to find another way to sort it.

What would you gain?

If you prioritised your yes’s and learnt to say polite no’s, what would you gain?  A bit of extra time to spend with your loved ones; more focus to get stuff done; less distractions; more productivity; less feelings of inadequacy; less conflict and more peace in your life and that feeling of accomplishment when you end your day with a completed to do list.  But you’d also gain something you may not be expecting.  You see when you do say yes because it fits in with your priorities and you have the capacity, you are able to give it and the person who’s asking the right level of focus.  And that’s going to make you both feel good!

Yes or No?

It’s always tricky to do something new so here’s a few things to think about as you contemplate using the big no!

  • Are you able to say no?  If it’s your boss asking, or your bosses boss or something for your kids then it may not be appropriate to decline
  • Is it something you’re actually capable of doing?
  • Do you physically have the time?
  • What will you have to move or sacrifice if you say yes and is it worth it?
  • Does it fit in with your current priorities and goals?
  • What will you get out of saying yes?

Don’t overcomplicate it, I’m a huge fan of the no-brainer scenario so if it’s a definite yes or a definite no don’t sweat it, just go with it.  Bit if it’s not, then don’t reach straight for yes, take a moment to work out what answer actually works for you.

 

Nutty Cookie

Who doesn’t love a cookie?  Who would prefer their cookie without the serving of guilt that comes with them?  Me too which is why I love this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3 scoops Forever Lite Ultra
  • 4 tbsp of nut butter (cashew, hazelnut and peanut butter or whatever you have)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp Forever Bee Honey
  • 150ml milk
  • 35g chopped nuts
  • 35g chopped 85% dark chocolate

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C
  2. Place all fo the above ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until you get a sticky creamy cookie dough mix
  3. Once you’re happy with your mix, lay baking paper onto a baking tray and separate the mix into either portions, shaping the pieces of dough into cookies
  4. Place in the oven at 160C for about 20 minutes, remove and allow to cool

Then enjoy!

Sweet Potato Dip

I love the addition of the chipotle chilli powder in this dip and it’s super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • I medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1/2 tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Forever Bee Honey
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder

Preparation

Heat the oven to 200°C.  Prick the potato in several places and bak for 40 minutes until soft.  Scoop out the soft flesh and leave to cool.  Once cool add the potato, yoghurt, honey and chilli powder to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving with carrot sticks, sugar snap peas or pitta bread.

Calories: 220 Fat: 0G

Ultra French Toast

Delicious and packed full of nutrition – what more could you ask for!

Ingredients

Preparation

  • Coat pan with coconut oil and mis the egg, Forever Lite Ultra and milk in a bowl
  • Dip bread into eggy mixture until soaked through
  • Put the bread in pan until browned.  Cook on both sides.
  • Top with your choice of yoghurt, cinnamon, fresh fruit or Forever Bee Honey.

And enjoy!

Why would I ever need a business coach/mentor?

So to be perfectly honest, this is a question I’ve been asked many times over the last few years and generally I’ve fumbled through some sort of response which felt right at the time.  And mostly I got away with it! But I was recently reading a book by the great Tony Robbins and he used an analogy that perfectly answered this question.

Before I get into that, for the purpose of this post I’m referring to business coaching/mentoring for small businesses.  There are a load of people doing great things in the corporate and larger organisation space but that’s outside my area of knowledge and I’m sticking to what I know! Continue reading “Why would I ever need a business coach/mentor?”