It's been a while, I know! I have to admit that I've had a rough month. It hasn't been MS related and thank goodness, no new symptoms have reared their ugly heads. I have just felt stretched and tired not very focused. It all started when the Easter holidays happened. As all you Mums know, holidays are not actually holidays for us. Yes, it's fun and a nice change in routine but there is so much more to do: more food to make, more dishes to wash, more clothes to clean and more arguments to break up. It's just a whole load of more! There is no time to get anything done. Blog posts and gym - forget about it. On top of it all my daughter was very sick and then she, very kindly, passed her germs on to me. Big eyeball roll!
It was obviously a very mean sort of bug because it has had me feeling pretty darn awful for the past two weeks. I've been dragging myself through each day thinking, ok this has to stop soon right? Eventually I put my hands up and surrendered to the antibiotics - which I so did not want to do! I'm very protective over my gut heath and the last thing I want to do is cause damage. I've worked very hard to get my tummy healthy again. I haven't actually taken antibiotics for 6 years so this was a big decision for me. At the end of the day, I needed to get better after 2 weeks of feeling like half a person. My body wasn't winning the battle very quickly. I realised that getting healthy was more important that my adamant stand against the dreaded antibiotics!
Now to make sure my gut flora stays intact! I take a very good probiotic called Terra Nova and I'll be taking this 2 hours after each antibiotic dose along with some amazing coconut yogurt filled with probiotic cultures. I have also recently read that the best time to take probiotics is at night before bed time because there is less acid in the stomach and more chance that the good bacterial strains will attach to the gut wall. I do know that each dose of antibiotics will kill the probiotics but at least there won't be a chance for anything nasty to start brewing. I'm hoping my stomach will remain healthy throughout this ordeal and no permanent damage will be done.
I do feel quite a lot better after just three doses so hopefully this is the corner. I'll be going for blood tests in the next week to check all my nutrient levels and possibly find out why my body didn't fight this as quickly as it usually does. I like to try and get these tests done once a year anyway. I highly recommend that anyone with MS has all their nutrient and hormonal levels tested to see if there are any anomalies. Once a year is preferable.
Moan session over and on to the recipe!
I've been working on a very exciting new venture! It's still top secret and for now all I can tell you is that it involves healthy ms diet snacks! Don't fear, all will be revealed in time. So, I've been doing loads of experimenting and this was a recipe that came out of my attempts to create the most nutritious, delicious raw snack bar ever created!
I've been experimenting with soaking and sprouting and so all the nuts in this recipe have been soaked to remove the phytic acid which can often cause stomach irritation. It's also just so much easier for the body to digest nuts and seeds that have been soaked and it can actually absorb the nutrients more effectively. It's a little bit of a mission and I don't get it right every day but when I can I know I'm doing my body a favour.
These bars are so fantastic because you can literally add anything to them. I had tons of goji berries lying around so I decided to use these but you could use dried cherries or cranberries of you prefer. You can also use any nuts and seeds.
Prep Time: 15 minutes (ready in 10 hours)
Makes: 12 bars (depending on how large or small you cut them)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup goji berries
1 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup organic desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp flaxseeds (optional)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp set honey
pinch Himalayan salt
a little coconut/almond milk
Soak the nuts overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Add all ingredients (except coconut milk) to a food processor and pulse until well combined but still chunky.
Add a little coconut milk to the mixture until it is sticking together sufficiently but is not too wet.
Spread on a baking tray lined with baking paper. The mixture can be as thick or thin as you want your bars to be.
Set the oven to 113F/45C and dehydrate for 4 hours until the mixture has dried out a little. Slice it to make your bars and put them back into the oven for another 4-5 hours until they have completely dried out.
They should last for 2-3 weeks.