Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘recipe’

Another one of those weeks.

The girls and I making our very first snow man!

The girls and I making our very first snow man!

This has been a rough fortnight and I am exhausted.

The Highs

The highs of the past two weeks include a trip to see The Snow – the first time the girls and I have ever seen it! It was awesome and amazing and a wonderful highlight of the whole year. We made a snow man, had snow ball fights, stood in a snow fall, made snow angels, and had hot curry in front of a roaring fire. I didn’t even veer off SCD! The girls did, with immediate consequence (pain, bloating, headaches and moodiness). Poor babies. But we saw the results and realised that we’re on the right track here.

After that we visited a friend whose son has Tourette Syndrome. She gave us a tower of books that we have been motoring through, and we’ve learned a lot about our family. What we’ve learned includes confirmation that Goldilocks and I have relatively mild cases of Tourette’s, although hers is worse than mine. Papa Bear definitely has some kind of tic disorder, if not full-blown Tourette’s, and Red Riding Hood is too young to tell. We’ve also been investigating the diet/allergy/environment link to Tourette’s, and the link between this and ADD/ADHD. The results are fascinating and worth their own post (or series of posts).

My sister moved successfully into a wonderful new place with light, space, privacy, security and a garden. I am so happy and relieved!

School has been going well. It seems a little “light” to me, but maybe I’m just getting used to it? We now easily fit Maths, English, Art of some kind and Konos into a day. It worries me and makes me think I’m missing something. I should just learn to be grateful!

We had our second SCD birthday when Papa Bear turned 42. I made lasagne again, as well as cake with marshmallow frosting, nougat, and chocolate mousse. Everything was delicious and ready when he got home, and he said he felt thoroughly fêted even though we’re technically on diet. (Most of the recipe are on the Aunty Em’s blog).

SCD is going well but tough. We’ve seen huge improvements in most things, particularly digestion, alertness, energy, mood and concentration. However, we’ve been using nut flours and butters instead of grains, and as a result (I believe), Goldilocks’ tics are worse than ever (mine too, truth be told), and my skin is terrible. So we’re back to the beginning on Monday, which is a real drag because the intro diet is so boring and so labour intensive.

The Lows

As a result of SCD, Tourette’s and an interminable mountain of housework, my “work” work is suffering badly. I simply can’t fit it all in and since my family’s physical and emotional health is such a priority to me, that comes first. Apparently my brain has deemed our fiscal health less of a priority for some obscure reason, and my efforts at reprogramming it are in vain.

We’ve had some pretty bad news regarding work and finances on each of the last two Fridays, casting a nasty pall over the weekend and the future, and creating the opportunity to feel fearful and anxious.

I am blessed to serve a mighty and generous God who knows my needs and meets them.


لذيذ! (Delicious!)

Bright and beautiful vegetables. So pretty.

Bright and beautiful vegetables. So pretty.

I have no idea how to pronounce لذيذ but it is the Arabic translation of delicious (thanks, Google!). It’s appropriate for this post because it refers to the deliciousness of our Moroccan dinner this week. This blog isn’t supposed to be about food, but enjoying cooking is a relatively new adventure for me, and thanks to the Internet, it’s possible – nay, easy! – to create virtually any concoction you can imagine. I had so much fun making delicious Moroccan Soup and Herby Flatbread. (Click on the links – they’re worth a look and there are loads of other yummy things there, too).

Flatbread. Should it be quite so brown?

Flatbread. Should it be quite so brown?

What made it even more entertaining was being assisted by DD#2 as she began the journey towards domestic mastery for herself. She’s so entertaining and uniquely, innocently wise. What a joy! We peeled and sliced and diced and chopped and mixed and stirred and then cleaned it all away. She also made me a miniature garden from roses and celery leaves, and populated it with a Lego village and Lego characters. Considering the available space in our cosy cottage kitchen, that is quite an achievement.

Steaming stoup.

Steaming stoup.

I so enjoyed the language style of the recipe writers: practical and unfussy and really doable. Of course, in true Me-style, I substituted what I needed with what I had. And garlic. In fact, I wrapped most of a bulb of garlic in foil, drizzled it in oil and herbs, and roasted it in the oven as an aperitif. *Sigh*. Perhaps next time DH will get some. I’m afraid this time (third night, third experiment, same outcome) I ate the lot. So much of hhmmm.

Garlic. Yum!

Garlic. Yum!

I managed to remember the camera before I had served the food, so here are some pics from the delicious event.





Souper Successful. Hur hur.

Souper Successful. Hur hur.

Cost-cutting cuisine

For as long as I can remember I have loved healthy food and been fanatical about nutrition. I think two key things contributed to this in my formative years. The first was that my brother has cystic fibrosis and so a lot of our early years revolved around what he could or couldn’t do or eat, where he could or couldn’t go, and so on. We knew a lot more about healthy nutrition at that age than any of our peers.

Secondly, our family has a colourful and diverse range of allergies and intolerances, so growing up involved a lot of careful juggling around what would fill us, taste good and not kill us! (That’s an exaggeration, you understand).

In my adult years I have become heavily dependent on truly brilliant supplements that keep us healthy and well (not just “not sick”). So much so, in fact, that I even share these great supplements with anyone who wants them, and after seeing the phenomenal turn around in our family’s health, that list includes pretty much most of the people we know.

Even so, however, good nutrition is about more than just popping pills. It’s also about what we do put into our bodies, and what we don’t. That’s why I try so hard to feed my family good, balanced, nutritious, low GI meals and healthy snacks as much as possible. We usually have masses of fruit in the house, and if there are biscuits I try to keep them low GI, gluten free, dairy free ones. Where possible I replace sugar with xylitol or honey.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like it would be a good idea to share some of my adventures here, on my blog. I am no Nigella, and not even much of a run-of-the-mill domestic goddess. Most of my meals fail on presentation, but at least they’re USUALLY delicious and almost always nutritious. Not to mention being super-affordable, which is key right now.

Here’s tonight’s offering:

Pasta with Lentil Mush (title needs work; suggestions welcome).

Slowly heat red lentils with salt and Italian herbs until very soft. Drain.
Cook gluten-free pasta to taste.
Roast some vegetables in the oven. Broccoli and courgettes work very well for this, as do carrots and beans.
Finely chop a large onion and braise until soft and transparent/golden, then add 2 chopped tomatoes, a coupe of peeled and chopped carrots, some ginger and some garlic (to taste).Add the lentils and mix well. Mix in the roasted veggies (try to get some of their “veggie juice”, too – yummy!).
When this mixture is thoroughly smooshy, add some good quality tomato sauce (rich in lycopene, an essential antioxidant).
You may want a little more tomato sauce for the colour.
Serve the lentil mixture on the pasta – hot!

We added Nando’s hot chilli sauce for the grown ups because a) Chillis are a good source of capsaicin, which is good for nasal and chest problems, and induces feelings of happiness as a result of the release of endorphines, and b) We love it! The girls had their’s neat.

Everyone said it tasted great. DH even had seconds … I don’t know if he actually realised he was eating lentils!

I’d share a picture but we ate it all, sorry about that 😦 .

The great thing about this meal is that it is full of goodness and low on cost. Seriously, we all have onions and lentils in the cupboard right? You can make anything with those two items alone. Kinda …

On a side note, don’t stint on tomato sauce. I know we’re all on budgets here, but a good tomato sauce is an awesome and worthwhile investment. The antioxidants are great for the whole family and many kids eat anything when it’s disguised in a tomato sauce super-hero cloak. The problem is that a cheap, synthetic tomato sauce is so bad for your family it would be better to feed the kids fried than to disguise broccoli in that swill.  I’m just saying.

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