community | compassion | connection
Acknowledgement of Country In the spirit of reconciliation Spoonie Mag acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Disclaimer This magazine is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
On the cover This month's cover features illustration by The Chronically Honest. Through her Instagram, she aims to honestly illustrate the hardships that come with chronic illness and raise awareness for IBD. Check out her work here, The Chronically Honest 01
contents march 2021 05 MONTHLY FEATURES This month we feature Chris Jamieson and four inspiring podcasts.
10 WHAT WE'RE LOVING A collection of things we're loving this month.
11 ARTICLES This month we hear from Tatiana Skomski, Kia Peters, Samantha Brunken and Angie Cooney.
18 EXERCISE Courtney Tebbutt takes us through some simple and accessible exercises.
21 RECIPES A range of savoury and sweet dishes perfect to share with friends or family.
27 ART CELEBRATING COMMUNITY
Check out our artist feature: Yasmine Shakur.
Image: Vonecia Carswell sourced from Unsplash 02
Community This month we explore the theme of community. Through this publication we aim to both create and serve, showcasing the talents and sharing the stories of those who make up our community. We, as a team here at Spoonie Mag, support each other both in and beyond the workplace. We hope to extend this arm of friendship to our readers, reminding everyone that they should never feel alone through their health journey. In this issue you'll hear stories from other chronic illness sufferers and find a range of resources including podcasts, some simple exercises and some great recipes you can share with friends!
"My hope is that Spoonie Magazine serves to connect people in the chronic illness community to each other and also to valuable resources that will help them succeed on their health journey." -Jami Emerson | Founder 03
“The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital.” – Mark Hyman
Illustration: Jes Hojsan @house_of_spoons_illustrations
The chronic illness community around the world is growing. Social media has played a key role in this growth, helping people to find and connect with people sharing similar experiences. In this issue we feature Chris Jamieson, a recovered sufferer of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, who will be running a marathon towards the end of this month. Alongside Chris, to honour this growth of community, we are featuring a number of podcasts run by and for people within the chronic illness community.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can be a devastating, lifealtering event. It is difficult to find hope in the midst of such a struggle; for which modern medicine has very little answers.
Chris Jamieson On March 21st Chris will be running a ‘recovery ’ 42KM marathon in Melbourne, Australia.
In late 2016, Chris Jamieson was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgicencephalomyelitis (M.E).
"I couldn’t work and I was stranded at my parents home dead broke due to doctors expenses, with the flow on effect being mental health and Chronic Pancreatitis". After four years Chris was able to heal himself using the four pillars of recovery: Mindset, Nutrition, Quality Sleep and Restorative movement. On Sunday March 21st, Chris will be running a ‘recovery ’ 42KM marathon. He says, "A lot of local legends will be joining me for support at various stages during the run, I welcome anyone to join in".
"Compared to CFS recovery my comeback run will be more like a walk in the park". Chris has set up a Go Fund Me page for the marathon and will be hosting a community event after the run with all proceeds going to the charity Chronic Hope. 06
To hear more about Chris' story, check out the Chronic Hope Podcast episode, CFS Recovery ft. Chris. NOMADIC
CHRONICALLY HEALING PODCAST 'COMMUNITY' EPISODE FEATURE: THE CONFUSING JOURNEY OF CHRONIC ILLNESS AND HOW COMMUNITY IS KEY TO HEALING WITH MAYA GELLER OF STUFF THAT WORKS
Chronically Healing started as a space to share the stories of those with chronic illness. As the show has continued, they've morphed into a space for anyone focused on living a holistic, healthy life realistically. Host Jessie Fritz and her guests have conversations around chronic issues, healing modalities and how to tap into your body to feel your best. They chat with different people all around the world about how to keep yourself healthy and happy throughout your life journey.
THE REAL LIFE SHOW: LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS 'COMMUNITY' EPISODE FEATURE: FINDING HOPE AND CONNECTIONS FOR CHRONIC CONDITIONS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
This show is a safe space filled with discussions of all sorts! Cassie & Chelsea speak about real life and the nitty gritty of living with chronic illness. Their topics include: interviews with naturopathic doctors, body image issues, food fear and guilt, the challenges of intimacy and the fun of intimacy... as well as offering guidance and resources to the community. 07
CHRONIC BUT ICONIC 'COMMUNITY' EPISODE FEATURE: SOCIAL MEDIA
Presented to you by Sophie Ward, a Lyme Disease campaigner, blogger, author and radio presenter. Sophie speaks about learning how to adapt living life with chronic illness as well as the challenges we face and the lessons we have to learn. She knows that there isn't a text book with all the answers but rather 'we learn on the job', through experiences and fellow sufferers. Chronic illness is tough but she hopes her podcast will inspire you all to keep chasing your dreams and that you DO deserve to live life.
THE SOUND OF HOPE 'COMMUNITY' EPISODE FEATURE: CFS RECOVERY FT. CHRIS
The Sound of Hope is about sharing the stories of people living with chronic illness and hearing from health professionals and artists about how we can offer solutions to the chronic illness community in practical and creative ways.
“If opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is okay.” – Carmen Ambrosio
WHAT WE'RE LOVING The Happiness Planner Life can quicly become overwhelming, particularly when one only has a limited number of 'spoons' to begin with. For many people living with chronic illness this means being extra organised. The Happiness Planner has been designed with a focus on finding more happiness in life through embracing the power of mindfulness. This planner not only helps to plan out the good days but also keep your mind focused and positive through some of the harder ones.
Muscle Ease Massage Blend | Subtle Energies Aching bodies are all too familiar in the chronic illness community. Whether you have pushed your body particularly hard or just need a general pick me up, this muscle ease blend will help to keep you well. This powerhouse blend, with known analgesics, can be used in a detoxifying massage for anyone experiencing congestion, especially in the feet and legs. Subtle Energies brings together the science of Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, aiming to create balance in the body, mind and consciousness.
This month we have three product features: one to help organise connecting with community, one to help recovery after a long day out and perhaps most importantly, one to help you connect from afar.
Earth Greetings Cards Despite the best of intentions there are times in which we can't follow through with plans. If you're bored of social media or want something a little extra special. Why not send your friends or loved ones an Earth Greetings card. Not only are you able to stay connected while staying home, the cards support Aussie based artists. They're printed with vegetable based ink on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and come with an unbleached 100% post-consumer recycled envelope. They're also carbon neutral, and 10% of the profit from every card goes to caring for wildlife and habitat. 10
STORIES: THE RAW AND HONEST TRUTH
My Journey with Ulcerative Colitis WORDS BY TATIANA SKOMSKI
I’ll never forget the moment the doctor told me, “You have ulcerative colitis, and it is one of the worst cases I have ever seen.”
I went away to college (I grew up in San Diego and went to the University of Oregon) and came to terms with the fact that this might be how I’d feel forever.
Shock. Panic. Anger. Confusion. Overwhelm. Those were just a few of the emotions I felt when I heard those words, as I was lying in a hospital bed. Years of undiagnosed pain lead me to that moment, yet it felt so incredibly isolating and nowhere near the answer I was looking for.
A few years later, my symptoms really escalated. And there I was again, faced with doctors who did minimal tests and told me it was all stress and in my head. I took matters into my own hands and made some dietary restrictions that seemed to act as a bandaid for a little while.
I was 21 years old, almost done with my senior year of college. I was in the midst of the years that were supposed to be some of the best of my life. Yet every day I felt sick. I could barely eat without feeling nauseous. I felt exhausted every moment, and no doctor could tell me what was wrong. I was missing out on making memories, going out with my friends, living in the moment feeling carefree and full of joy. And that’s all I desperately wanted to do. I ultimately lost friends because no one understood why I never wanted to hang out with them. I looked fine, after all.
Now, here’s where the story gets a little weird, but stay with me, okay?
Since before I could remember, I had periods of my life where I felt sick pretty much all the time. The youngest I remember feeling this way was around age 12 or 13. I always felt sick after eating, and basically everything I tried to eat made my stomach hurt. The first time my mom started taking me to doctor’s appointments searching for answers, we were basically turned away. They did some tests here and there, but the answers were always the same. “It’s probably just anxiety.” “It’s just teenage girl stuff.” “It looks like it might be an eating disorder.” “Let’s put her in therapy and see if that helps.” Never once was my pain validated by a doctor I saw. Thankfully, my mom never gave up and always believed me. But there was only so much she could do. Years went by, and without answers, I learned how to cope. I learned how to move through life with everyday pain, as if it were completely normal.
Growing up, due to the way my jaw was formed, I knew I would eventually need to have jaw surgery and braces once my bones were done growing. Come sophomore year of college, it was time for me to get those braces and begin my journey towards corrective jaw surgery. Two years later, my senior year of college, I was ready for that surgery. I planned to have it while I was home for winter break (which, looking back, was not nearly enough time for me to heal). Let’s just say it was one of the most intense things I have ever gone through: a five and a half hour surgery that left me with my mouth wired shut and on a scary amount of painkillers. The trauma and stress from surgery is what led to my first, life threatening, ulcerative colitis flare. At the time, I didn’t know what it was. All I knew was I was in debilitating pain, I couldn’t walk or keep a sip of water in my system. My parents took me to the emergency room where they admitted me for the night and did my first colonoscopy (EVER) the next morning. The fact that I’d never had a colonoscopy before then still baffles me. That’s when I heard those words that are so ingrained in my brain: “You have ulcerative colitis, and it’s one of the worst cases I have ever seen. You’ll probably leave here with your colon removed, it’s that bad,” the doctor said. 11
I spent the next three weeks in the hospital being pumped full of steroids, iron, blood transfusions, and my current biologic (Remicade) that ultimately saved my life and put me in remission. What followed was me having to withdraw from that next term of school and stay home to start my new journey as, Tati with ulcerative colitis. As I clicked, 'withdrawal from term,' I promised myself that day in my hospital bed that I would finish my college degree no matter what. And I did! As I slowly but surely gained my strength back over the following months, I was forced to slow down like I never had before. At the time, I resented it. I hated the disease that left me bedwridden, alone, and (to me, what felt like) unloveable. I found myself at odds with my disease, hating it and myself for what I had gone through and would be left with for the rest of my life. I was a broken version of myself. I had no self-love or confidence anymore, and I was nowhere near acceptance of my disease.
When I decided I wanted to love myself and accept my chronic illness diagnosis, I went on my own healing journey that changed my life. I created a relationship with myself that I cherish now and wouldn’t trade for the world. I never wanted any womxn to have to go through that healing process alone, and so I became a certified coach to help womxn with chronic illnesses learn how to love themselves alongside their diagnoses.
"I found purpose, passion, community, and friendships in what ultimately almost killed me".
Tatiana (Tati for short) is a certified coach who has ulcerative colitis and psoriasis. Her goal is to help womxn with chronic illness embrace their diagnoses so they can live confident lives. Follow her on Instagram at @simplybalancedwithtati, and check out her blog for all things mindset, wellness, and chronic illness.
December 17th, 2015, the day I was diagnosed, changed my life forever. At the time, I didn’t know it would be for the better. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. It felt like my life was ruined. Little did I know it was just beginning.
STORIES: THE RAW AND HONEST TRUTH
"But you don't look sick" Kia Peters lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease in which your body's immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of your joints, thinking your own body is a foreign invader. Below she shares some of the common, unseen side-effects of living with an 'invisible illness'. WORDS BY KIA PETERS @LIVEWELLWITHKIA
When I was first diagnosed with RA, a big challenge I faced was trying to re-define what it meant to feel 'normal' and 'well'. I found that I couldn't do a lot of the things I did before I was diagnosed. This forced me to really reflect on all aspects of my life and define what wellness and health meant to me. I had to redefine my whole perspective, my long-term career and personal goals, as well as define my new sense of normal. Taking this time to reflect and focus on defining what wellness meant for me actually led to a lot of lifestyle changes: I fine-tuned my diet, my way of exercising, and I learned to prioritize my rest and sleep schedule. Beyond defining a new normal and wellness, there is another challenge that many of us living with a chronic illness or those struggling with mental health must overcome... Just because we don't 'look sick', doesn't mean we feel well.
This applies to MANY conditions not just arthritis, or chronic illnesses but also for those struggling with mental health. Even though, from the outside, we don't 'look sick', on the inside we feel extreme pain, fatigue, feelings of inadequacy, isolation... the list could go on and on. For these reasons, mental health, autoimmune and chronic diseases are often called 'invisible illnesses' because a lot of the symptoms aren't visible. This often leads people to judge those suffering from invisible illness and label them as lazy, as liars, or as attention seekers. If you suffer from an invisible illness you aren't crazy for being tired, you are not useless for needing to rest after taking a shower, and you aren't lazy because you can't bring yourself to move from the couch. In this article I have summarised some of the common, unseen side-effects of living with an "invisible illness". 13
THE COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF LIVING WITH AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS 1. Social Isolation A lot of times we may come across as flakes, or unreliable because we cancel plans last minute. However, often we cancel plans not because we intended to, but because we had an unexpected flare, or onset of fatigue.This often results in us not being included in invites to social events because we are labeled 'socially unreliable', but this doesn't mean you should stop inviting us! We want to come, trust us! 2. Not being able to plan We never know how we're going to feel when we wake up in the morning, let alone next week. It's hard to predict when a flare up will happen, when fatigue is going to set in, or when your brain fog makes it hard to even dress yourself. This bring a lot of anxiety around making future plans. It's stressful to plan and make commitments because we never know how we will feel by then. 3. Managing Energy Levels & Burn Out We only have a limited amount of energy each day, and we burn through it quick. Every task from showering, to making dinner, commuting to work, eating, getting dressed, to taking out the trash uses up a chunk of our daily energy allotment. If we burn through our limited energy supply, it leaves us feeling extra fatigued, sore, tired and burnt out. If we go over our energy budget for the day, it often takes about a week to recover. This means that sure, we can go to that concert, or event, but don't expect us to be out and about for the next five days or so. This limited energy is explained as 'spoon theory' and thus gives way to the name 'spoonie' for those suffering with chronic illness. 4. Chronic Fatigue, it's more than just being tired This is mind-numbing fatigue that is almost impossible to fight against. It's the kind of fatigue that a nap, a 10 hour sleep or even a cup of coffee can't fix.
Eventually you just succumb to the fatigue and become a puddle on the couch. We aren't spacey or lazy, we are just extremely tired. 5.Chronic "unwell" feeling Along with joint pain, stiffness and fatigue, we often experience a constant feeling of being 'unwell'. It's feels like you are always starting to come down with a cold, or that "I feel like I've been hit by a train" feeling, but it never goes away. This leads us to be cranky and agitated sometimes. 6. Educating people is exhausting When other people don't believe us when we say that we feel unwell, it often makes us feel we have to defend ourselves. This is a huge mental burden of living with an invisible illness.We are not lazy, useless or lying. We are just struggling with a lot of pain and fatigue that you can't see. Educating everyone all the time about how our disease works and affects us is exhausting and mentally draining.
Before judging someone and labelling them as being lazy, remember that chronic diseases and other invisible illnesses come with a lot of unseen burdens...
Just because someone doesn't look sick, doesn't mean they feel well. To all those struggling with a chronic disease: I see you, I'm here for you and I want to let you know that you are not alone!
STORIES: THE RAW AND HONEST TRUTH
Community is Key WORDS BY SAMANTHA BRUNKEN
Samantha Brunken is a Health and Wellness Coach. You can find her on Instagram @newevenutritionandwellness "It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts." JM Laurence When dealing with any chronic illness, it’s particularly true that the people around us count the most in our lives and health journey. It’s our community that supports us, loves us, and looks out for us. On our good and bad days, it's who's around us that makes all the difference. Your community may consist of family, friends, health professionals, teachers, mentors, neighbors, coworkers, and even others who also have chronic illness. These are all people you could look to to help support you throughout your journey.When I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, it was the people that I surrounded myself with that helped me the most. My parents were very supportive and attentive, taking me to and from appointments, staying with me in the hospital for weeks at a time, dealing with insurance, and communicating with my doctors to make sure I was getting the best care possible.
Image: Paul Green sourced from Unsplash
Friends would come to visit me in the hospital to lift my spirits. Extended family took care of my younger brother and me when my parents could be there. Old family friends stopped by with hot meals. 15
My doctors and nurses made sure I had the medical care I needed in the hospital and at home, and are still there to support me throughout my journey. Teachers checked in with me and helped ease back into school and made sure I was ok throughout the school day.
When you need help, ask for it. When people offer their time and relationship, accept it. In the beginning, focus on accepting help, drawing strength from loved ones around you, and reminding yourself you have the community to get you through anything.
As I began to work, coworkers were understanding of my illness and helped me to feel capable and accepted. Looking back on my experience, I am astounded at how much support I do have on a continuous basis.
Activities to do while you are newly diagnosed with your community may look a little different because you may or may not be able to focus on food.
Now that my chronic illness is in remission, the biggest community that has been able to support me as I heal from medical trauma is my church community. I began going to youth group not even a year after I was newly diagnosed with my chronic illness. They welcomed me and listened as I felt comfortable enough to begin sharing my story. Overtime, I became a youth leader myself and had the chance to share even more. It has been amazing to experience how healing occurs not only for me, but the teens who attended the youth group events.
"This space helped me to realise it really does take a community of people to help you get to where you are meant to go in life and who you are meant to become." There are so many ways to create community when you have a chronic illness. My biggest advice is to be open and honest with those around you. At the beginning of your journey or when you are first having symptoms, don't hide them. Instead, tell the people around you, if you are comfortable, so they can help to support you. Telling them isn't singling yourself out or failing, they will appreciate the gesture and will most likely be more in tune with you in the future and will be more likely curious than anything else!
[Social activities] may look like enjoying a cup of tea in the sunshine with a friend, taking a short walk with your mum, phoning a friend or watching movies together while you rest. As you begin to heal and have a more normal schedule, you may feel up to participating in events and holidays. My advice for this step is to be gentle with yourself. You are still you, but the way your body reacts to certain situations may have changed. This means you may have to order something simple when going out to restaurants instead of your favorite and calorie packed meal. It may look like packing your own food, or trying new recipes for a holiday so that you can still enjoy a special meal with your family. It may look like packing different snacks and beverages so that you can keep your blood sugar stable or eat when your body gives you hunger cues. As you heal you will feel more and more like doing the things you love with the people you love, how you do them may just change a little bit. And that is ok! Throughout this journey, I hope you learn that it is the people around us that make life worth living. Who are you surrounding yourself with right now to bring light to your life?
EAT TO HEAL WORDS BY ANGIE COONEY Chronic diseases are characterised by a persistent disease that comes with time. The term chronic is applied when the condition lasts more than three months. Some common chronic diseases in society include heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Often to heal, those who are suffering from a chronic condition are placed on repeated doses of a specific pharmaceutical related to their condition. While these pharmaceuticals may reduce the severity of the condition, they can also have other effects on different body systems, thus resulting in health complications. Hippocrates, the father of natural healing once stated, “Let food be thy medicine”. The food we consume plays a massive role in how our cells and body systems function, thus providing us with optimal health or low-quality health. When supporting the body nutritionally to heal from a chronic disease, antiinflammatory foods are best to opt for. Anti-inflammatory foods work on a cell level, reducing the number of cytokines and free radicals in the body, which cause inflammation.
Some plant-based antiinflammatory foods include: Turmeric Ginger Garlic Avocado Tomato Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries Oranges Spinach, kale, collard greens Broccoli Capsicums Red Cabbage Mushrooms Legumes Almonds and walnuts Extra virgin olive oil Miso Tulsi leaf cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne and clove
When choosing antiinflammatory foods in the super-market, think COLOUR and food DIVERSITY. Colourful foods have the most antioxidants which contain antiinflammatory properties. Food diversity feeds the healthy gut microbiome which allows the gut to fight off harmful pathogens which can cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis etc.
Basic exercises to kickstart your day
Courtney Tebbutt Exercise Scientist Clinical Exercise Physiology Student To learn more about exercise check out www.essa.org.au/find-aep and search for an Accredited Exercise Physiologist near you. To get in touch with Courtney, please feel free to reach out to her on Instagram @eptobe. She’d love to hear from you!
TRY THIS AT HOME! Did you know that exercise can help manage or even reduce symptoms of chronic illness? Exercise offers many benefits for all ages such as boosting general health and fitness, improving posture and improving mental health. When we exercise our brain causes a release of endorphins and serotonin. These are chemicals made by our body which help us sleep more soundly plus reduce or prevent anxiety and depression. Click this link to watch a video tutorial of the routine!
Number 1: Glute bridge Bridges are a great exercise to help strengthen your gluteus maximus muscle. There are three different glute muscles which work together to support the pelvis. The gluteus maximus is responsible for the work when you draw your leg backwards in movements such as kicking a ball. It also plays a part in keeping you balanced when walking, running and standing on one leg. Developing strength in this area lets your glutes take on more load and reduce the stress on your lower back.
How to: Lay on your back with your knees bent. Squeeze your bottom muscles and slowly push your hips towards the roof. Hold for 3-5 seconds at the top (keep squeezing!), then slowly roll your spine back down until you are flat. Repeat for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. *To increase the difficulty, pop a resistance band just above your knees and perform the exercise the same.
Number 2: Leg lift The aim of this exercise is to strengthen your abdominal and trunk, including your deep core muscles. These muscle groups are responsible for stabilising you in bumpy terrain, bending your body forward at the hips and swinging your legs in front of you (like when you walk). Increasing strength in these areas can help improve your posture, balance and stability. You might also notice that it’s easier to bend down, lift things and perform general household duties like vacuuming.
If you apply pressure with your hands, you should feel a slight tension in the muscles underneath your hip bones. That’s your core activating! Keeping that tension in your core, gently lift one leg up to a 90 degree angle and pause for 1-2 seconds at the top. Let that leg float back to the floor then repeat on the other side. Try to aim for 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions on each leg.
How to: Lay on your back with your knees bent and place your hands over your hips.Draw your belly button in towards your spine and think about tightening the space between your hip bones
*If your back starts to ache during this exercise, remove steps 4 and 5 and just practice activating your core. Practice deep breathing while maintaining the contraction until you feel more comfortable with it - use your hands to feel the muscles as you practice.
Number 3: The Dart This exercise is ideal for people who find themselves slouching often or sitting down for most of the day. When we slouch our rhomboid muscles become overstretched and weaken with time, causing tight chest muscles and contributing to poor posture. The rhomboids connect your spine with your shoulder blades, providing stability for your shoulders, neck and upper back.
How to: Lay down on your tummy with your hands by your side (palms up).
Pull your shoulder blades down towards your bottom then squeeze them together. As you squeeze, lift your hands off the ground slightly and hold for 5 seconds (keep squeezing!). Lower your hands and relax your muscles. Repeat the movement for 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. *To make this exercise harder, modify step three. As you squeeze and lift your hands, try lifting your forehead off your mat at the same time. Make sure to keep your chin tucked in to protect your neck!
After any strength work I recommend doing some stretches. Stretching releases tension in your muscles, promotes a speedy recovery and also helps to calm your mind. When holding a stretch, I recommend aiming for 30-60 seconds to give your body time to feel the full effect of the move. You should aim for the point of a mild stretch with slight discomfort. Stretching should not be painful. STRETCHES Lower Back Stretch You should feel this stretch relaxing the lower back and stretching in through the shoulders.
How to: Rest on your hands and knees with your chin tucked in. Slide your hands forward until your chest is close to the ground and you are in a comfortable position. Take deep breaths and hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
Glute Stretch You should feel a gentle pull in the side of your buttocks. If the stretch is painful, try only pulling your knee up halfway and then over towards your hip.
How to: Lay on your back with your legs straight along the floor.Bend your right knee towards your chest. Using your hands, gently guide your knee over towards your left shoulder. Hold here for 30-60 seconds and breathe deeply. Repeat on the other side.
Hamstring glide This exercise is a little different to traditional stretching. This technique is a Neural Glide which aims to stretch your nerves, helping to reduce pain and increase flexibility. Perform this exercise slowly, focusing on technique.
Lay on your back with legs straight along the floor. Lift one knee directly over the same side hip, forming a 90 degree angle with your knee. Clasp your hands behind the knee and bend your toes towards your head. Straighten your knee to the point where you feel a stretch, then lower back to 90 degrees. Repeat for 30 seconds and then change sides.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY VEGAN LENTIL CARROT Recipe by Angie Cooney SOUP Check out her instagram @ahimsaa_healing INGREDIENTS Serves: 3 1 cup red lentils, dry (190 g) 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes 2 carrots, cut into slices 3 celery stalks, diced 1 large yellow onion, finely diced 3 garlic cloves, diced 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (950 ml) 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (240 ml) 2 cups baby spinach (60 g) 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp turmeric 2 tsp sweet paprika ½ tsp coriander seeds 1-inch ginger piece, peeled and grated 1 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper
PROCEDURE 1. Place a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, potato and spices. 2. Sauté everything in a splash of water for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 3. Add the vegetable broth, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Stir and bring to a boil before adding the dry lentils and mixing everything well. 4. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot and let your soup simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the potatoes are tender, but not overcooked. 5. Season your carrot lentil soup with salt and pepper, then add the spinach and let it simmer for five more minutes. 6. Turn off the heat, add the chopped parsley and serve your homemade anti-inflammatory soup warm. Instead of fresh spinach, you can also use sturdy greens like kale. Any leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Popular swaps include sweet potatoes, winter squash, green lentils and green beans! Find more ideas in the article 'Eat to heal'. Make sure to always add black pepper when using turmeric powder in your recipe to increase the health benefits. 21 Serve this vegan lentil soup on its own, with a side of rice, bread or salad.
Recipe by Beth Parkes Check out her instagram @state.ofwellness
Easy & healthy chicken Caesar salad ingredients chopped cos lettuce oven roasted sweet potato stir-fried marinated chicken oven roasted chickpeas boiled eggs Caesar sauce: tahini, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, garlic
instructions Mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! 22
Chewy Flourless Almond Butter Cookies These are truly "Spoonie-Friendly" because they come together in minutes and are a much healthier version of a chewy cookie. But even more so, because they're flare-friendly food... you can make these ahead of time and always have a sweet treat available! How many this makes depends on how big you like your cookies.
INGREDIENTS 1 cup unsweetened almond butter 1 cup coconut sugar 1 large egg 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon almond extract 1/3 cup chopped chocolate (chocolate chips won't be as melty as chopping your own chocolate bar. But if chips are all you have, NBD...no big deal! Use 'em!) *Store these in an airtight container. It's best to keep them in the fridge and just pull them out 15 mins before you want to eat them. They tend to spoil quickly if left out on the counter for more than a day or two.
PROCEDURE 1. Preheat oven to 350ºF or 180ºC. 2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except chocolate. 4. Fold in chocolate. 5. Using a cookie scoop, or two spoons, drop 1 tbsp rounds with at least 2" between. They spread a lot. 6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. *HOW TO MAKE AHEAD* 1. Make the dough as instructed. 2. Using an ice cream scoop or 2 spoons, drop cookies onto a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Put the sheet pan in the freezer and freeze the mounds.
Recipe by Talia Miele View the recipe on her website Or check out her instagram @taliamiele
No bake Pretzel "Candy Bar" Cups This "candy bar" recipe has a refined sugar-free caramel that is so indulgent. They require no baking and can be stored in the freezer for weeks. INGREDIENTS Makes: 6 cups 3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate (you can use vegan chocolate) 1 tsp coconut oil 3 tbsp cashew butter (or a nut butter of your choice) 1.5 tbsp coconut oil 3 tbsp date paste** 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla 1/3 cup raw whole cashew, rough chopped OR 1/4 cup and mix in 2 tbsps of chopped pretzel sticks.
PROCEDURE 1. Line 6 cups of a muffin tin with cupcake liners. 2. In a double boiler melt the chocolate and 1 tsp of coconut oil together. Divide it among the muffin cups, about 2 tbsps in each. Press into the melted chocolate the pretzel sticks. Pop the tin into the freezer for about 10 mins or so, longer is ok. 3. While the tin is in the freezer make the "caramel". In a medium bowl whisk together the cashew butter, 1.5 tbsp coconut oil, and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). 4. Pull the tin out of the freezer and divide the caramel filling among them, it’s a little more than a 1 tbsp each. Spread it around a little so it reached the edges of the cup. 5. Top with the chopped cashews and press them into the caramel a little. Garnish with pretzel sticks or some chopped pretzels. 6. Freeze again for about 30 minutes.When ready to eat, pull out of the freezer and let sit at room temp for 3-5 minutes
Recipe by Talia Miele View the recipe on her website Or check out her instagram @taliamiele
*Keep them stored in an airtight container in the freezer **If you don't have date paste, take a few medjool dates soaked in hot water for an hour, strain them (reserving the water), and blend adding in a few tbsps of reserved water at a time if needed. Then measure out 3 tbsp. 24
“The arts are a critical component of healthcare. Expressive art is a tool to explore, develop and practice creativity as a means to wellness.” - Wellarts Association
ARTIST FEATURE My name is...
e n i Y a sm r u k S ha "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Albert Einstein
Yasmine is a chronic illness advocate who has used art to aid her recovery from Lupus. She believes creativity and art are useful tools in processing and managing chronic illness symptoms. You can check out her instagram @yasmine_artistry She also sells her prints and stickers in her Etsy shop. 26
Image: Vonecia Carswell sourced from Unsplash
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