Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul

Today I  stepped out into the sunlight for a moment, and stayed for nearly four  hours. I had no idea I had been outside for so long, because once I got started in the garden, time became irrelevant.

And that's not all. Worries became irrelevant too. I realised after about two hours, that I had not once thought of my lost baby, my waning fertility, or felt the deep sadness I had been feeling for the last couple of weeks. I also didn't feel the fatigue that had been plaguing me for that time too.

It just felt good to get into the flow of pulling weeds, digging the dirt, planting the seedlings, composting the weeds, fertilizing the beds with stinky organic chicken poo, looking forward to spring-time's bounty with anticipation, and harvesting some peas, spring onions, mustard greens, chicory leaves and a single golden bean pod to saute for lunch.

Michael brought me a hot cup of tea at just the right time, which gave me the last bit of energy I needed to finish the job. Perfect.

Now - for the perfect green saute for lunch :

Start with sauteing some chopped onion - I used the white parts of the spring onion, and add a couple of cloves of garlic which have been chopped. Add to this the chopped leafy greens, the finely sliced bean and peas. Then a little water or stock to finish cooking the greens. When they look bright and ready, pile onto your plate, and sprinkle with some Gomasio and a squeeze or two of lemon.

Doesn't get much better than that!

My next garden project is to start my own micro-greens (sprouts) - not the kind you do in a jar, but the kind I have been buying from the grower's market - in little jiffy pots- ready to snip whenever you like to add to salads, toast,stir-fries, whatever you like.

They are a powerhouse of wonderful enzymes, minerals  and vitamins - watch this space...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Beautiful (Sugar Free) Breakfast

I find breakfast a bit of a tricky meal when it comes to being sugar free. I'm used to muesli (quite sweet if it has dried fruit and honey in it), cold cereals (also high in sugar), gluten free porridge(yummy, but not great without a bit of brown sugar or honey), or toast, especially with apricot jam or marmalade (about 50% sugar).

So, I have to re-think breakfast as a meal. And this is a beautiful substitute:

Gluten-free sour dough toast with sauteed mushrooms, wilted spinach, a sprinkle of Seaweed Gomasio (organic dry roasted sesame seeds with seeweed and sea salt) and a sprinkle of micro greens (coriander).

It only took minutes to prepare and cook, and was worth the effort.

Today I had the same bread toasted, but this time one piece had vegemite and the other I had with some sharp cheese. Very nice.

I will now have to stock up on mushrooms, and think about other things to have for breakfast.

Unfortunately I'm not a big fan of bacon (I like it occasionally), and I don't eat eggs - they made me sick as a child, and I just haven't been able to go back there, unless they are disguised in cakes, or quiche or custard. I wish I did like them, they are so high in protein and so versatile. Alas...

What do you eat for breakfast? Any ideas for going sugar free?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lack of Flossing and Other Guilt Trips for Women Trying To Conceive

I've been hanging onto the slippery slope that is "trying to conceive" for some time now. About 4 or 5 years. And in that time I have read almost everything that is available on the subject. I have also managed to get pregnant three times, and have one perfect baby - Charlie.

In that time, I've scoured the Internet, I've read countless books, I've had acupuncture, I've seen a naturopath, I've talked to psychics, had my tarot read, listened to visualisation c.d's, done fertility yoga, belly dancing,special massage - you name it - I've probably given it a go, or at least thought about it.

But one thing I haven't been particularly good at is flossing my teeth. Oh Dear - I seem to have missed that one: flossing teeth affects fertility.
So, now I can add that to my ridiculous regimen:
  • giving up sugar and gluten - check.
  • taking about seven different supplements, morning, noon and night-check.
  • ordering more supplements-check.
  • drinking green tea daily-check.
  • drinking nettle infusion-check (it tastes like compost).
  • drinking other nasty tasting herbal teas-check.
  • cutting back to one cup of real tea per day-check.
  • never drinking coffee-check.
  • rarely drinking alcohol-check.
But here I am -still wondering if I did something wrong to cause my miscarriages. Because I read in many books, that even when you are of advanced maternal age (read - geriatric) you can have a healthy baby, if you just have the perfect diet and take the right supplements, and have acupuncture.

So, I did all that, and I still find myself here - no longer pregnant - and wondering where to go next.

I suppose I had better go and floss my teeth?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sugar-Free: Day One

So, how to go sugar-free when you are also grieving? It's not for the faint-hearted. My body seems to crave sugar when I am feeling low. That's quite normal, I believe. Our bodies are craving serotonin (the feel-good stuff) and we get it from carbohydrates. I guess sugar is an easy carbohydrate to reach for.

So, this morning I thought I'd drop into the super-market and see if I could find something that might help me through. I have been feeling really tired with this miscarriage, so I thought,perhaps I need iron, so I bought some chicken and champaygne pate. Two things I couldn't have while pregnant : champagne and pate. Then I found some beautiful locally baked gluten free, seeded sour-dough loaf. Oh yum. It is really hard to find nice gluten free bread, particularly sour-dough.

I know I should try to make my own, but I'll leave that for another day. I'm going to try my hardest to use complex carbs to fill the sugar hole. And the pate on sour-dough was a hit.

I also bought Kangaroo steaks. It's such a deep red colour, it looks like it might give me the iron I seek. I must also make a nettle infusion - again, really good for iron.

Today hasn't been too rough emotionally.

I've been out in the garden, and at one point had to sit on the drive-way and cry a bit. But then I noticed a little yellow rose-bud - trying to flower in this terribly cold weather. I planted that rose bush shortly after my first miscarriage, and it is going to flower. It gives me some hope.

So I spent an hour with Charlie, in the vegetable patch. Things are slow growing in this cold, but I found some lovely egg-plants and some snow peas. The broccoli is growing rather slowly, perhaps it also needs some iron? Or just some fertiliser.

Despite my sadness, being outside, in the fresh crisp cold air, with my little one, really has helped. I have much to be grateful for.

Oh Boy - Here We Go Again

So, I haven't mentioned it before, because after all the "blah, blah, blah" about how wonderful it was to be sugar-free, I fell off the wagon, and landed in a great big pile of sugar. And was a bit embarrassed to tell everyone I was not the strong woman you thought I was.

I have a pretty good excuse, but, it will soon become clear, that excuse is not applicable anymore.

Having polished off half a family block of old gold chocolate yesterday, and a box of Lindt chocolates today, I am feeling rather ordinary.

I would have felt pretty awful anyway, because I have miscarried again. Again at about 9 weeks, and so have buried myself and my grief under a mountain of chocolate.

I had been eating sugar again, because while pregnant I craved it. I kind of felt that if my body (and baby) needed sugar, I would cave into the desire. However, all the while, I kept saying, "I know this isn't good for me, or the baby,so tomorrow I'll stop."

Well, it is tomorrow now, sadly a bit late, though I'm quite sure the sugar didn't cause the miscarriage. I just feel I should have made a bigger effort to take care of myself.

Now I have some pregnancy weight to lose. I only got to 9 weeks, but it was long enough to eat quite a lot of what I shouldn't have!

I also have a bit of a theory about gluten. It is interesting - I find I am able to better tolerate gluten when I am pregnant. I think it has something to do with hormones. However, I am normally intolerant to it, and, I suspect, fructose too.

Now that I have had a 2nd miscarriage in 6 months, and have been doing some research, I've learnt that food intolerance can and do cause recurrent miscarriage. It may have nothing to do with my miscarriages. In fact, most health professionals would bet money on it being caused by my aging eggs. That said, it can't hurt to get my body back in balance and in tip top form....goodbye gluten, goodbye fructose and sucrose, hello good health.

Oh, and if I could have a healthy baby too, I would appreciate it....

Friday, July 1, 2011