Friday, 27 March 2015

Juice Fest

Well, I've been playing around with the Magic Bullet for a few days now and I'm quite getting the hang of making juices and smoothies.

Sadly I am a bit limited on what fruit and veg I can use; we live on an island off the west coast of Scotland and the range and quality in our local supermarket is not very good. There is a new TescoExpress opening next month and I am hoping that they will have some better quality stuff in there.

I did a couple of juices but found that you get very little out for the amount of veg you out in so have decided to stick with smoothies for now as at least you are getting 100% of whatever you out in there.

So here are some pics of my healthy creations.

Pear, celery, cucumber and spinach juice
Banana, date and almond milk smoothie

Banana and mango smoothie

Cucumber, spinach and kiwi fruit smoothie

Banana, pineapple and mango smoothie

Kiwi and banana smoothie

Doing another shop on Tuesday and hoping to get some grapes and some kale to add to the selection of fruit and veg.

Sadly it will only be 1 smoothie a day for me as its proving to be an expensive habit. However, at least its getting loads of vitamins and nutrients inside me and they taste nice aswell.  

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is not a good day.
It would have been Moms Birthday today but sadly she is no longer here.
She died on 5th Dec 2013 as a result of Cholangiocarcinoma.

Never heard of it? No, neither had any of the family until Mom was diagnosed with it just 5 weeks before she died.
Took me about a week to be able to pronounce it!!

It's actually bile duct cancer - a rare and aggressive type of liver cancer and sadly by the time most patients are diagnosed with it, its too late to do much.
Which is what happened with Mom.

There is very little known about this type of cancer and there is only one UK based charity - they are called AMMF

As I said, today would have been Moms Birthday - she would have been 79 today. It's a hard time for the family, especially as it comes so close to Mother's Day.

In an effort to try and turn something negative into something positive I am running an online auction via Facebook to try and raise some funds for AMMF.

You can see the lovely items that are available to be bid on here
Please pop over and have a look and maybe consider bidding. It is for a very good cause.

I'll let you know how much is raised in the next blog post. xx

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Let the juicing commence!!

Well, I have taken the first step in trying to improve my health. I've bought a juicer.
Well, its not a proper juicer, can't afford one of those heavy duty fancy things, and besides I didn't want to splash out loads of money and then find that I didn't like the juice.

So, I've bought one of those magic bullet things. Still £70 which is a lot of money for me but at least it will give me a chance to try it out.

Did a shop yesterday and got loads of fresh fruit and veg - I eat a mainly raw food vegetarian diet anyway but bought extra stuff so I could have a play and experiment with different combinations.

Have just made my first juice - used 2 carrots, an apple and about third of a cucumber. Bit disappointed with the amount of juice I got so I can see that this is going to be an expensive project.
However the resulting juice was nicer than I expected so not too disappointed!!

Going to keep a recipe book of all the combinations I try and see which I like best. Also going to need to keep a costing on them because I can see me spending a fortune (that we don't have) on fruit and veg.
Living on an island means that my choice of where to shop is limited. We only have 1 supermarket, a small Co-op and the quality and range in there is poor. Therefore my choice of juices is also going to be limited.

But never mind, at least I've taken the first step. Have to say that I don't think Hubby will be joining me in my juicing experience. He's just turned his nose up when I offered him a taste of my first concoction claiming he wasn't hungry!!

Right, off to see what else I can juice!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Small steps!

Been thinking about getting a juicer for ages now but with money being tight I didn't want to splash out too much money on a fancy machine and then find that I didn't like drinking the juice.
Plus I have a feeling that they may well make my bowel problems worse so.

Anyway, finally took the plunge and splashed out nearly £70 on something called a Magic Bullet. It arrived this morning and have just opened the box and washed all the pieces and read the instruction and recipe book.

Just one problem - have got no fruit or veg in the fridge to give it a try. Shopping day is usually Tuesday but had to wait in for the parcel so tomorrow we'll be heading off into town to see what fruit and veg we can pick up from the local supermarket.

Living on a small island we have a very restricted choice of shops so its going to be a bit hit and miss as to what we can get and the quality isn't always very good and don't get me started on the lack of organic food available!!

However, hopefully tomorrow we shall be able to give the machine a run and see what we can come up with.

I already eat a 75% raw food vegetarian diet and we eat very little processed food so hopefully adding in juices won't be too much of a change although as I said I am slightly worried about the effect it will have on my bowels. The radiotherapy has left me with long term bowel problems and although not as bad as they were, they can still have a serious effect on my day to day life, especially if I get stressed out or drastically change what I eat.

Am now searching around for simple and tasty juice and smoothie recipes. I have a feeling that the food budget is about to rise so we have to restrict the juices/smoothies to one a day.

If anyone has any favourite's then please let me know.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Non-Mothers Day!

Well, if you are in UK then you can't have escaped the fact that today is Mothers Day. People all over the country are giving flowers and gifts to their Moms and those that are Moms are receiving them with open arms.

But please spare a thought for the many women for whom today is a day of tears and broken hearts; women who are not Moms, women who can never be Moms and women who were Moms but only for a brief moment in time and not forgetting the women who have lost their own Moms.

Today is a day that some of us would rather not exist because it re opens wounds every year and reminds us what we have lost. Sometimes it is very hard to explain to others.

How can you describe to someone what it feels like to have that aching yearning in your heart for a child that you can never have?
How you can explain what it feels like to mourn the child that you carried but lost before you had the chance to hold it in your arms?
How can you make people understand that although you are grateful that the treatment for your cancer saved your life, you hate the fact that it robbed you of your fertility and the chance to have a child of your own?

Please also spare a thought for those of us that no longer have our own Moms with us. Those of us that have no one to send a card or a bunch of flowers to. No one to say "Thank You" to, for all the things they did for us and taught us. Those of us still deep in grief for the Moms we have recently lost or those who will never get over the grief of loosing that special person.

If you are one of the women I have mentioned above then I am sending love to you today in the hope that you will know that you are not alone. I know your pain because I know exactly what it feels like. xxxx

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I'm having a bad day - again. Seem to be having a lot of bad days lately.
Combination of the dark, dreary days and the upcoming of what would have been Moms 79th Birthday on 21st March. It's been just over 15 months since she died and it's still a raw emotion.

I can feel the dark cloud descending over me like a heavy blanket.
I used to get these feelings years ago but never knew what it was but since being diagnosed with cancer and subsequently diagnosed with clinical depression I now have a name for these feelings!

I now know all about the "black dog" - he comes to visit on a regular basis. But rather than let him in to take over my life I make him sit in the corner and ignore him. I am in control here. I can't stop him coming, not yet; but I can have him here on my terms.

Another issue that has been getting me down is my health. At almost 5 years since my treatment ended I had hoped that I would be back to normal - (whatever that means) and be out doing all the things I used to do before cancer struck.
Things like walks along the beach; going camping; walking around the island.

It's hard accepting that its not going to happen. Even walking downstairs to get the bus is hard work - hence why I don't go out much.

Trying to adjust to a new "normal" is hard and its made even harder when chronic fatigue is added into the mix. People telling me that I just need a good nights sleep is not helping either - hence one of the reasons why I don't go out much.

Having to listen to people telling me that they got over their cancer and resumed a normal life within 3 months is not going to make me feel any better; neither is people telling me that I just need to get some exercise or to loose some weight!!

It's not about feeling sorry for myself or expecting others to feel sorry for me - sympathy I can do without. A little understanding wouldn't go amiss now and again but that seems to be asking for too much from some people.

Things need to change and only I can change them. Its going to be a hard task but its something I have to do. I survived cancer but for that to mean anything there has to be a reason for surviving it.

I just need to find one.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Good intentions and all that!!!

I had decided at the beginning of the year to make a concerted effort to restart regular posts here but as usual, lots of other things got in the way.
However, I am determined to give it another go.
It is now the end of the first week in March and the weather is still miserable here on west coast of Scotland. However, we've been lucky as usual in that Bute hasn't had anywhere near as much bad weather as the rest of the country.

As some of you may know if you've been following my albeit somewhat erratic blog posts, I was diagnosed with womb cancer at the end of Dec 2009. I don't class myself as "in remission" yet - that will be on 12th July when I finished my treatment.

Sadly, my health has failed to improve since I finished treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) and I've been left with chronic long term side effects. I've spent the last 4.5 years hoping that things would get better but have now had to admit to myself that they won't. Even my GP has told me that my health is the best it's going to get so I just have top accept it.

Accepting that I can no longer go camping or walking around this lovely wee island that I now call home has been hard. I have long term health issues that mean walking to the bus stop is hard so I rarely go out of the house these days. Its become easier to stay indoors rather than struggle to go down stairs and go out into town. (We live in a first floor flat!)

Added to my physical health problems have been the emotional problems that I have been trying to deal with since Mom died in Dec 2013. Her death came suddenly; she was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) just 5 weeks before she died and myself and my brother and sister have found it very hard to deal with.

It's Mothers Day next Sunday - the second one without her. Then the following week it's her Birthday - she would have been 79 this year.

She will always be missed. Love you Mom.