Hello on this magical Christmas Eve! I hope everyone is having a wonderful festive season with your family and loved ones.
How are those digestive systems and livers faring I wonder? I will hazard a guess and say there’s a whole lot of “oh ok, I’ll have another one, it’s Christmas after all” or “yeah go on, it’s just one day of the year that I let loose” – don’t worry, I know how it goes! And in fact, I am about to have my second alcoholic drink for the month of December (in the form of a glass of champagne) because it’s Christmas Eve and there’s not much better an excuse as far as I’m concerned. Bring the bubbles on.
I am no purist. I don’t try and be 100% of anything – what I try and do is listen to my body and feed it, intuitively. The same goes with alcoholic drinks. For the whole month of December my body has rejected the idea of a glass of wine (honestly, if you knew me just three years ago you would struggle to imagine the possibility of that). I had a glass of wine early December (against my body’s wishes and most importantly my intuition) and spent the next two days nauseas and peaky. That was followed with a minor 7 day relapse. I mean, honestly. That week I seriously wondered if I was in fact a sandwich short of a picnic.
Back to purity though. I try and sit around the 90/10% rule. 90% of the time I’m really good, 10% of the time I’ll waiver (baring in mind that I have little choice around that 90%, I have a compromised immune system that needs a LOT of TLC). During those times I waiver I very consciously try and add in extra goodness into my diet. A glass of alcohol depletes us of much needed nutrients, a sugary fix compromises our immune system. So my answer to that? Show your body some love. And one of the best ways to do that is through a green juice with immediately available nutrients readily absorbing into the bloody stream.
2 celery stalks
1 clove garlic
1 big knob ginger
1/2 lebanese cucumber
4 lettuce leaves
A big handful of mint
Throw all of the above in the juicer and hey presto. An instant energy boost for a sluggish, compromised system.
I say this is a ‘softer’ take because there is no dark green, leafy veg such as kale, silver beet or spinach. These are soooo very good for you but if you’re warming up to the whole green juice idea add them in slowly.
This little stack was born out of a decision to remove myself from the kitchen on a more regular basis and to slooooowwww down on the recipe book creativity front (pressure mounting just a little too much for a not fully recovered CFS’r). On this particular salmon stack day, I sat at my computer/on my couch listening to lectures and catching up on study all day. Given I’m forever in my kitchen these days, come dinner time my creative withdrawals were kicking in big time. I had a can of salmon sitting on the bench that wasn’t about to be simply strewn through a salad, no thanks!
Many of you would know by now that I am not a meticulous placer of food on a plate – certainly not to the point it is ordered and precise. I know I like a herb strategically placed on top (for the purpose of colour poppage) but typically I prefer my food to look a little less ‘fiddled with’. So this was an ‘outside of the box’ exercise for me.
You honestly won’t believe how simple this was and it really did only take about 5 mins (mind you I did have cooked peas in the fridge). It has SO much potential to get even more creative (which I intend to do for recipe book purposes) but this is a goodie because it’s totally uncomplicated and easy. Oh and if you’re planning on whipping up this little number to impress a certain someone, you will need to double the recipe, in case you hadn’t worked that out for yourself already.
1/2 can very well drained wild alaskan salmon
A good squeeze of lemon
1 heaped teaspoon additive/sugar free mayo (mine is homemade)
1/2 chopped tomato
Approximately 1/3 cup cooked peas
2 pinches of chilli flakes (optional)
Salt & pepper
And this is all you do. Mix the salmon, lemon, one pinch of chilli, mayo and salt and pepper in a bowl. Place half the salmon mixture in a cookie cutter, pushing it down quite firmly. Top that with the tomato, then most of the peas followed by the rest of the salmon. This took me to the top of my cookie cutter so I had to stop there. Lift the cookie cutter up gently. Slice the avocado and place on top (very gently!). Finish off with a sprinkling of chilli flakes and the remaining peas.
The addition of fresh herbs would be awesome in this – chop up some dill and mix it through the salmon mix, and some parsley. Yummo.
For me, the cost of burn out was massive. I had to close a business I was hugely passionate about; I wasn’t able to earn money; I could rarely see my friends; I couldn’t live alone; I lost my independence; I couldn’t drive more than a few minutes without bringing on a crash; during my worst a 5 minute walk was a huge achievement. I made a huge mistake, in fact I made many huge mistakes. Countless times the universe presented me with a virus that would send me crashing, year after year. Yet I chose not to slow down, to alter my course. I became so addicted to the adrenalin rush I felt throughout my career that life felt quite dull without it. The upshot was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
For obvious reasons I now feel quite passionately about teaching people how to become more in tune with their bodies and their minds, so that they can better manage their health and not let things get to ‘that’ point. For this reason I wanted to share a wonderful post written by Melbourne Kinesiologist, Kerry Belviso, who has just launched a Heal my Adrenal Fatigue eCourse commencing on 8th September. If you, like me, are feeling the warning signs, I strongly recommend you look into this e-course. I was interviewed for this e-course, along with over ten other experts, to share my story, discussing the impact whole foods had on my return to health. Here’s a snapshot:
In this video, Kerry Belviso talks about three of the costs of burn-out.
Of course, there can be many more.
In our society, burn-out can sometimes be worn like a badge of honour. I was talking to a colleague about my Heal My Adrenal Fatigue e-course the other day and mentioned I burnt myself out a few years ago, “Oh yes, haven’t we all,” she said.
Maybe it’s a rite of passage to burn yourself out in today’s society? Or maybe, by getting really clear and conscious about what we’re doing and the impact, we can still work hard and achieve, but maintain our health too. Maybe we can learn to value how we feel and our wellbeing as much (or more than!) our achievements. I think so. That’s what I’ve been learning to do over the past 18 months, and what I can’t wait to help others to do too, through my course.
Let’s have a look at these costs:
When we’re experiencing chronic (long-term) or high levels of stress, we can experience a wide range of physical symptoms, such as ongoing colds or illnesses, allergies, intolerances, digestive issues, fertility issues and many more. Sometimes, rather than recognising these are being created as a response to the stress we’re experiencing, we might have a range of tests or consult a range of experts which may create positive outcomes – but ultimately, we do need to address our stress levels and how we care for ourselves in an ongoing way to feel healthy and vital.
Emotional and social cost
Often, if we’re experiencing high levels of stress, we can develop a kind of “tunnel-vision” where we’re extremely focused on what we’re trying to achieve, attain or do, which can often come at the expense of our emotional wellbeing and our relationships. Clients often tell me that they start to feel frustrated, impatient or intolerant of their partner, friends, family members and/or colleagues when they’re experiencing high levels of stress. Time with loved ones is often reduced and sometimes people will tell me they hardly have a social life.
Over time this has a cost, which sometimes can’t be seen until you finally (whether by choice or not) slow down. Even if you continue to have good relationships with those around you when you’re under high levels of stress, it’s unlikely you’re experiencing the levels of closeness and intimacy in your relationships that would be possible if your life was more balanced.
Feelings of overwhelm, confusion, depression or anxiety can become more common, and clients often tell me that their memory and ability to concentrate are poor.
If we reach the point of burn-out, there will be a cost in terms of time, energy and also money in order to recover. Recovery is generally considered to take between 6 months – 2 years and it’s important to get to the underlying issues that have led to the situation, or you’ll more than likely re-create it again.
If you do burn-out, you might need to take time off work, or reduce your hours. How you’ll feel about that, and how much of a financial impact it has will probably depend on whether you work for yourself or someone else, and how possible this is if you do work for someone else. I have worked with clients who have reached the point where they need to leave their job and take time out altogether – a huge cost!
For some people I’ve known, burn-out has reached the point that hospitalisation is required. Obviously if you reach that point, you are extremely depleted. Others have had to shut down businesses, scale right back or change direction. Sometimes a crisis point is reached and all of a sudden there are problems to deal with in many parts of life. Jobs or clients may be lost, relationships break-down, mistakes are made, often in dramatic fashion.
Pair this delicious dish with a risotto and a nice bottle of wine. This Italian favorite is easy to make and sure to impress your guests.
2 cups half and half
1/4 cup limoncello
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
Unsalted butter, for buttering the casserole dish
5 cups challah (about 8 oz)
1In a small saucepan, combine the cloves with the cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the fish, return to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and poach the fish until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
2Meanwhile, cover the potatoes with generously salted water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool completely.
3Add the potatoes to the bowl with the fish along with the bread crumbs, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and chile, season with salt, and lightly mash the potatoes with the other ingredients until evenly combined. Form the mixture into six 3-inch-wide, 3?4-inch-thick patties.
4In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the fish patties to a serving platter and serve while hot with mint chutney on the side.