i have been progressing but some days i still tire out. it's been slow going but i see a change. i feel like each day, things get better & better. i shared with you my struggles with Trigeminal Neuralgia but there are more to my trials & tribulations. i have had many other symptoms including digestive issues that my doctors couldn't figure out. The head pain had to be tamed first. My family physician suggested i seek out complementary medicine to help solve my issues because he didn't want me to be on yet another pill. Neither did i! I found an acupuncturist who also holds a master in chinese medicine. After our very thorough and comprehensive first appointment, she laid out a plan for me to help reduce the head pain and then work on my other health issues.
Each appointment isn't just an acupuncture appointment but we also work on nutrition and lifestyle changes. After the head pain started receeding it was time to work on some digestive issues. She asked me to start by picking one, gluten or dairy/lactose, and elimate it for at least two weeks with no cheating. For me it seemed easier to give up the gluten than to have to give up my Chai teas. i have been gluten free for almost a month now and my digestion system is getting back on track. While i don't have a casein allergy, it does appear i am gluten intolerant. At first the change was a little difficult, now i find myself reveling in the challenge of making gluten free food, including the above flourless cake. If you tell me i cannot have good gluten free foods, the stubborn little girl from childhood says, "just you watch me!"
i have been for a long time now a big supporter of homemade & frozen versus boxed/canned goods but i knew there was more i could do. Having so many pain and health issues, it was finally time to make some more changes. Jennifer tells me that things shouldn't be done in extremes and i agree with her. So my approach to changing some habits has been to do it slowly so that it becomes a lifestyle change and not just a fad. One of the things we decided was for me to shift to Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory food pyramid. It's time to choose a healthier me, for me & for my family. We are doing this together. They aren't gluten intolerant but since i don't bake with flour anymore, they are making a shift to mostly gluten free. We decided to put in gardens (more on that later) this year to help with my our lifestyle changes. The kids are actually excited about this addition and have been telling me what veggies they want planted and how they want to help. It's quickly become a family project which helps ease the transitions. Week by week i add something from the food pyramid into our "diet" and try eliminating something we don't need. i ask myself: have i had this many servings of [insert food item here] and try to compensate if i haven't or praise myself if i have.
With all these changes, i have found lots of new recipes that still fit within the food pyramid but also satisfy my cravings like the above "Lara balls." My friend Jessi & i have been comparing garden notes and she has been giving me ideas and sharing recipes. The "Lara balls" are an adaptation of her recipe & this one she sent me.
- 1 Cup Medjool Dates, pitted
- 1/4 Cup unsweetened Coconut flakes + more to roll
- 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
- 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
- 3 TBS Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
i blended the dates & vanilla first in the food processor before adding in the other ingredients. i added the remaining ingredients and pulsed it a few times to blend it. i laid out some parchment (or wax paper) and rolled the mixture into small balls. Some of them i rolled in more coconut which i happen to love. They are DELICIOUS. You may not be a date fan, neither are my kids, but you really don't taste them. They just add natural sweet flavoring. i left the "Lara balls" out on the counter and my kids gobbled them up. i did tell them what was in it when i noticed them eating them and after a few moments of shocked faces, they didn't care. They decided these were too good not to eat. In fact one of the kids said, "these taste better than the brownie i had today." The best thing other than their taste is i don't feel guilty about having more than one!