Spring Cleansing - Eating well with Fibromyalgia

I finally got an appointment with a Registered Dietitian (RD) about my Fibromyalgia...and I must admit, about my lack of much weight loss! I have been following Weight Watcher's new system (it is the only system that involves more calories for breastfeeding mothers)and haven't had much luck. Well...my mother believes that 4 pounds in 6 weeks is better than nothing, not to mention healthy, since I AM breastfeeding, but I am already fed up with counting and writing things down.

The RD wrote down what I ate on a normal day, what foods I have in my house, what my life goals nutritionally were... It was all good and dandy but lasted a whopping 1.5hrs and my mum was waiting for me with a hungry Arielle! Basically, I could have figured MOST of what she said on my own.

Fibromyalgia is not a disease that can rightfully be cured by cutting out food groups. It is more of a "eat better - feel better" type of thing. Primo: Eating more fruit and veg for example, packed with antioxidants can help: Fibro patients are thought to have more "free radicals" running through their bodies, so blueberry smoothies and kale chips lurk in my immediate future! I personally thought I was eating enough greens, but seems like the recommended 5-7 should be more of a 7-8 daily portions.
Secondo: More soluble fiber versus insoluble fiber when the old Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms appear. IBS is another "symptom" of Fibro, and though ALL fiber is good, intake of water soluble fiber like Oats, legumes and barley can be "upped" when stress hits and visits to the toilet increase...ahem... Therefore, the fact that I eat whole wheat everything is GREAT, but variety is good too (yay for KERF Oats!).

Tertio: Supposedly I have to watch out for anemia because I don't eat enough red meat? Okay so I don't, but because I choose NOT to! RD says you need something "bloody" for good absorption of Iron (bloody not in the way it is cooked but the fact that it once came from a warm blooded animal!). I somewhat have my doubts bout this, but spinach doesn't seem to be fer-ocious (haha get it?) enough for her liking. Eric will be happy...
Quatro: OMEGA FATTY ACIDS! yes, they are good for brain development and a bunch of other things. Supposedly they help with inflammation of the muscles too, something we Fibro-affected people know very well about. So TWO portions a week MINIMUM of something rich in these and preferably FISH! I'm down with that, but eating salmon twice a week doesn't sound so awesome. She suggested Mackerel and Sardines, but those don't sound appealing either. I love fish...so I shall have to try and be creative.

Thats pretty much it as Fibromyalgia is concerned... She did mention I should eat more protein if I wanted to lose weight thought. At each meal... even if the Canadian food guide only says 2 a day. Otherwise I wouldn't feel full and I would snack and snack. Fiber keeps you full too... Finally: DRINK MILK. Yeah, HUGE debate, I know. But our milk has vitamin D added and its one of the ONLY sources. And Calcium is up the roof and yadda yadda. I also thought I got enough, but those small yogurts are 1/2 a portion! She did not mention that dairy could worsen pain. My Rhumatologist told me SOME people have successfully decreased their pains from cutting dairy...but what about calcium and vit D?

All in all she found that I was feeding myself quite well, I was making the right choices, but that some things were lacking. Guess no one is perfect. I am trying very hard to deal with my fibro without medication, and pairing these new eating habits with my exercise plan should help me out. Anyone have good mackerel or sardine recipes?

Bon Appetit!

Crimson and Cocoa

Well, winter is still raging here and not much is up. Arielle is starting solid food and Im spending more and more time in the kitchen... Although not only for baby food!

I have really been craving baked goodies and cupcakes seem to hit the spot. Red Velvet to be more precise! They are not very popular here in Canada, in fact, I only know of them because I watch the Food Network. In any case, we picked a recipe (this one) and opted for the cream cheese icing that came with.I did make some modifications... I am not a fan of chemical additions, so I cut the amount of red food coloring by half. For the icing, a half recipe was more than enough and I replaced the vanilla with orange extract. I used an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter into the paper cups but only got 15 cupcakes... far from the 2.5 dozen! They were pretty huge - they rise tremendously!

The results

At first I was not impressed... I ate one warm, the sides were crunchy and the chocolate taste so very subtle. Leaving them overnight softened them to an amazingly airy, spongey, delicately chocolatey goodness. They were a complete sucess with everybody, my mother even asking me for the recipe. It is partly because of my Kitchenaid mixer I'm sure :)

This week-end I will repeat the recipe but with more cocoa to make them extra chocolatey and add a twist by smothering them in "Fleur de Sel" salty caramel. Can't wait! Will let you know how it goes!

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