Monday, 19 September 2016

Sweet Treats

It's been a little while since I shared one of my easy-to-make recipes, so I thought it was about time I did another one... So now it's time for dessert.

I don't know about you, but all I really want pretty much all of the time is sweet stuff. Chocolate preferably. And cakes. And icing. and generally lots of naughty things. But as we all know, it's bad for you to have too much of this stuff. And it can be especially bad for us spoonies to consume too much when we don't necessarily have the ability to work it all off. So I've been looking on good ol' Pinterest for healthy recipes and this is one that I love. It's soooo easy, so simple, tastes great and satisfies that sweet craving without being horrendously bad.

All you need is 3 ingredients. Yep, only THREE.
- 3 bananas (well ripened)
- 120g smooth nut butter (I use almond butter, I'm obsessed with it!)
- Cocoa powder to taste - I used about 6 teaspoons worth, but do it depending on your preference.

The other thing you ideally need to make this recipe as easy as possible, is a blender. I just have a cheap little hand blender that I swear by for pretty much everything.

As you can tell, I only remembered to take this picture AFTER I had chucked all the ingredients in the blender and started to blitz... but you get the idea. Bananas, smooth nut butter and cocoa powder.

Once it's all blitzed together you have this sauce type stuff. It looks pretty yummy just as it is. All you need to do now is grab a small tin and have your oven pre-heated to about 200 degrees centigrade. I line my tin with foil because I'm really lazy, but you can do it properly and use baking parchment and use butter or similar to grease the sides. Coconut oil would probably a great alternative to butter if you're being super healthy.

Chuck the batter in the tin and throw it in the oven for 20 minutes. When it's done, leave to cool. Cut up and enjoy...

As you can see, I'm *impatiently* waiting for mine to cool so I can cut it up and enjoy.

With this, I imagine it will last pretty well for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container. But let's be honest... who can leave chocolatey goodness alone for a few days?!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Pain for Gain

The phrase often goes "no pain, no gain," but rarely is that actually the case for an EDS sufferer. Normally pain is just a fact of life and you gain nothing from it but tiredness and if you're real lucky (that's sarcasm folks) then you get to have exhaustion, insomnia, and all sorts of fun and games.

One thing that I have had to try and teach myself about lately though is "good" pain... the "getting gains" type of pain... Ever since I started using the gym, going to pilates and trying to get fitter this year, I have been having to try and learn this good pain.

Trying to differentiate between the burning pain of working out, and the bad pain that is your joints protesting their inability is a hard one. At times it's near-on impossible to differentiate and if you get it wrong, it can be really bad.

I stopped working out in June until just this month... I don't really know why I stopped other than pure laziness. I did the odd day here and there and tried to eat a bit healthy but mostly I slipped back into my old ways. I wrote about a bad flare I had as a result of this back in July... I also know I wrote about trying to get motivated again in August. It didn't work... but I'm getting there now. I'm using weights and the last few times I have really felt the burn.

One of the main things I have been told on more than one occasion is that I need to strengthen my core. This is because your core is where an awful lot of your stability comes from. Zebras with EDS will know that one of the fun old symptoms of it can included a loss of balance and co-ordination. I'm a big old tick in that box. I regularly fall over thin air and I have lost count of how many times I have fallen into my desk or miscalculated where it is in relation to my body at work... My legs are a living testament to this as they are black and blue with bruises. But I digress.

So, working to improve my core strength is a big goal of what I am trying to achieve. I'm also trying to improve my leg strength to better stabilise my joints, work on the strength of my arms as I have zero upper body strength... and just generally improve my fitness. So I use weights and various exercises that work a whole bunch of these things together... But I have really had to learn between what is the pain of my thigh muscles working hard and improving, and what is my hip bone grinding away more of the cartilage.

It's a difficult journey and it's hard to learn. I don't always get it right, but I am getting stronger. Now I get to have days where I can moan about my legs and arms hurting, but I get to follow it with the phrase "but it's good pain." It's the pain that tells me my muscles have been worked hard and are going to get stronger from. It's not the pain that leaves me feeling like my world is falling apart.

So fellow zebras, please try and remember that there is good pain and bad pain. It's just a case of learning how to achieve one without the other, and maybe achieving the good pain might assist with limiting the bad pain....

I'm currently obsessed with my kettle bell weight (only a measly 3kg but present enough of a challenge for my weeks limbs) and my hand weights (a bulkier 2.5kg each.... these are blooming hard work and in hindsight I should have ordered 2kg. They didn't have them on the shelf when I was making my purchase though, and 1kg was too little, and I was impatient.)

What exercises do you like to do? Have you tried weight training?