unplugging: a story about healing

When I became ill the doctor told me he could only give me a medical certificate for one week off from work. Seriously? You are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, neutropenia and thyroiditis and all the time you are allowed to take to recover is a week? I had just gotten out of the Intensive Care Unit, a single mom with two small girls at home (who were also a bit confused about life now) and I am expected to move along with life as if nothing had really changed when EVERYTHING had changed. In the end I took six weeks off. I didn't travel beyond my little village, mostly I stayed at home. This was purposeful. I couldn't navigate beyond - not physically or emotionally. I built a cocoon arou

ZINC & ANXIETY

Zinc is a metal that we require in our diet. Many chemical reactions in our bodies require zinc. It is required for normal growth and development, as well as immune function. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and assists the liver in detoxification. Zinc decreases oxidative stress by helping to remove free radicals from your cells. Zinc assists in the production of sex hormones - testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. It is also required to produce insulin. Many emotional, as well as physical, problems can occur when your hormone levels are off. Research from a university in Poland suggests that zinc deficiency is "the key factor in development of several neuropsychiatric disorders"...

Autumn Tomato Soup

Bottling Autumn Tomato Soup for the cold days of Winter ahead (actually, it feels like Winter here today!). INGREDIENTS: olive oil 1 x brown onion, chopped 2 x garlic cloves 1 kg(-ish) fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes) 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste 3 cups stock (chicken, beef or veg) Pinch sugar or cinnamon Salt and pepper to taste Handful of fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary....whatever you have on hand) METHOD: Heat olive oil in heavy bottom pan, saute onions for a few minutes, add garlic and cook a few more minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add tomatoes and cook 5-10 minutes or until soft. Add tomato paste, stock, herbs and suga

ANXIETY & INFLAMMATION

There is so much talk around inflammation these days....what IS inflammation? It comes from the Latin word inflammare which means 'to set on fire'. Inflammation is the body's response to harmful stimuli (e.g. physical injury, pathogens, parasites, etc.). Acute inflammation is the body's initial response, which is a good thing - chemicals and immune cells are sent to heal the damaged tissue. Chronic inflammation is when there are changes in the immune response to harmful stimuli causing simultaneous destruction and healing of damaged tissue. When you have an inflammatory response it doesn't just affect your body, it affects your brain as well....fanning the "fire" of anxiety, depression, auto

Velvety Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients: Coconut oil Brown onion or leek, diced Fresh ginger and turmeric, finely diced 1 x roasted whole pumpkin (any kind you like, I used an heirloom butternut) Stock (either chicken or vegetable stock), 1 - 1 1/2 liters 2 teaspoons of curry powder (mild or hot as desired) 1/2 teaspoon of each: nutmeg, cinnamon, ground ginger, cayenne Salt to taste 400ml can of coconut cream or milk Method: Heat oil in a pot and add onions; cool until Brown. Add ginger and turmeric and cook for a few more minutes. Add roast pumpkin, enough stock to cover the pumpkin (but not too much, you will be adding more liquid later) and spices. Remove from heat and puree with a stick blender until vel

Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Trying to find new ways if serving eggs in the morning. These are cooked in homemade leftover tomato sauce. To make the sauce: Onions Olive oil Garlic Fresh tomatoes Herbs (rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano and basil) Salt & pepper Lemon juice Saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pot. Add chopped tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer gently with the lid slightly off the pot allowing evaporation. Stir occasionally until the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Quantities will depend on how much you want to make at once. I usually make enough for a few meals plus some for the freezer. To make the eggs: Place olive oil or ghee in a

Anxiety and Magnesium

Magnesium has been shown to: help quite down thoughts that go round in your mind, help regulate hormones that have a calming effect on the brain, support immune system function, and, relax muscles. You can take a supplement to add more magnesium (Mg) to your diet. Mg in the form of magnesium chelate is well absorbed. Take it at night before bed. Also, it's best to take Mg and zinc separately. Or you can add Mg-rich foods to your daily diet.... Foods high in Mg are: Green vegetables Animal products Legumes/beans Nuts/seeds Bananas Raw cacao Potatoes Our diet is high in these foods, but we tend to take a powder supplement a couple times a week as insurance (I always get a better night'

ANXIETY AND GUT HEALTH: THE GUT-BRAIN-IMMUNE SYSTEM TRIAD

"...food choices are so fundamental to immune health, and by implication brain health..." -Kelly Brogan, MD Let me explain the gut-brain-immune system axis: 70% of your immune system is located in your gut - it's called gut-associated lymphatic tissue (GALT); The GALT communicates with your brain through the vagus nerve; Inflammatory markers are sent to the brain via the GALT as a warning when something is not right. So, what would the gut recognize as 'not right'? Dysbiosis - when gut flora is dominated by unfriendly microbes. The greatest contributor to dysbiosis is STRESS. ANXIETY is a form of stress....your body is in "fight or flight" mode when you are anxious. What can you do to resto

Autumn Frittata

Autumn is the best time for cooking, baking, preserving - the variety (and quantity) of fruit and veg is amazing! I spend many a day preparing for the cold, slow months of Winter, making chutneys, apple sauce, tomato passata, stewed quince, rhubarb compote, preserved pears in red wine, pickled cucumbers.........it's all very satisfying! To keep me going all day I start with a vegetable frittata. Ingredients 6 eggs 1/4 cup milk (cow's or almond) Salt & pepper to taste 1/2 c cheese of choice 1 green/spring onion, sliced 1 tablespon ghee (or coconut oil)o 1 onion or French shallot, diced 2 zucchini, sliced 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds 1 large or 2

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