Saturday, July 4, 2015

Giving up---not gonna happen; SCD mock dove ice cream bars

 When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in ...
Dealing with fibro is not for wimps. You can feel like you're beginning to win the battle one day and the next day, forget about it. You begin to feel like your life is a "house of cards." One little change and you may feel like everything you've done was for not.

The thing about a fibro body is that it's not very forgiving of anything. Stress, less sleep, going off your eating plan, not stretching, working too hard or long, poor posture, sadness---just about anything can affect how you feel. Most people without fibro can recover from these things without missing a beat if they occur over a limited time frame. That's not the case for those of us with fibro. It's going take you digging in your heels and redoubling your efforts to recover from what seems like normal life events, especially if they were ongoing.

Do you remember the "changeling" Odo in the TV series Deep Space Nine? Odo was a shapeshifter meaning he had the ability to morph into just about anything. I think fibromyalgia is kind of like a shapeshifter. At least for awhile, you never know what to expect because you can't count on your immune system to reboot itself.

However, you can get to the point where you are feeling pretty good the majority of the time if you hang in there, stick with your plan and are willing to embrace change if needed. It's cliche but "don't give up." You can call it anything you want---willingness to change, roll with the punches, flexibility. It all boils down to you and how resilient you are each time fibro hands you a setback.

My story is like that of most fibro sufferers. I've had to bounce back so many times I've lost count. That's why I say I'm like a changeling.
am not giving up, i am just starting over.

Here are some of my all-time hardest changes I've made:

  • Eating organ meats (liver). Organ meats from grassfed animals are rich in vitamin B12 which fibro sufferers are low in. I'm still "squeamish" every time I open a package of liver but I try to eat some everyday.
  • Correcting my posture. I started working on this two years ago when I realized the connection between poor posture and my pain level. Short, tight, contracted muscles (fibro sufferers have them in abundance) make poor posture and an unbalanced body happen. You want to be lengthening those muscles constantly because contracted muscles press on nerves and joints which create pain. It's no easy task but you will feel the benefits.
  • Letting other people help me. There are some things that are just bad for me to do. e.g. lifting, hoeing the garden too long, standing in one place too long, sitting too long, staying out in the heat too much.  I'm a doer but some things I just cannot do without help.
I've made these changes and more. Some of the changes are ongoing like the posture and muscle rebalancing. It's something I do and remind myself to do everyday. It's made a huge difference in how my body feels. I don't pity myself because I have to do this. Hey, even Olympic athletes spend 1/5 of their training time working on stretching and flexibility. It's not just fibro sufferers who need to lengthen and stretch themselves out daily.

The point is I'm not gonna give up. I've wanted to give up many times but then I think, do I really have an option?  Every day presents us with a new opportunity. I had a teacher in high school who used to tell us "quit trying to blame someone else, e.g. your parents, for your problems. You are in charge of how you react to whatever life throws you way." I've never forgotten her words and they guide me every time life hands me a lemon.

Mock dove bar minus the bite I've already taken
Now, this mock dove bar is no lemon! I've had to change my way of eating to a hodgepodge of  the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), paleo and low fermentation diet. Fortunately, this way of eating does not exclude frozen dessert  bars made with low fermentation ingredients.

Here is what you need for this easy-to-make ice cream bar: (makes 4)

For the ice cream:

3 cups plain yogurt of your choice (I used 2 1/2 cups homemade, lactose-free SCD yogurt made from 2% organic milk + 1/2 cup plain Fage Greek Yogurt)
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2-3 droppersful of vanilla liquid stevia or substitute sweetener of choice
four paper cups or other containers
optional: popsicle sticks

For the hardshell topping:

2 T. cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla powder
optional: dash of cinnamon
1/8 tsp. sea salt
stevia, to taste

Here's what you do:

Blend all the ice cream ingredients in your blender. Pour into an ice cream freezer and churn into ice cream. As an alternative, you can simply freeze the mixture in four small containers such as paper cups. Once the ice cream is done churning, scoop the mixture into four paper cups. Place in the freezer to firm up the ice cream bars.

While bars are firming up, make your hardshell topping. Soften the coconut oil in a bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. Stir in the other ingredients until blended.

Remove the bars from paper cups; discard the cups; dip the frozen bars one at a time into the chocolate mixture. Redip as needed to get an even coating. Return the bars to the freezer. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer up to an hour ahead of serving time.