I have had lots of conversations about my last post with people who related to various points. I am so glad we have had the many experiences we have had and can use them to help others!
I did wonder for a moment or two if was a good idea to post about dealing with anxiety.
Firstly on a personal basis, because it is ingrained in us almost from birth not to tell other people if we have problems and the post wasn’t only about me, it was about my husband too. ( To allay any fears, I would never betray a confidence to anybody, we follow a strict confidentiality code and that applies to each other too, so of course we were both in perfect harmony and agreement about my post).
Secondly from a professional perspective: “could it affect our business if people know ….” well, I had to get over that one quickly – we believe that having lived through various situations, problems, conflicts etc etc in our lives makes us very much more aware of how they effect people. Also, having overcome different things, we have the experience – the proof if you like, that it is possible.
Lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems are something to be ashamed of!
And lets face it, most good diet councillors have run the gauntlet of losing weight and are still working to keep it off. Drug and drink rehabilitation sponsors are themselves in recovery and so they know exactly what one is going through.
You wouldn’t expect your driving instructor not to be able to drive.
A person who has experienced and achieved what they are teaching is often a much better bet than a person who has just learnt through theory.
We believe that we are more credible because of what we have experienced, what we manage and what we have overcome and therefore have a greater understanding of the things our clients experience, need to deal with, manage and/or overcome.
We have seen people open up and well up with relief because, on hearing an experience of ours, they suddenly realise that someone really does understand. How often do people think they are the only ones who feel the way they do, or that nobody will understand them. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you are in a room full of people there will be someone else who feels just like you do. Who would totally get it if they only knew how you felt and who would be grateful to know you understand them too. People think they are in a little bubble all alone and can’t tell or ask for help – they often think there IS no help – but they can and there is!
We are proud of our life experiences, good and bad, they have helped make us who we are and are an added qualification from the great university of life. Whilst we don’t need to talk about them all the time none of us should need or want to hide them.
We are all human after all and that’s something to celebrate.
I say again PLEASE lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, eating disorders and all the long list – often seen as the great unmentionables – are something to be ashamed of!
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There it’s out. That is how I feel right now.
Frustrated, angry, guilty, shouty, sad, tired, tired, tired and too mad to even sleep a moment.
When that anxiety raises its very ugly head the day hits a fast downward spiral. Its clear in a look, a posture, a smell, a tone that oh ho, its coming, doesn’t matter how fast we run its going to catch us.
That knot in the stomach, that sinking feeling, that whispered ‘Oh nooooooo’.
That twist when your day turns from what it was to what it is going to be, ruled by anxiety.
Its like walking down a corridor bumping into one side, recorrecting, bumping into the other side, recorrecting, never getting it right.
Reacting, or trying to, to just what comes next, no looking at the big picture, no peripheral vision, the world blinkered…. Need to do this, whoops, did that wrong, need to do that, oh need to do this, didn’t finish that……bobbing about in a tiny boat on a vast ocean of pits and troughs and huge waves just smashing right down over you.
Well, that’s my take on it. I’m not the one suffering from it, though it makes me very anxious when it happens. I am the partner, co-driver, crutch or contributor.
I watch, I get mad, I shout, I talk him down, I talk him up, I care, I cry with frustration that yet another day, event, moment has been lost or ruined. I feel guilty for my bad reactions. I take many deep breaths and push through the good reactions, only to fall into the bad again.
We work through it together, we are a team. When this happens I’m the grown up, the parent, the rock. And no it is not easy. It is doable.
This is the first time in all these years I have spoken out about this. Less than a handful of people know.
When it happens, which is very rare now, I don’t socialise, we don’t socialise; I am not good at smiling and pretending.
Sometimes I want to, and often I do when we are in the midst of ‘it’, cry my eyes out. Sometimes I feel really sorry for myself.
But its not my anxiety, it’s just something I share.
I once said “Why don’t you just let that anxiety sit right there with you? Let it be there, don’t fight it just accept it”. It soon got bored and it really did go away much more quietly and quickly than usual. I thought, “that’s it, a cure!” then the next time, maybe we were both more tired or depleted but we often forgot that trick.
I also remember, and this a big confession. Oh the shame, saying in the midst of a very deep, long, dark and particularly desperate period about 18 years ago – there were seriously mitigating circumstances, another post about dealing with what life, and people throw at you will show up one day – anyway, I actually said “You conned me! I thought you were strong. I thought you would be there for me. I didn’t know I would have to be your Mother!”. I am sure I have said worse too. I didn’t understand how it felt, how there was no control, how he didn’t understand, how he went blank to hide behind it.
But he is incredibly strong, totally there for me, we share our care. Just not on those days.
And now I see him change people lives in a few hours, literally. He’s a rock to so many, he’s a wave of calm when you are in the middle of turbulence. He’s a voice of reason, full of quiet wisdom and even in the midst of dire personal loss he has turned someones life from wretched to full of hope!
There is hope, so much hope!
For us, now (after so much work and perseverance and tears and talking) this happens once every few months, if that, and probably only lasts a day. As it used to be there would have been one good day every few months! I showed my frustration today, however much i know and help others deal with things I still react in a human way. I do have the tools to help now though and the practice to remember to use them, usually.
If you are the co-rider of anxiety try to remember:
1 They are not doing this on purpose.
2 Anxiety is strong and tricky – try to find some tricks to use against it (tricky post coming up).
3 Breath, remove yourself and regroup when you start feeling yourself slip into despair.
4 Remind the anxious person to breath, take time out, regroup. Often.
5 Find them something soothing and/or distracting,- walk, bath, hot and cold showers, running or other exercise, watch something really funny to belly laugh. Its hard at a time like that I know, it’s worth it.
6 Suggest they choose tasks that don’t need thought or real responsibility whilst they ride it out. Understand you need to direct. I am sorry, this is tough if you are working for other people. There is no easy way.
7 Acknowledge what is happening. Verbalise that it is happening now but is not permanent (even if you have one good day every few months).
8 Work on a plan together of things you can do to take control.
9 Discuss how it feels for you both. Especially the anxious person, they probably never thing about how it feels they are just stuck in this dreadful engulfing feeling!
10 If you have kids explain, maybe get some advice about how best to do it. Don’t leave them being anxious because they are picking up on anxiety and have no idea why or what because you can’t see or touch it and it isn’t spoken about.
11 Really remember that anxiety does not define a person.
12 When improvement happens try not to blip back to how it was at its worst as I did today!
Sometimes the trigger can be obvious and sometimes not so. Try to trace it back because there is often some clue.
For us today there was a migraine, a type that causes dream flashes, a bit like déjà vu, that is very frightening.
Usually I smell a chemical smell up to about 12 hours before these migraines but this time there was nothing I noticed so I could give no warning and it is very frightening. There were disturbing dreams last night.
Fragments so small as to go unnoticed can piece together a bit of information. By discovering a few reasons you can rationalise a little bit and that gives a feeling of understanding and so control, or something akin to it.
As you talk it through, investigate (the time needs to be right for both parties!) the boil will reduce to a simmer, the sea will calm, that band of pressure around the head will slacken a bit. It really is anxio’us’ it effects all people close.
The amazing thing for us is that we have experience, stories, history, and we have learnt over many years and much study in a determination not to be beaten, how to deal with some of the rubbish life can deal out. That rubbish can taint everything else or you can start clearing it out.
I feel so much better now that I have talked.
Time to go back as support… I am sure tomorrow will be better, maybe even this evening.
Do not suffer anxiety alone. Here to support you whether you are the anxiety pilot or co-pilot.
Follow up, 4 hours later, I read this post to my person, he calmed, understanding helps, we went out shopping, we laughed at a few normal things, it dissipated. That sounds as though it was like a mild headache, it wasn’t for a short time. It never is. But these days it is just a reminder of what it was so, please, have hope!
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We had dinner with old friends at the weekend, nothing quite like that relationship where you are accepted just the way you are however long it’s been.
I was going to say ‘spots and all’ which reminded me of a snippet of conversation when I mentioned having been the spottiest girl in class.
I was actually, I am sure, the spottiest girl in the school; In fact, quite possibly the spottiest girl St Aiden’s school ever had!
It was totally mortifying. I distinctly remember, with shame, being dragged across the concrete garden between the art and science blocks towards Andrew Southgate, who was also being dragged kicking and screaming. Everyone chanting kiss, kiss, kiss. I had fancied him for ages. He said he wouldn’t go out with me because I was too spotty.
Well the greasy skin then means I may not have as many wrinkles as I would have had otherwise but I wish I knew then what I know today – that what we eat and drink and the way we live can change our skin (and our whole body) dramatically. Never so needed as during the various hormone changes of our lives.
We didn’t eat particularly badly then, we didn’t have processed food other than the odd tin of beans or spaghetti hoops on toast. Ate lots of fruit and vegetables (I worked on the fruit stall at the market at the weekends and in holidays), and as a family we had ‘pop’ and cakes rarely. BUT I was stressed, even as a child, life was a string of places to be with no time to get there amongst other things. I am sure that had a huge effect.
I was asked for some ideas to help someone with eczema at the weekend too. I would give the same advice for most skin complaints –
Up your clean water intake.
Add a tablespoonful of apple cider vinegar once or twice a day.
Reduce the whites – sugar, bread, flour, pasta, rice, cakes, pastries etc you know which they are!
Reduce dairy – cows milk cheese (try goats or sheeps, there are some that will sub for lots of cows cheeses), cream, milk – except milk kefir which, I believe, is worth using.
Reduce bread, when you do eat it choose wholemeal, granary or sourdough. I work much better with sourdough than ‘normal’ bread.
STOP eating all processed foods. Even fruit yogurts – they may sound good but are loaded with sugar.
STOP drinking fizzy drinks, unless its Kombucha, preferably homemade.
Sugar feeds disease. And you may think bread has very little sugar in it but IT TURNS INTO SUGAR AS SOON AS YOU SWALLOW IT!
Add in fermented foods and drinks such as:
Sourkraut (raw from the health food shop or homemade – easy peasy and cheap, Ill post instructions asap).
Kefir (as above – so easy to make and quick) nut milk kefir is totally dairy free but cows milk is so pre-digested I think its the dairy exception. And its fun watching those little grains go forth and multiply!
Kombucha (again easy and cheap to make at home, flavour it with bits of chopped ginger and its like ginger beer).
Fermented veggies – can be made using a starter from health food shops or, much cheaper and more fun, use some whey from your milk Kefir (strain the Kefir and you have the basis of Kefir cheese and some clear whey which is the bit you use for the vegetables).
So, any or all of this will help. The more you do the better results. It beats antibiotic creams that sting and drinking cabbage water and the results will speak for themselves – not only in the look and feel of your skin but also in your mood, mind clarity, digestion, energy levels, eye brightness and more!
Want to change fast?
Learn to change and start the change with us at our Recombobulate retreat in rural France then go home feeling great and with the tools to LIVE the change.
Come on, lets get you sorted!
Wealth is having love, kindness, a shoulder when you need it.
It is silence with a friend, being comfortable in your own skin, sharing, caring, valuing and being valued just the way you are.
If you constantly criticise you will feel constantly criticised.
If you constantly judge you will feel constantly judged.
If you belittle, you will feel less.
If you are quick to attack you will be defensive.
If you cannot be trusted how can you trust?
If you are not honest you will never believe.
If you do not give love you will not receive.
If you constantly brag nobody will be impressed.
If you do those things to yourself you can’t walk away. You can’t feel true happiness.
If you only think me, me, me you will only have you, you, you.
If you are generous of nature you will feel kindness.
If you are generous of word you will hear kind words.
If you are generous of spirit your spirit will be light.
If you are trusting and just you will feel safer.
If you listen and hear you have more chance of being heard.
If you give without taking you will also gain.
If you give all this to yourself, you will feel secure.
And the ripple effect will be radiant and travel far.
The other day my boy had a sore throat. He had a big rehearsal the next day, he sings, so that was a problem….
He did as Momma says and put an onion, cut in half, next to his bed.
He went one step further and put slices of onion in socks and wore them so the onions were on the soles of his feet. So clever.
Next day, all better!
Onions absord toxins and baddies.
Try it, you will see!
NB Do please realise that as onions absorb bacteria you MUST NOT use them afterwards!
Also never leave a cut onion out to use tomorrow. If you use onions in salads or other dishes use them immediately.
Be health aware people, enjoy your food and enjoy your health 🙂 xxLearn More
I have milk kefir, kefir cheese, raw vegan cheese and kombucha all underway – oh and lets not forget my bubbling fermented veggies!
Everything is chugging and fizzing along nicely! It is such fun and takes no time at all so no excuses.
I ordered the kefir grains online. I decided in the end to use milk kefir grains rather than water, the overriding opinion is that the milk kefir has far more of the good bacteria we so need than the water kefir – although both have their benefits (varied benefits too) and it is highly likely that when I really get proficient at all this I will add water kefir back into my repertoire.
I have made it before with coconut water, which though delicious does get expensive when living on this side of the world. And I am after maximum nutritional benefits.
So many people now are buying and taking powders and pills for the good flora in their gut to help with IBS, weight problems, various intestinal disorders etc. but often the actual benefits are so low due to time in bottles, heat, processing, all sorts of things.
Fermented foods are so much cheaper, more immediate and fuller of what we are looking for! And there are WAY more reasons to take them than I mentioned above. The good bacteria supports our whole systems, enhances our immunity,supports our healing, helps us sleep for goodness sake. Just google it and see. If people ask me what to take to enhance their health one of the things I say is get more good bacteria in your gut. (I’ll talk about the rest another time;) I do talk quite a lot about this sort of thing if given half the chance.
Day 1. So, the lil’ grains arrived, like tiny, mini cauliflowers in a pouch.
I just had to pop them into some milk and wait. And joy of joys for anyone like me, I only had to wait one day 🙂
I expected lovely thick kefir but no….. It was pretty grainy and curdled and smelt like gone off milk. I looked through my new book by Donna Schwenk and then went onto her (amazing!) site Culturedfoodlife.com and then researched more on various sites on the web. Seemed all was fine. My new little friends had been on a long journey and just needed to settle down a bit. I used this first batch (OK, only a drop of it) in a smoothy, I thought the rest would be really good for our septic tank (good excuse?!).
First I had to find the little grains and scoop them all out and into another jar. A spaghetti scoop was perfect.
Day 2 – Same thing. Hmph. I was not to be discouraged. I whisked it up a bit and did a double ferment ‘for a thicker kefir and milder flavour’ says Donna. I put lime rind in with it for flavour and left it another 24 hours along side my new batch.
I couldn’t sleep that night and whilst I made myself a cup of tea I gave the littlies more milk – gives a whole new meaning to finding something to help you through empty nest syndrome. I told husby “It’s fun, it has given me new purpose. I fed them more milk in the night” he groaned. I can see how it sounded.
Day 3 – All split, lots of whey, some of which I strained off as I wanted to use it as a starter culture for fermented veggies.
See recipe below.
Mixed what was left so that it looked better and we drank some. I used the remainder in a batch of raw cheese – see recipe below.
Day 4 – And the new lot was just like the previous ones!
The double ferment had a nice lime tang but wasn’t really thicker, maybe milder though. We drank that (and we are off!). I decided to use half the new batch to double ferment and the other half I strained to make curds and whey. The whey is virtually tasteless. The curds I left to turn into kefir cheese.
Day 5 – I’ve changed the milk. I am using a half cream organic Jersey milk from the health food shop (rather than the supermarket French milk which isn’t so creamy). Hurray, the little chaps seem to like it better! Still not thick and creamy and it’s still grainy but having said that the grains haven’t been multiplying as they should but today they do seem to have started so I just hope they are getting adjusted to me, our kitchen and getting over their upheaval (it does make a difference I am told).
Day 6 – Same old, same old. Maybe I’ll get used to the texture! We have aquired the taste so just drink as it is. I have a bottle of whey in the fridge ( it will last a month) and I am just adding it to anything like salad dressings, smoothies and this morning I put it in our almond milk.
I also have a tiny pot of kefir cheese ready to eat!
Here’s the recipe for that and some of the other bits and pieces. I’ll let you know next time anything exciting happens in my new cultured world! Next post kombucha.
Kefir cheese ‘n’ chives.
Strain any amount of kefir through some muslin or nut milk bag into a bowl.
Take the cruds ( the white stuff left in the strainer) and put in a bowl.
Save the whey for something else or drink it.
Add to the curds a sprinkjle of salt and some chives.
Mash up with a fork and leave with lid on in the fridge for a day or two.
I sliced up lots of red cabbage and carrots, packed them down into a preserving jar with some grated ginger, salt and a couple of tablespoons of the whey then topped up with pure water. Pulled the lid back on and its sitting ‘doing’ for the next 6-10 days.
Raw cheese sauce for pouring, topping or dipping.
Half cup of cashew nuts
3/4 cup of water
1 small carrot,
2 tbsp sweet miso
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Tiny garlic clove (I’d use lots another time when I want a really garlicy sauce)
Tbsp of whole linseeds (flax)
Blended in Vitamix till smooth and creamy.
Poured into a bowl and added
2 tblsp Nutritional yeast
2 tblsp Kefir whey
Stirred it all up, covered and popped into the dehydrator for a few hours to warm and start to ferment.
Result – divinely scrummy light, yellow, almost stretchy sauce ( like melted cheese sauce or slightly warm fondue). Recipe coming up for what I used it for another day but really anywhere a cheese sauce is needed and you don’t want to feel any guilt at all – alleluia THIS IS IT!
The following day it had fermented a little more (it had been in the fridge 24 hours whch slows down fermentation of anything) giving it real substance and enhancing the texture and flavour. Gorgeous!
Sorry, there was meant to be a stunning photo but we ate it all before I could take one.
First I apologise that your birthday cake isn’t all that one could have hoped for.
I admit, I didn’t remember that ingredients need to be weighed until the second to last ingredient – OK then, I did remember but
I couldn’t be bothered because my scales are lbs and ozs and the recipe was grams.
I also thought it was very clever to use the Vitamix to blend the eggs and sugar rather than the boring old wooden spoon technique and yes, I could have used the blender but it already had the flour and walnuts in!
It did look pretty hobnob-like when it came out of the oven, I didn’t know you have to smooth the top and, though I had a variety of cake tins, none matched in size so I squidged one up a bit in the middle of the tin.
I think the filling is great – even though I didn’t have icing sugar which was needed but, brilliantly, normal brown (healthier) sugar, when blended, almost turns into it – couldn’t work out why it smelt a bit fishy though – until I remembered the egg blending I did earlier…. they must feed organic chickens on fish!!!
So, really, if you imagine its not a cake but a big novelty coffee biscuit sandwich you will be very happy.
Oh and before you ask; yes, I admit, I did hide three big carrots in it, blended with the eggs which is probably why its pretty solid – great British bake off might have said heavy, not a crumb in sight though – but you get almost one of your 5 a day in a slice!
Happy birthday Robin and I promise, next year I’ll buy the cake xxx
Botched recipe from Red Velvet chocolate heartache with apologies for messing it up to Harry Eastwood too!Learn More
Healthy Ketchup Recipe:
3 fresh (ripe) toms, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 stick celery, 1/4 red onion, glugs of apple cidre vinegar, 6 sun dried tomatoes (soaked), 3 dates, salt, pepper, 1/4 slice red jalapino.
Blend till smooth.
Taste……hmmmmmm, almost, not quite
…added sprinkle chipotle pepper (kinda smoky), the other half of celery, 1 tsp agave, yet another half stick of celery, some sun dried tomatoe soak water, a glug balsamic a tsp lecithin (optional, good fat emulsifier with benefits).
OK, we are there, I think – not where we set out to be, its not bright red, its orange. Its not as tomatoey as it was at one point, and its creamier (due to the cashews) than ketchup, but……………..mmmmmmmmmmmm it is SO good!!!
Creamy, sharp, sweet, salty, delicious with the olive and veggie bites I dehydrated yesterday – a side order I made by adjusting the burger recipe. And every mouthfuls a good’un!
A k‘chup worth making I’d say, it will save many a craving obsessed day.Learn More
Another week begins. Let’s renew our goals, write them down. Think about them, make them realistic and make them count – don’t have too many!
We are still on the same mission, losing some weight, gaining a lot of energy, clarity, sleep, motivation.
As we lose the ‘baddies’ (see earlier post) we will gain on all those levels and also enjoy mood change – apart from the obvious “grrrrr, I just want a drink/burger/cream tea/packet of salt n vinegar”, our mood will generally be elevated – food, especially sugar and added chemicals, really has a massive effect on our mood; here’s an experiment for you, feed a toddler a real food diet of fruit veggies, nuts, seeds, maybe some organic fish and chicken for a month (actually a week would probably work) then give it a thick milkshake from the place with a capital M and stand back, a long way – a better idea, don’t, just do the first part, for life!
I have a new all singing, all dancing (OK, just all juicing) juicer and it makes LOADS of juice and hardly any pulp, what there is is powder dry and the juice is delicious!!! I haven’t even been adding an apple. Here’s a photo of today’s juice, it’s a green juice but looks multicoloured (is that an oxymoron?) – kale, celery, cuc, carrots, beetroot and their leaves, ginger. Look…
And I have a big glass bottle full in the fridge ready for tomorrow morning!
So this week one of the meals we will be having, and I will be giving recipes for, is burgers – they are dehydrating now, don’t worry they can be made in a conventional oven and I’ll give alternatives – with homemade ketchup and creamy coleslaw. I’ll include optional chips.
The burgers will be topped with “ah hem”…’smoky bakern’ and pineapple (real) and drizzled with 1000 islands dressing, all for my old mate Diane. We used to serve them up and, usually, eat them. Hawian burgers, delicious and now we can have them again – not as we knew them but they’ll be good all the same 🙂
Oh and my goals are – lose the other 3kg, juice every day, no wine mid week, meditate each day, sleeeeeep, post every other day.
Recipe for a healthy burger:
- Take one or two big portabella or field mushrooms per person and put in a shallow bowl or on a baking sheet.
- Top them with lots of sliced onions.
- Mix some olive oil (about 2 tblsp) and a clove of garlic for each 4 mushrooms, add pepper, some chilli if you like it and splatter it over the mushrooms and onions.
- Put in the oven at about 180 for about ( specifics huh?) 15 mins.
- Take out and top with some parsley ( optional) and some strong cheese grated or sliced THINLY.
- Pop back into the oven for a further 10 mins until all juicy and melty.
- Serve with coleslaw (cut the mayo with half live yogurt – make your own mayo if possible) and home made oven chips and ketchup – recipes tomorrow for those!
Up to you how you serve them, I like them alone ( as we had them last night) but you could use wholemeal wraps, leaves, or some really good whole grain bread spread with mustard and ketchup (not ‘that’ kind, use my recipe, coming tomorrow) to put them in. Whatever, its a tastily juicy, meaty and delicious burger! Totally cuts that carnivorous craving.
Sorry no photo, we eat them before we had time to take it, yum-a-loo!
Oh oh, what’s that smell…….. Whoops, whilst I’ve been so engrossed in meaty mushrooms the quinoa has boiled dry (tonight it’s squash n coconut curry and was with quinoa ), I’ll let you know what smoked quinoa tastes like tomorrow.Learn More