I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone for your amazingly lovely messages yesterday. They definitely helped make my birthday special.
Although I did do far more than I probably should have (and am paying for it today with a total wipeout in bed), I have realized just how far I have come in the last year. As I mentioned on Instagram, I have gone from being so ill I wanted to die and feeling like I’d never be able to work or have any semblance of a life again, drugged up to my eyeballs on medications that were making me sicker, to being med free, having a job at Virgin Unite, becoming an Instagrammer and blogger, running the plant-based picnics, co-goddess the wellness world at the Health Bloggers Community, and training to become a health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
While things are a daily struggle, and I’m still trying to find a balance with food and lifestyle and pacing, I needed to stop for a minute and just consider how far things have come since I started this ‘journey’ in May.
Honestly, it’s weird sharing intimate details about your health with the world, but I’m doing it with the hope that I can inspire and provide some comfort to others who are going through a really difficult time to know that they’re not the only ones experiencing tough times. And, because I’m not always the most unselfish and shiny person, it’s also a strangely cathartic experience.
I feel like over the last seven months I have gained more control over my health and over my life than I ever thought I would again. I just want to let you know that with dedication and hard work things are possible if you step out of your comfort zone a little bit and try something new. Like cake. The cake is always good.
Be honest, be genuine and try to be kind to yourself. But also be realistic. I’m not under any impression that I can be entirely cured or healthy. I’m still extremely unwell. But hey, if one day I’ve totally ‘fixed’ myself that would be amazing. Right now all I can do is try to feel as well as I can. It’s a long, slow, difficult, mind-numbingly frustrating process, but I do believe (most of the time!) that it’s one worth going through.
And as I say every week, we all need to find what works for us and do things that are going to help us – not what other people think is going to be right. Get inspired by doctors, writers, bloggers, coaches, family, and friends, but remember, what works for one does not work for all. Take the best of everything you find and experiment as much as you possibly can until you have found what works for you!
One of the biggest things I have learned this year is that people will be more accepting and understanding than you think. Being open and honest about my health for the first time has meant that I’m finally able to get the support I need to be able to be on the same level as everyone else – it’s meant that my somewhat odd situation is taken into account and allowed me to work and pursue all kinds of things from the comfort of my amazing robot bed.
At the end of October, I was really suffering from depression linked to my declining health (gotta love the change of seasons), and my boss told me to take some time off work. I kept refusing because I’ve had to leave so many jobs before because of my health. He said to me that they knew exactly what they were getting when they hired me (I’d been freelancing since January before they offered me the full-time role in August) and that they were going to do everything they can to support me.
I told them they didn’t know I was quite as mental as I was (I didn’t know either!) but hey ho! They’d rather I take the time I need and not make myself ill so that I can continue to work for them longer. I constantly need to be reminded of that, because it’s hard to accept that I’m being supportive even though I can’t do as much work as everyone else.
But I’m realizing more and more that if you have skills and something to offer, people will recognize that first and foremost and do everything they can to help you out – because after all – you’re giving them something in return.
That’s my little rant over for the day, and now onto what you really want to read about – gluten free, vegan, refined sugar-free chocolate brownies!
This recipe comes from the wonderful Heather over at Fresh Heather and will be sure to be a hit. The problem I ALWAYS have is that I have a stupidly ridiculous sweet tooth (which is odd, because it only developed when I changed my diet – I think I was so scared that I was losing anything good, that I started eating raw desserts every day!) and will happily eat the entire batch of brownies out of the oven as soon as they’ve been made. So a single serving is a perfect solution for when those cravings hit.
- 1 tbsp coconut flour1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond butter, but could imagine pistachio would be amazing!)
- 1 tbsp nut butter (I use almond butter, but could imagine pistachio would be amazing!)1 tbsp sweetener (My sweetener of choice is brown rice syrup)
- 1 tbsp sweetener (My sweetener of choice is brown rice syrup)1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp coconut oil1-2 tbsp almond milk
- 1-2 tbsp almond milk1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp cacao powder pinch salt
- pinch salt
- Gently melt the coconut oil and nut butter in a small pan.
- Mix in your sweetener and milk followed by cacao, coconut flour, and salt.
- Pour into a ramekin and microwave for 1-2 mins.If you don’t use a microwave, bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 mins at 350F | 175C.
- If you don’t use a microwave, bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 mins at 350F | 175C.Top with homemade chocolate sauce/melted nut butter and banana slices.
- Top with homemade chocolate sauce/melted nut butter and banana slices.
This was my version of it this morning!