Welcome

Welcome to Lamb Cottage. It's a real place, and this is where I live with my dear husband. We even have lambs. This blog is sort of a HUB for my little cottage industry and all its various trails. It is also a personal blog, especially concerning life as an American expat in Scotland, life as an over-50, life with lambs, life as an Orthodox Christian. You're most welcome to come and visit awhile. I hope we can be friends!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Major Smoothie Fail, Bad Days, and Another Option


My "mint chocolate" green smoothie was...well...repulsive. I mean truly. It tasted like something spit out of the back end of a lawn mower. My husband said it looked and tasted like silage (you know, what they feed cows -- fermented grass and such). I don't think he's actually tasted silage! But if he had, that's probably what it tastes like. I think the mint was overkill. And cacao nibs, while a great alternative to processed chocolate, just do NOT go well with kale, spinach, and mint. BLECH!

I want to talk about bad days. Anyone dealing with a heavy-duty chronic illness has BAD DAYS. Seriously BAD. I had one over the weekend. Major meltdown. Emotions completely and totally out of control. Despair. Physically feeling unwell. And...this came right on the heels of a pretty darned good day. Two, in fact. I thank God for a loving, and VERY forbearing husband.

The thing is: while we are working to heal, this means ALL our bodily systems are changing and adjusting. The thing here is to strive for balance. And so, it's no surprise if our emotions are out of whack. They are out of balance, too. This is what we have to remember when the bad days hit. I learned a LOT from this day, and hopefully I won't have another one quite so bad.

I am going to recommend a book and a method shortly...not just for MG, but for anyone who is chronically ill, or just not right. Not ill exactly, but definitely not well.

Meanwhile, here is a no-fail smoothie for when you need to get some nutrients in, but just don't have the desire to be creative with the blender. I don't recommend this on a daily basis, because we don't want to eat too much pre-packaged stuff. But I do keep Ensure, and a store brand "meal replacement shake" on hand for when I NEED to get some food in. Ensure is 335 calories; the store brand is 200. For this smoothie, I used:
  • 1 serving of chocolate "meal replacement shake" (200 cals)
  • 1 banana
  • 4 oz coconut milk
  • a handful of blueberries
  • a sprinkle of ground linseed
  • a few ice cubes
It blended up beautifully, made slightly more than a serving (so I could refuel a bit later in the day), and tasted good! BONUS!

I made this smoothie for the nutrients and the convenience. I took to my bed today after my erratic and flat out BAD day yesterday. 

Tomorrow, back to a green smoothie -- hopefully better than the last one!

Stay strong. Stay focused. Stay hopeful. Trust God.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Streams


Joy and Hope.
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Sunday of St John Climacus

Ladder of Divine Ascent Icon
St Catherine's Monastery

With the rivers of your tears, you have made the barren desert fertile. Through sighs of sorrow from deep within you, your labors have borne fruit a hundred-fold. By your miracles you have become a light, shining upon the world. O Joh, our Holy Father, pray to Christ our God, save our souls.
Apolytikion

I am not even on the first rung.  Lord, have mercy!
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Blessed Feast of the Annunciation


Today is the beginning of our salvation,
and the revelation of the mystery ordained from eternity.
Orthodox Hymn for Annunciation

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Little Upswing


Keep drinking those smoothies, folks! Especially if eating and swallowing are hard for you. I alternate each day between a green smoothie and a berry / fruit smoothie.


Yesterday I had a berry smoothie, and I needed the whole thing to get my 22 supplements down! BUT... I felt better after having my smoothie and taking my supplements. I think two things really contributed: I started taking B vitamins (complex) under the tongue; and I took a chelated manganese supplement. The sublingual liquid was NOT pleasant, but absorbs quickly, and I followed it with a swig of smoothie. The chelated manganese is a tiny pill, so no problem.

THE REST OF THE DAY I FELT MUCH BETTER!


My dear husband forgot to bring home bananas last night, so I haven't had my smoothie yet today. As an aside: I am not a fan of bananas. I never ate them before. I just don't like the texture or taste. Well, now I eat a banana every single day. It is a staple in whatever kind of smoothie I am making. So, BONUS!

Today, I am going to try making a mint chocolate green smoothie. I will let you know how that works out.

There are loads of smoothie recipes on the internet, and tons of clean eating and smoothie recipe books. We might as well have fun with them and experiment if we have to eat this way. I am finding that I am adapting more and more to clean eating, and I am looking forward to being able to eat things UNBLENDED. Meanwhile, I will plug away. 

Be hopeful. Be optimistic. Have faith in God.

Blessed Feast of the Annunciation!
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Supplements


So, I have started taking a TON of supplements. This is the result of my research and reading. It is early days yet, so I have no idea if they are working. When you decide to go the holistic, all-natural route, you have to decide to be patient, as well. Nothing is a quick fix. This is very hard for me, and yes, I get very frustrated and sometimes despondent. 

Because of the Omeprazole disaster (I have yet to write about this), and the fact that my whole autoimmune system is haywire, my body has not been absorbing nutrients properly. I am trying to help it along with a boost. I will do a further post which details why I am taking each supplement, and how much I am taking (less rather than more, in most cases).

First thing in the morning, I am taking two capsules of Quercetin and Bromelain (combined)...on an empty stomach and with water. I have only just started this, so nothing to report.


This was my little dish of supplements as of yesterday. Today, I received two more in the mail, and I am going to be taking B vitamins sublingually to start, to help absorption. I take what you see above with my smoothie (green or fruit). The tablets and capsules go down much better with the smoothie than with plain water. 

It is important to understand (and for me to remind myself): I am not trying to quickly alleviate symptoms (although that would be good) or mask them. I am working to get to the root of the problem and to cure it, and at the very least, send it into remission for the next 20 years. People have done this, and I plan to be one of them. The supplements and smoothies are only two small therapies I am using to keep myself nourished and to work on clearing this disease out of my system.

Stay tuned for more things I am doing, and how they are working for me. Again, it is early yet, so it will take time for positive results to manifest. We must keep positive and faithful. Trust in God. Do what we can. Keep calm.

God bless!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Green Smoothie


Until recently, I was never much of a smoothie eater. Not that I don't like smoothies, but I just always ate other stuff. Which is possibly part of the reason I am struggling now! I have difficulty chewing solid foods at this stage of the game, so I have to eat something with a semi-thick consistency which will slide down (the right way) fairly easily. Basically, I need a meal-in-a-glass. So, I have been on the smoothie trail. The great thing is, you can blend basically anything and wind up with a smoothie. This is my version of a green smoothie which provides nutrients for those struggling to eat (chew and swallow). One serving (a nice, tall glass) has about 360 calories. I put everything in the blender, and blend until it is smooth -- the kale and spinach take a little extra blending so as not to end up with strings.

Here it is:
  • 1 medium banana
  • about 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 oz apple juice
  • 1 kiwi fruit (scoop the fruit out of the skin)
  • about 2 t of ground linseed
  • a good handful of spinach
  • a good handful of kale
  • 4 oz coconut milk (the drinking kind, not the canned cooking kind)
Throw in a few ice cubes and blend. Drink up! It's healthy, filling, and I have discovered that all the supplements I am taking go down much better while drinking a smoothie than trying to manage with water.

By the end of the day yesterday, I am ecstatically happy to say I felt the tiniest bit better. Still struggling mightily with talking and eating, but it feels like my body is starting to right itself.  I will post more about what I am doing to fight this illness, and to rid myself of the toxins of Omeprazole. 😃

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